Rated: T Description:A mystery amnesiac girl suddenly arrives in Mahora, just in time to encounter Negi Springfield, a boy with a ridiculous destiny. Can she evade getting caught up in the coming events? Who is she even? Questions, but no clear answers in sight. Wonderful.
Katarina couldn't help but stare wide eyed. Not after what she had just witnessed.
A dodgeball shot that somehow tore the clothes off of several people with what appeared to be fierce winds.
'What was that? What in the name of… something! Was. That?'
She couldn't ignore that. That wasn't physically possible.
And could her mind stop-!
No. Hang on.
If it was this frequently reoccurring that she got seemingly nonsensical answers from her mind, then what was actually in the wrong here?
Most of the time the same part of her mind gave her not only good answers, but also correct answers…
Common sense said it was nonsense but… What common sense was it actually?
If she took these supposedly nonsensical answers and took them as truth…
Would they explain the situation?
The tree, people suddenly getting stripped, apparitions, library island…
It was as if her very perception of the world changed as she let the answers she had dismissed as nonsensical to the forefront.
And for the first time Evangeline made sense.
The petite girl wasn't 15… And most certainly not around 10 like she appeared… She was closer to 700… An immortal vampire that had been sealed into this academy…
It actually made sense. Eva never left the grounds and rarely moved particularly far, letting Chachamaru take care of shopping and the like. Not to mention Eva seemed like she possessed knowledge and experience no 15-year-old should have managed to accumulate.
She lived apart from the others because otherwise someone might realise she had been living there for far longer than three years.
Katarina had been put in her care because even if she turned out to be dangerous there was little risk to Evangeline…
And most importantly, some of the clothes Eva had suddenly made a lot more sense, and the idea that she had made them as part of a hobby suddenly made a lot more sense. Before the sheer amount and variety had been baffling, but for someone that was actually several hundred years old it wasn't that odd at all…
And the reason why Zazie gave off such a weird feeling was simple.
She wasn't human.
Technically even less so than Evangeline.
She was a demon…
Okay… no no. This was silly…
But why then…
Why did that part of her mind present it, not as speculation, but as cold hard facts…?
Where did this knowledge actually come from?
She needed to know.
Because, if she knew that, it would make it so much easier to accept… or dismiss.
She searched, sought, raked her mind for the source…
A headache started up.
She pushed through.
It got worse.
She needed that information!
It felt like her head had turned into a piece of metal caught between an anvil and a hammer.
'Give me that information!'
Something gave way, although Katarina wasn't sure what, but for just a few moments she thought she glimpsed something…
To say that Katarina's revelation went unnoticed would be a downright lie.
Evangeline and Zazie noticed it from the very start, partially because that had all been curious how the girl would react to the rather blatant display of magic that suddenly occurred.
Sure, at first it wasn't all that blatant what it was all about, although the fact that she was staring at Negi was a good indicator.
Then her gaze shifted, first to Evangeline, although it didn't seem like she was aware the vampire was looking at her, and then to Zazie, with the look of someone who just realised what they were.
That convinced them quite well what it had been.
Sure, there was clearly some kind of conflict where she was trying to figure out if it was true or not…
Well, everyone noticed when Katarina cried out and collapsed, that was for sure. And that was the truly odd part about it all.
"There is clearly something keeping her from remembering, or perhaps knowing, something." Zazie opened.
"That is the feeling I'm getting as well. Messing with peoples' memories isn't really my speciality, so I can't really think of anything that would do that." Evangeline responded.
"Hm… I can think of a few possibilities, but without knowing what happened to her I can't know for certain. Not to mention, if this is a magical effect…"
"Then it is very well hidden, yes, I have checked." The petite vampire shot the demon princess a look. "So, do you still want to go through with you plan, even after what just happened?"
Zazie seemed almost a bit remorseful. "Yes, this has only made me even more convinced that this is necessary. I feel a little bad forcing her to do something after that but… I need to know whether I am correct or not. For her sake."
"What even is it you are trying to find? I can't quite figure it out from what you said your plan was."
The demon simply smiled wryly and shook her head.
"Don't you dare go back to pretending to be mute just like that!" Eva exclaimed, but Zazie simply smiled and walked away, waving farewell lightly.
The blond fumed for a few more moments, then turned around and went to were Katarina was.
The girl had already awoken, and for the most part seemed fine, although there was definitely a clear change in how she viewed some of the people around her, even if she was hiding it.
That said, her demeanour towards the vampire hadn't changed all that much, despite the fact that it was clear she had a much better understanding of who she was dealing with now. It was honestly a bit baffling.
They were going to have a good long talk about what the girl actually knew, just as soon as Zazie's plan was over.
"So… where are we going?" Katarina asked Zazie and Evangeline as they led the way further into the tunnels.
Honestly, Katarina had some idea what this place might be, but she didn't know all that much about this place. But she definitely had the feeling that they were headed deeper. There were a few places they might be able to reach, but the girl had no idea which one they were looking for.
Not to mention Evangeline and Zazie wasn't a common combination to see, and to make things more unusual Chachamaru wasn't with them.
Katarina couldn't tell if the ill foreboding feeling she had came from this combination and how silent they were all the while most certainly keeping an eye on her, or from something else. Or maybe some combination, that was also possible.
Not to mention she was starting to feel increasingly off, similar to that time she approached the World Tree the first time, but the intensity was steadily increasing…
"Deeper." Zazie said, almost giving the impression she was feeling something out, like air pressure…
Except they were underground, so maybe something else?
Maybe it was something magical?
Eva seemed like she had some misgivings about the whole situation, so maybe she didn't have the whole picture herself?
