Mahou Sensei Negima and all related elements and characters are the property and creation of Akamatsu Ken, and the author of this set of short pieces has made no material profit from it, and never will do.

Similarly, all non-Negima characters mentioned here are the properties of their respective copyright holders.

Any non-parodic, non-totally safe similarity between the characters and events of these ministories and anyone or anything ever actually seen in real life is a pure coincidence. For real!

Read. Review. Please. PLEASE!


The Mermaid's Farewell.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I can't keep on living a lie. It has been wonderful, but... it can't continue."

And she walked into the sea, without ever looking back.

And the prince never saw her again.


Excuses.

"So," Asuna said, "as you'll see, I won't be available to do your newspaper route anymore, because I'll be sleeping for the next one hundred years. But I'll gladly start doing it again for your descendants once I'm back, as long as you still want to keep good references for me..."

The old man gave her a wary, weirded look. "Ah... Okay, sure thing, Asuna-chan. Well, I... I wish you good luck with... that sleeping thing, I suppose."

More than one century later, Asuna cursed her luck. Printed press hadn't disappeared yet after all! And so she was stuck with that old boring job again...

And to think once she had found it to be challenging and exciting.

Still, she couldn't deny the old man had left damn good references about her, despite everything.


Savior.

Demons were swarming all over the Academy, falling down in hordes from the sky. The world was ending, Eiko was sure of that, while around her, her Black Lillies partners cried and wailed, and she tried to protect little Yuki-chan, shielding her with her body.

There were far too many of those things. And they were far too big. There was no salvation.

Then he appeared.

Standing on top of a brick wall, waving his long tail in circles. He looked down at them, and his voice rang sweetly in their minds.

This is truly a desperate situation, isn't it? You surely must want the means to fight back, to save your lives. And you can have those means, if you just happen to wish for it.

Little Yuki looked up with wide starry eyes at that adorable fairy tale creature who had arrived from nowhere, a bright spot in the middle of dark chaos. Eiko followed her gaze, and despite herself, she found hope flickering back in her heart, as well.

Make a contract with me, he said, and become Magical Girls.


The 27 Club.

Tonight, on Entertainment Weakly, we have a retrospective on Decopin Rocket, on the wake of their unfortunate passing at the peak of their popularity, at their 27 years old, joining the ranks of famous musicians departed at that age, like Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Afternoon Tea Time. Decopin's closest friends will be sharing their memories of the time they spent together.

"You know, I never thought it'd happen to Sakurako-chan. She always was so fortunate, and so full of life, we always thought she'd be the last one of us to go. Well, except for Eva-chan, but... Eva-chan's really a special case. Still, I guess that, if you have to go, going in the middle of a four way lesbic orgy is the best way you could go. Well done, girls. I'll be looking up to you for the rest of my life!"

Saotome Haruna- Writer and Artist of Mahou Mangaka Kenima.

"No, I never had an affair with Shiina-san. I don't know from where that rumor could have arose. Still, my heartfelt condolences to all of their relatives. I would bring them back to life in recreated cloned bodies if only Japanese law hadn't blindly stood in the way. I'm thinking of creating an organization to defend science's rights to experiment on the deceased for the wellbeing of mankind. And for science!"

Hakase Satomi Godel- Nobel Prize of Robotics, Astro Physics and Molecular Enginery, for three straight years now.

"... Y'know, my wife has just told me Madoka had a crush on me the whole time. ...Wow. Just wow. I'm even more rattled now, man. Women, they just are... you know. It sucks, I dunno, what happened, and..." (Scratches the back of his neck). "Hey, what do y'all think about Natsumi's new movie? Cool one, huh? I liked the final gunfight a whole lot!"

Inugami Kotaro, husband to Oscar winning actress Murakami Natsumi.

"Yeah, the news upset me a lot. I went Magia Erebea and ended up ravaging half the city. Luckily Chisame-san was there to slap me back before I could really hurt anyone. Look, friends, I'll pay for all the damage, okay? Just send the bills to Senator Godel, and we'll handle it as soon as we can. Anyway, yeah, I'm still grieving over them. They were such wonderful people."

Negi Springfield- Paladin, Million Master, Immortal Magical Saiyan Jesus.

"I have an audition with them this Tuesday. I hope they'll let me play, I don't know, the drums? Kazumi-chan keeps telling me I have real talent..."

Aisaka Sayo- Ghost.

"AKO-CHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!-!-!-!"

Ookuchi Akira- Olympic Swimming Champion and Flight Assistant.

"No comments."

Tertium 'Fate' Averruncus- Manager for Decopin Rocket.

Princess Kagurazaka Asuna Vesperina Entheofushia couldn't be reached due to being in a century-long sleep.


Sliced of Life.

Madoka, Chizuru, Kotaro, Cocone and Makie all sat around a small table in a small and modest room. Chizuru had a blond wig on.

