A/N: I wouldn't quite say that I'm back to writing, but...these two titles don't belong to me.
A Medaka Box x Maga-Tsuki Crossover
Part 1: The goddess of calamity kills Zenkichi!
"I see." Hitoyoshi Hitomi sipped on her warm cup of milk as she regarded her son coolly from across the table. "You got into a fight with Medaka-chan."
To say that single mother was upset about the turn of events that befell her only son would be putting it mildly. When she had arrived home the day previous, the last thing she had expected was to see her son so disheveled and bandaged. Again.
She initially dismissed it as yet another stupidity of youth, but when her son returned this day in a similar state, the single-mother decided that enough was enough.
Honestly, this was becoming a far too-common occurrence!
Like any loving mother, she wanted her son to have a fulfilling youth—but that didn't mean he had to rush to his death each time!
She didn't know what she'd do if her Zenkichi left her, too…
"I did." Zenkichi, her sweet but stubborn son, folded his arms. There was a grimace on his face as he grumbled, "It's just not right, the way Medaka-chan handles things."
Hitomi knew that already. She had known about that ever since she first met Kurokami Medaka those many years ago. However…
"But Medaka-chan gets things done—and almost all the time, for the better." Hitomi laid out the fact.
"That doesn't make her method right." Her son stubbornly countered.
No, it really didn't. While certain ethical frameworks did espouse 'the end justifies the means' mindset—and indeed, certain situations required such decisive mindset—it does not follow that people were to be treated as an end.
And Hitomi already knew that the Kurokami heiress only saw silhouettes instead of people. She was a very rational young woman that saw only the most efficient solutions to a problem, but people were never quite rational.
Her son may profess that he understood Medaka best, but Hitomi was the one that understood her first.
It was precisely this understanding that gnawed at the psychosomatic surgeon. Hitomi knew that Medaka wasn't a malicious soul. She believed that her son's childhood friend would never raise a fist against her son without reason.
However, Hitomi was firstly Zenkichi's mother before Medaka's doctor. She did not want her son to give Medaka a reason to fight him, for Hitomi could only see that such a battle would never end well… for either of them. In fact, Hitomi could only see that this would end with her Zenkichi's sacrifice… and as a mother, that scenario was something she would never want to see.
However, as a mother, she also believed that her son needed to experience all manner of hardship in such a controlled environment as school. It was better there than in the real world, right?
With one final glance at her son's resolute eyes—really, she wondered from whom had Zenkichi inherited his willful spirit—Hitomi set her cup down and cleared her throat with a firm but muffled cough.
"Zenkichi-kun," Hitomi addressed him, and her lips curved into a soft smile when her keen eyes saw his posture straighten. "Is there no way I can dissuade you from this confrontation?"
Her son had never won against Kurokami Medaka—not even close. In all the years they spent by each other's side, she had seen her Zenkichi work his hardest then always fall short.
Hitomi didn't know what she would do if her son got hurt again. He was still so young—and stupidity had its limits.
Zenkichi gathered his thoughts before drinking in a deep breath.
"This is something I have to do, mom." He declared with that insufferable grin and gentle blue eyes. "Both for me, and for Medaka-chan."
There it was.
For his Kurokami Medaka, her son would do the impossible.
"Alright. I won't stop you. It's better to be young and stupid than to be aged and stupid. Just—just promise me something." Hitomi half-crawled over the table and gathered her son's large hands in hers, giving them a motherly squeeze. She could feel Zenkichi's body heat up in embarrassment, but it was a different thought that blossomed her proud smile. When had his hands grown so big? "Just promise me that you'll come home."
How her son's battle with the beast will end, not even she could tell. Her son had his father's blood, after all; she didn't want him to leave her, too.
Zenkichi grinned that insufferably cocky grin.
"It's a promise."
"Good." Hitomi nodded to herself as she settled back down on her seat. She took another quiet sip from her cup of thankfully still-warm milk as she gathered her thoughts. "You know, Zenkichi-kun…" She began, her brows knitting, "You will need more than hard-work to defeat Medaka-chan."
"Yeah. She's not exactly the easiest person to beat."
Yet another understatement.
Zenkichi wondered if his training under Anshin'in would even be enough. Just as such doubts crossed his mind, however, did Zenkichi banish them.
If he had time to complain, then he had time to do something about it. Sitting down and griping all-day long about his powerlessness wouldn't help anybody and especially himself.
"Luck won't even cut it." Hitomi murmured. What could her son do? A frustrated pout tugged on her lips, "The more I think about it, the worse an idea it becomes."
Once more, a grin full of her son's idiot bravado lit up his face. "Pray for me." He joked self-deprecatingly. "An act of god is probably my only way to victory."
"Ah!" Hitomi bumped the bottom of her fist against its partner's palm as if to emphasize her suddenly clarity. "An act of god! Of course!"
Her son shot her a blank stare.
"Not inspiring any faith, mom. It was just an expression." Zenkichi grumbled.
"You will need all the help you can get, you know." Hitomi pointed out to her son.
Having an idea of what his mother was getting at, Zenkichi shivered as a cold sweat ran down his spine. He immediately interjected. "I don't want to climb all those steps!"
"Think of it as training, Zenkichi-kun." Hitomi playfully winked. "And besides, I heard that the god that lives there is very effective."
Zenkichi folded his arms stubbornly. "I heard otherwise. I heard that there was a mother that prayed in that shrine for the success of her business only for family to break apart. Rumor has it, a cult found her there, and while things looked up for a while, it all spiraled downhill all-too soon."
"That was only because a conman with a destructive sense of justice was involved." Hitomi explained curtly. "All other times were met with success! Besides," She shushed her son with a wave of her hand, "What use is it living near a shrine when you can't even pray for success?"
