Crystal

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Crystal

Post  yip9 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:52 am

Crystal

Disclaimer: I do not own (the copyright and elements of) the Wild ARMS series or Riviera: the Promised Land. In this story, 'Bright' Elsia Eleniak is to a degree based on Riruka Eleniaku. The name 'Elsia' is a creation of my close friend Andrew Ni. Other references to games, stories, etc. appear, and I acknowledge here that they are not my own invention. This story is for amusement, not profit, so why sue?

Author's Note: Please read with enjoyment and review if you wish, but if you write flames, do not expect a reply.

'Isn't that enough jabber? Perhaps we should start the story, eh?' queried the token mixosaurus.
Yes, indeed. Let us begin with

Halfsmile, who sat peacefully under the sakura tree, reading a book. As his mind was drifting in another world, he felt startled to feel a soft tap on his shoulder. 'Who are you?' he asked, without lifting his eyes from the page.
'I am Elsia Eleniak, the girl of your dreams,' came the musical reply.
'Nonsense,' Halfsmile commented with a smirk, 'the only dreams I have had lately were nightmares.'

Thinking that with that smart comment he had gotten rid of Elsia, albeit temporarily, our original character paused his reading and proceeded to introduce himself to you:

Greetings, my name is Halfsmile. On my home world people defer to me as Yip9, but here in Filgaia I am known as Halfsmile, Mercutio Halfsmile.

A bright light seemed to beam from the sakura blossoms overhead onto my book, and I smiled but continued reading as I thought, it sure is nice of the sun to shift in order to save me from going blind. Too late I noticed the light left four blue sparks on the corners of my book, which swiftly came together to form a lovely cone of blue ice spreading out from the book's binding. I set the text down and rolled my eyes. Yet I was not mad, for although my book was ruined my heart was reassured; when I stood up and looked to the northeast I saw a series of greenish-white sparks ascend in a vertical line into the clouds.

Bright Elsia, I thought. I sure am glad she understood my comment and reciprocated accordingly. I am extremely glad of this turn of events, and not only because I hate to see our friendship suffer, but because, well, to borrow a line from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, I love, I adore, Elsia.

Halfsmile sat back down and closed his eyes as a flashback took him to the time he had first met the 'girl of his dreams.'

*********

Now an interesting thing about yipyips is that they possess an understanding of all languages, yet speak only yipyi. Yipyips are sentient, furry quadrupeds, with some attributes of a cat and others of a dog. They usually have black, white, gray, or brown fur, and are quite happy without claws. Yipyips have long, furry tails that they style as they wish, and their ears resemble earmuffs.
Yip9 sat at his desk in his room, studiously completing his mathematics homework at a snail's pace. Suddenly the door burst open and two messengers dashed in.
'Sir! Sir! It's urgent!' the first messenger exclaimed.
'Your Majesty,' the second messenger began in a hurry but was interrupted.
'Did I not issue an official order that I was not to be called that?' rebuked Yip9. 'Do not forget that I am a dictator, not a king! Anyway, what seems to be the trouble?'
'The yipyips are rioting!' both messengers announced at once.
'Eh?' queried Yip9.
'There are riots all over Yipyip Tundra. The yipyips are in uproar on account of a breach in lawfulness and tradition which the law enforcement patrol is at a loss to deal with.'
Just as the messengers finished speaking, a platinum emblem in the shape of a yipyip on the wall above Yip9's desk flashed fluorescent blue. Yip9 stood up and pressed the emblem as if it were a button, and a hologram of a black, man-sized initiator ant surrounded by yipyips appeared.
'Ultra-Ant, Royal Advisor of Military Action,' Yip9 hailed his loyal administrative comrade, 'Please promptly inform me of the situation.'
'Two days ago, a young teenage girl appeared in mid-air over Yipyip Tundra and descended onto the back of a large yipyip. The yipyip yipped in surprise, and as it is a good law-abiding citizen of the area, immediately summoned three yipyips on duty for the local law enforcement patrol. In response to their inquisitive yipping, the girl apologized for her intrusion and requested a couple jelly rolls. While the yipyip who was not on patrol zipped off to fetch a batch for the girl to eat during her trip back to wherever she came from, the remaining three yipyips attempted to explain to her why she had to make her return trip as soon as possible. However, just as these yipyips were trying to figure out whether to attempt communication in yipyi or find someone to translate, a blue aura encircled the tip of this weird umbrella that the girl is carrying. The three yipyips jumped back in surprise, and figuring that this girl was more than they could handle alone, attempted to delay her by soaking her with Yip Stream. Unfortunately, right before our yipyips could execute their combination Special Attack, the lass pointed her umbrella in their direction and covered the yipyips in a 3D reddish-orange semicircle, which then seemed to shatter with the sound of glass. After the first yipyip returned with a pack of freshly-baked jelly rolls and the Special Attack still had not begun, the patrolling yipyips were amazed and conversed excitedly in yipyi, relating the strange occurrence to their fellow yipyip. All four yipyips bowed to the damsel and zipped off to the Yipyip Tundra Reference Point, where they set up communications with your servant. Both the intelligence anthill and the yipyip colony are at a loss of any effective plan of action, thus I have decided to present the matter as a court case to you, benevolent dictator.'
'Did you question the intruding girl?' Yip9 asked the obvious question.
'Indeed. She was very grateful for the jelly rolls, yet she claims that she in no way harmed the yipyips, but was merely defending herself from the yipyip patrol's skill,' expounded the Royal Advisor as she clacked her mandibles.
'In that case, why did you not simply gather the entire yipyip colony and simply blast the young lady out of the area with a sound yipping?'
'Now that is a primary reason why the riots are occurring in Yipyip Tundra. We tried this technique, but the sound wave simply bounced back,' explained Ultra-Ant as she shifted her antennae as if she were trying to sense a solution.
'I have not heard of anything this unusual since the invasion of Dr. Bribble,' replied the curious boy ruler. 'I am quite excited and will be right over to investigate. As always, I am grateful for your humble assistance and advice.'
Yip9 held up a gold coin engraved with a youzi (that is, a pomelo/pummelo), shimmered, and disappeared.
He landed softly on the snowy turf of Yipyip Tundra and walked over to address the young woman who seemed to have caused the aforementioned uproar. 'Greetings, I am Mercutio Halfsmile, the ruler of this fair land. I hope you have enjoyed the hospitality of our yipyips, but I must ask you to immediately depart.'
The lass smiled up at him, her glowing jade eyes locking with his determined brown ones. 'My name is Elsia Eleniak. Pleased to meet your acquaintance. I arrived in your country by a complete accident. I still haven't got the hang of those Teleport Gems.'
[Our Youzi Coins are the only efficient teleporting devices around,] thought Halfsmile with a smirk.
'I'm quite ready to return to Filgaia if you would show me the way,' Elsia continued, 'but I would really like to know. Why must I leave so soon?'
'It is simply the law here, Elsia,' intoned Halfsmile. 'You see, this sort of legal enforcement is the only way I see that anything close to a paradise in the physical universe can exist. Unmarried females are prohibited from entrance into this area, for the reason that I cannot stand my region to be filled with romance, dating, marriages, broken hearts, and all that kind of nonsense. I want, at all costs, to prevent this land from becoming like Earth, or even like your Filgaia.'
'I think that is a terrible law, Mercutio,' Elsia stated. Her listeners gasped, astounded that anyone, even a stranger, would dare to say such a thing. 'You have noble aspirations, but this is the wrong way of fulfilling them.'
'If,' murmured Halfsmile as he broke his gaze from Elsia's and strode backward nine paces. He twirl jumped 180 degrees and ran straight at Elsia with a look of intense concentration and his fists raised. Elsia's eyes widened as the world seemed to shatter.

