Here are the first couple parts of an original story I started working on a few years ago (and currently on hold), which I just figured I'd share a little of. Just a bit of a warning: there's quite a bit of cursing in this, just in case you're offended by that kind of thing. Anyway, I hope you find this enjoyable. Prologue Nighttime envelops the city, and that’s when things are known to get dangerous. If only I had taken that common knowledge more seriously... I thought I would be safe, but looks like those that serve protect the ‘commoners’ royally messed up where I am concerned. This all started when I had to do some last-minute studying for a test I had coming up, so, like any good student, I went to the library. I had not intended to stay as long as I did, but, well… I did, and it became dark out, and I thus break curfew. I thought I was alright because my home is only a few blocks away from the library, but just about every sense of security I had instantly shattered when a creature of darkness, an enemy to all of the goddess’ children, like yours truly, showed up and threatened to do what creatures of darkness do. Big screw-up on my part! Now I’m really in deep shit! In fact, I’m probably cursing myself more than I am the creature that’s chasing me. My legs take me as fast as they can take me, but I can’t say that’s doing me a whole ton of good, because the creature is right behind me and gaining. Because it’s dark, I didn’t get a very good look at the creature, besides the fact that it’s humanoid, which only makes things worse for me, because, as I’ve learned about demons and other creatures of darkness, the closer they are to looking human, the worse they are. In fact, I probably would have mistaken the creature for a human if it weren’t for its glowing crimson eyes. If it were a two-foot-tall imp or something, no problem, because even I could take one of those, and everyone going out at night is required by law to take along a weapon for self-defense, like the measly knife I have along. However, I just happened to be the one who ended up in one of those once-every-231-times when someone encounters a demon too strong for a civilian to kill! The instructions in that case: Run like hell and find a Crusader! The creature points out my state, “Your speed, your breathing! You have quite a will to live, boy. Excellent! Human blood always tastes better when there is a touch of fear!” Its voice is rather cultured… as well as female. And what was that about how human blood tastes…? Crap! She has to be a vampire! A creature of darkness that drinks blood and now she’s after mine! My only hope is to keep running and find a Crusader who can save me! If I get caught… well… I’ll become a statistic to give the Crusaders an incentive to do a better job enforcing curfew. Despite my body’s protests, I pick up my pace. Not being an avid player of sports and just an above-average student in Phys Ed, let me tell you, it’s not easy. I turn one corner after another, yelling for help; probably the most un-badass thing I’ve ever done in my sixteen years. I’m sweating for more reasons than one and my hair, which is dark and goes down past my neck, but before my mid-back, sticks to me like… I dunno… stickers…? I look back and notice that the vampire isn’t there anymore. I slow down and stop, taking some deep breaths. Did I lose her? I don’t know how, but alright! Go me! However, my euphoria is cut short as she drops down in front of me. I now have a pretty good look at her. She has long lightly-colored hair, almost completely white, and she really doesn’t look that much older than me, though she probably is. On her back, two bat-like wings extend. The total wingspan is probably ten feet. To my disgust, she’s also wearing a gown with a large bloodstain on it. A smirk crosses her lips, revealing her small, but very much existent fangs, “You thought you lost me, eh? I suggest you reevaluate your assumption, boy.” “Damn it!” I curse as I turn and start running again. Running the first time wasn’t so bad. It’s uncomfortable, but not hard to maintain a steady pace, but after stopping, albeit briefly, it’s so much harder! I turn a corner I missed before and find a girl dressed in a white cloak with gold highlights running in my direction. I recognize those clothes! A Crusader! I’m saved! In between breaths, I explain my situation to the Crusader, “Demon… chasing me… help…” The vampire comes into sight. The Crusader steps between us with her arm extended, “Stay behind me! I’ll take care of this hellspawn!” The vampire lets out a discontent sound, “Tch. A Crusader. How annoying…” “Return to darkness, enemy of the goddess and her children!” The Crusader extends both of her hands toward the vampire, and she recites some words in the Holy Tongue (don’t ask me what they mean, ‘cause I don’t know), “Assuni hiah fuum saein!” With her last nonsense word, the Crusader, a mage, according to her fighting style, fires a flurry of dazzling beams of light at the vampire, who covers herself with her wingspan, then uncovers herself after the attack ends, emerging completely unharmed. The mage attempts another spell, “Afaiah em_” However, the vampire charges, closing the distance between them too fast for the spell to be complete. The