|“||One day you will come to realize that the "Eternity" of which I speak is the only compromise capable of saving all souls!||„|
|~ The Mage of the Beginning to Nagi Springfield.|
Ialda Baoth, mostly known as the Mage of the Beginning or the Life-Maker, is an unfathomably powerful, god-like archmage who serves as the overarching primary antagonist of the manga Negima! Magister Negi Magi and its sequel UQ Holder. In Negima! she is the supreme leader of the secret society Cosmo Entelecheia and the creator of Fate Averruncus, who was sealed away but resurfaces to oppose the primary protagonist, Negi Springfield. In UQ Holder, The Mage of the Beginning and her Apostles are still around and the primary protagonist, Negi’s clone Tōta Konoe, sets out to put an end to her threat once and for all.
AppearanceThe Mage of the Beginning appears as a menacing figure standing over three meters tall, clad in black robes and capes whose hood conceals her face. Her torn cape floats constantly around her like an array of dark wings, which she can expand as she pleases.
Flashbacks of the Great Mage War show that underneath her hood, she hides a youthful face with long, clear coloured hair worn in plaits that frame the back of her head, and pupiless eyes with ripple pattern on her iris. The UQ Holder anime depicts her with purplish black robes, no cape, light-blond hair and sickly yellow eyes.
The Life-Maker uses those who kill her as vessels to reincarnate, hence gaining the biological gender, size and aspect of her hosts. UQ Holder rarely shows her with her hood on and reveals that her aspect during the Great Mage War is her real one, under which she appears when without a host. She is sometimes depicted with large demonic wings at hip level, in a similar fashion to the highest-ranking demon nobility.
When the Mage of the Beginning unleashes her full might, she seemingly calls upon the suffering and death of millions that fuels her power, described as her "army of vengeful ghosts".
They materialize around her (or her host), into an amalgamation of millions of skulls with small, creepy red lights gleaming coldly in their eye-sockets, bound in a dark grey, ectoplasm; taking the shape of a nightmarish, building-sized humanoid, with a massive stature and four muscled arms, with the biggest skulls gathered where the beings’ head and chest should be.
The Mage of the Beginning’s true form manifests after her host is destroyed, when she is about to reincarnate. She looks like a very disturbing, hideously twisted, skyscraper-sized, female angel, quite hard to describe properly. Her head is covered in a long veil torn to shreds at its ends that expands like a cape, which she supports with her middle arms, and five pairs of increasingly larger feathered wings that seem to merge with one another...
She has a monstrous face with a large eye inside its widely opened serrated mouth; a hollow belly with a black sphere in the middle; six long arms with either bandages or a second layer of skin unravelling from below the shoulders, around her forearms and expanding way longer, like two ribbons of sort; and shrivelled legs co-jointed into a very long bone-like spike, with another layer of skin unravelling like several ribbons unravelling around it. Finally, she has a crown-like halo forming a broken circle and a separate rod at its centre floating over her head; lights glowing over her hands and near the tip of her wings, and swirling tendrils of darkness radiating from her.
It must be noted that she can either appear under her full true form, or a smaller version with eight arms but no wings, sporting her normal face, albeit hideously twisted, and still wearing her black cape.
Little is known about the Life-Maker's origins and nature. Although the narrative in Negima! remains vague about her gender, UQ Holder establishes her as a female. Yet, since she exists by using both men and women as vessels, gender hardly applies to her anymore.
What is sure is that she is not human, that she is over 2600 years old, and that she created the Mundus Magicus (the Magical World: an extradimensional world full of legendary beings set on the planet Mars), hence her titles. She is described as divine and clearly fits the part. Her power is fuelled by the negative karma of all who suffered, and she herself seems bound to their innumerable departed souls, which seem to influence her.
The Mage of the Beginning is the progenitor of the royal family of Vespertatia, the first kingdom of the Mundus Magicus. As such, she is a distant ancestor of both Negi Springfield, the 10-year-old primary protagonist, and Asuna Kagurazaka, the primary female protagonist. The former being the son of Nagi Springfield, the hero who defeated her during the Great Mage War, and Arika the last queen of Vespertatia; and the latter being eventually revealed to be in fact the Vespertatian "Imperial Princess of Twilight", heir to the kingdom.
