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Fanfic / Zero no Tsukaima: Saito the Onmyoji

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Zero no Tsukaima: Saito the Onmyoji is a The Familiar of Zero Fan Fic that, like Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion and Issei: The Gaming Gear, is a mix of Alternate Universe Fic and Rational Fic written by Seer King.

Saito Hiiraga has recently graduated from the Imperial Academy of Onmyoji in Japan and, while on his way to his assigned shrine, is knocked into the summoning portal by a group of monks and subsequently brought to the Tristain Academy of Magic when it is time for Louise to summon her familiar.

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This work contains examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence:
    • The lack of any innovation over a timespan of 5,000 years is part of why Saito suspects the Church of interfering in society. Apparently the mages of Ancient Egypt did something similar.
    • Saito notes the lack of non-noble mages in Halkagenia, in complete contrast to what he knows to be true about magical inheritance, and suspects a magical artifact is responsible.
  • Adaptational Badass: In canon, Saito was a normal human before being summoned. Here, he's a fully-accredited onmyoji, and coming to Tristain only made his powers greater.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • While he's certainly still perverted, Saito is far better at keeping his urges in check – and much nicer about them in general – than he was in canon.
    • Louise is nowhere near as abusive towards Saito as she is in canon.
  • Adult Fear: In order to seal Louise's power, Wardes crept into her bedroom while she was asleep and cast his spell. Even worse, the reason why he had the opportunity to do this was because Louise's parents had invited him. This disturbingly looks like many sexual assault cases - a sexual abuser generally is someone the victim knows well. When she learns about the second binding seal cast on her daughter right after her birth, Karin immediately panics about the possibility of the caster doing worse while she was still recovering and unable to protect herself or the newborn Louise.
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  • Affectionate Nickname: Urajirosatoukaede is referred to as simply "Kaede" by Saito. She allows him to do this as "master's privilege".
  • Always Lawful Good: The onmyoji of the Divine Ministry in Saito's world drill hard in the ethical use of magic during training, to where Johann considers them frustratingly moral.
  • Amplifier Artifact:
    • Apparently common on Saito's world, he and other onmyoji use their talismans to bolster their own magic with the ambient energy, allowing them to achieve results using only a fraction of what it would take if they had used their own energy. Western mages tend to use Harry Potter-style wands, and Johann uses his jewels.
    • This works to Louise's advantage when she becomes Saito's apprentice. She's a Void Mage with an incredible amount of power, once she breaks past the Power Limiter, that is, but she's so Void-aligned that she's unable to use any Halkagenian magic that's not Void-based or at least Non-Elemental, and likely won't ever be able to do so. But since the talismans only need a small amount of her own power and take the rest from the environment...
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  • Anger Born of Worry: Both of Saito's familiars have this after his encounter with Johann. Even if they wouldn't have been any help against the jewel mage, they believe that Saito should have given them a heads-up.
  • Anti-Magic:
    • Johann's Jewel Knights are magic resistant. It doesn't work if the magic is primarily kinetic force and the knight is in midair, though...
    • Apparently humans have a minor resistance to spells that keeps spells like wards from going out of control.
  • Appeal to Tradition:
    • A common argument against new spells is the old "good enough for our ancestors, good enough for us" idea.
    • Louise earlier notes some examples of this at the castle, causing Saito to lampshade how tradition can have a life of its own.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Saito gets one. He uses it for the first time against dragon riders on their way to Albion. He later gives it an enchantment to automatically reload it. The bolts themselves are also enchanted with wind (for increased range), fire, and ice charms.
  • Background Magic Field: Halkagenia's is significantly stronger than Earth's, to the point where not only are Saito's spells significantly more powerful, but he actually can get magical poisoning if he doesn't drain his reserves periodically by casting spells while they build up.
  • Badass Teacher: Besides the canon examples, Saito himself after becoming Professor of Magical Morals.
  • Basilisk and Cockatrice: A cockatrice is the guardian of Johann von Leopold's geas contract. He went to battle against it in the past, not knowing his notes had been sabotaged, leading to him being sent to Halkagenia.
  • Behemoth Battle:
    • Chapters 12-13 have one between Fouquet's earth golem and Saito's wood golem.
    • Chapters 16-17 have one between the wood golem and Johan's jewel golem.
  • Big Brother Bully:
    • Louise's older sister Eleonore is a female example.
    • Guiche has an older brother who likes to pick on him.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Happens to Colbert during his fight with Johann von Leopold.
  • Blood Magic: The ink for Saito's talismans is made partially from his blood, though he makes it clear that this is only legal as long as you use your own blood and not someone else's, and Halkagenia apparently outlaws it entirely.
    • Saito later elaborates that this is only to provide the link to the pattern on the talisman, and is not needed when the talisman is in contact with the mage. In fact, while it takes more power, most types of mediums will do in a pinch.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Both of Saito's familiars seem to be crushing on him. This is confirmed to be the case with Kaede in Chapter 17, and later with Emereldas in Chapter 22, who complains about being unusually jealous of Louise's Love Potion-addled behavior.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Johann, possibly as a result of his geas, is particularly brutal against his male opponents. Before Saito, one living through an attack by him was pretty much unheard of.
  • Boxed Crook: For her crimes of brewing an illegal (and extremely complex) potion with the intent of drugging someone with it and accidentally drugging Louise, Montmorency is to spend six years brewing potions for the Tristain royal family once she graduates, without pay. So long as she doesn't break any more laws and performs to standards, she'll keep the position afterwards, thus making her the Royal Potion Master, an extremely prestigious position.
