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At the Lost Tower, the shadowed man commands a Sucker Punch via the floating intercom machine, and Ignor watches in horror as Croagunk jabs its fingers into Buizel, sending the water weasel flying across the room and slamming against the far-end wall. The shadowed man giggles that although Buizel knows a ground attack which is super effective on Croagunk's poison type, Croagunk's Anticipation ability allows it to detect it beforehand. Buizel crashes onto the ground from the wall as Phool and Ignor grit their teeth in frustration, and the shadowed man says he still wishes to have fun, and hopes that the bodyguards are not giving him such an easy victory.

Meanwhile, on the top floor, Pearl hears the loud rumbling from below, and tries to peek out from the window. He remarks that it sounds as if someone is having a battle, and Fantina grins that his guess is correct. She says there is nothing to worry about, however, since it happens frequently at the Lost Tower. Pearl puts on a confused look, and the purple-haired woman explains that although people generally come to pay respect to the deceased Pokemon who now rest in the tower, they will occasionally challenge the wild Pokemon who live there as well, which is probably what is causing the noise he heard.

Fantina assures them that there is thus nothing to be alarmed about, and urges Pearl and Dia to give her another Manzai performance.

Pearl: (startled) What? Another verse!?
Dia: Isn't it great, Pearl~ Ms Fantina is a wonderful audience and really loves our jokes~ Come on now, speaking of Pokemooon~
Pearl: All right then I guess...

Pearl: Various kinds of places have various kinds of towers.
Dia: Various kinds of tooowers~ And this is the Lost Tower.
Pearl: Others include the Battle Tower, the Trainer Tower, the Pokemon Tower...
Dia: And after scaling so many towers, I will definitely need a shower~
Pearl: (collapses)
Fantina: Ahahaha!! (slaps hand on the floor and laughs hysterically)
Drifblim: (sweatdrops)

Lady Berlitz sees that the boys and Fantina are having fun, and voices her wish to tour around the tower while they are occupied. Pearl gets hesitant at the prospect of the Lady venturing off alone, and the Lady explains that she finds the tower very interesting since it is specifically built for deceased Pokemon to rest, and really hopes to see it in person to expand her scope of experience. Of course, she will only go if the boys and Fantina are okay with it.

Fantina cocks her head to contemplate for a moment, then grins that it should be all right as long as she stays within the tower. Lady Berlitz beams immediately at the approval, and proceeds to excuse herself with Prinplup towards the stairs. Pearl tells her to call out anytime if something happens, and hopes she will have fun.

Fantina: While we wait, why don't you show me another Manzai verse?
Dia, Roo: (startled) WHAA~~
Drifblim: (sweatdrops)

On the ground floor, the struggle between the two bodyguards and the shadowed man's Abra and Croagunk ensues. Phool rushes up the stairs to the first floor with Burmy, and tells Ignor to leave Buizel where it is to join him. The shadowed man snickers via the intercom machine that changing battle locations will not make a difference, and Abra suddenly materializes in front of Phool. The psychic Pokemon delivers a super effective Fire Punch to knock Burmy back, and Phool grunts that it has used Teleport to chase after them. As soon as he says that, Abra changes position with Teleport again, and reappears behind Burmy to unleash an Ice Punch this time, dealing further damage to the bug Pokemon.

The shadowed man laughs that they won't be able to escape from Abra's Teleport, and coupled with Croagunk's ambush from below, it is pretty obvious who the winner of their battle is. He grins that once the bodyguards are defeated, he will force them to lead him to the girl, and right in that instant, he spots the silhouette of someone on the second floor via the camera in the intercom machine. He quickly zooms in on his screen, and exclaims that the outline matches that of a young girl, who can't be anyone else but the very target of their ransom.

Standing at the stairway on the second floor, Lady Berlitz sees two men in black suits fighting an Abra and Croagunk, and tells Prinplup that they must be people who have come to pay respect to the deceased Pokemon as Fantina said, while the two Pokemon are probably wild ones inhabiting the tower who are challenged to a battle. She decides to get closer for a better view, and quietly creeps down the stairs.

Having spotted his target, the shadowed man yells at Abra and Croagunk for being too slow, and tells them to finish off the Burmy as soon as possible. Abra and Croagunk deliver a combined Ice Punch and Poison Jab on Burmy, and send it crashing to the ground, disintegrating its plant cloak during the process. The shadowed man giggles that the bug Pokemon's coat is destroyed once more, but there are unfortunately no available materials in its surroundings now that could allow it to remake a new one.

Phool remarks that it may be true that Burmy's cloak has been stripped again, but he has purposely allowed it to happen this time. The shadowed man gasps in surprise at the statement, and suddenly notices that the scattered leaves of Burmy are oddly still spiralling in mid-air. He quickly angles the camera downwards, and sees that Buizel is spinning its two tails like a screw as if it is swimming, generating a twister to keep the leaves afloat. Ignor grins that it is the real reason why he left the water weasel on the ground floor, and says the shadowed man probably thought of him as someone who has little emotional attachment to his Pokemon, therefore abandoning it when it could no longer fight.