The royal family and their descendants inherited from her the White of Mars, also known as the Magic of the Ancients or the Magic of the Beginning: a godly power of creation sustained by the planet Mars which is the source of Asuna's immensely powerful magic-cancelling abilities, and ironically the Life-Maker's only true weakness.
|“||That is what a human being is. In the end, one can only continue moving forward.||„|
|~ The Mage of the Beginning.|
Yet, she demonstrates a melancholic side, as well as a surprising fondness for mankind, whose perseverance she praises. She is seen contemplating over her long existence and is described by Asuna as a "terrible and sorrowful person". She forbids her servants to kill humans and non-fighters, has all of her and her followers' victims cast into a world of everlasting bliss, and Cosmo Entelecheia's primary purpose is to save the denizens of the Mundus Magicus from its upcoming collapse. Her ultimate goal is to destroy the entire Solar System to send its entire population into the aforementioned world of everlasting bliss.
Also, she is particularly gentle and understanding with her servants, amiably conversing with Primum, easing Fate Averruncus' worries about being "flawed", and planning to free them after their duty is fulfilled. But considering all the destruction she caused and her willingness to eradicate everything standing in her way, it is clear that she is self-righteous, twisted and malicious.
Not unlike the construct-mages she created, the Mage of the Beginning is very intelligent, sincere, poised and polite. She bears little ill-will towards the protagonists and seems to genuinely respect them, though she clearly states to be their foe and seems to revel in that role. More importantly, she is very distant, uncaring, nearly emotionless, and ruthless.
She often calls out the protagonists' idealism, harshly stating that they are powerless to truly save the world and that torment cannot be escaped. Also, the rare times she breaks her aloof facade, she becomes disturbingly gleeful. Still, she looks funnily speechless when they reject her gloomy rhetoric, and seems to enjoy opposition as a challenge. Interestingly enough, she seems amused by the prospect of her own defeat, likely because she knows that should she fall, she will rise again.
In UQ Holder, it is explained that she is tormented by everyone's emotions and suffering, plaguing her throughout her millennia-long existence due to her empathic powers. Fate states that she is "broken" and she herself describes her life as "2600 years of despair". This made her horribly cynical and nihilistic, being completely unable to consider the value of positive emotion, and dismissing happiness as a pointless respite from never-ending suffering. She wants to end all suffering to finally be at peace, hence her goal of "saving" everyone alive. In her gloomy point of view, she does a favour to those who she makes disappear, by freeing them of their torment (which she actually does in a way, by sending them to a perfect life).
Since she experiences other people's feelings, she is extremely adept in using them against her foes, cruelly toying with their emotions and forcing them to face their worst fears to crush their spirit.
When too much suffering and resentment fuel her power, or under her true form it is not exactly clear, it seems to overwhelm her and unhinge her. In that state, all her poise, respect for her foes and overall personality disappears, leaving place to cold, furious determination and willingness to obliterate any obstacles. She curses anyone who thwarted her and states that the voices of the suffering won't allow any delay, hinting that she can hear them and loses control to them.
Powers and AbilitiesThe Mage of the Beginning is far and away the most powerful character introduced in the series, far surpassing Nagi Springfield and Jack Rakan, the two mightiest members of the already incredibly powerful Ala Rubra team. Her power is such that everyone for miles around feels its sheer pressure, terrifying even hardened fighters to the point they can barely move, knowing from instinct how deadly she is.
In spite of her nearly absolute power, the Mage of the Beginning is not entirely all-powerful, given that she still had to follow the rules of magic to create the Mundus Magicus and that she needed to perform a ritual involving Asuna’s magic-cancelling power to erase it, implying that she herself cannot use the magic-cancellation or more likely that she cannot use it on a worldwide-scale. However, her might seems to increase the more magic energy she has around, with her follower boasting that nothing was impossible to her in such conditions.
In addition, suffering and strife increase her might, to the point that she becomes able to shrug off magic and attacks that could affect her normally.
The Mage of the Beginning was able to create an entire world, with fauna, flora and civilisation, using a planet as a support, where the best mages can only create restricted pocket dimensions. Not to mention the many extremely powerful construct-mages she gave life to, whom she can resurrect or summon by her side, or the alternate reality she created: the Cosmo Entelecheia (or Eternal Garden), a world outside of time and space in which everyone lives the happiest, most perfect possible scenario of their life, based on their past and unfulfilled desires.
