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At the Snowpoint Gym, Platinum has managed to faint Candice's Snover with one hit, and states that Empoleon's steel attack has an advantage over the opponent's ice type. However, despite having her first Pokemon down, Candice puts on a grin, and says Platinum seems confident that she did not miscalculate anything.

Platinum bolts with a start upon hearing the remark, as she knows it implies that she has missed something. Before she could figure it out however, something plummets from the ceiling and hits Empoleon right on the head, causing it to faint. Platinum lets out a gasp, and the Snowpoint Gymleader explains that it is a Seed Bomb. It turns out that right before Snover was struck by Empoleon's Metal Claw, it fired off an enormous tough-shelled seed towards the sky, which is why it took a few moments for the attack to hit.

Peeking through the side windows, Maylene mutters that Snover has grass as its second type, and it has used a super-effective grass type move to faint its opponent, resulting in a double knock out and leaving both trainers with two Pokemon only.

Candice then sends out her specially reserved Pokemon, a Froslass, and Platinum decides to have Rapidash enter the battlefield. The fire horse adeptly hops away from the series of ice attacks delivered by Froslass, and Platinum remarks that Rapidash's evolution has allowed it to gain acceleration and better agility, making it more capable of evading hits. The truth is, Platinum secretly hopes to complete her challenge efficiently, so that she could head for Lake Acuity earlier.

Just then, Froslass manages to catch Rapidash's moving pattern and lands an attack. However, Platinum is less than concerned because fire types, like steel, are strong against ice and receive minimal damage from their moves. Still, Platinum decides to have Rapidash use Rest to heal its HP since it will be the one Pokemon she heavily counts on for the rest of the battle.

Across the room, Candice has noticed Platinum's distraction and puts on a little frown as she watches her facial expression closely. She states that it feels a little odd, but although she doesn't know what Platinum has in mind, she can feel that Platinum is trying to finish their match as soon as possible. The Snowpoint Gymleader then breaks into a dramatic act, and hollers that Platinum must think she can win the gym battle for sure, which is why she is not focusing a single bit.

Cringing from Candice's menacing tone, Platinum flinches and accidentally drops the 'Walking In Sinnoh' guidebook she keeps in her pocket. Candice picks it up, and sees that she has left a tag on Lake Acuity's page.

Candice: (circles around Platinum with a look of suspicion) Hmm...heh...ohh~~
Platinum: (anxious) Wha...
Candice: I see. This is what you think, isn't it? You were on your way north to Lake Acuity, and ended up fainting in the snow. You got rescued by me, Candice, who was passing by. And then, you think, (goes starry-eyed) 'I should go to Snowpoint to say my thanks~', 'I'm so lucky! It's just next to Lake Acuity~', 'Oh, I should get permission from the gymleader first before I get to the lake~', which also means, your intention was simply to drop by the gym, and this gym battle is just a by-product, and you are battling only due to compulsion. In that case, we can just call off this gym battle!
Platinum: No, I didn't mean...
Candice: Froslass! Wake-up Slap!

With that, Froslass delivers a powerful smack on Rapidash's face, and causes it to tumble over. Maylene watches through the window glass, and gasps that the move forces its opponent awake but deals a greater deal of damage when it does.

Candice retrieves Froslass into its Pokeball, and turns to ask the dragon statue, whose voice is actually that of the Sinnoh Pokemon Association's Chairman, whether they should just end the challenge there, since she has already sent out her specially reserved Pokemon and it feels pointless to go on. The statue starts to object, and Candice grunts that she knows the Chairman wouldn't be agreeable on these matters. She scoffs that she will just put up with it a little longer, and sends Abomasnow out, her action causing both the frosted tree Pokemon and the statue to sweatdrop.

Platinum holds up her three Pokeballs, and sees that Rapidash is close to fainting while Empoleon is no longer able to fight. For all her previous gym challenges, Pearl and Dia have always acted as her supporter and come up with specific strategies to help her practice. Now, she can only fight on her own, and has major doubts if this new team member she recently caught, which she has never used in battle before, could stand its ground in this official gym challenge.

