It's four in the morning on what promises to be a lovely fall day. A red sports car pulls into the parking lot of a local television station, drives to a parking place and stops. As the door opens a striking woman in a blue fleece suit steps out. While walking toward the studio door she thinks about the upcoming show taping. " So this months show is going to be about a high school student," muses Mina Fujiyama, " that turned to dust and then came back to life. Well, at the very least this shouldn't be boring." With a yawn she reaches for the door and walks inside.
Across the city at the dorm of Aoi Academy an alarm clock goes off. The figure in the bed, Kazuki Shikimori, stirs slightly, mumbles incoherently and promptly goes back to sleep. Quietly his room door opens and Yuna Miyama steps in. "Kazuki, dear, it's time to get up. We have to get ready for the interview." Kazuki opens one eye, looks hazily at Yuna and says," Just five more minutes." Yuna smiles sweetly, then says," We have to get ready early because Kuriko is coming to get us at 7 o'clock to go to the TV station." She steps up to the bed and starts nudging him to wake him more fully. He sits up, stretches his arms over his head, looks at Yuna then replies," Whose idea was this ,anyway?" "It was yours, Kazuki dear" Yuna says. "Remember, you thought it would be fun to be on TV." He slides his feet over the edge of the bed and scratches his head. "Why does it have to be so early in the morning? The suns not even up yet." "I know that," Yuna replies," but we said we would do it when they asked. Now go take a bath while I get breakfast ready." With the promise of food in the future Kazuki finally works up enough energy to get out of bed and start the day.
Having finished in Hair and Make-up, Mina Fujiyama goes to Wardrobe to be fitted for the show. As she walks in the door the producer is having a conversation with the dresser. "So, what should I wear today?" Mina asks. Looking at the list of guests for the day the producer suggests," I think today we need to go conservative but still be appealing. After all, there are only two men and the rest are women." Mina smiles, saying," I get it . Be appealing for the men but not so appealing to put off the women, right?" The producer grins, "You got it. After all, these are high school girls and you are very good looking. I wouldn't want them to be intimidated. With the guys, however, the more you can get to them the easier to get the answers." With that the producer excuses herself and leaves the dresser and Mina to work out the details.
Just minutes before 7am Yuna manages to hustle Kazuki out the door of the dorm. Already waiting outside are Rin Kamishiro and Karei Hirosaki. "Good Morning, everyone." Yuna calls out brightly. "Mornin' " Kazuki mumbles. Karei smiles and replies."Good morning, Mr. Shikimori and Miss Miyama. Don't you two look well this lovely morning." Yuna smiles and says," Thank you, Miss Hirosaki. You look well yourself. Good morning , Rin." Rin looks over," Good morning, Yuna. How was your night?" "I slept very good, how was your night?" "I found it somewhat trying. Shikimori, are you sure this is what you want to do? This is the type of show where they ask what may be some embarrassing questions." Kazuki looks at Rin. " I'm sure it won't be that bad. It's not like there's anything embarrassing about what happened." Rin drops her eyes to the ground and says," While on the outside this may be true what happened was very personal and I'm not at all sure we should speak of it in such a public manner." Putting his hands on Rin's shoulders Kazuki says," If this is something you don't want to do it's alright. You don't have to do it." Raising her eyes to his Rin says," It's something you want to do and everyone else is doing it. Perhaps it won't be as bad as I've worried it would be." Just then a large car pulls up.
Kuriko Kazetsubaki opens the back door of the car." If everyones ready, lets go." Rin and Miss Hirosaki get in."You can get in next to me, Kazuki." Kuriko coos. "I'll get in next, then you Kazuki!" Yuna commands. "Party pooper." Kuriko pouts. Once everyone is seated in the car Kuriko tells the driver to leave for the studio.
