Round 1-1: Memories.
The night Sophia joined the race, she couldn't sleep, and her excitement wouldn't make her feel sleepy. She sat on a chair in the lounge of the capitol building, wondering, if she will get in the competition, who will be her opponent. There are lots of strange characters in this place, some that looks normal to Sophia's mind. She has always loved cute things, and then she notices two kangaroos-like competitors.
<<Ah, they're so cute; I would like to hug them! They look so fluffy... Aww!>> She says with adoring eyes, looking at the two contestants. She loved imagining what she could do if she had the possibility …
Sophia moves her hands in the air as she was squeezing something, while drooling. Then she stopped. Her hands became fists. Bad memories came back to her mind.
In the orphanage of Bright Hope, Sophia had a really rough time. The day after she arrived to the orphanage, it was night. When she fell asleep in her bed, she awoke two days after with bruises and scratches all over her body. The children avoided her, the orphanage's director yelled at her, saying: <<Don't you dare do that again, got it? You damn girl>>. Sophia didn't know what happened that day, but it happened more and more frequently. Every time it happened, she had bruises and scratches on her body, and some children were hurt too. No one explained to her what happened in those days, she didn't know what to think. Sophia cried every time it happened and because of it, she couldn't have any friends and was isolated from every child at the orphanage.
After thinking about this dark part of her past, she went to the room they assigned to her. There were two beds. In one of them, there was someone sleeping, the other one was going to be her bed. When she sat on the squeaky bed, she felt tired, and fell asleep once she lay on the bed.
The day after that, the race was going to begin. The person that was in the other bed was gone before Sophia could wake up. The girl woke up as if she had a nightmare. She looked around herself in search of something, without finding it. She felt a sense of relief. She went out of her room and heard someone speaking.
<<I'm hungry! Let's have breakfast already!>> One said. He was an anthropomorphic Labrador, a very energetic one too.
<<Let's go downstairs, I heard that in one of the halls there's a cafeteria.>> The other one said. This one was an anthropomorphic Grand Bleu de Gascogne. She watched the two individuals have the conversation and then leave. She follows them to the first floor and arrived in a cafeteria where the contestants were eating their breakfast on wooden tables. She got in line and waited for her turn; she put the bat under her arm, and took the plate, where the cook spilled the soup. <<Thanks.>> She said, and went in search of a free table. There was a place next to an anthropomorphic dog-like girl. She was the same girl she saw last night in the Capitol Building.
<<Can I sit here?>> Sophia asked.
<<Hmm? Oh, yes, of course you can.>> The girl said.
Sophia sat next to the girl, put the plate on the table and the bat next to her. <<Thank you. My name is Sophia.>>
<<I'm Rehn, nice to meet you. Are you a contestant too? How old are you? You look younger than I am…>>
<<Well… yes, I'm a contestant and I'm twelve…>> she said. Sophia tasted the soup, it tasted normal to her.
<<Then yes, you're younger than me. I'm fourteen. Do you know when we should start the race? Because I actually don't.>> Rehn said, tasting her soup. She didn't like it much. A noise came from the speakers in the room and a woman began speaking:
<<To all the contestants, when you have finished your meal, go to the Hall C. When everyone will be there, then the race will begin. Thanks for listening.>>
<<… Well… you heard her. Let's finish our breakfast first.>>
<<Do you like that soup?>>
<<Hmm… It tastes normal to me. Not good, not bad. Normal.>> Sophia giggles. <<I see you don't like it.>>
<<You can say I hate it.>> She whispers. <<But don't say that to the cook>>
<<Hehe, okay.>> When she finished her soup, she stood up and took her baseball bat. <<Well, I think I will go searching the Hall C. Thanks for keeping me company, anyways. See you next time.>>
<<Hey, no problem! Bye!>>
Sophia went out of the room and started searching the Hall C asking for information to the people she encountered while walking. At the same time, the wound started hurting again. After a few minutes of pain and walking, she found the hall.
She barely kept in balance; the wound was hurting more than before. She tried ignoring the pain and went to the hall. It was pretty dark and she couldn't see much. There were many people in the room, all contestants and she could recognize the ones that she had seen in the Capitol Building and in the cafeteria. She sat on a near chair and rested a bit. Someone after some minutes closed the door and Nah'yair started speech.
<<Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Race of Aleria.>> Sophia started to not pay attention to her because her wound started hurting more and more, she couldn't help not paying attention. Suddenly, after a few minutes, she didn't feel the pain anymore. Nah'yair kept talking. <<… Now, behind me, there are thirty-two teleporters, each one will teleport you into the place where you'll need to find the teleporter that will bring you back here. The first that comes back wins, the teleporter works only once. And now… when I'll call your name, you will go to a teleporter and begin the race. The first is… Sophia.>>
<<Oh, wow, I'm the first. I'm so lucky.>> Sophia said, and went to the first teleporter in front of her. The first is… Sophia.>>
<<Oh, wow, I'm the first. I'm so lucky.>> Sophia said, and went to the first teleporter in front of her.
Somewhere, in the deep of Sophia's soul, a laughter echoes.
<<So… my dear child got in. Isn't it perfect, Shujin?>> The woman asked to someone, a shadow that was with her, a demon.
<<Tsk… how cruel… I still don't get why you want her body.>>
<<Why? Isn't it obvious? Because I want to live a lot more, and with a lot of money. You see, when Sophia will win this race, -because I already know she will win- it will be only a matter of time. I'll have to wait only an year or less and I'll have the complete control of this body, and no one will stop me. Only if Sophia notices my presence in her body I will die and my plan will fail, but no one knows that.
Ah, I still remember how I loved to ruin her life in the orphanage, beating up the other children, and sometimes the professors too. Because of me she couldn't have any friend, and she avoided from then to not to become the friend of someone else… except today. It looks like that she forgot about that. I wonder why…>>
<<It's because of us, idiot. Since we are here, she can't control her memories very well, because we occupied already part of her brain, the part of her memories. Some of them can't come back in Sophia's mind because we block them. Ah, I don't even know why I did a deal with you.>>
<<Because you owe me, and if I disappear, you'll disappear too, now. So… the memory that didn't make her talk with those kangaroo-things is the one of the orphanage, when she woke up with wounds everywhere on her body, and today we blocked it, so she didn't remember this memory and became friend of that brat? Hah! What a complicated thing, but I think I got it… it's a pity that we can't use that at our own will.>>
<<There is one thing I don't get… why the waiting time decreased abruptly?>>
<<It's because when we got inside her, she was only seven. Usually this magic is used against an adult, but she was the only one that looked like me, and I don't want a body too different from mine. So… Sophia has about a month, mh? How time flies.>>
<<One more thing… sometimes you get inside her body without waiting the time you should. So… how do you do that? Do you know that if you get in her body before the usual, the time you didn't wait will be subtracted to Sophia's time?>>
<<Oh, well, that's not my fault. When she gets hit on the head, we swap our roles. And it lasts only until the night comes.>>
<<Mmmh… Do you think the swap will happen during the race?>>
<<It depends if the girl gets hit on the head… Oh well, I'm going to sleep now. Goodnight, Shujin.>>
<<One last thing. Do you think that she will not kill you, if she wants you out of here?>>
<<… How could someone think to make her aware of us if no one knows? I think that bat-thing will not say it to her, he is enough clever. Only a miracle can save her. Well, now I'm tired. Goodnight.>>
The demon looked at the woman, with a mad look on his face.
<<She doesn't remember that I can see the future, huh? Well… what I know is… that someone will die, and that a miracle won't happen… Kuhuhuhuhuhu…>>