None of the characters, as much as I wish otherwise, belongs to me. Enjoy the finale.
Cracks appeared on the wall after Negi was sent flying into it for the umpteenth time. Ignoring the growing pain, Negi leaped to his feet just in time to avoid the Count's solidifying beam. The fight was not going well for them. The Count was simply too strong.
Becky was faring well in the fight, despite being inexperienced with the ways of magical combat. She had leaped onto the Count's back and clawed furiously.
Count Herrman grunted in pain and reached to his back to grab her by her arms. He then flung her forcefully into the cave wall. Given her new-found cat-like agility, Becky managed to hit the wall limbs first before leaping back into battle.
The Count morphed into his demon form and flew into the air. Opening his trap like jaws, magic gathers once again to shoot the solidifying beam.
"Aeriocardio Valkyriam! Contbelaria Gladibaria! Age Capiav!" Several wispy sword-wielding clones of Negi appeared by his side and leapt towards the Count.
With a slap of its wings, the demon dispersed the clones into the air. While he was distracted, Becky was on him again. Grabbing him by the horns, Becky forced his head upwards.
The Count shot the beam into the air, causing the cavern to shake violently as rocks fell from the top. Becky leapt off the Count just as he morphed back into his human form and fell to the cavern floor.
Once Count was back on the ground, Negi took the chance to start trading blows with him again. Negi concentrated on his opponent as he did as how Ku Fei had taught him. A punch to the stomach, an uppercut to the chin…
The Count blocked most of the moves, grunting in response for the moves that did hit. With a slap of his hand, Negi was forced back into the defensive.
The trio circled each other warily. The Count moved to punch Negi. Negi sidestepped to avoid the punch and lifted a free hand to cast another spell. The Count caught him on the reversal and Negi went sliding against the rocky floor.
Becky had pounced upon the Count, intent on catching him at the back again. The Count swung and got her with a kick. She skidded across the floor.
The Count walked forward and picked up his hat from the floor. "Is that all you got?" he said as he adjusted his hat, "I had expected more from one who defeated me once."
At the side, John Smith was smirking in delight at the sight before him. Alyssa was watching her fellow apostles fight in calm silence. The two soldiers who were supposed to be guarding her had ran for their lives when the cavern shook from the Count's attacks.
The two children struggled back to their feet and glanced at each other. Whatever they were doing, it was not working. They needed a plan.
The Count was on the offensive once more. In a swift movement, he was before Negi. Negi tried to defend himself but was forced back to the wall. The Count opened his jaws once again.
Becky leapt forward and pushed Negi to the ground as the beam shot out.
"You defeated this monster once!" Becky asked as they scrambled to their feet.
Negi nodded as they dodged another of the Count's attack.
"And you can barely fight him now!" she said in disbelief.
Negi could not say anything to defend himself. "I need time to cast that spell that can defeat him…" he finally replied.
"I'll distract the demon, you just cast whatever that big, explosive spell is at him," she whispered hurriedly to him as she raced to the other side of the cavern.
The Count threw a punch at Negi as Negi dodged to avoid it. Just as the Count was about to follow up with a kick, Becky's voice rang out.
"HEY OLD MAN! YOUR FASHION TASTE SUCKS! YOU LOOKED MORE LIKE A FISHERMAN!"
That caught his attention. The Count turned towards Becky. "What did you say?" he growled. Becky's slap caught in at the cheek. Her claws left scratch marks on the Count's cheek.
"I DARE YOU TO COME GET ME, OLD MAN! HIT ME WITH THAT FISH BREATH!"
Becky shouted as she prepared to make a leap.
The Count punched the air, sending shockwaves towards Becky. Becky leapt out its way. The cavern shook on the impact on the wall.
"YOU MISSED, BAD BREATH! COME ON!" Becky continued to taunt the Count to draw his attention.
The enraged Count unleashed a fury of punches at Becky's direction, sending shockwaves across the ground, missing all the time as Becky leap around the cavern to avoid the attacks. Cracks zigzagged across the walls of the cavern. It was a matter of time before the cavern gave way.
"Sagita Magica Septendecim Sagittae Lucis!" Several magical bolts hitthe distracted Count. He coughed and staggered back. He turned his attention back to Negi.
With his back turned, Becky finally managed to catch the Count on his back. She forced her fingers into the Count's open mouth and pulled. The Count struggled to get Becky off.
Negi got ready to cast on last spell. "Kenoteto Atrapsato…" Electricity gathered in his hand.
