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Pokemon: The Song of Jewels

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by WavePearl, Jan 3, 2013.

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  1. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 21: "Ardea's white hot training method!" (part 2)


    "How is everything in here?" Ardea asked as she returned to the training arena.

    "Doing great!" Wendy replied before parrying a move from Rory.

    "Yeah, Wendy's doing very well." Rory agreed before he blocked Wendy's next attack

    [Pull!] Hinata called to Kitsune. Kitsune heaved a target into the air, which Hinata aimed an Ember at, shattering the target in an explosion of flames and clay shards.

    "Can I shoot something else yet?" Brock sighed as he fired yet another shot from 70 feet away. "Or better yet, shoot with my own bow?"

    "You can take a break now..." Ardea assured Brock before showing him his bow, which now had ivy inlays etched in it. "Okay, I first gave you a stronger string, so your arrows can go farther and faster. Then I tweaked the design a bit, into a recurved bow. This way it's easier to maintain, but requires a little more strength than what you had before."

    "It's beautiful...." Brock smiled as he took the newly refurbished bow from Ardea and returned the practice bow he had been shooting with. "The decorations are a nice touch."

    "Glad you like it." Ardea smiled before retrieving a tape dispenser. "Where do you put your hand when you're shooting?"

    "Right here..." Brock replied, pointing out the place in the center of the bow where he usually held it.

    Ardea said nothing, but put a piece of tape on the point Brock showed her and on his hand. "Okay...what I want you to do is take a few shots, making sure the piece of tape on your hand and the piece of tape on your bow match."

    Brock nodded, and readied a shot, being careful to remember to match the tape on his hand with the one on his weapon. He tried this a few more times, with Ardea looking on all the while.

    After he had taken about six shots, Ardea removed the tape from him and grabbed a deck of playing cards. "Well done...your hand position is very nice for someone that hasn't shot in a while..." she began. "Now...what I want you to do is try and hit the heart in the ace of hearts." She paused to set the card in question into a small horizontal pulley. "Since I saw you're a good shot with a still target, I'm gonna make this drill a bit harder by making the card move."

    Brock swallowed hard--he had never tried hitting a moving target before. "A-any suggestions for h-hitting a moving target?"

    "Easy--just keep your eyes on the target." Ardea assured him. "You're more often than not going to find moving targets in the Tower of Runes and in the other seven Gem locations, so better learn now than later." With that, she started the pulley, making the card slowly approach the target, travel past it, then approach it again. "When you can hit the heart consistently at a slow speed, I'm gonna speed it up a little." she cautioned.

    Brock nodded, and readied his shot as the card approached, but his shot just barely nicked the card. Not to worry, let's just try again...

    His next shot managed to make a hole in the left edge of the card.Maybe if I released my shot just before the heart arrives...

    He gasped in awe when sure enough, his third shot hit the middle of the heart! "YES!!!"

    "Do it again!" Ardea urged.

    Brock nodded, and fired another shot into the center of the heart, making sure to time his shot just before the heart came into his line of sight. But after a while, the heart was now riddled with arrow holes. "I think we need a new ace of hearts..."

    "Not a problem--I keep tons of boxes of playing cards for this kind of practice." Ardea assured him as she set a new ace of hearts into the pulley. "I've gone through plenty of aces--spades, clubs, and diamonds as well as hearts."

    After adjusting the pulley's speed, she continued. "Now, try hitting the heart at a little bit faster pace."

    "Got it!" Brock replied before readying another shot....

    ----------

    "Thank you so much for the training." Wendy smiled. "I feel like I could take on anything, whether for real or on stage!"

    "Anytime!" Ardea replied. "Consider it returning the favor for saving Kitsune."

    "But before you go, I have something for you..." Rory interjected, handing Wendy a blue sword sheath. "This should protect you in the Tower of Runes--I call it the Blessed White Sword!"

    Brock smiled as Wendy drew the blue and white blade and tried a few moves with it. She looks like a natural--a beautiful blade for a beautiful and brave companion.

    "I just hope that you two are the first ones to return from the Tower of Runes alive." Ardea smiled. "Who knows what amazing things are in there just waiting to be found?"

    "Well, when we get out of there, we'll tell you all about it!" Brock replied as he and Wendy departed the Gym and into the setting sun...

    TO BE CONTINUED....
     
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  2. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 22: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 1)


    "Well, this is it..." Brock mused as he and Wendy approached the Tower of Runes the next morning. "We brave the Tower of Runes and find out what wonders and terrors lie inside."

    "In case we don't make it..." Wendy laid a hand on Brock's. "You are one of the best friends I've ever met."

    "And to you likewise." Brock replied. With that, he gathered his gear and motioned for the Pokémon to follow him inside.

    "Hello?" Wendy called as they entered the first room of the tower. "Anyone here?"

    Brock noticed that the walls of the tower were covered in odd runes that faintly glowed every few seconds. "Well, now we know why this place is called the Tower of Runes..."

    [But where's Meloetta?] Raku wondered.

    [Yeah--if she knows we're trying to find one of her spellsongs, she should at least appear to us, or give us a test of courage--or something!] Satomi stammered, unnerved by the faintly glowing runes.

    Just then, an oddly pleasant female voice singing in an alien language resonated through the large room. Cair, in cair, a chár imh gcirlalann,
    Emh au bion la ghallran lig cev do slan...


    [Who's there?] Tenku squawked, surprised at the voice.

    As if in response to Tenku's call, a small sprite-like Pokémon appeared in the room, brushing her green music staff-like hair as she kept singing in the strange language. Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...

    Au gcot gida mibrar ach bruin,
    Neag emh au ala lel, au gcot mhagád...

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...


    Hinata shook her head. [If Meloetta wants to tell us something, I don't have a clue what she's saying!] Brock just motioned for Hinata to be quiet as he listened to the song...

    Ach ogod bion fe mala do bel,
    Be lig la gcen en fen arnin.

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...


    Brock suddenly found himself tapping his foot in time to the song, making a slow, yet rhythmic beat echo through the room as Meloetta kept singing...

    Neag au ciga chellrar fe biga la gcen,
    No gorlol do ghallran ach bobrol líor ben...

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...

    La teandno nean tadh gcont gola,
    Malal letha ke gceiv me ogod...


    Mizuchi gasped as she heard Wendy join in the song. Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...


    The lightbulb went off in Terra's head. [I get it! Meloetta is testing our hearts--and if they are pure, we'll know her language and sing with her!] She listened intently as Meloetta would sing a verse, then Wendy, Brock, and seemingly hundreds of other voices chimed in on the chorus, Brock doubling Wendy an octave below:

    La irian cen la min imh la horn,
    Pog ilo no la daus ach la fhinn...

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...

    La irnid loran es diro remmenn
    La diro remmenn imh é lirbesn limma...

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...

    La fernin len gcont tengol learlar
    Neag a gcot suínda au lein la fhen...

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...

    La silag cen elorona gcoleth
    Lelala he delrbid gcot ogar lef...

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò..

    La muistech en an lel an fhiod,
    Eg gcot heg nach, her gcot eg lain...

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò.

    La bilola loran é lelfo lí,
    Est chellrar gces'g cin é cain lig'n brí.

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò.

    Ach pim, la ostaliv, lios an la aen
    Gcot mhega é cheala cain'n brí gcen!

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò.

    Kas la ben imh latha éirn resta ferbasar,
    La ogod iran gcot na niroladh gelagar!

    Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
    Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
    Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò.


    With that, Meloetta smiled. "Well done, travelers...you have proven yourself worthy to proceed further into the tower." A door on the other end of the room rumbled open to emphasize Meloetta's point.

    "How is it we could sing in your language, despite not knowing it innately?" Brock wondered.

    "Your hearts were in tune with mine--and your desire to find my jewels is pure and sincere." Meloetta replied. "And not a moment too soon--the seal of fire has already begun to weaken thanks to Team Elegy's attempt to take the fire guardian's Fennekin."

    "Oh--you mean Ardea's sadness over losing Kitsune?" Wendy wondered.

    Meloetta nodded. "The guardians in anguish , sadness, anger and fear weakens the seals holding Giratina. "The ruby at the top of this tower is the only thing keeping the seal of fire from breaking. I beg you to prove yourselves worthy of its song by braving the tower's trials."

    Brock nodded. "We'll do it!!"

    "If it means protecting Minami and the world, I'll do anything!" Wendy agreed.

    Meloetta smiled. "Very well, then--I'll be waiting at the tower's highest room." With that, she disappeared in a flash of green light.

    "Let's go!" Brock led the way to the door leading the second floor of the tower....

    To Be Continued...
     
  3. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 23: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 2)

    "Here we are--the famed Tower of Runes." Brock mused as he and Wendy arrived in the first room of the tower's second floor.

    "Nobody here but us Rattatas and...a harp?" Wendy was intrigued by a harp sitting by the door leading to the next room.

    Brock, meanwhile, picked up a piece of paper, and examined it. "Wonder what this is...looks like a piece of sheet music..."

    [Let me see!] Hinata offered. After studying the piece of sheet music in Brock's hands for a moment, she gasped. [The notes on the staff are the same notes for Brock's "fire" spellsong!]

    [Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul....] Emi sang, but the door didn't budge. [It didn't work...]

    [No, look...the notes here are the notes Brock usually sings for this song--low re, la, ti, do, re, ti, so, la....] Tenku explained, pointing out each note to Emi as she named them.

    A thoughtful look appeared on Brock's face."Maybe If I tried playing those notes on the harp...."

    "Worth a try..." Wendy mused. "Maybe this is how all those other would be explorer's died--they had no clue how to solve Meloetta's puzzles, and literally died trying to solve them."

    Brock, meanwhile, hurried over to where the harp stood, and very gently plucked the strings that matched the notes on the piece of sheet music, making the door to the next room rumble open. [It worked!] Satomi squeaked.

    "Onward!" Wendy led the way into the room.

    "And that harp was somehow still in tune..." Brock grinned, pleased with himself for figuring out the puzzle's solution. "After Arceus knows how many years..."

    "This is Meloetta's domain, so I'm sure she keeps every instrument in here tuned." Wendy replied. "The next question is how we're going to get out of here with no apparent exit besides where we came from...." Sure enough, aside from a few ragged tapestries from an era long past, and the walls filled with glowing runes, there was no obvious exit.

    [Silly, just do what Link does!] Raku giggled. [Hit a switch or something with an arrow and ta da! There's a door!]

    "Well, there's a huge difference from video games and the real world, Raku." Wendy explained. "Although I have a feeling some of our knowledge from Zelda and RPGs may help us here...."

    "So if I have to hit something to open the door, where's the target?" Brock asked Raku.

    [Yes--what is Brock supposed to hit to open the door?] Tenku asked Raku.

    [Um...] Raku glanced around the room, desperately looking for something that remotely resembled a switch or a target. [Maybe one of those ancient banners has a switch!]

    [Great idea!] Hinata agreed.

    Tenku fluttered over to a tapestry hanging by the entryway and carefully lifted the edge with her beak. [No switches there...] She then flew over to another tapestry, where she found a dull red stone behind the ragged tapestry. [Try hitting this red stone!] she called down to Brock.

    "Okay..." Brock readied an arrow, then fired. The arrow struck the stone, making a soft A note as the arrow impacted, and making part of the northern wall slide open like a door.

    [What I tell ya?] Raku smiled as the group made their way through a dark passageway.

    Some giggles and laughter filled the air as the group emerged into the next room. "Aw, Ralts!" Wendy gasped as an array of white humanoid Pokémon gossiped with each other and played games,all under the watchful eye of a Gardevoir.

    The Gardevoir heard Wendy's cry and smiled. I commend you and your companion for finding the way into our secret place.

    "We come in peace--Meloetta bade us find the Fire Ruby." Brock explained.

    I know--we heard the whole song when you arrived. the Gardevoir replied. My name is Ariane--my children and I watch over the tower, and inform Meloetta on a seeker's progress.

    "Can you tell us anything about what else to expect in the tower?" Wendy asked.

    While I can't specifically name anything that awaits you here, I can tell you that the two of you must use your wits and battle skills as you progress. Ariane replied. As you discovered when you played the harp, not every puzzle will have an obvious solution.

    "In other words, what we've used in video games is real here?" Brock wondered.

    Not quite--while what you have learned in the virtual worlds may help you on your quest, no part of the Tower or the other seven sanctums is an exact replica of places you may have found in those worlds. Ariane cautioned before two Ralts brought her a ruby ring and a sapphire ring. if you should somehow perish in the sanctums, these rings will revive you in the sanctum's safe room--which is here, in the case of the Tower.

    "Thanks!" Wendy smiled as she put on the sapphire ring.

    [Oooh....] Emi admired her reflection in the small circular ruby surrounded in leaf and swirl inlays.

    When you do earn the right to sing spellsongs, the ring can also be an option to channel the magic, as well. a Ralts added.

    Wendy admired the deep blue stone surrounded in a silvery starburst design. "Thank you, again--we promise we will not lose or break these."

    TO BE CONTINUED...
     
  4. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Level 34
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    Episode 24: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 3)


    "Let's see..." Wendy mused as she studied the hole in the middle of the floor of the next room. "I'm not the best jumper in the world..."

    "I doubt basketball jumps would be any help..." Brock agreed. "Not unless we were going up or I had a running start."

    [Don't be silly!] Tenku scolded. [This hole is small enough for even a Pidgey to fly across! Watch!]

    With that, Tenku took off across the hole, but when Brock heard a THWACK!!!! and a weak [Ow...] as Tenku appeared to hit something solid, then slide into the dusty pit, dazed.

    "Funny...how could there be something there halfway across the hole?" Wendy wondered.

    Inspired, Brock readied an arrow and fired at the place Tenku had crashed. A <i>tink</i> as the arrow impacted what appeared to be a wall and fell into the dust near where Tenku was struggling to get up confirmed his suspicions. "There's an invisible wall about halfway across...."

    [I know that, Captain Obvious, but would you guys hurry up and get down here?] Tenku snapped. [My head hurts!]

    [We'll be right there as soon as we find a way to get to you without hitting the wall ourselves.] Hinata called back, then studied the edge of the pit for any sign of a stairway or ladder.

    Wendy, meanwhile, handed Raku a Sitrus Berry. "Take this to Tenku--and while you're in the pit, let us know if there's a way to climb under the invisible wall."

    [Okay!] Raku replied before taking the Berry, jumping into the pit, and hurrying to Tenku's side. [Here--this is to ease that headache.] he smiled after setting the Berry at Tenku's side.

    [Thanks...] Tenku weakly replied, her head still spinning from the hard blow. [I think I see a ladder near where everyone else is standing....]

    Sure enough, Raku spotted a dull brown ladder in the dust at each end of the pit. [Guys! There's a ladder at each end!]

    Wendy led the way down, and after crawling through the dust, cradled Tenku in her arms. "Are you okay, Tenku?"

    "She did take a hard hit..." Brock mused before holding up two fingers. "How many fingers do you see?"

    [Two...] Tenku weakly replied.

    Brock heaved a sigh of relief. "That's a good sign that her injury isn't serious, but we'll keep an eye on her just in case."

    [I've smacked harder things before, but this is the first time I've hit an invisible wall.] Tenku stifled a weak giggle as the group climbed through the pit and into the next room.

    [I'm ready to go to the next floor...] Satomi announced as the group entered what appeared to be a kind of performance hall, with a lone guitar-like instrument by a chair where a performer would sit. Sableye statues kept a watchful eye on the tranquil room.

    Just then, Hinata spotted a message in the glowing runes on the wall. [A minor key will see you to the next floor...]

    [That's easy!] Satomi giggled. [All Brock has to do is play two chords, and the door opens!]

    Brock examined the cryptic message for a moment, causing a smile to form on his face. "It's not quite that simple, Satomi--while you're right about my needing to play two chords for the door to open, the clue also tells us exactly which two chords I need to play and open the door."

    [Huh?] Raku asked as Brock settled in the performer's chair and checked to see if the guitar-like instrument was in tune.

    Wendy examined the clue again. "Of course! A minor and C major!"

