Mahou Sensei Negima!
Chapter 1: The Reunion
It was the eve of battle for Negi and his battle maidens. After discovering Fate Tretrum's true purpose and Asuna regaining her memories as the princess of Twilight, everything had been hectic. Fate's original plan was to capture the princess of Twilight and use her to cast a spell which would ultimately remove all source of magic from the entire world, thereby plummeting every major city in the magic kingdom down to the ground. But his plans came to a small plummet when Negi and his students launched an all out assault on his base at the old capital of Ostia.
After clearing their names from the bounty list, Negi and his small band of magical girls enlisted the aid of the mercenary swordsman, Jack, who was also the close friend of his father Nagi Springfield. In time, they convinced the two nations of the magical world to lend their strength in battling the forces of Fate who had eluded them for many years.
Though they were unable to rescue Asuna or capture the leader of their enemies, Negi was able to postpone the day of reckoning by capturing the Tower of Dawn. Without it Fate cannot use the power of the Twilight princess to bring about the destruction of the magic world.
Of course, the young mastermind had every intention of retaking his old home, but he and his followers alone were incapable of dealing with the military force of the magic world. With the armies of two nations warring against him, charging alone with his small band was pretty much a suicide. So to tip the scale of battle in his favor, Fate procured the crown of the princess of Twilight to resurrect the deathless army of the old nation.
When Negi learned of his intentions, he tried to stop Fate, but failed due to his students being in danger.
And with the power of a near invincible leader by his side, Fate prepares himself and his loyalists at the White Citadel to march against the armies that once stood against him and his master.
Knowing well that this could be their final battle, Negi decided to add some insurance to the war. So in a desperate (and reluctant) choice, he requested the aid of his master, Evangeline A.K. Mcdowell, the vampire queen, which she agreed wholeheartedly and brought along with her the rest of the crew who were left behind in the human world.
Though the odds were still in Fate's favor, Negi still had more aid to bring. With contacts and friends in many realms, he enlisted the help of both demons and divine beings from different world to stand against this tide. Whether they were dragons that could talk or mermaids that could swim, he asked them all to lend him their strength… to stand together on saving the world from its own end.
When the armies of Negi were finally assembled at the old capital of Ostia, the boy soon learned the whereabouts of his father… Nagi, whose skill and knowledge would just be the key of turning the tide of the war. Even after going through such rigorous training, hard life and death situations and post traumatic events that should never be witnessed by a child of his age, he never once forgot about his original quest of finding his father. And so… in the ruins of the village that where they first met in six years ago… they meet once more…
(Negi's burnt village)
"Dad…?" that was the only word to escape Negi's lips when he saw his father sitting atop the ruins of his old house. He was indeed a splitting image of him ten years from now and he seemed to have grown a mustache during his time away. For many years he had been searching for his old man and to find him at the place where he started was pretty ironic to say the least. He was standing there along with Jack and Takahashi sensei who arrived not long ago with Evangeline to lend some strength to Negi's cause. The rest of the girls were at the back near Paru's (Haruna Saotome) private second hand ship.
After the word was said, Nagi stood up from his sitting position with that ridiculous smile on his face. "Hey there… Negi-boyo" he replied. "Long time no see" he stepped down and walked closer to his son, looking at his face which was almost driven to tears. "Hey Takahashi, you grew a beard"
"Hehe… nice to see you too" was the old professor's reply. "I see you also grew a mustache. Too bad you shaved it"
"Hehehehe… yeah, it was kinda itchy when it grew out" Nagi smiled childishly before turning to his long time rival Jack. "Hey there Jack. Got any better since we last spared in Ostia?"
"Of course I have! What do you I was doing for the past six years when you were gone!?"
"Oh I don't know. Picking up a few women, over charging your customers, stealing panties from the girl college dorm. I can go on all day"
"Grr… cocky bastard" the master swordsman cursed.
"Dad…" Negi spoke up again finally after a moment of silence. "Is it… really… you?"
The man rubbed the boy's head and give out a thumbs up. "Yeah… it's me kiddo. Although I didn't expect to see you here of all places"
"Dad…" Negi could not explain how he was feeling at the moment. His heart was pounding really fast and his bones were shaking from within his skin. Back then when he first came to Mahora academy, he always told himself that he was going to give his father one giant embrace to make up for lost time. But now… after seeing him in person… all those thoughts just seemed to have… washed away with the flow of time. He lowered his head and let out a stream of tears fall down his eyes.
Far at the back, Ayaka Yukihiro (class rep) and the other girls saw the whole drama scene unfold before their eyes. Though they were expecting a more tear jerking reunion scene they were still glad that Negi was finally reunited with her father. Heck, even Kazumi Asakura was taking a few pictures as memento of this beautiful moment. "(sniff) What a beautiful sight. (sniff) No background screen or any picture of Mt. Fuji would ever be able to compare with this!"
"I agree" Haruna, the manga artist of Negi club nodded in agreement with tears starting to form around her eyes. "I want to pain this scene so bad… but I can't see with all these tears in my eyes (sniff)"
"Hmm… congratulations… Negi bozu" Kaede, the kunoichi of the Negima club nodded proudly along with Ku Fei with tears forming around the corner of their eye lids. "You deserve happiness amongst everyone here"
"Yeah… I agree" Ku Fei smiled. "Congrats Negi…"
"Tch… such a sappy moment" Chisame, the web surfer stated with her usual ticked off voice. "I can't believe they would cry at something so… obvious" she quickly looked away from the gang and removed her eye glasses to clean the small drip of water that appeared on its lens.
But just when all of them were crying to their hearts content, a sudden sadistic chuckle emanated from Ayaka who grew a sly grin on her face. "Hehehehe… you all know what this all means. Right girls?" they all gave her a quizzical look. "Now that Negi's father is here, we can start playing our cards right for once. If we can get close to Negi's dad, think of the possibilities! After I tell him how good I took care of Negi during his classes he'll certainly recommend me for an Omai (marriage interview)"
The other girls shook the class rep's plan to monopolize the situation in her favor. But she was right though. If Negi loves his father that much, it was certain that whoever that old man picks will earn major points with the child-teacher.
"Wow! Class rep, you're a genius!" the others thought similar ideas and began preparing to unleash their cuteness to the Thousand Masters. But just as they looked at Negi's tears… they thought that it would be best that they leave the boy with his dad just for today.
The rushing emotions swelled within Negi as he felt his father's soft comforting hand touch the fabrication of his head. The warmth and caring hold of his father was far beyond anything he could've hoped for. For the first time in many years, the boy actually felt… happy. But that happiness came to a quick end when another emotion mixed within his heart.
It was because of his father his village was destroyed. It was because of him, that he had to become what he was now: A child-demon-half vampire-swordsman-dark mage with enough power to rival god himself if given time to hone his skills. What was supposed to be learned and trained for decades to reach perfection, the boy mastered it in just weeks and even improved it with his own unique abilities. But not only that. His body itself had changed dramatically. Every piece of flesh he had on him was burnt, torn, cut, ripped and even obliterated into atoms. To compensate for his lost… he gave up his own flesh and blood and modified it both magically and technologically to surpass even the demigods of the unknown realms.
And all of this… was because of his determination to find his father, the man who was responsible for all of this.
And so… with a move that surprised even the unmovable-calm Takamichi Takahata sensei, Negi punched his father right at the face making everyone except Jack Rakan to gawk in awe and surprise.
"Erghh…" Nagi placed his hand on his swollen cheek and looked back at his son who was emitting a strong aura of negativity. "Heh… I guess this was to be expected" he muttered before dashing away before Negi activated Magia Erebia which gave him a boost in all stats (kinda like an RPG game). When the Thousand Master was in a relatively safe distance, Negi charged at him, making the entire student body tremble in worry.
"Dadddd!!!" and without warning, the boy unleashed a powerful dark wave through his body, slamming it against the ruins of his old home. Nagi was able to dodge it but Negi didn't look like he was even getting started "Lucalatio Fulgoris! (lightning spears)"
"What the?! Negi!" Takahata was about to interrupt when Rakan placed one of his blade up his throat.
"Don't interfere" the legendary mercenary boldly stated to his old comrade of the 'Crimson Wing'. "This battle is Negi's and his dad. If you move one more inch, I'll have to kill you"
"Don't get me wrong Takahata" Jack smirked. "I'm only doing this because Negi paid me a good sum to do so"
"Yeah… somehow he knew that this was going to happen and that he wouldn't be able to control himself when he does meet his old man" Rakan slowly moved his blade away and turned his eyes towards the fight that was getting intense. "Well now… why don't we sit down and enjoy the show? I have a feeling that this fight is going to be pretty darn long" he then pulled out three bottles of sa-ke (Japanese liquor) which was delivered to the magic world by Negi as payment for his services. "Hmm… they were right. Drinks from the other world taste better when drinking it on this side of the galaxy"
"Hey hey! Rakan old chum!" Chamo, the faithful ermine of Negi appeared on his shoulder. "Is this the thing you were talking about? That darkness in his heart or something?"
"Yeah… and it looks like he's finally opened up his heart. Just like Evangeline said it would" he sighed. "If she's right… then this is the only way to bring the light back into his soul"
"His soul?" Takamichi questioned.
"I'm surprised you haven't seen it old friend" the swordsman smirked again before pouring a cup of liquor onto his shot glass. "Well… soul reading was never really your specialty anyway"
"Is something wrong with Negi's soul?"
"It's been consumed by darkness" Rakan explained calmly. "After years of accumulating all those hatred of his old man hidden behind his heart, he finally got the chance to let it all out. He kept saying that he wanted to find his father just so they could be together, but of course a young kid like him would never understand why he really wanted to find him. He kept telling himself that phrase for so long he began to think that it was the truth. Now… he finally gets to release everything. Who knows… they might even kill each other"
"Rakan-dono!" Konoka Konoe and the other girls from Mahora quickly came by after their master delivered the first blow to his own father. "What's going on!? Why is Negi fighting with his dad!?"
"Was it some kind of argument!?" Ku Fei asked. "Did they have a fight?"
