I have the power to change the world… but what world is this? I'm in a world with two moons and an abyssal sky that looks like it hasn't seen the light of reality that can be described by me in any way, shape or form. This place isn't earth. I'm no longer in Japan. This place… why am I here?
"Zero" – Regular Speech
'Zero' – Thoughts
"Zero" – Unknown Speech
"Zero" – Spell/Technique
Shiki stood there, a little shaken at what the teacher had told him. How someone could say something like that so easily was odd to him, to say the least. His eyes were starting to bother him as he held eye-contact with the mage. The pulsing sensation and the pounding beneath his skin start to reverberate through his skull as the use of his eyes started to take their toll. He would need an antidote, a countermeasure, something to save him from this curse as he wouldn't be able to survive in this world without something to stop his eyes from destroying his mind.
"Gah…" he groaned as he fell to his knee, clenching his hand upon his skull so the palm covered over one of his eyes as they were starting to burden him once more.
"Still bothering you isn't it?" Colbert asked, almost rhetorically.
"Y-Yeah… this curse of mine… I don't think I'll ever be free from it…" Shiki grimaced as he repositioned himself against the bookshelf so he could focus on treating his eyes, despite it being a fruitless endeavor. "Louise said that you might be able to help me fix this problem. Do you think you can?" He asked, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.
Colbert, with his infinite wisdom and precise teachings that he developed over the years, calmly took a seat and started to sift through his books. The pages that were once motionless and decayed, along with the rest of the pieces of literature that seemed to be frozen in a time pocket that hadn't been accessed in the past 2,000 years, started to fly about vibrantly as the man turned the pages with frightening speed. The rate at which this man had read his books and skimmed through the pages almost seemed legendary as the book looked like it came alive with each turn of the page. The contents he browsed over depicted ciphers and symbols completely foreign to Shiki. The hieroglyphics that looked to be random and sporadic to Shiki were all but too familiar with Colbert as he finally came to an abrupt stop where he wanted to be.
"Ah… here it is." The teacher of magic said as he turned the book around.
Depicted in the piece of literature was a diagram that made little to no sense to Shiki. There were several symbols and letters outlining the circular diagram, almost as if it were to be used in an occult summoning for devils and demons. The intricate designs and lines that made up the circular diagram actually started to look familiar, at least some portions of it, as Shiki thought he saw part of it before. He didn't quite remember where but when he focused further on it, the more it kept striking out to him as familiar.
"Sir… this part here…" Shiki said as he placed his finger along the portion that stuck out to him the most. "…What does this portion mean?" He asked inquisitively.
"This portion is actually one of the base elements needed to keep the spell stable. It's depicting the Earth element." Colbert explained as he looked at the page. Moving his finger from the first portion, he then went on to the next part of the diagram to explain it further.
"This portion is another base element. It's needed to keep the spell continuous so it doesn't put a strain upon the body. This element is Water." He started to get into his rhythm of teaching Shiki as he delved even further into the basics of the elements as he moved on to the third portion of the diagram.
"Now, this portion isn't as stable or as distinct as the other two circles diagrams. This portion is the depiction of Fire and what the element provides is that of power. It's a very volatile portion of the spell that must be treated with the utmost caution, lest you destroy the current base and the whole spell erupts into an impure magical source." He instructed as he moved on to the fourth circle.
"This is the final circle of the four outer ones. Can you guess which one this is based off of what you've learned thus far?" He asked, hoping for a proper response.
"This one is…" Shiki started to answer until he caught himself. "…Sir, I'm not even sure if I'm able to cast magic. Why should I-" he was then cut off as Colbert put one finger up and swayed it back and forth as if he dismissed Shiki's opinion all together.
"Just because you're not a noble doesn't mean you can't cast magic Shiki. I'm only teaching you this basic portion so you can learn what I'm going to be doing to help you." Colbert replied with a smile as he placed his finger down onto the fourth circle again. "Now, what is this portion's element?" He asked again.
Sighing to himself, the young man could tell that he had lost this battle with the teacher. He knew that he was curious about all of this and he finally figured out that Colbert was trying to reassure him of the fact that he knew what he was doing. In fact, learning a little about the lore of magic and what type of life Shiki was getting himself into would prove to be beneficial for him in the future… so there really was no reason for him to refuse this teaching. Taking the bald man's advice and accepting his offer, Shiki looked back at the diagram before giving an answer.
"This is the element of Air… from what I can tell… it's a support element that flows between the other three." Shiki surmised as he looked at the diagram. "At least… that's what it looks like." He added at the end as he wasn't entirely sure on what he was saying.
"Very good Shiki." Colbert said, almost a little surprised as he hadn't expected that thorough of a response. "If you look at the diagram, you'll notice that the three circular patterns are slightly different from one another but they stay within their own relative areas. The fourth one on the other hand branches out, almost like a conduit, and connects the others together, making interconnections between elements to support and stabilize between them all." Colbert explained as he traced his fingers over the lines which made up a great portion of the diagram.
