AOH – Chapter 11

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CHAPTER 11: THE FIVE DIVISION

1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 01
Today me and the siblings with Helia is seeing the arrival of many of students. During these 23 days we have become closer.
We share our foods, go hunting in the Grey Forest, which Helia try to warn us that we would reprimanded harshly if we get caught, but in the end she followed us anyway.
(Though we almost got spotted by Nosy Chuck the Guard when we try to sneak out of the grounds)
I also teach her some of my swordplay technique.
Though the technique I teach her is a technique that is suitable for a girl her built and strength. I also teach her some tips about internal energy concepts and basics.
We were behind the Guard House watching the new arrival.
Some were wearing chainmail coming to the gates which invites laughter from the guards. Arial could also see some of them escorted by their parents.
There is also some kids who brought a sword twice his size and that got a big laughter.
Some were even crying, saying they do not want to go there. Some just accepts their new home without complaints.
Some come alone either by riding horses or riding carriages. Arial also spotted some sons of prestigious noble.
With their coat of arms emblazoned on the banner of the carriage, Arial could see that House Palais and House Alan is represented.
The Academy does not allow attendants, servants or slaves to enter the ground to follow their master. It is a place of learning.
Other than the Priest and the Church, the Knights of Alan is one the most enlightened man in this period for they have access to books.
And Arial knew very well the importance of knowledge. Knowledge is power.
“Aw, this means we have to move out from our room’s right?” Kyle said.
“I guess”
They found out the next morning after the banquet that their rooms were temporary and their permanent room will be given after the Choosing.
The Choosing is where the recruit will be chosen to enter on of the five division or Houses in the Academy. The division will be like their family in the Academy.
They will have classes with the rest of my division, sleep in the division dormitory, and spend free time in the division common room.
“Where do you think I will be Chose to?” Kyle asked
‘Purple Fairy” Helia said jokingly.
“No I don’t want that”
“It suits you, Brother.” Lisa said also chuckling.
“Well, if the choosing is based on personality then the perfect division for you is Black Raven” he said to his sister.
“Alright, stop bickering” I said.
“Where do you think you will be Chose to, Arial?”Helia asked
“I chose Fierce Dragon” Arial said. The reason why is because he for some reason find the banner powerful and invokes awe, a dragon as the symbol of the house, how majestic, how imperious and the people in it to be very courageous and powerful.
It is also the division that perish first when the dark lands come attacking. Which means they are the first to lay down their lives for humanity.
Arial respect these man and admire their bravery.
“You can’t choose, Arial. They will choose it for you” Helia said gently.
“Who decides that? I say you can choose. You just have to want it truly, sincerely” Arial said, no doubt in his tone.
“Who’s there!” A yell startled the group of friends.
“Oh, shit. Nosy Chuck” Kyle said his feet already started running. We started running to the towers while Nosy Chuck tries to catch us.
The drove of the new students doesn’t stop until the evening. The feast began.
*******************************************
The Choosing will begin tonight. These times it’s different from the last time. The bustling noises in the hall and the lobby, with the footsteps of the nervous kids, the first time to be Chosen into their respective Houses.
The Houses represented by the 4 fierce animals that all have relations to the lore of Levitia.
It was chosen as the emblem and coat of arms when in the Academy. In a way, it is like the noble houses in the Dukedom.
The early arrivals have already familiarized themselves with the Castles and tower direction so they have no problems in finding the Great Hall.
The new arrival on the other hand, is quite literally a chaos. Some were missing, and some were lost in their way to the Hall.
Some even almost stray to the Green Swamp. Though Lisa call it Stinky Swamp.
From what I heard there is a Green Tree, with flowers that could eat people, and leaves that poison someone feeling like they are burned alive.
Most opted suicide if ever they accidentally rubbed themselves to the leaves. The pain is so severe that people would rather kill themselves rather than enduring the pain.
Thankfully the guides and The Poster of Quest handles all of this problems diligently.
The band of friends enters the Great Hall together.
Today is livelier and the Great Hall is filled with noise and laughter, of screaming and there is some that is crying.
