Chapter 46:

Mount Tanzawa

Fantasy Life

The morning of the scavenger hunt began with a wake up call at the crack of dawn by a suited man. He explained that he was to direct the players to the designated starting location. The man also handed a map over to Yun and said that it would lead to a clue to continue the hunt. The team, still tired from packing the night before, got dressed in their uniforms and left as soon as they could.

"Good luck everyone!" Yui shouted. "We'll be watching and cheering you on!"

"Make us proud kids," Tsuda said.

During the ride to the starting place in a limousine big enough to hold everyone except Yami, who flew overhead, Jun tried to squeeze any information out of the driver as he could. He had little success. Yun turned to his brother and said, "I doubt he knows, and they must have expected us to try and talk to the staff for information. The other teams must be trying to do the same thing as well."

"This is so aggravating!" Jun exclaimed. "I hate being left in the dark."

"Be patient. Hopefully we will be arriving at the location very soon."

"Actually," the driver interrupted. "We are already here."

Kaida, who was asleep, felt the car stop and stretched. "Already?"

"It's been an hour sleepyhead," Rei teased after giving a big yawn.

"You're tired too."

The team all exited the limousine and waited for further instructions. After the driver confirmed that the teens had everything they needed and all their creatures were accounted for, he said, "This here is where you will begin your journey. Follow the map and you should do fine. I wish you all the best of luck." Before any of the teens could question him, the man drove off.

"Well great!" Rei complained. "He didn't even tell us where we are."

"I think that's for us to figure out, Rei," Yun commented as he opened the map. "Based on this map and how long it took us to get here, I'd say we are at the base of Mount Tanzawa. And according to the map, we need to start climbing the mountain. The clue should be found somewhere near the top."

"I'm glad we packed plenty of water," Kei said. "Cause by the look of it, we have a long day of hiking ahead of us."

The team began their long trek up the mountain. After a few hours, Jun rode on Dallas while Yami carried Kaida and the others on his back. It crossed Kaida's mind to have Yami fly them to the top but realized it would create more difficulties if he accidentally flew over the clue. The trek was peaceful for most of the day and when the sun was at its highest, they all stopped for lunch. During the lunch break, Yami turned to the surrounding woods and snarled.

"What's wrong?" Kaida asked as she stood up, preparing to flee.

The others all turned to a rustling noise coming from the forest. Out emerged a hairy creature with four legs, a maned neck, and a horse-like tail. The creature stood a bit taller than a person but expanded to about ten feet long. Kaida jumped back in fear, not sure what to make of it. Then a voice rang out from the forest, shouting, "Jack! Where'd you go mate?" A man emerged from the woods followed by four girls and three other creatures.

The man stepped forward and said, "Oh you found some friends. Good on ya!" He turned to Kaida and the others. "G'day! I'm Charlie. You's from the Japan team I reckon."

Yun spoke first after giving the man a quick look over. "Good day to you. My name is Yun and we are the team from Japan. Judging from your uniform, I'd guess that you are all from Australia."

"Right you are mate!" Charlie replied. He patted his creature and said. "This is my bunyip, Jack. And over there are my mates." He indicated to the girls and each one introduced herself and her mythical creature.

"G'day. I'm Amelia and my creature is not with us. He is a Hawkesbury River Monster and has a hard time on land. So we had to leave him back at the starting location."

The second girl stood next to a serpent of some kind. "I'm Isla, and this is my basilisk, Harper." While Isla finished speaking, Kaida noticed that all their mythical creatures, except one, were all quit intimidating beasts and she was glad that the humans seemed friendly.

The third girl stood next to a creature that Kaida and the others were familiar with. "Nice to meet new friends. The name's Ivy and this is Uriana, my harpy." Shivers went down Jun's spine when he saw the winged creature staring in his direction.

The last girl was standing next to a creature that Kaida had only ever read about but never seen before. "Nice to meet you all. My name's Olivia and this is Archie, a jackalope."

"So cute!" Kei exclaimed, fawning over Archie.

Kaida and the others took turns introducing themselves and when everyone finished, Charlie looked at Yun and said, "Mind if I ask where we are mate? We've been walkin' round all day."

"Yun," Jun called, "Should we help them?"

"I don't think they're bad people and it can't hurt to tell them where we are at least." Yun turned back to Charlie. "We are on a mountain just an hour outside Tokyo."


"East I believe."

"Good to know. None of us here have a lick of direction. Mind us tagging along with you?"

Yun was hesitant. "I don't know." 

"I know we're supposed to be competing but we're so lost and we couldn't find any of the other teams," Olivia pleaded. "We promise to leave if we trouble you."

"Yes, please let us accompany you. Just until we find the first clue," Isla said.

Yun thought for a moment. "It might be temporarily beneficial for us to team up. Is that alright with the rest of you?" He asked his teammates. Once they all nodded, Yun turned back to Charlie and asked, "You said that there was no one else on the mountain, correct?"

"Aye mate. We had Harper over there fly through the forest and she saw nothin'."

"We were we the only two teams placed on Mount Tanzawa?" Kaida asked.

"Charlie, would you mind if we shared maps?"

"Sure but what for?" Charlie handed Yun his map.

Yun laid both maps on the ground for all ten people to see. "Interesting. We were placed on the same mountain but the maps are completely different."

"What does this mean?" Amelia asked.

"It confirms that each team did receive a different map," Yun began explaining. "My theory is that each map will take each team to a clue that leads to the treasure, but to keep the game interesting there are multiple clues for each of the maps to lead to. The clue we find will have us go one way while your clue will take you another. There have been cases where petty teams will cheat by destroying evidence or clues after they've been found, leaving all the other teams out of the competition. This method ensures that even if a clue is found and destroyed, there will still be other clues lying around."

"Seems like a lot of work if you ask me," Jun grunted.

"Aye, this is bloody confusing," Charlie agreed.

Yun rolled up the maps and handed Charlie's back. "Well, we have some time before we reach the top of this mountain and we only have a few more hours of sunlight left. Our clues aren't far from each other so we'll accompany you as far as we can."

"Oh thanks a bunch!" Ivy exclaimed. At that, the team now set off with their new friends.