Moving his finger over towards the center of the image, Colbert stopped as he realized where the symbols had all intertwined at. This was familiar, yet not so familiar to him as he never really knew about the Void element that was known by a great deal of people but unknown as per what type of properties Void magic provided for magical community as a whole. It was apparent that he didn't know how to explain it to Shiki as the boy immediately asked the question he wasn't quite prepared to answer.
"And this last circle… what is it?" Shiki asked as Colbert looked at him with a wry smile.
"Well… for lack of better words to teach one who knows very little about magic, this is known as the Void element." Colbert stated bluntly as he tried to find the words to explain what it was.
"Void? You mean like… nothingness?" Shiki asked with a puzzled expression as he tried to wrap his mind around something so abstract to him.
The first four elements were rather simple since it could be referenced to something tangible. Void on the other hand wasn't something that Shiki could match up with. Whenever the word 'void' came into his mind, he could only think about space or of a black hole which sucked up everything. How could something like this be an element? It didn't make much sense to him as it seemed to have no correlation with the other magic he was just now aptly familiarizing with.
"Well… no. Not exactly anyways… The thing you have to realize is that not everything is as it seems in this world." Colbert explained as if he were trying to teach a newborn the basics of rocket science. "Void magic was a magic long lost during the times when people first started to understand the basics of magic and how to control it. Void was a complex magic made up of several abstract elements that fused together to create a darker form of energy." Colbert explained as he tried to delve back into his memory to explain what exactly Void meant in terms of magic.
"Wait… it's a darker form of magic? Like… it's evil?" Shiki asked as he felt more intrigued on the subject. He didn't necessarily know what the old man was talking about as he was still new to this realm and what form of reality everyone lived in, but the more and more he heard of this teaching of magic, the more he felt inclined to learn.
Chuckling at Shiki's interest in the subject, the old mage simply shook his head from side to side as he thought harder on how to explain Void magic. He was quickly interrupted in his thought process though when he looked outside the window and noticed it was already getting very late. He could tell from the moons shining above that it was roughly 10PM.
Deciding to adjourn the subject here, Colbert walked over to his bookshelf and found a simple leatherback book that explained the basics of the five elements. He thought that if Shiki were this intrigued in the subject with just a simple lecture, he would find more answers if he started to study on his own. Granted, Plebians weren't meant to learn magic and it was forbidden for them to even learn the studies of it… but Shiki was different in his eyes. He was something special that Colbert wanted to see grow from where he was now. Handing him the book, Colbert placed his hand on the boy's shoulder and smiled contently at his new student.
"We'll call it a day here Shiki. I'll have more answers for you on how to take care of your eyes when I learn more about how to seal them." The wise mage said as he handed the book over to Shiki. "This book was one of the first novels that I read over to learn magic. It's very old and the pages may be a little worn and torn, but it's served me well in the past. Now I hope it serves you well." He ended his lecture with a slight chuckle as he picked up another three pieces of literature that he would need to look over for research. "Now, I think we've left Louise alone long enough. Wouldn't want her to chew your head off now would we?" Colbert said with a smile as he moved to the door to flip the switch, opening the secret chamber which filtered them back into his classroom.
Strangely enough, Louise wasn't angry with Shiki or Colbert as the two came back into the room… or at least they would hope she wouldn't be angry as she was completely knocked out from how long she had been waiting. Sitting in the middle of the room, in one of the classroom chairs that she had moved, Louise had propped herself up so as to greet the two males with a fiery expression as she was only 10 feet away from the door. This in turn had failed since she was now completely passed out in said chair with half of her hair covering her face and the other half draped across her back as she had tossed and turned slightly in her uncomfortable position.
Looking at her with a slightly confused expression, Shiki couldn't help but smile as he wondered why he had been stuck in this place to begin with. Granted, it was all this girl's fault that he had been summoned here and from what he had gathered from the comments and insults from her peers; Louise was a trouble-child. She held herself in high regards as a noble and was second to none when it came to messing things up. She was a dunce. She was the outcast. In addition to this, she was his 'master' in this world as he was now part of a hierarchy that relied on this type of structure. So, playing his part as the 'slave' and being a kind gentleman overall, Shiki picked up the unconscious mage and held her like a princess as he turned around to face the teacher.
"Well then… I guess I shall take my leave sir." Shiki said with a small bow as he started to make his way out with the book resting snugly in the arms of Louise.
"Mr. Tohno." Colbert said as he was about to leave.
"Yes sir?" Shiki replied with a puzzled expression as he turned his head towards the old man.
Standing there, a little frozen as per how he should approach the subject that was on his mind, Colbert simply shook his head from side to side as he couldn't tell Shiki what was on his mind without worrying him. Deciding not to do so, Colbert simply sighed.
"No… it's nothing. Have a good night." Colbert said dismissively as Shiki gave him yet another confused look as he tried to figure out what exactly he meant to say.
"Y-Yes… will do sir." Shiki finally said as he turned to face the door which led them down the stairwell and into the courtyard.
