Originally planned for Halloween, but put on hiatus due to bad internet connections on mobile hotspots and the usual battery limit on my computer for the majority of a day. So…happy Thanksgivaween? Not like this story couldn't fly in any season, though…
Summary: A class at a school for demons is less than excited when their replacement teacher turns out to be the famous vampire called "tyrant," Valvatorez. (AU)
Disclaimer: Blu Rose doesn't own the Disgaea series. Just this fic!
It is interesting to think of how many similarities the lives of demons are to those of humans. Granted, the differences far outnumber them, but it's amazing to think that the same bloodthirsty monsters who scare the living daylights out of people can have families, work day jobs, and even receive bills that they avoid paying. Yes, even demons have such mundane things which occupy their daily lives.
Case in point, a certain school in a certain netherworld whose goal is to teach young demons the skills they will need to survive in the violent netherworld and prey on the weak mortals of the human worlds. Like any school in the human world, they have classrooms, exams, detention, and teachers in the form of worldly, powerful demons, as is well known by freshman class 1-E.
'It's only Monday…and I'm wishing it was Friday already!' Zeroken thought while sitting at his desk, flipping through the pages of a comic book as his classmates went about the classroom doing their usual morning routines before the start of homeroom: chatting, goofing off, hurriedly trying to finish the homework they neglected over the weekend, etcetera.
Then the bell rang, and on a reflex, the young demons took their seats—or in the case of those too big for seats, they just sat behind their desks—and waited for their teacher to enter the room. But when the door opened, instead of their serpent-bodied homeroom teacher Ms. Gorgon, a stranger entered their classroom. Two, in fact. The first to come in was a man with deathly pale skin and dark hair, dressed in black clothing with a tattered cape, and the man who came in close behind him was relatively taller, dressed in red and had long, silver hair. The children stared in confusion as the shortest of the pair stood behind the podium that Ms. Gorgon tended to stand behind and cleared his throat.
"Good morning, students! I have some upsetting news to give you," said the cape-wearing man while the other stood beside the podium with his arms folded behind his back. "Over the course of the weekend, your teacher, Ms. Gorgon, died choking on a black pretzel." A few sympathetic kids gasped, but most of the class cheered, thinking that it meant they were free of her classes. If the man was surprised by their positive reaction to hearing of their teacher's demise, he hid it well as he continued "I will be replacing her as your teacher for the rest of the school year." He held out his hand and the taller man gave him a piece of chalk. "You may call me…" He turned around and began to write out his name on the blackboard. Ordinarily, most of the students would take the opportunity to goof off while their teacher's back was turned, but the way his companion glared at them sent off a serious wave of killing intent that made them uncharacteristically behave until their teacher underlined his name and stepped out of the way for them to read it. "Mr. Valvatorez! And this is my aide, Fenrich."
The students, however, only heard their teacher give his name. "VALVATOREZ?!" Some gasped. Some gulped. Some went bug-eyed. One even fainted and fell out of their seat. Only a handful of students didn't seem affected by the mention of his name. For you see, there are some demons who are so infamous amongst others that one need not go to school to learn about them in some convoluted history lesson: Baal, the terrifyingly powerful Overlord who never seemed to die (permanently, at least); Zenon, a demon who slew 999 Demon Lords and 99 Overlords in a single night; Zetta, an Overlord who could literally kill a weaker being by looking at them—with laser eye beams; and Valvatorez, a vampire so feared for his power and the atrocities he had committed that he was called by the title of "tyrant".
Mr. Valvatorez didn't seem affected by their shock and awe and continued on, "I hope that we all get along and that you will live up to my expectations of you!"
"You aren't Tyrant Valvatorez!" Emizel, who sat in the front row, shouted as he pointed an accusing finger at their new teacher. "He stopped drinking blood centuries ago, and since he was a vampire, that means he has to be dead by now!"
Fenrich gave the boy a murderous glare, making him flinch and put his hand down so he could start trembling in fear. "Lord Valvatorez isn't some commonvampire, brat! Even without drinking blood, he's been able to survive. That's how powerful of a demon he is, so you should be thankful he wishes to teach you rugrats how to be proper demons!"
"That's only half-right, Fenrich," Mr. Valvatorez said with a serious expression on his face. "I've survived all these centuries without blood through the strength of my will and something of great importance! Something that has provided me with so much strength, and whose benefits trump those of blood!" The students began to listen with rapt attention, wondering what it could be that a vampire would find so much more enticing than blood. "Without it, I would likely be reduced to a pathetic shell of my former self! That glorious thing…" The kids were holding their breath in anticipation as Valvatorez suddenly threw out his arms, his cape billowing behind him in a way reminiscent of a bat's wings. "…is sardines!"
"…Sardines?" The students repeated. Even the kid who'd fainted automatically came back to consciousness to stare at their teacher like he was a lunatic.
"So…you've been surviving…on sardines?" Zeroken asked, arching an eyebrow. "But those things are puny! How can the blood you get from those be enough to replace the blood you get from humans?!" Ordinarily, he'd be intimidated to talk back to a greater demon as infamous as Tyrant Valvatorez, but he—along with the rest of the class—were starting to question whether this man was even a vampire, let alone such a famous one.
Rutile, who also sat in the front row, raised her hand before she began to speak, "Um…couldn't you get more out of bigger kinds of fish, like salmon, or tuna, or carp?"
"It's not the kind of fish that's the problem here! It's the fact that he's eating fish at all!" Emizel snapped. "What kind of vampire would eat sardines over human blood?!"
Mr. Valvatorez pounded his fist on the podium, and for a moment, it seemed like he was going to get angry. All of the kids fell silent, expecting to be wiped out or have their blood drained…but instead, their teacher smirked. "Oh, how naïve you children are. So steeped in traditions and stereotypes! We, as demons, should be ever evolving, to keep up with the humans who are also always evolving and finding different ways to be bigger nuisances than they already are! And I have found evolution through a steady diet of sardines!" And thus began an impromptu lecture about sardines…
'So he really does eat nothing but sardines?' Emizel thought with a skeptical look.
