|The Zodiac Wars: Aries
Author: Ryou Ryuu PM
The twelve Zodiac Clans have always had their differences, their similarities, their enemies, their allies. Never before has it gotten too out of hand, until now. War is on the way, and the Kingdom knows little of the conflicts that will soon change everything.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 4 - Words: 9,793 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 11-14-12 - Published: 06-16-12 - id: 3032718
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 2: Trials.
"So what do I do in this test?" Raen asked as the man lead them into another chamber within the cave.
"You complete the tasks provided." The man said simply. "Then I judge if you did well enough to join the clan. If not, then I kill you." He said causing Raen to swallow hard.
"Kill…me?" He asked nervously.
"Of course, we can't have you giving away our clan's location. If you are a true Aries, you have nothing to worry about." The man smiled reassuringly as he pushed open a air of double doors. "In you go, the trials begin shortly."
Raen nodded and entered into an empty rocky room, he could see a platform above the room and soon noticed Kale and the man appear on top of it. "Raen! You have come to attempt the twelve trials of The Clan Of Aries. Do you wish to begin knowing the consequence of failure will be death." The man said now sounding official and commanding instead of his earlier relaxed tone.
Raen immediately nodded his head and said. "Bring it." Confident he could pass the trials.
"Trial one, completed!" The man shouted busting out in laughter as he watched Raen's face become more and more confused. "The man stopped laughing long enough to explain to Raen. "The first trial tests courage, even knowing you may die you still agreed to be tested, this proves your courage."
Raen now understood and turned his attention back to the room around him. "You will now be tested on all trials at the same time except for the last two." The man announced as a door to the side opened up. Two people walked into the room, a male and a female. The male was at least in his thirties, the female however was short and looked about Raen's age.
"Hi." The girl said with a cheerful smile, while the man nodded his head towards Raen. "I'm Saraceo, Sara for short. This guy is Dune." Dune waved in greeting and Raen looked at the pair blankly.
"Raen." He said turning his attention back to the man above with Kale. "So what do I do here?" He shouted up to them.
"Pass. Whatever they set you, all you have to do is complete it and show the Aries aspects." Kale answered this time instead of the nameless clan member.
"So then what do I have to do?" Raen asked the pair as he stood in the open room waiting for the trials.
"It's simple really we're going to have a competition, an obstacle course. It will have aspects to test you on each…" Dune began to explain before Raen waved him off.
"Let's go." He said though before he could begin the man's voice rang out. "Trial six, impatience, passed." Raen looked up confused. "Impatience? Why is that necessary?" He asked.
The man looked down at him before speaking. "It's not necessarily a good thing, it can get us in to bad situations, but it's a quality of Aries, therefore it's necessary to be true to the Clan."
Raen nodded then walked over to the door Sara and Dune came through. He arrived into a large cave room with a variety of traps, puzzles, creatures and obstacles. "So all I have to do is get to the other side." He said to himself.
"No, you have to beat me and Dune to the other side." Sara said appearing on his left while Dune stood by his right.
"Alright then." The man said as he appeared above the course room. "Begin."
Raen ran straight at the first obstacle, a large pool of water with stones floating on the surface, before the voice once more rang out "Trial five, rashness, passed." Raen smirked to himself. "This is easy." He muttered as he continued his way across the water. He stepped onto a stone and gasped as it gave way beneath his feet and he plunged into the cold water.
Sara and Dune leapt from rock to rock past him as he, having taught himself to swim, merely swam his way to the waters edge and pulled himself out, his clothes dripping water onto the rocky floor. He quickly threw his top to the side to shed some weight and continued running after the other two.
He ran forwards but quickly came to a halt when he realised Sara and Dune had stopped running. He looked around and noticed a variety of traps laid out across the section of the cave, upon further judgement he realised that when one was activate the others would be deactivated. "Well what are you waiting for?" He said to Dune and Sara who looked at him, annoyed that he managed to notice the traps. "Arghhh this is annoying!" He said already growing impatient of waiting for the others to make there move.
He stepped forwards onto a pressure plate springing the trap in front of him, he ducked under the wooden beam that aimed at his head an had to watch as Dune and Sara once again ran ahead. "Trial eight, self-reliance, complete."
"Well I suppose that had it's good points." Raen mumbled as he stood up running after the other two once more. "Honestly some of these tests are just ridiculous!" He shouted angrily realising he was further behind than before.
"Then why don't you just give in." Sara taunted from ahead of him.
"WHAT!" Raen shouted angrily, as he ran forwards. "I will not lose to you!" He quickened his pace as he tried desperately to catch up.
"Trial two, Competitiveness, passed."
"REALLY! ALL I HAD TO DO FOR THAT IS REFUSE TO GIVE UP!" Raen shouted, he had been hoping for more of a challenge the way the talked about the trials.
"Trial three, Aggressiveness, passed." The man's voice said although now he was definitely laughing at Raen's annoyed attitude.
Raen shrugged it off trying to calm himself down as he continued to run. He continued to duck under traps and traverse obstacles without hearing any more announcements of passing a trial. By his count he had two left within this section and he had almost reached the end.
He came to a sign in the ground moments before Sara and Dune. Pick a door. He read before running to the middle of three doors and throwing it open. "Trial four, impulsiveness, passed." He heard just before he had to jump to the side to avoid a leap from a sabre-toothed tiger.
With no method of protection he ran back passed Dune and Sara who watched him puzzled. He turned and face the tiger which stared at him. He stared down the tiger, his eyes burning into it's.
