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In the end, one could say that this was a common occurrence. “You really are no good, are you, my damned disciple,” said the man in a harsh boring tone. Sitting on a stump and shaking the cigarette in his mouth as he spoke. One could probably say that he was about 35. He wore a jet black cloak and had long unkempt hair. His gaze was also exceedingly sharp and he had a stubbly beard on his chin. The man’s name was Julius Howlgate. He was a mage who was not affiliated with any organization. Though he may find himself passing out and falling to the ground he was the kind of many who wouldn’t do anything about it.

“You have no talent; you’re stupid and even when I tell you ten things you only learn one of them. Tell me why it is that your little sister’s getting along better and faster watching from the side while you’re here struggling? Huh?” The boy didn’t say anything. No, it would be more accurate to say that he couldn’t say anything. The reason being was because the boy had just been struck by the man’s lightning and was so hurt that he could not even stand.“O-ho, you’ve got some nerve to be ignoring me, Master.” The man’s only reply then was the snapping of his fingers. On his hand one could see a ring which was his magic implement that then reacted to his snapping fingers. From the ring then came a field of crackling lightning that then struck the boy while he was still lying on his back.

“Hhngyaaaaa!”

“Haahaahaa! Well what do you know! You’ve still got energy to get up after all!”

“What’re you doing, you old bastard!” Yelled the boy as smoke was rising from his head. The man, however, was not afraid of him and just simply let out a puff of white smoke from his cigarette.

“Here I am, a gifted mage, going out of my way to guide you in the ways of magic and yet you’re just so awful I could cry… Aah-aah, I shouldn’t have made you my disciple on a whim. You may have both been attacked by magic beings but I should’ve just gone and saved your little sister instead.”

“Don’t you mean that you suck at teaching? For starters, am I seriously going to get stronger by learning martial arts… and magic?”

“It’s not like I’ve got a choice what with you’re not having any talent and all.” Upon hearing these brutally honest words from his master, the boy could not help but bite down on his lip in frustration. One’s affinity for magic varies from person to person. If there are those whose specialty is flame magic then there are those whose specialty is ice and snow magic. Once a mage learns what kind of magic he or she can learn it is then up to them to cultivate it and make it their own through training. However, for some reason or other, the boy didn’t have affinity for any kind of magic. A normal person would be able to sense what sort of magic he had and be able to use it once they were told how to do so. However if one does not know what their affinity was then no matter how many times it is explained to them or how hard they try their mana will always be at odds with the magic they are trying to perform.

At this point in time, the man felt as if he was repeatedly trying to teach an octopus how to move like a centipede. “I’ve heard the whole story about geniuses making for lousy teachers and it looks like it is true. I’m a genius so I’ve got no idea why you can’t just do it like I can,” said Julius as he let some of his narcissism slip in all the while looking at the boy’s face. “Hey, how does it feel to not get better no matter how many times you try? Just how frustrating is it knowing that all your hard work won’t be rewarded? Is being born talentless like you any fun? Come on, why don’t you tell your dear old master, my damned disciple?” After being told something so spiteful and full of scorn the boy then clenched his fist. He was just so utterly frustrated he could not help himself. “Oh, are you going to cry? Are you? Haha, Then go ahead! I won’t forgive anyone who makes a woman cry but I just love seeing shitty brats like you cry!”

“You fucking bastard!” Surpassing the very limits of his anger, the boy then concentrated all of his mana into his fist and beared it down on Julius. The only thing the boy could do was focus everything into one attack. However, Julius was able to stop that attack without even moving from the stump.

“You’ve still got a long ways to go, huh,” said his master as he then hit the boy with everything he had into the air. After falling from such a height and onto his back the boy was then left breathless for a short while. “Let’s see, Seria’s probably done with the grub by now,” said Julius as he stood up from the stump, “Oi, damned disciple, once we eat you and I are gonna have another death match. If you’re able to match up to me then even if you can’t use magic you’ll be able to get by pretty well.”

“Hey, Master,” the boy called out as he was walking away, still lying on the ground. His breathing still disturbed from the damage that was inflicted upon him when he fell. “What is Strength?”

“Huh?”

“What is it like to be strong? If I get as strong as you will everything around me change?”

“Ha, what a stupid question,” The boy had spoken the very feelings he kept at the bottom of his heart and yet Julius just laughed at it. “What’s the point of being told by somebody else? If you want to know so badly then get stronger if your that curious. It was here that Lulli’s eyes bolted right open. The first thing he saw was a white ceiling. While waiting for his upper body to wake up as he was lying in his thin futon Lulli then looked around to see where he was, He was in room that was about 9 feet long and 12 feet wide. The room also had a desk as well as a refrigerator. What’s more, the bed he was sleeping on came with the room.

