Just as our heroes are ready to head across the drawbridge to Driftveil City, they run into Ash’s rival, Trip. Ash wants to battle, of course, but Trip is waiting to meet Alder, the Unova League Champion! When Trip was a young boy, Alder had advised him to work hard and get strong as a Trainer, and someday they would battle.
So when they finally see Alder (who is unexpectedly flirting with Officer Jenny), both Ash and Trip challenge him to a battle! Ash goes first, and it’s Pikachu vs. Bouffalant—but during the battle, Alder dozes off. Annoyed, Alder’s Bouffalant goes after him instead of Pikachu, and after being hit by an extraordinary Head Charge, Alder declares himself the loser and says he’s done for the day. Trip storms off when he realizes he won’t get his battle after all, and Alder invites our heroes to dinner at the Pokémon Center.
The Champion chats with Ash, Iris, and Cilan about what their goals are and how to achieve them, and when they all decide that getting stronger is the most important thing, he disagrees. He’s just beginning to explain when they’re interrupted by Nurse Joy (another target of Alder’s flirting). She needs Alder’s help for a Pokémon emergency: an angry Gigalith on a rampage through the city! Alder goes to the rescue, and after he and Bouffalant manage to corner Gigalith, he figures out the problem: a nail embedded in the huge Pokémon’s foot. He removes the nail, and quickly gets Gigalith calmed down.
After the crisis is over, Alder finally has time to explain his philosophy: to him, the most important thing is not getting stronger through battle, but helping people and Pokémon to grow closer. He wishes them luck, and our heroes begin their journey to Driftveil City and Ash’s next Gym Battle!