EmeraldSky

Make the Colors in the Sky!

At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 15 Hours Ago
6,186 posts
18.3 Years
(Rated E10+ for fantasy violence)

Prologue: Travelers Gather at the Starry Night Inn


Snow swirled on the mountain road that led to Cold Blade Town and the nearby Wisdom Lake. The locals said that if one was lucky, the Guardian of Wisdom Uxie would answer your deepest questions. But to two travelers on the road, a supposed lake guardian Pokemon was the last thing on their minds as they battled the howling wind and swirling snow. It didn't help that the snowy sky was beginning to darken--and snowy mountain roads were no place to be at night.

"Why couldn't Wisdom Lake be somewhere warm?" a girl complained as she tried wrapping her dull gold cloak around her in a heroic effort to stay warm, only for a gust of wind to blow it free.

"This is how most sages and wise ones are--they want to be in the most remotest places to they can pursue enlightenment in peace." a black haired boy assured his companion as he too did his best to keep himself and the yellow mouse creature in his coat pocket warm. "But I can assure you our journey to Cold Blade Town and Wisdom Lake will be worth it!"

"The Snow Festival and the Temple of the High Titan had better be amazing..." the girl muttered.

She smiled when she saw the sloped roof of a building with warm lights in the window as the wind and swirling snow died down for a moment. "An inn! Finally we can get a hot meal and a bed for at least one night!"

"Most honest innkeepers will only make you pay for one night if the weather strands travelers at an inn." the boy explained as he approached a signpost covered in snow. "But some travelers do pay for the extra nights as a courtesy."

After wiping the snow from the signpost and holding his own lamp close to it, the boy smiled at what it said. "Starry Night Inn, this way."

He smiled at his companion. "Just a little bit farther, and we'll be out of the cold."

The girl nodded. "Let's go, before the wind and snow pick up again!"

---------

The inn didn't look too much different from any other inn in Waku, and judging from the number of people present, the girl and her companion were not the only ones on their way to Cold Blade Town for the Snow Festival. A young man in an ornate green and gold cloak that the girl assumed to be a storyteller was weaving a folktale to some captivated children, his harp melding with his powerful and gentle voice to create a world of fantasy. She couldn't make out too much of the tale, but judging from how the storyteller gave each character a unique voice, he was very gifted at his craft.

"Welcome--It's ten sen per night if you wish to stay." the innkeeper smiled as she met the girl and her companion at the front desk.

She smiled as she recognized the boy and the mouse creature. "Ah, Satoshi the Ruby Phoenix! I presume you and Serena are on your way to the Snow Festival?"

"We are, good lady...or we would be if this snowstorm hadn't blown up." Serena replied as she set her ten sen payment on the counter.

The innkeeper smiled as she accepted Serena's and Satoshi's payments. "Well, don't feel like you have to pay for the extra nights if the weather ends up making Cold Blade Pass impassible for a few days. Just this initial twenty for you both is fine."

"Thank you, good lady." Serena replied before following the innkeeper and her companion down the hall to their room...

---------

Later that evening, Serena returned to the common room to find Satoshi visiting with the storyteller from before. Some Raikou stripe and willow leaf designs on the storyteller's cloak reminded her that the storyteller was a friend. Oh, Takeshi-kun! He will brave any condition to perform for a festival, so it make sense he be here, on his way to the Snow Festival himself!

She glanced around the common room for a moment. But where the Emerald Raikou is, the Sapphire Dragon is not far behind...so where is Kasumi-san?

A familiar red haired warrior in an ornate blue, white and silver outfit arriving with tea made her smile. There she is...the Sapphire Dragon Kasumi!

She also recognized a familiar black haired girl in miko garb quietly meditating in a corner. Well! Hikari-san is here too! Maybe it's Arceus will that I be here with so many friends!

Her first thought was to approach Hikari and say hello, but reconsidered. It's very rude to interrupt a miko during her prayers and meditations. So I will wait until her evening prayers are complete before I say hello.

With that, she stepped out from the hallway entrance and joined Satoshi, Kasumi, and Takeshi in the room. "Forgive the intrusion! Is there room for more?"

"Of course." Takeshi made a space for Serena to sit and have tea and dinner. "I have already found Hikari here, but I will allow her to finish her evening prayers before she joins us. The only one of our group of friends I have not yet found is the lady Haruka, the Jade Beautifly."

