Chapter 5:

Chapter 2-2: Enter, Yuki Sosuke!

Black Witch Tsu-To-Yu!

Sorry for being silent on the last one. I ran out of characters. Once again, comment if you enjoy it or spot something so that this novel will improve!
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Outside where the dark sky was riddled with shining stars, a pleasant cool air breezed in. The young girl received that wind, her blue hair fluttered about as she stood outside the gates of the Shikaya household.Bookmark here

Her hands clutching her chest, trying to hold down her beating heart, Yuki swallowed the air clogging up her throat.Bookmark here

“I-Is this the place…? The teacher said that he lived around here, and here’s the name sign.”Bookmark here

Yuki noticed the ‘Shikaya’ nameplate on the gate. She asked the teacher for directions just for the sole sake of her dress.Bookmark here

“What should I do…?” Yuki further contemplated the issue she gave herself. “What if he tears it apart? Or what if the girl he’s with dirty it…? It’s such a rare collector’s item of Magical Girl Miyuri’s arch-rival dress. I spent so much time and money to get it… I just can’t part with it like I thought!”Bookmark here

Her inner collector spirit, and her love for her favorite show of all time, burned within her green colored eyes. She was determined to bring back her dress from the pits of the unknown at any cost.Bookmark here

“Even though he asked me so nicely…” However, the girl’s spirit wavered in the next moment. “I wonder if he’ll hate me because I asked it back so soon…? Should I just wait for tomorrow like I promised?”Bookmark here

Considering her options, her heart was in tatters between helping someone who needed her help, and her own materialistic desires. It was the first time anyone has ever asked her for help, other than being told to do so by the bossy, know-it-all real-lifers.Bookmark here

She wanted to at least do this out of her own will, but even as she gave it out, her heart pained from the chance of Touyo being irresponsible. She doesn’t know him at all, after all. It made sense to worry about the pristine condition of the dress.Bookmark here

In the end, she lost to her desires. She shook her head once to ward off the doubt and swallowed her fear as she headed through the gate. This was the first time she had ever visited one of her classmate’s home. Nobody has ever invited her over since she wasn’t friends with anybody, and she certainly wouldn’t want to invade a student’s home for any other reason.Bookmark here

But this reason, for her, was life and death—figuratively.Bookmark here

As she walked further on the stone path to the door, she noticed the light shining through the small opening. The door was just slightly shedding light, completely unlocked.Bookmark here

“It’s open…?”Bookmark here

Her hearing also caught on the strange unintelligible noise coming from the other side. This fact frightened her a little, making her heart pacing for another reason. However, as her dress was at stake, she was prepared to venture into whatever kind of hell might be on the other side of that door.Bookmark here

She let out a sharp grunt. Slapping her face with her hands for courage, she pushed the door forward with all her power. The moment the door opened, the slight squeak echoed before Yuki shouted.Bookmark here

“U-Uum!” Her shout was a strange sound, not exactly what you could call a word.Bookmark here

However, the view she saw after entering couldn’t be explained in words, either.Bookmark here

‘Piru, piru, pi-pi-pi-piru piii!”Bookmark here

Her eyes saw the boy who asked for the dress twirling around on one foot. The dress’ hem spinning around in the air as his eyes were closed, all the while spouting some kind of strange chanting—if you could call it that.Bookmark here

At the other side, Tsubaki hysterically laughed to herself, holding her sides with her arms from the pain of laughing so much. But then the girl opened her eyes, tears welling up from joy, and noticed Yuki’s presence. Tsubaki hastily activated her Perception Block spell, disabling her presence from Yuki entirely.Bookmark here

Touyo finished his twirling, finishing his chanting as well. Letting out giant breaths, he turned to Tsubaki showing a wide-eyed look. He noticed that it wasn’t him she’s looking at, but the one behind him. He turned around.Bookmark here

At that moment, his life was completely over.Bookmark here

“…Ah… Ah,” Touyo was left speaking incoherently.Bookmark here

The one person he did not want anybody to see him in, other than his mother, and that person came in through his front door.Bookmark here

He then recalled a certain memory where Tsubaki pushed him forward through the entrance when they got to their home. It was then that the door remained unlocked without knowing it.Bookmark here

Yuki’s eyes were widened, a blank expression on her face as she let go of her school bag in shock.Bookmark here

“Umm…” Touyo couldn’t even find the words to explain this situation.Bookmark here

“Y-You’re…” Yuki’s eyes were downcast—her body shook as she struggled to find the words.Bookmark here

Touyo already knew what was going to happen. Yuki was a big-time mega fan of the anime the dress is from. Not only did he break the promise of taking care of such a precious item, he was actually wearing it. The fury and disgust she must feel for him must be massive—and he completely understands.Bookmark here

He mentally prepared himself for what he thought might be a scream of fury.Bookmark here

