|“Good evening Dworgyn.” said Headmaster Ambrose “How are your classes lately? It seems your students are angry with the other schools lately. Have you had any problems?”
“No, of course not headmaster.” replied Dworgyn without looking up from the essays on his desk. “The students are merely disgruntled about the fact that they cannot perform their magic as they used to. Whereas the other students are free to do so.”
“You have heard this from them before?” questioned Ambrose. Still Dworgyn did not look up.
“On many occasions. They seem to feel that they are restricted everywhere but in this class. Could you please explain why they should feel this way?”
Ambrose took a minute to answer him. “I might have put some rules into place after the scuffle in the Storm classroom two months ago.”
For the first time Dworgyn looked up. His face held an expression of confusion. “I wasn’t aware of any fights. (I suppose I need to get out more) What happened?”
Ambrose frowned. “Well some of the students that took Storm as a secondary school were not working properly at their stations to hatch a Stormzilla Egg. A small fight occurred and as a result the Stormzilla egg was smashed. The Storm students were furious and began attacking the Death Students. The Death students retaliated therefore summoning several very dangerous spirits that took over the Storm Students bodies and sent them halfway into the Scarecrow’s domain. I arrived in time to set things right. Each student was given eight months detention and they were suspended from the school for the next year. While having a private tutor so as to keep pace.” As Ambrose finished his explanation Dworgyn looked astonished.
“Oh my! I never knew that had happened! Well in that case I must agree with you. I will have to explain to the students so they do not cause trouble. But is their any way they can practice their magic? Otherwise they could fail to cast a spell without practice.”
Ambrose smiled “Exactly where I was hoping we would end up. I have an idea for you Dworgyn.” Dworgyn’s eyebrows rose, “A tournament. A series of battles in the Krokotopia Arena where the schools will compete against each other. The winning school is granted a trophy and unlimited access to a new training ground we are currently having built.”
Dworgyn’s frown lifted to reveal a small, sly smile. “A brilliant idea Headmaster. But why should we use the Krokotopia Arena? Is ours not good enough?”
“I understand your concern. But our Arena is much too small for my idea. As you know after the students of each school have mastered their creature spells they are sent out to a new teacher. The teacher shows them how to manipulate the positive and negative energies of their school. That is how I intend this tournament to go.”
Dworgyn smiled “That is a good idea Headmaster but we have so many students that have finished the creatures that it might take a month to finish the tournament.”
“Well there is my second idea; we will have a team for each school that will be made up of the best out of the students. The teams will be decided by the best student, who will be the team’s captain. Yet he or she will report to you. Does this seem a reasonable idea Dworgyn?”
“Yes Headmaster when will these tournaments take place?”
“There will be a new tournament every eight months.”
“So when will the first tournament begin?”
“The first of the tournaments will begin in three months. Am I safe to assume that the students will be ready by then?”
“Indeed Headmaster, but when should I tell them?”
“Well as I have given the schools permission to eat lunch in their street, for our school is becoming increasingly large, it would be fine for you to tell them then.”
The next day Dworgyn was seated at the long onyx table in front of the student’s tables at noon. He silently watched as the selfsame silent students finished eating. When every last sliver of bone-fish cake had disappeared down the throats of their consumers, Dworgyn stood up. Immediately every pale face turned in his direction, and each face was expressionless. A glint of inexplicable intelligence graced each and every eye.
Dworgyn cleared his throat and began to speak, “Welcome my students to another great year. I have some new announcements for you all. Firstly we have 58 new students to add to our school this year. Please do your best to make them feel welcome. Next we have some new rules the Headmaster has set forth. No student is to use any magic in the Shopping District as per the incident of having to rebuild three stores…” he stopped for a moment to stare at three students at the largest table who looked away pointedly, “And gobblers are not to be attacked unless you wish to be suspended, if you survive being swallowed.” Several students chuckled quietly.
“Well, students after those…interesting announcements, there is one more. The Headmaster has given each of the schools a special announcement to give out. Starting next month there will be a tournament. In this tournament our most powerful team of students will fight to win against the other schools. I have already found our team; each school is required to have the minimum of seven members, six fighters and a captain.” He turned his head toward the smallest table and watched as several of the students there began to mutter to the ones next to them.
“Now our six fighters will be Armora Silvermist, Brandon Olardens, Kacy Olardens, Mark Plarden, Steven Meaden, and Corven Arlandra. Will those students please step forward and receive their badges?” As he finished speaking he drew his wand out of his lantern and flicked it in a straight line through the air. Six silver globes of metal appeared there twisting and revolving in slow motion until you could clearly define a shield shape badge with a black skull, silver ribbons surrounding it, and silver stars embossing the edge. As each student walked up, a badge began to float towards them, attaching to the front of their robes.
Dworgyn flicked his wand again and six wands appeared. They floated still in the air until Mark Plarden reached out. At this sudden movement the wands reacted, rapidly shooting sparks that hung in the air in an intricate pattern. Ten seconds later the sparks had become a 3-D silver skull that floated up into the air hung there, illuminating the cave. But no-one was looking at the skull they were all staring at the wands and the fighters. The wands had made a circle around the fighters and a net of silvery strands had made a sphere around them.
The sphere floated higher and higher till it rested just under the jaw of the skull. After it stopped, Dworgyn stood up to face the shock-eyed students before him. He cleared his throat and began to speak.
