Kaith: Hey there single person who reviewed this story when it was still titled From the Heart of a Warrior. This story started out as the one-shot between Setsuna and Konoka but my friends and I were talking about Negima one night and some ideas started to form in my head for the other girls. Also this chapter was rewritten a bit.
#15: Setsuna Sakurazaki
I leaned against the railing of the floating city, Ostia, and looked over the landscape. Large battleships floated around the city; almost as if they were protecting the city. It was like her relationship with Konoka…
Konoka, she is such a wonderful girl. She is kind and caring, always ready to help a friend. I still remember the days of our youth…
"Set-chan! Let's play!"
I was young then and did not know how to address Ojou-sama then. Those days were the best of my life. We would spend hours playing hide-n-seek throughout the large estate, laughing and giggling away the days. I cherish those days in my heart forever; they seemed to last forever until I got that unforgiving wakeup call.
"Throw it here!" Konoka yelled, waving her hands wildly over her head.
"Here it comes!" I shouted, throwing the white ball as hard as I could.
I threw the ball too high and too far. Ojou-sama ran backwards and tripped over a rock and toppled into the river.
"Kono-chan!" I cried.
"Set-chan, h-help me!" I could hear her choking on the water. I knew not what to do; Konoka-ojou-sama was flailing in the water, struggling for her life.
The water was cold and the current pulled my smaller body towards her. I reached her and grabbed her arm.
"Kono-chan, hold on to me!" Konoka had grabbed my arm and I started swimming for shore but my water-logged clothes pulled me down and Konoka's extra weight did nothing to help me. The shore seemed to get farther away, my arms turned to lead, and the cold water was now numbing my flesh; I could go any farther.
Just then, an arm wrapped around me and pulled me out of the water. I could hear Konoka coughing somewhere behind me. We were wrapped in blankets and placed in front of a fire.
"It's okay, Set-chan." I couldn't look at her; I had failed Ojou-sama…
I was back in the estate, Konoka-ojou-sama was with her parents and my instructor was with me. "You were supposed to protect Konoka-ojou-sama! She almost died because of your lack of experience!"
A hard hand meets my face and a stinging sensation grew; I didn't dare cry or talk back to her. I heard a gasp but didn't turn my face to see who.
"She's just a child!" The woman who gasped ran into the room and confronted my instructor, "Why do you have to be so harsh?"
"She's a Sakurazaki! Her only reason to exist is to protect Konoka-ojou-sama! If it were me I would have thrown the girl out of the Shinmarguu School, just like her own clan threw her out."
The next ten years of my life was devoted to learning the way of the sword, I never forgot the day of the river. Even after my instructor left me and a new, kinder one, was assigned to me, I could never forget the day of my weakness.
After my training I found my way back to Konoka-ojou-sama. I would protect her from the shadows; I put as much distance between us as possible… but no matter how far apart we were I could never push away the feeling I had for her. I…loved her…
Protecting Konoka-ojou-sama is my duty,
Konoka's voice brought me back to reality. She was looking at me with intensity.
"Sorry, I kinda spaced out there."
"Ready Konoka?" Chamo asked.
Why was he here?
Konoka nodded and Chamo yelled his magic words. Before I could register what was happening, a warm circle was surrounding me and Konoka was inches from my face. Then, she kissed me. The light faded but Konoka did not yet remove her lips. The most blissful moment of my life seemed to last for years; the cracks in my from all those years I pushed her away, they were filled with this moment.
When Konoka pulled away, she smiled at me. "Now we're partners, Set-chan."