(Nova's POV)

I walk through the forests alone, letting all thoughts leave my mind. That is until Kaden explodes from the trees shrieking about a bear being behind him. I quickly equip a sword and stand at ready. That's when Kaden bursts out laughing.

"I'm sorry but your face was priceless" he apologizes.

"What are you doing out here anyway?" I inquire, sheathing my sword.

"I thought I'd see what you're up to all by your lonesome self."

"Just taking a walk."

"Mind if I join you?"

I smile and we continue walking. Kaden talks animatedly, wildly flailing his arms to make his point. Soon we're both laughing and I don't notice the disturbance in the surroundings until I see something heading for Kaden's spine. I push him out of the way and take the blow to my side. A small knife sits in the grass with my blood on it's blade. I hiss and check for the attacker. There. I fling my own knife at him and hear a thud as it hits the tree behind him. He's fast. I grab Kaden and roll us away. There's a boom as a man lands right where we were. I equip Dark Vision when I see he has a blade as well.

"Who are you?" I ask.

"I am the one hunting those who left the Darkness. I am the one who shall drag you back and let it consume you Nova."

"How do you... wait! You're from Shattered Dusk, aren't you?"

"As are you. You betrayed Master so I trained to punish and defeat you."

This guy is 17 year old Darren Hom, another requip user from my ex-dark guild. He was strong, but not S-Class strong the last time we met. But I can feel the intensity of his magic from where I stand.

"Kaden, I'll distract him while you run. Go find Lady Inari and-"

I knife once again flies towards us and would have pierced my other side if Kaden hasn't used a water jet to blast it away. He grabs me and uses water to lift us to a tree. Below a collection of knives hit the trunk where we had stood.

"I've got your back so take him down quickly." Kaden instructs.

"You got it."

I drop down and land behind Darren. My sword clashes with his and I realize how much he's improved by. He slashes at me again and catches my right arm. I switch my base sword hand to my left and go at him again. I pull out every dirty trick I can: punching, kicking, even going for a groin shot, but all to no avail. I equip my Quick Strike armor and try to get in attacks even faster. He's ready for that and pulls out a shadow armor. We race through the trees, me looking like a bolt of lightning while he jumps from shadow to shadow. It's impossible for Kaden to track us at this speed. Darren throws himself at me and tackles my body to the ground. Think. I need something strong enough to break through his weapons. I throw him off and bring out Reaper. I'm able to beat away his attacks until he suddenly retreats. No, not retreats.

"Kaden! Look out!"

But it's too late. Darren has Kaden in a choke hold and places a binding seal on his chest. Magic nulling smoke seeps out and also physically paralyzes Kaden. His face begins to go red then blue. I take a step towards him and Darren places his other hand on Kaden's opposite cheek.

"One more step and I break his neck." I pause. "Good. Drop your weapon and put this sealing charm on."

I have no choice. I set Reaper down and catch the small pendant. As soon as it's in place I feel my magic flow stop. It's a horrible sensation... it feels like every cell in my body has come to a stop. Then I realize that's because mine has a paralysis charm on it as well. Darren drops Kaden and picks up Reaper. The weapon tries to reject him but he doesn't hold it for long anyway. My scream pierces the silence as my own blade is forced through my shoulder and into the ground. He grabs my other arm and yanks it out of place. My enemy crouches next to me and picks up my head. My skull feels like it's going to split as he slams it back down. He takes his time torturing me and when I finally look over to see Kaden, the boy is crying and struggling. But I don't fight because Kaden will be killed if I do. All to soon I feel my body begin to go numb. My mind starts going out of focus and I realize what's to come. My eyes stay open, unblinking, and nearly lifeless. My throat is raw from screaming and I'm covered in my own blood. When Darren realizes he can't get anymore reactions from me he goes to start on Kaden. I welcome the icy chill that creeps into my veins.

(Kaden's POV)

Tears stream down my face as I watch the light leave Miss Nova's eyes. I hear the man walking towards me and panic coarses through me. But there's a slow chuckle from behind him and we both look to see a demon Nova. This must be the Super Nova she told me about. I watch her grab the blade of the scythe and rip it from her shoulder. She admires the weapon, letting her fingers dance across it.

"My, my. What pretty new toys we have!" she giggles. There's a strong scent in the air and that's when I realize that Darren pissed himself.

"No! The seal's supposed to stop you! You can't have-"

"Can't have what?" she says from behind him.

Neither of us saw her move but Darren must have felt her cut because he howls in pain at the gaping chunk missing from his side. Super Nova walks up to him and grabs his jaw. I wince I hear the slow cracking.

"Nova! Stop, please, this isn't like you." I cry out.

When she looks at me I see her eyes flicker and then return to normal. She hobbles over to me and rips off the seal. Darren lies, unconscious from pain, a few feet away. Nova calls the Magic Council, explains what happened, and promptly collapses. I feel her breathing is strained so I pick her up and sprint towards home.



(Nova's POV)

When I wake up my entire body is on fire. My eyes shoot open as I recall what happened. I'm met with the face on a beautiful woman who looks a lot like Kaden.

"Jack, Kaden, she's awake!" the woman proclaims.

"Nova! I was so worried I thought you were dying so I brought you home to mom and she said you'd be fine if she treated you asap and she did and now you're okay and- you are okay right?" Kaden rambles.

"I'm alive and that's what counts." I respond.

"Honey, you arrived here on Death's Door after saving our son. You've been out for three days." Mrs. Akira scolds me but I can tell she was worried.

"Nova, Kaden told us what you did out there and... I don't know how we'll ever repay you. I've talked it over with Madeline and Kaden and we'd like to ask you something." Mr. Akira trails off.

"Alright, shoot." I say.

"We want you to be part of our family! Isn't that great? I mean we could be siblings and even though we're not blood related we'd still be adoptive family and we could always- what's wrong?"

I'm in tears now. I can't stop them as I think about these three wonderful people sitting down and talking about letting me into their family. They pour down my face as I realize that I could have a family again.

"Nova, dear, is that okay with you? Do you want to be apart of our family?" Madeline asks me.

"Yes," I manage to sob out,"I would love to be in your family."

Kaden rushes to hug me and both parents set a hand on his shoulders. Madel- Mom. Grabs my uninjured hand while Mr. Ak- Dad places his other hand on my forehead. I can feel the warmth of their love pouring into me. It feels safe and nice and well, it feels like home.


{A few days later}

I guide Kaden up the stairs and slowly untie his blindfold. He gasps as he quickly figures out why we're here.

"Seriously?!" He asks.

"You let me into your family so I'm welcoming you into mine."

I push open the guild doors and take my brother to officially instated as a mage of Koma Inu

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