Contract II-

Repens Congressus

Sekainari City-Sekainari Municipal High School September 9th 16:06

Tap. Tap. Tap.

The school day was over, but I was still sitting at my desk in the second row, staring out of the window, and tapping my pen repeatedly.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Perhaps it was just agitation. Or was it perhaps excitement?

I really was unable to determine that.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

After all, everything was finally starting to come to a close. The events in Amakusa that day…are finally being wrapped up.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

"Hey, are you ready to head out yet?" A door opened at the side of the classroom closer to the blackboard, prompting me to turn around and stop tapping my pencil.

"About time, Tokiko. What took you?" She was standing there at the doorway.

"Hey, I'm the Iincho [1]. Don't forget that."

I got up from my seat, put on my sweater and picked up my bag as I headed to the door. As she picked up her bag and sweater from her desk at the front right corner next to the door, I walked up to her out of the classroom and shut the door behind me as we walked out of the school together.

It is said that we never know what we have until we lose it. At the same time, we can never fully gain back what we lost. But…when we do gain that back, we begin to cherish it and never take it for granted. I never really thought about it like this before, but then again…I guess nobody ever does until they actually lose something important.


Sekainari City-Sekainari Municipal Junior High School May 8th (Three Years Prior) 9:02

"Alright. Please come in."

A timid looking girl opened the door to the classroom slowly and cautiously. She had black hair with a single bang above her right eye. She slowly walked into the classroom while avoiding eye contact with the students sitting in the classroom. She walked until she stood next to the teacher's desk in front of the whiteboard. While holding her bag, she turned to face the class while fidgeting with her thumbs and tilting her head slightly downward.

"Come on, write your name on the board and introduce yourself."

The girl put her bag down while leaning it on the teacher's desk as she made her way to the board and wrote some characters down. She turned back towards the class and softly said,

"Amami…Tsubasa…Pleased to make your acquaintance…"

She bowed her head slightly as she said this and then looked back up. As she looked up, she noticed the awkward silence amongst the students in front of her. After a few seconds of that silence, there was a loud cheer. Words like "cute" and "huggable" were thrown around.

She even could swear that she heard someone shouting, "That's moé! She's totally moé."

As Tsubasa's eyes widened in surprise at the clamor, she noticed that most of the class was cheering with the exception of five people.

One was a lone girl sitting in the front row and center column. She was a girl with a sunset orange hair color. She seemed more immersed in a book she was holding than the surroundings. Her amber colored eyes held an expression of apathy.

The other four were a group of people who sat in the back corner towards the door in a square arrangement. Tsubasa assumed from their condescending expressions that they were more likely than not the class's "clique".

As she shifted her attention back towards the rest of the class,

"Rika-Rika! Can we keep her?" The girl, who cried moé earlier, directed at the teacher.

"That's Takino-Sensei to you, Aeka!" An annoyed Takino Rika-sensei yelled. "Besides, she's not a pet! Why are you asking if you can keep her?"

Tsubasa silently chuckled to herself at the rowdy scene.

Maybe…I can actually fit in here. She thought.

It was quite the boisterous group of people but Tsubasa was unable to deny that it was still enjoyable.


Sekainari City-Sekainari Municipal Junior High School May 8th 12:22

It was a mob scene.

Well, that's what I would have said if I wanted to exaggerate it.

Needless to say, a crowd was forming around me. I could understand why. The sudden transfer student is the type of clichéd development meant to introduce a new character in an anime. This kind of thing is rare in reality. As a result, people would want to see this new kid and get to know them better. The attention was somewhat annoying, though. But I digress.

Within this mob scene, I could hear question after question being thrown at me. Among them were "What's your favorite color?" and "What kind of shampoo do I use for my hair?" The answer to the former is light blue, the color of a clear sky, and the answer to the latter is a secret, by the way. At the same time I heard someone ask "Are you an alien, ESPer, or time traveller?" Surprisingly, Aeka was not the one asking that.

"So, where did you go to school before this?"

"I went to a public school in another city. Due to circumstances, I moved out here and enrolled in this school."

