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Unforeseen Consequences (PMMM/ZnT)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Midnak, Jan 12, 2012.

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  1. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    Unforeseen Consequences (PMMM/ZnT)

    Summary: They say a familiar is summoned to help a mage in the way they need most. Well, Louise needed help with her constantly failing magic and her familiar certainly fulfills that role.

    Preface: Just a small note I wanted to add. If you start this story and decide to stop reading it for a specific reason, I would be very appreciative if you p.m.'d me that reason or left a review. Knowing what I do wrong is just as important as knowing what I do right if not more so to improving my writing. Thank you.

    Table of Contents:

    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    Chapter 5
    Chapter 6
    Chapter 7
    Chapter 8
    Chapter 9
    Chapter 10
    Chapter 11
    Chapter 12
    Chapter 13
    Chapter 14
    Chapter 15
    Chapter 16
    Chapter 17
    Chapter 18
    Chapter 19
    Chapter 20
    Chapter 21
    Chapter 22
    Chapter 23


    Fanfiction.net link

    Character Appendices
    Louise and Montmorency

    Hello all, this thing started on the old ZnT familiars thread. You know that thing, that out of control experiment that even its creator no longer has the power to unmake. Yeah, that scary thing.

    Couple of things right off the bat, this is not an immediate bad end story, you'll notice I have it archived under adventure/general on fanfiction.net. That is not to say there will not be a bad end or bad ends for characters, but I have serious plans for this that don't revolve around "witches appear, everyone dies."

    I will be posting updates to this story here before the fanfiction.net version, as even though I do proofread these chapters beforehand, I have noticed there is a great amount of quality feedback on this forum, and glaring flaws could be brought to my attention here. Don;t worry though, I wont go about constantly changing chapters, only maybe fixing a flaw in the latest chapter released. See my last snippit on the ZnT familiar forums for why.


    So without further ado, lets get posting.
     
    Winged One, Mook91, J1459 and 5 others like this.
  2. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    Chapter 1: Doubling Production

    As a rule of thumb, one could determine quite a bit about any particular mage from their familiar. Not only did familiars tend to associate with their mage's primary element, but they also tended to reflect that mage's strength and potential. If one summoned a fire dragon, others could guess that the summoner was a powerful pyromancer. The rule wasn't perfect, as exceptions like the headmaster of the Tristain Magic Academy, Old Osmand, and his summoned field mouse existed. However, those exceptions were few and far between.

    In light of this, students of the mage craft have always measured themselves to their peers by familiar first. The system for such measurement was quite advanced, at least for an unofficial rule children through the ages settled on. The higher up on the food chain an animal was, the greater the familiar. If the animal was magical by nature it obviously was greater than all but the greatest of mundane familiars. A fire wolf beat a regular bear any day of Brimir's blessed week.

    It was because of this unofficial rule the Louise Valliere was so proud of herself. The familiar she summoned was obviously magical from the moment she set eyes on it. The problem was, she was the only one in her class who managed that feat. She had endured nearly five minutes of jests at her expense upon summoning her familiar. Despite the creatures appearance all her class had called her crazy, unwilling to believe she had messed up the summoning. It had taken even the kind Professor Colbert asking her if she wanted to see the school healer before she realized she was the only one who could see her summoned familiar. Like a proper noble, she had buried her indignity and completed the ritual, binding her familiar to her. None who could cast the simple detect magic spell could doubt her then as the sealing circle activated and inscribed the familiar runes to her new partner.

    After her grand display Louise refused all questions from peers as to the nature of her familiar. If her partner had some sort of invisibility defense, she wasn't going to reveal its details to anyone. The bonus getting to be the center of attention and finally get a small bit of revenge on her peers was just a bonus. However, she had let Professor Colbert try to inspect her familiar with a brief touch. That had shut up any rumors of a farce before they started.

    Now, back in the safety of her room, Louise studied her familiar with a measured gaze. One the creature returned, unblinking. They had been sitting like this for nearly ten minutes, motionless. Racking her brain, Louise just couldn't figure out what her familiar was.

    Its exotic features and apparent invisibility made it obviously magical, but Louise couldn't think of anything it could possibly be. It looked to have both cat and rabbit-like ears. Maybe for enhanced hearing to find its own kind if its invisibility worked even on potential mates. The red, beady eyes made Louise lean more toward a bread of magical rabbit than cat, but the body shape was closer to cat-like. The large pillowing tail suggested seemed more at home on a fox than on a rabbit or cat, complicating the problem further. The white fur suggested a cold climate, but Louise knew very little of the beasts in the great north. Add the hovering gold rings around each rabbit ear and Louise seemed to be out of luck. The ironic thing was that the invisibility she was so proud of was stopping her from just showing her familiar to a professor. Sometimes, Louise suspected the universe hated her.

    Frustrated, Louise growled and rolled back onto her bed. Familiars weren't supposed to be this difficult! Wait! Familiar! Louise nearly smacked herself. It was so obvious. Familiars and masters were supposed to have a mental link. They were supposed to be able to feel each others' emotions. Advanced mages were supposed to be able to lend and borrow senses with their familiars and even communicate by thought. Louise doubted she could do anything advanced right away, but maybe the mental link could give her a hint.

    Sitting back up, Louise met the unmoving eyes of her familiar as it stared back from the edge of her bed. Focusing, Louise felt for the invisible thread between them; the magical thread of fate that bonded their souls to one another. Reaching deep within Louise focused, concentrated, felt for her familiar.

    Nothing.

    Louise could feel nothing, no emotion whatsoever. "ARGH!" Louise finally screamed out in frustration. "WHAT ARE YOU!" She screamed as a last ditch effort.

    "Kyuubey" a voice replied.

    "You can talk!" Louise exclaimed, nearly falling off the bed in surprise. Here she had been studying the rabbit, cat, thing for the past half hour and it could talk the entire time! She didn't know whether to be grateful or angry!

    The voice again responded, definitely coming from the familiar before her, yet its mouth did not move. "I can communicate, if that is what you mean." The voice was high pitched, almost sickeningly cute; a childlike voice that definitely belonged to such a cute animal.

    Louise was stunned. The idea that her familiar could talk had never crossed her mind. There were very few creatures other than humans capable of human speech. Unless... Louise smiled to herself. So that was it. "I must be such a great mage to miss emotional transfer completely and move right on to direct thought transfer."

    The haughty air was quickly dispersed when the animal, the Kyuubey, shook its head. "I don't know anything about this 'emotional transference' but I can assure you that I am the one who established our telepathic link." Louise deflated, realizing she had, in fact, failed to establish a mental bond. This realization left her was stuck between feeling smug that her familiar was not only able to cloak itself, but also seemed to have telepathic abilities; and being frustrated at failing a empathic link completely. So caught up in her inner turmoil, she didn't notice the Kyuubey approach her until his front paws were on her crossed legs. "I have told you who I am Louise Valliere, but now I ask you, why am I here?"

    That question stumped Louise for a moment. Familiars had always instinctively known their purpose upon summoning; maybe it didn't work for sentient familiars? Deciding that the best way to instruct her familiar was with what she had been taught in class. Placing a hand on her hip and counting off the points she had memorized, Louise reconstructed her Professor's lecture. "Familiars are summoned to be an extension of the mage. Familiars act as the eyes and ears of a mage, protect the mage, and assist the mage throughout the life of the mage. The two beings become one, the mage the mind; the familiar the body." The slight tilt of the Kyuubey's head indicated that might not have been enough. Sighing, Louise dumbed it down. "Basically you are my familiar, so we look out for each other and you help me with my magic, usually by collecting reagents like sulfur and moss."

    The Kyuubey stared at Louise for a moment, it seemed to be thinking. "I can help finding reagents, but I am not made for battle."

    Ah, Louise had expected as much. Things as small as the Kyuubey that possessed defensive abilities like invisibility weren't usually natural fighters. However, that wasn't too big a problem. Louise had no plans to be getting into danger any time soon. "Don't worry familiar," Louise spoke with an air of nobility, "If anything dangerous happens, you can rely on me." There was nothing wrong with acting a little cool.

    Despite no change in her familiars expression, Louise was sure her words had inspired it. "Now time for bed familiar." Louise said as she pulled the covers over her. The small Kyuubey complied by curling up at the foot of the bed. Louise saw no reason to object, the company of such a fine familiar was nice.

    *****************************************************

    The following morning was probably the greatest morning Louise had ever had. She woke up with her familiar, got dressed with her familiar, and walked out of the dorms, head held high with her familiar resting on her shoulder. The small creature was surprisingly light. Sure, she was the only one who could see her familiar, but envied glances from her peers only served to bolster Louise's soaring confidence.

    If Tabitha had summoned the noblest familiar in that dragon of hers, then Louise had summoned the most exotic and mysterious. If she cared to listen to rumors, Louise was sure she'd hear people guessing the nature of her familiar. Was it a Will-o-Wisp? Or maybe even a wind spirit? However, the joke was on her peers, even Louise, who had aced all non-practical classes had no idea what the Kyuubey was and she could see it! Louise quietly decided not to let that bit of information slip however.

    Not willing to part with her new partner, Louise had brought it into the mess hall for breakfast. Sure, familiars weren't allowed inside, but no one could see it. Louise could barely contain her smile as she ate that morning. She couldn't remember what bacon usually tasted like, but it tasted like victory this morning.

    Without a word to her peers, Louise left with true air of superiority, all eyes on her. Just as she reached the door, she gave a small piece of bacon to the Kyuubey. She could only imagine what those who saw a piece of food disappear would think. Life is good. She thought to herself.

    It was with this happiness that Louise made her way to classes. She always tried to be early, and today was no different. However, she needed to drop off her familiar in the courtyard. Bringing the Kyuubey in to breakfast was one thing, but breaking rules in front of the teachers was another. "Alright familiar, you wait here with the other familiars while I go to classes."

    The small animal hopped down and looked back up at her. "To study magic, yes?" It thought back. Louise nodded and made to leave. "I'll come with you." Her familiar stopped her. "I would like to see this." Louise actually wanted to bring her familiar, but the rules were clear, no familiars in class unless instructed otherwise. "Don't worry, I can't be seen by anyone, or smelled or heard for that matter."

    Well, it wasn't like she'd get caught, and the teachers were pretty lax the first week after summoning. "Okay familiar, I will allow this just for you, but make sure you aren't noticed." A quick nod and a hop later, and the furry little creature was back on Louise's shoulder.

