Interlude 5: On Tour
Brock strolls into the backstage area, only to hear a familiar fiddle tuning up and a harmonica improvising a blue riff. When he peeks around a corner, his curious look turns into a joyful smile. "Dawn, Ash, what a surprise!" he laughs as he embraces his friends.
"'The Absol That Built a Bridge' was such a hit in Celadon, we thought we'd give you a chance to perform in front of your home crowd to kick off the tour." Dawn explains. She then sets her fiddle aside and offers Brock a green, blue, and gold minstrel's costume. "We even brought you your costume."
Ash, meanwhile, gently taps on the lid of a tin of mints. When no answer comes, he gently opens the lid to reveal the tiny sprite Pokemon dozing inside. "Aw...Melody's still asleep."
"Melody, we're here." Dawn coaxes as she gently nudges the sprite with her finger.
Brock smiles, touched over the intimate moment as Yuki arrives in the room. "You said in your last letter from Unova you saved a Meloetta from Team Rocket..." she notes.
"Yeah--her name's Melody." Ash explains to Yuki in a stage whisper. "She's very energetic--Pikachu and her hit it off right away." A tiny yawn from the mint tin gets his attention. "She napped most of the way here, but given how many times she sang for the crowd in Celadon, she probably earned it."
"Hi, Melody." Brock smiles as he strokes Melody's music staff-like hair. "This is my home theater, the Fireside."
Melody rubs the sleep from her eyes, then looks around the theater in awe. "It's beautiful..."
"Thank you--we do our best to keep it spic and span!" Yuki replies as some of the other Players hurry in the room.
"Aw, who's this?" Lotta asks before petting Melody.
<i>Lotta, questo è Melody.</i> Brock replies in Italian.
<i>Molto lieto, Melody.</i> Lotta smiles.
Melody nods. <i>Grazie.</i>
Rylan's mouth drops open. "I didn't know Pokemon could speak a foreign language!"
"Well, given that Melody is a Legendary, and the guardian of music, it's only natural that she know the universal language of music--Italian." Brock explains. "I narrate the play..."
"I play Kazuya, the carpenter." Ash continues as Melody flies over to his shoulder.
"And I sing to tell Kazuya what the Absol is named." Melody adds. "But I'm not going to spoil it."
"I play Hatsuna, one of the women of the village." Dawn says before retrieving her fiddle again. "The crew's still unloading the sets and other costumes, so Ash and I were going to have a little session to pass the time."
"Got room for one more?" Brock asks before running to find his guitar.
"Sure, you can play with us." Ash assures his friend. "Thought I'd try the harmonica with this set, but I brought a couple of whistles too."
"We call this 'The Lonely Traveler Set'" Brock tells Melody as he tunes up. Once he is ready, he leads the way into a peaceful melody before switching to a driving rhythm for the fiddle and harmonica's bluesy rendition of "The Road to Pewter City"...