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Old September 24th, 2011 (04:57 PM).
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EmeraldSky
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Episode 33: The Dance of Blessing

[BGM: Rhythm of the Sands]


Festive cheers filled the air as the Domaris welcomed the group to their campfire that night. A large bonfire had been built, over which some meat was roasting. What meat was ready for consumption was then set onto long rods, where the tribespeople could help themselves.

"These are delicious!" Ash commented as he grabbed a handful of green Berries from a bowl, then passed it to the girl next to him.

"I'm glad, ostati Ash--Meli Berries only grow by an oasis." Tsura replied as she took some bread from another bowl, then gave it to Ash. "They are from the same family as Nomel Berries, but not as sour."

"Please, take as much as you like--we have plenty to go around!" a tribesman told Janine as she took some Berries from the fruit bowl.

Dawn, meanwhile, was swaying to the beat of the drums, lute and fiddle being played by a group of tribespeople nearby Tsura's tent. "Great music here!"

"Princess Iris loves to dance, and so her father makes sure that music is played as often as possible so she can hone her power." a tribeswoman explained before sending another bowl of vegetables around the circle of people gathered by the campfire.

"Power?" Ash asked over the festive tune--or at least, he thought it was festive.

"Iris is an ostati herself--only her protective magic manifests if she dances." Tsura explained. "If she asks to dance with you, consider it an honor." She let that hang as the joyful song concluded to some applause.

[cut BGM]

"Attention, all! We praise the great Deami for bringing us guests to share our campfire tonight!" Stefan announced, to cheers and applause. "These travelers may have traveled far on their journeys, but the Dorami spirit of kindness and humility will go with them always." More cheers went up at this.

Iris then stood up to address the crowd. "Father has told me that our guests seek to win the ruby of Deami in the Tournament of Fate..." After finding Brock seated by a tent on the left side of the circle, she continued "I would like to dance with one of them to bless them for the tournament--if the lanto will give us a tale for this evening, I will show him my healing dance in return."

Brock got up from his place in the circle, his harp in one hand. "I accept your offer, Your Highness." he replied before playing Marista's Song.

"Such a beautiful melody..." Tsura whispered.

"He plays it in memory of his teacher, who died protecting him from demon Mightyenas." Ash explained. "She was primarily a storyteller, and so he plays that song before he tells a story." Tsura nodded slowly and listened as the last note faded away.

[BGM: A Tale of Wonder]

Once all was quiet, Brock began. "There was once a little village at the base of Mt. Arian, where the flowers bloomed and the Taillows sang. There were only thirty families in this village, brought together by chance when fleeing a great fire years before. They shared everything they owned, and stood by each other through thick and thin. For the most part, they were happy and content, tending the fields and hunting in the nearby forest.

He then began playing the accompaniment line to Marista's Song. "Now, one of these villagers was a young man--I will call him Ancha. Ancha had come to the village when he was very small, but his parents were claimed by a terrible disease soon after. Ever since then, the other townsfolk had raised him as one of their own."

After waving an interlude into the tune, he continued. "There was also a widow in that village who had a beautiful daughter--I will call her Yuna. The villagers considered Ancha and Yuna brother and sister, their friendship ran so deeply. One day, Ancha was hunting in the woods--while he was very skilled with a bow, his prey kept eluding him. Suddenly, Dorcha, Lord of the Night, came to him in the form of a ranger and gave him a magical bow and a quiver full of arrows that shone like the moon. From then on, not even demons could stand against his bow!" Cheers went up from the crowd at this.

"Get ready...your part in the story's coming up, if you wish to play a role." Kissa whispered to Ash, who nodded and retrieved the Dreamer's Flute from his bag.

"Likewise, Yuna had grown into a strong and wise young lady." Brock continued, still playing the accompaniment line to Marista's Song as he spoke. "The scenes on the tapestries she wove looked as if they would come alive at any moment, and all who saw her work were amazed at her skill. She would often sing while she worked, and her voice was so strong and so clear, even Pokemon would stop what they were doing to listen." At this, Dawn sings a quick prayer in the holy tongue to the tune of the song for effect, to some applause.

