My legs swung calmly back and forth as my mind and eyes swept over the camp from my hanging spot.
Reach for the sky
1 2 3 4
I’d gotten up half an hour earlier to try and figure out what those numbers meant. I’d counted anything worth counting and so far the only things in groups of four we’re;
- 4 animals on the luck statue
- 4 lamp posts around the lake
- 4 x 3 posts on the lake deck
- 4 x 6 windows in total for the buildings
I doubted the 4th thing would lead me to the treasure. Seemed like a bit of a leap. Same for the 3rd, but I wasn’t ready to delete it just yet. It was the only one that opened the possibility the treasure could be in the lake. And really, is there a better place to drop a treasure?
In my mind the riddle could be separated into two parts. The first one;
Reach for the sky
1 2 3 4
But not too high
Seemed to me like the location. The second one;
Keep the bark in line
Lest he trample it
Had to be the specifics, leading right to the treasure itself. And after half an hour of looking around I was started thinking maybe it meant-
“There you are!” Dawn hmphed. “We thought you hadn’t woken up yet, like usual. So we kind of trashed your tent. But you were here all along? Doing pull-ups on the archery station? Really?”
“Er…” I dropped myself to the ground. I’d only be here for the last ten minutes maybe?
I think I was on the rock climbing wall the longest. I kind of went all over the place trying to find some place with the best view, or somewhere with a bad view but with something I’d missed.
I’ve an idea of where to start now, but I want to be absolutely sure first. I don’t want anyone else knowing about it. The people here…they’d probably want their share or something else I’d rather not.
“Whatever, breakfast soon, so come o-” Dawn reached for my arm, probably just to drag me or whatever, but I reacted (I’ll admit a little too much) by jerking away.
“Oh my god, is this because I took your bandana that one time?” She scoffed. I grimaced and she laughed mockingly.
“I’ll be honest here. I don’t really like you.” I said.
“The feeling’s mutual.” She said. “Now come on.” This time she spun around to go join the others.
“Third to last challenge everyone! I hope you’re all excited.” Flo said with an energetic fist bump. “Today’s is the Gnubb challenge, and we have our legendary Gnubb Queen Kenya against Salandra, a new arrival. Will she overthrow her majesty?”
“Hell yeah! You have reigned long enough!” Kaan replied triumphantly.
“Re-elections are in order.” Tatiana announced.
“Hardly weaklings. Do not expect a mere newbie to best me.” Kenya hissed.
“Champions get ready.” Flo said. “We’ll play three rounds each. Per the usual rule, each bunny is worth 5 points, and the king is worth 30 points. A game of rock-paper-scissors will decide who begins!”
The girls met up at the center, and Salandra won the game, a proud smile on her face.
“Ohhhh she’s already losing.” Tatiana snickered.
“It won’t change a thing Kenya.” Dawn encouraged.
“It’s not like I’m queen of rock paper scissors.” Kenya replied. Sal was still silently exuding confidence.
And so the game began.
The king was struck down.
The two girls had been closely tied, with Salandra temporarily gaining a bunny point in advance, but the rounds were now up and only one of them managed to hit the 30 pt king.
“And the queen is victorious once more! Her reign shall never end.” Kenya exclaimed as our team cheered.
Hell yeah! That’s two wins down! One more and we’re tied.
“How do you like that huh?” Dawn sneered at the other team, sticking her tongue out.
“Winning the other two challenges is going to be a piece of cake.” Zac added.
“I don’t know what you guys would do without me.” Kenya scoffed.
I glanced over at Salandra. She’d been pretty quiet all day.
“Look at them.” Kaan snorted. “Acting all high and mighty.”
Jo spoke up with the day’s schedule. “It’s the last training time today everyone. Kaan’s team will be at the board breaking station, and Nikolas’ team with the bees. That means tomorrow there’s no training, but we have a surprise for everyone if it all goes well.”
Everyone dispersed to get ready for lunch, but I stayed still pulling out the riddle, because I’d just been struck with an idea. Or rather I remembered a fact. The founder of Camp HanzenHall, the author of the riddle, was pretty big on teamwork, so it wouldn’t be surprising if it leaked into his riddle. Especially with the line: Keep the bark in line.I was hesitating between two things, but now I was pretty sure-
I have the distinct feeling I’m being watched.
