The captain sat down looking at the yellow lens that Ms. Incantasha gave him.
“How will this lead us to the great lost treasure?” Morlock asked.
“It won’t. Not by itself but with the blue and red lenses they will paint a map pointing right to it.” Ms. Incantasha explained. She took the lens and held it up to the sunlight aiming onto a blank sheet of parchment. An image of a part of map started to appear but not enough to navigate anywhere.
"So once we get the other two lenses then we'll know where to go." Morlock said.
"That is correct Captain." Ms. Incantasha said.
"Do you know where the other two are?"
"The Red lens is still being dug up in southern Prush but first we should get the blue lens from the Commandant of the Winged Guard who will be attending the Royal parade next week in the capital city of Monte-Diamont."
The Captain scratched his beard and pondered on how to get to the target.
"This will be much harder than crashing a fancy dress party. Sainte Minan is no place to fly a ship into and the security during the festivities will be very intense." he said.
Maria pulled out a flyer for the military tournament and laid it in front of Morlock.
"And what's this?" the Captain asked.
"This is your ticket for an audience with the Royal family and all the grand commanders with whom you will introduce me to a Brigadier Nicholas Diamondton." Maria said.
"You want me to compete in the tournament?"
"I've watched you toy with an earl who has placed highly in the sabers event every year and your skill with the kitepack will place you very high in the sky diving event."
The Captain rocked back into his chair massaging his temples.
"How many events do I have to win to be granted an audience?" Morlock asked exhaustedly.
"To be certain, you'll need to make grand champion."
"And how many events to win would that be?"
"It doesn't happen often but you'll have to win all four of them"
The Captain looked at all the events and noticed that the tournament was restricted to officers only.
"And how do you suggest I compete without an officer's commission?"
"If you give me enough money I'll have connections that That can get you to the rank of Captain like you are now"
"A Captain in the army isn't the same as a… never mind. I don't think I'd want the responsibility of a colonel anyways."
"So are you going to compete Captain?"
"This is a lot of work for a piece of colored glass but yes I'll be introducing you to the high command before long."
The beginning of the next week with two days away from the Royal festival and the crew were were watching the Captain train for the upcoming tournament. He was dressed in his newly commissioned officer's uniform. Ms. Incantasha somehow got him attached to the Silver Winged Guard, a regiment of the utmost prestige. A white coat with a silver cap and helmet that was shaped like a single wing wrapping around from front to the right with a blue feathered plume that matched his pants.
The uniform wasn't too difficult to move around in but Morlock wasn't used to having a metal bucket on his head and it took some time to get the Winged salute down. Ms. Incantasha kept correcting him like a Russian ballet instructor.
"Touch the tip of wing, No not the plume, the wing of the helm. Now trace the edge with two fingers down to your eyebrow. Now remember when your saluting the crowd extend your hand upward and wave but In front of royalty you must extend downward with a graceful bow." The Diamounts sure took their acts of chivalry very seriously so any goof and the Captain would be outed as a lowly klutz that most definitely would deduct points or even disqualifying him from future events.
Two days later and the parade was upon them. most of the crew was in the audience apart from a few officers who got enlistments in the lower ranks to support the Captain. The parade deck sparkled in the sunlight, you could see gemstone embedded between the white cobblestone road. If it wasn't for all the soldiers standing guard the crowd would rip the road apart.
The music started as the Royal family came out onto their podium and the soldiers started to march out regiment by regiment. All the soldiers were so polished and march so flawlessly that you could tell that only known parade grounds and never even seen a battlefield. After the last cavalry regiment went by a troop carrying airship hovered two hundred feet above the foot of the parade grounds. The eldest princess stood tall at the center of the podium.
"My loyal subjects, today we gather here to celebrate and share the wealth that all of you have worked so diligently for. We also have assembled to honor the brave men and women that protect our land and thus we begin the grand military tournament with the Sky diving event" she announced.
The crowd roared with excitement. A Royal scribe stepped up on the edge of the podium and announced the participates.
"Lieutenant Roy Holyfield from the Red Winged Guard" the scribe shouted.
The participant jumped off the airship and parachuted onto the parade deck
Then he mounted his horses and try to appease the crowd and more importantly the Royals and nobles who were judging them.
Ten more contestants went by and it was finally the Captain's turn.
"Captain Horatio Morlock for the Silver Winged Guard," the scribe shouted.
"She used my real name" Morlock mumbled to himself.
"Alright you're clear to jump sir" said the deck officer.
Morlock took off like a gymnast during a vault with a ton of flashy flips and spins. He kept twirling until he was a hundred feet away then he let out his parachute. He parachuted smoothly until he was a foot away from his horse. He took off his parachute in midair and with a gliding motion landed on the horse like a surfboard. The crowd cheered like there was no tomorrow. Morlock drew his sword and gave a most triumphant salute to the crowd. He cut one of the long feathers off his horse head dress and caught it. Hopping off the horse he sheathed his sword and walked up to the noble section of the crowd. A small girl of six was jumping up and down with excitement. She had a lovely bouquet of flowers in her hands. The Captain knelt down before the child and put the feather in her hair. The girl mimicked him by putting a purple rose in the plume of his helmet. With a graceful walk backwards he gave a salute with a bow. The Captain must of touched hearts of every woman noble and common alike. He mounted his horse and rode the rest of the parade grounds.
The event ended after a few more went across the parade deck but after the Captain's performance they seemed to be like a formality at that point. the scribe announced the top five places stopping before first place to let the princess to name the winner.
"It brings me great joy to name the winner of the sky diving event. With a great show of skill and heart, I name Captain Horatio Morlock of the Silver Winged Guard winner."
The crowd roared as the Captain took his first step towards grand champion.