Chapter 20: An Archer's Game

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Early the next morning, Findekáno, Eve, and Nelyo joined Turukáno and Elenwë, Findaráto and Amarië, and Tyelko and Moryo at the bustling fairgrounds. The archery contest Finno would be participating in didn't start for several hours. They meandered around the shops and stalls. Soon, Eve found herself with Amarië and Elenwë at a jeweler's shop who sold accessories.

"Eve, you simply must try these." Elenwë gestured to a set of rhinestoned bobby pins. They were clear like diamonds and she held one up, letting it sparkle in the light. "They can go in your braid."

Amarië took one and put in Eve's hair. She smiled and nodded. "Yes. Definitely."

"Surely that's expensive," Eve objected. "I can't ask for these."

Amarië laughed. "Nonsense. There is nothing here I have need of. My father sees to that."

"Mine as well," Elenwë added. "Let us get the set for you."

Eve rolled her eyes but a smile adorned her face. "Fine."

Amarië placed three gold coins in the jeweler's hands. Elenwë busily set them in Eve's red hair below the flower crown and in the braid. Once she finished, Amarië took Eve's hand and pulled her through the shops. They looked at each merchant's wares for an hour at least. By the end, Eve felt thoroughly tired.

The women found the men messing around with wooden rods. They were three feet long a piece and rounded. Nelyo currently spun his in circles, reminding Eve of when she and her older siblings had played with lightsabers as children. All three smiled as Nelyo showed off.

But Moryo held his own and stood up, too. He began his routine with the wooden rod and then Nelyo held up his to block his brother's incoming attack. The wood resounded as they clashed together. Nelyo used a single hand while Moryo used a two handed grip.

"Careful, Moryo." Tyelko teased his brother from where he leaned against a short wooden fence. "Nelyo has height advantage."

"I will wipe that smug smile from your face Nelyo," Moryo spat through gritted teeth. His face was drawn in concentration.

Their pretend swords clashed again. They drew closer together and sparred for a few more moments. Nelyo smiled the entire time, infuriating his brother. At the last, the redhead kicked out and pushed his brother back with his leg. Moryo slipped and tumbled to the ground. He scraped his elbow.

"You cheated!" The elf's face burned with rage as he held his arm. "I should've known you'd be like that."

But Nelyo laughed. "Cheated? Are you so weak that you have to slander me?"

Moryo lunged at him and would've punched him if Tyelko hadn't stepped in. The blonde brother held Moryo back and looked over at Nelyo in exasperation. "You had to kick him?" Tyelko then whispered something to Moryo and both paused and snickered.

"Watch yourself, Nelyo." Moryo spat at the ground as he walked away with Tyelko. They disappeared to find seats at the archery range, leaving the three women, Findaráto, Turukáno, and Nelyo together.

"Well that went well," Turvo muttered.

Nelyafinwë snickered. "He will recover. His pride, however, may take some time." He turned to the others. "Shall we find seats?"

They wandered into the direction the two sons of Fëanáro had traveled just a few minutes earlier. Turukáno and Elenwë led the way with Findaráto and Amarië right after. Nelyo trailed behind at a leisurely pace and Eve matched him.

"Did Finno go ahead?" Eve asked quickly.

Nelyo nodded. "Yes. He had to pick out a bow and quiver; the contestants cannot use their own."

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