AOH – Chapter 20

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CHAPTER 20: ALL THESE PATHS WILL LEAD SOMEWHERE

ARIAL VERMONT
1012 AF Whitemonth Day 89
Now I’m 12 years old. 5 years have passed since then. In these 5 years I and the siblings are known as the 4 Greats.
All 4 of us will be nominated as Knight Brother tomorrow after the quest we have done finally we have accumulate enough points for us to rank up.
It becomes late because most of our quest is joined by the other people in our houses but it also makes many of us rank quite fast.
Though I remember there is this one time when we were banned from taking quest about a year I think or was it 2 years because we spent so much time taking quest that we did not even attend lesson
There are a lot of times when we almost die. But then after the quest we looked back and laugh.
So after that many of the people in our houses follow us on our quest. And we let them. This also makes us quite popular in our own House.
The fact that we never failed, also help.
Take Lelia Guise as an example.
Lelia Guise is an Elderly Sister who follows us in the quest we like to call, The Crazy Drunken Man which involve an empty bottle of rum, three coins and a wailing woman.
It was a crazy adventure. Kyle and Heliastill had a good quiet a laugh about it.
Emerson Villion is a Standard Bearer for our house, who also follow us in the Giant Boar expedition.
That was a crazy story involving pissing in a bottle and three naked old women.
Sheesh, that was one hell of a quest.
William Austen is an Elderly Brother, Luli Archad even with all her giggling and her constant buggering is rank Under Marshall.
She knows to choose her fights. She follows us on the Raging Wolf expedition which annoys Helia and Lisa to no end.
I remember that when we were trapped in that Ice House by the Wetians Helia could swear she almost choke Luli to death because of her constant talking.
Lisa said she was almost talked to death. Vergo Cortez and Nathan Godfrey those two close friends is an Under Marshall.
I do hear that their quest in the Dulira Sweat Lake is quite hilarious.
We remember teasing them for a month about it. It had to do about whores, a dwarf man and a dog.
They usually do their quest together. In Golden Lion the 4 Lions West, Avil, Harald and Arago are all Under Marshall while the others are mostly Standard Bearer and Elderly Brothers or sister.
Arial remember the time when he had to save Harald from The Kidnapping Finger Killer when he tries to challenge a Hard Quest alone.
He, Kyle, Lisa and Helia all went to Seren to rescue him. But because of it a rescue mission they weren’t able to see Seren scenery or play around like they did in their quest.
Though Harald never let that live down, calling it and I quote “the biggest humiliation of his life”
Now on to White Wolf. In White Wolf all of them are rank Standard Bearer. The Seer weren’t kidding when they said they cooperate fiercely.
All their quest is done in a group.
Purple Fairy most of them are either Elderly Brothers or Sisters. They rarely take quest. Since they are a support division.
We have just won The Houses War again for 5 years consecutively, though it is thanks to us.
Don’t mean to brag but with our strength it is hardly a challenge. Though Kyle is really showing off yesterday showing the new blood and the recruits he capture the tower and shouting from the top of tower “ I’m the undefeatable Kyle” after fighting with Avil and defeating him with his internal energy attack.
Especially to the girls. And all the girls swoon at him. He is handsome, that is no doubt. And he has also become more confident in the recent years.
Lisa defeats Harald again. Helia fight with West again. And I’m stuck with Arago. His strength and agility is off the charts for a 12 years old and if it’s the old me fight him at this age I would absolutely lose.
But even though he loses he maintains a sportsmanlike behavior which I respect and admire.
Not many people can do that.
And everyone also knows even though Arago and I are from different houses we are good friend.
My relationship with the 4 Lions is quite complicated. We all have crossed path sometimes when we solving quest or doing stuff for the academy.
With Arago it is a friendly relationship, with West we’re cordial or acquaintance, with Avil a relationship of respect and with Harald probably rival.
Lord Faragur can gloat again this year.
The Houses also began making alliances to fight us, Black Raven strategize, while White Wolf attack, and the Purple Fairy tend to the wounded, and the Golden Lion will fight at the end.
