A/N: I found a new way of making the stories be better; you write down the arcs themselves among your notes. It helps me a great deal anyway. Btw, I do not own Negima. You figure out what I do own yourselves.
Edit: I got addressed with so many grammatical problems on this chapter, so I decided to edit. Hope you'll enjoy this one better.
Everything is burning. The academy, the city, the World Tree, everything just burned down to ash. She is running. She awoke to this chaos. She found most of her classmates dead. Yue, the cheerleaders, Chisame-san. They were all dead. What happened to the others or Negi-sensei for that matter, she doesn't know. All that mattered to her right now was to run for her life.
The screams are unimaginable all around her. Screams of terror, battle and death circle around her wherever she runs, as if she is the source of it.
She spots Ayaka and Setsuna fighting a desperate battle against the attackers to protect Konoka. She can't see their shapes, only that they are humanoid and that they have swords of an unusual shape, whereas only Setsuna has her trusted blade Yuunagi ready. Ayaka holds her ground against the attackers with her mixed martial arts style but against these foes, you need fighting styles to kill, not to disable.
Setsuna is the first to fall, face down with one of the attackers' blade in her back. Konoka screams in sheer horror as her childhood friend dies a brutal death and decides to screw secrecy as a mage and attempts to revive her friend. Ayaka kicks one of them in the stomach, only to fail notice one of them coming up behind her and hitting her on the head with his/her fists formed as a hammer. The others move in on Konoka, grabbing her arms and pulling her away from Setsuna, whom Konoka finds to her pain to be dead and gone for good. She attempts to struggle, only to find it in vain to make resistance. Those who knocked out Ayaka pick her and carry her off. Konoka spots the observant and calls out to her. One of those who are not busy carrying off the girls looks at the same way as Konoka and spots the quiet observant, who begins to run away from the scene. The attacker begins to pursue but is held back by another who motions to the limp body of Setsuna.
She continues to run away, hearing the screams of Konoka behind her. She sheds tears over the death of Setsuna and that Konoka and Ayaka has been taken alive. What happens to Setsuna's body, she doesn't know. In fact she doesn't want to know. The thought make her shiver. But what about Negi-sensei? Negi-sensei could have gone to the same fate as Setsuna!
When she takes out her pactio card, she is relieved to find that the card was still alive. Now all that mattered was to find him. Chachamaru, God knows what has happened to her, had shown everyone else how to activate the pin badges in order to find someone else with a similar badge.
Signals are all around her. Two are behind her, that's Konoka and Setsuna, may she rest in peace and happiness, so that rules them out. Two more are at the dorm, that's Yue and Chisame. They're dead, so no good. Three others show up at Library Island but that's too far. One signal show up strongly at the ruined World Tree so there she has a chance of getting help.
Running towards the stump of the giant magic tree, she notices that the streets are mostly empty. Maybe the attackers had left Mahora and were moving on? Patrols still roamed the streets; she could tell that by using her ears. But the city was ruined. Dead bodies littered the streets, several burned while few had been literally torn apart. Not one body seemed to be intact.
The sound of swords clashing together draws her attention. The sound comes from the base of the World Tree, where the lone signal comes from too. Perhaps it's Asuna. Or maybe Yuuna. She can't tell who it is, or who is winning for that matter.
When she arrives at the site, she finds Negi-sensei holding a sword similar to the attackers and facing a tall figure with obscured features and wielding a blade of these attackers. Around the two strong fighters, there are the limp bodies of Takahata-sensei, a few martial artists she remembered from the Mahora festival and mostly of the attacking forces. She can't tell but she could have sworn that the tall figure was smiling diabolically.
Negi charges at the figure with his sword at his right side while the figure raises his blade as if to throw it. When Negi comes at his feet, the figure jumps up and plunged the blade into Negi's back. The wound isn't lethal but it is enough to make him fall down and the blade is still in the back.
The figure notice her watching with fright in her eyes, and his eyes – eye – begin to glow and she can see a definitive smile on his lips.
Miyazaki Nodoka woke up in a silent gasp, hurtling her own body upwards as up as she can. She looks around to find herself in her own room. When she checks the upper bunk, she finds Yue sound asleep and Haruna sleeps on the loft as well. Nodoka gives a slight thanks to whatever religion she believes in that it was just a nightmare. If only it wasn't so scary. She wanted to see if Negi-sensei was okay too but it was in the middle of the night. It would be rude to just walk in.
Nodoka takes up an old diary, the one she had before getting her artefact, and starts to write for the first time after so long time.
