Black Mage

Chapter 01: Sunder

"Talking normally," said Louise.

'Thinking to myself,' thought Louise

"Check out my teeth!" exclaimed the Black Spirit.

The spring-time familiar summoning ritual was one looked upon by many mages as the time where young, prospective nobles would be formally inducted into the world of magic, for after all, what is a mage without his or her loyal familiar? However, for one pink-haired mage, she viewed this as her final chance to prove herself capable of magic, to prove herself more than the failure her classmates dismissed her as. Louise Francoise le Blanc de la Vallière—a mouthful she admitted—was a young woman of the ripe age of sixteen. However, the petite girl was more commonly known to her peers as Louise the Zero due to her failure to produce any result other than thunderous explosions, no matter what spell she attempted to cast. The first-time the young girl ever casted a spell, her wand had exploded in the most spectacular manner and led to some singed eyebrows and destroyed furnishings. Attempts that followed were met with similar results, much to the despair of the pink-haired girl.

Hoping to avoid the spiraling descent of depressive thoughts, Louise shook her head to clear her mind, and focus on the upcoming ritual. It wouldn't do to psyche herself out when she was just about to cast the most important spell of her life, the one spell that would decide her whole future. She had studied the summoning ritual in extreme detail, foregoing meals and sleep to understand even the most minute details, driven by a single-minded determination to prove herself a capable mage, and not a failure to the de Vallière name. And while her success rate when it came to casting was of zero, when it came to pure academia she was quite certainly the most advanced student in the whole school, something enabled by her determination and by the fact that Colbert, one of the teachers, regularly lent her literature far more advanced than what was available to her peers.

Louise looked around at her fellow classmates and the creatures they had summoned, ranging from the mundane, like cats or dogs, to the most fantastical of beasts. A blue haired-girl, known as Tabitha, had even summoned a Rhyme dragon! Not that Louise was jealous. No, that would be unbecoming of a noble, and she had no doubt that her own familiar would be far superior, by far, to the creatures summoned by her detractors. Although she did have doubts, glancing as she was, to the salamander obediently sat next a young woman with tanned skin and an impressive figure. Kirche Von Zerbst may have been her rival of sorts, she had to admit the creature perfectly suited her passionate nature. Okay, she felt a bit depressed now. How could she ever summon something that stood up to the likes of these creatures? Not much could stand up to a dragon except for griffons or Manticores. Her own mother had a Manticore as a familiar, and with her efforts, she became one of the most feared mage in Halkeginia. The title of Karin of the Heavy Wind was one not bestowed lightly, and denoted her status as the most powerful Wind mage in all of Tristania.

The expectations place on Louise were heavy indeed.

"Wonderful familiars you all have summoned! Now that we are finished, I have no doubt you all want to..." started a male voice, making her turn to watch the speaker. Professor Colbert was rather unassuming, as far as appearances went, with simple robes, a crooked staff held in his hand, and a bald head.

"Actually Professor," interrupted Kirche, the tanned-beauty quietly snickering to herself, "Louise has yet to go and I'm all sure we're all dying to see what she summons."

Of course, it would be her who would call out Louise. The past few months had been quite horrible on the pink-haired girl, her peers sneering behind her back at her inability to cast magic aside, the buxom beauty had taken great delight in shoving Louise's face in her substantial bosom (almost suffocating her in the process) while mocking her lacking magic and body. It led to many restless nights from to crying herself to sleep, and Louise could hardly take any more bullying. They were supposed to be nobles! Examples for the commoners, who would look upon them and know that there was a reason they were nobles, not rumor-mongering, spiteful children who mocked those they saw as their lesser!

Well, she would prove them all wrong! She didn't spend many a fortnight studying the ritual in detail for naught, and she had even made some personal modifications that would guarantee a beautiful and majestic familiar worthy of the Founder Brimir himself!

"Ah, yes..." said Colbert with a pause, as he pushed his glasses up with his left hand. "Please, proceed with the ritual Miss Vallière."

