"I think i might be finally starting to lose my bloody mind..."
Evlin just stood there staring the the deep jungle while considering what her next course of action should be. She was prepared to make a mad dash towards the exit while doing her best to avoid the acting-thief and guarding her stick. She was not at all prepared to have adventure inside a sea of trees inside of a building of all things.
"Ok, let's take a moment to think about this... I have absolutely no idea where the exit is. If i start running around here like a headless chicken I'm just going to waste my healing boost and turn myself into easy prey for the acting-thief. So... I should try to walk slowly and carefully while conserving my strength for now..."
This was very frustrating for Evlin. She had been building up and accumulating a lot of frustration during the last couple of days and was planning to release all of her stress on this exam. But now she had just received the news that she would need to be even more patient than before or everything would be going to waste.
"Now which direction should i go...? Eenie meenie miney mo... Well... That one path looks slightly more inviting than the rest... Let's give it a try..."
She started to walk around a random path among the ones she could see in the hope she would find some clues on where the exit would be.
"I should have payed more attentions to those survival movies... Maybe i should try to find a basketball and try o turn it into my new best friend... "All you have to do is reach the other side of the room..." she said... That woman needs some glasses if she thinks this is a room..."
She kept walking and mumbling to herself without any sign of anything close to the exit. She was about to get desperate and couldn't stop worrying about how long her boost would last considering how much she had already walked. She was feeling like a cellphone that was low on battery that could turn itself off at any moment with no means of recharging.
"This is such a pain... I'm never going to find my way out... All i have is this stupid stick... Even the guy that was supposed to steal it didn't show up... Should i risk it and start running around until i ran out of boost...?"
While holding her precious stick and considering her options Evlin heard a sound coming from deep in the bushes coming closer and closer to her. If she focused her eyes she could see some kind of shadow moving between the leafs and trees.
"Oh cool... I was starting to think my life wasn't a pain in the neck for a minute, thanks for reminding me how wrong i was..."
The shadow kept approaching among the bushes closer and closer to Evlin's location. She wasn't worried thought. She could still feel the effect of the healing boost over her body even if it wasn't as strong as before. No matter who it was she would be stronger and faster. If she managed to defeat the thief she could interrogate him for the exit.
"Alright then lets do this. I told the last examiner that i had no intention of hurting anyone but i feel like wanting to... Try... New... Life choices... Right now..."
Evlin was expecting her thief to be just an old man pretending to be a bandit, but the one that appeared wasn't even close to what she imagined. It wasn't a man, or even a human for that matter. It was a huge round-shaped animal rodent of the size of a car and a massive tooth on end of it's mouth. Evlin thought the shadow from before was a small man due to not being very tall, but in fact it was actually a creature walking on four legs.
"A giant beaver!!?? You are my thief???"
The massive beaver spotted the stick on Evlin's hand and leaped to bite it. Thanks to Evlin's boosted speed she was able to dodge him but it was still a big surprise and she almost lost her entire hand.
"What is wrong with this world?? Are these people trying to kill me??"
The beaver turned around from his failed attempt and tried to go for the stick one more time. Once again Evlin dodged but she wondered how long she could keep the game of cat and mouse.
"... Let me guess... This thing is your diet or something... "
The beaver started to scream in frustration. Evlin was reminded of something the father of one of her friends told her when she was young about never trying to take the food from a dog, even the most docile ones would try to guard their food with extreme prejudice.
"Seriously... If i make it out of here alive the first thing I'm going to do is blown up this stupid building... Huh...! Wait a second..."
Evlin noticed that from the direction the beaver had come from a lot of the trees had been bent out or gotten completely broken, probably due to the massive weight of the beast, creating a clear path and at the end of it the other side of the room.
"This thing must have come from the opposite direction from the entrance... If i follow the path it took to get here... "
The rodent tried to jump on top of Evlin in order to grab her but once again she could easely dodge it. But the impact of it's landing was strong enough to send her flying and making her slam against a tree.
The pain wasn't as bad as falling from castle's window but still managed to hurt pretty bad, even with her boosted body. She tried to recover herself and started to run the direction the beaver came out from with the animal itself following her.
