Thread: [Pokémon] Pokemon: The Song of Jewels
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Old March 28th, 2013 (12:35 PM).
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EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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Episode 20: "Ardea's white hot training method!" (part 1)


"Here we are!" Ardea smiled as she led Brock and Wendy inside the Gym. "If you're going in the Tower of Runes, you two will need training as much as your Pokemon will." She then addressed Wendy. "Ever wanted to learn to wield a weapon?"

"Yeah--for stage combat." Wendy replied.

"What you may not know is stage combat is based on actual fighting." Ardea explained as she led Wendy over to an open arena, where a brown haired boy was sparring with a sword against a training dummy. "So if you learn how to actually fight, not only will you get a leg up on the dangers of the Tower of Runes and give Brock support, it'll make stage combat that much more realistic."

Just then, the boy noticed Ardea and Wendy. "You're back, Ardea!" he smiled. "Was Kitsune okay?"

"Yeah--Team Elegy lowlifes tried to hold him for ransom in hopes we could spill the beans on the Tower of Runes." Ardea explained as Kitsune romped off to be tended to by another attendant. "Key word here is tried--this young lady's brave Vaporeon helped me save him."

"Nice to meet you--I'm Wendy." Wendy replied as she and the boy shook hands.

"I'm Rory, and I'm in charge of sword training." the boy replied. "Whether you want to learn as a martial art, actually fight with a sword, or learn stage combat, I'm the guy to see."

Ardea then looked at Brock. "As for your training, come with me over here..."

Brock nodded and followed Ardea to a large archery range on the left side of the room. "Okay...you've got your own bow, so mind showing me a few shots?"

"Before I do..." Brock began before retrieving his bow. "Back home, I like telling stories to an audience..."

"Really?" Ardea was intrigued.

"Sometimes, if a bow is involved in whatever tale I am telling, I will actually shoot an arrow live onstage." Brock continued. "So as thanks for letting me and Wendy help save Kitsune, I want to share one of these tales--so you can see my form and style at the same time."

"Okay...fire away." Ardea replied.

Brock thought for a moment as to which of his bow-tales Ardea would like, and could be told quickly. "The Aspear Hunter" was too long, and he didn't have too many arrows left, so "The Purrloin and the Teapot" was out as well.

After ruling out a few more stories, he then began "Once a warrior named Touta was traveling on the road. As he approached a bridge, he spotted a Seviper that had taken up residence on the bridge."

He adds as an aside "In fact, no one could cross the bridge because they were so afraid."

"I see..." Ardea smiled.

"Touta jumped over the Seviper easily, but when he looked behind him, he saw a girl in the Seviper's place." Brock went on, making Ardea giggle over his look of feigned surprise. "The girl explained that she was the guardian of the Gyarados that watched over the lake, and the Seviper was one of her many forms. She told Touta that a great Scolipede had made its home in the nearby mountain, and all the burrowing was driving King Gyarados crazy. Touta agreed to slay the Scolipede."

"So how did he do that?" Ardea wondered.

"Touta was taken to King Gyarados' palace, where King Gyarados told him that the Scolipede would attack again that night." Brock explains as he approaches the guideline to the target in the center lane. "That night, when the Scolipede attacked, Touta saw that it was so large, it could go completely around the mountain seven times."

Awed murmurs go up at this, even from Rory and Wendy. "Try as Touta might to attack, his arrows kept bouncing off the Scolipede's skin." Brock then fires a shot at the center target, where it lands in the yellow zone.

"Then, Touta got an idea, and moistened the tip of an arrow with some water from the lake." Brock pantomimes doing this to his next arrow. "After a quick prayer to Arceus, he fired..." He then fires the "wet" arrow, which lands in the yellow zone close to the bullseye. "...and it hit, killing the Scolipede!"

"Nice shot!" Ardea smiles, more interested in observing Brock's shooting form than the tale he is telling.

"King Gyarados was grateful for Touta saving him and the lake Pokemon, but wondered why Touta moistened the arrow." Brock explains. "Touta replied that water moistened the earth, and a Scolipede is a Pokemon of the earth. King Gyarados was pleased with that answer, and gave Touta some of the enchanted food from his storehouses that never ran out. To this day, the story of how he defeated the Scolipede is told across the seven regions."

Ardea applauds the tale's ending. "Cool tale...but I want to see you take a few more shots."

Brock nods, readies another arrow, and fires. "Okay...lower your bow for a second and let me see your stance..." Ardea instructs. Brock complies and allows Ardea to walk around him. "Your feet are properly spread apart, good...feet are at a 70 degree angle, good..." Ardea then notices Brock is tense. "Relax...archery is supposed to be fun." she assures him.

Brock heaves a sigh of relief and stretches, easing the tension in his shoulders. "Now, let me see how you hold the bow..." He gives Ardea a nod, and nocks an arrow.

Ardea grimaces when she sees how Brock is holding the bow. "I see you're holding the bow with your strong hand--your strong hand should be the one pulling the string."

"Hm..." Brock tries switching hands for his next attempt.

"You have your index and middle fingers under the arrow--good!" Ardea smiles as Brock readies his shot.

After giving Brock some tips on how to aim, she watches him fire his shot, which lands in the white area of the target. "Don't get discouraged if your first few shots miss--this is probably a new feeling for you." she assures him. "But to your credit, you have the stance and nocking the arrow down. It's aiming that you need work on."

"I also wouldn't mind a stronger bow, either..." Brock adds as he gives his bow to Ardea to examine.

"You did very well for attempting to make a bow yourself..." Ardea muses as she examines Brock's handiwork. "And it's yew wood, too--the best bow wood!"

She then gives Brock a practice bow. "Why don't you practice drawing with your weak hand and aiming with this bow while I make the one you made stronger?"

"Sure!" Brock smiles.

"While I'm working on your bow, I want you to practice shooting from four different distances--10 feet, 30 feet, 50 feet, and 70 feet." Ardea continues. "When you can consistently hit the target at one distance, move back to the next distance. Questions?

"Not really..." With that, Brock prepares his first shot...

TO BE CONTINUED....
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