Louise looked around towards her peers and found several of them scrambling for whatever cover they could find. Tabitha and Kirche, meanwhile, stood off to the side near the tower's walls, with the aqua-haired girl looking rather disinterested as she read the book in her hand, and Kirche looked amused, probably thinking this was another golden opportunity to tease her.

The murmurs coming from her peers began to chip away her confidence, so Louise recalled the most important lesson her mother taught her.

'Rule of Steel.' Her mother's voice echoed in her mind as the young girl took a deep breath and steeled herself for the ritual, ignoring the jeers and begging of the students to stop her. Trying to appear unfazed as possible, Louise walked up to the summoning area, took out her wand and pointed it upwards as she began the incantation. The voice resounding in the air, and she poured more of her willpower into the spell that would forever change her life.

"I, Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière," she started. Her voice grew stronger as she continued, pouring her willpower into the ritual circle, "In the name of the great Five Pentagon Powers!"

By that point, the air had grown heavy with power, and reality itself seemed to be stilling, the air almost coming alive.

"Following my fate…"

"jd tjkl nwl mwbya?" A shrill voice echoed through the air and caught the attention of everyone present.

'Is little Louise actually doing it?' blinked Kirche with disbelief. She could not deny that she was feeling chills running down her spine, and she wasn't easily flustered, so that was proof that something was going on!

"From the denial of nothing, to the acceptance of null!"

A green portal flickered into life in the middle of the summoning circle, and appeared as though it would fall apart at any moment, writhing as if the smallest thing would close it shut. Arcs of black lightning shot across the grass, barely missing the caster as though it were trying to test her resolve. Several students screamed as several stray bolts nearly struck them, charred grass all that remained where they landed.

Upon hearing the screams, Tabitha slammed her book shut and brought her staff forward, the action not missed by her buxom friend.

"Taby?" nervously chuckled Kirche as she glanced at her companion. Her flame salamander had run off alongside the other familiars to the far end of the courtyard, letting out snarls and whimpers of fear along the way. Even Tabitha's familiar appeared meek, as the dragon tried to make herself look as little as possible, while still staying by her master's side.

"Something wrong," the reserved mage spoke succinctly, eyes narrowed.

Looking unfazed by the destruction around her, Louise forged onward, her brow stubbornly set, and her small body pushing against the maelstrom of power.

"Offer thou power to be my sword upon my enemies would rend, and the shield that harbors my loved ones! From somewhere in the vast universe! My divine, beautiful, wise, and powerful servant! Heed my call for which I wish from the very bottom of my heart! Appear before me!"

The last part of the incantation was almost shouted, as Louise set her face in the stony mask her mother was known for, and that she had had plenty of time perfecting. It wouldn't do for her to show anything other than satisfaction as she proved herself, that would be unbecoming of a Noble.

Yet as seconds ticked by, nothing happened, the portal flickering continuously, ready to close at any moment and to deny the girl her familiar. Even minutes later, no great beast had exited the portal, and some of the more courageous students had begun moving out of their hiding spots.

"It looks like your familiar got lost on the way! Haha!" Mocked one of the male students.

"As expected of Louise the Zero, her familiar can't even get here!" Another student added, insulting her further.

Louise could feel her eyes moistening, and her façade beginning to crumble. Of course, this would happen. What was she expecting? That some amazing familiar would appear to be her loyal companion, one that would never make fun of her, disparage her, or betray her. Perhaps this was her fate, to be found without a hint of magical talent. Reserved to be married off to some family like a bargaining chip for some noble house looking for a business tie to the Vallière family. Her lips began to tremble at the thought of it, and a lone tear ran down her face as she fell to her knees.

Kirche looked at the grief-stricken girl in front of her with pity. While she may have teased the Vallière girl quite a bit it was always for just laughs, and Louise didn't seem to take it too badly, even getting swept along in their back and forth banter. But seeing just how much the disparaging remarks of her peers were affecting Louise made her feel horrible. Kirche actually liked Louise quite a bit (though she could loosen up a bit and her remarks were always so adorable in the way she got riled up), she never truly wished something like this on her classmate. Being a Noble without magic, especially for someone who came from a such a prestigious house like Vallière, was a fate she wouldn't wish on anyone. The Germanian took a step forward towards Louise, but felt something pulled her back. Looking to her side, she found Tabitha had grabbed her arm and shook her head not to approach.

