Chapter 2 of the slovian
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Its already the next day morning, not very early as the whole town is already awake ready for another day. There is a kind breeze blowing across the land from the Loctak Mountains in the west to the Houstik Lake to the east. The sun is not very hot, just the right amount that one would go out to busk in its rays, the sky is blue horizon to horizon with a few patches of clouds here and there.
At the capital square there is a fairly large crowd gathered together most if not all of them armed with weapons. Even with all of them armed to the teeth, literally as some are probably hiding weapons in their mouths, they are all the perfect strangers but in a happy and good mood chatting with each other. They are all gathered here to practice in the Triple Star Tournament that is being held today. This event enables this young men to gain license to become registered adventurers, fighters, soldiers and even assassins. This is what they refer to as their calling. They are free to choose their own calling. If they get their licenses they can get jobs or work with the castle.
There has always been rivalry between all this groups, even at this point where most of them hardly know each other, most aspiring fighters don’t want to mingle with aspiring soldiers, the two groups believe the other is wrong in that fighters see soldiers as cowards who seek to be soldiers so they can be recruited by the castle where they do nothing really but get well paid through poor folks taxes, in addition they believe soldiers don’t really protect the country people but the royals, magistrates and castles. However soldiers believe they are loyal servants who swear fealty to one king or house to protect it for the rest f their lives unlike fighters who are always paid to do their jobs each time with no single master they end up going up against people who once employed them. Fighters have really no one loyalty and are rarely knighted into knighthood unlike brave soldiers who have a high chance of becoming knights. These facts can be heard all over the crowd as each group brags about their status.
Apart from soldiers and fighters, Magic casters and adventurers also have a beef, adventures combine both physical attributes they learn with a little mana they have to fight, to them their strength is purely their hard work, they look down on magic casters who they believe are born lucky and don’t have to work hard as their blood helps them, but to magic casters they refer to themselves as special creatures chosen by the gods and mana itself, magic caster rely purely on controlling manner and don’t see the need of weapons or physical strength which they don’t really need.
However they all dislike assassins for the reason that they do their jobs for money mostly and have no loyalty to anyone. Also the fact that they always leave dead bodies behind each time, and they are mostly spies hence they can be double agents without anyone knowing, in that they all agree that assassins are the worst of the worst. Most of them are lone wolves working alone or at most in two’s but there have been clans on assassins of late.
At the tournament people are allowed to have not more than two registered jobs. One can be a fighter and adventurer, or fighter and caster, or fighter and assassin. Also one can be an adventurer and caster, or caster and assassin, some prefer adventurer and assassin. However there are some that people can’t be allowed to be at the same time like soldier and assassin, since assassins cannot be knighted and also soldiers are people regarded to be clean in their deeds unlike assassins. Also one can never be a fighter and soldier as soldiers need to have one master the work under, a soldier without at least a master is considered a failure and since fighters never want to place their destiny in another man’s hand, this makes it impossible to be both. But one must have one main occupation license and the second is a secondary one. The primary one always takes precedence as people perfect the first one, as they will be known or addressed according to their primary license.
Social hierarchy plays a role in this events like any other place. Royals are basically descendants from the royal family, close relatives of the king family queen and the prince and princess, they top the hierarchy. Then the nobles follow, they compromise of king’s generals and their families’ high judges and special people to the crown on the other hand, Kindreds are those people born from families of famous judges or knights who have been awarded lands or run a castle. Apart from them there are the rich who even though are not royals, nobles or Kindreds they still have influence due to their wealth. Descendants of villains or exiled or imprisoned parents are called Periktas, they can clear their family message by doing deeds for their country that will make the royal council pardon their house or revoke the banishment of make the exile void, however they really have to prove themselves, once they do that they are no longer Periktas. Peasants finish the trail they are just ordinary people with nothing on their name or their families.
However most peasants dream is to make their name or that of their families famous to become Kindreds, or even become nobles one day. And in this crowd peasants are the majority. And among them they feel they are the best as they have worked their sweat off just to stand in this venue today unlike royals who are given direct entry, neither did they use their connections to reach this stage, but despise all of that royals and nobles who are the fewest of the group consider peasants insects their families rule over. All this young people and a few middle aged folks came to the capital Colosseum knowing only a few of the people around but a few minutes later everyone would rather stand near his own kind and they know forming alliances early on is for the best.
