Hey everybody! I don't know how many of you happen to remember me from some odd years ago, but here I am again, releasing yet another Negima fic! This time with a lot more writing experience under my belt! I hop you all enjoy! and please, leave a review or comment!
Prologue: Us 3
Wales England. A place largely left untouched by the machinations of society and the overzealous march of technology. It was a beautiful place to behold, nature thrived here and was allowed to be left to its natural beauty. In the back hills of this place were superstition was allowed be as it was, sat a quaint and small village of less then maybe 110 locals or so, having been firmly planted here for many years. Such small communities where generally left alone and liked to be left as such, but sometimes, people would find themselves drawn to such places. As for such reasons, they can range to a vast amount. However, today, people liked to get out of the city and return to a more quiet and quaint place. A few such individuals where currently in route to this small village. In the back of an old bus sat two people, one an adult male looking to be in his later 20's with deep black hair slicked back professionally and a quite looking face with gentle green eyes. He was dressed in khakis and a red flannel shirt. Sitting next to him was also a male, but of a much younger age. Barely even older than 5 years old, the young boy also had deep black hair, but unlike the man sitting next to him, he let his hair fall over his skull, his bangs covering his violet slanted eyes. Unlike the man next to him, the boy's face was less gentle and looked a little more vicious in comparison. However, one could see similarities between the two, and it was easy to tell that the two where father and son.
The both of them sat in silence as the bus drove along the old dirt road, the view of trees and hills a calming sight to at least one of them. A moment later and the indication as to who wasn't quite so content with the scenery let out a sigh from his young throat.
"Why did we have to come all the way out here in the middle of nowhere dad?"
"He he… Chris, you were the first to complain about our old home. I thought it might do us some good to be out of the city and… away from old memories."
There was a moment of silence between the two of them at the pause, but not before Chris let out another sigh.
"Yeah, but I wasn't exactly talking about the house itself… the school sucked having to deal with all those moron for teachers and whatnot…"
The older man smiled to himself as he reached over and ruffled his son's hair playfully.
"Trust me Chris, this place will be much better in comparison to our old home. A lot more room for starters, no having to worry about what fences not to cross anymore eh?"
The young man tactfully looked away from his dad and out the bus window.
"Ha ha! That's what I thought!"
"Hey, when someone puts a 'do not enter sign' on their fence, I'm tempted to find out what's on the other side."
"Ha ha ha ha ha! Well you won't be doing that here Chris. I'm looking forward to this new change in our lives. Who knows, you might even make some new friends."
Was his sons only reply before Chris leaned his head on the window. However, that only lasted a few more minutes before the bus came to a stop at a small looking station. It was really more of a raised stone platform with a simple wooden overhang, but it served well enough as a bus stop. Chris and his father got up from their seats and payed the driver for the service before they unloaded their luggage. When Chris walked out into the new air, he could tell a very real difference in comparison to his old home. The Air felt cleaner, more charged with energy then the stuff in the city ever had. It almost made him feel like running.
"Ah Chris? You can go about and start wandering in town if you feel like. I have to wait to talk with someone about where our new house is. I know you don't like sitting still, so feel free to wander about. Just don't trouble anybody, don't go outside the town, and lastly, never accept candy from strangers, no matter how much you might like candy."
Chris rolled his eyes before he walked down the stone steps.
"Got it dad… I'll meet you back here in a little while M'kay?"
"Roger, have fun."
Without another word, Chris made his way down the street. The town was about like what he expected, old looking, rustic to be more precise, but had a nice feel to it, like nobody was a stranger and everyone had something nice to say regardless of how dreary it might be. Chris didn't hate it by far, but he felt it was a little more on the boring side. As Chris walked down the road, he made a mental note to keep track of where everything was and if it might be useful. No electronics store to be found, not surprising, and he doubted he would find anything like a retail store around here. Eventually he managed to find some people to talk with. They obviously knew he wasn't from around here, so they questioned him, and he was as honest as he could be. Shortly after that, he made his way around town again, and any new people he met set upon him with as many questions. In such a small town, word travels fast, and it started to get to the point where he was sure that his and his father's name had already spread like wildfire.
Chris managed to find himself in what he guessed was the town square and made a small spot for himself by one of the benches on the sidewalk. He was content to just sit there and look at all the people walk by him and wave as they did. Sadly, he was finding the lack of other children around him to be a little disheartening. He couldn't hope to get more underlings if he was the only one around. That changed quickly when he happened to see a boy maybe a year younger then him walk hand in hand with a girl that looked to be about 16 years old. The young boy was a red head while the girl was a blonde, but Chris wasn't all that concerned with those details. A big grin plastered itself on his face as he got himself up from the bench and made his way over while muttering under his breath.
"Looks like this place won't be all that boring after all…"
Xx several years down the road xX
Chris felt his eyes open quickly of their own volition, the sunlight hitting him square in the retina and forcing him to quickly cover his still sensitive eyes.
"ARGH! THE SUN! IT BURNS US!"
Chris rolled around on his bed for a moment, trying to recover from his sunlit assault and promptly fell to the floor when he had rolled just a little too far off his bed.
Chris felt the stone floor meet with his back quickly, forcing the wind right out of his lungs in surprise. Chris sat there on the ground for a moment, his head spinning before he recovered enough to think coherently.
"I just had a dream about something from my past… that could only mean one thing…"
He shivered as he sat back up, his thoughts running wild when he gazed over at the calendar on his wall.
"It's exam day…"
As if the words carried an ominous tone to them, the wind outside his window blew lightly, scraping the tree branch against his window with light scratching noises. Chris sat there for a moment longer, as if to let the ill-omen set in solidly before he let out a sigh and pulled himself to his feet.
The young boy then walked over to his window and opened it wide, letting the cool early morning air send a shiver up his spine. He didn't dislike it though. It was a good chill, one that woke the nerves and the mind.
Chris stared out into the courtyard of the magical academy he called home, sun only just peeking up over the wall of the outer courtyard.
"Must be about 5:27 by my estimate… a little early, but not enough to not get the other two up."
Chris nodded his head at no one in particular before he turned around and got to work on his wardrobe and personal hygiene. He quickly got out of his single large black T-shirt that anybody could tell was 8 sizes too big for him and showed off his pair of black boxers to the world with little skulls on them.
He then donned the usual dress of the Meredia students, a single light green vest and shorts with a large bluish overcoat trimmed with gold. After that, he went over to the large marble Basin in his room, waving his hand over the small red and blue orbs and causing cold and hot water to start spilling from them and into the basin.
Eventually, it filled to the very brim and he waved the water off, allowing him to look down into the water and stare back at the young man looking straight up into the world beyond the clear mirror. Chris was happy to note that he still looked the same as he had when he went to sleep last night, still the bowl-shaped haircut with long black hair going well past his half-lidded eyes and to the tip of his nose. Still the dark circles around said covered eyes, and the deep violet that shined in them both. Anya had not scribbled on his face like she did last time, thank goodness.
He had tripped her off a cliff for that one several weeks back and had fallen right into a massive pile of monster crap much to his delight. However, he quickly shook the memory from his mind and let out a sigh.
"Let's get this over with…"
He then pulled his head back as far as it could go for dramatic appearance, and then lunged forward and dunked his whole head straight into the basin and forced the water to spill over the edges and onto the floor around him. Some of it got on his uniform, but those had been magical enchanted to be waterproof so he didn't worry about that.
Chris left his head under for a little while, letting the warm water seep deep into his flesh and blood and warming up the rest of his body with it. Eventually, his body started to scream for air and he decided to abide its request and pulled his head out of the water with a gasp.
Some of the water spilled into his mouth as it ran down his face and clothes, his face plastered with his dark hair. Chris let it run down his body for a moment longer before he repeated the action, lunging back and then dunking his head into the warm water. He did this several more times before he was satisfied with his current state and took a step back. Chris lifted his arms up and watched the water run down the coat with a satisfied grin.
"Time to get going then."
He then left his room, soaked and dripping with quickly cooling water, his shoes squeaking across the ground with every wet splat. The good thing about the academy was that everybody in the same class where put in rooms close together, and it helped that Anya's room was only two doors down.
When he got to the door, he was amused to see that Anya had put a paper sign on the wooden door with an angry face saying, 'sleeping. Don't bug me! Especially you Chris Mccreepy!'
Yes, Mccreepy, the name he had earned in the four years he had been here. Chris smiled to himself in amusement at the name and the girl's pathetic attempts to deter him away from the room.
He quietly opened the wooden door, carful to remove his shoes as he did. Anya's room was bright, much like his own due to the sun peeking in through her window. It looked very similar to his, minus the fact that she had several clothes and undergarments strewn all over the floor.
