Episode 3: A Friend's Counsel
Blair and Tane departed the lodge early the next morning. While Blair had a smile of confidence on his face, Tane was grumbling as she followed along behind her master. "It's too cold...the rocks hurt my feet---why couldn't we have warped to Sefiro?"
"First of all, I don't know a spell of teleportation, and if you're cold, you can ride in my cloak." Blair offered.
"Don't mind if I do." With that, Tane skittered inside the dull brown cloak that concealed Blair's blue robes. She was careful to avoid her master's bow and the quiver of arrows on his back, but before long, she was settled on his shoulder with a little of the cloak wrapped around her for warmth. "I know we will meet Whitlea in Sefiro, but wouldn't it be funny if she actually met us on the road, and shared in the day's journey?"
Just then, the familiar two note signal of a guardsman's horn pierced the fog. "Speak of Anima..." Blair gasped as he saw the familiar form of a girl in armor approaching them.
"Blair!" a voice called in the distance. "Is that you?"
A joyful smile formed on Blair's face as he ran and embraced his friend. "I received your letter and left right away, Whitlea..."
"...and now we meet here on the road to our destination." Whitlea added as she set an ornately decorated silver horn by her side. "So now that we are both here, what is on your mind?"
"The archmage has been troubled lately...he has seen the Dark Realm awaken a fox-beast that is equal to Reshiram." Blair began.
"What?" Whitlea gasped. "Does he know when the demon lord did this?"
"It wasn't the demon lord...one of his subordinates." Blair continued. "He showed me the vision again last night--we know this subordinate sent out a vampire to scout out a location for their fox beast to attack."
"Have you learned the beast's name?" Whitlea asked, a note of concern in her voice. "Or where they plan to attack?"
"We do not know where the demons plan to attack, but we do know that Reshiram must be awakened--and soon." Blair replied. "I did learn that the beast is named Zekurom--'black thunder' in the demon tongue."
"An electric fox beast..." Whitlea mused.
"It makes sense, in a way--Reshiram means 'white fire' in the common dialect of the holy tongue." Tane added.
"Your Snivy has a point, but my question is how the demons managed to create their own beast like Reshiram." Whitlea mused.
"Probably through their own dark magic, a corrupted form of the gods' great magic." Blair replied.
"That reminds me...you do know that there are minstrels that can sing magic as easily as a song?" Whitlea paused to refill her water flask at a stream.
"Yes--we both know the story of Rainbow Symphony." Tane replied.
"No, this isn't about Rainbow Symphony...would you believe me if I told you that there are some minstrels that can sing in the holy tongue like a cleric?"
"REALLY???" Tane was shocked.
"I thought it was only clerics that could sing in the gods' tongue!" Blair agreed.
"That may be true, but how do you think the clerics learned to sing magic?" Whitlea asked as she corked her flask. "For anyone else to sing magic, they must be taught by a minstrel that sings magic. That means that there are some minstrels that can sing in the holy tongue."
"And how do you know these minstrels that sing in the holy tongue exist?"
"I met one on the road on the way to meet you here." Whitlea explained. "She looked so serene, serenading the forest Pokemon with her harp and her voice. But she had an aura surrounding her that felt very much like holy magic."
"Really?" Blair was still skeptical.
"Did she cast the aura of her own free will, or did you ask her to?" Tane asked.
"She appeared to have casted it of her own will--how, I don't know." Whitlea replied for changing the subject. "If we find her or a minstrel like her, she may prove key to your finding the crystals that awaken Reshiram."
"I'm sorry, Whitlea...I don't follow." Blair sighed--all this information was making his head spin.
"All right, let me put it like this..." Whitlea began. "When guards go on patrol in a place infested with undead and other beings of the dark, we take a cleric along for our protection. If we are lucky enough to find a minstrel that can sing in the tongue of the gods, he--or she--would serve as a cleric, guarding us from the demon lord's forces."
Tane shivered. "Who am I to suggest that they could be watching us right now, waiting for an opportunity to end our quest before it begins?"
"Don't be silly, Tane." Blair chuckled. "That only happens in stories." Tane just blushed in embarrassment as her master and Whitlea continued down the road to Sefiro...
To Be Continued...