After having fun at the festival and protecting a Legendary Pokémon egg, everyone was looking forward to a relaxing evening when Silver decided to show up, challenging Hareta to a battle. The boy replied, "A battle? Well sure, but it's getting kind of late and we just got done with something earlier this afternoon. Why don't we battle tomorrow? That way, both our Pokémon will be at their full strength."
Silver replied, "Very well then. Tomorrow it is." He turned around and was about to walk away when Gold said, "Hey Silver! You're looking to compete in the Johto League Silver Conference too. Both Hareta and I earned our Storm Badges from Chuck a few days ago, giving us five. How many do you have?" Silver answered, "None of your business, Gold. I'm not interested in you right now." He then walked away, heading for a little camp that he set up on Route 222 to avoid running into any complications.
Gold muttered, "Good to see he's about as sunny as ever. Sure would like to know what his problem is." Hareta looked at Gold and said, "Just let it go, Gold. He's not going to talk about it." Mitsumi looked at Kotone and asked, "Who's he? He kind of reminds me of Koya." Kotone replied, "As you heard, his name is Silver. He's Gold's rival; they usually fight whenever we run into him. The fact that he's showing interest in battling Hareta is new, though."
As they watched Silver walk away, a certain blonde-haired Trainer was spying on the whole conversation from nearby. "That guy with the red hair... He almost matches the description given by Professor Elm to the local police..." he thought to himself.
Later that night, in the Pokémon Center lobby
Mitsumi, Kotone, Kaisei, and Johanna were sitting in some of the chairs in a corner of the lobby while Flint, Volkner, and Minami were leaning against the wall nearby. "I've gotta admit, I never expected Cyndaquil to have a Trainer like Silver. And from what I can see, he couldn't be more different from Gold or Hareta if he tried," Mitsumi was saying. Volkner said, "And I'm sure they couldn't ignore him if they tried for that same reason." Johanna looked around and asked, "Speaking of which, where is that boy of mine?"
Near the entrance to Sunyshore City, Hareta and Empoleon were watching Gold practice with some of his Pokémon. Bayleef was testing its Magical Leaf against Pidgeot's Twister, Tyrogue was sparring with Buizel, Pikachu was testing Volt Tackle, and Gible was trying to perfect Draco Meteor. Pikachu made a perfect Volt Tackle, smashing a large boulder that had a few small cracks in it, but Gible's Draco Meteor ended up backfiring. It launched the orb into the star-filled sky, but then it suddenly began falling towards Hareta and Empoleon! Hareta called, "Empoleon, use Hydro Pump!" Empoleon complied, blasting the orb with a powerful stream of water that made it explode before it hit them. Gold grinned weakly, "Uh, sorry about that, guys. Guess we still need a little work on that one..." Both Hareta and Empoleon said it was alright.
They arrived back at the Pokémon Center a little later, ready to call it quits for the night. Before they headed up, Flint came over and asked Hareta, "I don't suppose you'd mind if I came to watch your battle tomorrow, little dude?" Hareta replied, "Hey, that'd be great, Flint! Everyone else can too! I'm sure Silver won't care one way or the other."
The next morning...
Hareta, Gold, Kotone, Mitsumi, Jun, and Minami stepped out of the Pokémon Center with everyone else behind them, only to see Silver waiting for them. "Geez, you're impatient. We were just coming over to find you now," Mitsumi said to Silver. He replied, "I don't care what you think, noisy woman." Mitsumi started to fume at this, though Silver ignored her and turned his attention to Hareta, asking, "Are you ready to battle?"
Before Hareta could reply, a shadow appeared over everyone. Looking up, they saw a Dragonite fly a little past them before descending. Everyone looked at the Dragonite, seeing a figure riding on its back. Both Hareta and Kaisei could clearly see the figure, Hareta exclaiming, "Whoa, it's the Tower Tycoon, Palmer!" Jun said, "Really?! It's daddy?!" Kaisei said to Hareta, "Hey, I remember Palmer telling me he ran into you when you came to the Fight Area. Did you run into him again after that?" Hareta replied, "Yeah! When we were going around the region after the Sinnoh League, I challenged the Battle Frontier that opened after the tournament. Some of the facilities took a few tries, but I eventually beat all of them!" Silver looked surprised at this, saying, "What?! You conquered the Sinnoh Battle Frontier?!"