Speaking of which… the loli almost seemed like she was… well, there was something in the way she was moving that seemed different than usual.
A sudden pang of pain caused Katarina to stop, try to recuperate…
Yet it didn't abate…
No, it almost seemed to get steadily worse…
"What's the matter?" The vampire questioned, having noticed the stop.
"N-" The bespectacled girl tried to respond, but instead found herself crying out in pain.
Zazie was there so quickly Katarina couldn't even see her move, taking hold of her so that she wouldn't fall over.
"A relapse?" Evangeline was less hurried, simply walking over, stopping a small distance away.
"N-no… this isn't like-like before…" The young girl even had trouble speaking. Before it had just been a headache. Now her entire body hurt.
"This reaction… It's earlier than I had expected…" The demon said.
"You were expecting this to happen? Explain." The vampire responded.
"Even in your current state you should be able to feel it."
"Feel what? Hm? Eh? This…" When Eva approached even closer she suddenly seemed to notice something. "What's going on? Is she drawing in ambient magical energy…? She can't handle this…" Confusion gave way to realisation. "Oh. Of course. That's what is happening right now. She can't handle it."
Zazie nodded. "My suspicion has been confirmed. Let's leave."
Katarina couldn't help but note the ease with which the pierrot girl picked her up, and there also seemed to be something alleviating the pain, although that wasn't saying much at this point due to how intense it had gotten.
Their return progress was rather swift, with Zazie able to run exceptionally fast even while carrying someone, and Evangeline actually managing to keep up, although she didn't seem all too happy about it after a while.
It was only once they had managed to return to Evangeline's cabin and made sure of Katarina's recovery that they spoke again.
"Since you seem to understand what was happening, mind explaining Zazie?" The loli immediately questioned the demon, not wasting anytime asking Katarina who she presumably understood knew nothing.
"It's her heritage."
"Heritage? Her bloodline?" Evangeline seemed thoughtful. "I've never heard of any bloodline that does something like that."
"I have my doubts as well, but it is the only one I can think of. What I've heard of that bloodline matches perfectly with what I've seen from Katarina. The problem is… well… that bloodline went extinct several millennia ago."
""What."" Both of the other girls had the exact same reaction.
"Hang on, if it went extinct millennia ago, then how could Katarina have it?" Evangeline queried.
"I can think of a few ways, but that is most certainly the reason why I was uncertain for so long. But judging by your comment about bloodline this girl certainly has one."
The vampire recoiled slightly like someone who had been discovered. "True, I have sampled her blood and well… there was definitely something ancient in it that was magical."
"We'll have to assume that Katarina indeed carries this bloodline then. How is not important. We could spend the next few months discussing it. And what she carries would be the bloodline of the first mages." Zazie declared.
"The… what? I mean… I've seen little titbits about the first mages through my journeys but… Hang on… most of them were in… her library…" Evangeline seemed to be realising something.
"That you wouldn't have seen much about them is hardly surprising. For the most part they were considered taboo by the mages, and little information survived the passage of time."
"What happened to them? Something tells me they didn't go extinct through bad fortune." Katarina finally added to the conversation, having been unable to join due to her lack of understanding.
"The first mages had magic that the rest of the growing mage community did not, apparently amongst this was a method for immortality that only they could use. The mage community became resentful and turned on the people that had helped them gain magic in the first place." Zazie shook her head wistfully. "Perhaps it is shame that buried knowledge about the first mages, perhaps it is frustration at being unable to obtain some of the magics they had. There are exceedingly few beings around today that might know."
The look the demon shot the vampire and said vampire's aversion of her own gaze did not go unnoticed by Katarina, but while she had an idea what it meant, she chose to keep that to herself.
"Can you explain what it is about the bloodline that caused the incident?" The bespectacled girl instead queried.
"From what I understand the first mages didn't have large magical energy reserves like the strong mages of today do. Instead they possessed an exceptional ability to draw in and use magical energy from their surroundings. My suspicion is that you cannot control this ability and are subconsciously drawing in magical energy from your surroundings. In addition, it seems to me like the draw is proportional to the available energy, meaning that when it increased you started drawing in more, to the point where your body started breaking down." Zazie explained.
"If that is the case, we're going to need to find some method of controlling this before she kills herself. I can imagine several times were an otherwise innocuous place might prove lethal to this girl, and a few of them does exist in this academy. If she were to fall into or be thrown into one of those places…" Evangeline said.
"I think teaching her magic would solve our problem. A large part of using magic is controlling magical energy, so if we can overcome the challenge of teaching her how to use magic we should simultaneously overcome the challenge of teaching her to control that ability of hers. Besides, if she knows how to use magic she should be better equipped to handle if the ambient energy is higher than expected."
The loli took a few moments to consider the proposal. "Why do I get the feeling I know who you want to handle teaching her?" She then said with a dissatisfied expression.
"Hm… Do you want to claim that the great 'Maga Nosferatu', one of the greatest mages of all time couldn't handle teaching a little magic?" Zazie had never before looked so smug. "Besides, do you have anything better to do? Not to mention this could be said to fall under the jurisdiction of taking care of her."
Evangeline didn't look overly happy. "There are plenty of mages around here that are also actual teachers… And don't think I don't see that you are trying to provoke me." Then she suddenly smiled. "But… I suppose that it might be an interesting challenge… What do you say, young girl?"
All of a sudden Katarina could very easily imagine the small girl before her being an extremely powerful and terrifying person. Honestly, she felt a lot of intimidation, and she knew that she would probably regret accepting.
Yet something also told her that the person before her was one of the best mentors one could ask for when it came to results.
Maybe that was why she, after swallowing, answered; "Why not?" with a small smile of her own.