Becky held on tightly to the struggling Count and forcefully steered him to turn away from Negi.
Negi moved his hand back, "De Temneto…" and leap forward at the Count.
With a kick, Becky released the Count and sprung to Negi's side. The Count staggered before him and turned around.
"Dios Chucos!" Negi brought the lighting down at the Count.
Smoke arose from the site of impact, obscuring the sight of those around.
Becky went to Negi's side and slumped down in tiredness. "Did we win?" she asked breathlessly. Judging from her heavy breathing, Becky could not last any longer.
They were both at their limits.
Negi stared intently at the dissipating smoke. The silhouette of the Count could be seen arising from the smoke. The Count was still standing.
Hearty laughter could be heard from the Count as he stepped out from the smoke. His trench coat was singed but he seemed barely harmed.
Negi was prepared to cast another spell when pain from his injuries coursed through his body. He clutched his side to press on the wound. Gritting his teeth, he tried to ready himself again despite of the pain.
To his surprise, Becky stepped forward to shield him.
"Go away!" Negi instructed Becky urgently, "You are too tired to take him on!"
Becky looked back with determination in her eyes and gave a tender smile, "So are you."
The Count made no attempts to attack. He stepped forward and fell to his knees.
"Wonderful! Simply wonderful!" The Count roared in laughter, "I underestimated you and your acid-tongued partner. That was a wonderful fight." He struggled back to his feet.
The children looked at him suspiciously as they quickly went back to their fighting stance.
"What did you mean?" Negi asked while maintaining his stance.
"Springfield, you spared my life once, and now I shall do the same to you… We're even now," Count Herrman conjured a rose in his hand and gave it to Becky in a gallant bow. Sparkles glinted from his teeth. "Is my fashion sense that bad?" he asked.
"Yes," Becky rejected the rose with a slap to his cheeks.
The Count had a satisfied grin as blood flowed from his nose.
He turned to John Smith and bowed deeply. "I am defeated and can no longer fight. I shall be taking my leave now."
"What did you mean? We had a deal!" John Smith asked, livid with rage. He cast a fearful look on Negi and Becky.
"I believe the deal was to get all three of them in the same room as you and the payment, a fight with Springfield," the Count said darkly, "As you can see, the deal had been completed."
He turned to Negi and pointed, "You have improved… but not enough… I will be back to try you again… And next time I've got no reason to hold back…" He then started to fade and dissipate like smoke in the wind.
"Wait!" Negi shouted to the Count.
The Count paused his fading for a while.
The Count bellowed in laughter, "Et tu, Springfield" He cast his sparkling smile at the children and faded into the darkness. His laughter echoing throughout the cave before it too faded.
Negi and Becky turned their attention back to John Smith.
"SEARRS would not lose! Not to a bunch of children!" Alyssa was struggling in his grip. Smith had taken her hostage while they were distracted., "You will obey us! For the Golden Millennium cannot be denied!"
"Let her go!" Negi shouted to Smith.
"Never!" Smith spitted, tightening his grip on Alyssa.
Negi raised his staff to cast a spell at Smith when someone swiftly swooped down on Smith. In a flash, Sister Miyu went back to Negi's side craddling Alyssa in her arms.
Looking behind, Negi saw Takahata entered the cavern with Chamo and Mesousa in tow.
Smith looked at the growing reinforcements with fury. He moved his hand into his suit and raised a small mechanical device into the air.
"You will all go down with me!" he screamed maniacally. He had lost it.
Before anyone could stop him, he pressed the button on the device. Several explosions occurred at the roof of the cavern. Debris and rocks started to fall.
"Run! The cavern is caving in!" Takahata shouted to them as they had a dash for the exit.
Negi started to run but looking back, he saw that John Smith was not running. Smith was kneeling on the ground with an air of resignation in his face.
Without a thought, he ran back into the crumbling cavern and tried to drag John Smith along. John Smith struggled against Negi furiously. Negi signed and punched Smith in the face. Smith went down like a baby.
Around them, the cavern was falling apart. He was lucky none of the rocks were falling on him. Trying to take his mind off the growing pain at the side of his chest, Negi attempted to drag the unconscious Smith out of the cavern. Given his injuries and the additional weight of Smith, the progress was proceeding at a snail's pace.
"Why must you always insist on been a hero?" Negi looked up to see Becky back in the cavern. She had come back for him. There was a look of exasperation on her eyes.