After his Dragonite landed, Palmer jumped off and came over to the group. He saw many familiar faces along with a few new ones. Looking at Hareta, Jun, and Kaisei, he said, "Well I'll be. It's been a while Kaisei. And I see my favorite pair of challengers is here too!" He also said hi to Volkner and Flint before suddenly trying to flirt with Mitsumi. Jun pushed himself between him and her, shouting, "Daddy, how many times do I have to say it?! I saw Mitsumi first, I get the first shot!" Palmer yelled back, "That's what you said last time! You can't really say you get your chance first if you haven't even gone on a date with her yet!" As the two continued to argue, Kotone whispered to Gold, "Just like with Hareta and his dad, it looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree with these two." Gold nodded in silent confirmation.
Silver spoke up, "If you're all done with your playing around, then it's time for a battle." Palmer looked over at him and asked, "What do you mean by that, young man?" Hareta said, "He challenged me to a battle last night and I said we should wait until today. It does bring up a question, though. Where would be a good place to have a battle?" Palmer said, "I know. How about you two battle back at your old home on Route 201? There's that big field near the lake where that meteor crashed about 3 years ago." Hareta agreed that it was a good idea, so Jun and Gold called out Pidgeot and Dragonite so they could get to Route 201 quickly. Everyone piled onto either Pidgeot or one of the two Dragonite except for Volkner, who was expecting a new challenger.
Later, in the forest on Route 201
They quickly arrived at Route 201 and headed into the forest after running into Professor Rowan, soon finding the field where the meteor had landed so long ago. After Gold's Geodude filled and sealed in the hole and Hareta spent a few minutes with his old forest friends (much to Silver's annoyance), the two boys stood on opposite ends of the field while Gold, Pikachu, Gible, the Spiky-Eared Pichu, Bayleef, Kotone, Croconaw, Togepi, Ralts, Cubone Mitsumi, Jun, Minami, and the ukulele Pichu sat on the ground off on the sidelines while Kaisei, Plusle, Johanna, Professor Rowan, and Flint sat on a log behind them, Johanna's Kangaskhan, Jumpy, sitting just behind them with all of Hareta's old friends.
Palmer walked in between the two, just outside of the battlefield, and said to Hareta, "Hareta, I'll serve as the referee for this battle." Silver called, "Why bother?" Hareta and Palmer looked at him curiously, Silver explaining, "This will be a full 6-on-6 battle. Substitutions will be allowed, and the battle is over once all of one Trainer's Pokémon cannot continue." Hareta agreed to these terms while Palmer walked over to the log and took a seat. Jun asked him, "Hey dad, how come you're staying to watch? Don't you have to get back to the Battle Tower?" Palmer replied, "Not today, Jun. The Battle Frontier is closed today. Therefore, I have a lot of free time today."
Turning her attention to the battlefield, Mitsumi said, "That Silver guy really is arrogant. How long has he been a Trainer?" Gold heard this and said, "He 'got' his first Pokémon the same day I did, Mitsumi. Still, given his preference for Pokémon, I'm sure he wouldn't challenge Hareta to a full battle if he didn't know what he was doing." Kotone nodded, "That's for sure. Something about Hareta must've caught his attention if he would demand a battle from him as he did."
As the battle was about to begin, a familiar trio watched from some bushes, all of them covered with bruises and peck marks after running from a flock of wild Starly earlier. In a different set of bushes, Koya arrived to watch from a distance, having followed them to Route 201 with his Metagross. Finally, a woman with red hair and a Team Galactic uniform was watching from her own set of bushes, her eyes focused on Hareta. She thought, "Why am I here...? Is it because of him? Am I drawn to him in some way?"
