Chapter 1: The Difference Between Curiosity and Resignation
It was a normal day at the Tristain Academy for Magic. The air was clear, the sun shining down on the academy in a clear, cloudless sky, the wind blowing softly over the plains surrounding it, while the students remained inside the walls, learning all different types of magic from their teachers. The servants went about the Academy, serving the nobility and taking care of the chores, and a loud explosion went off in the courtyard. Just another day at the Tristain Academy of Magic.
Said explosion was the result of one student casting a spell in the middle of the courtyard, one Louise Françoise Leblanc de la Vallière. By this point in time, the explosion was a natural, and expected, occurrence whenever she attempted to cast a spell, so the teachers, students and servants alike were used to the sound and tremors happening at least once a day.
At this point, however, Louise was not alone when trying to cast this spell, and was instead in the middle of a large group of students, one of which was standing to her left since they had been casting the same spell beside her. As such, when the explosion occurred, the students closest to her, with the exception of the one beside her, were promptly covered in the dirt thrown up by the explosion, while also being tossed onto their backs due to the force. The ones further away were slightly luckier, only being covered in a bit of dirt, and choking on the smoke created by the blast.
"Told you that was going to happen." One brown-haired boy said, because God knows this was just the time for an "I told you so." Unfortunately, his friend couldn't respond, seeing as he was one of the unlucky ones to be knocked flat on his back by the blast.
A blond student who clearly put a lot of time into his appearance, effectively rendering himself a pretty boy, coughed in the smoke uncomfortably with a hand to his mouth. Noticing the person next to him, a girl with hair a lighter shade of blonde and a fairly large, red bow tied at the back of her head, had fallen down, he knelt in concern to help her up. "Oh, hey, are you alright, Montmorency?" He asked.
The girl, now named Montmorency, did not answer. She was staring at something, her eyes wide in what could be assumed to be shock.
"Huh? Is there something wrong?" The boy asked her, both confused and just the slightest bit worried about her lack of a response to his question.
After a second, Montmorency gave a response, only not the kind that the boy was expecting. Instead of giving a verbal response, she only raised her hand and pointed towards the area that the explosion originated from. The boy followed the direction she was pointing, and looked toward the place where the smoke was slowly starting to dissipate, and when he saw what she was pointing at, he became equally dumbfounded. "What…?" He asked nobody in particular.
On the ground, at the center of where the explosion had originated from, where there had previously only been a patch of grass in front of the two summoners currently at work, there were two people lying on the ground. Both were clearly dazed, though one more so than the other. The one that was more out of it appeared to have fallen from the sky, based on the slight indent in the ground where he laid, whereas the other seemed to have simply lost his balance in surprise.
"...Humans?" One person in the gathered crowd asks in confusion. This was understandable, since before this, every entity that had been summoned by the students in the courtyard had been some kind of animal, whether as common as a frog, or rare as a dragon.
"Look how they're dressed!"Another pointed out. "They look like a couple of peasants!"
"Yeah, peasants." This was the same blond boy from before, having now gotten over the shock of humans appearing in the middle of the courtyard. His tone was heavily laced with mockery. "No doubt about it."
While these comments were being made, Louise's eye twitched as she looked down at the "peasant" she had apparently summoned, seeing as he was closer to her than the person beside her. "This is supposed to be… Divine and beautiful… And wise and… Powerful…?" She said to herself in complete disbelief.
A Few Minutes Prior:
Sixteen year old Philip Jonathan Butler, better known to friends and family as PJ (both because that's what his first two initials make, and his dad shared his first name, so it was just easier to remember), was sitting on the revolving chair he had set up just next to his bed and in front of a chest of drawers, on which sat his laptop.
He had pale skin, though not sickly, due to the amount of time his self-admitted anti-social ass spent inside this very bedroom, and the fact that England's weather was very heavy on the rain for the majority of the year. His eyes were dark blue but got significantly lighter in colour as they reached the pupil, and his hair was short, pitch black, and swept to the left. He was wearing a T-shirt depicting Negan from The Walking Dead brandishing his barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat, Lucille, with the words "eenie, meenie, minie, moe" in big white letters, black tracksuit bottoms, and moderately grey trainers with white bottoms.
He had Skype open, but the conversation was relatively slow, so it wasn't really doing much at the moment. He was thinking about just browsing through YouTube for a bit since he was getting bored just sitting there. Maybe he would listen to some music on the mp3 player that sat, wrapped up in the wire of his earphones, in his pocket.
He clicked off Skype, and almost immediately, he caught sight of the reflection of a red glow that certainly hadn't been there before. Startled, he turned around, and saw what could only be described, by his sci-fi and fantasy fanboy of a brain, as a red portal. He spent a lot of time filling his mind with fiction, and he knew a portal when he saw it. This one looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn't quite place where he'd seen it before.
That particular brainwave came after he was startled by the sudden appearance of the portal, tipping himself backwards and toppling the chair over in his surprise. He landed uncomfortably on his rear end. Quickly, he snapped his gaze back up to the portal.
