Juugo: 29 – Confrontations in Kyoto – Finale
Disclaimer: I do not own Negima or any of the characters they are the property of their respective creators. Please be aware that no profit is being made from this work of fan fiction.
I could feel the spell coalescing in the palm of my hand, drawing in all of the magical energy in my body. Already the petrfiaction spell was reacting, spreading ever more rapidly with each passing moment. Even if the spell itself did not kill me the petrifaction was about to freeze my lungs, so even then I would simply suffocate instead. Either way there was no turning back, this would be my last change to defeat the Ogre God and put and end to their plans.
Pushing aside those thoughts I gathered all the magic I had left in me and pushed it outwards into the palm of my hand where the spell continued to grow. I felt it then, the magic taking hold as the spell was ready to be released, but just as I was about to incite the final words of the incantation something, or rather someone tackled me from behind. My concentration shattered the spell collapsed, causing a backlash and sending a wave of compressed magic crashing into me.
Sufficed to say it hurt like hell, but on the plus side it charged my body with enough magic to stop the petrifaction from progressing, at least for a little while. Now, switching my attention to the person who had tackled me I found myself face to face with a girl's bare chest. Given the circumstances I was forced to try and hold back a nosebleed as I quickly shifted my gaze upwards to her face, only to be greeted by a furious and crying Asuna.
"You idiot!" she screamed at me, beating her fists again my chest over and over again and she continued to cry. In truth by then I was so numb from the shock and the aftermath of the spell that I barely felt them, but I made no attempt to stop her. Finally once she had cried herself out she collapsed against me, and not knowing what else to do I reached up and gently held her in my arms. I could do nothing now but simply sit there and watch, when suddenly the Ogre god became encased in a great pillar of ice.
"Shatter." I could only watch in awe as the giant Ogre God crumbled into nothingness, right before my eyes. It seemed impossible, that such a being had been defeated so easily. What kind of monster could have possibly vanquished something like that and with such a lack of effort? My question was answered a moment later when a figure swept down and walked over to us, I was surprised as n truth she was the last person I had expected to see there,
"Evangeline-san?" She was dressed in her usual outfit, and despite the fact she seemed pleased to be here her usual smirk was absent. Moving over she knelt in front of me, not so gently lifting my chin until her eyes were aligned with mine. There was anger there, and quite a lot of it. I realised it now, she must have been the one to tell Asuna what I had been attempting.
"The next time you try and do something that stupid boya I'll turn you myself." I felt a shiver run down my spine at her words because I could see it in her eyes that she was deadly serious.
"You made me a promise, remember? How are you going to free me of my curse if you're dead?" Her words were little more than a whisper but I heard them all, the note of sadness in her voice ringing in my ears.
I was about to say something to her when I noticed a disturbance behind her, too late I realised that it was the strange magi from before. Too late to call out a warning I pulled myself from Asuna's grasp and dived for Evangeline, the sort of overly stupid and heroic gesture that you see in the movies all the time. I can still remember the look of surprise on her face when I grabbed her, before it was quickly replaced by anger as she forced me to one side.
The spike hit her in the stomach, impaling her upon its length. There was a brief spray of blood and she bucked against it, body reacting involuntarily to the impact. I could only watch in horror as she turned to look at the one who had attacked her.
"You…!" I have fought many different opponents since then, many who have been far stronger or more dangerous yet still I have never felt such fear than when I looked at him and his almost vacant emotionless expression.
"Evangeline A.K. McDowell…The 'Doll Master'." His voice was devoid of emotion and that only served to fuel my anger. I wanted so badly to wipe away that expressionless mask, but my legs would no longer respond, the joints turned to stone.
"Eva-chan!" Asuna called out, stunned by the brutality of the attack on the smaller girl. But in truth we need not have worried because suddenly Evangeline vanished and reappeared behind her attacked.
"Indeed so. Also know as the 'undying magi'." Her counter attack blasted away at least three quarters of the pier, alone with her attacker, or rather the illusion he had left in his place.
"…Ah, I don't think I care to face a pure-blood high daylight walker just now. I'll be leaving then, if you don't mind." With that the remnants of the illusion vanished and my world faded into darkness.
That is one of the few times I have come very close to dying, but on the bright side it was also one of the nicer wake up calls as when I opened my eyes it was to Konoka's lips pressed firmly against my own. I know that she was forced to make a pacto with me to save my life but even so, that doesn't mean I couldn't enjoy the moment. Still, at the point she realised I was alive and started attempting to stick her tongue down my throat I realised that it was probably a good time to break contact.
It's not that I was unwilling, far from it, it's more the fact that both Asuna and Evangeline had auras that spoke of the inhuman levels of pain that would be inflicted upon me if I didn't pull away immediately. So it was in high spirits that we made our way back to the temple, gathering the other members of our party as we went. On arrival the elder was waiting to greet us, it appeared that when the strange magi had been forced to retreat the petrifaction spell had been nullified.
Just as we were exchanging greetings I noticed Kotaro being led away and called out.
"Elder, please would you allow me a moment to speak to your prisoner." He turned to look at me questioningly for a moment.
"I made a deal with him earlier, and I want to uphold my end of the bargain." There was some murmuring from the attendants before the elder asked me.
"What kind of deal?" I was clear from his tone of voice that he did not entirely approve, but none the less I answered him truthfully.
"That he would not obstruct me when I went to save Konoka in return for fighting him later." The elder paused for a moment, that was not what he had expected me to say but in the end he nodded in understanding.