At that moment, Candice is fed up with Platinum's distraction and hesitation, and lets out a roar while Abomasnow stomps its foot on the ground. Platinum flinches with astonishment, and accidentally opens the switch of her new team member's Pokeball, revealing it to be a Lopunny.

Candice is upset that all she said didn't manage to get Platinum to focus, and barks that with this kind of battle attitude, she will definitely fail at what she is going to do next. By that, she is referring to her upcoming showdown with Team Galactic. Platinum bolts with shock upon hearing Candice's last words, but she barely has time to digest them as Abomasnow launches an Ice Shard, and soon buries Lopunny in a thick pile of ice crystals.

Platinum is stunned that Candice knows about the deal with Team Galactic, and Candice, keeping a watchful eye on Platinum's facial expressions, hopes that this piece of news would make her more focused. Platinum decides that it would not be helpful to ponder on the matter anyway, and puts on a determined look as she calls out to Lopunny.

The long-eared rabbit immediately breaks out from the pile of ice, and starts hopping around Abomasnow. Candice orders a Focus Blast, and the frosted tree Pokemon delivers a barrage of them in a circular manner, all of which are tactfully dodged by Lopunny. The Snowpoint Gymleader warns her Pokemon to pay attention, as Lopunny's steps aren't simply for the sake of evasion. As soon as she says that, Lopunny hops forward with its legs parallel to the ground, and unleashes a Jump Kick on Abomasnow's thick body, taking it out with the super-effective hit.

Candice grins that this is how gym battles are supposed to be, and sends Froslass back onto the field. Lopunny once again counts on its agile hops, but Froslass, being a ghost type, hovers high above it, and without warning, jabs its palms into its opponent's face and thrusts it down towards the floor. Candice remarks that the same strategy cannot be used twice, and says with Lopunny immobilized on the ground, its powerful jumping attacks are essentially sealed.

The brown rabbit continues to struggle by swinging its feet about, but soon becomes motionless. The statue declares that Lopunny is no longer able to fight, and Candice lets out a victorious cheer and she spins around. However, Maylene, who is watching from the side windows, sees that Platinum is tossing out another Pokeball, and warns Candice with a cry that the battle isn't over yet.

Astonished, the Snowpoint Gymleader turns her gaze back to the field, but it is already too late. Rapidash charges forward wrapped in flames, and in one hit knocks Froslass unconscious. Candice gasps in disbelief and fails to understand why the fire horse is restored to full health again when it was close to fainting before. Cradling Lopunny in her arms, Platinum explains that it was because of Healing Wish, and says while it appeared that Lopunny was taken out by Froslass, it actually fainted due to using the move.

Candice recalls that Healing Wish sacrifices the user while fully restoring the HP of the next Pokemon, and breaks into a grin as she compliments on Platinum's tactics. Platinum remarks that she should thank Candice instead, since her reprimand has forced her to trust her new team member and pull off the risky strategy. In the past, she has always had companions to stand by her side and keep her motivated. This time, she is all by herself, and the way Candice scolded her reminds her of one of her companions.

The Snowpoint Gymleader giggles and hopes that she didn't come off too intimidating, and the dragon-like statue officially declares Platinum as the winner. Candice hands Platinum the Icicle Badge, and says it will be beneficial to have more Pokemon on her team. She gestures towards the huge crowd of wild Pokemon gathered on the edges, and suggests Platinum capture a few, as some of them are quite rare. Platinum wonders if it is alright, and Candice assures her she has made friends with most of them, and says they will need more fighting power in the showdown against Team Galactic anyway.

The remark reminds Platinum of a question she had in mind, and she wishes to know how Candice learnt of her mission. Candice grins that gymleaders communicate with each other internally, and reveals that Byron has contacted her and told her everything, requesting that she let Platinum access the lake.

Platinum beams upon hearing that, and Candice beckons Maylene to come down, announcing that they should get to Lake Acuity as soon as possible and set things up before Team Galactic arrives. Platinum is surprised that two gymleaders will be accompanying her, and Candice states that it is also part of their job to maintain the peace of Sinnoh.

And so, Platinum, Maylene and Candice get themselves ready, and together with their Pokemon, start heading towards Lake Acuity...

(Original Japanese Jokes)
There are no jokes or Manzai in this chapter.

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

388: VS Froslass

Volume 35