Dawn is preparing her gym battle with Sumono. Reiji calls Ash over. Ash wishes Dawn good luck and leaves. Brock then asks Dawn if she knows what Pokémon she will be battling with during the gym battle. Dawn tells Brock that she will use Piplup because it knows Peck, a flying type move, Ambipom, and Buneary. Meanwhile, Ash has sent out his Staravia. Reiji plans on teaching Ash's Staravia the Brave Bird attack. He orders Staraptor to use it. Staraptor uses the attack and crashes right through a pile of rocks. Reiji explains that Brave Bird is very powerful, but it can be risky too because of the high amount of recoil damage the Pokémon receives.
Ash is impressed with Staraptor's power. He tells Staravia to use Brave Bird itself. Staravia does well at first, but it loses balance and falls when it begins to release its power. Reiji thinks that Staravia will have more success if it practiced with a moving target. Ash decides to be Staravia's target, regardless if it's dangerous. Ash begins to run, and Staravia chases him with Brave Bird. Staravia has a lot more success with Ash being the target. They continue to practice Staravia's Brave Bird attack. Reiji sees that Ash is working very hard and is determined to get Staravia's Brave Bird down to perfection. Brock walks up to Reiji. Reiji asks Brock why Dawn would decide to do a gym battle since she doesn't have any experience with those. Brock replies that Dawn is trying to cheer Sumono up.
Meanwhile, Sumono and Lucario and meditating. Sumono gets tired and this angers Lucario. Sumono thinks that they should practice battling instead. Team Rocket looks into the window and sees Lucario, the Pokémon that they want to capture. Jessie, however, states that Lucario is very strong, and it would be pointless to try and capture at the moment. She wants to try and capture Lucario when it's weak.
It is night time, and Ash and co. have decided to go to the Pokémon Center. When they get there, Dawn asks Ash how his training with Staravia went. Ash tells her that it went well under Reiji's guidance. Dawn then states that her training went well too with Pikachu and Buizel's help. However, Dawn does feel a little nervous because it is her first gym battle. Ash tells Dawn that before a gym battle he always tells himself that he is going to win. Dawn understands Ash's advice. Brock explains that when he was battling in the Pewter City gym, he felt the same way as Sumono. Brock adds in that when he battled more trainers, he finally understood a gym leader's role and ability. He hopes that tomorrow Dawn will level up Sumono and make her more confident.
The next day, Team Rocket is on the roof of one of the buildings. James has set up cameras in the area, and he is using his laptop to watch those areas. On the screen, they spot Ash and co. James assumes that they have come for a gym battle, but they didn't expect Dawn to be the challenger. When Dawn arrives in the gym, she meets up with Sumono. She wishes Sumono and Lucario the best of luck and Sumono does the same. The referee explains the rules for the battle, and then the battle begins.
Sumono sends out Meditite. Dawn looks it up in her Pokédex. Brock states that Meditite is a Fighting and Psychic type. Ash wonders what Pokémon Dawn will choose. Dawn is feeling a bit nervous, so Ash tells Dawn and Sumono to give it their best shot. This makes Dawn and Sumono a bit more confident. Dawn sends out Buneary. Buneary starts off with Bounce, but Meditite dodges the attack with Detect. Then Sumono orders Meditite to use Drain Punch. Ash notices that Sumono mimics the attack of her Pokémon. Reiji explains that that is Sumono's battling style. By doing that she can slightly increase the power of her Pokémon's attack. Buneary tries to dodge the attack, but it ends up getting hit. Buneary falls to the ground. The Drain Punch attack has sucked out a lot of power out of Buneary. Reiji sees that Sumono is a good battler after all. Team Rocket has also noticed the power of Meditite's Drain Punch. Buneary counters with Ice Beam; it scores a direct hit. Then Buneary charges towards Meditite, hoping to hit it, but Meditite breaks out of the ice using Confusion. Meditite uses Confusion once more to lift Buneary up in the air. Then it slams Buneary to the ground. Before Buneary reaches the ground, it uses its ears to bounce off the ground and into the air again. It uses its Bounce attack, and Meditite uses Drain Punch. The two Pokémon collide into each other. However, Buneary ends up taking the fall, and Meditite wins the round.
Dawn returns Buneary back into its Pokéball, and then she sends out Ambipom. Ambipom uses Swift, an attack that directly hits Meditite. Meditite then uses Drain Punch, but Ambipom blocks it. Ambipom uses its Double Hit attack on Meditite, and Meditite faints. Sumono thanks Meditite for battling and returns it back into its Pokéball. She then decides to send Lucario into battle. Ash notices that the battle atmosphere feels different. Reiji explains that Sumono and Lucario have a strong bond, and when Sumono changed Lucario could feel it.
Ambipom starts off with Double Hit, but Lucario counters with Bone Rush. Lucario strikes Ambipom with its attack. Ambipom slides into the wall and faints. Dawn returns Ambipom back into its Pokéball, and then she sends out her last Pokémon, Piplup. Piplup starts the battle off with Bubblebeam. Lucario easily dodges the attack and then attacks using Aura Sphere. The Aura Sphere directly hits Piplup. Piplup falls to the ground, but it is still standing. Piplup then uses Whirlpool on Lucario. Lucario gets caught in the middle of the vortex. Piplup then charges towards Lucario with its Peck attack. Before the attack can hit Lucario, Lucario uses Metal Claw to destroy the Whirlpool and evade Piplup's attack. Reiji is impressed with both Sumono and Dawn's battle tactics.
Piplup uses Bubblebeam. Lucario quickly avoids the attack and runs straight towards Piplup. It uses a Force Palm on Piplup. A bunch of energy is released from Lucario's palm. Piplup receives lots of damage and falls to the ground. Team Rocket continue to watch the battle. They have realized that Lucario is too strong of a Pokémon for them to capture. Meanwhile, Piplup has recovered from the Force Palm attack. Lucario uses another Aura Sphere on Piplup. Piplup breaks right through the Aura Sphere with its Peck attack, and then it directly hits Lucario. Lucario receives some damage, but it recovers. Sumono decides to use a special combination. She first has Lucario use Aura Sphere. Piplup counters with Bubblebeam. The two attacks collide into each other. Piplup heads into the smoke, and uses Peck. However, when the smoke clears, Lucario is gone. Lucario appears over Piplup's head, and it uses one last Force Palm on Piplup. Piplup faints from the attack, causing Sumono to win the battle.
Dawn runs over to Piplup to make sure that it's okay. Ash congratulates Dawn for the great battle even though she lost. Sumono thanks Dawn for the great battle. She has finally gotten over her defeat with Paul and is a lot more confident in herself. Dawn can't wait to see the battle with Sumono and Ash. Sumono agrees to battle Ash and remain as the gym leader of the Tobari Gym. Reiji tells Sumono that her battle with Ash will be very interesting. Ash can't wait to battle with Sumono once he perfects Staravia's move.
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