"The Four Dragons" is the 9th issue in the W.I.T.C.H. comic series. It is the 9th issue in the 1st arc of the W.I.T.C.H. series, The Twelve Portals.
With the help of a Christmas play and a lost Meridian boy, Hay Lin and the gang discover the origin of their powers and realize that what they need to accomplish their mission is faith and courage.
Snow covers Heatherfield in a blanket of white.
The Guardians meet up at Sheffield Institute for the winter school days. Irma admits to have asked Martin for help in speaking French for an activity to get extra credits for school. Meanwhile, Hay Lin is invited by Principal Knickerbocher to hand over a gift the Guardian of Air promised: a hand-drawn portrait of Sheffield's principal. Upon admiring Hay Lin's work, Knickerbocher asks Hay Lin to be the one in-charge of their class's presentation, which would be focused on Asia.
She agrees to the request, only to find herself biting off more than she could chew.
That night, she struggles in thinking of ideas for the play and is at the verge of giving up. Her mom Joan comes to check on her progress and decides to help out. She tells her daughter one story she has heard from her mother Yan Lin, the legend of the Four Dragons.
The story goes that at the time of the earth's infancy, there once lived four dragons: the Long Dragon, the Yellow Dragon, the Black Dragon and the Pearl Dragon. Upon their usual activity of chasing each other in the air, they heard the pleas of the people below, who have been suffering from a drought. They decided to relay the message of help to the Jade Emperor, a great being who has the ability to fulfill their wish. The response was far from kind; they left the palace of the emperor empty-handed.
Soon, Hay Lin starts the rehearsals for the play. Because of complaints regarding each other's roles, Hay Lin is close to losing her temper to the pressure of handling an entire section of students. Meanwhile, two new characters appear: sisters Bess and Courtney Grumper, writers for the gossip section of the school paper and students notorious for their attitude. Upon a few exchange of words from the five girls, they easily managed to ruin each other's mood for the moment.
Outside, the girls try to sort things out between them and it did not turn out as a success. Soon, Hay Lin spaeks up and exposes the real story behind the play, continuing on the legend that her mother told to her.
In the Long Dragon's zeal to help the villagers, he asked his fellow dragons to scoop up the water from the ocean and pour it across the land as rain; they did so, and it made the people happy. On the other hand, it angered the Jade Emperor. He immediately ordered the arrest of the four dragons and he imprisoned each of them into a mountain.
Suddenly, a lady wearing green robes appeared. It was Xin Jing, a Nymph who has decided to side with the dragons because of the emperor's arrogance. Using her powers, she freed the dragons, turning them into the four great rivers of China, while she transforms into a crystal amulet... the Heart of Kandrakar.
The story manages to soothe the sould of the Guardians, who realizes that their ties with the legend is not merely coincidental and they are magical for a purpose, something which no rumor could overcome.
With the commotion settled down, Irma faces the French exam. Later, she discovers that her part in the play is on the line because of the Grumpers. As she breaks the news, she receives a call from Mrs. Rudolph, who asks them to meet her near Clearview Cross.
Upon reaching the rendezvous point, they didn't see Mrs. Rudolph at first; later they see her with a family: Alena, the mother, Morvan, the father, and Ranni their infant son. She explains to the Guardians that they reached Earth through a Portal and they need to look for the Meridianites' other son Reseph who fled after being startled by the sound of trains.
After closing the portal, the Guardians offer their help to look for Reseph.
The Guardians find themselves stumped after realizing the real challenge behind looking for Reseph. With no options left, Will decides to go to Kandrakar to settle things there, along with getting answers to different questions that each of the Guardians have. Meanwhile, Tibor is upset about the actions the Guardians have decided upon; however, the Oracle is not moved by this, and instead, sees their thirst for knowledge as legitimate. The Oracle grants their wish, and the Guardians find themselves engulfed by the light of the Heart of Kandrakar.
Soon, the Guardians begin to experience one by one the answers to the questions as they wished, but they have no idea that it's all just a dream. Fortunately, Yan Lin uses her voice to reach the Guardians, and as the dream world disappears, they find themselves in an invisible bridge, where the history of Kandrakar is explained to them. Hay Lin then watches as the Map of the Twelve Portals burns to ashes and with the congratulatory words from the Oracle and Yan Lin, they return to Heatherfield, now with the knowledge of whereabouts of Reseph.
As it turns out, Reseph is lost in the city, startled with the unfamiliar atmosphere. He seeks refuge in an open vent and rests there, only to be captured by the local dog pound.
The Guardians arrive at their destination to look for Reseph. While transformed, Will, Hay Lin and Taranee clear the tall fence by using the Guardian of Air's ability to grant flight to someone; Irma and Cornelia serve as a distraction. Irma and Cornelia prove to be too much for the people in charge as the latter Guardian makes chaos inside. The others also manage to escape with Reseph, but Hay Lin is overwhelmed by pity towards the other dogs captured.
As the Guardians leave the dog pound, Hay Lin makes an impression by bringing along the dogs through flight.
The next day, after being praised by her teacher, Irma brings the good news to the others, holding the French exam papers with very high marks. This earns her a spot in the role tryouts for the play Hay Lin has directed.
Later on, in one of the final rehearsals for the play, Bess and Courtney make a sudden appearance while Hay Lin assists on Irma's costume. Cornelia talks to the two, much to the shock of the girls, and later, they find out that it was part of a way to pay back the things they did earlier.
At the night of the play, Mrs. Rudolph and Reseph and his family join Cornelia and the others as the presentation of Hay Lin's play starts. The play turns out a success, and Cornelia's plan worked, making the perfect payback to the Grumpers by inviting them dressed in formal attire.