PREVIOUSLY: The 3rd Challenge ended! Now, it’s time for the whole game show to conclude. It’s been fun.
Wind: That was the last challenge, right? Let’s end this. Finally.
Chase: Aww, too bad. I was having fun.
Wildfire: I’ll admit, it had its ups and downs. The best part was seeing Wind go wild. You’re fierce, man.
Wind: Hurry up and announce everyone’s score.
Ambrosia: The honor is all yours, Sir Wind. Please enjoy yourself.
Night: You know he’ll just breeze right through everything.
Arsenik: With an open insult for every team.
Wildfire: Sounds like a good way to end the night with a bang.
Wind: Whatever. At least I won’t waste time like you slowpokes.
Onyx: Your Majesty.
Wildfire: Heh, why you calling him that for?
Arsenik: Valkyrie, I don’t believe he’s addressing Imugi.
King Barium: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think he’s talking to me.
[The deep baritone comes from a man striking in both height and appearance. He wears a red robe over a bare chest, and a silver crown gleams from where it sits crookedly upon his head.]
King Barium: Good evening, everyone. I can see you’re all having a good time tonight – I can tell.
Wind: Then, you clearly need your eyes checked.
Onyx: Do not speak against the king. This is your first warning.
King Barium: It’s fine, Onyx. I don’t really care. It’ll take a lot more than one rotten apple to spoil my mood. Now then, let me have a look at the teams we have here…
[He turns his attention towards the groups of which Banality Man is conspicuously absent. The poor man’s still out cold.]
King Barium: Congratulations for having come this far. But before we move on…
[He smiles, his teeth flashing white against his bronze skin.]
King Barium: Ladies, how would any of you like to join my harem?
Team 2 – Reflections on the River
Prince Shun: Well… I certainly hope that is not the prize the letter spoke of.
Zheng: D— right! I didn’t cook a whole expensive fish and only get to eat the cheek for this!
[Both Zheng and Shun’s eyes immediately snap over to their third companion, who remained silent, balling up her fists at her sides.]
Zheng: Oi, Princeling. You reckon our Princess over here could take Fancy Hat over there in a fight? I’d put a copper on it.
Prince Shun: You think too little of her. I would wager a gold piece.
Zheng: Uh, first of all — that’s not how betting works, we can’t bet on the same thing. Honestly. You’d think if you had that much money, you’d at least know how to gamble. Second — well, aren’t we fancy, having gold to spare-
Princess Yanyu: Enough!
[She shoots a glare at the two before striding over to the king, meeting his gaze. She smiles, sharp as daggers, as she lowers her head slightly, never breaking her eye contact with the king.]
Princess Yanyu: While I thank you for your truly delightful offer, I’m afraid I must decline. After all, I need to return home, where I have a country to run.
Prince Shun: Possibly an army to command, countries to invade.
Zheng: Men to kill, commoners to look down on.
[Yanyu returns to stand with her companions, and speaks to them in a hushed voice.]
Princess Yanyu: (Be quiet! This man may be distasteful, and his offer absolutely vile, but we should not jeopardize our standings and waste all of our previous hard work.)
Zheng: …I’ll never understand royal politics and trying to keep face. Thank gods I’m just a lowly commoner.
Team 3 – Lads in Distress
[Princess Charming blinks in shock and glances at her companions, whose equally stunned faces assure her that she did not mishear the king.]
[A snort of laughter bursts out of her, and one hand flies to her hip as she cocks her head at the king with a haughty smile.]
Princess Charming: How about you join mine instead? You would fit right in with my royal harem.
[Next to her, Prince Snow smirks in amusement, unashamed of his newfound status as a harem member. Meanwhile, Prince Zel lets out a loud gasp, and his cheeks start turning red.]
Prince Zel: C-Charming!
Team 4 – 2 Minutes for Roughing
Blake: Excuse me?
[Jordan doesn’t say anything, but the slight narrowing of his eyes shows that he isn’t pleased.]
Paige: Ah, haha… wow. That certainly is um…
[She debates on the right word to use.]
Paige: A gracious offer, but I’m going to have to pass.
Blake: Tch, that didn’t even deserve to be dignified with a response, much less a polite one.
Colt: For once I agree with Blake.
