Episode 21: Hikari Reclaimed
[BGM: Secrets of the Waterfall]
"Dawn?" Ash asked at the group arrived in a long skinny corridor that lead to an open space.
"What is it?" Dawn was more concerned by the odd yellow glow in the alcove at the end of the passageway.
"What did it feel like when Meroetta awakened Song Magic in you?"
"It's hard to explain...I just felt surrounded in this warm glow and then felt like I had to sing...but I want to know where the music I sang to came from."
"Meroetta is the Guardian of Song, so she can create whatever music she wants, including music we have never heard before." Kissa mused. "Likewise Ash, I want to know what compelled you to risk demonic possession back there."
"I did it because Meroetta was in danger." Ash explained. "I wanted to protect her and those that sing magic."
"You did a brave thing." Brock smiled. "I'm very proud of you." His face turned business-like again when he heard a whinny-like noise in the distance. "And I think I know what took the Hikari no Shizen." He pointed out a small deep brown horse-like creature that was intertwined around a familar katana hilt.
"THAT little thing?" Ash was surprised at the size of the small sinewy creature in relation to what it had stolen. "It could've gotten squished underneath the Hikari's weight!"
"You'd be surprised at what cappals can carry, Ash." Brock cautioned. "For now, we need to get it off the Hikari. Once it is on the ground, we need to find a way to have the Hikari brought somewhere safe."
"Hah!" Janine heaved a shuriken at the cappal, sending it falling to the floor with a plop. Kaimana then bounded over the dazed cappal and grabbed the sheathed katana before swimming off in an easterly direction down a small river.
"The gods are watching, have faith! Fight Song!" Dawn called before singing a calming melody in the holy tongue that created a red aura around the group.
[BGM: Fight Song]
"You call that a fight song?" Ash balked-he had expected Dawn to sing a rousing battle song, like heroes in stories did. What Dawn was singing sounded more like a prayer than a song meant to give them strength for battle.
Brock calling instructions snapped him back to reality. "Okay! Cappals like to attack physically instead of with spells. Despite their small size, these attacks can really hurt if you're not careful!" The cappal lashed a vine at Janine to illustrate his point.
"Hah!" Ash drew his blade and delivered a slash to the cappal's body.
"Hi Magiiro no jutsu! Flaming Pillar of Strength!" Janine commanded as the cappal lashed a vine at Ash. He circled around it, looking for another place to strike, before scrambling back behind the flaming wall. The vine pursuing him melted into the flames with a hiss.
"That was close..." Kissa mused before charging at the cappal. The cappal met her with a headbutt, sending Kissa flying against the Flaming Pillar.
"Kissa!" Brock raced over to where Kissa was shakily standing up. "Are you okay?"
"Yes...I've survived harder blows to the head before, and you know that." Kissa weakly smiled. "I may not hold up to another blow like that."
"Thank Anima you're okay..." Brock smiled as he quickly readjusted the Archmage Tiara that lay askew on Kissa's head.
"CHU!" Pikachu fired a Thunderbolt at the cappal as it tried to give Ash a similar headbutt.
"Drifting breeze, come down with fury! Blizzard!" Ash commanded as he sent a wave of ice at the cappal, rendering it helpless.
"Now's our chance!" Janine called, hurling a shuriken at the shivering cappal, defeating it just as Dawn finished singing and the Flaming Pillar disappeared.
"Yes!" Brock cried as a green bead fell down from a nearby ledge. "Raissel's Emerald was here as well..."
Simple as can be... the green bead sang before appearing on the necklace thread next to Anima's Diamond.
"Is Kissa okay?" Dawn ran over to where Kissa lay on the ground and charged a blue white light in her hands.
"Sure she is...she's a tough kitten in more ways than one." Brock assured Dawn. "I'm sorry I wasn't much of a help in battle this time-if I had played, my song would have interfered with yours, since actually singing a spell requires more focus than playing a spell."
"You did fine!" Dawn assured Brock.
"You gave us advice to defeat our foe, and allowed Kaimana to take the Hikari back where it belongs." Janine replied. "That is all the help we needed from you."
"Okay then..." Brock motioned for everyone to circle around him before readying his harp to play. "Beacon of Anima, take us to Miyakawa Shrine! Time Hole!"
Later, at the shrine...
[BGM: Miyakawa's Pride (Janine's theme)]
"Janine...words cannot express how relieved and elated we are that you have retrieved the Hikari for us." Keiji smiled as he, Koga, and a crowd watched the Hikari no Shizen being set inside a pedestal.
"I had help, Hokage-from Karakashu-san and his friends." Janine smiled as she petted Kaimana. "In fact...I want to go with them on their travels."
Gasps went up from the crowd. "You're sure you wish to travel like this?" Koga asked. "It will be a long journey..."
"You remember that Dokusentoki left on his adventures because he felt that he had to avenge his father." Janine replied as she paced the wooden floor of the shrine. "Just as he did, I feel like there is something I have to do-what it is, I don't know yet; but I'm sure I'll figure it out alongside Karakashu-san."
Koga sighed. "If this is what you wish to do, then I won't try to stop you-even when you were small, no amount of convincing could dissuade you once you had made a decision. I will care for Kaimana while you travel." he added as Janine gave Kaimana one last hug.
"Thank you all for everything." Brock replied as Janine rejoined the group.
"Return to us safely, Janine!" a girl called from the crowd.
"May the Kami watch over you on your journey!" Takuya agreed as the newly formed foursome walked down the path out of the village and into the setting sun...
To Be Continued...