Prologue Part 2
They scrambled in, pausing and gazing around the new world. Vehicles zoomed across the road, while people stood around, waiting for who knows what. Smells drifted through the air, while the Heroes stood dumbfounded in the area. Sounds unlike any other were heard, the beeping and ringing of their phones going unnoticed. Until they realize their pockets were ringing. Evan fumbled to get his... phone out and pressed to his ear, just as he had seen others do. But all he could hear was ringing. Looking at the screen again, he noticed Elwin's image on it and a green icon. He tapped it, and Elwin's voice came out.
"Hello? Hello? Heroes? Oh good, you answered. Anyway, you guys would need to get uniforms if you are going to go to school. So cross that little bridge over there and head to Big Headward's. Tell him you guys are transfers and he'll give you free uniforms. Now hurry, the bell is almost going to ring! Oh yeah, you all would be separated in class later. But right now, clothes! Go get them first." The call shut off, and Evan blinked in surprise. Uniforms? Mir snorted, and Evan looked down to see a dog.
They said no dragons, so I got turned into a dog. A black puppy. Hmph.
Evan stifled a laugh and the Heroes began their trek over the bridge. Evan could see the sparkle in his senior's eyes, the way they took in all the new items. Aran had gone straight to a bread shop and stared until Mercedes dragged her away. Phantom appeared to be at ease, a little miffed at the lack of gems, while Luminous was scribbling furiously into a book. Probably his research on the world. Evan could feel the stares of everyone, and he turned to see that yes, they all stood out. Like a sore thumb.
Evan started to hurry the Heroes, ans when they finally got over, who else but Big Headward greeted them? The Heroes seemed a bit shocked. The man in the store spotted them ans huffed. "What is it? A bunch of cosplayers? Shoo now, I won't make your clothes."
Mercedes cleared her throat. "Ahh, Mr. Headward. We are transfer students. We need... uniforms." Headward seem to realize who he was talking to, and he laughed. "Really? I would have thought otherwise! But I have too little machines to make you proper ones, as you can see! How about this, take this uniform. It goes over your outfit, and you can wear it underneath."
Headward started to measure everyone, before tossing some clothes over. Everyone dashes into the changing room, returning clad in their school uniform. Sweater, shirt and tie for the boys, though Phantom opted to toss away the tie and left his collar open. Luminous buttoned up with the tie, while Shade chose to not wear the sweater and instead chose to wear the blazer with a tie. Evan didn't want to where anything ontop, so he stuck to the shirt only. The girls were easier, with Mercedes putting on the blazer and a tie, while Aran threw on the blouse and put on the skirt. She tied the jacket around her waist.
"These are kinda short. How am I suppose to fight in them?" Aran was complaining, with Big Headward shaking his head disapprovingly. Mercedes twirled around a little, appearing to be satisfied. The boys were fine with the outfit, and they trooped out of the shop.
Another phone call came, and this time, Shade answered it. All the Heroes crammed near the phone to listen to Elwin, which looked quite comical when they each fought over who listened to it. In the end, Shade listened while the others squabbled. He put down the phone and turned around. "We need to hide our weapons. Especially Maha and your staffs. Phantom, we need your illusions."
Phantom snorted and brought out his cards. They flew and landed on everyone's weapon but his cane, and they slowly disappeared. "Illusion. Don't let anyone touch them, or they would appear again." He stared at Luminous, smirking. Luminous glared and slotted his weapon on his back, and entered the school. According to Elwin, or so Shade said, they had to go to the Teacher's office first. The Heroes moved to the front gate, to see... Cygnus?! Everyone froze. What was the Empress doing here? She seemed to be speaking to a man about a cloth in the trees. Phantom smirked and tilted his hat. Running over to the tree, he jumped up and climbed it with ease, picking JP the cloth and landing on the floor.
"Your handkerchief, my lady." He bowed down and waved his hand with the handkerchief at Cygnus. The girl smiled and giggled, taking the handkerchief. "Thank you. You seem to be really fit for someone your age." Phantom laughed.
