Leon and Minerva hadn't gotten far before they ran into Noel and Soleil. Literally.

The two duos were now a tangled mess of bodies on the ground.

Noel groaned. His voice was muffled by Leon's chest . "Why can't you watch where you're going?"

"Sorry." Leon said, getting off of him.

They turned to the girls, and couldn't really find any words. Soleil had Minerva pinned to the ground, and the latter looked really nervous.

"S-sorry..." She murmured.

"It's alright." Soleil assured, grinning. "You know, you're really pretty. And even cuter when you're like this."

Minerva blushed. "Uh...um..."

Leon had about enough of this. "Soleil! Let her get up! We have something important to tell you!"

"Oh!" Soleil let go of Minerva, and stood up. "Sorry!"

"I'm fine." Minerva stated, dusting of her dress. "L-let's just move on."

"Right!" Leon nodded. "Guys, we just saw some thugs going to the industrial area! They might be trying to steal Mana Crystals!"

"What are-" Soleil started to ask.

"The sources of energy for most places around the world." Noel answered, looking angry. "We need to stop them! Come on, let's get the professor!"

"No." Leon said seriously. "Remember what she said? It's up to us to stop any trouble that pops up."

"That doesn't mean we should go in without some form of help!"

"Th-then let me help you!" Minerva offered. "I have technological weapons at my disposal! I might not be strong..." She looked at them with determination. "But I will do my best to support you!"

"Minerva..." Leon was amazed. He grinned, and looked at Noel. "So what do you think, Smarty?"

Noel thought on it. "If we aren't going to the professor..." He sighed. "Then I guess Minerva can join us."

Minerva beamed. "Th-thank you!" She bowed. "I'll do my best!"

Soleil cheered, and raised a fist into the air. "Now what are we waiting for? Let's go kick some Rogues!"

"Come on guys!" Leon held his hand over his heart. "Time to change!"

"Right!" Noel and Soleil did same thing.

"Mùto Formare!" The three shouted in unison.

Then in a flash, they were in their field outfits. Minerva was absolutely amazed by them.

"Whoa!" She exclaimed. "I can't believe you get to wear things like those!"

"They are pretty cool." Leon agreed.

"I'm still not sure about mine..." Noel looked at his outfit in disbelief.

"What about your outfit, Minerva?" Soleil asked curiously.

"Well..." Minerva looked sheepish. "It's not as cool as yours, but..." She took a deep breath, and held her hand over her heart.

Squad Sagittarius looked at the blue tattoo on the back of it. A vase pouring out water.

"That's the sign for Aquarius." Noel said with interest. "So that's your squad."

Minerva nodded. "And now, to change my look! Mùto Formare!"

Light enveloped her for just a moment, then faded to reveal her outfit.

It was a blue button upped coat over a grey long-sleeved dress. The skirt reached to just a little past her thigh, and she wore a pair of grey leggings. Her footwear consisted of black leather boots, and white socks that went up to just below her knees. Strapped to her hip was high-tech looking gun along with clips of varying colors.

"Whoa." Was all Leon could say.

The others were looking Minerva up and down.

"I-it's the Astellia Academy uniform!" The girl informed, a little flustered. "I-I know it's not that good..."

"It really looks...odd, I guess." Noel admitted.

"Shut up." Leon told him with a glare. Then he smiled at Minerva. "I think it looks nice."

Minerva looked happy at that, while Noel was stunned. Soleil covered her mouth as she tried not to laugh.

...

They headed up the path through the industrial area, until they finally reached the power plant. The mechanical building was lit up like a Christmas tree, and dull noises could be heard from the inside.

Leon looked up at it with a brave face. "This is it guys, let's make our first mission a success!"

"Yeah!" They all agreed.

They went inside, and gawked at the room they stepped into.

Everywhere they looked, there were machines humming as crystals of varying colors pulsed with elemental energy. The room itself was huge and circular, and at the back were stairs that circled up to the higher floors.

But what really drew their attention was the machine in the center of the room, which was connected to the rest with a series of wires. It was so tall, it reached all the way up to the top floor, and it also hummed as it used the magical energy. And right in front of it, there were a few workers and their Spectres being cornered by...

"That's him!" Leon said, pointing at the attackers.

"Wait a minute..." Noel took a closer look. "I know this guy..."

