Chapter 28:

The Kingdom

Every Side of the World

As Kizou followed the road, he eventually passed different villages all around the Kingdom. He saw children running around, farmers tending to their crops, and animals running around.

Feels just like home, Kizou would think to himself when he saw these villages.

Kizou walked down the road and finally arrived at a tall wall and a gate that enclosed the city. He stood behind a line and peered over to see why it was taking so long.

“I.D. please,” the guard would say as the citizens gave their cards to get checked.

Didn’t Yui give me an I.D.? Kizou thought to himself as he searched through his backpack.

“Next!” the guard yelled as the crowd started moving in faster. Kizou still couldn’t find his I.D.

Where is it? Where is it? Kizou thought to himself as he kept looking through his backpack.

“Next!” the guard yelled.

I can’t find it! Kizou thought to himself.

“Next!” the guard yelled impatiently.

“Hey pal, you’re up,” the guy behind Kizou said.

“Oh, sorry!” Kizou said as he nervously walked up to the guard.

“I.D.,” the guard said.

“It’s somewhere in my backpack,” Kizou nervously answered.

The guard let out a deep sigh as he watched Kizou fumble through his backpack. He tapped his foot impatiently.

“I know it’s somewhere here,” Kizou nervously said.

“Ask him to use magic on it to scan,” the guy behind Kizou whispered.

Magic? Kizou thought to himself.

“This is my I.D. card,” Kizou said awkwardly as he showed his backpack towards the man.

The security guard grabbed a device on the table and powered magic into it before hovering it over the backpack. The device made a few beeping noises, and the guard’s eyes suddenly widened.

“I apologize for the rude behavior, please head on in,” the security guard said as he tipped his hat towards Kizou. “Next!”

Is there something special about the I.D. that Yui gave me? Kizou thought to himself.

Kizou stood by the gate and waited for the guy who assisted him to give him his thanks.

“Security is tight these days,” the man said as he walked over to Kizou. “To be expected since that last riot.”

Riot? What is he talking about? Kizou thought to himself.

“Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for that piece of advice,” Kizou said with a smile as he stuck his hand out.

“That’s no problem,” the man said as he shook Kizou’s hand. He was around Kizou’s height, and he wore a green robe around his body along with black pants. He wore glasses and had short, brown hair. He held a staff in his other hand.

“I’m Kizou, and you are?” Kizou said as he pulled his hand away.

“Call me Kosta,” the man said with a smile. “You’re not from around here, are you?”

“Did the check-in give it away?” Kizou asked embarrassingly.

“That, and you have a mask on as if you’re trying to hide your appearance,” Kosta said with a smirk.

“I guess you can say that,” Kizou nervously answered.

“All good, all good,” Kosta said as he put his hands up to show he wouldn’t pressure him further. “Well, you’re in for a big surprise.”

Kizou and Kosta walked up to a door and pushed it open. As Kizou opened the door, the whole city was in view in front of him. It was even more spectacular than the stories he was told. The city was enclosed with walls that seemed to stretch far and wide. The tall brick buildings seemed to tower over most of the Kingdom. However, the vendors had carts as well as stores that provided a bit of a calm ambience to Kizou. There were also plenty of people that were shopping for materials or casually checking out what the stores had to offer.

“Come in and buy your fresh boar!” announced one of the vendors as he waved a piece of boar in the air.

“If you need any help with your equipment, please come this way!” shouted another vendor as he held out his hammer.

“This is crazy,” Kizou said.

“I know, I know,” Kosta replied as he was already exposed to this before. “Were you heading anywhere in particular?”

“I’m heading to the Adventurer’s Guild,” Kizou said with a smile.

“An Adventurer?” Kosta asked as he looked up and down at Kizou. “Well, you should be heading over that way.”

“Thanks a lot, Kosta!” Kizou said as he started sprinting towards that direction.

Wait, I should’ve found a way to contact him! Kizou thought to himself as he turned around. Kosta was nowhere to be found.

“Must’ve been busy,” Kizou mumbled to himself. He continued walking towards the direction that Kosta pointed to.

After some walking, he stood in front of two buildings that were exactly the same and had signs posted outside of them. As he looked at the people who walked out of each building, they were definitely adventurers of some sort.

Wait, which building am I supposed to go into? Kizou thought to himself.

He tried to stop the people who walked by, but they ignored Kizou every time.

Why aren’t they all as nice as Kosta? Kizou thought to himself annoyingly. Well, what’s the worst that can happen?

Kizou entered the building on the left and walked down the long corridor. As he continued walking inside, he entered a room that had a stage and around twenty different people lined up.