“Oh right, I’m living at a dorm now.” Lulli was in room 434 on the fourth floor of the boy’s dorm. As Seishun Academy was a boarding school, Lulli was given his own room when he transferred in. Even though he had been living in that single room for two weeks now he just couldn’t get used to his new surroundings. “Hmmm, I wonder if it’s because Seria isn’t here. We did use to always sleep together and all,” thought Lulli. While thinking of his cuddly little sister and her lovely sleeping face, Lulli then looked to the clock on his wall to see what time it was. It was 10 o’clock in the morning. If it was a weekday he would have been late for his classes but today was Sunday which was the academy’s day off. “I really slept for a long time, huh.” It was probably for this very reason that he had such a nostalgic dream.

Julius Howlgate, a man who was as much a gifted mage as he was an egotist. Not to mention an exceedingly strong feminist. His personality was bad. So bad he thought he would die but nevertheless Lulli was grateful to him. Regardless of what might have happened, in Lulli’s mind, he was a good master who took care of him and Seria. It was thanks to his training him and never holding back in calling him “awful” or “talentless” over and over again that Lulli was able to become a pretty decent mage when it came to fighting. Granted, that pretty decent power of his, suddenly transformed into something “unorthodox,” though. “I wonder what Master is up to now,” muttered Lulli as he looked out his window. Julius had suddenly disappeared long before the two of them had even gone to Seishun Academy. All that was left when they woke up was a letter that read, “go here if you’re ever strapped for food,” a map of Seishun Academy as well as a letter of recommendation.

For a time, the two of them lived on their own but that soon became more difficult so they finally decided to do what their master asked and came to Seishun Academy two weeks earlier. What with Seishun Academy being an organization under the direct control of the Japanese government, all students were freed from paying any tuition as well as live in dorms supplied by the academy. If any students made a request, they could even get money for food expenses as well. So in essence, if one was to become a part of Seishun Academy they would never have any trouble finding food to eat or a place to sleep. For the sake of the world and the people living in it the country had apparently gone to great lengths to make an academy to cultivate mages who secretly fight magic beings. Lulli then inadvertently found himself looking at his fist, wondering if he had become strong. He was now able to beat most anybody using just a tenth of his strength. That being said, just using a tenth of his strength would still be enough to cause a crack in the earth as well as split the air. In the end his body became engraved with a power that would allow him one day hit his master, the master he admired so much, without fail. “It didn’t change, huh, Master,” grumbled Lulli as he suddenly felt like mocking himself, “Even after becoming this strong everything around me is the same as it was before.”

“You’re late,” said a beautiful girl as Iuli left his room after changing into a plain t-shirt he bought cheaply at the store and some long shorts. The girl was Kuhouin Yukiha and even though it was a day off she still wore her uniform and with him being in such a random outfit as he was the contrast between them couldn’t have been any worse.

“Hmmm?” replied Lulli as he was desperately trying to work his brain even though he was still half-asleep and then said this: “Change”

“What?” responded Yukiha to the always serious and regal Yukiha she was not able to get Lulli’s reference. Explaining it would be a real pain so let us just move on with the story.

“What do you mean I’m late? Did you and I make plans or something?”

“We didn’t. I am just here waiting for you of my own accord.”

“Then you’ve got no right to say that I’m late, huh.”

“If you are late then you are late. Even if it is a day off there is only so much time that you should spend it sleeping in bed. Especially with many of students here spending their day off training and what have you.” All of the training fields and departments where they could practice their magic were all open to them even on their days off. In addition the academy was so pleasant a place that many instructors and clerks are even willing to help their students on their days off as well. “Or are you going to tell me,” Yukiha said with a sarcastic grin on her face, “that you do not need such a thing as training? What an envious life you must live.”

“If it’s training I do that, too. It’s just that sleeping when you want to sleep and eating when I want to eat is a kind of policy of my Master’s. He said something about if I lived by the rules and lived properly that I wouldn’t be able to handle the senseless irrationality of the battlefield.” “The Black Witch Faction…”

“You’re not telling me you have not heard of them before, have you?”

“No, I’ve at least heard of them before.” The Black Witch Faction is a different group of mages from the Gouma Knight Squad. The Gouma Knight Squad is an organization that was secretly approved by the Japanese government and the United Nations. The Black Witch Faction at present has been showing opposition towards them. To put it simply, they are a terrorist group. What first triggered their dissent was the final decisive battle between Lord Bloody and Witch Dystopia. With the resulting defeat and death of Lord Bloody, the Black Witch Faction then became a religious group worshipping Witch Dystopia, Believing them to be the saviors of the human world.

