AOH – Chapter 17

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CHAPTER 17: UNDER MARSHALL

1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 30
That night they were served with variety of dishes like a royalty.
The city has begun opening their shops again, the peddler can be seen selling their wares, the citizen began opening their door and windows.
Spring is here and it is time for rebirth.
The mayor announced that a feast will be held to honour us.
The preparation for the feast takes a week to be finished
And a week we spend our nights at the Mayor residence every night, served with the sweetest wine, red or white or black, meat from chicken, ox and buffalos, all we can eat.
Yet, not one of us has that much appetite.
We are all fighting our demons.
In that time only Helia is enthusiastic going to my room and Lisa and Kyle giving us reassurance.
The third day we finally have found ourselves again.Moping around in our bed will achieve nothing.
Blaming myself will not bring back the dead.I have a larger objectives to achieve here.I don’t have time to grieve too long.
I need to learn from this experience. Lisa also seems more spirited. So does Kyle.I don’t know what Helia said to them, but it works.
And finally the day of the feast. The towns were filled with decorations. And by noon many came to the mayor house.
The mayor first sends his condolences to the family and then he give out some money and some food to the families.
Then the feast began. The feast is an excuse.
It is supposed to be healing, and Arial really hope that at least the family will be comforted a little knowing that their children murderer has been killed.
Some of the parents came to us and thank us for saving their children while others thanks us for killing the murderer but not one of them blames us.
The feast is attended by the neighbors and the family.
“Are you alright?” Helia asked me her hand holding a red wine
“Yes”
“Don’t blame yourselves too much”
“I’m trying not to”
“You know you and Lisa are the same” she said her tone slightly annoyed
“How so?”
“She too blames herself”
“For what?”
“She blames herself that she froze in battle. She really wanted to kill the people who kill the innocent people yet she said she froze when she stabbed the bandits. She couldn’t stop trembling”
“I didn’t blame her”
“I know. She blames herself”
Then silence came between us while the jugglers still juggling in the vicinity while the neighborhood kid look with amazement at the jugglers.
Helia take another sip of wine.
“We can improve ourselves more” I said
“Yes. And we will. Lisa and I wanted to learn from you to perform Lion Bite. It looks useful”
“It is” I reply
“Teach us later, then”
“Maybe I will” Arial smile
Then I join the siblings and we began enjoying the feast and trying to learn from this harrowing experience.
Tomorrow we will return home to the Academy. But tonight we will feast.
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1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 31
In the morning we began riding out from the mayor residence.
We were given 50 gold because the bandits have left many of their raid money in that mine.
We didn’t take it so we give it to the townspeople hoping they could use the money to hire guards and strengthen the defense of their city.
People knew that when Order of Alan Knights completed a quest they will not get any money from the Academy, so the people that is plaque by the problem is supposed to compensate them.
And 50 gold is a lot. Then once again I ride my horse. My red horse.
He galloped fast and hard. This time we will only stopped for resting and sleeping. Our supplies have been provided by the city mayor so we don’t have to stop in any city.
When night comes we will open the tents and sleep there and at dawn we moved again.
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1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 38
We have set our campfire and our tents in the forest.
Dagur Hill can be seen in the evening, so probably we will reach the academy tomorrow.
We have just finished dinner and right now we are resting beneath the trees near our tent, the fire warm us.
Lisa and Helia is playing chatur while Kyle is watching their battle, trying to learn.
Then after settling in for a draw 3 to 3 they stopped playing and also began sitting at the big tree.
“What do you think they will ask in the History Trials next month?” suddenly Kyle said.
“Probably about the Emperors or the history of Alan?” I said trying to hazard a guess
“Try to ask me a question” Kyle said
‘How did the Second Emperor Justinian was killed?” I ask
“He is stabbed by his son Darius the Cruel in his bedroom.” Kyle reply
“How long is his reign?” suddenly Helia asked
“That I don’t know” Kyle replied.
“37 years. From 88AF to 125 AF” I reply.
“That’s correct” Helia said
“My turn” Kyle said
“Who is the longest reigning Emperor of Vern Empire, Arial?”
I know this because I use to read the whole genealogy of the Imperial family
“Emperor George the Wise. He reigns for 100 year. His time was a time of peace and prosperity, ending the wars, laws reform, abolished outdated laws, creating the Common Tongue, and abolishing slavery. His time of reigns is from 355 AF to 455 AF.” Arial answers with details
Helia and Lisa clapped their hands. Then we ask each other question and answer it to fill the night.
And when we are too tired we finally fell asleep like usual taking turns patrolling.
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1007 AF SEEDMONTH DAY 39
We finally arrived at the entrance of the Academy. The guards look at us and smiles. They did not check our pass neither did they block us from entering.
It felt weird.
Then we sent the horses back to the stables and even the stable boy smiles proudly at us.
“Why is the stable boy smiling at us” Lisa said
“I didn’t remember treating him nicely” Lisa said began sensing something weird
“When did you ever being nice?” Kyle said only to be slapped in the back by Lisa
Then when we reached dour dormitory room it was like something exploded
“CONGRATULATIONS”
Emerson is there hugging us. Luli is seen waving at me. At the room was a big banner read
“CONGRATS FOR FINISHING A HARD LEVEL DIFFICULTY QUEST”
That sounds a bit of a mouthful. Foods were shoved in Kyle mouth by William Austen. A merry festival began in the common room.
Screams and shouts filled the Hall.
Leila came out of her dorm room out holding the 7 String Hearts and played a fast melody suited to the party, Nathan and Vergo clambered onto the tables and danced.
