Chapter 7

The Great Selection: Part 1

Hey! This is BlackAngel24 here with Dream Dragoness with an all new chapter. I hope you guys like it, so please review if you want. Thanks!

Dream Dragoness: We do not own Chaotic.

The Earth Dome: Downtown District: The Day of the Great Selection...

The ceremony of the newest Codemasters was underway within the Earth Dome. The citizens were bustling around, decorating the district for the festival. Many games were being set up and food of all types and flavors were already cooking. Everyone was excited for this, as this was a day of celebration. However, not everyone was in a celebratory mood at the moment.

Tom was sitting on a bench next to a fountain with a statue of a female codemaster. The statue was adorned in armor holding a dragon helmet in her left arm while her right held a golden staff raised high into the sky, shining. It was standing on a central pedestal with sprinklers spouting out of the five dragons beneath.

It had been a few weeks since Tom had last spoken to Shinwan over the mysterious marking embedded on his hand and his friends' hands. True, he trusted Shinwan enough not to tell anyone of this. But the thought of being found out by the Codemasters, especially Master Imthor, frightened him. Imthor mostly because he got Shinwan involved.

Tom was brought out of his thoughts as he noticed Kaz approaching him from the market.

"Hey, Tom. How have you been?"

Tom looked up and smiled. It may not have been Shinwan, but it was still a friend who understood what he was going through.

"Hey, Kaz. I guess your mom and Cora let you off the hook to enjoy the celebration?"

Kaz rubbed his arm as he sat next to Tom. Apparently, he was still aching from the rigorous training.

"Yeah. And it's a good thing, too. I thought my arm would get ripped out of its socket with the training Cora's been putting me through."

He looked to Tom as he set his arm down.

"Did Ophelia released you, too?"

Tom nodded, taking in the fresh air after his nose had been assaulted with nothing but dust and spices for the past month.

"Yeah. For now. So where are the others? Didn't we agree to meet up here before the festival started?"

Kaz nodded.

"Oh, they'll be here soon. Peyton said that he overheard one of the guards that a couple of the tribal leaders from the Overworld and the Mipedian Desert were seen heading for the Earth Dome to see the Great Selection."

Hearing this, Tom became excited at the thought of Maxxor, the leader of the Overworld tribe, arriving in his hometown.

"Really? That is so cool! We should definitely check it out when we get the chance. I never thought I'd finally get to see one of my Overworld heroes in person."

Kaz nodded as he relayed more information.

"They'll be staying in the Cathedral before the ceremony begins. If we make it in time, we can see them walking in from the city gates."

An hour had passed by and one by one, all of their friends joined up, including Reggie, Jysella, and Shinwan, who was encouraged by Jysella to join the party. They were having a blast, enjoying the activities such as going around downtown playing games and eating the exotic foods on display.

While everyone was busy having fun, Shinwan turn to Tom and whispered to him.

"Tom? Remember that talk we had before? About the markings embedded on your and your friends' hands?"

Tom looked to Shinwan and nodded, mentally thanking her for the discretion.

"Yeah. I remember. Did you found anything?"

Shinwan nodded.

"Yes. Let's take the others somewhere private so we can discuss it. There's a bridge nearby. We can stop there and I'll tell you all what I found."

Tom nodded in agreement. Upon Shinwan's request, they went to the bridge to discuss what she had found. After Tom admitted to his friends about telling Shinwan about what had happened in the Gloomuck Swamp, they all expressed worry. Though Sarah's was more like rage.

"You told Shinwan about our markings!? Are you insane?! What if she told the Codemasters?! They'll have our heads for this!"

Shinwan wanted to defend herself, but she felt a little out of place. See, she did help them, somewhat, but told her grandfather about their secret. Now Shinwan was beginning to regret exposing their secret.

Thankfully, Tom spoke up in her defense.

"Yes. But I had a good reason. Shinwan is the granddaughter of Codemaster Imthor, so she had access to the restricted archives within the Cathedral. I asked if she can find anything about these marking and see if there's a way to remove them. I know you're mad, but trust me. Shinwan a way better choice in helping us than Klay and Krystella."

Shinwan nodded at that. She had worked with the notorious pair before and often questioned why her grandfather and the other Codemasters allowed such despicable people to work for them. She guessed they must've weaseled their way into the service, somehow.

Knowing Tom's word was good, Kaz spoke up to Sarah.

"He has a point, Sarah. And who better to help us then Shinwan herself."

Sarah looked at Peyton, who had a face that said "Tom was right" and sighed. Jysella and Reggie were mainly confused. All they knew was that the four were unconscious when the three sisters brought them back. They heard nothing about markings. Sighing in defeat, Sarah spoke.

"If you say so, I guess. So, Shinwan. What do you have for us?"

Shinwan nodded, deciding to forget to tell them that she did mention the situation to her grandfather,

"From what I had researched in the archives, I found out that what you guys have were once part of a ceremonial game long ago used for the Great Selection,"

"The Great Selection?" Reggie asked, intrigued.

"A ceremonial game?" Jysella asked as well, still somewhat confused..