Holy shit! He thought. This was the sort of thing he'd seen in movies, anime, and books (mostly the books), but having an actual portal just pop up behind you in your bedroom is bound to leave you somewhat at a loss for words. Philip took a second to compose himself, stood up, tried to rub the ache out of the area he'd landed on, and trained his eyes on the portal distrustfully. On one hand, this could very well be a portal to one of those post-apocalyptic wasteland-looking worlds that would get him killed a few seconds after arrival. On the other… Well, curiosity killed the cat, and Philip had three cats, so he supposed they were rubbing off on him.
...Am I really going to stick my head in that? He asked himself. After a moment, he decided that the answer was yes. Yes, he was. Well, suicidal stupidity, here I come.
He walked cautiously to the portal. After a moment of hesitation, he gingerly stuck his head forward to see what was on the other side… And was promptly pulled through by some force or another, and he found that he really wanted to curse someone out.
The last thing he heard was the Skype notification noise.
For one seventeen year old Roy D. Butler, his day was going fairly normally. He'd woken up, ate breakfast, gone to school, gotten through most classes without a problem (Though history was always a bit difficult since the way it was taught bored him to no end, and as a result he couldn't focus very well), finished up his homework at home, then decided to go for a walk around the block and listen to music in an attempt to think up ideas for his past-time as a FanFiction writer.
Roy had slightly pale Caucasian skin, since he didn't usually go outside, light blue eyes, and brown hair that reached just past his ears. Currently, he was wearing slightly worn down black shoes, dark blue jeans that were starting to gain a few holes in the knee areas, a plain grey T-shirt, as well as a black leather jacket that had a inner layer with a hood attached in order to keep him warm whenever a particularly cool breeze of wind brushed over him.
While walking, he was also occasionally checking his Skype, and having a slow-going conversation with his friend PJ. Switching to a new song, he thought of how it could fit into a story or two of his, and how he could possibly write a scene in such a way where his readers could enjoy the song while reading the action. He knew it would never be the same as an OST playing during an animated scene, but he liked to try his best.
Unfortunately for him, these plans would be put on the backburner for an undisclosed amount of time, due to the green glow that he saw in front of him after looking up from his phone. And after a couple seconds of looking at what was causing this glow, his shoulders slumped as he gave a sigh of resignation. After all, how could he not recognize the portal from the second episode of the very first anime he'd watched?
No chance of getting out of this either. I've seen how that went in plenty stories. This thing will probably just chase me till I fall into it at some point. He laments to himself, resigned to the hand that fate had apparently dealt him at this time. ...Doesn't mean I'll be a masochistic bitch like Saito though. He admits to himself as he opens up the internet on his phone, and starts a google search, the portal floating lazily in front of him, almost like it knew he had no intention of ignoring it for long.
Finding what he was looking for, he took a screenshot, before going back to his skype conversation, and typing a quick message to his friend, before sending the photo he just took as well. Shutting off his music and the screen, and placing his earbuds and phone into his pockets, Roy gave another sigh. "Welp, let's get this over with." He mutters out loud, before walking forwards and stepping into the portal, thinking about the last message he'd just sent to his friend.
See you in a year or so as long as I don't die. Turns out I'm taking this guy's place for a while. -_-
(Picture of Saito Hiraga)
Back in the Present:
Lying on the ground, Roy let out a groan as pain spread throughout his entire body. "...Was kinda hoping since I'm not Saito, I wouldn't have to take the skydive… Wishful thinking I guess." He mutters to himself, placing one hand on his head in an attempt to dull the pain, while his other attempted to help push himself up onto his knees.
Philip, on the other hand, took one look around at his surroundings and…
"SON OF A -" BEEP "-CHEWING F-" BEEP "-MONSTER! WHY THE F-" BEEP "-DOES ALL THIS F-" BEEP "-S-" BEEP "-HAPPEN TO ME!? F-" BEEP "-MY LIFE! ALWAYS SURROUNDED BY MISERABLE F-" BEEP "-ING CLODS! LIKE THIS WHOLE WORLD, JUST LIKES TO BEND ME OVER, AND F-" BEEP "-ME IN THE A-" BEEP "-S! LIKE I'M SOME SORT OF SH-" BEEP "-RECEPTACLE! WELL AS FAR AS I CARE, THESE MISERABLE C-" BEEP "-CAN HAVE A F-" BEEP "-BARBEQUE, WITH A GOD DAMN PIG!"
His tirade was brought to an end as Roy finally managed off the alarm that had suddenly gone off on his phone. One that he had originally set to go off at the time he should return to his house to actually work on his stories… It was kind of useless now though.
Having finally aired his frustrations to a crowd who couldn't understand a word he was saying (going by the pitch and the fact that they thought him a commoner, though, most assumed his language to be of the colourful variety), Philip took an actual look around to take in his situation. Seeing the magical students around him, plus the castle, he could think of only one thing to say, and it came straight out of his mouth with no inhibitions whatsoever. "Oh, look, it's shit Hogwarts."
Roy, hearing this, gave an automatic response without truly thinking about the fact that he was hearing a familiar voice, or that said voice had just aired his anger and frustrations in the form of a reference he recognized. "Correction, it's discount anime Hogwarts." He stated casually. It took a few seconds afterwards, but when he actually realized who he heard, his eyes widened in shock and he turned in the direction the voice had come from to see his friend, who he'd only ever seen on his laptop's screen before now. "...Phil?"