She can create Phantasmagorias as well: spiritual planes outside the real world under her complete control, which she can shape and influence as she pleases. She can shape them according to people's past and memories, and create there replicas of people with the exact same personality and powers as the real ones. The Cosmo Entelecheia being most likely the highest form of Phantasmagoria she can create, being inescapable and unfolding on its own like the real world. She can drag people in it, separate them but enabling telepathic contact, or keep them within without making them enter it. She can make them invisible and intangible, as if inside someone's dream, or fully material like in the real world, chose how they look like inside, or even control them.
The Life-Maker can warp reality, likely because of her White of Mars power. She channelled this ability into key-shaped staffs called the Codes of the Life-Maker, which she gave to her highest-ranked followers. Their bearers become able to make attacks disappear, to teleport many at once, to cast people into the Cosmo Entelecheia and to summon them back under their command, and even to bend time and space to reshape their entire surroundings. Whether she can warp reality in both worlds or only in the worlds she created has yet to be explained, though her Codes of the Life-Maker are able to influence magic and artifacts from outside the Mundus Magicus and she herself could preserve the thousands of people she brought to Mars from its lethal atmosphere, hinting the former.
Even worse, she can infuse her surroundings with her magic power to assimilate them all into her being, gaining complete control of it all. She can take over entire planetoids that way, becoming able to continuously spell-cast from many points of it at once independently from her normal self, to appear instantly everywhere on its surface, and to take from it infinite supplies of magical energy that make her virtually invincible. She is even able to teleport whatever landscape she assimilated, even beyond dimensions, and cover it entirely with her dark power that she shapes as she pleases. Also, she can assimilate people she engulfs in her darkness, making them vessels of her essence under her total control, overriding their personality with her own.
While the Mage of the Beginning's White of Mars is based on the power of Light, she also masters the Black of Venus, also known as Magic of the End: a power of Darkness sustained by the planet Venus that engulfs everything. This power is the basis of the dreaded vampire sorceress Evangeline McDowell's Magia Erebea (Black Magic): a technique fuelled by negative emotions which enables its user to absorb their own spells, and sometimes the enemy's spells to considerably boost their might. Disciples of the Life-Maker recognize the Black of Venus and the Magia Erebea to be one and the same. From this might also stem her abilities to assimilate things and people into herself and to cover a defined place with her aura of darkness.
The Mage of the Beginning has a constantly active power of empathy called Resonance, making her feel every emotion of everyone in the world, though she experiences negative emotions more strongly. Yet, she cannot control it or decrease it in any way, to the point that it is described as a "curse".
Finally, she reached the level beyond immortality called Ceaselessness: not only she can live forever, but if someone proved powerful enough to kill her, she would eventually return to life through them. Her victor first gains her power of Resonance. The more they struggle, the more control she gains, fully resurrecting when their spirit finally shatters. Killing her merely seals her current host's doom and condemns her victor to the same fate. While she most often appears under the traits of her current host, she can revert to her original form, or transform into one of her previous hosts, gaining their powers, memories and personality to act exactly like they would.
As stated before, she can only be destroyed for good by her own White of Mars power, meaning that only one of her descendants can perform such a feat: by using it to cut her from her magic source if she assimilated her surroundings, by defeating her in battle and destroying her heart, which kills her host, and then by striking her true form with a White of Mars powered attack before she possesses her victor, which is virtually impossible.
Under her true form, the Mage of the Beginning's power is seemingly unleashed without restriction. She can move extremely fast and strike with extreme strength, distort and elongate her body as she pleases, assimilate anyone she touches with her attacks, and spread and shape her aura virtually without end.
Control of Magic
The Life-Maker likely masters all Elements (the source of most attack spells) and every form of Magic, and seems to have a limitless knowledge about magic, artifacts and people, given the power and knowledge she granted to her construct-mages. She can devise spells, such as the one called Manus Jaldae (Ialda's Hand): a highly powerful spell that can destroy or seal supernatural beings, that her descendants can use. She can even create magical techniques beyond human-level, such as the mandala-like multiple barrier which she granted to her followers.
