Crimson followed the guard that Mars called for him to the barracks. The information he had received from Mars was very useful to him the [System Insight X] didn’t just hand him information. He only got the knowledge when he was confronted with the need for it.
I bet that I would have learned most of that after I got my first Class.
The barracks were made of seamless stone; he would bet that it was made with some form of magic. It was a compact building that had three floors but was taller than the usual. Everything was slightly above human proportion. The average doorway height in the U.S. is 6 feet 8 inches. The door way of these barracks was easily 8 feet instead.
From what Crimson could tell the adjustment in design was to accommodate large Beast-Kin a theory that was upheld when he walked in with the guard and noticed the Tiger Beast-Kin with larger than a human stature standing. The guard escorting him walked over to the Tiger-Kin, exchanged a few words that he couldn’t hear then pointed at the staircase in the corner of the room.
Crimson followed him up the stairs and was led up to the third floor. The stairs themselves were steeper than he was used to seeing. He had to be extra careful because it was his first time going up stairs.
He wasn’t careful enough.
Crimson misstepped, and fell backwards down the stairs. As he fell he twisted to the side to keep from hitting his head as he rolled ALL the way to the bottom. Fortunately the bottom wasn’t too far away; he’d only made it up three steps after all.
He quickly popped back up to his feet. The damage wasn’t severe considering the distance in fact he couldn’t even be considered injured but, it did bring home the fact that he wasn’t used to walking or using his legs.
He had to ignore the look the guard was shooting him; in his embarrassment he wasn’t even sure if it was a look of amusement or a look of pity.
“Have a nice trip?
Crimson carefully tried the stairs again, THIS time he held onto the railing. It was a slow process going up; his caution slowed his speed even when he became confident about walking up the stairs. It is important to learn from your mistakes after all.
They reached the third floor and entered the room on the left. It was a room that looked like a bed hoarder’s paradise. There weren’t any bunk beds, but the beds were insanely close to each other. It didn’t help that all the beds were bigger than standard military or single beds from earth, no, all the beds were at least queen sized to accommodate the possibility of its host being a Beast-Man. There were wooden trunks at the end of each bed with a lock on them; the trunks looked like they were made of a heavy wood that Crimson didn’t recognize. Each trunk was paired with a bed and made the isle in the center of the room very cramped. There looked to be between 45 and 50 beds. Most of them didn’t looked slept in or used.
Crimson was told by the guard to pick any bed that wasn’t being used so he grabbed one close to the door. It would make getting in and out of the room without making much noise easier. He was handed a key and a padlock which he attached to the trunk by ‘his’ bed.
“You have a week starting now before you have to pick your Class. Make the most of it and start training now. You may be able to get a decent Variant Class if you do.”
“Thanks for the advice. Where’s the training field?”
“Just go out of the barracks and head east. You’ll reach it in no time.”
Crimson thanked him again and they headed back downstairs. The guard quickly outpaced him as he kept up his careful speed. Repeating the mistake twice would make him a laughing stock and that is something he wanted to avoid at ALL costs.
He headed out of the barracks and walked “east” where he eventually found the training field. It was just a flat piece of land about as large as two football fields placed side-by-side and three laid end-to-end making it about 107 yards wide and 360 long.
The ground was nothing more than dirt that was completely flat from hundreds of thousands of feet walking, stomping, and training on it. There were dummies set up at the north end for archery and more dummies at the west end for other weapons. There were statues of men standing evenly spaced at the south end; each was armed with a different weapon and armored in a different way. The east end was completely devoid of any from of training apparatus in favor of painted lines on the ground. The center was also empty it, however, lacked the painted lines.
Crimson walked onto the training field and ignored all the fancy training equipment; he headed to the east end. Those painted lines, were a running track.
He found the starting point and got into a runner’s stance like he had seen professional track runners use during the Olympics. He tensed up and burst out of the starting point to try running for the first time. At first it wasn’t difficult, but as he build up speed it became more and more difficult to get his feet to move properly to keep moving. It didn’t take longer than a few seconds for him to trip over his own feet in his desperation to stay upright. He scraped up his palms and knees pretty badly but not enough to be debilitating; it didn’t hurt much either.
Crimson rolled over onto his back thinking. Well, it’s a given that I can’t run so easily. I just started walking after all and I can barely handle simple stairs. I’ll start walking again and slowly build the pace.
- - - - - - - -
Crimson had started his ‘training’ at about 10am and it took him until 6pm to finally be able to run properly. It was the most exhausting thing he had ever done. It hadn’t taken him too long to build his speed, but it took him an hour to figure out how to jog properly. After that it was just building more speed and learning to keep his feet.
He also finally figured out what the [Slowed] status on his health meant. It reduced his health regen to 1/4 of what it should have been, meaning it took him four minutes to regain a single point of health. On average he took three points of damage after each fall so it took him 12 minutes to gain it back. Not, that he stopped running to gain back the health but it was an interesting observation.
After Crimson kept pushing himself for long enough he finally got the [Slowed] tag on his stamina too which forced his running to a grinding halt. Fortunately he had ‘mastered’ the art of running just after he got that tag. He was sitting at 24/100 stamina at the end of it all and he decided that he needed a break.
I was finally able to run properly, but I skipped lunch. I don’t even know where to get food! I was told by [World Insight X] that I would get food in addition to my ‘board.’ I’m hungry darn it!
Calm down me, calm down. Let’s think about this rationally: I didn’t see any form of cafeteria at the barracks and DG office which means both of those places are a bust. I could go ask where it is there or I could go ask somebody at the castle proper.
If I go ask at the DG offices and they tell me it’s in the castle then I’ll have just wasted a lot of energy. The reverse is also true if I go to the castle and they tell me it’s at the DG offices…between the two I think it’s less likely for food to be at the barracks or offices, so I’ll go to the castle.
Crimson acted on his thought process and walked toward the castle. There wasn’t any entrance on the north side where the training field was so he circled around to the east side. There were two great doors easily 20 feet tall, banded with iron and etched with more symbols that served as the front entrance for the castle. There were two statues on either side of the door carrying weapons.
He walked straight into the castle without any problems and looked around the front entrance was also massive extending high into the air with a pair of grand staircases as the center piece of the room. There were hallways leading away on both sides of the room and one in-between the staircases. He couldn’t see anything of the second floor from where he was standing.
He though through his options again: I could go upstairs, but those are probably the living quarters and I have no idea where these side hallways go. No clue at all! That just leaves the hallway right in front of me. Not only is it pretty much my only option, but it also makes the most sense. I can probably find a throne room or banquet hall that way. Hopefully, I’ll find somebody to ask though, it is strange that I haven’t seen anyone yet. That might not be a good sign.
Crimson walked across the giant entrance hall and between the staircases to enter the hallway he had decided to go through.
- - - - - -
It took him twenty minutes of walking, but he finally reached an important looking door. There had been several turns along they way, but he always tried to head to the center of the castle it didn’t stop some of the turns from being guesses, but it was the best he could do. There wasn’t ANYBODY in the halls. No maids, no guards, no servants, no royalty, NOTHING. It was really concerning for Crimson. Seriously! Did I just walk into a fantasy version of I am Legend??? I am fairly certain that Vampires exist in this world so I can’t rule it out!
He pushed open the door to see what was inside. It wasn’t a cafeteria. It wasn’t a dining hall or throne room. No, what this room contained was far more important than food! It was a library.