Disclaimer - I do not own Shakugan no Shana or A Certain Magical Index.
Not including the first and second volumes of Index, I have not read any of the light novels of either series (part of the reason is because I can't find SnS novel translations anywhere), so this will be based on their anime adaptations.
On a late, dark night, a lone girl could just barely be spotted walking down the streets of a city. The girl had jet black hair which blended in with the darkness of the city. Looking around at her surroundings, the girl noted the city had probably been going through a power outage. She wore a black shirt and black pants underneath her trench coat, which, as you might have expected, was also black.
Appearance-wise, the girl looked to have been no older than eleven. Her pale skin looked smooth as silk and her cheeks were like marshmallows. Strapped around the girl's neck was an oddly-designed pendant. It looked as if there was a fire burning on the inside of the pendant.
Suddenly, the girl's movements abruptly came to an end, her feet planted to the ground. She shut her eyes, taking in a deep breath of the cold air of the night.
The surrounding area around the girl was abruptly painted a deep, crimson red. Anything and everything around the girl that had even the slightest movement stopped in its tracks. From the slight rustling of the leaves on trees to the overabundant amount of wind turbines spinning in the city, everything stopped moving. In a similar fashion, the girl's hair changed from it's usual black to a burning, bright red that illuminated through the dark of night.
"You're there, aren't you?" The red-haired girl spoke. "No need to hide. I can feel your presence."
Stepping out from the shadows was a man with hair and pupils a light blue floating in the air. The man appeared to be in his mid to late twenties, and he stood at 6'1". He was dressed in white. His coat, pants, and collar shirt were all a pure white. The only piece of clothing the man wore that wasn't white was a tie the colour of his hair. Floating around the man was a long white robe.
"I see, so it is you who has arrived in this city, Flame-Haired Burning-Eyed Hunter.'" The man said with a calm demeanour. "Unfortunately, I cannot have you here to put a hole in my plans, so I must ask you to flee, or I will have to take care of you right here."
"We'll see if you can, 'Hunter' Friagne."
The girls with the alias "Flame-Haired Burning-Eyed Hunter' pulled a nodachi out from the infinite space that was her trench coat. As both her hands wrapped around the sword, flames began spewing out of the weapon in every direction. On the other hand, the man who was named Friagne rang a bell he'd had in his hands. With the ringing of the bell came several balls of energy floating around the man.
The girl with hair like fire dashed towards her opponent. She jumped up towards the man in the air, pulling her sword back in the process. Once she had been close enough to get a hit in, she swung her sword down at the man. But Friagne swiftly sidestepped out of harm's way. As the girl descended down to the ground, the ringing of Friagne's bell could be heard. One of the balls of light went flying towards the girl with bright red hair. Luckily the Flame-Haired Burning-Eyed Hunter regained her footing before the ball could get too close. Once it had gotten close to her, she simply sliced it in two. The two sliced sides of the ball of energy's trajectory changed, keeping the girl out of harm.
Ding. The bell rang once again. This time, several of the balls of light rushed towards the girl. She sliced one orb after another. However, as the quantity of them increased, the harder and harder it got for the girl to keep up with all the orbs of light coming her way. Eventually, one of the balls struck her right in the back, causing her to fall on her face. She quickly got back up, tightly clenching on her nodachi, looking up at the enemy in front of her.
"Hm, not bad." The man smirked. "But, let's see how you handle this."
Rather than attacking with the balls of light this time, Friagne pulled a deck of cards from out of his sleeve. The cards suddenly went flying towards the girl with blazing hair. Using her sword, she cut several cards in two, causing them to flutter slowly down to the ground. She hadn't refrained from receiving some minor cuts, though.
Once the onslaught of cards had been over, the girl attempted at getting in a hit for herself. She once again jumped up in the air, appearing to attempt to simply slash her opponent. But instead, she threw her sword up in the air, hoping to divert Friagne's attention away from her as she threw in a punch. Her fist just barely managed to scratch up against the side of Friagne's cheek as he attempted to dodge.
