Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 27 Call them Weak ( Chapter 27 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
I admit I am a bit late with this update. Traveling this weekend and problems uploading new documents to FF.net are the cause. On the plus side, I finally got motivated to bury the evidence....err revise and expand the first four chapters of this story, some more than others. So if you get the chance to reread them please tell me what you think.

disclaimer - I don't own Ranma 1/2, Sailor moon, Ruroni Kenshin, or Negima. this work is purely for entertainment and not for profit

single quotes (' ') denote thoughts or telepathy

forward slashes (/ /) denote translated speech

Chapter 27 - Call them Weak

Kari and Nabiki shared a laugh when Kasumi eagerly excused herself to go escort Tofu-sensei to the faculty reception that evening.

"So Kari-sensei, since you would not talk to me about those enchanted weapons with Kasumi here, I assume you are making one for her or Tofu as a gift the." Nabiki quietly drawls.

"There is that possibility." Kari grins impishly. "If you ask nicely I might let you help me with that as part of a lesson this evening."

After a bit of playful, overly dramatic, pleading from Nabiki, Kari rolls her eyes, and retrieves a small chest from a heavy, and heavily warded, wall safe. Placing the chest on the workbench Kari releases even more wards and unlocks the chest with a key.

"The components used in this can be extremely dangerous Nabiki," Kari admonishes, "so do not remove or even touch anything in this chest without my specific instruction to do so."

Nabiki looks inside the felt lined chest to see interior cubbies, almost giving the appearance of an egg crate. Only four of the sixteen spaces are filled. One holds a sphere of ruby red crystal, while the others hold a clear crystal shaped like and about the size of an egg.

"This red crystal is what we will be working with and is safe to touch." Kari states while removing that crystal, and closing the lid. "The clear crystals are nymph's eggs and you should not touch it under any circumstance."

"Nymph's egg?" Nabiki asks with raised eyebrows.

"I will explain later." Kari responds with a grin. "For now, let's focus on your original curiosity."

"You might be able to sense the activity in the crystal right now but without the bracelet it is incomplete." Kari places the red crystal in Nabiki's hand and pulls back the sleeve on her right arm to show a similar gray crystal held in a narrow red gold bracelet on her wrist. "Because I can natively channel spirit energy the bracelet only serves to give direction to the form I want the crystal to take. The ones I created for the amazons required bracelets that also served to regulate transforming their Ki into spiritual energy."

"So anyone could use it then?" Nabiki asks after trying unsuccessfully to extend her senses into the crystal.

"Not really, when I used computer spirit clusters to transform the nymph's egg, and imprinted the control A.I I obtained from Hakase in the robotics club, I had to attune it to its intended user. I already attuned that one to be looking for a partner similar to Kasumi." Kari replies with a smirk.

"So did you meet the intended users personally beforehand?" Nabiki asks with a bit of confusion.

"Obaa-san told me the names of the three people beforehand." Kari pulls over a silver mirror. "That they had powerful ki signatures made them easy to sense from afar to attune they crystals to them."

"Like I was discussing with you and Kasumi earlier. An enchantress can scry energy patterns of people and places. Thanks to some techniques Obaa-san taught me I can also look into the future. I did that to get a sense of the energies of the other seven that came later." Kari licks her lips suggestively. "They all looked so scrumptious, I wish I could play with them."

"So about that bracelet, and how it works with with the crystal." Nabiki quickly tries to derail the older girls thoughts.

Kari snickers and lifts her lifts her right wrist. "Laguna here just has the gun form and armored coat enchanted into the bracelet, I control the flow of sprit energy myself. The bracelet that I created for the others also served to act as a medium to regulate the flow of Ki energy into the crystal. The crystal itself because of it original nature turned transformed the Ki energy and gathered more from the environment."

"Laguna?" Nabiki queries. "Where did you come up with that name?"

"Well I designed him to be the father of all gun blades." Kari chuckles sheepishly

Nabiki sighs, 'Of all the spell casters in the world, I get to work with an enchantress that is a borderline otaku.' Nabiki makes the attempt to steer the conversation back to more stable ground. "What would happen if someone who was not attuned to the crystal tried to put on the bracelet?"

"If they are not the intended host the crystal's original nature would take over." Kari grins wickedly. "The crystal would absorb all of their energies and within a few hours they would be nothing more than shriveled husks. I like to think of it as the ultimate fail-safe to prevent them from being used by untrustworthy individuals."

Nabiki very carefully sets the crystal on the workbench, and tries to cover her now shaking hands. "I see, and that did not happen to me just now for what reason?"

"You don't think your trustworthy Nabiki-chan?" Kari snickers, and lets her student off the hook. "During the transformation process I made the crystalline shell inert. Without the bracelet as a medium, the crystal is sealed."

"So what are these Nymph's Eggs and where did you get them from?" Nabiki asks casually

Kari gets up and retrieves some metal from a cabinet. "I was thinking platinum with jade and obsidian accents would make a nice material for the bracelet for Kasumi."

Nabiki refuses to be distracted. "That might be a good choice, but what about the eggs?"

