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Arturur's Challenge (Novelette) (FINISHED)

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Arturur's Challenge (Novelette) (FINISHED)

Post by RabidFox » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:20 pm

Arturur's Challenge


This is a novelette told in a series of short stories that take place on a planet much like Earth. It occurs during an era with both Victorian and modern elements. All characters are daemons: Humanoid people with pointy ears, fangs, claws, and commonly spiky hair. All of the stories tie together to form one single, interconnecting story.


(FINISHED)


Pronunciations

Daemon (DAY-MUHN)
Arturur (AR-CHUR-ER)
Yagrius (YAY-GREE-UHS)
Asterterkin (AHS-TER-TER-KIN)
Alysius (UH-LEE-SEE-UHS)


Previous in the Series

Arturur and Abner

Next in the Series

Arturur's Nightmares


Complete List of Books in the Doctor Arturur Series

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:45 pm

The Dawn of the Prince


"Diego." It was the voice of Pearce, a white pixie.

Diego was sitting down at the end of a short, rectangular table. Pearce approached the table and sat down at the other side. Diego looked none too happy, and Pearce had his hands clasped, quietly.

"I hope it is not more bad information about my son." Growled Diego, lightly.

"Unfortunately, there is more to Arturur than what it may seem." Answered Pearce, solemnly.

"And what is that?" Diego was clearly angry, but he had a lot of control over that anger.

"Arturur means to start taking on government duties, despite that he's barely been here for five minutes." Explained Pearce, feeling very down. "We cannot reason with the Prince, Sire. What do you suggest that we do?"

"There is not much that I can suggest when I've not even met him..." Replied the King, trying to face reality. "I have already heard much news about this. Let him do what he will. I am most curious to know why he is so full of himself and already stomping around as if he were King. I believe that the most good will come from him being allowed to make a fool of himself."

"Yes, Sire." Said Pearce, respectfully.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:21 pm

To Be Nervous


Arturur was at one of the court rooms. The colour of the room was a dusty golden brown and it was huge. There were many seats rising upwards, and most of those seats filled. Everyone was still trying to settle in and many of those attending were completely furious and had a lot to say to each other.

And in the back, unbeknownst to Arturur, his father sat amongst the others. No one said a word of it, under orders to remain silent about the situation.

"Silence!" Demanded a professor, as he straightened his back. "Court will commence shortly. Let us all know that this is nothing more than a circus. The Prince wishes to bore us with his inferior knowledge of government. Let him learn who stands at his side! Let him understand the mighty power of Warren!"

There was a little more chatter throughout the crowd, but it quickly died down.

"Now..." Began the professor, and then he gestured towards Arturur, who was standing near him. "this is Arturur, the Prince." His anger was clear. "He will be challenging us today. And we will be giving him what he needs, and that is the ultimate wake up call to reality. This is Warren, home to the ruling class of Alastair!"

The professor held out his hand and Arturur responded by grabbing it. "My name is Amit." He said. "I will be conducting today's court session."

The Prince said nothing, merely waiting for the session to begin.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:56 am

Schooling


"We will begin with schooling!" Announced Amit, who then turned to challenge Arturur. "I'll let you pick the subcategory."

"Subcategory?" Questioned Arturur, a smile on his face. "Why do we need to restrain ourselves? Why not start where ever that I like?"

Amit glared at the Prince. "Do what you will. But remember! You are making a fool of yourself!"

Arturur was not the slightest bit daunted. He stepped forward.

"Now we all know that I have been educated by fellow people of Warren and that I'm the legendary Headmaster and the legendary Head of Psychology and the legendary Head Priest." Arturur's smile broke into a grin. "But we all continue to fight and moan and complain, because we have no idea what that means. No idea what-so-ever.

"I am very aware of your state of affairs. I was forced to study it whether I wanted to or not. If you find me annoying, know that it stems from education rather than ignorance.

"Now let us begin.

"The first thing that bothers me about education in Warren is that it is too formal. It has no flexibility and you do not allow your people to make any decisions for themselves at all. I know that all of you don't feel that way, but that is really the truth. I understand that going up against Ishimi is usually suicide, but then I am Arturur, of course.

"Why is everything so bland? What happened to history? I would love to know that. You all don't value history? Why? Don't you think that it's important? I mean, you all value the knowledge that each person has of another, this whole super identity thing you got going on here. But you don't teach much history in your schools. Typically, the Old Ones stay out of such affairs, but I kinda wish they would intervene at this point.

"But it's not going to happen, so I might as well do it myself.

"Amit. I want to know. What is at the core of this issue?"

Amit was already glaring at him. "The core of this issue is simple. In our day to day life, we worship the idea of unity. Of a nation undivided, except where it is needed. Such as nobility, royalty. Their servants. Their fellow countrymen. We are a nation already rich in history. We speak of such matters all the time. Constantly. Like you said, we have a 'super identity thing' going on here.