Kotaro rasped. "Okay, let's start," he said. "As you know, since the end of Negima, we can't find jobs even in fanart, and even doujin authors won't take our calls, so we're gonna have to take the current industry wave and make our own Slice Of Life Student Club series. Let's see if we have all checked our roles before acting the pilot chapter, all right?"

"Busty foreigner big sister figure," Chizuru said.

"The accent, Chizu-nee," Kotaro told her.

"Oh, sorr-ee!" Chizuru faked a bad American accent. "It awwwright like dis, Kota-kun? Ohh yeah, Coca-Cola Kool-Aid Obama!"

"... Right. No one will notice it as long as the camera pans enough on your chest," he said. "Makie?"

"Airheaded cutesy pink Moeblob," she sighed. "You know, Kotaro, maybe I should try another kind of role? I didn't study Dramatic Arts just to be typecasted as the brainless childish beauty. What do I need to be taken seriously, to grow as an actress? Another seiyuu? A character redesign? Implants?"

"Let's make a compromise," Kotaro sighed. "Put on some glasses. We need a girl with glasses. That way, you still can be the public-appealing bimbo, but you also can give an intellectual side whenever the plot calls for it."

Makie pulled her glasses from under the table and put them on. "I guess that'll have to suffice for now."

Cocone sighed very deeply, then put on an obnoxious bubbly attitude. "Tee-hee-heeee! Cute little Imouto Cocone-chan here! Desu!"

"Agressive Next Door Tsundere," Madoka said. "At least this time I get to punch people, right? I spent all those months training, just to have the damn series cancelled before-"

"Yeah, yeah, we've all been gypped, we know, let's freaking move on already, okay?" Kotaro said. "Let's face it, they won't hire us with a few design twists for Ken's next series, like Asuna or Nodoka, so we have to make a way back in the biz for ourselves. Playing the bland male lead will be hard to do, as well, but hey, it's what sells, and at least I won't be playing beta to fucking Negi again. I hope that creep burns."

He began giving the girls copies of the script. "We'll be acting this one, starting right now, then have it memorized by tomorrow so we can start filming, okay? I know, we barely have any time, but we had problems with the scriptwriter, so I had to can him and finish this thing by myself."

Chizuru read through her script. "It's fifteen minutes of us talking about orange juice, and then the rest of the episode is about dressing up like maids. Including you."

"I'm telling you, it's what sells now!-!"

It went to have five seasons, three OVA and a movie.


Fate. Not, not THAT one. Not the blond one either! Well, sorta.

"Launcher, attack!" Chisame commanded.

"Berserker, or Funny Vamp, or Temptress, whatever, ATTACK!" Evangeline commanded.

"Saber, attack!" Fuuka commanded.

"Saber, attack!" Fumika commanded.

"Shit, two of them again?" Avenger growled.

"I-It doesn't matter how many of them there are! Just attack them before they kill us!" Misora panicked.

"Lancer-kun, att—" Makie cried. "GAH! You died AGAIN?-! You fail at being Lancer!"

Assassin looked at Akira. "Are you sure you don't want us to—"

"No, " she said. "We aren't engaging into violence. Sorry." And then, to make up for it, she extended her arms for her.

Assassin cuddled against her. "Mother..."

"Magical Girl, attack!" Konoka told Nanoha.

"Magical Girl, attack!" Setsuna told Fate.

"Magical Yuri Combination Attack!" all four of them chorused.

Rider and Rakan were too busy drinking together and laughing their heads off to join such a childish fray for now. Luckily for everyone else.

Chamo gulped. "W-Well, um... Archer-sama...? A-Aren't you going to—"

The armored golden figure squished him underfoot. "For the last time, vermin, no matter if you summoned me, I won't ever recognize you as my Master!"

Haruna and Caster were too distracted comparing tentacle monsters and debating the merits of their respective creations to join the battle for the time being.

The author has not read or watched Kara no Kyoukai yet, so sadly Monster shall be Miss-Not-Appearing-In-This-Snippet.

And that was the day when Negi decided adding the 'Not Bringing Servants to Classes!' rule.

And no, don't ask why Rakan was at the school to begin with, either.


Phantom of the Opera.

Negi stared up at the woman standing over him. She wore a long, concealing black trenchcoat, with a hat that obscured most of her features. A strange white half-mask covered the left side of her face, and long bangs of light brown hair blocked most of its right side, but still, it could be seen she was wearing glasses over it all, mask included.

"Why are you-" he began to ask.

"Silence!" she said. "Choir boy, for long, I have watched over your performances, languishing under Fate Averruncus' shadow. But starting tonight, that will change! I will make you the next star of the Mahora Opera!"

Negi blinked. "What? But, but I'm not good at all! All my teachers tell me I still have too much to learn, and I'm nowhere as good as Fate-kun, and..."

"Stop it!" she ordered, gesturing imperiously. "I command you to stop your relentless self doubt! You will head that show even if I have to force you at gunpoint!"

