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Up in the air above the Ilex Forest, Blue grits her teeth in determination as she commands Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno to fight against Lugia and Ho-Oh controlled by Karen and Will. The girl suddenly senses someone below, and looks down to see Red and Green standing next to the sacred shrine of the forest. Feeling grateful that the boys have arrived to help as well, she orders her three birds to hover low, and pick up her two long-standing companions.
With Red on Articuno, Green on Zapdos, and Blue herself on Moltres, the three trainers order an ice beam, thunderbolt, flamethrower combo from them, and Ho-Oh’s sacred fire starts to have trouble countering their combined forces. But then, Lugia delivers an aeroblast to collide with the attacks, and nearly shakes Red, Green, and Blue off the birds. Blue struggles hard to maintain her grip on Moltres as the fire bird flaps its wings frantically after narrowing avoiding the hit, and Red and Green attempt to hover over to help her. However, Ho-Oh gets in their way, and unleashes another sacred fire, missing Articuno and Zapdos by a mere inch.
Holding onto Articuno, Red remarks that it has been quite a while since they last saw each other, and wonders why they are there at Ilex together with Blue who’s supposed to have a phobia for birds. Green then hollers that Lugia and Ho-Oh are the giant legendary flyers of Johto, and they appear to be warding off all intruders from entering the forest. He states that Bruno must have been right in thinking that Celebi is connected to the intention behind the enemy’s actions, and says they cannot let the enemy have their way.
Red and Green then steer Articuno and Zapdos over to join Blue, but Ho-Oh once again cuts in between them, and attacks with sacred fire. Green grunts that the enemy seems to be stalling their time, and knows they have to figure out a way before they lose the battle. While Blue continues to fly on Moltres, she suddenly notices that Karen is no longer on Ho-Oh, and wonders where she has gone to. She then hears a giggle from benath Moltres, and realizes with a start that Karen has jumped onto Moltres earlier, and is clinging onto the fire bird’s body from below.
Flipping herself onto Moltres’s back, Karen sends Umbreon out to attack, and Blue quickly orders Snubbull to defend. As the two Pokémon engage in a close-up combat, Karen looks up to the twilight sky, and grins that the moon seems to up already. She then commands Umbreon to strengthen itself with moonlight, and the dark Pokémon glows with an aura before swinging its paw hard on Snubbull. The pink bull gets knocked back immediately and crashes into Blue, causing both of them to fall off Moltres. Blue quickly grabs hold of the fire bird’s tail to support herself while struggling to pull up Snubbull, and Karen lets out a maniacal laugh at the girl’s miserable situation.
Meanwhile, on Lugia’s back, Silver and Will are fighting as well. Backing off from Silver, Will pants with exhaustion, and silently wonders how is it possible for the boy to still have so much strength after all the injuries he’s suffered from Karen and his attacks earlier. The clown-like young man then orders his Xatu forward for a peck, but Silver’s Sneasel crosses its claws in front of itself and fends off the bird.
Will then wants to know if Silver has had fun living in the world outside, and Silver grunts in anger that the nightmarish childhood Mask of Ice gave him will forever affect his life. He says Will should realize it as well since they share the same tragic fate, but Will starts laughing uncontrollably upon hearing the boy’s words, and calls Silver a fool for thinking that he and Karen were also kidnapped by the masked man. Silver demands to know what he is talking about, and Will reveals that he and Karen actually followed Mask of Ice at their own will, and says as prodigies of Pokémon battling, the two of them knew they would gain much knowledge and fun by being the masked man’s accomplices and thus decided to join him. He adds that their battle here at the Ilex Forest meant nothing more than something recreational to them, and continues laughing without control.
Hearing that Will considers the fight a game, Silver’s face darkens and Will wonders if he’s angry now. However, Silver grins that he is relieved instead and says he was having reserves about fighting earlier since he thought Will and Karen share the same bitter history as him, and were also pawns exploited by the masked man. Now that he finally learns of Will’s motivation behind his actions, there is no reason for him to hold back anymore. The red haired boy then charges towards Will, and throws themselves off Lugia. Taken by surprise, Will gaps his mouth wide open as he plunges down from the sky, and Xatu quickly grabs him by the shoulder. But then Silver’s full team pop out from their Pokéballs to surround them, and together deliver a beat up on the bird.
Xatu and Will crash into the grass while Silver lowers himself on Murkrow, and Will prepares to command a psychic from Xatu. But Feraligatr chokes it from behind, and Silver hollers that while Will treats their battle as a game, it is the showdown with destiny for him, and also his chance to prove what he has accomplished in all the harsh training with his team he has subjected himself to. Feraligatr then delivers a return, and rams its fist hard on Xatu to knock it into a tree.
Seeing his fainted Xatu, Will yelps in horror and turns around to flee into the bushes. He knows that the strength of the attack return comes from the loyalty of a Pokémon to its trainer, and from the power Feraligatr showed, realizes just how well prepared and determined Silver is for the battle. He quickly calls Karen via his Pokégear, and complains that the fight there doesn’t interest him anymore. He says they don’t really owe the masked man anything to make themselves get hurt, and decides that it’s best for them to leave.
Crouching on the grass to catch his breath, Silver pants with sweat and knows that the time has come for the final showdown. In another part of the forest, Yellow wonders if Pika, Chuchu, Granny, Grampy and Wilton are safe. She is still unable to figure out why the TR members earlier were after her straw hat which she uses to disguise her gender, and suddenly notices that the whole forest seems unsettled...
Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us
177: The Last Battle XI!