Negi had no more breath to answer.
To his surprise, Becky grabbed Smith by his other arm. "Unless you want to be a dead hero, hurry up! We're going to be caved in soon!" she shouted.
Negi nodded and together they heaved the unconscious mastermind out of the cave.
As they reached the last lap of the cave, they flung themselves out onto the forest ground. The opening of the cave caved in behind them.
The cave with the prophecy was no more.
They continued to stay in their position, lying on the ground, surrounded by their allies. Too tired to move, too tired to talk, just glad to survive.
John Smith awoke from his concussion and leapt to his feet. He surveyed the surroundings frantically, surprised to be still alive.
He pointed a trembling finger to everyone and furiously cried out, "SEARRS will be back. I will get you all for this!" He then ran into the forest, making urgent phone calls for a tactical retreat.
Negi looked to all those present. Sister Miyu… Takahata... Chamo... Mesousa... Alyssa…Becky… He was grateful to all of them, for their presence and support.
The morning sun was rising, casting its warm rays and lighting up the forest.
A new day had dawned.
He started to feel groggy and sway slightly. Then he fell to his knees.
Becky quickly knelt down and held on to Negi.
Shaking him gently, she asked him with concern, "Are you alright?"
"Don't… worry…" Negi smiled to Becky, "Just… hurting…"
His vision was blurring, the pain in his side exacerbating.
He thought he saw those tears in Becky's eyes again.
Raising a trembling hand to her cheek, he wiped a tear off.
"Did I make you cry again? I'm sorry…" he said.
"No! I'm okay!" she forced herself to be cheerful as she wiped off her hot tears.
"Don't cry… That's… not the Becky… I know…" Negi murmured as he felt his eyes closing, "So… tired…"
He faintly heard a scream of his name from Becky.
He smiled and then darkness fell on him.
End Chapter Five Point Five
Rebecca inspected her outfit in the mirror. She was trying her best to look as beautiful as possible. Without the presence of her elder sister, she had to rely on Igarashi to critic on her choice of outfit.
Days had passed since Negi fell asleep in her arms outside the cave. Rebecca still blushed whenever she recalled her scream. It was such a romantic scene and Negi had to ruin it by starting to snore. She vowed that if that happened again, she would kick him at the sides.
She had been so scared throughout the whole ordeal that she was almost ready to go with Smith. It was by pure determination and Negi's presence that she managed to survive the fight and ran out of the collapsing cavern.
She remembered after Smith had detonated the bombs, running out of the cave frantically. When she discovered that Negi was missing, she knew that he must be trying to save that baldy. Logic told her to stay now that she was finally safe, but something inside her snapped.
Takahata had tried to stop her but she entered anyway. Seeing Negi trying his best to rescue the megalomaniac mastermind, her heart went soft. Rebecca still could not believe that she actually helped Negi to save the villain who had kidnapped her twice.
Negi was carried back to his hostel by Takahata with Chamo. The girls and one rabbit were left walking back to the damaged church. Alyssa had told Becky that SEARRS had suffered a terrible defeat this time and it would be years before they could muster enough strength to attack Fuuka again. By then, the three of them would be separated again, having returned to their home town, making such an attack not worthwhile. Rebecca remembered being quite downcast when she was reminded that they would have to separate eventually.
Rebecca had sighed in relief as Saotome later was found bound and very unhappy along with the rest of the student executive body of Fuuka. None of them were seriously hurt during the attack. Save for those that took part in the active fighting, there were no casualties during the SEARRS invasion.
Negi had the dubious honor of the one most injured during the invasion. Luckily for him, none of the injuries were too heavy and though he still walked around in bandages, he had recovered fairly quickly. The SEARRS invasion had come and gone in the night like a very bad dream. Life went on.
The destruction of the excavation site was considered a great loss to the archaeological society. While the archaeologists had wanted to re-dig out the site, under the protest of the Fuuka student executive body, they were denied the permission to do so. As Alyssa had pointed out, some prophecies were best left buried.
When Negi awoke from his slumber, Rebecca remembered being glad enough to hug him before starting her scolding to hide her embarrassment. She had ordered him to accompany her during the Tamayura Festival but throughout the festival, while she had fun with him, she never mustered enough courage to present the ribbon with her name to Negi.
