Chapter 7

i woke up in the mountain lagoon, feeling both refreshed and renewed. maybe i should sleep there more often. the air smelled sweet and fresh, just like the pure water pool. the oysters released thier pearls which floated to the surface of the water. i thanked them and collected them, dropping in a piece of fruit as a thank you. i found a note tied to the tree. it read:

i had some things to do at home.
see you again soon.

i walked back to the cave and saw the mice were back in the tree. i put on some clean clothes when i got in. The thought of Cascade still crossed my mind. with the way she treated me, so horribly, i shouldn't miss her so much, but i do. she is my "twin sister" after all. but that's no excuse to hurt somebody like that. i wish she hadn't been bothered by the fact that i was stronger. why did she always pick at me for having more developed powers, she didn't pick at our teachers or elders for it? and besides, she was developed in every other way, why hurt me for the only thing i have that makes me special. i wish i wasn't special at all. she took so much pride in being "older" than me, even though she really isnt. they never told her that i cloned her in the womb, and created her, they only told her that she came out first. they didn't tell her that she was gripping my ankle as they were pulling us out, it's said that it's a sign that she needed me, but maybe it was really a sign of betrayal.. she held on so tight, maybe she never wanted me to go. or maybe she was trying to hurt me.. i need to stop thinking about this.
   i wandered off into the woods, collecting fruits, and Cascada was still lurking around in the outskirts of my mind. i went back to the cave and splashed my face with the cool spring water.  i need to clear my mind... i went and got my bow and arrows thenm went to the village bureau.


