Journey to Another World 6
"NEXT!" A man called out which got me to turn towards him and make my way up to the counter. "Name please."
"Donovin." I stated simply which the man didn't reply, only write it down upon a blank form that he was filling out.
"Which events will you and your Pokemon be competing in?"
"Beauty and Dance." I replied with a confident grin on my face.
A few minutes of scribbling something down upon the paper later, he tore off the upper sheet and handed it to me. "Very well, here you go. Follow the yellow arrows down the ramp and wait for your number to be called." Before I could ask as to what my number was, he reached over the paper with a single finger and pointed to it in big bold numbers right on the very top. With a quick nod to the man behind the counter I turned and headed down the ramp to the underground staging area.
I was a little surprised to see that there wasn't really all that many people down here (As well as the place having an underground staging area). 'Must not be that many people competing this time around.' I thought, but smiled to myself as that'd give me an extra chance to talk with Undine before the competition. Choosing a corner that was fairly free of others that were grooming/beautifying their Pokemon, I pulled off Undine's ball and released her. Once she'd materialized, she looked about the room.
She seemed to be sizing up the competition a bit as she looked at the trainers then their Pokemon. After a while I saw her smirk a bit and knew that she'd come to her own conclusion about her competition. "There really isn't that much of a competition here against me." She said in a low voice that we'd agreed upon as not to cause a bit of a stir of shock when others that we didn't know were around. "I mean, at least make it a bit challenging for me..." She then trailed off as she began to scrutinize each trainer and Pokemon to the harshest degree possible.
While she did that, I too began to look about the room and size them up as well. My eyes weren't those of a judge, but it seemed choosing the intermediate class for this competition was the right one. 'Maybe I should've chosen a harder class for us to be in.' I thought to myself until I saw one of the trainers looking at us with a scornful look upon his face. He was defiantly not pleased with my selection of Pokemon, and by that look that he was giving us I could tell that his wasn't up to Undine's level of beauty. After a few more minutes he quickly turning back to his Vaporeon, busying himself with his task of trying to make his Pokemon stand out a little more and probably hoping that that would bring his Pokemon up to that of Undine's beauty.
A few other trainers entered into the room a while later and took out their Pokeball's as well to release their Pokemon and the breath quickly left my lungs as I looked upon their released Pokemon. 'Now this could prove to be a problem.' I thought as each of the new trainers that'd just come into the staging area had chosen to use Milotic's and each looked to be in a whole other class from Undine. It looked as if these Miltotics were specifically bred for their beauty and each knew how to flaunt it off. Slowly getting to my feet, I placed a hand upon Undine's neck and looked at each in turn. Many of the Milotics looked pretty much the same, so I chose to focus on the trainers instead.
Each looked almost exactly like the other except for age, and each looked to have a look of superiority in their stance and eyes. "They're probably from the same family, here to dominate the competition. Each on a mission to take home the trophies from each event and level of difficulty." I said as I looked up to Undine and I was a bit taken aback by the expression on her face. It was like a cross between anger/jealousy/and a small bit of something else that I couldn't place. 'This is not going to go according to plan, though it will be a nice chance to see how a goddess faces off another water goddess.' Nodding to that thought I turned and walked back to one of the private rooms and nodded for her to follow.
Once that we were both inside, I closed the door and locked it, making sure that we could have a conversation without anyone realizing that I actually had a Milotic that could talk. "I guess that you'll be having quite a bit more competition in this contest than we'd thought." I said to her but noticed that she was still looking towards the door and probably thinking of what lay beyond it. Walking over to stand beside her I placed a hand on the side of her neck and gave it a gentle rub. "Thinking about those other Milotic's?"
"Huh...what? Of course not. They don't stand a chance against...," She then trailed off in her own mind as if deeply worried about something. I didn't know what to say to that so I sat down on the bench in the room and looked up at her.
"The more that you think about those other Milotic's Undine, the more your going to concentrate on how they see you and distract you from what you should be concentrating on." I told her, which caused her to look over her shoulder at me. "Trust me, I know from experience, hard experience." I said with a bit of a laugh as well as rubbing a sore spot on my rump from an old mental reminder/memory.
"How do you know such?" She asked simply as she turned the rest of the way towards me.
"Simply put. I'm a sword fighter. I've been in a number of fights and brawls that I had to either teach that lesson to younger fighters, as well as learn that the hard way from when I was a novice myself." I said with a laugh as I would repeatedly smack the younger students over their heads with our practice swords when their attention would wonder on over to those that were looking/watching them fight. "They would worry so much about what the audience was thinking of themselves that I'd be able to simply walk on up to them and give them a nice smack to the head or rump, whichever I preferred at the time." A laugh escaped my lips at the memory.
"So, is that the reason that you brought me into this room...to tell me," She then turned towards the door for a moment, but before she could say more their came a nice hard pat/slap to the back of her head. "OUCH!"