Philip turned his head in the direction of Roy's familiar voice. He blinked a few times. "...Roy?" He asked.
"...So, what color was your portal?" Roy asks in a slight daze, his mind still trying to catch up with what was happening, so he asked a slightly random question that only partially had to do with what was currently happening.
"Red." Philip responded. "Thought I was still seeing it when I landed, 'cause everything was red. Turned out, that was just my unyielding rage at the kidnapping."
Having listened to Phil's explanation, Roy managed to sort out his rampid thoughts after a few seconds, and promptly gave his friend a deadpan look as the two of them ignored the discussions taking place between Louise, the redhead beside her, and the bald adult a few meters away. "You touched it, didn't you?" He asks in a monotone voice.
"...I tried to stick my head through to see what was on the other side." He said with great hesitation and embarrassment.
In response to Phil's answer, Roy gave the only response he could… He facepalmed at his friend's stupidity. "Dumbass." He mutters from beneath his hand.
"Well, fuck you, too, Mr. Definitely-Just-Walked-Into-It."
"...Counter Point. I knew what was going to happen. I also knew that escaping it was impossible. Therefore, I am exempt from that, because I didn't go sticking my head into a random portal, that I knew nothing about." Roy states with yet another deadpan expression on his face.
"So, what you're telling me, is that you decided to give in and be fate's bitch rather than at least trying to do things your way?" Philip paused. "Might've been a bit of a mean way to put it, but the point still stands. I've always planned on going out the way I came in: Kicking, screaming, and covered in someone else's blood."
"...Mean way to put it, yes. But also fair from your point of view. On the other hand, I accepted the situation fate handed me… Doesn't mean for a fucking second I'm gonna go the same route Saito did." Roy states with a shrug.
"Well, thank the gods for that."
Their attention was then drawn by the sounds of bickering, though it was not an argument either of them could understand. They recognised the language as French, but since neither of them could speak it, besides the very obvious bonjour and merci, what was actually being said remained a mystery. Though considering the argument was between two girls who they recognized, and they knew the situation they were in, they could make a partial guess.
The one they recognised as Louise was a rather petite girl, one they knew to refer to as a loli (though definitely not to her face), with hair and eyes that were both pink. She, like the other students, was wearing her school uniform, which consisted of a white button-up skirt with the school's emblem on the collar, a short black skirt, and a long black cape. She also wore a pair of long black stockings that reached her thighs and a pair of black shoes. She was glaring at the other girl, known by Roy and Philip to be Kirche, and kept passing glances at Roy that were both aggressive and disappointed.
...Definitely need to work on that first. I refuse to be a slave, whether she realizes that's how she'd be treating me or not. Roy thinks to himself, recognizing the look she was giving him as one that she constantly gave Saito near the beginning of the series.
Kirche was also easily recognisable. Her skin was tanned quite dark, and her hair was vividly red. Her eyes were brown. She wore the uniform like everyone else, though the school emblem didn't look like it was on the collar like it did on the others due to… Difficulties her admirable body caused in buttoning up her shirt all the way. The way she looked at Louise had a very visible air of superiority about it. But whenever she looked at Philip, that grin seemed to carry whole other meanings.
...Could've been worse. Philip decided, though not without an extreme amount of nervousness. People he was comfortable with, he could handle with confidence as well as snark (mostly snark), but people he'd never met… As beautiful as she was, he knew this was going to take a while. Hell, her beauty was going to make it worse. This girl was so out of his league it was like looking at two different species.
"...So basically, what I'm taking from this is that my first kiss is gonna be with Megumin 1.0, Tsundere-Model… Joy." Roy comments with a roll of his eyes, not bothering to lower his voice since he knew no-one but Phil could understand him.
Philip took another glance at Kirche, then looked back at Roy. "I think I'm okay with this." He said.
In response to Phil's comment, Roy could only give him a deadpan look, before blinking as he finally realized something about their situation that he should've realized the second he looked around. "Hey, wait a second… You're anime…" He comments, before looking down at his hands. "I'm anime…" He continues in shock. After a few seconds of silence, noting that Phil was also finally noticing the change in their appearance, Roy realized something about this situation. "...We're anime." He repeats.
"Uh, yeah? I heard you the first time. You don't-" Unfortunately, Phil was cut off seconds later as Roy promptly gripped his throat and proceeded to strangle him without a hint of regret.
"Meaning I can choke you till you're blue for that comment and not worry about you dying!" He exclaims to his friend as he both squeezes Phil's throat, and shakes him like a ragdoll in response to Phil's snark at their differing situations.
Philip, for his part, couldn't help but be reminded of Homer choking Bart in The Simpsons. He sincerely hoped this wouldn't be as long a running gag as it was in that show.
Roy's strangling of Philip stopped only when he noticed something about their onlookers. "...Phil, am I the only one seeing the question marks above their heads?"
"...I honestly thought that was a hallucination from lack of air." Philip responded.