The boys and girls entered the fight just as it ended. The leader of the thugs blasted his victims with a geyser of water, and they were sent flying into the wall. They fell to the floor as their Aegises faded.

"Stop right there!" Leon declared.

"What!?" The leader turned around in surprise. "You again!?" He looked at Leon's tattoos with distaste. "And you just had to be a Caster as well..." Then he grinned and spread his arms out. "No matter, you can't stop me! But go ahead and try!"

"Henry Bishop!" Noel called, stepping forward. "We are Squad Sagittarius of Magica Academy! And for your crimes, you will be locked up!"

"What..." Henry was surprised. "How do you know my name?"

"An old friend of yours told me."

"Elise..." Henry looked a little amused. "Let me guess, she's here too?"

"No." Leon said. "We're here by ourselves. It's our mission to take you down."

Henry chuckled. "You really should have brought backup." He stepped back. "You can't stop us from stealing the Mana Crystals! But go ahead and try!" He pointed at Leon's group. "Prepare for battle, boys!"

"Yes, sir!" They obeyed, and prepared to summon their Spectres.

"Guys!" Leon said. "Call our friends!"

"Right!" Noel and Soleil said.

"Minerva! Stay back!"

"Alright!" Minerva obeyed, and went to a safer spot.

Then Squad Sagittarius held out their hands, and their star symbols began to glow. In a flash, their partners began to appear. At the same time, the thugs' Spectres began to form as well.

Then five Spectres popped out of the lights.

Ropup shook its body and yawned. Then upon seeing the situation, it crouched in anticipation and growled.

Burnape already knew what was going on. It pounded its just and flexed its muscles to show that it was ready to fight.

Owlet glared at its opponents, and prepared to take flight.

Their opponents, a flaming leopard and an icy wolf, looked at them with predatory gazes.

"So these are Spectres." Minerva said in amazement. "I'm actually getting a close look at this kind of fight!"

"Ropup!" Leon called first.

"Owlet!" Noel second.

"Burnape!" Soleil last.

Their Spectres cried out in unison.

"White Fang!" The wolf's owner called.

"Leopyre!" The leopard's owner called.

White Fang howled, while Leopyre roared.

"Battle!" The Casters shouted.

...

Back at the hotel, Professor Cosmos was looking around the bottom floor. The worry was clear on her face.

"Where could they be?" She wondered.

"What's wrong, Professor?" Lien Po walked up to her.

"I can't find Squad Sagittarius. I know they're on patrol, but...they aren't anywhere around the town. Have they come by here?"

"No. I don't know where they could have gone off to."

"Maybe I just missed them. Yeah, that's it." Though Professor Cosmos looked unsure.

"Tell you what," Lien put a hand on her shoulder. "I'll go with my squad to look for them."

"That would be nice." The professor smiled. "Thank you."

...

"Now!" Noel called. "Vice maneuver! Wing Attack!"

"Fire Punch!" Soleil commanded.

Owlet dived at White Fang's right side, while Burnape rushed at its left. They struck at the same time, causing the wolf to howl in pain.

"I got this!" Minerva called.

She aimed her gun, and fired a flaming ray that struck White Fang in the side of the head. The wolf flinched from the hit, and collapsed.

"White Fang!" Its owner called in concern. "Are you alright?"

Meanwhile, Ropup was locked in a battle of agility with Leopyre.

When Ropup tried to bite the leopard, it leaped back swiftly. Then it countered with a swipe of its claw, and Ropup leaped rolled out of the way. This cycle continued to repeat, as each side tried to gain the upper hand.

"You can do this!" Leon encouraged. "Let's show them that!" He gestured to Leopyre. "Gale Headbutt!"

"Two can play at that game!" Leopyre's owner said, gesturing to Ropup. "Flame Charge!"

Ropup crouched down, and growled as wind started to spiral around it. At the same time, Leopyre was being cloaked in flames. Once their attacks were charged, they rushed at each other.

Their attacks collided, and bounced away from each other. They continued to fly and crash around the room, breaking some machines as they fought. Finally, they returned to their original positions, and rushed one more time.

When the attacks met, they continued to push against each other. Each side struggled to gain the upper hand, and the Casters were anxious for the outcome.

"Break through, Ropup!" Leon cried desperately.

"Show this kid what strength is, Leopyre!" The leopard's owner shouted.

The attacks got even fiercer, as Ropup's wind became bigger and spiraled around faster, while the flames around Leopyre became even hotter and turned blue. They contiuned to struggle for another moment...