I'll admit it. Vagueness has its merits. No matter what they asked, I really wanted to avoid mentioning Amakusa in any form. The kind of stigma that the incident had was not exactly something any sane person would call pleasant. Thankfully, the media never connected me to the incident as the sole survivor since doing so would endanger me. As such, I was able to live without being treated as an outcast. However, that meant that I had to keep silent about the incident itself.

"What's your family like?"

"I am actually an only child. My direct family…all died in an accident recently."

It was not a complete lie that I had said there. The incident in Amakusa that killed all of the residents was labeled as an "accident" by the media. My words were merely a minor stretching of the truth as I intended it to sound more like a car accident or a fire.

My response, of course, led to some adverse reactions amongst the others. A lot of the students had begun whispering. Some of them were saying things about the possibility that their prying was insensitive.

"It really isn't insensitive," I replied while keeping an empty smile on my face. As long as the incident itself was never brought up, I was perfectly fine divulging part of my past. In the corner of my eye, I could see a blonde girl sneering at me. If I remembered correctly, she was one of the "clique" kids. As such, I just ignored her.

"So, what kind of club activities were you a part of in your last school?"

"I was in the kendo club, actually. I learned how to use both itto style and nito style techniques. The others in the club said that I was actually pretty good. But…I never really participated in competitions. So, I'm not really all to certain whether they were being genuine or just being nice."

"Wait." One of the boys interjected. "Why wouldn't you take par-"

"The thing is, I really dislike too much attention, " I interrupted. I know what I just sounded seemed a bit arrogant, but it is a true statement. I really dislike an excess of attention. That response seemed to garner an awkward silence.

One condescending voice then broke that silence. "What's with the hair in front of your eye? Is that supposed to be your attempt at a fashion statement?"

I noticed that the voice came from the blonde.

"Ahh…you don't have to pay attention to her." A girl with short, black hair and a strap around her skirt with a small, white bunny plush attached spoke. On her right hand was a fingerless glove extending half-way up to her elbow and on her left arm was a black wristband. "Tsuruko is not the type of person you want to associate yourself with in any way, so just ignore her."

I looked around for a second before speaking. "I really don't mind answering that." As grateful as I was for that advice, I really hated submitting to other people. I pulled up the bang over my right eye to reveal a large scar on my right eye, which reached from a centimeter above my eyebrow to the bottom of my lower eyelid. "I was involved in the accident my parents died in. During that time a piece of shrapnel scraped across my eye. Shortly after that, I lost all use of my right eye."

"Tch." Tsuruko clicked her tongue and walked out of the room with an expression of annoyance.


Sekainari City-Sekainari Municipal Junior High School May 8th 12:45

My interrogation was otherwise uneventful. Despite all of the tension that arose from some of the questions, the mood lightened up shortly after Tsuruko left. Afterwards, only one person remained in front of me. It was the girl from earlier who warned me to stay away from Tsuruko.

"Well, that took guts, to say the least," the black-haired girl said. "I can't honestly say that was a smart move, though."

"Why is that?"

"Well, she doesn't take well to anyone attempting to bite back at her," a new voice resounded. It was the voice of the amber-eyed girl who was reading the book earlier. She was walking up to me while clutching at the book in her left hand. "She is infamous amongst the student body. She has her own band of people which she controls all on her own and as a result has more power than the student council or the staff. She has ruined other students for even standing up to her. Avoid her at all costs and never confront her if she comes to you."

"I guess I'll have to take that to heart then, huh." I sighed deeply.

"Now that the heavy stuff is out of the way, allow me to introduce myself," said the amber haired girl. "My name is Kiyomizu Tokiko. I'm the class rep here."

"Ahh, right," the black haired girl said afterwards. "The name's Kure Kirika. Just call me Kirika. Nice to meet you."


Sekainari City-Sekainari Municipal Junior High School May 8th 15:15

"So, are you thinking of joining any clubs?" Kirika asked.

"I'm thinking of joining the kendo club. Since I was part of the kendo club before, I think it would honestly be easier to continue that. Plus, I like having an excuse to carry my shinai."