Chris snuck into the room and made his way the bed. Anya was currently lying flat on her back, her pink Pajamas slightly skewed away from her body, the shirt pulled up enough for him to see her exposed belly and a little of her chest as well. Chris chuckled to himself a little at her pitifully tiny bust.
Mosquito bites he liked to call them.
Her pants were also pulled rather far down, revealing her plain white panties. Oh the trouble he could cause to her right now… but even he wasn't so mean as to bring her chastity into question just before a big test.
So he decided to go with the more helpful method. Chris snuck up closer to her bed and lightly whispered at her.
"Anya… it time to get up…"
The girl didn't move. Granted, he actually hadn't been very loud. Chris then shrugged his shoulders to himself.
'Welp, I tried, looks like it's the hard way then.'
The young lad took several steps back and then got a running start. He then jumped into the air right above Anya's bed and yelled out.
The flaming red head quickly jolted her eyes open in enough time to watch as a large shape fell flat on her bed and right on top of her.
"Oof!" followed with a *SPLAT* to indicate the water that was now seeping into Anya's clothes and sheets. Granted, the water had lost much of its warmth and had gotten quite cold, causing Anya to struggle under the youth for a moment.
"AHHHHH! WHAT THE HECK!?"
Chris turned his head to her while not getting up, giving her a smile.
"Good morning Anya! How are you feeling this morning?"
The red head, who was now currently getting soaked right after waking up, gave him a hateful glare.
"CHRIS! I'M GONNA KILL YOU!"
The dark haired mage quickly got off her and dashed for the door. "Not the first time you've claimed that! See you in Negi's room!"
Chris managed to get out of the room just before Anya chucked the single chair in the room at him, something he heard crash against the door with a loud bang and clatter. Chris snickered at the girl as she started to yell about how she was going to get him back for this through the wooden door.
Not wanting to listen anymore, and having heard half of the threats already, Chris made his way a little further down the hall until he go to the door he wanted. He then opened it and was greeted with another room much like the last two, only this one had a shelf and work stand piled high with magical books and other such theory into magical application.
Chris didn't even wait before he ran to the bed and launched himself into it, this time a sleeping Negi hugging a full body pillow while muttering.
Granted, that didn't wake him up, but the impact followed by cold water sure did.
Negi sprung to attention, rolling Chris off his upper torso and onto Negi's lower legs, screaming out.
"SEA MONSTER! DON'T EAT ME!"
Negi then looked around the room in alarm before he brought his attention to Chris, who had sat up and was waving at the sleepy boy.
"Morning sunshine. You and Anya seem to be quite chipper this morning. Would it have anything to do with the mildly cool weather we've had recently?"
It took the other boy a moment to understand his words before he gave Chris an annoyed look.
"Chris! Why did you do that? That was cold… and mean as well by the way…"
Chris rolled off the bed, most of the water now falling to the floor and leaving a puddle at his feet.
"Couldn't help it, you and Anya are pretty heavy sleepers."
Negi pulled himself out of bed and stripped to his boxers, a plain red pair showing out to the entire world as Negi started to wring the water out of his PJ's.
"You really have to stop using those odd methods Chris… last week it was the cannon down the whole hallway, and the week before that was the Banshee scream you caught."
Chris shook himself, causing a lot of the water to fly everywhere in Negi's room and causing the other male present to shield himself from the onslaught.
"Just to be fair Negi, the Banshee thing was more Anya's idea then mine. The girl deserves more credit for that then me."
"That's because she got terrified of the movie you showed her and decided to scare her with it!"
Chris grinned evilly to him while wiping the rest of the water out of his hair with a spare towel he pulled out of Negi's dresser.
"And I must say that I was happy to see her nearly piss herself every time she walked down that hallway during the night…"
Negi simply shook his head slowly at the other male before he started to get dressed himself.
"Chris, one of these days, Karma is going to take all those bad deeds and throw them right back in your face with double the force…"
"Yes, and that retribution is in the form of the clod I have to go to class with every day named Anya. Are you ready yet? Breakfast won't wait for us you know."
Negi let out a sigh, his words having not been taken seriously or even acknowledged in the right way, However, he knew it was simply one of his friends traits, and not one that would change regardless of all of Negi's warnings.
Chris watched as Negi finally got himself dressed in the same outfit as himself, but the both of them turned their head's when they heard the door open loudly with a crash. Negi smiled when he saw who it was.
"Oh, hello Anya, how are-"
"Stow it Negi! I got business with Mccreepy there!"
Chris pointed to himself in mock confusion.
"Moi? Whatever would you need me for Anya?"
However, unlike the angry reaction he was expecting from her, Anya gave him a smug smile.
"Yeah, you. Guess what?"
Chris, who was genuinely interested at this point, tilted his head.
Before either he or Negi could react, Anya smiled at him before she pulled her arm back savagely and chucked something into Chris's face like a pro baseball pitcher. Negi heard the sound of something coming into contact with his friends face and heard him hit the floor with a garbled shout of surprise.
"YOUR SHOES ASSHOLE!"
Negi turned to look down at Chris and saw him twitching with a pair of shoes embedded into his face. And on further inspection, he saw that they were Chris's shoes. Chris started to shiver for a moment before he stood back up and ripped both pairs of sneakers off, the bottoms leaving marks all over his angered face.
"You little skank! How dare you!"
"Got what you deserve for doing something so stupid this early!"
"At least I only left some minor clothing damage! You could have killed me! What if I had been wearing my cleats!?"
"Still would have served you right Creepy!"
Chris narrowed his eyes at her before dropping his shoes. "Ohhhhhhhhh, you are so dead Anya…"
"Bring it short, pale, and ugly!"
However, before the both of them could start killing each other, Negi stepped between them both and raised his hands with a smile.
"Alright you two. Let's take a breather for a second. It looks to be a bright and beautiful morning, I don't think we should waste it trying to fight with each other. I also think we should save our energy for the Exam today."
Chris and Anya gave each other a couple more dirty looks before the word 'exam' brought them to focus on Negi. They both simply huffed pridefully.
"*Pfffff* Like that kind of thing would be hard/ The test is sure to be easy for one of my skills."
Both individual stopped for a moment before they glanced at the other with some humor in there voice.
"Really Anya? You think this test won't be hard? I know it's hard, so I know for a fact that you're going to be crying like a baby around the middle of it."
"Skills? what skills? The only skill you have is the ability to laze about all day and stare at big honking boobs like a pervo!"
Chris actually inhaled sharply in surprise while recoiling as if struck.
"How DARE you! The proper term is not 'boobs' that is a horrible slang term to be used to subjugate the female to lesser and more slur-ish insults! No Anya, the right term is 'breasts' or 'beautiful things of creation.' Do not belittle the power of the female body! Something you will never understand due to your inability to produce any form of estrogen you poor tomboy."
At this point, Negi knew it would be better to simply ignore them and let them work it out. Negi let out a Sigh and started to leave the room, the other two quickly shutting up when they heard the door close behind them and forcing them to cut their argument prematurely.
"Hey! Hold up Negi!"
"Don't leave me when I was the one who woke you up!"
The three mages proceeded down the hall, Anya and Chris arguing with each other while Negi simply lead them along until they managed to get to their destination.
The school kitchens.
Thanks to Chris and his early morning shenanigans, the three of them where perhaps up earlier then even some of the higher level students. Which meant that all the food that was going to be served would be pretty dang fresh. Negi looked around the room and noticed quite a few chairs, but saw that there usual spot was available.
"I'm going to go over here and get our seats."
"Alright Negi. Anya, could you grab the drinks while I go and get the food?"
The red head simply nodded and went to the other side of the dining area while Chris went to the bar filled with fresh food and breakfast. With easily rehearsed practice and ease, Chris was down to the end of the bar with three plates full of food in no time flat, each one met to their individual tastes. Chris carried two plates in each hand while balancing the last one in the length of his arm.
Anya had already gotten the drinks and was seated next to Negi under the window seat with the both of them already having magical texts out and studying them. Chris walked up to the table and placed each plate under their respective individual.
Anya glanced over her book and examined the plate in front of her for a moment before giving it a nod of approval. Her plate was heavily laced with pancakes and waffles, both of which where lightly drizzled in different kinds of Syrup with some light helpings of Sausage, scrambled eggs, and hash browns on the side.
The girl went back to her book, but not before taking a whole pancake on her fork and stuffing it in her mouth like a glutton. Chris then took the plate on his arm and placed it in front of Negi, who actually put the book down and gave the dark haired mage a nod.
"Thank you Chris."