"Oi old man!" Kotaro Inugami, the half breed werewolf showed up as well. "What the hell is going on!? You seem to know something we don't!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about" he said comically while sipping sa-ke. "It's probably a family thing. I wouldn't interrupt them if I were you. Just sit back and relax. They'll probably be done in a few hours"
"Byakuraishou!!! (white lightning fist!)" Negi yelled out from an old chimney. His father was able to block it, but in doing so he seemed to have absorbed some of the damage.
"Damn… he got a lot stronger than I expected" was the Thousand Master's thoughts. "I heard that he went through some tough training but what kind of monster would make him into a living weapon?" he was then caught by surprise when Negi pulled out HIS staff (which originally belonged to Nagi but you know what I mean) and cast several lightning bolts from its tip. "Whoa… that was a close one"
"Dextra Emittam! (Judgment spear!)" Negi continued his relentless attack giving his father no time to recover or set up a proper defense. "HAAAAAA!!!!!" with a punch of one of his most powerful attacks, the town plaza where he used to play in when he was a child turned to dust. "You're not getting away!"
"Getting away?" his old man laughed a little nervous of his only son's anger. "I'm having a hard time just trying to block your attacks!" but his humor was cut short when he felt a sharp movement pass through his left cheek. "What the?" and then he was even more surprised when he realized that it was Negi's quick fist that made the attack. A trickle of blood drip from that wound but Nagi only licked it in excitement and slight fear. "Well well… it looks like I'll finally have to get serious" in an instant, the father of the child prodigy activated his powers, giving him immense power boost. "Bring it on, Negi! Show me what you've got!"
"HYAAAAAAAA!!!" with a rush of even more anger raging up inside of him, Negi
"Ohh…" Rakan stated in amazement. "The light coat huh? Haven't seen Nagi use that move in a long while now"
"Yes…" Takahata nodded in agreement. "It improves his defensive abilities by a wide margin, almost making it impossible to harm him with a physical attack. Negi will have to rely on his magical abilities to counter his father's shield"
Evangeline was waiting at her tent that afternoon along with her cybertronic servants Chachamaru and Chachazero as the rest of the magical world assembled at the ruins of the old long forgotten capital of Comus. The soldiers and mages outside were setting up all kinds of defenses to prevent the enemy from getting through and with an entire legion nearby, they practically made themselves a citadel that could withstand the siege of demons.
As the two of them waited, Evangeline magically made a hologram screen appear in front of her. It was showing the sight of Negi and his father fighting at the base of their home town. "Heh… well whadayaknow… that kid actually got spunk in throwing a punch at his own father like that. I wonder if Nagi will give him a spanking after"
"Umm… Eva-sama" Chachamaru called. "Will Negi be alright? I know that he has become monstrously strong ever since he came to the magical world, but is he strong enough to face the legendary Thousand Masters?"
"Nope" came her quick and honest reply. "The kid may have some talent in his tiny body of his but he an't that strong yet. Besides, with that darkness lingering in his heart, it will be impossible for him to defeat Fate or me. The only ones who truly stand a chance against him and his White Army would be me and Nagi. So just to make sure we have a little advantage, we'll have him as a secondary support. And besides………… boyo still isn't ready"
"Pardon for saying this master, but I will have to disagree" Chachamaru replied earning herself a glare from the vampire. "Negi is far more powerful that you give him credit for. Ever since I saw him here he has done nothing but training and improve techniques that I thought were impossible to modify. He doesn't only have talent master… he has the gift of a hero. The only difference between the two of you is that he knows how to restrain his own powers"
Eva only starred back at her with a silent face. It wasn't the first time that the android talked back to her at such a manner. Ever since Negi taught her how to truly feel, she had been more talkative and usually questions everything that she does. But the vampress ignored it and slowly poured herself a bottle of the finest English wine. "And because of that Chachamaru… is the reason why he is not ready. (Huh?) You say that he restrain his powers which means that he does not go full force even during a life and death situation. If he faces Fate with only ¾ of his true fighting power than he is doomed to fail"
"Then why did you send him to find his father if you knew that he would eventually fall to his might?"
"It's the only way to clear his soul again" Eva explained. "Right now his soul and heart are tainted by the power of darkness. It has consumed him, making him an entity that reflects upon his inner self. His thoughts are consumed by pure hatred and anger… all the negative energy. It flows in his body like his own blood and if it's not dealt with then he will become…… something… terrifying"
"Earth gargoyle!" Nagi summoned out several gargoyle-like beasts from the earth and sent them to attack. But Negi simply pounded them with his fists, shattering them back to the earth where they were born. "Wow son, you really outdid yourself this time. Gargoyles are high magical-level creatures and you took them out with a single punch. But let's see how you deal with an air elemental!" with a wave of his hand, a gust of win formed onto his palm, then creating a creature made purely out of thin air.
"Hmph…" Negi let out grunt and slowly conjured another attack. He knew that physical attacks would only go through an air elemental and only magic attacks can harm it. "The ground shakes and the earth will boil! I call upon the fires of hell itself! Inferno!"
Scientifically proven: Fire consumes air…
With a blaze of fire appearing out of the open the air elemental let out a scream of pain before vanishing into thin air.
"Simple beasts of the elements won't work on me dad. I have studied them far too long to be fooled by their bodies. Fight me one on one right now"
"Hmm… looks like sending out small fries to fight you will only turn to ashes" he grinned. "Why don't you bring your Pactio partners up here to fight? Which of those girls over there are your partners? It'll be much more interesting if there was someone to watch your back. Hey Jack, can you send one of Negi's partners up here?"
"I don't know. Which of them have made a Pactio?"
"All of them"
Negi grew out a mother of all sweat drops as he looked at the numbers of beautiful and not to mention hot gals his son had been spending time with. He heard that he had made a handful of partners but counting the numbers by the row he became slightly jealous of his son. "You've got to be kidding" he mentally snickered to call his son a pervy-mage soon after this battle was done. If he survives at all that is. "Man Negi, you really…" he was cut off when Negi fired out another lightning bolt from his hand, crashing against the earth like a titan's hammer through rock. "Eghh! Now that one was close"
"The time for words is over father…" Negi stated coldly at him, "Now come at me or die!"
"Damn… looks like I really have to get serious" Nagi mentally cursed for being careless on that last move. His war-torn cloak was burnt slightly on the edges but left Nagi unharmed. "Alright boyo. After we're done here I am so going to ground you" and by the time he stood from his sitting position, a white aura emanated from his body, banishing all the darkness from the village. From afar it seemed to be another battle between two powerful mages but from the class 3-A's POV it seemed more than just a battle between father and son. From Rakan's sight, it was a battle between light and darkness.
"Oh boy… this really was the best time to bring sushi" the swordsman grinned as be brought out a whole basket full of sushi. "Hey anyone else want some? There's plenty where that came from"
"HOW CAN YOU BE EATING AT A TIME LIKE THISSSS!!!!?" Chisame yelled out. "This is serious Rakan! If we don't stop them from battling right now, they might actually kill each other!" she was grabbing the man's shirt and dangling it back and forth making him spill his shot glass.
"Now now kids. It's just some harmless training. I don't think they'll be that badly injured" Jack yawned out before pouring himself another glass. "I'd say a few broken ribs, a disjointed arm, several internal bleedings and fractured limbs would be enough to make them stop"
"Capturing cube!" Negi cast out capturing his father in a cube space. "Capture complete!"
"Not bad boyo, but this simple magic isn't going to hold the Thousand Masters" with a flex of his muscles, the cube broke into fragments of magic, then evaporating in the air. "Now's my turn! Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine magical arrows!" the sky itself was literally filled with thousands of magical arrows. It covered the horizon so vastly that it made the clouds disappear into nothingness. "Try and hold this Negi!"
"Divine Guardian!" Negi summoned out a magical beast the shape of a shield. The arrows launched onto it and simply bounced off vanishing into pure magic. "EVOCATIO SPIRITUALIS DE SEPTENDECIM VALCYRIIS MORTIFERIS!!! (The spiritual evocation of the seventeen deadly valkyries!)"
"Whoa! Aniki is going all out on this one!" Chamo said in awe. "That's the same technique he used against Chao back at the school festival! He's not holding any punches!"
"That's some pretty powerful magic you're using boyo" Nagi grinned, "But it's gonna take more than that to take me down! Magic STOP!" the entire audience were completely mortified when they saw how Negi's most powerful wind attack was stopped with just a wave of his father's hands. "Looks like you're gonna have to find a more powerful magic boyo. Because wind magic was also my specialty at your age"
"Tch…" Negi groaned out on the obvious. And without even conjuring a plan he charged out onto his father using every type of martial art he knows onto him. "HAAAA!!" he kicked he punched he twist and turned like a rabbit that knows karate and tekwando at the same time but Nagi managed to read all of his movements.
"Light totem!" the Thousand Masters cast a spell on the ground and suddenly a white pillar appeared creating some kind of aura around itself.
"That's…" Negi quickly halted his attack and dashed away before the barrier aura had a chance to get to him. "A light pillar also known as Light Totem in the far east of the magic world. It was meant to extinguish all dark abilities and weakening the user at same time"
"Heh… I guess all those times spent in that library finally paid off eh boyo?" his father chuckled humorously not taking the situation he was in any serious. "This was the same technique I used to capture Evangeline back in her days. She was so dumb that she actually fell for this old trick like a lion lured by the sight of a steak hahahahaha. This really brings back old memories"
"Oh yeah…" Rakan tapped his hands together after remembering how the young master managed to capture the queen of darkness with his own bear hands. "I knew I saw that technique before back the old days"
Evangeline heard everything that the Thousand Master said and gritted her teeth in comical anger. She remembered that technique well and had experienced that power first hand. "Grrr! You baka! Just because you beat me once you have the guts to gloat about it to your own son! Just wait till we meet again, I'll personally rip that mouth out of your face!" she thrashed her own room sending out a major killing intent, making the nearby soldiers avoid her tent.