Jordan: It is highly disrespectful.
[Paige waves her hand, dismissing their concern.]
Paige: Even you, Jordan? It’s fine, don’t worry about it.
Team 5 – Between the Lines
[Bianca walks up to the king, stares him down, square in the face, and replies completely deadpan.]
Bianca: No, thank you.
Cecil: Whoa, Bianca…
Ettore: To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much of anything else.
[Her two companions linger by her side, unsure of what to do but worried for their friend.]
[Barium gazes back at Bianca for a silent moment before roaring with laughter.]
Barium: Fair enough, fair enough. That’s entirely your right.
Wildfire: Heh. And you were worried about Wind insulting them, Arsenik…
Arsenik: I can’t say he wouldn’t have been worse.
Wind: I can still hear you, you know.
Arsenik: My, what big elf ears you have.
Barium: So, where are we on the scoreboard?
Onyx: This is their score after the last challenge. They were rated on their ingenuity when maneuvering the obstacle course and the outcome of their match.
2 Minutes for Roughing
Ingenuity – 5 stars
Physical Match – 5 Stars
Score: 38 stars
Ingenuity – 3 stars
Physical Match – 0 Stars
Score: 26 stars
Between the Lines
Ingenuity – 2 stars
Physical Match – 5 Stars
Score: 37 1/2 stars
Lads in Distress
Ingenuity – 2 stars
Physical Match – 0 Stars
Reflections on the River
Obstacle Course – 5 stars
Physical Match – 5 Stars
Score: 42 stars
Chase: We aren’t going over each of them?
Wildfire: Hush already. I want out of here already.
Onyx: This is their final ranking.
5th: Banality Man
4th: Lads in Distress
3th: Between the Lines
2nd: 2 Minutes for Roughing
1st: Reflections on the River
[Ambrosia turns to the winning team and claps her hands.]
Ambrosia: Oh, congratulations, team from Nantu! Victory is rightfully yours.
Wildfire: Whoop-de-doo. Now, we can all go home.
Arsenik: They haven’t received their prize yet, Valkyrie.
Wildfire: Just give them a kick in the butt back to their place.
Barium: Heh. Tell us. What wish would you like granted? Now, keep in mind. My brother, Alexandrite, and I will only grant you one wish and one alone. So, choose wisely.
[Zheng puts their arms around the shoulders of the royal siblings and brings them closer. While Princess Yanyu goes along with the gesture, Prince Shun shifts uncomfortably, having to bend down to their height.]
Zheng: So what’s it going to be? Are we splitting this three way, or does the person who needs it most get the wish?
Princess Yanyu: Oh! I’ve always wanted all the clothes our foreign envoys wear when they visit. Just a set of each one…
Zheng: Please, we didn’t go through all these tasks just to get you a new wardrobe. And I’m surprised they wouldn’t have brought you a set of fancy clothing when they pay their respects to your father, with a matching set for Shun to boot.
Princess Yanyu: Even if they did bring a set, I wouldn’t be the one who gets to wear them. Anyway, do you have any better ideas?
Zheng: Why, I’m so glad you asked. Because out of the three of us, it’s undeniable that I’m the one who could use a little extra help with day to day living…
Prince Shun: This was an awful lot of effort for just a bit of gold.
Zheng: Who said “just a bit”? Think big! I’m thinking — a lot of gold!
Prince Shun: I am “thinking big”. Perhaps we should use this wish on causes that will benefit the greater good.
Zheng: He completely ignored me… Fine, what do you have in mind?
Prince Shun: Knowledge.
[Zheng rolls their eyes and groans as if in response to an unfunny joke, but the expression on Prince Shun’s face is genuine. Princess Yanyu’s brows furrow, and she looks lost in thought. Unperturbed, Shun presses on.]
Prince Shun: …I wonder what limitations we have for our wish? Otherwise, could we make such grand request such as future sight?
Princess Yanyu: As tempting as it is, I believe wishing for something like that would do more harm than good. What if destiny can’t be changed and you’re left knowing the end will come but are unable to stop it? I wouldn’t want to know what every step that will happen in the future.
Zheng: …Couldn’t we just ask for a nice dinner? Frankly I’m kind of hungry.
[At the mention of dinner, stomachs begin to growl.]
