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OverMaster's Little Crummy Corner of Sub-Par Writing

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by OverMaster, Aug 27, 2018.

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  1. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    Miniature Senior Citizens.

    It was the 60th birthday of MC-Kun's grandfather, and everybody had gathered at his ridiculously large for Japanese standards average house, except for MC-Kun's always absent parents, of course. Actually, by this point are we sure they ever existed at all?

    "Happee beerutudayyy to youuuu! Happee beerutudayyy to youuuu!" MC-Kun, MC-Chan, Useless Best Friend-Kun, Edgy Rival-Kun, Christmas Cake-Sensei, Talking Mascot-Kun, Big Oppai Oneechan, TsunTsun Imouto and Ohhoho Ojou-sempai all sang in horribly accented Engrish, laughed and clapped, and then stopped to let Grandfather blow his candles off.

    Grandfather, still a big, strapping and handsome man with a full head of long white hair, smiled and blew on the cake's candles. A second later, he dropped down drastically, suddenly reduced to a tiny shriveled gnome with a huge bald head and large bulging eyes.

    "Well," he said, "it can't be helped, this is part of the cycle of anime life after all."
     
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  2. Threadmarks: Rebuild of Unequally Rational and Emotional, Chapter One, Act One
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    Mahou Sensei Negima! was created and is owned by Akamatsu Ken and Kodansha.

    Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei was created and is owned by Kumeta Koji and Kodansha.

    All other franchises and characters featured in this story are the intellectual property of their respective creators.

    ---

    Unequally Rational and Emotional.

    ----

    The Kyoto Protocol.

    ---

    Previously, in Unequally Rational and Emotional:

    Negi Springfield, a prodigy boy mage from Wales, premier graduate of his class, was sent by the supreme spirits of magic to teach classes in Mahora Academy, one of the four most prestigious schools of Japan's Academy City. Why? We only can especulate. Soon after his arrival, Negi was assigned to live with two of his students, Hasegawa Chisame and Hakase Satomi. Chisame was a cranky, socially inept computer enthusiast with a secret perchance for sexy cosplay, while Hakase was a just as socially inept scientific genius in the fields of Robotics and Aerodynamics. Together, they learned Negi's secret; he was a magic user, but if it was revealed his cover was blown, he would be punished through transformation into a small, harmless animal. The girls agreed to keep Negi's secret, a task that might be beyond their reach thanks to seemingly random events transpiring all around Mahora.

    Negi passed his baptism of fire as a teacher through guiding his homeroom class of 2-A past the dangers of Library Island and into academic excellence, and then by fighting Evangeline A.K. Mc Dowell, the infamous 'vampire witch' his father sealed in Mahora fifteen years ago. Now partnered with talking ermine Albert 'Chamo' Chamomile, Chisame, Hakase, nun in training Kasuga Misora, overall Book Dumb tomboy Kagurazaka Asuna, and cheerleaders Kakizaki Misa and Shiina Sakurako, Negi believes himself ready to face any further challenges fate may throw his way during his search for his illustrious father's whereabouts and legacy...

    ---

    "Kyoto?" Negi blinked, somewhat surprised about the choice of a location. Out of all the places he had expected his father would have been tied to, Kyoto would have fated quite low in his mental ranking of guesses.

    Itoshiki Nozomu, sitting across the Starbooks table along Kaga Ai, and facing Negi, Satomi, Chisame, Misa and Misora, nodded very seriously, pulling a small bag of rat poison out of his hakama and then wincing when a frowning Misora snatched it away before he could sprinkle it on his coffee. "You shouldn't have done that. Regardless, indeed, Negi-sensei, your father did have a few claims on Kyoto land and real estate. As I understand, he lived there for around one year or so, shortly after sealing Evangeline-san away and before returning to the Magical World. If you really intend to continue this hopeless quest of yours, perhaps that would be the least likely source of crushing disappointment to look into next."

    "You have really interesting ways of encouraging others," Misa observed.

    "Kyoto, huh..." Negi rubbed his small chin thoughtfully. "Perhaps I should ask for a few days of leave and go look into that..."

    "Oh, actually," Misora said, "I think I have a better idea than that!"

    ---

    "And so, I'd like to propose," Negi offered his brand new Class 3-A the next morning, flashing a large, shiny smile, "for this year's study class trip to have beautiful, scenic Kyoto as its destination!"

    Yukihiro Ayaka promptly broke into cheerful clapping, rising from her seat to second the motion. "Bravo! What a perfectly wonderful suggestion, Negi-sensei! Kyoto, one of our country's greatest cultural capitals! A city as rich in history and tradition as it is in modernism and progress! What an eye for tourism! What a--" Then she noticed than except for herself, Konoka, Misora, Hakase, and a far less enthused Asuna, Misa, Sakurako and Chisame, no one else was clapping at this brightest of ideas. "What is the problem with you, what do you have against Kyoto?!" she told her mostly apathetic classmates.

    "Kyoto, really...?" Akashi Yuuna winced. "I thought we were going to Hawaii this year!"

    "Yeah!" Narutaki Fuuka groaned. "Compared to a tropical paradise, Kyoto sounds just so... old fashioned and boring! I wanted see the volcanos and dance hula in the Maus!"

    "Luaus," Ayase Yue quietly corrected her fellow Baka Ranger. "But, come to think about it, I see the merit on Sensei's proposal. He is a foreigner, so of course he would be more interested on our nation's sites of interest than we are. Besides, Kyoto does have many fascinating sights I would like to see personally, as well. I think it is well worth a shot..."

    "It is!" Konoka nodded rapidly, her large brown eyes shining even moreso than Negi's had moments ago, before sinking into dull depression after witnessing his class' adversion to his genial idea. Konoka, on the other hand, forged on ahead, undeterred. "Kyoto is magnificent, excellent, one of the best places to visit ever! Isn't that right, Setchan?" she asked, turning aside to look at Sakurazaki Setsuna's seat.

    The pale, slim girl she had just addressed merely glanced aside, through the window, with indifference. "I'm not especially eager to ever return to Kyoto," she said with a flat, discouraging tone.

    "Eh?!" Konoka cried. "But why?! We had so much fun there...!"

    "Ah, if Konoka-chan says it's a fun place and Setsuna-san says it's not, then it must be worth a visit after all!" Saotome Haruna said, making Setsuna flinch slightly.

    "I have heard it has a strong theatrical tradition, and even a movie filming district of its own..." Murakami Natsumi mused, soothing to the notion herself.

    "It's a place for adventure and romance...!" Chao Lingshen exhaled, seemingly moved.

    "Yes, yes, that's the spirit!" Ayaka encouraged them. "We must support our country's pride! Enough of visiting foreign destinations for now, let us show Negi-sensei everything that Japan has to offer!"

    "Oh, I'm sure you would like to show him everything Japan has to offer," Asuna muttered, with a cynical look at Ayaka's hip area.

    "Yes, that is what I have just said!" Ayaka said, somewhat annoyed at this pointless interruption. "So, do we all have an agreement? To Kyoto it is, then?"

    "It... It'll be easier to convince my parents to let me go to Kyoto than to Hawaii, I suppose..." Miyazaki Nodoka sheepishly said.

    "It is the same to me, as I won't be going anywhere," Evangeline mumbled, folding her arms on her desk and resting her chin on them.

    "It sounds fun once you think enough about it!" Naba Chizuru smiled. "Let's do it!"

    Zazie Rainyday nodded only once and blandly pumped a fist up, without saying a single word.

    Nagase Kaede hummed. "Now one thinks on the subject, one would not have to step into an airplane to get to Kyoto, so one would prefer Kyoto as a destination after all de gozaru..."

    "Okay, but only because Negi-kun wants it!" Makie said.

    "Oh, come on, Maki-chan, it'll be fun!" Izumi Ako told her. "We always can go to Hawaii next year!"

    "Even better!" Ayaka said. "If we go to Kyoto now, I promise I will take you personally to the Yukihiro Private Resort in the Pacific for the summer break! An island to put Hawaii to shame, oh ho ho! How does that sound, everyone?"

    "Wow, Iinchou went and built her own tropical paradise," Asuna grumbled under her breath. "With blackjack, and hookers..."

    "Alright, that settles it! Never understimate the power of bribery!" Haruna grinned. "Kyoto, here we go! Better lock your boys, women, children, valuables and candy, because Class 3-A is coming to get you!"

    "Yaayyyyyyy!!" several fists were raised at once to second her motion.

    "Girls, thanks for your support!" a relieved Negi smiled. "I'm sure this trip will go much more smoothly than one to Hawaii would have...!"

    "Damn it! You just jinxed it!" Chisame snapped.

    Satomi shrugged. "That hardly matters. The Vacation Law applies every time, no matter where one goes to. That is why I would rather never get apart from my work... although I'm willing to grant Sensei an exception just for this particular case..."

    Negi laughed ligthly. "Aw, come on, don't be like that, Hakase-san. I'm sure you'll enjoy this trip a lot..."

    ---

    "Sorry," Konoe Konoemon said hours later, as he quickly shot Negi's dreams and illusions down from behind the large oak desk of his office, "but you can't go to Kyoto this year..."

    Negi violently fell, face first, against the floor.

    "Oh my, oh dear," Konoemon siad at this. "I really need to remember having that loose plank of the floor fixed, I keep forgetting..."
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  3. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    The Basics.

    Negi handed Chisame a note. "These are the top ten things my sister told me I should worry the most about while in Japan. Please tell me, do you think it's accurate?"

    Chisame read the list, which stated, in no specific stated order,

    Trucks.

    Tentacles.

    The common cold.

    Fat men in trains.

    Fugu.

    Invitations to TV game shows.

    Speaking any Korean in public.

    Defending the whales.

    Anything with a huge 'H' on it.

    Men missing fingers.

    Chisame shrugged. "Yeah... I think it covers all the basics, all things considered." Then she narrowed her eyes at him and asked in a hostile tone, "Who ever taught you Korean, anyway?"
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Rebuild of Unequally Rational and Emotional, Chapter One, Act Two
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "Why can't we go?!" Negi complained, his usual measured respect in the face of Konoemon replaced by a truly childlike, almost whining disappointment as he finally rose from the floor to place his hands on the desk.

    The elder sighed, trying his best to be patient. "It might be dangerous."

    "Dangerous? With all due respect, Sir, how?!" asked Negi. "It's Kyoto, a popular tourist spot for thousands of people every month! Accidents and crimes are not any more frequent than they are here or in Tokyo! I'm afraid I don't understand your point here!"

    "Normally I'd agree with you and pose no objections," Konoemon said, "but the presence of Konoka-chan in your class changes everything. Are you aware the Kansai Magical Association has its headquarters in Kyoto?"

    Negi blinked. "Ah? Y-Yes, I knew that, but... Is there any inconvenience to that? I was under the impression the Kanto and Kansai Magical Associations were under good mutual terms..."

    "Yes, it's true I, as the head of the Kanto Association, and the current elder of Kansai have put an end to decades of cold war between both factions," Konoe nodded. "However, even now, a few schools of thought in Kansai remain opposed to us, even if they won't act on it. Sending Konoka-chan there might be seen as a provoking move from our part."

    "But Konoka-san isn't even aware of your family's legacy!"

    "That's true, but how can we convince those people about it? I'm afraid they would just see her arrival to Kyoto as a likely move from our part to further merge the Associations, and that could get very unpleasant very quickly."

    Negi thought it over, humming to himself. Did he have the right to possibly endanger his students over a personal drive to unlock secrets fromm his father's past? The answer was all too clear. "Then I suppose there's nothing we can do about it. I'll tell the class we'll go to Hawaii instead..."

    "Hawaii?"

    "Yes, that was the destination they had thought of before we settled for Kyoto instead. Most of them were quite enthused about that before... someone convinced them to head over to Kyoto, so there should be no--"

    "Oh, no! No, forbid the thought!" Konoemon quickly waved a hand before himself. "The relationships with the Hawaii Magic Asociation are at an all low point now! It can't be done, it just can't. Listen, I'll grant you the permission to visit Kyoto as long as you promise to keep a low profile and not flaunt Konoka-chan's presence around. If you stick to a normal schedule and don't venture out of the paths other completely... fine, relatively... normal classes will be taking, everything should be okay. With any luck, you will be back without those renegades ever even learning Konoka-chan was ever there."

    "Or," Negi said, "we could just arrange for an excuse to leave Konoka-san here..."

    He then had the impression those tiny, cold eyes were staring directly into his soul from under those bushy white eyebrows, and it chilled him.

    "Like I was about to say, however, Konoka-san has every right to enjoy her trip as much as the rest of students," Negi was hasty to add. "Please trust me, Sir! I swear on my honor Konoka-san and all of the class will be back here within the schedule, and without a single scratch on them!"

    "That's what I wanted to hear," Konoemon approved. Then he pulled an envelope out of a drawer of his desk and held it before a blinking Negi. "Since you're going to be there anyway, I would like to ask you for a favor while you are in Kyoto."

    "Anything, Sensei!"

    "I'm not too sure if I already mentioned you this, actually..." the Dean rubbed his wrinkled forehead for a moment, "But there's a letter I'd like to have delivered to the elder of the Kansai Association. Please, if you ever have a spare second from your priority of making sure the girls are all right, could you give him this?" He finally handed Negi the heavily sealed envelope, full of official stamps and runes. "It concerns an extremely important matter that should be kept absolutely secret. As such, I beg you to make sure it remains completely closed and untouched until it reaches my colleague's hands. Could you do that for us?"

    "Of course I will, Sir!" Negi didn't hesitate a single second, not even stopping to think of the implications of the old man already having that envelope fully ready for his delivery.

    "I thought so. But be very careful. Even if the magic associations aren't in open conflict anymore, there always might be agents of chaos trying to fan the old flames. Trust no one on your way there, boy."