"We do know her troupe is on its way to Cold Blade Town to perform for the festival...along with these two." Kasumi explained before motioning for a black haired girl in a teal outfit and her companion, a maroon haired boy, to come closer. "These two are Liko and Roy, two travelers from far away Paldea who have come to attempt to establish trade and diplomatic relations with the new emperor, now that His Majesty has reopened Waku to foreign visitors."

"Nice to meet you." Serena replied. "I fled to Kalusienne to escape Nobunaga, and have only recently returned...and not long after, His Majesty the king successfully formed a partnership with Emperor Divine Dragon."

"Encouraged by that success, Queen Sagita sent us here to explore this land, and meet with the Emperor ourselves, in hopes we too can partner with Waku for trade and diplomatic relations." Liko replied.

"Although we have never seen snow like this before..." Roy admitted. "You'd have to go into the northern mountains of Paldea to see snow at this scale."

"It is snowy all across Waku in the winter, but the north is especially snowy." Hikari explained as she joined the group. "I have found the lady Haruka and informed her that all of you and some guests are present."

"Forgive the intrusion!" a brown haired girl in a colorful costume smiled as she joined the group. "So these two are the travelers from Paldea Hikari-san was telling me about..."

---------

"Since we are probably not going anywhere for at least a few days...why don't we tell stories to pass the time?" Hikari suggested.

"Better yet, why not have a little contest?" Takeshi suggested. "Whoever can tell the most exciting story of martial heroes--or something in that style--over ten days, or whenever the snow lets up, will receive a prize of a thousand sen."

"Martial heroes?" Liko asked, intrigued.

"Basically a genre of stories about wandering heroes that are skilled in martial arts." Serena explained "You could say it is similar to tales like "The Three Musketeers", or the heroes of the zarzuelas."

"So instead of swords, they fight with their bare hands?" Roy asked, intrigued.

"Not always--there are often plenty of swords to be found in martial tales." Satoshi replied. "Some of them feature characters that use things you wouldn't believe could be weapons, and some characters that cast magic, just like in Europan tales."

"Unless Takeshi-san wishes to start the telling, I can start the telling so our guests have an idea of what a martial hero story is like." Kasumi offered.

"All right...Kasumi-san will start, then I will take my turn, then we will continue around the circle in an eastward direction, coming back around to Kasumi-san again." Takeshi explained. "We will try to have each person tell at least one tale each night, but if you cannot think of anything when your turn comes, you have the right and the choice to defer or pass your turn. If you defer your turn, we will come back to you if time and morale permits."

"Your proposed rules are fair, Sir Takeshi." Liko smiled. "May the best teller win!"
The Saga of the Kagayou Theater

The First Sparkling Stage (Waku)
The Stage of Crystal (Paldea)/The Stage of Light (Kalos)/The Royal Stage (Galar)/The Stage of Victory (Talie)
The Global Stage (Unova)/The Stage of Paradise (Alola)
The Shimmering Stage (Waku)

EmeraldSky

Make the Colors in the Sky!

At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 15 Hours Ago
6,186 posts
18.3 Years
Kasumi's First Tale: The Tale of the Seven Colored Prism (part 1)

"Now...when you are ready, Kasumi-san." Takeshi began.

Kasumi nodded, then introduced her tale. "I will begin the telling with the tale of two companions, and their quest to find a wondrous treasure before it fell into evil hands."

With that, she began. "In a place far away from here, legends were told of a mystical crystal that shone in seven colors. No one knew for sure how the crystal arrived in the mortal realm, but it was generally agreed it was a gift from the gods, with its divine power only given to the worthy. But as no noble warrior had sought it before, even the Emperor's brightest scholars did not know what it was capable of. It was this unknown that spurred those that followed evil paths to try and find the crystal, called the Seven Colored Prism..."

---------

In the Wakunese fantasy world, a young man in a colorful outfit listens as a messenger speaks. "The people's fears and worries soon reached the imperial ears of the Emperor." Kasumi narrates as a worried look forms on the black haired man's face. "Like his people, the Emperor was worried about what would happen if the Seven Colored Prism fell into evil hands."

The scene fades to a herald telling a crowd of people something. "The Emperor had it proclaimed that if anyone did find the Seven Colored Prism, that they were to bring it to the capital, where it would be kept in the imperial treasury." Kasumi narrates as the proclamation is posted all across the Waku-like world of her story. "The finder would also receive a handsome reward, as well."

