AOH – Chapter 12

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CHAPTER 12: THE QUEST BEGINS

1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 02
Arial is woken up by Kyle. Today is swordplay class.
“Wake up, Arial” Kyle shakes my body.
The spring air come waved to me. Spring, yet I found myself really hating to wake up in the morning. Idyllic life make me weak, I mused
I open up my eyes and began cleaning myself. Swordplay class, I reminded myself before I forget
Lord Borelis teaches swordplay. Heard he is a strict teacher. We began walking to the class. I met all of my new classmates.
There is Lelia Guise , Helia who is carrying large books, and Emerson who looks nervous all the time.
The familiar face is the siblings, and William Austen and Luli Archad. Then Vergo Cortez from Renasia still learning to speak the Common Tongue, Nathan Godfrey from Tuca who get along really well with Luli.
Saw them joking around the last time.
“Alright. Everyone here?”
He looked and scanned the class. Then he opens a parchment and began calling our name. Then our class starts. He tries to teach us the basic.
“Arial, Kyle, Lisa and Helia, you’re very good” Lord Borelis seems overjoyed.
They all succeed in following his movement perfectly. It’s not that hard really. And that basic?
I’ve been teaching the siblings since they were little.
“I can teach you the next step” The Knight offered.
“Please teacher” Kyle said
So the teacher performed a few moves and the 4 of us follow without missing a step. His initial amazement turns to admiration.
“4 of you are really fast”
Referring to the fact that we’re fast in understanding the basic. Helia did make a little mistake but it’s not that big but the three of us did it perfectly.
We were training swordplay that day until afternoon where class ends. We were exiting the class.
“Is it just me or was the class really easy?” Kyle said grinning.
He is praised by the teacher. But to be honest Lisa and Helia is also being praised. He had so little expectation of himself.
“Yeah, when you think about it, isn’t the things he teach us the same thing you teaches us?” Lisa said to me
“What you mean, you learn all that when you were a child?” Helia look stupefied.
“Yeah, Arial teaches us, saying that someday we might have use for it. He always teaches us when we play behind the forest with the other boys. He is always the leader, usually playing the role of a military leader.” Lisa said, saying it enthusiastically
I want to steer away the topic from me so I said
“I’m going to check the quest board”
“We’re recruits. It’s not like there is any job for us to do” Kyle said dejected
“You’re wrong. There is simple job and quest if you could not do the hard one though that means you will spent a lot of time before ranking up the Rank” Helia explained
I was already moving towards the quest board. There are 5 sections in the Quest board. Exceedingly Easy. Like it describes it is really easy.
Doing menial jobs for the Knight Lords and doing something that is deemed chivalric by the order.
Most points you can get is 20.
Easy. The job is mostly helping the villagers with picking something for them, cleaning their yard, help them do this and do that.
“5 points!” Kyle said almost shouted.
“5 points for chopping wood. It means I have to chop 100 times to rank up to Senior Brother.” Kyle said shaking his head imagining chopping wood a 100 times and it’s not like the quest how many woods he need to chopped.
Then the normal job like doing Knightly stuff like finding lost children, saving some people and escorting precious cargo.
Then there is the hard.
Like hunting guilty criminal or annihilating bandits hideouts. And then Exceedingly Difficult quest which can takes many years to be completed.
For example, hunting a Dragon. Though that part is empty. There is not a threat that big since the Purge.
“I can do this” Lisa rip one of the request from the board
“Giving a puppy a walk” Helia read
“You’re sure it said walking the puppy? Not killing it? Because that would be perfect for you.” Kyle said joking
“Not funny, Brother” Lisa reply her face looks annoyed
“How many points?” I asked
“10 points”
Arial looked at the quest board. He need to rank up fast. In the Academy the Knights have rank.
First the recruit. Which is what I am right now.
Then Senior Brother, Elderly Brother, Standard Bearer, Under Marshall , Knight Brothers, Commander of Knights, Commander of House, Right Hand Commander, Left Hand Commander.
And the Knight Master is elected from either the Right-hand Commander or the Left Hand commander.
Senior Brother can fight with the Knights if there is a war. And they can also use the horse in the stables.
Standard Bearer is one of the sergeants and charged with carrying the order’s banner.
It’s an important position for a new Knight so he could learn from the more experienced Knights. The honor of carrying the banner is high and is respected because many people would want to kill the people holding it to drop the morale of the Order.
Under Marshall is in charge of the footmen and the equipment.
Knight Brothers were the warrior who can wear and use the equipment that the Order have and will be given three horses and apprentice like Recruit to assist them.
Usually the recruits is either people not of noble blood or former slaves who wanted to learn in the Academy
Commander of Knights acted as lieutenants to higher authorities within the order. Commander of House had the same powers as Knight Master within their own jurisdictions.
Right Hand Commander and Left Hand Commander acted as both deputy and advisor to the Knight Master.
At the rank of Knight Brothers the candidate can return home even before the age of 14 and he can still come to take quest from the Academy and still be rated in completion.
Arial looked and saw a quest that perked his interest.
He grabbed the notice.
“What is that?”
“A quest”
“That is a hard quest.” Helia noticed her eyes fast scanning the notice.
“1500 points” I exclaimed.
I can raise myself to the rank of Elder Brother in one go
“Doesn’t that look kind of difficult” Kyle said uncertainly while Helia nodded.
“We’re seven years old. Don’t you think attacking a bandit hideout is kind of rash?” Helia argued.
You are seven. I’m not. Alright, my body is. My mind is not, I corrected. Of course I did not say it out loud.
“It’s going to be fine” I said confidently
“Then I will follow you” Lisa said puffing her chest.
Kyle is looking at her sister and then at me and take a deep hard sigh then he said
“I don’t know why we always follow you on your crazy ideas Arial but I’m in”
