Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 42 - Endurance ( Chapter 42 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
"In Cubare" (to lie upon), the great burden, this is the name man gave the warrior spirits of fire and air that they blamed for all of their passions so they could claim innocence.

The great fiends hungered for, and inspired, passions of all forms. While man prayed to Michael to guide them in battle, it is the dragon they depended on to fire their blood. Of all the demons man claimed to lurk in their minds only one form was given to those who craved to take pleasures with women, but unlike the angels who were considered above such issues of gender the great fiends were considered but a moment of will from their sisters who craved "Sub Cubare" (to lie under).

single quotes (' ') denote thoughts or telepathy
forward slashes (/ /) denote translated speech

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the series mentioned in this story. This story is created solely for entertainment and no intention of profit.

Chapter 42 - Endurance

Ranma had gone to bed early hopping to have some insight into how he had suddenly been drawn into having two new ministra by morning. He had already tried and failed to convince himself that he did it just to help Sayo. The reason being he had felt an inexplicable warmth when Kazumi admitted she wanted to be close to him, and had taken her in his arms almost before Inhoshi could make a magic circle for the pactio, worse Sayo had reached for his embrace even more eagerly afterwards. All of it was confusing for the young martial artist and he hoped sleeping on it would help.

Late in the night, Ranma woke sleepily to find Sayo kneeling by his bed, her soft touch on is shoulder had been what prompted him awake at this late hour. "You alright Sayo-chan?" He asks quietly.

"Ranma-sama could I ask a favor of you?" The ghost girl blushes cutely and keeps her eyes on the floor.

"Sayo-chan you don't need to call me anything other than Ranma." The boy offers while reaching out to touch her shoulder, causing the girl's blush to rise higher. "What do you need?"

"Ranma-sa... Ranma could I." The girl pauses to wrap her arms around the hand he touched her with. "You feel warm. I haven't felt warm in so long. Could you let me hold you while you sleep?"

Ranma sighs and lifts the blankets so the fuku clad girl could climb into the bed with him, only now noticing that Inhoshi was not wrapped around him. Sayo still sported a mighty blush but happily snuggled against him. Ranma could only shake his head when Inhoshi appeared on the other side of his newest ministra snuggled like she had always been there and sporting a happy grin. Pulling the covers over them Ranma settled back in to sleep.
The morning dawn found Ranma waking up to see both Inhoshi and Sayo apparently deeply asleep. 'Who knew ghosts could sleep.' Ranma only refrained from slapping himself, remembering the content of his dreams, because it would likely wake the girls.

Hearing a knock at the door he teleports himself away from the bed just as Akiri pokes her head in with a bright smile. "Ranma-nii-chan breakfast is almost ready. We need to get ready if were going to practice."

Ranma groans when the cabbit girl starts giggling at the sight of his bed and the still obvious void his movement had left. She closes the door with a call of "Don't play too long Ranma-nii-chan."

---------

"Please take care of me."

Ranko valiantly struggled to keep a blush off her face as the ghost girl turned to walk over to take her seat by Kazumi after the introduction was finished. 'She could not have been looking at me when she said that.' She was still fighting a losing struggle to keep her eyes from where Sayo's black stockings did not reach underneath her skirt, exposing tantalizingly alabaster skin.

Sayo had a small smile as her hands innocently smoothed her skirt down around her hips when she sat down in her chair by the window. She crossed her arms underneath her chest and leaned forward apparently sleepily against the desk, stretching the fabric of the dress across her back in the process. The morning sun coming in turned her hair into a glowing almost angelic looking corona that was almost completely at odds with the the small smirk and warm gaze she directed at Ranko over her shoulder.

With a supreme effort of will Ranko kept from slamming her head into the desk. 'Why, oh why did I tell her that?'

---------

Kari had held off from teasing him at breakfast, and happily offered their guest breakfast as well. Ranma was surprised to discover Sayo could now eat and took great enjoyment in it. The former ghost apologized profusely later and blushed heavily when she realized her moans of enjoyment of the taste, or just tasting in general, could be taken a lot of different ways.

Ranma had not really been surprised when, Sayo had declined to join them in the morning practice in favor of a nice long soak in the baths. When she came back with them from there later Ranko could hardly find a reason to complain.

