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The Cold Hard Truth (VSバニリッチ, VS Vanillish) is the 1st chapter of Pokémon Adventures: Volume 49.


Black starts his Gym Battle against Brycen, the martial arts expert. While Black utilizes the tactics he learned from Brycen's challenges, he is a bit concerned by Brycen, who has dragged him in for the training against Team Plasma. However, Brycen unveils the training was more about awakening Reshiram, the Dragon of Truth, as Blackis the perfect candidate for that.

Chapter plot

N attempts to approach Zekrom, who blows him away with its roar. Team Plasma superiors are worried about N, but Ghetsis states there's no need to intervene. He reminds this trial is necessary for N, to befriend Zekrom, else he will not be considered a hero. The other sages are sad, knowing ordinary trainers would simply view Zekrom as its servant, and is why liberating Pokémon is considered as a noble cause. N stands in front of Zekrom, and explains that many trainers will liberate their Pokémon, who will feel and equality with humans. N adds that Zekrom can live freely, without being sealed in a stone, and proclaims he wants to build such a world. To achieve that, N remarks he needs to defeat the Champion. N and his Pokémon extend arms, asking of Zekrom to be their friend to change the world.

N comes closer to Zekrom, reminding they can change the world as the ancient heroes did, while Zekrom electrocutes him. At Icirrus City's Gym, Black goes through the icy labyrinth, sliding on the icy path to exit it. Iris cheers for Black, who is eager to battle. However, Black is more interested in knowing something. Iris wonders what does he mean, while Black goes with his Pokémon towards the top to the battlefield. Brycen comments that Black has reached him, and the 3-on-3 battle starts. Black sends Bo, who confronts Brycen's Cryogonal. Bo looks around, while Cryogonal emits the icy chain to bind him. Bo shatters the chain, surprising Iris for such a skill. Bo flings his arm at air, which reveals itself to be Cryogonal; the latter takes the attack and faints.

Iris is amazed that Bo has even detected Cryogonal's location. Logan mutters this is the meaning of habit: Bo and Black are showing progress of their special training from the four challenges. Logan points out Brycen has two Pokémon left, while Black has three. Iris remarks that Black has an advantage, but sees something is concerning him, and wants to ask Brycen. Brycen sends Vanillish, who uses Hail, causing Black and Bo to take damage from the ice shards. Suddenly, Vanillish disappears among the snow cloud. Black suspects the same strategy as Cryogonal used, and has Bo use Head Smash, which hits Vanillish. Logan is impressed to see Bo has refined his accuracy, seeing he has grown ideally.

Black laughs, as someone said the same thing on Tubeline Bridge: Drayden, who expects of Black to become the Truth to fight the Ideals. Brycen sees Black wants to ask him something, which he confirms. Black asks what is Brycen expecting of him, and what is the "Truth" and "Ideals". Brycen becomes silent, while Iris warns Black that Vanillish has recovered. Logan tells Iris she can't warn Black during the battle. He explains the ice shards are to inflict damage on Bo, hide Vanillish and have it recover. Logan states Vanillish's Ice Body ability lets it regain health during a hail. Brycen states if Black continues with his nonsense, then his Head Smash attack won't matter at all. Black grits his teeth, and becomes surprised to see his Bo has become frozen, and falls in defeat.

Iris is disappointed, as how could Black have his Fire-type Pokémon lose to an Ice-type Pokémon. Black sends Musha, while Brycen sees that Black is asking whether he found the wrong person for the mission. Black understands, but simply asks Brycen why did he hide the truth, for it is frustrating that others are making decisions that affect him, without letting him know. Musha fires Psychic, which hits Vanillish. Black also points out he senses an energy coming from Brycen's sleeve. Brycen gasps, while Black describes it's the same energy that he felt upon seeing the Dark Stone. While it is not a big deal, Black claims it is just hard for him to focus on the battle. Logan tells Brycen it might be the time to tell Black, since he has figured everything out already.

Brycen thinks for a moment, and complies with the request. He describes that the "Truth" and "Ideals" represent the two Legendary Dragons. While the Ideals represent Zekrom, the Truth represents Reshiram. Brycen shows the Light Stone, and believes it is Black that could unseal Reshiram. Black gasps, seeing what is Brycen expecting of him, and all the training he did was to awaken Reshiram. Brycen closes his eyes, stating that Drayden has considered this factor. As Musha falls down, defeated, Black states he has never heard of those. He sends Costa, who blasts Vanillish, defeating it. Iris is surprised that one move defeated Vanillish. Logan explains that was Scald, despite being a Water-type move. Brycen sends Beartic, who deflects Costa's Stone Edge.

Brycen sees Black is aiming for Beartic's claw, to which Black confirms, as they are aiming for the top. Black cannot explain this, but feels something is reviving in his guts, considering both sides have one Pokémon standing. At Opelucid City, people gather at a conference that mayor Drayden has called upon. Suddenly, Drayden's Druddigon roars, to shush the audience. Drayden apologizes for the wait, and states he has come to issue an announcement regarding the Pokémon League. Drayden announces that despite the tournament being planned to open three months later, he has discussed with the Pokémon Association to push the date earlier: one week from today.