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Featured Pokemon Shine Diamond

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by WavePearl, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Interlude: A Song of Valor

    "...Supposedly, they can tap into these amazing moves no one on the mainland has ever seen before." Zoey continued as May, Dawn, Kori and Lola listened.

    The munching of Neva and Sylvie eating was the only sound in the room. "What were these powerful moves called?" May broke the awed silence some moments later.

    "I think they were called Z-Moves?" Zoey remembered. "Either way, I can only imagine how appealing they would be on the Contest scene."

    "Maybe it works the same way as Mega Evolution and Spectacular Talents..." May suggested. "A really powerful appeal most coordinators save for a big finish."

    "Makes sense." Dawn agreed.

    She noticed the Mega Ring on May's left hand. "What happens if you sing your Heart Song to a Pokémon that can't Mega Evolve in a Contest scenario? I know that in battle, it will power up one move the Pokémon knows..."

    "They obviously won't Mega Evolve, but they can still use an appropriate Spectacular Talent." Zoey explained. "Not that I've awakened my Heart Song, but I've seen many Spectacular Talents."

    "What is the Water Spectacular Talent?" Dawn asked.

    "The base Spectacular Talent is named Blessed Rain." Zoey explained. "It will be slightly different depending on the type of move you used when you triggered it--if Kori used a Beautiful move as you sang, it would be called Serene Blessed Rain."

    "I see..." Dawn smiled.

    Ash peeked in the room a few moments later. "Everything okay in here?"

    "Yeah!" the girls replied.

    "Can I get you guys some food, or treats?" Ash asked.

    "Sure..." The girls eagerly pooled their money together to find they had enough for a fairly lavish meal. "Let's get something besides pizza..." May suggested.

    "Well, I have a guide to all the restaurants that deliver out here..." Zoey mused as she found the restaurant delivery guide on a bedside table. "I'll buy dinner."

    "Since you kindly offered so bring us treats, can you bring us some ice cream from the Aurora Creamery?" Dawn pointed out an ice cream shop nearby the hotel. "The way there goes right by the lake."

    "Okay--what flavors does everyone want?" Ash asked as he brought of the notepad app on his PokeNav.

    The girls looked over the flavor list in the restaurant guide. "Buneary Tracks." Dawn requested.

    "Mint Reverie for me." May requested.

    "Grandma's Oatmeal Lace sounds good..." Zoey smiled.

    Brock peeked in the room. "Discussing dinner options?"

    "Zoey's buying dinner, but Ash offered to bring dessert." Dawn explained.

    "You won't object to getting a mini cone for Tarina too?" Brock asked. "Cookie dough's one of her favorites."

    "Ooh, Tarina should love Cookie Dough Bliss." Dawn smiled when she saw the flavor name on the list.

    "Okay, so May wants Mint Reverie, Dawn wants Buneary Tracks, Zoey wants Grandma's Oatmeal Lace, a mini Cookie Dough Bliss cone for Tarina , and maybe a little something for Tintri and me." Ash read back the order he had written on his PokeNav. "Did I get everyone?"

    "That's everything." May smiled.

    "All right, I'll be back momentarily." With that, Ash and Tintri departed.


    Ash smiled as he admired the neon lights of the city glittering with the starlight on the lake. "This place is so beautiful...I almost never want the Wallace Cup to end."

    [Yeah, then we could really explore this place and all it has to offer.] Tintri agreed.

    Ash was about to answer his companion when he spotted a small whirlpool-like movement in the water. Huh?

    He watched as a small misty blue light appeared in the center of the small whirlpool. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena... came an ethereal male voice that almost sounded female.

    Emusto rozen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    At this line, Ash noticed a sparkling blue aura around him and Tintri.
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    [What was that?] Tintri asked as the song and the aura faded away.

    "Maybe it was another one of the lake guardians--or something divine in nature--blessing me for the Appeal competition tomorrow." Ash mused. "We still have to tell the girls and Brock about it when we get back."

    [Yes--the girls and Tarina would not be happy if we came back empty handed.] Tintri agreed. [Let's go.]


    "...it sang the Swanna Song to me, and I felt this holy aura around me and Tintri." Ash finished telling the others about his encounter some time later. "I wanted to get a look at it, but when it finished the song, it was gone."

    "It's almost like when I encountered a pink light at Lake Verity, and it sang the Swanna Song to heal Kori." Dawn remembered in between bites of her ice cream. "Do you remember what the voice that sang to you sounded like? The voice I heard was a strong and powerful female voice."

    "The voice I heard was a young male voice...that sounded almost like a girl." Ash replied. "Very heroic and powerful."

    May thought for a moment as she savored another bite of her ice cream. "While I was in Snowpoint City, I heard many a tale about the Legendary Pokémon that lives in Lake Acuity, which is near Snowpoint City--I think its name was Uxie."

    "You'd be correct--Uxie is the Guardian of Wisdom." Zoey smiled. "I can't even begin to count how many stories of his adventures alongside Mesprit and Azelf I heard growing up. Mesprit is the Guardian of Emotion, that lives in Lake Verity, and Azelf is the Guardian of Valor, who lives here in Lake Valor." She let that hang as she took another bite of her ice cream.

    "Does that mean Mesprit healed Kori that fateful day?" Dawn asked.

    "And Azelf blessed me and Tintri for tomorrow?" Ash agreed.

    "It's possible--the lake guardians have been known to bless those they favor." Zoey smiled.

    Ash looked at the clock on the wall in the room. "it's not too late for you to get the guitar out, is it?"

    "Nope--it's only 7 PM." Brock replied as he started towards the boys' room. "Quiet hours don't start until 10 PM."

    "I've heard your music and tales are legendary!" Zoey smiled as Brock returned a few moments later, tuning a familiar yellow-brown acoustic guitar.

    "I take requests as well, so if there's a special song or tale you want to hear; let me know." Brock replied as he fine tuned his instrument.

    Dawn smiled at Zoey. "You're in for a treat!"

    Once in tune, Brock started the first tale to come to mind. "The king of a certain land had a beautiful garden which contained a number of very rare trees, but the rarest one of all was a Leppa tree. It stood in the middle of the garden, and produced shining crystal Leppa Berries every day. In the morning the flowers bloomed, during the day the fruit grew and ripened, and before nightfall, the berries were fully ripe. The next day the same thing happened, and this cycle would occur like clockwork every day..."
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #81 Apr 24, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  2. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 61: Strategy with a Smile!

    The mood in the Contest Hall was electric as a huge crowd gathered to watch the Appeal competition the next day. "Good morning, all!" Wallace smiled to the crowd of coordinators and the audience. "The rules of the Appeal Competition are simple..." he began as Celeste brought him an elegant envelope. "Each of you will each receive five turns to show off your Pokémon's moves for Keira, Dexter, Jordan, and me. The coordinator that scores the highest and excites the audience the best, wins the Aqua Ribbon."

    He looked out at the excited coordinators and their Pokémon. "Are there any questions before we begin?"

    Cheers came back in reply as Walace opened the envelope. "Very well...Miss Dawn Solberg will lead off the competition with our first appeal of the day!"

    More cheers filled the air as Dawn and Kori made their way onto the stage. "Okay, Kori, start with Bubblebeam!" Dawn commanded.

    Oohs and ahs filled the air as Kori rained sparkling rainbow bubbles on the crowd, making two hearts appear under Dawn's picture on the leaderboard. "All right, Omura, use Brine!" a boy called.

    Dawn watched as the boy's Wailmer fired a stream of water into the air, to the awe of the crowd. <i>It's only the first turn--I'm not worried yet.</I> she told herself as three hearts appeared under the boy's picture.

    "Pelly, use Water Pulse!" a girl called to her Pellipper. As the watery shockwave shimmered in the room, the lineup of coordinators were replaced by question marks as the girl received three hearts...


    Ash glanced at the leaderboard as he led Tintri to the stage. Okay...the boy before me had his Lanturn use Charge... he thought as he saw a single heart under the boy's picture. And Charge paired with any Electric move is a nice combo...

    He smiled as he saw his picture in the NEXT corner of the screen, and the excitement meter about to max out. Uh huh...

    Once he stepped on the stage, he called "Tintri, use Thunderbolt!"

    The crowd exploded in cheers as Tintri unleashed a wave of sparkling Thunderbolts, maxing out the excitement meter and showering Ash in hearts. Wow--I may have more talent for this than I thought! he smiled as he saw the two rows of rainbow shining hearts under his picture.

    May was next to come onto the stage. "Neva, use Icy Wind!"

    More cheers rang through the hall as Neva heaved a blast of cold air and diamond sparkles into the air, making them applaud through their shivers as four hearts appeared under May's picture.

    In the stands, Brock and Tarina watched as Zoey commanded Sylvie to use Shadow Claw a few competitors later. [Wow! I didn't know Ash was a coordinator too!] she raved as the crowd roared in excitement for the shining dark claws Sylvie fired in the air.

    "Well, it's true Ash may have some talent for this, but this is just the first turn." Brock reminded Tarina as he watched ten rainbow hearts appear under Zoey's picture. "A lot can happen in four more turns."


    Some time later, Ash returned to the stage to lead off the fourth round of appeals. Let's surprise everyone with a move not everyone expects a Pikachu to have...

    He called to Tintri "Use Disarming Voice!"

    Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... Tintri's tiny voice rang through the Contest Hall, to cheers from the crowd as the red Thunderbolts and soundwaves arced through the room.

    May was next. "Neva, use Ice Shard!"

    The crowd applauded as Neva fired a single ice ball skyward, causing hundreds of sparkling shards to rain into the room. A 1 appeared under May's picture as Dawn made her way to the stage, followed by three hearts.

    Say... Dawn thought as she stepped onstage with Kori.

    She called "Kori, use Ice Beam!"

    Cheers filled the air as Kori fired the familiar blue white beam. The stage lights transformed it into an aurora, giving Dawn four hearts and a narrow lead going into the final round of appeals.


    Karuto, iichiida shou... May sang, making the sapphire in her Mega Ring give the Contest Hall a blue sheen as Neva fired an ice blast into the light, creating millions of sparkling diamonds of light. "What a Spectacular Talent!" Marian commented. "That display of Twinkling Diamonds vaults May into the lead!"

    After a few more coordinators took their final turns, Ash made his way to the stage. The excitement meter's still at stage 3... he mused to himself. It's my turn to show off a Spectacular Talent for my final appeal!

    With that, he held his own Mega Ring skyward. Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...

    Tintri's Thunderbolts melded with the red light and his master's voice, wowing the crowd as he surfed to the ground on a wave of lightning piano keys, creating a glissando of notes down the C major scale on the way down.

