Kenshin: Damn, you're actually coming back to this story?

Draconis: Piss off Kenshin.

Kenshin: No, you piss off, you already killed me in Dragon of the Elements.

Draconis: Keep it up and I'll kill you here too!

Kenshin: Fuck you!

Draconis: No, Fuck you!

Evangeline: Will you two just fuck already?

Draconis: Haa...alright, where did we leave off, oh right! Negi had just beaten Rakan, and Kenshin captured Vesper of the revived Rikudou agents. Also, be prepared for some time leaps I'm not doing a great deal of the story here because it will remain relatively the same and honestly I just want to get to meeting with Kurt Godel.

Negima! Springfield and Kuroshi Redux

Chapter 86

After the Duel

Draconis: Begin!


Yukari followed Kenshin to the back of Tosaka's shack that the former gladiator was letting Kenshin use. He had someone slung over his shoulder. "Who is that?" Yukari asked.

"You'll see when we get to the designated room." Kenshin said. "It's the reason I was so antsy last night around the ship."

"...?" Yukari stared at him curiously before shrugging. They walked into a room with various seals drawn on the floor and walls with a chair in the center. On either end was Draconis and Evangeline.

"So your body is time locked?" Evangeline asked.

"Yup." Draconis said. "I don't age, but I can still get sick and die in battle."

"I see, whomever did that to you must have either really hated you or really liked you." Evangeline said.

"Guys." Kenshin said.

"Right Right." Draconis said walking forward and helped Kenshin bind the man to the chair.

"Evangeline, begin charging the barrier." Kenshin said.

"Got it." Evangeline said as an aura came to life and extended to the seal array.

Kenshin turned to Yukari. "Yukari, this is going to be shocking, but it is really him." He said as he removed the man's hood.

"? !" Yukari let out a gasp seeing Vesper's face.

"Hnn..." Vesper opened his eyes. "...Where am I?"

"You're in a special holding room." Kenshin said. "You will answer my questions."

"Kenshin...I can't do th-" Kenshin cut Vesper off.

"Hottan's presence can't reach you here." Kenshin said.

"Hottan did this? !" Yukari shouts.

"Yeah." Kenshin said. " did Hottan get his hands on you guys? How did he revive you? I saw Rantou and Sin get blown away by Shukan."

"The Cosmo Entelecheia was the one responsible for that last big raid before the now deceased False Shinigami's servant killed us." Vesper said.

"...Now deceased?" Kenshin asked.

"Yes..." Vesper said. "The First, Second and Third ones, along with their leader Enma Firudo were all killed by their former master Yama."

"What? !" Yukari said. "Why would Yama kill his own kind?"

"Because he had no further use for them and saw them as a nuisance." Vesper said. "The only one left is the one inside you Yukari."

"...I see..." Godai said. "I'm the last one...huh?"

"And what of Shukan?" Kenshin asked.

"I don't know...he's either working with Yama or he's in hiding." Vesper said.

"How do you know all this?" Draconis asked.

"Where do you think the departed go these days hm?" Vesper asked. "They flow down the Goddess of Time's river and their final stop is the City of Souls and are dealt with by Yama."

"..." Kenshin closed his eyes and sighed. "I see." Kenshin said. "Vesper, I want you to know something."

"You've initiated Project Clean Slate. I know. We weren't just waiting for you to go somewhere secluded, we did our investigating." Vesper said. "Did you do this out of a want for revenge though. You were coming back from a grave site."

"No." Kenshin said. "Atsuki's death hurt, but one person isn't worth all that. It's just with Hottan due to move soon, and the fact that we're now defunct, the nations could try warring again."

"..." Vesper sighed. "It's days like this that make me wish Lord Daiken were still around. He could at least whip the council back into shape at this point."

"Yeah, I know." Kenshin said.

"I think he grew complacent with our presence." Vesper said. "In the end, I think we were a crutch for him."

"Yes." Kenshin nodded.

"Kenshin, Hottan knows you're going to come eventually." Vesper said. "You and that Negi girl, whom you've no doubt slotted up to be the savior of this world. You know...if she says the right things, you don't have to fight her."

"...I know." Kenshin said.

"The Averruncus are meant to stall her and her allies, but Hottan knows they can't beat you. That's what we are for." Vesper said.

"I see." Kenshin said. "Vesper, if I destroy the core holding you together, will Hottan be able to call you back?"

"No." Vesper shook his head. "There was only enough material for one of our bodies a piece. If you destroy one of them. We get to go rest in peace again."

"Peace, but I thought Yama was in charge of souls." Yukari said.

"His boss does make him do the job well, so most of us get processed." Vesper said.

"Hn, so that Goddess Ilias keeps his ass in line. Good to know." Kenshin thought.

"Alright, I'll send you back to rest. Where is your core?" Kenshin asked.