On the battlefield, both Hareta and Silver sent out their first Pokémon at the same time. Once the two glows faded, they were revealed to be Minun and Golbat. Plusle cheered over to Minun, who called back. Silver wasn't impressed by Minun, saying, "You think you can start out with something small to get me to let my guard down? It's probably no stronger than the two weaklings he has." He gestured to Gold as he said this, Gold, Pikachu, and Pichu glaring daggers at him. Hareta replied, "Don't think it's going to be that easy, Silver. Minun's cute for sure, but he's not going to be beaten easily." Minun let out a chirp at this, showing it agreed with Hareta. Silver smirked, "We'll see."
Silver led off, calling for an Air Cutter from Golbat. Golbat complied, flapping its wings to stay in place as it fired "S" shaped energy discs at Minun. As they got closer, Hareta called, "Minun, use Rollout!" At that, Minun curled up into a ball and began rolling as the discs hit the ground it had just been standing on. Silver, while a bit impressed at Hareta's use of the head-on attack, simply ordered, "Golbat, dodge that attack and go after Minun!" Golbat swerved out of the way as Minun leapt up at it, then began to chase the Cheering Pokémon. Everyone watching could see that this was a good move; Minun couldn't change directions very well while rolling.
Silver commanded, "Now Golbat, use Poison Fang!" Golbat's fangs began to glow purple as poison filled them, beginning to inch its way closer to Minun. Before it could come into contact with it, Hareta called, "Minun, Sonic Rolling Thunder!" At his call, Minun suddenly glowed yellow and fired Thunder right into Golbat while still rolling! This threw everyone off, even Silver; they'd never seen a Pokémon fire an attack during a Rollout before. The Thunder pushed Golbat away and left it sparkling as it flapped its wings. After the attack subsided, Minun came out of its Rollout and turned to face Golbat.
Hareta called, "Minun, Spark attack!" Minun crouched down and began running towards Golbat, who was having trouble staying airborne, soon being surrounded by a light coat of blue electricity. Before Minun could attack, Silver shouted, "Supersonic!" At that, Golbat brought its wings down from its face and blasted Minun with loud sound waves, leaving it dazed and causing it to miss Golbat entirely. Before Minun had time to recover, Silver ordered, "Leech Life, then Wing Attack!" Golbat's fangs glowed green and extended, striking Minun and stealing its energy for several seconds. Its fangs then returned to normal and some of the damage from the Thunder was healed. As Minun turned around to face Golbat, it was right up next to it and slapped it hard with a glowing white wing, sending it flopping across the ground! As it sat up, Minun rubbed its left cheek, which looked like Minun might've been slapped by an angry princess.
Silver said, "Finish the weakling off! Poison Fang!" Once again, Golbat's fangs began to glow purple as it swooped towards Minun quickly. Hareta called, "Hang in there, Minun! Use Swift attack!" Minun stood up and released a barrage of stars from its mouth, which created an explosion when they hit Golbat. Taking advantage of the smoke, Hareta called for another Spark attack, this one hitting Golbat where it counted. It fell to the ground with swirly eyes, Minun standing a short distance away, panting a bit but still standing strong.
Jun grinned, "Looks like Hareta wins the first battle!" Gold, Kotone, and their Pokémon threw Hareta and Minun a few cheers at this while everyone else either smiled or kept their focus on the fact that the battle was just starting. Silver ignored all this as he calmly recalled his Golbat; he then looked up at Hareta and said, "That was your free win." Hareta asked, "What does that mean?" Silver stated, "I deliberately held Golbat's true strength back so I could gauge you and see what your battle style is. This was the only easy victory you're going to get, because now it gets serious." Without another word, he sent out his next Pokémon, a Sneasel!
Off on the sidelines, Gold spoke, "A Sneasel? I didn't know Silver had one." Professor Rowan said, "It will surely be quite a switch from an average-speed Pokémon like Golbat to a quick one like Sneasel. I wonder if Hareta will be able to contend with that." Kaisei looked at him and said, "Relax, Professor! Hareta will overcome it! He doesn't get beat easily, you know!" During all this, Hareta stayed focused on the Sneasel, remembering that Sneasel evolved into Weavile. He'd already learned about how quick Weavile were from his battle against Cyrus; even if it wasn't the fully evolved form, he figured Sneasel was likely to be fast as well.