"But that is the point. We already live it so fully. Why waste our time studying it even more in the schools? Certainly, once people reach a certain level in their schooling, they receive more history classes and lessons, but I know that is not enough for you either.

"I find your initial argument very silly."

Arturur just made a mocking smile, his hands on his hips. "I'm not surprised." He said, voice dripping with confidence. "For all you hail yourself to be, you are very ignorant in a very critical way. A very important way. And it gets on my nerves.

"All right. We'll stop with history for a moment.

"Why do you overvalue the power of music? I have heard the most ridiculous things from pixies. What? How? Why? Where? When? Music isn't that strong! It doesn't have the magical, unrivalled ability to just control people's minds. So much hypnosis. Why do your schools teach so much hypnosis and so much hypnosis by music? Most people aren't very good at hypnosis."

"You do not value the importance of hypnosis?" Amit was disgusted. "Those peasants haven't been teaching you anything! It is interwoven into every aspect of our culture. I mean, this is a land of psychologists! We know and understand these things because we need these things to succeed."

"Woah, woah, woah!" Interjected Arturur. "You need these things to succeed? That doesn't make any sense. What nation needs such information? At all? Have your professional hypnotists study the field. Stop pushing it on the youth. They're annoying enough as it is."

A lot of people laughed at that point, including Amit.

"You are the youth, Arturur." Emphasized Amit. "You are contradicting yourself."

"No, I actually am not." Asserted Arturur. "I don't consider myself apart of my age group when it comes to these particular subjects."

Amit gave him a look of amusement. "You sure will make an annoying opponent some day, but that day is not now. You can't possibly have enough knowledge of government affairs to become apart of it. This is just to teach you a lesson, Arturur. And that's all."

"You will see soon enough." Arturur glared at him, then tried to return to a happy state of mind. "But I still think it's ridiculous that you have five year old's studying hypnosis. What the hell do they need it for?"

"Hypnosis is an important skill amongst our people. Without it, Warren would fall." Challenged Amit, irritated.

"Like I said, rely on the actual hypnotists. Stop forcing it on people that don't use it as much." Replied Arturur, in a calm manner.

"But it is important!" Exclaimed Amit. "Everyone needs to know it as early as possible in their education. You talk like only hypnotists need to use hypnosis."

"Don't be silly." Said Arturur. "You know that I don't mean that at all."

"I merely said that it sounds like that." Replied Amit, glaring.

"What I really want to know is why do you not teach meditation at all, except to professionals? Now that is something that everyone needs to know." Arturur pointed out.

"That is only for those foolish game men!" Said Amit, bitterly.

"And you're one of the best psychologists in Alastair?" Arturur laughed.

Amit's eyes burned into him with unbridled rage.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:38 pm

Hypnosis


"I would love if you would elaborate on your already disturbing view on hypnosis." Challenged Amit, feeling sure of an upcoming victory. "Do tell me why you believe what you do. Don't just state your problem with it. I really, really want to know." He frowned.

"Hypnosis is dangerous if used by inexperienced students." Began Arturur, not missing a beat. "People don't know what the subconscious holds when it comes to very dark subject matter. It's largely unresearched. People would use it at the wrong times, and it can create a deep problem for the patient.

"See, I would think that you already knew this. Why are you risking exposing abuse through clearly faulty methods? You're going to shock the person. You're going to throw them overboard. Hypnosis is difficult to begin, continue, and end. You have to be very patient in a very particular way to be able to sit out the time limits for preventing further harm.

"Surely you understand that novices can't possibly be considered for such cautious methods? It can hurt people, it really can. I want to understand why you think this is okay. Why are you dismissing such real, true possibilities in a person's mind? Right now, I am thinking that what you really mean is that you use novices only on people that you have already approved of being very healthy and without disturbing memories. But the reason that I word my argument this way is because it truly seems like you're doing the opposite."

"We do in fact use novices on anyone." Clarified Amit.

Arturur was horrified. "What?" He was quiet for a moment. "Why would you do something so dangerous on people that need to feel secure?"

"Our novices are experts." Declared Amit. "We are the people of Warren. There is no such thing as a green psychologist here."

"You're an idiot." Arturur was angry. "That is so stupid."

Amit was offended. "You jump in here with your silly, kid ideas and tell me that I'm stupid? You have a lot coming to you, Arturur, and none of it is good. With this kind of attitude, you're going to keep running into walls and eventually you will crack that head of yours open and, in a very bad way, you're going to realize that you're wrong.

"I don't want that for you. That is why we are doing this. We are trying to let you down as gently as possible. That and I really need to know precisely what you think, in order to help you."