    "Sir, I'll defend this letter, and my students, with my own life!" Negi promised.

    "Ho ho! That's what I like to hear from a teacher! It's good to know you feel so strongly about your students... as long as you don't feel too strongly about them, of course. Which I assume has not come to pass just yet?"

    "... Sir! Absolutely not!" the scandalized boy gasped.

    "Well, in that case, are you free and available for Konoka-chan?"

    "... You are just joking with me there, aren't you, Sensei?"

    Konoemon pondered that in a brief silence. "I'll tell you what. I'm going to answer that question after you get back from your trip, and I have evaluated your performance during it..."
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Rebuild of Unequally Rational and Emotional, Chapter One, Act Three
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "Negi-sensei, there's something I'd like to discuss with you," the voice came to him from behind just as he doubled a corner on his way back to the dorms. Carefully, the boy turned around to face the person whose voice he'd recognized just as soon as the words had been spoken, and sure enough, there she stood, not in her usual gear of black leather biking, but in an average Mahora Female High uniform instead.

    He smiled approvingly at her. "Good afternoon, Kuga-san. So you didn't skip classes today, that's--"

    "I heard you were taking your class on a study trip to Kyoto," she told him without any pleasantries. "You would do better than rethinking that course of action."

    Negi paused at the unexpected request, then subtly shifted into a posture of preliminary alert. "And why would that be, if I may ask?"

    "Bad things could happen to you should you visit Kyoto," Kuga Natsuki bluntly told him. "And when I say 'you' in speak in the plural."

    "I see," he calmly replied. "And how would you know about that?"

    "I've told you before, my mother was a researcher on your world, your society. To a degree, I have continued her work. And I can tell you no greater good could come from your visiting that city, compared to the risks you would face there."

    "Thank you for the warning," he said, "but perhaps it would help me if I knew exactly what kind of threats are you concerned about in this case."

    "I've told you enough as it is," the black haired young woman said, turning around and away from him. "If you aren't going to listen to this warning, you won't listen to a more detailed explanation either. Just don't tell I didn't ever tell you."

    And with that, she began to walk away briskly. Negi quickly took after her. "Wait!" he called over. "Why are you always like this? If you were just a little bit more open, I'm sure we could help each other! If you're suffering, you don't have to do it alone.I have friends who could--"

    "No, thanks. I don't need any sort of help from any mages or their associates," Natsuki grumbled out a corner of her mouth.

    "But now you've offered help to me twice, despite claiming you hate mages!" Negi said, trying not to speak all that loudly, even if there was nobody else in sight at the time. "It's obvious you still can care about others, so why--"

    "That time my life was as endangered as yours," she interrupted him without turning back, "and now I haven't offered you any help, just a word of caution. If you choose to ignore it then that's your own problem, one I don't care about."

    "Do you know what your problem is, Natsuki-chan?" asked a playful, annoyingly bemused voice from above. "You always are caring too much for a girl who doesn't care about anything."

    Natsuki immediately came to a halt and hissed, her face growing red, even as Negi tilted his head up and looked at a pale boy with white hair, apparently barely any taller and older than himself, sitting on a thick branch of a large tree overlooking the boulevard, with an open book in a hand and his legs dangling back and forth carelessly. He wore black pants and shoes and a simply white shirt, and he smiled in a way that was both good natured and cruelly sardonic at once. Negi thought, for a moment, he looked vaguely familiar.

    "What do you want, now?!" Natsuki spun around to face this strange newcomer, quickly whipping out her small dual handguns and aiming them at him, making Negi yipe in surprise.

    "Me?" the other boy asked innocently, not at all worried about having two guns zeroed on his face. "Why, I was just commenting as you casually passed under my favorite reading spot, of course. It's not like I have any personal stake on your family affairs, Natsuki-chan, as long as you do your job properly. Why don't you let the Professor do his and concentrate on your mission instead? Just a suggestion..."

    "Who... Who are you?" Negi squinted, holding his staff before himself, as he was not liking something about this strange boy at all. His presence felt too much like Klarion's, in a way.

    "Ah, that's right, we haven't been introduced!" the boy easily jumped down to the ground, landing on his feet right before Negi and offering him a hand with a widening smile. When, after a few moments of tense wait, it became obvious Negi was not going to shake his hand, the stranger just made a wounded face and pulled it back, still never minding Natsuki's guns, even as she all but pressed them against his temple, causing Negi to frown at her. Not that she gave signs of caring. "I'm Homura Nagi, how do you do," the offended boy said, now all dry and even contemptful. "You can answer to that at least, can't you? Or will I be forced to change my mind about British manners and the perfect English gentleman?"

    "Na-- Nagi?!" Negi gasped.

    "Oh, that's just a coincidence!" the other boy laughed his shock out, waving a hand at him. "Not everyone named that has to be related to the Thousand Master, right, Natsuki-chan?"

    "For his good, I hope you aren't related to them at all," Natsuki glacially told him, moving her guns around so now they aimed between his eyes. "I'll deal with the Orphans whenever I want and the way I choose to!"

    "Kuga-san," Negi growled. "Lower those weapons right now, please. Or else."

    "No, no, that's okay, let her be, Sensei," Nagi easily said. "Our Natsuki-chan's got a temper, but that's part and parcel of what makes her so special. You would know about that, wouldn't you? From what I've gathered, agressive girls are your type, aren't they?"

    "See?" Natsuki grumbled at Negi. "Now do you understand why I treat him this way?"

    "I might understand the temptation, but not the reaction," Negi said in a strained fashion, trying to keep his cool, even though something about this boy's smirk tested even his affable perchance to see the best on others. "What is your relation to Kuga-san anyway...Nagi-san?"

    Natsuki spoke for him just as Nagi opened his mouth. "He gave me these," she admitted, finally pulling the miniguns up and then sheating them back into what seemingly was subspace, "and he charged me with eradicating the Orphans from Mahora. That's all."

    "That's all?" Nagi questioned. "You make it sound so small, so meaningless! When I gave a sense to your misguided existence, a focus to your lost crusade, a beacon to your wasted youth...!"

    "Do you want me to waste you before wasting the rest of my youth?!" she threatened, already pulling one of the tiny guns back out and shaking it before him, much to Negi's renewed frustration.

    Nagi sighed in mild annoyance at this display, then told Negi, "Listen, I have to go now, I'm a busy man after all, even if I often won't look the part. It's just that I like to relax whenever I get a chance, I have earned it after all. I'm sure Natsuki-chan would love to explain things any further, but if she doesn't, well, if you ever want to see me again, you only have to keep hanging around her..."

    "I'm sure that's an outcome no one but you wants!" Natsuki told him.

    Nagi sighed, finally closing his book and placing it on top of his head and keeping it balanced there as he stuck his hands into his pockets. "I can hear two girls walking down this way towards the dorms. You sure you want to keep this little farce going, guys? For now, at least?"

    Negi frowned and put the staff back behind himself as Natsuki growled and dispelled the gun again. Nagi nodded. "A very wise decision. Well, I take my leave for today then. See you around later! I wish, that is!"

    And, whistling and still keeping the book perfectly balanced on his head, he whimsically marched into the woods, disappearing between the trees only moments before two girls, indeed, came by chatting among themselves, taking a moment to look curiously at Negi and Natsuki standing together, and then sharing a giggle as they hastened their pace down the road.

    "Well," Natsuki stoically said after a moment. "At least they weren't Sawada and Momioka, or Chie and Aoi."

    "Sooner than later, we will have a very serious conversation on all of this, Kuga-san," Negi promised aloud.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  6. Threadmarks: Rebuild of Unequally Rational and Emotional, Chapter One, Act Four
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "And you just let them go away, just like that?!" a disbelieving Chisame gasped.

    She, Negi, Chamo, Hakase, Asuna, Sakurako and Misa had gathered at the apartment of Negi and roommates to discuss the events of the day, although Misora was unavailable, having work to do at the church.

    "Well, what was I supposed to do?" Negi asked back. "Arresting them? That boy isn't even a student here, I'm pretty sure about that! I have no authority over him! And, and I still owe Kuga-san, and technically she hasn't done anything wrong yet..."

    "You should have squeezed more info out of them!" Chisame said. "Can't you read anyone's thoughts just by touching them?"

    Negi blinked. "That... That is actually far more of a limited skill than you seem to think, Chisame. For starters, you only can read one thought the target is having at the time, all the while keeping flesh to flesh contact with them. And they're both aware of magic, there's no way they'd let me touch them for that long..."

    "I think I speak for everyone when I say you shouldn't be having long physical contact with delinquent older girls or ambiguous mysterious little boys, Sensei," Misa said. "I'm much more worried about the whole Kyoto thing. You sure there's no way we can read what's inside without opening the envelope?"

    Negi shook his head. "I could, if not for all the high level seals placed on it. But even if I could remove them or get around them,I couldn't betray the trust the Headmaster has placed on me. Now he gave me this duty, I can't turn back, no matter what Kuga-san says."

    "Well, yeah, I was all up for this until I learned Konoka might be in danger!" Asuna said. "That must be what that girl warned you about!"

    "That is correct," Satomi nodded solemnly, "Even a Baka Ranger's cerebral power can figure that out..."

    Asuna pouted. "What is this world coming to, when the brainiacs are the ones picking on the athletes?"

    Negi sighed. "There's no way Kuga-san might know more than the Headmaster does, so whatever she is afraid of, it cannot be anything he hasn't calculated yet. I believe, as long as we keep a watchful eye on Konoka-san, we should go through the three days of the trip without any major eventualities. I'll convince Iinchou-san to arrange the groups so we are assigned with Konoka-san, making it easier for us to watch her closely."

    "Right, that makes sense," Chamo said, chewing on the butt of a chocolate cigar while pressing another nicotine patch against his short right forearm. "Asuna-neechan here knows her better than anyone, so she's the ideal choice for her main bodyguard!"

    And Asuna shrugged. "I don't mind, really. I mean, it's basically what I've been doing for her since she arrived to Mahora. And she's always pleasant to be around, so..."

    "She sounds really happy to visit Kyoto again," Sakurako said. "Her parents still live there, don't they?"

    "Yeah, and she hasn't seen them in a few years, actually," Asuna recalled. "They're old fashioned people, so they don't even get to videochat, but they write regularly. Konoka loves her dad dearly, but she doesn't seem too fond of her mom. I once asked her why, but she kinda danced around the subject, so I got the hint..." She gave another shrug. "From what little I understood, she's one of those uppity dame types, maybe?"

    "That sounds just like a typical high society magus matron," the ermine chuckled.

    "Chamo..." Negi said.

    "I'm right and you know it, Bro," the small animal began pacing around, gesturing for emphasis with the chocolate cigar. "The higher you go up the social ranks of the magi, the more entitled and arrogant, and downright unpleasant, they become! Old Man Cucumber Head and the Merdiana Magus are cool exceptions, true, but..."

    "I doubt he'd be so 'cool' anymore if he heard that's the way you call him," Asuna frowned. "Have more respect! That man's practically a saint!"

    "That's funny, Konoka-chan's not the type who was raised by entitled and arrogant rich people," Sakurako observed. "She's always acted like one of us! And if her parents never even told her about the whole magic thing, well, I don't think they'd even want her following on the family business, would they?"

    "That's a very logical train of thought," Negi allowed. "Perhaps they were afraid for her safety, given how some Kansai factions apparently consider her a piece for their power plays. It's up to us, then, to make sure she doesn't get involved in them at all."

    "Are you sure we can't just set the course back for Hawaii?" Chisame groaned.

    "Apparently we are in a Cold War with Hawaii at the time," Negi said.

    "Don't say 'we' when you mean 'we, the wizards'!" Chisame snapped. "Okay, then, what about anywhere else? Okinawa, maybe? Hong Kong? Mol Mol? I'd even take Mol Mol!"

    Misa sighed. "Listen, we already convinced the class on going to Kyoto, Konoka's the most enthusiast about it all, and Negi's been charged with that stupid letter business. I don't like it any more than you do, but don't you think it's a bit too late to go back on it now?"

    "It's... It's not a stupid business..." Negi begged to disagree.

    "Fine, fine!" Chisame gave up. "It's a trip I wasn't going to enjoy anyway, so I don't mind spending it looking after Konoe after all! And that's Kagurazaka's whole life already as she's just admitted and you two seem fine with it too, so whatever! Now, you two will better start thinking how to keep your girlfriend in the dark about us all trip long, because like hell she's going to be left in a different group without growing suspicious on us!"

    "I do have a life beyond Konoka, you know," Asuna objected to this.

    "And Madoka isn't our girlfriend," Sakurako added. "She is our friend, who happens to be a girl."

    "Not that it would be a bad thing if she were," Misa said.

    Asuna, Chisame, Satomi, a confused Negi and an interested Chamo stared at her.

    "What?" Misa asked with a small scowl. "She's cute, she's the best cook out of the three of us, she can run a house on a budget and she looks fine when dressed like a boy. If I ever had to settle for a girlfriend, why to bother looking far from home?"

    "When did she dress like--" Negi began.

    "School play. Last year," Sakurako said. "Never mention it to her, though, she still gets love letters from all the wrong people and she still doesn't get used to it..."
     
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  7. Threadmarks: Rebuild of Unequally Rational and Emotional, Chapter One, Act Five
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "There is a problem with this," Suzushiro Haruka, Vice President for the Student Council, observed the next day, as Negi and Ayaka delivered the papers for the school trip to the student authorities.

    "What?" Ayaka gasped, even as Negi only could gape in baffled silence. "Wh-What is it?"

    The other, bustier and two-years-and-half blonde stared at her, faithful assistant Kikukawa Yukino quietly standing behind her. "Isn't it oblivious? You can't justify the expenses of a trip for a single class, and yours is the only class that has applied for Kyoto this year. Truth be told I can't blame the other classes, since even those born in Kyoto would rather leave it quickly, or so I understand..."