    Even Dawn couldn't help but smile at the favorable setup Ash had left her. The excitement meter is at stage 4! Maybe I could unleash a Spectacular Talent to put myself over the top!

    She held her own Mega Ring skyward. Leishu shun ji, lei si...

    The crowd roared as a gentle stream of rainbow raindrops came down into the hall, maxing out the excitement meter and creating three rows of shining rainbow hearts under Dawn's picture. "Okay!" Wallace announced. "And with that beautiful display, it is time to declare the winner!"

    Ash, May and Dawn watched as hundreds of score bars started inching across the screen. While many of the bars dropped off the screen after a few moments, their bars kept going!

    After a few tense seconds, the three bars came to a stop... with Dawn's bar barely edging May's!

    "By a mere two points, the winner of this year's Wallace Cup is Entrant W-42007--Dawn Solberg and Kori!" Wallace announced.

    "I won?" Dawn gasped as the crowd roared. "Someone pinch me..."

    Tarina happily obliged, making Dawn rear back from the pain. "I WON!!!" Dawn cried once it registered what she had just done.

    Neva sighed as Ash hurried to hug Dawn. "You did it, Dawn! I always knew you could win another Contest."

    He looked up at the final leaderboard, where Dawn's picture frame shone with a rainbow sheen and fireworks burst around it. "Even if you and May both did edge me by a combined 10 points. I have no qualms taking third."

    May noticed Neva's glum look. "It's okay, Neva--we did our best, and that's the best we can do. Still, second place is very good!"

    [Thanks.] Neva smiled, now in a better mood.

    May next addressed Dawn. "Congratulations, my fellow coordinator--I believe you have a bright future ahead."

    "Thanks." Dawn replied as she wiped away tears of joy. "I couldn't have done it without Kori."

    "Dawn Solberg....daughter of the legendary Joanna Solberg." Wallace began as he arrived with the ribbon for Dawn and two medallions for May and Ash. "You've proven yourself as a worthy heir to your mother's legacy, and so much more. No matter how many struggles it took to get this far, you persevered, and it paid off here, on this stage. I extend my heartiest congratulations to you, and bestow you the Aqua Ribbon. You have truly earned it."

    "Thank you." Dawn whispered as she accepted the Ribbon to thunderous cheers.

    After May had received a silver medallion and Ash a bronze medallion, Dawn couldn't help but unleash her joy. "I did it! After so much pain..." she began, high fiving Lola. "Struggle..." Satomi hovered by her. "...and determination..."

    Stormy leaped by Dawn as she held the Aqua Ribbon high. "I FINALLY GOT A RIBBON!"

    Wallace smiled at Dawn's triumphant pose with her team. "And on that celebratory note, this concludes this year's Wallace Cup! Thank you all for coming, and we'll see you again next year!" The crowd roared as Celeste created a glittering misty geyser, bringing the Wallace Cup to a close.


    "Bye, May..." Ash smiled as the group arrived at the dock. "Good luck on the rest of your Johto adventure."

    "Tell Starshine, Zelda, and Mizu we all said hello." Brock added as he hugged May.

    "Has it hit you that you just won on one of coordinating's biggest stages yet?" May asked Dawn.

    "Well, it's still sinking in..." Dawn explained. "With all the struggles I've had, I'd forgotten what it felt like to do well in the Appeal round; and what it felt like to feel at one with my Pokémon. Now I understand what Mom meant when she said that when you are one with your team, amazing things can happen."

    May smiled. "If we ever compete again, I'm gonna win next time!"

    "Bring it!" Dawn replied before embracing May one last time. "I feel like I can take on the world now!"

    To Be Continued...
    #82 Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  3. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 62: Chim-Charred

    Ash smiled as Tintri fired a Thunderbolt at a target. "I have to congratulate you on winning again." he told Dawn. "The fact that you did it on a major stage, just makes it all the more sweeter--not just for you, but me, as well." He let that hang as Tails fired a Water Gun at a higher up target.

    "I'm amazed that you finished as strong as you did." Dawn agreed. "Have you coordinated before?"

    "Yeah--once back home." Ash replied. "But it was an unofficial partner contest with May, so it didn't really count for anything."

    "I see..." Dawn mused as she watched Lola rain sparkling ice crystals onto the grass. "Maybe if being a trainer doesn't work out, you can always be a coordinator."

    "Maybe." Ash smiled as he watched Diddy fire an Ember into the sky.

    "How's everyone doing?" Brock asked from his vantage point on a stump.

    "I've been working with my team, and Dawn's been honing appeals." Ash explained as Stormy showed Brock a ring of Sparks as an appeal.

    "If you guys need a break, I could use a test audience for a tale I've been working on for the Fantasy Stage." Brock offered.

    "Sure!" Ash smiled.

    "Go on and get tuned--we'll be happy to give you feedback." Dawn agreed as she motioned for Kori, Lola, and Stormy to join her.


    The twangs of a guitar tuning up echoed through the forest as Ash and Dawn led their Pokémon to gather around the stump. "Okay...Brock mused as he fine tuned a little. "This is called 'The Faithful Fair One'. It's an adventurous tale told around the world, but I'm going to tell the Kanto version."

    With that, he began. "There was once a king’s daughter so beautiful that they named her Aurelia, meaning "the golden one" Her hair was unlike any in the world, soft and fine, and falling in waves down to her feet. She always wore it like this, loose and flowing, crowned with a crown of laurels. Even though such long hair was sometimes inconvenient, it was so beautiful, shining in the sun like waves of gold, that everybody agreed she fully deserved her name."

    He started a soft interlude as he continued "Now, there was a young king of a neighboring country who was very handsome, very rich, and wanted nothing more than a bride to make him happy. He had heard much about Princess Aurelia--who was often called 'The Faithful Fair One' in the rumors--that eventually, without even seeing her, he fell in love with her to the point that he could neither eat nor drink, and resolved to send an ambassador immediately to demand her in marriage."

    Just then, the crash of a thunderbolt in the distance make Brock stumble over a wrong note. "What was that?" Dawn asked.

    Ash winced when he saw Paul approaching the clearing with Surge. "Paul...what are you doing here?"

    "I should ask the same of you, Wonder Boy." Paul shot back. "Have you failed so hard at training that you had to resort to dressing up in a silly costume and dancing around with your Pokémon like a moron?"

    "Coordinating is not dancing around in a costume!" Ash retorted.

    "Coordinators are not moronic, either!" Dawn agreed.

    "But you call third place a strong showing?" Paul went on. "I wouldn't settle for anything less than a win, no matter what kind of competition I was in!"

    "Really?" Ash shot back. "I entered under Wallace's recommendation, so I saw it as a chance to learn to be creative with my team's moves."

    "So? Being creative doesn't have to involve frilly costumes and showy moves." Paul smirked.

    "Oh yeah? You only tried out for the play so that you could strong arm your way to the lead role!" Ash snapped. "I entered for the sake of the experience."

    He went on "Look, while we both share the dream of winning the Shinou League and challenging Cynthia, our training methods couldn't be more different. I raise my team the way I do because I love each and every one of them, and want to see them all succeed."

    "Ash has a point, you know." Brock interjected. "Remember what Cynthia said back at Amity Square?"

    "What do you know about Pokémon training, minstrel?" Paul growled. "Ash has his method, I have mine."

    "But the way to true power is by loving and trusting your team!" Ash pleaded. "Let's duel to prove it!"

    Diddy spotted Paul walking away. [Hey! Ash isn't done talking! If you don't wanna duel, just say so!]

    Paul smirked at Diddy. "Okay then, Wonder Boy--we'll see whose training is better. Let's duel."


    "This will be a three on three singles match." Brock explained as he drew a Poké Ball outline in the grass.

    "Whoever wins the coin toss will take the Diamond side." Dawn explained as she showed Ash and Paul her Poketch's coin flipper. "Arceus head is heads...Shinou League crest is tails."

    "Heads." Ash called as Dawn hit the button.

    "Tails." Paul called.

    Dawn checked the results. "It's heads, although Ash has the option to defer."

    "That's fine." Ash replied before addressing his team. "Which of you wants to fight?"

    [Me!] Diddy volunteered. [I've got a bone to pick with Mr. Cocky.]


    A referee's whistle echoed through the clearing, signalling the battle between Ash and Paul was underway. "Diddy, use Heat Wave!" Ash called.

    "Goku, use Flamethrower!" Paul commanded.

    Ash braced himself as the two whorls of fire impacted in a massive explosion. "Try Sand Attack!"

    Paul was unfazed by the sand flying into Goku's face. "Now would be a good time for Diddy to learn that being defeated in battle is all the trainer's fault."

    [NO, IT'S NOT!!!] Ash's team shot back.

    [Take that back, you jerk!] Tails barked. [If we were defeated in battle, maybe we were overmatched!]

    [Or Ash went in unprepared.] Gaia suggested.

    [Or the opponent had a better strategy.] Tintri added.

    [But it is NOT Ash's fault!] Diddy screeched. [If Ash gets beat, the onnus is on us to get stronger and better!]

    Paul just recalled Goku and heaved another Poké Ball. "Bruno, let's go!"

    Tintri looked up at the massive bear Pokémon before Diddy. [Uh, are you sure you can fight something that big?]

    [Relax, leader-chu--I've got this.] Diddy smiled back.

    [Okay...good luck!] Tintri called as Diddy heaved a Flamethrower at the Ursaring.

    "Bruno, use Focus Blast!" Paul commanded.

    Ash gasped as he saw a massive yellow-orange blast of energy headed for Diddy. "Diddy, burrow underground if you can!"

    "Bruno, use Hammer Arm on the ground!" Paul commanded.

    Ash watched in horror as Diddy went flying into the air. But his panic initially turned to joy when he saw Diddy emerge in a flaming fury! "Wow...Diddy activated Blaze!"

    Paul balked at the red aura around Diddy. This is it...this is the power I was trying to unlock all along.

    "Blaze triggered because Diddy is trying his best to defeat you." Brock explained. "The cheering from Ash and his teammates allowed him to tap into that inner power."

    Paul just grimaced. "Bruno, try Focus Blast again!"

    He did not expect Diddy's next Flame Wheel to smash into his Ursaring, knocking him out. "NO!!!"


    Tintri noticed that Diddy's eyes still were an angry orange color, never mind that the battle was over. [I don't like the looks of Diddy...]

    "Diddy, please stop!" Ash pleaded before rolling to avoid another Flame Wheel.

    "Whoa!" Even Paul jumped away from an errant Flame Wheel.

    Dawn watched in horror as Diddy's berserk fury ignited tree after tree. "This is bad...Kori, use a Whirlpool to put out the fire before it burns this forest down!"

    [I'll help, too!] Tails offered as he heaved a Water Gun at a burning tree.