Arturur scoffed. "I don't need your help. That is not what this is about for me." And so he pushed onwards. "Let's get back to the discussion at hand.

"What techniques do your novices best succeed at?" Questioned Arturur, trying to regain his composure.

"There is no such concept here." Answered Amit, refusing to back down. "We teach everyone the same things."

Arturur had a really hard time understanding that. "But they're novices. How does that make any sense?"

"You are cautious when using hypnosis, I'm sure of it. However, I know that you are being over cautious because you were raised by peasants, by people that do not have our knowledge. You were raised by people that have no understanding of psychology."

"I am not restrained by the ignorance of the people that raised me." Counter argued Arturur.

"Then how do you explain your rudimentary understanding of hypnosis?" Challenged Amit.

"I do not have a rudimentary understanding of psychology." Arturur frowned.

"I didn't say 'psychology'." Growled Amit. "I said 'hypnosis'. However, I do see you the same way. You were raised by peasants. There were not enough of your kind there to give you a proper education. You only have the simplest ideas about psychology. You are no magician! You can't just magically have an education! You must earn it." The professor was full of determination. Compassionate, but also very harsh.

"You do not understand the way that a headmaster is raised." Responded Arturur, with great tenacity. "There are parts of psychology that you can not even begin to touch that I am deeply skilled in."

"I know that, Headmaster!" Said Amit, with strong emotion. "But we are not talking about that. We are talking about a subject that is beyond you!"

"That is ridiculous." Replied Arturur, disgusted with their views on his education. "I am not so easily pushed aside!"

"Oh, I know, Arturur. I know." Reassured the professor. "You have already proven to us how stubborn you are."

Arturur merely gave him a look.

"But there is nothing to discuss here." Insisted Amit. "Like I said, we are merely doing this for your own good. There is nothing coming from any of this that will actually change Warren. Government is something left to your elders. You will be able to contribute in time."

"I can contribute now." Arturur could not stand the idea of being overlooked. "There is no reason why I can not."

"There is every reason why you can not!" Exclaimed Amit.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:16 pm

Recess


Arturur was in one of the waiting rooms near the court. He was sitting down, Abner beside him. The Prince felt helpless, like there was nothing that he could do. The weight of the world seemed to be on his shoulders and he feared that he was not ready for it.

"I feel wrong." Admitted Arturur, his eyes on the ground and his hands clasped together, nervously. "I feel like I am making a mistake."

"Why the sudden change of heart?" Asked Abner, giving him a worried look. "You were so pumped just a minute ago."

"It's been more than just a few minutes." Said Arturur, feeling defeated. "It's been hours."

"You know what I mean." Smiled Abner, trying to find some way to bring his spirits up. "You acted very... strongly. You were quite confident in your stand and how you spoke. I don't think that you're right, but you are definitely a very strong willed person. It's a good trait... most of the time." He made a small laugh.

"It's more than that." Explained Arturur. "Craig told me that I was being foolish. He told me that I should just back down, that I was getting in over my head. And I feel like he's told me that all my life and I feel overwhelmed by suddenly meeting so many new people. It's traumatizing.

"I've always been surrounded by people that I, well, know. I am used to knowing everyone. I'm not used to strangers at all. Everything was... simple. And no one argued with me that held such unrivalled positions. You just can't win with these people. Warren is very powerful."

"Yes, it is." Agreed Abner. "That's why you should stop trying to win against them. They know their home. They know the situation here. Nothing you studied could have possibly prepared you for what Warren has to offer. I don't know what it was like there, where you came from, but Warren is a place where every single person is a psychologist. You're really going in over your head here. You need to back down. I'm sure that Craig told you that for a good reason."

"Maybe he's right." Suggested Arturur, deflated.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:29 pm

Trade


Amit was a professor at the national Academy. He wore a brown suit, without a tie, and had spiky, brown hair. His face was long and sharp, with unforgiving features and stern eyes. He was definitely a force to be reckoned with.

"The next session will begin now." Announced Amit, Arturur standing near him like before. "This topic will be on imported and exported trade."

Arturur straightened his back, waiting patiently if not a bit nervously.

"I will start things off." Said Amit, with determination. "I have a feeling that you believe that Warren should be more open to imports from the peasant towns and cities. Usually, that's what people think when they are raised in outside societies. They don't understand why Warren is so strict on imports. Not just imports from peasants, but also imports from other wealthy nations.

"It is against our culture to allow other cultures to change us." Declared Amit, in a very serious way. "We are open to all people, we respect all the different races and lands, however, that does not mean that we subject ourselves to radical alteration. We are proud of our culture. We are proud of who we are. And who do not let other people try to change that, nevermind succeed.

"What say you?" Asked the professor. "Do you have a quick answer for me?"

"Yes." Replied Arturur. "I am not as you say. I am not open to an excess amount of imports."