<BATTLE>

Mercutio Halfsmile VS. Elsia Eleniak
Level 50 Level 56
3204 HP 3009 HP
BladeGuard Gloves Bow Parasol
Fruit Ring Reflex
Black Robe Mist Blazer
Astro Hat Moon Pin

Mercutio
takes advantage of Elsia's surprise and attacks first. He continues his rush toward Elsia, but unable to bring himself to smash her face, socks her in the shoulder instead.

Elsia
runs forward and opens her umbrella on Mercutio.

Mercutio (snickers): 'That's your primary physical attack?'

Elsia
tries to smile mysteriously, but her expression just ends up looking cute.
Elsia: [Well, perhaps I didn't jab Mercutio hard with the parasol's tip. Why harm my opponent if I might be able to win without doing so?]

Mercutio
A turquoise ellipse spins away from him as a pianissimo trumpet blast sounds.
Level 3: Special Idea
Mercutio closes his eyes and appears to concentrate for about five seconds. He then opens his eyes and lifts his right arm with his first three fingers raised in a triangular shape. Once electric sparks zap around and through the space between his fingers, Mercutio takes a step forward and holds both fists in front of him, arms stretched forward full length. He extends the little finger of each hand, from whence two small cyan jolts streak toward Elsia.

Elsia <Gear aid>
A fluorescent green rectangular prism surrounds Elsia.
Inspire
The thunder rolls and is accompanied by a yellow jolt of lightning which strikes Mercutio, then spreads out into a circular form around him.
Mercutio: [Ah, just as I suspected. This explains why the sound wave simply bounced back when the yipyips tried to blast Elsia out of the area with a sound yipping.]

Elsia: [Well, since Mercutio is from an icy region, perhaps the cold has gotten to his heart. But at the same time, he seems to be an idealist. It's a potentially dangerous combination!]
Elsia lifts her parasol at a 2 o'clock angular position above her head at arm's length, spins the umbrella in a wide diameter circular formation, lowers her arm to cross her heart, and then raises her parasol back to the original position.
Crystal
A ring of sparks resembling blue-white light surrounds Mercutio and advances toward him. When these photons, which resemble fuzzy, glistening, three-dimensional snowflakes without holes, come within 40 centimeters of Mercutio, they suddenly halt. Each pair of sparks projects a triangular gleam of cyan light; these shafts converge in a single point, encasing Mercutio in a cool and increasingly cold hexagonal pyramid of light blue ice. Mercutio turns blue himself for a brief moment, then is thrust outside the spectacle, which is unaffected in shape yet a second later shatters into hundreds of clear trapezoids and disappears.
Mercutio: 'Elsia, you are really something.'
Elsia: 'What do you mean?'
Mercutio: 'For example, the Crystal you just performed was the most original and well-orchestrated Special Attack I have ever witnessed.'
Elsia simply closes her luminous jade eyes as a thankful grin spreads across her face.

Mercutio
looks down, raises his clenched fists within centimeters of his face, and closes his eyes.
Up Yip
An orb of transparent cyan light surrounds Mercutio and swirls like the sea in rapid longitudinal waves. Once the orb dissipates, Mercutio leaps into the air with both arms outstretched, shouting 'Yip!'

Elsia: 'I'm glad to see that you have a less serious side as well, Mercutio.'
Mercutio: 'My opponent, I assume you realize that that ability is not a joke, but has beneficial effects. Please hereinafter refer to me by my surname.'
Elsia: 'Okay, if you will simply call me Elsia.'
Mercutio: 'What is your favorite legend, Elsia?'
Elsia: 'A Filgaian legend about Justin and Pooka: One day a short, oddly-clad woman with long, jet black hair arrived at Meria, one of the Towns to the Western Winds. She was pregnant and bore a staff of cypress with an object at the end which resembled a silver star.'

Elsia
performs a complex twirl of her Bow Parasol. Her bright jade eyes sparkle. Mercutio will not admit it at this point, but he thinks Elsia is tolerable with uncommonly fine eyes.
Stareon
A translucent-white light suddenly explodes right in front of Mercutio. This Clear Tsap has a perfectly circular base which spreads out until it fades. The explosion is shaped like a domed polygon. Mercutio is knocked down and nine stars of various designs, all mote-sized, and all a brilliant silver, orbit his range of vision.
Elsia (laughs): 'The star looked like one of those. I don't quite remember which, so please take your pick. The stranger soon discovered an effective way to earn her living and became a well-known and well-loved member of the town, due to her lovely personality and her ability to predict and sometimes influence the weather.'

Mercutio
half-smiles. 'It is more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be.' Mercutio claps, punches each palm with the fist of the other hand, raises his arms, then lowers them in an 'X' motion. 'Do you think it will rain?'
Water Gun
A current of pure water sprays from Mercutio's hands at a 57 degree angle into the air. The droplets descend upon Elsia, but she decides to use her Bow Parasol as if it were an umbrella.