"So did you tell Kazumi and Kaede about the challenge plans?" Kari asks as they walk back to their suite.

Ranko nods eagerly and grins. "I also told 'Kaa-san and she is going to join Kaede, Kazumi and I on a team."

Kari looks to Sayo and the girl smiles and scratches the ears of the cabbit sitting on her shoulder. "Inhoshi asked me to join her on a team with Madoka and one of the other cheerleaders."

When they entered the suite Kari and Akiri went to finish a bit of cleanup in the kitchenette. Ranko would have joined them but was stopped by Sayo.
"Ranko-chan can I ask for your help with something?" Sayo asked softly while she fidgeted with the hem of her summer uniform's blouse. "I need the uniform for St. Ursula's and gym clothes."

Ranko shrugged. "Sure you can have the ones in my wardrobe."

"I don't think that will work." Sayo shakes her head and takes up a discarded bath towel. Inhoshi jumps over to perch on Ranko's head as the girl places the towel across her shoulders like a shawl. Ranko just looked on in confusion until after a few moments the towel simply floated down through the girl. "I discovered that I am solid enough to touch others and pick up things now, but any clothing I try to put on just does the same thing. I can make the uniform I have always worn disappear like when I was in the baths, but I can't change what it looks like. I know you made clothes for Nabiki-san and Nodoka-san for the photo shoot on Kumejima. I was thinking if you made clothes for me I would be able to wear them."

"I might be able to make something by this afternoon that would allow Sayo-chan to change what clothes she is wearing" Kari pipes up from the kitchenette. "Thought since she only has her new abilities thanks to being your Ministra, you would likely still have to power it Ranchan."

"I can probably do this for you." Ranko nods and leads Sayo to her bedroom. "I need to tell you something though. I have not offered to make clothes that way for anyone since I discovered a problem with it." Sayo looks at her speculatively while waiting for Ranko to finish. The redhead blushed deeply. "The clothes are kinda still part of me, and my senses extend into them."

Sayo blinked a few times and then broke out in giggles. "So your saying you unintentionally 'felt up' Nabiki-chan and Honya-chan" Ranko sweet drops as Sayo throws her arms around her in a hug. The smaller girl looks up with a grin. "What about Kotaro-kun?"

"That was just a jacket, I didn't feel anything really." Ranko blushes. "That is why it caught me off guard on the island."

"Oh that is no problem then." Sayo floats up to kiss Ranko softly on the lips "I will have to ask you to make an especially comfy pair of panties for me though." The albino girl giggles at the other girl's wide eyes. "My bloomers won't work with the uniform's skirt and I would just die of embarrassment without anything."

In the air above them a red furred cabbit cartwheels around with victory fans as Ranko wraps her arms underneath Sayo to support her and hungrily returns the earlier kiss.

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

Sayo straightens back up as Negi begins his lesson. Sayo looks at Kazumi a little sadly and reaches out to touch her hand. 'I am sorry Kazumi. I know you care about Ranma too. I can't begin to really explain this well, Until Ranma touched me last night it had been so long since I felt anything that I completely forgot what it was to feel. Please tell me you understand. Your my best friend, my first friend in so long.'

Kazumi turns her head briefly to look at the shorter girl and smile while wrapping her fingers gently around Sayo's hand. Winking she sends back. 'Is he as comfortable to snuggle up with as Kaede claims?'

The ghost girl's smile nearly made her glow. 'He is so warm.'

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

Midori walked hesitantly through the gates of Kari's retreat, she was only mildly surprised to find Nabiki working at a portable table setup, filled with monitors, on the flagstone path. "What do you have there Nabiki-chan?"
Glancing up at the other girl, Nabiki waves her over. "I volunteered to help with video editing on a project for Kari-sensei and Konoka-sensei."

The red head looked around when she heard a buzzing sound and turning around found herself staring at a camera lens on the front of a robot? hovering in the air by two sets of quickly moving insect like wings. "Smile for the birdie." She heard Nabiki sing song.

Sighing the older girl walked over to look over Nabiki's shoulder at the several six inch LCD screens she had in front of her on the table, one of which had Midori centered on it and was slowly panning around to get both girls in the frame.