"I have trouble believing you." Said Amit, honestly. "I am well accustomed to the effects of living in the sticks without proper social control, education, and exposure. You have not had any of these things. Your mind will be weak, your aggression will be over the top, and you will be, in general, very easy to disturb."

"That is not true." Asserted Arturur, strongly. "You do not understand my position."

Amit scoffed, undaunted. "This subject is one that always causes the person to become rageful and defiant. They are protective of the ones who have taken care of them, and they are protective of those peoples' cultures. They will not stand down."

Arturur growled, lightly. He was getting annoyed.

"We spend great time organizing our furniture for example." Explained Amit. "We obsess over each perfection and every flaw. We have experienced many times that peasants want to come in and rerrange it all. They have this fiery defiance in them to never leave us alone. They believe that we should be more open to their ideas and considerations. They are always demanding a ridiculous amount of imports to Warren and they claim that a nation with little change from outside sources is a weak nation. They claim that one day we will practically beg them for their advice.

"But this is not true. How can I be called arrogant when each and every member of the ruling class has the utmost education, care, and consideration? All men and all women, all boys and all girls are trained psychologists from birth. Nothing surpasses the rich history of Warren, famous for its superior civilization. Infamous for its expert use of control and aggression.

"You, Arturur, are the Prince, son of our great King." Amit swelled with pride. "You will one day walk in your father's footsteps and you will one day guide this great nation to new heights. You will recreate the world as we know it, with the eager help of your most trusted subjects. But that day is long in coming.

"Right now, you are but a boy. You have no influence and no ability to lead."

"You do know that I was taught something at least?" Demanded Arturur, angry. "You act like I know nothing what-so-ever."

"It is the case." Claimed Amit, with a concerned expression. "You have lived with people that know little more than farm work and small-time management. How are you going to be expected to raise a kingdom from the dirt? You come in here and act like you already know everything. It's impossible!

"And, dare I say this, but you also have... severe disabilities." Amit chose his words carefully. "I mean this in the nicest way that I can. How are you going to do these impossible tasks? You already have so much trouble with communication as it is."

"I have a few tricks up my sleeve." Answered Arturur, mysteriously. "Would you like to know what I really think about trade?" He smiled, irritated.

"Let us all know." Amit held his arms open, mockingly. "Let us all hear this unrivalled voice."

"I do believe in a higher degree of imports, but not in the way that you mean." Started Arturur. "For one, I think Warren should import more sugar. The kind that you make in Warren is very inferior to good quality farming.

"And, do remember, I don't understand all the names and terminology for things. You're going to have to translate me at some point, which I know is not hard for you.

"Anyway, back to sugar." But then he was interrupted.

"Why are we talking about sugar?" Demanded Amit.

Arturur raised a brow. "What, you don't know about taste differences in different types of sugars?"

"I think it's fine as it is." Replied Amit. "I find this new turn to be very wanting in importance."

"Sugar is important." Insisted Arturur. "And peasants make really good sugar. The kind you eat is made in some laboratory. It's almost fake."

"I've never heard someone open up an argument with sugar." But Amit injected again.

"Why does this bother you so much?" Questioned Arturur. "I thought I was supposed to be making a fool of myself? Isn't this a great way for me to do it?"

Amit glared at Arturur, angered by what he perceived to be an insult. "Talking about sugar is like talking about chocolate."

Arturur made a horrified face at that point. "Oh my god. You can't possibly be suggesting that you make your own chocolate?"

"We do in fact make our own chocolate." Said Amit, in a mocking voice. "That's why I was relating it to sugar."

"You have your head stuck in a book all day." Challenged Arturur, hardly believing it. "Now you guys can make food too? Chocolate? You actually think that a bunch of psychologists can make chocolate?"

The crowd was disturbed by Arturur's lack of understanding. There was low murmuring amongst them.

"Don't you see the obvious need for something like chocolate to be designed by expert taste testers?" Amit sounded just as shocked as Arturur.

"Yes. Peasants." Replied Arturur, trying to contain himself. "Who farm, spend their entire lives studying food, farm, farm, farm some more. And make chocolate. Not design chocolate. Make good tasting chocolate."

"This is outrageous!" Declared the professor.

"I have no idea why, but okay." Arturur started to laugh, much to Amit's annoyance.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:39 pm

Stock


"Next we will be discussing stock." Announced Amit, facing the crowd. "Arturur will begin."

Arturur had been preparing himself for this moment, but he was getting more and more nervous about doing this. Nevertheless, Arturur felt like he was ready. As long as he relied on his memory, he could talk himself out of any problem. It was a skill of his, a handy trait. With all that pixie thinking combined with vampiric memory, he was certain that he would somehow win in the end.

