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| Something Suspicious
Something Suspicious (Japanese: VSオーベム VS Ohbem or 鳴動 Rumbling) is the 517th round of the Pokémon Adventures manga.
In the VIP spectators' room of the Pokémon League, Amanita looks out of the window to see that Black has beaten Iris and made it to the finals. Fennel is less than impressed by Amanita's distraction and orders her to get back to work. Professor Juniper enters and sees that Fennel's research materials are scattered all over the place. She wonders whether it is appropriate for Fennel to use the room as a lab. Fennel says that Drayden gave her permission and she is almost finished with her studies. Professor Juniper decides not to argue further and Fennel then wonders if it's okay for Professor Juniper to leave her own lab unattended for so long. Professor Juniper tells Fennel not to worry, because her new assistant Bianca is looking after the lab, Cedric Juniper is looking out for Team Plasma, and White is helping Brycen. Fennel is concerned about White's ability to handle the task since White is only a business owner, but Professor Juniper has confidence in her due to her encounters with Legendary Pokémon and her Battle Subway training; she gained the Pokédex as recognition of her skills and therefore can be trusted to deliver.
Elsewhere, White begins her investigation by waiting in the corridor where contestants enter and exit the stage. She knows that contestants are not allowed to talk to each other, but that restriction is lifted when they are eliminated from the tournament. Soon White spots Marlon carrying his fainted Jellicent towards the corridor. White immediately has Dorothy and Nancy get acquainted with Marlon's Jellicent.
Nancy throws itself onto Jellicent, and in a flash of light Jellicent is fully healed, much to Marlon's surprise. Marlon hears a voice expressing relief that Jellicent is healed. He spots White and sees that the Alomomola that healed Jellicent is hers. White explains that Nancy's membranes are able to heal wounds. Unfortunately for White, Marlon knows that she is trying to interrogate him. But Marlon laughs off the issue and allows White to go ahead with the interrogation, considering that she doesn't seem suspicious, and uses such cute Pokémon like Stunfisk. He then kisses Dorothy to show his affection.
White introduces herself and claims that she is trying to gather information regarding the mysterious contestant Hood Man. She believes that Marlon, who lost to Hood Man in the previous round, must have sensed something from him. Looker and his Croagunk witness the exchange through an air vent and are surprised that someone else is also investigating. Marlon, pleased with White's honesty, reveals that he too is uneasy with suspicious people, and decides to reveal all he knows. After some head-scratching, Marlon claims that Hood Man didn't have the eight Gym Badges on him, much to White's shock. Inside the air vent, Croagunk has to cover Looker's mouth to stop him from yelling.
Marlon explains that any body of water has its unique scent. These scents are also carried by any Pokémon who live in water, and having lived with Water-type Pokémon all his life, he can identify where White's Alomomola and Stunfisk came from. He also explains that one of the Badge Check Gates outside the complex, specifically the one that checks the Trio Badge, has water on it. Anyone who was eligible for the tournament must have passed through this gate and have the smell of it. However, he could not detect that smell from Hood Man. White immediately deems that Hood Man isn't qualified for the tournament and she must inform the officials, but Marlon tells her not to. He accepts his defeat by Hood Man and acknowledges him to be a powerful Trainer. Besides, Marlon says that vapor smells aren't valid evidence to prove eligibility, and if White really needs to look out for suspicious people, she should keep an eye out for Cheren which he considers to be more suspicious.
Back on stage, the announcer starts the battle between Cheren and Hood Man, and they send out Boldore and Klink, respectively. White watches the battle from the back row of the spectator stands, with Cedric Juniper joining her. Cedric remarks that whoever wins this battle faces Black, and White says that Black would prefer to battle his friend Cheren, but suddenly recalls the exact conversation she had with Marlon regarding Cheren.
Cheren switches out his Boldore for Snivy. Black, watching the battle from his capsule, is shocked that Cheren didn't even bother to train it after the events at the Cold Storage. His thoughts are cut out by a voice in the audience cheering for Cheren. White, whose attention was also caught by the voice, recognizes it as that of Leo, one of the defeated contestants. White approaches Leo but just as she is about to ask, the young Poké Maniac runs off and hides in the back row. White catches up and wonders what's happened. Leo sheepishly states that he gets anxious around girls, but simply claims that he is cheering for Cheren because he wants the person who beat him to win the tournament.
Meanwhile in the semi-final battle, Klink sends Snivy tumbling backwards. Cheren, after a thought, decides to switch out again, much to Snivy's horror, and Snivy appears to claw for the ground as it gets recalled back into its Poké Ball. Unfezant then appears in Snivy's place. Hood Man decides to switch as well, and sends out Beheeyem. Beheeyem uses Calm Mind before firing off an Energy Ball, but Unfezant dodges the attack by flying upwards, then dives down towards Beheeyem with U-turn and knocks Beheeyem out. The announcer declares Cheren the winner, and the one who faces Black in the finals. Knowing that either Cheren or Black will be facing them, the Elite Four decide to return to their chambers and prepare.
Leo rushes to the stage to congratulate Cheren, but Cheren pays no attention. Unable to contain his fury, Black forces his capsule open and demands to know why Cheren has suddenly lost his respect for the people around him. The announcer restates the rule that contestants aren't allowed to talk before their battle, but Black ignores him and asks why Cheren withdrew Snivy against its will and why he didn't train it up to evolution. Cheren simply states that it's none of Black's business. Cheren's reply takes Black over the edge, and he bursts out of his capsule to confront his friend.
Cheren simply states that cheering has no use, and does not make one stronger. He also says that Snivy has never delivered when it mattered, and therefore sees no use in training it further. Unable to comprehend Cheren's reasoning, Black demands to know what happened to Cheren. But Cheren replies that he is all right; he is just focusing on what he really wants to do now, to seek out strength.
With that, Cheren calls out his Boldore which immediately evolves into a Gigalith. Seeing that as a challenge, Black calls out Bo who immediately attempts to strike, but Gigalith blocks it. The announcer calls for calm, claiming that there is still another half an hour before the match is due to start, but Black says he cannot wait and must strike sense into his friend while he still can.
Meanwhile, the Elite Four are heading back to their chambers. Marshal asks Grimsley who he thinks will challenge them. Grimsley suddenly crouches down to feel the floor. Marshal asks what's wrong, and Grimsley claims that neither will. Upon Marshal's further query, Grimsley changes the subject and makes Marshal aware of the rumbling sound, which means that something is rising out of the surface.
|| Spoilers end here.
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