Raen ducked out of the way letting the tiger land onto a patch of pressure plates causing poison darts and spikes to erupt around it, impaling every inch of the tigers body. "Trial seven, spontaneous, passed." He heard.
"Well done, being first to take down your creature and first to the end, you have successfully passed trials one to seven." Kale said as Raen smirked.
"It was easy." He said before receiving a slight glare from Kale.
"Don't get cocky boy." Kale said as he received a glare from Raen.
"Relax you two, he did well. That's the personality tests done with. Now onto trial nine, strength." The man said.
"Finally something challenging." Raen said happily. "What do I do here?"
"Fight Dune, he is one of our stronger members, no weapons just muscle. When you're ready." Kale said as Sara left the cave and Dune threw off his long trench coat. It was now that Raen took in his appearance, the long midnight blue hair, the battle scars that lined his arms and face, probably the rest of his body as well and finally his vibrant amber eyes.
Raen wasted no time in charging forwards pulling back his fist and swiping at Dune. Dune swiftly dodged and delivered a quick jab to Raen's ribs. Raen recovered quickly enough and dived at Dune this time swivelling on one foot to swing his right leg at Dune. Once again he missed. Dune quickly swiped out Raen's leg before dealing a blow to the stomach ad knocking the wind out of him.
Raen stood once more breathing heavily after being hit in the stomach, he ducked under a swipe from Dune and finally managed to land his own punch into Dune's chest. Dune staggered back, more because of surprise than the force.
"Sorry kid." Dune said causing Raen to look confused for a second. Dune charged forwards, hooked his leg behind Raen's feet and then grabbing his head to push him backwards and over. Dune then pinned him in place as Raen struggled to get free. "I win." Dune smirked.
"Trial nine, strength, failed." The man said sounding slightly disappointed at the outcome. "Ok onto the final trial, work in the Clan's tend to involve a lot of trying to be unnoticed, for Aries, known for being outspoken and energetic it's not so easy, so you have three hours to find and catch Sara, without being caught by any members of the Clan. You may begin in ten minutes on the signal."
Raen nodded showing he understood before watching the man, Kale and Dune leave the area of the cave where he stood. He stood still angry at himself for losing to Dune, remaining silent waiting for the signal to begin his final trial.
Ten minutes passed and Raen heard a loud echoing screech sound and took it as the signal. He walked over to the nearest door and slowly pushed it open. He walked through and immediately flattened himself against the wall in the shadows cast by the fiery torches. He snuck along keeping an eye out for any signs of movement.
Then he realised, he hadn't taken in any of Sara's appearance. All he knew was that she was roughly his age. He looked around a corner and saw that all was clear, he quickly moved down and was about to open a door when he heard footsteps echoing from the other side. Raen backtracked and just managed to duck behind some cover as two people he didn't recognise left a room.
"Hey what does this new kid look like anyway?" One of them spoke in a soft female voice.
"No idea, all we were told is that he has to find Sara and she can't know about her being involved in this part of the trial." The second person said also a woman by the sounds of it. "You go look for the boy I'll stay with Sara. We don't want to make this easy for him."
"We need new members desperately we can't make it too hard, you forget our clan is one of the smallest." The first woman said again.
"Relax, it's a test, if he's worth anything he'll pass." The second woman answered before leaving and the first woman began to head in Raen's direction. Raen quickly decided he needed a distraction and grabbed a rock off the floor. Tossing it at one of the far walls he managed to make a sound attracting the Clan members attention. He swiftly moved past her and tried to track down the second woman, she was heading for Sara and that's exactly what he needed.
Raen followed the tunnel down sticking to the shadows as much as possible, more than once he had to backtrack and find a different route because of the Clan members. He eventually found the woman he was looking for she had long raven black hair and stood behind a chair where a girl with neon pink hair sat.
He immediately recognised the pink haired girl as Sara because of her small height. "How do I get her away." Raen mumbled to himself trying to think of a plan to get rid of the second woman.
He was about to make a move when the woman turned around almost looking straight at him. "Fuck this!" He muttered to himself, instead of distracting the woman he dived straight into the room grabbing Sara and pulling her off the chair as they both fell to the floor.
"Caught her!" He said to the woman who just stood shocked at him. Sara stood up and glared down at Raen brushing the dirt of her clothes.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!" She yelled at him as Raen stood up.
"I was told to catch you for my final trial, I did that before anyone got me therefore as I see it, I passed." Raen answered the still fuming Sara as Kale walked in with the other man.
"Not subtle at all at the end but as you said, you got her so yeah you pass." The man said. "I Exesh, co-leader of The Clan Of Aries hereby announce you, Raen as the newest member of The Clan Of Aries, sign of the Ram." The man now revealed to be Exesh said. "Come and we'll brand you."
"Brand?" Raen asked confused.
"Yes, we each have our Clan symbol burned into the skin." Exesh answered. Raen nodded and followed Exesh into yet another chamber where a fire burned and a long metal rod sat within it.
Exesh withdrew the rod and showed the end to Raen, he looked upon the symbol of Aries, a line going upwards that split into two curling over and down to the sides, resembling a rams horns. "Now where would you like it." Exesh asked in a disturbingly friendly tone for someone who was brandishing a red-hot poker.
Raen turned and lifted up the back of his hair revealing the back of his neck and waited for the pain to come. It did. The scorching rod was pressed against his skin sending waves of intense pain through him. Raen gasped in pain but endured it until the hot poker was removed.
"I wouldn't touch that for a while if I were you." Kale said almost laughing at Raen's pained look. "Well, congratulations I guess."
A/N: Chapter two! Well how was it? I really love this story, more than pretty much everything else I've ever written.