Reaper Ex Magus
One year ago, this day was the happiest day of my life. You can guess the reason for that. It was my first Valentine's Day after getting stationed in Japan, and well, I've befriended a certain girl who I can safely say, I liked. There was a connection, I was aware of it, and I knew that she was too. When the day dawned near, I couldn't act properly, I was nervous as hell. Seriously, my concentration was off, my palms were sweaty, all that jazz.
On the day of Valentine, the whole university was lit alive with flowers, chocolates and classical music. It was the most romantic atmosphere one could imagine in a school setting. Left and right, students gave chocolates and gifts to one another. We didn't follow the tradition of girls giving chocolates to boys too much, since most of the people here are foreign. Anyway, I was able to gather up the resolve to give her a single red rose as a sign of my interest in her.
It's not the most romantic thing ever, but I didn't want to show off too much.
Then, the horror.
She accepted the flowers with the most beautiful smile I've seen in ages. And she gave nothing back.
My heart sank.
I tried spending the rest of the day with Shinji and Ren, but they were too busy drowning in a river of intricately tied chocolate boxes. So I decided to spend the rest of the day in solitude- a little depressing considering the fact that we can't leave the campus without authorization from our superiors. And with that, I spent the remainder of my day sitting on a high wall at the edge of the school. I wasn't completely sad or anything, it's just that I felt a little down. I was happy nonetheless; at least I was able to give her the flower, right?
"Oh hey, I knew I'd find you here." a light tap on my shoulder.
"Really now?" my voice trailed off, bored and uninterested.
"Okay fine, I had to ask around where you were. I did some investigative searching, so what?" I hear her skirt ruffling as she takes a seat beside me. "At least I found you."
A small glint of hope sparks in my heart. Well, not really, but I'm getting a bit anxious.
"What?" amazing, I can still speak in such a deadpan voice.
"You sound really depressed." her voice lowers. "Did the girl you like fail to give you chocolates?"
I lower my head in defeat.
"D'aww. Well, I'm here now, right?" Nikita Takahashi says to me as the sun's rays illuminate her face. "Here,"
Much to my surprise, she reveals to me three small chocolate bars stacked neatly together. A small red ribbon was tied around them, keeping the pieces together. She holds out my hand and places the simple gift on top of it. Her long fingers cover mine as she leans forward and...
...the rest is history.
: Unintentionally Cheesy
A year has passed and it's Valentine's Day. As expected, I'm dressed in my best and armed with a deadly bouquet of flowers encased in a box. I'm not planning anything too special, but I'm still going to take her out for the day as a matter of tradition. I had everything planned to the minute, well, maybe not to the minute, but I had everything well thought out. Until of course, I saw something spectacular happen on my way to the edge of the school.
Genevede University is a school for high magi. It's a mile-wide institution supported by a massive spell circle drawn on its base plate. The amount of magical energy coursing through the school's system provides enough lift to allow the school to steadily hover at the center of the earth's mesosphere. Since only the strongest magi on this side of the world live here, there is no need for high walls to protect the edges, and to prevent anyone stupid enough to fall off the school.
Instead, the school is lined with gray and silver statues of mythical beasts. These mythical creatures are towering monsters cast in stone, marble, or metal. Their size and majesty give them quite the threatening appearance despite their inanimateness.
On my way to one of the corners, to cast myself over the edge, I notice an odd mist hovering over one of the statues.
Approaching the statue made me feel weird.
It felt like I developed an itch, an irritable sensation that just needed to be scratched.
Of course, being the dignified magus that I was, it was easy to spot the itch's origin.
Still gripping the bouquet box, I walk forward and approach the nearby wyvern statue. The reptilian dragon possesses a long, snake-like body, with a pair of lizard legs latched at the edge of Genevede's black floor. It's lifeless, that's for sure, but a dark aura is seeping through the pores on its body. I narrow my eyes and take another step forward, when just then, the bastard comes to life.
The stone statue slowly opens its mouth, allowing a loud shriek to escape its breath. I jump back, startled as hell. The shriek echoes through the thin atmospheric air deafeningly, causing me to bring up my hands to my ears. The sound is akin to the sound of 9-inch-nails scratching on a blackboard, but amplified a hundredfold. My vision turns shaky as the shrieking gets louder.
The wyvern continues to shriek, before suddenly snapping its jaws shut. Then, in instant, its whole craggy exterior shatters into a thousand pieces. Wide wings expand in two directions, towering over me and sending me falling on my ass. The wyvern tilts forward, before diving into the ocean of air with its wings spread apart.