Then they broke away, with Ropup's wind fading away, and the puppy suspended on its back in midair. Leopyre, however, was still cloaked in flames. It grinned triumphantly.

"No!" Leon cried out in horror.

"Finish it!" The leopard's owner commanded.

Leopyre rushed into Ropup's stomach as it began to fall, and the poor puppy was sent flying into a machine at high speed. The machine sparked, and exploded in a cloud of flames. Ropup flew to the ground, and landed in front of Leon, unconscious. Its Aegis faded away.

"Ropup..." Leon fell to his knees, and started to sob. "No..."

Leopyre landed at its owner's side, and he laughed.

"Nice try, kid." He admitted. "But you're too weak."

"Leon!" Noel stepped in front of his leader protectively. "Leave it to us!"

"B-but..." Leon tried to protest.

"There's nothing you can do now. Just stay back."

"Alright..."

Leon picked up Ropup went to Minerva, who looked extremely worried.

"Are you alright?" She asked.

"I...guess..." Leon said, looking at the Spectre in his arms.

...

Meanwhile, Squad Capricorn was looking around the town, and currently near the ice cream parlor. When they heard explosions from the industrial area, they stopped to look in its direction.

"What was that?" Warren Moon asked in confusion.

"That might be trouble." Lien guessed. "And if there's trouble, Squad Sagittarius will most likely be there."

"What should we do?" Kimiko Sakura asked worriedly.

"We need to get Professor Cosmos! Let's go!"

They began to run back to the hotel as quick as they could.

...

Owlet crashed into the wall, and shakily fluttered down. It collapsed in front of Noel, barely able to stay conscious. Burnape came down soon after, and managed to stay up for a bit. Then it groaned and fell back, out cold.

"No!" Their owners cried.

"And that's the match kids!" Henry declared in triumph.

"We failed..." Leon said sadly.

"This can't be happening..." Soleil was shocked. "We were supposed to beat the bad guys!"

Henry laughed sarcastically. "That's a good one!" Then he scowled. "Do you know how many people I've met that had dreams of being so-called 'heroes'? They think that they can have a peaceful world, and have it be all sunshine and rainbows. And yet, they know so little on what's actually going on."

"What do you mean?" Noel wondered.

"There's more going on than you think, kid. And yet you think you can stop people more powerful than you." Henry raised his hand. "And it's people like you that I will enjoy beating!"

The star on his palm glowed, and a ball of light appeared above him. Then a bull-sized figure burst from it, and screeched.

It was like parrot, with yellow and green feathers and a jagged black beak. The feathers grew in a way that made the Spectre look like it had a cape. The plummage on the top of its head was white and slicked back.

"Sparkarrot!" Henry called. "Lightning Chain!"

Sparkarrot curled up in the air, and electricity started sparking around it.

"What's it doing!?" Soleil asked in alarm.

"It's preparing to attack!" Noel warned, holding his hands forward. "Keep up your guard! Murus!"

A magical wall appeared in front of him, and Soleil nodded.

"Okay!" She held her own arms out. "Murus!"

Leon thought it was good idea to defend as well.

"Murus!" He summoned his own wall, then glanced at Minerva. "Prepare yourself!" Then he gasped in surprise. "Minerva?"

The girl was frozen in place, staring at Sparkarrot with wide eyes.

"Lightning..." She sounded horrified. "N-not that..."

"Minerva!" Leon let down his guard to shake her. "Get ahold of yourself!"

"I-I don't want to die!" Minerva backed away, shaking her head. "Somebody help me!"

"Minerva, snap out of-"

Then Sparkarrot squawked and spread its wings, and three tendrils of electricity burst from it. The chains of lightning flew around the room, and honed in on their targets. Leon was immediately struck, and he screamed in agony as he was shocked. Then he collapsed, now knocked out.

"Leon!" Noel and Soleil called out in concern, struggling to hold the attack back with their barriers.

The other two tendrils finally bounced off after a small struggle, and turned to another target. It was Minerva they were targeting now.

"Look out!" Noel warned.

But Minerva was too scared to move, and the lightning struck her. She screamed even more than Leon, like it was even more painful. She dropped to her knees, shaking violently as electricity sparked around her.

"No..." She muttered. "P-please..."

"What's going on with her!?" Soleil exclaimed.

