A/N: 1. Once again, everyone, thanks for the support. I now have over twenty faves for this fic! Yay! (Not impressive for some, but impressive for me.)
2. OverMaster and I had a discussion and we decided that this fic is NOT a previous time-loop of Unequally Rational and Emotional, but merely a parallel universe to it which can be traveled to by means of certain technology (eg. Like 2814!Chao) or with certain powers (eg. Like Unequally!Madoka). (He was too guilty about the insinuation that his universe overwrote mine.)
3. If I had decent art skills (which I don't), I would have been making pactio cards for this from the beginning. However, with the aid of a computer, I end up capable of making recognizable (if still poor) images. As such, I'll tell you where to find pactio cards for this fic at the end of the chapter.
The next morning had beautiful weather. Everything was perfect for the class's free time in Nara…Well, almost everything.
"Owwww!" moaned Ayaka as she clutched her head and slouched for the bath. "Why am I affected more than anyone else?"
"That's what you get from drinking the most." Chisame replied.
"I have a home remedy for hangovers!" Chizuru offered. Ayaka, backed away slowly, remembering what Chizuru's "home remedies" consisted of.
"I've got something better." claimed Kazumi as she held out a glass.
"Er...Let me see if a bath helps first.", said Ayaka as she got in. The rest of the group (with the exception of Sayo, who was in the room) joined her.
"Owwwwww!" said Ayaka again and she pressed her hand against her head. Chisame and Natsumi stared at their three very busty group members, before Natsumi turned around and tears filled her eyes. While she was used to staying with Chizuru and Ayaka, being put in this group had reminded her of how undeveloped she was compared to most of her class mates.
"...They're all huge..." muttered Chisame as she took off her glasses and gave the rest of her group a glare. "...Damn."
"Iinchou, drinking this will fix you right up!" said Kazumi as she offered the glass again.
"All right." sighed Ayaka as she took the glass and rubbed her temple. "Uuu...n...My head hurts..."
Chizuru as she gently placed her hand on Natsumi's shoulder. "None of them are middle-school student sized!" Natsumi complained.
"Uuu..." moaned Ayaka, "I don't remember a thing after we went to the Kiyomizu Waterfall yesterday..." Her face was still flushed and her eyes didn't display their usual liveliness. However, the rest of the girls seemed to have recovered from their hangovers.
"And we missed out on the first night of the trip too!" complained Yuuna who was also a little red. "Damn it!"
Konoka walked over to Anya with a tray of food, back to her usual cheerful self. Anya was glad that she didn't seem to be negatively affected by the previous night's experience.
"Thanks for last night!" she said as she placed a finger to her lips. "You came to save me! I'm going to thank the others now."
"Well, I would be a failure as a teacher if I couldn't look after my students." Anya smiled.
"...Ah, Se-chan!" said Konoka, perking up as she saw her bodyguard. Setsuna turned around and started carrying her tray in the opposite direction. "Ah Why are you leaving!-?" Konoka asked, "Don't be embarrassed! Let's eat together! Se-chan! Why are you running away!-?"
"I-I'm not running away!" said Setsuna as she ran away. The hall was filled with laughter.
"What's going on there?" Misa asked.
"What's that all about?" asked a worried Ako. "That's the first time I've seen Sakurazaki-san with an expression like that."
"I wonder if something happened last night?" said Makie.
"Uuu..." Yuuna frowned as she pulled a fist, "Are they having fun without letting me in on it?"
"Kuuuuu!" Sakurako cheered as she swung her arms into the air. "I'm definitely not sleeping tonight!"
After breakfast, as the Narutaki twins were running around, Makie suddenly grabbed Anya and said, "Anya-chan! Come along with our group today! We can talk about what I was talking about on the train!"
"Just a…Makie-san," said Ayaka as she shoved Makie out of the way, "Anya-chan should come along with my Group Three!"
"Ah! What!-?" Makie asked as she put a hand behind her head. "I asked her first!"
"Anya-chan," pleaded Ayaka, "please come with Group Three!"
"Anya-chan!" Makie begged. "Group Four! Group Four!"
"What's this?" Sakurako asked. "Are they fighting over Anya-chan?"
"WAIT!" ordered Anya. I've already done my cheering up of Ayaka. She thought. It could be nice to spend time with Makie, though I should teach her to be more discreet. She is the only person in her group that knows about magic, so discussing it with her would not be a good idea. (Well, Mana might know, but still.) Plus, I still have duties to perform. That monkey woman is still out there. We have to prepare in case she attacks again. The whole of Group Five knows about my magic and it contains Konoka so it is a likely target. She cleared her throat. "I'm sorry about having to disappoint some of you," she said, "but I have to spend today with Group Five. I'll try to spend some time with the other groups later in the trip."
