|Chapter 5: Guild Escape|
|Series||Fable: Rogue Heroes by Bluej248|
|Previous||Chapter 4: Heroes In Training|
|Next||Chapter 6: The Anti-Heroes|
|← Chapter 4: Heroes In Training||Chapter Chronology||Chapter 6: The Anti-Heroes →|
Five years had gone by in The Guild as the young boy and the rest of his trainees continued to develop their skills. However, with each passing year the four had never forgot what they saw happen in The Guild Shop. With each passing year they've heard more and more stories about Heroes doing unspeakable things and its citizens suffering. Nonetheless the four apprentices had focused only on training, but the day finally came when the four apprentices were ready to graduate as Heroes. Ones who would show the people of Albion that there were still Heroes who still carried the virtues of the old Heroes. The four Heroes had awoken from a nights rest as they made their way to the melee ring and waited with anticipation to take their final test before graduation.
"Well my friends, it looks like we've finally done it!" Said Kayma with enthusiasm, "Today we take our final test and graduate Heroes!"
"It's about time too, I wasn't sure how much longer I could take it here, but now we can finally start doing some good for the people." Jarissa said with slight excitement.
"But I thought there wasn't any quest cards anymore? Or at least not any ones from the people." Questioned Ami.
"Oh we'll find something to serve the people, I'll slay a swarm of wasps to protect a farmers crops if I have to, anything to show the citizens that there's still good among Heroes." Said Jarissa with determination.
Just then Sophia had approached the four standing on the outside of the melee ring, "Hello there soon to be Heroes." She said joyfully, "I hope you all are ready for your final test. Remember your final test will consist of all three Hero disciplines and all of you will take them separately, but I have to make sure I get all of you tested before today's graduation ceremony. That being said, who'd like to go first?"
The four glanced around at each other and shrugged. "How about we start with the youngest first." Said Sophia, "I think for all of the success you've shown you're determined to pass, come on now, in you go."
"Yeah, come on, you can do it!" Ami cheered.
The young boy entered the melee ring and as he stood in the center Sophia then got out the crate of summon creatures potions as she pried open the crate lid with her large hands.
"Alright, I'm going to throw three waves of creatures inside the ring one at a time and first thing you're going to do is strike them with your sword." Sophia then picked up one of the potions in her hand and raised it over her shoulder ready to throw it, "Here we go then, three, two, one, go!" As she threw the bottle inside the ring.
One wave after another the young boy slew the beetles with his sword without a scratch, although in the second wave he could feel a swipe of wind as one of the beetles pincers nearly nicked his cheek as he just evaded it. Nonetheless the young boy had passed the melee portion.
"Great! Now get out your crossbow and shoot these waves of beetles." She threw another bottle of summon creatures potion in the ring as the young boy reached behind his shoulder to unsheathe his crossbow and immediately took aim.
The young boy had shot one arrow after another piercing each beetle with an arrow through all three waves. He frequently had to roll out of the way when the beetles he didn't aim at came closer to attack in order to evade and give himself distance to buy himself time to aim and shoot.
"Very nice! Now for the last part, I want you to cast your lightning at them." Said Sophia as prepared to throw more bottles in the ring.
The young boy extended his arms and held out the palms of his hands at waist height as they glowed blue. One beetle after another he casted his lightning striking each one with great electrical force. However, his lightning attack was not powerful enough quite yet to kill each one quick enough to where they weren't able get close enough to attack, therefore he once again had to evade himself from their attacks frequently. But through the hardship of the final test he had slain all the summoned beetles with the powerful strains of lightning.
"Outstanding!" Sophia shouted astonishingly with a big smile, "Well lad, it looks like you've passed your final exam, congratulations! Now if you'll just come on out of the ring, I can get on to testing your fellow trainees and we'll head on over to the Chamber of Fate for the graduation ceremony."
The young boy pushed open the wooden fence and he made his way out of the melee ring to the sound of his three trainees cheering and applauding.