Hareta could see that Minun still wanted to battle, so he led off by calling for a Quick Attack, Minun shooting towards Sneasel with a streak of white behind it. Silver retaliated by calling for an Agility, Sneasel dodging the attack and then occasionally being seen in blurred form as it dashed around the battlefield. As Minun and Hareta tried to see where Sneasel was, Minun was suddenly blasted by a Screech attack! Before it could even stand up, Sneasel was right next to it, slashing it with a Fury Swipes attack! It didn't stop there though, as it suddenly launched Minun into the air with an upward Slash, followed by a Headbutt! This last attack sent Minun flying off the battlefield and into a tree that was next to the bush that Jessie, James, and Meowth were watching from. The impact left a bit of a mark in the tree, Minun falling to the ground badly cut and with swirly eyes.
As Hareta dashed over to Minun, Kotone said, "No way... Minun was beat without landing any attacks on Sneasel." Palmer nodded, "And that says a lot about Silver's battle style. He's quick and brutal when it comes to Pokémon battles. He had that Sneasel lash out with a combination of powerful moves in order to leave them overwhelmed. The challenge here is going to be for Hareta and his Pokémon to work closely together to find an opening to strike from."
Hareta cradled Minun in his arms as he knelt next to the tree. He asked, "Hey Minun, are you okay?" The Cheering Pokémon opened its eyes and gave a quiet cry, "(I'm okay. I'm sorry that he got me so easy...)" Hareta shook his head, "No, you did great, buddy. Don't beat yourself up about that. Remember, the battle's just started. It's a long way from decided." He then recalled Minun into its Poké Ball and headed back to his spot. In the bushes, James whispered, "Do you think the little kid stands a chance against that rude brat?" Jessie whispered back, "I don't know. All I care about it seizing the opportunity to get some strong Pokémon while they're weak. Anything to make up for all the pain from those annoying beaks!" Meowth whispered, "Shh! Keep it down, Jess! I don't think we're the only watching from this far."
As Hareta resumed his position, Silver asked, "Ready to give up now?" Hareta replied as he brought out a Poké Ball, "Are you kidding? This early? We're still raring to go for more!" As he said this, the woman in the bushes thought to herself, "It's true; he's not one to give up easily. Maybe that's why it feels different when I think about him... Still, this other kid clearly isn't messing around with him. What'll you do now, Hareta?"
Hareta called out his Scyther for his second Pokémon. Off on the sidelines, Minami said, "He's going with a tough Bug-type. That should be effective against a Sneasel, as long as they can watch out for any Ice-type moves." Mitsumi added, "This is going to be a contest of speed between those two. They're both extremely fast, so it could go either way."
Suddenly, Silver said, "Sneasel, return!" After recalling his Sneasel, he sent out a Xatu. Hareta decided not to exchange and called for a Razor Wind, Scyther crossing its scythes before bringing them forward and launching white crescent energy beams at Xatu. Silver countered by calling for a Night Shade, Xatu's eyes glowing black and firing similarly colored energy beams from them. The two attacks held for a moment before exploding. Silver ordered a Tailwind, followed by a Peck, thinking he could catch Hareta off-guard with another quick series of moves. Hareta wasn't going to fall for it twice, though, and called for an X-Scissor, the attack catching Xatu's beak before slashing it away.
Silver growled, "What are you doing!?! Get back in there and use Psychic now!" Recovering from the hit, Xatu's eyes began to glow blue, a blue glow surrounding Scyther and restricting its movement while damaging it. Hareta called, "Fight it off, Scyther! Swords Dance, then Night Slash!" Working through the damage being caused by the Psychic attack, Scyther began to spin as its attack power went up. The spinning broke through the Psychic, the blue fading from around it. After it was done, it fluttered its wings, moving towards Xatu quickly. Before Silver could order a counter, Scyther's purple glowing left scythe slashed Xatu as it passed it. After a few seconds, Xatu fell forward, knocked out.