Kari rubs her forehead. "Alright what have I told you and Kasumi about enchantresses and their history?"

Nabiki searches her memory of what they discussed earlier. "Enchantresses are generally descended from seductress type spirit creatures: Succubi, Sirens, Sylphs, and Wood Nymphs. From what you told us earlier Noriko-san is at least part Succubi and that is where our family gets it's magical traits from."

"Very good Nabiki-chan," Kari nods in approval. "Now the part I have not told you and did not want to mention to Kasumi yet. Enchantresses are slightly feared by mages because a true enchantress is not human. We are basically spirit creatures given demi-human form. I myself am a hybrid between a Siren and a Sylph. Other than Obaa-san and possibly myself, if I can become strong enough, enchantresses can not reproduce by taking a demi-human male as a mate."

Kari closes her eyes and Nabiki sees a tear trace its way down her cheek. "Akiri is the closest I will come to having a child of my own for likely centuries to come. Instead like other enchantresses every three months or so I "lay" one of those eggs. If another demi-human, especially another female, were to come in contact with it they would be pulled inside and transformed into an enchantress, the type would be determined by their own elemental affinities."

"But I have seen the records," Nabiki interjects. "You were born a human."

"I was born human yes. When I was little Obaa-san told me about enchantresses and even showed me where she kept her clutch of eggs, left from before she learned to control her own form." Kari's shoulders slump and her mouth curves in distaste. "When I was fourteen, I discovered that my father had decided to sell me off to someone old enough to be my grandfather to close a business deal. He was still clan head at the time, I had no ability to change his mind, and within a few days I was going to be adopted into the other family until I came of age to be married."

Kari shrugs and Nabiki can see she is close to tears. "I did the only thing I could think of at the time. I snuck off to where Obaa-san kept her clutch and used one of them on myself. I then went to the family ob-gyn, and had him confirm that I was infertile. I paid him to make sure this discreetly came to the attention of the other family."

"Needless to say father's business deal fell through." Kari chuckles mirthlessly. "The string of men and women I seduced shortly thereafter humiliated my father. I did not care much at the time. The rumors reached Obaa-san and brought her back from her search for Ranma. After finding out what lead me to take one of her eggs, she was not pleased with father and forced him to relinquish his position as clan head."

"So I traded my humanity, and a lot of my self-respect at the time, for my freedom." Kari smiles sadly. "Your the only one I have told this too, other than Obaa-san. I did not tell Kasumi about the eggs because I know she is looking forward to having a family of her own with Tofu. I can teach her a great deal about magic without having to give her an egg but she will not be a true enchantress."

"So you have in effect turned your own children into tools." Nabiki asks skeptically. "And you are planning on offering me one of these eggs."

Kari takes on a professional tone. "The eggs are not children, even though they are a part of my physiology to produce. They are not sentient creatures on their own. In many ways they are more like parasites looking for a host. As such, they are a dangerous liability, and something I have to keep people from abusing. Many would not hesitate to trade their humanity for power. By sealing them into a useful form and enacting safeguards I can reduce that danger. As for if I would give one to you, I would remind you that the price for wanting a seductress' power is to share their appetites."

Kari turns back to the bar of platinum. "Think about that for a few days Nabiki. In the meantime I will show you how we can craft a less involved bracelet like mine for Kasumi."

Nabiki picks the ruby colored stone back up. "So what form of enchanted weapon have you crafted in this for Kasumi."

Kari grins impishly. "Well she is called Quistis."

Nabiki groans.

-------------

Akiri walks along happily holding hands with both Ranko and Kaede as they approach the restaurant. Eva walks behind them and snickers at the mental image of them being mistaken for a family with Kaede's more masculine attire of slacks and long-sleaved shirt. "A very cute family though.'

Ranko turns her head at Eva's sudden burst of giggles, and is rewarded with an innocent smile. Turning back to Kaede she grins. "Thanks again for helping me sell that trinket Kari-neesan gave me Kaede. I don't think I would have been able to find someone that would have given me near the appraised value by myself."

"I was pleased I could assist you Ranko-dono." Kaede replies with her ever present grin.

Ranko smiles when she sees everyone from class, and the two Sempai they met that morning, at the entrance to the restaurant. Seeing Noriko, Ranko directs her little group towards the older woman. "I was going to call you to invite you Obaa-san, but Inhoshi said you were busy and that she would let you know."

Noriko smiles and gives Ranko a hug. "I was meeting some new friends." Is her cryptic reply.

Ranko's curiosity does not last long ,as a golden blur jumps up to Akiri's shoulder and miyahs her own introduction. "It is a pleasure to meet you Obiru." Kaede replies before anyone else can respond. This leads the new cabbit to jump to her shoulder and nuzzle her face. Inhoshi and Akatsu happily greet their new sibling. Akatsu simply miyahs, Inhoshi begins a game of tag through the crowd of waiting girls.

Kaede nods her head towards where Konoka is happily showing off the white cabbit sitting demurely on her shoulder. Ranko waves her on with a smile.

