Episode 7: "An arrow's first flight! Ambush in the camp!" (part 1)
The party departed with high spirits the next morning--Tenku flew on ahead, Brock and Wendy were next, and their Pokemon followed. Emi was inside her travel bundle, and Hinata walked by Brock's side, so she could help Wendy keep an eye on Raku and Satomi, who were happily chasing each other around Wendy's legs.
Finally, Brock's curiosity got the best of him. "Why are Raku and Satomi running around your legs like that?"
"It's a natural instinct and favorite game in the wild--they will run in circles around trees or logs to build endurance and agility--although table legs make a nice substitute in a house." Wendy explained, grinning a little at a memory of Mizuchi running around the kitchen table's legs when she was an Eevee. "Even when they evolve, they will still do this--Mizuchi has a pole in the common room to play chase with the other Eevees."
"Reminds me of the Eevee Bros. of Stone Town..." Brock mused.
"Oh?" Wendy is interested. "Is that a place in Kanto?"
Brock nods. "See, one day, my friends Ash and Misty and I were traveling in a forest somewhere in Kanto--on my first trip around Kanto, in fact--and Ash's Pikachu found an Eevee tied to a tree."
"Did it have an owner, or what?" Wendy was curious.
"My first thought was it had been abandoned, which spurred Ash and Misty to fight over who got it." Brock went on. "They tended to fight a lot back then--sometimes over the silliest things!"
Hinata recognized the story Brock was telling. [I think you have pictures from that day!] With that, she dove into Brock's bag and surfaced with a thick book labeled "KANTO PHOTOS"
Brock thumbed through a few pages until he found a picture of the Eevee in question. "Here we go...maybe having the pictures will help jog my memory." After thinking a moment as to where he is in his story, he continues. "Just before the fight could get really bed, Misty saw the Eevee had a license--and it read 'Stone Town-House 3-14'."
He referred to a picture of an orange haired girl examining a tag on the Eevee. "Misty looking at the Eevee's tag..." he explained. "Before I go any further, some context is in order--most of the evolution stones in Kanto come from a single mountain--appropriately named Mt. Evolution."
[Wow!] Raku was impressed.
"Cool!" Wendy agreed.
"Stone Town sits at the base of this mountain, and every year, there's a big party when all the Eevees in town evolve." Brock goes on. "We discovered the festivities for that year were just getting underway when we arrived at house 3-14--which was a really beautiful mansion."
Satomi gasped at the picture of the decorated mansion. [Whoa--Brightstar Dreams could fit in there and there would still be room!]
"So who owned that Eevee?" Wendy wondered as she carefully stepped over a tree root in the path.
"It turned out the party was for the youngest of four brothers--who didn't want to evolve his Eevee because he liked it as it was." Brock continues.
The lightbulb goes off in Tenku's head. [So he left it in the forest so he wouldn't be forced to do something the Eevee probably didn't want any more than he did.]
"Exactly." Brock smiles. "The other three brothers believed that evolution was the only way to go..." He refers to a black haired boy with a Pikachu on one shoulder angrily lecturing someone out of the frame. "Ash sticking up for the Eevee's master."
[He looks so brave!] Raku sighed dreamily.
"Raku wanted to be a Jolteon after hearing many stories of Ash's Pikachu...." Wendy mused as she admired the picture.
[I wanna be an Espeon!] Satomi declared. [And levitate things, and teleport things, and predict the future....]
Wendy giggled. "I presume these were taken before the other four Eeveelutions were discovered?"
Brock nodded. "To this day, I wonder if that Eevee is still an Eevee..."
He composes himself as he continues "Ash's passionate speech about letting the Pokemon evolve when they want to led to a big fight between him, me, and the brothers. They tried to make Ash evolve Pikachu and me evolve a Vulpix I was caring for on a friend's behalf, but we both declined. While Ash and I were busy defending our points and checking out the party, Misty was busy telling the boy how to stand up to his brothers, and how to be brave..."
[I'm sorry for interrupting the thrilling tale, but can we please stop to rest?] Tenku wheezed. [I'm getting hot...]
"Yeah--we shouldn't be traveling during the heat of the day." Wendy agreed as she began pitching her tent by the tree Tenku was perched on.
Just when I was getting to Team Rocket... Brock sighs. "I'll tell you more once we get back on the road." he assures Wendy and the Eevees as he puts away the photo album.
The Eevees, meanwhile, are thrilled by the tent. [I'm so glad to be out of the sun!] Raku smiles as he darts in the tent.
Wendy pauses to give the Eevees some water, then tells them "Tenku's gonna go catch us a Magikarp, and I'm gonna go find us some Berries--stay here in the camp until we get back, okay?"
[Okay!] the Eevees reply as Wendy disappears into the woods.
Brock is equally relieved to not be walking as he rests under another tree. But then a long branch by his foot piques his interest. A dried yew branch...with no knots, twists, or limbs...
[Whatcha making?] Satomi asked, piqued in Brock bending the branch.
"I'm gonna turn this branch into a bow--so that way, I have something to protect you if you guys can't fight." Brock explains as he retrieves a pocketknife from his bag and starts shaping the branch into a bow.
The thunking of the knife gets Emi's and Hinata's attention. [How do you make a bow, Daddy?] Emi wonders.
"Well, start by picking a good long branch and bend it--if it still holds, it's good bow material." Brock explains as he works. "Then you shape it until the middle is thick and strong, and the ends are thin yet flexible, meaning they bend easily. Keep in mind the stick's natural shape when it bends, though."
Once happy with his bow's shape and wrapping the center with some wet leather, Brock continues "Next, I'm going to cut two places to put the string--one on each end." After doing this, he retrieves some fishing line, a prop quiver pilfered from home, and arrow making supplies from his bag, and strings the bow once it is dry.
"Now for the arrows..." he explains as he lays a variety of dead sticks he has collected both from home and on the road, and sets aside 20 of those that are half the size of his bow. "To make arrows, start by smoothing your sticks out, and then cut a small notch in the back end--this is where the string on the bow goes." He then reaches for a bag of arrowheads and begins attaching them to his arrows. "Then you put on the sharp end--although you can just carve a sharp point, if you want."
He is in the middle of making fletching when Tenku returns. [Making arrows, are we? I can lend you a few feathers if you ever need fletching.] she smiles as she lays her catch on the ice in the cooler.
After starting a campfire and the Magikarp was roasting over the flames, Brock takes his new bow and quiver and looks into the forest for a suitable target. Now to practice shooting should I ever have to use this...
[Try aiming for that old stump over there...] Tenku suggests, pointing out a large stump about ten yards away from the campsite.
Brock nods, readies his first shot, and fires--only for his first arrow to land a few inches away from the stump. [Aw...so close.] Satomi sighs.
[That's okay--just try again!] Emi assures her. She watches Brock ready another arrow, only to fire it into the grass.
Terra draws a line in the dirt with a claw. [Here's a guide line to shoot from.] she suggests.
[He has surprisingly good form for someone who has never taken a lesson...] Tenku notes as Brock's next shot almost hits the stump.
[Maybe if he meets a good archer on our journey, he can learn a thing or two.] Hinata smiles.
[Oh, Daddy's shot arrows before, so he can do it well if the target's not too far off.] Emi assures Tenku.
[Oh yes--the target range at the athletic center!] Hinata remembers Brock taking part in free archery lessons in the past.
"I'm still a little out of practice, though." Brock confesses before firing another shot.
A scream startles him from his next attempt. Wendy? When he looks into the forest to find the source of the scream, he gasps when he finds Wendy running in his direction, with an angry Ursaring in hot pursuit!
TO BE CONTINUED...