Silver recalled Xatu and, as he looked at its Poké Ball, loudly said, "Pathetic. That's all you've got? I'll deal with you later." This earned him more than a few glares from the sidelines, but he ignored them. He said, "Sneasel, get out here now!" Once again, the Sharp Claw Pokémon appeared on the battlefield. Both Trainers led off with Agility, both Scyther and Sneasel moving so fast that it was very hard to keep track of where each was. Eventually, Scyther tried to go in for a Slash attack, only to get knocked back by an Icy Wind from Sneasel. While it was disoriented, Sneasel hit it with a Faint Attack followed by a Metal Claw. Scyther still managed to stay up, slamming it back with a Quick Attack, but while Sneasel was flying through the air, it managed to use Ice Shard, a ball of ice hitting Scyther in the chest. It struggled to stay up for a minute, but soon fell backwards, being caught by Hareta when he saw that it was going to fall back. Although he caught it, Scyther was defeated.
As Hareta recalled Scyther and thanked it for battling hard, Silver once again recalled Sneasel, saying nothing. Hareta sent out Misdreavus for his next Pokémon, so Silver answered with his Haunter. Silver attempted to lead off with a Sucker Punch, but it failed due to Hareta calling for a Spite attack. In retaliation, Silver ordered Haunter to use Lick, while Hareta called for a Shadow Ball. The tongue managed to hold the Shadow Ball in place, but Haunter was left unable to move. Taking this chance, Hareta had Misdreavus sneak up on Haunter with an Astonish attack, which caused it to retract its tongue in shock and release the Shadow Ball. Misdreavus quickly slipped away before Haunter was hit by the attack.
Silver responded to this by saying, "Haunter, use Shadow Punch!" After he said this, one of Haunter's hands shot out from a nearby shadow and hit Misdreavus hard, almost knocking it to the ground. He then called for another Lick attack, Misdreavus just barely avoiding it only to get hit by a sudden Night Shade! Hareta called for Misdreavus to use Hypnosis, which Silver also called for. Both of them hit each other, canceling out. When Silver didn't order another move, Hareta took the opportunity to call for a Power Gem, Misdreavus creating a glowing orange ball in front of its mouth. Raising it up, it dramatically grew in size and Misdreavus threw it at Haunter. Just before it hit, Silver said, "Destiny Bond." Haunter's eyes glowed purple just before the attack hit, being knocked out by it. Just as it hit the ground, Misdreavus suddenly glowed purple and fell on the ground defeated.
Gold asked, "What happened? How did Misdreavus get knocked out after Haunter fainted?" Flint said, "If the move Destiny Bond is used right before the user faints, the opponent will get taken down with it. Just like with Golbat, Silver was willing to let one of his Pokémon faint in order to get at Hareta in some way." In the bushes, Koya was angered at Silver's actions; he could see that Silver was just trying to hurt and mess with Hareta's Pokémon at the same time instead of simply trying to win the battle. "What is that guy thinking?" he thought to himself.
After recalling their Pokémon, Hareta sent out Empoleon while Silver sent out his Magnemite. Before they could start battling, Silver suddenly recalled Magnemite and sent out his Ursaring instead! Silver ordered Ursaring to use Belly Drum, its Attack being maximized at the cost of some health, while Hareta called for a Hydro Pump. Before the powerful Water-type attack could hit, Silver called for a Slash attack, Ursaring stepping out of the way and cutting the attack as it came past it. Hareta called for a Metal Claw next while Silver called for another Slash attack, the two moves hitting and canceling each other out. Silver then called for a Focus Blast, but Hareta countered with an Aqua Jet, hitting Ursaring before it could fully charge its attack. Afterwards, Silver first had Ursaring use Faint Attack, taking advantage of Empoleon being so close, then followed up with Thrash, Empoleon getting hit multiple times by the attack.
Although Empoleon remained standing, Silver recalled Ursaring due to it being confused as a result of Thrash's aftereffects. He then sent in his Sneasel once again, Empoleon ready to face it. Sneasel led off with an Icy Wind, which didn't stop the Drill Peck that Hareta called for. Empoleon blasted through the weak wind, being better protected from it due to its thick down, and slammed into Sneasel with its spinning attack.