"My biggest problem with stock..." Started Arturur, determined to hold onto his nerves. "is that it is endless. If you go to a peasant shop in the sticks, there's not a lot of stock of anything. There is precisely what people need and nothing more. The small, little shop wouldn't survive if it attempted to do anything else. But the huge, wealthy businesses of Warren have stores all over Alastair and I have, of course, been inside of them many times. The stores of Warren... are completely over stocked. This has always deeply puzzled me.

"Why do you have so many dishes and cups? Why do you have so much music and so many films? Why do you have a countless supply of video games? Why do you have so much of everything? Who are you selling this stuff to? Who buys it? Why does it eventually disappear only to be replaced with more over stocked items?

"What in the hell are you people doing? I've always wanted to ask that. Ever since I was small, I just don't get it. Are you donating this stuff? Are you selling it on the internet? Are people buying bundles at auctions? Where does all this stuff go? And how do you afford to keep over stocking everything? Hell, you even have too many building block toys and too many squirt guns and too many card games. For me, walking into one of your stores is like entering a tomb with no body. How have you all managed to survive?"

"You sound like you don't understand customer demand." Answered Amit, carefully. "This is a subject that would blow your mind, that's one of the reasons that I wanted you to start off. It's an area of interest that has, for the most part, been denied to you because of inadequate education. Even now, I would just be confusing you. So, for the most part, I'm really wanting you to simply tell me what you think. I don't want to overwhelm you."

"I see. So no answers then." Arturur hadn't really expected more than that anyway. "I suppose I will just continue.

"They're so big. Your stores. I can walk and walk and walk in them and find nothing that I want. I look around me, confused as to why people want to buy this stuff. But I have been learning that, that is not entirely what it seems to me. However, there is still a point at hand. I must continue to wonder why you don't stock more advanced items and why I always have to find them on the internet. Why do you keep all the good stuff out of your stores?"

"They are speciality items." Explained Amit, calmly. "They're hard to sell."

"But why?" Arturur didn't get it.

"Because most customers are too young to understand such things, usually." Replied Amit. "You have been confined to only those stores that meet your age group. Your problem is, well, it's quite obvious. I don't want to have to say it. You know what I mean."

"Certainly, people of my age group aren't this disabled?" Questioned Arturur, very curious as to Amit's answer.

"It's not disability for them." Said Amit, patiently. "It's just their psychological age."

"But there is so much in this world that can be translated for them." Counter argued Arturur. "I know that you have the ability to translate many, many things that you simply don't for whatever reason. I want to know what that reason is."

"It's not good to raise children that way." Replied Amit. "Children need to be children."

"I think you just don't know a way around it." Suggested Arturur. "There's got to be ways around these things."

"There are." Admitted Amit, easily. "But only someone like you knows how to do that. Honestly. And that's not entirely a compliment."

"Perhaps." Said Arturur, trying to understand something from so little. "But a lot of that, you know, is just your own personal inexperience. Your own fault. Not everything is futuristic."

"I know that." Amit was again unperturbed. "But then you have your own answer. I simply don't know how."

"Then why can't I teach you how?" Arturur didn't see why he couldn't help at least a little.

"I've told you this before." Replied Amit. "You are too young... I'm sure that there is youth everywhere that could benefit our government, but we don't know how to manage that, so we don't. It's just an obstacle that you're going to have to get used to."

But obstacles were things that Arturur did not like.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:15 pm

The Second Recess


Arturur and Abner were sitting in the waiting room again.

"If you want to feel important, why not just do the job you have and do it the best that you can?" Asked Abner of Arturur. He was trying to be a good friend.

"It's not like that." Said Arturur, without looking at him. "I don't want to feel important. Or at least... it's not all about that... You see, I've always been the leader and now these people want me to be a follower. I'm not used to that." He gave Abner a look of helplessness.

"The peasants let you run things? Why?" Abner didn't understand. Arturur was still so young.

"There were many things that they couldn't do." Explained Arturur, feeling down. "I did those things for them. They were happy about it. They never complained. For the most part."

"What did they complain about?" Asked Abner, curious.

"It doesn't matter." For some reason, Arturur became angry.

Abner kept his mouth shut, unsure of what to say.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:12 pm

The Old Language


"The next topic has been decided by our reigning champion, Arturur!" Announced Amit, sarcastically. "He has chosen the Old Language, Alaric, as his next show of stupidity!"

That confused people. What would Arturur say about something like that? The crowd talked back and forth until order was declared.

Arturur stepped up, ready for his next challenge. "I have studied Alaric for many years. But I am disappointed in the lack of support that Warren has for its own ancient language. It puzzles me to no end why there isn't far greater interest in reviving what is dear to us. It deeply saddens me. Especially when youth mistakes it for some boring old subject that doesn't need any attention, simply because they are not being taught Alaric in an exciting and engaging way.

