A/N: This does contain spoilers for Magic of a Melody!
"Singer to the Sea"
The First Night
"Is she here?" a Persian asked as the sea breeze rippled her pale yellow fur and nearly blew the small silver tiara atop her head into the water.
"Of course she's here, Kissa." the Persian's owner, a brown haired boy with tanned skin, replied as he approached the shore. "Melodisa said that she would always come to us if we played to the sea." After picking some seaweed from his dull red, white, and gold tunic and making sure that various instrument cases were accounted for, he addressed the majestic cat Pokemon again. "What shall we play this time?"
"Whatever you like, Master--merfolk have no preference of song." Kissa replied as she glanced out at the waves. "I wonder what Melodisa's been doing since our quest for Rainbow Symphony..."
"Probably exploring the sea and trading with those in the port towns." the boy replied as he took a harp from one case and began tuning it.
Once he was ready, the boy began to play a quiet melody Kissa recognized as the Prayer to the Sea--the one song guaranteed to lure the merfolk to the surface. She didn't know why the merfolk liked the song--was it because the chords ebbed and flowed like the waves? Or maybe the melody reminded them of a sailor lost at sea? Whatever the reason, she liked it too, and thought of the mermaid they had met every time she heard her master play it.
The last note faded away into the evening sky, which was beginning to turn pink, yellow, and orange as the sun set. All was quiet for a moment as both the minstrel and his Persian watched and waited to see if their mer-friend had heard their song.
Just as they were about to pack up and return to the town that overlooked the beach, a flash of dull fuschia beneath the water got Kissa's attention. "She's here!" The flash of scales in other colors and the jerky movements of smaller fins got her attention as well. "and it appears she has mer-children with her, too!"
Sure enough, a small black haired mermaid with a blue tail was first to surface. "Is this the landboy singer you told us about, Melodisa?" she asked.
"Of course..." an older female voice replied before Melodisa surfaced, the beads in her dark brown hair shimmering in the fading sun like pearls. "This is Brock, the landboy that helped me save the Ocean Shrine last year."
"Wow...a real member of the landfolk!" a blonde haired merboy with a red tail gasped as he swam to get a closer look at Brock.
"Hail and well met, Guide of the Merfolk." Brock replied. "I find it hard to believe it has been a year since I unleashed the ultimate Song Magic..."
"Are your friends here too?" Melodisa asked as she combed out her hair with a cockleshell.
"Not this time--just me and my pet, Kissa." Brock replied.
"Well, what have become of your friends since you completed your quest and drove the Dark King away?" Melodisa asked.
"Dawn has returned to Whitespell Temple, although now she divides her time between the temple and her family." Brock explained. "Misty was reunited with her comrades, and has since returned to Mavi. Janine has returned to Miyakawa Village, and is now known as a hero there..."
"And the mage?" Melodisa wondered.
"Ash mainly teaches aspiring mages for most of the year, and travels with me when classes are not in session." Brock continued. "Myself, I continue traveling and performing for the landfolk."
"...and I teach the merchildren when I am not trading with the landfolk." Melodisa replied before gesturing to the group of five merchildren swimming in circles around a rock.
"So these are your charges..." Kissa mused.
"Mm-hm--they have the energy of a pod of Gorebyss!" Melodisa giggled as she shepherded the merchildren back by her side. "I brought them to the surface so they could hear some of the songs and stories of the landfolk."
"Well then, I guess it is appropriate that we begin with a tale of the sea." Brock smiled before retrieving his harp from its case and beginning the song of Marista Laire.
"Is that song special to you, Landsinger?" a brown haired mergirl with a green tail asked when the song ended.
"Yes--my teacher mainly told stories, and she would play that song at the start of a performance." Brock explained. "I play that song when I begin the tale telling in a performance in her memory." The merchildren nodded to show they understood and listened as Brock began his tale. "In a far away land, there was once a king that owned a small hand mill. But this hand mill did more than grind grain for bread--all you had to was request something and turn the crank, and whatever was requested would appear. If you requested gold, it would produce gold. If you requested pearls, it would produce pearls. Whatever you named, it would produce."
After playing a brief interlude, he continued. "Now one day, a thief heard of the magical mill, and decided to try and steal it. He spent days formulating a plan, then set out for the palace. He disguised himself as a scholar and talked of many things with an official. During this talk, he learned that the mill was right by the lotus pond in the royal garden. So one night, he snuck in the palace and stole the mill.
"And then?" the green mergirl asked.
"Once he left the palace, the thief was struck with fear--once it was discovered that the mill was taken, every man, woman, and child would be questioned as to where it was." Brock continued. "So he decided to sail somewhere far away to hide. Once he had set sail, he thought long and hard as to what to request from the mill. Then an idea came to him--salt."
"Salt?" the merchildren asked, confused.
"The thief thought that since there was always a need for salt among the landfolk, he would make a lot of money selling and producing it. So he commanded the mill to produce salt, and salt came spilling out into the boat. Giddy with joy, the thief told the mill to continue producing salt. Eventually, the boat sank beneath the sea, it was so full of salt. That, the landfolk say, is why the sea is salty."
"Tell us some more landfolk tales!" the blue mergirl begged.
"And sing some landfolk songs!" an auburn haired merboy agreed.
"Now remember, if you wish to interact with the landfolk regularly, you must understand their customs, tales, and traditions." Melodisa cautioned the merchildren. "So when we return, I will be asking you what you remember from these songs and stories."