This fanfic is an au of The Saga of Tenya the Evil following a male oc who was in the the same orphanage as Tenya. So, I don't really know anything about the actual anime because I never fully watched, I just saw some clips, but I really like this story. I really like the world it's set in and I like the friendship between Tenya and the oc.
Synopsis: Fate is a fickle thing, dispersing disaster and fortune indiscriminately. Bruno knew this ever since he set foot in the orphanage that he calls home, the looming threat of war that grips the Empire only solidified this fact. With such a major conflict closing in, he knew his days would be numbered. Imagine his shock when a routine physical shows his magical aptitude to be higher than average. Bruno's place as an imperial mage is guaranteed, along with the risk of falling into an early grave. His saving grace lies in the only other child fit to be a mage, Tanya Degurechaff, an eerily sharp girl who is just as determined to survive as him. He figured that sticking close to the girl would help increase his chances of staying alive. The misfortunes that follow this course of action can no longer be tied to Fate, because not a single fortunate thing has come his way since following Tanya. Fate couldn't be this petty damn it!
Here's the first chapter:
If one memory ever stuck out to Bruno the most, it had to be the last time he was in the company of his parents in their home in Berun. He could vividly remember his Mothers warm smile, she was in a vibrant yellow dress that never failed to put him at ease, her outstretched arms beckoning him to join her on the chair as his Father toiled away at some lucrative work that he never went into detail about in his study. He would always come out of it looking a few years older than he should, but a single look at Bruno and Mother always seemed to revitalize him, a smile would blossom on his weary face and he would ruffle Bruno's hair in that affectionate and bothersome way that would leave it a mess, much to Mother's chagrin. Bruno remembered this particular event because his Father exited the study that day looking paler than usual, the smile on his face was still sincere but strained. he idly remembered his Mother tightening her grip slightly whenever his Father would cough, fixing his oil-stained vest as best he could with shaky hands and twitching fingers.
The interaction with his father was different as well, instead of the loving ruffling and patting Bruno was accustomed to, he got a tight hug. While this itself wasn't too strange, the shaking that accompanied the embrace was. The hitched breath he heard from his Mother sent his young mind into a small panic, but it was eased by his Father's words. " Bruno..." His Fathers words carried the same amount of care and warmth, but were noticeably weak even to him " I probably don't say this enough, you're a smart enough boy to know but still... I love you dearly, try to remember that as much as you can when you think of my ugly mug." The joke gained a soft laugh from his mother, it was devoid of the joy he often heard from her. The rest of that day was a blur of confusing and painful emotions, a doctor arrived and whispered something to his Mother that sent her into a bout of mournful crying. Bruno's father had passed that day due to sickness. His death began a series of events, his Mother became distant and her eyes were vacant of any joy, more akin to a doll then a woman. He tried everything he could to bring her back, to see her vibrant eyes and that smile that would assure him that everything was fine. He only saw it once more, on a Friday afternoon, she had donned that lovely yellow dress and made his favorite dish, when it was time for bed, she tucked him in and kissed his forehead as he slipped into a night of pleasant dreams filled with the scent of oil and warmth.
The house was empty when he awoke, not a single sign of his Mother could be found, no clothes could be found in her dresser, no perfumes sat neatly organized in her cabinet, the room was simply barren. Bruno spent days roaming Berun to find her, but his search always came up empty. He soon found an alley he could rest in near the outskirts of the capitol, He didn't remember how long he sat there or when exactly he started crying, he only remembered being picked up and cradled in the arms of a nun who whispered calming words in his ears.
That was three years ago.
In those three years he realized just how fickle fate could be, it blessed him with the luck of being stumbled upon by that nun but refused to bring his Mother back to him no matter how much he prayed. Instead, he was rewarded with an orphanage that could barely keep up with the demands of its occupants. His hope of seeing his Mother again was slowly replaced with the concerns of his increasingly depleting helpings during supper until he gave up on it entirely. Bruno's concerns only grew when the Empire found itself in a war with its neighboring countries. He knew little about warfare, only knowing that the Empire was strong when it came to anything concerning it's military, but even he knew how bad it was to fight in two places at once. Eventually one of the fronts would buckle under the stress and the Empire's enemies would flow in like a tide, he had no delusions of surviving such an event. It seemed bleak for Bruno....until a routine physical revealed something incredible and terrifying to the nine-year old boy.
Bruno found himself staring at the floating objects around him with wonder and dread in equal measure." This aptitude is higher than most average test results, you have a truly promising future my boy." The doctor said this with such a content smile that Bruno wondered if he could wipe it off his face by throwing all these floating tools at him. 'What part of joining an unfavorable war sounds promising!?' he thought furiously 'I might as well stand in front of a falling tree and thank it for crushing me!' Fighting the urge to sneer, he smiled politely" I am truly blessed than, sir." the brown-haired boys words couldn't be more false but the doctor didn't seem to pick up on it as he stood and said his goodbyes, leaving Bruno to walk into the hall for supper. Well, supper was a bit misleading, a few bites of bread hardly constituted as a full meal but he wasn't going to complain about getting something in his stomach. He hardly noticed someone approaching him as he ate his bread and let his thoughts run rampant.
