They were all gone. My friends, my comrades from UQ Holder, even Kitty. I was the only one left. Thanks to a one second miracle, Negi broke free from the Eternal Empathetic and used a prototype time machine to send me back in time to fix everything. Now I am ready. Now I am worthy of Evangeline McDowell. Now I am ready. Now I am ready to free my ancestors from their prisons!
I honestly didn't think out any prior course of action on how to deal with this situation. I knew that meeting Kuromaru and getting him into UQ Holder was very much mandatory and that we would be needing him in the near future. However, last time, Yukihime just punched a hole clear through his stomach and then after he recovered we fought. He may have regained his breath but there was no doubt that he was in pain from our sparing session earlier. She might not even try the same thing she did last time. She could try to break his spirit rather than his body. I had no choice but to wait and see how things played out.
"Oh? So, you are the boy who encouraged little Touta to play with sharp things." She teased, not losing her cool in the slightest. "It was rather interesting to watch. I quite enjoyed the show."
I had to raise an eyebrow at my fellow vampire, I sure as hell didn't see that coming. Out of all the options she could have taken, she chose to go with the friendly route? Seems like she deserves a pat on the back for that one. Now, how is Kuromaru going to respond to this?
Despite her open behavior and easy-going attitude, I didn't see any change in Kuromaru's facial expressions. He was sweating buckets and his eyes were constantly moving. Was he trying to look for a way to escape? I really hoped he didn't try that. Although I guess it was better than watching a hand sprout of out of his back like a bloody rose. Are we really going to have to do this after all? I thought, a little disappointed that it seemed conflict was inevitable.
"Evan…Evangeline A.K. McDowell! You as well Touta Konoe! The both of you have no choice but to be killed by me!" the exhausted swordsman exclaimed, taking an offensive stance with his sword held horizontally to the ground. I sighed hearing this. This bravado again?
"But I already beat you not even a few minutes ago though," I reminded him, much to his apparent disappointment.
"That didn't count!We are just getting started!"
"No, we aren't." I told him with finality. "Don't you get it? Kuromaru, I already beat you and you were trying your absolute hardest. That means you are no match for Evangeline; she taught me almost everything I know." I told him, realizing I made a slip of the tongue. I eyed the Dark Evangel, hoping that it would go in one of ear and out the other. Unfortunately, this was not the case. She instantly looked over at me with a confused look in her eye.
"Wait, what do you mean almost?" she asked.
"Well, you didn't teach me that spell I used earlier now did you?" I told her whilst folding my arms and offering a cocky grin, grateful that I had found an easy out for this situation on the top of my head. Evangeline blinked and sighed, running her hand through her hair.
"No," she admitted, somewhat reluctantly, "no I did not. But getting back to the topic at hand." She moved her other hand on to her hip, giving off that 'business' look she had learned while disguised as a teacher. "Touta is right. If you can't even beat my disciple than you stand no change against me." I actually felt a little hurt by that one.
Kuromaru did not take that insult lightly. "We don't know that until I have tried!" With that being said, I couldn't help but watch Evangeline catch his falling sword with the tips of her fingers and drive her fist right into and through his solar plexus, her hand piercing his body like a nail being driven into a block of wood. She pulled her hand out as fast she put it in, effectively sending Kuromaru flying while swiping the air simultaneously in one stroke, the blood on her hand flying off to splatter onto the ground, leaving her hand as clean as it was before the fight if not cleaner.
His body fit the ground like a sack of potatoes, rather loudly and went everywhere.
"Ugg." I said in disgust, "You don't think you could have made that a little bit cleaner?" I asked my 'superior'.
"I could of," she admitted, "but him attacking me actually got me a little annoyed so I figured might as well give him a messy death." I understood the feeling so I couldn't find any fault in her logic. Back when I was training I often got so annoyed that I was dying so many times that whenever I managed to kill Dana I made sure it was as messy as possible just to satisfy myself. As I reminiscing about the few good times of my training, I began to smell something. As I took a whiff of the air I determined that the smell was…smoke? Oh right, Kuromaru's healing factor.
"Looks like you didn't kill him after all," I told Eva. She too had picked up on the scent and looked over to the smoking body.
"Hmph," she said, promptly smacking herself in the face with her hand, "I didn't think they would use an immortal to hunt other immortals." Seeing her in a rare state, I decided to take full opportunity of this to tease her again.
"Oh? You didn't even think of that? What kind of teacher do you think you are?" I took great relish seeing tic marks appear on her head and her hand clench into a fist.
"Want to see what kind of teacher I can be up close and personal?" She glowered. Man, if looks could kill… oh my god I just thought of a way to make this so much better!
I started playing with my hands and didn't make eye contact with her, looking away. I responded to her in a very shy voice while acting timid. "Wh…what kind of things are you saying Yukihime-sensei." Evangeline became very confused as to why her student's attitude suddenly did a one eighty, and calling her sensei above all else. She stepped a little closer to try to see my face. Quickly smirking that this was actually working, I kept my face hidden from the blond vampire.
