The recent chapter (342) brought to light many things and also caused me to doubt my choice of pairing Negi with Asuna, so she is back in the undecided quotient. You would ask why? But I assure you I have my reasons. Still it doesn't mean she is paired with Naruto, it is simply undecided to whom she is to be paired with. I am certain that by the end of this arc or at least start of the Mahora festival it certainly will be decided.
Now let us begin with the night of the first day at Kyoto.
I DO NOT OWN NARUTO AND MAHOU SENSEI NEGIMA!
12: The school trip – day 1 – First night at Kyoto.
"Ok! Now fess up, what in the world is going on?" asked Asuna as she cornered the blonde-sensei after helping him to get the drunken girls to their respective rooms.
"What?" asked a confused Naruto as he was pinned to a wall by a very annoyed Asuna.
Asuna seemed to not hear nor register the confused look on Naruto's face as she continued blabbering, "I mean first frogs appeared in the Shinkansen compartment out of nowhere, then a pit filled with frogs suddenly appeared in the path of the love-walk-thingy and then the water in the waterfall caused the girls to be drunk. It is as if all these things were done by magic…"
"Yes they were", Naruto said interrupting the bell-wearing girl.
Asuna looked at Naruto to say that he was joking, but the calm and somewhat serious look on his face told her that so was not the case as the blonde was telling the truth.
"From the looks on your face it would be proper to say that Negi didn't tell you anything about the trip and magic being involved…" said Naruto to which he received a no as a response from Asuna.
"… Let's go find the brat and the brat better hope that his reasons for not telling you be good or I am going to give him a wedgie", said Naruto with a pissed off look as he dragged Asuna along with him who was hard pressed to hold back her laughter at the blonde's eccentrics.
On his way to search for the young red head, Naruto briefed Asuna on the current situation. The girl freaked out at the idea of a magical organization targeting 3A, but also calmed herself at an alarming rate and voiced her decision of helping both him, Negi and Setsuna in anyways she could. This declaration calmed Naruto as he wanted someone to keep an eye on Negi seeing that he had his own business to take care of while Setsuna would be busy as the guard of Konoka. Finally the duo found Negi in the hall having an intense discussing with Chamo to his annoyance as the child mage was completely unaware of his surroundings and was having a noisy chat with his rat. He watched in amusement as Asuna started to berate the child-sensei and his rat for no informing her of the dangers and talked of her willingness of helping them.
"By the way Naruto-sama, where is Shinmei-ryuu-ane-san?" asked Chamo.
"She is busy placing wards and barriers around the inn", Naruto said nonchalantly.
He had offered to help her with that job as he was certain that when it came to barriers and seal work he was certainly better than the girl, but couldn't help her because of a single glance from her. He knew she was mad at him because of the incident at Kiyomizu Temple and the morning bathroom incident, but now he knew that the girl was not mad but on the contrary was furious. For the time being he decided to stay out of her sight.
"Something wrong Naruto/-nii-san/-sama?" asked Asuna, Negi and Chamo at the same time as they saw the blonde-sensei shiver.
"Nothing", said Naruto offhandedly as he figured that his body responded to his threats.
But before the four could discuss any further, Shizuna interrupted them, "Naruto-kun, Negi-sensei… It's almost time for the staff members to finish their baths."
"Ah! O… Ok, Shizuna-sensei!" said Negi in a panicked voice as he didn't notice Shizuna come behind him.
"Go ahead brat, I will join you in a couple of minutes", said Naruto as he walked towards Shizuna.
The two sat on a sofa in the hallway of the inn in complete silence for a couple of minutes as Shizuna sipped milk from the carton from the vending machine.
Finally the silence was broken as Shizuna spoke, "I informed her of our arrival in Kyoto."
"That's great", Naruto responded but not with his usual happy or calm self but rather his voice felt hollow.
Again a silence fell between the pseudo brother-sister duo which this time was broken by Naruto as he spoke with a hollow and sad voice, "I still don't know the reason she was mad at me."
That was it, the reason behind the separation of the inseparable duo of Ayumi and Naruto. She had been his anchor to life when he had accidently come to this world as the boy seemed to have lost interest in his life and was only concerned about achieving the objective of returning to his world and finishing of the Akatsuki as the last wish of the Kyuubi. She never pitied him, never consoled him, but was the first person he opened up to. It pained Shizuna to see both of them separated but she agreed with Ayumi there were certain things the blonde had to learn. So she along with Takamichi and Dean had never tried to reconcile the differences between the two.
She stood up and faced Naruto making direct eye-contact with the blonde as she spoke, "I know you will find a way to mend the differences between the two of you and again become the friends that you once were, Naru-kun…"
'… And maybe something even more than friends' she thought while she placed a gentle kiss on the blonde's forehead as she already knew how much both of them meant to each other even if both had yet to realize that.
Naruto sat on his pondering over the words of Shizuna as a thought lingered in his mind 'How am I going to mend the differences between us when I have no idea why she was mad at me in the first place.'
A few minutes later, Naruto absentmindedly walked towards the open bath house. A lot of things were running through his mind that he was completely oblivious to his surroundings. He was brought out of his stupor as he felt a menacing aura radiating from behind him. Finally coming to his senses, he found himself already in the open air bath house. That menacing aura that was radiating behind him, he easily recognized it to be similar to the times he spied on bath houses alongside Ero-sennin. He turned backwards in a mechanical fashion to find Setsuna standing there with righteous woman fury as her hand was placed on the scabbard of her nodaichi. But the thing that mattered to Naruto the most was that she was standing there with nothing covering her entire frame, not even the steam from the morning at their dorm-room bathroom giving him an unobstructed view of her entire body.
"They say the second time's the charm…" the words left Naruto's lips even though he didn't know why in the world was he saying that.
The very next moment the words left his lips, he had to leap back to avoid a slash from Setsuna's nodaichi.
'She is serious…' shouted Naruto in his mind as he dodged more slashed from the angered Setsuna.
…A few minutes earlier with Negi and Chamo…
The duo of the child mage and ermine had quickly made their way towards the onsen after Shizuna had reminded them of the bathing time for staff members was almost over. Normally Negi would love to stay away from any form of baths as he seemed to have a dislike towards personal hygiene, but the prospect of an open air bath fascinated him enough to overcome his hatred for taking baths. Both of them were going to ask Naruto to join them at the onsen, but before they could ask him, he told them to go ahead of him and he would join them within few minutes. It was clear to both of them that both Shizuna-sensei and Naruto had something to talk with each other.
Arriving at the onsen, Negi was thoroughly awed. He had previously heard of the famous open air, hot spring bath houses of Japan, but to see one with his own eyes was a completely different experience for the child mage. He couldn't help but be awed further as he soaked himself in the water of the onsen. He felt relaxed and calm.
"This is amazing… is this what they call an open-air bath? It's so amazing… Even the wind feels so nice…" commented Negi as he was completely lost in the enjoyment of the bath.
"It sure is amazing… makes all your worries, tensions and fatigue fade away", replied Chamo as he sipped some sake from a choko (small cups usually used to drink sake) and somehow he had found one small enough for him to use.
Their attention was caught by the sliding of the door as they around to look from behind the rock they were resting on wondering whether Naruto or some other teacher had arrived. What they saw made their eyes to widen, because there at the edge of the hot water pool was Setsuna rinsing herself with the help of a wooden bucket and as a tradition, she was completely naked.
"Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-Why? The male and the female entrance are different! Then why is Sakurazaki-san here?" whispered a panic Negi to Chamo as they quickly hid behind the rock.
"It's a mixed bath aniki!" replied Chamo in a whisper too.
A second later both were back at peeping at Setsuna.
"Haah… She's short, but she is beautiful, isn't she? Her skin is so white…" Negi said as his face had taken a red shade.
"They call people like that Yamato Nadeshiko (Ideal Japanese Woman)!" replied Chamo with hearts forming around him.
Then it dawned upon the two or specifically on Chamo as he whispered to Negi, "Hah? Hold on… isn't this peeping? What are you staring at? If the Shinmei-ryuu-ane-san finds us, she would cut us in half with the large sword she carries with her everywhere."
With that in mind, both Chamo and Negi melded their minds to find a way to escape out of the onsen without Setsuna finding about them. But again their attention was captured by the noise of the sliding of the door and this time the person that entered was Uzumaki Naruto.
Negi had been told over a numerous occasions by man of various ages that one should always respect the female gender and to see that they never make her angry. He always followed those words as he always thought that one should always respect others, especially female gender seeing one of his most precious people was Nekane-nee-san and it was never right to make anyone angry. But being the child he was, he never understood why all male emphasized on the point of never making a female angry. Finally he understood what they meant as he saw the way which Setsuna charged at Naruto.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – Negi finally understood to some extent to why people said so.
