Author's Note: I have had a few complaints about not using the Godai. That will be explained in this chapter.

Also, I will simply call Saito's power 'magic', previously called mana.

Disclaimer: Familiar of Zero does not belong to me. It belongs to Noboru Yamaguchi and Nana Mochizuki.

"Saito" -Talking

'Louise' -Thinking/Telepathy

"Explosion!" -Spell

Chapter 2: The Mage and the Mystic Meet.

Entrance Hall, Imperial Academy of Onmyōdō

Hiiraga Saito, with a great act of willpower, once again resisted the urge to reach under his coat sleeves and scratch his under-forearms. He knew that despite the fact it would temporarily alleviate the mind-gnawingly irritating itching sensation; the act of scratching his new Familiar Tattoos would only extend the amount of time that they would itch for.

"Frustrating, isn't it?" Tsubaki asked a slight tone of amusement in his voice. Saito grinned a bit as he nodded.

"My advice would be to preoccupy your mind." Tsubaki said, a small smile darting across his face, "The more you are aware of it, the more it itches."

"Arigato, Tsubaki-sensei." Saito said with a small bow.

"Saito-kun, you are no longer my student. If you must call me by an honorific, call me -sempai." Tsubaki said firmly.

"H-Hai…" Saito said nervously. Everyone had been treating him with a weird kind of respect since he emerged from the Cloister of Rituals. In the entire history of the Ministry of Onmyōji, the fastest anyone had ever contracted with both Familiars had been six hours.

Saito had completed his Rite in barely two hours.

"Do you have your assignment yet?" Tsubaki enquired.

"Um…yes." Saito fished out the paper that had his first assignment on it. "Ah, here we are! I'm being assigned to the Yoshida Jinja (Yoshida Shrine)."

Tsubaki raised an eyebrow. "You're being sent to a second-rank kampeisha shrine for your first assignment? One within the Old Capital even? Impressive."

Saito shrugged. "It's a big responsibility." Which it was. There were seven ranks of 'official' Shinto Shrines. At the bottom was the three Kokuheisha (National Shrines) of the Third, Second and First Ranks in ascending order. Above those were the Kampeisha (Imperial Shrine) of the Other, Third, Second and First Ranks in ascending order. Most fresh graduates of the Academy were sent to a kokuheisha shrine of the Third Rank and worked their way up the ranks to the kampeisha. The very fact that Saito was being sent straight to the kampeisha, and the second rank on top of that, meant that either the Grandmaster, who recommended graduates to the various temples and shrines, had a lot of faith in him, or someone had specifically requested him.

More curiously, Kyoto was a privileged assignment that carried a lot of prestige, power and responsibility. Only those who were trusted implicitly by the upper echelons of the Ministry were ever allowed back in Kyoto after graduation.

Saito did not know the Grandmaster that well, other than the occasional talk during one of the examinations to attempt to discover why his control of Fire magic was so tenuous. Moreover, he didn't know anyone in the Ministry at all, aside from the staff at the Academy. Saito was an orphan, tested for magic at a young age and whisked away to the Academy without a trace being left behind that he had even existed, so why he had received this assignment boggled him to no end.

He and Tsubaki-Sen- no, Tsubaki-sempai, damn it- were standing in the entrance hall of the Academy, which was the only room in the entire Academy that was modern. It had metal girders, concrete, plaster and wallpaper.

It even had air conditioning.

Saito was dressed in what a normal fifteen year old would wear: blue trousers, a white t-shirt, a blue and white jacket and white shoes. He had a backpack slung over his shoulder that held all of his Onmyōji equipment and freshly issued paraphernalia.

"Now, Saito-kun, before you leave I must warn you to be on your guard." Tsubaki-sempai said seriously, "There have been reports of Black Star agents sighted in Kyoto."

Saito stiffened. Black Star or to give the organisations full name, Heichi Kuroboshi (Juxtaposed Black Star), was a thorn in the side of the Ministry and had been for almost a thousand years. They had been founded by Abe no Seimei's rival, Ashiya Doman, after the man was defeated for the sixth time by Seimei. They sought to supplant the Ministry of Onmyōdō and were willing to do just about anything to accomplish that goal.

Black Star was often rumoured to have a debased version of the Rite of Summoning that captured beings rather than merely contact them. The Black Star operatives would then break the beings and enslave them. Fortunately, the Black Star's Rite of Entrapment (as it was called) was noticeably different from the Onmyōji Rite of Summoning from the perspective of the beings it sought out, so usually only weaker beings were trapped by it.