    Sure enough, the door rumbled open as the two chords in question resonated through the room. [Two floors down, eight to go!] Hinata called as she led the group upstairs....
     
  5. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
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    Episode 25: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 4)


    "Some adventure this is..." Wendy grumbled as the group arrived on the third floor, which opened into a large cavern-like room. "I haven't even had a chance to use my weapon yet...."

    Oh but you will. Ariane's voice assured the group. This floor is a dungeon in itself--if you can brave the traps within, and lay your weapons on Meloetta's Glimmering Baton, it will enchant it so you can face any foe, including Ghost Pokémon.

    Just then, a roar startled Wendy, prompting her to draw her blade. "I don't want to know what that is..."

    [Angry Rhydon!] Hinata gasped as a large gray reptilian Pokémon lumbered in the room, making the ground shudder with every step. But before the Rhydon could attack, Hinata rammed into it with a Quick Attack, but the attack barely made the earthen behemoth move.

    [Look out!] Tenku screeched as she watched the Rhydon's foot land where Hinata had been standing minutes before, nearly throwing the entire group to the ground.

    "Good thing you ran before that Rhydon stomped..." Brock heaved a nervous sigh of relief.

    [I do NOT wanna become a Vulpix-cake...] Hinata replied.

    [Aren't you guys forgetting something?] Mizuchi interjected, but her voice was barely audible as the room shook with the Rhydon's roars. [I'm a Water type, so I have an advantage over this big ol' windbag!]

    "Well, why don't you try to weaken it?" Wendy called, nearly screaming to be heard over the Rhydon.

    Mizuchi nodded, than fired a shining rainbow beam at the Rhydon, making it scream in pain at the cold. [It worked!] she reported when the Rhydon winced in pain from the weakening effects of the Aurora Beam.

    "Thanks!" Wendy called before yelling at the Rhydon "You wanna piece of me, big shot? Come and get it!" She then dashed up to the Rhydon and slashed it in the leg, making the room rumble with another roar of pain.

    Terra, meanwhile, flung some of the dust on the floor in the Rhydon's face. [Take that, you bully!]

    "Take this, too!" Tenku heard the whistle of one of Brock's arrows flying and impacting one of the Rhydon's stubby fingers.

    "Great shot!" Wendy smiled at Brock.

    [My turn!] Tenku flapped up a large tornado that went flying at the Rhydon, carrying it high into the air.

    "Brace yourself...." Brock cautioned, only wincing when the Rhydon landed on the floor with a huge thud some seconds later.

    [Heads up, Mr. Rhydon!] Mizuchi called seconds before a large wave crashed on top of the Rhydon.

    [Talk about hanging ten...] Raku mused as he, Emi, and Satomi watched the battle raging feet away from them.

    [To be fair, splashing him with Surf seemed like a great idea!] Emi noted as the Rhydon tried to get up, which was made even harder by the Surf turning most of the floor into mud.

    [Now to confuse this big guy...] Hinata fired a bright teal beam at the Rhydon, making it stumble about the room.

    "Let's give it all we've got!" Wendy led the charge and slashed the Rhydon in the other leg.

    [See the sword, be the sword...] Terra mused as she danced about the floor, making a red aura shaped like swords appear around the group.

    [Thank you, Terra.] Hinata smiled. With that, she unleashed a Flamethrower at the Rhydon, making it fall in some charred mud with a SPLOTCH!

    Wendy noticed the Rhydon struggling to get up. Maybe if I jump slashed it.... With that, she ran towards the Rhydon and jumped, delivering a large gash to one arm on the way down.

    "Terra...try digging underneath the Rhydon." Brock suggested. Terra nodded, and wasted no time digging a hole in the floor.

    [Round and round you go in this trial by fire!] Hinata screeched as she surrounded the Rhydon in a tornado of flames.

    "Fire Spin--there's an idea..." Wendy mused.

    Suddenly, the Rhydon eased itself into all fours position, then rapidly barreled at the group, making a large gash in the wall as everyone scrambled out of the way. "We forgot that Rhydon knows Rapid Spin...." Brock wheezed as he assessed Hinata and Terra, who had been sent flying by the force of the Rapid Spin.

    [Shoot at it before it can attack again!] Satomi screeched.

    Brock nodded, readied an arrow, and fired at the Rhydon's horn--the Rhydon's most sensitive location. That bought Hinata time to unleash another Flamethrower, Mizuchi to use some of the mud on the floor in a Muddy Water attack, and Tenku to dive bomb it with Aerial Ace. But it was Terra that delievered the final blow some moments later, when she surfaced beneath the Rhydon and sent it flying in a tower of earth.

    [Good riddance...] Mizuchi muttered as the Rhydon landed on the ground some seconds later, swirly eyed.

    Wendy just sheathed her blade. "Great fighting, everyone...."

    "And you did great yourself." Brock replied as he motioned for the group to follow him. "Rory taught you very well."

    TO BE CONTINUED....
     
  6. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 26: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 5)


    "We made it..." Wendy heaved a relieved sigh as the group entered what looked like a huge library. In addition to books of every shape, size, and subject, stone statues of Meloetta also dotted the room. Some of them depicted her dancing in Pirouette form, some depicted her singing in Aria form, and still others depicted her praying or playing on a variety of instruments.

    "What I want to know is how we're going to get up to the way out of here..." Brock mused as he studied a doorway on a balcony, but there was no stairwell, rope, teleportation device to reach it.

    [I'm the only one with wings, and I don't know if I can carry all of you...] Tenku sighed

    "That, and there's no switch for Brock to hit so we can move on." Wendy groaned, slumping to the floor in frustration.

    "Well, if you know a way to get up to the balcony, I'm all ears." Brock assured his companion, but even HE had no idea how to solve the apparent puzzle before them.

    He was snapped from his thoughts by a familiar voice singing Karuto, iichiida shou..., followed by a green glow--one of the statues had apparently come to life!

    "Meloetta?" Wendy gasped.

    "What are you doing here?" Brock was equally surprised.

    "I came to congratulate you on how well you're doing so far--not many seekers were able to defeat the Rhydon I posted to guard this floor and my baton." Meloetta smiled. "But as I'm sure you've noticed, your way out is way up there." She gestured to the door on the balcony to prove her point.

    "So how do we get up there?" Wendy asked.

    "There's no stairwells, ropes, teleports, switches, springs, catapults, or anything else that could get us up there." Brock agreed.

    "If you answer this question of mine correctly, I will take you up there and allow you to continue." Meloetta assured the group. "Get it wrong, and you will have to battle one of the library's guardians before you can try again."

    "This isn't a so-called 'impossible' question, is it?" Brock swallowed hard at the prospect of a question not even he could figure out.

    "And we're not timed, are we?" Wendy added. If there's one thing I hate more than impossible questions, it's having to race the clock to figure out an impossible question!

    Meloetta giggled. "Oh no, I would not pit you against the clock unless I was sure you had plenty of time to answer. As for the question--it is not impossible, but it should make you think a little--an important skill if you are seeking the other gems."

    "So we can take as long as we need?" Wendy asked. Meloetta nodded. "Okay..."

    "Ask us anything." Brock challenged.

    "In a small village in a far away land, three innocent prisoners are sitting in a jail." Meloetta explained. "One day, the cruel jailer takes them out of their cell and places them in a line on three chairs, in such a way that person C can see both person A and person B, person B can see only person A, and person A can see none of the others. The jailer shows them 5 hats, 2 of which are black and 3 of which are white. After this, he blindfolds the prisoners, places one hat on each of their heads, and removes the blindfolds again. The jailer tells the three prisoners that if one of them is able to determine the color of his hat within one minute, all of them are released. Otherwise, they will all be executed. None of the prisoners can see his own hat, and all are fairly intelligent. After 59 seconds, person A shouts out the color of his hat, which happens to be correct!"

    She pauses to make sure the group understands the circumstances of her riddle. "My question for you is, what is the color of person A's hat, and how did he know?"

    "Hm..." Wendy began thinking about possible answers to the problem.

    "Everyone, huddle!" Brock suggested.

    Once the group had gathered around, Brock recapped what Meloetta had told them. "Okay, when the prisoners are taken out, we know that person C can see both person A and person B, person B can see only person A, and person A can see none of the others."

    "We also know that they each are wearing a hat, which has an equally likely chance of being black or white." Wendy added, "They are told that if they can correctly determine which color hat they are wearing in a minute, they will be freed. If they fail, they die."

    [and at 59 seconds, person A figured it out and answered right.] Mizuchi concluded. [So where do we begin?]

    [Well, person B and person C didn't give an answer.] Hinata interjected.

    A grin formed on Brock's face--Hinata possibly knew the key to the riddle! "Okay, let's assume person B and person C didn't answer because they didn't have enough info to go on."

    "Person C had to be seeing at least one white hat on the heads of A and B..." Wendy mused. "Because if he saw two black hats, he would know that he is wearing a white hat."

    [Person B therefore knows that he and/or A is wearing a white hat...] Tenku added.

    [And since he can't give an answer, he must be seeing a white hat on A's head!] Terra concluded.

    Wendy smiled. "You may be right, Terra--if B saw A wearing a black hat, he would know that he himself wears a white one."

    "Since neither C nor B can give an answer to the jailer's question, A finally concludes that he is wearing a white hat!" Brock triumphantly concludes before hugging Hinata.

    "You're a genius, Hinata!" Wendy agreed before the huddle broke.

    Brock then told Meloetta "Person A is wearing a white hat."

    A smile formed on Meloetta's face. "Well done--that is the correct answer!"

    The group cheered at this. "As I promised, I will take you to the door up top--so close your eyes, so I don't blind you with the teleportation magic."

    He wasn't sure what happened next, but all Brock remembered was a bright aura and Meloetta's spellsong: Karuto, iichiida shou....
     
  7. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 27: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 6)


    [Oh, goodness...] Mizuchi gasped at the maze of tunnels as the group arrived on the next part of the floor.

    "Next question: out of all these routes, which one is the correct one that will lead us onward?" Brock agreed, both awed and confused as to the number and size of the passageways in the large and cavernous room.

    [I wish we could find a way out...] Emi sighed. [What if we get lost and are wandering this tower forever?]

    "We're not going to get lost..." Brock assured Emi when a bright white light got his attention. "What the..."

    He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw Jirachi before him."I heard someone wish for the way out...since Meloetta tells me you are the chosen ones seeking the Gems of Song, I will take you to the route that will lead you the guardian of Meloetta's baton and the next floor."

    Wendy was elated. "Thank you so much! Beats running into traps at every turn..."

    "There isn't so much traps here as you will keep coming back here." Jirachi explained before flying over to one passageway on the left side of the room. "This is the way foward--but be wary of the guardian protecting the baton."

    "What can you tell us about the guardian?" Brock asked.

    "It is a sea dragon that somewhat resembles a Feraligatr." Jirachi explained as he lit the correct route for Brock and Wendy to follow. "His name is not known even to us Legendaries, but it is dangerous to attack up close."

    He then flew over to Wendy's sword and touched the hilt, making the sword and the sheath glow a light green for a moment. "This will allow you to shoot magical beams from your blade..."

    Next, he flew over to the quiver on Brock's back and touched the fletching on one arrow, making all the arrows' fletching turn a sparkling green color. "...and I have enchanted your arrows with electricity, so you will have a better chance of winning the fight."

    "Thanks, Jirachi!" Wendy smiled.

    "Yes, thank you so much for your help." Brock agreed, taking a deep breath to calm himself for the battle just up ahead.

    "Not a problem--if you ever need my help again, I am only a wish away..." With that, Jirachi disappeared in a flash of light, but the glowing tunnel remained.

    [I'm gonna sit this one out...] Hinata shuddered.

    [Me too...] Terra agreed.

    "Good idea--Hinata stands no chance of defeating a water monster." Wendy mused as she led the way into the tunnel.

    "Nor does Terra." Brock agreed. "They can protect the little ones."

    It wasn't long before the group arrived in a large room filled with vines, exotic plants, and aquatic flowers floating on the surface of the murky green water. [Hey, I don't see any Feraligatr monster in here!] Satomi protested before Hinata and Terra led her, Raku, and Emi from the room, leaving Brock and Wendy to face the guardian alone.

    Suddenly, an earthshaking roar filled the air as a giant reptillian creature emerged from the water, nearly splattering Brock and Wendy with the surge. Vines and seaweed hung from the beast's dull brown scales, and rows and rows of teeth glinted in the dim room.

    "Get ready..." Brock told Wendy as he readied an arrow, which began sparking with electricity as the beast roared, in hopes of intimidating the group.

    "I-I'm not s-scared of you!" Wendy retorted over the beast as she shakily drew her blade.

    [Bring it on, tough guy!] Mizuchi agreed.

    The whistle of an arrow and the zap of electricity clued Wendy that Brock had taken the first shot, making the beast roar in pain. Inspired, she pointed her blade at the hulking monster, sending a beam of green light flying into its stomach. Another arrow landed near the beam's impact site, jolting their opponent with more electricity.

    [I think you paralyzed it!] Mizuchi gasped as the monstrosity struggled to lunge at the group, but could barely move because of the two sparking arrows--one in its side, and the other in its stomach.

    "HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-YAH!!!!" Wendy cried as she unleashed another beam from her blade, which arced off a wall and into the creature's back, sending it falling back in the water with another huge splash.

    [Thank Arceus Hinata and Terra aren't in here....] Mizuchi muttered as she shook herself dry from the surge.

    [I'll say...] Tenku agreed from her position above the battlefield. [That surge nearly got me wet, too!]

    [They say you can fight fire with fire...well, I'm gonna fight water with water!] Mizuchi growled before lashing her tail at the monster, slapping its leg.

    [Look out below!] was the only thing the monster heard before Tenku slammed into it with an Aerial Ace. It frantically tried to scratch Tenku with its claws, but Tenku was back near the ceiling again, making the massive prong-like claws scratch thin air.

    The monster roared again, nearly making the group fly backwards into the wall. "Talk about a Hyper Voice..." Wendy groaned as her head throbbed from the attack.

    "This guy makes an Exploud look like a Whismur." Brock agreed, his ears ringing from the roar. "But we're not going to let him intimidate us!"

    "Meloetta's counting on us!" Wendy agreed before running to the edge of the pool and firing another beam.

    Just then, Tenku noticed the monster's hand headed for Wendy! [Jump!]

    Wendy complied with Tenku's call, making the giant scaly hand crash into the floor she had been standing on seconds before.

    "That was a close one...." Brock heaved a relieved sigh.

    [Maybe it was hoping to take advantage of us being dazed by its roar and squish us into pancakes.] Mizuchi suggested. [But I'm not ready to be a pancake yet!]

    With that, she conjured a large wave of water. [Heads up!] she taunted the beast as it was doused in Mizuchi's own surge.

    "See? Two can play at that game, Feraligatr reject!" Wendy taunted as she fired another beam.

    Brock just calmly fired a sparking arrow into one of the beasts' legs. As another beam from Wendy let up the room, he wondered if even the four of them would be enough to take the beast down....

    To Be Continued...
     
  8. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 28: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 7)


    Another sparking arrow zipped through the air as the behemoth struggled to get up from Wendy's latest attack, landing in its torso. "That should buy us time to formulate our next move." Brock replied with a grin as the group's opponent struggled painfully to get up.

    [Combined with your latest shot and Wendy's attack, it's a wonder the fiend CAN get up...] Tenku noted from the room's ceiling, where she had been observing the battle.

    "Well, if that last shot wasn't enough to paralyze it, I bet THIS will!" Wendy growled before firing another beam from her blade.

    Brock shielded his eyes from the beam's explosion, just long enough to notice the behemoth ensnared by a ring of light--or at least he thought it was a ring of light. "Great shot, there..." he smiled at Wendy.

    "You're doing wonderfully yourself." Wendy replied. "Ardea's advice on aiming is really helping, cause you haven't missed a shot yet!"

    [I'll be his eyes in the air, so he doesn't miss!] Tenku called before slapping the behemoth with a wing. The behemoth retaliated by trying to knock Tenku out of the sky with a rocky paw, but she was well away from the crushing blow.

