Black Witch Tsu-To-Yu!
A week has passed, and the Black Witches have gathered together to face against the unnatural phenomenon called Ghouls.
So far, Tsubaki has been teaching her students the proper way to pace themselves in their fights. She also taught them how to give themselves breaks and figuring out the ghoul’s weaknesses.
Tsubaki made sure to drill practicality into their heads, making it important to experience their spells than just learning it. She wanted them to use spells as equal as breathing to them.
It’s been a week since Tsubaki forced them to keep fighting ghouls. Each time they would fight against different kinds of ghouls of all shapes and sizes, leaving the students’ minds in a fritz through the days.
Though, after a week, the two were getting used to things. They learned how to properly act during life-threatening battles, though they were still green-horned on this particular activity.
It was in such a night where once again, they were facing a ghoul of considerable difficulty. In the area where they learned that a ley line existed and is practically charged with arcana all day, the Black Witches were on top of the building to fight against a ghoul to raise their experience.
Standing side by side, Touyo and Yuki had already developed their own actual battle stances—very much like the anime characters in their favorite shows. Yuki had her hands raised, with her right hand slightly more forward than her left, and her knees bent while her skirt swayed from the gust of wind that flew by.
Her solemn round face with her long blue hair swaying from the breeze made a sight of a true to honest magical warrior.
On the other hand, Touyo’s stance was rougher than Yuki’s graceful posture. Both his hands were hard-gripped fists, his left fist facing forward while his right fist was kept close to his chest. He learned the hard way that using all his weight on one leg is an invite for disaster as he occasionally gets tripped by clever ghouls throughout the week, so he kept his weight evenly on both legs.
The ghoul they were facing was already on its last limits. It was a furry creature resembling a scarecrow with its long gangly body and weird green fur all over it. It opened its fanged mouth to heavily breathe in and out from the hard-fought battle ensuing between them.
Meanwhile, floating above the roof of the building right in the dark sky filled with glittering stars, their magic teacher patiently gazed at the battle with a keen interest and a smile to boot. Her body lied on the front, the air acting as her bed. Her boot-covered feet raised up and her hands were below her chin. Her slanted eyes studied every moment of the battle, while a cold crisp air flowed in on the battlefield.
The ghoul screeched. It moved both its furry hands forward. The fur on them grew longer and even launched them towards one of them—specifically Touyo.
Touyo learned now that he is always the main focus of being hit. The reason being is that Yuki’s high magical capacity actually frightens the Ghouls like she was a powerful queen of the realm and they were the scamps that lived within it. So the ghouls often target Touyo in order to take out any other trouble.
In other words, they adopted the famous role-playing game strategy of taking out the weakling before facing the big boss.
When he learned that from Tsubaki, a sense of frustration grew inside of him. Gritting his teeth, Touyo used the personal lessons he learned throughout the fights with the ghouls to dodge the attack by sidestepping in a quick motion. He lunged to the floor by the side where the unnaturally growing fur missed him by a near graze.
Yuki took this chance as the two learned to use this method of taking their attention by having Touyo dodge the incoming attack, all to let Yuki give the final blow.
Touyo screamed out as he turned back to see the fur still being launched by the ghoul’s hands. Yuki’s nodded her head and moved her hand which became charged with arcana.
Yuki’s hand formed the azure magic circle in front of it. From that circle, a glowing mist of cold air burst forth. The cold air hit the fur, and following in the fast couple of seconds, the strands of fur became encased in white ice. It eventually traveled towards to the source—to the ghoul itself.
The ice quickly covered the fur all the way to the ghoul, causing it to flinch and panic while trying to stay away. However, since the fur was directly coming from it, it had no choice but to become the victim of the rapidly freezing ice. It eventually froze it solid.
Now that their target has become immobile, Touyo pointed at the icey ghoul with two fingers. He used his index and middle, shaping his hand to look like a gun.
He focused on his target as he charged himself with arcana, and a little bit of frustration welling inside of him into it as well.
It was Touyo’s newly formed magic attack—though he calls it that, he only just changed his original spell with a new twist.
Since magic is mostly imagery, as explained by Yuki, Touyo can form his magic in any way he pleases. So, if he imagined a powerful flame devouring his victims, then he can use his fire spell to give off a flame-thrower type attack that envelops his enemies into a blazing conflagration. But in this case, he needed to form his fire to accurately target his far-off enemy.
So to help him visualize a powerful shot, he changed the way he poses with his hand. He pretended that his finger turned into a gun which he visualized to be the perfect accurate shot.
This formed Touyo’s new attack—Fire Bullet.
The crimson magic circle appeared, and like a bullet shot out of a gun, the fire short forth from the circle resembled that of a small burning comet that shot straight towards the frozen being.