    From where she sat behind her (nowhere as vast as the Principal's, but still fairly respectable and impressive) desk, President Fujino Shizuru moved only an eyebrow, only for a moment, and only very slightly, before elegantly finishing her cup of early morning tea. "What Haruka-san truly means," she calmly expanded then in her thick but pleasant Kyoto accent, "is that, despite her obvious lack of knowledge in what concerns to certain cities of our country, she is well versed enough on school regulations as to know every trip destination needs to have at least three different classes, from any academic level and any of our schools, applied to them as to merit a grant of expenses for the duration of the trip. Otherwise, I'm afraid the monetary investment cannot be supplied by the Council's treasure."

    "Well, the Yukihiro and Naba Zaibatsus will bankroll the trip in that case!" Ayaka huffed.

    "Regrettably, that's not an option either," the shy and meek Yukino practically whispered, "as our school cannot extend terms of leave for study trips unless they are backed up by academic resources. It, it is a matter of campus responsibility on the security and handling of the students..."

    "But, have all classes decided on other destinations already?" Negi asked. "Surely, there must be a few...!"

    Haruka frowned, going through her laptop. "Pretty much everyone already has done the responsible thing and settlered for their respectfulive destinations--"

    "Settled for their respective destinations, Haruka-chan," Yukino respectfully corrected her.

    "--so they wouldn't have to do last minute arrangements. Only two others were this careless, the homeroom classes of Fujimura-sensei, Integrated High 2-C, and of Sugiura-sensei, Integrated High 1-C. Of course, the latter is well known for its abundacity of delinquents and no-goods..."

    Negi noticed Fujino-san's strange eyebrow twitching grew noticeably stronger and more lasting this time around. The tall, light haired young man sitting at the back of the room taking notes on the meeting also flinched visibly.

    "So I guess you could try and convince them to go with you if you hurry up!" Haruka huffed, oblivious to that. "They say strange minds do think unlike, so they might--"

    "Hey, good morning!" grinned a young red-haired and green eyed woman, her tail pulled back into a long ponytail, and wearing an ensemble of blue top, jacket and short skirt, all but slamming the office's door open and briskly walking in, followed by a teenaged girl in a high school uniform, with short black hair and glasses. "How do you do, everyone! Prez, we finally decided on a place! Kyoto is it! Ah, Tate-kun, you work here?!" she interrupted herself, giving the boy with the thick sideburns a surprised, blinking glare.

    "I'm the secretary, I'm pretty sure I told you that several times already, Sensei," Tate Yuuchi groaned.

    The woman Negi knew as Sugiuri Midori from several prior teachers' meetings laughed at that. "Nooo, of course you haven't, I can't have that bad a memory at only seventeen years old!"

    "I'm sixteen, and I'm not misremembering either!" the young man snapped.

    "Ah, but you've got too many things in your mind, being the secretary for the Student Council and all that," Midori smirked, then nodded at Negi. "Right, Sensei? Say, you don't know Harada Chie-chan, our Class Rep, yet, do you?"

    "No, we haven't met personally yet," the girl smiled, shaking Negi's hand as her glasses briefly shone in a way that reminded Negi too much of Haruna's for a moment. But no, it surely had to be a trick of the sunlight coming through the window, and nothing else... "But from what I've heard, our classmate Natsuki has! They've seen her talking with you twice or thrice, right, Sensei?"

    Once again, Fujino seemed to briefly snap from her calm and placid indifference into something resembling interest. "Oh, so you do know each other?"

    "Y-Yes," Negi said somewhat uneasily, especially under Haruka's watchful glare. "I've heard she's perhaps faltering a bit in her attention to studies, so I've been trying to talk her into taking them more seriously..."

    "Well, it must have worked," Chie smiled, pushing the glasses up her nose, "because she's been talking others in the class into picking a trip destination already. Of course, she pulled it off because she's very popular. Ah! If only they respected me as much as they respect her! I wonder how she does it, barely showing up at all..."

    "It may help that we see her in riding leather more often than in uniform, actually," Midori shrugged.

    Tate blinked. "We decided that, when?! I wasn't told about it!"

    "You weren't?" Chie asked innocently. "Ahhh, I assumed someone else, like your friend Takeda-kun, had told you already, so I didn't..."

    "He... He and I aren't all that close, actually," Yuuichi admitted with a small rasp.

    "So you arrangered this decision over the phone or through Internet?" Haruka objected. "Then it isn't valid! It should be a decision reached through a proper meeting, voting included, in your classroom, and--!"

    "Actually," Shizuru said, "all that is needed is a simply majority then confirmed by the homeroom teacher and the Class Representative, no other requirements are necessary, Haruka-han. Article Forty One, Clause Ten, Third Paragraph."

    Haruka bristled at that, and then her head snapped back to look at Yukino, who sheepishly confirmed, "Article Forty One, Clause Ten, Third Paragraph, Haruka-chan..."

    Suzushiro sighed. "Fine! Your solicitrude is accepted, but only will result in an actual trip to Kyoto as long as another class is willing to have Kyoto as their destination as well! So far it's only the two of you, and that just won't cut it! No! No way! Absolutively not! You'll need to talk with--"

    "Taiga-chan, right?" Midori grinned. "She's the only one who is just as flaky with these things as Negi-sensei here and I--"

    Negi groaned, drooping his shoulders, while Ayaka only frowned at the remark. "I still have so much to learn..."

    "Don't worry, I'm seven years older than you and I still make the occasional small mistake here and there," Midori confided, patting him on a shoulder with a wink.

    "No way you're just as old as me!" Haruka protested.

    "No, not just as old, I believe you're a few months older than me..."

    "No, I couldn't passably be!"

    "Possibly, Haruka-chan, possibly...!"
     
  8. Threadmarks: Guild by Association, Chapter One, Act One
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    In a land far, far away lies the Kingdom of Fiore, a small, peaceful nation of seventy million, and a place filled with magic. Found in every home, bought and sold in every marketplace. For most, magic is merely a tool, a mundane part of everyday life. For some, however, magic is an art, and they've devoted their lives to its practice. These are the wizards. Banded together into magical guilds, they ply their skills in search of fame and fortune. Many such guilds dot the landscape of Fiore. But there is a certain guild in a certain town that soars high above the rest, one from which countless legends have been born. A guild that will no doubt continue to create legends well into the future. Its name...

    ...is Ala Alba. The White Wings.

    What? Were you expecting for something else?




    Mashima Hiro and Kodansha created and own Fairy Tail.

    Akamatsu Ken and Kodansha created and own Mahou Sensei Negima!

    Nasu Kinoko and Type-Moon created and own Fate/Stay Night and Fate Grand Order.

    Yamaguchi Noboru and Media Factory created and own Zero no Tsukaima.

    The Walt Disney Company and Square Enix created and own Kingdom Hearts.

    Sunrise Studios created and own Mai HiME.

    Kumeta Koji and Kodansha created and own Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei.

    Fujishima Kosuke and Kodansha created and own Aa! Megamisama!




    Guild by Association.




    Chapter One.




    On a White Wing and a Prayer.





    "This is it!" Negi Springfield said, smiling as widely as he spread his arms, stepping out of the train car and gesturing towards the thriving city sprawling beyond the busy train station. "Harujion, one of the fastest developing villages in the West Coast area! Over the last two decades, Harujion has grown exponentially due to an increase in its comercial activity, becoming one of the most important port cities in the country. Virtually anything that can be sold and bought in Mundus Magicus may be found here, Chisame. Isn't this--"

    "Exciting? Thrilling? Pulse pounding, even?" groaned the bespectacled young woman, barely older than fifteen, walking out behind the short, red haired boy and the white ermine perched on his right shoulder. She was wearing a light white shirt and knee lenght shorts, her feet clad in boots and her light brown hair pulled back into a long ponytail. "Oh, you bet it is. Can't you see the obvious giddiness flowing out of me as we speak? If you can't don't worry, it's just that I'm this good an actress. As a matter of fact, I even took lessons from--"

    "Um, excuse me, young sir, ma'am," asked a tall, lean train guard, in his navy blue outfit with shiny golden buttons, as he approached the blinking little boy and the sarcastic young woman from behind. "But, are you just leaving your friend behind, or will you be taking him to the nearest hospital...?"

    The two youngsters and the small animal looked back towards the train car, where a young man, a few years older than the lady, was sprawled all over the floor, on his back, twitching and belching randomly, wearing loose white pants, a long and open black jacket over his bare torso, and a thick, light pink scarf around his neck. A tiny, bipedal blue cat with large round eyes, barely any bigger than the ermine, stood over him, lightly prodding his face with a stick he held in a paw, chuckling dumbly to himself as he did so.

    The girl took a hand to her face. "Oh, for Pete's sake, is this guy for real? Natsu-san!!" she called out angrily. "The train's stopped moving now! Revive already, will you?! We're on a freaking schedule!"

    The younger boy let out a small, apologetic laugh, glancing at the baffled guard with a small drop of sweat attached to a side of his head. "Ah, please don't worry, this is something perfectly normal for him. He gets motion illness rather easily, you'll see..."

    "I'm... Never... Getting into one of these things again!!" complained the other boy, finally pushing himself back up to his wobbly legs with both arms, and then resting against a window, the upper half of his body poking out. He took a hand to his mouth, his cheeks swelling. "Ohhhhh, breakfast was good, but not so much this time around...!"

    "C'mon, c'mon!" the cat giggled, walking to him and patting him on a leg. "You'll feel better as soon as you walk outta here! Glasses is right, we've gotta find that Salamander as soon as possible! After all, how bad will we look if these two find him first...?"

    "Those two...?" the girl sneered loudly at the perceived offense.

    "Two...?!" the ermine shouted as well, a vein bulging through his forehead's fur.

    "Just... Just gimme a sec..." the boy with salmon-colored spiky hair gurgled, head lolling from a side to the other. "Just long enough as to regain my breath, and--"

    Then, however, the train's whistle cut sharply through the air, and the guard jumped back into the car with practiced skill and a sigh, just as the large vehicle, also the slave to a schedule, began quicking moving down the rails, towards its next destination past the green mountains. The boy with the scarf panicked, screaming a startled, "What?! What?! No, no, not again, noooooo...!!"

    The little boy, the girl, the ermine, and the cat who now stood by their side collectively sweatdropped as they watched the train speed away, amidst the begging yells intertwined with sounds of violent barfing from Natsu Dragneel.

    "... we can tell the old man he just got lost along the way, you know," said the girl at last, quietly. "I'm sure he won't mind, and as for Fairy Tail, well, they'll cope with the loss..."

    "Heyyyyy!!" the cat objected at this, his fur sticking up.

    Negi Springfield only breathed a long, heavy sigh, pulling the old bandaged staff secured to his back towards his front and mounting it much like a witch would do to her broom. "This will take just a moment, Chisame. Please don't be that way..."
     
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  9. Threadmarks: Guild by Association, Chapter One, Act Two
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "What?!" asked the rather cute and tall girl with light brown eyes and long light blonde hair, planting her hands on the counter of the store. She wore a light, sleeveless white and blue blouse, a short blue skirt, and high heeled sandals. "Are you seriously telling me that, in all of this city, yours is the only magical shop in existence...?!"

    "Actually, that would seem to be the case indeed, Lucy-san," said the a few years younger but almost as tall and even bustier girl with long, brown hair and a beauty mark under an eye, standing behind her in a light orange summer dress with a third young lady, and consulting a map of Harujion. I can't find any others here, at the very least..."

    The old, scrawny and balding man behind the counter smiled. "Since this is such an active port city, our authorities try and enforce as many restrictions on magic as possible, ma'am," he explained. "After all, we are constantly attacked by pirates, and the last thing the government was is pirates laying their hands on magic. Still, as Harujion's sole supplier for our official magical defenses, I'm always well stocked with the best you could ever ask for! Just look around, you're sure to find something to your liking...!"

    "Um, thank you, but she's the sole mage out of the three of us," said the third girl,who was much smaller- in every sense of the word- than the other two, and wore simple pants and sandals, with a short sleeved light brown blouse complimenting her short and messy hair, her large rounded eyes, and the freckles all over her cheeks. "We're just tagging along with her for this trip..."

    "But, if you would happen to have amulets for love, perhaps we would be interested...?" suggested the bustiest of all three women, smiling at the shopkeeper in a way that was as innocent and bright as insidiously seductive, fingers twiddled together before her voluminous chest.

    The old man swallowed. "Of, of course we have several, although I don't see how such a lovely lady like you might ever need--"

    "Ahhhh!" the blonde was gasping then, grabbing a pearl colored shiny key from a special display and holding it in awe. "I want this one! A White Doggy! I've been looking for one for a while...!"

    "Oh, so you're a Gate Key user?" the shopkeeper said, slightly annoyed from being distracted away from the younger, sexier customer. "If you're experienced at all, you'll know that variety isn't really very powerful..."

    "I know, but I don't care, I still want it!" she smiled. "How much?"

    "20,000 drachma," the shopkeeper said.

    The blonde's smile did not falter, but did crack down a little. "I'm sorry, I'm sure I just misheard your manly, sexy voice stating--"

    "20,000 drachma," the shopkeeper repeated, unfazed.

    Now she did lose her smile, replaced by an angry scowl. "You said it yourself, it isn't very powerful."

    "That doesn't mean it has to be cheap," the shopkeeper remained unsympathetic. "20,000 drachma."

    "Oh, please, come on..." the blonde purred, leaning closer and half-closing her eyes suggestively. "Surely a successful, obviously gifted merchant like you can be generous to a poor little city girl like me...?"

    "19,000 drachma. Take it or leave it," the shopkeeper bluntly said, more out of pity than any arousal.

    "Oh, for the love of--!"