"It really is quite interesting." Nabiki said idly while adjusting controls. "The drones themselves are autonomous, with object avoidance algorithms, I just tell it who to keep focus on." Nabiki pointed at the screen with the two of them. "I had to direct this one to find you and then it centered." She had to pause in her explanation to groan as the focus shifted to a smaller red head. "The image based lock on is not perfect as it can't seem to differentiate between yours and Akiri's red hair."

Midori looked over to where the little girl was skipping towards them from the large workshop. "Good morning Midori-neechan." The little girl called out as she bounced to a stop beside her, setting the white wings on her head fluttering. "Have you had breakfast yet?"

"Kari seemed rather anxious to see me when she called." The young woman said calmly. "I only have a few hours before I need to take over being on call for Tomoyo-san." She sweat dropped as Akiri giggled and Nabiki chuckled.

"Now that your here there is no rush. Time moves differently in this place, a day here is an hour in the outside world." Nabiki sighed and stretched. "Shall we go get something to eat? I think Kari-sensei is involved in another project at the moment."

"Kari-mama won't be done for a while." Akiri agreed while taking Midori's hand and pulling her towards the house. "You might as well relax for a bit until she is finished."

Midori allowed herself to be lead into the house and at least took the tea she was offered by Saki. She could not help but smile at her "cousin" playing hostess, but was grateful when a little over an hour later Akiri announced Kari was ready to see them.

Walking into the workshop she found Kari putting the finishing touches on a small piece of jewelry, and lay it down next to two identical pieces. "Thank you for coming Midori." Kari said politely.

"Well when you said you might have a way for me to summon my favorite ally again." The shorter red head grinned at her aunt. "How could I refuse?"

"Well we need to move to a location with more space for the test." Kari picks up the jewelry from the workbench, and hands it to Akiri. "Your sure Inhoshi knows to come collect these?" She says to the little girl.
"She knows they are ready now, and will come for them during the lunch break." Akiri affirms with a grin. "She is eager to see the results. I will wait for her in the club room until she comes for them."

"Well we have some time before then, and I still need your help with this test." Kari says as she picks up Akiri in a hug, before leading Midori out of the workshop, and back to the compound entrance. "I think the forest is the best choice."

Midori puzzled at what the younger woman meant until they stepped onto another transport pad at the entrance and appeared in a temperate forest full of ash, oak, and pine trees. Kari leads them to a large clearing away from the transport pads, and hands her a simple looking wire bracelet with what looked like a pair of green tinted opals where the bracelet knotted together. "What is this?"

"I traded some information with some out of town friends, and this is what is called a summoning booster device." Kari says with an eager grin. "They use it for a different purpose, but I believe we can use it to bring your friend back with a bit of modification. All you need to do is put it on and say device start." Kari sets Akiri down. "Are you ready to collect readings Akiri-chan?"

Akiri flies over to the other side of the clearing and waves. "Hai Kari-mama."

"You know that fills me with a great deal of confidence." Midori deadpans, looking back and forth between the other two.

"She just moved back to be able to take a wider field of readings." Kari assured. "After all I am still here."

Sighing Midori looked at the small bracelet as she slipped it on her wrist. "Device Start."

After a brief light show, Midori saw her clothes had changed and did not know if she should groan or laugh. Her clothing now looked like her dress she wore working at the Linden Baum Diner if you replaced the pink with black and she was wearing black fingerless gloves with large green disk like gemstones on the back of her hands. "Any chance this could be changed? the skirt on this is short enough to be embarrassing."

"Well there is an alternate setting. Just think setup acceleration" Kari responds with a slightly unnerving grin.

Midori does as she was instructed and barely contains a blush as her clothes change to a tight zippered vest, very short hot pants with an obvious zipper running all the way from front to back, and knee high boots with low heels, all of this in black leather with chrome steel accessories. "How is this supposed to be a faster mode." She squeaks out.

"Well you did want something for fun with Alphonse when he gets back right." Kari states around giggles. "I'd say this would definitely accelerate his pulse."

"Alright I can see that." Midori says while giving into a blush as bright as her hair. "Could you make the zipper less apparent and maybe add chaps so it looks like I am wearing pants?" Midori lets the other girls finish giggling while Kari nods her head in agreement. "So what do I do next?"

"Without the Hime star your child was released, but the link should still be there somewhere. Just try feeling for your link." Kari suggests.

