Sorry for taking so long for the update. Had a lot on my plate. Anyhow.
"You're going where?" Screamed Murphy through the phone and just about blew out my ear drum. I was back in Chicago in a phone booth and was explaining, well trying to explain to Murphy what was happening.
"I'm going to Japan for a few months." I said in a tone I saved for convincing things not to gut me "I gained a new apprentice and it turns out that his uh school gives him a task so that he can fully graduate. So he's going to be an English teacher in Japan. "
"Uh-huh. So why do you have to go with him?"
"Because if he does something stupid because I'm not there than we are both dead courtesy of the White Council."
"Okay, okay. I presume there is another reason why you called me?"
"What? I can't call just to say goodbye to a friend. I'm Insulted!" I could practically see her arching one of her eyebrows at me. "Well if you're insisting. It's going to be hell coming up with an excuse to get my gun and staff through airport security without someone screaming terrorist and spear tackling me to the floor. So I was wondering if you could pull a few strings?"
"No can do. Even if I still held my other position there's no way in hell I could do that."
"Damn I thought so. Couldn't you like air mail it to me or something?"
"Maybe. I'll look into it for you."
"Thanks Murph. Also I wonder if you can keep an eye on Molly while I'm gone and explain the situation to her?"
"No problem. But won't it be dangerous for you go onto a plane?'
"Yeah but the kid told me he got some sought of sealing spell that makes me not able to use magic. So you shouldn't hear anything on the news."
"Ok Harry. Good luck."
I hung up the phone and made a few more phone calls to tell people where I was going. Then I got into a taxi and headed to Chicago airport. It was night time when I reached the airport and I still had to wait three more hours for the flight. I went inside and saw Negi waving at me rather enthusiastically and I went over to him.
"Hey kid, how you feeling?"
"Fine thank you Mr. Dresden." I got a little uncomfortable with the formality coming from the child. Aren't kids his age supposed to be rude and obnoxious?
"I like us to be on each other's good side since we're both relying on each other to live. Just call me Harry."
"Okay Mr. Dresden." Sigh.
"So you got that sealing spell thing for me?" I asked
"Sure do but let's head over into the toilets and I'll cast it on you so no one will see." He looked around a little nervously. I raised an eyebrow at that.
"Why don't you want to anyone to see your magic." I asked and felt rather stupid when he blinked at me slowly.
"Because if someone sees you doing magic you get turned into an ermine. It's a wizard's responsibility not to reveal magic to mortal society." He explained. It was my turn to blink at him slowly and I looked around to find a newspaper store. I found one and grabbed a yellow pages book and flipped through it until I found what I was looking for. Then I showed it to Negi.
I probably wouldn't have gotten a better reaction if I chainsawed his puppy right in front of him. His face turned pale white and his pupils shrunk. He then made noises that sounded like he was choking on barb wire. He then turned to me and pointed at me.
"Y-You-You're going to be turned into an ermine." He screeched. A few people nearby gave us strange looks.
"I've done this for over ten year's kid." I explained "And I'm still my cute furry self. Maybe it's just a story told to you guys so you won't reveal magic." He stared at me for a while to confirm what I just said. He then sighed not really accepting my answer. He still took me into the toilets though. He then started chanting a long winded spell that seemed to take hours but apparently only took a few seconds. A black band flew from his staff and wrapped around my wrist and the weirdest feeling I've ever felt came upon me.
You know how it's like being bloated right? It feels like your stomach has expanded and is bursting at the seams. Now imagine that all over your body. It was awkward as hell and the kid told me I will be feeling this for a whole day. We then went through all the security and the guards were giving me rather suspicious looks with my large duster and they scanned me for bombs more than three times.
Two hours later we finally boarded the plane and I felt nervous as hell. I was scared that the kids spell wasn't going to work and I found myself looking at the emergency exits of the plane and making a detailed plan on how to escape. Negi, bless his little soul, brought some sleeping tablets and I took more than was recommended.
Of course the stupid things didn't kick in until we landed 13 hours later. Everything from after we landed was a blur but I remember Negi practically carrying me which should have been impossible because I'm 6'9 and he was 5'2. But he someone how managed it. I woke up in a bed that smelt like a car freshener and a persistent annoying headache drumming in my head like nobody's business.
"You awake?" That innocent question almost made me blast the kid out of sheer surprise. I turned around and glared angrily at Negi.
"No." King of wit, that's me.