    "Nice flying!" Wendy called up to Tenku as the behemoth swiped at thin air.

    [Thanks...] Tenku smiled. [I knew all those ring flights when I was a Pidgey were good for something!]

    She called to Wendy [Aim your next beam for the paw that tried to swipe me!]

    Wendy complied with Tenku's suggestion, and Brock followed up with an arrow in the other paw. But in the safe alcove, both Eevees shuddered in fear. [Did the monster die yet?] Satomi asked Hinata.

    [Not yet...] Hinata sighed as she heard the whistle of Brock firing another shot, followed by an earthshattering roar that confirmed it had hit its mark.

    [If we could see a life bar, or something, how full would it be?] Raku added.

    Hinata groaned. [I have no idea, guys--for all I know, we could be stuck here watching them fight forever!]

    Emi gasped as the weakened behemoth heaved a rock in Brock's direction, but Brock rolled underneath it to safety. [That was close...I don't want Daddy to be a Daddy-cake from being squished by that rock!]

    [He's not gonna be a Brock-cake, okay?] Terra assured Emi as she watched Brock fire another shot into the beast's torso. [He knows what he's doing.]

    [Okay...] Emi stammered before a flash from a sword beam prompted her to shield her eyes in fear.

    In the main hall, the behemoth was showing signs of fatigue--it tried to charge into the group, but a Hydro Pump from Mizuchi sent it flying backwards. Brock took advantage of the soaked behemoth to fire a shot into its arms, followed by a Whirlwind from Tenku carrying it high into the air.

    "HAH!" Wendy fired one last beam as the behemoth fell to earth, making the entire room glow so brightly, even Hinata, Terra, Emi, and the Eevees had to shield their eyes.

    [I-is it over?] Raku fearfully stammered as he tensely stepped out into the room after an uneasy silence.

    [Can we come out?] Satomi called.

    Her tiny eyes turned to stars when she heard Brock's voice say "The coast is clear--our foe is fallen."

    [YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!] Raku cheered as he dashed into Wendy's arms.

    [Victory!] Emi struck a triumphant pose on the behemoth's lifeless body.

    [That's right, Emi...we won...] Mizuchi smiled as the weary group made their way into the next room, which had a strangely comforting green glow.

    Sure enough, Meloetta was waiting for them in the small shrine-like room. "Well done, seekers of the Fire Ruby. You have proven yourselves in battle, and by defeating the beast that guards my Glimmering Baton, I will allow you to use its magic to enchant your weapons." With that, she showed the group a small pillow wrapped in white lay on an altar. A shining silver baton lay in the center of the pillow, periodically pulsing with a green aura.

    "Thank you, Meloetta." Wendy smiled as she gently touched the tip of her blade to the tiny baton, making it gain an identical green aura.

    "We promise not to abuse this power, nor any other power you have for us." Brock agreed as he touched an arrow to the baton, making his quiver refill with arrows with sparkling green fletching.

    Meloetta smiled. "The baton's power allows your weapons to attack any target, including targets they would normally not be able to hit--this will come in handy as you explore the tower further, as well as the other sanctums." She let that hang as a door leading to the fourth floor opened...
     
  9. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 29: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 8)



    "Careful, everyone..." Brock cautioned as he carefully led the group down a steep slope that served as an entrance to a tunnel.

    [I could use a break from adventuring...] Hinata groaned...

    [You should be one to talk--I actually had to fight back there!] Mizuchi snapped

    "Hey!" Brock quickly pulled Hinata and Mizuchi apart. "To be fair, there's nothing Hinata could've done to help us in the battle." he assured Mizuchi. "Water creatures defeat fire."

    Mizuchi sighed. [You're right...I just hope there is a safe haven somewhere in here...]

    There is, seekers--on the fifth floor. Ariane's voice assured the group. But you must figure out the secrets of this tunnel to rest.

    "Good--I hope we don't run into any more monsters...." Even Wendy was exhausted from the long journey upward.

    Consider the runes on the wall of the tunnel. Ariane explained, Of all these runes, two of them are larger and shine brighter than the others--one leads closer to the fifth floor, and the other will lead you right back to where you started. So which one is the way forward?

    Just then, Emi spotted two large runes on each end of the wall--a blue starburst, and a red flower bud-like shape. [I see them!]

    "But which one do we touch?" Wendy reminded Emi. "That's what we have to figure out."

    Brock dug a coin from one pocket. "Let's try flipping a coin to choose what will hopefully be the right rune." He showed Wendy the side with a Pikachu face. "This is heads..." He then showed her the side depicting the Kanto League crest. "This is tails."

    Wendy watched Brock flip the coin. "Heads...."

    [Tails!] Terra called.

    Brock studied the coin when it landed on the floor. "It's heads...we'll try the star rune. Since you won the toss, do you want to touch it?" he asked Wendy.

    "Sure." Wendy hurried over to the glowing blue star-like rune and gently pressed her hand on it, revealing an exit tunnel lined with glowing fungi and crystals.

    [That's the right one.] Tenku smiled.

    "I wouldn't touch those if I were you..." Wendy cautioned as she pulled Raku and Satomi away from the fungi. "You could get sick, or something."

    "And I probably wouldn't know how to treat any sickness those mushrooms infect." Brock added.

    The lit tunnel appeared to go on forever and wind in all directions, but when the group finally reached the stairway leading to the fifth floor, they found what looked like a lounge or a coffeehouse. Meloetta was waiting at the door with a smile. "Well done--you're now halfway up the Tower of Runes. I created this place for you to rest, so if you're hungry, thirsty, tired, or just want to relax, you are welcome to do so at no charge."

    [YAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!!!!] Raku and Satomi wasted no time in playing "chase" around a pole by a table.

    "Let's get a bite to eat, okay?" Brock suggested as he led Emi through a majestic buffet piled high with just about any food imaginable.

    Wendy, meanwhile, sprawled on a beanbag chair with a fantasy novel. This may not be heaven, but it's the next best thing--we've earned it after all this way...
     
  10. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 30: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 9)


    After resting and restocking on supplies, the group climbed up to the sixth floor only to emerge in what looked for all intents and purposes like a forest. [Wow...wonder how they got all the plants and trees in here to grow...] Emi wondered as she looked around at the beautiful array of trees and exotic flowers.

    "This is Meloetta's domain, so she probably sang all of these flowers and trees into existence." Brock explained before coming to a suspended bridge leading to the next area. "Oh great, I figured we'd have to cross a rickety old bridge hanging over a great big drop into oblivion sooner or later..."

    [Who am I to think it's gonna break as soon as we're halfway across?] Raku shuddered as he looked into the huge chasm the bridge hung over.

    [Or worse, monsters break the bridge?] Satomi added.

    "That only happens in the movies, you two." Wendy assured the Eevees as she motioned for the group to follow her to the bridge.

    "But just in case..." Brock tied some rope around an arrow and aimed for a target-shaped inlay in the crumbling stone building that lead further into the tower. "We'll make another bridge out of rope." With that, he fired, making a small rope walkway over the bridge and the chasm.

    "Don't think one rope will be enough..." Wendy was unsure if Brock's walkway would hold with two humans and a variety of Pokémon on a single rope.

    [Then make it two ropes thick!] Emi suggested, offering Brock another arrow with a rope tied to it.

    [Or three!] Raku gave Brock another arrow with rope not long after the second one impacted.

    After Brock had made the rope bridge about five ropes thick, Terra carefully worked her way across the chasm tying the ropes together. [Okay, guys!] she yelled from the other end. [Let's see if this bridge will hold you!]

    Wendy watched intently as Brock swung himself up onto the five rope thick bridge and carefully made his way across, ever aware of the rickety bridge and the chasm it hung over. I can't let go from here--what if that bridge is as rickety as it looks, or triggers some kind of trap if you step on it? Either way--a long plunge into the dark would not be fun.

    He looked back at Wendy and the Pokémon watching him grab sections of rope to propel himself across and grinned--an assurance that so far, the rope was holding him safely.

    After he had safely made it to the other side with Terra, he whistled to the others, as if telling them "Come on, it's safe!" He watched Wendy and the Pokémon climb across, then once the entire group was safely on the other end, they went inside the ruined building, which held the stairway leading up to the seventh floor of the tower.

    Once the group had arrived at a large and ornate door leading to a large foyer, Wendy noticed a block of text hidden in the elaborate jewel studded designs."Ye that seek the ruby's song,
    "To get this far, you must be strong
    After this, one guardian waits to fight
    Then after an appropriate show of might
    You will open the way with rainbow light
    But what is the song within ruby red?
    We'll never tell you--not even after we're dead!"

    Mizuchi groaned. [I hate riddles...]

    "No, it's not a riddle, it's a fortune of some kind..." Wendy mused. "After we finish the puzzle in here, we fight one last monster to pass into the upper floors of the tower."

    "Then we solve one last puzzle to enter the Fire Ruby's shrine." Brock added.

    [I don't get the last part....] Raku complained as the beautiful door opened. [What do the last lines m--!] Just then he noticed a skeleton in front of him. [YIPE!!!!] He scrambled onto Wendy's shoulder, shuddering in fear.

    [There's bones everywhere!] Terra noted as she looked around at the variety of human and Pokémon skeletons dotting the large room. Some of them were old and rotting, while a few looked fairly recent.

    Just then, Terra spotted one skeleton holding a scrap of paper. After carefully prying the yellowed paper from the bony fingers, she balked at the odd rune-like writing that only vaguely resembled English letters. [Hey guys, I found a clue!]

    Wendy hurried over and examined the runes. "Gao...go...gio..." she mused. "Whatever language this is, I can't read it...."

    "Here's another one!" Brock frantically waved another scrap he had pilfered from a Growlithe skeleton. "I think it says 'yiisha or 'yishpa' or something like that."

    [I found one too!] Satomi dropped another paper scrap in Wendy's hands. [What does it say?]

    "Looks like 'nes' or 'neis'....can't tell if that E-like rune is an E or an E and an I." Wendy told Satomi.

    "So so far we have what might be 'Gao yiisha neis..." Brock mused as the Pokémon examined each of the skeletons for paper scraps.

    An hour or so later....

    "Okay...we found a grand total of six paper scraps." Brock explained as he finished arranging the scraps into what he felt was a complete sentence. "Gao yiisha neis..." he repeated his prediction for the first three words. "Chiel or chier; since we don't know if the last character is an R or an L..." he explained, gesturing to the fourth scrap. "The fifth scrap clearly says 'com', but the last one I'm not sure what it says."

    "Gao yiisha neis chiel com...whatever the last word is." Wendy mused. "That makes zero sense."

    [What if it's Daddy's gibberish song for fire spells in a story?] Emi suggested. [It could spell that!]

    "It's worth a try, sweetie..." Brock cleared his throat, then sang the familiar song. Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...

    [It worked!] Raku cheered as the door on the other end of the room rumbled open.

    "Don't get your hopes up yet, Raku..." Wendy warned as the group started up the stairs to the eighth floor. "We'll see if that's the actual song when we get to the shrine of the Fire Ruby."

    To Be Continued....
     
  11. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 31: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 10)


    "This is it...what I hope is our last combat challenge before the shrine of the Fire Ruby." Brock reminded the Pokémon. "Terra, look after the little ones, okay?"

    [Got it!] Terra replied.

    [I hope your electric arrows work against whatever monsters' in there...] Raku shuddered as an ominous roar echoed through the entry foyer.

    [That sounded like a dragon...] Tenku noted as the group entered a large and spacious courtyard lined by fountains and trees.

    Hinata's eyes widened when she noticed a dragon that shone in every color of the rainbow awaiting them on the courtyard's other end. [It IS a dragon!]

    Hold, seekers... came an oddly pleasant male voice that echoed through the group's minds. For what reason do you seek the Fire Ruby?

    "We come because the seal of fire is weakening against Giratina's hold, and Meloetta has seen us worthy to undertake the quest all seekers must take." Wendy explained, figuring it was the majestic glittering dragon that spoke to them.

    The dragon closed its eyes for a moment. You have indeed been proven worthy by Meloetta, and braved many trials on your way up here...but as guardian of the Shrine, no seeker will pass through to the Fire Ruby unless they prove themselves to me in combat and with their mettle.

    [But if you die, then who will protect this place?] Hinata asked.

    We prism dragons cannot die, for we guard the Legendary Pokémon of heaven, and so are immortal like them. the dragon explained. I have been mortally wounded many times over, and yet I now stand before you, unharmed.

    Wendy thought for a moment. Since we can't defeat it per se...maybe it will let us through after a few rounds! "How many rounds of combat shall we engage?" she asked the dragon as she drew her blade.

    Since your quest is urgent, I will not delay you any more. the dragon explained. So fourteen rounds will be acceptable.

    [Then I will have the honor of taking the first shot!] With that, Mizuchi fired an Ice Beam at the dragon, but despite the chilling attack, the dragon did not even flinch at the cold blast.

    "Hah!" Wendy fired a beam from her blade at the dragon, but aiming too low caused the beam to ricochet off the stone courtyard and off of a wall before finally disappearing.

    Mizuchi next ran at the dragon and bit its leg, but for all intents and purposes, she may have been biting pure steel. [Now I remember why I don't bite dragons that often--their skin is tough!]

    "Then again, not even an Ice Beam can faze this guy!" Wendy agreed as she fired another beam. This time, the beam landed in the dragon's stomach, but the blast of energy at the beam's impact only made the dragon stumble.

    "Well, if blades and beams aren't helping, let's try a bow." Brock suggested as he readied a shot. Wendy watched as the arrow raced towards the dragon's shoulder, but only barely penetrated the skin before falling to the ground. "Then again, the point of this isn't to kill he dragon--just to see how our combat ability has grown over our adventure in here."

    Not one to be deterred, he fired another arrow, only for that to bounce off the dragon skin as well. A second arrow fared no differently.

    But what caught everyone off guard was a blast of rainbow light from the prism dragon! [It's bright!] Hinata gasped as the bright rainbow explosion caused everyone to shield their eyes, hoping to Arceus they would not be blinded by the harsh attack.

    Yet Tenku hurled a whirlwind, Mizuchi fired another Ice Beam, Wendy fired another beam, which Tenku used as a guideline for an Aerial Ace, Brock tried an arrow, and Hinata hurled a Flame Burst before the prism dragon finally conceded All right...I concede defeat--you are all quite skilled at your weapons. Now only one puzzle remains... He let that hang as the door to the ninth floor rumbled open...

    To Be Continued...
     
  12. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 32: "The Tower of Runes! Seeking the song of fire!" (part 11)


    "Almost there..." Brock assured the group as they arrived in the large open room that took up the entire ninth floor. At the other end of the room stood a large door with four spherical indentations and a box of balls nearby.

    Wendy recognized the indentations in the door. "Our final challenge is a giant game of Mastermind!" She hurried over to the door and set two purple balls and two yellow balls in the door. "I love playing this with the Eevees..."

    [Yeah, she's stumped us with some hard ones before!] Raku smiled.

    Brock watched as three red lights and a yellow light under one of the yellow balls appeared under the code. "Purple ones are wrong outright, yellow ball A is right, but in the wrong place, and yellow ball B is wrong."

    Maybe if I moved the yellow ball to the second place... After replacing the other three balls and moving the yellow ball to the second place, her eyes lit up as three green lights appeared under her new code.

    "Three of those are correct and in the right place, but the question now is which one is the wrong one." Brock reported.

    [The green one's wrong!] Satomi suggested.

    [Yeah, the green one has to be wrong.] Raku agreed.

    Wendy grimaced after replacing the green ball with an orange ball and only two green lights appearing. "Sorry guys...it's not the green one."

    After replacing the first blue ball with a red ball, the group cheered as the door lit up and rumbled open into a large, open room seemingly made of crystal, where a large ruby hovered over an altar.

    [Is this the heavens?] Tenku asked as she admired the sparkling crystal decorations in the room.

    [I'm not sure, but it's the next best thing!] Terra smiled as she looked out on the treetops, city buildings, and mountains from a balcony.