Negi glanced down at his own plate and was happy to see that Chris still knew him well. Two sunny-side up eggs with a single sausage mixed in with a little sauerkraut with Belgian waffles and a small cup of fruit on the side. The mage smiled down at the both of them before he took a seat next to Anya and pulled out his own book.
The both of them glanced down at his own plate and weren't surprised to see the sheer amount of food he had stacked there. Many helpings of bacon stacked on top of a bed of hash-browns with no eggs to be found and a separate plate for his 6 stacked high plate of pancakes slathered in blueberry syrup.
Anya simply shook her head at the sight while Negi could only laugh at them both. "I Foretell death by clogged arteries by the age of 20 just by looking at your diet. You need to eat something healthier."
Chris had already stuffed several strips of Bacon in his mouth before he glanced over at Anya.
"Wow, your already failing as a fortune teller if you think I'm going to kick the bucket by eating a little funny in my youth."
"I see you already getting love handles on the side. Just warning you is all."
And with That, Anya went back to her book. Negi, however, could only shake his head once before he glanced at Chris's plate.
"She is right you know Chris, so many fatty foods and you'll end up in an early grave before long."
The young mage simply let out a sigh before he stuck several more strips of bacon in his mouth.
"True I suppose, but it sure is good eating… by the way, did any of you happen to grab Elvorn's Grande Bestiary on the way out of the library yesterday? I've been having some difficulty on the different characteristics of silver Dragons and Gray Dragons… I mean, it's a frikken color for crying out loud, no reason to name them different names based on a color… gray is just less shiny for Moses sake!"
Anya lifted her head from her book, giving him a snide smile "You just answered your own question Genius. Just look for the shine."
"Oh, like I'm going to be able to tell if a Dragons scales shine when it's trying to tear my face off with its teeth and serrated claws."
Negi glanced up at his friend with some mild curiosity.
"Why would you be in a dragons cave in the first place? That's dangerous you know."
"Oh really? I was half expecting an elder dragon to wake up and see me then proceed to invite me to tea and crumpet's and discussing how I was just about to make off with his treasure, all while laughing and having a good ol'hoot of a time. Of course it's dangerous! But that's what makes the loot all the sweeter! Beat an elder dragon, find a legendary sword or other artifact, it's a tried and true method!"
Anya finally put her book down, the grating voice of her one constant irritation forcing her to call off studying until his rant was over.
"That's a stupid method, but great if you want to get yourself killed. How do you like to die Creepy? Being BBQ'ed to death, or slowly crushed underfoot of a giant dragon?"
"I would prefer old age with a belly full of drink and food with a sweet girl wrapped around my loins in passion thank you very much."
Anya actually started to blush from his overly sexualized expression and started to stutter in anger.
"Y-Y-Y-Y-You pervert! That's disgusting! Aren't you like 10 or something!? Where did you even hear about that kind of stuff?!"
Chris looked over at Anya and gave her an arrogant smile.
"Anya, please, when it comes to mental maturity I have you beat by light years. Plus, Sex is simply a means of reproduction for human beings, I don't see anything wrong with talking about it… Unless…"
Chris noticed Anya's blushing face and his grin grew wider.
"Unless it makes you… uncomfortable."
Anya bit her lip and glared at him, however, it simply made him smile all the wider since she just gave him his answer. They stared at each other for a moment before Chris opened his mouth
Anya slightly jolted as her face started to grow redder.
"what did you-"
"Cock! Pussy! Pecker! Breasts!"
Anya clamped her hands over her bright red ears and shook her head violently.
"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!"
Negi could only let out a sigh as his friend continued to spout even more obscene sexual phrases at the overly innocent Anya, his mind just a little ashamed at the fact that his friend was saying such things in a public place. He was also happy that the cafeteria was still empty, else he was sure everybody would have been staring at the trio with some disgusted looks.
Eventually, the expected punch to the face was heard and Negi glanced over, the scene already very familiar to him due to its constant repeat's.
Anya, having had enough, had decked Chris in the face, her face as red as her hair at that point. Chris was on the ground with both eyes spinning and a smoking fist imprint square in-between his eyes.
"I told you to shut up already or I was going to hit you Mcpervo!"
Chris started to get back to his feet and glared over at Anya.
"Don't say that after you've hit me you under developed Tom-boy."
At that, Anya tackled him to the floor, where the both of them started to go at it like a pair of rabid wolverines.
"That's it! Today you die Chris! Juvie Hall be damned! I'mma ring your neck this time!"
"Bring it Loli Bitch!"
Negi observed the fight for a moment longer before he reached over and grabbed his tea and took a sip sagely.
"Ah… a day like any other…"
Xx a few hours (and bruises) later xX
The Trio was busy hauling their books back to the large Library on campus, each one of them carrying a small stack while pelting each other with questions. Both Chris and Anya where still nursing bite marks and scratches across their faces, but it didn't bug them due to the frequency that they ended up fighting and the level of injury they normally obtain.
"Alright Anya, tough one for you. What is the proper method to dispel a close range impairment curse?"
The red head mulled it over in her head for a moment before she hesitantly gave her answer.
"Blast the guy casting it?"
Chris let out a sigh while Negi laughed to himself.
"Negi… if you would be so kind as to explain it to the barbarian…"
Anya gave him a scathing look, but stopped when Negi started talking. "That is one way to stop a curse, but any mage worth his salt would have a barrier set up to intercept incoming attacks. The one sure fire way to stop a curse like that is to either cast the counter-curse or to cast a Dispel Barrier ahead of time so that the curse would rebound."
"Oh…I knew that, I just didn't think of that is all!"
Chris shrugged his shoulders to adjust the books to a more comfortable position.
"Of course, there's nothing wrong with blasting the guy, you just have to make sure your spell has the power to bust the barrier and kill the guy at the same time."
Anya felt perhaps a small amount of relief at Chris's slight encouragement of her answer, but she was in no way going to tell him that.
However, she quickly stopped thinking about it as she suddenly realized that it was her turn to ask one of them a question.
"Aight smart guy… Chris, what is one of the more fundamental magic's that can be treated as both a basic spell or High Magic based on output of the user casting it?"
Chris actually shivered in delight at the question, but not due to the fact that it was easy, no, this one was a tough one due to many of the magic's that worked in the same way.
"Ohhhhhhh…Playing dirty now are we Anya? Well I don't mind, I actually love it when you play dirty."
"Just answer the question." She said past some reddening cheeks.
"You think you have me, but I can tell that the answer is ESP due to your specialty in it."
Anya let out a small pout before she begrudgingly gave him a pass. The three of them continued to question each other before the familiar pillars of the Library Entrance forced them to cut it short.
Negi was the first to remark about it by saying, "Here we are."
The group looked upward to see the large stone pillars that helped to make up the entrance of the Meridia school Library. This Library was in fact a known famous spot in the old world for its collection of older texts in regards to magic. Many Professors made their way here to study or write Thesis pertaining to certain magics or to just lose themselves in the magic of the world.
Negi and his group where one such group to be here for that very purpose. They made their way inside and dropped off their books before going deeper.
Getting themselves oriented, the group got underway down the library corridor to find a good place to study. As they continued, Chris finally brought their attention to the very thing they were studying for.
"So, how much of this test do you guys happen to know about?"
Negi Glanced over at Chris curiously. "I thought it was going to be a written exam?"
Anya shook her head at him, her eyes excitedly gleaming. "Not from what I heard! I heard the test this time around was going to be different! I heard we might actually fight a monster to test ourselves! How cool would that be?"
Chris, who actually liked that idea, nodded his head in agreement.
"Yeah, I had heard from some of the older mages that the old tests weren't really cutting it when it came to magical graduates, so they decided to revamp it to something else entirely!"
Negi, however, didn't share his friends optimism about the new change up. "Um… that sounds dangerous if you ask me…"
Chris glanced over at Negi with annoyance, "What? It's a dangerous world! Paper tests won't prepare someone for that! Better to get some real experience in before heading out into the real shit- HOLY CRAP!"
Both Anya and Negi flinched at the sudden profanity and was even more surprised to see Chris flat against one of the bookshelves while eyeing the corner. Both blinked at him a few times before Anya spoke up
"The heck is wrong with you stupid?"
Chris glanced over at Anya and didn't miss a beat in his retort.
"First off, you have to get on my level of intelligence before you have the right to call me stupid Anya. Second, is that Shiori over there?"
Both bright haired individuals glanced at him and then around the corner. Off in the distance and sitting in one of the lounge chairs was a rather short girl, her bright silver hair loosely tied into a pair of ponytails and held up with two loosely fitted ribbons. The girl was dressed in the traditional school garb as well, though her attention and crimson colored eyes where directed at the book in her lap. Anya nodded her head at Chris.