She can fly, appear out of nowhere, create portals of teleportation shifting even planetoids, and create a physical projection of herself as powerful as she is no matter the distance, while the best mages can only create weaker doubles of themselves. Under the right circumstances, she can even create such projections while sealed away.
Since her right-hand stated that she does not need her telescope, it can be guessed that she can see where she is not present. She seems able to foresee the past and future, as she was apparently aware of her upcoming defeat against Nagi Springfield, and can shape her Phantasmagorias following past events. As her Phantasmagorias can reflect people’s memories, she might have access to them or to know how to read thoughts, to speak by telepathy and to enter dreams and minds that other mages displayed, though to a much greater extent.
In a similar fashion to masters of Shadow Magic, who can create shadow and shape it into solid objects like limbs and weapons of variable size, The Mage of the Beginning can create, shape and control darkness at will, though whether this is Shadow Magic or a variation of her Black of Venus power is not known. She uses it to spawn construct-monsters of variable size and might, ranging from normal-sized demons, unharmed or wielding close-range weapons, to huge spell-casting ones and gigantic and powerful fire-breathing dragons, up to terrifying, multi-limbed, palace-dwarfing titans. She can spawn hundreds of thousands in a matter of minutes.
Finally, she can animate and control dead corpses, conjuring dozens of skeletons able to harm spirits in seconds. Her necromantic powers are described as leagues over that of the already extremely powerful wraith girl Sayoko Minase: who raised a dead boy as a mighty revenant, and unleashed a Zombie Apocalypse that very nearly destroyed humanity. Given Cosmo Entelecheia's employ of Demon Lords, it can be assumed that she can summon and command many demons of variable rank and power as well.
In battleThe Life-Maker rarely needs to move in a fight, but proves incredibly fast and strong: able to catch even incredibly fast foes off-guard, and to lift people with one hand, to catch even incredibly fast foes off-guard and send them flying with one punch (though she did the latter two using an obscenely powerful brawler as a host).
She can also move her cape like actual limbs, and use it for both defensive and offensive purposes. She can use her cape to swat many people away at once in a single flap. She can also make her cape harder than steel and surround herself with it to shield herself from all sorts of attacks. Worse, she can make the pointy ends of her cape as sharp as blades, delivering barrages of deadly blows at considerable speed, overwhelming foes with countless strikes, or unleashing a devastating attack that slashes everything around her far outside their normal reach, effortlessly reducing gigantic buildings to rubbles in a few seconds. Even worse, she can expand her cape to cover wide areas in seconds and to unleash it like a tidal wave.
The archmage can paralyze anyone in the blink of an eye, with apparently no way of countering it. Worse, she can magically poison people with the dark miasma of the thousands of vengeful ghosts fuelling her power. The poison drastically weakens its targets, akin to a violent fever, and is extremely difficult to heal, requiring very long and intensive treatment. It is hinted that only immortals could survive it. Much worse yet, she can fire darts that bypass protections and make anyone vanish into dust, even immortals with instant regeneration.
She mostly uses Darkness-themed attacks that can shatter even the mightiest defences: a piercing dark beam that strikes every target in its path nearly at once; up to hundreds of spears of darkness launched at the same time; a gigantic and devastating wave of dark energy; a gigantic maelstrom of darkness that surrounds her foes; and a yards-wide array of gigantic pentagrams that hurls a tremendous onslaught of dark beams over a very large area. She can also use an even bigger and mightier variation of the last attack that fire countless gigantic beams towards many targets at once. Though beams of pure energy instead of darkness.
She can also shape darkness as nets of tendrils that bind, constrict and pull apart her foes, or shaping it as points that can pierce anything. When she fully unleashes her dark aura, she can cover entire landscapes with her darkness which she can shape and shape-shift as she pleases: into miles-long giant tentacles or scythe-shaped appendages, ginormous arms dealing tremendous blows, or ginormous sentient demonic heads.
How the Mage of the Beginning came to existence and what she did in her early centuries of life is not disclosed. Whether she was once sane and led a normal life before being broken by her Resonance power remains unknown, though given her creation of the Mundus Magicus it would be likely. At one point, despairing from the never-ending tragedies, she took as many poor and downtrodden people as she could and brought them to Mars, and created there the Mundus Magicus as a safe haven where they could live in peace.