The remaining days had gone by in a flash. While Rebecca never truly worked out her feelings for him, she knew that as much as she hated to admit it, she had enjoyed and appreciated Negi's company. Alyssa had remarked, "Ten years down the road, feel free to use this church for it," when she was giving them an autographed copy of her single each as a token of thanks. The hidden connotation in the remark was not lost to them as it sparked off another awkward blushing session between the two of them. Perhaps Alyssa had a sense of humor after all.
Their de facto guardians had more or less accepted their relationship. Even Saotome had done so reluctantly, though he had enforced strict curfew timings on her. Which only made it more thrilling to sneak out at night. Negi had mentioned that he would be in his room all the time, asking him what they did and what happened. Igarashi was very supportive of her, even covering for her during her night escapees.
Night was when Negi would teach and show her about magic in the forest or rooftop. It had been childishly fun twirling the little wand he had given her in the air and saying the magical chant. So far, Rebecca did not have much success with even the most basic spells but she had enjoyed spending the night under the tutorage of Negi. And that was enough. What she looked forward most was when she would hitch a ride on Negi's staff and fly under the moonlight with him.
Before they knew it, it was time to part. The Annual Teacher Convention had ended and they had to return to their respective schools. Negi would be leaving Fuuka via train so this would be Rebecca's last chance of giving him her ribbon since she would be leaving later via cruise. She would be meeting him at the train station to bid him farewell.
Rebecca fiddled with the ribbon on her hair. There, she was ready. Behind her, Igarashi gave the thumbs-up. Then with Mesousa behind her, she left for the train station.
Negi was already at the train station amidst all their luggage with Takahata and Chamo. Rebecca gave the ermine a mean look; she was not ready to forgive it for the incident on the cruise yet. Chamo scrambled to hide behind Negi.
"Oh, Becky-chan… you came…" Negi said softly.
Rebecca nodded shyly, unsure of what to say. The presence of Takahata, Chamo and Mesousa felt too invasive for her.
Takahata sensing that he was an obstruction bent down and told Negi, "I will be going ahead first, don't take too long." Then giving Rebecca a wink, he led Chamo and Mesousa away onto the train.
The two children looked around sheepishly, not knowing what to say.
"I…" they said together and then they paused.
"Ladies first," Negi said with a gesture of a hand.
The cool breeze was picking up around them. Rebecca's skirt fluttered gently in the wind.
"I… like to thank… you for all the fun these days," she stammered.
"Me too," Negi replied as he bowed to expressed his thanks.
It was now or never. Mustering her courage, Rebecca undid her ribbon from her hair and thrust them forward with both hands.
"This is for you!" she said hurriedly. Her long flowing hair, loose from the constraints of the ribbon swayed to the wind.
Negi hesitated and took the ribbon in his hands. He then looked at her name written on it. Judging from his confused look, he did not knew the significance of the ribbon.
Rebecca was expecting a much more dramatic reaction. Sulking in disappointment, she said, "I had wanted to give it to you during the Tamayura Festival but… If you don't like it, you can throw it away"
Negi looked up and smiled. "Thank you," he said gratefully. He then tied the ribbon to his staff. Rebecca looked at the ribbon bound to the staff, dancing in the wind, and smiled. The Tamayura Festival might be over but at least she had given him the gift.
Negi seemed to remember something and started to rummage through his luggage. He then took out a brown paper bag.
Negi first took out a card from his pocket and gave it to Rebecca. Rebecca saw that the card had a picture of her in the cat-form on it with her name and the words, "Vegrandis Magister Ferociter". She looked back to Negi for answers.
"This is a copy Pactio Card, a proof of the contract," Negi explained as they both reddened at the memory of the ceremony. "I had to convinced Chamo to make a copy of the original to give you… he was quite upset that I had gone ahead without him…" he continued.
"It will allow you to communicate telepathically with me, no matter how far apart we are," he looked to her. Rebecca nodded in agreement.
Negi taught her the basics on how to use the card. Rebecca then pocketed the card. It would be a useful gift for her though she would still miss the little gentleman.
"And…" Negi started to blush furiously. Rebecca wondered what Negi had in the paper bag. He held the paper bag forward to give it to her. "I'm sorry!" he said with genuine remorse in his voice.
Rebecca took the paper bag and peeked into it.
Inside were her panties. The one that went missing after their encounter on the cruise.
So he was the one holding on to it.
She felt her own face reddening as she recalled what happened then.
Instinctively she raised her hand and slapped Negi at his cheek.
Then she pushed the paper bag back into his hands.
"Becky-chan…" Negi tried to say, stunned by her move.
