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Chapter 8: The Quest Begins

Rivola sat on the log of wood as Shahir passed up their dinner. Marshmallows, crackers and chocolate. Rivola smiled. Even in this dimension, chocolate seemed to be a favorite.

Kareya was sitting beside her; chewing on the marshmallow. She said,

‘It’s a beautiful night. I really hope I go with you guys.’

‘What do you mean?’ Rivola asked.

‘Oh, we are all divided into teams of four to start on the quest. We can divide up and move alone once we are in the arena but until then, we are to be together. Our names are already written up and divided.’

‘Oh.’ Shahir said. ‘But my only wish is that I don’t die.’

‘What are we supposed to find actually?’ Rivola asked.

‘Well, there are about a hundred golden cups hidden in the woods. And one Platinum Cup. We just have to find any one of the cup and express our wish to go back to the Center and voila! We will be transported to the Center. No one has still found the Platinum Cup since the past one-thousand three hundred and four years ago. That is considered to be extremely dangerous.’ Kareya said.

‘Then I have my mind set on one golden cup.’ Rivola said, ‘I don’t like taking risks until it’s absolutely worth it.’

‘But get this; they say that if you find the Platinum Cup, your life is settled. Even the teachers will respect you.’ Shahir said.

‘Still not worth it.’ Rivola said. Kareya looked at the sky and said,

‘I don’t know. But something tells me that someone sitting here will find the Platinum Cup.’

‘She has reached there safely my Lord.’ Siva said bowing. Sweat trickled down his neck. Never had he expected shadow-travelling to cost so much.

Ah~ the voice said. Well done, Son of Death. Well done. I can see her progressing very fast. She’ll manage her task wonderfully. Now, I need you to do something else for me. The voice broke into laughter.

‘What is it my Lord? Has the time come for me to kill the King of Mistar?’ Siva asked. The voice laughed again and hissed,

Not yet, my boy. You have to get me the Topaz of Wealth. We’ll need wealth to finance our forces.

‘Where is it found my Lord?’

At Lady Gemina’s Temple. On her sacred island of Gemlos. You have to steal it. Are you ready? Or should I select someone else for my job? The voice hissed.

‘I will do it.’ Siva said.

Roy was very glad to have woken up early. Watching the sun rise from the ocean gave him happiness. He squatted on a boulder to tie his shoes when a voice said,

‘Beautiful day huh?’

Kai walked towards wiping his wet hair with a small towel. Roy grinned and said, ‘Yeah.’

The walked towards the large banyan tree where they were asked to assemble last night. A few kids were roaming about pointlessly.

They met Aila who was sitting under a tree yawning. Soon the number of people increased. The woman who received them last night walked towards them dressed in black. She spoke unfurling a really long scroll and said,

‘I hold the names of the teams you are to be divided in. Please assemble to my right as I call out the names.’

She started calling out names that were completely alien to him. He noted a curly blonde-haired girl squeal excitedly slapping high-fives with a wavy-haired guy.

‘Rakhio Crimsonelve.’ The woman called out, ‘Jade Aila Crimsonelve, Kai Laiken and Rika Gale are the next team.’

He didn’t care who Rika was. He was glad that the three of them were together. He grinned at Aila. Aila grinned back and said,

‘Well maybe luck is favoring is.’

‘Maybe.’ Kai smiled. Just then a girl walked towards them. She was to a certain extent pretty. Her wavy blonde hair was decorated with blue sapphires and she had black eyes. She was wearing a tee, tank top and a pair of black trousers with loafers. Her lips curled into an innocent smile and she said,

‘Are you Rakhio Crimsonelve?’

‘Yes.’ Roy said.

‘I am pleased to meet you. My name is, Rika Gale.’

Aila smiled at Rika and shook her hand. ‘Very pleased to meet you too. I am Aila Crimsonelve. This is our friend, Kai Laiken.’

Rika bowed amiably but there was something in Kai’s eye he seemed doubtful about her. He pulled Roy and Aila’s arms and said,

‘We need to discuss a small fact. Please excuse us.’

He pushed them and took them behind the banyan tree.

‘She’s very suspicious I say.’ He said. He looked really wary.

‘I agree. There was something in the way she spoke that sent a chill down my spine. But what do we have to suspect her for?’ Roy asked.

‘You don’t understand Roy. I would have preferred Lana instead of her or even Lisa Icelak. But, Rika is just too suspicious.’ Kai said. ‘I say we better ditch her as soon as we enter the arena.’

‘How can you do that? I say, we’ll ditch you and see how you’ll like it.’ Aila said. Her ears were getting hot. Roy frowned and said,

‘You may never know Kai. She could be completely innocent too. Looks can often be deceiving you know.’ Roy said and slipped a pair of silver rimmed rectangular glasses over his eyes. Kai sighed,

‘Fine if you say so.’

They turned around to go back. The woman would be using magic to kick them into the arena where they would face life or death. Rika was waiting for them her hair flowing due to the gales.

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