Feelings were nice, but reality was reality: the only player they could keep was the one who could play the notes that kept them on their feet.
Illuminada & Renay faced each other as they blew as hard as they could into their instruments, causing the music notes that composed their floor to rise, lifting them into the stars.
Then they started walking toward each other @ slow but deliberate steps, their eyes purely on their instruments. They didn’t need to watch their feet: they could predict perfectly where each note would be by the pitch & timing o’ their playing.
However, what neither had expected was that 1/8192 chance that a green pumpkin would jump out & devour 1 o’ them by surprise just near the climax, rendering all other strategies nugatory in 1 gulp.
The victor, Illuminada, looked on with a mouth twisted.
Feelings were feelings, but reality is reality: the fights are not ’bout honest skill, but the heavy cloud o’ unfairness & exploiting it when it left one’s airspace.