Disclaimer: If I owned Magical x Miracle, then there would have been more than just six books!
Chapter one: Setting Off
Another pile of papers was dropped onto the already cluttered desk of the Master Wizard. Looking up, said wizard, the Silver Haired Saint (better known as Mel to her friends) caught sight of a miffed Yue hustling out of the room, presumably to find more papers for her to slave over. A sigh escaped her.
His majesty had decided to go on a tour of his country, to assure their people that all was well and that they were not going to war…as well as to show off their new Master Wizard. This, of course, meant that she had to finish as much paperwork as possible before they left…and that Yue had to help her. While she pulled the first paper off the pile, a poorly concealed laugh reached her ears.
Turning, Mel glared at the red-head, "Fern!" He remained leaning against the wall, chuckling. "It's not funny!"
Fern smirked, "Whatever you say." He paused, and then added as Yue reappeared with another stack of papers, "Hey, you'd better get back to work, or else you'll soon be buried." Mel squeaked, swiveling back around and hurriedly putting quill to paper before Yue put down his next pile and was able to see that she hadn't done anything yet. Once he'd stomped out of the room again, Mel growled at Fern without turning away from her work, "How about you help instead of just laughing at me."
Pushing off the wall, Fern came over slowly, "And how could I help, O'Master Wizard?"
The sarcasm was obvious, but Mel ignored it. Plucking yet another paper from a pile, she answered, "Could you sort through these for me please? It would help speed things up." Fern rolled his eyes, but got to work anyway on the pile closest to him.
Mel continued to work on the paper at hand as she heard him muttering under his breath as if she'd done him a disfavor. She knew, though, that despite his grumbling, he actually did want something to do; he just couldn't bring himself to ask. She repressed a smile.
Mel set down her quill as she yawned, and then proceeded to stand up and stretch. Fern watched her without saying anything. It had taken them late into the night, but they had finally finished all the official paperwork. Taking the last pile of papers from the desk, Fern turned and walked out the door that Yue had been coming in and out of all day. He had to hand over the papers, then his job would be done and he could go to bed.
Once he'd found the still agitated Yue and handed him the papers, Fern quickly turned around and left the room. He didn't know what was bugging the man, but he had a feeling it wasn't the fact that he had to deal with a bunch of paperwork like Mel thought. He'd known Yue longer than she had, so he knew that the head of the magic department wouldn't blow a fuse over something as commonplace as paperwork. No, he knew that couldn't be it, but…he had no idea what it could be.
Sighing, he made his way back to the room to make sure the new Master Wizard hadn't left her ink uncapped or some other such scatterbrained folly. After all, he knew that when she was tired, things tended to be left undone. Five years hadn't been able to change that…and neither had Yue's scolding, past or present.
Opening the door to the Master Wizard's office, Fern found the lights on and Mel still sitting, slouched over her desk. As he neared, wondering why she hadn't gone to bed yet, he heard the light, systematic breathing of someone who's asleep. Fern hit his head with the palm of his hand as he thought with exasperation, 'She fell asleep! Ug, she probably didn't put her ink away either. Shesh, I hope that idiot hasn't spilt any on herself. If she has, then-'
Fern cut his thoughts off as he noticed that not only had she put the cap on her ink, but that she put everything away where it was supposed to go, leaving the desk she was slumped over empty. 'If she had the presence of mind to clean up, then she should have had the presence of mind to go to bed too. So why didn't she?' Sighing, his hand reached out to shake her awake of its own accord. 'Well,' he reasoned with himself, 'It's not like I could just leave her here.' He conveniently ignored the voice in the back of his head that said that if it had been anyone else, he very well might have.
When she finally opened her eyes groggily a minute later, Fern couldn't bite his tongue quick enough. "Are you stupid or something? Why didn't you go to your room? What if I hadn't come back and found you? You'd have…" Fern trailed off as he noticed that she was smiling tiredly at him. "What?"
Mel tilted her head, that smile still on her face as she answered sleepily, "I was waiting for you." Yawning, she stood up, "Guess I fell asleep…oh well." She started walking toward the door, but stopped halfway when she noticed that he hadn't moved. When she looked back at him, he could have sworn the room temperature went up a few degrees. He shook the feeling off and crossed the distance between them in a few quick steps, then walked beside her as she continued on her way down the silent hall.
