Tokyo has always been a busy city regardless of day or night, with the streets often flooded by people going about with their daily lives.
But today, one particular section of the Japanese capital is much busier than it has always been.
A huge crowd, packed as tightly as a can of sardines, gathered in front of a grandiose stage set up in the middle of Tokyo Central Park. Such an elaborate setup is usually reserved for Japan's pop stars and idol groups, but in this case, the star of the show is from another country altogether.
Seven-years old Kagari Atsuko strolled excitedly into the venue, escorted by her parents who found it somewhat difficult to keep an eye on their little daughter amidst the tightly packed crowd.
"Mom, dad, hurry up, or we're going to miss the performance!" Little Atsuko told her parents as she continued moving through the crowd, dragging her parents along.
"Slow down, Akko! We can't run as fast as you can!" Mrs. Kagari said as she tried her best to push through the crowd and follow her daughter.
Little Atsuko continued moving forward, but as she is not seeing where she is going, she soon gets knocked over by a large person, and face-planted on the ground.
Mr. and Mrs. Kagari gasped at the sight of their daughter falling over, as they moved to help her get up.
"I'm alright!" Atsuko said as she picked herself up from the ground no worse for the wear, then swiped dirt and grass off her face. "Is she here yet?"
The parents are relieved that their daughter are fine, but can help but chuckle at her priorities.
"Don't worry, my girl. She will be here." Mr. Kagari reassured.
The crowd is packed the tightest over here, but there is still enough space for Atsuko to see the stage, which at the moment is still vacant.
"So thrilling and exciting!" Atsuko said, anxious to watch the show she came all the way from Osaka for.
Meanwhile, at the backstage...
"Where on earth is Miss Du Nord?"
The manager of the event tapped his foot impatiently as he looked at his watch.
"Well, she was sometimes late for class back in school..." A woman with short lilac hair told him.
"But this isn't school, lady." The manager replied, tapping his watch to emphasize the time. "She should have been here 10 minutes ago. Now it's one minute before the show is schedule to start, and she hasn't arrived yet."
"Has she?" The lilac-haired woman said as she looked up at the sky.
The Big Dipper constellation is shining unusually bright tonight...
Back at the crowd.
The crowd grew thicker with each second that passed by, and with that, Atsuko's excitement grew as well.
It was less than a minute before the show is supposed to start, and much of the crowd is already getting impatient. Even the security guards and the crew who set up the stage are starting to wonder if the star of the show is ever going to show up.
Atsuko decided to pass the time by looking up at the sky and counting the stars. As she is about to start counting, she immediately noticed that seven of the stars are shining unusually bright.
Too bright to be natural, in fact.
That is when the unusual stars actually started moving, merging into a single larger star before turning into a beam of light that shot down toward the stage, creating a brilliant flash of light that caused the crowd to instinctively cover their eyes.
The brilliant flash of light faded away as quickly as it happened. Someone seemed to have popped into existence on the stage at precisely where the beam had struck. This appeared to be a woman clad in white, with an equally white witch hat decorated with a four-pointed star sitting on her head.
The woman raised her head to look at the crowd, revealing her fiery red hair poking out from under her hat.
The crowd cheered loudly as soon as they saw the woman's face. She is the star of this show that everyone has been waiting for.
"Hello, Japan!" The woman greeted the crowd in Japanese. Though her slightly thick French accent made it rather cringe-worthy, that didn't stop the crowd from happily greeting her back. "And welcome to...THE WORLD OF MAGIC!" She then continued her greeting in English.
"Hello!" Atsuko greeted the star of the show separately from the crowd. Her excited expression is worthy of a sneaky photoshoot by her mother, though she should work on her English pronunciation a bit.
Mr. Kagari noticed that the star of the show sounded like she is speaking through a microphone, despite the fact that she is neither carrying a microphone nor wearing a headset. The father wondered how she was able to do that.
"Let's start with an introduction, shall we?" The redheaded woman announced. "My name is Chariot Du Nord, but you probably know me as-"
"SHINY CHARIOT!" Chanted loudly a pack of Chinese tourists, who collectively held up a banner with Chariot's stage name printed on it over their heads.
"Well, it appears that I'm very popular in Asia~" Shiny Chariot noted.
Particles of light then began to gather around the redheaded woman's raised left hand, which then formed into a staff with seven gemstones arranged in the shape of the Big Dipper.
Everyone in the crowd, including Atsuko, immediately recognized it as the Shiny Rod, Shiny Chariot's iconic staff.
"Then let the show begin!" Chariot announced. "Arae Aryha"
With a wave of the Shiny Rod, Chariot conjured a tidal wave from right in front of the stage, and sent to splashing toward the crowd.
All of the crowd gasped and quickly held their breaths before the tidal wave struck. It was, however, only a few seconds before everyone realized that the tidal wave is just an illusion.
The illusory tidal wave is then replaced by an astral plane filled with constellations of all kinds. The crowd began to murmur at the amazing display surrounding them. The children among the crowd, in particular a blonde-haired European girl sitting a few rows behind the Kagaris, clapped their hands in amazement.
Atsuko, mouth wide open, looked around the astral plane with awe. There was only so much that her little red eyes could take in at a time...
Everyone then noticed that while the stage is still fully visible, the woman conjuring the illusion has disappeared. People started to wonder where she is.
They got their answers almost immediately when Chariot emerged from a splash of illusory water behind the crowd, in the form of a mermaid, "swimming" across the astral plane in all her great finesse. Then with a flash of light, she transformed herself into a butterfly-winged pixie, dancing across the illusory stars. After that, she transformed again, this time into a centaur, galloping across a path of light that simply appeared out of thin air.