January 14th 2004
The clock says 4.47 in the morning. Just moments ago, I had the worst nightmare out of three this past month. The first one was flames around me and Negi-sensei was mortally wounded, with a tall figure standing over him. The second one was that I woke up to find several of my classmates dead. This last one was had put the first two together, and added more scenes to it all. I saw Setsuna-san die fighting to protect Konoka-san and that Mahora Academy was in ruins. Worst of all, the figure from my first nightmare had come back. He keeps haunting me, and I get the feeling that this person is real. Whoever he is, he is after me.
I haven't told Negi-sensei or anyone else about this. I'm considering going to the church for a confession again. The priest was very kind last time. But lately I've been hearing voices in my head when others can't hear a thing. Yue has been asking me questions about it, but I merely shrug it off as a headache.
I really need to get to sleep. I can't believe that it has been nearly a year since I wrote in this diary.
With her entry finally done, Nodoka closes the diary and prepares to go to bed. But then, she remembered something she had to do. She had gotten something for today. She opened the desk and picked up a little purple box with strings wrapped around it. She added a note to the string and quietly walked out the door. Walking down the corridor, she eventually reached the door that said:
Room 665 Naba, Chizuru
Nodoka put the little purple box down in front of the door so the door would hit the box when it opened. Next time someone opened the door, they would notice the box. Nodoka walks back to her room as quiet as she can, and just when she reach her door, the door next to her opens, with Asuna coming out in her normal clothes and winter jacket.
"Honya-chan? What are you doing up so early?"
"Ah, sorry, Asuna-san. Did I wake you?" the shy librarian asked the magically immune girl who had a fearsome kick.
"No, I was just going out on my paper routine. I have to cover up for my absence yesterday." Asuna then got a little vicious idea of her own that involved the little young mage standing in front of her.
"How about you go to bed with Negi while I'm gone?" The red head asked the purple haired girl. She completely expected Nodoka's first reaction to the proposal which was the usual minor panic of a girl who had a crush on a boy.
"W-w-wh-what are you saying, Asuna-san?" Nodoka asked her friend, who had not the nicest of grins on her face. Asuna looked very scary at the moment.
"Come now, I know you like him and all, but you haven't really…progressed with him ever since Ostia. I'm actually offering you a chance to increase your standing with him here. Well?" Asuna said opening the door to her room and Negi's futon. Nodoka could help but blush with a fury she didn't know that she could have. Going to bed with Negi-sensei? How can I do that? Hang on, why am I going in there in the first place!
Her brain said no but her body thought otherwise. Nodoka walked slowly into the room and Asuna closed the door silently behind her. She then pumped a fist into the air. She couldn't really believe that Nodoka actually agreed to go into the same bed as Negi! Asuna hadn't expected it honestly but she wanted to quell the rumours about her and Negi having a romantic relationship. So by having Honya-chan being Negi's futon for once would help quell those rumours for a while. Checking her clock, Asuna ran off to her job.
Nodoka's body had forced itself into the room where Asuna, Konoka and Negi slept together. Her brain tried desperately to retake control but the body had too much willpower to let the brain take control again. It gently stalked the floor until she saw the beds. Konoka slept peacefully in her bunk. She seemed completely peaceful, as opposite to that horrific nightmare Nodoka had moments ago. She immediately told herself that it was just a bad dream. And upwards next to Asuna's bunk by the loft, was Negi. He looked very cute while sleeping. Nothing like the dark magus he really was. That was something Nodoka definitely loved about him. One day, he's the most determined magic fighter who can defeat anyone, the next he is the nicest thing in the world. If only he didn't hold back on his attacks on the opponents he faces.
Negi stirred in his sleep but didn't wake up, leaving his futon undone, so she could sneak into it without making too much of a disturbance. This time she had full control again over the body. But as soon as she tried to move away, Negi moved over and barely grasped at Nodoka's back, making her slightly jump and nearly fall down to the floor. It was a good thing that she worked at Library Island, because it allowed her to instinctively catch the best ledge. Otherwise she'd have hit the ground and woke up both of them. When she looked again, Negi's position was just begging for her to climb in. That and he was cute like you wouldn't believe. She eventually gave in and climbed in.
Later, Asuna would come in to walk in on the trio, a Konoka excited over the fact that Nodoka made such a bold move on her own, a Negi both frightened and shocked over Nodoka's presence in the room and Nodoka apologizing several times about being in Negi's futon. This was going to be one of those days again.
