Disclaimer: I am almost there. My lawyer has called me about the possibility of the transfer of rights, but the call was somehow cut off. Next time he called, he was at the hospital. Poor guy. Hence, I do not own Negima. Yet. I do own all the spells (Latin, Greek, Japanese or otherwise) I made up here, so there!

Jennon-Donnon: Man, translating sure is hard...

Anya: Why do you say so?

Jennon-Donnon: I'm taking a translators' test right now, and I have to say that it's bloody tiring...

Anya: Isn't that good? You finally decided to resume work on this after that frustration, didn't you?

Jennon-Donnon: Well, you're right. Hey, Anya, are you always that sarcastic? You're starting to sound like that Kyon guy from the Suzumiya Haruhi series. We should fix that, you know...

Anya: It's probably your fault for reading too much Suzumiya Haruhi novels and fics. What are you gonna do about it?

Jennon-Donnon: This. Negi? Come here.

Anya: EH!? That has nothing to do with... (Blushes furiously as Negi enters.)

Jennon-Donnon: So, Negi, what do you think of Anya?

Negi: Er...

Anya: Stupid brat. Don't say a thing. (Blush deepens.)

Negi: Eh!?

Jennon-Donnon: I'll leave you two there, then. Let's begin!


Chapter 4

Shippai (A Blunder)


"EH!? What are you doing in my bed, brat?!"

Asuna's surprise at finding Negi in her bed was a welcome distraction. Whether I liked that fact was a different matter altogether.

"Asuna-san? It's just that I always sleep with my onee-chan... And, er..." Negi stuttered out.

"EH!? You're such a kid! I gave you the sofa to sleep on, didn't I?" Asuna scolded.

"Hey, Asuna-san, don't be to worked up about it. I'm sure he'll grow out of it soon," I tried to reason.

"Really? Well, try waking up early only to find a brat like this in your bed!" Asuna glared at me, then she seemed to remember something. "Oh no, It's already 5 o'clock! I've gotta run! We'll discuss this later!" she said. With this, she hastily changed into her school uniform and rushed off.

"Where's she going?" Negi asked Konoka, who seemed to have woken up to the noise we caused earlier.

"Hm? Oh, paper route," she replied sleepily. She went in the direction of the kitchen, putting an apron on along the way. "I'm making breakfast. How do you like your eggs, Negi-kun, Yakumi-chan?"

"Ah... Sunny side up, please!" Negi replied.

"Hm... Same here, Konoka-chan," I said as I sat at the table.

"Got it!" She said cheerily.

While Konoka was cooking, Negi joined me at the table. "So, you're a mage too, Yakumi?" he asked me in English.

I was hoping he'd forget about it... So I decided to bluff. "What? A mage? Why would you think of such things?"

"But... Earlier, I thought you used magic to draw the curtains..."

"What are you talking about? Anyway, you were sleepy, you must have seen and heard things. I drew the curtains manually. You sure have an active imagination, Negi, to think of such trivial things as magic..."

"Hm? What magic?" Konoka asked from the kitchen.

"Oh, nothing, Konoka-san," Negi replied, looking quite downtrodden.

"Okay! Breakfast is served!"


"UNBELIEVABLE! I was late getting to my part time job! We shouldn't have let you stay!"

It seems the morning rush was a main part of life in Mahora. Everyone, from Kindergarten to University, was running forward like lemmings... Without the "being stupid animals" part. Lemmings are stupid animals, after all...

I saw Asuna pull Negi towards her. She looked menacing; perhaps she was making a threat to reveal Negi's magic, should he decide to cross her. Konoka was being clueless, as usual.

As Negi and Asuna were conversing, I heard the words "love potion" again... Was he trying to help Asuna? Did he even know that love potions are illegal?

Ah, well... I looked around for a while, trying to imprint the view of the entire school in my mind. The girls' middle school block was straight in front of us, while we had passed the boy's block a while ago. I decided that I should tour the entire school block sometime, and preferably with Negi.