"But... But why are you doing this? I can't imagine-"

"It-It isn't like I like you or anything! I'm just doing this to, uhhh... to enact my vengeance on the Opera's management! Yes, that is it!"

"Ah... That's quite an insidious plot, Phantom-sama. With my voice, you'll sink them for sure..."

"Shut up and start practicing, boy!"

Meanwhile, up at the Opera House, Director Konoemon sang the newly arrived ultimatum letter aloud.

"Negi Springfield will be returned to you, and I am anxious his career should progress. In the new production of 'Il Muto' you will therefore cast Averruncus... as the Rainyday, and put Mr. Springfield in the role of the Fox Countess. The role which Mr. Springfield plays calls for charm and appeal. The role of the Rainyday is silent, which makes my casting-in a word... ideal.I shall watch the performance from my normal seat in Box Five, which *will* be kept empty for me. Should these commands be ignored, a disaster beyond your imaginations will occur. I remain, gentlemen, you obedient servant. C.H.I.U."

Takahata blinked. "I wasn't aware you could read a letter like that, Sir."

"Well, you know, I wasn't always stinking rich and famous. I used to make a living reading sung telegrams back in the day. Shirtless, more often than not."

A beat.

"I was really ripped up back then. Really. Well, Yukihiro-sama?" he addressed the other sponsor. "What is your answer to these outrageous and ridiculous demands?"

Ayaka finished wiping the blood off her nose and nodded energetically. "We'll cooperate!"


Salvation Run.

They dropped in parachutes on the island one after another, and then, standing in the wilderness, they breathed the quiet and peaceful air of...

"FREEDOM!" Ranma shouted, tossing his arms up.

"Finally, no more Tsundere punches!" Keitaro exclaimed.

"No more annoying fights!" Tenchi cheered.

"No more cruel teasing!" Shinji inhaled deeply.

"No more being branded a pervert!" Rito pumped a fist.

"No more random and unpredictable sour mood swings!" Kodaka added.

"No more Nice Boats!" Makoto said, having learned his lesson.

"NO MORE GIRLS!" they all said.

Then Keiichi said, "Um, this doesn't mean we're gay, right?"

Negi spoke very seriously. "I'm escaping a bunch of girls who like putting foxgirl costumes on me and sticking onion leeks up my butt. I don't know you, but I'm doing this '''precisely because''' I'm not gay."

"Fair enough," Keiichi nodded.

"By the way, I thought you were happy with Belld-"

"After the latest revelations in my manga, please don't mention that name in my presence ever again."

"...I won't ask."

They marched through the tropical jungle looking for a place where to camp for a few moments, until they ran into a hidden cityof ancient Greek style, completely populated by nothing but gorgeous young women in semi transparent white robes.

The women began staring at them. Eyebrows were raised.

Negi began sucking on his thumb. "Oh God, it's starting again...!"

Tenchi looked at Ranma. "I thought you had said this island was deserted!"

Ranma looked at his map again, gasped,then shook a fist to the skies."RYOOOOGAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

And that was how Paradise Island's population doubled itself up in a meager nine months.


Lone Wolf and Club.

And then Tsukuyomi just walked into his office and said, "I'd like to start a Club, Sir!"

Konoemon looked up from his Sudoku at her. "Excuse me? Maybe I'm getting senile, but I seem to hear you, the girl who helped in my granddaughter's kidnapping and attempted brutal mutilation at the very least on one of my prized students, just asking me for permission to establish a club in the grounds under my responsibility."

Tsukuyomi nodded vigorously. "Indeed, Sir!"

"Ho-hum. Despite your not even being part of this academy's student body."

She knocked on her own head, poking the tip of her tongue out. "Oopsie! I knew I was forgetting something. Where do I sign to join?"

"... Even if I were to allow you joining, you'd need at least three fellow club members and a teacher's backing to start your club."

Tsukuyomi placed Chachazero on his desk. Chachazero just grinned and waved at him. "First fellow club member! The rules never stated they had to be students. Even so, I... got two other students and Nitta-sensei to sign documents for me, stating their support. Here they are!" Tsukuyomi produced said documents out.

Konoemon examined the papers. "I really hope this is red ink. May I ask what this Club of yours is about, miss?"


"WHAT DO YOU MEAN WITH 'CLUB OF KILLING THINGS DEAD WITH VERY SHARP BLADES'!-?" Setsuna screamed.

The old man scratched the back of his neck. "What can I say? She showed more enthusiasm on her proposal's defense than any other student I have ever met…"


Dearest.

When they finally retrieved the Hero's broken body from the wrecked, shattered site of his final battle, they found the two pages carefully placed into one of his breast pockets, the one closest to his heart. It even had seals and wards all over them to prevent them from being destroyed, so it took the experts a long while to actually be able to open and read the pages.

In the meantime, theories bubbled furiously everywhere. Some said they had to hold the Hero's greatest magical secrets, the key to his ultimate victory against the Mage of the Beginning. Others said it was his testament. Yet others said it was a last message to the warring people of both worlds, a final attempt to spread peace.