Elsia <Counterattack>
spins around, whirling the water trickling down her parasol back at Mercutio.

Mercutio <Gear aid>
stretches his mouth so wide, it is hard to tell whether his expression is a smile or a frown. Mercutio raises the index finger of his right hand. A Fruit Ring, a white gold band inscribed with symbols, protects its bearer by causing the water to evaporate as it touches him.

Elsia: 'The woman gave birth to a son, who grew up in Meria. His name is Justin. Pooka, a special creature who has the gift to change its form into almost anything, is his close friend. While some people know Justin as the youngest Elder of Baskar and others know Justin as the mystical biologist, I just know him as a close friend. Personal legends are the best ones.'
Bright
Elsia raises her parasol. Violet light beams onto the top of her umbrella, then cascades down and disappears as it touches her. Elsia's Moon Pin accentuates the effect.

Mercutio
clumsily jumps 360 degrees, then lifts his right arm to the side of his face, with the back of his hand facing Elsia and his fist unclenched.
Mercutio: 'Here's my trump card.'

Out of nowhere, a young woman with bat-like wings wielding a huge blue scythe appears. Both Mercutio and Elsia seem quite surprised to see her.
Serene: 'Is it necessary to copy the intro to my Over Drives? Halfsmile, do you realize that since the beginning of the story you have been quoting right and left? Don't you have any originality and creativity of your own?'

Mercutio: 'Nay, Lady Serene, in sooth I am but a novice, who lacking innovation, can only quote the experts.'

Serene appears a bit mollified. She takes an orange-colored, crunchy fruit out of a pocket and snacks with gusto. Taking to the skies to leave, Serene admonishes Elsia.
Serene: 'Make sure you teach him a lesson.'

Elsia (smiles): [I wonder if that is why I ended up here.]

Mercutio
The broken star on his Astro Hat faintly sparkles.
Super If
While uttering 'If?' thrice, Mercutio brings the three central fingers of his right hand together and diagonally moves his right arm downward, upward, then straight across. During the first If, a cyan beam of light shines in the motion of a diagonally downward slash, the second If is accompanied by a forest green upward-shining beam, and the third If is paired with a level arc of brilliant white light.

Elsia <Gear aid>
As before, a lime green cubic polygon of light envelops Elsia. All three Ifs with their respective photons reverse direction and plummet into Mercutio. Neither Elsia nor Mercutio looks surprised in the least.

Elsia
A topaz brilliance shines down from her to the ground, where it dissipates in a horizontal oval.
Level 1: Mystic
Elsia leaps, tossing a fruit into the mint-hued heavens above Yip's Isle.
Heal Berry
Elsia, Halfsmile, and all the residents of Yipyip Tundra find a delicious berry in their mouths, which when eaten, leaves them feeling refreshed.

Mercutio
opens a tome.
Mercutio: 'This should be amusing.'
Mimic Daravon
Mercutio quotes once again, and Ultra-Ant helps him out by reciting the lines of his interlocutor.
Romeo: 'I had a dream last night.'
Mercutio: 'and so did I.'
Romeo: 'Well, what was yours?'
Mercutio: 'That dreamers often lie.'
Romeo: 'in bed asleep, while they do dream things true.'
Mercutio: 'I see that Queen Mab hath been with you.'
Mercutio performs the soliloquy in fine style (remainder omitted).
The majority of the audience of yipyips and even UltraAnt fall asleep, but Elsia remains as bright and energetic as before.

The bard of Elizabethan England makes a cameo: 'Peace, Mercutio, peace. Thou talkst of nothing.'
Mercutio: 'True, I talk of dreams, which are the creations of an idle brain, begot of nothing but vain fantasy, which is as thin of substance as the air, and more inconstant than the wind.'
William Shakespeare shakes a spear at Mercutio in reprimand and exits stage right.

Elsia takes a cylindrical, isosceles-triangular orange root with short, thin green leaves at its flat top from a pocket of her blazer.
Full Carrot
Elsia hops and the vegetable sparkles. She crunches it down without hurry.
Elsia: 'Not as tasty as jelly rolls, but then nothing is.'

Mercutio: [What is she doing?] He shrugs. [Pleasant is the anachronistic memory of Geology of the Black Hills. I shall utilize a specimen of my rock collection.]
Mercutio
draws out a hard, rectangular, rhombus-like object from the folds of his robe. He tosses it into the air with a backspin.
Porphyritic Rhyolite
The grayish felsic rock triples in size, then swoops down toward Elsia. Right before impact, it disappears in a blue-purple burst. Elsia windmills her arms once as she almost loses her balance, but retains it and skips back into her normal stance, parasol at the ready.
Mercutio (somewhat arrogantly): 'Heh. I did not think she could reflect that one.'

Elsia: 'If I didn't know better, I would say you are having fun.'
Mercutio: 'Hogwash. Having fun would not be a good idea in this situation.'
Elsia: 'Why not?'
A Wynaut pops out of its Poke Ball and uses Counter, sending Mercutio flying.

Mercutio (gets up): 'Because if you allow your opponent a moment a moment of pity, he may stick a knife in your gut.'
Elsia (looks into his eyes): 'Oh, be quiet. We both know that doesn't reflect the current situation at all.'
Mercutio: 'Besides, I can't go around all buddy-buddy with cute girls. I have a reputation to keep up.'

Mercutio: 'Now, I believe I have a Wynaut to take care of.'
Provoke
Mercutio extends a scrumptious fruit toward the Wynaut, but as the Wynaut opens its mouth happily and reaches for the tasty object, Mercutio yanks it out of reach and taunts, 'I got a Watmel Berry and you ain't got one! You're a stupid excuse for a Wynaut, having only hatched without ever having been to Mirage Island. Indeed, you'll never evolve because you're too silly to reach level 15. Hee haw and merry Christmas!'

The Wynaut first droops, then turns magenta in righteous wrath. 'Mwahaha,' growly-laughs the bright girl-summoned Bright Pokemon, having gone berserk. It thwacks the self-declared dictator good and hard.

Mercutio (snickers): 'Just as planned.'
He raises his right arm to cross his heart. Mint sparks twirl about his extended three central fingers as he swings down his arm at a forty-five degree angle.
Yip Counterattack
The watching yipyips recognize the technique's intro and begin yipping excitedly. This is just what Mercutio needs, as the yip energy flips the Wynaut into the air with anti-gravity, spins it around with sound waves, and drops it unceremoniously into a large snowball, feet and tail wiggling comically.

