hey Guys, sorry about the delay, life has still been pretty difficult for me as of late, so writing is harder to do, especially when I'm trying for two stories. Anyway, because of the delay, I doubled the amount I wrote in this chapter, so I hope you enjoy it to the fullest!
Chris dangled his legs over the three-foot rock wall, humming tunelessly to himself as he waited for the other girls and Negi to finally show up. It had been a few days since the girls had passed the exam, not much having gone on in between now and then… save for one party the day after that when one poor girl by the name of Chisame Hasegawa was discovered to have been wearing a bunny girl outfit and was promptly stripped sneezed by Negi himself in the middle of the picnic that had been going on. Chris had found that both arousing and hilarious at the same time. Hasegawa had been glaring murder at Negi for the whole of the rest of that day. All in all, pretty average in Chris's eyes.
"Negi-Boooooozuuuu! Chris-Bozu! Where are you at?"
Chris looked to his left and saw that both Konoka and Asuna where calling out for both himself and for Negi. nodding to himself, Chris hopped of the wall and called out to them both.
"Asuna-neechan, Konoka-neechan. Over here."
Both girls looked over to the person calling and instantly recognized the cloak on a ten-year-old. Konoka clapped her hands together with a smile as she came closer while Asuna nodded as she followed.
"There you are Chris-kun! Was wondering if you didn't get lost!"
"Konoka-neechan, my job is to patrol campus. I would be in serious trouble if I couldn't maneuver around the area I'm supposed to patrol."
"True true… by the way, where is Negi-kun?"
Chris shrugged his shoulders at her question.
"Beats me. Thought he was with you."
Asuna could only let out a small sigh as she shook her head at the situation.
"Geez… and after I told him that I was willing to show him around campus too… where the hell did he wander off to?"
"I don't know Asuna. Maybe he got lost?"
Chris nodded his head at that one.
"It's not uncommon for him to do that if he finds something that grabs his interest. Our main concern now is finding him, cause let's be honest, none of us would find a tour of campus all that interesting since we've been all over the place."
Asuna could only agree with him on that one.
"True that… oh! Asakura! Great timing!"
Turning their attention to where Asuna was looking, the rest of the trio saw Kazumi Asakura in casual clothing and currently biking up the walkway in their general direction. The redhead stopped when she saw that Asuna was flagging her down.
"Hey Asuna. Can I help you with something?"
"Yeah, could I get you to broadcast something for me?"
Chris, who was currently standing beside Konoka, let his own voice be heard on this matter.
"Make it a lost child report. Teach him to waste time."
"Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, I like it Chris!"
Asuna was all for this suggestion, however, Konoka wasn't quite happy with both her roommates somewhat evil antics. Asakura could only laugh as she got back on her bike to do as they had asked of her. Thanking her as she left, Asuna came back over and pointed further up the walkway.
"Come on, we're going to meet him up at the observation deck. He knows where to find that at least."
Doing as she asked, both Chris and Konoka followed behind Asuna before they finally managed to make it to aforementioned deck. Just in time to hear the announcement for that fact.
"[DING DONG DANG DONG] LOST CHILD ANNOUNCMENT. WILL ONE NEGI SPRINGFIELD FROM THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT MAKE HIS WAY TO THE OBSERVATION DECK. YOUR GUARDIANS ARE WAITING FOR YOU."
Chris laughed out loud.
"HA HA! That's golden!"
"I know, right?"
Asuna and Chris couldn't help but laugh, however, Konoka could only roll her eyes with a hidden smile on her face. A few minutes later and the trio could see Negi running up the hill, his face red in some parts exasperation, and others mild anger.
"ASUNA-SAN! CHRIS! That was not funny!"
Chris shrugged his shoulders as he gave Negi a smug smile.
"Not for you maybe."
Asuna smiled as she gave Negi a non-to-apologetic hand sign.
"Sorry sorry, we just wanted you to hurry it up was all."
Konoka simply giggled as she walked past him.
"Don't worry Negi-kun. Despite all that, everything will be forgiven when you come and look at this."
Negi followed the other three despite his feelings on the matter. However, all previous thoughts where blown away when he crested the slight hill and looked out over the railing to view a picture right out of a tourist pamphlet.
"This view is incredible!"
Chris walked up next to Negi and began pointing things out while the boy had his full attention on the campus.
"Starting from the right we have the residential district. The dorm where we live currently is located there. That place is mostly students, teachers and family members of said individuals. Real wealthy individuals can stay in the more privet housing on campus located further back in the Sakura-Gaoka district. Next to the general dorms and further up on the hill we have the university and research facilities. They happen to keep them further away from the campus because the research groups get pretty nuts with the experiments they conduct."
"Things explode. A lot. Need I say more?"
Negi shook his head in answer.
"Good. Next to that is where you and I work, the Highschool and middle school departments and all the buildings that constitute that. My security job has me mostly in the middle school department, but sometimes I'll get to work on the High school area as well. Thankfully, nothing ever really happens save for the creepy high school guy who tries to sneak into the all-girls section. He's been sent packing several times already."
Asuna piped in with her own thoughts here.
"Most of everybody from class 2-A sticks to the areas around the junior high department."
Chris nodded his head as he started to look back out with a contemplative look on his face.
"Lesse here… ah yeah, next to that we happen to have the preschool areas for the younger kids, and after that we have the campus shopping districts. The stuff across the lake there where library island is located also happens to belong to the campus, but it's mostly where the people who don't live on campus go to hang out and all that what not. All in all, Mahora sits on a plot of almost 18,000 acres of land."
"Amazing… if I didn't know any better, you would never think this place was in Japan!"
"I know, right?"
While Negi and Chris where having a moment, Asuna and Konoka where only smiling at the both of them before the sound of Konokas phone went off, distracting her from the two-boy's conversation to see what text she had received.
"Ara? It's a text from grandpa…"
Giving her a moment to read it, Konoka's face took on a somewhat exasperated look before she looked back to the group.
"Um… Asuna, looks like Grandpa needs you and me to run an errand for him. It says it'll be an all-day thing."
Asuna looked none too pleased with that, but Negi simply smiled at the both of them.
"It can't be helped. Chris and I will tour the Campus ourselves while you both take care of your assignment."
Asuna could only sign in resignation, but Konoka looked worried.
"Are you sure the both of you by yourselves will be alright?"
Before either of them could respond, the sound of someone loud shouted out at them all and caught their attention.
"Yo! Negi-sensei! Whatcha doing?"
Negi was the first to recognize the newcomers and greeted them cordially.
"Ah! The Narutakis! Hello there!"
The both of them replied in kind, with Fuka giving a less formal greeting while Fumika gave what would be considered an average greeting. Chris nodded his head at them both as he smiled.
"Great timing you two, maybe you would be willing to help us with a little project?"
Curious, both twins listened in as Chris and Negi explained that they were planning on exploring the campus today, but the original guides (both of whom had already left to take care of their job) had something to do. This in turn left both Negi and Chris without a guide, but lo and behold, the two Narutakis had shown up in there hour of need. Both girls nodded excitedly at the end of the explanation before they began to stroll around both boys excitedly.
"Leave it to us! We'll be more than happy to show you around campus!"
Fuuka gave both boys a thumbs up along with an energetic smile.
"The Strolling club knows all the best spots around campus to see and go! You picked the right choice when it comes to guides!"
Negi clapped his hands at her earnest behavior.
"The strolling club? Sounds delightful. I bet most of your club activities constitute of… well…"
Chris finished off the rest of that statement.
"Strolling obviously. It's in the name for crying out loud."
Fuuka quickly spoke up, a rather energetic look on her face as she started to explain.
"No you guys! There's way more to it than just that! Strolling is a sport that also happens to have a world championship! Every year top strollers from across the globe compete in the 'Sahara Death Hike' which racks up casualties like crazy!"
Negi was flabbergasted at the sounds of this, Fumika was startled by the fact that her sister was telling such a bold faced lie, and Chris could only look at Fuuka as if she had just said the dumbest thing he had ever heard.
"If you honestly think I'm stupid enough to-"
However, before he could finish his statement, Negi spoke up, fear and worry evident in his voice.
"Dear god almighty, I had no idea that strolling could be such a dangerous sport! I'm from the county you see, so we do it all the time!"
Chris… could only pinch the bridge of his nose as he looked to the sky with his eyes closed.
'Let it go Chris. Just let it go.'
He said loudly, catching the other three's attention.
"As…interesting… as this sounds, I think we have other things to do. Like explore a campus! Let's get to that shall we? What's first on our list tour guides?"
Thankfully, both the Narutakis had already got a game plan going and first stop happened to be the middle school Gym. Fuka, who appeared to be the voice of the two, started in on her explanation.
"Ja-jan! Our first stop on our Mahora tour is the middle school Gym! Home to a number of clubs and fitness related activities!"
As they entered the gym, three of the four-person party recognized one of the individuals, who quickly recognized them in turn.
"Oh hey! If it isn't Negi-kun and his friend. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh… Chris-kun right?"
"Ah! Hello Yuna-san."
Tossing the basketball in her hands off to another player, Yuna stopped playing and came over to greet the group.
"What brings all four of you here today?"
Fumika, deciding that this would be her time to speak up, did just that.
"We happen to be giving Negi-sensei and Chris-kun a tour of the campus. Since the Gym was the closest thing, we opted to start here first."
