"May I see your visitor's pass, please?" The receptionist at the desk asked Yuuno.
"Sure thing." He followed her instructions and produced the card. She ran it over a scanner and gave it back to him.
"Everything checks out Professor Scrya." She confirmed. "Instructor Takamachi is waiting for you inside."
"Thank you." Yuuno made sure his ID hanged from his neck in a visible manner. The security at the Bureau's training facility was a ridged as ever.
"Yuuno-kun!" Nanoha called to him from the other end of the hallway. "You made it!"
"Of course." He said when they reached each other. "I properly booked time off for today."
"I'm glad you could come." She said, linking her arm with his. "It's not often we get to work together anymore."
"Well, our fields are quite different, so it can't be helped." Yuuno squirmed slightly under the stares of the other people in the hallway. The animosity towards the man who dared to be so close to the Ace of Aces was palatable.
"But Yuuno-kun is my magical teacher, after all." Nanoha smiled. "So it's only natural I'd like you to help me with my own students, right?"
"I only taught you the basics, though. Everything else you pretty much made up yourself."
"I guess that's true." Nanoha laughed. "But there's still a lot you can show the rookies."
They exited the building and entered an outdoor training area. Awaiting their arrival were four teenagers: two boys and two girls.
"Good afternoon, Nanoha-san!" They all greeted in unison. Nanoha released Yuuno's arm and approached them.
"Good afternoon, everyone." She said. "Today I've brought a special instructor to help with today's training. This is Yuuno-kun and I hope you get along with him."
"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Yuuno nodded in greeting.
"And these are my students…" Nanoha indicated each as they introduced themselves.
"My name is Brun." The brown haired boy said.
"I'm Rose." The girl who had her long pink hair tied up in a ponytail said.
"Noir." The boy with black hair down to his shoulders said curtly.
"And I'm Jaune." The girl with short, blonde hair finished off.
"Now you four go warm up and I'll explain today's activity after that." Nanoha instructed.
"Yes m'am!" The students moved deeper into the training area and began doing stretches. They each kept one eye on their teacher, who was chatting happily with Yuuno.
"Who the hell is that guy?" Jaune huffed mentally to her fellow trainees. "Being all close to Nanoha-san like that! Who does he think he is?"
"He's got some nerve, acting all friendly with our idol!" Brun snorted. "Just look at him! He looks like a pushover! A wuss like that shouldn't even breathe the same air as our Nanoha-san!"
"He sullies her purity by his presence alone." Noir put in.
"Like you guys are any better." Rose chided. "I've seen those looks you give Nanoha-san! Guys are all a bunch of pervs."
"You girls aren't any better!" Brun shot back. "You fantasize about her too!"
"Ours are pure, beautiful fantasies." Jaune thought. "Not jerk off delusions like yours!"
"Stop it, Brun." Noir ordered. "You girls as well. Right now we have a common foe to face."
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend, I guess." Rose admitted. The four turned their attention back to their teacher.
"It's your turn to cook dinner tonight, isn't it?" Nanoha asked.
"Yeah, it is." Yuuno answered. "Is there anything in particular you want me to make?"
"Hmm… What should I ask for…?"
"…" The students looked at each other. "Something must be done!"
"Ok, everyone!" Nanoha called them together after enough time had passed. "Today's exercise is a mock battle. It will be you four against Yuuno-kun."
"Really?" The students beamed at the news.
"Yup." Nanoha nodded. "It will be your victory if you manage to touch him. It doesn't have to be a solid hit or anything. As long as you make physical contact with him, you win."
"Is it ok if we go all out?" Brun asked eagerly.
"Of course," Nanoha nodded again. "Don't hold back!"
"Yes m'am!" They all mentally laughed evilly; an aura resembling a sinister black flame engulfed them.
"Oh, looks like they're all getting fired up!" Nanoha smiled happily.
"… I don't think it's for the right reasons, though…" Yuuno noted, seeing the dangerous glint in their eyes as they looked at him.