Elsia: 'Halfsmile, I'd like to show you a special technique I rather enjoy.'
Deep blue like the mid-depth of the sea gently flows away from around Elsia. A low note of a flute is heard by the onlookers.
Level 9: Dual Combination
Elsia raises her right arm at an angle where her arm crosses her upper torso and her parasol extends past her shoulder. A large violet five-point star, looking as if it had been drawn by a pencil of light, encircled as if by a thin line, appears directly in front of Elsia as a disc balanced on its edge, the flat sides facing Elsia and Mercutio while separating them. As the encircled star fades, Elsia swings her arm in the opposite direction.
Caloric Nova
A lovely iridescent explosion of great size is accompanied by a sound perhaps originating from Filgaia and then a bar of music a trombone might play. Mercutio involuntarily soars backward, his body twirling through the air. As he lands and raises himself to one knee, breathing heavily, he utters a word to Elsia.
Mercutio: 'You are right. That move was indeed impressive. It seems I have underestimated my opponent.'
Elsia: 'Halfsmile, did I calculate that wrong? Are you alright?'
Halfsmile is grateful for Elsia's concern, but he would not admit that.
Mercutio: 'I am not injured in the least. I am merely a bit shocked.'

Elsia: 'Halfsmile, I'm curious,'

Mercutio (interrupts): 'It is a good thing you are not a cat.'

Elsia (giggles): 'If your area prohibits both unmarried females and marriage, what keeps the yipyips from dying out?'

Mercutio: 'Please observe.'
With the mezzo forte blast of a trumpet, a teal ellipse spins away from the self-styled dictator of Yip's Isle.
Level 7: Allies to the Cause
Halfsmile (announces): 'Yi qi!'
One of the politely observing yipyips jumps into the match and greets its master-friend and Elsia with a pleasant yipping.
Asexual Repro
The yipyip looks into the sky and yips thrice. With a 'ssh-zsou' two fully-grown yipyips are there next to it.
Mercutio: 'Now there are 3 yipyips. How yipful.'
Elsia: 'I don't quite get it.'
Mercutio: 'How should I explain? You see, it's tidly.'
Elsia: 'This place sure has some intriguing words. I agree, tidly it is.'
Mercutio: 'I suppose you do not mind if these grand creatures help me out?'
Mercutio looks into Elsia's eyes, which like those of any well-trained fighter, have always kept watch on her opponent. Despite the current odds being four versus one, Elsia exudes an aura like that of a cat relaxing on a lazy summer's day, without a care in the world.
Mercutio: [A man could drown in those pools of lime emerald and die happy.]
Elsia (smiles happily): 'Do whatever you like.'

The newly produced yipyips notice Elsia's Mist Blazer, which is colored a pastel green with a patch of azure diamond down the front. The yipful animals appraise that it is fairly thick, long, and well-designed for Yipyip Tundra's arctic climate, and yip approvingly. Mercutio would not bother to pay attention to something like that.
Yip Through
Each of the three yipyips rapidly yips. The sound waves become visible as they approach Elsia. Elsia's green prism of light surrounds her. Suddenly time seems to stop.

Mercutio <Gear aid>
stretches out his hands. His BladeGuard Gloves disintegrate. He takes of his Fruit Ring and throws it vertically above him.
Mercutio: 'With the wisdom of Yipyip Tundra, Citrus Burst!'
Beams of light with all the colors of the rainbow shine out from the Fruit Ring, then it vanishes. A youzi appears at the point of impact between Elsia's prism of reflection and the sound waves caused by the yipyips' yipping. The youzi splits open, the sound waves dissipate, and Elsia's prism seems to shatter. Elsia finds that her Reflex is gone.
The trio of yipyips bow and retreat to the sidelines.

Hector of Asgard makes a dramatic entrance.
Hector: 'I am the greatest of the Seven Magi. You dare to make fun of my most powerful technique? Then you shall face it.'
Elsia (cries out): 'Halfsmile, did you forget Serene's warning?'
Hector's voice assumes a bit of a drawl and drips with insincere politeness.
Hector: 'Dear lady, please allow me to,'
All semblance of politeness disappears from his tone.
Hector: 'kill this idiot.'

While, aside from Halfsmile's first attack, both Halfsmile and Elsia have not hurt each other in the least, it is obvious that Hector is serious.
Mercutio: 'Nice knowing you, Elsia, if only for a moment.'

Hector: 'Enough chatter. Fall before me.'
Hector doesn't even bother to perform a fun or cool-looking setup.
Hector: 'With the wisdom of the Magi, Ether Burst!'
A gigantic purple orb surrounds Hector. Black flames streak toward Halfsmile. What resemble triangular polygons emerge in front of Halfsmile and all this simultaneously envelops Hector's target to crush him in a deadly explosion.

Mercutio (shouts his last words to his subjects): 'Follow the Holy One no matter what!'

Elsia (rapidly): [I've always been terrible at teleporting and I don't know if it's even possible to teleport accurately over a short distance to a specific point, but when it really matters,]
Teleport Gem
A millisecond prior to impact, Elsia teleports in front of Halfsmile and receives the full force of the attack. Elsia collapses, lying on her side in the snow. Hector disappears.

Elsia
opens her eyes long enough to weakly breathe out
Elsia: 'As you said, Mercutio.'
Elsia closes her eyes and does not open them again.

</BATTLE Mercutio_Halfsmile's favor>

Yip9 stood at the spot of Elsia's collapse in shock. He felt unable to say or do anything for what seemed like several hours. As the yipyips of the Tundra and the ants of its supportive colony began to surround the two, hoping to be of some assistance, Yip9 swept his gaze among them and uttered in a choking voice, 'Give her space. Summon the medical party immediately.' The yipyips most skilled in healing administered aid to their utmost, but it was of no avail. In desperation, even an ice snail and a White Yoshi were teleported in by Youzi Coin, but their joint efforts likewise had no beneficial effect. The girl never stirred.
Yip9 knelt by Elsia's side and wept. After a while he whispered, 'I see now. Self-sacrifice for the sake of another is the greatest love.' Yip9 stood up, turned his back on the scene, threw a Youzi Coin to the four winds and vanished, leaving behind a final teardrop.