"Yup, it's Shiori alright."
Chris peeked around the corner and smiled at the girl. "Marvelous! One of two of my favorite people in the library today of all days! It's gonna be a good day!"
Anya gave the dark haired boy a sigh of annoyance while Negi could only stare at him in confusion.
"Two of your favorite people?"
"Yes Negi, two of them. First off is someone you don't need to know about while the second is the girl over there. Shiori Momono. I heard she came to this academy to help further her studies even though she's a graduate from both the Clocktower association and the Kansai magic association."
Anya huffed a little in some pride. "Of course she did. The Ariadne Magical academy is one of the best around. You'll be hard pressed to find a famous mage who didn't graduate from these halls."
Negi glanced between them both of them before he finally fixed his gaze to the girl some distance off.
"And that's why you like her Chris? Cause she's a hard worker?"
"What? No! Are you crazy Negi? Haven't you ever heard of the 'shy book lover' type of girl? She's like that, only more quite… and cute."
Chris peeked back around the corner and smiled again as the girl simply turned the page in her book. Anya glanced over at Negi and gave him a slow shake of her head and then back to Chris.
"Like I said earlier, does your lechery know no bounds?"
Chris chose to ignore Anya that time, too focused on his less than chaste observation of the silver girl some distance away.
Negi however, simply glanced over at her. "Have you ever tried to talk to her before Chris? She might be a more interesting person then you think."
"And destroy the bookish charm she has? Are you crazy? That would be like… wait, Negi? Where are you going?"
Before Chris could finish his explanation, Negi had walked past him in the direction of Shiori.
"I'm going to go and talk with her. I think she might be an interesting person."
In all honesty, Negi was more interested about her history with the other magical associations that she had graduated from. Chris however, was starting to tear his hair out.
"What?! Negi! No! don't destroy a book lovers fantasy!"
However, the Auburn boy simply kept walking, Anya following behind and giving Chris an amused grin at the fact that this was driving him crazy. The pale lad ripped his hair out for a few more seconds before he took a few deep breaths and followed behind, uttering curses under his breath as he did. It took less than a second, but the trio made it to the young lady without hassle.
Negi was the first to try to catch her attention. "Excuse me?"
At first, the girl seemed to act as if she hadn't heard, but they did notice that her eyes weren't looking at the page anymore. Though the fact that she wasn't looking at them left them a little in the dark about what to do.
That is until she herself broke the silence.
"Yes? May I help you?"
There was yet another moment of silence before Anya elbowed Negi in the side to get him to start talking.
"Oh… Yes! Sorry… Forgive me, my name is Negi Springfield."
The young woman looked up from her book, her crimson eyes looking cold despite the color association.
"I see… Shiori Momono. Did you need something?"
Negi hesitated, the questions he had lined up crumbling away into the void of his mind at the blunt reactions of this person before him.
"Um… sorry… you see… I was um… I had something… I wanted to…"
Chris, already getting somewhat fed up with this, interjected on his friends behalf.
"You'll have to forgive my friend, exam jitters you see. He had a question to ask one as interesting as you."
The girl looked from Negi to Chris, and then back to Negi.
"I see then… if you have a question, then it would be best to say so in the first place rather than stumble over your words."
Negi somewhat shrunk back from the blunted words, though Anya was getting somewhat angry at the remarks being made at her friend.
"Hey, he just wants to ask a question. No need to be so callous."
The moment the older girls eyes made contact with Anya's, the twin-tail somewhat froze up from the look she was getting.
"I'll be less so if he gets what he wants out already."
Chris, detecting Anya's mood spiking to critical levels along with the atmosphere, whispered to Negi urgently.
"What are you doing?"
"I don't know help me!"
Chris rolled his eyes. "Really Negi… your normally more composed then this… *eh-hem* More apologies Shiori. You see, My friend had a question about you, something I think that revolves around your many… transfers from magical academy to the other, something I myself find of interest as well seeing most mages graduate when they hit ten or a little later… I've heard you also managed to graduate from most of the academy's you've attended."
Shirori looked to Chris before she nodded her head once.
"I simply pursue Knowledge. Most of the Knowledge I seek can only be found in academies such as these, though I feel as if I've truly only scratched the surface of this library in particular."
Chris nodded sagely in turn of her answer.
"I see… admirable. Knowledge is power, and more power creates more new knowledge. And with all that knowledge… you wouldn't happen to know anything of the graduation exam being held today would you?"
"You speak of the apprentices Exam today? I know nothing of it, neither do I desire to as I have no need to know of its machinations."
Chris shrugged his shoulders once before he gave her a sheepish smile.
"Fair enough I suppose… Negi? Anymore questions?"
The Young mage looked to his friend and gave him a thankful nod.
"Actually…I did… I was wondering if you might tell me a little about the other mage associations…"
And so, for the next few hours, the group simply sat with Shiori, Negi pelting her with questions about other magical schools while Anya and Chris either listened or went about the library to study. Much to the groups surprise, Shiori was rather forthcoming with her answers and seemed to have a knack for answering most of them quickly and occasionally in a chastising tone of voice, However, she was pleasant company for them, and even answered some of their questions about magical theories and creatures. In of herself, she seemed to be a well-spring of knowledge, and unlike what the group had thought originally, which was that this was going to be a quick exchange, they ended up staying with her until the time for the exam drew near.
"So Shiori… in categories of monsters, does it seem likely that a monster could experience an exponential growth in power if they are exposed to large amounts magical energy through forced transfusions?"
"Possible. Inconclusive in so far, but a researcher in Mundas has managed to get some results with the case of young Wyverns. Though weather that is from a Wyverns natural adaptability is still up for questioning."
Chris rubbed his chin in thought of her answer before he wrote it down. "I see… most interesting… then what of-"
Before he could continue the interrogation, the sound of a familiar voice beckoned to the three of them somewhere in the library.
"Negi? Anya? Chris?"
Negi was the first to react to the sound and looked to the other two.
"That sounds like Nekane."
"She might be coming to find us because of how late it's getting."
Anya then looked to one of the wall clocks and saw for the first time what time it actually was. The look of dawning realization would have been comical had the other two been paying attention to her at the moment.
"And for good reason! The exam starts at 1! It's friggen 12:37!"
The whiplash the other two would have experienced at the speed there heads turned would have seriously hurt them had they been bothering to pay attention to that. However, they both had bigger concerns at the moment. That concern being that they were going to be late if they didn't get there ass's in gear right then and there. Packing their bags as quickly as they could, the trio made for the door as quickly as possible, but not before the three of them turned around and bowed in gratitude before the girl who had been so patient with them for the last few hours.
"Many thanks Ms. Shiori!"
"We'll come talk to you later after we get done with our exam!"
"Come on you two!"
Anya grabbed the both of them by the scruff of their neck and pulled them with all the ferocity of a late magical student dreading failing her exam. The other two young lads quickly got the picture, and rather than be hanged by a speeding midget, touched down with the floor with their own feet and booked it to the front of the library where a familiar looking woman was anxiously waiting for them.
"There you are you three! The test hasn't started yet, but everybody is getting ready for it now! If you hurry you can make it in enough time to get a briefing for the actual test!"
"No time to wonder on the wording Negi ma Pal! Let's haul ass!"
With Nekane in the lead, the four quickly made their way to the grand hall in the center of the academy. They really didn't need to be shown where it was since they had been there more than a hundred times, but Nekane was a worrywart like that. Thankfully, they managed to make it at 12:50, the size of the campus something they had somewhat underestimated. Making their way into the crowded hall of dozens of students, Negi, Anya, and Chris all found a spot to stand in a row along with the rest of the students while Nekane stood close by, almost as eager as the rest of them to see what her three little one would be doing this year. After another 10 minutes of waiting around with Chris and Anya pushing each other buttons, The headmaster of the academy, simply known as 'The Magus' eventually made his appearance and called for everyone's attention.
The chatter around the hall quickly died down, and where there had once been sound, there was now silence. Taking a few moments to see if there was that one child who didn't seem to catch the hint, The Magus let out grunt of approval.
"Excellent… students, it is good to see you all here. As many of you know, today is the day you take the long awaited graduation test… I am sure many of you are eager to do it while some… not so much. However, I just want you all to know that this will simply be a small but important step in your long lives, and that you should think of this not as a task, but as a goal for you to achieve. But enough of my rambling, I'm sure many of you are eager to hear what it is we have in store for you this year. I am no doubt sure that many of you may have heard a little rumor that the test this year wouldn't be a written test. Allow me to confirm that rumor. Yes, this year, there will be no written test for your graduation. Many of us in the higher education department have decided that a pencil to paper test really isn't cut out for preparing our students for the things they might or might not encounter in the Mundane and magical worlds. Instead, we will have you all form groups of 2-4 students each and participate in monster extermination!"