Staring out the window, Colbert watched as the young man made his way back to the dorms. He knew that just from teaching him a few basic principles of magic, Shiki Tohno was something special. He was different from the other students he taught but he just couldn't figure out why. This intrigued him even further as he was still wondering on how to seal up his eyes as he knew they would be a problem in the future… but it would have to wait until later as he soon addressed the fact that he was been observed by someone.
"Come on out. I know you're there Headmaster." Colbert said as he shook his head from side to side.
The Headmaster of the school came out from the dark corner of the room as if he were the shadow itself. It was strange since it wasn't in his usual demeanor to be doing such a thing, at least that's what Colbert thought as he saw the white-bearded mage walk towards him.
"Oh, I thought I was being pretty sneaky but I guess I can't get past your eyes." The Headmaster said with a chuckle as he looked out the window to see Shiki walk through the door into the dorm rooms.
"So, you're interested in him too I take it Headmaster?" Colbert asked as he turned to face him.
"Oh yes. I'm always interested in things that make little to no sense in this world." The old mage spoke as he admitted to the fact almost instantly. "This is one of those 'once in a lifetime' opportunities that you may never get to see again." He said with a smile as he looked over at the three books that lay upon Colbert's desk.
Just from a simple glance, the Headmaster already knew what Colbert was up to as he knew those books all too well. In fact, most of the books in the school itself were probably read by him on multiple different occasions so he was probably unduly familiar with a plethora of them.
"So, what do you plan to do? Sift through all these books until you find an answer that has a happy ending where none can exist?" The wise cryptic man said as he walked over towards the books. "If so, I would say you'd have gone insane." He tacked on at the end, picking up one of the books to start reading through it once again.
"If it is what I must do to make it easier for him, then I'm more than happy to devote some of my time towards it." Colbert responded. "I would even say that it's my duty as a teacher of magic to be able to help my students in need, should they require it."
"Oh and I don't disagree with you but Tohno is not a student of yours so why the sudden interest in helping him?" The old mage retorted as he tried to address the issue in a formal way. "Not that I have anything against teaching a Plebian to cast magic but I'm curious as to why now? Why this early?"
"You should probably see it for yourself. His eyes are… something extraordinary." Colbert said as he had no real idea on how to describe the feeling he felt when he was trying to analyze Shiki's eyes. "You should probably see him tomorrow. He has several questions that I doubt I could answer in the same fashion as you could sir." He added as he picked up the other novel to start looking through it for some sort of answer that probably didn't exist for him.
"I have already scheduled a time actually. We'll see if we can help our little student out with his problem as he lives here." The Headmaster said with a smile as he put down the book.
From that point forward, the Headmaster's demeanor had shifted from his usual 'happy-go-lucky' attitude. Instead of a cheerful old man who was probably several hundred years past senile, the old mage had a stern look as he addressed the topic that was on his mind. His eyes said it all, he was serious about this.
"However… don't try to kill yourself over this. I doubt there is much we can do with eyes like those. From what I could hear, they're not something to be toyed around with. Eyes that can see death in every living thing is a powerful weapon. The stress that can be burdened along with that power must also be overwhelming. Don't get stuck between the two and become a product of that burden." The Headmaster said with a gaze that could freeze the blood within your body.
"Don't worry sir… I don't plan to be on the receiving end in such a situation." Colbert said, trying to dismiss the subject.
"Not many do." The old man responded instantly, almost as if he knew the retort was coming.
Sighing to himself, the principal of the school turn around before giving a small chuckle. He never really liked being serious but he felt the need to get his point across as he started to make his way to his room to go to sleep for the night. He knew things would take their course and it would only be a matter of time to see how these events would present themselves.
"Hoho… I really look forward to seeing how this all plays out." The Headmaster finally said with a cheerful tone as he walked out.
Taking in a deep breath and letting it out as if it were poison to his lungs, Colbert gave a deep sigh as he felt like his just dodged a bullet from one of the worst possible people to dodge it from. He felt a little uneasy at the principal's words. He was sure that he knew quite a bit more than he was letting on but he couldn't confront him on it. All he could do from this point forward would be to keep on course and pray to the powers that be that he would remain safe.
Picking up the novels again, Colbert made his way to his room to depart for the night. It would be a long night for him, riddled with studying and preparing for the upcoming events that would most surely happen without notice. Taking a deep breath while moving with a quick stride, Colbert made it to his room and began to study further into his notes to see if he could help the boy who could see what most people surely would never want to experience.
And with that, Chapter 5. Hope you guys enjoyed it. I know it didn't have any action or anything that could be seen as remotely interesting to those people who love action but I thought this would be a good time to start my new weave in the tale of Zero no Tsukaima as I personally really hate how the anime went. So, this chapter is to show my official severing between the novel and the anime storyline as I want to make it my own personal image of it. I hope you enjoy where I take this as I am known to warping stories into darker versions of what they originally were. If you don't like it, I apologize in advance but this is my decision as a writer of fanfiction. Take care and I hope you enjoy what I have in store.