"Not safe," muttered the blue-haired mage. Not safe? There was nothing going on. Just about as Kirche was about to protest, a noise came from Louise's direction, making the tanned girl turned her gaze towards her diminutive classmate.

Louise stood once more. If her familiar couldn't bring itself over, then she would just have to drag it here! Her familiar better be damn grateful for the effort she was putting into this! She took several steps towards the flickering portal, but before she could reach it, a strange voice called out to her.

"jd ttedn qj ghv Pdcxs dn Mwbe," a childish, bordering on demonic, voice called out from the portal and Louise froze in fear only a few feet away. The green portal ignited in a bright light that blinded all those who gaze on it, and a loud explosion rang out kicking up a storm of dust and debris that swallowed the courtyard along with the professors and students.

Louise, while shielding her face from the light and dust, felt something wrap around her arms and waist. Her left hand began to burn with excruciating pain as she screamed in agony.

"LOUISE!" a voice yelled out. Was that Kirche? She couldn't tell over the screams of the students and the extreme pain that assaulted her body.

As she screamed in pain, she felt something wrap around her, and jerk her violently towards the portal her ritual had created. A heartbeat later, the world seemed to turn upside down and distort impossibly, and she blacked out just as the portal closed, signaling the end of the lightstorm.

The sounds of students' coughs and curses could be heard through the thick dust cloud, and Kirche struggled to gaze through the cloud to where Louise was standing. The cloud of dust finally settled, and the students let out sighs of relief that it was finally over. However, something was wrong. Kirche was the first to notice it, followed by Professor Colbert and Tabitha.

Louise was gone.

A few hours had past, with the sun barely visible over the horizon, and rumors had already festered through the student body, and even the professors, about the disappearance of the Vallière girl. Some saying that Louise ran away in shame in the confusion or that she was vaporized by her own spell. However, all the belongings of the young woman remained untouched in the now vacant room that Louise resided in and none of the guards spotted anyone leaving. Being vaporized was doubted since her wand was found in the center of the summoning circle completely untouched, as pristine as ever.

Ultimately, calmer heads, including the Headmaster and Professor Colbert, believed the pink-haired girl would eventually show up once she realized that running away would solve nothing. Although, there was one thing that everyone agreed on. The Vallière matriarch, Karin the Heavy Wind, would tear apart the academy in search of her youngest daughter if she did not return, and many worried there would be no academy left standing in her wake.

Despite the efforts of Professor Colbert and the headmaster, there was absolutely no trace of Louise in and around the academy. It was as if she simply vanished from the world. However, Kirche knew better and that knowledge had kept her nerves on the fray.

That black hand that grabbed Louise and dragged her into the portal was the cause of her disappearance. Kirche tried telling the professor what she had seen, but her testimony was dismissed as shock from the explosion, and it was "well known" that they had been rivals, so it wasn't as if people would trust about her opinion on the matter. No one thought that a familiar summoning ritual would kidnap the summoner since that was just ridiculous in the eyes of everyone. After all, it had been used for over four thousand years, and nobody had ever had the slightest trouble with it, did they?

Guilt was now the companion of the Germanian. Perhaps if she hadn't teased Louise so much, that this would have never happened, if only she hadn't called her out to try out the summoning ritual, Louise would still be here. The feeling of guilt was a heavy weight on her, and she even shed a few tears at the thought that her actions caused this, something quite out of character for her. She had even turned away her scheduled "private" time with one of the older students on the excuse of not being in the mood, much to his displeasure.

A pale hand came to rest over hers, as she turned to meet the face of her oldest friend.

"Not your fault," assured Tabitha, a rare look of empathy gracing her usually blank features.

That was all it took for Kirche to decide on a course of action. She couldn't bring Louise back, not when she had no idea where to even begin, but the very least of what she could do was tell her rival's mother what she had seen. She may be believed, may not be, given that her family and the Vallières had something of a family feud, but she would try. The young woman just hoped The Heavy Wind wouldn't kill on her on the spot once she discovered she was speaking to a Zerbst.