Midori closes her eyes and laces her fingers together near her waist. The gems in the gloves begin to glow and a square magical seal appears beneath her feet. After concentrating for several minutes she opens her eyes with a smile. Holding her hands out in front of her she calls out "Gakutenou!" A swirling portal opens in the air above her and a lion's roar is heard before the portal collapses, the gems on her gloves flare out and explode into sparkling dust.

Kari waves her hand and a breeze comes up to quickly blow away the dust to reveal Midori sitting on the ground once again dressed in a regular t-shirt and jeans. The enchantress winces at the burns on the back of her hands and rushes over to heal them. "Are you alright Midori-chan?" Kari asks quietly, once the burns have disappeared.

"What happened?" Midori asks while examining her hands, and finding the bracelet gone. "I could feel him there and tried to open a path for him, then it all just imploded."

"The portal was almost stable, but it simply overloaded the device." Akiri states as she walks up to them. "It should not be too hard to reinforce, but the power fluctuation was erratic."

"So you can fix this?" Midori says with a hopeful look in her eyes.

Kari helps her to her feet and begins to lead the way back to the transport pad. "I don't know how much more testing will be needed, but we should be able to make it work." Seeing the other girl blush as they step on the platform she grins. "On the other hand If you are just wanting to have the outfit to show your fiancee when he gets back this weekend I believe I can arrange something for that purpose."

Midori was saved from stuttering denials as the transport activated. Arriving back at the shrine entrance her shoulders slump in defeat. "Okay as long as you can make the changes I asked for."

Kari chuckles as she leads them back into the workshop. "Ah what lengths we girls will go to to catch a man's eye."

Midori stares at her in confusion for a bit before responding. "Okay this has been bugging me since I arrived. You, Tomoyo-sensei, and Obaa-san are all supposed to be enchantresses, but I have yet to see any of you...."
Kari smirks and pulls her niece close, and breathily whispers in her ear. "Take some yummy stud for the ride of his life and leave him an exhausted and drained husk." Kari wraps her arms tighter around the shorter girl. "Or maybe something more sapphic?" Hearing a squeak from Midori, Kari releases her with a easy laugh.

"There is a misunderstanding your working under with that thought." Kari says with a wink at the blushing archeologist. "Enchantresses are considered seductresses because if all else fails we can get what we need to survive by seducing mortals, and have talents to make that easy to accomplish. Though each of us has different needs and can find better methods more acceptable to our, and society's, tastes. After all Obaa-san could hardly have survived for so long if she regularly had to devour lovers with passion."

"So how does it work?" Midori asks with a hint of skepticism or apprehension.

"Let's take sensei for example." Kari says while taking on the tone of an instructor herself. "She is a siren with elements of water and wind, what she craves is dreams or goals and the determination to reach them. If she was uncaring about others, she could simply force mortal minds into a state where they live out their dreams in their minds right up until they die. Since she does care she instead finds ways to help others reach their goals and dreams. Like helping Mihara-san making the Angelic Layer game to fund his research, or you searching for a way to take care of those children you brought with you. In your case it was not a large life changing goal, but you were still determined to accomplish it."

"Obaa-san would seem to be more difficult since she craves passion." Kari says with a grin. "But passion is not limited to carnal activities. It is actually much easier for her to sponsor, or just attend, sporting events or concerts. She and Sensei both were quite satisfied by just being in the stadiums during the series of championship games for Angelic Layer last year."

"Dryads like my angels are the easiest, their elements are earth and wood." Kari says with a hint of affection. "They are deeply sensitive to the environment and desire to keep it in balance or make it whole. They could find what they need in serving others, caring for animals, or being doctors. Obaa-san told me she has a number of 'daughters' out there of this type, but they hardly need to show themselves to be anything other then caring people."

"What of Sylphs?" Midori pipes up. "My mother mentioned they were dangerous." She cringes at the expression on the enchantress' face.

"I have never seen a pure wind type enchantress myself." Kari admits while composing herself. "I am part sylph and siren. I summoned a sylph once to see how they acted and all it turned out to be a classic fairy type creature with translucent wings and surrounded with a mesmerizing glow. She also had a desperate need for attention, and was quick to anger if ignored. Fortunately she was also easy to distract and dispel. I think a true sylph enchantress would not survive for long, I would suspect them to have an extreme case of attention deficit disorder. I have to concentrate sometimes to keep my mental train on track sometimes as it is."

