If Gareth McGuirre really existed he would probably look like this guy
“We now have four keys. But we spent two weeks just get them. We also lost Ingrid in the last game we faced. When I bought the latest game status info, I found out that we are positioned second to the las. We have to go to the Tower, once we get the map there we don’t have to waste our time looking for clues. That map provides the exact location of the Keys and how to avoid traps on the island.”
Gallard explained in the ongoing meeting of Team Centaur inside the Tea Tavern.
“But Gallard,” Rowena, the Golem, opposed. “Once a member fails to get the map in the Tower that player would be instantly eliminated.”
“Did you forget that as a leader I have two lives. I can afford to lose one of my lives and half of the two hundred fifty points I now have if I ever fail to get it.”
“If you get unlucky, this would give us a wide opening to challenge your position as the leader.” Paul, the Asaparas, said flippantly.
“It’s okay, mate. As long as we get to the finals.” Gallard stated. “We’ll then, let’s finish our dinner, go to bed and wake up early tomorrow. It’s been so long since we get to sleep in a real soft ,fluffy bed that hard and narrow carriage is sure hard to sleep in. ”
Marshall on the other hand sat silently while listening to them. He couldn’t enjoy the sweet tea and Chinese food in the Tea Tavern, but whatever his teammates decide on he would go along with it.
“I’d go first then.” He bid his farewell then stood up.
But he didn’t go to his room. He went out the Tea Tavern and sat down on one of the bamboo benches on the sides silently watching the fireflies float around the bamboos planted around the Tavern. Watching them Marshall got a glimpse of spy cameras on the bamboos and one of it is directed to him.
His seat has still not even heated yet when he heard footsteps coming close. It was surely one of his teammates. They are only team here at the tavern. One group went to the Catacombs and Team Sphinx went to climb the Greenhills with and Sonya cutting off their alliance.
“Still thinking of Sonya, eh?” Gillard’s voice reached him.
“Sonya is hurt because of me.”
The big Australian sat beside him. He was four years older than him but he was not only a leader to them, he stood as father of their team.
“It was not your intention to hurt her. Only time will tell if Sonya is ready to talk or see you. But it will pass, you will return to being friends, beast friends.”
“I know Sonya. In our entire she only cried two times, the day her parents died. She didn’t talk for three months and holed herself at home. The second time was in the Carriage Station. The moment that episode is showed it her wounds would open again.”
“I have a feeling she will survive this. Don’t worry too much.”
“I know this will pass. But I’m worried about what’s happening now. The last I heard one of her teammates issued a challenge in the leader position. If she loses that leadership, it will hurt her more.”
Gallard tapped him lightly on the shoulder.
“You can’t do anything for her right now, Marshall. She herself will turn away your hands if you offer it and “I know you will. Let her fight her own battles for once. It’s time for her to stand on her own. You cannot cuddle her forever. ”
Gallard is right but he still has to pay the pain he had caused to Sonya.
After putting on her costume Romina stared at her reflection. She looks every bit like a regal princess. All she needed is a prince or a knight shining armor.
Her thought once again wondered to Marshall. In these past few days she was assigned to oversee the task and challenges on Team Centaur and Team Sphinx. She might not like it but she stood as an observer to what was happening to Marshall and Sonya. Both are deeply affected on the Carriage Station incident. It’s clear for everyone to see that no reconciliation is about to happen.
She never liked Sonya, but seeing her keeping her emotions at bay just to be a strong leader for her team. Romina felt pity and a great deal of respect towards the woman. She could see the struggles Sonya is undergoing.
And when she sees Marshall, He is obviously thinking about Sonya too. He would mistakenly call one their female member Sonya and it was done for quite some time. Every time she hears Marshall Say Sonya’s name a dull ache on her chest as if her heart was bleeding slowly. Her feeling for the man had deepened as he saw that despite his worries he had managed to contribute greatly on his team.
She is confused at the same time perplexed. It’s so evident that she should not have feelings for Marshall. He belongs to the Sonya and she is only meant to be an observer. But her heart would stubbornly shake her head and continue to beat for him.
“Have you ever tried to enter in a beauty contest Romina? You will surely win.” Caitlin Hawkins stated.
The real producer of the game is Brenna but once in a while her sisters would pop out of the blue. And when they come they always make sure to see her. Romina had a feeling the sisters had taken a personal interest in her.
Caitlin is trying to get her to the woman’s talent agency, that’s clear to her. What he could not figure out are her two sisters? What is there intention?
“You need money to be able to enter.” Romina answered the woman. “And I don’t enjoy myself parading almost naked in front of thousands of people. I want them to focus on my talent and my intellect not on my figure and looks.”
“There’s nothing bad in showing all you have, beauty and intellect. Seriously it’s almost unearthly, like a goddess.”
Her brows drew together. She remembered that cheater Gareth; he also called her a goddess.
“Please don’t call me that, Caitlin.”
“Oh that face, Gareth isn’t it?” Caitlin said as a matter-of-fact.
“Nothing gets passed you guys isn’t it?” Romina said
“I only visit once in a while that’s why when I’m here I make sure to watch all the tapes. Gareth may not be a Prince charming but he seems to be handling his team quite well.”
It is the truth; they are the leading team of the game. They already have even keys and no member yet is to be eliminated.
“I really don’t like him.”
“You had that right as a player, as a crew be neutral.” Caitlin reminded her.
“I know Caitlin. I will never forget it.”
“Choppers here, get yourself ready Romina. They are taking you to the Tower.”