*********

'Yeah, so that's how it was,' mused Halfsmile as he opened his eyes. The fellow turned back to his book, hoping the ice had melted. As it had not and did not look like it was going to melt any time soon, Halfsmile sighed, pulled out another book, and dove into the world created by its pages. After a few minutes his ears perked up and he turned his attention to you.

What's that you say? So if my memory is true, why was Elsia here just a moment ago?

Halfsmile smirked as he answered,

Wouldn't you like to know?

He proceeded to engross himself in his reading. From behind the scene, a rather odd-looking dinosaur popped into view. 'Ah, Halfsmile, isn't that unkind?'
Halfsmile was either so involved in the world of the text that the question of the newcomer did not even register in his consciousness, or he was deliberately ignoring the questioner. The dinosaur rolled his eyes and shifted his field of vision.

I leave the choice to you. If you wish to journey elsewhere, please travel with a tailwind.

A lid lifted from the dinosaur's back and a platter rose out of the corresponding compartment and floated over to you. Set atop the platter was a green, thick-skinned citrus fruit.

Please enjoy this on the way. May the blessing of the Holy One be your constant companion.

He paused, smiling.

Or you could stay, if curiosity remains in you. I will do my best to satisfy it by alleviating possible suspense.

The green creature indicated the fruit, saying,

In that case, word on the street has it items such as this youzi increase one's enjoyment while listening to a story.