It was becoming hard with every second to avoid the slash of the nodaichi of Setsuna who didn't seem to relent from trying to cut him into half. Her seriousness was proven when she had used Shinmei-ryū Ougi – Zanganken (Shinmei-ryū Secret Technique – Stone-Cutting Sword) cutting the large stone in middle of the onsen.
Deciding to not take any chances, he focused a small amount of Fūton (Wind Release) into his right hand as he created a powerful gust enough to knock the sword from the hands of Setsuna and aimed it at her. The gust did the required job of disarming Setsuna which surprised the girl. But it seemed that loosing the weapon didn't deter her from her path as she still charged at him with a smirk on her face which he didn't like.
Next moment Setsuna was in front of him grabbing his neck with one hand while the other grabbed something which sent a shiver throughout Naruto's body as she tried to pin him to the stone behind him. But due to their difference in strength, Setsuna lost her footing and barreled backwards bringing Naruto down with her. It was only because of his presence of mind even with the dangerous yet pleasurable situation was he able to avoid her from hitting the water below. It was just centimeters above the water did he see a look of realization on the face of Setsuna as their faces were just inches apart.
"N-Na-Naruto!" Setsuna stuttered at seeing the familiar face just inches above her as the realization struck as to who she was attacking.
"Hey there Setsuna!" Naruto greeted the girl beneath him.
"… It is not like I mind our current positions… but you have to understand that from other's point of view, two naked people on top of each other will send wrong ideas in their mind… also I am a teenage boy and you a teenage girl and this situation is kind of arousing (Setsuna's face turned red at this)… and that soft hand of yours on my little friend is certainly not helping the matters…" Naruto said with a shade of red framing his face.
It happened in a flash, before he could even react as Setsuna moved from beneath him removing her hands from his body parts and stood with a dark crimson face.
"I-I-I-I am s-s-s-s-s-sorry, N-Na-Naruto…" she tried to apologize, but her eyes which kept on shifting to her left hand which held his little friend and a couple of glance at it (Naruto was already standing) didn't help her apology.
"Er… Um… This is… I mean… Well, to aim for a vital spot is just basic theory and…" she tried to clarify as she hid her hands behind her frame which proved a further dilemma for both as it gave a Naruto a clear obstructed view from the front side.
Naruto somehow calmed himself down seeing that Setsuna was on verge of tears. Despite being a formidable warrior and someone who showed a front of not caring for anything, he knew she was soft on the inside. So being in such a state would bring her or any girls to tears.
He quietly made his way towards her and summoned a couple of towels from nearby. He watched her stiffen as she approached her. He closed on her and with a small smile as an apology covered her frame and the other was used to cover his lower body.
"Calm down Setsuna…" said Naruto in a gentle tone as he draped the towel around her frame which caused her eyes to widen as a small tear droplet slid down her eye.
A minute later when he found that she had calmed down he asked, "You okay?"
"Yes… Th-Thank you!" replied Setsuna.
But before any words could be said between the two, a large scream caught their and the attention of the two hiding behind the rock.
"Konoka-ojou-sama!" shouted Setsuna putting the current situation at the back of her head.
"T-That scream… Konoka-san!" called Negi as he came out of hiding from behind the rock with the ermine on his shoulder.
"Kono-chan!" Naruto muttered as he dashed alongside Setsuna to see what the hell was going on with Negi following them.
Arriving at the women changing room from where Konoka's scream emitted, Naruto wasn't ready for the sight in front of him. There in the changing room, both Asuna and Konoka were being stripped by a group of small monkeys and the only things left on the two were their bra and panties.
"Wh… Naruto, Negi! What the hell are these moneys doing to our underwear?" Asuna desperately called as she saw the trio arrive as she tried to best to keep her garments in place, especially seeing Naruto present there.
Unlike Asuna, Konoka wasn't as lucky as she lacked the strength which the bells wearing girl possessed and thus the monkeys were able to easily overpower her in her feeble attempts at keeping her undergarments in place.
"Ah! Naruto-kun! Negi-kun! Se-chan! AAA~N! Don't look!" cried out Konoka as she lay on the floor on her stomach as a face took a huge shade of red.
"EEH! What the heck is…? T… Those damn monkeys… WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO KONOKA-OJOU-SAMA?" Setsuna growled and with each word her anger seemed to increase as she brought out her sword with the sole intention of cutting the monkeys into pieces.
Naruto was also in a same state as Setsuna. It was only his patience training with the toads and Jiraiya was he able to control himself from going completely wild on the monkeys and scaring the minds of Asuna, Konoka and Negi. Also just like Setsuna, a clear shade of red could be seen on his face too. He too just like Setsuna brought out his ninjatō from one of the weapons he kept sealed upon his body reminiscent of his ninja days.
"Kyaah! Sakurazaki-san! Naruto! What are you two doing? Is that a real sword?" Asuna called out seeing the nodaichi and ninjatō in the hands of Setsuna and Naruto as she tried to cover her naked frame as by now the monkeys had succeeded in stripping her too.
Negi whose brain till now was unable to comprehend the situation in front of him sprung into action as he heard the words of Asuna. He quickly got a hold of one hand of both Setsuna and Naruto who seemed hell bent on cutting the little monkeys into pieces.
"You two can't just cut them up! They are just little, poor monkeys!" Negi said as he tried to stop the two from moving forward and slashing apart the monkeys.
"Ah! What are you doing Negi-sensei?" asked Setsuna as she was pulled backwards by Negi.
"Leave me brat! Those things are nothing but low-level shikigami!" said Naruto as he forced his hand from the child mages grasp.
"It is just as Naruto said, they are low-level shikigami. All that is going to happen is that they will turn to paper…" Setsuna tried to reason with the child teacher. But her further reasoning was cut off when one of the monkeys took the chance of her being distracted and stripped her of the towel which covered her frame. Surprised by this and the force of pull by Negi and the monkey stripping her towel, she lost her footing and barreled to her side directly falling on Naruto.
Naruto was somehow able to with his left hand able to stop his head from crashing on the floor and with his right hand was able to stop Setsuna barreling forwards after their inevitable crash. But the sight in front of him made him wish that he would have tried something else, not because he didn't like what he was seeing but for the sake of the girl on top of him. In front of his eyes, or to be exact just centimeters from his nose and mouth was the lower lip of Setsuna with a small patch of white hair around it. It was stretched enough for him to get a view of the inner light pink muscles and the tip of her clitoris. If that wasn't enough, his nose got a full dose of a sweet, feminine scent of the forbidden place.
Until now he had somehow controlled his urges even after seeing the naked bodies of three beautiful girls, but he knew that now that control had slipped as he could tell that his semi-hard little friend was now rock-steady. He was certain that the remaining girls would be freaked out seeing the tent forming on the towel. The very next moment he really felt stupid for thinking that, because he felt the only piece of clothing on him being snatched off and the resulting 'KYAAH' from Asuna told him that his manhood was free for the world to see.
It was only his urge to protect Konoka that kept his sexual desires in check, especially considering the sight in front of his. Luckily for him, Setsuna seemed to be in the right state of mind albeit the crimson red face as she quickly jumped of off him.
"N-N-Na-NA-Naruto… I…" Setsuna tried to form words, but there were none coming to her lips. She was completely embarrassed.
"Setsuna… Focus… Konoka…" were the words Naruto uttered as he heard the shout of Konoka as she was being carried outside by the monkeys.
Those words snapped Setsuna, as she along with Naruto charged at the monkeys with a determined and deadly face. In one swift motion as Setsuna used Shinmei-ryū Ougi – Hyakuretsu Ōkazan (Shinmei-ryū Secret Technique – Hundred-Strike Cherry Blossom Slash) while Naruto used Shinkūkiriken (Vacuum Cutter Sword) [his own creation], all the monkeys were shredded to paper pieces creating a tornado of flowers and paper pieces.
Seeing that Konoka was safe in the hands of Setsuna, Naruto enhanced his senses to sense the enemy which he was certain was close by. He sensed the enemy's presence in the nearby tree and with a swing of his ninjatō; he released Kūhō (Vacuum/Blank Shots) at the target.
"Tsch! Missed!" Naruto muttered as he felt the target disappear.
By now both Asuna and Negi too joined the trio of Setsuna, Konoka and Naruto.
"Se-chan! Naruto-kun! T… Thank you for coming to my rescue! Especially you Se-chan as you have been protecting me for years now…" said Konoka with utmost sincerity.
'What does she mean by me protecting her for years now… does Kono-chan know?' thought Setsuna, but the next words that left Konoka's mouth solidified her thoughts.
"From now on I will train more harder so I can protect myself and help those who protect me and also help those in need", said Konoka.