"Ok back to the original plan... Run towards the exit while avoiding the acting-thief... Everything is going exactly as i imagined..."
As she kept running and running she could start to feel her boosted strength beginning to vanish. The huge animal was starting to get faster and was a few steps away from reaching her. The creature tried to go fro the bite one more time but Evlin managed to slide under a tree root at the last second. The beaver ended up crashing it's face against the ground but quickly recovered himself and started chasing again. The girl grabbed a vine that was near her and used it to start climbing up a tree. She started to jump from branch to branch while avoiding the rodent jumping around trying to bite her legs from the ground. As she was about to land on the next branch the animal destroyed the piece of wood that she was going to fall on with it's massive teeth and forced her to return to the ground.
"Ouch!! My legs! Wait... My legs!! Oh no..."
As she tried to land without falling she realized that her boost was already completely gone. Right now she was no different from any regular girl besides the fact that she was feeling massive pain on her back from the early impact. Panic started to take over her mind.
"Just go, just go, just go!!"
She started to run with all her might but without the boost her body was feeling much heavier now. She just realized she had spent the last two weeks resting on top of a bed she she was completely out of shape for this kind of exercise. She started to sweat and it was becoming harder and harder to breath. She wanted to lie on the floor and not try to move again for the next month but any hesitation could cost her hand.
She finally managed to reach the end of the path and even could find the exit door on the wall in front of her, but the beaver was about to catch her and she had no means of stopping him. The beaver was preparing itself for another jump attack which gave Evlin a extremely risky idea, but by that point she had nothing to lose.
She tried to position herself between the beaver and the exit door. The Beaver started to drop from it's jump like a cannonball. If Evlin was hit by that it was game over, she would either be squashed by the weight of the beast or be beheaded by it's mouth. She used all of her strength to jump on the opposite direction. Despite not having her boosted agility she still just barely managed to dodge the attack, and once again thanks to the shock-wave of the impact, was sent flying, flying towards the exit door.
The only problem was, the door was closed, so Evlin ended up smashing against it and once again, ended up in a lot of pain.
"Ooouchhh!!! Starting to feel like i should tie myself to the ground... Nothing good ever happens to me when I'm in the air..."
The beaver went charging towards Evlin with a desperate look on his face giving one final attempt to eat her precious stick.
"I'm so sick of this guy... "
As the beaver approached Evlin hold her hand that was grabbing the stick to catch the beaver's attention. When the animal gave it's oh so famous pounce attack to grab it Evlin threw the stick up in the air. The mid-air rodent followed the direction the stick was going and completely failed to realize that it was about to collide against the door. A crashing sound was heard and the Beaver fell on the ground unconscious after completely destroying the exit door with it's impact. Evlin grabbed the stick with her hand and approached the beaver.
"Twenty thousand trees in this bloody jungle and you had to come after the one piece of wood i was holding onto... That's what you get for being picky with your food."
She squeezed herself into the hole in the door and proceeded to the next room. There she met eye with one of the assistants and gave him the stick safe and sound.
"You guys really don't want people to try and become a mage do you...?"
The man was left with his mouth wide open after realizing that such a small girl had managed to best that huge beast and still succeed in completing her mission.
"Huh... Most people don't try to become mages before reaching the age of twenty... How old are you young miss...?"
Evlin was actually fourteen but she was feeling very proud of herself right now and wanted to show off a little.
"I don't think i ever saw anyone this young passing the exam before..."
"Huh... Aren't there kids who become mages by learning with wands?"
"Oh no, they use the wands to practice but they don't try to take the test and become actual mages until they are much older. No parent would let their kids take such a risk..."
"Well... My mother trusts me a lot... Also... I might be turning thirteen very soon..."
"I see, congratulations on passing the second test. I will call some healer right away."
"Thank you... Please do... "
The man couldn't stop looking at Evlin as if she was some kind of other world entity, which she was. She was feeling very relaxed right now after having come so far. All that was left was the promise exam, to see if the candidates had the potential to be a good mage.
"Two down... One to go..."
While nobody was looking she grabbed the stick the man had put on top of a table nearby and threw it outside close to the still unconscious beaver.
"This thing better have an amazing taste to make you work so hard for it..."