There at the Colosseum to the south is an erected podium 10 meters high in a nice curve. Seats arranged looking down at the gathering whose time after time throw their eyes towards the podium awaiting any signs for the commencement of the ceremony. Among the gathering are a few familiar faces whose paths crossed a few hours ago its Quinwreth in her outstanding attire and the gentle sun makes her dark hair seems to be shinning as it reflects the gentle sun rays of the morning. Besides her is Roafgar in his usual attire but now the only change is two swords sheathed at his back crisscrossed. They stand besides each other with Quinwreth who looks ready to stab any girls eyes that would dare stare at Roafgar, a little overprotective to the only guy he is close to, their closeness would make one mistake them for siblings which Quinwreth would really love, her expressions can only be seen via her eyes as the lower part of her face is masked. On the other hand Roafgar looks like a clean delinquent with an evil smirk that only a bully can comfortably carry out moreover he looks like a pervert as his eyes keeps jumping from one lady’s chest to the other. This earns him a slap from Quinwreth “focus dummy” “ouch!! Just appreciating God’s perfect work” he replies rubbing the back of his head.
Just then a hand gently taps Quinwreth’s shoulder, “how’s my dark angel this beautiful morning which at the very least can’t even compare to your beauty.” Of course it is Jacqui, who else could see an angel from a beast. As she turns to looks towards him, Jacqui rolls his hand across his long hair with a smile cutting his face across from ear to ear exposed a bandaged foe head. Quinwreth looks a little confused as she still has no clue who the idiot is. Just as she is about to smack him there is an uproar up ahead as people look toward the podium, the awaited guest enter one by one. Pretty sure Jacqui is saved from another trip to the pharmacy.
In their presence is the generals, high priest, a few judges and the most noticeable are the royal family at the middle with the best seats in the house. A chill goes across the crowd even though the sun is getting hotter, most of them recall that 2 years ago only eight five people got their registration approved out of around three hundred and fifty people. Even at this stage a few of the candidates are not even slightly bothered and the event judges have already started noticing and awarding marks secretly.
“Settle down, my name as most of you know is Goftlar and I will be your main examiner today helped with a few others”
More chills run through the crowd the two meters man has a loud voice that comes out like a lions roar. Fully cladded in armor, his physique is well built that even his armor cannot hide it. He looks so powerful that his voice alone could even cripple his allies tremble. Even from below those with keen eye sights can see the man has been from a lot battles from the scars on his face though few they looked to have been serious enough. He continues giving a small speech but most candidates are too nervous that they can’t even hear what he is saying, all they can hear is an angry lion roaring. The ground itself looks as though it’s moving to some people who can no longer take it and pass out. A few of them follow one after the other, the pressure keeps on increasing with every extra guy that goes down cold. Every word made the young stars heart pound even faster, no one could explain why that was happening only that the man’s presence was so intimidating the number of passing out candidates goes up to thirty within seconds but no one is able to avert his eyes from Goftlar his aura is strong commanding and intimidating.
He is a knight and no one can question that from this display. “those who are done have failed, get them out” a pin drop silence hugs the colosseum, for a minute or so no one moves, eyes still fixed to Goftlar until they realize that a moment has passed, as they look around some candidates have passed out cold on the ground, if he had continued for another ten minutes or so the number would have increased to triple of that as some have been trembling so much that they let go of their weapons which fell on the ground.
“Those who have dropped their weapons are also excused, try again next time” the intimidating goliath continues.
As the tournament inspectors join the fray in taking out the disqualified people the number has decreased from the initial three hundred and fifty to two hundred and twenty more than fifty people eliminated. The ground is now scarce as more space is left, among them are those really struggling to keep up.
A group of five at the front who cannot be mistakenly be confused for anything else apart from being royals sneer at the “weak” according to them the eliminated ones are nothing more than locusts who don’t deserve to dine with a spider. “I thought more of this bugs would be eliminated by now ha-ha” laughs hysterically looking at the other candidates.
Goftlar picks up from where he left, “clear this Colosseum in the next half an hour, and you should have formed groups of at least five or six with at least three different calling (a persons intended ability) taking in mind that we consider the first registered calling as your official calling from now henceforth. Choose whoever you like and proceed to the Mildeb savage lands within the next five hours and one must arrive with the minimum number per group, good luck, and remember anything goes.”
A little murmuring takes over as never have there been accuse like this in the previous tests. Most groups come already prepared like a group of five aspiring fighters hoping to help each other throughout the event. Now they have to break their groups and look for at least to other people with different calling.
Before Goftlar leaves he turns and says “those without the minimum group of at least five will be eliminated by default, once again good luck, see you in Mildeb.”
This causes people to run wild looking for partners. Meanwhile at the top the officials look down at the group like confused ducklings that have lost their mother. As the panics continue Roafgar looks at Quinwreth and goes;
“what’s your plan” Quinwreth is about to answer when Jacqui jumps into their face posing as if awaiting to be painted waiting to be asked for help.
