Asuna and Negi traveled back to the school dorms. It was late at night, nearing the early hours of morning, but luckily the next day will be a day off from school, along with the two weekdays, making a three day weekend. "Thank you, Asuna."
"No problem!" she smiled, "Just don't be afraid to ask for help, you are only ten after all."
So, they entered the dorm. It appeared Konoka had already gone to sleep, Nodoka stowed away in the infirmary for the night. So, both Asuna and Negi did the same and turned in for the night.
While they bid their good nights to each other and slipped into a much needed rest, across the campus, Seth was sitting in his dark room, using the moon as natural lighting. His room consisted of a door at the front of the dorm, a small and colorful advertisement poster of his favorite game, a small wooden desk with a computer, school work piled on top of the desk's facade. Across the room, under a waist-high window lay his bed, green sheets and white mattress cover, a white pillow laying onto of it all. The sheets lay unturned though. Seth sat on top of the cozy bed, his occasional shift in movement causing the metal bed frame to creak, staring at the card.
Seth studied it for the longest time. He had never seen such a card as his. The card was inscribed, "Optimum Libritor," which was Latin for something. Seth had never learned Latin, and did not even know how to pronounce the card. But on the card stood a black and hazy figure. The card had a white background with a grey and black wrapping. Inside the wrapping stood the figure with what seemed to be weapons propped in the figure's arms. Underneath the hazy figure, he observed a small multicolored bar, blue on the right and red on the left. The middle of this bar was smudged so that they color-change was gradual and transitional. The bar was highlighted in a gold glow, and a small golden clip highlighted an area of the blue on the bar.
Underneath this puzzling bar read, "Libellus" and beneath the large characters was a bolder number one. No fancy marks, just a straight line for the number one. Seth wanted to talk about it so badly, but Negi told him not to play with it, or mess with it. So, Seth obeyed, and just looked at the different things on the poker-sized card.
"I need to research this myself if Negi won't discuss it," he finally caved and muttered to himself. He then yawned and stretched. He let out a big sigh, placed the card on a small dresser on the side of the bed, and placed his head gently on the pillow. His breathing regulated, and he became oblivious to the vague noise of crickets chirping.
Negi woke to see Asuna was still sleeping. Water was slowly trickling down the bright and glowing window. It rained the night before, and now the sun was peaking out to assess the damp marks left by the clouds. The rays of sunlight burst through the glossy glass window, making the room bright and pleasantly warm. It may have been the fact it was a weekend, or the fact that it was a sunny day, or the mere idea that he and Asuna had won a fight over a vampire, but Negi felt confident and cheerful, well, more so than usual.
Negi turned his head to see Konoka in the kitchen, for she always woke up early. She enjoyed cooking for Asuna and Negi, and never complained about it. When Konoka finally looked up at the bed placed above the outward bulge made by the closets, she smiled cheerfully. Konoka looked nothing like his sister, but the smile reminded him of his her, and he smiled back. He slipped out of bed and helped her make the breakfast.
Then, there was a knock on the door. Negi had not expected anyone, and though the day was a Friday, it was a three day weekend. Who could be knocking at this time of day? He shuffled over to the door and opened it slightly so that whoever knocked would not see him in his pajamas. "Yes? Who is- Oh, Chachamaru. How are you?" he asked.
"I am doing well, Professor Springfield. My mistress has sent me to give you this note," she said flatly. Negi was suspicious, and peaked outside the door in both directions before replying.
"Th-thank you Chachamaru. I will be sure to read this," he said, still suspicious of the visitor.
"I am sorry, Professor Springfield," said Chachamaru, and then she left. Negi closed the door and turned back to Konoka, who was already placing breakfast on the table for a refreshed-looking Asuna.
"Hay Negi," she greeted in her childishly blunt way.
"Good morning, Asuna!" he replied, far more cheerfully. "It is a brand new day!" he announced joyously as he slid into a chair at the table. Konoka then joined them as well. They ate and talked, Konoka bringing up the previous night's events.
"So, where'd you guys go?" she asked innocently.
"We-uh-searched for the, umm, attacker, but couldn't find him," Negi lied. Konoka accepted the quick and false answer and continued to eat, which was fine by Negi's thinking. He could not risk anyone else knowing his secret, Asuna was bad enough. And to be honest, Negi did not understand Konoka. She was always extremely cheerful, even during horrible ordeals, and she seemed almost oblivious and stupid. But yet, she was one of the smartest girls, and nicest somehow. Negi did not mind her company, because of this reason.