The groups soon split up to see the areas that they were most interested in. While most groups went to the area around Nara Park where most of the sights were, Group One headed for the Central City at the cheerleaders' insistence. While Fumika was group leader and could technically pull rank, a member of The Walking Club is glad to explore a new area no matter where it was.
"All right!" said Misa. "We can finally do some shopping! After losing out on Kyoto yesterday, I'm not going to skip the opportunity to buy things in Nara!"
"Ooh! Look at all the souvenirs!" said Sakurako as she leaned over to take a better look herself.
"Just remember that we can't blow our whole budget for the trip." sighed Madoka.
"Ooh! You're such a worrywart!" Sakurako scolded her with a shaking finger and a pout. "Everything will be fine!" She swung her arms up in emphasis.
"Well, hurry up!" said Fuuka as she tapped her foot. "There's a lot more to see!"
"Ooh!" said Sakurako again.
"What is it this time?" Fumika asked.
"There was a doll that looked like Sakurakazaki-san!" Sakurako explained. "We could have bought it for Konoe-san!"
"We arrived-aru!" announced Ku Fei.
"And why are we going into the forest?" asked Misora as she looked up at the trees.
"This is Kasuga Forest-yo!" Chao explained. "Not only is it a tourist attraction, but you have the same family name! Don't you think that you should visit it-ne?"
"I'd prefer staying away from the wild beasts." replied Misora now eyeing the deer.
You don't need to be afraid of the deer. said Satsuki. They even wander around in the park. They're very tame and their horns are cut off for safety.
She offered a deer one of the biscuits that she had brought which it eagerly began eating.
"Forests are excellent places to visit-de gozaru." Kaede declared before jumping up to one of the branches. She thought that she might as well do some training. Plus it allowed her to communicate with the Chibi-Setsuna that had been left with them if necessary. She also decided that she might have to discuss recent events with Ku Fei. Once they were a way off from the others, Chao switched to Mandarin again.
"It seems that last night's events followed my expectations." she said.
"Yes." Satomi answered. "As you said, the attempt to kidnap Konoe was unsuccessful, but you also said that they would not give up yet."
"That is correct, but we need them to carry on." replied Chao. "Inugami needs to meet and bond with Anya and her allies."
"And you know him well enough to be sure that he won't threaten your plans?" asked Satomi.
"Satomi," scolded Chao, "you know me better than that! All the major players of this timeframe have been thoroughly researched."
"All right Asakura-san," Ayaka sighed, "we're at the Nara City Museum of Photography like you asked, but after this, we're definitely seeing the Heijo Palace site. We can't visit Nara without seeing any of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara! They're World Heritage sites!"
"I agree with Iinchou." said Chisame. "Why can't we just be normal tourists?
"I'm sure that there's time for us to do things that we'll all enjoy." Chizuru smiled. "What do you think, Natsumi? Is there a place that you would like us to visit?"
"Um...Well...If it's not too much trouble," said Natsumi, "I'd like to see Nara City Hall. It would be nice to see professional actors perform on stage."
"Don't worry." said Kazumi. "There'll be plenty of time for sightseeing, but if I learn something new here, I'll want to use it when I'm taking pictures of the sites."
"And why must you go out carrying that silly little doll around in your pocket?" Ayaka asked. "Aren't you a little old for that? Everyone can see it! You're embarrassing the class!"
"She's my good luck charm who helps me with my journalism skills." said Kazumi. "I'm not leaving her behind."
"Oh, Iinchou!" Chizuru exclaimed as she squeezed Ayaka from behind. "Surely you of all people understand the need a women has to care for one smaller or younger than oneself!"
"Okay." Ayaka sighed as she struggled to get out of Chizuru's embrace. "I suppose that there's no real harm in it." They walked into the museum leaving Chisame to herself for a few seconds. Well, almost to herself.
"Are you sure that you can stay out of sight in there?" she whispered.
A Chibi-Setsuna popped out of her pocket and placed a hand behind her head. "I'm a bit dumb, but at least know how to stay out of sight when following people."
"We're at Kasuga-shrine!" Makie yelled excitedly as she ran up to the gate of the large, reddish building. "Maybe, Kasuga-san should've come too?" She pressed a finger to her lips.
