14 Truth or dare
"I can't believe you convinced me to do this..."
"You said that i could try the exam if i became fully healed. Well, i am fully healed now!"
"You say that but... "
Dalla and Evlin were entering the building where one would go to take the exam in order to receive a piece of the channeling tree from the royal family. Along the way many citizens were constantly giving the two confused looks due to the way they arranged themselves while walking. They finally reached the place and went to the receptionist to state their purpose.
"Excuse me... I would like to try taking the test to show my qualifications to be a mage!"
Said Evlin to the lady in the reception. The lady gave the two a look similar to that of the people on the street and started to show a little bit of concern.
"Huh... Are you ok... ?"
Asked the woman. She was probably worried by the fact that Dalla was carrying Evlin behind her back with both arms extended and waving in the air as if Evlin was a backpack.
"I'm completely fine!"
"Is... There a reason you are not walking by yourself...?"
"I want to save my strength for the self-defense exam!"
"... I see... "
That wasn't a lie. Evlin realized that the reason some of her boosted strength started to fade last night was due to her burning some of that energy by moving. In order to save up as much power as possible Evlin had spent the whole day staying as still as possible to be ready for the second exam. The problem was that it made her look like a baby constantly going "Carry me! Carry me!" towards Dalla. Naturally she had a hard time convincing her that she had indeed fully healed and was fine to take the exam, but Dalla finally gave up after noticing that her wounds were gone. Dalla at first didn't know how Evlin managed to heal so fast in one night but she thought that people from higher classes had probably stronger bodies, after all, Evlin did say she survived a fall from a window.
"You sure you are ok to take the exam little miss... ? Our guild doesn't take responsibility for any possible injury."
Oh so this was a guild? I always wondered what one of those looked like, is what Evlin was thinking.
"I'm positive! Today i feel like i could take on anyone!!"
"If you say so... May the gods have mercy on you... "
The concerned lady signed a few documents and proceeded to ask Evlin to sign with her name. Sge froze for a second. Would the prince find out about her if she put her real name? But then she realized that the prince never actually bothered to ask her name in the first place. "That little brat!! He kept talking nonsense about love, marriage, and passionate nights but never even asked what my bloody name was..." is what she was thinking.
Evlin was carried by Dalla towards the first exam room, at least she started to be carried until the receptionist warned Dalla that Evlin would need to go by herself.
"Ah! Sorry! It's ok Dalla, i can walk from here on!"
"Evlin is not to late to go back you know..."
"It will be fine! I will just go in there grabe my wand and then leave! Easy peasy!"
"Peasy... ? But Evlin-"
"See you later! Love ya!"
"Ah... Be careful!"
The first room was just a squared table and a couple of chairs with two people inside of it. One to make the questions to check on the morality of the subject and the other to take notes of the process. On top of the table was a small object. It looked like some kind chalice filled with water made out of wood. Evlin came closer to the table and sited on the chair opposite to the examiner.
"Young miss do you know what this is?"
Evlin looked at the wood chalice and tried to think about her answer.
"Is that... A piece of the channeling tree sculpted as a chalice... Filled with melted absorbing crystals...?"
"Correct! You will hold this cup and answer all of our questions. The crystal in this cup is the crystal of truth, it will change it's color depending on the nature of your answer. If you lie, the water will change to the color red. If you don't it will change to the color blue. Simple right?"
"Well then, let's begin, please hold the cup."
Evlin did as she was told and started to grab the wooden chalice. In the process she realized she could see her reflection for the first time since she got there and almost had a heart attack for she could barely recognize herself.
"Oh my God!!"
"Young miss? What's wrong?"
As she said that, the chalice absorbed her answer and started to turn the water red. The examiner gave her a suspicious look.
"I mean... Sorry, it has been a long time since i last saw my own face... So i got a little startled..."
The examiner noticed the water changing to blue and dropped a little of his suspicious look.
"... Do try your best not to lie during this exam young miss."
"Yes sir... Sorry... "
Evlin had calmed down a bit. She had just realized how this test was going to work. As long as she didn't tell any lie she should be ok.
"First question. Why do you want to be a mage?"
"I am currently making use of the kindness of the nice lady out there and thought i could find a way to repay her by learning how to use magic. Plus, i thought it could help me earn some money to go traveling to different places."
"Why do you want to travel?"
"I want to find out if there is a way to go back to my home. I kinda came here by accident and don't know how to get back. I was hoping the answer could be out there somewhere..."
"I see. Where are you from?"
"I come from the east, but unfortunately i have no idea how i got here."
"The east huh? Not many people from the east around here."
"Which is why it's so hard for me to find my way back, i don't think anyone here knows how to help me return so i need to travel to see if i can find someone who does."
Evlin was starting to get nervous. She was trying her hardest to be as vague as possible with her answers while also trying to be careful not to tell a lie. If they found out she was from another world she would be in a huge problem but luckily she has managed to keep the water blue up until now.
