Chapter 15:

Chapter 16: Do or Die


The audience was cheering greatly. “Now then, let us begin the sphere selection process!” the priest continued. Two priests again appeared on stage holding the same very long box in between them. This time, the priests were wearing a gold robe and a black robe. First up was the girl who had won. She slowly approached the box and began scanning the contents back and forth.

Jodoc wished he could at least see something. He sighed, and slumping back into his seat, resigned himself to whatever fate was going to deal him. “Do you need to hear the explanation again?” the priest asked.

“No” She reached forward with determination and snatched a sphere quickly out of the box.

Holding it up high, the priest exclaimed, “We have our first Light sphere! She chose Light!” The audience cheered as she stepped back down into her cube. Jodoc slumped back into his seat thankful that it had not been Earth. Iovita wanted Sky too, but he just wanted to see how the rest of it played out.

The second competitor, the boy, approached the stage next. Iovita was beginning to tremble with anticipation. Straining to see something was not helping her at all, but it felt like it was. The boy was shifting back and forth between two focal points and uh-oh. Suddenly a spring of fantasies sprang forth in her mind. There was only one element, or worse, there was only one element in the box save for one, other sphere. She was growing more and more nervous that she and Jodoc were going the route of Selena; they would have a random assortment of spheres and have to wing the plan they had agreed on. Finally the boy grasped his sphere and held it up.

“Flame!! We have our next Flame user!” the priest cheered. The audience cheered as well and Iovita realized that the only element to have not been chosen for a first time user, was Sky. Breathing hard and nervous, she stood up when the priest beckoned for her.

Jodoc stared holes into Iovita as she walked across the stage. She was tripping over herself and it was very obvious that Iovita was extremely nervous.

“Oh! The first of the twins is here! Congratulations! It is a shame though that you and your brother didn’t come in first and second respectively. I hope this doesn’t forebode anything with your future race,” the priest quipped.

As cameras flew in to catch Iovita’s selection, Jodoc almost fell out of his seat he was so anxious. Iovita had seemed to regain composure, and she bowed slightly towards the priest. She approached the box.

She was so shocked at what she saw that she placed a hand to her mouth. Spheres glinted back at her in the sunlight. Each one glistening, Iovita cast her eyes upon each one. Two flame spheres glinted back at her. She dragged her eyes across the box. There was an empty spot followed by an Earth sphere. Another blank spot was followed by two Sky spheres shining back at Iovita in the far right corner. Reaching for the Sky sphere, she said, “I choose,” and then grabbing the sphere in her hand and raising it up, “This one!” The audience roared in response.

“Oh! Ladies and Gentlemen we have out final first element user! She has chosen Sky!” the priest exclaimed throwing his hands up into the air.

It was taking every last ounce of strength for Iovita not to collapse in tears. Trying her hardest to stay calm, she turned to face the audience and showed her the sphere. Taking it close to her arm, she placed it into her right wrist on the underside.

Jodoc’s jaw dropped when he saw that Iovita had chosen Sky. He was so proud of her. He would never ever tell her that for as long as he lived, but nonetheless he was still proud of her. The fourth contestant came up and chose another Flame element. Jodoc was positively buzzing with anticipation. Finally he was called up. Walking with an eager step, he reached the box. He looked inside and fought the giant smile that was threatening to flood his face.

Glinting back at him in the sunlight, the green hue of the Earth sphere flooded his eyesight. Suddenly everything that he had done was worth it. The snake, the self-sacrifice, and fifth place were now all worth it. Not only was Iovita now satisfied, he was too. He snatched up the sphere quickly and placed it into his left arm, but he put it on the top of his arm and not under. He was not about to have to rotate his arm for magic.

As Jodoc stepped past the priest, he took the priest in. He too saw the deep grooves in his hands and wondered how they had gotten there. For a split second, Jodoc also noted that this man was very, very tall. The priest was slouched over, but Jodoc was sure that this man must have been over two meters if he stood up at full height. Stepping past him, Jodoc approached his cube and stepped inside. He was ready for what lay ahead.

The last two competitors took their spheres and stepped off the stage into their respective cubes. The cubes lifted off and took for the ring of cubes in the sky where they too, joined those who had completed the first round.