He closed his eyes as he sat down next to John, who was radiating with a sort of sickening cheerfulness. The walls were lined with posters of ancient heroes, dates of battles, all faded and peeling off the walls. He waited for everyone to sit down, them collapsed on his arms.

'Hey Firen, wozzup?' John nudged him gently and asked.

'The price of eggs in China.' came the miserable voice from underneath. All sorts of dark and unpleasant thoughts sped through his already aching head. He'd have to spend the rest of his time with Davis and Woody, who, according to his opinion, were extremely bland. John, sensing something wrong, shook his head disbelievingly as he picked off his dusty spectacles and polished them. Firen continued to mope.

'Good morning class!' the door was thrown open and a short, stout woman who was hooded in blue so her face was invisible lumbered into the room.

'Good morning Mrs. Letraviel.' was the murmur that came from the class. No one, not even Deep, disliked her History classes. Her descriptions of ancient battles and tribes were vivid and colourful, she did not pick anything drab and boring to teach, and best of all, she did not give them homework. She glanced around, rubbing her hands together with apparent glee and immediately spotted Rudolf and Freeze, sitting, by default, together in the spare desk.

'Hello,' she strode up to them, smiling in a friendly manner (though they could not see it), 'If I am not mistaken, you two are new here, aren't you?' They both nodded vaguely, Freeze because he always seemed vague, and Rudolf because he felt a bit queasy at being unable to see her face.

'Ahh...Freeze...the first Frostmaster this school has seen in many years,' Mrs. Letraviel continued to smile. At the word "Frostmaster", the class started, and Rudolf gave him a penetrating sort of look, but Freeze soon stopped them by muttering slowly, 'Yeah, the first disgrace of a Frostmaster. I am no good.'

The teacher did not seem perplexed at these words, but instead continued benignly, 'And...dear me. Rudolf...I believe you gave Mr. Hermann a pretty hard time, didn't you?' Rudolf did not respond, but grabbed his half-healed limb convulsively and sat, pupils contracting, breathing hard. When he had finally recovered a bit, Mrs. Letraviel said, worried, 'Rudolf, your arm...it's poisoned. Professor Hermann...he must have injected poison into it while he broke it.'

The rest of the students all clamoured to see him, but Mrs. Letraviel extended a heavily sleeved arm and held them back. She produced a long staff-like wand, not different to John's, from her belt, and tapped Rudolf three times. Instantaneously, he was engulfed in an envelope of magenta mist, and when it disappeared, he was smiling.

'I just drew the poison out,' the teacher assured, 'you don't have to worry about it anymore. I can hardly assume that this is your fault.' Firen, who was listening somewhat absent-mindedly, breathed out his nose in a derisive way, thinking that unless Mrs. Letraviel had some real solid evidence, it was indeed very difficult to show that Rudolf's was innocent. He saw John looking across the room at Jan and grinning; they both knew how to do what Mrs. Letraviel had just done, since all three of them were Sorcerers. When he looked back at the lecturer moments later though, he could see that the shadow in the center of the hood was even darker, as she looked abnormally grave as she requested for the absentees.




'DENNIS!' her eyes suddenly widened in dismay as Woody uttered the last name that she wanted to hear.

'Why, whatever happened to him?' she queried breathlessly.

'He was driven away on the bus, ma'am,' answered Davis defiantly.

She looked horrified. Standing back at the front of the classroom, she began, voice grave and sinister, 'There is something about your Science teacher that could threaten the entire human race. If I told you, I would surely die.'

Don't tell us then, shrugged Firen silently to himself. He kept peering sideways at Davis and Woody: both seemed like the world was going to end. Louis, who was sitting in an empty desk since Dennis was not there, stuck his fingers into his ears. Mrs. Letraviel raised his voice slightly at this, so that Louis would have to hear her, whether he wanted to or not.

'About a hundred years ago, the world was in a mess. There were no countries, but clans of people were constantly at war. Everyday people died, the groans and screams of agony filled the air ('Not any different to school, it is?' shrugged Jan). This age of chaos needed a ruler, someone who would keep the Earth at peace. Many battles were fought, for everyone wanted this divine privilege ('Who wouldn't,' grumbled Louis).

'Then there came a young man, who's name was Julian. He was brave, strong, but too power-hungry. He wanted a place of the gods, to rule; to dominate ('I guess that means me,' sneered Deep). He decided that the only place where he could get that power was on the highest summit on Earth, Mount Avia.

'Alas, he received the power, but paid a terrible price. For as soon as the dark force entered in living body, flames began to consume his flesh, charring it and transforming him into a living corpse ('Oh yeah,' cheered Bevin Witheran, 'I love barbecues.'). The very ground beneath his feet rocked violently as the mountain cracked and split into many pieces. He was not harmed, for he acquired an armour so strong that it could only be penetrated by the toughest of swords (at this, Deep ran a thumb on his own smooth blade). His might grew, and he was merciless; not long after his transformation he had the whole world and all it's nations in his hands. He used the people for his own evil purposes, and that time of ruin was even worse than the Age of Chaos.

'Then came seven people. Their names were Divnac, Firzen ('That name sounds awfully like that snivelling little snot,' cursed Davis quietly), Rudolph, Depth, Nathan, Louisen and Hendrik, all of what remained of the Dragon Tribe, except for Firzen. Firzen was actually an ally of Julian's, but, in refusing to sacrifice his sons in order to gain an even more overwhelming authority that was to be shared between him and Julian, he turned away from him, and instead became a spy for the remnants of the Dragon Tribe. They disliked Julian strongly for the way he enslaved and oppressed the people.

'And so, they crosses a thousand rivers, swam a thousand seas and climbed a thousand hills, just to get to his palace. They challenged him to a brutal battle. They were victorious, and the people were free. Julian was banished, and rested in the wilderness, until one day, hundreds of years afterwards, when he finally awoke. He vowed to destroy, if not annihilate, the heirs of the ancient heroes. Firzen, who was also immortal, sensed the coming of Julian. He was afraid of Julian's wrath, and he knew that his end was near. He tried to hide from his former friend, but failed dismally. He was killed. His only hope lay in his two sons, whom he attempted to save before his death.'

Davis shuddered. He had heard these name before. In his dream. He looked back at Freeze, who was gaping, open-mouthed, at Firen. Davis was a bit nonplussed. The fragments of information drifted in his head like pieces of sawdust on old water. Despite his feeling at Dennis's disappearance, he made a mental note to tell Firen and Freeze what he had dreamt.

'Julian is currently in disguise, a menacing evil from the dawn of time, lurking, waiting...to kill.

'And that is why,' she concluded, 'You,' she turned her head to Davis, 'And you,' she moved her face swiftly to Woody, 'And Dennis, must not be separated.'

There was silence as both of them felt the truth sink in slowly. They both felt weak, hopeless, weary...

'Why, ma'am?' interrupted John, with a small squeak. Mrs. Letraviel bowed her head, 'The are the only heirs of the ancient heroes that I know of...'

'And what's up with the crazy Science teacher?' Deep's voice piped up from the desks. 'Ah,' she said heavily, 'I have a suspicion that he, is Julian.'