"Exactly that. If you concentrate on how others perceive you, then you forget what your supposed to do. You'll forget your routine and make yourself look like a fool when you get up there on the stage." I then rubbed at the spot that I'd slapped, then gave it a gentle pat. "Just remember this lesson Undine and you should do fine." I said the last part in a caring tone then nodded up to her. She didn't look all that pleased about the smack to the head, but hopefully that would allow what I'd said to sink into her thick skull.
It was some time before we were going to be called up to perform for the judges and the two of us went over her routine time and again, looking for any ways to improve upon it, alter it to make it more flashy, and/or how best to please the judges in a way that they'd never seen before. 'It's a time like this that I kind of wish that I had seen one of those dog show contests. At least that way I'd know what the judges would be scrutinizing over and such.' "How do you feel Undine? Ready for the competition?" I asked as she began to look a little nervous.
"I feel as ready as I'll ever be. Though I don't really feel comfortable performing in front of all those people and cameras." She said as she looked towards the door.
I could tell that this was probably going to be a problem and stood up to place a hand on her cheek and rubbed it a little. "I guess I can see where your going with this." 'Though it's a bit out of character for her.' "I was like that too a bit when I first started learning how to fight with a sword." That got her to quickly turn to me and give me a piercing look.
"I sincerely doubt that the two are alike. Fighting and performing, are pretty much two different things." She said in a bit of an upset tone, as if she really didn't think the two were anywhere in the same...performance category.
"Now hold on Undine. Just think about that for a moment," I raised up my hands in a defending type of motion. "I didn't start out as good as I am. I had to learn from a few people how to do what I do and their were a lot of other people learning the same things at the same time."
"Sort of like a class, a class for sword fighting?" She asked in a confused voice, still not really seeing how the two things were alike.
"Sort of. Though we didn't have a classroom to learn, we learned how to fight in a park near where I lived. Mostly on the weekends to which there would be a lot of people there passing through the park at the time." I took a seat on the bench in the room and Undine came over to lay before me, almost like one of those times when your grandfather begins to tell you one of his old war stories when you were a child. "People would stop and stare at us while we would either be practicing or learning a new technique to fight. This would often cause a lot of the other students to constantly worry about how they looked to the onlookers."
"I bet you were the same as them, right?" She snicked at that, probably a thought of how I'd freeze up in the middle of a fight, only to have a practice sword come down on the top of my head and leave a lump there nearly six inches high.
"As a matter of a fact, no. I really didn't pay that much attention to the onlookers." Undine gave me a scrutinizing look as if she really didn't believe me. "It's true. I didn't pay them any attention." I paused for a bit, trying to remember the first time that I learned how to fight. "It was like...everything around me seemed to stop existing...nothing was out there but empty space...a dense fog or such that was so boring that you didn't care what was around you. The whole world stopped existing to me, other than the person right in front of me of course."
"So your saying that...I should just imagine that there's nothing out there and just pay attention to what I'm doing at the moment? It sounds so simple, but..." She was about to go on to more of what she was saying until their came a ruckus from the main room and the two of us quickly burst into it (Though the two of us trying to squeeze through the door at once was a bit comical). Once we untangled from each other and got into the room did we see that everyone was looking up at the monitor hanging from a wall mount and showing a horrible scene.
One of the other Milotics that'd come into the room earlier was up on the stage, throwing some kind of fit while shooting off Hydro Pumps towards the audience. Every once in a while the thing would stop in it's ranting/rage to show that it's eyes were completely bloodshot, which meant that it was completely out of control. Voices through the Television kept on screaming out to recall the thing, but that only seemed to be making the Milotic even more crazed. I turned to one of the other people in the room and asked him what had happened.
"It was all going so well too, that was until someone started a picture frenzy." He said as he quickly turned to look back at the screen. "Someone used a really bright flash from their camera that made the Milotic freeze up for a moment. Then everyone else decided to snap a few photographs as well." Another person said. "It was then that the Milotic began to freak out from the flashes, went into a panic, probably from all those flashing cameras." A final person said to which everyone agreed with to be he case/cause.
Looking back over my shoulder I could see that Undine was raised up a little over my head, and shaking a bit. I gave her a bit of a shove, to which she looked down at me with a bit of a scared look in her eyes, then I pointed back to the room. The two of us quickly retreated to the room that I closed and locked it right after we were both inside. "Now you see what I mean." Undine didn't say a word as she quickly coiled around herself and shrank into a corner of the small room.
"I don't want to go out there." She said in a frightened voice, to which I took a long sigh and nodded.