Crusader tries to reach for her sidearm, but she is too slow. The vampire’s right hand crackles with dark energy and it sinks deep into the chest of the Crusader. The vampire then pulls out her heart. Blood covers the vampire’s arm and goes spattering everywhere. With her final weak breath, the Crusader gasps, “Fo… giv… me…” My mouth is agape with terror and disgust and I feel like I’m about to hurl. My knees start to buckle and I watch the body of the Crusader; my last hope, fall to the ground. The vampire looks at her newly retrieved heart, “This will make for a decent meal later, but for now, back to the business at hand…” She advances on me. My legs give in and I fall to the ground. The vampire kneels in front of me and brings her face so close to mine that she fills my vision. I can’t take my attention away from those crimson eyes, “I hear your heartbeat. Your fear consumes you and you watched your last hope shatter, and you are filled with despair. Your blood will be a most satisfying meal…” I want to say something badass and go out with dignity, but she’s right. I am consumed by fear; So much so that I can’t talk! She leans past my head and whispers into my ear, “But don’t worry, boy. I have no intention of taking your life. I will not take all of your blood. Instead, I will leave enough for you to live… forever. I shall place a curse on you and you will become a darkling, just like me. Consider it a thank you gift for providing me with such a fun hunt. Hmhmhm…” With a chuckle, she brings her head lower and I suddenly feel a sharp pain in the side of my neck. My eyes widen to the pain. My energy quickly leaves me and I become dizzy. It isn’t much long that I begin to black out. The pain leaves my neck and I hear the vampire’s cheerful laughter become more and more distant. Finally, I pass out. I don’t know how long I was out. It might have been for an hour or two, or it might have been for a few minutes, but considering that I’m in the same place I was when I fainted, I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. I notice that the entire left side of my shirt is stained with blood. In a common action, my tongue probes my teeth, only to be cut on the third teeth over from my two fronts. They had become very sharp, although I notice that the pain of cutting my tongue isn’t nearly as bad as I remember. However, that is only a minor observation compared to what I’m feeling. I had my energy drained from be before, but now I feel like I have it all back. In fact, I feel like I have more than ever! However, even that sensation feels insignificant next to the next thing I feel: Thirst. Damn it… I’ve never felt so thirsty… and not just for anything either… I’ve never been dehydrated out in a desert somewhere, but somehow, I feel that thirst doesn’t compare to what I’m feeling… I definitely feel different, and for some reason, I feel that returning home would be a mistake… Suddenly, I find someone. Not Crusaders… but rather, a family consisting of a father, mother, and small girl. My sense of smell, which is different somehow, picks up a very pleasant scent from the three of them, but at the same time, a horrible feeling comes over me. Despite my mind’s protests, my body feels like it’s acting on its own. The mother says, “That boy… he has glowing red eyes. Is he…?” Red eyes? Is she talking about my eyes? But… my eyes are green… The father steps in front of his wife and daughter, “A vampire? Damn it! Where are the Crusaders when we need them? Michelle, take Molly and run! Find a Crusader! I will hold this monster off for as long as I can!” “But…” “Just go! We can’t outrun it! The best I can do is buy time!” “Okay… Come on, Molly! We must hurry!” “Daddy!” The mother and girl start to run. The road goes on for a long way before a corner. The father unsheathes a slender-bladed sword, “Come on, monster!” I want to just turn and run, but I cannot control my actions! I dash head-on toward the man, who prepares to strike with his sword. I notice that I am moving fast; very fast; inhumanly fast. Under any other circumstance, this would have been a thrill. The man performs a lunge, impaling me through the heart. Despite the pain, I feel happy. Am I going to die? If so, good. I was going to kill the man and his family afterward. This is how it should be… The man pulls the sword out and draws a gun from a holster on the hip opposite his sword’s sheathe, and shoots me in the head a few times. I fall to the ground, relieved… … However, my relief does not last long, as every wound he inflicted on me suddenly heals, and I’m back to how I was, like nothing had happened. I quickly rise to my feet. The man assumes a defensive stance with his sword, but I rear back and my fingernails suddenly extend and harden into claws. I swipe and rend the blade to pieces, and then throw myself at the man. He is full grown and in good shape, so he SHOULD have been able to resist me, but… he can’t. I overpower him with ease and bring my face to his neck. I open my mouth wide, and the teeth in my mouth that had become extra sharp extend a few inches like the fangs of a rattlesnake. I bite down, and within mere seconds, I drain him of his blood. The taste used to repulse me, but now, it tastes better than anything I had