    ******************************************************

    Classes had gone well that day. There was little practical application by students, and Louise had not been chosen at all. That was until Miss Chevreuse had picked her out to transmute some clay. Normally, such a spell would result in one thing. However, hadn't she summoned something grand? Didn't that prove she could do magic? Steeling herself, Louise followed the incantations and movements perfectly. Harnessing her power, Louise willed the clay into bronze.

    For a brief moment, Louise believed she had done it, only to be blinded in a flash of destruction. A resounding explosion sent everyone toppling and destroyed the class room windows. When the smoke cleared, everyone began peeking out from behind their desks to find a ruffled and soot covered Louise.

    "Hah! Failure as always Zero!"

    That first call was preceded by more, yet Louise could barely hear them. Failure. Failure again. Hadn't things changed? Louise ignored the jests of her classmates, having no strength to rebuke them. At least her familiar was waiting at her seat. Despite being unable to read its constant single expression, Louise believed there was sympathy there for her. It wasn't much, but it was something.

    *****************************************************

    That night Louise was sore. She had been made to clean the classroom after getting a scolding for causing a mess. It wasn't like she wanted to cause explosions; why did she have to be scolded? What had started as the best day ever, had finished with Louise feeling her worst.

    At least… At least her familiar was here with her, sitting quietly at the foot of the bed. "Louise." Well, mostly quietly.

    Sitting up, Louise made sure to keep her composure. It wouldn't do for her familiar to believe she was some doormat to be walked on. Despite her failures, she was still a Valliere and its master. "Yes familiar?" Louise asked curiously, the familiar remained silent usually; she could only assume it had something important to say. Maybe something to cheer her up, Louise mutely hoped.

    "Your magic is a failure compared to your peers." Louise fell backward onto her pillow. Like that was news. Normally Louise would be angry at such a statement. But her familiar was obviously too naive to understand, and Louise had no strength to argue.

    A small weight on her chest alerted her to her familiar. The small Kyuubey had jumped onto her and was staring into her eyes.

    "How about you become a magical girl then?"
     
  3. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    Chapter 2: Wish?

    "How about you become a magical girl then?"

    Louise looked into the beady eyes of her familiar. The unchanging expression was getting more and more annoying. She couldn't tell if the Kyuubey was teasing her or not. Deciding that it must be ignorance, Louise sat up, causing the small familiar to jump off her chest back onto the bed. "I already am a magical girl. I can do magic, I just tend to mess up a little." Really, it wasn't like nothing happened when she cast a spell.

    The Kyuubey seemed insistent, because it stepped forward and placed a paw on Louise's leg. "No, you are a girl who can do magic. Very, very inefficient magic. If you make a contract with me, you will become a magical girl!"

    There was a brief silence as Louise was taken aback slightly. Her familiar seemed to understand her magic. Failing as it was. No; inefficient, that was a far better term. She'd have to reward her familiar for thinking of that. Still, what was this magical girl nonsense? "Familiar, when you say magical girl you mean..." Louise drifted off, not sure what to ask.

    "A magical girl spreads hope!" It picked up for Louise. "They protect the world with powerful magic granted by their soul gem. A soul gem is born from the wish granted when a girl becomes a magical girl. I can make you a magical girl, that is why I am here." Both its front paws were resting on Louise now.

    Louise as stunned. Her familiar seemed sincere if nothing else. It may be wrong about its own abilities, but she was sure it was not lying. The part of Louise that protected her from giving up was cautious, getting her hopes up for something so outlandish was a bad idea. However, a small part of her remembered the goals of the familiar summoning ritual. A familiar was supposed to be summoned to aid a mage in the way they need most. A potion maker like Montmorency got a rare toad whose poison was an invaluable asset to her. Kirche, who was no doubt bound for the Germanian military was granted a powerful salamander to defend her. Maybe Louise herself had summoned a familiar to help her with her magic problems?

    Allowing herself some slight hope, Louise decided to inquire further. "So besides invisibility and telepathy, you are able to make grant magic? That seems rather outlandish familiar." It wasn't that she believed her familiar, she was just a kind enough master to indulge it. Quite.

    The white creature shook its head. "I don't grant magic, at least not directly. If you make a contract with me, then you get one wish in exchange for becoming a magical girl. The wish itself brings forth your soul gem. The soul gem is what grants a magical girl her magic."

    Raising an eyebrow, Louise asked disbelievingly, "You say I'd get a wish? As in, any wish? And in exchange I get magic? That seems too good to be true." She had been raised on a good many stories involving wishes granting more than what the wisher wanted.

    "Well, you summoned me from very, very far away. I helped make magical girls to fight witches. Normal girls get a wish, and in exchange become a magical girl to fight witches.

    Ah, that made a little more sense. "And a witch is?" Louise inquired further.

    "If magical girls a born from wishes, witches are born from curses. If magical girls spread hope, witches spread despair." The Kyuubey proceeded to step back as Louise straightened up. An ominous air surrounded her familiar's words. The serious way it spoke contrasted heavily to its usual cheer. Louise could only fearfully respect whatever could inspire such sobriety in the creature before her. "A magical girl's duty is to fight and defeat witches, protecting the world from them. Witches cannot be detected by normal humans, just like me, so they can prey on humans unhindered if not for magical girls."

    These witches seemed dangerous, yet Louise had never heard of any actual witches; only mages pretending to be something more sinister. If there was a threat as ominous as these witches and no one knew of them...

    "However, there are no witches around here, so you don't have to fight any."

    Louise released the breath she didn't know she was holding. "Familiar!" She flicked the Kyuubey's head in retaliation. "Don't scare me like that!" Jeese, working up a non-existent threat like that.

    "But even though there are no witches here, I can still make you a magical girl! Don't you have a wish you'd like fulfilled Louise?"

    Louise pondered a moment. There were several things she could think of. The respect and admiration of her peers. Making her a square mage in every element. Making that Zerbst ugly and flat. However, there was one problem with all of that.

    "Even if I make a wish, and get these great magical powers... It would just be handed to me." Louise said with resignation. "Without hard work and sacrifice, any reward is meaningless." Those were the words her mother had encouraged her with when Louise had worked so hard to get any result from her spell casting. Back when not even explosions accompanied her failures.

    Her familiar tilted its head to the side. "I don't get it. Most people would jump at the chance for a wish and power."

    Louise looked at her small friend and smiled softly. "I guess now that I finally proved I can do magic by summoning you, I want to succeed on my own merits." Louise rubbed her confused familiar's head. The thing relented to her petting, closing its eyes and pushing back against her hand.

    It was getting late, and Louise looked out toward the setting sun. Westward, toward her family's estate. Thoughts of her kindhearted elder sister filled her. If she had one wish, Louise knew what it would be. "I guess I have one wish I could make, but it isn't urgent right now and I'm sure she'd be okay with waiting just a little longer for me. It is selfish, but I'm going to wait for now."

    That certainly piqued her familiar's attention. "So you will make a wish and become a magical girl?" Jeese, this little Kyuubey had a one track mind.

    Smiling at the naiveté of her familiar, Louise continued to pet it, "Yes, yes. But only after I manage to graduate on my own merits, you'll have to wait until then."

    Her familiar took a moment to respond, before finally conceding. "Okay then. I guess I can't change your mind. Humans are can be so odd."

    "I guess we can." Louise conceded.

    ***************************************************

    The following day was closer to normal for Valliere than the last. She avoided talking to her peers, and they avoided associating with her. Her familiar had made itself scarce this morning, off to mingle with the other familiars no doubt. Without its presence and her peers' attitudes swinging back to normal, Louise almost forgot things had changed. Almost being the key word. A small amount of true confidence remained in her; renewing her vigor at trying to improve in her classes. She even volunteered for an exercise. She failed of course, but she had tried. Next time, the explosion would be less destructive, she promised herself. Now that she had proof of magic it was only a matter of hard work.

    It during the afternoon break that Louise found herself sitting out eating in the courtyard. The weather was nice and it felt good to be in the sun. As usual Louise made sure to sit apart from her peers. It was more habit now than the usual need to avoid notice. Looking back toward the main group of tables, Louise spied her classmates were all acting in their usual manner.

    Kirche could be seen out being fawned over by half a dozen men; Tabitha nearby reading. It was always funny to see those men turned down by Tabitha when they got the idea to reach Kirche through her best friend. Guiche de Gramont was off chasing skirts, no doubt two-timing. Some men were just dogs. Louise would feel sorry for Montmorency if the girl wasn't one of her more vocal tormentors. That girl might even love that dog Guiche.

    "Z- er... Louise."

    A voice from behind nearly caused Louise to have a heart attack. Turning, Louise came face to face with none other than Montmorency. The Curly-haired blonde stood there fidgeting, not quite making eye contact, though obviously trying. Louise said nothing, too surprised in truth. What could Montmorency possibly have to say to her? It was Montmorency who finally broke the awkward silence.

    "Er... I- I'm sorry."

    Of all the things Louise expected, an apology wasn't even close to one of them. "For what?" Louise asked honestly, she could think of no recent slight Montmorency had done her. At least, nothing that stood out beyond the usual.

    Those two words were enough to break the dam. Montmorency barely held back tears as she shakily ranted. "For everything! For teasing you. For looking down on you. For thinking at least I'm not like you. For calling you a zero. I... It was cruel of me. So very cruel."

    Oh, that.

    People were beginning to look toward the two of them, and Montmorency's discomfort was showing. The girl hadn't spoken loud enough to be overheard, but it was still an odd scene to see someone talking to Louise; and so flustered as well. "Would you sit?"

    Louise offered Montmorency an out, and the girl took it hungrily. "Thank you." She said, sitting so fast she must have hurt her rump. "I... I am really sorry."

    A part of Louise wanted to rub it in to Montmorency, but it was only that small part of evil that resides within all human hearts. It was easily squashed by Louise's desire for friendship. "I forgive you." Louise said honestly. Truly, she was rather touched at Montmorency's honest words.

    Montmorency, who had been on the verge of tears, was obviously stunned at the how quickly Louise forgave her. "That's it?"

    Reaching into her pocket, Louise retrieved her clean silk handkerchief and gave it to Montmorency. "That's it." Louise confirmed as the girl proceeded to wipe the tears from her eyes. "Really, I'm more interested on what brought this on." Louise gestured to her tablemate, and the sorry state of the girl.

    Finishing the delicate process of wiping eyes without mucking up her make-up, Montmorency spoke with a steadied voice, trying to keep it from shaking again. "Yesterday at the summoning ritual. I could see your familiar." Louise raised her eyebrows in disbelief. "I was summoned just before you, and I think some of my magic must have still been in the circle when you summoned, so whatever allowed you to see your familiar, allowed me as well." That made some sense, Louise supposed.