"Where is your brain?" Vesper asked.

Kenshin nodded and reeled back his sword before an arrow tore through the side of Vesper's skull. Kenshin and Yukari both turned to Draconis who was holding his bow. "Sorry, but my way is cleaner."

"Yeah, thanks." Kenshin said. "Hm?" He noticed Vesper's body crumbling away to dust. He threw out a clone and told him to sweep it up.

"Well, as fun as getting out and stretching my battle legs has been. I need to be getting back to my bar." Draconis said popping a smoke in between his lips and lighting it. "The damn Governor General asked me to cater his ball later tonight with booze and I need to start getting ready."

"Wait." Kenshin said.

"Huh?" Draconis said.

"If you were Tamamo's friend, why did you ever leave Makai?" Kenshin asked.

"...There was too much pain back home for me." Draconis said as he left.

Kenshin and Yukari shared a look before Evangeline cleared her throat. "Huh, weird." Evangeline said.

"What?" Yukari asked.

"It's nothing, I just think that guy is weird." Evangeline said as they walked out of the room.

"Why's that?" Kenshin asked.

"Well for starters he's five times MY age." Evangeline said. "At least."

"?" Kenshin and Yukari glanced at each other before deciding to figure it out later. They walked out to the living room to find no one. "Huh?" Yukari said.

"Wasn't Tosaka here when we brought Vesper in?" Kenshin asked.

Suddenly the door burst open and Tosaka and company came in with Negi, Miyuki, Setsuna and Asuna came in, Asuna and Negi were wounded. "!" Kenshin turned to Yukari. "Go get Konoka." Kenshin said.

"Right." Yukari said.

"Negi, I felt the Magia Erebea being used earlier, what happened?" Evangeline asked.

"You felt it?" Kenshin said. "And you didn't tell me?"

"I thought you did too." Evangeline shrugged. Kenshin groaned and nodded.

"What happened?" Kenshin said. "Konoka will be here in a moment."

"We had a run in with the Governor General of Ostia." Miyuki said.

"..." Kenshin went silent.

"Kenshin?" Hikari said.

"Is that bespectacled jackass trying to piss me off?" Kenshin muttered.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Hikari asked.

"Nothing..." Kenshin let out a sigh. "I might have issued a threat to him before met up with you is all."

"Kenshin, why on earth did you do that?" Hikari asked with a stern look.

"Because..." Kenshin glanced over at where Kotarou was standing. "..While I was recovering, he sent soldiers at me, and while they couldn't take Yukari or I down, they did interrogate and later kill Atsuki for my location."

"...That's it, when I see him, he's dead." Kotarou grunted.

"Atsuki-San's...dead?" Negi asked with wide eyes.

"Yes." Kenshin said. "By the way, Kotarou, you aren't killing him."

"Why the hell not? You should want to as well." Kotarou glared.

"It would incite chaos in this territory, and knock the extremely fragile balance of peace out of whack." Kenshin said. "That and you would never know a day of peace again. They would hound you day and night to the grave."

"..." Kotarou went silent.

"Atsuki wouldn't want that for you. So don't, for her sake, don't." Kenshin said.

"..." Everyone went silent before Negi spoke up. "I don't think factored you in Kenshin. He didn't mention you to often, despite knowing who Miyuki-San was."

"I see." Kenshin said before the door opened revealing Konoka. "Kono-Chan, take out your artifact and heal these two, please."

"Yes Ken-kun." Konoka said with a smile.

Negi and Asuna were both healed after about ten minutes. The door opened again and this time it was Nodoka. "Negi-Sensei, Kenshin-Sen...-San. I found this slipped into my pocket as we were running away."

Negi took it. "A recorder letter from Kurt Godel-San addressed to us." Negi said.

"Pla-" Kenshin was cut off by the door opening yet again. This time it was Rakan, to Tosaka's amazement.

"Holy crap it's THE Jack Rakan!" Tosaka said. "Can I have your autograph? !"

"Maybe later." Rakan said.

Setsuna turned to Negi. "Negi-Sensei, your barrier was broken by that man's sword with ease was it not?"

"Well that's to be expected." Rakan and Hikari said.

"Why?" Negi asked.

"He's a Shinmeiryuu swordsman, and a student of Eishun's." Kenshin answered. Hikari glanced over at him curiously. "What? Why do I always get that look when I say something pertaining to the Ala Rubra? I spent the first five years of my life around four members, yeesh..." Kenshin said with an exasperated look.

"OK OK, no need to get all defensive." Hikari said. "Seriously though, why and how does Kenshin know so much?" She thought. "The Rikudou Organization couldn't have known as much as he knows, could they?"

Yukari walked over to Kenshin and leaned over to his ear. "Kenshin, I think your knowledge of the Ala Rubra is starting to make Mom suspicious." Yukari whispered.

