Chapter 11

"What?" Negi asked, confused.

"You heard me," Graf Wilhelm Josef Von Hermann said.

"Well, elaborate please," Negi growled, dropping into a fighting stance, "before I force you to."

"My, my!" Graf remarked. "I see being a Hunter has changed you, Negi-kun. But no matter," he said, raising his fists, "I'm sure you haven't changed much."

The minute he finished, Negi had launched forward, chanting, "Spiritus of Luxlucis quod Spiritus of Obscurumcomedoforsitan quod recolligoRecolligo super meuspalma quod combibo quod nisi thy saevio super meihostilis" (Translation: Spirits of Light and Spirits of Darkness, come forth and gather! Gather in my palm and combine, and unleash thy rage upon mine enemy!) Ten orbs of light and ten orbs of darkness formed behind him and merged, creating ten orbs of glowing silver spheres. When his fist connected with Graf's torso, the spheres transformed into arrows and pierced the demon in various areas. The blow resulted in an explosion sending the arch-demon flying. The force propelled him through Mahora's amphitheatre, the very first site of their first bout.

Before Graf could even recover, Negi was already upon him. Grimacing, Graf reverted to his demon form and exhaled a gale of black smoke. The cloud flew upon Negi, caught unawares, and he was immediately petrified! Not wasting a moment, Graf shattered the statue with a quick jab.

"Guess again!" Negi's voice cried out from behind him. Graf instantly turned around and delivered a right hook, only for it to be blocked easily by Negi's left palm and countered with a scissor kick to Graf's chin, sending him upwards. Negi followed up by jumping to Graf's height and yelling, "Phasmatis of Luxlucisexorior in palma quod recolligovoxAttero is everto per thy sanctusluxlucis" (Translation: Spirits of Light, come forth in palm and gather power! Destroy this demon with thy holy light!) Orbs of light took form behind his palm, and rammed into Graf's torso, sending him right down to the stage.

"Had enough?" Negi asked, mockingly, landing right next to him.

Graf's essence slowly began to fade, but he laughed, "Ha ha ha! Well done, Negi-kun! You haven't disappointed me at all!" Suddenly, a large blob like substance appeared behind Negi and attempted to swallow him whole! Smirking, Negi just snapped his fingers and a ring of electricity formed around him, blowing the blob away. IT fell several feet away from him, and split into the Slime Sisters.

"Did you really think I'd only regress after 15 years Graf?" Negi asked

Graf merely shrugged while on the ground and said, "I guess not. I shouldn't really call you '-kun' any more, eh? You've truly surpassed your father. Consider me impressed."

"Thanks," Negi said, looking down at Graf's fading form. Not willing to lose his only source of information now, he pulled a paper talisman from his pocket and threw it on Graf's forehead, which restored his faded essence.

"Now I'll ask you again," Negi said. "Why are you here?"

Graf, amazed at first that Negi had healed him without second thoughts, slowly got up and put his hat back on, saying, "Very well then. Out of respect for your newfound skills, I'll tell you. I was sent to find something that was reportedly hidden within the grave of Asuna Kagurazaka, here on the grounds of Mahora Academy."

"So in other words," Negi said, clenching his staff tightly. "you're here to grave rob. So what are you exactly looking for?"

"Before I answer that," Graf said. "answer me this. Have you ever heard of the legendary phoenix Aghart?"

"'Legendary Phoenix Aghart'?" Negi echoed. "No, not really."

"I'm not surprised," Graf said. "There aren't many stories about it."

"So how does this relate to robbing a grave?" Negi asked.

"The Phoenix was given powers over the light and darkness," Graf explained. "It was originally created for the protection of humanity from both angels and demons, meant to keep both sides influence and power in check, as well as four other entities. Then one day, Aghart must've seen something in all three worlds that made her, yes her, decide that the world wasn't worth protecting. She and the other entities then decided that they would destroy all three worlds and create one of their own designs. They had some power over the three realms and used that to recruit the denizens to their cause. As you might expect, there was conflict among the three worlds, but those who refused to allow the complete dominance of their worlds bound together and fought. Brother fought against brother, Mother against Daughter, Son against Father; families were split apart and ruined. Eventually, a champion arose from all three civilizations and fought together, destroying the entities, who became know as the Twilight Progenitors. The five of them were destroyed physically, but their souls were impossible to retain and fled. Until now, no one knows where they have disappeared to. Nevertheless, my superior believes that we have found one."

"Do you mean Asuna?" Negi asked, shocked at the news.

"Of course," Graf said, nodding. "You see, when she would feel the morning sun of her 16th birthday, Aghart's soul would've released from her flesh bindings and returned to the world. Thankfully, the contract with Malfeas prevented that, but Aghart's soul managed to escape from that body and find a new host."

"Wait wait," Negi said, waving his hands in front of him. "So you're saying that the Asuna I knew was a reincarnation of a destroyer?"

"Of course," Graf said smoothly. "Now as for why I'm here, I was sent to find the four golden bells that she constantly wore? Those artifacts kept the human Asuna from recovering any memories of her past life as Aghart or any of her powers for that matter. I was suppose to look into the grave and retrieve them."

At this point, Negi's mind was reeling with the influx of information flooding his mind. Asuna was a destroyer? The bells kept her power in check? So then how the hell did his father and the Crimson Wing keep her alive? None of this mad any sense!

"I see you know something," Graf said cryptically. "Then I must give you fair warning; countless search parties have been released to either find the reincarnation or the bells. I suggest you take extreme caution from now on." At that, he slowly turned away, but then continued, "By the way, you can have the Slime Sisters. I have no need for them anymore." Then he fully disappeared, leaving a shocked Negi behind.

Sighing, he turned to the Sisters, who were huddled together. Unimpressed, he snapped his fingers and they were immediately sucked into a white pentacle that appeared below them. When the light died down, Negi picked up the bottle that had appeared and pocketed it.

'Negi' he heard Nodoka scream in his head. 'Hurry back here! Demons are suddenly sprouting all over the place!!'

'I'm on my way!' Negi thought back, immediately jumping into the night. 'Hold them off until then!'

"More complications," he muttered. "How typical."