Bright Future (4-9-18)

[ImagePrompt] Cybermonk [Link to post.]

The bright orange morning sun illuminated the temple’s courtyard and the small group of prospective students standing within. The temple master double checked the list displayed as a hologram hovering over his metal hand, then counted the recruits again.

Only Seven out of 15 showed up. Good, this’ll be easy,” he smiled to himself and walked out of the shadows to approach the group. When they saw him approach the newbies made an effort to stand at attention. 

“Good Morning,” the monk smiled at the group. He noticed a human female, the only human in the group, flinching. She tried to keep her eyes forward, but her head seemed to involuntarily turn to her left while her left eye blinked rapidly. He approached her.

“Something wrong?” The monk asked the woman. She now faced forward with ease.

“Sorry, Sir. I had something in my eye. I think it’s gone now,” she said. The monk nodded, though a couple other group members chuckled. The monk stepped back and addressed them.

“My name is SteelDragon7, and I run this guild,” he paced back and forth in front of them, then paused. He turned to face a minotaur. Every recruitment brought a hotshot that thought he could take on SteelDragon7, and it was always the minotaur. “I’m sure some of you think I don’t look like much,” the master held his metal hand up for the group to see. “But let me remind you; I’m the first, and so far *ONLY* player to finish the Oversoul quest.” The human raised her hand.

“Is that good?” She asked, after SteelDragon7 gave her his attention. The other six, two elves, a slime folk, a faun, a naga, and the minotaur, burst into laughter at her question. The monk walked to the girl, though he noticed she began flinching and blinking her left eye again. Her fidgeting stopped when he stood in front of her. 

“What level are you?” the monk asked. She looked down at the ground, seemingly embarrassed.

“One, it’s my first day. I finished the tutorial and saw a monk guild recruiting.” The six laughed even harder. The monk held his metal hand up.

“Silence! All of you were new once, as was I.” SteelDragon7 caught the woman flinching again out of the corner of his eye, but ignored it for the moment. He lowered his hand and the minotaur spoke out.

“Yeah we were all new, but we didn’t try out for the best monk guild on our first day,” the big black cow head said, not bothering to conceal the glee in his deep voice. 

“Of course *you* didn’t.” SteelDragon7 faced the woman again, gave her a slight smile. “The Oversoul quest lets you choose an elite race, and you get those bonuses on top of whatever race benefits you already have. I’ll be happy to explain more in depth later, but I hope that satisfies your question for now?” he asked her. She nodded so the monk paced back to stand in front of the entire group. 

“It’s a small group today, we can take all of you if you’re worthy. Normally we’d have a tournament to whittle down the numbers, but I think we’ll try something different this time. I’m going to ask a single question. Your answer will dictate whether you join my guild or not.” SteelDragon7 looked over the recruits and tried to guess which ones would give the right answer, then he noticed the human flinching again. He shook his head to ignore it for the moment, but decided to ask her about it after. Whether she made it into the guild or not. 

“The question is this: Why do you want to join this guild?” As soon as he finished speaking the woman raised her hand. “You can take time to think about your answer, it’s not a race.” 

“But I know why I’m here.” The monk nodded and extended his hand to encourage her to speak up. 
“I’m a monk, and I thought it’d be fun to hang out with other monks, and this is a monk only guild, and I just want to have fun.” SteelDragon7 walked toward the girl, ignoring the laughter of the rest of the recruits. 

“That’s your answer, then?” he asked her. She nodded. “Very well. Now that you’ve given me your answer please go wait over there.” He pointed her toward a shaded spot near the courtyard entrance. The minotaur spoke up while she walked away.

“I’m here because this is the strongest guild, and I’m planning to be the strongest monk.” The master monk looked the minotaur up and down, then nodded. 

“Please go wait over there.” Instead of sending the minotaur to the shaded spot next to the human, SteelDragon7 sent the beast man to a sunny spot near the temple’s dorm rooms. The next five had their answers ready shortly after that. The two elves and the faun also wanted to grow their strength at the temple, they were sent to stand in the sun next to the minotaur. The slime folk and the naga admitted to just wanting help in progressing toward their Oversoul. They were sent to stand in the shade. Each time SteelDragon7 sent someone towards the human, he noticed her flinching. It began to get on his nerves. After everyone gave their answer the monk stood in the middle of the courtyard and waved both groups to join him. 

“I’m sure you’ve realized by now that you’re divided into groups of yes and no. I won’t waste time with suspense,” he turned to face the human, slime folk, and naga. “Congratulations and welcome to the guild. You’re in.” While they cheered the other team made their outrage known. The minotaur going so far as to grab SteelDragon7 by his orange training robes and lifting him into the air.

“HOW did those losers get in, and not us?” SteelDragon7 smiled. 

“The success of this guild is not due to us having the strongest people. We’ve succeeded because we choose people that *want* to be here. We support each other, we have fun. You four are looking to selfishly use this guild as a stepping stone to greater strength. They just want friends. I’d also like to remind you that this courtyard is a PvP zone. If you don’t unhand me, you’re going to have a long walk from your respawn point, and I can’t guarantee your items will still be here when you get back. The minotaur loosened his grip and SteelDragon7 fell two feet to the floor.

“This guild’s going downhill anyway. C’mon guys, we’ll start our own monk guild.” The minotaur led the two elves and the faun away. The monk master turned to watch them leave, then noticed the human flinching again. He walked over to her quickly.

“Are you sure nothing’s wrong? Why are you flinching so much?” he asked. She looked at her two new friends. The naga stood about a foot taller than her, and the slime folk was shorter by about two feet. 

“Sorry, Sir. You’re just so *shiny*. Your head’s been blinding me like crazy. 

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