After Sneasel recovered from the hit, Silver commanded it to use a Quick Attack, causing it to shoot towards Empoleon with a streak of white behind it. Hareta responded by calling for an Aqua Jet, Empoleon surrounding itself with water and slamming into Sneasel, easily overpowering the Quick Attack. Sneasel, however, managed to push away far enough to get on top of Empoleon, landing on its back. As soon as it landed, Silver ordered it to use Metal Claw, Sneasel's right claw glowing brightly before it slashed it across Empoleon's back. The attack had enough power to send Empoleon into the ground. Before it could push itself back up, Sneasel leapt above it and fired a Shadow Ball. When the dust settled, Empoleon was knocked out.
Hareta recalled Empoleon back and stared down at its Poké Ball for a few moments before quietly thanking and apologizing to it. He then looked back up at Silver, wondering if he should keep going or throw in the towel after having most of his Pokémon so badly hurt by the Pokémon of the red haired boy. Silver mocked him, "That was one of your strongest, wasn't it? Perhaps if you weren't such a sentimental sap, you would've beaten me already. But you let such worthless things as friendship cloud your judgment. Do you see now that you can't beat me by having friends?" Gold glared at Silver before calling to Hareta, "You've got to hang in there, Hareta! You know he's wrong! Show him what it means to trust Pokémon!"
Somewhat revived by Gold's words, Hareta sent out Grovyle next. In the bushes, Koya thought, "So it's going to be another match of speed. Hareta is losing right now, but he's worked his way out of tougher scrapes. I've seen plenty of them. This battle is still up for grabs." In another set of bushes, the woman was so focused on the battle that the sound of talking through her communicator surprised her. A female voice on the other end said, "Come in, Mars! Are you there?" Slipping the communicator on, Mars whispered, "Will you keep it down, Jupiter?! I'm not exactly in a place that's good for yelling!" Jupiter answered back, "Alright, sorry. Look, Master Cyrus is looking to do an investigation of some kind and he wants us to help him since we've stayed in contact since he disbanded Team Galactic." Mars sighed, "Fine. Just let me get out of here before you tell me where we'll meet up." She clicked off her communicator and began to exit the forest, taking one more glance back at Hareta before he left her sight.
Silver intended to finish this battle quickly, so he called for an Ice Shard from Sneasel. As the ball of ice shot towards Grovyle, Hareta told Grovyle to dodge and attack with Quick Attack. After Sneasel got hit, Silver called for another Metal Claw, which was stopped by a Leaf Blade from Grovyle. While they were struggling to overpower one another, Silver called for an Icy Wind and Hareta called for a Bullet Seed. Grovyle's attack hit first, the glowing yellow seeds blasting Sneasel away. As Sneasel pushed itself up and struggled to remain standing, Silver called for another Shadow Ball. Hareta had Grovyle dodge it and then use Giga Drain, Grovyle's eyes glowing green as it absorbed energy from Sneasel. This was too much for Sneasel, as it finally fainted.
Silver wasted no time in recalling Sneasel and sending out Ursaring to replace it, leaving Hareta and Grovyle no time for anything. Silver led off by calling for a Faint Attack, though Grovyle dodged it when Hareta told him to use Dig. Unfortunately, a Hammer Arm aimed towards the ground forced Grovyle out before he could strike. While he was in the air, Silver ordered a Hyper Beam, but Hareta called for Detect while Ursaring was still charging up, giving Grovyle time to evade the attack. Hareta then called for an Energy Ball, Grovyle charging up green energy between his hands and sending it flying towards Ursaring. Silver made no command to dodge or counter it, Ursaring taking the hit. Afterwards, he told Ursaring to use Slash, Ursaring charging towards Grovyle with glowing white claws. A Leaf Blade from Grovyle stopped the claws and hit it back. Grovyle also landed a Slam attack, but Ursaring was able to grab Grovyle's leaf and throw him to the ground. While he was on the ground, Ursaring did another Hammer Arm, the force of the attack knocking Grovyle out.