We reached the lockers. As I changed my shoes, I remembered that the time limit for the age pills was almost up. I decided to wait it out at the toilet for a while, so that when I changed back to my usual form, and back to being Yakumi, I would be out of anyone's sight, thereby avoiding any accidental discoveries. Thankfully, the toilet was empty, as everyone was in the, or on the way to, the classrooms. I quickly finished my soon-to-be daily ritual, and rushed off to Classroom 2-A.

I caught up to Negi and the others, and I noticed that Yukihiro Ayaka was among the group. I saw Miyazaki Nodoka glancing out the window, anticipating Negi's arrival. Negi exchanged greetings with her.

As we entered the room, the blackboard eraser trap, which had been re-installed, was caught by Ayaka on its way down. The class settled down, and the customary bow and greeting was given.

The first class was English. As we opened our textbooks to page 76, I noticed that Evangeline was smirking.

"Ah, Evangeline, any reason for that creepy smile?" I asked.

"Watch this, girl. Most of these airheads know squat about English. Takamichi wasn't here to teach them that often, after all."

Negi was reading out the passage, entitled "Jason the Flower". What a simple sounding passage...

"Spring came, Jason the flower was born on a branch of a tall tree. Hundreds of flowers were born on the tree. They were all friends." Obviously, this was in English. It is English class, after all... "All right," he asked in Japanese this time. "Would anyone like to translate this passage?"

As his eyes scanned the room, all the girls in the direct line of his sight seemed to find the walls and the floor interesting. He turned towards Asuna... "How about you, Asuna-san?"

"What did you pick me for?" Ignoring Negi's attempts at explaining, she went on, "You're supposed to pick a number from the register or something! Don't you know anything?"

"But... 'Asuna' starts with 'A'," Negi protested.

"The register goes by surname!"

"Ah, excuses, excuses," Evangeline said to me. "She has no academic ability at all, mind you."

"That's mean, Evangeline." I turned to see Ayaka trying to answer in Asuna's stead, probably to impress Negi. This made Asuna attempt the question.

After taking a deep breath, she started, "Jason... fell off... the flower and spring came? Jason and the flower... um... ate branches... in a tall tree... one hundred... bones? Uh... And the bones... were wood..."

"I was telling the truth, wasn't I?" Evangeline had been smirking through the whole thing.

"It's still mean of you," I replied.

My other classmates had started laughing, probably due to Negi's blunt statement that Asuna's English wasn't good. As Asuna stood there, clueless, Kakizaki Misa had added that Asuna sucked at Maths, Ayase Yue mentioned Asuna's ability in Japanese (or her lack of), Chao Rinshen finished the list with Geography and Social Studies, and Ayaka rounded it up by calling Asuna a total dunce. Someone mentioned that Asuna was only good at PE...

Asuna decided to take this chance to blame it all on Negi. As she grabbed Negi towards her, I saw some strands of her hair touch his nose for a second, and then...

"AH-CHOO!"

The train incident was definitely his fault; his sneeze had the same power as Flans Exarmatio; in fact, it probably was the spell, invoked by the sneeze accidentally. Since there was nothing to disarm, the spell chose the next closest thing: Asuna's clothes.

As the class wondered about the "freak wind", Asuna fumed, and Ayaka accused Asuna of stripping in class. Asuna found herself in spare clothes again. She spent the remainder of the lesson glaring at Negi.

The next class was a free period, so I decided to speak to Konoka about my club affiliation.

"Japanese Archery Club and Library Exploration Club?" She asked.

"Those two are quite interesting. I would like to learn more about Japanese culture, and I do love reading books," I explained.

"Well, okay!" she said with a big grin. "I'll tell gramps later, so that you can join club activities immediately!"

"Thanks," I replied.

"I'll warn you, though, that the Library Exploration Club isn't just named that way as a metaphor!"