  • Breach of Promise of Marriage: Downplayed, but Guiche was trying to delay his and Montmorency's wedding by sleeping around, due to his extreme jitters about marriage.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: Downplayed, but Saito and the other students had a chastity spell preventing them from having sex until graduation back on Earth. Saito casts a similar but more conditional spell on Guiche after Louise is dosed with a love potion thanks to his cheating.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: The mages of Saito's world know that their Void magic is being stolen, but apparently the only way to do anything about it would require Void magic... which they can't use because it's being siphoned away as fast as it's produced.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Saito, in addition to being able to better hide his perverted side than in canon, is more chivalrous about it. When Louise gets jealous of how close he and Siesta are getting, he explains that even if they did hook up in that way, it'd be after they get closer, and he'd want more than just a bed-partner in such a relationship, having been raised to treat women with respect. He reiterates this to Emereldas later.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Apparently there's been cases where someone who stood in the way of the Church either suddenly stood aside or died under unusual circumstances. One example was an Earl who possessed a relic of Brimir and refused to let the Church have it. He later died in a hunting accident, despite being sixty years old and hating hunting, and left the relic to the Church in his will.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: As it turns out, Guiche constantly cheated on Montmorency because he was nervous about marriage (due to his parents' Awful Wedded Life and his Big Brother Bully and his equally-bullying wife). Montmorency rips him a new one over trying to prevent or delay their marriage in such a roundabout way rather than simply talk to her about it.
  • Covert Pervert: Saito is just as perverted as in canon; he's just better at hiding it. He's also quick to explain himself to Louise when she notices and makes it clear he's also a Chivalrous Pervert.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Saito and his supply of talismans. Most onmyoji students only prepare month-long batches at a time; Saito prepares enough for five months at a time. Onmyoji in general tend to be pretty prepared as well, according to Johann.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Jewel magic is mainly suited to dueling one-on-one and blitzkrieg attacks, and does those tasks fairly well, but has few area-of-effect spells, which aren't very effective, and is thus also very bad at countering area-of-effect spells.
  • Cuddle Bug: Esmereldas starts cuddling with Saito, having seen human couples cuddling before, and decides that she likes it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Louise believes (not without justification) that if mages from Earth were to come to Halkagenia with intent to conquer, they'd slaughter her world's mages in droves.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Saito's familiars are an Oni and a Succubus, but both are good people.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Kaede's father Kurotoma has pitch-black skin and long red hair.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Mentioned; apparently chastity spells don't block it.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In Halkaginian culture (at least among mages), due to the difference in mage and non-mage social standards, there's not usually much of an issue if a married mage sleeps with his commoner staff, or even impregnates them. Montmorency doesn't have an issue with Guiche sleeping with the school staff, likely in part because her father does the same (she even has a half-sister and another sibling on the way from the same woman as a result); it's other mages she has a problem with him sleeping with, since it would be an issue if he impregnated one of them. Saito finds the distinction a bit strange.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Downplayed, but Saito's lack of passion is partly because he's never found anyone or anything to really be passionate about.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When the water spirit reveals her plan to expand her lake's borders until her ring is returned, Saito points out that the thieves might have taken it to the Floating Continent of Albion. They admit that they didn't consider this possibility, but elemental Time Dissonance means that they're willing to wait for Albion to eventually fall from the sky if necessary.
  • Dirty Old Man: Osmand/Osmond.
  • Disney Death: In Chapter 16, Saito is seemingly killed by Johann with an ice spell. But in Chapter 17, it's revealed that he survived, thanks to Derflinger teleporting him away, which allowed him to avoid it (aside from getting his right arm frozen).
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: During his duel to prove his ability, Saito underestimates Halkagenia's ambient magic, causing his spells to be drastically boosted.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Johann is ruled out of having anything to do with a gun-toting assassin, because he's a magic supremacist who dislikes non-magical methods like guns.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Johann can't combine his stolen techniques because the families he stole them from tended to feud, and thus made sure that they were incompatible with each other (for example, one family devised a method for creating a giant Jewel Knight, while another had a means of summoning two at once, so he can't summon another Knight while he has the giant one out.) Saito is glad that he never got the chance to obtain the Harvenheit Family's research and bypass this limitation.
  • The Dreaded:
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Using the Wu Xing as a guide, Saito uses mainly Wood spells against Foquet, to great effect.
  • Enforced Cold War: The Black Stars and the Divine Ministry have been in conflict for centuries, but have managed to work out an agreement to avoid fighting on sites of spiritual or magical significance, and keep the Black Stars from targeting Senior Adept-ranked Onmyoji or below (presumably in part to keep up The Masquerade and to keep magic-users from dying out). Saito being summoned from a site of both magical and spiritual significance and being a Junior Adept means that the conflict is likely going to heat up back home, and one of the reasons he wants to return so badly is to keep things from escalating. Both sides are also very serious about attacking families not being permitted.
  • Erotic Dream: Louise is mentioned to have had one about Saito in Chapter 23.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Johann perfectly agrees with the Onmyoji on disliking the Black Stars, viewing them as arrogant and fanatical fools.
  • Everyone Can See It: Both Louise and Emereldas can tell that Siesta has it bad for Saito. The main reason that he hasn't done something is that he doesn't want to take advantage of her, and wants more than just sex from a partner.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Even Headmaster Osmond finds the "Deflowering Punishment" abhorrent, and only includes it in Saito and Louise's master-apprentice contract because he has to. He notes that those who set the rules regarding such contracts were disgustingly perverted even by his standards.
    • Kirche had no idea about the seals when she teased Louise.