"No, no. This is nothing. After all, what do you expect from one of the Heroes, and me no less?" Cygnus blinked at him in confusion, before laughing it off. "Very well, hero. I guess it keeps you fit. Now, how should I reward you? I have learnt that no good deed should go unrewarded."
Phantom opened his mouth to ask for Meso, when Luminous bopped him on the head from behind. "No reward required for this guy." Phantom winced and glared.
"Nothing for me, my lady. However, someone's white butt is asking for a beating...." the two glared at each other, leading Evan to push in between the two. Cygnus laughed a little, before drawing out her phone.
"Please, allow me to exchange phone numbers with you. I would like to be friends with you." Before anyone could say anything, everyone's phone number was inputted into Cygnus' phone and her number in theirs. She bid them farewell and hurries into the school. Dumbfounded, the Heroes immediately glanced at the contact list. They actually got Cygnus' number. Not that they thought it meant anything, but they could contact the Empress. Mercedes huffed. "Now isn't the time to be doing this. Come on, class is starting." Someone cleared their throat behind, and everyone turned to stare at the chauffeur.
"Look. I don't want you people hanging around Ms. Cygnus. I know your type, to hang around the rich and backstab them later. I forbid you for going near her, do you understand?" The chauffeur was trying to look intimidating, but it wasn't working.
Luminous barked a short laughter. "With this idiot around, you simply must wonder how people don't hate the rich." Phantom glared at him, before he used his cane to trip Luminous, darting into school, laughing. Luminous chased after him, with Aran yelling at them to stop while running after the both of them. Mercedes, Shade and Evan sighed, before they moved into the school, leaving the ignored chauffeur behind, who was clearly angry at their rudeness.
It turned out the Heroes were separates among the three classes. Evan was in the first year, Mercedes and Aran in the third, while the boys were in the second. They went on their separate ways, though, Evan was glad he was with Chief Stan's counterpart. The second years got a weird looking teacher, while the third years got... Akarium. It was amusing to see the Aran attempting to run from him.
In the First Year Classroom, Stan introduced Evan. Evan smiled meekly, a little nervous. "H-hello. My name is Evan. This is Mir. He's.. my dog." Stan nodded. Evan had been 'given' a special privilege to bring a dog in to combat his 'anxiety issues'. Lucky for him, Lily placed that in. The students stared at him, before one raised their hand. "What's your hobby, Evan?"
"H-hobby? Uhm... Combat Training? A-and reading about dragons! Researching them!" Evan announced. Stan stared at him a little, before sighing. "Back to seat, Evan."
The day passes by in a flash with Evan occasionally staring confusedly at his books. What was all this? After class, as he made a move to exit, someone called him. Evan looked up to see Francis. Francis?! Evan jolted in his seat and immediately grabbed Mir. Francis walked over and smiled the same creepy smile.
"Have we met before? I feel like we have. Maybe the forces of evil brought us together for a reason. Come now, we wouldn't want to ignore the evil destiny we share, don't we? Kuhuhuhu... and you must be a fanatic as well, to go for Combat Training. We 'otakus' gotta stick together. Kuhuhuhu, have my number." Evan nodded hurriedly. He was a little creeped out, but this Francis didn't seem to be too bad... what's an Otaku, though? As he inputted in Francis number, the two talked, with Evan relaxing by the minute. Francis did seem like a nice person. Maybe, if Francis wasn't under the Black Mage, Evan could have been friends with him. He did seem to be a nice person, though a little creepy. "You know, I took a picture of the dark spirits entering the world. I bet its because of them you are here. As Evan moved to exit the room, someone else stopped him. A large thickedlipped person, bigger than Evan. He looked up at the person, whose name he vaguely remembered as The Fist. He smiled at Fist, wondering what he wanted.
"Hey you. I don't know why, but since you transferred here, I think it's destiny. You know what? I'll make you my right hand man. And anyone under me doesn't talk to weirdos like Puppet man, so don't you dare talk to him again."
Evan blinked at him. Oh. Francis. He frowned disapprovingly. Somehow he didn't like how Bully talked. Evan shook his head. "That's rude! Francis is pretty nice, and I don't see how playing with puppets make him any lesser than a normal person. I like him as a person."