"Well, the kendo club meets in the gym in the back." Tokiko spoke. "If you want, we can take you there. The kendo club captain is a close friend of mine."

"There the Iincho goes again about her friends," Kirika sighed.

"Her name is Kuwashima Touko. She's a bit energetic, but she's a nice person. She'll help you fit right in." Tokiko chuckled for a second. "I think you'll like her."

Tsubasa mused over the idea for a bit. After some minor contemplation, she agreed to go.


Sekainari City-Sekainari Municipal Junior High School May 8th 15:21

Apparently, there are multiple gyms in the school. This was done to accommodate all of the clubs. As such, I expected the gym to be pretty small. When I entered the gymnasium, I was surprised. Kirika said my mouth was wide open when I saw it.

"Your jaw dropped," she said with a laugh. I pulled myself together immediately afterwards. "Well, it's not all too surprising that you'd react that way. The place is pretty big."

I looked to Tokiko who looked like she was scanning the gym.

"Touko-chan! There you are." Tokiko looked to her and waved, catching the attention of a person who was already dressed in guards. She made her way over to the three of us and took off the men [2] on her head and unwrapped the towel around her head leaving her shoulder length crimson hair to fall. She had hazel eyes which displayed a certain air of calmness and openness.

"So, you're the new transfer student, huh," she said.

How quickly does word get around this place? I wondered.

"Well, I think it's time for us to head out." Tokiko said.

"Thanks, Tokiko. Kirika."

"Well, see you tomorrow." Kirika said as she walked out of the door with Tokiko.

"Yeah. My name is Amami Tsubasa." I extended my hand out to the girl.

"Nice to meet you. I'm Kuwashima Touko, the captain of the kendo club." She gave me a welcoming smile and extended her hand out to me while still wearing her kote, taking hold of mine. "So, I take it you want to join the kendo club."

"It's more like I'm taking a look at the club. I'm not even sure if I want to join a club at all." I replied.

"Hmmmmm...How about a quick spar then?" Touko offered.

"Wha?" Of course, I was dumbfounded for a second.

"The rules will be altered slightly, though. The first person to score two points wins. Does that sound fair?"

"Uhhhh…"

"We'll even lend you a hakama and the necessary equipment for the spar. How about it?"

I began to notice stares from the other people in the gym including Tokiko and Kirika. I sighed, "Fine. I'll do it."


Sekainari City-Sekainari Municipal Junior High School May 8th 16:29

Fifty-eight minutes had passed since the two girls started sparring. The two girls were tied with a point each and the third round was underway. Throughout the match, it looked like the two girls were even. The match attracted an audience of the remaining kendo club members when Tsubasa scored the first point of the match.

Touko was holding a single shinai, clutching it fiercely with both hands. Three feet away from her was Tsubasa holding two shinai. One was a short shinai resting in her right hand, which she held in front of her. Her left hand, which held a normal length shinai, was raised a foot above her right hand.

Tsubasa was breathing heavily. Throughout the match, Tsubasa was mainly on the offensive. However, Touko's smooth maneuvers and quick defensive stances prevented Tsubasa from making any clean hits on her guards.

"You're pretty good at this." Touko panted out.

"Thanks. The same goes for you."

"Now…"Touko breathed in as she quickly made a step forward while raising her shinai. As she took her second step with her right foot, she swung down the shinai while aiming at Tsubasa's head.

Tsubasa immediately blocked with her left shinai and veered inward bringing her right hand shinai down to Touko's right arm. Touko shifted her left foot back and dodged. Tsubasa shifted towards her right and balanced herself before she noticed Touko coming in with another strike. She immediately shifted her left foot out to brace and caught Touko's shinai with both of her own.

Tsubasa then brought her left leg in and back to once again stabilize her balance. With that, Tsubasa lifted her right leg and pushed in, slamming her left shinai down into the gap between her right hand shinai and Touko's shinai while pivoting it about the contact point. She slammed the shinai down onto Touko's helmet and slammed her foot down while shouting, "MEN!"