The scene pauses as Liko asks "So who finally found the Seven Colored Prism?"

"I'm getting to that." Kasumi assures Liko before the scene unpauses to show various martial heroes and warlords setting off down roads. "Many tried to locate the Seven Colored Prism, but all heroes that tried returned empty handed." The heroes come trudging back some time later before the scene fades to a flower dotted path somewhere in the story's world.

A brown haired girl in an ornate green outfit with flower designs appears on the path some moments later. "My tale concerns a heroine known as Spring Dragon. She was renowned across the martial world for her skill at the twinblades, particularly the Diamond Wave Dance."

The girl smiles as a black haired girl in a red, orange and gold Beautifly inspired outfit meets her on the road. "Where Spring Dragon was, her companion Autumn Beautifly was not far behind." The two girls embrace each other, then continue down the road together. "While Spring Dragon had many friends and allies across the martial world, Autumn Beautifly was the closest and most loyal of them all. Like many in Waku, she had heard all the rumors and talk about the Seven Colored Prism, and wanted to know what her friend thought about the matter." Autumn Beautifly asks Spring Dragon the question, and Spring Dragon gives her answer as Kasumi narrates. "Spring Dragon replied that she was just as worried as everyone else about what would happen if the Seven Colored Prism fell into evil hands, but with no leads to go on, there was no chance they could find it--and every lead was worth exploring, no matter how outlandish it seemed. Autumn Beautifly suggested that the two of them pay a visit to Sage Dreaming Lotus, who lived in the Grove of Golden Blooms. If Sage Dreaming Lotus didn't know where the Seven Colored Prism was, Autumn Beautifly said, no one did."

"I'm sure the Grove of Golden Blooms looked beautiful!" Roy comments via voiceover as Spring Dragon and Autumn Beautifly continue down the road, which becomes a map of Waku, with their route a dotted line.

"Oh it was...it was named that name because of the many chrysanthemums and other golden flowers that bloomed there all through the year." Kasumi explains via voiceover as the scene fades to a beautiful flower grove, where Spring Dragon and Autumn Beautifly meet a light brown haired girl wearing a lotus inspired purple costume and a flower wreath on her head to match on the pathway leading to a humble Wakunese house decorated in flowers. "The sage met our heroines on the path leading to her humble home. There, over some tea and cakes, Spring Dragon asked the question all in Waku wondered--where was the Seven Color Prism?"

"Now I'm interested--where was this wonderful prism?" Takeshi asks via voiceover as Sage Dreaming Lotus ponders what Spring Beautifly has asked.

The sage gives her answer as Kasumi narrates "Sage Dreaming Lotus told our heroines that the Seven Color Prism lay scattered across the land in fragments--a prudent noble master had shattered it into seven pieces, then hid them in seven well guarded locations to deter the evil and the unworthy. She went on to tell them that the way to reassemble the Seven Color Prism would be a long and dangerous journey--but there was many more that would help them. Not being one to back down from a challenge, Spring Dragon and Autumn Beautifly agreed to undertake the quest."

Sage Dreaming Lotus smiles as Spring Dragon and Autumn Beautifly cheer. "Pleased at our heroines' courage, the sage revealed that the red shard was hidden inside Cheri Blossom Peak--a mountain not far from the grove." Kasumi narrates. With that, Spring Dragon and Autumn Beautifly depart the sage's house as the scene swirls back to the present...


---------

"And so, Spring Dragon and Autumn Beautifly departed the grove with the sage's blessings." Kasumi concluded some time later. "Little did they know that their journey would take them across Waku and beyond."

She looked at Takeshi as the others applauded. "Um, what happens if I can't finish a tale in one sitting?"

"You do not have to tell a tale all at once." Takeshi assured Kasumi and the others. "Just find a place to feasibly end a part of your tale, and you may resume where you left off when the circle comes back around to you."

"That's fair." Kasumi replied as she watched Takeshi retrieve his harp, and play a relaxed melody to compose his thoughts...
The Saga of the Kagayou Theater

The First Sparkling Stage (Waku)
The Stage of Crystal (Paldea)/The Stage of Light (Kalos)/The Royal Stage (Galar)/The Stage of Victory (Talie)
The Global Stage (Unova)/The Stage of Paradise (Alola)
The Shimmering Stage (Waku)

EmeraldSky

Make the Colors in the Sky!