"Hey, kid, you alright?" She asked, sounding slightly worried. Did she think I might have been poisoned in my brawl with Kuromaru earlier? It was possible to coat a blade with poison but Kuromaru wasn't that kind of swordsman.
I continued the act gleefully. "How can I be alright with you saying things like that?" I quietly muttered, knowing full well she could still hear me. Now it was time for the punch line of my whole act. "Well, if you like things like that…" I slowly grasped the bottom of my shirt and pulled if over my head, turning to face her finally. I could see her eyes traveling across my body in bewilderment, shock, and…was that embarrassment?
"T-Touta," she began, very hesitant. She knew somethings was very wrong here, "what are you doing?" She asked, looking quite confused, not knowing what she should do in this situation. Almost there.
"I-isn't this what you wanted?" I asked her. I decided to drop the act here, fully satisfied with my acting and letting a huge, cocky grin don my face. For additional effect, I stuck my hips out and placed one of my hands on them, putting the other behind me head. "To get all up close and personal with your student?" I couldn't hold my mask any longer than a few seconds. The look on her face was absolutely priceless! Finally realizing that she had just been played, her face was beat red! Her lips were curled up, revealing her fangs gnashing against each other as she ground them together in anger and frustration. That, combined with her red face, was icing on the cake! I was curled up in a ball laughing my ass off. Each time I thought I was done laughing, an image of her face popped into my head and it started all over again, each time my laughter grew in volume and intensity, making my stomach hurt so bad that I honestly thought I was going to burst.
"Touta…" a dangerous voice said. I knew what was coming next. I instantly got to my feet, still laughing, and started running just as a huge pillar of ice fell in my previous location. I kept running around as hundreds of pillars, rocks, and storms of ice were sent after me. "I swear, the moment I catch you I am going to kill you!" Came a voice from right behind me. Not breaking pace, I looked and saw a murderous look on Evangeline's face as she had decided to hunt me down personally, realizing that her magic was too slow to hit me. The moment I took in her face I started laughing even harder! Her eyes were glowing brighter than her face was! This only served to fuel her anger as she dove forward in an attempt to tackle me. I didn't even need to think about dodging as my body abruptly changed direction without my telling it to, Eva soaring past me and into several trees. Not like they slowed her down in the least but it was still very funny to see leaves and twigs in her hair when she became visible again.
She continued to chase me for about half an hour until I had to stop in order to catch my breath, my stomach hurting so much from all the laughing I had done. Evangeline was at my side a mere second later looking like an absolute mess. There were a lot more sticks in her hair and her clothes were all dirty now, even a little torn in some places.
"Since…since when did you become so fast, you little shit?" she asked, still quite miffed that she hadn't been able to catch me. Had she been actually trying? I asked myself, seeing her hands on her knees and she was trying to catch her own breath as well. I let the thought slide as I got up, walking over to the blond.
"Believe me when I say there are a lot of things about me that you still don't know about." I told her, picking out all the crap in her hair.
"Apparently," she admitted. "Perhaps you could show me what you can really do later?" She asked, sounding hopeful. I froze. Could I really do that? I thought. Negi told me not to change the timeline but that was when my original timeline was still there. But if I did show her what I was capable of, would she even still accept me? Would things even happen in the same order as last time if I did? No, no way in hell would it stay the same! I need things to stay the way they are so I can put an end to Ialda! But…maybe…
"…I don't know." Is what I told her, resuming my work of cleaning her hair. "There is so much that has happened within the last few years. I don't know where to exactly start."
Her hair now clean, I grabbed it and gently pulled it back so that it fell down her back once again, my nose picking up its scent as it fell. Citrus? It smelled so nice I almost lost myself in the scent. Shaking my head to regain myself, I saw that Eva had stood and was currently shaking her head to get her hair in a comfortable position.
"Not a bad job Touta, you actually did very well with my hair." She complemented, sounded pleasantly confused. "Is this one of those skills you didn't want me to know about?" She gave me one of her teasing smiles. I couldn't help but smile back when I saw her like that.
"Maybe." I responded. We began to jog at super speed back to where we were previously before our little scuffle began. I looked at the destruction we wrought. There was ice everywhere. What was previously an abandoned gas station and a small lake being now what appeared to be the ice age in its prime. Wait a minute…
"Oh crap." I moaned, not exactly looking forward to what was going to happen.
"What?" The True Vampire asked, wondering what made me groan.
"We gotta find Kuromaru." I told her, walking to the nearest block of ice and started smashing it bit by bit so that, if he was in here, I wouldn't accidently break him into thousands of little pieces.
"Oh, you mean him?" I turned to see Eva leaning on a pillar of ice that seemed a bit…colored? I walked closer and looked inside the block of ice. Yup, that was him, fully regenerated and looking as if he was froze mid run. "Don't want you losing your new friend, now would we?"
This actually relieved me to no extent. "Thank goodness," I sighed, very thankful that she froze him before coming after me. "Hey, all of this ice is cooling the entire area. I saw a hot spring resort while you were chasing me a few hundred miles that way. Want to see if they are still open?"
"That does sound quite nice right now." She consented. "You want to bring him along, I take it?"