"So what does that mean for you then?" Midori quietly asked.

"Combine dreams with a desire for attention and the best description I can give you would be fantasy." Kari shrugged. "I used to hold parties where I would entertain a few friends wearing outfits sure to drive them wild, or I would on occasion go to other parts of town and see how much traffic I could stop." The enchantress smiles. "I am glad I found something better recently."

Midori looks at her with a puzzled expression. "What would that be?"

"Ah but you helped me out with that just recently." Kari says with a very wide grin. "I was rather surprised to find out that I can get my needs met by having fans drool over racy pictures of me from the cosplay website."

Akiri giggles as she makes her way out to wait for Inhoshi.

----------

Ranma relaxed against the wall while he waited for Kazumi and Kaede to finish cleaning up, and getting dressed. They had insisted on getting together to discuss strategy before going to meet his mother.

Inhoshi, Sayo, Madoka, and one of the other cheerleaders, Sakurako?, came out of the girl's dressing room. Without hesitation Sayo and Inhoshi give him quick hugs before running off with giggles. Ranma smiled at the warm woolen dresses and tights both girls were wearing.

Inhoshi had winked at Ranma before turning away. This puzzled him until he felt something shift in the girl's dressing room. "Please tell me you didn't.' He mentally yelled at his cabbit, the only response was her, and Sayo's, laughter increasing as they dashed off. 'I should have known I was in trouble when Inhoshi volunteered to retrieve that talisman for Sayo over lunch from Kari-nee.'

'Kari-nee did make a nice ear cuff for Sayo-chan' Ranma mused to himself, as he leaned his head back against the cinderblock wall. 'Not sure how I feel about it looking like a miniature red gold tiger with sapphire eyes though.' He kept this mental litany up for quite a while, anything to distract him from two new bundles of sensations he was receiving.

He was well aware of when the girls were finished dressing and came out to find him. He definitely did not need to look as they approached. Finally deciding to open his eyes, he straightened up and looking at the girls found they both had one of the ear cuffs on their right ears. The matching tight black leather pants and gold silk shirts, which set off Kazumi's blue eyes nicely, made them quite a sight. Kazumi blushed a little under his gaze while Kaede just grinned, Kitsune just smirked from Kaede's shoulder.

"So where were you wanting to go?" Ranma said quietly, not trusting his voice in the least, as Kaede and Kazumi each took an arm.

"I was thinking we could go get something to eat and talk." Kaede said pleasantly as she lead him away from the gym and over to a nearby park. "It isn't far." She brought them into a small secluded clearing before she spoke again. "Kazumi-dono could you bring out one of your satellites to watch the area discreetly."

Ranma chuckled as both girls took out their cards, and Kazumi's watcher found a place to unobtrusively hover in a tree's branches while all four of them were surrounded by Kaede's cloak.

Finding themselves in the entry hall to Kaede's small house Ranma finally voiced his biggest question. "Did you have to put each article of clothing on slowly?"

Kaede just winked as she lead them into the sitting room with an excruciatingly, to Ranma, exaggerated sway to her hips. Kazumi, still holding his arm, was having more success controlling her earlier blush, but answered as Kaede left the room to get drinks and snacks while they sat down on cushions next to the low table. "It would have looked strange to the others if we did not get dressed normally."

Ranma sighed in defeat. "Sorry I guess it just seemed long to me, but why are you girls using those anyway? I understand Sayo-chan has to, but you don't."

"Sayo told us about it, and said she enjoyed how it made her feel closer to you." Kazumi said quietly, still holding tightly to his arm only now it seemed she was almost afraid to let go. "I..We wanted to be close to you as well. Will you let us be?"

Kaede returns before Ranma is able to answer, setting down a tray with green tea and crackers she sits on the other side of Kazumi. "Well Ranma-dono, if you like we can play Yayuken to decide who gets to keep their clothes." The kunoichi smirked. "Odd man wins or looses." A tall girl with silver grey hair walked in behind her with a bottle of sake and just shook with silent laughter.

"No fair." Kazumi wailed, sliding back from between them and away from the table. "With you two speed demons I will be out in no time." Sliding back against the wall Kazumi leans her back against it and brings her hands across her body to grip her elbows.

