1780

Blotted Ink with a Broken Quill

United States

13 years old.
In love with books.
Ranger's Apprentice. 1
Dawn of Wonder. 2
Wings of Fire. 3
Warriors. 4
Percy Jackson. 5

ENFP-T

Coldplay.
Beatles.

Guitarist.
Artist.
Screamer.
Lover.
Actor.

Join Date: September 12, 2018

Message to Readers

Chapter 4! 11 more to go!

The Quartz Pavillion, Chapter 4 of: A Kingdom in Chaos- The Awakening; Book 1

December 9, 2018

FREE WRITING

3
The eighty who had come first trudged through a light rain behind Master Hunt. Ten minutes after the end of the event, water started trickling from the sky until the trickle built into a flood. All of the townspeople watching the event had hurried back to their dwellings, having no reason to stay out in the storm. Jerad observed all of the other competitors quietly whispering to each other about how they had gotten there first.
    “How did you do?” said the tall kid in a whisper from behind him. Jerad was momentarily startled, but then answered,
“I got twenty sixth, what about you?” matching the boy’s quiet tone.
The boy grinned “Twenty fourth, but if it came down to a swimming competition, I’d be in last place; that one really set me back. Oh, and by the way, my name is Derrick.”
Jerad hadn’t realized he had been one place behind the other boy.
He looked up and noticed that they were walking towards the back of the city; he had never been there before, besides on small errands, and had never really noticed the scenery. It was a bit more bland than the noble parts higher in the city but less wild and disorganized than the poor areas lower in the city. It was… Boring in a way.
Jerad had never known not being fed, or not having a bed to sleep in, but he had not lived a posh lifestyle. They continued through the city.
“Hello?” Derrick said, waving a hand in front of Jerad’s face.
“Oh, sorry. I was just contemplating some very deep philosophical questions,” He joked. “My name is Jerad. Nice to meet you.”
“Greetings, Jerad.” Derrick said with fake teasing air of nobility.
They laughed for a second, but then Jerad bumped into the person in front of him. He looked around her to notice they were stopped outside of a large, white building. It had four huge marble pillars at each of the corners; it almost seemed to shine, like it was newly polished.
Everyone fell silent as Master Hunt’s voice carried down the line.
“Catelin Briarwood, you have permission to enter.”
And that's how it went, sitting in the line in rain, snaking slowly, meandering forward as each competitor went through doors. Most people came out in silence, perhaps out of anticipation, or because the test or testers forced them to be quiet. Some came out with a smug look, thinking they did well. One boy, who had a short nose and curly chestnut brown hair came out thirty seconds after he went in looking confused. A couple of other competitors smirked at him, clearly aware he had missed something. One kid even came out soaking wet.
More and more people entered the building, until only one person was ahead of him, the short wiry kid who came in eightieth. He looked nervous, and when his name was called, he slowly shuffled through the door, slightly bent over so no one could see his face.
Then in what seemed like forever the boy had exited the building, and it was his turn. From behind him, Derrick whispered,
“Good luck.”
He stepped in through the door, and into the depths of the massive white structure.
***
There was nothing in the room, just stained white marble all along the walls. Jerad was thoroughly confused, but not wanting to look like a fool, he started to search the expanse of white stone. After scanning the walls for a couple minutes, his eyes landed on something at the far end of the wall. They were symbols, drawn in a silver ink; they were extremely small, but they looked somewhat like an eagle, a bear, a fox, and a serpent. They were all on pressure plates, and he had the idea that they had to be pressed in a certain order for him to proceed.
He thought for a second, then had a vague remembrance of a legend; about how the Greatbeasts had fought each other for decades, with no clear winner. Then after years of battle, they decided that they had to find a way to end the fighting, so they agreed to split up the world into four quadrants. The Bear claimed the north, Eagle east, fox west, and Snake south. It was a story that most didn’t believe, and Jerad had mixed feelings about it. This first task was strange, as it was asking if your parents had told you the story when you were younger, for it was a well known legend in most cultures. So he tested the pattern, pushing the Bear inscription first, then Eagle, Fox, and Serpent. He heard whirring and clicking of gears. Then a rumbling came from under him, and he had to stumble back as a large section of the floor slid away, revealing a hidden staircase.
