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This background information may help you with researching this. In Emerald, in the Battle Tower lobby, there's a youngster named Lionel. He asks for advice, and leaves after he's given advice. He comes back later. I'm not sure if he comes back after a certain amount of real time or a certain number of steps. After giving him lots of advice, he says, "Next time we meet, it will be in battle." or something like that and leaves. Bulbapedia apparently has no information about this. How do I meet him again?

Is he in the Battle Tower?
Read the question again.

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He's your apprentice. No, really!

From Bulbapedia:

The apprentice will look up to the player for their skill and strategies, and asks the player to assist them. Events in the game also change based on the apprentice. Eventually, the apprentice will battle with the player, either as an opponent or a partner in a Multi Battle.
In time, the apprentice will state that they feel that they have learned everything they can from the player and depart the Battle Tower. After answering all their questions, a different apprentice will take their place, and the cycle is repeated.

I couldn't find anything on a Youngster Lionel, but this seems to fit your description of the situation very well, so hopefully this answers your question.


Hope I could help!

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Do I ever really meet them in battle?
I would assume so, yes.
Where? When?
You can find them in the Battle Tower Single as an opponent, or in Battle Tower Multi Battles, where you can team up with them, or be their opponent. Keep in mind, however, that the advice you give your apprentice forms their team, so if you say they should pick a Heracross over a Gyarados, then they'll have a Heracross on their team, and if you say it should have Megahorn over Brick Break... Well, you get the idea.