In this fic, Kumagawa is generally going to speak with brackets around what he says. For example, "[Blah, blah, blah.]"
The reason why is because in the Medaka Box manga, Kumagawa tends to speak with these weird brackets around what he says as a way of visually showing to the readers his insincerity and detachment whenever he talks. Whenever he stops using brackets, it's an out of character moment for him and it usually means shit just got real. Well, technically, I suppose it's more like him reverting back to his original personality than him going OOC.
Anyways, in regards to this fic itself, this is more of a rough draft kind of thing I've been writing when I got bored. If I decide to start writing this seriously, I may go back and rewrite the following two chapters. Anyway, enjoy.
"Miss Valliere," Professor Colbert called out. "Please step forward and begin."
Louise gulped and swallowed down her nervousness as she stepped forward from the crowd of her fellow peers. As she walked to the front, she could hear the quiet snickering of the others behind her back as well as more than a few unkind words. Ignoring that, she stopped in front of Professor Colbert and took out her wand.
Today was the day of the Springtime Familiar Summoning, the day when the second year students were allowed to summon their own familiars. Amongst the nobles, this was something of a rite of passage as well as a determinant of the mage's power. It was a known fact that strong mages summoned strong familiars, while weak mages summoned weak ones.
And since she, Louise Valliere, was the third daughter of the Duke of Valliere and the famous Karin the Heavy Wind, she simply had to summon a powerful familiar, even if all her previous performances in magic was lackluster.
She had to.
"My name is Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere," Louise began chanting, reciting the words that would call forth her powerful familiar. "In the name of the Five Pentagonal Powers, I call forth thou who shall follow my fate! I summon a familiar!"
From her wand, a stream of pale emerald light burst forth, coalescing into a large mirror shaped disc a few feet in front of her. Louise allowed herself to let out a small breath of relief. This was the hardest part of the spell; actually casting it. With that successfully done, all she needed to do now was to pray and wait that the familiar the came through the portal was a satisfactory one.
But as the seconds turned to minutes, Louise found herself fidgeting nervously. Though the possibility hadn't occurred to her until just now, but what if no familiar showed up? What if, for the one everyone called "Louise the Zero," no familiar would come forth for her?
No. Louise shook her head. No, she could not think that way. She would definitely summon a strong familiar.
Thus, when the portal burst apart in a flash of light, Louise found herself letting out another sigh of relief, which quickly turned into one of complete confusion and consternation as she felt something sink in her guts.
Where there should have been her familiar, there was instead a smiling human boy, perhaps a year or two older than herself. He wore a black jacket with a white collar and five yellow buttons down the center and a matching pair of black pants and shoes. He also had black hair and very average features, and his thin body looked to be on the lean side. In other words, he appeared to be very much a commoner.
But if that was all he was, then why did she feel such an uneasy, sickening feeling emanating from this commoner?
"[Eh? What's this?]" the boy in black said as he looked around with a smile on his face. "[Where am I? Wasn't I just about to buy my weekly Shounen Jump at the corner market?]"
"Who are you?" Louise said, not so much asking, as she was demanding an answer from the stranger.
"[Me? I'm Kumagawa Misogi,]" the boy said. "[Who are you?]"
Louise, however, ignored the boy and turned to Colbert, even as the rest of the class began roaring with derisive laughter. "Professor Colbert! Please let me try this again!" Louise pleaded.
Colbert, however, shook his head in negative. "I'm afraid I can't allow that, Miss Valliere," Colbert said with commiseration. "The summoning ritual is a sacred rite. One does not simply redo the summoning ritual because they did not like the familiar they summoned." The balding, middle-aged teacher glanced at Kumagawa briefly. "Even if the familiar in question is rather unusual. Now please finish the contract."
Louise growled with frustration and turned back to Kumagawa. "Hey, commoner. Be thankful that I'm doing this."
"[What? What are you going to do? Are you going to show me your panties?]" Kumagawa cocked his head quizzically even while he continued to smile. "[If you do, I'll definitely be thankful!]"
Louise paused briefly.
Founder Brimir... Thisis my familiar? Louise thought with disgust as she raised her wand. I'll have to make sure to properly discipline him after this.
"My name is Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere," Louise said as she put the tip of her wand on Kumagawa's forehead, having to stretch her arm out to do so due to the height difference. Even though Kumagawa was not exceptionally tall by any means, Louise was exceptionally short.
"[Gee, don't you think your name is a little too long?]"
Louise ignored Kumagawa as she continued to chant. "Pentagon of the Five Elemental Powers, bless this humble being and make him my familiar."