When they finally cracked all the seals open, they saw they were only two yellowed pages of an old book, the kind teachers had used when the Hero still was only a child. These two pages in particular held a class roster, showing thirty one students in total, with annotations all over them, everywhere, in literally every space the Hero could have written into. It was obvious, from the evolution of the Hero's handwriting, the annotations had been made through decades and decades.

Honored Friend. Died Bravely. Far Wiser than Me. Taken Away too Soon. My Beloved.

Not a single bad word was ever written about any of them. Other than those few notes around the Twilight Princess' picture, which had been written all over, along with the horns the Hero had once drawn on her.

They buried him with the pages.


The Angry Beavers.

Konoka kept covering Negi's eyes with her hands, and very coldly said, "Asuna-chan, Iinchou, when I mentioned Negi-kun's favorite cartoon show from when he lived in the West, I didn't mean this. I appreciate your effort to re-enact it, but... No. Just no. And Asuna-chan, beavers are supposed to be hairy. Very much so."

Asuna looked at her from where she still was tightly entangled against an equally naked and struggling Ayaka. "Can we keep doing it, though?"

Konoka sighed. "Enjoy yourselves..."

"WE AREN'T ENJOYING IT!" they angrily shouted.


Wrong Genre Savvy.

"... No, Tsukuyomi-han, this isn't what we are looking for in a Slice Of Life series. Sorry."

"Eeeehhhh?-! Do you mean those series aren't about slicing the life out of people?-!" she said, standing over Madoka's sliced up body. She pulled her glasses off and began wiping the blood out of them. "Oh, I'm soooo embarassed! I should have DONE THE RESEARCH, but we don't have the time for that anymore, making ends meet since we lost our jobs, you know! I wonder how are the others doing..."


Asuna tilted her head back. "But I still can do the old SHAFT head tilt, guys! See? See?-! C'mon, it's bad enough you half-assed our adaptations at every turn! Least you should do to make up for it is tossing me one bone or two..."

"For the last time, Kagurazaka-san, no, we aren't putting you in the Madoka Magica movie."


With a new haircut, Nodoka walked into Akamatsu's office. "Reporting myself for duty again, Sensei! What's my role this time?"

"Oh, welcome, Shinobu-chan. I think I've got the perfect role for you. This is a shy, withdrawn girl who is fiercely loyal to her friends and has a doomed crush on the nice guy lead..."

"Sensei! You promised me a different role this time!"

"And you'll have it! This time, YOU'LL WEAR GLASSES!"

"... Fine. At least I won't be eating dog food, like the oth- Oh, hey, Chisame, I mean, Naru-san. Playing the angry Tsundere again, huh?"

"Yeah, but this time I dye my hair blond. Good thing I gave Asuna that false hint about SHAFT before she could get here before I did..."

Shinobu smiled. "That's why I like working with you, you magnificent bitch, you."


Mother.

Several voices raised their protests when the Kansai Elder decided to marry such a young woman so shortly after his wife's death. The new Mrs. Konoe was, indeed, a prodigy between her peers, and her tragic past had gained her the sympathies of many, but she still had the shadow of revolutionary accusations against her. Many turned to the Elder of Kanto, father of the late Mrs. Konoe, for support against that marriage, but in the end, the old man simply voiced his dry, formal acceptance of his son-in-law's decision.

And so, Konoka got herself a new Mom.

Mom never was too close to Konoka while growing up, despite how much she watched over her. She was downright rejectful of Set-chan, as well, which made Konoka to borderline hate her for a long while. After her accident at the river, however, Mom went nearly crazy at her near-loss, which only served to spur Setsuna's pain even more. Mom stood guard next to Konoka's bed for days until her full recovery, and from then on, she practically was Konoka's shadow until she left for Mahora.

Konoka had no way of knowing Mom only thought of her as a valuable tool. She couldn't know her only concern for her was born out of long term schemes she was a necessity for. All she knew was Mom was truly concerned for her now, and wanted to be closer to her. She accepted her, and over time, they grew truly closer. And slowly, day by day, week by week, month by month, Mom's eyes became softer and kinder when she looked at Konoka.

The first letter Dad wrote to her Mahora adress told her of how Mom had cried right after she left.

And then, so long after that, the decisive day came. Mom came out with Dad to greet her, Negi, Set-chan, Asuna and the others. For some reason, however, she seemed somewhat sad when she hugged Konoka, and when Negi and Setsuna told them of how they had been attacked by Tsukuyomi and Kotaro. She barely touched her dinner and excused herself out early.

And right like that time with Set-chan, back then, Konoka wondered if she had done something to anger Mom.

Mom met with the strange pale boy behind the manor at the scheduled hour. Years of planning were finally coming to a head. She would finally get what she wanted all her life long. She only had to give him the go-ahead. They never would expect an attack from the inside.

The woman opened her mouth, and no sound came out. The pale boy looked at her with quiet, cold expectation, until she shook her head and closed her eyes.