    [You can see the whole region from here, I bet!] Mizuchi smiled as she allowed Emi on her head to get a better look at the view.

    "Congratulations." Meloetta smiled as Brock and Wendy arrived on the top floor. "You have done well passing the Tower's trials, and have arrived in the shrine of the Fire Ruby. By accepting this power, I trust you will not use it for your own selfish gains."

    "We would have never battled our way up here if we didn't know the conditions and risks involved." Wendy replied.

    "We also understand the quest we accept with this power, and what will happen if and when we ever have to do what you did many millenia ago." Brock added. "Arceus hoping we don't have to."

    "Very well...which of you will accept their power first?" Meloetta asked.

    After a few tense seconds, Brock stepped forward. "I will."

    "Stand before the Fire Ruby." Meloetta commanded. When Brock was facing the glowing red stone, she continued. "It will judge your heart, and if you are found to be pure, it will allow you to sing the song that will awaken the magic in your heart."

    Wendy and the Pokémon watched in awe as a red beam of light streaked from the Fire Ruby and into Brock's heart. After a few tense seconds, a red aura formed around Brock's entire body. [What's happening?] Raku screeched, worried that Brock was dying.

    Just then, Wendy heard Brock start to sing a haunting melody. Gatrandis favel secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Kacoradis favel siicletu edena...
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...


    Brock's aura glowed even brighter on his final E note, prompting the Pokémon to shield their eyes.

    When the aura finally faded, everyone heaved a sigh of relief when they saw Brock was all right. "You did it...you awakened the magic in your heart." Meloetta smiled.

    "Although...what did I just sing?" Brock asked, still a little woozy from the ordeal. "Does it mean anything we mortals can know?"

    "It is a promise to the Fire Ruby, the other Gems, and Arceus." Meloetta explained. "So you only have to sing the song this one time. As for what it means, it translates to 'I open my heart to accept this secret power, and I promise to end evil's rule. The song in my heart becomes this power. Will I fight even to the end? Yes."

    "Wow!" Wendy gasped.

    "I have my magic, now it's your turn." Brock assured Wendy.

    Wendy swallowed hard and closed her eyes as she stepped before the majestic red jewel. After a few tense seconds, a red beam of light streaked from the Fire Ruby and into her heart.

    [Is Wendy gonna die?] Satomi worried as the single red beam expanded into a bright red aura around Wendy's body.

    "I did this too, and I feel just fine, okay?" Brock assured Satomi.

    Inside the aura, Wendy heard the Fire Ruby speak to her in a gentle voice. Thy heart is pure, and you have proven thyself worthy of receiving my song and the songs of my fellows.

    "Thank you." Wendy replied.

    But there is one more thing you must do. the Ruby continued. Sing me your promise that you will wield our power respectfully, so help you Arceus.

    Wendy nodded, and began singing the same melody Brock had sang before. Gatrandis favel secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Kacoradis favel siicletu edena...
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...


    As Wendy's final Bb rang through the room, she felt the aura glowing brighter as a mysterious power flowed through her. I don't know what's going on, but I feel like I could shoot fire through my blade--or my fingers! Or run faster than even the Guardian Beasts! Or lift more than a Machamp!

    The aura around her faded a few moments later. "What was that?" she wheezed as Brock ran to embrace her. "I feel like I've ran ten miles!"

    "That's normal that both of you would feel tired...you both have immense power flowing through you now, and your bodies are not used to it yet." Meloetta smiled. "But the more you hone and train your power, the less tired you'll feel."

    "At any rate, we're done here." Brock smiled. "The first in recent memory to brave the Tower of Runes and survive."

    Meloetta nodded. "I will return you to the entrance so you don't have to make a perilous journey down."

    With that, Brock, Wendy, and the Pokémon disappeared in a flash of green light as Meloetta sang Karuto, iichiida shou...

    To Be Continued...
     
  13. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 33: "Taking Team Elegy by surprise! A familiar spellsong turns the tide!"



    As the group materialized at the entrance of the Tower of Runes, a familiar voice sneered "So, we meet again, Squinty-eyes..."

    Brock whirled around and gasped when he recognized the Team Elegy grunt he had battled back in Crystone Town. "What are you doing here?" he growled.

    "And what do you guys want?" Wendy added.

    "Well, since you two are the first two to ever climb the Tower of Runes and survive, I was wondering if you could tell us what's in there so we can climb it too." the grunt explained.

    "H-how did you know we were here?" Wendy gasped, amazed that Team Elegy had somehow learned of their location.

    "Oh, informants in Honoru and the radar at our base in Akari City." the grunt explained. "So talk and we'll let you go on your way."

    [Like we'd ever tell you guys anything!] Mizuchi snarled before dousing the grunt with a Water Gun attack.

    The grunt just grimaced as Brock nocked an arrow and Wendy drew her blade. "Why do we always have to fight?" he sighed. "All I want to know is info about the tower and what secrets it holds..."

    "Because then you'd destroy the Fire Ruby!" Wendy snapped back. "And we're not gonna let you do that!"

    "Besides, you're the only one here, so it's five against one!" Brock taunted. After discretely motioning for Terra to led Emi and the Eevees to safety in a nearby bush, he added "And that's no fair fight!"

    "So its a fair fight you want?" The grunt whistled, and roughly ten more grunts climbed out from rocks, trees and other bushes. "That better?"

    Wendy swallowed hard--she hadn't counted on Team Elegy members hidden in the brush. But Brock studied the other four grunts that had now joined their leader on the battlefield. "That's an even match, but we're not going down without a fight."

    "We'll see how fast you change your tune and tell us about the tower or the other gems once Loudred's done with you." the grunt smirked.

    "Tenku, take down the Kricketots and Kiricketunes on the left..." Wendy began, pointing out Tenku's target.

    "Hinata, help Tenku." Brock told Hinata.

    "Mizuchi, you take those Roggenrolas over there..." Wendy next pointed out a gaggle of Roggenrolas some other Team Elegy grunts had summoned. "We'll deal with the Loudred."

    [Got it!] Hinata replied.

    The grunt confidently grinned as he heaved a Poké Ball skyward. "Come on out, Loudred!"

    Chaos ensured as Hinata burned a Kricketot with a Flame Burst, but Brock studied the mammalian Pokémon with large speaker-like ears before him--how best to fight off a Loudred with minimal injuries?

    A Beedrill hive hanging over the Loudred's head spurred an idea. Maybe if I can knock the hive down, the angry Beedrill swarm should scare Team Elegy away!

    He fired a shot at the hive, which tumbled to the ground, making panicked screams fill the air as the angry Beedrills streamed from the hive.

    The Loudred, undeterred from the Beedrill stings dotting its hide, took a deep breath and unleashed a deafening roar, knocking Brock to the ground. He tried to get up, but the repeated roars knocked him back down again and again.

    "You've got nowhere to run now, and unless you have some surprise up your sleeve, we're taking your friend to interrogate her on the locations of the remaining Gems of Song." the Team Elegy grunt growled as Brock struggled to get up. "Unless you wanna be a sport about it and tell us yourself."

    "I will...not...allow...the gems...to fall into evil hands..." Brock groaned, his head still spinning from the force of the Loudred's Hyper Voice and his body aching from the impact on the ground.

    "Brock, no!" Wendy screeched as more Team Elegy grunts surrounded her in preparation to take her away. "You can't take another attack!"

    "In fact..." Brock continued. "I DO have another...surprise up my sleeve..."

    "Oh, really?" the grunt asked. "What is it?"

    Ruby of fire that burns in my heart, grant me your power to save me...and my friend. Brock silently prayed before slowly and weakly singing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..., making a red aura form around him and Wendy as the crowd of Team Elegy grunts gasped in surprise.

    [No way!] Mizuchi gasped.

    [One of Daddy's gibberish spellsongs is actually magic????] Emi was just as surprised.

    "Gibberish or not, I suddenly feel a whole lot stronger..." Wendy mused, awed by the aura surrounding her. "And I feel like giving someone a knuckle sandwich..." she growled as she whirled around and punched the head grunt, sending him flying into the crowd of other grunts.

    Brock eased himself to his feet as he sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... again, conjuring glowing red needles from his fingers.

    "Retreat!" one grunt called as the needles went flying, Wendy looking on wide eyed all the while.

    [I can't believe it...] Tenku mused as the Team Elegy grunts fled. [Brock actually cast an actual magical spell!]

    "Well, I was already mad at them for battering me with Hyper Voice, and madder still for their wanting to destroy the Fire Ruby..." Brock explained. "So I channeled my anger into two spells--one to boost our strength, and another to create the fire needles."

    "In fact, the spellsong can do many different things depending on the singer's mood and the current situation." Meloetta explained as she appeared before the group and healed the damaged Beedrill hive. "I commend you for using yours well."

    "Well, since Team Elegy's gone..." Wendy paused to sheathe her blade. "I wanna see what I can do with my power."

    "You may train here all you like." Meloetta assured the group. "It is safe here, and you're not likely to damage anything."

    "Okay..." Wendy looked out on the lights of Honoru City in the distance. "We've had a long day, and it's getting late...and I'm sure Ardea would love hearing about our adventure...."

    A playful smile formed on her face. "Last one to the city's a rotten Exeggcute!"

    "But--!" Brock started to protest over Wendy singing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... "No fair using magic!" he complained as he struggled to keep up with Wendy's blazing aura....
     
  14. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 34: "Becoming a beloved friend! Character Karaoke! (part 1)"


    "Let's see...if we keep following the road, we should arrive in Seikaku Town very soon." Wendy assured the group. After their harrowing encounter with Team Elegy at the Tower of Runes, Ardea had told them to keep moving and find the other seven Gems of Song. Not to mention the main PokeTheater is in Akari City too... she reminded herself.

    [We're not going somewhere boring, are we?] Satomi sighed.

    "Oh no, Satomi..." Wendy smiled as she gently picked up the antsy Eevee in her arms. "Remember the last time we came and the Character Karaoke?"

    The lightbulb went off in Satomi's head. [Oh yeah...the karaoke contest where people sang cartoon and game songs as the characters that sang them!]

    [You wanted to try it so bad the last time we were there, but it was getting late, and the lines were getting long.] Tenku added.

    "The only time that ever happens in Kanto is around Halloween--and even then there's no prizes involved unless it's being hosted as part of a big party." Brock noted. "That, and you had to sing in English, so no songs from other versions."

    [That's a silly rule.] Emi agreed.

    "Then again, they probably want everyone to understand what's being sung." Brock mused. "So although it's a silly rule, that's why it's there."

    "The Character Karaoke in Minami is VERY different..." Wendy assured Brock. "One, you can sing in any language you want, and two, there's often prizes involved--and Seikaku Town hosts possibly Minami's best competition."

    "So I can hypothetically sing 'Concert of Love' as Emerald Leaf in the original Italian if I wanted?" Brock gasped as the rooftops of the town came into view.

    "If that's the song you want to sing, go for it!" Wendy smiled.

    [I've always wanted to know what Emerald Leaf's original voice sounds like!] Raku pleaded. [Say something as Emerald Leaf in Italian!]

    A sly look formed on Brock's face. I have just the line--the original incantation to Emerald Leaf's arrow attack, Gaia's Arrow, with a little dose of spellsong to actually pull it off!

    With that, he took an arrow and nocked it. Freccia della furia della terra, prendere il volo! he intoned as Emerald Leaf as he drew the bowstring.

    After a few tense seconds, he announced in English "Gaia's Arrow" before firing his shot.

    Raku gasped as Brock sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... making the flying arrow gain the same sparkling green aura a Gaia's Arrow was seen to have! [Wow!] he gasped as the sparkling arrow landed in a tree stump with a small flash.

    Brock just grinned. "What I said translates to what they used in English--'Arrow of the fury of the earth, take flight!'"

    [COOL!!!] both Eevees chorused.

    Wendy giggled at the starry eyed Eevees. "If these two loved that, then I can't wait to hear you sing as Emerald Leaf!"

    Later, in the Sekaku Town square....

    "Here you are--the costume change area." an attendant explained as he led Brock into a backstage area filled with costumes of every shape and size. "Good luck!"

    Brock nodded as the attendant departed, then located the Emerald Leaf costume nearby the changing screen.

    He heard the crowd roaring for the performer before him when he emerged and put on the headset mic that would protect his own ears and allow him to hear the karaoke track at a reasonable level. Okay, Raku and Satomi...get ready for the show of a lifetime! he smiled as he made his way to the wings. Even if I'm limited to two minutes at the maximum. he thought as the crowd applauded for him.

    Once in position on the dark stage, he signaled the stagehand to cue his music, then located Wendy and the Pokémon near the center of the massive crowd. Here we go...

    The crowd roared as the familiar driving beat of "Concert of Love" started playing. True to his character, Brock decided to mimic Emerald Leaf's swaying dance for a few beats before singing in character:

    Luce brillante di stelle,
    fari luminosi lassù...

    Vi chiamiamo tutti a raccolta,
    costruiamo un mondo migliore insieme noi, da qui,
    Ripariamo terra e mare perché,
    lo scrosciare della pioggia così si fermerà,
    Finirà!


    He started mimicking Emerald Leaf's jumping and twirling as he sang the chorus. E' un concerto d'amore per
    vivere, sperare in una grande emozione
    da un palco di luci e ombre
    sentirò la melodia del nostro cuore...


    In the audience, Wendy watched, awestruck, at just how well Brock could mimic Emerald Leaf's original singing voice and the dance he did in the show. "Wow! He wasn't kidding when he said he could do the original voice!"

    [It's like the real Emerald Leaf is up there onstage!] Raku sighed dreamily.

    [Well, why didn't you sign up?] Satomi wondered.

    Wendy hung her head. "First, I wasn't sure if they had any open spots, and two...I'm afraid of singing onstage."

    [All this about being an actress, and now you're afraid of going onstage?] Tenku was surprised. [Listen...you may end up doing a musical on your PokeTheater journey--and that requires you to sing]

    [Yeah--just pretend it's your big scene in a musical!] Hinata suggested.

    "You're right...maybe I do need to face that fear, if only for the PokeTheater." Wendy smiled as Brock concluded his performance to thunderous applause. After applauding her friend, she whispered to the Pokémon "Whatever you do, don't tell him I've signed up too--I want it to be a surprise."

    [Promise!] the Pokémon chorused as Wendy made her way to the sign up table...
     
  15. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 35: "Becoming a beloved friend! Character Karaoke!" (part 2)


    After changing out of costume, Brock strolled back to the spot near the sign up tables where the Pokémon were waiting, but Wendy was nowhere in sight. "Guys? Where did Wendy go?"

    Hinata froze--she couldn't let Brock know about Wendy's plan to surprise him! [She said she wanted to look around at some of the other performers.]

    Thankfully, Brock bought Hinata's lie. "All right...did you see which direction she went? I'll go look around what route she didn't take so we can both meet back here.

    [She went that way.] Terra replied, pointing off to the left

    [Nice cover, Hinata.] Tenku whispered as Brock departed. [If you had used your original idea of Wendy shopping or buying food, Brock would panic after he checked every stall]

    [And the last thing we want is Daddy mad.] Emi agreed. [Especially now that he can cast magic.] The Pokémon nervously giggled as they pictured what would most likely happen when--or if, Brock figured out Hinata had lied.

    Meanwhile, in the backstage area...

    Okay...hopefully Brock bought the Pokémon's distraction... Wendy thought as she was escorted into the backstage area. Now to see if they have any wigs for the Idolmaster characters back here...

    She stepped over some canes, feather boas, top hats, and other props scattered about the floor before finding a box marked "WIGS" Ah ha!

    After digging through the wigs in the box, she found a familiar royal blue haired wig. This is Chihaya's hair, all right!

    She tucked the wig under her arm and started looking through the bewildering array of costumes by the changing screen. There's the costume Brock wore... she smiled as she discovered the Emerald Leaf costume. A purple dress with silver fleur-de-lis print lay underneath. How pretty! I'm gonna wear this for my performance as Chihaya!