    Then, however, the even bustier girl smiled, subtly pushing Lucy aside with her hips to stand before the counter. She reached over to caress a wrinkled hand and tenderly asked, "Pretty please, dear Sir...? My sisters and I have been down on our luck of late, and sadly our big sister hasn't been that able at looking after us since we lost our parents. All too often, we are at the mercy of strong, capable men such as you..."





    "I can't believe it!!" Lucy Heartfilia was crying out later, as she stomped her way down the sun-filled streets of Harujion, followed by a pleased Chizuru and sweatdropping Natsumi. "He'd discount only 1,000 to me, but 6,000 to you?! 6,000?!"

    "Well, I wasn't going to get it for free, Lucy-san," Naba Chizuru easily said. "A lady must hold to some standards no matter what, after all..."

    "And sisters?!" Lucy was ranting now, gesturing wildly and making passerbys step away from them. "Who ever would believe we are sisters?!"

    "I'm more disturbed," the shortest of the girls admitted, "you killed off your parents, mine, and Lucy-san's father that easily, Chizu-nee..."

    "Oh, Natsumi-chan, I didn't kill them, I only said they weren't alive!" Chizuru laughed daffily at that. "Completely different things!"

    Lucy grumbled some more before her attention was drawn towards a small group of young women excitedly rushing down the street, chattering to themselves about something Natsumi and Chizuru couldn't quite understand. "Hmm?" the blonde approached these strangers. "Excuse me, just a second, but were you just talking about--"

    "Ah!" one of these girls said. "You hadn't heard?! They say Salamander is here, right now!" she pointed the way they were following, making Lucy's eyes light up. "Salamander, the famous fire mage!"

    "No way!" Lucy's mouth hung slightly open, as the other girls went on without them merrily. "Salamander himself?! Maybe this will be a lucky day after all...!"

    Natsumi blinked. "Who's Salamander?"

    "Doesn't sound like a person one should be too excited about meeting," Chizuru opined.

    Lucy gaped at them. "You seriously don't know anything about Salamander?! I know you're from Vetus, but even so--!" She sighed, lowering her tone to explain, "Salamander is a famous fire mage, one of those who don't need incantations or any implements to control an element. Those are rare to find, and among us, they'll always be popular and influential. That's why I've gotta meet him!" she said, dashing after the other girls, chest bouncing up and down in that way that always made Natsumi flinch and wince, just like now. "You wait for me here if you want...!"

    Natsumi and Chizuru looked at each other. "Do you think that guy might know where Ayaka-san might be, Chizu-nee?"

    The taller girl shrugged. "Well, it can't hurt to try and find out, right? Besides, it'll be nice to finally meet a powerful wizard, after spending so log traveling with Lucy-san..."

    The by now tiny figure running away from them finally stopped, furiously spinning back on her heels. "I STILL CAN HEAR YOU FROM HERE, DON'T YOU KNOW?!"

    Chizuru smiled. "Although she has other qualities about her, like those senses always so conveniently sharp..."
     
  10. Threadmarks: Guild by Association, Chapter One, Act Three
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "Okay, so here's a list in progress of people you can't fight at all," Hasegawa Chisame said as she, Happy, Natsu and Negi walked down the main avenue of Harujion. "My sister, Speed Racer, Batman since he always has a large powerful vehicle at hand, the villains from the Speed movies, the cast of Fast and The Furious, Thomas the Tank Engine, most Transformers..."

    "Shut up, will you?" groaned Natsu, rubbing his taut stomach with a hand and still sporting an undisposed expression. "I have no idea what are you talking about, but frankly, I don't care..."

    Since he still was feeling so bad, Negi decided to go easy on him instead of acting the way he usually did whenever anyone told his students to shut up. "Let's forget all of that now we're on solid ground, okay? Our first priority from here on is finding that alleged Salamander and seeing if he is, indeed, the same person we are looking for. It shouldn't be that difficult since he didn't sound like the sort of person who could lie low for long..."

    "It has got to be him!" Natsu huffed, slamming a hand on a palm. "Fellows with the power of a Fire Dragon just can't be found anywhere that easily! Besides, I got a gut hunch it's him!"

    Chisame smirked sardonically. "Are you sure you should trust your gut at all now you emptied it all around the railroads? Anyway, even if that's not Igneel, that's still the same to us. As long as we bring him in, we'll still cash on the bounty all the same!"

    "Like hell you will, if that's Igneel after all!" Natsu warned. "Would I just try and cash on the Thousand Master if there were a bounty on him?"

    "Yes, you would!" Chisame and the ermine said at the same time, making Natsu sweatdrop noticeably.

    "Aye, they're right!" Happy added with a vigorous nod.

    "What, you too, Happy?!" the young man yelled.

    Negi smiled. "I wouldn't be worried even if there were one, Natsu-san, it's not like you could ever stop and apprehend my father anyway..."

    "Remind me telling you that as soon as Igneel's got you under his heel, will you?" Natsu grumbled, sticking his hands into his pockets. "I can't look for anyone on an empty stomach, what if we stop by a restaurant, or a smithy? You owe that much to your consultant, don't you?"

    Then they were caught by surprise by the sight of a large crowd blocking their way, and gathering around a large plaza. Mostly young women, enthusiastically shouting and cheering for someone at the middle of them all. Natsu's face lit up, and Chisame and Negi perked up, as they made sense of the voices.

    "Ahhhh! Mister Salamander!"

    "Please sign my autograph book!"

    "Please sign my shirt!"

    "I'm expecting your baby, Salamander!"

    "Ohhhhh! He's so dreamy...!"

    Among those mesmerized by the tall, muscular, handsome mature man with short dark hair and wearing a long, dark cape around his practical ensemble of tight black leather pants and tighter, form fitting white shirt unbuttoned at the top, stood Lucy and Natsumi, who gaped wide eyed and mouthed at the traveler waving and winking at his admirers. Chizuru, on the other hand, simply remained still and with a neutrally cold expression on her face, folding her arms under her breasts and softly tapping a foot down. "Honestly..." she lowly murmured to herself.

    "Have... Have you ever seen anyone like him...?" Lucy shakily asked Natsumi.

    Natsumi shook her head violently. "N-N-No! I, I mean, there was someone, once, but... But...!"

    Then, suddenly, the man tilted his head around in their direction, and gave a small roguish smirk, winking an eye. Natsumi and Lucy shivered and almost collapsed on their knees, feeling like divine light from above was descending upon them... until, a second later, along everyone else in the crowd, they realized he was actually smirking and winking at Chizuru, who still did not look amused or flattered at all.

    Salamander slow, sensually, walked towards Chizuru, with a casual Casanova sway to his angular hips, and the impiotent young women before her only stepping aside and letting him go his intended way, even as they shared long drawn moans of frustration and more than a bit of envy. Walking right past a frozen and tearful Lucy and Natsumi, he stopped right before the big breasted girl and gallantly offered her a red rose. "Such a lovely face and figure just called at me, even from amidst all other flowers in this garden," he huskily told her.

    She smiled back, with as much steel as politeness. "Oh my, I wonder why would that be? Perhaps the sole reason why my face stood out from all others was because it was the only one not smiling?"

    "You are now, however," he told her. "Which is good, as all ladies are more attractive when in a pleasant mood. And so, now your beauty is multiplied tenfold..."

    "My my, is that really so? Thank you for pointing it out, Mister, so I can keep it in mind for when I find my loved one..."

    Salamander flinched back from this remark, even as most girls in the crowd, Natsumi and Chizuru included, gasped in disbelief and dismay. "Oh... Oh, I see!" he recovered from the blow as best as he could, smirking again in a way that flashed his perfect white teeth under the sun. Again, most of the young women swooned and cooed, but Chizuru remained throughly unimpressed. "What a fortunate man, then. I believe I should meet whoever is that much of a lucky--"

    "Actually," Chizuru plainly remarked, "the person I am looking for is a young lady, as well."

    Salamander further cringed in a way that briedly distorted his captivating beauty, and for a moment several girls watching on blinked, feeling oddly rattled. Is she a--? he thought. But, even so! It should work regardless? Or is she actually a man? No, she cannot be, I'd have noticed it already...!

    And then, to disturb him even further, a loud, annoying male voice brayed from behind him, as someone had the galls to grab him by a shoulder from behind, the cad!

    "Igneel!!" Natsu grinned as he finished pushing his way through the crowd, taking a hand to the shoulder of the man facing away from him. "Hey, it's me, Natsu! You still remember me, don't--!" Then he frowned sudden and bitterly as Salamander turned back to stare at him with eyes filled with burning hatred. "Who the hell are you?"

    As he felt his public's eyes fixed on him, expectantly, Salamander blushed, quickly composed himself back once again, and put on the suave, charming attitude once more. "Why, I'm Salamander, the wandering Mage of Fire, young man. Oh, let me guess. You are a would-be apprentice, are not you? I'm terribly sorry, but right now I can't take on any--"

    "Why the hell should I want to learn anything from you?" Natsu matter of factly interrupted him, making Salamander and his admirers all jawdrop instanly, even as Chizuru only could giggle discreetly from behind a concealing hand. Her bemusement, however, quickly turned into shock, just like Natsumi's earlier bafflement, when he saw one young boy and another girl walking out of the crowd and stop by Natsu's side, the shirtless young man looking back at them and pointing at the still paralyzed Salamander. "Hey, do you know this clown?"

    Negi frowned. "Natsu-san, please have some manners! I don't know what ever gave you the right to-- Ahhh, Chisame, are you okay?" he asked his female companion, who was now gaping and looking across the plaza. At first Salamander thought she had just been snared as well, but then realized, to his ever growing disconcert, she was pointing and gasping at the young beauty who had downright ignored him, and to one of the girls with her.

    "You!" Chisame gasped. "What are you doing here...?!"

    "Oh, good afternoon, Chisame-san," Chizuru casually waved at her, even as Negi and his ermine started looking just as flabbergasted and rattled as Natsumi. "To you as well, naturally, Negi-sensei. Isn't it this a wonderful coincidence, to meet here after so long...?"

    "Well, don't answer if you don't want to, then!" an upset Natsu barked at his younger travel partners before turning to his ever helpful cat. "How about you, Happy, any info on this creep?"

    "Nope," Happy said. "Other than he's not very content at you, maybe?"

    Salamander indeed was boiling up and hissing, rising heated vapor flowing around him, before settling his mood back down rather forcefully, tugging down on his own shirt to control himself. When he smiled again, it was a forced, clenched terrible thing to behold, although still sexy. "It would seem this sunny place of happiness also attracts some uncouth barbarians," he said, "but let be known those won't be welcome at the gala I shall be throwing tonight." Smoothly running a hand back through his hair, he swept a glance through the crowd, snaring most of the females back but the still staring and quiet Chisame, Chizuru and Natsumi. "Yes, tonight at my ship, all of you lovely flowers are invited to a ball I shall be throwing in honor to this evergreen city! Please be there! For I feel love may be in the cards this lovely evening, ha ha!"

    He stomped a foot down, and the heated vapor turned into flames under his feet, and he flew away on them, casually tossing roses down at the girls, most of whom threw themselves at them, madly struggling with each other to pick them; again, except for Chizuru, who had just moved ahead to gently smile at and hug Chisame, Chisame herself, who only facepalmed, Natsumi, who merely deflated with a sigh, and Lucy, who now blinked several times and mumbled to herself, confused, "What... What has he just done here...?"

    The small boy with red hair huffed, folding his arms and frowning at the small spot in the sky, flying towards the port. "What a despicable thing to do. A thrall spell! Truly deplorable...!"

    "A thrall spell!" Lucy gasped, the realization washing over her like icy water and further shaking the fascination out of her. "Of, of course, that explains everything! But... But how do you know that? Who are you?!"

    "He is," Chizuru calmly explained, finally letting go of the embarrassed Chisame, "Negi Springfield, son of Nagi Springfield the Thousand Master. Our former teacher in Japan, Lucy-san."

    "Say whaaaaaaat?!" Lucy exclaimed.
     
  11. Threadmarks: Guild by Association, Chapter One, Act Four
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "You... You might choke, if you keep doing that..." Natsumi, pale and sweaty, warned while watching, in subdued horror, how Natsu stuffed large amounts of food down his throat, then chugged them down with just as ridiculously huge gulps of drink from a gigantic jar, sitting across her, Chizuru and Lucy, at the table they had been given in the small, cozy nearby restaurant. Negi-sensei and Chisame sat by Natsu's side, with Happy and Chamo sitting aside on the table itself, merrily wolfing down decent sized plates of their own.

    "We wish!" Chisame snorted, trying her best not to look as Natsu shoved a large piece of fish and a whole chicken breast down his mouth at once, his teeth avidly crushing them before the result laboriously worked its way down his throat. "At least we don't have to worry about his bill, we'll just put in on his guild's tab..."

    "Oh!" Lucy blinked. "You are in a Magic Guild?!"

    The salmon haired boy nodded energetically, then began coughing with violence as the large bump going down his neck briefly became stuck, with a sighing Chisame patting his back. Negi explained things for him. "Yes, since our arrival on Mundus Magicus, we have established a guild of our own, and we have allied ourselves with Natsu-san's guild , who have been very gracious with us so far. That is why we are taking on this assignment together..."

    "Huh, I always thought pretty much all Guilds were always at odds with each other," Lucy commented. "And you say you used to be Natsumi and Chizuru's teacher?"

    Negi nodded. "As you know, in Mundus Vetus, mages are supposed to keep our magecraft a secret from most of the population. Most often, we are to take jobs that would serve as a facade for our magical activities, and mine was to be a teacher in Japan, at the Far East of Earth. I was immensely fortunate to teach Class 2-A, later 3-A, as their homeroom and English instructor. However, one of our students conspired to reveal magic to the world at large, and while she failed, the scandal was large enough to force me to resign. Disgraced, I had to flee here, to Mundus Magicus, but several of my students chose to come with me..."

