Sapphire wakes up with her wounds tended to and Ruby gone, leaving behind a note and a pair of clothes for her. The note requests that she wear them and assures her that he thinks she will look good in them.
Ruby, meanwhile, is trying to figure out if Mudkip is contest material. He is attacked by a wild Pokémon, who puts his other Pokémon to sleep. Ruby uses his new pokédex to figure out that the Pokémon is a Dustox. Mudkip saves Ruby by using its fin as a radar, earning Ruby's trust and the nickname "Zuzu." Ruby then takes off for Petalburg City with his Running Shoes.
Sapphire has returned to Littleroot Town, reporting about Ruby. Ruby's mother, who has noticed his absence, faints as she realizes Ruby has run away; Professor Birch calls Norman on the phone to tell him about Ruby. Birch offers to call the police, but Norman refuses, deciding to track Ruby down himself. Norman crushes the phone in his hand, ending the conversation.
Sapphire tells her father that she's going off to challenge Hoenn's gyms; she is also wearing the clothes Ruby made her. Professor Birch is proud of her and wishes her good luck. Sapphire leaves Littleroot to begin her adventure.
79 days left until deadline