The school lesson was quite interesting at least. It started with Asuna and Ayaka having a "fair" way of settling things this time. When Ayaka had been told about magic from both Negi and Asuna, her reaction was that of a Christian coming home to find God sitting on their couch at first. Since then, the two friends at war had decided to make a deal whenever there was going to be a fight. Asuna would not use any of her special powers, Kanka or artefact and Ayaka wouldn't try to use any dirty tricks. Instead, they would resolve to good arm wrestling for starters and then it would go downhill from there. Afterwards, Negi would randomly pick someone out of the class to read a sentence; the first was actually Chisame this time. The secret net idol was reluctant to do so but she pulled it off, slightly. She had come to grow somewhat fond of having the ten year old mage as a teacher, but she still wanted out of this whole magic business.
Other girls were different. Take the sport girls for example, and Natsumi too. With the exception of Akira, all of them were learning magic and most had pactio cards with Negi. They did play a vital part in the battle against Fate Averruncus among the ruins of Ostia. Ako and Akira had little trouble dealing with one of Fate's Ministra. Kaede and Kotaro didn't mind the sound waves from Shirabe's fiddle artefact. Setsuna was finally ready after seven days to face her counterpart Tsukuyomi, and with Konoka and Yuna at her side, the psychopathic lesbian blood knight was beaten. Finally it came to a showdown between Negi and Fate whom they had identified as Tertium or "the Third." After a long duel and with Nodoka reading Fate's mind and Asuna giving him assistance, Negi managed to beat Fate, burying him under a mountain of rubble caused by their battle. Eventually the Ala Alba along with a few others, namely Takahata-sensei and Mana, along with Misora, Takane D. Goodman and Mei Sakura managed to get to use the portal, leaving Fate's party shaken and beaten with their leader gone.
When they all got back, they had to make an explanation to the headmaster and to Evangeline as to why they were gone for so long. They kept the Magia Erebia a secret from the dean, but when Evangeline found out, she laughed like a drain, and also liked the fact that Negi actually had the balls to go for something so dangerous. Though afterwards she gave Negi the fight of his life with her own version of it. Poor Negi. He was VERY lucky to have two really good healers by his side.
Yue had also come back to them after a long explanation and finally gaining her memory back about nearly everything. Her friends from Ariadne were reluctant to let her go but Yue would not forget them and made a promise to come back next summer break. Collet took it the hardest because Yue was her first real friend for a long time and they both became top students and top rank combatants in school. But she eventually agreed and made a vow to be the best mage knight Valkyrie the academy had yet to see.
Once things had settled down, Ala Alba became larger with the sport girls and Natsumi as well as Takane and Mei signing up for the group. The 3-A assignments were obvious though Takane and Mei had their own reasons for joining too. When asked about it, Misora turned them down, saying that she just wanted to live a simple life, not a danger filled one with monsters and enemy magi jumping out of the shadows to get you all the time. Guess it makes sense when one is talking about Negi's way of living.
It was now, nearly five months since the battle in Ostia. They haven't heard or seen anything from Fate and a sense of belief that the believed construct was dead for good. It had led them to drop their guard for now and go on with their normal lives for now. The only thing that remained from their time spent there was the regular shipment of money out of Negi's wages. Racan wasn't joking when he said he wanted payment. About half of Negi's salary went to the large greedy mercenary. Just what was the big guy doing with all that cash anyway?
Inside Eva's resort, they all did what they would normally do. Only things were more advanced. Asuna had gone from kendo training to learning how to use the Kankahō cannon like Takahata does. Konoka and Nodoka were learning how to use magic arrows properly with Yue helping them out. Yuna, Ako, Makie and Natsumi had joined in on magic training each focusing on their chosen area. Ako was obviously the new healer, taking part lessons from Konoka. Yuna specialised more in combat magic, such as arrows, disarmament and the more advanced storm spells. Despite her being behind magic studies, she was progressing well. Makie was more into focusing magic into the body, making her body more swift and agile and also a lot stronger. Natsumi on the other hand tried her best at all of them but she found that transformation magic could help her get rid of the freckles. Though Kotarou once pointed out that the freckles is what made her cute. He didn't get a thankful reception for that. Akira, the tall quiet swimmer did not choose magic. Instead she handled Chi, the physical energy within the human body. She was inferior to Kaede and Ku Fei, but she was catching up. Her own physical strength was something that the Chi users were jealous of though. Kotarou didn't mind though, he liked that they had such a strong ally. He figured that if she managed to channel her Chi, Akira could easily beat any of them. She just needed another six months. For the moment, she kept on focusing on breaking rocks and force opening doors.
"Gee, your training is slow. Can't imagine you managed to last this long." The voice had returned to Nodoka's head on her way back to the dorm rooms. Every now and then, this voice would come to her. It didn't bother her in her sleep because that's when the nightmares roamed. But the voice is more frightening to her.
"You again… why now? What do you want?" the shy librarian asks the other residence inside her head.
"Again with that question? You really don't want me in here… I'm just trying to be friendly here." The voice said softly with a sense of being sorry.