Bully appeared mad, and he immediately trusted a finger into Evan's face, whom had backed off a little the moment a finger came. "RUDE! How dare you talk back to me! Meet me in the backyard of the school!" He stormed off after that, and Evan watched him go. What was going on? He heard a gulp, and he turned to see Francis shivering a little.
"Oh no, I'm sorry. I think I caused you to be picked on. He's been picking on me since he transferred in, and he's targeting to you now. I'm worried for you; I'm used to him, so I can take at least 3 punches. You look like you would faint after one." Francis gulped. Evan stared at him, before looking out, worried. What was he going to do?
Back with the second years, it was... amusing to say the least. The males were forced along with a teacher that looked vaguely familiar. They had been trying to guess what his name was, when Shade tapped him on the shoulder. "Uh, sir? Would it be possible for us to know who our homeroom teacher is?"
The gruff man turned around, staring at then straight in the eye, before sighing deeply. His reddish hair seemed to stick out in all directions, and Luminous had likened it to a lion's mane. He looked extremely tired, for some reason, but yet, looked ready for the day's activity. He ran a hand through his messy hair, before nodding.
"Von Leon. Most people call me Mr. Leon, since Mr. Von Leon is a mouthful. Now come along." He turned and strode into class, leaving the quivering mess of boys outside. Von Leon was their homeroom teacher?! They hadn't seen him for so long, so it was no wonder they didn't recognize him. But Von Leon?! Audible gulps could be heard from the trio, before they shuffled into class. They stood side by side, a little tense. Shade kept fidgeting, while Luminous stood stock still. Phantom appeared relaxed, leaning on his cane with a smirk on his face. But the other two knew he was feeling equally nervous. After all, Phantom never leaned on his cane unless his legs are jelly.
Von Leon walked from the teacher's desk and gestured to the three of them. "Transfer students. Introduce yourselves. Get a seat. We have work to do." The three nodded quickly, and started to nudge one another to introduce themselves first. Not working. Luminous and Phantom were glaring, and Shade was struggling to get their attention. One loud cough for Von Leon, and immediately the boys stopped. Being unable to use their magic, the Heroes never felt more vulnerable. It was hard enough trying to remind themselves that this wasn't the Von Leon they knew. Taking a deep breath, Phantom took a step forward. His trademark brilliant smile on his face, he introduced himself.
"Ah, it is my pleasure to be in your class. My name is Phantom. To be in this class of beautiful roses, is a privilege for people like me." Luminous felt an urge to poke him in the back, but he wisely held back. Phantom would just have to dig his own grave. The silent chirping of the birds outside seemed to register in Phantom's mind, and he shuffled back a little, his smile on his face. He could see the telltale signs of swooning, so his introduction worked. Somewhat.
Luminous was next, and he coughed a little. "M-my name is Luminous." Simple. Nothing to extravagant. He turned to Shade, who appeared to be ashen white. Phantom and Luminous looked at him strangely. He jerked his head at the class, and the two idiots turned to see what he was looking at. They took a double take, Phantom gripping his cane a little harder while Luminous felt his mouth drop open. In the seats, sat Mihile. Eckhart. Oz. Hawkeye. Cassandra. Ms. Appropriation. ORCHID. They gulped. Two Black Wings Commanders. Shade shook his head. His turn. "Eunwol. That's my name." The students nodded, and Von Leon seemed to smile. Creepy as it is, the boys struggled not to show any expression. "Are there any questions for them?"
Hawkeye, sitting right at the front, raised his hand. "What's your hobby?"
The Heroes looked at him blankly. Hobby... oh! Shade fidgeted a bit, before answering for the three of them. "Combat practice. I mean, that's what we do mostly. I'm not sure, but if that's not it, then probably researching for Luminous, hunting and stealing rare jewels for Phantom, and... cooking. For me." The incredulous looks on everyone's face gave more than enough reason for Shade to shrink and hide behind Luminous. Von Leon frowned, before turning to the class. "Welcome them. Now, get to your seats." The three immediately scrambled for their seats. Shade was sitting behind Phantom, at the very back, next to Mihile. Luminous was seating next to Phantom. It wasn't sure if Phantom did this on purpose, but he had taken a seat next to Eckhart. The three shuffled in their seats, uncomfortable with sitting for long periods of time. In between lessons, the three kept huddling together.
