Chapter 2:

My Denied Stairway

The Creator

Entering the mysterious door, JDG finds a darkened and damp staircase with only a single tall window providing light. The staircase seems empty, unoccupied at the moment, despite JDG witnessing another student enter not too long ago. That student must have made it to the second floor by now, which is what JDG had intended.

JDG thought much to himself about his life as he stood there at the bottom of the damp stairwell. He had a clear desire, however he had a foolish attitude of achieving such a desire. 

After slowly creeping his way inside and ending his deep thought, JDG begins to ascend the hidden stairwell, hoping that there will be no other measures besides a hidden-in-plain-sight door that could stop him. JDG walks with confidence but great consideration of the risk that might ensue. 

JDG is a proud person, however he never let's his guard down. That grin of his is not always as genuine as he lets on, however that grin is something more personal to him. Shining a look of confidence convinces his own mind that he can accomplish whatever he needs to in any moment. A stroke of luck seems to manifest from that daring grin.

Who is JDG? He is a mystery to the school, a mystery to all students and staff, and he is a mystery to his own family. What kinds of mysterious endeavors will this young boy seek?

JDG's luck had seemingly run out, he has ascended the stairwell to the second story of the library. A door sits in front of him, with great hesitation, JDG places his hand on the doorknob. However, the doorknob refuses to open.

"What the hell?" JDG quietly spoke to himself in concern.

JDG then becomes aggressive with his attempt to turn the doorknob. He can't seem to have it budge. That grin that he holds on his face disappears for a moment as a look of frustration begins to unfold. Then at that moment, the door violently swings open. A figure has opened the door.

"This area is restricted for Semi-Creators only! If you cannot open this doorknob on your own then you are not of the status 'Semi-Creator.'" The figure explained sternly to JDG.

JDG then returns that grin to his face, "Isn't it quite unfair to restrict most of the campus from viewing specific documents." JDG made a judgmental remark.

"I am not the Creator of the rule, I am nearly the enforcer." The figure appears to be some kind of guard rather than a student.

The figure that stands before JDG is significantly taller, however has facial features pertaining to the same age as JDG. The figure is wearing a light amount of chainmail armor; only leg and arm protection it seems. The figure however appears to be armed with a sword in sheath on the back of his outfit. 

"You aren't a student are you?" JDG questioned the figure.

"I am nearly the Keeper of the second-level of the library here." The figure responded as he reached his hand behind his back.

"No need to pull that thing out," JDG pointed at the sword handle, as the figure removes his hand, JDG leans in, "'re a Keeper?"

"Yes, I am a Keeper." The Keeper answered while placing his hands on his side.

"What's your name?" JDG continued to question, JDG leaned his head forward with his hands behind his back.

"It's Merlyce." The Keeper responds hastily keeping an awkward position of his hands to his sides.

"I'm JDG." JDG replied to Merlyce, "I'm a second-year student here." 

"So, you aren't supposed to have access here," Merlyce concluded, "What reason do you have trying to come up here?" 

"I am a young teenage boy who simply seeks knowledge in this world, however, you standing in front of me allows me to seek a little knowledge that I could use." JDG expressed his intentions while making an effort to be vague. Merlyce perks his head and places his right hand on the back of his neck as JDG leans forward more.

"I don't follow." Merlyce stated as he moves a step backward.

"You don't have to follow, where do you come from?" JDG asked and leaned back.

"I come from London." Merlyce responded moving his head with his words.

"London huh? I was wondering since I never seen a Keeper native to Devonshire." JDG explained, "What's it like in London?" JDG stands up straight with his hands still behind his back.

"I don't know the full city, Keepers are not allowed in many areas if they aren't employed." Merlyce explained as he stands up more straight as well and repositions himself a step forward. "I really only know the car route out of the city and the area near my estate." Merlyce shrugs his shoulders

"Quite inconvenient isn't it?" JDG commented, "How did you get employed here?"

Merlyce then begins to grow a small grin on his own face and returns his hand to the back of his neck, "My father is the 'Keeper of the Bridge,'" Merlyce answered as JDG's face nearly lights up, "that itself opens opportunities for employment. My father recommended me here as he was originally offered the position."

"Your father is the 'Keeper of the Bridge?'" JDG leaned forward and wore a large grin on his face. It's almost as if internally, JDG had leaped in place upon hearing Merlyce.

"He is, and my uncle is the 'Keeper of the Council' as well." Merlyce plants his hands on his sides and leans on his left leg.

"The Council of London?" JDG leans forward even further.

"Yeah, he's their main security system in place." Merlyce continued to explain.

"That's quite an important job," JDG commented, JDG looked away from Merlyce for a moment and stood straight once more, he then turns back, "what are your aspirations in life?" JDG asked Merlyce.

"Probably take my uncle's position as 'Keeper of the Council of London,' I have little choice in the matter anyway." Merlyce began to explain solemnly, bowing his head a little toward the floor, "As prestigious as a title like that is, it's the only sure way that I can be accepted into the world for something more than my status as 'Keeper.'"

JDG pauses, he then continues, "I have one more question for you." JDG stated.

"What's that?" Merlyce perked his head.

"Do you know how to use Keeper Magic?" JDG questioned.

Merlyce then is taken back a step, such a question would seem so obvious to him, however JDG looks at him with great intrigue. JDG waits patiently as Merlyce comprehends the situation.

"Of course I do," Merlyce begins, "The magic that prevents you from opening the door is my magic." Merlyce states as he points toward the doorframe with his right hand.

JDG looks at him with widened eyes, "Do you know anything about Creator Magic?"