"Konoka/-san!" Negi and Asuna said at the same time wondering what the carefree girl meant.
"K-Kono… Konoka-ojou-sama! Y-You know…?" Setsuna asked completely stunned.
"Hai…" Konoka replied as it was a fact and walked next to Naruto completely missing Setsuna's jaw dropping and eyes widening expression.
"Mou Naruto-kun, so mean of you. Why didn't you tell me that apart from magic you could also do kendo moves like Se-chan?" said Konoka with a cute pouting face as she looked at Naruto who seemed to be avoiding looking at her.
Asuna and Negi's faces to mirrored the expression on Setsuna's face as the same thought ran through their minds 'Konoka/-san/-ojou-sama knows about magic!' Also it was clear as to because of whom had Konoka learned about magic.
"I am a man of many skills Kono-chan… and it may look similar, but my and Setsuna's move have a vast difference", replied Naruto still averting his gaze from Konoka.
"Oh!" was the word that left Konoka's lips. She knew that everyone had a right to keep their own secrets and so did Naruto, but that didn't she had to like it. Then it caught her attention that his eyes seemed to be all around the place but not on her as they talked.
"Say Naruto-kun, why are you not looking at me?" Konoka asked in a huffed tone as she crossed her arms on her chest.
Unintentionally by Konoka, her arms were crossed just below her bosoms making them perk upwards. Unluckily (?) the eyes of Naruto chose this exact moment to look at Konoka and got a look at the cute puffed up face of Konoka along with her B-cup bosoms and the pink nipples that were standing out. He had to quickly avert his gaze as his situation was already not that good, though he would truthfully say that he loved what he saw. Konoka was truly beautiful.
"You are making it hard on me Kono-chan", said Naruto as he summoned some towels from the changing rooms.
"Eh…?" the word slipped Konoka's lips wondering what Naruto meant, but she received her answer as she felt cold wind caress her entire body. Looking down at herself, she got a view of her body with no clothes hiding any part of her frame.
"IY~AAN!" Konoka shouted as she quickly got on the ground using her knees and hands to cover her naked frame. But in doing so her eyes came on a level of something she was unsure of whether she was ready to see or not as in front of her was the rock hard manhood of Naruto causing her eyes to widen and her face to turn crimson red. Luckily before things could escalate, towel covered Naruto's lower body and he covered her body with another towel.
"I think I should take my leave… I really need a long, cold shower", Naruto said with the last sentence he spoke to himself. With that with a half Ram hand seal, he disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
A silence fell in the bath house after Naruto left. Both Asuna and Setsuna had the same crimson face as Konoka as their eyes to caught the sight of the lower body of Naruto.
"What just happened?" asked Negi fracturing the silence at the bath house though he had a small clue for the reason of the crimson faces of the girls as Nekane-nee-san had educated him in some basics difference between a man and a woman, but other than that he was completely clueless of the situation of some monkeys trying to kidnap Konoka.
"It will be better if we wait for Naruto to join us… there are some things that he has to clarify", said Setsuna as she looked at Konoka while she said the last statement.
…Half an hour later…
By the time Naruto arrived from his long cold shower, he found Negi, Asuna and Setsuna waiting for him in the hall. All seemed to be waiting for him to get some answers. His arrival created a small bit of tension as Setsuna removed her nodaichi out of its scabbard while she glared at him. Before anyone could speak to break the tension in the room, Setsuna spoke up as she solely focused on Naruto.
"What were you thinking when you told Konoka-ojou-sama about the existence of magic and the world of magic? There was a reason why Eishun-sama had decided to keep it a secret from Konoka-ojou-sama. He wanted Konoka-ojou-sama to stay away from the atrocities of the magic world and live a life as a normal girl and you ruined it by informing ojou-sama about magic. Do you even comprehend what you have done Naruto?"
By the end of her speech, Setsuna's voice had increased by a few octaves and to the shock of all; he sword was now pointed at Naruto.
"Se-chan!" the words left the mouth of Konoka in shock as she watched her childhood friend point her sword at Naruto.
"Sakurazaki-san!" both Negi and Asuna said in the same shocked state as Konoka seeing the scene unfold.
All three of them wanted to stop things from further escalating, but a look from Naruto told them that they were to not interfere.
"I completely comprehend the course of my actions Setsuna", replied Naruto completely unfazed by the sword pointing at him.
"But do either you or Eishun comprehend your actions?" asked Naruto.
"W-WH-WHAT! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" Setsuna shouted completely shocked by the question as her eyes narrowed and her grip on the hilt of her nodaichi tightened.
"Just as I asked Setsuna, do either you or Eishun comprehend your actions? Her entire childhood Konoka lived in a place where magic flowed and was surrounded by people who by one or other means were part of the magical world. I am certain that at some point she might had doubted the activities around her and asked some questions (Setsuna stiffened at those words) and seeing that she was not aware of magic till I told her means that she was lied to. At some point the knowledge of Konoka's magical latent powers must have leaked and spread out in the world outside. From then on I believe her life was threatened by kidnapping and assassination attempts on her. For some time you people were able to curb those attempts, but at some point it started being obvious for everyone to see and so it was decided to ship Konoka to Mahora where she would not only stay hidden, but also stay away from the attempts of the enemies. All this was done for the safety of Konoka and to let her live a life of a normal girl", said Naruto still completely unfazed by the growing tension in the room.
Setsuna was stunned as Naruto summarized the entire event before shipping Konoka to Mahora to the point. Meanwhile Asuna and Negi were stunned as they just couldn't comprehend what they had just heard and one glance at Konoka told them that it was true as the girl was very quiet contradicting to her natural self.
Naruto completely disregarding the shocked faces of the three as he continued speaking, "But while all this, did anyone ever take Konoka's feeling into account (Setsuna's eyes widened to the size of a saucer)… As a child when she was fed half-fabricated truths and lies, don't you think that at some point she would realize she was lied too. Did anyone think the emotions that might run through the child when he knows that he/she is lied too? No, no one did. Then all of a sudden you ship her to Mahora after she had lived a secluded life and even without giving her proper reason. Did anyone think how would she would feel living behind the small world and the limited people she come to like behind? No. Luckily at Mahora she was able to make a new world for herself and above all she was able to make new friends. But never did anyone think that the way she would feel when she wasn't allowed to visit her hometown, the place she was born and lived her childhood at and above all was not allowed to visit her father."
By now the jaws of Asuna and Negi had been dumped on the floor as their eyes travelled in between Konoka and Naruto. As for Setsuna, she was just too shocked to say anything or move from her place as her mind tried to process whether what Naruto was saying was indeed the truth or not.
But Naruto didn't seemed to be finished as he continued speaking, "Even if you have succeeded till now and will succeed for the near future to protect her and keep her ignorant till she is in Mahora. What after that? Once she would finish her education, she will want to see the world outside and as an adult no one will be able to stop her. What then? She would be an easy target as any accomplished mage/mercenary can blindly sense her latent magical power and will come after her to acquire that power for themselves. How do you intend to protect Konoka at that point?"
Finally Setsuna found words leave her mouth as she heard the question pointed at her, "I will always be there for Konoka-ojou-sama. I will cut apart all and anyone who come after ojou-sama for her power. I am willing to lay my life for Konoka-ojou-sama."
"Se-chan!" the words left Konoka's mouth as she heard the proclamation of Setsuna.
Meanwhile Negi and Asuna were just completely dumbfounded; they just didn't know how to react anymore with each word being said. First of all they seriously needed to know the connection between Setsuna and Konoka and what it was about Konoka's latent powers.
For the next few seconds there was silence in the room as Naruto's blank blue-red eyes stared into the determined black eyes of Setsuna. The staring contest went on a minute which finally ended as Naruto backed away with his eyes closed.
"You really think that you can do so, don't you Setsuna?" asked Naruto his eyes still closed.
"Yes", answered Setsuna with more confidence in her voice seeing Naruto back away. But the moment the word left her mouth, all the confidence she felt left her as her feeling of helplessness gripped her as she felt an unknown pressure slam on her. It was not Ki nor was it magic as she had trained her to sense those energies. The pressure she felt was not any form of energy, but was pure, raw emotions. Emotions full of hate and malice. She tried to sense the source and to her shock found it to be Naruto. The moment her eyes met the now open eyes of Naruto, she wished that she hadn't made eye contact with him as the feeling of helplessness increased tenfold and she started shaking like a leaf and her resolve was crushed to dust. The eyes that she came in contact were not the usual blue-red heterochromatic eyes, but were pupil-less blood-red orbs with the white of the eye (sclera) was now pitch-black [Yami (Dark) Naruto].