"Everyone to your positions!" Nanoha called. Yuuno moved to a position that was several meters from the students, who formed their ranks. Noir and Rose were at the back, their staffs prepared for action, while at the front Jaune and Brun held their spears at the ready.
"Like I said before, this guy'll be a push over." Brun smirked. "A scrawny bookworm if I ever saw one."
"It doesn't even look like he has a device." Rose noted. "He's not wearing a barrier jacket either!"
"Is he looking down on us?" Noir pondered.
"Grrr, I'll show him for underestimating us!" Jaune glowered. "I'll send him to a world of hurt before he even knew what hit him!" Of the group, Jaune was by far the fastest. She crouched, ready to charge the moment the match began.
"Ready… Go!" Nanoha declared.
Jaune bolted towards the older man, intending to land a fierce blow before Yuuno had the chance to do anything. That would show Nanoha how much better than him she was!
"You're mi-" Her sentence was cut off when she slammed into an invisible wall like a bird flying into a window.
"Ah, are you ok?" Yuuno asked as she slid off his barrier. "Maybe I shouldn't have made it so hard…"
"What the…" Jaune held her bruised nose as she cursed. She had faced brick walls that weren't that tough!
"Barriers like that are paper to me!" Brun snorted as the Belkan triangle appeared at his feet. The head of his spear began glowing with magical energy as he ran forward, weapon high in the air. He swung down the spear with crushing force when he reached his target. The blow connected with the shield, but the vibration traveled down the spear and through Brun's body. He jittered backwards and eventually fell on his rear.
"It took Brun's attack full on and it doesn't seem to be damaged at all!" Rouge gasped.
"Let's hit it with everything we've got together." Noir suggested while taking aim.
"All right!" Rose also aimed and two energy orbs began forming at the tips of their staffs. The orbs eventually grew to the size of basketballs.
"Shoot!" They both yelled, the energy they had collected shot forward, striking the shield in the same place. Everyone's vision was obscured by the resulting blast cloud.
"You got him!" Brun cheered.
"Don't let your guards down." Nanoha warned from the sidelines.
When the dust settled, the trainees were shocked to see that not only had Yuuno not budged, but his barrier still didn't have so much as a crack in it.
"He'll get you if you just stand there in shock!" Their instructor cautioned.
"Huh?" But it was too late, for the four teens found themselves tightly wrapped by glowing chains.
"Arg… Can't… Break out of it!"
"He got us…"
"And that's the end of it." Nanoha decided.
"Crap." Jaune angrily sat down on the ground when the bind disappeared. "That sucked!"
"When faced with an enemy with a strong barrier, it is best to alternate attacks with your teammates, but also try to aim for the same spot. That way, either the barrier or the mage casting it will give out first." Yuuno explained as he walked up to her.
'Great, he's probably just going to gloat now…' Jaune thought bitterly.
"Let me take a look at your nose." Yuuno crouched down, putting a hand to her face.
"Hey, what are you…"
"Hold still." He said gently as his hand began glowing. Jaune felt the pain in her nose fade away. "You can't just charge in recklessly until you know what your opponent is capable of. Accomplishing your mission is important, but you have to value your safety above that."
"Uh… yeah… sure…"
"There, that should do it." He said as he stood. He held out his hand and helped the girl to her feet.
"… Thank you." Jaune was taken aback by his display of kindness. Perhaps she and the others had this guy all wrong.
"Don't take your loss today too hard." Nanoha said as she approached them. "Even I have a hard time breaking through Yuuno-kun's barriers on purpose."
"What?" Came a collective cry. To survive an attack from the infamous White Devil… Was this man super amazing after all?
"But let this be a lesson to you four." She continued. "Don't judge your opponent by appearance alone. Even if they appear weak, they could be hiding a hidden talent."
"Well sorry for looking weak." Yuuno huffed.
"Nyahaha, I didn't mean it that way!" Nanoha leaned up and pressed her lips to his cheek. "Don't be mad."
"Nanoha!" He flushed. "Your students are watching…"
"Fine," She purred. "I'll just have to make it up to you later tonight."
"…" The students just stared. "… Like we thought, something must be done!"