    "The students you had allowed to know about your magic in the first place, Sensei," Chizuru gently chided him. "You could have at least let us know on the whole situation as well before leaving, so we could make our own decisions on the subject..."

    Negi's tone grew very serious and even stubborn. "That was not my call to make. It never was, and I don't regret not telling you, for your own sake. To the very end, I tried my best to make sure as many of you as possible were spared from the dangers of my lifestyle."

    "And yet, here we are," Chizuru simply told him. Lucy looked curiously back and forth between them, trying to make full sense of their shared backstory. "How is Ayaka?"

    "Oh, she's happy as a clam, you didn't have to worry about her," Chisame answered while Natsu went back to wolfing down like a desperate man. "What about Yotsuba? Ookuchi? Izumi?"

    Chizuru shrugged. "All as well as they could under the circumstances, I suppose. Izumi-san really wanted to come with us, to see Akashi-san and Sasaki-san again, but we convinced her her family couldn't bear seeing her leave. Satsuki-san will always be Satsuki-san, and she's hired new employees to serve the restaurant along Chachamaru-san and Ku-san. Akira-san is still busy with... that thing she has going on with Aino-san and her friends, Sensei," she enigmatically added, making Lucy really wonder.

    "Oh," Negi said. "So you even learned about that..."

    "Yes, we did," Chizuru nodded. "Life goes on for everyone else, too. Tatsumiya-san, President Fujino, the Narutaki twins and Kaede-san... They all send their best regards, naturally."

    Negi smiled warmly, moved. "Thank you so very much, Chizuru-san, Natsumi-san..."

    "Y-You are welcome, Sensei!" Natsumi stammered "You also should thank Lucy-san, she's looked after us almost the whole time we've been here..."

    "Yes, that's me!" Lucy smiled proudly, reaching over and shaking Negi's hand. "Wow, so you really are... that man's son, then?! I'm impressed! Many impostors and frauds claim that a few times a year, but you really look like the pictures of him! You must be very proud of your legacy!"

    "Well, yeah, about legacies," Natsu said, finally taking a moment off his voracious devouring. "That guy calling himself Salamander, he's staining my family's with his boasting and his parading around, so we're going to kick his ass and cash on a bounty for him! You after the reward, too?"

    "What? I... No!!" Lucy said. "I, I don't even belong to a Guild yet, how could I?!"

    "So what?" Natsu snorted, taking a whole tomato into his mouth, chewing it up, and swallowing it almost just as soon. "You don't have to belong to a guild to hunt for bounties, just ask Lina Inverse..."

    "W-W-Why would you compare me to Lina Inverse?!" Lucy protested, sounding like someone who has just been compared to an alien bloodsucking gorilla. "Listen, I want to do things by the book. I'm looking for a good Guild to join, and during that search I ran into Chizuru and Natsumi! Since they were lost and needed a guide, I've been helping them around, but now they've found you, Professor Negi, I guess they won't be needing me anymore..."

    "Thank you so much for everything, Lucy-san," Natsumi bowed very respectfully to her. "Without you, who knows where would we be now?"

    "I shudder just by thinking of it..." Chisame confessed. "Didn't you read enough on this world before coming? They can turn you into a slave for years over a mere debt!"

    "I see you are a reliable person, Lucy-san," Negi smiled, "so, if you are looking for a guild, why not joining ours? Ala Alba is still a new, untested guild, but if you are willing to accept us, I'm sure our Director won't object to--"

    "Are you kidding me?!" Lucy cried out, making a few heads in the neighboring tables turn around. "Being in the same guild as the Thousand Master's son?! Of course I'd love that...!"

    Then a shocked, rattled silence fell over the rest of the restaurant.

    Negi shrank down on his seat, uneasily. "Um, Lucy-san. Normally, going around saying aloud you're related to Nagi Springfield is not that good an idea, actually..."

    Lucy blinked. "Why is that?"

    As if on cue, three large, smirking rough looking men with the salty smell of seawater and sweat and bandanas wrapped aroud their heads approached the table, already drawing out huge clubs and long sharp swords. The other patrons began leaving quickly out the front door, and the waiters and the owner wisely retreated through the back door in a discreet silence, hastily huddling together.

    "Hey, kiddo," one of the suspicious looking sailors said, "Your Negi Springfield, aren't you? Say, didn't use ta be a reward on yer head a while ago...?"

    Negi sighed, reaching back to take hold of his staff while Natsu grinned widely and mashed his knuckles together. "Gentlemen, the reward was recalled more than one month ago. All charges against us have been dropped, so there's no reason to--"

    "Other than ta be be the guy who aced the Thousand Master's son!" one of the pirates howled happily, lashing out ahead with his blade, making Lucy and Natsumi shriek, and all hell to break loose.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  12. Threadmarks: Guild by Association, Chapter One, Act Five
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    It was early evening by now, and yet Lucy still couldn't tear her eyes apart from the ruins of the restaurant she could see from her vantage point on the high road overlooking most of the city. "Don't you think that was overkill, just to deal with a few uppity pirates...?"

    "Hey," grunted Natsu, from where he watched over the opposite direction, staring down at the port with Happy sitting on his shoulder. "I wouldn't have bothered if those two punks' friends hadn't rushed in right after Negi pummeled them down!"

    "Then you should've let him handle those as well!" Lucy snapped, spinning on her heels and back towards him. "He was doing fine by himself without blowing half of the place up!"

    Negi, who stood by Natsu and along Chisame keeping watch on one of the largest boats in sight through binoculars, sighed. "Please don't dwell on that anymore, Miss Heartfilia. No one was seriously hurt, and Ala Alba and Fairy Tail will cover all damage, you can be sure of that."

    "Yeah," Lucy argued, "but even if Fairy Tail is a big and powerful guild with tons of experience on collateral damage, that still doesn't make it right to-- Say whaaaaat?!" Lucy cried. "Fairy Tail?!"

    Chisame nodded. "This idiot is part of Fairy Tail, the guild we are allied with. Oh, we hadn't mentioned that yet, had we?"

    "No, you hadn't!" Lucy said. "Fairy Tail, my gosh! The official wrecking crew of the magical guilds! The reckless humanoid tornados second only to Lina Inverse! It's a miracle the town still stands, how many of you are here?!"

    "Just the two of us!" Happy said.

    "We aren't that bad, a lot of that is just bad publicity..." Natsu groaned. "Hey, Negi, are your girls in there yet?"

    "They're not 'my girls', Natsu-san, they are my st-- My friends," Negi corrected him and himself. "And yes, they have just gotten onboard. I shouldn't have allowed this. Using them as bait, how could I fall this low...!"

    "Hey, it was Naba's idea!" Chisame reminded him. "Look at it this way, we couldn't let any harm befall any of those other airheads in that ship either, so it's still the same thing after all. Isn't it?"

    "I guess so," Negi allowed, "but still, this only makes it much more personal..."

    "And so much easier for you to focus on doing the job no matter what," said the ermine sitting into his breast pocket. "You've always worked better under personal pressure, Brother..."

    Lucy sweatdropped. "That's... kind of a callous way to approach the problem, isn't it? Both towards him and towards your friends?"

    "It works both ways, though," Chamo observed. "Whatever his ultimate purpose is, that fake Salamander has all those girls trapped in there for more than a simple mass sacrifice. Otherwise, with his kind of power, it'd be much easier for him just to torch several city blocks at once. He must want to keep them alive as much as we do, at least for now, so the more of them there are in the boat, the more restrained he'll be to fight us when we crash his little party!"

    "Let's just do it already," Natsu hissed. "I don't think I'll be able to pull it off if that stinking fancy bath tub starts sailing away!"

    "Eh?!" Lucy gasped. "You're coming along too?! No way! You're Fairy Tail, you'll sink it as soon as you set a foot on it!"

    "Who do you think I am, Groo the Wanderer?!" protested Natsu.

    "Maybe you're right, Natsu-san," Negi nodded thoughtfully, "I have a bad feeling about this, like-- we're being watched!" he said, quickly leaping up in a way that made him look more like he had just blinked out and back, reappearing several feet above and slamming his hands on something very small, then to reappear among the others seconds afterwards. He opened his hands and frowned at the tiny, deformed dead firefly squashed between his palms, "Just like I suspected, it's a spy familiar! We've been spotted!"

    Lucy gasped as she leaned closer to get a better look, just like Chisame and Natsu. "That creep is smarter than he lets on! He's been expecting for an ambush the whole time?!"

    "Well, he must know there's a bounty on him," Negi said, his now steely gaze darting downwards, for the ship that was started drifting away from the docks, leaving a few, startled young ladies attired in elegant dresses stuck at the waterfront, gulping and shouting at the unexpected departure. "Too late! He's getting away!"

    "Damn that impostor!" Natsu roared. "Like hell I'm letting him go!"

    "But, your motion sickness!" Negi warned, even as he mounted his staff again, Chisame sitting down behind him and hugging his waist.

    "It's okay, I'm too mad to get dizzy!" Natsu huffed, grabbing onto Happy's short legs as the cat deployed a pair of wide, white feathery wings from his back, flapping over to hover above the youg man, whom he begun to lift without apparent effort. "Let's go, Happy!"

    "Aye!" the feline nodded.

    Lucy gasped and pointed up. "Wha-What in the world?! Why do you have wings and fly?!"

    Happy took a second to look down at her. "Because I'm a cat," he plainly explained.

    "That doesn't explain it!" Lucy screeched. "As a matter of fact, it's the whole opposite! Even talking cats aren't supposed to have wings, much less fly with them!"

    "Listen, can we leave the Zoology discussions for later?" the annoyed Chisame asked as she and Negi began gaining height on his staff. "Are you coming or not?"

    Lucy blinked. "With you... or with them?" she blandly asked then, too baffled to say anything else.

    "I'd rather have you go with them," Happy confessed. "You look heavy!"

    "Even a baby should be heavy for you, you're barely bigger than my fist!" Lucy growled, hopping up to land on her butt right behind Chisame, quickly latching her arms around her and supporting herself on her. "Um, is it okay, like this?" the blonde doubted. "This is my first time riding a staff!"

    Happy chuckled, an upper paw lightly placed before his mouth. "Sure thing, let's go with that..."

    "Okay, you're going to pay for that later!" Lucy promised.

    Negi blinked. "I don't get it. Why would you be mad about that?"

    "Neither do I," Natsu confessed. "Who the heck cares, let's just rush over there already!" he said, just as Happy began flying him down and towards the sea. "The closer he is to the coast, the better!"

    Chisame only flinched slightly, feeling her front pressing against Negi's back while, from behind, Lucy's voluminous chest was tightly mashed against her back instead. Think of hacking, think of hacking... she repeated in her mind as they followed Natsu and Happy towards the slowly drifting ship, under two huge, full silver moons.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  13. Threadmarks: Rebuild of Unequally Rational and Emotional, Chapter One, Act Six
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "Kyoto, huh? Yeah, Kyoto will be fine, whatever," Fujimura Taiga shrugged, not even stopping grading papers or bothering to look up at the baffled Negi and Midori who stood before the small desk of her cramped office, decorated with all sorts of kendo trophies and signed swords on display cases. Plus the occasional tiger figurine. "I'll tell the kids tomorrow and that should be it."

    "It's... that easy, really?" Negi doubted for a moment. "Are you sure that's okay with you?"

    "Why wouldn't it be?" Taiga said. "I mean, I could use some practice for my English, I actually like the language, but long trips are such a pain. I'd rather go somewhere in Japan, and really, I don't think the school should waste so much money on overseas trips either. So okay, why not? Kyoto it is! I'm sure the kids will like the idea too."

    "Wow," Midori ended up saying quietly. "Your students sure are understanding. What I wouldn't do for them to do anything I say..."

    "They know what's best for them," Taiga grunted softly, finishing with a stack of tests and starting with another. "Well, all but the Matou boy anyway. Believe me, if they've taken this long to decide it's not because anyone was fighting over the destination, but the complete opposite. Nobody wanted to bother and suggest a place, because by default that would mean taking the responsibility over the trip, and while my kids are overall responsible enough, that's only once you've actually given them a task. Before that? A total lack of initiative, I tell you..."

    "Don't they have a Class Rep to direct the trip?" Midori rethorically asked.

    "Of course, nominally they chose Tohsaka, but the thing is they respect her so much they won't even charge her with doing anything, and she kinda takes advantage of that," the slightly older woman with much shorter and lighter hair noted. "At the end of the day, it's Ryuudou-kun who takes care of pretty much everything, but he isn't much of a trip person either. Doesn't matter, my grandpa has friends in Kyoto. I can book us a hotel as long as you deliver on the designated driver and the guide, because those friends' drivers and guides... well, they really aren't the type you want introduced to teenagers," she had to admit.

    "Oh, I can find a reliable driver, I'm sure!" Negi smiled and nodded.

    "And I know of a great guide for the occasion!" Midori grinned. "We have a deal then, don't we, Tiger?"

    "No we don't, if you ever call me Tiger again," Fujimura warned.

    "Tigger, then?"

    "Just get outta my office already, before I bounce you back to the 100 Acres, Pooh."

    ---

    "Ah ha ha ha, see, that was a piece of cake!" Midori laughed as they walked towards the dorms, guiding him down a certain detour Negi couldn't help but noticing to his growing uneasiness. He was so troubled by this he didn't even think back of how she had been adamant Taiga wouldn't cooperate all the way to her office. "She's a paper tiger after all, what an easily swayed woman!"

    "Hmm, Sensei?" Negi finally asked, as they passed under the shade of a gigantic old tree, and he had to look up for a moment, sure he'd just seen strange serpentine eyes briefly flickering amidst the foliage."Are you aware we have taken the scenic route?"

