Holy crap this one's been forever.
Still trying to debate whether or not to link my fics together, but either way, this one's ready to go!
"Hey, Negi." Kotaro called out, as he held on for dear life as the welsh wizard's staff carried them through the storm at speeds that would put a Firebolt to shame "Don't Y'think we should get some back up? I mean considering the way you were…"
"He said that if we went for help he'd hurt the girls!" Negi countered, not taking his eyes off the distant shape of the World Tree through the rain "Besides don't look down on me! I'm not the same person I was in Kyoto!"
"You sure?" Kotaro asked, looking over his fellow ten-year-old appraisingly, snorting in approval as he noted the slight signs of improvement "I guess so, still, I'd feel better if we had that Reiki guy with us…that old geezer'd be cakewalk then."
"Kuwabara-san lives on the other side of campus." Negi countered, though internally he wished that the older sensei, or even Takamichi, were here to help out "It'll have to be just us."
"Feh, oh well more for us then." Kotaro reasoned, the Inugami shrugging resignedly before quirking an eyebrow at his rival "So tell me, exactly how far have you gotten in your training then?"
"I'm actually trying to decide whether I should train as a distance based Traditional Mage or a Close Range Combat Mage." Negi admitted, recalling the conversation he had with Evangeline on the pros & cons of each style.
"Cool!" the Inugami grinned, smirking at his rival as they raced through the storm "Any REAL man would choose the up-close-n'personal option, but then again that's probably just me."
"Well maybe…" Negi admitted, looking a bit uncertain as he regarded his self-proclaimed rival over his shoulder "But Kotaro-kun, didn't you lose back there because the Inugami wouldn't-!"
"HE CAUGHT ME OFF GUARD I TELL YOU!" Kotaro insisted, the two of them continue to bicker all the way to the World Tree plaza.
"Hn?" Asuna grunted, awakening from her impromptu nap only to find herself standing in the middle of the empty World Tree Stage "This is…the Academy stage?! How'd I-?! KYAH?! WHAT THE HECK IS WITH THIS OUTFIT?!"
Sure enough, the redhead had every reason to feel self-conscious, as abandoned or not, nobody would feel comfortable standing on stage in nothing but their underwear. The fact that the lace bodice, panties and stocking weren't Asuna's at ALL wasn't helping matters any, no matter HOW comfortable they felt.
The fact her arms were being restrained by what felt like SLIME of all things wasn't exactly comforting either.
"I see you're awake, young lady." A cultured voice called out in flawless Japanese, Asuna turning to find a genteel, older gentleman that, under normal circumstances she might have found appealing standing nearby, decked out in a black trench coat and hat "The 'Captured Princess' in her jammies wasn't QUITE what I'd imagined…" he chuckled, smiling all the while "so I took some liberties with your ensemble, to help set the mood you know."
"JUST WHAT THE HELL'RE YOU DOING YOU PERVERTED GEEZER!" Asuna screeched, putting her restraints to good use as she delivered a full force kick to the pervert's face that sent him staggering backwards, only to recover surprisingly fast.
"MY, my!" the apparent old pervert chuckled, looking amused of all things at Asuna's fiery nature, despite his bleeding nose "How nice to see that Negi-kun's friends are as high-spirited as he is!"
"There's nothing 'nice' about this!" Asuna hissed, ready to deliver another kick to the pervert's face, or considerably lower, for this indignity, only to blink as his last words registered. "Wait a minute…" she muttered, a shiver racing up her spine as she gaped at the man in horror "friends…as in Plural?!"
"They'll be our audience." The man admitted, nodding his head to something behind the redhead, even as several voices called out Asuna's name, the redhead turning to gape at the sight of her captured classmates "I've invited the seven I believe to be Negi's closest companions…"
"Setsuna-san!" Asuna yelped, the redhead eyeing the unconscious Shinmeiryuu swordswoman in alarm, only to gape at the sight of someone she least expected "And Naba-san?! But why-?!"
"The Shinmeiryuu demon-slayer is dangerous, so I'm having her sleep through this." The old man admitted, tone no longer joking, "As for the other young lady, she's simply a last-minute addition."
"Hey!" Konoka called out, the Dean's Granddaughter hammering on the surprisingly solid wall of goo keeping her and the rest of the bathroom group hostage "You! The little girls over there!"
"P-Please let us out of here!" Nodoka insisted, the shy bibliophile trying to cover herself up as best she could, wishing she'd grabbed a towel or something on the way down the drain.