"Only if it was during the Kasuga Matsuri Monkey Festival." said Mana as she walked towards her.
Zazie raised three fingers.
"I think they're still in Kasuga Forest." explained Ako. "They'll probably come here later."
"But you know all about Shinto shrines, so you can give us the tour, right Tatsumiya-san?" Yuuna asked as she ran up to Mana.
"Well, without the Kasuga Masuri, Setsubun Mantoro or Obon Mantoro festivals going on at the moment, it's not that different from an ordinary shrine like the one I clean everyday." said Mana. "Still, this one is famous for its stone lanterns, so I can show you those."
"Yahoo!" Yuuna cheered as she ran inside.
"I like stuff!" Makie sang as she swung her arms and waltzed in.
"I guess that I better make sure that they're all right." Akira sighed as she walked inside.
"I'll come with you." said Ako.
"I'll be right there." called Mana before turning around and whispering. "You know that it's going to cost extra if I have to cover for you, right?"
A Chibi-Setsuna placed a hand behind her head and smiled nervously, "Yes, I know."
"I never thought that I'd see deer in a city." said Anya in amazement.
"Eh...They're pretty big too!" Asuna added. They looked around the park at the deer and other tourists.
"I hope that that monkey woman doesn't come back." said Anya.
Asuna merely grunted in response.
"I think we'll be okay for today...but just in case, I've sent shikigami after the other groups. If something happens, I'll know." said Setsuna. "I shall do my utmost to protect Konoka-ojou-sama...so please, just go ahead and enjoy the school trip."
"You can protect her while being by her side and talking to her directly, you know." said Asuna.
"N-no," Setsuna argued as she turned away, "someone such as I shouldn't be making carefree conversation with..."
"Yes, you should." Konoka interrupted. "I want to talk to you, Se-chan!"
"Exactly!" agreed Asuna. "What are you so embarrassed about Sakurazki-san?"
"I-I'm not embarassed!" Setsuna yelled as she blushed.
Yue, who was too busy paying attention to the temples to listen to the others, realised that they were now level with Todai-ji temple. "Let's go see the Buddha statue." she suggested.
"Okay!" agreed Konoka. "And then let's have some odangos!" They walked towards Todai-ji temple as Setsuna sighed in relief at the change of topic.
"Wow!" Nodoka exclaimed. "This Buddhist temple is huge!"
"True." Anya agreed.
"So Se-chan," asked Konoka, "you use Eastern magic, right?"
"Er...yes, Ojou-sama." said Setsuna as her eyes darted around the group before settling on Asuna. "Kagurazaka-san! I...er...need to discuss your...technique from last night! Yes! That's it!"
"Are you saying that you'll teach me to fight better?" Asuna asked as she stopped walking and widened her eyes.
"Er...Yes!" said Setsuna. "I'll do that!" She walked over to Asuna, leaving a frozen Konoka behind, who sighed and began following Anya and the librarians.
"Sheesh!" said Asuna as she placed her hands on her hips. "Why do you keep running away from Konoka?"
"We...are still close by." replied Setsuna. "I shouldn't have any problems protecting her."
"That's not what I mean!" said Asuna. "Why don't you talk to her?"
"If-if I...hadn't failed in my duties...as a protector..." Setsuna mumbled as she slowed down and lowered her head, "...then...Ojou-sama would never...have gotten involved...in the dangers of magic. She even...fought the Dark Evangel without my knowledge. I have failed her...yet again...and...am unworthy of her attention. The sooner that...Ojou-sama realizes that she is better off without me by her side...the better."
"Oh come on! That's a load of crap and you should know better than to think that!" Asuna yelled, pointing at Setsuna. "First of all, I know how Konoka found out about magic and there was nothing that you could have done about it! Secondly, even if you made mistakes, which you didn't, that doesn't mean that you can't be friends with Konoka! Thirdly, if you were by her side, you would have known what to protect her from more easily, and finally, and most importantly, Konoka wants you by her side so thinking that she's 'better off' otherwise is just rubbish!"
"K-Kagurazaka-san...?" Setsuna gasped as she stepped backwards in shock.
"I may not get good grades, but there are some things I do know." Asuna smiled as she rested a fist on her hip and let her other hand fall to her side. "Now, will you at least try doing it my way?"
"A-all right." said Setsuna whose eyes were still large from shock.
"Great!" said Asuna. "Now were you serious about being willing to teach me? I'm not good with academics, but I'm a fast learner with other things and I'd like to learn this."