*********

'What in the name of Mist Pinnacle are you?' exclaimed a yipyip, who was shocked by the feeling of newness at seeing a dinosaur-like creature with wheels instead of feet and what looked like a food processor on its back.
'I'm a mixosaurus.'
'You don't look anything like an apatosaurus.'
'Well, that's because I'm a mixosaurus.'
'And you do not seem fierce enough to be a tyrannosaurus.'
'Like I said, I'm a mixosaurus.'
'But I thought Brontosaurus was a fake.'
'It was, but the mixosauri are alive and well.'
'The gao gao stegosauri are are alive and well? Misuzu will be so happy to hear that.'
The mixosaurus, who was no idiot, recognized that it was now unmistakably clear that either the foreign fluffy thing before him was just having fun, or it was almost deaf. To determine which it was, and to give the writer a chance to quote Lewis Carroll, he said it very loud and clear; he went and shouted in its ear, 'My name is Choice. I'm a mixosaur, not a brontosaur, stegosaur, tyrannosaur, apatosaur, or bulbasaur. What are you? What is your name?'
'I've always wanted to meet a thesaurus.'
Choice rolled his eyes, but refrained from further word or action.
The yipyip continued, 'I'm a yipyip by species and somewhat of a jester by nature. I hope I didn't offend you. Although if you thought I was deaf, you weren't too far off. My name's Blue Anvil, from the color of my fur and my industry. My thick head can withstand just about any blow, but as you can imagine, since I am on the receiving end of hammers and such every work day, my hearing's not too good.'
'What would be necessary to forge on a frozen mountain such as this?'
'It's not “necessary” so much as “habit.” Before we yipyips realized that freely giving anyone whatever it needed, and within reason, what it wanted was the best way to run an economy, we used to barter. King Yipyip IV improved that inefficient system by introducing the refinement of ore from the streams of the Silver River that used to flow down the mountain into the Yip-fish Sea. A fair amount of this silver was solidified and hammered into coins.'
'So you choose to maintain an outmoded practice out of habit?'
'More or less. It's fun to give silver coins out to unsuspecting tourists and jabber about Mount Yipyip's history.' The blue-furred creature yipped in surprise as a spot on its left earmuff-shaped auricle flashed the color of the sun at midday. It withdrew a wire from between its twin tails and examined it. 'Tut tut, looks like rain.'
'It seems you craft items besides coins in your forge.'
'Yes, indeed. Our guild is blessed with the gift of invention. We yipyips eagerly look forward to the prospect of precipitation, especially on the nearby Yipyip Tundra.'
'Ah, Blue Anvil, wait a minute.'
'Yip?'
'Do you have the recipe for that weather-detecting device?'
'Well, in the forge we don't really make things by recipe, but I could write out the procedure for you.'
'It would be much appreciated.'
The yipyip withdrew a silver pencil from a pocket of fur, grasped the implement in its tails, and scratched out a description of the device's method of formation on the frozen ground. The mixosaurus observed the text carefully, leaned back on his hind wheels for a second, then lurched forward and shot out his tongue, throughly licking the inscription on the icy terrain. Choice swallowed, and the patch of ground returned to its original state, looking just as if it had been neither inscribed upon nor licked.
'It's a delicious choice,' commented the mixosaur happily. Confusion registered on the face of the observing yipyip. The food processor-like contraption of the mixosaurus' back whirled in rapid activity. The lid opened and out popped an item resembling a small blue dome. Choice asked for Blue Anvil's weather-detecting device and plugged the wire into the side of the dome while inserting the implants previously in the yipyip's ears into two of the lime-colored blunted spikes atop his neck. 'There appears to be something very unusual about this report of precipitation,' explained the mixosaurus.
Choice rolled back a few paces, revved his wheels, shot up into the pastel-green sky in a back flip, and slammed down onto the blue dome-like object. The object glowed with the seven colors of the rainbow and the mixosaur's two spines with implants pulsated. The dinosaur's eyes swirled and he flopped onto his stomach, immediately drifting off to sleep. Blue Anvil examined the wire's readout. 'No wonder Choice was suspicious,' it yipped, 'this report of precipitation seems to indicate a regular storm brewing on another planet.'
Yip9 plummeted face-first into the snow. Shivering, he plucked himself out, wiped himself off, stuffed his hands into the pockets of his robe, and conducted a one-manned observation of the area. Seeing nothing but snow and ice in all directions, he picked a direction and started walking, eventually coming to a place where tiny droplets, finer and less wet than rain, but not cold or like snow, and barely visible, cascaded down his face in continuous waves. The snow and ice on the ground ahead became colored with light blues and pastel greens which matched the sky. 'Today is my lucky day,' smiled Yip9. 'Mist Pinnacle.'
At the foot of the peak grew a deep green round-leafed shrub. As Yip9 came in sight of it, a hazel furred yipyip with bright eyes and a fluffy tail decorated with a pink bow bounded over to him. 'Mei!' Yip9 exclaimed happily, 'How goes the war?'
'Excellently well, so please your worship,' yipped Mei in an equally pleased tone. 'Remember the pattern?'
'That may well be the case,' answered Yip9, patting Mei's head and stroking its back. It rubbed against his leg and purred. After a minute, the pair raced each other over to the shrub, Mei winning easily. Yip9 pressed seven specific leaves of the plant in a specific order. The shrub shimmered, and the fellow and his yipyip promptly fell through a trap door, landing on a well-padded spring.
Yip9 went straightaway to his desk and became lost in his thoughts, his expression cloudy.
His yipyip noticed and placed a paw on his knee. 'Master, everything okay?' it yipped in concern.
'Elsia,' sighed Yip9, looking like he was about to cry.
Mei decided it was a matter of girl trouble and didn't pry further.
The honored ally and guest of Mount Yipyip, benevolent dictator of Yipyip Tundra was reduced to the state of a cow chewing her cud. He ruminated for days on end, subsisting on watercress Mei provided. When his body wore out his head would suddenly flop onto his desk and he would catch a precious few Z's. His dreams were filled with deep jade eyes, a bright smile, a beyond perfect ice crystal, and a twirling umbrella. He kept coming back to the same refrain: Elsia is so lovely. Our match was a dancing dream. Why did my innocent references lead to a tragic end? It just figures that I quoted the wrong guy. Elsia gave her life for me. Can I forgive myself for what happened to her? If only I could do something for her in return.
Eventually, Mei surmised its master needed a better rest and pried him off his desk chair and rolled him onto the study's comfortable tatami. The yip-ruling youth slept for fourteen hours straight and awoke to a pungent citrus odor. 'You can't live on only watercress,' pronounced Mei gently. 'Your efficacy, please ingest icemelon for its frigid nutritional benefits and youzi because this is the Grove of Repose, a relaxing place for us,' it suggested.
Yip9 took both with a grin. 'It's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Mei, have you ever heard of the name “Eleniak?”'
'Of course,' Mei yipped, 'You've been sleep talking all about Elsia Eleniak this and Eleniak Elsia that.'
Yip9 smiled, 'Where can I find more Eleniak jazz?'
'On Filgaia,' Mei offered. 'Here, I'll fetch your files on that planet.'
Yip9 face palmed. 'I didn't know that planet existed until the bright girl mentioned it,' he muttered.
Deducing that 'the bright girl' was a title its master bestowed on Elsia, Mei fetched the files in rapid time to best assist the smitten lad.
Yip9 sifted through the documents in fine snail fashion. 'Justin Rhymeless, youngest elder of Baskar, with his purple selfless item-gathering and shape-shifting Pooka, didn't Elsia mention him, Full Carrot, an item that maxes out the force points bar, so that's what Elsia was eating, Heal Berry, so that was the tasty tidbit she mystically shared us, Mystic, so that's how she shared it with the whole tundra at once, Reflex, ah, so it reflects. That makes sense. Sad how the removal of such marvelous, annoyingly super-cool gear – I did want to win the fight and kick Elsia out of my domain, and that was the only way,' he paused in thought, 'or did I at all? Maybe once our battle became a game I didn't want to stop, I just wanted to level her fortress so I could show off more special attacks without them being flung back in my face. So was it my arrogance that led to her death?' he trailed off, his voice shaky.
Mei tried to comfort him, 'Don't cry, your Yiposity, I'm sure the bright girl loves you.'
'She indeed knows how to display charity,' agreed Yip9 sadly.
'Besides, aren't you missing something?'
'Ah,' he replied, humming the bars that accompanied the syllable. 'It's just that my gear disabling special attack has the wrong name and I added the wrong intro, and I didn't expect the creep to show up and take it the wrong way.'
'Go, Yip9!' cheered Mei, 'Now you're looking at things in a yipful light. The bright girl would be happy to watch you.'
'Still,' he sighed, 'Elsia would be sprightly today if it weren't for me. I wish I could do something to return her kindness.' He resumed flipping through the Filgaian files. 'Raypoint Flam, here one can face a protector knight that wields Caloric Nova, that was the tubular special attack Elsia performed with her Dual Combination, and acquire the Bow Parasol, that was the one she was carrying. Anything else about parasols? It's not every day you see folk using them as weapons. Sunshade, Flumrella, Mumbrella, Dumbrella, Geranium, Elf Parasol, Mumbrella, Pixy Parasol, Happy Parasol, Pulbo Calbo, and the ultra rare Black Queen, I guess they are more common as a weapon on that planet, but where do you learn to use one effectively? For all I know, Elsia was just having fun the way she waved hers about. Aha, here we go, something useful at last. The Eleniak school of umbrella-fu resides in the Sielje region, home of special abilities, snow, and ice; it's a virtual igloo. I could get along there,' he smiled, 'and that may be why Elsia seemed so at home in Yipyip Tundra.'
'I could use a break,' he said with a grin, 'Mei, is there anything else to read? And please get me a glass of youzi tea.'
'Here's the Astro Gazette, my lord,' yipped Mei, bringing Yip9 the drink and publication.
'Very good, my vassal,' he said approvingly, taking to tea and text as his yippy servant stretched out for a catnap on the tatami. 'Snowball survives for a solid three days in Draco's Fireball, that's amusing, Someplace Or Other seems dormant, that's a relief, and heavy clouds over Filgaia. Filgaia? Let me look into that. A storm has just begun to brew in Filgaia, a regular deluge, winds have begun to pick up too. The report isn't too specific, but it looks like time could greatly aggravate the situation. I don't want this to become anywhere near as bad as Corderia's spell. We aren't spinning colored panels to make chains and combos here. Mei, we haven't a moment to lose! We must set up formal communications with your area.'
Mei awoke with a 'Wei-nyaa,' and reminded him, 'Yip's Isle and Mount Yipyip are already staunch allies, good sir.'
'Yes, yes, I've heard that before. Where's my hat?'