Still kneeling she pouts, and looks at Ranma beseechingly. "You are not going to use a game to make an innocent girl like me take off her clothes are you, Ranma-kun?" Ranma is struck speechless while she extends her wrists crossed in front of her. "Please!" The girl begs. Ranma almost tried to insist he would not, before Kazumi narrowed her eyes and grinned impishly. Ranma stared as golden rope materialized binding her wrists together. Kazumi's voice takes on a husky tone. "Not when my master is free to take them off of me himself."

Heartbeats later Ranma slips his head within the circle of her arms and using his hands around her slender waist lifts her off the floor to where they are both standing. Placing his palms against the wall on either side of her shoulders, Ranma rests his forehead gently against hers and tries to control his breathing. "Not yet Kazumi-chan." the young man says raggedly. "I want to learn all of who you are first?"

Kazumi tilts back her head and whispers, "Yes", just before kissing Ranma deeply.

Kaede steps up behind Ranma and slides her arms around behind the small of Kazumi's back, gently pulling the three of them together. "Well we definitely don't need to worry about our clothes getting messed up degozaru." Kaede lays her head on Ranma's shoulder and enjoys feeling the other's laughter.

"I have to wonder" Kitsune offered with a grin. "Do you think Takane-san gets nearly as much enjoyment out of it when she makes shadow clothes for others?"

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

A boy with white hair and a large raven on his shoulder walks up to the edge of a lake where a suspension bridge with red brickwork pillars travels off into obscuring mists. "Why exactly are we here again Samael? There is nothing here to see." The boy whines tiredly as he stares off across the lake towards where the sun approaches the horizon.

"There is something here Loki, and has been since before the fall of the moon kingdom." The raven growls without moving its beak. "I can sense a great power at the edge of my senses here. If we can penetrate the barrier protecting it we can use it to start the ending you crave."

"Well I will need to summon my more powerful children to break a barrier strong enough to thwart your senses." The boy glowers at the bird. "How do you propose to collect the energy for that?"

"The pawn I had on this world for so long had powerful companions, if you send your children to play with them they can cause havoc and I can absorb energy from the suffering they cause to allow you to summon more powerful servants." Samael said lightly.

"Ah yes the moon kingdom champion that likened herself to Hades." Loki grinned evilly. "She was a joy to watch with her deft manipulations. What delicious coldness undermining a river bank just enough for it to crumble under a child's weight so that the child's mother could die from injuries sustained saving him from rapids, or an anonymous phone call to First Division so they could know where to intercept one of their researchers trying to escape with her child, only to have her die in the resulting car crash."

"Ah the Senshi, I have not been able to play with them since the fall." The boy cackles shrilly. "I like your plan, but it lacks in a certain subtlety to truly make these Hime suffer." The boy's form shimmers and is replaced with a tall elegantly dressed man with short white hair and a black crescent moon on his forehead. "The Queen's heir felt a great deal of sadness for a group of their enemies that in the former future she helped create. Let us play on that to the fullest." The man finishes with a sinister smile.

The false prince turns from the lake, and he and the bird shimmer, disappearing as though they never existed. If one of innocent intent were to follow the path created by the bridge into the mist the scene shifts as though the mist had never existed and an impossibly giant tree is revealed. At the base of the tree is a marble and granite plaza surrounded by european style buildings. A camera drone flies across the plaza to move in close to a young woman dressed in a black felt trench coat left hanging open as she strides into the plaza to reveal her grey turtleneck sweater and black slacks.

"Here we are in the World Tree Plaza center of historic Mahora Academy." Saotome Haruna announces with a serious expression for the camera. "Here we will begin a contest of teamwork, endurance, and wisdom. Each of our teams vying for supremacy in this is lead by a new student or faculty member. Let's meet them now."

The camera cuts to the side of the plaza, where a team dressed in gold and black enters, three of the four have red hair. "Our first team is lead by Himura Ranma, a new student to the academy studying martial arts with our resident masters." Ranma grins confidently as the camera focuses on him. "He is joined by his mother Himura Nodoka also a recent arrival, and also learning new skills in martial arts." The young mother waves a little tentatively.