Saito shuddered slightly. The Black Stars were the antithesis of the Ministry of Onmyōji. The rumour of what a Black Star agent would do to a captured Onmyōji was….too repugnant to think about right now.

"Thank you for the warning." Saito muttered to Tsubaki quietly. His former teacher just nodded back, his face grim.

"Oh!" Tsubaki's eyes widened and he pulled out a small blue rectangle that was slightly larger than his hand and passed it to Saito. "I almost forgot to give you your Teimei (Imperial Order). This will grant you access into the Shrine you are going to, but will then dissolve into ash."

"Arigato." Saito said as he tucked the important piece of paper safely into his jacket's inner pocket, and then looked at the clock. It was a quarter to eleven. "I should get going. I have to be at Yoshida Shrine by two o'clock."

"Ah, indeed." Tsubaki nodded judiciously. "I will empower the Seiman for you."

Saito nodded. "I'll visualise the destination coordinates."

With that, they entered the Room of the Altar of Transport. It sounded like more than it actually was. An altar brings to mind a raised dais and holy icons, of which there were none in the room. Instead, there were five pillars; each coloured one of the original elements used by Abe no Seimei, the Godai (Great Five). The creation of the Academy had been the last time that magic had been used for a grand project, as the fifth element, Kū (Void) had mysteriously vanished.

It hadn't disappeared all at once. After Abe no Seimei had died, the element had stayed strong for another two centuries, during which time the current Academy building had been built. Then, it started gradually weakening until, five centuries after Abe no Seimei's death, the Kū element had simply vanished, sending both the Ministry and the Black Stars into a panic.

After some hurried investigation, it was discovered that someone or something was siphoning the entirety of the Kū element away from Japan. Studies in the modern era determined that the Kū element was being siphoned from the entirety of the planet, to some untraceable location.

Certainly not a location on this planet anyway.

As there was nothing they could do (Apparently the only way to retrieve the stolen magic was with the stolen magic. 'How useless is that?' Saito had thought to himself when he found that titbit in the Archives) the mystics of Japan had borrowed heavily from the continent, mostly China, to replace the previously ubiquitous Kū element. Of course, this had meant adopting some of the philosophical elements of Wu Xing and Feng Shui into their own magic, but both the Ministry and the Black Stars had maintained the usual pragmatism in regards to religion and nothing had come of it, so it fell to the backs of everyone's mind.

Saito walked to the centre of the room and stood waiting. Tsubaki in turn walked onto the small Seiman design on the floor and ran through a series of handsigns.

"Ten no Ten-za, Ikikaeru! (Heavenly Translocator, come back to life!)" Tsubaki commanded. Beneath him, the Seiman glowed blue with the power of his magic.

At the same time, a small Seiman appeared in red around Saito, who clapped his hands twice and spoke a command as he focussed on his destination.

"Tensō! (Transfer!)" He ordered. Acting on his will, the magic plucked the location he wanted to appear at from his mind and then flowed into the spells laid into the five pillars, which also began glowing in their respective colours, except the pillar representing Kū.

In a flash of light, Saito was gone from the Academy.


Courtyard, Tristain Academy for Magic, Halkaginia

A crowd of second year students stood with their wands out and awaited their turn to perform the summoning spell. Approximately half of their number had already summoned their Familiars.

Guiche, Montmorency's boyfriend, had summoned an Earth mole he proudly named Verðandi. It was quite suited for him, because his primary element was earth and he was skilled in Earth magic to the point his runic name was 'la Médaille de Bronze' (The Bronze).

Kirche, to Louise's irritation, had summoned a Fire Salamander she named Flame. Again, it was suited for her; because of her runic name 'l'Ardent' (The Ardent) and her primary affinity was Fire magic.

Montmorency had summoned a frog. Yes. An orange frog. She called Robin. Her primary affinity was water, so again; it made sense.

Tabitha had scored the jackpot in Louise's opinion; by summoning a blue wind Rhine Dragon, she called Silpheed. Tabitha was skilled in three elements: Wind, Water and Ice, so it was easy to see that her power had sought a being that complemented all three at once.

"Now then." Professor Jean Colbert spoke as he stood from examining Kirche's Salamander, "Has everyone summoned their Familiar?"

The busty redhead smirked cruelly as she said, "The Zero hasn't."

Immediately, all eyes turned to Louise, who shrank back slightly at the attention concentrated on her.