Chachamaru however could only sit back and look at the situation unfold. But as the battle raged on, she couldn't help but allow her circuitries to worry about Negi. "Negi-sensei…" she muttered just enough for Chachazero to hear. "Please be safe"
"Ooooooooh…" Chachazero snickered. "Looks like someone with bolt has a crush on the young teacher!"
"Huh?!" Chachamaru grew out a blush. "What are you talking about?!" and just as she turned to her little sister like doll, she felt something hacking into her computer mainframe.
"Hmm… what's this?" the little doll smiled evilly. "A whole file with pictures of a certain you know…" she was unable to finish when Chachamaru unconsciously kicked her out of the tent like an American football on the eve of its game. Luckily Evangeline was more focused on the video screen to understand what's been going on behind her. Chachamaru sighed and quickly decided to put on a mental lock in her system to prevent anymore online hacking.
(Negi's ruined village)
The battle raged as Negi fought against his father in that village. They continued to pour down attacks on each other not holding anything back. But with each attack they dished out, the landscape began to change like it was being molded by the hands of god itself.
The Negima club wanted to join in the fight too but with Jack giving them the 'look' every few seconds they could only say that they would be a hindrance with a battle like this. Hell, even the whole group wouldn't be enough to even begin to compare with his magical powers and fighting skill.
"This… this is…" Setsuna gulped as she couldn't believe what was unfolding before her. "This is incredible. I knew that Negi sensei became stronger during his training outside the magic realm and gained more power in the demon plains, but this is just… too much even for me"
"Yeah… I agree with you degozaru" Kaede nodded worried about how powerful Negi had become. During his travels with them he had only been showing fractions of his true power his he last encounter Fate thinking that he would only save his full power for a worthy opponent like him. Kaede and Ku Fei also wanted to see what the boy was like in one hundred percent, but after witnessing his strength now, they could feel a slight tingle run down their spine. "Man… just watching the battle from here… already makes my skin crawl"
"I see that" Ku Fei nodded. Even though she knew that there wasn't gonna chance in hell where Negi would use that power to harm his students it didn't mean that he was already powerful enough to take them all down with just a swing of his staff. "I guess all that training in the other realms made him into this"
"Ice javelin!" Nagi cried off shooting a volley of huge ice shards at his son.
"Incinerate!" but the boy simply used a powerful fire spell to melt them all away. "My turn! Darkness consumes all light and all life itself. Come unto me and take life away! Darkness orb!" a black ball soon appeared atop of Negi's head. "Take this!!"
Chisame gasped. "Is he kidding!? That spell is meant to kill an opponent in an instant! How could he use something like that against his own father!?" he turned to Rakan to see if he budged an inch yet, but instead he only seemed to have finished half the sa-ke he was given. "Rakan, do something!"
"I don't wanna" came his bored reply.
Chisame gritted her teeth in anger. Unable to take this heated battle any longer she summoned out her artifact and prepared to go into battle. "Damn it! I'm going in!" but she was stopped when a blade appeared before he face. "Huh?"
"Hey hey hey… little lady" Jack groaned annoyingly. "Do you think it's good to interfere with family argument? Just leave those two be and relax. Besides, I've been hired to keep you guys out of the fight. So I'm begging ya… don't make me work for my payment"
"Light totem!" Nagi cast another pillar of light from the ground, destroying the dark orb and consuming its own powers to energy. "Wow boyo… looks like you really aren't holding any punches back huh?"
"Hmph…" and with that the fight continued with neither side holding anything back at all. Nagi began taking the fight seriously, but strangely enough he seemed to be the one playing on defense while Negi continued with his attacks relentlessly breaking every building in the process. This went on for about ten or so minutes and even with that short span of time, the earth around the village seemed to have change significantly. None of the terrains were recognizable anymore and the river that flowed freely was now clogged by a giant boulder that somehow appeared within the battle.
The Thousand Master continuously made those light pillars around the village and before the gang knew it, there were already about two dozen of them surrounding the village consuming all dark energy and converting it into light, providing Nagi with more than enough power to beat the crap out of his own son.
"Heh… looks like you discovered my plan a long time ago eh boyo?" he stopped his defensive stance and noticed that Negi was doing the same.
"Yes… creating these light totems around the village, limiting my movements" he analyzed almost instantly his surroundings with just a single glance. "But not only that. Every time I use my dark energy or any dark spell onto you, it will immediately consume its magical energies and convert it to your own. It's an amazing tactic that even I cannot possibly stop even with the limited amount of space already"
"Heh… wow… using these big words makes it hard to believe that you're just 10 years old" Nagi let out a sigh. "Well it was great to know that you've gotten a lot stronger. But since we don't exactly have much time, I'm gonna have to end the battle right here" he then waved his hand around like he was about to cast a spell. Negi took up a defensive stance and prepared for the worst. "I'm sorry Negi, but your heart is just too polluted right now… and know that this will hurt me far more than it will hurt you"
"Light totem: The City of the Sun!!" with his palm on the ground, the light pillars that Nagi summoned out earlier began to shine and began expanding their barrier radius. "With this, I shall consume all the darkness within you Negi!"
Negi was unable to create a defensive plan against such a powerful attack and before he could even react, the light soon surrounded him, consuming all the negative energy within his body. "AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"
"Negi!" that was the last straw for the girls of class 3-A. Seeing their loved teacher screaming in pain was too much even for them to bear. By the time the boy shrieked they all called out their Pactio artifacts and charged in to battle.
"Damn it!" Setsuna was the first to attack. "I can't take this anymore!" she drew out her two katanas and dashed in, only to be stopped when a hundred blades dropped in from the sky. "What the!?"
"Tch… I don't really like fighting girls with my own strength" Rakan grumbled as he pulled out his weapon. "But if you guys are going to interfere, then I guess I'll have no other choice but to fight you"
"Get out of our way Rakan-san!" Setsuna barked at him. "If you do not then I will have no other choice but to fight you!"
"Yeah!" Ku Fei added with the same determination to get Negi out of that barrier even if it cost her, her life. "I know that Negi asked you to keep us out, but I'm not gonna sit by and watch him be in pain like that!"
Again, Rakan only groaned out. He knew that he would stand no chance against the might of the full Negima club when they're this determined. He could probably hold them off for about five or so minutes but he didn't know that if that would be enough time for Nagi to complete his task. "Man… this blows. I guess I should've charged more sa-ke from Negi. Five bottles were definitely not enough to keep me amused" but then he was surprised to see Takamichi stand beside him. "Oh…?"
"Looks like this battle is a little uneven" Takahata smiled slightly. "Mind if I help you?"
"Takahata sensei!?" the students yelled in horror.
"Hey, don't expect me to pay you or anything Takamichi" Rakan joked. "I could hold them off myself"
"Don't worry. I'm not doing this for you" Takahata replied. "This is for old time's sake and I know these students better than you Jack. They aren't to be taken lightly even if they look young"
"Darn it…" Setsuna gritted her teeth. "If it was just Rakan, maybe we would've stood a chance, but now that Takahata sensei is here we might be in for some trouble" seeing that this battle was going on a hay sack, she quickly turned to her companions to make a battle strategy. "Ku Fei dono, you take Nodoka, Yue and Haruna san and hold off Takahata sensei. (Hai!) Chisame san, you take the rest of the students and hold off Rakan san while Kaede and I go and rescue Negi! (Yokai)" she looked like a commander of the entire Negima military club or something like that. "Is everyone ready!?"
"Then let's go!" and with a dash, the entire party launched themselves against the Crimson Wing, unleashing their power against the two war heroes of the magical world. Ku Fei had never battled Takahata before but after seeing his fight against Negi, she could somehow react to the enemy's attack. And with Nodoka and Yue on her side, she had backup from both long range attacks and intelligence support. Not only that but she also had Haruna to provide whatever reinforcement she needed.
Afterwards, the rest of the class 3-A began attacking Rakan, dishing out their attacks like they were actually trying to kill him. Mana, the magical firearm expert of the mortal world took out her M16 A2 and emptied her clip faster than a dog could reach a steak in ten seconds.
"Good work Mana! Now back off" Chisame ordered to which the gunner complied. "Now Fuuka, Fumika, attack! Kazumi, you provide long range attacks and support Konoka while she heals the wounded. (Roger!) Zazie and Sakurako prepare for the next attack" with her tactical knowledge of war, she became the strategist of the fight against Rakan, pulling out every offensive maneuver she could think of. "Akira and Misora you two will be the second attack after the next one hits! (Roger!)"
"Heh… not bad" Jack grinned as he deflected their magical and physical attacks with his swords. "I almost forgot how good you guys were. Almost feels like I'm actually fighting with my life on the line here"
Takahata could only nod in agreement. The students were indeed powerful and with their combined strength, he actually had to get serious just to hold them off.
Seeing an opening in their line of defense, Chisame raised the signal for the strike team to move in. "Alright, the way is clear! Kaede, Setsuna… go!"
"Right!" and with that signal they charged in. But of course Takahata saw this and quickly used a teleportation magic to move instantly in front of them. "Wha?" Setsuna gasped.
"Tch…" Chisame gritted her teeth. "As expected of Takahata sensei"
"Sorry about this Setsuna, Kaede" the white teacher apologized. "But I cannot allow you to interfere" and so with a strike of his palm, he fired a powerful beam, blasting the two students away like rocks. But his eyes suddenly widened when he noticed the two of them only turned into clay dolls. "Huh?!"
"Mwahahahahahaha!" Haruna the manga artist laughed hysterically. "No one can tell the difference in my drawings! I even managed to fool the almighty great Takimichi Takahata sensei! Mwahahahaha! (pause) Wait… I'm gonna get detention for this aren't I?" Oh yeah…
Meanwhile on the other side of the battlefield.