"Might as well, keep friends close and enemies' closer thing." I told her, breaking the top and bottom part of the ice to make it easier to carry, making sure to not catch any of his body parts. "Besides, maybe I can convince him to join us on our way to the capital." Or more specifically until UQ holder finds us.
"Oh, man this feels amazing~." I happily groaned as I let myself slide into the welcoming embrace of the hot water. This beats the hot shower and the cold lake any day, any month, and time. "Hey," I call out, "I don't think tying your hair takes that long slow poke! Besides, a hot spring should feel great to you seeing as I had to unfreeze you."
"All because that demon froze me in the first place!" I looked over to see Kuromaru standing at the entrance, covering the front of his body with a towel like a female would, shivering.
"Well hurry up and get in, warm up!" I told him, getting a little annoyed, "Or stand there and stay cold!"
"I am very uncomfortable with this!" he exclaimed, more complaining than anything else.
"Then get in here and warm up like I just told you to!"
"We don't have a custom of sharing baths with strangers in my country!" Oh hey I forgot about that.
"Then think about it this way then." I had his attention now. Then, before he could respond, I jumped out the hot spring, grabbed his wrist, and flung him into the hot spring. "Now you don't have a choice." I laughed.
"I didn't have a choice!" He hollered at me, upset. He calmed down shortly afterward, the miracles of hot water working its magic. "But still, this does feel really good. I don't remember the last time I was this calm."
"Hot springs work wonders, that is for sure." I smiled, sinking even further into the water, careful not to dip my head in. Kuromaru and I enjoyed the silence and just reveled in the quiet and warmth.
"So Kuromaru, about your clan," I began, approached the sensitive subject, "you are aware that Evangeline is not a 'husk of what she was' anymore right? She has gotten stronger than she was, just hasn't used her magic often since." Having her hand pierce his body easily, he knew from personal experience.
"Yeah, I do. The clan told me fight an unbeatable opponent, and threw me aside just as easily. They just wanted me out of the way. But it is still my home, with people I care for there." He reasonably argued.
"Do you really think that anyone there wants you if the clan threw you out?" That made him hesitate. "And if anyone there does care for you, they will leave the clan in search of you and eventually find us. If and when they do, then you know who your friends are. Speaking of which," I stood up, securing my towel across my waist, "Come with us Kuromaru. It would be great to have a friend of your skill to spar with every day." I extended my arm to him, hoping he would take it. I needed him to take it.
I saw him hesitate, glance at my hand, glance at me, glance at his surroundings, and glance at me again. He sighed and stood as well, wrapping his body.
"Sure." He considered. "You seem like a nice guy, despite hanging out with the Dark Evangel. Besides," he smirked at me, "maybe being your, and her, disciple, I just might get strong enough to bring your heads to the clan someday."
"So, you still haven't given up bringing our heads to the people who abandoned you?" I frowned, disappointed.
"No, I was joking, I wouldn't do that to my new friend. The only condition I have is you don't expect me to suddenly be all buddy buddy with your girlfriend." I, happy that he decided to join us, got quite frustrated and surprised when he called Eva my girlfriend. I could feel my face burning, and not because of the hot springs.
"Sp-speaking of which, I should probably go tell her the good news." I said, turning around and walking towards the cliff which the girls bath lay atop of.
"Go tell her...? You mean peak!?" He asked, shocked I would do such a thing.
"Peak? We lived together for two years." I told him, albeit that two years being an eon ago. "There is not a single part of her body I don't know about. I've grown bored of it. I only see her body as just that, a body." Still very much true, even after ten centuries later. But her true form, on the other hand… I may not have been a Lolita before, but ever since I accepted my feelings for her, I can't help the feeling of wanting to see her naked without those dumb pills getting in the way. I wonder if the 'fetch the towel of her' quest would still happen. My face burned brighter at the image in my head.
"Then, why go up there? Why not wait until we get out?" He asked, sitting back down into the water, confused.
"…" I walked over to where the swordsman sat and whispered into his ear. "The situation I am in is a little weird. I haven't seen her in a while so I want to spend as much time as I can with her." Kuromaru raised an eyebrow but said nothing, knowing that if he said anything that the vampire above would hear. I turned around and once again looked up at the cliff. She probably already knows but might as well announce myself. I inhaled and started whistling the song she enjoyed back in the forest. Flexing my muscles while maintaining the song, I jumped, not bothering to try climbing, settling for clearing the cliff with a single jump.
I only put enough force into the jump so I would land on the edge without overextending the jump. The tips of my toes touched the rock floor without a single sound. Without missing a beat, I walked over to the furnished wood floor and stepped into the warm water. I let out another whistle to let her know I was here.
"You were being quite noisy down there." I heard her say. I looked over onto the nearby rock I knew she would be sitting on, her towel wrapped around her figure as expected. Already knowing there was no one else up here cause of my hearing, I smiled at the nostalgia of her words.
"And you were being awfully quite up here so I figured I might as well come up and check on ya, make sure the little Dark Evangel doesn't drown herself in some hot springs." Making my way through the water, I gradually made my way over to her.