But instead—Bookmark here

“A fan, like me!”Bookmark here

Yuki, in a burst of speed that he never saw a girl displayed before, moved towards him and immediately clasped his hands with her own. She raised her head—her eyes shined so brightly that they beat the stars’ shine. The look of her beaming face brought Touyo’s mind to a halt.Bookmark here

“Oh, Shikaya!” Yuki’s voice shrilled to the point of cooing. “You’re so bashful! So that ‘friend’ of yours was actually you! I get it—I totally get you!”Bookmark here

Yuki put on incredibly strong airs when she mentioned his ‘friend’ as she’s seeing him by himself, possibly doing this on his own accord. Since she didn’t notice Tsubaki’s presence at all, she believed that Touyo’s ‘friend’ was imaginary. Touyo figured that she had diverged so far from the truth, she was going the opposite direction.Bookmark here

“I get that, as a boy, it’s hard to express your love for Magical Girl Miyuri, especially at our age. Your love for the show is so deep, you would wear the dress to act out your favorite character’s lines! Mmh!” Yuki vigorously nodded. “I completely understand your struggle, because I go through with them myself!”Bookmark here

Yuki, as she prattled on with her massive misunderstanding, continued to move his hands up and down like an out-of-control elevator, further disrupting Touyo’s sense of mind.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about a single thing! I don’t have anyone I can even call an associate! I’m a complete and total loner. So you don’t have to worry about me gossiping to those annoying, stupid real-lifers!”Bookmark here

Yuki even went as far as to mention her lonely status, showing her pride.Bookmark here

Then, Yuki returned to the entrance. She picked up her bag that she dropped from her excitement and was about to leave the premises—but not before leaving one final note.Bookmark here

“Shikaya. You’re no longer alone! I’ll find you at school tomorrow and we can talk about our favorite show all day! Let’s talk at the roof—nobody annoying will be there to bother us! I’ll see you there~!”Bookmark here

And just like that, Yuki closed the door, completely forgetting her original purpose of coming to Touyo’s household.Bookmark here

After being taken for a spin, Touyo’s body no longer had any drive to stand. He dropped to his knees, his face completely blank from any emotion. Something in his heart was crumbling down to a million pieces.Bookmark here

“…My, she’s quite energetic,” Tsubaki finally spoke in amidst of the silence, and then she instantly burst into laughter, her shrills echoing across the household.Bookmark here

Touyo was completely defeated, in one way or another.Bookmark here

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It was once again the symbolic ringing of the bell which signaled the students that it was lunchtime. The students flooded the cafeteria, crowding up the area enough to form a riot if they so wished.Bookmark here

Away from all the fuzz, up upon the rooftop, the new Black Witch in training Touyo Shikaya would usually enjoy his solitude there eating his meal.Bookmark here

However, since yesterday, his Black Witch Master Tsubaki invaded his solitude, but it was all within respectable bounds.Bookmark here

But now, another new invader joined in.Bookmark here

“And then, and then!” The mega fangirl Yuki Sosuke redundantly spoke. “Miyuri uses her Magical Flash Ray to finish the goons of Dark Master Shiggy and blast them all apart! The animation for that scene was exquisitely done to the point of receiving an award for best animation! And the scene that showed afterward was so moving, it left me to tears.”Bookmark here

Her words flowed through an intense torrent. Yuki continued with her reviews and summaries of her favorite show, Magical Girl Miyuri, as she has done all morning since they got to school— despite the fact that she promised that she would talk about it only at lunchtime.Bookmark here

The thing was that, during breaks in the classes, Yuki would push her table to Touyo and begin her conversations about ‘their’ favorite show together. Obviously, Touyo wasn’t the type to refuse her offer.Bookmark here

Though the strange stares of the surprised students around them did hurt a little.Bookmark here

For Touyo, this was the first time that he had ever spoken to a girl that was personally from his class. But after 4 hours of conversations about a magical girl show that he hardly watches, his ears were at their wits’ end.Bookmark here

“T-That’s great…” Touyo could barely keep up a smiling face as his right eye twitched, thankfully, out of Yuki’s sight.Bookmark here

Tsubaki also saw the scene—being invisible, of course—as she floated above the two of them sharing such a heated one-sided conversation.Bookmark here

“This girl’s really raving on this show,” Tsubaki commented as she gave a slight whistle of amazement.Bookmark here

“Tsubaki, help me out. She thinks I’m a hardcore fan of that show!”Bookmark here

Touyo was able to speak successively in his mind to Tsubaki through the power of Tsubaki’s telepathy. It was a nice spell that could replace cell phones which allowed the user’s words in his mind to pass straight into the recipient’s mind with perfect clarity. Of course, only the thoughts the user wants to send is sent out, so there is no accidental secret reveals through telepathy.Bookmark here

“Well,” Tsubaki spoke out loud since no matter what she does, she will not be perceived by Yuki. “If you wanna explain to her that you just like to wear dresses, be my guest.”Bookmark here