'But there are so many better kinds of fish to eat,' thought Rutile with a look of disappointment.
"His breath must be terrible…!" Zeroken accidentally said what he was thinking, causing Fenrich to glare at him. "Uh, I meant, his breath must be terrific!" While he was willing to talk back to his teacher, his aide seemed far more intimidating.
The lecture on sardines went on…and on…and on…until the bell rang. At which point, the majority of the students stampeded out of the room while their teacher's back was turned. A few unfortunate students even got trampled in the rush towards the door, but even they crawled for their lives to escape the classroom. Valvatorez turned around to find the last few students patiently walking out. "Hm? What's this? Where are they going?"
"The class is over, Lord Valvatorez," Fenrich pointed out. "They have to go to their next class."
"Really? Time sure does fly when one is lecturing, doesn't it?" The vampire asked as he looked up at the board, which was filled with random words and a diagram of the anatomy of a sardine. He then looked at his aide, arching an eyebrow as he asked, "Be honest with me, Fenrich: did I do an excellent job? And remember, be honest."
"Well, Lord Val…" The silver-haired demon began as he looked aside. "While your knowledge about sardines is vast and your dedication to spreading word of their capabilities is admirable…this was a math class. So while they've learned a great deal about something that could benefit their health…"
Valvatorez raised a hand to silence his aide. "Say no more. I was so eager to teach my students that I forgot that I am responsible for teaching them certain things." He held that same hand over his head and grimaced, looking as if he was fighting off a headache that was about to start. "I cannot afford to screw things up any further on my first day as a teacher! For the next class, I will stick to the subject no matter what!" He then arched an eyebrow and put down his hand to look at Fenrich in confusion. "By the way, what is my next class, Fenrich?"
"I believe it is a Home Economics class, sir." Valvatorez looked puzzled, but didn't voice his obvious confusion. "…It's a class that teaches skills that are useful in the practice of homemaking, my lord. But I believe they're only ever willing to teach how to cook."
"Cooking?! They're teaching demons how to cook? My, times have changed…" The vampire said as he folded his arms across his chest.
"Are you going to be okay with teaching such a class, Lord Val?"
"I must be okay, Fenrich! Anything less will show how unworthy I am to mold the minds of my students! Now, we must be off to this Home Economics classroom to prepare!"
Fenrich arched an eyebrow. "But…the class is just before the lunch period. That won't be for several hours."
"Even better! That gives me more time to come up with the perfect strategy for teaching the class."
"To approach the mundane act of homemaking the way you would a battle… As expected of my lord!" The teacher's aide said as he followed his vampire lord out of the classroom.
Several periods later, the ringing of the bell had several students begin rushing to their last class before the lunch break. But Emizel wasn't among these hurrying students. Instead, he was moving away from the direction of his next class as the hallway became empty. 'That sardine-loving crackpot is in charge of all the classes that Ms. Gorgon had to handle, and I'd rather not deal with him for the rest of the day.' The blonde boy's thoughts were disrupted as Zeroken ran into him from behind, forcing them both to fall to the floor in a crumpled heap. "What the hell?! Get off of me, you idiot!"
"Noooo! Why'd you have to get in my way?!" Zeroken cried as he tried desperately to untangle himself from Emizel. "She's gonna catch up with me!"
Just as Emizel asked that, Rutile walked up to the two boys on the floor. "Zeroken, Emizel, what're you doing? We're going to be late for Home Ec.!"
The silver-haired boy sprang onto his feet, standing on top of the smaller demon in the process, and made to run off, but Rutile grabbed hold of his arm and squeezed tightly. "ACK! Lemme go! I don't wanna go to that class with that weirdo teaching it!"
Emizel narrowed his eyes and stood up, throwing Zeroken off of his back in the process. "You're skipping that loser's class, too?"
Zeroken grimaced. "I usually don't mind Home Ec. since it's such an easy class, but with that sardine-obsessed guy teaching it, it's pretty obvious what we're gonna be forced to make!"
Rutile's eyes widened in shock. "You can't skip!"
"Sure we can—we're demons," the blonde boy pointed out. "We're expected to skip some of our classes. You're the weirdo who's never absent unless she's sick, and even then brings a legitimate doctor's note to school as an excuse!" His arm ended up getting grabbed by the cat-eared girl as well. "MY ARM!"
"But think of how much it will hurt Mr. Valvatorez if some of his students skip on his first day…" Rutile said with watery eyes. "We should at least give him a chance to make up for what happened during homeroom."
"Think of how much you're hurting us right now!" Zeroken cried as they were dragged down the hall, towards the Home Economics class.
Meanwhile, Valvatorez sat at the desk normally designated to the Home Economics teacher, one hand propping up his face while the other tapped on the surface. His expression was neutral as he stared at the empty seats that should've had students sitting in them. "What on earth could be holding them up…?"
"Perhaps they're skipping class, Lord Val," Fenrich suggested as he stood next to his lord. "Demons are expected to disobey rules, after all. You'd have better luck teaching a class of Prinnies to be punctual."
"While I'm glad they're being exemplary demons by skipping class, how in Hades am I supposed to teach without any students?"
"Maybe this is a sign, my lord. A demon like yourself shouldn't have to deal with teaching a bunch of inconsiderate brats who don't even want to learn." 'Besides, Lord Valvatorez is destined for greater things…just as soon as he regains his former power.'
The vampire slammed his fist down on the desk. "Negative, Fenrich! Such behavior means all the more that the children of the netherworld need a teacher who's actually willing to go through the effort of disciplining them and molding them into atrocious, malevolent demons who deserve to be proud of themselves! Otherwise, they're going to grow up into wimps whose idea of evil acts are mere misdemeanors like…switching labels or…not washing their hands! Being unhygienic isn't even remotelyevil! It's just disgusting." With a fire in his eyes, he suddenly sat up, his cape almost knocking his chair over in the process of billowing out like a pair of wings as he bellowed, "I refuse to allow my students' development to be stunted by their own laziness! We'll hunt 'em down andlight a fire under 'em that'll have them eager to learn and work hard!"
