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I wonder how she will react to me. Kapu thought, getting nervous. She looks so intimidating in that silver armor…well…here goes nothing…
As Kapu was about to address the soldier, the young woman turned around.
“Can I help you?” she asked. Her golden bangs past her sapphire eyes and curved toward her chin.
“How did you know that I was behind you?” Kapu asked her.
“We’re trained to detect movement all around us,” she replied. “What do you want?”
“I was wondering,” said Kapu. “It just occurred to me after the drill… Well…I was just, uh, wondering what we would do if we, um, lost during an invasion.” Kapu squeaked out the last part.
“The inhabitants of the ville would go to the castle,” replied the warrior in a matter-of-fact tone.
“But what if the castle was taken over?” asked Kapu.
“Then the inhabitants would go to another ville,” replied the warrior.
“Why wouldn’t we go there instead of the castle in the first place?” asked Kapu.
“The castle is more secure and we would have to report the loss to the King,” replied the warrior.
“What if all the villes were taken over too?” asked Kapu.
“Then we would go to a mine or a cave,” replied the warrior.
“What if all of the caves and mines are taken over?” asked Kapu.
“Then we would go to one of the kingdoms that we are friends with, tell them our plight, and ask them if we could stay somewhere,” replied the warrior.
“What if they said no or if all the kingdoms were taken over?” asked Kapu.
“Then the remaining warriors would train until they became strong enough to take back the ville,” replied the warrior.
“Would you train anyway if we were able to stay at a castle, ville, cave or mine?” asked Kapu.
“Yes,” replied the warrior.
“Thanks for answering my questions,” said Kapu.
“All a part of the job,” replied the warrior.
Kapu went back to her friends.
“Feel better, now?” asked Magenta.
“A little,” replied Kapu.
After they were finished, Lauralee cleared her throat. “It’s free time,” she said. “What do you want to do today?”
“Let’s go to the dorm and talk,” Magenta suggested.
“We can talk in my room,” said Lauralee.
Everyone agreed, and headed toward the dorm. When they got to Lauralee’s room they were amazed at what they saw. There was a round silky bed, a black suede coach, and shimmering drapes at each window.
“Where are your roommates?” asked Magenta.
“I don’t have any,” replied Lauralee. “My parents paid extra so I could have my own bedroom and bathroom.”
Lauralee sat on her bed while her friends sat down on the couch.
Kapu looked around the room. Lauralee’s bed had purple covers on it and a lilac canopy over it. Posters of cute guys were all over the walls, and in the corner of her room there was a desk with books on it.
“So, Kapu,” said Lauralee. “What are you going to do about Larate?”
“What do you mean?” asked Kapu.
“He sits next to you now,” said Lauralee. “What are you going to do to make him ask you out for the promene?”
“The big dance?” Kapu asked. “I don’t know…I was sort of hoping…he would just ask me.”
The girls shook their heads all at once.
“You have to do something to get his attention,” replied Lauralee. “Make him want to ask you out.”
“And when he does, ask him to prove his loyalty,” sighed Lorinna.
“How?” asked Kapu.
“Never mind the loyalty part for now,” said Lauralee. “First, you’ve got to get his attention.
“What do you have in mind?” asked Kapu.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything in mind,” said Lauralee. “I just thought that you should do it.”
“I have an idea,” said Lorinna. “She should get a make over.”
“And she should get a royal purple dress to compliment her eyes and hair!” exclaimed Lauralee.
“I’m not so sure about this…” said Kapu.
“Don’t you want to win his affection?” asked Lauralee.
“Yes,” Kaput said. “But…”
“No buts about it,” said Lauralee, tilting her head up in an arrogant fashion. “Lorinna and I shall go to the dress shop to look for a lovely gown for you. In the meantime, you and Magenta will stay here. She’ll do your hair and nails. Magenta, feel free to use any of my things. Ta-ta!”
Lorinna and Lauralee left to go look at the dresses.
“Shouldn’t I go to make sure that I like the dress?” asked Kapu.
“They’re not going to buy one today,” said Magenta, who was in the bathroom looking for make up and other beauty products. “They’re just looking. Ah, here’s a brush…and here’s some nail polish for your nails. We’ll get started after you take a bath.”
“I don’t need one do I?” asked Kapu, concerned. “I just took one this morning.”
“You don’t need one,” said Magenta. “But it wouldn’t hurt before a dance. And besides I need your hair.”
“Style my hair?” asked Kapu.
“And I found some wonderful Summerberry shampoo and some strawberry bath crystals,” said Magenta. “They’ll make you smell absolutely wonderful!”