Hearing the other option, Touyo’s throat ran dry.Bookmark here

“I… rather listen to Yuki.”Bookmark here

For Touyo, nothing like hearing a girl’s rambling about a magical girl show could be worse than being referred to as ‘The crossdresser’ across the school. Even if Yuki has no associates she could talk to, he doesn’t want even one person from his school to see him as some kind of pervert.Bookmark here

“Shikaya, what do you think about it? Isn’t it so fantastic!?”Bookmark here

Touyo would remember glances at Yuki where she would just look down all the time instead of looking upwards, her long hair covering her eyes as she did not want to talk to anyone.Bookmark here

But now she was facing Touyo face to face, her eyes sparkling and her smile beaming.Bookmark here

Unfortunately, her enthusiasm was not received as much as Touyo did not listen to a word she just said.Bookmark here

“Umm…” He figured that he should just say any word. “I think it’s… unique?”Bookmark here

“Right?!”Bookmark here

Touyo figured that he should at least say one single comment that was not spoken by Yuki thus far. Yuki reacted in turn with a burning spirit.Bookmark here

“I knew that you would think the same way! It’s so amazingly creative to the point that calling it unique is pretty much the only compliment you can give! As expected, having a fellow comrade who watches the same show as me is so relieving! I’m so glad that I met you, Shikaya!”Bookmark here

The way her smile brings so much warmth as she revealed her inner feelings out stung Touyo’s heart with so much guilt. If he told her the truth now that he had never even watched more than three episodes in his life—there was one time when Touyo actually watched the show out of boredom with his mother—then that smile of hers would break into a thousand pieces, and that would hurt him even more.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah…” Touyo barely answered, his lies hurting him deep inside.Bookmark here

And thus, Touyo found himself listening to her opinions about episode 347’s animation error, but they managed to correct it with excellent dialogue.Bookmark here

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The last school bell rung throughout the school. The students headed out in a rush, their free time limited before their next boring school day. They want to make the best of whatever time they have left.Bookmark here

Though, possibly only one student had a fun day for the first time in her life. She tiptoed out of the school entrance and landed on one foot before twirling around on it, both hands behind her back. She arched her back, her head closed in towards the boy who she had the fun day with.Bookmark here

All the while, an ever-beaming smile crossed her face.Bookmark here

“Shikaya, I hope we can talk again tomorrow!” Her voice was sweetly high-pitched. “I’ll see you then!”Bookmark here

She waved her arm ecstatically while her smile never left her face. Yuki ran out of the school gate, but not before meeting eyes with Touyo again and waved her arm once more before finally leaving his sight.Bookmark here

As soon as he was out of her sight, all of his exhaustion finally exuded out of him.Bookmark here

“Waaah... I’m so tired…” Touyo spoke with a hoarse tone, his head filled with useless knowledge of the behind-the-scenes of Magical Girl Miyuri.Bookmark here

“She’s so expressive! So adorable~” Tsubaki cooed, her face scrunched up into what she calls a cutesy-wootsy face from Yuki talking for hours on end.Bookmark here

“Hah… well, it’s not like it was all bad…” After Touyo expelled his exhaustion out of his body, he recalled the school day with a sense of positivity. “It was nice to… talk to somebody without feeling like they’ll judge me for everything I do.”Bookmark here

Touyo did actually try to be social, but he was looked at and judged without any forethought. Some deemed him not worthy of their time, and others just plain ignored him.Bookmark here

Tsubaki shot a glare at him with solemn eyes. It was the first time he shared information about himself.Bookmark here

“Still, I kinda wish that she can explain to me exactly what she was talking about. I had no idea about more than half the stuff she was saying.”Bookmark here

“Ah, but now you have a friend that you can talk to in school! Isn’t that grand?”Bookmark here

“Whose fault is it that I’m in this situation in the first place!?”Bookmark here

Tsubaki teased him as she made a snide smile right in front of his face, leaving him to retort with a scowl.Bookmark here

But then, he noticed that while her smile was on her face, her eyes seem transfixed on the gates. Perhaps beyond that.Bookmark here

“Tsubaki?” Touyo spotted that and asked.Bookmark here

“Oh, sorry~” As usual, she made a cooing remark. “Well, forget about your troubles. It’s time for more training!”Bookmark here

“Training? Ah, right…”Bookmark here

After all the talking today, Touyo did not have any room for his excitement on receiving more magic training from his master.Bookmark here

“Then!” Tsubaki clasped her hands together. “It’s about time that we start the next phase!”Bookmark here

“The next phase?” He asked again, tilting his head.Bookmark here

“Right. This time, we’re going to cover a very important aspect of being part of the Black Witches. Come on—let’s hurry home!”Bookmark here

Tsubaki formed a wide grin, leaving Touyo to forget about her strange look before and nodded his head vigorously. He had no time to worry about his newfound friend troubles. He needed to keep training his magic to become the best mage there is.Bookmark here