But as quickly as she had felt the crushing pressure, it vanished quickly too. The pitch-black eyes with those blood-red orbs were back to the blue-red heterochromatic eyes. Setsuna looked around to find that Asuna, Negi nor Konoka seemed effected by the pressure which made her conclude that it was solely focused on her.
Suddenly Naruto spoke up again, "Your dedication and determination towards Konoka and her safety are both commendable Setsuna. But what will happen if someone of my caliber or worse, someone of Evangeline's caliber come after the power residing within Konoka (Setsuna looked horrified)… and I ascertain that such a thing will happen as that great is the power of Konoka… What then? Because only a few can stand against me and there are hardly any people alive to stand against someone of Evangeline's caliber and they won't stop until they obtain Konoka or someone kills them. Also they will not entertain any obstacle in their way by fighting them; they will simply go for the kill. Who will answer Konoka then when she finds herself in midst of such a situation?"
'And there are more ways than force to acquire what one wants Setsuna…' Naruto telepathically spoke to Setsuna.
Setsuna was completely horrified at those words as she got the gist of what the blonde-sensei meant.
With that said Naruto left leaving Setsuna to get a grip of herself and ponder on his words. As he left the room, he came face-to-face with three of his students. He was already aware of the three being present close by since they sensed Setsuna's Ki flaring up.
"It was about time that someone made them see their fault… but she is not the only one that needs to be given the reality check", said Mana.
"I know… Old man dean agrees with my decision… Konoka's father is the only one I have to make see his fault…" replied Naruto.
"But you didn't need to be that harsh on Setsuna, -de gozaru", said Kaede.
"I understand, but it was necessary. I had to break through the wall around her heart which was formed by the trust for Eishun to impact the part which held Konoka as she holds Eishun in high regards. It was either being harsh or wait for a situation where Konoka would be in danger", replied Naruto.
Kaede couldn't reply to those words as what he said made complete sense.
"…?" asked Zazie.
"What triggered me to unleash that dose of hatred on Setsuna? It would be her willingness to give away her life for Konoka… her love for Konoka is truly commendable… but she should also understand that by sacrificing her life she will be hurting others, especially Konoka…" answered Naruto.
Then it hit him as if being slammed into a wall full of spears, his own words were his answers to his fall out with Ayumi. A small dry laughter left his mouth as he remembered how stupid he had been to not see the obvious.
"Mind sharing your little joke with us Naruto?" asked Mana as she heard the dry laughter leave the blonde's mouth. By her side both Kaede and Zazie were also curious.
"…?" Zazie asked with a hint of concern in her voice.
"Nothing's wrong Zazie-chan… and I am not laughing at a joke Mana… I am just laughing at myself remembering how big of an idiot I can be from time to time. Those words I spoke about Setsuna just made me remember of my own stupidities", answered Naruto with a big sheepish smile on his face.
…With Setsuna, Konoka, Asuna and Negi…
Her mind was in turmoil with everything Naruto had just said to her about Konoka. Had she and especially Eishun-sama been so wrong in terms of Konoka? Each and every point that Naruto had said made so much sense to her as he pointed out the flaws in their plan. A gentle tap on her shoulder brought her out of her musings as she came face-to-face with Konoka's smiling face, though it was not the usual cheerful smile but rather was a small, sincere smile.
"Se-chan, you okay?" asked Konoka, though she knew that Setsuna was certainly not alright after the berating by Naruto. She at some point wanted to stop Naruto from saying all those to Setsuna, but he had already told her in advance that he might at some point be harsh with his words with some people and as he said that it was better being harsh with words and making one understand their mistakes than rather waiting for some very dangerous situation to occur for them to see their own mistakes.
"Ko-Kono-Konoka-o-ojou-sa-sama! Was what Na-Naruto said about you all t-true?" Setsuna asked.
What was she going to answer to that question? Konoka had already seen Naruto berate Setsuna just a minute and didn't want to hurt her more, but lying was certainly not something she preferred. Be honest with your feelings. Those words of Naruto rang in her mind and she knew what she had to say.
"Yes…" Konoka answered to which Setsuna felt as if hit by a truck. But Konoka didn't stop there as she continued "… I never liked being lied to when I was a child, but I knew that tou-san and kaa-san must have had their reasons. When I was sent to Mahora for studies, I was happy and sad, both at the same time. Happy because I was going to see the world outside and would be able to make new friends. Sad because I would be leaving behind the small world I had created at the mansion and my friend. But it really hurt when I wasn't allowed to return home on holidays… but everything finally made sense when Naruto-kun told me about magic, the hidden magical world, the latent magical powers I possess and especially the dangers that dawned upon me due to my power."
No words left Setsuna's mouth as she heard everything that Konoka said. It was one thing hearing from Naruto, but to hear it from Konoka herself made her feel really as a failure.
"That's it; I just don't get what's going on. What is your connection with Sakurazaki-san, Konoka? And what is this about Konoka's latent powers?" asked Asuna finally her impatient and curious nature winning against the idea of staying quite in this situation.
Konoka decided that of all people Asuna deserved the right to know and so she stated recounting her story, "Hai. I never really talked to you before about this huh, Asuna. You know, before I came to school and lived with Asuna, I used to live in Kyoto… I lived in a big mansion in the mountains. It was always so quiet and lonely. It was because it was secluded I didn't have a single friend… But that changed one day when Kaa-san brought over some guests and along with them was a little girl. It was Se-chan. She was the very first friend I had when I was young. She was learning kendo. Even at a young age she used to protect me by driving away dogs and helping me when I was in danger. Even at the time when I was about to drown, she did all she could to help me out… In the end we were both saved by adults. After that incident she started to dedicate her time with her training. She became busier and busier that I rarely got to see her. We didn't have time to talk much and then I had to move to Mahora. When it was my first year of middle school I saw Se-chan moved here too. I was happy, we were able to meet again but she still didn't talk to me. It was like I did something wrong. Se-chan wouldn't talk to me like she did before (by now tears started to flow down her eyes shocking all). But I finally understand after everything Naruto told me that even now Se-chan protects me just like when we were little. I am just happy to know that Se-chan doesn't hate me (she had a big smile on her face)."
Asuna was completely stumped by what she heard, to think her friend had this big of a secret. Now that she thought about it she remembered that Konoka seemed depressed during the first week of the first year. She completely forgot that one of her question remained unanswered.
"Ko-Kono-Konoka-ojou-sama… I… I am…" Setsuna tried to say something but she couldn't bring her thoughts to her lips and then to words and sentences.
"I understand Se-chan… you are conflicted between your duty and friendship… but remember that I will always be your friend", said Konoka as she left the room.
"I will also remain your friend, Kono-chan…" whispered Setsuna to herself which only Asuna's natural hearing caught onto.
Finally Negi who had been quite throughout the whole incident spoke up as he asked information about the enemies. At first he too wanted to know about Konoka and the power she possessed, but decided against it remembering the scary tone in Naruto's voice. It was something that he decided to learn at a later time. He wished he hadn't asked that question as he learned about the Onmyou (Yin and Yang) Charm-users were one of their enemies, who according to Setsuna were the ones who long ago founded independent magic in Kyoto with their Onmyōdō (The Way of Yin and Yang). His worried increased when he heard that the Onmyou Charm-users use Zenki (virtuous demons) and Goki (defensive demons) for their protection while they chanted their spells just like western mages have partners. But what he heard next made his worries increase tenfold as he heard that there would be possibility of swordsman of Shinmei-ryū to accompany their enemy.
"T… Then the people of Shinmei-ryuu are our enemies as well?" asked the panicked Negi.
"Yes… I guess they would see me as a traitor because I left the west for the east. But I wanted to protect Konoka-ojou-sama, so I didn't have a choice. As long as I am able to protect ojou-sama, I am satisfied… but after what Naruto said… I don't think I…" said Setsuna, but was interrupted saying anything any further by a playful slap on her back by Asuna.
"I didn't get everything what Naruto said as the only thing I understood that it was done for the safety of Konoka and hearing you now, I know that you are still intended to protect Konoka. I'm glad that you don't hate Konoka after all! That's all I needed to know! A friend of a friend is a friend right? So I'll help too!" Asuna said.
"K… Kagurazaka-san…" the word left Setsuna's mouth completely touched by Asuna's words.
With that 'The 3A Guardian Angels' were formed for the protection of class 3A from Kansai Magic Association with Setsuna, Negi, Asuna and Naruto (who had no clue about it) as members. With that done the group separated with Negi taking the outside patrols while Asuna and Setsuna were left to patrol the insides.