Phool strikes a pose and states that it is time to pull down the blinds, and a bunch of leaves instantly meshes up in front of the intercom machine's camera. The screen goes black in front of the shadowed man, and he howls in anguish that his view of the battlefield is blocked. Without the shadowed man's commands, Abra and Croagunk quickly lose directions, and the two bodyguards grin that it is their chance to strike back. Phool orders a Hidden Power from Burmy, and the attack swiftly sweeps its foes off their feet, fainting them on the ground.

Up on the second floor, Lady Berlitz exclaims at superb battle right in front of her eyes, and is astonished that people who come to pay respect can pull off such a high standard fight with wild Pokemon. She decides to return to the others and tell them about it, and starts making her way back up the stairs with Prinplup. On the first floor, Phool and Ignor hi-five each other at their victory, and Phool remarks that they shall take a small break, then head up to the top floor to free their client from the evil clutches of the boys. Ignor agrees, and Buizel breathes out a sigh of content as it looks up from the ground floor.

At the mysterious organization's headquarters at Veilstone City, the shadowed man steps into the light with a furious look, revealing himself to be a young man with blue hair styled into two horns, and trembles with anger at his defeat. He bangs his hands on the screen which displays the photos of Phool and Ignor, and hollers that no one is allowed to beat Commander Saturn.

He turns around and motions to his grunts, and orders them to use whatever means to thwart the girl and the bodyguards from reaching Mt. Coronet, which according to their investigations, is the destination of their journey. He grunts that they must find a way to block Route 210, and get them to come to Veilstone, where their team's HQ, the Galactic Veilstone Building, is located. He vows to seek ultimate revenge on the two guys once they arrive, and let them know the consequence of infuriating him.

Just then, a young woman with red hair who wears a similar commander outfit as Saturn's but with a skirt walks up from behind, and says he is being too noisy. Saturn addresses her as Mars, and puts on a frown when she walks past a red line on the floor. He demands her to step back and stand beyond the red line, barking that the area bounded by it is his battle room, where he hates casual entry. Mars quickly hops backwards, and apologizes for forgetting, but adds that Saturn is really a pesky person.

With a slightly aggravated expression, Saturn asks if Mars thinks he set up such a rule out of peskiness, and Mars replies with a nonchalant tone that she doesn't see a real difference between standing inside and outside the line. Saturn deepens his frown as Mars holds her stare on him with an indifferent look, and Saturn suddenly grins that one should perhaps fulfill their duties before picking on others. He wonders what has happened to Mar's mission in securing an ample energy source, and points to the globular machine under construction in the adjacent room, stating that his side is going well, with the Galactic Bomb pending for completion. Granted, he may be experiencing a little trouble in getting their financial support right now, but he snickers that things are still under control, and he will solve the problem in due time.

Mars seems barely bothered by the arrogance of her associate, and simply remarks that she is almost done with her part. She points towards another room where an Electivire is standing on a platform and discharging its stored electricity into various electrodes, and says she is already in the process of transferring the electric energy she has stolen from the Valley Windworks. Saturn acknowledges it with a mere grunt, and keeps his gaze on the flashing electric currents pouring out from the Electivire's body.

Back at the Lost Tower, Fantina is glad that Lady Berlitz witnessed such a fabulous battle, and the Lady grins that it was truly a wonderful experience to tour around inside the tower. Behind them, Pearl and Dia pant to catch their breaths after having performed 15 different Manzai verses in a row for Fantina, and Dia winces in pain at his swollen and burning cheeks.

Fantina wants to know if Lady Berlitz likes Pokemon battling, and the girl replies that although she wasn't particularly keen about it in the beginning, she enjoys it very much now after the two gym challenges she has made. The purple-haired woman simply smiles at her response, and grins she has probably kept them for too long. She turns around to hug Drifblim, and remarks that for the sake of safety, they should take the aerial route to the next town. She explains that she is not in a hurry to return to Hearthome, and shall thus have Drifblim carry them there.

Pearl immediately refuses the offer politely, and says it would make things too inconvenient for Fantina, but the purple-haired woman winks that there is nothing to be worried about, and suggests him to 'quit his heart and just go home'. With that, she breaks into a hysterical laugh again and slaps her hand hard on the wall, causing Pearl to sweatdrop as black lines start running down his face.

After the trio climbs on top of Drifblim and sits comfortably on its fluffy puff, Fantina tells the blimp Pokemon to take them to the next town before returning for her. Lady Berlitz expresses her deepest gratitude to Fantina for her sweet words, and Dia waves merrily to thank her while Pearl sincerely urges the woman to take good care of herself. Fantina softly murmurs that they will surely meet again in a gym battle one day, but Lady Berlitz fails to hear the words and begs her pardon. Fantina shakes her head and grins it was nothing, and gives her another wink as she waves the three young trainers goodbye.

And so, the trio departs from the Lost Tower, and carries on with their journey on the eastern side of Sinnoh...

(Original Japanese Jokes)

  1. In the Manzai verse that plays on towers, Dia says they are at the Lost Tower, and Pearl adds that others include the Battle Tower, the Trainer Tower and the Pokemon Tower. Dia then says 'Ippai noborisugite tsukaretawa', which means 'After scaling up so many of them, I am feeling exhausted'. The pun is on 'Tawaa' (tower), which appears in 'Tsukaretawa' (exhausted). Dia purposely drags the last syllable to make it 'Tawaa' instead of just 'Tawa'.

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

353: VS Croagunk & Abra II

Volume 31