    Ash's heart pounded as he watched Diddy set more fires faster than Kori and Tails could put them out. I've got to corral Diddy before this forest is burnt to a crisp!

    He leaped onto the running Chimchar and Ursaring hugged him close to his chest. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    At this line, the damage from Diddy's fury healed in a holy light.
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    He heaved a relieved sigh of exhaustion and relief as the red aura faded and Diddy's eyes returned to normal. [What happened?] Diddy asked. [I...don't know what came over me! Forgive me for trying to burn this place down!]

    "I used...my Swanna Song out of desperation." Ash explained, breathing hard all the while. "But I believe...you can control Blaze...No matter what happens...I will always believe in you..."

    "But what are you going to do the next time Diddy ends up accessing Blaze?" Paul asked as Ash set Diddy down. "A superpower song can't save you every time."

    "I believe Diddy has the ability to handle the power inside him." Ash explained. "He's just not at a high enough power level to control it yet."

    "You're a fool to believe that Diddy can handle Blaze." Paul muttered. "If and when Diddy learns how to control Blaze, we will battle again."

    Brock watched Paul storm off. "I trust your abilities and tactics wholeheartedly, Ash. I truly believe Diddy can master Blaze without side effects. But we need to get started on that training as soon as we can--your run at the Shinou League might depend on it."

    Ash hugged Diddy. "I know, Brock. We'll face Paul again soon enough."

    To Be Continued...
  4. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 63: Cream of the Croagunk Crop!

    "Pastoria City...the town that lives with the Great Marsh--five miles." Brock reported as the group made their way down the road.

    He showed the group a picture of a large muscular man wearing wrestling garb, including a feathery blue mask. "In addition to being the city's Gym Leader, many more know Wake from the wrestling scene, where his iconic blue feathered mask and theme song have become legendary. It is also not unheard of for him to also answer to his ring name, Crasher Wake."

    Dawn balked as she heard a powerful voice singing The ring is my roiling sea! The towering waves shaped me... "Speak of Darkrai..."

    Ash motioned for the group to follow him down another pathway, where they found a familiar man in wrestling garb singing as he cleared away some trees and brush. Crash! Crash! Crasher Wake!
    Crash! Crash! Crasher Wake!
    I'm the tidal wave of power to wash you away!
    Put out the fire, Crasher Wake!
    Run from electricity, Crasher Wake!
    Ah, ah, aaaah!
    The ring is my sea.

    He noticed the group watching him. "Oh, hello! Were you maybe coming to town to visit?"

    "We were." Dawn replied.

    "I've heard a lot about your exploits in the ring and in the Gym, Wake..." Ash began as he stepped out of the brush. "I'm Ash, and I've journeyed from afar to see if your power in the Gym is as great as people say."

    Wake thought for a moment. "I would be happy to battle you, Ash, but at the moment I have some business to attend to. Would you three like to come with me?"

    "Yeah!" the group chorused at almost the same time.

    "Come on--we can take a shortcut through the Great Marsh." Wake motioned for the group to follow him.


    "The Great Marsh is similar to the Safari Zones across the world." Wake explained as the tram whirred past the various forests and marshes. "But what Pokémon you'll see on any given day is a surprise. If you want to make a run through the Marsh, it's 500 credits a pop."

    He smiled as the tram stopped. "But that's not where we're going. Our destination is deep within the marsh, in an out of the way spot most trainers on a run don't get to see.

    Dawn noticed the sun was setting. "Wow...it took us all day to get here?"

    "The marsh is a big place, lass." Wave smiled as he cleared the brush. "So if you plan on running through it, plan the day accordingly."

    The group arrived in an open field some time later. "And here we are!" Wake smiled.

    "But, we're in the middle of nowhere..." Ash began.

    He gasped when he saw what seemed like hundreds of yellow eyes surrounding him! "D-did we just walk into a monster den?"

    "Not at all--you're seeing the marsh's many resident Croagunks." Wake assured Ash. Sure enough, millions of Croagunks hopped out from the wetlands and grasslands towards a large hollow log."

    "Let's follow them!" Dawn suggested, following Wake and the Croagunks into the log.


    "Wow..." Ash gasped as the group emerged from the log to find all the Croagunks and thousands of people all gathered around a huge temple.

    "Welcome to the Pastoria Croagunk Festival, everyone." Wake smiled. "Since ancient times, Croagunk has been seen as a symbol of wisdom and cleverness. One of the festival's ancient traditions is the Fantasy Stage, with the winner becoming Lorekeeper of the Great Marsh."

    "Sounds fun!" Brock smiled as he showed Wake his one Miracle Jewel. "Where do I sign up?"

    "Signups are over there." Wake pointed out a table near the gaming alley. "You still have time if you want to try and impress the Croagunks with your tales!"


    "These aren't half bad!" Dawn raved as she bit into an iced Croagunk shaped cookie.

    "Neither are some of these tellers." Ash smiled as he watched the red and gold clad girl currently on the stage. "Brock has some competition!"

    The Croaguaks croaking in approval of the girl's story snapped both Ash and Dawn to attention. "The Croagunks seemed to like that tale..." Wake smiled as he looked at a meter that measured how well a story did based on the Croagunk's reactions.

    He checked the list of competitors. "Up next is competitor number K-42207, performing the tale 'The King of the Waterfall'."

    [You can do it, Coach!] Kage croaked as Brock made his way onstage, to 'oohs' and 'ah's from the crowd at his beautiful costume.

    "I wouldn't miss Brock telling for the world!" Dawn agreed.

    On the stage, Brock took a deep breath and let it go before telling the crowd "Once upon a time something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told."

    With that, he began "There was once a young king of a far away land--we'll call him Dolan--who had tired of the hobbies he had enjoyed, and wanted to do something he had never done before. As he pondered this, he got the idea to play chess with the goblin that lived near his castle."

    Intrigued murmurs filled the air. "But though King Dolan was young and eager, he was also prudent, and his father had always told him to be very careful in dealing with fey and spirits, both good and bad." Brock explained. "So before going to the goblin's cave, King Dolan sought out an old wizard that lived in the country."

    "I want to play a game of chess with the goblin near my castle." he explained in a higher pitched version of himself for Dolan.

    "Do you, now? If you value your life, you will play with someone else." he cautioned in character as an older man, to some bemused giggles.

    "No; I will play with the goblin." he vowed as King Dolan.

    "Well, if you must, I won't try to stop you. But if you do win a game, ask as a prize the girl that stands behind the door." he instructed as the wizard.

    As himself, he went on "So before the sun rose, King Dolan got up and went to the goblin's cave."

    "What has brought you here today, milord? But I welcome you all the same, and more welcome will you be if you will play chess with me." he grins in a nasaly voice for the goblin, to the crowd's bemusement.

    As himself, he continued "King Dolan agreed, and the game began."

    He explained to the crowd "Now, chess in this land was not like chess as we know it in our world, but closer to games like Othello or Spot."

    "Oh"s went up at this. "King Dolan took the red pieces, and the goblin took the blue ones." Brock went on. "Sometimes it seemed as if one would win, and sometimes the other, but in the end King Dolan won by capturing all the goblin's pieces. When the goblin asked what he wanted as a prize, King Dolan insisted on the girl that stood behind the door--we'll call her Anya. He took her home, cleaned all the dust, ash, and sweat from her, and gave her clothes fit for a queen. When she emerged, she was one of the most beautiful women in the world."

    He smiled. "It goes without saying they were soon married."

    "Aw"s and happy sighs from the Croagunks filled the air, but the smile on Brock's face was a signal he had more to tell. "The next day, before the sun rose, King Dolan sprang from his bed, and told his wife he wanted to play another game of chess with the goblin."

    "If you win that game, accept nothing for your prize but the shining Ponyta in the wooden shed." he instructed in a mimic of Dawn for Queen Anya.

    He continued as himself "So King Dolan and the goblin played another game of chess, and King Dolan won the Ponyta handily."

    More intrigued murmurs went up as Brock went on "On the third day King Dolan got up before dawn, and as soon as he had eaten breakfast he prepared to go out, when his wife stopped him."

    "I would rather that you did not play with the goblin, for even though you have won twice, one day he will win, and then he will put some kind of curse upon you." he warned as Queen Anya.

    "I'm impressed Brock's learned how to mimic my voice..." Dawn admitted over the fearful murmurs.

    "He just has a knack for mimicry--he learned to do me after only hearing me once, he's that good." Ash smiled.

    [Pipe down, you two! Coach is performing!] Kage hissed.

    "King Dolan requested one last game, and departed for the goblin's cave." Brock intoned from the stage. "But whether it was nerves or overconfidence, I'm not sure, but the goblin won the third game."

    Even the Croagunks gasped at this. "I'll be willing to spare your life if you do not get for me the Sword of Light that hangs in the house of the king of the giants." he explains as the goblin.

    As himself, Brock went on "King Dolan agreed, but as he trudged home, he wondered how in the world he would accomplish such a task. Queen Anya seemed to know what had happened long before her beloved arrived, and when she had heard the whole story, she said..."

    "That is nothing to grieve about. You have the best wife anyone could ask for, and the best Ponyta in the world. Only do as I tell you, and all will be well." he assures the jittery crowd as Queen Anya.

    As himself, Brock went on "King Dolan was still sleeping when Queen Anya got up to get everything ready for her husband’s journey. The first place she went to was the stable, where she fed and watered the shining Ponyta--who was none other than the Legendary shining Ponyta Epona--and put the saddle on. Most people thought this saddle was made of wood, and did not see the little sparkles of gold and silver hidden in it. She then led Epona down before the castle gate, where King Dolan waited.

    "Good luck to you, and may you be victorious in all your battles." he smiles as Queen Anya. "Take Epona's advice, and heed it well."

    The crowd buzzed with excitement as Brock continued "And so, King Dolan set out on his journey, and the wind went on before Epona. But Epona never stopped nor looked behind, until in the dark of the night she reached the castle of the king of the giants."

    "Here we are." he smiled in a mimic of Misty for Epona. "You will find the Sword of Light in the king’s chamber. If it comes to you without scrape or sound, it accepts you as its master. At this hour the king is eating dinner, and the room is empty, so no one will see you. The sword has a knob at the pommel--when you grasp it, draw it softly out of its sheath. I will be under the window."

    He went on as himself "King Dolan crept along the passage, pausing every now and then to make sure that no one was following him, and entered the king’s chamber. A strange line of light told him where the sword was, and tiptoeing across the room, he grabbed the knob, and drew it slowly out of the sheath. King Dolan's heart was pounding all the while--what if the sword made some noise, and brought all the people in the castle running to see what was the matter. But the sword slid swiftly and silently along the scabbard until only the tip was left touching it. Then a low sound was heard, that sounded like the edge of a knife touching a silver plate, and King Dolan was so startled that he very nearly dropped the knob. He scrambled through the small window, and leaped into the saddle."