    "I didn't say anything when everyone laughed and called you crazy. I was afraid of being singled out." Ah, of being lumped in with the zero. "So I kept quiet, and waited for everything to be over. I was so scared. I was scared of being treated like I treated you, and I hated myself for it."

    Montmorency's voice began to shake again, and Louise placed a hand on Montmorency's to steady the girl. "Thank you." Louise spoke through tears of her own, unknowingly shed. Montmorency looked up, and gripped Louise's hand with hers. The two stood there in silence for a moment, no more words needed to be spoken.

    The sweet moment was broken a great ring of the school bell. Signaling the start of the second wave of classes. The ring broke the two from their prolonged silence and they quickly began awkwardly collecting their things. "I guess I'll see you in class." Louise spoke with an awkward laugh.

    Montmorency smiled back. "I'll save you a seat."

    It was a simple gesture, but it meant the world to Louise. The Valliere watched Montmorency turn to leave, only to drop her bag. "Guiche?" There was stilled surprise in her voice as Montmorency noticed her boyfriend in locked hand with a first year. Across the courtyard Guiche sat at a table holding hands with a first year and looking deeply into her eyes.

    Louise was sure that any other time the spitfire that was Montmorency would not abide such a betrayal and give that dog Guiche a tongue lashing he wouldn't soon forget. However, now was not any average time; Montmorency had just finished baring her emotions. Instead of confronting the man, the blonde girl ran off toward the dormitories without a word; trailing tears as she did.

    Fury and sympathy swelled within Louise in equal knew better than to chase Montmorency, the girl would not want visitors right now, such shame was not to be borne to any but the closest of friends. Though Louise could not seek to comfort the girl, she could certainly fill her role in disciplining a stray dog.

    Louise was before the blonde fop of a child before she even processed her decision. The resounding slap filled the courtyard, echoing over the bustling students. Flabbergasted, Guiche looked back at Louise. He daintily touched his cheek, unbelieving he had been struck.

    "Guiche de Gramont, I challenge you to a duel!"
     
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  4. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    Chapter 3: Golems: Not Always the Answer

    The stunned look upon the disbelieving face of the young Gramont slowly shifted into one of bafflement. "Miss Louise, what have I done to offend such a gentle maiden as you?" He rose and made to grab Louise's hand gently, so as to calm the girl.

    His honeyed words had no effect upon the 'gentle maiden.' With as much force as she could muster, Louise slapped his hand away. "You offend me with your existence, you two timing dog!"

    Guiche raised his eyebrows in surprise; he had never made a move on the Valliere. Was she simply mad at his actions with others? "Ah, I fear you are mistaken my dear." Guiche spoke sweetly, so as to calm one of the fairer sex. "I am no dog, I am a rose. A rose that blooms for the pleasure of all."

    The Valliere's eyes only narrowed, Guiche's charm seemingly ineffective. "Ha! A rose that blooms for all? Yet you make sure only one views your petals at a time, lest they see the weed you truly are!"

    However lenient Guiche was to the outbursts of the fairer sex, he could only bare so many insults without inquiry. Taking care to hide his deep, calming breath, Guiche tried yet again to calm his aggressor. "Surely there is a mistake Miss Louise, what have I done tha-"

    "Montmorency saw you dallying about with this girl of the week, you dolt!"

    Louise roughly gestured to the first year who was still frozen in her seat. The girl of the week seemed to put two and two together from Louise's words, and her stunned expression became stern. Guiche muttering "Montmorency..." under his breath only solidified her growing suspicions.

    "Is that what I am!" The chestnut haired girl asked, "Some dalliance to you Guiche?" The girl rose, her accusing eyes searched Guiche, and found only guilt as he failed to come up with a suitable lie. In a huff, the young first year turned and strode away.

    Guiche, apparently not willing to quit while he was behind, trotted after her and grabbed her hand. "Katie, it's not like that!" His uninjured cheek was quickly reddened to match its counterpart when the girl displayed just what she thought of Guiche. Slapped, for the second time in as many minutes, Guiche let the girl leave. Rounding on Louise, Guiche let a small bit of his anger out. "Why would you even do this? How are you involved at all Zero?"

    Louise was taken aback at the mention of her hurtful nickname. Yet, it would not stop her. She had a reason she was doing this, puffing out her chest in pride, Louise declared, "Montmorency is my friend!" That stopped Guiche, anyone who had class with the two, knew they were anything but friends. "And since she is currently unable to defend her honor, I will. Now, duel me Guiche!"

    Louise may have insulted him, struck him, and thoroughly embarrassed him, but Guiche was not about to be drawn into a duel with a maiden. "Listen, Louise. Even if there were not laws against nobles dueling, let alone students, I would not duel you. I would never strike a maiden such as you."

    Guiche, having made his refined exit speech, turned to leave for class, only to stop when Louise drew her wand and pointed at him. "Guiche de Gramont, I am not giving you a choice in this matter."

    Guiche's eyes narrowed for a moment. He could think of no way out of this situation. Louise was dead set on ignoring every opportunity he gave her to leave. "Very well Miss Valliere, but remember this was a result of your own stubbornness."

    The crowd of students that had slowly appeared took several steps back, feeling the tension in the air. Servants desperately tied to carry off the tables so as to protect the expensive furniture. In moments, the world quieted as the ring of students closed, leaving only the Gramont and Valliere within. A rose, enchant by Guiche himself appeared in his hand. He quickly raised it before him in salute. "I am Guiche de Gramont, and I am present to defend my honor against slanderous accusations."

    Louise returned the salute with her own wand. "I am Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere, and I am present to defend the honor of Montmorency Margarita la Fère de Montmorency."

    With the salute, the duel had begun, yet neither opponent moved. Guiche eyed his surrounding suspiciously. "How do I know that familiar of yours isn't about?"

    Louise smirked, and returned the slight with one of her own. "You needn't fear cheating from me Guiche, you are the only one with experience in that."

    Guiche stiffed his annoyance with a strained smile and instead spoke one final warning. "I'll give you one last chance Valliere. My father is a general, he would not let his son be unfit to fight."

    Louise would have none of it. Responding to his taunt with an incantation, Louise grabbed for the power within her. The ring of students took several steps back, clearly remembering Louise's past attempts at magic. Even Guiche looked slightly panicked when Louise cried out, "Fireball!" A powerful explosion dug a crater big enough to make a grave out of appeared nearly two hundred paces from the ring of students, far beyond Guiche.

    The Gramont let out a sigh, realizing the danger had passed. Dangerous as her failures were, Louise still casted failures. Failures in result and aim. Flicking his rose wand, Guiche scattered several petals, raising four unarmed golems, each a bronze statue of a valkyrie.

    Louise herself grimaced. If Guiche had summoned his golems without their usual spears, he no doubt intended for them to grapple her and end the fight. She couldn't be caught by them. Being pinned by constructs and forced to surrender would be the most humiliating way to lose. Maybe another fireball? No, her aim was atrocious, what if she hit a bystander instead?

    A golem rushed forward, breaking Louise from her thoughts. Keeping her footing solid, Louise desperately tried to remember what her mother had taught her. Surprising even herself, Louise managed to dance away from both the first and second attempt to grapple her, darting around and behind the golem. Too late Louise realized she was now between four golems. She had to move, now! Louise jumped to the side, or at least tried. The grounds gave out beneath her and she slipped to grass. The mud that greeted her reminded Louise what Guiche was exactly: an earth mage.

    Louise cursed transmutation magic with all her soul as she rolled over, attempting to get up before the golems reached her, only to see four shapes almost upon her. Damn transmutation!

    Guiche watched as his trap worked perfectly. He had been surprised at how spry the small Valliere had been, but a transmutation left her toppled, easy prey for his magnificent golems. Now to hold her down and graciously accept her apology. Guiche expected to even swoon her fiery heart with his graciousness.

    However, Guiche did not expect one of his golems to explode, sending the other three sprawling in shattered lumps. Muddied, singed and on her back, Louise had raised her wand in defense. Had she managed to correct her aim in one attempt? Slowly, Louise rose to her feet. "Thanks for the idea Guiche. Transmutation really is useful." Had the girl attempted to transmute his golems? Suddenly, Guiche remembered what happened every time Louise transmuted something: that something exploded.

    When the girl started moving toward him, Guiche could only guess how she intended to correct her aim. Frantically, Guiche summoned more golems, sending them toward her, hoping to stop her. Louise kept a slow, steady stride, so as to not trip in any transmuted ground. Each golem met her, and each golem shattered in explosive failure. Smoke billowed across the ring, which was increasingly resembling a battlefield with bronze limbs being scattered with each destroyed golem.

    It was moments before Louise was upon him, summoning the last of his willpower, Guiche created five golems at once, each in mid pounce upon the Valliere. The resounding explosions clouded the entire ring in smoke, Guiche could not even see beyond his nose. Fearfully, he stared through the black soot, hoping to find an exhausted opponent, only to find it clearing around the point of a wand, centimeters from his face. His legs gave out in fear of just what that wand was capable of. Was this the end?

    "Guiche de Gramont, admit defeat."

    The sound was accompanied by an unrecognizable Louise Valliere as the smoke finished dissipating. Her clothing was ragged. She was covered in mud, soot, and flecks of bronze. Her pink hair was frazzled beyond what any single comb could fix.

    And her eyes held no room for anything but surrender.

    "I- I forfeit." Guiche stuttered out from where he sat.

    The resounding cheers from the students collected alerted the entire academy that something momentous had just happened. Louise returned her wand to her pocket and ignored the crowd. Looking down on Guiche like one looks at refuse. "Think long and hard about your actions Guiche. You may lie to everyone, but at least be truthful with yourself."

    With that, Louise turned and walked way, stopping only when Guiche cried out, "That's it?"

    "That's it." She replied simply, sparing him nothing more.

    *************************************************

    Louise was probably the most dirty she had been in her entire life, yet she was also the proudest. If her mother could see her now... That proper military woman would surely take pride in such a fight, then probably tell her to take a bath, or three. With that thought, Louise found herself retrieving some spare clothing from her room. Classes could be skipped, she needed that bath.

    With a twist of her key, Louise closed the lock on her door and strode down the hallway. However, before she could get that bath, Louise had one stop to make. With a soft rap on the door, Louise called out, "Montmorency, you in there?" Louise was a little surprise that the door moved at her knock, unlatched apparently. The door swung inward revealing a mussed up, but no longer crying Montmorency, sitting on the bed with her frog, and Louise's Kyuubey much to her surprise.

