With his victory at the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup, Trip has earned the privilege of battling Alder, the Champion of the Unova region! He and his Serperior have a clever strategy against Alder’s Bouffalant—but Alder’s experience and skill are overwhelming, and Trip is defeated. Some sage advice from Alder resonates with the young Trainer, though, and as he says goodbye to our heroes, he seems much calmer and happier as a result.
Ash, Iris, Cilan, and Dawn are still marveling at this surprising change when they encounter a young and rather frantic Trainer named Cameron, who hopes to be the first one in line for the Junior Cup! Ash has to tell him that he’s too late, and after a moment of frustration, Cameron and his Riolu dash off in search of Alder’s autograph.
Our heroes head back to Cynthia’s house, where Dawn tells them it’s almost time for her to go. She and Piplup are headed to the Johto region to participate in the famed Wallace Cup Contest, and they’re planning to draw on their experiences in Unova for some exciting new Contest moves. But before she leaves, Ash challenges Dawn to a battle! He chooses Pikachu, of course, and she calls on her Quilava. The two seem evenly matched, battling back and forth with some surprising strategies, and finally Cynthia declares the battle a draw. She compliments the skill of both Trainers and the many things they’ve learned on their journeys, and Ash and Dawn are excited to get such praise from a Champion!
They say their goodbyes, and just as Dawn’s plane is taking off for Blackthorn City, the frantic Cameron shows up again—just barely missing the flight. This turns out to be a good thing, though, because he intends to compete in the Unova League—which is not, in fact, being held in the Johto region. He proudly shows off his badge case, with its seven shiny Gym badges, and has a moment of panic when Ash points out that he’s missing one! Cameron decides to challenge the nearest Gym so he can get his eighth badge as quickly as possible, and he’s about to head off to Humilau City when Ash asks if he can tag along to watch the battle!
Meanwhile, Team Rocket’s Dr. Zager has been analyzing Meloetta’s song and gathering data from it, while Jessie and James are preparing to enter a mysterious underwater ruin as Meowth monitors them from a submarine. What could they be up to?