  • Evil Counterpart: Johann von Leopold is one to Saito, being a skilled mage from Earth who ended up in Halkagenia and established himself as a formidable user of magic, but still wants to get back to Earth. The difference is that Saito wants to make a difference in a positive way, while von Leopold cares about little other than increasing his own power.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • Minister Richemont hints that Reconquista is plotting to get rid of the individual who attacked the castle (not knowing it's Johann von Leopold), viewing them as a potentially dangerous variable who could scupper their plans if left to their own devices.
    • The Covenant of Thirteen tried to ally with the Black Stars a few times, but it went south due to the arrogance of the latter, to the point that members of the former have standing orders to kill any Black Star operatives in their territory.
  • Exact Words: Averted with the Master/Servant Contract. The servant is required to obey both the letter and the spirit of their master's orders.
  • Familiar: Saito may be Louise's Familiar, but as an onmyoji, he himself has Familiars of his own, and more than one at that: Emereldas the succubus and Urajirosatoukaede the Oni. The greatest onmyoji in his own world, Abe no Seimei, had twelve.
  • Fantastic Racism: Metallic Oni are discriminated against by most pureblooded Oni, to the point where having two loving parents like Kaede does is considered highly unusual.
  • Fatal Flaw: For many Halkagenian mages, it's Pride, as mentioned many times. Few nobles ever bother to move beyond Unskilled, but Strong with their magic, and one group of Reconquista dragon riders is decimated because they'd rather die than admit commoners could best them (which they could have avoided altogether if they had tried to sink the ship like they were supposed to do instead of trying to seize it).
  • Faux Affably Evil: Graf Johann von Leopold at his most composed. The politeness of his language does absolutely nothing to mask his condescending manner, and his brutality and self-centeredness speak for themselves.
  • Fisher Kingdom: Apparently the ambient magic affects the possibility of being born with magical ability, though having a mage parent boosts the chances. Saito is actually surprised that Halkagenia has so few non-noble mages, given how much magic it has.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: While Montmorency is functionally given community service as punishment for brewing an illegal mind-altering potion and accidentally dosing Louise with it, Henrietta warns her that if she's caught breaking any laws before her punishment is up, she'll spend the rest of her life rotting in prison.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • It's revealed that Guiche's womanizing ways are due to his fear of commitment, which is in turn a result of his parents having an Awful Wedded Life. Saito further speculates that his refusal to talk to Mon-Mon about his worries about getting married despite having at least some affection for her is due to him having a fear of confrontation, which in turn stems from having a Big Brother Bully and an equally cruel sister-in-law, which also left him without a positive male role model he could go to for advice.
    • One of Saito's counselors believed that Saito's lack of passion is due to being hurt by his parents' abandonment of him. Saito thinks it's full of shit.
  • Geas: Graf Johann von Leopold cannot use his magical abilities to kill or maim females because of one of these that was placed on him by his former mentor (whom he later poisoned instead in a case of Loophole Abuse) before she agreed to teach him (and he notes that it seems to be growing in power, as he's now finding it harder to hurt women at all). Trying to bypass a monster protecting the contract is what caused the man to be sent to Halkagenia in the first place.
  • Gemstone Assault: Johann is a very skilled Jewel Mage.
  • Gene Hunting: Saito thought of finding his parents as a child, but moved past that goal as he devoted himself to the Ministry.
  • Geometric Magic: All magic in Saito's world boils down to what he calls "Pattern Magic", using patterns to enhance and amplify spells, within reason, like the kanji on his talismans and the runes of Johann's jewels and the casting gloves adding limits and effects. He cites Halkagenia's familiar summoning ritual as another example.
  • Gilded Cage: Wardes' prison cell is more luxurious than his own mansion, but he still chafes at his lack of freedom.
  • A Glass of Chianti: When von Leopold makes an unoccupied villa his residence, he takes the opportunity to enjoy some wines he found in the wine cellar.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: The key visual identifying trait of an Avanta is that they have white wings.
  • Golem:
    • Saito has plenty of skill in the creation and use of wood golems.
    • As a Jewel Mage, Johann von Leopold makes many of these as well.
  • Got Volunteered: Invoked by Emeraldas who was angry that Saito didn't try to warn her or Kaede that he was being attacked. She deliberately volunteers him to enchant the weaponry of the Royal Guard in order to punish him.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Emereldas finds herself unexpectedly jealous when she sees the Love Potion-stricken Louise.
  • Had to Be Sharp: Mages from Saito's world have to contend with both constantly improving Muggle technology and the fact that several magical factions are at war with one or more other factions. As a result, their magic had to advance for them to survive. Contrast Halkagenia, where technology is still roughly Iron Age-level and mages rule the world, with the Church forcibly keeping conflict down to the absolute minimum. He notes to Kirche that mages who specialized only in one element, back when the loss of the Void magic forced magic usage to change and they resisted it, either ended up dead at the hands of more pragmatic enemies, were forced to adapt to the new scenario, or retired.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Saito's familiar Kaede is a "silver Oni", the child of a white Oni and a black Oni. Like most "metallic oni", she was treated as a second-class citizen by pureblood Oni. Part of this is probably due to the fact that such Oni receive slightly reduced versions of both of their parents' tribal abilities, as well as abilities unique to them, such as the Silver Oni's Perception Filter, but it's mainly because most pureblooded Oni are purity snobs, to the extent that one historic Black Oni, widely considered the strongest ever, actually made rules about it.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Succubae and Incubi can produce hybrid offspring with humans, known as a Cambion.
  • Healing Hands: Saito knows a mild healing spell for when he's collected blood for his talismans.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: The human body is a very complicated thing. This is why Saito cannot heal Wales after Wardes stabs him: he isn't skilled enough in healing magic, and the damage is too severe.
  • He Knows Too Much: Subverted. Wardes initially thinks Reconquista is going to have him and Matilda killed to prevent them from talking; instead, they're broken out of prison. He is wary of this happening in the future, though, and decides to make a plan for a quick escape if needed.