"…The shrine maiden living there is evil." He grumbled stubbornly.
"Nonsense! Miyano-chan is nothing but a darling!" She slapped her hands together and nodded to herself. "All these years, Miyano-chan attended to the shrine all by herself while her parents are overseas. How could you say such a thing about a woman so devoted to her faith?"
"You don't know, mom." Zenkichi shook his head as the many traumas past flashed before his eyes as if his end was near. Those years of torment! "You just don't know."
The mother of one puffed her cheeks at her son's stubbornness before letting out a tired sigh.
"Well, I guess I can't force you." Hitomi said as she relaxed back into her seat, strawberry-blonde hair casting a shadow on her face. A relieved sigh suddenly lodged in Zenkichi's throat at the watery-eyed pout on his mother's face when she looked at him again. "It's just, it would be a huge weight off my tired shoulders if I knew someone was watching over my Zenkichi-kun."
"…" Zenkichi stared. He could feel his willpower crumbling.
"Zenkichi-kun?" Hitomi's bottom lip quivered.
Hitoyoshi Zenkichi glared at the sign.
:.: Off on important business. Be back soon! In the meantime, clean up the backyard, okay Zenkichi-kun? You wouldn't want to disappoint your neesan, right? :.:
Trust that manipulative shrine maiden, Arahabaki Miyano, to plant gardening duty upon his shoulders after his mother phoned in advance. There was even a red something that smelled like iron at the corner of the memo the blonde shrine maiden left!
"Shouldn't she put more effort into maintaining this temple?" Zenkichi grumbled to himself before sighing. The Hitoyoshi son was used to this type of treatment from his old babysitter. Rather than watch over him, Miyano had him do all the household chores to keep him occupied until his mother could pick him up after work.
It wouldn't have been so bad if the woman wasn't such a slave-driver and actually paid him his labor dues; Miyano would simply wave it off and chide him for being so half-empty. She would reason that she was training him for the future, and the younger Zenkichi shuddered to imagine what sort of future the older blond had in mind as she lazed about and watched him.
He placed the present his mother gave him on the doorstep and proceeded to the back of the large shrine he knew so well. He picked up a small sickle on his way from the shed Miyano had left unlocked.
If he had time to grumble, it only meant he had time to work.
Rounding the corner to the backyard, Zenkichi's eyes widened in disbelief at the jungle before him. The sealed shrine was barely visible with all the weeds and grass that overran the land!
"What the hell, Miyano-neesan! What happened to shrine maidens maintaining their place of worship!" He exclaimed his aggravation to the wind.
This—this would take him hours! He was only there for a quick prayer, damn it!
"Devil fine! Bring it on, Miyano-neesan!" Zenkichi fired himself up. With sleeves rolled up and the bright sun roasting him, Zenkichi crouched and began hacking away with reckless abandon.
He had no other choice, really; if he didn't comply, Miyano, at best, would spin a story of his delinquency to his mother and, at worst, bare the skeletons of his closet for all eyes to see.
Arahabaki Miyano had an uncanny affinity for blackmail. It was almost as if she had dirt on every living being in their city, nay, Earth itself! Hell, Zenkichi suspected that the reason she was gone most of the time was to spy on everyone around town…
That suspicion was up there together with Miyano heading a yakuza group.
So invested was Zenkichi in venting his rage on the defenseless but still annoying vegetation that, on the upswing after severing a particularly resistant bundle, he lost his grip on the sickle.
Zenkichi watched in horror as time seemed to slow down while the sharp tool soared in the air. His eyes widened in further when the gleaming tool crashed through the shrine's paper doors.
"Ugh!" Zenkichi cringed when he heard the sickle crash onto something that sounded a lot like glass.
"Oh please no." Zenkichi prayed as he scrambled to his feet and inspected what he had done. "Oh kami!"
There, in the shrine, was the sickle embed on the ground and in-between two halves of a mirror.
"I'm dead." Zenkichi almost felt like crying as he picked up the pieces. "Miyano-neesan's gonna kill me. Hell, the god of this shrine's gonna kill me!" It was then when Zenkichi noticed a plume of dark smoke coming out of the broken mirror. A dreadful sort of curiosity replaced his distress, and Zenkichi peered at it closer. "Hmm? What the-!"
The plume of smoke suddenly grew into a cloud of darkness.
Zenkichi's eyes widened in alarm at the sound of his heart banging in his ears. Electricity ran through his entire body towards his chest, and he felt it tighten painfully.
Something was leaving him.
Amidst the inscrutable and indescribable pain coursing through his body, Zenkichi felt that something was leaving him—and it left him feeling very cold, very fast. His rapidly dimming vision—whether due to the dark cloud or worse—managed to see a small ball of light floating from his chest to—
Indeed, there was a girl before him, but Zenkichi could not make out any more of her features.
'Who…?' Zenkichi tried to ask but found that his mouth would not budge.
"I'm sorry." He heard her whisper softly. She took the shining orb into her hands delicately before bringing it to her bosom where it dissolved into her.
'Why…?' Zenkichi struggled to ask amidst his rapidly dimming world. It was so cold. So very cold… but that didn't bother him.
Instead, his final thoughts were on the girl.
As his vision disappeared—as all sensation disappeared—Zenkichi was haunted by the last thing he saw: a beautiful girl and her tearful eyes.
'Why…? Why do you look so sad?'
His world disappeared.
Just like that, Hitoyoshi Zenkichi, freshman of Hakoniwa Academy and childhood friend of Kurokami Medaka, died on a sunny day.
A/N: Though I've got a definite end for this story unlike my other Medaka Box ongoings, I want to include best girl ;(