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Out on route 32, which is also known as Johto's Fishing Resort, Gold wonders if it is where a number of Pokémon have started gone missing lately as Bugsy described. He spots a fisherman ahead, and walks over to inquire if he has seen a Pokéball containing a Poliwag around. The man, who introduces himself as Wilton, says Gold must be one of the unlucky ones who got their Pokémon snagged away by a mysterious culprit in the area. He explains that a creature that's too quick to be seen has been snatching up freshly caught Pokémon of fishers in the resort, and is driving people away from the place.

Gold instantly thinks of the Team Rocket members he encountered in the Ruins of Alph, and wonders if they are the ones responsible. Wilton is about to say something again when a fast moving shadow suddenly swoops by and snatches the Pokéball of his Octillery from his hands. Gold quickly positions Typhlo's Pokéball in front of his billiard cue, and strikes it towards the disappearing shadow. The ball hits the creature square-faced, and reveals it to be a Granbull. The Granbull instantly falls into the water, and resurfaces with a painful look on its face. It then paws its own lower jaw, and suddenly breaks into a grin before swimming towards Gold and Wilton. Wilton realizes that the Granbull must have dislocated its lower jaw somehow, and was trying to draw people's attention to help it by snatching Pokémon away. Gold remarks that the stirke from his Pokéball earlier probably fixed its jaw, and the Granbull puts on a bigger grin.

Wilton says he should still probably take it to the PokémonCentre for a checkup, and tells Granbull to return all the Pokémon it has stolen now that someone's tending to its problem. Granbull nods cheerfully, and scatters dozens of Pokéballs on the dock. Amid the many water Pokémon, Gold spots Politro and hurriedly rushes over to retrieve it. Politro wiggles its tail happily and Gold sighs in relief that it is safe.

Wilton thanks Gold for helping out, and exchanges their Pokégear numbers. Wilton says he will let Gold know if he encounters anything interesting or big, but Gold secretly thinks Wilton is just trying to find someone to talk to when he's bored. Gold waves goodbye, and Wilton decides that he should probably head back to Kanto to tell Yellow about his plan as well. As Gold trots happily along the fishing docks towards Azalea Town with his Pokémon, he suddenly notices that Politro is hiding itself behind Aitro all the time. He realizes that he has not officially introduced his two new team members to it yet, and stops for a moment to acquaint Typhlo and Sunflo with the shy little Poliwag.

Later, Joey receives a call from Gold in Prof. Elm's lab, and is glad to hear that Politro is finally found. The youngster says he will let Gold's mother know, and tells Gold about the malfunctioning Pokémon Transfer System across Johto. Gold says it must be inconvenient for trainers, and a man covered with withered leaves suddenly pops out from the bushes to say he agrees. Gold gets momentarily stunned for a while, and quickly recognizes the man as Prof. Elm's assistant. The man says it certainly was hard to track down Gold, and reveals that he is there to deliver an item to him.

On the other end of the call, Joey hands over the phone to Prof. Elm, and the professor greets Gold warmly. He remarks that he trusts him with Cyndaquil and hopes that he will take good care of it. He then says he has one more favour to ask of Gold, and Elm's assistant quickly unwraps a package to show the boy the mysterious egg. Elm says it is rumoured that there exist certain infant Pokémon that have never been seen before, and requests Gold help him out in his research. Gold wonders what he has to do with studies on eggs, and Elm explains that the egg showed no signs of changes in the lab, and he believes that it has to be around active Pokémon in order to hatch.

Meanwhile, in Azalea Town, Silver is patiently waiting for the ball maker, Kurt, to forge his special Pokéball. With a Shuckle on his shoulder, Kurt wonders if Silver has a specific target in mind, and Silver admits that there is one strong and tough Pokémon that he aims to capture right now. Kurt grins a little, and says while his special Pokéballs can only be used effectively by qualified trainers, he believes that Silver has what it takes to use them. He then puts down his hammer, and hands over to Silver a heavyball, a dark coloured Pokéball made from black apricorns that are targetted at heavy Pokémon only.