"I'm calling it off."

"What?" the pale boy asked. For the first time ever, there was confusion, even if a subdued one, in his voice.

"We aren't doing it. It's not the right time."

He understood. "It'll never be the time. Will it?"

"Perhaps."

"That," he said, "just cannot be. My superiors want to see that Demon God's power unleashed, and only you know how to perform the ritual."

She smiled bitterly. "Your superiors. Of course. I would have had to be a fool to think someone like you would be a puppet with no strings."

"Indeed, I am no mere mercenary. And you are advised not to break our agreement."

"I have taken my decision."

"I see," he calmly said. "I'm sorry, then," and he was polite and soft, but with no trace of actual emotion. "But an example must be set for those who would deceive us."

She pulled her paper charms with a more sincere smile now. "Funny you would mention that. I also need setting an example for my daughter."

They found her petrified form shortly after. It still had the same smile. A smile Konoka had never seen in her before. A peaceful one.

That was how Konoka lost a mother for the second time.


What, Still Too Soon?

"So, how did you like visiting our Hiroshima home, Negi-sensei?"

"Oh, it was very nice! Simply charming! Lovely city, too! Do you know what? Japan definitely needs more Hiroshimas!"

Ayaka, her father, mother and uncle all stared at him.

Negi scratched the back of his neck. "Ahhhh... I guess that sort of came out wrong, right?"

"Yes, I suppose you could say so..."


Pay the Piper.

"What have you just asked me?-!" Evangeline wanted to be sure she had heard him right.

Konoemon rasped. "Well, popular lore lists it as a common ability of vampires, but there are no records of your ever displaying it..."

"Of course I haven't ever done it! Why would I ever do such a stupid thing?-!"

"Well, but technically, you could do it if you wanted to, isn't that right?"

"- I guess so," she conceded. "But just because I can, it doesn't mean I'll do it for you!"

"Do it and I'll give you the next Sunday so you can wander out of Mahora," the Dean offered, spinning his right arm around to show it was in shape.

"Huh. You're that desperate, aren't you?"

"Every other thing we have tried has failed, so yes..."

Eva laughed. "Well, there are some things not even your magic can fix, old fart! Now mine, on the other hand...!"

That night, during his patrol, Negi blinked, seeing Evangeline marching across the deserted campus followed by a long line of rats. "Master? What are you-?"

"N-Nothing! Us vampires just control rats all time! It's part of the many evil and petty things we do! No particular reason at all behind it! Also, I command you to accompany me this Sunday into the city! Just so I can show you how nasty and mean I can be to bystanders! Not a date at all!"


Don't Get me Wrong!

The wedding, all incidents aside, had been lovely, and while deciding the honeymoon destination had been difficult to say the least, Asuna was happy now they had settled for Hawaii. After a day of having fun around the beach, she and her new husband had settled down at their honeymoon suite.

"Hey, Negi," she said while he was in the toilet. "I'm going to call Room Service for some wine and cheese, okay? Oh, and crackers! I sure could use some crackers!"

"Um, okay, sure, if you think you won't have any problems with-" her 20-years old husband couldn't finish the sentence before she cut him off with a faintly annoyed grunt.

"Tch! How hard can it be? I'm not a Baka Ranger anymore, you know! And boy, I really want those crackers right now!" she said, licking her lips on expectation. She had packaged her cravings for the trip, along the infant growing inside of her. There was a reason they hadn't told anyone behind the hurry for the wedding. "Hell, Rom Ceviche?" she asked as soon as she thought she had it. "I like two ask four something!"

The attendant blinked at her request. "That? Are... Are you sure, Madame?"

"Ah? Yes, yes, I am, you are!" she nodded quickly. "That very good, thanks!"

When Negi walked out the toilet, the door's bell rang. "Oh, what a fast service!"

"Yeah!" Asuna went for the door. "They sure are good at what they-"

Then she froze, seeing the bellboy before her pushing a cart loaded with two lobsters on twin plates, two blowup dolls, a set of S&M, and a live monkey who wouldn't stop scratching himself. The bellboy gave the shocked Asuna a wary glance before bowing. "W-What you asked for, Ma'am. Well... Enjoy your night."

On his way back out, he briefly stopped at Negi's side and whispered on his ear, "If you don't mind my question, sir, where did you meet...?"

Negi's head hung down in shame. "I was her English teacher…"


The Empress' New Clothes.

Once upon a time, there lived a young empress who was obsessed with her appearance. She lived for her subjects' admiration, and loved to wear the most expensive and elaborate clothes to attract their attention.

However, rather early in her life, after trying all sorts of outlandish and elegant clothes alike, there was nothing left that Empress Chiu hadn't already worn before. She became desperate in her search for new clothes worthy of her, so she issued an edict offering untold riches to whoever could make the most wonderful, most unforgettable dress of them all for her.