Fenrich looked impressed with Valvatorez's dedication to teaching the youth of the netherworld, but he still had to resist the urge to sigh as he bowed and said, "As you wish. All is for my lord."
Just then, Rutile entered the room, still dragging along Emizel and Zeroken. Valvatorez and Fenrich stared as she made the boys sit behind a desk and promptly sat between them. "Good morning, Mr. Valvatorez," she greeted their teacher politely while her classmates grumbled to themselves.
"Ah, good morning. I'm glad to see that some children are serious about their education! I was worried that I'd have to go looking for my class," the vampire said with a pleased look on his face. "Anyway, because I was a bit too eager to begin teaching you all this morning, I overlooked the important duty of performing the roll call…meaning I don't know any of your names. So, if you would, please identify yourselves."
"My name is Rutile," Rutile introduced herself politely. "I came from the human world and am still getting used to life in the netherworld, so…please bear with me."
"Zeroken…" Zeroken spoke his name with a sigh of resignation.
Emizel huffed before saying, "I am Sir Death Emizel, the son of Death King Hugo!" In response to that bit of boasting, Zeroken rolled his eyes and made a gagging sound.
Valvatorez blinked. "Did you say Death King Hugo? Death King Hugo is your father?"
The blonde boy smirked. "That's right. I bet that terrifies a pathetic excuse of a vampire like you!"
Fenrich gave him a murderous glare as killing intent rolled off of him in waves, terrifying not only Emizel, but also Rutile and Zeroken. In fact, all three students bunched together for protection like a gang of tiny orcs. "What did you say, you brat?!" The teacher's aide growled, causing the students to sweat.
Valvatorez wasn't as offended by Emizel's comment as his aide, however. Rather, he was surprised and stared at the boy in shock. "Hugo has a son now?! Hades, has it been that long since I last saw him?" He held a hand to his chin and bowed his head in thought. "When we last met, we battled for eight days straight before he suddenly called it off on account of it being the day of the Red Moon. Ah, good times…"
"Eight days straight?!" All three students cried out in surprise.
"You actually survived a battle with Father...? And for eight days…?" Emizel spoke in wide-eyed disbelief, his lips parted in awe.
"Yes, and he most assuredly would've won if Hugo hadn't run off like a coward," Fenrich said with a smirk.
"Now, Fenrich, I'm not so proud that I wouldn't admit that we were pretty even back in those days," said Valvatorez.
"W-wow…! Maybe this guy really is the Tyrant Valvatorez!" Zeroken exclaimed.
The blonde boy slammed his hand down on the counter. "No way! He's lying! I refuse to believe a guy like this is the Tyrant Valvatorez, or that he fought my father to a standstill!"
Rutile looked confused. "Why is he even called a tyrant, anyway? He doesn't look so bad..."
Their vampire teacher frowned and wagged a finger at his puny class. "No, no. I'm not a tyrant. I'm your teacher. And today, I'll be teaching you how to make delicious sardine tacos!" And with the power of food, the topic switched from "tyrant" to "tacos".
"Ooh, tacos! Even if they've got fish in 'em, tacos are always tasty!" said Zeroken.
"I've never actually had a taco before…but I've always wanted to try one," Rutile admitted, looking excited.
Emizel, still upset by Valvatorez's revelation, frowned. "I'm pretty sure sardines don't belong in a taco."
"Nonsense!" Valvatorez exclaimed as his cape was blown dramatically behind him by some inexistent wind. "Sardines can go with everything! You just need to open your minds and hearts to the possibilities of the glorious sardine!"
"Why the heck do we have to open our hearts?! And to sardines, of all things?!"
Minutes later, the teacher and his students were wearing aprons and at work preparing their respective tacos. While the students had to work on their own, following the instructions on the whiteboard along with the occasional input from Mr. Valvatorez, the teacher was constantly being assisted by his aide against his will.
"Fenrich, there's no need to help me," Valvatorez said with a frown as Fenrich sprinkled sauce boiling in the pan with various containers of seasoning.
"It's my pleasure to help you, Lord Valvatorez," the silver-haired demon said as he continued seasoning.
"Fenrich. The students won't want to rely on the knowledge and ability of a teacher who has his vassal do everything for him. As a proud and noble demon, I refuse to be considered incapable of even the most minor of tasks—even when it's something like cooking!"
Fenrich sighed and stopped seasoning. "Of course, my lord. I have no wish to tarnish your pride. I've helped as much as I ought to anyway."
Valvatorez nodded and began basting the sardines in his pan with the sauce he made. Then he quickly placed the basted sardines into his tacos and began putting on the finishing touches. "And voila!" He exclaimed as he held up one of his completed tacos. "Your sardine taco should look just like this."
Zeroken held up his plate of tacos proudly. "I put peppers in mine!"
Rutile looked apologetic before bowing her head. "I'm sorry, but…I didn't put tomatoes in mine. Is that okay?"
Emizel stared at the tacos on his plate warily. "I still think this is going to taste awful…"
"Well, there's only one way to find out: I shall eat your tacos! My palate will determine your grade," Valvatorez explained.
"What?! So you're gonna fail us based on your biased tastes?!" The blonde boy exclaimed. 'Granted, that's what Ms. Gorgon did, too, so I expect it…'
"Never!" The teacher exclaimed as his cape billowed out behind him. "As both your teacher and as an honorable demon, I won't show bias in regards to your grades!" He then approached Emizel, picked up a taco from his plate, and took a few bites. He chewed with his eyes closed, only opening them after he swallowed. "C."
"A C?!" Emizel exclaimed. "I followed the instructions to the letter!"