But, just as Friagne thought he had dodged, he found that the girl had spun around and threw her foot into the middle of his back. Soon after, the girl landed safely on the ground. The girl's airborne sword began to fall right in front of her. She caught hold of its hilt just before it landed on the ground.
Friagne looked on at the girl with hate flowing in his eyes. He soon regained his composure and chuckled off his pain.
"It appears that you are not too bad, Tool of Destruction. However, it appears that we must put our battle to a pause for now. I don't have time to play games with you anymore."
Friagne took hold of the white robe floating around him. The robe started to grow compact around him before his body got engulfed in a light blue flame. Attempting to stop his escape, the girl ran at him once more, clenching her hands on her sword as hard as she could. However, once she was close enough to be able to slice him up with her sword, the flame around Friagne had already faded, and he had escaped.
"Tch, he got away." The girl clicked her tongue, her hair returning back to it's usual black and the crimson skies turning back to the black sky of the night.
July twentieth, the first full day of summer vacation for the students living in Academy City. As you'd probably be able to tell by its name, Academy City is a city composed of many schools and other centres for learning. Scientifically, it is thirty years ahead of the rest of the world, being the most advanced city in the entire world. The Esper abilities developed by this city are proof of that.
Esper abilities are ranked on a scale from one to five. With one being the weakest and five being the strongest. However, there was another class of Espers below level one; a ranking for those who have gone through the Power Curriculum Program, but have no signs of having a supernatural ability, or their ability just simply can't be directly measured. These Espers are called "Level Zeros."
And currently, a certain level zero esper called Touma Kamijou was currently on his way back home from his summer makeup classes.
He sighed as he walked down the sidewalk, his head drooping down towards the ground. Touma looked everything like what you would call an average high schooler, except for his distinguishing black, spiky hair that poked out in every direction. He had eyes of the same colour. His clothing consisted of a white button-up collar shirt with the first couple of buttons unbuttoned. Underneath was an orange T-shirt and he wore dark blue pants.
By the time the boy had gotten out of class, it had already been well past curfew. The sky was painted a bright orange.
"Damn… I really ended up staying this late?" Touma said with a sigh.
Unfortunately, Touma had already missed the last bus, so he'd have to return to his dorm room by foot.
"Ah, I found him! Hey, you there, you! I'm talking to you! Quit walking already!"
Turning around, Touma turned his attention towards the girl who had been calling out to him. The girl appeared to be around fourteen years of age. She had shoulder-length chestnut hair and had eyes the same color. In the side of the girl's head was a small hair clip. She wore a light brown vest over a white blouse, a grey skirt, white socks, and brown slip on shoes.
"Oh, it's the biribiri middle schooler." Touma said, his voice lacking any distinct enthusiasm.
"Don't call me biribiri! I have a name, you know. It's Misaka Mikoto!" The girl named Mikoto sighed. "You've been calling me biribiri ever since we first met, huh?"
"So, biribiri, you have remedial classes too?" Touma completely ignored what Mikoto had just said.
"Be quiet! Today's the day I reduce you to a twitching mass like a frog with an electrode in it's leg! So get your last words and affairs out while you still can, you hear?!" Mikoto pointed her index finger out towards Touma's chest.
"What was that?!"
Mikoto abruptly lifted her leg up towards the sky, only for her to soon bring it back down to the ground. Once her foot slammed against the ground, a sudden burst of electricity ran out in every direction. People's phones suddenly shut off, and the nearby police robots all slammed into each other as if there were a magnet all pulling them towards one another.
"Well, did that flip the switch in your thick head?"
"You can't be serious!" Touma jumped around in place angrily. "Because for all the lightning you decided to burst out yesterday, every single electrical appliance, not to mention every single thing I had in my fridge, have gone to waste!"
"It's your fault for pissing me off!" Mikoto insisted.
"I don't even know why you got so angry. I didn't even lay a single finger on you!"
"You're right. You haven't even hit me once, which makes this a draw!"
"Huh? Okay, fine. You're the winner."
The spiky-haired boy started walking off. He was done dealing with this Mikoto girl. He just wanted to go home. It was already well past curfew after all, and Touma just needed to unwind and relax after a long, stressful day.