At those words, the hall erupted into a cacophony of noise and chatter, many excited, and perhaps dismal, voices ringing out. Of the group of three, Anya and Chris looked elated, while Negi was flabbergasted. Nekane fainted on the spot, in which the trio had to catch her before she hit the floor.
"Quiet down Young mages, quite down! I assure any worrying types that caution has been taken and several safety features have been implemented to prevent serious injury or loss of life. Further details can be found in the pamphlets being handed out now."
Chris, who had been on Negi's left and henceforth the one closest to the edge, was handed a small scroll of sorts that multiplied by 1 in his hand along with a bracelet replicating in his hand as well. Passing it on to Negi, Chris was quick to open his up and look at the details. Negi, Anya, and Nekane (who had recovered quickly) crowded around him after passing the self-replicating scroll and bracelet to the next group.
Exam Key points.
Point 1: You will Find and defeat the monster said to inhabit the grounds behind the academy in the woods.
Point 2: You will establish a group consisting of 2-4 people. As a group, it will be necessary for you to act as a team or you will not receive points for your performance.
Point 3: You will wear the bracelets given to you to be both monitored and kept safe. Not putting it on or taking it off at any time during the test will result in instant failure. Should you find yourself in any danger, the Bracelet will turn red for a moment before transporting you back to the school. You will be able to still participate afterward.
Rumor says it has eaten over 1000 mages. Take caution.
The group looked at the whole of the pamphlet before quickly putting the bracelets on and handing the scrolls to Nekane. Chris was the first to talk and looked to the other two with a big grin on his face.
"Oh this is gonna be fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!"
"Who cares, just don't get in my Way Mccreepy! Same goes for you Negi! I don't want you slowing me down!"
"Um… I… I'll try my best!"
Nekane, who was watching their reactions, couldn't help but feel a little nervous.
"I wonder if they'll be alright…"
The Magus spoke up again and caught everyone's attention.
"Anyway, the test will be held in 30 minutes. Make your way to the back of the academy if you will and make any preparations you need beforehand. That will be all, you are dismissed."
After the Headmaster got done with his speech, many students made their way for the door. However, Negi and his group made their way in another direction. That direction being back to the dorms. Chris, not really sure why Negi was heading that way, followed along.
"So Negi… why are we going back to the dorms rather than behind the school?"
"I'm just going to go and pick up a few things, you and Anya go on ahead and wait for me. I'll be there on time, I promise."
Chris and Anya looked to Negi quizzically before they simply went ahead and did as he asked and made their way behind the school building. A few minutes later and Negi did indeed make his way back quickly. However, whereas he had been lightly robed 10 minutes earlier, Anya and Chris could see he had decked himself out in quite an armament. Dozens of elemental wands, a few magical casting antique guns, enchanted daggers, several vials of magical essences, a short sword which Chris felt was heavily enchanted, and his trusty hand-me-down wizards staff. Both Chris, Anya, and Nekena where rather impressed with this level of equipped readiness.
"Damn Negi, you expecting heavy resistance or something?"
"It never hurts to be prepared Chris."
Anya looked over Negi's wares and gave him an impressed grin.
"That's pretty impressive Negi. I guess that's what I would expect from a collector at any rate."
Nekane, who looked much more comfortable now that Negi had decked himself out with magical gear for a small combat group, patted him on the head warmly.
"Well, you know Anya. It never hurts to be prepared for anything that the world might throw at you."
Chris looked at Nekane with something of an amused grin.
"And the fact that most of that was probably paid for out of your own pocket probably has nothing to do with his current level of preparedness?"
In which she retorted with a sly smile.
"Prepared. For. anything."
However, a slight exaggerated cough from the headmaster caught there attention.
"*cough cough* I should probably have mentioned this beforehand… but the usage of magical artifacts and items is strictly prohibited. You are only allowed to use your own Staff and one wand."
"Oh come on!"
Negi was not quite happy about that particular rule, the headmaster doing his best to avert eye contact from those who had spent a few minutes preparing such items. Nekane once again fainted on the spot with Negi, Anya, and Chris having to catch her. After making sure Nekane wasn't going to hurt herself, Chris and Anya helped Negi out of his gear with Anya simply shrugging her shoulders at Negis misfortune.
"Well… it is what it is Negi."
Negi pitifully held onto his lone staff, the rest of his stuff gathered into a small pile that he eyed with the eyes of a puppy.
"All I have is this one staff…"
Chris, for his part, simply smacked him on the back while he grinned at his friend.
"Ah don't worry about it ya baby. A real mage wouldn't even need a staff to be honest. I mean, I'm only carrying this thing cause it looks cool. See?"
Chris, for his part pulled of the staff he had been keeping at his side and unwound the cloth from around it, the white sheet falling away to reveal the Dark wood underneath, polished smooth and sleek with a head that hooked like two demon horns and a large open space between them with a cage of wire like vines wrapping themselves around something tightly. In comparison to negis own staff, rough wood with a simple curved head, it looked more impressive to say the least. Anya, However, simply huffed.
"Yeah right, you lug that thing around as badly as Negi does his own staff. You're attached to that thing like it was another leg or something."
"I won't say anything to refute or affirm you Anya. Your head would only swell if I told you something nice."
"You bastard, I oughta-!"
Nekane stopped the almost inevitable fight between the two before it could break out, saying 'now now' as she wagged her finger at them both. Negi, however, didn't look to happy right now, something the other two noticed quickly.
"I'm not like you Chris, I use my mind to fight, I can't just go gung-ho in a spell slinger fight!"
"Oh I'm not that brainless when I fight Negi… anyway, you have me and Anya, for whatever that's worth, to help you out in this fight! Relax!"
Anya glowered at Chris at the dismissive remark toward her, but didn't choose to say anything to him and brought her attention back to Negi with a small smile on her face.
"Well, there's nothing we can do about it… and since we now have everything in order… all we have left to do is wait for the timer to get done and we'll get out there and kick monster ass!"
Nekane, who could only smile at Anya, pointed toward the empty space around them all.
"Well, you might want to hurry then, because the test started while you three where talking amongst yourselves."
The three of them quickly looked around and saw that in fact they were the last ones standing out in the open. Anya grabbed Negi and Chris around the collars for the second time that day and hauled ass into the forest in a panic.
"Let's go! We'll miss all the good action if we don't hurry!"
Nekane waved at them all with a semi-worried smile on her face and shouted out to them to be careful, in which Negi could only reply in garbled chokes. The sentiment was understood however. A few minutes later upon being manhandled, Negi and Chris finally managed to get themselves out of Anya's death grip and the trio made their way deeper into the woods. However, it didn't take very long for the group to encounter its first issue, and that's that they had no idea what the monster they were hunting was supposed to even look like. Not only that but a few more minutes in of trekking through the rough woods and muggy weather before Anya, of all people, started to whine and complain about a few things.
"God, are we ever going to get this test done… these woods suck! We have no idea what the monster even looks like, and to top it all off, I get stuck with a useless shrimp and pervy weirdo for partners."
Negi simply let out a small sigh, this not being the first time Anya has called him useless.
"Now Anya… don't say that."
"Yeah Ms. Bitchy. This test literally just got started. The headmaster never set a time limit, so we could be at this for a while."
"How long do you think Chris?"
Humming a little to himself, the dark haired youth screwed his mouth up in thought before he gave Negi a reply.
"No time limit, so until we exterminate the monster, or we get called back and fail."
"So we could be out here for Days?!"
Chris plugged up his ears at Anya's outburst, with Negi doing something similar. However, the sound of her loud voice caused a few animals in the vicinity to scurry away in fright, the sound of the brush rustling loudly causing the twin tail to leap onto the closest thing in surprise. That thing happening to be Negi Springfield.
Chris looked at where the sound had occurred before he looked back to see Anya clinging onto Negi, the both of them looking somewhat nervous.
"And what, pray tell, are you two doing?"
"…T-Tell Negi to let go of me…"
Chris had to give Anya a few points in trying to maintain her dignity even in such a stupidly compromising situation. He, however, was not one to humor people for very long.
"Yeah yeah whatever Anya. Let's just get moving okay?"
Grumbling, Anya removed herself from Negi and the trio got to searching yet again for their supposed prey, though Anya was a little more red in the face from what just transpired while Negi could only smile to himself at Anya's expense. Thinking it best to try to remove the tension from the group, Chris let out a low whistle as his eyes looked about the woods.
"Geez… I didn't know the woods behind the academy where this deep or dangerous looking. Gives you the feeling that monsters might pop out of a tree and eat you huh?"