    Once satisfied that the costume and the wig fit her and she had procured some white gloves and matching boots, Wendy admired herself in the mirror for a moment, then stepped out in the middle of the floor to practice her performance:

    Shiranu ga hotoke hottokenai
    Kuchibiru poker face...
    she sang in her best mimic of Chihaya.
    Yo toudai moto kurashi Do you know!?
    Uwasa no funky girl!


    After spinning and twirling about the messy room for a moment, Wendy continued singing:

    Shinobi komareta atashi no kokoro Yabure kabure no yoru
    Tokihanatsu wana Yudan wa taiteki

    Sasurau PETEN Shi no aoi toiki (Ah...)
    Tegakari ni I wanna Koi dorobo Oh!
    Itomeru nara Kakugo yoidore

    Onna wa tenka no mawari mono
    Shibireru kubire
    Iwanu ga Hana to nari chiriru
    Himetaru karada...


    Some applause startled her from her performance. "Bravo! I thought you said you weren't going to participate this time..."

    Wendy whirled around and gasped when she saw Brock framed in the doorway. "I-I had a change of heart after the Pokémon gave me a little heart to heart talk...I wanted to surprise you!"

    "Ah, so that's why the Pokémon told me you went to look around." Brock replied as he joined Wendy in the room. "But I could hear you singing all the way out there."

    "Y-you're not mad?" Wendy stammered. "For lying to you?"

    "Not at all--the real surprise is your working up the courage to do this, even if you had to make sure I didn't know." Brock assured her. "By the way...you make a very convincing Chihaya, voice and all, but let me touch up the costume a bit before you go on."

    Wendy nodded as Brock brushed some dust bunnies from the costume and carefully adjusted the wig so it wouldn't fall off. "There...now you're ready to meet your public."

    "Thank you..." Wendy heaved a huge sigh of relief as she hugged Brock.

    "Remember--be the character." Brock whispered as Wendy got into position on the dark stage.

    He heard cheers as the song began and Wendy started singing and dancing in character. Shiranu ga hotoke hottokenai
    Kuchibiru poker face...
    Yo Toudai Moto kurashi Do you know!?
    Uwasa no Funky girl

    Shinobi komareta atashi no kokoro Yabure kabure no yoru
    Tokihanatsu wana Yudan wa taiteki

    Sasurau PETEN Shi no aoi toiki (Ah...)
    Tegakari ni I wanna Koi dorobo Oh!
    Itomeru nara Kakugo yoidore

    Onna wa tenka no mawari mono
    Shibireru kubire
    Iwanu ga Hana to nari chiriru
    Himetaru karada...

    Amaku mitaraba Massakasama Fly away
    Karamaru SURIRU CHAAJI
    Yofukashi no neko Madowasu

    Sayonara
    Ototoi oide
    Oh, saraba
    Awayokuba mata (Au!)

    Shiranu ga hotoke hottokenai
    Kuchibiru poker face
    Yo Toudai Moto kurashi Do you know!?
    GIRI GIRI de Oazuke Funky girl!
    The crowd roared with applause...

    That night...

    "I'm so proud of you..." Brock smiled as Wendy admired the silver medallion around her neck. "Second place on your very first try is no small feat!"

    "I was shocked too...it made it worth trying to keep it a surprise." Wendy agreed before noticing the bronze medallion Brock had received."You did very well yourself, but that guy that did Arran Seluna to beat you out for gold really had the character down!"

    Yeah--he put my portrayal of Arran to shame." Brock agreed before changing the subject. "Whether this was beginner's luck or true talent, I don't know yet, but it will really help you in the PokeTheater."

    "Really?" Wendy asked.

    Brock nodded. "Just be aware that the PokeTheater may not be so forgiving..."
     
  16. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 36: "A hero takes flight! Tenku's rescue!"

    Meanwhile, in a unknown location in Minami....

    A brown haired woman studies the endless streams of information that appear on the massive computer screen before her. As the boss of Team Elegy, the massive machine--whose screen alone nearly took up an entire wall-- allowed her to keep tabs on any Team Elegy admin and the millions of operatives anywhere in Minami.

    "Boss!" The frantic cry of an admin snapped her from her bemused trance. "Spellsongs have been heard at the Tower of Runes!"

    "Really?" the woman asked as she turned to address the dull purple haired girl in a nicer navy blue outfit with a little silver trim on the torso and the pants. "Where did you hear this rumor, Hibiki?"

    "The commander in charge told me two explorers came out of the tower, and when the commander asked them to disclose the wonders inside, they decided to fight." Hibiki continued. "The commander battered one with his Loudred, but just before he could deliver the final blow, the explorer sang one of the holy spellsongs!" Hibiki explained.

    "Did he tell you what this song sounded like?" The woman is still skeptical of Hibiki's story.

    Hibiki thinks for a moment. "From what I understand, the spellsong sounded like 'Vao wiisho nas chier com yutuu' or something like that...very strange words none of us have heard before."

    The woman contemplates what Hibiki has told her as she gets up from the computer. "If what you say is true, we need to have the spellsingers appear again and demonstrate their art for me."

    "But how will we find them, boss?" another admin asks as he joins Hibiki in the room. "We've lost all trace of them since the incident."

    "I have a multi-pronged strategy to capture them..." the woman explains. "First, we could try capturing a Pokémon. If they elude us or defeat us there, we can try cornering them on Mt. Taka. If that still doesn't work, we can either capture one of their own Pokémon or lure them to our warehouse in Akari City."

    The male admin grins. "You think of everything, boss."

    "That's why we love you." Hibiki agrees before turning business-like again. "I'll dispatch a stealth team to Poke-nap a Pokémon right away."

    Elsewhere, on the road to Akari City...

    [Just think, we're getting close to Mt. Taka!] Raku smiled as he looked over at Wendy studying the map. [You think we can mine gems there?]

    "Maybe, if we can find one of the rivers the public can use." Wendy replied as she wrapped Raku's ribbon around his neck like a scarf. "There...now you won't trip and fall."

    A male voice calling "Cobalt, where are you?" snapped her to attention. "Someone lost a Pokémon!" She hurried over to a nearby field, where a male cooltrainer was tearfully searching the grass for any sign of his Lucario.

    "Need some help?" Brock asked as he joined the cooltrainer in the grass.

    The cooltrainer heaved a relieved sigh. "I need all the help I can get right now. "I stopped to camp here in hopes I could travel through the Moonlight Forest and on to Mt. Taka in the morning. I turned my Lucario, Cobalt, loose to train so he could keep the wild Mightyenas that roam in the area away. But when I got back from fishing for our dinner, Cobalt was gone."

    "Do you know who took him?" Wendy asked as she and the Pokémon combed the grass for any clues.

    "The only clues I have to go on is this odd crying eye sign I found in my camp, and some charred grass, probably where Cobalt tried fighting his attackers." the cooltrainer explained before realizing he had not introduced himself to his Arceus sent helpers. "My name's Kendall, by the way."

    "Nice to meet you." Wendy replied before assigning her Pokémon an area to search. "Raku, Satomi, stay with Brock and Kendall and help them look for stuff in the grass."

    [Okay!] Raku replied before eagerly bounding into a patch of flowers.

    [You know, it's times like this I wish I was an Espeon.] Satomi sighed. [I could telepathically sense where Cobalt went, and we wouldn't have to work this hard....]

    "Mizuchi, ask the river Pokémon if they saw anything." Wendy continued doling out instructions.

    [Roger!] Mizuchi replied as she hurried off to a river flowing just past a hill.

    [I'll look from the air!] Tenku volunteered before fluttering off into the forest canopy.

    A few hours later...

    Tenku made good time through the forest, but her powerful eyes yielded no sign of Cobalt. She had seen pawprints of Lucarios, but they all were from wild ones--a trained Lucario's strides were farther apart than a wild one's.

    She landed on an oak tree branch with a sigh. [I've looked through this whole forest from top to bottom, and no sign of him anywhere!] she screeched in frustration.

    [Hello?] a weak voice asked. [Have you come to help me?]

    [Who's there?] Tenku called. [Friend or foe?]

    After a few tense seconds, a Lucario crawled out from some bushes, every so often picking burs from his blue, black and cream fur. [I mean no harm to you, and hope you came to help me.]

    The lightbulb went off in Tenku's head--this exhausted and afraid Lucario was indeed Cobalt! [I came to help you, Cobalt--your master's worried sick!]

    The Lucario mustered a weak smile, pleased the Pidgeotto in the tree knew him. [Where is my master? I want to find him before those blue people with the crying eye return.]

    Team Elegy! Tenku thought. [Just follow me, I'll guide you to him, okay?] With that, she took off towards the forest edge, making sure to fly slowly so as not to tire the Lucario further.

    Back at the forest edge...

    "No sign of him in the grass..." Brock sighed.

    [The river Pokémon didn't see anything like a struggle...] Mizuchi reported.

    Kandall thought for a moment. "I think I know why those owners of the crying eye wanted Cobalt--they wanted to force him to transform into the legendary spirit Kimal."

    "Kimal?" Wendy was interested.

    "Who's he?" Brock was just as intrigued.

    "Kimal was a very powerful Lucario that lived long ago." Kendall explained. "One day, he saved Meloetta from some Mightyenas, and in her plight, Meloetta sang one of her songs of power. This powered up Kimal even more, making him grow even taller, changing his markings, and turning his paws and ears red with fury. Needless to say, those Mightyenas got a beating they never forgot! But they say that Kimal's spirit sleeps in all Riolus and Lucarios to this day, only to be awakened by the song of Meloetta or one of her chosen."

    "Wow..." Wendy was impressed.

    Just then, Tenku emerged from the brush, with Cobalt not far behind. [I found him!] Tenku announced. [He's very tired and hungry, but alive.]

    Kendall raced into the grass and embraced the Lucario. "Oh, Cobalt...I'm so glad you're okay!"

    [I'm just as glad to see you too.] Cobalt wheezed. {Arceus knows what my captors had planned for me...]

    "Speaking of captors, we've got company!" Brock called before nocking an arrow and aiming at a gaggle of Team Elegy grunts running up the hill.

    "There he is!" one grunt called, but before she could pull Cobalt away, Tenku sent a gust of wind flying, knocking her to the ground.

    "Run for it!" Wendy instructed Kendall as she drew her blade to face the crowd of Roggenrolas the grunts had summoned. "Take Cobalt somewhere safe!"

    "I'll stay with them and support you and Tenku!" Brock volunteered as he led Kendall and Cobalt towards some bushes at the forest entrance, about 40 feet from where the battle raged.

    [You sure you know what you're doing, Sir Brock?] Cobalt asked as Brock readied an arrow to fire at a Roggenrola about to use Smack Down on Tenku.

    "Sure I do." Brock replied before firing his shot, which knocked the Roggenrola to the ground. "I had training from Ardea."

    [The archer of flame???] Cobalt gained star eyes. [They say her skill at the bow rivals many heroes of legend!]

    "I know...I had to save one of her Pokémon too." Brock replied before firing another shot at a Beedrill hive, making the grunts scatter in panic.

    Wendy meanwhile, cut a large gash in another Roggenrola, making it faint. Mizuchi doused three more in a Water Pulse, making it easier for Brock's next shot to hit. But Tenku saw her chance as a Boldore lumbered up the hill. Bringing out the big guns, are we?

    She dove and rammed the Boldore with a hard Aerial Ace, but the Boldore hardly batted an eye. Not even Mizuchi or Wendy's blade made a dent in the massive rock Pokémon's skin, and Brock's next arrow only bounced off with a tink

    Brock sighed when he saw his arrow merely bounce off the Boidore. "Cobalt...I know you're weakened right now, but I need your help to protect us and your master."

    [How?] Cobalt asked. [I know I have an advantage over that Boldore, but even at my normal strength, such a Pokémon is tough to defeat!]

    "Just let me lay my hands on you--I'm going to try and awaken the spirit of Kimal that sleeps within all Riolus and Lucarios." Brock explained.

    Cobalt nodded and closed his eyes as Brock laid his hands on Cobalt's chest, being careful to not be poked by the spike in the middle. Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...

    Kandall gasped in awe as Cobalt was surrounded by a red aura, making him grow several inches taller. When the aura from Brock's spell faded, his markings were more pronounced, and the tips of his ears and paws had turned red. "I don't believe it--Cobalt's become Kimal!"

    [And I will save you, Master.] Cobalt replied, his voice now deeper sounding.

    With that, he dashed into the crowd of Roggenrolas, his paws a mere red blur as many of them were sent flying. When all the Roggenrolas were defeated, he spotted the Boldore. Wendy and the Pokémon watched in awe as the Bodore fired a Power Gem, but Colbalt countered with a giant Aura Sphere.

    The two attacks met in a giant explosion of light. but when the light faded, the Boldore had fainted, and only Colbalt was still standing. [My captors have fallen...] he assured the group. [We have won.] With that, the transformation wore off, shrinking Cobalt back to normal size and with his normal markings.

    Kandall ran to embrace Cobalt. "Not only were your rescuers Arceus sent, but one of them is Meloetta's chosen, at least!"

    He smiled at Brock and Wendy. "Thank you so much for everything! I know it's not much of a reward, but if you're traveling to Mt. Taka too, you can spend the night with us."

    "We would be honored." Wendy replied as she and Brock followed Kendall and Cobalt to their camp...
     
  17. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
    Level 34
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    Episode 37: "A reluctant admin! Hibiki's flight!"


    Hibiki laid awake in her room by Aika's quarters. Team Elegy's moving out to Mt. Taka tomorrow night...but why do I feel this sick feeling, like something bad is about to happen?

    Some voices got her attention. "Now, when we arrive in the forest by the mountain, I want each team to seek out the dens of the Mightyenas, and set out their firestarters, which I will provide." Aika's voice explained.

    "What kind of firestarters, boss?" a male voice asked."Gas? Explosives?"

    "Anything you want, as long as it makes a good blaze." Aika's voice replied.

    Hibiki froze. No way! All this time as Team Elegy admin, and I never realized that they kill Pokémon???

    She covered her face with her hands. I thought Aika was my friend, who would give me a chance to lead a great organization! But now I've heard the truth...and I don't like it at all! I'm getting out of here, and fast!

    She climbed out of bed, removed her nightclothes, and after throwing on a casual outfit, began throwing items into a bag. Team Elegy stuff, to be discarded; supplies for a few days...clothes for a few days...

    A weak smile formed on her face when she unearthed an instrument case in the clutter. My old autoharp! I haven't played this in years...I can probably re-learn everything or play what few songs I still remember to pass the time...

    "Once the Mightyenas have perished, search for Squinty-eyes and Redhead--and see to it their spellsong is silenced." Aika's voice continued as Hibiki finished gathering her possessions.

    Hibiki, meanwhile, had carefully sneaked to the base's entrance, discarding her Team Elegy beret and putting on a green one with a white stripe. Good bye, and good riddance, Team Elegy...kill me too, if you want, but I am NOT going to kill innocent Pokémon--nor innocent people, either!

    With that, she fled into the night. I don't know where Squinty-eyes and Redhead are, but I have to find them, and let them know what Team Elegy plans to do!

    Elsewhere, on a hill overlooking Moonlight Forest...

    "Almost there, everyone... Wendy smiled as she led the group up the hill. "We'll camp here for the night, then tomorrow, we'll see Mt. Taka."

    A familiar howl snapped Wendy from her thoughts. "Sounds like the Mightyenas on the route are on the prowl with it being a full moon tonight..."

    Tears welled up in Emi's eyes. [D-d-daddy...I'm scared those Mightyenas are gonna get me...] she whimpered as the howling in the distance grew louder and more intense.

    "They're not gonna get you, okay?" Brock began before he noticed Hinata nudging a slender black instrument case before him. "Huh?"

    [You may want to get the big Pokeflute out to calm Emi down...] Hinata suggested. [It never fails to calm any frightened or agitated Pokémon--Emi included.]

    [There's bigger Pokeflutes besides the standard sized one?] Mizuchi asked as Brock opened the case and started assembling the large silver flute inside.

