Nothing is as it Seems.

Breathing out a deep breath to relax himself, Ikuto leaned up against the old brick wall of the meeting house as he waited for Amu, his new little apprentice. The night air was cool against his skin, and the moon above was now a calming blue tinge. Washing everything in its calming light. Occasionally there would be the way off howl of a werewolf, or the chirping of a cricket or bat.

"Do you think it was smart to of left her there? Don't you think She'll do something stupid, Nya?" Yoru floated around Ikuto, who wasn't paying much attention. The sprite was trying to keep himself occupied by to little, flips, or crawling all over Ikuto, who in response flicked him off in slight irritation.

"No...she has to learn how to think for herself." He crossed his arms, and stared ahead of him into the dark shadows. "I'm not going to use her as a play toy, like I was. She's going to learn about the bond we have, and possibly learn some control over her magic along the way." Ikuto flitted his glance to Yoru.

"It IS better that being blindfolded, and spun around, and sent to the other side of the city, then trying to find where you're supposed to go, Nya." Yoru snickered. "Tsukasa didn't even give you an explanation of what he did!"

"All in all, it seemed like he was trying to help me, but in reality he wasn't doing his job. He left me there to take care of myself, hoping I wouldn't die,and when I finally arrived, all battered and exhausted, he was all cozied up in his bed fast asleep. Long enough for me to hex his hair a nice shade of mucus green." Ikuto stated with a point blank stare at nothing in particular, as he recalled the memory.

Yoru snickered. "You're right heheh, that was one of the best pranks you pulled...and you also have to admit though, the way he got you back was hilarious, Nya."

Ikuto sighed raising his hand, flicking his sprites nose, for the umpteenth time that night. "Never speak of it again, Yoru."

Squeaking, then whining Yoru rubbed his nose with his giant paws scrunching his face in irritation, and stinging of pain. "Fine, Fine..." After that it was silence, and Ikuto basked in it. He could feel Yoru's irritation but did nothing to stop it. If Yoru wanted entertainment, it had to be of his own effort. Yoru whined again. 'Pacing' back and forth in the air, not knowing what to do with himself.

Ikuto let a ghost of a smile hover on his lips as he sensed his sprites apparent boredom.

"I'm gonna go see if there's anything fun to do nearby." He grumbled, and with out so much as a goodbye, the sprite left Ikuto behind.

The new mentor didn't really mind it that much, Yoru wasn't really bound to him to stay by his side. As long as Ikuto didn't need him, the street-cat sprite could very well do whatever he wanted in his free time. Ikuto wasn't his parent, so he wasn't responsible for his actions.

Ikuto decided it was time to check up on Amu, reaching out with his magic, in order to sense the progress that she had. Her energy seemed to be getting closer...and it flared with uncontrolled raw power. It wasn't necessarily bad...but nor was it good. Amu was more of a target like that, but she should be fine. That is if she wasn't a trouble magnet.

A smirk did play at the edges of his lips at her blank affinity, that was very rare to be so open about magic. She could so easily succumb to any type of magic as long as she was exposed to it. Dark, light. Witches, and wizards wouldn't dare get on her bad side. It was something that they shared. They're magic was borne from the same Magic.

Ikuto reached out further to sense on whether or not she was progressing in the trust part of this exorcise. Ikuto cursed under his breath, because she was too far away. That method wasn't going to work at the moment. Frustration built up inside off him, and with him, his magic flared. Ikuto breathed in deep, then let it out slowly.

If he wasn't controlled, then things would end badly. He needed calm. If things progressed the way he hoped, Amu would master her magic without any kinks.

He sure hoped she wasn't a trouble magnet.


Amu followed the red line, and she cackled to herself, the fire ball that she had used sent such a thrill through her...she could only think of so many ways to use it again. The electrifying thrill that was shot though her was completely unbelievable! Pure excitement, and pleasure raced in her very veins from just a spell. That was something she wanted to feel more! "Once I find him, I'll use the fireball and blast that-"

"AMU." Miki scolded. "Try thinking of this as a lesson! He IS your mentor." The blue sprite flew in front of her nose a scolding frown on her small little face, and Amu averted her gaze. Reminding herself of the mission she was on. This magic use couldn't of affected her mood this much could it? Then again, it was Ikuto's fault she was acting like this in the first place.