The amazed crowd began to take pictures of the performance with their cameras and smartphones. All of this is just too amazing to not make a record of.
Chariot finished her transformation sequences by hopping onto the stage, transforming back into her human form.
The crowd cheered loudly, with congratulations being shouted in what sounded like a dozen different languages. Or at least that's what Atsuko thought, since she only understood Japanese and a little English at the moment.
Chariot dispelled the illusion, then bowed to initiate a curtain call. But she quickly noticed something off the distance that made her narrow her eyebrows. "Oh, my! What is that?" She said, in an obvious attempt to direct the crowd's attention to it.
Approaching the performance venue from the sky is a chubby-looking, but massive dragon. It is very obviously not a real dragon, though whether it is a balloon, an animatronic, or a hologram is impossible to tell from the ground. But that didn't stop the dragon from looking intimidating.
"Oh no! It's an evil dragon! But don't worry, I will take care of it!" Chariot announced, before somersaulting several feet into the air and landing on the roof of the stage. She then raised the Shiny Rod over her head.
"Noctu Orfei Aude Fraetor"
With the words spoken, the Shiny Rod melted into a mass of light particles, before reforming itself into the shape of a longbow, with an arrow already nocked on the bowstring.
Chariot drew the bowstring and then aimed it at the approaching dragon.
All of a sudden, sparks exploded from one of the spotlights hanging above the stage, before the other spotlights died out, and the loudspeakers stopped playing the bombastic music that accompanied the performance. The dragon also came to a halt in midair at the exact same time, so now the crowd can tell that it's an animatronic.
The crowd gasped at the sudden malfunction of stage equipment, and going by Chariot's exasperated frown (with Shiny Rod in longbow form still drawn and aimed at the dragon), this apparently isn't supposed to happen.
"Croix...?" Chariot whispered to someone out of sight.
"Sorry, that was me!" The lilac-haired woman apologized to Chariot via a headpiece. "I'm trying to get it back online right now!"
At the same time, the manager buried his face in his palms while sparks rained down around him.
Back at the crowd...
Atsuko can't help but giggle at the unexpected malfunction, though she, along with much of the crowd, are anxious about whether Chariot and her crew can get the issue sorted out.
Apparently they can. While the stage's spotlights remain broken, the bombastic music soon resumed playing from the loudspeaker.
And with that, the animatronic dragon started moving again as well.
Chariot was glad that the performance can continue in time. She was pretty worried that the crowd might get bored (and that it is very tough to keep a longbow drawn for an extended period of time). She turned her attention back on the dragon, eyes narrowed as she focused on it and prepared to fire the arrow.
She then released the bowstring, sending the arrow flying out with a trail of light particles in its wake toward the dragon, right as it opened its massive mouth. The arrow flew straight into the dragon's open mouth.
What happened next is that as the dragon swallowed the arrow and closed its mouth, it began to expand in a comical manner, like a balloon getting over-inflated.
Soon after, the dragon exploded in a brilliant display of light and fireworks, bringing amazement to everyone watching the performance.
"Well, that was an amazing show, wasn't it? Despite the unexpected problems..." Chariot said to her audience as she transformed the Shiny Rod back into its original form.
A loud, unified "YEAH!" came from the direction of the crowd, followed by the sound of hands clapping.
Chariot jumped back onto the stage, landing on her two feet.
"Now, before we end all this, I would like to offer my thanks to all those who sponsored this show and made it possible," Chariot started speaking for the end of the performance. "Luna Nova Witchcraft Academy for making me who I am today," She then pointed the Shiny Rod at the crowd. "and you all for being my greatest fans!" She lowered the Shiny Rod. "But most importantly: my friend who has always been by my side. Thank you, Croix..."
With one last wave of Shiny Rod, Chariot created another brilliant flash of light exactly like the one she arrived in. And with that, the redheaded woman disappeared, leaving a crowd of amazed people of all ages and nationalities.
"Just remember: a believing heart is your magic." Chariot's voice lingered around for a bit longer to form these words, even though the woman herself is no longer present.
While the crowd started talking about how good of a show they've just watched, most of them missed a tiny ball of light slowly descending toward the ground. Except for Atsuko, who jumped up excitedly to catch it.
The tiny ball of light hovered in the little Japanese girl's palms before dissolving into thin air. She was bummed that she couldn't keep it as a souvenir, but she is nevertheless satisfied.
"Did you enjoy the show?" Mr. and Mrs. Kagari knelt down and asked their daughter.
Atsuko held her hands to her chest, then answered with a happy nod.
"When I grow up, I want to become a witch, just like Shiny Chariot!"
Hello, Little Witch Academia!
Long story short: I got into contact with the precious gem that is Little Witch Academia a few months ago, and needless to say, it hooked me in just as easily as Touhou Project did years ago.
Heck, I even have OCs who are ersatzes of Akko and company in my Touhou Project fan remake, Young Maiden's Chronicles (one of them's even called Ako, for the Nines' sake).
Anyway, in much the same way how Young Maiden's Chronicles is my fan remake of Touhou Project, this fic and its sequels are going to be my fan remake of Little Witch Academia. Of course, as a remake, there are going to be many differences from canon.
Any reviews and constructive criticisms are appreciated. Though if you criticize the story without giving a reason why it deserved criticizing, I'll take it as a spam and delete it.
By the way, underlines in this story indicate dialogues that are spoken in foreign languages, and unless the readers are not supposed to understand what is being said, they will always be translated.
Oh right! For those of you who follow Young Maiden's Chronicles, this is the secret project I'm talking about.
With that said, enjoy the story!
"And remember: a believing heart is your magic..."
Afterwords end here.