“The Eyes are the window to your soul”
Wew this is long…but here you go I’ve done, nailed it finished it, Enjoy 🙂 our leads finally had a moment together. Banzai!! You’ll learn that attraction sometimes goes beyond what your eyes see XOXO
According to the book of rules in her hands, for her to be able to issue a challenge and get the team leader position from Sonya, Romina needs to get one hundred and fifty points, the same points already designated to any leader. Since she is team member she only gets one hundred points so to get additional points one has to win given tasks and problems thrown to each the team.
The easiest way to get the fifty points she needed to challenge Sonya is if she herself finds the key they are looking for at the moment in the Forest Maze. Ten keys were scattered on the whole island. The team has to get a key to advance on the finals where there group standings will be dissolved and everyone can compete as individuals.
Before the start of the game each player is given a one day supply of food and water, a compass, two-way radio and a flashlight. Only the leader was given a map. The leader of the Phoenix team decided to get the Key located at the Forest Maze because it the closest place from the Sanctuary Town they were in. It only takes two hours of hiking to reach the Forest maze where else the other locations takes days of hiking just to reach it.
“We only have twenty-four hours to find the Forest Key” Sonya said to them. “It would be easier to cover the area if we split up. This is a ten miles forest so be careful and always be in contact with everyone. If ever after the time limit given no one still has found the key everyone should go back to the gates. It is important to get the Forest Key but if we cannot get the key this time, we can still come back. I do not want anyone of us eliminated.
After the briefing Team Sphinx went inside the Forest Maze along with two cameramen. One followed Sonya, the other one went with Vaughn, the German professor. Tyre, a British, Jonathan an American and Romina where left alone. Cameras are strategically hidden across the forest and she is sure their movements are still monitored.
Romina started to look for the Forest Key based on the clues they got, the key is suppose to be dangled in a mango tree. She is quite familiar with what it looks like and how it smells when plucked so it would be easier for her to locate it.
Every hour she receives a call from Sonya. She keeps a tab on everyone’s progress. Despite the initial nervousness Sonya lives up to being a team leader but that still wouldn’t change her determination to snatch away the team leader position from her.
It was almost midday when she finally found the tree, yellow ribbons where tied on it. Underneath that tree she saw a cameraman and a man in red, the game master. He records the progress of each team, he also manages the game and tasks for each contestants.
She ran. On the other side Romina also saw a man quickly approaching the tree. Quickly running they reached the game master at the same time.
“Only one group can claim the key in this tree.” The game master stated. “One of you could back out and find another key on the trees. Or one of you could issue a challenge.”
“Challenge.” Romina’s opponent immediately stated. She remembered him as one of the chosen leaders yesterday. His name is Gareth.
“Challenge begins.” The game master’s voice boomed in the air. “Reveal your characters.”
“Vampire” Gareth answered.
“The Gnome is seven times stronger than a human; on the other hand a vampire is much stronger than a gnome. But since it’s still midday the vampire’s power are rendered making him a weak mortal. A vampire’s power comes from the night. The Gnome wins the first round. ”
The game master regarded at Gareth. “As the loser of the first round it is your privilege to choose the choose the next challenge. Physical or mental?”
Gareth looked at her briefly.
Romina’s expression darkened. Does this man actually think that because of her looks her brains are empty? She tired of being labeled like that all her life.
“Who can resist a Gancanagh’s charm?” the game master asked them. “Winner of the first round gets to answer first. You have five seconds.”
All the characters of the contestants are written on the rule book. Based on what she read a Gancanagh is a male fairy who can seduce and make any woman fall in love with him.”
“Men” She answered. A Gancanagh cannot seduce men.
“Asexual beings” Gareth countered.
“Both of your answers are correct but the vampires answered is fitted. Asexual beings can never be seduced while men in some cases are attracted to men.”
Their score tied.
Romina looked at the key still tied up high on the tree.
“The last round is physical; whoever reaches the key first wins this game.”
She looked at Gareth. The American is a lot taller and has bigger built compared to her. In running she would surely lost but in climbing she has an advantage because of her lighter built and her background on gymnastics.
The game master gave a signal.
Gareth started first. Romina is shocked. The man is fast! In two minutes and thirty seconds eh had reached the Forest Key. She calmed herself; she couldn’t afford to lose hope now.
