Thousands of years ago, there was a war between humans and Serpentine. Millions were killed on both sides. Despite all the bloodshed and death, the humans won. Every Serpentine race was outcasted and belittled, treated less than living beings. However, there were many people who believed the new generations of Serpentine were not the same as their ancestors. "The faults of your people's pasts should not define your deeds as your own," these people said to justify their trust and bond with the Serpentine. After all, not all humans were like their ancestors from the war. However, many of those people were shunned as well, believed to be traitors of their own kind and dangerous to be around.

As the years passed by, Serpentine cults formed by humans arose, believing they could use the magic of Ninjago to turn into Serpentine themselves. The most known was the Anacondrai cult. They were known to have the purple snake tattoos that, when the spell was completed, would turn all those marked into mock Anacondrai. There was almost another war. Many innocent people were affected, not knowing the true purpose of the cult. Many went into hiding, the rest killed.

Unknown to most of humanity, while the events leading up to the war that almost started occurred, Serpentine and humans had mated, bringing to the world human-snake hybrids. These hybrids would never pass in human society, their Serpentine heritage giving them away- patches of scaly skin, fangs, hissing, pointed ears compared to the elves. They were accepted among the Serpentine and the humans who still believed the Serpentine were good. Eventually, the hybrids would either mate with other hybrids, Serpentine, or humans. For the offspring of the hybrid-human couples, they gained more humanistic features. Many could return to the human world of Ninjago and, if they kept their Serpentine heritage a secret, lived normal lives among the people.

However, these offspring's secret heritage would never disappear. Most were born with marks that identified them as still reptilian. As magic was a work that progressed from being the reason one would be persecuted to being a practice many desired to learn, those with these marks could shapeshift into Serpentine bodies and harness the natural abilities of the snake tribes they descended from. Most never gain this ability as the schools that teach the practice of magic were difficult to get into. The rest never attempt to do so.

Until a threat deep inside the Serpentine race arose, growing for over centuries, feeding off the hatred for the human race and thirst for revenge. The discovery of two descendants of two long lines of hybrids in the most prestigious school, Darkley's School for Magic of Elements, sparked the hatred, prejudice, and mistrust that had accumulated over the years, pushing forward what could become a war...

"But why do whole-bloods hate us so much?" Nya Smith asked her father, hugging her teddy bear tightly. She tugged on one of her ears nervously. She hated having to hear these stories, but her parents and brother insisted it was so she could be safe with her secret heritage. Her father smiled sadly and reached over to mess with her hair. "Hey, no!"

"The world is filled with prejudice and hate. We assume things about certain groups of people and associate the innocent with these stereotypes," Ray explained. Although he was noticeably tired, his son humphed and crossed his arms.

"I would never do that. Give me good reasons to not like you, then yeah, I wouldn't like you at all," Kai said before yawning. He rubbed his eyes. Their mother, Maya, chuckled.

"Alright, I think it's well past your bedtime for the both of you," she teased and tucked her children in their shared bed. "Remember Kai, you have to practice a little more before you can attempt to enter Darkley's, okay? You too, Nya."

"Okay. We love you, Mommy, Daddy," the siblings said simultaneously. Kai hugged his sister close as if he was protecting her in their sleep. Before she fell asleep, Nya pulled her brother's ear as well and giggled when his face scrunched. His ears were only the slightest bit pointier than hers.

"Nya, stop bothering your brother. Go to sleep both of you. We love you both so much," Maya whispered in the darkness of the room, not that it seemed dark to her or the rest of her family. They could all see perfectly well in the night. Even as the door closed and she knew she should obey her mother, Nya couldn't help but at least trace the marks she and her brother had. Kai's was on his left arm on the skin opposite to his elbow, in the shape of a snake burning. Nya's mark was on the same part of her body but on her right arm, and it was a snake surrounded by puddles of water. She thought their marks fit them well; she just wished they were easier to hide. She and Kai had to wear long sleeves a lot. She wondered how long it'd be before they could unlock the ability to shapeshift into Serpentine. What would a tail be like?

"Nya, stop touching me," her brother hissed softly. Giggling again, Nya listened and closed her eyes, slowly drifting off to sleep.