"What's the matter Zero, all bark and no bite after your little boasting session the other day?" Kirche taunted her, a slight vicious edge in her voice. "Oh, that's right -all that will happen is yet another explosion and nothing else!"

"Enough, Miss Zerbst." Colbert ordered before turning to Louise. "Now, Miss Vallière. Kindly begin the spell if you please."

Louise nodded before taking a breath. 'You can do this.' she told herself firmly. Releasing her breath, she raised her wand and channelled her willpower into it.

She ground her teeth together and narrowed her eyes. She would not fail, because it was not a choice. She had staked the last of her pride as a Noble and a Mage on this spell and she had to win. There were no ifs ands or buts about it.

"My name is Louise Françoise 'le Blanc' de la Vallière. Pentagon of the Five Elemental Magics, Heed my summoning... and bring Familiar!"

An immense cloud of pulverised dirt, accompanied by a 'BOOM' immediately followed the slight flash from Louise's wand.


Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto, Japan

Saito opened his eyes to find himself in a Monk's cell, exactly as he had envisioned. He stealthily opened the door and peered out. The coast was clear. He opened the door fully and stepped out into the corridor checking both directions before setting off towards the back entrance.

'Looks like Tsubaki-sempai's warning has made me ever so slightly jumpy.' Saito though wryly as he cautiously negotiated his way past an open door to what seemed like a dining hall. Strictly speaking, Saito didn't have to sneak through the temple. He could walk through it as if he belonged there because he was technically a government employee.

The Imperial Government mind you, but government nevertheless.

He breathed a sigh of relief as he slipped out the rear entrance of the temple and started walking down the hill towards Kyoto-proper. Saito stopped abruptly when he saw a giant floating blue ball of light floating just outside of the temple's Kekkai barrier.

All temples and shrines possessed a spiritual barrier that protected the inhabitants and workers from magical attack, as well as being magically scryed and the occasional rogue demon attack. The fact that this magical -it had to be magical as ordinary people couldn't see it- ball of light was floating outside the barrier's boundary meant it was one of the three.

'Well, an attacking spell would be battering at the barrier and I don't recall a demon that's gone rogue that looked like that.' Saito considered. 'So that leaves a scrying spell. Except, what kind of idiot would make a spell intended for observation so large and easy to see? It defeats the entire purpose of the spell if someone sees the manifestation and dispels it.'

Saito thought for a moment, and then shrugged. If it was just a scrying spell, then it couldn't harm him. If it was a spell attacking the temple, all he had to do was avoid walking out right in front of the thing. And if it were a rogue demon…well, he'd burn that bridge if he came to it.

Saito deliberately moved away from the ball and exited the barrier a couple of meters away from the mysterious spell. He was in the middle of congratulating himself on avoiding the spell when something unexpected happened.

A crowd of monks in training slammed into Saito, crying out a chant as they struck themselves on the head with a fan, "DESIRES BE GONE, DESIRES BE GONE, DESIRES BE GONE!"

Saito was sent flying by the mass of running monks and landed bang-slap in the middle of the spell he had been trying to avoid. When he hit it, it felt like he had landed in a vat of treacle. He tried to fight his way out of it, but it felt like he was held in the hand of a giant. He was utterly unable to break free from the spell no matter how much he struggled.

With one last cry of frustrated anger, Hiiraga Saito vanished from his world, to where? Only the caster of the spell knew.


Courtyard, Tristain magic Academy, Halkaginia

Coughing and spluttering, the second years gazed at the sight of Louis's latest explosion. It had been a big one this time, about a meter square and with the amount of dirt in the air; it was as if something had struck the ground at an incredible speed.

"Itai! Imaimashī bōsō saishi-tachi no gunshū! (OW! That damn out of control crowd of monks!)" came a voice from the cloud. Mr Colbert looked at Louise.

"Looks like you succeeded Miss Vallière." He remarked as he prepared to cast a light wind spell to remove the lingering cloud of dirt obscuring her familiar from sight.

"Sei Yo Ta!" Colbert called, slamming his stave on the ground and a gust of wind drove the cloud away, revealing Louise's Familiar. The pinkette looked on eagerly, anxious to see her Familiar for the first time.

Kneeling in a crater was a boy who couldn't be any older than Louise could. He had medium length black hair and wore the oddest garments Louise had ever seen.

Just then, the boy looked up and locked eyes with Louise. His eyes were a warm brown that made Louise's heart skip a beat. Then he noticed the rest of the second years and Mr Colbert.