The Life-Maker sealed a Covenant of non-aggression of the Mundus Vetus (Ancient World, the normal Earth) with the population of the Mundus Magicus. From then on, she founded the kingdom of Vespertatia, the historical centre of the Mundus Magicus, and birthed its first queen Amateru, a mage of legend herself, before disappearing. Alas, this did not ease suffering at all, given that conflict and power-struggle soon plagued her new world as well. This might be when she persuaded herself that misery cannot be escaped.
After creating the Mundus Magicus, the Mage of the Beginning retreated into the newly created dimension’s space, in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, and settled in the gigantic asteroid Agartha. She built herself a palace and a city, probably to live on her own away from both worlds' suffering, and over the centuries, started assimilating the entire asteroid into her own being.
What is sure is that over 600 years before the start of the story, somewhere in Europe, the Life-Maker turned a little girl named Evangeline Athanasia Katherine McDowell into a vampire, in a yet-unexplained experiment linked to Ceaselessness. Centuries later, having become an extremely powerful, day-walking, vampire sorceress feared all around, Evangeline caught up with the archmage and seemingly killed her; only for her to reappear later.
Prior to the story
At some point, the Life-Maker built the secret society Cosmo Entelecheia, knowing that the Mundus Magicus would soon collapse. Cosmo Entelecheia ignited the Great Mage War and attempted to use Asuna's power to erase the Mundus Magicus, only to be nearly wiped out by the Ala Rubra team lead by the legendary Nagi Springfield, allied to the Vespertarian queen Arika.As everything seemed won after Nagi’s victory over Primum Averruncus, the Life-Maker personally entered the fray, piercing Nagi and Primum with a dark beam and nearly wiping out the entire Ala Rubra with a tremendous dark energy wave. Against all odds, she was defeated by Nagi Springfield and his master, the child-like immortal Filius Zect (though Zect mysteriously vanished into dust after the battle).
Everyone believed the Life-Maker to be dead, but she reappeared few years later using the body of none other than Filius Zect as her new vessel. She then gave life to Secundum Averruncus, Septendecim Adad and Nii Atur, and later to Tertium Averruncus (the soon to be called Fate) to rebuild her forces. She ordered her team to walk the Mundus Magicus and to send as many souls as possible to the Cosmo Entelecheia, this time town after town, using the conflicts that still plagued the Mundus Magicus after the war to go undetected.
Ten years before the start of the story, the Ala Rubra confronted Cosmo Entelecheia once more in the city of Istanbul. This time, the Life-Maker was sealed under the roots of the magical World Tree in the campus of Mahora, thanks to Nagi's sacrifice.
Role in Negima!
Mundus Magicus ArcThe Life-Maker first appears during flashbacks of the Great Mage War, displaying the final battle in which she was thought to be killed. Later as Fate Averruncus and Cosmo Entelecheia's remnants try to repeat what they did twenty years ago, they are thwarted by Negi Springfield and his team, the Ala Alba.
As Fate and Negi are fighting, Fate starts to experience flashbacks of his birth and his first years of duties, back when the Mage of the Beginning was using Filius Zect as a vessel.
After Fate admits defeat and agrees to help Negi's own plan to save the Mundus Magicus, they are both pierced by a dark beam, just like Primum and Nagi before them, and the Life-Maker’s ominous figure appears. Apparently, with both worlds merging and with Cosmo Entelecheia’s hideout (with Asuna's captive) appearing over her prison enabled the Mage to awake, and she created a projection of herself onto the battlefield. The Life-Maker restores every fallen members of Fate’s (former) team and resurrects all her deceased followers, who then prepare to finish off the Ala Alba, starting with Negi and Fate.
As everything seems doomed, Evangeline McDowell (who has become Negi's teacher) uses the connection between Mahora Academy and the Mundus Magicus to barge in, soon followed by the Dean of Mahora and every surviving member of the Ala Rubra. Evangeline encases them all in everlasting ice with a powerful spell she especially devised for such enemies, but it has no effect on the Life-Maker who enters the fray. She paralyzes Evangeline and Rakan, swats away the Ala Rubra like nothing and grabs Negi by the neck.