A silence took hold of the gym as everyone stared in disbelief. The club member acting as the referee said with a stunned voice, "Point…and match to Amami Tsubasa!"

Tsubasa collapsed, panting, into a kneeling position and dropped her shinai to the ground as she leaned on her right leg.

"That was a pretty good match," Touko said as she reached her bared hand towards Tsubasa. "Are you okay? You look pale."

Tsubasa took her hand and stood up while walking to a bench on the side of the gym. She stripped off the borrowed men, kote, do, and tare and placed them at her side as she removed the towel wrapped around her head. "I'm fine…just somewhat tired," she said as she let her hair drop back down. She drank half of the water from a water bottle she brought with her and looked back at Touko and a few others, who had followed her.

"But, really, Amami-san. That was incredible. Very few people have ever been able to take the captain on equal footing. All of those who were able to have already graduated." One of the girls said.

"It was just luck." Tsubasa replied. "There were too many moments in the match in which I just barely was able to prevent attacks from hitting and even when I was on the offensive, she blocked easily." She looked at Touko with a minor scorn. "It was almost like the captain threw the match."

"While I didn't throw the match, I did hold back at first." Touko replied. "But, you started pressing me to a point where holding back would have been a bad idea. After all, you were just warming up at first. Once you were in top condition, it was pretty hard to block your blows."

The discussion continued on between Tsubasa and the kendo club for another half an hour before Tsubasa began to head home. She still was not all too sure about whether she was going to join the kendo club or not. However, she was sure of one thing.

That was way too much attention.


Sekainari City-Northern Bloc (20, 29) May 8th 17:15

Sekainari City is a mostly circular city. The only aberration is the eastern wharf which closer to the center than the remaining edge since the harbor is shaped like a thin wedge into the circle. The center of the city is a park and is denoted as (0, 0). The first number is the block number while the second is the angle from the Northern axis in degrees. The city has 360 angular divisions from 0-359 such that zero points directly north. The financial district and the shopping district are both close to the center of the city. The school is located at (4,9).

Since the school is close to the center of the city, students at the school usually find it easy to commute there. While there are normally buses running from all corners of the city inward, I find that it's much more pleasant to commute whenever the weather is nice.

I was about twenty blocks away from the school and one thirds of the way home when I noticed something in an alleyway that I passed by on the left of me. It was pure coincidence, but I noticed a weird scene.

I saw what looked like a high school student pointing at another with a knife. The one with the knife had the other boy cornered into a wall. He was about midway into the alley in a darker section so, nobody noticed him. I stood back behind the corner of the alley and avoided being seen. From what I could see, the victim was being silenced and as such was unable to call for help. From what I could see, the assailant's eyes were completely blank. There was no malice. No hatred. Not even any bit of killing intent. It was as if he was being controlled like a puppet.

I sighed for a second. I really could not leave this alone. Ignoring this would definitely come back to haunt me and the police would be unable to make it in time.

"I'm going to do something stupid." I sighed.

I was going to jump in and intervene.

I repeated those two ideas in my head multiple times before taking a big sigh.

I turned into the alleyway and took one step before running into it. As soon as the assailant noticed my approaching, he pushed his potential victim aside and ran towards me with a knife in his right hand. I kept close to the wall on my left. When we were within a meter of each other, the assailant immediately attempted to jab the knife into my forehead. I took the bag in my right hand and put it right in front of the knife which subsequently hit the bag dead center and impaled it so that a small portion of the knife stuck through the back end.

I let go and pivoted to right next to his right arm. In that instant, I slammed the arm into the wall next to him, which led to him reflexively letting go of the knife. The assailant moved back by a few steps.

I picked up my bag that was lying on the floor and pulled out the knife. I then took the knife and stowed it with the blade facing downwards into my bag. The assailant backed away by a few more steps before turning around and running.

"Tch." I looked at the mystified victim who was still on the floor. "Whatever you do, don't contact the police. Leave and forget that this ever happened."

It was an unreasonable request, I'll admit. However, there was no way I wanted to let the situation be further complicated by more intervention. Without another word, I began to chase after the assailant.


