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A few days after the Rusturf Tunnel incident, Ruby has emerged from the Rustboro end of the tunnel, and is currently heading towards Fallarbor Town in Gabby and Ty's car. Ty remarks that they should arrive once they cross the mountain ahead, and Gabby says she's glad that everyone was saved from the collapsed tunnel. She takes out a photo of Wanda and Roger, and remembers the hapiness she saw in the two lovers after they learnt that the whole Rusturf Tunnel is free of obstacles and they could visit each other more frequently between their hometowns, Verdanturf and Rustboro.

Gabby then recalls Wanda's concern about the red-caped gang, and her own promise to seek out the true identity of them. She sighs in frustration that Ruby is the only person who has come into direct contact with the gang, but would always steer off topic whenever she asks about it. She turns around and attempts to bring up the Slateport and Rusturf incidents again, but Ruby frowns and says he doesn't know much, and that he was only lucky to have gotten away. He remarks that he is only concerned about his upcoming contests in Fallarbor, and Gabby gets annoyed.

Ruby thinks to himself that he must prevail in the super rank contests just like he did in the normal rank ones, and suddenly remembers Courtney's words. He can't seem to brush off the red-caped woman's query of whether he finds ribbons the true symbol of beauty, and frantically shakes his head to clear his mind. A while later, the car has arrived on the hill looking over Fallarbor, and Ty stops the car to take a look at the scenery. Ruby gets off to find himself standing on a very fluffy ground, and wonders if it has been snowing. Ty explains that they are volcanic ash and points towards Mt. Chimney, but then he realizes that the volcano seems to have stopped giving off smoke and dust, and wonders if something is wrong. Gabby notices immediately as well, and hollers in shock that the volcano appears to have gone dead.

Gabby turns around to Ruby, but sees that the boy has rushed down the hill towards Fallarbor, and quickly motions Ty to follow. Ruby dashes across the streets in his running shoes, and screeches to a stop right in front of the reception in the contest house. He quickly applies for an entry, then walks over to the berry blender machine to make some new Pokeblocks. Gabby and Ty pant hard as they enter, and complain about Ruby running off without warning. Gabby notices a sad look on Ruby's face, and thinks to herself that the boy must be trying to use contests to drown out some troubled thoughts that's bothering him.

Ty then suggests going out to scout for information about the recent happenings while Ruby competes in the contests, and Gabby wonders what he has in mind. Ty recalls the frequent earthquakes as well as the mysterious ceasing of Mt. Chimney's volcanic activity, and says the keyword in all inexplicable incidents seems to be 'nature'. He states that they might be able to learn something from Prof. Cozmo, whose lab is in Fallarbor, and Gabby decides that it's a good idea.

While the two go off to find the professor, Ruby is busy taking part in the contests. In the cool department, Nana wins the audience's votes with a roar. In the cute department, Coco easily charms the judges with an attract. In the smart department, Popo leaves the audience gasping in awe with a shadowball, and in the tough department, Zuzu easily claims victory with a bide. Ruby grins in satisfaction at his four consecutive wins, and decides to head towards the beauty contest hall next, but then he notices he doesn't have the ticket for the category, and goes back to ask about it at the reception. The lady behind the counter explains that the entry for beauty contest is already full for the day, and tells Ruby to come again the next day since all five categories of contests are held on a daily basis.

Ruby gets slighly upset, and decides to go in and watch the other contestants compete anyway. Casually walking down the stairs to find a seat with Mimi on his shoulder, he is still wondering what Pokémon he will see when the Pokémon on stage fills the room with a blinding light. The announcer exclaims in tears as the appeal bar of the contestant raises to a maximum. A defeaning cheer thunders across the audience stand as Wallace stands next to his Luvdisc, Seaking, Whiscash and Sealeo, and gracefully praises the beauty of his Pokémon...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

223: VS. Luvdisc (Part 1)!

Volume 18

Ruby Enters & Wins Four of the Five Super Rank Contests
Ruby has to wait until the next day for the Beauty Contest
Ruby sees Wallace perform at the Contest