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| Facing Gulpin Is Hard to Swallow/VS. Gulpin
Facing Gulpin Is Hard to Swallow/VS. Gulpin or The Face Behind the Armor (Japanese: VS ゴクリン VS Gokulin or 甲冑の素顔 The Armor's True Face) is the 327th round of the Pokémon Adventures manga
Anabel stands before everyone, with blank eyes and a vacant expression and suddenly turns around to leave. Emerald and Noland try and stop her, but the virtual Trainer's Gulpin attacks. Noland wonders what's wrong with Anabel, but Sapphire states that beating the virtual Trainer and going to the next floor is more important. Mawile defeats the Gulpin, allowing the group to go to the next floor.
They go to the next floor, only to be attacked by a virtual Kindler and Bird Keeper and a rental Numel and Taillow. Noland realizes that they're doing the Battle Tower challenge, which means that they have to beat all the virtual Trainers before reaching Anabel. Since only Scott and Anabel can start the challenge, it means that Anabel herself must have activated it. Guile Hideout appears on a video screen, confirming that Anabel is under his control.
Noland questions how Guile was able to get close to Anabel, as the last time she was seen was when she was going to talk to Scott. Noland calls Scott on his Pokégear, who reveals that he was being bothered by the press all day. As he talks, Scott avoids various rental Pokémon with his UFO device. Guile reveals that the Scott Anabel left with was an illusion he created with a Psychic-type Pokémon.
Guile expresses pleasure in being control of the Battle Tower, as it means he can use the virtual Trainers and rental Pokémon however he wishes. This angers Emerald, who tells Guile that he won't let him get away with his schemes. Guile tells Emerald to complete the Battle Tower challenge by winning 70 consecutive battles before he can take him seriously. Emerald runs off, but Noland tells him that it'd be easier to split up so that while one person stays behind to battle, the others can move ahead.
Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, and Noland advance through the floors and defeat their opponents. Noland notes how strong the other three are, which makes him doubt that they're ordinary kids. After defeating more opponents, Ruby and Sapphire finally reach the 70th floor. They wonder where Emerald and Noland went, as they're not sure who overtook whom. They enter a room, which isn't a room for battling, but an archive for information.
They find a memoir detailing the Battle Frontier's creation written by Scott. The memoir states that the building of the Battle Frontier isn't what's important, but the people. It states that Scott specifically gave special attention to the kind of people he picked as Frontier Brains. Ruby states that at one point, Scott went to his father for information on what people he should look for. They guess this is how the current Frontier Brains were chosen. They continue on to another section, which appears to be dedicated to Pokédex holders. They come across the statue of Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, and Silver, which they assume is just a regular statue.
Ruby and Sapphire hear a loud noise from another room and head off to investigate. They enter, but find that Emerald has already been defeated by Anabel and her Raikou. Despite Emerald already being defeated, Anabel keeps attacking as an attempt to torture her opponent. Ruby and Sapphire try to help, but Emerald tells them to back off, as the battle is between him and Anabel. Anabel continues attacking Emerald. Sapphire begs for her to stop, but Ruby points out that she's under Guile's control.
Sapphire wonders who Guile is, and why he would do such cruel things. Ruby pulls out his Memory Lighter to show the memory of Spenser. Ruby points out that since he called Sapphire his kindred for touching the Blue Orb, it must mean that Spenser has done the same. Anabel throws Emerald across a wall, and goes in for another attack. Suddenly, Latios appears, and tells Emerald to stand back up. He presents Emerald with his Sceptile, Sudowoodo, and Dusclops, who have successfully won the Spirits Symbol.
Emerald gets up and sends his team out to continue the battle. Suddenly, Anabel collapses to the ground. Guile appears and berates Anabel for being too weak to handle his manipulation by stomping on her. Ruby and Sapphire wonder if it really is Spenser that is inside Guile's armor. Latios offers to use telepathy to show what Latias is seeing at the Battle Palace. The area shifts to inside the Battle Palace, where Todd Snap, Latias, and Spenser are currently located at.
Spenser apologizes for keeping something a secret, and reveals exactly what it is. Spenser reveals that when he was younger, he visited his friends, the guardians of Mt. Pyre. When his two friends were away, he became captivated by the beauty of the Blue Orb and touched it. When he did so, his body was filled with a tremendous power, which caused him to become fearful and release the orb. Despite this, he had nightmares of a great monster, which he eventually found out was the Legendary Pokémon Kyogre.
Having regretted what he has done, Spenser dedicated himself to training his spirit, which eventually caused him to become the Frontier Brain of spirit. Because he touched the Blue Orb for only a moment, he gained the ability to tell who had come in contact with the Orbs by the glow in their eyes. Since Sapphire has come in contact with the Blue Orb, her eyes have a dull blue glow to them. Spenser states that although he wasn't sure at first, he is now fully certain that Guile has not just come in contact with the Blue Orb, but actually has allowed its power to seep through his entire being.
Guile praises Spenser's skills. As he lifts his armor's mask, Guile reveals that he became one with the Blue Orb and gained an immeasurable power. Much to everyone's shock, Guile Hideout reveals his true identity: the leader of Team Aqua, Archie.
- 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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