“Let’s search for a group of three people at least” she answers. Completely ignoring Jacqui they move out,
“Hey! I’m right here my angel” Jacqui hails at the duo who have no interest in him. He runs to them now holding Roafgar
“Okay guys you win please let me join you guys, looking for an extra duo will be better than searching for three people, right?”
Roafgar now facing Jacqui in his slightly deep voice responds “sorry dude I only do babes, hot, sexy, beautiful….ouch!” he jumps as Quinwreth just gave him a kick to his shins.
“I said you have to be serious weird guy you are in but just because this fool is getting distracted already” Jacqui with his smile jumps going to hug her.
“Thanks my queen but its Jacqui the handsome one.” just as he is close enough to hug her arms already stretched, his conscience plus his body stops him at the moment. Quinwreth was ready to blow him apart with a tightly quenched fists. He slowly steps back and appreciates her.
“That’s right don’t push it pervert or next time I will kill you” she responds as the continue walking by. Most people in the crowd look for royals or nobles to partner with as they are always considered lucky?
Meanwhile Jibed already knows what team he wants to join but his pride would not allow him to beg he has to bring something on the table to hide his desperation. Ten minutes are already up and a few teams have already embarked to Mildeb. He comes across a girl who looks unbothered. But one good skill Jibed has is separating the good from bad, he can estimate a person’s strength by just looking at them. The girl is slightly small in stature with very long hair to her back twisted together, from the bottom she has slim sandals jungle green in colour to her tight pants tightly caressing her body to the long sleeved shirt that is also tight on her body making her appear even smaller now. Her all attire is covered in the same colour with a small pouch around her waist a dagger holder with two small daggers on the right thigh strapped. On her waist is a sword cloaked in the same green colour.
“We don’t have much time come let’s go we’ll introduce each other on the way” Jibed starts the conversation.
“What makes you think I want to join you, you don’t even have a team” the girl answers in lazy voice. I’m sure my chances with you are better than waiting to be disqualified, plus you have zero presence that’s why no one has asked you to join them since they can hardly notice you”
She looks a little irritated with his choice of words and his attitude but she knows he is right. Jibed is already walking away his eyes looking all directions for another team. The girl starts moving towards him,
“I’m guessing that you don’t have a clue on getting the next members? Right?”
“My name is jibed” he replies back ignoring her questions.”
“Hey didn’t ask that, I was asking…..”
He rudely interrupts her “what’s your name young girl.”
“What!! How dare you address me as a girl do you see me drooling or sucking my thumb? Idiot”
Jibed looks back over his shoulder and smiles, his expressions show no ill motive. She now understands he was trying to lighten the mood. “Idiot, call me Poldark”
“Mhhhh that’s one strange name, you are from the south plains huh?” she slightly moves quickly to march his pace so they walk side by side now walking on his left. Jibed still waiting for an answer as she looks down on her.
He giggles as he now knows he is not getting an answer from her. A pretty complicated duo of a guy as ordinary as anyone and a small lady walk by other groups turning down a few invitation, until Poldark get irritated and asks him why they are turning down different groups instead of joining them. He stand and points to his left where Roafgar, Quinwreth, and Jacqui are;
“They are our teammates, now let’s go introduce ourselves” they head straight to the group and make the first contact with Poldark on his left.
“Hey lets form this team already and start moving to Mildeb, I’m sure more than fifteen teams have already departed” the group three look at him slightly amazed with this ordinary guy asking to form a team,
“We area a total of five if we join you, what do you say” a slight moment of silence, just when Roafgar is about to answer him Jacqui jumps in, “idioooot”
“Wow I’ve been called that more times in the last two minutes than I was called the whole of last year” Jibed whispers to himself.
“What is that” Jacqui jumps in again.
Now moving towards him points every one as he counts them starting with Roafgar, Quinwreth, points to himself and last the new guest Jibed reaching four.
“That’s how people count idioooot,” Jibed fakes a smile at the end of the word ‘idiot’. He decides to return the favor and starts counting also, he follows the same sequence Jacqui followed but right after he counts himself as the fourth, he moves his hand to his side and goes “and this is our fifth member Poldark” as he points to his left side. He is left stranded as they all look to his side which has nothing, he realizes that no one is there, he knows how stupid he now looks. His expression itself betrays him in every way. He stands still trying to figure out what’s gone wrong. What bothers him more is that he now looks like an idiot. Roafgar and Quinwreth are also dumbfounded as the look at the two like spectators.
