Episode 19: "Trouble in Honoru City! The archer of flame, Ardea!" (part 2)
"I have a bad feeling I know who swiped Ardea's Fennekin..." Wendy grumbled as she and Brock followed Ardea through the brush.
"Well, whoever took Kitsune has some explaining to do when we find them." Ardea agreed. "They may not go down without a fight, either--so I hope you brought your best Pokemon."
"I have Mizuchi, my Vaporeon..." Wendy reported.
"...and I have Hinata, my Vulpix." Brock replied. "Just in case your team needs a little boost." He had left Terra behind to help Tenku look after the babies, but for some reason, a sickening feeling in his stomach was telling him that Hinata would probably not be enough.
[i]What am I thinking? Hinata's very capable in battle--if she can take down a fully evolved Pokemon, she can take on any Pokemon![i] he reminded himself. Memories of Hinata's victory over the Kricketune in Crystone Town danced through his head for a moment. As Ash would say, maybe I have been making a mountain out of a Diglett hole...
"I found some tracks!" Ardea's voice snapped him back to reality.
He hurried over to the edge of a clearing by a stream, where Ardea was examining some Fennekin tracks on the path. "Are they Kitsune's?" he wondered.
"They're Kitsune's, all right..." Ardea replied. "and judging how they are embedded in a human footprint and how the trail is not always consistent, the Poke-napper is probably carrying him...."
"or he is being dragged." Wendy suggested.
"Dragged?" Ardea gasped.
"Look here..." Wendy pointed out what looked like an indentation of a rope, a clump of Fennekin pawprints, and a sweeping indentation that matched a tail on the path. "There's a rope pattern here, and the tracks are all in a big clump, like there was a struggle."
"We have to be close to the perp's location, if Kitsune's tracks are here." Ardea mused, her heart pounding all the while. "When we find the camp, I'm going to free Kitsune before we deal with the perps."
"Good idea--we don't want to hurt him if we have to fight." Brock agreed.
Just then, a yip got everyone's attention. Ardea's first thought was to nock an arrow in her own bow, but her concerned look turned to a joyful smile when a Fennekin emerged from a bush. "There you are!" she smiled. "You scared me there for a moment!"
[Well, you know I would never run off on my own free will.] Kitsune grumbled. [I'd like to give those navy blue guys a real hot foot!]
"You mean, Team Elegy Poke-napped you?" Wendy asked as Brock examined Kitsune for any injuries or trauma."
Kitsune nodded. [Wanted to hold me for ransom in exchange for Master giving them the location of the Fire Ruby.]
"The Fire Ruby?" Brock was confused at first, but then the jewel's name clicked. "You mean, the first Gem of Song?"
"Exactly." Ardea replied. "But I'm not giving them that info..." she growled as a Team Elegy squadron arrived. "I'm giving them a piece of my mind!" With that, she aimed an arrow at the squadron leader.
"Watch where you aim the pointy things, okay?" the leader stammered, half feigned concern, and half afraid at the arrow aimed at his chest. "Those are dangerous."
"I know, and I've trained for years at using the pointy things." Ardea retorted, still aiming her shot. "But if you dare lay another finger on Kitsune, I'm not afraid to fire this pointy thing!"
"And I won't hesitate to fire a pointy thing, either!" Brock agreed, aiming an arrow of his own at a Beedrill hive hanging on a tree several yards away.
"Okay, so we won't lay another finger on your precious Fennekin." the leader smirked as he unveiled a Poke Ball he had concealed in his pants pocket, prompting Ardea to but her bow away. "We will, however, demonstrate the power of Team Elegy!" With that, he heaved the Poke Ball skyward, revealing a ghostly Pokemon with a ball-like body, a long "tail" and a bell-like appendage on its head as he and the other Team Elegy grunts fled.
"What IS that?" Wendy fumbled for her Pokedex to learn more about the strange Pokemon.
"Chimecho, the wind chime Pokemon." the Pokedex began. "It makes its cries echo inside hollow body. When this Pokemon becomes enraged, its cries result in ultrasonic waves that have the power to knock foes flying."
Ardea noticed Brock still aiming at the Beedrill hive. "Go ahead, take your shot."
"This'll make a great distraction..." Wendy agreed as Brock's arrow whistled towards the hive. Screams and the low buzz of Beedrills in the distance confirmed that his shot was successful. "That was the longest shot you've made so far!"
"Once we deal with Mr. Chimecho here, I'll teach you how make even longer shots." Ardea smiled, impressed at Brock's meager skill.
[Then allow me the honor of battling!] Kitsune begged. [I wanna pay them back for Poke-napping me!]
"Go for it." Ardea smiled.
With that, Kitsune unleashed a circle of flames at the Chimecho, singing its tail. The Chimecho winced at the flames, then unleashed a siren-like scream that rang through the forest.
"It's...using Uproar!" Brock yelled over the noise, which knocked Kitsune backwards.
"Mizuchi, we need your help!" Wendy pleaded as she heaved a Poke Ball, revealing the Vaporeon.
[Take Kitsune! I'll handle this!] Mizuchi screeched over the Uproar as she angrily eyed the screaming Chimecho and fired a rainbow beam that shifted between many colors, making the Chimecho scream even louder.
[Signal Beam...that's pretty clever.] Kitsune smiled.
"Well, Chimecho is a Psychic type..." Ardea assured him as the noise continued.
Meanwhile, the Chimecho had calmed down, and opened its mouth wide in a big yawn. "Hope you know how to play the Pokeflute, or something..." Wendy stammered as Mizuchi's eyes started to droop.
The whistle Ash gave me! Brock grinned. "I can a little, but I've found its little brother to be just as effective." he assured Wendy, showing her a small gold flute with a green mouthpiece as Mizuchi fell to the ground with a plop, asleep from the Chimecho's Yawn.
The Chimecho took a deep breath in preparation to unleash a Hyper Voice, but it was startled by the reel Brock started playing, which jolted Mizuchi awake!
[Thanks for the song!] Mizuchi smiled before firing a pulsing wave of water at the Chimecho, making it faint with a plop.
"You're welcome." Brock replied as he pocketed the whistle. "But what matters is Team Elegy is gone and Kitsune's okay."
[You guys are my heroes!] Kitsune smiled, nuzzling Brock in thanks.
Ardea was just as happy. "The two of you make a great team!" she grinned as she lead the way back to town. "I'm gonna teach you how to make that bond even stronger!"
TO BE CONTINUED...