“What do you have there Niko?” Zac asked.
“Yeah share why don’t you? It looks interesting.” Kaan nodded.
“I can assure you it doesn’t!” I said as I stuffed the riddle in my back pocket.
The two guys converged on me as I backed up.
“That’s not suspicious at all.” Zac noticed.
“Don’t make us take it from you by force.” Kaan warned.
“Ha, I could take both of you on.” I smirked.
Kaan looked positively insulted. “This guy-” He seemed at a loss of what to say and instead his hands formed into fists. Zac just sighed as I could see Kaan get ready for a fight.
And I was so ready for one. It feels like it’s been too long since I taught someone a lesson.
“What are you boys doing? Everyone’s getting ready for lunch.” Salandra suddenly arrived at my side, saving Kaan and Zac’s asses.
“He’s being secretive about something and nobody keeps secrets at Camp Hanzenhall.” Kaan replied through a clenched jaw.
“Whatever man.” Zac said, shoving Kaan lightly and leaving the conversation, with a small brush of shoulders with Salandra. Giving Zac a quick glance, Kaan decided to let things lie as well and left.
“You know I had it under control right?” I verified. “You didn’t need to try and interfere.”
“I got us the picnic table opposite from the barbecue smoke this time!” She said with a smile.
Ha, it’s Sal, it’s not like she’d do something like that. Not on purpose anyway.
Apparently I was sitting at the same table as Kenya and Tom today. (Rather boring people honestly, but right now I’m more than fine with this arrangement.)
“Good game today Sal.” Kenya smirked, still radiating victory. “You weren’t as bad as I expected for a newbie.”
Sal gave a small smile that didn’t really look genuine before grabbing herself a hotdog. Kenya turned her attention to Tom, asking him about tomorrow’s challenge and who their challenger was. Adding some comment about how it probably won’t be Salandra because well you know.
Geesus she’s a bragger.
I looked over at Sal who was looking a little gloomy, her silence back.
I’m not really against her being silent, but it felt kind of wrong to leave it at that here. A happy Sal is better than a gloomy Sal I guess?
“That really was a good game. For a moment it really looked like you were going to win.” I said.
Her eyes went a little wide as she glanced at me, before they drifted off.
“Oh yeah, I really thought I’d win that’s all.” She said. It feels like there’s more that’s unsaid? There’s no point to pushing though.
“Well you nearly did. So far you’ve won more challenges than I have.” I said with a slight grin. It’s obvious to me now that I lost because I didn’t put any effort and actually thought I could cheat my way through.
And well, I underestimated her.
This time Sal gave me a genuine smile that reached her eyes. “Haha, yeah I have.”
That’s a smile I recognize.
No one’s POV
On the other table the four teens had taken to the well-practiced art of gossip.
“What do you guys make of the two newbies?” Kaan asked. A rather overdue question. Zac gave him a look. “I’m not counting you in, you passed the test or whatever.”
“Since when do we have a test?” Dawn asked.
“Since just now. So what of my question?”
“Seems kind of late to ask it.” Zac said.
“On the contrary,” Tatiana said. “It’s once you get to know them that you can establish a conclusion. First impressions aren’t reliable.”
“I don’t like Nikolas.” Dawn said.
“What’s new under the sun?” Tatiana said, receiving a kick under the table for her trouble. Kaan looked at Zac.
“What? Dude I don’t want to have an opinion.”
“Nikolas annoys me.” Kaan said.
“He seems like such a kid to me.” Dawn rolled her eyes.
“I just pity Salandra for being stuck with him.” Tatiana said as she took herself another hotdog. “Even if she’s as dumb as nut.”
“Rude.” Dawn coughed between bites.
“She’s not bad.” Kaan shrugged.
“She’s hot.” Zac said, finishing up his hotdog.
“Hot? Not as hot as me though right?” Dawn asked, the cheery warning clear in her tone.
“Er…yeah…um sure.” Zac managed to mutter out, surprised.
Tatiana and Kaan snickered.
(Lol Zac ain’t much for monogamy, but Dawn is.)
This chapter wasn’t supposed to tug at my heart strings so much holy
I finally got around to searching and downloading some non-defaults skins y’all, and I want to test them out. So a warning in case I decide to apply the skins to the current sims (I’ll prob wait till they grow up to decide whether I want to change things up)