"I see. Very well. Release him." After a moment's hesitation the guards did as they were told, releasing the chains that held Kotaro's arms and legs in place. Flexing a little he walked over to me and bowed quickly to the elder before turning to me.
"Looks like I might have been wrong about you western magi after all, at least you kept your promise." It was the closest thing to a complement I was ever going to get from him, but even so I appreciated the sentiment.
"Of course Kotaro-kun. A gentleman's word is his bond."
"Whatever, let's just get it on!"
Sufficed to say I won't go into too much detail about the fight that followed, although I can say that despite what you might have expected we proved to be quite evenly matched. Admittedly I was a bi tired from the earlier fighting, and Kotaro seemed to be suffering a little after being restrained but we both fought with our all and ended up in a stalemate. I was a little surprised when he clasped hands with me, mostly because I didn't expect him to be familiar with such a western custom.
"Next time I'll beat you for sure Negi-kun." Kotaro taunted me while grinning profusely. The hostility that he held towards me had almost entirely melted away and a grudging respect formed in its place.
"I wouldn't be so sure Kotaro-kun." I grinned back at him, watching as the guard came over warily to restrain him once again. But this time he made no move to protest, and did not struggle when they reaffixed his chains. Afterwards, when the Elder had gathered everyone in one of the large rooms for tea he told me that Kotaro's actions would be considered and his punishment would be lessened accordingly. I myself was quite pleased, because I had made a new friend slash rival that day.
After we had finished the Elder summoned a car to drive us all back to the inn, after what had happened we all agreed that we felt more comfortable staying there overnight. Given how late it had gotten we separated as soon as we got inside, each making our way to our separate rooms. The girls all were given instructions on how to dispel the shikigami to avoid any further trouble. Asuna and Setsuna followed me back to my room, as there was still something we needed to talk about.
The girls were following a few steps behind me, talking about something I couldn't quite hear while I was lost in my own thoughts. Sliding the door open I started to step inside, only to freeze at the sight before me. Sufficed to say I dismissed the shikigami as fast as I could, before either of the two girls could see them, but even so the image remained burned into my brain. The two of them sat down and I went to join them, but all the while I couldn't help but keep thinking about what I had seen.
Their two shikigami had been naked, caressing one another in intimate ways while my own shikigami had been engaging in something within ninety degrees of the vertical with Setsuna's copy, from the looks of it he had been doing the same thing with Asuna's double as well. Sufficed to say I took a long, cold shower right after the girls had left to wipe the image from my mind. Even then thoughts of their naked bodies crept their way into my dreams.
Morning came and one long very cold shower later I was dressed and ready to face the day. In truth I wanted nothing more than to simply lie around resting but I had promised the Elder to go and see him as there was apparently something he wanted to show me, and Evangeline had made it very clear that she wanted to go sightseeing in Kyoto before we returned to Tokyo. Well, that's not entirely accurate, she had in fact stated that she wanted to go sightseeing with me before returning to Tokyo.
By the time we reached the temple the Elder was waiting for us, this time dressed in casual clothes. He was smoking a cigarette when we first arrived but Konoka marched forward and snatched it from his grasp before stamping it out with her foot. It was quite a remarkable sight, watching him be chastised by Konoka but it was over quickly enough and we got back to business, more specifically the reason that he had asked us to come here.
"Now, Negi-kun, you told me that you had come to Kyoto looking for information about your father. Well, you are in luck because on these grounds is that house that your father stayed in during his time in Kyoto."
"It's only a small, three story structure and the outside is sadly a little overgrown, however I've made sure that it has been kept exactly as your father left it, awaiting his return." He opened the door and led us inside and at once I was surprised by the interior. Whereas I would have expected something Japanese in style the interior was not unlike a lot of the modern buildings you might see in London. It had a very open plan design, with everything packed into the long but narrow interior.
"Negi-kun, until Nagi returns I want you to consider this place as your own. If you ever come to Kyoto again then I will have it made ready for your stay." Humbled by the Elder's words I bowed deeply to him.
"Thank you Elder, you are too kind." Truly it was a magnificent offer, although at that time I truly never believed I would ever again have caused to visit Kyoto. Still, I was content at that moment to simply explore my surroundings. The main thing I noticed was just how many books my father seemed to have had, in truth I would have loved to stay there and read all of them but it was not to be as I still had other responsibilities to be dealt with first.
"Not at all Negi-kun. As I said before Nagi was a close friend of mine, and besides one day you might become my son in law after all." He caught me off guard and even as tried to stammer out a reply I was saved by Konoka's rather vocal objection.
"Father! Stop harassing Negi-kun!" this of course raised a round of smiles from the other girls; even Chachamaru's expression had shifted very slightly. Shaking my head at Konoka's ongoing tirade, I busied myself with leafing through my father's books.
Finally once the lecture had finished the Elder presented me with something important, although I didn't quite understand it at the time. We all gathered to take a photo, once which I have kept to this day as it is a reminder of good times. Saying our farewells we departed for Evangeline's impromptu tour of the city, I still cringe at the thought of it, before finally making our way back to the station to board the bullet train and return to Tokyo.
As the train started to depart I felt a weight on my shoulder, and turned to find Asuna sleeping there. Smiling and finding that I was also quite tired I rested my head on top of hers and allowed myself to slip into a peaceful slumber.
AN: I know it's been a long time since my last update, and this is probably shorter than you were expecting but a lot has happened in my life since my last update, both good and bad (mostly bad).
I make no promises about when the next update will be; it will be the beginning of book 7, or rather my take on it. Even so, let me say thank you to everyone who reviewed and a smaller thank you to everyone who story alerted me.
Thank you all,