But sometimes brute strength does break everything. And that’s what happens.
Instead calling us Under Marshall they called us the 4 Greats alluding to the 4 Immortals because the 4 of us never lose and never failed a quest.
“Are you excited?” Kyle asked to Lisa.
“Of course” she said smiling
“What will you do when you are announced Knight Brother tonight?” I asked Kyle
“I’ll ride to Danoba in the morning. I miss my parents”
Lisa nodded.
Helia on the other hand will follow me to my home. I already got the permission from my parents.
There are many things that is happening in our family right now. My parent is having another child.
This never happens before but I guess this is the cause and effect.
Since my father has more time and life is easier maybe they have more time to make love and pay attention to each other.
They already sent letter to me last week. Then news is that my father has been granted the title of Count.
My father a Low Lords? I have trouble imagining that.
Our business prospered with Port Arial and Port Aries really took off and began trading with other continent like Vorthy and Ariundus trading spices and exotic delicacies and clothes and fabrics.
We also trade products with the people in this continent and my father from the rumours is one of the richest men in the Continent.
The Vermont is becoming one of the most prominent families in the Continent. Change one thing, change everything, the words rang to my ears.
We then began moving to the Grand hall. Then after dinner the announcement is made.
We cheered, we dine and we feast with our classmates. The atmosphere is half happy, half sad.
They all know that we will depart tomorrow with two recruits with us. But we have a special permission from Lord Faragur not to take any recruits.
We will still do all the duties of the Knight but without having two recruits behind us. This is because Faragur have promised us if we win him the House War again.
The footmen we trained also offer their congratulation. We have endured many things together so no wonder I found it hard to let them go.
I remember the time we had a disagreement which end in a mud battle. That was good times.
But now all of them are experience and can be a force to reckon with. After talking with them for a while finally we adjourned to our house and bed waiting to meet our parents again, not knowing that Dark clouds are coming.
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Arial with Helia behind her hugging him tight on horseback while Lisa and Kyle each ride their own horse.
Fire Bringer I called my horse. We rushed to go back, not stopping only stopping momentarily to rest.
Then after a few days finally we can see the outline of the city, bigger and mightier than before. Arial mused.
They were in the city gate when the city guard asks his identification.
“Alvin it’s me” I said
It takes a little time but he noticed my white hair and my ring.
“Milord” he kneels.
“Can we enter?”
“Of course,milord” He rushed to the other guards to let us come in. The banner of my family house waved gracefully and splattered across the city walls.
The city is crowded.
Now my father not only controls this city but about 4 cities. Each one is being supervised by my father and his vassals.
So I went to my father castle that he built about 3 years ago and newly finished. Roaring Dragon Castle my father named it after my house in the Knights.
I saw the arrow loops large mostly, and I walk around the castle too see what my father has built.
The castle itself is large and bigger than even the castles in the House of Rodan or Palais to be honest.
Arial noticed that there is the west bailey and east bailey and the barbicans with 4 guards on each side of the gates.
The battlement is also built for archers. Lots and lots of it. And there’s the rampart. The drawbridge is also made of high quality wood.
Hard and strong. It was like a strong fortress that could even hold out in a prolonged siege battle.
“Helia, just asked the attendants to attend to your needs. I will join you a little later. Go rest” Arial said to Helia after realizing she is still following him.
She nodded. And then she ask.
‘Don’t leave me alone, alright?’ She asked, shyly.
I nodded.
‘Don’t worry’ and I rub her head and Helia is blushing red but she didn’t look like she is hating it. Then I walked around the castle.
“Milord what are you doing here?” one of the guard greet me after knowing me the lord son.
“I’m just looking around” The man nodded
“What’s that?”
I pointed to the tallest structure
“The Dragon Keep, lord Aries named it” He explained
Then after satisfied Arial went inside the castle. He was tired and exhausted from the journey so he went to his room after being shown the room by his attendants.
He slept without even taking a bath.
Later, I can do it later.
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