"Well, unlike the two of you, I happen to find silence quite relaxing." She told me, not alarmed by my approaching her in the slightest, knowing I wouldn't do anything stupid. "That, along with the warm water, makes me almost forget about the days of the past." I instantly stopped after hearing those words. I couldn't stop an image of Kitty creeping into my head. And it wasn't the happy, innocent smiling Kitty either that I came to love. It was the version of Kitty that was known as the Dark Evangel, the Doll Master, and Maga Nosferatu to name a few.
"You are speaking of four hundred and fifty years ago, aren't you?" I spoke without even thinking. Realizing what just happened, I instantly shut my mouth. Fuck! If I don't find a way to fix this now, the future is most definitely change! But it was too late, the damage was done and nothing was going to take back what I had just said.
"Four hundred and fifty years ago?" Kitty asked. "You wouldn't know wha…!" Shatter!
Something sounded like it shattered, like glass breaking. But there was no glass up here. I looked back at Yukihime and saw the strangest thing. There was bits of a magic circle floating around her head. Curious, I grabbed one and read the partial magic sequence that was on it, another rather handy skill taught to me by the Witch of the Void. Once I finished analyzing the fragment I couldn't help but let it fall and finish disintegrating. That type of magic circle? Tell me she didn't! I took in her face. It looked like she had just finished piecing together what I said with her memories from way back then, instantly knowing what I was talking about. This came as a great shock to the true vampire, not knowing I had this information. I watched as her eyes grew round, her hand that had been used to rest her head was now falling to her side ever so slowly, her feet entering the water for what appeared to be the first time. Her composure completely and utterly lost, she uttered a single question, doubt filling her voice as well as her face, hoping against the odds that what she was thinking was true. "Does that mean…?" Sigh. I can't lie to that face. I knew it would be too hard to hold everything back from her. Instead of trying to find an excuse, I admitted defeat and opened my arms with a smile on my face. "It has been a long time Kitty. Last time I saw you, you were still ruling as the Ice Queen."
If the situation was anything but what it was now, I would have sworn the person in front of me was not the real Evangeline MK McDowell. Her face was beginning to flush, her shoulders began to shake, and I could see tears stream down her cheeks, the rest of her face hidden behind her blond hair. What happened next, was something I never thought I would ever see the girl I came to love ever do. She ran at me and literally tackled me into the water. Had I been the Touta of old I might have had my body ripped into pieces by the charge alone. Now she was squeezing me if I was her only lifeline. Standing us up before the water could converge on us and cover my eyes, I walked us over to a hotter spot of the springs and sat us down to make it more comfortable on myself, Kitty shifting as I did so, never once letting go.
I let her stay in the position she was in for a few minutes, waiting for her to calm down a little bit. Once I thought it was safe for me to hold a conversation without being told to be quiet, I spoke. "Did you forget about me again? Even after looking after me for the past few years as well as dealing with my lookalike grandfather and great-grandfather?"
"I-idiot," she said, looking up me with red eyes, "once you got swallowed by the break in time, I made a seal and sealed all of the memories I had of you, hoping that if I could forget about you, then my hopes never would have gotten up and reality would not have hit me so hard!" I knew it…so it was a Memory Seal...
I wrapped my arms around her and slowly brushed her now wet hair with my hand, hoping it would calm her down a little more. "I owe you a rather long explanation, don't I?" I already knew what the answer to the question was but I asked it anyway.
"Yes! Yes you do!" she exclaimed, not taking her eyes off of mine for an instant. "And you better tell me every detail, I don't want you leaving out anything!" I couldn't help but chuckle as she talked. "What is so funny!?" she whined, which was rather cute in my honest opinion. I have never seen her whine before. It was oddly amusing.
"No, no, its nothing." I told her. "This just reminds me of when we first met about seven hundred years ago. Or rather…one thousand and seven hundred years for me." This bit of information also made Kitties eyes grow in shock.
"One thousand and seven…!? What do you mean!? You were only born a decade or so ago!"
"Kitty," I dropped the smile and adopted a rather solemn expression, "we both know that isn't true. Don't try to lie for my sake." Apparently I was just a box of wonders today. Each time I opened my mouth, Kitty just kept getting more and more surprised, even starting to look a little scared at the tone the conversation had taken and by how much I knew.
"Touta, Touta look at me!" She grabbed my face with both of her hands, fully sitting on my lap now. "Touta, that explanation had better happen soon because, as much as I don't want to admit it, you seem to know a lot more than you let on and it is scaring me." She was dead serious with worry, and it was kind of cute to watch. I grabbed her hands and slowly removed them from my face, keeping one in my right hand while I reached up and placed my hand on top of her head, petting her.
"Slow down Kitty, slow down. I triggered your memory seal to break and you are acting no differently than when we first met back when you were just a teenager. Turn around and I will give you a massage to help you relax. You will need to be, at the very least, comfortable because what you are about to hear would make most immortal want to run and hide." Seeing how dead serious I was and still in shock, she complied to my demands, maneuvering herself so that her back was faced towards me, dropping her towel in the process so remove the hinderance the cloth would surely provide to her comfort. I placed my hands on her shoulders, weaving a small amount of fire magic into my hands, heating them up a bit to relax her muscles as I worked them, Kitty moaning in appreciation.
