"But enough about me. My focus, now, if you," his voice rang clear through the small room, the group before him listening eagerly. "You are the next generation of Sun Warriors."
The man's gaze shifted across the audience, taking a few moments to identify and even profile each student. It was a quick task, as there were only five assembled in the room; the group had been whittled down from an even dozen through the past few months.
"None of you were brought here for any specific reason or trait. If you think that, I have news for you," he paused and knit his brows together. "You were chosen because you were outcasts. Broken off from society, un-mourned should you simply vanish, which you have." His voice took on a cruel tone. "You were never special, nothing exemplary, and are nothing now."
The room was left in an uneasy silence, only the rustle of cotton on skin to signify the barely subdued squirming of the students.
But then a grin crossed the teacher's face, thin lips parting to reveal white teeth beneath. "However, I am here to change that."
A collective sigh filled the room as ten lung-fulls of breath were released.
"Lesson zero," the teacher said with a slight chuckle. "You are to address me as Nyx, and each of you are to take on a new name. I suggest something Greek, Roman, or Latin."
A hand was raised slowly, and a question pronounced. "Why those three? Why not anything we choose?" The voice belonged to a raven-haired girl, short in stature but so obviously a woman. Her curves would send her on a more specialized route of training, dare we say.
"I am glad you asked," Nyx said with a nod. "We take on those names because, quite simply, it is the stereotypical thing to do. You will see that the vampires tend to have Slavic or Serbian names, even if they are not of those ethnicities themselves." Another chuckle follows. "In fact, the vampires have so saturated themselves with false premises, the truth is no longer known about them, really." The serious tone creeps back into Nyx's voice. "That is why I played that transmissions, so you could glimpse the real truth behind the vampires."
Another slight pause, an uncomfortable silence.
"And onto lesson one, breaking down the barriers of lies. I shall start with a question, each of you must give an answer."
Five nods punctuate the room.
"Don't think this through, just give me the first thing that springs to mind," implores Nyx. "How do you kill a vampire?"
Silence, as expected.
"Come on. It isn't that hard, answer."
The raven-haired girl speaks up again. "Sunlight."
"Good," answers Nyx. "I still need four more answers, four more potential weapons."
"Garlic?" another voice questions.
Yet another, more certain, "a rosary or cross."
"Or a poplar wood stake," says another.
"But it has to be to the heart," the last young man adds.
"Very good, very good," Nyx congratulates. "But you're all wrong." The statement is met with looks of confusion. "As I said before, vampires have propagated many stereotypes about themselves in order to keep their true weaknesses safe. And thousands of years later, we still go on sharpening stakes, extracting garlic essence, and wearing crosses around our necks."
"But then how do we dispose of a vampire, then?" The girl with the raven hair was already shaping up to be an excellent prodigy.
Nyx smiles, and gives a short laugh, his broad shoulders rising and falling in a quick staccato.
"Just kill the damn thing, they are mortals, after all, just like us. Anyways, class dismissed for today. You have your room assignments, so head back and find a call name for tomorrow. That is your only homework."
The class stands and exits, the two girls already talking in hushed voices and they sway to their room, the three boys silent as they approach theirs. The door swings closed, giving a gentle thump.
Hmm, sighs Nyx, his eyes closed in the empty classroom. That one girl is sharp. If she ever catches on, something will have to be done.
Another thought comes to Nyx's mind, and his tight frown is split by a mischievous grin, bringing his long, pointed canines into plain view.
Something shall be done indeed.