"I see! Well let me go ahead and give you a small rundown then. This gym is for the exclusive use of the middle school students. That includes boys and girls, and of all those groups, the basketball team happens to sport itself as one of twenty-one different clubs that comes out here to sweat it out."
Fuka looked a mite miffed at having some of her thunder stolen, but she opted to not let it keep her down.
"Yup, However, unlike a lot of the other clubs, the volleyball and dodgeball clubs tend to get more use out of the gym since they happen to have gone to the nationals on a number of occasions."
"Yeah… sadly, the basketball club doesn't get to use the gym very much since they happen to be kinda weak."
Yuna couldn't help her temper flaring at that one.
"Oi! Lay off! We'll get our chance!"
Feeling slightly pissed at that statement, Yuna felt the need to get back to practice, leaving the four to their own devices. Negi smiled cheerfully as he watched a good deal of the girls work out.
"It's nice to see girls trying so hard at sports!"
Chris nodded his head sagely at Negi's remark.
"Personally Negi, I think any activity that gets girls to wear revealing outfits is something that should be encouraged. Sports I feel epitomizes this concept to perfection."
At that remark, Fuka, who was just about to try embarrassing Negi with a comment, stopped what she was doing and gave Chris a dead stare followed by Negi and Fumika.
"Ya know… I was going to make a comment about Negi-sensei being an old man, but I think I should refocus my words on you just being a straight up pervert."
"I don't deny this."
Was all he said to her in return.
"Come on, I bet there's a changing room around here somewhere."
Chris started to walk off to find said room, but Fuka and Fumika cut him off there.
"I think we should head to the indoor pool now! Come on let's go! It's right next door and far away from the girls changing room!"
Fuka and Fumika hurried Chris in the exact opposite direction of the girls changing room followed closely by Negi, the girls forcing Chris out the door and into another part of the building. Turning himself around, Chris saw the aforementioned pool, and with it, a person he quickly recognized.
"Ah, if it isn't Akira-chan."
Noticing that Chris had brought his attention to something else, Negi and the Narutaki's looked past him to see as aforementioned individual came up out of the pool. Akira quickly noticed the new arrivals and waved at them all in greeting.
"Hello there Chris, Negi-sensei. Hello Fuka-chan, Fumika-chan. What are you all doing here?"
It didn't take long for the explanation to be passed to the swimmer that the group was having a campus wide tour and that this was just one of the many stops that they had planned. However, as that explanation had been going on, many of the other girls from the swimming club had been interested in what was going on and momentarily stopped the club activities to check and see what was going on. Sadly, Negi ended up being the center of attention, and since Chris knew Negi well enough, he knew that his friend was having problems keeping his eyes away from the swimsuits. Fuka and Fumika where laughing to themselves at the success, though Chris had his attention more on Akira and had managed to draw her attention away from the group so he could have a small talk with her.
"So this is where you do club activities?"
"Well, it is the indoor pool and I do happen to be part of the swimming club so…"
She left the rest of that sentence off, the basic premise answering itself. Chris only paid it a small amount of attention before he nodded his head.
"So, I take it you love swimming huh? Though I'm surprised you can tolerate wearing your current attire seeing as how you like to go skinny dipping."
Akira stiffened up at his words and looked around to see if anybody had heard that.
"Not so loud Chris-kun!"
"Oh relax, it's not that big an issue… anyway, I had a question for you Akira, did you feel like learning some more… you-know-what?"
It didn't take much for Akira to understand what it is Chris was talking about. Looking around to see if anybody was paying them much attention (Negi was still the focus of attention right now) Akira then turned back to Chris and started to whisper.
"Um… I don't know… maybe not right now? I'm still trying to kinda digest all the other things you've shown me so far."
Chris nodded in understanding.
"That's cool. Just take your time with it. If you wanna learn, let me know, if not, then that's also fine… but just so you know Akira-chan, this is something of a new and exciting opportunity for you, so in my personal experience, one should always try to learn new things. Anyway, I just wanted to talk to you about that, but myself and the rest of the group really need to get going. Have fun, and be well Akira-chan."
Waving goodbye to her, Chris turned his attention back to Negi, who had also managed to extract himself from the gaggle of females. Both Narutakis took that as a sign that it was time to be heading on. Filled with excitement, Fuka raised her fist in the air to punctuate this point.
"Alright! Now that we've seen all the indoor related activities, let's head outside to look at the outdoor sports clubs!"
Chris stroked his chin with a sly grin on his face.
"Young girls outdoors sweating it up? I'm game for that."
Ignoring that statement, Negi and the Narutakis made their way outside, where the group was greeted with a great deal of sports activity from a multitude of groups. However, Chris had quickly directed his attention to where he had seen cheerleaders in cheerleading outfits. However, when he took notice of them, they were also quick to notice the group, and in the case of the males, the stares. Chris was sure he knew the three he was looking at, and he was quick to remember when Sakurako spoke up first.
"Oh, look who it is! Did you come to watch us practice Negi-sensei?"
"Judging from the looks Sakurako, more like sensei and Chris-kun came to peep on girls."
Misa could only laugh at Madoka's suggestion as she moved her hands to her knees and lay her head there, just barely keeping her panties hidden with her leg.
"As if these outfits where made to discourage stares Madoka. It's alright you two, look all you want."
Chris stood ramrod straight.
"THANK YOU VERY MUCH!"
Negi couldn't help but let out a sigh at his friend's antics. However, when he drew his own eyes to the trio, he couldn't help but feel his blush return. The Narutakis saw that their plan was finally coming to fruition and felt the need to tease their teacher at this point.
"Awa… Onee-chan, Sensei's gone all quite!"
"He he… what's the matter Sensei? All this sexiness making you nervous?"
Turning his attention to the Narutaki's he finally let them have it when he started chasing them around the sports field with a rather hot temper.
"No! But your determination to show it to me is!"
The three cheerleaders only giggled as they watched Negi and the Narutakis run it out with each other, leaving Chris by his lonesome with the three girls. However, there attention was brought back to the second male of the group with Misa being the first to break the ice with him.
"So, Chris-kun! I've been a little curious about you for a while now."
"You and about every other girl in your class."
Misa could only giggle at that while Sakurako was rather excited.
"Can you blame us though? You guys have been on campus for a while now, and so far, we only get to see Negi-sensei. You though? Nobody sees you until you're at the dorm. Even then, you kinda just up and vanish."
"To be honest Shiina-san, I mostly vanish cause I'm not the most social person in the world."
Madoka thought about that for a moment before she posed her own question.
"But the sports girls have mentioned as of late that you've been hanging out with Akira-chan a lot. Is it that you just like gentle people?"
Chris shrugged his shoulders at her question.
"Sorta… I mean, I'm willing to talk and hang out with people who I consider friends., But it's not like I'll actively go and make a ton of them. I'm not attracted to one particular type of personality trait after all. Anyway, if ya'll have questions, I'll answer them… you might wanna hurry though, cause when those three get done with the benny hill chase, we'll be heading on to see other parts of the campus."
The trio looked over his shoulder to see that he was right in that regard, but since it was on such short notice, they really didn't have much in the way of questions they wanted to ask. That is until Shiina remembered something sometime back.
"Oh! I have a question Chris-kun! Some of the girls in our class have been talking about having seen you in the baths. They said that your body was covered in scars, is that true?"
Madoka and Misa rounded on their friend, the looks on their faces telling her to watch what she's saying. Chris on the other hand, froze up at those words for a moment before he let out a nervous laugh.
"Ha…ha ha… getting a little personal there aren't ya? In answer to the question though, yeah, I got a lot of scars on my upper torso and back. Sadly, how I got them or anything more than that is, frankly, none of your business."
Realizing that this particular bit of conversation was over, the cheerleading trio looked to each other with awkward looks. Obviously, they had just touched on a very sore subject and clearly something that Chris was not willing to talk about. Misa was the first to speak up, something akin to an apologetic look on her face.
"Sorry… our bad. Sakurako really wasn't thinking before she said that."
Looking at them for a moment, Chris let out a small sigh before he scratched the back of his head sheepishly.
"No… its fine. I didn't mean to sound like a dick. Have any other questions? I'm sure I could answer those if you have any."
However, before the trio could begin, the sounds of the twins talking caused Chris to turn around and see that the group was done with its chase with Negi and seemed to be discussing getting lunch. Bringing his attention back to the cheerleaders, Chris gave them a polite smile.
"Sorry, guess it's time for me to head on. Here is my card though in case you wanted to talk, or in the event of an on campus emergency, get in contact with me since I'm part of the campus security."
Producing a card seemingly from nowhere, Chris held it up and gave it to Madoka, whom seemed the most responsible looking of the lot if he had heard correctly. The girls took the cards and waved the group goodbye, the Narutakis leading the two boys to a facility that would… 'blow there tongues away' as they put it. After a short walk and some details about the amount of clubs this school had, (Chris had done a double take when they said one hundred and sixty or more) they had arrived at the cafeteria, the term being used loosely due to the fact that the building itself looked like a fine dining establishment six stories high, and according to the twins, also goes underground. It didn't take them long to find a seat and order food, but supposedly when Chris had been talking with the cheerleaders, he and Negi had been roped into paying for everyone's meals. Something Chris had not been happy about. However, when he had been told that he would only be paying for himself and one of the twins, he hadn't been quite so bitter about it. Small talk was all that really occurred until the food arrived, Fuka and Fumika having orders more sweets then anything resembling real food while Negi and Chris had kept it simple. A short lunch later and Chris and Negi watched the twins as they continued their endless dessert buffet. Chris could only watch for so much longer before he finally said something.