eaten before. It clearly dawns on me what I’ve become. His colorless and lifeless body falls to the ground. However, in spite of having a fill that would satisfy a human, I, or should I say my body, is far from content. I turn my attention toward the wife and daughter who are not yet out of my sight. They look behind them to confirm the fate of their loved one. “Harold!” cries the mother. “Dad!” wails the daughter. I hate this! I don’t want to do anymore, but my body still refuses to obey. I charge at the remaining two family members. In what only felt like a few seconds, the mother and daughter suffer the same fate as the father. “A… da…” With her dying breath, the mother tries to say something, but falls short. “AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!” A horrible scream is all I can do. I’ve done something unforgivable! I hate what I’ve become. I am what I was told I’ve become: A vampire. An immortal creature of darkness that feeds on human blood. No… Worse even than that: a monster… Every hope I had for the future evaporates. I just don’t care anymore. All I want right now is for a Crusader to show up and finish me; to destroy what I have become! Tears fall from my eyes, though my thirst for blood continues. A figure emerges from around the corner up ahead: A girl. She is shrouded by the darkness, but I can tell she doesn’t look that much older than the girl I just killed. However, my body has no desire to attack this girl. I suddenly notice why: She has glowing red eyes. Another vampire? She notices the situation, “… If only I had arrived sooner…” “…” I want to say something, but for some reason, I can’t. “You don’t seem to be in control…” observes the girl, “I guess you became a vampire just recently. In that case, I’ll see what I can do about saving you.” She pulls a gun out of a holster on her back. Suddenly, my urge to attack flares up and I charge at what my body just declared as an enemy. I rocket toward her with my claws bared. The vampire girl, however, calmly aims her firearm as she unfurls her bat-like wings, and shoots. The shot hits me right between the eyes. The pain is only brief and the wound disappears quickly, but the impact of the shot against my speed knocks me clean off my feet and flat onto my back. I get back to my feet, only to see that the girl is no longer where she was. As I try to find out what happened, however, I feel a heavy impact against the back of my head. I feel dazed as everything becomes blurry. Soon after, I pass out. This was the fateful night that happened two years ago, and since then, nothing had ever been the same for me. Since then, life had become more complex and difficult, but at the same time, it was those same circumstances that would one day lead me to my destiny… Ziro and the Theocracy of Eluminus BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! A sound that feels as if it could burst eardrums blasts from a location, mere inches away from my head, ending a dream about one of my most vivid memories. It’s my alarm clock, and while a much quieter sound would have normally sufficed, in my case, the louder the better, because I would have just slept through the day, otherwise. I wake up with a stretch and yawn… and an immense thirst. I glance out the window that my bed is adjacent and parallel to. Looks like today is bright and sunny… … … Uh, crap. It’s time to do what I do every morning. I wake up to a bedroom that definitely makes its place as my most private sanctuary. Of course, there are video games and CDs, stuff you’d expect in a boy’s room. More than that, however, are the DVD cases covering my floor. More than anything (well, except for one unfortunate thing), I am addicted to movies. Genres range all over the place from, comedy to romance to action to horror, and whatever is in between. I even have a lot of girl-oriented films, which I enjoy for some reason. All my movies are watched on a prominent 32” screen TV across from my bed in the corner of the room. Hey, we all gotta have a hobby, right? There is a loud pounding on my bedroom door, which is fortunately, locked, accompanied by a high-pitched voice yelling, “Dammit, Ziro! How many times must I tell you to turn that stupid alarm down? I can hear it from my room, you idiot! Just because you have to wake up doesn’t mean you have to wake me up! Do you hear me?” The owner of the voice stomps away. With a sigh, I head to the bathroom, which is connected to my bedroom. There’s nothing special about it, just a blue-walled room with a white tiled floor, with the typical sink and mirror, toilet, and shower. I open up a cabinet behind the mirror above the sink, and along with the toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, bandages, and the like, there is a small jar filled with pink tablets. Taking one, I start up the sink, reach for a nearby disposable cup, fill it, and swallow the water and the pill along with it. Suddenly, that intense thirst goes away. Afterward, I do the rest of my morning bathroom things: take a shower, and tie my long mid-back length hair into a ponytail (I never was satisfied with my short-haired appearance for some reason, so I grow my hair out), as well as put on a pair of contact lenses and rub a type of lotion all over my