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The night overrode the sunny sky and the door of the Shikaya household opened up to reveal the mage boy of the hour. He came outside, the cold wind hitting his skin, adorned in his new armor.Bookmark here

Which is pretty much just a jersey with a white undershirt and black pants. Even though it’s not really appropriate for actual battle—he’s pretty much ready for anything.Bookmark here

His master floated out of his house, which he pretty much got used to seeing after a few days. He figured then that his sense of reality had been lost for a good while.Bookmark here

“Tsubaki, where are we headed?” Touyo mentally prepared himself before asking this question.Bookmark here

“We’re going to need a lot of space,” Tsubaki started. “And a lot of cover. Somewhere that not a lot of people would come.”Bookmark here

“So, definitely not the neighborhood,” Touyo estimated that near his house was a bad location.Bookmark here

“You know anywhere like that?”Bookmark here

“Mmh… probably the park,” Touyo recollected in his mind. “Nobody should be there at this time of night. And it has lots of space.”Bookmark here

“Perfect,” Tsubaki replied with a confident smile. “Then away we go.”Bookmark here

Once Tsubaki made her statement, Touyo subconsciously gripped his fists. He was readying himself for the possible battle to come.Bookmark here

“Oh, we’re not going to battle.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

His building confidence and adrenaline dissipated were crushed into dust.Bookmark here

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The two journeyed their way to the spacious park for their next training session. Since it was close to his home, they didn’t walk much. Though, Tsubaki only ‘floated’ there, not walk.Bookmark here

Touyo asked if Tsubaki can just teleport them there with some spell, and though she can do it (surprising Touyo), she said that she can’t teleport anywhere she has not seen before; one of the downsides of teleportation.Bookmark here

The metal railing separating the park and the other buildings came into view. Touyo jumped over the metal railing while Tsubaki floated over it. Landing within the park’s ground, he surveyed his surroundings in the somewhat dim-lighted darkness.Bookmark here

The streetlights were turned on and the moonlight gave off a brilliant shine—so it was enough to lighten up the park a little. There were facilities for kids such as the slide and the swing set, leaving behind a somewhat creepy sense since there was nobody around except themselves.Bookmark here

But, just as Touyo said, this was a perfect place to be alone.Bookmark here

“Alright,” Breaking the silence, Tsubaki spoke. “We’re here. Touyo, you nervous?”Bookmark here

“A-A little. But since we’re not going into battle, I’m fine.” Touyo said that, but his heart was still beating rapidly.Bookmark here

“Alright, then, it’s time for you to try out your new armor.”Bookmark here

“M-My new armor? You mean the magic armor that I had to wear a dress for?”Bookmark here

“Exactly,” Tsubaki nodded. “Use your arcana and wrap it around yourself. Using the same process as making a spell, make an image of your armor following the sense of that dress and wear it with pride!”Bookmark here

Tsubaki said so with gusto, raising both her arms to the sky—relishing the moment. Touyo somehow imagined himself transforming, making his boyish heart beat harder with excitement.Bookmark here

Touyo nodded once before closing his eyes. Imagining her words into a mental video, he gathered his arcana—wrapping it around himself in a veil-like image.Bookmark here

It was warm for a moment. Similar to a blanket covering him during his sleep at night. As the warmth faded, he returned to normal but a draft soon drifted his way. Fearing that he was wearing the dress again—the soft texture and his body’s complete freedom prompt him to act.Bookmark here

He opened his eyes and looked down. His jaw dropped the moment he did.Bookmark here

His ‘battle clothes’ from before were gone, and the one he wore now had a black design, similar to Tsubaki’s dress.Bookmark here

His long-sleeved shirt had a small black mantle covering his shoulders and forearms. Sporting some black-fingerless gloves, he also had silver-purple wrist-bands with a diamond center. Along with some black pants with a belt on his right thigh, he was also sporting the same black boots like Tsubaki.Bookmark here

He had several accessories on—leather rings on his wrists and belts that covered his thighs and forelegs. Like an added bonus, he had a glass button embedded on his shirt near his neckline. It was colored purple, proudly showing a black ribbon picture resembling a bow tie.Bookmark here

“W-Whoa?!” Touyo exclaimed in astonishment over his new wardrobe. He extended his arms, then he swung his legs. In his own sense, it was like he transformed into a magical warrior.Bookmark here

“Oh, you made such a nice costume. Very original.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki gave her own rare compliment to Touyo, leaving him once again to marvel at his new clothes.Bookmark here

“T-This is awesome! This is way cooler than I thought!”Bookmark here

“Hehe,” Tsubaki giggled from Touyo’s excitement. “That’s because you used your image of a cool costume to make it. And, since you used the feeling of wearing the dress, it should be fairly comfortable to wear, right?”Bookmark here

Just as Tsubaki said, when Touyo spun around in his clothes and jumped with them—he was free from constriction, even with the belts and rings on. He breathed with it easily and didn’t heat up all hot even in this humid weather.Bookmark here