"What kind of stupid lesson would this be? 'Abandon your new apprentice to fend for themselves'?" Amu paused as she thought about it and laughed humorlessly, the aftershocks of the magic still sending delightful shocks through her at unexpected moments. "Yeah! That's a catchy lesson! Let's have a contest to see who the survival of the fittest is!" Amu fumed, she felt it with her magic as well...it felt nice to know that her magic agreed with her.

"Now, Now Amu. There's no need for sarcasm-" The cheerleader Sprite patted the side of her head, only increasing Amu's frustration, her buzz quickly forgotten.

"Quiet Ran. I don't need another annoying voice in my ear." Amu snapped. Each of her sprites look scared at how Amu was being, which caused Amu to double take. Quickly, she recanted the ingredients for a cure of the flu in a potion her mother had taught her, relaxing herself, as well as calming down her magic. She hid her face from her sprites, her bangs hanging low over her nose.

"I'm...sorry guys. I didn't mean to act like that to you guys...it's just hard doing stuff like this...I-I've never done it before."

Dia patted her shoulder. "It's alright Amu...you're going to experience new things. Some may be nice...some may be not so nice...but it's all to help you grow and shine." Dia used her soft, and calming voice that helped Amu calm even more. She smiled and looked at her sprites, rubbing away the faint tears that had formed on the rims of her eyes.

"Thanks, Dia."Amu sniffed a little, Dia smiled in response. Amu huffed with a renewed determination continuing to follow the red trail.

Amu trained her glance on the line, that seemingly floated in mid air. When a breeze came it moved slightly, as thought it were actual cloth. Following it wouldn't be hard.

Soon, Amu was deep in the city. People were still bustling to and fro, as though it weren't in the dead of night, Witches and wizards flew every which away going to wherever they were headed. The occasional arcade was active with kids playing the magically powered machines, that unlike humans, never coned your money off of you. (Even though bets were made quite often in there.) The occasional push and shove were common between the fellow gamers in there as they joked about their skills, for a moment Amu was envious, then remembered WHY she didn't play games like that. One: She sucked at them. Two: The games now a-days were just plain awful and stupid.

"Some people just don't have lives..." Amu muttered. She noticed that there was a turn coming up, but sat on a bench to relax her aching feet. Any more walking and she won't be able to use these shoes.

Amu gazed into nothingness, allowing herself to drift in thought, not particularly thinking of anything in particular. Amu didn't know how long she sat there, but it was nice to have a tiny bit of time to just veg. Then again, why was it that she was in such a hurry anyway? It wasn't like Ikuto needed her ASAP. He just left her there with her own devices and a mountain of clues.

The temperature changed a little after a while, and Amu looked up to see Tadase sitting beside her, as though he had been there the whole time. "Hey, Amu." He said softly.

Amu smiled back at her ghostly friend. "Hey, Tadase." They sat in silence, simply basking in each others company, before Tadase decided to break the silence. "I see that you have a mentor." Tadase was staring at Amu's wrist where the bond was, his expression was blank, but his eyes held a storm of masked emotions that Amu couldn't quite point out. Amu covered her wrist stuttering in embarrassment at now having to explain herself. "O-oh...um..yeah. I guess I have."

The young witch looked around trying to focus on something to get her attention away from the scrutinizing eyes of her friend. Tadase sighed, his eyes unfocused as he seemed to be in deep thought. What was wrong with Tadase? He rarely let his emotions go wild like this.

Kiseki flew up and gave her his won scrutinizing glance, then went to his 'subjects' over a sprite meeting that they would be having in two weeks time. Miki looked utterly infatuated, while Ran was bouncing all around in excitement. Dia and Su were smiling at the energy of the group.

It was good that her sprites were conversing with the other sprites than keeping to themselves. (For the first month or two within their birth they had only talked and played amongst the four of them. Though, Rain being the more eccentric of the four had taken initiative by befriending Kiseki withing the first week of her birth, but that was as far as it went for a while.)