"Just what you would expect from Chisame san" Setsuna smirked. "To fool both Rakan and Jack with Saotome's dolls and creating chaos with that battle, it almost feels like she's the strategist of the entire operation here"
"Yeah… maybe in the future Chisame would run a whole army all to herself" Kaede nodded in agreement as they could already imagine Chisame leading thousands of soldiers on an invasion to whichever country she wanted. Hell if she was powerful enough, she could a country of her own and rule the world with her tactical knowledge. After thinking about that now, the two students of Negi let out a sweat drop. "Hmm… maybe we shouldn't recommend that job for her de gozaru"
"Yeah… it sounds all too real" but just as they finally made it to the center of the village where Negi was, the immediately stopped knowing well that if they get caught in the radius of the pillar they would get sucked in as well. "This is it"
"And there's Negi" Kaede pointed to the small figure struggling to stand up at the center of the ruined village. He was still screaming in pain and the pillars seems like they were still draining the darkness out of him. "Negi!"
"Wait Kaede dono" Setsuna stopped her. "If we go any closer, we'll only get trapped inside that magical shield. We need a way to weaken the shield first before we get any closer!" the kunoichi nodded and paused, allowing Setsuna to continue. "Let's try by destroying that pillar over there" she gestured to one of the light totems that Nagi summoned out during the battle. Using her artifact, the samurai girl shot out several knives from the air, damaging the pillar. The radius of the light city weakened. "Yes! It looks like this is working!"
"Alright de gozaru!" Kaede quickly took out several old bombs from her hidden pockets and threw it at the pillar destroying it completely. And just as they expected, a portion of the barrier disappeared. "Ok, I don't have enough grenades to destroy every pillar but if we time it right and choose the one nearest, we'll be able to free Negi bozu"
"Right… but we have to be careful" the samurai girl said, observing every inch of the barrier. "If we get too close, we'll lose our Pactio powers since all of the artifact's energy drains a bit his strength" again they let out another attack on another nearby pillar destroying it within a millisecond. But before they could move on to the next, Kaede suddenly felt a teleportation magic occur behind them so as reflex she took out her kunai and went into a combat stance.
"Setsuna, behind you!"
To their amazement, it was none other than Nagi, the Thousand Master himself. "Yo…" he said in a cool comedic tone. "Ahh… you must be Kaede san and Setsuna san from Mahora academy. It's an honor to finally meet you girls in person. Wow… you're just like how you look like in the pictures Takahata sent me. Oh… and I see you have Pactio cards with you then that could only mean that you both kissed my little boyo"
"Nagi!" Setsuna barked as she unsheathed her weapons from its scabbards.
"Ah… Setsuna san, it came to my attention that you were the one who taught Negi how to fight and became his regular sparring partner on daily basis" Nagi smiled with a lot of happy go lucky attitude in his words. "For that you have my gratitude. I wouldn't have been able to teach him that if he wasn't so determined. I guess women really are the best teachers on earth after all ahehehehehehehehe"
"Uh… your welcome?" Setsuna didn't really know what to say to the father of her teacher. She was expecting a fight but to have him casually talk to her like nothing was a problem felt a little awkward.
"Oh and Kaede san, I also have to thank you for taking care of my boyo when he was down. He can really be a handful at times but I guess he is only a kid after all"
Kaede would've blushed if the conversation they were in was casual, but as a master of stealth and espionage she could see through his words and laugh that they were all nothing but a good stage act. "It's a pleasure Nagi dono de gozaru. I wouldn't have done it any other way. But I'm afraid that your strategy ends here. You cannot hope to stall us with your words. I demand that you lower the barrier right now and release Negi now" Setsuna noticed this and quickly returned to her combat stance when she realized that her guard was down.
But Nagi only returned to them… a smile. "Ah… I guess I forgot that my charisma doesn't work well on women who are already taken" he let out a sigh seeing that all the pretty women in Negi's class were all taken. "But unfortunately I'm afraid I cannot do that for it is beyond my power"
"And why not?"
"I know my actions may look cruel and inhumane, but I assure you that this is for Negi's best intention. Perhaps a young one such as you and your friends cannot understand and I understand that you are furious to see your teacher in such pain. But I know Negi better than anyone. Sure I might not have seen him in person, but I can tell that from Takahata and my other sources that he had gone through many hardships in an attempt to find me"
"Then if you understand us then let down the barrier Nagi dono" Kaede demanded whose weapon was already in a position to strike. "If you will not then stand down and we will take it down ourselves. We have the power and skill to do it"
"I have no doubt that you do Kaede san, but like I said before… I cannot do that" was his sudden cold and sad reply. "I'll be honest you two. I did not intend for Negi to look for me. In fact I planned for him to live a normal life with his cousin back in Wales on earth in England for the rest of his days. I wanted him to grow up freely without any regret. But when that event happened… I think his stars changed"
"Yes… I saw it myself" he looked to the sky and noticed that the stars were already starting to glitter above. "When I fended off the demons in his village, I saw the stars themselves change and his future. I only thought of fending off those demons and escape without anyone noticing, but then… this happened" he looked at them for a minute returning a smile. "Negi was born great but his ambition and goals were indeed too great. Because of this, the darkness in his heart grew and became the roots of his own powers"
"You might not have noticed this since you're all linked by the Pactio cards that you carry. But in truth, Negi's powers are now being fueled by an evil source. After each battle that you went through, that darkness was groomed and raised to such a level that would make even Evangeline look like kindergarten bully. If I allowed this to continue, then he will turn just to be like The Mage of Beginning or as they call him… the Life Maker"
"You mean that sorcerer that you defeated back during the war?" Kaede inquired to which Nagi nodded.
"Yes… but to be more honest… I didn't truly defeated him"
Both students' eyes widened. "What do you mean?" Setsuna asked. "We saw the video from Rakan and saw how you managed to defeat him even with your levels widely different"
"Yes… we were on totally different levels and as they all expected… I stood no chance against that monster. In the end I was defeated even after I used every magical spell and strength I knew and had"
"Then… the Life Maker is still alive?"
"No… he's dead all right. But in truth… he killed himself (huh?!) The Life Maker was just like Negi, a person who would do anything to become stronger. If he wanted to… he could've just wiped me off the face of the earth with just a swing of his hand. But when I was at my last breath, the last tiny bit of humanity in him took over and that gave me the time to strike. (long pause) So you see… I'm not really a hero. I'm just a guy who won because of a lucky shot ahehehehe"
"So then this is why you're doing this?" Setsuna barked. "To prevent another Maker of Life from existing?"
"Yes… and since you've seen what The Mage of Beginning is capable of, you know why that I had to do this"
The two students paused in fear as for the first time in their lives, they were actually conflicted on what to actually do. Negi was behind them inside a powerful barrier groaning and screaming in pain and Nagi, the Thousand Master was in front of them, telling about the whole truth. They really weren't given a lot of choices and all the options looked pretty bad. If they complied with Nagi and stand down, they prevent the creation of another Life Maker and save the world from a future disaster. If they didn't comply and fight, they can rescue Negi from his torment, but risk future destruction of thousands of lives.
After a short pause of thinking, Kaede suddenly noticed something changed in Setsuna's eyes as she turned to the boy who was screaming in pain. It wasn't the look of a worried friend or the caring eyes of a teacher… but something deeper……… like the look of a worried love. "Setsuna… san?"
"Nagi dono" Setsuna stated trying hard to hold the tears that were falling, gripping tightly on her katana. "No… Thousand Master I believe you are called in this world. You are right about one thing. We are indeed young and we do not understand what is happening in this world. I do not truly understand what or why you are doing this to your own flesh and blood, but to actually do this with no regret is too cruel even for a father. But when I made a Pactio with your son Negi, I swore an oath to aid him with all my power. By the time every girl in class 3-A understood Negi's story… they all made a promise with themselves: To never cause harm to Negi ever again. I stake my name as a Protector of Konoka for this! For the honor of each and every last one of my friends… I will now demand you to stand down… or face the wrath of my sword!" she pointed her sword at the Thousand Master even knowing that there was not a chance in hell that she could defeat him.
"For Setsuna to lose her composure like this… it's amazing…" Kaede could feel the anger rushing through the samurai's body as she continued.
"You claim to know to know your son, but you are most certainly wrong! You and Takahata have not even the slightest clue what he has faced. The things he has seen for the past year that you have missed made him into someone that even a million of you will pale in comparison. So don't you... or anyone other than Negi's friends dare say that you understand him!"
Nagi could only stare back at the samurai who dared to show her fangs at him even when their power levels are totally different. Her words were deep and the tears in her eyes spelled something far more than he could comprehend. But seeing that nothing was working, he sighed. "Geeze… I guess there's no way to change your minds huh. Oh well… we'll just have to do this the old fashion way"
"Kaede dono" Setsuna called. "I'll handle this. You continue on destroying those pillars"
"Right. Good luck Setsuna de gozaru" but before the kunoichi could hop away, another Nagi appeared behind her. "What the?!"
"Ah ah ahh…" Nagi smirked. "Now I can't let you two do that now can I?"
"Ohh…" Negi groaned out to the dark nothingness in his unconscious mind. His body floated in mid air and every corner of his mind was filled with strange shapes and colors that looked like modern art painting. "Where am I?" as the boy opened up his eyes, he squinted by the sight of so many colors. "What are… all these?"
"You should know them" came a voice from behind causing the boy to take a defensive stance. But Negi quickly dropped it when he realized that the man he was talking was wearing a black cloak. "Hello… Negi"
"Uh… hello… who are… you?"
"That is of no importance" he replied almost instantly. He was taller than Negi perhaps three times taller maybe even more. His black cape covered all the parts of his body leaving only a small portion of the mouth exposed to the open air. But even though he could see him, Negi could not feel the man's presence at all. It was as if he was a ghost dangling in mid air. "The important thing in this room now is you"
"Me?" Negi pointed to himself dumbly.
"Yes Negi, you" the cloaked figure replied in a semi-comical tone. "Tell me… what was the last thing you remember before you came here?"
"Well… I was traveling with Takahata sensei and I found all my students and… (gasp) Father!" the boy panicked as he soon remembered his current battle with his father. "What happened? I was trapped in this light and… I saw my students! Setsuna, Kaede, Konoka! Everyone!"
"Ah… it's good to see that your priorities has not changed even after all these months Negi" he shifted his cloak to the side as he continued. "But do not worry. Time in here flows differently than the time in the mortal world"
"Mortal world? Then… I'm dead!?"
