It was packed in the waiting room of the knight selection trial. Jack was one of the many who wished to become an elite fighter of the Radiata Knights. True, he may have just been another hopeful in the eyes of others, but he had something nobody else could ever have: A heritage. Not that it mean he wanted to be accepted just because his father had been a famous knight. No, he wanted to be accepted in because of his skill and ability.
Let's see who I'm going up against...
Looking at the board where contestants were set up against another to prove their worth, Jack found his name and his opponent.
Ridley Silverlake, huh? Sounds like a girl.
Turning around, he scanned the area and found that the only girl here was the blond with pigtails and green eyes sitting by herself.
I guess that must be her...
A door flung open as everyone, including Jack, saw a guard in heavy armor walk in.
"Attention! The Royal Radiata Knights selection trials will now begin." He announced loudly for all to hear. It was pretty hard to hear him with that helmet over his head. "Candidates Star and Paul! You're first. Proceed to the coliseum immediately."
Two men stood up from their seats. One was fairly normal while the other not so much and carried himself in a way that was arrogant and obnoxious. He even rudely shoved past the other man to walk through the doorway first.
My money's on the guy that isn't in ridiculous armor.
Not even a minute passed and the sound of one single punch was heard before a thud followed after and the normal looking man walked back in unscathed. A short man wearing armor and a green bag on his back ran through the doorway, returning with his knocked out friend. Jack chuckled a little: The outcome had never really been in doubt. A few seconds later, the same guard from before returned.
"Calling the next candidates, Ridley and Jack. Proceed to the coliseum immediately."
The blond girl stood up and followed after the guard. That proved his assumption correct. Jack took a deep breath, adrenaline rushing through his body.
This is it. I've only got one shot...Now or never.
Going through the open doorway, he followed the corridor until it led him out into a giant area. A few nobles were sitting above, watching them. They must really have nothing better to do than watching people fight for their own amusement. Standing across from Ridley a few feet away, he turned towards the man in white clothes as she did.
"Welcome to the official Royal Radiata Knights selection trials." The man spoke aloud for the audience to hear. "I will be your referee for this contest. My name is Junzaburo. The test you are about to face is a traditional Radiata Knights elimination tournament. In other words, it is a completely unbiased assessment of your abilities."
So you say...Jack grunted in agitation. If a noble wanted to become a knight and they lost, they would still be accepted. Sounds pretty biased to me.
"You will earn points for every hit, but should a knockout occur, the winner will be declared immediately." He brung his hand down and looked at Jack and Ridley. "Understood? Let's begin. Combatants, take your positions."
Jack and Ridley stepped farther away from each other as they pulled out their weapons. Ridley wielded an axe while Jack held a sword in his hand.
"Selection trials, round two! Ridley Silverlake vs Jack Russell!"
Junzaburo shot his hand up towards the sky.
Jack's speed was so swift that it looked like he was soaring off the ground. Ridley barely had enough time to defend herself as she raised her axe up to block his attack. The strike had been so strong that it sent her flying back along the ground, earning many gasps from the audience.
"Only one of us is coming out of this a winner, Silverlake!" Jack shouted, switching to defensive position. "And it's going to be me!"
Ridley coughed as she got back up on her feet, legs wobbly, but she glared daggers at Jack with a scowl on her face. Getting back into her battle position, she charged at Jack, screaming at the top of her lungs.
"Don't let the door hit you on the way out when you lose to me, farm boy!"
Jack jumped up as she slid along the ground under him, but then he felt her grab his leg, falling face first into the hard concrete. That had been exactly what he pulled on Adele just this morning! Did fate decide to fuck with him by having his own move used against him! Rolling over, Jack blocked Ridley's next downward strike just in time.
"This farm boy is going to be the one to kick your ass!"
He launched his foot into her gut and tossed her over him as he jumped back up on his feet, turning around and readying himself as Ridley got back up soon after.
"This is it. I've been waiting to use this move on someone for a long time!" She exclaimed.
Ridley began to spin her axe and herself at an incredible speed. Jack took this time to slowly back away towards the other end of the room. Then, with one final shout, she released her weapon, sending it straight at him.
Jack scoffed as he dropped his sword on the ground.
"I'm not losing here!" He screamed out in defiance.
Time seemed to slow down the moment the axe was inches in front of him. He spun to the left to avoid it entirely, but not without miraculously grabbing the handle of the heavy weapon while it had been spinning at a high velocity.
"RETURN TO SENDER!"
Jack redirected Ridley's attack right back at her, who only had a look of pure shock on her face. This country boy had taken her most powerful attack and not only avoided it, but used it against her.