"Well then," I began, "I was hoping I wouldn't have to reveal this to anyone until the time came. Since I spoke without even thinking, however; I guess I don't have that choice anymore, do I?" I asked myself, shaking my head in shame at how long I had managed to keep it a secret compared to how long I had wanted to keep it secret. "Well, let's start with back when we were back at that countryside school…"
"We were back at the school, with me foolishly thinking my friends and I could beat you and start our journey to the capital. Still not very happy you lead us on like that." I told her with a joking tone in my voice, my hands working her shoulders.
"Isn't it a normal thing to hide your power when you are under cover?" She countered, laughing a little bit, my massage managing to calm her down little by little. "Also, why would I bother showing you boys any amount of my power?"
"Perhaps to scare us off from trying to blindside you all the time?" I reasoned. She shook her head and ran a hand through her wet hair, not liking how it was sticking to her skin.
"Believe me, there have been times where I have wanted to do just that. But anyway, what about the school?" Oh yeah, got a little sidetracked.
I coughed and continued, "After trying to beat you so many times we somehow managed to catch that bounty hunter slash teacher's attention. He taught us how to use Binding Ivy and Double Shot to restrain your movements. He also gave me that bracelet that you were wearing. And you pretty much know what happened from there." I paused. She didn't give me any signs of wanting me to stop so I kept going.
"However, what I am about to tell you differs from what happened a few days ago."
"Huh?" she asked, twisting her head so she could see me. "why would you tell me a different version of what happened?"
"Just let me finish and will get there." I assured her. "Now, the first time around, I couldn't block his sword. Hell, it took all I had not to scream out in pain when he cut my arm off and made me watch as he cut you into pieces. I was in shock back then, watching the closest thing I had to a mother in such a state. I honestly thought you were a normal human back then and thought you were dying. I believed that I was the one at fault seeing as I gave you that artifact that seals magic. Then that guy stabbed me in the chest. To put it simply, I drank your blood, became an immortal and punched him all the way to kingdom come."
After that, I hesitated in continuing, wondering how the girl in my lab was feeling at the moment. Deciding it would be wise to hear her words I waited for her to speak.
"Okay…?" she started slowly, rotating herself so that she was facing me, repositioning herself into a position that, if looked at by a third party, it would seem she was straddling me. Well…I guess she kind of is, I realized, a blush coming to my face from the awkward sensation in my lap. Speaking of my lap…! The blush on my face became even more profound. Don't think about it, don't think about it! Otherwise she will know that little me isn't so little anymore!
"So, what does this have to do with the first part of the story?" She asked with a perplexed look on her face, wondering why I had yet to respond to her earlier implied question. Thank God! She thinks the red on my face is because of the hot spring!
"Because the version of the story I just told you is what I went through the first time." I answered, relieved I had something to focus on besides the warmth of her skin on my thighs. However, this only served to make her even more confused if her raised eyebrow and doubting voice were anything to go by.
"You said that earlier too." She spoke, recalling what I said moments ago. "What do you mean by 'first time'? If you are implying that you lived through both versions of what you told me, then I don't believe you. After all, there is no way you can go through the same moment in time again unless…!" Her face lit up in realization. Her eyes grew round and her body began to twitch, shaking in fear of the truth she had talked herself into bringing to light.
"Unless you either use a Phantasmagoria…or go back in time." I watched as she stared into my eyes…yet…seemed to look even past them, as if looking through me. Then, she slowly averted her gaze down into the water, trying to process this new and quite shocking information. When she looked up at me again, her eyes bore into mine once again, staring into my eyes as if she was trying to see my soul through them rather than just looking past them like earlier, seeking any kind of lie or false truth with the intensity of a Demon King. This did not faze me in the slightest, returning her demanding stare with a blank one.
I did not turn away from her gaze for two reasons; the first was that I was quite used to being stared at by an Demon King equivalent, and trust me when I say Dana has that look down a lot better than Kitty ever will. The other reason is that the conversation was taking its toll on my emotions and memories. I had the face of a tired old man, and she was trying to search it for answers of her own.
"I don't believe it…" she finally said, her voice shaking much to my disbelief. The Dark Evangel was shaken? By me? The only other times I have seen her flustered was when she was in my grandfather's or great grandfather's presence.
"There is more to the story." I told her, gently placing my hands on her shoulders and turned her away from me, hoping that her flustering would go away if I presented her with more knowledge. Instead of resuming the massage, however, I felt the strong urge to simply hug her and bury my head into her shoulder, an urge I unwilling gave into. Yukihime gasped at the rather startling action. Rather shocked from my sudden action, she started to wiggle rather nervously in my lap. She didn't make any moves to leave it so I assumed that it was her way of saying that it was okay for me to do this, embarrassing but she seemed to understand that this was as uncomfortable for me as it was for her. While her nervousness was based off of the rather unnatural action I made towards her, mine was the waves of emotion rising to the surface after hundreds of years of keeping them under wraps.
