Reshar Collifay: A Star in the Making - Part Seven
"You will be playing for... Darigan Citadel," the President said. Reshar was surprised by the answer. Darigan Citadel? The team was a powerhouse, and it was obviously a contender to go to the Finals of the Altador Cup. They reached the Finals last year; why would they possibly need me? They have all the talent a team could want!
"Thank you, Mr. President," Reshar said. "Where can I find the team's manager?"
"Darigan Citadel, of course," the President replied. "There's a house that looks like the Citadel's logo; you'll find her there."
"Thank you, sir," Tinfar said. "C'mon, let's head towards Darigan Citadel. We’ll walk back to Neopia Central and rent a raft to get there.” They exited the President’s office and began their journey all the way to Neopia Central. Tinfar stopped at the bank and entered his safety deposit box. He came out with two inflated rafts along with oars. “It won’t be a long journey. Aiden, you can take the other raft with the kids. Reshar, come with me.”
From there, they rafted all the way to the shores off of Meridell and approached Meri Acre Farms, where Darigan Citadel floated right above their heads. A dark Faerie helped them reach the surface of the floating vessel, and they were standing in the center of the Citadel.
"There's the house. Behind the Darigan Toy Shop," Tinfar said. Darigan gave Reshar a scary feeling. He was having second thoughts about joining the team. They knocked on the door, and a Darigan Acara opened the door.
"You must be Reshar! Welcome to the team," she said happily. "My name is Adelene. I'll be your coach this year. Come inside." She showed them inside, and Reshar had never seen a home like this. There was purple, red, and black everywhere. There were pennants, flags, posters, and even furniture with Darigan Citadel's colors and logos all over them. Everyone was astonished. They arrived in to the kitchen, where everything was still Darigan-colored. "Could I offer you anything to eat or drink?"
"No, we're fine," Tinfar said. "Let's get down to business. The Altador Cup starts in three weeks. Do you have your starting lineup ready?"
"With the addition of Reshar, we are now officially ready. We have Layton Vickles back this year, the league's reigning MVP, and Tandrak Shaye, our very effective right forward. We also have our two defenders, Tormo Frein and Kep Bonnefie. Mungo Lifler decided to quit the team this year after last year's performance. It's a tough loss, but we have Reshar this year. Our first practice will be next week at the Altador Colosseum. We will have practices daily so I got the team hotel rooms at the Astrovilla hotel. Our first game is against Meridell this year. We'll need to practice hard this year, right, Reshar?"
"Yeah," Reshar said. "I'm ready to win."
"That's the spirit. I'll see you in seven days, in the afternoon. You'll get to meet the team before the first practice. Oh, and here's your uniform." She gave him a purple and black jersey with his name on the back. "You'll look good in that. I can't wait until you play. Now it's time for you to head out." She led them out of her house, said goodbye, and closed the door.
"Okay, we’ll need to take the raft back to Neopia Central," Tinfar said, “and then walk back to Altador so Reshar will be ready to start practicing.”
They eventually ended up back in Altador after yet another long journey. When they entered the hotel they were staying in, the Astrovilla, the place looked big and luxurious. There was a water fountain in the center of the lobby and some Neopians relaxing on the couches nearby. They checked in to room number 112. It was a big hotel room with a comfortable bed and a great view of the Altador Colosseum. Reshar was so excited for the first game against Meridell. "Wow, look at the time," Tinfar said. "It's really late. I have to go now." He paused. "This is the last time I'll be seeing you, Reshar. You're going to be on your own from now on. Good luck in the tournament. I've got seats reserved for the first game. Say goodbye to your friends, too."
"Bye, Thilve, bye, Nixx," Reshar said sadly. "Will I see you guys at the game?"
"Of course, I reserved seats for them and their families, too," Tinfar said. "Your mother will be there, too. When was the last time you've seen her?"
"Oh my, I haven't talked to my mom since I went to Roo Island. I need to write to her! Bye guys! I hope I see you at the game!" They left the room and Reshar grabbed a pen and paper located on a wooden office desk. He sat down and started writing:
I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while, but while I was in Roo Island participating in the World Playoffs (which we lost by the way), a Kiko named Tinfar helped me join a professional Altador Cup team. I was chosen to play for Darigan Citadel, and I’m going to play in the Altador Cup. I will be in the Astrovilla Hotel for the next month or two, and I would love for you to come and support me in the Altador Cup. I’m in room 112. I hope to see you soon.