Naruto was currently lying on the rooftop of the inn as he as he admired the beauty of the endless universe through the Tokyo sky. Something in him was telling him that the night was long from over as he was certain that the enemies were certainly going to make another move again tonight. And as per his prediction it hadn't taken long for them to make a move as his barrier alerted him of a magical presence entering the inn at the same time when Negi left the inn. It didn't take him long to find that the one entered was an Onmyou Charm-user as the barrier also registered the signature of shikigamis around him/her and sensing his/her presence concluded that it was the same Charm-user who sent the monkeys to kidnap Konoka.
If he wanted he could have easily stopped the Charm-user as even though she was strong, she was nowhere close to his prowess or a few of the students from his class. It was for that reason that he didn't attack the Charm-user. For him/her to act so confidently suggested that he/she had powerful backup. So he decided to let things play out and strike at the right moment.
Finally waiting for some time, the moment arrived as his barriers and the seal alerted of Konoka being kidnapped. It was time to make his move as he crossed his fingers in a cross shaped hand seal and used his all time favorite jutsu, the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique) creating a doppelganger of himself. As the clone and the real rushed towards the direction where the Charm-user escaped to, the real Naruto brought out a card from his pocket.
"Telepathia…" he muttered holding the card on his temples.
…With Setsuna and Asuna…
The two just moments ago had found out that Konoka had been kidnapped when she had went to use the bathroom and only the time she took had alerted them that there was something wrong. They went into a state of panic. Their first and foremost thought was to contact Naruto, but it was then they realized that they had no means to contact him. It was through Asuna's call to Negi did they to come to know that the child mage had come across the kidnapper and that is why they were running towards his direction.
"S… She got away!" Negi said pointing towards the direction where the kidnapper rushed off to after Setsuna and Asuna got rid of the monkeys on him.
"We've got to chase after her", said Setsuna.
"Yes… but what about Naruto-nii-san? Shouldn't we wait for him?" asked Negi.
"Yes… but unfortunately neither I nor Kagurazaka-san have means to contact him…" said Setsuna. She really wanted to contact him even after all that happened about an hour ago as to her, him being with them would make things a lot easier.
"Does Negi-sensei have any means to contact Naruto?" asked Setsuna.
"N… No… I don't…" answered Negi as it dawned upon him that he didn't even have the cell number of Naruto.
The trio deciding that they didn't have time to wait for Naruto decided to give chase for the monkey lady with hopes that the blonde-sensei would notice their absence and come to their aide.
Naruto followed the trio of Negi, Asuna and Setsuna from the shadows as they gave a chase to the monkey lady. He really wanted to join the fray and quickly end this stupidity by capturing the monkey lady, but only because he was able to sense to powerful presence at some distance that he did not take action. Also his first priority was the safety of Konoka and just blindly joining the fray was not going to help him with the charge on his back.
Currently to hide himself and his charge, he was using one of the most ingenuous jutsu ever created by Jiraiya. It was a jutsu that Jiraiya had created in his youth to allow him to spy on girls bathing without the risk of being caught and when finally Naruto walked on his path after hitting puberty that Jiraiya had taught the jutsu to him. The Tōton Jutsu (Transparent Escape Technique) was the jutsu had made Jiraiya one of the most accomplished spy-master and the greatest infiltration-nin in the Elemental Nations. It was this jutsu that he was currently using to hide him and his charge's presence as they followed the trio.
It took a lot of persuasion from him to stop his charge from going in the fray and helping the trio as they were trapped in a train compartment filled with water. Even he had to restrain himself from helping those three as he waited for his back up. Luckily Setsuna pulled through for everyone's sake as she cut the compartment door with Zankuusen (Air-Cutting Flash) making way for water to flow out of the compartment.
…With Negi, Asuna and Setsuna…
The trio were back on the chase of the monkey lady after she ran off again when they were able to get out of the compartment filled with water. It was during a couple of words exchange between Setsuna and the monkey lady that Asuna and Negi heard that not only Setsuna, but the monkey lady too called Konoka with the ojou-sama suffix.
"S… Sakurazaki-san! What is going on here? Aren't they just trying to sabotage us! Why did the monkey lady decided to only kidnap Konoka?" asked Asuna.
Setsuna knew that she had to speak the truth at this moment as she didn't want to lose anymore trust, like she was certain that Naruto had lost his trust in her. So for that reason she answered, "T… The truth is... before this all started, there were some members of the Kansai Magic Association who did not approve of Konoka-ojou-sama leaving for Mahora in the East… It's most likely that they want to use Konoka-ojou-sama's powers in order to gain complete domination of the Kansai Magic Association."
"EH?" It was a shocking and truly terrifying revelation for Negi and Asuna.
But Setsuna didn't stop there as she continued speaking, "Neither I nor the Principle had taken them very seriously enough… I didn't think they would stoop to kidnapping her in the middle of a school trip, but the Kansai Magic Association is not above contracting people for underhanded dealings... it's not surprising that they're engaging in a forceful operation…" her eyes caught the sight of another fuuda "… Mmm… there's another charm of warding! They must have had this all planned out from the beginning!"
'It is just like Naruto said… what would we have done in such a situation? How would we explain the situation to Konoka-ojou-sama?' Setsuna thought as the trio continued on their chase.
Also there was the matter of Naruto on each of their minds. The blonde had yet to arrive, which meant that he had yet to learn of the situation. They just hoped that whatever was up ahead was something they would be able to handle or Konoka's life would be in real danger. For that they needed to hurry and catch onto the monkey lady and hurry they did.
Naruto breathed a sigh of relief as he finally watched the trio of Asuna, Setsuna and Negi finally catch onto the monkey lady or it would be right to say that the monkey lady stopped to confront them. It was clear that this was all a setup to get rid of all those who would be following her as he could feel about a couple of powerful signatures nearby. He knew that he needed to go down there and help those three as neither of them could handle one of the hidden presences, but he also knew that the safety of his charge was more important. As his mind tried to formulate a plan, a new presence appeared behind him forming a big smile on his face.
"Good Timing!" he said to the newcomer without even turning back.
"Indeed… you should expect nothing less… also I see your eagerness to join a fight as not reduced", replied the newcomer which was without a doubt a feminine voice.
"You should know me well enough", Naruto responded back with a fox-like grin on his face.
"True enough", the newcomer replied an unknown to Naruto a small smile was placed on her lips.
Meanwhile Naruto's charge watched the little exchange of words between the newcomer and Naruto with surprise and a bit of pang in her heart as she watched the two talk with such familiarity.
"Guard her", Naruto told the newcomer as his eyes laid on his charge.
"I will", was the response from the newcomer.
With that Uzumaki Naruto disappeared from his spot with the help of Shukuchimukyou as he watched Setsuna charge at the monkey lady.
…With Setsuna, Asuna, Monkey and Negi…
This was the chance that Setsuna had been waiting for since they started chasing the money lady, the moment she would shed the monkey suit she was wearing. It was already clear that the monkey suit was enforced with magic making it perform some extraordinary feats and thus it Setsuna couldn't go on a direct assault on the Charm-user as she was uncertain of the power of the suit. But now the monkey lady had shed the suit, her defenses were weakened; it was the time for her to strike hard and fast. With that in mind she charged at the monkey lady, especially before she used another of her charms.
"CHEW ON THIS! THIRD CHARM TECHNIQUE KYOTO 'DAI' CHARACTER BURN!" Setsuna heard the monkey lady shout.
Setsuna was late as she stopped in her tracks seeing the large fire burn in front of her in the shape of the character 'Dai'. She quickly tried to shield herself from the scorching flames seeing that she stupidly had forgotten her shield charms in the rush. But the flames didn't reach her and she only felt the heat for a couple of seconds before to completely vanished and as the flames seemed to die down she felt a familiar presence in front of her. She looked up to find the blonde-sensei standing in front of her holding a scroll which a vapor was being released which was helping suck all the flames in the scroll.
Each and everyone present were as surprised as Setsuna as they watched that flames vanish within seconds after a mysterious vapor engulf it and the only thing that proved that there was any flame was the small amount of charred ground.
"W-Wh-What! M-My charm…?" the words left the mouth of the Monkey Lady as she was completely stunned seeing as one of her most powerful charms was countered with such ease.
"N-Naruto!" said the completely stunned Asuna as she saw the blonde counter an attack of that scale with such ease.
Unfortunately for the rescue party of Konoka, Negi had yet to witness the arrival of Naruto and the blonde-sensei taking care of the flames as the child mage was busy chanting for a spell to counter the flames with his eyes closed for concentration.
"Ras tel Ma Scir Magister… Flet, Une Vente (Blow forth, gust of wind)! Flans Saltatio Pulverea (Flowering Boisterous Dancing Dust)…" Negi chanted the spell and at the end pointed the practice wand at the now nonexistent flames as a powerful gust of dust wind was blown at the no existing flames. The only thing the gust was able to do was blow up the yukata of Asuna and Setsuna giving Naruto a view of their panties for a couple of seconds and shocking the monkey lady at the power behind the spell.