    Montmotency jumped at the intrusion, causing Louise to jump as well. "S-sorry,. It was unlatched..." Louise quickly began closing the door.

    "N-no. It's okay." Montmorency called out to her. "Your familiar was just comforting me." Louise doubted the naive Kyuubey was capable of comforting intentionally, but it was cute enough and a bit better to pet than a frog. Stepping inside, Louise closed the door behind her. "What happened to you?" Montmorency asked. Ah, Louise definitely looked to be the worse of the two.

    "Er... I messed up in class again." Louise fibbed a little. "I was on my way to the baths, and I figured you would like to come along."

    Montmorency brightened up at that. "That sounds like a good idea." The girl quickly made to collect some spare clothing. She avoided eye contact, obviously embarrassed of her make up streaming down her face. Hurrying over, Montmorency held out a small rag, stained completely with all kinds of multicolored liquid. "Here, this is yours."

    Louise nearly giggled, realizing it was her handkerchief. "You keep it Mon." Opening the door, Louise stepped out, "Now let's go get that bath."

    ******************************************************

    Maybe truancy was not such a bad thing. Louise thought to herself as she relaxed in the girls' bath. The entire area was empty save for Louise, Montmorency, and their familiars. So far they had chatted about little things, gossiped about Kirche's lasted conquest, and talked about how much of a dick Guiche was. The last one had left Montmorency drained, and she was half dozing as her frog swam around her.

    Louise had turned her attention to her familiar, who was currently drying at the edge of the bath. "Where have you been all day." She sighed. "A familiar should stay close to their masters." With a flick to its forehead, Louise halfheartedly scolded her familiar.

    The little Kyuubey shook its head, annoyed at her flick. "I was investigating this land." It explained.

    Well, that made a little sense, it was apparently from very far away. Louise would let it slide for now. Besides, there were more pressing matters. The familiar talent show was coming up, and despite the magnificence of her familiar, its invisibility didn't lend itself to anything flashy. Having it pick anything up would reveal exactly how big it was to everyone, and lose some of its mystique. Besides, even flaunting its invisibility wouldn't win out over Tabitha's wind dragon. Maybe she would just not participate, it was technically required, but no one enforced the competition.

    Ah, no use thinking about it. Louise sunk a little into the bath. If deciding whether or not to show off her familiar was her biggest problem, then things were really looking up.

    *****Elsewhere******

    Miss Longueville, the headmasters secretary, inspected the abandoned impromptu dueling grounds. By all accounts, the Valliere had destroyed the Gramont's golems by attempting to transmute them. The cogs in the secretary's head began turning. Every teacher complained about this girl.. Everything her magic touched exploded. Even triangle class enchanted clay that Madam Chevreuse created for her classes exploded. Now, could such magic destroy even square level enchantments? That idea brought a smile to Miss Longueville's face. Sometimes golems are not the best choice.
     
    Mook91, J1459, Morgomir and 4 others like this.
  5. Inverness

    Inverness Masochistic Murder-Angel

    Well, you've caught my interest with this.

    There is enough bad end stuff around without adding more to it due to Kyubey's machinations, so I look forward to seeing how you handle it here.
     
  6. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    Chapter 4: Failures

    "Now get along with your classmates. Find some friends, some good friends. Even if it is just one; a close friend is better than a mountain of false ones." Louise's older sister Cattleya spoke those words to her as Louise was ushered off the school. Sometimes, Cattleya acted more like a mother than her older sister. However, worrying older sisters aside, Louise never knew how true her words were until now. The last couple days had been the happiest she'd had in a very long time. Montmorency and she had eaten meals together, chatted about silly things, and sat next to each other during class. Louise had never imagined such simple things would bring such joy.

    After classes Montmorency had even taken to trying to help her learn water magic. The girl had insisted her familiar's invisibility must be water based, as there was apparently a square level water spell that refracted light around the user. If there was, Louise hadn't heard of it, but she wasn't about to turn away her friends help. While the two had been unable to get anything but an explosion from Louise, they had managed to get a smaller explosion, only digging a fist sized crater where into the ground where a glass of water used to be rather than a head sized crater. It was progress.

    In return, Louise had taken to helping Montmorency with her bookwork. Louise made sure to excel in all forms of non practical magic, she had to, lest she flunk out based on her practical failures. It was in their second second day as friends that they found themselves in Louise's room, finishing up studying for Professor Colbert's exam on the use of fire magic in smithing. The man certainly liked to push the more constructive aspects of the war element.

    The two shared Louise's small table exchanging notes and helping each other with various topics. Montmorency's frog was left to atop the dresser. The small amphibian stared impassively at Louise's Kyuubey who was idly swishing its tail back and forth from the bed.

    They were just about done when Montmorency spoke in a serious tone, drawing a curious glance from Louise. "I heard about what you did." Louise tilted her head to the side, what could she be talking about. "About the duel with Guiche."

    Oh. Louise was surprised she had forgotten about it. The thrill of a new friend had overridden pretty much everything else. "Yeah... Sorry about that." Louise embarrassingly apologized. It might not have been the wisest choice to beat up her friends crush.

    "Don't be." Montmorency giggled at her friend's sheepishness. "That dog needed a good whooping, he's fine now anyways. The only thing you really hurt was his pride." Montmorency spared a smirk at Guiche's expense. "I may even not break up with him, seeing as he hasn't been chasing skirts lately."

    That surprised Louise, raising her eyebrows she jested, "You don't suppose I broke him?" The two friends laughed in unison.

    Their laughter subsided and the two closed their books, finishing their studies for the night. It was getting late anyways, and Louise needed a good sleep before the test. "Hey Louise." Montmorency spoke up once again. finishing stowing her books in her bag. "Can your familiar really grant wishes?"

    Realizing its powers were in question, the little familiar hopped upright and jumped over to the table. "I can! Did you think of one Montmorency?"

    Louise suppressed a sigh, that Kyuubey had a one track mind when it comes wishing, she doubted it would relent without a sufficient rebuff. "It definitely thinks it can, and the rest of its abilities are exotic." The beings tail swished back and forth, still waiting for Montmorency's answer.

    Montmorency twirled one of her blonde curls, as she often did while thinking. "I'm still surprised it can talk... er, well communicate as it does. It really startled me when it found me in such a mess."

    Louise raised an eyebrow, putting two and two together. "You little scamp." She pointed accusingly at her familiar. "You were off trying to get a maiden to agree to your wishing contract while she was recovering from an ordeal." She reached over and flicked the Kyuubey's forehead, causing it to shake of it's annoyed head. "For shame, and all to prove your wish granting skills."

    The Kyuubey tilted its head and closed its eyes, "But I can grant your wish."

    Montmorency held up a placating hand, calming the irate Louise. "I'm sure he was just trying to comfort me." Louise relented, the little Kyuubey really didn't know any better. "To answer your question little Kyuubey, I have no wish right now, I still need to think of one." The two girls shared a glance, better not call the little thing on its boasts of wish granting skills. The poor thing didn't need any more punishment.

    Kyuubey jumped back over to the bed and flopped over, realizing it wasn't going to get to grant a wish tonight. "You humans can be so odd."

    Montmorency giggled as she collected her things, grabbing her frog from the dresser, she made for Louise's door. "I'll see you tomorrow Louise, for breakfast?" Louise smiled and nodded to her friend, and the girl left, her frog ribbiting from her bag was the last they heard before the door closed.

    Louise finished her nightly ritual, preparing her things for the following day, dressing down into her pajamas, and giving her familiar a quick pet. It wasn't long before Louise moved to extinguish her light. With a smile, Louise climbed into bed, and drifted off to sleep.

    Or she would have, if not for three solid raps on her door. Who could it be this late at night? She had just been about to fall asleep! Taking care not to wake her familiar, Louise quietly pulled on a pair of panties and grabbed her robe. Lighting a candle, Louise carried the light over to the door and opened it, revealing Miss Longueville, the headmaster's secretary. "My apologies for the lateness Miss Valliere," she began, "but the headmaster was quite insistent you be brought to his office. He's not too happy about the duel."

    Louise froze, she had thought she'd gotten off without punishment since she had barely harmed Guiche physically; but apparently the headmaster just took a few days to hear of it. Panic subsided into resignation, and Louise weakly smiled, "I'll just get dressed. One moment."

    Miss Longueville grabbed the door lightly, stopping Louise from closing it. "That's..." She paused, looking slightly anxious. "We should hurry. The Headmaster is in a foul mood and he best not be kept waiting."

    Louise took a moment to process the statement, then nodded. Dueling was grounds for expulsion, even bloodless duels were technically subject to that rule, and this late at night the headmaster was likely to be grumpy. It would be best to not keep him waiting. "Okay." Louise meekly agreed, and followed the secretary out of her room.

    The two wound their way through the corridors of the school. It took a moment for Louise to realize they were not heading toward the headmasters office. Worried about the implications, Louise spoke up, "Miss Longueville, where are we going?"

    The secretary looked over her shoulder at Louise and offered a comforting smile. "This is a less traveled way to the headmaster's office, it avoids any place students like to retreat to during the night. I thought you wouldn't want to be seen by a boy out passed his curfew."

    Sighing with relief, Louise relaxed as they turned down another corridor. Miss Longueville was a rather kind lady. They were passing down yet another lonely corridor when Louise heard something squeak.
    It was so faint that Louise believed she had misheard. Louise almost collided with the secretary leading her when Miss Longueville stopped abruptly in front of a pair of double doors. "Why are we stopping?" Louise inquired.

    Miss Longueville offered another comforting smile and said, "I think I heard something." The squeak came again, this time Louise was sure she heard it. The noise was coming from beyond the double doors. Drawing her wand, the secretary pulled open the door. Peering inside, Louise dropped her candle at the sight that greeted her.

    Bound in rope and gagged, Montmorency squeaked through her cloth filled mouth at Louise, fear in her eyes as she recognized her friend. "Oh that's right!" A mocking voice came from behind Louise. "I left a hostage in this room." The secretary's voice sent chills up Louise's spine. On instinct, Louise's hand darted for her wand, only to find her pocket empty. Whirling on the secretary, Louise found her own wand in the fiend's off hand. "Ah, I should mention I'm a master thief, so pickpocketing really is child's play."

    Louise's next instinct was to scream, only for her mouth to be blocked by a earthen hand. The floor erupted with animated stone hands. Grasping the struggling Louise firmly. Even screaming with all her might, only a small squeak escaped. Her squeak joined Montmorency's own as they tried to summon help. Dammit, where was an invisible familiar when you needed one!? "Oh do stop that children. I've already placed an enchantment to soundproof this room." The secretary drawled out, annoyed at their struggles.

