When Tank and Luna used the teleportation device at the ruins, they found themselves standing on the teleportation port at the garden restaurant where everyone else was gathered. The inn's staff entered the garden in a line to serve them some fruit juice, honey cakes, and apple pie.
"What took you guys so long?" Frisk asked. He was sitting on one of the round wooden tables in the restaurant. "You're the last pair to arrive."
"This isn't a contest Frisk," said Magnus, who arrived with Pio after Tank and Luna did. The trial left his hair in disarray and his clothes in an untidy mess, but he quickly fixed them before anyone asked about how his trial went. He used his fork to poke the sweet-smelling honey cake on a plate in front of him. "I am never doing that again."
Pio was lying on the table with eyes similar to that of a dead fish's. All that running drained the life out of him. He didn't bother to repair the state of his clothes. "I'm glad we made it out of there though. I thought we'd never get out."
"Humph. I'm the guildmaster of Jupiter, one of the top guilds of Aries. Of course, we'd make it out of there."
"What did you guys get?" Astrid approached their table and asked. She stood in between Magnus and Frisk. "Garth and I got this pirate hat." She held up the hat to show them.
"We haven't opened ours yet," replied Magnus. He activated the package they received.
The box wiggled like a living monster before exploding with a poof. A mini rain of confetti followed. Once the smoke cleared, the prize item was visible.
"What is this?" Magnus frowned at the bird's nest hat that came out of the prize box. He checked the stats of the helm. "Humph. The stats aren't even that impressive." He placed it on Pio's head. "You keep it."
"Uhh... Thanks," Pio replied as he took the hat off. He noticed Garth sleeping on the table next to him and placed the hat on him. Birds started flocking to the nest on top of Garth's head.
"It suits him pretty well," Magnus commented and nodded in approval.
Sphinx and Frisk opened their boxes at the same time shouting, "Please be a rare item!"
They both received the exact same item: a fluffy panda hat. The stats were mediocre and its value in the market wasn't that high. It induced the same disappointed look on their faces.
"Aww! How cute. Now you two can match!" Yaya teased them.
"No way!" Sphinx and Frisk shouted in unison.
Sed opened his package. "It looks like we got a silver bracelet with a pegasus on it."
Astrid's radar for expensive items detected a target. She immediately moved in front of Sed to appraise the accessory. "This is an ultra rare bracelet! It's worth three hundred million gold on the market. Looks like you hit the jackpot, Sed!"
"Woah!" Sed was in awe. He turned to Amelie and gave her the bracelet. "I want you to have it."
"Are you sure I can have it?" Amelie was shocked.
He nodded. "Yeah. You could use it. Its stats look pretty good."
Amelie smiled. "Thanks."
Astrid was satisfied to see Amelie's smile. She decided to leave them alone and sit with Lyria. "It looks like everyone else got some good items," she said as she took a slice of apple pie and a glass of banana juice. "Did you and Lyngvi open your package yet?"
Lyria blushed happily. "We got this circlet. He said I could keep it."
"Nice. I wonder what Luna and Tank got."
"Luna should be back soon after exchanging her token at the front desk."
After a short while, Luna came marching to their table looking all red and embarrassed. She sat on the empty chair and covered her face.
"What's wrong, Luna? Did something happen?" Lyria was a little concerned.
"What is this!?" Luna threw the prize item on the table. "Who decided to even put this item inside the prize box!?"
The prize was a female armor made of just pink slime. It was thin and see-through, but had amazing stats that were too good to pass.
Luna planted her face on the table. "Tank made fun of me and said I could keep it. He said it would probably look good on me." She slammed her fist. "Aah! I'm so embarrassed."
Astrid appraised its value. "It's rare armor that has powerful stats. You could sell it."
Lyria smirked. "Or use it," she whispered into Luna's ear.
"Noo!" Luna moved under the table.
Astrid and Lyria laughed at their friend.
Astrid started eating her apple pie. As she did, she stared at the lively scene before her. "You know, we should do this more often. Joint guild events sound pretty fun."
"I agree," said Lyria after sipping her cup of apple tea.
The next round of preliminaries was going to be held the day after next. They might be friendly with each other that night, but that might all change during the competition. After all, the pressure of winning has the risk of drawing out negative effects on friendship. Nevertheless, Astrid hoped that they would still be able to talk and laugh together like this after the end of the guild war event.