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A Moderate Length Story With Some ties to Gates Magic in it. (A sequel)

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OK, just so you all know. There's no way that I'm going to be able to write this one as fast as the last story.  For one, my main PC is still down. (If luck smiles on me, I Should finally get a quality part replacement next month)

For another, I don't have the whole of this story in my head, just a few ideas that will probably coalesce as I'm writing. I want this story to be a bit longer than the last one, but we'll see...

Part 1

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The clock in the Revision classroom was slowly ticking. It seemed to a particular student that someone had revised it to move as slowly as possible. It had been a week since he had been dragged into a most unlikely adventure that skirted on the very razor's edge of life and death. Since then, the student, one Valentino da Caccia, had found that his present mundane life (well, at least as mundane as living at school of magic can be.) had become rather boring. Valentino had always thought so to some extent. It was all of the rules that the professors laid down. That was why he had started fooling around with forbidden things that he shouldn't have.

It wasn't that Valentino wanted to risk his life on a daily basis now or anything. It was just that after the events involving vampires, storms, alternate dimensions, and dangerous entities found therein, Valentino had been just a little too overstimulated. His ability to focus on trivial things was utterly burnt out and would need time to recover. Hopefully sooner than later, as Valentino's professor caught sight of him staring longfully at that ever so slowly moving clock.

However before anything could be said about this, the clock finally, mercifully, chimed with the hour.

"Okay, class is over, everyone. Don't forget! There's a quiz tomorrow on the liquification of exotic metal alloys!" The professor said.

Valentino raced out of the classroom in record time. There was no need to worry about focusing in Revision classes. As a natural prodigy, Valentino could probably sleep though them and still manage a passing grade. His other classes demanded more attention, so he saved his limited ability to focus on classes that he might actually start to fail if he didn't get out of the funk he was in at the present time.

It was lunch time. While Valentino had raced out of the classroom to escape the dreadful atmosphere, he wasn't particularly hungry. If the food turned out to be kind of disappointing today, Valentino had plans to sleep through most of the time available to maximize his chance of making it through the day. However, while racing off to the cafeteria, Valentino's ears innately picked up a hushed conversation barely louder than a whisper.

"I can't believe he of all people would be involved in Gates magic..." Said one, highly squeeky voice.

"Not so loud, stupid." Said an older sounding voice.

Valentino stopped instantly. Apparently the conversation was taking place in an alcove quite close by. It had to have been for Valentino to have overheard it, but the conversation instantly stopped also, as the participants were also aware of Valentino's running footsteps abruptly coming to a halt.

"I heard something awfully interesting!" Valentino said in a slightly raised voice.

"Gah!" The squeaky voice blurted out.

The older voice sighed, but said nothing else. Then out of the corner of Valentino's eye, he saw the source of the voices hidden in an alcove behind a giant flowerpot. Two Morvidus students. One was a second year, whose real name Valentino couldn't remember, but had the nickname 'Tone Deaf' due to his squeaky voice making his music classes.... Interesting. The other was a 4th year student, the older brother of Tone Deaf, who was always looking out for him.

Valentino walked up to the alcove smiling. "So. What's going on, fellas?"

The older brother recognized Valentino and relaxed his posture. "Oh, it's just you. What do you want, nerd?"

Valentino's smile shifted into a frown. For some reason it had been decided by the student body that he had settled into being a bookworm after he had given up his prankster's habits in order to secretly study Gates magic. While honestly this was beneficial for studying Gates in a certain sense, and the benefice received prevented Valentino from openly disputing this title that was bestowed upon him, nevertheless it did not mean that Valentino had to enjoy being called a nerd.

"Gossip." Valentino Answered bluntly. "Specifically what you were just talking about."

"I don't know what you're talking about." The older brother stated defiantly.

Valentino's smile returned, with a twinkle in his eye. "Okay. I can live with that."

That Response caught both brothers off guard. "What?" Said the older of the two.

"Sure!" Valentino said, chuckling. "Oh, by the way, do you know I have a certain special recording of a certain someone with a squeaky voice singing a certain rendition of "Where's my Barber" From the latest play by Rodolfo Bellacqua? It would be a shame if it suddenly was played on the school's public address system..."

That got their attention. Both of them knew that such recordings did exist, and also that Valentino had successfully altered the public address system in the past. (Though the professors couldn't prove it, they all but narrowed it down to Valentino.) Neither brother wanted to relive an old shame, so they both quickly capitulated.