It was about a minute before Tadase decided to speak again. "I wish I were alive..." Amu widened her eyes, and opened her mouth to try and comfort Tadase, who held up his hand to stop her, a sad smile on him. "I wish I were alive, so that I can help you be the best witch that you can be...but I can't. And that's all there is to it."

"Tada-" Tadase stood up with a huff and looked far away. "I think...I'll go for a walk. You go and do whatever you need to Amu. While you can." With a wave, and a smile with closed eyes he dispersed to whatever destination he thought was appropriate. For a few moments, Amu couldn't speak. She stared at the space where her best friend had just been standing. Is this really worth it? Am I doing the right thing? I should've said something to try and-

"Amu-chan," Su said, sounding worried, "You're hands-" Amu startled, unclenched her hands to feel the sting of cut skin, a hiss made it's way out of Amu's lips and she blew on her palms softly to dull the pain.

"It's fine now Su. Thanks for worrying." Amu laughed it off. Kiseki looked at everyone, giving a grand (but cut short by Ran) speach and left to go in search of his human...well, ghost.

Amu giggled a little bit at the kingly sprite and strode in the direction that the red line led off to. "Off we go then!" She laughed again, trying to come across as happy and chipper..while on the inside she was worried sick about her dear friend.

Would it be impossible for Tadase to move on and be happy? What was going to happen to him? What if he never moved on? She kept on forward, and thought she was hearing something behind her, but she didn't pay it any mind still brooding on her worry for Tadase, her eyes unfocused no longer even trained on the line of red legs on complete autopilot.

"Amu look out-"

"Your heading straight for a-"

"Amu-"

"Wait-"

Since it didn't occur to her to try and pay any attention to her sprites as she brooded on what she was going to do about her friend, her pace only quickened, causing her to plow straight into a brick wall at full force, head first.

For a couple of long seconds there was no pain, slowly comprehension was being made, she noticed that her head was throbbing and harsh burning on her skull, right around her forehead to be exact. There was a groaning sound, but Amu couldn't tell where or who was making it. As her consciousness began to process the situation and pay attention to what was going on, it was then that it dawned on her that it was her, who made that noise.

Amu turned around, placing her back on the wall and slid into a sitting position, holding her head and rocking slightly back and forth trying to ease the pain. What she wouldn't do for a pain-reliever potion at that moment. Amu then noticed that her world had stopped spinning, and her head injury was causing so much pain it was making her, very, very nauseous.

The cries of her sprites were loud, and made her head ache. "Guys-" They didn't hear her whisper. "Guys-" She said a little louder. Still, they didn't let up on wanting to see if she was okay, by being their loud mouth selves, it also didn't help that their voices were high pitched, and shot right through her head only causing more pain.

So, In order for her to not blow up at her friends she staggered slightly to her feet, and brushed the pink locks out of her face, and straightened. With a slow deliberate movement of her injured head she located the direction of the red line, and began to walk away.

On the outside she was as calm as calm could be, but on the inside, she was plotting many deaths, be that they passed on, or not.


Ikuto pushed himself off the wall, and began to stretch his legs a little. His little apprentice really didn't know what to do with herself. At times Ikuto thought it would been simpler just to take her here himself. Ikuto shook his head and leaned up against a nearby tree. The point of this lesson was to trust the bond to lead them to the other no matter what, or how long it took.

Ikuto chuckled to himself to find as he had watched her that she had somehow managed to be so oblivious that she had managed to well acquaintance her head to a solid wall. As soon as she managed to make her way here, he would heal her of course with the proper incantation and pain-relieving potion. But then again, he could just leave her to her own devices and teach her to just pay attention.

Ikuto contemplated with himself some more, but decided against that approach since the point was to create TRUST between him and Amu. Having her go through unnecessary pain would be counterproductive in that mode of thinking.

"Ikuto-Nii-san." Without looking behind him, Ikuto chuckled.

"Tadase." The ghost of his former friend looked back wearily at him, as always in his nightclothes from when his human body no longer was able to handle life.