After a few more seconds, during which Roy released Phil so he could breathe normally again, the two see Louise and Kirche making their way over to them. The looks on the two girl's faces couldn't be anymore different, and both boys realized this. Whereas Louise now had a look of aggravation, slight depression, and acceptance, Kirche on the other hand had a wide grin on her face that made Philip swallow in nervousness. He got the feeling he was about to look something like a steam train.
"...Now I don't know whether I should envy you… Or be glad that I won't be at risk of having broken hips within the next couple days." Roy states with a raised eyebrow, looking out of the corner of his eyes at Phillip as the two in front of them start to chant, the only thing the two boys able to recognize out of their speeches being the girl's respective names.
"Enjoy the hay, Roy." Philip said in a level voice. "I'm sure you'll find it comfortable."
"...Eh, I'll stay up till two writing down random notes or something on my phone. I'll be tired enough it'll be comfortable to me by then. I can do this the next couple days till I run out of battery power, but by then I should have talked her into giving me something resembling a mattress or something." Roy responds with a shrug and the smallest hints of a smirk.
"I hope it has bugs. Bugs."
"I slept in the basement before I ended up here. Bug's won't be anything new to me."
"...I really fucking hate you sometimes."
"Eh, this is only one of the few times I can out-snark you. You still hold the crown."
"Baby, you know it."
"...Never say that to me again." Roy said to Phil with narrowed eyes. He may have recognized the reference to Cell from DBZA… But the situation was totally different. Only a few seconds later, the boy's attention was brought back to the two girls in front of them, who had finally finished their chants.
For Roy, he watched as Louise knelt on the ground, a frown still present on her face as their faces got closer together, the pinkette closing her eyes when she was inches away, Roy deciding to stay still and let her continue, since he figured closing the distance himself and finishing the ritual would not be appreciated by the Tsundere-Loli in front of him. Seeing as this was his first kiss, he wasn't really sure if it was considered "good" or "bad" when Louise's lips eventually met his own. Though he supposed the best description, based on what he's read in the past, would be that it was "chaste".
Philip, for his part, looked at the approaching Kirche with equal parts excitement and terror. Just keep calm. He told himself. This is gonna feel really good. Great, even. Just don't panic, don't you panic, DON'T YOU DARE FUCKING PANIC! He couldn't help it. He was panicking. Holy shit, I'm about to be snogged by a sexy redhead… Ha! Take that, little brother! I didn't have to pay for it! But holy shit, what if she doesn't like it? What if I fuck up? What if- His excitement and his anxiety stopped duelling when Kirche pressed her lips against his, and for a brief moment, he felt like his face was being eaten off. He'd never had someone else's tongue in his mouth before. By the time she separated, his prediction had come true. Red filled Philip up like liquid, he felt hot in a way that had nothing to do with being kissed by a fire witch, and steam was pouring out of his ears and into the air. The only thing missing was-
"...Well if choking you out earlier didn't prove it, your beat red skin, swirling eyes, constant steam from your ears and that sound sure did. Anime Laws are a thing here." Roy states with a raised eyebrow and smirk.
"Error. Error. Error." Philip said over and over. "Philip has failed to open. Reboot required."
In response to Philip's mental breakdown, Roy could only laugh in amusement… Unfortunately, said laughter was promptly cut off only seconds later when he felt himself start to get a bit warm. "...Ahhh, fuck." He states. "This… Is gonna hurt like a bitch." He continues as the heat rises. At first, it only felt like he was lying under heavy covers in bed while the heat was on in his room. However as the seconds passed, the heat got worse. Changing to feel like he was standing in front of an active oven, then like he was inside the oven, until the only thing he could think to compare the heat to would be standing inside the middle of a burning building, in which the flames were so hot they were borderline white in color.
However, that wasn't the end of it. Then came the slight prickling on the back of his left hand. At first the kind of tingling you'd feel if you sat on your hand long enough and it fell asleep, then the feeling raised so that it almost felt like he was being poked by needles, then it started to become pain, like he was being stabbed by said needles, until finally the back of his hand started to glow as the pain raised to a level he felt like his hand was being stabbed in a pattern by multiple thin swords at a constant rate.
"GAAAAAHHHH! I TAKE BACK EVER THINKING AT ANY POINT THAT SAITO WAS WEAK DURING THIS PART! IT'S SO MUCH WORSE THAN I THOUGHT!" Roy exclaimed through the pain he was feeling. He almost wanted to pass out, but unfortunately, he couldn't. He wished he could just slip away into the cool, blissful darkness of unconsciousness, but the pain was just too bad.
The agony invaded all his senses, made it so that it was the only thing he could focus on, and as a result, kept him from letting go of it. Roy knew that it only lasted a few seconds, but those seconds felt like hours to him from the pain he was going through. When it finally faded, he fell onto his back in the grass, his vision unfocused, and his hand twitching every few seconds. The remnants of pain occasionally making themselves known.