The fire shot through the chest of the gangly ghoul like a true bullet, and it hit precisely where Touyo expected its jewel to be—which turned out to be right
The frozen being encased in ice began to evaporate within it. The dark particles continued to form in the ice, eventually breaking it apart and the dark particles soon dissipated into the air. It left behind the small jewel used as its life source on the floor along with the broken ice.
“Nice job, my Black Witches!”
The bellowing voice resounded as their magic teacher floated downwards in a slow approach, giving her praise to her students who were heaving heavily to regain their breaths.
“Whoo… it’s still so thrilling and scary…”
Yuki put her hand on top of her chest, her heart still beating at a fast pace. Her veins were pumped with adrenaline, but slowly they were being drained as the situation had already passed.
“You’ve taken out another ghoul for the night! That’s something to be proud of, my darling witches!”
Tsubaki floated towards the jewel on the floor and picked it up with her dainty hands. She marveled at the jewel by holding it up to the shining moon up above and flashed a smile similar to that shine. Tsubaki then made the jewel in her hand dissipate into particles. putting it away somewhere she can reach without question.
“Hah, Tsubaki, we’ve been facing these ghouls for a while now. Shouldn’t you teach us something by now?”
Touyo picked himself up from the floor, dusting off his pants to rid himself of the dirt. Yuki also helped as she patted Touyo’s lower back as he couldn’t reach by the way he struggled to get to it.
“Yeah. I mean, I don’t mind getting experience, but it gets tiring facing these ghouls…”
Yuki added on after dusting Touyo’s back, the two students facing their teacher with a mild displeased look on their faces.
“You kids sure are impatient,” Tsubaki heartily laughed, placing both hands on her hips to put on her usual pose. “Well, not that I don’t blame you. Keep eating the same meal and you’ll get sick of it soon enough. The same concept applies to here. Don’t worry, we’re not going to keep farming for these jewels for long.”
“Huh?” Touyo thought he misheard that, but after paying close attention to it, Tsubaki made it sound like they were playing a role-playing game. “What do you mean ‘farming’ jewels?”
“Ohohohoho, we’ll soon find something to do. But for now, you guys deserve a rest for tonight.”
“Hey, don’t change the subject!”
Touyo snapped after Tsubaki put her hand over her mouth and giving off some strange laughter like a spoiled rich girl. Tsubaki floated towards Touyo, surprising him a little as she flew towards his pendant hanging around his neck, disappearing into it.
“Whoo, I’m getting pretty tired myself~ You guys should head to sleep so that you won’t wake up all teary-eyed and exhausted!”
Only Tsubaki’s voice could be heard within the necklace before becoming silent, leaving both Touyo and Yuki to express worrisome faces towards each other.
“W-Well, I guess I should be heading home. I still got some errands to do before I go to sleep,” Yuki said, slightly scratching her cheek.
“Yeah, and I need to return home before Mom raises a fuss.”
“Hehe, you shouldn’t make your mother worry,” Yuki giggled, her hand near her mouth as she hid a smile.
“Yeah, yeah, I get you,” Touyo also smiled back, though his smile was slightly sarcastic to go along with his tone.
Yuki couldn’t stifle her giggle once more. “Then, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Alright, good night. Have a good sleep.”
After making their nightly greetings, Yuki waved at Touyo as she created her azure magic circle and opened up a teleportal. She waved at Touyo before disappearing into it completely.
Touyo waved back as he brought his broom out and flew back to his own home. He wanted to enjoy his nightly flying just a bit more rather than just teleporting there.
On the way there, he was met with cold air caressing his face and the building's lights from below flowing by like a flashing river. Touyo reminded himself of his greeting with Yuki before, the memory still fresh within his mind.
“Looks like you guys are getting quite close to one another.” Hearing Tsubaki’s voice again, Touyo saw her transparent being flow out of the pendant to face him. She looked back with a smile comparable to the brilliance of the moon far above him.
Touyo figured that this would be it, considering that he and Yuki were slowly getting used to each other.
Since the days passing by, Touyo was getting used to Yuki’s presence—and according to her close greetings, it looks like Yuki is getting used to Touyo as well. Though Tsubaki is classified as an extra being, it was the first time that Touyo and Yuki have gotten close to anyone other than their own parents.
“That’s good, that’s good,” Tsubaki nodded her head, putting on a position of crossing her legs while also crossing her arms in accordance. “You two should be friendly with each other just like that. That’s how Black Witches form their friendships.”
“You still haven’t answered my question from before, Tsubaki…”
Wanting to change the subject as soon as possible, as his face was growing hot from embarrassment, he asked the question that was on his mind before.
“Hehe, don’t worry about it. I’m putting the jewels into good use. Let’s just say that there are lots of good reasons to why we’re hunting ghouls other than raising your magic levels.”
“…Tsubaki, do you usually play role-playing games? Cuz’ you sound like you play them.”
“I dabble a bit here and there from Yuki’s room using the powerful ‘internet’.”
Tsubaki said while raising her nose up, proud of her knowledge. Touyo could only roll his eyes as he focused on getting himself home before getting into trouble with his mother.
After returning home, eventually sleeping away to the new day, the Black Witches once again reunited in the morning to head to their school as part of their routine.
Walking along the sidewalk as usual, the Black Witches enjoyed their random discussions on the way. Surprising for the introverts who were considered outcasts by their classmates.
“And then, and then! Miyuri shot off another magnificent ‘Miyuri Shot’! The animation went off really well, as expected of the famous artist who made several famous anime across our time!”
“That sounds pretty cool. I might look at it online at Metube.”
“Oh, why not watch the show itself? It’ll be ten times better than watching it on a short video!”
“You know how many episodes there are in that show? It’ll take me years to get to that part!”
The discussion was as usual for Touyo and Yuki, talking about the finest part of the Magical Girl Miyuri show. Meanwhile, Tsubaki listened in on the topic, smiling to herself in her transparent form as she floated between the two.
(Good to see that these two are getting used to each other,) Tsubaki viewed at the two once more, their ecstatic smiles filling her with joy.
But then, a jolt ran through her body, overriding her senses. She perked her ears, sensing a presence within the air around them.
Normally, Tsubaki would assume that it was another ghoul. Since the students are too young to sense them yet, she would normally pick it up. But this time, she doesn’t sense hardly any hostile intent, so she wasn’t on guard.
However, there was something similar she sensed from that presence, marring her face with a distasteful frown.
“Mmh? What’s wrong, Tsubaki?” Touyo turned to his transparent master making a face that seemed unlike her, surprising Yuki as well.
Before long, the air around them became heavier, their bodies under pressure. Something intangible was weighing on their heads and shoulders.
The two raised their heads towards the sky, seeing nothing but air. But according to their experiences, it won’t be just empty for long.
The air cracked above them, eventually dissipating to show a vortex-like hole that appeared to be electrified by slithering jolts of electricity coiling around it.
Danger possibly afoot, the two students quickly armed themselves in their magic armor uniforms and put themselves into their combat stance.
“Guys, relax, it’s somebody that I know… unfortunately.”
Tsubaki floated forward in front of her students, eventually becoming solid in form as she placed her hands on her curvy hips while putting on a pouting frown.
The two students looked back in surprise, and eventually lowered their arms. Their guard was still up within their minds, however.
Eventually, something came out of the vortex-like hole, having the resemblance of three beings stepping out of the hole and falling to the ground. Two of them landed with precision, like superheroes that fell from the sky into a standing position. The final one floated with nothing but the air holding her, showing a rather proud position with her arms crossed together and a grin on her face.
“It’s been a while, Tsubaki… I see that you’ve been released of your captivity,” The young woman said with a grin on her face, looking down on Tsubaki who coiled her legs together with a pout.
The young woman floated down equally in the air and in the same position as Tsubaki while in between the two hooded figures that stood idly by. The young woman had a black dress similarly to Tsubaki, but it had a few ribbons on her arms and long black gloves that nearly reached to her elbow. She actually wore sneakers on her feet instead of the boots Tsubaki wore, and her short light-blue hair reached her neck resembling a sea-shell with the corners facing upwards.
“Yeah, no thanks to you, Adrena,” Tsubaki responded with a snappy comment, showing a mixture of a grin and a furrowed look.
“H-Hey, Tsubaki, who’s this?” Touyo closed in towards Tsubaki to whisper to her on the identity of their sudden visitor.
“She’s Adrena… my sister.”
Touyo and Yuki both whispered loudly at the sudden information of her relative.
“Unlike me, she’s from the Dark Sorcerers—mages who govern the law and order in the Underworld.”
“L-Law and order… you mean like policemen?” Touyo made this assumption after careful thought. Tsubaki replied with a nod.
“Yeah, but they run a tight ship—meaning that they don’t accept anyone who has a low-grade magic core. They’re the kind that I hate the most.”
Touyo and Yuki sensed the animosity hidden in her tone towards these so-called ‘Dark Sorcerers’. They turned to each other with creased brows as they watched the meeting done between these two sisters.
“Aren’t you supposed to be a talented mage? You couldn’t even get out of a simple book like that. Now, I would have helped you out, but I thought that you had it all well made. After all, you are ‘gifted’…”
Adrena raised her dainty hand to her mouth, her leathery glove squeaking as she does. She gave off a pompous laughter that revealed Tsubaki’s angered expression by furrowing her beautiful brows.
“Hey, Touyo, what does she mean by that?” Yuki whispered to Touyo to learn more about this book that they were talking about.
“Ah,” Touyo realized that Yuki has not learned of Tsubaki’s origin. “I helped release Tsubaki from a suspicious book by giving it my blood. It turns out that she was stuck there as a prank.”
Touyo said as he recalled each scene that occurred vividly in his mind, but he noticed Yuki’s bead of sweat rolling down her cheek. It was clear that she was shocked that Tsubaki could be trapped like that.
“Heh, I just didn’t feel like doing anything. And besides, if anything, that got me to find my students.”
“Oh? So these two really are your students then, by the look of their god-awful uniforms…”
The floating woman, Adrena, looked down at Touyo and Yuki showing a raised brow. The two were taken aback by the sudden insult to their faces, but kept quiet as Adrena exuded the same kind of presence as Tsubaki from her—meaning that she was as powerful as her.
So they withheld their opinions—well, not like they could say it out loud in the first place—and continued listening to this pompous mage.
“I know that you’ve been scraping at the bottom of the barrel lately, but honestly, I think you had a better chance at the bottom instead of picking these two…”
“My, my, already insulting them on the first meeting? Could it be that you’re already afraid?”
“Who said that I’m afraid?!”
The pompous attitude melted away as soon as Tsubaki spoke again, revealing Adrena’s angered-stricken face.
“Hmph!” Adrena scoffed. “Like I’m gonna listen to someone who actually took in students from earth! The people of earth have a severely declined Magic Core. Even if you force them awake, they won’t be able to attain the experience of using magic fluently!”
Adrena looked down on Tsubaki with a mild glare, the two of them butting heads against each other as something like a spark of rivalry began to shoot out from their glaring eyes.
“You don’t know anything about them! Even after just a week, my students have progressed much more than any of yours!”
“Hah! I would really like to see that!”
The two sharing ecstatic smiles, something stirred in the air for the two students as Touyo peered behind Adrena to see the two hooded beings keeping silent.
The two hooded beings seemed to be in the same height as the students, so it was possible that these two were at the same age. However, there was a certain air about them. Similar to soldiers prepped for battle from an army.
Something jolted within Touyo after viewing their darkened faces. Their eyes within the darkness glared at them like hunters glaring at their prey. He could tell that these two are experienced mages, even though they could possibly be the same age.
“What are you even doing here anyways, Adrena? Did you just come to visit so that you’ll give me your bullshit?” Tsubaki asked, the two female masters gripping at each other’s cheeks, their teeth and gums becoming visible the farther they tried to stretch.
“I was ordered by our Empress to come find you. If I wanted, I would have left you in that stupid book so that you’ll be kept out of my hair! But honestly, even she would be disappointed to see that you picked two random kids to be your students!”
Touyo tilted his head after mentioning another person, an empress no less, who apparently knew Tsubaki back wherever she came from.
“These students will beat your own students, no problem!”
Tsubaki suddenly said, though her face was still gripped by Adrena’s fingers. The two students became surprised and flinched in shock.
“H-Hey?!” Touyo shouted, but he got ignored by them.
“Hah! Then let’s see to it that you’ll be put in your place! Tonight, in a place with tons of space, we’ll have a showdown between our students! Whoever wins will obviously receive bragging rights!”
“Deal! I can’t wait to see your students come crying home in tears back to the Underworld!”
Before long, the two childish masters gave off a big ‘hmph!’ by turning their heads away, and each one floated back towards their own students.
Adrena, once she got back with them, used the same magic spell that summoned the vortex-like hole in the sky. The three jumped back through the hole they once went into before the hole disappeared into thin air.
While Tsubaki floated back, cursing at the master who just left under her breath, the two students were left with widened eyes.
“…What the hell you were thinking, Tsubaki?!”
“M-Master Tsubaki! We can’t fight them!”
The two students went up to their master’s face with their own, each one showing an expression of fear and anger mixed together.
“Relax, you two,” Tsubaki gave off a wry smile by holding her hands up. “I know that you two will win! Besides, this will also be a good opportunity to gain more experience besides hunting ghouls. Though it looks like she’s training those two, and sure enough, they look pretty tough.”
“Yeah, and fighting them is too soon! I can’t even fight with different magic spells, Tsubaki! How can I even win?!”
Touyo’s repertoire of magic spells is fairly limited to just one—two if you count the different version of fire. He complained while gripping both his hands into fists, placing his anger onto Tsubaki who in response wagged her finger.
“Oh, Touyo… there are plenty of ways to fight even without learning much magic…”
This caught Touyo’s attention, lowering his fists down and raising his brow along with Yuki. Tsubaki then motioned them to come closer with her wagging finger, closing them in as Tsubaki, for some reason, whispered her battle strategy to them.