He simply smiled at me and got off his futon. Furta? Furtron? Man was I really out of it today. Must have been the sleeping pills. I then realized that the kid was already in his normal clothing that he wore last time I saw him. Who am I to complain? I still wore the same duster I had for years.
Room service knocked on the door. I answered but the young man didn't speak a word of English. I tried to speak some of the basic Japanese I learnt but he just gave me a confused look. I wasn't really paying attention in my Japanese class and further recalling's told me I didn't have a Japanese class. Negi saved the day and then turned to me.
"We need to leave soon. It's a bit of a walk and we only got two hours left." Negi said obviously trying to contain his excitement. It brought a soft smile to my face and I got ready and we headed off.
I looked around taking in my surroundings. The first thing I noticed was that it was pretty hectic and there were a lot of people pushing and shoving. The second thing I noticed was that everything was attacking my senses. Smells of food that made my mouth water and sounds of people talking and laughing were the only things I heard. Large posters bright in colours telling me to buy something were everywhere I looked.
The third thing I noticed that we were being followed.
For goodness sakes. I've been here for what a day? In a whole new country that seemed to be in a different dimension than Chicago and already someone has taken a dangerous interest in me? Can't I go anywhere without anyone trying to kill me.
I hadn't actually seen the person that was following us but my instincts screamed at me. I pretended to drop my bag and turned around to pick it up, looking for the mysterious follower. It turned out to be like looking for a white dot in a black background.
No more than 20 feet away a tall woman with dark skin and long black hair was staring at me. She had yellow eyes and had pupils that looked like ones of a cat and her facial features were sharp. She was beautiful as in a wolf stalking its prey kind of way. She wore a grey tank top which was tucked into a pair of jeans.
And how did I know she was my mysterious follower. She had a pistol in a holster which hung from a belt with pouches that most likely contained the ammunition. She was also glancing down at a picture and looking hard at me.
As assassinations go this wasn't exactly subtle or professionally done. But for some reason I still felt she could still pull it off and it scared the crap out of me. I turned around to Negi and forced a smile to my face.
"Hey Negi, I've just realized that I haven't got anything for lunch or dinner yet. I'm going to pop over to a convenience store and grab what we need. You go on ahead, I'll catch up." Negi looked like he was about to argue but I shoved my bags at him and turned to a convenience store.
"Okay, see you at the school." He said waving back at me whilst running off. I waved back and then it suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea how to get to the school in the first place.
"One thing at a time Harry." I muttered to myself "One thing at a time."
I pretended to window shop a bit to make sure that my mysterious assassin wasn't after Negi then began walking purposefully in the opposite direction of him. The assassin followed me keeping a safe distance. Fear welled up and I felt my heart pounding in my ears as I took in all the unfamiliar surroundings. Damnit I was not going to die in this place.
I turned into an empty alleyway and waited for her. She appeared a minute later and approached the entrance cautiously. She saw me and leveled her gun on me that had a silencer on it. It took all my will power not to flinch.
"Who hired you and why?" I asked and felt myself unconsciously angling my body away from her. A slow smile spread across her face that made a shiver ran down my spine.
"Hunters don't talk to their prey." Her English was heavily accented with a language that I couldn't put my finger on.
'Focus Harry, focus. She has a gun trained on you and looks like she can make you into one of those Bugs Bunny cartoons.' I knew I wouldn't be able to get anything from her and any sudden moves she'll blow my head off. But it looks like she won't go into an evil villain monologue any time soon to give me a chance to leg it. I had to think of something fast.
"You're running the creepy vibe quite hard there. You might as well get the cape and fake vampire teeth to complete the image." She smirked and readjusted her aim.
"You're quite the funny one aren't you? So clueless as well. Do you even know where you are? The importance of this place?" If there was a better line to act then my name isn't Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.
"Yeah I know where I am. Three feet away where they'll find your body." I whipped out my blasting rod from its holding place in my duster and pointed it at her.
"Forzare!" I screamed. The assassin dived to the side to dodged to the avoid the blast of…
Nothing. Completely nothing. I didn't feel the usual power well up in me or the release of the kinetic energy. Then realization hit me like a wrecking ball and I took a quick glance at my wrist to see the stupid fucking useless black sealing band staring right back at me. I looked back up to see the confused look of the assassin who was now picking up her gun.
"Damnit!" I cursed as I turned around and ran down the alleyway. I put my head down and hunched up my shoulder just in case. It was lucky I did because not three meters down the alleyway I felt a bullet hit the small of my back. The spell layered duster stopped it from penetrating but it still felt someone hit me as hard as they could in my back. I lost balanced and tripped over my feet. I hit the ground but managed to go into a roll and quickly got back onto my feet.