"Sorry, there's no escaping our special water prison!" one of the slime-girls, the bespectacled one with the cat-hood insisted, introducing herself as Ameko to the captive teens with a curtsy.
"You should be grateful we don't dissolve you and eat you." The long-haired, calm-featured slime-girl replied, introducing herself as Purin as their hostages shivered, though whether it was at her words or the tone she delivered them in was debatable.
"This is what you mundanes get for sticking your noses into things you don't understand!" the last of the trio, Suramui, mocked, getting right up in the groups' faces as she snickered at them "And don't think you're getting out from the inside either! Unless you've got some powerful magic we don't know about."
"Why're you doing this?!" Asuna called out, the redhead's timely question drawing the slime-girls' attention away from the other hostages, causing them to miss the sudden look in Konoka's eyes.
"It's nothing personal." Herrmann assured Asuna "Our goal is simply to investigate the academy…" he revealed, before turning and pointed directly at the redhead, smiling all the while "However, Negi Springfield and you, Kagurazaka Asuna, are likely to be detrimental to our ongoing mission, and so…"
"M-ME?!" Asuna gaped, wondering just what in the hell this nasty old pervert could want with Negi AND her, and not liking the ideas that came to her, admittedly easily excitable, young mind "W-what do you mean by-?!"
"Looks like they're here…" Herrmann muttered, cutting off the redhead's rant as he resettled his hat on his head, before stepping out of the shade and out into the rain to meet the challengers "My connection with Negi-kun is a little more…personal…" he admitted, a slight smile on his face "it's a subject of personal interest to me, therefore, to see how he's matured…" the smirk grew dark "as well as how STRONG he's grown…since BACK THEN."
"There it is!" Kotaro called out, the Inugami user looking down at the base of the World Tree in awe, and a little alarm, able to sense the magic coming off it even from this high above it "What's up with that tree behind the stage? It's huge!"
"There's the girls aniki!" Chamo called out, looking down at the stage through a tiny pair of binoculars he'd pulled out of ermine-space, taking candid peeks at the girls' goodies as he did so "all captured, just like he said!" he reported, making a note to ensure he swiped Asuna's new lingerie before the night was done. Such high class goods shouldn't be wasted after all.
"Shoot the bastard Negi!" Kotaro urged, glaring spitfire through the rain at Herrmann, the old man, if indeed he WAs a man, easily noticeable even from this distance because of his dark clothing.
"A warning shot, Aniki." Chamo assured the uncertain magician at his protests. After all, it wouldn't do for Asuna's new undies, and his future bed-lining, to be damaged now would it?
"Okay…" Negi acknowledged, closing his eyes and chanting, one hand raised off the staff to launch the spell "Rastel Maskil Magister! Septendecim Spiritus Aeriales, Vinculum Facti Inimicum Captent-!" he thrust his palm out towards the stage, eyes snapping open as he released the spell "Sagitta Magica! AER CAPTURAE!"
"Hoh!" Herrmann noted, quirking an eyebrow in approval, looking on as the seventeen arrows of restraining air spirits launched towards him, seemingly unthreatened by the possibility of being restrained "Very nice indeed!"
He held out a hand, almost lazily, and the seventeen arrows were suddenly intercepted by an invisible barrier, the air in front of the man becoming a multi-color light show, even as Asuna let out a yelp of pain, the gem around her neck seeming to jolt her slightly, like static off a shag carpet.
"What the hell?! He deflected 'em?!" Kotaro exclaimed, a little unsettled by the old man's apparent show of power. Even HE knew that a spell like Aer Capture couldn't be swatted aside easy, it wasn't like the other Sagitta Magica spells in that it enveloped the target on contact, like flypaper, holding them, or whatever was hit, down while the caster powered up another attack, or let their minister finish the job.
"A magical barrier?!" Negi hypothesized, even as the duo disembarked from the staff, standing together amidst the downpour "Whatever it was they cancelled the spell out completely!"
"Hey old man! We're here!" Kotaro called out, glaring down at the smiling face of Herrmann from where he stood on the steps of the stage.
"Let the girls go free, please!" Negi called out, trying to make the old man see reason, and possibly avoid another fight if possible, as it would surely attract attention, only to blink as Asuna called out to him "Asuna…OH NO! THEY'VE GOT YOU ALL VAH-VAH-VOOM'D AGAIN!"