Headmaster Osmond was quaking in his shoes as he penned the letter that would be sent to Vallières regarding the disappearance of their youngest daughter. The Heavy Wind would certainly be displeased to hear news that her daughter had disappeared in front of so many witnesses, yet left no trace to follow. He had sent out several of the academy's guards into the surrounding landscape in hopes of finding the first year, and he truly hoped she would return soon. Because if Ms. Vallière did not return, her Mother would, and knowing her, she would be riding her dreaded Manticore directly to the academy. Hopefully, it wouldn't eat too many students.

He placed the letter in his desk drawer, for the royal courier did not arrive until midday tomorrow, delivering and receiving the students' and business letters, and began to rub his eyes in anxiety. He turned to his mouse familiar, which was scampering up the side of his desk. He needed something to cheer him up and the mouse always knew what that was. Leaning closely to the mouse, he carefully listened to the squeaks, a lifetime of experience allowing him to decipher what would have been mere squeaks to others.

"Hoho!? Black lace? How daring!" he grinned, happily forgetting his imminent doom to immerge himself in the delightful world of female undergarments. That is, until a book violently collided with his head, sending him reeling.

"Headmaster, I will report you for sexual harassment if you ever do that again," coldly spoke his secretary, Miss Longueville, with her hand holding the book that she had used to hit him and ready to strike again.

"Hoho! You said that the last time and I am still here! Besides you mustn't stress yourself too much; You'll get wrinkles on your lovely face."

Groaning quietly to herself, she resigned herself, knowing that despite any formal complaint she may put against the old fart he wouldn't be dismissed from his position. He had too much political sway, and she needed him as a perverted old man so she could break into the academy's vault. Who would expect the beautiful, young secretary of being the thief?

Later that night, when most of the students and professors had retired to their quarters, a strange phenomenon was beginning to occur at the summoning grounds. In the center of the circle, a small flow of brown sand began to form a pile from seemingly nowhere, the rate of which increasing more and more quickly as the seconds past. Suddenly a flash of light burst into life, dumping a colossal wave of sand, and completely covered the summoning circle in sand.

A black plate-armored hand burst free from the sand, followed the sounds of coughing and grunting as a figure dug itself free from the sand that weighed on it. The figure eventually broke free from the its sandy prison, and came to a stand on its feet, nearly stumbling from the shifting sand underneath. The light being reflected off the moons, illuminated the figure to reveal a rather feminine form.

The woman who rose of the sands was just as beautiful as the twin moons that illuminated her. The armor she wore was graced by light pink, metal feathers that flowed off her left shoulder and down her left hip, showing a craftsmanship that bordered on art. Midnight-black plate armor wrapped around her hands and abdomen, coming up to her breasts, pushing them up and slightly emphasizing the generous mounds. Black leather thigh high boots came up to her mid-thigh, exposing the fair skin otherwise hidden underneath the metallic shell. The armor hugged the generous curves that graced the woman's body, and the flowing pink hair that cascaded alongside a light pink scarf of transparent fabric that fluttered in the non-existent wind. She looked like an angel from a painting, given life in all its ephemeralness.

However, this was all covered in a layer of coarse sand that irritated the woman as she sought to shake off the sand that coated her body. Eventually, she resigned herself knowing that she would have to remove her armor to get all the sand that invaded her personal space, internal cursing the offending grains of earth, and began to take in the scene around her.

"Now, let's see where we landed…" she mumbled, her voice surprisingly feminine for someone who looked so warrior-like.

Her gaze swirled about, the look on her face one of increasing disbelief and shock as she took in the stone structures towering over her and the twin moons that shone brightly on the night sky. Her pink eyes widened even more than previously thought possible, and her jaw fell slack, the pink-haired woman stammering, trying to form words that seem to be caught in her throat.

"No, no, no, no this isn't happening…" she groaned, bringing up her plated hand to her forehead and she rubbed the bridge of her nose.

"Very funny Zero, I thought we were past the illusions…" mumbled the woman, had anyone been present, they would have wondered if she wasn't mad to talk to herself. The shrill voice that answered her out of seemingly nowhere denied that possibility, though.