"Nani? Seiyō majutsu-shi?! (What the? Western Mages?)" The boy exclaimed drawing a piece of paper from his pocket.

"I don't recognise the language." Colbert said with a slight frown.

"Koko wa doko? Kotaete yo, majutsu-shi! (Where am I? Answer me, Mage!)" The boy yelled his eyes boring into Mr Colbert.

"I think he's confused as to where he is." Louise said hesitantly.

"Well then Miss Vallière, I think the best choice here would be for you to complete the Familiar Bonding Ritual." Colbert advised her. "By magical law, the one who summoned it must be the one to take care of it."

"But…he's human!" Louise protested, gesturing to the boy with her empty hand.

"Regardless, he is your responsibility." Colbert replied firmly.

Louise sagged in defeat. She had to complete the ritual. And that meant she had to…damn it!

Louise trudged over to the boy who had been looking between her and Mr Colbert with a look of frustrated incomprehension. 'Looks like he can't understand us either' Louise thought miserably. If had only been they who had been unable to understand him, they could have cast a basic translation spell on him so his words would be translated into Halkaginian for those who heard it. However, because he was just as clueless about Halkaginian as they were about whatever language he was speaking, the only spell that would work was the Familiar's Contract Binding Ritual.

"Nē, anata ga nani o shite iru?!(Hey, what're you doing?!)" The boy yelped as she raised her wand and pointed it at him.

"Pentagon of the Five Elemental Magics, grant your blessings upon this creature and bind it as my Familiar!" Louise commanded. Her wand unleashed a pair of blue streamers that drew a pentagram around her and the boy who was to be her familiar. Eyes wide, the boy tried to back off, but was evidently paralyzed by the magic of the pentagram, which meant…She swung to face Colbert

"Professor Colbert, he's unwilling! The spell is paralyzing his body!" Louise called to her teacher.

"Oh get it over with already, Zero!" Kirche yelled, "He's only a commoner!"

"We don't know that, von Zerbst!" Louise retorted angrily, "And besides, it's one thing to bind animals, but a human? Especially an unwilling human at that!"

"I am forced to say that, unfortunately, Miss Zerbst is in the right here." Colbert admitted reluctantly, "Once a Familiar is summoned, it must be bound by the Summoner, regardless of the summoned creature's level of sentience."

Louise sighed. "Very well. But let it be known that I disagree with this strongly."

"So noted." Colbert said formally.

Louise turned back to the boy who was struggling against the magic that bound him.

"Y..Yamette…Yamettecureru!(S..Stop…Stop this!)" He gasped out. Louise didn't know the language he was speaking, but she could tell he wanted her to stop.

"The choice isn't mine." She muttered to him, even though he couldn't understand her, "I hope you let me explain after you understand what I'm saying."

With no further ado, she stepped forward, stood on her tiptoes, and kissed him on the lips.

'My first kiss…lost like this? My life is hell!' she wailed in her mind, 'It does….feel nice though….'

After she -{ahem}- disengaged from him and stepped back, nothing happened for a moment, before a yell of pain forced its way from the boy's mouth and steam rose from the back of his left hand as runes were burnt into his flesh by the magic.

The pentagram disappeared, releasing the boy from his paralysis. He fell to one knee and panted as he cradled his still smoking hand with the other.

Louise waited until the boy's panting abated somewhat before asking softly, "Can you understand me?"


Saito's POV

"Can you understand me?" the pink-haired witch asked Saito softly.

Saito stared at her angrily. She had just damn well branded him like cattle and she wanted to talk?

Saito's mind froze. He understood her. Whatever the hell this brand on his hand was, it must include something like a universal translator. Better reply to her before she did something else that hurt.

Hesitantly, he nodded. She smiled at him in relief.

"That's good. I honestly don't know what we would have done if you still didn't understand Halkaginian after the Ritual."

"Ritual? You mean the branding thing?" Saito questioned, his eyes narrowing. "What did you do to me?"

"You're my Familiar now." The pink-hared girl informed him. "I didn't want to bind you because you were unwilling, but I had no choice."

"How dare you!" Saito snarled at her, utterly furious at this dismissal of his rights as a human. She stepped back a step at his obvious anger.

"Now, Now. Calm down there son." Saito turned his head to see a balding man wearing glasses walk over to him. He had a feeling of quiet authority about him. A teacher, if Saito had to guess.

"Calm down? I've been made into a gods-damned slave!" Saito growled, waving his branded hand at the man, "Would you be as calm in this situation? I think not."