    "He has heard and he will follow, but we have a good start." he breathlessly tells an imagined person as Epona.

    He narrates as he runs across the stage "On they sped, on and on, leaving the wind behind them. But Epona recognized the shining Ponyta, this one male, that the king of the giants rode."

    "That shining Ponyta is my brother Lightfoot, and swifter still than I." he explains as Epona. "He will fly past me with a rush. Then you must have your sword ready, and cut off the head of the one who sits on him, as he turns and looks at you. There is no sword in the world that will cut off his head, save for that one."

    Brock stopped to retrieve his harp as he continued "All happened as Epona had said, and before the sky was streaked with red he was home again, and Queen Anya was waiting until he arrived. She was happy to see him home, but she only took her harp and sang softly the songs he loved, until he was asleep, soothed and happy."

    Even the Croagunks swayed along with the crowd as Brock played "The Fairy's Waltz" on his own harp for effect. "Pretty!" Dawn smiled.

    "He must've been practicing hard." Ash agreed.

    When the last note died, Brock continued "King Dolan woke up the next day in high spirits, and wanted to travel to the goblin's cave to find out if the spells he had casted on him were broken."

    "Be careful, for it is not with a smile as on the other days that he will greet you." he warned as Queen Anya, setting the harp aside as he spoke. "He will meet you with fury, and ask you if you have the sword, and you will reply that you have it. Next he will want to know how you got it, and you must tell him that if it weren't for the knob you wouldn't have gotten it at all. Then he will raise his head to look at the knob, and you must stab him in the chest; but take heed, for if you miss his heart by even a little, then we are both doomed."

    He went on "With that, Queen Anya kissed him, and bade him Arceus-speed..."


    "...King Dolan and Queen Anya returned home to a hero's welcome the next day, but they kept the magic jewels with them, in case they ever needed their friends' aid again." Brock finally concluded his tale some time later.

    The marsh exploded with cheers, applause, and croaks as Brock took a bow. "Wow! That was amazing!" Dawn raved as the reaction meter zoomed all the way to the top as the Croagunks enthusiastically croaked.

    Wake noticed the shining rainbow light at the top of the reaction meter. "Is it fair that number K-42207 is the winner of this years competition?" he asked the crowd as two Croagunks brought him a pillow with an orange plastic jewel on it.

    The audience roared in reply. "Very well...the winner of this year's Fantasy Stage is number K-43307--Brock Harrison of Kanto!" The crowd roared as Brock met Wake on the stage to accept the orange jewel.

    Wake located Ash and Dawn in the crowd as many in the crowd ran to get food or play more games. "I must say, your friend has real talent!" he smiled. "He should take his tales on the road one day!"

    He then noticed Tintri. "Ash...I hereby accept your challenge for a Gym match. But we will battle tomorrow at the earliest--there's still plenty of partying to do tonight."

    "Okay!" Ash smiled. "I'm bringing my S game!"

    Brock rejoined Ash and Dawn some moments later. [Nicely done, Coach--you've finally got a win yourself!] Kage raved.

    "Thanks...now I know how Dawn feels right now." Brock smiled as he put his costume away and dropped the orange jewel into his Miracle Jewel bag. "If Ash wins against Wake tomorrow, he'll be halfway there on the road to the League."

    Dawn noticed groups of people playing music around the temple area. "Up for a jam to celebrate your win?" she asked Brock.

    "Sure!" Brock smiled. "What tunes do you know?"

    "May taught me how to play 'The Swellow's Tail' back at Lake Valor..." Dawn explained as she found her fiddle case and started tuning up.

    Once Dawn and Brock were ready, Ash snapped to count off his companions into the timeless tune, Kage drumming on some rocks for percussion all the while...

    To Be Continued...
  5. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 64: A Crasher Course in Power!

    [I'm not accepting any ties today!] Tails vowed as he streaked towards a floating target in a pool. [This match, I'm gonna win!]

    Ash applauded as the target shattered from the force of Aqua Jet. "Nicely done! Remember, Wake's not gonna hold anything back, so you guys need to bring your S-game too!"

    "It may also be a good idea to brush up on the creative side of battling too." Dawn agreed as she joined Ash in the yard. "So is it okay if you show me some appeals with Tails, just like a real Contest?"

    "Sure." Ash replied as he approached the pool where Tails was training. "Okay, Tails--pretend I'm using you in a Contest for a second. What moves would you use to best impress the judges in the Appeal competition?"

    [That's easy!] Tails smiled. [I assume we were going first in this hypothetical Contest?]

    "Yeah, just assume we were picked from the hat to go first in the first turn." Ash replied.

    [Okay...I would start with a rain of Swift!] Tails cried, firing a Swift attack through the water to create some sparkling stars. [Then, I would use Hail...]

    He conjured some small ice chunks, which rained into the pool. [...to follow up with Ice Beam for a nice combo!]

    Some applause startled Ash and Tails. "Not a bad start! Your Buizel sounds like he has thought this through!"

    Ash whirled around to find Wake watching what Tails was doing. "Wake? What are you doing here?"

    "I was just passing by to make sure that you guys aren't too worn out by the festival last night." Wake explained before tossing a Poké Ball. "But first, say hello to Nami!"

    Piqued, Ash read up on the larger weasel Pokémon that Wake had summoned:

    "Floatzel, the sea weasel Pokémon. The evolved form of Buizel, it is a common sight around fishing ports. It is known to rescue people and carry off prey."


    "All right, here's how this will work." a referee began as Ash and Wake stared each other down from opposite ends of a large indoor pool. "The match will be a three-on-three singles match. If Diamond knocks out all of Pearl's team, he will earn a Fen Badge. Should Pearl knock out all of Diamond's team, Diamond will lose the match, and must try again. Any questions?"

    Ash and Wake both cheered in reply. "All right--let the battle begin!"

    "Hayate, showtime!" Wake called, summoning a Gyarados into the water.

    "Tintri, let's go!" Ash called, spurring Tintri to run onto one of the rocks floating in the pool. "Start with Thunderbolt!"

    He balked when the thunderbolts cleared. "H-how?" he stammered when he noticed the Gyarados seemed hardly phased.

    "Don't think a type advantage will save you!" Wake taunted as the Gyarados charged some familiar purple flames.

    Ash remembered the flames as Dragon Rage. "Tintri, try to counter with Iron Tail!"

    [HI-YAH!] Tintri cried as he leaped into the air, his tail glowing on the way up.

    "Try to bite the Pikachu, Hayate!" Wake called.

    The Gyarados lunged at Tintri, but the confident grin on Ash's face told Wake that he had an idea. "Try to use Volt Tackle on the way down!"

    He shielded his eyes as Tintri slammed into the Gyarados in a silvery electric explosion. "Hayate is unable to battle--this round goes to Diamond." the referee announced.


    In the stands, Dawn applauded Ash's move. "Seems my advice about thinking like a coordinator is helping!"

    "That would be a cool double performance if you ever had to do that again." Brock agreed as he watched Wake summon a light blue amphibious Pokémon.

    Dawn decided to read up on the Pokémon as Ash called back Tintri and summoned Gaia:

    "Quagsire, the water fish Pokémon. Due to its relaxed and carefree attitude, it often bumps its head on boulders and boat hulls as it swims."

    She watched Gaia use Energy Ball, but the Quagsire dove into the water. Not one to be deterred, Gaia hopped over the panels on the water in an attempt to find the Quagsire. "Wow...your Budew's very quick!" Wake smiled. "But how does she hold up to the element of surprise?"

    Ash gasped as the Quagsire used Sludge Bomb, sending Gaia flying backwards. "Gaia, return!" he called when he saw the familiar blue white of Ice Beam out of the corner of his eye.

    He heaved another Poké Ball skyward. "Tails, use Sonic Boom!"

    Dawn and Brock braced themselves as Tails fired the massive soundwave. "How could that Quagsire take that?" Dawn gasped. "He didn't even flinch at the Sonic Boom!"

    "Wake's trained his team hard." Brock replied as he watched the Quagsire charge an Ice Beam. "But I'll admit Ash is doing well with the tactical approach so far."

    On the battlefield, Ash got an idea when he saw the Ice Beam. "Remember that girl coordinator with the Buizel during the Wallace Cup Tintri was telling you about?"

    [What about her?] Tails asked.

    "Remember that combo she did with Aqua Jet and Ice Beam he mentioned?" Ash asked. "I wonder how it would work in a battle scenario?"

    [Let's give it a go!] Tails cried, charging towards the Quagsire just as it fired the Ice Beam. The two attacks collided in a massive icy wave.

    "Nagare is unable to battle--this round goes to Diamond." the referee announced.

    "Way to go, Ash!" Dawn cheered. "You're almost there!" Brock whistled in agreement.

    [Brickabracka, firecracka, sis boom bah! Ash Ketchum, Ash Ketchum, rah, rah, rah!] Tarina cheered from the stands, waving some red Pichu-sized pom-poms all the while.


    "Nami, you're up!" Wake called as he summoned his Floatzel.

    Ash watched as Tails charged at Nami, but Nami inflated her sac, deflecting Tails' attack. "Tails, try Water Pulse!"

    Tails gasped as Nami punched away the shining wave of water! [Oh no...]

    He braced himself as Nami fired a volley of wind shears. "That was Razor Wind..." Brock noted as he watched Nami block a desperate Water Gun from Tails.

    Frustrated, Tails charged at Nami again, only for Nami to punch the water, sending him flying backwards.

    He swallowed hard as Nami conjured a red aura around herself. [I have a bad feeling about this...]

    Desperate, he fired a Sonic Boom, which clashed with a new volley of Razor Wind.

    Ash watched as Nami chased Tails in the pool. "Tails--remember the water is your friend!"

    [I know!] Tails called back. [I have an idea!]

    He inflated his sack, allowing him to stop. Nami flew right past him, leaving a small wave behind her. Once sure he could hit Nami, Tails charged forward with an Aqua Jet, stunning Nami and knocking her backwards!

    "She's stunned! Try Water Pulse!" Ash called.

    [HAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!] Tails cried as he fired a Water Pulse at point blank range into Nami.

    The referee watched as Nami flew into the Pearl safety barrier. "Game set! This match goes to Diamond!"


    The group gasped as Tails glowed against the sunset, transforming into a Floatzel himself. "Tails...why did you evolve?" Ash gasped.

    [Even though I beat her in a fair fight, Nami inspired me back there.] Tails replied [She's both pretty, and powerful!]

    [Oh come now, don't be so modest...] Nami purred as Wake met the group in the Gym's plaza. [You're not too shabby a battler yourself!]

