“Heroes” Chapter 1: The Knight and the Wizard

 

Gather around, CPAO Community! Prepare yourself a nice hot chocolate and get cozy, cause you’re in for the beginning of an intriguing story about a young boy’s journey to be a knight templar.

 

 

Chapter 1: The Knight and the Wizard 

“Have I proven myself enough?”

 

That’s the question that Alderam couldn’t seem to shake from his head. For a long time his mind had been hijacked by a deliberating thought to contemplate. As soon as the young villager and his friend, Franco Junior, entered the outfitting store (where Franco would’ve dashed off to blow through his money on more spell books thanks to his obsession with witchcraft), the thought had come back. Seeing the intriguing armor and wardrobe displays hadn’t helped him combat the thought, either. Alderam felt he had a difficult time fitting in with “ordinary” kids because of one talent that unlocked more paths of his potential: he was very talented with wielding swords. 

 

It was the last thing anybody would expect a child to learn. But Alderam idolized the knight templars that defended his home, known under the name of Cappadocia. The way they marched into battle with bells and choirs of the battlefield’s soft ambiance that would soon be defeated by the clashing of swords and battle cries, their shining armor, you name it, Alderam was hooked. It was also the root of the burden inside his mindset that always stuck around. Since he grew up to be “different,” he had the gut feeling as if there was a certain way he was being treated unlike other kids, not as if he was special. Some even had some sort of fear of Alderam since he knew how to handle a sword.

Alderam was a slim black penguin who wore a raggedy white long-sleeved shirt, distinct with tears around it, and dark brown cargo shorts, torn at the bottom parts. The young sword enthusiast didn’t really care about his financial state, but only wanted to be a part of the knights to find happiness. It divided his curious mind to believe either it was his low self-esteem holding him back, or that the image he was creating happened to be foreshadowing a darker reality about war. He’s read history books about the knight templars of Cappadocia, but did the violence scare him? It did not. Alderam had a mindset that was difficult to unearth, perhaps the scar of his problematic past forming him into the person he became.

 

People saw potential in Alderam, a huge amount that couldn’t be described by words. Being a knight protecting what he loved most was something Alderam felt he was born to do, and he wasn’t afraid to achieve different things to do that. “If that armor interests you so much,” the storekeeper began, walking up behind Alderam almost unexpectedly. The youngster looked up at him. “Why not buy it, mate? Nobody’s stoppin’ you from playing knights with your buddy.” Alderam nodded his head. But again, it would make him have that one thought again: have I proven myself enough? Alderam couldn’t keep it hidden forever, and he knew it. However, it doesn’t stop him from accepting his lying to other people about his improvement on his self esteem as he comes through the art of realization.

 

“Hey Al, look what I found!” Franco came dashing to the front of the store, approaching Alderam while waving a thick book with a dark red hard cover. “After weeks of searching, I found it: the First Edition of Fortuna’s Spell Book,” he continued, scrolling through the pages and examining the illustrations of spells. “I know this is what I’m great at.” That phrase made Alderam’s grin slightly fade, shortly after turning away from the mannequin dressed in a knight’s armor while holding a sword against a fake rock. “Oh, that’s right. My bad, bud.” Franco recognized the self esteem problem that Alderam had, especially when it came to attempting to discover how they would identify to the world. He already felt ghosted enough, but this was a serious topic for him to take on that would make him feel much more isolated and alone. If there was one person who knew about it, it was Franco.

Franco is Alderam’s childhood best friend. Another ordinary citizen from the region of Toboggan, he was a junkie for witchcraft and wizardry. He was a chubby brown penguin who always wore his favorite wizard robe and hat no matter where he went. The way the two met could be compared to a stereotypical teen friendship story; Alderam was being picked on by bullies until Franco stood up for him by accidentally performing a spell on the squad that scared them away. He had no knowledge that it was the interest he sought for almost his entire life, and you could say that it was the spark that made a light to where his future wanted to be.

 

“How many coins do you have?” Franco asked, causing Alderam to blink once as if he snapped out of a random daydream about the knight templars like always. Nonetheless, Franco found it normal. “Maybe enough to buy me the helmet,” he sighed. “You can’t own everything in the world.” The storekeeper, to the boys’ surprise, heard the young villager whisper that phrase underneath his breath. “Don’t worry, little man,” he said. “I can gladly allow you to pay me back monthly for this entire thing. I know your father will understand, considering his job at the local bank.” Alderam’s smile began to grow and stick back onto his face hearing the news. “Oh, why you don’t have to do this, kind sir!” He said in his young British accent. “I can only pay you so much, but here you go.” Alderam reached in his pocket and gave him the small brown sack that had all the coins he saved up. “It should be enough for the helmet and the sword,” Alderam assumed.

 

“Now that means we can play knights just like real men,” Franco said, giving a light elbow to Alderam. “Let’s see what spells you’ll learn quickly,” he chuckled back. The storekeeper grabbed the helmet and the sword and walked over to his counter where he counted the coins. “I can really tell you’re dedicated to being a knight, kiddo,” he said, counting the coins while pushing his finger against his round glasses to prevent them from falling down his face. “I appreciate your interest in being one with the new generation of history.” Alderam grinned more as the storekeeper counted the coins and placed them in a small box where he neatly sorted them and gave the helmet and the sword over to Alderam. The young boy picked up his purchased items and the duo happily left the store. “Don’t have too much fun now!” The storekeeper cried, waving at the two while they walked.

Later that day, Alderam and Franco were walking across the village, admiring the scenery and checking out their new purchases from the outfitters store. “You must be really happy to have bought that book,” Alderam said, looking at the book alongside Franco Junior. “Can you really believe it though?” He replied in question. “One of the greatest witches to ever live in the whole world, and she releases a First Edition of one of her many spell books? This is literally made just for me!” Franco held the book out, exclaiming in joy. “I really like the sword I have. This is a real classic one here, not one of the fake plastic ones from the theater.” Alderam explained as they walked through the Forts. The environment was packed with white fluffy snow while many of the kids got together to use the snow forts built to their advantage and for shelter during the craziest snowball fights.

 

Alderam paused to pick up a clump of snow and shaped it into a ball. He turned around towards the clock tower and reached his arm backward and fired. As he predicted, the snowball hit the target and made it turn clockwise. Franco blew a raspberry to taunt the knight-to-be. “I could’ve done that a million times with a telekinesis spell,” Franco said, giving a small smirk. Alderam laughed. As they walked past the snow forts, one child about the size of Franco quickly approached Alderam. “Hey mister, is that sword real by any chance?” He asked in a younger voice with an accent like Alderam’s but more high-pitched. “It definitely is,” the villager replied. The young child exclaimed in surprise. “I think we both wanna be the same thing when we grow up!” He said to Alderam. The sword professionalist was a major influence for many younger children in helping them discover what they wanted to do with their lives. It wasn’t forced, nor pressured. It was a great discovery. “Why not witness a little imitation of a knight fighting a wizard?” Franco asked the little boy, who got immediately excited.

 

How will the practice battle between Alderam and Franco go down? Who will be victorious in the end? Find out next time in Chapter 2 of “Heroes”!

 

Zayyy

CP Army Outreach Reporter

One Response

  1. dammit damn damn damn

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