Author's Note: As usual, if there are any grammar errors, plot holes or any other things which you feel can be improved, feel free to drop me a PM or Review about it. Constructive criticism will be taken into consideration while flaming will be ignored and used to roast vegetables for my bunnies. Also, I try not to create Mary Sues and Gary Stus. If the (accidental) creation occurs, please inform me and I will rectify it ASAP.
Thank you and enjoy the story!
I do not own MÄR Heaven and everything in it. I only own my OCs.
Explanations regarding the accessing of magical power and the theory of it are all my own postulations.
"Nhnn…" I moaned as I started to stir.
I opened my eyes and blinked a few times, trying to get rid of my blurry vision. I sat up carefully, only to find myself in a cave. I was pretty sure that I crashed onto open ground, not a cave… I decided to get up and do some exploring of the cave. Just as I got up, a voice cut through the silent cave.
"Oh, you're up.." A silken tenor commented blandly.
I whirled around and found my cerulean orbs meeting crimson rubies. The man who spoke had white hair that was loose and reached his lower back. He was lithe and toned, built for speed. He was rather tall, making me feel inferior with my shorter stature. He wore a loose white jump-suit like garment, much like those the ancient Greeks wore. He had slitted crimson eyes and thin lips that had fangs poking out like some cheesy vampire. The most interesting features were the two white cat ears atop his head as well as the two tails swaying behind him. All in all, he looked rather handsome and truth be told, maybe kind of like Dracula, except with cat ears.
"A-Are you Chase…?" I asked tentatively.
"I'd think that would be quite obvious. However, humans with the exception of you seem to think otherwise." He rolled his eyes and sniffed rather disdainfully.
I snorted. I didn't know humans were that retarded. I mean, come on! This guy has the same eyes and even a pair of cat ears and two bloody tails! Are his previous masters fucking blind?! My thoughts must have been pretty obvious since Chase chuckled and gave me an indulgent nod, probably an answer to my rhetorical question, I think. I may be thinking too much…
"Since you seem to be in the pink of health, I won't bother checking you over." Chase intoned indifferently before fiddling with something my eyes couldn't see.
An awkward silence descended upon us and I suddenly thought of something that I saw before I blacked out - the shiny item Günther tossed in after me. Just as I was about to voice my question, Chase being the seemingly telepathic bastard he was, answered me.
"I found this ring. I think it's an ÄRM that Günther tossed in before the Training Gate closed." He offered me said ring with a rather reluctant look on his face.
I turned the ring around and inspected it. The ring looked to be made of silver and had a motif of a war fan on it. Squinting, I saw some engravings on the inner band of the ring, but I couldn't read it. The lightning was too dim in the cave.
"Chase, could you check what this says? I can't really see well in the dark." I asked.
"Fine." He muttered in an irritated fashion and mumbled something I couldn't hear under his breath.
He took the proffered ring and stared hard at the inner band.
"It says Weapon ÄRM: Tessen." Chase stated.
"Well, I guess I'll try and activate it." I muttered and took the ÄRM from him.
"Weapon ÄRM: Tessen." I said, expecting the ÄRM to dissolve into particles and form a war fan but it remained as it was.
I growled at it, glaring hard. If looks could kill, this puny ring would have been melted and broken ten times over. Chase laughed, making me glare at the smirking demon cat.
"Foolish. You don't have magical power so you won't be able to activate the ÄRM yet." He insulted, an amused smile painted on his face.
It might have been my eyes playing tricks on me but I think I saw a tiny streak of pink across his cheeks, probably due to my eyes going bad in this dark cave.
"Ugh. Again with the stupid magical power! How on earth would I be able to activate it if I can't synchronise with it?!" I raged.
"Well, You can always train hard and earn it or something." Chase suggested.
"Eh... You going to help me with the training or something?" I raised a casual eyebrow.
"No." He rejected me rather flatly.
"Well shit. How else am I going to know what to do." I muttered to myself.
