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| Notorious Noctowl/Mighty Flight, Noctowl!
Notorious Noctowl or Mighty Flight, Noctowl! (Japanese: VS ヨルノズク VS Yorunozuku) is the 156th round of the Pokémon Adventures manga.
High up in one of the audience stands, Gold and Crystal watch on as Misty gets ready for the next Gym Leader exhibition match, against Whitney. Gold and Crystal struggle to spot any obvious signs of evil among the Gym Leaders. Thinking back to their call with Professor Oak earlier, this very event came about after Gold submitted evidence of his encounter with the Masked Man to Professor Elm, who later discovered that the traces found on the evidence were of materials used to create Badges. This evidence was later passed to Oak and the Pokémon Association Chairman in top secret, and it was decided by the Pokémon Association to host a Gym Leader exhibition event just before the real tournament at the Indigo Plateau. As Gold fought the culprit earlier, he was instructed to observe the Gym Leaders' battling styles, and Crystal was to accompany him and prevent him from rash actions.
In the present, Gold decides to move to a lower audience stand, and disappears into the crowd. At around the same time, the second exhibition match takes place. Misty's Starmie first dodges Mil Mil's Rollout. Mil Mil responds by grabbing hold of Starmie, who responds with a Flash, before finishing off Mil Mil with a Hyper Beam. Whitney screams and cries upon seeing Mil Mil unable to continue, and Misty thus helps bring Kanto on level terms.
Meanwhile, Crystal finally locates Gold, who, after commenting on the Gym Leaders, declares his unease at the thought of an evil presence among a tournament meant for Pokémon lovers. He is determined not to let such a person spoil it. Meanwhile, the exhibiton matches continue, with Falkner about to come on stage to face Janine. Commentator Mary notes how both Gym Leaders had only recently assumed their positions. Falkner calls out his Noctowl who swoops towards its opponent, Janine's Grimer. Grimer flattens itself onto the ground to avoid damage, then begins to shrink after receiving an indecipherable command from Janine. On the Johto bench, Morty recognizes the technique as Minimize. Subsequently, Noctowl barely dodges a Sludge Bomb thrown its way. Falkner suddenly remembers one of Noctowl's moves - he commands a Foresight. Noctowl quickly locates Grimer and dives forward for a Peck, but Janine switches Grimer out for her Ariados.
Falkner decides not to change strategy. Noctowl picks Ariados off the ground and spins it around before hurling it down towards the stage. Noctowl swoops to do the same thing, but encounters a spider web in its way, which Falkner realizes was spun when Ariados was being hurled by Noctowl. Ariados uses the momentary lapse to deliver a Constrict on Noctowl's left wing, slamming it onto the ground. Noctowl is retrieved for Skarmory, who is immediately constricted by Ariados upon entering. Falkner finds himself overpowered by Janine's strategies but declares that he will not give up, and will win for his father who he replaced. Janine, hearing those words, suddenly spots something similar. Skarmory is eventually freed from Ariados' threads by a technique involving its wings.
Janine, however, retrieves Ariados and apologizes to the audience before running up the stairs on one of the audience stands. As Mary declares Falkner the winner after Janine forfeited the match, Falkner gives chase and finds Janine near the exit. In tears, Janine apologizes to Falkner for not resuming the battle, and says that like Falkner, she also succeeded her father as Gym Leader, and thinks it's fate that they would battle each other. Falkner reassures Janine that he will not ask about what she saw, but will still bring any troublemakers to justice as he's a police officer.
Johto regains the lead in the exhibition tournament, and on the Kanto bench, Sabrina recognizes Janine and wonders if she's Koga's daughter. Lt. Surge agrees, and decides to get up and take the stage as he is next to face his opponent. Erika, who is surprised that two former Team Rocket admins signed up to represent Kanto in the exhibition tournament without any hassle, decides to ask Sabrina whether she has seen Red. Sabrina is pressed for an answer due to Erika's captaincy, and reveals she did see Red, but wonders how the question is relevant.
- For a list of all major events in the Pokémon Adventures manga, please see the timeline of events.
|| Spoilers end here.
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