Henry was wondering the same thing. "What is up with this girl?"

Then Minerva let out another horrified scream as the sparks got even more frequent.

"LEAVE ME ALONE!" She screeched, her eyes turning red.

"What!?" Noel cried out in shock.

"Boss..." One of the goons whimpered. "This could be bad..."

"Sparkarrot!" Henry called. "Electro Beam!"

His Spectre squawked and shot a ray of lightning from its beak. When it hit Minerva, she screamed and raised her head. Her Aegis faded away, and she shook more violently than ever.

"You..." Her voice was becoming distorted. W-willl..." She glared angrily at Henry. "WILL PAY FOR THIS!"

Then she thrust her hands forward, and wires shot out of her fingertips. They scattered around the room, and stuck to the walls.

"What is she-" Noel started to say.

Then Minerva screamed once more, and the electricity she absorbed traveled through the wires, and into the walls. The whole building began to shake as many volts of electricity scattered all over, infecting the machines and making them short-circuit.

"Watch out!" Noel warned.

He pulled Soleil to the floor, and embraced her.

Then he blacked out as the whole building exploded in a sea of fire, ice, and lightning.

...

Professor Cosmos was dashing through the industrial area, panting slightly.

"I hope the kids are alright." She said worriedly. "If anything happened to them..." She shook her head. "No, they'll be fine, I just need to make it in time."

She could hear violent noises getting louder as she neared the power plant, and she scowled.

"Don't worry, children. I'm right here."

But just as she reached the building, it started shaking, making her step back in surprise.

"What's going on!?"

Then it blew up, and she shrieked as she was thrown back. She groaned, and sat up. Then she looked at the destroyed building in defeat. The wreckage was being scattered around her, but she was frozen at her spot.

"No..." She started to sob.

She shakily stood up, and raised her hand. Storm clouds began to form, and a heavy rain fell over the site.

"They must still be in there." She told herself. "Their Aegises should have taken the hit..."

Once the area was doused, she began to make her slow approach through the wreckage. Up ahead, there was a mountain of debris.

The professor took a deep breath. "Ch-children?"

She waited for a moment, then gasped as she heard a few groans comming from underneath the debris.

"Are you alright!?" She exclaimed.

"Pro...fessor?" Noel's voice came from right in front of her.

"Mr. Maddox!" She was relieved. "Thank Gaia that you're alive!"

"But what about me?" Came an all too familliar voice.

"Wait..." Professor Cosmos's eyes widened. "It can't be..."

Then the debris started to shake, and she stepped back.

Henry's Spectre, Sparkarrot, burst from the wreckage, sending it flying in all directions. There, laying all over the ground were the professor's students. Leon was face down, with Ropup curled up underneath him. Near them was the girl she saw earlier, burnt in a few places and laying on her back.

Then right in front of the professor was Noel, struggling to get up. An unconscious Soleil was in his arms. In front of them was a knocked out Burnape, and a barely conscious Owlet. And up ahead...

"Henry." Professor Cosmos glared.

The man was shakily standing in front of his Spectre. His lackeys were face down and unconscious, along with their Spectres. The workers were knocked out as well.

"Hello, Elise." Henry said with his trademark smirk. "Knew you would come sooner or later."

"This has gone far enough!" Professor Cosmos shouted angrily. "You hurt my children! You're going to pay for this!"

"Professor..." Noel groaned.

"Mr. Maddox!" She went to his side. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." He winced. "Will you...please let me handle this?"

"What!?" She was shocked. "In your condition!? Are you mad!?"

"Kid," Henry started. "As much as I would enjoy pounding you, I have to agree with her." He shook his head. "Why do you still keep fighting?"

"Because..." Noel began to think, and he set Soleil down carefully. "Wait...I don't want to fight."

Henry was perplexed. "Oh? Then what do you want?"

"I want to know what you mean by...the world not being what we think it is."

Henry sighed. "You actually have the mind to ask..." He smiled bitterly. "Okay...To be honest, my life was a good one. I grew up with the ideals that Magica Academy had preached, being a hero would bring light to the world. When I graduated, I was given the job of an Enforcer, a Caster who traveled around the world to take on missions too hard for the academy students." He lowered his head. "I was happy, at first...

"Then what happened?" Noel wondered.