"So, I have some stomach medicine for when your body finally wants to punish you both for gorging yourself on sugar. Would you like it now or when your stomach is screaming for death?"
Both twins turned away from the food they had to look at Chris in puzzlement.
"Ah, quite being such a nag. Fumika and I can put away a lot more before we even begin to feel sick. On the other hand, Chris-kun… you look like you could eat a lot more! You and Negi-sensei both!"
Without waiting for a reply, both twins took a scoop of parfait from there cups and tried to feed them to aforementioned males. However, where Negi politely turned them away, Chris decided to indulge them both by taking a bite out of Fumikas spoon.
"Yum, not bad."
"Not bad? It's like the best thing ever! You just have no taste for sweets."
"For your information Fuka-chan, I happen to have a perfect pallet, you on the other hand have absolutely no tastebuds. Especially after you melted them all off with the amount of sugar you induce."
At that point, Negi couldn't help but laugh to himself at the three people around him, the memory of this argument bringing back memories between Chris and Anya. Feeling a need to catalogue some thoughts about the twins in his student primer, Negi started doing just that with a small smile on his face. Meanwhile, Chris and Fuka where still going back and forth until Fumika noticed Negi writing something and thought to voice this.
"What are you writing there Negi-sensei?"
Startled out of his internal monologue, Negi tried to hastily cover up his actions. However, Chris and Fuka had also been distracted by this, the both of them quickly realizing what it was Negi had been doing. Chris was the first to speak up with a smug smile on his face.
"Knowing you two, probably something along the lines of how he has two kids in his class."
Letting out a small sigh, Negi shook his head, though he couldn't fully refute Chris's remark on that.
"Anyway... it's starting to get late, so I think we should perhaps call it a day. Staying out too late can cause problems in regards to your studies and sleeping habits after all."
Chris would have something about it being a little early for that, but both narutakis shook there heads in unison.
"Oh, not yet Sensei!"
"Yeah! We still have to make at least one more stop before we call it a day!"
Both boys found their interest piqued and followed along with the twins, curious to see what it was they had to show them. After what Chris was sure had to have been a thirty-minute walk, he eventually had to voice his complaint of the situation, one part because Negi was looking really worn out, but mostly because he wasn't used to wasting so much time over something someone said was supposed to be amazing.
"Oh my god, are we there yet? I'm losing both time and patience here."
Fuka looked back at him with a not-so-covert smile on her face.
"I'm pretty sure you ran out of patience fifteen minutes ago when you said the very same thing at the time."
Chris's response was a mental middle finger at her, but physically, all he did was glare at her. Fumika however, was kinder in comparison to her sister.
"Don't worry you two. Its just up ahead."
"Actually Fumi, it's right here."
Both Chris and Negi looked to Fuka and saw what it was she was talking about. Both boys where greeted with the grandeur of a massive cherry blossom tree that would rival a sequoia in terms of thickness and size. Negi was taken aback at the size and beauty of it, his mouth hanging open in awe while Chris felt his eyes pop open in surprise before he let out a small whistle of approval.
"Well would you look at that…"
"Is that the giant tree we see anywhere from on campus?"
Chris couldn't help but roll his eyes.
"No Negi, that is clearly a different tree. I mean, giant-ass trees are the norm on this campus, can't you tell?"
Negi gave his 'friend' a rather annoyed look.
"That was rhetorical Chris."
"Sure, didn't sound like it."
Fuka and Fumika both giggled to each other before Fuka broke up what would no doubt have been a debate between the two.
"Alright you two. Anyway, this tree has been here since before the campus was even built… or so we hear at any rate. A lot of people tend to call it the world tree."
Chris cocked his head curiously at her.
"You mean Yggdrasill? Cause if that's the case, I don't see seven worlds attached to it."
"No no, like the item in dragon quest, the one that revives your allies if they die."
"Sis, they're from England, they don't know what dragon quest is…"
Chris scoffed at that.
"Excuse me? I know exactly what dragon quest is. It was called dragon warrior in English speaking countries though."
Fuka and Fumika couldn't help but 'huh' in interest, that little bit of info not something they knew anything about. However, Fuka had had enough of standing around and raised her arms high to stretch.
"Well, enough about that! Let's climb this sucker!"
Chris gave her a thumbs up.
"Now your speaking my language!"
Negi and Fumika however where not quite so enthused about the idea.
"I thought we were here to just look at it."
"Negi, that's just stupid. If you see a giant tree, you don't just look at it. You gotta climb that thing!"
Fumika started to wail her arms around in panic.
"But it's dangerous!"
Chris and Fuka only gave them rowdy looking smiles.
"That's what makes it awesome!"
Without another word, both Chris and Fuka where already starting to climb the tree, leaving Negi and Fumika to let out long drawn out sighs before they followed behind them. After taking a few minutes of climbing, the trio managed to make it to the top, though on the way up Chris took a moment to point out to Fumika that she should have probably worn shorts like her sister rather than a skirt since he could see her orange striped panties. This comment earned him a shoe to the forehead via Fuka. With that little bit of ridiculousness out of the way, the group finally managed to get settled in, with the view being amazing as they saw the whole of campus from one of the higher branches. However, Fuka and Fumika weren't quite done being tour guides just yet, with Fuka starting off with some trivia about the world tree itself.
"Hey, you know that there's a legend about this tree right? It's pretty cliché though."
"Yeah, but they say that if you confess your love to the person you like, your love will come true. Isn't that romantic?"
Chris could only shrug his shoulders on that one.
"Eh, sounds fake to me."
Both twins only gave him an annoyed look, with Fuka only waving her hand at him as if shooing away a fly.
"That's cause you're a loveless guy. Can't love what isn't there."
Negi could only giggle at the two of them, though he found his thoughts turning to other things a moment later. Chris on the other hand, found his thoughts, and gaze, turning to the tree they happened to be sitting on. Negi noticed that Chris's expression seemed to fall away to one of deep contemplation before a genuine smile crossed his face, as if one happened to be meeting an old friend after a long time apart. However, the both of them where distracted when the twins spoke up again, a silly idea having sprouted in the back of Fuka's mind.
"Hey Fumika! I just had a thought, maybe we should tell Sensei that we like him and maybe he'll become our boyfriend!"
"Yeah! The world tree should be able to do something like that!"
Negi's head did a very good impression of a swivel right then and there.
Chris however could only laugh at this situation.
"Ha! Have fun with that!"
Chris watched on in amusement as Negi tried his best to struggle his way out of this situation but both Narutakis would not be deterred. Chris eventually lost interest with the situation when the twins managed to get a hold of him. Not wanting to witness the confession, Chris turned his attention back to the landscape around him, his mind falling back to something in his memories.
Xx Whales England two years ago xX
"So, this is how we die huh?"
"Oh, shut up Negi."
"You don't get to say that to Negi since this is all your fault Chris."
"Shut up Anya."
Both Anya and Chris glared at each other for a moment before the realization that it did no one any good forced the both of them to look away and sigh in defeat. Negi looked at the both of them for a moment before his attention was drawn to the ground below their feet. More specifically, at the ladder that was well outside there reach along with the broomsticks that they had come here on. At that, Negi let out his own sigh.
"In hindsight, one of us should have climbed up here with one of the brooms at least."
Chris turned his attention back to Negi.
"Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Hindsight is always twenty/twenty. Of course, we wouldn't be in this situation if Anya hadn't fat foot the last step like a moron and kicked the ladder down."
Anya once again let a glare cross her eyes, but she honestly couldn't refute that argument as it was one hundred percent correct. Negi, however, being the white knight that he is, came to his female friends aid on that one.
"Let's not be to hard on her Chris. Nobody could have predicted this outcome."
Letting into it a small sigh of his own, Chris leaned back and lay himself down on the wrest part of the branch he was on.
"True enough. Still doesn't change the fact that we are stuck in a tree though."
That one fact remained the focus of the whole situation as the group let out a collective sigh for the umptenth time in an hour. However, Anya was the first to break the silence a little while later.
"Well, on the bright side, not everything is bad."
Both Chris and Negi looked at her curiously with the auburn haired one being the one to pose a question.
Anya, with a pleasant smile on her face, pointed out into the horizon. Both males drew there attention drawn to where she was pointing. The sight of the setting sun shinning over the treetops made for a wonderful view, the gold mixing with the reds and browns of a mid autumn forest. Negi found himself awed by the sight while Chris let out a low whistle of admiration.
"Well, I guess getting stuck up here isn't all that bad if this is what we get to see as a result."
Both Negi and Anya had to agree with that statement, the view leaving them all with little else to say. That is until night fell and the autumn night getting that much colder. Thankfully the group was rescued a day later when a caretaker from the academy came to find the missing brooms.
Xx back to now xX
Being up in the world tree brought back some memories that Chris had been very fond of, as that was not the only time the three of them made there way to that tree to hang out. However, the feeling of something being pressed on his cheek drew him out of his thoughts to turn his attention to what he had just felt. Chris found his attention brought to Fumika whom had just pulled her face from his cheek with a light blush and a small grin on her face.
