Chapter 5 : New beginnings
Totally baffled by the appearance of the king on top of everything that happened recently, we just stood there open-mouthed and dumbstruck.
"Greetings to the new warriors and warlocks of the Aevum! As you may know, every 7 years, the kingdom searches for new combatants to help quell the uprising of the Elemental Nations, as the last generation has already left these walls." Came the booming voice of the majestic Atilian[H1] . "Each and every one of you has been selected for abilities known or unknown to yourself. For the glory of the kingdom and the peace of the land, we wage war. During the next two years, this noble art will be your every thought and your every breath."
General murmurings were spreading through the crowd now, of course there have been rumors about war outside of our secluded little world but nothing more than words lost in the wind. And now our reality.
"For the Aevum and all that is lost! We brave the elements and bring peace to the land!" The soldiers roared the war chant.
"Blessed be your holy swords!" Answered the king. And I will now leave you in the capable hands of your instructors. Be brave young ones, the world needs you." He said with finality before leaving the area.
We were directed towards the Sanctuary of Heroes. Not much was said in the crowd, but the electricity in the air was palpable: we were about to become knights.
Inside the building the great hall was dazzling. Complex arches spanned the entire length and width of it, swirling liquids distorted light in a manner that was truly magical, highlights of green, red, blue and yellow danced on the ceiling. Statues covered in jewels of heroes guarded the walls. Below the glass under our feet, canvasses telling of stories from distant lands were displayed. And at the end an altar so alluring it was almost godly.
Above the altar a ball of opaque white. Legend has it that this sphere was the teller of untold stories. A foretelling for each one presented before it of each one's life. A guidance towards an end. And an Oracle of Beginnings.
Behind the sphere stood a man, aged but still imposing. His icy blue eyes and powerful hands told the tale of a battle-hardened soldier. His analysing gaze lingered on the crowd, he seemed to judge us at a glance. But it was chilling, eerie. Almost like a hawk stalking its prey.
To each side, a man and a woman. The man was in robes of purplish tint, with the edges laced in gold, a shimmering cloak behind him, capturing the essence of the depth of nature, serene and graceful, yet reminiscent of the great beasts. In his right hand a staff of great distinction. Green and blue, the colors mixed all the way to the top, where a violet gem rested, a slow pulse making it seems alive. In his
left an arcane tome so old I almost thought it would crumble, it radiated whenever he murmured words unheard to it, as if recording some thoughts in it.
The woman held a spear a person and a half tall, made of a material ivory white, its tip resembled a sharks tooth or the fang of a leviathan, not that I had ever seen one then. Along the shaft rode twin ribbons of red, fluid like the fire and yet enrapturing like the power of molten lava. The shield on her left arm seemed to glow with soft yellow light and crackled whenever it touched anything. She didn't seem to mind. Her head was in the jaw of a manticore whose mane was golden streaked with wild strands of auburn.
Both were gifted with wavy long blond hair and platinum eyes that seemed speckled with gold, although too far away to see clearly. Both were gorgeous beyond words but didn't seem quite human. Grace and power, I thought. Defence and attack, the sword and the shield, the right arm and the left arm of the man with the icy stare.
"Attention please!" Called the voice of the man, much softer than I had anticipated. "I know of your discomfort, and your trepidation, since I was in your place many, many years ago. But first, we need to gauge each of you. So you will now pass a test." He paused for a moment, taking in the reaction "Don't worry, the fighting won't be until the next month." He appeased us. "All you have to do right now is step up and touch the Oracle of Beginnings[H2] . Good luck and blessed be your holy swords." He concluded before turning and leaving without another word. The man and the woman followed.
People in white robes and banners guided prodded us into a line, and slowly, the concession proceeded towards the sphere.
As we approached our group, they prodded Levi into the front and as she hesitantly put her hand on the sphere. It flashed green for a moment and then returned to its milky white color. Up close it looked more like a huge pearl. Suddenly Levi took her hand off of the Oracle and backed off looking in wonder at the ball.
Then Cass and Reese had their turn, they both said nothing as they retracted their hands, although Cass' eyes hardened just a little bit and Reese looked puzzled and almost hurt, but she was too strong-headed to show any more emotion than that.
After they were done, a hooded figure dressed all in white gave me a curt nod and I cautiously held my hand to the outside of the Oracle. And yet again was projected into another world.
A blinding light floated towards me and with a solemn voice said:
"In a city by the sea,
The heavens above watch over me,
As waves of blue crash the shore,
The silent deep calls me fore.
Heeding an alluring feral cry,
I launch my prayers toward the sky,
And watch the answers rain down hard,
The Almighty above is my ward.
But in the night alone and dark,
The Aquamirror makes its mark,
And forever cursed is the boy
That the devil himself seeks to destroy.
But if the powers grant my will,
Another three will fight to kill
That which blights the tragic youth
And finally reveal the truth
Hidden ages by a veil of terror:
'Tis the Legend of the Aquamirror."
My body shook as if struck by lightning, voices screamed inside my head and suddenly it was over. Back in my own body, I stumbled backwards and fell to the floor, my legs weak. The hooded man did nothing more than shove me aside to clear the path as my friends rushed back to help me to my feet. I blacked out.
(the Oracle of Beginnings was supposed to be some sort of Sorting Hat, but somewhere down the line I made it more into a guide of some sort, a catalyst for the story. And if someone is wondering why all my chapters are so short it's because shorter than 1000 words I feel like you guys won't feel like reading it and longer my brain turns into mush and it will be pitiful to read… so yeah the action will pick up soon!)
My updates will probably be very random since most of the time I want to upload a chapter as soon as I finish it… so usually during class hours… oh and a big thank you for MegaRdaniels,
"A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking." -unknown
[H1]King Atilian, haven't decided what to do with him yet…
[H2]Will be a guide for many more pages and chapters its uses are multiple