The man regarded him solemnly for a moment. "This goes beyond pure personal outrage." he observed.

"Damn right it does!" Saito snapped back, "Where I come from, forcing a being to become your familiar is on the same level as enslavement! Anyone found guilty of such an offence is stripped of their magic!"

A unified gasp of horror came from the students surrounding him. Evidently, these mages were unaccustomed to such a harsh punishment for anything, Saito noted.

"Where are you from anyway, commoner?" asked a tall busty redhead who strode over in a sultry fashion, making Saito's face light up with a blush.. He willed his face back to its normal colour as he replied.

"Japan. And what do you mean by commoner?" he asked curiously.

"Ja-pan?" The redhead asked with a frown, "Never heard of it."

"And she means that you can't use magic." Added a blond girl with ringlets added.

Saito raised an eyebrow. "Says who?"

The mages froze at that question. "So…you ARE a noble?" asked the redhead.

"Nope. No such thing as Nobles anymore where I'm from." Saito replied, "But I can still use magic."

"Prove it!" challenged the redhead. Saito shrugged. "Sure. What do you want me to do?"

That stumped her for a moment before she smiled and whispered to a blond haired boy who was, oddly enough, carrying a rose of all things. The boy smirked and nodded. Holding his rose out, he flicked it once and let a single petal fall to the ground.

With a white glow, a single figure appeared. It was green, vaguely feminine and carried a spear.

"Destroy this Valkyrie and we'll believe that you are a noble." The redhead smirked at her ploy.

"Cease this at once!" the teacher ordered. Saito raised a hand, drawing the attention of the teacher.

"If it's not a problem, I'd like to attempt this." Saito requested politely. Inside, he was irked. He recognised the redhead's actions as a form of bullying and didn't like it. She expected him to fail and would then proceed to hold it over him. To judge by the looks his 'Master' was throwing at the redhead, there was no love lost between the two of them.

"I...But you don't even have a wand or stave!" the teacher protested.

"A wand? Stave?" Saito gave the teacher a small smile, "I don't need either of those to use magic. I use these." He held up the talisman in his hand, forgotten until now.

"Parchment?" the teacher asked, confused.

"Talismans." Saito corrected, "I'm an Onmyōji, a mystic."

"A 'what' now?" his 'master' asked in confusion.

"Watch and learn." He replied with a grin.

The teacher sighed in resignation. "Very well. If you must do this, I suppose I will allow it."

Nobody noticed the slight glow around Saito's runes as they spoke.

He chivvied the students away from the target Valkyrie, not knowing anything about what type of magic the 'Onmyōji', as he called himself, would use.

Saito looked at the talisman he had drawn. A water talisman, good. He could really show that redhead what for with this. He closed his eyes, extended the talisman in front of him, and channelled his magic into it, stopping when he had enough for the spell he had in mind.

"Talisman of Water, come to my aid!" Saito said clearly and unhurriedly. He threw the talisman into the air above him and made a handsign.

"Shokan-ju! Suiryū! (I summon you! Water Dragon!)" Saito called out.

With a roar, a serpentine dragon made entirely of water coalesced from the available water in the surrounding air, appeared above Saito, making the watching students step back in astonishment. It was at least eighteen-feet long and moved in a distinctly snake-like manner.

Saito smirked and made another handsign. "Suiryū Kōbaku! (Explosive Bite of the Water Dragon!)"

The dragon opened its mouth and spat a flurry of water balls at the Valkyrie, staggering the earth construct, but not destroying it. The dragon roared again and lunged at the golem, taking it in its vast maw and shredding it with sharp fangs and immense strength before dissipating with a final roar, dropping the shredded pieces of the Valkyrie to the ground.

The pink-haired girl who was his 'Master' walked over to him in a daze. "What was that?" she asked in awe.

"My magic." Saito said simply. "By the way…"

"Yes?" she asked.

"What's your name?" Saito asked. She flushed in embarrassment.

"Me? I'm Louise. Louise Françoise de La Vallière." she replied.

"Nice to meet you Louise." Saito said, "My name is Hiiraga Saito. By the looks of things, we're going to be stuck together until I figure out a way to return to my home."

"Can't you just travel there by horse?" Louise asked, confused. Saito shook his head.

"Where I come from, we only have one moon." he replied, pointing at the sky where the twin moons were just barely visible.

Louise looked stunned. Her new Familiar…was from another world.


Next Chapter: Duel!


Authors Note: Special mention next chapter if you can name the two other anime/manga references in this chapter.

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