Well, when you think about it, they are seven years old. So, no wonder some of them are whiny.
Arial on the other hand is here because he wanted to gain power and influence. And information.
Then suddenly the Knight Master speaks.
 His voice reverberates in the large Grand Hall. The crying and screaming and laughter stops.
His internal energy must be pretty profound for him to do that trick. He must channel his internal energy to his throat. But I can do that too if I want to. Arial mused as he loo at the Knight Master.
Then the Knight Master stands up from his chair. He was old. His gray hair is showing. But he rise powerfully and you can feel his aura.
He looks wise and strong, his form is stable and strong, wearing leather clothing with an inscription written on his left shoulder.
“Welcome to the Academy.” He said his voice boomed
The kids clapped and he rise his hand and the clapping stopped.
Then he continued.
“The Knights of Alan is a proud order of Knights. Here we do not care about which houses you came from whether you’re a royalty, or sons of Great Lords, sons of noble houses or not. Here we will teach you the chivalric code, strategy and many other things you will not learn in the comfort of your castles and manors. We will teach you to be strong. We will teach you to be smart. We will teach you to be honourable. Tonight, the Choosing begins. The Five Division is the only Houses that matters in here. Here I will introduce to you the Knight Lord that leads the five divisions.’
Then he gestures to another side of the hall.
“Lord Faragor Almut of Division Fierce Dragon, Lord Borelis of division White Wolf, Lady Ellen of Division Purple Fairy, Lord Morra of Division Golden Lion and Agnaris of division Black Raven” The Knight Master introduces the Knight Lord.
The Knight Lord all rise from their seat and introduce themselves. The only one Arial pay attention to is Lord Faragor Almut.
He has short hair, he looks approachable but there’s a glint in his eyes that makes him seems like he can change in a moment notice.
He is tall and has a broad chest and his eyebrow on his left eyes look singed by fire.
“Call the Seer” The Knight Master ordered. Then the attendants rushed while the students wait in anticipation.
Silence filled the Hall. Kyle is looking at Helia and trying to talk with her….but seems to shy away. Arial dismissed this as he look on…waiting for the Seer to come to the Hall.
Then from the chamber a hooded man appear. The attendants brought the Seer.
The students began smartening themselves up believing that this Seer is the one who will chose their House. Arial did no such thing.
He said Seer didn’t he? Bloodline magic, Arial muttered under his breath. Arial had read about Seer before.
Those that are blessed and curse with visions of future and past, too see the threads that connect them all, yet vague enough not to see it clearly.
They see glimpses, paths, choices. But they do not know everything. They only peer through the Veil.
Inherited magic. Arial said in his mind. Old Blood, old magics. It cannot be learned. It runs in the Bloodline. He can see the future or glimpse anyway.
But they can also see some glimpse of the past. Now that will be disastrous. Thankfully Arial remembered something he read in the Library.
The method on preventing someone casting magic on you.
I need to envelope myself with internal energy and release Cold Energy creating a barrier of some sort.
The Internal Energy Cultivation Technique. After learning it, I rarely get tired and my stamina rises considerably. Southern Healer also knows this technique.
The story of how the Southern Healer got the technique is quite a story.
At that time, Temple of Southern Healer is called Linzi Temple. 
Levitia is chased by Demon Lords and was chasing him to Vangua where the Abbot of that Temple takes pity in Levitia and hides him in the temple.
Levitia spend his time in the temple and it is said that he got the idea of creating martial arts based on the moves of the Calming Movement of the monks in the Temple.
Levitia never forgetting the kindness of that Abbot, return after the Subjugation to that Temple.
 Returning with fame, renown and glory yet still humble and thankful, he thanked the Abbot.
As a gesture of gratitude he offered the Temple his swordplay technique and martial arts manual.
Yet the Abbot doesn’t want it, saying that the Temple is for people who want to find enlightenment and peace not learn things that can kill or harm people.
Levitia at that time was regarded as invincible.
All four corners of the Land know who he is and his heroic feats were sung all over the Continents.
Regarded as the founder of martial arts and internal energy anyone would be begging to learn even one of his techniques.
So everyone present is shocked at the Abbot refusal.