"Damn you brat! Watch before you act!" Naruto called out in an annoyed tone as he looked at Negi.
"N-Na-Naruto-nii-san! When did you…?" asked a surprised Negi seeing the blonde who was now standing in front of Setsuna as if he was shielding her from the flames which were nowhere to be seen.
"Just as the monkey lady unleashed the fire charm… and if you had kept your eyes open, you could have seen me taking care of the flames before you unleashed the gust of wind", replied Naruto.
"I… I see… I am sorry…" said Negi feeling stupid for not noticing that.
"Don't feel sorry… Just remember that in a fight always keep your eyes open", said Naruto.
"Y… Yes…" replied Negi.
A tick mark was formed on Chigusa's forehead as she watched her pursuers along with the new blonde who joined them completely ignore her. Normally such a situation would be beneficial for a kidnapper as they would take this opportunity to try and escape, but she was not just an ordinary kidnapper. She wanted to make a statement to the Konoe family of their decision of sending Konoka-ojou-sama to the east and no matter what the guard she had, they would be able to obtain her power. Also her pursuers had a western mage with them and she held a grudge against them. She could have already made her move and attacked them, but something about the blonde who had arrived a few seconds ago had made her not to outright attack them. She was certain that she knew him from somewhere, but at this couldn't bring forth the memory from where she knew him. But before she could do anything, a boy with white hair colour and around Negi's age appeared right next to her grabbing everyone's attention.
"Oi newbie, what are you doing here!" asked the surprised Chigusa. This was not as planned as she had asked only the Shinmei-ryū girl to join her today.
"I am here to engage the blonde as he is out of your league", Fate Averruncus replied as his eyes were focused on Naruto.
"What do you mean out of my league…? I am perfectly capable of handling all of them", replied Chigusa in an annoyed tone. Her anger on the newbie increased when she heard no reply and found him looking at the blonde with a blank look on his face.
"Negi! Asuna! Setsuna! I want you three to focus on rescuing Konoka while I engage with the white-haired squirt… even though I won't mind getting my hands on Chigusa… especially considering her assets…" said Naruto with last part in barely above whisper as his eyes lay on the large mounds on Chigusa's chest.
"But won't you need help finding the boy?" Setsuna asked in a worried tone as she could sense that the white haired boy was powerful.
"No…! It is just like the squirt said to the monkey lady that I am out of her league, similarly he is out of the league of you three…" replied Naruto.
"B… But…" Negi tried to say but was interrupted by Naruto.
"No buts brat… Do as I say", ordered Naruto.
"Aniki, listen to Naruto-sama. We are here to rescue Konoka-ane-san… and I can sense that the boy with white hair is stronger than you just as Naruto-sama says and trying to help Naruto-sama we will only get in his way", Chamo added to which albeit reluctantly Negi agreed.
"Oi Negi is it really alright to let Naruto fight that boy alone?" asked Asuna seeing the stare off between Naruto and the white haired boy.
"Y… Yes", answered Negi.
"And it is just like Chamo-san said, our job is to protect Konoka-ojou-sama and trust Naruto that he knows what he is doing", replied Setsuna.
Negi reached into his robes and pulled out the Pactio Card of Asuna which signified their bond of Magister Magi and Ministra Magi.
"Sis mea pars per centum octoginta secundas. Ministra Negii Cagurazaca Asuna", Negi called out to invoke the contract.
The moment Negi finished chanting those words; Asuna felt the flow of magic running through her body as she was surrounded by faint bluish glow. She from last two fights between her and Chachamaru remembered that the magic flowing through her body increased her physical abilities and with that in mind she got ready for battle, though she wished that the ticklish feeling didn't accompany the power-up.
"Sakurazaki-san! Let's go!" Asuna said out loud as she was ready to take down the monkey lady.
"Let's go!" Setsuna shouted and with that she alongside Asuna charged towards the monkey lady.
'What is that light surrounding that girl? Is she one of those partners that I heard western mages have!' Chigusa thought as she eyed Asuna and Setsuna charge at her all the while readying one of her charms.
"Aniki! Use it now!" Chamo said to Negi as he pointed at the Pactio Card.
"Right… Asuna-san! I'm going to bring out your personal artifact! I think it is a Hama no Tsurugi weapon that only you can use! Please take it!" Negi called out for Asuna to hear.
"A weapon! I get a weapon? A…All right! Give it to me, Negi!" Asuna called out as she halted in her steps. It was better to have a weapon to attack the monkey lady then taking on her bare handed.
"Exerceas potentiam (Exercise potential), Cagurazaca Asuna", Negi called out holding out the card.
Asuna watched in awe as a huge column of light fitted her hands which she thought would be the magic for summoning the awesome sword she was going to receive. But all her awed reaction turned that of a confused one as instead of a big sword, in her arms she was now holding a harisen.
"What the hell! It's just a normal fan!" Asuna called out to Negi in a bit of embarrassment as she was expecting something cool with the way Negi shouted it to be.
"H… Huh? That's weird…" said Negi completely confused as that was not what was drawn on the card.
"Kagurazaka-san!" Setsuna called out seeing the bell wearing girl halt in her track.
"ARRRGH! I GUESS THERE'S NO HELPING IT!" Asuna shouted seeing that she was going to work with what she had and charged alongside Setsuna towards the monkey lady.
Asuna and Setsuna both leapt into the air with hopes of taking advantage through high ground as both swung out their respective weapons towards the monkey woman. However before they could hit the woman two large creatures a bear and a monkey appeared blocking their attacks.
It was this precise moment that Fate chose to end the staring contest between him and the blonde as he stomped his feet on the ground causing arrow-like stone-projectiles to appear out of the ground and then pointing his hand towards the blonde shot them towards him.
"Tueri omne Cor Cara… Undetriginta spiritus lucis (29 spirits of light)… Sagitta Magica, Series Lucis (Magic Archer, Barrage of 29 Light Arrows)..."chanted Naruto as 29 arrows of light materialized within a couple of seconds and shot forward to counter the arrow-like stone-projectiles.
As the arrows of light smashed into the stone projectiles shattering them in a display of power, Naruto used that moment to charge at Fate. Using the clash of the two spells as cover, Naruto in a display of speed appeared in front of Fate, inside his guard and delivered a magically enhanced punch directly on the face of the white haired boy.
Fate had already anticipated that the blonde could counter the mid-level earth spell he used to create the arrow-like stone-projectiles, but not with the most basic magic spell - Sagitta Magica. It clearly showed to him that he had done the right thing to come and scout the blonde to see if he would be any danger in their future plans. But he had no time to think as in an impressive burst of speed the blonde had appeared within his guard with his right fist cocked back. He had less than a second to activate a powerful barrier to stop the glowing fist impacting his face, to which he was successful to at least create a barrier. But the barrier didn't withstand the force of the punch as it was shattered, though it took most of the brunt of the punch before it hit his face and he was tossed about 35 to 40 feet away from his position before he could stabilize himself. Surprise and shock was clearly seen on his face as for the first time in so long someone had actually managed to hurt him.
"DON'T JUST STOP THERE WATCHING US… FOCUS ON YOUR OWN FIGHT WITH THAT LADY! YOU HAVE KONOKA TO RESCUE!" Naruto shouted at Negi, Asuna and Setsuna who had stopped their fight with the money lady as their eyes seemed to be focused towards him. The words did the trick as the three returned their focus onto the monkey lady and her monkey and bear demons.
Seeing that all the three were back to their main job of rescuing, Naruto dashed forwards towards Fate before the white haired boy could stabilize himself. But he was late as Fate was able to block his next magically enhanced punch with his hand while countered with his magically enhanced fist which Naruto blocked with his free hands.
"This is the first time someone has actually managed to hurt me. Uzumaki Naruto!" said Fate with anger and a hint of surprise clearly visible within his eyes.
"Well, it is clear that you already know my name, but I can't say that about myself as I don't know your name. After all I too would love to know the name of such a powerful opponent?" spoke Naruto as the two separated from each other.
"Fate. Fate Averruncus", replied Fate as he eyed the blonde.
"Fate, nice name… but I never had a great experience with that word, so I'll just call you squirt…" said Naruto with a lopsided grin on his face.
"You are… the annoying type human…" said Fate with his right eyebrow twitching in annoyance.
"To stuck-ups like you I am the annoying type, but I think myself as the fun-loving type", replied Naruto with the lopsided grin still adorning his face.
