1 Day before School

    In the horizon, a sharp light broke through the darkness, starting a new day at London. Fishermen prepared their boats, and some merchant ships were anchored at the port as dark slaves carried heavy loads in and out. Small stores opened up, with lazy merchants filling the stalls.

    In the matinal chaos, a kid rushed through the street, heading to a specific shop. In was very secluded, located at a known alley of the docks. The owner was an old man, with grey hairs and a strange eyepatch. The little vend sold some used and old items.

    "Good day Old Man!" Merlin yelled as he arrived at the small shop.

    "Good morning Merlin! What brings you here today?" The old man responded in a calm manner.

    "Well, I need some of 'does' things again."

    "Merlin, you know the rules. Did you finish your last task?" The man asked in a serious tone.

    Hearing this, Merlin took out a folded paper from his pocket.

    "Here, Old Man! It did not take to long for me, and I can guarantee its accuracy."

    The old man took the yellowish paper and opened it, revealing a detailed map of the dock district, with perfectly calculated proportions.

    "Very well Merlin! What method did you use, was it the ancient Eagle Vision Technique?"

    The kid made an apprehensive face, then said:

    "No... it was a very curious technique I created when studying some advanced mathematics! I call it Triangulation Mapping."

    The old man made a strange expression and them asked:

    "Humm... But did you test it?"

    "Yeah!! And the results were impressive, much better than the Eagle Vision Technique."

    After thinking for a little, the old man turned around and started looking for something. A few moments later, he turned around with some paper and ink.

    "Here, but I can't give you more than this since Chinese paper is expensive these days."

    Rapidly taking the material from the man's hands, Merlin shouted as he exited the store happily.

    "Thank you, Old Man!! Be sure that in the future, I will map the whole country for you!"

    Therefore, the small kid dashed through London, heading by to the Major Servent District. This part of the city was reserved for people that worked to the government.

    Merlin lived there because his father, James, was a Royal Navigator. As so, he was always traveling through the seas, accomplishing royal tasks and economic missions.

    Merlin's house was at the peripheric zone of the district, a small and humble house. Upon arriving home, he immediately entered his room and closed the door.

    His room was small but filled with yellowish papers everywhere. However, they were organized through the walls, forming some huge and separated maps. They represented lots of London districts.

    There was the Dock District; North District; Farm District; Hunting District and lots more. This immense project began five years ago when he first started learning cartography.

    Also, lots of cartography and mathematics books were scattered through the floor, probably brought from doubtful merchants or contrabanded from the Central Libray.

    As he seated at a messy corner, transcribing some recent notes, Merlin wildly thought about his biggest dreams: Map the whole glob one day and be the best cartographer of history!

    He daydreamed about all the fun, money and friends he would have in this crazy adventure. Sell a map to one side, then spoil the other during a war, or conquer desolate lands, and the best: experiencing all the pleasures this world could afford, living his life at the limit.

    When he was in the middle of his exciting plans, the door was suddenly smashed open, as a man walked in.

    "Kid, where were you!? I spent the whole morning looking for a stinky brat through the neighborhood!"

    Wakening up in a jump, Merlin looked to the tall man with a cute face.

    "Calm down dad, I just went in a stroll at the Dock District..."

    "Don't tell me you went to that old man's shop again! I already told you to stay away from there!"

    "Sorry, dad. It's that my materials were almost finished."

    The tall bearded man walked in the kid's direction, as he took a scroll from his pocket. He had blue eyes and dark hairs, together with a robust build. Merlin resembled him, but he had light-green eyes and was 12 years old.

    "Alright. But as I was about to say, I went at the Central Command today. You're in the age to enter the Royal Naval School, so here's your admission card." James said as he passed the scroll to Merlin.

    "The  classes start tomorrow at sunrise, and I'm sure you already know where the school is, so don't be late."

    James said as he pointed to a specific map on the wall.

    "Alright, dad!"

    "Okay. By the way, tomorrow I will be going on a travel week-long travel, so behave and find a way to survive until then."

    After saying so, James left the house and headed back to the Central Command building, making preparations for the incoming sea travel.

    'This hypocrite man! He's never home and wants me to stay here.'

    Merlin thought as he continued working on a calculated plan. The only district he did not map until now was the Royal Noble District. People like him were forbidden from entering in such places since he was not a noble.

    Yet, some days ago, he found a hidden aperture at the wall. Though it was small, it was sufficient for him to enter and exit without being spotted by the guards.

    These past days, he already entered at night and made some markings, but the last step was missing: the proportion calculus to draw the definite map.

    The district was huge and filled with mansions around the royal palace. The streets were very well guarded and silent.

    Therefore, after passing the whole day preparing the material and tools, darkness fell over London as Merlin started an overnight adventure. His backpack was filled will paper, pens, ink, compass, and other useful cartography things.

    Jumping through his window, Merlin exited the house, as his dad slept soundly at the room nearby.

    Since he knew the whole city, it was very easy to avoid night guards. Passing through quite and dark alleys, Merlin rapidly arrived at the secret hole in the Royal Noble District's wall.

    However, the hole was in the middle part, so he needed to climb a considerable height. Using some deformations on its surface, Merlin quickly began climbing.

    Yet, when he was almost reaching the border, someone suddenly jumped from the opening. Merlin did not have time to react, as he already hit the ground hard.

    Above him, a slightly taller kid was getting up. He had blond hairs, blue eyes, and a noble presence.

    "Ouch! Be careful when jumping from such height, you could hurt someone!" Merlin exclaimed angrily.

    "Do you know with who you're talking to!? I'm the Fifth Prince, hmph!"

    " Of course I know you.. you're just a bastard prince!!" Merlin said in an ironic tone.

    "Want did you say!!? Do you wanna fight?" The kid said, as he got up and stood in a boxing pose.

    Merlin just gazed at him as if he was the greatest idiot he ever met.

    "No... I suck at fights, but let's solve this peacefully." Merlin said as he took out a paper from his backpack, passing it to the blond kid.

    "I presume that you're going out secretly right? This map has detailed passages through some 'secure' alleys, avoiding all the guard rounds."

    The blond kid rapidly caught the map, analyzing the streets with curiosity.

    "Wow, this map is very accurate! Where did you get it?" The kid asked in a vivid manner.

    "Obviously that it was made by me!!" Merlin said as he proudly.

    Upon hearing Merlin, the kid thought for a little before he said:

    "Humm... as you gave me this map, I'll forget the previous offense. By the way, my name is Leonard! What's your name?"

    "You can call me Merlin."

    "Alright! And do you go to the Royal Naval School?"

    Merlin stopped a little, then responded:

    "I'll start tomorrow."

    "Great, then welcome to my faction! I hope you don't recuse... because the school can be a horrible experience if you lack a powerful faction backing!"

    "Well, then I'll enter your faction! By the way, how many people there are in our faction?" Merlin asked since his father already told him the importance of finding a strong faction at school.

    Hearing this, Leonard made a dark expression as he said:

    "Counting you and me, there are about 2 members..."

    "You have to be kidding me... Ahh, whatever! I'm going back home now, meet you tomorrow!"

    "Okay! And don't forget that my faction... no, our faction will be the greatest!" Leonard said in a cheered manner, walking down the alley.


    After the conversation ended, Merlin headed back home. It was already too late to enter the Royal Noble District, and sadly school started the next day. However, he was not disappointed.

    Starting a faction with a prince, even if he was a 'useless' playboy, was a good start to achieve his goals.

    As so, Merlin slowly walked back home.
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