"Well, you did it." Said Jarissa with a slight tone of excitement, "You're going to be a Hero and I'm confident in myself as well as Kayma and Ami to pass this final test to become Heroes as well. I think you noticed when you first came here years ago that I had my doubts about you, but you really proved me wrong throughout the years, you turned out to be pretty good. Maybe even...well, slightly more skilled than me. Look what I'm trying to say is, I'm proud of you and I'm sorry I ever doubted you."
Just then Kayma and Ami had taken a few steps closer standing right behind both sides of Jarissa over her shoulders as they grinned at the young boy. "That was magnificent my friend, you will make great Hero as will the rest of us." Kayma said joyfully.
"You were great! I just hope I can do well on my final test." Said Ami in a cheerful voice.
"Speaking of tests we should get you three started." Said Sophia leaning her back up against the stone fence of the melee ring.
"Right." Jarissa Said, "I'll go first, we can do this, I know we can."
The young boy then folded his arms leaning up against the stone fence as he watched all three of his fellow trainees take their exams. The three of them had passed, but he notice each of them were not well adapted to each of the disciplines only certain ones. Kayma and Jarissa passed their melee part with ease while Ami just barely passed melee and skill, but finished strong with Will. Kayma was decent with Skill, but not as good as he did on melee. While Jarissa did just as good with Skill as melee both her and Kayma struggled with Will, but passed nonetheless. After their tests were complete they made their way to the Chamber of Fate during the late evening for graduation. The four of them along with a few other groups of apprentices, Connors group among them, stood on a long bridge surrounded by an underground cavern that lead into the chamber. Each group was aligned with each other forming two straight lines as they started to walk in the Chamber of Fate shortly after. When they walked through the tall thin archway entrance they could see a large group of apprentices standing and facing a small circled stairwell in the middle of the chamber. The group of spectator apprentices left a walk way gap for the graduating ones who halted in their tracks just before the cleared walk way gap. Markeniss, Sophia, and other Guild trainers in their black and gray hooded shirts stood at the top circled step of the small stairwell.
"Graduating apprentices, approach." Markeniss said in a slightly firm voice.
As the groups of graduating apprentices began to walk down the isle side by side, they started to split into two lines as they then formed one thin line across the bottom step of the circled stairwell.
Markeniss spoke again, "I would like to take this time to congratulate each and every one of you. All of you who graduate today have triumphed through the hardship of Hero training. This is not an easy thing to do as it takes years to truly develop ones true power, but the power does not stop here. People are starting to say there is no desire or need for Heroes anymore, but this is not true. They say this is a time of peace in Albion, but I say different. There is never true peace, there will always be evil to protect the people against and what I ask is that each and every one of you go out there and remind the people of Albion even by fear if necessary that its Heroes are not going anywhere. We are the superiors of this world and we shall be respected as such, those people will learn this. And now it is from this moment forward to each of you standing on this platform, I now pronounce you official Guild Heroes!"
The crowd of apprentices gave out a thunderous applause as they cheered and whistled. During this applause the trainers had stepped down from the top platform and started to hand everyone a Guild Seal. The young boy then noticed Markeniss steadily approaching down the steps in front of him with a slight grin.
He stopped one step above from where the young boy was standing as he reached into his pocket, "Here you are, as promised, your family's Guild Seal." As he handed him the Guild Seal, "You should be very proud, someone of Archon bloodline shall have privilege beyond measure in Albion and will truly show those people to respect us Heroes once again and now you are one of them. You have my praise... Hero." As he continued to walk past the young boy.
As much as he despised Markeniss, it was at this moment he realized he was not just an apprentice or a simple young boy of Albion anymore, he was now along with the rest of his trainees a Hero. He was very overjoyed and could not believe what he'd actually set out to accomplish and could only imagine how proud his father would be. Later in the evening after the ceremony, three of the four Heroes had gathered in the courtyard overwhelmed with excitement and joy.
"We did it! Finally, we're Heroes!" Jarissa shouted with glee.
"Ah ha yes! This is a true milestone we have reached. We are now free to move about the world and show people who true Heroes really are." Said Kayma.
"Yes, definitely, but first things first, what do you say we head to the Guild Bar and have ourselves a drink? As celebration of our first night as Heroes." Said Jarissa.
