"VICTOR!!! What did you do to my son? you damn peasant" I hear behind me and I see Vector running towards Victor who seems unconscious on the ground.
"You didn't tell us that he knew how to use magic..." says Julius looking at Joaquin.
"I don't think he knows what he has done, judging by his reaction ..." says Joaquín approaching me "Hey boy, are you okay? Can you repeat what you just did?"
"No... I don't know what I did, I had never used magic before..." I say disoriented as I see in my field of vision a text that says <New Class Acquired: Warrior Lv. 1>.
"Sure, and we have to believe what a stranger says, right?" I hear Vector say as he returns to where we are "I think we should put him in jail until we see that he does not pose a risk to other people" he says looking at me with hatred.
Shit, they're going to lock me up on my first day in the capital. And for something that I did not do on purpose, and that happened at their request. What kind of luck is this? Should I try to defend myself or would I only make it worse?
"what do you say!!! Can't you see it's just a 13-year-old boy? " Joaquin exclaims, exasperated.
"A 13-year-old boy who can use magic and left an instructor several years older unconscious and burned." Vector snorts "If it is true that he does not know how to control it he could hurt others by mistake, and if he is lying he have hurt Victor intentionally in the test"
"Enough!!!" Julius says raising his voice with a tired face "Joaquin, take the boy to your home and keep an eye on him. I don't think he's a threat, but it's better not to lose sight of him until he learns to control his magic. Tomorrow I'm going to find someone who can teach him. "
Joaquín greets Julius and guides me out of the building, as we walk away I keep hearing Vector's complaints.
"But General, this boy could hurt innocent people on the way. Look how he left Victor and he is someone trained... What awaits a normal person if he loses his temper again?"
"I don't think it's that bad... Victor could have simply avoided that blow if he wanted to, he just was overconfident. He thought he was making fun of a cat and it ended up being a baby lion" I hear Julius saying that and laughing.
"Okay General, but remember I have warned you..." I hear Vector say and their voices stop.
"I guess it wasn't the best start at the military academy." I tell Joaquín as we leave the building with a sad smile on my face.
"No... But don't worry, it's mostly my fault. Vector and I don't get along. He heard me talking to the General about enrolling you in the academy despite your age and I guess he couldn't avoid the opportunity to get in the way... "says Joaquin.
"So that's why Victor kept provoking me in the test! He seemed to hate me despite it being the first time he had seen me..." I say with anger remembering the words about my parents.
As we speak, Joaquín guides me through various streets. Unlike the part of the capital between the second and first walls, this part does not seem to have been planned, the streets zigzag and have different sizes.
"Nah, in fighting it is a strategy to provoke the opponent, it can make the opponent make moves without thinking or move by anger, which is what happened to you... I do not justify what he said, I'm just saying that you do not need to see it as something personal. Although, on second thought it doesn't make much sense since you're a newbie... Vector probably told him to ridicule you, and by extension he'll have been ridiculing me for taking you to the academy.... "Joaquin looks at me with a frown and says in a low voice "Someone's following us. I'm going to try to catch him, go with the flow."
We begin to accelerate the pace and we change streets until they get narrower. On a curve towards a dead end, Joaquín grabs my arm and drags me to the threshold of a house where we hide. After a while, a person hurriedly passed looking for something. Joaquín comes out of hiding and speaks to him. "Did you lose something?" closing the way to the only exit from the street.
The person appears to be a man, but is too covered to see his face. He tries to pass over Joaquín to escape, but my partner is faster and hits him, throwing him back to the dead end. At that moment I see that behind Joaquín's back another figure appears, this time a woman. I warn Joaquín saying "behind you there is another".
When I finish speaking I feel a prick in my neck and my strength abandoning me as the darkness envelops me.
The first thing I notice when I wake up is that someone is carrying me. I try to get away thinking that they are the hooded people, but I hear Joaquín's voice "calm down, nothing happened, your body must still be numb, but it will pass. When they saw that they couldn't sleep me as they did with you and that they couldn't defeat me, they ran away "
"Why didn't it affect you?" I say stunned in a thick voice, my whole body feels heavy and I have a hard time moving it.
"When your body reaches a certain level there are things that no longer have an effect on you. if the drug had been thought for me it would be another story, but it was a hasty attack. I guess they were thinking of putting you to sleep on a busy street and kidnapping you, while someone else distracted me. "
"But why would someone want to kidnap me?" I say puzzled. It seems that since I entered the capital, only misfortunes have happened to me.
"Vector sent them, at least that's what I deduced from what the man said when he thought he won because of the sleeping drug. He said that you had hurt the wrong person and being your first day here, it could only refer to Victor"
"Isn't the military supposed to protect people instead of attacking them?" I say annoyed.