  • Historical In-Joke: It's implied the Mongol invasions of Japan were foiled by large groups of Onmyoji joining together to create typhoons that wrecked their fleets.
  • Honor Before Reason: When Kirche tells Saito that her family would never learn another branch of magic other than fire because of their pride in their fire magic, even if that magic is complementary like wind (because that would be like admitting that their fire magic isn't good enough), Saito responds that that line of thinking is patently ridiculous in his world, on account of the war against Black Star, the loss of Void magic, and other changes forcing them to accept practicality over pride, and that the mages from his world who had reacted with stubbornness when they had to change due to the lack of Void magic (mostly people like Kirche's family that had a history of specializing in one element) were either killed off by more pragmatic enemies or else forced to retire if they still refused to adapt.
  • Horny Devils: Emereldas, one of Saito's familiars, is a succubus. She's a decent person, however.
  • Hybrid Power:
    • Kaede inherited the weaponry Instant Expert ability of the White Oni and the Black Oni's skill with magic at about 3/4 the skill level of her parents, as well as the Silver Oni Perception Filter ability.
    • Cambions have the beauty and inhuman strength and resilience of their demonic parent as well as mortal magical ability if their mortal parent is a mage themselves.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: More or less the reason Wardes gives Saito for turning traitor. He calls him out for basically just becoming a mercenary.
  • I Know Your True Name:
    • Knowing the true name of a person gives complete knowledge of every facet of their being. Learning someone else's true name allows a magic-user to control them with the right ritual, while knowing your own true name makes you stronger because of the knowledge gained. Demons are unique in that it's possible, though difficult and time-consuming, to change their true name.
    • Emereldas tells Saito her true name, Arasalongaaliyah, giving him complete and permanent power over her, citing that her ascension to an Avanta would have broken their contract if she didn't "level the playing field". Because she told him willingly, their contract is now unbreakable, so while he has absolute power over Emereldas, he also has to always fulfill his end of the contract as well.
  • I Owe You My Life: Henrietta states as much after Saito saves her from an assassination attempt.
  • Instant Expert: The White Oni Tribe are infamous for being able to learn how to wield various weapons extremely quickly. Kaede's mother is a prodigy even among her tribe, having learned to use every weapon on Earth in fifteen years (five for the weapons from Japan and ten more for the rest of Earth's weapons).
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Saito and Colbert consider themselves friends and colleagues, despite the former being a teenager and the latter a middle-aged man.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the changes stemming from Saito being a magic user, a few things from canon still happen:
    • Fouquet is able to steal the Staff of Destruction.
    • Prince Wales is killed by Wardes during a battle.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: As he lays dying, Wales makes Henrietta promise that she will find someone else one day.
  • Jaw Drop: Von Leopold has a habit of doing this when he's surprised.
  • Klingon Promotion: Johann von Leopold's second in command, Adolf Kempner, attempted to kill him and take his place on the Concave of Thirteen. He succeeded in the latter, but his sabotage sent von Leopold to Halkagenia rather than killing him.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Any time Johann von Leopold appears in the story, things are going to get ugly.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Johann is forced to retreat after Saito destroys his second-to-last gem. This makes him smarter than most Halkagenian mages, who would rather go down fighting out of Pride, despite Johann himself being very prideful.
  • Lamarck Was Right: The Montmorency family contracted with a powerful water spirit generations ago; since then, 90% of them have been strongly predisposed toward water magic.
  • Let Her Grow Up, Dear: While Kaede's father is very protective of her, his wife thinks she needs to be able to make her own decisions since she's almost an adult.
  • Lightworlder: A magical variant. Onmyojis have their talismans absorb and focus ambient magic and combine it with their own to cast their spells. Saito, in particular, has his Fire talismans take in a lot more ambient fire magic to compensate for his low proficiency in them. Compared to Earth, Halkagenia has a lot more ambient magic, so any spell Saito casts through his talismans (especially Fire Magic) becomes... substantial. The higher level of ambient magic also means that Saito's body is absorbing a lot more of it over time than he is normally used to, meaning that he can be poisoned by magic buildup if he doesn't cast spells periodically to relieve the pressure while his reserves build up and adjust.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Downplayed with fire dragons; while they're highly resistant to fire, they're not outright immune, and said resistance is mostly in their scales.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • When Saito and Louise enter into a Master/Apprentice Contract, one of the punishments required for the contract to be legal (and thus any use at all to them) is the Deflowering Punishment. However, there's no laws specifying the infraction required to warrant said punishment beyond it has to be something possible for Louise to do. So the two of them set the infraction to the rather improbable "Casting ten explosions at Saito with malicious intent within five minutes, followed by hitting him three times with a riding crop or whip."
    • Later, Saito points out that since there hasn't been a human Familiar since the laws regarding Familiars was written, there are several loopholes regarding his situation. For example, bedding Louise's personal maid would hardly be considered improper, should it ever occur.
    • Johann did this to kill his mentor despite his geas: he couldn't kill her via magic, so he poisoned her. It seems that she got the last laugh, however, as the geas seems to be getting stronger and he can't get past the monster guarding the physical contract. His last attempt being sabotaged was what sent him to Halkagenia in the first place.
    • Louise is too heavily Void-aligned to use her system's elemental magic, but since talismans require only a little magic from herself to get things going...
    • Colbert can use a wind blast to push one of Johann's Jewel Knights back because, while resistant to magic, it wasn't immune, and when in midair, wind pushing against it counts as natural forces, not magic.