W-who is this guy?... She thought as she took the blow, crying out in pain.
Luckily the weapon was not the most deadliest of its kind. Otherwise, the axe would have completely pierced through Ridley's leather resistant clothing and killed her. Nevertheless, the impact from the attack knocked her out.
"Winner!" Junzaburo cried out as he entered the arena again. "The winner of the round two selection trials is Jack Russell!"
The audience cheered and clapped for Jack, who looked on as Ridley was carried away by knights who were probably going to take her to the infirmary to check for wounds, just to be on the safe side. Though he felt a little sorry for her, he made no apologies for the way he acted in battle. That was just who he was; giving it all he had. Returning back to the waiting room with his sword, he sat down back in his seat.
Hours passed and eventually, the trials finally finished. Jack had to give Ridley respect for putting up a great fight because all the other opponents he faced afterward were weak compared to her. One even willingly surrendered before the match could even begin. He honestly expected more out of these city folks. At the end of the day, he was the champion above all the other candidates. There was no doubt in his mind that he was going to be accepted. When the time came for the contestants to be selected, Jack was lined up with all the other competitors in the arena who either had injures on them or a defeated look on their face.
"Introducing Lord Larks, Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Radiata Knights." Junzaburo motioned to the man wearing glasses. "And Captain Ganz Rothschild of the Rose Cochon brigade."
There was something about the chubby man that made Jack felt like he would get along with him just fine...
"New recruits will be placed under his command. And now for the tournament results! Both Jack Russell and Ridley Silverlake have shown the necessary skills to be entered into the knights."
Jack was confused. Didn't Ridley lose in the first round against him?
I had a feeling she was of noble blood...Unbiased, my ass. Jack had to roll his eyes.
Everyone but Jack and Ganz left. The short man approached him with a smile on his face.
"Master Jack Russell, I am sure you know who I am already. From this point on, I will be your commanding officer. It will be my most greatest pleasure having you and Lady Ridley under my brigade." He spoke.
"Same here, boss." Jack saluted his superior officer.
"We will hold the inauguration ceremony immediately at meeting room on the third floor. But first, please head to the waiting room. Al, the castle steward, will be waiting for you to guide you to your assigned room where you will put on your official knight's attire."
"You got it, sir." Jack nodded his head. "I'll be there ASAP!"
Al, the castle servant, lead him down into the basement floor halls where everything was the exact opposite of what was upstairs. Not that he didn't mind. He wasn't going to whine like a child. This was what he expected. He had to work his way up and earn his benefits like any professional job should.
"This will be Master Jack's room." The steward said, turning around to face Jack. "Your room leader will be Master Leonard and your attire will be on your bunk. I trust you know how to get to the third floor meeting room on your own?"
"I sure can." Jack answered. "Don't worry about me. I can handle myself on my own now. Thanks, Al."
"Well, if you will excuse me..."
The man sped off in a hurry, probably attending to other matters in the castle. Either way, that wasn't Jack's concern anymore. Looking at his room door, he opened the door and walked inside, spotting a muscular man sitting at the desk, looking a piece of paper over. When Jack shut the door behind him, the man glanced his way and noticed him.
"Hi there. You're Leonard, right?" Jack asked.
"That's me." He answered, standing up as he walked over to Jack to give him a handshake which he shook. "So you're the new guy, huh? What's your name?"
"Nice to meet you, Jack. Just set your things down for now and get changed. You don't want to keep your leader waiting."
Jack stared at the folded clothing on the bottom bunk bed, which he assumed was his clothing. He was not impressed at all by the design. It didn't even look that resistant to attacks.
"Geez, do the royal knights really fight in this getup?" He asked as he picked up the clothing in his hands.
Leonard just laughed. "When you make captain, you can wear what you like. Until then, you stick with regulation."
"I can understand that, but it doesn't make me feel any better." Jack sighed, frowning before putting on his new clothing. "Though I gotta say...I feel like a little lord wearing this."
"That's exactly what I wanted to say!" Leonard exclaimed, slightly upset. "Oh well...You better get a move on, Jack. Tardiness is not something the Radiata Knights tolerate."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm going. See ya, pops!" Jack laughed as he ran out the door, leaving an angry Leonard behind.
"I'm only twenty-one, kid!"
His fury only lasted a few seconds before he started chuckling.
It's been awhile since we've had someone as energetic as him in the knights. Things might start to get a little interesting around here...
Tossing in another chapter. If you see a mistake, don't call me out on it. Chances are, I saw it too. I'm just too lazy to go back and edit it. Anyways, moving on to the next chapter. Later.