"I thought it was lonely for only Negi-sensei to be given that kind of treatment. So I decided that Chris-kun needed a little teasing as well."
Feeling just a little baffled at this sudden action, Chris could only stare at the girl blankly for a few moments. However, where Fuka and Fukima were expecting him to react like Negi did, Chris only let out a loud hearty laugh, confusing the twins, and even causing Negi to look at him in confusion.
"Is that so? Maybe I need a little teasing from time to time."
The twins could only look to each other in confusion at that, but Chris didn't seem to mind his treatment. Negi, however, would have expected a very different reaction out of his friend. This only made him look at Chris in some parts confusion. However, the youth only let out a loud sigh before he stood up and stretched his arms out.
"Well… I think it's time for us to be running on back to the dorm. Fuka-chan, Fumika-chan, you performed admirably and I have to admit that if myself or Negi ever need your assistance, we'll be sure to give you both a call."
Everyone else agreed with most of that statement, the twins only smiling at him in an energetic way before everybody made there way down the tree. The rets of the trip back was filled with a lot of reminiscing about the afternoon, but while Negi was being distracted by Fumika with sidelong conversation, Fuka had managed to sneak his student roster away from his bag and took the liberty of writing in it. This did not go unnoticed by Chris however, and after she managed to slip it back in, he weaved a little magic to make himself less noticeable and pulled the book out to look at what she may or may not have done. He couldn't help but laugh internally at what he saw and decided to spice up the twin's entries a little bit with his own sense of humor before he put it back. Eventually, they had managed to make it back to the dorm, where Negi had once again been on the receiving end of teasing before he made his way back upstairs, grumbling to himself about how everyone treated him like a child. Chris bid the twins farewell and followed soon after, only smiling to himself when they got into the room.
"I swear! Those two!"
"Still fussed at the Narutakis?"
"Of course! They happen to be middle school students, but they act like grade-schoolers! I can't help but wonder what kind of upbringing they've had to turn out that way!"
Sitting himself, Negi brought his student roster out, intending on writing down todays misadventures so he would remember to keep an eye out for the twins in the near future. However, before he could get started on his writing, the sound of the front door opening caused both young boys to turn around to see who it was. Both boys lit up with recognition as Asuna and Konoka entered the room. Chris was the first one to call out as Negi waved at them in a friendly manner.
"Hey you two, had a decent day?"
Asuna was the first to respond, though she might have looked just a dash annoyed.
"Sorta eh, sorta meh. By the by Chris, you have a load of crap that Konoka and I had to pick up for you. It's why the Dean called us out today."
Chris made his way to the doorway, a look of glee etched across his features.
"Hell yeah! I was wondering when that stuff was gonna get here! I sent it weeks ago! Thanks a lot by the way."
Passing the two girls, Chris found that the hallway had a number of boxes lined up along the wall. Thankfully, it was under ten, but they were big box's. looking down the hall to see if anybody was there, Chris then turned his attention back to the doorframe behind him. He saw that his current roommates where distracted at the moment, which left him with an opportunity. Turning back to the box's, he waved his hand across them and saw that his seals had not been tampered with. Nodding his head, Chris waved his hand again and they seemed to vanish into thin air. He then turned around and made his way back in the room.
"Yup, every box present and accounted for, thanks you two, I'll pay you both back at a later date."
Konoka, being the ever cheery and helpful soul that she was looked on at Chris after she dropped her bookbag.
"Do you need help bringing them in?"
"Nah, I already got them."
Blinking in some confusion, Konoka made her way to the door and looked outside to see what he was talking about. Her confusion only deepened when she saw that all those box's where in fact out of the hallway and nowhere to be seen. She then turned back to Chris with a very confused look on her face.
"Where did you… How?"
Was all she got out of him, his smile looking some parts amused and some parts smug. Konoka only gave him a pouty look before she made her way back into the room.
"Fine, don't tell me."
Chris chuckled to himself before he closed the door. A few minutes later and both girls ended up pestering Negi about how his day went, which led to an eventual interrogation of his student roster. Said interrogation led to the eventual discovery of some very 'interesting' notes made about the twins. Poor Negi fell under mass scrutiny from Asuna while Chris could only laugh at the situation. It was only made more hilarious to him when Konoka innocently asked Asuna what 'DP' and 'spit-roasting' actually meant. Thankfully the situation was resolved when Chris eventually explained where the entries actually came from, though he did lie a little and told the girls he wrote all the entries himself. Asuna, having gotten fed up with it at that point, simply chalked it up to 'Chris acting like a brat his age' and left it at that. Deciding that the day was pretty much at a close, everyone pretty much got to doing there own thing before Asuna, who had been reading a manga, suddenly seemed to remember something.
"Oh yeah… Hey Negi, can I ask you for a favor in two days?"
Curious, Negi turned himself away from the book he had been reading and looked at Asuna curiously.
"What of? If it's a question in regards to any tests, then I won't be able to answer them."
"No… it's not that… I uh… it's… kinda hard to ask considering who it is… but…"
Looking on at her curiously, Negi waited patiently while Chris had his attention diverted from his current task to see what all this was about. Konoka thought about it for a moment before suddenly realization set in.
"Ah, Asuna, are you going to ask him to help with 'that' this year?"
Negi looked to Konoka curiously, but a word from Asuna brought it back to the poser of said request.
"Yeah… so… the thing about it is… is has to do with Iincho."
"You mean Ayaka-san?"
Chris thought about that for a moment, his brain seemingly having lapsed on name and face at this precise moment.
"Uh… remind me who that is again?"
Konoka oh so easily came to his rescue on that.
"The Class president, Ayaka Yukihiro, also known as Iincho."
It only took him a moment to remember her.
"Ah yeah, the shotocon."
Asuna pointed at Chris with a smile on her face.
"Yeah, you got it."
Somewhere some doors down, Ayaka sneezed. Back to the current situation, Negi looked back at Asuna, admonishing both her and Chris with a stare.
"Anyway… what's this favor you need?"
Xx a few days later xX
"So did you make the call?"
Negi put his phone in his pocket before he looked to Asuna and nodded at her.
"Yes. I told the gentleman on the other end of the line that we'll be there by one or one thirty depending on things like traffic or such."
Chris nodded his head in understanding before he hoisted his bag up his shoulder.
"Sweet, that gives us about an hour to get there."
Asuna looked at Chris, a skeptical look in her eyes as she eyed him up and down.
"Your right… but… why are you coming again?"
"Like I have anything else to do today. Besides, Konoka-neechan is going, so why can't I?"
Asuna sighed before she opted to point it out.
"Uhhhhhh, because she's familiar with Konoka. You though, she hardly even knows outside of the few instances she's seen you."
"Oh come on, I won't be a bother, promise."
Seeing the words of an argument on Asuna's lips, Negi decided to interject, though his face was one of a resigned variety.
"Give it up Asuna-san. If Chris wants to come, he'll come regardless of what we try. In all the years of being with him, I learned to just let him do what he wants when it comes to things like this, far less headaches."
Asuna stilled looked as if she wanted to argue the point, but she has also started to learn that Chris would do as he pleased in a lot of instances, so she simply took a note out of Negi's book and resigned herself.
"Fine, just don't make yourself a pest okay? Konoka, can you keep an eye on him for us? Make sure he doesn't try something stupid."
Was the sweet reply she got. Negi and Asuna had learned quickly that though Chris wouldn't listen to either one of them, he oddly seemed to follow anything Konoka said without question, having a fondness for her not found in anybody else they knew of. Thankfully, the trip to Ayakas house was uneventful and eventually they did in fact manage to make it to said address. Nobody said anything, but the massive open gate at the front of what looked to be acres of land left Negi and Chris feeling just a dash intimidated over the size and the amount of wealth this girl seemed to have.
"Dear fucking Christ almighty… did we make a wrong turn somewhere and end up at Buckingham palace or something?"
Asuna and Konoka couldn't help but laugh a little at Chris's comment, though the sound of someone approaching at a rapid pace caused everyone to turn to see Ayaka coming toward them, dressed in a very nice looking, if not very expensive, dress meant for being as flashy as possible.
"Negi Sensei! It's such a pleasure to see you he-"
The girl stopped short of what she was going to say as an anime styled fall seemed to hit her as she skid the last few feet in front of the group. Negi and Asuna tried not to say anything about it and greeted her as normally as possible while Chris could only laugh at the absurdity of it, leaving Asuna to voice her thoughts.
"Dressed awfully fancy for rolling in the dirt aren'tcha?"
Ayaka shot to her feet, the look of surprise and anger easily noticeable on her face.
"What the heck is Asuna-san doing here for!?"
Asuna answered that question for her, though the sneer on her face didn't seem to help matters much.
"I'm technically his guardian, lord knows what you might do to the poor boy if I left you alone with him for more than ten minutes."
Not even ten seconds later and the two of them looked like something out of streetfighter with the way they where kicking and punching at each other. The both of them had to be pulled away from each other by maids and people present before it escalated any further. After both girls where finally less likely to try to kill each other, they finally got this visit underway. They started that off with Ayaka giving them a brief tour to the house, lord the front yard was large enough. Negi, trying to strike up some conversation, was the first to bring this up.