"He also has companions more familiar to the academy." The camera pans to focus on the tallest female member, and the only one without red hair, who simply grins and waves. "Nagase Kaede, a first year student at St. Ursula's Girls high school and member of the Strolling Club, she should be quite ready to show him the most secret way," The camera cuts back as she pauses with an innocent grin. "across campus." The camera shifts back to the last member of the team. "Asakura Kazumi rounds out this four man crew. She is one of the, if not the premier, ace reporters of the school." The camera catches the girl blushing and giving a thumbs up, before it cuts back to Paru. "She is certain to have a great deal of knowledge to offer."

The perspective shifts to the other side of the plaza as a team in blue comes out, only one red head is in this group. "Our second team is captained by Ranma's younger sister Ranko, who wowed us all with her energy just recently at the cheerleading tryouts." Inhoshi waves exuberantly when she hears this, causing the albino girl behind her to blush. "She is joined by another student who returned from a sabbatical just this morning, let's hope she enjoys her reintroduction to the school, Aisaka Sayo." Sayo smiles and waves to the camera happily as well, if with much less energy.

"They are joined by other more experienced members of our resident cheerleaders." The camera zooms in on a smiling girl with short brown hair. "Here we have Kugimiya Madoka the new junior captain of the high school level varsity squad. Can she help lead their team to victory? Only time will tell." The camera pans to a girl with her light reddish brown hair in twin short braided tails, already jumping up and down in excitement and cheering. "This team is completed by Shiina Sakurako. She definitely does not lack in energy either, but we will have to see if all this team's energy can carry them through to victory."

The perspective shifts again to show a team wearing red shirts, three girls lead by a young boy wearing glasses and waving his hand while trying his best to still look professional. "Our next team is lead by our own super child teacher Negi Springfield. We expect to see him accomplish as much here as he has before." The camera shifts to a girl with bright orange hair in twin long ponytails as she reaches forward to grab Negi's arm and wave it and her other arm more exuberantly for the camera. "He is joined by our current champion of the school sports day Kagurazaka Asuna. We have never seen her fail to prove her speed or endurance yet, let's hope she continues."

The camera moves on to a short blushing girl with shoulder length purple hair barely held back from obscuring her eyes. "Miyazaki Nodoka is a longtime member of the Library Exploration Club and has proven to be well aquatinted with the campus in the past." Focus switches to the girl behind her with long dark blue hair gathered with ribbons in two bunches below her waist. "Ayase Yue is also a member of the explorers and has lead teams on quite a few adventures through the island herself." We see Paru raise her one of eyebrows questioningly. "Will their mix of leadership, knowledge, and enthusiasm prove to be the right mix?"

Light heralds the next team lead by a slender young woman with flowing sable hair to her shoulders. "The White team is lead by a new third year at St. Ursula's, Kuga Natsuki. Don't let her looks fool you though, she has a pedigree of steel. She came to our school so that she could be with her father, our own Death Glasses Takahata." Natsuki simply smirks at this and negligently tosses her hair with her hand, which the camera follows to the redhead behind her. "Joining her is someone she has experience working on a team with Sugiura Midori. She is a graduate of our fine institution and rejoins us after traveling the world on archeology digs with the former head of that department in our university. Hopefully her knowledge will benefit the less experienced but better known members of this team."

A happily smiling girl with even longer sable hair waves for the camera. "Most people around the academy should not need introductions to its unquestioned princess Konoe Konoka. She holds the title more for her kindness and warmth for others, then because of her grandfather. Will she be able to shine in this competition on her own?" Paru puts her hand to her chin pensively. "You all will get to find out along with me." The last girl dressed in white comes into picture, and blushes at the attention. "Will Sakurazaki Setsuna, the kenjitsu stylist who wowed us in the budokai during last years Mahorafest, be able to help her team to a similarly impressive performance?"

Coming out in green clothes, the next team is lead by a young man with long black hair in a ponytail. "Leading our next team is Kenzan Konatsu, a new student at the men's high school. He has shown himself to be quite athletic and skilled, will he be able to lead his team to victory, as easily as he leads a flock of girls around campus?" Paru shrugs and tries to look innocent. The camera switches to a cute brown haired girl looking in Paru's direction and trying not to scowl. "He is joined by his best friend Himura Ukyo, before joining us this term Ukyo showed her tenacity in running her own restaurant and being near the top of her class at her previous school. We hope to see her performance shine."