"Your sardines and taco shell are both burnt, and the sauce you used was over seasoned. It's edible, but nothing to write home about, so it deserves a middling grade." Ignoring the lukewarm glare that Emizel was giving him, Valvatorez moved on to Zeroken. He took a single bite out of one of his tacos and suddenly flinched. "Guh!"
"My lord?!" Fenrich gasped.
"I'm fine! I'm…fine," the vampire rasped before he stood upright, swallowed, and cleared his throat. "D."
"D?!" Zeroken exclaimed in shock. "W-why a D?! It's edible!"
"Too much peppers!" Valvatorez exclaimed. "Peppers are all well and good, but if you use too much, their spiciness will overcome the taste of the rest of the meal. You can't taste any of the other ingredients—including the sardine! And it's supposed to be the star of the dish!"
The white-haired boy snorted. "No offense, teach, but your constitution obviously isn't built to endure the taste of spicy food! I'll show you!" He picked up one of his tacos and held it out to Emizel. "Emizel, take a bite."
The blonde boy began to glare daggers at him. "Why me?! It's your taco, so you prove it's not too spicy!"
"Fine…" He turned to Rutile. "Rutile, take a bite."
"Zeroken!" Valvatorez bellowed. "If you wish to prove me wrong, you must do so with your own mouth! Now, eat it!"
Zeroken flinched. 'Damn it! I've been called out by Tyrant Valvatorez! My pride as a man is on the line now…!' He stared at the taco he was holding, lip quivering and sweat forming on his brow. He then opened his mouth wide and quickly shoved the entire taco into his mouth, eating it all in a flash. A second later, he threw his head back and breathed out a large stream of fire as he screamed, "HOT! HOT, HOT, HOT, HOT, HOOOOOOOOOOT!" When he was done screaming, he fell over backwards, off of his seat, and landed on the floor with smoke rising up from his mouth.
"Oh, no! Zeroken!" Rutile cried out and began to kneel on the floor alongside of him, trying to stir him back to consciousness.
Emizel snorted and began to smirk. "I guess his constitution wasn't built to endure spicy food…!"
"See? It'd only be a taco worth a passing grade to something immune to heat or dead taste buds," their vampire teacher said as he moved on to Rutile's plate. He picked up one of her tacos and took a bite out of it. "…A-minus."
"A-minus?!" Emizel snapped. Zeroken probably said the same thing, but all he could do was writhe on the ground.
"What did I do wrong?" Rutile asked, poking her head up from behind the counter.
"Too much salt. It's bad for you. You should always remember to cook healthy foods and nothing that should affect your health in a poor manner. That includes adding too much of a particular seasoning. Excellent work otherwise."
"Too much salt…" The cat-eared girl repeated as she nodded.
"Too much salt?" The blonde boy snorted. "We're demons! The amount of salt we eat isn't important!"
"Emizel, don't tell me you're one of those kids who think getting cavities and clogged arteries are examples of how 'cool' you are. Tsk-tsk. How sad…" Valvatorez said, clicking his tongue in disappointment.
"Of course not! I meant we're too durable to be— Oh, never mind. Arguing with a dope like you is pointless…" And with that, Emizel slumped forward and let his face hit the counter, as if he couldn't stand the sight of his teacher anymore.
Said teacher nodded and smiled. "Exactly! Arguing with me is pointless unless you have something to prove me wrong," he said, completely ignoring the fact that he'd been insulted.
Then, as if he couldn't stand losing an argument to his selectively ignorant teacher, Emizel raised his head and pointed an accusing finger at the vampire. "Oh, whatever! I doubt your tacos came out any better than ours anyway!"
"Oho! We shall see about that! Everyone is free to have one of my tacos!" Valvatorez exclaimed, gesturing towards the plate on his counter at the front of the desk.
Zeroken sprang back onto his feet and poked his head up from behind the counter along with Rutile. "Really?!" He exclaimed. "Alright, free food!"
Fenrich's eyes briefly reflected concern before he became calm once more and stepped in front of the plate. "Lord Valvatorez, if I may interject, wouldn't you prefer to save what you made for lunch?"
"Now, Fenrich, it's important for the children to see what a perfect taco tastes like," his lord began as he walked around the werewolf and picked up the plate, "so that they know how they must improve. Besides, I packed my own lunch." Valvatorez then approached the students and handed each of them one taco. "Now, prepare to have your taste buds delighted!"
"Thank you, Mr. Valvatorez," Rutile said with a bow of her head.
"Yeah, thanks, teach!" Zeroken said with a smile.
Emizel stared down at the taco with his mouth puckered up. 'I don't care how good they're made. I hate fish!' While the blonde boy continued to have a staredown with the sardine in his taco, his classmates picked up their own tacos and opened their mouths wide to eat them…only to suddenly stop. He noticed them out of the corner of his eye and faced them. "What's the matter? Having second thoughts?"
Zeroken sniffed the taco. "Something smells fishy about this taco…"
The blonde demon rolled his eyes and said, "Because it has a fish in it, dummy."
"I mean 'weird' fishy! It smells weird…and familiar…"
"Mine smells weird, too…" Rutile said after she took a few sniffs of her own taco. "It smells like…blood?"
Emizel blinked in surprise and began to smirk. "Aha! Mr. 'sardines are power' uses blood as a secret ingredient! I knew he was lying!"
Valvatorez's mouth became a thin line before he turned on his heel to look at Fenrich. "Fenrich. Did you add human blood to my tacos?"
His manservant didn't look the least bit ashamed as he folded his arms behind his back and said, "Just a few drops, my lord."
The vampire placed a hand on his hip as he bowed his head to sigh. "I praise your craftiness, but I loathe how you've intervened in my lesson!" He clicked his tongue and shook his head. "Now my dear sardine tacos are ruined…!"
