I'm glad you agree. Now, before we get to the meat of this post, there's something I'd like to mention. Your time to submit questions for the Q&A is very limited, with Sunday being the last day. As soon as January 1st hits, no more questions will be accepted! So please, if you wish to partake in this fun post, use #KnowJoe in any comment on any post and ask away! I'm hope to (almost) any question you may have. With that out of the way, commence the cringe!
Warren didn't feel like reading the rest of the story, so he just scanned what remained. Detrius' Son was born and named Revier. When He grew up, the rebels, the people who lost hope of the Son, captured Him and in turn handed Him to Lurkum. The evil being killed Him, but a few days later He disappeared. He reappeared before the people of Adiryulle, giving them a book of all prophecies before going back to His Father. However, Lurkum thought it was the humans' fault for the disappearance and waged war. That was how the six thousand year battle began.
Ouch. Starting off a new chapter with a long summary like this is never a good sign. Brace yourselves!
"We have our suspicions. We have reason to believe Lurkum called [the raiders] from a place named simply, 'The Lost World,'" Samuel stated.
"Where is that?" Warren demanded.
"We're not sure," Smits said. "That's why it's lost."
Well, someone's got a little sass today! You know, I think this "Lost World" should really be called "The Lost Ark." That way, you could say that they're raiders of "The Lost Ark." Pretty clever, right?
David looked at the teenager nearing adulthood. "So you're the guy who claims to be immune to fire?"
"Yep, that's me. The way I became immune was that I ate a fire blossom. It caused my nerves to not react under heat. My skin now doesn't burn when I touch something hot."
"Mark's face was burning when he saw a certain hot someone," Warren piped up.
So there are a few things wrong with this section. First off, saying that a teen is "nearing adulthood" feels a little redundant. Or is that just me?
Secondly . . . why did Justin eat a fire blossom?! What possessed him to think that was a smart idea? "Oh hey, this plant bursts into flames if you put weight on it. I think I should eat it!" Was it, like, a stupid dare between a bunch of his guy friends? I just . . . I dunno.
Thirdly, his explanation of his powers is really dumb. It's not scientific or logical in any way, shape, or form. If his nerves don't react under heat, that just means he won't feel it when he gets burned. It does not make him immune to fire; it just means he'll have a miserable life when he keeps jumping into fire and burning himself to death without realizing it.
And I just had to include Warren's follow-up, because that's totally something I would say to rib a buddy. Therein lies the problem, though. These adults are not supposed to act like twelve- or thirteen-year-old me. *wonders why in the world I chose adult main characters for a teen book*
Smits thought for a moment. "The marked man." He turned to the three guests. "Apparently, [Tarquin] came to our world and met Leviathan. He received a mark that allowed Leviathan to talk to him."
"Why would he listen to a talking dragon and take this mark?" David asked.
David would be good at my job.
Smits had snuck to the barracks with Samuel and peeked inside. "They're sleeping," he confirmed.
"Excellent." Samuel glanced at them. "They look like true warriors."
In their sleep? I wonder what people think I look like in my sleep. A writer? A superhero? A ninja? You never know!
"Sirs!" a voice hissed. It was Nathan. He stepped out, holding something behind his back. "I had dropped my comb under their bed," he said, nodding to the new arrivals' three-story bunk bed. "I was feeling around for it when I discovered a secret compartment. And I pulled out this." Nathan produced a stone tablet.
Samuel took it gently, Smits peering over his shoulder. It was covered in messy Toreth. Only the title was legible. It read, "The Chosen Ones' Description."
Dude, why are you combing your hair in the night? You'll probably mess it up in your sleep anyway. Also, how and why do they have a three-story bunk bed? That's super tall! I think I meant it had three layers, not three stories. There's a big difference! Also also, how convenient that a tablet describing the Chosen Ones is right under the bed of the three main characters.
And for your info, I skipped a lot of this chapter because it was a random hodgepodge of exposition and a boring tour and a bomb and puzzling about the Portal Guardians. It was largely uninteresting, so let's hope this next chapter is better.
Mark felt himself being shaken. He looked up. "Justin! I thought you were Michelle for a moment."
I know it's the morning, but why would he think this? He met the girl once, and it'd be highly inappropriate if she went into the men's barracks.
Mark sat and looked around at the wooden room with white walls. "How many people eat here?" he asked Justin.
"About one quarter of our army in the castle. That would be approximately one thousand two hundred fifty. Some eat inside, while others dine in the great outdoors."
You have an army of only five thousand? Is it just me, or does that seem kinda small?
"Xander!" Nathan called.
A brainy-looking man with glasses and coarse light brown hair jerked up from behind a desk, knocking his head on an overhanging lamp. "Yeah?" he asked, rubbing his head.
"Fetch three suits of chainmail for the trainees, please."
"On the double," Xander said, wheeling around and nearly tripping over his feet. He ran off, slightly embarrassed.