"You have such a large garden Iincho-san, it seems to stretch on for a good while."
Ayaka took the complement with a perfectly tilted thirty-six-degree angle of her head with a charming smile on her face.
"Oh Negi-sensei, it's not that impressive, it's just the front yard after all. By the way Sensei… what brings you and your… group… here today?"
"Ah, that would be because today is…"
However, just as he was about to say it out loud, a look and quick hand waving from Asuna caused him to halt his current sentence. Thinking up something else on the fly, Negi nervously corrected himself.
"Ah, no, I actually decided to come and visit you to get to know you better."
Of all the things he could have said, the rest of the group had to admit that was probably the worst one he could have picked. Ayaka looked as if heaven itself had just opened up, her eyes sparkling before she seemed to do a twirler, feigning a dizzy spell.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Negi-sensei! I'm so overwhelmed with joy in my breast that I feel faint from the sheer amount of it gushing forth!"
That 'dizzy spell' lasted about two seconds before she seemingly appeared next to Negi, a tender and perhaps not so very chaste look in her eyes as her hands found his shoulders.
"Say no more my dear Negi-sensei, I will no longer delay and set forth on your wish for us to become more intimate with each other. My bedroom happens to be this way, let us hurry on please…"
"Asuna-neesan! The Shotocon's on the prowl!"
"She's a fast worker that one!"
"Oi Oi! Take a cold Shower Baka-iincho!"
Spending a few minutes making there way to Ayaka's room, with the whole group, everyone eventually found it. However, while Ayaka was giving Negi the 'grand tour' with Asuna and Konoka doing there own thing, Chris was taking time looking around, his mind going over the whole reason they where here in the first place. Honestly, the only one who needed to be here was Negi, but Chris felt a little something in his heart after he had heard Asuna's request. It was a sad tale, but not uncommon in the whole of the world. Looking around, Chris brought his attention back to the group when the butler and a maid came in with an ungodly amount of teas to drink, quickly followed by an equal amount of cakes and snacks. However, he took his attention away from the group for a second when he noticed that there was a veranda. Picking his feet up, Chris made his way outside for a moment to get a good look outside. The young mage had to admit that the scenery the class president had was wonderful. However, his attention was diverted when Konoka called out to him.
"Chris-kun, come here, we're going to go to the pool Iincho-san has. It's really nice!"
Chris turned his attention back to Konoka and gave her a big smile.
"A Pool? Score!"
Chris quickly followed after them, leaving Ayaka momentarily stunned as Negi quickly followed suite. It didn't take very long for the group to find said pool, everyone having changed into swimsuits, but Asuna and Konoka being the only ones to jump in. Negi was observing Ayaka as she let out a long sigh, but Chris was content to stay by the edge of the pool, his swimming blazer zipped up and his hands in its pockets.
"You two are always such high energy, aren't you?"
Asuna gave him a fist pump.
"Damn straight. Come on you three, let's have a race."
Ayaka simply shook her head.
"No thanks, Asuna is as fast as a Kappa, I'm not going to try to compete against that."
Negi also opted to stay out of it, but Chris thought about it for a moment before he shrugged his shoulders.
Pulling out a drawing pad and leaving it next to where Negi was sitting, Chris Cannonballed right into the pool next to Asuna on purpose. Next thing she knew, Asuna had a munchkin latch onto her back.
Asuna, not sure of what he just said, was caught unawares, struggled as hard as she could to throw him off. However, he hung onto her like a vice. For a few minutes, this was what consisted of fun for the trio in the pool before Konoka had pity on her best friend and pried him off easily. After that, it was simply a matter of racing until Chris managed to wear himself out. Asuna was still full of energy, but Konoka was just about tapped out at that point. Chris let out a loud sigh before he just decided to pull of a dead mans float and leave himself at that.
"Jesus Asuna… what you lack in brain you make up for in stamina…"
Feeling a twitch form in her temple at that backhanded compliment, Asuna jumped up and Pushed Chris under the water for a good 5 seconds before she let him go, the young man gasping for air when he hit the surface.
"Wanna say that again Chris?"
The only thing she got out of him was a bunch of coughing.
"Yeah, that's what I thought."
Konoka, feeling a little sorry for him, pat him on the back as he got his breath back.
"Are you okay Chris-kun?"
"*wheeze* yeah! *gasp* never better!"
Chris honestly didn't feel all that perturbed by Asuna's stunt considering all the crap he puts her through. A moment later and he gave Konoka a thumbs up before he latched himself onto her midriff.
"Konoka-neesan is such a nice person, unlike the demon twintail over there."
Asuna started to pull off a threatening aura with her hands clenching and unclenching in a scary manner.
"Clearly someone wants to go under again…"
Chris swam around behind Konoka, where he then latched onto her back, giving Asuna a triumphant smile.
"Well if your gonna drown me, you'll have to take Konoka with me since I'm not letting her go at this point."
Konoka could only laugh at the both of them and there bickering. However, the feeling of cloth on her back reminded her that Chris had not taken his jersey off before he had gotten in the pool.
"Ah, Chris-kun… shouldn't you take your jersey off? It must be heavy with all that water in it after all."
For a moment, Chris didn't say anything, but the tightening around her body told Konoka more than his silence did.
"Ah… right, I'm sorry Chris-kun, I forgot about your scars."
Relaxing a little bit, Chris nuzzled his cheek into Konokas neck fondly, getting a slight yelp of surprise out of her.
"Nah, it's fine Konoka-Neechan. By the by… shouldn't someone stop Yukihiro-san from molesting Negi any further?"
Konoka and Asuna turned around to see that Ayaka had buried Negi's face in her breasts, a look of sheer contentment on her face as she said something they couldn't hear. However, Asuna seemed to glide out of the water where she dropped a heel kick right on Ayaka's head while shouting.
"DID I NOT TELL YOU TO TAKE A COLD SHOWER YOU SHOUTACON!?"
Ayaka looked furious at this sudden assault however, and her temper let be known.
"Dammit Asuna! All you ever do is interfere with everything in my life every day!"
"That's because all you ever seem to do is do stupid crap all your life!"
"That is IT! You have pissed me off for the last time today! Get out of my house before I call the SP to escort you out!"
At that, Asuna let out a frustrated breath of air and turned around, savagely grabbing her towl from the stand.
"Fine! I was just on my way out anyway!"
Feeling that this was pretty much it for the day, Konoka and Chris got out of the pool and followed suite. Negi, seeing hwo things where being left off, tried to do what hej could to stop her from leaving, but the look she gave him told him to leave it be.
"It's alright Negi. It's all up to you today anyway."
Watching them go, Ayaka was still fuming, but Asuna turning around surprised her. Even more so when she spoke to her.
"Hey Iincho-san… sorry about the shoutacon comment. I take back what I said about that… for today anyway… Sorry again."
Asuna then turned around with Konoka, Though Chris turned around and waved at the both of them.
"Sorry for dropping by unannounced Iincho-san. Hope you have a good day… and see you later Negi, you know how to get back, so be safe on the way home, m'kay?"
Chris then turned around and followed quickly on Asuna's heels, the girl looking up in some contemplation as they exited the pool area. Konoka spoke up this time, a little worry on her face.
"Is this okay with you Asuna?"
"Yeah, it's fine. You know this is how it normally turns out anyway…"
Chris couldn't help but stroke his chin before he let a wide smile cross his face.
"Despite how you both act toward each other, it's nice to see that you treat her right on a day like today."
"Ah can it Chris. I don't want anymore of your backhanded complements today."
Chris held his hands up with a smile.
"Sure thing Asuna-neechan… by the by, you guys wanna stop by somewhere on the way back? I'll pay for it."
Both girls took him up on that offer, the mood improving as they tried to figure out what would be a good place to eat. Ayakae and Negi watched as the group left and for a few moments after, there was nothing but silence between them. However, Ayaka let out a disheartened sigh as she put her hand to her chest in discomfort.
"I'm sorry you had to see that side of me Negi-sensei… Asuna-san and I have such a terrible relationship… all we ever seem to do when we meet is fight it out…"
"That's not true Iincho-san!"
Ayaka looked on at Negi with a confuse look on her face.
"Asuna-san told me that you used to have a little brother who would be around my age and that today was supposed to be his birthday. She set this whole thing up for me to come see you."
Suddenly, Ayaka's eyes lit up in a flash of recollection, memories of such a time flooding her mind. Suddenly, tears began to form in her eyes, though her face wasn't sad in the least, filled with nothing but the brightness of a smile.
"I see… Asuna-san remembered that today was my little brother's birthday… she's such a lawless, violent… unbelievable… friend…"
Negi smiled warmly as he looked on at her, her tears falling from her face. For a few minutes, Negi gave her the time she needed to emotionally set herself. As he did, he noticed that Chris had left his book behind and picked it up. However, there was a letter attached to it addressed to Negi. Curious, Negi opened it up and was surprised by the two things he saw in it.
"Iincho-san… it looks like Asuna-san wasn't the only one who was thinking of you today."
Ayaka looked over at Negi and saw him holding out a letter of sorts. Wiping her eyes dry, she took the letter curiously and opened it to see that there was a note addressed to her from Chris of all people.