"Shouldn't you be more concerned that he tried to feed you blood against your wishes?" Emizel asked, feeling mentally drained by this point. Seconds afterward, the bell rang. Emizel was the very first to leave the room, practically running without bothering to say goodbye to the others.
Zeroken took a bite out of the taco and began to smile. "Hey, this is pretty good! Not sure whether or not the blood makes it better, though…"
"You can have mine, then," Rutile said, holding out her taco to her classmate. "I'm not a big fan of blood in my food, and I brought lunch from home anyway."
The silver-haired demon's eyes lit up as he took it from her. "Sweet! Thanks!" was the last thing he said before walking out of the classroom, stuffing his face all the while.
Rutile looked at Valvatorez and bowed her head politely. "Have a nice lunch, Mr. Valvatorez," she said before leaving as well.
The vampire sighed once again as his servant approached his side. "I should have given them some homework… Well, I'll just give them twice as much homework tomorrow to make up for it. Come, Fenrich. Let's head to the teacher's lounge to eat lunch."
"Wait, Lord Val," Fenrich began as Valvatorez took a step towards the door. "Why not have lunch in the classroom? You don't deserve to rub elbows with those other lowly teachers."
"They're my coworkers, Fenrich. If I don't spend time amongst them, how can we bond and unite as educators of the demon lords of the future?"
"But they're alsodemons, my lord. And they say that those who can't do teach. Think of how desperate they would be to prove their might by slaying the feared Tyrant Valvatorez, and how easy it would be for them to attack you in a small, cramped room."
Valvatorez shrugged nonchalantly and casually replied, "Well, if that happens, I'll just beat them up, and establish a bond with them through heated battle," as if it were nothing before he began walking again.
"To expect to forge relationships through wanton violence…as expected of my lord," Fenrich said to himself before following behind the vampire.
Much, much later, Rutile sat on the bleacher of the school's gymnasium, right between Zeroken and Emizel. It was time for physical education, their last class of the day. And, it once being one of the classes that Ms. Gorgon taught, would in turn be the last time the children would have to see Valvatorez for the day. However, the vampire teacher and his surly aide were late. One of the puny class, however, didn't mind.
"Maybe if we're lucky, he choked on a sardine bone and died," Emizel suddenly spoke after he'd spent minutes staring out into space.
Rutile gasped, "W-what?! Emizel, you shouldn't say things like that!"
"Yeah, this is a class I actually want him to come for! Don't jinx it!" Zeroken chimed in.
The blonde boy looked at his male classmate like he was crazy. "You want him to come for this class?"
"All Ms. Gorgon ever made us do for this class was run laps. But a guy like Mr. Valvatorez'll probably shake it up in a good way!" The silver-haired boy began to look smile broadly. "Maybe we'll even get to practice combat! Just thinking about it gets me excited!"
"You sure about that, considering who's here?" Emizel asked.
Zeroken snorted and gave the other boy a lukewarm glare. "Like I'm scared of you, Mr. 'Death King Hugo's One and Only Son'! I've gotten into more fights this year than you have your entire life!"
"First, I highly doubt that. Secondly, even in the unlikely event that it were true, you probably just picked fights with weaklings or Prinnies. And third, I was talking about Rutile."
Zeroken suddenly paled at the mention of the girl sitting between them. Rutile looked at him innocently and put her hands together in a pleading manner. "I'd never seriously hurt either of you! Honest! I've gotten very good at controlling my strength!" She said frantically.
"Yeah, we could tell by how you dragged us here without breaking our bones or pulling our arms out of their sockets," Emizel spoke flatly.
"See?" Rutile said with a smile, completely missing the point of her classmate's statement.
"…I hope he doesn't come to class," Zeroken changed his tune as he began to look away from his classmates. "For the sake of my medical bills, I hope he doesn't come…"
But Zeroken's hopes were dashed as Mr. Valvatorez entered the gym and approached the trio, his aide oddly absent. "I apologize for being late, children. There was a minor altercation at lunchtime that took a while to resolve."
Emizel looked shocked. "Minor altercation?! Everyone says you started a bloodbath in the teacher's lounge! Several of the teachers for the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes are either in the nurse's office or at the hospital!"
"The ones who started it were those teachers, and judging from how weak they were, I'm sure those 'in the hospital' are really slacking off on the job somewhere. Teachers like that are why the education system is a complete wreck." The vampire clapped his hands together. "Anyway, let's get started on your training, shall we?" Zeroken gave a gasp of delight at those words. "Follow me, class! To the field!"
The children followed Valvatorez out to the area of the school meant to hold outdoor sports in. Fenrich was standing next to a large cage filled with some young-looking demons. Zeroken was the first to point them out, exclaiming, "Hey, our classmates! Well, some of 'em…"
"Are those the only students you could find, Fenrich?" Valvatorez asked his servant.
Fenrich, who had been glaring at the students in the cage with enough intensity to make them sweat enough bullets to supply an army, quickly turned on his heel to face his lord. "Unfortunately, my lord, it seems that the rest left school grounds. I wasn't able to travel far enough to drag them all back here in the time I was given. Please accept my humblest apologies."
The vampire observed the students in the cage, ignoring the way that they were all glaring at him. "No need for apologies. We'll hunt down the rest of them once the school day is done, then we'll force them all to spend the entire night in detention."
"But students aren't allowed to remain afterschool for detention—especially not for the entire night!" Emizel pointed out.
Valvatorez smirked as he leaned forward slightly to observe the students. "Who says they're staying at the school? For the entire month, they'll be staying in that cage, only being let out to go to class. And when they're not expected to be at school, they will be staying at my residence, being strictly disciplined by me and Mr. Fenrich so that they may be molded into ideal students."
"I've already taken the liberty of placing tracking devices into them, in the highly unlikely chance that they escape and go into hiding," the manservant said with an evil glint in his eye. "Also, I took the liberty of calling their parents and telling them of the situation. To paraphrase what they all said, they think any child who skips class and is pathetic enough to get caught deserves severe punishment."