Zheng: I mean, to change it up, we could request for food from a different region or era!
Princess Yanyu: What happened to the “we completed all these tasks” mindset from earlier? And now we’re wishing for food?
Prince Shun: I am sure what Zheng meant was that the experience of trying something that is unattainable back in our world would surely enrich our lives.
Princess Yanyu: Why don’t we just wish for a week of travelling to other worlds, without having to worry about being away from our country or duties. Then we get to see more than just the food.
Zheng: Eh, I guess that isn’t actually too bad of an idea.
Prince Shun: Indeed, while it is temporary, it would grant part of what each of us desires.
Princess Yanyu: So should we go with that? A relaxing trip to somewhere peaceful?
Zheng: Well, it’s not like we’ve got any other option. Though I’d still go with the gold, personally.
Zheng: Hang on — there isn’t any sort of catch to this, is there?
Prince Shun: Perhaps we can carefully word our wish in such a way that it does not leave for any undesirable outcomes.
Princess Yanyu: So we’re decided, then.
[She turns towards the show hosts, as well as the rest of the contestants.]
Princess Yanyu: Thank you for inviting us as guests onto your, er- “game show”. It has truly been an honour to compete with so many talented individuals, all hailing from such fascinating lands!
[As she speaks, Zheng moves to strike a smug victory pose, but Prince Shun places a hand on their shoulder. Seeing the disapproving look on the prince’s face, Zheng clears their throat and stands up properly, adjusting their cloak. This motion does not go unnoticed by Princess Yanyu.]
Princess Yanyu: Um! So! We wish for a week long relaxing visit to a peaceful land that is different from ours where we can explore and learn about their culture, and a safe return back to our home country in our own world after that. …Is that too long?
Barium: Not at all. You could’ve made it even more intricate than that.
[He lets out a low chuckle.]
Barium: Very well. Consider your wish granted.
[He turns to the rest of the contestants.]
Barium: Teams, thank you for coming all this way. I had a hard time convincing my brother to write you that letter, but if he were to see you now, I’m sure he would say it was well worth it. It was nice seeing all of you, and hopefully, it won’t be for the last time.
Ambrosia: I would indeed like for us to keep in touch. Let us remain friends.
Chase: That’s right.
[Wildfire rolls her eyes.]
Wildfire: Tch. Well, someone does still owe me a rematch.
Arsenik: We’ll see to it that you all have a safe trip back to your world.
Night: It was nice seeing you, Princess.
Barium: Onyx, escort our winners to the next room, so they can receive their prize. I’ll be with you once I’ve seen everyone home.
[Onyx nods before approaching the Nantu team in accordance with the king’s orders. As he does, Wildfire saunters over to the hockey players. Night walks over to Princess Charming’s team, and Chase goes over to the fifth team. Ambrosia heads over to check on Banality Man, with Wind close behind her.
Arsenik watches Ambrosia’s back for a moment before stepping over to the king.]
Arsenik: I assume you’ve already decided where they’ll be having their trip.
Barium: Of course. Our island seems fine, doesn’t it? If I’m not mistaken, the princess seemed very eager to learn more about it during her date with Chase.
Arsenik: Virgo Island is a peaceful land.
Barium: Isn’t it? After all, your clan and the others have accepted the Vi’s reign, right?
Arsenik: Of course, Your Majesty.
Barium: While they’re away, make sure you learn a little more about their kingdom in the meantime. It seems interesting.
Arsenik: The other teams as well, right?
Barium: Have fun, Arsenik.
[With another smile, the king makes his way over to the other room with the victors.
That certainly wasn’t a word that Arsenik would use to describe his assignment. Briefly, he considers slacking off on the task at hand, but there wasn’t a credible way of pulling it off. He was a master strategist, but there were no conceivable means of failing his duty without rousing the king’s suspicion.
Not to mention, he disliked the idea of appearing incompetent. It was a glaring inaccuracy that was wholly unacceptable.
However, every king’s reign came to an end. In Barium’s case, perhaps that would be sooner rather than later.]
Thanks for participating in the NaNoRenO Game Show, everyone!
The teams were amazing, and I had a lovely time hosting it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Congratulate them all for being such a great sport, and if you have any comments, feel free to let me know.