"IT'S NOT WHAT IT SEEMS!" Asuna insisted shrilly, making a big fuss of trying to cover herself with her legs, only to realize this presented an even more risqué picture to the impressionable youth "Well okay…maybe it is…"
"Who are you anyway?!" Negi demanded of Herrmann, pointing his staff at the intruder warily, ready to fight if the need be "Why are you doing all this?!"
"I apologize for the rough methods," Herrmann offered, looking up at the duo from where he stood on the stage "but I just felt that, without the hostages, you wouldn't face me with your full strength." He smirked up at them "Your FULL capabilities are what interest me. Actually, if you are able to defeat me, I shall return the girls." He held up a hand in gesture "That is the only condition…what else is there to say?"
"Hah! Is that all we gotta do?!" Kotaro boasted, looking all to eager to get down to the brawling for Negi's tastes "That's too easy, OSSAN!"
"I'm going in…" Negi insisted, placing his staff on his back and shifting into a kempo stance that Ku Fei had taught him "Kotaro-kun, you stand back."
"The hell're you talking about Negi!" the Inugami snapped, "You're just a mage! YOU hang back and I'LL take the old man on!"
"Oh yeah?!" Negi countered, taking offence at having his profession dissed again "Look who's talking Kotaro-kun! Who was it that lost to that 'Old Man' the last time you fought?!"
"BAKA!" Kotaro snapped, getting right up in his rivals face, his own features tense with irate embarrassment at the reminder of his earlier defeat "I told you, if I could summon my Inugami I'd have CREAMED him!"
"But you CAN'T use it, can you!" Negi pointed out, trying not to sound smug as he continued to drive the nails home with the relentless abandon of youth, "Not only that, you lost to ME too!"
"Like hell, Baka! You just caught me off guard!" Kotaro insisted, refusing to admit, even to himself, that Negi had cleaned his clock back in Kyoto "There's no way a sneak attack like that'd work twice!"
"I don't care! Now stand aside and let me take care of it!" Negi snapped "I've trained a lot since then, and since you can't summon Inugami OR transform, I'm STILL the better choice!"
"Like hell you are you ass!" Kotaro snapped, the two teen's practically rubbing noses as they glowered at one another, heedless of the amused onlookers "Let's end this here! Fight me, then we'll see who's the stronger one!"
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO DOING?!" Asuna snapped, glaring irately at the bickering brats whilst Herrmann chuckled approvingly "FORGET WHAT YOU'RE HERE FOR?! HEH-LOH?!"
"While I applaud your energetic natures…" Herrmann intoned, ceasing his chuckling as he smirked at the bickering duo in amusement "I still believe you'd be better off fighting together."
With a snap of his fingers, the slime girls, who'd been sneaking up on the duo through the seats, leapt into action, Purin entangling their legs with her arms whilst Ameko and Suramui came in from the sides, their legs elongating as they delivered kicks that sent the duo flying down the rows to crash at the base.
"Those girls are those Slime things!" Chamo called out, recognizing the munchkins for what they were because of his own magical nature "Y'know, like in the game?!"
'Those're slimes?' the formerly bickering duo wondered, looking upon the slimy munchkins that looked like something out of a lollicon's wet dream and sweatdropped in disbelief 'Not quite how we imagined them…'
"Why not take a breather, Negi?!" Kotaro taunted, smirking at his rival even as the slime girl trio leapt at them for a second attack "You're not suited to close quarters combat, right?"
"I'm fine!" Negi snapped, not liking the other boy's tone at all "And what about YOU Kotaro-kun? I thought you couldn't hit girls?"
"Feh…" Kotaro scoffed, even as Ameko perked up at Negi's words, pegging the Hanyou for an easy win "you're right, 'girls' I can't hit…" he clenched a fist "Amoeba girls on the other hand…" he lashed out, sending Ameko flying backwards, only to be caught by a non-plussed Purin "I GOTS NO PROBLEM WITH!"
Ignoring, Ameko's cry of 'discrimination!', Negi took the time to cast a Cantus Bellax on himself, boosting his abilities just in time to ward of Suramui's assault. The slime girl tried enveloping his arm, only to receive a palm strike to the face, followed swiftly by a double open palm strike to the torso that sent her flying backwards.
"Whoa there Negi!" Kotaro called out, looking on in excited approval as the western mage came to rest at his back in a fighting stance "What martial arts school was that? I don't recognize it!"
"It's Chinese kempo." Negi explained, a little embarrassed at having his paltry, at least in comparison to Ku Fei and Kaede, skills praised so "I'm learning the Chinese Hakkyoku-ken and Hakkei-Sho from Ku-Roshi…"
"Chinese martial arts?!" Kotaro repeated, cackling earnestly at the prospect of his rival getting stronger, like the little battle junkie he was "I should've known!"