“Yes. These students have been, as you would say, trapped. There is a test the Headmaster has designed for the captain of each team. Each team’s captain has a special wand that has the ability to overpower these others. But, the wand will only work for the person it thinks will be the best representative for the school. If you would like to be the captain step forward and try to free the others.” Dworgyn stepped back and picked up an ornately carven box that rattled and vibrated slightly. Then he let go of it, the box floated there vibrating with increasing intensity till the lock on it snapped off violently. The lid flew open and a wand floated out.
The slow moving wand turned end over end until it was at least five feet off the ground. The tip let off a cold blue and white light that shivered and danced like a flame. All the while, tendrils of the magic flowed down the wand making it shine with a pale light. Every time a tendril was released the students heard whispers, the calls of the long dead. For a moment the students sat frozen in silence until the scrape of a bench broke it. They turned to see several of their classmates leave their tables to form a line in front of the wand. The first reached out and touched it with the tips of his fingers; the dancing flame began to hiss and spit, flaring red and rising farther in the air, only to drop as the next candidate approached.
The rest of the line went basically the same way. Each student leaving the line with a rather foul face, finally they reached the end of the line. The last student reached out and, the wand fled. It spun in a circular fashion around the whole area, then ran along the length of each table until it stopped at the smallest one there was, the new student’s. At this table the wand crept along moving just slow enough to see each face for at least twenty seconds. Finally it stopped, at the end of the table was a boy sitting alone, a hood pulled over his eyes. The wand hovered there in front of the boy. Finally the boy looked up and Dworgyn noticed the boy’s eyes were sparkling yellow. A color only seen in the eyes of snakes. Dworgyn watched as the boy lowered his hood back.
Letting a curtain of grayish black hair fall back across his shoulders. Then he saw the boy began to work his mouth but he could not hear what he said. All he could hear was a slow deliberate hiss inside his head that kept leaving spaces and making clicks. As he watched the boy he saw that the boy’s voice was the hiss, and the spaces were him stopping. Finally the hissing ceased. The boy stood up and walked forward, the wand eagerly following him. The boy stopped before the table that Dworgyn was sitting at and gestured with his hands towards the ground, the wand floated downward. Then he hissed low and deep and flung his hand up.
The wand rose into his hand. He raised it and with a flick of his wrist the cage glowed bright. As they watched the cage of light drifted downward to sit in front of the boy. The boy began to speak. But this time there was not a hiss but a man’s voice coming from the boy. This was what Dworgyn found deeply disturbing.
“I see why you were chosen to represent the noble school of Death. Each of you has a specific powerful ability that allows you to be the best of your class. Armora, your strength lies in the ability to control fear giving you a head on mental advantage to your adversaries. Brandon and Kacy you are an unusual pair, nothing I have come across in my previous journeys, your minds are linked, and as long as one of you has enough energy you can give the other the strength they need to overcome an enemy. Mark you have an enormous ability to control and duplicate separate magics at the same time, you could be a very resourceful part of our team.
Steven you know every piece and shard of the human body, I am going to presume that while you are in the mortal world you practice many martial arts. Lastly, Corven, your ability to see into the minds of others gives you the same mental advantage as dear Armora here.” He turned away from the cage to Dworgyn whose face remained expressionless while his heart raced at the sight of the serpent boy’s eyes. The boy began to speak again.
“You have given me much to work with; each possesses extraordinary power which I will now see.” And he turned back to the cage. “As I said each of you has enormous power which I would like to see. You will escape the cage on your own. I have examined the cage thoroughly, if you can combine your magic to break the spell I am positive we can win the tournament.” Then he stepped back and the wand followed him leaving trail of bluish-white fire in the air. The students in the cage just watched him the entire time. Their eyes were the only thing that betrayed their fear of the boy.
But as the boy stepped back the students began to mutter quietly. Suddenly a pool of different colored light appeared in each students hands. Armora held a glowing orb of blood red light in her long fingers, the surface twisting and spiraling. The twins Kacy and Brandon both held a yellow orb that dripped its contents down from their hands for an inch before it joined the orb again. Mark’s hand held a glowing green oval that seemed to shape itself into random things.
Steven’s hand seemed to shine with the light emitting from the pale blue spiral in it. But Corven’s hand glowed with the most exotic array of rainbow colored light. As everyone watched the light began to rise, spiraling together to form a rod of silver light. The rod began to rise flooding over the cage, coating the bronze with silvery light. Then… it shattered. The cage fell apart, each bent rod breaking into miniscule pieces and clattering to the ground. The wands that had held the cage aloft spit out sparks and flame as they danced around their owners their owners.
The students themselves looked absolutely awestruck, as they had experienced something far beyond their knowledge of magic. Their eyes turned to the boy in front of them. And they gasped, instead of seeing the small boy they had seen earlier here was a tall teen, perhaps fourteen or fifteen holding the wand in one hand and an eight foot staff with a silver skull at the top and base.
The teen’s yellow eyes glinted with an almost manic light. And with the strong voice of a war commander he began to speak.
“We will win the tournament; we will show them all what we are capable of. To the Almighty School of Death, I am Malistaire!” He exclaimed and he twirled his staff and a huge roar of claps and applause swept through the canyon.
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