Lunar was in a near state of panic that evening when he took notice that his charge went missing. During the party, the night before the race through the maze, some of his fellow moons had dragged him away from the group of planets to talk with him. Lunar was alright with it, feeling that as long as he could see Earth then all would be fine. It was at that point that he had realized his mistake.
For the next several minutes he searched the main ballroom, and several side rooms, looking for Earth. It got to the point that he was ready to talk to Saturn and ask for his help in finding her. But fortunately Lunar spotted her reentering the room with Eris right next to her.
Lunare rushes up to them and grabs Earth and starts to bombard her with questions, “Where did you go? Are you alright? Do you need to sit down?”
“Lunar, calm down. I’m fine. I just needed to step out and get some air is all.” Earth said in her usual cheerful manner
“Are you sure?”
“Trust me, she’s fine.” Eris assured him, “I was with her the whole time.”
Lunar looks at both of women before letting go, “I’m sorry. It’s just that this place is just so strange.”
“That is true, but you need to relax and focus, you got your first trial in the morning.” Eris said
“She’s right. You need to keep your whits about you if you are planning on winning.” Earth smiled at him
Earth knew perfectly well that this particular smile was a dirty trick to get Lunar to do what she wanted. It was essentially her own twist on the “puppy dog” look that had the right effect on him.
He sighs and shakes his head, “Fine, I’ll relax. But you need to stop disappearing on me while we are still here. I can’t protect you if you go off on your own.”
“I understand, But I wasn’t alone. Eris was sweet enough to keep me company.”
“And I plan on keeping close until you two are safely home.” Eris said reassuringly
The events of that night lingered with Lunar as he made his way through the maze. His mind kept returning to how concerned he was for Earth and her well being. Je knew these thoughts were distracting and prevented him from focusing on the task at hand. So much so that he nearly missed it.
On the ground by one of the corners of the wall was something that both stuck out and was hidden at the same time. He knelt down and looked at it.
“And Mercury makes it in third place in this race folks. I must admit that it’s not all that surprising to me that Ganymede, Titan, and Mercury are the top three in this part of the tournament.” Tethys said excitedly
“I will have to agree wiz you, Tezy. I zink everyone here was just waiting to find out in which order zey would finish.”
“Very true Miranda. How are the rest of the competitors doing Dione?”
“Well so far most of them seem to be scattered and roughly half way through. The only one that seems to be lagging behind is Io.”
“It looks like he is zrowing a fit.” Miranda said as the image on the crystal ball shows Io stomping around and yelling at the walls
“He never struck me as the type that would enjoy something like this.” Dione smiled
“Take a look at this ladies and gentlemen, I think our new comer Lunar has found something.” Tethys says as the screen changed again to the crouching Lunar
It was a blue arrow pointing on a green circle . He looked around the other walls and found green circles all over the place, but most of them had red arrows that pointed away from the circles.
“A clue?” he thinks out loud
Lunar shrugged and figured that it was worth checking out. The circle and arrows at first seemed to be decorative, because there were random shapes and colors everywhere one would look. So they didn’t stick out, but they weren’t exactly hidden either. They blended very well with the designs, so that they wouldn’t draw attention.
following the design through several turns he felt very confident that this was the right path. But a thought had crossed his mind, why would someone design a maze that would give away the path to the center?Wouldn’t that more or less defeat the point of moving through the maze?
“Boss, why would you do that?” Dione asked
“I swear it wasn’t my idea to make those clues. It was all on Saturn, it was his idea. I just made them look less conspicuous.” Tethys said with a smile on her face
“But why?” Miranda asked
“Saturn figured that everyone should have the same chance to make it to the center. So he thought that by adding clues and hints was the way to go.” Tethys said as though it was obvious
“But wouldn’t the risk of all of them discovering the clue be a problem?”
“I don’t zink so, Dione. If zat did happen zen zey would still have to race each ozer to ze center.”
“Exactly. Not everyone has a power that would be useful in this round, so by giving those clues helped level the field.”
“Well I’ll be, that is a clever idea. I guess we can expect something like this later on in the tournament.” Dione commented
“That gives Lunar a chance.” Earth thought to herself
She sat in her booth, along with Eris and Ceres. When she was first seated Earth took notice that there was a private booth for each planet, where they sat with their moons, except for Mars as he sat alone.
“This is kind of boring.” Ceres said as she watched what was going on, “When I think of a tournament I figured that there would have been more action.”
“I know what you mean. Maze running isn’t exactly what I would call exciting. But I think that starting tomorrow will bring something more fun.” Eris replied
“I hope not too ‘fun’.” Earth said
“At least not my kind of fun.” Eris said with a smile, “Otherwise there would be traps in there.”
“That would be more exciting.” Ceres smiled
Earth kept her thoughts about putting traps in the maze to herself. Lunar was like a kid brother to her, and she didn’t want to see him hurt. But on the other hand she did want to see him become stronger at the sametime.
Lunar rounded the last corner and he spots a trio of familiar faces standing around in a wide open area. He saw that Titan and Mercury were talking to each other, while Ganymede stood off to the side.
Titan waved and called him over as she spotted him, “Hey there Lunar. I am so glad that you made it.”
“Are we the first ones?” Lunar asked as he approach
“Indeed we are, but Ganymede over there was the very first.” Mercury said
“I'm not all that surprised. He's a very clever guy.” Lunar commented
“Yeah, I guess so. How did you get here, if you don't mind my asking.” Titan asked as she stood closer
“Oh, well you see I noticed that there are secrete guide signs along the wall that tell you where to go.”
Both Mercury and Titan looked at him in disbelieve at his statement.
Titan was the first of the two to speak up, “You have got to be kidding me. I didn't see anything.”
“Neither did I.” Mercury agreed with her
“Well I didn't notice them either until after a while. But if you look at the right places you see that there are little hints to help guide you through.”
“Typical of Tethys to do something like that.” Titan shrugged
“I think that it is rather smart. It is something that you would not expect to look for so you don't. I am impressed at how you spotted those clues.” Mercury nodded his approval
“Sounds like dumb luck.”
The three of them turned to look at Ganymede as he commented on what they were saying
“Yeah, you're most likely right. Puzzles and brain teasers never were my thing.” Lunar said as he rubbed the back of his head with a smile