Philip wasn't fairing much better. The sudden heating up had snapped him out of his brain's impersonation of a crashing computer and straight into gritting his teeth. Now his brain was doing an impression of a man stuck in a house fire, and he certainly wouldn't argue against the accuracy of the comparison. When it became apparent that the heat was only getting worse, he actually put a hand in his mouth to bite down on, drawing blood after a few seconds. This… This felt like what he suspected falling into one of the fires his family sometimes started on their balcony (in relative safety and with the proper equipment, naturally). Being near those fires could get unbearable at times, but now he felt like he was in one. Making it even worse was the way the heat actually seemed to be pushing out of him at the back of his right shoulder. He felt as though the skin were cracking open, though in the back of his mind, his logical side told him that's not how heat works. Everyone took a step back in shock when the part of his shirt that covered his right shoulder suddenly went up in actual flames.
He tried not to cry out, which was relatively easy given that he currently had his left hand clutched in his teeth, but an incredibly pained growl ripped its way out of his throat. He was incredibly, horribly aware of the fact that there was fire originating from his body. His blood felt like it was literally boiling in his veins. It probably was. Glancing down, he could even see little bubbles appearing and popping in the blood being drawn from the hand he was biting. His teeth burned on it. At that moment, Philip Butler was an erupting volcano that could only damage itself.
And then, as suddenly as it began, it was all over. His heart stopped pumping fire through his veins and went back to pumping blood. The sudden drop in temperature had much the same effect, only opposite, and the sudden cooling felt freezing for just how rapid it was. Philip fell forward so that he was lying facedown on the ground, not passing out but still losing balance, breathing heavily.
The two lay on the ground in pain beside each other, one staring up at a sky they couldn't clearly see, and the other hardly able to see anything but the dirt and grass beneath them, but both equally unable to do much more than breathe in the air around them. Meanwhile, the crowd around them was still in shock, considering these kinds of reactions to the runes being engraved hadn't happened to any of their familiars. It was always done painlessly, with the only reaction being a slight glow from the runes themselves wherever they appeared.
"...You know his shirt's still on fire." One random student in the crowd pointed out since no one really knew what to say in this situation, referring to Philip's shirt still burning around the area that his runes had been engraved. In response to the student's words, a bluenette in the crowd with glasses and a book in hand, waved the staff she held in her other hand, creating water out of thin air around her, and directed it to the burning fabric, putting out the fire, while also starting to ease any remaining pain that the teen was feeling at the time.
"Cheers." Philip mumbled half heartedly with his face still in the dirt.
"They can't understand you, Phil." Roy reminded him in naught but a slightly pain filled mumble of his own, equally as half heartedly as his friend.
"...That being said, I think I'm gonna take a nap… Wake me up when I'm not hurting anymore…" Roy mutters as his vision starts to darken.
"I'm sure Louise'll whip you out of the hay eventually…" Philip gave one last mutter before he, too, descended into the unconscious.
If it weren't for the throb of the burn on the back of his shoulder, Philip would have thought he had been having an incredibly vivid dream before waking up. The softness beneath him was most definitely a bed, much better in quality than his own from the feel of it, so it would have made sense to assume he'd just gone to sleep before. As it stood, however, he was laying on his front, something which he never did because he found it uncomfortable, but his shoulder felt like someone had just taken a red-hot poker to it.
Why couldn't I just have been de-aged and sent to Hogwarts? He asked in his misery-stained mind. Yeah, I'd have to work all the way through puberty again, but it would still be less painful than this shit.
Deciding that moping was very unbecoming of a pride-filled… Pride-containing… Someone with an ounce of pride… Fuck it, just a guy who didn't want to look like a wimp, he decided to get up. His shoulder was really fighting against this decision, but he showed it its place by sitting up and letting his feet touch the floor. A small victory, but he would take what he could get.
He heard some French being spoken to him by a voice he vaguely recognised, turned his head to the side, and saw Kirche smiling at him, though there was some concern in there, too, which was both nice and surprising to see. Though, he supposed, seeing someone spontaneously combust was probably a cause for concern no matter what universe you were in. Still, when compared to what he remembered of this anime, it came as a pleasant surprise.
"I suppose it's pointless to say this." He began. "But fuck it, I'm going to anyway. Hello, my name is Philip, and I can't understand a bloody word that's coming out of your mouth." He already knew that talking was much easier than it would be when they could finally understand each other… He had never felt more nervous about being able to understand someone than not being able to understand them, but there's a first time for everything.
Okay, let's see if I can do it like this. He thought to himself. He pointed a finger at his own chest. "I." He shook his head. "Can't." He held one arm out and slipped his other arm under it. "Under." He stood up. "Stand." He pointed at her. "You."
He felt like a complete fucking idiot.
But, to his immense surprise, she actually seemed to get the point. She took a short stick that Philip recognised as a wand out and, pointing it at his mouth, something which made him slightly nervous, said even more words that he didn't have a hope in hell of understanding for the time being. There was a bit of a light show in front of him which made him very glad he wasn't epileptic, and then Kirche put her wand away.
"Any better?" She asked.
It was. "Um…" Unfortunately, now that she could understand him, what little confidence he had went on an indefinitely long holiday. "Hi?" He said weakly.
She smirked. "Hi." She said back.
"I, uh…" Philip coughed awkwardly into his hand. "My name is Philip Butler, but most people call me PJ. I'm gonna be honest here… I don't know what the hell is going on."