“Honestly, it truly is comical isn’t it Humans worshipping a magic race like that. Just what good will comes from it Even if they did destroy the vampire that doesn’t make them our allies?”

“But, no one knows where Witch Dystopia is right now, right?” asked Lulli to which Yukiha nodded her head.

“That’s exactly right. After Lord Bloody had perished Witch Dystopia hasn’t shown them since. They have not made any movements in the Demon World and, of course, not in the Human World either. Many people theorize that they perished along with Lord Bloody but there is still too little information to come to any definitive conclusion.”

“So not only have we not met this group of witch worshippers we don’t even know if they’re alive, huh? I just don’t get it.”

“It is probably for those very reasons that they are able to worship Witch Dystopia as they have been. It is like people worshipping an idol.”

“Is that right,” replied Lulli, nodding his head in understanding and not understanding. “That reminds, they’ve been saying lately that the Black Witch Faction’s been on the move, huh. So what’s the deal? The high and mighty Gouma Knight Squad are too busy fighting humans and can’t spare the time to fight their sworn enemies, the Witches?” stated Lulli, feeling the irony. What was supposed to be a war between humans and Witches has turned into a war between humans and witches as well. What’s more it seemed like it was becoming more and more apparent.

“Whatever the case, I would like you to come with me, Lulli,” asked Yukiha once again, “of course, I not am asking you to do this for free.”

“What? You saying you’ll go on a date with me if I do or something?”

“Yo-You fool! Wh-Who would go on a date with someone like you?!” retorted Yukiha as her face turned scarlet. Of all the things she knew it about it looked as though dating was certainly one of them.

“Ah! I-If you will help me then I will attest to your power. I will ask Instructor Mishima to have you show your power in another way. If you do that then you will be sure to rise to C-Rank… No, even higher, I’m-“

“Nah, I’m good. I wasn’t interested in that in the first place.”

“You truly are a strange one, aren’t you.” Lulli then took a quick glance at Yukiha to find her sighing as though she had given up. “Oh fine. If you’re up to treating me afterwards I could then I’ll tag along on this investigation of yours.”

“Re-Really?”

“Yeah. But I have a condition.”

“A condition, what is it? Tell me.” Though she responded in a resolute way it was after she said this that she then realized just what his condition might be. “Yo-You are not suggesting… That the condition be that I go on a da-da-date are you?! It is just that, you see… I do not have experience in such things and do not know what to do… So, u-um…”

“Mont Blanc,” Lulli answered simply while Yukiha was acting all flustered.

“Eh? Mo-Mont Blanc?”

“I want you to tell me a place that has good Mont Blanc. The cafeteria here has all the usual parfaits and cakes but no Mont Blanc." Covering an impressive area of land, everything about Seishun Academy was made with mages in mind so everything within the school had a purpose. To a normal person, the school buildings, the dorms and research buildings all just look like modern buildings but the longer one looks at the them one might be able to see the functional beauty of them.

Their configuration as well as materials used to make them had all been calculated. Though their strategic placement was simple it served to establish a special area where mana could be brought about. So in essence, the academy itself was a gigantic magic circle whose name was “Mystery Circle.” "This complicated and sophisticated magic circle allowed for mages to use magic that they we were not able to use before. The academy also has an anti-magic beings barrier that is up at all times and in emergency situations it can also act as a launch pad for long-range magic attacks. Only mages of A-Rank or higher are permitted to use the magic movement apparatus known as “Ship” as well as the academy’s massive magic circle. Such are the benefits those who have attained A-Rank or higher."

“A-Rank or higher? But I’m D-Rank. Is this really okay?”

“Of course it is. As long as you are with an A-Rank mage then it is still possible to use this device.” After Lulli’s lunch, or more brunch in this case, Yukiha then lead Lulli to magic movement apparatus located underground. As the two of them walked down a hallway of perfect white the two of them continued their conversation.

“Oh yeah, you’re an A-Rank mage, huh. You’re really something,” said Lulli as he was just speaking his mind but Yukiha just returned his comment with a frown.

“I cannot not help but feel you don’t mean that. You are stronger than me by leaps and bounds aren’t you?”

“Don’t take it so negatively. I was just being honest. And besides, it’s not like strength is everything,” replied Lulli as he shrugged his shoulders.

“That reminds me, there’s something I wish to ask you.”

“What is it?”

“Why do you make a point of not hitting women?”

“Hmmm, well, it’s just my policy.”

“What I was trying to ask was why you made that your policy.”

“No real reason, isn’t that only normal? It’s the guys who can hit a woman with a smile on their face that’s the real problem.”

“Personally, as a woman, I do not like the whole idea of men dominating women. Women are not so weak an existence that they have to be protected all the time by men.”