'You're wearing it, big brother. Your Youzi Coin is in your robe's lower right pocket.'
'Take care, Mei,'
'It's been pleasant, kind ruler. Have a yipful journey.'
'Go with the Holy One,' they said together in parting, as Yip9 gave a Youzi Coin a vertical toss and disappeared.
Its royal majesty Wahng IX wasn't the kind of king who spent half its time sitting on a throne. It found that dull as a pencil used to write a twelve page essay without breaks for sharpening. Wahng preferred to stroll the heights of the yipyips' mountain, playfully surprising its subjects with unexpected visits, observing their daily affairs. Wahng particularly liked to drop in on the forge yipyips and sample their wares, from stylized decorative tail chains with crafted jade pendants, to experimental Youzi Coins that were almost edible. Blue Anvil was its trusted business partner. Icemelon, youzi, sproing-weed, snowcurl, beigwa, and sweetyipellet, the staple crops of Mount Yipyip, were heartily supplied by the farmers to their yipful liege, who rewarded them by tossing them into the snow. In short, Wahng loved everything about its realm and its realm returned its affection. This yipping regent found it dandy to learn about the stars, planets, and other otherworldly bodies, and thus the Astro Gazette was commissioned to suit the royal taste.
Yip9 knew of Wahng's tendency to wander its realm, and thus banked on an irregular attribute of the newest edition of Youzi Coins – to teleport to the location of a person rather than merely a place. 'Yossha! It worked! Err, sorry, your yipness,' said Yip9 upon bonking into Wahng from above.
In general, the supreme yipper considered the events described in the Astro Gazette to be interesting curios; nothing important had arisen since the advent of Professor Twidly and Co., which had occurred long before its birth, so it was with some surprise that it found its human ally descending from nowhere and raving about some storm on this little-known astro orb called Filgaia.
'So could you, would you, please help me prevent this deluge from evolving into a disaster?'
'I'm not sure what we can do,' began the king regretfully. 'Would it help to pinpoint it?'
'Knowledge is power,' spouted the hurried dictator.
'Power corrupts, corruption is a crime, and crime doesn't pay. If you keep this up, you'll go broke,' it cautioned.
'Egad!' he exclaimed.
'Don't worry, currency isn't used on Mount Yipyip. You really should do away with it on Yip's Isle.'
'If only humans didn't envy and hoard things and the power to acquire them.'
'Snowdrift,' called Wahng. A moment later a snow-white yipyip padded up to them and bowed. 'Set up my telescope and combine it with that mixosaur's blue-domed weather observation device.'
'Your yipness, where is the mixosaur?' asked Snowdrift.
'A good question. Sampling a yipyip forge's wares, perhaps?'
'He did publish that article in tandem with your grace's favored forge yipyip.'
'I suspect he's gorging himself on youzi,' commented Yip9 dryly.
'More likely trying to determine the recipe. Mixosauri make things by eating the recipe, you know, so if he gets it right he can just write down the recipe at his leisure and make as many as he likes,' explained Wahng.
Snowdrift zipped just out of view and returned a few seconds later with a mixosaurus rolling by its side.
'So you just happened to be nearby?' asked Yip9 in slight wonder at the unlikely chance.
'I was sneezing without reason, so I thought it a good choice to investigate the source,' said Choice, as if that explained how he got there just when they wanted him.
Wahng, Snowdrift, and Choice busied about arranging and integrating the telescope and weather tracker as Yip9 sat back in admiration.
'Like so,' pronounced the king yipyip in completion. 'Let us view.' The regent nudged a button with its nose and the synthesis of a device projected into the air a map of the stars. Wahng expertly guided the focus to a certain star cluster and zoomed in on the planet Filgaia. 'Things have picked up since Choice and Blue Anvil's recording. The measurements indicate a raging storm, rocks and geese not included.'
'Just where on the planet is it?' jumped in Yip9.
'Patience, good lad,' said the yipyip sagely, manipulating the controls to check the storm's conditions and direction. 'Top-tier winds, possible flood-inducing rain, blistering bolts of Static E! I dub her Typhoon Chiyo.'
'Why Chiyo?'
'Because it's cute.'
'What's cute about a natural disaster?'
'It's burning its way across the snow toward the Sielje Region,' reported Wahng, ignoring the question.
'Sielje?' exclaimed Yip9.
'Is there some significance?' queried the token mixosaurus.
'That's Elsia's home! We haven't a moment to lose!'
'No more ravings, please,' requested Wahng.
'But I think I've got it,' continued the dictator.
'Got what, and who's this Elsia?' the curious yipyips asked together.
Yip9 told them the whole story in gruesome detail, leaving out the bits concerning his opinions of Elsia.
'There is a legend,' uttered Wahng, 'saying if one creature saves something another creature loves, a sleeper may awake. We and our resources are at your disposal, dear ally.'
'You're the best, Wahng!' shouted Yip9, giving the unsuspecting yipyip a big hug. Its eyes popped, but it returned the gesture of friendship.
The rulers released each other, sat down, and joined their companions for a meal of mixosaurus-mixed youzi and icemelon.
'Now how do we go about this?' wondered Yip9. 'What are our available options?'
'It's your choice,' commented the mixosaur.
'Now that's helpful,' replied the boy ruler.
'Is it possible to force it to dissipate?' wondered Wahng. 'What have our ancestors done in times of natural disaster?'
'I don't have enough knowledge of Yip's Isle's history,' admitted the isle's ruler, 'and there's no time to study.'
'The worst that has ever happened in the recorded history of this fair mountain is a super snowstorm,' said the king of the mount, 'and we've always just weathered it and been none the worse for the wear.'
'Why don't we protect Sielje against Chiyo?'
'What are we going to do, teleport a colony of ants and yipyips to construct a barrier? We may have the materials and the work force, but the typhoon will hit before the barrier can be built. Besides, we can't endanger the workers.'
'Teleport,' trailed off the king. 'That's it! We can teleport Chiyo out of the way of your dear lady's region. YipSystem level Amplifier,' it indicated Snowdrift, 'plus Star Slurp,' it indicated the mixosaurus, 'plus a Youzi Coin, plus a little luck, and it's in the bag.'
'But where are we going to put it?' pointed out Snowdrift.
'I've got that all figured out,' replied Yip9 with a satisfied smile. 'We're just going to need those yipyip forges and Yip's Isle's smithies to be 1000% sparking.'
The next day, several of the yipyips whom the Holy One had blessed with the best voices gathered in Yip9's room in the capital of Yip's Isle. Each touched a blue emblem on the wall corresponding to an area of Yip's Isle and with a 'yip!' was sucked through to the other side, where the grass is greener.
With great amplification, induced by a tidly yipping, the yipyips proclaimed their message. Of course, most humans, Yoshies, Pokemon, ants, snails, fish, and turtles cannot understand yipyi. Thus grand translators, perfect spheres of sky blue bubbles, encased the yipyips, effectively changing yipyi to suit the language of any hearer. 'Everyone, prepare. The end of all things is near. Pack your bags, bringing only those items you value most and cannot easily replace. Be swift to receive your Youzi Coin in the mail, pick a lovely location for your new home, and depart at your earliest convenience.'
Typhoon Chiyo touched down on Sielje, but with a great sparkling tongue licking it, ice, gravity, anti-gravity, and sound waves, the combination of which is the essence of the yip enthralling it, and a large golden youzi engulfing it, it exited the area. In the words of one Sielje resident: 'I don't know whether to be frightened by the typhoon that was about to devastate us or by the wonder that suddenly ate it whole.'
Even with the smithies of Yip's Isle and the yipyip forges of the tundra and mountain at blast furnace, there simply wasn't enough time to produce enough Youzi Coins to teleport all denizens of Yip's Isle to safety, and even if there had been a sufficient number of Youzi Coins, there certainly was too little time for all of them to arrive in the mail.
'Yip9's Math Skill has failed miserably,' moaned Ultra-Ant. 'He wasn't born to be a Calculator.'
'I tried to persuade him to dump Chiyo in the Dragon Sea, but the good excuse for a yipyip benefactor wouldn't listen,' said Swish, a considerably saddened Osh-fish. 'While the typhoon would have gained much strength in those conditions, we would have gained a little time.'
'It's all over,' grunted a turtle as Typhoon Chiyo ground his home to powder and flung him away to some cow-forsaken pasture.
'So this what they meant by the end of all things,' chirped a Swellow as her nest was razed and failing to conquer the winds, she and her brood were unceremoniously dumped in the raging Shrimp Bay, which had overflowed its banks and was rapidly encroaching upon the land.
Thus Typhoon Chiyo decimated Yip's Isle, shredding the potential of the majority of its creatures and sending them on a one-way train to the world God only knows.
That's what might have happened, if a girl hadn't walked into Halfsmile's room at the critical point. 'Hi Mercutio, did you miss me?'
'Not a bit,' replied Mercutio, fighting tears.
'So the legend's true,' yipped Wahng happily, 'we saved something you loved deeply, and you woke up.'
'A little problem has come up here,' asserted Ultra-Ant, directing the umbrella-wielding girl's attention to the wrathful storm overhead.
'It's not that hard,' said Elsia light-heartedly. 'Mercutio, what was that teleporting item you used earlier?'
'It's called a Youzi Coin,' answered Mercutio, with wet eyes and a wobbling voice. 'Here.'
The Mist Blazer-clad lass took the item, balanced it on the tip of her parasol, and spun around.
Level 1: Mystic
The coin stood on end and a rainbow's brilliance filled the room. After a second, it faded, taking the coin with it.
'Bleh, what's this metal thing it my mouth?' asked the turtle irritably, spitting it out. 'Holy mackerel, it's my promised Youzi Coin. It actually came!'
'Look, look, mother,' tweeted two baby Taillow. 'There's a shiny circle in our crib.'
'Good Zapdos,' the Swellow swore, 'It's a Youzi Coin. We're saved!'
Such a blessing was enjoyed by every member of the isle and although their homes were gobbled by Chiyo for her mid-day snack, they all found safe haven somewhere or other, not a one injured.
Something survived in the dinosaurs' lost world. 'Let's have some fun,' said Elsia, holding up a Teleport Gem instead of a Youzi Coin as the escape method for the party remaining in Halfsmile's room. The gem flashed red and they vanished in a white line of vertical sparks.
They reappeared with a splut, landing in a snowbank. 'Snow?' asked Ultra-Ant. 'Where are we?'
Off in the distance they heard a yipping. 'Mount Yipyip?' asked Swish.
A trail of ants marched up to Ultra-Ant and saluted by clacking their mandibles. 'The supportive ant colony?' Ultra-Ant asked them. They replied in the affirmative. 'So Yipyip Tundra must have survived, but how?'
'It's because you're here,' said Mercutio, turning to Elsia with shining eyes.
'It's because it's a good choice,' corrected the mixosaur, rolling up to them.
'You're both wrong,' yipped Wahng. 'Didn't I tell you? Yipyips always weather storms.'
Everyone laughed together.

