@Chimchar98; @The Jingster; @Tophat Dragoneye; @Soulmaster;
Brock and the gang are back with a fourth batch of stories to share!
Week 79: The Knight of the Crystal Hill
(real tale: The Princess on the Glass Hill)
The crowd roars as Brock meets them onstage, eager to hear what the master storyteller has planned for his fourth batch of tales. When the applause quiets, he begins "There was once a man who had a meadow that lay on the side of a mountain, and in this meadow there was a barn in which he stored hay. But there had not been much hay in the barn for the last two years, for every year, around the time of the summer festival, it was eaten up completely, just as if a whole flock of Mareep had gnawed it down to the ground during the night. This happened once, then it happened again, but on the third year, the man got tired of losing his crop, and said to his three sons--the youngest was named Aiden--that one of them was to go and sleep in the barn on the eve of the summer festival, in hopes of finding out who, or what, was eating all the hay."
Whispers race through the auditorium as the audience debates what is eating the hay. "Now, the eldest son was quite willing to go to the meadow." Brock explains. "He boasted that he would watch the grass and do it so well that neither man, nor Pokemon, nor even Darkrai himself should have any of it. So when evening came he went to the barn, and lay down to sleep, but when night was drawing near there was such a rumbling and such an earthquake that the walls and roof shook again."
As if on cue, rumbling noises fill the air, panicking some in the crowd. The screams of panic turn to awkward giggles when the rumbling subsides and Brock assures them "The eldest son jumped up and hurried away as fast as he could, never even looking back, and the barn remained empty that year just as it had been for the last two."
Interested murmurs fill the air as Brock returns to his place at center stage. "Another year went by, and on the eve of the summer festival, the man sent the middle son to watch over the barn. But the same thing happened--he went to the barn and lay down to sleep, but when night was drawing near there was a great rumbling..." The audience braces themselves for the rumbling noises, but no sound comes. "and then an earthquake--which was even worse than the one that had struck the previous year, and when the middle son heard it he was terrified, and raced off, never once looking back."
"So what was taking the hay?" a woman asks.
"Well, another year went by, and that year, it was Aiden's turn, but as he got ready to go, the others laughed at him, and jeered him." Brock explains. "Aiden, however, did not trouble himself about what they said, but set out for the barn when evening came. When he got there, he went into the barn and lay down, but he had scarcely been there an hour before the rumbling and creaking began." The audience braces themselves for rumbling sounds a second time, but no sound comes. "Relax, this isn't a 4-D theater." Brock assures the audience, to some relieved giggles. "The rumbling and quaking continued for another hour, but Aiden stayed still and hung on. When all was quiet again, Aiden heard something that sounded like a Ponyta eating something just outside the barn door. So he crept to the door..." Brock tiptoes to stage right, as if he is Aiden. "and sure enough, a shining Ponyta with a blue mane was standing there eating. Aiden had never seen a Ponyta like it before--much less a shining one. A saddle and bridle lay upon it, as did a sword and a complete suit of armor for a knight, all made of of shining white mythril. As soon as he mounted it, it grew tame."
Awed murmurs fill the air at this. "Aiden rode away to his secret place--a plain which no one else knew about, and tied the Ponyta up there. When he went home again his brothers laughed and jeered at him even more." Brock continues. "'You didn't lie long in the barn, if even you have been so far as the field!' they said."
"I lay in the barn till sunrise, but I saw nothing and heard nothing." he replies in his best mimic of Ash to represent Aiden. "Arceus only knows what made you two so frightened."
As himself, he continues "The brothers didn't believe Aiden at first, but when they got to the barn, the hay was all standing just as long and as thick as it had been the night before. This happened again two more times, until Aiden had three Shiny Ponytas and three sets of gear to his credit."
Once he is back in his place at center stage, Brock goes on "Now, the king of the land had a daughter that had a private residence on top of a hill made of crystal--we'll call her Cressida. Whoever could climb up the crystal hill and take three shining Leppa Berries from her would earn her hand in marriage and half the kingdom. This was proclaimed across the whole kingdom, and in many other kingdoms too. Princess Cressida was very beautiful, and all who saw her fell madly in love with her, even in spite of themselves."
Laughter goes up as the audience pictures a prince going gaga for Princess Cressida. "So it is needless to say that many a prince, knight, and adventurer were eager to win her and half a kingdom." Brock smiles. "They came from all over the world, dressed so splendidly that their clothing gleamed in the sunshine, and riding on Rapidashes which seemed to dance as they went, and there was not one of these princes who did not think that he was sure to win Princess Cressida's hand."
Brock's spotlight expands to include a chair and his guitar. "When the day appointed by the king had come, there was such a crowd of knights, adventurers, and princes under the crystal hill that they numbered like sand by the sea." he continues as he settles into the chair and begins a reverent song. "Millions more turned out to see who would win Princess Cressida's hand in marriage. Aiden and two brothers were there too, but his brothers didn't know Aiden was there--they had told him to stay at home. Not being one to take no for an answer, Aiden snuck out of the house and happened to arrive at the crystal hill at the same time his brothers did."
Giggles go up as Brock plays a "struggling" melody up the scale. "Now, all the princes, adventurers and knights were trying to ride up the crystal hill, but it was all in vain, for no sooner did the Rapidashes set foot upon the hill did they come sliding down again." He plays a downward glissando on one string for effect. "and not one of them made it any farther than a couple of yards up. It was no surprise, for the hill was as smooth as a glass windowpane, and as steep as the side of a house. But they were all eager to win Princess Cressida and half the kingdom, and so the slipping and sliding continued." He plays an adventurous theme as an interlude.
"Finally, all the Rapidashes were so tired that they could not take another step." Brock continues as he slows down the song. "So the king was about to proclaim that the attempts would start again the next day, when a knight in mythril came riding up on so fine a Ponyta that no one had ever seen the like of it before--and few still had seen a shining Ponyta."
"Oh"s fill the room as the audience figure out just who the rider is. "The other knights all called out to him that he might just as well give up, but he did not listen...and he went up as if it were a simple plain." Brock continues as he flashes a grin to the crowd. "But Princess Cressida had never seen so handsome a knight, and silently hoped he would make it to the top. But when she saw that he was turning back, she threw one of shining Leppa Berries down after him, and it rolled into his shoe. But when he had come down from off the hill he rode away, fast enough that no one knew what became of him. So all the princes, adventurers, and knights were told to present themselves before the king that night, so that he could find out who the mysterious rider was that had received the shining Leppa Berry. But no one had anything to show, and the mysterious rider was all anyone could talk about."
He stops his song to interject "Aiden's brothers had no idea that the mysterious rider was Aiden in disguise."
The crowd claps as Brock plays the Zelda theme as an interlude. "This happened again for two straight days--many would try and ride up the crystal hill, but then a mysterious rider on a shining Ponyta would make it most of the way up. Princess Cressida would throw down a shining Leppa Berry, and the rider would disappear as mysteriously as he had come." he explains as he slows the song down. "When the king called everyone together to find out who had the shining Leppa Berry, no one had anything to show for it. Finally, on the evening of the third day, Aiden came before the king, and to the amazement of everyone, showed him the three shining Leppa Berries.
He finishes with a festive melody. "And so it was that Aiden and Princess Cressida were married the next day, and there was great rejoicing in the land for at least a week!"
Finally, he stops the song to conclude "For all I know, the festivities may still be going on to this day." He adds a playful flourish at this.
Thunderous applause fills the air as Brock sets his instrument aside and gets up to take a bow....