The small class of fifteen settled in for the morning as the children took seats behind wooden desks. All chattering ceased when their teacher, Ms. Woodley, entered the class with a surprisingly light load of classwork under her arm.
"Good morning, class!" she began cheerily, setting the folders along her own desk.
"Good morning, Ms. Woodley!" the class responded in unison. Their teacher smiled at the chorus.
"Today is a special day. I felt that we should take a break from learning about the geography of the Alekia region to discuss it." Her smile broadened and she adjusted her glasses beneath her unruly brown hair as she asked, "What do any of you know about the Sinistrals?"
"Oh, me! Pick me!" a red-haired boy squealed from his seat near the front of the class. He waved his arm about excitedly.
"Go ahead, Andy."
"They're dead!" he proudly announced as if he revealed a secret no one in Estpolis knew. His freckled face beamed at this accomplishment.
"That's correct, but do any of you know why?"
Andy's hand shot into the air once again, but this time he had been beaten to the punch.
"Go on, Suzy."
"The Sinistrals were destroyed in the third Doom Island War, which was nearly one hundred years ago."
Ms. Woodley clapped. "My, Suzy! You're absolutely correct!"
Suzy turned to Andy, tilted her head and gave him an obnoxious grin. The boy folded his arms and stuck his tongue out at her in return. She turned back around, swinging her blonde hair and blocking him from her sight.
"But you're wrong on one point." Andy took the opportunity and snickered under Ms. Woodley's correction. "It's been exactly one hundred years as of today since the Sinistrals were last destroyed."
There was a scream from the back of the classroom. "That means they're coming back!"
"Shirley, no!" Ms. Woodley slammed the desk to get the class's attention, realizing that they were becoming frightened at the prospect. "There is nothing that says they have to come back right now. In fact, some people don't even think they were ever real!" She didn't actually believe that, but she'd say anything to keep the class under control. "And if they are real, the bloodline of Maxim would deal with them."
The class settled down. Everyone knew the tales about Maxim and his bloodline, as well as all three Doom Island Wars. Having a day of class dedicated to them was far more interesting than what they had been learning.
Ms. Woodley grabbed the apple sitting atop her desk and absently twisted it in her palm. She skimmed over the material with pictures of Doom Island and the Sinistrals. She didn't actually need it, but she would feel silly coming to class without any material.
"Now class, can you name the Sinistral of Destru-"
Ms. Woodley only had enough time to turn around and witness the melting chalkboard for herself. The ensuing explosion threw her against a wall, leaving a smoking hole where the board had once been. A man no less than eight feet tall stepped through the hole. The sunlight creeping through the now ruined wall gave an ominous gleam to the blue armor covering nearly every inch of his massive body. Underneath his fiery red mane was the face of an ancient being with a raw, undying, irrational hatred of man. Upon the sight of the school children, his face curled into a sneer.
"Inferior beings, RUN! I am Gades, Sinistral of Destruction."
Andy's hand went back into the air. When he wasn't getting the attention he saught, his arm began to wave frantically. He mistook the Sinistral's bewildered gaze as indifference and began swinging his arm around like a windmill.
"You. Boy with spots on face. Why do you do that?"
"You're supposed to call on us when we do that."
"I do no such thing! Keep your arms down or I DESTRUCT them!"
The boy quickly pointed to the crumpled form of their teacher in the corner. "But you killed Ms. Woodley so you're the new teacher!"
"FOOL! Do you not understand? I am the Sinistral of Destruction. I only teach DESTRUCTION!" Gades balled his fist and put it in clear view of the child.
Little Suzy was not impressed. "If you're the Sinistral of Destruction, why don't you prove it?" she asked in a sickeningly antognizing manner.
Gades wore a haughty smile. "You know not what you ask. I crush you like glass cockroach under mountain avalanche!"
"Yes, I do!" Gades growled.
"I don't think so."
Suzy fold her arms and shook her head. "Nope!"
"Silence the mouth!" Gades screamed. The children squeaked at the display of his wrath. The Sinistral realized that he had no reason to argue; only a fraction of his power was needed to turn this obnoxious brat into dust and send the message to the rest of class. He pointed his palm at snooty little Suzy, only to discover the horrible truth.
He had no power left.
This resurrection, like the few before it, left him weakened. He would only regain his power with time. His thirst for destruction led him to be hasty, and he most likely used what little he had to burst through the wall. It was simply too soon.
"Told you so!" Suzy announced with a laugh. "You're not a Sinistral! Maxim's descendant isn't even here to beat you up!" The other kids joined in, pointing and laughing at him.
"NO!" Gades shrieked. Never had he had the experience of being the laughing stock of children. Upon accepting reality, the Sinistral's resolve changed. He may not have been able to reduce these children to dust, but he could reduce them to tears.
Gades regained his composure and that haughty smile returned. These people worshipped Maxim's bloodline? He would inform them that even the hero and his descendants had come to fear the Sinistral of Destruction.
"Long ago I ruin your precious Maxim. He was powerless. I destroy many towns and he did nothing. The red-headed ant, his annoying wife, blonde man with generic name, and strange elf man in bunny outfit cowered before me! They, unlike insolent brats in classroom, understood true power. They understood my power to make them DESTRUCT!"