That was a lie, just in case it wasn't already evident. But it wasn't like he could just start saying "I know exactly what's going on, who you are, and where this is" even if he had the confidence to get out a sentence that long. Even in a place where magic was real, there were certain things that would just universally draw scepticism.
"Well, Philip." Kirche let that last p pop in her mouth. At the very least she seemed to be enjoying this. "My name is Kirche Augusta Frederica von Anhalt-Zerbst, and I summoned you during the Familiar summoning ritual, which makes you my familiar. As my familiar, your main job is to protect me, mostly from monsters, but also from… Let's say unsavoury individuals."
Philip was already shitting bricks. He wouldn't say he was completely out of shape, but he still wasn't the most physically fit guy in the world. Frankly, he was surprised she wasn't laughing even as she said all this. It wasn't like he was morbidly obese. Quite the opposite, in fact, he was rather skinny despite being a big eater. But he had no muscle because the only exercise he got was in PE at school, and he'd never been enthusiastic about that particular lesson.
"But the general gist is that you help me with whatever I need." She continued. "I need food? You bring food. I need my laundry done? You wash my stuff. You get the idea. But it's not like I'm going to make you do all this without a break, or whip you or anything… Though the whipping could be fun." The grin sent shivers down Philip's spine. "I guess another way to put it would be to say you're my magical assistant." Her expression softened a little. "How's the shoulder?"
Philip felt momentarily relieved again. She was showing genuine concern. He reached up instinctively to touch his wound, but withdrew his hand when he felt it sting to touch. "Hurts like an absolute bastard." He admitted. Then he doubled back on himself. "Pardon my French. Uh, no offence. Oh, God, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude…"
She waved a hand in a "hey, don't even worry about it" gesture. Then she approached him and got close enough that he became sure he was going to have to point to somewhere on a doll really soon. She looked at him scrutinisingly for a second, then spoke. "You're not half bad." She decided. "Yeah, I think I can work with this." She grinned at his blatant discomfort. "I kinda like the idea of having my own personal shy boy around."
Wait until we've known each other long enough. Philip thought. I'm sure the sarcasm will kill that image very quickly. ...Though for literally every other aspect of life, yes, she probably has a point.
He wondered where he'd been going with that and decided he didn't know.
Still, she seemed nice… In a sort of "your chastity won't last the week" sort of way. Which he could certainly accept, just not without an abundance of anxiety, shyness, and nerves, all of which basically amounted to the same thing but he couldn't stop thinking about it. "Th-Thanks, I guess…" He muttered. "I… I'll try not to let you down."
"Good, good." She ran her fingertips over his arm. "Now, rest. You were passed out for a while, but you still need sleep. I won't have my familiar dragging himself around like a sloth. I won't let Louise walk around thinking she got the better familiar. Best stay off your back, though, that still needs some time to… Well, to not 'hurt like an absolute bastard,' as you so elegantly put it."
Philip found himself laughing even as he was pushed back down onto the bed. He would have been disappointed that these weren't other circumstances if it wasn't for the constant pain on his shoulder. Then he thought of a question he probably should have asked before. "What's there? What got burned onto my shoulder?"
"It says 'pyro'." Kirche told him. She made a point to say it directly into his ear, so that her warm breath tickled him. "Now, sleep tight."
Great. Philip thought as he felt exhaustion he was unaware of take hold of him. A burnt shoulder and blue balls. Here's hoping Roy's having a harder time than I am. He glanced down briefly. Oh, not harder like that, brain, you dirty bastard. Then he slept.
As Philip was falling into a much more peaceful sleep, Roy was finally waking from his own pain-induced loss of consciousness. Unfortunately for him, unlike Phil, he did not wake up in a soft bed. Although he'd pretty much been expecting this considering who his own master was in comparison to who Phil got. ...Still unsure on whether to feel envy or pity for the bastard… He thinks to himself as he pushes himself up out of the pile of hay he was lying in, hissing in slight pain at the sting he felt in his left hand at the action. Guess the pain isn't gone completely yet… He muses to himself, shaking the hand in an attempt to somehow alleviate the pain as he looks around the room he's now in.
In all honesty, it was pretty much what he remembered from the anime, despite the fact that it had been years since he last saw it. Although he remembered the existence of a bed, table, and wardrobe, he'd forgotten that there was also a desk with a mirror attached to it beside said wardrobe. Other than that, there really wasn't anything else in the room beside the lit lamp on the table, and the bed of hay he was currently sleeping in… Oh, and the annoyed looking pinkette Tsundere-Loli standing about a meter away.
"...Yo." Roy states with a wave to the pinkette, knowing full-well that she can't understand him, but figured that at least saying "hi" would be better than how Saito first reacted in his situation… Then again, Saito's reaction was probably the reaction that any sane individual who didn't know what was happening to them would have. Although the fact that she responded in what he knew, or rather assumed, to be this word's version of French, he had no idea what her response to his greeting was. After a few seconds, he simply shook his head, and pointed to her, then his ear, and shrugged.
