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Hero Academy (standard:fantasy, 584 words)
Author: jopoguerreroAdded: Jul 04 2008Views/Reads: 1746/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Quest for heroism

Hero Academy 

By Jopo Guerrero 

As Julian stood before the murky entrance of the Hero Academy, bliss,
thrill and fear brusquely raced toward his heart. After being stunned 
for seemingly forever, he shook his head, composed his mind and finally 
took the final step for the realization of his dream. 

More than a year ago, stories about the adventures of Amelio, the keeper
of the mortal gates, flooded the tribe where Julian belongs. 

True or not, the stories multiplied with the pulsating feats of Amelio –
the war of the Gluttons, the conquest of the City of Sloth, the 
reconstruction of the dams of Envy and Pride, the suppression of the 
Lust of Anger, the attack of Gredo and the return of Ramporma, the god 
of ineptitude. 

Each story was coupled with a tale about the Hero Academy. Most of the
tribesmen believed that the said school of heroism honed Amelio's 
heroic talents, particularly his growling courage, superior fighting 
skills and exemplary intelligence. 

The barrage of stories pushed Julian to make a firm resolution – to go
to the Hero Academy and become a hero like the great Amelio. 

For one year, he made serious preparations for the Hero Academy. 

His preparations include: transforming his teenage-body into a lean,
mean fighting machine; mastering all available assault weapons; knowing 
the strengths and weaknesses of the worst villains; and, of course, 
studying the fastest route to the Hero Academy. 

After a year, he finally set out for the said school. He filled his
rucksack with some provisions - clothes, blanket, balms, bread and 
water - then took the long hike to the Hero Academy. 

Along the way, Julian saw many people suffering from the beatings of
different villainous spirits. He saw old people badly shivering because 
of the deathly air of the Sylphs. Children dehydrated by the dryness 
curse of the Undines. Families with nothing to eat since the Gnomes 
turned their lands barren. Women filled with sores and burns courtesy 
of the fiery blights from the envious Salamanders. 

The sobs, cries and wails that swathed his way increased Julian's desire
to reach the academy and become a certified hero. Thus, without looking 
back, he doubled, even tripled, his speed toward his destination. 

And now, he has reached the noble door of the Hero Academy. Its frames
held episodes of different battles, ambushes and victories. Julian 
lovingly ran his fingers through the door carvings, and gladly spread 
his arms on its width. 

With respect, he knocked on the door. Then, he waited. There was no
response. He again knocked. No response. He knocked harder. Still, only 
the soughing wind met his effort. 

Puzzled, he pushed the door. It creaked and groaned as it gave way – and
Julian received the biggest surprise in his life. 

Behind the door was nothing! Or, even less than nothing! No life, no
land, no dimension – just a mere blank space hanging at the end of the 
world. And before Julian could utter a word, the door again closed 
before his face. 

Though baffled, he tried to open the door again, and again, and again,
but to no avail. 

Tired, depressed and defeated, Julian let himself fall at the doorstep
of the Hero Academy. 

At the bottom of the door, he saw a note carved above a golden line. 

The message: “There is no school for heroism. Heroism is a chance, not a
choice.”  - Amelio, the keeper of the mortal gates 

Julian closed his eyes, and searched for the hero in his heart. 


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