Sekainari City-Wharf, Eastern Bloc, Abandoned Warehouse 08 May 8th 18:20

After chasing after the high school student assailant, we eventually ended up on the eastern edge of the city. I was able to catch up to him and knock him out by jamming the handle of the knife he dropped into his celiac plexus.

When he fell unconscious at the entrance of the warehouse, I noticed something on the back of his neck. I looked to see a circular border with a block that had a spiral curving around it. On closer inspection, I saw that the spiral was a snake. Within the circle seemed to be red dots and splatters scattered around randomly.

A Rod of Asclepius covered in blood…What a weird tattoo…As much as I hate that I couldn't figure out why he was acting the way he did, at least it's over. So I thought.

As I stood up, I noticed something splattered all over the door of Warehouse 08. I walked closer and saw that on the door was the same symbol that was on the boy's neck. A Rod of Asclepius covered in blood enclosed in a circle was drawn across the center of the door.

Out of curiosity, I placed my hand on the warehouse door. At that moment, my hand went through the insignia and I tripped into the symbol.


Witch's Labyrinth-Medina May 8th 18:23

I simply landed flat on my face. It was not exactly enjoyable. I lifted my face off of the cold hard floor and rubbed my nose as I looked around me. The scene around me was quite bizarre. Everything looked almost as if it was constructed out of cardboard. If there was anything I could say with absolute certainty, it was this: I certainly was NOT in Warehouse 08.

What I saw was the inside of a hospital. The ceiling was three times as high as a normal hospital and the hall was five times as wide as it would usually be. I looked behind me and noticed that the entrance I tripped into had disappeared. As I got up and picked up my bag, I walked to the door next to me that was labeled "Experimental Samples". I opened it to find a room filled with multiple jars filled with formaldehyde. Each jar had some sort of sample inside it.

"What the hell?! Where am I?" I knew that it was pointless asking, but I blurted those words out anyway. I slammed the door shut and continued onwards in hopes of finding an exit. After a few minutes of walking straight down the corridor, I notice that there are a couple of carts with surgical supplies moving quickly in the same direction that I was. I continued moving until I noticed a door with a sign saying "Operating Room" on it.

I took a deep breath before opening the door. Once the door opened, the floor slid under my feet as if it was a conveyor belt and pushed my to the center of the operating room. Once the floor stopped, a surgical light was turned on and directed at me.

I looked forward to see what was a large green snake coiled around a twig which was 6 meters high. It proceeded to unwrap itself from the twig and use its tail to grab and lift it off of the ground. I attempted to back off slowly and reached for the knife, which I stowed away in my bag. As this happened, the twig was immediately replaced with a massive scalpel of about the same height. The snake lowered its head to right in front of me. It then immediately pointed down the scalpel from above and pushed it straight downward. I immediately dodged to the right and saw the scalpel dig in two meters into the OR floor.

At that moment, I attempted to throw the knife into the snake's left eye as it pulled out the scalpel. The snake simply lifted its head to avoid the knife, which slid away by a few meters. The snake once again swung the scalpel down towards me and I proceeded to dodge to the left. However, the snake held the scalpel with its handle parallel to the ground and touched the blade to the ground before swinging it like a bat in my direction. As soon as it hit me, my body was knocked over and rolled around for about 3 meters and landed face up.

Luckily, my body was relatively unharmed. As I tried to get up, I noticed that my legs were not moving. I was unable to move my legs at all.

Am I really giving up here!?
The snake slithered over to my location and towered over me as it prepared to use the scalpel again.

Dammit! I don't-

The snake swung down.

WANT TO DIE HERE!

"DILATION! TIMES ONE-THIRD!" An echo rang out as an amber flash impacted the snake's tail near the scalpel and pushed it away. The tail let go of the scalpel and it flew away.

The amber flash then landed in front of me before charging into right below the snake's mouth. Within the next second, a black aura erupted from the ground beneath the snake, slowing it down.

A black stream erupted from the right of the snake before tilting downwards and slashing the snake diagonally. Once the stream hit the ground, the snake fell apart into two large end pieces and two small middle pieces. The pieces of the snake faded along with the scalpel and what dropped was a small black ellipsoid with points at the ends of the largest axes.