"Usiu sk cwk ux, Mzukcw."

"Hm? What do you mean that this isn't you?" Her eyebrow raised in disbelief, seeming to understand the strange language.


The single foreign word given in response caused the woman to grumble, the situation seemed to become real for her, her eye twitched as she took in the familiar scene.

"Right, let's figure out what the date is and we'll go from there," groaned Louise, for the woman was indeed the youngest Vallière daughter, walking into the building where she could still see some lights on. She faintly recalled this being the building that housed the servants and hoped that it remained the case, the clothes she was wearing underneath were in desperate need of a wash. Being in the Black Desert for weeks would do that to any clothing, having no readily available source of water to wash clothes with since the precious liquid was reserved purely for drinking. But she digressed, momentarily envying camels who found no trouble in the arid environment.

Louise came around the corner of the building and found a young woman in a maid uniform, with black, shoulder-length hair, humming merrily to herself as she washed the clothing of various students in a washbasin, oblivious to the world around her.

"Excuse me," she called out, startling the girl.

"Kya!" the young maid yelped, tossing a soaking wet garment into the air, gracefully flying through the air in a perfect trajectory, and landed directly on Louise's face.

The poor victim stood there in silence, almost rejoicing as the cold water, that dripped from the garment, flowed down her face and cooled her, and the black-haired maid looked on with horror on her face. Louise slowly peeled away the offending article of clothing, and revealed a cold smile that froze the maid in place. She tossed the clothing back into the washbasin, and turned to face the horrified maid.

"May I ask for you name?" asked Louise, her smile growing and showing off too many teeth to be anything but threatening.

"Siesta, Ma'am!" squeaked the female servant, her mind no doubt thinking of the worst case scenarios for offending the noble (she looked like a noble despite her rather disheveled appearance, being covered in sand after all, and the strange looking wand(blade?) that hung from her hip indicated that the woman was one) in front on her. Insulting a noble was one of the scariest things a commoner could do in Halkeginia, they could demand almost anything from payment to one's life and there was little the commoners could do, the law being heavily in favor of the nobles. The same thoughts coursed through poor Siesta's mind. At the very least, a traitorous part of her mind whispered to her, this noble was a woman, which excluded the very real possibility of being taken as a sex slave. Better death than be treated like an animal for the remainder of her life, at least in her opinion.

Taking a closer view at the girl's face, Louise was reminded of the human inhabitants of Magoria, an oceanic region in the previous world she was in. Although, her large breasts were rather uncharacteristic of the traditionally slim people, and perhaps Louise would have been jealous of them in her past life, but not anymore. However, she wasn't interested in the maid herself, instead she was more interested in what the maid could do for her.

"Siesta, how about we forget this ever happened in exchange for a small favor?"

"Anything Ma'am!" frantically nodded the maid. The way it had been worded, it shouldn't be too hard, and if that was all it took for the scary-looking noble to forget the incident, she'd do it in a heartbeat.

"Could you wash my clothes?" Asked the older woman, looking slightly amused at the near-hysteria of the girl. Louise was thinking of teasing the poor girl, but decided against it, given that she was already panicking enough

"Yes Ma'am!... I mean… is that all?" the maid internally let out a sigh of relief, she was expecting eternal servitude or even having to grovel before the noble.

"Well I could use a nice bath as well," added Louise, brushing herself off, causing more grains of sand to come free.

"Of course, Ma'am. The bath is this way and I will wash your clothes as you bathe," nodded a significantly calmer Siesta as she motioned for her to follow, Louise looking forwards to her first bath in quite a while.

"Siesta," called a freshly bathed Louise, watching the maid, who was still cleaning clothes. For students living in quite relative cleanliness, the children in the academy certainly had a lot of dirty laundry.

Louise had procured some clothes, much to the confusion of the young maid, wondering where she had gotten them, that looked rather exotic, like the extremely rare and expensive clothing that came from beyond the Holy Lands. The older woman had said it was called a yukata and was very beautiful, being ornamented with the designs of several desert flowers in bloom, that stood out against the silky, black fabric with her wand(blade?) was neatly inserted into the ribbon that held the yukata together. Siesta's breathe had nearly left her when she first laid eyes on the woman after bathing, as her beauty had captivated the young maid.