'I knew that this would happen. Dang spoiled brats are the same way. Once they get into a situation that they're unfamiliar with, they begin to shut down and start crying for their mommies. Very few ever rise up above the situation and overcome their fears or the situation.' I slowly walked over to her, lifted her tail that was covering over her head/eyes, then lifted her head level with mine. "Now you see what I was talking about. That Milotic got caught up on the fact that everyone was watching it and...freaked out." I ran my hands around her head for a moment until they were under her head and gave her chin a bit of a reassuring rub. "All you've got to do is do what I did when I first started fighting."
"This isn't one of your fighting matches Donovin. This is a..." Tears started to leak down her face and she quickly began to bawl.
To say the least, I was quite shocked. 'This is so not like her. I thought that she'd relish the idea of performing in front of everyone, so that they could see just how much of a goddess that she is. "You need to stop this Undine. Dwelling on the downside of this will not show everyone the goddess that you are." Undine stopped bawling for a bit as I took up her head in my arms and gave it a hug.
"Do you really think that I'm a goddess, Donovin?" She asked as she tried to hold back her tears for a moment.
"I wouldn't have given you that name if I thought otherwise." A smile crept across my face as I gave her a small peck on the top of her head. "I just hope that everyone else can see the beauty that I see."
"ATTENTION ALL TRAINERS THAT ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE BEAUTY CONTEST," A voice rang out making both Undine and myself jump. "There will be a 30 minute intermission before the next performance. Once again..." The speaker went over the whole thing again but it was lost to us as I walked over to the door and opened it to hear the whole staging area for the rest of the trainers was full of talk.
"I heard that one of the judges was injured when that other Milotic ran wild there on stage." One person said in the crowd. "I heard that it wasn't just one of the judges, but several in the stands were hurt as well." Another said which was quickly followed by several others voicing their own rumors about the situation. There was even one saying that they were not going to allow any more Milotic's into the competition or onto the stage. This didn't bode well for Undine, as she was still in a bit of an emotional/fragile state.
It was also at that time that a person wearing a head/microphone, carrying a clipboard, and seeming to stare down at the thing walked up beside me. "I'm afraid that we're going to have to ask, do you have any other Pokemon to perform for the beauty contest?" I quickly turned on the person to see that it was some young girl and didn't look all that interested in anything other than what was on her clipboard.
This got me a bit angry, but I could see the point that she was making, at least to that of asking me if I wanted or could use another Pokemon for that of the beauty contest. Slowly raising up a finger, I placed it on the tip of the clipboard that was closest to me, and pulled it down. The girl looked up at me as the clipboard was pulled down and I gave her a forced smile. "If your going to talk to someone about something, it's best to do so so they don't think they're not paying attention to you." I told her as I removed my glasses and stared down at her with my bright red eyes. "They feel it quite rude otherwise." The girls seemed to freeze up right then as she slowly looked up my body then stopped right at my eyes.
"Now that I have your undivided attention. Do you mind explaining why I have to use another Pokemon for my entry? She will not be pleased to hear the fact that all the effort that she put into her training for this day was for not, even more-so to the fact that her chances to perform were taken away from her." I asked her only to get her to answer with mumbles that I doubt that even someone with excellent hearing could pick up or understand. Sometimes putting another person out of their comfort zone really will get results. The girl stuttered for a while longer until I placed a hand on her shoulder and gave her a exhausted smile. "Look, I've worked really hard with her on her routine and I believe that she deserves a chance. If it would make you feel better, I'll...we'll go on last. That way everyone has had a chance to calm down a bit and forget about what happened earlier. Is that acceptable?" The girl nodded to that and slowly turned about to stay there for a moment, then just as quickly as she appeared, she dashed away.
Some time later, the last of the trainers exited the room and had their Pokemon perform. After which, it would be our turn and Undine still looked a bit uneasy about it all. "Just remember Undine. Focus on your routine and think of nothing else. The rest of the world is nothing but shadow, and you'll do just fine." She just gave me a bit of an uneasy smile, then nodded to me.
"Next we have Trainer Donovin, with his Pokemon....Undine." A loud voice spoke from somewhere which caused us both to nod to one another. Quickly recalling Undine, I re-adjusted my Renaissance outfit (As that was the only one that seemed snazzy enough for this kind of thing), then walked up the stairs to the stage. I emerged on the left side of the stage and looked out from behind the closed curtain. Many of the other trainers that'd gone before us were waiting in the stands, not wanting to miss the last live performance was most of their excuse to be there. Giving a nod to myself as if to acknowledge the fact of Undine's fear, I walked back to the center of the stage and took a knee. Wrapping my cloak a little around me so that it extended all the way out, I bowed my head so that my large feathered hat hid my face, and finally extended my left arm all the way out.