    The older woman just closed the doors to the room and leaned against them, waiting for her two captives to tire out. It took a couple minutes, but the two bound girls eventually were reduced to panting though their noses, tired from constantly trying to call for help. "Now that I have your attention." Longueville began, meeting Louise's eyes. To the girl's credit, Longueville would have been dead several times over if looks could kill. "I'll introduce myself. Fouquet of the Crumbling Earth, at your service." The thief bowed theatrically, enjoying the moment.

    Louise was shocked, she had heard of Fouquet, the great thief who plagued many a noble, but for such a figure to be here, at her own academy, the headmaster's secretary no less! Sensing recognition in Louise's eyes, Fouquet continued. "Ah, my reputation precedes me. Then I supposed I can skip the speeches." Gesturing with her wand, Fouquet caused the stone floor to grow up and around Montmorency. The flowing stone grasped her head and forced it to the ground, then began rising above her. The stone formed into a small tower, its shape caused Louise to freeze with fear. A transmuted stone guillotine held her friend's struggling neck in its grasp.

    Louise whipped her eyes back to Fouquet, struggling anew against her bindings. "Mph Mmph!" She screamed in fury.

    With a sigh, Fouquet waved off the pointless efforts of her captive. "Relax, I'm not about to kill her as long as you do a little something for me." Louise paused, willing to do anything to save her friend. Fouquet smiled at Louise's relent. This plan might work after all. "I'll put it simply," she began, "I need something from the school vault. You are going to help me get it. Try anything funny, and I forget to keep levitating that nice stone blade. Simple right?" Louise searched the thief for any falsehood, but found none. Relenting, Louise nodded as best she could, eliciting another smile from their captor. "Now I'm going to let you go now. I have to concentrate to keep your friend there alive, so don't do anything surprising, or I might slip up. you understand."

    Nodding once again, Louise felt the stone hands grasping her release and fade back into the floor. Soon, she stood on her own power. "Just what do you want me to do." She asked meekly, fear for her friend evident in her voice.

    Fouquet smiled a wicked grin. "See that wall?" She gestured to the wall opposite Montmorency. "Beyond that is the vault. I hear you can do some odd things with transmutations. I want you to open the way."

    Louise stood stock still. The walls to the school vault were enchanted with square level protection charms. For her failures to bypass them; was this thief mad? "I can't possibly-"

    "You better hope you can little girl." The thief interrupted, her intent clear. Fouquet held out Louise's wand, only to hold it back momentarily when Louise made to grab it. "No funny business, okay?" Louise quickly nodded, not trusting her voice, and grabbed her wand.

    A squeak from behind her drew Louise's gaze to her endangered friend. Montmorency's eyes were wide with fear. Trying to summon enough courage for the two of them, Louise forced a smile, "Don't worry, I can do this."

    With her friend and her enemy at her back, Louise strode up to the wall adjoining the school vault. If there was ever a time Louise wished for destruction it was now. She focused everything she had on the wall in front of her. Transmute all of it. Destroy everything before her. "Rin EX Cal." she chanted. With one final incantation, Louise poured everything she had, everything she could ever have, into the spell before her.

    "Please work!"

    The resounding crash that exploded out before her was unlike anything Louise had summoned before. The wall before her ceased to be. The wall beyond that, ceased to be. The mountains themselves would have woken to the tremendous sound of the explosion. Dumbstruck, Louise could only stare though the rapidly clearing smoke. What looked like what was used to be the vault was before her, only now it was a vault with no walls. The inner walls were destroyed, and a large hole had been ripped in the thick outer wall, revealing the night sky.

    Fouquet plucked Louise's wand from her hand. "That is amazing." The thief admitted. "And they call you a failure? Ever consider a career in safe-cracking?" Louise snapped back to her senses, reeling toward Montmorency, only to be stopped as those damn transmuted hands rose up to grasp her. "Ah, can't have you causing any more of a ruckus." The thief stepped into the vault, looking around for whatever she came for.

    Louise forced her head toward the thief, struggling against her animated bindings. "Mmph! Mmph!" She cried out, trying to remind the thief of her word.

    Fouquet looked back at her captives and sighed. "Ah, well I know I promised you one thing. But you know... Witnesses." Louise felt a pit of fear well up in her stomach as the thief nonchalantly shrugged. "Sorry, but you two have to die." Shaking her head, the thief raised her wand. Was this it? Louise had just begun to live!

    A small noise drew the thief's attention downward as her foot brushed up against some more ruble. "Ah!" She exclaimed, bending down and drawing out a battered box from below the broken pieces of wall. "Still in one piece, how lucky!" Fouquet hugged the chest sized box happily. With a sigh, the thief realized it was time to finish up. Turning back to her captives, Fouquet prepared to finish the job, only to pause when she found them looking far happier then they should be. "Ah, don't think I'll be sharing the spoils with you girls."

    "Air bullet."

    A soft voice alerted Fouquet to a new party. On instinct, the thief threw herself to the side. A ball of magically compressed air soared beyond her and impacted the now useless treasury doors. As she rolled, Fouquet saw a second ball of air crash into the guillotine threatening her hostages life, shattering the stone construct. Whirling to her feet, the thief found a hovering dragon outside the newly created vault 'window'. This girl was a student, Tabitha if Fouquet remembered correctly. "It's been less than a minute! How are you already here!" The thief complained, pointing her own wand in return to Tabitha's staff.

    "Calm night, good for flying practice." Tabitha replied sternly, looking for an opening.

    The standoff was tense, each ready to counterspell the other. Though they both new time was on Tabitha's side, she had to only wait for help to arrive. In a gamble, Fouqet dived toward Louise, sending a wall of ruble to intercept Tabitha's casted wind. Louise felt her bindings falter as Fouquet's willpower was divided. Never so thankful for her small frame. With all her might she wriggled from the grasp of the earthen hands and whirled on the oncoming thief.

    With no wand, Louise could only lash out a the thief. With one hand grasping her wand, and the other cradling her prize, Fouquet was at a disadvantage when Louise grasped grasped her wand hand, ripping the magical foci from her. "You little brat!" Fouquet hissed lashing out and slapping Louise across the cheek, sending the girl whirling. Dropping her prize, Fouquet grabbed the Louise's arm and hauled her toward her as a body shield.

    None to soon, as Tabitha was already off her dragon and closing the distance between them. Withdrawing Louise's wand from her pocket, Fouquet pointed it at her shield's temple. Tabitha's staff froze inches from Fouquets face. Both mages read each other sternly, incantations on their lips. "Want to see what bullet is faster? Your air or my stone?" The hovering pebble inches from Louise's temple trembled with unreleased magic.

    The tension could have been cut with a knife. Moments passed like hours as Tabitha studied the thief, until finally, the small girl lowered her staff and took a step back. Smiling, Fouquet muttered an incantation. Stone hands wrapped themselves around Louise and the box on the ground. "Now I'm going to leave here with my hostage, and you are going to stay here with that lovely lady there." Fouquet gestured to the still bound Montmorency. "Are we clear?"

    "Clear." Tabitha replied.

    Louise found herself moving as the hand spouted numerous legs and began plodding toward the window. A sharp glance from Fouquet was all that was needed for Tabitha to signal her dragon to retreat. "I salute you, young student. Tonight you almost caught Fouquet of the Crumbling Earth." With that, Fouquet jumped out the window, towing her prize and Louise with her.

    Tabitha rushed to the window, fearing the worst. However, a rapidly forming giant stone golem greeted her. Its right hand grasping a struggling Louise, and its shoulder supporting a triumphant looking thief. "The girl dies if I catch you following!" Fouquet called out, willing her golem to turn and retreat toward the countryside. The last thing Tabitha heard from the thief was triumphant laughter.

    Aboard the golem, Louise watched as her home away from home disappeared into the night. Captive, wandless, and in her pajamas, she held back fearful tears.
     
    readerboy7, Mook91, J1459 and 6 others like this.
  7. Giygas

    Giygas Cocoreccho!

    incoming bad ending?
    or will the academy staff menage to save Louise,before the inevitable "i wish i'm not an hostage/i wish for fouquet to not exist"?
     
  8. mdkcde

    mdkcde [ ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) INTENSIFIES]

    The Thick Plottens.

    And this is the FIRST time that I hear about the Foquet incident developing this way.

    AWESOME.
     
  9. biigoh

    biigoh Fluffy Paws indeed

    This... this is an interesting change from the usual Foquet incident start... well played.
     
  10. Of course, now Fouquet has already left witnesses behind so that rationale for killing Louise is done and moot unless she plans on circling around really quickly for a surprise attack on Monmon and Tabitha
     
  11. Angurvddel

    Angurvddel I am large. I contain multitudes.

    All have to say is that:

    Kyuubey + Tabitha + Wish = TERRIBAD!
     
  12. Grace

    Grace Unapologetic in practice, too!

    Well, it's not Velle Anima, but that's all right. You're creating a pretty cool thing here, anyway.

    The story is already different from most ZnT rehashes, and you rather nicely moved us quickly through a bunch of the same-ol', same-ol' first-few-days scenes that rarely change between fics, rather than trying to go over them again in detail.

    I'm quite liking the approach you're taking, and a proud, confident Louise is doing wonders for the story. Keep it up, I'm looking forward to more.
     
  13. Leon89

    Leon89 Okay.

    I am enjoying this story and quite happy to see this out of the familiars thread. Mostly for the fact that Louise is using her explosions effectively. I know she had it in her.

    As for what she summoned. Well lets just say we shall have some extra magical girls.

    "I wish I had the strength to save my friend, Louise Françoise le Blanc de la Vallière."
     
  14. mdkcde

    mdkcde [ ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) INTENSIFIES]

    MonMon! Y-you.... would do it wouldn't you? Even if you knew the consequences...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    Wat?

    This made me lol mdkcde. :D

    Anyways, thanks for all the reviews guys. Chapter five should be out within the next few days.
     
  16. mdkcde

    mdkcde [ ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) INTENSIFIES]

    I'm preemptively shedding manly tears.

    Because of two (of the many) possible ways this can unfold.

    1- MonMon wishes for the strength to saver her friend.
    2- Kyuubei finds Louise. Prompting a Devil speech.
    "Hello there, no need to answer because I see you are bound and gagged, master.*removes gag* I know you want me to release you but your kidnapper is still somewhere close, even If we escape I doubt you could outrun her or the traps she set in here and the surrounding area".
    "Make a contract with me, make your wish now and hurry. Witches are very powerful beings capable of magic beyond the scope of this world and Magical Girls are able to slay them. Make a contract with me and become an unstoppable Magical Girl!"