    Jerad marveled at the design, for it must have been complicated. He wondered how long it had taken to make. Shaking himself from his thoughts, he warily touched his right foot to the first stair. No mechanisms were activated, so he started slowly down the stairs. But when he exerted pressure on the seventh step, he heard a click. He half fell and half ran down the next few steps, as the ones behind him had all just slid to the side. A huge gap in staircase had appeared; and as he peered over the edge into the hole, he saw nothing, the darkness enveloping the space. He faintly heard running water; that was a relief, at least they didn’t plan on killing the competitors.
He scolded himself for the stupid mistake, then continued down the staircase. When he reached the bottom, a man stood there, next to a deep aqueduct. Well that's where the fall takes you. Jerad thought. The man gestured to a oak door behind him. Jerad opened it, and walked inside.
***
    It was a large room, decorated with animal skulls and lavish carpets. In the middle of the room, there was a man standing behind a table with many maps strewn across it.
    “You are commander of a regiment and you are trekking through the forest searching for a large group of bandits,” the man said. “The forest is in the middle of the gulley, with only one entrance, but you have intelligence that states that the bandits have set up traps around the forest. You have twenty-five mounted archers of mediocre skill. What do you do?”
    Jerad contemplated for a moment, then asked, “How far away is the edge of the forest?”
    The man frowned, surprised that Jerad had asked a question.
“Five hundred feet.” He said
    “And do the bandits have any horses or bows?’ Jerad asked.
    “No,” the man said after a second’s contemplation. Taking it all in, Jerad slowly began to formulate a plan.
    “Well, first of all, it would be stupid to fight anyone with a bow in the forest. The bandits could easily overcome us. We could attract the bandits attention with a large fire. Then we could easily outrun them with horses and pick them off from a distance.”
“And what if they stayed in the forest, or once they realized your plan, retreated with minimal losses? In most situations, some of your men would be taken out. Let us say you lost five.” The man asked.
Well, that’s problematic, Jerad thought. He began to come up with another idea, “Are the walls of the gulley climbable?” Jerad asked.
After a second's hesitation, the man smiled a grim smile, then said, “No.”
Jerad grinned back. He didn’t want to climb the gulley, he just wanted to make sure the bandits couldn’t.”
The man saw his smile, and he frowned. Jerad pretended to contemplate for a few minutes, and finally, the man asked, “Alright, go ahead. ” Jerad grinned again, “I could simply wait for the bandits to starve. I could send a few of my men back at a time to collect food for us.” The man looked like he wanted to make another condition; perhaps saying that Jerad’s group had no supplies and they were hundreds of miles from the nearest civilization. But he sighed, responding,
“You may go.”
Jerad let out a sigh of relief, then trudged back up the stairs. He was careful of the trick step; jumping over it, he noticed that it had no dust on it, as it was constantly moving. He had to be more careful with staircases in the future. He emerged back in the white room, then walked to the door and stepped out back into the rain.
***
Derrick was standing there, aimlessly pacing slowly from side to side. When he looked in Jerad’s direction, he waved.
“Good luck.” Jerad said.
“Thanks,” Derrick said.

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  • December 9, 2018 - 4:27pm (Now Viewing)

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2 Comments
  • Blotted Ink with a Broken Quill

    Thanks, next one coming up!


    9 months ago
  • korra4life

    Oooh!!!! I honestly though Jerad was going to say something cool that would convince that man behind the desk that he's a genius. But no, Jerad says, "I'll just wait for the bandits to starve." I can't with that kid, XD
    A much shorter chapter this time. But, still loving it!


    9 months ago