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| Showdown with Houndoom/VS. Houndoom
Showdown with Houndoom/VS. Houndoom (Japanese: VSヘルガー VS. Hellgar) is the 385th round of the Diamond & Pearl chapter in the Pokémon Adventures manga.
Continuing on from the end of the previous volume, Pearl heads straight for the melting pot on the rigged floors. He exclaims that if he falls into a sizzling furnace that melts even iron, there's no way he'd survive. He yells for it to stop, but the Luxray he encountered earlier throws itself at him, grabs Pearl by his jacket, and then clings to the metal top of the pot with its magnetic tail. However, Pearl then notices that it burned its back in the process, and is impressed at how far it went to save him. He thanks the Pokémon for the rescue, but soon wonders just how much they had strayed off. Just then, he notices Mr. Fuego trapped behind a glass wall, and though he's embarrassed to admit it after it saved his life, he requests for Luxray to give him its help with its clairvoyant vision.
Pearl deduces that with all the small walls, drum rolls, and containers masking the switches, it'd be hard for a human to make it through such obstacles, but on the other hand, there must be some spots one has to step on to reach Mr. Fuego. He says that to make it through the false paths, the only thing they can rely on is Luxray's x-ray vision. After a while, Pearl tells Luxray that once they rescue Mr. Fuego and escape, he'll treat its burn better. Soon, though, he notices that even after getting far from the furnace, the air is radiating an intense heat. Just then, they hear a loud howl that reminds them of nothing less than death itself, and finally figure out that Team Galactic might have left more than the herd of Magby. Slowly approaching them step-by-step, a Houndoom soon appears, but after identifying his enemy, Pearl tells Luxray to focus on moving forward but devote its hearing so that he can order it to dodge when the need arises. Pearl then orders it to move to the left, and after saying that it needs to trust him and follow his commands, orders it to go right. The fire attack that narrowly missed them hits a drum roll and smelts it, leading Pearl to arrive to the conclusion that it used Nasty Plot to raise its Special Attack higher. Pearl again orders it to move to the right, and then to the left, and left again, before a narrowly avoided attack scalds Luxray's leg. The Houndoom, finally having hit its target, believes it already has its battle won, and glares as though with Luxray's attention divided by keeping the switches in mind while dodging, it is no match. Pearl distracts himself momentarily wondering what to do next, and another attack hits them head-on this time, nearly knocking Pearl off its back. The boy apologizes, but then notices that even with its burns, Luxray is forcing itself to barely faze, and move ever forward with its unwavering willpower. Feeling as though he has to return the favor for its dedication, Pearl's orders never miss the spot, and soon they escape their predicament by reaching the one room with no switches or spin pads. Pearl warns Houndoom that they've made it through the obstacles because Luxray believes in him and focused on moving forward.
Pearl then orders a Shock Wave, which faints Houndoom and sends it plummeting straight for the trash chute on the rigged floors. Pearl then turns the power off on the spin pads and finally meets Mr. Fuego, and heals Luxray afterwards. He thanks it for all the times it'd helped him out, but soon Luxray makes its firm decision to join Pearl's party after being nudged by its kin. Pearl asks if it's serious about leaving its pack and becoming a Pokémon of his, to which it nods, and the boy decides to name it Rayler, with Chatler mimicking that phrase. Pearl then inquires about what parts Team Galactic used for the creation of its Galactic Bomb.
- Luxray saves Pearl from the molten furnace, burning its back in the process.
- Pearl and Luxray battle a Houndoom and win.
- Pearl captures the wild Luxray and names it Rayler.