At this point, I'm sure You've kicked Asuna out already and I've no doubt gone with her. However, I couldn't bring myself to give this to you in person being a bit of a coward in regards to other peoples reactions to things I do, so I wanted to give you this letter and other item as both an apology for Asuna's actions and our sudden visit. I hope you won't be mad about this, but I took the liberty of looking up your family register at school since I have that ability in preparation of today. Using this, I looked back a good way into your family to find out what you all had looked like over the years in order to help me to complete my current project. I hope you enjoy it, if not, please feel free to destroy it as my wish is not to bring you any kind of hurt today of all days.
From someone who cares.
Curious, Ayaka moved the letter out of the way to see what was on the other side. She was curious to see that it was a hand drawn portrait, very well done and almost professional if she didn't know any better. It took her a moment, but then it finally hit her what it actually was of. It was an image of her family, her mother, father along with herself. However, there was one addition in this picture that took her breath away. It was the addition of a young boy, no older then ten years old, with bright blonde hair that obviously seemed to have some issues with staying in order, a face that looked bookish but handsome nonetheless amplified by the large glasses he wore. The smile on his face was absolutely radiant on him as he stood next to the Ayaka in the portrait while the Ayaka in real life could only shakily bring her hand up to the image, gently touching his face, as if she might magically reach through the image and feel the face of the brother she no longer had. Now, now her tears had returned in force, and she could only cry in silence at this small gift that suddenly meant so much to her. Negi once again waited for her, this sudden emotional wave no doubt having done more to her then he could realize. For a minute, Ayaka did nothing but cry as she stared on at the image held tightly in her hands before the words at the bottom of the portrait caught her attention.
If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.
Ayaka felt a powerful affinity with those words, something about them ringing out in her heart, because they spoke of someone who also lost something precious. She then took the portrait embraced it gently, even though it was just paper color, she still felt a great warmth from it in her heart. She then turned to Negi and gave him a warm smile from the bottom of her heart.
"Negi-sensei… the next time you see Chris-kun… please tell him that I will cherish this for as long as I live…"
With that, Negi and Ayaka spent the rest of the day together, in remembrance of the little brother she had. Meanwhile, Chris and the girls where currently back at Mahora, having found a decent place to stuff themselves with food before they went back to the dorms to rest up and wait for Negi. However, just as they got off the tram, a familiar face greeted them at the station.
"Ah, Chris-kun, I was wondering when you would finally show back up. Turns out we didn't have your phone number, so we couldn't contact you."
"Ah, Takamichi. Nice seeing you to. Also, sorry about that, I guess it slipped my mind to give it to the boss. I'll fix that in the next few days when we get back to work. So, why did ypu need to contact me."
"It's work related sadly."
Chris felt his face fall at that.
"Sorry, I know it's your day off and all. Anyway, Sorry Asuna-kun, Konoka-san. I'll need to kidnap Chris for a while. I hope you don't mind."
Asuna simply shrugged her shoulders at that.
"It's alright Takahata-sensei. Not having him or Negi-sensei around for a few hours will do my mind some real good."
Chris gave her a cross look, but he wasn't about to persue it. Konoka simply gave a nod along with an okay, but not before she gave Chris a pat on the head and a motherly 'be home before dinner'.
Watching the both of them leave, Chris then turned his attention back to Takamichi.
"So, whats up?"
"We'll need to go to the office first before I can give you details, but there's been an incident on campus…"
Chris felt his body language change, everything suddenly going on high alert.
"Is it serious?"
"Nobody is dead if that's what your asking… though it's still pretty serious."
Chris let out a loud sigh before he shook his head.
"Alright then, lets get moving. The faster we get there, the faster we can find out what's going on."
Chris and Takamichi quickly made their way to the teachers building, the familiar doors not bringing any sense of comfort to either of them right this very moment. They quickly made there way upstairs where Chris was greeted with the regulars he was used to seeing alongside a several more faces, along with a few vaguely familiar ones. Tōko Kuzunoha noticed them enter and nodded her head.
"Good, you where the last two we needed before we could get started. Also, before you leave today Chris-kun, we need you to give us your phone number."
"Got it boss, and sorry about being late."
Gandolfini shook his head at the young mage.
"Don't worry, you're not late or anything. We actually just got done with preliminary findings, so you're actually right on time."
Kuzunoha nodded her head before she turned to Nijūin.
"Alright, go ahead and get started Mitsuru-sensei."
The portly man turned his attention to the rest of the group before he pulled up a small crystal ball of sorts and threw it into the air. The next thing he knew and several screens appeared in the air, many more faces showing up. Nijūin nodded his head before he started speaking.
"Alright, if everyone can hear me, we can go ahead and get started."
Turning his attention to the screens, the portly man moved his hand to the side, where the screens then shifted. Chris was surprised to see what looked to be two bodies limply laying on the ground of a back alleyway.
"At around 06:43 this morning, two young men where found in the all-males middle school division severally drained of magical energy. This in of itself is already an odd thing to encounter, but even worse is the fact that this is not the first instance of this happening in the course of several weeks."
Chris cocked his eyebrow upward curiously at that.
"This isn't the first time this is happening?"
"No and yes Chris-kun. Over the course of the past few weeks, many such young males have been found with some magical energy drain being done on them, coming to a total of 32 so far with these most recent additions making it 34. However, unlike the last thirty-two cases, these boys showed extreme amounts of energy being drained from them. Whereas in the previous cases it had been a small amount at best. Thankfully, the boys did not suffer serious injury, but the amount of energy drained was close to the point of killing them. With this, we can assume that whoever this is seems to be upping his ante. As for why they are targeting these young men, we still can't say, the individuals who had their energy drained not having any kind of recollection of such a thing happening to them."
Nijūin waved his hand again and a list of names and faces showed up on the screens.
"These are the identities of the individuals who had previously had their energy drained."
Everyone looked on at the faces before a sudden realization hit everyone with Takamichi being the first to voice it.
"They all look very similar in certain aspects…"
"You would be correct in that assumption Takahata-sensei. All of the young men had similar features. All of them having long-ish black hair, short statures, and defined facial features."
Chris looked on for a moment before he let out an uncomfortable noise.
"They all look a lot like me when I get a better look at them."
For a moment, everyone looked from Chris to the faces of the young men in the report. Gandolfini started to stroke his chin in thought as he looked harder.
"Your right Chris-kun… you share a lot of the features of the young men in these profiles… It might just be a coincidence though."
Someone from across the room, a dark-skinned woman with white hair in a nun's habit, spoke up on that.
"Going to be honest here Gandolfini-sensei. I find such links to lack the title for coincidence and to instead be the forefront of a design."
Kuzunoha nodded her head.
"I'm inclined to agree with you Sister Shakti. This seems deliberate. Whoever this is is targeting these individuals for a reason, though we still have no idea as to why. Mitsuru-sensei, is there anything else you can share."
"A few more things. According to our data, these attacks do not occur in the mornings, these young men only being found at that time. We have found that these young men appear to be attacked in the nights of the previous day, making our perp nocturnal, though we don't have an explanation for why. Secondly, this draining effect seems to be vampiric in nature, as we have been finding traces of foreign magical bodies on each of these young men around holes about three millimeters in diameter on their necks."
Everyone stiffened up at that with Gandolfini being the voice of this sudden worry.
"Oi Oi Oi… seriously? Are you saying this is a vampire's work?"
"That would be a very likely assumption."
A blonde female who looked to be an older teen spoke up at that point.
"Could it perhaps be the work of Evangeline A.K. McDowell?"
"It's a possibility, but the idea doesn't have a lot of merit to it right now. "
Chris raised his hand at that.
"Why is that? It sounds like something a vampire of her power would do."
Takamichi answered that for him.
"Ah, sorry Chris. I forgot you weren't aware of that. Her power is sealed right now, as it has been for the past fifteen years by the Thousand Master."
"Ahhhhhhhhhhh… and suddenly so much makes sense…"
Takamichi wasn't sure what he meant by that, but he was interrupted by Nijūin.
"Anyway, there have been reports of this only having happened in the all males section of campus, but we have been noticing some similar incidents in the all-girls middle school and Highschool areas."
Chris perked up at that.
"But I haven't seen anything of the sort. Unless this is the same thing where they are attacked the night previous?"
Nijūin nodded his head.
"Correct, the reason you haven't seen anything of the sort is that it all occurs late into the night and discovered early morning. However, it simply brings more confusion to the table. Our perp doesn't seem to care much for whom it's attacking, but the incidents with the girls has been going on for much longer, and hasn't be nearly as severe as with the males."
The blonde from earlier seemed to be biting her thumbnail at that.
"Even though I work the night patrol… it shames me that I have yet to find out who this is."
Chris, curious about this chick, simply ignored her for the moment before he voiced something he found strange.
"So your saying the girls have been attacked more often while the case with the boys is a more recent thing?"
"Then could the two cases perhaps not be connected at all? It sounds like we might have two people here doing two separate things."
Nijuin thought about that for a moment before he said anything.
"It's not off the table, but we still have a serious lack of information to determine anything, our perp… or perps leaving no evidence behind. However, going forward, we will all need to be very careful."
Toko then took hold of the conversation there, bringing everyone's back to her.
"We will be implementing longer hours and some altered schedules in hopes that it will increase security for the students. I ask for each of your cooperation in this due to the security risk we currently face. First off, Chris-kun. I know you're a part timer, but I will be needing you to pick up longer hours or even work night hours if necessary."