"Yes, well… Vector is a special case... I was also surprised this time, I didn't think that he would be so rotten as to attack a child for such nonsense. I thought it was poison for a moment when I saw you falling. Also, the drug that those people used is an illegal substance "
"So... What can we do to prevent it from happening again? If they escaped they could come back and I wouldn't even have realized that they were following me.... we should talk to the General, right? " I say nervously thinking that perhaps this time I was lucky, but who knows next time? I can't always count on having Joaquín by my side. While we pass by the streets I realize that I must have been unconscious for a long time, because now it seems to be late at night and that doesn't help to calm my feeling of danger.
"It would be useless, Vector is from one of the 3 noble families of the capital. Even if we had proof, and we don't have it, the general would not be able to do anything. It is not convenient to fight with Vector… my predecessor lost everything because of him "he says bitterly.
"What should I do then? Do I go back to my town? I have nothing there, but if I stay here, they will surely kill me" I ask annoyed, I can't believe that my possibility of a new beginning is ruined by the whim of a single person.
"Don't worry, I have already thought of something... You said that your goal was to challenge the labyrinth, right? Well, I'm taking you with a friend who is dedicated to training people for the same thing. The bad news about being just an adventurer is that you're not going to have a steady income, since a lot can happen in the labyrinth. But my friend knows what Vector is like and he hates him, I can't think of a better option to hide you for a while "
"But wouldn't that put your friend in danger?" I say puzzled.
"Nah, my friend knows how to take care of himself and knows first-hand what Vector is capable of. Besides, we are in another district... Ahh right, you don't know... The capital is divided into 3 districts, Protego, Estella and Leon, one for each family of nobles. The district of Leon is that of the royal family and is marked by the color red. Do you see that the door and window frames, as well as the tiles of the houses, are blue? That means we are in the Protego family district. The district where we were was that of the Estella family marked by yellow, Vector's family. And that's why I think you're going to be fine, I think that he won't try to do something to you in another district… he doesn't want to risk his name coming up on shady things "
"hmm, ok" I say, not very convinced "I think I can walk now" checking the movement of my arms and legs.
"Just in time, we are about to arrive and it would be a very bad first impression if I brought you on my back, considering that I have to convince my friend to teach you how to fight in the labyrinth" he says laughing and leaving me on the ground.
"Wasn't he dedicated to that?" I say dumbfounded.
"Yes, but you are only 13 years old... The people he trains are usually older, I am not saying that there are no adventurers your age, but those who do exist, trained from an early age to do so. And you... Well... What do you think my friend will say when I tell him that I want him to train a 13-year-old boy who is the son of a tavern keeper? "He says as he looks at me smiling with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes, I understand... is it a long way off?" I ask because I feel that I am getting more and more tired, either from the drugs or from everything that happened in the day.
"hahaha, it's the first time I see you asking something typical of your age... to answer your question: as I say earlier, we are almost there, do you see that house there?" he says pointing to a house 3 houses away.
"Yes, is that the house of your friend?" I ask, seeing a large two-story house.
"No, I just wanted to know if you saw the house" he says laughing "just kidding, kidding, that's the house" he corrects himself when he sees my face.
"Ok, great, because I'm very sleepy" I say yawning "so many things happened today"
"Sorry, none of this would have happened if it weren't for Vector and his enmity towards me..." says Joaquín downcast.
"Don't talk nonsense, if it weren't for you I would be living who knows where and eating who knows what" I say to cheer him up, but also because it is the truth.
We approach the door of Joaquín's friend's house and he is about to knock, but then he seems to think of something because he looks at me and says "my friend could be a bit curmudgeonly, but he's going to help you... just don't pay too much attention to his grunts"
With this, the image of an old dog growling comes to my mind and I laugh, while I answer "ok".
Joaquín knocks on the door and after a few moments a gray-haired man, with very few traces of a straw color in his hair and a face full of wrinkles framed by a sparse beard, opens.
The man just says "Joaquín" and stares at us, waiting for us to explain ourselves.
"Hi Ragnar, I need a favor" says Joaquin smiling "could you give this boy asylum and train him a little in combat? Ahh, and if you took him to the labyrinth to train sometime I would also appreciate it"
Ragnar stares at him with a frown and says "It's a joke, right? What do you think this is, a nursery? Besides, it's almost midnight... Come back tomorrow and we'll talk about training him, but about give the brat asylum the answer is no, whatever the time"
He is going to close the door, but Joaquín stops him and says "Come on Ragnar, you are not going to deny a favor to a friend who is in mourning for his son, are you? Besides, you owe me, think about what It would be up to you and your family if it weren't for me. " not letting the smile slip from his face.
"Did you say that your son died? I'm sorry, he was a good boy. How did it happen?" Ragnar asks with a sad expression.
"Yes, it was" says Joaquín and his smile falters "I'll tell you what happened if you let us in and give us some food, we still haven't eaten since we returned to the capital"
"Agh, fine. But I'll only accept the brat here for a few days, then he will be your problem again, this is not a tavern" says Ragnar, resigning himself.