Notes: So, uh, I got dragged back into KaiShin hell and that's why this is posted now when originally I intended for it to be posted, oh, maybe a month or two later in September. Regardless, it's up now so, enjoy! This is the absolute final chapter, I know I've dragged this story out long enough so I want to wrap it up quickly.
Also, I got a review asking me why I chose a Boto for Shinichi that first time. The reason is that Boto are mythical pink dolphins and dolphins are widely regarded as very intelligent, a fact with I associated with Shinichi. That's it.
Summary: 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 had to admit, it wasn't half-bad at all, having the best magician in the whole school personally tutor him that is. Despite appearances, Kaito knew what he was talking about - and he talked about a lot of interesting facts, mostly regarding spells but also occasionally of summoned beasts and the contracting of beasts. He had even successfully managed to make a contact with Holmes, an intelligent Cŵn Annwn with fur of the darkest black that didn't reflect any light and actually seemed to absorb the luminance from the sun. Cŵn Annwn were also known as Hellhounds and their howls usually preluded a death, although when Shinichi saw the cutely romping tiny black puppy skirting around his ankles and affectionately nuzzling against his palm, almost begging to be petted, it was difficult to reconcile that image with the fiercely proud creatures pictured in the countless history tomes littering the library shelves.
As he gently stroked the coarse fur that lined the head of the Hellhound, scratching a small spot behind his ears that usually had Holmes toppling over into a contented heap, Shinichi pondered over the actual contract making with the canine and the fact that it wasn't due to his performed procedures that screwed him over but rather his emotions. Shinichi would be offended if he didn't also despairingly acknowledge that it was completely and utterly true.
"Okay, I think I see your problem now."
Kaito remarked after a brief pause, staring at Shinichi as he lay collapsed and exhausted on his side, the Roc that he had called into the summoning circle giving one final, offended screech before it stared disdainfully at him and vanished with a single touch of the Call ring by Kaito.
Kaito shook his head slightly before adopting a scholarly air, a faint green glow surrounding his figure before a tiny white dove-like bird appeared literally from nowhere into the air in front of him, fluttering down to land on an outstretched finger. It trilled at Kaito and almost absentmindedly, Kaito brought his other hand to smooth down the feathers on the 'dove''s head, although with the magic undulations emitted from Kaito, Shinichi would bet his money on it actually being Kaito's contracted summoned beast in a smaller form.
"This is Tsuki, she's a Caladrius."
Shinichi felt a spark of recognition at that name, information flowing to the front of his mind easily as water.
A Caladrius is an all-white bird that lives in the king's house. If it looks into the face of a sick man, it means that he will live, but if the caladrius looks away, the sick man will die of his illness. To cure the sick man, the caladrius looks at him, and drawing the sickness into itself, the bird flies up toward the sun, where the disease is burned up and destroyed.
It made perfect sense, Shinichi muses, Kaito was such a cheerful and energetic individual, his very presence seemed to heal the spirits of whoever talked to him for a few minutes, Shinichi himself being on the receiving end of that mystical power multiple times. He was broken out of his musings when Kaito continued,
"The issue here is that you're seeing the contract as a goal and the summoned beast as simply being a 'tool' to achieving that goal. Simply put, you're treating a summoning contract as if it were like any other potion or spell to complete and you're thinking of it in a detached analytical manner-"
Here Kaito breaks off briefly to pluck a small bag of grain from inside a spatial pocket and offer it to the Caladrius, who chirps happily and digs in,
"-the thing is, contracts don't work like that, summoned beasts don't work like that. Trying to complete the contract in this manner will only serve to anger the summoned beast. Instead, try sending your sincerity and resolve to the summoned beast as you offer a contract and most likely the beast will accept, or at least not react violently. Now, try again."
Shinichi absorbs the advice and sits in the springy soft grass, processing what he has heard. When his mana pool has replenished to a sufficient level, he stands up again, groaning at the mild muscle ache in his limbs and back and strides over to the summoning circle. A nick on his thumb, a few drips of his blood and another infusion of his mana into the Call ring later, Shinichi feels his consciousness connect with the Ether, the sort of 'go-between' zone where his offer was sent ringing out to all the minds of any listening, uncontracted summoned beasts and waiting for the fastest one to respond.
A tug on his mind let him know that a beast had accepted the offer and Shinichi watched as a rift appeared in the air, approximately three metres tall and one-and-a-half metres across. A black, clawed paw stepped out before the body followed and Shinichi watched as a ferocious-looking canine with glowing crimson-red eyes, menacingly long fangs and shaggy black fur stepped out, gaze seeming to bore into Shinichi's soul as it stared unblinkingly at him. Shinichi swallowed hard as he took in the massive dog. Hellhound, his mind helpfully told him and it took a prod in the side from Kaito to make him continue with the contract.
Pressing his fingers to one of the runes drawn out with chalk, channelling his magic into the rune and watching as a deep blue glow lit up the rune and an electric feeling spread through the air around him, which he knew to be the sensation of magic. Focusing hard, Shinichi tried to keep what Kaito said in his mind and tried to convey his sincerity to the Hellhound, an offer of being contracted woven into the intention. The Hellhound studied Shinichi for a moment longer and Shinichi felt cold sweat beading at his forehead. What if…
To his glee, the Hellhound bowed its head after another moment and a purple glow shot out from between the Hellhound's eyes, meeting with the flow of deep blue mana and mixing with it. Shinichi gasped, feeling another consciousness suddenly brushing against the edge of his mind before firmly locking in, with a click that Shinichi would almost swear was there but one he knew most probably wasn't.