body (more on those later). Finally, I head back to my room, open the sliding door to my closet, and put on my school uniform: A stylish white jacket with blue and yellow highlights over a blue shirt and white dress pants. Finally, I leave my room and head downstairs to the dining room. Waiting to greet me in the dining room are two girls and a boy. A pleasant aroma wafts from the kitchen as breakfast is being prepared… or at least pleasant to a human, but kinda repellant to me, though it’s a daily ritual for me to just endure it. The first girl, a long-black-haired girl, ten years of age, whines, “Korinaaaaa! Tell this lazyass, Ziro, to turn his stupid alarm down! He’s always waking me up and you know I can’t go back to sleep once I wake up! Tell him to stop being such a selfish bastard!” This ‘chipper’ young lady is my younger sister, Sara. She’s the one who was demanding I turn my alarm down. As if you couldn’t tell, she’s a foul-mouthed brat who always has something to bitch about. I lazily respond, “And miss waking up? You really think I’m going to do that?” The second girl, with long ash blonde hair tied in a French braid, 23 years old, responds to Sara patiently, “Now, now, Sara. You know Ziro likes to sleep in and he’s hard to wake up. You also know that he has school before you, so it’s important he wakes up on time.” She’s Korina, my older sister. A very sweet girl, but don’t let that fool you. She’s good at fighting, and though she doesn’t look it, she is a Crusader. I’m her brother, so I wouldn’t know, but a lot of people say that she’s really beautiful. “Hmph…” Sara pouts, no doubt unhappy about the fact that Korina took my side. “So… How many times have you complained about Ziro’s alarm now, Sara?” asks a guy with short blonde hair reading the morning newspaper. His name is Raiq, age 22, and he is Korina’s boyfriend. Yup, out of the hundred million guys who wanted my older sister, he’s the one who she accepted. Like Korina, he is also a Crusader, not to mention a great cook, and he comes from a rich family. I used to be skeptical of him, because I thought he was just another sleazy guy after my sister, but I got to know him and he’s really a cool guy. He hangs around the house a lot, and he’s like a brother to me and Sara. A ‘ding’ goes off from the kitchen and Raiq closes his newspaper and says, “It looks like breakfast is ready.” He gets up and heads to the kitchen, followed by Korina. Shortly, they walk out carrying plates with different kinds of breakfast food: Eggs for Sara, bacon for me, toast for Raiq, waffles for Korina, and coffee for all of us. As we eat, Sara glares at me, still probably pissed off about the whole alarm clock thing. I respond by mouthing the words, ‘Bite me.’ “Hey!” yells Sara, “Korina! Ziro just mouthed something to me!” Korina glances at me, “Ziro, did you just mouth something to Sara?” “Yeah,” I answer, “I said, ‘You are the world’s best sister.’” “Aw, isn’t that sweet?” asks Korina. “Bullshit!” yells my younger sister, “You know that’s not what he said!” “…” Korina simply returns to her food. It’s not like she’s that naïve, it’s just that she doesn’t want to put up with us right now. Her job as a Crusader is during the night, so she only got back home a few hours ago and is no doubt exhausted. While Sara and I are at school, she and Raiq sleep during the day. What’s breakfast to me and Sara is dinner to her and Raiq. Finally, I finish my bacon, “That was delicious! Thank you!” “You’re welcome,” says Raiq with a smile. I put on my shoes and grab my book bag from the corner of the dining room, “Well, I’m headed for school! See ya!” “Oh, yes,” says Korina, recalling something, “Happy Cataclysm Day!” “Oh…” Oh yeah, it’s that holiday, isn’t it. All it means to me is that school is going to be a little different, is all. "Enjoy school," says Korina. "I'll try!" I rush out the door into the sunlight, the heat hitting me all at once, intending to get out of it as soon as possible, when I am stopped by Sara’s voice, “Hold it right there, Ziro!” I turn and say, “What is it, Sara?” I am impatient for more than one reason. Sara hesitates, her cheeks beat-red; Not a usual expression coming from her. Finally, she thrusts a pink envelope in my direction, “Here. Take this…” “What is it?” I ask. “It’s a pink envelope,” answers Sara. I roll my eyes, “I can see that! What is it fo--” I notice something written on the front in blue marker: ‘To Valin.’ Sara says hesitantly, “If… if you give this to Valin, I will forgive you for the whole alarm thing. Okay…?” “Fine. Whatever.” I take the envelope and hurry off. Valin is Raiq’s younger brother. He’s more or less a friend of mine at school and he is nothing like his older brother. He was over once, and it was ironically obvious that Sara liked him, but… a pink envelope? I can’t imagine it being anything other than a love letter. Oh well, it’ll be a good laugh, anyway… I leave my residential area and run through the section of the city leading to the transport station that will take me to school, avoiding as much sunlight as possible. I’m sure you already know this, but my name is Ziro. I am 18 years old (people say I haven’t aged much since 16, but little do they know is that I hadn’t aged at all since 16. The only thing