"You very people are shunning your own roots. You disrespect your past by preventing it from becoming your future. You look down on it. You say that you want it, yet you let it fade without a proper fight. A fight that would ensure its survival. You are destroying your own ancestry by ignoring what is rightfully yours.

"I have watched many videos of your classrooms, where children sit bored out of their minds in inadequate settings for learning Alaric. You don't have the right environment. You don't give the proper encouragement. You do not value the right information. You let your children sit there and struggle, without providing relief. You just watch them fail. You stand there before them, as teachers, parents, and elders... and you just watch everything fall apart.

"Where is the strong, active voice for your own people? Why is it only used for things that matter to you? Why can you not find worth in something so necessary? It reminds me of your problems with history. Do you think that you already talk enough and that Alaric means nothing to the present? I wouldn't be surprised."

The crowd gasped, greatly offended at Arturur's accusations. Even Amit leaned back, shocked at Arturur's view on the subject. But, nevertheless, the young doctor continued.

"The current resources for Alaric are insufficient. They do not help the problem. They do not give the needed guidance to young students. Hell, they don't even encourage active usage in the old. I want to help you. I want to be apart of this, like many other things in Warren. What I desire is a dream to build our world to even greater heights, to even better things. But you look at me as a fool and nothing more.

"So hear me now. Hear me in something that I know I can say. Something that means so much to me that I know for certain that I can win. That I will win. Scoff at, glare at, and mock me. You will not change my opinion at this point. Perhaps other things will fall and I will be, in a way, reconstructed, but never when it comes to Alaric and the importance it has in our world, not just the past.

"When Warren began, people spoke in Alaric. They read in it and wrote in it and thought in it. They had no idea that one day their people would speak in another language. And there's nothing wrong with having a second language, but Alaric should always be our first. It should be apart of our identities. It should be inseparable from our souls. We need to fight to hold onto that past, when our people lived in Alaric. Life itself should be determined in its words. The fate of our people should be experienced in its music.

"When I first learned of Alaric, it didn't mean much to me. I didn't understand it. But I had my uncles, Asterterkin and Davin, to thank for introducing me to it in a way that made me want to learn it. That made me need to learn it. I have them to thank for their tireless efforts at getting me to understand the things that I needed to do, in order to feel the words inside of my head and on my lips. Feeling Alaric is what you must do and what you must instil in your children.

"It was very hard at first. It was extremely hard even. I felt like I could never learn another language. I didn't see a goal. I just saw death, the death of Alaric. I saw it fading out to leave our present not forever, but for an amount of time unfathomable in its coldness. I knew in my heart that the time for Alaric was gone. That everyone had turned their backs on it. They seemed to me to be incapable of loving it. And I could not understand why I should love it.

"But I continued and persisted, at the encouragement of Asterterkin and Davin, to learn it. Yet, from my point of view, I wasn't learning anything. I was just studying a topic that my uncles felt was important. I could not see the truth in their eyes that would tell me of just how much it really meant to them. I was just a child.

"And that scares me. There's children all around us. Young, impressionable daemon children. They are learning from us. They are watching and listening, as we build a future around them. They are weak, because they are children. And that weakness will ensure the death of Alaric unless the strong minds of adults give them an opportunity that their growing minds otherwise would not be able to comprehend. And that is a real, actual view of the Old Language. They cannot do this on their own. It is impossible for those so incapable in their youth to grasp such a beautiful thing without help.

"Eventually, I developed a great love for Alaric. But, as I tried and tried, it was just too hard. I couldn't fully learn it. I had to stop. I had to give up. That was terrible for me. Right in front of me, there was this wonderful thing that I could have, but, without the proper resources, it slipped away out of my hands. Warren had not prepared enough for those of us who live away. They had not provided us with enough resources to teach the Prince.

"And I was angry. Everyone else from Warren learned it except me. Even the King of the Peasants learned it. But I had too many problems with language as it was and I still do. I couldn't apply it. I could read and read and read, but I couldn't write it down. I could keep revisiting what I learned, but I couldn't think in it and I couldn't extend its touch to my life. I had to let it to go.

"And I began to study something else, something that was easier. It had nothing to do with Alaric other than it was a language. I was greatly saddened by this event. Warren had failed me, as it had failed itself. As it had failed its youth."

Amit had been silent for the entire speech, but there was something inside of him that he felt had changed. While he knew that young Arturur would never be apart of the government, his heart and his mind had been opened to a light within their Prince that he had not known was there. For all of his faults and shortcomings, he knew that one day Arturur would make a great King.

And his father, sitting in the back unknown to Arturur, smiled.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:20 pm

The Old Language Part II

"I hate to say this, Arturur." Said Amit, in a sad voice. "But I'm going to have to argue against that beautiful speech of yours. But first... I want you to know... that is exactly what Warren is about. Your passion for your country, for your people... it is equally strong in us all. At some point, I have underestimated your love for Warren. But that still does not mean that I am suddenly all wrong. Unfortunately, I must tell you that I was only wrong just a little."