"Ah! You've read my mind." Said Kayma with a thrilled tone, "But, why go to Guild Bar when we are free to leave Guild now? Lets go to Bowerstone Tavern instead."
Jarissa's face lit up with a grin, "Even better, good thinking Kayma, lets go get Ami and head out." She said, "By the way, where did little miss bookworm get off to anyway?"
"I believe I see her go into Guild Woods not too long ago. Come, lets go and get her." Kayma Replied as he began to walk quickly out of the courtyard.
The Hero and Jarissa followed Kayma out of the courtyard and across the river where they entered the Guild Woods from the corner wall opening. When they entered the three swiped their heads left and right across the bushes and trees. Jarissa stopped in her tracks as did The Hero and Kayma shortly after.
She kept slowly glancing in front of her, "Hm, maybe she's by the..."
Just then, they heard an angry sounding voice, "Give it back!"
Jarissa whipped her head with an alerted look on her face in the direction of the angry voice, "This way!" As the three of them began to run toward the voice.
When they got further down the path that neared the stream they saw two of Connor's goons Torren and Marcus grasping Ami by both her arms.
Connor was standing in front of her pointing his finger aggressively at her face as Andros stood behind him, "Listen pretty, I'm not... not going to tell you again, give me back my bottle!" Connor shouted in a demanding rage.
"I told you I don't have your bottle, please just leave me alone!" Ami said upsettingly with a slight feared look on her face.
As the three Heroes approached closer, they could tell by Connor's speech he was very drunk and an angry drunk at that.
"Hey! You let her go right now Connor!" Jarissa yelled demandingly.
Connor and his goons drew their attention toward the three still approaching, "Well, if it is... isn't the rest of the pathetic bunch." Said Connor with a deviant look as he turned to face the three, "How about you tell your fellow pathetic piece of filth to hand over my damn bottle and we will."
Jarissa quickly unsheathed her blade staff from behind her, "If she said she doesn't have it then she doesn't have it, now let her go you wankers." She demanded aggressively.
"So it's going to be like that huh, well I...I'll show you!" As Connor unsheathed his sword from his belt buckle.
He had begun to charge toward Jarissa aggressively yet disoriented with his sword raised and feet stepping unstable as he ran toward Jarissa already in a fighting stance. As Connor tried to slash his sword vertically down at her, she had ducked under his swing and swooped the blunt end of her blade staff by his ankles sweeping him flat on his back to the ground as his sword flew out his hand. Jarissa then in the blink of an eye swung the blade end of her staff down to Connors neck just halting it as the sharp edge of the jade stone blade lightly touched his skin. He then gave a slightly shocked look that met Jarissa's eyes as she starred narrowly at him.
She then lifted her gaze up at Torren and Marcus still holding Ami, "Again, let her go!" She yelled.
Torren and Marcus released Ami immediately from their grasp with slight frowned expressions on their faces, but still a sense of worry from the both of them. They steadily backed away about fifteen feet moving closer to The Hero and Kayma, but still distanced themselves obtusely from where they were standing.
Jarissa then looked back down at Connor with a now agitated look, "I don't ever want to see you or your gang of twits around her or any of us ever again, understand?" She asked with a firm tone with slight intimidation.
"Hold it!" Shouted Andros.
Jarissa along with The Hero and Kayma turned their attention to Andros holding Ami from behind. He had one arm wrapped across her collar bones nearly at her neck and his rusty flintlock pistol held point blank at the side of her head. Ami strangely had a blank expression on her face as he held her at gun point.
"Let my brother go and give us the bottle or I put a shot through her head." He threatend.
"Andros, listen, there's no need for this." Said Kayma with a worried look.
"Shut it!" Replied Andros as he turned his attention back to Jarissa, "So what's it going to be?"
Connor then gave a mischievous smile as Jarissa glanced back down at him still having her blade up against his face, "Well...you heard him." He said.
Jarissa shot a thousand yard stare down at Connor. Then she kept the same look on her face as she briefly looked back up at Andros holding Ami and then looked down once again at Connor as she slowly pulled away the blade end of her staff away from his neck. She took a few steps backwards still holding her blade staff toward him.