I'm more intrigued than scared, to be honest. Things like these happen often, actually. Since sorcerers in this school tend to screw up their spells every now and then, such events are not uncommon. But seriously, what the hell was that?
"Hey, hey Maxwell. Why are you lying down there?" someone chimes behind me.
I sigh, knowing all too well who that person is based on her voice.
I push myself off the floor and face her, taking some time to check if the bouquet is still intact.
Before me stands a person with a delicate beauty. With her pale skin, deep blue eyes, and shoulder-length white hair, she fits the perfect definition of a storybook wizard. Chiaki Mizuhara's features are defined, yet her whole build is delicate. Her figure is comparable to that of a princess, specifically one who is prohibited to leave the premises of her castle- a closely guarded, fragile flower. She looks innocent and weak, like someone who's a saintly, technical pacifist. Even her blue and white mini dress entails innocence.
And most often or not many are deceived by her appearance. But I know all too well how her real personality is.
She continues to smile, her face glowing in the sun.
"So, what happened back there?" she asks.
"I dunno. The damn statue came to life and nearly threw me off the mesosphere."
She nods in contemplation. "I see. I see… you should go after it."
"I received a text message from Rie." Chiaki says as she shoves a white cell phone inches from my face. "She told me that the wyvern back there was her attempt at a ranged summoning. As you can see, she sorta screwed up." she lowers the phone and begins pacing around me. "Rie asked me to take care of it, but I'm not jumping off the school dressed in this skirt, now, am I?"
Her words unconsciously cause my eyes to wander to her thighs. Stupid sexy thighs.
"So, go pick it up for me." she then spins around and pokes me in the nose. "That's an order!"
She frowns. "Why?"
"I have a date with Niki." I begin walking toward the edge of the school, to the spot where the wyvern used to stand. "I refuse to be involved in your nonsense."
"Oooh! Right, it's your anniversary-thingy today, right?" she walks up beside me and snaps her fingers.
A strong wind blows, making me sway to the side. Chiaki though, for some reason remains unmoving like a rock. I prepare to step off when the winds die down, but not before I see her quickly reach forward and grab the bouquet. My eyebrows raise just as she snags the flowers away from me, and with a single swift motion, throws the flowers off the school.
"Whoops. You should chase after it now~" she jumps back from my glare. "By the way, you know of the strange habit of Rie's familiars eating things like flowers, right?"
She smiles an ear to ear smile, revealing rows of perfect white teeth. She raises her left hand and begins to wave, that teasing look still evident. "Good luck~"
"You. Are not funny." I turn away and leap into the vast ocean of air.
I can almost feel her insipid smile digging at the back of my head as I fall headlong into the high winds. Skydiving is an exciting sport for mortal men, but for us magi, it's a task as everyday as walking. As my body falls toward the unwelcoming earth at a hundred miles an hour, I turn my head and glance one last time at Genevede. The black lower platform supporting the whole school shrinks smaller and smaller while I near the earth.
The wind rushes through my body, wrapping around my being like a rough blanket. My clothes, a long-sleeved shirt is blowing all over the place, making it almost impossible to move. I gaze down and face the vastness of the open earth, or rather, the cityscape of Tokyo. For miles on end, my eyes catch the grey, black, and blue of the city and the ocean. But at this height, there is no cool ocean breeze, just the wind battering against my body.
The skies are almost clear today, save for a few clouds thinly scattered.
Within the distant landmarks, too small to be seen in detail even by my eyes, I see the image of a serpentine creature with its wings spread out. The wyvern glides toward the earth, its mouth evidently open as it descends at a slightly slower pace than me. I tuck my arms in and lean forward, accelerating just enough. The bouquet of flowers can wait, I guess. It'd be best if I take care of this beast before it causes harm to the mortal populace down below.
I attack from above and swoop in like an eagle attacking its prey. The wyvern's body enters a white cloud, causing it to disappear from view. But I don't hesitate and keep accelerating. The wind rushes past me faster until I break through the cloud's condensed water. The salty taste of ocean water lingers for just a second in my mouth right before my body speeds out of the cloud.
I push up my arms in a stupid attempt to soften the impact, but since I'm coming in from a hundred miles an hour, that can only do so much. My body falls messily on the reptilian beast with a loud thud, a thud so loud it somehow manages to become hearable despite the howling winds. I skid over the wyvern's back, only coming to a halt once I grab the creature by the neck with both hands.