"We're gonna have to fess up about our trip back in time sooner or later. I mean it's difficult to pretend that we didn't have anything to do with what happened back then." Kenshin whispered back.

"It is..." Yukari whispered before pulling away.

"So he's Eishun-Dono's apprentice." Setsuna said with a thoughtful look.

"He was taught by Dad?" Konoka said.

"Anyway." Kenshin said. "Let's play the letter."

"Right." Negi said hitting the play button.

A miniature image came to life of Godel. "Why hello there Negi Springfield, if you're reading this, I guess our discussion didn't go too remarkably well did it? I do apologize for your wounds, but you did attack me."

"?" Kenshin glanced at Negi.

"What? I got angry, and well..." Negi looked down at her arm before going silent.

"I see...the Magia Erebea's been acting up." Kenshin thought glancing toward Evangeline.

'She'll have to deal with it on her own. There's nothing more I can do aside from training.' Evangeline mouthed. Kenshin nodded.

"Still, I feel confident that you wish to see me, you personally anyway. So with that in mind I extend an invitation to the ball to be held tonight to you and your friends, and I will provide the dresses for you, just contact me with measurements and means of collection." Godel said.

"What the hell? He's inviting wanted criminals over?" Tosaka said to himself.

"And just so you don't feel alone, your lover Kuroshi Tsuki Kenshin and his sister are also invited." Godel said.

"..." Kenshin narrowed his eyes. "Hmph...I see Godel's grown some serious brass balls since we last spoke."

"Something like that." Yukari said.

"Will you still not come along? I suppose not, then maybe I should add a little incentive then. For the duration of the ball I will not lay a finger on you or your students, not even Kenshin himself with be harmed. Furthermore, using my powers as Governor General I will issue a pardon to you and your students, the only exemptions being Evangeline A.K. McDowell and Yukari Tsuki. My apologies, but it is out of my power to pardon them. One has led a life of crime in this world since before my time, and the other foolishly continues to follow her brother in the Underworld of this World of Magic." Godel said.

"Tch." Yukari scowled.

"Are you still not convinced?" Godel asked. "Then how about this? You plan to go to the surface soon to access the single remaining operation gateport do you? Well I will have all eighteen ships accompany you there, however if you refuse or even if only Kenshin himself refuses, they will pursue you like the wanted men and women you are, as everything will be off the table."

"Kh!" Kenshin glared. "What's your game Godel? You want me, the infamous criminal to come so badly...why?"

"Now, if you will come, do come as the gladiator Nagi and Miyuki-San as well, appear as Yukimi." Godel said. "I'll be waiting."

The letter wet offline. "Well...I guess we might as well get ready." Kenshin said.

"Whoa Whoa Whoa! This is clearly a trap!" Tosaka said.

"Kurt really turned into a conniving bastard since leaving our care." Hikari said.

"Yes, that's defense fleet is a nasty bit of blackmail." Setsuna said.

"Yeah..." Miyuki said with a glare directed at the recorder letter.

"Wouldn't it be best to ignore this and break for the gateport?" Evangeline asked. "I mean Kenshin, Hikari and I can handle the fleets, Rakan too if the jackass feels like participating."

"I heard that you blonde perma loli." Rakan grunted.

"What of it?" Evangeline asked.

"No..." Negi said. "You all go on ahead. Kenshin, Yukari-San, Miyuki-San, Hikari-San and Master will go and meet him on our own."

"That's not going to work Negi." Kenshin said with a sigh. "Haven't you figured this out by now?"

"Besides you turned down Teritum remember?" Yukari asked. "They aren't just going to let them in."

"Yeah! How could you even think about going off alone like that again! If you're going, so are we!" Asuna huffed.

"..." Kenshin stared at her, drawing her attention.

"What?" Asuna said.

'I know who you really are.' Kenshin mouthed to her. 'Keep quiet.'

"..." If Asuna was affected by this, she didn't outwardly show it.

"Aaah, hell...seems shit got really interesting, screw it I'll waive my customary fee and come with you." Rakan said.

"...I see...thanks everyone." Negi said with a smile.

Kenshin watched as the room emptied out except for Negi. "What's up?"

"Is everything OK?" Negi asked.

"Huh? Yeah why wouldn't they be?" Kenshin asked.

"Do you really have to go when this is all over?" Negi asked.

"..." Kenshin let out a sigh. "I kinda wish I didn't to be honest."

"..." Negi went silent for a moment. "...I was so worried when they told me you were attacked you know."

"I know." Kenshin said. "But don't worry, I'm gonna be fine now, OK?"

"I know, but can you blame me for worrying. I might not see you again." Negi said.

"Hey, don't think like, I want you to have something." Kenshin said handing her a piece of charm paper.

