Chapter 1 Part 1

I keep having that nightmare, it’s been several years since that attack, my memory is so fazed, the mages said that I’ll live but I’ll be mentally scarred for life, they don’t understand what I went through that night…. *Sigh*…. I must not let it get to me now, my Alter Knight exam starts soon, I must get ready.
If I can defeat this monster that the Grand General offers me, then I earn my Alter Knight powers and armour, hahaha, I’m dead excited about this, I can finally prove myself to the world that I’m am no weakling and can finally….take revenge on that person who destroyed my village.
My name is Azarl Ragnard, and I….have a purpose….

“Hey! Are you awake yet!?” This female voice boomed as she bangs on the door of Azarl’s room
“Yeah, just give me a sec!” Said Azarl as he finishes putting his clothes on and grabs his weapon
He approches the door, opens it and there stands Mira Nyasia, she looks at him at first with a annoyed face but that quickly turned to a smile.
“Tee Hee! Come on lazy bum! Your Alter Knight exam starts today, you must be in tip-top shape if you are to pass and gain the thing you wanted for years” Said Mira
“You seem positive about me passing the exam, I’ll have you know that people have actually died doing these exams as it involving facing a live monster, no dummies this time around” Azarl said as his closed his eyes and sighed heavily
“Oh come on now! Don’t give me that look, I have faith in you” Mira pulls off a cheesy smile and leans towards Azarl
Azarl opens his eyes and looks up to see Mira’s sudden smile, his eyes beam out of his head and takes a step back, almost falling over his own leg.
“Woah! Don’t do that, don’t get so close, you worry me sometimes”
“Aww! Fine, lets just go, your going to be late” Mira’s smiles turns to a frown and places her hands on her sides as she turns around and starts walking
“He…Hey! Wait up!” Azarl said as he catches up to Mira

The capital city of Xin, a massive fortess like city with just about everything you could wish for, markets, arenas, theatres, the whole lot. I recently joined the Alterus army and was one of the chosen few to take a Alter Knight exam, which is 2 years physical training, 1 year studying its history and 6 months to prepare for the exam, well….my time has come, my exam starts this afternoon.
From what I heard, the exam takes place in a dungeon a few miles away from the city, this place is a training ground for Alter Knights and the place were we take our exams to become Alter Knights. Live monsters and traps flood this dungeon, people can die from this exam, only two our of ten soldiers who take the exam, pass it, so the chances of me passing isn’t that good at all….

“Well, here we are…. Alter Knights Headquaters, aren’t you excited about the exam, Az?”
“Don’t you care if I die or something?”
“Pfft! You? Die? Haha! Look, compared to what you went through all them ye….”
“SHUT UP! I don’t want to remember that time, EVER AGAIN!”
“…..” Mira’s face saddened as Azarl grinded his teeth and starred at her with wide eyes, she found it hard to look at him.
“I….I’m sorry….Forgive me?” Mira pleaded
Azarl noticed what he had done and after looking at Mira’s saddened face, she looked like she was going to burst into tears and quickly changes emotion.
“It’s….It’s alright, you don’t have to apologize but just please….don’t remind me of that inccident, okay?”
Mira nods and forces a smile and hugs Azarl, she squeezes him tight, and then slowly lets go, looks at him and holds his hand
“Okay, lets go, you’ve got a exam to pass”
Azarl smirks a little and nods as they begin to walk into the Alter Knight Academy, the huge doors opened and out came the current Grand General of the Alter Knights, Victor Cade. Cade earned his role 10 years ago, not long after the Unholy War, there are 2 ways to earn the title of Grand General:
1)S/he must be next in line when the current Grand General dies
2)If another Alter Knight challenges and defeats the current Grand General, s/he earns the right to become the next Grand General

Victor earned it when the last General died during the Unholy War when he was slain by the Dread Knight in a duel. The war, to me, seemed like a waste as it ended up being a stalemate. What a waste of life just for the war to be tied….Anyway, Victor is a good man, honourable but does have a short fuse if you cross him, he wields a massive warhammer and a sheethed greatsword if the hammer fails, which is rarely does, from what I was told, his hammer could split the earth in two but thats just myth.

