When word gets out that Champion League Master Cynthia is in town, our heroes can't resist a chance to meet her in person. But Paul is also in town, and he can't resist challenging Cynthia to a battle! The local Trainers are shocked that he has the nerve to challenge the Champion, and they're even more shocked when Cynthia agrees to a 6-on-6 battle. Against her mighty Garchomp, Paul's Pokémon don't stand a chance: Garchomp knocks out his Chimchar, Weavile, Murkrow, and even his Torterra!
The battle ends there, and Cynthia has to remind Paul to take his Pokémon to the Pokémon Center right away. She even helps care for his Pokémon when Nurse Joy is called away to another urgent case. Ash tries to convince Paul that his training methods are too harsh, but Paul doesn't care and Ash starts to lose his temper. Ever the diplomatic one, Cynthia steps in to gently remind Paul that there's more to traveling with Pokémon than simply trying to be strong.
While Cynthia gives our heroes a history lesson, Team Rocket sneaks into the Pokémon Center and steals Paul's Chimchar as it's sleeping. Paul and our heroes discover the kidnapping and Paul sends out yet another of his Pokémon—an Ursaring! Ursaring hits Team Rocket with a Hyper Beam and Chimchar escapes, but Paul is annoyed that it let itself be captured in the first place. Before she leaves for Celestic Town, Cynthia politely suggests that Paul take time to bond with his Pokémon. As for our heroes, she's given them something to think about... but it remains to be seen if her words managed to touch Paul!
Ash and his friends watch the televised battle between Lucian versus Champion Cynthia from the comforts of a Pokémon Center. Lucian’s Bronzong uses its Flash Cannon on Garchomp. Garchomp comes out unscathed by blocking the attack with her fin. Garchomp follows up with Giga Impact, knocking out Lucian's Bronzong and defending Cynthia’s Champion title. A young Trainer informs his friends that Cynthia is over in Amity Square, so Ash and others decide to check it out as well.
Meanwhile, Cynthia seems indecisive about what kind of ice cream she wants before settling on a triple cone from Team Rocket’s van. She makes her way over to some nearby ruins featuring images of Palkia and Dialga. This is when Ash and friends show up, adding to the crowd surrounding Cynthia. All of sudden, Paul shows up. Ash is excited about seeing Paul, saying that he's finally got two Badges. After asking how many Paul has received, Paul brushes it off. He then challenges Cynthia to a battle. Many people in the crowd are shocked at this action, and even more so when Cynthia agrees. Paul requests a six-on-six match. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is watching the battle.
Cynthia calls out her Garchomp, while Paul chooses Chimchar; a choice that surprises Cynthia, as well as the crowd, due to its disadvantage as a Fire-type. Paul commands Chimchar to use Fire Spin and then Dig. Once hit with Fire Spin, Garchomp also uses Dig under Cynthia's command. Garchomp strikes her opponent underground, knocking Chimchar out. As Paul recalls it, he scolds it for its loss, which doesn't sit too well with either Cynthia or Ash.
Paul then uses Weavile, a much better type matchup. He orders a Blizzard attack, and despite being a super-effective hit, it does not faze Garchomp at all. Garchomp then uses Dragon Rush, which causes Weavile to freeze instead of trying to dodge. Paul tells Weavile to use Ice Beam. However, Garchomp dodges the attack twice and slams itself into Weavile, knocking it out cold. Paul then sends out Murkrow. Immediately, he tells Murkrow to use Haze, which Garchomp dodges. Murkrow flies behind Garchomp and Paul tells it to use Sky Attack. Cynthia has Garchomp counter with Giga Impact. After returning his fallen Murkrow, Paul smriks to himself, leaving everyone confused as he has lost half of his team in short order.
Paul calls out his Torterra and starts things off with a Giga Drain. Since Giga Impact left Garchomp unable to move, Giga Drain hits its mark and manages to weaken Garchomp. Torterra follows up with Frenzy Plant, though Garchomp blocks the attack with her fins, much to Paul's astonishment. Cynthia then tells Garchomp to use Brick Break. Garchomp pushes the Frenzy Plant vines away and jumps into the air, hitting Torterra with Brick Break on its head, taking it down and out. Paul then gives up the battle, to which the crowd responds by poking fun at him. Ash, with new found respect, rebukes the crowd and compliments Paul on a great battle. Paul says goodbye to Cynthia and walks away. Ash realizes that isn't where the Pokémon Center is, and Cynthia demands that Paul go to the Center to heal his Pokémon.
Unfortunately, when they get there, Nurse Joy claims that she needs to perform surgery on an injured Pokémon. Cynthia decides to heal Paul's Pokémon by herself, to which Brock says that he'd love to help out. Croagunk comes out of his Poké Ball to use Poison Jab, but stops once he sees Cynthia smiling at him, and blushes instead. Cynthia treats Paul's Torterra with a Super Potion. She moves on to Chimchar, giving it a pill and encouraging it to rest up. Cynthia then tells Paul that his Pokémon are all healed and well trained, especially his Torterra. Paul reveals that Torterra was his starter Pokémon. He also says that he traveled around Hoenn, Johto, and Kanto, where he caught his Murkrow and Weavile, failing to win any of their Pokémon League Conferences, before coming back to Sinnoh, where he caught his Chimchar. When Cynthia compliments Chimchar, Paul complains that Chimchar didn't do well against Garchomp. Ash then argues that he didn't care how many Pokémon got hurt, though Paul defends his training methods. Ash becomes angrier, saying that he has to support his Pokémon. Upon Paul saying that he wants to become stronger, Cynthia takes everyone back to the stone tablet in Amity Square, and reads it to them. She claims that before reading this tablet, she used to train endlessly. Then she discovered that all Pokémon have different personalities and she wanted to get to know all of them.
Meanwhile, back at the Pokémon Center, Team Rocket hover over the still sleeping Chimchar. Before trying to steal all of Paul's Pokémon, Nurse Joy catches them. Team Rocket makes a run for it, just grabbing Chimchar. Cynthia and others notice the trio on their return from the ruins and give chase. Team Rocket reach their balloon and begin their ascent. Chimchar then wakes up, using Ember on Team Rocket. Before Ash can react and call out Staravia, Paul sends out his Ursaring and tells it to use Hyper Beam. Chimchar jumps away from Team Rocket right before the attack collides, sending them blasting off.
Chimchar falls to the ground, getting injured once more. However, Paul doesn't care, calling Chimchar useless for being captured by Team Rocket. Dawn calls Paul out, though Cynthia is able to stop the yelling, mentioning that what matters now is that Chimchar is okay. She advises Paul to stay the night at the Center, and he accepts her recommendation.
Later, Cynthia and Ash's group watch as Sinnoh Now reports that the Lustrous Orb, an item related to the Legendary Pokémon Palkia, has just been uncovered by archaeologists at the Celestic Town ruins. The Lustrous Orb is related to the Adamant Orb, on display in Eterna Historical Museum. Cynthia then decides it is time to head to Celestic Town, saying goodbye to Ash and his friends.