"Ikuto-nii-san," His eyes trained on his wrist with the visible bond on it. "You're a Mentor now...so I must assume that Amu is your apprentice?" There was no joking tome in the kids voice, and Ikuto smirked at his bold, and correct assumption. Ikuto thought about blatantly lying to him, but then again, he WAS dead so where was the worry in sharing the little secret?

"You're assumption is correct little Prince." Tadase glared at Ikuto and the ghost walked briskly up to him looking up to him sternly and with calculation in his strong gaze. So much different from when he had been alive. "Why?"

Ikuto raised an eyebrow. "Why not?" He smirked and turned away from the ghost and began to walk towards the building. "Amu has a lot of power. She needs to learn to be able to control it. I know how to teach her how. If anyone else had become her mentor, they would've been to scared of her to do any good, or of taught her to use her power for the wrong purpose."

Tadase gnashed his teeth, and shook with anger, his energy spiking, making the air cold. "But you did not have to go to such lengths as to not warn her of the dangers of being a witch. You must of tricked her into thinking this was just like a class in school! It isn't like that, but she doesn't even realize the great responsibility she now has! For all I know YOU could be the one taking advantage of her...or maybe, just hand her over to those who would."

Ikuto chuckled and sighed at all of his worries. Really, where did he come up with this stuff? Though he wasn't too far from the truth of the horrid possibilities of what could've happened to Amu, and what exactly she thought she had gotten herself into. Not a lot of people do at such a young age.

"Tadase, she's just a kid. She has many things to worry about, but right now the number one problem for her is to be able to trust me." Ikuto said in an authoritative tone, then it became slightly harsh, "It's not like her apprenticeship has anything to do with you anyway. You're just a ghost to stubborn to move on." Ikuto watched the ghost flinch to his cruel words, but there simply wasn't a need to sugar-coat everything. Ikuto would tell Amu the dangers once she was ready. At the moment she was still developing her trust towards him, this was the most crucial part of the process at the moment and he couldn't worry himself over the secrets he was going to have to inform her of.

Ikuto felt the stress building, but he decided not to let that bother him. "You still have time Tadase, go play for once. Don't worry about the harshness of the world. You may have been given the short end of the stick and died to early, but you can at least still be a kid for a little while longer before moving on." Ikuto shooed him away with a wave of his hand, but Tadase didn't budge, his eyes glowed with determination.

"Ikuto-Nii-San, I hope you're right." Tadase faded heading towards another destination.

Ikuto let his gaze linger on the place where his former friend had been a moment before, and chuckled shaking his head. "Tadase is digging into more trouble than he realizes."


Amu winced as she jarred her head from moving it to fast in order to dodge a reckless skateboarder, who didn't so much as give warning of his moronic actions.

"Really! Who skateboards in the nighttime!" Amu shouted at the retreating back of the boy. Gently, the young apprentice placed a tentative hand on front of her head where a slight amount of dried blood flaked off, onto her fingers. She grimaced. "There's no way I did this with just hitting a wall."

The four chara's each exchanged worried glances, all of them knew exactly how distracted Amu was when she practically ran headfirst into that wall, and with Amu, nothing was impossible for her, she knew this, thus ignored the looks.

"It's all Ikuto's fault..." Amu sighed out and as if that solved all of her problem. A shiver travled down her spine so she rubbed the sides of her arms in the chill of the air. "I should be in a nice warm-" Amu saw light glint off an object, like something was moving, she looked in the direction she saw it from and her gaze only met with bushes, whose leaves refused to brown.

Still in the same position Amu stayed as still as possibly, trying to see if the glint of light would appear again.

Again there was a glint of light after a couple of minutes. She took a couple of small steps forward, and strained her neck forward, then something-no SOMEONE fell out off the bushes tied in chains. This man seemed to be in his twenties with brownish..maybe a very stretched version of a shade of pumpkin color? He had a pair of wire rimmed glasses, and his hair was long enough to be in quite a bit of disarray in his position, or perhaps he hadn't even brushed his hair at all today?

"Is-is he dead...?" Ran said tentative, and lowered to where she touched the cheek of the unconscious person. When Ran did so, the man's eyes opened automatically, at first they were drowsy, then confused, looking around and spotted Amu his eyes trying to focus on her.

