• Published 12th Dec 2017
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Student 32: Sunset Shimmer - Show Stopper



Sunset's flight through the mirror has landed her in a rather strange world with even stranger magic. Can she survive this middle school life while being taught by a 10 year old from Wales? A Negima crossover fanfiction.

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Arc 1: Chapter 4

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by. And that made all the difference." Sunset sighed, closing her eyes and leaning back against the bookshelf. Guess that settles it, she thought. They say that once you can appreciate poetry, you've mastered the language. She opened her eyes, looking out over the massive cavern before her. Not that there's been much else to do down here.

They'd landed here two days ago, after they'd failed the Twister trap. The walls of the cavern were of chiseled stone, massive glowing tree roots providing both support and bright illumination. A gigantic lake filled the middle of the chamber, several smaller lakes surrounding it and all fed by a series of waterfalls that poured from the walls and ceiling high above. A small manor sat in the distance which contained working plumbing and electricity, along with a fully stocked kitchen. Bookshelves were scattered here and there, many of them half sunk in the pristine waters. Despite this, none of the books were damaged in any way, and they seemed completely dry when they were pulled from the water. Negi and most of the Baka Rangers had been in a long series of cram sessions and breaks while Sunset, Yue, and Konoka took a far more leisurely study schedule.

And Negi's magic should be able to get us out tomorrow, Sunset thought, shelving her book of poetry and scanning the shelves for anything else interesting. A few of her fellow students had been by a few minutes ago to invite her to take a bath with them, but she'd declined in favor of further reading. The light from the tree roots seemed to grow and dim with the passage of time, which Negi and Yue both confirmed aligned with the day-night cycle. Sunset planned to take a bath that evening right before bed, the better to maximize her study time.

"KYAAAAAAAAAA!"

Sunset sighed, turning and running towards where she'd heard Makie's screams. "This better be important," she muttered as she dashed through the sand and around a few trees. "If it's a spider or something, I'm gonna-"

Sunset rounded a final tree and skidded to a stop, staring in fear at the scene before her. The golem from before stood half-submerged in one of the smaller lakes, Makie held in one fist as he leered down at them.

"Negi-kun!" Makie shouted, waving frantically. "Help me!"

"D-don't pick on my students!" Negi shouted, stepping forward and brandishing his staff. I won't forgive you, even if you are a statue!" He braced himself starting to mutter under his breath. "Ras tel ma scir magi-"

"Don't be an idiot!" Sunset grabbed Negi by the back of his shirt, yanking him back. "What do you think you can do against something like this? Especially in your condition!"

"Hohoho!" the golem laughed. "You'll never get out of here alive! You'd be better off giving up hope right now! It takes three days to get through the maze and back!"

"T-three days!" Yue exclaimed.

"We won't make it back in time for the test-aru!" Ku Fei shouted.

"He's lying!" Sunset shouted, glaring up at the golem. "It only took us a couple of hours to reach the book room before, and we didn't fall that far!" Her glare morphed into a grin. "On the other hand, he did just tell us that there's a way out of here."

"...uum..."

"You're right!" Asuna shouted. "We can't give up! We won't give up! We're gonna get the hell out of here before tomorrow's final exam!"

"Ah! Everyone!" Yue shouted, pointing at the golem. "Look at where the golem's neck is!"

Sunset looked where Yue was pointing. There, caught in the armor around the golem's head, rested...

"It's that book of Meru-whatever!" Asuna shouted.

"We're taking that book!" Yue shouted dramatically. "Makie-san! Ku Fei-san! Kaede-san!"

"Okay!" Ku Fei replied, running forward. "All set. I'll show you the power of a member," she planted her feet firmly in the sand, "of the Chinese Martial Arts Research Society! Hai!"

She punched the golem in its left leg, creating a small crater with cracks that spread throughout it. She then leapt into the air, kicking out and doing similar damage to its right arm, forcing it to loosen its grip on Makie. Kaede was there in an instant, snagging Makie from the air and handing her her ribbon. Makie's ribbon lashed out, wrapping around the Book of Melchizedek and sending it sailing into her arms. Kaede landed easily, immediately taking off running with the rest of them in hot pursuit.

"W-wait!" shouted the golem as it began to limp after them, struggling on its injured leg.