  • Made of Explodium: Subverted. According to Saito, any inorganic object containing as much magic as Windstone does should be extremely unstable, yet he's informed that Windstone is not only very hard to detonate, but the larger a chunk of the material is, the more stable it becomes.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The story establishes rules for magic and the uses thereof. This consistency transcends dimensions; magic itself works the same on both Earth and Halkagenia, but environmental and societal factors mean that the systems and methods of using it are quite different between the worlds, the former world leaning towards control and efficiency, with the latter focusing on raw power and casting speed.
  • Magic Contract Romance: In both directions: Saito gets a greater loyalty to Louise because of his familiar runes, while Louise starts developing a crush on Saito due to their master/apprentice contract.
  • The Magic Goes Away: For centuries some mysterious entity or force has been siphoning away Earth's Void magic, which is part of the reason for Earth's lesser levels of ambient magic and the resulting focus on efficiency in the magic systems (Japan, in particular, had to rebuild their system from the ground up), to where some larger spells, like Weather Manipulation, can no longer be done because enough mages can't link up. Some artifacts created with Void magic still work, and magical society isn't going extinct, but it's a far cry from the past.
  • Magic Knight: Saito is a full-fledged mage, and like in canon, being summoned gave him the power of the Gandalfr. He's more mage than knight at the moment, however.
  • The Magocracy: Outright defied in the backstory. Abe no Seimei forbade onmyoji from holding noble titles or political office, and moreover, from using their magic to influence affairs of state.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Jewel Sorcery was developed partly as a countermeasure against devils and demons. Because of this, they're basically useless against jewel golems, which purify their magic and absorb it, adding it to the caster's own. Since Oni are partly demonic in origin, the same applies to them.
  • Mark of Shame: Karin slashes Wardes across the face after defeating him in a duel, saying the resulting scar will serve as a "mark of [his] betrayal". He later notes that she must have used her magic to make the cut purposefully more jagged than it seemed at first.
  • Meaningful Rename: When Kaede develops into a true adult Oni and her skin changes from grey to silver, her mother changes her name from "Urajirosatoukaede" to "Gin'yoku", which means "Silver Wings".
  • Medieval Stasis:
    • Both Halkagenia's technology and magic are far behind Earth's; Osmond theorizes it's in part because, with the Church (which is highly conservative in nature) mediating between the countries, they haven't had any large-scale wars in millennia, causing the development of magic to stagnate. Whereas on Earth, there are numerous magical factions at war with each other, which, combined with the desire to keep up with technological advances, has led to constant innovation. For example, what Halkagenia considers the best locking spell in the world, Saito considers remarkably simple.
    • It's later noted that the Church also tends to deliberately stifle any magical research it can, both through Obstructive Bureaucracy and through outright declaring the researchers to be radicals. Saito notes that a society that has stayed relatively unchanging for five millennia is either seriously broken or else under the control of a group like the Church.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Teenage girl has her magic sealed → high treason against the Tristain crown.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Sort-of; one of the reasons that mage-commoner bastards aren't politically charged is because mage-commoner mixes rarely result in mage children, thus not threatening any dynastic lineages or having conflict over inheritance. Saito expects that the rare instances that do produce mages are due to the commoner parent having a mage somewhere in their family history.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: It's considered completely acceptable for mages to have extramarital affairs with commoners, at least on the mage side.
  • Mundane Wish: After saving Princess Henrietta's life, Saito asks for a house as a reward. Given that he could have asked for almost anything except a noble title, and there are several places just lying around that she can give to him, it's not a terribly large reward.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: A jealous Emereldas is sorely tempted to immolate Louise after the petite pinkette accidentally drinks a Love Potion meant for Guiche and falls hopelessly in love with Saito.
  • My Greatest Failure: Saito and Louise took losing Prince Wales to Wardes, and the circumstances behind it really hard.
  • Mystical White Hair: Byakuren, Kaede's mother, has beautiful long white hair and is an Oni.
  • Neck Lift: Kaede performs one on Wardes when the latter tries to attack Saito.
  • Never Found the Body: Von Leopold was presumed dead on Earth after he didn't come back from his attempt to secure his geas contract, but he was actually sent to Halkagenia.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Johann's spell that immobilized Saito's wood golem in diamond, due to the higher magic levels on Halkagenia, didn't dissipate as it would normally have, instead becoming permanent. As Tristain can now break that diamond down into pieces and sell them off over time, their money problems should be over.
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: Emereldas is part Succubus, part Doppelgänger, and part Onimodoki.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Saito is surprised to learn that no one seems to have any knowledge of the Familiar summoning system's inner workings, which would be unheard of in his world, pointing out that that means that no one would be able to fix it if it suddenly broke down.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Saito is only a newly-accredited Onmyoji. However, due to a number of different factors, he's able to go toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful and skilled Halkaginian mages.
  • Nosebleed: Saito nearly has one when Emereldas asks him what he would do if Siesta were in his bed naked and asking him to have sex with her.
  • Not Me This Time:
    • While von Leopold is initially suspected of being behind the attempt on Princess Henrietta's life, Emereldas points out that he probably wasn't responsible for it, given his attitude regarding non-mages. She concludes that him attacking the royal family so soon after somebody tried to snipe Henrietta was probably just a coincidence.
    • Played for Drama with the Enforced Cold War back on Earth, with Saito worried that his disappearance has been attributed to the Black Stars, causing the conflict between them and the Onmyoji to heat up again.