    "While most people picture the standard sized Pokeflute--thanks in no small part to Ash's incredible skill on it..." Brock explained. "The Pokeflute is actually an entire family of instruments. What I have here..." He paused for a moment to make sure the curved headjoint was in place. "is an alto Pokeflute I received as a gift from doing charity work back home.

    "Wow!" Wendy gasped, impressed. "What's the difference between the standard Pokeflute and this one? Besides their size."

    "Well, you have to learn a new way to blow and new fingerings--alto Pokeflutes are usually sideblown, although some endblown ones like the standard Pokeflute exist." Brock replied as he nervously fingered his instrument. "The biggest difference is how the music is read--the alto Pokeflute is tuned a fourth below the standard Pokeflute. So middle C on the piano would sound as the G below middle C."

    Emi fearfully whining snapped him from his lecture. "For the moment, I'm just gonna pick a note and make something up around it--see if that helps calm Emi down."

    With that, he started playing the mighty instrument--making a warm resonant F# echo through the night.

    The single note then transformed into a playful, mysterious melody that quieted Emi's cries and silenced the howling Mightyenas. A few Mightyenas approached the camp, interested in the strangely hypnotic song.

    But before they could thank Brock for the song, one Mightyena started growling in the direction of the bushes. "Who's there?" Wendy asked, drawing her blade.

    Brock scrambled to put the flute away and nocked an arrow. "Friend or foe?" he demanded as he readied his shot.

    "A former foe that is now a friend." stammered a frightened female voice. "P-please don't hurt me..."

    Wendy raised an eyebrow, interested in what the voice in the bushes said. "Can you at least come out so we can see you?" she asked after silently motioning for Brock to stand down.

    After a few tense minutes, Hibiki inched out of the bushes, still very visibly afraid. "Here I am...I want to help you on your adventure to atone for all the terrible things I've done, but i-if y-you don't trust me, that's okay...d-do to me as you will."

    "But why did you come find us?" Wendy was both confused and skeptical of the frightened girl's claim.

    "My name is Hibiki Aratana--I came to warn you and the Mightyenas..." Hibiki calmly explained, ever aware of the sword in Wendy's hand and the partially nocked bow aimed at her. "Team Elegy plans to set fire to the forest tonight in hopes they can kill or capture as many of the Mightyenas as possible--and possibly kill or capture you guys too."

    Tears formed in her eyes. "I may have done some horrible things as an admin of Team Elegy, but I can't believe they would go so far as to kill innocent people and Pokémon...and I want no part of being part of a gang of murderers and Pokémon killers!" With that, she burst into tears.

    Wendy glanced over at Brock. "What do you think? Is she telling the truth, or leading us into a trap? We can't just blindly trust her..."

    "I know that...and I have an idea..." Brock replied before laying his hands on Hibiki.Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...

    Hibiki gasped when she saw her chest glow red for a moment, then turn white. "According to my spell, she is telling the truth." Brock explains.

    [Does that mean she's good now?] Emi asked.

    [I dunno...] Raku swallowed hard.

    [My concern is that this is an act.] Tenku replied. [To lead us into the trap.]

    [Brock is the leader, so we'll do what he believes is best.] Mizuchi assures the Pokémon. [Even if that means we take her with us.]

    Brock thought long and hard for a moment before addressing the group. "Although we all have some very real doubts about Hibiki's claims, I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt for now--at least until we can get her to Akari City and some appropriate support services."

    He then addressed Hibiki. "What that means for you is that we will safely escort you to Akari City and any support services you may need as a former Team member. If you can prove to us that what you've told us is true and get rid of everything Team Elegy related, we'll give you the option of staying longer. But if you try anything funny at any time along the way, you'll be going to see the inside of a jail cell. Understand?"

    "Okay..." Hibiki finally replied through her tears. "Although, how did you do that glow-y thing on my chest?"

    "It's one of the many things the spellsong of the Fire Ruby can do." Brock explained. "Discern if someone is telling the truth. If it turns white after a few seconds, the subject is telling the truth, if it stays red, the subject is lying."

    Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... Wendy sang to the stars.

    Meloetta materialized in the camp a few moments later. "What is it?"

    "This is Hibiki, a former Team Elegy member." Wendy explained as Hibiki shyly waved hello. "She's told us Team Elegy plans to attack this place, kill the guardian Mightyenas, and possibly kill us too, but she no longer wishes to be part of, in her words, 'a gang of murderers and Pokémon killers'"

    "When I used a discernment spell to see if she was sincere, it turned white, meaning she speaks the truth." Brock added. "We all have our doubts, but the least we can do is take her to Akari City."

    Meloetta flew down before Hibiki. "Is it true you wish to learn to use my power of spellsong, and join Brock and Wendy on their quest?"

    "I do." Hibiki replied.

    "If your request is sincere, you will renounce all your ties to Team Elegy, and sing the song of awakening as a sign that you understand the risks of a seeker." Meloetta explained. "The Fire Ruby will cleanse the evil from your heart, and grant you spellsong."

    "You'd really forgive me?" Hibiki gasped, her tears shining hopefully. Meloetta nodded. "Thank Arceus!"

    "We have clearly told her what will happen if this is an act." Brock added.

    "Just watch over her for now--her behavior will be the best way to tell if she means to change." Meloetta assured Brock before disappearing in a flash of green light.

    Brock heard Hibiki's stomach growl. "Have you eaten at all?"

    "No--I was not given dinner after objecting to Team Elegy's plan." Hibiki replied as she gratefully accepted a bowl of chili from Brock. "It was just like my mom at home--if you didn't like what the boss said or did, you didn't eat."

    [That's not nice!] Satomi gasps.

    "See, my mom and dad were very strict--whatever they said, went." Hibiki went on. "The clothes you wore, the songs you listened to, the activities you sighed up for, the games you played, the TV shows you watched--all tightly controlled."

    "Sounds like a prison instead of a home." Wendy replied.

    "Well, I did get to make my own decision on music lessons--after a heated argument over why I should play an instrument besides piano, violin, or flute, I finally convinced Mom to let me play the autoharp." Hibiki went on. "I decided that was the last straw, and ran away a few months later, taking only a few clothes, my autoharp, and a tin whistle I had secretly bought."

    She ate some more chili, then continued. "But I really want to learn to play guitar..."

    "Well, until you can get one of your own, would you want to listen to Brock play?" Wendy offered as Hibiki finished her meal.

    [He's really good!] Satomi raved.

    "I can give you a few tips to remember for when you do get your own." Brock explained as he retrieved the guitar case. "Starting with tune up every time you start playing."

    Tune up every time--got it! Hibiki thought as she watched Brock carefully tune his guitar.

    Once Brock was ready, he asked "Any requests?"

    Hibiki thought for a moment. "Do you know 'Horse with No Name'? I've always felt that song represented my search for somewhere where my decisions are valued."

    "Sure do!" With that, Brock started the familiar brisk introduction before singing On the first part of the journey,
    I was looking at all the life...
    There were plants and birds, and rocks and things,
    There was sand, and hills, and rings.....
    The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz,
    And a sky, with no clouds.
    The heat was hot, and the ground was dry,
    But the air was full of sound....


    I've been through the desert on a horse with no name,
    It felt good to be out of the rain....
    Wendy and Hibiki joined in.
    In the desert, you can't remember your name,
    'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain.
    La, la, la la la la, la la la, la, la
    La, la, la la la la, la la la, la, la...


    TO BE CONTINUED...
     
  18. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
    Level 34
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Posts:
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    ₽39,168.0
    Episode 38: "The guardians of Mt. Taka! Fire in the night!"


    The mood around the campfire was festive that evening, but the happiest of all was Hibiki. "So this is what it's like to feel happy...I haven't felt like this in years!"

    "How bout it? Wanna wow Hibiki with your storytelling?" Wendy smiled.

    "What kinds of stories do you tell?" Hibiki was piqued.

    "All kinds--fairy tales, adventure tales, historical tales, and tales from my journeys around the world." Brock replied. "So if you have a particular kind you want to hear, let me know."

    Happy tears formed in Hibiki's eyes. "I've...never really heard a fairy tale before..."

    "Why not?" Wendy was piqued.

    "My parents felt that fairies and dragons were not 'proper' reading material, never mind that good triumphs over evil in the end." Hibiki explained. "So instead of Cinderella and Snow White, I ended up reading Pokémon books and books about places--like the Tower of Runes here. Books about fixing and building things were fine too."

    "Strict and practical..." Wendy noted.

    A weak smile formed on Hibiki's face. "Yeah...I guess you could say that. But through the years, I would secretly check out fairy tale books from the library, and read them when Mom and Dad weren't looking. That is, until I got caught reading one--was marched back to the library and had to return it, and forbidden from checking out more."

    [Aww...that's awful...] Satomi sighed.

    "If you look past the simple plotlines and REALLY look at fairy tales, you'll find some very good lessons." Brock smiled. "Such as honesty, faithfulness, courage..."

    "Believing in yourself..." Wendy added.

    "and my two favorites, hope and love." Brock agreed.

    Hibiki pondered what her new friends had said. "Interesting...I've never thought of fairy tales like that before..."

    [You're in for a treat!] Hinata smiled.

    [Brock's really good at telling stories!] Satomi agreed. (He knows a zillion of'em!]

    "So what kind of tale do you want to hear?" Brock asked Hibiki.

    "Tell the most adventurous, magic filled one you know!" Hibiki replied.

    After thinking for a moment, Brock mused "I have a lot that would fit that description, but we'll try this one on for size...it's called 'The Gold Chalice and the Silver Sword'"

    With that, he begins "There was once a poor orphan who struggled to survive on what little he earned as a minstrel. People were enthralled at how beautiful his voice was, and many gave him food and a bed in return for a song."

    "What's the boy's name?" Hibiki wonders.

    It dawns on Brock that he forgot to name the boy. "We'll call him...Arion. One day, Arion was out traveling when it started getting dark. He was too far away from town to rest in the inn--and he barely had enough for a room. But then he spotted a farmer's homestead, and asked the family if he could stay with them for the night. The woman of the house agreed, and prepared him a fine meal."

    "Okay, then what?" Hibiki isn't impressed with what she has heard so far.

    "It gets better, honest!" Brock assures Hibiki. "Having never had a proper meal before, Arion was amazed at how tasty everything was--he deemed every course worthy of a royal cook. The farmer's wife was touched at this, and told him he need only ask if he wanted more of something."

    "And then?" Wendy asks.

    "As they were having dinner, a knight passed by the homestead, and asked the farmer if he knew the way to Castle Telchal." Brock continues. "The farmer's wife turned pale at this, and asked if he was really going there. The knight replied he had come from a far away land, and it had taken him three months to get to where this tale takes place."

    "Wherever that is..." Hibiki mutters.

    "Just assume it's your standard issue fairy tale far away land." Brock suggests. "Anyway, the knight was going to Castle Telchal in search of a gold chalice and a silver sword. Arion mentioned that he knew those things existed, but didn't know where. The knight told Arion that the chalice was a never ending source of healing water that cured any sickness and revived the dead. The silver sword was said to cut through anything--even diamond and mythril."

    "Whoa...." Hibiki gets starry eyes as she pictures herself as an adventurer wielding such a sword.

    "Arion asked who the owner of the castle was, and the farmer's wife told Arion that the castle was ruled by an evil mage named Atavan." Brock explained. "Atavan always rode on a Ponyta with purple and black fire for its mane with a normal Ponyta foal behind him, and not even the bravest of heroes dared to attack him. However, he could not use the chalice or the sword inside the castle. The second he entered, they flew away to an unknown location within the castle."

    "Oh, so the knight wants to fight him there..." Hibiki muses.

    "As if riding three months and many adventures on the way wasn't enough, the knight still had a long way to go on his quest." Brock goes on. "The farmer's wife tried to tell him to turn back, as many more had set out on the same quest, and never returned. The knight assured her that he, unlike the others, had visited the Sage of Koune."

    "So what did the Sage of Koune tell this knight?" Wendy is interested now.

    "First he would pass through a haunted forest, then take a Leppa Berry from a fire fairy." Brock replies. "Then he would seek a smiling flower, guarded by a black Entei. He would then travel to Lake Cerulean, and battle a black knight with a huge mace. Then, after passing through the valley of the lotus, where many forget their homeland, he would meet a lady in white by a riverbank, who would tell him what to do next."

    "Arion heard the whole thing, right?" Hibiki smiles

    "The farmer's wife wished the knight well on his quest, and pointed out the path to the haunted forest. And yes, Arion heard the whole thing." Brock replies. "The next day, the farmer offered Arion some work for the day tending the Tauros. Arion agreed to ten gold pieces, a day's wage. As Arion was driving the Tauros to pasture, he saw Atavan pass by on his darkfire Ponyta, with the normal Ponyta foal behind him. But after initially being afraid, Arion continued his work. The farmer was so pleased with how well Arion had done, he allowed Arion to stay as long as he wanted until he had enough money to support himself, treating him as one of his own sons."

    [And then?] Mizuchi asks as she wraps Emi in her tail to keep her warm.

    "One day, as Arion was watching the Tauros by the forest, a light mage named Anadin met him." Brock continues. "Arion was concerned, but he soon found out that Anadin was Atavan's brother, so he knew the way to Castle Telchal well, but since he couldn't pass through the haunted forest--as the spirits and creatures there would fiercely attack a mage of the light, he simply summoned the normal Ponyta, a little filly named..."

    [Epona!] Emi suggests.

    "Yeah, Epona." Wendy suggests.

    Brock considers the name, never mind it is already used in Zelda. "Okay, we can call it Epona." he assures the girls. "Arion asked how to summon the little filly Epona, and Anadin took a few reeds..."

    After picking a suitable blade of grass, he continues "He then played this song..."

    The familiar notes of Epona's Song echo into the night. "Sure enough, Epona came running to Anadin's side some seconds later." Brock continues. "Arion didn't tell his adopted family about his adventure, but he knew that if he was ever to get to Telchal, he had to find Epona. However, he had not heard Anadin's grasswhistle, so if he was to summon Epona at all, he had to learn what the song was."

    "Did he figure it out?" Wendy asks.

    "All that day, while he was herding the Tauros, he thought long and hard about how to call Epona, for he was sure that once on her back he could overcome every other danger that awaited him." Brock reminds the girls. "He knew he had to be ready in case he got a chance. Of course, he made his preparations at night, when everyone was asleep. Remembering what he had seen Anadin do, he patched up an old halter that was hanging in a corner of the stable, found a rope long enough and thick enough to fit around Epona's feet, and a net often used for catching bird Pokémon. Next, he sewed together some cloth to make a bag, and he put glue, Fletchling feathers, some beads, a whistle..." Brock pauses to fish his own whistle from his bag. "and some food. Then he went out to the path where the darkfire Ponyta and Epona always appeared, and crumbled some bread on one side of it."

    [Did he catch Epona?] Satomi asks

    "It wasn't long before all three appeared, while Arion watched in the bushes." Brock replies. "Worries started filling his head--what if all his work was useless? What if the darkfire Ponyta, and not Epona, ate the crumbs?"

    [Did the little Ponyta take the bait, Master Storyteller?] one of the Mightyenas asks as he leads his pack up the hill to watch over the camp.

    "To his relief, the darkfire Ponyta and her rider went by, eventually disappearing around a corner." Brock assures the pack leader. "Epona, meanwhile, smelled the bread, and began eating the pieces. She was so absorbed in eating the bread that she never saw Arion approaching-- untill she felt the halter on her neck and the rope round her feet, and--in another moment--someone on her back."

    Laughter goes up as the group pictures Epona's reaction. "Going as fast as she could run, Epona bolted straight into the wilderness, while her rider hung on in the saddle and trembled at the strange sights he saw." Brock continues. "Sometimes the earth seemed to open in front of them and he was looking into a bottomless pit; sometimes the trees burst into flames and he found himself in the midst of a fire; often in the act of crossing a stream the water rose and threatened to wash him away; and again, at the foot of a mountain, great rocks would roll towards him, as if they would crush him and Epona beneath their weight. Arion didn't know if these things were real or his imagination, but he pulled down his cap to hide his eyes, and trusted Epona to carry him down the right road."