"Thanks, I guess." I was clueless. I mean, I have seen very large libraries before...

I glanced outside the window and I noticed Negi sitting at the plaza. I decided to speak with him for a while, he was probably down from the Asuna incident earlier.

As I approached him from the building, I noticed a running, blushing Nodoka, with Yue and Haruna giving chase. I looked in Negi's direction, and I noticed him standing as if in victory, clutching something that looked like a vial in his right hand. He ran off into the nearby forest... Naturally, I gave chase.

Negi was setting up the standard equipment for brewing instant potions. After taking and crushing what looked like a ball from the vial he held, he added the powder to the boiling mixture, while saying, "Rastel Mascir Magister! Age Nascatur! Potio Amoris!"

After the initial shock from the non-dangerous explosion of magical energy, I realized what Negi had just done; those were the "Super Magic Balls of Seven Colors (Adult Only)" that Nekane-oneechan had given him! He had used one to make a love potion!

I looked back to were Negi had been, only to find that he was gone. Turning towards the school's direction, I saw him running at top speed. Man, he's fast. I have to stop him before he does something illegal...

"Flamma et Aqua! Teleportus!"

I found myself at the staircase, although I was inevitably behind Negi... I dashed after him, determined to prevent a potential disaster.

I arrived at the room, ready to shout "STOP" with bloody conviction, when... Asuna dumped the liquid into Negi's mouth! Oh no...

I do not remember what happened next. Even if I was given the chance to, I wouldn't dare to find out.

I had found myself outside the library. Asuna was carrying Nodoka, and Negi looked relieved.

"Thanks, Asuna-san! I owe you one," Negi said.

The bell rang, signalling the next class. Asuna and I rushed back to class, in order to arrive before the chemistry teacher did. I looked around the classroom, noting that most of my classmates looked dazed, as if they were trying to remember something. That potion sure was potent. Crude, yes, but potent nonetheless.

The afternoon was rather uneventful, apart from a few explosions in the chemistry laboratory. These were shared almost 50-50 by Asuna and our somewhat incompetent teacher, Hitotama Masayoshi. Apparently, the guy was mixing up whatever he could get his hands on, after which he promptly lit up the mixture... Somehow, Asuna thought he was doing the right thing and did exactly the same. Luckily, Konoka stopped her from placing a whole box of matches, which resulted only in a minor gas explosion, while our unfortunate, bleeding and burnt teacher was escorted out by the dazed medical rep Izumi Ako.

My after-class schedule consisted of a briefing by the captain of the Kyuudou (Japanese Archery) team. Her name was Ishida Kaname. She struck me as rather quiet, but smiling and approachable... Sort of like Okouchi Akira in my class. She explained the rudiments of Kyuudou to me, and its roots in Japanese history and culture. After that, she took me to the storage room to find a suitable yumi, or bow.

"Yumi are usually taller than the archers, and may take a while to get used to," she said.

"They're not made of wood?"

"They used to be, and some archers still use wood, but now synthetic ones are preferred due to durability," she replied with a smile.

After some mokuso or meditation in seiza, Kaname started instructing me on hassetsu, the eight stages of shooting.

"Archery, whether western or eastern, requires concentration. Meditation before practice is required. Clear your mind and be one with the arrow," she said.

After a few tries at the range, I still couldn't draw the bowstring fully, reaching only my elbow as I strained.

"Practice makes perfect, ne?" Shimada Kikyo, one of my clubmates, said as she sent an arrow into a bullseye.

"I see..." Somehow, this reminds me of my daily escapades with Negi back at Wales, when he would practice offensive spells deemed too advanced for us to learn... I used to complain about it, but now I seem to understand why he used to do it.

"Well, as you can see, the bowstring takes strength to pull... It's due to the tension in the string. Continue training, and you surely will be able to do it... Gah!" Her arrow had missed its mark.