Rebecca looked away to avoid him seeing her embarrassed face. "I have not released you from slavery yet," she huffed, "Keep it. This way you still owe me one…"
She looked down to the floor. With a finger tapping lightly on her cheek, she added shyly, "This way, we got a reason to meet again…"
She looked back at Negi sheepishly. Negi was still blushing.
They went back to looking at the floor with blushes on their face, wondering what to say next.
An announcement rang out through the station. The train would be leaving soon. Passengers who have yet to board were advised to board now.
Negi looked back to Rebecca, "I have to go back to Mahora now. Good bye…"
Impulsively, Rebecca leaned forward and gave Negi a peck on his cheek.
Negi raised a hand to the cheek with surprise.
Rebecca shuffled her feet while looking at it and murmured, "Good bye…"
Negi smiled gently and took up his luggage, placing the paper bag back into it. He then ran towards the train. Stopping at the entrance of the train, he turned back and shouted, "Good bye, Becky-chan. I'll keep in contact!"
Rebecca raised her head with determination and shouted back, "I'll miss you!"
Negi waved their contract card in the air and boarded the train. As the sirens blew, the train moved off the station, leaving Rebecca standing alone at the platform.
Waving her hand at the leaving train, she felt those tears flowing out again.
She wiped them off quickly. 'It is not like we would not meet again…', she consoled herself.
Then she turned her back away and slowly walked back to the hostel.
As she strolled back, she took out the Pactio card. Looking at it, she smiled.
They might have separated but they would remain connected. There was no need to grieve or feel sorry. As long as they remain connected, their feelings intact, one day, they would meet again.
Rebecca signed and pocketed the card again. She could see Saotome and Igarashi waiting for her outside the hostel with the luggage ready. It was time for her to leave Fuuka. She looked forward to reuniting with her students in Momotsuki. Giving the academy one last look, she ran towards her older colleagues with a bright smile on her face.
End Chapter Six
That's the end of this story. Thank you for reading. I will be coming back occasionally to work out on some parts of this story once in a while so you might notice certains changes to it occasionally. Please feel free to email me on how the story can be improved.
And a note, I had originally intended this to be a doujin but considering my amateur drawing skills, I let words do the talking. So for those aspiring artists who had liked this story, TAKE THE HINT!
Other than that, domo arigatou.
No wait... what about Mesousa?
Mesousa looked at the passing scenery from the train.
'Finally…' he thought. He had survived cyborg nuns, perverted ermines, evil organizations, mercenary demons and (not so) trigger-happy soldiers. He wondered if his short bunny life could take any more excitement after this.
He looked forward to the rabbit hutch back at Momotsuki. The company of Kurumi, singing her soulful 'Ra,ra,ru' song with him. The peace and calm that he so longed for.
He turned from the window and walked down the carriage. It felt good to be leaving Fuuka. He would miss his savior, his angel of light, Alyssa Searrs but that could not be helped.
Wait a minute. Isn't Rebecca leaving via cruise?
Why was Mesousa on a train?
He recalled with growing horror, Takahata leading him onto the train…
'Oh no…' Mesousa sank to the ground in despair. He had not alighted from the train. He was going in the wrong direction. Worse, he was on the same train as the troublemaker Chamo.
He would have to look out for Chamo. Chamo had been somewhat upset that he taught Alyssa how to do the Pactio ceremony. It took a lot of convincing and a pay rise to pacify him.
"MY! Isn't that Mesousa, you coward! It has been a long time!" he heard a cheerful, energetic voice of someone trying to talk with his mouth full.
That was not Chamo. Mesousa had learnt to dread his voice. It was someone else familiar… but equally unwelcome.
Mesousa looked up to see a stuffed lion cub with wings before him. The plushie-liked lion was stuffing himself with a box of Takoyaki. There was a young girl with short, brown hair with him, peering at him curiously.
"Keroberos… They released you again…" Mesousa stammered to confirm his fears.
"Kero-chan, you know this rabbit?" The girl asked the stuffed lion.
"OF course! He and I go way back!" Keroberos continued to stuff his face with Takoyaki as he spoke, "In fact, Mesousa, we're on the trail on something big here! Since you are here, why don't you help out?"
Mesousa shuddered at what Keroberos said; Chamo had told Takahata the same thing.
The imposing sight of Tokyo Tower flew past the window.
Mesousa buried his face in his hands and wailed,
"GET ME OUT OF HERE!"
Not The End