“Why would he care if I smelled like fruit?” asked Kapu.
“Trust me,” said Magenta. “When we’re having the party for Aren tonight, there’s going to be dancing.”
“At a birthday party?” asked Kapu. “I thought there would be cake and presents.”
“There will be those too,” said Magenta. “But there will be dancing because it’s not a normal birthday party! It’s Aren’s Golden Birthday!”
“Golden Birthday?” asked Kapu.
“Where have you been, Kapu?” asked Magenta, exasperated at her friend’s naivety. She walked out of the bathroom and handed Kapu the shampoo and the bath crystals. “A Golden Birthday is a very simple thing. When my age becomes the same number as my birthday it will be my Golden Birthday. For example, my birthday is the fifteenth of summer, and I will be fifteenth thus making it my Golden Birthday.” She sat down on the couch. “Now go take a bath.”
After Kapu had taken a shower and gotten dressed, she stepped out to have her hair and nails done.
“I’ve been thinking, Kapu,” said Magenta.
“About what?” asked Kapu.
“You’re hair,” said Magenta. “It would look great in curls!”
Just then the door opened. Lauralee and Lorinna came in.
“We’ve found some nice dresses at the shop,” said Lorinna, smiling.
“And we’ve found the perfect one for you, Kapu!” exclaimed Lauralee. “It only cost seventy gold coins.”
“Seventy!” cried Kapu.
“Oh, really, Kapu!” exclaimed Lauralee. “I’m going to buy it for you. You really need to have more of a social life, you know.”
Before Kapu could respond, Magenta cut in. “What do you think of making Kapu’s hair curly?”
“A marvelous idea!” exclaimed Lorinna. “It will certainly get Larate’s attention.
“But first she has to change,” said Lauralee. “She can’t wear that if she’s going to dance with Larate.”
“Change?” asked Kapu.
Lauralee nodded. “I have the perfect dress for you to wear at the dance.” She walked over to her closet and rummaged around. “It’s in here somewhere.”
“But what about the dress you saw at the store?” asked Kapu.
“That dress you can wear at the promene,” said Lauralee. “But this dress,” She took a dress with a purple flame print on it from her closet, “is just screaming to be worn at Aren’s birthday party. What do you think?”
“It’s beautiful!” sighed Magenta and Lorinna in unison.
“Isn’t it?” said Lauralee. “What colors do you want your nails?”
“Pink would be nice,” said Kapu.
“I think a lighter shade of purple would compliment you a lot,” said Lauralee.
Magenta and Lorinna nodded.
“But,” Kapu started to protest.
“But nothing,” said Lauralee. “You have to look great for this occasion!”
After they done with Kapu, they hurried to the party. When they arrived, Naej opened the door. He was wearing a bluish gray shirt and slacks.
“Glad you could come,” said Naej. He looked at Kapu. “You look nice.”
“Thanks,” said Kapu. She looked around the room. Everyone wore semi-formal clothing. Kapu and her friends walked in.
Lauralee nudged Kapu. “It’s working all ready.”
They walked over to a table and sat down.
“Everybody’s here,” said Naej. After he closed the doors, he took a seat.
On the opposite side of the room, the doors opened. Aren strolled down the center of the room, showing off her new emerald dress and earrings. Her jade bracelets gently clacked against each other, as she put a stray curl behind her ear. Her flaxen hair was in an elaborate updo.
“Thank you all for coming,” she said. “Eat and drink to your heart’s content. After that there will be dancing.”
Everyone formed a line at the buffet tables and grabbed some food and punch.
After everyone was done eating, Greenly and Lorna both stood up; Greenly picked up a blue basket and Lorna grabbed pink basket from their tables. Greenly went over to the boys, and each boy took a piece of paper from his basket. At the same time, Lorna was doing the same thing with the girls.
Aren stood up. “You all know the rules. You are to see what number you have and dance with the boy or girl with the same number. When we call the number, get with your partner.
Kapu anxiously awaited her number to be called so she would know who her partner would be.
“Number thirteen,” said Aren.
Kapu got up and walked to where the other couples were when she saw that Larate was walking towards her.
Oh my gosh! She thought. I can’t believe this! He’s my partner!
“You look really nice, Kapu,” said Larate.
“Thanks,” said Kapu, blushing. “You look really handsome in your dark blue suit.”
“Thanks,” said Larate, blushing a bit.
The band started to play dancing music, and they danced for what seemed to be forever.
I can’t believe I am dancing with Larate… Kapu thought. I wonder if he feels the same way…I wonder if I should ask him…
The music stopped, and some couples went up to the band to see if they could play some requests.