"Huh?" Negi said looking at it.

"It's a special charm. It allows me to come visit you where you are, or you can visit me." Kenshin smiled. "It basically means I've made you my summoner."

"Really?" Negi asked.

"Yeah." Kenshin said. "I thought about it and asked Shin if there were any ways I could keep in touch with you, without getting really involved with Mundus Magicus after this is all over and that's what he came up with. There are other ways, but this one was the easiest for me to pull off."

"..." Negi smiled. "Thank you Kenshin, now I won't have to worry about you."

"Of course." Kenshin said. The two went outside where Rakan was talking with Setsuna and Konoka about the Shinmeiryuu sword techniques.

"Oh! Kenshin I'm lookin' to do a demonstration for the girlie here, could you be a test dummy for it?" Rakan asked.

"...For a Shinmeiryuu really want my bounty huh?" Kenshin drawled. "You do remember that shit can kill me right?"

"I'll do it." Negi said. Kenshin glanced at her before shrugging.

Setsuna watched as Rakan expertly tossed her Yuunagi sword around like he had been using it for years. "Amazing, how can he use a blade like that without and prior knowledge of how to handle it."

"His artifact allows him to basically recreate any weapon that's ever been used against him. With a few notable exceptions." Kenshin said holding up his Kuroi Jigoku. "So he's probably trained with a katana like Yuunagi befo-" Kenshin paused as Yuunagi ended up stuck in Rakan's forehead. "Or maybe he hasn't." He sweatdropped.

"What are you all worked up about anyway, I'm sure you could pull the technique off if you tried." Rakan said. "If it's the status that concerns you, I've got a new name for it."

"Wha- you can just-!" Setsuna was cut off as Rakan struck a pose.

"I'll call it 'in celebration of my first kiss with Ojou-Sama strike!' How's that?" Rakan said.

"You were watching? !" Setsuna shouts with a scarlet blush.

"First kiss?" Kenshin and Negi said with curious looks.

"Yeah, Secchan and I made one of those contracts together." Konoka said.

"O-Ojou-Sama!" Setsuna complained.

"Haa...well then." Rakan said. "Here I go!" He stepped back, a pure aura wrapping around him. "Zan! Ma! Ken! Ni no Tachi!" He slashed outward. "In celebration of my first kiss with Ojou-Sama special!"

A wide burst of magic slashed outward, bypassing Negi's barriers and destroying a rock floating in the distance behind her. Kenshin walked over and decked Rakan in the face. "Are you out of your mind? ! Some of us still have fucking warrants in this world! By some of us, I mean everyone except you, because anyone not named me is too chicken shit to try and take your bounty!" A wound opened up on Negi's forehead alerting Kenshin. Konoka and Setsuna went to heal her while Kenshin kept punching Rakan. "You! Stupid! Muscle! Bound! Ape! Motherfucker!"

"OK, shit!" Rakan said pushing Kenshin off of him.

"I ain't done with you yet!" Kenshin shouts.

"Kenshin, I'm fine calm down." Negi said.

"..." Kenshin stopped but kept glaring at Rakan.

"Jeez. One surefire way to piss Hikari's son off, mess with Nagi's daughter." Rakan thought.

"So, anyway that Kurt guy was apart of the Ala Rubra..." Everyone turned to find Miyuki walking up to them. "What happened?"

"Well, like Takamichi and your parents. He was one of the orphans we picked up over the course of the Schismatic War. While Takamichi was handicapped with being unable to use magic. Kurt was basically a jack of all trades. Eishun was against teaching him at first, but Kurt eventually forced his hand after managing to copy his techniques." Rakan said. "Anyway, after the war, he parted ways with us, saying that our methods weren't sufficient enough to save the world." Kenshin scoffed at this. "I hadn't spoken to him in ten years."

"He basically brown nosed his way to the top of this particular ladder." Kenshin said.

"Still having a talk with him probably isn't such a bad idea. He knows somethings that even I don't." Rakan said. "Still, the fact that he's inviting you there is a mystery." He said to Kenshin.

"Hn." Kenshin grunted. "Well that said I guess I might as well go get dressed."

"Yeah same here." Rakan said as they both walked away.

Negi, Miyuki Setsuna and Konoka all walked into a hallway. Negi stopped. "Negi? What's up?" Miyuki asked.

"It's about Asuna-San, and there's also something I want to mention about Kenshin and Yukari that stays between us." Negi said.

"Ok..." Setsuna said.

"What is it?"

"Asuna-San is not from the same world as us, she used to be a princess of the fallen country of Vespertatia." Negi said.

Konoka and Setsuna were shocked at this. Miyuki nodded. "I was there when the old man mentioned it remember?"

"Yes, but..." Negi went silent. "Whatever you do, don't tell Hikari-San about this."