Fate knew that conversing with the blonde was not going to get him anywhere as he had faced someone similar about ten or so years ago. The blonde was very similar to the red head man he had faced. He was so busy comparing the blonde with the red head that he swore that he saw the image of the red head standing behind the blonde with an identical lopsided grin. Quickly shrugging off that image, he charged at the blonde deciding to take matters in his hand by initiating the attack.
For the next few seconds, Fate and Naruto clashed in a fight of fists. To even the well trained eyes the two were nothing but a blur and with each fist and kick connected, blocked or parried there was a small shockwave that tore the earth beneath them. Within the few seconds about hundreds of kicks and punches were exchanged between the two creating a small crater below where they were fighting/ flying.
Acquiring some distance from the blonde, Fate surveyed the damage he had taken in the clash of fists. It was clearly evident that he and the blonde at this moment were clearly equals in both speed and power and it was only the unpredictability of the blonde's fighting style that made the blonde score a dozen of hits against him while he was only able to plant a couple of hits on the blonde. It was clear to him that like him the blonde was holding also holding back himself from going all out and only the idea of him grabbing some unwanted attention at this point had him hold himself back. He had to neutralize the blonde as early as possible as the blonde would certainly be a big obstacle in the future.
"Visju Tal Li Sjutal Vangèit… Βασιλισκὲ γαλεώτε μετά κὦκτὼ ποδῶν καί κακοῖν ὀμμάτοιν πνοῆν τοῦἰοῦ τόν χρόνον παραιροῦσαν (Basilisk, the eight-legged lizard, owner of the evil eyes… Breath out the time-stealing poison)! Πνοή Πέτρας (Breath of Stone)!" Fate chanted as he traced a sign in the air and at the end of the incantation he pointed two fingers at the blonde releasing a cloud of petrifaction around the target.
It didn't take Naruto much long for Naruto to understand that no matter what the spell that Fate was charging was not something he would love to get hit with.
"Tueri omne Cor Cara… Flet, Une Vente (Blow forth, gust of wind)! Flans Saltatio Pulverea (Flowering Boisterous Dancing Dust)!" Naruto chanted as he used the same spell Negi used moments ago to create a gust of wind about three times more powerful than Negi which was used to blow away the cloud of petrifaction.
Deciding to not give Fate another chance to unleash another spell of the caliber of Πνοή Πέτρας (Breath of Stone), Naruto again took the clash of two spells as cover and charged at Fate with extreme speed. Within less than a second, he stood behind Fate with his hand on Fate's back ready to release a spell at point-blank range.
"Flagrantia Rubicans (Red Blaze)!" Naruto whispered as he released the mid-level flame-based destruction spell at point-blank range which caused a massive explosion of heat and flames.
'To use a mid-level flame-based spell with such power and without incantation… he is far more powerful than my expectations' thought Fate as he eyed the blonde after being hit by a Flagrantia Rubicans (Red Blaze) point-blank range. His entire upper body sported huge burn marks and there was no evidence that he previously was wearing a grey shirt. It was only his quick reflex of empowering his shields that kept him from more harm which he knew that spell could do considering the power the blonde used in it.
'Tsch… he was able to get up his shields at the very last moment and reduced the damage' thought Naruto as he watched Fate for the damage his point-blank Flagrantia Rubicans (Red Blaze) did.
"You are stronger than I expected, Uzumaki Naruto", said Fate in his monotone voice.
"I can say the same about you too, squirt", replied Naruto with a small smirk on his face as he watched the twitching of Fate's eyebrows at the nickname.
Before more words could be spoken between the two or they continued their fight, both their attention was drawn by the shout of Chigusa. They watched a naked Chigusa being trashed around by a three-layer-combo attack by Negi, Asuna and Setsuna who somehow seemed to be emitting a small dose of killer intent. They watched that Chigusa along with Tsukuyomi made a run for it seeing that they had lost.
"It seems my client has withdrawn for today, so I see no reason for me to wait here to fight you… but rest assured the next time we meet I will not hold myself back", said Fate.
"I won't either… It will be fun to go against someone as strong as you…" replied Naruto with a foxy grin on his face.
Fate left the place using a teleportation spell with water as a gate with a small confused look on his face because of Naruto's last statement.
…Meanwhile with Asuna, Setsuna and Negi…
Being scolded by Naruto and remembering their first reason to be chasing the monkey lady, the trio with new vigor focused their attention on Chigusa.
"What the hell are those?" shouted Asuna as she pointed at the huge monkey and bear stuffed toys that had blocked their attacks.
"It's like I said before! They must be her Zenki and Goki! They may look weak on the outside but you must be careful Kagurazaka-san, since they are stronger than they appear", replied Setsuna.
"Hohohohoho! My Zenki and Goki are pretty strong you know! You'll never be a match for those two!" said Chigusa with a victory smirk on her face as she lifted Konoka on her shoulders.
Asuna didn't know why, but that woman was grating on her nerves with each words she spoke, especially knowing what the woman had kidnapped Konoka for.
"Konoka! Damn you!" shouted Asuna in anger as she swung her Harisen, smacking the monkey demon on its head.
What happened next was something no one watching anticipated or expected as the monkey demon was banished by a single smash from Asuna's harisen.
"H… Huh? Exterminated already?" whispered Asuna as she too was thoroughly surprised by her own ability.
'W… What! She banished my Zenki in just one blow. J… Just who the hell is this girl?' wondered Chigusa with fear evident in her eyes.
"That was amazing, Kagurazaka-san!" said Setsuna as she too along with the others was awed by the power Asuna had just displayed.
"Damn you!" the monkey woman shouted as she held up more cards. "I'm not going to lose to a couple of brats!" She summoned several dozen of the smaller monkeys to her aid and had them attack the group.
"I… I don't know what's going on, but it looks like we can do this! Leave that bear to me and go after Konoka!" Asuna said to Setsuna.
"R… Right! I'll leave this to you!" said Setsuna with a bit of uneasiness in her voice, but agreed seeing the power Asuna showed seconds ago.
With that thought in mind and the need to save Konoka, Setsuna charged towards the monkey lady. But before she could reach the Chigusa, her attack was intercepted by a blond girl in a Gothic Lolita dress or rather the blonde crashed into her as she was pushed backwards and the blonde girl was sent stumbling on the opposite direction.
'That sword-fighting style… did she bring a Shinmei-ryū swordsman to protect her' wondered Setsuna with a bit of fear.
"Ow, Ow, Ow… Sorry about that, I think I hurt my head!" said the blonde Gothic Lolita to herself as she steadied herself and dusting of the dust from her clothes after spiraling on the ground.
"Hello~~ I'm from the Shinmei-Ryuu… nice to meet you!" the blonde said to Setsuna.
"Eh… Y… You're a Shinmei-ryū swordsman?" asked Setsuna even though she knew the answer.
"Yes~ *heart* My name is Tsukuyomi!" the blonde introduced herself to Setsuna.
"it seems that you are my senpai in Shinmei-ryū, but I have been assigned to protect her, so I have to take this seriously", said Tsukuyomi as if speaking to a lover which caused a small sweat drop to appear on Setsuna's forehead.
"To send a body guard like this… the Shinmei-ryuu must be short on people", replied Setsuna with a small frown on her face.
"Hmph… You'll get hurt if you underestimate her. Well then, I'll leave her to you Tsukuyomi-han", said Chigusa.
"W… Well then, shall we begin? Please go easy on me", said Tsukuyomi and with speeds which shocked Setsuna, she was on the offensive.
As the two girls from Shinmei-ryū clashed, it became evident that the dual blade style of Tsukuyomi and her fast and lethal strikes were overwhelming Setsuna as she was forced on the defensive. Setsuna was hard pressed to block relentless attack from Tsukuyomi as blocking the sword would make Setsuna force to use her hands to block the strike from the dagger and vice versa. Also Tsukuyomi was well versed in moving her attack from high-ground to low-ground in a matter of seconds and that flow of attack was helped by the dual-blade style of hers.
'She is a lot better than I expected! T… This is bad!' thought Setsuna as she barely managed to keep herself from being impaled with Tsukuyomi's dagger.
"Hohoho… I don't understand their traditions, but it seems that the Shinmei-ryū swordsmen are all used to using those large monster-exterminator swords. It must be difficult for them to fight against the tight attacks of an opponent with two swords…" Chigusa said with a small smirk playing on her lips.
"Zanganken (Stone-Cutting Sword)!" the two Shinmei-ryū swordsmen roared as they hit each other with the same attack which exploded against each other. The two opposing forces quickly negated each other which left Setsuna to glare at the smiling Tsukuyomi.
"Sa… Sakurazaki-san!" Asuna called out in worry as she looked at Setsuna seeing the explosion of two energies. It was this distraction of hers that a small group of monkeys took advantage of and started striping her.