    "If you think Nami is powerful, I can't wait to see how much stronger your new Floatzel will be." Wake smiled.

    He offered Ash a circular Badge that evoked a mountain lake. "The styles of battling and winning are as widely varied as trainers are. Don't ever lose sight of what makes your style unique!"

    "I promise." Ash smiled as he took the badge.

    After turning his cap back, he yelled to the setting sun "I got a Fen Badge!"

    To Be Continued...
  6. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 65a: Hungry for the Good Life! (part 1)

    "...Mr. Backlot used his own money to finance Amity Square." Dawn read from a guidebook. "He wished that the square could be a place where Pokémon and their masters could relax and play together."

    "That's sweet." Brock smiled as the group rounded a corner.

    "When he is not traveling the world filming a movie, Mr. Backlot makes his home in a historic mansion just outside of Hearthome City." Dawn read on. "The mansion itself and the gardens are world renowned, and open to the public."

    She was snapped from her reading by a tiny pink humanoid Pokémon that darted from a bush. Piqued, she read up on the creature as it danced before the boys:

    "Cleffa, the star shape Pokémon. According to local rumors, Cleffa are often seen in places where shooting stars have fallen.

    "Cool!" Ash smiled. "Maybe a meteor fell here?"

    "Stella, where are you?" a female voice called, snapping the group to attention. A green haired woman in an elegant costume arrived to collect the Cleffa some moments later. "There you are, Stella--I was getting worried about you..."

    Dawn sighed over a familiar guitar playing a wistful melody. If you miss me when I’m gone, just walk down by the sea... Brock sang.

    Sing with a whisper of the waves, and there remember me...

    [We're nowhere near water!] Kage snapped before jabbing Brock, creating a discordant Eb chord.

    The girl just giggled. "Oh, come now, I wanted to hear more of that ballad!"

    "Oh, Brock knows a zillion of them, miss..." It occurred to Ash that he had not asked the woman's name.

    "Monica, please." the woman smiled. "I'm the chief Pokémon caretaker for Mr. Backlot."

    "I'm Dawn--and these two are my companions." Dawn smiled as she gestured to the boys. "This is Ash, aspiring League champion..."

    "Hi." Ash smiled as Tintri bounded on his shoulder.

    "...and you've met Brock--our resident Loremaster, balladeer, and navigator." Dawn went on, eying Brock as he retuned his guitar a little.

    Monica looked up at the sky, which was beginning to cloud up. "Well, if you three need a place to stay, Mr. Backlot has opened the house to visitors."

    A boom startled Ash and Tintri. "I think we will take you up on that offer!" Ash cried as rain started to pour down.

    "Come on--the house isn't far." Monica motioned for the group to follow her as thunder rumbled overhead...


    The group gasped in awe at the majestic staircase. "This place is amazing..." Ash gasped as he gave his cap to a servant to hang up on a hat stand.

    A man in an elegant suit came down the stairs some moments later. "Welcome, travelers; to my humble home. I am David T. Backlot--director, producer, and explorer.

    "Pleased to meet you, good sir." Brock smiled. "I'm sure you have millions of stories to tell about your adventures."

    "That I do." Mr. Backlot replied. "Won't you and your Pokémon join us for afternoon tea?"

    "We'd love to!" Dawn smiled before heaving all her Poke Balls skyward "Come on out, everyone!"

    "You guys, too!" Ash also summoned his team.

    "And you guys!" Brock summoned his team as well.

    Tarina gawked at the majestic foyer. [Wow...did we just arrive in a castle?]

    Mr. Backlot just chuckled as Monica brought out a cart piled high with Poffins. "I wouldn't say it is a castle, little one...but it does have its own fascinating history."

    "Come on, everyone! It's time for tea!" Monica called, spurring the Cleffa from earlier, an Igglybuff, three Pichus, and an Azurill to romp down the stairs.

    "Aw..." Ash smiled as he spotted the Azurill. "Reminds me of a friend of mine at home, and an Azumarill I have back at home..."

    Kori balked as a Swinub snatched one of her Poffins. [Hey, this is MY snack!]

    [Get your own!] Diddy agreed as the Swinub took a Poffin from him.

    Mr. Backlot noticed the angry Pokémon eying the Swinub. "Monica, please make sure Shimo gets some Poffin too."

    "Yes sir." Monica replied as she got down an ornate bowl from a cabinet.

    Dawn watched the Swinub eat a generous share of Poffins. "Shimo looks cute..."

    "Well, he is not technically ours..." Mr. Backlot admitted. "His true home is in the nearby forest. But considering how often he comes here, he could very well be one of the family..."

    The group did not notice Mars and Jupiter spying from a bush looking into the tea room. "Wow--just imagine the energy of a rich guy's Pokémon!" Mars smiled.

    "Actually, I was thinking of giving them to Cyrus as gifts." Jupiter suggested. "Let's keep looking around these cushy digs--there's bound to be tons of secret passages we could sneak inside!"


    "For you, Sir Ash--Oran Rooibos." Monica smiled as she delivered an elegant teacup to Ash.

    "Pinkies out." Brock discretely whispered as Ash accepted the teacup.

    "Mm...tastes a little like a hot Oran vanilla Fizzo." Ash smiled.

    "There's more in the pot if you want seconds." Monica replied as a servant brought Dawn a teapot. "For you, Lady Dawn--Moonlight Honey Oolong."

    Dawn took a sip of her teacup. "Reminds me of the honey Mom would put on her biscuits every Saturday..."

    Another servant brought Brock a pot. "For you, Sir Brock--Peppermint Afterglow."

    [Smells wonderful!] Tarina raved as Brock took a sip of his teacup.

    "Mm...very warm and sweet." Brock raved.

    "They say mint tea is good for the voice." Monica smiled.

    "This is Pokémon safe, right?" Brock asked.

    "All our blends are safe for Pokémon to enjoy." Mr. Backlot assured Brock. "So your little Pichu knight can have some too."

    [Don't mind if I do, good sir.] Tarina smiled as a servant brought over a Pichu sized teacup for Brock to pour Tarina a share of the tea.

    Mr. Backlot noticed the drawstring bag holding Brock's two Miracle Jewels. "Would you be willing to showcase your skill for us at dinner tonight?"

    "I would be honored." Brock replied. "If I can have some time to prepare, I'll gladly show you my ability as a Loremaster!"

    To Be Continued...
  7. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Interlude: The Mansion's Minstrel

    "So, how was dinner?" Brock asked as he emerged from a changing screen in costume.

    "Way better than even your average restaurant!" Dawn raved.

    "That smoky mushroom soup for the soup course was amazing!" Ash raved.

    "Let's give Mr. Backlot credit--he hasn't forgotten his humble beginnings." Dawn agreed. "He understands that not everyone has the taste for exotic stuff."

    "It was nice that we got to pick what we wanted for each course." Brock added. "It was hard picking the soup course, because both the smoky mushroom soup and the Cheddar cheese soup looked amazing."

    "Dessert was a hard choice too..." Ash remembered as he watched Brock tune up. "No regrets on that chocolate maple cake I picked..."

    "An amazing meal the whole way through." Dawn smiled.

    Once sure he was in tune, Brock shepherded Ash and Dawn close to him. "I have a good idea of what may go over well here, but since I'm not officially onstage, I'm going to do something the real Fantasy Stage doesn't typically do--allow you guys to assist me."

    "Which tales do you plan to tell?" Ash asked.

    "I'm mainly going to field test a few tales you guys haven't heard before." Brock replied. "So if they go over well. I may consider using them in the Fantasy Stage."


    Good luck, Brock... Ash thought as he watched Brock play a relaxed melody to compose his thoughts. The props, costumes, and everything they would need to tell the tale were in a nearby box.

    "Once upon a time something happened..." he heard Brock say. "If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told."

    With that, Brock began "Once upon a time, in what is today the far away region of Galar, there lived a mighty king and his good queen. They lived in a great stone castle built high upon a cliff overlooking the sea."

    The name of Galar sen Ash's mind racing Oh yeah, the girl with the Scorbunny Brock tried to sing to! Maybe she taught him a tale or two from her home region?

    "This king and queen had a son, whose name was Brian." Brock went on. "While he was a good young man for the most part, he had a fondess for games of chance. His father often told him how wrong it was for him to make bets he could not repay, but Brian paid him no mind."

    Intrigued murmurs went up from the staff as Brock continued "One day, Prince Brian traveled to the royal hunting grounds for the day. Try as he might, he did not catch a thing."

    He intoned "He was about to stop and rest for a moment when he heard the tramping of heavy feet on the grass."

    He told the crowd "Imagine Prince Brian's shock when he saw a giant coming down the hill!"

    "Oh my!" Monica gasped.

    "He was almost as tall as the tallest tree, making our hero look tiny by comparison." Brock explained. "Prince Brian recognized the giant as the Giant of Loch Lein. He trembled when he remembered that the Giant of Loch Lein hunted in the forest for lost children. Many children, both boys and girls, had been taken to his castle in the heart of the forest, and never seen again."

    "The poor children..." Mr. Backlot brushed away a tear, never mind the lost children only existed in Brock's imagination.

    "He also remembered that the giant was fond of games, and so finally challenged the giant to a game of chess." Brock explained.

    He interjected "Now, I do not mean the chess with pawns and rooks and bishops. This kind of chess was actually closer to Othello, or Spot."

    "Oh"s went up as Brock went on "So with Prince Brian's freedom on the line, they played. Try as Prince Brian might, the giant narrowly beat him."

    “You are a brave young man, if a bit rash." he explained in a gentle deep voice for the giant. "I will let you keep your freedom for a year and a day. Go home to the palace, but do not tell anyone that I am to have you as a slave. When the time is up, return to the hillside to meet me.”

    As himself, he continued "With that, the giant vanished, leaving Prince Brian alone. He did not go home, but wandered the world, following where the wind took him..."

    To Be Continued...
  8. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 65b: Hungry for the Good Life! (part 2)

    The next morning, the group gasped in awe as they looked out on the massive garden. "Here is the Trophy Garden." Mr. Backlot began as he made a grand gesture to the many flowers and trees. "So named because many of the rare and exotic plants here have won prizes."

    [Wow!] Tarina gasped. [It's like the royal garden in a Moltres story! All we'd need is the magical Leppa Berry tree!]

    Mr. Backlot smiled. "As far as I know, none of the Leppa trees I have are magical--but they do produce fine fruit in the fall."

    [Is it okay if we take a look around this place?] Tintri asked.

    "Of course--all I ask is that you be considerate of the gardeners." Mr. Backlot replied.

    Dawn arrived as the Pokémon hurried off to explore the massive garden. "Okay! Poffins are ready!"