Suddenly, the sound of footsteps echoed through the cave. Chase and I tensed up, ready for an attack only to see a teenaged boy who looked about fourteen with wolf ears and a tail staring at us curiously. Chase stared at him distrustingly while I decided to do something anyone would do right now.
"Who're you?" I demanded from the teen, who jolted in surprise at my sudden question.
"I'm Lupus, a Guardian ÄRM of Günther-sama. I'm used to guide people in the Training Gate. I'm sorry for being late! I was kinda side-tracked by this rabb- I mean planning your training schedule." The canine teen cried out and bowed repeatedly.
"Whatever. What's on for training?" I brushed aside his rather insincere apology.
"He could be an enemy spy luring you away to kill you." Chase cut in rather rudely.
"And why would he want to kill me?" I raised my eyebrow once more.
Chase had no reply for that and glared sullenly at Lupus instead. I decided that he was not feeling sociable and thus, I should do the smart thing and not talk to him. Ignoring the disgruntled nekomata, I gestured for Lupus to show the way and followed the fidgeting guide out of the cave.
A slight smile tugged at my lips as I heard an almost silent sound of padding behind me, indicating that Chase was following us outside as well.
When we finally emerged from the cave, Lupus stood at the side and toyed with his ears nervously while I started to tap my feet, waiting for Lupus to spit out something useful.
"Well, what am I going to do for training?" I asked rather impatiently, making Lupus jump.
"U-Um… We're going to tap into the core of your magical essence to release the magical power locked away. It's done by meditation… Oh! And you can't leave the Training Gate unless you reach the targeted amount of magical power Günther-sama set for this place." He explained.
So… I guess it's something like accessing chakra in Naruto… Ah, the joys of anime and manga... They teach you things you didn't know you needed.
"How do I enter this meditative state?" I questioned.
"Basically, you have to empty your mind of all thought." Chase explained simply.
"Right. I'll try now." I muttered before closing my eyes and attempting to do what I have not done before.
Up till now, I never knew how hard it was to empty my mind of thought. It was easy to get distracted by stray thoughts which my mind would hungrily lock onto. Chase helped me focus though, my hitting my head hard when he could tell I had trouble focusing on emptying my mind. This went on for an undetermined amount of time and finally, I managed to enter the meditative trance.
I knew that I was searching for something, but not what exactly the thing was. After all, I haven't seen magical essence nor felt it before. As I probed deep into the recesses of my body and soul, I felt a sudden gush of warmth. Seduced by its comforting pulse, I followed the gentle warmth and found the core of that wonderful heat – a glowing light that was restrained by an orb. Deducing that this was likely my magical core, I did the stupidest thing I could ever do and I poked the glowing blue orb hard. Unexpectedly, or perhaps I should say as expected, the orb shattered, creating a horrible screech that made me snap out of my trance.
My eyes snapped open as I panted, the phantom screech ringing in my ears and piercing my soul. Chase looked at me with veiled concern as I wondered if I had done something I should not, but Lupus cut off my train of thought.
"Great! You've managed to unlock your magical reserves. Now then, it's time for some rest before going onto physical training and alternating with training to increase your magical reserves and synchronising with your ÄRM." Lupus clapped his hands with a gentle smile.
"Wouldn't that take a long time?" I asked.
"Yes, but the time here flows at 1/60 the pace of the time outside. So, let's get to work!" Lupus explained cheerfully.
I nodded and tried to stand up but felt myself swaying. I was steadied by an unwilling Chase and groaned as my head felt like it was splitting. Lupus concluded that I wasn't feeling all that well yet so he decided to push training to the next day and flounced off to get some food for us.
Chase grudgingly helped me to the cave and sat me down, with the wall of the cave supporting my back. He picked up some wood from a pile of firewood at a corner of the cave – which I didn't notice before – and arranged it neatly. With a simple snap of his fingers, a ghostly blue fire ate at the wood merrily. He sat a few metres away from my figure that was propped up against the cave wall, staring at the dancing blue fire. As I looked at the hypnotic glow of the fire, I slowly fell into a deep sleep, completely dead to the world.
