Notes: Ahahaha, I was way too obvious with my hint dropping in the third chapter of 'The Journey To Save A Princess' it seems and the very first reviewer got a bullseye for both of my questions so they win this one-shot! If you haven't figured it out yet, Aegis is a member of the merfolk who can assume a humanoid shape and the owner of the scale is one of his family members (not saying who just yet. You'll have to read on to find out) so that's why he was so protective of it.
So congratulations Eve Of The Stars! I've already PM'ed them and they have requested for a pre-KaiShin Magic AU so enjoy!
Summary: Magic!AU/Dedicated to Eve Of The Stars/Pre-KaiShin
Shinichi is most definitely a veritable genius with an IQ that hardly anybody could meet, no doubt about that. Unfortunately for him though, it isn't enough to stop his spells from blowing up in his face every time he attempts to cast one. In comes the top student of their year and possibly the entire Academy, Kuroba Kaito. Through a series of events, Kaito ends up being Shinichi's tutor in magic. Will this possibly bring the two of them together?
Shinichi let out a startled shrie - yell, he let out a startled yell - and quickly dove to the side as the head-sized stone that was floating roughly four feet in the air with the help of magic caused said magic that surrounded it to pulse irregularly - somehow because he refused to admit that it was due to him - before it trembled slightly and combusted in a shower of dust, pebbles and sharp shards of rock. He huffed and picked himself up from the leaf-covered forest floor, dusting off the slightly rumpled navy-blue, floor length magician's robes (standard issue uniform, red for first-years, blue for second-years, green for third-years, yellow for fourth-years and purple for fifth-years) that he was currently clad in and scrubbed at his face in frustration after this failure which would make it his twenty-third. It seemed that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't successfully cast a spell. Oh, it wasn't that he was bad at magic-related stuff or anything, on the contrary, he excelled at various fields of the art, be it spellwork, alchemy, beast-taming, divination or even potion brewing - just the theory part though. When it came to actually putting the theory into practice, he fumbled around more clumsily than a two-year old toddler and it had always been a source of embarrassment and general stab-to-the-pride that even Suzuki Sonoko was better at getting her spells to behave properly. Which led to where he was right now, in the middle of the forest within the Academy grounds where they kept the beasts that were used in demonstrations in beast-taming class (bad, bad memories) at an unholy hour of three-forty-two in the morning, give or take a few minutes - his Time Check spell had been one of the only spells he could actually cast successfully, to his never ending shame - trying not to burst out in uncharacteristic swears at the boulder already missing large chunks and really didn't deserve the abuse that he was unleashing on it in the name of improving his spellcasting.
Ran had politely suggested for him to get a tutor (while struggling to contain her laughter at his most recent failure).
Shinichi had politely said 'No' (his pride wouldn't allow it).
It wasn't entirely his fault though, part of the blame could be placed on his (inherited) absolute lack of creativity. The first thing any young, aspiring magician learned after stepping into the Academy's grand gates was the source of magic and the method of successfully casting spells. There were two important things needed to ensure the spell went without a hitch. One was a source of magic power (mana) as without sufficient mana, a spellcaster could die due to over exhausting their mana source to cast a spell and causing the spell to have to leech off their life energy - the thing that literally gave a person life - to be successfully cast. The other was a clear picture of what one envisioned the spell to do and then using the mana to project it out into being. Incantations were sometimes used as they helped in envisioning what the spellcaster wanted to happen with the spell.
Shinichi could say he had mana in buckets, being ranked as the second highest in raw magic power just after some person named black feather or something who was apparently a never-before-seen genius, overflowing in both imagination and mana though Shinichi really didn't bother keeping up with the school gossip (although there was an interesting rumor how this top ranker looked startlingly similar to Shinichi himself, so much so that more than just a few people had come up to him to ask if they were twins or at least related). What Shinichi couldn't say was that he was a person of boundless imagination. He was absolutely fantastic at things to do with calculations and memory, things that were already proven to be true multiple times over, nothing to do with intangible things such as fantasy and imagination. He understood the theory behind it but just couldn't grasp how to change his thoughts into solid form, that's all.