Suzy yawned. "What a crock! If you were the REAL Gades you would know that Maxim killed you first before he killed the other Sinistrals. And I'm pretty sure you're using 'destruct' the wrong way!"
"Puny, pretentious worm! I AM EVIL!" Gades screamed, throwing the girl's desk across the room. She flinched, mostly from the downpour of saliva she was subjected to. "I have no use for your silly grammar! Now, where is your precious Maxim!? DEAD! DESTRUCTED! And I am here, to continue mission of destruction! I cannot be stopped. Ha ha ha ha!"
Andy wasted no time showing up Suzy. If she wasn't going to call him on his bluff, he would. "But you were defeated again. Of course, you would know this if you actually were Gades!"
Gades' laugh came to an abrupt end. They were only school children, how could they know so much about his humiliating defeats? There was no point in pretending that it hadn't happened. He didn't understand why, but there was something about having the full attention of an entire class of kids that made him feel the need to explain himself.
"You speak of descendant whose name I do not know. Puny knight easily fooled by confused Erim. Ha! Another failed effort! Ha ha! I return to life yet again!"
"No!" Suzy yelled, forcefully clasping Andy's mouth shut. "You were beaten again!"
Gades furrowed his brows. "It does not count. Idiot descendant of Maxim and...other Erim brought small army." The Sinistral scratched his chin with his gauntlet as he pondered that. "Too many Erims to count. I deal with her later. Regardless, I teach last descendant the power of FRUE DESTRUCTION!!"
"'Frue?' Is that even a word?" Andy inquired, slack-jawed from his shock.
"You! Quieting the lips! Do not question frue destruction. You will regret it."
"Mister Sinistral man," Shirley's shakey voice called for Gades. Her hands quivered as she held up an open dictionary. "T-this is where 'frue' w-would be if it were...you know...a real word."
The Sinistral went in for a closer look, inspecting the pages.
"Puny dictionary! I AM EVIL!" Gades bellowed, tearing the book in half with an audible rip. Shirley began to cry and the Sinistral's face contorted into a hardened but satisfied grin. That was, until an apple was lobbed against his head.
Gades pointed at the culprit in surprise, and was nearly, but not completely, speechless. "You. Woman. You!" he hissed indignantly at the teacher.
"I can't believe it," Ms. Woodley whispered harshly, trapped beneath debris. "The Sinistral of Destruction - what a joke! You're so pathetic. It's really true what they said. Your one and only purpose in life is destruction. It's all you know how to do. Even when you have no power left, you devolve to trying to destroy the hopes and dreams of children!"
"Shut up the face, puny woman! I will-"
"ONE-TWO-THREE, ALL EYES ON ME!" Gades was silenced by the teacher's sudden display of power over the classroom with such a ridiculous chant. "Like I was saying, your only mark on this world is destruction. But it is the very nature of the universe to recover. Go ahead. Burn a few towns and murder innocent people. You will be defeated again and life will continue to go on. And when you return, if you do, everything you've done will be washed away. You have no place outside of a textbook in my classroom. You're ancient history!"
Gades was stunned. "...You. Woman. You!" was all he could utter again. No human had talked to him in such a manner and lived to tell about it. And worst of all, she was right. He would never admit it, but the Sinistrals were always thwarted and peace would always return to the land. He could not ignore the call of destruction - it was his true purpose in life - and yet whatever he did was always temporary at most. What was the point of destroying things if everyone carried on as if it never happened?
Upon this realization, Gades was naturally livid. And the only thing that would appease his hatred was destruction.
He walked over to Ms. Woodley and picked her up by the scruff of her collar. "I may be weakened now but I still DESTRUCT stupid woman's skull!"
A ball of flames erupted from Gades' back. He dropped Ms. Woodley, mostly out of surprise, with a deafening "Arrrrrgh!"
The Sinistral turned around to find a red-haired swordsman accompanied by a blue-haired sorceress standing in the hole he previously made. He didn't know their personal identities, but he was well aware of their 'roles' in the grand scheme of things.
"How annoying," he muttered.
"Rime, hit him with a Flash spell!"
"You've got it!" The sorceress twirled her sapphire-tipped scepter and pointed it at Gades. A lightning bolt ripped through the air, striking the opposite wall where the Sinistral had been. He appeared behind them, relieved that some of his powers returned, but still aggravated.
"You!" he pointed at the warrior. "I meet you in combat later. When time comes, I bestow on your face FRUE DESTRUCTION! And you!" he screamed, turning his wrath upon Rime. "Charade is old. How long do you keep this up? You will return to us eventually."
Gades teleported out of sight. The town, and class, had been spared a meeting with frue destruction. For now, at least. Cheers exploded from the class, but that was far from the focus of Gades' latest enemies.
"Rime, what was he talking about?"
"I have no idea, Lance." Her companion continued to scrutinize her appearance until she turned away. "Stop looking at me like that, pervert!"
"That's not what I was...oh, whatever! Anyways, Gades is gone, but he was...he's not at all what I imagined a Sinistral to be."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, it's just that...you saw him! What a strange Sinistral."
"Fruly," Rime replied.