"I am not allowed to, I guard the books that contain content on Creator Magic, however I myself am not allowed to touch them. That is part of the contract that binds me to employment. I mustn't touch anything that I protect." Merlyce explained to JDG. JDG becomes slightly disappointed in the lack of information he received about the issue, however he knew it was a long shot.

"You are very open about many things, I appreciate your willingness to answer my questions." JDG grins up toward Merlyce.

Merlyce then looks to the side and places his hand on his head while the other rests on his side, "I don't get to socialize too often, no Creator ever wants to have an actual conversation with me nor ask about my profession. You are different, there is something different about you and I feel as if I can be friendly with you."

JDG lifts his chin, "Well you are a friendly person. I would not mind becoming close acquaintances with you."

Merlyce drops his hand to his side and his eyes open wide as he leans forward, "Do you mean that?"

JDG grins even wider as he looks Merlyce in the eyes, "Let's be friends, I enjoyed the talk that we just shared."

"Are you not worried about any backlash you could receive being friends with a Keeper." Merlyce leans his head back.

"What other people think mean little to me, if you are friendly and you can help me out, why the hell should I listen to other people." JDG waved his left arm around as he explained his reasoning. Merlyce's face continued to light up as JDG explained.

"I can help you out in any way that you need." Merlyce offered.

"And I will do the same." JDG placed his hand in front of him for a handshake.

Merlyce then soon placed his hand out to share a handshake between the two boys. JDG holds a grin on his face and Merlyce does as well. The handshake is a quick and firm motion, afterward, the two return to a more relaxed position.

JDG bows his head down and then looks back up at Merlyce "Well I appreciate your time 'Keeper of the Library of Devonshire.'" JDG expressed his gratitude with great respect toward Merlyce's name and title.

Merlyce is taken by JDG's usage of the title he technically is called by. As Merlyce looks at JDG with great surprise and even his own gratitude, JDG soon descends the blank stairwell in order to return to the level of the library that he is allowed upon. 

"So that's the life of a Keeper." JDG commented to himself as he slowly opens the door that he entered the stairway in. 

Opening the door reveals empty rows of bookshelves that are vacant and void of any real life. JDG walks out of the doorway and slowly returns the door to its resting position. He continues his path through an aisle of books toward the center of the library which showcases the entire building up to the roof. Taking one last grand glare at the magnitude of such a library, JDG is quite pleased that he was able to meet a Keeper in the flesh. 

JDG makes his way to the entrance of the library and into the corridor right outside of the library's entrance. JDG continues down the corridor the exact way that he entered from. Returning to the main classroom portion of the school, JDG soon finds himself in front of a plain wooden door with a brass label on the top of the doorway.

'Arithmetic,' the label tells.

"I didn't want to end up here but I might as well since lessons are almost over." JDG said to himself as he slowly opens the door into the classroom. 

There the small classroom presents itself. A real nice place despite a small size, there are uniform desks all throughout the room, the professor is placed in front of all the desks with a chalkboard for their disposal. JDG enters to find the professor right in front of him.

"Where have you been?" The professor immediately interrogated JDG upon entering.

"I was at the headmaster's office." JDG explained.

"That is no way to address a professor." The professor replied with their hands across their chest, the professor looks down on JDG.

"I was at the headmaster's office, ma'am." JDG restated with apathy.

"Do you have a pass?" The professor continued to interrogate presenting the same body language.

"He did not give me a pass." JDG lost energy with his explanations and walks past the professor anyway.

"I will have to call him after class then, please take a seat." The professor points towards JDG's already known assigned desk and continues to address the class, "Alright where were we..."

JDG builds his path toward his seat that he already knows and despises so well. However, JDG soon gains that infamous grin of his realizing that his journey today wasn't completely useless. JDG initiates the motion of sitting in his desk, he adjusts the blazer of his uniform before he completes the action. 

JDG's uniform which he shares with every other person at the institution is of a fashion that JDG himself does not necessarily agree with. A navy blue double-breasted blazer on top of a white buttoned t-shirt while sporting a blue and white striped tie. Combined with the absurd amount of tops at your disposal, he has to wear blue slacks wrapped in dark brown putties with dark brown shoes. Under his putties he's allowed to wear pretty much whatever socks he could imagine. JDG himself sticks to basic white socks for simplicity and availability in stores.

JDG completes his motion of sitting down, but before he could access the contents of his desk, another student within the same row as JDG leans over to his left in order to speak to JDG.

"What happened?" The young boy asked. A young boy with bright blonde hair and bright white skin leans to speak with JDG.

"It's nothing, I just got janitorial duties next week." JDG explained without taking much effort to even look at the boy.

"I heard that you got into a fight with MLA." The boy mentioned.

"MLA got into a fight with me," JDG corrected while pointing to himself, "I did not aggravate him, he threw the first punch, I only wanted to finish it." JDG explained and then sighed.

"I don't know, I heard that you provoked him yesterday with that comment about his loss at the boxing tournament last week." The young boy mentioned another detail.

"I never made such an offensive remark, and it's on him for being so sensitive about it." JDG grins, "VTB, how did you even find out about this?" JDG changed the subject.

"There were people who witnessed your exchange with MLA earlier, they were telling most of the school about it." VTB explained.

JDG looks at the ceiling, "Interesting-"  

"What are you two boys chatting about back there." The professor interrupted the conversation between JDG and VTB while pointing her pointing stick toward them. She adjusts her glasses with ferocity.

"Nothing ma'am." VTB responded politely.

"Quit the commotion and pay attention, unless you both want to be responsible for a sudden quiz." The professor issued her warning and the entire classroom of boys eye JDG and VTB. VTB hides in his arms in shame while JDG grins at all of the onlookers.

JDG then quietly comments to himself, "Whatever you say, ma'am."