“Excuse me,” said Aren. “The band will be taking a break so feel free to mingle. After the band’s done resting, we will continue the dance.”
The couples started to talk.
“You look nice today,” said Larate for the second time.
“Thanks,” said Kapu.
“You really got dressed up for this, huh?” he said. “Is that summerberry I smell?”
“It’s the shampoo I used,” said Kapu. “Do you like it?”
“Yeah,” said Larate. “I like your dress too.”
“Thanks,” said Kapu. “It’s not mine, though. My friend is letting me borrow it for tonight.”
“That was nice of her,” said Larate. “I saw you at lunch today.”
“You did? Why didn’t you say hi?”
“You were talking to a warrior.”
“What were you talking to the warrior about?”
“If the ville was invaded and we lost,” Kapu said. “And what would happen if the castle was captured along with all the other kingdoms.”
“Wow,” said Larate. “So what would happen?”
“The warriors would train until they were strong enough to get it back,” replied Kapu. “It makes me wonder how safe we really are.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it,” said Larate. “We have strong warriors, great scouts, illusionists, and a whole bunch of other well trained people. We’ll be fine.”
“I hope so,” said Kapu, she was still worried about it.
“What was it like talking to a real warrior?” asked Larate.
“At first I was nervous,” said Kapu, “but then I got over it once I found out that she wasn’t so scary.”
“Ok, everyone,” said Aren. “We’re going to have a slow dance now. You are free to choose your dance partner.”
“Would you like to dance?” asked Larate.
“Sure,” said Kapu.
After the party, the girls trudged to their dorms and started to get ready to go to bed.
Kapu gathered her things and was the first in the bathroom.
“I guess our planned worked, eh Kapu?” Lauralee said proudly.
“Yeah,” said Kapu from within the bathroom. After a while she came out in a nightgown. “Thanks for letting me wear your dress.” She handed the dress to Lauralee.
“You’re welcome,” said Lauralee. “What did Larate think of the dress?”
“He liked it,” replied Kapu.
“And what did you say?” asked Lauralee.
“I thanked him and returned the compliment,” said Kapu. “He also liked the summerberry.”
“I knew he would,” said Magenta. “What else?”
After Kapu told them everything, they went to bedrooms and slept. However Kapu kept tossing and turning in her bed. She could not get to sleep. She tried everything she could think of, but nothing worked. Finally she gave up. She got dressed and decided to take a walk.
While she was strolling near the park, she realized why she couldn’t get to sleep.
It’s the dance! She thought. I’m just afraid that Larate didn’t enjoy being with me.
Suddenly she saw two warriors in the park. One of which was the one she talked to at lunch, and the other a male warrior.
They were walking toward her, but fortunately she was hidden behind the trees.
They stopped and started to talk.
“She was actually worried about the town?” asked the other warrior who was about six foot with short chestnut colored hair.
“That’s right, Pica,” said the warrior that Kapu talked to.
Kapu quickly took cover in a bush so she could listen undetected.
“Come on, C’ris,” said Pica. “You don’t really believe that they actually are worried, do you? Why would they care?”
“I tell you, this one did care,” replied C’ris. “She asked all those questions I told you about.”
“She was probably dared to do that,” said Pica. “It’s about time for Luc and Dana to take over. Let’s head back.”
“I will after I finish my round,” C’ris said.
“Fine,” said Pica, heading back. “See you tomorrow then.”
C’ris and Pica, thought Kapu. It’s very seldom that non-warriors hear the names of warriors. Then her thoughts turned to something else. I can’t believe that Pica didn’t believe that I was really worried.
Suddenly there was a crackle in a bush near C’ris. C’ris shone the light from the lantern in the direction of the rustle. It was a scout!
“Tarak,” said C’ris. “What are you doing here?”
The hooded scout whispered something in C’ris’s ear.
“Zut!” exclaimed C’ris. “How could this happen?!!”
“You’re only a level two warrior,” whispered Tarak. “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
“But I’m sure I could have defeated him!” C’ris whispered.
“The captain doesn’t think so,” said Tarak. “Besides the opponent’s a higher level than you are.”
“Not that much,” said C’ris.
“I’ve got to go,” said Tarak. “Detecting lessons are about to start.” He then left without a sound.
A leaf brushed against Kapu’s nose. She scratched it, and made a little rustling sound.
C’ris swung the light in Kapu’s direction and scanned the area.
Kapu held her breath, not daring to move.
C’ris eyes narrowed for a second, and then she moved on.
This is way too much for me, thought Kapu. I’m heading back home.
Kapu got out of the bush and hurried home.
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