Legend of Gemini Chapter 10
Today is the fourth day of training for the upcoming Demon Games. Every team's preparations are on its peak and I can feel the rising pressure on the players―us, especially when the calisthenics program has been initiated by all the leaders since yesterday. Tardiness is strictly prohibited in the platoon formation; one must be on time or much better earlier. What we have to do everyday has been organized; the time for waking up and doing exercises is four AM, bath time is at six, half past six is the breakfast, at seven that's for the Space Pod Simulation, then around twelve noon is for lunch, at one PM that's for the Battle Star Simulation and right now, at five PM in the twilight, it's time for dinner.
It makes one tired and hungry.
I'm still not full after eating my portion. This is new to me since I'm not like this before. I feel dissatisfied with the ration given by the machine-robonauts. Previously, I could be satisfied with a slice of lamb meat and mashed potatoes; but now, a cup of corn grains, a piece of fried chicken wing, four slices of salmon with ginger and butter, six tomatoes, parsley, carrot, asparagus and broccoli can't even make me full. I've also finished a cup of soup and the desserts which previously won't even enter my eyes. I used to dislike salty and overly sweet foods, but now, I'm no longer picky. I think our morning training today has over-exerted me that cost this extreme hunger.
"Here!" Virgil suddenly appeared before me and secretly passed me a platter of reserved food. It's so mouth-watering.
At first, I hesitated to take it but due to my still growling stomach, I no longer stopped myself from accepting Virgil's ration. "Where did you get this?"
"Don't ask! Just eat. But before that, return your original platter then eat on this one so no one will question us." The guy gave me a sarcastic wink.
Well, he's not that bad. This act of kindness from him made me change my view on his group. If you're in the palace now, I will surely reward you, Virgil, together with your friends.
I immediately returned my empty platter to the machine robonauts that were preoccupied with the left-over dishes. After that, I ran back to my seat to eat the ration handed to me by Virgil.
"Won't the others get upset since I get to eat more than one share?" I worried. Virgil only grinned at my words and strangely, everyone else did the same. I frowned.
"You're not the only one who received two shares, hah!" reasoned Marcus. Then, he raised his own second platter which still has lots of food. I also noticed that the others have extra provisions at their side, next to their already used plates. That's when I realized that Virgil had tricked me. I became a fool in the eyes of everyone.
The group began laughing. Well, except from Prometeus who looked like a child with complicated face*. What's his problem with me? Why does he look angry? I ranted in my mind.
(*ED: Author actually used 'like a child with face that cannot be drawn' in literal translation. This phrase may mean either 'very angry' or simply frowning. TL used 'unpaintable', but somehow, I haven't seen this used so I opted something in the middle. Any other ideas?)
I felt conflicted with his stare that's seemed to be full of strange meanings. Jealousy? Is he jealous of me? If so, then I don't give a damn; I don't care even if he's our team leader. I am his prince. I am the prince of planet Chrome.
"Fine, just laugh." I barked at them. Unfortunately, I also couldn't help laughing and ended up joining in their quips. So this is actually how it feels to be joking with friends. It lightens the mood. I'm also feeling emotional. In all my life, only Elder Nebula could joke around with me and no one else.
"Don't you know, brother? You can ask for another provision if you still want to eat, provided you eat everything and waste no food. It's written on the list of rules on the tablet given by the Pillars." Virgil explained.
"Why don't you read your tablet at least and not only the handbook manual?" jested Brandon. I laughed together with everyone then, suddenly, Prometeus stood up.
"Brothers and sisters, after eating, all of you must go back to the tent to repeat the exercises before going to bed. This will be our routine from now on. We have to buff up for the coming Demon Games. We only have one more week to train so we can't afford to waste time." Prometeus instructed us in calm voice before leaving the table completely.
"What's the matter with him?" Finally, Jokai noticed Prometeus' cold attitude towards the team.
"No idea." replied Brandon.
It wasn't just Jokai who noticed the changes with our leader's behaviour.
When we finished our meal, we waited for a while to digest what we ate, then we changed our outfits and headed to Ynamoreven's Circle.
The blood-colored sky was gradually turning violet, mixed with some tint of lonely darkness. The stars and the moons appeared on top of the gray clouds. The stars twinkling up there seemed to be playing around. Even though this scene was only an artificial image created by the force field, it's not that far-fetched from reality. It's still breath-taking.
We spent almost two hours exercising in the circle. After that, the whole team went inside our tent and followed Prometeus, Virgil and Jokai who challenged the Western Terra Nova team, headed by Jorgette Alistonie, for a bout. Since the simulator web was connected to a single network, we could monitor what's happening inside the simulator room in clear details. The two teams wouldn't give an inch to the other so no one has taken the lead. In this Galaxy Trekking challenge, they're all doing their best to showcase their mastery.
I wonder how it feels to play Galaxy Trekking?
If the Space Pod Racing is a race between space vehicles, then the Battle Star Tournament is a warring fight between genius players. On the other hand, the game mechanics for Galaxy Trekking are simple. It's a game which measures the players' mastery in fighting while inside a mobile suit―a gigantic armor with advance combat technology. Mobile Suits are what the star cops equip when fighting against the rebel and tyrannical galactic pirates and other cosmic criminals.
