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Once my afternoon classes were over, I had to go inside a changing room to change into my Fantastopia clothes. Thankfully, they had stalls for those who are too shy to strip in front of others, which is me. Don’t judge me.
So after changing into my Fantastopia clothes, I pulled out the ring from the backpack and slid it onto my finger. The gem was still blue, meaning I was calm, and I was. Okay then, here goes nothing. Like before, I rubbed the gem 3 times and poof! When I opened my eyes, I was in front of the castle. Thank you ring, thank you for not placing me in the middle of the woods where I nearly got my ass stabbed by a unicorn. I still can’t believe that happened.
But anyway, using Aria’s map, I began my way to the arena. I still wasn’t sure about today, oh who am I kidding, I’m never sure about any day. I know I’m going to be using some training weapons, but hey, there’s a chance I could get killed today. Who knows, I might get hit in the head with a wooden training weapon, hard enough to break my skull.
Man, I can be so negative at times.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, this loud annoying sound struck my ears that caused me to flinch. It sounded like giant nails against a giant chalkboard, and boy was it irritating. Where was it coming from? I followed the sound to a room that was near the hallway that led to the arena. The door was slightly ajar so I peeked in to see that it was a blacksmith room. This must be where all the weapons are made.
The sound had stopped, finally, and that’s when I saw the blacksmith. It was Averyl, and he was cleaning off a sword he had sharpened. But that’s when I noticed that strange mark on his arm, what the hell is that? Is it a birthmark? If it is, that is one big birthmark. I was too focused on trying to figure out what the mark was that I nearly jumped when Averyl turned his head up to me.
Oh crap! Run!
I hurried away from the door and walked fast down the hall to go to the arena. Man, that was so awkward and embarrassing. He probably thinks I’m stalking him now. Why do I have to be so weird? Just forget about it. Although that’s gonna be hard, thanks to my huge brain, I always seem to remember everything. And that sucks sometimes.
But moving that to the side, I entered the arena to see Aria along with Hazel, Dale, and the trainer Farrell waiting for me.
“There he is!” Dale pointed to me with a big smile “Jesse! You’re back! Wait a minute! I finally got your name right!”
“Yes, you did!” I grinned back, it’s about time he did.
“So,” Farrell rubbed his hands “You ready to begin your training?”
“Nope” I replied with a fake smile “I am actually certain that I will die today.”
“There’s a chance you can die any day” Hazel stated with her arms crossed “Thankfully, you’re still alive. So let’s just hope you’ll still be by the end of the day.”
“Well, thanks for the words of encouragement, Hazel” Aria thanked with sarcasm.
Yeah, thanks, Hazel. I feel better already.
“Don’t worry, Jesse,” Farrell affirmed, “Nobody has ever died during their first day of training, especially with these training weapons.”
“Wait,” Dale suddenly spoke, “Wasn’t there that one guy that actually did die-?”
Before he could finish his sentence, Hazel elbowed him in the guts as he yelped in pain.
“I’ll shut up” he croaked out while hunching over with his hand on his stomach.
So a guy actually did die while using these training weapons. Now I’m even more scared. Although, I kinda wanna know how he died. But I probably shouldn’t ask.
“This way” Farrell directed me as I followed him to a table that had some wooden weapons on it, mostly swords.
“This is all we have at the moment” he pointed “Most beginners start with a sword.”
“Then I guess that’s what I’ll use” I determined while picking up one of the wooden swords.
“You still interested in using Defender?” Aria asked me.
“Defender?!” I heard Dale gasped as we turned around to see the shock look on his face.
Hazel also had a shocked look on her face, I couldn’t tell if it was funny to see her like that, or serious.
“As in the sword that has a mind of its own?” Dale finished his remark in a gasp.
“Are you for real, Jesse?” Hazel demanded, “Do you have any idea what that sword could do to you?!”
“I know,” I told them, “King Hardwin told me everything. I mean, I’m still thinking about it. But the thing is, as long as I don’t use the sword to kill anyone for revenge or out of anger or any other negative way that’s not for protection and defense, I’ll be fine.”
“If you say so,” Hazel doubted while rolling her eyes.
I did my best to ignore her as I turned my attention to the wooden sword in my hand.
“So” Aria spoke while picking up another wooden sword “You ready to begin?”
“I still don’t have a choice, so I’m pretty sure you know the answer.”
“Come on” she motioned me with her hand as I followed her to the center of the arena as everyone else stepped back. “The first rule of fighting, always have the confidence to do so, when you’re feeling down or scared, it makes you weak. And right now, I can tell you’re feeling scared.”