Jacqui moves to him and gently place his right arm on Jibed’s left shoulder he moves closer but on his side, “dude I know it’s tough having an imaginary friend, hell ya! I also had an imaginary girlfriend once, but imaginary friends don’t count here” Jibed feels more irritated his hand on his face as he looks at him he thinks to himself, maybe this is what it means when people say the pot calling the kettle black, does it even go like that?, wait does that means I consider myself an idiot?, as he slightly dives into deeper thoughts, his shirt is gently pulled from his right side. He does not move his head to look since he is still diving into thoughts, but rolls his pupil to look. He feels like cursing this gentle stranger holding his shirt but she is his messiah from taking himself out of this misunderstanding that made him look like a fool.
His pride tells him that he need a big comeback that will leave Jacqui looking a bigger fool and not him he decide not to look so that his next statement can appear natural. Jacqui still has his arm on his shoulder “haha that’s funny I’m sorry dude but I meant your left which is my right side, call her Poldark my partner” Jacqui moves a step back and stretches his head to look, but no one is there, he turn and smiles hysterically and this time his smile looks wicked and as usual it stretches from ear to ear, he giggles slightly not too loud but loud enough for Jibed to hear.
“like I said this friend of yours ‘pollshark’ or ‘poll duck’ whatever ‘poll’ she is cant join us in our real world, tell her to say hi to Marili my girlfriend in their imaginary world” Jibed quickly turn to his right and once again no one is there. His mind is spinning and he start getting angry.
“Let’s end this shenanigans and get moving”
Quinwreth intercedes the two guys. She has now noticed Poldark who in the last minute moved from Jibed’s right side, she barely noticed her swift movement if not for the movement of her shadow. “My name is Poldark, nice to meet you and this meat head here calls himself Jibed” Poldark introduces herself to the rest of the group a she comes from behind Jibed. With a very serious expression she tries to make the group acknowledge her presence as the serious type but no one falls for it, she is too cute to be taken seriously and her size makes her look even more adorable like a little loving sister.
Jibed acknowledges her for pulling such a stunt on him, of course it’s payback for being called ‘small girl’ earlier, something jibed has learnt the hard way. She had swiftly changed position the first time when she was about to be introduced by Jibed and the second time when she pulled on his shirt, she knew Jibed’s ego would want to get the better of it and once again left him looking like a fool again. Jacqui goes to Poldark and shakes her hand not letting it go,
“wow a princess I would say from this gentle hands,” she now rubs her hands on his cheek, she pulls out her hand and sighs.
Both Quinwreth and Roafgar shake their heads agreeing, “yes, yes”. A brief introduction goes on as they introduce themselves but only using their first names nothing more until it comes to Jacqui, he turns to a different posse again at a weird angle as if waiting to be sculpted or drawn and starts “I’m the handsome but gentle guy from the hills of Rignefich, (as he changes his posture showing his biceps) the next Hero of this lands and heir to the………” he notices that the crowd he is introducing himself to has moved four meters already chatting away, Roafgar and Quinwreth are tired of his constant introduction already, as for Jibed his face is already a sore in his sight and decided to follow the two when they started moving away, as for Poldark no one knows when she left him and followed the others.
“Oye! Wait up I was not done” shouts Jacqui trying to catch up with the group upfront.” At the group of four up front Roafgar asks around for the other calling, to confirm the all don’t have the same.
“I’ll start with mine, my calling is adventurer and Quinwreth’s is to be a fighter” Roafgar starts of, “what of the rest of you?”
“Assassin” replies Poldark who almost makes them jump as they had already forgotten about her.
“Okay, what of you jibed?” Roafgar points at him
“I’m a soldier”
“Okay that’s good we comprise of at least three different calling” Roafgar adds. Jacqui who now catches up with the group.
“I haven’t told you mine, I guess you are all dying to know, I’m an adventurer….”
“Let’s replace him for a caster we already have an adventurer” whispers someone in the group.” Roafgar turns and faces Jacqui who is perplexed by that he moves towards him and places his arm on his shoulder replicating what he did to Jibed a few minutes ago and in a low voice also goes, “listen dude you are a young man with small ambition, it was good knowing you are a pervert but a good one in that case. In that regard I bid you farewell we don’t need you,” he giggles as he walks away. They all laugh at Jacqui who is red with anger. The five of them however leave the Colosseum together deciding they are well off together.
By now it’s a little bit clear, Roafgar is most likely to take the lead something that Jibed would have loved to be the leader, if not for the previous embarrassing moment he had earlier on. Quinwreth is looks like the caretaker of the group, Jacqui is more of the laughing stock and pervert of the squad. But Jibed looks more like extra weight on the group due to his common looking face and also he is yet to place his mark on the squad. As for Poldark he looks like the little sister who everyone forgets about, well she barely even speaks.
These five youngsters have no idea what is awaiting in front of them or what the future hold for them. They disappear towards the horizon as they make their way towards the rendezvous point at Mildeb.