Evan rubbed his eyes. He was feeling slightly sleepy. It would probably be best to take a caffeine pill before he started his mission. Right now, Evan was in his dorm room. His roommate Philip seemed to have other things to do today. Maybe also an urgent mission? Evan didn’t know.
A few papers were propped up against his pillow. Next to them was a black file with the words ‘Grade A’ written on the label. This was a mission file. It contained all he needed to know about the mission he was going to do.
How did he end up having to complete a Grade A mission?
To put it simply, he was tasked, or rather, forced, to take the place of his teacher, Nick.
He was supposed to train with Nick this morning, and had expectantly made his way to the training arena, only to find the Headmaster there instead. The Headmaster told him that Nick was sick and they needed him, Evan, to cover for an emergency mission.
But this was no ordinary mission.
It was a Grade A mission. The highest caliber of missions that needed to be completed by the school. From what Evan heard, missions were given grades based on two things: The level of magic required to complete them, and the stakes at which the school would face had it not be completed properly.
Evan didn’t know much about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ business of the school. He had heard it was government-run, but didn’t know exactly why they needed to complete missions or if there was an central authority which gave orders to them. It had always struck Evan as odd how learning about the history and general information surrounding the school wasn’t one of the requirements which was effectuated. It was a topic rarely even talked about, at least among the students.
Perhaps it was uncomfortable to talk about? Evan had once asked Nick if he knew anything. He hadn’t expected voluminous amounts of information on the topic from his mentor, who was likely brought up in the same way as himself, but thought that maybe he would know since he was quite close with the Headmaster (being his former apprentice).
To his surprise, Nick had seemed a little fazed by the question. He was not the type of person to be disconcert, in fact when he was uncomfortable about something, it would probably go unnoticed by a regular person. The only reason Evan could pick things up about him was because he had been Evan’s teacher for a long time now. Their relationship went back to Evan’s infant days.
Nick was an interesting person to Evan. If there would be a colour to describe him, it would be…hmm. Ice cold, arctic gray. That was what he seemed like. A lone wolf prowling through arctic ice, calm as ever, but could become malignant at any time.
Nick was Evan’s teacher. He taught him a great deal about magic, and (if Evan were to think about it), had probably been the single, most eminent reason why Evan was as successful as he was. It was no stretch to say that Nick was and had been for a long time now, the school’s best soldier. It was widely accepted that he was second to only the Headmaster himself.
And who was the third person in this prodigious list?
Well, it was Evan himself. Evan knew this, though he tried to be humble and would gently graze over the topic if it came up. Magic was very competitive at the school and the ‘rankings’ of the students were talked about quite often.
However, now was not the best time to get lost in daydreams, thought Evan. After all, he had a Grade A mission coming up, and figured that he should probably go back to memorizing the report. He was about to do so when someone came into the dorm.
It was Philip.
Philip was Evan’s roommate. He was older than Evan by three years (Evan was 12, Philip was 15). It was a gap wide enough that normally Evan would be considered the ‘inferior’ one.
However, it wasn’t the case this time. Evan was more skilled in magic than Philip, and had never once lost in a practise duel to him (as expected of the third best student). Philip specialized in the lightning branch of magic. The lightning branch was special in that lightning spells, unlike the inferno spells which Evan was versed in, were not meant to be used for prolonged periods of time.
In other words, they were effective for a short, quick, one-shot attack. This is why lightning users need to be masters of stealth. They will typically ‘cloak’ themselves, basically hide themselves and all traces of their magic, and then suddenly attack. In a masterfully executed cloak spell, a lightning user can basically eliminate nearly all traces of their presence.
Sometimes their cloaks will ‘leak’ and some of their magical presence may be revealed. In fact, a perfect cloak with on traces of the human presence at all is impossible. A extremely sensitive and experienced magic user will still be able to tell.
Some of Philip’s magic tendencies may have translated into his character, as he had the knack of suddenly appearing out of nowhere in front of Evan. And that is exactly what happened here.
“Philip?” Evan was startled by Philip’s sudden entrance, however he managed to conceal all traces of this. He was used to hiding his emotions. They were trained from their infant days at the school to basically be emotionless robots. They were told that any excess emotion would get in their way.
“Hey Evan. Are you still studying for the mission?”
“Yeah I was looking at the documents right now.” Evan could tell that Philip was acting somewhat different today. He seemed to be oddly melancholy, and was acting more mellow than usual.
“Its your first Grade A mission right?”
“Be cautious out there okay? Don’t do anything rash. Take care to hold back your emotions.”
Okay, something was definitely wrong with Philip. Why was he acting like this? He wasn’t usually trying to give Evan advice.
Or maybe he was just trying to act like a senior? Philip had gotten promoted to a black suit about 2 weeks ago. The minimum age to get a black suit was 14, which is why Evan didn’t have one yet despite having the skills. So perhaps Philip just wanted Evan to treat him more like his age?
“Okay, I will be careful.” Evan decided to buy along with it.
Philip looked at the somewhat vintage looking analog clock which hung on the wall in their dorm.
“You might be late. What time do you need to meet the Headmaster?” Philip questioned.
Strange, thought Evan. “He said at around two’o’clock.”
“You better go soon then.”
“Yes, I am planning on leaving now.” Evan was actually planning on reviewing the papers again, but his interaction with Philip had taken longer than expected.
“Okay, I wish you good luck.”
“Yes.” Without another word, Evan left the room.
Ten minutes later, he was on a car taking him to the location of his first Grade A mission. It was then that Philip, back at the school, made his way to the Headmaster’s office door. He knocked three times.
“Come in, Philip,” called the Headmaster.
“Headmaster Jules,” Philip said with a nod when he entered.
“You all ready to go I presume?”
“Yes, Headmaster,” Philip spoke in a slightly quivering voice.
“Philip. You have to learn to bury those useless emotions within you. They will make you weak.”
“I understand, Headmaster.”
“Then we will leave. Come with me. I will take you to the car.” And so, Philip followed the Headmaster and got onto the vehicle.