"There's a good girl." Said Andros as he turned his head downward to speak closely into Ami's ear, "Now, how's about you give us back the bottle, pretty."
Just then, Ami's blank stare began to drop to a look of anger, "Let...me...GO!" She shouted at the top of her lungs.
All of a sudden, a shockwave had emitted with great force from Ami's body knocking Andros back into a nearby pine tree at nearly the speed of a bullet. Andros was slammed against the trunk of the tree back first and dropped to the ground on his stomach face down.
"Andros!" Connor shouted alarmingly as he turned on his side to face where Andros dropped.
Connor could hear a faded grunt of pain coming from Andros as he tried to just barely lift his hand up. A crackling sound then came from the pine as it slowly started to lean forward to where Ami and Andros were. Ami was still standing in the same spot as she was and whipped her head around in an upward position to notice the pine tree about to fall on her. With a frightened look Ami was frozen in place as the pine tree started to fall faster on her position. Just then The Hero sprinted toward Ami and tackled her out of the way of the falling tree just in the nick of time before it hit the ground. The Hero was then leaned over her as she opened her eyes facing up at him. She did not seem to be injured as he looked back at her.
"No! Andros!" Connor shouted as he arose to his feet and immediately rushed over to his brothers side.
The tree had landed vertically across Andros's head and torso completely crushing him. All that was visible were his lifeless arms and legs that stuck out of the knocked down tree. Conner quickly dropped to his knees in front of the knocked down tree where his brothers limbs stood out.
"No! No! Andros!" As he began to bury his face in the bark of the tree with both hands pressed against it.
"We'll go get the Headmaster!" Shouted Torren as him and Marcus took off with great speed toward The Guild.
Kayma had thought to go after them, but they already had a good head start for either The Hero, Jarissa or himself to catch them in time.
"You!" As Connor lifted his head from the tree to look up at Ami and The Hero with his eyes widened with rage, "You're dead! You're all dead!" He enraged at the top of his lungs.
"Ami, run!" Jarissa shouted. The Hero rolled to his side to let Ami up in which she arose and quickly made her way toward the surrounding brush and forest of trees ahead of her. Jarissa had then right after ran behind her.
"Oh no you don't!" Connor shouted as he pulled out his flintlock pistol and began to fire shots at both girls as they fled deeper into the dark uncharted woods.
Ami and Jarissa had evaded his shots as they hit nearby trees while they ran, plus with his drunkenness it made it all the more easy to evade. The Hero then pulled out his flintlock pistol shooting Connor's hand to disarm him as his gun dropped to the ground. The shot completely went through the center of his right hand where he held his gun as blood dripped out of the wound.
"Argh! Damn it! You bloody wanker!" Connor yelled in agony as he held his wound tightly with his opposite hand.
"We must go, now!" Shouted Kayma as he started to run past The Hero.
The Hero then shortly followed Kayma as they ran in the same direction Jarissa and Ami took off in. The Hero and Kayma could here Connor's angry screams distancing away as him and Kayma ran deeper into the dark woods full of fern and trees.
"Get back here!" Connor shouted in the distance, "You're dead! You're all dead, you hear me?!"
The woods had grown darker as The Hero and Kayma fled deeper through the horde of trees at a great distance.
"Wait, stop." Kayma said as they came to a slight clearing and halted in their tracks, "I think we are far enough, we must find Jarissa and Ami."
"We're right here." Jarissa's voice said as her and Ami came out of the surrounding brush from the right of them.
"There you two are." Said Kayma relieved, "Are you two okay?"
"I'm fine." Said Jarissa as she turned her head to Ami, "Are you okay Ami?"
Ami had stood there with her head hung low and a saddened look on her face, "This is all my fault." She said with grief, "I got us all thrown out of the Guild and now we have no where to go."
Jarissa had put a comforting hand on Ami's shoulder as she looked up with her watered eyes to meet Jarissa's gaze, "Ami, you didn't do anything wrong, if anything you did us a favor. As good and efficient training as we got, that place with the exception of a few was nothing, but a scum infested academy full of wankers, gits and so called Heroes that put a bullet through anyone when they don't get what they want. I'm glad to get away from that place."