However, without any warning, right as Mikoto was about to call out to the boy, the surrounding area around Touma was engulfed in a dark, crimson red color. Every single thing around the youth had frozen in place. The police robots patrolling the streets froze right where they stood, as did the people walking along on the sidewalk. Even Mikoto, who had previously been shouting right at the spiky-haired youth has stopped right where she stood.
"...What the hell's going on here?" Touma said as he began walking down the street, away from where he'd previously stood.
Suddenly, two peculiar-looking beings appeared from seemingly out of nowhere about ten or eleven meters in front of Touma. One of the two was a cluster of hundreds of heads which were all pale as the clouds. The other looked like a really chubby and gigantic baby with a creepy smile pasted on its face. Immediately, the spiky-haired boy hid behind a building so they wouldn't find him. Luckily, they didn't seem to have noticed him.
"Okay, preparations are complete!" The baby-like giant spoke without moving it's lips.
"There aren't as many as I thought but this should still be plenty." The cluster of heads began talking. Whichever head the voice came from was beyond Touma's knowledge. "Let's start eating."
"Let's eat, let's eat!" The giant baby cheered as if it were an actual baby.
Opening its mouth, the giant bared its teeth which were all sharp as nails. Suddenly, nearby people began to get engulfed in blue flames. The flames then lifted themselves up into the baby's mouth.
"Yum! So tasty, so tasty!" The baby cheered, it's mouth filled with flames.
"You must not talk while eating." The ball of heads spoke. "It's bad manners."
Touma could only look on with shock. In Academy City, seeing one with supernatural powers wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but this was just too wild for one to actually believe to be true. So many people who had just been going on about their daily lives were now being consumed by this monstrous being.
Although he hadn't had a clue as to what was going on otherwise, Touma couldn't accept that fact.
Without a moment's thought, Touma sprinted in and called out, "That's enough!"
Both of the monsters before him turned their attention his way.
"Huh? Who is this guy?" The baby once again spoke without moving it's lips.
"Who knows? He doesn't appear to be a Denizen." The clustered ball of faces spoke so calmly it was creepy.
"Then what could he be? It doesn't appear to be a Mystes, either, but he's moving around in the Fuzetsu."
"It truly is a mystery. Although, I think our master would be interested in seeing this one."
Denizen? Mystes? Touma couldn't wrap his head around what the two of them were going on about. Either way, he wasn't about to let them keep on doing what they were doing, so he made a sprint for them. These beings certainly did look like they weren't natural, so if he could touch them with his right hand then..!
Slash. Before Touma could even get remotely close to either of the two, he found that the arm of the giant-baby had been cleanly severed right off. The same blue flame that came from the people that had been eaten up poured out of the open end of the arm.
"M-MY ARM! MY ARM!" The giant baby roared viciously.
"Who did that—"
The cluster of heads soon found that a certain someone had delivered a clean kick to one of its many faces. As it crashed into the ground, a tiny crater formed.
Once the person who had damaged both monsters landed on the ground, Touma finally got a good look at her. The girl had hair nearly as long as she was tall. Her outfit consisted mostly of black, and her bright, crimson hair lit up the surrounding, crimson sky. She held a nodachi in her hand, giving Touma an understanding as to how the baby's arm had been sliced off.
"Well, Alastor?" The girl pointed her blade towards her enemies.
"Hm… they're not Denizens; just mere Rinne." The pendant around the girl's neck spoke.
"HOW DARE YOU SEVER MY ARM!" The baby roared out in anger, sounding exactly like an infant throwing a tantrum. "I'LL CRUSH YOU!"
As the baby threw it's arm that was still attached to its body, the crimson haired girl prepared to jump up and slice the being which was a Rinne, clenching extra hard on her nodachi. However, before she could, Touma bolted forwards in front of the girl as if to guard her, and stuck out his right hand to defend. As the Rinne's fist made contact with Touma's hand, it suddenly began to crumble like sand in water. Eventually, there was nothing left of the Rinne except for small particles of dust laid out bare on the ground.