"...?" Miyuki tilted her head curiously, but nodded.

Negi nodded back and took a breath. "Kenshin and Yukari the same ones we know now, are in fact the Slayers of Ryuujin from the Schismatic War."

"? !" Miyuki stared at her in shock. "Wh-What...?"

"Yes...I asked Kenshin about it, after noticing the similarities pile up between the two...and he confirmed it." Negi said.

"Bu...But that would mean...that he and Onee-Chan...and...then..." Miyuki slapped herself to calm herself down. "Are you certain?"

"I don't think your brother would lie about this Miyuki-San." Negi said.

"But..if Kenshin-San and Yukari-San are the two Slayers from the war, how did they arrive in that time?" Setsuna asked.

"I think Chao-San's time machine, the one she lent Kenshin may have activated." Negi said. "There was a short while where Kenshin and Yukari's signatures both completely vanished during the battle against Chao-San."

"But that would involve him willfully going there himself." Konoka said.

"Stranger things have happened." Negi said.

"Then that means...Kenshin and Yukari were the ones who wiped out their own family...against their will." Setsuna said.

"Ken-kun and Yukari-Chan were the ones who tried to get themselves killed to appease their parents..." Konoka said with a somber look.

"Onii-Chan and Onee-Chan are the ones who 'died' back then." Miyuki said.

"..." Everyone went silent.

"...Should we tell Hikari-Chan about this?" Konoka asked. "I mean I know you said not to, but...

"No." Negi said.

"No?" Miyuki asked.

"Kenshin and Yukari are both trying to figure up a way to tell her themselves. I think it's just something she should hear from them rather than someone else." Negi said.

"Yeah, I understand." Miyuki nodded.


That Evening.

Kenshin and Negi were walking next to each other. Negi was wearing a black dress and matching heels. She had an uncomfortable look on her face. Kenshin had on a purple dress suit and a pair of identity concealing glasses. "You know, you didn't have to wear the heels." Kenshin chuckled.

"But they were sent with the dress." Negi said.

"How often do you wear heels though?" Kenshin asked.

"...Good point, but I'm already in disguise and dressed. Why only the glasses though?" Negi asked.

"Because my older form would cause a ruckus of 'The Slayer of Ryuujin has returned!' and my younger form would cause one of 'Oh god, the assassin of Rikudou is here to kill us all!' so...unless you want to go to this little shindig with a fossil of a man, the glasses will have to cut it." Kenshin said. "Also, I didn't wanna catch flack from Mom for trying to look like her master."

"...You're gonna have to tell her eventually Kenshin." Negi said.

"I know." Kenshin sighed. "I plan on it before I leave for Makai."

"Yeah, so relax." Yukari said walking up next to them, wearing a navy blue dress and heels. She had no problems with the heels

"How are you able to walk in those things?" Negi asked with an accusing glare.

"What? Some missions in Rikudou required a more...feminine touch." Yukari said.

"Never mind, I don't wanna know." Negi sighed.

"I wonder if everyone's gonna take the opportunity to say their goodbyes like Nodoka suggested earlier." Kenshin mused.

"What about you? You could take the chance to say your goodbyes to your friends here." Negi asked.

"Three of them are in Hellas and the other one I've already said adios to." Kenshin said. "I'll probably dance with her tonight, but that's about it."

"I see." Negi said.

"So, what did you talk to Tosaka about earlier?" Kenshin asked.

"I was wondering...if any of them harbored any resentment toward my mother." Negi said. "...Or you and Yukari-San."

"Negi..." Yukari sighed and then smiled. "Don't worry about us. We'll be fine."

"And Tosaka's answer was the same as the one I would have given you. They don't. Arika took a lot of time to ensure her people's wellbeing...the fact that she had to take the rap for something I basically did is upsetting."

"What do you mean?" Negi asked.

"After the...massacre of the Kuroshi and Tsuki...we went to Ostia, or Old Ostia rather, to kill her father." Yukari said. "Kenshin's the one who found him and ended him."

"My...grandfather then?" Negi asked.

"It wasn't really him." Kenshin shook his head. "The real Victor at that point had been killed. The real Victor was someone I respected."

"Yes." Yukari nodded.

"Kenshin, can I ask you a couple of things?" Negi asked.

"What?" Kenshin said.

"It's about what was being talked about while you two were gone, but...your organization, Rikudou. It was an intelligence agency first and foremost, wasn't it?" Negi asked.

"Yeah?" Kenshin asked.

"So, why did they need a ten year old boy and girl carrying out assassination missions?" Negi asked.

"..." Kenshin and Yukari went silent for a moment. "Negi...from the moment I got free from that terrible place I was in. I was immediately recognized as a full adult, because of what I did to get out of there, and Yukari...well...Yukari...never really had a stable childhood. I was named a Colonel in the Hellas Army, charged with protecting the Emperor...and I even managed to screw that up."

