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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:12 AM
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EmeraldSky
Make the Colors in the Sky!
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Episode 27: One Last Challenge


[BGM:Sakura Turns to Ice]


"Brave travelers...words cannot express my joy and my gratitude for saving my little girl." the mayor began as the group gathered in the mayor's house the next morning. "Name your reward, and it is yours."

"Well..." Ash thought for a moment about how to address the wiry and muscular auburn haired man before him. "We desire nothing more than passage into the ice caves..."

"The gods have decreed that the next object on our quest is within their frigid walls." Misty explained as a blonde haired girl entered the room and made herself comfortable in a chair by her father's desk.

"If you have braved the forest and returned safely, I see no reason to stop you from entering the caves." the mayor assured Misty as he retrieved a map from a drawer and spread it out for the group to see. "This is the most recent map of the caves I have--you may study it if you must prepare for your journey."

"Let's see..." Dawn mused as she glanced at the twisting and turning passageways marked in blue. "There are likely many routes inside, so we have to stay together at all costs."

"What about this footprint shaped room right here?" Janine asked, pointing out a room in the upper left corner that resembled some kind of foot.

"The caves have been known to hold as many treasures as it does creatures--but the treasures usually lie in shaped rooms like that one." the mayor replied before addressing the girl. "Do you have any advice for your rescuers, Lirena?"

"I've heard talk of bandits appearing around the caves..." the girl replied. "It's strange, though--treasures appear in the caves all the time, and bandits haven't shown up here before because of how cold it is. So there has to be something valuable inside for them to even consider coming up here."

"Have you seen any bandits at all around the caves?" Brock asked.

Lirena just shook her head. "No--just a lot of footprints."

"If we find any, we will tell your father right away." Janine assured Lirena as the group turned to leave.

"May Our Lord and Our Lady watch over you on your journey." the mayor smiled as the group walked out onto the snowy path. Liana stood next to him on the stoop, waving goodbye as the party set out from town and onto the path leading to the caves.

The group made good time across the twisting path once they opened the way with the singing crystal--the A note it produced was no problem for Brock to hit. But just as the white walls of the caves came into view, Ash spotted an array of men and women clad in black milling around a makeshift camp and creating a large pile of gems--a bandit's camp.

[BGM: A Plea for Passage]

The burly leader of the group suddenly spotted the party. "Hold! No traveler ventures to the ice caves without paying a toll to the Black Griffons!" he barked as the party approached the entrance to the caves.

"Since when have bandits shown up here?" Dawn demanded--Lirena had said it was unheard of for bandits to appear in such cold conditions.

"We have permission to come through here, so let us pass!" Ash protested.

"Pay up, magic user, then we'll let you pass! the bandit replied.

"Psst, Master...did you bring your fiddle?" Kissa asked.

"I have the harp and the fiddle with me--why?" Brock replied as Ash and the bandit continued arguing. He listened as Kissa whispered a plan to him, a wry smile forming on his face all the while. "What a great idea, Kissa!" With that, he retrieved the harp and commanded "Power of darkness, hear my song and embrace the light! Hypnotic Aria!" Kissa gained a light blue aura around her as the harp played, signaling to the girls that she was the one to evoke Hypnotic Aura. She nodded to Brock as she approached Ash and the bandit, prompting him to switch to the fiddle.

"...and that's why we should go through the caves!" Ash concluded his case on why the group had the right to go through the ice caves.

"Besides, the last few travelers you didn't steal from, so it's not fair that we should be stopped like this." Kissa mused as she joined Ash.

"Try and make us, kitty!" the bandit growled.

[BGM: The Nanab Do-si-Do]

Kissa nodded to Brock, who began a rhythmic melody before she began singing. You bow to the left, then bow to your right... she sang as she swayed to the song. You take your partner's hand, and you hold on tight! The bandits proceeded to partner up. You pull'em in close, and you don't let go! And you do a little Nanab do-si-do! You push'em down quick, and you pull'em in fast, then you spin'em real hard so the dizziness lasts! Then grab'em by the shoulders and shake'em like so, and you do a little Nanab do-si-do!

Misty burst out laughing as the bandits pulled each other close, spun each other around, and shook each other to the spritely melody Brock was playing. "Well played, Kissa!"

"Very clever, indeed!" Dawn wheezed from laughing so hard at Kissa's crazy, yet clever plan.

Then you grab'em by the waist, throw'em high in the air, and if they go high enough, they'll need intensive care! You're doing a handstand, and walkin' real slow as you do a little Nanab do-si-do! Kissa commanded, prompting the bandits to toss each other skyward and do handstands.

Even Ash was laughing as Brock broke off to solo. "What did Kissa DO, anyway? This is hilarious!"

"Maybe she knows Hypnotic Aria?" Janine suggested as the bandits continued dancing.

You promenade as you're dancin' through the icy glades! Kissa continued as she led the dancing bandits to an icy field not far from the caves. Skip to the beat, til you can't feel your feet, yeah!

"Take it, Brock!" Ash called, allowing Brock to play a long solo as the bandits whirled and skipped and froliced in the snow.

Kissa rejoined the group some time later. "That ought to keep them busy for a while...they'll keep dancing as long as they hear Master's fiddle."

"But Karakashu-san can't play forever!" Janine cautioned.

"That's why I have one of these!" Ash announced as he fished a clear stone from his pocket, which absorbed the fiddle's song inside. "This song stone will continue to play whatever song it absorbed until shattering, so with Brock's solo continuing forever, these bandits will be dancing for some time." he explained as the now green stone flew to the hill where Brock was performing, allowing Brock to rejoin the group as they walked into the caves. The bandits, meanwhile, kept dancing in the snow as if Brock was still there, not knowing that he had long since disappeared...

To Be Continued...
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