AGE OF ADVENTURE CHAPTER 05: THE RIDDLE

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ETV3 Broadcasting Station

Program of Director Office

Inside the meeting room the atmosphere was gloomy. Many people is looking down at their table like there was something interesting looking at the table.

Standing on the end side of the table is a chubby middle aged man with a thick beard and thick eyebrows.

He was not chubby in that harmless cute way but chubby in the kind of way a butcher of a butcher shop chubby.

His look was intimidating enough and as he slams his hand on the table a few minutes ago, none of his subordinates dares to look at the man especially when he is angry.

This is their Program Director Quentin Huxley.

“What are we going to do?’ he pointed his finger to his subordinates. He was angry because he kept getting screamed at by the management to raise their ratings.

He has already advises his subordinate to take a risk with new programs but all of that seems to fall on deaf ears which precipitated this angry reaction.

‘Our ratings are bad, and our new content doesn’t hold the audience interest. The only things people seems to be watching this day, is all about Brave World. Why aren’t anyone exploring that avenue! HUH!’ Then he pointed his trembling finger at a woman and the woman was startled to be singled out.

‘Well, you’re the Production Director! Sarah! Say something!’  Sarah could only drop her head down. In a way she also had a fault in this.

She did not think it would be such a craze that it could even affect television programs. Even mainstream media has slowly being affected by the massive popularity of the game.

‘Well, he’s right,’ Sarah thought.

Since that game was launched about eight month ago it exploded into popularity. Even she herself is a player.

She enters the game to find out what attracts people to play the game. And she got the answer.

The realism that the game projected is truly out of this world. It was like the real thing. The buildings, the scent, the atmosphere.

To say it is a game would be an insult to Brave World.

It was a new world. You can have adventures. You can sightsee. You can also just laze around in that world.

Go fishing. Climb the mountains. Find friends. Wreak havoc. The creation of that world exceeds your own expectation.

There’s always an adventure waiting, a new thing to explore, a new experience to be found.

“Why don’t we broadcast adventure of Brave World to the audience?” One of the PD suggested.

Quentin glares at the PD and that person quieted down.

“VMS already did that remember?” Quentin said in that sarcastic tone of his.

Then, Sarah had an idea. She remember that while she was adventuring she sometime encounter some players who dazzles her with either their prowess or ingenuity.

Most of mainstream media right now is focusing on the Brave World agme mechanics and tips for beginners which is almost like a documentary program.

The idea that sparks in Sarah mind right now, she knows, sooner or later many other media would also follow suit.

Since it is a simple idea.

Personality or persona. That what TV series cultivates. So, why couldn’t they do the same with Brave World?

Brave World has already provided the narrative. They, the media only need to prepare the stage.

She held up her hand and Quentin said

‘Speak!’ Sarah did not shrink down this time as she present her ideas in the room.

“VMS broadcast the adventure of noteworthy people in a documentary style like a gameplay of old console game and spout tips for beginners. Usually this player is already at the top of their game. They also just show when they fight which is probably helpful for learning stuff but there is nothing to entertaining about it. There’s nothing exciting, or nothing that the other players don’t already know. Let’s create a legend, Sir. They are many strong people in Brave World. But we don’t need powerful players. We must not forget that the game is supposed to entertain. We need a player that is interesting. Someone that makes people want to root for. Player that can attract other players to watch his adventure. That kind of player….we can make him a star. Our star”

Everybody was silent. They all pondered Sarah words. It is simple. But no one has executed it yet.

There is a slight smile on the Director face. This is what he wants. He wants people to take risk. Not all the time…but when it matters.

After thinking for a while the Director said

“Hmm… Alright, it seems like a good idea. Then you and colleagues could go ahead with this plan. I approve”

“Thank you, Sir” Sarah said exhaling relieved breath.

Then the Director ended the meeting and Sarah went to work.

When Sarah broke the story to her colleagues, they began collecting information about any interesting player that has that star quality.

For people who work in the entertainment industry, they have discerning eyes to know if a person could become a star.

‘Next week, I’m going to log in to BW. Who knows, maybe I will find someone like that?’ she thought to herself laughing.

‘Like it would be that easy’ she retorted at her own thoughts.

********************** ************************ ******************

After a couple of hours of resting, eating some convenience store food, taking a shower and reading books, I logged back in.

I’m ready. Trethelm Lake and the Artisan Institute is not that far, so I quickly found my way there.

I thought to rent a carriage but thinking that I might fail this quest and waste my hard earned gold and silver I did not rent.

Even though I found my way there, that doesn’t mean it is an easy journey. There is a swamp and a thick forest. Thankfully I did not encounter any monster.

Then like out of a fairytale book, I arrived at a wide area of land with a large white building standing there with mystifying mist around it.

‘Whoa’ I exclaimed as I look at the building.

It’s a big white manor just beside the lake. It was simplistic in design that gives the feeling that the owner of this manor is a person that does not care about fame or fortune.

I look around the manor and notice something. There is no guard around the manor. Usually important NPCs have guard guarding their house.