Lisa also went along with them with Helia being thrown up and down, she giggling all the time she being thrown up.
Kyle is munching on the food with some of the girls. Sometimes he glanced at me and Helia.
Our classmates shouted and sang and laughed hard.
They were all asking how I killed the bandit, how many are them, what we encountered.
We tell them the festival of Levitia Homecoming, the Mad Surgeon, and the big bandits that swings a weapon larger than Kyle.
They all listen with amazement. Then the door went open with a bang.
“What is this noise?” Lord Faragur Almut the Knight Lords came in to the room. He scanned and finally understands.
“So the heroes have come back. I don’t forbid party but at 8 suns in the morning this is hardly appropriate. And you four! Shouldn’t you report first?”
The party stopped and Arial and the siblings with Helia went to the Knight Lords Office. They were walking while Faragur is leading them
“They all know from the ravens. The raven has come delivering the news that you have succeed in your quest. The other Knight Lords were fuming in anger. HAHAHAHA” he laughed while we are walking to his office
He paraded them in front of all the teachers taking the longest route to his office.
In the office he sits down a smile formed in his mouth.
“ Ahh, sit”
Then he gestured us to give us the quest completion card
We give him. He was about to sign it when his face become shocked
“ You…you…killed Engel the Mad surgeon, Vargi the Human Eater, Aragir the Sadist and Larale the Glutton?” his words stuttered
“Yes we did” we speak in unison
He looked at us with disbelief. All of these criminals are wanted man in the Hard Category.
Solving the quest of the bandits will grants all of them the title of Senior Brother after dividing their points since they do it in groups.
But with the addition of these dangerous men killed by them, then all of them without a doubt shot up to Under Marshal.
If Arial did it alone he would certainly shot up to Commander of Knights.
Faragur couldn’t believe his eyes so he looked again. The description of the killed man is exactly the description of Larale, Vargi, Aragir and Engel.
So they formed a bandit group.
I guess there is a hole in our information.
“We will announce your new rank in the Hall tonight” Faragur said
He needs to discuss this with the Knight Master.
“Thanks for your service” they said simultaneously and exited out the door.
They return to the Common Room and they were greeted by Emerson
“Party?” He asked
We looked at each other, smile and said
“PARTY”
We were resuming the party until 2 noons.
Then the other recruits began preparing for class. We on the other hand were given a week vacation after accomplishing a hard quest
So we just spend our time preparing for the dinner tonight where our rank will be announced.
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GRAND HALL
The story of our successful quest has spread to the other Houses.
The Purple Fairy congratulate us, the White Wolf gave us a nod, kind of like a grudging respect, the Black Raven smiles mischievously while still congratulating us, even West, Arago and Avil from Golden Lion congratulate us though I noticed West eyes is darting towards Helia and Lisa.
Lisa and Helia bonded quite well after the quest, they have also trades stories. Nowadays, if Helia is there, that so would be Lisa and vice versa.
Kyle also follows them most of the times.
Fierce Dragons recruits looked up at us with amazement. Harald looks like his face is punched. He offers no congratulations.
Then dinner is served. We spoke the prayers and then we eat. After we finished eating finally the announcement.
The Knight Master rise from his seat and began speaking
“As many of you know, 4 students, a knight recruit from House of Fierce Dragons has embarked on a Hard Quest difficulty. Many were worried that they will not succeed but there they are here” he pointed to us.
The other students clapped.
“Never before in our history a recruit solve a Hard difficulty quest till now. It seems you will continue to surprise us , Arial Vermont, Lisa Lethe, Kyle Lethe and Helia Zephyr” He said remembering our names.
Helia blushed while Kyle looks very proud of himself.
Another cheer from the Fierce Dragons table.Then he gestured to the student to calm down and he spoke again.
“Many knew that they went to suppressed a bandit group but from the recent information I got they not only fight and destroy the bandit group, these young heroes killed Aragir the Sadist that likes to torture his victim, Vargi the Eater who eats the people he killed, Larale the Glutton who likes to rape and raid towns and most of all these young heroes have managed to track Engel the Mad Surgeon and killed him. We regard this as a great honour and service to the people of the Continent that these dangerous men are no longer here to terrorize innocent victims. So in that spirit and after careful deliberation, we have agreed from all the faculty members to grant the rank of Under Marshall to these four heroes.”
The Hall was filled with fierce clapping.
The Fierce Dragons table roars and screaming. The one holding the banner of the house is running around at the other table and waving it in front of them, especially on Golden Lion long table.
Some of the Knight Brother smiles at us. Some girls from other house wink at me and Kyle. Kyle shyly smiles back.
I on the other hand ignore them.
Cheers filled the Hall. It was a jubilant atmosphere reminded Arial of the festivals. It took a while for the cheers to subside.
Then the Knight Master spoke again.
“They will be rewarded their own rooms and for your class you will have to speak to your teacher and discuss what work best for you”
We nodded smiles on our face.
Then the Knight Master looks at us and said
‘THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE”
Then the dinner is done. We have to go to the reception tomorrow to take the new keys but tonight we will spend our night at the dormitory room.
The older Fierce Dragon Under Marshall also pat us on our back and said to us to bring glory to our house and the Academy.
We were congratulated again for making such a big leap with one quest. Though to be honest, it’s luck that all these dangerous man congregate in one place. But if it was somebody else, they may have been killed.
The risk…..was worth it but…..was it worth it risking their lives? Arial did not expect the situation to be more dangerous than he initially though.
He must be careful alter if he is to choose a quest.
Our new life as Under Marshall began tomorrow.
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