Later, Gold is starting to starve as he arrives in Azalea Town. He spots a bright coloured berry on a tree nearby and quickly picks it off to take a bite. To his dismay, the taste is far from acceptable and he has to spit it out. A giggle comes from behind and Gold turns around to see a little girl laughing at him. The girl explains that what he just ate is an apricorn and not an edible berry, and that she has never seen anyone trying to eat an apricorn. She offers Gold and his Pokémon some rice dumplings and fruits, which Gold happily accepts after thanking her.

The girl remarks that her grandfather is known as the ball maker, and uses apricorns to make special Pokéballs. Gold is surprised to hear that, and the little girl goes on to say that she wishes to have a friendball, which can induce instant friendship between the owner and the captured Pokémon, but sighs that her grandfather only makes the Pokéballs for qualified trainers. Gold snickers that Pokéballs made from apricorns wouldn't be too useful, and the voice of an old man suddenly booms from behind to accuse him of looking down on such a sacred job.

Gold frantically turns around and wonders who the old man is, and the little girl replies that he is her grandfather, Kurt. Kurt grunts that his family are the only ones capable of making Pokéballs in the past, until manufacturers start developing generic Pokéballs that are sold in marts. He remarks that while the common factory-made Pokéballs are usable by everyone, only strong trainers are able to use his special Pokéballs efficiently.

Kurt then turns around and prepares to leave with his granddaughter, saying that Gold should just go and buy the generic Pokéballs in marts since he appears to be an inept trainer. Gold immediately gets ticked off, and challenges Kurt to a bet that he can prove himself worthy if Kurt would give him just any one of his special Pokéballs for a try. Kurt scoffs at the remark, but agrees to the challenge anyway, and Gold boasts that he is even willing to work as a slave for Kurt should he loses. Kurt then tells Gold to go find an apricorn of his choice, and Gold can't believe that he still has to prepare his own material, but Kurt hollers that he only makes Pokéballs and does not provide the apicorns, and sends Gold off on his way.

Later, Gold obtains a friendball from Kurt after submitting a green apricorn he found. Kurt's granddaughter decides to tag along with Gold on his search for an appropriate wild Pokémon, and wonders why he chose to make a friendball. Gold grins, and says he remembers her wish to have a Pokémon as a friend, and reveals that he plans to give her his capture in return for the food she offered him earlier. The little girl immediately lightens up, and informs Gold that the Pokémon she wants resides on the mountain ahead, and the two start to ascend the rocky slopes.

Gold discovers that there are steep cliffs everywhere on the mountain and warns Kurt's granddaughter to be careful. The little girl soon spots a Teddiursa playing in a rock field, and whispers to Gold that it is what she's after. Gold checks on his Pokédex for a moment, and starts to tiptoe towards the Teddiursa from behind. Suddenly, a giant bear jumps out from the rocks to attack, and Kurt's granddaughter hollers that it is the evolved form of Teddiursa, Ursaring. Gold quickly yanks her away from the strike, and begins to flee as the Ursaring gives chase. They bump into Silver, and the two boys are surprised to see each other again.

Gold notices a heavyball in Silver's hand, and accuses him of stealing again, but Kurt's granddaughter quickly points out that her grandfather actually gave him the ball because he was considered qualified. Gold gets slightly upset that Kurt deemed Silver a capable trainer but called him inept, and suddenly realizes that Silver must be after the Ursaring. He decides to mess with Silver's plans, and grins that he shall capture the Ursaring himself.

Aitro starts unleashing scratches on Ursaring, and Silver accuses Gold for invading his properties. Gold smirks that wild Pokémon are open for anyone to catch, and says the person who catches it first will be considered the legal owner. Silver quickly tells Crocronaw and Sneasel to attack Ursaring as well, and the giant bear roars with anger with the combined assaults. It thrashes its claws towards Kurt's granddaughter, and Gold jumps in just in time to carry the small girl away.

Silver thinks that Gold is still too slow in anticipating the enemy's movement, but Gold tends to believe that the ability to respond quickly counts more in a battle. Yet, to his surprise, Teddiursa suddenly charges towards him with a headbutt, and while he manages to narrowly escape the attack, he trips over a rock and twists his left ankle…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

101: VS. Teddiursa!

Volume 08