The cloaked man was taken back to that phrase. "What!? No no no no! Of course not hahahaha. If you were dead then we wouldn't be here talking right now, would we?. But where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself, I am Siegfried, your conscious and guide to your mind and this place Negi… is your mindscape"
"My mindscape?" Negi was slightly shocked but kept his composure as best he could. "Wait I read something about this when I was in the library studying. When a person is unconscious a portion of their consciousness is secretly transferred to their mind to continue the extended process of the brain. But only a few has ever been conscious in their own minds"
"Wow… I must say that you really are smarter than your father. That old man of yours would still be asking around where this place was" he chuckled letting a hint of humor come through. "But yes you are correct. You are currently conscious in your mind and it is rare to meet my own master awake. It gets pretty lonely here in this hallowed space at first but after looking through your mind, things became quite interesting if I do say so myself. Every event that happened: Konoka and the kidnappers, your future granddaughter Chao Rin Shen and the world tree, and Fate Averncus. A great chain of events happened around you Negi"
"You… you've been watching me?"
"Of course! I am your conscious after all, and seeing your everyday life has not only become my job, but a 24 hour reality TV show for me. Every time you wake up I had to bring out a basket of popcorn and a tank of soda just to past the time. I don't remember the last time I exercised. But enough about that"
"So… right now… I'm unconscious?"
Siegfried nodded. "Yes, that light barrier that your father made took its toll on you and now your body is being drained of every dark energy"
"Then… I guess I… lost…"
"Lost!?" the man raised an imaginary quizzled eye like he was insulted. "HA! Far from it my young master. You haven't even used your most deadly techniques yet"
"My most deadly technique?" the boy looked puzzled to his words and slowly began to sink in what he was saying. "What are you saying? I already used my most powerful moves"
"Sure, you showed him Evangeline's dark magic and you've enhanced it to a far greater power even she would dream to imagine. (pause) But you Negi… possess something that only two has ever experienced: The True Darkness"
"The True Darkness?" he echoed.
"Yes, also known as the power of creation" Negi paused giving a hint for him to continue. "And since we are on that particular topic Negi, why don't we get to the part why you are really here… hmmm?" he shifted his dark cape again and laid down on an invisible chair in the middle of nothing. "I am going to ask you a series of questions Negi and you will answer them with either Yes or No. Is that understood?" the boy simply nodded dumbly not knowing what this was truly all about. "Good… Tell me Negi… do you feel… any hate?"
A small vision of Fate and Nagi appeared in Negi's eyes as he was asked those questions. "Hate? (Siegfried nods) Well… yes… everyone has"
"Good… how about… jealousy?"
A vision of Nodoka and some of the other girls came to him. "Well… maybe a few? But what does this have to do with my…"
"Just answer the questions" he interrupted. "Have you ever felt… sadness or despair?"
The boy's burnt village came next to his vision blinding him with the fires and the hordes of demons laying waste to his town grinning at him devilishly. Negi saw the visions clearer than the others and felt the pain lingered again deep within his heart like a needle striking against his very soul. "Yes…"
"Have you ever felt… weak and powerless?"
Again, Negi's burning village appeared and this time he could see himself trying to fend off the demons with his magic trainee wand. He could feel that moment coming to him again and he remembered how it was like to be like that. To be unable to protect the people that he loved, to be unable to fight back against a being more powerful than you, unable… to do… anything. "Yes…" right after he said that last word, he began to sweat and his body began to shiver like it was both hot and cold at the same time.
"Ahh… what a sad taste it is…"
"But that's all changed now" he interrupted. "I used to feel weak before. But now… I have become stronger and now I have the power to protect those that I love"
Siegfried eyed him questionably as if looking for some hint of false claims or lie. But he found none. "Hmm… I will admit that you truly have grown more powerful, but is it enough? Do you truly think that the power you possess now can truly protect everyone that you care?"
"Yes…… I do…" his answer was stern and full of determination. But alas, it crumbled beneath the grin of the conscious.
"Then you are lying… (huh?)" Negi showed a quizzical look in response to his statement. "If your strength was truly enough to protect your beloved, then the extra Pactio would be unnecessary. A power that needs others to fill in its own flaws is nothing more but a waste of talent"
"B… but as long as we fight together, we can overcome anything. My masters told me that and I that's what I…"
"Been lying to yourself and your students" Siegfried cut him off with a loud thud sound from the colored walls. "Listen to me little one and listen well. Power is everything in the world you live in and power as of now is what you lack the most. (pause) You are weak and because of this you decided to fill in the chinks in your armor with bodies of those you are trying to protect. If you do not believe me, then allow me to show you" with a wave of his hand, the colors on the wall began to merge, making a flashback onto Negi's memories"
He saw the moment when Konoka was being kidnapped by Chigusa Amagasaki and her mercenaries. He saw himself fighting against the demon god Ryōmen Sukuna-no-Kami but was unable to penetrate its shield even with a powerful spell. He enlisted the aid of his students but most of them were petrified due to Fate's magic. After finally realizing that they were no match against the enemy, Evangeline arrived to save the night with her ungodly powers.
After watching the scene played before him, Negi soon realized that some part of the clip showed a good point. He really wasn't powerful enough and he was so weak that he had to have his own master come and fight his battles for him.
"Don't close your eyes just yet" the conscious added, "There's much more that you need to remember…"
This time, the scene changed to when Negi was forced to fight against Chao Rin Shen, his own granddaughter from the future. Though no one was seriously wounded during the fight, it still proved that he still needed the aid of others including Takahata sensei to fight off the enemies. The moment when he battled against Chao atop of the zeppelin, he was forced to unleash all of his power to outmaneuver his opponent's time traveling speed.
"Now this one is probably the best one yet…"
The vision changed and this time, it showed how Negi and his crew were completely devastated by Fate's party during their arrival at the Magical world a few months ago. During that time he truly was unable to fight back against Fate due to his lack of power and skill. He saw Kaede crushed with a single blow by the black mage that attacked and Kotaro badly wounded by the white cape swordswoman. It was not until Asuna destroyed the seal on the chest that held all of his weapons and Pactio cards was he then able to fight back. But even with that in toe, they were still on different levels that day and it was only then Negi realized how weak he truly was.
Siegfried wanted to search another memory and show it to the boy, but he stayed his hands as he noticed a killing feeling behind him. He turned his attention back to Negi and saw him gritting his teeth in anger and balling his fist with rage. "Yes… Negi… I see you understand now" the conscious grinned, "Even after all that training, all those hard work, all those time seeking power. You still remain weak and unable to protect even yourself from harm"
The boy didn't reply. Instead… he just looked at his hand which was still shaking with fear and anger of himself. "I…… I really am still weak after all"
"If you need more proof... then i have one just for you" Negi's eyes widened with horror as Asuna's face appeared before him.
"A... Asuna san!" he tried to grab hold of her, but his body just passed through the mirror image. "Eh?"
The princess of Twilight turned around to face the boy again. Her face filled with sadness and tears dripping down her eyes. "Negi... where are you?"
"A... Asuna!" the boy tried again to reach out to her.
"Why weren't you there for me Negi?" the illusion spoke. "Why didn't you come and save me when I needed you?" the pang of guilt pierced Negi's heart driving his body to go even faster. "Are you not going to rescue me...?"
"Asuna wait! Please, come back! Don't go!" but Asuna kept floating backwards just beyond his reach. Negi struggled again and again just to keep up but soon, she vanished into the darkness leaving the boy behind. "Asuna! Asuna!? Asuna!! ASUNA!!!" he screamed till the top of his lunges like a desperate man.
"Do you want the power to change that Negi?" Siegfried grinned. "The power to finally be able to fight back? The power to protect your love ones? The power to destroy all that would do you harm!?" an uncomfortable silence fills the air around the mindscape of Negi's head making it really hard to breath even for Siegfried. "Answer me Negi!"
"Do you want the power to protect your beloved!?"
"Do you want the power to finally rid yourself of your weakness!?"
"Answer me clearly!"
"YES!!!!!!" a blue flame suddenly emerged around Negi's body, melting the colors and painting that made up his very essence. "I want it!!!" even Siegfried himself was frightened for a split second when fire incinerated out of no where. He saw the whole mindscape melt within the boy's grasp and now the place that once looked like an art gallery transformed into a hall of horror where the devil himself would gladly call home.
After the last of the colors melted away into oblivion, the cloaked man smiled. "Then I believe you understand…" his voice suddenly became cold and harsh like that you would hear from Darth Vader himself. "The True Darkness… awaits you"
Negi balled his fist again and noticed the flame that consumed him. It strangely did not harm him but it certainly destroyed everything in its path. "The True Darkness, is the power I've always possessed"
"Look Negi..." Siegfried pointed towards the burning village that he had conjured up as an illusion. "Look at the fires that once consumed your home. It burns with so much anger and hatred that it fills your dark magic like gasoline. Take the fire within you and use this anger to burn your enemies! To protect those that you hold dear!" immediately the fire from the village gathered around Negi's fingers, molding into a sickening form of all the hatred of the village. "A word of warning before we part ways Negi" Siegfried hesitantly continued as the fire grew larger by the moment. "Power, no matter how great it is… will always need something in return. For this great power… your own existence will be at risk. At the beginning you will feel nothing, but for too long… you will soon lose every fiber of your known self. Your humanity will dwindle and soon you will be nothing more but a soulless shell. Do you still want this power knowing that it may very well risk your own sanity?"
"Is that is the price I need to pay then I believe it is a bargain" Negi answered in a tone so cold that it would've froze hell itself.
Siegfried smirked. "Then I bid thee… farewell Negi. May peace be waiting for you at the end of your journey" and with that, the whole of Negi's mind was filled with light, bringing him back to the world of the living.
(Out of Negi's Mindscape)
"Gahhh!" that was the voice of Kazumi as she was thrown back by Takahata's magical shield. More than half of the class of 3-A were in par with the two veterans of the great war that ensued more than twenty years ago and to their surprise… they were in even grounds. Rakan and Takamichi had to admit that the girls were a lot stronger than they had expected. Back during their days they would be able to handle companies of battleships with barely even lifting a finger, but now only two dozen girls stood against them… and they also had to admit that they still had a slight advantage over them in numbers.