    [Oh boy!] Satomi gasped, warping back in a white glow.

    Dawn gasped as Satomi landed in front of the bowl as a bipedal white humanoid Pokémon that appeared to be wearing a small dress. "Satomi...you evolved!"

    She giddily reached for Pokédex to read up on what Satomi had become:

    "Kirlia, the emotion Pokémon. It is highly perceptive of its trainer's feelings. It dances when it is feeling happy."

    Dawn smiled as she filled a huge bowl full of Poffins. "Here you go, Satomi--congratulations on evolving!"

    [Thank you.] Satomi replied with a little bow.

    She gasped when she saw Dawn yawn and collapse to the ground. [Dawn!] she cried as the ground collapsed beneath her master. [Help, somebody!] she called, alerting the other Pokémon and the boys.

    "We didn't have to try this time!" Mars grinned as she and Jupiter looked down on the sinkhole. "All the rain yesterday just made a sinkhole for us to collect all you lot's Pokémon!"

    "Not if we have anything to say about it!" Ash retorted before motioning for Dawn to follow him. "Come on!"

    "Right!" Dawn called as Ash leaped onto the odd flying mecha.

    Once he steadied himself on a catwalk, he held out his hand. "Jump!"

    "Hah!" Dawn made a powerful yet elegant jump up to the catwalk, grabbing Ash's hand she collected herself.

    Dawn brushed herself off. "Okay...I'll look for the Pokémon, you try and find the controls for Tintri."

    Now, if I were a Galactic admin, where would I stash a bunch of stolen Pokémon? she thought as she felt around the odd machine's walls and the various control panels.

    A green lever on one panel got her attention. That has to be it!

    She smiled as the dome at the top of the mecha opened up, allowing Satomi to warp out into Dawn's arms. [About time...now how to get the others out...]

    "Can you try warping them out?" Dawn suggested.

    [I can try, but only one Pokémon at a time.] Satomi replied.

    Ash arrived a few moments later. "Hey...these walls are hollow." he told Dawn, knocking on the wall to illustrate his point. "It's possible that we could break it and free everyone all at once. Check Kirlia's attack list in battle mode."

    After bringing up the move list for Kirlia in her Pokédex and setting it to battle mode, the Pokédex began Kirlia's Known Attacks--number 1, Magical Leaf...

    "Satomi, try Magical Leaf!" Dawn called.

    Ash watched as the glowing leaves lashed the wall, creating a hole large enough for the Pokémon to fit. "It worked!"

    "I'll admit that was much faster than warping everyone out one at a time." Dawn smiled.

    "Leona, use Fury Swipes!" she heard Mars call.

    "Noctis, use Flamethrower!" Jupiter called.

    Satomi warped in front of Ash, Dawn, and the Pokémon. [Don't you DARE hurt my mistress and her friends!] she screeched as she fired a large blue blast of psychic energy, heavily damaging the Purugly and the Skuntank and sending them flying.

    Once sure the admins would not pursue them, Satomi surrounded the group in a blue orb. [Later, Galactic space cases!]


    "Ash, Dawn, thank Arceus you guys are okay!" Brock cried as he ran to meet the group later that evening. "You had me worried for a second when everyone fell in that sinkhole."

    "Oh, Team Galactic just took advantage of the rain yesterday to capture our teams." Ash explained. "But I have to hand it to Dawn and her new Kirlia Satomi...they were the real heroes!"

    Mr. Backlot's smiled. "I too am relieved you're all right after that escapade. Luckily, the garden is not too heavily damaged."

    "Congratulations on your Ralts evolving." Monica smiled. "If you wish to enter her in a Pokémon Contest, there's one going on in Celestic Town."

    "I'll keep that in mind." Dawn replied.

    "Thanks for everything." Ash replied. "We'll drop by for tea again if we're in the area."

    "And I'll keep searching for new tales to tell." Brock replied.

    A familiar Swinub caught Dawn's attention. "But what about Shimo?"

    "Don't worry, Lady Dawn--we'll just welcome Shimo into the family." Mr. Backlot smiled. "Then he can have all the Poffin he wishes!"

    To Be Continued...
  9. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 66a: Erin the Brave! (part 1)

    "How is everything, gang?" Brock asked as he spooned some leftover ground beef into some tupperware.

    [Delicious!] Tintri smiled.

    [Top notch, as always!] Kori agreed.

    "If you want more, I still have the leftovers." Brock reminded the happy Pokémon as Kori came to help him with the dishes.

    Ash smiled as he looked out of the group's teams happily enjoying their creations from the taco bar they had made. <i>Let's see...Tintri...Diddy...Tails...Gaia...Estrella...</i>

    He gasped when he noticed Erin's place was empty. "Guys, have you seen Erin anywhere?"

    [She was having lunch a minute ago.] Kori replied.

    "I remember that she went off towards the forest after she finished lunch." Dawn replied as she gathered up the remains of the toppings. "Where she went, I didn't see."

    "I'll go look for her!" Ash volunteered before hurrying off into the forest...


    "Erin!" Ash called into the trees. "Erin, where are you?"

    He did not expect a blur of blue and black to drop down from the sky and land on top of him! "Whoa!"

    Giggles filled the air as Ash eased himself to his feet. "What was that for?" he asked as he watched his giddy Riolu disappear and then reappear in various locations.

    [I've been trenin'!] Erin smiled. [Fergive me if I worried you...]

    Brock and Dawn arrived some moments later. "Maybe Erin is trying harder to get stronger after seeing Tails evolve..." Brock suggested.

    "It makes sense..." Dawn agreed. "Once Erin does evolve, she will be able to Mega Evolve."

    Erin danced in delight. [I'll keep trenin' every dey until I kin become a Lucario!]

    "Well, come on back to camp, and I'll let you spar against someone, okay?" Ash smiled. "Although if you want to train by yourself, at least tell me where you're going and what time you'll be back."


    "Okay, Erin...Tails volunteered to be your opponent for this mock battle." Ash explained as he watched Erin and Tails stare each other down.

    [I'm givin' ye all I've got!] Erin challenged. Tails just smirked at this.

    The sly grin unnerved Erin. [Um...ye sure tis is just a friendly match?]

    "I'm sure...I would not have you fight an opponent you're not comfortable with." Ash assured Erin. "Friendly matches like this are meant to help you get even stronger."

    [Okey...] Erin replied. [Tell me what te do.]

    "All right, start with Force Palm!" Ash called.

    Erin charged at Tails to deliver the attack, but Tails jumped away. She would try again at a different angle, only for Tails to move away.

    She gasped as Tails jumped into the air and sped towards Erin with a high powered water attack. [Oh no...]

    Ash gasped when he saw Erin fleeing towards him! "Tails, stop! he called.

    Tails came to a stop, missing Ash and the frightened Riolu by inches. "What's the matter, Erin?" Ash asked. "You seemed confident before..."

    "Perhaps you're going about this the wrong way..." Dawn began before kneeling down to Erin's level. "It's okay..." she smiled as she petted the shaking Riolu. "Ash wasn't trying to scare you or hurt you...he only wants to help you."

    Brock watched Dawn give Erin a hug. "It may be better if you used a different Pokémon--a Floatzel towers over a Riolu by a foot. While that doesn't sound like much to a human, think about how it looks from Erin's perspective."

    "You're right..." Ash replied as he studied the Pokémon size chart in his Pokédex. "Chimchar's actually smaller than a Riolu, so maybe she'll have better luck with Diddy."

    [You need me?] Diddy asked.

    "Can you be Erin's sparing partner for a minute?" Ash asked.

    [Sure!] Diddy smiled, hurrying before the Riolu bracing herself.

    "Okay--start with Flame Wheel!" Ash called.

    He watched Erin dart away from the massive flaming wheel. "Be brave, Erin! Try Aura Sphere!"

    Erin charged an Aura Sphere, but dispelled the aura when she saw Diddy bracing to defend.

    Brock sighed as Ash rushed to comfort the sobbing Riolu. "If you keep pounding with raw power, it's no wonder Erin is so afraid." he began. "Try pitting Erin against something she has a chance to beat, such as a Dark type."

    "I second that, plus a sparring partner closer to Erin's size." Dawn agreed.

    "But, where am I going to find a Dark type in a forest?" Ash wondered.

    "Did someone ask for a Dark type sparring partner?" a voice asked.

    Ash whirled around to find Gary approaching the camp. "Oh, Gary, hi!"

    "How've you guys been since we sent the Pokémon hunter packing?" Gary smiled as the two former rivals embraced.

    "Well, I earned two more badges, tried my hand at coordinating, Dawn finally got a second ribbon, and Brock earned another Miracle Jewel." Ash replied.

    "You did surprisingly well for your first time coordinating." Gary smiled. "I had the Wallace Cup on as background noise, and didn't know you were competing until you came on for appeal #1. Loved the Nick Dragonswift duds."

    He noticed the Riolu in Ash's arms. "Aw, who's this?"

    "This is Erin--she was a gift from the Veilstone Gym Leader." Ash explained. "We were in the middle of a friendly match when she ran away from a huge attack."

    "You might be pitting Erin against opponents that are too strong for her at this stage." Gary cautioned. "While powerful attacks like Aqua Jet, Flame Wheel, and Thunderbolt have their place in battle, they can be intimidating to young Pokémon and Pokémon that have not battled much. The best way to ease them into it is pit them against an opponent that is about their size, and that they should be able to beat."

    He took a Poké Ball. "As for where you can find a Dark type? Vega should be about the right size!"

    Ash smiled as the Umbreon materialized in the camp. "Gary, you're a genius!"

    To Be Continued...
  10. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 66b: Erin the Brave! (part 2)

    Previously, on "Pokémon Shine Diamond"...

    "You might be pitting Erin against opponents that are too strong for her at this stage." Gary cautioned. "While powerful attacks like Aqua Jet, Flame Wheel, and Thunderbolt have their place in battle, they can be intimidating to young Pokémon and Pokémon that have not battled much. The best way to ease them into it is pit them against an opponent that is about their size, and that they should be able to beat."

    He took a Poké Ball. "As for where you can find a Dark type? Vega should be about the right size!"

    Ash smiled as the Umbreon materialized in the camp. "Gary, you're a genius!"

    The two former rivals faced off in a makeshift arena some time later. "Erin, use Force Palm!" Ash called.

    "Vega, use Shadow Ball!" Gary commanded when he saw the Riolu charging.

    Vega charged up a familiar black purple ball, but Erin rolled away from it. "Nice dodge..." Gary smiled as the Shadow Ball impacted against a tree. "I've got a little gift for your Riolu, if you're interested..."

    [A present? What is it?] Erin asked.

    Gary pulled out a small black silk belt from a pocket. "This is a Black Belt. It boosts the power of Fighting type moves, so it should be just the ticket to boost Erin's confidence."