Many tailors and dressmakers tried, but they all failed to offer anything Empress Chiu hadn't worn before. Until two pint sized twin tailors strode into palace grinning impishly and offered Empress Chiu the most special of all dresses.

"It's made from the most miraclous of all fabrics!" the sisters boasted. "Only those who are intelligent, refinated and honest can see it! The fools, the incompetent and the useless can see nothing but air instead!"

That terrified Empress Chiu since she couldn't see anything, but to be sure, she called on the smartest woman she knew, the Royal Chief of Librarians, and asked for her opinion on the subject. Before the shy Chief Librarian could say anything, the twin tailors quickly expanded again on the wonders and marvels of the fabric. At that, the Chief Librarian choked, blushed, took the bangs of hair obscuring her face away, and issued a stammering but praising review of the legendary fabric.

So did Countess Yukihiro when asked on the subject.

As well as the freckled Director of the Royal Theater.

And the bespectacled Chief of Royal Artists.

And the Royal Ermine.

Captain Asuna of the Royal Guard bluntly said "I can't see a fuck there!", but everyone knew she was an idiot, so that was only confirmation.

Amongst the cheers of the whole court but the mumbling Captain Asuna, the Empress announced she would wear the miracle dress during the next week's royal parade.

The great day arrived quickly, and the Empress marched proudly at the lead of the parade, smiling widely under the warm sun, under the acclamations and hurrahs of her people. By now, the stories about the dress' properties had spreaded everywhere, and everyone in attendance agreed on how gorgeous and radiant Empress Chiu looked in the most fascinating dress ever made. Even the foreign rulers brought for the ceremonies had joined the praise.

"It's incredible!" Princess Theodora gushed.

"It's astonishing!" Count Herrmann clapped.

"It isn't that bad, " Queen of the Night Evangeline snorted, and everyone was floored, because she had never given such high praise to anything or anyone.

But young Prince Negi of Ostia blushed and averted his gaze. "She-She isn't wearing anything!"

A complete, shocked silence fell all over the crowd.

"Excuse... me...?" Empress Chiu's right eyebrow twitched.

Prince Negi dared to show an eye from between the fingers intertwined on his face. "Y-Y-You... You aren't wearing anything!"

A great gasp ran through the masses.

"You know, if the wise young Prince is saying it..." Royal Instructor Takahata whispered to his colleague Shizuna, who nodded.

"There is no way Prince Negi can be wrong!" Royal Physician Ako declared with all the passion of a woman in love.

Countess Yukihiro choked on her saliva. "That... That is true! But... But then...!"

"I knew it all the fucking time!" Captain Asuna slammed a foot down.

"She isn't wearing anything!" the crowd began to chant.

"The Empress is naked!" the chants began to become a taunting choir.

Seething red, mad with anger, powerless and humbled, Empress Chiu loomed over the only cause of her humiliation at hand now the tailor twins had most likely fled the country. "BRRRRRRAAAAAAATTTTT!"

As she went for his throat, however, her long hair tickled the Prince's nose, and then he sneezed, and an expanding boom filled the whole city.

That day, everyone could say they dressed just like an empress.


Code Negima.

"I can't believe it!" Prince Negi said, proving he was no Naruto. "Mother, you can't just allow this! My father must be found, and the culprits of his disappearance and Nekane's blindness must be punished!"

Queen Arika, with her back turned to him, spoke regally, in an oddly Norio Wakamoto-esque tone. "I have taken my decision, boy! If you insist on disobeying me, there is no place for you at this palace!"

"Then so be it!" Negi said. "I'll take Nekane with me to Area 11 and find Father myself!"

He grabbed Nekane's wheelchair and began pushing it for the door.

"You know, " Nekane mused, "For a time I get a regular role in a series..."


"Oh, that's Asuna-san, " Ayaka said, puffing her chest up to better fit into the Milly role. "She's rarely around, since she is sickly all the time. Or so she claims, because I'm sure she only uses that as an excuse to skip classes. Probably acting as a hooligan piloting giant mecha and rebeling against the authorities like the ape she is."

Negi sweatdropped. "Isn't that a very big and serious assumption, Yukihiro-san?"

"A Class Re— Sorry, President of the Student Council knows when such things are happening, Sensei!"

From the other end of the hall, Asuna hid behind a pillar and tossed a shoe on Ayaka's head.

Ayaka roared, rubbing her head. "That's the worst polite and shy girl act I've ever seen!"


"I am Evangeline, the Immortal Witch, " the straightjacketed girl said while she stood up from the container. "I'll grant you a great gift, Boya..."

"Oh, you mean a Geass, the evil eye that will allow me to submit all enemies to my will and force anyone to follow my orders?" Negi asked. "Well, that's sort of morally questionable, but since I am playing the role of a—"

"Actually, " Evangeline interrupted him, "I was thinking of making you a vampire, but sure, if it's a Geass what you want, I can give you that. Negi as a vampire fics have been overdone already anyway..."