Chris simply nodded his head at that.
"That's fine. I've got to much free time as is anyway. Getting to the bottom of this should be top priority."
Toko nodded her head, though she wasn't done speaking.
"However, seeing as our perp seems to aim for males of your particular looks and type, I would ask you be more cautious then others. The same warning goes out to the younger girls of our group."
Everyone mentioned simply nodded their heads in unison. At that Toko dismissed the gathering, saying that everyone should get some rest for the weeks to come as there would no doubt be very long hours to work. Chris was the first up, but he was stopped by Toko before he could leave.
"Chris-kun, I need you to come and give me your contact information. I also need to inform you of a few things since you're the member with the most time to give."
Doing as was asked of him, Chris passed everyone leaving by, but was surprised that there was three girls also standing in front of the boss's desk. The Blonde from earlier, a pinkish haired girl that looked just a little older then he did, and a dark-haired girl with glasses who looked about his age. Toko spoke up before he could say anything.
"Your phone number please Chris-kun."
Chris quickly wrote it down and gave it to her, where she then put it in a folder with his name on it. After that she then turned to the four present, the last of the teachers and working students having finally left.
"Alright you four, I pulled you all aside because I happen to have some special instructions to give to you all. But before that, Chris-kun, I believe you have yet to be introduced to the group that watches your section of campus late at night."
Chris turned his attention to the three girls and nodded in greeting.
"So you're the grave shift crew? Nice to meet you all. The name is Chris Abernathy. As you no doubt have heard, I work the day shift of protecting the middle school and high school sectors of the all-girls division."
The blonde girl nodded at him before she held her hand up to her chest in a grand manner.
"My name is Takane . I happen to be from the magical world itself and am a transfer student here to learn all I can from the old world. I'm the leader in charge if the night crew who keeps our section safe."
Chris nodded at her.
"Hardly, I still have a long way to go in a lot of aspects. Anyway, these two next to me are Sakura Mei-"
Goodman indicated the pink haired girl who seemed to have an issue with keeping eye contact with him.
"- and the one on my right is Natsumi Megumi."
She then indicated the bespectacled black-haired girl who also seemed to have an issue with keeping eye contact with him. Chris could only attribute it to them not being used to boys and simply nodded at them.
"Like I said, pleasure to meet you all."
Toko nodded at them all before she cleared her throat to get their attention again.
"Good, now that you all have been introduced to each other, I will go ahead and give you your instructions."
Kuzunoha pulled out a sheet of paper and gave each of them a copy, upon which everyone started reading it.
"Alright, I know this might be a bit unfair to you Chris-kun, but I'm going to need you to work more shifts then usual. Namely, I need you to try to work the night shift with Goodman-san and her crew. Unlike you, they are still students, so you'll be picking up more of their hours so they can find time to study. However, in the times you will be helping them, I want you and the girls to cooperate as much as possible to find out who it is that's attacking our students. Goodman-san seems to be having problems catching this perp, and I'm hoping that by adding you in will give just enough of an edge to help this investigation."
Chris nodded in understanding.
"Seems Legit. Hell, if you want, I can go ahead and take over the night shift if you want and let the girls have some time off. My previous master would put me on tests like this all the time to keep me on my toes."
Takane was the one who answered that.
"As much as I appreciate the offer, I'm going to have to decline. I refuse to rest until I have found this infiltrator and taken them under the wing of justice!"
Her passion was easy to see, and Chris simply clapped at her enthusiasm.
"Ohhhhhhhh, you seem reliable Goodman-san."
Toko glanced between them, not sure if Chris was mocking her or being genuine, but opted to keep out of it unless it became a real issue.
"Anyway, like I said earlier. I want you all to try to be careful since you seem to be the prime types of targets our perp… or perps as Chris-kun put it, seems to like. Other then that, I'll leave times and planning to all of you. You'll start tonight, so try to get some rest tonight. You are all dismissed."
With a resounding group 'yes ma'ma' the four of them left the room. The moment they hit the hallway, Chris turned around and looked to Takane.
"So, how do you want to do this Goodman-san?"
Takane thought about it for a moment before she looked to him.
"Just meet us back here at seven thirty. I should have things worked out by then. Also, bring things to eat and drink since the night shift lasts well into the morning."
Chris gave her an affirmative nod before he turned around and started to make his way back home, opting to walk there this time rather then use his set up portals on campus. On his way back, Chris found himself thinking about everything that was going on, mostly in regards to Evangeline.
"Hum… they say her power is sealed away, and I'm inclined to agree… but everything just seems to point to her since she is the only vampire in the vicinity… but that doesn't mean that's the case… I would hate to think it's any other kind of vampire though…"
Shivering to himself at the thought of more then one bloodsucker, Chris almost missed somebody calling out to him.
Suddenly jolting out of his reverie, Chris turned around to see non-other then Akira coming at him. Smiling brightly at the girl, Chris waved at her in response to her call and waited for her to be within actual talking distance. It didn't take her very long, but Chris took a moment to notice that she seemed to have just gotten out of the pool, her hair still sleek looking and her body smelling faintly of chlorine.
"Hey there Akira-chan. Just get done at the pool?"
Akira flinched at the fact that he was right, simply nodded her head.
"I just did actually. By the way, how are you doing Chris-kun? I haven't seen you in a little while."
"That's because you don't call me up for magic lessons anymore. I wanna teach you, but unless you say you want to, I won't bother you with them."
Akira laughed a little to herself.
"Well… I really don't have a reason to learn magic now do I? as interesting as it is, I think I wanna try to be as normal as possible."
Chris pouted at her for a moment before he simply shrugged his shoulders.
"Well, that's alright as well. Though the offer is still open if you want… actually, since you approached me, how about we go over a lesson right now!"
Akira blinked in some confusion before what he said sunk in.
"Uh… wait, what?"
Before she could argue any kind of point, Chris grabbed her by the hand and drug her all the way to their little pool in the woods, Akira still unsure about what it was she was doing right now. When they got there, Chris finally let go of her hand before he turned around and smiled at her.
"Alright, now that where here… I'm going to teach you a little bit about runes and how to effectively use them in certain situations."
Akira, finding that she was somewhat getting interested despite what she said earlier, simply let out a sigh as she decided to go along with it.
"Why is that?"
"Runes are kinda like mans oldest attempts at being able to channel magic through the use of words and sounds. I think the best way to think about it would be to think about it like a Kotodama user. Only instead of saying the word, you inscribe it in magic and behold the effect based on certain aspects. Since we happen to have a very decent pool of water, lets see about using the Norse rune laguz."
Curious about it, Akira watched Chris etch what looked to be an upside-down checkmark in the air, though when he did, she saw that a trail of light remained for a second before it vanished. A moment later and water erupted from the pond next to them and flew right past her. When she turned around, she saw that it flew around for a moment before it shot back past her and right back into the pond. Akira could only blink in shock and amazement at what she just witnessed.
"Did I do that? Like I said, I inscribed the letter for it into the flow of magic, from there, I mentally told Undine what to do with it before I let go of the flow of the spell. It's very simple to do and one of the first things I learned. However, as simple as it is, it can be powerful if used correctly. Unlike new age magic, I don't impose the will of magic to do what I want it to, instead asking Undine to do the controlling for me and directing her how I want it to be. One of the better things is that you don't really need a water fey or spirit to direct it for you. if you have an affinity with water, you can manipulate it just fine on your own. Wanna give it a shot?"
Akira looked back at the pond before she looked to him.
"I… Guess so?"
Even she wasn't sure about it at this point, but Chris simply showed her how to wright it in mid-air, a simple enough task, and how best to channel it.
"You'll probably wanna try calling out the name a couple of times to get a feel for it as you write it. It's easier that what when you do, and it helps you to visualize the aspect you wanna use of it."
Akira nodded her head before she took a deep breath. Over the course of the past few weeks, Chris had been teaching her how to access that inner part of herself that could tap into magic. Thankfully, it had been simple enough, but after a while, she had stopped calling on him to teach her how to do it, her will to learn it not being all that strong to begin with. However, when she tapped into her inner self, she found it delightful and tracked the air like he had instructed her along with uttering the word. Then she felt her mind seem to flow into the spell, and suddenly, she could see the connection between the water and herself. Reaching out and touching it, she was greeted with a gentle and cool feeling on her mind, and the water just seemed to easily move as she thought about it. She then shifted her hand and moved the water along a line she could see, and amazingly, when she did, the water did as she instructed it to. Chris let out an amazed sigh before he started to clap.
"Amazing Akira-chan! Most people can exert that much control on there first time… looks like I was right in my assessment of you."
Curious, she looked back at him, though when her concentration slipped, she lost control of her mental hold of the water, allowing it to fall back in the pond.
"That's fine Akira-chan. I didn't mean to interrupt you. But what I was talking about is that I assessed earlier that you had a special affinity with water. People with affinity for certain elements find it much easier to control that particular element. However, you also have the bad luck of having bad results with being able to control that elements opposite. So don't expect to be slinging fireballs around anytime soon."
Akira looked back at the pond, her mind seemingly latching onto that little tidbit of information.
"I see… that's helpful to know I suppose… though I'm curious Chris-kun. Why did you suddenly want to teach me this now?"