  • Not So Different: Louise feels this way about Saito when she hears about his difficulty with fire magic, feeling like she finally has someone who understands her own magical issues.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Guiche's sister-in-law follows her husband's lead in picking on him.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Church likes the status quo, and will often do its best to impede any mages that actually research magic and try to improve the way it's practiced instead of just ruling over their lands. Colbert is lucky to have Henrietta's support, otherwise, they might even try to vilify him as a revolutionary and radical in order to discredit his research. They've also done their best to keep Henrietta from obtaining the Prayer Book, made sure that the countries of Halkegenia remain separate kingdoms despite the blood ties between their rulers (like having the arranged marriage between Henrietta and the Germanian Emperor specify that the firstborn will become the Tristainian throne and the second child will become the Germanian heir), which is noted by Osmand as likely related to keeping the Familiar summoning spells distinct, and may have covered up human familiars belonging to royals in the past.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Saito completely loses his composure when he sees that it was von Leopold who attacked the castle.
    • Montmorency nearly pisses herself upon being confronted by Henrietta for drugging her liegewoman Louise.
  • Oh My Gods!: During a conversation with Henrietta in Chapter 22, Emereldas says "Thank the Pit".
  • Oni: Urajirosatoukaede, the other of Saito's familiars, is a full-blown Oni. Saito is allowed to shorten her name to Kaede because of master's privilege.
  • Onmyōdō: As can probably be guessed from the title, Saito is a practitioner of it in this fic.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • When the normally calm and collected Saito gets shaken on finding out that Johann von Leopold is in Tristain, Louise takes notice and gets upset.
    • When Osmand learns about the seal on Louise's magic, he is noticeably angry, a state completely alien to the students at the academy.
    • Emereldas notes that her jealous reaction to the Love Potion-affected Louise is highly unusual for her.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: It's established that the Western variety of Ogre exists in both Earth and Halkagenia, though none have appeared at the moment.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • Saito himself. He uses a magic system that is both very different and considerably more advanced than what is practiced in the world he's been sent to, so hardly anybody knows what to expect from him or how to deal with him.
    • Johann is a similar case.
  • Overly Long Name:
    • "Urajirosatoukaede" is quite the mouthful. Thankfully, Saito is allowed to just call her "Kaede".
    • Emereldas' true name, Arasalongaaliyah, is also this.
  • Overprotective Dad: Kurotama, Urajirosatoukaede's father, doesn't like his daughter's growing romantic feelings towards Saito. Fortunately, his wife is able to keep his protectiveness in check. Unfortunately, the clause he forced into Saito's familiar contract with his daughter leads to Wales being killed because he is only allowed to summon her for a limited time, and Saito plans to renegotiate the contract as soon as he is feasibly able. Kaede eventually confronts her father herself and forces him to step back.
  • Paper Talisman: Saito, obviously. He's taken to teaching Louise how to use them, as well.
  • Parental Abandonment: Saito was abandoned at the doorstep of an orphanage as a child, which horrifies Louise when she learns of it. Saito personally disagrees with this diagnosis, but his counselor back home thinks that his lack of passion is because, on some level, he feels that he isn't fit to dedicate himself to anything as a result of that abandonment.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Johann considers himself a patriot, and thus respects the Ministry mages for their devotion to their country and people.
  • Pent-Up Power Peril: Magic users from Saito's world need to use magic regularly or suffer from "mana poisoning". While on Earth it takes a couple weeks, Halkagenia has a much higher level of ambient magic, requiring him to cast significant amounts of magic daily.
  • Perception Filter: Silver Oni can make themselves unnoticeable by means of sight, sound, scent, and magic. Unfortunately, this ties into the Fantastic Racism against them to some degree, even if the racists would never admit it. Interestingly, both Saito and Louise can see Kaede when she does this.
  • Perfection Is Impossible: Saito advises Louise that no one has perfect calligraphy, reminding the pinkette of a handwriting tutor who had unreasonably high standards.
  • Personality Powers: The Onmyoji associate different elements with different emotions and the like; Saito says that a likely reason for his difficulty with fire magic is a lack of passion, for instance.
  • Photographic Memory: Emereldas is able to memorize any spell she's seen, even in passing. This is because, being a shapeshifter, she can give herself the hyper-reactive eyes of a Hyakume.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Members of Juxtaposed Black Star are notoriously xenophobic, shown by their arrogance and unpleasantness when dealing with "mere gaijin".
  • Polyamory: A subplot is Saito building up a harem. He hasn't slept with anyone yet, but he is protective of Louise and Siesta. Future members include his familiars Emereldas and Kaede, and Henrietta.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Saito neglects to inform his familiars that he is fighting Johann. Even though they would have been helpless against his magic, they still felt ill at ease because of their bond with Saito during the fight, and had some serious Anger Born of Worry afterwards.
    • Due to his lack of any decent male role model and parents who get along poorly, even by the standards of a loveless Arranged Marriage, Guiche was worried about his own marriage to Montmorency despite being fond of her, so he started his sleeping around in part to try and get her to delay the wedding rather than just admit he's nervous about it. Saito, Agnes, and Henrietta don't even try and stop Montmorency from tearing into him both physically and verbally about this when it comes to light.
  • Power Limiter:
    • Saito ends up finding two on Louise that seal her magic. One is revealed to be Founder Brimir's seal that is laid on every born Void Mage in order to test their drive for power; the other turns out to be a seal laid by Wardes for the purpose of weakening Louise and making her compliant. Both seals interfering with each other and Louise's sheer magical strength seeping through the cracks are the reason all her spells end up as explosions. Fortunately, Osmond has experience in breaking the second one.
    • Apparently mages who commit serious offenses in Saito's world get this.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Saito tries desperately to use his magic to sustain Wales' life when Wales is mortally wounded. When he finally stops, he passes out for two days from mana exhaustion.
  • Pride: This is a very common trait among Halkagenia's nobility. It can really bite them in the ass; for example, a case where aristocratic Reconquista dragon riders refuse to retreat because they'd rather die than acknowledge that commoners can defeat them.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Emereldas's pout, even without mind tricks or magic, is enough to affect the usually stoic Agnes. Saito notes that it should be impossible/illegal for a demoness of seduction to look so lovably cute and that he should avoid getting between Emereldas and something she wants so she doesn't turn it on him again.