"Um, you, witch apprentice, could you tell me where exactly I am?" His tone of voice was slightly humorous, almost as though he were trying not laugh, but there also was a hint of annoyance that struck in it. Apparently he wasn't as sleepy as he looked.

Quickly, Amu looked at the nearest street sign. "Um...Akibetsu Avenue, North East." For a moment the mystery man looked as though he were having a hard time processing that bit of information then out of no where he cackled then tried to wriggle out of his constraints.

"Well...it seems that my adversaries wanted me to be restrained and out of the way, but not to far from my home. It makes me wonder how long I was asleep. Apparently deep enough and long enough to be unconscious through this..." As he spoke to himself, he managed to free one of his hands. He snapped his thumb and middle finger breathing out an incantation, a pale gray light encompassed the chain, and the steel transfigured into a limp wet noodle and when that was done, and also satisfied that the spell had worked he easily broke it into pieces.

"Well, you know what they say, 'Don't think the worst of things where there's something good in the mix.' I wonder who said that?" The orange haired man took out his wan and banished the remaining bits of noodle. He hooked it back in the holster on his arm, and tried to fix his ruffled hair. 'Try' being the main word in that sentence.

All the while, Amu couldn't think of a single sane word for this man. How could he sleep through...this? She tried to contemplate on what exactly this man was doing, when he held out his hand to her. She looked from the hand to the man a little confused on why he was offering it.

"I apologize for that little scene...my name is Yuu Nikaidou." Amu shook his hand very slowly, then took her hand back trying to be polite and not wipe her hand, and promising herself to rid of whatever grime she had on her hand and wash it away.

"My name is Amu, Amu Hinamori." Her smile was so obviously fake that Amu cursed herself for not mastering the art of masks. Inside her thoughts she now wished she hadn't of even attempted the weak act. For some odd reason the man, Yuu Nikaidou, didn't even seem to notice as he looked her up and down thoroughly with a curious expression.

"Ah, I see...so, Himamori, I think according to your contract you're heading in same direction as I am." He smiled down at Amu, placing his hands in the pale-brown trench coat he wore.

"It's Hinamori, and how can be so sure?" She put up her outer character and gave him a skeptical glance, meanwhile on the inside she was panicking beyond reason. Hoping that this strange Yuu Nikaidou wouldn't stay around to long. She may not be good at masks, but facades and persona's was something she had a good handle on when she could handle it.

Nikaidou returned the stare, with a more humorous one he smirked and chuckled, then he began to walk in the direction her line was headed. Amu startled, and took a step back, but then began to follow the strange man muttering something about insanity.

She continued to think about how if Ikuto hadn't of left her alone, about how much easier her life would be.


Little did the young apprentice realize that Yuu Nikaidou was watching her from the corner of his eyes, smirking at what he saw. He felt her magic out sliding through the gaps and concentrated and cast his magic on her, planting feelings inside of her. Shaping the spell to the exact desire he intend, as was ordered by his employer.

Once he was done casting, he felt the girl's energy spark, and that was the sign that the compulsion was doing it's job. It was only a matter of time. Even her magic was glowing with growing rage. Right now was the perfect time for her anger to grow, and have them do as she was expected. Now all he had to do was push her in the right direction.

"So, whose your Mentor?" Yuu noticed the scowl that grew on his victims face and he chuckled. "I take it that he doesn't have a great personality?" Yuu was testing the anger that was growing on the inside of Amu. He needed to test out the strength of the charm that was growing inside of her.

"My mentor abandoned me to figure out how to find me after he promised to tell me what I wanted to know. Before that he tricked me into making the decision of becoming an apprentice before the 'Guide' set me on my path. He's manipulative, and I am going to get back at him." Amu had clenched her hands against her sides, and her sprites were cowering from her, afraid of what she was going to do, the green one seemed a little more scared than the others, but she hovered in the space between the two magic wielders. How odd.

"I'm sure it isn't as bad as you make it seem. Perhaps there's a meaning to his madness." As long as he pretended to be the responsible adult he wouldn't be suspicious. As long as things like this continued to progress things like this, he might be able to sever all trust between the two. The green sprite nodded a little and tried to say something, but was cut off the the pink haired girl.