"Paru, I need more weapons!" Mana ordered up to which the manga artist quickly got to work.
"Roger! A cache of guns coming right up!" immediately a large pile of weapons ranging from P90 submachine gun to RPG appeared out of the blues like magic. "Go on Mana! I got unlimited supply of weapons coming your way! No need to worry about ammo either!"
"Hmm…" Takahata gave out a worried face. "I'm amazed how well they work together. With two units acting as the main fighting group, one as a support group supplying the front row with supplies, intelligence and long range attacks and a defense group to protect them"
Nodoka read his words and quickly struck in. "Kotaro, aim for Takahata!"
"Righto!" with the old man still bothered by his thoughts he wasn't able to see the werewolf boy charge at him with a left jab. But luckily he was able to block it with magical shield. "That was close…"
"Too bad for you old man" Kotaro smirked as he suddenly turned into a wolf.
"A decoy!? Then where…?" he wasn't able to finish when he felt a fist made contact with his face sending him towards a boulder near the ruined village. "Eghh… now that hurt" but then quickly Ku Fei came in to combine another attack. "Damn!"
"Hyaa!" the Chinese martial artist let out a flurry of attacks making the old teacher-mage go onto defense. "Sorry sensei, but this is for Negi's sake! Haaa!" with a kick of her feet, she sent the man flying, eating some of the dirt in the process.
Chisame saw this as an opportunity and quickly ordered her soldiers to strike. "Takahata is down, everyone concentrate your fire on him! Support unit, covering fire on Rakan!" The group obeyed her orders to the letter, but sadly Jack was too fast for the support team to pin him down.
"Hey Taka, don't get senile on me now. We still got a battle to win" the mercenary grinned at his old partner as he defended him from the barrage of attacks with his swords. "Though I have to admit, I never expected to see the great Takimichi Takahata fall because of his own students. You've gone soft over the years"
"Hehe… yeah… maybe I have" Takahata chuckled back as he took a cigarette from his pocket. He then noticed that Rakan himself was looking a bit winded after that last attack. "What's wrong old friend? You look a bit winded"
"What are you talking about?" he quickly rubbed the sweat off his brow and noticed that there was some blood on his left cheek. "Oh… impressive. They were able to wound me after all"
"Hahaha don't act so surprise, it doesn't suit your face"
"Yeah… but you got to admit: Negi's got himself one fine army of ladies here" they both let out a soft laugh before returning to their combat stance. "Maybe when this is over, I wonder if he'll share any of them with me when he grows up" it was a good things the girls didn't hear that or else they would've given him a pounding of a life time by now.
Meanwhile on the other side of the field, Kaede and Setsuna were struggling for their very lives as they defended themselves against Negi's father's attacks. The man was relentless even against his own son's students who helped him through thick and thin of his entire journey. Kaede tried to sparingly use her grenades so that she could leave some to destroy those light totems that were erected around the area. The two of them put up a good fight, but against the Thousand Master himself… well… let's just say that they stood a far better chance fighting against six magical elemental dragons.
"Damn… I knew something like this would happen" Kaede bent on her knees tired from the fight against her opponent. Setsuna stood guard still, with her sword slightly blunted and her clothes worn from the last attack. "I guess this is as expected… of the Thousand Master"
"Hey now, don't say my title like that, you're embarrassing me ahehehe" Nagi rubbed the back of his head slightly amused. "But I must say that I am impressed. You two lasted a lot longer than I expected. You two must really be strong women from earth"
"Nay…" Setsuna replied still determined to fight. "It was because of Negi sensei that we became this strong. I owe him a lot so I will not back down until every last ounce of my strength is gone!"
"I suggest you save your strength Setsuna san" Nagi said in a strict tone. "The light totems inside the barrier is currently draining all of Negi's powers and transforming it to my own. So even if you could still fight, I would still have plenty of energy to fight off the rest of the others as well. Anyway the process is almost finished. In a few minutes, the light totems will drain all of the negative energy and you'll be free to do whatever you want with him"
"Grr…" Setsuna tried to let out another attack, but her fatigue finally caught up with her as he legs finally gave way to her tired body. Even though she was able to fight for this long, she was still human.
"Negi sensei… give me strength" Setsuna prayed on her blade before going to a kill stance. Nagi looked at her confused for a moment, but his eyes suddenly widened when a familiar dark pattern evolved around her body. "That's!" he gasped in shock.
"Magia Erabia!" she casted with a loud yell onto the sky. In an instant, her skin turned black and white marks began appearing on her limbs granting her power of great magnitude. "Here I come!"
"That brat!!" Eva angrily slammed her wine glass onto Chachazero, smashing it into pieces as she watched Setsuna used one of her most favored moves in front of her eyes. "He actually taught a normal mortal girl that technique without my permission!? Arghhhh!! I am so going to kill him when he gets back!!!" as her yell and shouts became more and more aggressive, the soldiers that were camped outside of her tent quickly moved their beds to another location. Whether it was a cold mountain or a jagged rock cliff, it didn't matter. They just didn't want to be anywhere near Eva's tent when she's enraged.
"Are you alright?" Chachamaru asked to her little counterpart which she only responded with a tilt of her doll head. "Oh… I see…"
The body of Negi Springfield stood still in the middle of the village unharmed, but yet at the same time beaten, like he was slammed to the ground harder than a sledgehammer on an iron block to forge a blade of a great hero. His body was still, lifeless, unmoving as it was trapped within the barrier of the light city draining him of all of his dark energy that he accumulated over the years he had spent lying to himself.
As his body finally regained some of its consciousness, his eyes opened up to the evening sky, the stars glittering at him like they were crying for his pain. He mouth gapped open but no words came through. His hands flexed, but they could not move. His legs twitched but they were too numb to feel anything. And his mind was clouded… making it impossible for him to think clearly of what was happening.
But as the numbness started to flow away, he could feel the pain of his body returning to him. He could feel every inch of his body aching and burning like he was in a sauna bath put into maximum heat. But that pain was merely a scratch compared to the pain he was feeling inside. The moment he came back from his mindscape, the darkness that lingered in the deepest darkest pits of his heart began to surface, causing his negative energy to increase.
Sadness… the sorrow of losing his village…
Fear… the fright of losing his love ones once more…
Hatred… the malice he holds against himself and the people who dared to wrong him…
Anger… the spite of being weak…
And with these emotions finally coming to reality, Negi began to feel both his heart and soul crumbling unto the darkness. He could feel the darkness eating him away and for once in his life, he surrendered to it… he let it go freely, allowing it to consume him turning his body into the ultimate weapon against the light of humanity.
The True Darkness…
'Take your anger, your hatred and your sadness Negi' a voice rung in his head. 'And use its flame to exterminate your enemies!'
"ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" he screamed to the top of his lunges like his own throat was on fire. The Magia Erabia that he casted upon his body to increase both his power and speed began to grow, turning his skin color into a darker shade of black. "Eghaaaaaaaaa!!!!"
Negi's scream could be heard from all over the mountains like a dragon's roar that echoed from the top of Wyvern's Hill. The scream was so powerful and so full of hate that it made Takahata and Rakan stop their fighting with the girls of class 3-A.
"Negi…" Konoka could only mutter that name worryingly as she saw the barrier of light consumed by darkness within the village grounds.
"Was this part of the plan too Rakan?" Takahata inquired and to his surprise, Rakan didn't reply at all. Usually by now he would either be giving out a smart comment or doing the 'I don't know and I don't care' face. But right now… he was just… staring… at the barrier that he thought was near impossible to overcome. Takamichi quickly turned to the girls and noticed they too had a more worried expression on their faces. Seeing this, he immediately dropped down his shield and sighed. The girls noticed his sudden movement and returned to their combat stance, but Takahata simply waved them off before saying. "Go…"
"Huh?" they all looked at them slightly puzzled on what he meant by that.
"If this fight continues… we would eventually lose" he explained. "Now go… Negi is probably waiting" the girls hesitantly passed through the two elite mages with their guard still up. They couldn't tell if this was a trick or just another mind game from Takahata. After they were finally away from their combat range they all made a dash for it towards the village.
The clash between Setsuna and Nagi was fierce to say the least. The moment the samurai girl unleashed Magia Erabea, Nagi had went back to defense blocking most of her attacks while receiving a few fast punches to the shoulder and torso. He never expected one of Negi's students to know this black magic other than him and it took him by surprise when she managed to activate it even during a near critical condition.
"This is crazy!" the Thousand Master thought as his sweat glands began to work. "I thought only Negi could use Magia Erabea. To teach it to one of his students is just pure insanity"
"Lightning spear!" Setsuna casted to which Nagi managed to dodge but just barely, "One thousand magical arrows!" she connected her attack perfectly, making it almost impossible for him to create a counter attack. "Gack…" she flinched slightly due to the pain caused by the spell. "So this is the side affect Negi sensei was talking about. It really hurts. Gack!" she gritted her teeth tightly as if trying to relieve herself of the pain. "Negi was able to bear with this pain for more than a day. I have to endure it as well! HAAAA!!" she charged again at the Thousand Master, like she was throwing her life away.
Kaede who was still resting on the boulder near the barrier could only watch and stare onto how her partner was giving Nagi a run for his money. She wanted to join in the battle too, but after seeing what Setsuna could do she immediately knew that she would only be a hindrance if she butted in. "Since when did Negi taught her that?" she mused. "(chuckle) I guess this must be the result of that secret training they had together de gozaru" she then slowly got back on her feet and turned towards the barrier with her kunoichi mask on. "Alright… I'd better get to work too. I shouldn't let her fight be in vain. There are still a lot of pillars to topple down"
After a minute of battle had gone by, Nagi finally got himself a foothold near the roof of a destroyed inn of his son's village. "Setsuna san, please stop this at once!" he pleaded to the girl who seemed to be filled with hatred of the man. "Don't you know what that spell is doing to you!? If you keep this up you'll…"
"I know perfectly well what this magic is doing to me!" she answered him with an angry tone, cutting him off. "But what I don't understand is why you are harming your own son like this!?" she fired another lightning spear at him, to which he dodged right away.