  • Put on a Bus: Due to how long it takes to make a single jewel, Emereldas notes that Johann will be out of commission for three to six months in order to build up a stockpile of them after having all but his emergency backup destroyed.
  • Rational Fic: A lot of characters behave more intelligently than they did in canon.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Saito has a spell to quantify both how much and how dense a person's or object's magic is. Louise makes the latter part of the spell collapse.
  • Reality Ensues: Accidental or not, drugging the princess's sworn liegeman is an extremely serious offense. Montmorency only avoids a life sentence, by virtue of both already planning to brew an antidote as well as several other mitigating factors.
  • Really Gets Around: Over the course of her life, Emereldas has had many, many lovers. Justified, since she's a succubus. However, this may be a result of her having lived for over five hundred years, rather than being especially promiscuous.
  • Recessive Super Genes: Saito suspects that mages born of unions between male mages and commoner women likely had mages somewhere in their mother's bloodline.
  • Red Baron: In addition to the canon examples, Johann is known as the "Jewel Master".
  • Red Right Hand: The otherwise normal-looking and even attractive Johann von Leopold has a ghastly scar that cuts diagonally across his face.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Given that the talismans Onmyoji use are made with Blood Magic, one of the earliest spells that they are taught is a minor healing spell.
  • Restraining Bolt: Johann von Leopold is under a geas that acts as one, preventing him from killing or maiming any females with his magic.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Wardes wants revenge against Karin for the Rugged Scar she gave him during their duel, but since he knows that he can't beat her, he plans on going after Louise instead.
  • Royalty Super Power: Osmand notes that Royals are the most probable Void Mages, given their descent from the founder Brimir, but rarely summon familiars, so it's possible that many Void mages went undiscovered or else were covered up by the Church in a few cases where odd people have been rumored to be in the company of the royals over the years. Louise's family is closely related to the Royal family, so that explains where she got it.
  • Rugged Scar: Wardes is given one by Karen during their duel.
  • Samurai: Saito's giant wood golem looks, and also fights, like one.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Saito, having seen Louise’s sisters and mother, believes that she will eventually hit a growth spurt and qualify for this trope.
  • Science Is Bad: In-Universe, Johann is honestly convinced that the technological progression of Muggles is the reason for why the Void Element disappeared, and that only by establishing a rule of magic users over them can it be returned.
  • Sex Goddess: Emereldas is described as being a goddess of the sexual arts. Justified, since she's a succubus.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Western Mages of Saito's world make wands in a similar manner to Harry Potter wizards.
    • Emereldas's father was half Onimodoki.
    • "Pandemonium" is another name for Hell in Saito's world. This is presumably a reference to the name of the capital of Hell in Paradise Lost.
    • Saito mentions that the Harvenheit Family were the very best Jewel Magic practitioners from his world before they died out centuries ago, and how glad he is that Johann never got his hands on their research.
    • He also surmises that the Church has a secret black ops division similar to the Vatican's Section XIII.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The Black Stars lack the more advanced familiar rituals that the Ministry does, and is thus rumored to use spells to force weaker supernatural beings that they can summon to serve them, breaking their wills, which disgusts Saito, as the Ministry contracts with their familiars, making sure that both parties find the arrangement agreeable. In general, spells that force others to obey the will of the caster/make them their familiars, like the Halkagenian familiar spell, are considered highly illegal, and will likely result in the perpetrator getting their magic sealed, at least among Onmyoji.
  • Smug Super:
  • The Social Darwinist: Johann von Leopold believes that he has the right to do whatever he wants to those weaker than him.
  • So Proud of You: After reuniting with her daughter, Karin is so proud of how Louise dealt with Johann that she commissions a custom sword-wand for her, a family tradition and honor that neither of her sisters have earned.
  • The Spartan Way:
    • Onmyoji training is grueling and rigorous and starts relatively early compared to Halkagenian mage training, but the results speak for themselves. Saito is the same age as the students at the academy, yet is already a recently graduated and fully-accredited Omnyoji who can hold his own in a fight.
    • It actually used to be full-blown Training from Hell before such treatment of students was banned after Abe no Seimei's death.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Osmand is called Osmond in this story, although he is called by his correct name early on.
  • The Starscream: Johann von Leopold had one, in the form of his second-in-command Adolf Kempner. As Saito reveals, Kempner altered Johan's notes in an attempt to assassinate him. This resulted in von Leopold being warped to Halkaginia during his attempt to defeat the cockatrice guarding his geas contract and Kempner taking his seat on the Concave.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Louise worries herself sick over how much control Saito would have over her with a Master/Apprentice Contract until Saito suggests simply not including the harsher punishments.
  • Status Quo Is God: Osmand notes that the Church likes keeping the status quo.
  • Sympathetic Magic: Saito's talismans use Blood Magic to create a sympathetic connection between his own magic reserves and the talisman, the symbols on the talisman placing limits and adding effects.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Guiche is able to get into the castle in Albion despite it being on lockdown because only the main gate was locked – the side gates were still open. Prince Wales is less than happy to learn this.
  • Take That!: There's one to canon's relationship between Saito and Louise. While writing up a Master/Apprentice Contract, the two are told that the Deflowering Punishmentnote  has to be included for it to be legal, they set it to "maliciously casting ten explosions at Saito within five minutes followed by beating him with a whip" to make it as unlikely as possible.