Back to the topic on hand.
Shinichi shook out his sleeves and watched the dirt trapped in the folds crumble and scatter to the ground as he picked up another rock, this time roughly the size of his fist to try again. Concentrating, he first thought of the rock floating steadily in the air and then shoot towards a nearby tree trunk and collide with it. Keeping that image clear in his mind (or as clear as he could), he dipped into his veritable pool of magic power and slowly drew it out, channeling it into the immobile rock in his hand. The rock trembled for a few moments before shakily starting to rise into the air and Shinichi felt a flutter of hope rise up in him.
Could it be...?
His hopes were dashed with the tell-tale fluctuations of the rock's aura just before it, like the previous rocks that came that preceded it, exploded with the force of a hammer swung at high speeds and sending sharp shards scattering every which way. Groaning aloud and wincing slightly at the small cuts the flying rock pieces had left on the exposed parts of his body and shook out his sleeves until they settled heavily by his side. Shooting the sky a quick glance, Shinichi began making his way back towards the dormitory building, clambering over tree roots and low-hanging branches that clawed at his cheeks and left thin tracks down his arm.
In his silent battle with the greenery, Shinichi never noticed a person dressed in green watching him with amused indigo eyes.
"Shinichi, don't you think that you should really consider getting a tutor?"
Shinichi cringed inwardly when Ran muttered those words to him even as he settled his book bag beside her on the wooden bench and sat down heavily, rubbing at his tired eyes. It was currently slightly after breakfast and a few minutes before their very first class of the day - Runes, if his memory served him right, and it usually did - and yet Shinichi was already exhausted, having had little to no sleep the previous night due to being out in the forest practicing his magic. The consequences of such an action were already being felt as Shinichi struggled to keep his head up and not plunk it down on the tabletop and fall asleep. He yawned slightly before answering Ran, having heard that question often enough to not need to even think about his reply.
"I'm fine, Ran."
Ran stared at him disapprovingly, looking like she was about to nag at him again as she opened her mouth- ("Shinichi, you need to a-")
-only to get cut off by the sudden opening of the door as two figures walked in, their teacher and an unknown person who was dressed in a forest-green robe (an upperclassman then) bearing startling resemblance to one Kudo Shinichi. Except for the slight difference in height - Shinichi was about an inch shorter - and eye colour - Shinichi had blue eyes, this person had indigo - as well as the difference in hairstyles - Shinichi made sure to comb his hair neatly every morning, this person looked like he rolled out of bed looking like that and just didn't bother fixing his hair - they were exactly alike in appearance.
Hearing the sudden buzzing of the class, Shinichi lifted his head from his hand and peered around, first sweeping over his fellow classmates, some of whom were shooting him curious glances, then his teacher who looked to be close to losing his temper at the disorderly conduct of his class, and finally landing on the man - teen really - who had followed the teacher in and was now studying Shinichi with an unreadable expression in his eyes, a friendly but oh so plastic smile on his lips.
So, this is the supposed 'black feather' who is at the very top of the academy in terms of sheer brilliance?
The teacher coughed sharply, then had a vein pop on his forehead when the class ignored him in favour of chattering about the new addition and clenched his fist. Shinichi smirked to himself and covered his eyes just as the teacher's fist started glowing in a familiar light with the brightness of a star before he flung his arm outward and caused a mini-supernova to go off in the middle of the not-so-large study hall. Everyone who didn't manage to block their eyes in time (that was, the rest of the class sans Shinichi and Ran as well as a few others) were cringing from the burst of light that swam across their vision. When the light died down, Shinichi noticed their upperclassman-who-was-for-some-reason-very-interested-in-Shinichi didn't show any obvious signs of having been affected by the light at all despite not having done anything to block the burning rays. A closer look showed that this was not the case and the teen's jaw was clenched, his smile slightly strained and pain was very cleverly concealed in his eyes.
