The judge brought her over to a cabinet of different treasures.
"Choose one and it shall be yours." The judge spoke with a rough accent.
Mingxia considered very carefully as she walked over to the cabinets. She opened some of the boxes and inspected the content inside. However she only shook her head and placed the box back at its original spot. As she walked around her eyes fell upon a certain object, a chinese fan, made from the wood of an ebony tree and a beautiful tree filled with small white blooming flowers was drawn on it.
A smile crept up her face and she picked up the fan. The fan feels heavier than an ordinary fan but it gives the user a satisfied grip over it.
"I choose this." She said and handed the fan over to a servant who placed it into an intricate looking box.
Up in the balconies Zong Qiu drank his tea with a proud smile on his face. He watched as the girl chose the ebony fan and his smile only grew wider. He expected no less from her but he had not expected for her to choose the fan.
While he may be proud another individual is not. Under the balconies there are multiple rooms where the people from lower classes an view the games. In one of the private rooms a young women wearing a very simple yellow robe stood beside the window looking down. She may look like a spectator however unlike the other audiences she was not looking at the winner but the young woman standing in second place. Rage burned in her eyes and she clenched her fist.
"Princess Adela, had it not been you. I would still be the genius daughter of a general, my fiance would not had left me and my mother would not have passed away. Everything is your fault and you shall pay for it."
She turned her head around and her gaze fell on the black helmet resting on a folded leather jacket along with a maroon colored pants.
The servant then handed the box to her and she went down the stage with the box. The judge then sent the competitors back to their tents before announcing for the second match to begin.
Mingxia returned to her tent where Xing was already there waiting for her.
"Congratulations Mingxia." Xing said and poured a cup of orange blossom tea.
Mingxia sat down and brought the cup to her mouth. Xing opened the box and studied the fan.
Mingxia did not look up from her cup. "Hm?"
"Why did you pick this? I saw that there were so many other prizes but why this?" XIng asked.
Mingxia couldn't help but smile when a familiar memory flashed over her eyes. "Hmm. It looked familiar and I owe someone a fan."
Xing looked confused but didn't question anymore and obediently set the box next to Mingxia. She helped MIngxia refill her cup with tea and took out a platter of red bean pastries. Mingxia bit into the flaky crust and the red bean filling exploded in her mouth. She let out a groan with how delicious it is and took another bite.
After a short break time, all the contestants gathered back together for the second round. In the second round, all the contestants are given ten arrows. Five men would throw up five target boards each time for four times. Each contestant are to shoot as many of the targets as possible as they ride on their horses.
Mingxia got up on her horse and made herself comfortable. She scanned around and saw that there was still ten contestants however the girl that had tried to shoot an arrow at her was pulled out of the competition for some unknown reason, Mingxia has her suspicions, and another girl has replaced her. This new girl is very quiet and keeps her head down. MIngxia then looked over and saw Princess Adela sitting on her horse very highly with her head held high and her back straight.
Before Mingxia could investigate around the judge had begin his speech.
"-Well then let round two BEGIN!"
The flags are let down and the horses took off. Five men stood on posts located right next to each other and threw five boards into the air. Mingxia pulled back her bow and successfully pinned down a board. The crowd went wild as she took out another bow and pinned down another board. Of the first five boards two were pinned by Mingxia, another two was pinned down by Princess Adela and the last one was pinned down by another girl. When all five were down the men threw up the next five. Mingxia got her bow ready and took down another board however as she was aiming the quiet girl took down the board Mingxia was aiming for.
Seeing that her target was taken, Mingxia aimed for another one but this one it was taken by Princess Adela.
'What's with these people? Why are they stealing my targets?!' MIngxia pulled back her bow for the third time and this time she struck the third board. She pulled back again and took down another one leaving only one more. Princess Adela had her eyes on that one and prepared to shoot when the quiet girl took it.
Princess Adela immediately looked around and bit her lips. The quiet girl only looked down and held no reaction. However if you were to look closely, a small smile hung on her lips before being replaced by her poker face.
Once again, five board were thrown up in the air. Mingxia only got one, two other girls got one each and the last two were taken by Princess Adela. For the fourth time, five boards were thrown up. Mingxia charged up and took down one however when she looked back she observed how the quiet girl was not aiming at the boards but at Princess Adela. She immediately knew what this girl was about to do.
When the boards have fallen long enough she released the arrow however she released it too early. Had she waited a bit when the boards are about the height of Princess Adela's head she would have been able to pass this off as an accident but because she released too early everyone can see that this was no accident. Mingxia immediately pulled back her arrow and her arrow bumped into the one aimed at Princess Adela's head, with a sharp clank the two arrows landed onto the ground.
The sound was small and no one up in the audience heard it but the contestants on the field certainly did. All five boards were pinned down but no one was paying attention to it. Everyone's eyes were glued to Princess Adela, who looked quite pale. She had not known what happened until she saw the arrow going for her head about an inch away when it suddenly was bounced away. She turned her head to see Mingxia lowering her bow and in her heart the hatred she had felt earlier began to flutter.
Will Princess Adela be a friend or foe from now on?
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