  • Taught by Experience: After fighting Johann, Saito learns he's progressed much further towards becoming a Senior Adept than he should due to a combination of the vast amount of magic in Halkagenia, teaching Louise, and his epic battle against Johann.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Cromwell of Reconquista feels this way about Wales, which Wardes decries as foolish.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Onmyoji students have biannual counseling sessions, starting at age 12.
  • There's No Place Like Home: All Saito wants to do is break what he views as a runic shackle and go back to his own world.
  • This Cannot Be!: Saito insists that the amount of magic in Windstone is completely impossible. Humans are the best containers of magic in existence, yet a relatively small Windstone contains almost ten times as much magic as he did when he was summoned and the inhabitants of Halkagenia treat it as completely ordinary.
  • Time Dissonance: Apparently elementals feel the passage of time differently than humans do.
  • Tranquil Fury: Saito slips into this when Siesta tells him and Louise about being attacked by one of the students.
  • Twitchy Eye: Louise gets one when her jealousy of Siesta acts up.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Since he's only sixteen, most of the students underestimate Saito until his duel with Colbert to demonstrate his skills.
    • Johann tends to underestimate Halkagenian magic users due to his ego. He soon eats his words when said Halkagenian mages and Saito end up destroying all but his emergency backup jewels.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Because Halkagenian mages have more natural ambient magic to work with, their spells tend to fall into this when compared to the Weak, but Skilled magic Saito and other Earth mages use. It certainly doesn't help that most focus on power rather than control, and the lack of innovation doesn't help either, with Saito baffled that they don't even have any spells to measure magical potential (or even a proper term for it), for example. Saito even says that without his talismans using ambient magic to boost his spell-power, he'd be unable to even boil water using the Halkagenian system. Colbert plans to use Saito's knowledge to help revolutionize Halkagenian spell structures through mimicry of how his spells absorb ambient energy.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: In Chapter 17, Johann retreats using his "last resort" jewel after all his others are destroyed.
  • Villain Respect: Johann considers himself a patriot to his people and homeland, and feels that if the Imperial Ministry focused their devotion to their country and people solely onto their fellow mages and magic itself, he would gladly call them allies.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Emereldas, one of Saito's familiars, has the ability to transform into any being she has seen or touched.
  • The Von Trope Family: Graf Johann von Leopold.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Due to the differences in magic between the worlds, Saito states he's roughly half as strong as the average student but he's still a fully accredited magic-user. Osmand is fairly surprised to hear that, according to a scan of both Saito and Colbert's magical reserves taken after Fouquet's attack, Colbert had ten times the amount of magic that Saito did, given Saito's feats, and Colbert even asks if he's sure that the difference between himself and Saito is really that substantial.
    • This also applies to the different magic systems as well. Given Halkagenia's overall higher ambient magic level compared to Saito's Earth, its mages are overall stronger, don't require channeling or incantations and can be cast in a fraction of the time, but Saito's magic system has been honed, researched, and developed by its mages and is thus a lot more comprehensive, efficient and versatile. Colbert is currently doing research to help improve the efficiency of Halkagenia's magic using knowledge from Saito's.
  • We Need a Distraction: When Reconquista springs Wardes and Matilda from prison, they also assault the Royal Dragon Stables and set all the dragons loose, forcing the guards to deal with them instead of the escape.
  • Wham Line: Saito drops this bombshell when he figures out what's wrong with Louise's magic.
    Saito: "Those chains represent a seal of some kind. Someone has deliberately sealed your magic."
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • Wardes did fairly well against Karin, considering her elemental affinities make his abilities a poor matchup against hers. Not that he stood much chance, anyway, given her skill.
    • It's very likely that Johann would've had an even harder time with Karin if she hadn't just finished her duel with Wardes, which he himself admits.
    • The guards at the castle would have done better if their weapons were tougher, since they kept breaking against the Jewel knights. Emereldas, still angry at Saito, volunteers him to help with this.
  • Worthy Opponent: When he sees the trick Saito pulled with giving his Wood Golem subdermal metal armor, Johann is impressed, noting that many mages don't mix up their spells or think outside the box, and Saito's tactics force him to take drastic measures. Afterward, he seems to be looking forward to an eventual rematch.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Enforced by Geas with Johann. He's extremely unhappy about this and sought to dispel it - one of his attempts actually resulted in him crossing dimensions.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Saito and Johann, being from a world with different rules for magic, are able to constantly confound the natives of Halkagenia.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: After she gets back from Albion, Louise blames herself for Wardes managing to steal the letter and fatally stab Wales. Agnes firmly reassures her, pointing out that she did the absolute best that she could, even getting Wales to flee Albion with the Royal Guard when it became clear that the situation was untenable, and that with Wardes massively exceeding her own skill level in both magic and swordplay the fact that she was injured to the extent that she proves how much she struggled, as well as the fact that Wardes' experience as a Crown Agent meant that there was likely nothing that she could have done to stop them from ambushing her. Rupert then chimes in and points out that she actually managed to stab the traitor in the shoulder, and Henrietta makes it clear that Louise is not at fault for what happened and won't be punished for it, swearing it on her royal name, every Noble in the room echoing it and making it law.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After being sprung from prison, Wardes starts to suspect that Reconquista might pull this on him, and makes a mental note to establish an emergency bolthole and an escape route once he has enough money.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Guiche keeps sleeping around on Montmorency. Thanks to Halkaginian social standards, it's the fact that he's started sleeping with other mages that bothers her – she's fine with dalliances with maids, in part because she knows it's not a threat to her social standing if he knocks a commoner up, and partially because her own father sleeps with his maids and he has at least one illegitimate daughter and another child on the way from the same woman.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Said by Agnès word-for-word as she and Karin hold off Johann von Leopold while Henrietta and her mother escape through a secret passageway to the Academy.

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