“The magic armor is also responsible for making sure that you’re pleasantly warm during the cold, and pleasantly cool during the heat. Also, when you’re fighting against the Ghouls, the armor protects you from receiving fatal injuries, though you can’t really go as far as calling yourself invincible.”Bookmark here

“S-So these flimsy clothes protect me?” Touyo couldn’t help imagining that the costume itself came from a superhero anime.Bookmark here

“Yep! I guarantee it! The earlier chant you used before made it so that it’ll be charged with your arcana at all times. Also, it won’t tire you out as it is already charged. If you want to take it off, you can just reverse the process you imagined by making an image of taking your arcana off yourself. Easy peasy.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki gave her lecture with a bright smile and a wink at the end. Touyo was once again amazed at how far magic can go.Bookmark here

“Now then, let’s get started,” Tsubaki started off, getting Touyo to nearly jump from excitement.Bookmark here

“Alright, I’m ready! What am I going to learn now, Tsubaki?”Bookmark here

Touyo felt giddy now that he was wearing his armor. Tsubaki giggled from his brave smile.Bookmark here

“Hehe, before anything, you need to learn how to take control of the skies like me.”Bookmark here

“Control of… you mean like flying?!”Bookmark here

Touyo nearly lost his marbles after mentioning flight. He stopped fidgeting and was left awestruck.Bookmark here

“Of course. There will be times when you’re facing ghouls that have the ability to fly. Or just has the ability to jump really high onto the top of the buildings. You’re going to need to learn how to fly if you’re going to have any kind of advantage to them.”Bookmark here

“I-I see…” Touyo nodded as this was the core of battling—to get an advantage over your opponent. He knew of this from all the action comic books he read over the years.Bookmark here

“You excited?” Tsubaki asked as if prompting Touyo to get more excited.Bookmark here

“O-Of course I am! But I never thought I could do it so soon! Can I fly like you, Tsubaki?”Bookmark here

Seeing Tsubaki float around so much in his house and school, he also wanted to give it a try as it filled him with a sense of envy. However, Tsubaki pursed her lips.Bookmark here

“Well… not exactly.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki popped his exciting bubble and a downcast look loomed over on his face.Bookmark here

“Hey, that doesn’t mean that you can’t fly,” Tsubaki opted to quickly change the way she answered.Bookmark here

“Is that… because I can’t use my magic well?” Touyo’s face contorted into sadness, furrowing his brows.Bookmark here

“It’s nothing like that,” Tsubaki let out a short sigh. “Even for veteran mages, flying continuously without using any added element to it is too much of a burden. You have to constantly let out arcana around yourself to levitate yourself off the ground. Tell me, Touyo, can you constantly lift yourself with magic to fly across the sky?”Bookmark here

She asked a question which made him jerk his body in response. If he were to fly like Tsubaki, since it is tiring enough to use magic, he would most likely burn out before he could even lift off 10 inches from the ground.Bookmark here

“Y-You’re right…” Touyo answered in a low voice.Bookmark here

“Right? Now, if we added a ‘ride’, that is, an item that you can ride on as you put your arcana into it—you can fly just as well without any issue, but you have to use it every time you want to fly.”Bookmark here

“O-Oh, I get it,” Touyo nodded. “Kinda like an airbike or something?”Bookmark here

“Exactly, though the bike might be overkill,” Tsubaki added. “Now, what picture do you think of when thinking about witches?”Bookmark here

Tsubaki asked him a question similar to how a real teacher would. It made Touyo think a little harder about what she meant.Bookmark here

He took a moment, putting his finger on his chin. He put his mind on overdrive and remembered the holiday Halloween for any pictures regarding witches.Bookmark here

“Mmh… big, ugly noses. A witch’s hat,” Touyo guessed at the top of his head. “They fly around on… brooms?”Bookmark here

“Exactly!”Bookmark here

Tsubaki snapped her fingers as soon as Touyo gave the correct answer.Bookmark here

“T-Then that means that I’ll be riding on—?”Bookmark here

“A broom,” Tsubaki continued for him. “What better way to use an item to fly other than a broom? When riding on something to fly, the item should be as light as possible, maybe even hold it with just one finger. A broom is super-easy to carry, and the components are as simple as light wood, so it’s easy to cast arcana on it to fly.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki made her explanation regarding the easy usage of brooms. Touyo nodded his head—she should be right since holding a broom is so easy, a child can do it.Bookmark here

“But, where do I get a broom at this hour?”Bookmark here

“Mmh mmh, here it is!”Bookmark here

Tsubaki expected that answer and mischievously smiled. She snapped her fingers once again—Poof!—purple smoke appeared near the space on her right.Bookmark here

“Whoa!” Touyo fell in reaction to it right to the ground. He turned upwards to find an item floating just like Tsubaki in midair.Bookmark here

It was a broom—and a very similar looking one at that. It was actually the very same broom that Touyo is forced to use whenever his mother demands him to clean up the house.Bookmark here