At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 15 Hours Ago
6,186 posts
18.3 Years
Takeshi's Prologue: Introducing the Eight Spirits


"Now then..." Takeshi began as he played an expectant chord. "Before I begin my tale for tonight, a taste of Wakunese culture for our Paldean guests, so they understand the tale I am about to tell. Some of the most iconic characters in Wakunese folklore are the Eight Spirits--eight legendary martial artists so powerful, that many believed them to be gods."

"Wow!" Roy gasped.

"While no one knows for sure if they were based on real people or not, there are a few common elements to their stories and their personalities as characters." Takeshi explained before playing a long flowing chord to signal the transition from the real world to fantasy...

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"The leader of the Eight Spirits was Ruby Phoenix, the Spirit of Joy and Inspiration." Takeshi narrates as a young man that resembles an older Satoshi in a magnificent red and gold costume poses in front of flames. "He was said to be as good with a flute as he was with a sword, and his heart burned with the holy fire of courage." The young man plays a heroic phrase on an ornate flute before fading away.

"Next was Sapphire Dragon, the Spirit of Wisdom and Balance." Takeshi continues as a young woman in an ornate blue, cyan, and silver outfit with water-like designs that resembles Kasumi appears. "As a dragon-born, she knew that there was a time to attack, a time to defend, a time to charge forward with all your strength, and a time to retreat to fight another day. Many that saw her fight said that it resembled a dance, with a blade in each hand." The woman strikes a heroic pose with twinblades before a waterfall-like backdrop.

"TWO swords???" Liko gasps as the image of the woman and the waterfall fades away.

"Wouldn't all that firepower leave you vulnerable without a shield?" Roy asks.

"Not necessarily." Takeshi assures Liko and Roy as the woman and the waterfall backdrop reappear for a moment. "Twinblade users learn to defend with their blades as much as attack. That, and many twinblade styles emphasize agility, so they do have some measure of defense." The woman and the waterfall fade away over a harp chord.

With that, he continues narrating. "The third Spirit, and Sapphire Dragon's closest confidant, was Emerald Raikou, the Spirit of Strength and Courage." A young man in a beautiful green, pale green, and gold outfit that resembles Takeshi poses against a forest background. "He was very much the scholar of the group, well versed in fine arts and martial arts alike." The man plays a relaxed melody on a harp similar to Takeshi's for a moment. "But when he had to fight, he fought with the fury of a Raikou, whether with a blade or a bow." The man aims an ornate emerald decorated bow at a demon as this. "Those that saw his skill with a bow said he had never missed a shot." The man fires his shot at this, easily defeating the demon before the scene fades away.

"The fourth Spirit, and one of Ruby Phoenix's dearest friends, was Golden Delphox, the Spirit of Magical Cleverness." Takeshi continues as a young woman in a beautiful yellow and orange costume that resembles Serena strikes with a shiny golden ribbon before posing bravely against a shining gold background. "Wise as much as she was playful, she knew many different ways to turn the most well thought out plans on their heads. Battle to her was almost like a game, and she usually had something witty to say to her foe before striking them down with her ribbon of light." He lets that hang as the woman smiles, then strikes a foe in black, sending them flying.

"The fifth Spirit was Jade Beautifly, the Spirit of Happiness and Abundance." At this, a young lady wearing a beautiful pale green, lavender, and gold costume that resembles Haruka twirls beautifully before a backdrop of a field. "Never without a smile, she was a skilled dancer, delighting many with her performances." Takeshi explains. At this, a crowd appears in the field, cheering and clapping as the woman performs a beautiful dance with a fan. "But her dance was deadly to the forces of evil!" Just then, the woman spots a sneering warlord, and runs to deliver a colorful attack with her fan before the scene fades away.

"The sixth Spirit, and Jade Beautifly's closest companion, was Pearl Deerling, the Spirit of the Faithful Messenger." At this, a young woman in a ornate purple, blue, and silver outfit who resembles Hikari appears against the backdrop of a moonlit road. "Ever vigilant against evil, she knew well how to deal with the spirit realm as much as the physical realm." Takeshi explains. "Her strategies were proven to work no matter where the battle was taking place." The woman knocks away two black armored figures, then casts a holy spell to banish an evil spirit before the scene fades away.

