The Unexpected Friendship Part V
-A Novel By Arabella
@Insight Co-Leader | Arabella is a pioneering female writer for The Ants Novel Team. (edited)
Finally, Sixth arrives at Bella’s anthill. Food, conversation and a game led by Ants in Black. What could go wrong?
Long tables filled with food stood in the middle of the lawn in front of Bella’s tower. A large stage overlooked the forest and was lit with thousands of tiny lanterns, with a firefly in each one. Sero could be seen on stage in front of a microphone, ready for a concert. Ants in Black sat at a round table off to the side and whispered to each other. Their job for today was fixing a game that everyone could play together. Somewhere deep in the forest Godzilla could be heard running around. Bella’s ants built a fence to keep Godzilla from getting too close.
The sun began to set, and the entire anthill was lit with red rays. Just at that moment, the visitors arrived. Bella was very nervous and hoped that everything would go well. She walked over to Sixth and took her hand.
Welcome to Bella’s anthill. We are all delighted to have you here
Sixth had some of her troops with her, and all her ants lined up in two lines behind Sixth.
Thank you very much - Sixth said with a smile - Thank you for letting us come and see you.
Bella led the way to the tables, and everyone found a place to sit. Tiny ants sat around on blankets and with picnic baskets. Many of Bella’s troops were out working, so anyone who wanted to join had a seat.
The meal progressed without any problems. The conversation flowed, and everywhere you could hear laughter and engaged voices. The food was a success, and all appreciated the entertainment with Sero’s music. The sun was long gone behind the horizon, and only fireflies and a few bonfires lit up the tables. Bella got up from the table and looked for Ants in Black.
- As entertainment, Ants in Black has prepared a role-playing game for us.
Everyone around started talking to each other with delight. Bella’s ants were always ready to try something new. Sixth looked at Bella questioningly
- Shall we join and play? - she asked
- Obviously! I’m sure it will be fun. - Bella replied, trying to sound positive while thinking in horror of all the other times her ants found things to do. She still remembered Batman’s Day, when inside Bella’s hill, there were millions of ants with black capes running around yelling, “I am Batman”. Not to mention The Great Egg Toss Day - it took five days to get her anthill cleaned.
Boxes filled with different clothes and costumes were placed on the lawn, and everyone began to search. After a while, groups of costumed ants gathered in front of a long table near the forest. Bella could see that in each group, one or more ants were dressed in red robes.
- Why are you dressed in red robes? - Sixth asked one of them.
- We’re all going to die, so we’re wearing red uniforms. The reds always die.
- Die? - Sixth looked at Bella in horror
- They’re just kidding. - Bella answered in a calm voice. She hoped they were joking.
Bella was dressed in green pants and a tunic, with a staff in her hand. She would play as an Elf Druid. Sixth had horns on her head and a bow in her hand for her role as Thiefling Sorcerer. Most ants had different coloured clothes, some with weapons in hand. Everyone waited impatiently to begin.
Finally one of the Ants in Black climbed up on a table and spoke:
- The game will start in 10 minutes. Each group gets a map. On the map, there will be marked a place where the treasure is buried. Your goal is to find the treasure and bring it back here. At least one participant in the group must return. In the forest, there will be several obstacles in the form of monsters, riddles and traps. Each group will have one member of Ants in Black with them. They will tell you what to do. Let the best ant win!
Bella and Sixth decided to be as a group. Sero was revealed to be a member of the Ants in Black and was the one to follow their group. The forest was dense, but they had several lanterns with them and could still see in the dark. They looked at the map and began to walk carefully towards the treasure.
Almost immediately, they could see the first obstacle. Thick cobwebs hung tied to several trees, and a giant white Jumping Spider sat in the centre of the web. Bella recognized the spider from her guardian troop but feigned fear.
You have to get through the net. You can try to fight the spider or try to persuade it to let you through.
Bella and Sixth looked at each other and wordlessly decided to talk to the spider.
We are trying to persuade it to let us go. So we are kind and ask if we can go through it.
Sero looked at his papers.
Since you are a Druid and live close to nature, you persuade the spider. You may proceed now.
Bella was glad she chose to be a druid. The spider opened the web and winked with all his eyes at them as they passed through. They moved on. Suddenly Bella heard a strange noise from the ground. It was as if someone was rubbing their hands.
There is something here - she whispered to Sixth.
You can try to get more information about what lies ahead or go on. - Sero looked again at his papers - Sixth can use magic to see through the grass.
We don’t need to see - answered Sixth - I want to use a fire bolt to attack.
OK, you throw a fire bolt. Unfortunately, you can’t see very well in the dark and misstep. You miss and hit Bella in her foot instead. Bella is now injured, and you will advance more slowly.
OMG, sorry! - Sixth looked at Bella in horror - I didn’t mean to hurt you!
It is OK. We can still go on. Sero, I want to try to see what lies ahead.
With your darksight as a druid, you can see that it is a Giant Mantis. Do you want to fight or persuade?
Persuade. I promise to get some locusts tomorrow as an extra snack for her.
Sero flips through his papers and eventually looks up.
- You manage to persuade her to let you in. You move on, but remember, you must slow down because Bella is injured now.
Bella and Sixth continued to walk forward slowly. They could hear screams and laughter from other groups wandering in the forest every now and then. They hoped that no one had found the treasure yet.
Suddenly they could see a giant shadow between the trees. Was this the next monster for them to fight? Who will find the treasure first? Will everyone survive?