    He pauses for a beat before continuing "Finally, they came out on a wide plain where the breeze blew fresh and strong. Arion looked around, and everything seemed normal, though a chill ran down his spine as he noticed the skeletons of people scattered over the plain, beside the skeletons of their Ponytas. And what were those grey forms trotting away in the distance? Were they--could they be--Mightyenas?"

    Hibiki freezes when she sees some gray forms, the huge form of a tank-like vehicle, and torches approaching the camp. "No, it's worse than that! Team Elegy's here!"

    "Well hello there, Squinty-eyes..." Aika sneers as she and the Team Elegy unit arrive in the camp. "I must thank you for holding onto this traitor for me..."

    "I'm not going back with you!" Hibiki snapped as she tried again and again to deflect Aika's hand. "Never again!"

    "Why not?" Aika asked. "You were the one that said you wanted to make your own decisions when I found you lost and alone...and I gave you a chance to be a leader of a great organization! You proved yourself to be a hard worker, and rose through the ranks rather quickly...and now you want to turn your back on your dream?"

    Hibiki grumbled as she stood up. "It's true I wanted to make my own decisions--but now that I know who you really are, I've decided I DON'T want to be in charge of killing innocent people and Pokémon!" She kicked away her old Team Elegy outfit to emphasize her point. "I won't be needing this anymore..."

    Aika was about to protest when Hibiki roared "Furthermore, a good leader respects those they are in charge of, and is sensitive to their needs--not depriving them of privileges and basic needs if you disagree!"

    She threw down the Team Elegy beret and jumped on it several times, as if stamping out the evil inside of it. "A good leader listens to those they are in charge of, and if their workers have a problem, the leader works with them and tries to help solve it--not telling them to 'deal with it' or blowing it off as all in their heads!"

    Brock watched as Hibiki continued ranting, every so often discarding one of her Team Elegy items. "Get ready...this could get ugly..." he whispered as he nocked an arrow. Wendy nodded, and drew her sword in preparation for battle.

    Terra quickly led Emi and the Eevees behind a bush. [Stay here, and don't come out until one of us says it's safe.] she whispered before running to rejoin Hinata, who was charging a Flame Wheel.

    "But above all, a leader IS. NOT. A. KILLER!!!" Hibiki screeched, concluding her firey speech.

    "No!" Aika pleaded as Hibiki removed her admin insignia. "If you burn that....!"

    "I have every right to burn this!" Hibiki snapped, throwing the insignia into the campfire flames. "This world does not deserve to be torn apart because of one person's selfish ambitions! It deserves to be protected!" The sound of Brock drawing the bow punctuated her point.

    With that, she started singing Gatrandis favel secret, edena...

    [The awakening spellsong!] Hinata gasps.

    [She really did want to change!] Mizuchi agreed.

    "No! Do you realize what you're singing?" Aika screeched over Hibiki singing Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis... "Do you know what that power can do?"

    Kacoradis favel siicletu edena... Hibiki continued as a red aura surrounded her.
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    Aika's desperate "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" nearly drowned out Hibiki's final C note, making the entire hillside glow red with the bright aura.

    "Don't just stand there, attack!" a Team Elegy commander called, prompting the crowd of grunts to engage with the Mightyena pack.

    "YAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" Wendy led the charge into battle, with Brock and Hibiki not far behind.

    After leading Hibiki by a tree,which overlooked the Mightyenas scratching and biting the Whismurs and Roggenrolas attempting to climb the hill, Brock explained "I'll support the Pokémon and Wendy from here, you can pick off anything trying to ambush us from behind, okay?"

    "Okay...but I don't know how strong my new magic is yet...and what if I need a weapon?" Hibiki worried.

    "You can sing one into existence." Brock assured Hibiki as he fired an arrow into a patch of ground, making some Whismurs stumble backwards from the explosion of electricity at the arrow's impact.

    Inspired, Hibiki sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..., conjuring a number of glowing circular boomerang-like weapons. "Team Elegy won't know what hit them--cause these will come back to me!"

    The crack of a branch alerted her to a Team Elegy grunt about to jump down on her and Brock's position from a tree! Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... she sang, conjuring a fireball that sent the grunt flying.

    "Nice shot!" Brock grinned as more grunts arrived with fire extinguishers.

    She winced as a Mightyena's claw gravely wounded a grunt. "That had to hurt..."

    "These Mightyenas guard the mountain, so if the mountain is under attack like this, they hit, and hit hard." Brock cautioned.

    [Hah!] Tenku screeched as she unleashed a whirlwind at some fleeing Team Elegy grunts. While the unlucky grunts were tossed about like dolls, the tank didn't move an inch.

    Hibiki recognized the large tank looming over the chaotic battlefield. "That's Team Elegy's patented flamethrower tank--we need to destroy that before they can set fire to the forest!"

    "It would be my pleasure to take the first shot." Brock grinned as he aimed for the tank, and fired. While the arrow only made a small dent in the mighty tank's armor, the electricity from the impact also lit some of the chaos of the ground.

    Hinata rammed into a Whismur, then noticed Brock's shot at the tank. [Everyone! Aim for that giant tank!]

    She whirled around to see a Roggenrola charging at her, and jumped out of the way, making the Roggenrola crash into a rock.

    You wanna burn the forest down? Then feel the fire of my fury. Hibiki grinned before singing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...

    Later, after the battle...

    "There...that's the last one." Brock smiled as he bandaged a Mightyena's wounded paw. Wendy was nearby, reviving a fainted Mightyena.

    [Thank you all for saving the mountain forest...] the pack leader smiled. [We will never forget how you saved us in our darkest hour.]

    "The real hero is Hibiki--she did something very brave, standing up to the Team Elegy boss like that." Wendy interjected.

    "It was nothing, really...I did what I had to do to get out of there before I did something I really regretted." Hibiki giggled, a little nervous from all the attention.

    Just then,a familiar voice singing Karuto, iichiida shou... snapped Brock to attention. "Meloetta..."

    "What are you doing here?" Wendy asked as Meloetta flew over to Hibiki, a yellow and black egg cradled in her arms.

    "I wanted to congratulate Hibiki for renouncing her ties to Team Elegy." Meloetta explained before addressing Hibiki. "You did something very brave...now that you have joined Brock and Wendy on their journey. Aika sees you a traitor, and will stop at nothing until the three of you are captured or dead."

    "I knew that risk, but I still had to do it before I ended up killing innocent people and Pokémon for no reason and regretting it for as long as I lived." Hibiki explained. "When Aika took me in all those years ago, I thought she was a great leader...but now I see her for what she really is, and it's Brock that is the real leader."

    Meloetta smiled. "As a sign of the beginning of a new life, I want you to care for the Pokémon inside this egg."

    "Thanks?" Hibiki stammered as she nervously accepted the egg. "I-I'll do my best to take care of it..."

    "Besides..." Wendy added. "You have two breeders to help you raise it!"

    Just then, the egg started to crack, and after a few tense seconds, a small yellow mouse creature lay in Hibiki's hands. [Ma-ma?] it squeaked, its eyes shining hopefully.

    "Aw, a Pichu!" Wendy smiled.

    After carefully checking the Pichu's gender, Brock told Hibiki "It's a boy Pichu...what do you wanna name him?"

    Hibiki thought for a moment, bemused in the tiny Pichu's happy smile."How about...Fuka?"

    [Yay!] the Pichu cheered.

    "Fuka?" Wendy was confused.

    Hibiki nodded. "Because my love for him is as deep as the sea." The Pichu giggled as he and his new master embraced...
     
  19. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 39: "The master storyteller's heritage! Wendy's trade of tales!" (part 1)


    "Finally we're out of those caves!" Hibiki cried as she, Brock and Wendy emerged from a cave a few days later, After protecting the guardian Mightyenas of the mountain and Hibiki's change of heart, the three of them had wound their way through the mountain's maze-like tunnels.

    "Hate to break it to you, but after rounding this road, we go in another tunnel." Wendy replied as she studied the map. Hibiki just groaned in reply.

    Then, a ring on her left hand got her attention. "What's this?"

    "When you sang the awakening song, you got a ring of protection." Brock explained as he admired the circular emerald carefully balanced between two bands of white gold and diamonds. "So if something happens while we are exploring the sanctums of the Gems of Song, this ring keeps us from dying."

    "Does this mean I'm invincible???" Hibiki gasped, starry eyed at the prospect of never dying.

    "I would not recommend standing in front of a stampede of Donphans to test that theory." Wendy giggled at Hibiki's excitement. "Besides, you have to set a good example for Fuka."

    "A good example?" Hibiki asked, glancing down at the smiling Pichu in her arms.

    "Pichus learn by repetition--so the more he sees you modeling good behavior, the more likely he'll do it too." Brock explained. "On the other side of the coin, if you complain a lot, he'll complain a lot too."

    Hibiki blushed, both embarrassed and ashamed that Brock had called her out on a bad behavior. "I'm sorry, Fuka..." she apologized to the Pichu. "It's just that we've walked a long way, and Mama's feet are tired..."

    "We don't have very far to go before we reach the Askarya river..." Wendy explained, "So...why don't we sing a few songs to pass the time?"

    "What kind of songs?" Hibiki asked.

    A guitar chord got her attention. "One of my favorites to sing on a long hike goes something like this..." Brock explained before beginning We love to go a-wandering,
    Along the mountain tracks,
    And as we go, we love to sing,
    Our knapsacks on our backs....


    Valderi, valdera,
    Valderi, val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
    Valderi, valdera,
    Our knapsacks on our backs....
    Wendy joined in.

    Hibiki raised an eyebrow as Brock continued We love to wander by the stream
    That dances in the sun,
    So joyously it calls to us,
    "Come! Join our happy song!"

    Valderi, valdera,
    Valderi, val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
    Valderi, valdera,
    Come join our happy song...
    came the chorus again.

    I wave my hat to all I meet,
    And they wave back to me...
    Wendy sang as she tipped her hat to a passing traveler.
    And Taillows call so loud and sweet
    From ev'ry green wood tree....


    Valderi, valdera,
    Valderi, val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
    Hibiki joined in.
    Valderi, valdera,
    From ev'ry green wood tree...


    "Come to think of it, I think I know a verse of this song!" Hibiki smiled before enthusiastically belting out High overhead, the Fletchlings wing,
    They never rest at home...
    But just like us, they love to sing,
    As o'er the world we roam....

    Valderi, valdera,
    Valderi, val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
    Valderi, valdera,
    As o'er the world we roam....
    With that, Brock added a little flourish to end the song just as the group rounded a bend in the road overlooking a river and a large hill.

    "There it is!" Hibiki cried, and hurried off down the hill towards the river, where many people were busy mining gems.

    She quickly located the supply cabin on the hill, where a line formed to buy the bags of dirt you mined with. "Hello there!" a woman by the river called as Wendy joined Hibiki in line. "Where might you be headed?"

    "We're going to Akari City!" Wendy called back. "We thought we'd rest here for a while!"

    Raku gasped when he saw the bags of dirt. [Will you find me a Thunder Stone? Please?]

    "I'll try, but no guarantees that any Thunder Stones are in the dirt we buy." Wendy cautioned as the line passed a sign that said "MINING DIRT-1 BAG=100 POKE

    Outside the cabin, Brock made himself comfortable under a tree with his guitar, and smiled when he noticed a crowd of children at his feet. After playing a bouncy introduction in C, he sings There was a man...

    There was a man... the kids echo.

    Now please take note... Brock sings the next part of the verse.

    Now please take note... the kids echo. The song continues like this:

    There was a man,

    There was a man,

    Had a Gogoat....

    Had a Gogoat....

    Everyone then choruses He loved Gogoat, indeed he did. He loved Gogoat just like a kid....

    ----------

    Hours later, Brock uses the ending of "Jenny Jenkins"--which he had finally gotten stumped by the color sepia--to transition into a story. "One afternoon long, long ago, Sorin was sitting at home resting when he saw Illumise fly past." Brock begins. "When Sorin saw her, he got a fine idea, if he said so himself."

    In character as Sorin, he calls to no one in particular "Oi, Illumise! Why dontcha stop in and chitchat with me for a while?"

    As himself, he continues "So Illumise did, and they talked for hours. After they had talked for a while, Sorin suggested they go hunting for eggs together in the forest. Now, Illumise knew as well as anyone that Sorin was quite the trickster..."

    Thunderous applause goes up at the familiar beginning. "but she agreed to Sorin's proposal, and told him to come to her house at sunset." Brock continues when the applause dies down. "Sorin loved hunting, and he loved collecting all manner of Pokémon eggs. And Illumise seemed like the perfect hunting companion for anyone who liked to sneak around, for she would give him light to see in the dark."

    Giggles go up as the audience anticipates what hijinks the crafty Pikachu will get into this time around. "When the sun set, Sorin hurried to Illumise's house. Together they set off for the forest, and there they snuck up on an unguarded Pidgey's nest." Brock continues. "It was nighttime, and there was no moon in the sky. But Illumise opened her wings, and when she did, her tail lit up the forest like it was daytime. It was just enough light for Sorin see not just the six Pidgey eggs, but all the eggs in the immediate vicinity. So he went to work, picking up every single egg out of every single nest in that tree, and placing them carefully in his basket. When he had gathered every last one, he and Illumise hurried to another tree with nests, and the process would begin anew."

    He quickly interjects "As the night wore on, Illumise began to grow tired, and she wondered if this wasn't a mistake."

    More giggles go up as Brock goes on "Before long, Sorin's basket was overflowing, and as they moved on across the dark forest, Illumise suggested..." In a breathy female voice he intones "Come, let's go to the next tree, and this time you'll fill my basket."

    "I'm too tired to do any more hunting," he sighs as Sorin. "I think I'll just take my eggs home."

    As himself, he continues "Illumise was furious at this, and flew away in a huff, leaving Sorin stranded in the dark. They had traveled for a long, long time, and gone a long, long way, and Sorin had no idea how to find his way home. As Sorin groped about in the darkness, he bumped smack into what he thought was a house."

    He calls as Sorin "Hello! Anybody home?"

    In a deep and gravely voice, he answers "Who's that in my house?"

    "It's Sorin, your good friend!" he calls as Sorin.

    As himself, he explains "Sorin recognized the deep voice that had answered him--he had wandered into Raikou's den!"

    "Ooh"s and giggles fill the air at this. "Raikou saw Sorin in the dim light of the den's entryway and let out a huge sigh." Brock continues. "Sorin had tricked him many times before, and every Pokémon knew that nobody makes a fool of Raikou. But Raikou was a clever Pokémon in his own right. And so, although Sorin was no friend of his, he said, very sweetly..." In a gentler version of his Raikou voice, he says "Come in, my friend."

    He continues as himself "Sorin stepped inside, and the moment he did, Raikou shut the door behind him."

    "Look at those eggs!" he gasps as Raikou as he admires an imagined egg. "Let's boil them and have a feast."

    As himself, he continues "Before Sorin could say a word, Raikou put a big kettle on the fire and called out to his wife and cubs..." As Raikou again, he calls "Come see our midnight snack!"

    Laughter goes up as the audience pictures the look on Sorin's face as the Raikous enter the room. "So Lady Raikou and the four cubs hurried into the room, and the moment those eggs were boiled, they began to gobble them down." Brock continues as himself. "But after a few minutes, Raikou began wondering if perhaps Sorin wanted some, too. Sorin was nervous surrounded by all the Raikous, and politely declined. He didn't want to upset the Raikous, after all."

    Chuckles of anticipation race through the crowd. "So when all the eggs were gone, Raikou waited until Sorin was looking the other way, dropped a Corphish into the kettle, and then covered the Corphish with all the eggshells. He then invited Sorin to stay the night. Sorin nodded when he saw those gleaming teeth, sharp as knives. He didn't want to refuse Raikou."

    Brock waits a few beats, then continues. "Before long, everyone was fast asleep -- everyone but Sorin, who was trying oh-so-hard not to fall asleep. When he heard everyone snoring, he tiptoed to the kettle, reached inside to grab an egg, but the Corphish pinched him hard!"

