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Chapter 8 - Maths Test.



The trip to the maths class was ultimately uneventful. Arthur's friends had asked him about the hospital incident, to which he could only respond with vague answers due to confidentiality agreements and him not wanting to spread the word that he was almost killed by his companies yet unreleased video game capsule. Arthur decided to just call it a lab accident, not even bothering to give a hint as to what kind.

Making their way inside the classroom, they found that the desks had been spaced apart ahead of time and nothing was on the desks besides sheets of paper Arthur assumed to be the exam papers.

Arthur walked around until he found an exam page with his name listed on the front in large bold letters. He took a seat and made sure his equipment was sorted, as he finished, other people started arriving to class.

When the class had filled up and people got settled, the teacher began informing the exam participants of the rules, "... and if you just so happen to finish early, please raise your hand to have your exam marked, when you receive your result you're free to leave for an early break. Now if we're all ready, turn to the first page, your time starts now."

With that, the exam had begun, the several sounds of paper being flipped had almost perfectly synced up. Arthur flipped his sheet and began looking at the first question, reading it within his head. He couldn't help but laugh, it was year eleven maths, but even still it seemed rather easy.

Arthur started answering the questions one after the other without requiring much time between each question, the first page was done just under five minutes. First came graphs, then fractions, then calculating the radius and diameter of circles, followed by a couple questions about calculating area.

Arthur was previously worried about the exam due to him believing he had forgotten everything, but it was all relatively simple maths. However this train of confidence suddenly stopped when he encountered a string of numbers and letters, the instruction given at the top of the page says "Solve this using the Quadratic Equation."

'Well this was mean of them...' Arthur sheepishly scratched his head while staring at the numbers, 'how do you answer these again...'

Even though he would never have the opportunity to use it, at least not in the next thirty-two years, Arthur had remembered the sentence he was force to learn in his final year, and what he would be forced to learn again next year. He began reciting it within his head, and then used it to answer the problem. 'Negative b, plus or minus, the square root of b squared minus 4ac, over 2a... I think.'

All of the questions after the one difficult question were equally as easy as the first, it seemed that the majority of everyone's time was supposed to be spent on that one question. Arthur continued filling out questions until he ran out, roughly twenty minutes had gone by, there was over half the time remaining.

Arthur raised his hand, as previously instructed, and the teacher approached him, "How can I help you Arthur?"


"I've completed the exam, please mark it." These words from Arthur had taken the teacher by surprise, while Arthur was one of his top students, he never expected him to finish this fast.

"Are you sure? Please check that you haven't accidentally missed a page." The teacher spoke out with concern, standing there as Arthur flipped through the exam pages, all of the questions seemed to have been answered.

"Very well, I'll mark it, please stay seated." The teacher took the exam papers from Arthur and walked to his desk, taking a seat. He appeared to be staring at the answer sheet quite intently, to which Arthur worried that maybe he should have taken his time to not appear suspicious, he didn't want to be accused of cheating, although he did show his working out on the exam, whereas other students may solely be reliant on the calculator.

The teacher finished his marking and walked back over to Arthur, he seemed to be scanning him and his surroundings very carefully, as Arthur feared, he was probably going to be accused of cheating.

The teacher took a spare piece of paper and began writing a maths question out, when he was done, he placed the paper in front of Arthur, it was another quadratic formula question. "Please answer this question for me, and then you may leave."

Arthur sighed, it couldn't be helped, he was suspicious. Arthur grabbed his pencil once more and began solving the problem, much faster than he solved the last. He pushed the page to his teacher, "Is this correct?"

"Sorry for doubting you, congratulations, you've received a perfect score, enjoy your early break." The teacher nodded, and walked back to his desk. Arthur grabbed his stuff and walked out of the classroom, sending a text to his friend group that he'll be waiting in the library for when they finish.

Arthur walked down the hallway towards the location of his locker, it was quiet and barren, to think that only half an hour ago this place was bustling with life, in the form of a hoard of teenagers. He dumped his books and pencil case in his locker and made his way downstairs, walking around taking in his environment, he couldn't quite remember which way the library was, but he was sure he'd find it eventually, he had plenty of spare time after all.

Arthur's mindless wandering had caused him to end up at a separated large brick building with a large sign that reads "Library", naturally assuming this to be the correct place, he took a step inside.

As he walked inside the library, an older lady manning the desk spoke up to grab his attention, "Hey Arthur, I haven't seen you all this week, where have you been?"


"Ah, good morning Denise, yeah funny story about that actually, there was an incident in the lab, and I was kind of in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't get hurt that bad, but you know how my dad can be at times." Arthur gave an awkward laugh and a brief excuse, this woman Denise was a family friend, and they met almost every day due to Arthur's tendency to hang out in the library.

"Well, as long as you're alright. How is your father by the way? I haven't heard much from him recently." Denise started to converse with Arthur for a few minutes, the library was almost completely empty due to it currently being class time. Arthur had to also explain why he was not currently in class, but she understood immediately.

After their small talk had come to an end Denise spoke up once more, "Oh that reminds me, the book you were asking about was finally returned a couple days ago, it's at the back."

Arthur thanked her, then began walking to the back of the library, he couldn't remember what book he asked about, his memory of this time wasn't perfect, but he did somewhat remember a couple of the topics he was interested in during this time, particularly Lepidopterology, the scientific study of butterflies and moths.

The other two topics he studied both involved plants, one was about medicinal herbs and traditional medicines, and the other was about poisonous plants, that last one he wouldn't bring up to a family friend, he could imagine the weird looks he'd get, so she was probably talking about either medical plants or butterflies.

When he reached the back aisles, he reached the history section, and a particular book caught his fancy. The cover image was a very familiar scene, an ancient Mayan, or Aztec pyramid, yet not as overgrown and dilapidated as the ones featured within the game.

Arthur grabbed the large book and claimed a table in the furthest corner, he sat down and opened the index, it seemed to be an extensive overview on the Mayan and Aztec civilisations. Arthur checked the glossary and flipped to the sections that covered the faiths of both civilisations.

It mentioned how each culture had gods that overlapped and the similarities between the faiths, then it moved on and started describing each god individually, without comparisons. There were several mentions of familiar names, gods of death, gods of rain, gods of wine. And then a very familiar name popped up, the name Arthur was searching for, Quetzalcoatl, the god of life, wind and wisdom.

"The rainbow feathered serpent, it seems to be extremely similar, maybe even related to, the Mayan deity Kukulkan, a fellow plumed serpent." Arthur read out loud, he spent several minutes reading into the various gods, not noticing his friends approaching his table.

"Aztec and Mayan civilisations... bored of butterflies already?" Quinn asked while sitting down on the chair beside him, Holly took the chair on the opposite side and leaned in, Arthur remembered Holly was a major history buff. In fact, most of the information he used during the early stages of becoming a lore hunter mostly came from him listening in to her passionately ramble while getting coffee together.

'Ah, so I was in the butterfly stage, good to know.' Arthur thought, causing himself to internally chuckle.

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