If it wasn't so impolite to do so, Shinichi would have snorted.
The teacher cleared his throat, veins popping out in irritation as he tapped a finger on the wall and Shinichi watched with slight awe as colours burst out in flowing streams from his fingertips and twisted into legible words hovering in the air slightly in front of the wall, spelling out the words, 'Student Teacher Volunteer Session' in bright red and below it, in orange and slightly smaller, 'Lesson On Runes: Inscribing' and, further below that, this time written in a garish yellow, 'Student Teacher: Kuroba Kaito'.
Instantly whispers started up again though not as fierce and it quickly died down though Shinichi could tell that they were talking about this newly introduced Kuroba Kaito, whose name Shinichi actually remembered - finally - as the name of the student who had firmly held onto the number one spot in the Academy Rankings ever since his admission three years prior. The teacher cleared his throat slightly before beginning to speak, voice still slightly wheezy from the expenditure of magic power.
"Ahem, as you can see, the Academy will be introducing a new program where volunteers from the upper levels will sometimes sit in on classes to help in demonstrations as well as give them the experience of teaching. The Academy hopes that by doing this, you will be able to better understand the topics taught when taught by one of your upperclassmen instead of the professor. The student who has been assigned to this class is Kuroba Kaito from year three. Today, he will be the one teaching Runes and I will simply observe from the back of the class."
At that, the teacher gave a short glance to Kuroba and he grinned widely as he stepped forward, robes billowing in an overly dramatic fashion - in Shinichi's very honest opinion, of course - and with a bounce in his step, he chirped out,
"My name is Kuroba Kaito, just call me Kaito. I'll be your teacher for today, nice to meet you!"
Okay, he had to admit, this Kuroba - Kaito - knew what he was talking about.
Shinichi had at first thought that, like in most cases, Kaito's capabilities were simply blown up by the rumors and in actuality he was not as good as what many people claimed he was. He was quickly proven wrong when the mischievous and brightly cheerful look slid off his face and was instead replaced by a slightly more serious expression as Kaito snapped fingers and in a flurry of colours even more breathtaking than the teacher's, streams of blue, purple and indigo coiled around in the air above their heads and formed into words as well as a few simple runes and magic circles. Launching into his explanation, Shinichi felt himself get caught up in the older boy's explanation and was pleasantly surprised to find it easy to understand and not as dreary as their usual portly teacher's lessons were. Quickly pulling out a piece of paper and a pen, Shinichi furiously scribbled down the words coming from Kaito's mouth and marveled again how it seemed that the other knew exactly how much was enough to make sure that all his temporary students knew all the information necessary yet not so much that it would be a race of who-was-faster to write down everything before he finished speaking. It was, a much appreciated change from his usual hectic note-taking.
However, no matter how excellent the boy's lesson on theory was, Shinichi knew that it was not the hardest part. The most difficult part would be the practical, in the second half of the lesson.
Finally the time came when they were all supposed to put away their books and collect an engraving pen as well as a ceramic cup from the woven basket at the front of the classroom and begin inscribing the rune that they were focusing on for that day, the 'Harden' rune.
Like its name, the 'Harden' rune served to increase the toughness of whatever it was inscribed on and if done correctly, would prevent previously fragile items such as glass or ceramic from breaking even when flung at the ground. There were even rumors that even though this was such a basic rune, the truly powerful magicians were able to fortify walls of cities to prevent invaders from breaching or reinforce chains that would be able to restrain even the strongest of magical beasts. Though such rumors were merely that, rumors and it was commonly used to toughen the windows of shop houses or prevent expensive china from breaking so easily.
Shinichi picked up his engraving pen and took a deep breath, focusing on the tiny teacup in his hand. Around him, there were flashes of light from his classmates and either yelps of delight or groans of despair that told him clearly who failed and who succeeded, although since this was such an easy rune to learn, it was not very common for someone's magic to fizzle out in weak sparks and the rune do absolutely nothing.
