Happiness overwhelms me. I cannot believe it. I won. It is only now, glowing with joy, that I realize I didn't think I could do it. But now it is done. Victory is mine. The spirits have decided to let me trump Lycaenion. I can see that she is shocked as well. She had expected to win. But, instead, she has lost to a younger girl.

Hakia looks at me and smiles at the expressions sliding across my face. They must have been very easy to read.

She says, “Klymenstra, you have been challenged by Lycaenion. You and your dogs have proved to me that you are blessed by the Spirits. Take with you the knowledge that even though you were less prepared, you have overcome the challenge. Be happy.”

Lycaenion and I turn to face each other. As challenger, she must speak first.

“You have beaten me. I am glad that I had the privilege to go against you. I realize that this is your first time paying tribute to the Spirits. You have honored them well.”

It might sound as if she is a nice person, but, she is the biggest pain to be around. I can see the evil glimmer in her eye. She showed this side of her with the name she chose on her thirteenth birthday. Lycaenion means “little she-wolf”. Her hair is the same sandy blond as her dog, Acacia. She has the shimmer of a predator in her calculating green eyes. “Thank you,” I answer her. I can't trust my voice to say more, because I am afraid it will not be strong enough. I am so excited.

The End

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