With the prerequisite words for the contract said, Louise reached up and grabbed Kumagawa by his collar, forcibly dragging his face down to her level, whereupon she brusquely placed her lips on his.
"[Hey, hey, what are you doing?]" Kumagawa said as the two parted lips from each other. "[Ow! What's this?]" Kumagawa pointed at the runes being formed on the back of his left hand.
"Those are just the familiar's runes being marked," Louise said dismissively.
"[Oooh, is this magic?]" Kumagawa said excitedly. "[This is just like a manga!]"
"Of course it's magic," Louise said tersely, secretly wondering what in the world this boy was talking about. Manga? What was that? Some kind of strange commoner term?
As the runes finished marking themselves into Kumagawa's hand, Louise's attention naturally drifted to the other nobles roaring with laughter several meters behind her.
"Ha! The Zero summoned a commoner!"
"Louise the Zero does it again! At least this time she didn't make things blow up!"
Louise clenched her jaws and fists tightly in frustration and growled in silent anger as she attempted to stoically bear the merciless teasing of her classmates. Even so, their words stung. This had been her last chance to prove that she wasn't a failure, that she wasn't a Zero.
And she had failed it.
"My, what interesting runes," Colbert said as he studied Kumagawa's new runes. "I can't help but feel that I've seen them before somewhere... Hm... Well, in any case, well done on summoning your familiar, Miss Valliere."
Though she knew that the professor meant no harm or insult when he congratulated her, and that it had truly been a genuine compliment, it still felt as if a piece of her broke inside. She just wanted to go back to her room and cry right now.
"Thank you, Professor Colbert," Louise said stiffly.
"In any case, now that you're done, class is over," Colbert said as he turned around to the rest of the class. "Everyone! Class is dismissed!"
As everyone in the class began flying away, many of the students deliberately passed by – or rather, above – her in order to shout out more insults.
"Have fun walking back, Louise the Zero!"
"Yeah! A commoner is such a good familiar for you!"
Louise found herself grinding her teeth together, remaining rooted to the spot and enduring the insults. Even after the entire class disappeared back into the Academy, Louise stood there as still as a stone.
"[Hello? Anybody home?]" Kumagawa said as he lightly poked Louise's head.
And that was the trigger to break Louise's self-imposed petrification.
"Who are you!?" Louise whirled around suddenly and shouted in anger.
"[I'm Kumagawa Misogi,]" Kumagawa smiled. "[Please to meet you Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere. Can I just call you Louise? Your name is way too long.]"
"Are you insulting my name?" Louise demanded incredulously. Who did this commoner think he was to insult the name of a daughter of the Valliere family?
"[No, no,]" Kumagawa waggled his index finger in a negative gesture. "[I would never go so low as to insult the name a person received from her father and mother. But it does get tiring to say the whole thing every time I want to talk to you. It's like when you read a manga chapter that just goes too long, so then it just gets tiresome to keep reading. Hm... Wait. That's not actually a very good analogy. I like it when chapters are really long. There's more to read that way.]"
"What are you even talking about, commoner?" Louise said, completely bewildered by her familiar's words. Summoning a commoner was bad enough. If she had summoned a crazy familiar, that would be even worse. "You know what? Nevermind. No, you may not call me Louise. From now on you are to call me 'Master.'"
Kumagawa cocked his head. "[Why?]"
"Because I summoned you as my familiar," Louise said. "Those runes on your left hand is proof of that. And that means that you have to obey me."
"[Ooh,]" Kumagawa looked at the runes with newfound interest. "[This really is like something straight out of Weekly Shounen Jump. So? What's a familiar?]"
"Simply put, a familiar is an eternally loyal servant and guardian," Louise said, resigned to having to explain the duties of a familiar to her familiar. What other mage had to do this, she wondered sorrowfully. "They do whatever their master orders them to do, such as gathering reagents. They are also connected in such a way that whatever the familiar sees and hears, the master can see and hear as well. Seeing as how I can't do that with you, though, it's safe to say you don't have that ability. But most importantly, a familiar's top priority is to protect their master from any and all threats. Though that might be a problem for you."
"A really powerful magical beast can almost any enemy," Louise said. "But you're just a commoner. I bet you couldn't even beat a simple raven."
"[Probably not. I'm the weakest person in the world after all,]" Kumagawa agreed with an unusual note of pride in his voice.
"You're right in that at least," Louise snorted. She then sighed regretfully. "I wanted a cool and strong familiar like a dragon or a griffin. An owl or an eagle at the very least. But now I'm stuck with a stupid, lame commoner. That's not even supposed to be possible!"
"[It sure sucks for you,]" Kumagawa nodded sagely.
"Shut up, familiar," Louise said. "Come. We're going back to my room."