The shield from the Protection ring dissolved and the Hellhound bounded out, shrinking into a tiny puppy that barked excitedly and wove around Shinichi's ankles in a figure eight.
Bending down to pick it up, Shinichi stared into its eyes before breaking into a large smile, aware of Kaito's proud gaze on him.
"I'll name you Holmes, what do you say about that?"
Holmes sent back a nudge of approval and Shinichi broke out in exhilarated laughter as he collapsed onto the grass, the joy of contracting a summoned beast overwhelming him.
Kaito felt his heart skip a beat at the smile on Shinichi's face and frowned in contemplation.
Shinichi stuffed a sandwich into his mouth, swallowing it down with a gulp of scalding hot coffee and almost burning his tongue in the process. Beside him, Kaito chuckled at his pained expression as Shinichi frantically groped for a cup of cold lemonade, soothing his abused tastebuds with the cool liquid.
They had originally come out here to help Shinichi practice for his second-year final exams - he could only thank his lucky stars that it was due to the first-year exams only focusing on theory and not practical application - but Kaito had suggested that they take a break after three hours of non-stop spellcasting. Shinichi was showing marked improvement and it showed in his classes. Previously the dead last in anything other than written work, Shinichi could now be considered above average in the casting of spells too, and his potions could actually be consumed without side effects now. While not stellar, it was an astonishing improvement for just a few months of tutoring and Shinichi's title of genius was not only for show after all. Ran had commented on his sharp improvement and demanded to meet his tutor, which led to the introduction of Kaito to Ran - though she evidently didn't forget the older boy - and Shinichi was regretting doing that, seeing as Kaito and Ran seemed to be collaborating together on some master plan in the interest of Shinichi's health.
In spite of all his half-hearted protests, Shinichi greatly appreciated their concern, though he would never mention that to Kaito for fear that the older magician's ego would swell even further. Their concern had even caused rosiness to return to Shinichi's cheeks and filled out the gaunt look his face previously had.
It was also due to this master plan that Kaito insisted on taking breaks between training to eat and relax when Shinichi would have ploughed on instead, wilfully ignoring his body's protest for rest for more practice.
So here they were now, sitting on a picnic blanket that Kaito had pulled out from his spatial pocket and laid out on the damp grass, chewing on barely warm food provided by Ran who had looked inordinately pleased that Shinichi was spending so much time with Kaito. Shinichi suspected that she was glad he had made another friend besides her, Sonoko and Hattori (who studied in another school in the West).
Giving a sigh of contentment, Shinichi allowed himself the brief luxury of falling backwards onto the picnic blanket's soft and woven surface beside Kaito, laying his hand over his eyes and enjoying the warm breeze tickling his cheeks. He must have dozed off at some point too because when he next opened his eyes, the sun had set halfway and he was being shaken awake by Kaito.
Groggy and still half-asleep, he couldn't help himself from thinking that silhouetted against the setting sun, Kaito looked unusually beautiful.
(Later, he would freak out over this completely unexpected thought in the privacy of his own room.)
"Kaito! I got an S on my final practical results!"
Elatedly, Shinichi sprinted over to Kaito who was waiting for him by the large tree near the classrooms, a thin sheet of paper clutched in his hands and a large smile on his face. Kaito grinned at him, hand rising in a thumbs up as his other arm reached out to catch a Shinichi who was running too fast to be able to slow down before colliding against Kaito.
With a loud 'oomph!', they toppled onto the grass, a few students nearby looking over in curiosity before turning back to whatever they were doing once they realised that it was nothing but Kaito and Shinichi.
"Great job!" Kaito replied, brushing off the dirt on his forest-green robe and helping Shinichi to his feet. The grading on every test, in ascending order would be E, D, C, B, A, S and SS, previously Shinichi had always received an S or SS on his written, and an E or D on his practical so an S while not the highest, was a huge jump in his results.
"You've really improved from the beginning of the year. You can now cast spells easily now, I'm proud of you, Shin-chan!"
Over the months, they had gradually gotten closer until Shinichi now called Kaito, Kaito instead of Kaito-kun or Kuroba and Kaito had nicknamed Shinichi, Shin-chan to the younger boy's sputtered protests.
It was also partially due to their growing closeness that led Shinichi to impulsively plant a kiss on Kaito's cheek before he even knew what he was doing. When his actions registered in his brain, he jumped backwards in shock, face hot and unable to make eye contact with a similarly red-faced Kaito who had a hand pressed to his cheek.
Well, uh, this changes things.
In what way, only time would tell.
A/N: Wow, almost one year later this story is finally completed. Well, I hope you like it, Eve Of The Stars, and if anybody is interested, a sequel to 'Of Dreams and Fantasy' is being written right now and might be up soon, depending on my schedule. I also want to mention that 'The Journey To Save A Princess' is now on indefinite hiatus until I sort out the story so sorry to those who are still looking forward to the next chapter. Anyways, this is the end for this story, I hope you leave a review to tell me what you think about the chapter and maybe favourite it? Thanks for reading!
Have a nice day!