"Yes Ma'am?" replied Siesta, still addressing her as "Ma'am" as the woman had not yet shared her name, while she continued to scrub the clothing with soap, a tinge of pink coloring her cheeks.

"May I ask you a question? You may answer without fear of repercussion."

"May I hear the question first?" replied Siesta, pausing in her task. She wouldn't be honest until she knew what the woman wanted, more often than not being honest, even when asked to, was the best way to get on a noble's bad side. Many a maid had gotten in trouble after a young lady had asked for their honest opinion on their clothing.

"I suppose it is only fair," Louise tilted her head upwards towards the twin moons that hung in the sky, and let out a deep sigh before she asked her question.

"Say you went on a journey, and through a great deal of trials you gained power," she began, a forlorn look on her face, "When you eventually returned home, nothing had changed, but now you have the ability to change everything. To control your own fate, and I ask of you... What would you do?"

Siesta hummed in thought, her brows furrowed. No doubt she had thought of such a scenario before, what commoner hadn't? The ability to cast magic was what separated the commoners and the nobility, and ultimately determined your fate in Halkeginia. Many commoners had secretly hoped, at least once, that they'd wake up the next day with the ability to use magic, which would have changed their life without a single doubt.

"I guess if I was a noble," began the maid, Louise raising an eyebrow that she would associate the power to control one's own fate with being a noble. Then again, the economy wasn't as developed here as it was in the various kingdoms that resided in the other world. Citizens were almost always guaranteed a job as a worker or soldier, at least males were, in which their wages were paid directly by the government through heavy taxes and the contractors whose responsibility, by honor and law, were to ensure a safe working environment, lodging, and nourishment for their workers. It wasn't a perfect system, but it guaranteed a low unemployment and homelessness rate, and led to women making many social and technological improvement with the free time they had. Louise herself held just over a hundred individual contracts in several cities for when she needed certain raw materials.

"I would make sure my family was taken care of," continued Siesta as she turned towards Louise, who appeared as if she wasn't satisfied with the answer, so the black-haired girl continued.

"My family lives in a small, remote village as farmers, and while it's a relatively safe occupation, we're constantly at the mercy of the nobility, bandits, and the elements that may make or break us on a whim. My parents are always living in fear that one day the noble who owns the land we live on will increase the tax rate, bandits may target the village, or a bad season will leave us starved. It's one of the reasons I came to work as a maid at the academy, so I could send money back home, and even then, it's barely more than I would make if I owned a farm.

So, if I was a noble, I would take responsibility to make sure that my family and those around me can live their lives free of fear," finished Siesta, before blushing, realizing that she had basically told a stranger about her deepest motivations, "Well that's all assuming I could cast magic in the first place."

"Noblesse oblige, huh…" whispered Louise, and Siesta looked at her in confusion. Seeing her look, she explained:

"The term you describe is noblesse oblige, the duty of the nobles to conduct themselves properly to their peers and to show respect and generosity to those below them. An ideal, regrettably, not practiced as much as it should be."

Even in the other world, many nobles manipulated and used the commoners, and the protests in the capital city of Calpheon was the first example that came to her mind. A plague had torn through the farming communities of the capital causing great poverty and starvation, with the nobles of parliament doing nothing but bicker amongst themselves as they sat upon their golden thrones of privilege. Her frown deepened she remembered images of countless dead who were carted away to be burned, and those who didn't die became nothing more than beasts, lashing out at any who came near, including friends and family.

"It sounds fancy," giggled the young maid as she began to warm up to the woman, with Louise quietly laughing alongside her. Truth be told, Siesta knew that some nobles took their positions seriously, like Princess Henrietta, who was said to be an extremely kind and benevolent woman. Unfortunately, for every noble like that, there were a dozen who were all too happy to abuse their position.