"Believe what you want, but it's the truth..." She muttered between clenched teeth, and Nikaidou grinned within himself. This could be very fun to watch.

The green sprite cocked her little head at all of this and she pursed her lips debating visibly debating on something. Yuu couldn't help but smile, this little sprite was so very easy to read. With a nod of her capped head she flew beside him, giving a small curtsy as she introduced herself. "I am Su. It's nice to meet you, Nikaidou-san, Desu."

Yuu looked at her from head to tow determining if he should interact with her. Though it would be interesting to see the type of personality that this seemingly kind sprite had. "Nice to meet you." Yuu spoke kindly even though he wasn't very fond of speaking to sprites. This was purely for his own observation, nothing more.

"How is it that you came to being tied up in a bush, Desu." Su, persisted, but Yuu schooled his deteriorating expression and laughed rubbing the back of his head. "I actually haven't a clue." That was a lie, but it was best to keep to the story he had developed for himself.

"You must be a deep, deep sleeper, Desu." The little cook of a sprite said cheerfully. "Who knows what would've happened if you had woken up. They might've hurt you."

Yuu double took coming to a complete stop. "What? Why would you think that?"

Su looked at him and patted his cheek, for some reason irritating did not spring from the touch. "Because it would be bad if you were hurt from those bad men who tied you up."

She sat on his shoulder and continued to converse with him. It was...nice to have someone worry about him like that, but he had to remember what his job was, he couldn't get TOO close to them before the operation was set into motion.


Ikuto frowned when he felt that Amu was near another wizard. The magical signature was a little foreign to him, but when he thought about it, and honed in on the signature, there was no doubt in his mind on who it was. Something bad was going to happen. He was ready though, things like this weren't uncommon and who said a little excitement was unhealthy?

The wind picked up, the anticipation rising and the air held a suspense that was thick like mud, it was then he noticed the outline of Amu, and another person beside her. Her sprites flew out at top speed, and stopped in front of him, motioning wildly about something that was the matter with Amu. Each of them feared about the sudden change in attitude, but Ikuto raised a hand to quiet them.

Slowly they did and Ikuto motioned them away. Reluctantly they did so, when Amu came into sight her face contorting into a rage equivalent of a lightning storm, screaming, "OH, and now you've taken my Sprites too? I've had it with you!"

A burst of mad energy and magic focused, surging, and curling around Amu's hand creating a ball of destructive energy. Ikuto knew that if that touched him, he would be in a world of hurt, so he decided to go for a course of action to teach the man beside her who was running the show, as well as where Amu's proper place lied.

Ikuto focused his own magic, casting silent and quick speed spell so he could do what was needed without hopefully getting harmed TOO badly, preferably not at all. With Amu's state it should make things easy since she wasn't really in her right mind.

Just as he finished his incantation, the blazing white fireball left Amu's hand in a fierce pitch that left a backlash of wind, the fierceness of a wild animal in her eyes, intent on his death.

Ikuto smirked, easily conjuring a counter attack dispersing the fireball into nothingness; only infuriating Amu further.

Ikuto now took a proper look at the mystery man, and sneered in contempt as he only NOW recognized this man as, Yuu Nikaidou, smirking in triumph. This man was the lapdog of the organization Easter. If he was here that isn't a good sign. It would also explain all the Dark Sprites in the area lately.

Fortunately, he was about to burst the guys bubble. He smirked taking a slingle step forward before moving with such swiftness even a vampire would be proud, he appeared in front of Amu; the Dumpty key in hand.

With a conversational tone, he spoke to the pink haired Demoness, "It seems you need to be taught about control Amu. I guess I'll have to teach you how to use your magic responsibly." He placed the key in it's respective hole and turned it to the left, a loud, resounding distinct click came from it. It was a sound held with disappointment, and coldness. Unlike the first time he had turned his key when the click was filled with pride. "But for now, you don't deserve to use it."

Amu struggled to get away, but it was useless, for as the key turned home the lock shined brightly with the Amu's magic, locked away from her, it now, no longer available for her to use.