Arturur wasn't surprised at Amit's response. In fact, he had been ready for it. Again and again, he had read about the attitudes of Warren's people towards the Alaric language. And most of it had not been good.

"I will start off by saying this. Alaric is important, it is." Amit tried to push past his feelings. "But it is not as important as most other subjects. There was a time when it was, but that time is gone. One day, in the distant future, we will reconsider the level of attention that we need to afford the problem, but today is not that day. Nor is tomorrow.

"I'm sorry, Arturur. I deeply am." He became very calm and professional. "I must strike at the heart of your argument. It is what I must do to best serve you, my Lord. I must show you the errors of your thinking. It can be harsh, it can, living here in Warren and having to explain these things to our youth, but it is our sworn duty to our people. Despite how much pain it may bring them.

"Alaric is a dead language, Arturur. You must learn to let it go. It will not be coming back any time soon. Certainly, you can speak it, think in it, write in it, but that will only be with a small handful of fans."

Fans? Now that really upset Arturur.

"Alaric is the past. Now is what determines the future, not the days of old. Alaric will once again be our first language in time, yet that day is far, far into the future.

"Part of the problem is it is very difficult to learn. Of all the languages in the world, Alaric is one of the very hardest languages to study to the point of fluency. It is a trap. Its poetry draws you in, and then you are surrounded on all sides by impossibility. The language is far too musical for most people to understand, nevermind grasp. It is the bane of many young, spirited children until they all too soon grow out of it.

"You are stuck, Arturur. You love this language too much. It is blinding you to reality. You are the young, you are the spirited. But you have the passion of an old man. And that passion is confining you.

"What do you hope to accomplish by reviving Alaric? I know that is what you seek. It's obvious...! Certainly, you have some realistic view on its steep decline over the years? You must know how unpopular it is in Warren at this time.

"But these are redundant questions. You've already presented me with a fine, well thought out answer.

"Our culture is important to us, Arturur. More than you have yet to learn. Don't worry. You will come to understand our ways and our reasoning. You will fit nicely in a debate team, and you will no longer burn with fire when you speak to me. You will be proud of who you are and the realities of your nation. You will feel whole and complete... no matter what becomes of Alaric."

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:55 pm

The Third Recess


"I'm sorry that your argument about language got totally fried." Said Abner to Arturur, sadly. They were in the employee cafeteria at the Yellow Building, sitting at a round table.

"My argument did not get fried, Abner." Replied Arturur, not facing him. "They just don't understand. That doesn't mean that it's over."

"But you're in Warren now." Reminded Abner, concerned. "That is the reality. You can't escape them, Arturur. They will have their way."

Arturur shook his head, disgusted. "No, it's not." He said, sternly. "Alaric is too important."

"But it's dead." Insisted Abner, feeling like Arturur would never listen.

Arturur gave him an irritated look. "Maybe to you. Maybe now. But not forever. Things will change."

Abner didn't know what to say to convince him. Arturur was clearly in love with Alaric, which was healthy. However, that did not mean that Abner wanted Arturur to hate them for it.

"You know, I care about Alaric too." Said Abner, trying to calm Arturur. "I may not know how to speak it, but I wish that I could. Genuinely. It would be a nice thing to be able to speak it."

"A nice thing?" Arturur was none too happy about that.

"Well... you know what I mean." Abner felt like he should have reworded himself.

"Court is not yet done." Said Arturur, thinking about the other topics. "I still have more to debate over."

That made Abner frustrated. "Arturur, you're not going to get anywhere." It was so obvious to Abner, but Arturur was stuck to it. "You need to give up."

"I'm not going to." Declared Arturur, stubbornly.

"You need to give up." Stressed Abner.

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:25 pm

Psychology


Court was in session again. This was the last topic that Amit and Arturur were going to have. After this, court would be over. But the judges had already made their decision. They had made it even before court began. To them, it was obvious that Arturur was just a child and not capable of having a government position so young. This was something that Arturur felt somehow that he could change. Even if it was only a little bit.

Amit raised his hand in the air, facing the audience. "This is the final session. This is the final topic at hand. Now we begin! I will start things off."

The crowd made pleased sounds, talking with each other with happiness that the end was near. They hated watching their Prince stumble around and try to do something beyond his age. They felt very bad for him.

"Why do you still insist that there is nothing wrong with Igor?" Demanded Amit, turning to face Arturur.

"Igor may have that illness, but that doesn't mean you should give up hope for him." Replied Arturur, with strong resolve. "He is a powerful man. His position in Alastair is very close to the top. He is nobility. He lives in the same castle as royalty. What is your damn problem?" He demanded, heated.