"Afterwards, after you had pieced yourself together and I had healed from my wounds, you told me who you were and we began walking towards the capital just as we are now. We spent some time stopping by that village we passed earlier, training at nearly every chance we had if we weren't walking, met Kuromaru, and convinced him to join us."
"…I see." Kitty said slowly, her voice unexpectedly low. She had also stopped fidgeting. Based on everything that I had told her, I had to say she was taking this pretty well, much better than I was and I was the one telling the story! Well, then again, I have been through a lot since those peaceful times and lost a lot of allies and friends whereas she can relate to my pain, having lived for as long as she has she must have lost plenty of friends over the course of her life.
"If you really are from the future, do you know what I was planning to do after we left here?" She inquired, a mixture of curiosity and bewilderment in her voice. Deciding I had showed enough weakness, I sat up and shook my head, already missing the spot between the nape of her neck and her shoulder. But it wouldn't do for me to rest my head on someone who was three hundred years younger than me. I wiped my eyes since they had gotten damp from the wetness of her skin, and answered.
"You were never planning on taking me and Kuromaru to the capital. You were taking us to a meeting point where you would try to get us accepted into UQ Holder." Eve started to fidget again once I finished my sentence. I just couldn't get over how emotional Kitty was. I have only seen her this nervous a few times, and it wasn't the kind of nervousness you would normally see on the battlefield and that was what was freaking me out. I wasn't going to let it visibly show and I would never tell her how much but it doesn't change that fact. Was she upset that I knew what her plans were? Was she uncomfortable having been found out? I attempted to reassure her by rubbing her head like I would a cat.
"I don't mind that you weren't taking us to the capital. In fact, I think I prefer your plans over mine." I told her, letting out a small laugh. "I met a lot of friends there and had quite a bit of fun, despite the monster pit you all but threw me into." I had previously pulled my arms away from her waist when I wiped my eyes but seeing how she was visible shaken from my telling her what she had planned for us, I wrapped them around her once again, this time I let my arms fall over her shoulders and clasped them around her chest just above where her towel hid her bust.
"A lot of things happened after that, so much so that it would be too much to wrap your head around so I will say this: I know my grandfather is alive and I know about the condition he is in."
"YOU KNOW ABOUT BOYA?" she all but screamed, removing my arms forcibly and jumping out of my lap to face me and see my face for herself. I was quite perplexed by this sudden change in behavior. She took this information differently than the rest. She was almost…violent? There were so many emotions running through her at the moment I couldn't exactly tell which one was the most prominent. I signed, knowing that this wasn't going to go well. I stood as well, not liking the cold feeling in the air.
"Not just Negi," I told her, "but Nagi too. Ialda as well. I know about all of them. Heh, kind of hard not to know about them seeing as all of them have plans for me." I rubbed the back of my head nervously, the same way I used to back when I was an ignorant little kid, silently gazing at the used to be renown Dark Evangel, reduced to an insecure little child with her mouth open so wide that I might have been able to fit my fist in it. Her eyes were no better off, enlarged as far as they could reasonably go. I was going to keep talking, ignoring her shock and going through with her initial request of wanting the truth but just as I was about to do just that, she interrupted me.
"What about Fate?" she asked, putting volume in her voice. I couldn't help but feel a little confused as to why should would bring up Fate. It also concerned me why I couldn't see her eyes anymore, her hair falling in the way.
"What about Fate?" I asked, putting a little venom in my voice as I said his name, genuinely confused. Seeing that I didn't understand what she meant, she elaborated with more vigor in her voice, to the point where I began to unconsciously raise my guard.
"After everything you have told me and what has happened these last few days I can't help but believe everything you have told me so far. So, if you are from the future, then that means you encountered Fate, didn't you?"
"Yes...?" I replied, not feeling relieved in the slightest, my arms and legs slightly bent in case what I was thinking this was heading to came to fruition. Realizing I still had no idea what her point was she began to get more than just a little upset.
"Didn't he tell you his plan for saving Negi!?" she screamed, her voice filled with outrage and fear. Oh, so that is what this is about.
"Yeah, he did." I told her, not once lowering my guard. In fact, the volume of her voice alone encouraging me to raise it even further. I almost didn't even have time to reply before she started yelling again.
"What do you think about it?! I am trying to see whether you agree with his plan or not!"
"What does it matter if I agree with his plan or not?" I replied, starting to get a very bad feeling from her. Once I felt the temperature begin to drop and see fog beginning to form, I knew that this was not going to be good.
Yukihime's towel was billowing in the cold air she was generating, her hair in a similar condition as she stared at me with…anger? Sorrow? Regret? "If you agreed with his plan and help him with it then I have no choice but to seal you away until I find a way to save him without making everyone immortal!"
My eyes widened at her statement. This isn't good! I thought, my mind racing. I knew it was too much for her to take all at once. She isn't even thinking straight anymore. She might actually try to seal me! My thoughts were approved by the words that were shouted out of the true vampire's throat. "Lic Lac La Lac Lilac!Heed the Contract and Serve Me, oh Queen of Ice!"