"She's right Ami." Said Kayma as Ami glanced over toward him, "It is not your fault, you did what you had to in self-defense. You've done no wrong, however I don't think Headmaster Markeniss would have been as understanding, we all would be dead by now if we hadn't fled, but nonetheless I think we're all glad to be away from there, wouldn't you say?" As he turned his head to The Hero.
The Hero nodded.
Ami then looked around at the three of her companions with a smile and still watered eyes with joy, "Thank you all, you're all such wonderful friends and thank you Hero for saving my life."
"Anytime Ami." Said Jarissa as she smiled back, "But we really should get moving again. We need to place ourselves as far away from The Guild as we can for now till this whole thing blows over." As she turned to face the woodland in front of them.
"Yes, agreed. Where is nearest settlement?" Asked Kayma.
"Well, if we keep heading straight we should end up in Greatwood." Replied Jarissa, "From there the nearest settlement I can think of is The Darkwood Traders Camp."
"Darkwood?" Questioned Kayma in a concerned tone, "That is very dangerous place. Don't get me wrong, I do not doubt our abilities, but even with my strength and the rest of your abilities we are still newly graduated Heroes and only adept to our abilities yet."
"It's the only settlement that can distance us to lay low in for now, we don't have many other options. Plus it's only halfway through Darkwood, we should be fine as long as we stick together." Jarissa replied.
"Wait." Said Ami as she took a few steps forward to center herself between the three, "Before we keep going, I need your Guild Seals, it'll just be a moment."
"For what?" Jarissa asked.
"You'll see. Please, just give them here it won't take long." Said Ami.
The three exchanged looks and shrugged then handed their Guild Seals to Ami as she grabbed each one from their hands. She then kneeled down on both knees and spread all four seals in a square pattern on the dirt ground in front of her.
"What exactly are you doing Ami?" Kayma asked.
Ami grabbed a nearby twig and started to carve the same Hero symbol that shown on the seals into the soft packed ground in the center where the four seals were placed.
"It's a protective enchantment that will make our Guild Seals completely untraceable." She answered as she continued to carve circles around the seals with lines that connected each one to the Hero symbol in the center, "It'll also allow only us four to communicate with each other if we ever get separated."
Jarissa observed in interest as Ami finished the ground carving, "I guess all that book reading is finally paying off."
Ami briefly looked up at Jarissa with a slight smile, "Yes, quite."
She then looked back down as she was still on both knees and pressed both her hands flat on the Hero symbol firmly. A magical yellow glow emitted from the symbol where Ami's hands were placed and traveled through the lines to the four circles surrounding the Guild Seals. The seals were then briefly covered by the yellow magical light and then the light had slowly faded retracting back to the Hero symbol in the center which then also faded.
Ami then lifted her hands off the ground and stood up to her feet while grabbing her Guild Seal as she arose, "There, we're now untraceable and our Guild Seals are privately linked." She said confidently as the other three stepped forward to grab their Guild Seals.
Suddenly a crinkled noise came from the surrounding brush, "What's that noise?" Jarissa asked suspiciously as she pulled out her blade staff.
The noise grew louder as the brush began to rip apart revealing a large swarm of beetles emerging from all around the four Heroes as the beetles let out a high pitched shriek.
"Beetles!" Kayma alerted as he unsheathed his large scimitar.
The four Heroes had slashed and slain the large swarm of beetles that ambushed them. Kayma, Jarissa and The Hero had used their swords while Ami had used her lightning spell to electrocute each beetle one by one. Jarissa for a few of them, would use her pistol to finish off some of the beetles. When the last beetle was slain by The Hero as he flourish attacked it with an overhead vertical swing, the four Heroes sheathed their weapons.
"I think that's all of them." Said Jarissa, "Come on, we should keep going. Even with Ami's spell over our seals we never know who will be where looking for us. We need to get to the Darkwood Camp as soon as we can."
The four Heroes then continued to quickly make their way through the rest of the uncharted and secluded area of the woods and make their way toward Greatwood.