I walked down the sidewalk subtly avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk. It's always been burned in my brain that somehow, avoiding them at all cost is important. I pluck my shirt off of my sweaty body, some needing more than a tug as they stick to me like glue. The combination of the sun shining down on me and the humidity makes for a very uncomfortable walk to school.

Tannington High isn't very far from my home but it's still enough for me to start sweating. Instead of entering the forest bordering the town, you would rather walk; there are too many beasts in there even for a strider, some not even the teachers would like to meet. This is ridiculous though, Striders don't sweat they stay cool no matter what. You give yourself a quick wipe before Rose, a very close childhood, friend can see.

"Hurry up strider, we're going to be late." she says "We really shouldn't be late for Monster defense class, I heard that we're going questing today."

You want to groan, but maintain an emotionless face. "Are we? Then we should hurry up." You both run all the way up to the roof. You usually do your lessons here, it offers more space for movements and dodging particularly nasty attacks.

Questing is a pretty big deal, you pass, and you can pick assignments which involves big adventures and rewards. Most people who pass will eventually be chosen by the queen to eventually be one of the elite strife kind that protects the kingdom. Fail and you'll be stuck in town to protect the villages. Not that it means you're a weakling, everyone in town's a strife kind, offense techniques. The healers know the breath of life. This allows them to heal the more life threatening wounds, but they might also need specific herbs. Acquiring those usually results in life threatening wounds.

They arrive just in time. Mr. Phoenix is just introducing the Fire Salamanders to the class. They are a typical mythical beast in the forest. They are the size of your hand, bright red with orange spots. Mr. Phoenix warned us to step further away. I was just about to ask why when something hot whizzed past my head. Being a strider i don't break my poker face, and my shades helped keep the brightness to a minimum. Nevertheless I stumbled backwards and bumped into Rose.

"And that class is why we don't mess with fire salamanders, even if they are smaller than you. Territorial creatures that are able to blast a meteor the size of your head,..." while Mr. Phoenix is describing them, he picked up a Fire Salamander and showed everyone the proper way to handle them. Rose started pestering me about the end of the year A Quest. That is very important. it decides whether or not we pass. You sigh, great another thing for you to be worried about. He needed to pass this since his brother is a prince of heart, one of the highest title to have in the elite group of the queen. My dream is to beat my brother or at least become part of the elite force of the queen. They deal with the quest to retrieve artifacts of beast. The pay is pretty nice too. You also get an upgrade on your strife specibus.

"Okay class today we're introducing you all to the forest to familiarize you to all the different species out there." this statement was met with gasp and some shouts of surprise. "Now calm down," Mr. Phoenix stated" I'm going along along with Mr. Slick, and Ms. Paint. Mr. Slick would be there to pro-"

"Stab" Slick interrupted earning a giggle from the more giddy people, but was quickly silenced when he growled at them.

"Slick, you promised me you wouldn't stab or threaten the kids anymore," Mr. Phoenix turned to Ms. Paint." Can you please deal with him for a moment." Ms. Paint an endearing and caring teacher came up to Mr. Slick & gave him what appears to be black licorice dogs. He seemed content after that. I guess with Mr Slick over there everything should be a little safer right? With 3 teachers things shouldn't get out of control?

I guess we're going to find out.