While en route to Jubilife City, Ash and co. encounter Paul again. He declares a Battle with Ash to see if Ash has gotten stronger since their last battle. Will this battle end differently for Ash, or will Paul have the advantage the second time around?
The heroes are about to have lunch. Everyone is working to get everything set. Aipom takes a fruit and taunts Piplup, who wants it. Suddenly, Aipom jumps and smacks its head to a branch and releases the fruit and Piplup eats it. Aipom comes down and fights with Piplup. Turtwig and Bonsly come to calm them down, but with no effect, as Turtwig gets bashed. Aipom uses Swift and Piplup BubbleBeam. The heroes hear the battle and come to calm everyone down. Turtwig goes to attempt once more to settle everyone, but gets attacked by Aipom's Focus Punch and Piplup's Peck. Turtwig uses Razor Leaf to finally calm them down. Ash thanks Turtwig, who gnaws on Ash's head. Suddenly and unexpectedly, Paul appears.
Paul tells them he was training for Oreburg City's Gym. He sees Ash's new Pokémon, Turtwig. Paul does not think Turtwig is much of a Pokémon and Ash thinks they should prove this by battling. Paul sends Chimchar and Ash his Turtwig. Turtwig starts by tackling, but Chimchar jumps and scratches Turtwig. Ash orders Turtwig to evade, but did not. Turtwig uses Razor Leaf, but misses. Chimchar attacks Turtwig with Ember, despite Ash ordering Turtwig to evade. Turtwig synthesizes itself and renews. Chimchar charges with Flame Wheel and hits Turtwig. Turtwig stands up and goes to bite, but gets captured by Team Rocket.
Team Rocket recites their chant, but get interrupted by Chimchar's Ember. They are confused that they captured Turtwig and not Pikachu, while Paul calls them pathetic. They are furious and James sends Carnivine. It uses Bullet Seed and gets countered by Ember. Turtwig cuts the net by Razor Leaf and Ash gets it, while Pikachu blasts them off by Thunderbolt. The explosion caused Paul, Chimchar, Ash and Turtwig to fall. While Paul and Chimchar swiftly got their balance, Ash and Turtwig fall down in water. Brock and Dawn tell Ash to meet them on another side of the forest. Paul leaves and Ash goes after him. Ash tells him they could go together, but Paul calls it a stupid idea and leaves, telling Ash to watch out for Stantler. Brock shows Dawn the map and she is surprised they are at Bewilder forest.
Ash and Turtwig go to meet with Dawn and Brock and spot a Stantler. Suddenly, Stantler's horns glow, and Ash and Turtwig are affected by this. They find themselves on a plane and when they gain their consciousness, they find themselves where they fell. Ash and Turtwig go down the path and see a Stantler, whose antlers glow. They find themselves in a desert and Ash recalls that it must be the effect the Pokédex told him. Ash orders Turtwig to gnaw at his head and it does, so they regain their consciousness. Now they find a bunch of them, so Ash now knows they shouldn't look at their antlers, but they do. Turtwig and Ash find themselves on clouds. Paul sees this and sends Chimchar, who scares the Stantler off with Ember. Ash and Turtwig wake up and see Paul.
Ash and Turtwig move aside as a Stantler goes to battle. Chimchar engulfs Stantler by using Flame Wheel. Paul throws his Poké Ball and catches Stantler. Ash thanks Paul, but Paul sees the Stantler knows Tackle and releases it. Ash tells it could have been his friend, but Paul leaves, calling that friends are useless. Dawn tells Brock Stantler confuse people, so they shouldn't look at them, so they go in the forest. Ash got an apple for Turtwig. Turtwig does not want to eat the apple. Ash now knows Turtwig's stubbornness made it unable to dodge at Ash's command. Turtwig begins to feel hungry, so Ash parts the apple and gives one half to it. Turtwig is happy and gnaws on his head.
Ash sees Stantler, so he and Turtwig run away with their eyes covered. They bump in a tree and Beedrill come from nearby bushes, so they run away. Ash sees Dawn and Brock and they run with him as well. Suddenly, Ash bumps into an Ursaring, who scares the Beedril away. Turtwig bites (aggressively) on Ursaring's head. Ash tries to stop it, but gets knocked out. Ursaring goes to attack Ash, but Turtwig tackles it. Ursaring attacks Turtwig, but misses. Pikachu uses Iron Tail and Turtwig Razor Leaf, hitting Ursaring. Urasring uses Hyper Beam, so the heroes run away. Ursaring charges, but gets attacked by Chimchar's Flame Wheel. Paul throws his Poké Ball and catches Ursaring.
Paul decides to keep this Ursaring and tells Ash he still has that lame Turtwig. Ash tells him it'll get more powerful over the time. Ash wants a battle to prove it, but Paul is not interested. Ash taunts Paul by telling he is scared, so Paul gives him the battle. Turtwig charges by tackling, but Chimchar jumps and goes to scratch Turtwig, but misses. Turtwig uses Razor Leaf, but gets countered by Ember. Turtwig goes to bite, but Chimchar digs. Chimchar emerges and scratches Turtwig. Turtwig comes down and goes to bite, however Chimchar digs again. Chimchar emerges and scratches it once more.
Turtwig uses Razor Leaf at the holes and Chimchar is hit, so it retaliates with Ember. Turtwig goes in the holes, though Chimchar uses Ember at the hole and burns Turtwig. Turtwig synthesizes itself and heals. Chimchar uses Flame Wheel, though Turtwig goes back in the hole. Chimchar goes to use Ember, but gets bitten by Turtwig. Chimchar goes in the hole and attacks with Flame Wheel, hurting Turtwig. Turtwig charges to tackle, but gets defeated by Chimchar's Flame Wheel. Ash falls to his knees and apologizes to Turtwig for failing him down. Brock and Dawn try to cheer him up, but Paul is indifferent and wouldn't say anything nice to a loser. Paul leaves and Ash makes a promise - next time he sees him, he will battle him and Paul will lose.