    3-Parody outcome, the same as before with this at the end.
    "If you where so good to find me why didn't you bring the others with you?, even just Tabitha and her dragon would even the odds!. No, I am not wasting my wish just so I can leave!"

    (kyuubi's mind): FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Lifelink

    Lifelink Mew is dapper, your argument is invalid

    ^......... what?

    I feel that this is a nice change up from rehash events and can't wait for the future events.
     
  18. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    God mdkcde, you are hilarious. Just for that, I went to work on the chapter. 2000 words done already.
     
  19. mdkcde

    mdkcde [ ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) INTENSIFIES]

    Thank You, I aim to please. :D
    Yes, the subliminal incentives are working!. Soon everyone will make fanfics in an orderly and timely fashion, No more slow days! mwahahaha!
     
    readerboy7 likes this.
  20. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    Well, here is chapter five, just shy of 6000 words. That's nearly triple the previous chapters which were around 2000. So I hope you all enjoy this.:D

    Chapter 5: It Began in the Forest

    Knees held tightly to her chest, Louise sat curled up in the back of the covered wagon. Every bump in the road jostled her body up and down, her bound wrists and ankles burned as the rope dug into her skin. It was humiliating. Gagged and trussed up like a pig, she sat motionless. She had given up trying to free herself from her bonds several hours ago; the thief's knots were too good for Louise to wriggle free.

    The thief herself sat at the front of the wagon, intermittently checking on the captive behind her. The woman had dropped into a very serious mood as soon as the escape began in earnest, only giving small, terse orders to her captive.

    They had been traveling non stop since last night and far into the morning. After escaping into the forest, Fouquet had dissolved her golem before binding her captive and hauling her to a hidden wagon, from there, they had taken a trail through the forest to an old, lonely road, and plodded along. With each passing hour, the thief had become more relaxed, and Louise had become more depressed. If she wasn't found by now, it was doubtful rescue would be coming any time soon.

    Looking out the covered wagon's open back, trees became countryside and became trees again. Louise had no idea how far they were from the school, the golem had moved incredibly fast, and the wagon kept a brisk pace.

    Louise tilted over when the wagon stopped abruptly. Looking up, she saw Fouquet hop off the front of the wagon and unbind the horse, leading it over to a hitch with some hay next to a stone cottage of sorts. Louise's breath caught. Were they a safe distance away from the academy? Would she now be killed? Bound as she was, Louise suppressed her fear and steeled herself when the thief approached the back of the wagon, a thin dagger drawn. If Louise was to die, she would die like a Valliere. She glared at her captor, meeting the gaze of the fiend. Yet, when the knife was drawn up, she could only close her eyes in fear. She wasn't supposed to die now, not so soon after her life started improving!

    A slackness on her legs caused Louise to weekly open her eyes, and find the thief cutting through her bindings. The thief returned the dagger to it's sheath once Louise's ankle's were free, leaving her wrists bound. "I'm going to remove your gag. You start screaming, and it goes back on and you get no food." Louise nodded suspiciously, why would this thief even seek to feed her? Wasn't she going to kill her not even a day ago?

    When Fouquet finished untying the gag, Louise opened her sore mouth and stretched her jaw, clearing up some minor numbness. "Come then." The thief picked the small girl up out of the wagon and set her upon the ground. "Into the cottage." The order was clear, and Louise had no way of denying it, so she plodded along to the cottage, not saying a word.

    The inside of the cottage was humble. One room with a bed, a small kitchen, and a tiny table with two simple wooden chairs. A firm hand on her shoulder pushed Louise forward, and sat her down at the table. Louise sat, cautiously trying to read her captor as the thief retrieved some bread and jerky from a sack, setting a small portion before Louise. "Eat up." Louise's stomach left no room for argument and she greedily tore into the humble meal. It was almost noon and she had eaten neither breakfast nor lunch, not something the young noble was used to.

    Finishing up the last of her crumbs, Louise looked up to find the thief amused. Realizing she had been eating entirely improperly, Louise fumed with indigence, yet suppressed any outburst, she didn't need to give this thief any reason to harm her. "Bed." The thief said simple, gesturing old bed in the corner.

    Louise looked up and once again tried to read the odd woman, what was she up to? Apparently she took to long, as the thief sighed before grabbing Louise's wrists and leading her to the bed. "You sleep here, don't get clever." The thief said as she bound the rope between Louise's wrists to the bedpost.

    Not sparing her captive a second glance, Fouquet left the house for reasons unknown. Louise jerked her hands against her bindings, and found them as secure as ever. There would be no lucky escape right now. Minutes passed and Louise fought the growing urge to sleep. She hadn't slept all night, unable to in the jostling wagon, and the allure of slumber was growing. Soon enough, Louise drifted off in spite of her efforts not to.

    *********************************************************

    Louise woke to the smell of porridge. Before thinking to do otherwise, she sat up, only to be jostled back down when her wrists didn't follow her. Hearing the noise, Fouquet left the small stove and strode over to her captive, knife withdrawn. Louise sleepily noticed the blade again, but before she could scare, the thief cut the bindings from Louise's wrists. "Breakfast is almost ready, go ahead and sit at the table." The thief's voice had lost the serious edge from the night before. Somehow, that made Louise far more nervous.

    She isn't concerned with pursuit. Louise realized.

    Louise rubbed her wrists, feeling seeping back into them. Now, fully unbound, Louise toyed with the idea of making a break for it, but with no wand, there was no way she'd manage to get further than a few meters. Deciding to wait for her moment, Louise sat at the table continued to stare at her captor. The woman returned to the stove-pot and scooped some simple looking porridge into two bowls. Fouquet placed one bowl in front of Louise, and sat across from her with her own.

    Fouquet began eating steadily, idly watching Louise who only eyed the porridge. Questions within Louise squelched any appetite. Less than a minute passed before Louise finally broke her silence. "Why are you doing this!?" She exclaimed. "Aren't you going to kill me!?"

    The loud shout was only followed by silence as Fouquet placed her spoon back in her bowl and crossed her hands in front of her, studying Louise in a way that made the girl uncomfortable. "I'm currently debating what to do with you." Louise drew back at the steel in the thief's voice. Remembering the rule about shouting, Louise gulped. "If you are asking if I'll kill you because of last night? No. Then, I was going to remove you as a witness, but since I left two perfectly viable witnesses behind, I am not about to add the murder of a Valliere to my list of misdeeds for no benefit." Louise sighed with relief, so she'd just be let go. "But I encountered a problem. The staff of destruction I liberated might be broken." Fouquet pinched the bridge of her nose, obviously annoyed with the development. "It's either broken or I can't figure out how to operate it; and that means selling it will be quite difficult. Any of my usual clients will demand at least half off, if not more." Louise carefully repressed a smile. Serves the rotten thief right!

    Fouquet continued, if she noticed Louie's repressed smile, she didn't show it, "However, the staff was not the only thing I made off with last night." Louise's breath hitched, making the connection. "That's right, I think the daughter of the Valliere's could be quite valuable to them. Your family is in another league compared even to other nobles."

    Louise mouth gaped. This thief planned to ransom her!? How dare she even think of something so low! "How dare you!" Louise hissed. "Is thievery not low enough for you, now you stoop to kidnapping?"

    A cold glare met Louise's own. "I suppose I should act more like a noble and only steal from those I enslave?" Louise gaped. "Isn't that what you do with commoners?"

    "That's not slavery." Louise began as the thief merely rolled her eyes. "Brimir gave nobles magic to rule and guide commoners by example."

    Fouquet raised an eyebrow. "You are either far too naive or far too sanctimonious. Not that it matters, your opinion wont change the fact that I plan to ransom you."

    Taking a deep breath, Louise played her trump card. "My family is not to be trifled with thief." Every ounce of that statement was true. "My mother is Karin of the Heavy Wind. She would not rest until you were dead." Louise left out the fact that she was a failure to her family. Would they even pay for her, look for her? Louise shook the depressing thoughts from her head, that was the old, failure Louise talking. If nothing else, Cattleya would come for her, or at least try, even in spite of the sickness that plagued Cattleya's body.

    Fouquet's eyebrows rose at Louise's proclamation. "Oh? Karin of the Heavy Wind? Even I have heard of her. That is quite scary, or it would be if I believed you." Louise gaped, she wasn't lying, her mother really was Karin! "Really, if you are going to make wild claims, try not to name heroes long disappeared, a lie that fanciful is easy to spot." Louise made to protest, only to be silenced by another glare. "As I said, I'm deciding what to do with you. We are about a day's gallop from the school, in the middle of nowhere. Even if the army was gathered to search for you, it would take weeks before anyone found this cottage in the middle of the forest. I could lock you up in a cage and feed you nothing but bread and water, but that would inspire ill will with your family. I am giving you the option of living in this cabin, I'll lock you in of course, but that would be a far superior living arrangement than an impromptu dungeon."

    Louise began to understand what this thief was getting at. In war, nobles were often taken captive during battles rather than killed, many nobles even had their cloaks and armor brazened by heralds to encourage being taken alive. Captives were given acceptable living conditions while ransom and transfer were arranged. As long as conditions were kept acceptable, the ransomed house did not peruse vengeance. But that was a tradition to keep war dignified between nobles! This thief planned to act far above her station; and this wasn't the result of honorable combat, this was kidnapping! The audacity of such a plan caused Louise to fume. She opened her mouth to protest, only to be interrupted by a raised hand. "Ah! I suggest you think hard about how you want to spend your next few weeks." Fouquet smiled, knowing she had the upper hand.

    Louise's just words faltered on her lips. If she wanted to have any hope of escape, she needed to be in healthy condition. "I'll be good." She spoke softly, hating her shameful words.

    Fouquet cupped a hand to her ear, "Ah, what was that?" The thief clearly enjoyed having the upper hand on a noble.

    Louise scrunched up her face, shamed and embarrassed. "I won't try to escape. Please let me use the cottage." Louise promised herself it was a lie.

    Fouquet smiled in her victory, and stood up. "Good, there is enough food in the cupboard for a week if you ration it properly." With a wave of her wand, the stone walls of the cottage barred up over the window. Striding out the door, the thief turned and left tone last warning. "I may have to leave at points, but my familiar will be watching, so I'll know if you try anything; and don't entertain any ideas of escaping into the woods, they are far from safe little girl."

    Looking around one last time, Fouquet began to close the door. "Wait." Louise held out her hand, stopping Fouquet. There was one thing Louise hadn't asked, something she was afraid to ask. "If my family doesn't pay..." She said softly, not wanting to finish the question."

