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In the Mahogany Gym, the Chairman of the Pokémon Association and the Goldenrod Radio Team watch intently as Whitney works together with Pryce to fight the legendary Suicune. Famous for his powerful ice attacks, Pryce has earned the name ‘The Eternal Wall’ from the myth that anything frozen solid by him isn’t likely to defrost ever. Holding his stare at the crystal-like Pokémon, Pryce begins tapping his crutch on the ice bed, and explains to Whitney that Suicune has demonstrated its ability to elicit a wide range of battling tactics in the various challenges it made to the gymleaders across the land. In its first battle against Clair, it created mirror images of himself to fool the opponent. Against Chuck, it generated deadly ice shards by freezing water vapour in the air and firing them off with gust. Against Morty, it reflected special attacks by the powerful mirror coat. Against Bugsy, it managed to break through tough capture nets with its aurorabeam. Facing Janine in Goldenrod, it saw through the opponent’s double team by watching shadows, and in its most recent battle with Falkner, it even stopped the course of Pokéballs by immobilizing them with bubblebeam.

Stunned by Pryce’s profound knowledge of Suicune’s challenge history, Whitney wonders where he collected all the information from, and Pryce grins that old people like him have nothing better to do than to hear tales from others. The Mahogany gymleader then calls out his Swinub, and Suicune begins darting across the room. Whitney grabs the handles of the wheelchair to help Pryce move about on the ice bed, and is told to retrieve Miltank for the moment.

Pryce remarks that it is important to keep a keen eye on Suicune’s every move as they often hint at what it is preparing to do. Just then, the ornament on Suicune’s head begins to glow, and Pryce hollers that it is about to fire an aurorabeam. Whitney hurriedly steers the wheelchair out of the way, and manages to duck from the attack just in time. Pryce grins that the rest of Suicune’s tactics should be easy to handle, and Whitney is surprised to hear that he has figured out ways to counter every one of the legendary’s beast’s tricks.

Tapping his crutch on the ground again, Pryce tells Whitney to have Miltank ready while he orders a powder snow from Swinub. He explains that Suicune usually deals with special attacks by mirror coat, and Whitney instantly understands what he is planning. As Suicune creates a mirror coat to counter the ice attack, Whitney quickly sends out Miltank to take the reflected blast. She then orders the dairy cow to defrost itself with healbell, and grins over their success in overcoming Suicune’s mirror coat tactic. Standing next to the door of the sculpture room, the Goldenrod Radio Team watch the heated battle with amazement, and the Chairman feels glad that Whitney and Pryce are cooperating well.

As Suicune crouches down in a combative stance, Pryce warns that it must be attempting to create mirror images of itself to fool them next, and Whitney quickly gets an idea. She borrows Smeargle from Mary, and has it paint a cross on the right side of Suicune’s ornament just when the beast starts releasing blasts of cold air to form cloned images of itself. Surrounded by a whole pack of fake Suicunes, Whitney remarks that all mirror images of it should have the cross on the left side of their ornament, and soon spots the authentic one who still has the cross on the right side. Pryce immediately commands a blizzard from Swinub, and everyone gasps in shock as the powerful attack freezes Suicune solid in an instant. Pryce grins that they won’t have to worry about its gust and bubblebeam attacks now that it’s immobile, and Whitney grabs to chance to call Miltank forward, and knock the legendary beast over with a dynamic punch.

Thinking that Suicune must be weakened enough, Whitney tosses out a greatball for a capture. To her horror, the ball cracks a hole in the stomach of the beast, and she immediately lets out a yell of disbelief. She blames herself for not picking a lighter Pokéball and hurting Suicune, and starts breaking into a brawl. Mary then sees something awkward about the fallen Suicune, and exclaims that it has returned to being an ice sculpture again. As everyone gets confused over the situation, a Lapras, Delibird begin to materialize out of the cold smoke in the room alongside with Pryce’s two Seels. Pryce explains that the Suicune they just saw is simply a moving sculpture which he made for training, and Whitney lets out a scream when the fallen Suicune straightens up from the ground again.

It turns out that Pryce’s Pokémon were coordinating the movements of the Suicune sculpture by rapidly defrosting and condensing the air around it, and all the attacks fired by Suicune were in fact unleashed by the hidden ice Pokémon. Pryce apologizes for the scare he caused them, and says his Pokémon were trained to animate the sculpture at random times without his prior knowledge so as to give him surprises and better equip him to deal with the elusiveness of the real Suicune. He embarrassedly laughs that he must have been too caught up in the moment to believe that the authentic legendary beast has come, and says his apologies again for the unnecessary fright.

Later, as everyone else climbs up the cliff and out of the hidden valley, the Chairman of the Pokémon Association remarks that Pryce’s skills were truly remarkable and he is certain that if the sculpture was the real Suicune, it would have been captured in no time. Whitney gets upset upon hearing that, and protests that her efforts are not to be neglected as well. She then presses the director to make her the spotlight of the special program, and the two soon start arguing again. Taking another look at the deep valley, the Chairman thinks to himself how Pryce is no doubt the strongest gymleader among all, and knows that the association will have to count on him for their secret mission during the upcoming Pokémon League Tournament.

Back in the sculpture room of the Mahogany Gym, Pryce is busy hammering away on his sculpture work again. As his Pokémon gather around to assist him, he tells them that it has been an interesting day, but reveals that one of the things he said was a lie. The truth is, he isn’t expecting Suicune to challenge him, simply because Suicune won’t be coming, and there is a reason for it not to.

From a radio sitting on a table next to Pryce, the news report about perilous whirlpools appearing to the north east of Cianwood comes on. It warns of a possible worsening of the situation, and alerts all ships to stay out of the area. Meanwhile, amid the raging seas surrounding the Whirl Islands, a giant flying creature shoots out from the waters in fury…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

144: VS. Swinub!

Volume 12