Then it us her turn. The game master gave his signal.
She started to climb. Using everything she learned being a gymnast she reached the Forest Key in just one minute and fifty-five seconds. She won! She went to get the Forest Key.
“Team Sphinx won this challenge. The Forest Key goes to them and The Gnome earns fifty points.”
She happily went down.
“It’s already two PM. You have sixteen hours to join your team. Failure to do so will result in you disqualification” The game master reminded her.
She can do it. She can reach the starting point in that span of time. She drew out her compass and her two-way radio to contact her teammates and let them know her progress. Suddenly, before she could reach them Gareth grabbed her compass and radio and threw it on the group and forcefully destroying them completely.
Angrily she faced him.
“A leader has a right to destroy or snatch away anything a player owns. I didn’t get the Forest Key because you really did defeat me but you are a tough opponent, goddess. I have to eliminate you. With your compass and radio destroyed, you won’t be able to reach your team on time, you will get lost in this forest. You will be eliminated. It’s been nice playing with you, goddess” Gareth smiled and run towards the direction she saw him coming from.
“He cannot do that!” she complained to the game master.
“His actions were according to the rules. To win this game, you don’t need to get all the ten keys; you can do it by eliminating your opponents. If no one gets to complete the ten key after thirty one days, all those left standing will instantly get into the finals.”
Romina gripped her hands tightly.
There will come a time that you will pay for this Gareth.
If he thought she will be eliminated by this, well his wrong. She could retrace where she came from.
“Gnome I suggest you stay put and wait for the helicopter to arrive in sixteen hours. It’s dangerous to return without your compass and radio; it would be harder to locate you once you get lost. Even if you get eliminated, the Forest Key will remain in your team.”
“No! I cannot just give up.” She turned her back on the game master.
According to his watch it’s already ten o’clock PM. It was so dark he couldn’t distinguish the trees in front of him. Then his two-way radio rang. It’s Gallard.
“We got the key Marshall!” Their leader happily informed him. “Return to the starting point now.”
“Okay.” He agreed. Time to go back.
At that moment, a heavy rain poured down the forest destroying his flashlight. His compass is useless since he can’t see.
Streaks of bad luck huh, I’ve been jinxed.
Marshall thought to himself.
Earlier today he found a mango tree but the key was already taken. He spent his remaining hours looking for other trees. Now that his team found a key, he can’t find his way.
I wonder if the two other teams who decided to get their key first in the Forest Maze were able to find them.
One of the teams was Sonya’s group and the other one was led by Gareth. When he first saw the man he has a bad feeling about him, something about him just gives off a bad vibe. He also looks like a man who could do everything, even cheating, just to win the game.
He continued to walk on the muddy forest floor.It was six o’clock in the morning when they started out so it means he still has eight hours to make it back. He just hopes the rain doesn’t take too long.
Unfortunately, thunder and lightning’s filled the air as it continued to rain heavily. The weather worsened. He needed to find a shelter, but he was surrounded by trees and it’s dangerous to be under them especially with the lightning and all.
As if on cue, the tree unerringly in front of him got struck by lightning; along with the thunder is a very shrill shout of a woman!
He recalled the times when they were still young. Sonya would hide in fear every time their is thunder and lightning. Growing up she wasn’t hiding anymore but her fears remains is still there.
Marshall ran. Sonya’s team entered the Forest Maze. There’s a chance that she was the woman shouting! And even if it wasn’t her, somebody still needs help.
Nearing the burning tree, Marshall almost fell on the ravine beside the tree.
“Hello? Sonya? Where are you!?” He shouted.
“Here! I fell into the ravine!” A feminine voice answered back.
“Don’t worry! I’ll go ask help!”
“No! The moment you do that I’ll be eliminated!”
His brows drew together. Sonya would always be hard-headed.
“Who cares if you’re eliminated? Your safety it’s the more important! Besides I’m still here. I can still continue the game, there’s still a good chance I will win the prize money and start our own business.”
“I am not Sonya!”
Not her? But Sonya and he are the only Filipino players. Who is this? And why can she understand Tagalog?
Marshall got a hold of a vine. After tying it securely on the nearest tree, he went down the ravine. He saw her, she was covered in mud. It was so dark and raining so hard Marshall cannot identify her.