"All right, da Caccia, You win, but understand this: You didn't get this information from me." The older brother looked around, and whispered something into Valentino's ear.

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I'm not really interested in fanfiction in general to do that. It is more that Academagia is so good I need to make a story now and then to get my fix now that I know Y1s lore pretty much by heart. Besides, the game is pretty niche so I doubt many would get enjoyment out of it.

Part 2

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Valentino skipped lunch. He also skipped napping. Instead, he made a beeline to Vernin Hall.

The information he gleamed from the brothers was grim. There was an official inquiry going on concerning the use of high level Gates magic in the Venalicium on the night of the terrible storm and Vampire incursion a week back. Apparently, many of the summoned Ancient Vampires did not die. Well, as undead, they technically were already dead... it was rather complicated, but instead of turning to ash as these particular vampires should have done upon "dying," they instead were found lying on the floor in a comatose state, still 'alive.' (or undead, or whatever)

It was difficult to determine the vampires' exact status due to having no obvious life signs, but because they still registered as undead through magical investigation, they were eventually classified as 'dead undead' or 'double dead undead' (though it was likely that term was still in a state of academic flux due to it's unorthodox naming.)

It caused quite a stir when further investigation on these double dead undead were found to have been put into their state by way of extremely complicated magics, some phemes of which had ancient ties to powerful Gates spells. That so many Ancient Vampires were defeated in this way was truly shocking.

What was even more shocking was that the only person that could have been in the Venalicium during the time frame in which the Vampires befell their fate was the now Legendary student, Orso Orsi. In fact, he himself had even admitted to having defeated several vampires in the Venalicium when on a mission from one of the professors. He in fact had been singled out and rewarded for those very deeds that he accomplished that night the very next day.

Orsi was set to be present at a very, very, VERY special meeting of the Praetexta court concerning this incident once the last class of the day was over.

To be perfectly honest, Valentino really didn't know what to do about all this. But what he did know, was that despite all that he had done to clean up his own mess regarding the events of that night, it was still coming back to haunt him. There was no way his name was not going to be brought up if things kept up the way they seemed to be going. Time was critical. He needed to speak to Orso.

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This story definitely has been harder to write compared to the first one, which I mostly already had in my head. This one I've started really only having some bits and pieces of what I want to write, and so is requiring more thought to write. Still, I am pretty sure that once we get to the meat of the story it will be just as entertaining. No spoilers, though! :)

Part 3.

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Valentino was lost in thought as he ran toward Vernin Hall. He had heard that Orso usually avoided eating in the Grand Hall as Vernin's lunches tended to be generous in quality and lacking in mystery meals. If Valentino was going to have a chance to talk to him before classes started again it was going to have to be soon.

Unfortunately because he was so lost in thought, trying to figure out the best way to proceed, Valentino ran afoul of some nasty 4th year Vernin students that were known to bully younger Morvidus students... By running into one of them and knocking him over from behind, with Valentino falling right on top due to not having been paying attention while running and quickly losing his balance.

"Ow! Watch where you're going...!" The student under Valentino said as he noticed the color of a Morvidus student's robes on top of him.

"Oh, You're trying to get a little payback for what we did to those two twerps yesterday, nerd? You're gonna regret that!" Said another one.

While the students in question normally picked on those younger than Valentino, normally he gave them a decently wide berth. The reason why these students picked on younger Morvidus students was because of the rivalry that was between the two colleges. While it was not at the level that Durand and Aranaz often quarreled at. Morvidus and Vernin Colleges did have a bit of an issue with each other and it seemed to have been waxing stronger in the past few years.

Valentino was mentally kicking himself for allowing himself to get into this situation. He really hadn't the time for it. To be fair. It really looked as if Valentino really had tackled one of them in a surprise attack, and these bullies' pride was now sullied, which meant that there was a fight coming on. One that Valentino probably couldn't win. Even if Valentino could win, it would take time and effort that he didn't want to spend.

While Valentino's ability to focus was burnt out during mundane activities, the situation he found himself in was sufficiently removed enough from mundane that his mind was able to focus, despite not being in a life or death struggle. What happened next frightened Valentino as almost as much as seeing Twippy single-handedly defeat all of those Ancient Vampires in the Venalicium.

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Part 4.