"You were there when the Emperor of Hellas was taken out?" Negi asked.

"Hottan was the one to take him down." Kenshin said. "...It all happened so fast...I couldn't react."

"Then those corrupt fuckwits they call a council up north tried pinning his death on Kenshin." Yukari said.

"It didn't work, but I was still kicked out." Kenshin said. "Not long after that the Rikudos, who helped get my off that charge came to me and offered me that place in the organization, we used each other, we were friends, but they used my skills as a fighter to deal with special interest targets and I used them to at least try to hide out, but it didn't quite work. On one of my jobs with Rantou, the former leader of Hellas' Assault Division, one of the people we were supposed to chase off must have made me and ran back to one of the powers that be and told them who I was. Thankfully all they know about Yukari is that she traveled around with me, no one really knows her face. So when I take off for Makai, she should at least be able to live normally alongside you all."

"I see.." Negi said. "Now, my second question...Are we really on Mars?"

"Yes." Kenshin said. "From what I gather, before Mirai killed Hottan and the latter was reborn as the psychotic bastard I know and loathe. He created this world somehow."

"Aww, Kenshin now you're just flirting." Hottan laughed in Negi's head.

Kenshin looked up. "Due to extenuating circumstances I can't tell you much more."

"What do you mean?" Negi asked.

"We can't entrust our organization's vast wealth of knowledge to just anyone." Yukari said.

"Not even me?" Negi asked.

"We're sorry, but no." Kenshin said.

"How do I prove myself trustworthy to you two as members of Rikudou?" Negi asked.

Kenshin and Yukari glanced at each other before Yukari spoke up. "We'll tell you later."

"OK." Negi said walking ahead, leaving the two alone.

"..." Kenshin stared at her as she left.

"She looks beautiful in that dress doesn't she?" Yukari asked with an admiring smile.

"Wha? Oh...well yeah she looks stunning. It's about the same style of dress her mother wears." Kenshin said.

"I noticed that." Arika said

"By the way, Arika." Kenshin thought. "Before I head off to Makai. I'm going to find a way to bust you out of this seal."

"Take your time, I'm in no hurry." Arika said with a smile. "I mean, you are, and it would be nice to see my daughter face to face, but..."

"I get it." Kenshin thought. "It's gonna take some time you don't mind waiting on to pass."

"You know, we might actually be onto something with naming Negi the savior." Yukari said.

"Yeah, know if she does succeed. Unless it's to visit her, I'm never coming back here, you know that right?" Kenshin asked.

"Just her?" Yukari asked.

"...Come on Yukari don't do that, you know full well I can't stay here." Kenshin said. "And I can't visit too often anyway. You can still get in contact with Shin if you wanna come over there. I just think Negi might need your help getting things off the ground."

"I know..." Yukari said. "It's just..." She let out a sigh. "I'm gonna miss you being around."

"It's only temporary. I'll be looking for a home there, and when I find it, you're free to come over." Kenshin said.

"I'd like that." Yukari said with a smile. She went to kiss him on the cheek, but stopped when she found they were getting close to where everyone else was.

"Negi, I feel like if you take another step in this direction, you'll never be able to return to that crazy, yet peaceful life, back at Mahora. I can't help, but feel like this is a point of no return." Chisame said. "So let me ask you again, are you sure this is what you want? Is just returning home not enough for you?"

"...Thanks for looking out for me Chisame-San, but I'm not doing this just for my own reasons. We're only going to be able to go home after hearing him out so I kind of have to do this." Negi said. "That...and if I can find some answers about what happened to Mom and Dad...I have to do it."

"I guess." Chisame sighed.

"Yeah, I agree. I mean Nagi and Arika dropping off the face of the earth kinda bugs me too." Miyuki said.

"..." Kenshin stared at the two.

"I mean, if I went home after retreating from this, I'm sure I'd regret it for the rest of my life." Negi said. "So I'll keep pressing onward."

Kenshin saw Rakan getting ready to go at her, but raised his hand and mouthed. 'There's something I need to do.' Rakan nodded. "Negi." Kenshin said.

"Yes?" Negi asked.

"Immediately after this ball, Yukari and I need to see you, preferably alone, but you can bring a couple of people if you like." Kenshin said.

"Uhm...OK." Negi said.

Everyone looked on in confusion except for Rakan and Hikari. The former grinned at Kenshin while the latter smiled. "So, it's her huh? Good choice kid." "I knew she'd convince them." The two thought respectively.

Rakan stepped toward Kenshin before cocking his fist back and punching at him. "!" Kenshin dodged and rammed his palm into the muscled man's chest, but doubled over as Rakan's fist went into his stomach. "What's this all about old man? !" He asked.