Everyone watching knew that the battle was coming to its end, as Hareta now had only one Pokémon left. As he looked at Silver, Hareta thought, "I've got one friend left, while Silver still has Ursaring and Magnemite. But Ursaring has suffered a lot of damage from both Empoleon and Grovyle." He focused his gaze as he thought, "We still have a chance." Pulling out a Poké Ball, he whispered, "It's just you and me now." Off on the sidelines, Jun said, "He's still got a few powerful Pokémon he hasn't called out yet. I wonder who he's going to go with." Mitsumi nodded, "He knows what he's up against. And he knows his Pokémon's strengths and weaknesses. He knows what he needs to do."
Hareta sent out his final Pokémon, some of the spectators surprised to see that he chose Cyndaquil. "What?! Why would he choose Cyndaquil instead of Lucario?!" Mitsumi exclaimed. Gold said, "Kotone and I talked with him last night. With Silver being her previous Trainer, Hareta knows that having Cyndaquil participate in the battle will be critical. She'll be the big deciding factor in this battle." Jun spoke, "I would think having some consideration of the type matchups would be more of a deciding factor. Lucario would be perfect for that."
Kaisei said, "That's not what Gold meant. Except for Empoleon, all the Pokémon Hareta has used so far are all new captures, yet they're as close to him as the Pokémon he has known since his first journey. Hareta is not going to follow the path that Silver is going down of simply overpowering his opponents with strong Pokémon attacks. He's looking to prove to Silver that the most important thing when it comes to being a Trainer is that Trainer and Pokémon must be able to love and trust each other. He used Empoleon because they've been together the longest; they're inseparable. And he wants to prove that bond with all of his newest friends, especially the one that has had a history with Silver." Neither Jun nor Mitsumi knew what to say, so they turned their attention back to the battle.
"Okay, Cyndaquil, let's show them your power! Flame Wheel!" Hareta called, Cyndaquil curling into a ball of flames and shooting towards Ursaring. Silver ordered, "Slash attack!" Ursaring swung its claws at Cyndaquil, knocking her attack back but not damaging her due to the flames surrounding her. While she was flying, Hareta called for a Flamethrower, Cyndaquil coming out of Flame Wheel and hitting Ursaring with a stream of flames! Afterwards, Hareta called for Cyndaquil to use Dig, Cyndaquil immediately digging under the ground when she landed. Silver ordered Ursaring to once again aim Hammer Arm towards the ground, but Cyndaquil resurfaced quickly and slammed into Ursaring! Hareta called, "Way to go, Cyndaquil! Flamethrower one more time!" Cyndaquil landed a critical hit this time, Ursaring taking damage for several seconds before being blown back as it fell to the ground knocked out.
While Hareta cheered for Cyndaquil, in the bushes, Meowth said, "Cyndaquil was amazing." James added, "That's what I would expect from someone who can do it if they really try!" Jessie spoke, "We have to learn from that boy's battle and try our best as well!" All of them had tears streaming down their faces as they said this, Wobbuffet popping up and saying its name with the same tears running.
While Silver recalled Ursaring and gave a "hmph," Hareta sighed and said, "Thank you, Cyndaquil." Cyndaquil turned to look at him and gave an affirmative cry. Hareta said, "Alright, we've come this far, so let's try our best. Let's finish this up!" Cyndaquil nodded as she gave another cry, her body suddenly starting to glow! Except for Silver, everyone was caught off guard at this, Gold saying, "Cyndaquil's starting to evolve!"
Cyndaquil's body and front legs began to grow longer, her nose shrinking and a pair of ears beginning to sprout out of the sides of her head. She stood on her hind legs as the glow faded, her once slit-like eyes opening to reveal a pair of golden-yellow eyes instead of the normal dark red eyes that Quilava are known to have. She reared back and let out a loud yell as she flexed her arms, Hareta exclaiming, "Awesome! You evolved into Quilava!" On the sidelines, Kotone pulled out her Pokédex and opened it, her Pokédex saying, "Quilava, the Volcano Pokémon. The evolved form of Cyndaquil. This Pokémon is fully covered by nonflammable fur. It can withstand any kind of fire attack."