The three had just been discussing the new fangled knowledge of Physics when they heard a cough. And a loud "Hi!" They turned to face Hawkeye, along with Eckhart and Mihile.
"So, nice to meetcha! I'm Hawkeye. We are classmates for this year!" An easy grin slid onto his face, and the other three immediately relaxed. He was similar to the Striker Cygnus Knight back home. Phantom forced a smile. The Heroes weren't exactly in good terms with the Cygnus Knights. Then again, the only time they did interact was during the Maple Alliance meetings. And even then, the Heroes, well, only Mercedes and Aran took an active role in battle plans. Phantom only provided information, while Luminous preferred inputting his opinion when he saw fit. Shade... was forgotten. Evan had still been learning, so not much could be said to the Commanders.
As of now, acting smooth was a little... hard, to say the least. They weren't expecting the Commanders' counterparts. Hawkeye, who took the silence as approval, continued on.
"So this is Mihile and this is Eckhart. Oh, come on, smile a little!"
"Maybe you are overwhelming them, Hawkeye."
"Hmm, really? They don't look too bad, Mihile. Lighten up!"
Eckhart remained silent, which the males were grateful for. Without his mask, the Heroes could see his face. And that was rather uncomfortable, for the Cygnus Knight always hid his face, even during meetings. It was strange to see his face for once.
"...Have we met before?"
Maybe they took Eckhart's silence for granted. Shade immediately shook his head, while Luminous looked away. Phantom nodded his head once, before realizing his mistake and shaking it vigorously.
"...Oh. I see."
"I think you are creeping them out, Eckhart."
"Perhaps your own loud behavior set them on the edge."
"Guys, let's stop. Akarium is here. I hope you have done your homework, Hawkeye."
"Oh snap! Mihile, lend me your homework!"
The boys scurried away, and the Heroes slumped in their chair. Maybe pretending was going to be a harder quest to do than they thought.
The third years weren't as eventful. Akarium proved to be a better teacher than a monk, at least. He had brought them in and introduced Mercedes and Aran for them, knowing how awkward it must be for new students to feel comfortable. Mercedes curtseyed out of habit, while Aran merely grinned. What they weren't expecting was Irena and Ephenia.
"Mercedes, there's an Ephenia here! Not to mention Irina!"
"Calm down, Aran. Remember, this is not our world. Therefore, Ephenia is not the Queen of Fairies, neither is Irena the Windbreaker we know. Shush now, class is starting."
Aran ended up falling asleep.
After class, just as they were about to leave, Irena came.
"Hey. Mercedes, Aran, nice to meet you. I'm Irena. Say, do you want to go out? Since you are a transfer student, I could show you around." Mercedes shook her head, smiling kindly. She was taking the assignment well, unlike Aran, who had made a sound similar to "hnnnnngh!" when Irena approached.
"It is most appreciated, but we have something to do after... school today. Maybe another time, Irena." Smiling, Mercedes was about to run when Irina called out again.
"Okay then, but I want to ask, have we met before? You feel familiar... Oh, wait. Maybe... Say, Mercedes. Do you like archery? If you like, you could join the archery club."
Mercedes' eyes shone, and she took a step forward to agree, to take kn the challenge, when Aran, in the rudest possible way, covered her mouth.
"Ahhhhhhhh, look at the time! We gotta go, seeya!" With that, Aran dragged Mercedes down the stairs, leaving Irina hanging.
The 6 Heroes met up outside the first floor. Evan looked rather worried, while Shade, Luminous and Phantom appeared uncomfortable. Mercedes seemed fine while Aran was pouting.
"Okay, so maybe we didn't suspect the Cygnus Knights to be here. So now what? Do we go back or...?" Aran wanted to return to the Maple World, they did have yet to complete their combat practice as a team. The males nodded quickly, not wanting to run into the others for the rest of the day. Mercedes agreed as well, but Evan...
"I have to meet this guy for something... a fight, I think."