Wait, Cheron told me that someone would register me in? Kizou thought to himself.

“Thank you for being brave enough to enter the exam,” a man with a staff said as he walked around the stage.  He wore a white robe and a white hat.  He looked as if he was nervous as he kept fidgeting while he was talking.

Exam?! Kizou nervously thought to himself. And who’s this old geezer?

“With that being said, only those that are worthy will be selected,” the man continued on while walking around with his staff.

I am definitely in the wrong place, Kizou thought to himself as he turned around towards the door and tried to exit the room.

He grabbed the handle and tried to open it up, but it was sealed by magic. He kept pulling it, but it wouldn’t budge at all.

“I have locked all doors, so there’s no point in trying to leave without taking the exam,” the man said as he continued walking around. He didn’t even have to look at the door as if he already knew someone would try to leave..

“The Grandmaster will personally greet the people who win,” the man said as he raised his cane and hit the ground. “Now, begin!”

Grandmaster?! Kizou nervously thought. Begin? Begin what?!

“Pyro Ball!” a voice yelled.

“Tears of the Skies!” another voice yelled.

Spells were being chanted back and forth, and there were different elements being thrown around.

This is definitely not the Adventurer’s Guild, Kizou thought to himself as he started dodging all the attacks. This is the Magic Tower!

People were dropping left and right as there were some individuals who were defeated and some individuals who just ran out of energy. As Kizou looked closely, he could tell something was off.

As the fight continued on, there were 3 individuals left conscious. Kizou pretended to be knocked out, so he stayed on the floor the whole time that the fight was happening.

Let’s just wait until the results are announced, Kizou thought to himself.

“Looks like there’s only 3 of us left,” said one of the individuals. He was definitely older as he looked to be in his early 30’s. He had black hair, a beard, and a piercing on the bottom of his lips. He wore a red shirt that was tucked in his black pants. He held a wand that seemed to increase his strength.

“Doesn’t matter, because I’m aiming for the top,” a girl said. She looked like she was around Kizou’s age, and she wore a green robe around her body. She wore a white shirt underneath along with brown pants. She held a staff that was being pointed straight.

The other individual didn’t speak at all. He wore a black robe with his hood on as well, so his face wasn’t easy to see. He wore black pants and had a wand in his hand. He stared at the floor and didn’t pick up his head at all.

“The battle is over!” the announcer said as he raised his staff and tapped the floor with it. “Those that remain will advance.”

“Guess you won’t be able to aim for the top this time,” the man said with a smile as he started exhaling from exhaustion. “What’s your name?”

“Maru, and you?” the girl said as she also started exhaling from exhaustion.

“Taisho,” the man said as he sat down from loss of energy.

“There’s always next time,” Maru said with a smile as she sat down as well.

“Too bad no one will be able to make it out alive,” the man dressed in all black said.

“Huh?” Taisho and Maru said as they looked at him.

“Now!” the man dressed in all black yelled.

Suddenly, almost half of the participants who were in the battle got up and started rushing towards the man with the staff.

I knew they were faking it, Kizou thought to himself. I got to help them!

I don’t have the energy to stand, Maru thought to herself.

Get up! Taisho thought to himself.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” the man with the staff said as he pointed his staff towards the participants rushing at him.

Suddenly, everyone that was rushing the man fell to the ground unconsciously.

What was that? Kizou thought to himself. He didn’t chant at all, and he knocked everyone out!

“That’s what I hoped you would do,” the man with all black said as he suddenly appeared behind the man who just unleashed the spell.

A sword slowly pierced through the old man’s body, and he dropped his staff.

What?! Kizou thought to himself as he looked in horror.

“As expected of you, Grandmaster Sora,” the man said as he pulled his sword out of the body. The man fell down to the floor.

“Grandmaster Sora?!” Maru and Taisho yelled out in surprise.

“Yes, that was the Grandmaster who always likes to disguise himself as the test observer,” the man said. “But now I’ve finally killed him after having him fail me for 10 years straight.”

“You killed the Grandmaster for that reason?!” Maru yelled.

“That’s your fault for being weak!” Taisho yelled.

“Who’s the one that’s dead now?” the man laughed hysterically as he started kicking the Grandmaster’s body. “I knew he would have an opening after his spell, Facade.”

I can’t get up, Maru thought to herself.

Am I really going to die here too? Taisho thought to himself.

“Well, let’s say goodbye to both of you too,” the man said as he jumped off the stage and started walking towards Maru and Taisho. He raised his sword up as he continued to walk to Maru while she sat there frozen at the sight before her eyes.

“Stop it!” Taisho yelled out as he was about to witness another death.