"The seventh Spirit was Amethyst Braviary, the Spirit of Natural Wisdom." Takeshi narrates as a young woman in a purple outfit with gold trim and a flowery sash who resembles Liko jumps into view behind the backdrop of a forest. "She knew well every plant and creature in the realm--which ones were safe to eat, and which ones were best for medicine. But her mixtures could harm as well as help--particularly with enchanting her own weapon--enchanted rings that returned to her after striking their targets." With that, the woman heaves a burning ring at a gaggle of evil spirits, sending them flying before she catches the burning ring.

"Finally, the eighth spirit was Garnet Mightyena, the Spirit of the Divine Guardian." Takeshi narrates as a young man in a deep red, orange, and gold outfit that resembles Roy strikes a battle pose. "If the Deerling gave divine wisdom, the Mightyena was a divine warrior, ever ready to pass divine judgement against evil!" At this, the boy delivers a flurry of punches, sending some warriors in black flying. "But the Mightyena has a gentler side too. If someone was lost and alone, meeting Garnet Mightyena on the road was an auspicious sign indeed!"


---------

As the scene returns to the group, Takeshi intones "Having said all of this, I can now properly begin my tale..."
The Saga of the Kagayou Theater

The First Sparkling Stage (Waku)
The Stage of Crystal (Paldea)/The Stage of Light (Kalos)/The Royal Stage (Galar)/The Stage of Victory (Talie)
The Global Stage (Unova)/The Stage of Paradise (Alola)
The Shimmering Stage (Waku)

EmeraldSky

Make the Colors in the Sky!

At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 15 Hours Ago
6,186 posts
18.3 Years
Takeshi's First Tale: The Jeweled Palm of Crystal Mountain (part 1)


"All across Waku, the general community of martial artists is a world unto itself." Takeshi explains to his audience. "It has many names across several different lands, so for simplicity's sake, this is what I mean when I refer to 'the martial world'."

With that, he plays a long chord to signal the transition from the real world to fantasy once again...

---------

"In Waku especially, the way of the warrior is revered, and so the number of dojos--schools specifically designed for training in martial arts--numbered like sand by the sea." Takeshi explains via voiceover as hundreds, and then thousands of dojos begin popping up on a map of Waku. "In addition to the dojos, rare, valuable, and powerful manuals awaited a worthy warrior to find them. So when word got out that one of these manuals had been spotted in the wild, every warrior--noble, neutral, and evil alike--set out to find it." We see crowds of heroes streaming out of various dojos to illustrate Takeshi's point.

The scene fades to a beautiful green garden dotted in colorful flowers. "Our story begins in the Verdant Jade Grove--a sacred location that served as the Eight Spirits' base when they were not out traveling." Takeshi explains as Golden Delphox emerges onto a pathway to meet a Fletchling, which is carrying a message in its beak. "On this particular morning, Golden Delphox was on her way to tend the flowers in the Spring Bloom Garden --one of many enchanted gardens in the sacred grove--when a messenger Fletchling came to her." Golden Delphox carefully takes the message from the Fletchling and reads it over, a concerned look forming on her face all the while. "It turned out that a rare and valuable art had been located after it had been long believed to be lost--the legendary Jeweled Palm of the Crystal Mountain School. The Crystal Mountain School was a noble school had been wiped out by evil sects long before, and its teachings and treasures scattered to the wind. Finding one of these lost teachings meant that the school could be reborn--and the wielder of these lost arts could become an unstoppable force in the martial world--for good or for ill."

Golden Delphox sets the message down and thinks a moment. "Golden Delphox knew she had to inform the other Spirits that a lost art had been found--and they, as guardians of the world, needed to keep the manual containing the teachings of the Jeweled Palm out of evil hands."

"Must've been one powerful art..." Roy comments as in the story's world, the Eight Spirits pack supplies and their weapons and possessions for a potential long journey.

"Luckily, a noble school had found the lost Jeweled Palm Manual, and alerted the Spirits." Takeshi explained. "Our heroes were to take the lost manual to the peak of Crystal Mountain, and bury it deep within the old dojo's innermost sanctum--but not before mastering the art for themselves if they wished. This way, the art would not fall into evil hands, and only a worthy person with a noble heart could revive the school."

