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Hallway Hijinks (VSクリムガン, VS Druddigon) is the 2nd chapter of Pokémon Adventures: Volume 50.


Black barely holds on as he faces the final Gym Leader, Drayden, who only has a limit of 15 minutes before he has to open the League. Black realizes he cannot win this fight, and tries to comfort himself and his Pokémon that they did their best. Suddenly, Caitlin of the Elite Four arrives and has Gothitelle make a psychic link with Black and the missing Gym Leaders. The latter remind Black of their battles against Black, who musters the courage and strength to take a step forward.

Chapter plot

Drayden sends Druddigon against Black's Brav. Druddigon reinforces its position on the wall and strikes Brav, slamming him down, who attempts to retaliate. The assistant remarks that Drayden is in a rush battling in this hallway. Drayden asks how much time does he have left, to which the assistant counts 15 minutes until the ceremony ends, as the Undella Dancers arrived on stage. Drayden tells this is all the time he has left for the battle, as he is needed to introduce participats after the opening ceremony. Black understands, as he cannot lose this battle. Druddigon fires Dragon Rage, to which Brav uses Tailwind.

Black states they don't have much time, and are at risk that someone may pass through this hallway. It all depends on this 1-on-1 battle, which has lasted for 30 minutes, and Brav still can't match Druddigon's speed. Drayden is disappointed, as Black looked quite strong when he challenged him, and now he is barely struggling. Drayden becomes angry, and points out Black is hesitant, as his orders are too slow for him to defeat Drayden. Black sees he cannot hide the truth, as this is the second Pokémon that was with him, as Musha has run off from him. He remarks it is the truth that he and Musha never really connected with each other. He wstarts to wonder if same thing could even apply to his Brav.

Drayden closes his eyes, believing Black is concerened because Drayden ordered him to become Unova's Truth. Black claims he found out the truth he didn't want to know, but on the other hand, he does not want to give up on his dream to win the Pokémon League. Black remarks that is the only last piece of truth he hung onto. He asks Drayden does that make him half-hearted. Drayden confirms this, and does not want to hear anymore of this nonsense: Druddigon uses Rock Climb to attack Brav. Brav falls down, while Drayden reminds that Druddigon's skull is quite tough, compared to its skin. In fact, this allows it to run through the tunnels that Excadrill dig. Like this hallway, it is a perfect environment for Druddigon to battle.

Drayden remarks this is why he chose this setting, but he didn't need to do all of that to beat Black. Black kneels down, apologizing to Brav and his Pokémon for being a disappointment to them, as Drayden is too strong for them. He remarks it was for the best that they never gave up. While they cannot win against Drayden, Black still thinks it is good that they reached so far at this point, though his Pokémon share the disappointment. Suddenly, Black hears a voice muttering to him if he really is satisfied for not being able to enter the Pokémon League, for all what he did would make it look pointless. Black turns around, as he is certain that was Clay's voice.

Suddenly, the door opens, causing a blizzard to enter the hallway. Drayden's assistant is surprised, as she locked the door so nobody could enter, and closes it down. Caitlin comes into the room, surprising Black. Drayden asks why is she here, to which Caitlin answers she has to do something with Black. Black is surprised, while Gothitelle jumps to him, touching his head. Black has a vision of the captured Gym Leaders - Skyla, Clay, Elesa, Burgh, Lenora and Hawes - who ask of him not to be gloomy. Caitlin explains to the assistant that Gothitelle is conveying the messages from the Gym Leaders: Black asks where the Gym Leaders are. Caitlin states they do not know: the Gym Leaders state that they are trapped in a place, reminding him of darkness. Caitlin explains the Gym Leaders wanted to talk with Black.

The Gym Leaders apologize for putting a strain on Black, and have heard that Musha has abandoned him. Black claims this is all his fault, for he would've learned the truth sooner or later, even without N talking to him. Black is in denial, stating that he didn't listen to the voices of his Pokémon. Skyla reminds him that he did win against her because he understood his Pokémon's feelings. Burgh tells that Black made a gamble on his Tep's evolution to defeat him. Clay admits that Tirtouga amazed him during the Gym Battle. Lenora reminds Black did refer to himself and his Pokémon as "us", as they all wanted to participate in the Pokémon League. Elesa also reminds that Black is a coach to his players, his Pokémon: while they have different roles, both the coach and players wanted to win, and as long as Black is an excellent coach, their Pokémon will be by his side.

The Gym Leaders exclaim Black has defeated them because he did listen to his Pokémon, and the answer is inside of him. Black's eyes widen, and mutters to Brav to use Air Slash. Brav fires the attack, but Druddigon dodges. Drayden states that such slow attacks are wasteful. Black exclaims he wasn't aiming at Druddigon: the Air Slash hits the door, causing the blizzard to overwhelm Druddigon. With Druddigon distracted, Brav strikes its head, bashing it into the wall and defeating it. The assistant is amazed, seeing Druddigon just took a direct hit, and was not injured during this entire battle. Black shows his Pokédex, as the blizzard caused Druddigon's body to become cold. However, he remarks this also takes a toll on Brav, too.

The assistant asks Drayden does this count as Black's victory. Drayden closes his eyes, and grabs Black then walks away. At the TV, Drayden shows that Black has qualified himself as the 32nd participant of this year's Pokémon League. Cedric, Juniper, White, Fennel and Amanita are amazed and storm out. Drayden announces Black will be participating tomorrow. With the final badge in hand, Black jumps in happiness, for he and his Pokémon can finally challenge the League. The next day, the tournament began: from the first floor of the Victory Road, many battles took place in the caves and hills. From 32 challengers, only 16 remain. And soon after, that number got cut down as well: 8 participants remain, from which there are Cheren, Iris, Black, a swimmer, a strange hooded figure, a man in a large jacket and quite familiar detective.