"So what is on the note?" asked Asuna.
"It seems," said Negi as he read the note, "that Evangeline will not be going to school."
"Yes, it seems she is going to stop going to school out of protest."
"Protest for what?" asked Konoka.
"Because we beat her last-I mean-I have no idea."
It was difficult covering up this secret from so many people.
"I cannot let this happen, I am a teacher and she is my student. I must maintain what little control over these girls I have," he told himself as he marched up the hill to Go. "Go" was the structure in which Chachamaru and Evangeline lived in. It was a homely log house, green shingles and shutters, small and cute round windows, and a nice porch with two chairs and a table. This was definitely not what Negi expected of a vampire. He expected something along the lines of a graveyard or morgue, "Wow, this is definitely a lot different. Maybe Evangeline is a nice girl after all?"
Negi approached the door to the little house and knocked on it. Negi was somewhat nervous going to enter the lair of his dreaded foe. Despite this fear, he knew it was his duty as teacher to make sure his students attend his classes, so he forced himself to knock. After several tense seconds of the knocking, the door creaked open a small ways, letting Chachamaru to be visible.
"Hello, Professor Springfield?" she asked in her near flat tone.
"Oh, yes. Hello Chachamaru. I am here to have a parent-teacher conference with Evangeline," he said with a slight stammer at first, but he finished the sentence in a confident manner. Negi raised his hand to adjust his glasses, a habit he had developed if he was ever thrown into a stressful situation. Chachamaru opened the door wider, inviting the young professor indoors.
"I am sorry, Professor. My mistress in ill at the moment, and I do not think she wi-"
"Hello, Negi!" greeted Evangeline in her dangerous and playful way. Evangeline was not in her usual school uniform, which is all Negi had ever seen her wear, but rather she was in what appeared to be pajamas. She looked terribly pale, paler than normal anyway. The lively glow in her eyes was faded, and she had trouble just lifting her arms. The sight was pitiful, and Negi felt total sympathy for the person who had attempted to murder him just a night ago. "Back so soon?"
This question brought Negi to focus again, "Yes. I hear you will not attend my classes."
"Yes, well..." muttered Evangeline, losing strength.
"So, I challenge you to a duel!" yelled Negi bravely.
"Bold words, from a little pipsqueak!" she retorted, obviously angered. As she gained over her liveliness for a second, she hopped on the side of the stairs she had entered on and posed triumphantly, "I will just beat you again, and your little friend won't be there to save you either!" As she said this, her legs gave way and she fell to the ground in a limp heap. Chachamaru, despite her flat tone of voice, even displayed her dismay.
"Mistress! Oh no, I told you not to leave your bed!" she said.
"Oh, hay Asuna! How are you doing this fine morning?" asked Seth, strolling down the courtyard.
"I just got back from the paper route, have you seen Negi?" she asked.
"Why no, I have not. Have you seen him?"
Asuna and Seth both thought, but could not find any possibilities. Asuna's fear was that Evangeline had got him, but she couldn't have, for it was day and Evangeline's powers did not work in the sunlight anyway. She thought so deeply about this, that Seth had to snap her out of it.
"Asuna... Asuna... Hay, Asuna," he laughed as he waved his hand in her face, "Whatchya thinkin' about?"
"Jeez, I didn't know I was so transparent..." she muttered to herself. They both walked down the sidewalk thinking about any spot Negi could be spending his time at. Finally, like so many people had done before, Seth made a smart remark.
"You know... You act like you don't care about him very much, but not only do you hang around him a lot, you always fret about where he is when he isn't in your sight... are you a mum or what?" he laughed. Asuna pushed Seth angrily across the sidewalk. Unfortunately, the thing that cushioned his landing was not a thing, but a person, and that person just had to be a high schooler.
"Hay, what do yah think yah doin'!?" he yelled extremely loud, attracting the attention of all the students, boys and girls around, "Do yah wanna play little puke? We can play, but we play dirty!"
"I think that sounds a bit strange gentlemen," said Seth, backing up and putting his hands up to motion them backwards, "let's try to keep this PG rated, shall we?"
"Oh, a smart guy too-tall," laughed one of the children behind the high schooler. The slang was one thing the younger children did not understand, but it was plain to see both Asuna and Seth were in trouble.
Konoka, who happened to be in the background, rushed to the deans office, on the other side of the campus. It would be too late by the time she arrived to have any enforcement of the rules to rain down on the older kids.
