{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
mampfer would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Jack's Rise to Glory

By mampfer All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy

Chapter 1

clank, clank, clank

The hammer struck the thin bar of gleaming-hot refined steel on the anvil that should soon become a simple dirk.

Satisfied with the tapering point, Jack took a break, wiped the sweat off his brows and sat down on an old and well-proven stool which creaked under his weight.

In this time of rest, he thought about the recent, far-reaching changes in this world he was living in. Changes so severe that some even called it a revolution of nature.

He himself happened to be present on that faitful day, right at the starting point of this new age.

It all began with a rather old man called Bernard. A gaze like granite and a belly like a barrel, that´s what he was famous for. His story of life seemed to be that of a simple man:

He had had two wifes, fathered two sons and three daughters and worked in the local mill since the start of his adulthood.

However, after the second divorce, he decided to take a different path. Suddenly, he searched for wisdom and guidelines by reading some of the century-old, forgotten books from the town´s library and meditating, preferably a bit off-center on the town square, sitting on the bare cobblestone.

First belaughed, then ignored, he soon became a common sight to the residents.

Jack almost would have entirely forgotten him if he hadn´t noticed a slightly malicious smile on Bernards face during the last few weeks. Some locals noticed it too and feared that the queer books and rites had made the once-respected member of the community go insane, but Jack never listened to those rumors, for he knew Bernard since his childhood, wich meant for about twenty years, and did not believe that a puny book could rob this righteous man of his sanity.

One day, just after Jack had bought a loaf of spicy walnut-and-parsley bread, his favourite sort of bread, he casually looked at Bernard, who was sitting at his usual position, about four meters apart from the southern end of the town square. Bernard looked just like he looked the day before, and basically the whole year. Eyes closed, calmly breathing. However, he suddenly opened his eyes, and the wicked smile widened until his face seemed to resemble an odd mask. Jack kept staring at him and then quickly walked back to his house, for he had seen or felt something strange. He couldn´t quite explain if it was a sudden gust of wind, an odd smell escaping the backery, a weird shade in the sun-litten clouds or cracks in the cobblestone that seemed to have suddenly appeared, starting from the meditation man, but there was something that had made him feel extremely unsettled.

After heat-treating and grinding the dirk to a sharp edge, he dropped it on his workbench where he would fit it with a wooden grip later and instead continued to forge an iron strap for the lorica that Sir Wobblington, a knight of mediocre importance, had requested.

It was an odd request for almost all knights prefered the rock-solid protection of a classic, full plate armor, but Sir Wobblington had not listened to Jack´s proposals and insisted on having forged a light, flexible kind of armor. Later he explained that he had not seeked a battle-worthy hunk of steel, but rather something that was easy and comfortable to wear thorough the day, for he feared that he might be attacked by the assassins of a political opponent, or even worse, by a member of the Shrazière, a dubious clan of warriors that only lived for the glory of battle. Of course Sir Wobblington completely ignored that said clan had his territory about 40 days of ride in the west and had remained relatively calm in the last century. However, Jack did not reject the request, for he had never forged a lorica and gladly took the chance of improving his craftsmanship.

After hammering the iron strap into an u-shape, he took it off the anvil and quenched the hissing iron in a barrel of oil to increase its hardness. While waiting for the gleaming-hot metal to cool down, he proudly looked at a pile of metal in a small wooden box under his workbench.

To the common man it might have looked like an assortment of leftovers, spare parts and flawed pieces of steel, but he knew that it represented his dream. It was his own, personal, customized armor. Every piece of experience he had gained in the last eight years, he had used to improve it. It had evolved from the most crude iron shell to something a noble would not dare to reject. He had reforged it several times, but the basic material had been the same for eight years, although it had been modified beyond reckognition.

The first improvement was done by adding carbon and heat-treating the peaces to a higher hardness. After that, he reforged the whole set in conformity with a method he had learned from reading a book from the far east which explained that one should take an ingot of soft steel, drive a bar of hard steel into it and fold said fusion as often as desired. The result was a steel of an impressive combination of hardness and flexibility, which he used as base material of his personal armor. On top of that, he forged a layer of well-hardened steel. If a blade clashed onto this combination, it would probably just bounce off the hard outer shell without leaving a mark. Even if it would be shattered by a tremendous amount of force, the second layer of rather soft, flexible steel would keep it from breaking apart. The result would not be quite as beautiful, but still perfectly serviceable.

Now there were some disadvantages with this kind of armor, namely the added weight and increased cost of the materials, but Jack was the only blacksmith and armorsmith within a range of at least four days of travel and business went well. The wealthier people around usually carried a set of bracers with them, for the local robbers prefered to use falchions, and those clumsy blades could quickly inflict wicked wounds even through leather armor, but be stopped with ease with a good bracer and even a small amount of training. Lost in his thoughts, Jack suddenly jumped up and cursed.

He had left the iron lorica strap for too long in the oil barrel and now it was way too soft to serve as a piece of armor. Angrily throwing it next to the dirk, he decided that he had done his work for today and stormed off to prepare for the night.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Caryn Moy: Love this series! Very well written, great plot and characters! I love time travel mysteries and this was different from anything I've read in the past! Bring on the sequel!!! I need to see the Compact get squashed!

colt: i love your books! all of them! i am so happy for you! when i first read your book i thought "this seems really interesting" and i just got hooked had to have more, i wondered if you had a sequel to the first one, and you did, i was so excited that i had to start reading it. your series left me t...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Sara Grover: Being that this is your first story and I assume first draft, a lot of little mistakes are common, we all have made them; little things like your instead of you're, missed capitalization, missing punctuation, etc. As for the plot, I have a lot of questions and I did leave comments on certain sect...

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

Jessica Esa: With a tantalising end to the first chapter, the authour has given us a treat and a welcome addition to the fantasy adventure genre. To limit it to just such would be an injustice however, as this novel clearly draws on elements of historical fiction, fairy tale and horror. Simply, there's someth...

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

Janna Niemi: This book turned out to be a real page turner and I loved it. It could have gone on a bit longer but the ending was great although it wasn't completely a happy ending. The characters were great and the whole aspect of a whole different world appealed to me very much

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

More Recommendations

Alkira Joan: I omg I am honestly speechless I couldn't stop cry it's so sad I wish it had a better ending and they would all be happy and the end is their going to be a second book?thanks for the amaZing story xoxox

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Alani Foreigner: I absolutely loved how you created this story. It isn't like the other cliché stories I've ever read. I had just started reading it yesterday and just had to finish it. The main characters are grotesquely awesome and I fell in love with them. If you're into fantasy and stuff I can guarantee that ...

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

Jade Niday: This book has a really great plot. The author really makes you feel connected to the main character. There are twist around every corner you never see coming.. Great read for sure and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.