I ended up in fake pine tree in Frontierland and after a bit of maneuvering I fell down and hit the ground with a loud Unnnff. It wasn’t the graceful landing that I was hoping for but it was effective.
I brushed leaves and dirt off me and set off again, I already had one ring, now I just need two more.
I put my withered belt back on; lacing the golden ring onto it.
I could hear a commotion just beyond the dense tree line. I stomped through the foliage tripping over some cords and muttered a curse to myself. I knew the entire camp was watching me a on a mirage mirror right now and I wasn’t exactly a picture of ‘sophisticated grace’.
I stepped out into the open. In the distance I could see the Pirate Island surrounded by a large moat of water.
On the island I could make out some Nike and Hephaestus kids battling what appeared to be Pirate skeletons and the Ares cabins.
The skeletons must have been the guardians of Frontierland, like what the Princesses were to Fantasyland.
I crouched back into the shrubbery and watched.
From my hiding place I could see what looked to be a tree fort, and at the top in a crows nest there was a treasure chest. The chest had rich sparkling objects pouring out of it, resting just barely in sight was a golden ring.
I gritted my teeth. I wanted that ring so badly.
There were two small rafts that allowed people go to and from the island but one were guarded by skeletons on my side and the other was parked at the island.
I guess I could just swim across to get to the island, but looking at the mucky green water the idea was not enticing.
As I peered at the chaotic scene, I began to devise a plan.
My planning was interrupted as I saw a figure launch what looked like a grapping hook at the crows nest, and quickly climb up tot chest.
A few skeletons pursued the figure but he shook them off easily.
Then he grabbed the golden ring and stood triumphant holding up the ring.
Rage enflamed my insides.
It was Lance Beckett.
I couldn’t exactly see his face but I could tell it was him by his pompous hipster hairdo.
He jumped down, sprinting to the raft and quickly cutting a few skeletons in half with his sword.
Luckily for him, the raft had an engine and he quickly crossed the water to the shore. A few angry skeletons tried to follow him, but they weren’t great swimmers. Lance took a few minutes to snicker at them.
I felt like someone had just stabbed me with a flaming sword. I really hated this guy.
I observed carefully as he placed the ring around the handlebars of a golden motorbike. The bike looked very similar to the automatons I had come across in It’s a Small World. I looked closer, it was an automaton, but it had been dismantled to make a Harley-esque motorcycle.
This was my chance.
I sprang from my hiding place, sprinting at Lance, who had his back turned.
I leapt onto him, piggyback riding him as he yelled out in surprise.
“What the- AAAAGGH!” He exclaimed at a bit into hit shoulder.
Maybe being around the rabid princesses had rubbed off on me because I was going crazy.
Lance tried to throw me off, but I hung on.
He stepped backwards ramming me up against a tree, knocking me off of him.
I quickly drew my sword as he turned around.
“You’re insane!” he yelled his eyes wild with pain as his shoulder began to drip blood.
“Yeah, I am,” I replied, “So give me the ring or else I’ll show you how insane I really can be.”
His eyes flashed with fear but he held his ground.
He swung at me, but I blocked him easily.
I had the energy of my rage and he had the jumpiness of his fear.
I looked him straight in his beautiful hazel eyes, “I beat you once before and it’s always easier the second time.”
“You cheated,” he growled.
“I didn’t need to,” I spat at him.
We parried for a few minute the clang of our swords echoed through the open area.
I made him feel as if he was getting the better of me as I backed him up slowly. We drew closer and closer to the “Rivers of America’ moat.
As soon as I felt we were close enough I struck out at him using the full force of my strength. He stumbled a little giving me the opportunity I needed.
I kicked him in the chest and he fell backward over the railing into the water, disappearing underneath the green muck.
I didn’t wait for him to resurface, I ran back to his bike praying that it was something similar to the dirtbikes I’d tried out back home.
I revved the engine and laughed victoriously.
The bike roared to life and I sped off, glancing back to see Lance surface spitting out green water and staring at me in awe.
“See ya!” I called back to him, “Thanks for the sweet ride!”
I took a short detour through Adventureland, I wanted to check and see if my ring was still there.
I veered past a few campers on foot and they jeered at me with jealously.
As I passed by the Jungle Cruise I could hear splashing and screaming.
I looked up in fright as a Hydra the side of a four story splashed around in the canal with a frightened Ares camper dangling from his mouth.
As I passed by the Hydra froze, made a sort of snuffling sneezing sound of happiness and dropped the Ares kid into the water.
The Hydra looked at me expectantly, like a collie wait for its master to throw a tennis ball.
“Good boy!” I yelled and it roared happily in reply then continued to pick up a fling more campers.
I guessed that my ring was safe and sound.
I zoomed through the main plaza and into Tomorrowland.
I didn’t dare enter Toontown for fear of the automatons.
I glanced around looking for any sign of a gold ring.
I had two on my belt already, I just needed one more.
In the distance, I could see a frightened camper being chased up a ramp by Tiana, who had apparently escaped from Fantasyland.
Suddenly a fragment of light flashed in my eye, blinding me monetarily.
I braced myself, getting on guard for some Apollo kid to jump out at me.
