"...may..."

"Zzzz..." Huh? There is a voice...

"...up..."

"Zzzz" ... It says something... Make up? With who?

"Are you listening to me!? WAKE UP!"

"Zzzz" ...Why is mother yelling about makeup? She continues to yell...

"I've tried to get you out of the bed SEVEN times this morning! Are you going for a new record!? The opening ceremony is today! Remember!? Now get DOWN here!"

The opening ceremony of the tournament that will determine the next Craftlord...

"That's today? Uh-oh... I have to get ready... in a couple of hours..." I think aloud.

"You mean a couple of seconds- What's that? Ahhh!" the voice of my mother screams...

What happened!? "Oh! What was that!? Are you alright, mother!?" I scream while rushing out of my bed and down the I am already dressed in my red shirt over which I wear my leather armor with my leather helm. I was just taking a nap since I got up too early because I was so excited about today, and now mother was suddenly screaming! As I reach the last steps of the stairs I stop my rush. Mother is standing in front of her room, but nothing seems to be out of the ordinary.

"Mother! Are you okay?" I ask her, but she doesn't answer. After some seconds passed I calm down and try it again.

"...Hello?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Huh!? It wasn't you that screamed?" is all I manage to say.

"Of course it was! I just wanted to make sure you were awake."

...wait, did she just say that she pretended to be in danger so that I would rush down the stairs? Yet she is standing there with an innocent smile, as if she had done nothing wrong at all!

"Don't DO that! I thought you were hurt, or wor- AAAAHH!" I scream. I missed one of the stairs and fall flat on my face. That hurt, damnit!

My mother sounds quite worried, but she still manages to make fun of me by noting "Well, that's an interesting way to come down the stairs, isn't it?"

"I tink my node id bwoken..." is what I end up saying because of the pain as I rise up.

"That looked like it hurt! Are you alright?" mother says, this time she seems to be sincerely worried. At times she is a little overprotective, but she's really nice. I feel slightly embarassed about my display of clumsiness and quickly try to blame someone else for it by shouting "Are you kidding!? Of course not! Who put those there!?"

"I'm guessing it was the carpenters who built the house." ...and I fail miserably.

"Well, yes, but..." I want to try it once more, but mother stops me in midsentence.

"How could you forget where the stairs are in your own house!? Are you trying to make me worry about you!? Because it's working!" Now she seems rather angry...

I smile and try to calm her down by saying "Of course I didn't forget! I'm fine!"

"I'm not so sure. Do you know where you are? What's your name?" What kind of a question is this!? She is a bit overprotective, but this is too much, even for her! She must be joking, right?

I force a smile and ask her "...You're kidding, right?" Uh-oh, she seems to get angry again...

"No, I'm not kidding. I'm making sure you're alright. Now tell me your name!" I should definitely not aggravate her any further...

"Okay, okay! I'll tell you! My name is Pratty! As if I could forget that!" Mother still doesn't seem to be satisfied...

"Next question! What is your job?" Why is mother asking me such absurd questions? One little accident and she fears the worst! Well, I don't even have to think about these questions anyway.

"I work for a Craftknight, mother!"

"And what do you do for this Craftknight?" It's nice to have a mother who cares for you, but sometimes I almost wish she'd care a little less...

"I'm his apprentice."

"And what does this Craftknight do?"

"He forges metal into weapons, and he teaches me how to do it, too. Satisfied yet?" Please, be satisfied!

"No, not yet. What's MY name?" Yet another strange question...

"That's easy. Amariss." Suddenly, she seems really angry.

"What!? That's not my name!" If I wouldn't know for sure that her name is Amariss, I would have been quite scared just now...

"Stop fooling around!"

"I'm just kidding. You're fine." Finally...

"Of course I am!"

"It sounded like an earthquake when you fell down the stairs. I thought the house was about to collapse!" ...like an earhquake? Is mother trying to say I'm fat!? It wouldn't be the first time...

"Anyway, don't you remember what's happening today?"

"Of course I do! Today is the opening ceremony of the tournament that determines the new Craftlord! The Craftlord becomes a knight of Wystern, the legendary City of Swords and is given the honored task of guarding Parista, the sacred spirit of the holy sword. I never thought I would be chosen to participate in the tournamet. It almost feels like a dream... But I intend to win the tournament, just like father did!"

I am not doing this for my father, I am doing this for myself. To be honest, I have enough of being compared to my father. He was a great person, but I don't want to live my whole life in his shadow nor do I want to rest on his laurels. I want to make something new, something I have done myself. I will try to win the tournament to do just that. It won't be easy, but I will try my best! Come to think of it... "But I'll never win if I don't leave right now!"

I was ready to leave, but mother stopped me. "Hold on! Here... take this with you." She gives me a strange little pendant with a red gem in the center.

"What's this? A good-luck charm? It looks kind of old."

"That is your father's lucky charm. I made it to protect him." I think I remember seeing him wearing it around his neck when I was smaller. I can't recall a single memory of him without it. But he wasn't home that often because of his work...

"You did?" Mother's expression suddenly changed from her cheerful smile to a dark expression of sadness.

"He took it with him weherever he went. Until one day... three years ago..." Now I feel a little down myself... I can still remember that day. Father was a great Craftlord, so we were never that worried about him. But on that day, three years ago, some soldiers, friends of my father, came to our house and told mother something. She cried for hours... Eventually she told me that father died. I didn't believe it, not at all. I used to think that father was invincible, the thought that he could die never even crossed my mind...

But it turned out I was wrong. He never returned and we attended his funeral. I can still remember staring at his headstone in disbelieve, but his name, Shintetsu, was written there, not mistake about it. Eventually I accepted it and mother slowly returned to her old cheerful self, probably more for me than for herself. But fathers death is still a topic we try to avoid. If mother brings it up by accident there is usually this awkward silence, just like now, and she mumbles to herself.

"Perhaps he left it here on purpose."

"Mother?"

"Your training is about to become much more difficult, and you have many arduous battles ahead of you. This charm will help you. Your father was never injured when he carried it with him." Somehow she was always able to cheer us up again in a matter of seconds.

"Thank you, mother. I'll take good care of it." I put the pendant around my neck and smile at my mother.

"You'd better go. You don't want to miss it! Good luck..."

"You can count on me!"

...

Author's note: I am very happy to have uploaded the very first chapter of my very first fanfiction. It is pretty short and more of an introduction. The next chapter will be about the opening ceremony and what follows. It will definitely be longer and as the story continues I will most likely make more changes. Please review this chapter and send me a PM if you find mistakes. And special thanks to Imrryr. Because of the Story "Celes' Ascending" that was published by Imrryr I started writing and also got many advices for writing a fanfiction. Sorry if I don't manage it to write a good story, despite of your help. So check out "Celes' Ascending" if you want to read a good story instead. I will however try to improve. If you want to know what the characters actually look I would suggest that you look them up, most of their clothes are rather hard to describe, so please forgive me if my describtions seem insufficient.