"Wh-what did you do!" She screeched and went to strike with her hands, like a feral animal. Her eyes were filled with brutal hatred wild, uncontrolled. There was so much intent for murder in them, it was when Ikuto knew what was wrong with her.

Ikuto sighed, simply side stepping, and backing away from Amu's hostility. He then cast a binding spell to make Amu stay still, for her safety and his. Even though she was bound, she struggled and yelled to be released, out of slight annoyance Ikuto also cast a silencing spell; with a slight sigh of relief he turned to Nikaidou his face a mask of a dark expression. "Why did you place such a strong compulsion charm on her?"

The man's eyebrows quirked, and a corner of his lips rose. "How did you know?"

Ikuto shrugged, now coming off as aloof, and cool, controlling his temper to the best of his ability. "Even though I may not be that close to her yet, I still recognize when that particular spell is being used. Your plan failed, and I'm still here. Now I suggest you leave." The tone of the young man's voice was calm, low, but highly threatening. Ikuto had half a mind, and the right, to kill this man where he stood. Ikuto did not portray these feelings, simply going for a stoic look as he stared down the perpetrator in front of him.

Niaihou shook head simply shrugged with a lopsided grin. Ikuto narrowed his eyes. What was he thinking? What was the plan if it wasn't to murder him?

"My plan hasn't failed yet Ikuto. The more she hates you, the less trust she has in you." Nikaidou grinned and turned to walk away, then he threw over his shoulder, "I was also was told to tell you, by a certain someone, that Easter is planning on trying to act on operation Embryo again. I didn't want to tell you, but this person said you needed to know, and was very convincing on the reasoning behind telling you." A couple of steps later he disappeared from sight, holoing wherever his destination was. 'Certain Someone'...? Who in the Nine Hells could that possibly be.

Ikuto sighed trying not to dwell on unnecessary things, at least, unnecessary at the present moment, and looked at Amu who was still fighting the spells he had cast on her. It was now or never, so he stepped forward towards her. With one hand he reached out and placed a hand over her eyes, and slipped his consciousness in her mind to reverse the damage that had been done.

Ikuto now felt memories and thoughts wash over him as he wafted through her mind, it cluttered with many, many things, like blind hatred and plots, creatively he might add, to kill him. Normally he could just dispel it without having to enter the orifice of her mind, but he felt that this one was going to be a challenge and needed to be delt with in person.

As he searched he came across the memory of the guide. From beginning to end he watched her vision, and he felt appalled on what the Guide had told her. Dark will harm? Ikuto furiously thought to himself, then thought again. The Guide never would say anything prejiduce against the Dark or the Light. They each held balance to each other! None was good, nor evil. Who ever this was, it wasn't the Guide that allowed us to start the magical development journey. This impostor was manipulating a young child.

Something was majorly amiss here, he just knew it, but Ikuto had other things to worry about. Again, he set out on his quest which was short lived as he found the parasite that was lodged within her. It glowed with twisted hatred and anger. Ikuto grimaced, and then a growl tore from his throat when he realized that this hex wasn't just simple hatred. This was was the pure feeling of wanting to destroy anything dark. Well that explains the reason of the strength behind it's planting. Amu had fell victim to not to a hex, but a curse, but thankfully this particular curse could be solved easily. It also even explained why she was attacking him. Even though he could use both Light and Dark magic, he leaned more to the liking of Dark. It matched who he was.

For a few moments he thought about a safe way to remove this curse, when an idea struck him. He would make it to where Easter would never be able to make her their weapon. He would change her to where she had the choice of course...with a bit of a compulsion to stay on his side of things, since it would be safer that way. It wouldn't be strong, oh no, but it would still be there.

Ikuto raised his hand and began a course of spells, Latin streaming from his lips, willing the curse to change and morph into something new.


Yoru wandered back over to the meeting house, even more bored than he had been before. What he saw only made him a little more exasperated. It was clear his human was deep in magic casting so there was no way he was going to find any fun from him. What was he supposed to frickin' do now?

The street cat Sprite looked around in disinterest and then saw four sprites hovering around Amu with personified fear, and worry. He shrugged, perhaps they would be good conversationalists. "What's the matter, why the long faces, Nya?"