'I'm going to be called to serve the moment I'm old enough.'
"Hey" the soft voice barely registered to him in his maelstrom of thoughts.
'I'm going to be killed by some men from a whole different country just cause I can make stuff float better than others.' That thought brought a frown to his face, his forest green eyes glaring at empty space.
"Hey" The voice was more insistent, annoyance was slowly starting to creep into the speaker.
'That doctor basically signed my death warrant, the bastard!' He clenched his fists slightly' I should have thrown one of those pens into his eye and kicked him right between his-'
Bruno's train of thought came crashing when he felt something hit his shin sharply, causing him to both jump and hiss in pain while rubbing the struck spot gently. He blinked and glared down at the girl who was roughly a few inches or two shorter than him. "What the hell!?" he shouted.
The blond-haired girl that stood beside him had the most cold, cutting blue eyes he had ever seen and seemed completely unfazed by Bruno's glare, he swore he saw a smudge of amusement in her eyes before she spoke." I was getting tired of trying to get your attention." the small girl answered with a shrug.
"So you decided to kick me instead of nudging me or something" he said while raising a brow.
"It worked well enough." She replied easily." Maybe next time you should take care not to zone out, it'll probably be the death of you in a few years." She leaned against the wall with an innocent smile on her face.
Bruno opened his mouth to reply, only to stop when the words registered in his brain. he paled slightly at the thought before giving the short girl his full attention." What would you know about my life in a few years, I doubt you have such incredible foresight." He scoffed, looking away as he sat on top of the table he was eating on.
" Considering I might be shipped off with you for the same reasons, I think I know enough." Her voice was smug and condescending, filled with confidence.
His eyes widened slightly, he turned to look at the girl again, noting that the satisfied smirk on her face made a frightening combination when paired with her piercing gaze.
"You also qualify to be a mage." It wasn't a question, more of a statement.
"Indeed." she said simply, the smirk never left her face, nor did the smug undertone of her voice.
"Great, means we get to share the same coffin in a few years."
"If we wait a few years that just might happen."
"What's your point?" Bruno asked, tilting his head at the girl in confusion, it didn't matter if they decided to leave on their own accord or wait the years out, someone would come looking for the "Promising" mage candidates eventually.
"I think it would be best to join as a volunteer, get as much experience and merit as possible before they start sending every greenhorn to the front." she said while crossing her arms.
Bruno could understand the logic behind this, learn everything you can without worrying about getting sent to some muddy trench with only enough knowledge to fire your gun, let alone learning any other complicated skills a mage would need to be successful on the battlefield. It was appealing but still incredibly dangerous, then again, the risk of death stayed the same no matter what.
"We could even show enough promise to get safer duties in the rear, far from any real combat." The smirk on her face widened as she said this, she seemed especially enthusiastic about securing a comfy life in the rear, he couldn't fault her for that.
"I doubt they'll consider just giving us the position if we are as eager as you look now to claim it." He said while staring at the girl. She only smiled at his words, a slightly less creepy sight since she seemed rather pleased with his thoughts on the matter, it still sent shivers down his spine.
"Oh? Aren't you eager to fight for the glory of the Fatherland?" The question was laced with faux shock, that damnable smile never left her face and the amusement in her eyes was clear as day.
"I don't think catching a bullet in some terrible front is better than working stress free in the rear, but I'll gladly play the good little patriotic soldier if it speeds up the process." He answered with a sigh. Cowards wouldn't be welcomed in such a strong military, that was just common sense. Dying for the honor of your country while repelling foreign invaders was seen to be a huge honor, an honor he was not eager to claim.
The girls smile widened, apparently he had said the right thing because she looked besides herself in joy" Nothing is better than meeting a likeminded individual, I don't feel like dying on some battlefield either." She held out her hand, an aura of confidence and determination about her that looked strange on a girl of her stature." I think we can be a great help to each other Mr....." She trailed off a bit, looking at him imploringly.
Bruno looked at her outstretched hand, it seemed small and dainty, probably a result of the lack of food in the orphanage. It was a miracle that the boy grew as much as he did. "Bruno, my name is Bruno." He offered while taking her hand in his, slightly confused by the gesture.
She seemed immensely pleased as she shook his hand, releasing it shortly before she spoke again" My name is Tanya, Tanya Degurechaff, seeing how you didn't include a last name I'm guessing you've forsaken it or something since coming here." She said this as if it was a fact.
Bruno simply nodded, his last name wasn't something he used anymore, not that he had many people to introduce himself to in such a manner. To him his last name was like a sigil of the good times and memories, using it now felt like inviting Fate to finish what it started when it brought disaster to his life in the form of his Father's death.