"Concentration is important, Yakumi-chan. I think you should train using the makiwara ya to improve your technique," she said, indicating a row of straw dummies. "Do not worry about not hitting the targets; stand close them so you most certainly hit. These dummies are for refining your technique," she concluded with a smile.

I bowed in thanks, and began training on the dummies. Eventually, I found that I could now draw the string an inch more.

The bell rang, indicating the end of club activities. After saying my farewells, I headed for the staff lounge. I saw Asuna and Konoka already there, waiting for Negi.

"Ah, Yakumi-chan, how was your Kyuudou class?" Konoka inquired.

"It was fun, although I'm still too weak to draw a bow fully," I confessed.

"Hehe, I think Asuna'll be able to do that, though... She's the muscle girl of the class, after all!"

"Oh, shut up, Konoka. Hey, there's Negi," Asuna declared.

While walking back to the dorms, when Negi lagged behind for a while.

"Hey, Negi, hurry up! Wait, what are you writing on the register?"

"Nothing!"

"Come on Negi, show us!"

As we chatted idly, I thought, This is going to be a good year.


Jennon-Donnon: That's it for this chapter. Translations, as always, are near the end.

Anya: Eh? That Chemistry teacher is familiar...

Jennon-Donnon: Thank Master Masa Random for his clumsy OC, then. Oh, and I'd like to thank Eternal-Longing, Kafka'sdragon, Midnight Sleeper, Tsutomu Teroku and X Serac for the input. I really appreciate the help, gal and guys. Archery was suggested by Eternal-Longing.

Anya: You just love sucking up to people, don't you? And do you even know a thing about Archery?

Jennon-Donnon: Hey! I've had Archery training, and I do know that drawing a bowstring is extremely hard!

Anya: ...

Jennon-Donnon: That aside, I'd like to ask for reviews, including criticism (preferably the constructive type). Flames are accepted, but they are going to be treated with extreme prejudice.

Negi: Where am I again?

Jennon-Donnon: You're lucky Haruhi didn't ask for a mage.

Translations:

Japanese:

Kyuudou – Japanese Archery. The main differences are techniques and bow size. Occidental (western) archery calls for bows half a person's size. The string is drawn only up to the chin. Kyuudou uses large bows longer than the archer's height. The string is drawn until it is behind the person's ear.

Yumi – Bow used for Kyuudou. Most are 2 meters long. They are usually made of bamboo, although synthetics may be used.

Mokuso – Meditation

Seiza – Japanese formal sitting position

Ya – Arrow

Makawari Ya – Makawari refers to straw dummies, and ya refers to arrows. Makawari ya are straw dummies used in Kyuudou.

Latin:

Rastel Mascir Magister – Negi's spell key

Flamma et Aqua – Anya/Yakumi's spell key

Flans Exarmatio – Wind Flower, Disarm!

Age Nascatur! Potio Amoris! - Come into Existence! Love Potion!

Teleportus – Move through a distance (teleport)

Explanations:

Hitotama Masayoshi (Masayoshi Hitotama) – Master Masa Random's 2nd main Negima OC. Read "Muddled Up" for more info. Just a passsing cameo, though.

Ishida Kaname – From Ishida Uryu (Uryu Ishida), a Kyuudou user in BLEACH, and Chidori Kaname (Kaname Chidori) from Full Metal Panic.

Shimada Kikyo – From Shimada Kambei (Kambei Shimada) in the movie Seven Samurai (and subsequently, Samurai 7 the anime) and Kikyo from Inuyasha. Both are Kyuudou users.

Suzumiya Haruhi – A character from the series named after her. Wikipedia is thy friend, and thy sworn enemy.


Jennon-Donnon: Thanks for reading. I hope you leave a review (or two!)

Anya: Where's Negi?

Jennon-Donnon points to the TV, showing Negi as the advisor for the SOS-Dan.

Anya: EH!?