"I saw the true horrors of the world, and realized it isn't all as great as Magica Academy makes it. I saw villages in ruins...my comrades killed...The only solace I had was with my family...But I was never truly happy...because I had never had a real dream...Being a hero is just a wish."

"And that's why you're a Rogue?"

"Yes...When I came back from a failed mission...I was fired, and didn't know what else to do..." Henry looked at the night sky. "When I realized that the ideal was fake, I began to question my identity."

Noel gasped. "Your...identity."

"Yeah...I eventually decided this: Your identity will never become completely real, not without an achievable dream. But by that then...it was too late for me to have one. So I turned to theft to support my family."

Professor Cosmos was sad. "Henry...Did you really have to go that far?"

Henry looked back at her with an equally solemn expression. "It was the only thing I could do." Then he looked at Noel. "So I ask this: Do you really believe that the world can be all sunshine and rainbows?"

"No..." Noel admitted, shaking his head. "You're right, complete peace is not possible. But answer this: Do I really need a dream, to have a real indentity?"

"Yes." Henry was curious. "So tell me, what is your dream?"

"I...I think..." Noel took a deep breath. "I want to find out more about the world."

Henry was astonished. "What?"

"I never knew who I really was, and I began to doubt if the person I am is the real me." He smiled. "But then someone told me, that it doesn't matter if I made myself up, I'm still real. And yet...something's still missing."

It was as if the wind was responding to him. It gently blew around him, and at his feet, Owlet picked itself up.

"Is this..." Professor Cosmos was amazed. "What I think it is?"

"And now I realize..." Noel continued. "That the even if that is true...I need to look into the past! So I can look forward to my future! And so I say this: I will find out what secrets lie in this world, and find out more about myself!"

The wind grew fiercer, and his robes blew around him wildly. Then Owlet spread its wings, and began to be enveloped in electricity.

"This is..." Professor Cosmos was at a loss for words. "This is..."

"Evolution!" Henry finished, equally amazed. "Just...who are you kid!?"

Noel grinned. "I am Noel Maddox! And my dream...will be to seek the truth!"

Owlet began to grow bigger...and bigger...until it reached to about half of Noel's height. Its chest puffed out a bit, and its feathers became longer. Then sparks flew as it revealed its new form.

Owlet looked fiercer, with more narrowed eyes. When its wings were folded it gave the impression of a robe, thanks to longer, silk-like feathers and plummage that extended from the top of the head to the back.

A card appeared in a flash, and spun through the air. Noel caught it with one hand, and glanced at it before pocketing it. Then he carefully reached down to pet his friend, and smiled when it nuzzled his hand.

"Well then, Noel." Henry grinned. "Looks like you do know yourself, and will continue to find out more. I'm glad...that someone's set straight."

"Henry..." Professor Cosmos said sadly. "You might still have a chance...to live a good life again."

"The thing is...I don't have anything left..." He looked at her with longing. "You said it yourself...He's gone."

"He?" Noel wondered.

There was a sad silence as the adults stared each other down. He had to wonder what was going on in their heads.

Finally, Professor Cosmos sighed. "If you really feel that way...What we had between us...did it not matter?"

"It did." Henry assured. "But you know as well as I do...that nothing would be right...without him." He looked at Noel. "Kid, do your worst."

"Okay..." Noel said reluctantly. "Owlager...Spark Dive!"

Noel's newly evolved Spectre took to the air, and was cloaked in electricity. Then it began to dive toward Henry at high speed, and the man grinned. That seemed suspicious to Noel.

"Wait, what is he planning?" He wondered.

That was answered when Sparkarrot came from the side to grab Henry and take him to the air at the last second. Owlager missed its mark, and quickly righted itself to slide along the ground on its feet.

"So long, suckers." Henry said half heartedly, waving at the Casters. "See you again, maybe."

"No..." Noel fell to his knees, as Henry got farther away. "We failed..."

"We still have these two." Professor Cosmos gestured to the other thugs. "It's just a consolation...but it will do."

"I guess..." Noel got to his feet. "But tell me..." He looked at her with curiosity. "What did you mean...when you said you had something?"

She walked toward the place where Henry once stood, and stared at the ground. There was another uncomfortable silence.

Finally, she turned to Noel with tears in her eyes. "He was my husband."

...

Leon's eyes slowly opened up, and he saw the brightly lit ceiling above him. He sat up, and looked around in confusion.

