Walter placed his Poké Balls on the healing machine once more, then removed them seconds later, once the device had done its deed. He then returned to the edge of the pool to face Red, who already had a Poké Ball in hand.

"Let's get this going, dude!" exclaimed Walter as he threw one of the Poké Balls. "Tentacool, like, go!"

The ball split open, unleashing a blast of energy which formed in the water into Walter's Tentacool, once again looking ready for action. "Tentacool," it said in its nasally tone.

Red threw his own Poké Ball. "Rattata! Go!" he shouted.

In a flash of light, Red's Rattata materialized on a floating platform, and proceeded to stare down Tentacool.

"Tentacool, like, use your BubbleBeam!" ordered Walter.

"Rattata, Water Gun!" commanded Red.

As Tentacool launched a stream of bubbles from the tip of its left tentacle, Rattata unleashed a torrent of water from its mouth. The two attacks met in midair, each cancelling the other one out. Both combatants stopped their attacks very quickly.

"Quick Attack now!" called Red.

"Rrrrrraaattata!" screeched Rattata as it leapt into the water and began to swim towards Tentacool with incredible speed. Tentacool was unable to move out of the way in time, and thus was slammed backwards by the force of Rattata's Quick Attack, and crashed into the platform. Rattata then continued to swim towards Tentacool as the dazed Jellyfish Pokémon attempted to shake off the blow. Rattata leapt out of the water, prominent front teeth bared, and sank the aforementioned dental hardware into Tentacool, causing it to screech in pain.

"Tentacool!" Walter exclaimed. "Like, are you alright, dude?"

"Cool," Tentacool responded albeit feebly.

"Whoa!" Orange exclaimed. "Was that a Hyper Fang?!"

"I think it was!" Red replied, sounding just as surprised as Orange.

"Hyper Fang- Rattata's special attack," droned Red's Pokédex. "An exceptionally powerful biting technique which makes full use of Rattata's prominent teeth."

"Tentacool, use your, like, Skull Bash attack!" ordered Walter.

"Hyper Fang again, Rattata!" yelled Red.

As Tentacool rammed into Rattata at full speed, Rattata refused to give in, and sank its teeth into Tentacool yet again. Tentacool, however, was able to push Rattata away this time with its tentacles. Rattata swam back to its platform and looked on as Tentacool passed out in the water.

"Dude," murmured Walter as he withdrew Tentacool. "You, like, can't catch a break today. Bummer." He then put Tentacool's ball back in his bag and threw the other one. "OK, like, let's get him, LM4!"

In a flash of light, Walter's LM4 rematerialized, and promptly proceeded to swim laps around Rattata's platform.

"Rattata, return," said Red, holding out the Poké Ball as it sent forth its red beam, withdrawing the Rat Pokémon to its spherical innards.

"Smart move, little dude," smirked Walter. "Major, like, type disadvantage, there."

"My thoughts exactly," replied Red as he enlarged and threw another Poké Ball. "Paras, let's go!"

Red's Poké Ball split open, unleashing his most recent capture into the open. Paras landed on the platform, and eyed its swimming adversary warily.

"This'll be interesting," remarked Walter. "LM4, Aurora Beam!"

"Aw, crap, I forgot about that," groaned Red. "Uh, Paras, dodge it!"

Paras did not need telling twice. At the sight of the oncoming ray of rainbow light, Paras scuttled off to the side, narrowly evading the Ice-type move.

"Paras, Stun Spore!" Red ordered.

"Paaarraaaaas!" said Paras as the mushrooms on its back began to shake, unleashing a golden dust into the air. As LM4 readied another Aurora Beam, the dust settled on its body, and it seemed to freeze in the water.

"No, dude! Go underwater and, like, wash it off!" Walter ordered.

"F-f-four..." LM4 replied as it slowly sank into the pool's depths. Once it resurfaced, however, it wasn't looking particularly better.

"It must have breathed in the Stun Spore," remarked Violet.

"Paras, Scratch attack!" Red commanded.

"Paras par!" exclaimed Paras as it leapt off its platform, landed on LM4, and took a swipe at the Bubble Cube Pokémon.

"Foooour!" screeched LM4 as it tried to shake Paras off.

"Aurora Beam at, like, close range!" called Walter.

"L... M... FOOOUUUR!" bellowed LM4 with a great effort as it unleashed another Aurora Beam, this one hitting Paras dead-on, sending the Mushroom Pokémon flying right into its trainer's arms.

"Paras!" Red gasped; upon examining his Bug and Grass-type, it became clear that LM4's Aurora Beam had done its job; Paras was out cold.

"This is not good," murmured Violet as Red withdrew Paras. Red then took the other Poké Ball off his belt, enlarged it, and stared at it for a few seconds.

"You can do this," he sighed as he threw the ball. "I believe in you. Rattata, go!"

In a flash of light, Red's Rattata re-emerged from its Poké Ball, and landed on its platform.

"LM4, like, use BubbleBeam!" Walter ordered.

"Rattata, Water Gun!" called Red.