Sitting in the back of the car, Kuriko speaks to Rin. " I can't believe you would agree to do this. It's so unlike you. I wouldn't think you would even watch TV much less be on it." Rin looks over at Kuriko," It's not something that I would normally do but Shikimori asked me to. He seems to think it will be fun." Kazuki looks up at his name. " It'll be fun. We get to be on TV like all the movie stars." Kuriko looks at Kazuki," So, your really looking forward to this, huh?" Kazuki turns towards Kuriko and says," You bet. It's something I've never done and someday I'll be able to tell my children about it." Kuriko smiles slyly and purrs," Gee, if I had known it was this easy to get you excited I would have bought a TV station." Yuna begins to fume," Don't even think about it, Kuriko. Kazuki is mine and mine alone. After all, I am his wife." Kuriko glares at Yuna," I still don't accept you as Kazuki's wife, but I will admit that you take good care of him. When WE'RE married I'll have to get you something nice." "KURIKO, don't even talk about marrying my Kazuki. He and I are the perfect couple. We are more alike than not, I'll have you know." " Gee, Yuna," Kuriko says," didn't you know that variety is the spice of life. I bet Kazuki would like some spice about now!" "GRRRRR..." Kazuki steps in to calm things down."Yuna, Kuriko, please don't fight. We're going out to do something fun. Let's all have a good time and get along. Please." "Well," Kuriko says," I'll agree if just for today she will give the wife thing a rest." Kazuki looks over to Yuna, " Just for today, okay Yuna?" " Well, I suppose, as long as YOU remember I'm your wife." "You got a deal." Kazuki says, to which Kuriko says," Then I'll behave, for you Kazuki."
Before long the car arrives at the television station. The group gets out and proceeds into the station. They are greeted by the producer, who shows them to a waiting room. Inside they find Dr. Akai and his sister Shino. Once she has them all seated she begins to explain what is going to happen. "One by one you will be taken to the studio. Once there you will be introduced and Mina will ask you questions. Answer the ones you can and don't be ashamed if you don't know all the answers. Just relax and tell what you do know." They nod that they understand. She goes on," Just so you know, this room will not receive a feed from the studio. We don't want any of the interviews to influence the guests coming up later. Once the interview is done you will be taken to another waiting room where you will be able to see a feed of the people coming after you. Is that all right with everyone?" Again they all nod in agreement. "Then," she says," Dr. Akai, you will be first. If you will follow me." Dr. Akai gets up and follows her out the door.
As Mina arrives in the studio the crew are still putting the putting the final touches to the set. She walks up to the office chair that she uses and takes a seat. Across from her is a more comfortable chair for the guests. The idea being that if the guests are comfortable it will be easier to interview them. It might even make them slip up and say something they shouldn't. So far this year alone she had uncovered the evidence used to prosecute three con artists. While she didn't think this was anything like that it still seemed outlandish, like some kind of school prank. After all, much of what she had read so far just didn't make sense.
As the staff made last minute adjustments to her hair and wardrobe the first guest was lead out. He was a tall distinguished looking man in a lab coat and glasses. As he took his place she knew that this had to be Dr. Haruaki Akai, the school physician at Aoi Academy. It was hard to believe that a man of his appearance would be involved in a prank, but stranger things had happened. Perhaps his close association with students made him somewhat more prone to pull practical jokes. Just then the director called for quiet on the set. Over the loudspeaker she heard," Rolling in 3...2...1..."
:Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Magic World Today. I am Mina Fujiyama, and we have an interesting show for you today. We will be going in-depth to follow up on the story of Kazuki Shikimori, the young magician who used up all his magic, became a ghost and somehow managed to get his ashes back to become human again."
The camera does a close-up of Mina as she continues. "For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the story, let me recap. Kazuki Shikimori is a 17 year old second year student at Aoi Academy, one of the most prestigious private schools for young magicians. This wouldn't be unusual except for the fact that Mr. Shikimori has below average grades and he had a magic count of 8." Mina pauses for effect, then continues," Yes, you heard correct, I said 8. In a world where the average count is around 100 he was way, way below average. So how did he get into this school in the first place?"
As the camera pulls away she goes on. "Simply put, it was his genes. It seems the he is the descendant of most if not all of the greatest magicians in history. While he himself may not be mush of a magic user it is quite possible that any of his children will be among the greatest magicians that have ever been."
"With this in mind, several prominent families sent their daughters to take Mr. Shikimori as a husband. Among those sent were Kuriko Kazetsubaki, youngest daughter of the Kazetsubaki family; Rin Kamishiro, heir to the prestigious Kamishiro family and Yuna Miyama, daughter of the famous scholar. This, however , lead to a series of misadventures that eventually reduced Mr. Shikimori to his ghostly condition."
As the camera comes in tight again Mina says," So that we may understand what happened we have several guests today. Besides Mr. Shikimori and the aforementioned ladies, we also have Chihaya Yamase, a childhood friend of Mr. Shikimori's, Dr. Haruaki Akai and his sister Shino,and Karei Hirosaki; all of whom were involved with returning Mr. Shikimori to humanity."
Mina turns her chair slightly to face the guest chair. " So to begin the show lets welcome our first guest today, Dr. Haruaki Akai. Thank you for joining us today."
The camera goes to Dr. Akai. "My pleasure. I watch your show every time its on."