*slaps forehead* And the clichés continue. The nerdy guy also has to be the clumsy one.
At the end of the day, sweat poured from their bodies, and their muscles ached. After a hot shower and supper, they went to bed.
A week passed. They learned the art swordplay skillfully. Mark quickly learned from his mistakes. Warren slowly but steadily mastered it. When David got the hang of it, he was great.
This is literally the only stuff I wrote with them training, because I didn't feel like having more. I thought it would be too complicated to write, and thus, this is the sorry excuse I have for sword training. Not to mention I forgot the word "of" in the second sentence of the second paragraph.
"Yeah, over here," Xander said. He led Smits to the weapons. Nathan was watching the three fiddling with some. Mark was pretending to shoot foes with a bow, Warren was examining a war hammer, and David was fingering throwing knives.
I think I expertly hinted at this beforehand. Remember how David randomly could throw a tack really precisely? And how Mark randomly knew how to fire a slingshot? And how Warren is, uh, clearly the strongest one of the bunch? Yeah, all that is going to come into play now.
Mark leaned close to Smits. "Uh, why does Michelle have to train me?" he asked quietly.
Smits whispered back, "She's one of our best archers. It is a privilege to have her as your trainer. Why do you ask?"
Now, either Smits is being clueless, or he's being sly. Because Warren mentioned Michelle's name at the dinner last night and got a reaction out of Mark (in case you're confused, I didn't include that portion). So honestly, I have no idea why Smits even asked that question.
Smits wheeled around, startling Xander, who was standing behind him. "I didn't do anything!" Xander cried.
"It's okay, Xan," Smits reassured. "What were you doing standing around?"
"I was wondering if those two had something going on between them."
"Don't think so." Smits actually doubted his statement.
Yep, Smits is entirely clueless. Or he zoned out during supper.
Reuben shook his head. "Well, the forge's blacksmiths must be losing their touch. I'll have to post a complaint. You know how bad these are? They're liked the terraxs' pickaxes."
"Yep. If this sort of incident happened on a Kalansif power rock mine, I'd send these pickaxes back to the forge with a note that would read, 'To the smithy who made these: you's 'bout as smart as the rock that broke 'em.'"
Warren laughed. Reuben gave a look. "Well, it be true."
Now Warren was on the ground laughing. Reuben joined in, his chortles catching the attention of passing knights.
Uh, ha ha, so funny. You guys can stop laughing now. No, seriously, stop. Stop. Just stop! I was only mildly amused; I'm not rolling around my room laughing until I cry and my stomach hurts. (These guys are clearly overtired. What's say we give them an early bedtime?)
Reuben's jaw went slack. "Well, bless me beard!" he whooped. "Now that's something! That rock was as solid as me mum's bread without yeast. Lost a few teeth that day.
"So now you's goin' to make some rock powder with that there hammer."
Warren gave a German World War II salute and set to work.
Well, Reuben is quite the character . . . *notices what Warren just did, and my eyes bulge* DUDE! What the actual BRICK are you DOING?! You're an American soldier; you shouldn't be doing any Hitler salutes. Wow . . . I'm disappointed in you and in myself. I was clearly not right in the head when I wrote that.
Xander tried to walk as inconspicuously as possible, Nathan following his lead. "What are we--" he began.
Xander whipped around and gave an exaggerated "SHHHHH."
"Sorry," Nathan whispered. "What are we doing?"
Xander thought, then hissed, "That's classified." He continued on his way.
Nathan shrugged and followed.
What a classic--albeit cliché--comedy duo. They're bound to get involved in some shenanigans, that's for sure.
[Mark] tried again. But then a wind blew through, pushing the arrow to the right of the target. "When the wind blows in a certain direction, fire in the opposite one," Michelle said softly.
Mark nodded and pointed the bow to the left, not noticing the wind had stopped. "Uh, Mark," began Michelle.
It was too late. The arrow was already rushing into open air. All of a sudden, a tall black man clad in regal armor appeared on the dirt path, the projectile coming close to hitting him. A group of archers behind him halted, shocked at the scenario that could've occurred.
So I guess Mark was never good at shooting guns in the army, then. Maybe he wasn't even good with his slingshot to begin with. And that path seems awfully close to the archery range. Someone didn't set this up well.
The black man took of his helm that covered his head. His face was set in a fierce expression. Mark shivered as the man's icy pale blue eyes penetrated him.
He took of his helm, not off his helm? Fair enough. Is he, by chance, related to Heimdall?
"Um . . . uh . . . sss . . . sorry sir," Mark said, his knees practically knocking. He gulped. "I . . . I didn't mean to--"
The man started laughing, Michelle doing the same. The knights smiled, some in relief.
Mark was confused. "Could you, maybe, like, fill me in on what's so hilarious?"
I'd like to know that too, buddy. I think everybody has a severe case of hyperness today.