Their rooms were across from each other (he was her body double after all, so he had to be nearby at all times), so they stopped in the middle of the hallway to say goodnight. Mel then turned and walked as if she were already asleep (maybe she was) to her room. Fern, however, didn't turn to go to his own room until after the lights went out in hers.
The next morning the castle was a madhouse as everyone from maid to politician prepared for the grand departure of the royal family and their new Master Wizard. Fern watched the fiasco from outside Mel's room, bored. Mel was with the princess in her room, talking about who-knows-what (when Seraphia had come to Mel's room, looking like she was about to cry, Mel had kicked him and Vaith out without any explanation). When Mel and Seraphia finally came out, the princess had a smile on her face, as if she'd never been sad.
Seeing this, Vaith said with a smile, "So you're finally back! What was that all about?" Fern could have hit his head against the wall. Vaith had no tact. Sure, he'd wanted to know too, but he wasn't stupid enough to come out and just ask! Especially not after they'd just been kicked out of the room.
The princess and Mel looked at each other, and for a moment, Fern feared they would yell at Vaith, but to his surprise, when they turned back to him and Vaith, they were smiling very suspicious smiles. "It's a secret!" They were completely in union. Without another word, they turned, arm in arm, and started walking away. Fern grimaced but followed; he'd never understand girls.
There was a short breakfast, the king gave a speech, and then they were on the road. Merleawe's horse walked calmly between the king and Seraphia's while the three of them smiled and waved at the people who had gathered to see them off. Vaith and his men rode on either side of the procession, making sure that the pedestrians stayed off the road.
Fern rode just behind Mel, keeping his eyes out for any sign of danger; not that he expected any. Glancing at Mel's carefree smile, he was glad that she, at least, didn't seem on edge, unlike Yue. Glancing behind him, Fern was just able to catch sight of the top of Yue's head farther back. He'd been talking to that annoying cadet of his-what was his name…oh, yeah, Lecto-he'd been talking to Lecto quietly since before they'd left, that air of tension around him no less suffocating than it had been the night before.
Continuing to look around, Fern wished that Glenn would have been able to come. Glenn was one of the few people who could deal with an agitated Yue (Mel could too, but only if she noticed that something was wrong…which she hadn't), but sadly he had other priestly duties that he couldn't put aside, and thus was staying behind. Another reason Fern wished Glenn could have come was because of how downtrodden Mel had looked, even if only for a moment, when she'd heard the news.
Truly, if Fern could have had his way, Glenn and Lecto would have switched places…and not just because Lecto was encouraging Yue's behavior, either. It was also because he didn't like Yue's aide. Maybe it was because of how they first met five years ago (Lecto was practically stalking Mel), or maybe it was because he claimed that he and Mel were best friends (surly Fern was closer to her than that stuck-up fool ever could be), or, possibly, it was because Lecto had hugged Mel when he found out that not only had she returned, but that she was to be the Master Wizard (really, what gave him the right).
A glance behind told Fern that the gray haired annoyance was looking at Mel again. Turning back around, he found his hands clenched. Well, whatever the cause, Fern didn't like the guy-at all-and wished he had stayed behind.
The sun was setting when the party rode into a town similar in size to the capital. Mel smiled warmly at the people and waved as she passed by, just as she had been doing all day. It became a little tedious after a while, but Mel didn't mind; the hope and happiness that she saw on the peoples' faces was enough to make up for it. Still, she was grateful when they finally pulled into a large inn for the night. As she watched Seraphia and her grandfather dismount, Mel noted wryly that she wasn't the only one.
Only after the king and his heir had both feet on the ground did she slide from her own saddle. After handing over her horses reins to one of the many attendants, Mel took a few steps back so that she could watch the procession without being in anyone's way. The king and the princess were talking to the innkeeper, thanking him for allowing them to stay the night. Mel smiled to herself as the man bowed repeatedly with a huge smile on his face as if this were a dream come true. Everything had been booked in advanced, but still, it was probably one thing to know your king would be coming, and another to see him actually arrive.
"He's probably ecstatic over how much money he'll make in just one day."
Mel glanced at Fern. She hadn't heard him approach, but she wasn't overly surprised, "I really doubt that." Turning to scan the ever growing crowd, she added, "You're too pessimistic, Fern." Mel waved as she caught sight of Vaith nearing them.
Fern scoffed, "Yeah, and you're too optimistic." Mel rolled her eyes, but it was Vaith who gave a retort.