I recognized the language she was speaking as Greek and I didn't know how to speak it but still instantly recognized the words used in her spell. It was the same attack she used to defeat the Demon God Sakuna! The only reason I knew it was because I was watching the time observation mirror whilst training and saw how my grandfather lived his life. Does she intend to seal me forever!?
"Dammit Kitty!" I shouted above the billowing wind. "If you would have let me finish I would have told you I didn't agree with it!" "Come, Unending Darkness, Eternal Glacier!" Dam it all, she isn't even acknowledging me! To make things worse, it takes a whole five minutes to unseal my magic power! I don't have enough to cast a counter spell big enough to block that! Worse yet, if I simply dodge, UQ holder will come to her immediate aid! She might even brand me as an out of control immortal, meaning I will be their enemy. Then everything will be ruined!
I got in a defensive stance, bracing myself. At least I had tried, the hot spring had frozen to the point where I couldn't move my legs. What made matters even worse, Yukihime was chanting at a speed where I wouldn't have time to prepare my muscles for instantaneous movement to break myself out of this prison my legs were in. I literally only had one other option left that might get me out of this situation without being turned into an immortal popsicle, and it was one that would only make her condition even worse. "Bring Death to All That Has Life, Eternal Rest!" Here it comes!
"The End of the World/Frozen Cosmos!" The spell took only one millisecond to start, I could see and feel my body being frozen, as well as the areas around me that haven't already been frozen. Now!
I balanced the magics within me as fast as vampirically possible, making room for this new and foreign magic and shouted, "Ric Rac La Lac Maltac!" Almost instantly, I could feel the Black of Mars respond to my call.
"Im-impossible!" I heard Kitty shout over the wind. Seeing as I can hear her now, that means the wind is dying down. Makes sense seeing as all the magic that would have frozen me and the entire area was being absorbed into me. Once all of the magic energy was absorbed, a silence so quiet not even the sound Yukihime and I breathing could be heard. As the Black of Mars welcomed the ice magic, electricity began to spark around my body. Then, as suddenly as a flash of lightening, I jumped into the air as I was coated in the vigor of the greatest lightning ever known! It felt as if I was sticking something metal into a power outlet and just felt my first surge of electricity inside of me. The only difference was this surge of electricity came without the pain. My hair was now waist length and billowing from the power continuously moving across through my body. The black spikes that normally protrude from my body when I use Magia Erebea went from their original black to yellow, crackling just like the rest of my body. I looked over at the blond vampire who lost control of herself and attempted to seal me away in ice with a very annoyed and somewhat angry glare. "Magia Erebea: Thunder in Heaven Great Vigor."
The Dark Evangel was at a loss for words, that was plain simple. There was no shaking, no fidgeting, no digging the secrets I possess out of my eyes, nothing; she just gazed at me with honest to goodness shock, surprise, and wonder. I saw recognition dance in her eyes as she took in the sight of my naked body bathed in the glory of her former comrade's signature technique, covered only by the towel across my waist. In a small corner of my mind, I was grateful that the heat generated from this form didn't burn the towel into nothing and leaving me in the same state in which I was…born? Was I even born if I was essentially a test tube baby? I'll just go with being created and save me the headache.
"Pfft…hahaha haha! Hahaha hahaha!"
A noise broke me of out my thoughts as well as the silence that hung in the air. I directed my attention to the blond girl before me. She was laughing. A cheerful expression on her face, a blissful and elegant music dancing out of her mouth as she raised an arm and placed it on her forehead, bending back ever so slightly.
"Have you calmed down?" I asked, a smile also creeping its way across my own face, figuring that seeing me use the form that her former comrade used must have knocked some of sense back into her.
"Ha…ha…ha…yeah…I think I finally calmed down." She replied, her laughter subsiding as the sound of her voice tickled my ears. "What is with that stupid grin across your face?" This…this is the girl I fell in love with. I thought as I was emotionally swept away by the perfect image in front of me. Kitty's hair, the color of lemons, no longer wet or damp, hung limp across her snow colored skin. Her sky-blue eyes, as light as a sunny day, gazed into my own with the gentleness of a breeze across a forsaken meadow. Her smile making my heart jump without even trying. Everything about her as she was now made me fall in love with her all over again. How could I not have a stupid grin on my face?
Maybe…I can be a little selfish right now…
I let my hold on the magic weaken, the lightening coating my body dispersing into nothing as I lowered myself so I stood on the now frozen hot spring, a magic circle appearing under my feet. As I walked towards the girl the magic circle began to spin, descending into the ice. As the magic circle floated down, the frozen water resumed its previous state, returning into a warm and luxurious hot spring. Both of us, who previously stood on top of the ice, sunk into the bubbling water until our feet hit the bottom, the red circle I summoned dissipating now that its purpose was done.
A few more steps and I now stood in front of the Ice Princess.
"Hmm? What is it?" she asked, a confident smile still on her face.
My face was red. How has it been since I last did this? Oh yeah, a millennium. If I was wearing a shirt I would be pulling at the collar right about now.