"Then feel free to use my last name, you'll need one regardless and having an adoptive brother might tug at a few heartstrings and make them go easy on us." She seemed pleased with her line of thinking and Bruno could certainly see the appeal. he doubt many people would send two orphaned siblings to die if they could help it.
"Alright I can't really think of a better plan and you seem to have thought of everything in advance." He shook his head a bit, this all made him feel a bit better about joining early but some doubts lingered in the back of his mind. Tanya seemed to have thought of all of this shortly after the aptitude test and instead of going into a panic, she devised a plan that would land her in the rear if all went well. If she managed to think up this scheme even with all the obstacles and hazards that can be foreseen in this war, then she would be an invaluable ally. He shuddered to imagine what she can think up in a calm and more controlled environment. " I'll stick with you, just tell me what I need to do."
Tanya's eyes lit up at his words, he momentarily wondered if he said the right thing when she began to laugh softly. He never imagined that such a small thing as laughter can invoke both joy and dread in equal measure." I'm glad to hear that, it would be foolish of me to throw away such a willing and smart ally, most people can't swallow their pride and fears so easily." The way her eyes scanned him made him feel like he was being appraised, like a craftsman wondering how many more strikes his tool can give before it breaks or dulls, he wouldn't fold under these dire times, he simply couldn't.
"Most people aren't that smart than, let them die heroically on some battlefield, I'll gladly salute them from my comfy office in the rear." He perished the thought of being in such a hopeless situation, let those willing to die make that plunge people call sacrifice, he was content to honor them, not the other way around.
Tanya had another smile on her face, this one seemed more sincere and genuine as she leaned forward on the table, propping her head with her hands. 'He's not only willing to do anything for a peaceful life but he's smart enough to know when to listen.' She mentally grinned, this couldn't be more favorable. She had a perfectly willing young boy to mold in any way she desired who was willing to throw others in the line of fire to stay alive. 'You must be more overworked than I thought Being X, this was a serious oversight that no manager could forgive, guess that's expecting too much from such a flawed work structure.'
Bruno blinked at the look that had overtaken Tanya's face, the smile had no malice or ulterior motives, she seemed genuinely happy with how this had turned out. 'Maybe she had more doubts than I thought, joining the military without a reliable ally probably seemed daunting.' He certainly would have felt the same, he couldn't deny the ease that came with knowing someone else was in the same boat.
"Let's do our best then, we should enlist as soon as possible. The faster we get in the faster we can train our bodies to endure the strain of being a soldier." his words snapped Tanya out of her thoughts, she focused her attention back on Bruno and gave him a pleased nod.
"That would be the best course of action, the sooner the better." She agreed as she stood up, prompting Bruno to do the same as they made their way to the exit of the Orphanage. The sight of the two walking about probably seemed humorous to some, A young girl whose height barely reached the waist of most people followed by a taller boy who seemed to be more lucky with his growth.
They eventually made it to the Imperial Army Officer Training School and after a short wait time, stood side by side before the recruitment officer. He had just finished reading the reports from the magical aptitude test and looked at both of the children before him." I understand that you both show capabilities that would make you effective mages but why would you want to join at such an early age?" The man couldn't help but ask, he had seen many walk into the office to either be drafted or volunteer to fight for their beloved Fatherland. He knew a good deal of the people he approved of wouldn't return home if basic training didn't weed them out, he has used to that fact. He just wasn't used to seeing volunteers this young.
Tanya spoke first, her stature and voice saturated in determination and confidence that would make anyone believe her words without a second thought "I have no other path, that is the only reason."
Bruno mirrored her stance to near perfection, standing straight while gazing into the recruiters eyes with unwavering determination." I feel it is my duty to fight for the Empire, It has given me the gift of life and I will use this gift to preserve the Empire and it's people against any and all invaders. I wish to defend the Fatherland against the threats that surround it as soon as possible, this is the only option." He said resolutely.
The recruiter stared at these brave children... no brave soldiers that stood ready to bear the brunt of a horrific war just to defend the country they love. Who could deny such resolute hearts that were willing to bleed for the Fatherland? 'These children spoke with more conviction than any volunteer I've seen in a long time, It was a mistake to doubt their conviction!' he thought with brimming pride.
'I have never said something with such little conviction before in my life.' Bruno thought to himself, maintaining his mask of patriotism. On the inside he was sneering with disgust. The words truly meant little to him but seemed to be the best words to use to display his "Love" for the Fatherland. He would gladly shoot someone to keep himself alive, his targets being enemies of the Empire was just a bonus.
'If I didn't already know the type of person Bruno was, I would have believed that drivel without so much as a second thought. Still, it was good enough to convince this aging recruiter.' Tanya thought with a mental smirk as she watched the recruiter begin to stamp their papers in approval. 'A silver tongue and an aptitude for reading people, I think this is the start of a truly profitable partnership.' They left the recruitment office soon after to await the first day of their official training as Imperial officers.
'I won't have to whisper a word of praise to that bastard Being X!'