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 copy left
You can read our best books
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

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...

sarahsweet898123: I loved the story ... its was fascinating. ... cant put it down.... the way it was written....was so beautiful. .. the details. .. especially the characters. ..I loved them so much ... Garrick and mairi... every time there was some kind of attraction. ... just cant help it .... no words to express

Lorena Boothe: A few paragraphs in and I was immersed into a new world.I wasn't expecting that at all.I thought it might take a few more chapters for sure. Did I keep reading?You bet I did.I lost track of time until I had devoured this tale.Fun characters, awesome plot and lovely language. All I ever want in a ...

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

Lauren Suzmeyan-Raine: I'm so glad you found a place to post your stories. I was horrified when I saw yours had been taken down, they are definitely the best 'reading' stories I've ever read. And I've made it my business to read every one I can. Well done.Lauren

jessiehs: This book had me hooked from the very beginning. To be honest, I wasn't sure I would like it based on the description, but I was very wrong. The way he overcame all of his childhood challenges and managed to help others was great. There were so many times the story had me on the edge of my seat. ...

Diyfamilygarden: This is one of the best books I've ever read! The characters, the unique love and everything else in this book is so well written that it feels like you're there! Like you can see it with your own eyes! J.K.Rowling can watch out, this fantasy book is just as good as the Harry Potter books, maybe ...

Shifa Gohar: this book is my first on inkitt and I love it thoroughly...but i guess this is not the end. The characters were amazing the plot too. At times it scared me more than a horror movie would. Love the plot something i had not read in a while.

More Recommendations

Angela Carter: I couldn't put it down! I read it in one day. Loved it and the ending made me want book number two immediately! Cassand Court is now one of my favorite authors!!!

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

anjalichaudhary777: I am a kind of a person who don't prefer t read books... No matter what I just can't read.... The application I have got its amazing through which I got to read this amazing book.... It keeps you interested and go on.... I felt it amazing. This book helped me to start reading. Talk about th story...

Dina Husseini: It was a good read. I love stories on fantasy and this story kept me hooked on it. If you like the genre fantasy this is a good story to read.

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."