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The Tournament


by piggy_pen

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Taiheeky woke up and for a moment didn't realise what day it was. The sun was shining through the bedroom window and made Taiheeky smile. She got ready and went downstairs where her brothers and sister were making faerie toast with butter.

      Angellica, a Christmas Zafara, looked up and smiled at Taiheeky as she entered the kitchen. "Are you ready, then, Taiheeky?" she asked. Taiheeky was confused.

      "Ready? For what?" Suddenly Taiheeky remembered. "Oh no, that can't be today!" She checked the calendar hanging above the table and sure enough, there it was. Written in a green marker were the words TAIHEEKY - 2.00PM NST - BATTLEDOME. Today was the day.

      "I'm sure you'll do fine, Taiheeky," commented Tarryl. "You'll be fine whether you win or not, I know it!"

      Taiheeky gulped. She had been dreading this day every day for the last two weeks, ever since her neighbourhood had decided to hold a Battledome tournament. Every single Neopian in Neopia Central had been entered and now was Taiheeky's turn; she was going to battle that very afternoon!

      "I'm not ready!" Taiheeky cried, her eyes wide with fear. "I need more time, I can't battle today!"

      "It's okay, Taiheeky!" Tarryl said, walking towards the baby Uni. "You're very strong and you've had lots of training; everything will be fine, I'm positive."

      "But I haven't had any training!" Taiheeky told her brother. "I got most of my stats from Coltzan's Shrine!"

      Tarryl opened a nearby drawer and pulled out some dubloons. "Why don't we train you now?" he asked. "I know a great academy that gives training just for a few dubloons. I went there myself on Shoyru Day; they are very helpful."

      Taiheeky was unconvinced. "But I'm only a baby Uni! You won your fight because you're a Maraquan Shoyru!" she told her brother.

      "I won my battle because I had plenty of practice and training," Tarryl answered. He winked at his sister. "Intelligence helps too, of course!"

      "Go on, Taiheeky," her other brother Miihshou, a Pink Shoyru, said. "A bit of training will help you, I'm sure all you need is some self confidence!"

      "Okay," Taiheeky relented. "You will come with me, won't you, Tarryl?"

      "Of course I will! I want to be the first one you practice with after your training!"

      Taiheeky and Tarryl entered the Krawk Island Academy together. Taiheeky couldn't believe how big the academy was! There was a huge hall with lots of rooms to the sides and behind the doors Taiheeky could hear the sounds of other Neopians training.

      "This way Taiheeky," Tarryl said, leading Taiheeky to a waiting area to one side where they sat and waited.

      After a few minutes one of the doors opened and a blue Meerca stepped out panting. The Meerca looked really tired and obviously needed a trip to the healing springs. Taiheeky gasped as an Eyrie followed the Meerca out of the room. The Eyrie had only three legs! The fourth was a wooden leg!

      "That's Cap'n Threelegs," Tarryl whispered. "He runs the academy." He stopped talking as Cap'n Threelegs came over.

      "'Ow can I 'elp ya?" he asked. "Me name's Cap'n Threelegs, which course are ya after?" He handed Tarryl and Taiheeky a list of courses.

      "I think you should take endurance -" Tarryl started before he realised that Taiheeky wasn't listening, she was staring at Cap'n Threelegs' wooden leg, with her eyes open wide with shock. "Taiheeky!" The baby Uni jumped with fright then looked at her brother. "Are you listening? I think you should take endurance because you're already strong, you just need confidence and the endurance to last a battle."

      Taiheeky blinked absently. "Yeah, okay," she gulped and turned back to Cap'n Threelegs. "Endurance."

      "That'll be five dubloons!" Cap'n Threelegs said. Tarryl counted out the dubloons and handed them over. "I'll teach ya all me old tricks!" The Cap'n told the baby Uni. "In room six." He pointed to the room that he had been training the blue Meerca in.

      "Good luck, Taiheeky!" Tarryl called after his sister. "I'll meet you here in four hours!"