The camera pans to a young man with unruly black hair grinning and tugging on the on the lapels of his open green coat proudly. "Here we have Murakami Kotaro, the young fighter who almost instantly defeated his first round opponent during the budokai without ever touching her, and showed he was a gentleman when he rescued her from drowning in the water she landed in when it became clear she could not swim." Kotaro's blush was completely at odds with his attempt to look tough. The gently smiling tall young woman who put her hand on his shoulder did not help this. "The den mother for this group is Naba Chizuru, she has proven to have incredible organization skills balancing school with volunteering her time at the school's childcare center. This team should be one to watch."

A team comes out in purple being lead by a handsome blond haired man. "The next team is lead by our new faculty advisor for the Chinese Martial Arts Society, and the most likely reason for the expanded female interest in it, Sano Happosai." The master blushes and rubs the base of his ponytail with his hand as he looks at the woman behind him, politely covering her laughter behind her hand. "He is joined by our favorite school counselor Minamoto Shizuna. Her experience with the school and all the personalities here should prove invaluable."

The scene shifts to the grinning blond haired girl with her hands through the wide sleeves of her tai chi shirt. "The Taichou of the Chinese Martial Arts club, Ku Fei will be joining her new advisor." Panning up the focus shifts to a sweetly smiling blond haired woman with her hand on Ku Fei's shoulder. "The team is has its own one person cleanup crew, Kuramitsu Mitoto. She has recently joined the staff so she can get to know her niece Ku Fei. With skill knowledge and speed they can do well."

A group of four girls wearing pink shirts makes it way into the square. "Our final team is lead by one of the most recently added members of the school drama club Tendo Akane. An experienced martial artists in her own right and a senior at St Ursula's." The grinning dark blue haired girl waves to the camera as it pans to the tall blond haired girl behind her, looking slightly uncomfortable in her pink sweater. "Many of you should recognize Takane D Goodman from the festival last year. She has been hoping for a chance to prove herself since then. We hope to see her perform well, but hopefully not quite in as explicit detail." Takane blushes darker than her sweater and glares at Haruna who only winks.

The camera moves on to a petite girl with silver hair, whose blue eyes are looking at Takane in confusion. "The brains of the team has to be Teletha Testarossa. She is enrolled as a senior at St Ursula's, but almost all of her courses are for college credit." The girl's pale skin tinges pink as the camera moves on to a girl with bright blue waist length hair, patting Tessa on the back supportively. "Chidori Kaname joined us this term and is also a senior at St Ursula's. She was the class representative at her previous high school and did well in both scholastics and sports."

Haruna turns to face all of the assembled teams. "In this contest there will be five legs where you will face challenges both physical and mental. Only the teams that can work together the best and depend on each other will succeed." Standing in a relaxed attention stance she waits for all the teams to have a moment to acknowledge their understanding. "The winners of each leg will receive a prize, and the last team to reach the finish will be eliminated. In the last leg the three remaining teams will race for the grand prize, an all expense paid trip for four to the hot spring destination of your choice within Japan generously donated by the Diadoji Toy Company."

Pausing for effect, Haruna walks to the side giving all teams a clear view of the stairs. "Your first clue is in the red envelopes at the base of the stairs. Do your best, have fun, and play fair." Lifting her arm into the air with a Mahora pennant flag she struggles to keep a grin of her face while watching the teams fidget. Dropping her arm she shouts. "GO!!!!" Haruna watches as the teams dash headlong down the stairs and says a silent prayer that they won't kill each other or themselves.

Turning to the camera a final time Haruna schools her face to neutrality. "What will happen this time on the Mahora Race?"

notes:

sapphic - formal or humorous way of referring to lesbian acts
Yayuken: a play on Jankenpon, rock paper scissors, where the looser looses clothes. 3-A played this only with english translation flash cards while Negi looked at the class roster, by the time he turned around the Baka Rangers were all down to their panties. Baka Blue, Kaede, grinned through the entire scene.

First Division is the name of the group that served the Obsidian Lord in Mai-Hime, The events Loki is referring to are what happened to the mothers of Tokiha Mai and Kuga Natsuki

kenjitsu - art of the sword

Chapter 41
Chapter 43
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