"Staying several steps ahead, as usual. I don't know what I would do without your preparedness, Fenrich."
Fenrich began to smile and bowed. "While I may not often be allowed to aide you in your classes, I will happily throw myself into helping you discipline any who attempt to resist you, no matter what their age. All is for my lord, after all."
Emizel and Zeroken gulped and observed their captured classmates with looks of dread. Who knew what awful fate was awaiting them afterschool, considering who the jailors were. If not for Rutile and her concern/meddling, there was a chance that they'd have been subjected to the same punishment. Speaking of Rutile, the half-nekomata couldn't help looking sorry for her classmates—even if they sort of deserved it for skipping class.
"Anyway, let us begin with your combat training," Valvatorez said, turning on his heel to face his "good" students. "Let's split into teams of two. Zeroken and Emizel can be on one team. Rutile and I shall be on the other."
The boys flinched in surprise. "What?! That's not fair!" They both shouted at their teacher shortly afterwards.
"You're Tyrant Valvatorez! We can't beat someone like you!" Zeroken exclaimed.
"Yeah, it's an easy A for Rutile if you're her partner!" Emizel snapped.
Rutile began to look worried. "Um, Mr. Valvatorez, I don't mind being switched for someone else."
The silver-haired boy immediately raised his hand in the air. "Ooh, ooh! Pick me, pick me!"
"Then it's an easy A for you!" Emizel growled.
"Well, you definitely won't wanna team up with him, and demons should always look for shortcuts in life," said Zeroken as he continued to wave his arm enthusiastically.
The vampire narrowed his eyes. "Oh, come on! I'm not that strong! I'll have you know I'm not as strong as I used to be in my tyrant days."
Fenrich looked a little flustered by what he said. "Lord Valvatorez, perhaps you shouldn't say such things so easily…"
Valvatorez ignored his servant's suggestion and continued, "Besides, I'd be willing to hold back my power for the sake of training." He then began to look thoughtful. "Though perhaps you're right about it favoring Rutile... Let's make this a one-on-one battle instead. Each of you will get a chance to attack me for a certain period of time." The children continued to look unconvinced. "I'll go easy on you. I won't even try to kill you or horribly disfigure you."
"Not trying doesn't mean you won't do either by accident!" Both boys snapped while Rutile continued to look worried about what would happen.
Minutes later, Valvatorez stood in the middle of the field with a stopwatch in his hand while the kids stood on the sidelines, waiting for instructions, while in the background, Fenrich could be seen poking the detention students with a cattle prod, drawing cries from the lot of them. "So, who would like to go first? Or will I have to choose?" The teacher asked over the screams of his punished students.
Both Rutile and Zeroken looked as if they lacked the confidence to fight their teacher, but luckily for them, Emizel spoke up, "I'll fight you."
Valvatorez smiled. "Excellent! I'm eager to see what you're made of," he said as the blonde boy approached him.
Emizel didn't mirror his expression, his face remaining neutral. 'Oh, you'll see what I'm made of, you lousy, no-good vampire!' He held out his hand and a large scythe appeared in his grasp. 'Better hope I try not to kill you!' With a cry, he raised the scythe in the air, and that caused flames to suddenly burst to life beneath Valvatorez's feet, consuming him in flames. 'Vampires are weak to sunlight, so it stands to reason that they'd be weak against fire as well!' Emizel thought with a smirk, feeling confident in his success.
However, as the flames faded away, Valvatorez was shown to not only still be standing and conscious, but also barely scorched. He didn't look like a man who'd been on fire, but someone whose clothes had gotten scuffed. "Oh, taking advantage of my species' natural weakness to heat, hm? That's quite smart."
The blonde boy's jaw dropped. "The hell?! You're supposed to be burnt to a crisp!"
"With a piddling spell like that? Unlikely. "Compared to most of my kin, I'm more resilient against the typical weaknesses. Fire doesn't hurt me as much, the sunlight only annoys, holy objects simply make me itch, and the scent of garlic doesn't affect me in the slightest. I can't even be killed by a stake to the heart!" As if to emphasize it, he thumped his fist against the giant screw in his chest.
"I am…!" Zeroken said as he began to sweat and shake. "Vampires are already pretty tough demons, but he's even tougher than the typical one!"
"Mr. Valvatorez is amazing!" Rutile said in awe.
Emizel seemed shaken and stared at the vampire in surprise until he spoke, "Well? Don't tell me that's got you scared of me. Come on! Show me what you're made of, Emizel!" Valvatorez shouted.
Emizel snapped out of his trance and began to glare at his teacher. "Ugh! You're gonna be sorry!" 'I'll use my strongest fire spell this time!' However, as he raised his staff and made to perform another spell, Valvatorez quickly closed the distance between them and slugged him in the face. Emizel cried out in pain and stumbled back, holding his bruised cheek. "You…you hit me!"
"Of course I hit you! This is combat training! The point is to take turns hitting each other!"
"Take…turns?" Rutile and Zeroken repeated as they arched their eyebrows.
"This isn't an RPG, you loony!" Emizel shouted, raising his scythe high up into the air to attack. "I'll make you regret that politeness by reaping your immortal soul and sealing it in a chew toy!" He held that positon for several seconds while Valvatorez stared at him expectantly. "…Well?! Aren't you gonna plead for your life and beg for mercy!"
"I don't plead, and nor do I beg. I'm simply waiting for you to make your move."
"Y-you think I'm bluffing?! I'll kill you, y'know!" The blonde boy shouted, his voice reaching a high-pitched tone. Then, with a shrill cry, the blonde demon swung his scythe downward…and missed by a foot.
"…Well, that was anticlimactic," said Valvatorez. "Now, it is my turn." He pulled back his fist and slugged Emizel once more, the power behind this punch being strong enough to send the student flying back a few feet. He'd been knocked out before he even hit the ground. "Oops! Those critical hits really do matter," the vampire said as he stared at Emizel's unconscious form.