      Taiheeky entered room six and looked around her. To her left was a small stage set up to look just like a Battledome arena and a wall in the middle was completely covered with shelves full of Battledome weapons. Taiheeky stared at them nervously as Cap'n Threelegs entered and stood beside her.

      "Not the real items, of course," he said, seeing that Taiheeky was staring at the shelves. "Fakes ones, just for ya to train wi'!" Taiheeky visibly relaxed. She could do this, it was only training after all, not the real thing! Taiheeky stood tall and walked toward the stage, ready for her endurance training to begin.

      Four hours later Tarryl was back in the Swashbuckling Academy's waiting area, looking at the door to room six and trying to hear what was happening inside. No matter how hard he listened, Tarryl couldn't tell which noises were coming from which room. He stood up and started to walk towards the door but before he reached it the door opened and Taiheeky stepped out.

      "Tarryl!" Taiheeky gave the Maraquan Shoyru a hug. "I did really well!" Taiheeky grinned at her brother.

      "Congratulations, ya now have increased endurance!" Cap'n Threelegs said, stepping out of the room and headed towards the waiting area to see his next client.

      "How are you feeling about the battle tournament now?" Tarryl asked. "Feel ready for it now?"

      Taiheeky smiled. "Not really, I'm still scared and don't think I'll win, but at least I now know what to do to last the battle!"

      "Why don't we go home and practice then?" Tarryl laughed. "Think you can win against me?"

      "Of course I can!" Taiheeky laughed. "I could've beaten you even before the training!"

      An hour later Angellica stepped into the back garden with a tray of drinks.

      "I think it's time you two took a break from all that practice!" Angellica called out to Taiheeky and Tarryl, who were practicing at the far end of the garden. "I've brought refreshments!"

      Taiheeky and Tarryl ran over. Practicing sure was thirsty work!

      "Thanks, Angellica," Tarryl said. "Just what we needed!" He took a tall glass of orange juice and drank fast.

      "How's it going?" Angellica smiled at Taiheeky. "We should be leaving soon, do you feel any better about the tournament now?"

      "A little," Taiheeky admitted. "I still can't wait until it's over, though!"

      "Oh Taiheeky!" Tarryl laughed, giving the baby Uni a hug.

      "Snacks are ready!" Miihshou called, stepping into the garden with a tray of sandwiches and other snacks. "Hey, Taiheeky - have you chosen which items you're taking into the Battledome yet? Because I have a few ideas!" Taiheeky shook her head. She hadn't even considered it yet!

      "Don't forget the rules say you can only have three items equipped at stage one," Tarryl added. "So choose carefully!"

      "Come on, Taiheeky," Miihshou gestured for Taiheeky to come into the house. "I've got some great items you can borrow!"

      1.55pm, outside the Battledome Taiheeky checked the tournament list to see who she would be competing against that day.

      "Who are you battling?" Tarryl asked, coming over to check the list. Taiheeky turned to face him, her eyes wide with fright.

      "Th-Thort," she stammered.

      "Thort?" Tarryl asked. "Not Thort the Darigan Grarrl?" Taiheeky nodded.

      "I can't do it!" She cried. "Not against Thort!"

      "I know that Thort is strong, but so are you, Taiheeky!" Tarryl tried to reassure his sister. "Just remember all your training, and I'm sure you'll be fine. Everything will be all right." Taiheeky couldn't answer. Suddenly a voice came over the loudspeaker.

      "Taiheeky and Thort to the Battledome," it boomed throughout the building. "Calling Taiheeky and Thort to the Battledome." Taiheeky jumped when she heard the announcement.

      "I can't do it Tarryl! I can't!" she insisted.

      "You'll do great, Taiheeky; go on, go. They're waiting for you!" Tarryl gestured for Taiheeky to enter the Battledome. "I'll see you inside, good luck!" Slowly Taiheeky walked towards the Battledome to begin the tournament.

      The Battledome was crowded with spectators, it seemed as if the whole of Neopia had turned up for the tournament! Tarryl, Angellica and Miihshou took their places next to the stage, ready to cheer for their sister. The welcome music started, the lights went down, the battle was about to begin.