The Tower is really height with a fifty feet height and twenty feet width. To reach the top, one has to climb one hundred seventy-five steps so Romina choose to just slide down the rope from the chopper. Reaching the top, a cameraman awaits her along with mountain of foods. They needed that because of the six hours’ time limit given to each team to reach the princess in the tower.
“You got here right in time, Romina.” The smiling cameraman greeted her. She remembered him introducing himself as Ted. “I’m glad they made you act as the princess. It really suits you well.”
Romina just smiled. When she joined the production crew, every single male and even those already married would flirt with her every chance they got. She shook her head.
They never change. Romina doesn’t want all that, she only needed the attention of one man.
“What the current status?” She asked Ted.
“Three teams started to approach the tower, but team Leanan Sidhe didn’t make it past the venom pit. They backed out. The two remaining teams are Vampire and Centaur.”
Centaur team? Did they let Marshall take the challenge? That’s impossible, the loser in this task would lose his life. The only people brave enough to do that are the leaders since they are given two lives.
“Both of them had already passed the underground caverns.” Ted continued. “They are here in a few minutes.”
It didn’t take long before Romina saw the trap door on the soft ground opened revealing two figures down the tower. They are wearing prince costumes with a mask tightly covering their faces.
Each player has a cameraman in tow.
“Okay then time to roll.” Ted focused his camera on her.
“Dear princes.” She started her lines. “I only have one map making surely one of you will get eliminated. Your task is to catch five out of the ten apples I am going to throw down on you, failure to do so would only mean one thing. But if both of you manages to catch five apples, we will repeat it again. Whoever gets more apple than the other will possess the map and get a kiss from me?”
She smiled at the idea. It was Brenna’s idea to add a little spice in the show. It’s only on the cheek so she is fine with it.
“You can still back out. You have ten seconds to decide.”
No one backed out.
“The first prince to get out the trap door gets the privilege to do the task first.”
Romina started to throw down the apples.
The first player got five apples, she is impressed. Romina got mesmerized more when the second player managed to catch six apples.
“My dear prince.” Romina said to the second player. “You may know climb the tower and claim your prize.”
Suddenly, the first player removed his masked. Romina knew him, the leader of team Vampire Gareth McGuirre.
“I protest!” He shouted. “The princess is biased, she favors Team Centaur.”
“What nonsense is this, I gave you both equal chances, how can I be biased?!”
“C’mon, goddess, you don’t like me while everybody here knows you have fallen to my nemesis.”
“You are stupid, Gareth!? How can I know your identities beforehand, both of you were wearing a costume and mask?”
“Did you forget that when a person loves someone even if that person is hidden behind tons of ugliness you would always recognize that person? It’s called the sixth sense”
“You are talking nonsense, how can I be in love with your opponent. I don’t even know who he is.”
“You know who he is. Your Hero.”
Romina is dumbfounded. The second player removed his mask revealing the face of the man she had been longing for.
“You are being unfair Gareth, the princess and I don’t know each other.” Marshall claimed.
“Did you forget the woman you saved in the Forest Maze, The Princess is that woman, the goddess of beauty.”
Romina was speechless.
“That’s Camille.” Marshall explained.
“You know what Marshall? If you use the points we you earned in the game before this game started, you could acquire information about the eliminated participants. And the info that I got, it was Romina Lajadero you saved that night nit Camille.”
“Even if it wasn’t me he saved that night, you are still gravely mistaken of me being biased!” Romina cannot help but shout at him. Romina didn’t need a mirror to know her cheeks are burning hot. Her feelings are her deepest secrets.
“Most women would fall in love with the man who rescues them.” Gareth commented.
“I’m not most women!” she firmly said. She didn’t fall for the man just because he saved her. It is more than that.
“We need to call a game master Romina, he has to bring a lie detector machine. People can always deny their feelings bit the machines will never be.”
“There’s nothing top reveal.” Romina determinedly stated.
“Alright, let’s make a deal. If machines really agrees that you do not have feeling for Marshall, I will accept my defeat and willingly give up my two lives, get eliminated. However if the machines says otherwise you will have to give me the map and Marshall we’ll get eliminated.”
Her gaze focused on Marshall. She didn’t want him to get removed because if her.
They stayed at the tower for an hour before the game master arrived. Gareth wanted to use a polygraph machine. Everybody is hushed no one dares to make a noise, even Ted who’s typically chatty stood there silently filming the happening.
She had tried to look at Marshall once but refrained herself from looking at him again when he saw Gareth giving a mischievous smile. She know then haven’t seen Marshall reaction in knowing she was the woman she saved or what is his thoughts on the matter.
The machine was placed to her. “Simply answer, yes or no. This is a especially made polygrapgh since this is going to be used in the of the challenges. If you lie this machine will gives off a very loud sound like an alarm clock. ”
She took a deep breath. She would not let Marshall put to harm. The result would have be her having to feelings for him. She doesn’t love him. She does not think of him. She will kill her feelings for him if that is what is needed to save him. To not complicate his relationship with Sonya.
Romina reminder herself those things as she waited for the question.
“Do you love Marshall?” The game master asked her straightly forwardly.
A loud sound rang in the air, followed by Gareth sniggering so loudly his laugh overwhelmed the alarm sound.
“We’ll it seems, I will advance and you will be eliminated Marshall.” Gareth chuckled when he glanced at the man. “You might have lost the game but you gained the love of the goddess.”
Romina stayed there for a moment, unable to believe what just happened. The truth came out. She cannot anymore dodge the fact that she loves the man.
When she looked glanced at him all she saw is his back slowly backing away. He is walking away from the tower. Her love is of no value to him.
Romina smiled bitterly.
Of course, she is nothing compared to Sonya. She wasn’t even in par with her
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