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This page, A and K Chapter 43: Something Challenging, is coming of age. The current canon and/or the writer's writing has improved since then, making this page relatively obsolete. Please take into account possible plans for a complete overhaul to this page for future use.

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Kei relaxes on the sofa as his most recent adventure had finished only about a day or so ago. It was nice to be back home. However, his relaxation was not to be as a light knocking came at the door. Alexandria turned her head, as she had been watching the television as Kei had almost drifted off for a nap. He sat up and scratched his head.

Kei: Now who could that be?

He approached and opened the door, only to find a complete stranger at his doorstep.

Kei: And who are you

???: My name is Serenity Mercury, and I need your help.

Kei sighs as he scratches his head.

Kei: Who doesn’t these days...please, come in.

Kei escorts the person inside.

Kei: Have a seat here at this table.

Serenity: thank you (bows slightly before taking a seat, gauntlets spiked defensively)

Kei: (Noting her weapons) I must ask you to remove your weapons while inside. We have children present.

Serenity: (hesitates) That’s …

Kei: If you can’t, you can’t.

Serenity: It’s better for everyone that way, it’s … very bad underneath.

Kei: Very well. Shigure!

Shigure comes from the hallway, and notices the new person inside.

Shigure: Greetings, my name is Shigure.

Kei: Would you mind getting a drink for you guest?

Shigure: Tea coming up.

Shigure gets to work and Kei takes a set.

Kei: (sighing) So what can I do for you?

Serenity: Quite a while ago my husband, was incapacitated in the boundary

Kei: Your husband, in the boundary? (Thinking) This is going to get crazy…

Serenity: he used to be able to leave for a short time but he was injured and is incapacitated, that along with my own (hesitates before motioning to her gauntlets) “limitations” i need any assistance I can find.

Shigure places the cup of tea in front of Serenity.

Shigure: How dreadful.

Kei: And what exactly are you suggesting happen? Messing with the boundary can be very dangerous.

Serenity: yes, however I have some old documents of his on the subject, and some of Kokonoe’s, which is partly why I’m here.

Kei: I’d rather not deal with Kokonoe if I can at all avoid it. A name comes to mind that might be able to assist us with the boundary, but I can neither guarantee nor promise that this person will be able to convince the person needed to pull such a stunt.

Serenity: Kokonoe needn’t be involved, I think my husband would rather stay than owe his sister anyway.

Kei: Then we’re in at least in agreement with that. I’m going to have to take a moment and get in contact with my source. I cannot guarantee anything though. If you’re okay with that, I will go and contact her now.

Serenity: (a metal tendril picks up the tea) thank you, anything you can do is appreciated.

Kei nods and as he passes by Alexandria, he motions for her to follow him out to the backyard. Shigure stays with Serenity.

Shigure: I hope the tea is to your liking?

Serenity: Yes, perfect actually (tendril drops the cup back on table table before reintegrating into the gauntlet). I must say its lucky i found this, options are running out quickly.

Shigure: I’m glad you enjoyed it. Though I must ask, how did you learn of Kei? Its not like he goes out and rejoices in his successes.

Serenity: A combination of rumors, luck and help from some acquaintances whom you should know.

Shigure: (thinking) Wouldn’t surprise me if Athena was running her mouth (to Serenity) All the same, you can rely on Kei. He just finished helping someone else not too long ago. A lot of rumors probably got started from it. That and Nick’s promotion within the police ranks. Probably wouldn’t be too difficult to get that information...

Serenity: Yes they were mentioned, however it was (closes her eyes to think) Miss Nanaya, i believe who told me.

Shigure: (thinking) Miss Makoto sent her our way? Miss Miwa and Miss Makoto must feel like Kei would be more suited to the task, at least, I think. (to Serenity) Well, no matter the reason. You should be able to rely on Kei. He’ll figure something out, I’m sure.

Serenity: I hope, since as much as i hate it Kokonoe is the only option after this, and i doubt after the last time they spoke that would end well.

Kei and Alexandria step out into the back yard.

Kei: Hey! Arisu! You there?

In a puff of black smoke, Arisu appears in her usual garb.

Arisu: Honestly, to be summoned in such a way…

Alexandria: Hi Miss Hitomi!

Arisu: (smiles) Its good to see you, Alex.

Kei: I have a favor to ask.

Arisu: You? A favor? Well now I’m genuinely curious. What’s this favor of yours?

Kei: We’re going to need help with the boundary.

Arisu’s eyes widen briefly as she gets serious.

Arisu: You know better than to mess with such dangerous things.

Kei: I do, but we’ve got a person here asking for help.

Arisu: (Sighs) And what do you expect us to do?

Kei: I’d like to ask for Miss Rachel’s help.

Arisu: (Eyes wide) What?

Kei: You’re learning from her right? And she’s an observer. Of anyone who could do it, she could.

Arisu: You understand that you might just be asking for a miracle.

Kei: Pretty much, but I’ve never been one to turn a person down.

Arisu: (Sighing as she folds her arms.) Miss Rachel is very busy, I can’t say she’d even be willing to help.

Kei: But if anyone could, it would be you.

Arisu: I can try, but I can’t promise anything.

Kei: If you can make a miracle happen, then please do it.

Arisu: I will talk to Miss Rachel about it.

Kei: Its appreciated.

Arisu: And which cauldron are you expecting to use for this endeavor?

Kei: The one in Kagutsuchi.

Arisu: Hmm, lots of memories there.

Kei: All I ask is you try and do your best to convince her. Her help is essential to this.

Arisu: I shall try.

Kei: Its appreciated.

Arisu: I will see you in Kagutsuchi then. In a black puff of smoke, Arisu vanishes just as quickly as she had appeared

Kei: I hope this works.

Kei and Alexandria enter back into the house after talking with Arisu, and Kei heads into the kitchen. He sits back at the table where Shigure and Serenity wait for him.

Kei: She will certainly try to get her teacher to think about the idea, but she cannot promise that her teacher will willingly go for the idea. That said, it is probably better if we wait until the morning. I’m sure you’re tired, and you could use a night to rest. Something else I’m sure you’re probably aware of, is that for us to locate a place where we can use the boundary, it will require us to leave Yamatsumi, since I’m sure you’re aware of why.

Serenity: Ragna’s destruction of the cauldron I assume, yes I’m aware. and thank you for the place to sleep, its been quite a while.

Kei: There is an airship leaving tomorrow that will take us to a place that nearby has access to the boundary. Its fallen apart due to the NOL’s fallen apart, and I cannot confirm just how dangerous it is or if someone will deter us from it.

Serenity: after the last few years i’d be much more surprised if this went smoothly, and you will find I can handle myself quite well in a fight should it come to be.

Kei nods.

Kei: Very well, we leave in the morning

Meanwhile, in a dark room, a TV flickers on. The darkness keeps both of their appearances hidden.

???: Number one? This is an honor.

Number One: I have a mission for you, number fifteen.

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