"All right." said Setsuna. "I'm still in training myself, but maybe I can teach you a bit."
Here it is. announced Satsuki. Kasuga shrine. That wasn't so bad, was it Kasuga-san?
"We still have to walk back again." said Misora as she walked into the light and gave cautious glances back at the forest and at the shrine in front of them. "Besides that, aren't places of worship traditional horror settings?"
"You work at a place of worship, ne?" Chao asked.
"I'm used to my church." Misora replied. "And even it sometimes gives me the creeps."
"If you not keep jumping at your shadow-aru," said Ku Fei with a raised finger, "we already left by now-aru!"
"Affirmative." said Satomi. "We might not have a chance to see the museum at this rate."
"There's no need to rush-de gozaru." Kaede smiled. "I enjoyed our time in the forest."
"I just wish that you would stop popping out of nowhere!" said Misora. "It's creepy!"
"Heijo Palace!" said Ayaka as she spread her arms in emphasis, "This is what we're here for!"
"We can see it, Iinchou." Chisame sighed as she trudged up to where Ayaka had stopped. "It's not like it's hard to miss."
"Ah," Ayaka sighed as she leaned over one of the flowerbeds, "aren't the flowers beautiful?"
"Why do I bother talking?" Chisame mumbled.
"Er, yes." said Natsumi, "They are."
"Why don't we all join Iinchou in admiring the flowers?" Chizuru asked as she grabbed the arms of Natsumi and Chisame and dragged them forward.
"I'll just take some shots from over here." said Kazumi grinning at Chisame's struggles and bulging eyes.
At Gango-ji temple, Zazie pointed out the various demon statues.
"Wow," said Yuuna when looking at one of them, "that's a bit of an erotic pose, don't you think?"
"I could do that." said Makie as she tilted her head to the side.
"We've seen you perform, Makie-chan." said Akira. "We know how flexible you are."
"I don't think that you should try though." said Ako.
"Yes." Akira agreed. "That would be inappropriate."
"I don't know why you're surprised." said Mana. "Did you think that demons don't do anything erotic?"
"I never thought about it before." said Makie as she touched her lip in consideration.
Setsuna had nervously shifted back to Konoka's side as they walked through the temple after giving Asuna a few tips. "Hey, Se-chan!" Konoka smiled. "You know Eastern magic, right?"
"Er...Yes, Ojou-sama." replied Setsuna, "A little."
"Well, Anya-chan has been teaching us Western magic," said Konoka, "but from what you said, my family is good with Eastern magic and I've been wanting to learn that as well from when I first heard about it. Could you teach me?"
Anya remembered Konoka's desire to learn Eastern magic from her first magic lesson. Obviously, that hadn't faded.
"I-I'm not sure that I would be a good teacher, Ojou-sama," said Setsuna, "but I'm willing to try."
"You'll be fine, Se-chan!" said Konaka as she grabbed hold of her bodyguard and hugged.
"Um...um...I..." Setsuna stuttered as her face turned bright red, "I don't know much about Western magic, so perhaps I'll need Anya-sensei to correct me, but from what I hear, Western mages make use of an energy that they call "mana"."
"Yes, Anya-chan said so." giggled Konoka. "Like Tatsumiya-san!"
"That's right." said Anya. "Mana is an energy found in all things. While everyone has a natural reserve that they can draw from and those with higher reserves can become more powerful mages, we draw the mana from the air in order to achieve magical effects."
"Right." said Setsuna. "Well, Eastern magic works in a similar way, but with important differences. Eastern mages don't use mana and instead use "ki". From what I understand, mana is a spiritual energy."
"Yes," said Anya, "mana is spiritual, it requires willpower and mental and emotional control to use."
"As I thought." said Setsuna. "Well, ki is a related energy, but is more physical. In fact, they are really two forms of the same kind of energy, but their difference in form makes it so that they are used differently, even though it is possible to create the same effects with both. As you are now familiar with using mana, it may be better for you to use it to cast Eastern spells rather than learning to manipulate ki from scratch. As such, Anya-sensei should help with these lessons."
"I should help?" Anya asked with raised eyebrows.
"Yes. After all, you have already been teaching Ojou-sama about magic." Setsuna said. "While there are exceptions, most mages who learn both Eastern and Western magic find it easier to use only one power source to power both types of magic. Spells will be slightly less effective when powered by the wrong energy, but they are still fine for most purposes. It's only mages who want lots of power from both types of magic that learn to manipulate both forms of energy. Also, you have a great mind, perfect for manipulating mana, but ki is drawn directly from ones own muscles. This is why Eastern mages need to exercise and keep fit. That's why I am able to use it as martial arts also uses ki manipulation. Besides, with your reserves of mana, you wouldn't need to worry about power anyway."