“I-Isn’t that my broom?” Touyo made this statement, eyeing at the long red wooden pole and rectangle-shaped brush at the bottom of it.Bookmark here

“Yep,” Tsubaki enthusiastically agreed. “We’re going to make this your personal ride.”Bookmark here

“Eh…” A look of downcast fell over him. “But it looks so lame…”Bookmark here

He commented as he grabbed the floating broom, its weightlessness disappeared and was back to its original weight.Bookmark here

“Touyo, don’t you remember what you just learned?”Bookmark here

“Eh?” He tilted his head.Bookmark here

“Just like with the costume, you can modify it to your liking. It’s not that difficult to put in arcana into it. Unlike changing its internal components, like changing silver to gold, changing the outer appearance is a piece of cake.”Bookmark here

“So I can do that too?!” Touyo’s heart quickened, becoming more excited to learn more abilities. But even more so on the fact that he can change the form of whichever item he wants to whatever he wants it to look like. Tsubaki smirked from the ever exciting smile on Touyo’s face.Bookmark here

“Go on,” Tsubaki ushered. “Go and change it to whatever you want.”Bookmark here

“Alright!”Bookmark here

Touyo did as she instructed and clutched onto the broom. Following her earlier words, he controlled his arcana to wrap around the broom, similar to his costume from earlier.Bookmark here

However, as he did so, his mind paused for a moment. Coming up with a cool design was harder than it sounded. As he remained in limbo in his mind—outside, the broom glowed slightly red, like his hair color. Tsubaki watched with a certain glee in her eyes.Bookmark here

(If it’s like my uniform, then black, definitely,) Touyo figured out the color, at least. (Then…)Bookmark here

His thoughts were all focused on the design on his broom. In the meanwhile, the broom began to glow brighter—its overall shape slowly turning around and forming to the shape of his desires. Tsubaki continued to watch earnestly, her smile never leaving her side for his finished product.Bookmark here

“…This will do,” Touyo opened his eyes, fully satisfied with his thoughts. The moment he did, the glow disappeared. The surrounding area around him became slightly darker except for the spare light the streetlights were giving.Bookmark here

He turned to the broom held within his hand, and it took his breath away.Bookmark here

“Whoa…”Bookmark here

Touyo marveled at the incredible design he just made himself. The red colored wooden pole the broom had before now had a sleek black design, its sheen reflected by the streetlights. The brush part was bended a little, showing a V-shape upside down. The brush hairs were still on the inner part of the V. There were several markings, each one glowing faintly red on the outer appearance. There was a button, the same one with the same bow on it like Touyo’s uniform at the bottom of the V-shape.Bookmark here

‘Whoa! It looks even cooler than what I imagined!” Touyo shouted from within his chest, not minding the loud noise he was making.Bookmark here

However, Tsubaki did not admonish him on that as she too was caught in the excitement.Bookmark here

“I thought it might be a little bit difficult for you. Other than being good at Life Magic, you must’ve really wanted to fly.”Bookmark here

“Yeah!” Touyo turned his head quickly to answer in kind. “How do I get started already?!”Bookmark here

“Haha, relax, relax,” Tsubaki put her hand up to slow down Touyo’s rapid pace. “First off, let me show you an example.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki floated down to the ground, her boots now touching it as it made a light thump. Touyo’s heart paced from the adrenaline.Bookmark here

“Now, let me show you how it works,” Tsubaki said as she lifted her hand, her fingers stretched out. Then another poof of purple smoke appeared, and as soon as if drifted away, it showed another broom in her outstretched hand.Bookmark here

The broom was rather simple compared to Tsubaki’s style. It was an old-fashioned broom with a long brush that looked like a paintbrush.Bookmark here

She moved it under herself as she lifted her leg, curvy and snow-colored, over the broom. It caught Touyo’s eyes as his face grew hot from that small glimpse of that, pretending that he didn’t see anything above that.Bookmark here

Tsubaki was now straddling over the broom, her both hands on the stick while her smile was on her face.Bookmark here

“Here’s how you ride it. You just get over it, and then infuse some arcana into it. Like so!”Bookmark here

As Tsubaki said it, she lifted herself off the ground once again—this time the broom lifting her up. Her majestic being flew upwards and floated in front of the shining moon. Her darkened view in front of the blinding light made Touyo stretch his jaw.Bookmark here

“Ooh!” Touyo exclaimed in excitement.Bookmark here

“Now, you try it!” Tsubaki said with the same feeling as Touyo, getting the most fun out of this instead of him.Bookmark here

Touyo, recording what she has done perfectly in his mind, grabbed his modified broom. His heart pumping with adrenaline, he straddled over it bearing the image of flight in his mind.Bookmark here

There was only one problem. The moment he tried to straddle over the broom, the slightly thick pole became an intense problem.Bookmark here