The orange flash landed next to where the black stream landed and both faded to reveal…

"Iincho…? Kirika…?"

"Ahhh…IT'S YOU!" Kirika shouted in surprise.

The class rep was dressed in a thin white trench coat with two orange stripes from her shoulder down and short sleeves along with an orange brooch. She had an orange and white striped knee-length skirt. On her feet were a pair of armored shoes. Her hands had brass knuckles on top of thin white gloves that extended to her elbow.

Kirika was dressed in a thin, black coat with two large coattails extending from her back and two thin coattails extending from opposite sides of her waist while crossing behind her back. The collar of her coat extended to the bottom of her ears and there was a square-shaped opening in the front of the coat below her neck that ran to her chest. Across the opening there was a black 'x' that extended from her coat collar to the bottom of her opening. Underneath the opening was a white collared shirt with a red tie. The bottom end of the white shirt and the ends of the sleeves were ruffled. She wore a black skirt typical of an office lady that went a foot below the bottom of the shirt. On her feet was a pair of loose black boots, which extended half-way to her knees, and a pair of white stockings that extended to 6 inches below her skirt. At the edge of the fingers on her right hand were three large curved claws.

The outfits dissipated off of their bodies and left their normal school uniforms and a gem appeared in each of their hands. Kirika picked up the black ellipsoid object off of the ground.

"Hmm…it looks like only enough for one use." Kirika said.

"Then you use it. Yours is more corrupt at the moment." The class rep replied.

"Alright." Kirika tapped the ellipsoid to the gem in her hand. "Done. Hey Kyubey! I have another one!" She tossed the black object to behind her.

A white cat-like creature with bunny-like ears coming out of its ears and rings around those ears appeared and caught it in an opening on its back which was then closed.

The background OR then faded away and we ended up near the door of Warehouse 08. I looked to the door and noticed that he sigil on it had disappeared.
"Wait, weren't you gonna leave, Kyubey?" Class rep asked.

The creature called Kyubey shook its head and stared at her for a second.

"I see…" Kirika replied. She then walked up to me while the class rep followed behind and reached her hand out. "Do you think you can stand, Tsubasa-chan?"

I took her hand and she pulled me up. I noticed that I was able to move my feet again. I stood up and looked at Kirika for a second.

"Yeah, I think I'll be fine." I say as she lets go.

"That must have been quite the frightening experience, huh?" Class rep said.

"I was looking eye-to-eye at death right there. I think frightening is an understatement." I replied in a snarky manner.

Well, now that that's out of the way, allow me to speak. A third voice had chimed in. I looked around to see where the voice was coming from but I was unable to find anyone.

"You might want to look down in front of you." Kirika replied.

As I looked down, I saw the creature they called Kyubey looking at me.

In a creepy manner, it spoke to me without even opening its mouth. Hello, Amami Tsubasa. My name is Kyubey. I would like you to enter a contract and become a Puella Magi.

I only had one response to the request. "Huh?"


Footnotes

[1] Class Representative

[2] This is the helmet used by kendo participants. Kendo participants have four guards- the men which is the helmet, the kote which are the gloves, the do which is like chest armor, and the tare which is worn beneath the do.


Author's Note

And so, Chapter 2 is finally complete. Originally, this was meant to be longer and extend up to Tsubasa's wish but that would, I think, almost double the chapter length. Chapter 3 should extend to Tsubasa's wish and will most likely be shorter than this one. Unfortunately, I don't know when I will get the chance to write it since my classes are already piling up the work even on the first week of the semester.

Second…no more kendo matches in this story…ever. The only research I did was on Wikipedia combined with a couple of videos on youtube and the first two episodes of Bamboo Blade.

Well, that's all I have to say for now. I am also starting to write a new crossover fic called A Certain Absolutely Lovely City. Check that out as well. *Shameless advertising*

Thank you for reading my second chapter. I hope you enjoyed it.

Please review.

So, I lay down my pen until next time.