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School of Hard Knocks (VSプロトーガ, VS Tirtouga) is the 4th chapter of Pokémon Adventures: Volume 48.


Having cleared Brycen's challenge, Black meets up with Opelucid City's Gym Leader, Drayden, who reminds the importance of Black's training, to confront Team Plasma. In order to continue, Iris joins Black, who goes to his next challenge - facing off against some bikers.

Chapter plot

At the Dragonspiral Tower, Brycen visits the place with Beartic. He remarks Drayden has told him people come here to visit the place, wishing to learn more about the legendary dragons. Brycen doesn't see much, as it is just a maze, and goes to look around. He reaches the top floor, and sees electric shocks and giant footprints. He believes it to be the place, where Zekrom was unsealed. He continues looking, but sees no evidence that could lead to their castle. He has searched far, but hasn't seen any single trace of Team Plasma, and wonders where the other Gym Leaders could be. At Tubeline Bridge, Black cheers, as Bo has successfully crushed the chain. Suddenly, Black's back starts aching, to which the doctor, whose name is Logan, goes to heal him.

Suddenly, a man approaches, clapping to Black for passing the challenge. Black sees this is Drayden, Opelucid City's Gym Leader. Iris, who is standing next to him, is annoyed that Black has not mentioned her. Black simply mentions her as the little girl from Castelia City, to which Iris takes offense, since she has more experience than Black does. Drayden explains that Iris is a Dragon-type trainer, who is training at her Gym for one year already, and even helped him in studying the legendary dragons. He explains to Black he did send her to Castelia City, to see the exhibition of the Unova legends and the dragons. Black becomes smug, stating that Iris hasn't learned much during her training. Iris becomes upset, and challenges Drayden to show how much she has learned.

Drayden sends Druddigon, who faces Iris. Iris' dragon goes to attack Druddigon, who slams them away with Dragon Tail. Iris and her Pokémon stand up, and Iris remarks that she did learn, much to Black's annoyance. Drayden praises Druddigon, while Black glares at it. Black sees even Bo felt Druddigon's strength, and remarks he will face Drayden someday, to challenge the Pokémon League. He wonders if the League will open, however. Logan arrives, and tells Black he has succeeded Brycen's test by shattering the chain. He shows that Costa, Tula and Musha have passed the training, too. Logan tells they need to continue on with their next step, and asks Black to take Iris as well, since they could learn a lot. Black gasps, but Iris smiles upon that.

Drayden places his hands on Black's shoulders, reminding he has to become the Truth that will battle the Ideals, and expects a lot from him. As Drayden walks away, Black feels nervous. He and Iris walk with Logan, who goes to read the next step that Brycen has prepared for them. Suddenly, they encounter some bikers. Logan tells Black to continue, who shows the bikers are blocking their path. The leader of the biker sees Black wants to pass through, and tells he needs permission from him: the great Jeremy, leader of the Black Empoleon bikers. Black states he cannot fight them here, but Logan denies, for this is Black's next step. Logan reads Black had to destroy the chain, face the three Vanillish and battle these bikers.

Black is displeased, but the biker dares him to do so. The other bikers comment they became less frightening to the public since the last boss deserted them. He was the same biker who had a Ducklett, and apparently he did something quite shocking after releasing it. Jeremy shouts out at them to shut up, and claims they will crush Black. The bikers speed ahead, but are blown away. The bikers fall off their motorcycles, as Black's Tula appears atop of the bridge. Black explains he had Tula tie up their bikes while they were talking: 10 motorcycles that were bound together. Tula releases the motorcycles, displeasing the bikers, since they were valuable.

Jeremy, who is furious, goes to show Black what he is made of. However, Jeremy cannot start his bike, as he is out of gas. He screams in embarrassment, while Black states he had Musha use Teleport on the fuel, and place it in Jeremy's pants. Thus, Jeremy has Scraggy attack, to which Costa fires Hydro Pump. Scraggy evades, but Hydro Pump changes its path to Scraggy, who runs to its trainer. The Hydro Pump strikes Jeremy and Scraggy, defeating them. Jeremy falls down, and states Black can cross the bridge. Moreover, he proclaims they gained respect towards Black, and renamed their gang to Black Tirtouga bikers. Black and Iris smile, as Logan states the former has passed the third test. Logan escorts Black and White past the bridge, where Black gazes at the amazing bridge. He is a bit inspired that he has been training at this place, until another train passes by. However, this reminds Black of White, who is still at the Battle Subway.