Asuna, who has just been freed by all of Negi's comrades, jumps to the rescue and slices the archmage's projection nearly in half with her Pactio Artifact, a huge, demon-banishing Claymore sword. Negi and Asuna then combine their White of Mars power into the Claymore, dispelling her onslaught of dark beams and destroying her projection.
As the Life-Maker's projection is fading away, it is revealed that she is now using Nagi Springfield himself as her vessel. Nagi briefly regains consciousness and asks his son to come and kill him. Surprisingly, Negi, who spent his entire life yearning to find his father, seems to take the news rather well, and Asuna use the primal Code of the Life-Maker to restore the Mundus Magicus.
Later, Asuna must seal herself within the ruins of Vespertatia for over a century, as the cornerstone of Negi's "Project Blue Mars", aiming to terraform Mars into a fertile and viable world, which could sustain the Mundus Magicus without end and prevent its collapse. As she awakes in a world in which she no longer belongs, she is found by Evangeline and Negi's genius time-travelling descendant Chao Lingshen, who use Chao's Cassiopeia time-machine to bring her back to her era, creating a new time-line, in which she and all of Negi's comrades can live their well-deserved happy ending.
The final chapter of the story mentions a tremendous battle which involved everyone in Negi's class. Negi managed to defeat the archmage once and for all, and was able to free Nagi from her control. However, none of this is seen for real, due to the abrupt ending of the manga (caused by a dispute between the author and the editor), and most of the mysteries surrounding the Life-Maker are left unexplained.
The battle is displayed in a magic projection in UQ Holder, bringing closure to Negima!. It is explained that after the events of the Mundus Magicus Negi, Fate, the Ala Alba, Ala Rubra and the Dean of Mahora (the gigantic campus city where Negi is teaching English), started Negi's plan to save the Mundus Magicus and united all its nations. Five years later, a sixteen-year-old Negi leads the entire Mundus Magicus' battle fleet into their world's space, towards the Asteroid Agartha where the Mage of the Beginning and the Cosmo Entelecheia are based.
It immediately appears that the entire asteroid is part of the Life-Maker's being and under her complete control. She unleashes a tremendous onslaught of gigantic energy blasts from all over the asteroid circumference, before releasing thousands of shadow demons to obliterate them, forcing Negi's friend Kotaro to protect the fleet while Fate engages the shadow demons and Negi attacks the Life-Maker herself. The archmage takes Nagi's aspect, personality and fighting style, to counter Negi's White of Mars power and likely as psychological warfare, but Negi, who strives to emulate his father, sees it as a challenge.
Negi turns into a lightning elemental with his Magia Erebea power, but Nagi-Ialda counters it with her omnipresence all over Agartha, turning the battle into a brawling contest. However, Negi's Magia Erebea enables him to absorb the surrounding magic power from Agartha to remain at his peak and hold his own. Cosmo Entelecheia then enters the fray and overwhelms him, but he is saved by Asuna and his comrades from the Ala Alba and Ala Rubra, including Fate, Fate's partners and Kotaro but excluding Evangeline. The archmage's disciples brag that Nagi's soul is completely assimilated and that nothing could save him, but an unimpressed Asuna boldly states that they would try anyway, much to her foes' disbelief.
Following Fate's instruction, Asuna uses her White of Mars power to sever the Life-Maker's connection to Agartha and leave her vulnerable. Protected by everyone, Negi engages the final clash against his foe and emerges victorious, tearing her heart from his father's chest. Nagi embraces him and congratulates his victory, before collapsing as the heart is destroyed, urging his son to get away to escape possession. As the Mage of the Beginning's nightmarish true form rises, Fate's partner Koyomi uses her Pactio Artifact to stop time before she can react.
Negi and Asuna again combine their White of Mars Power into Asuna's demon banishing claymore to strike Ialda Baoth and destroy her once and for all, causing Agartha to explode, taking all of Cosmo Entelecheia with her. Later, Negi's partner Konoka heals Nagi, and saves his life against all odds, and everyone rejoicing, with only Fate mourning that the Mage of the Beginning could not be saved from herself.