"Geeze, you're making me look like the bad guy here" he whined. "How many times do I have to tell you: I'm not your enemy!"
"It doesn't matter who or what you are! Anyone who harms Negi sensei will be my enemy!" she swung her sword just inches away from Nagi's face, cutting a bit of his mustache away. "Hyaaaa!"
By the time the rest of class 3-A (excluding Asuna and Kotaro) arrived on scene they could only stand back and watch as Setsuna unleashes her unspeakable rage on the man who she and her friends had been looking for, for the past few months. Konoka had to admit that she had never seen her childhood friend so angry before. There were times when she was annoyed or pissed off, but the aura samurai-girl was giving out now was just pure utter hatred.
"Whoa… it looks like the rest of boyo's students are here" Nagi noted before he began to mentally count how many girls there were in the group. "Wow… Negi really got himself a nice row of girls here. Kinda makes him look like a mega-playboy in action" but then he was quickly brought out of thought when Setsuna laid another punch onto his shoulder, sending him towards an old ranch near the town. "Oh… man. That really hurts"
"NAGIIII!!!" Setsuna yelled before firing another barrage of daggers from the sky.
"Tch…" Nagi dodged them, but after seeing that the young female warrior would no longer listen to reason, he decided to end this with his next attack. "Looks like she really won't listen to reason anymore. Excaliber!!" a sword made purely out of white magical energy appeared in his hand, sending a surge of power throughout the battlefield.
"Sec-chan!" Konoka called to the young warrior's attention worryingly. "Let us help you!"
"Ojou-sama!" Setsuna replied looking a bit surprised to see everyone there. "Let me handle this! Go and rescue Negi, quickly! He's inside the barrier!"
The gang quickly followed her orders without hesitation, but when Nagi saw this, he knew right away that he couldn't let them interfere with his plans. So with a quick cast of a spell, he multiplied himself to two dozen copies so that the odds may turn to his favor. "Sorry kids, but I can't allow you to go in there" but then to his surprise, the group hastily unleash every bit of magical powers they had on their bodies to plow him out of their way.
"Ku Fei!" Chisame ordered, "You and Mana help Setsuna while the rest of us go and find Negi!"
Eva scowled slightly at the sight of the battle she saw in her magical screen in front of her. After her recent rampage earlier, she finally managed to calm down and grab herself another bottle of wine from the cooler she brought from earth. There were many thoughts going through her head right at that time and they could all be seen through the expression she was giving on her face. She was first annoyed then angry, then pissed and now she was seriously ticked off.
To see Negi's students actually holding against the Thousand Master with their skills that they only had for a few months made her look like a small fry compared to them. She was about four hundred and fifty years old when she first fought Nagi and lost and now his students who were barely more than a decade old, were out matching the man who defeated her all those years ago. But even with her annoyed groan, she still had to admit that Negi really was able to breed a worthy group of powerful warriors by his side. If she had fought against him and these girls together, she was certain that she would lose.
"Another glass…" she ordered Chachamaru who was still cleaning the mess that her mistress made earlier. The android slowly took the trash out and opened the wine cabinet in search of her mistress's taste. "Those brats are unbelievable" Eva added which somehow managed to get Chacha's attention, "They're all acting like a bunch of knights guarding a king on the throne. When the first sign of trouble comes, they're the first and last line of defense for that boyo. Even after all this training, that boy still needs others to change his diapers for him"
Chachamaru heard her spat at Negi's pride like something that came out of the gutter. By then, her heat meter began to increase rapidly. She shifted her hand and grabbed the bottle.
"Hey Chamaru! Another glass!" Eva ordered to which the android angrily obeyed but kept her emotions in check. After sipping the glass empty, the vampire quickly spat out its contents before her throat swallowed it down. "Plehhh!!! What the hell is this!? What happened to the wine!?"
"Oh dear" Chachamaru let out a somewhat sarcastic expression. "I must've accidentally took the bottle of dish-wash instead of the wine. Silly me…"
(Back at the village)
That was the sound of another pillar tipping down after Kaede launched another bunch of her grenades at it. It crumbled after the explosion went off and with that another portion of the barrier fell. "Phew… this is taking longer than I thought. If I miscalculated just by a tiny bit, it would take another set of bombs to take it down" she quickly took a quick look at her remaining bombs and wondered how much she had used to blow up that last one. "Damn… it looks like that last one took a lot more than I expected de gozaru. If only Paru (Haruna Saotome) were here then I wouldn't need to worry about ammo" as she looked around she began to realize that there was no way to get closer to Negi without taking a dash through the barrier. "Dammit… I just don't have enough" she gritted her teeth together and slowly turned to where her teacher was laying.
She could see him struggling to get up with every ounce of his remaining strength and she could see the pillars that were slowly draining away his powers. The boy looked miserable but the worst part of all for Kaede was that she could not do anything to help him. She could just wait there for help to arrive, but that would take too much time. She could go back and get more explosives from Haruna's airship, but Nagi would probably try to stop her again with another one of his tricks.
"Negi bozu…" she whispered to herself. "What can I do…?"
A few weeks ago after Negi and his party had just recently successfully recruited the aid of the demons from the other realms, the gang was having a party in Paru's ship to celebrate their new alliance. With the demons finally at their side against Fate's near undefeatable army they now stood a snowball chance in hell. There was music, there were drinks and food aplenty for everyone aboard. Some of Negi's students tried to tempt the young teacher to have a little taste of wine, but as obvious as a dog having a tail, he refused. The group partied late on until the night and ate like they had not eaten in weeks. After the music was silenced and the food trays emptied, the only ones who remained awake that dawn was Ku Fei, Kaede and Setsuna who were busily still playing Shogo at that time.
But of course their peaceful post-celebration was rudely interrupted when Tertium (AKA: Fate) decided to ambush their ship with a small battalion of his deathless army. Six battle cruisers attacked them and the golem army boarded their vessel. The battle took place on board the ship's deck at first as the girls had to fight off the Stone-Soldiers that managed to sneak in when everyone was still asleep. After Negi and his Pactio partners repelled the first wave, Haruna quickly took control of the ship again and flew it into the space of floating islands. It was a risky move but with the islands hovering around at an unnoticeable pace, they were able to avoid several cruisers that were chasing them.
After they managed to outmaneuver their enemies, Paru quickly unleashed her ship's powerful weapons. Though they weren't exactly the top class state-of-the-art arsenals, they surely did the job of annihilating their enemies.
"Looks like that's the last of them" Yue and Nodoka let out a sigh of relief as the ship's radar became clean of enemies.
"Mwahahahahahahaha! How do you like that Fate!? These may not be the best weapons in the whole fleet, but they sure pack a whallop!" Paru was so proud of her ship that she began to coo to it which mentally disturbed her other classmates. "Hmm… I wonder if we could bring one of these cannons with us when we face against him. It'll certainly kill him with one blow"
"I don't think any of us are strong enough to carry them Paru-chan" Bookstore girl (AKA: Nodoka) sweat dropped.
"Well in any case" Kazumi interrupted. "It looks like we can call this a complete victory on our side!" the whole gang let out a cheer of joy as they knew well that this was probably their first true victory against Fate after a long string of defeats during their first days here in the magical world.
"Let's party again tonight!" Paru declared raising her fist. "Let's finish the last of the soda we brought from the camp and eat till we drop dead from a burst stomach!" the others let out a yell of agreement.
"NO MORE!!" Ayaka replied annoyingly knowing well that they were just looking for an excuse to party. "It was because of our unbalanced state that got us into that situation in the first place! We are all just going to eat, drink and sleep! Nothing more, nothing less!?"
"Eaaaahh… class rep, you're no fun" the baka rangers whined.
But just as the others were busy celebrating, Setsuna suddenly noticed something appearing just behind one of the floating islands. At first she thought that it was nothing more but another meteor that came from another realm, but then her eyes widened when she quickly realized that it was another one of the enemy's battleships. "Enemy!!" she yelled out, catching everyone's attention. "Paru, turn portside now!"
"I got it!" with a quick turn of the wheel, the entire vessel turned away from the area, but it was not fast enough to dodge the powerful laser that came after it. The side of the ship was completely torn apart and the cargo bay doors were completely melted by the heat. "Ahh! No, our food supply!"
"Does that mean we're not having roast chicken tonight!?"
"I think we have other things to worry about other than food!"
"Paru, the enemy is right in front of us now!" Ako warned.
"And it looks like they're preparing to fire their primary weapon!" Kotaro noted the large amount of magical energy gathering on the main cannon of the enemy's ship.
"Whoa!" the manga artist said in amazement. "That's the Gallion main weapon! The Devastator Mk. III! It can destroy anything within a hundred mile radius! I only heard rumors and stories about it, but I never thought I'd actually get to see one in real life!
"Hey Paru, turn this bucket of bolt around!" Kotaro ordered.
"I can't! The systems are totally fried by that last blow we took!" Yue answered for her.
"Damn it! Then…… I guess… this is… it…" the enemy fired the beam at them with direct precision, but just when all hope seemed lost, Negi sprung out of his hole and created a forcefield so powerful that it deflected the beam away from the ship. "Negi!?"
"Paru!" Chisame called. "Hurry! Fire your missiles at that asteroid near the enemy ship!"
"But what good will that…"
"Just do it!" when the missiles made contact with the asteroid, the big chunk of rock suddenly burst off, destroying the enemy ship along with it.
(End of flashback)
"Even knowing that death could linger very well on the next ridge of the land Negi bozu… you still didn't hesitate to throw your own life away to save ours" the ninja lady sighed as she remembered that incident very well. She could recall on how cool Negi looked after the dusk of battle settled that morning. The smoke on his body, the scars on his face and those tinted round glasses that made him look unexpectedly cute. "Eh? AHH! I shouldn't be thinking about this of that bozu" the woman rubbed the back of her head embarrassed of what she was just thinking at the moment. "Besides, I would be in competition with Bookstore girl and the others ahehehehe. That wouldn't be good"
But her humor was quickly thrown away when she heard Negi screamed again and this time with a lot more fury in it. "ARGHHHHHH!!!!!"
