PREVIOUSLY: The teams completed the 1st Challenge. Now, their hosts will announce the 2nd one! Isn’t this exciting? What’s more, you’ll have a chance to take part. Find out how right here.
Onyx: We will now proceed to the second challenge.
Wildfire: Are you seriously starting off each challenge this way?
Night: I think he is. If you don’t like it, then you’ll have to beat him to it.
Wildfire: Eh. Not really worth the effort. Ambrosia, what’s taking you so long? Explain what it is already.
Ambrosia: Oh, ah, well…
[Her eyes flicker once against the floor, her fingers interlacing in an unconscious gesture.]
Ambrosia: I thought someone else would like a turn. I feel like I’ve spoken a little too much already.
Wildfire: Because we’re all dying for a chance in the spotlight, right? In that case, Wind should do it. He’s barely spoken two words since coming here.
Wind: The less you say, the faster we’re out of here.
Chase: So…who’s saying it?
Wildfire: Well, if Ambrosia’s not doing it, I will.
Arsenik: Actually, allow me. I will use terms familiar to most of their worlds.
[Wildfire rolls her eyes but doesn’t stop the blonde from carrying on. However, the tapping of her boot betrays her impatience.]
Arsenik: Your next battle is a Love Challenge. You will choose one member of your team to take one of us on a date. If it’s a man, choose between Miss Ambrosia and the Valkyrie. If it’s a woman, choose from the remaining gentlemen.
Night: Except for Onyx. Again.
Arsenik: He would be a poor choice, to tell you the truth. You will be scored on three things. One, your date’s interest in you. Two, his or her overall satisfaction. And three, the audience’s reaction.
Night: After the dates have ended, we will let the audience vote on which one made them swoon the most. Now, everyone will receive points for this, even the one in last place, but you’ll want to aim for the top. The more you have, the more likely you’ll win.
Arsenik: If you’re wondering where to take us when you can’t even leave the premises…look no further than the room on your left. You might see it as a virtual reality or a room of illusions. Either way, you will have full control over it and can lead the date as you see fit. The dark swordsman is available to help you should you require it.
Chase: So, are you ready?
[Princess Charming immediately pull the princes into a huddle and start whispering.]
Princess Charming: So. A love challenge. Which one of us should take on this challenge?
[Prince Snow chuckles in amusement.]
Prince Snow: Why are we whispering, Charming?
Princess Charming: We don’t want anyone to overhear our strategies, of course! How else are we going to win? Now focus. Who should we pick? Has anyone noticed which host is interested in which one of us so far?
[Princess Charming suddenly turns to eye Prince Zel thoughtfully, causing him to cough in alarm.]
Princess Charming: Ambrosia seems to like you. She smiles at you a lot, doesn’t she? And she seems to be the nice, sweet kind of girl, so you should be exactly her type.
Prince Zel: I-I…
[Prince Zel stutters, his face a fiery red.]
Prince Zel: I don’t think that’s true. But, i-if it’s possible, I’d prefer to sit this one out. I don’t think I will do well at wooing anyone, haha. And the idea of taking a girl on a date with the whole audience watching…
[Princess Charming looks at Prince Zel’s timid expression and sighs before smiling reassuringly.]
Princess Charming: That’s fine. You’ve already done a lot for us last challenge. Take a break for now. We can handle this.
[Prince Zel looks visibly relieved and thanks her quietly.]
Mer’s Illusion: I’m afraid I wouldn’t be the best candidate for this challenge either. It might be difficult to win over the audience with words in the form of an illusion that may not even be readable.
Princess Charming: I think you would do well, but if you don’t want to, that’s fine.
[Prince Snow clears his throat to grab the others’ attention. He makes a quick bow and straightens with a charming smile.]
Prince Snow: Prince Snow, at your service.
Princess Charming: Hmm. I don’t think Wildfire likes you much, while Ambrosia… Well, she didn’t seem to dislike you when you flirted with you earlier during the judging. Do you want to take Ambrosia on a date?
Prince Snow: It would be my pleasure to treat such a lovely lady to a date. However, I was actually thinking of asking Wildfire.
Prince Zel: Wildfire? Why? She seems… scary.
[Prince Zel immediately looks mortified and guilty at what he just blurted out in shock.]
Prince Snow: I’m sure I could win her over.
[Prince Snow ends his sentence with a confident wink, and Princess Charming snorts with laughter at his ego.]
Princess Charming: If you say so. But why Wildfire? Do you like a challenge that much?
Prince Snow: No, that’s not the reason. I suppose you didn’t notice earlier, but I believe a few of our hosts are not quite happy with me after I flirted with Ambrosia.
Princess Charming: Really? Who?
[Prince Snow just smiles without a word.]
Princess Charming: Snow, I swear to Heavens, if you ruin our chances at winning because of you and your coquetry, I will burn you to crisp.
[Prince Snow smirks flirtatiously.]
Prince Snow: Is that jealousy in your voice?
Princess Charming: That was pure frustration and exasperation.
Prince Snow: If you say so, my princess.
[Princess Charming sighs loudly.]
Princess Charming: I suppose there is no choice. I was planning to wait till a later challenge before showing my true abilities aside from magic, but I’ll just have to step up to the challenge myself. I know you think you can win Wildfire over, but I’d rather not take that risk.
[Prince Snow concedes with a good-natured smile.]
Blake: Heh, yeah, I’m out.
Jordan: Me too.
Paige: You guys are ridiculous. You won’t even consider giving it a shot?
Blake: No, there’s only one person–
[Blake quickly interrupts himself before he can go any further.]
Blake: I-I mean, you’ve said it yourself I’m ‘adept on getting on people’s nerves’. We’re trying to win this thing, right?
