Magister Negi Magi is owned by Ken Akamatsu and Kodansha Ltd. Tokyo in Japan, and by Funimation and Ballantine - DelRey in the United States, NOT by me.
SPOILER ALERT! Do not read this story if you are not familiar with chapters 189 and up from the raws or scanslated manga!
This story as a whole is slightly AU concerning when and who arrived in the Magic World.
"I did everything they told me to. Why not? I knew before I was sent what my tormentors did not. My efforts would fail, thanks to grandfather."
-Chao Lingshen. "My Journey."
Ala Alba in the World of Magic: Tales From the Fireside.
Chapter One: A Fan Dancer.
Arrival back at the lab, parting gifts and all, brought an immediate round of beatings, both magical and physical, along with screamed words about what a worthless failure she was.
How, with everything they'd given her, had she failed in her mission to alter the past?
Two years of training with Ku Fei helped protect her from serious injury. Discipline and patience helped her endure until the time was right. Finally, she reeled from a blow and managed to land where she wanted. As the man responsible for her agonizing magical modifications walked over, cursing her ancestry and preparing a murder spell to finish her off, she closed a hand on the grip of the family heirloom given to her by Ku Fei.
"Big Sister! Where are you?"
Chao Lingshen awoke with a start.
How long had it been since she'd dreamed of the day she re-claimed her freedom? How long since she killed all those evil men in a sea of blood and flames? Four months? Six months? No matter. A feral grin graced Chao's face. Those men, so wedded to their combined science and magic, never expected something so simple as a forged steel blade and a fan would bring about their downfall.
A door slammed open, and a small child ran into her bedroom.
"Big Sister! Why are you still in bed? You promised you'd take everyone camping and tell us your stories!"
Chao Looked over at the pouting, chocolate-haired young girl trying to rock her out of bed. Part of the aftermath of that day almost a year ago was freedom for a large group of children. Taken for some experiment she wasn't a part of, all were descendants of the girls in her old Mahora Academy class. Some now orphans, some whose parents still lived, they all knew what she'd done for them and adopted her as one of their own. Throwing back her bedcovers, she swung her legs around and sat up. "Okay little one. I'm up!"
Giving a continued pout so like her ancestor's, the girl backed up a few steps and crossed her arms. "I'll believe it when I see you dressed Big Sister!"
Chao looked at the little girl, and it wasn't hard to imagine her being just a smaller version of the older girl she'd been friends with not so very long ago.
Laughing just made the girl pout more, so Chao stood up. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she quickly set about changing.
That night, sitting around a magical campfire, with a multitude of stars visible overhead, Chao took a moment to examine the surrounding circle of eager young faces.
A set of twins. Two children with demon's blood. A swimmer. A budding artist. A silly boy who liked to play with throwing stars. A bookworm. The child with vampire's blood.
Several of the others were with their parents. One was still missing.
Chao gave a sigh and a short prayer. The fate of that child would not be known for a while yet. If the real change she'd tried to make in the past bore fruit, she'd know about it, hopefully sooner, rather than later.
"Big Sister? Are you okay?"
Chao shook her head and looked over at a little girl with chestnut hair and the ears and tail of a dog. "Yes. Yes. I'm sorry. I was just reminiscing." Sitting up and taking on authoritative airs, she slapped her knee and gave a hard look to all the expectant children around the fire. "Who want's to hear a story!"
A chorus of shouts and raised hands were every child's answer.
Chao grinned hugely. "Well then! I've got a special story tonight! A story that involves those who came before you! A story about your ancestors in the Ala Alba!"
Most of the children, two and three generations or more separated, and recently prisoners for a year or longer until Chao freed them, knew of, but had never really heard the stories of their families from the time of the Ala Alba. All grew quiet, and quickly gave Chao their rapt attention.
"Well then, It all started as a simple field trip, lead by a boy searching for his missing father..."
Many thanks to Tikigod784, who has helped me a great deal.
My apologies to those who reviewed Chapter One, in it's original form. However, it was beginning to constrain how I developed the rest of the story, so I've replaced it.
Ambrant Arandel's "Child of Mine," and Kafka'sdragon's "Markham Chronicles Negima" provided inspiration for this chapter's content.
If you wish to make new comments on chapter one, please feel free to do so in any other chapter you may review.
Thank you for your continued support.
Please enjoy the new Chapter One: A Fan Dancer.
Please also see my story; 'Chao Lingshen: Coming Home,' for the background to this chapter.
Chapter Two: The Haunted Photographer. Part One.