Rakan grappled with Kenshin and brought his head in close. "You're him, ain't ya? The Kenshin from twenty years ago?" He whispered.

Kenshin let an exasperated expression wash over his face. "How am I to keep the secret if people are figuring it out left and right?" He whispered back.

"Well, you should have made yourselves look more different, dumbass." Rakan snickered quietly.

"Fuck you." Kenshin said driving his knee into Rakan's chin.

"Heh." Rakan smirked and rubbed his chin. "Good."

"What was that all about Rakan-San? !" Negi asked.

"Yeah, why'd you suddenly attack Onii-Chan? !" Miyuki asked.

"He's leaving soon, never coming back to this world, so I wanted to take this last chance to fight him. If we had more time, the fight would last longer, but eh." Rakan shrugged. "Good luck in Makai kid."

"Thanks." Kenshin said.

Rakan glanced out to the nearby tower. Kenshin cleared his throat. "?" Rakan turned to him. Kenshin started running through handsigns.

'If you want to go keep him busy, go for it, he's just following Hottan's orders because he has no choice.'

Rakan nodded. "Alright. Sorry everyone, but I gotta hit the can."

"Eat a piece of bad fish or something?" Kenshin asked with a grin.

"Hoo yeah, I might be awhile." Rakan said. "Oh by the way Negi. Arika's your mother no doubts about that, you even kinda look like her right now. Hell back then I was kinda taken with her, and I think in the past she had sort of a friends with benefits thing with Hikari's master back when she was still the Princess of Vespertatia.

"I'm going to fucking kick your ass before I leave here old man! !" Kenshin thought.

Negi's head snapped toward Kenshin. 'Talk later' She mouthed. Kenshin sighed and nodded.

Rakan took off and flashed across the roofs. "Where is he going?" Negi asked as everyone walked onward.

"Tertium's hangin' around." Kenshin said. "He's going to fight him."

"T-Tertium? !" Negi whispered harshly.

"Relax it's still Rakan we're talking about, he'll be fine." Kenshin said. "Come on."

The group proceeded to the Governor General's personal estate and entered, almost immediately Negi and Miyuki were being crowded. Kenshin tapped her on the shoulder and guided her to a table, where Draconis was standing. "What the hell are you doin' here Kenshin?" He asked in a low tone.

"Oddly enough, the Governor General invited me." Kenshin said. At Draconis' look he shrugged his shoulders. "I don't get it either."

"Who is this?" Negi asked.

"Oh this is Draconis. He's just a local bartender." Kenshin said.

"Yep, just a bartender." Draconis said keeping his cover.

"Uhm, do you have anything non alcoholic?" Negi asked.

"I just finished brewing some tea from Wales." Draconis said.

"Yes, that please." Negi said with a smile.

"Here you go." Draconis said. "And for you Kenshin?"

"Eh...the same I guess." Kenshin said.

The two drank their drinks down and Kenshin extended his hand to Negi. "Let's dance."

"Sure." Negi said taking his hand and joining him on the dance floor. "So...what was Rakan-San talking about?"

"I assume you mean the friend with benefits thing." Kenshin said. "...It wasn't like I planned on it just kind of did."

"Could you explain it to me? I'm not mad, just shocked." Negi said.

"Well, I kinda just acted like usual, with some exceptions here and there as I was trying to act as a liasion to the Kuroshi and Tsuki and the Royal Family. This took about five years and I guess how I treated Arika, which is similar to how I treated you before we got together enamored her, but trust me. Yukari and I made sure to not let it progress any further, but. When her father was taken out and replaced by a mad man, she needed the comfort. Trust me, your parents' romance went off without any hitches as far as I know. I was just an old flame." Kenshin explained as they danced.

"Oh." Negi said with a smile. "Alright then. I know I said you could do things like that as long as you really had something like that for them, but you being with the mother I've yet to"

"It would be a little much. I understand." Kenshin chuckled nervously.

"Yes." Negi said. "By the way...I've been making a lot more pactios lately." She said.

"Really?" Kenshin said. "With who?"

"Well, the first one was with Kazumi-San, which gave her an artifact that was basically a nearly undetectable spy drone." Negi said.

"Sweet." Kenshin nodded.

"The next one was with Kaede-San. Which gave her a cloak that acts as a gateway to another dimension, where there was a fully furnished house."

"Kinda sounds like the spell Ryomen has on her home. Wonder if they're connected." Kenshin said.

Meanwhile Ryomen had just returned to her home to find it...just the way she left it. "Haa...time for a drink." She said walking toward the fridge. She opened it and stared. "..." She stared some more. The alcoholic drinks were there, but... "WHO THE FUCK RAIDED MY FRIDGE? !" Ryomen shouts.