"Very well. Next, have you ever or do you plan to ever steal or harm someone?"
"There were times where i would take my sister's stuff without her permission. I'm sure i really hurted her feelings... Does that count?"
"I... Had to steal the staff from a mage who was had kidnapped me and used it against him to escape from harm... I didn't want to hurt anyone but some scary men were trying to grab me and i reacted in a panic to get away from them. I'm pretty sure i hurt some of them in the process... But i only did it because they were trying to hurt me first."
The water remained blue. The examiner showed a stiff expression. He probably started to think he was forcing a young girl to re-live a memory where she had been stolen by bandits or something.
"As for if i plan to ever harm someone in the future, i would rather not, but if i found myself endangered and feel i have no choice to fight back i will not hesitate to do it. But overall, i would rather live a calm life not causing trouble to anyone."
The examiner kept looking at the water that remained blue.
"In regards to anything i would want to steal nothing comes to mind. I just want to get a piece of the tree and go on my merry way."
"Very well... Final question, do you hold any sort of ill feeling towards the royal family or any of the noble houses?"
"I... I think the prince is a little too spoiled and should probably get a lecture from his parents... I feel like the king and queen give the boy way too much freedom and should be a little harsher on him... And i think the knights of the royal family are a little scary... "
Evlin felt like she was a dead person walking. She just insulted the royal family in front of the examiner. If word got out they would to the king he would probably hang her, or worse, have her marry his son. Should she use her boosted legs to run away from that place right now? With her speed she could escape, but what about Dalla? Should she carry her in her arms in a princess style and just get as far away as possible?
"Yeah i get that... "
To her shock, the man taking notes behind the examiner was the one to break the silence.
"I've been asked to serve the prince once and he can indeed act very spoiled from time to time..."
Next the examiner himself was the one to talk.
"Agreed... I'm really worried about the future of our country if that is to be our next king..."
Seems like Evlin wasn't the only one that didn't like the prince. She tried to keep the ball rolling.
"It must have been hard on you two... "
"You have no idea... You look like you are about his age but sound way more mature than he could ever be... I wish you could be next princess..."
Evlin realized that the examiner was touching the cup by accident and noticed that the water was blue. She was flattered that this man respected her so much but the idea of becoming a princess had become a traumatic memory for her right now.
"Thank you... But i have no intention of becoming a princess... I just want to teach."
"... I thought you wanted to become a mage..."
"I need to be a mage so i can become a teacher."
"Ah so you want to tech magic! Such a nice girl, with such a bold dream!"
"I think we are done here! You can go to the... Next exam... "
The examiner stuttered when he spilled the words "next exam". Looking at Evlin he probably thought she would be eaten alive. But she still had her boosted strength so she wasn't worried.
"Thank you for everything, wish me luck!"
Evlin left the room with an angelic smile and proceeded to the next exam. The examiner and his assistant stayed in the room and started to mumble with each other.
"I she going to be ok... ?"
"... Maye we should call for some extra mage healers, just in case... "
"This way young lady."
Evlin was being guided by a nice lady to another room. The moment she was most worried about had finally arrived. She managed to pass the morality exam and now just needed to pass the self-defense exam. She was nervous in the same way she would be whenever she had to do an important exam at school. It was a mixed feeling of wanting to get this over with before she could mess it up and kinda not wanting to do it in case she would mess it up. She started to breath slowly and cheer herself up.
"I can do this... I can do this... I can do this... Just like the geography test from 3rd grade. You prepared yourself the best you could... Now you just need to do it!!"
"Young miss... ?"
"But what if i'm not preapared enough... What if i should have waited... ? What if there was more i could do...? I should have looked for more pieces before coming... I should have taken some combat classes... No wait i have no money to pay for classes... I should have got a job to get money to pay for classes... No wait, getting money is why i am here... Argh!! I'm panicking."
"Young miss...? Would you like to withdraw?"
"Ah!? No!! It's fine! I will be fine!!"
"Very well... Here hold this."
The woman gave Evlin a small stick.
"This is... ?"
"Pretend that this is your wand. Behind this door one of our members will try to steal it from you. All you have to do is reach the other side of the room and deliver this stick to one of my colleagues. Do this and you can proceed to the final exam!"
"... Oh! That's it?"
Evlin had calmed down quite a lot. With her boosted speed, all she had to do was run past a fake thief as fast as she could and reach the other side of a room while keeping the stick safe. She wouldn't have to fight anyone, nobody could catch her right now.
"Oh thank heavens! I feel much better now!"
"Glad to hear! Good luck!"
Evlin opened the door to the next room and was hit with a surprise. The room was no room at all, it was some kind of jungle inside of the building. No matter where she looked there was nothing but tress and tress and more trees. Worse even, no sign of the other exit anywhere.
"Oh... Joy... "