I slowly walk to the manor front door. Hesitating for a while I started knocking the dragon knocker on the front door.

“Knock, Knock”

“Knock, Knock”

“Yes, who’s there?” A voice sounded out from inside the manor. The door creaked as it slowly opens.

Opening the door was a young man with a white robe that is stained by mud. I also smell some herbs from him.

By looking at him, I realized he’s an elf. With long silver hair and sharp pointy ears, there is no doubt that he is an elf.

“Excuse me; is this the House of the Sage?” I cautiously asked.

“Yes. Why?” The elf answer.

“I came to return his book” I explained as I brought out the book from a knapsack I bought from a peddler on the central square.

The elf look at the book and nodded. He then look at the second floor and sighed.

“My name is Danon. I’m the Sage disciple.” He introduces himself.

He held out his hand and I shake it.

“Now, can I meet him?” I asked. The elf look at me and the book but then he sighed again.

“It is unfortunate, but my teacher doesn’t meet with people unless they solved his riddle.”

I already know this.

“Then allow me to try in answering it” I said. I hope all that reading would me. I truly pray that it would help.

“Huh, alright then. The riddle is this.’ And he began speaking the riddle

“What we caught,
“We threw away”
“What we didn’t catch”
“We keep”

“What did we keep?”

This… This.. I read this before. It is Greek. Yes, Greek. But about who? About what? And then I remember as I smile.

Homer. Yes. Homer. His death.

“It’s lice” I said confidently. Reading…it does help I reminded myself.

“Ack..’ It was a reaction that the elf exhibited. He clearly did not thought I would be answer it.

Could it be no one answer this question before? When it is that easy? You only need to research a bit before going here.

What Aero didn’t know no one has ever triggered this quest before. And Homer actually died without solving this riddle.

For the people of Brave World this riddle would stump them. Earth had the advantage of history and time behind them and as a modern person Aero could get this kind of knowledge as easy as the tap of a finger.

For people of this continent they still lived in the mediaeval era.

‘That’s.. that’s correct.” The elf stutter as he announced it

The elf was also astonished.

“Can I meet him now?”

“I’m sorry… but no”

“What do you mean? I already answered your riddle”

“Sorry, actually there are three riddles.”

I’m beginning to get angry.

“I didn’t think you could answer the first riddle, so I didn’t say about the other two riddles. People always get it wrong the first time”

I could not help but snorted then said

“Fine then. Give me the other two riddles” The elf eyes was full of excitement. It has been a long time since anyone could answer his teacher riddles.

“The second riddle is this”

“There is a house”
One enters it blind”
And comes out seeing”

‘What is it?’ This time it’s easy. Without even pausing second and hesitating I answer

“A school” The shcok on the elf face is evident before he laughed in satisfaction

“HAHAHA..Right again. You are a great scholar’ the elf misunderstand my profession and I am not incline to correct him so I just nodded.

‘The third riddle’ I said and the elf nodded

“Then I will give you the third riddle.”

There is a priest, a warrior and a king, sailing in the vast sea. Every day the ship meets obstacle and disaster. Thunderstorms raged the sea, the winds howled and roared. The crew was afraid. Believing there is someone who is bringing this bad luck, the captain declares that one of their three guests needs to be thrown out to be the sacrifice to the Sea God. Hearing this, the King pleads
“When I return, I will give you lands and riches you could never imagine.’
The Priest on the other hand, said
“Throwing me will only incur the wrath of the Gods”
The Warrior threatened,
‘I swear that anyone who tries to throw me out will die before me.”
The favor of the Gods, Strength without equal and riches beyond imagination. Where do you think power resides?

Where does power resides? This time it is story format question. After thinking for a while he finally got the answer. This is a trick question.

Smiling, he said

“I have my answer!”

What will he said, Danon contemplated. Choosing any one the choices will reveal what kind of man he is.

Choosing the king, means all he cares about is money and glory.

Choosing the Priest, means he is a pious person. But usually it is the most pious that can turn into cruelty. Zealots could do anything under the name of their Gods.

After all a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive.

If he chooses the Warrior means he regarded strength as the thing that would solve his problem.

That kind of man tends to become stubborn and dismissive of other people. None of them is people that his teacher wanted to meet

“What is your answer?”

“Power resides where people believes it resides. It’s a trick. Where people believe power reside it is that thing that will drive him.’

But I was not finished.

‘Desire is not bad. It drives people. Desire without bound now that is dangerous. For people with a heart their desire is constrained. Thus power resides in their sincere heart. No riches, or strength or other people belief could shake his determination. For a heartless person they seek power to further their ambitions which always lead to the path of ruins.”

“Wha..This is unexpected.’ The elf said. What is more unexpected was the thoughts of this man at the end.

It is perfectly in line with his teacher creed.  It is wise but also grounded in the real world. He nodded before continuing his word

‘But that too can also be considered as answer. You may meet my teacher. He would be delighted to find someone who solved his riddles.”

Aero then entered the manor guided by Danon and was asked to wait in the guest room. Finally, I’m in.

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