    "Yeah, of course I have," Midori nodded carelessly. "I wanted to talk with you about something important, in private, once we had taken that matter outta our back."

    The usual signs of danger Nekane had often warned him about blared in the back of Negi's mind, but his formal politeness remained in top form. "I'd be glad to answer any doubts you would have, as long as they are--"

    "Last night," she said, sounding a bit more serious now, "I was visited by a recent acquaitance of mine, who told me he'd been talking to you and Kuga Natsuki, earlier that afternoon. Was he lying?"

    Negi frowned. This topic had not been the one he had been dreading, but it was not a welcome one either way. "Oh, you mean Nagi-san."

    "Yeah," she nodded, her tone even more humorless now. "I can't believe it, that little punk promised me he'd never pull anyone but HiMEs into this first time we met, so what's his game now?"

    "I believe," Negi ventured, "if you were to ask him he'd say I've involved myself into this... whatever it is, myself, through association with Kuga-san. Of course, our association still isn't deep enough she would have trusted me with anything but the barest basics on what her current ordeal is."

    "Naturally," Midori said. "Natsuki-chan is just that secretive."

    "But I trust you are not, so now we are all alone, perhaps you might explain to me what are you two... or rather three, I imagine... immersed into at the time. Just so I know whether I should help you or stay out of your way, as she would seem to prefer me to do."

    "And maybe she is right," the woman said, "but so are you, and you have the right to know. You're already aware I'm versed on what's going on with the world of magic, right?"

    Negi nodded. "Itoshiki-sensei has told me that much, but not anything else about you."

    "No surprise there either, since that's all he should know on me," she said. "Just like Natsuki-chan, I'm a HiME, Highly Advanced Materializing Equipment. And just like her, I got my powers from Nagi, who charged me with hunting the Orphans haunting the four schools. There's supposed to be twelve of us, but looks like so far only the two of us have been branded." She pulled her top up a bit, and Negi leapt back with a yelp of surprise, only to calm down when he saw she had pulled only enough as to show a small mark on the flesh over her right ribs. It was reddish and shaped like a small circle with an even slammer dot at its middle. "This is the proof of what I've become, and the powers I now wield. But, just to be a tad more precise, and since an image says more than a thousand words..."

    She breathed deeply, closed her eyes, and stretched her right arm ahead. Her hand also outstretched and suddenly, much to Negi's surprise, a sharp labrys, almost as long as she was tall, appeared between her fingers as she began singing in a low, unfazed tone.

    "At the sea where no one else is, I wanted to make certain of your love. I slipped in your arms, running through the radiant waters, until we could no longer breathe. Hurry and embrace me tightly. My beloved one..."

    The ground under her seemed to burst forth and explode around her as raw power flowed out of her body, further startling Negi, dirt flying around in all directions. She smirked again, her hand tightening around the gigantic bladed weapon, and continued singing on, even clearer and louder, nearly defiant, making Negi wonder again.

    "O lonely sea, confirming our romance! Nestled into your arms, we ran breathlessly along...! Through the dazzling beach, come, embrace me again! That's what I love about you...!"

    And then she wasn't singing, but shouting, at something or someone past beyond Negi's line of sight, moving him to look wildly all around, to one side and the other. "I can feel you squirming already, little child! So why don't you show up already? You know you want to! Why to leave this for later?!"

    "S-Sensei?" Negi doubted. "This person you are addressing, would that be a-- Ohhhhh, dear..." he swallowed, seeing the ground crack and shatter before them, a huge gorge breaking open and cutting their path. And from it, as if the earth itself was giving birth to a monstruous titan of yore, rose a creature six meters tall, a bipedal humanoid with a robust build and thick, gray rocky skin, plus a face with no visible features but two bright, red eyes that quickly fixed down on them, even as the aberration flexed the four arms attached to its strong, bulky torso and the roared madly. "Mother of everything that is holy!"

    "This isn't your first time fighting an Orphan, is it?" Midori kept on smirking tensely, readying the colossal labrys. "If so, just stay behind me at all times and do everything I tell you..."

    "N-No, but I'd never seen one this big!" Negi gulped, also preparing his staff and chanting his spell activation under his breath.

    "Oh," Midori said. "In that case.. Stay behind me at all times and do everything I tell you!" she warned, leaping aside as the surprisingly fast behemoth lashed ahead for them, only managing to hit the ground where they'd stood seconds ago with two fists, and pulverizing it into tiny pieces that crumbled down, swallowed by the new abyss it had just opened.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  14. Threadmarks: Rebuild of Unequally Rational and Emotional, Chapter One, Act Seven
    OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "Negi!" Midori shouted as she threw the labrys towards the throat of the gorilla-like towering being. "Cover me as long as I'm unarmed, will you?!"

    "O-Okay!" Negi gulped, grabbing her by a side and throwing themselves back as the weapon hit against the middle section of the monster's neck, only for its cutting surface to merely leave a dent there, then to fly back into Midori's hands before the Orphan could swat it off the air. She easily caught it by the long handle, narrowing her eyes as the Orphan took a second to ran thick fingers over the slight wound bleeding in gray.

    "Shit," she said. "As strong as he looks, huh! Gotta admit, this is the biggest one I've faced so far, too..."

    "Septendecim spiritus aeriales, coeuntes. Sagitta Magica, Series Fulguralis! Sagitta Magica, Convergentia Fulguralis!" Negi shouted, shooting several arrows of lightning that briefly immobilized the giant, making it thrash in place on its oversized feet. Then he followed with more of them squarely aimed at its chest, which exploded onto contact and raised a huge cloud all around it, seemingly out of material literally ripped apart from its torax cavity. Negi, while hating to see any living being suffer, still had to smile. "That... That should have done it..."

    "I don't think so," Midori disagreed. "Nothing but a HiME can slay an Orphan!"

    "I've seen Tatsumiya-san and Munakata-san annihilate one before," Negi pointed out.

    "Well, then at least one of them must be a HiME without knowing it," Midori insisted. Before Negi could object on the obvious ridiculousness of this claim, the massive Orphan just stepped out of the cloud, waving its six arms and howling in anger. "See, whatever I told you?!"

    "I have hurt him, though!" Negi pointed at the large chunks of stony flesh dangling from the creature's flesh, along thick and blobbing gray substance. "We can do this if we keep on hitting!"

    "Yeah, maybe, but we're just human, and we tire far faster than them," Midori instructed, waving her weapon ahead and sending several large swats of compressed air, actually forming blasting projectiles vaguely shaped like boomerangs rippling through and over, simmering into a semblance of view until they hit the Orphan's knees, keeping it back. "With Orphans, the key is killing them as fast as we can! Maybe if you called your little friends along?"

    "My... how did you...?!" Negi gasped, amazed she already would know about his Pactio partners, which naturally he didn't want to involve into this.

    "You just mentioned them, didn't you?!" she shouted. "Tatsumiya Mana and her apprentice!"

    "Oh! Oh, them!" Negi breathed out. "Well... I'm afraid I couldn't summon them here quickly enough, sorry..."

    "Yeah. Figured out that much." The redhead snorted, darted out ahead, and swung at the golem-like abominations' heels with her labrys, spinning around it and, again, barely inconveniencing it. Negi swallowed hard, taking aim for another shot but unwilling to do so until Midori had stepped out of the way. Then he heard someone chuckling from above him, and he looked up to see a familiar face of late sitting on a branch above him, short legs dangling back and forth.

    "Nagi-san?!" the boy teacher said.

    "Well, who else would it be? My twin sister?" the albino smiled, calmly reading from another small book he kept open in a hand. "Well, aren't you a ladykiller? Literally, since you keep dragging them into deadly danger. Just yesterday you were flirting with Natsuki-chan, and now with such an older woman, what a shame, really, Negi-sensei..."

    "I'm only seventeen years old...!" Midori lied again, all but dancing from one side to another and dodging the hammering blows of the Orphan.

    "Sensei!" Negi shouted at her. "Come here, I'll fly you out!"

    "No, we can't escape!" she said, slashing at the fists once they were at her reach, but again only leaving surface cuts. "If you try and escape, Orphans only chase you no matter where you go! Sooner or later, we'd lead this clown into a populated area!"

    Nagi nodded. "She talks from hard-earned experience, too. Her first time, she got so scared she ran away like a little--"

    "No time for that right now, Nagi, you fucker!" Midori cursed, again having to resort to back away for her life as the Orphan advanced on her.

    "There is, however, a trump card you may resort to now!" Nagi happily said, finally closing the book and holding a pointer finger up. "Besides the Elements I have blessed them with, each HiME may eventually access a Child of her own to combat Orphans!"

    "Fulguratio Albicans!" Negi yelled, shooting at the Orphan's head and forcing him to stop momentarily. Then he asked Nagi, "What use is a child for in a situation like this, seriously?!"

    "..." Nagi glared down at him, frowning. "... you of all people really shouldn't be asking that, as you know. Well, to answer your question, in my business' lingo, Childs-- not Children, there's an important distinction there-- are creatures akin to Orphans, but who are bound to HiMEs and obey to them. Of course, unlike the Elements, Childs have to be gained through a contract with a subject known as the HiME's 'Key'..."

    "I've been meaning to ask, what's an 'Element'?" Negi asked.

    Nagi frowned again, and pointed at the labrys Midori was laboriously slamming onto the Orphan's stomach now that Negi had briefly stunned it.

    "Oh, you mean her Artifact!" Negi said.

    Nagi sighed. "Okay, yes, I suppose it is sort of the equivalent to a Ministra's Artifact. But so is the Child," he grinned, "as that is the result of an union between the contractor HiME and the individual who will lend their added mana for the substeinance of the Child. You will see, those handy creatures need a certain investment to remain in this world..."

    It was Negi's turn to frown. "Oh, so you're now trying to sell me into a Pactio of sorts. Sorry, but I already have six and a Pactio broker I'm bound in exclusivity to..."

    "Not exactly the same thing!!" Nagi said, springing up to outright stand on the branch, and then to point at the struggling Midori. "What in the world, do you really want to see Midori-chan killed?!"

    "Of course not!" Negi answered angrily, "but I highly doubt this Orphan will give us the time to--!"

    "Tsk, tsk, it isn't like that, what do you think I am, some kind of dealer on child prostitution?" Nagi asked, shaking his head and a finger. "The proccess for this is far simpler than a kiss and a drawn circle! Just get close, let her touch you with her Element, and really wish for it, with all of your hearts! Clicking your heels together might also help," he admitted as if an afterthought.

    "What is 'prostitution'?" Negi asked, with very tiny and black round eyes.

    "You have a very warped sense of priorities on how to gather which kind of knowledge, did you know that?" Nagi flatly asked him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  15. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    The Truth.

    The phone rang, and Rito picked it up.

    "Rito? Is that you?" his father's voice asked.

    The young man frowned. "Yeah. Yeah, that's me, Dad. What do you want?"

    "Rito, I've been talking with the boys in the studio, and they've convinced me to tell you the real reason why I spend all year long locked in a studio with nothing but men all around," Yuuki Saibai said.

    "You're gay?" Rito blandly asked.

    "... no, although at this rate I wouldn't be shocked if I ended up there in a couple years," Saibai admitted. "But the actual reason why I've locked myself here, away from you and Mikan-chan, no matter how much it pains me, is..." he paused, sobbed loudly, and then yelled his distress. "I have an extremely rare incurable condition! I can't be around any women without tripping, falling on them, groping them and planting my face on their private parts! I'm sorry, Rito, I know you won't believe me, but that makes it impossible for me to coexist with others in a normal environment! Kami-sama knows I tried looking for a cure, and so did your mother! But it was all in vain! Will you ever forgive your foolish old man? You believe me, don't you, Rito?!"

    "... yes, Dad," the boy monotoned. "I believe you."

    "Then... Then why are you still so cold towards me?! You really don't believe me, do you?! I swear, I can't be around others being this way! It's completely impossible for anyone...!"

    "Look, Dad," Rito groaned, taking his other hand off Lala's breast as the two of them, Haruna, Momo, Nana and Mikan struggled, not that much in Momo's case, to distangle themselves from the tight human bind they had somehow fallen into moments ago when Rito had slipped while walking towards the girls. "I'm a bit busy right now, so I'm hanging if you won't mind, okay...? Bye."

    And so he did.
     
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  16. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    The Explanation.

    "No!" the Dark Knight shouted, racing desperately towards the man and the seven glowing spheres spread around him on the sand, even as the gigantic, green, scaly figure rose majestically towards the thunderous night sky. "I won't let you...!!"

    "Ha ha ha ha ha ha hahaaahhh, too late, Batman!!" the Joker cackled, throwing his gloved hands upwards. "Shen Long! Grant my wish now! Give me complete immortality...!!"

    ---

    "And that's why I won't kill the Joker, Jason," the Batman grunted. "Because it's fucking impossible!"

    Red Hood paused, then scratched the back of his neck sheepishly. "Oh... I see. Well, you should have told us way earlier, then!"
     
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  17. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    How to Create the Most Hideous Manganime Character Ever.

    Baki the Grappler muscles.

    Kyo Ani hands and feet.

    Toriyama Akira eyes.

    Masaki Kajishima ears.

    Eiken breasts.

    Escaflowne nose.
     
  18. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    The Perfect Candidate.

    When Chisame walked by Ayaka and Asuna, they were at the tail end of yet another heated discussion.

    "And you aren't even that good of a Class Rep anyway!" Asuna was arguing.

    "Oh, am I not?!"

    "No! You're biased! You have favorites and are fast to judge others all the time! You don't really listen to others, you just act on what you want to enforce, the way you want to! You're too loud, you don't explain your reasons well, and you always make such a big show out of everything you do! You'll never admit it when you've been wrong, but when others are, you'll never stop reminding them that! You're so spoiled by your successes you never want to improve, and--!"

