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At the Pastoria Gym, Empoleon and Floatzel keep a watchful eye on one another, and rapidly dash through the water routes between the floating planks. Pearl exclaims that both Pokemon are moving at an extreme speed, and Dia cries that Floatzel is edging itself closer and closer towards Empoleon. However, Pearl sees that the emperor Pokemon seems barely bothered by it, and wonders what it has in mind.

Under water, Empoleon folds its left fin towards itself, and waits until its opponent is close enough before sending out a pulse of energy in its direction. A powerful wave rapidly cuts across the water surface, catching Floatzel by surprise, and throwing it up into the air. The sea weasel crashes back down hard on the platform stage, and is instantly knocked out. Dia lets out a cheer, and Pearl realizes that Empoleon has deliberately lured Floatzel into its target range in order to deliver the Vacuum Wave.

Crasher Wake grins and shoots Lady Berlitz a look of compliment, then proceeds to call out his Quagsire. Pearl finally sees that the Pastoria Gymleader has picked Floatzel and Quagsire from his entry of three, which means Gyarados will not be used in this combat.

Quagsire starts off by delivering a Blizzard, and Empoleon quickly retaliates with the same attack. The two blasts of snow make contact with a loud bang in mid-air, and Dia is bewildered to see two identical moves clashing with one another. Pearl remarks that this will boil down to the Pokemon's own strength, and the boys start to get nervous when Empoleon gradually loses its ground. Being pushed towards the edge of the stage, Empoleon fails to hold back the powerful Blizzard from its opponent, and tumbles over as it faints.

Pearl grunts that it must have used up its strength in the struggle with Floatzel, and everyone watches intently as Lady Berlitz sends out her second Pokemon. After a moment of thought, the Lady decides to call forward Roo, and the Torterra stomps its feet on the ground as it gets ready to fight Quagsire.

Moving ever so slowly, both Pokemon make their way to each other, and Pearl is frustrated that neither party is displaying any menace at all. Dia grins that it looks to be a carefree combat, just as Roo finally makes contact with Quagsire. The water fish Pokemon locks its arms around Roo's head while Roo presses forward and jams its horns against its opponent's body, and both boys exclaim that it has become a wrestle match. The two Pokemon struggle to topple each other as sweat begins to run down their faces, but Quagsire gradually gains the upper hand, and manages to pick Roo off the ground.

Pearl hollers in surprise that the Quagsire is able to lift up a Torterra which is several times its own weight, and remarks that it must possess some kind of supernatural strength. Crasher Wake, his face red from holding his breath for Quagsire, lets out a roar, and Quagsire starts to flip Roo over before hurling it towards the edge of the stage.

Unfortunately, Roo's bony spike on its back catches the suspenders on Lady Berlitz's colland outfit, and the girl is dragged along as the Torterra plunges into the water, creating an enormous splash and nearly throwing Dia and Pearl off the boat. The boys are horrified that both Roo and the Lady have been hurled off stage, and Dia attempts to jump into the waters to help them, but Pearl quickly pulls him back, calling him a fool, and points out the danger that he is oblivious to. Apparently, the Pastoria Gymleader and his Quagsire are watching the waters intently and waiting for the Lady to surface, ready to fire another Blizzard attack which would clearly faint Roo, who is a grass and ground type, in one hit.

The waters gradually turn murky from the mud that Lady Berlitz is covered in from the Great Marsh, and Crasher Wake thinks to himself that he must clean up the gym again afterwards. Although the mud has now blocked his view by turning the waters opaque, he is still able to monitor his challenger's position by watching the air bubbles on the surface, which are formed from breathing underwater.

However, the air bubbles suddenly stop surfacing, and Dia and Pearl are hit with a wave of horror. Crasher Wake cries that the girl must have drowned, and calls for the battle to end although neither Pokemon has been knocked out. He frantically orders a urgent rescue, and his two Sailors promptly dive into the waters.

Just then, to everyone's surprise, Lady Berlitz's voice comes from the other end of the platform stage, and says the match has yet to be completed. Crasher Wake, Dia and Pearl all exclaim in shock to see that the Lady has resurfaced with Roo, and under water, the two Sailors gasp in astonishment when they spot the Lady's colland outfit tied around the plug of a drain site, giving out occasional air bubbles from the gas trapped inside.

