Chapter 4:

The Keeper of the Bridge

The Creator

Driving up to St. Saviour's Estates would surely be a magnificent sight for those who are not used to the benefits of being members of the higher class. However, for somebody like JDG or somebody like Merlyce, driving up to those estates is another eyesore in the memory lane of nostalgia.

"What's it like living in London?" JDG asked while keeping his head resting on his right side.

"The traffic can be a pain, however since I work all the way in Devonshire, I don't stay at this estate usually." Merlyce said as he turns the car into a street.

"Where do you usually stay?" JDG perks his head toward Merlyce.

"In a small country tavern near Taunton." Merlyce responded.

"I see." JDG spoke to himself looking away from Merlyce.

Merlyce then drives the car up to the gate of a magnificent estate. The black gate provides an observant view of the large brick building that stands before it. The gate is the center of a cement wall that is covered with vines of all sorts. The vastly green decals only present a portion of the life such a large plot of land might bring.

"Let me get the gate open." Merlyce opens the door to his car and steps out toward the small kiosk that sits in front of the gate.

There is a man in a nice black and white suit standing there reading some sort of book. Merlyce speaks to the man for a short second as if they are already friendly and as the black gate opens Merlyce returns to the car.

The two drive into the massive driveway that leads to a roundabout surrounding a glorious water fountain that present a sculpture. This sculpture tells the image of a knight in shining armor wielding his trusty sword as if it were the extension of himself and standing with one leg on what can assumed to be either a step, or he slain foe.

Driving up to the front door, you can bear witness to the massive white front door that serves as the main entry point into the manner. Parking his car right in the very front of the place, Merlyce shuts the engine and exits the vehicle, JDG follows the same.

The two walk in unison toward the front door, there on the right side, Merlyce rings a doorbell which can be heard with a slight muffle on the other side of that gaping white door. A few moments pass as the boys tap their feet on the ground in anticipation for what might happen next. JDG takes the opportunity to observe the property in full detail and notice the deep crimson bricks that are outlined by white paint wood all throughout. The amount of windows are countless and each seem to have a square design indicating simplicity. 

The great white door soon opens to reveal another suited man, Merlyce takes the initiative to speak, "I have come to see my father, I have brought him a visitor." Merlyce speaks with a tint of elegancy but retains his personality while doing so.

"I regret to inform you Young Merlyce, but The Keeper of the Bridge is currently working at the moment. You may find him at the London Bridge right now." The suited man explained with a raspy tone.

"It's no issue, we'll go see him right now." Merlyce begins to turn around, "Send mother my regards, I will come visit her tomorrow afternoon after work." Merlyce turns around followed by JDG.

The drive to the bridge was rather menial, nothing too crazy since the bridge is not too far away. "I must have gotten the date wrong for when my dad was supposed to start his yearly week long rest." Merlyce explained.

"Since magic like his is used to guard a monument, how is he able to take a break at all?" JDG looks toward Merlyce while they were driving in the car.

"Well," Merlyce begins, "if I were unemployed, I would be the one to take over the duties of watching the bridge, however, my younger cousin has come of age to watch the bridge for the first time in his life."

JDG perks his head, "How does your family pass down the title?"

Merlyce shrugs his shoulder, "The oldest male born between the two oldest brothers will take over the position as Keeper of the Council when my uncle reaches retirement." Merlyce sighs, "My family is actually unsure about giving me the position, they even suggested that I take the position as Keeper of the Bridge since my uncle has shown no interest in teaching me the magic for protecting the Parliament Building."

"That seems rather unfair doesn't it?" JDG comments.

"My uncle and I have somewhat of a strained relationship for some reason. He always talks about me 'not being worthy enough' to take the position as Keeper of the Council of London." Merlyce sighs once more, "However, he doesn't even want to teach his own son anything either. That man is mysterious and I do not understand him."

Pulling up to the London Bridge, Merlyce parks his car just before the road becomes the bridge. The two exit the vehicle and Merlyce guides JDG to the right side of the bridge where there is a staircase with a battered sign that reads, 'The King's Walk.'

"Why do they need Keepers to watch bridges like this?" JDG taped Merlyce on the shoulder as they walk down the steps.

"My father is here for more ceremonial reasons than anything else, however he serves to be an important security asset for the Council of London." Merlyce explained as he guided JDG to a hidden-in-plain-sight utility door.

"What kind of security does a bridge hold?" JDG asked as Merlyce grabs a key from his pocket.