He was in his squad's hotel room, and Soleil was laying on her bed across from his. They were in their uniforms, all neat and tidy, and most importantly, safe. Then he noticed Noel leaning against the wall near the door. He looked ecstatic.

"You're awake!" He exclaimed, walking up to him.

"Yeah..." Leon was still lost. "Um...what happened?"

That dampened Noel's mood, because he sighed and sat on the bed, looking gloomy.

"We failed." He said sadly. "Henry Bishop got away."

"What!?" Leon got onto his knees. "How did that..." His eyes widened as he remembered. "Oh no...where's Minerva!?"

"She's alright." Noel assured. "She's recovered nicely, but..." He looked away. "Due to recent events...her father ended his vacation early, and they went home."

"No..." Leon sat down, looking sad. "I-I shouldn't have brought her along..." Then he thought of something. "Wait...what about the Mana Crystals?"

"Oh yeah, about that..."

Noel explained to Leon everything that happened while he was out. From Minerva's outburst, to his confrontation with Henry. As he listened, Leon gradually became more amazed.

"Owlet evolved..." He muttered. "That's good and all, but..." He looked down. "Minerva...what is she?"

"I don't know." Noel said. "But she's more dangerous than we thought. I'd be glad to never see her again."

Then there was silence for a while, until Leon brought something else up.

"So...where are Ropup and Burnape?"

"They're fine." Noel answered. "They're back at their homes, safe and sound."

"I'm glad." Leon smiled a bit. "Everyone's fine, so...that's good." Then he frowned. "Wait, if the whole power plant exploded..."

"Don't worry about that." Noel assured him. "All of the teachers, workers, and even the students and citizens, pitched in to build a new one." He grinned. "Power just got back up this morning, and during the rebuilding there were still efforts to set up the festival."

"Wait..." Leon took a second to think, and was astonished. "I was out for a week!?"

"Yep." Noel laughed. "Just in time to witness a new tradition!"

"Ugh..." Soleil groaned.

They looked at her just as she was sitting up. She looked at them drowsily.

"Hey guys..." She yawned. "Man, I just had the craziest dream..." She pointed at them. "And you guys were there..."

The boys looked at each other, and chuckled.

"I think I should explain things to you." Noel said.

...

The festival that night was the liveliest event Leon had ever been to.

All around him, the citizens and students were celebrating. Couples danced on the streets to the rock band Warren Moon had hired. Currently, the flirt was singing a duet with the lead singer, much to the crowd's enjoyment. Lien Po was shaking his head, while Kimiko Sakura was giggling.

Then there was Verden Reese making art for people. The guy really had some skill, and his customers' delighted faces showed that. He bowed to the applause of a small crowd.

His squad was currently trying to knock over bottles at one of the stalls. Carlos chucked a ball, and it flew straight into the center of the three bottle pyramid. However, it bounced straight back at him and hit him in the gut. As he doubled over, Soleil stifled a laugh. She had set up a transparent wall, much to Noel's annoyance.

Rune was having a pleasant conversation with Cordell Irving. It ended with the two throwing an arm around each other and laughing. A few feet away, their squads were watching them with shock on their faces.

But despite everything that was going on...Leon couldn't bring himself to enjoy the festivities. He just sighed, and stood away from everything.

Noel and Soleil noticed him, and ran over to him.

"Hey, Leon!" Noel called. Then he looked concerned once he saw Leon's sad expression. "What's wrong?"

"It's just..." Leon looked down. "We failed the mission...The original power plant was destroyed...Henry Bishop got away...And...And Minerva..."

"I'm sad too..." Soleil admitted with a frown. Then she smiled. "But we're still learning, we couldn't have succeeded in a mission like that. It was our first one, and we will have more in the future." She put her hands on her hips. "So come on! Stop moping, and let's have some fun!"

"Soleil..." Leon cracked a smile. "I suppose a few games couldn't hurt..."

"Yay!"

Then his arm was suddenly grabbed by her, and he was pulled into the crowd.

"H-hey!" He protested. "Let me go! Soleil!"

Noel shook his head in amusement, and followed them. And despite the small misgivings at the back of his mind, Leon had a lot of fun that night.

...

A storm came in the middle of the festival, which brought an early end to it. Everyone turned in that night as a result, but Noel still watched the weather from the window. He looked like he was deep in thought, which prompted a still awake Leon to ask him...

"What's on your mind?"

Noel turned to him. "I was wondering...If I'm going to seek the truths in this world, when should I start?"