The man howled louder, which set the fuses of the other men. Their face muscles twitched as they made a futile attempt to hold back the laughter, but that didn't last long. Their merriment might've been heard a mile away.
As they wiped away tears after they had laughed a full minute, Mark, still in the dark, said, "Congratulations. You have just completed ten minutes of aerobic exercise."
That set the laughing bomb again. The leader was doubled over, while the others were rolling on the ground. Michelle leaned against a rock, giggling.
Get your act together, guys! You're supposed to be professional. Oh, and Michelle's back to giggling again. Is she going to start daintily picking flowers now?
"What's wrong? Do you need to see a physician?" Mark cried frantically. "Did you get enough sleep?"
Ah-ha! Mark sees the real problem here. I now declare Mark the sanest person of this chapter so far.
"I . . . I'm," the man gasped. He clutched his stomach. "I'm fine . . . mostly."
He straightened, gave a wide smile, and extended his hand. "Hi, Mark is it?"
"Yeah," confirmed Mark.
"I'm Harvey, high general," he said, still grinning. "Man, you should've seen the look on your face. It was so funny."
Lemme get this straight: the man in charge of an entire army of 5,000 lost it . . . because of a funny face? This story officially doesn't make sense.
Michelle and Harvey applauded. "Good job, kid. You got real potential." The general winked at Mark, whose mouth lifted broadly. Mark glanced at Michelle, who was smiling, and a glimmer of an emotion called love flashed over his face.
*jaw drops* What the heck is this? Are we reading an adventure story or a sappy romance? What does it look like for "a glimmer of an emotion called love" to flash over someone's face? Huh? Someone explain that to me, please. Better yet, send me a video of what this looks like, because I'm utterly confused.
"Ah-ha!" a voice called from over to the side. The trio turned to see Xander doing a little dance in a bush near the targets, causing an archer to nearly misfire. "I knew it, I just knew it!"
"Knew what, Xander?" Harvey questioned.
"Yeah, and what are you doing hiding in shrubs? You know better than that, mate," Brook scolded.
Xander stopped, his face slightly flushed. Beside him, Nathan slowly got up, raising his hands in surrender and proclaiming, "I'm innocent."
He caught sight of Mark and Michelle and his brain finally made the connection. "Woah, partner. I don't mess myself into this business. Whatever you're doing, you're doing by yourself. The ship's sinking, and if you're smart, you'll abandon it." Nathan walked away, leaving his friend behind.
I remember this being my favorite--or one of my favorite--comical scenes from this story. But what does Nathan mean by messing himself into that business? Can you mess yourself into anything?
*bursts out laughing* You know, I wrote this scene before I knew anything about shipping characters, so with that knowledge, his comment is ten times funnier. Talk about being a pessimist. I believe in Marchelle! *laughs again*
"So what were you hoping to accomplish over there, concealing yourself like a . . . a . . . uh, any suggestions?" Harvey called.
"A girl. No offense, Michelle."
Aren't they a creative, wordy bunch?
Xander spluttered unintelligibly before managing to say, "I gotta go." he ran in the same direction that Nathan had gone.
There was a moment of silence broken by Harvey scratching his hair in confusion. "That was odd," he said. He looked up, clapped his hands, and vociferated, "Alright, back to your training."
Harvey must scratched his hair really loudly. And in case you haven't been able to tell already, I was constantly referring to the thesaurus when writing this story. I thought it'd be boring to keep using speaker tags like "said" or "shouted" or whatever, so I used words like "vociferated." Which I've never heard used in my entire life.
"Try to focus on the body with your mind and eyes," instructed Lance.
"Like they do with the Force in Star Wars?" David asked.
Perplexion contorted Lance's face. "Huh?"
"Sorry. Bad joke," David informed.
Even though Blogger is telling me "perplexion" isn't a word, it actually is. Then again, it also thinks Xander isn't a real name. *pats David on the back* More like a bad pop culture reference.
"How is the progress on translating the tablet?" [Smits] inquired.
The guard, named Ian, shook his head. "Not the best, sir."
Smits glanced at Harvey, who stood at his side. "And what does that mean?"
"Well, sir, the translators figured out that you're supposed to look at the tablet by means of a reflective surface. While they were copying the message onto a paper, the new guy knocked over and broke the tablet. Now they have to fix it, and that's taking awhile," Ian explained.
I'm all for hands-on training for newbies, but if this project is so important, why would they let the new guy in on this? Shouldn't it just be the experts doing the work right now? It makes the most sense to me.
Harvey and Smits walked away, knowing very well that God would provide.
What they did not know was that there was a traitor walking amidst them.
A traitor that knew much.
Including the tablet's translation.
Cue the menacing music!
That wraps up this Humble Beginnings post. Cringey as always, am I right? But I hope it was a good wrap-up for the year. I also hope you all have an amazing rest of 2017! We will see each other again soon . . . as in, January 1st soon!