I don't own anything from zero no tsukaima, or Darksiders.

Earth: what used to be the U.S.

The roar of the wind was all I could hear as I rode through the destroyed city of Manhattan. 'To think only a century has passed' I thought as I dispelled Equity and walked down the alleyway marked by his usual sign.

"Hahahaha. It's been too long, Rohinmeyar." said a demon as he burst from the portal in front of me, his usual sneer in place.

"Not long enough, Vulgrim." was all I said before throwing a bag I had filled with a not inconsiderable amount of Guilt. "You know the drill," I told the demon merchant as he took a few coins out of the bag.

"*sigh* Fine, but only because it's you." he said, as he tossed me a leather bag and disappeared back through his portal.

Hoisting the bag over my shoulder I walked back out into the streets of the abandoned city. A frenzied cry stopped me in my tracks as another demon, this one more doglike than the last, ran at me, jaws open for the mauling. Faster than the mortal eye could see, I dropped the bag, pulled the double-barrel shotgun from its holster on my back, and pulled the trigger, sending two slug shots down the approaching creature's throat, killing it instantly. Afterward, I opened the bag and pulled out two shotgun shells, one labeled 'hallowed', the other labeled 'damned' and reloaded the weapon.

After placing the rest of each shell type in their respective pouches. I was about to give a sharp two-finger whistle to summon Equity, but paused. A green oval had appeared on the street not too far away from where I was. My curiosity peaked, I approached the strange green oval and reached out a hand to touch it. As soon as my hand touched the nebulous green oval I felt myself pulled through what was apparently a portal, and found myself falling inside the black.

Halkeginia: Tristain Institute of Magic

"*cough cough* I told you so," said Malicorne from behind the massive dust cloud that had been kicked up by my latest magical failure. 'Damn it, not again. Not now!' I thought as I recalled what I had told Zerbst the previous night. But I felt my mouth fall open as some of the dust had cleared, revealing a man in a very strange outfit that looked like that of a commoner. But that wasn't what had my jaw on the ground. What had my jaw on the ground were the wings on his back, the right feathered and white, and the left red and batlike, and the horns and black gem on his forehead.

"Who are you? Where am I, Human?" the strange demon/angel walked up to me, speaking in some language I'd never heard before. He seemed just then to see the shock on my face as his wings horns and gem all disappeared, leaving him looking completely human. At that exact moment, our supervising teacher Mr. Colbert summoned a gust of wind to blow away the remaining dust that still obscured the strange demon/angle.

After I had finally regained my senses I turned to look at Mr. Colbert, ignoring the jabs made by the other students, "Um? What language is that?" I asked, just receiving a look of equal confusion from him.

Just then the demon/angel seemed to realize we couldn't understand him, and a bright flash of light later he looked at me again and asked, "Can you understand me now?" His voice was so soothing and kind.

"Y-yes." I stammered. As he seemed to understand my trepidation, and adopted a much less stern-looking expression.

"Good." he said, "Now I ask again. Who are you, where in the nine hells am I?"

I opened my mouth to respond, but Mr Colbert stopped me. "Mrs. Valliere, please finish the ritual." he said, clearly having not seen what the demon/angel had looked like just a few seconds ago.

"W-what? With this?" I asked, pointing a shaky finger at the demon/angel, which elected a confused head tilt from him.

"I understand your… distaste for the ritual, Mrs. Valliere." said Mr. Colbert "Especially considering what you have summoned, but this is a sacred ritual. If you were to refuse, I'm afraid that I'd have no choice but to expel you from this institution."

"I-*sigh* I understand," I said dejectedly as I looked back at the demon/angel. He was looking at me quizzically as if trying to piece together what we were talking about.

Swallowing hard and feeling a blush crawl across my face, I leaned forward on my tiptoes and kissed the demon/angel, to which his surprise was evident. 'That felt so amazing!' I thought as I pulled away and saw a similar blush on his face.

It was immediately replaced by a look of immense pain as his left hand began to smoke. Gripping his wrist, he looked at the back of his hand and breathed out one word. "Familiar?" Then passed out.

It was only then, as he lay on the ground, that I realized just how handsome he was.