"My problem is that he is sick. Very sick." Answered Amit, refusing to be defied. "He has an illness that totally collapses his mind. He cannot rely on the silly tricks of some pixie kid. And I don't mean that offensively. It is only the truth. We worry for you that you can make such judgements about people. You are too young, Arturur. You must withdraw."

"You won't find me backing down." Growled Arturur, full of hope. "He can be cured very easily compared to the rest. There is a light in him, in his soul that is different than the others. He is passionate about life. He is full of vigour. Igor will be a great leader if only you would let him be."

"He is a great leader." Said Amit, angrily. "I don't deny him that. He's old enough to make tough decisions. He is definitely a valuable ally and really does well with the resources that he has. But you threaten him with your youthful ignorance. I don't think that you could ever change his mind, but you are causing change, you can rest assured of that. And that change is yourself.

"How are you threatening him? It is obvious! You are bringing him to a light certainly. That light is you! He will think about what you're saying. He will decide that you need some kind of serious help. And he will try to think in ways that we have forbid him. It will only make him worse. However, that is not the problem at hand. It is very minor in comparison to why he would fight for you.

"It is your well being, Prince, that is important. We do not want you to suffer. You are a strong minded young man with a heart full of youthful vigorousness. That energy in you is causing you to act this way. There is very little rational logic inside of you that sees this your way. You do not understand that, but I do. I understand it perfectly clear. You will step down! You will submit to reality!"

"Igor is important!" Yelled Arturur, overwhelmed with frustration. Then he lowered his voice to a normal level. "You are just pushing him to the side. You're not really looking at the problem. This is silly! This is ridiculous! This is just flat out foolish!

"You have no idea what it's like to be me! I know things too. I know things. You ram into me to try to convince me that I'm some kind of idiot when I'm not. All those years, that's what I thought about. Was things like this. And you just rip everything in me apart! I'm so sick of your absolute inability to be questioned at all.

"I had his files! I had his records! I studied them all my life. How dare you keep telling me that I know nothing of this problem. You don't understand the amount of time I spent thinking about this problem. I was forced to. It was required. It was my job. I had a job, you know! I really did. You think you can just throw all of my qualifications out the window!"

"Your qualifications could never be enough!" Replied Amit, determined to win this fight in Arturur's mind. "They are not enough! Igor is a hopeless case and you need to accept that. To submit to that. It is truth! It may be unpleasant, but that's just the way things are."

"I refuse to give up like you!" Said Arturur, not willing to give in. "I see a real possibility here to make someone's life different. I see something in Igor's voice that you can't hear. I see something in him. This is nonsense that you're doing here. You just believe he must be hopeless because of the typical condition of others in his position. Can't you see just one man being different than all the others?"

"No, I can't." Amit was very clear on where he stood. "People fall down when they're like Igor. They don't get back up. They scream and carry on and demand a world to meet them at their feet. They're arrogant, full of themselves, and don't listen. They believe society, most of them, to be somehow against them. You want me to take a risk with Igor that I will never take. It would harm him. Doing what you say. It would hurt him. I'm not going to do that to Igor."

Arturur just got angrier and angrier.

"You're not going to win this argument!" Declared Amit. "Nothing will change!"

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Re: Arturur's Challenge (Short Stories)

Post by RabidFox » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:05 pm

The Epilogue


It was back to the cafeteria again with Arturur and Abner. The court had finally concluded and Arturur had been left alone in his opinions.

"I feel like my head is going to explode." Arturur was not in a good mood.

"It must have been very hard for you." Said Abner, still very worried about him. "I can't imagine what it would be like to stand there and go up against Amit like that. I've never seen anyone defy him so much. His anger must have been difficult to take."

"Amit is a fool." Arturur growled, preoccupied with his thoughts.

"He really isn't." Abner wasn't sure how to get through to Arturur. "He just doesn't want you to make a fool of yourself."

"I'm not a fool." Arturur was so angry.

"What will you do when they stop letting you see Igor?" Asked Abner, curiously. "You know, that is what's going to happen as long as you keep thinking that way and I really think that you will."

Arturur gave him a look. "I just don't care about anything right now. I feel like I'm not welcome here."

"But you are, Arturur!" Assured Abner. "This is your home. This is where you belong. We're all excited to finally meet our Prince. It is wonderful finally getting to know you. You know, your father is burning with anticipation to see you for himself."

"I'm sure that I will only disappoint him." Said Arturur, depressed.

"That's ridiculous!" Exclaimed Abner, trying to be supportive. "You mean everything to him."

"I feel like I'm the only person in the world that understands me." Arturur just couldn't be comforted.

Abner was sad and frustrated. He wanted to make him feel better, but he simply didn't know how.


The End

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