    "Ah." Fouquet grasped the meaning. "Well, hope it doesn't come to that.

    *******************************************

    The next few hours passed surprisingly slowly. It was before dawn when she had risen from the bed, but she had fallen asleep midday the previous, so Louise was far to awake to try getting more sleep. Instead she had finished her meal, and gone about scouring the cabin, taking inventory. There was various food in the cupboards, a basin of water, a drawer of spoons and forks in a drawer. Did Fouquet actually remove even the butter knives? The thief seemed incredibly cautious. The only other things that weren't attached to the floor was the furniture. The door was sealed shut, the walls seemed to have been transmuted around it, holing it firm. That left her only other escape route through the barred window. Even the ceiling was made of stone. Louise had the sneaking suspicion that Fouquet had transmuted this building herself.

    After giving up finding any useful tool, Louise had begun staring out the window. The wagon was gone, making it likely that the thief had gone somewhere, likely to deliver a ransom note, but that didn't mean she was unwatched. Any of forest creatures she caught a glimpse of could be her captor's familiar, watching her, waiting for Louise to slip up. It was maddening, if she couldn't be sure she was unwatched, how could she plan an escape?! Founder Brimir above, where was her familiar when she needed him?! If only it were here, she could send it for help.

    Louise glared daggers at a passing squirrel. If only Cattleya were here, she would know what to do. Louise smiled to herself. If her older sister were here, she would probably be rescued by the very forest creatures Louise was fearing. She had a strange way with animals.

    If only Montmorency were here, she would help her.

    If only anyone were here... Smiling weakly to keep her spirits up, Louise turned and leaned against the wall, sliding down to the floor. "If only if only, the woodpecker sighs. If only the bark on the tree were as soft as the sky." Louise recited a poem her mother used to recite. If only the stone walls were as soft as the sky, then escaping wouldn't be so impossible.

    **********************************************************

    "Ten thousand ecu? Maybe fifteen thousand? Mama would be furious if Papa offered more." Louise spoke to no one in particular from where she sat on the bed. She was guessing how much her family would pay for her as the latest in her made up games to keep herself entertained.

    "Louise?"

    The high pitched, sickeningly cute voice of her familiar sounded from within her mind. So stunned was she, Louise did not even respond. Had she imagined the voice?


    "Louise? If your mouth is gagged, you need only think to me."

    The voice once again sounded, and Louise nearly collapsed with relief. Catching herself from speaking out, she tried his suggestion of thinking at him, lest she alert Fouquet's familiar. "I hear you familiar. Be careful, Fouquet's familiar is about."

    "Then we had better hurry." This time, the voice was not her familiar, but that of Montmorency.

    Louise nearly spoke in surprised, but covered her own mouth with her hands. "Montmorency? How are you communicating like this?"

    "No time to explain, get away from the door and take cover, we are breaking it down." Montmorency's voice was urgent, and Louise could only guess what was about to happen.

    Grabbing the table, Louise dragged it as far away from the door as she could and tilted it to its side as a makeshift shield. "Ready."

    There was a resounding crash as the door flew backward, a huge ice spike drove the heavy door straight across the cottage and pinned it to the opposite wall. Louise peeked out from behind the bed and saw a most welcome sight. Montmorency stood in the doorway, a relieved smile splashed across her face, "Loui-"

    "Louise!" A sing song voice cut Montmorecy off as Kirche of all people ran past Montmorency to her. "When I heard that you had been kidnapped, I could not help but come running!" The boisterous red head hugged the stunned Louise, pressing Louise's head to her well endowed chest.

    Planting her arm on the Kirche's shoulder, Louise pried herself from the death grip. "Thanks Kirche..." She ground out, still fighting the hug. Finally beating the girl's grip, Louise flopped backwards, off balance.

    "Not the time." Tabitha's cold voice sounded from the doorway where she was keeping watch. Kirche gave her friend an annoyed look and then shrugged and sighed. "Sorry," though her sing song voice belied any actual regret. "I was just so moved by your chivalry the other day!" Kirche hugged herself, "Your duel of honor was so moving! I had to come rescue you!"

    Louise did not know what to do with the creature in front of her, this was a far different Kirche than the one she remembered always teasing her. Instead, Louise skirted around her and toward Montmorency. "You okay?" Montmorency asked, grabbing Louise's hand.

    "I am now. Thanks for coming for me." Louise smiled back, squeezing Montmorency's hand.

    Montmorency raised a hand and waved of the praise, abashed. "This little guy helped too." She gestured downward where Kyuubey stood by her feet.

    Louise bent down and patted her familiar's head. "Thank you as well. You make a fine familiar." The small beast did not reply, it only looked outward toward the door.

    Stepping outside into the evening air Louise looked to Tabitha. Sparing Louise only a glance, Tabitha turned back to the trees, giving them another scan before looking to the sky. The blue haired girl raised a hand to her lips and let out a piercing whistle. "Sylphid comes. Stay alert." Tabitha ordered back, her eyes back to sweeping the forest edge.

    A faint sound of flapping greeted Louise's ears not a minute later. Tabitha's dragon Sylphid cleared the treeline and landed swiftly, generating blast of wind with it's wings, cushioning the hasty landing. Tabitha wasted no time in climbing aboard her familiar. Turning, the young girl offered a hand. "Make haste."

    Louise did not need to be told twice. In short order, she grabbed her familiar, accepted the hand and pulled herself aboard the dragon. Montmorency hopped on behind her, followed by Kirche. Louise let out a breath of relief. She was rescued after all.

    "You have GOT to be kidding me!" An angered voice called out as the earth itself shook. Trees out beyond the clearing went flying as a massive, dreadfully familiar golem burst forth.

    "Fly!" Tabitha urged her familiar and the beast leaped into the sky; nearly throwing Louise from it with the sheer force of the takeoff.

    The thief would have none of it. "Not a chance!" She cried, her golem launching a swipe at the dragon. Sylphid rolled to the side, dodging the rock arm by inches. It was truly a testament to Tabitha's and her familiar's coordination to pull off such a maneuver. The wind dragon corkscrewed upwards, dodging the golem's second arm as it swung upward. Louise held Tabitha for dear life as her world became a spinning whirlwind of colors.

    Then they were clear, the golem waving it's arm below them. Louise let out a breath of air, loosening her death-grip on the girl in front of her. She heard the thief hurling obscenities after them. Looking over her should, Louise stuck out her tongue, immature yes, but it also felt great. Ha! Serves the rotten fiend righ-

    Louise breath hitched as a massive boulder rocketed toward Sylphid. The dragon rolled out of the way of it, but Louise was no longer gripping to her lifeline. One second she was sitting on Sylphid's back, the next she was looking up at an upside down Sylphid. "AAAAAeeeiiiii!" She shrieked as she plummeted downward.


    Looking up and reaching uselessly for the dragon, Louise screamed with all her might reaching for Montmorency's outstretched hand. "NO!" Montmorency screamed, drawing her wand. "LEVITATION!" She cried, her magic racing toward the plummeting Louise.

    One second Louise was falling, the next it was like a warm pillow of air enveloped her, slowing her descent. She was again unable to breath a sigh of relief as she heard the cacophonous pounding that could only be caused by a tower sized golem, trotting along the earth. Louise looked downward to the trees, then back to the dragon which was diving for her. Another boulder caused Tabitha to bank away, leaving Louise to slowly fall to the ground.

    Louise hit the ground running. The golem was almost upon her, but she was hidden in the trees. If she could just get away and call for Tabitha. Louise darted around through the trees away from the golem, taking glances upward to see Sylphid darting around, gouts of wind and fire spewing off from its riders and harassing the golem.

    "Louise, can you hear me?" Montmorency's voice filled her head.

    Louise looked around, realizing her familiar was nowhere to be seen. "Kyuubey I could kiss you!" Louise thought to her familiar, wherever it was.

    The small voice of her familiar filled her mind. "Rather than that, try holding on next time." It chastised her.

    Louise darted around another tree and leaned against it, stopping to catch her breath. "I'm trying to get away, can you find me with Kyuubey?"

    Montmorency's thoughts filled her mind once again. "We are already on the ground and coming for you. Tabitha will distract the golem while we leave on foot."

    Still panting, Louise looked through the treeline. In the distance she saw the golem trotting after a retreating Sylphid. Smart, Fouquet would assume they meant to pick her up with the dragon. How else but with a dragons eyes in the sky could they find her?

    Louise giggled though labored breaths. That was her second narrow escape in what could only be a few minutes. That must be a record or something. "Louise?"

    Montmorency's voice drew attention to her right. Her blonde friend's hair had numerous leaves stuck between her frazzled curls and she was covered in dirt, but there was a relieved smile on her face. "That's twice I'm rescuing you in one day, that has got to be a record or something, right?"

    Louise couldn't help but laugh, relieved as she was.

    "I wouldn't celebrate quite yet." Fouquet's icy voice sent chills down Louise's spine.

    "How-" Louise was cut off as the earth erupted into yet another golem.

    The ground shook Louise off her feet and she could only stare up at the golem towering over her. "This day was going great." Fouquet's voice sounded with rage from the golem's shoulder. "The Vallieres agree to a ransom without bargain, my messenger doesn't ask for a larger cut, and I even find a buyer for that damned staff! But now? Now I have to chase you through he forest, then I'm going to have to play the hostage game all over again, and then I'm going to have to find another safe house. How did they even find you here!? It's in the middle of nowhere!"

    Louise crawled backward, only for her back to bump up against the tree behind her. "Now Valliere." Fouquet ground out. "Be a good girl and hold still." The golem's arm raised.

    A shadow fell over Louise. Yet no great stone hand grasped her. Opening her tightly shut eyes, Louise saw Montmorency standing before her, legs spread proudly, her noble's mantel fluttered in the evening breeze. "Fouquet of the Crumbling Earth!" She called out. "Leave my friend alone!"

    Louise blinked through teary, stunned eyes up at the girl before her. Fouquet's laughter tainted the air, ringing out through the forest. The laughter diminished into an angry chuckle, "Girl," the thief ground out. The golem drew its hand up, ready to swat Montmorency like a one swats an ant.

    "I am not in the MOOD!"

    In that moment, the golem's arm began racing toward Montmorency and time seemed to slow. Louise reached her hand out, as if to protect her friend before her. Drops of evening dew glittered in the air and Louise's tears floated before her.

    Then Montmorency exploded into light.