There was probably a better way to get across "I can't understand you", but at the moment, this is the best I can think of. He thinks to himself, thinking that maybe he'll get lucky and this Louise will know how to do a spell that'll translate their languages for each other. For one, he'd rather not have his face blown up so that he could understand her, but at the same time, he'd really like to not need to learn a completely new language... Watching Louise take out her wand, he thought that maybe he did get lucky, as she seemed to say a chant, and point at him… Then the air in front of his face exploded and launched his back into the side of her bed.
A gasp of air and spit escaped his mouth at the sudden impact, and he doubled over coughing in response. He could hear Louise complaining in the background, most likely about failing the spell, but he knew better, and decided to tell her such… Or at least, that's what he had planned. Because it took him a few seconds to realize that when trying to get her attention and say something… Nothing escaped his mouth instead. Blinking a few times, he tried to say something else… But instead, remained silent.
...Oh you've got to be FUCKING WITH ME! She tried to do the Translation Spell, and instead cast the fucking SILENCING SPELL on me! ...I really should have seen this coming since the opposite happened in canon… He laments to himself as the smoke starts to clear to show Loise standing there looking depressed at her apparent failure… Which, compared to what he knew would have originally happened, was actually worse than she probably realized… Or rather, it's worse than what he was expecting, considering Canon-Louise originally wanted Saito to be quiet, for all he knew, if he didn't find a reason for her to cast the "Silencing Spell", he'd be a mute for the rest of his life…
Okay… Think. How to get across that I need to speak… He wonders to himself, noticing that Louise still appears to be depressed at her failure. ...Guess since she's not in front of anyone, she doesn't have to put up a front of indifference to her failures… He realizes. Did he think Canon-Louise was a bitch? ...Absolutely. But let's just say after some thinking he realized something about her actions… Though the realization he had didn't make them anymore acceptable ...For now, I should probably bring the fact that I can't talk to her attention though… He thinks, knocking on the floor in an attempt to make Louise look over at him.
The pinkette did so a few seconds later, and in response, Roy promptly pointed at his throat as he opened his mouth, attempting to talk. His mouth clearly moved, but no sound came out. Not even the sound of air exhaling from his lungs. In response, Roy pointed at her, his ears, then his mouth, and shook his head, hoping to convey he still couldn't understand her, and now couldn't talk either. Unfortunately, this only seemed to make Louise feel worse about her failure as her arms slumped. In response, Roy frowned, trying to think of someway to get her to use the "Silencing Spell" in order to make things better on the both of them.
As a result, the next few minutes were spent with silence from both parties. Louise, because she was focused on the fact that she'd failed yet another spell, and one that should've been simpler than any spell involving the elements, while Roy was silent as he tried to think of ways to get to the point they could understand each other. I don't know French, I don't know written French, and there's no way in hell Louise knows English in any form either, considering how this world is structured… So how the hell do I get around this…? He thinks, now leaning against the side of Louise's bed in an effort to fix the problem they were both facing.
As he sat there, he started to tap on the floor with his foot, something of a tick of his whenever he was bored. As he did this, Louise turned to look at him in slight confusion, before after another minute that confusion turned to annoyance and she said something to him that he couldn't understand. Raising an eyebrow, he realized she was most likely telling him to stop that and be quiet. ...Be quiet… He thinks, his eyes widening in realization, before flinching. I try to get off to a good start, and instead that leads to what's probably gonna be a worse start than what Saito had. He thinks, mentally sighing to himself in resignation.
After a few seconds of contemplation, he starts to tap his foot again, though this time it was to a constant beat, tapping on the floor with his knuckles as well to join the noise. As a result, Louise yelled a bit louder at him, the annoyance on her face changing to anger as he continued. He ignored her now, continuing his impromptu drumming. Though it was brought to an end a few seconds later when the air in front of him blew up for a second time that night, and he was launched over her mattress to the other side of her bed as a result.
"Owww…." Roy groaned in pain as he laid on his back, before realizing he'd groaned in pain in the first place. "Well, guess that worked." He mutters to himself, wondering if the pain was actually worth it. ...Probably He mentally admits to himself as he pushes himself up off the ground, leaning his arms on the mattress of her bed since he wasn't sure he could stand without the possibility of falling on uneven legs, and looks through the dissipating smoke cloud at the pinkette standing a few meters away from him. "...Do you go blowing up anyone who annoys you? Or is this just for me?" He asks her with a raised eyebrow, figuring it probably wasn't the best idea to outright say "Plan a success, now we can speak." Cause that would lead to all kinds of questions that he did not want to try and answer.
When he asked this, a look that was a mixture of embarrassment and anger appeared on her face. One that was actually pretty normal for Louise whenever she had to deal with Saito in the anime. Although that look disappeared a few seconds later and was replaced by shock. "When you spoke I understood!" She exclaims in shock, getting a raised eyebrow from Roy.
"...Not that I'm upset at being able to understand you now, but really? "When you spoke I understood?"... Who even says it like that anymore?" He asks, figuring that it'd probably be better to get across that their way of speaking is different than what he was used to. Though he flinched a second later when he realized that probably wasn't the best way to get that across. Luckily for him, it seemed that fate was being much kinder to him now that he was on the other side of the portal, since instead of likely whipping out the riding crop he knew she owned, she instead sagged and seemed to ignore his previous comment.
