Arcana Magi Zero Arc 2 - c.1

by H-M Brown

      Alysia and Megumi held onto their parents, using the Mana to cover their bodies and luggage to get through the painted tunnel. Everyone fell onto the floor before Madam Mayweather's feet. As the girls slid off their parents backs, Marissa and Arturo lifted their heads up and saw the old woman take a puff of her long pipe. Her emotionless expression gave no welcome to the family. She just walked away while Arturo helped Marissa to her feet.
      “Are you okay?” Arturo said.
      “Yes dear.” Marissa looked at her husband while their daughters just walked ahead of them. They looked back and saw the tunnel had a painting of Earth in the center. They let out a light gasp.
      “This is not your museum.” Mayweather said as she sat on her big beanbag chair.
      “Is that really earth?” Arturo asked as Marissa slid her hand over the painting.
      Mayweather exhaled smoke. “Indeed.”
      As the couple looked up at the ceiling, their daughters took their hands and led them to the small beanbags the appeared from thin air. Alysia dropped her body on it, much to Mayweather's dismay, and stretched her body out with a smile.
      “What have I told you about throwing yourself on my seats, Shorty?”
      “Yeah, yeah. It's just a beanbag Oldie.”
      “Alysia!” Marissa's eyes struck her daughter like a dagger.
      “s… sorry.” Alysia said, slinking deeper into the bag.
      “huu… kids.” Mayweather channeled her Mana and aimed up to the ceiling. “We should arrive in Japan in an hour. I just need to set the coordinates to the center of the city.”
      “The center?” Megumi said and Mayweather nodded.
      “It will be nighttime there, if there are Nocturne lurking, I want to get the advantage over them. Then we can go to the Shrine of Four Mythical Elemental Beasts.”
      “You mean Four Mythic Elements, right?” Alysia said looking at Megumi, who answered with a shrug.
      “You were young Megumi when your mother hid you so I would not expect you to know the full name of your family's shrine. It has changed over the years and people used the name in different ways, even the beasts themselves. I never could understand the need for a long name.”
      “um, excuse me.” Marissa said. “I think we need to talk about what we plan to do once we get to the Shrine.”
      “Simple.” Mayweather said letting out another puff of smoke. “I plan to leave you all there and let the Clans and Society do their jobs.”
      “What? You can't so th—” Alysia said and her father raised his hand to silence her. Marissa gave her glaring look, but Alysia returned the stare as well. She heard Megumi's cough catching her attention. Megumi shook her head no. Alysia clenched her teeth, pounded the beanbag and walked away.
      Megumi turned to Marissa. “I'll talk to her.”
      “No.” Her mother said. “You stay right there.”
      As Megumi watched, Marissa got up and followed Alysia into a corridor. Megumi turned to Arturo. Her eyes trembled, catching Mayweather's attention. She too got up and walked away from the adults. Arturo followed her as well, but was met with Megumi's hand stopping him.
      “Please.” Megumi placed her hand over her chest. “I need some space.”
      “Your mother and I are here for you.”
      “I know. I just…” Megumi turned to her father. “I don't know how to say this.”
      “What ever is on your mind, just tell us.”
      Megumi nodded. “Excuse me.”
      She walked away, leaving Arturo standing in disbelief and he overheard Alysia yelling. “I can't explain it, please!”
      “Alysia wait!”
      Arturo turned towards Marissa and watched Alysia run away. The parents looked at each other and shared defeat at the hands of their children. Mayweather exhaled smoke, focusing on the ceiling, and she cast her spell.
      “We will be there in one hour.”
      Arturo shifted his head toward Mayweather.
      “Do you want me to say something Mr. Perez? Or do you want me to mind my business?”
      Arturo opened his mouth, but Marissa arrived and nudged him away. “Hey, no shoving.”
      “We have to talk sweetie.”
      “Okay, okay.”
      “I would like a strand of you hair. Both of you.”
      “Sure thing Karin.” Marissa said.
      “Don't I get a say?”
      “No, move on.”
      Mayweather watched the couple go into the corridor. She rolled her eyes.
      “To be young, and stupid.” Mayweather leaned back, tapping the ashes out of her pipe into a small portal, as lights shined above the ceiling outlining the map of earth. A star appeared in Japan's eastern shore and a line from Newark drew across the map to connect with the destination.
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      Mayweather approached the Perez family, waiting at the tunnel with their luggage in tow. She walked between them separating the girls from their parents and stopped. In her hands, she presented Marissa and Arturo a baseball bat for each. Marissa smiled while Arturo analyzed the weapon in confusion.
      “I enchanted these bats just for the two of you. It's a permanent spell tied to the both of you. Both of these bats share your DNA from the hair strands, so you two can use any of them with no problem.”
      “So what do they do?” Arturo said.
      “Once swung, you will strike with a gravitation force. Sort of like an anvil falling from the sky… after being thrown from space. So be careful, because you can strike the air like you would hammer a wall.”
      Arturo stopped swaying and handed the bat to Marissa.
      “Also, while holding the bat, it provides an energy shield minimizes weaker spell attacks when you are struck.”
      “Weaker?” Marissa said. “Why not protect us from all spells?”
      “Mom.” Megumi said. “Think of the bat having three stats, one for offense, one for defense and one for speed, but it's scaled.”
      “Very good Megumi.” Mayweather said. “I put more enchantment power in offense then in defense and kept speed normal at normal level.”
      “Got it.”
      “I would rather you two destroy something and keep running than become turtles and sit in one place. The Nocturne are relentless… and whoever planted that statue back in Newark.”
      “So we're really going to fight them?” Alysia said as Mayweather stood before the tunnel painting.
      “No.” Mayweather looked back at the girls and noticed they are in regular clothes. “I'd suggest you change into your costumes.”
      The girls looked at the parents and they scurried away, leaving Mayweather rolling her eyes.
      “It's okay Karin.” Marissa said. “They're still kids at heart.”
      “We're ready.” Megumi said and she led Alysia towards their parents, in their outfits with Fable and Saga in hand. Megumi's fox ears and tail twitched while Alysia's small wings stretched. They both saw Mayweather stare at them. “Something wrong?”
      “No.” Mayweather turned to the parents. “Sunshine is a powerful spell. Once cast we cannot return here and use it to travel to the Shrine. They both require lots of mana and I only have so much.”
      “I understand.” Marissa said and Arturo nodded.
      The girls looked to each other and shrugged as Mayweather turned to the tunnel. Karin pressed her hands on the painting, activating the spell. Everyone grabbed their luggage and waited. The tunnel soon became a portal, pulling everyone in. They flew behind Mayweather to other end. As Mayweather landed on her feet, the family fell on top of each with the luggage falling into a pile beside them.
      “The tunnel is not a ride.”
      “Sorry.” Megumi said as her father helped her to her feet.
      Alysia stood to her feet and discovered they were in an alley. The dead end has the same drawing like in Newark.
      “Come, Shorty.”
      “Yes Madam Mayweather.” Alysia grabbed her luggage and rolled it behind her. Looking up at the sky, it was nighttime. She could see the crescent moon above, adding to the darkness. Alysia caught up with her family exiting out into the open. She gasped at the sight of people lying on the ground. “What happened?”
      The people were leaning on the side with glassy eyes. Some muttered, while others shivered. Megumi approached on of them.
      “Stay close.” Mayweather said and Magumi looked back to them where she saw Marissa wave her over.
      Megumi returned to the group to the sound of hissing. She looked around trying to figure out where it's coming from. Megumi opened up Fable and flipped to an open page. She began drawing large statues as quick as she could.
      “Be careful Meg.” Alysia said. “Don't let them drag your drawings like before.”
      “Get behind us.” Arturo said standing side by side with his wife. They couple watched Mayweather, channel her mana looking up to the sky.
      Megumi placed her hand on the page and channeled her mana. “GOLEM DEFENDERS!”
      Her magic circle appeared before and four large statues climbed out of one after the other. Red eyes appeared in the shadows ahead of the circle. Megumi took a deep breath. “Here they come.”
      Alysia twirled Saga and aimed between the golems marching toward the creatures. She channeled her mana.
      “Watch out for the people.” Megumi said.
      “I know!” Alysia cast her spell. “AIR BURST!”
      A ball of air flew past the golems and it struck the eyes, pushing them back. The people scurried on their hands and feet, like roaches. Terror in their faces as Alysia watched them pass by. She turned back to the golems and watched them wrestle with the shadows. Barely any light shining on them, she struggled to get a good look at the monsters.
      “Look out Marrisa!” Arturo swung his bat. A ripple of air streaked across like a pebble in water. The impact shattered the Nocturne into liquid. He stumbled back with eyes wide open, analyzing the bat again.
      “DUCK DAD!” Alysia jump flipped over her father. She stretched out her body swinging Saga. The blade of the wing sliced the nose of a four-legged Nocturne forcing it to withdraw to the others. With her staff aimed upward, she channeled her mana and sparked of electricity gathered at the tip. “STATIC STORM!”
      Alysia stretched her left hand out at the Nocturne, and the electricity connected with her fingertips like beacon. Strands of electricity stretched outward to the Nocturne and they screamed, writhing in pain. Alysia held onto to the spell as Marissa swatted another Nocturne away from behind. She stopped and watched her daughter's eyes grow cold and emotionless. The creatures struggled to run away but they were held down by the spell.
      Marrisa started sensing anger in herself. Looking at her hands, she realized she was feeling anger and hate.
      “No. Alysia calm down.” She reached out to Alysia, but the electricity spread over Marissa and pushed her back.
      “Mom!” Megumi hurried over and sat beside Arturo to check on Marissa.
      Everyone looked at Alysia as she pushed her spell further, and witnessed each Nocturne in her grasp explode. The sky turned bright. A small sun touched the midnight sky. It was now daylight despite the crescent moon and stars still visible to the naked eye. Alysia saw the mess she made with her spell. The cold feeling subsided. She turned to her family; their eyes trembled at what they saw. Alysia stepped back looking at her hands.
      “Something came over us.” Marissa said. “I felt it.”
      Mayweather approached Alysia. “It is done. Do not concern yourself. They are not like us, or nature.”
      Alysia's tears fell and Marissa hurried to her.
      “Mana Glider!” Alysia hopped and flew away before her mother could grab her.
      “Alysia, we're not mad at you!” Marissa said as Arturo held her shoulders and Megumi flew after her. “Please, just tell use what's hurting… you.”
      “I'll get her back mom.” Megumi picked up speed. “Alysia come back!”
      The adults watched the girls fly away, Marissa leaned her head on her husband in tears, and gripped his hand.