The time for talk ended as all three of the slime sisters came in for a untied assault, their stretchy limbs lashing out like whips as they kicked, punched and tried to ensnare the duo, all at the same time. Kotaro and Negi however, simply weaved between the blows, delivering strikes and counter-strikes of their own to fend them off, before sending the trio flying with a kick and elbow strike respectively.
"Forget those three! Physical attacks don't work on slime!" Kotaro called out, even as the duo raced towards Herrmann, who'd been looking on impassively from the stands "Our only target's the old man!"
"Got it!" Negi agreed, rushing in and blocking attacks from the right, Kotaro doing the same from the left, only to whip round, standing with his back to Negi as the young mage ran ahead, smirking up at the slime sisters as they bore down on him
"You're pretty persistent for amoebas…" the Inugami mocked, smirking up at the trio as he shifted his stance "But your opponent…" he leapt forward, two Kagebunshin leaping alongside him as he ambushed the startled siblings "IS ME!"
"Sagitta Magica!" Negi yelled, holding out a practice wand and launching a single arrow of light at Herrmann "Una Lucis!"
Herrmann, though internally surprised by the youth's use of un-incanted magic, nonetheless held out his palm and cancelled the valiant attempt with an almost bored expression, only to blink as Negi, rather than using the time to deliver a body blow, rotated behind him and holding out the very bottle he'd sought to take from Kotaro.
"The win is ours!" Negi declared, even as a fanfare went up from the hostages, uncorking the bottle and repeating the chant from memory "Lagena Signatoria!"
The bottle reacted instantly, sucking in the magical energies of the figure before it, only to stall as Asuna's pendant, which had sparked repeatedly during Negi and Kotaro's battle, sent a tremendous current through the girl's body, her cries of pain distracting Negi for a second, before heralding the abrupt cancellation of the spell, the bottle dropping to the floor at Herrmann's feet.
"Hmm…it seems the experiment was a success." Herrmann noted, lookin approvingly at Asuna, or rather her pendant for a second "Completely effective against force emitting spells." He turned, fixing his gloves as he spoke "Well then, it seems about time for me to get serious myself!" he quirked an eyebrow at the stunned child-sensei "please don't tell me you've reached your limit already…Negi Springfield-kun?!"
Negi and Kotaro cursed, the former leaping away to stand in front of Asuna, wondering why on earth no one was coming to investigate.
"I've placed a barrier around the area." Herrmann stated, as if reading the youths' minds, a dark smirk on his face as he towered over them "No matter how hard we fight, no matter how large a commotion we make, no one will know we're here."
That said, he blurred out of sight, reappearing behind a startled Negi in a Boxer's stance, before delivering a powerful, right straight that sent the wizard flying simply by grazing him, the force of the blow plowing straight on to decimate the stands with wind pressure alone.
"What power!" Kotaro praised, the Inugami actually seeming to enjoy the apparently unbeatable odds "So this is what your like when you're 'serious', huh Gramps?!"
Herrmann's response came in the form of a barrage of punches, all of which delivered a series of blows that began to tear the surrounding stadium apart as he continued to track the pup down.
"Without that bottle the only thing we can do is grind him down!" Kotaro yelled over the din, moving in to stand beside his rival even as Negi brought his staff to bear, already chanting out a spell "Take this! Inugami-ryuu: KUU GA!"
"FULGARATIO ALBICANS!" Negi cried out, following up Kotaro's air fang with a blast of white lightning, the two attacks combining in mid-air, only to cancel out in front of Herrmann, who didn't even bother to raise his arms to block, Asuna's cries cutting through the air.
"Magic Cancel…" the black-clad man muttered, his eyes boring into the confused youths' as they tried to figure out what was going on "the ability to nullify virtually any form of spell." He held up a hand, gesturing at the panting redhead "Kagurazaka Asuna-san, an apparent mundane, somehow possess this extremely rare, and DANGEROUS, ability." He smirked at the duo's looks of shock "This time, however, it worked to our advantage."
Gloating villain is gloating...
'So its been Ane-san all this time!' Chamo marveled, 'And here I thought it was just her artifact that was doing it…' his eyes glinted in realization as he took another look at the redhead's attire, more specifically the area around her neck 'I'd bet my tail that pendant's the source of our problems!' he deduced, leaping off Negi's head even as Herrmann lunged in for another attack.