"Anyways, I have much to thank you for Siesta. You help me make a weighty decision," smiled the pink-haired woman as she held her hand up high. Snapping her fingers with a motion that was much too fast for the black-hair girl to follow, suddenly a strange looking coin nearly the size of her hand appeared in the mage's palm, which she then tossed to the maid, who yelped as she caught it. It was heavier than it looked, with a layer of dirt on it that hid most of the details on it, making her frown.

In her confusion, the well-endowed maid dipped the coin in the washbasin and began to rub furiously, revealing a silvery shimmer underneath. Realizing what the noble had just given her, she was about to protest that had done nothing to warrant such an expensive gift but was met with a raised hand that stopped her.

"Don't worry it's not going to harm me, just try not to spend it all in one place," smiled Louise at the flabbergasted girl. "Also, don't go to a pawn shop, go to an artifact collector since that coin belongs to an ancient civilization that predates even the Founder Brimir." The part about the ancient civilization was true, but not quite the same world, not to mention the ancient coin was a drop in a bucket due to the amount of excavations of ancient ruins she had contracted her workers to do.

Looking to give her upmost thanks to the mysterious woman but stopped when Siesta realized she didn't even the woman's name.

"May I ask what your name is Ma'am? I would like to properly thank you."

'Oh, that's right, I never actually introduced myself, did I?' realized Louise. With a push on the wall she was leaning on, she stood, her arms giving a flourish as she bowed.

"My name is Louise Francoise le Blanc de la Vallière, The Desert Flower of Valencia, but I am more commonly known as the Black Mage."

"Thank you Miss Valliè… EHHH!?" gasped the maid, her eyes wide as saucers. One of the benefits of being a maid was that she was treated pretty much as furniture, which allowed her to pick up most of the rumors in the Academy. She had thus heard of those about the De Vallière's disappearance, and to hear that the woman she had been talking to was the mage nicknamed "the Zero" was a shock, especially as she was not supposed to be a fully-grown woman.

"Well, I shall be heading to my room, hopefully I still remember where it is. Please drop off my clothing tomorrow morning and have a good night, Siesta," mischievously grinned Louise as she walked off towards the tower that held her old room, leaving the dumbstruck maid behind. No doubt the academy would be in an uproar the next morning and she would rather have a good night's rest in preparation.

Authors Notes:

I decided to have a different start mostly to explain why Louise would be sticking around and not immediately setting off, but the following events should overall stay the same. I saw that many of you did not like the Karin I depicted being overly trigger-happy and I'm inclined to agree in post. However, this does not excuse the inappropriate and depreciating reviews left by 'guests' who would only post such things under anonymity.

There will be flashbacks and parts of chapters dedicated to what happened to Louise while in the other world, and parts that reference elements from BDO lore/events will be explained with necessary information for those who haven't played the game. There will be some original events that are of my creation however.

Thanks for reading the second story that I've created! Black Mage is a crossover between Black Desert Online and Familiar of Zero, and I dare say that it's the first Black Desert fanfiction on this site!

As for pairings. I'm not quite sure how I would go for it. I was originally planning on Louise X Henrietta or Louise X Kirche but I realized that Kirche literally falls head over heels for anyone who shows strength of character or agency. So, I'm leaning more towards Henrietta. Not sure, let me know what you think and your ideas!

If you want an idea of the outfit she's wearing because I suck at description. Google Black Desert Sylvia outfit. Just imagine it mostly black with the feathery parts pink.

Please leave a review on your thoughts of this story!

Big thanks to Arawn D. Draven to beta'ing this chapter! Please check out his stories as well!

Answering Reviews:

Good - Thanks for liking my initial chapter, in the FoZ world there was not a timeskip, but in the other world it did. Time flowed differently for Louise.

Robo Reader 21 - I'm changing things up so she won't be into conflict with her mother this soon. However, due to her time in the Black Desert, she actually stands up for herself.

InsaneInfinityBlade - I have things planned out for Siesta and Saito (Saito won't be making a direct appearance in FoZ world, the Black Spirit will mostly fill it). I hope to carry this story as far as I can, so perhaps all the way to season 3. (With changes that result from Louise of course, I hate static stories!)