Instead I looked up to see the source of the light was the top of the Astro Orbiter. Among the spinning metallic shapes at the pea was a golden ring. I sighed with delight; it was in such plain sight everyone else must have run past it.
I jumped off the bike and over the railing easily and began to climb up the spinning structure.
In retrospect it would have been much easier if I had just gone to the control panel and shut the ride down but honestly I wasn’t thinking that far ahead.
I scaled the slippery fo-metal orbs and reached the top wrenching the final golden ring from it position.
Now just to get down and back to the entrance to announce myself as winner.
Apparently my luck was running out, because I began to notice a faint hissing sound from below me.
As I was climbing I didn’t notice the collection of Dracaena warriors gathering around the base.
The snake people were dressed in what appeared to be Jedi attire, working light sabers and all.
“Lea!” someone called and I reached out to catch a projectile object coming straight at me.
A few of the Dracaenas turned in surprise to see the incomer.
Ava, who I had forgotten was competing along with the rest of the Hephaestus cabin stood defiantly a few yards away, holding an item identical to the one she had just thrown me.
It was a small black and silver cylinder with a black button on the side. I didn’t dare press it for fear it was some sort of pip bomb or something.
Then Ava pressed the button on hers, glowing red light erupted from one end.
She had somehow procured two lightsabers, one which I held.
I pressed the button on mine and glowing pink light sprang from mine.
“Oh yeah!” I yelled with excitement.
Then I jumped down from my perch, grabbing onto a metal bar and swinging down into the middle of the Dracaenas.
Thanks the gods, for all my sword training and how nerdy I was as a child because I knew exactly what to do.
I swung my saber quickly cutting a few snake people to dust, and then stabbed two more. Ava took on some of the others.
There was one that I could tell was the leader since he was bigger and wore a black robe instead of brown.
I tried something stupid, “These are not the demigods you’re looking for,” I announced trying to be a serious sounding as possible even though I felt wonderfully absurd on the inside.
He hissed angrily, he probably heard that a few times today.
I swung at him but he blocked me easily with his double ended green lightsaber.
I tried to block and parry with him but he was too strong, within a few minutes I was panting.
To be honest in the middle of this I was relishing the sound of our sabers meeting. It’s so much cooler when you aren’t just making the sound effects yourself.
Then I sliced at him and he blocked, pressing down on me with ease.
I was forced to my knees grunting with effort.
In front of my eyes he exploded into dust.
When the dust blew away I saw Ava standing, saber in hand looking proud.
“You are so amazing,” I said.
“Yeah I am,” she agreed helping me up, “Now go win this tournament.”
I leapt over the railing grinning at her, “We both know you the real winner here.”
I swung my leg over the bike and took off.
I tore down Main Street and screech to a stop at the front gate, walking victoriously forward all three rings in hand.
I didn’t even see the turnstiles in front of me. This actually ended up being a bad thing since I tripped and fell over the top of them, which was extremely embarrassing. But at least I fell into victory.
Everyone laughed at me but the laughter faded into cheering as I held up the rings.
Apollo clapped then shot a beam of glowing light into the air. It was a beacon to let the other contestants know I had won.
It took a few minutes for everyone to return, and I smirked as Lance trudged through the entrance still sopping wet.
I was ushered up to the podium.
“Please give a round of applause to the first ever winner of the Demigod Olympics: Lea Reclin!” shouted Apollo as he took my hand and held it up.
I raised my other hand holding up the golden rings.
I was smiling so much I felt like my cheeks were splitting open.
Apollo gestured for me to give him the rings and I hesitantly handed them over.
I had grown very territorial over them in the past few minutes.
They glittered and faded in his hands transforming into a beautiful golden laurel.
Just as Apollo was about to place it on my head I stopped him and called out, “I may have fought my way to the top, but I’m not really a winner.”
The crowd fell silent.
“I want to give my prize to the people who deserve it,” I announced, praying that I wouldn’t get beaten up for this, “I wish for the Apollo cabins to receive the laurels and the Hermes cabin to be exempt from chores.”
I had gone over it the night before in my head, debating who needed the prizes the most. I already had enough recognition and I knew that the Apollo cabin was neglected by their father. I knew they yearned so badly for even a smile from him and if he personally gave each of them a laurel, it would give them the hope they need. On the other hand Hermes cabin was always the one who was forced to do the most chores due to their disorderly cabin and I felt like they needed a break. Besides I wasn’t a camp nearly enough to be forced to do chores anyways.
The crowd gasped at my strange request, then exploded into cheering.
The Apollo cabin rushed forward and I bowed and jumped off the podium back into the crowd.
I sighed with joy as I watched each member of the Apollo cabin have a golden Laurel placed on their head by their father. One in particular made me feel like I had just been hit by a truck filled with dopamine. An eight year old blonde girl smiled up at her father, he ruffled he hair and placed the laurel on her head.
“I’m a princess daddy! Thank you for the crown!” then she turned to me and waved.
I waved back.
I was so caught up in all the splendor that I nearly forgot what had been weighing on my before the tournament.
I almost forgot about the shattered orb, but it wouldn’t stay forgotten for long.