“No, that’s not it. That’s not it at all,” replied Lulli, shaking his head, “this isn’t an issue of being strong or weak. There are all kinds of strong women out there, right? If I’m not mistaken, isn’t the captain of the knight squad also a woman? What was her name? Crowley?”

“No, it’s not Crowley. It’s Captain Kurouri Himitsu.”

“Right, that’s it. That’s the one. Well, anyway, I’m not saying I’m looking down on women or anything. In fact, if anything, I really respect them. I love women and that’s why I won’t hit them.” Upon hearing Lulli speak so forwardly about something like this she could not help but have utterly amazed look on her face.

“So in essence you are a man who just follows his desires, hm. You sleep when you want to sleep, eat when you want to eat and on top of that you love women. Honestly, what a hopeless man you are.”

“Well they do say that ‘all great men are great lovers, too,’ don’t they? All good guys wanna be like that.”

“Well it’s not so much what you say but how you say, after all.”

“While we’re at it, you’re just way too serious. Your whole body’s got this honor student aura thing going on.”

“I do not have any such aura about me.”

“See! That’s just what I’m talking about! People tell you all the time you just don’t get jokes, right?”

“We-Well it is not like I can help it. That is just how I am,” replied Yukiha in a panicked voice. Lulli’s guess seemed to have been right on the money.

“But, when you think about it, making someone as serious as you go investigate when it’s not a mission is kind of weird, isn’t it?” said Lulli as he stopped in his tracks and then taking a good look at Yukiha. He had only just met her but he was starting to understand her. He didn’t think that she was some kind of glory seeker who would go out and get it. On the contrary, she was probably the type of her girl that would hate people like that.

“We-Well you see…” replied Yukiha, a woeful expression starting to show on her face and so lowered it from Lulli’s view. After a few seconds silence, Yukiha then began to talk again: “I must… enter the Knight Squad as soon as possible. To that end, just doing normal things so as to enter it just isn’t enough.”

“Oh? Aren’t the only ones who can join the Knight Squad those who graduated from a training institute?”

“Normally, yes but there are exceptions. If you are able to impress the Knight Squad by showing off your abilities then they will have you join the Knight Squad without making you wait until you graduate. At present there is one student in the Knight Squad who was able to enter into it in this very same way.” Within Yukiha’s eyes Lulli could see that they were filled with her strong will and her feelings of frustration over her own powerlessness. “My-”

“Ah, you don’t have to say anymore. I’m sorry I asked you something weird like that,” replied Lulli as he stopped her just short of saying something else. Looking pained, Lulli then extended her hand out to her. “Everyone’s got their own circumstances that they have to deal with, you know.” When all is said and done one can probably assume that everyone has circumstances they can’t talk about or even want to talk about. Their conversation now down, the two of them continued walking on.

Deep within the woods was a single Witch. Even though it was the afternoon there was hardly any sunlight as this was in the deepest part of the woods. However, what the location lacked in sunlight the one advantage it did have was an old cabin. In its heyday it was once used as a shelter as well as a storage room but now it is no longer used by anyone and has been abandoned. “Oh dear, I knew it, this rundown building is just not suitable for me, is it. Hey, what do you all think?” What then answered the witch’s inquiry was the growling of beasts within the dark confines of the cabin. What’s more it was not just one but in upwards of ten or more that all quietly growled in agreement with her. The wood plank floor was swarming with them. They were four-legged animals that greatly resembled wolves however, unlike any wolf that one has ever seen; they all had a single horn atop their heads. These fantastical wolves did not run rampant or howl in away but were quiet like pets that had been tamed. Sitting atop the largest one was the woman that posed the question to the wolves earlier.

She was a woman with an enchanting gaze. Her beauty so great one might think it otherworldly and her figure was beyond compare. Her gorgeous red wine dress showed off great amounts of skin and her well-endowed breasts looking as if they were on the verge of being exposed. Everything about her would captivate anyone who would lay their eyes upon her and her peerless beauty. “We must be sure to find myself someplace to live. My castle in Human World that is,” said the woman as she extended her beautiful hand to rub the back of a nearby beast’s head. “I wonder what a good place to live would be… I know!” said the woman as she made a coy smile. “I will dispose of the next person who enters the forest and take their home for myself. Should I not like my new home I need only do it again,” the woman chuckled. Her name was Lucia von Elde Fern. As a Witch, she was now a part of the strongest race now that the Vampires had perished. “I would hate it if my castle wasn’t strong and cute after all.”

The day progressed and the angle of the sun began to change. The sunshine filtering through the trees one could see from the window began to fade and darkness began to settle into the cabin. All that could be heard in the darkness was the sound of the woman’s bewitching laughter and the growling of her beasts.

(Source: Deus Ex SCANS)