It´s been quite some time since I wrote anything, let alone, uploading anything to this blog. I´ll be more active these following days; uploading more of this story. As always, the warning: it´s unedited.
The streets where silent, as they had always been in the past five years. A few people walking by, too little for the remnants of a once grand metropolis. The grey skies, whose colors seeped into the very material of every concrete building and every street it shadowed, soon darkened. It was probably going to rain, as a harsh breeze lifted the dust from the road, and into the very same skies it fell from.
Buttoning my jacket, I sighed. The academy lay just over the horizon, standing tall, it was a symbol of hope: a hope that someday things would go back to the way they were a few years ago. It´s windows were barred and the front gate was a one-foot-thick steel barricade. It had signs of weathering in the shape of massive gashes, some only superficial, others went right through.
Standing before the gate, were two men, wearing a padded armored vest on top of their uniforms. A large red cross running across a white background with small silvery straps holding the vest together. They grabbed their muskets and aimed them at me. I looked around, and sighed again.
“This is sometimes just so inconvenient,” I slid my hands out of my jacket´s pockets. “What if I was in a hurry? I´d really hope to make this a more of an easier pro- “
“Stop with the bullshit and answer these questions: Who do we honor?” One of the guards interrupted me as he raised his voice.
“His Holiness, Augustus Reig: the unifier of our forgotten city.”
“How do we honor him?”
“By upholding the law our god has blessed us with.”
“Why do we honor these laws?”
“To prevent another Falling of the sky.”
He signaled the camera, as the gate slowly slid to a side. Lowering his musket, he stepped to a side, “you may proceed.”
“You´re an asshole, did you know that?” I kicked some dirty on his boots as I passed by.
“I´m just doing my job, Matheo.” He grinned his teeth at me.
“Then don´t take it so seriously…”
The outside was dull and dreary but the inside was a whole other story. Carved stone tiles on the floor, painted in a gun-blue hue, with beautiful wooden walls decorated with large red flags with a golden cross in the middle. As I made my way down the hall, I turned right into the armory. There Jill, a friend of mine, was starting her morning shift.
“Matheo, good morning! Came to get our sword?” She was always so energetic, moving her head from side to side as her curry brown hair bounced all-over the place. “I noticed it has a piece missing from it´s guard. Should I send a repair request?”
“Nah, it´s fine. This is the third time this happened, the first time was an awkward mistake.” I replied, opening my locker with a key she had given me.
Her eyes glimmered with excitement, “do tell.”
“The first time it happened, it slipped from my grasp and it fell all the way from the fifth floor. Everyone laughed so hard I was called Clumsy McFingers for a whole semester.”
She covered her mouth with both hands, hoping she wouldn´t burst out laughing, “and your recent misadventure?”
“Alice kicked my ass so hard, the sword hit the roof of the fourth floor and fell on the same spot.”
“Alice´s different… She´s real nice but still different in her own way.”
“That´s a funny way of saying that she´s a few cards short of a deck.”
As I walked out, I buttoned my jacket and sheathed my sword. My heels tapped on the surface of the stone floor, as I entered my classroom. I was late. Everyone stared at me and stared back at the Minister. He grabbed his attendance sheet, circled my name and motioned for me to find my desk. History, ah, the only place where I could feel alive.
After class, Minister John pointed out that this would be the last warning I´d get. I was not surprised but somehow he was. “You´ve been an exemplary student, what´s going on with you?” That´s the only thing he said. If I had an answer to this question, the I wouldn´t be feeling like crap every morning before coming to this place.
“Okay Squires, today we´ll see how much progress you´ve made with the technique. It´s a fairly simple technique, something you guys should be more than capable of doing on your own.” Minister Peter grabbed his sword, unsheathed it´s blade and buried it on the soft soil of the training ground. “Alice, you´re up. I have my hopes on you.”
“Yes, Minister Peter.” Alice walked in front of the class, unsheathed her sword and shouted, “Avibus Album.”
The blade of her sword briefly lit up and fired a beam of golden light from the tip of the blade. Striking the iron dummy before her.
As she fixed her small squire cap, moving the tassel to a side; she sheathed her sword, and returned to her place.
“Bravo, Ms. Crux, I was not disappointed. See Squires, that´s how you use the Avibus Album spell.” Minster Peter made a stabbing motion with his sword, “you imagine stabbing your enemy with a long sword. That sword is a materialization of your energy, your mana. Matheo, you´re up.”
Yes, right after miss perfection over there went first, I´m second in line. As I walked to the front of the classroom, I saw a slight grin protruding from her pink lips. It made me angry. I couldn´t let her shut me down like that.
I unsheathed my sword, raised it over my shoulders and swung it down into the floor, “Avibus Album!”
A crescent white beam collided with the dummy as Minister Peter smiled, all the while nodding in approval, “that was very creative, and a spot on strike, as well. You and miss Alice never disappoint.”