"I appreciate that. Now Doctor, what is the latest news on the condition of Mr. Shikimori?"
" As of today he is completely human and has be returned to one body."
Looking surprised, Mina says," Uh... did you say one body?"
Smiling wryly Dr. Akai says," Oh, didn't you know? When he returned to human form he split into ten different but complete Shikimoris."
"Actually," Mina said,"that doesn't seem to be in the information that I was given. Why would that have happened? Is this an effect of having his ash returned?"
"Not at all. You see, when someone uses all their magic they turn to ash. This ash then seeks out the people that the person felt affection far and then becomes a part of that person. Thus they are always able to be with the ones they love. When there is a ghost left on this plain it is possible to return their ash to them allowing them to be human again. It carries a price, though."
"What is this price?'
"When the person becomes human again all of their memories are erased, leaving them without a past."
""Did this happen to Mr. Shikimori?"
"Actually, no. He was able not only to retain his memories from life but all the memories he made as a ghost."
Looking puzzled, Mina asks," How was this possible? I mean, according to the information I have there is nothing special about Mr. Shikimori except his genes."
Leaning forward, Dr. Akai replies," In that you would be mistaken. You see, while he could only use magic a total of 8 times, the amount of raw power he could employ was practically without limit."
"I'm not sure that I'm following you."
Pushing his glasses up on his nose, Dr. Akai continues his explanation. "To put it simply, where others may preform magic thousands upon thousands of times Mr. Shikimori could perform 8 miracles."
"So, this somehow lead him to split into a group?"
"Because of the potential of his latent magical ability and given the fact that he cares for all these girls he split so that they wouldn't fight over him."
Still looking somewhat confused, Mina says," I think I understand, but theres only one of him now, right?"
"That's true. Although he meant well it was really confusing for all involved. It took some doing on the part of my sister and myself but we managed to merge him back into one."
Mina examines her notes and then says," Since you mentioned your sister, I have a question about her if you don't mind."
Thinking for a second he answers," Hmm... I suppose I could answer a few about her."
"Very well. Is it true that your sister was trying to capture Mr. Shikimori while he was a ghost?"
"Ahh, you heard about that, did you. I would have to say that the answer to that question is yes and no."
"That's a somewhat vague answer, Doctor. Would you care to elaborate?"
"Honestly its something that I don't understand myself. I believe that it has something to do with our past, but she really doesn't confide in me the way she used to. Not since... "
"Not since what?"
"Oh, nothing really. Just another case we were involved with long ago. Another man who became ash after using all his magic."
"How did this lead to her not confiding in you as before?"
"Uh... I believe I'll let you ask her about that. It really wouldn't be my place to tell you something that is such a private matter for her. We may not see eye to eye but she's still my sister and I do love her."
"I see. Very well, Doctor, would it be all right if we moved on to another subject then?"
Relaxing a little he replies," I would welcome a change, yes."
"I understand that when it became known that Mr. Shikimori was the descendant of so many of the worlds greatest magicians that he became the prize to be won by the daughters of some of the top families in Japan. Is this true?"
Sitting back in the chair he says,"Yes, I would have to say that was indeed the case."
"Well, I've always been curious, how did that information come to their attention in the first place?"
"Why, I made it public."
"You did? How did you know?"
"It is my place to know these things about the students. As for making it public, well, the secret of his lineage was really too big to be kept. After all, we are talking about the worlds greatest magician."
"I suppose. So after the revelation there were these three girls..."
Dr Akai interrupts,"Four, if you count Chihaya Yamase."
Looking somewhat surprised, Mina asks,"I thought she was a childhood friend?"
"Thats true, but one which harbored deep unspoken feelings for Mr.Shikimori."
"But she wasn't after his genes was she?"
Raising an eyebrow, Dr. Akai says,"No, not in the sense you are using, but in the end that could be said for all of them."
With an interested look Mina replies,"Really. So you mean to say that..."
"If you want to know for sure," Dr. Akai says," you'll have to ask the girls themselves."
"Fair enough. Well, Doctor, I want to thank you for being here today. It has been a real pleasure talking to you.
"Thank you. It was quite and experience." Getting up from the chair Dr. Akai gives a little bow and walks out of the studio.
"Well, folks , that was Dr. Haruaki Akai from the Aoi Academy. I'm Mina Fujiyama. We'll be back with our next guest after these messages from our sponsors."
Once settled in the other waiting room Dr. Akai thinks to himself," This looks like it may be interesting after all. Perhaps we may find out just how Shikimori feels for those girls after all."