"A fight?!" Luminous and Phantom immediately yelled. Phantom's smile turned plastic, Luminous' red eye flared up. Shade sighed and shook his head, gripping their shoulders.
"Let him explain. Don't overreact." His grip tightened, and the two froze. No magic. Right.
Evan explained what had happened to the rest as fast as possible, unsure if Bully was still there. Aran clapped him on the back, causing Evan to fall forward slightly.
"I think you can stand him, Evan. Don't you worry! Plus, Magic Guard is always on now, right? So all you gotta do is to use your staff and bonk him on the head!" Evan laughed nervously, and shook his head. He didn't want to hurt Bully no matter what, but if he had to escape, he might have to do such a thing. Gulping, he made his way to thr backyard, Aran and Mercedes wishing him luck, while the males squabble over following him. In the end, the remaining Heroes peeked into the backyard to watch.
Evan approached the Bully, who started to yell at him for looking down on him.
"So you think you are stronger? I'm going to take over the school, and I will make an example out of you!"
"Uh, I'm sorry, but...."
A strange voice permeated the backyard, causing Mir to stiffen. An evil laugh, and suddenly, Bully fell down, standing in his place, stood a large monster. Evan let out a whimper, as Mir reverted back to his original shape. The rest of the Heroes hurried after him, all of them drawing their weapons.
"Was not expecting that... really, what were we expecting? Mushrooms?" Luminous grumbled.
"No, but it's powerful! Take it out!"
Mercedes called out, assuming the role of leadership. The others rolled their eyes, and began their assault.
"Spectral Light! "
" Spirit Trap! Shockwave Punch! "
" Blason! "
" Combo Fenrir! "
" Piercing Storm! "
" Blaze! "
Shade immobilized the Monster, giving the others a chance to throw in their attacks. As they launched attacks after attacks at the Monster, they were unaware of the lighthouse they were showing off. The Monster, once freed from Shade's trap, roared and charged at the Heroes. Phantom barely dodged, while Luminous and Evan lost a little of their Mana. Shade and Aran lost their health, but kept throwing attacks left and right. Mercedes jumped out of the way in time. They had to clear this as soon as possible. Nodding, the Heroes assumed a formation. Shade and Aran launched a volley of physical attacks, before they jumped away and the two mages launched their long ranged ones. The Monster was stunned, for a little, and Mercedes aimed her bowguns. Phantom threw out his cards, creating an explosion and weakening the Monster's defense. Mercedes launched a volley of arrows, and the Monster cried out in pain. It dissipated into the air, and the Heroes dropped onto the ground.
It wasn't a difficult battle, but the Heroes knew that this, this monster was far stronger than anything they have fought. Taking a deep breath, Phantom activated his Impeccable Memory and healed everyone. A couple of scraps here and there, but nothing too badly damaged.
"What was that? Never seen such a monster before. Did we fight such a thing back then?" Aran piped up, leaning heavily on Maha as she consumed a Mana Elixir. Mercedes shook her head. It was unlike anyone had ever seen. Evan sighed.
"I guess.. it's my fault? I'm sorry. I didn't know that such a monster was here. I must have provoked it. That said, Bully seems fine, just fainted. I wonder what happened?"
The others opened their mouths to tell Evan to not blame himself, when the phone rang. They each stared at one another, before Aran yanked out her phone. Clicking it on, she yelled at it for a bit.
"Hello? Hello?! Seems like Elwin. He doesn't seem to answer though."
Mercedes sighed and pressed the speaker button. Elwin's voice could be heard. "Hello? I told you guys not to use your magic! What's the big idea! Oh no, Lily looks so mad."
"There was this weird monster here! If we didn't use our magic, we would have died!" Aran snorted.
"Monster? Hurry back right now then! Oh no, Grendel is going to kill me..."
The Heroes exchanged glances, before running off back to the dorm. They could almost hear the scolding from Grendel, and to be honest, no one wanted to hear his old-man-scolding style. As they hurried back, the Heroes knew, they couldn't possibly stay away now.
Meanwhile, in the reading room, a book snapped shut. The reader frowned and got up.
"Transfer students... I wonder..."