Chapter Twenty-Two: The Competition Part FiveMature

“Say, what is that amulet around your neck?”  I asked.  Tarquin held it in his palm for a while and then looked back at me.

            “This old thing, Siram,” he began, “My father got it from the market in this resource town just knots away from the Calpergan coastline.  Even though the lady told him that it was just a gem, I feel like there is something more to it than just its outwards appearance.” I looked down at my gem.

            “There is.”  Tarquin looked at me quizzically as if I just presented him an unsolvable riddle.  “Tarquin, can you keep a secret?” I asked.  He nodded and sat crissed-crossed on the deck .  I sat in front of him, breathed in softly and then began to tell him the truth.  Well, at least most of it.

            “So Siram, you’re telling me that this gem is connected to a certain god?” he asked.  I nodded.

            “Yes.  For instance, the gem my grandmother gave to me is connected in some way to Minerva.  Whenever I’m around water, my gem has an odd glow to it.” I responded.  Suddenly I noticed that the more the sun shined on Tarquin’s amulet, the more it glowed.  I approached him and held it within my hands.  “Let me try something.” I said as I put it up to the blue sky.  Suddenly the gem glimmered again and released its own ray of light that shot out from the gem and connected with my own.  Tarquin was utterly amazed by this sight and held the gem in his hand.  Suddenly there was a loud blare of fanfare that shocked us both back to reality.  Tarquin quickly put the gem back into his shirt.

“We have to talk about this later! The royal croquet tournament is going to start soon!” With that said, the young Prince grabbed my hand, and we ran off to the castle.

 

***

            The Minervan Croquet Tournament was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  The field was decorated with blue and white flags and was lined with a slew of tents to shade the people from the hot sun. Many of the Kingdom of Minerva’s elite were all sitting under these tents, clothed in their finest dresses and silk pantsuits.  As Tarquin and I sat ourselves down by Parauvin to watch the matches, I saw Andrias standing with Amelia on the field, their hands clasped together as he gave her a kiss on the cheek.  She smiled at him and walked off to line up with the other players as he walked to sit with us.  He placed himself by Parauvin and began to whisper something to him, receiving a disgusted grumble from the Solarian.  Suddenly I was jolted out of my trance by the loud blaring of fanfare.  Everyone was instructed to rise to sing the Minervan Regal Anthem.  As the crowd began to sing as one, I listened to Tarquin to get a few words and act as if I knew what I was singing.  Looking over at Andrias, he too, was struggling with the words and Parauvin just chose to stand silently. 

After a few opening statements by the King and other officials of the games, the tournament begin, and my, did the crowd go wild!   My eyes were transfixed on Amelia as she skillfully scored points and completely eradicated the competition in her bracket. Two hours elapsed and the first part of the games ended, leaving Amelia and a few others to participate in the championship round.  While the event staff was preparing the grounds for the final round, everyone headed over to the gardens of the castle to have a few refreshments.  As the spectators sat around enjoying tea, small cakes and each other’s company, I decided to get a cup of Lowelberry shaved ice and explore the gardens for a while.

The End

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