Ivan is even more determined to win this competition. He makes a trip to the village and buys an apple for Marlon.
Back at the docks, Ivan gives Marlon the apple. “I did not think that I would see you again,” Marlon says.
“I really want to win this thing. So what tips can you give me?”
Marlon takes the apple. “Well, it is simple really. For one…” Marlon begins.
Marlon provides Ivan with everything he knows about successful fishing. By the time they are done, Ivan is confident that he will win.
Ivan finds a peaceful spot on the beach. He readies his fishing pole and tosses out where Marlon said the bigger fish tend to congregate.
He waits for quite a while before he can feel the pull of a fish at the end of his line.
Ivan reels in a big swordfish. “This is a sure winner!” Ivan says with confidence.
Ivan decides that he will show Advisor Kenna his catch later. For now he returns to the barracks. First he plays a round of military strategy.
Then he spends time practicing on one of the training dummies.
His sword fighting skills have improved greatly. There are not many in the kingdom that could beat him now.
However, he still makes mistakes at times and is glad that no one is there to witness as he misses the training dummy and loses his balance from swinging so hard that he ends up with his back to the dummy.
Ivan finally makes his way to the castle. “I guarantee you that this competition is over. I know that I have the biggest catch.”
“I am sorry to say that you are wrong. Goodman Laird is leading this competition with an enormous tench.”
Ivan is not happy.
Maybe my queen can give me better luck, Ivan says to himself while he seeks her out.
“Hello beautiful!” He greets her.
Immediately her face lights up. He grabs her hands, “I need you to give me some luck.”
“Luck? For what?” She asks.
“I am going to win this fishing competition, but I need some of your good fortune to be sure that this is so.”
She kisses him softly, but firmly on the lips.
Ivan is having a hard time letting her go. His body pushes so close until she can feel that he is pleased with her kiss.
She attempts to pull him even closer, but he counters her by pulling back. “Oh my queen, we must wait.”
“I cannot wait Ivan. I care not about you deflowering me. I want you now!”
“Not until we are married. First I want to win this competition to prove myself worthy.”
Ivan forces himself to walk away.
“Worthy?” Chalyela calls after him. “I care not about a stupid competition. I declared you worthy when I gave you my heart!”
He hates to leave her like this, but she could never understand the ways of a man. He has to win this thing.
Ivan arrives at the docks and speaks with Marlon yet again.
“A tench, you say? There is only one thing that could beat a tench and I am not even sure if it really exists.”
Ivan is impatient. “Well, what is it. Do not hold back!” He says with a little more force than he intended.
“I have heard tale of a mystical lobster. He is supposed to live here in our seas, but there is a catch. From what I hear, he can only be caught by the most desperate of fishermen.”
Ivan thinks about Marlon’s story. He is usually not one to believe in mystical objects, but his run-in with that evil witch has opened his eyes to a lot more than just what is in front of him. If this lobster requires a desperate man, Ivan is sure that there is none quite as desperate as he. After all, he has a queen waiting on him.