He placed the letter in an envelope, sealed it, and went down to the lobby and placed it in a box for all outgoing mail. He walked back up to his hotel room and crashed on to his bed and immediately fell asleep.
The next day he awoke to a bright and sunny day in Altador. He could hear the Pteris chirping. He yawned and stretched as he woke up. He reached by his bedside and pulled out his new jersey and put it on. He couldn't believe he was a member of an actual Altador Cup team. He went into the kitchen and served himself some food. He sat down at the table and read the Neopian Times that was sitting on the table. There was a news report about him signing with Darigan Citadel. He smiled as he looked at the jersey he was wearing. He continued to flip through the pages until there was a knock on the door. He got up and answered it. It was his mother. They hugged each other and Reshar led her into the living room and they sat at the table. He told her about his whole experience starting when he left for Roo Island. He didn't leave out many small details and his mother listened intently. When he finished, his mother hugged him again. "You're an adventurous Jetsam, Reshar," she said. "How about I make you dinner?"
"That sounds great," Reshar said. His mother spent her time making dinner. When it was done they ate and talked about Reshar's upcoming adventures. They finished eating and noticed that it started getting really late. Reshar's mother sent him to bed. Reshar sighed and headed towards bed. Once he got there he dreamed about the first Altador Cup game.
A week had passed and it was the first day of practice for Reshar. He arrived at the field at 5 o'clock and saw his teammates. They introduced themselves one by one. "Hi, my name is Kep Bonnefie, defender," the Darigan Buzz said. "I can get really aggressive sometimes, so watch out for me."
A Darigan Bruce came up to him next. "I'm Tormo Frein, and I'm also a defender," he said. "I'm probably more aggressive than Kep will ever be. That’s why they call me ‘The Terror’." He laughed.
A fierce-looking Darigan Hissi came up to him next. "I'm Layton Vickles, forward," he said. "Probably the former star, now that you’re on the team." He smirked. "I've seen you play. You're an amazing goalie. You may be one of the league’s best. But we'll see about that."
The last teammate of Reshar's to meet him was a Darigan Gelert. "What's up? I’m Tandrak Shaye. I'm the right forward of the team. I'm looking forward to playing with you." Adelene had just arrived, blew her whistle, and everyone started practicing. The sun was fading fast, and so was practice. Reshar was saving goals left and right, and he made a great first impression on the coach and the players. Adelene was clapping for Reshar.
"Great hustle out there, Reshar! Whoa!" She blew her whistle. "Well, practice went a little late today. I'll see you everyday at the same time until our game. Get a good rest!" Everyone headed for home. Reshar took a short walk back to his hotel and went straight to his room. He was exhausted. He practically collapsed on his bed and fell asleep.
Every day for three weeks Reshar was showing much improvement. Layton was right; Reshar looked like one of the best Forwards in the game. Adelene was excited about his performance. Reshar was also becoming more comfortable by playing with professionals. He treated every single practice like it was the last one before a big game. The game against Meridell was only two games away from their last practice. Adelene had decided to give them the day off. “Reshar, could you please see me for a second?” she asked.
Reshar nodded and walked over to her. “Reshar, you’ve become a huge part of this team, and I want to make you feel like you are accepted as one of us, so I’m giving you this...” Adelene pulled out a box and gave it to Reshar. In mild excitement, Reshar opened it and a Darigan Paint Brush was wrapped in paper. Reshar was speechless.
“Adelene, I couldn’t possibly accept this... this must have cost you all of your neopoints!”
“It was a gift from the league. They thought you would’ve liked it. Go to the Rainbow Pool before the match; the look will match your jersey.” She smiled.
Reshar felt like the happiest Neopet in the world, playing with a team he enjoyed. He was also going to the Altador Cup, as a Darigan Jetsam.
Reshar returned from the Rainbow Pool into Altador as a Darigan Jetsam. He walked into his hotel room and nearly scared his mother to death. “Reshar, is that you?! You look great!” Reshar thanked her and grabbed his equipment. His mother assured him that she would be cheering him on in the stands, and he left for the Colosseum.
It was the day of the Altador Cup Opening Ceremony. The whole Colosseum was filled with cheering fans. The referee was a professional looking red Scorchio. He was announced on to the field and everyone cheered. Then each team came on to the field. When Darigan Citadel came on the field, Reshar felt like they had gotten the least amount of cheering. "Oh well," Reshar said to himself. "They don't know that this will be the year Darigan will win the Championship..."
To be continued...