Motioning to Roo, Lady Berlitz orders a Giga Drain, and Quagsire's health is rapidly drained out from its body and into the Torterra's mouth. Quagsire collapses on the ground as Roo puts on a content grin, and the dragon-like statue announces that Quagsire is no longer able to battle, declaring the challenger as the winner of the match.

The Pastoria Gymleader sulks at the results while his Sailors resurface, and Dia and Pearl rejoice that the Lady has won. Lady Berlitz gently smiles, and reveals that her bitter experience at the Great Marsh's Safari Game has taught her two things which became useful in the battle. The first is from Carnivine, who showed her the advantage of hiding one's body from the foe; and the second being her drowning in the swamp, which made her realize that the formation of air bubbles on the surface will make observers automatically assume that the person is right beneath the same spot.

Pearl is greatly impressed by Lady Berlitz's strategy, and admits that not only Crasher Wake, but he and Dia also thought she was really underneath the water surface's air bubbles, when the truth is, the Lady has removed her colland outfit to create the air bubble illusion, while her real self and Roo have moved stealthily under the muddy waters to the other end of the stage, fully putting her knowledge and quick wit to use.

Pearl: Isn't it awesome? Dia!!
Dia: Yes, coming here all covered with mud suddenly seems well planned from the beginning~
Pearl: That's so truue. We have turned from messy people to tough fellows just like that.
Pearl: Now that we have conquered the Pastoria Gym, I think it will be nice to wash ourselves in the water.
Dia: True, but... if we stay in too long, we will begin to drown and enter a state of euphoria...
Pearl: (smacks Dia on the head) I mean just a quick rinse, stupid!!

One of the Sailors hands Lady Berlitz a towel to dry herself, but the girl suddenly puts on a worried look, and tells Crasher Wake that there is one thing which she is concerned about. The Pastoria Gym wonders what is troubling his challenger, and the Lady says she wishes to know if the prize money she earns from winning will come from Crasher Wake's own pocket. Wake replies that since he is battling on behalf of the gym against a challenger, the prize money won't be charged on him, but is interested why she is asking such a question.

Lady Berlitz puts on a relieved look, and explains that she has heard from an old lady in the city that Crasher Wake uses the prize money he earns to protect the marshland and develop Pastoria, which makes her uncomfortable that she is taking some away from him. The Pastoria Gymleader laughs, and is curious as to whether the Lady held back herself in the battle because of that, but the Lady assures him that she did not, as she completely put this thought behind during the fight and gave her best.

Crasher Wake roars with laughter that she is indeed a marvellous challenger, and the Lady confesses that she finds his life motto of training himself hard for the sake of the people and Pokemon truly noble, which was why as soon as she heard of his doings, she couldn't wait to meet him in person and came directly from the Great Marsh to challenge him.

Her words causes Crasher Wake to blush, and the man starts to run around while covering his face, telling Lady Berlitz to stop as he easily gets embarrassed. His Sailors sweatdrop at his behaviour, and say he doesn't really have to worry about being seen because he has a mask on after all.

After the Lady has dried and tidied herself into her usual outfit, the Pastoria Gymleader thanks her for the enjoyable match, and rewards her the Fen Badge in recognition of her Pokemon's strength. He sees the three other badges the Lady has already pinned on her scarf, and says there are a total of eight gymleaders. He would highly recommend her to challenge the remaining four if she gets the chance, and Lady Berlitz nods with a grin, while the dragon-like statue supplements that there are no other gymleaders as odd as Crasher Wake, causing the man to put on an embarrassed grin.

Later, the trio gets ready to leave Pastoria, and Pearl states that they shall travel a little more to the west before heading north. Lady Berlitz knows that they still have a long winding way to go, but is certain that together they will eventually make it to Mt. Coronet. Walking towards the setting sun, Dia, Pearl, Lady Berlitz and their Pokemon once again carry on with their journey...

(Original Japanese Jokes)

  1. In the Manzai verse after Lady Berlitz's victory, Pearl said 'Kore de Nomose Gym demo shouridekitan dakara, mizu no naka ni hairunomo iimondesune', which means 'Now that we have conquered the Pastoria Gym, it will be nice to get into the waters'. Dia replies that 'Demo hairisugiru to nomosechaimasukedo', which means 'But we will drown if we stay in too long'. The pun is on 'Nomose', the Japanese name of Pastoria, and also part of the phrase 'Nomosechaimasu' (to be swallowed by water).

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

366: VS Floatzel

Volume 33