Adrenaline hums through Dakota's veins as she approaches the waterline, and her signature mischievous smile is plastered across her face. Nine of her guildmates line up beside her, and it makes this moment all the more real. My first S-Class Trial! She thinks excitedly, and she looks down the line. Some replicate her cheerful smile while others' faces remain stoic and stay fixated on the water. She turns her gaze back to glistening waves and waits patiently as the small vials full of the potion are passed around.
"Nobody is to drink the potion until everyone is given one. Doing so beforehand will result in immediate disqualification." Samarra's voice is commanding, and Dakota doesn't move her arm from where it is to grab the potion to avoid temptation.
Once everyone has a glass in their hand, they all down the potion. Dakota considers saving some, but most of it's already down her throat before she's able to fully consider it. She mentally shrugs it off and then turns to look at Samarra for further instruction. The guild master gives her no indication that she shouldn't move forward so Dakota breaks for the water. She runs for around fifteen paces before the water reaches up past her waist, and then she begins to swim. She's passed up by several people, what with their much longer limbs, though Dakota keeps a steady rhythm going.
The thrumming in her veins makes her believe she'll have enough energy to get to the chest, but she needs to be able to get there and back, so she pauses to rethink her method of travel. She's passed up by several more of her guildmates, and while her natural competitive nature urges her to follow, she stays put for a few moments longer. Suddenly, she shoves her hands together, one in a fist and the other flat, and chants "Ice-Make: Hippocampus," and a horse-like creature is summoned forth, though where its body would be, a tail similar to a dolphin's has occupied the space. The sight of the mythical creatures takes her back to days where she would stay up late with her parents reading fairy tales though she doesn't dwell too long lest she get left even farther behind. She saddles its back, and then the creature plunges into the water, propelling her towards the ruins at extreme speeds. She locks her hands tightly around its neck and then adds her Gloves spell to ensure she will stay on.
They approach the ruins quite fast though she notices a few of her guildmates have already begun to occupy the small rooms, or what is left of them. She dispels the creature and begins to swim around, carefully examining every nook and cranny for a sign of a chest. A glint of gold catches Dakota's eye and she swims towards the chest. The area around her has four walls though they are all only a couple of feet taller than she is. She checks around the area for signs of life, though finds none and continues on her way towards the chest. She opens up the top and looks inside to find a paper with faded ink.
Below the plains of the raven,
Above the heat of perished souls,
Stand a steady six pillars.
The sign of comrades,
Lie in circle, wait in black,
Encompass wapiti white as snow.
Six pillars of different stone,
Supporting the same structure.
What am I?
Dakota places a hand to her chin, the other holding up the paper so she can read it. In all honesty, she looks quite silly, like an actor of a mystery show, and a really bad one at that. She even lets out a 'hmm' as if the sound will help her think. She can't say she's ever heard this riddle, even though she prides herself on her curiosity to know the strange and different things in her world.
She begins to picture the scene in her head, closing her eyes to better focus her thoughts. This doesn't really help Dakota at all, but the scene is actually a very pretty one to imagine once she's thinking about it. She makes a mental note to try and draw out the scene in her head, but then she remembers what the scene is for, and shakes all her previous thoughts from her head in favor of actually solving the riddle.
She grabs the small quill resting in the chest and places it to the paper.
The different ideals that shape the world around us. While the creatures within are black and white, the difference of stones shows that it takes several different ideas to hold up the structure.
She places the quill back inside the chest, closes it, safely tucks the paper in a roll through her ponytail, and then turns around. She looks around the area, and the several walls surrounding her prevent her from seeing anyone else. Probably to prevent cheating, she surmises, though the walls are particularly tall, so all it would take was to simply swim up and over them. She mentally yells at herself for thinking such heinous things and then swims out of the room.She looks around her and is surprised to find a creature waiting outside. It's staring directly at her, and the glint in its eyes tells Dakota that it is not friendly, nor is it going to let her pass. She tries swimming up, but the thing lets out a low growl, and she freezes. A low growl wasn't right, though. This thing had three heads, and all of them had let out the sound. Once her initial fear passes, she begins to think of way to escape.
She feels like she'd be able to race past it if she used the Hippocampus because the being is rather large, and not very streamlined, though she didn't want to take that chance. Looks can be deceiving.
She whispers, "Ice-Make Eagles" and six eagles made of ice shoot from her hands towards the creature. The middle head rears back and spews out poison from its mouth, which the eagles all craftily dodge around, and Dakota does the same though the wall behind her is not so lucky. The stone sizzles and a hole appears where the poison made contact. The eagles all land, smashing against its eyes to temporarily blind it. The creature, which she remembers at the moment is called a hydra lets out an angry bellow, and before it can use its poison attack again, Dakota uses her Ice-Make Dome spell. The large creature is frozen inside the dome, and Dakota lets out a heavy breath. The dome is several times larger than anything she's ever made, and she freezes it all the way through to ensure the creature doesn't break free too fast though the exertion of such a huge creation takes a serious toll on her magic energy.
She summons forth a hippocampus and locks on the same way she had before, racing away from the hydra. She can hear the ice beginning to crack and wills it to hold up a bit longer, and it does. She safely reaches the shore before it can attack her, and she drags herself up the shore, and then just lays on the sand, her chest heaving despite the fact she could breathe just fine underwater. She pulls the paper from her ponytail, reading over her answer, and the stands up. She hands the paper to Samarra.
Smiling Samarra accepts Dakota's paper and says, "Thank you Dakota, you can go wait in the guild hall until the other contestants finish. Nova, Arthur, and I will make the announcement once the last contestant finishes."