I made one more step before two more bullets hit more or less in the exact same place as before. I was more prepared for it this time so all they did was made me stumble. The mysterious assassin kept on firing and I swear to God she went Robin Hood style on me and hit the exact same place twice. By the time I reached the end of the alleyway which was 12 meters down she fired more or less ten rounds at me with superb accuracy. If it wasn't for my duster I would be a dead man.
I kept on running after I got out of the alleyway for about ten minutes taking as many corners as I could. I then ran into a little shop and waited for five minutes or so. Until I thought I was safe I cautiously stepped outside. Nothing happened and I sagged down to my knees in relief.
I had no clue who was trying to kill me and why. I suspected it had a link with my apprentice but I couldn't be quite sure. Then I remembered my apprentice and where I had to go. I got up and asked a few people for directions but they just gave me blank looks or shook their heads.
I then spotted a young girl in her school uniform that was running as fast as she could. She had shortish light brown hair that was made into small pigtails. She had brown eyes and had strong athletic legs. She looked quite anxious as she ran so I guess she was late.
It was a bit of a toss of the coin but I ran after her, hoping that she would lead me to the right school. It was a two minute run and the further we went the denser and how do I say this? More organized the crowd got. I soon arrived at a train station and saw the girl buying a ticket. Luckily for me Negi gave me some yen to look after myself.
I somehow managed to buy the ticket quickly from the machine even though everything was in Japanese and followed the girl onto a train. Every person on that train was a female student and I felt guilty and shameful for some reason. One of the girls offered me her seat and I suddenly felt very old. I took it anyway and sat down.
About five minutes later the girl got off the train. I was barely able to notice this because it seemed that every other girl was getting off the train as well and we all burst out. There was about a mile or two of road that led down to a large building which I presumed was the school. Everyone else was running and I felt the urge to do so to. It felt odd but good as air rush into my lungs and my legs pounding. All the other girls around me were laughing and talking as they ran.
My feeling of freedom was suddenly replaced with dread as I spotted my assassin up ahead in a school uniform. She looked back and spotted me, her eyes widening. She didn't do anything but kept running. I kept my eye on her all the way but nothing happened and I entered the school.
I walked down a few corridors and felt ridiculous. It was such a stupid plan following that girl and now I'm even more lost than before. I turned a corner and by what must have been God's given grace I bumped into Negi.
"Mr. Dresden! You made it just in time for my first class." He exclaimed and he grabbed hold of my wrist and pulled me along. He turned and glanced at me.
"Didn't you get any food?" He asked. I wasn't a very good liar so I decided to tell the truth.
"I got held up." Well it was the truth. He lead me to a classroom and another teacher was waiting for us there. She long blonde hair, blue eyes and had a pair of glasses on. She also had some er… rather large gifts.
"Negi you're just in time. The class is waiting for you." She handed him a black booklet, "This is every student in your class. Make sure you remember everyone quickly."
The kid looked nervous as he opened the door. A chalk duster fell down and levitated a top of his head for a second before the kid let it hit him. He then proceeded to trip over something and did a few rolls much to the entertainment to the class. Then the girls seemed to realize his age and ran to help him up. The blonde teacher bounced her way into class and said something in Japanese. There was a moment of shock silence then all the girls were all over him.
Damnit that kid was getting more action then I ever did in one moment. After the moment of excitement, Negi began talking in fluent Japanese but I managed to pick up my name and he turned towards the door and waved me in.
I gulped. I wasn't exactly teenage girl friendly with my large black duster and battle scars all over my face. I gulped again and held my breath as I walked into the classroom. There was another silence as all the girls eyes in the classroom landed on me. I shuffled around a bit and scanned the room.
My assassin was in the right corner of the room giving me a suspicious glare but I did not care at this moment as I was too nervous. Some girls were looking at me in horror. One red head girl in pigtails was so shocked that her face was red and her eyes were bulging. Her jaw was loose and she stared at me never looking away
I learnt with Molly that teenage girls relied on first impressions and decided from there what to do. I had to leave a good impression or I would be forever marked as the homicidal maniac or something. I knew some basic Japanese so I tried to say hello but I was too nervous to remember anything. I faced people's nightmares with more courage than this for goodness sakes.
"Come on Mr. Dresden." Whispered Negi and I had a bit more courage in me. Then I remembered how to say hello.
"Ni-Hao" I said and everyone except for one student who waved rather enthusiastically at me gave me a look that said 'You're weird'.