Each of the sprites with equal surprise, looking in his general direction. Their color schemes kinda hurt to look at with the close to neon colors they wore, but he still watched them expectantly cocking his head a little.

The pink one flew over to him first and examined him with slight enthusiasm. "You must be Amu's Mentor's Sprite." She smile, but he noticed it was strange, and her voice shook a little. Someone who looked like a cheer-leader with a pink obsession should normally be peppy...right? Well, he could be right, well, might as well as get introductions out of the way.

"I'm Yoru, Nya. And you are...?" Like a switch her expression changed to that of bubbles, and bunnies. "My name is Ran! It's nice to meet you Yoru!"

Yoru chuckled to himself. That was more like it, "And the others...?" Ran nodded and pointed to the blue one. "That ones Miki." Miki, waved half hearted wave, and Yoru nodded for her to continue. Ran then pointed to the green one. "Su." She smiled more convincingly and flew over to Yoru. "It's nice to meet you, Desu." Yoru chuckled, she reminded him of sweets, if her outfit was anything to go by. The last one Ran pointed to was a gold one. "And this is Dia." Dia was the most calm one and nodded, but didn't say anything.

Su looked over at Amu again. "Is Amu going to be okay, Desu?" Yoru cocked his head to think about it. It wasn't as though the witchling wasn't going to be okay, but perhaps these four needed a bit more encouragement?

"Yeah, if Ikuto is taking the time to take care of her, then she'll be fine no problem, Nya." Even with his reassurance, they looked worried, but visibly each one looked better. It was a start.

Yoru wandered over to his human to see just how deep he was in, and then saw that his eyes were closed. He almost NEVER closed them. Yoru tried to get closer to the blue-haired-wonder, but was repelled. He's in so deep he put up wards around himself. What exactly did this stupid girl get into? This was just wrong! No offense to Ikuto, but they cold be there for hours.

"Might as well get ourselves comfortable, we could be here for a while, Nya." The four brightly colored sprites exchanged worried glances.


Time was irrelevant inside the mind, but Ikuto was sure that he had been there for a good amount; when he slipped back out of her conscious, the sky was already beginning to turn gray with light. Ikuto sighed, and gave Amu a once over.

At some point she had lost consciousness, but was still in place by the binds. He sighed again this time, feeling his power mull through him. The magic felt good to use. Though the buzz was nice, he pushed it away to concentrate.

Waving his hand, mumbling a spell the invisible bonds were release. Since she WAS unconscious, he had to catch her from falling onto the dirty ground. "Alright. Time for bed." He muttered, placing his arms under her legs, and shoulders. Ikuto held her carefully in his arms like a bride. Of course they could've holo-ed inside, or levitated her, into the building. But where would the fun be in that?

When Amu woke up, hopefully unaware of trying to mutilate him, he would go into further explanation of the things that needed to progress into the future, and the job she would soon take over with him.

After that, he would find them a new place to stay so that her training could commence. With what she was going to go through, she needed all the help she could get- with out many distractions.

Ikuto didn't pass anyone inside the meeting house, and for that he was grateful. The last thing he needed was to explain was his new apprentice being unconscious, magic sealed.


Meanwhile, Yoru was listening to all the poor sprites, spout out their worries. Visibly his patience was wearing thin, but he could feel for them. Ikuto had stuff like this happen to him a lot when he was an apprentice. A lot more than the normal morally right, but Ikuto learned how to protect himself. He learned very quickly that the world looked down on dark magic, but no matter how hard they try, the Light can't ever smother the dark, because once they think they have succeeded, they just see they've cast another shadow.

Hey guys! I'm am terribly majorly ubor sorry for yet another late update on HM, writing these kinds of chapters takes time, especially since the length is something I'm not used to doing, but am determined in mastering!

Perhaps the next one will be longer...who knows. But I'm really proud of how this chapter came out...if you find any problems with grammar, or fluency ect, pleease inform me! I really would appreciate it~ and I'll try to update sooner.

Remember: Read Review and Rainbows Need Rain! Till next time!