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Time seemed to slow down, and then it stopped. Valentino couldn't even move his eyes! But he was aware of everything, and how it wasn't happening. 

Valentino spent what felt like 5 minutes in that state when he finally started getting bored, and then time started to speed up again, causing him to panic again, and then time froze again.

It suddenly became clear to Valentino that time probably wasn't starting and stopping before his eyes, but rather this was the effect of being in a state of hyper awareness.

To prove to himself that his theory was correct, Valentino forced himself to calm down. Sure enough, the more agitated he was, and the more desiring of focus he had, the slower time seemed to move, even to a near standstill. Moreover, Valentino was starting to feel a throbbing pain in his head, although it was currently easily bearable.

Suddenly, Valentino got an idea. One that would solve the issue of these annoying 4th years, at least for now. He was able to think up exactly what he was going to do about his situation, while time was stopped.

When he was ready, he calmed down, and time began to move again. Valentino got up off the poor tackled student like lightning, produced his wand in the same motion, and gave the bullies a taste of pure unfiltered light. (If there was one thing that Valentino had Mastered in the week since his venture into that world of darkness, it was how to generate light efficiently!)

In the confusion, and while the bullies were blinded, Valentino made good an escape to inside Vernin hall. All told the encounter with the bullies was over surprisingly fast. To an outside observer, it might have looked as if Valentino had planned the whole thing from the very beginning. But no, it was almost entirely coincidental.

The throbbing pain in Valentino's head did not subside. It instantly reminded him of the time he was with Twippy in that bizarre dimension with the Dreamers.

Did they change me? Valentino thought to himself.

That was a scary prospect, for sure. Still, it was something that was going to have to be looked into later. For now, Getting to Orso was still top priority.

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Oh sweet a sequel!

I really hope our characters will get to meet old man Valentino altough we might be as old as he would be when that happens. 😂

The guy certainly needs more Vernin geniuses in his life.😝

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It would be pretty badass if Val made an appearance in the games, but... Then it would also mean that the Dreamers are canon... >_< I wouldn't put it past the Team to do this based on the Legate's comments, but I'm content just writing the story.

Thankfully, I'm toning the Gates-ness of this particular story down a notch or two. I don't want to desensitize everyone to the horrors of it should I ever write a threequel. (and I do have an idea for a 3rd story, mwahaha!) That said, I'm not going to ignore Gates entirely. *chuckles evilly* Oh, no. Not ignore it at all. :)

The hardest part of writing this sequel is going to be handling Orso. He only really had a small part in the first story, but this time, well... You'll see.

Part 5

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Valentino looked all over Vernin hall for Orso. He even went into places that he, as a Morvidus student, strictly speaking, had no business entering. (Luckily it seemed the professors were preoccupied by something else!) Everyone he asked didn't seem to know where Orso was.

He was just about to give up, and head to his next class in order to plan his next step, when he saw 2 professors guarding a door in the dorms labeled: "Quarantine zone. Plague victims inside. Inspections not recommended."

Instantly, Valentino knew he had found Orso at last. The problem was the professors guarding the door. They hadn't spotted him yet, so Valentino was able to hide, observe them, and try come up with a plan. Before he could come up with anything, however, the door opened.

One of the newer Aranaz professors came out of the door. Valentino recognized him, but could not recall his name, as he had not had any classes with him. The professor had an extremely confident smile on his face as he left the room.

As the professor left the room, he looked back, and said. "There's no escape for you this time, hotshot. Your antics are finally over. Accept it and you merely face expulsion. Fight me on this, and you WILL regret it."

The grinning professor nodded to the two others, whom Valentino also recognized as Aranaz professors as well. Then all three professors quietly left the hallway, leaving Valentino access to the room as well.

After giving the door a quick knock, Valentino let himself in, only to find intense anger and focus on a face that he had only known to be smiling and carefree.

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Part 6

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Orso took a look at Valentino, and his face softened slightly. However, his gaze was penetrating enough that it caused Valentino to wince slightly.

"So, um... How are you doing?" Valentino asked, in an awkward, somewhat pathetic attempt to break the ice.

"Well, apart from being accused of using Gates magic, being magically confined to my room, finding myself facing expulsion, and possibly even execution... Not that bad, honestly." Orso replied tersely. 

Orso continued. "But now that I think of it, you've got something to do with this, don't you? I can't imagine it's coincidence that you show up here, now... Right after Von Treacherous shows up."

