| Softening Up Kakuna/VS. Kakuna
Softening Up Kakuna/VS. Kakuna (Japanese: VS コクーン VS. Cocoon) is the 426th round of the Platinum chapter in the Pokémon Adventures manga.
The chapter opens with Platinum and Dahlia looking at a screen, where Thorton has just appeared. It then flashed back to Dahlia telling Platinum about another Frontier Brain that knows more about the Distortion World. Dahlia explains that Thorton runs the Battle Factory, and he shows them a data-analyzing machine that he just made. At that moment, the reception in the communication drops to 40% and Thorton begins to cut out. Two people appear on the screen in the final moments, blaming Thorton's device for the loss of connection, and then the call cuts out. Dahlia introduces the other two that were on the screen as Argenta and Palmer, two other Brains. It's strange that they are with Thorton, however, as they should be at their own facilities accepting challengers at this time of day. Instead of being upset that she couldn't speak to Thorton, Platinum just resolves to battle his facility next, the Battle Factory. She then reveals that part of the reason she chose the Factory next is that the challenger is forced to use rental Pokémon instead of their own. She plans to use this to her advantage by sending her Pokémon after Looker, who has been gone for five hours, while she continues to challenge the facilities. The treatment of the Gym Leaders' Pokémon is also complete, so she sends them with hers to find and help Looker in any way possible.
Platinum then enters the Factory, while she watches a young boy win a battle and make a trade for a new Pokémon. She chooses the settings of Single Battles at level 50, and is asked to choose three Pokémon out of six presented to her. She chooses a Loudred, Qwilfish, and Grimer and begins her challenge. As she pits Qwilfish against a Kakuna, Palmer watches her battle until he is reminded that he's supposed to be investigating why communications are down. The round closes with Platinum renewing her resolve to win for the sake of Looker and her Pokémon.
- Platinum starts her Battle Factory challenge.
- Platinum sends her Pokémon to Stark Mountain to find Looker.
- When Platinum chooses the Pokémon she wants to switch out, her choices were Kadabra, Teddiursa, and Slowking. However, the Seedot she defeated in the beginning of the round is completely absent.