Author's notes: Any of you who have played turn-based RPGs, please check that Elsia and Halfsmile take turns moving/attacking and neither of them uses two moves/attacks in a row. Note that Asexual Repro, Yip Through, and Citrus Burst are all part of a single move of Halfsmile. The level 7 version of Allies to the Cause allows Halfsmile to summon a very limited number of allies (in this case, 3 yipyips via Asexual Repro) who then perform a combined Special Attack with Halfsmile (in this case, Yip Through + Citrus Burst).

It is intentional that the battle takes place in the present tense while the rest of the story takes place in the past tense. Ditto that I use 'single quotes' instead of “double quotes.” I have my reasons which reason knows nothing of.

Yi qi is Mandarin Chinese for 'together.'

Mercutio's Porphyritic Rhyolite goes through Elsia's Reflex because it is a physical attack. Citrus Burst goes through it because Citrus Burst is designed to disable the opponent's gear at the sacrifice of the user's gear (and sometimes the user's weapon as well, which is why Mercutio's BladeGuard Gloves disintegrate). In this system, gear refers to what some RPGs call 'accessory.'

Mercutio's memory of the Black Hills is anachronistic because this story began in high school and I didn't know of the Black Hills until I came to Wheaton College.

Ore from the Silver River is a liquid; it strongly resembles a non-poisonous form of mercury in its element form.

Although most yipyips had never seen a mixosaurus before, Choice was able to understand yipyi because it was his choice.

The name Wahng is derived from the Chinese words wang3, king and wang4, the sound of a dog's barking. Yipyips absorb snow and ice, so they like being tossed into the snow. In fact, if one is ailing, dump it into the nearest snowbank and it will be right as rain.

I feel like there are some notes I have forgotten to write. If you have any questions, please ask me. I especially like questions about Elsia, mixosauri, yipyips, Yipyip Tundra, and Yip's Isle.

Soli Deo Gloria
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