about me that had grown since then is my hair). I live my two sisters, and Raiq, if you count him, and I go to school. I do have parents, as well as an elder brother named Croix, but they are usually out of the country. However, there is something my friends, nor my family, should never know about me: I'm a vampire. Let me start from be beginning. Where I live is known as the Theocracy of Eluminus, a country, once known as a continent called 'Europe' during the Old Era, that arose after a horrific event known as the Cataclysm, which happened on this day, over two-hundred years ago. During that time, demons had broken loose from their world, and wrecked havoc upon the world that existed before. The demons, the children of darkness, were eventually thwarted, although to this day, during the night, they come out and hunt humans, the children of light. Two years ago, I was attacked by one such demon; a vampire to be exact, who placed a curse on me, which made me into a vampire too. The thing about vampires is that they have a never-ending thirst for blood, and will attack any living thing in sight for it. When I first became a vampire, I lost all self-control, went feral, and ended up killing an innocent family for their life-granting fluids. To this day, I hate myself for letting that happen, though I later found out that I had absolutely no control in the state I was in. Anyway, after that happened, I encountered another vampire, who knocked me out. Vampires can easily survive what can be considered mortal wounds, but blunt force trauma to the back of the head can still knock one unconscious, just like a human. Anyway, said vampire, her name is Ellen by the way, took me to her mentor, Michael. Michael (I call him Mike) is a human scholar, and particularly an expert in demonology and chemistry. He’s a really cool guy. Thanks to him, I can continue to live among humans, even as a vampire, and his advice even helped me out with continuing to live with myself, even after the horrible thing I did when I became a demon, although I still regret it, though I had regained my will to live since then. Mike had provided me with various things that allow a vampire like me to pass as a human. First, the lotion I spread all over my body after I woke up. One things vampires have is a weakness to sunlight. It does kill vampires; Not instantly, but it does. How it works is that a vampire dies after spending fifteen straight minutes in the sun. During the first ten minutes, sunlight is hot, but bearable, then, in the next three minutes, it becomes so hot the skin turns red. Finally, during the final two minutes (and I’m telling you what Mike told me, because I wouldn’t be here if I experienced it myself), the vampire’s skin turns to fire and its body gets barbequed! This is where the lotion comes in; it’s sunscreen for vampires. It basically extends the ‘first ten minutes’ period by thirty minutes, making it possible for me to endure the sun for a total of 40 minutes (the countdown gradually resets when I enter shade, but the lotion weakens in time). Of course, I don’t need it on rainy and overcast days, and other forms of light are harmless. Next are the contact lenses. A vampire has glowing red eyes. Without those, one would be almost indistinguishable from a regular human (yes, we have fangs, but they are not very defined, and one has to really look to see them (In fact, most would mistake them for chipped or crooked teeth). The fangs grow by a couple millimeters when I open my mouth wide, but all I need to do to hide those is to politely cover my mouth when I yawn). It’s not that I have bad eyesight. Rather, it’s for the color of the contacts: green, the color of my eyes before I became a vampire. Finally, the medicine, and I saved the most important for last. As I stated before, vampires have an uncontrollable thirst for blood and will attack any living thing for it, even against the will of the vampire itself (believe me, I know). The pill suppresses that bloodlust, and allows the vampire self-control. However, it’s not an absolute solution, as the vampire must still drink blood at some point throughout the day and the not-too-distant past, or else, the bloodlust can override the drug’s effect, and I was told that taking more than one in a 24-hour period can be deadly. Bottom line: I am in control of my body, just as long I take my meds every morning and drink just a little human blood at some point throughout the day. That is how I have spent the last two years of my life. Because of these things and more, I owe Mike a great deal. There is something mysterious about him, but after all he had done for me, it’s not my place to pry. I dash through the city (though not too fast), sticking to the shade of trees and buildings as much as possible. No matter where I am in the city, there is a massive tower in the distance, extending from the center of town, a major religious symbol. I pass quite a few sites, where guys in red outfits, the Restoration Team, are at work. They exist to fix whatever collateral damage was caused by the battles between the Crusaders and demons the previous night. I see them patching up a large slash mark in the side of a house, filling in a small crater in the pavement, and replace