When I awoke I found myself in a carriage on the road. My mother was sitting beside me. Looking over at the 2 floating boxes I dismissed them with a mumbled ‘asshole’. Looking at me my mother asked if everything was okay. ‘Mom when you see messages appear do they seem to be written by a spawn from hell?’. With a shocked look on her face, my mother replied ‘Watch your mouth young man. The gods provide those messages and you will not dishonor them with your foul words!’ Honor...really. ‘Mother there is no honor on the part of the blue demon from hell that writes those messages. If you could see them you’d understand!’ My mother looked at me with a pale face and told me I needed to guard my words more closely.
At that moment a new box appeared
With that, I knew my life was over. If my mother is correct the gods just gave me the middle finger. How do you get over that? My mother informed me we were headed to the capital with a large armed escort. Looking out the window I spotted around 200 mounted troops including 10 battle mages ridding guard. It seemed I was now important...joy for me. I was now pretty sure this whole being reborn thing sucked. First, no one asks me if I wanted to be reborn, then no one asks me if I wanted all of this power and no one asked me if I wanted a trip to the capital. Looking over at the still floating blue box, I dismissed it with a ‘Right back at you’ comment.
Mother spent the ride letting me know what to expect. Once we arrived at the capital we would be turned over to the Royal guard and escorted to the High Temple to be retested. It seems others share the view that my testing must have been broken. After that, if the results held I’d be escorted to the castle to meet the royal court and my future would be decided then.
When I asked my mother when I was going to get a say in things her reply was simple and direct. ‘Dear child, you are now an asset of the crown. Not even I as your mother have a say in anything anymore.’ Looking out the window she continued ‘Great power leads to great duty. You will mean great things to this kingdom’. When I asked her how that was fair she responded ‘This isn’t about fairness. It's about your duty to your country. Your power will ensure this countries future. The royal family will take care of you, while you take care of us all’.
That seemed like a crap deal to me. Up ahead I could see the capital come into view. Large did it no justice. The city was huge beyond compare. I remember large cities from my old life and this one could stand up to them would fail. Islarian, which from my studies of the old tongue meant ‘Seat of Power’, another reminder that people around here suck at naming things.
As we approached the gates arrayed before us were the royal guard in all their glory. 100 men and women in silver armor with flowing green capes standing in formation awaiting the arrival of their new charge. Beside the group of guards stood several men of the church. Grand Clerics all wearing their robes of office. Standing in front of them all if my memory was corrected based on descriptions I’ve heard over the years, stood the first prince. It seems I was to be escorted with some ceremony.
As we came to a stop in from of the First Prince he directed his horse closer and stated ‘Welcome back to Islarian my Lady Maria’. ‘Thank you my prince’, my mother stated in a clear voice. ‘Allow me to introduce my only son, Nondol’. Waving me over my mother had me stand in front of the prince. Making a slight bow I said ‘I great you my Lord Prince and I thank you for meeting us here’. Yes, my mother had spent hours teaching me the proper greetings.
‘Come, let us not stand here any longer. They are ready for us at the Grand Temple’. With that, the prince thanked our former escorts and dismissed them to rest before their return to Drake’s Crossing. Returning to the carriage we found ourselves now under escort my the guard of the Royal Court. Arriving at the Grand Temple to the gods I was forced to repeat the same process of being classed all over again. To everyone’s dismay, the results didn’t change. With that, I was escorted to the castle to meet the royal family.