The scene fades to a beautiful water themed dojo, where the Eight Spirits meet a man in an elegant blue, cyan, and silver robe. "The Divine Mist Sect had found the Jeweled Palm Manual, and entrusted it to Sapphire Dragon for its final trip to its old home." Sapphire Dragon accepts a book with a rainbow cover from the dojo master, and places it in her bag for safekeeping. "With the manual safe in their possession, the next question was how to reach Crystal Mountain quickly, and without alerting any evil sects to the treasure they carried."

The Eight Spirits huddle for a moment as Takeshi narrates "After some discussion, the Spirits agreed to travel to Spring Dawn Town--once there, they could plan their route safely. Spring Dawn Town was a crossroads of knowledge, so many noble and noble neutral sects converged there to discuss ideas, thoughts, and theories without fear." In the story's world, Jade Beautifly points out a town on the map on the Waku that never was. The other Spirits nod in agreement before we zoom inside the map, the Spirits' route represented as a dotted line. "After an uneventful journey to town, the Spirits arrived in an inn very much like where we are." Takeshi narrates as Ruby Phoenix pays the innkeeper later that evening. "They planned their route in their room, away from any evil that could potentially be lurking in the common area."

The map of the Waku that never was appears again, with Spring Dawn Town and Crystal Mountain's sanctum clearly marked. "From Spring Dawn Town, the Spirits agreed to follow the Cheri Blossom Road until they came to Summer Mist Cliff." Takeshi explains, a dotted line showing the hypothetical route on the map as he speaks. "Going north through Summer Mist Cave and then eastward was the safer option, as the Way of the Infernal Dragon and the Way of the Savage Pyroar were two of the more notorious schools known to roam the area east of the cliff."

"I will say that going through a cave is a clever way of throwing evil off your trail." Hikari comments.

"From there, the group would travel uphill through Sunrise Pass and onward to Skyward Summit." Takeshi went on. "They would descend into Breeze Valley before going uphill again to Crystal Mountain via the Azure Sky Road." The completed map shines before returning to the Eight Spirits again. "Of course, that route would be filled with towns and other points of interest along the way." Takeshi cautions as the scene swirls back to the present...


---------

"...But no journey is ever without trouble, and little did the Eight Spirits know that their powers would be needed once more on the way to Crystal Mountain." Takeshi concluded. "And I will end my tale there for now."

Applause fills the inn at the conclusion of the tale's first part. "You've set up an interesting story, Sir Takeshi." Liko smiles. "I can't wait to hear what happens next!"
The Saga of the Kagayou Theater

The First Sparkling Stage (Waku)
The Stage of Crystal (Paldea)/The Stage of Light (Kalos)/The Royal Stage (Galar)/The Stage of Victory (Talie)
The Global Stage (Unova)/The Stage of Paradise (Alola)
The Shimmering Stage (Waku)

EmeraldSky

Make the Colors in the Sky!

At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 15 Hours Ago
6,186 posts
18.3 Years
Satoshi's First Tale: The Adventures of the Masked Phoenix (part 1)


"Okay, Satoshi-san, I believe it is your turn to tell." Takeshi smiled.

Satoshi nodded, then addressed Liko and Roy. "I'm sure that you've heard many a tale of mysterious heroes that right wrongs and triumph over evil in your homeland, right?"

"Yeah!" Liko and Roy replied at almost the same time.

Satoshi nodded. "It turns out that Waku has its share of such heroes itself. While the reason they have to hide their true identity varies from hero to hero, their goal is the same--to preserve peace and the rule of law in Waku, and its martial world."

He want on "The tale I want to tell you is actually a selection of episodes of a heroine known as the Masked Phoenix--so named for her great skill in phoenix martial arts. Some believed she was divine, as no matter what corrupt nobles and other evildoers attempted to do to her, the fire of Moltres in her heart protected her--so not even a lethal blow would kill her..."

He lets that hang as he takes his flute and plays a mysterious melody to signal the crossing from the real world into the world of fantasy...

---------

In the world of the story, a deep brown haired girl in an ornate red and gold outfit flees a burning dojo under cover of night. "The Masked Phoenix was actually a young lady named Riho--which can mean 'gallant phoenix' in Wakunese." Satoshi narrates as the girl races through a forest. "She had dedicated herself to studying the way of Moltres, but when the evil Wicked Rose School attacked her dojo one night, she was forced to flee."

When the girl reaches the safety of a clearing, she screams to the stars "Know this, Wicked Roses! As a phoenix brings judgement on demons, I will track you all down, and avenge my fallen friends and master!"