But still Levitia could not go and continue his journey without giving the Abbot nothing.
So instead, he wrote a copy of Internal Energy Cultivation Technique explaining to the Abbots that this technique can strengthen the core of the body and can be used to save people.
Levitia also declared anyone that dare attack the temple would be making him as their enemy.
So even though his technique and manuals are tempting for thieves and heroes of their time, they do not dare attack Linzi Temple or steal from them, lest they anger Levitia.
After the Abbot accept the manual and practice it in the temple he developed the Light Healing Finger Technique. It can heal even the most severe internal injury.
Since then the manual has always been passed to the next Abbot to learn and use it to save the people.
If the Seer uses his magic I need to use envelope my body in Cold Energy to prevent him. The Seer sit in front of the Knight Lords table and a desk and chair is prepared for him.
He sits at the chair without making any noises. The other students began feeling nervous.
Then the Seer speaks in an eerie voice like two people is speaking at the same time.
“The Dragons roars and dance in the Sky, Fire and Blood they brought. In the House of Fierce Dragons lies man with fierce heart and indomitable strength, with iron will and determination to soar beyond the horizon” he said his finger pointing towards the Dragon banner.
And fire appears from the banner swallowing the flags. The new students all gasped in shock. But when the smokes settled, the flag is unburnt.
It is not so much magic but alchemy. There is one liquid substance that when smeared onto something will be impervious to fire for a short time.
Dragons do not burn Arial mused seeing the symbolic references.
‘Great men are forged in fire.’ Arial said. Then the seer continue his word
“The fairy sings in the forest, singing of love and romance, House of Purple Fairy dwell the compassionate at heart, kind and loyal. For they are diligent and hardworking. A friend they can be” He pointed to the Purple banner.
And light shone down on the banners and sweet fragrances can be smell. This is alchemy too.
Arial smiles. The Academy will prove to be an interesting place to learn.
Then the Seer pointed to the Black Banner
“The Black Raven, watch upon the Earth, smart and cunning the people that dwell there, sly and at time cruel. Once a messenger Be careful of them for their smiles hide blades”
And this time a black fire envelopes the banner and then when the fire is extinguished a mural of a raven eating a man eyes appear.
Then the Seer pointed at the golden yellow banner
“The Golden Lion roars and commands Dignity and burning pride are in their heart. Honour is their goal. Fighting is their sport, killing is their hobby. Genius or mad can they be”
And a roar can be heard from the Lion banners. Old magic Arial mused again.
Then the Seer pointed to the blue banner.
“The White Wolf majestic creatures, and move in pack for the Lone wolf will die. Count on them for they are people that formed bonds and protect their own strongly, their feelings fierce, their claws sharp, and their fangs lethal. In winter the lone wolf dies.”
Then a howling of wolf can be heard from the banner and chilliness enter the room. The cold of winter seeped itself into the bones of the people.
Then he put his finger down.
“So, afraid not of me. Let me hold your hand and let me see your future, your past and present. Let me see your fears and uncertainty. Your deepest regret, your darkest secret. Fear not, for I am a keeper of secrets, a stone of silence”
Then the voice stops
Lord Faragur stepped forward holding a long roll of parchment.
“When I call your name, you will come to the front and sit in front of the Seer and let him hold your hand”
The seniors began entering the Hall and sitting on their tables. The other student began feeling more nervous.
“Drake, Virila!”A stern looking man rise up from his chair and sat down. The Seer feel his hands and look at him.
A moments pause–“WHITE WOLF!” shouted the Seer and his voice reverberated inside the main hall, everyone could hear it.
The Blue Table cheered and clapped as the boy went to sit down at the White Wolf table. Arial realized that many of those who is in the White Wolf House has stern faces.
” Guise, Lelia!” “FIERCE DRAGON!” shouted the Seer and the red table shouts and cheered clapping. The first woman from the new recruits to enter Fierce Dragon
 “Villion ,Emerson!”” FIERCE DRAGON!”