“Are you alright?” He asked as he neared her.
“Yes, just help me stand.”
He helps her get to her feet then she suddenly shouted from pain. Marshall knew she could stand alone, she sprained her feet.
“Don’t force yourself. Here, let me carry you.”
“You can’t go up carrying me.”
“We’ll find another path.”
The man seated Romina under a large stone. Basing on how he talked to her, she knew he was Sonya’s friend Marshall. The rain already ceased but still no moon is peeks on the sky, restricting them to see their path.
If they continue walking the more they’d get farther away from the starting point. She could already hear him winded, Romina knew she is heavy and Marshall had been carrying her for over an hour.
“You know, it would be easier for you if you’ll let me call a rescue team. Your team leader would certainly drop you off the team because you’ll only be in the way. The leader has that right.”
Romina couldn’t answer back. The man has a point. He opened his radio and called the home base.
This time she didn’t protest when he requested for a helicopter to pick them up.
“What are you talking about? It’s not raining here!” He protested on the person on the two-way radio.
“The rain is still heavy here on the base” the person on the phone answered. “The helicopter is not able to take off in this weather. Just give us your coordinates and when the rain stops will get you.”
“I don’t really know where we are. Its somewhere on the northwest side of the Forest Maze. Large stones are scattered on the area.”
“Stay put kay we’ll find and get you?”
Next she saw him call his teammates.
“Marshall, where the hell are you? You are only the one missing in our group. You need to get back here in six hours!” Gallard exclaimed to him.
“I know. Don’t worry I will come. I just have to do something” And he started to relate what happened.
“”Just leave me here, Marshall. Join your group.” She butted in.
“What are talking about? We are in the middle of a forest. There are dangers lurking here and further more if I leave you how can they find you, you don’t have a radio. ”
“If you stay, you’ll be eliminated. I’ve already lost the game; you don’t have to be dragged in too.”
“This is just a game; I don’t want to win because I left you.”
“You don’t even know me.”
“I’d help anyone in your situation, no matter who that person is. And if you want me to know you, just tell me your name.”
She chuckled, despite that she couldn’t help but respect the man for his principles.
“Alright. I will tell you once we get out of this game. ”
“Can you put the address and phone number along with it.” Marshall said facetiously.
“Hey, you still haven’t seen my face and you’re already flirting.”
“I don’t have any bad intentions, nameless lady. Just being friendly. By the way as far as I’m aware Sonya and I are the only Filipinos here. How come, you can speak tagalog?”
“My mama and I lived in the Philippines for years. I learned it from my friends and from the elementary school I work at.”
“Where are you from?”
“OH, there are a lot of beauties there. Are you one of them, nameless lady?”
Romina looked at him in the dark, his sense of humor never wavered despite the fact the he is about to be eliminated because of her.
“What do you think?”
“Dunno, your eyebrow make up is quite thick, I can’t see clearly how you look like. And my lights aren’t working; I think water got on it.” He said lightly.
“Is it important for the woman you’re helping to be beautiful?”
“It’s an added incentive.”
Romina was about to laugh when she is caught off guard sneezing. Swiftly Marshall was on her side, feeling her face then forehead.”
“You’re hot. You’re having a fever.”
“It’s just a slight fever.”
“That will worsen because of your wet clothes.”
“I don’t have any change clothes, my bag fell into the ravine.” Then she heard a rustling. Then she felt dry clothes being offered into her hands.
“Those are my extra clothes in my bag. You can use it.”
“I’m going to change in front of you?”
“Yea, Its dark. I won’t see anything.”
Romina shivered she’s really cold. In those circumstances, she doesn’t have the luxury to be ashamed. She took off her clothes and changed. After changing clothes, she’s still shivering, looks like it she was hit by something more than a fever.
“Lady?” He called out.
“I’m sleepy. I nap for a bit. Wake me up when the chopper’s here.”
Romina sensed him coming. He gathered her into his arms and embraced her tightly.
“Okay, just rest. Ill guards you.”
“I’m sorry” she whispered. “You’ll be eliminated because of me.”
“Don’t mind it, I can still join other reality game shows in the future. Besides, if the chopper arrives early, there’s a possibility I can still make it. But if I do get eliminated I won’t blame you.”
He’s really something. Romina closed her eyes and calmly slept on his warm arms.
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