"Ah!" Hakase sighed, grabbing the edges of the table and staring, with stars in her eyes, at the picture of Chao on top of it. "Princess Chao of Britannia...! The most beautiful...ly smart and ingenious of all Britanic Chinese! Just wait! One of these days you'll notice me, and we'll embark together in a passionate mission to revolutionize the world forever! In the meanwhile, I shall have to satisfy my basest appetites with this primitive implement of furniture and your photographic image! You know, one of these days I'll just have to make myself a consolator. I mean, I'm a super genius, for Einstein's sake..."

"Excuse me, but I believe that's my half sister you're talking about there, " Nekane politely said from behind her, wheeling herself closer.

"Ha ha!" Hakase laughed. "It doesn't matter! Your visual disability means I can procceed freely with what I was about to do!"

"Actually, I can hear you rather well..." Nekane pinched her nose. "And smell you as well. Good God, woman...!"

"You're just jealous you can't stand up to lean on a comforting and understanding table!"


"This, " Shizuna-sensei smiled at Kotaro, very glad her Kikuko Inoue voice allowed her to play Cecile. It had been so long since her last paid gig, and she couldn't stomach cat food anymore, "is the Lancelot, Kotaro-kun, the greatest and deadliest massive machine of warfare of the Empire. We must make sure that, under no circumstances, it is taken and piloted by any unprepared, dense, stubborn, shortsighted, brainless young hero that happens to pass by."

Kotaro looked up at her. "Not even if they can do really good spin kicks?"

"Well, physical dexterity is a desirable trait in a pilot, yes, but..."

"Dibs!" the boy said, jumping into the cockpit.


"Good morning, Negi-sensei," Chachamaru quietly said, walking into the room wearing her maid outfit. "The breakfast is ready, and..."

Negi woke up with the sound of her voice, then made a strident yell as he noticed the straightjacketed girl sleeping on top of him. "GYAH! IT'S YOU!"

Evangeline groaned and slammed a pillow down on his head. "Of course it's me, imbecile! I was a prisoner of a fucking government facility, do you think I had a wide variety of places where to go? Now let me sleep and bring me brunch in four hours or so!"

Nekane wheeled in after Chachamaru. "Negi, there are a few things we need to discuss about your students. For starters, I can't approach a table anymore with a clean... Is that the smell of a woman in an old unwashed straightjacket?"

Negi moaned and bashed his head against a wall. "Bring me the Zero costume, Chachamaru. I need to go, I don't know, scheme something somewhere far out of here."


Nagi Dick.

Call me Madoka. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely, that is no thing to ask of a lady — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation, although I am far too young to worry about that, but that is besides the matter... Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly Chapter 353 in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet even though no one ever dies in Negima; and especially whenever my teenagehood gets such an upper Emo hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking flirty men's teeth off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for harassing little boys and chasing them around with my friends to stick mind controlling onion leeks up their butts. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword, or so says Yue who is the one who knows about that crap; I quietly take to the ship.


"But what's this long face about, Miss Chisame; wilt thou not chase the white whale! Art not game for Nagi Dick?"

"I am game for his crooked jaw, and for the jaws of Death too, Captain Evangeline, if it fairly comes in the way of the business we follow; but I came here to hunt whales, not my commander's vengeance. How many barrels will thy vengeance yield thee even if thou gettest it, Captain Evangeline? It will not fetch thee much in our Mahora market."

"Mahora market! Hoot! But come closer, Chisame; thou requirest a little lower layer. If money's to be the measurer, woman, and the accountants have computed their great counting-house the globe, by girdling it with guineas, one to every three parts of an inch; then, let me tell thee, that my vengeance will fetch a great premium here!"

"She smites her chest, " whispered Makie, "What's that for? Methinks it rings most vast, but hollow."

"Are thee calling me fat but flat chested?-!"


"Aye, aye! It was that accursed idiot white whale that razeed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!" Then tossing both arms, with measureless imprecations she shouted out: "Aye, aye! And I'll chase him round India, and round the Mol-Mol, and round the Pararakelse, and round perdition's flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, women! To chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out."

All that most maddens and torments; all the manga that finished before their time; all that stirs up the lees of things; all the sneaky maneuvers of Kodansha; all truth with malice in it; all of Ishihara's machinations; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all of Kubo's trolling; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Evangeline, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Nagi's di— errr, in Nagi Dick. She piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by her whole race from Dracula down; and then, as if her chest had been a mortar, she burst her hot heart's shell upon it.

It still would have been quite a flat mortar, tho'.


"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale, n-not that I like thee or anything; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! And since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned idiot whale! THUS, I give up the spear!"

The harpoon was darted; the stricken idiot whale flew forward; with igniting velocity the line ran through the grooves;—ran foul. Evangeline stooped to clear it; she did clear it; but the flying turn caught her round the neck, and voicelessly as Turkish mutes bowstring their victim, she was shot out of the boat, before the crew knew she was gone. Next instant, the heavy eye-splice in the rope's final end flew out of the stark-empty tub, knocked down an oarswoman, and smiting the sea, disappeared in its depths.