"Von who?" Valentino asked quizzically.

Orso obliged. "Sorry, just feeling a little spiteful. Sixt Von Rupprecht. One of the newer Aranaz professors. He's an ambitious snake. I've crossed paths with him before, just... Not to this extent. "

Valentino instantly was able to put the face he had seen with that name.

Orso continued. "He was lording it over me how he was going to get back at me for upstaging him last week. As if it was some sort of game..."

Orso frowned bitterly at at last statement. "So... Are you going to tell me what your involvement in all this is?"

Valentino realized that if he was going to have a chance to get Orso on his side, (which was the only way he had a chance of escaping a disastrous fate himself) he was going to have to tell Orso everything. It was kind of a long shot, but there wasn't any alternative. They were both in the same situation. If Orso went down for this, Valentino was going to get dragged down for it as well.

Being from Rival colleges, and also being two years separated in their schooling, meant that the two students only really knew each other from reputation, and their slight occasional crossing of paths (including last week.) It was safe to say that they weren't friends, but yet their shared situation caused Valentino to feel a faint bond of friendship with Orso, so he decided to tell him everything.

About his knowledge of Gates.

About the Dreamers of the Void,

About Twippy massacring the Ancient Vampires.

About the death world he visited.

And of course, about nearly getting torn to pieces from the slobins.

Valentino only kept quiet about Patricia Whittaker. It seemed prudent to keep that little bit a secret.

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I feel obligated to say something here.

In the end, this is just a story written by me. I've taken the time to really consider Orso's character, and decided that he would be lax toward Valentino. I don't think this is unfair given that in Y1 he associates with IIaro, is stern with a Gates/Mastery user in a Vernin adventure but is still willing to consider the Gates plan offered. To say nothing of whatever Gates artifacts he might have on hand to skirt the law.

Orso strikes me as a person who is willing to bend the law (probably even high law) if it is for moral reasons, whilst he simultaneously has no qualms of hammering those who break the law for petty and immoral reasons. (As the School Mastery dating incident shows quite clearly.) This, combined with the fact that he is younger, brasher, and most importantly NOT the school's legate in this story, gives me a little more leeway than I might have had if I had written the story in the present day.

Even so, the decision to reveal all this to Orso will have... repercussions. Just probably not in the short term... Assuming Val can get poor Orso out of the Hangman's noose! ;)  Too bad for Von Rupprecht that he neither knows the full story, nor realizes that there's a wild card in play at the moment....

Part 7

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Orso, for his part, was a good listener. Despite looking doubtful over a few parts, he didn't interrupt Valentino until his story was over.

When Valentino finally finished, there was only one question.

"Can you prove this?" Orso asked.

Valentino sighed. While proving it was true was going to be easy, it required reopening a can of worms that had mostly been sealed back away. Valentino had hoped that he would have had a little more time before having to deal with it again, but it looked like there was little choice but to reveal his 'proof'.

"I can, if you require me too." Valentino replied.

"Show me... But don't cast anything." Orso quickly added.

"Technically, I really don't have to." Valentino rolled his eyes and silently prayed that nothing went wrong. "But you should still be prepared for this first."

Valentino then lifted his sleeves to reveal a coin hidden within. Actually it was more like a coin blank as there was nothing stamped on it. It had been given to Valentino, and would work only for him, so there was no danger of it being used inappropriately. It was enchanted with a certain ability to allow Gates spells to find it.

Valentino then activated it's ability by tossing it in the air in a spin, as if he was doing a coin toss. The moment the coin hit the ground, a being materialized out of nowhere!

"Valentino~! And a new friend, too! Are you ready for hunting another Slobin already?" said a cute, bubbly voice.

Although the being looked older now, closer to Valentino's age, there was absolutely no denying that the being was Twippy. She was emanating a much more noticable aura than before. That worried Valentino, but when he looked over at Orso, he noticed that Orso had lost a fair bit of color in his face out of sheer fright.

Valentino actually chuckled in his heart at that. What a wonderful thing it was to already be used to deadly extradimensional creatures, and also a beautiful thing to share the misery of encountering them with others. Of course, Valentino said nothing and had only the most serious of faces.

"Twippy, this is Orso. Orso. Twippy."