The wyvern didn't really notice me before, but now it does. The animated beast turns a curious head, and looks down on me. Its vertical eyes blink twice before its mouth opens into a loud hiss.
Yeah, right. Like talking to some animated statue is going to do anything to calm it down. The wyvern doesn't bother listening to my words and instead reacts on instinct, whatever the hell 'instinct' means for a thousand-year-old dragon. The wyvern pulls in its wings and dives forward, accelerating at a pace I cannot imagine. I breathe in almost immediately, holding my breath in the process.
The wind pushes against my body harder now as the wyvern builds up speed. I'm guessing that we're now falling just above the line where international airliners fly. The distant buildings and the landmarks are getting larger as the wyvern continues to do its stupid nosedive.
If I'm going to do something, I have to do it now.
I muster whatever strength I can manage on my left hand as I wrap it around the dragon's neck. My other hand reaches toward the skies. I'm only holding on to the dragon now with one arm, so the rest of my body is flailing about rather violently. But even in this harsh atmosphere, thrown about by an ancient dragon while plummeting headfirst into the earth at a hundred miles an hour, I manage to concentrate.
I concentrate and focus, idealizing a single weapon…
…and announcing the name of the spell.
The gold light flashes instantly. I don't waste a moment, I let go of the beast with my left hand while I swing the weapon with all my might. My eyes only catch a glimpse of the white-gold saber while I swing it in an arc. The ornate rapier digs into the long neck of the wyvern, and with the momentum brought about by my falling, cuts deep into its flesh. The dragon continues to accelerate forward, only realizing the huge gash on its neck and upper body too late.
I decelerate and fall upward, distancing myself a few meters from the wyvern.
The terrifying creature once feared by ancient man spins in a violent death roll before its body begins to disintegrate like ashes.
I smile with satisfaction just as my weapon disappears from my hand.
I can see the park now; I'm probably only a couple hundred feet from the earth, so I should really start considering my landing.
"Oh hey, it's the flowers!" I gaze up and see the bouquet falling down, still oddly intact.
It's an unrealistic scenario, but I've been prepared for this. Before taking the leap of faith off Genevede, I masked that box with mana, protecting it from the elements. I considered that since, you know, I was jumping off the ****ing mesosphere. My palm opens and I call the flowers toward me, eventually I cradle it in my arms like a sleeping infant.
"Alright. Better not be late, better not be late~" I can't help but sing a bit.
The soles of my feet glow black before bursting into prominent black flames, no, that's not the prolonged effect of a halo drop, it's another basic spell, but it is a magic spell that requires no incantation. Simply enough, it's called the 'Stalk Spell'. Despite the effects of the spell however, my body doesn't slow down as much as I want it to be. The landing is going to be harsh. So, I decide to maneuver myself into an open area in the approaching park.
I prepare for the impact by closing my eyes, as the bystanders scatter like mice. My feet impact the earth with the force of a burning sledgehammer, sending dust and debris high in every direction creating a shockwave that ripples through the green park. At the end of that brief battle with an ancient beast, I now appear at the center of one of Tokyo's largest parks, my hair messy and my clothes ruined…
…yet a box of flowers still held in my hands.
The dust settles and my eyes catch hers. She blinks twice, staring at me with her green orbs. She purses her lips and just stares, stares at the empty bouquet in my arms.
Well, it seems that I've forgotten about the effect of the actual landing. The actual physical impact of the explosion apparently scattered the flowers into the air, in every direction, breaking apart the mana I masked the box with.
I try and say something, but her discontented frown stops me. I lower my gaze, disappointed and sighing. But just as the moment seems to pass into awkwardness, I feel a petal land on my shoulder. I raise my head and see a petal fall on her shoulder. Then another lands on her head.
We both look up and watch as small flower petals, torn apart by the wind, descend all around us. Falling on us like midwinter snow.
"Well…" I say.
"Well…" she says.
Our eyes meet again and this time she smiles, genuinely. Her arms open and she walks toward me adorably, I can't help but open up my own arms and embrace her. We embrace for quite a while, I don't really know why, it's not like we haven't seen each other in years or anything, but I believe that she's merely been taken by the moment.
Diving off the edge of the atmosphere, fighting a dragon on the way down, catching a bouquet on the way down, accidentally disappointing your girlfriend on landing, then accidentally making it up to her a few seconds after said landing… it's just any other day for a magus.
Prologue Verse: End
A/N: Opinions, I want them.