Shinwan nodded

"Yes. It was a race where all challengers ventured off into the Gloommuck Swamp, passing all sorts of obstacles, and showing their courage to the judges. They were to come across the bird-shaped tree there the four Orbs of Camarok, which were created by muges, awaited the winners. Each orb represented each tribe except the Earth Dome: the Overworld, the Underworld, the Mipedians, and the Danians. Once the orb has been claimed, he or she shall bear the marking of the next Codemasters. At least that's what I think for the last part."

Everyone went silent at this. The markings meant they are the next Codemasters? Peyton was the first to break the silence, still in disbelief.

"So, this was a part of the Great Selection, but why was it never mentioned before? And why were the orbs still working now?"

Shinwan shrugged her shoulders, the same question floating in her mind, still.

"That is something I haven't yet found. I'm not even sure if this meant the persons marked would become Codemasters. But all I know was that this was the way before the Treaty of Alzaborna."

This confused the entire group, with Peyton speaking.

"Ala-za what?"

Shinwan raised her hand to silence their questions.

"I'll find out more of this ceremonial game and the treaty. I promise. I'll do whatever I can to help you guys. For now, let's just agree that nothing is to be said about this matter until we find more information."

Everyone nodded in agreement. However, the calm was short-lived by malicious chuckling coming from a nearby corner.

"Oh, I wouldn't count on that, my friends."

They turned to see Klay and Krystella popped out, grinning like they found something worth gold. This was not good. Clenching his fist in defensive anger, Kaz spat through his clenched teeth.

"You guys again. Just what are you doing here? Eavesdropping on us?"

The pair smirked as they walked towards the group. Klay spoke up in a mocking way.

"Oh, we just happen to be enjoying the view of the festival then we saw you guys chattering about over here. Though I must say, talking in secrecy at a bridge isn't what I call a safe place to chatter about something so serious."

Krystella walked over to Tom, grabbing his marked wrist in a vice grip, raising it up so she could see the marking of the Overworld on him.

"This is no ordinary tattoo embedded on such a kid that is still underage."

Jysella walk to her twin with a pleading look on her face.

"Krystella! Please don't tell anyone of this. They didn't mean to get those markings on them."

Krystella scoffed at her twin sister.

"Yeah right. Like I'm gonna listen to your begging, Miss Goody-Two-Shoes."

Krystella released Tom's arm and walked back to Klay. Tom rubbed his arm, tending to the pain from the tight grip. Krystella spoke again once she took her place next to Klay.

"No way will we allow this. We're not having you fools ruin our plans for the Great Selection"

Hearing this, Reggie spoke defensively.

"So, are you going to report this the the Codemasters?"

Klay laughed.

"Well, of course. Just what kind of acolytes of the Codemasters are we if we let this something like this pass our ears? To not only somehow leave the Earth Dome without their permission, but bring in mysterious markings on four students. Oh, how they'll love to hear your excuses. I wouldn't be surprised if they have you exiled for this."

Krystella spoke up again, mockingly.

"Oh, but don't worry. Once we become Codemasters, we'll see about not getting you exiled. We'll give you more fitting jobs like feeding the horses or washing our laundry."

Not taking this, Shinwan stepped in with narrowed eyes.

"The other Codemasters will not let you mistreat others like that!"

Hearing Shinwan, Klay glared at her.

"Oh? Coming from a royal, herself? The only reason why you might be joining us is because you're the granddaughter of one of the Codemasters, giving you the extra credit,"

Shinwan continued to scowl at Klay, refusing to stand down.

"That's not true! I worked hard in my studies and achieving what I can accomplish though my own abilities. I would never stoop so low as to use my grandfather's power like that."

Klay scoffed, deciding to ignore her remark.

"Whatever. Let's go, Krystella. Let's leave these losers to mope around all they want. And don't worry. We'll wait until after the ceremony to tell them what we overheard. So you guys can still enjoy what little you can for the celebration. Now ain't that nice?"

Both he and Krystella laughed as they left the bridge. The group found themselves in quite a pickle. Especially since Klay and Krystella were so confident that they would become Codemasters and the four marked friends could get exiled.

"Ugh! I hate those guys!" Kaz scowled as he ruffled his hair in frustration.

Shinwan looked to the ground with a saddened look.

"I'm so sorry, guys. I should've known this was an awful place to discuss our matters."

Seeing his friend so distraught, Tom placed his hand on her shoulder in comfort.

"Don't be sorry. Those two jerks have been on our case since this whole thing started."

Shinwan look up to Tom, still upset, but was grateful for the comfort.

"If anything, I'll try to convince my grandfather not to go harsh on you guys and explain to the Codemasters it was just an accident that you guys came across this."

"That is, if they take your words then theirs." Jysella muttered, feeling defeated by her own sister.

Which wasn't uncommon. Jysella and Krystella practically had the whole 'Good Twin, Evil Twin' going on since they were infants.

Wanting to change the mood, Sarah spoke up.

"Look. Why don't we just forget about this and just enjoy the festival? We can discuss more about our punishment another time. I'm already sick of having to deal with my punishment from my dad and brother. I don't need to think about the Codemasters next."

Hearing this, the six friends nodded in agreement. The Great Selection was a time of celebration. And besides, there was still the chance they could see Klay and Krystella get their comeuppance before their exile. And Kaz remember a perfect activity to get started.

"Oh yeah! I heard that the tribal leaders are coming to the Cathedral soon. It's almost midday. If we go now, we can still make it in time to see them!"

Thanks for reading XD