i walked up to the registration counter. there was a fawn running the register and quivered at the sight of me. i guess she knows who i am too.. i'm not surprised, i guess. She gulped, "h-how may i help you?" i would like to get my archer's tag and test for rank 20 in pishing, but maybe i should just completely test out for sword mastery. i guess i'll do them all.
   "i would like to apply for sword mastery, arch's and fishing tag, please."
   She stamped a sheet of paper and held it up to me, pointing over to the hallway at the left with a shaking hand. "right this way." i walked on over to the hallway, feeling a little down at the fact that she felt i was a threat.
   after a dragging trail down the hallway, i found the archery room. about 5 minutes later, the evaluations started. i looked around to see the others trying to get thier tags. there were a few trolls, they were really buff and muscular, you could tell they were going to be warriors. there were a sparse number of elves, some centaurs, cyclops', and fawns. they were all male. one of them decided it would be a good idea to trip me. he was uncanningly enraged when i walked straight through his foot. he broke his bow and arrows, roaring in anger and charged toward me, growing even more furious when i still stood there like a phantom and he ran himself into a wall. he was eventually disqualified for breaking his equipment, causing him to be inelidgable.
   the instructor had us shoot different ranges of targets and sooner or later it was only me and a Centaur from Decaya. he glared at me. "I will beat you." he said.
   I hope you know this isn't a competition. This is for our liscence ranks and nothing else."
   "Trust me, this is a competition. i am not going to lose to some puny, little, Elvin girl."
   "Want to make a bet?"
   "Ha Ha Ha! You are foolish. i will bet you my best goat and 100 gold currency."
   "I'll give you my entire house if my time is better than yours. I'll give you my home and 200 gold currency if you get your liscence and i don't."
   "It's a deal." the instructor called him up first. the final test was to shoot 10 targets from 200 units away in less than 15 seconds. the time is recorded on your tag, which is a button you pin onto something that you wear, such as a tunic, boot, or bag.  this cocky centaur gloated his on a platinum plated sash.
   He steadied his bow.
   He picked up one arrow.
   He began shooting at the targets one by one.
"TIME!" shouted the instructor. "11.7 seconds."
   "I bet you can't beat that, 'elf girl.'" he laughed, as did everyone else.
   "Well, you bet." i walked over to the dotted line and stood in front of the middle of the range. i picked up 10 arrows and hooked them onto my bow all at once.
   "What are you doing? what a stupid decision. This little speck thinks she can shoot all 10 targets at once! theyr'e just going to fall!" they all snickered at me once more.
i ignored it.
i kept my focus and checked the angles briefly.
    "Go!" the instructor yelled. "TIME! .2 seconds." he took a double take at the timer. every jaw in the room dropped. i turned around and walked up to the centaur. "it appears you owe me 100 gold coins and a goat, sir.
   "No, it appears i do not." he snooted. "i pay to no one."
   "You made a bet. Stay true."
   "Why should i?" quiet, mocking laughter lingered in the background.
   I brushed my hair with my fingers to behind my ears, revealing them. "i could kill you, sir." i smiled and batted my eyelashes.
   He took the gold from the pocket in his sash as the room silenced. The coins clanked together as he dropped them softly into my hand. "here is the gold..."
   "Tell me where your home is."
   "—tell me."
   "It is the only orange building in Decaya."
   I teleported us both to Decaya, conveniently to infront of his house. "Show me your goat."
   "Here." he walked over a young gray goat, shimmering in youth, with blac horns and hooves.
   I took the leash and teleported us back to the bureau. everyong was staring at us. "Thanks!" i exlaimed happily. "Oh, and my name's Esperanza!" i skipped away. 100 coins, wow. i wonder if i'll get any more good bucks today.. was that even luck? oh well, money is money.  i entered the fishing course. i practically breezed through it. they tested us with spears, nets, safety and rods. i passed the final test with 10 minutes. the time limit was at most to be an hour, and i caught the biggest fish. i felt really proud of myself. i think it was the choice of bait, it was something i made myself. A fawn ran up to me after the evaluation.
   "How did you catch that fish so fast! I must know!"
   "It was a little thing i made up, that's all."
   "What did you do!? Oh—i'm so sorry, i didn't mean to be so rude. My name is Erik, i'm from Thorn Valley." He held out his hand.
   I smiled and shook his hand. "My name is Esperanza." it was nice to meet a friendly face. "I put a mixture of different herbs, the kind you find in the water, then strengthen thier scent with bluvines by wrapping them in it. the sent appeals to the senses, including that bluvines glow in the water, which attracts fish quickly."
   "Wow, that's a really great idea! I wont tell anyone, i promise!"
   "thanks," i laughed. "well, i have to go to sword mastery now, so i guess maybe i'll see you... uh.. later?"
   "Sure!" he smiled "well bye!" he frolicked away.
   I walked to the door of the sword room and looked down at the floor. i took a deep breath, then walked in. i was nervous. it was a blank stage in an empty room. was i the only one testing for mastery? a man walked in from behind a curtain and greeted me. "ah-ha!" he said theatrically. "you must be the feared 'Esperanza.' I;m Keruu, the Sword Master." he walked towards me slowly. "I'm surprised to see you here, yet at the same time, i'm not."
    "Why do you say that?" i asked, giving him a skeptical raise of a single brow.
   "No one's ever entered through these doors hoping to master the art of the Sword. The only way to earn the elblem of Sword Mastery is meerly to touch me with the tip of a sword, only once. A task so very simple, yet no one has ever completed in all 700 of my years."
   "I'm up to the challenge, sir. i think i can possibly do that. Although, this is purely for recreation and my own personal satisfaction. you could say that i meerly 'collect' tags. though no one has to know, i would love to share your title."
   "Very well. You are a very witty girl." He tossed me a sword. "but, let's make this fair: no powers, but tricks are always welcome."
   I smiled. "Fair enough."
   "Begin!" He stabbed his sword at me and i blocked his every hit, as did he to me. left, right, up, down, around, and everywhere, at the blink of an eye; this man was as quick as i was. He jabbed, i dodged, but only barely. I sliced, he blocked it. it was a two hour spar, it was so much fun. i think he was starting to get tired out, and soon enough, i had him flustered. because he was getting weaker, i used a trick to mess with him, only slightly. he tried to get me, but i flipped my sword so that when he swept his back, he tapped the handle, which is a feel similar to my boot, thinking that i would have been beat. i swooped around and gently touched the sword to the tip of his nose.
   "i win."
   "you do." he smiled and shook my hand. "i'm proud of you. i knew you could do it."
   "thank you for having faith in me, Keruu." I smiled.
   "You're very welcome." He bowed. "Please, come back so we can spar again, just for fun. You're the only real challenge i've had in ages, it gets boring sitting in this empty old room!" we both laughed. he walked me to the door and opened it for me. "until we meet meet again."
   "For sure." I smiled, and waved goodbye.
I went to the registration counter. The girl who was working it left me a bag on the front desk and i spotted her hiding behind a bookcase. "I'm not going to hurt you.. i wish you wouldn't hide..." i shook my head and watched the gound, taking my bag of tags and my new goat as i left the bureau.
   I began walking to the cafe closer to the village. There was one on the outskirts calle "Melt." I left to it. As i walked up to the bar and sat down, i noticed Eloch was here, writing and eating wheat toast with a cup of coffee. the cafe was very dim-lit, i noticed her eyes glowing. i was happy, i went over and said hi.
   "How are you?" she looked up and smiled. "Sit down! Heeheehee!" she giggled as she forcefully shoved a slice of toast into my sleeve.
   "huh?.." i took it out and set it on the table, then sat next to her. "I'm pretty good." i laughed, brushing the crumbs from my arm. "i got some tags today and won a bet. so i've got 100 gold and a goat."
   "sounds pretty nifty! What tags did you get?"
   "archery, fishing, and sword mastery." i took them out of the tiny sack and showed her.
   "sword Mastery?! that's amazing! it's probably going to be all over the news!"
   "Oh, I really hope not.. all i need is one more reason for people to fear me..."
   "No! Its good news! Gooood!" I began to yawn and Eloch shoved a piece of toast into my mouth. "See, Good! Like toast! Heeheehee!"
   I coughed a little and the toast fell onto the table, quite pitifully. we looked down at it, then started to laugh. "Eloch, you amaze me." i brushed my hair from my face. "Do you think i'll really make the news?"
   "Yes, definately. I do. No one has ever beat Sword Mastery. True story." She wrote something down onto her paper.
   "Hmmm..." i ate a piece of toast, conveniently and unnknowingly the one i just coughed up. what if i did get onto the news.. what if it does good and not bad? i could finally get the chance to explain to people that i'm not as bad as everyone thinks, that i'm a good person! i don't know.. i'll just not think about it. i leaned my chin onto my hand.
   "Well, i'm going to have to leave soon, i have to stop at the store and do some things at home."
  "Aw, alright.."
   "Oh! are you going to Orientation tomorrow for Classes?"
  "Oh! Yeah! I had forgotten almost entirely. i'll be there." i grinned.
   "Ok, well then i'll see you tomorrow!" She places some coins on the table to pay for her food.
   We walked out at the same time, but i noticed her fly away in the form of a bird. i gasped in amazement. eloch is a shapeshifter?


   I was alking through the village and i passed Eloch's home. I had an urge to poke the giant mushroom, but i held it back. i kickd a rock into the grass then over to the Village Centre as i walked. I watched the flames burning brightly. there must be a Committee Meeting tonight. i walked to the pillar to readthe discussion issues.

  • village safety
  • classes and schedualing
  • village garden
  • new bans
new bans? who are they going to ban? i chose not to let my curiosity overtake me and continued onto my usual route home. i was slightly excited for tomorrow. the first day of classes.  

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