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House of Omen: The Indomitable Smithersmith


Chapter 2- Leaving

The office of the matron was quite simple. There wasn’t anything fancy. Just a few bookshelves with some books and the odd object here or there. After lunch Darius headed straight for the office because he knew it was time. The moment he entered the office, Darius saw the Matron looking over some paperwork.

She was a bit of an oddity to Darius. When he entered the orphanage six years ago she appeared to be a middle aged woman who was on the verge of having a head full of while hair. She only had a few strands at the time so Darius assumed after a few years he would see more white hair and some wrinkles on her face. Yet none appeared. She had no more white hair, and just like before, not a single wrinkle was on her beautiful face. The caused the already cautious Darius to be even more cautious around her.

The moment Darius entered, the usually strict matron showed a kind and loving expression. “Welcome Darius, please, take a seat.”

“Yes ma’am.” Darius replied meekly.

As soon as he sat down, the matron couldn’t help but frown. “You know Darius, even though you are now too old for the orphanage you can still leave with the other children in your age group at the end of the year. You don’t have to leave so early.”

“I’m sorry ma’am. These past few years you have treated me with the utmost kindness. You have raised me as if I was your own son. In this life there is nothing I can do to repay such kindness. I am forever indebted to you…” The usually meek Darius then put on an expression to show that he was resolved.

“However I have made my decision. The Spiritsmith Guild in the capital will only start accepting students within the next few weeks. If I miss this chance I will have to wait another year. Which means I will have to suffer for another year. I’m sorry ma’am but I can’t take this anymore. I have already made my decision, and not even you can change it.”

The matron was stunned. She had only seen Darius make such a face when he was using his hammer to strike the stone at the top of the mountain. Although she had never said so to his face, she thought he looked manly when he did so. Now that he finally showed this side of himself when socializing with someone made her feel proud.

“Perhaps he has finally healed inside. Perhaps he is now ready to face the world.” The matron sighed as she thought about Darius’s growth. “Very well, you can leave today as planned. However first I need you to listen to me for a few moments. The capital is a dangerous place, especially for those as young as yourself. So I need make sure you are as prepared as you can be. Despite the foolish face you make in public, I know very well how cunning you are. That won’t be enough to survive in the capital. Now listen up.”

As time went on, Darius’s face couldn’t help but become ugly, because he knew that the matron had entered her rambling mode. This was the true reason she was feared throughout the village. Once she started her lectures, she could go on for hours. She even lectured adult men and women if she felt like it.

“I will probably miss this.” Darius was about to think of an excuse to cut the lecture short, but he realized that this was his last lecture within the orphanage, and perhaps the last time he would see her for a long, long time. He decided to brace himself and accept the full brunt of her earth shattering banter.

After a few hours she was finally finished. Even though she was the one speaking, she was still as energetic as ever. Darius on the other hand was mentally exhausted to the point where he felt that he could easily go to sleep in his bed right now. “That witch! Maybe she wants me to go and sleep! I won’t fall for it! Besides the bus to the capital leaves in about an hour or so. I must push on!”

Darius quickly stood up and did a deep bow. “Ma’am, one day I will comeback and repay your kindness to me a hundredfold. I swear it!” As soon as Darius said these words he ran out of the office like prey running from a predator.

The matron couldn’t help but to shed a tear when she saw this. “Silly child. He was always bad with goodbyes…”

Darius quickly packed what liitle belongings he had and headed straight for the mountain top which he was familiar with. He picked up the hammer and strapped it to his back using a specialized leather strap he got with the hammer itself. He then touched the surface of the anvil. The anvil immediately shrunk till it was the size of a pebble. Darius then put the anvil within his pocket and began his journey toward the village entrance.

As he walked through the village he started reminiscing about the times he spent here. Unfortunately, no matter how much he tried, no good memories came up. He spent the majority of his days doing the same thing. Going up the mountain, striking the anvil continuously, coming down for lunch, going back up again to continue striking the anvil, then he would come back down for dinner and sleep. Waking up at the crack of dawn to eat his breakfast and continue the same process.

“Damn curse.” Darius couldn’t help but curse when he realized he barely had any memories of this village. He had repeated the same process of going up and down the mountain for six years every single day. When he was walking through the small village he realized he barely knew it at all. If it wasn’t for the fact that he could see the entirety of the village from the mountaintop, Darius was sure that he would get lost completely, despite the small size of the village.

As soon as he arrived at the village entrance he saw a group of people, who like him, were taking the bus to the capital. Many people dreamt of making it big in the capital, rumour had it that one could achieve anything there so long as they were skilled and fortunate enough.

Darius like most of these people was gambling his fate on the fact that he was skilled enough to enter the Spiritsmith Guild within the capital. “Surely striking that accursed anvil for six years has to have brought me some benefits.”

As Darius was busy thinking about his future prospects a loud rambling noise made its way into his ears: the bus was here.

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