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It looks like this story is going to be longer than I expected. I still haven't gotten into the actual intrigue part yet. Getting to the chase will still take several more parts yet, I think. And who knows how long that will take, as I am not sure exactly how it is going to go, yet. I've managed a decent pace up til now, but I might blow off writing for a while if I get writer's block.

Part 8

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Orso regained his composure pretty quickly. Valentino wondered about some of the rumors that were floating around the school about him, and figured that they must not have been all of what what he had been getting up to if he could recover from this so quickly. Even Valentino had taken a few days to calm down from his ordeal.

Suddenly, the bells rang, and it became clear that classes had started. It was a stark reminder of how little time was available until the unthinkable happened. Valentino resolved to skip his remaining classes to help Orso.

"I'm afraid not today, Twippy. My friend here is in trouble, and I need to help him." Valentino said. If he was going to have to hunt slobins today as well, he might not survive the stress alone.

"Is that so..?" Twippy said, nearly pouting. However, she quickly bounced back into her bubbly phase. "Well, there's still time. The elders are still feasting. There has not been so much fresh Fun in quite some time."

Orso got confused at that term. Valentino just shook his head, to indicate that he would explain that later.

"So, why did you call me then?" Twippy asked. She was getting bored. She was also making it pretty obvious that the Dreamers had very little interest in helping Valentino beyond obtaining their 'fun'.

Valentino, however, was determined to get a small commitment of help out of Twippy. Even though strictly speaking, that was not the best idea, honestly the situation seemed desperate enough to Valentino that any problems that she might cause would be minor to being discovered as a Gates mage.

"You see..." Valentino started. "My friend here is in trouble because people think that he... Defeated the Vampires that you defeated back then, remember?"

Twippy entered into a long, drawn out thinking pose. "Do humans like Vampires, then?" She asked, inquisitively.

"Um, no. Not especially." Valentino replied.

"It was more the way they were defeated, I was told." Orso interjected, helpfully.

Twippy did not like hearing that at all. Her temperament flash boiled quickly, even to the point that she did not seem very human at all. Her eyes were glowing red, and her voice attained an ethereal quality. Her aura also darkened, and became strong enough to form a kind of soft wind, which was not enough to knock anything in the room over, but all the same it was obvious that everything in the room was being influenced by it.

"Are these humans so foolish as to not appreciate our helping them?" Twippy practically demanded to know.

Valentino realized that it was probably a mistake to have called on Twippy, still... What was done, was done. Fast thinking was required here.

 

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Amazing how time flies, isn't it? Over a week and nothing to show for it. To be fair, I had some questions for the Legate. They still haven't been answered yet, but I'm being proactive on giving giving the team time so we don't go a month with no part. :) But honestly it's mostly me being lazy...

Part 9.

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"That's not it at all!" Valentino practically shouted out. "I really appreciate everything you've done!"

This seemed to calm Twippy down a tiny bit, although not enough for either Orso or Valentino to relax. Valentino started to think about what to say next, when suddenly time stopped again.

It was more natural this time, though it still caught Valentino off guard. It seemed as though Twippy's tantrum had allowed Valentino to use his ability to focus much more smoothly than last time. Probably an indication that the danger was much higher.

Being not a total stranger to the concept, and unsure as to how long this state of frozen time would last, Valentino quickly gathered his thoughts as how to best calm Twippy down. Finally, after several "minutes", the pain in his head grew strong enough that he decided that he needed to execute a plan, even if he wasn't fully ready yet. He ultimately decided to try to appeal to her ego.

Valentino braced himself mentally, and then after a little bit of coaxing, was able to unfreeze time.

Here we go. He thought, while quickly putting his palm on his forehead to try to manage the pain.

"You defeated all those vampires by yourself! You're really amazing, twippy!" Valentino said with as much earnestness as he could muster. "I'd have been in big trouble if you hadn't been there to save me!"

Twippy calmed down instantly. She had a look of surprise, then a knowing look as if she recognized something, and smiled deeply.

"Well, as long as you understand, Wonderful Valentino." Twippy said. She actually blushed. "But you shouldn't use the Fun I gave you so quickly. Improper use can kill humans, and we can't afford to lose you."

Well, that answered a few questions that Valentino had. Honestly, after learning that, he wasn't sure he really had wanted to know the answer to those questions now. Still, he had calmed Twippy.

"Anyways..." Valentino Started. "I really, really, REALLY need a favor."

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