"I can't believe this, first I fail at a spell of translation, now I try to cast the spell of silence and instead cast the first one I wanted… That's another two fails…" She mutters to herself, depression clear in her voice. However, now that they could understand each other, she's quick to discard that depression. Or rather, it would be better to say she hid it and drew herself up straight, acting like the noble she was brought up to be. "You, what's your name?" She asks him as he stands up fully and starts to walk around her bed.
"The name's Roy. Roy Butler… Sooo… Where am I, exactly? And how did I get here?" He asked, despite the fact that, much like Phil, he already knew where he was.
"You are in the Kingdom of Tristain, on the continent of Harkegenia. My name, is Louise Françoise Leblanc de la Vallière, and I summoned you when I performed my summoning ritual earlier today. You are my Familiar." She tells him. In response, Roy is silent in response to her explanation, before his shoulders sag.
"I didn't recognize any of those names, as for summoning…" He pauses, looking around the room as he tries to think of someway to plausibly explain being completely… Well, maybe not completely fine with it happening, but at least "agreeable" seeing as he went with it knowing it was inevitable. Though at the same time, he had to be kinda skeptical… Or did he? "...Well, considering you can cause explosions out of thin air, silence me like you have a mute button that works on people, and then made us understand each other despite the clear language barrier, I suppose that summoning someone from somewhere else isn't really out of the question, now is it?" He says with a sigh.
Thinking about it for a few seconds, he shrugs before pulling his phone out of his pocket, and unlocking it in order to use it. However, he stopped when Louise spoke up, confusion clear in her voice. "Familiar, what is that?" She asks, question marks appearing and disappearing over her head as she looks at the phone in his grasp.
"First off, my name's Roy. You asked me earlier and I told you. Please don't treat me like a dog or something. As for this? It's a smartphone… Though, based on the fact that you can use magic, I'm guessing technology hasn't advanced very far in this world… Because there's no way I'm on my own world anymore based on the fact that magic is used so obviously here." He says with a roll of his eyes. "Anyways, considering I'm your "Familiar", I take it that means that I'd do the same things that a… Butler, would do… Heh." He chuckles a bit at the irony, before shaking his head. "Anyways, I was gonna use this to take down some notes after I asked you what was actually expected of me. Don't wanna go forgetting now, do I?" He asks.
The fact that if you get annoyed, you'll promptly create an explosion in my face is a big reason that I'm not arguing anything… That, and the fact that despite hiding it, there is one thing that Louise needs more than being good at magic… Roy thinks to himself, glancing down at his phone to open the notes app. After doing so, he decided to check on his battery life, and see how long his phone might last him in this new world. The sight that greeted him made him pause while his eyes widened, and his jaw dropped.
No fucking way… He thinks to himself, Louise still standing a few meters away, a confused look remaining on her face seeing as what he said didn't really explain anything to her, although he was less worried about that right now, and more focused on the info shown at the top of his iPhone. ...The time is matched with this world from what I can tell, I somehow have full Wi-Fi, and my battery isn't showing a percentage, but an infinity symbol instead… What the fuck happened to my phone…? He wonders to himself, before he fully realizes what he's seeing and what it means, and his face breaks out into a grin. One that if Phil saw it, would probably have him searching for the nearest thing in this world that could act as a nuclear shelter...
Key: PJ, Boblinator
Well guys, that's a wrap for this chapter. In all honesty, it's been a while since we've done a collab story, and even then, we've only done one before this… Which still only has one chapter… Yeah, we'll return to that at some point! ...We just kinda wanna get some practice in with merging our writing.
Which is how this little bundle of insanity and humour came to be!
Full disclosure, this is very much a "Practice Story" for us merging our writing styles, finding one that fits for collab stories, and trying our best to work on the difference between writing when it comes to American and English writing "rules".
For example, doing a "he said" with a capital H at the beginning and a full stop (period for you Americans in the audience!) instead of a comma still kinda drives me batty. But I'm getting there. It's like self-harming my brain, but I'm getting there.
That being said, we're going to try much harder when it comes to staying focused on this story, unlike our AOBS story. With some plans we have in the works, we kinda need to stay focused on this story…
Don't bother asking. We are saying nothing until they're released. So give it until 2030 or so.
...Yeah, sounds about right. Especially when it comes to our BIG project… But anyways, we hope we wrote this in such a way that the reactions to these situations are believable. In truth, this is kind of a Self-Insert… Just, you know, the characters are de-aged, and a bit different.
Put more simply, they're more like fictionalised versions of us, rather than actually being us.
Exactly. That being said, time to go over it one last time before posting this. In case you can't tell, this first "Practice Story" is only being posted on my account. This is sorta going to be normal. If / when we do Collabs in the future, they'll likely be posted to one account and not the other, whether that's mine, or Anime PJ's. So, that being said, make sure you Favorite and Follow him to see if one gets posted on his profile that isn't put on mine!
Yes, yes! Send me worshippers! I require sacrifices!
But in all seriousness, we hope you've enjoyed this first chapter, as well as the ones to come in the, hopefully near, future. See you in the next one