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A Cold Reception (VSツンベアー, VS Beartic) is the 2nd chapter of Pokémon Adventures: Volume 49.


Black continues his Gym Battle with Brycen, and learns the purpose of his training - to awaken Reshiram and confront N's Zekrom. Seeing this path crosses with his dream to become the Pokémon Champion, Black urges his Costa to do its best. With the battle over, Black soon realizes that his dream to enter the Pokémon League is compromised: the deadline to obtain his final badge is only a week, when the Pokémon League will open.

Chapter plot

The citizens of Opelucid City are in shock to hear that the Pokémon League will be held next week. They suspect this is involved with the Gym Leaders' disappearances, since many trainers have been reporting that many Gyms are being closed. Drayden laughs, which confuses the audience. Drayden does not know where the Gym Leaders are, but confirms that they are correct: they are trying to find where they are, but have no luck so far. However, the audience reminds that trainers need eight Gym Badges to enter the League. Drayden knows that, and exclaims they could only change the date, but not the rules, for the chances of every trainer participating must be equal. It is why the trainers that have eight badges can enter the League.

As Drayden is called by his assistant, he leaves the crowd, who is very upset by these rules. As he walks away, the assistant comments the audience is reacting just as Drayden had predicted. The latter states this was the only solution, for Team Plasma is against trainers that boss Pokémon around, confine them in Poké Balls and without any regard to their feelings, which is the type of people that the Pokémon League is gathering. He believes Team Plasma would be eager to eliminate such trainers, in front of the whole audience, and is definitively certain they will come. Since they haven't been heard since the incident with the Dark Stone, Drayden suspects they have awakened Zekrom, or at least keeping the stone somewhere else. It is why Drayden had the dates changed, to assure himself of that.

The assistant smiles, noting that Drayden is acting indifferent about all of this, who ignores that. He asks where is Iris, to which the assistant tells she is watching the battle of the boy of "Truth" that Drayden has proclaimed. Drayden sees she is in Icirrus City, where it is snowing a lot this time of year. At the Gym, Brycen's Beartic sharpens its claws. Logan points out the icy environment has caused Beartic to grow ice claws. Beartic strikes Costa, who defends itself. Black is surprised how fast Beartic is, which reminds him of a movie: "Attack of Snorlax", or "Return of Snorlax", in which the hero used this strategy. Logan corrects Black that Brycen was the villain in the movie "Return of Snorlax", while "Attack of Snorlax" was the TV series, where he was the hero.

Brycen stops Logan, while Black is a bit amazed to be battling such a famous actor. Brycen smiles, thinking Black is trying to distract him by talking about his past movies. Black fits his hat, as this wasn't his intention, for he is able to continue the battle. Beartic uses Superpower on Costa, while Iris believes Brycen wants to break it with its force. Logan confirms that, but Costa's strength is superior. Black starts walking away, to which Iris asks what is he doing. Black comes to Brycen, stating he is ready to become Unova's "Truth". He reminds N wants to defeat the Champion, Alder, which is also his goal. Thus, Black concludes he needs to awaken Reshiram to confront his Zekrom. Black admits he may be wrong, but deep down in his gut, he feels the same thing: he needs to defeat N, one way or the other.

Black extends his hand, as Brycen needs to give him the Light Stone. Costa counters Beartic's Superpower, who uses Focus Blast, which strikes Costa. Black urges Costa to endure, for they need to defeat the Unova Champion. In that moment, Costa evolves into a Carracosta, to which Logan realizes it was just protecting itself to evolve. Costa attacks Beartic, but misses. This is due to Beartic's Snow Cloak, which increases its evasion during the Hail, allowing it to dodge Costa's attacks. Beartic strikes Costa, defeating it. Logan states the match is over, which saddens Iris. Black thanks Brycen for increasing his strength during these challenges. Brycen states there's no need to thank him, and passes to Black the Light Stone.

Brycen states that a tough battle is awaiting Black ahead, and this fight may cost Black his dreams, even his mind could get shattered. Black smiles, for he cannot avoid this responsibility to reach his goal. Brycen states this is a good attitude, and Black can re-challenge him at any time, all to achieve his dream to win the Pokémon League. Black realizes that Brycen just confirmed that the Pokémon League will be held. Brycen smiles, as Drayden has decided to open the League, no matter what happens. Black is happy, and proclaims he needs Brycen's badge. In fact, Costa has blocked Beartic's attack with its chin, thus continuing the battle. Black states he cannot win unless he hits Beartic. At a close range, Costa retaliates against Beartic, slamming it in its face, causing it to fall down in defeat.

Black is happy, and praises Costa, for it won the battle, and despite being old, it still evolved. Without further ado, Black wants to meet Reshiram, and comments that Costa is the only one that has seen both the Light Stone and Reshiram. Black braces himself, and holding the stone, he shouts out for the Dragon of Truth, Reshiram, to appear. However, nothing happens, to which Black realizes it takes more than a nice sentence to unseal Reshiram. Iris and Logan fall in bewilderment, while Black is calmed down, considering Drayden has told Black is the chosen one to meet Reshiram, and will eventually unseal itself. Brycen, however, passes the Freeze Badge to Black, who pins it to his jacket. Black cheers, as he needs only one badge to enter the League. Black storms out to meet up with Drayden, knowing a lot about him.

Iris comes out, warning Black that they won't make it in time to reach Opelucid City. Black is confused, so Iris pushes him to see the TV broadcast. Black listens that trainers with eight badges can participate in the Pokémon League, which will be held next week, which shocks Black. He asks Brycen about these news, to which Brycen admits he, too, is surprised about these news, and suspects Drayden has made this decision on his own. Black asks Logan and Iris for help, and wants them to contact Drayden. Logan goes to call Drayden by the Xtransciver, but fails. He suspects Drayden is called by many news outlets about the announcement for the change of the opening date, which is certainly bound to spark disagreements throughout the Unova region. Black is nevertheless depressed, and starts thinking that he may not get the last badge and will miss the deadline. Black's negative thoughts scare Musha, who shies away from him.

Black becomes angry, and blames all what happened to the Light Stone. He takes it out of his bag, and believes that the talk about the Truth and Ideals is just nonsense. He goes to shatter the stone, but Brycen stops him, for he needs to control himself. Iris voices Brycen, and holds Black's arm to prevent the stone from shattering. Iris believes Black should strive to make other accomplishments to get recognized by Drayden. Black is confused as to what she means, so Iris states Black should persuade Drayden to let Black enter the League even with seven badges, by arriving to the event with Reshiram. Black doubts that's possible, for he doesn't even know how to unseal Reshiram. Brycen still believes Iris, and gives Black the idea for even if he could not go to the League with Reshiram, he could arrive there with a Pokémon of a similar power.

Brycen tells Black he could find the three Pokémon that run across the land - Cobalion, Virizion and Terrakion - known as the Sacred Swords, who have a disciple named Keldeo. Black wonders where he could capture these Pokémon, but Brycen does not have a clue. Black becomes very frustrated, as none of these suggestions are going into his favor, with the deadline of one week. He becomes furious, and storms out of the Gym and disappears into the snowy landscape.