The largest of the high schoolers laughed even louder, "Ahaha, little girlfriend too."
Asuna did not act as fiery as Seth expected. Seth knew it was because she had nothing to defend or hide, for she really did not feel about him like that. To be honest, Seth did not mind being "just friends," for he would not get along very well with her if Negi was not around. Instead of Asuna talking back, she turned to Seth, "There are five of them Seth, whattya gonna do?" she asked.
Seth looked back at Asuna and then to the bullies. Sweat dripped down his brow as his eyes flickered from face to face. Looking at the crowd around him, far enough away not to get involved, but close enough to root for a fight. Seth remembered all the hand fighting techniques he learned, but he always had a feeling Ku had let him win. Seth backed up, "Come on guys, y-you don't want to hit an eight grader, we don't do much."
"You walked into me," giggled the big kid maniacally, "You did somethin'."
At that moment, Seth waved his fist in comedic anger at Asuna for the push she had done unto him. Asuna wanted to laugh at the amusing gesture, but it was not an appropriate time to do so. All Asuna could do was watch, for the kids had him surrounded, and would not let her in to help.
The large kid threw a punch,
and used his other arm to grab Seth's left shoulder. Seth felt the grip gain a hold on his shirt, and kicked the kid in the shin, forcing him to jump in pain. Instantly after he was freed from the grasp, two kids came from behind and held on to both of his arms. He put his left leg around the left assailant, hooking around the boy's foot and causing him to fall to the ground. Seth then turned to the other standing assailant and slashed at the grasping hand. The kid yelled in pain, clutching his now broken wrist, backing away.
He turned to see three more high schoolers standing in front of him. A skinny kid approached him, properly posed in a fighting stance. Seth backed away two steps, spotting Ku out of his peripheral vision. Ku shouted to him, "I taught you what to do, now do it!" she encouraged. The bully kicked Seth in the chest. Seth caught the foot in his chest and twisted the ankle and threw him backwards. Another kid threw several punches, Seth blocking them and throwing a few back in return. Seth turned sideways to block a swing from the boy with the now injured ankle, leaving his side vulnerable to the other boy.
Several boys and girls gasped, but were relieved to find Seth caught the fist. The scene seemed to pause for the moment. Seth then lifted the healthy boy's arm, causing the entire boy to be lifted an inch off the ground. He tried to squirm, causing himself to flip speedily around, twisting his arm. He landed back on his feet after the flip, grasping his broken arm. The other, trained boy with the sprained ankle, was knocked over as Seth was pushed back from the force of the other assailant's spin. He stayed down, tending to his throbbing ankle.
Asuna was amazed at this sight. Seth, still a socially awkward boy that still avoided eye contact whenever he addressed somebody, or stammered whenever he spoke in front of many people, just took down four foes in about three minutes. The only bully that was still standing, or willing to fight, was the largest of them all who was obviously overly confident.
"Listen you punk, I think you should prepare yourself for your doom!" screeched the boy, thinking he had just delivered the ultimate one-liner when in reality, everybody now found it to be an empty threat. The bully's fist shot through the air, missing its target. The boy whimpered, and ran away yelling, "You'll surely pay for this!"
After the dean had come by and made an assessment, hearing both sides of the story, he let Asuna and Seth go. When all the children slowly left the area, the dean saw Professor Takahata. "Hello, sir," greeted Takahata warmly.
"Hello," replied the dean, obviously in deep thought. He stroked his long beard that flowed off of his chin, "Those children had just got into a fight."
"Who was it?"
"That boy I permitted to make friends with our students."
"He is a trouble maker?"
"No, on the contrary... he just broke a gang of bullies. Being around his friends seems to give him more courage than anyone could have foreseen. I hope his friends never see what he was like before."
Negi sat at Evangeline's bed side while Chachamru departed to get medicine for the ill vampress. Evangline lay there, sweating and moaning in her sleep. She was constantly throwing the blankets on or off, the fever she had constantly tossed the temperature around. Occasionally, she would shout, "Thirsty..." as loudly as she could, but was still snuffled by her ailment. The first time, Negi gave her a glass of water, but she took a sip of the health-essential liquid, and spat it out. Negi grimaced a moment, and let her bite his finger, "Maybe, yow! A little slip?"
At this moment, Evangeline seemed to calm down a little more. She still looked pale, but the fever lessened. She turned to her side, facing the dimming sunlight at the window. It was already about four in the afternoon. Negi leaned back in his chair, his joints drying from what seemed to be buckets of nervous sweat. It was over for now.