    "Thanks." Ash smiled as Gary draped the small belt across his hands.

    He motioned for Erin to come to him. "Here, Erin--let me put this on you."

    After carefully tying the small belt around Erin's waist and checking over the knots, Ash admired how Erin looked. "There--you look like a real hero now."

    "Wanna take a look at yourself?" Gary offered, setting a small mirror before Erin.

    Erin smiled at her reflection. [I DO look like a hero now!] she yipped. [I kin see the movie now--Enter the Riolu!]

    "I'll leave the mirror here, so you can pose all you want." Gary smiled before propping the mirror against a stump.

    He returned to Ash. "So, what do we do now? Do we pit Erin against Vega again? Or do we pit Erin against one of yours?"

    "You saw what happened when we tried to do that..." Ash sighed. "I wouldn't want to force Dawn to battle..."

    [What about me?] Tarina asked. [I wanna fight!]

    Brock smiled. "Okay...you can spar with Erin. Maybe you can solve our problem of finding an opponent she won't be afraid to fight."

    Gary smiled as Tarina unleashed some celebratory sparks. "Come to think of it, red mage-chu is just the right size!"

    "Don't write her off because she's cute." Brock cautioned. "Tarina can hit hard when it counts!"


    On the Pearl side of the arena, Brock told Tarina "Remember, this is just a friendly fight. That, and Erin is afraid of big attacks. So be gentle if you can."

    [Okay!] Tarina replied.

    [I'm redy when ye are.] Erin told Tarina as she struck a fighting pose.

    "Okay! Start with Force Palm!" Ash called.

    "Tarina, confuse Erin with Double Team!" Brock commanded.

    Erin stopped in her tracks when she saw what looked like hundreds of Tarinas before her. [Um, which wun's my target?] she asked.

    "Look for the Tarina with a shadow!" Ash called back. "That's your target!"

    Erin nodded, and focused her aura power for a moment before spotting the real Tarina on a rock. [HAAAAAAH!!!] she called as she delivered the Force Palm through some Tarina copies before knocking the real Tarina to the ground.

    "Try Disarming Voice!" Brock suggested as Tarina collected herself.

    Tarina nodded, and took a deep breath. Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...

    Ash smiled as Erin put up a Light Screen, reflecting the wave of sound and leaves back onto Tarina! "Nice work defending, Erin!"

    He noticed Erin looking uneasy as Tarina charged a Thundershock. "Be brave, Erin!" Ash called. "This is your chance to be a hero!"

    [Right!] Erin called back before Feinting away from the tiny ball of electricity.

    [What the...] Tarina gasped before Erin fired an Aura Sphere, sending her flying through the grass.

    Brock smiled as Tarina narrowly missed a tree. "Nicely done." he told Erin as he applauded. "You beat your first opponent."

    [Reely? I won?] Erin gasped. [I won! I won!]

    Ash grinned as Erin cartwheeled through the grass. "Well done, Erin...I'm proud of you."

    He hugged the giddy Riolu. "Even though your opponents will only get bigger and more powerful from here, remember the feeling of being brave."

    [I promise.] Erin replied.

    "Well, seems like we're done here." Gary smiled.

    [Tank ye for the gift!] Erin barked as she hurried to hug Gary.

    "Anytime--I've got millions more type boosters for all kinds of Pokémon, if you need more." Gary replied.

    "That Black Belt's done wonders for Erin's confidence." Ash agreed. "I can't thank you enough."

    "Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest impact." Gary reminded Ash. "If you need anything, let me know and I'll come runnin', no matter where in the world you are. Do me proud in the League here!"

    "Believe me, I will!" Ash called back as the group parted ways.

    To Be Continued...
  11. WavePearl

    Level 24
    Nov 22, 2012
    Episode 67: Arriving in Style!

    "Welcome back, Hearthome City..." Ash smiled as the group made their way into the majestic city. "You don't have any bad memories of the loss you had here, do you?" he asked Dawn.

    "Not at all." Dawn replied. "I've come to realize the reason I lost was because I wasn't paying attention to what my opponents were doing, and how they could capitalize off of me. But the memories of that play earlier is what I remember most."

    Ash nodded. "Since we're here, I wonder if I can get in that Gym battle I never got."

    "Actually, the Gym Leader is still away right now." a lady with long red hair replied as she stepped out from a limo.

    She smiled as she recognized Ash. "So this is the spirited young actor that played Robin Hood at the theater some months ago. You did very well with the role, I might add."

    "Thanks." Ash smiled, a little embarrassed. "I was just trying to play up the character's cleverness."

    Dawn immediately recognized the lady. "Oh Arceus--Paris and Coco, here?"

    She explained to the boys "Everyone, this is Paris, and her Lopunny; Coco. Paris is world renowned as a fashion designer, and founded Notte Royal, Mom's preferred brand."

    She sighed when she heard a familiar guitar starting the introduction to a familiar song. The gypsy rover came over the hill, Brock sang as he played, to Coco's bemusement.
    Down through the valley so shady,
    He whistled and he sang, till the green woods rang,
    and he won the heart of a lady...

    This was far as he got before Kage jabbed him, creating a discordant Eb chord. [Yeah, but it wasn't easy to win her heart.] Kage deadpanned. [Now, behave yourself!]

    "Yes, Dad..." Brock muttered under his breath.

    He noticed Paris giggling at him. "Oh, so your Croagunk doesn't like you singing?"

    "He's okay with me doing it on stage or in camp, but I can't get a street performance in edgewise." Brock explained. "Kinda ironic, since I played Alan-a-dale in the same play."

    Paris smiled. "Well you would be right at home in the Fantasy Stage taking place at the Fantasia Theater today."

    "Really?" Brock was intrigued.

    "Hearthome has long been known for its opulent theaters and concert halls." Paris explained. "While the main theater is more for traditional plays and concerts; the Fantasia is more for specialized theater and spectacles."

    "I see..." Brock mused. "Is there still time to sign up for the Fantasy Stage?"

    "There is--walkups are still being taken, and will be until noon." Paris replied.

    She looked down at Lola. "Aw...your Buneary's cute."

    "Thanks." Dawn replied. "Is it true you've worked with my mom before?"

    "Oh, so you must be Joanna's daughter, Dawn." Paris smiled. "She spoke very highly of you every time she came to the office. It warms my heart to see you following in her footsteps."

    "Thanks..." Dawn replied. "It hasn't always been easy, but I wouldn't trade any part of my journey so far for the world."

    "Would you like to go shopping with me for Contest coords?" Paris offered. "Many of the brands have an outlet here, and Notte Royal makes its headquarters here...

    "Sure!" Dawn replied. "I didn't think to pack very many coords for the trip..."

    "While you do that, I'm gonna go get signed up for the Fantasy Stage." Brock began as he started towards a bus stop with Ash.

    "Don't forget to show us what coords you get!" Ash called as Paris led Dawn to the waiting limo.

    "I won't! Dawn called back before calling to Brock "Good luck in the Fantasy Stage!"


    Dawn gawked in awe as the limo turned into the opulent shopping district. "Wow...it's beautiful out here!"

    "Thankfully, the opulent look doesn't mean opulent prices." Paris assured Dawn. "There's something here for every taste and budget.

    She asked: "Now..do you have a preferred brand or type?

    "Well..." Dawn thought for a moment. "I lean toward Beautiful and Passion coords. While I don't have a preferred brand myself yet, I like many of the coords from Notte Royal."

    "All right--we'll start there." Paris replied before motioning for her driver to stop before the Notte Royal headquarters...


    Meanwhile, the atmosphere in the Fantasia was electric as the storytellers finished the creative round. "Very well done, everyone!" the emcee began as the various storytellers reconvened on the large stage. "For this Fantasy Stage, you'll be doing a Double Free Performance. You've each been paired up with a partner, so take a few minutes to find your partner, get to know them a bit, and decide on a story you want to tell together. Once everyone's with their partner and decided on a story to tell, we'll start the Free Performance. Any questions?"

    "Does that mean both people get Miracle Jewels if they win?" a wavy haired girl in a blue, purple, and gold costume that evoked water asked as the storytellers got up to find their partners.

    "Yes--both storytellers will receive the appropriate Miracle Jewel." the emcee replied.

    "Thanks..." the girl replied before looking at her partner slip "It says here I'm with number K-42207..."

    "That would be me." Brock replied. "Number H-112114?"

    "That's me." the girl smiled. "I'm Rebecca, by the way."

    "Brock, please--nice to meet you." Brock smiled as he shook hands with his partner. "So, what kind of stories do you tell?"

    "I tell a mix of folk and fairy tales from around the world and true tales of my travels." Rebecca replied. "And you?"

    "Mostly the same, but I specialize in adventurous tales, comic tales, and true tales." Brock explained. "So, what's a tale we would both know, or would be easy to teach?"

    "Well, I know an exciting tale about three brothers and a scheming Wartortle from Kanto..." Rebecca suggested. "Want me to teach it to you?"

    "Sure!" Brock smiled.

    "Okay, here's the basics of the tale..." Rebecca began. "Basically, it's about three orphaned brothers who have come of age; and are eligible to choose a trade. So they go to see the Wartortle--who has served as their guardian..."


    "Up next is Pair 93098." the emcee announced some time later as the previous pair departed offstage.

    The audience applauded as the lights went down, save for a spotlight on Rebecca. "Once upon a time, there were three orphan brothers, whose names were Otachi, Akira, and Aruto." she began. "The brothers had reached the age of choosing what trade they would follow for the rest of their lives. In order to advise them on such an important decision, the brothers went to visit Kamena, the Wartortle who had been their trusted guardian for many years. As soon as they arrived, Kamena welcomed them, gave them fresh fruit and nuts, and they all sat in her front yard under the sakura, or Cheri tree."

    The spotlight expanded to include Brock. "Now then..." Rebecca begins as Kamena. "What brings you all here at this hour?"

    Brock cleared his throat before speaking in a mimic of Ash for Otachi. "First of all, my brothers and I wish to say thank you for all you have done for us ever since our parents left this world to join the Great Lord Arceus in heaven. Now we have decided to each learn a trade, and we would like you to advise us in this matter."

    "Kamena listened intently and nodded her head." Rebecca went on as herself. "Then there was a moment of silence as the Wartortle stared up at the sakura, apparently lost in her own thoughts. The three brothers sat very still, all wondering what was going on in Kamena’s mind."

    As Kamena, she tells Brock "I am happy that the three of you are thinking of learning a trade, but my advice to you is that you join me in my business so that we can all work together."

    Brock balks in feigned surprise, to some giggles. "We did not know that you had a business." he gasps in a mimic of Ash for Akira.

