Chapter 1:

Chapter 1: Arthur

Hail The Swordsman !

400 years have passed since the great Holy War. A single swordsman stood upon and slayed the dragons who were told the cause of the war. He was Sir Arthur Pendragon with his Great Holy Sword Excalibur. 

After his legends were spread through the Kingdom of Xersia, the young generations were deeply motivated by his deeds. Many people tried to find his great Holy Sword Excalibur but, it's location is still unknown. 

In every ten years, the Kingdom of Xersia holds a event to select the next Swordsmen for the country. They are the best of the best knights in the Kingdom. Their place is told to be after the Royal Family of Xersia. Before every selection, those who willing register their names in the event, are sent in a quest for ten feathers of the Phoenix Bird. They may fight the almighty bird or do something else to take the feather. But, everyone knows that the Phoenix Bird is immortal so, Kingdom approves that but the Phoenix is too strong for some anyone weak to handle. Only 10 contestants will be taken to the next round. One has six months in his/her hand to finish the quest. And today's the last day of the elimination round of this decade.


A red headed tall boy with a knife in his hand screamed. He has one Phoenix's feather in his hand. He is one of the contestants, Arthur Estia. He was named after the great swordsman Arthur Pendragon. He is full of joy today as he finished the competition just in time. Every contestants who finished the pre-selection round were given one Royal Ember Locket as a prove. After Arthur recieved one, he then went to the family bar. 

" Welcome to ' Ground Paradise ' ohhhhhh, kid it's you. You really finished the selection. I -I c -can't believe it.  How did you do that? " Arthur grandfather shocked to see his grandson because he never ever thought that he would pass the selection round. 

" What do you think grandpa ? I did it " Arthur replied with a big smile on his face.

" Arthurrrrrrrrrrrrr ! " Arthur's grandfather started crying " Finally, God looked at us poor souls and to name you after the great swordsman didn't go invalid. Know that even if you don't manage to become a Swordsman your grandpa will still love you, aaghhhhh! "

" Stop making a racket in the morning. You're so loud" Arthur replied with rage.

" I am just very happy. I never ever thought you'll have the Ember Locket. I proves that you've overcome the Legendary bird Phoenix. But, I wonder how did you manage to get the feather from the ferocious bird? " Arthur's grandpa asked. 

The question was like a bomb blast for Arthur. He seemed hesitating to give answer. His all face became sweaty. He said with shaky voice " ah, ha about that...." 

" ARTHUR !" Suddenly, a loud voice was heard by others. It was Arthur's uncle Droll. 

" Uncle, you're are a life saver. " Arthur shouted with a big relief. 

" What did I do? Forget that, did you pass the pre- elimination round ?" 

" Yes, I did. "

" I'm very proud of you Arthur. Not only you passed the selection round, you also managed to keep your body in sound health. I was worried sick about you. "

Droll Estia is the former Swordsman of the Estia Style. He discovered his own unique style. He was once respected by the whole Kingdom. He was known as the Droll The Deadman. He truly was a beast with the sword. But, oneday, the Kingdom sent him to investigate something. In the northern part of the Kingdom, there was many villages where people claimed that they saw a strange big creature thing just like a Dragon ! Two years had passed since he was sent there. Oneday, he was found in the Black Mountains. He was horribly injured and found unconscious. 

One of his hands and his eye was missing. He told everyone that he did't remember what happened back there. But, because of his failure, he was humiliated by the royal family and every one else. Since then, he never swang his sword again. 

" Uncle, now I'm just one step away from being a real swordsman and be just like you and Sir Arthur. "

Arthur's uncle slightly approved with Arthur's words but, he didn't seem very happy. 

" Uncle, is everything okay?" Arthur asked after seeing Droll's face turned pale.

" Droll, I told you to take rest. Why don't you listen ? " Arthur's grandfather asked, he was a bit too worried.

" No, no, everything is just fine, old man. Don't worry. "

" Oh, ok then. But, I have a question to ask. "

" What is it Arthur ? " 

" I know that getting a Phoenix's bird is hard but, how will it proves anyone's swordsmanship techniques and skills ? I mean anyone can pick a feather fallen behind by the bird itself. Isn't it right? " 

" Ah, you've got a point there. See, getting a Phoenix's feather should be a ordinary simple job for a Swordsman. If you can't do that, you're not fit to be a Swordsman. Whether it's luck or not, this selection round isn't actually about one's swordsmanship techniques, it's about your experience in finding rare objects, strategizing and intellect. Any Swordsman without that qualities are good for nothing. "

" I see now, so the next round is about Swordsmanship skills and strength, right ? " Arthur asked

His uncle noded his head as a yes. Arthur's grandfather was sad to be left alone from the conversation. He then cried out, " Whatever you do son, don't lose your Ember Locket. If you do, you'll lose your chance to be a Swordsman for good. The locket is your ticket for the next round. You know that right ? "

" Don't you worry a bit. I'll take full care of it. I'll put it in my secret pocket. " Arthur replied with a evil smile on his face. 

" You're hopeless, kid. " His grandfather sighed.  

" Ok, then I'll go to my friend's house, now. IT'S SHOW OFF TIME huhh huhh ! " Arthur left the bar. 

While, going to his destination Arthur came across a strange girl with a hoody over her head. Her sharp green eyes were visible behind the hood. She bashed at Arthur. 

" Oww ! I'm so sorry mister. " She shouted.

" Oh no, no it's ok. " Because she's a girl, Arthur was being gentle. 

When, Arthur finally reached at his friend's house, he called " Eric, see, I've successfully passed the selection round." 

" Cut the crap, show me the locket. " Eric replied. 

" Huh. I've put it in my secret pocket." Saying that Arthur opened his zip of his pants. 

" That's your secret chain ! Seriously ? " Eric asked in wonder.

Arthur chuckled and pulled out the lock and " Now, see my ....... WHAT ? " 

Instead of the Royal Ember Locket what Arthur pulled out was just a wooden pendent.

Joe Gold

Hail The Swordsman !