Tristan followed the stream of ice and snow as it rocketed to the domed ceiling, exploding into a huge snowflake patterned firework (or should he say, snow-work?), showering the whole theatre in bright, sparkling snow. Cheers erupted from the children around him, laughing and jumping around, trying to catch the snowflakes with their paws or mouths as the adults and teenagers applauded with excited smiles. As if it wasn’t impressing enough, the Froslass stomped lightly on the stage, where thick, sleek sheet of ice formed above the wooden floor.
Like ice crystals dividing and joining and webbing around as ice walls slowly formed around the area. Soon, a complex, but beautiful mini ice castle grew, literally grew, on the centre of the stage, glittering brilliantly from the lights around the theatre. Oohs and aahs came from the crowd, followed by another series of cheering.
To say the Prinplup was impressed would be an understatement.
“Well, she’s sure talented.” The Shinx beside him commented, clapping his paws. “It’s been awhile since I saw snow.” He mused, brushing off the snow that had landed on his shoulders.
“Well, it’s been... ten years, isn’t it?” Tristan remarked.
Tor nodded. “Yeah...” he sighed, glancing at the family seated on the row below him. They consisted of a Houndoom with his Flareon wife, a pair of twin Houndours, with two Vulpix siblings. They were talking excitedly -or joking around in the twins case- in a distinctive, Southern Parai language. Verintian, Tor realized.
“I wonder how dad’s doing...” he uttered as he looked away from the family. He looked up to his captain as the Prinplup gave a supportive pat on his shoulders.
“Cheer up. It’s a welcoming party, isn’t it?” Tristan said. Tor shrugged and nodded. “Come on. Let’s see what the list of today’s plays and tournaments is.”
“Well, why can’t they have a normal brawl listed inside instead of swordplay?” Tor grumbled, reading from the list.
Tristan looked at the Shinx with a raised eyebrow. “You did get your chance in that Tournament. And besides, I need some practice with my swordsmanship.”
As the acrobatics group bowed to the small number audience and the Iaponese Ambassador on the stage, a group of 30 musicians and actors waited behind the stage, preparing for their performance. The conductor, a strict looking Ursaring, was giving out a last minute directions to the the whole group.
“Right, everyone got their scores? Good.” The bear like Pokémon nodded, searching for his own score from the pile of notes and papers on the ice sculpted table. “Now listen up. I know that this is quite sudden, but we had performed this before. I expect the best performance. From all of you.” He looked pointedly at the actors and actresses and the musicians, his eyes lingering on the skinny Zigzagoon with a violin propped between his chin and shoulders. Jim Holford merely gave the Ursaring a blank stare.
“Anyway.” The conductor cleared his throat, taking his glare off Jim. “Has anyone found any volunteers for the missing parts?!” he shouted, now glaring at the evident lack of actors.
The Director, four main actors and three extras had fallen ill with some sort of flu right before the day of their performance. It had driven the Ursaring mad as he had to fill in the director’s position as well as conducting the whole play instead of the instrumental parts.
A fidgety looking Skiddo came up to the Ursaring. “We-we’re still looking, s-sir. But I’ve f-found the ones willing to fill in as extras and the parts for Violight General and the Dragnorian Soldier.” He indicated to the Jolteon and the Gabite. The Ursaring inspected the two ‘mons with narrowed eyes.
Jim glanced at the two newcomers. A quick look told him that the Jolteon was an Iaponese personal guard for a landlord before he went freelance, and the Gabite was a successful berry farmer enjoying a vacation. Both looked quite confused and agitated as the Ursaring continued to scrutinize them with his beady black eyes.
“They’ll do.” He nodded after a while. “Give them the script and tell them what to do. Now, what about the parts for the Ignisian Warrior and the Auroran Lieutenant?”
“W-we’re still looking for them, sir.” The Skiddo stammered, cowering as the Ursaring’s glare was directed at him.
The Hibernator Pokémon muttered under his breath. He then scanned to the corridor outside, which was crowded with ‘mons heading to the bathrooms or getting some snacks. His beady black eyes then fell to a pair of ‘mons. “You there! Yeah! The two of you! Come here!”
Ardor blocked the incoming stab with his sword, before forcing the opponent’s own cutlass -a short, broad sabre with basket shaped guard- down to the icy floor. Before the Quilava could disarm his opponent, he found himself sidestepping a strike from the smaller sword before feinting to the left, only to meet with a thrust from his opponent.
“You’re good.” He said, exchanging strikes and jabs. The Prinplup with the cutlass countered Ardor’s thrust with ease.
“You’re not so bad yourself.” Tristan replied, dodging Ardor’s Scimitar which was inches from his chest. Both of them traded another strike, resulting in a temporary stalemate. Their blades crossed with each other.
Ardor could hear the crowd cheer with excitement. The Iaponese Ambassador was sitting on the edge of his seat, grinning widely. With lightning speed, the two ‘mons resumed their duel. Their blades flashed and rang sharply above the roar of the crowd. Tristan stood in one place as Ardor circled him like a hawk, trading feints, thrusts, and parries with such speed that the crowd was nearly unable to follow.
Up on the seats, Darius was watching the fight between his protégé and the Prinplup with a critical eye. The Blaziken noted that the Prinplup was proficient in wielding a blade. The cutlass moved as if it was an extension of the Penguin Pokémon’s flippers. But Darius also noticed a small error here and there with the water type’s movements during the duel. It would seem that Ardor’s opponent was out of practice for some time. The Blaziken allowed a small smile to graze his beak. He could already see the outcome of this swordfight.
“That Prinplup is a strong one.” Derek commented from his seat, drinking on the fight hungrily. “Who do you think will win this duel, Master Darius?”