The table cheered again welcoming Emerson to their ranks. “Villion ,Emerson
” Rodan, Nella” “ Purple Fairy”
“Palais, West” “ Golden Lion”
“Quinn, Relia” “ Black Raven”
“Zephyr, Helia”
“Wish me luck” she said to us as she run to the Seer.
We nodded
“FIERCE DRAGON” We cheered and clapped.
“Alan, Harald” And all the people craning their neck to see.
A descendant of great lineage. Their descendant built the Academy. The boy looked arrogant yet dignified. The son of Alderam Alan, die in the Slaughter.
He gives his hand to the Seer. The moment his hand touched the Seer the Seer screamed “Golden Lion”
He smirked and strode to the tables while people are patting his back. Then it was his turn
“Vermont, Arial”
He walks to the Seer. His step was heavy.
He sat down. The Seer began putting his hand on mine. The moment he touched my hand, I felt it. The presence of magic. Of an ancient power.
I quickly released Cold Energy and envelope my body. The Seer white eyes trembled and his expression looked shocked.
The moments dragged on. The Seer tries to push the energy only to be pushed back.
This dragged on for a little while, he try to push hot energy but my internal energy is stronger.
“Seer, where is his house?” Lord Faragur asks seeing that the Seer said nothing.
Then Faragur realizes the Seer was sweating. The Seer let go of Arial hand no longer can he endure the Cold energy.
Then he spoke.
“This boy will choose his own fate. Strong and brave he is, smart and cunning he can be, kind and cruel he can be. So many possibilities. Stubborn and headstrong. There is fire in you yet, boy”
The Lord Knights and the Knight Master is shocked
This is the first time they hear this. Never before a recruit can choose his own House.
“Seer, what do you mean?”
“I mean what I say. Boy chooses for yourself for I could not choose for you.” He said to me while pointing at the long table.
Arial get up from the chair and said his voice amplified by his internal energy “ FIERCE DRAGON!” his voice reverberates in the Great Hall
The Knight Master seems the most shocked.
To think a kid has such internal energy. Adrian was not wrong. This kid is not ordinary. The Knight Master thought in his head.
He then went to Fierce Dragon table but the table is silent.
They do not know how to response. The seer said suddenly before Faragur even have time to announce the next recruit
“I could not see your future for you are stronger than me young child, yet it should not be possible. But I dare say a prophecy for you.”
The hall quieted. From every table no words can be heard. Even the Knight Lords is silence. A prophecy. This is bizarre and strange.
“You will grow to be a great man. A dragon that soars the blue sky. You may have been able to endure my eyes, but there are some glimpses, that even you could not defend against. There is Moon, Sun and Star. I see them all. I see a woman of unparalleled beauty, of a man shrouded in shadows. I even see an eye, ever watchful, seeing you in the darkness of night, a glimmering sword and sorrows beyond any man, anger that hath no fury, and fire that burns life. Would you like to know more? Come to me, and let me see” the Seer said, his voice is excited
The Knight Lords whisper among themselves. The Knight Master expression on the other hand turned to shock.
He looks at the Seer and at the boy again. He ….could he be? The Knight Master mused.
Sun, Moon and Star the Knight Master repeated in his mind. Sun, moon and Star. Glimmering sword, a man shrouded in shadows. Is it him? Asrana? He ask himself, not daring speaking it out loud.
All the students were looking at Arial, waiting for his answer. From a far there is one boy who looked very unsatisfied with this turns of events.
“I don’t care much about prophecy and nor I’m interested in hearing it” Arial reply.
“Why would that be?” Lord Faragur asked.
Then Arial stare at the ceiling then he said
“Levitia hears the Prophecy
“King Karlman hears the Prophecy”
“Queen Raynis hears the Prophecy”
“Yet, why their fate does is not averted”
“There are Gods, good and evil, light and dark, fierce and gentle”
“Man scheme but God foils”
“Why bother the future when we’re making it right now”
The Knight Lords were impressed. Not only this boy seem strong he is also quite educated. This is a poem by Gustav de Cheve a famous poet in Vangua a long time ago.
It is based on Levitia, Karlman and Queen Raynis prophecy.
Levitia prophecy tells him that he will bring an age of peace and glory for the human race but he will be betrayed by the one he trusted.