"Why not?" asked Konoka. "What's special about my mana reserves?"
"You are the heir of powerful mages, Ojou-sama." replied Setsuna. "Your mana reserves are the largest ever recorded. You have the potential to be more powerful even than The Thousand Master himself."
"The Thousand Master?" Konoka asked. "Negi-san's father who trapped Eva-chan?"
"Yes." Anya replied with huge eyes. "He was a very famous mage. Said to be the most powerful mage ever. Or at least one of them. He got his title from being able to cast a thousand spells."
"Yes." Setsuna added. "He is well known in the Eastern magical community as well."
"So, you can teach me?" asked Konoka.
"Very well." said Setsuna as she pulled out some paper cutouts. "Most Eastern magic as opposed to direct ki manipulation, channels ki into stencils or charms as opposed to Western magic which channels mana through staves, wands or rings. These are stencils that I use to make shikigami. I mostly use them to make miniature versions of or duplicates of myself, but other things can be made too. I've already sent some following other groups to keep them safe, but I can make another one here." She looked around to make sure that no one was watching and then wrote on the stencil before concentrating and whispering. Suddenly, the stencil disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving Chibi-Setsuna in its place.
"KAWAII!" Konoka squealed as she grabbed Chibi-Setsuna and hugged her, making sure that she didn't crush her.
Back in Kyoto, Tsukuyomi was squirming on a couch. "Why can't we go now!-?" she whined.
"I agree." Kotaro growled. He wasn't known for his patience and he hadn't seen any action yet. "It's simple. We just grab the princess and leave. I don't get how you screwed it up first time, but you're a girl and not much of a fighter, so that's kind of understandable, but what's a Western mage going to do with me helping you? If frills here had come with you from the start, you would probably have managed the first time!"
"I would have managed the first time!" Chigusa replied. "If only she didn't have allies!"
"What, another Western mage?" spat Kotaro. "Or did she have partners?" Now that might actually be interesting. He hoped that this Western mage had acquired a strong man as a partner to actually make this worth his time.
"Both!" snarled Chigusa. "And a shinmeiryuu traitor! To stoop so low as to serve Western mages! Disgusting!"
"Yes! I want to see my sempai again!" Tsukuyomi squealed. "And that knight in shining armour! With those lovely spikes!"
"The one who punched you in the face?" asked Chigusa.
"Yes!" Tsukuyomi replied with glee as she sat bolt upright and placed her hands against her face, "So romantic! And one of those mages gave me this tingly feeling! Oooh! I want to feel that again!"
"It's called experiencing an electric shock." Chigusa deadpanned.
"Yes, that one knows how to make a girl feel good! I can tell. Maybe, I should return the favor and make that mage feel tingly too." Tsukuyomi licked her sword before swinging it, "Raimeiken!" Electric sparks flew from the sword.
"Don't destroy anything!" ordered Chigusa. "You'll get your chance soon enough. Just be patient."
Kotaro started to wonder about Tsukuyomi and Chigusa's claims. At least he wasn't as bad as Fate, that weird boy who just seemed to sit and observe. A shinmeiryuu, a knight and mages powerful enough to harm a shinmeiryuu? Maybe this would be a fun assignment after all. He'd better make sure that he got a front line role in the next attempt. He smirked. Finally someone new to test out his strength on.
Anya returned to the hotel and had a bath. Luckily, no one interrupted her this time. She then went to have a meeting with her partners, Asuna, Konoka and Setsuna.
"Were you satisfied with my shikigami's observation?" asked Setsuna.
"It's creepy enough having to keep Aisaka-san with us!" Chisame complained. "Now we have to cart around a chibi-you as well!-?"
Kazumi frowned "Apologize to Sayo-chan!" she said, holding the doll in front of Chisame's face. "She hasn't done anything to inconvenience you and I've been keeping her with me!"
"Not to mention that as Chibi-Setsuna can levitate, you don't have to carry her around." Setsuna added.
"All right, fine." said Chisame. "I'm sorry."
"Well, I think that Chibi-Setsuna is adorable." said Konoka as she smiled and grabbed hold of Setsuna's arm.
"Um...Thank you, Ojou-sama," Setsuna blushed, "b-but that...isn't their purpose. They're...for protection."
