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Old April 18th, 2012 (1:10 PM). Edited April 18th, 2012 by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 4: The Voice of Anima

"Wow--that was some party!" Kawa giggled as he and Lyra walked down the road to Sefiro a few days later. "Lord Clay loved that story about the Miltank!"

"I'm glad you liked it too." Lyra smiled, a thoughtful look on her face. Anima, I know you said you had a plan for me, but what is it? she mused.

She set her bag on the ground and got on her knees. Anima, rien gre me.... she started to sing, creating the familiar circle of blue light.

"Lyra, what is it?" Kawa was curious. "It's not like you to invoke Anima in a place like this!"

"I know, but I have a burning question to ask Her." Lyra began.

"You realize that you're bound by the same rules as the clerics and other minstrels that sing magic?" the Marill went on. "Do not sing your song unless it is needed?"

"Meloetta would understand that this is important." Lyra assured Kawa. "That, and Anima will always listen to a sincere request." With that, she resumed her song. Ye mor ya rila i sphil lon gra, kyh ye sea croh mor tih eh er. Rien gre der yochs mor gra tih ya rila sphinac lon gra...

A bright yellow light appeared in the circle, which formed into a brown haired girl in a shining gold, silver, and blue gown. "I hear your song, Lyra. and I heed your call. Speak your joys and speak your tears, and I will listen all the same."

Here goes nothing... Lyra sighed. "Anima, You have long said that You and the other gods have a plan for me. I have long thought about what this plan is, and I wonder if you can tell me. All I want is to serve You."

Anima just smiled. "You have done well in your chosen calling as a singer of songs and teller of tales, but there is a reason I gave you the gift of singing in the holy tongue."

"What is it?" Lyra asked. The circle's magic and Anima's holy aura gave the tears of anticipation in her eyes an otherworldly silver glow.

"You know well the legend of Reshiram..." Anima began.

"Yes...many times I have sung about it." Lyra replied.

"The demons have grown jealous of our keeping of Reshiram." Anima went on. "They have shaped their jealousy and rage into a fox-beast of their own."

"WHAT???" Lyra gasped. "Does this beast have a name?"

"Zekurom--"black thunder" in the demon tongue." Anima replied as she conjured an image of the giant black fox for Lyra and Kawa to see.

Kawa shuddered, both awed and fearful at the Pokemon's rock-like muscular body. "H-how do we defeat that, Lady Anima?" he finally squeaked.

"You're not the ones to defeat it..." Anima paused to change the image to show a brown haired mage in an elegant blue robe and a female warrior clad in silver and gold mail-like plate. "These two will. Your role is to provide My protection for them, through your holy song."

Lyra wanted to ask the goddess even more questions, but swallowed the lump in her throat instead. "I-I may not understand Your plan for me, but I will do my best to awaken Reshiram and protect our peaceful land."

"That is all I ask of you, my child," Anima assured Lyra. "The mage and the warrior await you in Sefiro--they will know you by your skill in song." With that, she disappeared in a flash of gold light, dispelling the magic circle at the same time.

Lyra was silent for a moment as she processed what Anima had told her. the demons have created a fox beast of their own named Zekurom. To defeat Zekurom, I need to guide a mage and a warrior to wherever Reshiram sleeps, and awaken her. Sounds easy enough. that, and I'm sure the mage could answer what questions I have.

"Lyra? Are you well?" Kawa's voice snapped Lyra back to reality.

Lyra eased herself to her feet and slung her bag onto her back again. "I think so...we'd best get going to Sefiro before it grows dark." Kawa nodded, and ran to keep up with his master as she started down the road.

The rest of the walk to Sefiro was uneventful, save for Kawa chasing Beautiflies down the path until the stone buildings of Sefiro came into view. From the commoners in the stone reinforced wooden houses of the residential districts to the jewel studded curlicues that wreathed the balconies of the scholar's guild, people came out in throngs to the town square when they saw the minstrel and her Marill on the road.

I love it when I get an enthusiastic crowd like this. Lyra thought as she was escorted to the Reshiram fountain in the town square. Once she was comfortable and her harp was tuned, she played a sweeping chord. Rien cror i hisa iks nasdachs... she sang--her customary call to listen.

Once all was quiet, she began the first tale that came to her mind. "In a far away land, their was once a tailor whose garments were world renowned as works of art. He was in the market one day, gathering materials to make a bridal gown. As he browsed the other wares for sale, he turned around and saw that the bag containing the silk for his gown was gone!

Shocked murmurs raced through the crowd over the harp's frantic melody. "The tailor ran this way and that, pleading with the other merchants to help. Before long, the stolen silks were all anyone in town could talk about, and many had their own theories as to who stole them."

"The poor tailor..." a woman commented.

"So what did he do?" a man asked.

"The merchants of the town decided to travel to the shrine of Dorcha just outside town." Lyra continued over a peaceful melody. "The merchants poured out every detail before Dorcha in hopes He would give them the wisdom to find the thief. After many days and nights in prayer, Dorcha finally appeared to the townsfolk. He listened as the tailor told his whole story from beginning to end, sparing no details and mincing no words. Dorcha saw that all the merchants were present, and no one among them looked guilty. So He told the guards to arrest the statue of the shugo--the night spirits that watch over us as we sleep--that was present in the shrine. The guards were puzzled at the Lord of the Night's decree, but they bound the statue in ropes, and brought it before Dorcha."

Everyone laughed. "It was just a statue!" a woman giggled.

"How could Our Lord punish a statue?" a boy wheezed as he wiped a tear from his eyes.

"The townspeople laughed as you do right now." Lyra continued over the laughter. "But the laughter hushed when a great crash of thunder filled the air--they know Dorcha was serious, and shuddered in fear of what the Lord of the Night would do to them as punishment for doubting His wisdom."

"W-what did Dorcha do?" a girl stammered.

"Dorcha commanded that everyone present was to give up a piece of cloth in retribution for the lost silk. But as one man offered up his piece, the tailor recognized it as part of his stolen silk!" Cheers went up over the harp's triumphant chord. "The thief was ordered to return the silk and pay the merchant its full price, and the shugo statue was returned to its place in the shrine. From then on, the tailor always sewed a crescent moon in every garment he made in thanks to Dorcha...and that ends the tale of 'Dorcha and the Statue'"

Roars went up from the crowd, and many tossed tips into Lyra's case, but to a familiar mage and warrior in the audience, they didn't need to go any farther--this was the minstrel who would help them, they hoped...

To Be Continued...
The world will be saved by four heroes with a song in their hearts....

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