"KO'd by a critical hit. That's gotta sting…" Zeroken said as Rutile ran up to their conked out classmate.
"Don't worry, Emizel. I'll patch you up," the cat-eared girl said. She kneeled down next to him and began to glow with a white aura that eventually enveloped Emizel as well. After a few seconds, he sat upright, looking woozy. "Are you alright, Emizel?"
"I've severely injured…my pride…!" He answered as he pulled down his hood to hide his face. His female classmate tried to comfort him by rubbing his back.
Valvatorez cleared his throat to bring attention back on him. "Alright! Who's next?" Neither Rutile nor Zeroken spoke up. "Fine. Zeroken, you're up next."
The white-haired boy flinched and held back the urge to shout in terror. 'Well… Maybe I'll actually be strong enough to make 'em cry!' He told himself as he approached his teacher. "Alright, teach! Prepare to be dazzled!" He proclaimed, mostly doing it to boost his confidence rather than intimidate the former tyrant in front of him. He took up a fighting stance. "Taaaake this! Triple Strike!" He quickly punched at Valvatorez three times, his combo ending in an uppercut. However, the vampire dodged his punches each time, and retaliated with a simple punch that his student ducked to avoid. "Exploding Tiger!" Zeroken shouted as he spun on one foot to deliver a roundhouse kick. Even as Valvatorez blocked by raising his arm, the impact of the attack caused a small explosion of cutting winds, but that didn't seem to affect him and he retaliated with a simple punch to the boy's gut that obviously knocked the wind out of him. Zeroken decided to jump away from him to get out of his attacking range, then he jumped up into the air, high over the field. 'This oughta impress 'em!' One of his legs caught on fire before he shouted out, "Hellfire Shot!" and began to kick at a blinding speed, sending a barrage of fireballs down at his teacher with each move he made. Needless to say, Valvatorez ended up being consumed in flames once again. Still in midair, Zeroken began to smirk…until a swarm of bats came flying out of the flames and took on the form of a fanged mouth attached to a black mass. Then he began to scream bloody murder before he started to fall towards the mouth. Utter fear made him unable to think about defending himself, so he ended up falling into the black mass's mouth, where he was chewed before being spat down on the ground, creating a small crater next to Rutile and Emizel in the process.
"I expected nothing less from that moron," Emizel commented as Rutile moved to heal him.
"Are you alright, Zeroken?" Rutile asked as she pulled her classmate out of the hole he'd made.
The white-haired boy seemed to be in a daze from the way he swayed back and forth. "I now know…what it feels like…to be a piece of gum," he swooned before falling over, still conscious but too beaten up to move.
At that point, the mouth became a mass of bats once again, and in turn the bats came together to form Valvatorez once more. The vampire landed on his feet and in front of his students, looking pleased. "Excellent, Zeroken! It seems you're quite skilled. You're much stronger than you actually look!"
"Thanks," came the curt reply, Zeroken too exhausted to get upset with the unsubtle insult.
Valvatorez pointed down at Rutile. "It's your turn, Rutile. Show me what you're made of!"
Rutile began to twiddle her fingers nervously. "Um, can I…not?"
"No, you may not. Now, stand up and fight."
"But…I might hurt you…!"
"Nonsense!" Valvatorez exclaimed, his cape blowing behind him dramatically on yet another unseen wind. "I may not be as strong as I once was, but I'm still a more powerful experienced demon than you! I've been shot, stabbed, slashed, poisoned, and far worse at the hands of high-ranking demons and would be human heroes! Whatever you throw at me, Rutile, I assure you that it won't deal much damage! So, get up and fight! Or else I'm failing you."
The cat-eared girl sighed and bowed her head. "Yes, sir…" She got on her feet and approached her teacher. Rutile took up a fighting stance, and in seconds, her look of worry was replaced with one of determination. "MEOOOOOW!" With a shout, she delivered a simple punch that, despite her teacher holding an arm out of in front of him to block the attack, sent him flying back. He didn't stop until he hit the detention cage, frightening the students inside. Then he slid down to the ground, not even twitching. Rutile stood there in stunned silence, her arm still outstretched from her punch. After a few seconds, she began to scream overdramatically, "NOOOOOO! MR. VALVATOREEEEEEZ!"
"She punched out Tyrant Valvatorez!" Zeroken gasped as their female classmate ran over to their teacher. "That girl's a monster!"
Emizel snorted. "Well, it's not like he's a tyrant anymore, but still… She's a savage!"
Rutile bowed apologetically to her unconscious teacher. "Please forgive me! I don't know my own strength!" She then felt a powerful killing intent and slowly turned around to see Fenrich towering over her. "I-I'm really sorry…!" The cat-eared girl cried, on the brink of tears.
"I'd never forgive someone who tried to kill Lord Valvatorez…!" The teacher's aide growled, his eyes seemingly glowing.
"I really didn't m-mean to! I…I…!" Rutile eventually trailed off and began to cry loudly.
Just then, Valvatorez began to stir. He got on his feet and shook his head. "What a punch! It's been a while since someone managed to knock the wind out of me!" He proclaimed before looking at Rutile. "Hm? Fenrich, did you make the lass cry?"
"I'm really, really sorry!" Rutile cried, bowing forward and shaking. "If you want to punish me for it, I'll understand! I deserve it!"
The vampire arched an eyebrow. "Huh? Why would I punish you? It's my own fault for not realizing that not healing between fights may cause me some trouble. Obviously I shouldn't underestimate my students' power."
"I'm impressed! With how you've been acting this entire school day, I assumed you were one of those 'healer' types, but you've got quite a bit of strength for a child from the human world! You obviously do a lot more training than Emizel and Zeroken."
Rutile stood upright and began to look embarrassed. "N-no, I don't! It's just because I'm half-nekomata, and because I remember to practice the techniques that my mother showed me! I'm not so great at all! I don't even really like to fight, so I don't train often!"
