The day had come. The people of the Caribbean tribe needed to move before the winter spirits froze their sea and refreshed everything. Nothing would be accessible while the spirits worked their magic, hence the existance of the Calypso Islands, a tropical paradise with plenty of supplies for all the six tribes, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Southern, Artic, and a smaller sea tribe, Caribbean, to live and stay while spirits refreshed their life. To move safely, each of the tribes needed their very own goddess to help them, then leave behind an Essence with Tidecaller magic.
Kuna watched as Floressa, the girl many adults thought were going to be the Essence, created her own seashell necklace for the Lantern Night. All the girls above sixteen years of age were allowed to participate on the Lantern Night. It is a festival to find who would be Vesla's Essence. All the tribes gathered in a special cave with the Marine Stone, to see who was the Essence. If there were multiples, they compete to unveil the true Essence. Tikana walked to Kuna, oblivious to her friend's tight face. "Tonight we find out if Floressa is really worthy of Vesla." Tikana said, rubbing a hand over her perfect and naturally tanned caramel colored skin. She walked away, and another girl replaced Tikana's spot almost immediately.
It was Ivette, Kuna's lifelong best friend. She had a sweet face, and large almond brown eyes. Her round face was shielded by locks of flowing brown hair, reaching down to her doll-like waist in an intricate five strand braid. Her side bangs were left out to give her face a younger look. "Stop worrying. I still think you're Vesla's Essence." She said, a deeper voice than expected from her small stature. "Me? Oh-" Kuna was stopped in her sentence and was pulled behind a mountain of woven grass baskets.
"Look at what Floressa is doing!" Ivette hissed, pointing at the blond girl, looking around suspiciously. She then rummaged in her little purse and pulled out a wad of see through grass, with the tips tinted mint green. Floressa turned to the side and stuffed the grass into a pink seashell necklace. She then secured the edges of the seashell together and put it on. Both girls' eyes widened. Floressa was trying to prove herself to be an Essence, and fool the tribe.
"Lightshine grass! How dare she? Just because she's considered perfect doesn't mean Vesla will choose her. What will we do?" Ivette asked, her petite fingers clinging together in a tangled ball of light caramel color. "She would have to compete with the real Essence... What if she really is the Essence, Ivee?" Kuna asked. " Floressa is too..." Ivette paused to make a face with crooked fingers, and continued, "to be an Essence." They both snickered, then hurried away before the other girl could find out they were spying on her.
Floressa clasped the dyed pink seashell in her lightly colored hands. Her blond hair covered her face as she whispered to the seashell, trying to activate the Lightshine grass in time. "Lux fulgebit velit, at tempus. Lux, commodo candescere, firmandos Vestibulum arcu." She stroked her fingers over it, covered it in both hands afterwards, and kissed it on the top. Smiling, the blonde flounced away with the pink seashell hanging on a delicate string in front of her perfectly pink colored dress.
"Well? What are you going to do about it?" Symphonia asked, her gorgeous blue eyes wondering. Kuna had shared the news with her foreign tribe friends. They were seated in their own little cove. It was Lantern Night, and Kuna's friends from previous visits to the Calypso Islands were there discussing the problem. "Let her get on with it. She's obviously not the real Essence, she'd lose in the Essence Trail." Harena said, her dark almond eyes glittering. Isia tilted her head. "Floressa could suffer on the Trail. She's calculating, but surely she doesn't deserve to die on it?" She asked, a little worried. "If she plans on trying to fool your Vesla, she'd be prepared for it." Harena said, crossing her arms. Tikana nodded, looking at Tikka, who was keeping an eye on the ceremony. "It's starting." All the girls nodded and clutched their seashell necklaces, walking to the Sea Stone.
"Kuna of the Caribbean sea tribe." Kuna let go of the hem of her pure white dress, with little blue shades mixed in, and walked up to the glittering green and blue Sea Stone. Holding her blue seashell in one hand, she closed her eyes and touched one hand to the chilly Sea Stone. She felt an exhilarating rush; it made her want to let go and dance. A burst of wind blew her hair backwards, and several girls gasped.
"Kuna, Vesla's Essence of the Caribbean tribe." Mara spoke up, and the Tidecaller guided Kuna away from the stone, placing her in a group with Essences from the other tribes. Her heart was pounding. She stood in place, her eyes wide and she didn't breathe. All she could think was that she was an Essence, she beat Floressa, she would carry her tribe proudly. Her blue seashell necklace was glowing brightly and not to mention, naturally.
"Ivette of the Caribbean sea tribe." Kuna watched as her friend walk up to the Sea Stone. She just touched it and- nothing. Ivette grinned and walked away, smiling confidently at Kuna and gesturing to the blonde behind her. "Floressa of the Caribbean sea tribe." All of the girls who knew about the Lightshine grass watched her intently, eyes fixed to her movements and the ridiculously pink seashell.
After a few moments, it began to glow, noticeable but not as bright as the usual Essence light. Everyone gasped, and the air around the tribes chilled, then fell to a silence. "Floressa, Essence competitor of Vesla." Shocked faces revealed one by one as they came to realize what they were hearing. "We have not had competitors in the past century." Camena, the Caribbean Mistress, said. It was truly rare to have two Essences.
"You'll win." Adriana said, her seashell necklace still glowing faintly. All the Essences gathered in a cove to prepare. Floressa was sitting in a corner, facing a wall far away from the others. All the other girls that were Kuna's friends had become Essences, surprisingly. "It is okay, she is a fake. Only the true Essence can win. Do not worry, Kuna." Crystalline said. Her words were lengthened by her accent, and her dark blue eyes reassured Kuna. "We're all rooting for you." Cella said, grinning. "Kuna and Floressa, please come to be prepared." Mara called. The Tidecaller walked away with a sweep of her royal robe. Kuna stood up, glancing very briefly at Floressa. The blonde got up and followed as well, staring at Kuna coolly as if she had done nothing wrong.
Kuna was dressed in an outfit of black. She had a belt and knives strapped to the side, and a pouch with maps and other things. She also had a coat on, the inside lined with knife holsters and filled with all kinds of knives, to suit her every need. Kuna's hair was wrapped in an intricate braid, building up to a bun near the top of her head, with swirls of braids all around her head. She took a step out of the cove and looked at her competitor, who was looking at herself in the mirror, dressed in all white. She had braids as well, but it hung down her shoulders and the braids interwoven into one final big braid. Camena and Mara led them to a set of holes in the cave, with a curtain of leaves. "To win this competition and claim yourself the rightful place of Vesla's Essence, you will have to uncover the truth of the Pearl and bring it back. Sabotaging your opponent will immediately disqualify you. It means harming them to the point of disability and scar." The Mistress explained, and guided both to one of the holes. "I wish you Vesla's luck." Mara said, touching both competitors on the shoulder, and she gestured to the darkness outside. Kuna took a deep breath and leveled a glare at Floressa, then exited, wielded with a knife.