"Wait, isn't she your twin?" Brandon pointed towards the monitor. He was talking about a girl who was currently fiercely firing her laser guns inside the simulator arena. I immediately looked at her and examined the girl's face which was covered by the space helmet. I realized it was Stellar's.
"Yeah, she's my twin sister." I said.
Until when are we going to pretend as twins? This is difficult especially since my tongue is easy to slip. I guess I just have to be alert when answering questions related to our pretence. Anyway, this backwoods girl actually made it in Galaxy Trekking.
I watched Stellar's every movement in the simulator arena. It's still similar to how she had been when we first met at planet Exilon―rough and very agile when dodging laser beams and when throwing space mines. Stellar didn't miss a single one of those homing defence networks that were chasing her and was able to smoothly change positions even though there's no gravity inside the arena.
"Brother, don't be mad to what I will say about your twin sister; but, is she really a girl? She moves like a man; she even beats Jorgette being one. She's agile and―" Lucas couldn't finish what he was saying because Ureter suddenly butted in. "And very beautiful, so courageous."
"You probably possess the same ability as your twin sister." Barish commented.
"Maybe with bows and arrows; but with laser guns? Gee! I don't have the ability." I said to them.
"Weh? No way?!" asked Ureter.
"Yes!" I raised my right hand to affirm my truthfulness. My grandfather, when he's still alive, personally taught me how to handle laser guns and laser pistol and yet, nothing retained in my head. Archery was the only means of combat that I've known.
All my attention returned to the fight projected in the monitor that showed the whole scenario inside the simulation arena. I studied Prometeus moves, and even Stellar's. Barish's and Ureter's observation had hit the mark; Stellar was very competitive when it came to laser gun fights. I suddenly remembered the first night of our meeting. Back in the forest from planet Exilon, she easily slew those wild and carnivorous direwolves.
"Unfortunately, brother, I'm not really skilled in using ray guns or beam pistols." I added to Ureter and Barish.
"Eh, then what's your talent? You should know how to fight, right?" asked Barish.
"He should be. If not, he won't have survived against the Legions when he was still outside the Sanctuary."
I'm itching to expose to their faces that I'm not really a demon child. I am only but your Prince Orion! So you guys should stop wondering why I don't know how to fight. I have my own Royal Guards!
"Archery!" I answered.
I pretended to not be faltered but in reality, my tone was mixed with annoyance. You two are so annoying! All you know is to ask and ask again!
"Really?" Barish reacted disbelievingly.
"I know how to use a bow and arrows." I clarified.
"Really?" Now it's Ureter. I only nodded as confirmation that what they heard was correct. "A pity; Prometeus should have picked you instead as a player for Galaxy Trekking."
"Forget it! That's just another burden!"
After a while, Prometeus and the others ended their practice battle. They were still panting when they exited the simulator as they hastily swallowed a calming pill that they forked from the pocket of their outerspace jumpsuit. If observed, it seemed the pill was effective since the fatigue from their expressions gradually faded. Stellar and I didn't greet each other when our eyes met. It's awkward.
"Is she still mad at you?" asked Ureter who noticed it.
I nodded at him. "Just ignore her! My twin sister is always like that!"
After observing the practice of Prometeus and the rest, we decided to call it a day. We washed first before lying on our berths so we can feel fresh and cool in both body and mind. Showering can really ease the fatigue of the body. I did not wait for my hair to dry up and just jumped to my small bed. Due to exhaustion, I had no trouble sleeping.
Everyone got surprised when the alarm bells, which usually served as reminders for demons, suddenly rang for ten continuous times. I glanced at my clock which was embedded to my bed - it's past three in the morning. Everyone's sleep was disturbed; some got scared of the possibility of fire, while the others were simply annoyed because it woke them up.
What's really going on?
In a blink, Reverend Astronomiya Voltaire's face appeared on the monitor screens by the windows; at the same time, her whole body appeared on the holographic network at the ceiling of our room.
"Good morning, my beloved demons! This is to notify everyone that our group will arrive in the Sanctuary at five in the morning. Please welcome our arrival at the Templar and also give your greetings to our Honourable Primo. While waiting for our arrival, pray for our safety in the hands of our god, Andros; to forgive our sins so that we will be saved against any possible calamity that he may deliver while on our way. Until our next meeting! This is your gracious Pillar." Reverend Astronomiya smiled and began waving her hand until the monitor screen turned off and her holographic body image disappeared from the air.
The kid named Rigel breathed a sigh of relief when he confirmed that the Sanctuary was not really in any dangerous situation. "I thought a fire broke out."
"Don't be afraid, Rigel. We're at the safest place right now. And also, it wasn't the siren's sound." the eight year old Saturn comforted the child.
"Remember Rigel, if the siren rang out, it means a disaster struck inside the Sanctuary. What you heard earlier was only the bell which is not a distress signal." Op-art reminded the little boy.
Everybody changed to their uniforms and then fixed their appearances. Once again, I looked at the clock which was already four in the morning. Time really moved fast while the rest of us were taking our sweet time. Well, everyone's just feeling lazy.