Negima! through the eyes of Setsuna. Story based on the manga, Setsuna is now unceremoniously shoved into the spotlight in Negi's place. Just thought to develop her character in tribute to her awesomeness. Rated T for mild language, but may change much, much later. First fan fic- chapters will be updated regularly. KonoSetsu inevitable.
Tiny eyes looked up at him. He saw the fear in them, and he felt a great hatred in his heart, hatred for whoever would hurt something so innocent. Something so small and pure. But he saw something else in them, which shocked him. Defiance. Anger. Strength. She's so small, yet she's been through so much.
He could feel how she hated herself for being different- for having white wings instead of the normal black that the crow tribe was known for. He knew that she knew that everyone thought she was a curse. And she hated herself for it. He hated everyone else for it.
"What's your name?"
"It's alright. We'll take care of you, little one. Please rest as much as you need- I know you've been through much."
He turned to walk away, before barely hearing a tiny, yet deep voice, full of pain and, surprisingly, strength. This was the first time he heard this voice, during the entire 5 days she was with him. She woke up a few times already in the past, but always kept quiet.
"Setsuna. Sakurazaki Setsuna, sir."
When he looked back, he was shocked to see the little girl in a deep bow, but noticed that her body was slightly trembling. She fell forward, right into his arms.
"Setsuna-kun, get some rest. Your body is still weak."
"Eishun. Konoe Eishun", he smiled.
"Eishun-sama. Thank you very much for saving me, sir. I will forever be in your debt."
He carried her tiny frame back to the bed and laid her down. He wished her a good rest and stood to leave.
"Teach me." She remembered. But she's just a child. I can't possibly-
"Please, Eishun-sama. I want to be able to save people too, the same way you saved me. I want to protect."
He was about to object when he saw her eyes again. There was just so much pain, fear, anger and strength. And desperation.
She swung her tiny wooden sword diagonally down to her left as hard as she could, but still controlled. She shifted her footing slightly and brought it back up, putting just as much force into the second swing.
She concentrated very hard, and one could feel the determination behind each swing and could see the concentration on her face, hear the strength behind each shout.
Yet behind everything else, onlookers found it completely adorable. Here was a tiny little swordsman, a mini samurai with a tiny Kendo uniform, holding a tiny wooden sword that looked harmless. And if they haven't made it clear enough, tiny. They found it adorable, that is until-
A very big, very solid-looking rock was cut clean in half right beside said onlookers. For some reason or another, they started tip-toeing away very quietly.
"Good job, Setsuna. You're really quick to pick things up. You've already mastered a technique that those a year above you are still struggling with. You're a complete natural."
"Thank you, master."
"But that's bad news for you. That just means you'll be working all the more harder. Your training will be painful, Setsuna. But only through pain that doesn't kill you will you get stronger. You will have to go through hell and back. Do you understand? I like you, but it is for that reason that I will not go easy on you."
It was night time when Setsuna had no more rocks left to destroy. Pieces of broken stone surrounded her and she let herself collapse on the grass to breathe. Her master handed her a water skin and left, promising harsher training tomorrow.
Setsuna smiled. It's been a year since I woke up in Eishun-sama's home in Kyoto and a year since he sent me to the Shinmeiryuu to be trained. He saved my life without asking any questions, cared for me and gave me a future. I owe him everything.
One could see her tiny silhouette from the distance every morning at 4am, running around the training grounds. She ran until her limit, and then ran some more. She would take a quick break while everyone else in Japan woke up, and was re-energized by the time training officially started.
What her master said was true- she picked up techniques quickly and was able to master them within a few weeks and was able to flawlessly execute them during mock battles. She was only 7 years old, but she stood a solid chance against her seniors that sparred with her. She always managed to put up a good fight, and earned the respect of those who watched her, including her masters.
Of course, that only meant that her training would be even more difficult. The Shinmeiryuu made sure that talent was never wasted, and made sure that those who showed exceptional skill were given harsher workouts. Setsuna always went to bed tired, but she also grew stronger. She appreciated this. Going to bed dead-tired also meant that she had no time for the nightmares that used to haunt her. The moment she closed her eyes, she fell right asleep, leaving her memories behind at the back of her mind.
Setsuna's master watched her student's progress closely. She reminds me of Eishun.
She was known as the strictest master in the school, and she worked her students until a little past their limit. They say she never favored any student and was never impressed. That's not entirely true. I was impressed by one student in the past.. And now, I am impressed yet again.
"Motoko. How is she?"
"Eishun. Welcome back to the dojo. Setsuna's progress amazes me to say the least- her reflexes are almost instinct and she works harder than the entire class combined."
Eishun's eyes softened. Looks like I'm not the only one who's taken interest in this little warrior.
"Motoko. Konoka. She's growing up."
"She is- growing up into a beautiful little girl. Also, I notice her aura is stronger."
"We're not the only ones who've noticed." Ah. So that's why he's here.
"Who do you have in mind, Eishun?"
"Who would you suggest?"
"Konoka needs both a friend and a protector. She needs a friend loyal enough to protect her. She's lonely as well as in danger- although she doesn't show it, when you look at her carefully, you can see it in her eyes, the way she talks and how she always looks for someone to play with."
They blinked and looked behind them, seeing a sweating Setsuna looking at them with questioning eyes.
Noticing that it was her master and Eishun-sama speaking, Setsuna immediately regretted satisfying her curiosity. She got on one knee and bowed low.
"Master. Eishun-sama. Forgive me." Still as formal as always, Setsuna-kun. He smiled.
"It's fine, Setsuna-kun."
Her master simply nodded.
Eishun watched Setsuna walked back to her spot and continue her training. Eishun watched her the entire time she spent in the dojo, which made Setsuna a little nervous. She wanted to impress Eishun and show him that he didn't make a mistake when he decided to let her train.
She did, and then some. She closed her eyes, and let her energy circulate through her body. When she opened her eyes, you could see the flame of her ki, burning through.
The energy rippled through the entire dojo, causing everyone to pause and stare. The open doors rattled, the trees swayed and the windows were opened. Eishun's glasses broke.
Setsuna's eyes went so wide he almost laughed.
"Eishun-sama! Please forgive me! I meant no harm and no dishonor! I apologize! Please let me pay for them through my services, Eishun-sama!"
She bowed over and over, and even her master almost smiled. She wants to pay through her services? That may not be a very bad idea.
Eishun knelt in front of the tiny swordsman, who was beginning to tear up in shame.
She looked up with him with wide, teary eyes.
"You want to pay for my glasses, you say?"
"Konoka. She's my daughter."
"Your daughter, sir?"
"Yes. I want you to protect her. Only for a little while." Only for a little while. Until we find someone who will be able to lay their life on the line for her safety.
Setsuna bowed in the lowest, most solemn manner possible for a seven year old.
"Yes, Eishun-sama. I will protect her with my life."
"No, that's not actually what I meant. I just want you to play with her and make sure she doesn't hurt herself."
He held out his hand to her, which she took. Immediately he noticed how her calloused skin scratched his. She's only 7, yet her sword has already worked its way into her body. No, she worked it into her body. Every day, every night, every waking second she has spent on her training since the moment she recovered.
She slowly removed her hand from his and placed it ball-fisted, firmly over her heart.
"I will protect her with my life, Eishun-sama. The same way you protected me."
"Eishun-sama. I promise I will protect her no matter what." Her eyes told me she would.