As he looked on, Professor Rowan said, "It would appear Cyndaquil has responded to Hareta's feelings, allowing it to unlock new powers. Show it to us, the love and trust you share with your Pokémon, Hareta." As he was saying this, Quilava was warming up for the rest of the battle when her right paw suddenly started to glow. She swung it forward in a punch, the wind being pushed towards Silver by it. Seeing this, Hareta exclaimed, "Focus Punch! You learned a new move on your own! That's amazing!" Quilava did a few aerial flips at that, using all four legs to jump.
Silver watched emotionlessly through all this, at this point calling out his Magnemite for the last battle. He led off by calling for a SonicBoom, Hareta responding by calling for a Quick Attack that went around the waves of energy that Magnemite fired and slammed into it. Silver then commanded Magnemite to use Metal Sound, causing it to emit a loud metallic screech that had everyone covering their ears. Hareta called for a Dig and Focus Punch combo, Quilava going underground to charge up a Focus Punch. Silver made no command to stop Quilava; he just stood there while Magnemite hovered in place. Hareta suspected Silver was trying to trick him, but he went along with it anyway, Quilava bursting from the ground and slamming her glowing fist into Magnemite. As Magnemite went flying, Silver called for a Zap Cannon, Magnemite somehow firing it while it was spinning around in the air and managing to hit the ground near Quilava, which was still close enough to affect her.
Quilava groaned as her body sparked with electricity, the assured paralysis taking effect even though the Zap Cannon had not hit her directly. She attempted to fire a Flamethrower, but couldn't move due to the paralysis, allowing Magnemite to hit her with a Gyro Ball and send her sprawling back. Standing up, she growled, "(No way! I'm not going to let Hareta lose after everyone's come so far! I will NOT be beaten now, Silver!!!)" As she said this, the flames erupting from her head and back suddenly grew in intensity as a red aura surrounded her. As he saw this, Hareta thought, "I've seen something like that before. Empoleon used to have it appear back when he was a Piplup and Torrent activated. Treecko did something similar that one time when we were on our way to Olivine City and Overgrow activated. So this must be that ability Silver was talking about... Blaze."
Seeing that the battle was coming to its end, Silver ordered a Spark attack from Magnemite while Hareta called for Quilava to use Flame Wheel. Both Pokémon rushed towards each other, enveloped by their attacks. As they came into contact, an explosion of dust erupted, blocking out everyone's view. After a minute, the dust settled and everyone could see Quilava standing and Magnemite floating, both having been pushed back to where they had started approaching each other from. After a moment, Quilava suddenly fell forward and an "X" appeared on Magnemite's eye, both of them hitting the ground at roughly the same time.
As Hareta ran over to Quilava and Silver recalled Magnemite, Minami said, "I don't believe it... The battle ends in a draw?" Mitsumi spoke, "I hate to say it, but..." Gold cut her off, "Don't even think about it!" Palmer said, "Hareta battled hard and stayed true to what he believes in during this battle. That's what's really important in the long run here."
As Hareta cradled Quilava, she opened her eyes and looked up at him weakly, still affected by the paralysis. Before either one could say anything, Silver spoke, "Looks like coming to Sinnoh for a chance to battle you was an utter waste of my time after all. I was expecting more from you after seeing some of your Pokémon, but it seems that you have no idea what it means to be strong. If you ever decide to stop being a weakling, come find me and let me know so I can teach you what it really means to battle." He then turned and walked away, leaving the clearing in the forest and heading for Sunyshore City to go back to Johto. In the bushes, Koya also turned around and left, deciding it was time to make himself scarce before anyone saw him.
Jun growled as he watched Silver leave, "Geez, what an insensitive jerk! And I thought Koya was cold before! That guy is even worse!" Kaisei angrily said, "That kid doesn't know the first thing about being a Trainer if he believes that only strength matters in a battle! How dare he talk to Hareta that way!" Gold and Kotone turned towards where Hareta had been standing when they heard his name, only to gasp at what they saw. Everyone turned their attention to where they were looking, only to find Hareta had seemingly run off.
Hareta was following a path in the forest that led to Sandgem Town, heading for the Pokémon Center as he tightly clutched Quilava to his chest. Tears fell from the side of his face and hit the ground, his shoulders shaking as he ran...