"They're certainly useful for allowing us to communicate-de gozaru." said Kaede.
"Well, we can also use pactio cards and cell phones for that." Anya shrugged.
"There is nothing wrong with a backup plan-de gozaru." said Kaede, "Also, we need to work on teamwork and combat. We weren't very coordinated while fighting Eva-dono nor while rescuing Konoka-dono-de gozaru."
"I...suppose you have a point there." Anya reluctantly agreed.
"Se-chan is teaching me Eastern magic." Konoka smiled. "Maybe that will help."
"I'd prefer it if you didn't need to use it, Ojou-sama." said Setsuna. "And if you're kidnapped again, they'll probably prevent you from using magic like last time."
"Well, I still need to deliver that letter," said Anya, "So I thought that I should try during tomorrow's free activity time."
"Then we'll need a plan." said Yue, "Only Group Five will be able to come with without arousing suspicion."
"What's going on Anya-sensei?" asked Ayaka with a smile as she walked in with Yuuna, Makie and Chizuru. They were all already wearing their yukutas.
"I...was just discussing something with some of the students." said Anya, "Actually, I promised to speak with Makie too. I'll have to do that."
"With me!-?" Makie smiled.
"Wait," asked Ayaka, "what do you need to discuss with them that you don't have to with me?" More footsteps came down the corridor and Nitta walked in.
"Hey girls!" he said. "It's almost time for bed! Hurry up and get back to your own rooms!" He turned to Anya. "Don't get too soft with your students, Anya-sensei."
"Oh, I won't be." said Anya.
"We should discuss the plan in Group Five's room." Yue whispered to Anya.
"Kagurazaka-san," said Setsuna, "let's begin the patrol."
"Bleeeeeh!" Makie complained as she headed for her room while glancing back where she came from. "Stupid Nitta!"
"We wasted last night on sleep," said Yuuna as she winked and stuck out her tongue, "but tonight we're gonna play for the whole night!" She opened the door to their room and received a pillow in the face from Ako. Not only were the rest of group Four in their room, but so was most of Group Two.
"Eh he he." Ako giggled as she picked up another pillow. Akira, Ku Fei and Kaede were already holding theirs.
"You've done it now!" said Yuuna as she picked up one herself.
Meanwhile, Satsuki and Natsumi had joined Group One in their room and they were all huddled under their blankets around a candle telling stories.
"...and the next night, when that mangaka was working all by himself...there came a voice from the radio which should have been disconnected..." Misa whispered ominously, "...a voice from a woman who was no longer of this world!"
"Gyaaaaaaah!" Fuuka squealed as she began to cry even more than her sister. "...and?" Misa smiled having got the reaction she was looking for.
"Okay!" she said. "The next story's going to be a dirty one!"
"Hey, 3A!" yelled Nitta as he, Seruhiko and Shizuna opened the doors. "Cut it out!" He gathered the class together and had them sit in sieza before him. "Sheesh!...I thought it was a little too quiet last night!" he lectured, "Anya-sansei may have been soft on you so far, but as long as I'm director of academy external activities, I won't let you have your way! From this point onwards, you are all forbidden from leaving your rooms! If I find any of you outside, you'll find yourself sieza-sitting in the lobby! Are we clear?"
"Eeeeeeeeh!-?" Fumika squealed.
"Sieza-sitting in the lobby!-?" asked Yuuna.
"Sorry about this, everyone!" Shizuna apologized, once her fellow teachers had left.
"Boooo! This is boring!" complained Fuuka. "I want a pillow fight!"
"And more than a pillow fight, I wanted to stay up and have an indecent talk." said Misa.
"All right!" said Ayaka. "But we've gotten into enough trouble tonight, so you can't do any of that! Now hurry up and get to your own rooms!"
Just before eleven, Asuna and Setsuna entered Anya's room. "Anya, we're back from patrolling!-!" Asuna announced.
"There were no signs of abnormalities." Setsuna declared. "I've made the barrier stronger too. Yue wanted us to meet in our room though, as Group Five will be aiding you in your delivery tomorrow."
"Then we better go." Anya sighed.
"But won't the other teachers worry if you disappear in the middle of the night?" Asuna asked.
"Hmmm…" Setsuna considered before handing over a stack of stencils, "Then I shall lend you these 'substitution stencils'."
"Ah!" said Anya as she took them. "These were the things that you showed Konoka earlier, right?"
"That's right." Setsuna answered. "Just take the brush and write your name on one in Japanese. Then say, "Charm-san, Charm-san, please take my place.". You'll be able to give the shikigami orders afterwards."