      Taiheeky entered the stage from the left, and Thort from the right. The screens above their heads showed the HP they had to battle with. The countdown to battle began. 3 - 2 - 1 - BATTLE!

      The crowd started cheering as Taiheeky and Thort stepped forward. Taiheeky started the battle with a HP of 25, and Thort had 27. As Taiheeky faced her opponent she ran over all the advice Cap'n Threelegs had given her during her training.

      "I can do this," Taiheeky told herself. "I can get through this battle!" Thort stepped towards Taiheeky and pulled out a Red Clockwork Grundo, which he set on the floor. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK the Clockwork Grundo made its way to Taiheeky who pulled out her Shield of Reflection. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK BOOOOM!! The Clockwork Grundo exploded as it closed in on Taiheeky, but the blast was reflected back on to Thort! Taiheeky couldn't believe her luck, she hadn't lost any HP and Thort hadn't been ready for his attack to be reflected back, so he hadn't defended himself and lost 12HP!

      "Rawr!" Thort roared. "There's no way I'm going to lose this fight!" Suddenly Taiheeky realised that she had an advantage over Thort. He had lost a lot of his HP, and as Clockwork Grundos can only be used once, Thort was also down to only two weapons! Taiheeky could hear her brothers and sister cheering her name as she reached for her Sword of Domar. She leaned toward Thort and poked him, at the same time as Thort poked Taiheeky with his Million Degree Sword. Both contenders lost HP, though Taiheeky used her Bag of Infinite Neggs to restore 1HP.

      "Taiheeky! Taiheeky!" The crowd cheered as Taiheeky attempted to poke Thort again, but this time he was ready and defended himself with his Stone Arm Shield.

      The battle continued, sometimes with Taiheeky losing HP and healing herself, sometimes Thort losing HP. The battle was nearly over, Thort had 5HP left Taiheeky had 7HP. The cheers in the crowd seemed equal, half calling for Thort to win, and the other half Taiheeky.

      "Rawr!" Thort ran at Taiheeky and poked her, taking her HP down to 1. Taiheeky gasped. What could she do now? She healed herself to 2HP and looked up. Thort had thrown down his sword, the impact had broken it! Taiheeky grinned. That left Thort with only his Stone Arm Shield! Taiheeky rushed forward and poked Thort. The crowd cheered. Taiheeky waited for Thort to make his next move, but he was standing still, starting at the baby Uni. "Beaten - by a baby!" Thort gasped.

      "What? Beaten -" Taiheeky looked at Thort's screen. Sure enough, he had 0HP! Taiheeky had won the battle!

      "And the winner is - TAIHEEKY!" came over the loudspeaker. The crowd cheered loudly. Taiheeky stepped off the stage to join her family, unable to speak. She had won! She had beaten Thort!

      "Yay Taiheeky!" Angellica cried, giving her sister a big hug. "You did it!"

      "I knew you could do it!" Tarryl cried. "I knew it!" Taiheeky grinned at everyone, really pleased.

      "I can't believe I won!" Taiheeky said. "I don't know how I did it! But I am glad it's over, I never want to fight in the Battledome again!"

      "But Taiheeky," Miihshou said, handing the baby Uni a drink. "You won your battle; this is a tournament and because you won, you battle in the second stage next week!"

      Taiheeky froze. "You're kidding, right?" She looked at Tarryl, Angellica and Miihshou, who all shook their heads.

      "He's not joking," Tarryl said. "Stage two starts Monday!"

      "Oh no!" Taiheeky cried. "Not again!" Everyone laughed.

      "We'd better get home and start training again!" Tarryl cried, putting his arm around his sister. "Come on, Taiheeky!" Taiheeky couldn't believe it, she had to fight again? Suddenly she grinned. There was plenty of time until stage two started, with enough work maybe she could win this tournament! She wasn't sure if she really could, but she decided she was going to try!

The End

 
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