Asuna, who was looking on in desperation as Negi was tossed around like a rag doll in a washing machine, blinked at the hushed whispering going on at her feet, eyes widening a she spied Chamo looking up at her.
"I need to get that pendant off your neck!" the ermine insisted, pointing up at the gaudy piece of magical jewelry as he spoke "If we do that, then aniki can-geh? O-OH NOOO!" he yelped, as Ameko picked him up and carried him towards the prisoners "L-Let me go!"
"CHAMO YOU IDIOT!" Asuna yelled, the redhead kicking and screaming at the ermine's lack of ability, or common sense, even as he was chucked into the water prison alongside everyone else.
"Nyeh-Heh-Heh…Those two won't last much longer." Suramui predicted, smirking menacingly at the one-sided battle before her "Shame really, but research aside, we're under orders to make sure Negi-kun stays out of action for a while." She smirked "Old man Herrmann's petrification spell's P-R-E-T-T-Y P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L-L, y'know, they might have an arm or leg PERMANENTLY petrified if he's not careful!"
Ameko giggled alongside her sibling, only to look up in alarm, along with Purin, even as Suramui stopped gloating mid-cackle "T-That's impossible! Someone just broke through the barrier!"
"No…" Purin countered, the long-haired slime girl's expression entirely unchanged, her tone as emotionless as ever despite the serious of the situation "They didn't break through…they passed through it unopposed."
"That's impossible!" Suramui countered, "The only person on campus with the magical strength to do something like that is-!" she trailed off, eyes little circles of terror as she put her words into thought "Oh crap…not the HIGH DAYLIGHT WALKER?!"
"Negative!" Ameko countered, already pulling up the info on her hand held "Not only isn't it a full moon tonight, but the magical signature does not match that of Evangeline A.K. McDowell…but whoever it is, they're on their way here!"
Cavalry in 5, 4...
"Dear me…" Herrmann sighed, looking down on the duo as they staggered to their feet, having been blasted into a corner by his unrelenting barrage of blows "don't tell me that's IT?!" he sighed in disappointment "You were both moving so well before…seems I needn't have bothered myself after all." He leveled a saddened glare at the child-sensei "You disappoint me…Negi-kun-!"
He leapt back instinctively, his magical barrier canceling out the gargantuan bolt of lightning that would've reduced him to his composite atoms, at the cost of Asuna's pain. Though this time Herrmann didn't walk away completely unscathed, as the sheer force of the magical blow had driven his feet several inches into the ground, and there was blood dripping from his nostril.
'S-such pressure!' he marveled, staggering slightly as he pulled himself upright, only to stumble, almost falling over, as his knees trembled 'It didn't penetrate the shield…but the concussive force still almost knocked me flat!'
"You there!" A voice called out through the fog, the onlookers' eyes trailing upwards to a shadowy figure standing atop the stadium "Taking young women as hostages, stripping them down for your own enjoyment, and beating up children on top of that?! You call yourself a man?!"
"Who you callin' children lady?!" Kotaro snapped, though internally, he was mighty impressed with the newcomer's power, as he'd felt the force of that blast all the way over here. His hair was still standing up from the static.
"Hoh? The cavalry arrives eh?" Herrmann noted, scowling slightly up at the shadowy figure as he fixed his hat atop his head "might you introduce yourself, Madam? Ah but of course, it is customary to introduce oneself before asking, my name if Graf Wilhelm Josef von Herrmann…and yourself?"
"I am a defender of Justice!" the shadowy form cried out, even as the stadium lights, activated by the electrical discharge, blazed to life, "Fighting for love and all that is pure in the world!"
The group stared in awe as a tall figure with brown hair, dressed in a rather revealing green Sailor Fuku with a golden Tiara posed atop the stadium.
"I am Sailor Jupiter!" the figure called out, pointing down at Herrmann's stunned face, her own features lined with anger "And in the name of Jupiter, I shall punish you!"
It's been a long time folks...CUE THE NADESICO MUSIC!
Narrator: At long last! A warrior of love & justice appears!
Narrator: Commanding the powers of Zeus, she rains justice down on those who do wrong!
Makoto: Uh...you're not technically wrong but it's Jupiter, not Zeus.
Narrator: But will her prodigious might be enough to save the day?!
Chamo: That's not the ONLY thing that's prodigious!
Narrator: Next time on Reikai Sensei Kuwabara: Punishment! My Teacher is a Magical Girl!
Makoto: D-D-Don't go saying stuff like that!