"Anyway, that sound really useful, you could send Kaede deep into enemy territory in disguise and let loose an entire fighting battalion." Kenshin said.

"Miyuki thought so too." Negi said.

"Figured she would." Kenshin said. "...How has she been by the way. I've been so busy I've been forgetting to check in."

"...She's been better since you reappeared." Negi said. "But..then again so have I."

"I see." Kenshin said. "Go ahead."

"Master Ku...well..I had to prove my strength to her earlier, and after I did, she received an artifact that I still don't know what the function of is." Negi said. "It was a quarterstaff."

"I see." Kenshin said.

"Then finally was difficult to pull off at first. Because the pactio only works if you both have a soul and Chachamaru-San being a gynoid..."

"She has one, it probably took the ritual a little while to find it." Kenshin said. "Because if she didn't she wouldn't act like she does."

"You noticed?" Negi asked.

"Here and there yeah. Not only here in Mundus Magicus, but even back in Mahora." Kenshin said. "She just...does things most automations would deem illogical and you can't apply logic to a soul."

"I see." Negi said. "You're well versed in these things."

"Well the time I spent with my family was illuminating." Kenshin said.

"Was it a good memory for you, you know, before all the bad things happened?" Negi asked.

"...Yeah." Kenshin said with a distant smile. "It...was nice..."

"Nagi-Sama, Kuroshi-Sama." The two looked over to find a young man wearing dress clothes minus a blazer. "Governor Godel awaits your presence in the deluxe suite. You are both permitted to bring up to three companions." He said.

"I see." Kenshin said. "Yukari, Miyuki and Hikari Tsuki." He said. "If I'm going in to a potential enemy's area, I'm going to back myself with people who are available that I know I can trust."

"I shall inform them." He said.

"Hang on, why are we limited to only three?" Negi asked.

"It is customary, if you go over you will be denied entry." The young man said.

"Hmn...I would ask Master to come with, but she said she didn't want to bother with this." Negi said.

"I'll come with!" Asuna said.

"No." Kenshin and Negi both said.

"What, why? !" Asuna shouts.

"Because we're trying to keep you safe." Kenshin said with an exasperated look. "Besides, I'd never hear the end of it from Tertium if Shiroi go hurt." He thought.

"Setsuna-San, can I ask you to be her bodyguard." Negi asked.

"Yes, leave it to me." Setsuna said.

"Alright, first of all, Nodoka-San." Negi said.

"E-Eh? ! M-Me? !" Nodoka said. "O-OK, I a-accept."

"Kazumi-San." Negi said.

"Thanks for that, Negi-Chan." Kazumi said.

"And Chisame-San." Negi said.

"Wha, why me?" Chisame asked.

"I assume for moral support." Kenshin said. "Way to go with the other choices though." He whispered to Negi.

"No seriously! Why me? ! I don't wanna be at the center of all this fantasy stuff!" Chisame said.

"Because you've been with Negi this whole time Chisame, She's probably too used to having you around." Miyuki said walking toward them with Hikari and Yukari.

"Alright, Nodoka-San, Kazumi-San, you know the plan and Kenshin, Yukari. When the time comes, do what you do best." Negi said.

"You know there's usually a fee for our services, but for you..." Yukari said.

"We'll waive it." Kenshin said.

"Come on everyone let's get a move on." Hikari said waving them forward.

"Right, Master Ku, Kotarou-kun, when push comes to shove you know what to do." Negi said.

"Right-aru!" Ku Fei said.

"Got it." Kotarou said.

The two groups of four proceeded down a lone hallway before arriving at a large door. "Those are some lively comrades you have there Negi-San." The young man said.

"Eh?" Negi said.

"Oh, it's just an observation I was making." He said. "Despite the personal tragedy you faced you still decided to embark on this journey. You've even made friends with those who have faced pain like you have and even made one of them your lover. Truth be told I'm a little envious."

"..." Kenshin stared at him.

"Anyway, this is the room. Enter if you still want to know the truth." He said.

"I can't run away, not now." Negi said shaking her head.

"As much as I would like to just blow his fleet out of the sky and haul ass out of here. A man has to support his family, and stand by the one he loves." Kenshin said.

"Very well. You may enter." The young man said stepping aside.

Negi and Kenshin pushed open the doors, and what awaited them was...

(chapter end)

Kenshin: How long are they gonna have to wait on this cliffhanger.

Draconis: Fuck off Kenshin.

Negi: Boys that's enough.

Draconis and Kenshin: OK...

Draconis: OK. So mainly this was an exposition chapter and I'll try to not take as long with the next chapter.

Kenshin: Why did you kill off the Nisemono Shinigami.

Draconis: I'm scrapping that idea.

Kenshin: Kind of sudden though don't you think?

Draconis: Meh..

Anyway, next time. The meeting with Godel. See you all then.

Draconis678 out.