The vampire frowned. "I see… In that case, I'll see to it that you get all the training you deserve!" Ignoring the sound of confusion the half-demon in front of him made, he continued, "And the same goes for you two, Zeroken and Emizel! You've shown me your potential, so now I'll give you such arduous training that before you graduate, you will be confused for full-fledged Demon Lords! Or Overlords! Or dare I say tyrants?!"
Rutile began to look worried again, completely the opposite of her pumped up teacher. "But I don't want to be a—" But before she could complete her complaint, the bell rang.
"Ah, what a shame. The school day is over, just when things were getting good in this particular class! I'll see you kids tomorrow, then. For now, I must hunt down the rest of your foolish classmates and mete out punishment. Come, Fenrich!" And with that, their teacher walked off of the field, followed by his servant, who pulled along the cage with their troublesome classmates.
"And there he goes…" Zeroken said with a frown as he finally found it in him to stand on his feet. "Overlord, huh…? Maybe it's worth it to come to class for more reasons than avoiding whatever fresh hell those two have in mind." Having said that, he left the field as well.
Emizel stood up as well and began to look thoughtful. "I really don't wanna have to deal with his weirdness anymore, and I doubt that my father would let him get away with shoving me in a cage for skipping class, but if I can somehow get stronger by being taught by that guy…" 'I'll be able to make him eat his words and become a demon worthy of Father's respect!' With that thought in mind, he began to smirk and left the field, too.
Rutile, all alone, gave a pitiful meow. "I don't want to be a tyrant…!" She mumbled to herself as she slunk off of the field.
The following day, Rutile, Zeroken and Emizel sat in their homeroom class and watched as Mr. Valvatorez entered the room, followed by the same detention cage from yesterday that was being pushed in by Fenrich. True to his word, the teacher and his aide seemed to have captured every other student for his class and crammed them into the cage, making it look far more uncomfortable than it did yesterday. They would've kept their eyes on their miserable classmates, were it not for their teacher clearing his throat to get their attention.
"Good morning, children! Today, we shall actually do some math. But for the homeroom period, I will continue my lecture on sardines. And to make sure I don't go into our math class period, Mr. Fenrich will be keeping time," Valvatorez said from behind the podium, gesturing over to Fenrich, who was holding a stopwatch in his hand. "Also, don't be afraid to take notes. This will be on a test in the future."
Emizel flinched. "Not another lecture on sardines!"
Zeroken whined under his breath, "I'd give anything to stop this. I'd even do math!"
"I don't know what sardines have to do with math, but…" Rutile opened her notebook and took out a pen, ready to write down anything important.
But, just then, salvation came in the form of the door of the classroom being kicked down and a gang of demons marching in. "VALVATOREZ! We've come for your head, you bastard!" The demon at the head of the group, a slumber cat wearing a tiny tie instead of a bell, hissed while those behind him glared menacingly at the vampire teacher.
"Hey! It's Mr. Whiskers, the freshman English teacher!" Zeroken pointed out.
"And the Science teacher. And the History teacher. And the Alchemy teacher…" Rutile went on.
"There's even some teachers from the upper classes. These must be the guys Valvatorez beat up yesterday," Emizel surmised.
Valvatorez sighed and turned to face the mob of teachers. "You guys again? Look, I have a lecture to give, then I have to go over a math equation and give a worksheet for my students to do for the duration of the class period. Can't this wait until lunchtime, or even afterschool?"
"Hell no!" Mr. Whiskers yowled. "For what you did to us yesterday, we're gonna beat the stuffing out of you and run your bloody corpse up the flagpole! We won't show you any mercy this time!"
"Oh, so you were holding back? I was wondering why you guys were so weak despite being teachers." The vampire threw out his arms. "In that case, I'll eagerly look forward to challenging you at lunchtime and getting to know each other more. We can even have lunch together afterwards."
"We're not waiting until lunch time!" The English teacher snapped, pulling out an oversized piece of fish as the demons behind him whipped out all sorts of weapons.
"Uh… M-Mr. Valvatorez? They don't seem to be in the mood to leave peacefully...!" Rutile pointed out the obvious.
"Hmph! What petty demons with such easily wounded pride." Valvatorez began to point an accusing finger at the group. "Teachers like you are the reason why the children are the netherworld never amount to anything, because you waste time setting bad examples when you should be teaching!" From out of nowhere, a sword appeared in his hand. "Maybe I should put you in detention as well and teach you how to be proper educators!"
"You can't put teachers in detention!" Emizel couldn't help but cry out as he pointed at his vampire teacher.
"Oh, yeah? Just watch me!"
Zeroken stood up so fast that his chair fell over backwards. "I'll help you, teach! Besides, I've got a bone to pick with Mr. Whiskers over my book report last month!"
Rutile stood up as well. "I-I don't want to fight, but…I know it's the only way to resolve the problem at this point…" She said with a sigh.
"Well, Emizel? Would you prefer to stand out in the hall until this nonsense is dealt with, or will you fight alongside your classmates?" Valvatorez asked.
The blonde boy flinched. "Wh-why're you putting me on the spot, damn it?!" 'Besides, even if he beat them, they're still powerful demons! Mere students can't stand up to them!'
"Hee-hee! He won't fight! He's just a lil' bitch who can't even muster up to courage to kill something! Everyone knows that!" Mr. Whiskers said with a gleeful giggle.
"You gonna let that cat talk down on you like that?" Valvatorez asked.
After a few seconds, Emizel got on his feet and summoned his scythe into his hands. "I'm gonna make you eat those words, you mangy cat!" He shouted, and that seemed to be the cue for a noisy, bloody battle to begin right in the classroom.
And so, the days ahead of freshman class 1-E under the tutelage of Mr. Valvatorez seemed destined to be…interesting. Whether that was a good thing or not, however, was as up in the air as Mr. Whiskers when he was sent flying through the roof of the school building on a giant fireball.