“Well, muwhaha, little Az has grown up and ready for his exam” Laughs Victor as he awaits Azarl at the top of the staircase to the building
“Heh, heh, yeah, I’ve….erm…. been looking forward to this all morning” Azarl said nervously, scratching his head and pulling a straight face
“SPLENDID!!!” Victor whacked Azarl’s back with his hand, it was a massive brute of a hand, it could fit all of Azarl’s entire head and neck and crush it with ease.
Azarl managed to catch himself before he fell flat on his face and coughed a bit from the sudden impact from Cade’s massive palm, not only that but the General towered over Azarl, it was like David and Goliath and take a guess who is who….
“I’ve got to go now, I said I’d pay mum a visit at the university, good luck in the exam Azarl!” Mira said as she smiled and waved as she went back down the stairs
Azarl waved back and turned to Victor, his face went from happy to serious as he knew what was going to happen in just a matter of hours
“When do we get started?”
“As soon as we kit you up, lets go inside and I’ll describe it as we walk to the dungeon” Victor said with a positive look on his face
“Alright…. Lets go, I’m ready”
Both men nodded to each other and started walking to the Alter Knight Academy, the massive doors swooped open and inside was massive, there wasn’t many knights in the academy, it’s only been 10 years since the Unholy War ended and they only started reviving numbers, the current figures show that there are just 50 knights but the Dread Knights also had a lot of casualties but their numbers are unknown as of yet.
“Ah! Reioca, my lovely receptionist, how are you today?” Victor asks the woman behind the counter with a big smile on his face
“Very well, thank you sir…. Oh? Is this the new candidate, grand general?”
“Very much so, Reioca! This man shows a lot of promise and deep fire in his eyes, he can be a fine alter knight!”
“He does look…..promising, sir” Reioca blushes at the sight of Azarl.
Victor raises an eyebrow at Reioca and then turns slightly to look at Azarl, he is currently busy looking at the paintings all over the building’s walls
“Wow! Such a impressive structure, I love it!” Said a excited Azarl
“Yes, she is a impressive figure indeed, haha! Come! Let us prepare you for the exam” Victor said with a proud smirk on his face, but just as they were about the leave the reception desk….
“Excuse me, sir, a package arrived for Azarl earlier this morning, the package is in his locker”
“Thank you very much for the information, Reioca, I will tend to the matter” Said Victor

A package? For me? Who knows me, my entire village was destroyed by the Dread Knights, no one knows me anymore appart from Mira and my parents died when I was very young…. Gah! Stop being so concerned! Just check the package and ask questions afterwards!

“Azarl? Snap out of it!” Victor clicked his fingers as Azarl was staring into space
“OH! I’m sorry, grand general, please forgive me?”
“Haha! Not to worry, just don’t let it happen during a fight or you’ll lose your head, MWAHAHAHA!”
“…….Well….Erm…..ANYWAY! Lets see what this package is, hahaha!”

Your weird, you know that….Heh….Look whos talking, Azarl, DUH!

They arrives in the lockers, Victor gives Azarl his locker key, he unlocked the locker, a loud echo around the room as the door opened and revealed a long package. Azarl took the package out but the sudden weight of it made him drop it, the bottom of the rapping ripped and is revealed the tip of a blade. Azarl’s sudden shock as he went to open the package…. It was a greatsword, superbly detailed with a empty slot in the hilt for what something seems to slot in.

“What a awesome blade! I wonder who sent me it? It says nothing in the “From” part of the sticker” Azarl said in his amazment
“…….” Victor remained silent, he has seen this blade somewhere before but his memory is a little fuzzy, he has slept since and he shouldn’t let it get to him, at least…..not yet…..
“Well, you can’t use that sword yet, Azarl, you have to use the set equipment until you passed the exam”
“Oh, okay sir, I can use this later when I’ve passed my exam” Azarl puts the sword back into the locker and locks it and puts the key in his pocket

Azarl starts getting ready, putting on his alter knight trainning gear and weapons, Azarl picks the medium armour set with greatsword, long bow and belt of throwing knifes. Victor nodded and seemed to be impressed with the set Azarl has chosen. They set off outside the back way which leads the the outskirts of Alterus.

“OPEN THE GATES! I have a soldier who wishes to take his knight exam!” Victor shouts at the gate captain, who resides at the top of the castle walls.

The gate captain gives the thumbs up and tells the others near him to get the gate open, after a miniute of waiting, the massive back gates of Alterus opens, a monsterous noise echos as the doors start to move and takes a further minute or two to completely open.
Azarl and Victor head out on horse back toward to target location of the Tahala Dungeon where the knight exam takes place year after year, as records put it, out of the 100 exams that take place per year, figures show that only figures between 5 to 8 people make it to pass the exam, the failures are either dead or back to the life of a soldier of Alterus. At the minute, 3 have passed so Azarl could be one of the unlucky ones….or….could he pass the exam and become what he has always dreamed of being, an Alter Knight!

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