Kai took a deep breath, the realization that he would be leaving his family behind in Ignacia for who knows how long to go to Darkley's School for Magic of Elements finally crashing down on him. Nya would join him in three years' time, but that felt like a long way in his ten-year-old mind. He pulled down his sleeves, hiding his mark. Standing behind him was his family. They were waiting for the carriage that would take him away to the school where he would grow powerful in magic. When they could see it rising from the horizon, Kai turned around and hugged his family for a long time.

"I'll miss y'all so much," he muttered. Nya squeezed his waist tighter.

"We'll miss you too, butkh√°," the young girl said softly. Soon enough, they could all hear the clip-clop of the carriage horses. Maya and Ray stroked their son's head and back to calm him. They could feel his anxiety rising.

"Remember, hide who you are and stay safe," Ray warned.

"And make friends as well," Maya added. Kai nodded. The carriage was right in front of them.

"Future students of Darkley's School for Magic of Elements, get your asses on here!" the driver cussed in a gravelly voice. He had long brown hair kept tame by a straw hat. He had an eyepatch over his right eye and he seemed to not have shaven for a while. Smiling at his family and whispered a soft goodbye, he grabbed his luggage beside him and stepped into the carriage. There were already others there, three other boys. It was a little hard to see every detail about them, but Kai's eyes adjusted to the slight darkness instantly. One of them had dark skin and ebony hair, the second was almost the complete opposite with pale skin and silvery-blond hair. The last had brown curls and a galaxy of freckles. Staring harder, Kai could see he had two different color eyes, the left an electric blue and the right a chocolate brown. His skin was an in-between of the other two, a fair tone. "Hey, you! Sit down!" the man shouted at Kai. The carriage jerked forward, forcing Kai to sit- meaning, falling on his behind. The boy with the different colored eyes laughed before covering his mouth with his hand.

"Oops, sorry. That was just so sudden. I didn't mean to laugh," he explained himself quickly. Ignoring him for the moment, Kai approached the small window that let in a little light to see and waved to his family until he couldn't see them anymore. "Well, I guess I should introduce myself. I'm Jay Walker." He held out his hand. Hesitantly, Kai reached out and shook it.

"Cole Brookstone," the dark-skinned boy replied tersely.

"Zane Julien," the pale blond said with a gentle smile.

"Uh, Kai Smith," the boy said, rubbing his backside. It still stung from falling. Jay snorted.

"Is 'uh' a part of your first name?" he joked before bursting out in laughter. Cole groaned and pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Jay, shut up or I swear to the First Spinjitzu Master, I will slap you this time!" he shouted, flexing his arm as a warning. Whimpering, Jay scooted farther away from Cole, which wasn't much since there wasn't much room in the carriage. Zane chuckled.

"As you can see, these two have known each other for a while," he told Kai. "So, since Kai is the last pickup for Ronin," Zane continued, pointing at their driver, "I suppose we should share why we are going to Darkley's. I'll go first. I wish to help and save those who cannot do so themselves with what I learn."

"Goody-two-shoes," Cole muttered. "I'm pretty much rebelling against my father. He wanted me to follow in his footsteps and be an entertainer, but I actually want to do something worthwhile in my life. So, yeah. I'm going to Darkley's out of spite."

"Well, I'm going to Darkley's to help stop the rebellion rising among the Serpentine," Jay said matter-of-factly with a smug grin. Cole laughed and held up his hand for a high-five. Zane shook his head, whether in disappointment or at the others' antics, Kai could not tell. The brunet tugged on his sleeves again. Jay wanted to kill his people. He didn't say it but that was what he meant. "What about you, Kai? What are you gonna do with magic?" Kai chuckled nervously.

"Well, mine's gonna sound so lame compared to all of y'all's. I'm doing it so I can become more powerful and help my family. Make 'em proud too," he answered. Cole and Jay nodded in approval, and Zane smiled at him. "Man, I wonder how long it'll take to get there or how long we'll be staying."

"I heard there have been students that have been there for decades learning magic!" Jay commented. Kai gasped. He couldn't let that become him. That would only increase the possibility and risk of his heritage being discovered. And what of Nya? He would need to make sure she worked just as hard as he would. He rubbed his mark through his sleeve. He sighed. Even though one of them had the desire to kill his kind and the others were still mysterious to him, Kai had to make friends. These three would be his first.

Welcome to a new story that I thought of after thinking about the Serpentine, Kai and Nya's powers, and the Summoner Trilogy by Taran Matharu. A good series, I recommend reading it! Then it'd make certain events in this story more understandable.