"A-amazing!" Negi said.

"The Baka Rangers are really awesome at athletics," Asuna bragged.

"Athletics?!" Sunset shouted. "Are you kidding?! She cracked a golem made of solid stone without so much as bruising her hand! That's not awesome, that's insane!"

Asuna shrugged. "It must be what they call 'ki.' I mean, magic exists, right? Why not other things?"

Sunset opened her mouth to argue, only to close it as she had no idea what this "ki" was. In any case, her breath was better spent fueling her run from the golem.

"Everyone!" Yue called from up ahead. "There's an emergency exit behind this waterfall!"

Sunset, Asuna, and Negi rounded the corner too find the rest of the girls huddled around the door. "What the," Sunset said. "There's a question written on this door!"

Yue read the question aloud. "English Question Number 1: What is the past tense of read?"

"Why the hell is it asking us that?!" Asuna shouted as Ku Fei gave the golem another kick, forcing it back. She turned back as she heard the question.

"Hmm? Oh! I know this one-aru! The answer is read." Much to everyone's surprise, the door swung open at Ku Fei's response.

"Everyone hurry up and head inside!" Asuna shouted. They rushed down the long hallway before them, soon finding themselves in a dizzyingly tall circular room, a spiral staircase winding its way up along the edge and broken up occasionally by more doors. "Wh-what's this!" Asuna cried. "Can we even climb that far!"

"I can't see the top," Sunset said, "but it's not like we have much of a choice. Let's go!"

They fled up the stairs, the Baka Rangers answering question after question, covering every topic from Math to History to English. Finally, they reached the top, finding a service elevator that would provide a straight-shot to the surface. There was only one problem...

"BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ"

This elevator is overloaded.

"You've got to be kidding me!!!" Sunset shouted, glaring down at the approaching golem. "We're going to die down here because this stupid elevator thinks we're overweight?!"

"Everyone drop everything you're carrying! Even your clothes!" Everyone stared in shock at Asuna as she stuck her leg out and put a little weight on it. "Look! If I just put my leg outside, the buzzer stops! All we need to do is loose a little weight!"

Thank you, nudist culture! Sunset thought, stripping down to nothing and throwing her clothes out of the elevator. Sorry kid, but you'll be thanking us for this memory in a few years. She watched the rest of the girls strip and toss out their clothes, and was dismayed when the buzzer failed to shut off.

"Crap!" Sunset shouted. "Do we have anything else to lose?!"

"We've thrown out everything but the book!" Makie cried. "I even threw out my ribbon!"

"Hohoho!" The golem dragged himself over the final step, leering in at them. "I've got you now!"

Crap! Crap crap crap crap crap! Sunset backed up against the far wall, staring in fear at the golem. If I just had my magic, this thing would be nothing but a pile of charred rubble! What are we going to-

Negi stepped out of the elevator, brandishing his staff and silencing the buzzing of the elevator. "Everyone," he said, "I'm getting off. Please return to the surface and take the test tomorrow!" He glared out at the golem. "Hey, golem! Your opponent is right here!"

"Hoho," chuckled the golem. "You've got guts!" He raised his hand, bringing it slamming down. "Take this!"

Negi braced himself, staring the golem down and waiting for the strike to come.

"Urg!"

Negi fell back out of the way of the golem's swing as Asuna yanked him by the collar of his shirt. He looked back up at her, his eyes filled with shock. "A-Asuna-san!"

"This final exam is also the final exam for you to become a teacher or something, right?" Asuna demanded. "What's the point of us taking the test if you aren't there to pass? Don't try to act cool, you damn brat!"

"Eh? But the golem!" Negi cried. "What are we going to-"

"We're going to do this!" shouted Asuna, holding up the Book of Melchizedek.

Gasps and groans filled the elevator, along with more than one resigned sigh, as the book went flying from Asuna's hand. It struck the golem in the head just as the elevator doors closed. The elevator started to rise just as they heard the sound of the golem's cries as it tumbled down to the ground far beneath.

***

The next day had dawned, the night before filled with studying. Those involved in the Library Island Fiasco had been late to the test, but had been allowed to take it in another room. But still, despite all of their efforts, and despite the fact that Sunset was certain that she'd passed with a 100, class 2-A had come in dead last once again. Sunset sighed as she walked back to the dorms, contemplating her future. The rest of the Library Exploration Club and the Baka Rangers had gone to the train station to try and convince Negi to stay, but she couldn't do it. Her reasons for wanting him to stay were entirely selfish and, for once, she couldn't bring herself to manipulate someone to her own ends.

"Must be losing my touch," she muttered, unlocking the door to the room she shared with Nodoka and Yue. "That or I'm finally growing a conscience." She sighed, opening the door and preparing to fall face-first onto her bed.

Luckily for her, she noticed the pile of books and equipment on her pillow first. She tilted her head, gazing curiously at the star-tipped wand that rested at the top of the pile, a note pinned beneath it. She hesitated before picking up the note.

Nichibotsu-san,
I'm sorry I won't be able to teach you magic. Here is a set of beginner's equipment and spellbooks, along with the laws of magic and the laws for mages interacting with the non-magical world. When you've finished with these, talk to Takamichi.
He knows about magic and will be able to get you in contact with a proper teacher.
Good luck with getting back home.
Negi Springfield.

Sunset crumpled up the note, her fists shaking as she fought back tears. That idiot, she thought, glaring at the pile of books and equipment. I used you. I manipulated and blackmailed you. You aren't even my teacher anymore! YOU DON'T OWE ME ANYTHING!!!

The tears began flowing in earnest then, Sunset wiping them away only for more to take their place. "Damn it!" she muttered, pulling open her dresser drawers and hiding the magic supplies beneath her clothes. "Damn it, kid! Why do you have to be so... so... so much like HER!?" She collapsed on her bed, her body wracked with sobs that she refused to give sound to. She shivered and shook for several minutes before pulling herself together. Figuring that her roommates would be returning soon, she quickly flipped over her damp pillow and went into the bathroom to wash her face. Even at a time like this, she refused to let her facade drop.

The door to their dorm-room opened, cheers and cries of joy sounding from the halls as Nodoka ran in. Sunset had expected the tears in her friend's eyes, but had been unprepared for the smile that split her face. "Nichibotsu! Did you hear? Negi-sensei's staying!!!"

Sunset's eyes went wide, her jaw dropping. "Wh-what?! But, but we were in dead last! The principal said that-"

"They hadn't counted our tests yet!" Nodoka interrupted. "The Baka Rangers all pulled out in the 60's. Asuna even got a 71! And with the Expedition Club's good grades and your 100..."

"...we did it." A grin split Sunset's face as well. "We did it! We aren't at the bottom! And... wait." She did some quick math in her head. "Wait, but with those grades, that means..."

"First." Yue stepped in behind Nodoka, closing the door behind her. "Somehow or another, class 2-A managed to come in first in our grade."

Sunset's knees went out and she collapsed onto her bed, staring down at her hands. "So... he gets to stay. Negi-sensei..."

"Sensei?" asked Yue, her lips twitching upwards. "I think that's the first time you've called him that when you weren't mocking him.

Sunset blushed, refusing to make eye-contact. "D-don't read anything into it," she stammered. "H-he's still just a bratty kid, after all. Just... maybe he's earned a little more respect than I've been giving him."

Yue shrugged. "Whatever you say." She turned and opened the door again. "Come on. The class is getting together to celebrate with karaoke."

Sunset nodded, waving her off. "You two go ahead. I'm... going to go and congratulate Asuna and the kid." They nodded and walked off, leaving Sunset alone with her thoughts. She cast a quick glance at her dresser and the treasure trove of magic hidden within. I should really get started on that, she thought. After all, it's an entirely new system of magic. I still need to learn Latin, get a feel for how this magic works... Sunset shook her head as she stood. Forget it. I've got a brat to congratulate. She stepped out into the hall, closed the door behind her, and turned to go and find her teacher.

Author's Note:

Well, that finishes the first major story arc. I hadn't planned on Sunset softening towards Negi this early, but it looks like he was able to win her over sooner than I thought. Don't get me wrong, she's still going to give him a hard time, but she's going to find it harder to bring herself to lie to her new magic teacher going forward.

Fortunately for her, he won't be her magic teacher for long. I've got someone else in mind for that role. Someone who might be able to... cool down Sunset's fiery personality.

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