Rattata unleashed a stream of water at the same time LM4 let fly a blast of bubbles. Unlike with Tentacool, however, LM4's BubbleBeam cut right through Rattata's Water Gun. Noticing this, Rattata hastily jumped into the pool, narrowly evading the attack.

"Oh, we got him now, dude!" grinned Walter. "Rolling Kick!"

"Rattata! Hyper Fang!" Red called.

A foot sprouted from LM4's body as it sped through the water, headed right for Rattata. The Rat Pokémon treaded water in place, waiting... then, as LM4 got close, Rattata sprung out of the water, landing right on LM4, and sunk its fangs right into the Bubble Cube Pokémon.

"Fooour!" howled LM4 in pain.

"No, dude! Shake it off!" Walter was saying, somewhat stunned at the expertness of Rattata's jump.

"F... f... fooouuur..." whined LM4 as it merely shuddered in place, the paralysis obviously kicking in again.

"We got it now!" said Red triumphantly. "Rattata, finish it! Hyper Fang!"

"Rrraaaattaataaaaaa!" bellowed Rattata as it raised its head high, then brought it back down, biting into LM4 once more.

"Fooooooouuuuur," LM4 whined again as it ceased any sort of voluntary movement and merely began drifting on the water's surface. As Rattata swam back to its platform, Walter sighed, then withdrew LM4.

"We... we did it! We did it!" Red exclaimed as it slowly dawned on him that he had in fact won against Walter.

"Nice going, dude," said Walter as he and Red withdrew their Pokémon. Walter then grabbed another badge and TM, then swam across the pool. Once he reached their end, Walter climbed out and presented Red with his Drench Badge and BubbleBeam TM.

"Thanks-" Red began.

"Yeah, yeah, let's get going," interrupted Orange, already halfway to the odd wall of water that served as a door. Rolling her eyes, Violet started after him, followed by Red. Once they were out of the Gym, Violet grabbed Orange by the shoulder and spun him around.

"What?" Orange asked defensively.

"Orange, what the hell is wrong with you?" demanded Violet. "You were so rude in there!"

"Oh, well, excuse me," Orange replied. "Mew forbid I should be rude in front of your boyfriend in there!"

"I- what- excuse me?!" Violet spluttered, her face starting to turn red.

"Oh, don't give me that crap!" snapped Orange. "You think I didn't notice? You were practically drooling all over him!"

"And why do you care?" Violet swiftly retorted, now taking the defensive.

"I don't!" Orange half-shouted. "Your little display was embarrassing! I was doing you a favor, getting you out of there when I did."

"Alright, stop it!" Red shouted suddenly, Startled by Red's sudden outburst, Orange and Violet stopped their bickering and turned to face him, both bearing expressions of mild surprise on their faces. Red's expression showed that he himself was surprised by his reaction. "...Look," he said at length, "...I'd just prefer it if the two of you... didn't argue like that, OK? I don't know, I just... I prefer it when we all get along, you know? I mean, I'm liking this, traveling with you two, and, well..." Red broke off, seemingly unable to finish what he was saying. Violet got the gist of it, however, and now looked somewhat ashamed of herself.

"Sorry, Orange," she muttered. "I mean, you were a little rude, but I guess I didn't have to explode at you like that."

"Yeah, I'm sorry too," Orange replied, also looking slightly ashamed. "I probably shouldn't get on your case like that when you're flirting with someone."

"I was not flirting with him!"

"Oh, come on! What kind of fool do you take me for?"

"I take you for the fool you are!" Violet retorted as they headed for the Pokémon Center, Red in the rear, facepalming as Violet and Orange continued to bicker.

45 minutes later, the trio emerged from the Pokémon Center, all of their Pokémon having been restored to full health. Violet and Orange had also stopped arguing, a fact Red was pleased with.

"So where to next?" he asked.

"Well," Orange began, "The nurse said the nearest Gym was in Fansfor City. I think the leader there's supposed to use Psychic Pokémon."

"Psychic-types?" said Red, raising his eyebrows. "Those are supposed to be the strongest kinds of Pokémon. You sure we're ready?"

"I dunno," Orange admitted with a shrug. "I mean, Q's a Psychic-type itself, but still..."

"You're right," Violet added. "The closest thing I've got to a Psychic-type is Migraine, and it can only use Confusion when its headache is severe."

"Yeah, we should probably get in some extra training before that Gym," Red nodded. "We gotta find some more trainers and challenge them to battles."

"I heard one of the trainers in the Pokémon Center talking," said Orange. "The one with the Pidgey on his shoulder? He mentioned that a lot of trainers gather in the area north of Ruceelna for training."

"Well then," Red said, now grinning, "What are we waiting for? Let's get going!" As he said this, however, Orange rushed ahead, as if determined to be the one in front. Violet rolled her eyes at this, but said nothing as she followed the two boys.

They walked for around fifteen minutes, before finally locating the path which led to the northern exit of the city. As soon as they came to the top of a small hill, however, the trio stopped simultaneously.