"Tisk-tisk, would you really have her any other way?" He didn't even wait for an answer as he ruffled Ferns hair, "Of course you wouldn't-ouch! You didn't need to hit my hand!" Mel watched with amusement as the two of them started glaring at each other while slinging retorts back and forth. This went on for some time, long enough for her to be joined by Seraphia and Lecto.
Pushing up his glasses, Lecto asked incredulously, "Is this normal? I mean, he's the commander-in-chief, isn't he?"
"Yes…", Seraphia giggled, "…to both questions." Motioning towards the bickering pair, the princess added with a smile, "Vaith just never quite grew up, and Fern, well…Fern just has an attitude."
The crowd had almost completely disappeared inside when Mel finally stepped between the two with a laugh, "Ok, that's enough for now. You guys can play some more after we eat." At the mention of food, Vaith's stomach growled. Without another word, he saluted them and ran inside like a child after sweets.
Mel glanced at Lecto as he made a choking noise, obviously taken aback by Vaith's rather unceremonious departure. While trading glances, both Mel and Seraphia lost their composure and burst out laughing.
The next day the procession continued on. This time, however, Mel only rode up front when they were nearing a town, which seemed to be happening less and less the farther from the capital they went. The rest of the time she and Seraphia dropped back to talk with Fern, Lecto, and, when he was free to talk, Vaith.
Yue, apparently, still had that burr stuck under his tail, and was glaring at anyone who approached him. At first Mel had thought about going back to try to find out what was wrong, but then Lecto had ridden forward to join them, making her think otherwise. If Yue was in a mood that was bad enough to make even Lecto leave his side, then it probably wasn't something she could handle.
"Speaking of Yue." Mel said after Lecto finished explaining to the princess how he'd come to have his position, "Do you have any idea as to why he's been acting so strange lately?" Lecto just shook his head no, then opened his mouth to respond when Fern scoffed.
"You don't even know that! Some aide you are!"
"Fern!" Both girls glared at him, but he didn't seem to be affected. It didn't help that Vaith was laughing in the background.
Shrugging, Fern added, "Well, it's true." The glares only intensified. "Hey, if you don't know your master, you're not going to be much help." Then, with a smirk in Lecto's direction, he added, "Maybe I know Mel better than you know Yue. Heh, and you've been working together for how many years?"
Lecto's face went pale, then red as he sputtered in response, "Wh-what… Y-you… Wh-what gives you the right to say something like that!" Lecto was now shouting, "I do too know Mr. Yue!" He paused, noticing that the people around them were giving him strange looks, then lowered his voice to add, "Besides, what does that has to do with you knowing Merleawe."
Suddenly the girls paled: Lecto wasn't in a high enough position to know about the Hahze acting as body doubles. Quickly Mel made her horse step in-between Fern and Lecto's, "Come now you two, let's not fight." Turning to Lecto she added as the princess and Vaith dragged Fern away behind her, "Fern's been my friend since I first came to Viegald, which is what he was probably referring to."
The princess quickly returned alone, her face flushed. "I'm so sorry. I don't know what's gotten into him…but please forgive Fern. I'm sure he didn't mean it."
Lecto must have noticed the pleading in her voice, for all traces off anger faded from his face and he said with a small smile, "I understand…"
Mel dropped back and let the two continue talking, but her mind was elsewhere. What was going on with Fern? Why did he seem to be so against Lecto? It made no sense. If she didn't know better, she'd say he hated the guy…but why would he? There was no reason…
Hello, this is JUCHKO speaking. I know Magical x Miracle on is currently a small and rather unknown category, but I hope that will change soon. I've wanted to write a story to this since the first book came out (in America), but back then, there was no category for it, and thus I couldn't. That, however, has finally changed!
I don't know how long this story will be, nor how often I'll be updating (I've been very busy lately), but so long as people like the story and review, I will continue working on it.
Oh, and for those of you who read Naruto fanfics, you may recognize me as the author of 'A Continuous Circle', and 'And the Circle Comes Round'…if you don't recognize the titles, but do read Naruto, then please think about looking into my other two stories. (Hey, a bit of self advertisement never hurt anyone!)
As with my other stories, I will gladly accept reviews, constructive criticism and people going to my DeviantART page (there's a link on my profile). Anyone who reviews, signed in or anonymous, will be given thanks on my pretty list in the next chapter.