Now they’re looking at Helia.
“What you’re looking at me for?” she said realizing we are all staring at her.
“I’m not going to follow you all so I could die in some abandoned caves” She said giving her excuse.
But we know better. She always follows.
We kept staring.
“FINE! I’ll follow you all.” She yelled.
 “If I die, let it be written on my tombstone, DIED BECAUSE OF PEER PRESSURE” she said half annoyed half angry
We laughed.
“So who’s going to be idiot enough to go to the Knight Lord Faragur to tell him we’re going on a quest?” Lisa asked.
Every person that wanted to go to the quest must register themselves. For easy quest you have to go to the reception.
For hard quest the Lord of the House. For the exceedingly difficult, Knight master
If we’re not approved we couldn’t go.
“I’ll go” I offered.
Then I started walking to his office
********************************************
LAST NIGHT
KNIGHT LORD FARAGUR OFFICE
STUDY ROOM
1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 01
Lord Faragur and Agnaris are talking about the weird event that happens last night.
“There is something off about that boy” Agnaris said.
“What do you mean?” Faragur asked
“That technique. It’s not like it’s easy to perform it.”
“Well, to be honest I am also stupefied on how he did it” Faragur also share the same nagging feeling
Agnaris then said
“So I did some research. Did you know he enter here with a scholarship and recommendation by Adrian?”
“Really?”
“Yes. His father is a minor noble and rules the city of Danoba but he is just given the title. It is said in his youth this child has shown to be most remarkable child the village has seen. He is smart, he knows language that no other person knows and he can read at a very young age, yet he has never had a teacher”
“Alright, that is weird” Faragur began listening.
“So what are your intentions Agnaris? Telling me this”
“I don’t know. I just felt there is something seriously wrong with that boy. Marco the Seer tells me what he felt when he touches the boy hand. Energy. Boundless energy. He said since the first time he preside the Choosing Ceremony at the age of 17 he never felt so much raw power in a person. He describes it to me and I quote “An energy bubbling in his very core, burning and screaming to be let out. So powerful that if I try to push the energy I surely would die. Never before I felt such energy. I was in awe and in fear. This man can be the greatest protector of the people the world has ever seen or the greatest villain this world will ever know. So much possibilities. So much path. Dark is his way.”
“He said that?”
“Yes”
“Well, what do you suggest then?”
“I don’t know. I guess what I’m trying to say is…Just kept a watchful eyes on him”Agnaris said
Then silence between them
“More wine?” Agnaris offered the wine.
Faragur take it and gulped it all at once.
The fireplace crackled while they standing in silence watching the fire.
********************    *******************    *******************************
1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 02
Arial just went to the Lord Knight castle to meet Faragur. And here he is in front of the door.
The symbol on the door is a dragon at the top of a mountain roaring fire while man kneels in front of the dragon.
Knock Knock
He knocked
“Who’s there?”
“Recruit Arial is seeking an audience with Commander of the House”
He was silent for a while then he said
“Come in.The door is not locked”
Arial slowly pushed the door open. It opens with ease.
Arial looked and saw many weird things in his room. On the back of his chair is a big horn though Arial does not recognize what is horn is it.
There is a sword encrusted with a golden hilt but the tip is slightly cracked a dented sgield in hang at the corner of the wall.
In his left side, hundreds of books stacked in neat rows, all orderly arranged and aligned back-to-back in the big book shelves.
Arial recognizes some of them
Levitia Lament, Alan Oath, The history of the Rise and Fall of the Vern Empire, the Bloodline of the Blue Hair King, Duvan Renasi  the Pirate?, Leliana: Another Story.
There are a lot of history books.
But Arial also notices some book that is more suitable for a teacher.
Magic and Our World, Dragons and the other Races, The Eight Important Race, The Unverified Fact of the Sky People, Bloodline and Magic, The Pillars Mystery, The Chronology of the Anjou, Siege and Warfare, Sieging a Castle, Basic of Swordplay and many others.
He is a reader.
“So, what is your reason coming here? I don’t believe we have any classes yet?” he said still looking at the document which he signs without stopping.
“Me and my friends is thinking of accepting a quest”
That intrigues him
He looks up from the document and began looking at me gesturing me to give him the notice. I come closer to the desk and handed him the notice.
He looked and read the description of the job.
“In our Academy, we never forbid anyone from taking any quest” he began his tone sounds like lecturing.
“Unlike any other school of Knights we give the choice to the students to pursue their own quest and what they believe they can handle. But this?” he said waving the notice
“Don’t you think it too much beyond your capabilities?”
“I don’t think so” Arial reply
Lord Faragur looks at Arial eyes.
He will see no fear. I can handle this.
“This is around the city of Rodes. That is Rodan family land. Do you know the road there” he asked.
“Yes”
“And how do you know it?” Faragur asked not satisfied.
“I went and follow my father trade in the city. Rodan and the surrounding cities, I have already travelled and I still remember the road.” Arial said answering the question smoothly.
Faragur sighed.
He already looked at the name of the people following this kid.
Kyle and Lisa Lethe. Son and daughter of the common folk. If they die the academy will not have that bad of impact.
But Helia?
Daughter of Zephyr House.
I doubt they would be happy if their daughter is dead. Arial himself is one of nobles son. One of the wealthiest.
Faragur never met Aries the father of Arial. But he heard the story about him. He is kind, sociable a good hearted man.
Though I doubt he will be kind if his son is dead here. But he had no room to argue.
The Knight Code of the Academy states that no one shall interfere in the quest if the Knights have chosen it and show the willingness to do it.
“Fine” Faragur reply
“But don’t blame me if you die. Now off you go” He signed the quest notice and handed it to Arial.
Arial exited the door with a triumphant smile
A quest.

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