I must have been more fatigued than I expected since I found myself awakening the next morning in the cave. Feeling something warm draped over me, I removed the item and found that it was a fur blanket. I stood up and looked around to find that Chase and Lupus were nowhere to be seen. Shrugging my shoulders, I stretched myself and worked all the kinks out of my back before I strolled to find a water source for me to drink and bathe from.
As I wandered, I realised that I felt absolutely great, as if nothing could get me down. I wondered if that was a side effect of unlocking my magical power but decided to think about it later when I finally came across a large, clear lake with a waterfall at one end. I tested the temperature of water and found it a little chilly but still suitable for bathing. With that, I stripped down and took a nice, cool bath.
I returned to the cave to find Chase and a cheerful Lupus who had an armful of colourful berries. Chase looked slightly relaxed when he saw me, if the slight relaxing of his tensed shoulders and his ears meant anything.
Lupus gave a polite greeting and laid out the berries. The three of us ate our breakfast before Chase and I followed Lupus to a grassy piece of land.
"Shin-sama, please try to activate the Weapon ÄRM now. You should be able to do it after unlocking your magical power. Send a small stream of magical power to activate the ÄRM." Lupus instructed.
I nodded my head in reply and tried to do as Lupus said.
"Weapon ÄRM: Tessen." I whispered under my breath.
For a moment, nothing happened. I stared at the ring in a disappointed manner and was ready to throw a tantrum in the recesses of my mind when the ring dissolved into blue particles. The particles reformed into two battle fans, one in each of my hands. The battle fans were made of a metallic substance which I wasn't sure was steel since the metal was obsidian black. The edges of the fan were razor sharp.
Chase whistled at the sight of the battle fans while Lupus nodded his head approvingly.
"Great! You managed to activate it. However, it took quite some time. You'd be dead if this was the battlefield. You'll have to keep on activating and deactivating the ÄRM until it activates and deactivates almost instantaneously." Lupus ordered.
I bit back a sigh of irritation at the new task presented. Getting the foundations steady is important or else everything would just crumble if the foundation is shaky. That doesn't mean that I have to like it though. With that, I proceeded to do said task as commanded by Lupus while Chase took a cat nap nearby. After about an hour, I finally managed to activate and deactivate Tessen almost instantaneously. The trick was to gauge the correct amount of magical power and pressure needed to be sent to the ÄRM to achieve an almost instantaneous activation and deactivation.
Lupus kindly gave me a short break after that and trotted away to do god knows what. Probably reporting to Günther, I guess. Meanwhile, I shuffled over to the still snoozing Chase and flopped down next to him. Feeling strangely mischievous, I reached out to poke his cheek when his arm suddenly grabbed my wrist tightly.
"Darn. Foiled." I mumbled under my breath.
One of Chase's slitted eyes opened and gave me a disapproving look. I rolled my eyes and wrenched my hand out of his grip, deciding to stare at the clear blue sky instead as I waited for Lupus to come back and resume our training session.
"Sorry for taking so long! Let's start the next phase of training!" Lupus announced after disappearing for thirty long minutes.
"I didn't know we had some sort of schedule. You didn't look smart enough for that. After all, you were side-tracked by a rabbit." Chase couldn't resist making a dig at the poor canine teen.
I rolled my eyes at his surprisingly childishness and the need to poke fun at Lupus.
Lupus gave him a disdainful sniff and seemingly ignored what he said as he stalked sharply away after making an impatient gesture for Chase and I to follow him. Chase and I glanced at each other and shrugged our shoulders before trudging after the irate Guardian ÄRM.
Soon, we arrived at a rocky quarry filled with stones of all sizes. Lupus was tapping his feet impatiently, his ears folded flat against his head in annoyance. He threw up his hands when he saw us and stomped over.