Leon chuckled, and pointed at the journal on the bed. "You've kinda already been doing that. You record everything you find out, that's truth seeking in my book."

"I guess so." Noel smiled. Then he frowned, and touched his eyebrow. "Hey, Leon..."

"Yeah?"

"Since I'm also finding out about myself...Do you think that I should accept my past?"

"If it was a good one, then I don't see why not. The past is part of your identity."

"Then...would it be alright, if I kept my contacts off?"

Leon was surprised. "Are you sure?"

Noel nodded. "I'm not going to be a fake. So why would I need to see through fake eyes?"

Then he turned away, and began the somewhat uncomfortable process of removing the contacts. One hit the ground a moment later, and then another soon after.

"So..." Leon tilted his head. "Is that better?"

Noel slowly turned to him, his eyes closed in a serene expression. Then he opened them, and Leon gasped. The shade of blue...Where had he seen that?

"It feels way better." Noel looked at him, puzzled. "Are they fine?"

"Uh...yeah! It's just...going take some getting used to."

Noel's newly revealed sapphire eyes lit up. "That's good! So..." He grinned. "Do you think Soleil will like them?"

Leon chuckled nervously. "I think she'll be ecstatic..."

...

A few days later...

"Well," Leon sighed into his breakfast. "Business as usual...Yay..."

"To be honest, I'm glad to be back at work." Noel admitted. "I'm not going to be a researcher if I just laze around."

"At least I can have fun with combat classes again." Soleil said, eating a piece of pancake. "A small break is what we needed to break the monotone."

"At least New Years is getting closer." Leon smiled. "Even if it's for a week...I can be with my family again."

"Speaking of family," Noel started. "When do you think Professor Dyke will be back?"

"From that family emergency of his? Who knows? For all we know, it could take-"

"Attention students!" Professor Cosmos called from the podium. "I have just received word that Professor Dyke has returned! He will be in here to introduce a new member to our staff! So please sit still, and be quiet!"

Everyone began to whisper to each other.

"A new teacher?" Rune wondered.

"Ooooh!" Mary said excitedly. "I wonder what she'll be like!"

"How do you hire a teacher in the middle of a family emergency?" Amber raised an eyebrow.

"You don't think-" Noel started.

Then the doors opened, and Professor Dyke walked in. Following him...Everyone gasped.

She was in her mid twenties, and had a face that only angels could match in beauty. She wore a plain white robe that stopped just a little above her ankles, and her feet were completely bare. Copper hair that would reach to her waist waved in the air, despite there being no wind.

She and Professor Dyke walked up to Professor Cosmos, and shook her hand. Even she looked ready to drop due to the new woman's beauty. Then Professor Dyke began to speak.

"Hello, my students." He began. "Sorry for being away so long, but I needed to attend to some family matters. However, the situation gave us one good thing, and this is her." He gestured to the woman, pride clearly on his face. "I would like for you to meet the newest member of our staff, my daughter."

If everyone wasn't shocked, they were now.

"WHAT!?" They all exclaimed.

"Children!" Professor Cosmos scolded. "That is disrespect-"

"It's alright." Professor Dyke's daughter said.

They all became silent as she stepped up to the podium, and began to speak.

"Hello, children!" She gave them a serene smile. "My name is Terra Dyke, and I will be your new Biology teacher!"

...

Author's Note: And so, the first volume of Magica Academy ends. I have to say, I never really expected to gain even a small following. But with so many people reading this, it motivated me to keep going. Of course, there might be points I'll have to address by editing chapters, so this will still be 'in progress'.

I know I'm not the best writer, far from it. But I try to get better where I can, and make something everyone can enjoy. This has been fun to write, and I hope to continue this series sometime.

Of course, it's not going to be soon, I plan on resuming a story I neglected these past few months. If you would like, check out Special Agents, which is what I neglected. I'll be continuing it soon enough! Then I also have another story set in the Magica Academy Universe, Champion of the Goddess, for fans of Magica Academy.

And finally, thank you my readers and followers for your support! Leave a review if you'd like, and spread the word about me, whether it be by mouth or internet comments!

Hope the future is bright, and keep moving forward!

Edit: Now fully completed!

Volume 2 is in progress, so you can read that if you'd like!

I'll give it my all to continue entertaining you throughout this series! Thank you for your support!

See you all next time!