"Please don't talk about such morbid things Chris…"
"Yeah Mccreepy. It's already bad enough I'm stuck with you two. I don't need you raining on my parade as well."
"Geez, sorry for trying to lighten the mood. And what do you mean by that Anya? I should be the one saying something about how I'm stuck with someone like you in this exam."
Anya and Chris started to glare daggers at each other, the tension between the two escalating quickly, However, Negi couldn't help but smile to himself, this once again familiar scene playing out before his eyes.
Deciding that the ensuing argument wasn't worth the energy, both Chris and Anya broke off eye contact and re-directed there gaze back into the woods, their eyes on the lookout for whatever it was they were supposed to hunt. For a while, the three of them didn't say a word, the tension only growing as there focused increased. However, after another hour or so of simply blindly wandering around in the woods for clues, the trio started to get a little lax. Enough so for conversation to start back up again with Chris leading into said conversation.
"Sooooooooooo… just a question you guys. What do you guys plan on doing after you become Magister Magi?"
Anya blinked a few times in confusion before she gave him a look that seemed to say 'are you serious?'
"Are you serious right now? The whole goal is to become a Magister Magi, that way you can help people out in need around the world. You also get to become a big name in the magical world as well. I mean, what mage wouldn't want to be recognized for their abilities?"
"Well that's fine and dandy Anya, but there are other ways to become famous in the magical world other than becoming a Magister Magi."
"I know that… but… for me, I just plan on doing my duty as a mage and try to help the world as best I can. I mostly just want to get stronger though, and becoming a Magister Magi is a good way to do it in my opinion."
Chris nodded his head in recognition.
"Makes sense. Pretty logical as well. Seems kinda lack luster though."
"It's not that boring! And what did you plan on doing after becoming a Magister Magi Mccreepy? I can't even begin to imagine you trying to help people."
Chris stuck his tongue out at Anya and blew a raspberry at her.
"Screw you. I can help people if I want to… however, My goal isn't really to become a Magister Magi. Being a Magister Magi is just the fastest way to get what I want."
"And what's that?"
"Despite what you may think, it's actually a pretty boring answer. I just want more power. Power to break through any hardship, to bust through any obstacle, to never be held back or to be told what to do. That kind of power."
Negi and Anya looked to Chris, and then to each other before they unanimously spoke the same sentence at the same time.
"He's definitely going to become an Evil mage in the future."
"Hey! More power does not equate to wanting to be evil you jerks!"
"But Chris… that sounds like a villains line."
"Screw you to Negi."
"Aw come on, I'm not trying to be nasty or anything, I'm just telling you what it sounds like is all."
Anya, however, smirked to herself as she spoke up.
"Better be careful Negi. If we associate with Mccreepy any more than this, we might be enlisted into his evil army before he tries to take over the world or something."
"Oh Puh-leez Anya. I'd ask Negi to join me, you however? You'd at best be forced into a fool role like castle jester or something."
"Screw you Chris!"
"That or breeding sow."
"YOU DIE NOW!"
Brandishing her wand with the fury of a woman scorned, Anya was about to start hurling spells in his general direction before Chris redirected the conversation to the person who had yet to speak.
"What about you Negi? Why did you want to be a… Magister… Magi…"
No sooner where the words out of his mouth before Chris realized the stupidity of what it was he just asked his long time buddy. Anya also realized the stupidity of the question and was glaring at Chris, not with the usual glare, but a glare that said 'are you retarded.'
"Uhhhhhhhhh… sorry… I sorta just got caught up with asking questions…forget I said that Negi."
However, said redhead simply gave his friend a smile and a small wave of his hand.
"It's okay Chris. I know you meant no harm by it."
Anya spoke up next, Chris feeling like a total idiot and not quite sure how to continue the conversation.
"Ignore him! Come on you two! We got a monster to slaAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!"
Before Anya could finish her statement, the feeling of her foot coming off the ground and finding nothing when she stepped back down caused her to fall face first into a large, out of place hole in the ground. The impact sounded almost painful to the more fortunate souls.
There was a moment of silence between everyone present, the sound of rustling leaves almost making the situation impossibly awkward for Anya. A moment later, Chris came to the rescue with a statement.
"Well… I'll say one thing. That is a HUGE ass footprint you just fell in Anya."
Anya quickly got to her feet, attempting to look as if nothing had happened to her despite the leaves in her hair and her disgruntled garb.
"Fall? What fall? You're talking crazy Mccreepy."
"… Bullshit I am. I heard that stupid scream of yo-"
He didn't finish his sentence. The moment he was about to finish, Anya, moving with superhuman agility, had managed to make it out of the hole, wind her staff up for the pitch, and clocked Chris clean upside the head with an audible crack. He crumbled to the ground like a wet sack.
Negi, being the smart one, did not comment.
Whilst Chris was laid out cold in the dirt, Anya and Negi took to inspecting the hole that they had 'discovered.'
"I'll agree with Chris on this one… that is a BIG footprint. I hope it doesn't happen to belong to the thing we need to hunt down…"
"Ah suck it up Negi! Big or small, we'll have this test done in no time regardless of what size the thing might be… Though I also hope this footprint doesn't actually belong to it…"
A moment later and the sound of Chris moving caught there attention and both Negi and Anya turned to look at him. However, upon seeing him, they saw he was looking upward, rather wide-eyed and completely stationary.
"Bad News Anya. It's that big."
"How do you reckon Chris?"
Rather than say anything, the dark haired youth opted to point instead.
Both Anya and Negi turned around, and with dread, also looked upward. It took a moment for it to register, but both Negi and Anya had about the same level of surprise and disbelief on their faces as Chris did.
Negi and Anya greatly leapt to the side as a stone fist the size of a boulder came down on their previous location. Chris, who had still been half-way up, could only throw himself back in a desperate attempt to avoid being crushed underneath the falling fist. Scrambling to his feet, Chris managed to get back up and rejoin with Negi and Anya, who had been running off to the side of the massive monolith of moving stone. Negi was the first to speak up, his voice shaking from combinations of running and fearing for his life.
"What is that!?"
Anya, who was less afraid then her compatriot, looked back over to the 50 foot stone golem, her eyes trying to gauge what it might do next.
"Some kind of golem you dummy! What do you think!?"
Chris pulled past the other two, his legs taking him far as he watched the Golem slowly turn its head there direction.
"Less talking more strategizing you guys! What's the plan!?"
The Trio came to a stop a distance away, the lumbering behemoth of a creature moving it's body in their direction, the grinding of its stone joints sounding almost like a miniature landslide. An Intimidating sound to be certain, but Anya was grinning like a small child.
"Look at it! It's so slow! It might have power, but this'll be a cake walk if that's the fastest it can move! Let's hammer it with Magic arrows til it goes down!"
"Eh, pretty basic, but I think it should suffice for now. Any arguments here Negi?"
"N-No, I can't think of much else we can try…"
Anya clasped her hand tightly as she got herself psyched up. She then fist pumped the air in the direction of the Golem, the creature having finally turned itself around.
"Alright! Let's do this! I'm on point!"
Without even waiting for the other two to take action, Anya rushed forward her spell already begin chanted under her lips.
"Ah! You dumbass! Fire from a di- yeah she's not even listening to me at this point. *Sigh* Okay, let's go make sure she doesn't get herself killed. Ready Negi?"
"Then let's do this!"
Chris bolted after Anya while Negi only hesitated a moment longer before he also made a mad dash after his friends. Chris was the first to speak, having caught up to Anya and hung back behind her with Negi taking up her right side.
"Alright guys! Hit it with your best shot! Umbrae Umbram Noctis…"
"Fortious la Tius Lilis Lilios…"
"Ras Tel Mas kil Magister…"
With an almost perfect synchronization of their time, the trio managed to get there spells started in almost exact tandem.
"Let the darkness encroach on my enemy and deaden his movements… Magic arrow Dark series, 17 arrows of Darkness!"
"Let the flame gather and scorch my foes… Magic arrow Fire series, 17 arrows of Fire!"
"Let the light gather and rend my enemy to pieces… Magic arrow Light series, 17 arrows of light!"
The three young mages came to a halt and upon finishing there spells, unleashed a 51 magical arrow barrage into the body of the massive golem, explosions riddling it's body and smoke coming off of it and obscuring it's shape in a thick smog.
Negi looked on at the smoke with caution, not certain if it was defeated. Chris for his part, had a big smile on his face, though he too was trying to be cautious in case it wasn't dead. Anya though was all pumped up and was already doing her victory pose.
"Ha! That was hella' easy! 1000 mages my butt! We kicked it's sorry ass in one friggen hit!"