"What the…? Iya~an! What the heck is this? Even more monkeys?" Asuna shouted as she was being stripped again by the monkeys.
"Hohoho! Ok, we'll stop here! We are only dealing with an amateur middle school student and an apprentice swordsman, also the newbie is taking care of the blonde. Let's go!" spoke Chigusa as she decided to take this time where all seemed busy to make a run for it.
Meanwhile Negi, who had hardly any chance to contribute in the fight, finally found an opening as Chigusa put down Konoka.
"Now's your chance aniki! She put Konoka-ane-san down!" Chamo whispered to Negi.
"R… Right! Ras tel Ma Scir Magister… Undecim spiritus aeriales, vinculum facti inimicum captent (11 spirits of wind, become a bind and capture the enemy)…" said Negi.
"AAH! CRAP! I FORGOT ABOUT THE BRAT!" shouted Chigusa in panic as she heard the child mage chanting a spell.
"TOO LATE! TAKE THIS… Sagitta Magica, Aer Capturae (Magic Archer, Binding Wind Arrow)!" shouted Negi as wind arrows were shot towards Chigusa.
"AHIIII! SOMEBODY HELP ME!" Chigusa feigned a cry for help as her little monkey shikigamis placed Konoka in front of her as her shield.
"AH! DIVERGE!" Negi called out as he forced the trajectory of the wind arrows to change as they were only a few inches away from hitting Konoka.
"H… HEY YOU! P… PLEASE LET GO OF KONOKA-SAN! THIS ISN'T FAIR!" shouted a panicked Negi shaking his arms furiously which caused Chamo to sweat drop.
"Fufufu… I see now… I know your type…" Chigusa smirked as she looked at the red head mage "… You're too weak… You'll back-off as soon as you understand that there is a slightest hint that the hostage will get hurt… Ho… Hohohohoho! Well, this girl certainly came in more in handy than I thought…" she hoisted Konoka on her shoulders "… I should just keep using her like this!"
"J… Just what are you planning to do with Konoka?" asked Asuna as she was now caught by the bear demon.
A smirk spread on Chigusa's face as she held her chin giving an impression of thinking something major she spoke, "Well… I guess we'll use drugs and spells to control her, turning her into our puppet who'll listen to our every word… It will be great! Hehehe… *heart*"
Setsuna, Asuna and Negi stopped everything they were doing as their mind process those words which left the mouth of Chigusa and as a dam being broken, anger towards Chigusa filled their system.
"Looks like we win this time!" Chigusa said as she absently rubbed Konoka's bottom.
"Huhuhu… Konoka-ojou-sama's bottom has sure become pale… cute, isn't it?" Chigusa said as she rubbed her hands on Konoka's bottom.
"See you later, you green-bottomed little brats! And good bye from her butt too!" Chigusa said as she slapped Konoka's butt at the last statement.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING TO KONOKA/-OJOU-SAMA?" shouted Asuna and Setsuna as they charged at Chigusa as Asuna banished the bear demon in one hit and Setsuna pushed away Tsukuyomi without any effort.
"Flans Exarmatio (Flowering Disarmament)", Negi shouted as he aimed the spell at Chigusa which blew away any weapon Chigusa had on her along with turning her and Konoka's clothes into flowers rendering them naked.
Followed by Negi's attack, Asuna struck a shocked Chigusa in her head with her harisen completely rendering all her shield charms useless.
"Hiken – Hyakka Ryōran (Hidden Sword Technique – Chaos of a Hundred Flowers)", Setsuna called out as she slashed towards Chigusa firing of Ki and petals in a straight at her, striking her down.
"Wh… Wh… Wh…. Wh… Why are these brats so damn strong…?" Chigusa questioned herself as she steadied herself after the three way strike.
Seeing the three approaching her with looks that could kill, Chigusa quickly summoned another one of her bear demons which she used along with Tsukuyomi to escape.
"I'll remember this!" Chigusa shouted as she flew away.
"That damn woman!" Asuna growled as she watched Chigusa fly away as she seemed ready to pursue the monkey lady.
"There is no need to pursue her, Kagurazaka-san! Our objective was to rescue Konoka-ojou-sama, so it is unnecessary to chase her any further", said Setsuna.
"Speaking of the monkey lady, she said she'd use drugs and spells on Konoka-ane-san!" spoke Chamo getting everyone's attention as everyone rushed to Konoka's side.
"KONOKA-OJOU-SAMA! Ojou-sama! Please get a hold of yourself!" Setsuna called to the unconsciousness Konoka that was now resting on her lap.
"No, thank you! Your lap is a way better pillow than those at the inn!" the three heard Konoka say with the voice of Naruto with her eyes still closed. A second later, in a puff of smoke instead of Konoka resting on Setsuna's lap pillow, there lay Naruto.
"W… WHA….?" Setsuna tried to say, but no words were formed in her mouth as she saw the one laying her was Naruto and those words he spoke added to it as her face held a crimson blush on her face.
Even Asuna, Chamo and Negi were also stumped to find Naruto instead of Konoka. Only one thought roamed their minds as to what in the world was going on.
"Great job, you three!" the trio heard the voice of Naruto say. They turned around to find Naruto walk towards them sporting a couple of bruises on her face and his right sleeve of his shirt seemed to be burned down as the blonde had a big smile on his face. Their eyes darted from the Naruto on Setsuna's laps and the Naruto walking towards trying to figure as to what is going on.
Finally Asuna found her voice as she shouted to the heavens above, "What in the world is going on? Where is Konoka?"
"Se-chan. Asuna. Negi-kun", all four of them heard the voice of Konoka come from the direction of the train station.
All heads turned towards the direction of the train station where they found Konoka walking towards them completely safe and unharmed. But what shocked the Asuna, Setsuna, Negi and Chamo was that Konoka was not alone as alongside her walked a girl around Naruto's age with long straight bright-flaming-red hair which reached her back, violet eyes and was wearing a light-orange kimono with black flaming designs on its bottom and sleeves and a dark red obi. The girl was also carrying with her a sword about the same size that Setsuna wielded. But the most shocked was Setsuna as she identified the red head girl walking alongside Konoka.
"Yamasaki Ayumi-senpai!" Setsuna called out in surprise and shock as she abruptly stood up completely forgetting the blonde laying on her lap and kneeing him in the guts instantly dispelling him.
This shocked Asuna, Negi, Chamo and even Konoka as it seemed that Setsuna somehow knew the red head.
"It has been a long time, hasn't it Setsuna-chan!" said Ayumi with a smile on her face as she faced Setsuna.
"Y… Yes!" replied Setsuna.
"B… But what is Yamasaki-senpai doing here?" Setsuna couldn't help but ask.
"Oh! That would be because I called her here", said Naruto catching everyone's attention.
"W… What? B… But how are you acquainted to Yamasaki-senpai, Naruto?" Setsuna questioned.
It was Ayumi who answered instead of Naruto as she held a card in front of her for all to see. It was a pactio card of hers with her dressed in a white dress that spilt open at her waist and is attached by dark orange-white belts and underneath the dress she was wearing black shorts (which only covered the important part), dark orange socks with white boots and white gloves. Her neck had a white ruffled ascot with white feathers on the back of her neck coming out of a dark orange chocker. In her right hand she was holding a simple looking katana with black hilt. (The dress is the one Asuna is wearing in her light saber pactio card in 'Negima! Neo'.)
"It so happens that I am the partner of Ero-Baka-Sennin…" Ayumi said as she pointed at Naruto causing all eyes to widen and a small sweat drop to appear on Naruto's forehead.
"You aren't going to stop calling me that, are you?" asked Naruto even though he already knew the answer.
"No…" Ayumi replied as she looked at Naruto with a blank look which caused Naruto to drop his head in defeat.
'Finally I understand how Ero-Sennin felt all the time I called him Ero-Sennin…' though Naruto.
Suddenly he felt a huge force of killing intent as he looked up to find the source of the killing intent to be Ayumi as she held in her hand the orange book.
"Mercy…!" Naruto begged getting down on his knees.
"Adeat!" was the word that left Ayumi's mouth as she activated her artifact. The moment she held the sword in her hands she was engulfed in flames which seemed to be dancing around her as they burned down the book in her hands to ash.
The next thing the entire Kyoto heard were the pleading screams of one Uzumaki Naruto.
Reading the 352 raw as a shocking news was there at its end. Mahou Sensei Negima! will end in the next three chapters i.e. by chapter 355. Truly shocking! What in the world happened in the over the hundred years which Asuna slept? I hope it is answered. What happened during the five month time skip before Asuna's graduation? I wanted to know. And above all I hope that there is a sequel to the series.
As for the pactio of Ayumi, it is already decided, so don't give random ideas.
Ima no tokoro baibai! (Bye for now).