I took a deep breath and placed my hands on her shoulders and gave them a squeeze. "Evangeline Athanasia Katherine McDowell." I looked deep into her eyes, the surprise of my using her full name evident on her face and shaking eyes. I channeled as much of my love into my eyes and voice as I possibly could. Taking another deep breath, I spoke again. "I love you. I love you and always have." As I continued to talk I found the words just flowing out of me like an unstoppable stream rushing towards a waterfall. "From the very first moment you entered my life I knew I wanted you, as a friend or as something more. Back when you first introduced yourself to me I didn't know how to act so I put on the cold shoulder and pretended to ignore you, when in actuality, I was always watching you. I wondered who you were, who were you to my parents, and tried to answer so many other questions in my mind it was stifling. I decided if I watched you I might get a better idea on the person you were. As the months went by I gradually found myself getting closer to you, to the point of me not knowing how I would have lived my live without you. Back when that bounty hunter attacked us and I saw you step in-between him and I my heart almost stopped. I didn't want you to die. I had no idea how I was going to live the remainder of my live. You can't imagine how happy I was when I not only found out that you wouldn't die, but I was now an immortal like you. To me, that meant we could continue being together for all eternity. Then as time went by I wanted to get stronger, strong enough to protect you and make you acknowledge me. Not soon after, Dana came to me and offered me strength. That was where you first met me, at Dana's place. I enjoyed the time we spent there, you helped me out with so much, despite not really knowing who I was. When you left for the last time and I saw you ruling as the Ice Queen, I broke the time observation mirror just to help you. It hurt me, physically hurt me, to see you like that. I don't want to ever see you like that again. I don't want to see you fight my grandfather or my great grandfather. I didn't want to see you get hurt ever again. I endured eight months of training under her in order to get strong enough to fight against my ancestors, in hopes of making you see the blue sky again. When that wasn't enough, I came back to the past and sought her out again, this time devoting the last millennium training with Dana to defeat them. All just for you."
I took another deep breath, my heart pounding harder than it ever has before. "I want to fight for you, I want to make you smile, I feel like I can tell you anything and you would always have that confident smile on your face no matter what I said, I…I want to show you the blue sky again."
I never once took my eyes off the beautiful girl before me, her hands covering her mouth as her tears fell down her face, glistening in the sunlight. This feels…so right. Maybe its time…I do it seriously.
I removed my hands and took a step back, extending my right arm so it was parallel with my chest. Bending my fingers save my pointer finger, I closed my eyes and focused. Ric Rac La Lac Miltac A Unus Anulus Ad Te AmoRosa Aurum Centrum Basis Et Sanguis Iaspis
Five yellow beams of light erupted from my fingers, four of them went through the water and into the ground whilst the other one went there. I constantly repositioned my fingers, causing the beams of light to shift in the ground. Once a few seconds passed I turned my palm towards the sky. The beams of light faded and a molten golden liquid slithered its way out of the ground, moving towards Kitty. Realizing where exactly the liquid was travelling, Kitty outstretched her left arm, the golden ribbons moving accordingly towards their target. Both I and the Ice Queen watched as the ribbons wrapped themselves around and around, condensing. A few seconds later, the liquid stopped coming out of the water and a small amount of red liquid travelled out of the water and joined its golden friends.
Finally, the act was done. This is a day that I will never forget and I guarantee that Kitty will never forget today as well. The reason why I think that is, aside from me laying a lot of information on her that she was not able to easily believe, was because what I just did trumped everything else I did today.
Around her left ring finger, was a red ring with a red stone held up by red supports that seemed to come out of the ring itself.
I walked back to the flabbergasted female who simply stared at the ring in a dumbfound expression. Now that the action had been done, I felt amazing calm.
"The spell I just used is a one I custom made, more speaking with magic rather than a spell in my opinion but whatever the hell nowadays. That is not what you have questions about right now, am I right?" I grinned as she seemed incapable of uttering even a single word from the surprise and shock she was in. Her eyes, however, told me hurry and explain the weird phenomenon that was on her ring finger. I decided to use the best professional voice I could muster in hopes of teasing her just a little bit more.
"The ring itself is made out of pure painite, supposedly the rarest mineral on the planet, infused with my magic to increase its durability to the point where an immortal would have trouble breaking it. The gemstone is a 40-karot ruby, fifteen karats more than the Sunrise Ruby. I condensed and shaped it so it would be the same size as a normal ruby. I dub it: The Blood Ruby. Blood Ring to be exact since the ring is also red in color."
"T-T-Tou wh-what wh-h-hy is is th-is is th-?" I could only smile adoringly as she could barely form any tangible word. She continued stuttering as I grasped her hand and gently pulled her out of the water. Once we were out I decided to silence my beloved's stuttering and finally get to the point of all this build up.
I got down on one knee.
Her eyes were instantly locked on me, looking for any trace that this was all just a prank, not believing that this was actually happening.
"Evangeline Athanasia Katherine McDowell." I took the hand that now possessed The Blood Ring. "Will you marry me?"