The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)
The center of Nun was just as bright, busy, and bustling as the south section the team had seen the previous day. The difference between it and the south section was that many old buildings were left for historical significance. This led to an odd juxtaposition between the modern style and traditional styles.
The contrast caught the eyes of Fiona and Harlan as they exited the train station, but the regular citizens passed by without a care. The sight was so common that they were blind to the difference.
“Oh, we should go take pictures in front of that building! We can show them to Gwyn later to mess with him,” Fiona said with a villainous chuckle as she gestured to one of the many historical spots.
“We did not come here to sightsee or find things to bother Gwyn with,” Harlan said with a shake of her head.
“It wouldn’t hurt to have a little fun before we get there,” Fiona said as she crossed her arms and pouted. Since Hal had informed them of the news broadcast, the duo knew the best place to go was the grand stage-arena in Center Nun.
The arena was the largest beauideal venue on the whole planet. With the capability to house 200,000 people, it filled the role as a place for beauideals and many other sports. The floor of the area was made up of countless tiny triangles which could raise and lower. Combined with holographic technology and the ability to fill or drain water, the building was quickly made one of the modern seven wonders of Resh.
Fiona and Harlan laid eyes on the imposing structure in no time. It was easy to spot even from the train station, and the Zenotote scientist’s focus saved the duo from little distractions as they walked down the street to it.
“Are you aptly prepared?” Harlan asked Fiona as the arena crept in closer with every step.
“Prepared for what?” the blue princess asked.
“This may be the first time you face your father’s murderer after….” Harlan tried to say softly.
“Oh, yeah… I should be okay,” Fiona answered with a mixed tone.
“You…” Harlan paused to consider if she should finish her sentence. After some debate, she figured it was best to understand Fiona’s emotional state before potentially facing Dia, “You haven’t seemed all that concerned with your father’s passing,” she said bluntly.
Fiona nearly jumped at her words. Though the green Zenotote spoke calmly and softly, the words had felt like an attempt to stab. She looked to the ground and began to tap her fingers together.
“I suppose I haven’t put much thought into it… There’s plenty of stories about him that sound fantastic….” Fiona stopped talking but continued to think to herself.
She had never known a ‘good side’ to her father, at least not one she could remember, but he had not tried to send her for adoption. When faced with her journey and some of the villagers in Horizon, she realized he still allowed her to live like a spoiled and sheltered princess.
Harlan’s words about classes berated the back of Fiona’s mind. Had she been given an opportunity to receive his affection? She shook her head. She didn’t like to think deeply about such things. It was easier to run around the castle and cause havoc.
The Zenotote scientist awkwardly watched Fiona go through her thoughts as they continued to walk. The princess's blue face betrayed her inner thoughts as she moved from pensive to worried to confused in a cyclical pattern. Harlan figured it was best to drop the issue.
She was well aware of Fiona’s and the late King’s relation, or at least as knowledgeable as an outsider thought they could be. With Fiona’s varied expressions, she could not determine what to expect when they encountered Dia. The green Zenotote figured it would be best to simply keep an eye on here to avoid any rash actions from being taken.
The duo continued to walk with only the loud sounds from the city, preventing any awkward silence from creeping in. They didn’t speak again until they stood in front of the arena. A long line of enthusiastic fans was already waiting to enter.
“There’s a lot of people here today,” Harlan said aloud.
“Is this for one beauideal event?” Fiona asked in shock.
“Hal wasn’t clear on the details, but I would suspect there is a tournament being held today.”
They quickly got in line and slowly moved up to the entrance. After a long wait, they paid and successfully entered the arena.
The structure was open and vast. Many shops for food and souvenirs lined the walls, and a flood of all species had a clear flow of direction.
“What should we do?” Fiona asked as she eyed her tickets. They had procured the cheapest tickets, which read ‘Nosebleed Seats’ plainly in no attempt to sugarcoat the location. “Do we wait for Dia to appear on stage?” she added.
Harlan shook her head.
“The last thing we want is a horde of angry beauideal fans,” she replied.
Fiona looked at the passersby in the stadium. She leaned close to the Zenotote scientist and whispered.
“I don’t think they would be much in a fight.”
Harlan shook her head a second time.
“I would rather fight the whole Aqueenian, Bentulousian, and Hobusian armies than an angry horde of beauideal fans.”
“Now you’re just exaggerating.”
Harlan waved for Fiona to follow.
“I suspect we can find our way backstage. With your ability, we should be able to get past any guards.”
The duo began to sneak their way into the closed-off section of the arena.