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41 Sed“s Exotic Meal
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Noctis Noir
Author :Papina
© Webnovel

41 Sed“s Exotic Meal

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"Morning."

Amelie was already in the kitchen making their breakfast pancakes. Their pet wyvern, Rune, was right beside her waving his red tail sideways, eager for a meal. Since the day they picked Rune up, the creature had been growing larger at an alarming speed. Many of the girls suspected that Rune's quick growth was caused by the pizza Amelie always fed him.

"Is it me or is Rune getting bigger?" Luna stood beside the wyvern that was now around the same height as her. "If he gets too big, he won't fit in this house anymore."

"He's most probably going to get bigger," said Astrid as she drank a cup of caramel macchiato. "Wyverns are at least thrice our size when they reach adulthood. We're either going to have to expand the house or have Rune stay outside."

Amelie hugged Rune. "Making him stay outside is just too cruel!"

"Isn't it more natural for him to stay outside? Besides, the weather in this instance field is always good."

Luna agreed. "Yeah, Amelie. I'm sure Rune doesn't want to stay cooped up indoors."

"It's Chris!" Amelie corrected. "You have a point, but..." She glanced at their pet. "It won't be the same without him following me around indoors."

"Walk around outdoors?" Luna suggested.

"But the kitchen is indoors!"

"You can always cook outdoors," said Anna. She placed a hand on her chest and raised her other hand dramatically. "Ahh! The princely beauty barbecuing under the glow of the sunlight!"

Astrid was staring at Rune, deep in thought. She was nodding and mumbling to herself. Luna thought she heard the word 'ride'. Suddenly, the guildmaster stood up to examine Rune's wings.

"Just a bit more and we can use Rune as transportation," said Astrid as she spread one wing. She was excited to have another asset added to the guild. "Keep feeding him those pizzas, Amelie!"

"It's Chris!" shouted angrily Amelie while flipping pancakes.

"You mean we can ride him?" Lyria asked in surprise.

"That's right. Wyverns are listed as pets that can be used for transportation. We can summon them using a spell," Astrid explained. "It's quite convenient."

Luna laughed nervously. "I think I'll stay away from riding wyverns for now."

"Ladies, we'd better hurry to the amphitheater before we're late." Lyria placed down her cup of tea and stood up.

***

The girls finished their breakfast in a hurry and rushed to the event location, which was still the stone amphitheater. They ran through the garden and hurried inside. Luckily, their usual seats were still left empty. After taking their seats in the audience, they caught their breaths. They made it just in time, right before the morning program began.

Trumpets resounded as the valkyrie flew to the middle of the stage with a new scroll. As usual, she opened it and read its contents aloud for all to hear: "The map is divided into three floating islands. Participants will race to the floating island where twenty flags are scattered. The primary goal is to acquire a single flag. Once a flag has been picked off the ground, it will belong to the guild that acquired it. Players can kill other players to delay their progress. Those killed will be teleported to the cooldown area and will be respawned at the nearest respawn point."


"Only twenty guilds at the end of this challenge, huh?" said Astrid.

Lyria frowned. "That's a drastic reduction of the number of participants. We're in for a fierce battle."

"Let's hope this isn't a repeat of yesterday."

The two turned their heads to observe Luna and Amelie calmly talking about the floating islands.

"I think we'll do better today," said Lyria with some confidence. "Is the alliance still on?"

"I don't know. Garth hasn't said anything about it."

"But we'll still help them, right?"

"By default, yes."

Once the valkyrie opened the gates to the venue of the next challenge, all the participants gathered at the center of the stage where the portal was. The girls braced themselves and entered the portal.

***

The portal led them to the first floating island. The morning sky was as clear and vibrant as the grass beneath their feet. The refreshing atmosphere made them forget momentarily that they were in a competition.

"This place sort of reminds me of our guild headquarters," said Lyria as she examined her surroundings. "Perfect place for a picnic!"

"I see griffons up ahead!" Luna shouted to the others.

The Noctis Noir members hurried up the hill where a few guilds were already gathered. They were greeted by a familiar flamboyant player who named his guild after his favorite dish. He appeared to have recovered from the shock that his crush, Pio, was actually a guy.

"Dick Gaylord!?" The girls exclaimed in unison.