"Okay." said Anya and she began writing. "This is harder than using a pen!"
"You can use Katakana," Setsuna assured her, "but destroy any mistakes you make. It's dangerous to leave improperly made shikigami to their own devices."
"Right." Anya grimaced as she crushed the smudged stencil that she had just created.
"I didn't get a chance last night," Yuuna begged, "but please may I touch your guns."
"No." replied Mana as she continued polishing them.
"Fine," Yuuna pouted as she folded her arms, "then you don't get to play with my tanks! Zazie, would you like to play with them?"
"..." said Zazie as she picked up three toy tanks and started juggling them.
"I...don't think that that's how you're supposed to play with tanks." Akira said as she pointed hesitantly at Zazie.
"It should be fine as long as she doesn't hurt herself." Ako countered. "Personally, I don't get the obsession with war and weapons."
"All right." Madoka panted. "We've agreed that Sakurako-chan won the pillow fight. Now that we've worn ourselves out, shouldn't we get to bed?"
"But the night is still young!" Sakurako squealed. "There is so much more we can do!"
"But let's keep it down!" urged Fumika. "We don't want Nitta to find out!"
"Well, I never got to tell my indecent, dirty story." Misa said matter-of –factly. "That should be fairly quiet."
"Well, if that's all the strategy done, we should get back to practicing." Anya yawned.
"Yes." Yue agreed. "Some more practice would be good."
"All right." said Anya. "Let's try hitting a spot on the ground, just outside the window with Sagitta Magica." She opened the windows.
"All right." Yue agreed as they got out their wands. "Fo zo crattica Socratica. Gather to me, eleven spirits of air and strike mine enemy. Sagitta Magica, convergentia Fulguralis."
"Hon wo mamotte." chanted Nodoka, "Gather to me, three spirits of earth and strike my opponent. Sagitta magica, convergentia sabulonis."
"Dai Paru-sama ero manga hikiukeru Sekai! Come to me! My three servant spirits of wood! And smite! That traitor! Of the new world! Sagitta magica convergentia lignis!" Haruna chanted.
"Kenko to unmei." Konoka began, "Gather to me, seventeen spirits of light and strike mine enemy. Sagitta magica, convergentia lucis."
Finally, Anya chanted, "Fortis la tius lilith lilioth. Oh twenty nine spirits of fire gather to me and strike mine enemy. Sagitta magica series ignis." After the ground was blasted with electricity, sand, splinters, light and fire, Anya nodded and said, "It looks like you're all getting the hang of it."
Back in Anya's room, the stencil unfolded in the in and crawled out as it transformed into a duplicate of Anya. "My name is An;" it greeted the correctly made shikigami.
"My name is Anna Yurievna Cocolova." replied the other shikigami as it nodded its head in acknowledgement. "My orders are to sleep in the room."
"I don't have any orders." shrugged An-semi colon.
"I have to ask, Principal Konoe-sensei," said Takamichi, "why couldn't you go to Kansai yourself?"
"I can't go anywhere near Nara!" exclaimed Konoemon as his massive eyebrows raised rapidly.
"...Why not?" asked Takamichi.
"It's full of deer!" Konoemon declared dramatically as he slammed his palms down onto his desk.
"...So?" asked Takamichi hesitantly.
"Don't you know that deer and principals are natural enemies!" Konoemon explained.
A/N: 1. I must credit Wikipedia and Wikitravel for the information on Nara that I researched for this chapter.
2. Akamatsu said that he wanted Setsuna and Asuna to become best friends and was disappointed that it didn't end up that way. Personally, I think that he came really close to achieving that and I like the idea, so I'm hoping to throw in some more Asuna and Setsuna bonding. Shanejayell says that in his opinion, they came a little too close in Mundus Magicus. He has a point there, but I think that the relationship ended up slightly uneven. While Setsuna probably thinks of Asuna as her best friend (and possibly fantasizes about something more, judging from the shower scene) Asuna is still closer to Konoka (of course, Setsuna's also closer to Konoka, but that's a whole other story).
3. I googled the statue I mentioned and if it's the one I think it is, it's not as bad as I imagined.
4. Konoka hasn't met Chibi-Setsuna in canon. Fanfiction needs to fix this grave error.
5. Also, I went into more detail than the manga does on ki, Eastern magic and how they differ from their Western equivalents. This is a result of a combination of observation, guesswork and what I think sounds good. According to Marq FJA, it isn't called mana in the original Japanese, but Anya would use the English term anyway.