a shattered window of a local store, though that’s not nearly the extent of their work. Let’s just say there’s no shortage of work for them to do. Finally, I reach the transport station and many other students are already there. Needless to say, the male students are dressed in the same kind of uniform as me. As for the female students, they wear white blouses with blue ribbons, under yellow vests and wear knee-length blue skirts. As I make my way to the transport, a tram, which leads up to the school, which is on the summit of a nearby mountain, a female voice calls out to me, “Yoo hoo! Ziro!” I turn in the direction of the voice and see a female student with slightly unkempt long brownish-blonde hair, wearing a carefree smile and waving her hand high in the air as she runs toward me. Her name is Ria, age 19, and she had been a friend of mine since last year. She’s kind and cheerful and… okay, I’ll admit that she is kinda pretty. However, a lot of guys are a bit repulsed by her for her utter lack of femininity. She’s a tomboy in many senses of the word, and the fact that she stands at a height of 5’9”, only an inch shorter than me, doesn’t earn her any ‘girly’ points. I’m normally a loner, but for some reason, she wanted to be friends with me. Really, the day I met her, she walked up to me during lunch and asked if we could be friends, right after introducing herself. Well, once one gets to know her, she’s good company. I walk over to Ria, “Hey, Ria. How’s it going?” “Oh, it’s going, Ziro. By the way, what’s that you’re holding?” “Huh?” Apparently, I was in such a rush, that I forgot to put Sara’s love letter into my book bag and carried it all this way. Ria reads who the letter is addressed to, “’To Valin?’” She grins slyly and I think I know what’s coming, “Oh, Ziro… I didn’t think you liked Valin that much!” “Nonono! That’s not it at all!” I stammer, “It’s from my sister!” Damn it, Sara! I’ll remember this! Ria tilts her head to the side, “Your sister? You mean Korina? But… isn’t she seeing Valin’s brother?” “Not her. The other one.” Ria smiles bashfully, “Oh, Sara, then? But… isn’t she a little young for Valin?” “Yes.” “Hm…” Ria decides to change the subject, just as I feel compelled to, “So, you know today is Cataclysm Day, right?” “Yup. That means Mr. Justine will give us a long lecture about something that happened two-hundred years ago.” “Oh, come on, Ziro. You make it sound like it’s a bad thing. It’s a classic tale of good versus evil, the fate of mankind hanging in the balance, a ray of hope shattering the terrible darkness! It would make a good concept for a movie or video game!” “Yeah? And how many times has that been done?” “There’s a difference! This actually happened!” “Er…” Crap. Can’t argue with history… We walk to the station and get in line, which moves fast as each tram quickly comes and gathers are good amount of students at a time (think of it like a ski lift and you wouldn’t be too far off). Finally, a tram arrives for me, Ria, and a handful of other students. We ride over the valley (I got over the height thing ages ago, not that the fall would kill me) and to the mountain’s summit where the school awaits. It’s a classic stone building. It is clean and tidy, which masks the institute’s true age. This is St. Afinia Academy. One might mistake this place for a cathedral, and considering this is one of the first steps to becoming a Crusader, it’s not far off. We’re told this is a holy place that wards off dark beings, but that’s either bullshit or wishful thinking on the staff’s part, because I’m here, after all. It has a front entrance, but that’s not the way we enter the school. Instead, the trams go through the school building itself and go out through a cavern in the side of the mountain on which it stands. Our tram enters the building and stops briefly to let us off. From there, we enter the main part of the building and head through the hallways to our first classes. “Catch you later, Ziro!” says Ria, as she runs on ahead. We have different first classes. “Yeah. See you, Ria.” Within a few minutes, I reach my first class: math. It would be an okay class, if not for the teacher. I sit silently, waiting for the class to start, but everyone else has their own private conversations, which, to me, sound altogether like just an incoherent noise. Finally, the teacher, Mr. Grene, enters. He looks ten years older than he really is, and if you have a temper like his, I doubt you’d age gracefully either, “Alright, shut up, you morons! It’s time for class!” Yeah… he’s a total ass “… Or at least that’s what I would say, if not for today being Cataclysm Day. Therefore, we have an assembly, and I am saved just this one day from wasting my time on the lot of you! To the auditorium! Get moving!” Yup, I expected that. It looks like it’s going to be either a boring lesson or an exciting tale, depending on how one looks at it. Yeah, this is where a couple of the names I'd been using lately (Valin, Ria) came from. Looking at it now, I sometimes get the feeling my writing skills had somehow diminished since. Anyway, my efforts are currently focused on RoPW, but I really hope I'll find the inspiration to complete this story someday. If you want, I post a couple more installments of this.