Tales from the Woodlands

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Prince James

In the kingdom of Belervia, there lived a great king by the name of Hansel and his queen by the name of Terra. The center of their life was their son, Prince James. Prince James was charismatic and had a big heart. He cared deeply for his parents and wanted to always make them proud. He did his best at the school for young boys and was loved by the teachers. There came a point in Princes James life where he wasn’t a boy anymore, but becoming a man.

Prince James had to attend a school for soldiers, where he would learn to fight. The school was located 15 miles away from the city of Naverston. He was 16 when he was sent to this school, and he was nervous but ready for whatever challenge. When he finally arrived to the military school, he was escorted to the sleeping quarters. He put his clothes in drawers and cabinets and was then instructed to go to the dining room.

While he was getting his food, he met a guy named Rodson. He was from the city of Hagen and was 16 as well. “Aren’t you the son of King Hansel?” – asked Rodson. “Yes I am Prince James” – replied James. “It is an honor to meet you Prince James. I didn’t know even the prince had to attend military school.” – said Rodson. “Yes, there are no exceptions when it comes to that.” – said James. They ate and talked for a while until their instructor told them it was time to get rest. Coincidentally, James and Rodson were roommates.

The morning came, and it was time for the students’ first lesson. “Today is the day where we test your physical abilities. We will start with push-ups, and then move on to sit-ups, followed by pull ups, and the last test would be a one mile run.” – said the instructor. Prince James walked to the exercise area where he got on the ground to start his push-ups. “On your mark, get set, go!” – said the instructor. Prince James had to do as many push-ups as he could. He started getting weak around forty but he was able to do fifty-one, which was an excellent score for his age. The next exercise was the sit-ups. He got on his back and when the instructor said “go”, he started. He was able to do fifty-three in sixty seconds, also an amazing score.

Next came the pull ups. For James, this was the hardest one. He was able to do thirteen and was congratulated by his peers. “Alright young men. It is time to move on to the field.” – said the instructor. “My fastest mile time is eight minutes and thirty-four seconds what’s yours.” – asked Rodson. “Mine is seven minutes and forty-five seconds, but I am hoping I do better.” – said James. The students lined up at the field and stretched for the mile run. “In order to pass this test, you need to at least complete the mile in eight minutes. Get ready future soldiers. Go!” – yelled the instructor.

James kept a steady pace the first two laps. When the third lap came he started running a little faster. When the final lap came, he sprinted the whole way. The instructor told Rodson that he had finished in seven minutes and fifty seconds, and as for James, he finished in six minutes and eighteen seconds. “That’s a pretty good time James.” – said Rodson. “Not so bad yourself Rodson.” – said James. The students headed to the dining room and after they finished eating, they were off to bed.

The light coming through the window woke up James and Rodson along with the yelling of the instructor. “Good morning future soldiers! It is time for your second lesson! Today you will learn to fight like men. The first fight will be no weapons, and the second you will have a sword.” – explained the instructor. James partnered up with Rodson as they prepared for their duel. “The objective is to pin your partner on the ground for five seconds. That will determine who wins.” – said the instructor.

James and Rodson faced each other and then began to fight. Rodson threw the first punch across James’ left cheek. He swung at him again across his right cheek, leaving James with a cut on his lip. James swung at Rodson, but he was too fast and dodged all his hits. He figured that if he was going to land a hit on Rodson, he would have to tire him out first. James stopped throwing punches and let Rodson swing at him. This time, James evaded his fist. Rodson threw another one and James dodged it. Rodson was throwing left to right hooks and didn’t land any of them. Eventually he started slowing down because he was getting tired. This allowed James to punch him three times in the face, one time in the gut, and then one last time on his nose. The final blow knocked Rodson down on the ground. James got on top of Rodson and held him down against the floor. After five seconds, the instructor announced James as the winner.

The day soon came to an end, and their last test would be the following day. “Okay boys, wake up! This is your final day here. What I will have you do will test your map reading skills. You will have to travel to the kingdom of Yarandale and get to Ravensgrog, where one of the instructors is already stationed at. You will have to get there before the sunset in order to pass the test. Once you arrive, the instructor will guide you back to our school. Prince James mounted his horse and rode off into the distance.

He followed the trails on the map until he finally got to the bridge that crossed the Great River. The Great River divided Yarandale from Belervia. He was now in Yarandale territory. He passed by the city of Erindale where he stopped to look at the map again. He figured it would be best to cut through Woodlands to get to Ravensgrog faster. He entered the forest that was filled with lots of puzzling trails. He trusted his instincts and chose the trails that seemed to lead northeast. He saw lots of animals in Woodlands including a deer. This deer however, was lying on the floor with an arrow through his chest.

James got off the horse to inspect the injured deer. He felt very sorry for the deer and wondered who shot it. “You’ve never seen a dying deer?” – asked a young girl. “No I haven’t actually.” – said James. “I’m Princess Helena, what is your name?” – asked Helena. “Well I am Prince James of Belervia.” – replied James. “Really? A prince?” – said Helena. “What, you’ve never seen a prince before? Helena laughed and James smiled. This sparked the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The End

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