"What took you guys so long? You're so slow! We're already behind time!" He practically exploded.
Chase and I cowered before the furious wolf boy, wondering what the hell was wrong with him. He wasn't a girl so it couldn't be his time of the month.
"Shin! Get over there! We're going to begin our training! Chase! Go take a nap there or something! Well, why aren't you moving?!" Lupus raged, jabbing a finger at us.
"Y-Yes, Lupus-sama!" We squeaked out in terror and scurried to obey his orders.
"Don't insult him again." I whispered to Chase just as we parted.
"Noted." Chase grimaced.
"Shin! I'll be training your awareness so dodge all the rocks I'm throwing at you! We'll do it until you can dodge a hundred rocks in a row!" Lupus declared, rocks already in his hands.
I gulped and nodded. Thus, Hell began for me. Rocks of all shapes and sizes flew at me with amazing speed and accuracy. It was hard to dodge all of them completely. At first, I got the full impact of most of the rocks. But, as time passed, my dodging rate gradually improved, with most rocks clipping me instead of hitting me head on. The fact that boulders were thrown as well probably played a part in my improved dodging rate…
What seemed to be a few million light years later, I could finally dodge the rocks with ease. Lupus seemed to have kept a record of the rocks I dodged in a row since he finally stopped and nodded his head in a satisfied manner. I flopped down onto the ground and panted hard, thanking God that the torture was finally over. I was absolutely filthy, with dust and dirt all over me, not to mention dried blood and some wounds that were still oozing with fresh blood.
"Good job, Shin-sama! You've managed to do this training exercise in only four hours!" Lupus congratulated me cheerfully.
I wanted to edge away from the bipolar Guardian ÄRM but decided not to just in case it set him off into rage mode again. Now that was not something I want to experience again. Ever. Chase trotted over to me and commented on my state of cleanliness, or rather lack thereof. I smirked and jumped on him, proceeding to make him as filthy as I was. Chase gave me a scowl and growled while Lupus grinned and heaped more dirt on us.
"Hey!" Chase and I protested in unison, causing Lupus to laugh.
Glancing and nodding sneakily towards each other, we each grabbed a large handful of dirt and dumped them onto the unsuspecting Guardian ÄRM who was too busy laughing to be aware of his surroundings. His yelp was indeed, music to our ears. He pouted cutely as Chase and I high-fived each other at the job well done. With much laughter and horsing around, the three of us went for a bath to clean our filthy selves and gathered some food for lunch.
"Shin-sama, I would like you to practise with your weapon ÄRM. Hunt down an animal using the ÄRM so that we can have some nice, grilled meat for lunch. Chase and I will be observing you and we will only help you if you really need it. Now off we go!" Lupus smiled and led the way into a dense forest.
"Now, there are some rather dangerous animals deep in the forest so try not to wander too deeply in, alright? I wouldn't want to have to pick up another corpse or anything." Lupus gave an angelic smile while Chase and I gulped.
Another corpse…? What the hell has Günther been doing?!
After the kind warning from a too happy Lupus, we entered the forest. As far as we could see, there was no animal large enough for us, I mean me, to hunt for meat. The animals in the outermost area of the forest were the small ones, like squirrels or mice. We wandered deeper into the forest, light slowly bidding us farewell as the forest grew denser and denser. However we continued on, since no animal appeared.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spied something grey on a large tree that was probably at least thirty metres tall. I paused in my steps and turned to look up at the grey object but found nothing except for a few fluttering leaves.
'There's no wind so the leaves shouldn't be moving at all. Something just left, quickly at that. This might be dangerous.' I thought to myself as I narrowed my eyes.
"Hurry up! I want some lunch so let's get this over with!" Chase called out.
"Yes, Your Highness!" I yelled back sarcastically and gave another once over to the tree before running to catch up with Chase and Lupus, completely missing the glowing, acid green gaze that was fixed on myself, an unspoken hunger burning within them.