    Chisame blinked, listening intently to the rest of the exchange, and when an irate Asuna finally stomped away, she approached Ayaka. "Um, Iinchou..."

    "What do you want, Chisame-san...?!"

    "Um... I know you're a very busy person, but still... Would you be interested on moderating an Internet message board for me...?"

    ---

    Disclaimer: The satire expressed in this segment does not apply to Questionable Questing moderators. Regrettably, it does apply to moderators in far too many other places.
     
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  19. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    Fated to Redo.

    "Ah, Rin," Kirei smiled, stepping ahead to greet the visitor at his church. "I'm glad you finally could summon your--" Here he paused, staring at the scantily clad exact lookalile of Rin standing next to his protege.

    The Tohsaka heiress sighed, placing two fingers on her forehead. "This is Archer, Kirei. And no, don't ask, I don't really have an answer either."

    Archer smiled sultrily at the quietly stunned man of the cloth. "Good evening, Priest. However, while I do not mind being any man's object of worship, perhaps one who serves another God should not devote so much of his attention to one such as me..."

    Sitting deep at the back of the church, pouring himself a glass of wine, Gilgamesh suddenly felt an extremely uncomfortable chill running down his spine. He looked at the drink dubiously for a moment, then shrugged to himself and took it to his lips, but put the rest of the bottle aside as soon as he was done, regardless.

    Kotomine finally regained his cold aloofness, folding his arms behind his back. "I am naught but a mere arbiter, and the exact nature of each Servant does not matter to me, nor their resemblance to anyone else. As long as you have been summoned as a Heroic Spirit, then I will--"

    The church's doors were slammed open from the outside, and Archer and Rin spun around identically, one readying a bow, the other several gems between her fingers, to face a sheepish looking, downcast Matou Sakura slowly following a much livelier, longer haired, cheerful Matou Sakura who bounced in energetically, extending her arms at her sides. "Yahooo! Hey, NPC Priest!" this different Sakura waved at the once again stunned out of his mind Kirei, while Rin could oly let her jaw hang loose. "My my, we're big on reusing assets nowadays, aren't we? How do you do, I'm Servant Moon Cancer, and me and Master came here to register after deleting a few annoying bugs back at home!" She came to halt before a wincing Archer, tilted her head aside curiously, looked at Rin next, and asked her, "Shouldn't you be blonde here?"

    Kirei only could hope during the tense silence that ensued, if hope was a word that could ever apply to him at all, that things wouldn't get more unpredictable and thus more difficult to manipulate from here. With any luck, the Assassin he had procured himself would bring more uplifting news after his nightly patrol, at least in the way Kirei understood a word such an 'uplifting...'

    ---

    Emiya Shirou was not having a good night at all. But obviously someone thought different.

    "Rejoice, boy," solemnly intoned the tall, imposing man advancing towards him. "For not only I will grant you a quick demise, but you will be spared the horrors to come upon this world. In a way, intruding upon the conflict between Lancer and I was the best thing that ever could happen to you..."

    "W-Wait, aren't you the priest of the local church?!" Shirou kept on backing away until his back touched the shed's wall, finally recognizing the man's dark clothes in the nocturnal blackness. "What did I ever do to you?! Doesn't your religion forbid you from killing?!"

    He raised the huge, black blades he held in each hand. "What can you know about the forces from above, and what they intend for us?" he asked, but just as he brought his Black Keys down, they were blocked by a single, much longer blade, and Shirou shielded his eyes with an arm from the sudden glow that had exploded forth between him and his attacker. One from which rose a sword wielding figure, in black pants and a single long scarlet sleeve, his lean, yet muscular bare chest and torso almost glistening under the light enveloping him. Shirou blinked, completely marveled, because this savior who was now roughly pushing the Assassin back and out, sending him flying through the opposite wall of the shed--

    -- and now turned back to him, with a stern expression on his face and saying, "I am Servant Saber. Are you my Master?"--

    -- was, clothes aside, physically identical to him in every last detail.

    Things were only getting even stranger from here on, were not they?

    ---

    On top of a small hill overlooking Fuyuki City, two small girls sat on a gigantic polar bear, staring down at the urban lights in a thrilled, expecting silence. Admit it, as far as anime beginnings involving bears goes, this is far less cliche than 'a panda chased a redhead across the streets, under a heavy rain...'

    Until one of them pumped a fist up. "Yes, that's what I was talking about! Get ready to rumble, Onii-chan! Your little sister is back in town...!"

    The completely identical girl in furs sitting behind her on the bear grunted faintly. "Control yourself already, will you, Alter Ego?"

    Honestly, even a Caster would have been better than this.
     
  20. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    There was a mod who broke Rule 1 in their replies to me, but other than that I have been impressed with the mods on QQ.

    Who is the Berserker in this case?
     
  21. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    It's a gag oneshot, I really didn't think that far.
     
  22. Endless Sorcerer

    Endless Sorcerer I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Laeticia and Swimsuit Jalter?

    I'm just disappointed we didn't get to see Taiga and Jaguarman.

    Wait, is Kirei the master of Emiya (Assassin)? Oh dear.
     
  23. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    No, Kirei is the master of Pseudo Servant Kirei/Rasputin, as seen in Cosmos in the Lostbelt. Rasputin's class hasn't been revealed yet, but judging from Kirei's usual M.O. and the way he disposed of Caster Da Vinci it seems pretty obvious to me he'd be an Assassin. Adding to that, technically the only Servant who ever was truly his was Hundred-Faces Hassan, another Assassin.
     
  24. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    The Way You Do It.

    Yuuki Mikan slowly took the popsicle into her mouth, then half closed her eyes as she took her time pumping it and out, gradual and lingering, enjoying the taste to its fullest.

    She lightly hummed around it, humming her pleasure while her tongue caressed over the cold surface that was now melting, producing a milky clear liquid she gulped down eagerly.

    Her bare feet and legs in short shorts swung back and forth, her hand following the same rythm as the girl moved the popsicle back and forth, and then back and forth again, suckling and slurping and--

    Skuld, who sat by her side on the porch eating from a cone of chocolate and vanilla, winced at her. "I don't think that's the proper way to eat anything related to ice cream!"
     
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  25. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    Movies.

    "Master, Master!" the Servants asked. "Let's play the movies game!"

    Fujimaru Ritsuka laughed good naturedly. "The movies game? Which movies, anyway?"

    "Enter the Dragon," Lancer Bathory said.

    "The French Connection!" Rider Astolfo said.

    "Puss in Boots," Rider Drake smiled, clicking her heels together.

    "The Spy who Shagged Me?" Assassin Mata Hari smiled.

    "How to Train your Dragon!" Kiyohime said.

    "Chariots of Fire!" Rider Medb said.

    "Sister Act," Alter Ego Kiara said.

    "Child's Play..." Archer Kuro purred.

    "The Italian Job," Saber Nero said.

    "You, Me, and Everyone we Know," Saber Fergus said.

    Ritsuka blinked, starting to feel nervous for some reason.

    ---

    "You're saying they did WHAT to Sempai?!" Mashu gasped in horror.

    Da Vinci shrugged. "Basically, Some Like It Hot, so he got Tangled in A Series of Unfortunate Events. With The Usual Suspects, of course, and--"

    "And--?!"

    "A Few Good Men."

    "What?!"

    "Don't worry, they used Grease."

    "W-Where?!"

    "Where the Eagles Dare."

    "Circe-san, too?!"

    "It was a Clash of the Titans, after all."

    "Inglorious Bastards!"

    "While You Were Sleeping," Da Vinci nodded.

    Mashu raised her shield and howled furiously, "Apocalypse Now!!"

    "... This is the End," Da Vinci concluded quietly, and she was right.
     
  26. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    Not With That Girl.

    "Chisame, I feel I need to ask you, as your teacher and Magister, something I have been stalling far too long," Negi told her, very seriously. "As a virtual idol, is there anyone who has bothered you, or even harassed you, online?"

    "Hmmm?" Chisame thought back of it. "No, most of the dorks are actually quite well behaved. Well, there's this guy who always asks Chiu to wear fundoshi, I guess... And that guy with the giant spider obsession, who would like to see Chiu wrapped in a giant web... And that weirdo who always wants to see me doing Yandere cosplay and wielding knives... And the one who once asked me if I could pose as if several long lances were piercing me at once... And there's another one who wanted me to get breast implants and act like a bimbo... And, and who could forget the one who wanted me to dye my hair green... But, other than those, no, they're all nice subjects!" she shrugged. "Nothing to worry about, see?"

    "Y-Yes..." Negi trembled slightly. "I, I see..."

    ---

    "Excuse me, do you want me to do WHAT?!" Evangeline exclaimed, frankly outraged.

    "Through the Internet!" Negi firmly insisted. "Do you think you could teach me how to punch people through the Internet?!"
     
  27. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    Negi Springfield kept on staring, open mouthed, at the multiple screens showing the schedule for the firts day of the Tournament. "This... This just can't be...!"

    "I'll say!" Kotaro nodded, folding his arms behind his neck. "So many people from your classroom of wacko runts made it? I guess they haven't been taking any examples from you..."

    "He did make it as well!" Ayaka angrily snapped at Inugami.

    Kotaro chuckled. "Not that he'll stay for any long, Death Specs-sensei here will rub him off right in the first round..."

    "May your tongue burn, abominable brat!" Ayaka snapped.

    "Well, he's pretty much right this time, you know?" Asuna shrugged carelessly.

    "May your venomous tongue burn as well, Asuna-san!" Ayaka screeched at her rival.

    While Negi took on all of this with slowly dawning concern and a quiet feeling of dread, Takahata reached over to gently pat his shoulder from behind. "Don't let him get to you, Negi-kun. I'm sure you'll more than hold on you. After all, you're hitting your prime now and I'm leaving mine behind already..."

    "Eeeeehh?!" Asuna gasped. "Sensei, I know you're trying to comfort him, but please don't insult his intelligence that way! Anybody can see the result, he only needs to grow used to the idea, it's not like he really cares about fighting anyway!"

    "Maybe I do, though," Negi took a moment to give a small groan, lowering his face.

    Chisame blinked. "Does that really matter so much to you after--"

    "I just said nothing!" he quickly denied.

    Chizuru clasped her hands together with a wide, bright smile. "Ara ara, why are you thinking about those things now, anyway? This isn't an evening for violence but for celebration! Takahata-sensei, won't you join us in tonight's wrap-up party?"

    "Oh, sure thing, if that's okay with everyone..." Takamichi nodded.

    "Of course we are! Why wouldn't we?!" Asuna smiled, and nobody in the group could really object. Chizuru-san's right, no matter who wins or loses tomorrow, it's all just a game! So let's have fun and enjoy the Festival as Kami-sama intended it!" she quickly gathered steam up to rant, pumping a fist up. "And so we also will celebrate your victory tomorrow, and--!"

    "I thought we had just agreemended," a slightly upset Haruka asked, "we wouldn't care who won or losed?"

    "Of course we care when we win!" Haruna grinned, holding up a large bag filled with money, and conveniently marked with the Yen sign on a side, like something pulled out of a cartoon. "For instance, all this we won from just a day of work at the Haunted House! I never thought I'd ever say this, but forget sex, terror sells! Well, it's sexy terror I guess, what with the kitsune costume and the succubi cosplay, so I suppose the usual caveat still applies too..."

    Negi's right eyebrow twitched. "Do I... Do I have to wear that thing again tomorrow?"

    "Look at the bright side," Kotaro suggested. "If you make it far into the Tournament you'll have to spend more hours away from that post. If you lose early, however, well, then you'll be free for more--"

    Without waiting for the rest of the sentence, Negi swiftly turned around and glared back at Takahata. "I'm sorry, Takamichi, but I have just decided it. You will fall, no matter what."

    The older teacher nodded, with a pleased smile. "Very well! Now that's the spirit, Negi-kun...!"

    Haruna pouted. "There's nothing wrong at all with a little crossdressing between friends!"

    Konoka gasped. "Ah! Asuna!" she told her roommate. "Now you have two reasons to wish for Takahata-sensei's victory! The obvious one, and to keep seeing more of Negi-kun's cute legs!"

    "W-What do you even mean with 'the obvious one'?!" Asuna protested. "Also, why would I have any interested at all on seeing more of Negi's chicken legs?!"

    "Well, you were taking pictures of them today," Setsuna reminded her.

    "Blackmail material! That was just future blackmail material...!" Asuna hissed, pulling both lovebirds closer to her and threateningly lowering her tone in the vain hopes Takahata wouldn't listen to her making up such a morally bankrupt excuse while she thought of a less morally bankrupt one to tell him instead.

    He only smiled to himself, amused.

    She was cute when she blushed.

    ---

    A Tale of Unequally Rational and Emotional.

    You Give Them an Iinchou, and They'll Take a Yard.

    ---

    A couple hours later, Negi, Chisame, Kotaro, Hakase, Ayaka and Makie walked away from the Starbooks where the celebrations had been taking place, everybody else also taking their own separate ways to either keep on enjoying the night or just retreat home and rest. The boy teacher sighed, pulling Cassiopeia out of his pocket, and setting the time for a jump back to that very same day's morning. "Well," he said, with a certain faint air of resignation about it. "Now I've got to cover those other activities I left hanging today, so..."

    "Please be careful, okay?" Chisame asked. "I'm not even sure you should be doing this, really. What if something happens, and you end up running into yourself, or changing the events as we remember them? Besides, you'd better just get back home and sleep already, you've done too much for a day..."

    "And yet not enough," Negi said shaking his head. "I still haven't visited the stand of Akira-san's club, or Haruna-san's manga workshop, or Natsumi-san's play... Except because, according to all of them, I have, so I must go and do it now! If I don't go, I will be changing history, and God knows what could happen! Besides, I'll break their hearts otherwise, and that'd be even worse..."