Once the curtain opened, I awaited a few moments until a soft Gospel/Gothic music began to play. The music sounded like a women was singing a wordless song that sounded both heavenly but also quite dark at the same time. "From the beautiful tropics of the Orange Islands, to the endless depths of that the abyss, a goddess was found. She has journeyed many a thousand leagues to be here today, to show you all...what it means that her kind is called, the goddess of the sea." I then rose up, keeping my face still hidden under my large hat, I made a flicking like motion with my left wrist, and a Pokeball appeared there. With a simple underhanded flick of the wrist, the ball sailed up and opened to spill it's light out just behind me. When Undine materialized out of the white light the whole audience was stunned to silence.
Undine had her head lowered a bit, so that it was laying over my right shoulder, and I reached under her head to rub her right cheek with my right arm. "You'll do fine Undine. Just remember what I told you." I whispered to her which she gave me a nod and a rub to my right cheek. With that said, I walked off the stage and waited there behind the curtains to the left of the stage. 'You can do this Undine. I have faith in you.'
Undine slowly rose up her head and opened her eyes. The music had just grown to a crescendo and Undine began to turn. She turned around and around, and while she turned her tail slowly began to take on a water like appearance (Aqua Tail). Once she'd twirled around for a while did people start to notice that a ring of water had started to appear where her tail reached out around her. The ring grew to a fairly large size, but what really caught many an eye was that the ring stayed floating around the air just above the stage, swirling about as if it could hover just above the floor. Once the ring of water was a fairly large size did she finally stop and cancel out her Aqua Tail. The ring hovered there for a while but Undine wasn't finished, as she brought around her tail and made it into a four bladed propeller.
Her tail began to spin at a slow pace at first, until it got up to speed and a small twister began to form it. Lowering her tail with the mini twister still going, she placed the twister into that of the ring of water and then pulled her tail away. Once the twister had touched that of the ring of water it instantly sucked up some of the rings water and turned itself into that of a cyclone. Though instead of just staying there, the waters ring began to turn the cyclone around and had it follow along the waters path around Undine. She repeated this three more times until there were four of the mini cyclones spinning on top of a much smaller ring of water.
Many of the audience ooh'd and aah'd at the mastery display of control but quickly grew silent again as Undine began to move again. She began to spin once again, along the same way that the water was turning, only to lower her head down to stay at the same speed as that of the water. Much of her face was hidden beyond her act, but what came next surprised everyone. Upon a rotation that came back around to face that of the audience a small blue ball popped up from the cyclone and happily bounced in and out of the top of the cyclones funnel. This was once again repeated several times, until each of the four cyclones had four of the small blue balls bouncing up and down on the cyclones. No words were spoken as several of the audience began to clap their approval of the spectacle.
I stepped out from behind the curtain, still making sure that my face was hidden under my large hat, then turned to face the audience. "And now...for the grand finale..." I said to which I raised up my right hand and snapped my fingers. It was then that a large gust of wind began to pick up and everyone turned to see where it was coming from. They turned back to Undine to see that a new twister had begun and this one seemed to have swallowed her up in itself. It was turning so fast that nothing could be seen of her but that of the twisting wind, though that in itself was not what really caught their eyes as they turned down to see that each of the four cyclones had grown in size and had reached three times their original height.
All at once the four cyclones tossed up their four spinning balls that were quickly swallowed up by the overly large twister and then quickly vanish within. The water that the four cyclones had was also swallowed up by the larger twister, now the swirling vortex had turned to a light blue with several dark blue balls swirling around in the mix. Finally the balls all came together at the top of the vortex, only to collide into a small explosion that blew away the twister and bathe the whole area in light blue glitter that swished out over the room. Undine continued to spin slightly where the center of the cyclone had been until she landed once again on the middle of the stage and opened her eyes to give out a melodious cry to the ceiling that matched the end of not only her performance, but also that of the music as well.
The cry seemed to shock everyone back to their senses as the whole room erupted into that of cheers, whistles, clapping, and overall approval of the performance that they'd just witnessed. Walking on over I stood beside Undine and the two of us took a formal bow to the audience, then we stood back up to give one another a large smile. "Thank you Donovin." She whispered to me to which I couldn't help but give her a smile as well as quickly wink. The two of us waved to the audience, (Though Undine did it with one of her ribbon like arms that were on top of her head) and we nodded to that of the judges.
"Impressive..." Said the first judge that looked an awful like that of Donald Trump. "Mesmerizing..." The second said who seemed to have a vague resemblance to Louie Anderson. "Truly worth the wait..." Said a Nurse Joy who I could easy see resembled that of the normal nurse Joy. "And there you have it folks," A voice said which caused both Undine and myself to turn and see someone that resembled that of the host to American Idol (To which for the life of me I couldn't remember). "Lets have another round of applause for Donovin and his goddess...Undine." The room erupted into that of applause once again and even that was added to as the whole audience got to their feet.
"Now don't you go anywhere folks, because right after this we'll have the dance competition right after these commercial messages." He said to which both of us ignored and waved to that of the audience in thanks for their approval of both our hard work.