He placed the thin yet rounded tip of the engraving pen on the side of the teacup and tugged on his magic power, willing it to flow into the pen in his hand. Instantly, the spidery black lines that gave it a cracked look lit up in a piercingly bright flash of dark blue light and the rounded tip started glowing. Being ever so careful, Shinichi dragged the pen down, then across, then down again. Once he finished the rune however, it, not completely unexpectedly, pulsed for a moment before fizzling out, sending some blue sparks scattering to the table and leaving a rather tingly taste in the air. Heaving a long sigh, Shinichi once again accepted that he would not be able to successfully draw the rune and chanced a quick glance to his right to look at how Ran was doing. Unsurprisingly, she was already done and was currently dropping her cup roughly one meter above the coarse stone floor and watching it be outlined in a weak pink glow before it seemed to almost bounced as it impacted the floor and clattered to a stop, completely undamaged before she picked it up and did it all over again. Furrowing his eyebrows in a slight feeling of hopelessness, Shinichi tried drawing the rune again, having it fail and doing it over and over until he was panting slightly with a few beads of sweat dripping down his forehead. It seemed that the day would be full of nothing but failures again, like always.
"You need to channel your feelings into the pen."
Shinichi startled and turned his head to the fast so quickly his neck ached slightly as he came almost nose-to-nose with their Student Teacher, Kaito. Looking at him uncomprehendingly, Shinichi could only let out a confused, 'what?' as he tried to understand the meaning being those words. Smiling ambiguously, Kaito merely shook his head in indication that he wasn't going to give anymore hints before turning around and walking away, towards a poor girl whose rune was drawn too weakly and couldn't stop her cup from shattering on the floor.
Shinichi turned back towards the cup in his hand and felt his brow furrow even more. Channel my feelings? What does that even mean? Could it be…?
In partial disbelief, Shinichi raised his pen again but this time, instead of going about it with the detached manner of a scientist observing an experiment, he focused on what he wanted to convey through the rune - the non-breaking of the cup - and the pen lit up far more brightly than it ever had before, even though he wasn't channelling more than the usual amount of magic power into the pen. In fact, it was so bright that some of the students from the neighbouring tables looked over in curiosity.
Placing the nib on the smooth surface, he began to write. And this time, his strokes stayed on the cup, layering in power with every new line until they positively hummed from the sheer magic power being poured into it. With the very last stroke, instead of fizzling out and dispersing like usual, the sigil on the surface wavered slightly like a rippling pool of water before sinking into the cup itself and causing it to be outline by a thin but strong layer of dark blue light. In hesitation, Shinichi slowly let the cup fall from his hand, all too aware that the attention of the class was on him, the boy-genius that couldn't perform magic.
It wobbled as it fell, the world seeming to be in slow motion as it inched its way towards the floor before finally - finally - impacting…
… and activating the magic. The light that glowed caused many to widen their eyes in shock because the cup, contrary to expectations, did not break. Instead, it bounced across the floor and rolled around on its side before coming to a rest by Shinichi's feet, completely unscathed.
Shinichi himself felt rather happy as he didn't expect that it would actually work and he could barely stop himself from cheering in joy.
For the first time ever, my rune actually worked!
A/N: So hey, I know this is really late and it's not even complete but hear me out please! I have unfortunately started drifting away from the KaiShin fandom *loud gasps of shock ensue*. Yes, yes, I know that I have two incomplete stories sitting prettily on my account but I can't find the motivation to write anything for them. The only reason I was able to write this one was because the actual theme of the story interested me quite a lot. So, as of right now as I am typing this, it is currently 12.41 AM on the 9th of January 2016 and I am putting both of those stories on HIATUS. Now, do not misunderstand me, I am in no way abandoning them and instead putting them on hold until the KHR! fandom releases me from their hold. So until then, this will be the only one that is updated until I complete it. Thanks for reading, please remember to review and favourite or follow if you feel so inclined. Toss me a PM if you have anything to ask me.
Have a nice day!