The next morning, we went to see the game. We went out of the camp and walked half an hour till we reached the lake. At the shore of the lake, they had the seats for the spectators. The lake is located in the bottom of the crater, and the shores rise very steeply, this turns lake Ai into a readymade Dragon over Lake stadium, with rows of seats all around the water. We sat down in the fifth row, on the Narita side of the lake. In front of us near the shore was the set of three wood – metal rings, mounted on the two long concrete legs. Each ring is 2 meters wide. One of them is plain empty ring, another one has metal blockers coming out of the ring into the circle inside. They appear every five minutes and stay for 1 minute. The third ring has a blue armor rim, effectively covering half of inside space, and leaving open a hole the size of the ball. An identical set of the rings stood at the other side of the lakes, which that day was occupied by Gu Jong team. The people came and sat down, on their seats. When the half of the seats was taken, the game was ready to begin.
The referee turned on the speakers, standing beside him, and the anthem of Kadjar started playing. The crowd stood up. Everyone, including us put his hand where his heart is. When the anthem stopped playing. The referee turned off the speakers and boarded his flying lizard. He flew above the middle of the lake. Then the teams flew into the field from the sides. He shook hands with team captains, flew off to the side, and blew his whistle. A big multilayer, graphene sphere was thrown in by his assistant standing ashore.
The Narita forward caught the ball and surged forward. Then both teams started to fly above the lakes. The defenders of the Gu Jong team blocked the advance of the forward and caught the ball he tried to through into the ring. Defender tried to pass the ball to the forward. But the ball was intercepted by the defender of the opposite team. A second later, another Narita forward has the ball, he flew toward the gates, ducked under the defenders of the Gu Jong team, right above the water, comes back up throws and scores 20 points, the ball has passed through the blocking ring. The Gu Jong goalie catches the ball and throws. The forward of his team catches it and throws it right into the open ring. The Narita goalie fails to prevent him from getting 10 points. Then this goalie throws the ball back into the game. And for 20 minutes, the ball flies frantically all around the lake, no one scores. Until Gu Jong forward flew almost right into the Narita ring, his dragon clashes with that of the goalie. He falls down, but his dragon catches him right above the water. The animal carries him to shore, he is replaced by Rob, who spent half of the game on the reserve mat on shore. Naritas replace the goalie, Ned gets into the game.
The game continued. Players flew back and forth crushing into each other. Some fell down and were carried ashore to be replaced. Forwards flew under and above the defenders, the latter were constantly moving up and down. Referee flew around the around looking at the players’behavior. Those who flew too high or tried to go right into the water were given red cards. Those who deliberately crashed into other players, got blue cards, and were removed from the game.
The game went on and both teams continued to score. Rob throws the ball into half – closed ring. Ball bounces back. Ned catches it and throws to forward of his team. The forward throws into the open ring, and scores 10 points. Then Gu Jongs get the ball and throw it through half – closed ring again. They score and get 30 points and get ahead. Two minutes later Naritas score the blockator ring and get 20 points. For the rest of the game Gu Jongs try to catch up with no success.
By the time Referee’s assistant gave asignal to end the game, all players, and dragons were exhausted. Players came ashore and were taken off the beasts. The audience has rushed to the players and carried them into the camp. I asked referee what the final score was. He said that Naritas won 80 to 60.
After the game, everyone was invited to a traditional feast. Before the meal could start, the Gu Jong tribesmen, has passed between two rows of the victorious Naritas. The winners were singing their victory song and formed a roof of the tunnel by joining their hands so that their cloaks form a barrier for the rays of Naomi. Gu Jongs were supposed to crawl through that tunnel and be the first at the table. Naritas went there only after the last of the Gu Jongs crawled through. After they were seated the others were allowed to join the feast.
Twenty long, low tables, were joined into a square, right in the steppe, at the north side of the camp. A very big crowd of people were all eating together, Narita, Gu Jong, journalists, and tourists alike. The people sat on colored mats and ate with their hands. You could believe you are at the ancient steppes of Terra, if you don’t mind the dragons.
We all sat together. Ned and Rob sat on both sides of Rosa. I sat to the left of Ned, right next to mom and dad. Leff and Malik were to the right Rob. We were all discussing the game.
“It was quite a spectacle, right Rosa?” I said. It was the best sporting event I ever attended. Much more exciting than the volleyball tournaments.
“It was enjoyable to watch. And now I want to try it myself.” Rosa expressed his approval. He even wanted to learn it herself.
“Here you have everything you need to learn the game.” I encouraged her.
“You would be here for a month, it’senough time to learn the basics.” Rob said. He just wanted to spend more time with her.
“Would you teach me?” Rosa asked him.
“Off course dear.” Rob kissed her. Rosa always gets exactly what she wants.
“We both would. Malik and Layla can join you, if they want.” Ned intervened not be left out. He offered lessons to me and Malik. It was the only way to keep these lessons educational.
“When is the first lesson?” Rosa asked. She was eager to start.
“Tomorrow afternoon.” Rob and Ned said in unison.
“We would meet you at the lake shore.” I told them. I decided to join in on the fun. Someone had to keep Rosa focused on the lessons.
“We have reached the deal.” Ned shook my hand.
After the meal, the young people went off into the steppe to dance. The dance went on until the sunset. When Naomi went below the horizon, I went to the tent and fell soundly asleep.