Episode 14: Ranking Ceremony. Part One
The day of the ranking ceremony has finally arrived. Ven is excited to finally put his skills to the test and really wants to show Kia, Nyx and Enishi that he is capable of handling his own. He also wants to show Ezreal that he is not a monster and is itching for the opportunity to face off against Lox in the final challenge, if he makes it that far.
*Morning of the first challenge*
The sound of a horn could be heard blaring all throughout the Tower.
It is time.
Ven awakes with a yawn and sits up in his bed. He wipes the sleep away from his eyes and then closes them.
The door swings open, and Nyx and Kia walk into the room and stand by the foot of the bed, Enishi leans on the door of the entryway. His face void of any emotion.
"Today is the big day." Kia whispers.
Ven opens his eyes and glances at Nyx and Kia. Nyx wearing his signature smug look and Kia, who seems to be rather cheerful.
"Are you ready?" Nyx asks.
Ven blows smoke out of his nostrils and locks eyes with Enishi. "Absolutely."
"Welcome, all of you," Ezreal, Sumon, Errol, Enishi, Nyx and Kia all stand infront of the group of 20 young eager Madokais ready to prove themselves. "I'm sure all of you have been patiently waiting for this day to come. Ready to show off your talents and see if you are worthy to serve as a member of the Council in the future. I am proud of all of you and I am sure, you all will not disappoint." Ezreal says to the goup and they all bow in his direction. He manages to find Ven in the crowd and gives him a brooding stare. He quickly looks away and then scans the group for Lox, making eye contact with him and nodding his head. Lox smirks.
"There are 15 objects hidden within the Meridian forest. Thanks to your current members of the Scout Regime. They are marked by red paint. You have 4 hours to locate and return an object. If you do not return with one, you will not be able to advance."
"Master, you say an "object" but what exactly are we looking for?" One of the challengers ask.
"You will know when you see it."
"Are there any rules we should be aware of?" another asks.
"Anything goes," Ezreal scans the crowd. "Just do not kill each other. Your time starts now."
The group rushes into the forest, like a stampede.
Ven runs straight ahead and sees Lox come up on his right. He smirks at Ven.
"Let's see if you make it to the end. Tenari."
He then breaks off to the right and disappears into the forest. The group breaks off and everyone runs in all different directions. Ven however continues to run forward. He figures he would run to the middle of the forest, and then decide where he should look first.
*An object. A random object, marked by red paint, hidden somewhere in the forest by Enishi, Nyx and Kia. This isn't going to be easy but knowing how they are, I'm sure they will hide objects in places that match their ability. Nyx, an object has to be in the trees. Kia, it has to be by water. Enishi... fire... that's going to be tricky. But where?*
Ven says to himself as he reaches the middle and takes in his surroundings. There is nothing but trees and shrubs, and the cool wind blowing. It's also very quiet.
*Something isn't right. Everyone knows how close I am with Enishi, Nyx and Kia. It would be safe to assume that they all probably think I know where I can find the objects. If that's the case, I'm sure some are staying out of sight, waiting for me to find one so that they can catch me off guard and attack me. Who? I doubt it would be Lox. I know he wants to actually fight me in the Battle Royale. Doesn't matter who. He's the only one that is a threat to me. I just have to be cautious. Let whoever attack me and just make sure I win and make it back. Now, going with that theory, what would be the easiest object for me to find? Kia's objects are all probably by the river but with that, paint would wash off so it would be really hard to find. Enishi.... I honestly have no idea. His objects will probably be in the mouth of some beast. That just leaves Nyx. Wind guy so it has to be hidden in a tree and not just any tree, the tallest one, but.. DAMN! The tallest tree that I'm aware of is about 2 hours, south. Bastard.*
Ven looks up at the sky.
"Can I make it?" he says aloud.
He pictures the smiling faces of Enishi, Nyx and Kia.
"I have to. For them."
Ven turns south and runs like his life depended on it.
*Enishi, Kia and Nyx*
The trio are standing where the group originally took off.
An hour has passed and not one person has made it back yet.
"I hope we didn't make it too hard for these kids." Kia says as she twirls a blade of grass between her fingers.
"This challenge is all about thinking. They have to think outside of the box. If they are smart." Nyx comments.
"Who in their right mind would even think to look where you put your object Nyx. Of all the things you could have a chosen, you chose rocks, not even, pebbles, and put them in birds' nests in the the TALLEST tree in the forest that is two hours away?!"
Nyx shrugs. "It was the first thing that came to mind. Plus, it's more challenging than putting BRIGHT red rocks by the river."
Kia rolls her eyes. "Enishi, you haven't even told us where you put yours or what they are."
"I gathered 5 books and put them all right next to each other in a bush, literally 5 minutes away from here. I was too lazy to do anything else."
Nyx and Kia glare at Enishi. "Are you SERIOUS?! You were supposed to put them somewhere that matches the element we possess!" they yell in unison.
Enishi chuckles. "I know. But that's so obvious. Have to throw them off their game a bit."
Kia and Nys sigh.
"How do you guys think Ven is doing? You think he would think to look in the right places?" Kia asks.
"I think so. He knows us pretty well. I just hope he didn't go after my objects." Nyx says.
"I hope NOBODY does. That would be foolish." Enishi comments. "I have faith in Ven. I'm sure he will make it back. He has to. We need this to work."
Nyx and Kia nod.
It's almost been two hours that Ven has been running, keeping a steady pace. Nyx's training has paid off it seems because Ven isn't winded. He still hasn't seen anyone but he is being very cautious and is prepared to take on whoever attempts to attack him.
*It should be coming up now* he mumbles to himself.
Ven approaches the tree. It is easily recognizable not just because of its size, but because of its beauty. It's massive roots stick above ground, running in all different directions. It's leaves, a mix of green purple and brown. Its trunk, thick and sturdy, covered in vines that are intertwined.
Ven looks at it in awe. "Wow."
He shaked his head. "Come on Ven, you don't have time. You have to find this thing. Now, think!"
He ponders for a moment and asks himself if he were Nyx, what would the object be and where would he have hidden it.
*Well first, I should get higher*
He takes a running start and jumps onto the tree and begins to climb it. As he climbs higher and higher, he examines every nook and cranny to see if he can find any traces of paint. No luck yet. He keeps climbing higher, and still doesn't see anything. He looks to his right and abruptly stops moving. He notices a tree branch, with multiple birds' nests resting on it.
Ven reaches for the branch and pulls himself ontop of it. Balancing his weight ever so carefully. He briefly looks down and concludes that if we were to fall, he would most certainly die from the impact. He gulps and re focuses on the branch. He tip toes to each nest to check and see if he can find anything. The first three have nothing but unhatched bird eggs covered in twigs. He reaches the fourth nest and lo and behold, he finds a speck of red paint on a leaf that is covering the nest.
He moves the leaf, and in between the bird eggs, Ven finds 5 painted pebbles.
"Nyx, you dog." he says as he quickly grabs the pebbles and puts them in his pocket. Once the pebbles have been secured, he carefully makes his way back to the tree trunk to make his descent.
"Somebody should've made an appearance by now.... unless they are just waiting for the right moment to-"
Ven ishit in the back by a wave of water with such force that he slams into the tree trunk, causing him to lose his grip and footing.
"Here we go!" he yells as he falls back and tumbles through the air.