“Ghh…!”Bookmark here

A pained grunt escaped his lips the moment he straddled over it. He jerked his knees together, but it only made the pain underneath him worse.Bookmark here

“Mmh? Touyo? What’s wrong?” Tsubaki noticed the not-so-pleased expression on his face and asked.Bookmark here

“N-Nothing, it’s just…” Touyo hesitated on actually saying. “It just… hurts straddling on it.”Bookmark here

“Mmh…?” Tsubaki pondered for a moment—before actually getting it. “Ah.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki flew back down to the ground, getting off the broom as she used her own body to fly towards him.Bookmark here

“Certainly, riding over it might be a little painful for a boy like yourself.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki made a rare blunder—She missed the crucial fact that riding a broom might be detrimental for boys. Riding a broom between his legs was too much for a young boy like Touyo to handle.Bookmark here

“D-Does this mean that I can’t ride it?” Touyo once again showed a downcast look, but then wrinkled his brows. “Wait…”Bookmark here

An idea popped into Touyo’s head. This idea was too crazy, and if he’s honest about it, not very smart. But the idea of being unable to fly the open air like Tsubaki rattled his senses amuck.Bookmark here

He had to do this by any means necessary.Bookmark here

He channeled his arcana into his broom. The moment he finished, he lets go of the broom. Charged with energy, the broom floated in the air by itself, causing Touyo great elation that he was able to do so. But that wasn’t the difficult part.Bookmark here

The next one was. He bended his knees, and jumped—right onto the broom.Bookmark here

His feet landed on the black pole, experiencing the feeling of standing on a springy metal coil. It accelerated his heart as he fumbled about until finally, he remained still—in midair.Bookmark here

“Hahahahahaha!” Touyo laughed like a maniacal genius. “I did it! I did it, Tsubaki!”Bookmark here

Touyo looked up to his master above, nearly losing his balance as his legs swiveled left and right before finally gaining the balance back.Bookmark here

Tsubaki remained impressed, making an awed expression with her fingers beneath her chin.Bookmark here

“Ingenious, Touyo,” Tsubaki commented from within her heart. It was truly revolutionary.Bookmark here

Actually floating in mid-air, his heart exploded in delight. He was truly flying. He looked up—Tsubaki looked down on him with a pleasant smile. In the corner of his mind, it would be dangerous if he goes farther up. However, his spirit urged him to move forward to greater heights. He had wanted to reach her place.Bookmark here

So Touyo willed his broom to fly. His broom acted on his orders and slowly flew towards to Tsubaki with nary a sound.Bookmark here

Slowly but surely, he inched closer to Tsubaki. His body wobbling shortened within time, and in a matter of seconds, he finally reached to her height.Bookmark here

“H-Haha! How’s that?!” Touyo laughed with child-like confidence.Bookmark here

“You continue to amaze me, Touyo. I haven’t even taught you how to move it, yet you already did it on your own. You might have a knack for this.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki was once again impressed—Since he could be magically challenged, she expected him to have difficulty flying on a broom. However, since he moved on his own without any further instructions, he went far beyond her expectations.Bookmark here

“Heh,” Tsubaki’s praise got into Touyo’s head. “This ain’t the only thing I can do!”Bookmark here

Her eyes widened from Touyo’s proclamation, his eyes were directed towards somewhere else—the night sky itself.Bookmark here

Touyo willed the broom further, flying farther than normal. This time he picked up speed as the wind pressure hit his face.Bookmark here

It liberated him.Bookmark here

“Whooooo!”Bookmark here

Touyo howled loudly, flying on his broom like a skateboard as he blazed through the starry night sky without a care in the world—his heart pumped with boundless energy.Bookmark here

Tsubaki couldn’t help but remain in awe as she gazed on Touyo for, what seemed like to be, the finest moment in his mage career.Bookmark here

“Oh, he’s really getting into it…” Tsubaki has underestimated his love for flying.Bookmark here

Touyo threw his caution to the wind, flying without hesitation—his earlier fear of falling to his death has been eradicated. The cold wind bitterly hitting against his face, his red hair fluttering about by the raging air pressure. Touyo could not get any more excited than this.Bookmark here

“Yeaaaaah!” Touyo howled, this time with more fervor.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Touyo slowly flew back down after going several rounds in the sky, finally letting his feet touch the ground. The moment he did, his natural weight returned to him. He nearly fumbled, his body letting out short gasps of breath. Even when the cold wind was hitting him, his face was sweating from the intense flying. Even when his arcana was nearly at his lowest, he couldn’t feel the aftereffects at all.Bookmark here

“Touyo, you really impress me,” Tsubaki said with a smile as she floated—without a broom, just by herself—towards him.Bookmark here

“Yeah…” Touyo let out short breaths between sentences. “I can’t believe that I could really fly.”Bookmark here

“It must have been exciting,” Tsubaki smirked from his innocent smile. “Now that you’re finished, you can put your broom away.”Bookmark here

“Oh, how do I do that?” Touyo grabbed his broom with his hand as he waited for her instructions.Bookmark here

“It’s simple. Just imagine the broom in another location, preferably in your closet, and pour arcana into it as you imagine it.”Bookmark here

“A-Alright…”Bookmark here

Touyo closed his eyes as she instructed. Upon imagining his closet within his room, the sturdy black pole in his hand disappeared instantly. He opened his eyes, noticing that the same *Poof!* occurred again, the light red smoke drifting away from the source. The broom was no longer in his hand.Bookmark here

“Awesome…” He spoke in amazement at the possibilities of what could happen if he ever gets encumbered with many items.Bookmark here

“Ah… Ah…”Bookmark here

The sweet yet shocked mutters made his ears twitched to spot out the source. His eyes widened when he noticed somebody watching.Bookmark here

It shouldn’t be possible. Tsubaki was supposed to have made an off-reality barrier. Nobody should have come here according to Tsubaki.Bookmark here

However, a thin looking girl wearing a simple white T-shirt and black yoga pants, carrying two grocery bags in her hands, took notice of the two people.Bookmark here

Her long blue hair and green eyes made Touyo immediately see who it was.Bookmark here

“Sosuke?!” Touyo shouted to himself, taking a step back in peril.Bookmark here

Tsubaki also showed a widened expression. The two of them were left in surprise.Bookmark here

Yuki, the girl who somehow managed to spot them, was left with a dropped jaw and eyes widened to their extent… and then…Bookmark here

“Oh my god! Are you guys mages?!”Bookmark here

Rather than fear or panic, Yuki responded with sparkling eyes. Still carrying her plastic bags in hand, she jumped over the railing and—Whoosh!—she rushed towards them, a trail of dust cloud left in her wake before she arrived at the two in a nanosecond. Her body was literally shaking from excitement.Bookmark here

The two were shocked by her sudden outburst of speed before Yuki began her questioning.Bookmark here

“You guys are mages, right? Both of you just flew, didn’t you? Then that means you have magical powers! Shikaya, you’re a magical boy, aren’t you!? Is the girl floating beside you your master? Oh my god! whatever is going on, I want in! Please, can I join you two?!”Bookmark here

Her sudden barrage hit them multiple times, leaving them dizzy and their heads spinning.Bookmark here

“U-Umm, Sosuke,” Touyo raised his hands, a sweat trickling down his shivering head. “What you saw just now was… a-a dream!”Bookmark here

A twitching smile on his lips, he hoped to persuade her otherwise.Bookmark here

However, it didn’t work.Bookmark here

“You think I saw a dream?! I know magic when I see one, and that’s definitely magic! You can’t fool me, Shikaya!”Bookmark here

“S-She’s really aggressive?!”Bookmark here

Touyo had to back up from Yuki constantly moving her face towards him, eyes blazing with fire and puffing out hot air.Bookmark here

Then, Yuki’s eyes widened, her breathing slowed and her eyelids slowly closed. Her body lost all strength like a puppet whose strings were just cut and fallen right over to Touyo. He instinctively caught her by the torso.Bookmark here

“W-Whoa?!” Touyo shouted in response.Bookmark here

“That should do it.”Bookmark here

Touyo noticed Tsubaki with a pleasant smile, her finger raised as she floated right behind where Yuki was.Bookmark here

“Ah, nice job, Tsubaki!” Touyo praised her for the job well done. However, a concern grew in his heart. “T-Though, you didn’t hurt her, did you…?”Bookmark here

“Of course not. She’s fine. She just lost consciousness. What I did was a simple relaxation spell that made her lost all sense of energy, so she’s sleeping to recover it.”Bookmark here

Tsubaki floated to Yuki’s side, a smile on her soft lips as she stared at the young girl peacefully sleeping away on Touyo’s chest. Her grocery bags on the ground, Tsubaki picked them up for Yuki as she glanced at her again. Her dainty like expression, compared to her earlier aggressive demeanor, proved to be so pleasing to the eyes from her round face.Bookmark here

“Touyo, let’s take her home.”Bookmark here

“R-Right, let’s get her to her house before she gets into trouble…”Bookmark here

“No, I meant your house.”Bookmark here

“Eh?! My house?!” Touyo widened his eyes. “W-Why?!”Bookmark here

“Don’t ask yet,” Tsubaki kept silent on that matter. “For now, I’ll deal with her parents at her house, so just take her to your house to rest.”Bookmark here

“W-Why all of a sudden… He uttered out a groan. Before he could complain more, Tsubaki floated up to the sky and instantly vanished into thin air—teleporting to Yuki’s house.Bookmark here

Her teleportation spell. It was his first time seeing it, and it completely astounded him. After getting mesmerized, he turned back to the unconscious girl in his hands. Touyo let out a grand sigh.Bookmark here

“I look like a criminal doing this…”Bookmark here

He hoped that nobody else was around to see him right now.Bookmark here

Jio Kurenai
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