    "AI-YAI-YAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" he screams as Sorin, making the audience roar with laughter.

    "Are you all right?" he calls as Raikou.

    "There are terrible bugs in this house!" he complains as Sorin.

    "Bugs?" he gasps as Raikou. "How dare you insult us!!!" Startled screams mix with more laughter as Brock performs a perfect Raikou roar.

    Once the laughter calms down, Brock continues "Sorin raced to the door as fast as he could, and Raikou couldn't help but grin as he watched the little Pikachu hurrying home."

    He concludes "Needless to say, Sorin never returned to Raikou's den, and he never went hunting with Illumise again!" Laughter and applause fill the air as Brock takes a bow for his audience.

    ---------

    "Okay...." Wendy begins as she and Hibiki arrive in an open part of the shallows with two screened boxes, two spades, and six bags of dirt between them. "Here's how you mine for gems...first put some of the dirt in the screened in box."

    Hibiki hesitantly follows Wendy's instructions as Fuka looks on. "Next, submerge the box in the water and shake it a little to dissolve the dirt--and jewels, stones, and minerals will be left when you bring it up." She demonstrates with her own screened box.

    "That looks pretty easy..." Hibiki musters a smile as she submerges her box. "Treasure's hiding in the dirt, so we're washing the dirt away to clean it up." she explains to Fuka.

    [No one wants dirty treasure!] Fuka smiles as Hibiki picks out some crystals and a diamond.

    Wendy smiles as she sets aside a Leaf Stone and some crystals. "That's actually a good way to explain gem mining to a young Pokémon, Hibiki...."


    She hears Brock conclude another story as Hibiki goes to work on her own. "Think you can keep doing this on your own?" she asks Hibiki.

    "I think so..." Hibiki replies as she submerges the box again.

    Wendy leaves Hibiki to mine and joins Brock and the children. "If you don't mind me joining you, I have a tale of Minami for you..."

    "Please tell it--I could use a break, anyway." Brock replied as he sets his guitar aside.

    "Okay...this is called 'The Moon Girl'." Wendy explaind before beginning "Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a rich couple, and each month the woman asked Lugia as he passed over the house 'Am I the most beautiful in the world, or are you?'"....

    ---------

    "...The mother was so shocked at this news, she collapsed and died right there on the balcony. As for Luna and Prince Brendan, they all lived happily ever after." Wendy concludes to applause from the children, Brock, and some of the other people mining.

    "That was a sweet story..." a boy smiled as he examined what jewels, stones and minerals were left in his latest spadeful of dirt. "Reminds me of the legend of Denryu..."

    "Who's he?" Brock is intrigued.

    "Denryu is said to be a thunder spirit--which some say resembles an Ampharos--that guards Mt. Taka like the Mightyenas, but he only appears if the mountain is in danger." the boy explained as he petted his own Eevee. "He is said to have a shining white mane and tail with topazes in it..."

    "Maybe all the earthquakes in the area have something to do with Denryu?" a girl suggests.

    "What earthquakes?" Hibiki wondered as she picked out a ruby and an emerald from her screen box.

    She suddenly felt the ground begin to rumble, and Fuka screamed in fear as she and the other miners scrambled to get away from the river. Once she spotted Brock, Wendy, and the children in an open area of grass, she hugged Fuka close as she ran to join them. "It's gonna be okay, Fuka...it's gonna be okay...."

    TO BE CONTINUED....
     
  20. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
    Level 34
    Joined:
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    Episode 40: "The master storyteller's heritage! Wendy's trade of tales!" (part 2)


    "Is everyone okay?" Brock asks as the shaking stops. He sets he guitar aside and begins examining each person in his audience for signs of pain or injury.

    Back by the riverbank, Hibiki is doing the same for Fuka. "Are you okay? Were you hurt from the shaking?" she asks him.

    [I'm fine, Mama...just scared the ground is gonna shake again.] Fuka replies.

    "Well, if the ground does shake again, we know what to do." Hibiki assures him.

    The crowd, meanwhile, is perplexed as to how and why the earthquake struck:

    "How could there have been a quake here? There's no fault lines that I know of out here...."

    "Maybe Mt. Taka is on a fault line?"

    "If that were true, the Teru Co. Research Lab would have picked it up a long time ago."

    "Everyone, please!" a ranger calls as she arrives to help administer first aid. "If there's anyone with major injuries, we will tend to them until emergency services arrive. The outpost has been evaluated for damage and all is well--if you and your Pokémon got separated during the quake, let us know and we will search as soon as the mountain tunnels have been cleared for human passage."

    "If you need medicine or supplies, let us know." a second ranger adds.

    After reporting to a ranger that none of the people in his audience are seriously injured, and he has done what he can to treat what injuries there are, Brock attends to his team. "Everyone okay?"

    [I'm okay...] Hinata reports.

    [Emi's crying cause she's scared, but she doesn't look hurt.] Terra reports as she tries to console a squalling Emi.

    Brock takes Emi in his arms. "It's okay...Daddy's here." he calmly assures her, making her cries quiet, although he can very plainly feel her shaking in fear.

    Wendy, meanwhile, is bandaging one of Mizuchi's paws. [That shaking surprised me so much, I tripped and landed on my paw funny...] she groans.

    [If it starts shaking again, get away from trees and buildings, stay put, and don't panic!] Satomi explains with a grin.

    A ranger pats Satomi on the head. "You have one smart Eevee, miss." he smiles as he checks to be sure Mizuchi is bandaged correctly. "Thanks for your help."

    "Aw, it was nothing!" Wendy giggles before tending to the Eevees. "Are you two okay? Does anything hurt?"

    [I'm fine...] Raku reports.

    [Same here.] Satomi agrees.

    Just then, the boy from before races up to a ranger. "My Eevee's missing! I'm scared he may have ran off into the tunnels when the quake hit."

    "We're inspecting the tunnels as quickly as we can, but it may be several hours before we can clear them for safe passage--but we'll keep an eye out for your Eevee too." This consoles the boy a little.

    Hibiki notices the uneasy crowd. "Hey, Brock...tell everyone one of your adventure tales while we wait for the tunnels to open..."

    "Great idea!" Wendy agrees.

    "The longer and more magic filled, the better!" Hibiki adds.

    Brock nods, takes his guitar, and starts a peaceful melody to focus his thoughts. Once a story comes to him, he begins "In a time long ago, there lived a king whose power lay not only in the vast extent of his domain, but also in magic. One day, he met a princess of such remarkable beauty that he asked her hand in marriage right there, and considered himself the happiest of people."

    He plays a foreboding riff to signal all is not well in fantasyland. "A year went by, and a son was born, worthy in every way of such distinguished parents, and well loved and well liked by the whole court--we'll call him Alex. As soon as the queen believed he was old enough to travel, she set out with him in secret to visit her fairy godmother--the light fairy Lumina."

    "Why secretly?" Hibiki is confused. "Light fairies are good, right?"

    "They had to go in secret, because Lumina had warned the queen that the king was a mage; and from time immemorial there had been a long standing feud between the fairies, who often wielded light magic, and the mages, who often wielded dark magic--although there were some fairies that did bad things and mages that used their power for good." Brock explains to Hibiki. "The king was one of those mages that usually used their power for evil--had he known about the journey, he might not have approved of his wife's visit."

    "Oh..." Hibiki replies.

    "Lumina was well pleased with the little prince, and blessed him with the gift of kindness and the gift of wisdom." Brock continues over a calm interlude. "Much to the delight of his teachers, he did very well in all his classes. But a few years later, he lost his mother to a terrible disease."

    [Aw....] Fuka sighs.

    "Her last words were to not do anything important without talking to Lumina first." Brock goes on. "Prince Alex's grief was great, but it was nothing compared to that of his father the king. Neither time nor reason seemed to heal his sorrow, and the sight of all the familiar faces and things about him only served to remind him of his loss. He therefore resolved to go on a great journey. Thanks to his innate magic power, he was able to visit every country in the world without having to travel the distance between them."

    "I hate to interrupt the storytime, but I want to inform you that the tunnels are safe for traveling." a ranger reports.

    "Let's go find your Eevee, okay?" Hibiki assures the boy as Brock gets up from his place under the tree, still telling his story and playing guitar all the while.

    "After having travelled from land to land without finding anything interesting, he warped to a land where the air seemed filled with the scent of jasmine and Oran flowers that bloomed everywhere." Brock continues, doing his best to project his voice so the whole crowd can hear him as they wind around the corner and enter into the caves. "Attracted by the sweet perfume, he came to some large and beautiful gardens filled with the rarest flowers, and with fountains throwing up their clear waters into the air in a hundred different shapes. A wide stream flowed through the garden, and on it floated richly ornamented boats filled with people dressed in elegant clothing covered with jewels."

    Just then, Wendy gasps as they come to a three way fork in the cave. "Uh oh...how do we know which way the Eevee went?"

    "I'll take a group this way!" Hibiki volunteers as she motions for some in the crowd to follow the left route.

    A smile forms on Wendy's face--Hibiki actually had a good idea! "If you want to look down the right route, come with me!" she calls.

    "Everyone else, look down the center route with me!" Brock calls. Once the girls and their groups have departed down their routes, he snaps a few times to count himself off before singing We're following the leader, the leader, the leader....

    We're following the leader, wherever he may go! the others join in as they follow Brock down the center route...

    ----------

    "Okay...keep an eye out for Eevee tracks, fur, or a trail." Hibiki instructs her group.

    For a while, the search is uneventful, until a boy spots a trail leading behind a formation of crystals. "Maybe he went back here!"

    Hibiki hurries over to the spike-like crystal, but all she finds is a half eaten Berry. "If he was seen here, he may have eaten some of this Berry."

    [Maybe he got hungry and the Berry was here!] Fuka suggests.

    "That's true...but where could he have gone after he ate something?" Hibiki muses. "There's no tracks leading away from here." She lets that hang as she goes to look behind some rocks.

    ---------

    Wendy sighs as her group comes up fruitless--their route has only led to another fork, with no places an Eevee could have hidden. "So much for searching down here--which route should we pick now?"

    "Left!" the Eevee's owner calls.

    "Right!" some children suggest at the same time.

    Wendy's first thought is to flip a coin, but then Brock's voice leading an enthusiastic chorus of We're following the leader, the leader, the leader; we're following the leader, wherever he may go! wafts down the left tunnel. "Anyone want to join in the sing-along?"

    The group enthusiastically agrees, and the two groups merge as Brock and his group round a corner, still singing:

    Ti dum, ti dee, a teedle-li-doh-ti-day,
    Ti dum, ti dee,
    It's part of the game we play,
    Ti dum, ti dee,
    The words are easy to say,
    Just a teedle-li dum, a teedle-li-doh-ti-day...

    Ti dum, ti dee, a teedle-li-doh-ti-dai,
    We march, along,
    And follow the other guy...


    Each thing, I do, the rest of you have to try! Brock sings alone.

    With a teedle-li dum, a teedle-li-doh-ti dai.... the rest of the group sing in reply. Hibiki's group emerges from a tunnel and joins in some moments later as the massive group walks over a sturdy wooden bridge over a gorge:

    We're following the leader, the leader, the leader; we're following the leader, wherever he may go!
    We won't be back till morning, till morning, till morning, we won't be back till morning...


    Because I told you so! Brock interjects alone. The rest of the group howls with laughter and continue the song:

    Ti dum, ti dee, a teedle-li-doh-ti-day,
    We're out, for fun,
    And this is the game we play,
    Come on, join in, and sing your troubles away!
    With a teedle-li dum, a teedle-li-doh-ti-day.


    We're off to see the Raikous, the Raikous, the Raikous, we're off to see the Raikous, and this is what we'll do... Wendy leads the next verse as the massive crowd climbs over some stalagmites.

    We may bring back a million, a billion, a trillion... Hibiki joins in.
    We may bring back a million, or maybe one or two...

    "Company, halt!" Brock announces when he spots an Ampharos petting an Eevee behind a bowl-like rock formation. "I think we've found the Eevee..."

    [Oh, so this Eevee belongs to one of you?] the Ampharos smiles, coaxing the Eevee to join it. [Which one of these humans is your master?]

    But before the boy and the Eevee can reunite, the cave starts to rumble, making screams fill the air. "Not again..." Hibiki gasps as a wall of the cave cracks, and a large tank-like vehicle armed with twin drills bursts into the room.

    Brock sighs that Team Elegy has managed to follow them. "Well, now we know what caused all those earthquakes..." he deadpans.

    "Thought you could hide from me by going underground, traitor?" Aika sneers. "Any move you make in here may cause the stalactites to fall, and therefore block any hope of escape."

    The sound of Brock drawing the bow gets her attention. "You think an arrow can pierce the Driltank? Think again."

    "Then stop bothering the Pokémon of the mountain." Brock warns as he aims his shot at a Zubat den hanging over Aika's head. "Unless you want something worse than Beedrill chasing you this time."

    "You and what army, Robin Hood?" Aika taunts.

    The pops of Poke Balls as many of the people in the group release their Pokémon to battle make a confident grin form on Brock's face. "Me and THAT army!"

    "CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGE!!!!" Wendy commands as the mass of Pokémon and humans with weapons charge at the tank. Brock unleashes his shot, and many of the crew members scatter as the Zubat attack them.

    [Fire types, handle the tank itself!, Water types, take any Pokémon Team Elegy summons!] Terra calls to the various Pokémon in an attempt to direct the chaos. [Electric types, short out the tank's power system!, Grass types, hold the tank down!]

    An Ivysaur and a Grovyle tie down the tank at the left side with their vines as Mizuchi gives more instructions. [Chanseys, Blisseys, Happinis, heal the wounded and stay with those that can't fight themselves! Poison types, jam the tank treads with your strongest goo!]

    Some Muks are more than happy to comply with Mizuchi's order as they gum up the helpless tank's treads with Toxic. Wendy, meanwhile, is battling a Team Elegy grunt while Hinata helps a Charmeleon and a Delphox burn a hole in the tank so another squad of Electric types can do their job.

    As Brock fires another arrow to knock away a Gligar, the Ampharos watching the chaos in the corner gives him an idea. What if Denryu is not a separate creature, but a Mega Evolution, like Kimal is for Riolu and Lucario?

    He calls to Wendy as she defeats her foe "Sing to the Ampharos, quickly!"

    Everyone gasps as Wendy sings Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..., engulfing the Ampharos in blue light. When it fades, the crowd gasps when they see the topaz studded mane the slightly taller Ampharos has sprouted.

    "Denryu!" a girl gasps.

    "The girl is one of Meloetta's chosen!" a boy agrees.

    Denryu, meanwhile, delivers the lost Eevee to its master. There...your Eevee is safe.

    "Thank you, Denryu." the boy agrees as he tearfully hugs his Eevee.

    Brock then notices Denryu is charging a massive Thunderbolt in an attempt to blast the tank away. Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... he sings, creating a large red protective aura around the crowd, their Pokémon, and the cave.

    Good idea, chosen of Meloetta....while the leader of your enemies has fled, and this tank is now abandoned, I can at least destroy it for you. With that, the cave lights up so bright, it seems like the daytime as the tank explodes...

    ---------

    "So Aika and her goons got away..." Wendy sighs as the crowd emerges from the cave later that evening. "How they did it in all the confusion, I don't know, but they did."

    "I'm at least glad my Eevee's okay..." the boy smiles before handing Wendy a Thunder Stone. "Here...this is to thank you for giving us all a wild adventure that none of us will forget."

    "Thanks." Wendy replied as she accepted the yellow-green stone.

    "I'll be happy to come tell more tales any time." Brock agrees as the group turns to leave to thunderous cheers.

    "Bye, everyone!" Hibiki calls. "We'll see you again next time!"

    Raku,meanwhile, gasps when he sees the Thunder Stone. [Will you evolve me to a Jolteon now? Pleeeeeeeeease?]

    Wendy just chuckles at Raku's plea. "Not yet, Raku...while I don't deny you and Satomi were very brave back there, you tell have much to learn before you evolve." Raku nodded to show he understood as the group walked off into the setting sun...

    To Be Continued....
     
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