Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chapter 1.5 - A New Beginning

Hi guys! Long time no see! Sorry for the lack of updates in general, I just have been sorting through some things lately. Anyways though, this is a short chapter and the next one will be too! My goal is to update at least every two weeks but realistically hopefully every month. Huge, huge thanks to Livvielove as always for helping me with these chapters! Honestly these wouldn't have been up if it wasn't for her. Yes, I have thanked her in every chapter. Probably won't stop doing it because you have no idea how much this lady helps me with them. (Clears throat.) DO YOU QUARREL, SIR? 
  
I listened to the song Sucker For Pain when writing this chapter. Probably won't be as many song links in the coming chapters unless the chapters are extremely important. Oh and last note, I am currently changing up the blog. :) 





"CHICKEN BOY!
I'm starting to like you even more. Go ahead and take the lid off of that nice vial we gave you and smell the nice treat we've got for Agonin and his posse.
Don't worry, it's not poisonous... just a little... chaotic.
Go ahead into the temple and dump this lovely concoction in the soup kitchen stew. Feel free to stick around, it'll be a grand time.
XO
-Mania”
Jasper reread the note desperately as he stared at the vial before shoving both of them into his pocket as he started walking out of the woods. 



He must have covered enough distance that a road had to be near. It had to be. He had to finish this, he had to do this one thing. His hands shook and his body begged him to stop and get some sleep after roughly two days but he didn’t care. 


He no longer cared because he was determined to see this finished. He had risked too much in the process and cared too much. For a moment during that explosion at the temple he had felt like somebody. Somebody that wasn’t broken and had too many triggers during his childhood. He had just belonged and he would do anything to experience that again. 



His unsteady footsteps quickly became a jog as the edges of his vision started turning  black and he pushed forward. He wasn’t turning back, damn it. 


This crazy scavenger hunt had drained him of everything he had but he kept pushing forward. If he could just do this one damn thing, this one thing that seemed impossible in his mind...he could be someone worth something. He could be more. Twigs snapped under his feet as the shade from the trees kept him protected from the blazing sun’s heat. He could do this. He had to do this. 


He would hope, no he would get to the temple before nightfall and then he would dump the vial into the stew. After that he would move forward and...he wasn't sure. All he knew is if he could do this for himself and for them, then maybe he wasn't the failure everyone thought he was including himself. There were dark circles under his eyes and he nearly ran into a few trees while jogging, but he pushed on until he saw the cobblestone streets of Dragon Valley he use to hate but now yearned for after being in the forest for what felt like eternity in his mind.


  
His vision blurred as he stared at the sun and with shaking hands he held onto the vial and started running so he wouldn’t lose it. 



He couldn’t lose it. He wouldn’t disappoint them. Not anymore. None of them. He needed this. He needed this so much.




Jasper stumbled on an uneven stone in the road and fell on his face as his hands caught the vial to keep it from getting crushed. He just wanted to stay on the ground and sleep but he took a moment too much to see if anything was broken and when it wasn’t, he picked himself up like when he use to as a child after being beaten. The only thing was this time, he controlled the results of his actions. The sun became more ruthless as the day dragged on but finally, after what felt like forever, Jasper arrived at the temple before nightfall. 



He breathed a sigh of relief as he stared at the huge temple in the distance that didn’t have a hint of ivy taking over it’s walls. It was what Dragon Valley was famous for after all, the god of Order’s very temple in the middle of the country.



Jasper took a deep breath before stumbling onto the steps and starting the agonizing climb.

He had never thought climbing stairs would be so damn hard but he continued on before he reached the top, huffing and puffing, and pushed open the door.


   
What looked like four small ponds was in the middle of the room he had just entered surrounded by multiple tables almost as if they were circling it. All the decorations were basically different shades of whites. The whole thing made Jasper want to fall asleep more than he already had wanted to.  

 

With some suspicious glances from those inside the temple and even some ducking away from some helpful followers of Agonin, Jasper made his way to the kitchen. 



He pushed the door as it made a slight squeaking noise and cursed under his breath before he checked to make sure no one saw him slip into the kitchen. 

His eyes narrowed as he searched for the stew he was suppose to dump the vial into while blending in. The kitchen was white like the rest of the temple, surprisingly. Jasper would have rolled his eyes but he was too tired. It took enough energy to just keep moving forward as it was. Jasper ducked behind a counter as a woman lifted a huge pot of what Jasper assumed was the stew and placed it on a stove.  


He watched as she rushed away, trying to prepare other food for the meal. Jasper pushed himself to his feet with shaking hands as he ran to the stew. With shaking fingers, he opened the vial and tried to dump as much of the unknown purple substance into it as he could. A bubble bursted on top of the stew and then went back to if nothing else had been added to the mixture.


Jasper resisted the urge to laugh with relief as he navigated the kitchen without being spotted. He had done it and it had gone exactly to plan. He had finally done it. He had done something. Jasper stumbled out of the door quickly before he ended up getting caught. He placed his hand on his forehead as exhaustion seemed to take over. Shit.


He found a seat and stared at the simple flower in the middle of the table. Jasper took a deep breath as he massaged his temples and watched as bowls of stew were handed out to to the homeless and the locals alike. 


A few followers politely made their way through the line as they went to sit down and enjoy their meal. Jasper was offered a bowl of stew and instead of refusing it, he decided to try it himself. He just wanted to focus on anything but what he had just experienced. He watched as those eating brought up spoons full of stew to their lips, no suspicion written on their face as they ate. 


He grinned and did the same thing, some of his guilt and shame melting away. 


 He frowned as he stared at the stew. It was bland compared to his mom’s stew and he was pretty sure that wasn’t because of the potion he had put in the stew. Jasper’s eyebrows furrowed as he stared at others eating the stew. Mania had planned something, something. He knew he hadn’t done it in vain, he knew it. It had to be something, it had to be.


A person stood up from their seat as they clenched their throat and screamed in an ungodly high-pitched voice. Jasper’s eyes shot open as others joined in, trying in vain to speak normally again as they started pointing at each other before finally pointing at the stew. Jasper wasn’t sure if he should laugh or cry, it was damn hilarious if he was honest. No, it couldn’t be. It must have been wrong. It must have been.“Who did this?” A woman with a high-pitched voice asked loudly as Jasper tried to resist the small smile that made it’s way up to his face.

  
Damn it, what had he done? He allowed the smile to make it up to his face as he let his worries and concerns fade away as he belong amongst the chaos. Once people got over the initial shock, they started laughing and pointing at each other and Jasper joined in as he listened to his squeaky laughter. Would he get in trouble for this? Probably but for once, it hadn’t mattered. None of it except the fact he belonged. His eyes closed as he grinned, finally allowing himself to collapse from exhaustion. 

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