Levitia spur by the prophecy formed an army and lead the Subjugation giving him everlasting fame.
Yet, he forgets to be careful of his cousins and was betrayed by them. King Karlman hears a prophecy that he can only be killed by one sword.
Fearing that anyone will find the sword and try to kill him with it he went for a journey to find the sword only to fall in ravine and landed head first to a sword that were said in the prophecy killing him at the spot.
Queen Raynis prophecy is about one of her son who will overthrow her rule. Fearful and paranoid, and by all accounts mad, she ordered to kill all of her children.
Yet like any prophecy, one survives.
Raise by a loyal and champion of the people, the House of Asturia raise the young prince teach him swordsmanship, responsibility to the people.
After learning his true identity the prince now a young man, strong and just, kind and compassionate, gains the support of the other nobles and the common people and raise his banner and marched to the Palace, dethroned her mother and imprisoned her until her death.
“Is that so?” Lord Faragur said his eyes beaming at Arial.
Arial nodded then he sits back at his seat. The Knight Master shock has subsided and he smiles at Arial. Agnaris watch him with watchful eyes.
“Lethe, Kyle” “Fierce Dragons”
“Lethe, Lisa” It takes some time for the Seer to decide then he shouted “ Fierce Dragon”
Then other names were announced 10 more people join Fierce Dragon.
After the Choosing has ended, the Knight Master rise from his chair and clapped both of his hand together and said in a ceremonious tone
“LET THE FEAST BEGINS”
He sat back down. Everybody clapped and cheered. The attendants come out from the chamber and began serving foods and drinks.
The plates in front of him were now piled with food. There is roast beef, fried chicken, lamb chops, puddings, mashed potatoes, gravy sauce and many other foods from all over the Continent.
Kyle piled his plate with a bit of everything which makes her sister once again admonishing him.
It was all delicious. Then an older kid probably 13 years old greet us.
“The name Roddick Hardrad. I came from the lands in Renasia.” His tongue is thick with Renasia accent
“You speak the Common Tongue quite fluently” I complimented. Renasia is the land of the Burning Sun, the Dessert of the Sun God.
“Thank you. So, new recruits, I hope you’re going to help us win the War at the end of the year? We won last time, but Black Raven is really eyeing to win this time. We were harassed all year long by their tricks last year.” As they kept eating and talking the topic turned to their families and their noble Houses.
They began introducing themselves.
“I’m Lelia from the House of Guise in Dostov”
“Helia from House of Zephyr in the Dukedom”
“Arial from the House of Vermont” I said introducing myself
“Oh, that wealthy family. Your father drives a hard bargain in our harbor” Lelia said. I just smiles.
Then the Knight Master Orval rise again and began announcing a few things.
“Before bedtime, there are some things that need to be announced. The Grey Forest is forbidden for the new recruits. SO are the Swamp and the Slithering Bushes. Archery competition is also open. Anyone who is confident in their archery, please register.”
Lisa smiled.
“I’m going to try for that” Lisa said confident.
“You’ll be perfect for it” I said encouraging
Then they pay their attention to the Knight Master words again
“And to remind you all, the quest board will be open tomorrow and quest will be posted. Please choose wisely. Don’t take quest that is beyond your ability. Don’t forget about classes either. Tomorrow your class starts. Now off you go”
The Knight Master exited himself from the Hall. Kyle is yawning, the plates empty.
“I think I’m going to go to sleep” Kyle said
 “I’ll accompany you, Kyle” I offered. Roodick patted us in the back and give us a smile. He said
‘The first year is always the hardest’ Roddick then went back to his clique.
Lisa and Helia is still talking with the girls recruits. I accompany Kyle to bed.Tomorrow class begins.
If the most powerful is Knight Master and his internal energy at that level, then graduating early is a possibility.
I will take difficult quest making it easier for me to be inducted to the Order. And when you accept a quest, you can skip your class.
After all, the class is devise to solve quest. There are many types of quest. Tomorrow I will check it.
Arial then close his eyes and dream again. Of different worlds and a happy world of smiles and laughter of peace and love. Another day passed.
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