"Ladies, are you that glad to see me?" Gaylord smiled and fixed his hair. He assumed their reaction to be that of happiness from seeing him.

"What are you doing here? Didn't your guild get disqualified during the first round?" Astrid asked.

"I'm here today as a facilitator," he replied proudly.

"Huh. I wonder how that happened," Luna commented in a low voice.

Once a few more teams arrived, Gaylord began his facilitator duties, "Before you can borrow griffons, you have to complete a task! An eating challenge! Guilds, select your best representative." Long, rectangular tables materialized beside Gaylord as several people stared wide-eyed at him. Nobody really foresaw an eating challenge as part of the preliminary tasks.

"Eating challenge? I volunteer as tribute!" Amelie stepped forward confidently. None of the girls bothered to object.

The Black Rose members who were standing nearby looked at each other. Yaya and Jasmine both pushed Sed forward without hesitation.

"What? Why me?" Sed turned around and asked.

"You're the best eater we have," said Jasmine.

"I thought that was you, Fatmin."

"What did you just call me!?" Jasmine readied her dagger.

Garth stopped them. "Guys, let's not fight in the middle of this preliminary round."

Gaylord paced back and forth, waiting for the guilds to select their representatives. Once everyone was ready, he announced, "Your first meal is apple pie!" Right after he said those words, plates of apple pie appeared with a poof on the tables.

"Hey, this isn't so bad," said Sed before eating the pie.

Garth noticed a sadistic smirk on Gaylord's face as the pompous facilitator watched the representatives eat the pies. His intuition told him that the pies probably contained poison or some unwanted ingredient. He whispered orders to Yaya, "Have heal and cure on ready."

The second Yaya turned her head, some representatives who ate the pie already showed signs of poisoning. The poison was potent enough to quickly kill a few representatives who didn't receive healing in time. One of the victims was a representative from Jupiter, whose death made Magnus' face break into a scowl.

"This feels like déjà vu..." Sed struggled to speak as he felt the effects of the poison. He collapsed on the floor as his legs slowly turned numb. Yaya was healing him like crazy.

Yaya shouted, "You idiot Sed! If you die on me, I'll throw you off the cliff!"

"Isn't it your job to keep me alive though...?"

After a few minutes, the effects subsided and all victims of the poison were feeling normal again, as if they were never poisoned in the first place.

A furious Magnus stepped in front Gaylord and pointed at his face. "Gaylord! You're the one who insisted on having this eating contest, aren't you!?"

Gaylord flipped his hair and laughed. "Why, of course! I presented the idea and the moderators loved it. Who wouldn't love a random challenge such as this? It's such a surprise, isn't it?"

Magnus cracked his knuckles. "There's no rule against beating up facilitators, right?"

Garth recalled the rules. "None."

Gaylord did a defensive stance. "There might be none, but if you beat me up I will not lend you any griffons to get to the next island! And now for your next meal..."

Sed's eyes widened the moment he saw what was on the plate: plump black spiders, immobile and piled on top of one another. His brain was unable to comprehend how such a disgusting creature could be considered edible.

"Oh. Those are my favorite!" Yaya's mouth watered when she saw the spiders.

"No... I can't eat this..." Sed felt like he was about to vomit. Sweat rolled down his forehead as he stared at the plate. There was no way he was going to put one of them into his mouth!

"Don't worry, Sed. Those spiders only eat herbs, so their stomachs are filled with them! They're very nutritious."

"That's not the problem!"

"Hurry up and eat them, Sed," Jasmine said with no hint of sympathy. "Look at Chris, he's eating them like they're nothing." She pointed at Amelie, making her other guildmates turn their heads.

Amelie placed another spider into her mouth and chewed. "These could use some soy sauce."

Sed, not wanting to lose to Amelie, gathered all his courage albeit miniscule.

"Thank you for your sacrifice." Sphinx and Jasmine placed their palms together and bowed in honor of their comrade.

"I'm so jealous! He gets to eat them," said Yaya.

"Then why didn't you volunteer to be the representative instead of me, Yaya!?" Sed exclaimed as he took a spider from the plate.

"How was I supposed to know they were going to serve delicious spiders?"

Jasmine was getting impatient. "Guys, will you stop arguing and just let Sed eat the spider. Look! The other guilds are already running ahead."
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