Chris thought about that for a moment before he nodded his head more to himself rather than to her.
"Hum… guess it wouldn't hurt to say… That's probably because I want you to have the ability to defend yourself. Something has been going on as of late, and I would feel better if you had a means to defend yourself over not. Just call me being paranoid."
Akira blinked a few times in some surprise, not really sure how best to handle this information. However, she put it to the back of her mind as she smiled at Chris.
"I see… I'm not going to ask what it is that might be going on, but I thank you all the same for teaching me."
Chris nodded at her before he stretched himself out.
"No problem. Thanks for going along with it regardless. Anyway, I just wanted to show you how to do that one thing, so I think we should go ahead and start heading back. Just remember though Akira-chan, my offer to teach you will always be open to you. So, if the need ever strikes you, just call and I'll oblige."
Akira smiled at him as she followed along.
"I will keep it in mind."
After that, the both of them made there way back to the Dorm, upon which they went their separate ways, Akira happy with her normal life, and Chris doing his best to do keep a smile on the faces of those he cared about.
Xx Evangeline's cottage, some hours later xX
Eva looked over her notes one more time, everything she knew about her curse having been laid bare before her. However, after fifteen years of study, and this is all she had managed to come up with. The only way she would be able to break the curse set on her would have to be one of two ways. The first being that the original caster would have to remove it. Fat chance of that ever happening since she knew the Thousand Master was long dead. Which left her with her only other option. That being that she would have to take a blood relative and drain them of there blood enough to where the curses effects where negated, and thus dispelled. She had been over this almost a thousand times or more in her head, but this was the only way she had left to her. Sure, she could delve into old magic if she was really desperate, but that required prices to high for her to pay, especially considering what she was exactly and the type of reactions she would get out of other fey and the like. Letting out a low sigh, she turned her attention to the only other individual in the cottage with her, that 'person' being Chachamaru Karakuri, the mechanical construct created by the brilliant minds of both Chao Lingshen, and Satomi Hakase. It was a feat beyond much of what she would have expected of humans in her long life, but she stopped being surprised about much of anything anymore. Her mind was driven on one thing and one thing only at this point, and that was breaking her seal.
"Master, the tea is ready."
Evangeline turned her attention away from her thoughts and back to her servant, who had just brought a tea-set over and placed it on the table. Grunting in some form of acknowledgement, Eva took a sip from her favorite cup, letting the aroma waft over her nose and douse her tongue in the leaves flavor. Exactly to her taste, just as Chachamaru knew she liked it. For a few minutes, Eva let her mind wander away from her current task on onto other things. The first thing to pop into her mind was the other boy that had come with the Springfield. The day he had come to see her had been a day she was afraid her plans had been discovered, but oddly enough, despite the amount of time that had passed, she hadn't heard of anything in regards to the headmaster looking for her… or Takamichi for that matter. However, he had still sought her out for reasons unknown, and thus she still regarded him as someone to be wary of on a perceptive level.
*Knock knock knock*
Three knocks on the door spurred her away from her thoughts and caused both her and Chachamaru to look in that general direction. As was part of her programming, Chachamaru was the first to get up and make her way to the door. However, Eva was curious as to who would be knocking on her door this late at night. It was almost midnight for crying out loud, and the only reason she could think of was that someone she knew was coming to see her. As for what, she wasn't sure. Chachamaru managed to make it to the door and opened it gently. Evangeline was to far back to see past her servant, so she couldn't tell who it was, but Chachamaru was looking directly at this person, and she could honestly say that in all of her data banks, she had never seen this girl before in her life. Standing as tall as her master and about as thin as she was, was a young girl who looked no older then 12 years old. She was dressed in Gothic Lolita fashion, a design that would no doubt please her own master if she saw it (Chachamaru saved the design in her memory banks in the event she was going to recreate it). She had a pale complexion affixed a beautiful face with a smug grin on her face and long curly platinum locks of hair almost streaming down her back. However, her eyes where an electric blue, and seemed to be smirking as much as her face.
["Good Evening… or would it be Good Morning this late into the night?"]
Chachamaru noticed that the girl had spoken an entirely different language altogether, however, she had uploaded a multitude of language programs and understood what she had said. However, the sound of a cup falling to the table caused her to turn around to see that her master had dropped it. That had been odd considering that Evangeline never had the tendency to be clumsy. However, Chachamaru found it incredibly unnerving even for her to see a look of utter surprise on her face. It was made even worse when she tried to cover it up, but Chachamaru could see in her master eyes that there was something akin to pure terror in them.
For a moment, nothing was said, but Evangeline forced words out of her mouth, sounding far more steyd then what she was currently feeling.
"Chachamaru, move out of the way so I can see our rather surprising guest."
The Mechanical doll did just that, and the girl at the door stepped inside the house before she did a small curtsy. Evangeline smirked a little, though her eyes looked uncertain right now.
["Well well well… look who managed to work themselves back to life. After all this time gone, I honestly believed that you had finally died."]
The girl stood back up and looked dead on at Eva, the smirk having never left her face.
["You would be right to my dear Evangeline. I've been gone to terribly long that I felt I almost forgot myself. Thankfully, that didn't happen, so here I am, looking for a little something."]
Eva nodded her head at her before she placed her chin on her hands.
["I see… well I guess that explains why you're here then. Though I'm a little curious as to… what you're looking for exactly."]
Chachamaru could see that her Mistress's body had tightened up, as if she didn't want to know what the answer was. The Gynoid was not the only one to notice this, as the other girl in the room simply giggled to herself. She didn't answer immediately, and instead walked up to the table Evangeline was seated at and sat in the chair opposite of her.
["Oh, you don't need to worry Evangeline. I'm not here seeking revenge against you. As a matter of fact, amongst the leadership of the True Ancestors, you're one of the ones I find to be most enjoyable… along with a few others of course. Plus, I've already dealt with those who have wronged me. No, the real reason I'm hear is because I'm in search of someone, and as I happened to be looking around for him, I managed to smell your scent. I thought it would be nice to come and see you again, but I will admit, the last time you and I where in the same room together… well… you had a little more… how do I put this… well, you certainly had more presence to you then you do now. What happened? Did you get yourself in a small bit of trouble?"]
Evangeline was loath to admit that she had screwed up in any way, but she knew that this girl in front of her did not appreciate being lied to in any form. And with the fact that Eva had no power to defend herself if she did… well, she would like to live for as long as possible if she could help it.
["Yes, I managed to get myself sealed up about fifteen some odd years ago. After that I've been stuck here, waiting for my chance to escape."]
["I see I see… terrible business that, being stuck in one place for so many years. But look on the bright side. At least you had the ability to function like a creature."]
Eva froze at those words, her body stock still with the sound of that threatening undertone. Chachamaru could tell there was hostility there and was about to move, but one look from her Mistress told her to stay put. The girl across from Eva simply kept on smiling, but her eyes had changed dramatically from the blue color, to a vicious red. Eva knew that power was being forced at her, and she was thankful she didn't have a good deal of magical capability else she was more then sure that she would be flooded with a sheer amount of fury and hostility. A moment later and the girl's eyes went back to normal, and she brought her hand to her cheek in mock shame.
["My goodness, what am I doing. I already have gotten over that little business… or so I thought, but I guess I still get a little upset when I think about it. Anyway, I believe I have overstepped my bounds as an uninvited guest. Might I do something to make it up to you my dear Evangeline? As a matter of fact, maybe I can help you with getting that bothersome seal off."]
Eva knew that asking for this girl's help was risky business and that if she did, she would more than likely cause more destruction then help if she was allowed to do as she pleased.
["No, I'm fine. I already have a plan that will work. Though the offer is more than appreciated."]
["I see… well, that's fine then. I suppose I should be going though, the person I'm looking for won't just magically fall into my lap after all."]
The girl got up from the chair she was seated on and made her way back to the front door before she stopped.
["Actually, while I am here Evangeline dear… do you know anybody by the name of Chris Abernathy? I've been looking for the darling for so long now that I fear I've been getting rather impatient as of late."]
Eva let her curiosity be known when a puzzled look crossed her face.
["Chris Abernathy? Yes, I know of him, he's somewhere here on campus. Where though, I have no idea."]
Eva had spoken it because she hadn't believed it to be important, but then something hit her to late. Chris was a friend of the Springfield, and whatever this girl planned for him might end up indirectly interfering in her own plans. The platinum blonde let out a squeal of delight before she started jumping up and down like a schoolgirl.
["Yes! I can feel I'm getting much closer now! Thank you so much Eva Dear! Let me know if you need anything and I'll help you out! Goodbye for now!"]
The girl vanished out the door before Evangeline could say anything. And like that, all the tension that could be felt in the room flew out the door, forcing Eva to fall back in her chair in a distraught heap.
"Holy hell… how in the fuck did that psycho manage to get free?"
Chachamaru, who had closed the door before more of the night air stole the cool air away, walked up next to her master, her body not saying anything, but her mouth spoke what was on her 'mind'.
"Master… who was that?"
Eva didn't answer immediately. Her mind was in far too much turmoil right now for her to think straight. However, Chachamaru knew to be patient as her master would tell her if it was necessary. Thankfully, after a few more minutes, she did deem it something for her servant to know.
"That… that was a vampire that goes by the name Yevelta, and she is one of the most feared True Ancestors to have come into existence."
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