Negi, however, didn't quite share in Anya's exuberance and kept to the side of caution.
"Anya… I don't think we should be celebrating just yet… we don't even know if it-"
"WATCH IT YOU NIMRODS!"
Negi and Anya, who had been more focused on each other in that moment, had failed to noticed the sudden shifting in the smoke only too late to realize the massive hand snap out of the smoke and grab at someone. Chris had tried to warn them since he saw it first and had already run to the side, But Negi and Anya where too late. Negi, lucky enough, had dodged just barely to the side and avoided the stone fist. Anya, sadly, did not and was scooped up, screaming the whole way up as the Golem trapped her.
Negi and Chris both yelled out as they watched Anya be taken to the air, the Golem keeping its grip on her while turning its attention to the other two mages.
"Help me you guys!"
"Hold on Anya! We'll save you!"
"Hold up Negi! You see that thing? How many magic arrows did we shoot at that hunk of rock? It isn't even damaged!"
Negi looked to Chris, and then to the creature in question and noticed the things his friend had pointed out.
"You're right! Does magic not work on it?"
"No Idea! We might need to retreat for the time being and try to come up with a better plan!"
"You can't be serious! We can't leave Anya behind!"
"I don't want to leave her behind, but we got no idea… Negi what are you doing!?"
Negi held up his staff and pointed it at the golem, a chant on his lips and far too focused on the creature in front of him to answer his friend.
"Ras tel maskil magister… Magical Archer, 29 arrows of light!"
A moment later and the golem was once again shrouded in smoke upon impact. However, as was expected, no damage had been done.
"Ya freaking moron! If 51 arrows didn't do shit, what makes you think 29's gonna work!?"
"Shut up and run!"
Chris, who was already running the hell away, turned around to see that the Golems open orifice of a mouth was strangely lit up and making an odd buzzing noise from what he could hear. It took him a second, but it hit him what the golem was fixing to do.
"Negi! Dodge/look out!"
Oddly enough, Anya also had come to the same conclusion and had shouted out at the same time Chris had. A moment later and the Golem fired off what could only be considered a laser from its mouth in the duo's general direction. Sadly, Negi didn't seem to get the message as rather than dodge the beam like a sane person would do, he opted to block it with his staff instead. Negi put up a valiant effort for all of 5 seconds before the shield he had put up to stop the blast shattered. Thankfully, the worst of the blast had been absorbed by said shield, but it still had enough kick to it to cause an explosion that sent him hurtling back into small dirt mound. Chris stopped dead in his tracks and Anya felt her heart freeze at the sight of Negi laying there.
Chris made his way toward his friend and skid to a halt next to him, fearful that his friend may be dead. Thankfully, Negi wasn't dead nor mortally wounded, but he still looked pretty beat up. Anya, shivering at the sight and the sudden realization that this test could potentially kill them, called out.
"Negi! Chris! Just run! Leave me! It's not worth it!"
Chris, trying to help Negi to his feet while keeping his head partially turned so that the Golem didn't get another shot at them, yelled back to her.
"And what about you? No way in hell are we fixing to leave you here!"
"We… we can't… I refuse… I won't run away…"
Chris looked down to see that Negi, despite being injured as he was, was shakily reaching for his staff. Chris was a little confused as to what he was doing and almost stopped him to try to run away and come up with a plan, but the moment he saw Negis' eyes, he knew he wasn't going to be talked out of it. Chris could see it, a veiled memory of years ago along with an almost desperate determination to never run. Chris stopped himself from doing anything and stood back up, his wand out as he waited for Negi to pick himself up.
Oddly enough, the Golem didn't seem very hurried despite the previous attack, and seemed to be waiting for the duo to make their move. Chris looked off to the side and saw that Negi had gotten himself up and was looking quite determined. Despite himself, Chris smiled.
"So… I take it we aren't running away to come up with a plan?"
"Got one set up?"
"Heh… alright, I guess if you've got one set up, I'll do my best to play it's part. Just remember, if you mess up, I'll cover for you."
Negi nodded in affirmation before lunged forward and made a mad dash toward the Golem, the utterance of a spell on his lips as he did. Chris, almost caught off guard, quickly followed behind him while listening in on Negi's words.
"Ras tel maskil magister! Come oh Spirits of thunder and air and let the Southern Winds blow with lightning!"
"Oh-ho! Dis gonna be good! Let me back it up with a little safety net though… Umbrae Umbram Noctis! Let the wind gently breeze across the plains of the world!"
Negi pointed his staff directly at the golem and with a look of sheer determination in his eyes, let loose one of the strongest spells he knew in one loud burst.
"JUPITERS LIGHTNING STORM!"
.01 Seconds later and a raging tornado of lightning and air hurled itself from Negis staff, the sound of ripping air and crashing thunder exploding magnificently into the solid stone chest of the golem making for a satisfying noise as the Golem couldn't even muster up a shield in the face of the storm and was literally ripped to pieces.
Chris, for his part, had instead focused his own spell on the captive of said golem, and the moment Anya began to fall, he let loose his own spell.
"Sylphs guiding winds!"
Whereas Anya falling from such a height would lead to a speedy crash if left alone, instead, Chris's spell turned the Girls fall into a slow and gentle decent from the air to the earth below. After making sure the girl wasn't going to crash to the ground, Chris looked back to Negi, whom out of sheer shock, wasn't sure how to register the situation. Chris waited a solid second before he slapped Negi on the back.
"What the hells with the stupid expression on your face man? You did it! You beat it in one hit! Good Job Pal!"
"W-We… we really did beat it didn't we?"
"Correction, you beat it. I didn't have anything to do with that attack… by the by, Anya's gonna need catching in a second else her giant butts gonna hit the dirt."
Not even giving his pal time to respond, Chris pushed Negi forward in right under Anya. Noticing that her decent was slowing down, Negi held his arms up and managed to catch Anya in a princess carry before he gently put her down on her feet. Anya was still somewhat shaken up, but that was mostly out of relief from Negi and Chris being safe. Chris decided to save any snarky comments he could have made and simply gave Anya a rare smile. He didn't like to let it be known, but he did somewhat care for the crazy red-head after all. Negi, however, wasn't holding back his relived smile and was almost beaming at the twintail.
"I'm so glad your safe Anya. I was scared that you might end up getting hurt or worse."
Anya felt a blush creep up on her face and gave Negi a small smile, and surprisingly enough, also smiled at Chris.
"Thank you… both of you… Negi, Chris… I'm glad you guys are okay…"
Negi felt happy over her safety, however, Chris felt himself blush a little at the girls rare, and admittedly cute, smile.
"Oh… Uh… don't worry about… Not like I did for you or anything… I don't want to be the only team who had someone die on them or something… geez… stop saying stupid things you weirdo…"
Anya was tempted to tease Chris and his flustered reaction, but didn't want to out of a small kindness for her friend. The moment was quite nice and almost picturesque in Negi's mind. That is until something had to come along to screw this heartwarming scene up. A stray bit of Anya's hair, caught in the flutters of Chris's near expended spell, managed to flutter their way up to Negi's nose, where it then caused a slight tickling sensation on his nose.
Both Chris and Anya looked to Negi, unsure what the 'Ah'-ing was about. At about the third inhale, Chris quickly realized, but did nothing seeing as he wasn't directly in front of Anya. Sadly, said target was too late to realize.
A moment later, and the effects of Negi's leftover magic and still buzzing magical energies turned such a small and harmless sneeze into a force of nature. The air that blew at Anya had the amazing effect of tearing her outer clothes into tiny bits, exposing everything below her diaphragm save for her cute pink stripped panties. There was a moment of silence between the three of them, the beautiful moment now utterly destroyed. Chris was the first to react, his face looking disappointed.
"Average pink striped panties? Not even worth the fan service moment. 2/10."
Next thing he knew, Chris had a rock in his face for advocating his freedom of speech while Anya was red in the face and looking furious.
"SHUT THE HELL UP YOU JACKASS!"
Negi, who was doing his best to both calm Anya down while apologize profusely, took his coat off and handed it off to her for the poor girl to cover her exposed midriff, a coat she took quickly and donned just as rapidly. Chris quickly managed to get himself to his feet, somewhat pissed at the assault to his face, but didn't bother saying anything about it.
"Alright… all tension removed… you guys ready to head back? I'm kinda beat."
Anya and Negi both voiced agreement to that statement, and after making sure everything was in order, made their way back to the school campus.