The Blaziken merely hummed in response as Ardor blocked Tristan’s strike and responded in a quick succession of thrusts and slashes. “Could be anyone.” He replied lightly.
Before the Chimchar could ask another question, there was a great ‘clang!’ as Tristan’s cutlass was sent flying, embedding itself on the edge of the stage. The blade of Ardor’s Scimitar was at Tristan’s throat. There was a beat within the crowd, stunned by the suddenness, before they cheered at Ardor’s victory. Even the Ambassador was clapping his claws, cheering manically. All dignity forgotten. The refree came up as Ardor released his hold on Tristan, helping him on his feet.
“Well, as I expected.” Darius commented, smiling.
As with the last two days of the welcoming party, the final performance of the day will be a play from the local conservatory. The stage was cleared and the curtains were pulled down as the audience waited. Soon, the musicians: a group of ‘mons in formal black and white suits and dresses filled the long, narrow space in front of the stage. Leo spotted Jim in the string sections, along with his friends that frequented their flat for practice. The Zigzagoon was wearing a loose black jacket over a white shirt, eyes trained on the Ursaring that had walked up to the conductor’s podium. The audience applauded as the ‘mons stood up, bowed with the conductor, and resumed their seated position.
With a series of taps, from the baton, the music boomed through the cavernous theatre. Leo quickly picked up the distinctive classical Iaponese tunes between the march-like melodies. The Vaporeon wondered what sort of play they were going to be served, as he had lost his list during the series of performances.
As the upbeat Overture ended, the curtain rose to reveal a setting of a royal court of sorts. The scene was soon filled with a couple of ‘mons in fancy robes, led by a young Prince of sorts, played by an Eevee. Leo’s eyebrows raised as the prince began to sing his dialogue, followed by his subjects in some sort of a funny conversation. Tristan shuffled to the empty seat beside him as the actors switched into normal dialogues. The orchestra continued to play a soft tune.
“Have you seen Tor anywhere?” the Prinplup asked.
Leo shook his head. “Not since the first break.”
“Funny.” Tristan frowned. “Where could he go?”
Leo’s attention was drawn to the stage as the music suddenly raised dramatically, a Pidgey guard came hurrying in, followed by two others. One of them looked suspiciously familiar.
“My lord! My lord!” the Pidgey cried. “Calamity! The Ignis had sent their army to our kingdom!”
The music boomed in surprise as the court gasped. The Eevee lord turned grim. He walked down his throne and addressed the two ‘mons standing at attention behind the guard. That’s when Tristan noticed something.
“Leo. That Lieutenant...” he gestured to the armored Shinx standing beside the armored Chatot.
The Vaporeon frowned. “A Lieutenant? What about him?”
“Doesn’t he seem familiar to you?”
Leo looked at the Shinx actor closely. He frowned. The actor sure does look familiar. “You don’t say...”
“I would suggest, my Lord, to prepare your own troop against these disrespectful ‘mons.” Said the Chatot, who had been identified as the General by the Eevee. The bird turned to the Shinx beside him. “You can consult with my trusted Lieutenant. This be your first battle, am I right?”
“It is.” The Eevee Lord nodded, turning to the Shinx. “Let us go.”
Tristan’s eye widened and Leo gaped as the Shinx spoke for the first time. “This way, my Lord.”
There’s no mistaking the deep, northern accent, albeit it came out quite haltingly on the stage. Tristan exchanged shocked glances with Leo.
“Well...” the doctor began, clearing his throat. “I think we know where Tor is right now...”
Tristan nodded, glancing to the Shinx Lieutenant as the spotlights went out with the actors clearing the stage. “Who would’ve thought, eh?”
“Yeah.” Leo nodded just as the stage was once again illuminated. The scene had changed this time.
It turns out that Tor didn’t get a huge role within the play. The Shinx just traded a few lines with the young Eevee Warlord, assisting him in the battles, etc. etc. Tristan was silently laughing after he got through his initial shock. Leo was quite disappointed as Act 3 came, as it was now depicting a kingdom of fire, led by a Monferno Warlord.
A few seats below them, Alessandro de’ Furnocci was fidgeting on his seat. His whole family, minus his mother and their housekeeper, was enjoying the play. But the young Houndour wasn’t. How can he when his twin brother was missing? He tried to spot Nico in the crowd, but the lack of light proved difficult for him to search for the missing Houndour. Ale was contemplating to sneak out of the theatre to search for his twin when Cesare gasped loudly.
The three tailed Vulpix was pointing excitedly at one of the Ignis Warriors entered the stage, ready to fight the Auroran army. Ale followed his brother’s line of sight and fell on a group of five Houndour actors in armor props.
Wait a minute...
Alessandro’s eyes widened as Cesare shouted in a hushed tone, “It’s Nico! I tell you, it’s Nico!”
As the Furnocci family tried to calm the excited Vulpix down, a Quilava was watching them from his seat up on the balcony, thinking...
“Hellhounds from the City of Festives...” Ardor uttered under his breath, looking at the Houndour and Houndoom a few seats below him. “Hellhounds...” he blinked. “Virenzia... City of Festives...”
“Ardor, you’re spacing out.” Derek nudged him. “The Warlords are about to meet.”
The Quilava blinked, and nodded at his team mate, but not taking his gaze from the family below.
Last Midnight (2)
Entertaining Entertainment Entertains
HPM: A Day At The Races
PKA Lesson 1: Whittling It Down
Errand no: #4
Date Issued: 12th May 2014
Date Due: 16th May 2014
Errand #4 for all of my teams.
Yeah... a little Disney reference there... as well as a reference to a spin-off Pokemon game. It seems like a good idea to convert it into a play, so this came out.
Well, I hope you enjoy it.
-Iaponese Ambassaddor © ChillySunDance
-Nicolò, Alessandro, and the de' Furnocci family © Me