"Negi-sensei!!" with her mind now full of worries about the boy, Kaede quickly used her remaining bombs to destroy several more pillars along the way. And without even consulting of her body's own safety and health, she rushed into the barrier that sucked up every dark energy to rescue Negi. "Oryaaaa!!!" as expected, once she was in the perimeter of the barrier, she began to feel her power diminishing like a vacuum cleaner sucking away her strength. Since her magical powers were linked with Negi himself, it was also obvious that her powers had a dark side within them. "Grrr!" She was somewhat amazed on how powerful the pillars were and with one look at them told her that it would require a great deal of magical energy and years of training to actually perfect such a technique.
By the time she reached the boy's body, ¾ of her strength were already gone. But the pain on her body was nothing compared to what she saw next. Negi's face was completely filled with pain and horrifying expressions that she could not even begin to explain. "Negi, don't worry… I'll get you out of here!" He looked back at her with a strange angry look like he was struggling against something inside his own body. But just as Kaede held him up in her arms, she felt the weight of the world crashing down on her. She knew then right away that she would not have enough strength to carry Negi out or even anywhere near the exit point. "Wait… that's it! My Pactio card!" she immediately pulled out the card she shared with Negi and used it to summon the invisible cloak that also doubled as a house inside. After they were safely inside, Kaede quickly let out a sigh of relief. "Phew… that was close. I don't know how long this inter-dimensional field will last, but it should give me enough time to recover my strength"
The secret house of Kaede was probably one of the most useful cards in Negi's team during their adventures around the world during the past few months. Not only was it good for camping out in the cold mountains during a trip to find the ice giants that dwelled within the deepest part of Heaven's Hill, it also provided a safe locale for them to hide in case they were trapped or cornered somewhere with no where left to go. Inside that rag you would find a small Japanese style house with a small garden around it to provide that Feng Shui atmosphere and a little fountain to give the soothing touch. Perhaps it was her motherly side that gave her this kind of card.
After she put Negi on the futon that she prepared, she could see that the boy was still in great pain even after they were out of the light field. He was burning up like he was having some kind of fever and his body twitched and ached every now and then like he was wrestling a beast within his own soul. "Gacckkk!!"
"Negi…" the kunoichi touched the boy's head and compared the temperature to her own. "Damn it… wait here, I'll go and get some cold water"
Back outside, Takahata lit up a cigarette on his mouth and puffed out a smoke before lying back at the picnic mattress that Rakan prepared earlier before their battle with the girls. He was lightly wounded as well as Jack himself with only a few cuts and bruises here and there, but on the brighter side, at least they were alive. For some bizarre reason he knew that he would eventually lose to the girls if he had even fought them with full strength. He knew the moment Negi was in trouble, it would be impossible for either him or any mage to stop the girls of class 3-A from charging off to save him.
Not only were they pretty, but they were also powerful and deadly efficient especially with Chisame coordinating the attacks on all points. He quickly made a mental note to himself that he should never get on their bad sides or else there would be hell to pay. After he healed up the last of his wounds Rakan offered him a shot glass with what was left of the sa-ke Negi provided as payment.
"Here… drink up old timer" Jack smirked as he poured another glass for himself. "Alcohol is the best cure for any pain. Both physical and mental"
"Heh… is that what you used to say when you joined us back then?" Takahata accepted the glass and drank its contents down with one gluck sound. "Ahh… this kind of reminds me of the good old days back when we were still running away from the Ostian military army"
"Yeah… fighting for your life on every turn, facing unimaginable odds every second of your life and getting stronger while you're at it too" the swordsman laughed it out. "Yeah… those were the good old days. But now… those kids over there can actually overpower us if they put some effort into it. Maybe when this is all over I might just move to the place where Negi's staying and become a teacher as well"
Takimichi sweatdropped heavily at that point as he could already imagine Rakan becoming a teacher in Mahora academy there giving them all kinds of tips and tricks of the trade that may be useful in the streets of the magical world. It was so frighteningly realistic that it scared him. "Ahehehe… I think you should stick to being a mercenary here instead Jack. But I agree though… those girls really have grown in just a few months"
Back in the battle zone, Setsuna, Ku Fei and Mana were duking their strength off against the Thousand Master fighting with every technique they had in their arsenal. Their group was probably one of the most perfect combination in the class and Nagi couldn't have agreed better. Ku Fei being the martial artist leader (AKA: Chairman) was excellent at close combat dishing out blows at close range. Setsuna on the other hand with her swords and lightning fast reflexes provided a medium range attack which often catches Nagi off guard. Mana of course with her large arsenal of guns dished out the long range attacks, providing covering fire for the others.
But the most surprising factor for Nagi is that they were actually keeping up with him. They had already made several close call hits at him and when the two other students joined in, he had to really kick up a notch and get serious for once in a long time.
"One thousand magical arrows!!" Setsuna casted following another wave of her flying daggers.
But Nagi simply blocked it with a ten layer magical shield. "Whoa… these girls really don't fool around, I'm breaking a sweat just blocking them" he was unable to rest or recuperate when Mana unleashed a volley of magic bullets at him. "They're not even giving me a moment of rest either. Man, what kind of girls did boyo bring from the other side of that portal?"
"The rare kind" Ku Fei grinned as she appeared right in front of the man and laid a fist on his face. But her eyes suddenly widened when she realized that it was just a doll clone. "A clone…"
"Ku Fei dono, behind you!"
The young martial artist quickly leaped away before she was struck by the Thousand Master and into safer grounds. "I guess this is to be expected of the Negi's father aru…" but then she noticed that Setsuna was shining with an odd darkish color. "Eh? Setsuna, when did you had a tan!?"
"I'll explain everything later Ku Fei dono, but for now we need to… ackkk…!" the samurai girl crouched down on her knee as the pain suddenly jolted back in. "Darn… the pain is soaring again"
"Ku Fei, don't turn your back on the enemy!" Mana quickly unleashed a volley of magic bullets at the Thousand Master to prevent him from attacking.
"It looks like your body has reached its limits" Nagi stated to Setsuna. "Magia Erabea is a spell that enhances your body ten folds but at the same time all the negative effects doubles as well, which means all the strains that you do doubles up making it harder for you to move. Only those with enhanced bodies are allowed to use this technique for a long period of time. I tried to warn you but you refused to listen"
"Grr… I can still fight you!"
"No… you can't" he replied somewhat coldly. "After the effects of Magia Erabea wears off your body will be paralyzed for at least an hour. You're lucky that it didn't rip your skin to shreds though. Most humans who experienced this grade of black magic usually have their bones grinded to dust by now. You must be a lot stronger than a regular human after all"
(Kaede's hidden house)
Kaede sat worryingly by Negi's side as he continued to twitch in pain and anger that moment. She had managed to get the boy some cold water to cool down the fever but the water simply boiled away like it was put in front of a chunk of molten lava. She attempted again and again and even tried to use ice but they too also melted away in seconds. "Negi bozu…" she attempted to make some special medicines from her family's secret recipe as well with whatever herbs she could take from her pockets, but somehow she also knew that the effects wouldn't last.
But just when things were finally settling down, Kaede began to notice some parts of the house were getting brighter than usual. It was then her magic sensors kicked in telling her that her invisible house shield had been compromised. The light barrier from the outside world was tearing through her house-rag like a hole cut in the o-zone layer or something like that. "Damn… its way too early for him to get up. I guess I'll have to make a break for the… ughh… what the…" as she was just about to take Negi out of the place, a sudden headache came upon her, making her head spin rapidly like her brain was being flushed down the toilet. "Damn it… the effects of the city of light… is… getting…to… me…" she dropped onto her legs with one of her hand carrying her head. She felt woozy and a very weak even to struggle at all.
As she slowly faded into a state of unconscious, she noticed the lights were once again draining the energy out of Negi's body, feeding on his dark powers like a glass of soda being sucked by a straw. "Negi… no… I won't let you… down…" with the last of her strength, Kaede dragged her weak body closer to the boy's face putting it next to her chest. She could feel the heat generated by the fever roaming around his skin, but she could care less about that. She just wanted to protect him in any way she could. She has experienced many horrible things before in her life, but to see Negi's face showing such a dreadful expression was simply more than enough to break her heart. A kid of his age should never be allowed to experience such events much less even being the center of all things. No… he deserved better… a lot better than this fate.
"Hmm… I think… this is the only thing I can do for you right now Negi bozu" Kaede cooed to him in a mothering way.
"Heh… if only we had a bathtub here then it would really feel like home" she recalled the time when Negi first visited her in the forest where they bathed together in a single bathtub. "Oh yeah those were the good old days" but just as she curled up to him and removed the bangs off the boy's face she noted on how really handsome the child teacher really was, "You know… if I were to die here Negi… I wouldn't mind it at all. I would die happily knowing that I'm with you sensei. (exhausted panting) Ever since you came into Mahora bozu, life's been quite an adventure. I mean I never thought I'd actually get to beat up demons from different time and dragons from another realms and mages… don't even get me started on that subject. (pause) I would've never believed magic truly exist at all if it weren't for you. Heck… I still have a hard time trying to believe everything I've been doing for the last semester when you started teaching us. (chuckle) Before I met you Negi my life was probably a highway with many fork roads and no signs to tell where I'm actually going. I took so many wrong turns that I just kept coming back to the same place over and over again" she snuggled the boy closer to her, wrapping her arms around his body. "But… with you around, I finally feel like I have a guide to tell me which way to actually go. And now… now that I'm with you…… I... I guess you could say that I don't feel lost anymore. (sniff) Ah... look at me. How unwomanly to be crying for something so trivial" she forced out a laugh which quickly ended. "So… please Negi……… please don't leave us. Don't leave me…" she let out a tear run down her cheek as if it carried all the weight that she had held all these years. "If you do… I…… I wouldn't know where to go anymore" and just right before she lost consciousness, she felt Negi's hands held onto hers, giving her that warm fuzzy feeling deep inside. "I... I don't want to get lost again..."
The Darkness… comes…