Xx a little while later xX
Nekane was feeling nervous, her feet leading her to go in the same circle for the past hour that she had been forced to wait here for her beloved Negi and friends to return. She couldn't interfere with their test and she knew all precautions had been taken to make sure it was a safe test, but her nervousness wouldn't let her rest. So she had busied herself with simply walking around in circles to try to keep herself distracted. Each time a group would come back out of the woods, she would be hopeful that it was Negi, but would only get dejected each time it wasn't. Now it had been an hour in and she was almost a nervous wreck at this point. Even the Magus was starting to get nervous due to all her pacing.
"Oh… have they not made it back yet?"
Anybody who had been keeping track would have counted that as about the 49th time Nekane had uttered those very words. However, unlike the 48 times before, this time would be different. Magus was about on the verge of telling her to go inside and get a cup of tea to calm herself down before he noticed a trio coming out of the woods. He was quick to note the frames of the three familiar faces and smiled to himself before he cleared his throat to catch the blonde woman's attention.
"Ah-hem… if my eyes don't deceive me in my old age, is that not them?"
Faster than a whiplash, Nekane had turned herself around to see that the Magus spoke true and that Negi, Anya, and Chris where all coming out of the Woods.
Negi waved back at his older sister figure, a little bruised looking, but quite fine in most regards. Before she could rush over to greet them, the crowd of other students made their way over to the trio to congratulate them on a job well done, praise that was well received by the young trio. However, Nekane was not one to be deterred from something when she set her mind on it and quickly made her way past the crowd. A moment later and she tenderly embraced Negi with a smile on her face. Negi was somewhat confused at first, but the tenderness and warmth left no doubt in his mind that Nekane was quite happy.
"Congratulations Negi… You've done so well… and I'm so very proud of you…"
Negi smiled as well and embraced his elder sister with his free arm.
"Thank you Nekane…Also… Guess what? Father… He lent me his strength."
At that, Nekane pulled back and looked to Negi, a look of confusion on her face.
However, before Negi could answer her, a moment later and Negi was suddenly put into a choke hold by none other than Chris himself.
"I'm sorry Negi, mind repeating what it is you just said?"
"Yeah, that's what I thought you said. Now listen up dipshit!"
Chris released his hold from around Negi's neck, something the young mage was quick to relish as he looked to Chris in both shock and confusion.
"In no way, shape or form, did I see Papa Springfield anywhere out there today. Your father lent you strength you say? I call bullshit on that claim! That power came from one person alone! And that person is standing right in front of me!"
Chris, a look of frustration on his face, pointed directly to Negi.
"You, Negi Springfield, are the only one whose strength was put to the challenge today and not a soul here can say otherwise! Your power and yours alone won us the day!"
Negi was somewhat shocked at the words coming from his friends mouth, however, Nekane and the Magus could only smile at Chris and his choice of words. Negi, however, managed to collect enough of his wits to start making sentences again.
"B-But… where did all that power come-"
"Allow me to answer that young Springfield."
The group turned toward the wise and sagely Magus, the man stroking his beard wisely and looking on at Negi with a knowing look.
"Chris is right Negi. That was your own power, yours alone. As for what may have given you such a boost in your current capabilities… It may sound silly to some, but I believe that dreams and aspirations can give people an incredible amount of strength to those who happen to have them. I have no doubt that you yourself have a dream you wish to see fulfilled young Negi. Hold onto it, make it your strength and you will begin to tap into power you never even knew you had."
Negi stared at the Magus for a moment before he nodded his head enthusiastically.
Chris on the other hand, rolled his eyes.
"Oh my god you sound so corny old man."
"Ho ho. As an older man, I find it happens to fall in my many duties to be sagely/ corny Chris. One day, you may find yourself like this as well."
"Ew, let's hope not."
Magus simply smiled at Chris and chuckled under his breath before he motioned for everyone present to start heading toward the school.
"Anyway… Now that you three are here, the test has come to its conclusion. For those of you who managed to subdue your beasts, please begin getting yourselves ready and presentable for the graduation ceremony in 1 hours' time. The rest of you who did not pass, you may also do the same, but you may go with my heartfelt wishes that the next test will prove more fruitful for you!"
With that loud proclamation, everyone was dismissed. Negi, Anya, Chris and Nekane all made their way to their rooms to get themselves prepared for the graduation ceremony, all abuzz and excited over there recent accomplishment. The ceremony itself was pretty straightforward, with dozens of people present ranging from the teachers and students down to the graduating students siblings and parents. Said parents and siblings had been called earlier in the week to let them know that a graduation would be taking place. Negi, Anya, and Chris where some of the last to graduate that day, but the applause was no less resounding then for the rest of the graduating students. After the ceremony was done and over with, all graduates where given magical diplomas that would then tell them what next to do in their training. The Trio made their way outside Grand hall with Nekane in tow, traveling down a familiar corridor to many who walked the halls of the academy.
Anya, full of energy, was all too ready to start voicing her excitement.
"Yes! Training wheels come off! Now it's time for the real deal! Live action! Real combat! Actual experience so I can learn how to kick Booty!"
"Oh really Anya? From what I saw in the exam, you sure did your part being the damsel in distress alright. Real ass kicker there, woo hoo."
Anya glared at the all-to-smug face of Chris, her eyes narrowed and glaring a glare that would sour milk.
"Yeah, fat talk from a guy who practically did nothing the whole time."
"Still better than being captured."
"Grrrrrrrrrrr… You know what Chris? I'm not about to let you spoil my mood. It's been a good day so far, I even got a Diploma in regards to scoring the highest in telecommunications magic! I got a Valedictorian award for that!"
Anya, chest puffed up and holding out a certified Meredia diploma detailing that very thing, could only look on at Chris with a smug look in her face.
Chris was not impressed.
"Oh whoop de doo for you then. In case you forgot, all three of us got Valedictorian diplomas in certain fields of magical ability, so cut the special snowflake syndrome for a bit. In case YOU forgot, I happened to receive a diploma in regards to having the highest marks on combat magics. Top that."
Chris held up his own diploma with an even more smug expression then before, something that really ground at Anya's nerves.
"Ugh…Whatever… so Negi, what did you get? I know you got a diploma as well. Lemme see!"
Negi, who had been quietly watching his friends banter, looked to Anya before he held up his own diploma. Chris and Anya looked it over before they looked to each other and laughed to themselves.
"Ha ha! For some reason it seems really fitting!"
"Mastering and exceeding the normal usage of basic level spells, Yeah really seems like Negi alright."
Negi couldn't help but blush at the words and let out a sigh.
"Come on… it's not funny…"
Chris slapped Negi on the shoulder and smiled at him.
"Oh relax, we're being sincere here. Everyone has their own talent at something. I bet yours will someday exceed even basic level spells. Could be looking at a whole new line of spells coming from that brain of yours Negi!"
Chris continued to pat Negi on the shoulder warmly while said auburn haired lad could only sigh in acceptance. Nekane could only smile warmly at the three of them, her heart warm and filled with nostalgia in regards to her own graduation several years before. Anya, for her part, decided to look at the other diploma they had received from the Headmaster while Negi and Chris where talking and was surprised to note that words were starting to form on her diploma.
"Oh! Hey! Guys look! My assignment is starting to show up!"
Negi, Chris, and Nekane all made their way behind the red head and watched as words started to form on her diploma. It took a moment, but eventually 'Fortune teller in London' was displayed on the paper, glowing as brightly as Anya's face was.
"Yes! Su-weet! Couldn't ask for a better spot!"
"That's cause your aspirations are low Anya. Fortune teller in London? Big whoop."
"Says the guy who's assignment hasn't even shown up yet."
"It'll happen eventually, but for the time being, what about you Negi, what did you get?"
Negi looked down at his diploma, the light just starting to form the words to his assignment.
"Not sure, but it looks like it's starting to show now."
Eager, everyone crowded around Negi to get a better look at what might be written out. It took the words less than a few seconds for the words to finish forming, but everyone present took a few more seconds to read what it is that was written, and another few seconds tacked themselves on when everyone realized what it is that it said. Chris peeked over Anya's shoulder and clicked his tongue curiously.
"Huh… a teacher in Japan? … don't see that every day."
Those words broke the stillness around the group, the other three suddenly yelling out there surprise and disbelief. A few moments later and the trio tore their way down the hall, leaving Chris behind with them screaming out the name of the headmaster.
"… geez, hold up for me why don't you?" he said in a disgruntled manner.
Not really all that concerned with Negi's Diploma, the issue going to be dealt with one way or another, Chris looked down at his own diploma, the task already having been assigned while he had been busy looking at everyone else's. Chris took a moment to look it over, upon reading it though; a look of confusion came over his face.
"Who the hell is the 'Demonic Magi?'"
I hope you enjoyed! It's been a while since I last wrote something since pale roots, so I'm not sure how well this is! Please, review and comment to your hearts content, even if it wasn't to your liking!