Jordan: Dating is uncomfortable, especially in public.
Paige: Well, what about you, Colt? This kind of challenge seems like it would be perfect for you.
Colt: Me? I mean, I’ve probably got more game than these two, but I’m no expert.
Paige: Really? You’re cute, you have a nice smile, you’re sweet and always friendly. I figured you’d get all the girls.
[Colt is a few seconds away from turning full tomato at all Paige’s compliments]
Colt: Paige, come on, you don’t have to flatter me.
Blake: Yeah, Paige. His head doesn’t need to get any bigger. Maybe we should talk about his dating experiences in the past.
Colt: We don’t really need–
Blake: How about the time you spilled your drink on that blonde before you could even say hello?
Colt: That wasn’t even really a date–
Jordan: Or the time you wore your pants inside out the whole night without noticing?
Colt: Jordan, I told you not to tell anyone about that!
Blake: You seriously haven’t noticed how he trips and stumbles over himself every time he comes in contact with a woman, Paige?
Colt: At least I’m better than the guy who growls every time a girl comes near him!
Paige: Alright, can we please not fight? If that’s the case than I’ll just be the one to–
[The three of them immediately shot down the idea in unison]
Paige: What? Why?
[They shifted uncomfortably until Colt came up with something]
Colt: What happens if something upsets you during the date? They don’t know you like we do.
Blake: Y-Yeah, you might end up killing someone, and then we’d be disqualified.
Paige: You’re overreacting. If I don’t do it then who will?
Jordan: Colt should do it, and go with that scary looking girl.
Colt: I think I have a better chance with Ambrosia…
Blake: Actually, he makes a good point. I doubt you’d be that nervous with someone like that. Plus, I think she’s interested in you.
Colt: Yeah, cause you’re a great judge of stuff like that.
Paige: Don’t worry, Colt. If she isn’t impressed by you, then she’s crazy. You can do it.
[Colt sighs and finally gives in after Paige’s request]
Colt: Fine, but only for you, Paige. Someone needs to pick up the extra points after Blake’s subpar cooking.
[Anyone can see the vein pulse in Blake’s forehead as he steps towards the retreating Colt before Paige physically stops Blake.]
Zheng: Yeah, count me out.
Prince Shun: What a shame. We were so counting on your charm and charisma to win us this one. Truly, this is a great loss for our team.
Zheng: Like you have any room to talk. You’re all backhanded compliments and rudeness masked with fancy long words. I’d put silver on you getting slapped, five minutes in.
Prince Shun: I do seem to recall the time you reduced that one villager to tears because of some “compliment” you tried to pay her regarding her new robes.
Prince Shun: Nevertheless, it is fair that you do not take the reins on this one, as you took charge of the planning and the majority of the preparation for the first challenge.
Princess Yanyu: Well, if you’re out, Zheng, that means it’ll be me for this round. And I was up against such tough competition too! You make such good first impressions, after all…
[The princess smiles ever so slightly, as if she couldn’t resist the urge to slip in that last jokingly snide comment. Zheng ignores her remark.]
Zheng: What, no faith in our dear friend here?
[They slap the prince on the back rather suddenly, leaving the prince to cough lightly before responding.]
Prince Shun: I would actually much rather prefer that as well.
Zheng: Hey, hey! Whatever happened to the “don’t lose courage” attitude from earlier?
Prince Shun: He who knows when he can fight, and when he cannot, will be victorious. I know my own strengths, and my own limitations. Yanyu will be in her element for this challenge.
Zheng: Her element? Really?
Princess Yanyu: It may be hard for you to believe, but life isn’t all fun and games as heir to the throne. As a princess, I’ve got duties to attend to.
Zheng: From that tone, I’m assuming it’s not just bossing around your royal attendants about meals and dress up time. Maybe a light spot of looking down on peasants to break up the monotony?
[Princess Yanyu shoots a glare at Zheng, who lets out a snicker. To ease the tension, Prince Shun clears his throat loudly.]
Prince Shun: Do not worry, Zheng, our social etiquette classes from our childhood will prove to be advantageous here. Yanyu has had to meet with many visiting dignitaries before. I can assure you that a good portion of them were far more…
Zheng: Up themselves?
Prince Shun: …hard to please than the judges here.
Prince Shun: In any case, our time might be better spent deciding who Yanyu should choose for this challenge.
Princess Yanyu: Shouldn’t I be the one picking?
Zheng: Well, who do you want to pick then?
Princess Yanyu: Let’s see here.
Banality Man: Hmm… Well, as I mentioned, my real love is justice. But I suppose that if I were forced to picture myself on an ideal date, I would picture… Captain America! There’s someone who really understands justice—and punching! So my date would be to go see the new Captain America movie. Oh, but I guess if it’s a date, I also have to pick someone to take with me…
Banality Man: Well… I remember Ambrosia was confused by how cell phones worked earlier. And I bet Captain America was confused by cell phones after he woke up from World War II! Ambrosia, do you want to see if that virtual reality room can do IMAX?
[Her eyes widen in surprise, but it’s quite clear that he’s addressing her.]
Ambrosia: IMAX? I’ve never heard of it before, but it would be my pleasure to experience it with you.
[She makes one of her traditional bows.]
Ambrosia: Please lead the way, Sir Banality Man.
Seems like Banality Man’s up to bat! How will the date go? Pay close attention because you’ll be deciding the victor of this Love Challenge!
Also, I’m proud to show you our very first fanart submission by the awesome AnyuBel! It’s Wind from the 1st Challenge in his Dark Link cosplay of Ready, Set, Parody! (which is where all the hosts are dressed from, as a matter of fact!). I believe it’s supposed to be when he was sampling the cuisine from the cast of Reflections on the River.
Until next time!