Someone, please save me! Maru thought to herself as she was too afraid to get the words out of her mouth.

“Haha!” the man laughed hysterically as he kept his sword in the air. He tried to take another step, but he realized that his feet suddenly got heavy. He looked down and saw that his feet were frozen.

Did that man chant this while I was focused on the girl? The man thought to himself.

“I didn’t expect to find someone crazy on my first day here,” Kizou said as he got up from the pile of bodies he was hiding in and scratching his head.

Maru stopped shaking and looked at Kizou.

“Who are you?!” the man asked as he didn’t even notice Kizou there.

“Just a guy who walked into the wrong building,” Kizou answered proudly.

Cringe, Maru and Taisho thought to themselves as they couldn’t believe what they just heard.

What’s with that mask too? Maru thought to herself.

Why do I feel judgemental stares from people I’m about to save? Kizou thought to himself.

“Get out of here, kid! I don’t know why you suddenly decided to get up, but watch out!” Taisho yelled.

“You better listen to him,” the man said as he melted the ice on his legs with fire.

Looks like a fire affinity, Kizou thought to himself.

“You’re clearly at a disadvantage,” the man said with a laugh as he realized that his fire would overcome Kizou’s ice.

The man rushed at Kizou with his sword and started throwing slashes at him. He continued putting pressure which made Kizou have to dodge every attack.

“Stop running,” the man laughed. “I know you can’t keep up, so just accept your death!”

That’s not it, Taisho thought to himself. He’s easily dodging every strike.

“I’m tired of this!” the man yelled. “Inferno Flare!”

A huge fireball started slowly coming towards Kizou. Kizou could easily deflect his attack, but he realized his surroundings. An ice wall formed in front of Kizou to block off the attack.

Again? Did he not chant anything? The man thought to himself. No matter, he’s going to be dead!

As the ice slowly started melting away, the fireball slowly penetrated. Kizou picked up his sword and let out a slow exhale. Pressure started building up, and he sliced the fireball horizontally.

Everyone’s mouths were wide open from what Kizou just did.

“I would’ve cut it earlier, but I had to move everyone out of the way,” Kizou said as he put the sword back in his pocket.

“Put everyone away?” the man mumbled to himself before slowly looking at the surroundings. The pile of bodies that were near Kizou were all moved far away from the fire’s radius.

“H-How?!” Taisho said in disbelief.

“Let’s see which is stronger,” Kizou said as he slowly started walking towards the man. “Your fire, or my ice?”

“That’s easy,” the man said with a smile. “My fi-”

As he tried to build up energy to unleash his spell, ice started circulating within the room. Slowly, it started getting colder to where the man was shivering. As Kizou walked even closer, the man couldn’t even say anything from his mouth due to the coldness.

“That’s what I thought,” Kizou said as the man fell to the floor.

“It’s a little bit cold over here too,” Maru said as she shivered as well.

“Oh, sorry,” Kizou said nervously as he stopped the spell.

“How did you overcome fire with your ice?” Taisho asked while still in disbelief.

“Easy,” Kizou answered. “I was just stronger.”

Stronger?  Who is this kid? Taisho thought to himself.

Kizou walked over to the Grandmaster and poked his body.

“How is he?” Maru asked as she continued to sit on the ground.

“I think he’s dead,” Kizou said before he started to hear snoring. “Or maybe not!”

Kizou wiggled the Grandmaster as he slowly opened his eyes.

“Huh? What?” the Grandmaster asked. “Is it over?”

Everyone looked at the Grandmaster and had their mouths open from surprise.

Wait, I thought he got stabbed, Kizou thought to himself after seeing no visible injury.

“Is it over?!” Kizou said angrily as he repeated his words. “You could’ve beaten him if you wanted to!”

“Don’t know what you’re talking about,” the Grandmaster said as he looked away.

“I’ve had enough of this!” Kizou yelled as he started walking towards the door.

“Wait, where are you going?” Maru asked.

“Yeah, you passed the test for the Magic Tower,” Taisho said.

“I was actually supposed to register at the Adventurer’s Guild,” Kizou said annoyingly. “And I don’t want to learn from that guy!”

He was that strong with magic, but he was trying to be an Adventurer? Maru thought to herself in disbelief.

As Kizou walked out of the building, Taisho and Maru sat there shocked at how the events just transpired.

That kid was promising, Grandmaster Sora thought to himself. I want him.

As Kizou walked over to the Adventurer’s Guild, he suddenly stopped before he entered inside.

Wait, Grandmaster?! Isn’t he supposed to be stronger than the Chariots?! Kizou thought to himself about how he behaved himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid!