Pani Poni Dash! Fan Fiction / Mai-HiME Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ Vegrandis Magister Ferociter ❯ 05 - Decisive Confrontation ( Chapter 5 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Such a simple, delicate act.
Yet one of the hardest too.
Negi stood within the magic circle facing Becky. The world outside the circle was a total blur. He could vaguely hear screams, sounds of fighting but nothing matters.
Down here, within this circle, there was only the two of them.
He looked into Becky's eyes. She was returned his gaze, a tint of pale blush on her rosy cheeks.
Then, she looked down shyly, avoiding his face.
After a while, she looked back again. Looking dreamily straight into his eyes, as if she was studying his very soul.
This was not the first time Negi had done the Pactio Ceremony. Asuna-san, Setsuna-san, Yue-san… he had gone through the official ceremony with them before.
But this time… they were nothing like this time.
This one felt… different.
Becky placed her hands onto his face.
He looked to her, to ask her if she was sure about it.
She continued to look into his eyes, never faltering. That was answer enough.
They took a deep breath. Negi mustered his courage to put his arms around her.
There was no rejection.
He moved his face closer to hers.
She closed her eyes and waited.
They were so close now. Negi could hear slow, constant breathing, feel her warmth.
Finally, their lips touched.
The circle beneath them started to shine brightly, flooding the church with light.
They stayed in that position for a while.
Then as briefly as it started, the magic ended.
They quickly broke up, their faces red.
It was back to the harsh reality.
Negi looked back to the surroundings. The church was in ruins. Midori and Sister Nao were slumped in the middle of the church. Alyssa stood before them, looking at the fight with absolute calmness, her hair glowing bright golden.
In the middle of it all, Sister Miyu was fighting a one-to-one with Count Herrman. Even with her saber of light, she was having a hard time with the Count. The Count was dodging all her attacks like a veteran gymnast. It was no contest.
Alyssa looked back to them. A card was materializing in her hand.
“So, you are done.” She stated.
She handed over the Pactio card formed, the proof of the contract to Negi.
There was the sound of a hard impact. The Count had landed a heavy blow on Sister Miyu. She fell crashing to the floor, the light fading from her saber.
Alyssa screamed as if she was the one being hit, her hair returning to its original color. She then fell to the floor unconscious. Becky went forward to support her.
Sister Miyu struggled to get up. “Alyssa…ojou…sa..ma…” she tried to reached out her untransformed hand to Alyssa. A shadow fell upon her fallen form.
The Count gave her a kick that sent her flying into a wall. Sister Miyu had no chance.
He then advanced towards the children in that slow, leisurely pace.
Negi put the Pactio card into his sleeves and got his magical staff ready. He was the only one left that stood before the Count.
He raised a hand to start casting the spell, “Cantu…”
In a flash, the Count stood before him. Before Negi could finish casting the spell, he found himself skidding away from the Count's blow.
He quickly recovered and steadied himself. He then rushed forward to trade physical blows with the Count. Punch for punch, kick for kick, the Count was able to counter all of them effectively.
Negi felt a sharp pain in his stomach, there was a crack in there somewhere. The Count had landed another blow on him. He was sent slamming into the altar.
By the time he stood up, the Count already had Alyssa and Becky in his arms.
Clutching his chest, he faced the Count with anger in his eyes. He could taste blood in his mouth.
Becky was putting up a valiant struggle in the Count's arms but the Count showed no sign of relenting.
“I'm disappointed, Springfield,” the demon spoke, “You have not seemed to improved much since the last time.”
“I spared your life the last time,” Negi said as he spat out blood, “I defeated you once.”
“Only because you got help from that dog boy,” the demon said.
Negi got back into a fighting stance and drew back his arm, “Kenoteto Atrapsato De… “Electricity started to gather on his hand.
“You wouldn't want to hurt your friends, would you,” Count Herrman reminded Negi of the captives.
Negi stopped in mid-enchantment. He could do nothing. As long as the other two were in his capture, Negi was at the Count's mercy.
His posture slumped. The pain felt more prominent now.
“I'm leaving now. Catch me if you can…” The Count said as energy currents gathered around his feet.
“Where are you taking them?” Negi asked.
“I'm sure you had your ways of finding out,” The Count replied as he looked to Becky.
“I look forward to our next meeting…” he continued as the currents surrounded him.
Then the currents disappeared, taking the Count and his captives with them.
Negi sank to the ground in defeat. There was nothing he could do except to nurse his injuries and wait more SEARRS attacks.
He just realized there was a crack in his vision; the fight had cracked the lens of his glasses. He took off his glasses to inspect the full damage. Then, he realized his hand was trembling too badly to do so.
He was still scared. The presence of the Count has invoked those deep buried memories in him. Somewhere in Wales, there was still a village, petrified in stone. He had no desire to provoke the Count into doing the same to the people of this school. He suspected the only reason keeping the Count from doing so was the presence of whoever hired him in this school.
Negi threw his glasses aside in frustration. Then he winced in pain. That action aggravated the pain in the chest area, he must have cracked a rib. He hung his head down in tiredness.
What the Count had said was true. There was no way he could win.
A single card fluttered down from his sleeves to the floor, before him. It was the Pactio card from before. A reminder of the ceremony before.
As Negi gazed at the card, determination grew in his eyes. There was no time to wallow in self-pity. They were waiting for him for help.
SHE would be waiting for him.
First, he needed to calm down and think clearly. If he had just run off now, firstly he did not know where they were; secondly he would be walking into a trap. SEARRS needed all of them alive, they would not do anything to them yet, at least that was what he hoped.
Mesousa crawled out from under a bench. The rabbit too was trembling in fear, he could barely stand. At least the little guy was unharmed physically.
There was still the unconscious teacher and sisters.
Supporting himself with his staff, he walked painfully towards Midori and gently shook her. Midori rolled over, snoring gently.
Negi looked to Sister Nao. She was already mumbling about all men being alike.
That left Sister Miyu. She had taken the worst hits from the battle, if she had been human, she would have died by now.
Sister Miyu was still conscious but she was trapped underneath some rubble. Once Negi blew up the rubble with magic, she stood up unsteadily. Her clothes were all tatters, exposing her synthetic skin underneath.
Her first reaction on being freed was to start striding unsteadily out of the church.
Negi stopped her.
“Alyssa Ojou-sama has been taken, I need to save her,” she said, for once, Negi could detect urgency in her voice, “Do not stop me.”
“No. Wait for me,” Negi panted, “We do not know where the Count took them. Give me some time.”
Sister Miyu looked at Negi, her computer brain processing the data.
“Fine. I'll use the time to do some self repair. Come with me,” she said.
Negi followed Sister Miyu into the inner sanctum of the church where she handed the first aid kit to Negi. “You could use some repair yourself,” she said as she walked out.
As Negi applied the bandages on himself, Sister Miyu returned with Midori and Sister Nao in her arms. She then placed them gently onto the beds in the room. She then took a toolbox out from under a bed and was about to walk away.
“What are you doing?” Negi asked curiously.
Sister Miyu turned back, “You don't want to see it. Sister Nao saw it once and refused to touch electronics for weeks.” she then went into a small room in the back and closed the door.
Left to his own accords, Negi took out the Pactio card again. He had an idea what the Count meant when he looked at Becky and told Negi that he knew the means to find them.
He studied the card. “Vegrandis Magister Ferociter” he read the words. The picture… Negi allowed himself to smile. It would be interesting to see the results.
There was not much time to spare. He placed the card to his forehead and said, “Telepathia”
Concentrating on the image of Becky, he whispered, “Becky-chan, are you alright?”
“Negi? How did you get in my head?” He could hear Becky answer in his mind.
“The Contract. It allows telepathy between us. Are you and Alyssa alright?” Negi explained.
“Alyssa was still unconscious. But we're fine for now,” The voice of Becky resonated in his mind.
At least the girls were still fine. Negi signed in relief. But Negi knew he still needed to rescue them fast and force the SEARRS forces out of the school.
“Where are you all held?” Negi asked the vital question.
“The old man brought us to the cave, the one with the glowing circle,” Negi heard Becky replied mentally.
“Stay calm, we're coming for you,” Negi said and cut off the telepathic connection. He trusted Becky to be able to hold out until he reached the cave.
There was a little tug at his trousers. Negi looked down to see Mesousa.
“I… I..'m go…go…going with…you…” he tried to put up a brave front as he shook in fear.
Sister Miyu came out of the room. She was no longer in her habit. Instead she wore a leather dress that reached to her knees. “Do you know where Alyssa Ojou-sama was held?” she asked.
“Yes, can you lead me to the excavation site? They're there,” Negi said as he put on his robe.
“Come with me,” Sister Miyu said as she strode out of the church. Once outside, she traveled through the dark forest in leaps and bounds.
Negi grabbed the shaking rabbit and ran after her, ignoring the sharp pains he was getting. The forest was unfortunately too thick to fly through.
After much traveling, Negi found Sister Miyu crouched on the ground. Negi went beside her and knelt down. ltThe cave was before them.
While in the afternoon, those before the cave were scientists and workers, now there were soldiers and armored vehicles at the entrance. It seemed that the invaders were using the cave as their command outpost.
Just then, they heard the loading of rifles from behind them.
“Don't move! Raise your hands and stay where you are!” they heard a man command loudly from behind.
They looked back to see two soldiers pointing their rifles at them. One of them was reporting back to their commander. The other was keeping a sharp eye on both of them as his rifle remained pointed unwavering at them. It would not be long before reinforcements arrived.
Sister Miyu and Negi looked at each other. Mesousa was waving his hands madly in the air, he had become hysterical. So much for his bravado but at least he tried.
With a swift movement, Sister Miyu's left arm transformed into a saber and beheaded the rifle heads of the soldiers. The soldiers stared at Sister Miyu in a combination of shock and awe.
There were shouts as flashlights could be seen approaching them.
“I'll take care of them and the rabbit; you go in first!” Sister Miyu shouted to Negi. Negi nodded and ran into the cave. He could hear the sounds of fighting starting behind him.
No one stopped him. Negi conjured a small light ball to light his way as he walked deeper into the cave.
It was not long before he could see the faint glow of the magic circle in a distance.
As he entered the cavern, he saw Becky and Alyssa were under the guard of a couple of soldiers with their weapons trained on them. Becky was giving her captors her best scowl of disapproval. Count Herrman was leaning menacingly against a wall at a side, surveying those around him with a dark look.
In the middle of the room stood a foreigner, the one that Negi saw left the gymnasium where Becky was held. His arms were wide spread, like wings of a bird. The he gave Negi a piercing look as he approached.
“Welcome, Mr. Springfield. SEARRS welcome you to the Golden Millennium,” he crowed triumphantly.
They had been expecting him.
~ End Chapter Four Point Five ~
The Count let them down on the ground gently. They had re-appeared inside the cave of the excavation site. Rebecca could recognize the glowing circle below them.
Rebecca immediately stood up to face him with an angry look. The Count towered over her, casting his imposing figure upon her. He gave her a quizzical look, like how most humans would look at a rabid poodle.
Taking off his hat, the Count gave her a deep bow and spoke in his deep, German accent, “I am sure Mr. Springfield would be on his way here. Do tolerate your situation for now since this place is surrounded by soldiers. There is no way of escape for you.”
He then put on his hat and swept away to a far corner of the cave. Rebecca could see that the only entrance was guarded by a couple of soldiers. Unlike the gymnasium previously, there was no way others could have helped create a distraction. Unless they could teleport, they would not be able to escape.
She knelt down before Alyssa to check on her. Alyssa was still unconscious but her breathing was steady. She would be fine.
Rebecca sat down on the ground and considered her options. She was once again captured by SEARRS. She was sick of being the damsel in distress; it was as if some one had insisted on her getting captured all the time. At least this time, she was supposed to be able to fight somewhat because of the contract she made with Negi.
The contract… Rebecca was reminded of the ceremony. She touched her lips gingerly. She could not believe she had done it.
The ceremony had been surreal. The circle had bathed her with the warm, gentle glow. She remembered looking into his eyes… his head moving closer… feeling his breathing… the salty taste of sweat on his lips…
Rebecca's face was crimson red. She shook her head wildly, to shake out those thoughts. She was not thinking clearly at that time! That must be it! The stupid warm light had scrambled her brains! Rebecca assured herself, there was no way she would have kissed that pervert who took advantage of her at that time, and her first kiss too… even if he was cute… and kind of cool… and rescued her before…
She pinched herself at the cheek. There was a sharp, acute pain. It was not a dream… Negi, you will pay me back! She thought angrily with tears of embarrassment in her eyes as she waved her fist in the air. The Count and the soldiers were looking at her actions curiously. She shot them a harsh look, they quickly looked away.
Rebecca calmed down with the air of dejection around her. She shook Alyssa one more time. There was no response save for a murmur of disapproval. She was on her own.
“Becky-chan, are you alright?” Rebecca heard the voice of Negi. She perked up, glad to hear his voice.
But looking around her, Negi was no where in sight and no one else seemed to have heard that. The voice had come from her own head.
Unsure of what was happening, Rebecca whispered, “Negi? How did you get in my head?”
“The Contract. It allows telepathy between us. Are you and Alyssa alright?” she heard Negi replied.
“Alyssa was still unconscious. But we're fine for now,” she answered. And how were you, she worried in her mind. She remembered the melee Negi fought again the Count, he had been badly beaten.
She heard Negi sighed in relief. He then asked, “Where are you all held?”
“The old man brought us to the cave, the one with the glowing circle,” Rebecca answered.
“Stay calm, we're coming for you,” she heard Negi.
“How about your condition?” she hurriedly asked out of concern.
There was no reply. He must have cut off the telepathic connection between them.
Stupid Negi! Rebecca cussed mentally. Just when she was worried about him, he had to go act hero again. That was so aggravating… so charming…
Rebecca struggled to stop her thoughts from running wild. `He groped you! He slept in your bed! He took your first kiss! You're angry with him! Not attracted! Angry! Think angry! Angry!' she mentally ordered herself.
“Arrgh…” she shouted in annoyance to the air. Those around were looking at her again. When she glared back, they quickly swung their attention back to guarding their captives.
Alyssa stirred from her faint-induced sleep. She rubbed her eyes tiredly and gave a cute yawn. Then, she perked up as she looked around her.
“We're in the cave… we're captured… Miyu lost…” she said, looking to Rebecca for confirmation.
“Do state the obvious,” Rebecca answered sarcastically, “Oh look, that Smith has arrived to welcome us.”
Sure enough, John Smith had entered the cave. He looked at his two captives with glee in his eyes but he maintained a distance from them. Just far enough to avoid Rebecca's foot.
“Welcome back to SEARRS, my Golden Canary,” he looked to Alyssa, “and my fiery little fiend.” He snared at Rebecca.
“I am no longer a member of SEARRS,” Alyssa retorted, looking straight back at Smith.
“But you still bear the name we gave you, Ms. Alyssa Searrs,” Smith answered.
“SEARRS gave the order for my death. SEARRS left me for dead. It was the Valkyries, they who we tried to hunt down that saved Miyu and me and welcomed us back,” Alyssa said softly but her voice rising along with her emotions, “We may still bear the mark of our past but we will never return to them again.”
“Regardless, Ms. Searrs,” Smith said coldly, “You will now co-operate with us or face the consequences.”
“I will NOT work…” Alyssa tried to shout back but she was cut off by Rebecca.
“She said, she will not work with you again, baldy,” Rebecca said coolly.
The cold exterior of Smith was cracking, Rebecca knew it.
“This is not your concern, Ms. Miyamoto,” Smith snared, “You too would be under us whether you like it or not.”
Rebecca took a deep breath to warm up. Then she shouted back,
“BALDY! I DARE YOU TO DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING! YOU UGLY WEAKLING! YOU EVEN TRIED TO ESCAPE FROM ME, WHEN I AM THE CAPTIVE! COME CLOSER! I DARE YOU! COME CLOSER!”
Rebecca paused for breath, her mind reeling on what to say next. Smith was livid with anger but he was constantly looking at where her foot was. He dared not come closer. “Chicken,” she muttered just loud enough for him to hear.
Alyssa was looking at Rebecca with admiration in her eyes. She was impressed by her outburst.
John Smith struggled to reply but there was a ring on his mobile phone.
He picked up his phone and listened as reports came in regarding the happenings outside.
After some time, he smiled that malicious smile and put down the phone. Then he looked to the two girls with those hawk-like eyes.
“It seems that we are under attack by a girl with a saber for an arm and a young boy holding a large staff. We must ready our welcome!” he said to them. Rebecca gasped in surprise; she knew he was referring to Negi.
The soldiers led the girls aside. John Smith went and stood in the center of the cavern. Adjusting his collar and giving his suit a general dusting just like how a hawk would preen its feathers.
Soon, a small ball of light could be seen in the distance, coming closer.
Negi entered the cave holding his magical staff. With a wave of his hand, he dispelled the ball of light.
John Smith spread his arms and crowed, “Welcome, Mr. Springfield. SEARRS welcome you to the Golden Millennium.”
Rebecca had felt relieved and happy to see Negi but that was soon replaced by frustration. Bandages could be seen around his body. The stupid boy was still badly injured but yet he had still insisted on being the hero and actually came alone. Where was Sister Miyu who was also in Smith's report?
Negi pointed a finger to Smith and said with bravado, “Your troops outside would not stand a chance against us. Call them back and leave the academy.”
John Smith shook his finger casually, “I think not, Mr. Springfield. The chance to capture three out of seven of the apostles in one go is too good to pass. SEARRS would not give up so easily, especially since we have Graf Wilhelm on our side.”
At the signal of John Smith, Count Herrman came out of the shadows and before John Smith. “I think you should go aside, John Smith before you get hurt,” the Count warned Smith. “Think this as your payment,” Smith smirked as he duly walked to a far corner of the cavern.
The Count bowed deeply to Negi and returned to his stance, “I hoped you have improved. Are you ready, Springfield?”
Rebecca could not believe that Negi was going to actually fight the demon alone, in that state. She stamped her foot, frustrated that she was actually concerned about him but then…
Without warning, she made a dash to Negi's side. The soldiers shouted but could not react in time. None of them went forward to get her back. They did not want to risk being caught under the Count's line of fire.
“Becky-chan,” Negi said as he saw her running towards him, “You should… OUCH!”
Rebecca had given him a kick in his shin. Negi winced in pain.
“Idiot!” she scolded Negi, “You actually came alone despite your injuries.”
“But, Becky…” Negi tried to say but stopped.
Tears were swelling in Rebecca's eyes.
“Strange,” she said as she tried to wipe them off, “I did not want to cry…”
She then reached out her arms and hugged a visually stunned Negi.
“Idiot! How many times must you make me cry?”
Rebecca felt Negi placed a hand to her back and gave her some pats.
“There, there…” he said gently, “I'm fine. I can handle it.”
Rebecca dried her tears. They had finally stopped. Then, she parted herself from Negi.
“I'm not going to let you fight alone,” she declared, “We had that contract. Do it!”
“Are you sure?” Negi asked with uncertainty in his voice.
At the side, John Smith was shouting madly at the Count, “What contract? Why are you not attacking? Attack! Isn't that what you want?”
The Count shot Smith a dark look that silenced him and then he went back to waiting patiently. There was a small tinge of a smile on his face.
“I command you do activate the contract,” Rebecca gave the order.
Negi signed and reached into his sleeves. He drew out a single card and said, “Exerceas poteniam, Rebecca Mijamoto”
Rebecca could feel power flowing into her. Her hearing was heightening. There were gloves… no, mittens on her hand, mittens with claws. Rebecca could sense the sharpness in them as she experimented with a wave. Her tail, so agile, so flexible…
Rebecca looked behind her.
There was a tail?!
Rebecca felt at her head. She could actually feel cat ears. “Negi! What kind of sick joke is this?!” she snared.
Negi scratched his head sheepishly and explained, “That is your magical artifact…”
She grabbed Negi by his collars, her face red with anger and embarrassment, “Are you trying to be funny?” she hissed.
“That… hurts… I didn't choose it…” Negi replied helplessly.
`Clap, clap, clap,' There was the sound of clapping.
They stopped arguing to look back at the Count. The Count stopped clapping.
“Sorry to interrupt your lover's strife but…” the Count started to say.
The squabbling pair broke up quickly, both of them blushing from the Count's comments. “We are not…” Rebecca tried to say.
The Count was changing. His limbs elongated. His trench coat bellowed out, forming wings. Horns were forming at the sides of his head. His facial features melted to become a smooth, shiny black circle with only eyes and a jaw.
Rebecca watched on, horrified by the transformation. The Count was now in full demon mode. The demon opened its jaws as magical energy gathered.
Negi pushed Rebecca away as he leaped away in the other direction.
The magical beam hit the ground where they stood previously. The cavern shook on the impact.
Rebecca found herself landing on all fours with all the dexterity of a cat. She snared angrily at the Count, the tail swished in the air furiously.
Negi took up his fighting stance with his staff before him.
The demon transformed back to its human form.
“Play time over. Let us begin”
~ End Chapter Five ~
~ Neko-mimi-mode-desu! ~
“Waa…..” Mesousa screamed as he ran around in circles outside the cave.
He had tried to be brave, to join in the rescue of Rebecca but at the sight of the rifle pointed to him, everything fell apart.
“Waaa….” He continued running, like a child pretending to be an ambulance.
More soldiers were coming. But as more came, more of them stopped in their advancement and slowly backed track. To them, a monster was approaching.
“Waaaahhh….” Mesousa waved his little arms frantically in the air.
Sister Miyu was going through the soldiers like dominos. None of the soldiers stood a chance against her graceful sword dance. Shouts of panic could be heard as the soldiers ran for their dear lives.
“Waaa….” “Bam!” Mesousa ran into a tree. He took a few steps back and fell to the forest floor.
“I'm hopeless… I'm a loser…. I should never have come…” he sobbed to himself.
There was the sound of loading rifle behind him again. Mesousa turned his head around mechanically.
A soldier had managed to sneak past the rampaging Sister Miyu and he was now pointing the rifle at Mesousa's head.
“Heh, at least I would have caught one of the intruders, even if he was only a rabbit,” the soldier smirked.
Mesousa gave a small whine in protest. Sorry, Rebecca. Sorry, Negi. Sorry, Alyssa, my savior. Mesousa thought in his mind.
A powerful force hit the ground beside them, forcing the soldier to backtrack. Mesousa could not help but noticed that the force of impact had left an imprint of a fist on the ground.
They looked up. Before them was a middle-aged man with glasses dressed in a suit. A lone cigarette hung from his mouth as he slowly walked towards them. Both his hands were tucked inside his trousers pockets.
The soldier swung the rifle towards the man. “Halt! Who are you?” he shouted.
The man smiled. Another force hit a nearby tree. The tree crashed straight to the ground. The soldier had to duck to avoid the crashing tree.
“I think you should leave,” the man said, “before you get hurt.”
The soldier considered his options, threw down his rifle and ran away screaming like a baby.
Mesousa looked to the man with fear and tears in his eyes.
A white head of an ermine poked up behind the man.
“Mesousa! No wonder I cannot find you!” a voice rang out. It was Chamo.
“Chamo?” Mesousa tried to confirm. Inside his little bunny brain, he was considering if he should be happy to see Chamo or be even more fearful.
“You know this rabbit?” the man asked Chamo.
“Of course! He and I go way back!” Chamo said cheerfully.
The man knelt down and asked Mesousa, “Do you know where Negi is?”
Mesousa raised a trembling hand towards the cave.
The sounds of shouting faded in the distance. Sister Miyu strode back to Mesousa with thick, red liquid dripping from her saber arm.
The man looked at Sister Miyu and asked in awe, “Did you kill all the soldiers?”
“Of course not,” Sister Miyu replied without emotion,” Killing them would be a waste of my time. I merely gave them enough wounds to reconsider their attack.”
The man stood up. “Shall we go assist Negi?” he asked.
Sister Miyu entered the cave without a word.
The man and Chamo joined her in the darkness of the cave soon after.
That left Mesousa alone outside the cave, in the dark forest.
Mesousa looked around in fear. Loud unknown screeches could be heard.
He scrambled to his feet and ran into the cave after them.
“Don't leave me alone…!”
~ End Chapter Five Point Zero Five ~
~To be continued ~