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| The Trial for Moltres
| Collected in
|| Vol. 1
| Chapter number
The Trial for Moltres (Japanese: ファヤーゲットだぜ？ Getting Fire?) is the 12th chapter of the Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All manga.
Shu and Pikachu are at a festival when a man at one of the stalls calls out to Shu, the "future Pokémon Master", and confides that he's got a rare Pokémon for sale. The man lifts a cloth covering a cage, to reveal a Moltres sitting inside! The man covers it back up, and Shu asks why he's selling it. Momentarily flustered, the man answers that he thinks it would be best for a fine trainer like Shu to raise it. Hooked, Shu asks how much it costs, to which the man replies: 100,000 yen! Shu is flabbergasted; he has nowhere near that kind of money. But he still wants it! If Shu will help the man run his stall for a month, he offers to give Shu Moltres.
Since Shu really wants Moltres, he accepts, and drags his Pokémon along for the ride, with Poliwag playing the part of a target in a ball-throwing game and Diglett playing the star in a Whack-A-Diglett game. Pikachu complains about being made to help, and Shu attempts to placate him by telling him that Moltres will make battles a lot easier on Pikachu. Pikachu is convinced that Shu is only thinking of himself, though. But as Shu watches his Pokémon getting pummeled day after day, his mind starts to change. Before the month is out, Shu tells the man he's quitting. He doesn't want to get Moltres through such a "cheap" method, and he can't stand seeing his Pokémon getting beaten up.
Surprisingly, the man praises Shu, moved by his concerns, and gives Shu Moltres anyways. The man gets a faraway look in his eyes, and he tells Shu that he made him remember when he was a young man and aiming to become a Pokémon Master. He tells Shu that he's put the fire back in him, and he's going to close his shop to take on his dream again. Shu thanks the man and wishes him luck, and as the man makes his getaway, he reflects on the haul he's brought in and how he'd better skedaddle before he's found out.
As Shu and Pikachu continue on their journey, a Venonat suddenly appears. Shu tells Pikachu to watch and learn while Moltres handles Venonat, and sends it out and commands it to use Fire Spin. But Moltres can only manage a tiny flame. Suddenly, Moltres' body starts to lose its shape, and they discover that the Moltres was really a transformed Ditto! Shu calls back Ditto and pleads with Pikachu to take care of Venonat. When Pikachu gives in and turns to attack Venonat, he can't use his electricity! After working the man's stall for so long, he's physically exhausted. Shu tries to think of what to do, and has an idea.
Yelling to get Venonat's attention, he threatens it with a can of super-strength bug spray. Terrified, Venonat runs away. Shu quickly goes over to Pikachu, and Pikachu says it's lucky he had bug spray with him. Grinning, Shu holds up the bug spray to reveal that it was actually Ditto transformed! Shu officially welcomes Ditto to the team, and Ditto decides to transform into Shu...except Shu isn't happy with the result. He shouts that he's taller and more handsome. As Pikachu, Shu, and Shu 2.0 (Ditto, having followed Shu's instructions) walk along, Shu vows not to fall for any more shady deals. In the next moment, though, he's goggling over a medicine that's supposed to raise a Pokémon 100 levels. Pikachu suggests that Ditto be the main character next time.
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