    "I do, little one." Rebecca replies as Kamena. "However, my business involves a lot of planning and scheming. I use more of my mind than my physical body. You may have noticed that I do not own a farm, nor do I buy and sell. I hold no position in the royal court, nor do I answer to any boss. Nevertheless, I eat well and I do not want for anything."

    Some awkward giggles filled the air as Brock started towards stage right, as if he was the three brothers looking to get away. "Why are you looking at me like I am holding a sword to your heads?" Rebecca asks as Kamena. "I do not go around forcing people to part with their belongings! I am very cautious in my dealings with people. It is just that I always find a way of getting whatever I want, by hook or by crook."

    As herself, Rebecca explains "There was another long silence among the group. The brothers did not know what to say to Kamena. Eventually Otachi stood up and said..."

    "We will be on our way now, but we will think about your proposal and give you an answer tomorrow before sunset." Brock offers as Otachi.

    "The next day, Otachi was the only one who went to visit Kamena." Rebecca narrates.

    "My brothers and I have thought seriously about your offer," Brock explains to Rebecca as Otachi. "and we want to thank you for thinking about us, but we cannot work for you. We are honest people and we would like honest trades. We want to work with our hands and we do not wish to take from others."

    "Is that what you have to say to me after all I have done to support you since the death of your parents?" Rebecca gasps in feigned anger as Kamena.

    Brock just bows his head in feigned defeat. "I am sorry, but that is the way we feel."

    "In that case," Rebecca yells as Kamena, "you and your brothers have just made a vicious enemy!"

    Fearful murmurs wafted through the auditorium as the audience debated what Kamena will do for revenge before the lights come back up on Rebecca again. "A few weeks later, the three brothers started learning their various new trades. They worked very hard and diligently at their various tasks. They did as they were told; they listened to their masters intently and soon became very skilled and very well respected among the townsfolk. Otachi became the best hunter the village had ever known. Akira provided the best wine the village had ever tasted. And Aruto became the best fisherman, always catching the biggest haul of fish every morning."

    She then intones "But as the brothers’ fame grew, so did Kamena’s jealousy. And it was in such a mood that Kamena formed a plot to destroy the brothers."

    "Ooh"s went up as Rebecca continues "One day, Kamena went to the palace and told the king that the three brothers had been boasting of magnificent feats that no ordinary human could possibly perform. The cunning Wartortle feigned a great sadness, saying to the king..."

    She walked over to stage right and bowed before Brock, now in the role of the king. "I am concerned that people will start to believe what the brothers are saying because of their so called good reputation. If this happens, I am afraid our city will be in a good deal of trouble."

    "What do you mean?" Brock asks as the king.

    ‘Your Highness, if people ask the brothers to perform these great feats, feats which I know to be impossible, what damage will that do to the reputation of our city?" Rebecca explains as Kamena. "We will be known far and wide as the city of liars. People will say that we boast of things that are not possible! I think you should do something to stop this!"

    As herself, Rebecca explains "The king grew very angry when listening to Kamena’s speech. After all, a village, town, or city was nothing without its good reputation, and it seemed that the orphan brothers were threatening the royal family’s good name."

    "Leave it to me, Kamena. I know exactly what to do." Brock assures Rebecca as the king.

    "That same day, the king ordered the three brothers to come to the palace." Rebecca narrates as herself. "As soon as they arrived, the king shouted at them...."

    The lights went down, leaving the auditorium in total darkness, save for Brock simultaneously performing the next scene on his own. "You are evil men! Before you destroy my kingdom I will destroy you! In exactly one week I want you to return to my palace and prove to me that you are capable of these impossible feats that you have been boasting about all over the village." he threatens as the king. "Otachi, you must fire an arrow that will touch the sky! You, Akira, will climb the highest tree without rope or spurs! Aruto, you must swim the length of the western river. I am giving you a chance to perform these feats so that all of us might see if you are telling the truth. If you are not able to do as I have instructed, then you will be thrown in the dungeon for life!"

    "Your highness, we did not claim such feats!" he protests as Otachi.

    "But the angry king did not listen to Otachi, and ordered his guards to escort the brothers from the palace." Rebecca sighs as the lights came back up. "The brothers were devastated. After discussing their predicament among themselves, they concluded that Kamena was the one behind their situation, but they did not know what to do. For many days they could not eat, drink, or sleep. They tried to think of what they might do, but could find no solution to their problem. To make matters worse, they could not run away, because the king had assigned armed guards to watch their every move. The brothers were not allowed to leave their house at any time."

    Brock, meanwhile, finds a recorder backstage while the Fantasia's house band prepares to play. "Early one morning, the three brothers were roused from their sleep by a strange and beautiful sound." Rebecca continues. "They opened a window to see a beautiful Fletchling perched on the wall outside of their house. The bird was singing a solemn tune that went something like this..."

    She then started to sing Ieyui...

    A drum and a tambourine joined in as Rebecca continued Ieyui...

    Some of the house band joined in with backup. Hasate kanae...

    Hasate kanae...

    Brock joined in on the recorder as Rebecca started the second rendition of Ieyui...

    Another band member added a descant on whistle as Rebecca continued Ieyui...

    Hasate kanae...
    some singers joined in.

    Hasate kanae...

    Rebecca waits for the applause to die down before continuing "The brothers were mesmerized by the beautiful song: the call and response of the verse, the gentle rhythm and haunting lyrics. When the song had finished, the Fletchling fluttered away into the sky and left the brothers in a gentle silence."

    Brock returns to see a prop gold bow, a gold colored rope, and a yellow armband on the stage. "It was then that Otachi noticed the shining gold bow and quiver of thirty arrows sitting on the wall. Next to the bow was a magical golden rope. Next to the rope lay a golden arm band." Rebecca explains as Brock sets the rope at his side, slings the bow and quiver of arrows on his back, and puts on the armband. "Each of the brothers took the item that related to his trade, aware that they were the only ones who could see the bow, the rope, or the golden arm band. These magical gifts would remain invisible to anyone else."

    She steps back a little as she continues "Later that morning, they made their way to the palace where the king and his advisors were already seated and waiting for the feats to be performed. Kamena was also perched confidently beside the king, a wry smile grazing the corners of her mouth. As the brothers entered the courtyard, a thrilling hush swept through the crowd and the king’s words rang out loud and clear like a bell."

    "Otachi, you claim to be able to shoot an arrow up into the sky. Show us this impossible feat of yours." Brock instructs as the king.

    A click from backstage alerts both Brock and Rebecca that Brock's target is in place and he is clear to shoot. "Otachi, who had his invisible bow strapped to his back, took an arrow..." Rebecca waits for Brock to take one of the prop arrows, nock it, and aim at the offstage target. "aimed for the sun, and fired." At this, Brock fires his shot.

    Some light applause goes up when they hear the thunk of the arrow hitting the target some seconds later. "The arrow soared high up into the sky and disappeared among the clouds." Rebecca goes on, smiling when she sees that Brock hit the target very close to the bullseye. The crowd went wild with joy, cheering and clapping for Otachi. The king, however, began to sweat profusely. He had never seen such a thing in his entire life. Next he told Akira to climb the tallest tree in the center of the town square without a rope or climbing spurs."

    Brock pantomimes climbing with the rope as Rebecca narrates "Akira, who had already tied his magical rope around his waist, began to climb the tree. He climbed very fast and without hesitation. He scaled the tree as easily as any man might walk along a path, and he reached the top in no time at all. The crowd shouted out praise and clapped and cheered for Akira. By now the king was growing quiet, and Kamena too was looking very uneasy. The king called upon Aruto to lead the group to the great river to the west of the city."

    After setting the bow, arrows and rope aside, Brock shows the crowd the armband as Rebecca narrates "Aruto was wearing his golden arm band, but this band remained visible only to him and his brothers. He led the crowd to the river’s edge and plunged straight in." Brock pantomimes swimming as a sound effect of rushing rapids plays. "Once in the water he did not hesitate, he moved his arms and kicked with his legs and swam the length and breadth of the great river, darting to and fro with the speed of lightning."

    When the water sounds fade, Rebecca continues "The villagers went wild; the minstrels struck up a song of praise on their many instruments; there was clapping and cheering and the villagers hoisted the brothers up onto their shoulders and carried them back to the palace."

    The house band struck up a festive interlude, but Rebecca cautions "Now, Kamena knew her judgement had come, so she tried to escape from the palace by sneaking through the assembled crowd as quickly as her sluggish little legs would carry her. Just as Kamena was sure of her escape, one of the guards spotted her and cried..."

    "Not so fast, you mischievous little devil!" Brock intones in his 'somebody's in trouble' voice as he pulls a pantomime Wartortle back. "Where do you think you are going?"

    "The guard hoisted Kamena onto his shoulders and carried her back into the palace." Rebecca narrates as Brock does this to the pantomime Wartortle. "The king called the brothers to sit beside him on his throne as he addressed the people of the city."

    "I want to apologize to these brave young men," Brock explains as the king. "I am sorry for falsely accusing them of being deceitful, and I apologize for the pain that I might have caused them."

    He then addresses an imagined person. "I would like to honor you today by inviting you to be part of my royal court."

    "The crowd erupted into more clapping, cheering, and songs as the brothers accepted the king’s generous offer. Otachi was made the chief hunter, Akira the royal cupbearer, and Aruto the assistant to the royal cook." Rebecca narrates.

    "As for you, Kamena," Brock addresses the pantomime Wartortle as the king. "You will be locked up in the dungeon to serve the sentence you wished served upon these three brave brothers."

    "The villagers all approved of the king’s judgment as Kamena was led away by the royal guards." Rebecca concluded. "As you can imagine, the three brothers lived happily ever after."

    The crowd roared with applause as Brock, Rebecca, and the house band took a bow together...


    "So, how was your first experience with a partner?" Dawn asked as she sorted through what outfits she had bought that evening.

    "It was very nice, actually." Brock replied as he toyed with the plastic topaz he had received. "It helped I was paired up with someone that I really clicked with."

    "It's beautiful when that happens." Ash smiled. "So, what's our next step, since the Gym Leader is still out?"

    "We can always explore the surrounding areas around Hearthome..." Brock suggested as he added his topaz to his bag. "We didn't really get to do that the last time we came."

    After tying up his Miracle Jewel bag, he asked Dawn "So, what kinds of coords did you get with Paris?"

    "Quite a bit, actually." Dawn smiled as she brought over her shopping bags and laid out the various coords on the bed for the boys to see. "First is Golden Nomel, my only Cute coord of the lot." she explained as she pointed out a pale yellow costume. "We were looking in the Jeweled Story shop, and I thought it was beautiful. Paris said that not all Cute and Dreamy coords were frilly outfits..."

    To Be Continued...

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