Well, I was feeling creative today, so I wrote this. Now, this segment won’t come up until Chapter 3 or later, and that chapter will hardly focus on this, but it’s an idea that probably will happen. So enjoy.
Excerpt from Future Chapter of Ender of Worlds: The Saving of a Man
“Are you sure about this, Tom?” Marcus inquired doubtfully, looking over the paperwork his young protege just handed him.
“Yeah, I’m confident,” Tom said, trying on an Adventurers’ Guild traveling robe.
“Seriously? You know, as your referrer, it reflects poorly on me if you don’t succeed at your captains trial. And looking at this, it seems like a real possibility.”
“So all I have to do is succeed, right?”
“Still…are you sure? I mean, you agreed to compete against Bruce. He has a serious grudge against you for the thrashing you gave him back when you were still a rookie. He’s going to try to kill you. Literally.”
“He can try, but he will fail.”
“Such overconfidence. We’ll see if it’s justified soon enough. But, what the hell, Tom? In the melee contest, you signed on to fight unarmed against him. You know he’s a skilled boxer, right? And he’s using vambraces! Mix a good brawler with bladed weapons, and you have a dangerous enemy.”
“I beat him unarmed once, and he had the advantage then. Two goons at his disposal and a set of brass knuckles and he still couldn’t win.”
“Yeah, well, luck played a part in that battle. Still, one on one puts you in a much better position, especially considering you have some decent training under your belt now. Now, about your ranged contest — you chose your halberd? I understand it has magic and all, but isn’t the water wall a defensive spell?”
“I’ve learned how to get creative. I just have to make him surrender. I can easily do that with the water wall. I can put some range on it. Besides, he’ll be using blunted arrows. They don’t allow lethal weapons in the ranged competition. I can take a few hits from that.”
“A head shot is an automatic victory for non-magical ranged weapons, though. And you need to hit him several times with magic for a point based victory. Alright, now comes the most important combat test: team combat. Lethal force is strictly forbidden from the team contest, true, but Bruce chose Joey, Big Boy, and three other brutes from his crew. You’re bringing Theo and four new recruits. I can understand Theo. You two have been working together long enough to be able to conquer just about any challenge, but you’ve got four kids fresh off the boat, so to speak. That puts you at a severe disadvantage.”
“Big Boy is slow and large, and he uses a battle axe in the field. I chose Terry because he is a knife fighter. Fast, agile, and, even at his age, precise. He must have been a cutpurse in a previous life. He’ll make the eliminating attacks before Big Boy knows what hit him. Joey is fairly average, not too quick, not too slow, and not particularly strong. He’s tall and lanky. Deadly with a pair of kukris, or any paired weapons, really, but far too temperamental and reckless for his own good. Lucille may be smaller than most sword and shield fighters, even by female standards, on account of her ancestry, but she uses that to her advantage. She’ll easily be able to get into an advantageous position. Ironically, her size may work in her favor; Joey’s long arms give him plenty of weak points for someone short, small, and nimble to take advantage of. The one they call Gordo is not unlike Big Boy, though with the notable difference of being from another nation. He wields a kanabo, though I couldn’t tell you why; not even similar to a weapon from his homeland. Martin is actually far more skilled than you give him credit for; he wields a staff as if he was he trained from birth. As nimble as a chimp, that one. He’ll take down Gordo with ease. Harvey is the real threat for the rookies. Harvey is skilled at many different styles, and he’ll adapt as he needs to. He’s registering as a sword and shield fighter, right? I’m going to have Elisse take him on. She is using an arsenal of thrown weapons and ranged attacks. She’s a sharp one, too. Of course, I’ll take on Bruce, and Theo will take on Zack. Bruce is using a war axe, so I have the range advantage. Zack is using ranged attacks, so it’s only natural that I would have someone as fast and as skilled Theo take him down.”
“Well, you’ve put a lot of thought into your choices, I’ll give you that. You’re sure these rookies are up to it?”
“You took a chance on rookies, too, for a far more important goal.”
“Yeah, and Bella, Evangeline and Roger almost died on that mission.”
“But they didn’t. We had a good leader. And I’m following your model.”
“Sigh, well, I guess so. Everything else seems in order here. All your paperwork is in order. The petition is filled out properly. I can’t help but worry.”
“C’mon. You did it once. Unarmed melee, magical ranged, young team.”
“Yeah, but I was 28 and had 12 years of experience — 7 surviving on my own and 5 with the guild — when I took my trial. And my magic is more diverse than yours. By far. And my team was young, but not rookies,” Marcus critiqued and then paused for a moment. “If I had a son, I imagine he would be like you. Though perhaps he wouldn’t be so willing to heed my advice. From what I’ve seen, children rarely openly take their parents advice…You’ll do well in this trial, Tom. Just keep on your toes in the melee. That’s the only time lethal force is allowed, and I imagine Bruce will use it. It’s in poor taste, but it is allowed. And poor taste never stopped Bruce. I mean, look at his friends.”
Tom and Marcus both shared a laugh before moving on to their other duties.