"I-it worked!" Touma called out in relief as he fell down to his knees. "I wasn't sure if my Imagine Breaker could work on something like that…"
Despite being labeled a level zero, Touma Kamijou did indeed have a power of his own; the power to negate other powers. It was called: Imagine Breaker. This in and of itself is not an esper power however, hence him being ranked a level zero. Whatever this power came from or where it originated was a mystery.
Shana stared at the boy with a mean expression in her eyes that read, "I could have defeated that Rinne myself, idiot," before turning her attention away from the boy.
"Looks like that was only a shell." The girl spoke.
"It's real body must've escaped as soon as it could have." Once again, the pendant spoke, making Touma feel as if he were going crazy.
"It should still be close by." Shana said before turning around to look at Touma.
She stared at him with confusion in her eyes. To her, Touma didn't appear to be what she had called a "Mystes," but figured the reason he was able to move around in the Fuzetsu had something to do with that right hand of his. After all, it could kill a Rinne just by having it touch his hand. The crimson-haired girl suddenly held her sword up, preparing to swing.
What's more is that her blade was aimed right in the direction of Touma himself.
"W-Whoa, hold on! Sure, my right hand may be able to do that to whatever this thing you call a 'Rinne' is, but there's no guarantee it won't do the same with your sword!" Touma backed up, holding his hands out in front of his chest. "After all, that is definitely real steel! I can't negate something like that!"
Ignoring the boy's words, the girl brought her sword down upon him. Touma instinctively put out his right hand, despite knowing full well it would do nothing in a situation like this.
However, the one who had gotten sliced wasn't a Touma himself, it was a woman behind him. Her arm had been sliced off. It landed on the street right in front of where Touma had stood.
As the woman screamed, she jumped backwards, holding on to where her severed limb used to be. She had light orange hair and wore a purple dress.
The girl pointed her sword towards the woman, saying, "So you're that devoted to bringing this one to your master?"
"Flame-Haired and Burning-Eyed… you're the 'Flame Haze' of the 'Flame of the Heavens,' Alastor." The woman looked up at the Flame Haze. "You're nothing but a Tool of Destruction."
"Yeah, and? I'm just here to hear the screams of your master in his last moments. But, you'll do for now."
The girl lifted her sword up to the sky before swinging it down, nearly cutting the woman in a purple dress in two, leaving only a thread of skin left to keep the two sides of her body in one piece.
Suddenly, a tiny doll flew up from out of the woman's wound, diverting both Touma and the Flame Haze girl's attention towards it.
"So that's it's true form!" The girl spoke.
"Behind you!" The pendant called Alastor warned.
Suddenly, the clustered ball of faces flew towards the Flame Haze once again. But before the girl could slice it up, Touma once again threw himself towards the ball and put out his right hand. Like what happened with the baby, the ball disintegrated into nothing but mere ash.
As that happened, the doll looked down at the crimson-haired girl and spiky-haired boy before fading away in a blue flash of light.
"It got away." The girl spoke as she somehow stuffed her sword into the depths of her trench coat. "Anyways, time to fix this."
The Flame Haze girl lifted her hand up towards the sky. Soon, a bright light glowed from it, and any damage that had been sustained to the surrounding area in the battle had been restored, as did any of the people who had been devoured by the two monstrous beings.
Once the girl had finished repairing everything that had happened in the battle, time resumed. The police robots began moving once again, the people around Touma began to walk once again, and of course, he heard the angry shouting of the biribiri middle schooler, who was now much too far away for Touma to really make out what she had been saying.
Hello, everybody, I am Flame Haze Writer, or FHW for short, and this is the first chapter of The Imaginary Flames. So, how'd you like the story so far? I tried blending the worlds of Shakugan no Shana and A Certain Magical Index in a way that made the most sense to me. If there's anything in particular you liked or anything you think I could have done better, let me know in a review. Also, for those of you wondering why Touma's IB didn't cancel out the Fuzetsu, I decided I'd have him just be able to wander around inside the Fuzetsu rather than cancel it out, due to Touma's right hand cancelling out the effects of Angel Fall on himself, but not on everyone else around him. Anyways, that's it for now. See you!