"Sending me nightmares and disturbing me in class is not being friendly, voice-san." Nodoka pointed remembering that time outside class with Akashi-sensei.
"How was I supposed to know that magic is such a big secret? Sorry for making you blurt it out like that."
Nodoka heard a sigh inside her head and guessed that the voice or whoever it belonged to was getting a bit annoyed. Either he didn't like his position bothering her time these past weeks, or he was just tired. Nodoka felt inclined to go with the former option.
"What do you want to talk about this time?" Nodoka asked this voice which belonged to someone she has never met before. She also made sure to see if anybody else was in the vicinity. When there was nobody close, she asked the voice, "Sorry, could you repeat what you said?"
"I said, it is about your latest nightmare this time. What was it like?"
Nodoka described the dream she had the last night, and as always the voice was interested in what she had to tell. Every now and then, it would ask a question about something she told it, and it would wait politely while she answered it.
"Man, that was some heavy dream you had. It's a good thing that I haven't had any dinner yet."
"Yes, and I- Wait, you're a real person?" Nodoka asked the voice. For the first time, this voice had actually exposed itself for being a real person.
"Oh, screw my tongue and call me Frank! I wasn't supposed to do that!" The voice screams inside her head, making sure she doesn't get a headache from it. Nodoka takes a moment to think this over. All this time, the voice had been an actual person and not an imagination of her own. She had figured that the voice was connected to her nightmares, but she didn't understand it entirely.
"Nodoka? Are you okay?" A voice behind her startled the shy librarian. Upon hearing that there was another one there, the voice which called itself Frank excused itself. "I got to go."
Nodoka turned around to find her classmate Chizuru. The two of them had somehow grown together during these last few months. Only last week, Chizuru had helped Nodoka take care of some rude men who was intruding on school property and ignoring library rules. The four men were quickly tamed the hard way by the busty young Chizuru who slapped them all hard and told them with what Nodoka thought to be her angry voice to go home. The guys hurried quietly off from the library before being discovered by Takahata-sensei. Nodoka owed her a favour since then.
"Are you okay, Nodoka? You seemed a little…off." The more mature looking of the two looked nearly down on her new friend. Being a mother figure, she couldn't help but be like this.
"I'm fine, Chizuru-san. Just another headache of mine tormenting me again." The shy librarian replied but Chizuru didn't buy it. But she didn't want to push it any further then she already is. Nodoka then found herself outside the dorm rooms. No wonder that Chizuru found her.
"Okay, if that's what you say." Chizuru said with doubt in her voice. The two of them went inside.
"I didn't get to say thank you for that gift you gave me this morning." Chizuru continued as they went up the stairs. Nodoka had to do some thinking before she remembered what her classmate was talking about. "Oh that. It's nothing really. I just had to find someone who could make it."
Chizuru giggled before taking up her hand to show it. "Well, you have good design taste, Nodoka. Where did you get the idea?" she asked. On her left index finger was a copy of Nodoka's Comptina Daemonia ring. Except that it lacked the wings that the original magic ring had.
"Well back in Britain, I found a jewellery store, and my own ring" Nodoka held up hers, "was on display there, so I decided to buy it. After you helped me with those rude men in the library, I felt like I had to give you something in return."
"Felt like you had to buy it so Negi-kun would notice you?" Chizuru asked with a giggle holding up a hand to 'attempt' to hide it. Although her intention was to make Nodoka hear it.
Nodoka blushed again, remembering the embarrassing moment she had this morning with Negi and Konoka to testify that she had crawled into his bed.
"Why do people keep saying that to me all the time? I don't like it when you do that." Nodoka whined in front of her friend.
"Because you like him, Nodoka." Chizuru pointed out for her. "And there is a certain rumour in class that he likes you too." At this, the librarian girl blushed furiously and the idea of them being a couple just made it worse.
"I've got to get up early in the morning, Chizuru-san. Library work, first thing in the morning." Nodoka excused herself, as they reached their section of the dorm rooms. As soon as she entered her own room, Chizuru went to the cheerleader's room and knocked on the door. Out came Sakurako. Chizuru handed over a 1000 yen bill to her. "You were right, she did blush." She said. When Sakurako closed her door, Chizuru went to her own dorm, possibly to try and fondle Kotarou again when nobody was looking.
A/N: Whew, that felt good having to edit. I hope I didn't miss anything on it. Okay, for first timers here, let me be blunt and tell you that the first display was Horrible. According to Chaos Productions, this was so. I owe thanks to him that I'm getting better. And things will get better later on, I guarantee. Don't mind the minor plot things if it bothers you, but do remember that you should recall these things when they're brought up again in the story.