"That's awful..." Liko comments as the girl goes to work making something resembling a camp that can be quickly packed up if needed.

"Poor Riho..." Roy agrees as the tense night scene gives way to a sunny day with a flute flourish.

"Luckily, the Wicked Roses did not have a clue where Riho was, so she was able to spend the night in relative safety." Satoshi assures his companions. "But she was also well aware that she and any other survivors were now wanted people--and Master Black Rose and the other Wicked Roses would stop at nothing to find her, and deliver her the same horrible fate that had fallen on her master and many others in her sect."

We join Riho as she puts the finishing touches on an ornate red, orange, and gold phoenix mask. "In order to avoid detection by the Wicked Rose School, their allies, and other evildoers, Riho made herself a beautiful phoenix mask--the kind you would likely find at festivals, or the theater stage."

Riho smiles as she admires her completed mask. "There...it is done. No more am I Riho...Riho is gone, like many in my sect. Those that would do evil will tremble at my new identity--the Masked Phoenix. Riho will only return to a fellow survivor like me, or someone I deeply trust."

With that, she giggles as she puts on the mask, and ties it on so that she will not become unmasked in the heat of battle.

The scene fades to a map of a Waku that never was, with the Masked Phoenix's route represented as a red dotted line. "The Masked Phoenix did not have very far to go to find someone to rescue...the residents of Silver Wind Town were being oppressed by three bandits with the strength of fifty men." Satoshi explains. "These notorious bandits--Golden Raikou, Crimson Entei, and Azure Suicune--were robbing the people of Silver Wind Town out of house and home with their outrageous tributes. If something was not done, the people of the town would starve."

The scene fades to The Masked Phoenix meeting with the town's elder. "Who are you, young heroine? Why must you hide your face?" the elder asks, confused.

"I hide my face because like so many others, I am on the run from evil." the Masked Phoenix explains. "I will only unmask myself to those I feel I can trust."

The elder nods to show he understands. "May Arceus judge me if I or any of my people betray you--if you can help us with our own trouble, I will allow you to use the town as your new home."

The Masked Phoenix nods. "Very well...what is it that troubles you?"

"Our town is slowly being robbed blind by three notorious bandits with god-like strength--Golden Raikou, Crimson Entei, and Azure Suicune." the elder explains. "I have appealed to the Emperor and his men for help, but these three can even best a regiment of the imperial army! Who am I to think that they could overpower the Emperor's full army, and jointly rule this land with an iron fist?"

"Peace, good sir. I believe I can drive these rogues away." the Masked Phoenix assures the elder. "I have defeated much worse foes than these, so the Beasts that oppress you would be no match for the holy flame of the phoenix!"

The elder smiles. "You are a very brave young lady for singlehandedly taking on such powerful opponents. If you need supplies or information, we will do what we can to help you."

"But I am not so bold as to charge into battle with no plan or strategy--a good warrior knows their enemy, and knows them well." the Masked Phoenix replies. "Instead of battling these Beasts all at once, I will lure them away from their hideout, and challenge them one on one."

"You would likely have the best luck challenging Azure Suicune first." the elder explains. "As a fire being, Moltres should be wary of any water elemental arts, but her snow elemental skills should do no harm to you. It may be wise to have some thunder elemental support--just in case."

"A wise idea, good sir. I will ask around the noble dojos of the area, and see if any of their thunder elemental warriors would be willing to help me." the Masked Phoenix replies as the scene swirls back to the present...


---------

"...and so, the Masked Phoenix set out to find a thunder elemental partner for the battle ahead." Satoshi concluded some time later. "Little did she know, that defeating these notorious bandits would earn her a valuable clue about the Wicked Rose School."

Applause fills the inn as Satoshi finishes the first part of his first story. "That was actually exciting!" Liko raves as she applauds. "I can't wait to know what happens next!"

Takeshi notices that Liko is next to tell. "I am interested in what sorts of martial tales they tell in far away Paldea..."

Liko smiles. "Then allow me to share such a story from the Paldean theater..."
The Saga of the Kagayou Theater

The First Sparkling Stage (Waku)
The Stage of Crystal (Paldea)/The Stage of Light (Kalos)/The Royal Stage (Galar)/The Stage of Victory (Talie)
The Global Stage (Unova)/The Stage of Paradise (Alola)
The Shimmering Stage (Waku)