God’s Tower System
The pair traveled along an overgrown dirt pathway that barely allowed them to pass under the thick branches of trees, creating a tight canopy overhead. The mule brayed as it swung its head to and fro, following the tunnellike road.
The only vision was thanks to a magelight conjured by Jacksons grandmother that floated around her head, projecting a soft, bright light in a small radius around the wagon and mule.
Jackson sat next to his grandmother for a brief moment before standing up and grabbing one of the branches, ripping it from one of the dead trees, jumping into the back of the wagon, and starting to play swords with the branch, swinging it wildly against imaginary monsters.
”You know you
e doing that all wrong? ” The Elderly woman asked as she smirked at him, covering her face with her palm and laughing at her grandson.
”No, Im not! Im killing every monster that comes at us from behind! ” Jackson shouted defiantly, sticking his tongue out to his grandmother before turning around and flailing the branch through the air erratically.
”Oh hohoho! My brave little hero! ” She laughed once more before turning around and staring into the dark path, ”Your father should have been the one to show you how to use a sword, oh he was such a skilled fighter, I wonder when he is going to come back… ”
”Tell me a story about my dad, Grandma! ” Jackson said, throwing himself against the back of the wagon and flinging his arms over the edge into the seat as he looked up at his grandmother.
”Oh, but theres so many! However will I choose? ” She chuckled with a giant grin as she stared forward, patting the top of Jacksons head and ruffling his hair.
”When we get back to the house, Ill see if I can find one of his old training manuals for you to practice with. We
e close to Duskgate, so settle down. ” She said with a smile, snapping the reins and prompting the mule to increase its pace.
Jackson groaned and jumped over the edge, sitting next to his grandmother and tossing the stick into the underbrush. Shortly after, the wagon emerged from the suffocating forest atop a hill leading down into a large valley where Duskgate nestled amongst the mountains.
Duskgate was a sprawling city that had repurposed the remnants of skyscrapers from hundreds of years ago into security towers and blockaded the roads and lower floors with bricks to section off a massive amount of the ancient city.
Citizens naturally gathered to Duskgate and settled around the tower. Duskgate had become the new city that never slept, built upon the skeleton of the once great metropolis. The citys reconstruction was never entirely completed, as millions called the city home.
The pair traveled between sprawling fields sowed with wheat, vegetables, and cotton. Farmers were out tending to their work, taking brief breaks to say hi to the well-known travelers.
”Mornin Shayla! How are things out in The Ancient Bracherde Forest? ” One of the elderly farmers asked with a smile, removing his straw hat and wiping his brow with the back of his arm and a smile.
”Good morning, Ellis! Nice and quiet, just as I like it! ” Shayla replied with a smile and a wave as they trotted along the road.
”Thank you for your service! ” Ellis loudly said as he bowed to the passing mule-led cart.
”What does he mean, Grandma? ” Jackson asked as he turned and watched the elderly farmer as he placed his hat on his head and returned to his work.
”I am the Warden of the South, Jackson. We protect Duskgate against attacks from monsters and raiders that may come from the south. ” The elderly woman said sternly with cold eyes as she overlooked the bustling city below.
”Are you just like the heroes from the Great Testament? ” Jackson asked, his eyes sparkling as he admired his grandmother.
The sparkle in her eyes came rushing back as she smiled softly at her grandson and patted him on the top of the head, ”Thats right, sweetie. Like your father, I, too, have ventured into Gods Tower and been blessed by The Progenitor. ”
”I can wait to go into Gods Tower and get my own powers! ” Jackson said, raising his fist into the air, ”Im going to become the strongest Climber and find my dad! ”
”Oh, my dear, sweet summer child! Don be in such a rush to grow up, Jax; you should enjoy being a child and play without a care in the world! Youll be nineteen soon enough and be able to take the assessment to become a Climber. ” Shayla said with a smile, ruffling his hair.
They approached the gate, and his grandma reached into her jacked and produced a small token, signifying her position as a Warden, and the gates opened. Upon entering the city, Jackson marveled at the sheer number of people running around.
Stalls littered both sides of the streets, and their owners shouted over one another, attempting to grab the attention of potential shoppers. The young boy marveled as he looked around at each of the stalls brimming with goods produced by them or their benefactors.
Shayla ignored all the commotion and slowly guided the mule down the roads as the cart traversed to their destination deep within the city. A worn-down shack was nestled in the back of an alleyway of other shops.
She turned toward Jackson, pointed her finger at his face, and spoke sternly, ”Jackson, you had best not move an inch from atop this cart. So help me, not even The Progenitor himself could save you from being punished! ”
”Okay, Grandma! I promise! ” Jackson replied with a smile, staring up at her innocently. She smiled and turned around, opening the ramshackle door and entering the tiny hut.
Jackson sat and began twiddling his thumbs as he looked curiously at everything and everyone passing by. He started kicking his feet back and forth, bored, and kept looking at the door, hoping it would open, but it never did.
He sighed dejectedly, and suddenly, the door swung open as two hooded figures in dark clothing rushed out of the small hut, darting off down the street and disappearing amongst the mass of people.
The small hut blew apart not long after, exploding into a pillar of fire that flew into the sky, destroying everything within it and flipping the cart on top of Jackson, knocking him out immediately.
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