When the applause dies down, only the harp is left, playing the accompaniment line again. "One day, as Yuna was out gathering wood, Anima, Lady of Light, appeared to her as an instrument maker, and gave her an enchanted flute made of silver. Yuna practiced hard, and before long, no matter how tired they were, all that heard the magical flute were given renewed strength." Ash joins in on the Dreamer's Flute for effect. "For a while, the village flourished, and all the villagers were happy."

Then, Marista's Song turns into a forboding melody in B minor. "Then one year, another disease struck the village, and many of the villagers groaned as their stomachs swelled." Brock continued. "Ancha and Yuna did their best to ease the villager's suffering, but the number of sick grew daily, and if something was not done soon, many would die."

"So what did they do?" Stefan asks.

"Yes, was there any among them that knew a cure to the plague?" Iris agrees.

"There was the village elder, who was a very wise man." Brock replies. "Ancha and Yuna went to see him, and he told them that there was a cure for the disease, but two ingredients were required for the potion--Liepard's blood and leaves from the mithi plant. If they did not find the two items in three months, people would begin to die."

After playing an interlude, he continued "Ancha and Yuna decided to split up and search for the ingredients--he the Liepard's blood, and she the mithi leaves. Ancha crossed eight high mountains and eight deep canyons, among other things, until he came to a little cave nearby a river. It didn't look very forboding as various Pokemon came and went, and many flowers grew nearby, but the pawprints at the entryway signaled Ancha that a Liepard lived there. He waited for three weeks, hunting Bunearies and Parchirisus if he was hungry and drinking from the river if he was thirsty."

"So did the Liepard ever appear?" a boy asked.

"Yes, and it was a fierce battle, but in the end, Ancha slew the beast, and took a vial of its blood and its skin as his prize." Brock assures his audience before his interlude turned hopeful. "Yuna, meanwhile, had easily found where the mithi grew, but when she arrived in the field, she saw many children gathered around, picking the leaves. When a girl asked why she had come, Yuna gently explained her quest, and that she needed some mithi."

Ash snaps to attention as Brock continued. "Another girl saw Yuna's flute and begged her to play on it, and so Yuna played a set of reels, which sounded something like this..."

Dawn led the clapping as Ash played "Rambling On to Mavi", "The Silver Sword" and "Kyuki Picking Mata" before finishing the set with "Ninetales' Blessing."

"Bravo!" Tsura led the applause when the last note died. Ash just took a bow and waited for his next cue.

"The children danced as Yuna played, and many more came to listen." Brock continued. "When the final tune faded into the blue sky, they pleaded with Yuna to play some more. So Yuna thought for a moment, and played a tune of lament..." At this, Ash plays "Dorcha's Lament for Anima" as Brock plays some soft accompaniment.

"The children felt sorry for Yuna when the song ended, and gave her as much mithi as she could carry. They then called upon Isori, the Master of Wind..." Ash then plays his signal for Mina, making Mina chirp and the crowd laugh. "and Yuna was whisked home on a great gust of wind, where she was reunited with Ancha. The potion was made, and the village was healed. Ancha and Yuna were hailed as heroes for all time, and their story was told throughout the villiage for years to come." Brock concludes. "So ends the tale of 'The Dark Bow and the Shining Flute'".

[BGM: The Mysterious Desert Jewel]

Roars of applause went up from the tribe as Iris strolled by Brock's side. "Well told, lanto... Lady Anima has blessed you with great skill and equally talented companions." she began, giving Ash an acknowledging nod. "You have more then proven yourself to receive our blessing...so take my hand, and we will dance!"

Brock set his harp on a blanket and swallowed hard as he took Iris' hand. He then felt himself being pulled into a whirlwind of blue, green, and silver light as Iris spun, jumped, and twirled around the fire. He then looked down and gasped--the power seemed to be coming from Iris' light and graceful steps! At the same time, he felt stronger, as if he knew how to do this dance all along.

"Wow..." was all Dawn could muster as the many colored magic rained around them, and Brock and Iris spun and skipped across the sand, lost in a euphoria that neither of them wanted to end....

To Be Continued...
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