"Whoa," Orange stated.

Sprawled before them, surrounded by lots of randomly-placed trees made up of wood, ceiling tiles, roof shingles, and threes, was... what appeared to be a large, smelly pond, filled with stagnant, greenish slime. A swamp.

"...Uh..." Red said, "...Are you sure we went the right way?"

"Positive," replied Violet, though she seemed rather disgusted at the marshy landscape before them. At that moment, however, a young boy came wading towards them. He was dressed in shorts and a white shirt, and wore a wide-brimmed hat. A net was slung over his shoulder.

"Hey, are you three trainers?" he called.

"Yeah," Red replied.

"Well then, welcome to Nugget Swamp!" the youth exclaimed. "Here's what happens around here; passing trainers get to challenge the five trainers, and if you beat us all, you win a great prize! Now, which one of you wants to take the challenge?"

"Well, we're kind of all trying to train here," said Violet. "Any way us three can take the challenge simultaneously?"

"Not really," the boy replied. "The Nugget Swamp challenge was really only made for one trainer at a time. But you know what? How about you go through and take turns? One of you battle me, then someone else battles the next guy, and so on? You'd only get one prize, though, you'll have to share it."

Red shrugged. "Sounds good to me," he said. Orange and Violet murmured their agreement.

"So who's first?" the boy asked.

"I'll go first!" Orange volunteered enthusiastically.

"You will not," replied Violet, stepping forward, near the edge of the swamp. "I'll go first."

"Hmph," grunted Orange in annoyance, though he raised no objection.

"Very well," said the boy, as he produced a Poké Ball. "Two Pokémon each, that sound good?"

"Fine by me," replied Violet.

"OK, then!" the boy exclaimed as he threw the Poké Ball in his hand. "I choose you, Kakuna!"

In a flash of light, a small, yellow Pokémon materialized in the thick slime, which didn't appear too deep; it was able to stay mostly unsubmerged. Red turned to Orange, who was steadily starting to back up, moving away from the Kakuna. Meanwhile, Violet held out her Pokédex.

"Kakuna, the Cocoon Pokémon, and the evolved form of Weedle," said the device. "Kakuna is almost incapable of movement. In most cases, it can only use Harden."

Violet snorted as she produced a Poké Ball from her belt and enlarged it. "This should be a breeze," she scoffed as she threw the ball. "Chompy, let's go!"

In a flash of light, the Bellsprout materialized. It stood in the swamp slime, swaying slightly as it faced Kakuna.

"Chompy, Vine Whip!" ordered Violet.

"Kakuna, Harden attack!" yelled the boy.

"Kaku!" replied Kakuna as a faint glow came over its shell for a moment. At the same time, Chompy unleashed a pair of vines and slammed them into Kakuna, sending it flying backwards, landing in deeper mud. Inexplicably, it seemed able to get back into an upright position and sort of hop its way back to the battle, though it took several minutes to do so.

"Now, Kakuna, Poison Sting!" the bug catcher said.

"Kakuna kuna!" Kakuna exclaimed as it extended a small pair of arm-like stingers from the front of its shell, and fired off volleys of glowing purple spikes from them. Chompy wailed as the attack made contact.

"Chompy!" exclaimed Violet, shocked that the Kakuna was capable of attacking.

"That's what you get for underestimating Bug Pokémon," sneered the boy, obviously very pleased with himself. "Poison Sting again, Kakuna!"

"Chompy, Vine Whip!" Violet commanded.

Kakuna unleashed another volley of poisonous needles, but Chompy was too quick for it this time. Using its vines, it grabbed a branch of a nearby tree and pulled itself up, evading the Poison Sting completely. Chompy then swung itself around the branch and launched itself at Kakuna, meeting the Bug/Poison-type with its vines, this time sending it flying into its trainer's stomach, knocking the wind out of him, and just knocking the Kakuna out.

"Oof..." gasped the trainer, holding the Poké Ball out. "Kakuna... Return..." Once Kakuna was back in its ball, the Bug Catcher wordlessly threw a second Poké Ball as he attempted to get his breath back. This Poké Ball yielded a small green wormlike creature- a Caterpie.

"Chompy, Wrap it!" commanded Violet.

"Tackle attack!" the Bug Catcher said, having recovered from the sudden Kakuna attack.

As Caterpie made its way through the swamp mud, Chompy leapt at Caterpie and wrapped its rootlike body around the Bug-type, rendering Caterpie incapable of executing its Tackle. After about a minute of continual squeezing, Caterpie fainted.

Sighing, the Bug Catcher withdrew Caterpie. "I did my best, I have no regrets," he said humbly as he stood aside and gestured further into the swamp, indicating that they should go on.

"You were great, Chompy," smiled Violet as she withdrew her Bellsprout. "Come on, guys, let's go," she added. Winning the battle, Red noticed, seemed to have put her in a somewhat better mood than before about having to wade through a swamp. Deciding not to question it, he and Orange followed Violet, slowly trudging their way through the mercifully shallow marsh.