6. Then, as Konoka hasn't met Negi yet, I don't think that she's ready to call him "kun" yet.
7. Disturbingly, writing Tsukuyomi has disturbed me far less than I expected it to. I suppose that I have written some disturbing things in the past which has built up a resistance. Also, injuring her is the most effective way of flirting with Tsukuyomi, so yeah. I was originally going to put the scene with the dissidents in later, but after thinking about it a bit, I decided that it made more sense to be in this chapter.
8. I seriously debated killing the cat that Negi saved in the manga, but decided that it was a tad dark for this part of the story. Also, Anya wasn't doing anything else at the time so she could easily have saved it herself. I made a rough estimate on how long it would take Ayaka to interrupt them in order to determine the length of the conversation.
9. I debated whether or not Anya would create a mistake shikigami like Negi did. While I wouldn't expect her to get it right first time, Setsuna was with her. Still, it was requested that I go ahead and do it, so I decided that Setsuna didn't realise that Anya hadn't destroyed it completely. Plus it allows me to work in stuff that comes up later.
10. "Hon wo mamotte." is Nodoka's activation key. It's Keigo (polite Japanese) for "protect the books". Thank you to Marq FJA for the correction. I decided to make Nodoka's element earth. The reason for this is that The Library Exploration Club are basically archaeologists and Nodoka becomes even more like one after reaching Mundus Magicus. (Also, it's a fun nod to her Foe Yay with Tertium. (Speaking of which, she also had that with Kotaro before he switched sides. I wonder if this is going to be a pattern.))
11. "Dai Paru-sama ero manga hikiukeru Sekai" is Haruna's activation key. I wanted something long and arrogant. It should mean "Great Paru-sama's ero manga conquer the world". Note that as Japanese does not differentiate between singular and plural form, it will still be accurate once she sets her sights on Mundus Magicus.
12. Negima has demonstrated that it uses more than the four Greek classical elements. As such I think it makes sense for the classical elements of other cultures to exist in the setting. Wood is, of course, an Eastern element. I wanted one of the librarians to have wood as their element due to the association with paper. I decided that Haruna fit best as the others fit better elsewhere, she also has a paper association from the Manga Club and it allows you to associate her with more lewd jokes.
13. Metal is another Eastern element, though it was also an Arabian element. Arabia also had sulphur as an element, though for the setting, I consider the more archaic term of "brimstone" to be more appropriate, especially as it has more interesting connotations.
14. The omake is a really obscure Nichijou reference. In one episode, the principal had a rather epic wrestling match with a deer that was a lot more violent than the show usually gets.
15. Thanks again to Japanese Teeth for proof-reading.
16. Apologies to those who were disappointed by my portrayal of Setsuna and Konoka's reunion as well as my lack of portrayal of their past (I thought that it's the same as in canon and isn't going to look better in prose). I will say that they have a long way to go before they catch up to their canon selves though, so I HOPE I can make it up to you.
17. Chao's plans are roughly the same as in canon, but we're seeing more of what they involve. Chao choosing a different language to prevent Ayaka and Satsuki from overhearing wouldn't actually help as I'll explain later. On that note, for similar reasons, my leaving out of Satsuki's quotation marks is intentional. This is equivalent to the fact that she doesn't use speech bubbles in canon. It's all hints to the fact that MSA!Satsuki doesn't actually speak. Her classmates (with the exception of Chao and Satomi) think that she does, but she communicates entirely non-verbally. This will make a bit more sense later.
18. I used the pactio maker on this thread: www dot giantitp dot com/forums/showthread dot php?t=158350 in order to create the pactio cards. Another one which allows more flexibility and is more accurate (but harder to use) is here: http colon /gorthank dot deviantart dot com/art/Pactio-Maker-Update-215056603.
So far, I've done Anya's first four cards. Hopefully, Kaede's will be ready before the next chapter.
Chisame's: http colon /img10 dot imageshack dot us/img10/5103/anyachisamepactio1 dot png
Haruna's: http colon /img43 dot imageshack dot us/img43/6662/harunaanyapactio1 dot png
Nodoka's: http colon /img19 dot imageshack dot us/img19/7215/nodokaanyapactio1 dot png
Yue's: http colon /img836 dot imageshack dot us/img836/4195/anyayuepactio1 dot png
EDIT: 19. I forgot to link Nodoka's card. Done now. Also, I forgot to mention that I corrected a mistake found by manticore-gurl071134 as well as some author's notes in the last chapter.