    Infinite shades of gold erupted outward from her friend. The light coiled around Montmorency in the most beautiful light show Louise had ever seen. Louie's breath was taken from her, even if she were to live another thousand years, she would never see anything that could match the spectacle before her.

    And then it ended with a crunch. Earth shattered as the golem's hand smashed into the earth beside Montmorency. Cracks extended along the ground and Louise froze, stunned at Fouquet's golem missing. Fouquet herself was gaping at the sight before her. Her golem's arm had been diverted!

    There, indented in the golem's arm was a massive silver hammer. The head as big around as Montmorency's chest, and the pole a good foot longer than Montmorency was tall. It was intricately adorned with odd lines running along it's head, they would look to be cracks if not for their right angles and manufactured appearance. With a lurch, Montmorency withdrew her hammer from the golem and spun it once, resting it across her shoulder.

    Louise barely remembered to breath. Who was this before her? Dressed in elaborate, frilled clothing of golden yellow, she looked more like an angel. It was only when Montmorency turned back to Louise and offered a smile, that Louise believed it was still her. It was still that round, lovable face that belonged to her closest friend. "Wait right here, this wont take but a minute." With that, Montmorency reached up to a pair of goggles strapped across her forehead and pulled them over her eyes.

    With a twirl of her hammer, Montmorency planted her feet in a fighting stance and held her weapon before her. "Fouquet of the Crumbling Earth, I'll give you one chance to leave!"

    The glare that Fouquet sent their way was venomous. "Child... I'm going to enjoy killing you."

    That was all Montmorency needed. Bending her knees, her her body coiled for a single moment. Then, with amazing force, she leaped from the ground rocketing toward where Fouquet stood atop her golem.

    A massive stone forearm reared up between Montmorency and Fouquet. Rolling into a midair flip, Montmorency lashed out with her hammer. The resounding crash of hammer on rock sent birds across the forest scattering. Cracks splintered across the arm of the golem, showing just how powerful Montmorency's swing was.

    With a great push, the golem swung its arm wide, flicking Montmorency away toward a massive oak. Spinning midair, Montmorency planted her feet against the trunk of the tree and coiled for another jump. Again, the girl rocketed toward the golem's rider. Again the golem raised an arm to block, its cracks already healed by Fouquet's willpower coursing through the construct. "That wont work twice!" Montmorency shouted. The cracks running across her hammer's head released gouts of steam as they expanded outward, revealing clockwork machinations inside. The cogs whirled to bluing speeds and steam rocketed out the back of the hammer, propelling it forward.

    "DERNIERE VAPEUR"!"

    The hammer collided with the arm, shattering it with tremendous force and sending a shock wave outward that even Louise felt from where she sat. Yet, despite the massive blow, Montmorency was still stopped. Hanging in the air for a moment, gravity grabbed hold and pulled her downward. With no purchase to spring from, she was an easy target. Rearing back, the golem launched a kick at Montmorency.

    Again Montmorency spun midair, using her Hammer's mass to maneuver herself toward the oncoming mountain of a limb. With a mighty steam empowered swing, Montmorency stuck the limb, sending it off course and her spinning down to the ground. Legs planted again, Montmorency twisted on instinct as the golem's uninjured arm came racing toward her. With a mighty jump, Montmorency avoided a direct hit, but was still launched across the forest floor, tumbling as she bounced twice against the grass before managing to plant her feet into a slide.

    "She is going to lose." Kyuubey's voice rang out throughout Louise's core. Louise tore her eyes away from where Montmorency prepared to launch another attack. Kyuubey sat beside her, watching the battle. Louise's eyes followed her familiars to the golem, its shattered arm was rapidly regrowing, drawing earth from the ground. "Montmorency has the power to win, but not the experience. Direct attacks like that are too predictable."

    Louise felt the pit in her stomach grow as Montmorency once again rocketed toward the golem, only to hit an arm and be flicked away. "How-"

    "How did she gain that power?" The Kyuubey finished for her. "She made a wish. That is a magical girl Louise." Louise looked back to her friend. Her familiar was telling the truth? It actually could grant wishes and magical powers? "There is only one way to save her. Do you have the conviction to fight Louise? Will you become a magical girl?"

    There was no hesitation. Simple desires like proving herself. Like graduating. Like gaining her mother's acceptance. Those meant nothing when Louise's friend was fighting for her life. "Kyuubey!" She cried.

    "Grant my wish!"

    Wafts of pink exploded from Louise. A small ball of light exited her chest and she instinctively cradled it to her as the world was blocked out. The pink light wrapped around her protectively forming around her body. In an explosion of color, white gloves burst into existence on her hands. Swirling light cloaked behind her, forming a white and pink emblazoned mantel. Intricately braided ribbons gripped her bangs. It felt comforting, like being hugged by those closest to you.

    It was over as quickly as it began. Louise looked down at herself, briefly wondering why clothing came with magical powers, but it was a far cry better than worn out pajamas so she held her tongue.

    The crash of the golem's arm impacting the earth where Montmorency had been not a moment sooner snapped Louise back to attention. She needed to help. As soon as Louise thought to fight, light erupted from her hand, forming a long, pristine white staff clutching a dark orb at its top. To call the ball black would be wrong, it was like no light touched it; it was nothingness.

    There was no hesitation in how to use this staff, it was like Louise had known all along. Focusing on the end of the staff, she drew her energy to it. The orb pulsated with power and in an instant, Louise was ready. Leveling the staff at her enemy, Louise released her hold on the energy and it rocketed forward. An orb with a dark core trailing wafts of pink impacted the golem's side, exploding outward and knocking the construct to the side.

    Both combatants stopped and looked toward Louise, neither expecting Louise to join. Marshaling her best smile, Louise called to Montmorency. "Let's finish this!"

    Louise's smile was returned in earnest. "Right!" With renewed vigor, the hammer wielding warrior darted toward her foe. The golem raised its arm to squash her flat, only to stumble as orbs of energy blasted into its side.

    Fouquet screamed in rage, whirling her golem toward Louise, only for it to stumble as Montmorency's hammer impacted its knee. Again it turned to Montmorency, only to stumble backward as more dark orbs collided with it. Fully off balance, it raised its arms forward, trying not to fall. "NOW!" Montmorency cried leaping up and beyond the golem's guard. With a mighty swing she struck the golem's chest with everything she had. Sending it falling backward and crashing into the forest floor, shattering under its own weight.

    Fouquet went tumbling across the forest floor. The thief was down, but not out. Getting her feet below her, she raised her wand, spell on her lips. That hammer girl was about to find out that standing in a mound of earth still saturated with an earth mage's willpower was not a good idea. "I wouldn't do that if I were you."

    A low, pulsing hum drew Fouquet's attention to the blade of dark energy less than an inch from the back of her neck. Extending from the Valliere's staff was some sort of spearhead created from the same energy she had been firing off. Never had Fouquet expected the long range support to move in to close range. For a moment, Fouquet considered chancing her luck, but the Valliere gave her a look of pure steel. "This... just isn't my day." Fouquet dropped her wand and raised her hands. The battle was over.

    *****************************************************

    Kirche and Tabitha arrived at the clearing five minutes too late to be of any help. Even the stoic Tabitha was noticeably surprised to find that Montmorency and Louise had defeated a triangle class mage. It was quite funny to see the ever composed Tabitha show any reaction, even if it was just raised eyebrows. Now back in their clothing and pajamas, the two hardly looked like formidable fighters, Louise admitted.

    The group had then retrieved Fouquet's hidden wagon and started the trek back to the academy, not being able to fit five people on Sylphid. The thief herself was bound wrists and ankles in satisfying reversal of roles as far as Louise was concerned. Fouquet would be turned over to the authorities and tried, Louise was not about to kill her like a savage.

    Tabitha had taken the reigns of the wagon, her familiar flying overhead. Louise suspected the girl was miffed she hadn't been able to help more. Kirche had taken to trying to weasel out just how the two magical girls had won the fight. Both girls had fun making only vague references and giggling between themselves. It was strangely fun to have Kirche, envy of all the girls, guessing at their new abilities.

    *******************************************************

    The group traveled through the night and into the morning before they finally reached the academy. Fouquet had been given to the summoned guards and Louise had retreated to her room to finally get a good sleep. Montmorency had led her there, not wanting to let Louise out of her sight, not that Louise was complaining. Finally back in her room, Louise nearly cried with relief. "Ah, I'll let you get some rest." Montmorency said softly, closing the door.

    "Wait." Louise said before she even processed her thoughts. Montmorency waited, door half closed. The thought of being alone scared her far more than she cared to think about. Yet the idea of asking Montmorency to stay was far too embarrassing.

    "How about a sleepover?" Montmorency said lightly, as if reading Louise's thoughts.

    Louise smiled though forming tears. "Yeah, that would be good."

    ***********************************************************

    The two girls shared a bed that night. Montmorency cradling Louise protectively. It was like sleeping with Cattleya, Louise vaguely realized. Warm and safe. Louise began to drift off when something struck her, a question that would keep her up all night if not asked. "Montmorency? How did you manage to find me?"

    Montmorency sleepily opened her eyes. "Ah, I just wished to Kyuubey to know where you are."

    "Eh?" Louise was struck by her friends selflessness...

    "Then why not just wish me back at school?" Louise inquired further.

    Montmorency's eyes opened fully, and she blankly though for a moment. "You know... I didn't really think of that."

    There was brief a moment of silence, ended by one word from Louise.

    "Blockhead."

    The insult was filled with such warmth that the two girls giggled themselves exhausted. Then, warm and happy, they drifted off to sleep. Neither one of them looking at Louise's dresser where two beady red eyes watched them.

    Measured them.
     
  21. Shinji117

    Shinji117 Endless Solidarity

    Oh. Oh.

    Bugger.
     
    EVA-Saiyajin likes this.
  22. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C Mostly Harmless

    Bets on which of them will witch out first? On one hand, Monmon is the one with a relationship that can deteriorate, leading to despair. On the other hand, Louise might need to rely on Soul Gem magic more if she still can't use her void magic properly...
    Poor girls, the best they're gonna get is divine intervention of the pink sort. Though it'd be... amusing if another of their friends wishes to reset time for some reason.
     
  23. Midnak

    Midnak Lurker

    @Jimmy C- I should mention this is not post PMMM. Quite frankly, that would be in a universe (newly created) that I have very little reference for. Witchification is very much a threat.
     
  24. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C Mostly Harmless

    I know that, but divine intervention is the kind of thing you can call "miraculous." Kind of awful that that's the best outcome they can hope for, isn't it?
     
  25. sdarian

    sdarian Watching The World Burn

    So, wait. What did Louise wish for?
     
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