    "Don't worry, Chisame-san, Hakase-san!" Ayaka smiled. "I will go with him to make sure nothing interrupts this wonderful day we will be spending together and thus disrupt the intended course of events!"

    "Your presence there doesn't exactly make me trust things will go any better!" Chisame growled.

    Ayaka blinked innocently. "But, Chisame-san...! Natsumi-chan mentioned seeing me with Sensei during her play, obviously I am supposed to be there with him the whole time! You and Hakase-san, however, were not mentioned during recalling of that visit, so you obviously should stay here and now, instead of going with him yourselves..."

    "I, I haven't said I'd like to go myself!" Chisame replied heatedly.

    "Well, I certainly would," Hakase expressed. "To witness firsthand the effects of a time displacement, that would be an unique chance that is unlikely to ever present itself beyond these three days..."

    "I'm sorry, but we cannot play with the laws of cause-and-reason!" Ayaka lectured. "Your presence during that chain of events was inexistent, so that clearly means you are not supposed to go! What are you complaining about anyway, you're a genius on the same level as Chao-san! Just go and build a time machine of your own!"

    Chisame took her glasses off and rubbed her eyes with a hand. "Why did my life had to get so off-rails I am now listening to conversations that go like this?"

    "Ah, Iinchou, so so can Kotaro-kun and I go with you as well?!" Makie beamed brightly, clapping her hands. "After all, Akira-chan said we'd be there too!"

    "Urk," Ayaka said suddenly. "W-Well, that is true, so we will make sure of finding you while we are there, so we can--"

    "Nice try, Auntie," Kotaro grinned cockily, "but I don't remember you taking me anywhere like that however! What's up? Didn't you say it was super-important to follow whatever was supposed to happen today?"

    "Why do you even want to go with them?" Chisame asked Kotaro. "Sasaki, I understand, but I thought the two of them annoyed you to no end!"

    Kotaro shrugged. "They'd do, but I'd still rather spend some time with them over going back home and spending the night with Abiru-nee and Harumi-nee..."

    Ayaka huffed. "I'd normally balk against sending anyone into the den of 3-F students, but seeing as how it's you..."

    "Iinchou, please, Kotaro-kun's right this time," Negi pleaded tiredly. "Chisame, Satomi-san, I promise I'll be taking you back in time for tomorrow's schedule, okay?"

    Chisame mumbled, folding her arms and looking aside. "Whatever, it's not like I want to stupidly go back in time with you to endanger all of existence anyway."

    "If you don't want to--" he began to say.

    "But I'll do it regardless to keep you out of trouble!" she interrupted him. "Iinchou, today I'm trusting you to keep these three stooges from changing and ruining history, okay?!"

    "Don't worry, Chisame-san," Ayaka deadpanned. "I'll keep Time itself untouched today so you can have your four-way date with Sensei, Hakase-san and Tsunetsuki-sempai tomorrow."

    "It's not a four-way date any more than yours is!" Chisame argued, then blinked, babbled, "Tsunetsuki?" and then looked back. "Ah! You were here!"

    "Yes, always," the young woman standing right behind Chisame nodded. She waved blandly at the people now holding onto Negi as he activated the Cassiopeia, all four of them disappearing in a stock flash of intense light. "See you tomorrow, Sensei, have a good night-- I mean, day..."

    And then they were gone, leaving Chisame, Satomi and Matoi standing alone, together, on the sidewalk.

    Chisame waited a moment before saying, "Well, we haven't blinked out of existence, so I imagine they didn't mess up too badly."

    "All the same," Matoi said, "we always should live every moment as if it were the last one, Chisame-sama. The night is still young, what do you say if we go hit a karaoke bar and--"

    Chisame absently punched her in the face.
     
  28. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    "Ohhh, awesome! It really worked after all!" Kotaro said, looking in all directions as they reappeared at the exact same place but under a bright morning sun, the Starbooks once again bustling with lively festival goers noisily noticeable behind them. "Unless, of course, you've dropped us the morning after, in that case, you are explaining my absence to my roommates..."

    "You don't have to fear them so much," Negi said, pocketing the watch back and looking in all directions, making sure no one had seen them appearing out of nowhere at the middle of a sidewalk. "Okay, the coast is clear, let's hit the first place we're supposed to visit, that is--"

    "Like hell I'm afraid of those two!" Kotaro growled, slamming a fist against his palm. "You wanna start something, nerd? Hey, talking 'bout that, why don't we start sparring for the Tournament now? It's okay, we always can go back yet again and--!"

    "No, absolutely not, Inugami-san!" Ayaka chided him, wagging a finger even as Makie just gawked all around, looking at the sun as if it was the first time she saw it, and then regretting it while strongly rubbing her hurt eyes. "Everything in moderation! Bending the laws of time and causality is one thing, absuing them is another altogether! I promised Chisame-san I would stop you from setting Sensei on a wrong path, and that's exactly what I'm going to do!"

    Kotaro frowned. "You sure you haven't graduated yet? Because you sound just like a professional, career spoilsport!"

    "Iinchou-san is right, Kotaro-kun," his rival chided him, "We can't keep doing this all day long, the Cassiopeia runs on a limited supply of magical energy drawing from the World Tree."

    "But that thing's freaking huge!" Kotaro protested. "And--!"

    "And," Negi cut short, lowering his voice, "also supplying the Mahora leylines with prana to support a Holy Grail and several Servants at once, on whom we should keep an eye out for instead of wasting our time fighting each other... when it's obvious I would win again anyway."

    "You wish, Nancy-boy!" Kotaro bared his fangs at him.

    "Booooys!" Makie whined. "Cut it out with the fighting, I don't like it when you two fight! Akira-chan's waiting for us, so let's not make her wait, this is very important for her...!"

    ---

    "Don't get me wrong," Kotaro grumbled, swallowing another mouthful down. "This is damn good takoyaki, but... it's still takoyaki, it's really that important we had to come here?"

    Negi elbowed him in the stomach, as discreetly as he could, as the four of them stood by the Swimming Team's Takoyaki Stand, Akira being entertained by Makie with a cheerful conversation on everything they had seen all day long, Ayaka ocassionally piping in to derail the conversation as soon as Makie began hinting at things Akira shouldn't know yet.

    "And it's a swimming team, what business do they have selling takoyaki?" Kotaro asked next. "I know it's made out of octopus, but couldn't they find anything more directly related to swimming? I don't know, maybe--"

    Negi wordlessly pressed a foot down on his now, even as Mizuno Ami stared curiously at them, lightly cocking her head aside.

    ---

    "And this,"Chizuru smiled while gesturing towards the gigantic planetary model hanging above them, a dutifully serious but also starry eyed Kujo Tsukiyo standing behind her and staring up reverently at their handwork, "is our scaled recreation of the Moon itself, painstakingly built over a period of two full months. We took extra care to make sure every detail was scientifically correct, down to the recently discovered domed area where a race of superpowered aliens has been revealed to habit..."

    "Wow, this must have cost a small fortune," yapped a visiting student from CLAMP Gakuen who was taking the guided tour along Negi and company, holding a black cat with a small mark on her forehead in her arms. "You Mahora guys sure have money to burn! When we were asked to make a model of Uranus last year, we flew by just by drawing a giant cartel and sticking it against a wall, and adding a Power Point presentation..."

    Kotaro sniffed suspiciously at the cat, whose fur stuck in point at at his proximity, then casually asked this blonde girl, "Hey, hey, Nee-san. Haven't you visited the Takoyaki stand of our swimming team yet? I think you could find something or someone of some interest for you th--"

    "Takoyaki...?!" the blonde drooled avidly. "Where?! I just love Takoyaki...!"

    ---

    "... okay, that probably was the actual best thing to do, all things considered," Negi admitted as the two boys and Makie stood by a side of the Equestrian Club's track, watching how a proud Ayaka rode around on a majestic white mare. "So I won't hold it against you. I wish you had told me earlier, but--"

    "Ahhh, just trust your students for once, Skyscraper-chan and her friends will notice it and figure out what to do on their own!" Kotaro told him. "What, you hadn't realized it yourself? It was virtually identical to Red Bow-neechan's cat! I wasn't expecting you to notice they smell the same too, but..."

    Negi sighed, taking a moment to rub his eyes off. "Maybe Chisame was right after all and I need some rest. Or something to make up for it, at least. I'll buy myself a Red Bull or something as soon as this expo is over..."

    "Negi-sensei!" Ayaka joyfully said, making her vigorous ride come to a halt right before them. "Would you like to ride with me? I am sure you have the makings of an excellent jockey, You have all the right conditions for it!"

    "Yeah, starting with the size!" Kotaro chuckled at the shorter boy.

    Ayaka frowned at him even as she and an enthusiastic Makie helped Negi into the horse behind the heiress. "Oh, like you're much taller! Come on, Sensei, Hippolyta doesn't like being near this uncouth wolf, and honestly, who could blame her?"

    "Hey, are you saying horses hate me?!" Kotaro waved a fist at them after Ayaka spurred her noble beast up again, taking off with a gulping Negi having to wrap his arms around her midsection, much to her delight. "That's ridiculous, why would horses be scared or anything of me anyway?!"

    "Oh, I don't know," said a girl who was standing close, watching at every horse that passed along; her hair long, wavy and colored in matching streaks of bright red and yellow, with large emerald eyes. "Some people are just like that, and horses just can't stand them. It's nothing to be ashamed of, it just happens."

    "Well, to be honest..." Kotaro mumbled now Negi and Ayaka were out of immediate hearing range, "Yeah, I guess it's kinda like that with me. I sorta have a good idea why that might be, but... Say, you look like a cool enough kind of Nee-san," he said, taking notice of the girl's tomboyish attire, with an open black jacket, a short skirt, and tall boots. "Are you in a band, or--?"

    "Please don't get close to me," the girl dryly requested.

    Kotaro frowned. "Okayyyy, I'll just add you to the list of uppity Nee-sans then..."

    "You remind me of someone," the girl was telling Makie, who simply blinked curiously at her. "You're so... pink! Are you this guy's sister?"

    Makie shook her head. "No, they picked someone else to pose as her sister as long as he's in this school!"

    "Wow, you're even as weird and squeaky sounding as her," the stranger further marveled. "Let me guess, you love parties, you often give names to inanimate objects, and you like candy and cakes more than anything else in the world, don't you?"

    "Wow, can you read minds or something...?!" a stunned out of her mind Makie wondered. "Odds are you know that already too, but I'm Makie! This is Kotaro-kun, and you are, you are, you are...?"

    The girl grunted in mild exasperation. "You could call me Sunset..."

    "Sunset what?"

    "Shimmer..." the grunt became even more annoyed.

    "Are you Swedish?"

    "On second thought, the boy can get close to me, but you can't, Pinkie Pie."
     
  29. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    Free Time.

    "What do you think Tsukuyomi does in her free time?" Konoka suddenly asked, looking into the distance.

    Setsuna shuddered visibly. "Ojou-sama, I never think of that, and frankly, I don't believe you should either..."

    ---

    "Onee-sama," the gray haired twins bowed deeply as she walked in.

    She bowed back. "Hansel-chan, Gretel-chan. It's been a while," Then she began bowing for the rest of those others present in the room. "Freed-kun, Nui-chan, Himiko-chan, Vega-sama..."

    They replied in turn with polite wavings and the occasional twisted smile.

    "How do you do, Yomi-chan."

    "Looking just great today, Yomi-chan, hee hee!"

    "Hey, took you long enough today. You were busy?"

    "Como estas, chavalilla."

    "Okay," the group's director and counselor said, slicking his bright green hair back with a hand gloved in purple, "now we are all here, we can start with today's session of our Book Appreciation Club. Today we will be studying Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and its socio-philosophical implications in the context of the post-globalization current society, after which we will discuss the 1979 film adaptation directed by Larry Peerce..."
     
    tekablade likes this.
  30. OverMaster

    OverMaster Conflicted Clown

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    Heroines.

    "Why do they call them heroines anyway?" Rito asked while watering the plants.

    Momo blinked, looking up from the galge she had been playing in her PFP as she sat on the porch. "Excuse me, Rito-san?"

    "I mean," Rito elaborated, "to be heroines they should do heroic deeds, shouldn't they? Fight crime, save the world, slay evil wizards or dragons, I don't know. Maybe I've been spoiled by my recent associations, but what do those girls ever do in those games that can be called heroic? They just stand there waiting to be seduced by a boy with no personality whatsoever--" At this point he chose to ignore the extremely loud throaty rasp Nana was giving from where she sat by Momo's side fanning herself with a magazine, "-- and that's it, what's heroic at all about that?"

    Momo blinked. "Rito-san, are you a Feminazi now?!"

    "Well, he's been a woman a few times of late," Nana shrugged, making Rito frown. "Better a man advocating for strong women than a woman advocating for us to be mere pieces in a harem, like certain people I won't be mentioning..."

    "I see..." Momo hummed, also choosing to ignore this latest part of her sister's remark. "So that's Rito-san's new type, the strong Amazons, after all. Well, I'll make sure to book him up with Kagurazaka-san and Suo Mikoto-san, and redouble my efforts on Yami-san too... I wonder, would aiming for Tatsumiya-san be too much...?"

    "Why would you shift a perfectly innocent conversation about videogames on a new contest to stuff women who just aren't interested down into my pants?!" Rito protested.

    "I think I get it now," Nana said. "They are heroines because they have to put up with generic, bland, boring, not that good loking spineless guys who can't get a hint on how real women behave and feel, putting on a brave resistence to the bitter end. Yeah, I guess there's nothing more heroic than that!" she smiled.

    Rito and Momo now stared jointly at her, each miffed because of their own, different reasons.

    Nana remained indifferent. "Tokimeki sucks when compared to Tomb Raider, in any case."
     
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