The drama's done. Why then here does any one step forth?—Because one did survive the wreck.

It so chanced, that after the Honya's disappearance, I was she whom the Fates ordained to take the place of Evangeline's bowswoman, when that bowswoman assumed the vacant post; the same, who, when on the last day the three women were tossed from out of the rocking boat, was dropped astern. So, floating on the margin of the ensuing scene, and in full sight of it, when the halfspent suction of the sunk ship reached me, I was then, but slowly, drawn towards the closing vortex. When I reached it, it had subsided to a creamy pool. Round and round, then, and ever contracting towards the button-like black bubble at the axis of that slowly wheeling circle, like another Ixion I did revolve. Till, gaining that vital centre, the black bubble upward burst; and now, liberated by reason of its cunning spring, and, owing to its great buoyancy, rising with great force, the coffin life-buoy shot lengthwise from the sea, fell over, and floated by my side. Buoyed up by that coffin, for almost one whole day and night, I floated on a soft and dirgelike main. The unharming kempo sharks, they glided by as if with padlocks on their mouths; the savage crow demons sailed with sheathed beaks. On the second day, a sail drew near, nearer, and picked me up at last. It was the devious-cruising Hinata, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan.


Elseworld.

In the Autumn of 2003, I was contacted by Kakizaki Genjuro. I knew of the mass disappearance case, of course, since I hadn't been living under a rock. It was in everyone's mouths for months, because it had all the markings of a scandalous mystery, the kind we hadn't had for decades. In this age where everything can be explained, the vanishing of almost everyone in a classroom of an elite feminine academy, plus their cute and sympathetic child prodigy teacher, had all the ingredients for the shock news of the decade. Asakura Kazumi's book on the subject is the best proof of the sensational coverage that event had on Japanese society, of course, from the implied elements of xenophobia to the deep and yet all too quickly passing ruminations on the state of our then-current youth.

Kakizaki Genjuro wasn't satisfied with the work the Japanese police and even Scotland Yard were doing on the subject. He had the impression they were hiding something, and I was hired to cover that angle, being one of Japan's most effective private detectives. I knew of the possible risks involved in every high profile case, naturally, but it all was part of my job. So I took the offer, and then the next plane to Wales.

I talked with the older sister of young Mr. Springfield, one of the last, if not the absolute last, to see the class. Many suspected of her, but I don't think she had anything to do with it. It was obvious her brother's loss had devastated her, since she spoke nothing but vaguely implied nonsense. She sobbed at random points of our interview, then continued talking as if nothing had happened. Right before I departed, she took me aside, showed me some recent pictures of the latest unexplained sightings of natural phenomena on the surface of planet Mars, and went on a long and babbling rant on how that had been the tomb of her brother and millions more. Poor woman.

I must say, however, she made the best tea I have ever tasted.

Every path I investigated was a dead end. All clues ultimately led to nothing. After two weeks, I had nothing to show Kakizaki-sama. Then one night at a pub, drowning my sorrows, I ran once again into Inugami 'Lone Wolf' Kotaro, my self professed rival. We hadn't met for months, so he was all too happy to boast of how he had been hired by Senator Yukihiro to look on the old man's niece and her whereabouts. Typical. Even at this, he outdid me, landing himself a richer sponsor. However, I found some comfort on knowing he hadn't gone any further than me. So much for his fabled nose.

Two days after, the strange men rang at my hotel room's door and warned me in a thinly veiled way about continuing my investigations. They hinted at things man wasn't supposed to know. When I asked them, with my best snarking tone, why they weren't suited in black with dark glasses, they made very clear they weren't joking.

The day after, Kakizaki-sama called me. He thanked my efforts but said he had to recall my services. Noticing the added strain in his voice, I bluntly asked him if he had been visited. He said nothing but warning me he'd pay for my ticket back and add a generous bonus for my wasted time, but beyond that, he wouldn't make himself responsible for me.

I pride myself on being pragmatic, so I returned to Japan in the next flight. Inugami was on the seat next mine. But he didn't want to talk on anything for the whole trip. A first for him.

Months ago, we met again in a cafe, and he only told me he had seen things he just wanted to forget forever. We haven't touched the subject ever since.

One night, I was visited by a young woman in a concealing trenchcoat, hat and glasses. She was very pretty, but despite her smile, I could feel something oddly cracked within her.

I managed to recognize her from those class rosters I had to study carefully years ago. "Number Seventeen, right?"

She nodded. "I was the lucky one. Please tell Misa-chan's father I'm sorry."

I called him to tell him that. He only said he understood.

I'll take the rest of what Shiina-san told me to my grave.

I think she only was saying nonsense, anyway. Much like Springfield-san.

Last night, I had the oddest dream about two other girls in that class roster. One with glasses, and one with dark bangs all over her cute face. We were friends.

But dreams are only dreams.