"[Uwah!]" Kumagawa cried out as he looked out the window of Louise's room at the night sky. "[Hey, Louise, look! Two moons! There are two moons!]"
Louise looked at Kumagawa for a moment, pausing briefly from her writing a letter to her sister Cattleya to do so. She sighed exasperatedly. "Of course there are two moons. Really, what is wrong with you? And I told you already. You are to call me master. Not Louise."
Kumagawa stared at her for a moment, the never changing, never ceasing smile of his still plastered on his face. Then he brought one fist down onto an open palm.
"[Of course there are two moons,]" Kumagawa said, bopping his head lightly with his knuckles. "[Silly me, I don't know what I'm saying.]"
Louise sighed as she finished writing her letter and rolled it up and sealed it with wax, ready to be sent out first thing in the morning. With that done, she withdrew a horsewhip from the drawer of her desk. With that in hand, she turned to Kumagawa.
"[Louise? Why do you have a whip in your hands?]" Kumagawa asked. Louise noted curiously that Kumagawa's voice didn't carry even a hint of fear or a tone of courage or anything else in it beyond pure, genuine curiosity.
"It's 'Master' to you. Not Louise," Louise said commandingly. "This is your punishment for not addressing me properly, familiar. It'll be good to discipline you early to make you learn your place."
"[Ooh, so that's what this is about,]" Kumagawa said. He continued smiling and nodded once. "[Okay! Whip away, Louise.]"
"It's 'Master' to you!" Louise repeated as she cracked the whip down on Kumagawa's body.
"[Ehhh, but I don't wanna call you master though,]" Kumagawa said as a tear appeared on his jacket. Despite the fact that it had obviously hurt, the boy in black made no signs of discomfort in the least.
"You will!" Louise said as she brought the whip down again, causing a tear in his jacket.
"[I don't wanna.]"
Louise narrowed her eyes at her stubborn familiar. "Very well then. We will continue this until you learn your place."
"[Go right ahead,]" Kumagawa smiled cheerfully.
"We'll see how long that attitude lasts," Louise growled as she began lashing Kumagawa again.
By the end of it, Louise found herself sweating profusely and breathing hard as she greedily gasped for breath. She had whipped Kumagawa so many times that she had long since lost count. On his part, however, Kumagawa simply stood there, skin bloody and clothes torn, but still, as always, smiling eerily.
"[That's no good,]" Kumagawa shook his head and chided as if he was talking down to a little kid who had made a mistake. He walked over to Louise's desk and picked up a knife-like letter opener before returning to stand in front of Louise. Having tired herself out far too much, Louise could only watch as Kumagawa gently took the whip away from her and replaced it with the letter opener, wrapping his own hands over hers to make sure her grip was kept tight. "[If you really want to punish a Minus like me, you have to do at least this much.]"
"H-hey. What are you doing, familiar?" Louise watched in horror as Kumagawa brought his smiling face close to hers and then gently, but firmly guided the knife directly into his right eye, piercing it slowly, carefully, and causing blood to burst out of his eye like a bursting raspberry. And though she tried to pull away, she was simply too exhausted to break free from even his relatively weak grip. "Stop! You're going to die!"
But Kumagawa did not stop. Instead, his smile turned more gleeful, spread more broadly, as he drove in the knife even harder. Blood poured down the right side of Kumagawa's face, some of it flowing down the letter opener and to Louise's hand and arm as well. Through the sensation transmitted through the knife, Louise could feel the knife stabbing something soft and large. His brain?
"S-stop it!" Louise ordered as bile threatened to claw its way out of her mouth in disgust and horror. She felt nauseous and dizzy, as if she were about to faint.
"[This much,]" Kumagawa said with the broadest, most gleeful smile Louise had seen since she first summoned him. "[You have to do at least this much.]"
When Kumagawa finally released Louise's hand, it was when the letter opener was driven completely into and through his socket, such that only the base of the hilt of the small knife, glistening red from the blood that coated it and pouring down his face, could be seen in place of the eyeball. He then dug his fingers around the hilt until he found purchase on it, and then slowly drew it out, taking his pierced eyeball out with it like some kind of macabre skewer. With the letter opener that served as a stopper gone, the blood began flooding out of his eye socket in earnest now.
"[Are you alright, Louise?]" Kumagawa said as he set the small knife on the table. "[You look pale.]"
"I... I told you to stop," Louise said in horror as she looked at Kumagawa's bloody face, at his missing eye. Then she looked down at her own hand. It, like her familiar's face, was coated in wet blood. "I... I..."
Finally, unable to handle it anymore, Louise's mind shut down and she dropped to the floor, unconscious.