"If the city were in jeopardy, then my father could prevent anyone from crossing this bridge, same with all the other bridges which have keepers, they protect at least one side of the river." Merlyce opens the door.

"Interesting." JDG nods his head.

The utility door reveals another staircase, and Merlyce allows JDG to move on ahead so he would be able to close the door. JDG moves into the staircase with haste, and Merlyce soon follows. Walking down the lit and tight stairwell may bring claustrophobia to some, but to others it is either a stairwell to new horizons or another day at work. 

The descent isn't very long, the primitive lightbulbs give the stairwell an uncanny feel as you feel as if the place you are in is disconnected from reality, however in fact the stairwell only descends about a story and a half worth of height. Making it to the bottom there is a large room which is once more lit with the same primitive lightbulbs surrounding the entire area.

"Father!" Merlyce cried out, "I've brought you a visitor!"

Not much more than a second passes before a large door on the left side of the room opens inward to reveal another man. A tall and brute looking man who shares the same facial features. He is slim, and he is wearing a white buttoned up shirt with a brown overcoat and is armed with a saber within a scabbard on the left side of his waist. He wears dark grey slacks and dark brown dress shoes. He sports a strong mustache and his eyes were a deep emerald green.

"Merlyce!" The man from the door cries out, the two then quickly walk to each other to exchange a half hug with each other.

The man soon takes a look over Merlyce's shoulder and points his hand toward JDG standing near the bottom of the staircase.

"Hello there, my son seems to have brought you to me for some reason." The man referred to JDG as he looks directly toward him.

"That is correct sir, I do come here for a reason." JDG places his hands behind his back and bows his head before taking steps forward.

Merlyce looks at JDG and then at his father, "Father, he comes to seek knowledge about Keeper Magic." 

The man then takes a step back and quickly looks at Merlyce, "Is he a Keeper? He doesn't look like a Keeper."

Merlyce looks up to his father, "No, he's a Creator."

His father then leans his head forward and pulls back before rubbing his eyes, "Is this against..." he leans down to speak softer to Merlyce, "is this against the doctrine?"

Merlyce nods, "I read the doctrine and it says that Creators can learn Keeper Magic but Keeper's cannot learn Creator Magic."

The man stands straight, "Well, in that case I must ask," he looks down at JDG's eyes as JDG stands before him, "why do you want to learn Keeper Magic?" The man crosses his arms at his chest.

"Well sir, I am fascinated with the arts that your people conduct and I want to expand my knowledge in such arts." JDG bears a wide grin.

The man cocks his right eyebrow, "You think Keeper Magic is art?" He asked.

"Of course I do sir, Magic as a whole can be described as artistic." JDG continues his wide grin.

The man then begins to grin himself, "You give off a different aura than any other Creator that I've met, and I've met many in my lifetime." He puts his hands down to his side.

"I would be honored to learn more about the magical arts that your people use." JDG bows his head.

"No need to be so formal, though formality is key if I teach you some Magic." The man allows his grin to grow as JDG looks up to him with the same.

"Then allow me to be your apprentice, I do not plan to use your magic for harm, I am only curious about the world as a whole." JDG stated.

The man then chuckles, "Well that's good." Merlyce smiles as well, "I never had a Creator refer to our magic as 'art' and I never had a Creator come to me asking to be taught." 

"I am honored to be the first." JDG puts out his hand for a shake.

The man returns the shake, "Tomorrow, I start my yearly vacation, I'll take the next week to teach you."

"I thought today was the day you started, that's why I brought him here." Merlyce says.

"That's alright son, we'll start everything tomorrow." The man responded with a smile.

"Are you sure you won't be too tired?" Merlyce asked the man.

"I'm sure I'll be just fine, the past years have been quite slow and I don't expel as much energy as I used to back in the day." The man places his hand behind his head.

"I hope I am not a hindrance sir." JDG stated as he looked up toward the man.

"No worries, I am always happy to pass down tradition, even to those who are foreign. I'll speak with you tomorrow about formalities, what time could you meet me?" The man looks downward at JDG.

"My classes end by four in the afternoon." JDG stated.

"Then I will see you tomorrow around that time, have Merlyce bring you." The man closed off the conversation and makes his way back to the large door on the left side of the room.

"I get off early tomorrow since it's Friday," Merlyce looks to JDG, "I'll take you everyday to come see him." 

"I thank you very much, I look forward to this." JDG smiles.

"I do too." Merlyce smiles back at JDG.

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon