Sage of Origin: Chapter Two: Konoha’s Pact (Part 1) (Draft)

Story Title: Sage of Origin

Crossover: Naruto/ Final Fantasy VIII

Summary: Long before the tailed beasts walk the lands, the Guardian Forces watches over men. Then the cataclysm came and all were destroyed. The world was broken, and its only hope lies in the actions of one living sacrifice. Naruto Uzumaki.

OoooO

Chapter Two: Konoha’s Pact

10 days ago… Land of Valleys, Daimyo’s Castle

Long golden hair swayed around the cold beauty of the woman who got up from her throne, as the guards led a man who had a wide array of seals imprinted on his body into the chamber. She smiled, licking her lips as she surveyed the man with her physical and magical senses. The essence of the man had been boosted to incredible levels, pretty soon even the seals on the man would give out, unleashing his full potential.

She could identify the powerful spells within the man, which had evolved with each of her extraction. Reaching out with her senses, she extracted the magical potential of the man and smiled beautifully as she made the extracted para-magic her own.

“You have remarkable potential. I am sure your offspring will be remarkably useful to me as well.” The women said with a smile. She reached out to touch the shaking and terrified man casting out a complex intricate spell. The man screamed in horror as his body began to dissolve into pure energy.

The woman sucked in deeply, consuming the essence of a man whose potential had been nurtured to superhuman levels. The enormous power flooded her body, causing her to smile in delight, her hunger for the moment had abated.

“Ah, that was a delicious meal.” The woman said to the two guards who remained unmoved by her actions. “Send in Baiza, we can begin discussing the agenda for today.”

“Yes Lady Sairen.” The guards said in affirmative as they walked out of the throne room. Within moments, a white haired tan skinned man walked in, bowing to the woman.

“Lady Sairen.” The man, Baiza said as the woman walked back to her throne. “Our arrangement with the organization that called itself the Akatsuki has proceeded without a hitch. We’ve received the second life shipments of genin and chunin from the different hidden villages. They have been properly sealed and put into the pens.”

“Good.” The Lady Sairen said from her perch on the throne. “I do hope that this Akatsuki does not disappoint… like so many of our previous providers have done. It is so hard to find rogue nins who can get the job done these days. Unfortunately we need grunts to do tasks like this so that those taken into our pens would not be linked to our country.”

“Yes Lady Sairen, we’ll be monitoring the progress of our latest contacts closely. About the shipment, we’ve began breeding programs with the new stock, as per your instructions. Hopefully with this fresh infusion of gene pool into the old stock, it will provide you with more variety for your… consumption.” Baiza noted, keeping his eyes firmly on the floor.

Lady Sairen smiled. “I am sure I’ll find out soon once I’ve sampled the new…”

A wave of faint energy swept through the throne room interrupting her. It was familiar… Lightning… Ancient… Storms…

The Lady Sairen quickly got out of her throne, standing rigidly as her eyes stared into the distance, seeking for something that only she could sense.

“It cannot be… only a handful of us survived… He’s supposed to be dead…” Lady Sairen muttered, her face turning pale in shock.

“Lady Sairen?” Baizen asked, carefully lifting up his eyes to look at the blond haired woman with a touch of fear. The lady however ignored him.

“But that was definitely his call… his elemental signature. For it to resonate over the distance… he must be at full power and in his elemental form. But that’s impossible! Not even I am able to retain elemental form for long now!” Lady Sairen raged, clenching her teeth. In front of her, Baizen cowered in fright but the lady paid him no attention.

“I need to find out if it is really him… He has always been the noble one, if he found me, he’ll probably turn against me like what Shiva and Carbuncle had done.” Lady Sairen said, her face hardening. “He’ll need to be dealt with before he ruins all my plans.”

“Lady Sairen…” Baizen said in a weak voice, causing the lady to turn her attention to him sharply.

“Assemble my SeeDs Baizen.” Lady Sairen said coldly. “I have a task for them. It’s time that they go out into the world once more…”

OoooO

Present time… Outlying forest of Konoha

In order to cut down the time for them to return to Konoha, Kakashi had led them on a route different from the one they had taken to go to Wave country. The new route involved a lot of tree jumping and walking. They have been making good of their time, and by the second day, have already reached the outlying forest that surrounded Konoha. One more day of hard travel through the forest and they would be back in the village. Everything had gone smoothly until Naruto had suddenly stopped during a tree jump, causing Sasuke who was now bringing up Team 7’s rear to crash into him.

“What did you stop for?” Sasuke cursed, rubbing his bruised face which had smashed into Naruto’s head.

Naruto grimaced rubbing his head painfully, though his attention was at a spot near the tip of the tree whose branches they were now standing on. To his vision, a stream of colored light orbs was flowing around the tree top. The light orbs looked like a cloud of colored fireflies.

“There’s something there.” Naruto said pointing to the stream of flowing lights.

Sasuke looked at the spot that Naruto was pointing at and then frowned at him. “Idiot! There’s nothing there!”

What you are seeing is a natural energy convergence. My summoners in the past used to call occurrences like this Draw Points. Quezacotl spoke up in his head. Only those who have formed a pact with a Guardian Force can see them. Draw Points are natural convergence of nature energies in the physical world, and those who have formed a pact are able to extract naturally forming spells from a Draw Point.

“Sweet!” Naruto chortled in delight. Kakashi had made him promise not to draw anymore spells from living beings, but his lazy teacher most certain did not disallow him from drawing magic from natural energy formations. “Does the Draw Point also get more and more powerful with each spell I draw?”

Unfortunately no. Draw Points are a convergence of nature energies, as such, there’s a limited amount of spells you can pull from a Draw Point before it disappears. Quezacotl explained. Some Draw Points will reform again given time if they exist on an energy node or leyline. Others however will simply cease to exist once the magical energies are drawn.

“Energy node or leyline?” Naruto asked in confusion even as Sasuke gave him a look.

“Are you talking to Quezacotl? Did you see something I can’t see?” Sasuke was asking in rapid fire sequence. He was also frowning at the spot Naruto had pointed, as though if he stared hard enough he would see what Naruto had seen. Naruto was saved from answering by Kakashi. Kakashi and Sakura had only just realized that the two boys were not following and were already making their way back towards them.

“What are the two of you doing?” Kakashi called out, jumping to a nearby tree.

“I have a stitch at my side.” Naruto said as he clutched at his waist, trying to buy time while he was trying to make sense of what Quezacotl had told him.

So I just have to pull at the Draw Point and I’ll get some new spells? Naruto thought inquiringly back at Quezacotl.

Yes. And I’ll update you on the actual magical theory once we have the time. For now just draw the spells and be on our way. I can sense Kakashi getting impatient. Quezacotl answered, spurring Naruto into action.

Reaching out, Naruto pulled from the Draw Point. Quezacotl’s mental voice updated him on what spells he had actually pulled. 8 Protect magic has been drawn. Protect, a magical spell that creates an energy shield around targets preventing physical damage. The duration and power of the energy shield is highly based on the amount of magical energy/ chakra used to cast the spell.

“Well catch your breath and we’ll have to get going.” Kakashi was saying, obviously having no idea of what Naruto had just done. “We’re on a tight timeline.”

“I’m okay now, let us continue, we still have a distance to go.” Naruto said, suppressing his elation at getting new spells. The swirling stream of lights near the tip of the tree had vanished after he had finished pulling the spells from the Draw Point.

Kakashi gave a curt nod, jumping away to led the way, with Sakura following wearily after him. With the lowest stamina in Team 7, Sakura had been tired out easily during the journey, and had been too weary to unleash her inner fan girl on Sasuke. After a few moments, Naruto and Sasuke followed, with Sasuke glaring at the blond haired boy.

“So what happened?” Sasuke asked, not at all fooled by the excuse Naruto had given Kakashi. It was doubtful Kakashi would have believed him if the group was not pressed for time.

“Let’s just say I’ve gotten eight new spells.” Naruto said with a grin, causing Sasuke to blink in surprise.

“From who? I thought you promised Kakashi not to pull spells from people?” Sasuke asked as he eyed Naruto.

“It will take a while to explain.” Naruto said. “I will tell you when we set up camp for tonight.”

Sasuke frowned at Naruto as the two boys began running above the trees. Seeing that Naruto was not going to talk, Sasuke gave a shrug as he turned away from Naruto, quickly following after Kakashi and Sakura who were already in the distance.

OoooO

She was tired and drained after the hard journey. Returning from a cold bath in a nearby stream, she paused at the edge of the camp and stared incredulously at the sight of Naruto and Sasuke huddled together like buddies. Kakashi was talking to both of them while shaking his head, but the moment they caught sight of Sakura, they immediately stopped whatever they were going to say.

There’s something going on. Inner Sakura whispered. They are hiding something from us. Sakura blinked as a darker image of herself with flames in her eyes, growled within her mind.

Sakura shook her head. Inner Sakura as she like to call her, was a dark part of herself that had existed since she was young, a representation of her suppressed emotions. She tends to get flashes of Inner Sakura whispering in her head when she was feeling very emotional, but during the past few days, ever since Wave country, Inner Sakura had been constantly present in her head talking to her. With the stress of the journey and the worry of whether she was beginning to go crazy, Sakura was starting to feel very unwell.

“Sakura!” Naruto called up cheerfully, seemingly still full of energy. “Dinner’s ready, I’ve cook up the fish we’ve caught!”

“Thanks Naruto.” Sakura said wearily as she sat down beside the camp fire, taking a spit of a fish that was already cooked. She turned to look at Kakashi and her teammates. “So… what are you guys talking about just now?”

Naruto blinked and began to look uncomfortable. “Ah…” Naruto said but was cut off by Kakashi.

“Naruto was just asking me what Tazuna gave to each of you.” Kakashi said smoothly.

He’s lying! Inner Sakura raged with conviction, but Sakura was distracted when Kakashi took out three small scrolls from his pouch.

“I suppose now is as good a time as any to inform the three of you and pass you his gifts.” Kakashi said with a smile, handing each of his genin a scroll. “Tazuna found many treasures in Gato’s collections. It seemed that Gato was a collector of rare tombs, among which were many ninja techniques. A lot of the content will be generously donated to Konoho. As for the rest of the ‘loot’, they will be given to Team 7. I have helped Tazuna in choosing the gifts for all of you.

“Naruto, inside the scroll is a library containing books on the Art of Sealing. It is a rare ninja craft, but I’ve confidence that you will… have the aptitude to master it if you try hard enough.

“Sakura, your scroll contains a library of Genjutsu techniques, look through them and begin training in them. With your highly refined chakra control, those techniques will be a good match for you.

“As for you Sasuke, the scroll in your hands contains several high level fire and earth techniques even I have never come across. It will be good training for you to begin mastering them… under my guidance of course.”

“Wow!” Naruto said clasping the scroll to his chest happily. “New techniques! Thank you Kakashi sensei!”

“I will be training all of you hard in those techniques once we return to Konoha.” Kakashi said simply. “For now, eat and then turn in for the night. I’ll be taking first shift for guard duty, Naruto second, Sasuke third…”

It was only later with a full stomach, as she lay drowsily in her sleeping bag, that Sakura remembered Inner Sakura’s words, that Kakashi was hiding things from her. But tiredness enclosed her in a warm cocoon by then, and the memory was forgotten as she drifted off to sleep.

OoooO

Sage of Origin (version 3.0) : Chapter One: Awakening of Quezacotl

Story Title: Sage of Origin (version 3.0)

Crossover: Naruto/ Final Fantasy VIII

Summary: Long before the tailed beasts walk the lands, the Guardian Forces watches over men. Then the cataclysm came and all were destroyed. The world was broken, and its only hope lies in the actions of one living sacrifice. Naruto Uzumaki.

Author’s Note: For the past few weeks, this idea has been eating away at me, so I’ve write it down and toss it to the winds. What happen if Naruto was granted the magic system of Final Fantasy VIII, by forming pacts with Elementals which allows him to pull magic from magical sources or magical creatures? What type of magic will he be able to pull from Sasuke who have the Sharingan and fire affinity, or Sakura with her split personality?

And so I’ve started this tale to explore the possibilities. Hopefully now that this plot bunny is written, I can focus on my Technological Ninja fanfic. ;)

PS: Based on feedback from readers, certain portions of the chapter have been rewritten. Hopefully this will make for easier reading.

OoooO

Chapter One: Awakening of Quezacotl

“Before the Age of Ninjas, before men bear the power to manipulate chakra, before the time of the cataclysm, men were but ordinary creatures. To the ancient men, chakra was known by another name, “magic”. Back then, men lacked the ability to manipulate the exotic forces, at least not without help from the ancient Elementals of the World, the Guardian Forces. Then the Sorceress died and with her death she cursed the world. She destroyed the powers of the Elementals, she called down fire and ice onto the world. The world lies broken, the powers of the Elementals formed into a malevolent entity, the powerful world walker known to men as the Ten-tailed beast. The Ten-tailed beast terrorized the land, destroying millions of lives. The Age of Science ended, and legends of the Elementals faded with time.

The rest of the story is then familiar to all ninjas. After what is known as the great Cataclysm, the one known as the Sage of the Six Paths was born. Humans were changed then, having the power to manipulate the chakra within themselves. Some were changed even further, attaining bloodline abilities. The Sage of the Six Paths gathered all those worthy and taught them to wield their new powers in this world. And thus the Age of Ninjas began…” ~ An accounting of the History of the World, by the Sage of Origin, Namikaze Uzumaki Naruto.

OoooO

Hirosou Hills, Northern Lightning Country

Digging carefully through the ancient ruins in the distant north of the Lightning country was hard work, especially when most of the area was a long stretch of hot suffocating desert. If Tashiro did not know any better, he would have thought he was in Wind country. His shovel struck something hard and he paused in his work. Carefully he reached down to blow the sand away and grinned at what he found. A small round crystal ball of what was probably a chakra gem rolled in his palms. Chakra gems were precious, all the more since they were rarely found under the earth, though ancient ruins were known to contain large quantities of them. In long ago history, chakra gems were highly used by the Ancients for some unknown purposes lost to time.

Chakra gems from before the time of the cataclysm were highly conductive with chakra, many carrying special properties. It was a profitable trade for the “Treasure Hunters” who combed the ancient ruins to dig them up and sell them to the various weapons or armor smiths where they would be used to create highly priced weapons or armors for ninjas and wealthy lords. Tashiro observed the small orb of chakra gem in his hand, noting the soft green-blue glow emitting from the blue green crystal. He chuckled. It was a good day to be him, the orb of chakra gem in his hand was most probably one with special properties, which would cost much more to the smiths. He was about to toss the gem into the pile of artifacts he had dug out by his side when a strange feeling swept over him and he…

Tashiro blinked as if he had woken from a long sleep. He looked at the orb of chakra gem with new eyes, the urge to sell the gem was mysteriously swept away.

“What a lovely piece of gem. I should keep it as a lucky charm.” Tashiro muttered to himself distractedly as he pocketed the blue green orb. “I wonder why I thought to sell this lovely piece of gemstone anyway…”

Picking up his shovel, Tashiro continued to work.

OoooO

Within the orb of Elemental ore

He did not know how long he had slept. He felt horribly weak, a pitiful reflection of what he used to be. The mere ethereal essence he possessed barely enabled him to survive. His senses were limited, yet they were enough to awaken him when a human laid his hands on the Elemental ore that was his prison and home.

He accessed the memories of the man in seconds, casting an analysis of the man’s body in minutes, and was shocked at the state of the world. Men now wield magic within them, though apparently they called it chakra in this new world. Even the treasure hunter that had unearthed him possessed the leylines of magic within his body, though he was unable to tap into it. The destruction of the Elemental plane long ago had done more than shatter the powers of the Guardian Forces, they have made men magical.

He shivered as he remembered the Ten-tailed horror that had formed from the destructive energies after the Elemental plane shattered. He remembered how the beast, a mindless Elemental God, had proceeded to hunt down and consume the weakened and de-powered Guardian Forces. None had the power to subdue the beast, all the Guardian Forces could do was to abandon humanity to their fates while they went into hiding, scattering their very essence, hidden within Elemental ores or Junction systems throughout the world in the hopes that at least a part of their essence survived the purge by the Ten-tailed beast.

His essence in this Elemental ore, now in the hands of a treasure hunter was all that had survived. He had no idea if any of his fellow Elementals survived the purge. Using what little magic he had left, he modified the memories of the treasure hunter so that his prison and home would not be destroyed. Instead he would be kept safe by the very man that had dug him out.

Now awakened, he previewed the memories the treasure hunter had of the tailed beasts. There were now nine in all, though the treasure hunter knew nothing of the Ten-tailed beast that had destroyed the world. Neither does the treasure hunter know where those tailed beasts were. It was however common knowledge that these nine tailed beasts were all sealed into objects and people. In fact there were rumors that Cloud village itself bears two tailed beasts sealed into two people whose identities were unknown to others outside the village. All these bear much investigating. It might be that these nine tailed beasts had some relation to the Ten-tailed beast birthed from the destruction of the Elemental planes. Finding out exactly what they were and how they were sealed might be the only way he would ever get his full powers back.

A small manipulating of magic, and a new memory was inserted to the one that now kept him safe.

OoooO

5 years later, Konoha

Berio, a fat bellied merchant who had felt an urge to come to Konoha, rolled the orb of chakra gem in his palm. The chakra gem was his lucky stone, given to him by another of his merchant acquaintance. It had been in his possession ever since.

Even since he arrived at Konoha, he had felt an urge of disquiet, as he took to roaming the busy streets, the chakra gem in his hands. He felt as though he was looking for something, he just did not know what that something was.

A flash of blond hair caught his attention and Berio was overcome with an urge to move forward. Not of his own will, he then grabbed the young boy in front of him by the shoulders. The boy turned around with a cry of surprise, his startled blue eyes looking at Berio in shock, the boy’s whiskered marked cheeks highlighting the difference between the child and others of his age.

Berio’s hand which held the chakra gem moved of his own accord, pressing the chakra gem into the palm of the boy. He then turned and began walking away. He had walked past several blocks of shop houses before his mind cleared and he came to his senses.

The first and foremost thought in his mind was why the hell he had come to Konoha for. The second was the feeling that he had just lost something valuable, though for the life of him, he could not recall what he had just lost.

OoooO

Streets of Konoha

Uzumaki Naruto was an orphan, and at the age of eleven had been living on his own for the past six years. It was probably inhuman to let a child of the age of five to live on his own, but Konoha’s orphanages had refused to take him back after he had proven himself to be self-sufficient. Naruto was used to being treated with animosity by the villagers. The only people that were actually nice to him were old man Hokage, and the ramen stall owner Teuchi and his daughter Ayame. He had learned early on that he could either cry at the unfairness of it all, or approach the world with a smile… and maybe a prank or two. For instance, the old man who owned the grocery store at Oak Pine street was going to be in for a surprise when he opened his store later, of course, that grouchy old man should not have sold Naruto two cartons of sour milk at twice the normal price in the first place.

His hands still had some orange paint from his latest prank. Naruto was thinking about going back home to wash everything off when he was suddenly grabbed from behind. Jerking his head around, his eyes widened in shock as a red faced, big bellied man glared down at him before pressing something round into his hand. Then the man simply walked away without a backward glance. Naruto remained staring after the man for a few stupefied seconds until a tingling sensation in his hand caused him to look down at the object he now held. It was a pretty round crystal of some sort, glowing with a green light. Some of the light seemed to seep into his skin. A chilling sensation swept over him and Naruto shivered.

“Huh… What just happened?” Naruto muttered to himself in surprise as he held up the glowing crystal stone. He wondered why the man had given it to him in the first place. After a while, he gave a shrug. It was obvious the man was not coming back, and the crystal ball was pretty, he might as well keep it.

Tucking it into his pocket, he walked back home.

OoooO

Within the orb of Elemental ore

The moment his carrier had arrived in the ninja town of Konoha, he knew that his long search was over. A thin mist of ethereal essence hung undisturbed in certain areas of the village. Like a starving beast, he had controlled his carrier, making him go to the places where he could absorb the thin layer of ethereal essence in the air, restoring a pitiful amount of his original strength.

Five years he had wandered this new world, and since then he had dug into old legends by controlling his carriers, discovering what had become of the Ten-tailed beast that had shattered the powers of the Guardian Forces. It seemed centuries ago, a powerful ninja known as the Sage of the Six Path was born to the world and had sealed the mindless Elemental God away. With the Sage’s death, he had split the Elemental God into nine lesser parts so that the mindless Elemental God would never again have the chance to reform.

It had taken much effort to hunt down the human containers of the tailed beasts, with him expanding much of his remaining magic to do so. Discovering and visiting the Eight-tailed and Three-tailed beasts’ human containers had revealed to him that they possessed the same ethereal essence absorbing properties of the Ten-tailed beast. Using his then human carrier, he had managed to observe moments when the container of the Three-tailed had tapped into the Three-tailed’s chakra. His weak senses was able to reveal to him that should the tailed beast’s chakra touched his raw essence, he would be absorbed into the tailed beast, like what had happened to the other Guardian Forces when the Ten-tailed beast roamed the world. Seeing that all he had left of his essence was this small spark trapped within the Elemental ore, being absorbed by any of the tailed beasts living in this world now would mean true death for him.

The seal arrays that imprisoned the Eight-tailed and Three-tailed beasts into human containers were useless to him in this aspect, as they did not truly contain the tailed beasts’ power. Being an Elemental Force, he was able to use his keen senses to understand the innate workings of the magical seals on the body of the human containers of the Eight-tailed and Three-tailed beasts. It was a huge disappointment that the seal arrays on the human containers would not help further his plan to regain his true power and essence.

He had traveled the world then, finding and seeking out the containers of the other tailed beasts, switching human carriers like a second skin. He had saw and sensed the human containers for the Seven, Fifth, and Fourth tailed beasts, but all of them were the same as the rest. The seal arrays that trapped the tailed beasts inside their human containers allowed the chakra of the tailed beasts to flow freely in their bodies. Just a touch of the human containers’ hands on his Elemental ore would mean his death. His wish of using the magical sealing methods the humans in this generation had come up with to draw the ethereal essence out of the tailed beasts seemed like a distant goal. He had almost lost hope until he reached Konoha and discovered the young tailed beast container of this village.

The moment his human carrier had arrived near the boy, he was able to sense the near perfect magical seal trapping one of the tailed beasts within the boy’s body. The seal constantly pulled out a small portion of the tailed beast’s chakra into the boy’s body, converting it to a less harmful form, allowing it to merge with the boy’s own chakra. Being an Elemental Force, albeit one that was disruptive in nature, the Nine-tailed beast, was part magic/chakra and part ethereal energies. The seal on the boy allowed the safe conversion of tailed beast’s chakra into human chakra, it did not however, account for the ethereal essence of the tailed beast which it drew out. These ethereal energies were thus infused within the boy’s body which then leaked out into the air. That was the cause of the shroud of ethereal essence he had first sensed and consumed when he had arrived at Konoha.

The Ten-tailed beast was an Elemental God formed from the destruction of the Elemental planes. It was able to constantly generate ethereal energies, energies which sustain life of the Guardian Forces. The nine lesser tailed beasts bear the same properties, and now he found the perfect seal on a young human container which would allow him to “feed” on those energies, to restore himself and slowly build up his power.

The seal was not perfect. There was a magical “hole” for a lack of words that allowed large amounts of raw tailed beast chakra to run through the boy’s chakra pathways when the boy was feeling intense emotions. It would prove fatal to him if he was near when that happened, but he was willing to take the chance, especially since he had a plan of his own.

In ancient days, the Guardian Forces would form a pact with a human, by leaving a small part of their essence in a human crafted system called the Junction system, also known as an artificial construct created based on the structure of Elemental ore. Guardian Forces, as Elemental beings, could only live physically in the Elemental planes which was now destroyed, or survive in the physical plane by inhabiting naturally or artificially crafted Elemental ores. The only exceptions were the tailed beasts that could generate ethereal essence on their own and maintain a solid form in the physical plane.

Some humans implanted Elemental ores, or Junction systems, into their bodies in order to form a pact with any of the Guardian Forces. The Guardian Forces would in turn leave a small part of their essence in the Elemental ores within their body. This small essence would grant the humans magical abilities and the power to call up the essence of the Guardian Force whom they formed the pact with.

The young boy possessed no human crafted Junction system, and there was no way he would allow his current Elemental ore prison and home to be implanted into the boy, there was just too much risk of things going wrong. The seal on the boy however turned him into a constantly generator of ethereal energies. It would be a simple matter to split a small portion of his essence into the boy. His essence would survive in the boy’s body because of the ethereal energies produced within the boy. The small part of his self that he stored in the boy would run the risk of being consumed should the boy tapped into the raw chakra of the tailed beast within him, but he was willing to take that risk especially since with his essence in the boy, he could absorb the constant outpouring of life sustaining energies from the boy. These energies would then be transferred to his main essence in the Elemental ore, allowing his main self to grow in strength.

The Elemental ore storing his original essence would be kept somewhere safe. Should the boy lose control and tapped into the raw chakra of the tailed beast and his small essence within the boy died, he could always implant a new splinter of himself into the boy from his current home and prison. He would bide his time, he would learn more of this world, and he would continue to regain his powers.

His brothers and sisters… Five years of searching and he had not found any trace of them. He hoped that at least some of them survived, until he regained the powers to save them.

OoooO

One year later, Konoha

Naruto stepped back into his apartment, feeling incredibly weary and drained after the night’s event. He had failed the Genin test again and had stupidly believed his academy school teacher Mizuki when the man had revealed an alternative way to pass the test. Naruto was given the plans to steal Konoha’s Forbidden Scroll while Mizuki distracted the guards. He had not known at the time that Mizuki intended to use him as a scapegoat to steal the Forbidden Scroll for himself.

At least the night was not a waste. He had learned a powerful ninjutsu, the Shadow Clone technique, he had also found out the reason why almost everyone hated him. He was the human container of the Nine-tailed fox, a fact which had sent him into momentary mind numbing terror. That horror had quickly faded at the genuine display of care and concern his academy school teacher Iruka had shown him when he had defended Naruto against Mizuki. In a surprising turn of events, Naruto had beaten Mizuki in a fight and Iruka had awarded him with the Genin headband.

Closing the door to his apartment, Naruto went into his room. He opened his drawer, feeling within for a hidden catch which popped open. His hand clasped around a round hard orb and he took out a well-worn crystal ball glowing with a green light. Flopping onto his bed, Naruto held the orb above his eye gazing at it.

“Today is one hell of a day.” Naruto confided to the crystal. If there had been anyone around to hear him, he would have felt a bit silly. Through the one year after he had gotten the stone, he had gotten into the habit of pouring out his emotions to the stone. It was a special stone to him after all, and it was not as though he had a lot of people to talk to. Sometimes he felt as though the stone understood his words, he always felt more peaceful after talking to it. “Mizuki really tricked me. I guess I should not just believe everyone, even if they are teachers…”

OoooO

Within the orb of Elemental ore

He listened to the boy, even though he already knew what had happened. His essence within the boy had observed the night’s happening. Throughout the year he had lived with the boy, he had discovered the child to be a bundle of optimism, a child that never gave up when almost everyone was against him. The child was truly a bright example of the human race. Naruto might be rough around the edges, but that was because he had been surviving on his own all these years. The child’s heart was pure, and if it was the old days, he would not have been averse to forming a pact with the boy. Even now, he was contemplating if he should reveal himself to the boy or to continue being a silent leach within Naruto.

But that would not be truly fair. Because of the boy’s unknowing help, he had managed to regain almost a full quarter of his original powers and strength within this one year. The ethereal energies within the boy was surprising potent due to its condensed state, unlike the mild energies that used to flow in the Elemental plane. By his estimate, in another four to five years of time, he would be back to full strength. And if he continued absorbing the ethereal energies from the boy after that, he might even evolve to the next stage of power. He owned too much to the boy not to reveal the truth to him.

Perhaps soon, he promised himself. He would tell the boy of the old world, of the guardians that once protected the balance of the world. Of the broken past that was.

OoooO

Five months later, Wave Country

Horror gripped Naruto as he stared at the body of Sasuke in front of him. Sasuke’s body was filled with ice senbons sticking out, and the black haired boy just lay on the ground still and unmoving. The C-rank mission his Genin team took had gone badly. They were supposed to see an old bridge builder home, only to ultimately end up in battle against a powerful merchant who had hired an A-rank missing ninja and his ice wielding apprentice to deal with Team 7. Kakashi had left to deal with the A-rank missing nin, one Zabuza. Sasuke and Naruto were supposed to deal with the apprentice who impossible as it seemed, was able to use ice techniques. He had trapped Sasuke and Naruto within a dome of ice mirrors and unleashed devastating attacks against them.

Naruto had always thought Sasuke was a jerk, that the boy did not care about anyone other than himself. But then Sasuke had stood in front of Naruto when he had been unable to escape a hail of senbon needles. Sasuke had defended Naruto from that attack with his body and now he lay unmoving in front of Naruto… not breathing… dead.

Team 7 had agreed as a whole to not abandon the mission when they first encountered the two missing nins. Naruto just never expected that one of them would end up dead in this hopeless mission. A slow burning anger spread through Naruto’s body as heart breaking grief consumed him, his emotions began stirring into a swirling pit of dark turmoil. He glared at the masked ninja hidden within the ice mirror and made a vow. He would have revenge.

Tendrils of red chakra emitted from his body as his anger consumed him.

OoooO

Within the body of Uzumaki Naruto

It was the first time the boy and his Genin team had taken a mission out of Konoha. He had remained a silent observer within the boy’s body, siphoning the ethereal essence the boy produced, back to his main self which was residing in the Elemental ore hidden in the boy’s apartment. He had felt the first tingle of apprehension when the young Team 7 had first encountered the powerful missing nin Zabuza at the start of their journey. A hunter nin had stopped the battle when Zabuza nearly lost, seemingly killing Zabuza and taking away the body. He had gotten the first shock of his new life when his senses picked up the faint essence of his sister Shiva, the Elemental Goddess of Ice within the hunter nin.

When Team 7 had agreed unanimously to continue the mission, after the old bridge builder had revealed the reason why the missing nin was after him, and how he could not afford to pay for a higher grade mission, he had decided to observe the situation a bit more before acting. In another seven to eight more months, his main essence would have regained half of his former strength before the shattering of the Elemental plane. The time was nearing to reveal the truth to young Naruto.

Kakashi, the Jonin teacher of Team 7, had set the team with numerous training exercises the moment they had arrived in Wave country, to prepare the group of young Genin for what was to come. In a solo training exercise, Naruto had unknowingly encountered the hunter nin again in her unmasked state. The girl had introduced herself to the boy as Haku, forming an instance friendship with Naruto. He had taken the chance to cast a detailed magical scan of the girl, which had revealed that she was truly a human offspring of Shiva, who was a powerful Elemental Goddess back in the old days. How Shiva had managed to mate with a human was unknown to him, but the existence of the girl proved that Shiva was alive after the shattering of the world, though where she was now was something he needed to discover.

He had intended to reveal to Naruto his existence the following day. What he had not counted on was a recovered Zabuza and a masked Haku attacking Team 7. Haku had revealed her ice elemental heritage when she had trapped Naruto and his teammate, Sasuke in a dome of ice mirrors. Haku had then strike down Sasuke. His magical scan showed that the Uchiha was in a deep sleep like state, though to all physical appearances, he seemed dead.

That unfortunately seemed to trigger great anger and grief within Naruto. He was alarmed when raw tendrils of tailed beast chakra began sweeping through Naruto’s body. Pain hit him as the raw tailed beast chakra encountered parts of his essence within Naruto and consumed them. He had to act fast before his essence within the boy was totally destroyed.

For the first time since the breaking of the world, he spoke directly to a living human.

OoooO

Unnamed bridge in Wave Country

Uzumaki Naruto. The voice, a deep timbre, intoned within his head, shocking Naruto out of his anger. Hear my words. Uchiha Sasuke is not dead.

“What?” Naruto cried out in shock, looking around him to see who had spoken. But there was no one else around, except for Sasuke lying still on the floor and the masked ninja hiding in the ice mirrors.

He is still alive, but that may change if you cannot win this fight. The voice continued. I can help if you will allow me to tap into your chakra, and to fulfill my one request.

“Who are you?” Naruto asked again, now feeling distinctively uneasy.

Someone who can help if you accept it. The voice said, and this time Naruto’s unease swept away, to be replaced by a calm certainty that whoever the voice was from, he meant Naruto no ill intend. If he had time to think, Naruto might have realized that his feelings of trust for a strange voice in his head were a bit unnatural. But right now, he was in a battle that he most certainly could not win. He had no time to really think things through and could only accept whatever help that was being offered.

“I accept it. Just help me.” Naruto said out loud in desperation, his words causing the ninja hidden in the ice mirrors to observe him curiously.

Then call my name Uzumaki Naruto. Summon me… The voice said as images of graying skies, rolling thunder and flashing lighting filled his mind. The raw power coursing through the skies, the power of storms. Somehow without being told in words, Naruto knew exactly what to say.

“Help me! Quezacotl! Elemental Guardian of Storms! Guardian of the Skies!” Naruto cried out as a massive amount of blue green chakra expelled from his chakra points, wrapping around his body, creating a massive and powerful chakra shroud around his very self.

OoooO

Unnamed bridge in Wave Country

Haku never wanted to kill anyone. But Zabuza was everything to her and he had instructed her to take care of the two Genin of Team 7. So she had chosen the only way out, by sending the boy Sasuke into a near death like state with her senbons, hoping to discourage the blond haired boy from continuing his futile attacks.

She was therefore surprised when tendrils of sickly red chakra began wrapping around the boy, chakra which suddenly vanished as the boy began screaming in the air, as though he was talking to someone Haku could not see. What happened next, Haku did not have a word for. Powerful blue green chakra suddenly expelled from the boy, swirling around his body. Haku had an instinctual ability for chakra sensing and from the powerful blast of chakra, she smell the coming of a storm, she smell burnt air as lightning flickered through the skies, she smell an Ancient being, radiant with Power and encased with great Protection.

Hidden in her ice mirror, Haku looked on in trepidation as young Naruto’s form began to transform, chakra swirling thickly around him, into the appearance of a large green bird like creature with arcs of lightning running through its skin. The eyeless head of the creature turned to face the real her within the ice mirrors, even as it hovered above the ground majestically.

I am Quezacotl. Guardian Force of Storms and Skies. A voice boomed powerfully within Haku’s head, causing her to wince in pain. There was little doubt that the mental voice came from the creature that young Naruto had changed into. Flickers of doubt and fear was beginning to stir within her emotions, Haku was beginning to have a feeling that she had bitten more than she could chew.

Child of Shiva. For your actions against my Summoner, you have been judged. The voice continued. Haku tensed, preparing to use her ice techniques to flee into other ice mirrors if need be… when giant lightning bolts exploded from the creature hovering in the air. The lightning bolts shattered all of her ice mirrors, powerful electricity coursed through her body as she was flung out of the ice mirror. Her body twitched and spasm uncontrollably as she flew through the air before hitting the ground beneath her hard.

Through leaden eyes, she saw the creature continue to unleash the mother of all lightning bolts into the fog surrounding it.

“Zabuza.” Haku whispered through cracked and dried lips as she struggled to get up. “Zabuza… I am sorry…”

Darkness closed in around her vision as she fainted. She never saw the fog beginning to clear, or heard the shocked cries of Sakura and the bridge builder as they saw the majestic flying form of Quezacotl fade and transform back into one Uzumaki Naruto.

OoooO

Unnamed bridge in Wave Country

Kakashi was getting worried. Zabuza was good, too good. If this battle between him and the missing nin had taken place a few years ago, he would have won within minutes. But after the war, after the loss of the Fourth Hokage, and especially after Rin’s death, his last connection to Konoha, he had let his battle skills fell to mediocrity. He had lived each day aimlessly, taking B ranked missions once in a while to cover his expanses. The Third Hokage had left him be for the past few years, perhaps understanding the grief Kakashi had suffered at the loss of his loved ones, until finally the old man had enough and had forced Kakashi to take up his first Genin team.

Kakashi knew it was the old man’s way of trying to get Kakashi to feel connected with Konoha again, and so he had failed all the Genin teams he tested time and time again… until Team 7. Many of the council members had been delighted that Sharingan Kakashi was going to take in Uchiha Sasuke as his student. Surely with Sharingan Kakashi of a thousand techniques leading a team consisting of the last Uchiha, Team 7 would be destined for something great in the future! Even Kakashi had been taken in by all that hype, getting a morale boost from it until he had come up against Zabuza, in a C-rank mission gone wrong.

In the past, Kakashi would have little difficulty taking down an A-rank missing nin. Now however, he was barely matching up against the missing nin. The fog that Zabuza had called up hid the missing nin from sight, compounding Kakashi’s difficulty in the fight. Kakashi took out a scroll and was about to summon his ninja dogs when a powerful chakra presence washed over the entire area. Kakashi was no chakra sensor, but with his elemental affinity, he was able to identify the nature of that enormous chakra source. Lightning, lightning that was wild and untamed, lightning that was now striking powerfully through the fog.

Several cries of pain sounded in the fog, followed by loud thuds of bodies. For a moment, Kakashi felt fear for his students. Was this some sort of forbidden technique Zabuza had up his sleeves? Then the fog had cleared. Kakashi’s eyes had widened at the sight of an unconscious Zabuza lying on the ground a few feet in front of him. He had turned his head and gaped at the sight of a large green bird like creature in the distance, hovering in the air above an unconscious Sasuke. Kakashi was about to rush to Sasuke’s aid when swirls of blue green chakra whirled around the flying creature as it faded and turned into… Naruto?

Kakashi stood stupefied, staring as Naruto’s limp body dropped onto the ground beside Sasuke. The shrill cries of Sakura were what jolted him out of his shock as he rushed forward to check on his students.

OoooO

Within a Mindscape

He stood there, unseen by anyone, in what seemed like a classroom filled with students and a very stern looking woman. Images suddenly flashed on the screen before the woman as she turned to instruct her class.

“Now everyone, this is History 101. The first thing anyone from Balamb Garden must know before they become a SeeD.” The woman said as images of strange creatures wielding powerful chakra techniques filled the screen. There was a demonic humanoid creature that could crush anything in a black ball of energy, there was a large whale like creature summing a giant wall of water. Many more other images of mysterious creatures flashed across the screen.

“Today we’re going to touch on the Guardian Forces, the Elementals that watches over the Balance of the world. There’s the Brothers, dual Guardian Forces whose domain is over Earth. There’s the Cerebus, the three headed Guardian Force who watches over the force of magic, there are many more others, but what you need to know about the Guardian Forces is that they exists in a different plane of existence. Their real bodies lie in the Elemental plane. They can only manifest part of themselves at places in our worlds with highly concentrated ethereal energies or survive in Elemental ores, whether naturally formed or artificially created. Throughout the centuries, human kind have mapped out areas with high concentrations of ethereal energies, Balamb Garden is in control of one such place, the summoning grounds for Ifrit, where most SeeDs from Balamb Garden take their rite of initiation by forging a pact with the Guardian Force of Fire.”

“To forge a pact with an Elemental Force, you’ll need a Junction system or a naturally formed Elemental ore implanted in your body. This allows a Guardian Force to store part of its essence within the Junction system or Elemental ore, allowing you to tap into magic, other special abilities, as well as summoning them.”

“I’ll need to add a note of caution about the summoning part however. Summoning Guardian Forces to aid you is very dangerous business, something a new summoner must never attempt without preparation. As I mentioned, Guardian/Elemental Forces exists on the Elemental planes. They can only manifest themselves in highly concentrated Ethereal Essences areas in the real world, as well as storing parts of their essence in the Junction systems of those they forge a pact with. When you summon a Guardian Force, you become a channel for great magic, and are allowing great shrouds of magic to form around your body, taking on the physical appearance of the Guardian Force. You will also relinquish control of your physical body to the Guardian Force, allowing their minds to take over. Through this new form, the Guardian Force will temporarily strike out at your enemies with their powers.”

“Summoning however incurs a huge strain on the human body because your very body is surrounded by high concentration of Elemental magic, and is taken over by the alien minds of the Guardian Forces. A person with a weak will, would easily be crushed under the powerful minds of the Guardian Forces. The physical and mental strain on one’s body during the summoning is immerse, forcing the summoning to end within seconds. There are even rumors that too much summoning of Guardian Forces will damage the human mind, causing memory loss, though that hearsay is still not scientifically proven. Whatever the case, just be careful…”

The classroom dissolved in a swirl of lights. This time he was standing in a devastated landscape, watching from a high vantage as hundreds of people were crushed and consumed by an enormous creature with ten tails. Even so far away from the creature, he could feel the horrifying killing intent from the Ten-tailed beast.

Something flickered at the edge of his vision, and a green bird like creature came into being. He knew the creature’s name instinctively, just as he knew that what he was seeing now was the creature’s memories.

“Quezacotl.” He said, nodding politely to the creature hovering beside him.

Uzumaki Naruto. The voice boomed in his head. You must understand what I am showing you. You must understand the pact I have forged with you.

Before you walk the Ten-tailed beast, formed from the destruction of the Elemental plane. He was the one that devastated the world, consuming Guardian Forces and humans alike.

Images flashed in front of Naruto as Quezacotl opened up his memories to the boy, his new summoner. Images of Quezacotl hiding and trapped in an Elemental ore for centuries before he was found. Knowledge of the Sage of the Six Path and the fate of the Ten-tailed beast which Quezacotl had discovered in this changed world. Memories of how he had at last found Naruto, the only one who could restore him to health. How he silently listened to Naruto and comforted him empathically over the months as the boy talked to the “pretty stone”. How at last he had revealed himself on the bridge when Naruto was preparing for his last stand with Haku. How he had formed a pact with Naruto to fulfill his last request.

To find his missing brothers and sisters. The rest of the Guardian Forces.

And by forging a pact with Quezacotl, Naruto had unknowingly agreed to that request. However, after seeing Quezacotl’s memories of the creation of the Ten-tailed beast, of the suffering Quezacotl had gone through in the long centuries, Naruto was not averse to fulfilling Quezacotl’s request. There was however another matter that was currently eating at Naruto.

“You could have helped sooner.” Naruto accused, as he glared at Quezacotl. “Before Sasuke was injured.”

I could have, but I did not. Quezacotl admitted, hovering gently in the air beside Naruto. Because I could see that the child of Shiva had no intention of harming any of you.

“I still can’t believe the masked nin is Haku though.” Naruto said, a frown on his forehead as he looked at Quezacotl in doubt. “Or that she’s a girl. The first and last time I saw her, she insisted she’s a guy.”

You will see the truth once you wake up. Quezacotl said as rejuvenating energies flooded Naruto. You’ll need to wake up anyway. Hatake Kakashi is going to kill Zabuza and Haku. Please, if you can, save the Child of Shiva, I have use for her yet. She might be the only link for me to locate my sister, the Guardian Force of Ice.

“What do you mean Kakashi is going to kill them?” Naruto cried out in alarm as everything around him vanished into fog.

Somewhere on the bridge, Naruto’s eyes snapped open.

OoooO

Unnamed bridge in Wave Country

The bodies of Gato and his brigands lay on the far end off the bridge, all of them dead. Kakashi had dealt with them just as the villagers from Wave village arrived to help, led by young Inari who had spurred them into action. Right now, the men of the village and even some of the women were finding joy tossing the dead bodies of the ones who had made their lives a living hell, into the deep waters of the river. Kakashi had turned away from the sight, understanding the villagers’ need to vent their anger on their tormentors.

He had left Sasuke and Naruto in Sakura and Tsunami’s care by the side of the bridge, with a sniveling Inari who was looking at the unconscious Naruto in tears. What had happened with Naruto was still a mystery eating away at him, but it was a mystery he would discover the answers to later. Right now however, he needed to deal with Zabuza and his masked ninja accomplice before they woke up. Drawing out a kunai, he walked to where he had left Zabuza and the masked ninja tied up. He lifted his hand and slashed down at Zabuza’s open throat.

“NO!!!” The scream cried out, halting Kakashi’s strike. Kakashi turned and saw that Naruto was awake. The boy ran and stumbled towards Kakashi’s direction, crying out frantically. “No teacher! Don’t do it!”

Everyone on the bridge had stopped what they were doing to look at what was going on. At the far corner of the bridge, Sakura’s eyes were wide in shock as she tried to get up after Naruto who after his sudden awakening, had pushed her to the side. Naruto reached Kakashi’s side, collapsing to the ground as his new found energies seemingly ran out.

“Please Kakashi, they can no longer fight. We can just let them go.” Naruto pleaded as he kneeled on the ground gasping for breath.

Seeing the condition of his student, Kakashi instantly check Naruto’s pulse on his waist. Naruto’s rapid heartbeats told him all he needed to know. “Your body is stressed out, it needs rest. Running all the way here in your condition and straining it isn’t helping.” Kakashi admonished. “And I have questions for you regarding what had happened. But that can wait until we get back to Tazuna’s house. In the meantime, Zabuza and his accomplice need to be dealt with. We can’t leave a pair of powerful ninjas at our backs.”

“Please Kakashi, there’s got to be some other way. If not, at the very least spare Haku.” Naruto cried out. “She didn’t kill us when she had the chance to, and I have questions for her.”

“Haku?” Kakashi looked at the masked ninja. “How do you know her?” Kakashi turned, seeing the mulish look on Naruto’s face and realized that Naruto was not going to answer him. Rolling his eyes, he gave an exasperated sigh. He would interrogate the boy later. In the meantime, there was another way to deal with these two enemy ninjas, a more troublesome and time consuming way. But Zabuza and this Haku did not seem to be waking up soon, so he did have time on his hands. “Very well, I’ll apply chakra restraining seals and strength sapping seals on the two of them. But I want answers Naruto, the very instant we have some place private to talk in.”

“Okay Kakashi.” Naruto said weakly. Now that Zabuza and Haku’s deaths were avoided, Naruto flopped onto his back beside Kakashi, his eyes closed. Within moments, the blond haired boy was breathing the steady breaths of slumber.

Kakashi looked at his number one surprising student for a moment before shaking his head and took out his sealing kit. Picking up a brush and dipping it in chakra ink, he began crafting powerful seals on Zabuza that would prevent him from using chakra, as well as weaken his physical strength in the foreseeable future.

OoooO

Town Square, Wave village

The celebrations lasted the afternoon and were going strong even by nightfall. A group of villagers had went to ransack Gato’s mansion and had discovered that other than a handful of guards who were easily disposed of, the rest of the mercenaries had followed Gato to the bridge where Kakashi had already killed them off. The food, the riches in the mansion was shared among the villages, and even now groups of villagers were ferrying food and money back into Wave village’s storage houses which had been empty for years. One would have expected a few villagers to run off with whatever riches they could get their hands on. But years of suffering had united them and Inari’s rousing speech to get them to defend their village for the first time in years, had spurred them into action. Gato’s wealth, Gato’s food and treasures, belonged to no single person but to all in village, all of whom that had suffered under Gato’s tyranny.

Tazuna, his whole family and Team 7 were treated like heroes. When Sasuke had woken shortly before they left the bridge, the villagers had pulled him and Sakura to the village square where a celebration had begun to take place. Kakashi had taken over the old village prison, tossing Zabuza and Haku behind bars, where they were constantly watched by a group of angry and armed villagers. Kakashi had then taken over the old Magistrate building which had lain empty for years. A group of villagers had tidied up the place, making it the current residence for Team 7. Kakashi had avoided the celebrations, pleading a need to rest and watch over Naruto. Tsunami and Inari had also avoided the celebrations, tending to the still unconscious Naruto, leaving Tazuna to make sure the villagers did not go overboard with their new found freedom and wealth.

Tazuna and a few others had pulled up a table in the village square where they were planning Wave village’s future and what to do with the wealth and resources they had raided from Gato’s mansion. Off to the side, Sasuke was scowling as he watched the villagers feasting and dancing.

“Tell me again, what happened during the fight.” Sasuke said coldly for the eighth time, with a nervous Sakura seated beside him.

“Sasuke, we should get something to eat.” Sakura tried to distract him, but wilted under the glare he gave her. Despondently, she began to narrate what she had seen in the fight on the bridge again. “Well I could only hear fighting at first… The fog hid everything. Then there was this… powerful presence. Giant bolts of lightning pierced through the fog, people were crying in pain, I heard bodies hitting the ground. Then the fog cleared. The masked ninja and Zabuza were lying unmoving on the ground and there was this large green bird like creature with no eyes, flying over your body… After that, the bird creature just changed into Naruto who dropped to the ground beside you.” Sakura said, disbelief still heavy in her voice even after all the times Sasuke asked her to repeat what she had seen.

“And then?” Sasuke pressed on.

“Gato came with his mercenaries. Kakashi managed to kill all off them, he was saying he was still close to full strength, since he hadn’t use any powerful techniques against Zabuza yet. Then Naruto woke up when Kakashi was going to kill Zabuza and the masked ninja and stopped him from doing that. Naruto fainted again while Kakashi apply seals on Zabuza and the masked ninja.” Sakura said, biting her lips as she saw the dark look in Sasuke’s eyes. “Shortly after that, you woke up.”

“I woke up. After Naruto had somehow transformed into a powerful creature that managed to disable Zabuza and the masked ninja. I woke up after everything is over.” Sasuke growled, his teeth gritted in anger as he got up from his seat. With a leap, he jumped onto the nearest rooftop. “I need to get stronger. I need to get stronger.”

Sakura watched in shock as Sasuke ran off without a backward glance. For a moment, Sakura thought about going after Sasuke. But she was so weary after all that had happened, especially after the way Sasuke had interrogated her about the battle for the past few hours. Not to mention she seriously doubted she could keep up with Sasuke the way he was right now. Getting up, she walked to a table laden with food. Hopefully Sasuke would not get into too much trouble. But right now, she was too drained of energy to care about her emotional prince who did not even return her affections.

OoooO

Within a Mindscape

The three SeeDs faced off against a group of monsters. The girl waved her hands, tapping into the power of the Guardian Forces residing in her Junction system, five magical spells of Aero was pulled from the monsters, to be stored in her body. Aero, a magical spell that allows one to unleash blast of powerful wind. The knowledge of what the spell did appear within her mind, through her link with the Guardian Forces.

At the side of the battlefield, Naruto stood, watching with Quezacotl hovering at his side. All Guardian Forces grant their Summoners the power to pull magic from magical creatures and store those spells within their bodies. Before the cataclysm, men do not possess magic, unlike ninjas in your time period who are able to manipulate magic… or as the humans of this time called it… chakra. Quezacotl was saying even as he gave Naruto a deeper glimpse into the mind of the girl, who was one of his ex-summoner.

The girl arranged the new stock of magical spells in her body. Through her pact with Quezacotl she was able to store those magical spells of Aero in parts of her body that allows her to regenerate much faster. The Aero spells in those parts of her body allowed a magical regeneration boost which would be helpful to her in this coming battle.

Depending on how favored the Summoners we forged a pact with are, we’ll grant them other special abilities or skills such as the ability to store magical skills into parts of the body that allows boost in strength, speed, even luck. Humans after all have an innate ability to affect reality with their belief. Guardian Forces knew which parts of a human body to empower so that one could manipulate the very fabrics of reality, in order to ensure things happen in the summoners’ favor. Quezacotl continued, with Naruto listening attentively beside him. For you Naruto, I would not hide any skills from you. I will instead empower you with all the skills and abilities I possessed in the past and now, so that you can aid me in my quest to find the fates of my lost siblings.

“Thank you Quezacotl. But what skills or abilities will you pass me?” Naruto asked, awed as he watched the magical battle happening in front of him.

They will be quite a lot. Quezacotl said with a mental chuckle. In the past, Guardian Forces limit the powers they grant to their Summoners for fear they will misuse them or cause them harm. But the world is different now, and for you to aid me in my quest, you will need access to all the powers and abilities I can grant you. The only restriction is that most of the skills and abilities require time for the summoners’ bodies to grow acclimated with them, so that their bodies will not be damaged when those new powers are used. Some of the abilities also have limitations, even if they are seemingly powerful. In order that these skills and abilities not overwhelm you, I will currently begin opening the basic skills and abilities to you. I will guide you in how to use them and give your body time to adapt to other advance abilities I will insert into your body in gradual phases.

“I am taking your word for it then. All those years staying within in my body siphoning Ethereal energies… I will consider your help as paying rent for it.” Naruto said in a good natured tone of voice.

Very well. Quezacotl said in a humoring voice. I shall open the most basic ability which you can use immediately. I have already inserted this ability into you while you are recovering. This ability is called Draw. It allows the drawing of “magic” out of others. I will also begin inserting three other basic skills and abilities into your body. It will take roughly around a month before you can use them. One of the three skills is the passive ability to boost your magic/chakra abilities by over 20%. It will mean that your control over your chakra as well as the power of your chakra techniques will increase. I will also give you the ability to stack spells in your body to boost your overall endurance. As well as the “Wind and Lightning Item refine” ability which will allow you to turn items into Wind or Lightning spells.

“Turn items into magic spells?” Naruto asked, confusion already clear on his face.

I will explain in time. That skill, among others, is something that you need to experience for yourself to understand. Quezacotl said kindly. It’s time to wake up young summoner. Hatake Kakashi is getting quite worried.

Naruto nodded as he opened his eyes.

OoooO

Magistrate Building, Wave village

Naruto had been unconscious for eight days. During which Sasuke had gone into a training frenzy until Kakashi had put a stop to it. Then he had to deal with Zabuza who had awaken and tried every attempt to escape. There was also an incident when a few of the village men had attempted to teach Haku some “humility”. That had ended quite abruptly when the women of the village had gotten wind of it. Haku had been bundled out of the prison and taken to the magistrate office where Sakura and Sasuke would take turns watching over her. As for the men involved, after what the village women had done to them, they would not be looking at any women with ill intentions for days to come.

Haku had been surprisingly sweet and docile for an accomplice of Zabuza, Demon of the Mist. It took some coaxing from Sakura before Kakashi got the real story of why Haku was working for Zabuza. Apparently Zabuza had taken Haku in after she had escaped from being killed by her father. It was the same father who had killed Haku’s mother because he discovered that the two of them possessed bloodlines.

The land of Mist was not a land that took kindly to bloodline wielders after the bloodline wars. Haku only escaped with her life when she accidentally used her Ice Release bloodline to kill her own father. Broken and alone, when Zabuza had shown her kindness and taken her in, Haku had sworn her loyalty to him. Yet even the harsh life with Zabuza could not destroy her kind nature, which was the reason why she had not immediately killed Sasuke or Naruto during the start of the battle at the bridge.

Zabuza on the other hand was not as emotionless in his relationship with Haku as Kakashi had first thought. When Haku had disappeared for days after the village men had taken her away to teach her “humility”, he had fallen into a deep rage that only abate when Kakashi had brought Haku to the prison unharmed. Now knowing Zabuza’s weakness, Kakashi had struck a deal with Zabuza, for him to be on his best behavior if Kakashi promised no harm would befall upon Haku.

Kakashi however was uncertain of what to do with Zabuza yet. Taking him back to Konoha would ensure his death. None of the hidden villages take kindly to missing ninjas, but letting such a dangerous ninja lose was like letting lose a wild tiger that might come back to haunt him. At times, he wondered at the wisdom of listening to Naruto. Naruto was still too soft and inexperienced in the ninja world, though how that boy had transformed into a strange bird like creature, which had then taken out Zabuza and Haku was one big unknown.

When Haku had offered to tend to Naruto, Kakashi had conceded. None in Team 7 were trained healers, Haku however was well versed in herbs. Under Kakashi’s watchful eye, Haku had attempted to feed and care for Naruto. Haku had heard from Sakura that the only reason she and Zabuza were alive was because of Naruto, as such, she had viewed herself as indebted to the blond haired boy. It was a debt she tried to repay by tending to Naruto’s needs while he was unconscious. So far she had been true to her words, but Kakashi remained worried over Naruto’s condition. Naruto had seemed physically fine, yet he remained unconscious long enough that the bridge Tazuna was building was nearly completed. Even chakra exhaustion would not have lasted for so long.

Kakashi was planning to send a ninja dog back to Konoha for help when Sakura and Haku’s startled cries brought him to Naruto’s room where the boy was just waking up.

Gulping down a glass of water which Haku handed him, Naruto turned to Kakashi and whined. “I am hungry. Can I have some food?”

OoooO

Magistrate Building, Wave village

“So you’re trying to tell me that you forged a pact with an ancient elemental being, who is older than the Nine-tailed fox, who is older even than the legendary Ten-tailed beast, and who have been living in your body for more than a year?” Kakashi asked with an incredulous tone of voice as Naruto told Kakashi what had happened that day on the bridge, in between bites of food. When Kakashi had insisted on getting an explanation from Naruto about what happened on the bridge, Naruto had requested for some privacy as he could not explain about the Guardian Forces without touching on the Nine-tailed beast sealed within him. That was the reason why Sakura, an unwilling Sasuke and Haku had been sent out of the house while the two of them talked.

“It’s true.” Naruto said with his mouth full. Quezacotl had seen no reason why the origins of the Guardian Forces should be kept secret. The only thing the Elemental being had cautioned Naruto not to tell Kakashi was the location of his Elemental ore. “I can give you proof if you want.”

“I think we’ll skip that idea.” Kakashi said hastily as he thought of how long Naruto had laid unconscious after transforming into a powerful flying creature. “I don’t want you lying on your back for the next few days because you did another of those strange transformations.”

“It’s a summoning Kakashi.” Naruto said indignantly. “I was just lending my physical body to Quezacotl because he could not manifest in the physical plane unless in special circumstances. The summoning basically involves Quezacotl creating a chakra shroud around my body and taking over my mind for a brief period of time.”

“And if that is true, that just makes it worse.” Kakashi said in a fierce voice. “Relinquishing control of your body to some other entity? Especially your body with the Nine-tailed fox contained within you? Naruto, promise me you’ll not do it again until we can get some specialist ninja back at Konoha to check into this.”

“I’ve been telling you Kakashi, Quezacotl and his siblings are the enemies of the Tailed beasts. Quezacotl is a Guardian Force, they watch over the balance of the world.” Naruto said before his forehead crinkled in confusion. “Or they used to. Now Quezacotl isn’t even sure if the rest of his siblings are alive, even if Haku is really the descendant of Shiva, the Ice Elemental.”

“Let’s say I believe you Naruto. That you really forged a pact with an elemental being that suddenly appeared to your rescue. You will need to take its words with a grain of salt. You can’t believe everything it said.” Kakashi cautioned as he looked at Naruto seriously. “The stories it told you might not be totally true. We’ll need the researchers back at Konoha to look into this just to make sure there are no adverse consequences from forging a pact with the creature.”

Your teacher Kakashi is wise to show caution to the unknown. Quezacotl said approvingly, breaking through Naruto’s irritation. I am unable to communicate mind to mind with him. I am unable to show him my memories. Do not begrudge him of his fear regarding the unknown.

“Well I can show you the new ability Quezacotl gave me, to prove he exists.” Naruto said as he reached out with the new gift Quezacotl had granted him. The ability to Draw magic spells out of a magic source or magical creature. Kakashi being able to use chakra, filled the criteria of a magical creature. Reaching out with his new senses, he touched the chakra core of Kakashi. The chakra core glinted with five different colors. Naruto halted at the sight.

What you are seeing now is the chakra core of Hatake Kakashi, separated into spells that are his true core. The colors show that Hatake Kakashi possessed five different types of magical spells. Once you’ve drawn them, you’ll know what they are. Quezacotl advised.

Naruto hesitated, and then reached out with his new senses and touched one of the colors as he Pulled.

Kakashi blinked, glaring at Naruto. “What did you do Naruto? My chakra just spiked up!”

Naruto however was lost in the sudden information that assaulted him. 6 Mimic magic has been drawn. Mimic, a magical spell that allows one to instantly copy any magical technique that a target is trying to cast.

There’s another thing you should know Naruto. Quezacotl cautioned, breaking through his thoughts. Every time you pull magic spells from a creature, you’re actually strengthening the magical aspect of the creature through which the spell was drawn. That’s the reason why in the past, humans draw spells from monsters and kill them immediately afterwards, to prevent them from becoming stronger. There have been cases where too much drawing of magic from a monster caused the monster to become empowered and too powerful to be stopped by ordinary humans.

And you’re telling me that only now? And I can’t kill Kakashi! He’s not a monster! Naruto growled back in his mental voice even as he felt the six spells settling into his body. He turned his attention back to Kakashi who was now glaring fiercely at him.

“Naruto.” Kakashi gritted out. “What did you just do?”

“I told you about the Draw magic ability I got from Quezacotl didn’t I?” Naruto said as he put down the bread in his hand, looking at Kakashi. “Well I have just drawn six Mimic spells from you. Apparently the more I draw on the magic, or in this case, the chakra of someone, the more powerful the person will get in that aspect of magic I am drawing in. Magic is actually chakra. Which means since the Mimic spell is a magic that allows anyone to copy a magical technique a target is trying to cast, I most probably drawn that spell out of you because of your Sharingan.”

“Really?” Kakashi said as his eyes narrowed. “You’ll have to prove that wouldn’t you Naruto? Copy this!” Kakashi waited until Naruto gave a nod to signify he was ready, before his hands flicked into a fast series of handseals as the tea from the teapot rose into a small water dragon, or tea dragon in this case.

By then Naruto had already reached into his reserves of magic spells and cast one out. A strange chakra empowered him, blazing in his eyes. Time seemed to slow as his eyes focused on Kakashi, in particular his hands. Naruto’s hands effortlessly flickered into handseals for the tea dragon, moving as though he had practiced that technique for years. The execution of Naruto’s chakra was precise as the spell heightened his control, and a second tea dragon swirled out of the tea pot, struggling with the tea dragon Kakashi had called out.

Kakashi raised an eyebrow, seemingly impressed. “That’s enough.” Kakashi said as he released the tea dragon, causing the tea to swirl back into the tea pot, watching as Naruto did the same. “That’s enough proof for me. You couldn’t have known the technique for the Water Dragon, and I know of your terrible charka control. The only way you can execute it perfectly on the first attempt is if you have a Sharingan of your own. Since you didn’t, it is proof enough of this so call magic of yours.”

“Great, and I just wasted a perfectly good magic spell just to prove that to you.” Naruto grumbled before brightening up as he realized he could remember the handseals for the Water Dragon quite clearly. “Though I did get a cool technique in exchange.”

“If what you said is true, about the Guardian Forces, the Tailed-beasts, and the new powers and abilities you now have or will have through the pact…” Kakashi looked troubled as his words trailed off. “I can very well imagine the trouble that will come if these news, even the news of your new abilities are leaked out to other hidden villages. Power is the coin of currency in hidden villages. Your new abilities, strange and powerful as they are, will be a threat. The other hidden villages will seek to make those powers theirs and failing that, ensure Konoha does not have access to this power, even if they have to destroy it. Naruto, you have to understand that your new gifts are a double edged sword. You must not reveal any of this to anyone else until we can talk to the Hokage.”

“All right.” Naruto said with a nod. He might be young and brash, but he was not stupid. Even though he might crave attention and approval, years of living alone, sometimes surviving in the streets had taught him one valuable lesson. Never draw too much attention to yourself, especially negative types of attention. Curious, Naruto reached out with his new senses again, touching one of the magic he had yet to draw from Kakashi. He Pulled. Kakashi jerked back with shock.

“Naruto! What did you just do!” Kakashi barked out.

“8 White Chakra Blade spells.” Naruto breathed, his eyes wide as information about the new spell trickled into his mind. Reaching out, he cast out one of the spell. A long white chakra blade formed in his hand, cleaving apart the table in front of him, causing Kakashi and Naruto to jump away from each other instantly. Naruto was looking at his hands in horror, while Kakashi was staring at the white chakra blade in Naruto’s grasp, his face graying in shock.

After a few stunned seconds, the white chakra blade in Naruto’s hands flickered out, disappearing into thin air. Kakashi blinked his eyes, as he snapped out of his shock. He turned to look at Naruto who was still staring at the destroyed table.

“I didn’t mean to do that, honestly!” Naruto was saying when Kakashi cut him off with a wave of his hand.

“Right now I am more interested in the theory of how you can draw these magic/chakra spells from other people. Do different people have different spells? And how do you determine what spell to pull from someone?” Kakashi said in a stern voice.

The core of every magical creature is different. The core shows the true self of the creature, and this core may change and alter with the different experiences and emotions the creature goes through in life. Quezacotl said within Naruto’s head. Tell your teacher this. The spells you are able to pull from him are but the true reflection of himself at this current time of his life. It may all change in the future. And shall you continue pulling more spells from him, he will become more and more powerful in the magical aspects that you are pulling from.

“Naruto I am waiting.” Kakashi said glaring down at Naruto. It was the first time Naruto had seen Kakashi frustrated and he was a bit quailed by the older man.

“Well Quezacotl said that…” Naruto began as he repeated Quezacotl’s words. It was going to be one of those long days.

OoooO

Magistrate Building, Wave village

First Naruto had woken up, and then Kakashi had sent him out with Sakura and Haku to walk the village while he talked to Naruto, treating Sasuke like some glorified babysitter. Well Sasuke was having none of that. The question of how Naruto had defeated Zabuza and Haku had been eating away at him for the past few days, and so he had slipped away from Sakura and Haku with some lame excuse he doubted the two girls actually believed. Sure, he was supposed to watch over Haku, but the girl already had chakra restraining and strength sapping seals on her. Add in the fact that they were walking on a busy crowded village street, Sakura and the rest of the villagers could probably make sure she did not escape.

And so Sasuke had backtracked to the Magistrate building where Team 7 currently made their residence. Creeping to the side of the wall where Naruto’s room was at, he carefully pried open a bit of the windows so that he could hear the conversation within.

Tales of Guardian Forces, Elemental beasts, and Naruto was actually the demon container of the Nine-tailed fox! It all explained a lot, about the animosity the villagers at Konoha had always seemed to have against Naruto. It also explained how Naruto had gained his incredible powers. Kakashi must have been locked in similar feelings of shock and disbelief because the white haired ninja did not seem to realize Sasuke was outside a window listening in.

Then Naruto had shown off his Mimic spell and White Chakra Blade spell, both of which Naruto had somehow drawn from Kakashi. Sasuke had gaped at such a raw display of power. He, Uchiha Sasuke, must have this power! If he was able to get the same power which Naruto now possessed, it would increase his chance to exact his revenge on his murdering brother!

As Sasuke continued eavesdropping attentively, Naruto began explaining how he drew magic from others. How that the more spells he draw from others, the more powerful the person became in that magical aspect Naruto was drawing from. It was in fact a two way symbiotic relationship.

Perhaps it was the soft gasp from Sasuke’s lips, perhaps Kakashi had finally detected Sasuke’s presence by the windows. Whatever the case, the windows were suddenly thrown open and Sasuke stared dumbstruck into Kakashi’s angry face.

“How much did you overheard?’ Kakashi said with a grim voice as he glared at Sasuke. The look on Sasuke’s face must have said it all because Kakashi gave an angry growl as he pointed a finger at Sasuke. “This is an order from me as leader of Team 7. You are not to breathe a word of what you’ve heard in this room to anyone do you understand?”

Sasuke could only nod dumbly, barely preventing his knees from trembling at the killing intent coming from Kakashi.

“I am disappointed in you Sasuke. You’ve left Sakura to watch over Haku alone didn’t you?” Kakashi said, his lips twisting grimly at Sasuke’s nod. “If Haku tried anything, if Sakura is hurt, I will make sure you answer for it. Get in the room NOW Sasuke. Naruto make sure Sasuke does not do anything stupid, we’ll continue our conversation later.”

Kakashi waited until Sasuke scrambled into the room through the window before he leapt out, quickly crossing the rooftops in search of Sakura and Haku. An uncomfortable silence descended in the room as the two boys watched Kakashi disappeared off into the distance. Then Sasuke turned to face Naruto, a resolute look on his face.

“Tell me how I can get the same powers as you Naruto. Tell me how I can forge a pact with this Quezacotl.” Sasuke said, his eyes staring intensely at Naruto.

“It’s impossible unless you can find an Elemental ore or Junction system to implant into your body. I am special because…” Naruto stumbled over his words as he realized what he was about to say.

“I already know you’re the container for the Nine-tailed fox, and I don’t care about that! Just tell me how I can get an Elemental ore or a Junction system.” Sasuke said in exasperation, he was not going to let anything stand in his way of getting more power for his vengeance.

“Well Elemental ores are what is known as chakra gems in the Elemental countries, they are horribly expensive though, since they are very hard to find.” Naruto explained with a frown as if he was listening to a voice in his head. After the explanation Naruto had told Kakashi, Sasuke was inclined to believe there is a voice in the idiot’s head. “As for Junction systems, the Elemental countries do not have the technologies to build artificial Elemental ore. Crafting Junction systems from scratch might take weeks, months or even years, depending on whether we can find the needed resources.”

“Chakra gems! I know chakra gems.” Sasuke said in a voice of excitement. “Several of the heirlooms in the Uchiha compound have chakra gems embedded in them. So if I implant one of the gems in my body, I can form a pact with Quezacotl?”

“Well I guess.” Naruto said a bit unwillingly, seemingly a little put off at thoughts of sharing his own unique summon with his rival. “Quezacotl said he’ll agree to the pact if a chakra gem is implanted in your body, as repayment for saving me from Haku’s attack back on the bridge. However he will not grant you all of his abilities and powers, you will only be given the basics of powers and abilities. More will be granted to you as the bond between you two builds and he trusts in you more. He say from his observations right now, you have serious erm psy… chopathic issues, whatever that means. He just isn’t comfortable with giving you more powers until you prove that you will not abuse them.”

“I will just have to prove myself to him them.” Sasuke said in a fiercely serious voice, gripping Naruto’s hands tight as he stared into Naruto’s startled eyes. “Thank you Quezacotl for granting me this pact. You will not regret it. I’ll be the most powerful summoner you will ever have!”

Quezacotl must have said something to Naruto because the blond haired boy tilted his head to the side before looking at Sasuke with a frown. But whatever Quezacotl had said, Naruto did not share it with Sasuke. Sasuke held Naruto’s stare for a few uncomfortable seconds before the blond boy simply shook his head and walk away.

“Come on Sasuke, help me clear out this mess.” Naruto said as he began cleaning the spilled food on the floor, causalities of the accident when he had cut his table in half with a White Chakra Blade spell. “Kakashi might be in a better mood if he didn’t have to deal with a dirty room when he gets back.”

OoooO

Magistrate Building, Wave village

Haku did entertain thoughts of escaping the village and rescuing Zabuza from the village’s prison once Uchiha Sasuke had left. Of Team 7, only Haruno Sakura was the least threat. She could possibly disable the girl with just her taijutsu, even without access to her chakra and her weakened strength. But through the days she had spent with the girl, she had built up a cordial relationship with Sakura that was less as a jailer and more as a friend. Sakura had been delighted to find a female ninja close to her age, who had no choice but to listen to the pink haired girl talk as Sakura watched over Haku during her time at the Magistrate building.

At first Haku had found the girl’s conversations pointless, Sakura treated being a ninja like a game. Instead all of Sakura’s attention was focused on gaining the interest of one Uchiha Sasuke, the fantasy prince of the pink-haired girl. But Haku shortly realized that there had been hidden depths to the air headed girl. Somehow, through clever maneuvering of conversations, Sakura had gotten Haku to pour her heart out to someone other than Zabuza. It had been so long since Haku had a female friend, years in fact, that Sakura’s simple friendship had caused Haku to acknowledge the girl as another one of her precious person. And she would never hurt any of her precious people.

And so Haku had roamed the streets of Wave village with Sakura beside her. The villagers had been courteous to the two girls. Team 7, inclusive of Sakura, were heroes to everyone in Wave village. Haku was treated politely because for the past few days, other than tending to Naruto, she had brewed herbal remedies for several other sick villagers, as well as guiding the village’s women on how to collect the best herbs to make the most potent herbal extracts. Haku had been accepted by the women of Wave village and to the rest of the village, that was that.

They had only explored half the village before Kakashi had appeared next to them in a swirl of leaves. The white haired man looked highly irritated and frustrated as he took the two girls back to the Magistrate building. Once there, Haku had been greeted by a delighted Naruto who had scolded her for letting him think she was a boy. The powerful blond haired boy seemed to have forgotten that only a little more than a week ago, he and Haku had been locked in serious battle, one that could have cost either of them their lives. Naruto had simply prated on, making small talk as he tried to get to know “the girl he had met in the flower fields” better.

Kakashi meanwhile, after leaving instructions for Team 7 to watch over Haku, left to settle some business. He was still not back even after dark, and so Sakura had bind Haku apologetically as Team 7 turn in for the night, with one of them taking a rotational watch over Haku every few hours.

Haku woke up next morning on the couch, stiff from the rope bindings on her hands and legs. She had known something was going on when Kakashi had untied her, and called Team 7 together, just as Tazuna, the bridge builder, walked in with several armed men who herded an untied Zabuza in front of them. Haku’s eyes had lit up at the sight of her most precious person, the one who had taken her in when no one else had wanted her. Her unacknowledged father who had taken care of her, as well as treated her with kindness in his rough yet seemingly uncaring manner.

“Team 7 will be returning to Konoha this very morning.” Kakashi had announced to the shock of his team, though Tazuna and his men did not seem surprised by the announcement. “There’s the matter of what to do with Zabuza and Haku however. Taking them back to Konoha would be an instant death sentence for them, and after all the trouble Naruto and I have taken to spare their lives, it would be a waste if Konoha was to kill them just like that.”

Zabuza growled angrily, his untied hands already moving when one of the villagers with a pike shoved it in front of his face.

“I’ve talked to Tazuna and we’ve decided what to do with you two.” Kakashi said, nodding to Tazuna.

Tazuna turned to look at Haku and then Zabuza, his next words however stunned Haku into silence. “Wave village would like to hire the two of you to protect our village.”

“What?” Zabuza said in disbelief as he stared at the old bridge builder whom he had tried to kill previously.

“We’ve taken the entirety of Gato’s wealth. It does not take much to deduct that some unscrupulous partners of Gato might come to Wave village to take back those wealth by whatever force necessary. After the oppression Wave village had suffered under Gato’s hands, none of us wants to be without protection again.” Tazuna said resolutely as he stared at Zabuza who had begun laughing. “We are willing to pay highly for your protection Zabuza.”

“And what makes you think I wouldn’t just take that wealth from you.” Zabuza sneered at Tazuna.

Tazuna however was unfazed by Zabuza’s actions and words. “Because those wealth are now separated into various secret accounts tied to Wave village. Certain parties need to be present or agree, in order to draw upon the funds. One of the parties is Hatake Kakashi, who is now a trustee of the village. Should anything happen to the rest of the Wave village council, authority to dispense the funds will fall upon Hatake Kakashi. We trust him to look upon the interest of Wave village.”

“He is a Konoha nin, his only interest is to Konoha.” Zabuza said incredulously as he stared at Tazuna.

“And yet he and his Team offered to save Wave village, even when we only paid for a C-rank mission.” Tazuna said in a voice of steel. “We trust Kakashi, Zabuza. Wave village is willing to pay for the services of you and Haku for 150,000 ryo per month. More if we come under attack. I am also willing to forgive you of your past actions in trying to kill me. Will you agree to these terms Zabuza?”

There was a long moment of silence before Zabuza gave a shrug of his broad shoulders. “I’ll take it. It’s better than dying in Konoha. I expect this agreement is only between those in this room?”

“Correct, we can’t very well announce to the world Wave village has hired a missing nin as its protector. To the public, you will have escaped with Haku once Team 7 left. You will be paid on a monthly basis by the village council, and accommodations have already been prepared for you. There’s an old woodcutter’s cabin in the forest. We’ve repaired and furnished it so that you can move in anytime.” Tazuna stepped forward, passing Zabuza a thick envelope. “We are also returning what should belong to you.”

“What…” Zabuza trailed off as he opened the envelope and saw the wad of cash within.

“I believe that was the amount Gato promised for killing me and Team 7.” Tazuna said as he turned to Haku who was staring open mouth at the scene before her. “Both of you might have failed in your mission for Gato, but Wave village will honor that debt. That money rightfully belongs to the both of you anyway.”

Zabuza’s mouth twisted as he stuffed the envelope of money into his pockets. The look he gave Tazuna this time round was however respectful. “I may be a missing nin, but I also have my own honor. For as long as I accept payment from Wave village, Wave village will stay under my protection. And that is my promise to you.”

“Good, then I’ll hold you to it.” Kakashi said as he walked up to Haku, pressing a finger on the chakra restraining and strength sapping seals on her body which began to fade and disappear. Within moments, she could feel her chakra and strength returning again. Kakashi left to stand by Zabuza’s side, doing the same to him. Zabuza stretched his arm a few times, as if loosening stiff muscles. “Team 7 will be leaving for Konoha now. Zabuza, you and Haku will be taken back to your cells. Break out in the dark of the night. You should be able to figure out the rest on your own.”

Zabuza gave a curt nod to Kakashi before turning away. In the meantime, Sakura had engulfed Haku in a hug, while Naruto promised to come back and see her again. Sasuke simply stood a distance away, glaring at the girl who had turned him into a pin cushion.

“Alright time to go.” Tazuna said as the armed men rounded up Zabuza and Haku and began binding them. “We’re going to put up a show when we march you two back to prison, so act the part. Kakashi, Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura, words cannot express the gratitude Wave village has for the four of you. The villagers will be there at the bridge to say our goodbyes to you when you leave. I have also given Kakashi some gifts that Wave village wishes to pass to each of you. I understand Kakashi will give them to you upon reaching Konoha. I wish you all the best and to come back and visit us again one day.”

“We will old man.” Naruto said giving Tazuna a smile.

“Yes, we’ll definitely come back one day.” Sakura said as Tazuna and his men began marching Haku and Zabuza out of the Magistrate building.

Haku turned to give Team 7 once last wave before she walked out.

OoooO

Forest near the Land of Waves

Team 7 was moving at top speed over the tops of trees after they had said their goodbyes to the villagers, crossing the almost completed bridge back into mainland. They had to water walk for a short distance towards the mainland, after which they had to skim over the trees. Kakashi was hoping to make good on their timing, attempting to reach Konoha within three days. He was pushing Team 7 hard, and it was not too much of a guess for Naruto to realize that reason was probably him, or to be more precise, Quezacotl who resides in Naruto’s body.

At the current moment, Naruto was bringing up the group’s rear as he conversed with the Elemental Force within him. So you’ve found Shiva’s location? Naruto asked mentally. Quezacotl had been quiet the whole of last evening after he had done a powerful magical analysis of Haku while Naruto was engaging the girl in small talk. The pure chaos that was this morning meant that Naruto did not have time to inquire after Quezacotl until now.

In a way. Quezacotl’s voice said in Naruto’s mind. I was able to at last locate and tap into the metaphysical connection which binds Haku to Shiva due to their shared bloodlines. I was able to determine that my sister is indeed alive, though her essence seemed weak and that she is in some kind of slumber. My magic has already picked up that connection, so I will be able to guide you to Shiva’s location once you’re able to leave the village to help me search for her.

That’s good. Naruto said in agreement. I’ll see if I can convince Kakashi to let me have a few days off from the village once we get back to Konoha. I have been meaning to ask. This magical analysis thing you did to Haku, can it be used to find out what magic spells I can pull from a person?

It can be used that way. Quezacotl admitted. However the casting of such a magical scan takes time. The more detailed the scan, the longer the time needed. Usually it will be faster to simply draw the magic from a person, so that I can “sample” it and pass you the information of what the magic spell does.

Well Kakashi gave me strict instructions before we left, not to draw out any magic from anyone else for the time being. Naruto said thinking back on Kakashi’s firm briefing outside the Magistrate building before they had set off. I didn’t tell him I’ve already drawn spells from Sasuke and Sakura while he was away the previous night. Naruto revealed. Sakura had been his unknowing target of spell drawing. It had been an eye opener when he had drawn out two powerful spells from Sakura. One was a spell named “Physical manifestation of alternate self” which could somehow summon the darker part of oneself, the last was a “Quake” spell which could cause a localize earthquake.

Sasuke on the other hand was a willing participant of Naruto’s magic drawing experiment. Naruto had drawn out “Mimic” spells from the boy, “Blaze” spells which could summon blaze of fire, and “Lightning” spells which could cast lightning on a target. What had Naruto curious however were the spells Naruto had yet to draw from Kakashi. So Quezacotl, do you think you can find out what other spells I can draw from Kakashi?

That can be done with a quick surface scan. Quezacotl said with a mental nod. Give me a few minutes.

In the mental silence that followed, Naruto observed his surroundings as he tagged after his Team, speeding across the treetops. They had just passed a familiar road where the group had first encountered Zabuza when Quezacotl spoke up. Magical analysis completed. Hatake Kakashi currently possesses five different magical aspects. The “Mimic” spell, and “White Chakra Blade” spell can be drawn from him. The other three are the “Lightning orb” spell, which creates a powerful orb of lightning in one’s hands, “Dragon flames” spell, which creates fire hot enough to melt metal, and the “Tidal wave” spell which creates a powerful wall of water.

That is so cool! Naruto said in excitement, a grin splitting his face. I can’t wait to draw those spells from Kakashi. Now I just have to find a way to get Kakashi to agree to it.

As Team 7 speeds through the treetops. Naruto was plotting on drawing more powerful spells with his new found abilities.

Alexander, The Warrior Mage (Chapter Four)

Story Title: Alexander, The Warrior Mage

Crossover: BtVS/ Might and Magic VI/ Stargate verse AU/ Ghost Whisperer/ Star Wars/ multiple

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction for the fans’ enjoyment and to keep the fandoms alive. :) I do not own any of the fandoms that are pieced together in this story, and no profit is made.

Summary: Months on the Hellmouth and Xander wise up. If he was to survive on Hellmouth central he will need magical protection. Unfortunately, he did not count on Halloween night.

Chapter Four: Storm’s Gathering Part 1

Sunnydale

Xander’s mouth hang open as the group now stood before the property Cordelia had brought under his name. It had been a week since she had started the property hunt, and thus when Cordelia said she had found a suitable place, Xander had blinked at the large sum of money she requested and just passed it to her. Giles had been a great help in helping him fence off a lot of duplicated valuables over the week, and what he had saved up had been more than enough to cover the property price. He had signed some papers Cordelia had passed him, and then had driven together with the group to the property itself.

“You bought the old botanic garden?” Xander shouted incredulously at Cordelia as they stood in front of the large walled off property that used to be Sunnydale’s botanic garden. The place had been closed down more than thirteen years ago, and now as they stood in front of the large looming iron gates of the enclosure, overrun with weeds and vines, Xander had a sinking feeling that he should have been more involved in the property hunt. Now… it was a bit too late for foresight.

“The land mass is 32 hectares, with a hothouse and a large building that used to be the administration headquarters of the garden. It’s a steal at what the agent is charging.” Cordelia defended her choice. “I took a look, the hothouse is still working, amazing since it was only maintained every half a year, and the admin building is a mess, but structurally sound, we just need a cleanup and maintenance crew to go over the whole place and you can start planting crops.”

“Herbs Cordelia, they are herbs.” Giles said absentmindedly as he stared in shock at the property that now belonged to Xander on paper.

“The place looks haunted!” Xander protested his eyes wide. “In fact I remembered hearing horror stories about this place when we’re in grade school.”

“Nothing a good cleanup can’t take care of.” Cordelia argued back before giving Xander a look of scorn. “And hello? You’re supposed to be this powerful Warrior Mage guy and you’re scared of ghosts? The ghosts should be the ones afraid of you!”

As Xander begun to bristle, Buffy walked forward peering through the gates. “Actually what Cordelia said made sense, you’re going to need space to plant your magic plants. What better place than a botanic garden with its own greenhouse building?”

“Yes but she brought the whole place!” Xander said waving his arm out. “What am I supposed to do with the rest of the land?”

“We could… grow flowers?” Buffy suggested helpfully.

Xander just slapped a hand on his head and gave a groan.

OoooO

Greenfields Cemetery

With shaking hands, he laid the bouquet in his hands on the tombstone in front of him. Percy West swallowed back fear and horror as he tried to blink back tears. Memories of the night still haunted him… He was Darth Vader, Sith Lord, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet. He was immersed in the dark side of the Force. He was also the killer of Ronald White and Bart Woods, both of whom had died at the video game festival on Halloween night, sliced in half by a glowing red light saber.

Percy swallowed back bile as memories of the night surfaced. Everything had been so chaotic. One moment he was at the video game booth promoting the new Star Wars game, and then the next moment he had taken a backseat in his own body, watching in shock as a powerful Sith Lord went mad in his body. He could still remember the feeling of the Force. The simmering cesspool of darkness that had surrounded him. The concentration of chaos and the Dark side swirling around the Sith Lord had been so overwhelming in the festival hall that it drove Darth Vader berserk.

Percy could not remember much after that. All he knew was that he returned back to his own body to find two bodies sliced in half scattered around him. The powerful presence of Darth Vader had disappeared, so had his Force abilities. But the memories… oh god, the memories, they had stayed with Percy. Those memories had nearly driven him mad, but he had gotten a handle on them after a few days of locking himself in his room.

The police had been unable to charge him with the murders of the two teenagers since the light saber Percy had been holding had changed back into a prop. In the end the whole thing had been covered up by the police who had remarked that the two had died in a cable wiring accident during the chaos. Only Percy had known better, the memories of Darth Vader had shown him that.

Though he had been consumed by guilt, Percy was too scared to own up. Too scared of what would happen to him, or what his parents would suffer through. He had been a jock at Sunnydale High, one of the star players of the basketball team, though none of that seemed to matter now. It was not his reputation that he was concerned about if he was charged with murder, but his parents’.

And then there was the matter of the memories. Darth Vader, once Anakin Skywalker, had been a star pilot and excellent engineer. The wonders and things he could assemble and built now lies within Percy’s reach. Where Percy once struggled with math and science, he now bears an understanding of higher level algorithms and technologies which no one on Earth could possibly compare to. All those knowledge just cried out to him, asking him to use them, to build them, even though Percy had no idea if they would even work in the real world.

“Percy man what took you so long?” Larry, one of the school’s football player, and his childhood friend called out, causing Percy to jump. “I thought you said you just need a few minutes, it’s already half an hour.”

“Sorry.” Percy said, quickly turning to leave.

“I left the car running. I need to get back to practice in ten minutes. I only waited because you said you needed a ride back.” Larry said as they walked out of the cemetery. “Who are those people anyway? We went to two separate cemeteries in an hour’s time. It’s not your family, and I know all of your friends.”

“Just leave it alone Larry.” Percy said with a sigh as he got into the car, quickly changing the topic. “So I heard Harmony asked you out during lunch today?”

“Yeah.” Larry said derisively. “I heard from the guys on the team that she’s real easy…”

As Percy listened to Larry prattled on, Percy’s mind wondered… what should he do now?

OoooO

Sunnydale Library

Willow admired the gleaming liquid silver ring on her right hand, feeling its powerful enchantments boosting her. With the time available in the past week, Xander had upgraded everyone’s rings into Astral metal rings, which could contain hundreds over different enchantments should there be a need to. For herself, Willow had three enhancement of speed, two enhancement of endurance, and three enhancement of intelligence. It basically meant that she could read and absorb knowledge at a pace she could never before imagined.

Then there had been the magical enchantments which had been pretty standard on everyone’s rings. There had been the magical beacon teleport which could instantly transport the wearer of the ring to Xander’s new apartment. There were the thirty charges of shield spells, fifty charges of lightning bolt spells, the wizard eye passive ability, and the protection spell against the four elements and magic. Everyone in the group was now a magical arsenal, able to take down any supernatural threat on their own should there be a need to.

Willow had already gone through all of the books in the library with her super speed and intellect. She had then turned her focus to her love of computer programming and found a kindred soul in Oz. Apparently Oz had been pretty good with programming and sciences as well. The two of them had been spending a lot of time together as they worked on creating a powerful search engine program that would allow the group to collect information more effectively over the internet.

Buffy had been teasing the two of them about the time they spent together, and Cordelia kept giving her that knowing smirk. At the very least Buffy would be too preoccupied to make fun of Willow today, her ex-high schoolmate, Ford, had transferred to Sunnydale High, and was taking up most of the Slayer’s attention.

“Where’s the rest of the group?” Oz asked as he entered the library after classes had ended for the day. Willow had already been there waiting for half an hour since her lessons ended early.

“Giles’ in his office, I think he’s preparing for his date with Ms. Calendar later in the evening.” Willow said pointing to the closed door of the librarian’s office. “Xander rushed back to his place to brew some potions… which is exactly what he has been doing for the past few days. Cordelia said she needed some shopping therapy after seeing Harmony kiss Larry during lunch, though I have no idea how that is supposed to affect her. Buffy is with Ford somewhere on the school’s campus.”

“Seems like everyone’s busy.” Oz said as the two of them walked to the row of computers recently installed in the library. “So how far did you go with the search engine program yesterday night? I’ve finished the algorithm for running a bubble sort through meta-data by using the Binns-Means theory.”

“I finished my part of the program as well. I created a program that piggybacks multiple IP addresses and retrieved data contained within them for the search.” Willow said as she inserted a disc into the computer in front of her. “It took me the better part of the night, and I think there are still some bugs.”

“Let’s go through the codes together.” Oz offered, sitting down beside her, eyes intent on the codes that pop out as Willow opened the code editor program. Willow blushed as Oz leaned closer towards her as they worked on the codes together.

A slight creaking of the library doors caused the two of them to look up from their work. Willow blinked as a tall well-muscled guy walked in. She had recognized him as one of the school’s basketball players from the neighboring class. The guy looked more like a jock than someone who would spend his time in the library.

The guy paused at the entrance of the library, looking distinctly uncomfortable at the nearly empty place. “I am just looking for books on physics and chemistry.” He said, shifting uncomfortably at the looks Willow and Oz were giving him.

“They’re on the left aisle, third shelf onwards.” Willow offered. The guy quickly nodded his head in thanks before quickly moving to the shelves. Willow and Oz shared a look before Oz shrugged his shoulders. While the high school library was devoid of students most of the time, once in a while they get strays like the guy who came in, though they tend to look more bookish.

Both of them turned back to their codes, and began refining them as Willow merge her program and Oz’s together. They were so engrossed with their work that they did not hear anyone walking behind them until a voice spoke out.

“You should run an ‘if loop’ through those lines of codes instead of using a ‘switch’, it’ll be more streamlined and efficient. Those lines of codes can be cleaned up further too.” Someone said behind them. Willow jumped, turning to see the jock now standing beside her.

“Erm hi, I am Percy.” The guy introduced with a forced smile, clutching several physics and robotics books in his hands. “I was looking for the librarian, and then I happened to see your codes…”

“You’re right, it’ll be more efficient with an ‘if loop’ encapsulating this chunk of code.” Oz spoke out as he gave the codes on screen a second look. “I am Oz and this is Willow. You’re a programmer as well?”

“Not really.” Percy said looking very uncomfortable all of a sudden. “I only started understanding them during computer classes this week. They just seemed to make sense all of a sudden…” Percy said giving an uneasy laugh.

“If you’re looking for the librarian, Giles’ in his office.” Willow said. “I can give him a call for you…”

“Actually you want to look through these codes with us?” Oz offered to Willow’s surprise. “We can always use another pair of eyes. Very few people in high school actually know more than the fundamentals of programming.”

“Well I do have some time before basketball practice.” Percy said in thought before giving a shrug and pulled a chair beside them. “Sure why not. I only picked up programming recently though, so I am not sure how much advice I can give.”

“At the very least this can give you more experience in the subject.” Oz said simply before pointing to the computer screen. “We’re trying to create a semi-intuitive search engine program, sort of a semi-intelligent program that can search for data with specific parameters across the internet…”

OoooO

Watchers Council, England

Demons, magic, aliens were real. Daniel’s head swam with the information he had been exposed to for the past few days. He had never expected that accepting the Watchers Council’s invitation would turn his life view topsy-turvy. Neither would he have imagined the vampire presented to him as his introduction to the supernatural, nor the alien artifact that was currently sitting in the basement of the Council’s headquarters.

And Daniel’s task, along with numerous researchers and scientists hired and accepted into the Council, was to decipher the workings and usage of the device known as the Stargate. Daniel had terminated his tenure at the university, partially on the account that the salary the Council was paying him was twice of his university’s pay. Not to mention the Council had wanted him to start researching the Stargate right away.

He was however having trouble with his head of department, one Mervin Wilson, who was scornful of everyone not born on English soil. But the work was too interesting and out of this world that Daniel simply paid it no mind.

Currently Daniel was in the library of the Council headquarters, and was pouring over an old tomb on ancient Egyptian, hoping to gain insight on the history of the device itself. Not for the first time did Daniel marveled at the Council’s library which contained numerous never seen before written works from ages past. On the table beside him were the strange glyphs found on the metal ring device, somehow Daniel knew that if he could only figure out what those glyphs mean, he would have the key to finding out what the device by itself do.

Someone bumped into his table, jarring his concentration. He looked up into the shimmering blue eyes of a flustered looking blond haired woman. She brushed her long locks from her face, giving Daniel and abashed smile. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into the table. This library is just so… intimidating that I wasn’t looking at where I was going.” The woman apologized.

“Ah it’s quite all right, don’t worry about it.” Daniel said standing up, smiling at the woman. “You sound like an American, I am Dr. Daniel Jackson, from California.”

“Oh! I am from California as well.” The woman said in surprise and relief at finding someone she could relate to. “I am Dr. Samantha Carter. I specialize in Quantum science and Mechanical Engineering.”

“My specialty is in Ancient languages and Archeology, particularly of Egyptian history.” Daniel said as he cleared a portion of his table, offering Samantha a seat next to him. The strikingly long haired beautiful woman smiled as she sat down, looking at the books and papers on his table.

“Those are the glyphs on the Stargate, that’s what the Council brought you here for isn’t it?” Samantha asked giving him a wry smile. “I’m with the science team researching how to actually power the device and get it to work.”

“That must be tough since we only have a rough idea of what the device is used for.” Daniel said in empathy before shaking his head. “Sorry, it has only been my third day here, and I am still trying to get used to things…”

“The induction program huh?” Samantha asked, a haunted look in her eyes. “Did they ask you to stake a vampire as well?”

“Yeah… while it was bonded in chains.” Daniel said, paling at the memories. “It was a bit of a… culture shock, to find that the supernatural actually exists in the darkness and shadows of society.”

“I am sure there must be some scientific explanations for the vampires, demons and magic the Council introduced during the induction program.” Samantha said in discomfort. “But for the moment the Stargate is the priority and it takes up a lot of my time.”

“I guess it does.” Daniel said looking at the jittery woman. “How long did it take you before you can sleep at night?”

“Close to two weeks.” The woman admitted, clutching a small gold cross around her neck. “I’ve been here for a month now, and what I have learnt and seen during the induction program still gave me nightmares.”

“I suppose it’ll be the same for me.” Daniel said in understanding. “You know what? Are you available this evening after work? I hadn’t had time to see the sights around here. Maybe you know of a place to chill out for the night?”

“There’s a place I know of near here. It has a nice atmosphere and a large collection of beverages. I can bring you there.” Samantha offered with a smile. “I go there often with my team, Doctor Covel and Doctor Rush. They are both from California as well. We can go there together after work.”

“That’ll be great.” Daniel said in surprise. “I wasn’t aware there were so many people from the States working in the Council.”

“Actually, aside from you and my team, I hadn’t seen another American around for the past one month.” Samantha confessed uncomfortably. “A lot of the senior Council members are quite insular. I have the feeling that if my team and I were not the best in our fields, we might not even be hired. I did hear that there are a lot more Americans and people of other nationalities in the Council’s demon hunting squads.”

“I see.” Daniel said with a frown, already not liking the picture of the Council he was forming. It was quite easy to get an idea of what an organization was like by the job roles it assigned to different people. Daniel had to wonder if a lot more non-Britain citizens were hired for the demon hunting squads because they were expendable.

As Daniel and Samantha shared news and seek solace in each other’s company, Daniel knew he would have to tread carefully now that he was in the Council. Where once he thought the Council was a prestige blue blood institution and one of the foremost archeology authorities of the world, Daniel now knows that underneath the gleaming shining front the Council presents to the world, its inner workings were full of shadowy agendas.

For instant, Daniel had been harboring a thought since the Council had shown him the Stargate. He could understand the Council’s interest in finding out what the Stargate does and how to operate it. But should the research teams get it to work one day, what exactly would the Council do with it? Because from what he had observed of the Council during the past few days, he doubt that they would share the device with the world.

OoooO

Sunnydale Library

“You are good!” Willow said in surprise as Percy actually recoded the programs Oz and herself had written into a more powerful package, utilizing algorithms and various applications of coding techniques that she had never seen before. “Where did you learn to do all these? I’ve never seen half the algorithms you used in any of the math and programming books.”

“I just picked it up… suddenly I guess.” Percy said looking very uncomfortable. The search engine program had been completed and compiled, and it was also more powerful than Willow and Oz had planned due to Percy’s assistance.

“You just pick it up?” Oz asked curiously.

“Yeah over the week I guess. I can understand them better now.” Percy said evading the question while Willow frowned. She had heard of prodigy programmers, but the complex algorithms Percy had applied in the search engine program was not something someone could just pick up in a week. And what did Percy meant by a week? After all, close to a week ago there was…

“Halloween.” Willow said firmly, causing Percy to nearly jump out of his seat.

“What! I don’t know what you mean.” Percy said quickly, grabbing his books and getting out of his chair. “I should really get the librarian now, I need to borrow these books…”

“Halloween night.” Oz said, seemingly understanding what Willow was trying to imply. “You were changed as well.”

Percy who had been walking towards the counter gave a jerk, pausing stiffly before turning to look at Oz and Willow. “What do you mean changed as well?”

Willow simply raised her hand and swiped the air in front of her, tapping into her enhanced speed. Her hand literally blurred into motion, causing Percy’s eyes to widen.

“Oh my god… you are the same as me.” Percy said in shock.

“Not exactly.” Willow said cautiously as she and Oz got out of the seats, walking towards the stunned Percy. “Who exactly did you dressed as? What powers and memories did you get?”

Her words however seemed to trigger something within Percy as his hands slummed to his sides, causing the books he was holding on to tumble onto the floor. Visible tears shimmered in Percy’s eyes as he began to shudder.

Willow took a step back, unnerved by the sight of a grown man, especially one with Percy’s build holding back tears. Somehow Willow had the sinking feeling that Percy might be more than just changed during Halloween night.

OoooO

Sunnydale Library

“He was Darth Vader.” Xander said wearily as he looked towards Giles’ office where the older man was currently attempting to console a distraught basketball player who had been affected during Halloween night. When Willow had called him about an emergency, Xander had teleported into the library through a magical beacon he had set up previously. “I know who he is. He is the guy in Darth Vader costume at the booth beside mine during the Culture festival. I didn’t see his face under his costume, but I remembered he killed two people while he was possessed.”

“According to him, Darth Vader went berserk once he took control of his body. There was too much darkness in the Force that it drove his Force sense crazy.” Willow spoke up. “When Percy regained control, all he got was the memories.”

“Most probably because he was standing close to me at that time.” Xander theorized. “Whatever happened to enable me to keep my Halloween counterpart’s memories and powers must have only partially affected him.”

“He just fell apart when he realized he could talk to us.” Oz offered, looking worriedly at Giles’ office. “How bad were the bodies of those Vader killed?”

“Sliced into two halves.” Xander said even as Willow blanched.

“That must be horrifying.” Willow said in sympathy. “And he had been keeping it all to himself the past week.”

“Being possessed and forced to kill people?” Xander asked grimly. “I can imagine how traumatic it’ll be. From what I saw, he was already hovering at the end of his line. If he hadn’t known that he can talk to us, he might have done something stupid.”

“But what about the other people in the festival? If you are really the cause of Percy retaining Vader’s memories, how close to you must the rest of the people be before they’re affected as well?” Willow asked, pointing out something important. “There could be more than just Percy who managed to retain memories of their Halloween selves.”

“We’ll have to track down all of the costumed promoters during that night, and whoever went to the festive dressed in costumes from that damn Halloween shop.” Xander said with a twist of his lips. “I still have the organizer’s number from the time I applied for the job, but I’ve no idea how to track the visitors to the Culture festival.”

“Were there security cameras at the place?” Oz asked as Xander turned to look at him in surprise.

“You know, I think I remembered seeing security cameras near the entrance, and I remember seeing people with video cameras in the crowd.” Xander said as he tried to recollect. “Not to mention the whole place only had six sets of entrances, all of which were located in one place.”

“Good, I’ll see if I can track down any video footages of that night.” Oz offered.

“It’ll be a big undertaking though… there were lots of people at the festival that night.” Xander cautioned. “Though the possibility that some of them might retain powers or memories from their Halloween counterparts isn’t something we can overlook. Luckily I’m not tied for money now. I’ve always wanted to see how susceptible to bribes people really are…”

Willow rolled her eyes at Xander’s mock evil look. “Well, while you try throwing money at people to get the information, Oz and I will try to see if we can dig anything out with our hacking skills and the new search program. It’s as good a time as any to test the software out.”

OoooO

Sunnydale Library

An evening at the movies with Giles was starting to turn into something much more. After that nerve wrecking Halloween night when she had been briefly possessed by a gypsy dancer, Jenny had been recalled back by her clan. Chaotic energies had swept across the world and magic users caught in the aftermath of the sweeping energy wave had all sensed it. Some of the old clan talents thought to be long lost also began appearing. Wolf speaking, empathic connections… and it was not just limited to the clan itself, old talents emerging from old bloodlines, believed lost since the Elder demons were sealed away, were rumored to be appearing all over the world.

It was only when she reached the clan ancestral home land that Jenny began having dreams. The Seer gift, the clan elders had told her, a rare clan talent that appeared once in several generations, and Jenny had received an extremely powerful version of it. The dreams had been of mass destructions all over the world, something Jenny just could not comprehend. Dark suffocating shadows and a hail of raging flames falling from the heavens engulfed the whole world, and at the center of all the dreams, she always saw Giles, the rest of the group, numerous strangers she had never seen before, and even Angel, standing unharmed, all glowing in the darkness as beacons of light.

The world was going to go through great upheaval in the future. According to the interpretation of the clan elders about her vision, the world would be destroyed and the dark supernatural forces would reign over its ashes. The small group she had known in Sunnydale was one of the key to countering those events, or at the very least, ensures that the world survives whatever was coming. Jenny had been sent back to Sunnydale to observe and keep an eye on the whole group. She also realized belatedly that Giles and his group might have more information on the night’s events. Jenny had originally intended to ask Giles out and discreetly pump him for any information he had regarding Halloween night, after all if she was going to do the clan’s dirty business, she might as well enjoy it.

It was only when she walked into the library that she realized there was no need to probe Giles for information, because Xander and Willow had provided her with the details of what happened during that night, and why Giles was currently in his office trying to console a traumatized young man who had apparently killed two people while possessed.

“… and you now possess the fictional magic of some game character?” Jenny asked in amazement as she stared at Xander.

“Yeah.” Xander said looking abashed. “We would have let you know earlier, you’ve helped us so much. But Giles had been saying you took a week’s leave from school, and he couldn’t contact you until today…”

“It’s my fault.” Jenny reassured the teenager. “I actually left town for a while. So this magic, what can you do with it?”

“Well…” For a moment, Xander met Willow’s eyes, before flickering to Oz. “I can enchant objects mostly. Embed magical spells in them which can then be cast by anyone, or imbue enhancement spells into items so wearing them will enhance the physical aspects of the wearer. I do have a limited repository of magical enchantments, so it’s not like I am all powerful.”

“Enchantments… that’s a pretty niche field of magic.” Jenny said looking at Xander in surprise. “It’s very power intensive and normally done by the more experienced magic users in our world and usually in organized covens. What enchantments do you know?”

“Physical enhancements and spell enchantments…” Xander trailed off trying to search his mind for an example. “You know like those D&D magical artifacts that spew out spells for anyone that use them.”

Jenny raised an eyebrow, impressed. “That’s pretty impressive. Spell enchantments are one of the hardest enchantment types in the world. Custom works for those artifacts are supposed to cost in the range of thousands.”

“Wow that’s definitely something that’s good to know.” Xander said with a nod. “But I don’t plan to sell any of my enchanted artifacts to outsiders. I have no wish for them to be used against us. I’ll work on something for you however.”

“Oh Xander there’s no need…” Jenny began but Xander shook his head firmly.

“You’ve help us out quite a few times.” Xander said. “I consider you part of the group already. And we can always use another hand to actively keep this town safe.”

Jenny hesitated, thinking about the reason why she was sent to Sunnydale. She looked at Xander, Willow and the new guy standing beside her, her eyes flickering to Giles’ office. A mere moment of hesitation and she made up her mind. She might be responsible for making sure Angel’s suffering continues, but that did not mean that she could not help Giles and his little group keep the town safe. After all, Xander was right, with the strange states of affairs currently sweeping over the world, they need all the help they could get in Sunnydale.

“Alright I’ll help out. But just one little thing, can I watch while you do your enchantments?” Jenny asked, smiling at Xander.

OoooO

Greenfields Lane, Sunnydale

It had been little more than a week since Matthew’s first foster father had died and he had moved in with his second foster parents. It was a very long week for him to come to grips with his new life, as his new foster parents managed to find them a new home in Sunnydale at a very short notice.

His new foster father Roger had gotten them a new home in Sunnydale’s suburb, a two storey house with its own lawn surrounded by white picket fence. They had managed to get the house at a heavily discounted price because the previous owner and his family had been gruesomely killed outside the house a month ago by some gang members.

The rooms had come fully furnished and tastefully decorated, apparently the previous owner had redecorated his place before his death. Since the Carrels were not superstitious folks by nature, they had no problems with the history of the house.

Matthew had gotten the whole basement as his lair, his new foster father had been adamant that Matthew had a room large enough to be comfortable with. The basement room had been the largest in the house. The old owner had apparently set up the basement as a room for his two children, and Matthew had since taken it over.

Matthew had appreciated the gesture. His new foster parents, the Carrels were good people. And after he had gotten over the grief of losing his first foster father, he thanked God that he managed to be adopted by his new foster parents. He might have ended up in foster care or a shelter if the Carrels had not taken him in.

Boxes containing clothes, books and his personal belongings of his old life sat in one corner of the basement, just waiting to be opened. His new room was already decorated with two beds, several drawers and cupboards, two tables and a computer. The entire place was double the size of his old room at the church. It also came with its own connecting toilet, which makes things easier for him.

Matthew had spent most of the day helping his foster parents move things into the house, and now that things had settled down, he was given time to unpack his belongings before dinner starts in an hour. Rearranging his old stuff had prompted a heavy trip down memory lane, but Matthew controlled his emotions with an iron will. He still had a lot to do, and he could not afford to spend time breaking down now.

He had already been enrolled in the public high school in Sunnydale, and his first school day begins tomorrow. There was only one more month before the year end of high school, and Matthew knew that finishing off his first year in a new high school was not going to be a picnic. The only thing going for him was that he was athletic and reasonably good looking. He could be able to fit in to school with no problem if he tried not to stand out too much.

Taking out a well-worn bible from a box, Matthew looked at it with a smile. If his first foster father had been alive, he might have taken the mantle and become a priest. After all, he had been taught most of the holy rites and how to give sermons. But now, things were different. Matthew had to wonder, what would he become in the future?

OoooO

Sunview complex, Sunnydale

It had been a relief to finally be able to confide in someone about his dark secret, to come to terms with what he had done during Halloween night, even if his body was not under his control. To understand what the hell actually happened to make him become possessed by Darth Vader and how he ended up with the dark lord’s memories.

After finally accepting Giles’ reassurance that what happened was not his fault, Percy had been told more of the group itself, and was invited to join the small group of demon hunters in protecting Sunnydale. Percy instantly accepted. He wanted to prove and redeem himself, even if Giles had told him there was no need for him to do that.

When Xander invited everyone to his apartment, Percy had accepted. After all, he had already missed basketball practice, and he did want to see more of Xander’s magic. Percy’s first experience of it had been when Xander effortlessly teleported the whole group to his apartment, much to the astonishment of Ms. Calendar, the computer teacher, who was also apparently part of the group. She began sputtering about the power levels needed for such a spell and had to be taken aside by Giles who tried to calm her down.

Xander had then proceed to take out two pre-created rings made of some silvery liquid metal, that Xander had named Astral metal. Xander had then cast some sort of analysis spell on Percy and Ms. Calendar, before laying powerful enchantments on the rings. The rings had then been given to Percy and Ms. Calendar. The first time Percy had put on the ring gifted to him and accessed the magic now available to him, Percy had felt an incredible sense of empowerment. The feeling had been vastly different from how the Force had felt like during Halloween night. From what Xander had told everyone, he had given Ms. Calendar and Percy the same set of spell enchantments he had given the group.

Xander did seem disappointed that Percy and Ms. Calendar was incompatible to the magic awakening ritual which would supposedly grant anyone compatible the same type of magic as Xander himself. The magically powerful teenager had however taken out a bracelet made of Astral metal, and had asked Percy to hold on to it while thinking of Darth Vader’s vast technological expertise.

“I want to make a copy of what Darth Vader knew of Star War’s technologies.” Xander explained, outlining the memory coping enchantment on the bracelet, which was apparently a general usage spell that all mage apprentices in Enroth knew of to copy and contain memories. “We might find a use for those memories. But the memory coping spell only works if the one whose memories are being copied is directing the spell. I’ve already enchanted the bracelet with the spell, so when you have time, push the memories of the Star Wars technological know-how you possessed into the bracelet. Once you’re done, pass them to me, I’ll make duplicates for everyone.”

“And after that we’ll have access to Star Wars level technologies?” Willow asked breathlessly. “Do those fictional technologies and theories even work in our world?”

“That’s what we’ll have to find out.” Xander said with a grin. “I wouldn’t mind building our own Millennium Falcon.”

Percy frowned, uncomfortable at accessing Darth Vader’s memories too deeply, but he did own it to the group, so he accepted the bracelet and put it around his right wrist. “It’ll take some time to copy all of Darth Vader’s technical knowledge into the bracelet, even with the speed and intellect enhancements you’ve given me.”

“Don’t worry, we’ve time.” Xander said with a grin. “At least now I know what to do with that botanic garden Cordelia bought for us. We can convert part of the land into a working area to test out the construction of Star Wars technologies.”

“Then we’ll have to tell Cordelia fast, last I heard, she’s getting contractors to clean up the whole place.” Oz cautioned. “They’re beginning work in a few days.”

“I’ll give her a call just to update her about what happened.” Xander said as he looked around at the group gathered in his living room. “Willow if you can do the same for Buffy…”

“Sure I’ll do that.” Willow said with a nod. “The program Oz, Percy and I created had already located a few video recordings of Halloween night at the festival hall. One of the video captured a lot of the people in the hall shortly before the Halloween spell took over. We’ve already identified a number of the people at the hall that night who had their face unmasked, using the town council’s database. We’ll need Buffy’s help to hunt them down.”

“We’ll create a list of names and address, then split into groups to observe and maybe question those people.” Giles spoke out with an apprehensive look in his eyes. “If there are more who retain their memories, or even worse, abilities from the night, we’ll need to locate them fast.”

OoooO

Sewer Tunnels, Sunnydale

Angel ghosted through the tunnels, unhindered by the supernatural entities that took up residences in some of the darker depths of the sewers. He had spent most of his time underground, hoping to find news… after what happened during Halloween night.

The supernatural community in Sunnydale had felt it when the dark energies saturating Sunnydale had vanished. Strange things started happening, rumors of demons around the world suddenly having access to new abilities started spreading like wildfire. Demonic clans who had long made their homes in Sunnydale began moving out of town for the past week. There were also tales that old, legendary talents belonging to ancient human bloodlines had also made a rebirth into the world.

After a week of information hunting in the tunnels, all Angel discovered was that the change was world-wide, though it originated from Sunnydale, and that there was a new group of super powered demon hunters in town. Realizing that he would not be able to get any more details of the night’s happenings, he decided to find Buffy as soon as possible.

Change was in the world, and the Slayer needs to be aware of it, or she might be swept away by the chaos that had trampled over the global supernatural scene.

OoooO

Summers Home, Sunnydale

Buffy sighed as she reached home before the 7pm curfew. She had been out all afternoon with Ford. Thankfully the group would be taking over her patrol duties for the night, since there was no way she could escape from her mother this evening. They were supposed to spend some quality family time watching movies.

“Buffy, there’s a parcel for you in your room.” Her mother hollered from the kitchen as Buffy closed the front door behind her. “It arrived in the afternoon.”

“Thanks mom.” Buffy said going up the stairs. She passed Dawn’s room which was thrumming with loud music. Buffy shook her head, the neighbors would probably be complaining anytime soon.

Walking into her room, Buffy saw the large parcel on her bed and ripped it open, wondering who would be sending her things through the mail. From the sticker on the parcel, it had been sent through international air mail, from Tibet.

Her eyes widened as she opened the box cover to see four palm sized, glowing sphere like objects contained within. Two letters were stacked on top of them. Cautiously Buffy opened the first letter, she gave a gasp as she read the two sentences written on a plain white paper.

The Abomination is coming, you must protect the Key. For if it gets the Key, the world will End.

OoooO

Enchanted Items

Cordelia (x6)

Ring – Protection from the Four Elements

           + Wizard Eye

           + Flight

           + Teleport Beacon to Xander’s apartment

           + Shield x 30

           + Lightning Bolt x50

           + Enhanced Speed x 4

           + Enhanced Intelligence

           + Enhanced Endurance

  • Rough gauge.
    • Cordelia now moves and thinks faster than speeding bullets
    • Cordelia now possess above average intellect and memory retention
    • Cordelia will be able to pull through most non-life threatening injuries. Her regeneration level allows her to heal serious injuries within weeks

 

Xander (x8)

Ring -     Enhanced Speed x 2

           + Enhanced Endurance x 2

           + Enhanced Intelligence x 2

           + Enhanced Might x 2

           + Shield x 30

           + Protection from the Four Elements

           + Fireball x 60

           + Implosion x 40

           + Wizard Eye

           + Flight

           + Teleport Beacon to Xander’s apartment

  • Rough gauge.
    • Xander now moves and thinks as fast as speeding bullets
    • Xander now possess drastically above genius level intellect and memory retention
    • Xander will be able to pull through most injuries. His regeneration level allows him to heal serious injuries within days
    • Xander will be able to lift 4 tons of weight

 

Willow (x8)

Ring – Protection from the Four Elements

           + Wizard Eye

           + Flight

           + Teleport Beacon to Xander’s apartment

           + Shield x 30

           + Lightning Bolt x50

           + Enhanced Speed x 3

           + Enhanced Endurance x 2

           + Enhanced Intelligence x 3

  • Rough gauge.
    • Willow now moves and thinks as fast as speeding bullets
    • Willow now possess drastically above genius level intellect and memory retention
    • Willow will be able to pull through most injuries. Her regeneration level allows her to heal serious injuries within weeks

 

Buffy (x11)

Ring – Protection from the Four Elements

           + Wizard Eye

           + Flight

           + Teleport Beacon to Xander’s apartment

           + Shield x 30

           + Lightning Bolt x50

           + Enhanced Speed x 4

           + Enhanced Intelligence x2

           + Enhanced Might x 2

           + Enhanced Endurance x 3

  • Rough gauge.
    • Buffy now moves and thinks at the speed of sound
    • Buffy now possess genius level intellect and memory retention
    • Buffy can now lift a tank
    • Buffy will only get light bruising when shot with a bullet. Her regeneration level is a bit higher than Wolverine’s level (x-men)

 

Giles (x7)

Ring – Protection from the Four Elements

           + Wizard Eye

           + Flight

           + Teleport Beacon to Xander’s apartment

           + Shield x 30

           + Lightning Bolt x50

           + Enhanced Speed x 2

           + Enhanced Endurance x 3

           + Enhanced Intelligence x 2

  • Rough gauge.
    • Giles now moves and thinks as fast as some bullets
    • Giles now possess genius level intellect and memory retention
    • Giles will be able to pull through most injuries. His regeneration level allows him to heal serious injuries within days

 

Oz (x6)

Ring – Protection from the Four Elements

           + Wizard Eye

           + Flight

           + Teleport Beacon to Xander’s apartment

           + Shield x 30

           + Lightning Bolt x50

           + Enhanced Speed x 2

           + Enhanced Endurance x 2

           + Enhanced Intelligence x 2

  • Rough gauge.
    • Oz now moves and thinks as fast as some bullets
    • Oz now possess genius level intellect and memory retention
    • Oz will be able to pull through most injuries. His regeneration level allows him to heal serious injuries within weeks

 

Percy (x7)

Ring – Protection from the Four Elements

           + Wizard Eye

           + Flight

           + Teleport Beacon to Xander’s apartment

           + Shield x 30

           + Lightning Bolt x50

           + Enhanced Speed x 2

           + Enhanced Endurance x 2

           + Enhanced Intelligence x 2

           + Enhanced Strength

  • Rough gauge.
    • Percy now moves and thinks as fast as speeding bullets
    • Percy now possess genius level intellect and memory retention
    • Percy now possess strength enough to lift a ton of weight
    • Percy will be able to pull through most injuries. His regeneration level allows him to heal serious injuries within days

 

Jenny (x7)

Ring – Protection from the Four Elements

           + Wizard Eye

           + Flight

           + Teleport Beacon to Xander’s apartment

           + Shield x 30

           + Lightning Bolt x50

           + Enhanced Speed x 2

           + Enhanced Endurance x 2

           + Enhanced Intelligence x 2

           + Enhanced Strength

  • Rough gauge.
    • Jenny now moves and thinks as fast as some bullets
    • Jenny now possess genius level intellect and memory retention
    • Jenny will be able to pull through most injuries. Her regeneration level allows her to heal serious injuries within weeks
    • Jenny will be able to lift half a ton of weight

Alexander, The Warrior Mage (Chapter Three)

Story Title: Alexander, The Warrior Mage

Crossover: BtVS/ Might and Magic VI/ Stargate verse AU (Stargate/ Stargate Universe)/ Ghost Whisperer/ multiple

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction for the fans’ enjoyment and to keep the fandoms alive. :) I do not own any of the fandoms that are pieced together in this story, and no profit is made.

Summary: Months on the Hellmouth and Xander wise up. If he was to survive on Hellmouth central he will need magical protection. Unfortunately, he did not count on Halloween night.

Chapter Three: New Beginning, New Member

Los Angeles

The young dark haired boy looked on dully as the coffin was slowly lowered into the grave and the diggers began to cover the coffin.

“Matthew.” Uncle Roger said laying a hand on his shoulder. “Matthew, we’ll need to go now.”

In a daze, Matthew followed the man back towards the car, parked outside the cemetery. Beside him, Aunt Sally looked on with barely masked pity. Uncle Roger and Aunt Sally were of course not his blood relatives. They were one of the church followers of his foster father, the late Father George, who died due to a bad liver. They were the only couple in church who spoke of adopting Matthew after his foster father’s death. Once the paperwork was finalized, Uncle Roger and Aunt Sally would be his new foster parents.

Matthew knew that his real parents had died in a car accident at the age of four. They had went to Father George’s church, and after their death, Father George had chosen to adopt him, taking care of him for the past thirteen years. In more ways than one Father George had been his real father, watching him grow and nurturing him since young. Matthew just could not imagine a life without the old man. If only he had not drank so much. In the end, Father George’s alcoholism, a fact none of his followers had known, had killed him.

Aunt Sally guided Matthew into the back seat of the car, fussing over him before climbing into the front seat, keeping up chatter with her husband as he drove.

“Roger has got a new job in that little town, Sunnydale, not far from L.A. I know our current place is a bit cramp, but we’ll be getting a new house there.” Aunt Sally said brightly, most probably trying to distract Matthew from his brooding. “We’ll get a place with a lawn so there’s room for you men to run around, maybe even set up a basketball hoop.”

“Getting a new house will take some time, though the property prices there are surprisingly cheap.” Uncle Roger spoke up. “Once everything is settled, you’ll be schooling at one of the high school in town.”

“There’s not much of a selection there dear.” Aunt Sally corrected. “Sunnydale is much smaller than L.A. There’s only one public high school there, and one private high school, same for college choices. And the private institutes are supposedly quite exclusive to the very rich, invites only, so they are certainly out of the picture.”

“Ah, I am sure public schooling with be fine for Matthew.” Uncle Roger said dismissively. “Though preparing the necessary documents will be a hassle. Have you talked to Matthew’s school for a transcript yet Sal?”

“I have been busy dear.” Aunt Sally said with a sigh. “I’ll do that tomorrow…”

Behind in the back seat, Matthew’s emotions and thoughts were in a whirl as he tuned out his new foster parents. New family, new residence, new school, everything was changing for him. But perhaps it was for the best, especially after what happened months ago with Annie… and the unborn baby.

Deep in grief, Matthew paid no attention to the rest of the journey back to his foster parents’ home.

OoooO

Sunnydale High School Library

Willow’s eyes shined as Xander handed her a simple gold band with powerful enchantments just for her. Xander had apparently replicated and created several gold rings after he had pawned off all the duplicated gold chains yesterday. Both of them had netted close to six hundred dollars each in profit, an amount that had Willow’s head spinning in a daze. Xander had then enchanted those gold rings early this morning and he had given one to each member of the group.

All of the rings had five powerful enchantments. One was an enchantment of Protection from the Four Elements and Magic, two enchantments were of enhanced speed, one passive Wizard Eye spell, and one enchantment of enhanced endurance.

“I will be creating other enchantments for all of you in the future.” Xander had said as he handed out the rings. “But now these enchantments will do. They will increase all of your chances to flee and survive against powerful demons or vampires.”

“Argh… couldn’t you have used something less bland to contain the enchantments?” Cordelia said as she eyed the simple gold ring handed to her. Apparently the girl had no idea that the ring was made of real gold. She probably assumed that the rings were simple metal rings which were gold coated based on what she knew of Xander’s past financial standings.

“I am feeling generous today, those enchantments are free for you. If you don’t want them I can take them back.” Xander said rolling his eyes.

“Hey I am grateful, I am just saying if you need to go accessories shopping next time, bring me along.”  Cordelia said as she quickly put on the ring. “I can help you pick up some more aesthetically pleasing items with your budget. I’ll even chip in some cash.”

Willow snort and rolled her eyes. Cordelia apparently had no clue that Xander was now a one man gold making machine. If the High School Queen was going to lord her wealth over them, the quiet girl saw no point in telling her that Xander did not need her money, and that the only reason he was charging the egoistic girl money for her enchantments was due to her attitude.

“This is so good!” Buffy grinned was she began to run. “I have to break this in!” With her Slayer enhanced speed and now with the magical enchantments on the ring, she was blurring into motion as she ran, leaving shadowy mirages behind her.

“God… it takes me three enchantments of enhanced speed to reach her current speed level.” Xander said shaking his head. “I wonder what will happen if I give her another three sets of speed enhancement?”

“She’ll probably break the sound barrier.” Giles said rubbing his eyes weary. “But please none of that for the moment. Let Buffy get used to her new enhanced speed before you add more magical enchantments her way. I have no desire to see a Buffy shaped hole in my library wall should she lose control. I already have a hard time explaining to Synder how in the world my library counter was trashed.”

Everyone turned to look at the library counter which still lies destroyed, only now it was taped off.

“At least I have the brains not to run full speed when I got my first speed enhancements.” Cordelia muttered as she rolled her eyes.

“Well I can’t deny that Buffy is more of a hands-on type of girl.” Xander admitted as they stared at whirlwind Buffy currently zooming around the library.

“You know I am curious.” Willow spoke up. “If we stack up more and more speed enchantments on ourselves, isn’t it possible to run at the speed of light?”

“Theoretically yes, but in all of Enroth’s history, only a few are able to do that all the time. Enchantments dealing with magically enhancing part of one’s body, actually cause a strain on a person’s physical body.” Xander explained. “Too much magical enhancing enchantments on living beings actually mutate their bodies. A lot of times such mutants changed into monstrous forms, losing their mind and becoming monsters. In fact, several monsters species on Enroth were supposedly created by Enchanters in the long past as they experiment with magical enhancement spells.”

“What!” Cordelia shrieked, scrambling to take off her ring and bracelet. “You’re telling me this now? If I turn into a monster, I am going to kill you!”

“Relax Cordelia.” Xander said rolling his eyes. “I wouldn’t have given you those enchantments if they were harmful to you. Due to Enroth’s dark history with Enchanters, the core layers of all enchantment spells were actually crafted to actively keep track of the well-being of its bearer. Should a magical enhancement prove harmful to the bearer’s body, it will deconstruct and dispel itself naturally. Enroth’s mages have also through many years of studies, discover that mortal races like humans, are able to safely bear at least five to nine enhancing enchantments.”

“That means everyone must choose carefully what magical enhancements they want to bear. Those who have a high natural resistance to magic can take on many speed enhancements that enable them to run at the speed of light. But if they choose to do that, they will lose out on other enhancements like strength or endurance.” Xander continued explaining. “And there are spells that dispel or disrupt enchantments on someone. Not to mention if one was to smash into something at the speed of light without powerful magical protections, it usually meant instant death for the person. Being able to run at the speed of light in Enroth isn’t a sure guarantee that you can survive whatever enemies or monsters in your way. In fact, most of the time, people take on a balanced set of magical enhancements and a lot of spell enchantments.”

“Spell enchantments? You mean like the Wizard Eye and Lightning Bolt enchantments?” Willow asked with interest.

“Yes. Enchantments are separated into internal and external type enchantments. Internal enchantments are basically enchantments dealing with enhancing one’s body magically. They are restricted because a mortal body can only take in so much magical alterations safely.” Xander said. “External enchantments are the spell enchantments, which are basically embedding magical spells into items. They can be passive spells like Wizard Eye, or charged spells like the Lightning Bolt which can be used up, with each of the charges counting as a single spell enchantment. Since spell enchantments do not invade the body, it is safe to carry any number of them. They are also extremely popular as they can even be used by those without magic.”

“You should have told us all these earlier!” Cordelia growled as she looked at her enchanted ring and bracelet. “So I have three enhanced speed and one enhanced endurance. I can probably take one or more magical enhancement depending on my body… well I am just not going to risk it if they are that dangerous! I will only be getting spell enchantments from you in the future!”

“Cordelia, there are fail safe in the enchantment spells I cast.” Xander said with a sigh at Cordelia’s mulish look. “If it makes you better, I can cast an analysis spell on all of you to see how much magical enhancements you can safely take in. But that will have to wait, my mana is drained after all the high level enchantments I have been casting for everyone.”

“Perhaps an analysis spell cast on all of us will be best.” Giles said with a grimace. “I must admit a reluctance to put on more enhancing enchantments after what you just said.”

“Okay, I’ll do that tomorrow when most of my mana has regenerated.” Xander said with a sigh. “With the rate things are going. I can’t do all the things that I wanted to do with such limited mana. It seems that I have to start potion making soon.”

“Potion making?” Willow perked up excitedly. “Can I watch?”

“Sure, you can go shopping with me after school.” Xander said with a grin. “It’s time I set up my alchemist lab.”

“I want to go too…” Buffy paused as the library doors opened and an auburn haired guy walked in with a box of chocolate cookies in his hands. Willow instantly recognized him as Oz, the guy they rescued last night.

“Hi.” The guy said as everyone turned to look at him.

“You’re the guy we rescued yesterday night!” Xander said in surprise. Not that Willow blamed Xander, she did not expect Oz to actually seek them out after last night. Most people after their encounter with the supernatural, tend to toss those memories to one side and shun them like a deadly disease.

“Some of the people in school said you guys usually hang out here.” Oz said easily. He walked forward, passing the box of cookies to Xander. “I bought some cookies to say thanks for yesterday. You guys really saved me and Devon.”

“So where’s that lame lead singer anyway?” Cordelia asked, affecting disinterest as she looked at Oz.

“Erm… He’s a bit unwell today, he said he can’t come with me.” Oz said, stumbling over his words for the first time since Willow had seen him. “But he is grateful for all of you saving him as well.”

“Ha, bet he can’t man up to the fact that there really are vampires out there.” Cordelia said scornfully.

“Well, he is carrying a cross now, so am I.” Oz said as he showed them a small silver cross around his neck. “I did some research on internet… But I want to know more… what I can do if I meet more of these… vampires in future, how to deal with them, and how to do what you guys did yesterday night. All the flying and super speed, you guys said it was magic?”

“I am not sure you need to know…” Giles began in a hesitant voice but Oz cut in.

“I think I need to.” Oz said earnestly. “I can’t just pretend yesterday night never happened.”

“We should tell him Giles.” Xander spoke up beside the older man. “If Oz wants to know, we shouldn’t deny him the knowledge. It is better than him trying to find out those knowledge on his own and end up in trouble if he attract the wrong kind of attention. And I don’t mind if you tell him about Halloween night, he did already seen our magic after all.”

Giles gave a long suffering sigh as he looked at the whole group before turning towards Oz who was looking attentively at him. “Very well, the world is older than you know it…”

OoooO

Sunnydale High School Library

Oz was not really sure what he should be feeling now after Giles finished his tale of demons, supernatural, the Slayer and the magic the group now wields, courtesy of one Xander Harris after Halloween night. There was fear, awe and a disturbing feeling that his whole world had suddenly changed in an instant. And Oz knew his world would never go back to what it had been again.

“How do I sign up?” Oz asked, inwardly surprised even as the words left his lips. But he knew it was the right thing to do. This small group had taken upon themselves to protect the town from the dark side of the supernatural world and he had been one of those rescued. There was no way he would turn his back on the noble things the group was doing. “I want to help too.”

“There’s really no need for you to do this.” Giles said a little forcefully. “What we do is dangerous.”

“I know, but I can’t just ignore the supernatural world after this.” Oz insisted as he turned to look at Buffy and Xander who seemed to be two of the three dominate figures of the small group of demon hunters. Buffy had been the one that let Giles reveal her secret to him after Xander had agreed to reveal his. Buffy was a supernatural heroine, and Xander possessed a few powerful magical spells from a fictional game. Oz knew there were a lot the group was not telling him, but that was fine with him, he had learnt enough to make his decision, and with time he would earn their trust. “I want to help as well.”

“We can really use the help Giles.” Xander said as he looked at Oz firmly. “I can understand his feelings of wanting to fight to protect others, and with the enchanted equipment I can supply the group, he will probably be safer hunting with us than walking the streets of Sunnydale at night on his own. Not to mention he brought us cookies!” Xander highlighted as he pointed at the box of cookies with a grin.

“You are a really simple person Xander.” Cordelia said rolling her eyes. “But having one more guy in the group to watch our backs will definitely make things safer. And he definitely seems more reliable than Devon!”

“I…” Buffy said hesitating. “I am okay with it. I can’t join for patrol much these few days and everyone will be safer with more people. Not to mention Oz does seem like a pretty cool person.”

Giles sighed but nodded his head. “Very well Oz, we’ll take you out for patrol with us for one night. After that, you can decide if you still wish to join us.”

“I can probably get some enchanted items ready for him by tonight.” Xander spoke up. “But first I’ll need to set up my alchemist lab. So you girls are joining me. What about you Oz? Want to come along?”

“Sure.” Oz said with a nod as he wondered just what an alchemist lab was supposed to be used for. “My afternoon’s free.”

“Okay, we should get going after last period then. Meet back in the library. We can car pool in Cordelia’s car.” Xander said.

“What?” Cordelia said as she snapped her eyes at Xander. “When did I agree to that?”
OoooO

Sunview complex, Sunnydale

Willow was not exactly sure what an alchemist lab would look like, which was why she had been interested in seeing Xander setting it up. After Xander had managed to get Cordelia to go along with them, they had driven to town central in Cordelia’s car.

Everyone had been surprised when Xander had first made his way to a property agency and paid a rent of a few thousands, for a fully furnished apartment near town central which he had already picked out last night. Xander had apparently made more gold during the night and pawned them off during the morning break. That apartment was apparently going to be Xander’s new place of residence and would host his alchemist lab and magical experiments.

It had also lead to the inevitable question of how Xander came into so much money. Cordelia’s reaction that Xander had been able to reproduce gold from magic had been a sight to see. She had known that Xander could duplicate items, but she had not paid attention to the specifics of it, nor would she have thought of Xander using his powers in that way. The Chase might be wealthier than most of the working class families, but they were a long way off from being a truly rich and elite family. That Xander had the means to infinite wealth had stunned the girl.

The next few stops had been to get the equipment which involved a lot beakers and glass cylinders. They also bought a lot of wires, various types of metal fillings and accessories for Xander’s future enchanting needs. When the shopping was done, they had hopped into Cordelia’s car and were driven to Xander’s new place. It was a decent three roomed apartment in the Sunview complex, a short walk from town central. There was a living room, a kitchen, and a storeroom. There were spartan furnishings already in the apartment, with an old TV, a fridge and an electric stove.

The first order of business for Xander had been to clear out one of the room to be used as his alchemist lab. Several enchantments from Xander had chilled the room. According to Xander, the magical air-condition enchantments would last for a few months. He had then begun to set up tables, shelves and equipment in the room.

Oz, the new guy, was watching all the magic Xander was tossing around with a hint of surprise. Willow wondered if she should tell Xander to tone down a little, after all, Giles’ currently cover story for Xander was that he only retained a few but powerful spells from a fictional game. Xander’s careless actions with his magic were however contradicting that little tale Giles had spun to safeguard Xander’s magic.

“It looks like a chemistry lab.” Buffy spoke up as she watched Xander working from the side. “I thought an alchemist lab would be more magical and stuff. This looks like science.”

“That’s because it is science.” Xander said with a laugh. “In Enroth, magic and alchemy can be considered two different types of special sciences developed through centuries of magical and alchemic discoveries. In fact many of the magical theories the mages in Enroth used to form and cast spells can be derived from the theories of physics, chemistry, psychology and even biology of our world, all of which are jealously guarded secrets in Enroth. If I know the real science behind let’s say… how to form ice up in the atmosphere, how to recreate the real world physics and chemistry involved in the process, I can probably create a water/air spell that launches a hail storm.”

“So anyone who knows scientific theories in Enroth can cast spells?” Cordelia asked as her eyes narrowed in contemplation.

“You’ll of course need to have magical talents and the basic grounding in magical theories and manipulation. Spell crafting isn’t that easy. Reading up on the theory of… let’s say fusion reaction doesn’t mean I’ll instantly know how to recreate a nuclear explosion with magic. I’ll probably need a lot of time and intense experiments to figure out how to create a magical nuclear bomb.” Xander said, his attention fully on setting up several beakers, not seeing the looks of wide eyed shock on everyone’s faces. Willow’s frantic subtle motions to get him to tone down the explanation of his magic seemed to have gone unnoticed by the thick headed dork.

“In Enroth, people can be either born with the magical talent, or they can gain magical talents through a ritual. Even then, few people in Enroth are actually compatible with the Magic Awakening ritual. And mages who gain their magic through the rituals usually tends to be weaker than those born naturally with the talent. That’s usually how the people in Enroth decides who should be trained as Archmages, and who should just be trained as Warrior Mages. The weaker ones will always be apprenticed by the Warrior Mages.” Xander said with a shrug, though his words caused the girls to straighten up quickly.

“You mean you can give other people the same magic as you through a ritual?” Buffy asked with excitement in her eyes.

“Well yes, the ritual needs the blood of someone who can already access the type of magic used in Enroth, so my blood will be enough…” Xander looked up and saw the interested looks on the girls’ face. It took Xander only a second to connect the dots. “You girls want to know if the ritual works on you.”

“Duh!” Cordelia said her eyes shining with interest. “You really need to ask?”

“I am interested in testing for this magic as well.” Oz spoke up.

“Okay, I’ll cast the magic awakening analysis spell on you guys once I have mana to spare, maybe tomorrow, since I still need to cast some enchantments for Oz.” Xander offered. “After that we’ll see. I doubt that any of you will be compatible though… the ritual is after all for humans of Enroth. For all I know, they may be different from humans of Earth. But if any of you are compatible, it will be a great help with my spell casting load.”

“Wait… what you just said. Does that mean you are genetically different from us now?” Willow asked as her eyes widened. Her words caused Xander to pause in setting up his equipment as he stared at her in startlement.

“You know, I haven’t thought about that in that way…” Xander said as his words trailed off, a look of contemplation on his face. “I’ll have to go for a checkup to be sure… But we can worry about that later. Right now help me with these items. We only have two hours before nightfall and there’s still a lot to do.”

“Alright, tell me what to do.” Willow said as she moved forward, with Oz following her.

“I’ll go get us some dinner since we’ll be here until evening.” Cordelia said as she latched a hand on Buffy’s arm. “Come on Buffy, I’ll need help with the food.”

As Cordelia led a grumbling Buffy out of the room, Xander turned to Willow and Oz giving them a grin. “Alright help me push this table over here…”

OoooO

Suburbs of Sunnydale

The moment Oz had put on the simple gold ring, he felt the magical alterations washed over him instantly. True to his promise, Xander had finished enchanting a ring for Oz by the time the group set out of the high school library to patrol the streets of Sunnydale. The enchantments cast onto the ring had been similar to the enchantments Xander had apparently passed to the group earlier in the day. There were five powerful enchantments in total. One was an enchantment of Protection from the Four Elements and Magic, two enchantments were of enhanced speed, one passive Wizard Eye spell, and one enchantment of enhanced endurance.

Oz had struggled initially as he coped with his sudden increased speed. From Giles and Xander’s assurance, this was something that everyone encountered with as they used the enchanted items. Oz had felt a sense of awe when he discovered that he had been able to run faster than any Olympic runner without tiring due to a simple enchanted item.

The group had loaned him a dagger and a wooden stake for the patrol. But since he was new to this, his role was to stay at the back and observe. Half an hour in the patrol which mostly consists of roaming around the streets of Sunnydale as everyone chatted with each other, Oz had his second encounter with the night life of Sunnydale. This time round it was not a vampire, but a demon of some sort. It was humanoid looking with flabs of fat, the group had chanced upon it munching on a stray dog.

The girls had been disgusted, Xander had been unnerved, but after Giles had explained that the demon was a Wurgatil and was harmless to humans, they had let the demon go. The demon had even given the group a friendly salute as it went its way.

It was another hour of patrol as the group covered the western part of Sunnydale and was getting to move on towards the suburbs when they heard a muffled cry of alarm. Rushing down the deserted streets, they found a middle aged woman struggling with two vampires, a bag of trash lying on the ground beside her.

Xander had moved forwards swiftly, dispatching a vampire with his stake, moving so fast that he was almost a blur. An arrow from Willow had taken care of the other. The woman had been in shock at what had happened, though she had been rescued before she was physically harmed.

Oz had watched as the group tried to calm the woman down, with Giles doing most of the talking. When the woman’s husband had come out of the house to check out the commotion, the group had hastily concealed their weapons, putting the blame on muggers who had accosted the woman. Giles had delivered a final warning not to leave the house unnecessarily at night as the husband had led his distraught wife back home.

The group had then continued walking the length of Sunnydale before calling it a night as the time draws close to midnight. In that length of time they had not came upon any other supernatural creatures, but that one demon and two vampires were more than enough for Oz. Xander had remarked that this was actually an average patrol night for them. Oz wondered what the group considered an above average night of patrol.

The group’s night patrol was frightening, eye opening and also terrified him a little, but after seeing the good that the group was doing, Oz was more certain than ever that he was making the right choice by joining them. Not to mention he got to keep a real magical and enchanted ring out of the deal.

As the group began to make their separate ways back home, Oz looked at Xander who was walking beside him. “I’ll be staying.” Oz said simply.

Xander’s eyes crinkled as he smiled. “Great! Welcome to the group Oz the man!”

OoooO

Sunview complex, Sunnydale

Xander had taken a short trip back to his family home to pack up some of his essential items before taking them back to his new apartment. He had a feeling that his father would not even realized he had not returned home before at least a week had passed. Xander had already told his mom during the morning, that he had found a part time job which pays well, along with its own accommodations. The seven hundred dollars he passed her and which he pledged to give her every month would make her life much easier. He had wanted to give more, but any more and it would have raised his mother’s suspicions and concerns at what job he was actually doing that could pay him so well.

By the time he had unpacked his stuff in his new apartment room, it was close to three in the morning. Seeing as it was a weekend tomorrow morning, there had been no need for him to wake early, which meant that Xander could continue on with some essential tasks he had in mind.

Sitting on his bed, Xander began to focus his magic out, his mind tapping into the stored essence template of Astral metal. Painstakingly and wearily, Xander replicated a small cube of gleaming silver grey metal which was very light in weight as opposed to its mass. Using various fire and air spells, he bend and warp the metal into a slender bracelet shape which he then slung around his right hand.

His eyes flickered to the clock beside his bed, more than an hour of time had gone by. With his planned task done, Xander took out a smaller metal bracelet from his drawer and begun to transfer the enchantment on the metal bracelet into the new bracelet made of Astral metal.

The enchantment he was transferring was actually a memory spell, used by magic users to store excess essence templates of various items which they could not retain within their mortal minds. Due to the mental limitations of a flesh and blood being, magic users tend to store only the most important essence templates in their head, while the rest were stored in magical containers called Memory Archives, via memory spell enchantments. Astral metal being the most powerful magic conductor in the world could store many memory enchantments for centuries.

Currently, Xander had several essence templates he had analyzed from his world. Namely that of Gold, Silver, as well as several other metals, minerals and precious stones he had managed to gets his hands on. The Astral metal bracelet around his wrist would act as his Memory Archive, his own external magical storage for anymore templates he would gain on Earth.

The transfer process took a few minutes, after which Xander got up and proceed to walk to his alchemy room next door. There were a few hours before morning, enough time for him to brew up a batch of basic mana restorative potion for the new day ahead.

OoooO

Watchers Council, England

Quentin Travers, one of the senior Watcher of Watchers Council, looked on in displeasure at the investigation currently taking place deep in the basement of the Council’s headquarters.

The Archivists of the Council had come upon a strange artifact buried deep within the Council’s basement archives a few weeks back. The device had been a large circular artifact made of unknown metal. While moving the device for inspection, the circular slab of metal covering it had slid off, revealing a ring shaped structure underneath.

The ancient writings of the metal cover had warned of great calamity should the cover ever came off. But when nothing overtly nasty had appeared, the current director of the Council, Lord Edgar Holston, had ordered an investigation to be conducted into the device’s origins.

Delving into whatever texts and tombs the Council had regarding ancient Egypt, it was not long before the shocked researchers uncovered evidence of god-like beings who had come from the stars and enslaved the human race thousands of years ago. Only some unknown force had driven them off Earth. The ring like device, also known as the chapa’ai, translated to mean Stargate, had been sealed to prevent these beings from coming back to Earth.

With the obvious hints from the ancient texts and the ancient device made of unknown metal, it was not much of a leap in intuition for the Watchers to realize that those ancient god-like beings might be visitors from outer space, and the Stargate was the means of travel from Earth to wherever else in the galaxy.

Lord Edgar had seen the potential power to be gained from understanding the device. For the past few weeks, a lot of effort had been poured in to understand how it worked and how to use it. Tightening his lips grimly, Quentin shook his head at the state of affairs currently within the Council.

The Council was first started to watch over and guide the supernatural being known as the Slayer, to defend Humanity from the forces of darkness. Throughout the thousands of years however, as those in charge of the Council gained more and more influence and power, the role of the Council… changed. Now it was a premier research institution with powerful ties across the world. It was also the silent shareholders of a lot of big cooperation with large cash flow.

The Council also fronted twenty powerful demon hunting teams and sold the services of these demon hunters to countries in need. As for the small department in charge of the Slayer which Quentin headed, it was considered an antique past of the Council. These days, the Slayer was considered expendable. By herself, the Slayer was a beacon of light to the Forces of Darkness in this world due to what she represents, and the past directors of the Council had made use of that fact, turning the Slayer as a lure to gather the more dangerous elements of the world in one place. After all, a new girl would always replace the old one that had fallen.

Though Quentin agreed that the Slayer was expendable, he was however disgusted at the direction the past directors of the Council had taken. On a quest to gain more wealth and power in this world, they had forgotten their duties which were to guide the Slayer. These days, the budget allocated to Quention for his department was barely enough to provide the most minimal numbers of training equipment to the Slayers that were alive.

There were now two living Slayers in the world, a fact that had Quentin shaking his head in amazement. When Lord Edgar had discovered that a new Slayer was called after the previous one died, and would remained called even after the previous was revived, there had been talks of stopping the hearts of the Slayers temporarily to call an army of Slayers into being. It had taken all of Quentin’s contacts and calling in of a lot of favors from other senior Watchers to stop that demented proposal. While the Slayer was expendable, what Lord Edgar had proposed was too inhumane, and even Quentin had to draw the line.

Of course, all of it meant that currently, the department Quentin heads was out of favor with the current Council Director. Their budget was decreased further, and Quentin doubted Lord Edgar even read the reports from his department anymore. The Halloween case Giles had reported should have been flagged out to the Council Director for immediate action, but so far there had been no news from Lord Edgar. Quentin seriously doubted if the order to capture the rogue mage Ethan Rayne had even been disseminated out to the Council’s many contacts.

In fact from what he had heard of the Council’s magic users, none of them had heard of any instructions by Lord Edgar to investigate the weird going-ons during Halloween. And the magic users had all been kept busy by the Council to investigate the strange device in the basement to do otherwise. The Devon Coven had also clammed up after their initial warning to Quentin, becoming unreachable. Something was happening in the magic communities, and with the lack of resources, it was difficult for Quentin to get more information.

With a heavy heart, Quentin turned and walked out of the Council basement. If things continued as there were, pretty soon, there might not even be a department to support the Slayer any more…

OoooO

Sunview complex, Sunnydale

Xander opened his apartment door blearily to find Buffy and the others gathered outside. “Oh breakfast.” Xander said thankfully as Willow raised a bag of packed food in her hands, from the smell, it was most probably pancakes. “You guys are early.”

“It’s already ten in the morning.” Cordelia retorted as everyone entered the apartment, with Giles taking up the back of the group. “And I want to get the magic analyses thing started as quick as possible so I know how many magical enhancements I can take on, and if I can use the same magic as you.”

Xander rolled his eyes at Cordelia’s frank reply and walked back to his room. “Give me a few minutes. I need to freshen myself.” Xander called back.

A quick bath and a change of clothes, Xander was back with the group in the living room as they dig into breakfast. It was not long before the group was done and everyone turned expectantly towards him. With a grin, Xander turned to Willow. “Alright I’ll analyze you first then.”

“Oh good!” Willow said excitedly, looking at him as Xander began pulling and crafting the barest essence of his Air magic into a gleaming white fog that flowed out of his hands, sinking into Willow who gave a gasp. “It’s cold.” Willow said with a shiver even as information poured into Xander’s mind.

“Wow… you’re pretty magic resistant.” Xander said impressed as he assimilated the information within his head. “You can take on eight magical enhancements. I can sense a powerful magical essence from you… but it’s definitely not my kind of magic. I am sorry Willow, the magic awakening ritual will not work on you.”

“Perhaps Willow possessed the magic of our world.” Giles said at Willow’s disappointed look. “I’ll look into it later.”

“Me next!” Buffy called out, pushing herself to the front. Repeating the spell, Xander cast it into Buffy before blinking in surprise.

“You can take on eleven magical enhancements. That’s a first, the most a human could take on in Enroth was nine.” Xander said as his eyes widened. “I am sorry Buffy, but you’re not eligible for the ritual as well.”

With only Cordelia, Oz and Giles left, Xander quickly casted the spell on them one after another, but none showed any aptitude in Xander’s type of magic, though Giles possessed the same type of unknown magic like Willow.

“I’m only able to hold six magical enhancements.” Cordelia said in displeasure. “Aside from Oz who is the same as me, the rest of you are able to hold more. Even Giles got a seven.”

“Come on Cordelia, at least six is better than five.” Buffy tried to cheer the girl up.

Cordelia just snort and glare at Buffy. “Says the girl who can take on eleven of the enhancements. God, you can run faster than light or become stronger than anything in the world.”

“Speaking of that, we will need to plan out your enhancements carefully. All of your enhancements to be exact.” Giles said with caution, eyeing the whole group sternly. “We’ll do that later.”

“So Xander, how much enhancements can you take on?” Willow asked curiously.

“I am an eight, same as you Willow.” Xander said with a grin. “But what do you guys plan to do for the rest of the day? Because I will have to opt out of any group activities. I have potions that need brewing, and more magical herbs to create.”

“Perhaps we’ll stay to take a look.” Giles spoke out as he eyed Xander thoughtfully. “Regarding those magical herbs, is there any way to grow them?”

“My Warrior Mage counterpart had the essence templates of the whole plants themselves, I can create them roots and all. The only restriction is that these plants require very specific conditions and seasons to grow in, that’s why they are so rare and difficult to cultivate back in Enroth. It is also why my counterpart felt that it was necessary to keep templates of them within his head.” Xander revealed. “I can start growing them naturally… but we’ll need to get a plot of land and a lot of enchantments to control their surrounding environment.”

“And with your gold making spell, money isn’t a problem.” Cordelia said eyeing Xander with a considering look. “Harmony’s father works in property. I’ll give him a call and see what he can recommend around Sunnydale. What’s your budget?”

“Ah… I don’t know, how much do you need?” Xander asked in surprise at the question. Cordelia just narrowed her eyes at his nonchalant reply.

“You know what? Just leave the property hunting to me.” Cordelia said with a sigh. “But be ready to cough out the cash when I am done with the negotiation.”

“Sure…” Xander said, though he could not help feeling a disturbing sense of unease at the look in Cordelia’s eyes. “Just get something simple. We just need a plot of land, and maybe a building to stay in while farming the place.”

“Concentrate on your magic Xander.” Cordelia said patting him on his shoulder. “I know what to look for. I do have a keen eye for something like this.”

OoooO

Africa

With a grace gained from years of practice, Jack O’Neill, once a colonel of the United States Air Force, husband of a beautiful wife and son, pumped a full barrel of holy bullets from his shot gun into the large half lion half snake demon in front of him. That sonofabitch had slaughtered a village full of people, and this was payback. In his mind’s eye, images of Sara and Charlie flashed across his vision, and it was as though he was seeing their deaths for the first time again. Punctured wounds on their necks and drained of blood, if there were anything Jack hated more than homicidal demons, it was the entire vampire race.

“You sure are in a mood today Jack.” A large burly man said as he walked up to him.

“Fuck off Tim.” Jack said good-naturedly back to his second in command, blinking away the images of that one night which changed his life. “Any news from the team?”

“Nope, perimeter’s quiet. Not a surprise since this part of the desert is uninhabited.” Tim Harley said with a shrug. “The ghost lady did say the ghosts of the villagers have been appeased and she’s helping them into the light.”

“I wish you’ll just call Melinda by her name. You know how riled up she gets when she hears you calling her by that nickname.” Jack said with a sigh.

“Hey, she sees ghosts and can do scary ghost magic. I am just stating facts, she’s a ghost lady.” Tim reply with a grin. “And she had been getting real cranky after Halloween, I am just trying to get her to relax.”

“Just don’t take it too far. Something happened during Halloween.” Jack said with a frown. “All the magic users on the team said they felt it. And so far the Council has been mute regarding that issue. The magic users are all stressed out. Melinda told me she had been having dreams, and from what she said, they weren’t of the good kind.”

“Oh come on, they’re probably nightmares.” Tim said scoffing. “Ghost lady isn’t a seer. Maybe she just needs someone to hold her hand while she sleeps.”

“You try that. I’ll prepare a coffin for you after she’s done sending you into the beyond.” Jack said as he rolled his eyes, changing the subject as he walked away from the corpse of the demon. “Any new jobs from the Council?”

“There’s one, a demon nest in the south west mountain range, a little more than a week out from our current position. Pay’s good…” Tim hesitated. “But it will be one tough job. The demons are Fargarues. Nasty buggers and resistant to most hocus pocus. Our shaman and warlock are saying that they will be quite useless against those demons, and you know ghost lady can only do her death magic one demon at a time.”

“Are they causing trouble for any villages or towns near them?” Jack asked as he stiffened at the news.

“Two villages… razed.” Tim said, his lips tightening in a grim line. “No one survived. And from reports, there are three other villages in their path.”

Jack gave a sigh as he put away his gun. “We can’t turn away Tim, not when lives are involved. Get the team ready. We’re setting out as soon as possible.”

Alexander, The Warrior Mage (Chapter Two)

Story Title: Alexander, The Warrior Mage

Crossover: BtVS/ Might and Magic VI and its respective game verses/ Stargate verse AU/ multiple

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction for the fans’ enjoyment and to keep the fandoms alive. :) I do not own any of the fandoms that are pieced together in this story, and no profit is made.

Summary: Months on the Hellmouth and Xander wise up. If he was to survive on Hellmouth central he will need magical protection. Unfortunately, he did not count on Halloween night.

Chapter Two: The dusk before dawn

Harris home, Sunnydale

Carefully, he weaved seven more separate layers of enchantments onto his ring, which as far as he could tell, had lost its initial enchantment of magical protection. He had already cast several enchantments the night before, one powerful Protection from the Four Elements and Magic, 10 charges of the fireball spell, 10 charges of a high level Implosion spell, and a passive Wizard Eye spell. The powerful enchantments had drained him of all his mana, which was why he had rested for the night before casting new enchantments the following morning.

Three of the new enchantments were speed boosters, cast to the highest level he could push for such enhancements. With them, he would be able to run as fast as a speeding bullet. Two other enchantments were of maximum enhanced endurance. Though the spell theories behind the enhancement type enchantments were labeled under the field of Body magic, they were considered part of the general spell theories package, which also included a few basic Elemental based spells, that the Mage and Cleric councils agreed would be taught to all apprentice mages or clerics.

Xander also overlaid 10 charges of Shield spell onto the ring which would activate when the wearer was in physical danger. The last and final enchantment on the ring was something he was proud of, a passive Lloyd’s Beacon/ Town Portal spell merge which was a serious mana drain.

In Water Magic, there were two Water spells that all acknowledged Master of Water must know. The first was the Enchant Item spell which gave Master Water mages the title of Enchanter, the second was Lloyd’s Beacon, a powerful teleportation spell crafted by the late Archmage Lloyd Armston, one of two Archmages who mastered all four schools of magic. The spell allows those who know the spell to create magical beacons from all over the world. The caster could then teleport in to the magical beacons from wherever he was. A novice of Water magic could only create a beacon that last a
few days, a Master of his Craft like Xander’s counterpart, would have been able to create five or more magical beacons lasting months.

It became a point of pride for Water Masters to boast about how many teleportation beacons they could create and how long they would last. The main reason was because each magical beacon was maintained by the creator’s internal magical energy. Only those with a large pool of mana could safely maintain several beacons at once without it affecting his/her daily life.

The creation of the Lloyd’s Beacon spell leads to the crafting of the famous Town Portal spell. The Mage Councils through the centuries had discovered ways to create permanent magical beacons by enchanting a physical object so that it would absorb energies from its surroundings. The energies could be magical, or even ambient in nature. Any ambient energy would be converted into magical energy to power the enchantment. This would constantly maintain a general magical beacon spell embedded into the object. Such objects once created were termed Lodestones, and all major cities in the Warrior Mage’s world had them.

The Town Portal was a spell that taps into the magical frequency of the magical beacons in the Lodestones, allowing whoever that cast the spell to be able to choose and teleport to a particular Lodestone anywhere in the world. Since Lodestones were normally placed at the town’s entrance, and magical scrolls containing the spell of Town Portal were sold in all major towns, these enchanted scrolls could be used by anyone for fast travels between towns.

With their enchantments and teleportation, it was a well-known fact that mages who focus all their training in Water magic were always the wealthiest among the other Elemental mages types. Though water magic might lack in offensive capabilities, in support capabilities, none of the other Elemental fields could beat them.

That was also one of the reason why if one was not training to be a full time War Mage, an Elemental mage would always pick Water magic as his/her major field of studies, with the other three Elemental fields as secondary schools. But of course, a true Master of Water magic would always have to be a Master of all of the magical branches of Elemental, Self, Light and Dark magic. After all, in order to cast different powerful enchantments, a mage had to first know the spells which would be enchanted on an item. Said spells might come from any of the known magical schools, and if a Water mage had no idea how to cast them, he would not be able to create enchantments based on them.

The passive Lloyd’s Beacon/ Town Portal spell merge Xander had set in the ring was meant as a teleportation spell back into Xander’s room from wherever he would be. Real lodestones were notable to be horrendous to create. It would take days of effort by a team of mages to create one. For a single mage, it would take a month or so. What Xander had done was to cast a magical beacon that would absorb the ambient magical energies around it. It would last for a month before degrading due to spell entropy, by then, he would hopefully have a permanent Lodestone created.

Since the magical beacon would siphon energies in its surrounding on its own, the strain on Xander’s magical reserves was much less. The altered magical beacon would be tied to the enchantment in Xander’s ring, allowing him to call upon the direct teleportation anytime.

Casting numerous powerful enchantments had however tapped out the mana he had regenerated after a good night’s sleep. Decades of training had increased his mana reserves, but he would never reach the large mana reserves of an Archmage or a High Pirest, which was one key reason why his assigned mentor had been a Warrior Mage. Thankfully it was morning now. There should not be anything too dangerous during the day, and he would have time to let his body rest and regenerate its magical reserves before nightfall.

Carefully putting on the enchanted ring, Xander smiled as he felt the enchantments washed over his body. Even if the new abilities and powers he had gotten last night suddenly vanished, he was sure the enchantments on the ring would still remain, giving him a much needed edge in Sunnydale. Of course, Xander was hoping that his new powers were permanent, but that did not mean he was not planning for a worst case scenario.

He planned to cast more enchantments once his mana was replenished. After all, it was better to be safe than sorry.

OoooO

Sunnydale High School Library

“… but I checked… see this is a list of Elemental spells that the game character you went as last night was supposed to have… a water magic spell to clean clothes isn’t one of them!” Willow was arguing as she waved sheets of paper in her hand.

“I know Willow. And I am telling you, to that Xander, the Warrior Mage from the world of Enroth, it is a real breathing world. Yes, I know all of the Water and Air magic game spells you are waving around, but there’s more to magic then just those spells!” Xander was saying in exasperation. “To the Warrior Mage, the world of Enroth isn’t a massive game world. Magic is used for everyday life, in fact it takes many years to become a Master in one of the magical field. Magic is also very versatile. I know spells to duplicate items just from pure mana conversion. It’s the basic training exercises for Elemental mages and even clerics though only a Master of a magical field can duplicate items or beings of high magical or elemental density. You can bet that those aren’t in the game’s spell list!”

Across the table, Cordelia calmly flipped her magazine on Weekly Scopes. Though she might look as though she was engrossed in the celebrity news in her hands, she was actually paying attention to Xander’s words. The group had come to the library after class had ended. Cordelia actually had to skip a shopping trip with her girls just to join the group. But after the events of last night, there had been a shift in the true power of the High School, though none but those in the group knew. Cordelia had enough sense and calculation to know who to buddy up with at the right moment in order to get the most benefits for herself.

“Come on now Willow, while the spell list from the game will be useful as a reference, it doesn’t mean that Xander’s character has to follow strictly what’s in the game…” Giles was saying as he stepped in, taking the spell lists from Willow. “Most of these are obviously attack spells, since it’s a game… Good Lord!”

Cordelia’s head snapped up, all pretenses at reading gone as she heard Giles’ cry of shock. Buffy who was standing next to Giles craned her neck to look at the list.

“Fire magic… Meteor Shower!!!” Giles was gaping, his face pale as he slowly looked at Xander. “Xander… please tell me you have no knowledge of such a spell!”

“Meteor Shower is one of the high level Fire magic spell, I am afraid I am not advanced enough in that field to cast it, much less understand how to craft the spell. From what I understand, users of that spell need to tap into high levels of Earth magic manipulation as well, which means only a Fire and Earth master can cast that spell.” Xander said. Giles let out a sigh of relief but caught his breath again as Xander continued with a grin. “I do know Starburst however. It is the highest level of offensive Air magic.”

Giles eyes turned to the description of the spell in question and turned white. “And what does this Starburst spell do?” Giles asked slowly. “Enlighten me please Xander, just in case the description in this spell list doesn’t match with the spell you really know.”

“Starburst is a high level Air magic spell which unleashes an intense electric storm over a large land area. It is also a combo magic like Meteor Shower, requiring the caster to have at least an Expert level in Water magic manipulation. In fact, many of the higher tier elemental spells are combo spells, requiring elemental manipulation of at least two magical fields, unlike what is stated in the game sheets.” Xander intoned gravely. “As Master of Air and Water magic, I am able to cast it in a mile wide radius around me, heavily damaging any living beings or structures in my path. It is however a spell suited only for open areas, cast in an enclosed place and I will probably fry myself and my enemies… My counterpart is a Warrior Mage Giles, it is not surprising he will have training in offensive war magic.”

“But this…!” Giles said, seemingly stunned. He however recovered quickly before leveling a stern look at Xander. “Never ever cast a spell like that here you hear me Xander?”

“Ah… sure.” Xander said startled but the serious look on Giles’ face. “That kind of spell is war magic anyway, it will be overkill and hard to control just for hunting a few demons or vampires. It’s not like we’ll be going up against hordes of demons…”

“Yes, yes. And I need you, all of you to listen carefully.” Giles said cutting in Xander’s words, looking at everyone in the library sternly. “What you, Xander, can do with your spells, the amount of destruction it can unleash, this fact must not be revealed to another person. Do all of you hear me?”

“Wow Giles… what’s with all the secrecy? I get it that Xander’s more powerful…” Buffy began but was cut off by Giles.

“In our world. This world. The only kind of magic that can unleash destruction as widespread and powerful as Xander’s spells are capable of, are very dark magic. The light side of magic very rarely reaches such destructive potential.” Giles said harshly. “Powerful magic users across the world are always under heavy scrutiny by the supernatural community. The supernatural world may come after Xander and those around him if they know of his true power. And if that happen… there will be your demon hordes. And not just demons, some covens of magic users might feel that it is their “duty” to take Xander’s powers for their own. And trust me, there are some very dark spells in our world that can do just that. Xander might be powerful, but I doubt he could last against all of them, even with Buffy helping.”

Willow paled, Buffy stumbled back in shock. Xander however just blinked and leveled Giles a look.

“The Watchers Council… have you told them about me?” Xander asked carefully.

“Yes. But they have no idea the true extend of your powers.” Giles said grimly. “Your true ability, this will be our secret. I trust the Council, but in the face of offensive magic such as those that you’re capable of, they might think you a threat. Or they might end up using you as a weapon.”

“Xander’s not a threat!” Willow opened her mouth, eyes flashing fiercely. “And he’s most definitely not going to become a weapon for them!”

“No I am not a threat. At least not to those that doesn’t harm anyone close to me.” Xander said firmly as he looked at everyone. “Neither do I plan to use my powers according to what the Council wants. But Giles’ right. My magic is powerful, it is best if I do not draw attention to it. Let’s just keep what we’ve said here a secret between all of us.”

Cordelia seeing her chance, pounced on it. “Of course I will help you keep your secret Xander. But helping one another is a two way street of course. Now about those enchantments of yours… How about a discount between the two of us?”

OoooO

Magic shop, Sunnydale

Giles closed the door to the magic shop as he exited the place, a ring of protective charms in his hand. According to the shop assistant who was a practitioner herself, the enchantments on the ring were the same as those that were previously on Xander’s ring. The rings were enchanted by a coven at Los Angeles, and were made up of fairly standard diversion and protection charms against magic. Giles had bought one to be sent to the Watchers Council and the Devon coven in England for analysis, but he had a strong suspicion that even though the magical protections on the ring might have altered the spell Ethan had cast on Xander yesterday night, it was not the source that granted Xander his new powers.

Getting into his car, Giles slummed against the car wheel and gave a weary sigh. To figure out exactly what kind of spell Ethan had cast yesterday, he would need to find that slimy excuse of a human being. He had already informed the Watchers Council of Ethan’s misdeeds and the Council had sent out feelers into the supernatural communities in United States, hopefully someone would have information on where that rogue mage was hiding out now.

In the meantime, there was nothing more he could do except to keep a close eye on Xander’s new powers. To have such great powers at his beck and call… Giles had to make sure that Xander does not go down the wrong path, as many powerful magic users had done. After all, no matter how righteous or good hearted a person might be, great powers tends to corrupt one’s spirit unless one keeps a careful rein on their own discipline and morals.

OoooO

Sunnydale

“Well, I guess we’ll have to wait for Giles to find out why you still have your powers.” Willow said as she walked beside Xander. “Giles said he’s making a trip to the magic shop to find out more about the ring you bought didn’t he?”

“Yeah, maybe he will find something out, we’re meeting him later so he’ll probably tell us the news. But anyway, I still can’t believe the nerve of Cordelia.” Xander said to Willow as he frowned in disgust. The two of them were on their way home. After the morning meeting at the library, they had returned home to make plans for patrol this evening.

Buffy had informed them earlier in the day that after yesterday night, she was apparently grounded by her mom, making it difficult for her to go on patrol. The group had dispersed to go back home and meet for patrol later in the night, filling in for Buffy. The Slayer had said that she would try to get out of the house, but if she could not, someone was still needed to make sure the streets were safe.

In the past, there was only the Slayer, now there was Xander the Warrior Mage, Giles and Willow with their enchanted weapons. Surprisingly, Cordelia had wanted to tag along as well.

“What? You’re still angry that she wheedled that deal out of you?” Willow said rolling her eyes. “What’s the deal again? One enchantment for fifty dollars? You’re really making a business out of all these item enchantments aren’t you? Though I wouldn’t mind getting a few customized enchanted items just for my own personal use as well.”

“For you, Buffy and Giles, the enchantments are free.” Xander said generously. “But Cordelia’s not part of the group, she’s just a tag along. She wants enchanted items, she can pay for them.”

“Oh Xander! That’s so sweet of you!” Willow beamed at him. “But are you serious about selling your enchanted items to other people? It’s not exactly low profile…”

“Nah, I’ve been thinking of other methods to increase my finances.” Xander said with a grin. “I told you about the duplication spell didn’t I? Novice mages in the world of Enroth are taught the analytic spell which is available in all Elemental schools. The analytic spell will reveal the essence of an item, which the novice mage is then supposed to use to create a replica of the item with his/her mana, using the duplication spell. It makes for a great mana control exercise, and also one of the main ways a mage earns his income if he’s not a Water Master, or there’s no war going on.”

“What do you mean essence?” Willow inquired as they continued their journey home.

“To the Elemental mages from the world of Enroth, essences are the core structures of an item.” Xander said with a grin. “In the modern science of our world, the closest we could get to describe them is that the analytic spell produces the molecular template of an item, only it is at a pure energy level. Depending on an Elemental mage’s fields of focus, he/she might have an affinity for creating different types of items. Take the Warrior Mage for instance, being a Water and Air Master, with only Expert level in Earth and Fire magic, he has an easier time duplicating potions or items made up of strong water or air essences. That doesn’t mean he can’t create items made up of other essences, just that it will take longer for him and cause more strain on his magic.”

“All Master mages learn to remember a few of the more useful templates like precious metals or luxury products so that they could instantly duplicate them as and when needed, without needing the item in question as a focus. The only thing stopping them from remembering the templates of everything is due to individual mental limitation, though there are several magical workarounds.” Xander continued, hopping lightly on his feet. “For the Warrior Mage, he had seven essence templates permanently etched in memory. One was a very rare and valuable bottle of Haven Frost wine from the town of Free Haven. The second was Black Dragon hide which was an expensive material used in good quality armor and boots. The third was Astral metal, a powerful magic conductive metal in Enroth. The fourth was a treasure of his master, the ancient Amulet of Morgan, made of strange metal and crystals which increased the powers of an Elemental mage threefold. The last three were of rare plants that formed the key base ingredients in the craft of potion making in Enroth. They were the Widoweeps, Phirna and Poppysnaps.”

“Wow… But if the mages of Enroth are so powerful, wouldn’t they crash the economy by duplicating gold or whatever they use as currency over there?” Willow asked as she perked up. “And what about potion making? I read about it in the game guide when I was searching for more information about the game world of your Halloween character, but it just seems like a very secondary ability.”

“Well to answer your first question, gold is the currency on Enroth. However, due to gold’s high density, only a Master of one of the Elemental fields can duplicate it easily. A novice mage would probably spend weeks duplicating a bar of gold which will usually be of inferior quality because he/she lacks the necessary mana control which comes from years of training. Master mages can duplicate gold in hours, but if you’re not an Earth Master, the process is very straining and tedious, not to mention highly mana intensive. Casting enchantments or selling spell services will usually turn in more profit than gold making.” Xander remarked as he continued.

“Gold is also highly conductive in magic, placing third only to the legendary Astral metal. Enchantments placed on gold do not break easily, even if a powerful mage tries to dispel the enchantments. On its own, enchantments cast on gold can last decades, as compared to enchantments cast on other inferior metal which would fade within years. Gold is also a cheaper alternative for containing powerful enchantments, which means it is always in demand, and not just as coins. Since magic users represent a small population in Enroth, with Elemental Masters numbering only in the hundreds, they tend not to cause significant upheavals in Enroth’s economy. Especially since not all of them will spend their time and magic duplicating gold. Thus the market for gold will always be there.” Xander explained.

“Potion making on the other hand is considered a dangerous, time consuming, but highly respected craft in Enroth. It is not just a secondary skill like in the game. Master Alchemists can create top tier potions like the potion of rejuvenation which can reverse aging, potion of supreme protection which will stop all but the most powerful attacks for a period of time, just to name a few.” Xander continued. “To create a level one potion base, the potion ingredients need to be soaked in water with specific concentration of various metals or materials for half a day. Top tier potions are considered level four and they take months or even years to brew and stabilize. Mixing up the wrong potion bases could result in deadly explosions because the chemical reactions of the bases are highly unstable and volatile. Having access to only Elemental magic, potion making is the only way that my Halloween counterpart can create magical healing items on his own. He mastered the craft in his early years.”

“That’s incredible… But even with all the templates you have in your memories, none of them can actually be sold on Earth.” Willow pointed out.

“I know Willow. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get new essence templates through the analysis spell to duplicate other items.” Xander said as he looked at Willow with a gleam in his eyes. “Do you still have that gold necklace your Aunt Rona gave you? On your thirteenth birthday?” Xander asked as Willow’s eyes widen. “Lend it to me and I’ll give you a thirty percent cut of the profits I’ll make selling its duplicates.”

“Fifty-Fifty, and I’ll agree to it.” Willow haggled back with a grin. “It is my gold chain after all, and that’s friendship price.”

“Ahh… you wound me Willow. Ok deal!” Xander said mischievously as he pumped Willow’s hands. “Let’s go back to your place first. It’ll take me a while to cast the duplication spell. After which I’ll drop by the pawn shop and we can split the profits when we meet up tonight…”

OoooO

Sunnydale

Cordelia speed forward, running faster than the two vampires flanking her. Tapping into her powers of flight, she flew towards the two vampires, staking them while hovering in the air with two hard jabs of her stake. Flying backwards, she grinned as the two vampires exploded into dust clouds.

Cordelia had never felt so empowered in her life, the heady rush of battle, of knowing that she could match the creatures of the dark in their attacks, she liked the enchantments she possessed more and more. After managing to wring a promise from Xander to create four more enchantments for her once he had the time and mana, Cordelia was excited just by the thought of what magical enhancements or powers she might be able to access in the future.

In the air above her, Willow was picking off targets with her enchanted bow. On the ground, Giles and Xander were laying waste to the gang of vampires they had come upon. Xander’s enhanced speed was incredible, his form was virtually blurring as he ran. He must be carrying enchanted items other than the sword he was using because Giles who was also holding an enchanted sword, was nowhere as fast as him.

“And we’re done.” Xander said as he reappeared, stopping his high speed run. “That’s the second large group of vampires we have come across tonight. We usually don’t get so much blood suckers even during peak seasons.”

“I must say Xander. How do you get used to controlling the magical enhancements?” Giles panted, looking strained, the older man had been tripping over his own feet throughout most of the patrol. Cordelia was not about to admit she did the same when she first put on her enchanted bracelet.

“The Warrior Mage has to adapt to all kinds of magical enhancements during his training. He can pick up an enchanted item with enhanced strength for instance and adjust to it instantly. The ability carried over to me.” Xander said with a shrug. “As for Cordelia, I am guessing she had the whole of yesterday night and today to practice her enhanced speed. Don’t worry Giles, your body will adjust to the magical enhancements over time.”

“I certainly hope so.” Giles said gripping his sword tightly as he tried to control his walking speed. “But that being said, the enchantments you can lay on objects are indeed powerful. I shudder to imagine what you are truly capable of.”

“The Warrior Mage has bested real dragons who can run and fly faster than speeding bullets. Dragons of Enroth also possessed their own magic as well, some of which are very powerful. And the Warrior Mage usually went on dragon hunts with only a party of four. Admittedly he and his companions are all decked out in powerful enchanted weapons and armors so it basically evens out the fighting ground.” Xander said with a grin as Giles paled. “It will take me a while to create enchantments for weapons and armors of that caliber. But I can do that if need be.”

“Good lord.” Giles said shaking his head as the group moved out of the cemetery they were previously patrolling in. The group was moving towards downtown when they heard a shrill screeching of tires, as a vehicle suddenly braked. There were hoarse shouts and then cries of alarm.

The group broke into a run, or fly in Cordelia and Willow’s case. Xander blurred ahead at great speed. Cordelia arrived at a road near the Bronze just in time to see Xander laying waste to three vampires while two guys were staring at him in shock. A van was parked beside them, doors opened. With a bit of shock, Cordelia realized that she recognized the two guys. One was the jerk of her ex-boyfriend Devon, whom she had broken up with only yesterday because he kept ignoring her calls.

Devon might be one of the popular guys at High School, the lead singer of his own band, but being his girlfriend for more than two months had taught her that he was nothing more than an egoistic arsehole. Seeing him trembling at the feet of the vampires was only cream on cherry for Cordelia, seeing him gaping at her as she hovered in the air glaring imperiously down at him was the cake.

Beside Devon, the shorter auburn haired guy, whom Cordelia recognized as the guitarist of Devon’s band, simply raised an eyebrow as he caught sight of her. Cordelia found herself strangely annoyed by his bland expression.

“Did you guys have to leave me behind?” Willow scolded as she brought up the rear of the group, flying to a stop beside Cordelia. Giles had arrived on the scene only seconds behind Cordelia.

“Sorry Willow, I’ll get you some of that enhanced speed next time.” Xander said as the last of the vampires vanished into dust. He turned and stared at the two guys he had rescued. He blinked as he apparently recognized them as well. “Hey, aren’t you guys from that boy band at High School? The one with the weird name that said something ate your babies?”

“It’s Dingoes Ate My Baby.” The auburn haired guy stood up, holding a hand out to Xander. “I am Oz. Thanks for saving us.”

“Oh sure…” Xander said with a smile, shaking his hand.

“What are those things! How do you run so fast?” Devon interrupted in a shrill voice before pointing at Cordelia and Willow who were hovering in the air near them. “And why are Cordelia and the other girl flying!”

“Those are vampires you arsehole.” Cordelia said, flying down close to Devon, causing him to back away in fear. “If I have known they were after you, I might have let them have you. I have been your girlfriend for two months and you just decide one day to stop answering my calls and not show up for dates? Yesterday night was the first time I ever broke up with a guy over the phone just because you’re too spineless to tell me that face to face!”

“Now Cordelia.” Giles said moving forward quickly, placing a firm hand on her shoulder to calm her down. “I am sure the two of you can continue this personal discussion in daylight tomorrow. We should get this two to return home as soon as possible. There seems to be an unusual amount of vampire activities in the streets tonight. Most probably due to Halloween yesterday. And need I remind you that your… powers are not to be used for intimidating people we’re supposed to protect?”

“Fine.” Cordelia huffed, turning her back on a stunned Devon as she flew away.

“That’s cool.” Oz was saying. “The flying that is. How did she do that?”

Xander grinned as he gave Oz a wink. “It’s just magic.”

“Ah.” Oz nodded in understanding, seemingly unfazed by this new knowledge. “Cool.”

“You… You people are… are frea…” Devon stammered in fear but was cut off by a firm voice from Oz.

“Devon, these people just saved us.” Oz said simply, gripping Devon’s arm tightly. “Those… vampires were trying to bite our necks just now. We should say thank you.”

Cordelia watched in satisfaction as Oz gently guided a still shell shocked Devon to say thanks to everyone, before bundling Devon into the van.

Before he got into the driver’s seat, Oz turned to give everyone a polite nod. “I’ll see you at school tomorrow.” He said, before driving off.

“Now that’s one cool guy.” Xander said shaking his head. “But what should we do? They’re from school and they saw our powers.”

“Let’s hope they will wake up tomorrow and decide to pretend all of this never happened.” Giles said with a grimace. “We can’t just leave them to the vampires, but if those two make too big of a fuss, we’ll end up drawing unwanted attention to ourselves. And we have no need for that, especially not right now.”

“If Devon tries to cause trouble for us, I’ll give him an ear full.” Cordelia growled. “That jerk thought that he’s such hot stuff. Well he was cowering from the vampires just now. That showed him!”

“Yes, yes.” Giles said rolling his eyes. “Just be careful at school tomorrow. We’ve no idea how those two will react to tonight. In the meantime we should get back to patrol. The town seemed unusually active with supernatural activities, it might be an after effect of what happened yesterday. Whatever the case, we should make sure that no one ends up as a late night snack to whatever is prowling Sunnydale’s sidewalks.”

OoooO

California

Daniel Jackson sighed, his shoulders slouching as he walked back to his apartment. The local university board of directors had just told him that they were letting him go. They had apparently found a new Archeology professor, one with better qualifications. Daniel’s mouth twisted bitterly, ever since the public ridicule of his theory that the Pyramids of Giza were much older than archeologists thought they were, that they might even be of alien origins, his credentials in the Archeological field had gone down the drain.

But Daniel did not regret it. He was certain of his research and findings. Everything points to the fact that the pyramids were older than thought possible, and there were hints that something extraterrestrial actually built them. Of course, his conviction was not doing any good when no one wanted to acknowledge it. Now he was now considered a fraud in the archeology field. Even at the university, some of his students had jeered behind his back that he was the “professor who thought aliens built the pyramids”. That was probably the key reason that caused the university to drop his tenure.

His rent was paid through for two months, and he did have some savings. But nothing that could last him for more than half a year. He would need to find a new job soon. If worse comes to worse, he would probably have to find jobs outside the fields of archeology.

Wearily pausing at his letter box, Daniel took out the stack of letters within. Shifting through them as he entered his apartment, he saw that most were bills, there was several Christmas catalogues, and one letter which instantly caught his eye. As an archeologist, Daniel was able to tell straight away that the paper used for the envelope was made of very fine quality. However what caused his eyes to widen in shock were the words at the front of the envelope.

From The International Watchers Council. A cordial invitation to Doctor Daniel Jackson.

With shaking hands, Daniel tear open the envelope. Any archeologist worth their salt knew of The International Watchers Council. It was one of the foremost patrons of archeological digs and was considered a prestige blueblood organization based in England. There were much speculation about what The International Watchers Council actually does, but most archeologists agreed that it was one of the wealthiest and oldest organizations supporting research into ancient history of the world. They were the sponsors for many of the well-known archeological digs, and it was rumored that they have one of the most comprehensive archeological library in the world, containing many rare tomes thought to be lost.

Entry to the organization however was based on invites and hereditary lines. Through the years, several well-known archeologists had entered the organizations, and they had virtually vanished from the eyes of public, though from time to time, a few would publish new discovery and whitepapers about some ancient civilizations. That he would even receive an invite from them was totally unexpected.

Daniel drew out a letter as well as a plane ticket for next week. To Doctor Daniel Jackson. The International Watchers Council is aware of your studies into ancient Egyptian mythology and would like to invite you into our organization as a Consultant for our Ancient History department. More details will be provided in a face to face meeting. Attached are a plane ticket to England and an address to the Council Headquarters. We hope to see you there.

Daniel stared at the letter in shock. The Council was all but hinting that they wanted to hire him for his expertise in ancient Egyptian. After the ridicule he had gotten for his Pyramids of Giza theory, he had not thought any reputable centers of learning would dare hire him on. That one of the oldest and most powerful organization whose focus was research into Ancient History on Earth would hire him… Daniel’s thoughts grounded to a halt as the implication reached him.

They knew… the Council with their immerse resources must have known the truth or at least uncovered sources that led them to the same conclusions as Daniel. That was the only way they would have acknowledged Daniel’s expertise in Egyptian mythology when most in the Archeology field had taken to shunning him. Daniel’s breath hitched. To have the chance to be hired on by one of the world’s foremost authorities in Ancient History and a chance to prove his theory, there was no way he was going to reject the invitation.

Daniel began moving around his apartment as he quickly decided what to pack for the trip. He would have to apply emergency leave for the trip. But since the university was going to sack him in a month’s time, it did not matter what the Board of Directors thought of him anyway.

Clutching the letter close to him, Daniel strode to his room with a grin. He would have a lot to do.

OoooO

Train leading out of Prague

The young initiate burst into the Abbot’s cabin, causing the Abbot and the two senior monks to look at him in surprise. The initiate was shuddering with fear and was out of breath. “Father Bohumir! The radio… the monastery was destroyed!”

The three occupants of the cabin looked at each other in understanding before the Abbot spoke up calmly. “The Beast must have demolished our old place of residence. We have not fled a moment too soon. Father Arnost, if you wouldn’t mind, please accompany Initiate Franek and inform the rest of the brothers to remain calm. It will take time to reach safety, and reach there we will. The Beast will not be able to capture us with the head start we have.”

“Of course Father Bohumir.” Father Arnost said getting up, placing a firm hand on the shaking initiate. “Come Franek, are the rest of the brothers in their cabins?”

The door slid closed behind them, leaving Father Bohumir and Father Mirek in the cabin. “Will we reach safety in time?” Father Mirek asked softly. “The Beast has our scent now, and she’s after us. After Halloween night when our protections were scattered by that erratic wave of chaotic energies, she managed to mark us with what few powers she still had access to.”

“We will reach safety.” Father Bohumir said looking away. “When we’ve done the ritual to send The Key into hiding, I asked for a boon from our Patron Tarnis, the Beast will not be able to locate us as we flee.”

“A boon from Tarnis?” Father Mirek said in shock. “Bohumir! The magic of our order always have a price to pay. The more powerful the magic, the higher the price. Five of our brothers sacrificed their lives to send The Key to safety. What price did you pay for our protection?”

Father Bohumir was silent as he stared out of the window, looking at the scenery rushing past as the train speed down the railway. “Ten years of my life.” Father Bohumir at last said wearily, causing Father Mirek to tense up.

“Bohumir… we’re not young anymore. Ten years of your life…” Father Mirek whispered in shock.

“Tarnis had revealed that I have about a year to survive.” Father Bohumir revealed. “Which is much better than having me and our whole order dying at the hands of the Beast in present time.”

“But Bohumir!” Father Mirek said in distress. “With the sacrifice of our senior brothers, only Arnost and the two of us are left to lead the order. We can no longer cast any of the greater magic after losing The Key and so many of our senior brothers. Out of the three of us, your magic potential is the most powerful. If you are to die our order will virtually have no protection! It’ll just be delaying the inevitable.”

“By the time I pass away, the order will have no need to hide from the Beast because she will already be defeated.” Father Bohumir said grimly. “The Key has been sent to a Champion of Light who can protect her from the Beast, someone with the potential, resources and allies to defeat the hellgod. The Beast will be drawn to the Key in time leading the Beast to cross the path of that Champion. Shall the Champion fail in stopping the Beast, this world will be destroyed, but if the Champion win, we’ll all be safe. Either way, the matter is out of our hands. Our order has done our duty. Now… it’s all up to fate.”

OoooO

Author’s Note: Please take note that the Stargate Arc will be very alternate verse. Due to the presence of magic and more importantly, the Watchers Council, the Stargate was never found… because it was already retrieved and buried deep within the recess of the Watchers Council Headquarters many centuries ago.

There is no Stargate Command… might never be. But all the Stargate verse characters will still be there. Just don’t expect them to possess the same background histories as their original Stargate verse counterparts.

If it helps, think of this fanfiction as an alternate reality of the Stargate timeline.

OoooO

Enchanted Items

Cordelia

Bracelet – Enhanced Speed

+ Flight

Xander

Ring – Enanced Speed x 2

+ Enchanced Endurance x 2

+ Shield x 10

+ Teleport Home

+ Protection from the Four Elements and Magic

+ Fireball x 5

+ Implosion x 5

+ Wizard Eye

General Weapons

Sword x 2 – Enhanced Strength and Speed

Bow – Wizard Eye

+ Flight

Dagger – Lightning Bolt x 20

Alexander, The Warrior Mage (Chapter One)

Story Title: Alexander, The Warrior Mage

Crossover: BtVS/ Might and Magic VI and its respective game verses/ Stargate verse AU/ multiple

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction for the fans’ enjoyment and to keep the fandoms alive. :) I do not own any of the fandoms that are pieced together in this story, and no profit is made.

Summary: Months on the Hellmouth and Xander wise up. If he is to survive on Hellmouth central he will need magical protection. Unfortunately, he did not count on Halloween night.

Author’s Note: Might and Magic VI was the first game I bought with my saved up pocket money. It was also the first game where I was introduced to the classic PC RPG system. As such I have fond memories of it :) The verse of Might and Magic VI will be treated as a real world in the story. Liberties with the magic of Might and Magic VI will be taken to make it a real and living magic system. Spells from other Might and Magic games will be incorporated.

Ps. Please take note that this story is based on the Might and Magic verse (with all its fantasy and sci-fic elements), it is however not based on the new Heroes of Might and Magic verse. I like Heroes, but this crossover will not be using anything from that new verse… except maybe spells.

Chapter One: Warrior Mage

Sunnydale

First the praying mantis lady had been out to get him, and then he was possessed by a primal hyena spirit of all things, leading him to eat a pig… raw… Being treated as a punching bag by whatever demon or vampires of the week during patrols was enough to lower his manly pride. But when a girl he had begun to love, turned out to be a 500 year old mummy who was chasing after him and then wanted to suck the life out of everyone… well Xander had more than enough.

He knew he was no Buffy with her Slayer reflexes and strength. Neither was he Giles with his immense occult knowledge. Which was why Xander knew that if he wanted to continue being Buffy’s occasional demon hunting pal and sidekick, he needed an ace up his sleeve. It was by chance that he happened to walk by two girls while they were tittering about the new magic shop at Maple Court. Apparently the shop sells a lot of new age items as well as love potions.

With his introduction to the supernatural world, Xander was well aware that the items the shop was selling might not be all smoke and mirrors, but the real thing. Which was why after school had closed, he had made a trip down to the shop.

It was late afternoon by the time he found the place, the shop front had the words “Uncle Bob’s Magic Cabinet”. Stepping in he had been greeted with a dimly lit shop interior, heavy with incense, as well as shelves of books, meditation CDs, crystal balls and vials of what seemed to be potions.

The shop was also empty at this time of the day, which was probably why the shop clerk behind the counter had perked up at the sight of him.

“Welcome to the Magic Cabinet.” The blond haired young woman said cheerily, her blue eyes looking at him with interest. “Can I interest you in some new age meditation CDs? Or how about love potions? We also do predictions of the future…”

“Actually I am looking for some real stuff.” Xander said hesitantly as he began to wonder if it was a good idea coming here. The shop was beginning to look like all the other new age stores scattered around town. But since he was here, he might as well give it a shot. “Something that will give me protection against… erm vampires, demons, possession… and magic?”

The young woman paused, staring at him for a long moment. “You have encounters… with the night life I presume?” The young woman said, staring at him carefully.

“You mean the demons and vampires in Sunnyhell central? Yeah.” Xander said, scratching his head uncomfortably. Perhaps the shop was authentic after all, or at least the young woman running it was.

The young woman seemed startled at his words. “You know what this town is sitting on?             ”

“The Hellmouth? Yeah… that’s the reason why all the demons and vampires gather here isn’t it?” Xander said with a grimace. “I am just looking for something that can give me general protection. Even some protection is better than nothing… After what I have been through, well better to be safe than sorry.”

The young woman opened her mouth as if to ask what exactly happened to him, but then shook her head, seemingly trying to affect disinterest at whatever he had experienced. Not that Xander blamed her, sometimes ignorance was bliss, especially in good old Sunnydale.

“There are charms of protections of course, but the prices for them are quite high.” The young woman cautioned. “Not many occult practitioners know how to make them, or even have the power to cast the spells needed for them. And for something such as what you’re looking for, it will have to be custom made, which will cost in the range of a few thousands.”

Xander blanched at the figure that the clerk had named. “I wouldn’t be able to afford that… Never mind, it’s a bad idea after all.”

“Hold on, I didn’t say there aren’t alternatives. What I have stock here wouldn’t meet all of your requirements, but I do have a few items that would help.” The young woman said as she left the counter, leading Xander to the back of the shop where a large pine wood cupboard sat at the corner of the store. Inserting a key, she opened the cupboard, revealing shelves of amulets, books and ingredients.

She took a small opal pendant from one of the shelves. “This pendant has been charmed to turn warm when there are non-humans such as vampires or demons around. It can’t protect you against them, but at least it can tell you if they are near. It also cost fifty bucks, which you can probably afford.”

Xander grimaced at the amount, but a magical early warning system of any supernatural creature would be invaluable during patrols. He wondered why the Watcher’s Council, with its vast library of occult knowledge, never outfitted Buffy with anything more than stakes and swords. “I’ll take it. What else do you have?”

“This ring band has been charmed to counter any magic that is targeting you. In the event the spell targeting you is too powerful, it will attempt to disrupt the spell, so as to lessen the effect on you. Unfortunately, it can only do that once, after which the charm on the ring will be broken.” The young woman said holding up a simple metal band that was scribed with symbols that Xander did not recognize. “Due to the complex spell work, it cost five hundred dollars.”

“Five hundred dollars for something that can only work once?” Xander asked in disbelief.

“Not many magic users can cast a spell of protection against powerful magic.” The young woman said in a matter of fact voice. “Now that I think about it, there’s actually no reason for you to need such an item. The chances of a spell caster targeting you with a spell should be quite slim. After all, it’s not like you’re hunting them down… or have offended a witch…”

“You know what? I’ll take the ring.” Xander said with a sigh. He would have to dig into his road trip fund, but if he was to help out in the Slayage, he needed all the help he could get, even if he had to buy mystical aids to do it. “But can you hold the items for me first? I need to go home to get the money.”

“Very well. I wouldn’t ask what you need them for. It’s none of my business and I am most probably better not knowing.” The young woman said as she locked up the cupboard, taking the pendant and the ring Xander had agreed to buy with her. “The shop will close by six. Be here before then.”

“Alright.” Xander said as he hurried out of the shop. He would be burning a huge hole in his road trip fund… maybe it was time to start looking for a part time job.

OoooO

Watchers Council HQ, Archive 09

Patrick Walters sneezed as he walked down the long dusty tunnels under Watchers Council HQ, containing centuries of old archives. As a junior Watcher initiated into the Council’s research department, he was tasked with making sure the old archives remained well maintained, and that the protection spells on them remained strong. It was standard procedure, especially after the recent earthquake, which might have damaged some of the warding stones protecting the archives.

Stopping outside the door to Archive 09, Patrick waved the spell detector at the door, frowning when he could find no traces of the protective magic that was supposed to ensconce the whole place. Muttering the words to trigger his protective amulet, Patrick opened the doors to the archive, his nose wrinkling at the musty smell. The powerful protection of the amulet would protect him against most harmful magic or supernatural presence, it was just too bad it did not protect against bad smell.

Archive 09 was the third old archives Patrick had discovered where the protection had failed since morning. The causes were either having the warding stones shifted out of alignment, or in the most severe cases, the warding stones were cracked and damaged. As was standard procedure, Patrick was to trigger his protective amulet, enter the archive to ascertain if the ward stones in the archive were damaged in anyway. If they were just shifted out of alignment, he was to put them back to their proper positions to repower the protections.

Stepping into Archive 09, Patrick carefully held up his enchanted light stone which lit out the entire area before him. Archive 09 seemed to be full of Egyptian artifacts. Vases, urns, even some strange weapons lying on pedestals. At the far corner of the room was some sort of ring shaped metal lying on the ground, with a large metallic lid covering it.

Carefully Patrick began making his way to the four corners of the room, checking on the ward stones that were supposed to protect the place. Two of the stones were in perfect condition but were somehow drained of power. As he moved to check the third stone, Patrick accidentally brushed against a pedestal containing an urn of some sort.

He gave a startled cry as the pedestal wobbled and tossed the urn onto the floor before he could catch it. Liquid leaked from the broken urn and Patrick’s eyes widened in shock as a small snake like demon launched itself from the ground towards him.

His protection spell flared up as it met the threat. Patrick only had time to cry in horror as the demon bypass the protection spell as though it was not there and pierced into his neck… pain and darkness clouded his vision as the demon took over his body.

OoooO

Two weeks later, Sunnydale High

At least he knew that the pendant worked. The opal had warmed up for the whole duration when Xander had accompanied Angel to a frat house, where they had found Buffy and the snake like demon Machida. They had managed to rescue Cordelia and another girl who had been offered up as sacrifice to the demon. All in all, it had been a bloody and sticky mess, especially after what Buffy had done to the demon.

Right at the current moment, Xander was browsing the noticeboards at the school hallways, looking for any part time jobs that he could take up to restore his road trip fund which had been severely inflated after his expensive magical purchases.

“Part time tutor for children… Part time balloon blower… Part time promoter at the Sunnydale Culture Festival… for Halloween night… ten bucks per hour.” Xander’s eyes lit up. “Well that job definitely sounds better than the rest. I am applying for it!”

OoooO

Sunnydale High

“I can’t believe you managed to escape being roped into taking care of a bunch of rugrats for Halloween.” Buffy grouched as they settled down over lunch.

“Thankfully I was applying for a part time job at the student welfare office and managed to evade Troll Synder.” Xander said as he sniggered at Buffy and Willow’s misfortunes. The two girls had been roped in by Principal Synder to take a bunch of children trick or treating for Halloween night as part of the school’s community program. “So what are the two of you planning to go as?”

“Honestly? I have no idea. Giles told me Halloween was the one night when most demons stay in. I have been planning to stay home, veg out and watch horror movies.” Buffy said with a grimace.

“You mean Halloween’s a holiday for the supernatural?” Xander grinned at the irony. “Those wacky demons, we’ll never know what they are thinking.”

“So what kind of part time job are you taking up?” Willow asked as they dug into their sandwiches.

“There’s a Sunnydale Culture Festival tonight, organized by the youth committee. Quite a few shops will be setting up booths there. I’ll be a promoter for one of the video games shop.” Xander said with a grin. “It will be totally cool. I’ll be dressing as a Warrior Mage for the new Might and Magic VI game. They’ve already prepared the costumes and everything, I’ll just have to make my way to the Halloween shop at Mulberry street later in the afternoon and pick up the costume.”

“That’s the new Halloween shop everyone is talking about isn’t it? I heard that a lot of the costumes there are going at half price today.” Buffy said, her eyes lighting up. “Say, you’re going there this afternoon right? How about you let Willow and I tag along. We need to get our costumes as well.”

“Buffy… I am not sure about this…” Willow began hesitantly but was shot down by Buffy.

“Don’t worry, it will be fun! And it’s a good time to give you a makeover.” Buffy said as she eyed a nervous Willow with enthusiasm.

Xander grinned. It was just too bad he was not joining the girls tonight. He would have loved to see what Buffy would force Willow to wear.

OoooO

Festival Hall, Sunnydale

Xander stretched comfortably in his Robin Hood style costume. Green shirt, brown pants, a set of fake leather armor over his body, brown leather boots, a golden styroform bow in his hands and two sets of plastic daggers sheathed on his waist. He was also holding onto a large bag full of chocolate gold coins with the symbol of the game he was promoting.

Funky music was blasting over the stereos, and the Sunnydale Video Games Festival was in full swing. Crowds of people were already gathered around the game booths. Xander’s job was to look cool, give out the golden chocolate coins, and guide people to the game booth selling the Might and Magic VI games.

After an hour of walking around the crowd, Xander made his way back to the booth to fill his nearly empty bag with more coins. There was a sizable crowd at the booth, and the manager gave Xander a quick nod as he helped Xander poured boxes of gold coins into his bag.

“You’re doing good Xander.” The manager said pointing to the crowd around the booth. “There will be a bonus for you after the festival.”

Xander grinned in appreciation. “Thanks Mr. Bernard! I’ll continue to do my best!”

Making his way back into the crowd, Xander began to distribute the coins again when a wave of dizziness hit him, causing him to stumble. Screams, roars and high pitch screechings sounded all around him as some of the costumed people in the crowd began to go crazy. Xander watched in shock as one of the game promoter from the booth beside him, who had been dressed as Darth Vader, sliced a young man apart with a real light saber.

“What in — ah!” Xander cried out in pain as the magic ring he had bought a few days ago began burning hotly. “Shit! I need to get this thing off me!” Xander cried out in alarm as the ring began glowing white hot with heat. He felt like his finger was getting scorched and tears of pain came to his eyes.

The air began warping around him, shimmering with energy. But Xander was intent on getting the ring off his finger and paid it no mind. When the screams around him at last made him looked up, Xander could only froze in shock at finding himself surrounded by a bubble of black blue energy. As he watched in horror, the protective bubble began to buckle and then shattered. Xander did not even have time to cry out as powerful waves of disruptive energies flowed into his paralyzed body.

OoooO

Halloween shop, Sunnydale

The spell casting of the Halloween spell took a lot out of him. Ethan Rayne gave a smug smile as he felt the spell took effect. The spell leeched onto the residue dark energies of the Hellmouth to change everyone wearing his tainted costumes into what they dressed up as for the next three hours.

One dash of chaos in this boring little town, and possibly a chance to annoy Rupert who was in this hellhole, how could he possibly resist the chance? He was about to get up and leave his casting room for a while when he felt a tug of disturbance in the Halloween spell. Through his connection to the spell, Ethan’s eyes widened in alarm as more and more dark energies began channeling into his body, into the statue, then out to all wearing the spell tainted costumes.

Ethan had been sure he had taken in all of the variables when he came up with the spell, but somehow, something or someone was resisting the spell. Whatever it was, it could not overcome the spell totally, but it was doing its best to disrupt the Halloween magic. Ethan’s eyes widened in fear as he realized the spell he had cast was spiraling out of his control, and there was no way for him to stop it.

Ethan screamed in pain as more and more dark energies began channeling into him and the statue, converting into pure chaotic energies. The rogue spell then uses the massive amounts chaotic energies to begin attacking the source of the magical disruption.

Within the grips of the rogue spell, Ethan was unable to control the magic. Every shred of dark energies in the area was being pulled into Ethan in order to power the spell gone wrong. Ethan began glowing a deep golden brown, and he gave one last shrill scream before his body burst into flames.

OoooO

Festival Hall, Sunnydale

Alexander ‘Xander’ Lavelle Harris, side kick of the Slayer, Warrior Mage of New Sorpigal province, gave a groan as he got up from the floor. His body was aching, the styroform bow was crushed in his hands and the bag of chocolate coins was lying on his chest like a dead weight.

There were sobbing and shocked cries all around him. Xander stilled as he saw the chaos around the festival hall. Game booths were wrecked, people lay injured on the floor. There were even two bodies that were sliced in half near him.

Battle instincts took over and Xander began delving into the spells he knew. In such a close confined space and with possible threats close by, without any weapons on his body, the Lightning Bolt spell was probably the most suitable against any threats in the hall. He tapped into his mana and…

“What on earth?” Xander said in shock as he realized what he was going to do. He could feel magic in his body. His mind was a lot clearer, sharper, his body though aching, felt stronger than he had ever felt before. Not to mention there were memories of an Alexander ‘Xander’ Lavelle Harris, a Warrior Mage of New Sorpigal in his mind! He could sense the Elemental magic that the Warrior Mage knew, the skills that he possessed. Xander’s mouth gaped in shock. What on earth was going on?

Then he remembered the chaos, the Darth Vader, and the burning ring. His eyes instantly went to the simple metal band which was now resting coolly on his finger. With his newly acquired magical senses, Xander could sense that it was devoid of any magic now. Trying to remove it, Xander winced, his finger twitching painfully as burns were revealed to be branded on where the ring previously rested.

The ring was supposed to protect him from magic. Whatever had happened here must have been an act of some spell casting. The guy dressed as Darth Vader was now sobbing beside the two sliced bodies. Whatever the spell cast on everyone did, it must have turned everyone into their costumes, before mysteriously turning everyone back to normal again. The ring must have protected him in some way, because all he had were the memories of a Warrior Mage… along with his magic and skills.

Xander paused. He could sense the power, the magic within him. But was it just an illusion, or was he able to really cast the fictional spells that the Warrior Mage possessed? Carefully looking around the chaos to make sure no one was looking his way, Xander reached deep into his magic core and cast out an Earth Elemental spell that was supposed to be passive. A spell that would help in case of further magical attacks.

Protection from Magic. An Earth Elemental spell that allows him to drain and redirect any hostile magic targeting him back into the earth. With the Warrior Mage’s Expert level of Earth magic, he was able to drain most minor offensive magic, and lessen the force of the more major hostile spell castings.

Xander felt a protective layer of magic covering him, coating his skin like a warm coat on a winter day. The fictional spell… from out of a game, actually works!

But even more than that, he could understand the logic of the spell based on the Warrior Mage’s memories. The Warrior Mage had been Master of Water and Air magic, with an Expert level in Fire and Earth magic. He could understand the mystical logic behind the Elemental School of magic. To the Warrior Mage, his world was not a game. It was a living breathing world with monsters and magic. People there did not level up when they kill an enemy. Monsters they kill did not drop items after their death. The Warrior Mage’s world had been real and full of life.

Xander’s heart thumped heavily in his chest. He felt grief as he looked at the wounded all around him. The Warrior Mage had also been trained to be a Master Alchemist, and knew of ways to create powerful potions, but that would take time, hours, days, weeks or even months at the very least depending on the potion in question. Xander regret that he was not a Cleric from the Warrior Mage’s world. A Cleric or spellcaster with access to the Self or Light magic classes were capable of powerful magical healing, even miraculous resurrection of the dead.

A rare number of humans in the Warrior Mage’s world were naturally born with the capability to access the higher energy planes, leading to the Elemental, Self, Light and Dark schools of magic. They possessed their individual well spring of magical reserves, called mana in their world. Most humans however lack that capability. The Cleric and Mage councils were able to grant normal humans the powers of magic through a blood ritual involving vials of blood drawn from a magic user. However, the numbers of humans compatible to the Magic Awakening ritual were few in numbers.

The world of the Warrior Mage had been filled with many powerful hostile magic creatures. To the humans, elves, orcs and dwarves, magic users were needed for their civilizations to prosper in such a world. That was why at the birth of each child, they would be tested for magic potential, even if they did not possess it naturally, they would be tested for compatibility with the Magic Awakening ritual which would grant the normal ones with potential… magical abilities.

The Warrior Mage had tested as not positive for magic at his birth, but he had been suitable for the Magic Awakening ritual. He had been allowed to live with his parents until the age of five, which was the age when the ritual could be conducted safely. He was then apprenticed under another famous Warrior Mage at a very young age due to his high agility and average pool of mana reserves. His mentor had been the one to conduct the ritual, granting him magic. He had been a diligent student who had learned fast. But even then, it had taken him a good ten years before attaining the same rank and title as his mentor.

The craft of magic was a long road. It took years for a magic user to master a single magical field. Mastering a school of magic which contains multiple magical fields would take decades. Mastering all four schools of known magic would take several lifetimes. With the at times strained relationships between the Cleric and Mage councils, a lot of political maneuvering would be needed for a mage to learn the secrets of a cleric, and the same vice versa. The Elemental, Self, Light and Dark spell crafts and spell theories that both councils possessed were very jealously guarded secrets.

In history, only two Archmages and one High Priest had ever mastered all four known schools of magic, and all three had the total support of both the Mage and Cleric councils. The whole process took them two centuries and a lot of rejuvenation potions. For the Warrior Mage who needed to split his time between weapon training and magic, with no connections or sponsor in Cleric council, he could only hope to master the Elemental school and mayhap the Light or Dark school within his lifetime, to round up his magical capabilities.

As of current time, he had gained mastery over most weapons skills, but his spell craft progressed much slower. However, even though he was not a full blown magic user, Alexander ‘Xander’ Lavelle Harris the Warrior Mage was still a force to be reckoned with in and out of the battlefields. And now everything the powerful man knew and was capable of, was passed to Xander.

Xander was close to freaking out. He could not do anything for the dead and injured here, but he could find out what was going on at the very least. And the expert to look for when a hellmouthy situation occurred was Giles. He needed to make his way to the High School library. G-man would know what to do.

OoooO

Sunnydale High School Library

An icy cold feeling had swept over him only half an hour ago, as if someone had drop shards of ice down his spine. Alone in the library, and slightly unnerved, Giles had brewed a pot of tea, attributing that strange sensation to a feeling of sudden cold. He was about to settle down to read a thick tome of Watcher Malcken’s diary when the shrill cry of the telephone startled him. Frowning, Giles wondered who could have been calling him at the library so late.

Picking up the receiver, Giles was surprised to hear Quentin Travers, one of the Senior Watcher from the Watchers Council talking rapidly over the phone.

“… ah the coven said that?” Giles asked in surprised as he tried to make out what Travers was saying. “WHAT! All the residue dark energies in Sunnydale had vanished? No… No… the Hellmouth is still closed. Chaotic magic was detected before the dark energies just vanished? Oh my that must have been what I have felt… What I felt? Just a strange sensation… I am afraid I hadn’t use magic in a long time…”

Giles tried to control his shock as Travers continued barking at him over the phone. The Devon coven of witches which had close ties to the Council had apparently sounded an alarm when their spell wards were battered by a powerful wave of chaotic energies that swept across the world. Several witches outside of protection wards had noted strange sensations sweeping over them as the chaotic energies passed them.

Spell casting by the coven had led to the discovery that the chaotic energies came from Sunnydale. They had then discovered to their shock that the dark energies known to saturate Sunnydale had vanished. Even though the Sunnydale Hellmouth was closed, dark energies still seeped out from time to time. The buildup of dark energies in the town had taken over centuries, maybe even a thousand years. It was what acted as a demon magnet, luring many in the supernatural community into town. And that immense cloak of dark energies had apparently… disappeared.

“Good Lord.” Giles said as Travers gave his last instruction, for Giles to find out what the hell had happened in town, before the call had ended. “I’ll need to find Buffy…” Giles muttered in shock as he put down the phone.

The library doors slammed opened as Xander strolled in, dressed in some sort of medieval costume. Then Cordelia came in screeching about strange things going on in the streets, before Buffy and Willow stepped into the library, the Slayer was looking extremely displeased.

It seemed that he had no need to find his Slayer, because she had already come to find him.

OoooO

Sunnydale High School Library

Giles and the girls were staring at him in disbelief as Xander called up a fireball effortlessly, even light up the room with sparkles of floating flames. Apparently the people in the Festival Hall were not the only ones affected by the strange magic going on during the night. Buffy and Willow had spoken of being turned into a dull eighteenth century noble woman and a gypsy dancer respectively. Cordelia who had come into the library demanding an explanation for the weirdness happening in town was however unchanged.

For those possessed by their Halloween costumes, the possession had only taken several minutes before returning everyone back to normal. Buffy and Willow even stated that their memories of their Halloween selves were already fading rapidly. Xander was apparently the
only one who still kept the powers and memories of the one he dressed as.

After comparing notes, it became obvious that the only ones changed during Halloween night was those who had gotten their costumes from the new Halloween shop. When Giles learn that the shopkeeper’s name was Ethan Rayne through a business card the man had given Buffy, the Watcher had turned a deep red. Giles had then stalked into the weapons cage and took out a wicked looking dagger.

The Watcher had apparently known who the shopkeeper was, and had stormed out of the library in search of the man, ordering everyone, even Buffy to stay out of this. Seeing this darker side to the mild soft spoken man, Xander, Willow, Buffy and Cordelia had been stunned long enough that by the time they had thought to step out of the library, Giles was already gone.

“Well whoever Ethan is, Giles certainly look angry enough to kill him.” Buffy said, still wide eyed at the change in Giles.

“But more importantly, why did the dork here keep those weird powers?” Cordelia was saying as she pointed at Xander.

“I don’t know, but I am thinking it could be because of that magic ring I was wearing. It is totally worth the five hundred dollars if that is the case.” Xander said musingly. He opened his right hand as charges of static ran across it. “I am Warrior Mage dude now. I wonder if it is permanent.”

“But if it is permanent…” Willow’s eyes were wide. “What spells do you know?”

“Well my Warrior Mage self has been focusing in the Elemental magic of his world. He knows all the major Water and Air fields of spells in his world. As for Fire and Earth, he had only managed to learn a few. He had started learning those two magical fields for only two years anyway, what he does know are the basic and slightly advanced level stuff.” Xander said as he began making his way to the weapon cage. “He is a very capable mage though, and he knew certain interesting spells. I am thinking of testing one of the spell.”

Strolling into the weapon cage, Xander took out two swords, a bow and a dagger which he laid on the central library table. Everyone watched as Xander began staring at the weapons in concentration, tapping into a particular spell that Masters of Water magic were well known for. In the Warrior Mage’s world, Masters of Water magic were also known as Enchanters, because Water magic was the only magical field that allows a mage to imbue magical properties and spells into any objects.

The spell of Enchant Item was one of the most complex and difficult spell in Water magic. Master of the spell could cast magical enhancements into an item, boosting the physical abilities of those who wield the enchanted items. They could also imbue magical charges of spells which the Masters knew of into the item, allowing whoever that touched the items to unleash a limited magical charge of spells, or even embed passive properties of spells into an item.

For his experiment, Xander imbued the magical boost of enhanced strength and speed on the two swords, he crafted a passive spell of Wizard Eye, Protection against Magic and Flight on the bow. He also embedded twenty magical charges of the Lightning Bolt spell into the dagger. The mastery over his powers and the memories of the Warrior Mage allowed Xander to cast the numerous different and complex Enchant Item spells into the weapons within minutes. A blue glow of light washed over the four weapons as Xander felt the spells settling in.

Sweat rolled down his face as Xander realized the massive spell casting had drained a sixth of his mana reserves. Picking up the bow, a bird’s eye view of his surroundings immediately overlaid his normal vision as the two perspectives exist without any side effects due to the Wizard Eye enchantment. Slowly with iron control, he began to fly up into the air, hovering around the library to a shocked audience.

Smirking at their gaping faces, Xander grinned at them. “The Warrior Mage knew of a spell to enchant items. I’ve basically just enchanted these four weapons with numerous magical properties and charged spells.”

“That’s… cool!” Buffy said with a grin as she immediately stepped forward to pick up one of the sword. Her eyes widened as she gripped the hilt, sensing the magic boosting her. Her body literally blurred as she ran around a library. She gave a cry of alarm as she slammed into the library counter, crushing the wood with her enhanced strength, and leaving a Buffy shaped hole in the middle of the library counter.

“Oh my god. Giles’ going to kill me.” Buffy muttered as she stepped out of the wreckage carefully. She stared at Xander in shock. “The sword boosted my strength and speed so high that I actually have trouble controlling them. Xander, this magic of yours is incredible!”

“I know.” Xander said in a pondering voice. “I am not sure why I still possessed the powers and memories of the Warrior Mage. But here’s to hoping that it actually remains with me forever.”

OoooO

Sunnydale High School Library

“It seems… permanent.” Giles said reluctantly as he completed a ritual that bath Xander in a yellow glowing light. “Whatever happened, you are now magical in nature with a regenerating core of magic tied to your soul. It doesn’t seem to be the normal sort of magic the human magic users of our world have access to. Magic users on Earth each have a magical core that allows them to tap into the world’s magical energies which is drastically different from what you did. That ring you’re talking about, we’ll need to find out who cast the protection on the ring to see if it is the cause of your… changes.”

Giles had returned to the library an hour later to find Xander and the others testing out powerful magical enchantments. At first the Watcher had been too stunned to speak, but he had quickly moved on to try and figure out what was going on with Xander, hence a ritual to test Xander for magic.

None of the four had dared asked Giles what had happened to the shopkeeper, though Giles did tell them that the shopkeeper Ethan had apparently left town. The shop had been empty when Giles had gone in to look for the man. Giles had however salvaged a box full of the man’s personal belongings which he would go through when he had the time.

“Well the shop is named Uncle Bob’s Magic Cabinet. We can ask the lady there tomorrow. It is getting late.” Xander offered as he turned to look at the clock in the library. “It’s already close to ten, I doubt the shop’s open.”

“Very well.” Giles said with a sigh before leveling a stern look at Xander. “Xander, this powerful magic you now have, I don’t want you abusing it or ending up hurting others with it.”

“I know Giles.” Xander said with a nod, realizing that Giles was being serious. “The Warrior Mage’s memories were of him when he was close to thirty three years old. These memories… they are more than just thoughts, they also contain emotions and the Warrior Mage’s characteristics… That dude whose powers and memories I now have is a very well respected and responsible character. He also knows better than to misuse his powers, being a Master of his Crafts. I am able to tap into his wisdom. I know how to keep myself in check. You don’t have to worry Giles.”

“Well, just don’t do anything harmful with your powers, and think before you use them.” Giles said looking slightly relieved. “If these powers are permanently tied to you, I want you to be aware that you must be responsible for their usage. We’ll discuss this more tomorrow. I’ll need to call the Watchers Council, and maybe get one of their magic contacts to come to Sunnydale to check up on you, just to be certain that there wouldn’t be any nasty surprises or side effects with you gaining new abilities.”

Xander grimaced. “Do you really have to tell the Council? I don’t even know those guys!”

“The Council is one of the most established institutes in the world on the occult. They might be able to provide an answer to what has happened.” Giles said firmly. “In any case, it is time for all of you to go home. We’ll have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.”

As the group begun moving out of the library, Cordelia discreetly pulled Xander aside. “Xander…” Cordelia said as she smiled sweetly at Xander, causing his hair to stand as his warning system picked up the first sign of trouble. Xander knew from experience that Cordelia never played nice to any of those she considered below her, at least not without a very good reason. “I have this very nice bracelet. Do you think you can enchant it for me?”

OoooO

Chase Mansion, Sunnydale

Cordelia growled as she stomped into her room. That money grubbing bastard had demanded three hundred dollars just for him to cast two enchantments into one of her bracelet. But the lure of having easy access to magic, especially in this hellish town made her grudgingly agreed to pay Xander the money tomorrow. Cradling the bracelet that was now fitted snugly around her left wrist, Cordelia smiled as she felt the power of enhanced speed and a passive spell of Flight embedded into the enchanted bracelet. Having that boost of speed, she would have an unfair advantage in cheerleading, not to mention the thought of actually being able to fly in the air as she willed it was irresistible. With the allowance her father gave her every month, she could easily order four more enchantments from Xander this month.

A grin crossed Cordelia’s face as she decided to ask Xander what other magical enchantments he could cast. Buffy might be the Slayer, but with the enchanted items Xander could create, the Slayer would no longer be the only superpowered girl in town.

Sliding a key into her drawer, Cordelia took out a stack of comics with a slightly guilty feeling. If any of her Cordettes saw her with the comics, her reputation would be ruined. Her maid had been the one that kept her secretly supplied with the monthly issues of the Supergirl comic series. And her secret love for the comic character was never revealed to anyone.

After all, which girl did not want to be a super heroine?

OoooO

Summers House, Sunnydale

Buffy carefully slipped in through her bedroom window. After walking Willow home, she had done a quick patrol. It was midnight by the time she returned home. Doubtless if her mother discovered she was out so late, there would be a screaming match which she wanted desperately to avoid.

“You are in so much trouble.” A soft voice said from her bed in a sing song voice.

Buffy groaned as she recognized the familiar voice. Walking across the room, she flipped on the lights, glaring at her little sister. “What are you doing in my room Dawn?”

“Waiting for you.” Dawn said petulantly. “Mom heard the news about chaos in the streets and how several people died. She got worried and went to the police station when you never returned home.”

“What! She went out in the middle of the night?” Buffy shouted in horror.

“What did you expect her to do? You never called. She was frantic!” Dawn scolded but Buffy was already moving.

“Stay in the house!” Buffy shouted as she ran out of her room, down the stairs. Her mother was out in the streets of Sunnydale, in the dark all alone. Fear fluttered in Buffy’s heart. Granted, Halloween night was supposed to be a stay in night for vampires, but there were always exception to the rules…

She got to the landing when she heard the sounds of keys jingling and then the front door opened. Her mother walked in, stopping as she saw Buffy. Joyce Summers narrowed her eyes at her daughter who took a step back instinctively in the face of her mother’s wrath.

“Buffy Anne Summers.” Joyce gritted out angrily. “You are grounded for the whole year!”

Above the stairs, Dawn was giggling at seeing Buffy chewed out. Buffy groaned and closed her eyes, her mother used her full name, now she knew she was in deep trouble…

OoooO

Might and Magic verse – Magic Demystified:

Elemental School (4 fields of magic): Fire, Air, Water, Earth

Self School (3 fields of magic): Body, Mind, Spirit

Dark School (embodiment of death and destruction/ Entropy/ Necromancy)

Light School (embodiment of life and restoration/ Creation)

Draw the line

Got home late again because I was finishing up some stuff at work, especially since tomorrow will always have its own set of problems. Went to get grocery and was walking home with armloads of stuff when one of the bags containing glass bottles slipped and just smashed on the ground.

For a stupefied few seconds I just stood there staring at the ground brain dead wondering what I should do. It was only when a young boy walked up to me and started helping to clear the fragments of the glass bottles that I realised I have to do something.

I am tired, drained and upset and I realised one important thing as I walked back home. There’s no point working so hard, I got the same amount of pay doing a shit load of work. I spend my evenings rushing work when I could knock off and enjoy my week day evenings. For what? More criticism and no appreciation? Totally exhausted when I reached home unable to do what I wanted?

That one moment when my brain just froze and I was unable to comprehend the situation, I realised that I have enough. Work is work, my life is my life. I am not being paid to bear such a large amount of work, and I am not going to use my health to do so much for a work place that I am probably going to quit pretty soon.

I have enough. I am drawing the line tonight, and tomorrow I am going to request for an exact job description of what I am supposed to do and what I am paid to do. And if they want to squeeze more out of me, I am going to tell them straight to their faces to suck it up.