Ranko's attention is drawn to where Akane is having a lively discussion with Kotaro over the merits of different martial arts styles. Ranko, with a nod from Noriko, takes Akiri with her to distract them before it comes to blows. Akiri's quiet puppy eyes have the duo's tempers cooled quickly.

"Thanks for inviting me to dinner tonight Ranko-nee." Kotaro says bashfully.

"I wanted all my friends to come Kotaro-kun, and I think Akiri is happy to see you too." Ranko says this last as Akiri wrap her arms around the slightly taller boy's waist, causing Kotaro to stammer.

Akiri breaks the hug off with a grin and moves quickly to peak demurely at Kotaro from behind Ranko's Skirt.

Kaede can't help but snicker at little Kenji being dotted over by most of the girls deeper in the crowd as she approaches Konoka and Setsuna. Konoka was in the process of gleefully showing off two new pactio cards to Negi and Asuna.

"Look Negi-sensei, I have a card for Set-chan and Shugo-chan now." Konoka exclaims happily.

Kaede took a moment to look at the cards and found one looked near Identical to the card Setsuna had shown her for the pactio with Negi. The other card showed a picture of Konoka wearing her robed costume with the new cabbit, Shugo?, sitting in her hands cupped at her waist. Setsuna was standing behind them both, with her wings swept forward protectively around them.

"So did only Konoka-dono get this card?" Kaede asks quietly when she comes to the groups side. In response Setsuna holds up her two identical cards, and blushes at the image on the new card.

The group is soon escorted inside and lead to a large private dining room. Kaede rejoins Ranko, Akiri, Noriko, and Akane at one table.

"I have to admit this style does look good on you Ranchan," Akane says with only a small snicker. "but why are you still wearing those glasses inside?"

Ranko smiles, "Kaede pointed out a critical flaw to me in Inhoshi being my double. Even in human form her eyes are gold. If I wear the glasses myself, hopefully when Inhoshi wears more concealing ones it will be assumed to be just part of the style."

"So are you going to enjoy school here?" Akane asks quietly.

"I think I will enjoy the atmosphere of my class at least." Ranko chuckles. "I will let you know on the course work after I actually have some. I am still looking forward to being able to go to club activities without wearing a skirt or dress though."

Ranko turns to Noriko and grins conspiratorially. "So do you think Oka-san is enjoying her date?"

Noriko just winks in response.

--------

Nodoka at that moment was as close to being in heaven as she could remember. Takamichi-san had surprised her when he asked if she would come with him to the faculty's new term reception. She had been briefly reintroduced to Negi-sensei before the headmaster chased him off to go have dinner with his students.

Takamichi confided in her, between introducing her too other members of the faculty, that he believed Konoe-sensei still had designs of getting Negi married to his granddaughter.

Happosai had come with them to the reception yet was quickly, but politely, dragged away by Shizuna-sensei, much to Nodoka's amusement. 'I now understand just a little why Nabiki-chan carries her camera with her everywhere. That was priceless.'

Nodoka smiled across the room where Kasumi was nearly glowing, as Tofu-sensei again introduced her as his fiancee. "Takamichi-san? My daughter Ranko has reserved a nice restaurant for the evening, would you like to join us for dinner tonight after the reception."

"I would enjoy that Nodoka-san" Nodoka feels like she would melt at these simple words, and the accompanying smile

-----------

Ranko was returning from the restroom when she was sidetracked by the tall, tanned girl from that morning. "Ranko-san, I just wanted to thank you for taking everyone to dinner and introduce myself."

The girl bows politely. "I am Tatsumiya Mana, my family runs the shrine in Mahora city. Do you think you and family will join us for the Sakura Festival to celebrate the begining of the new term this weekend." With a warm smile Mana continues. "I am anxious to meet this brother of yours the other girls were talking about."

"Ranma-nii-san will be around," Ranko replies with a wink. "but this weekend will be Oka-san's first chance to see the trees bloom around the family shrine in more than ten years. So we will all be leaving Saturday morning."

Mana nods in acceptance and returns to her seat at a table close enough to listen in on the conversations at Ranko's table.

"Obaa-san could Kaede come with us this weekend." Ranko asks as she sits back at the table. Kaede turns to look quizzically at the shorter girl when Noriko smiles. "We are going to have a hanami at the family shrine this weekend. Please say you will come Kaede."

"I would be honored Ranko-dono." Kaede replies happily

It is barely audible to the when a wooden utensil holder snaps in Mana's hand.

notes:

scry - fortune telling using a crystal ball or other reflective surface

otaku - a semi derogatory term used in Japan to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and video games.

Laguna and Quistis - Characters from Final Fantasy VIII. I know this is likely to draw flames but this is my personal favorite in the series.

Oka-san - mother

Hanami - "Flower viewing" - tradition of having a family outing or picnic around or near blooming sakura, i.e. cherry, trees happens in early to mid spring. The school welcoming ceremonies are often timed in Japan to coincide with when the trees begin to bloom.

Chapter 26
Chapter 28
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