Role in UQ Holder
The story unfolds 85 years after the Mage of the Beginning's defeat in the Mundus Magicus. It is set in the previous series' second timeline, in which Asuna Kagurazaka was sealed for over a century, leading to a world without her.
Alas, without Asuna, Negi's comrades could not detect the Mage of the Beginning, vastly postponing her defeat, and preventing them to tackle the many problems that would arise after magic was revealed to the world. Instead of a pacified Mundus Vetus and Mundus Magicus cooperating towards a better common future, ensuring that magic would be revealed quicky and spread to everyone for the benefit of the population, as in the ending of Negima!, magic was hoarded by military superpowers and wealthy elite, leading to dire inequality, and a dramatic worsening of the wars, diseases, terrorism and strife that keep plaguing the world, with many cities reduced to conflict-ridden slums.
Negi and his team found Cosmo Entelecheia on the Asteroid Agartha, but without Asuna, they could not sever Nagi-Ialda’s connection to it, and she proved too powerful even for Negi to defeat.
Negi's partners Nodoka Miyazaki and Yue Ayase, Jack Rakan and Nagi's comrade Albireo Imma sacrificed themselves to save him, being assimilated in the process; but Albireo was able to destroy Nagi's body, forcing Ialda Baoth to appear under a mix of her true and normal forms. Koyomi immediately stops time, but she is too powerful to be affected and kills her, with Negi only owing his life to his partner Chisame Hasegawa's sacrifice, before Ialda teleports Agartha away.
Devastated by grief, Negi breaks down in tears at Evangeline's house, where she nurses him back to health from the Life-Maker's magic poison. Negi spends the seven following decades solving crises everywhere, to ease suffering and weaken his foe.
Under Negi's impulse, Evangeline becomes the founding leader of UQ Holder (Eternity Holder): a group of immortals working to protect the population from supernatural threats. He also reveals that he gave Fate samples of DNA to create clones of both him and Asuna, in hopes of raising someone who could combine the White of Mars and the Black of Venus to stand a chance against the Mage of the Beginning should the worst happen.
Twenty years before the start of the story, Agartha is located in the Mundus Vetus' space near the rings of Saturn, and Negi rushes there to settle the score once and for all. He venture on Agartha's surface, entirely covered with the Mage of the Beginning's tentacles of darkness, and once again loses many allies who sacrifice themselves so that he can reach her. Having no other choice, Negi asks Evangeline to kill him should he become the archmage's host in his turn, and cast the Manus Jaldae spell as a last resort, destroying her and sealing himself before she could doom the Solar System.
Ten years later, at the cloning facility, Evangeline learns that most clones don't survive to adulthood, and Fate grimly states that only cloning Negi's spirit can result in a successful experiment. Four years later, the clone who would become the primary protagonist Tōta Konoe is stolen by Negi's partner Konoka Konoe's descendants who faked his death. Evangeline, who had a violent fallout with Fate, objecting his renting of clones as child soldiers to fund his project, would later take him.
Setting of the Story
Negi's "Project Blue Mars" was accomplished, and giant towers leading into space are now serving as bridges between the three worlds. Magic was finally revealed to the world ten years before the start of the story and has begun to spread, but only wealthy people could afford the expensive applications enabling non-magic people to spell-cast. Evangeline is now leader of UQ Holder, and the care-giver of Tōta Konoe, whom she turned into a vampire to save his life. The story really begins as she moves Tōta to UQ Holder's headquarters and make him and his friends full members of the organization.
Tōta's trainingAfter many adventures, Tōta learns that Negi is registered in the Mahora Martial Art Tournament set to take place soon. Upon seeing his registration form, and identifying his signature, Evangeline triggers a spell meant to react to her, creating a projection of Negi and Nagi trapped in the Mage of the Beginning's grasp. The archmage notices Tōta and smiles in satisfaction. It is clear that Evangeline know much more about it that she lets know, but she refuses to answer Tōta's questions.
After Tōta is nearly killed by Cutlass, a strange girl who calls him "brother", Evangeline’s own master, the Vampire Queen Dana Ananga Jagannatha, takes the protagonists in her castle outside time and space. Dana teaches Tōta to use both the Black of Venus and the White of Mars; while telling him about Evangeline and the Life-Maker.
Eight months later, Evangeline takes Tōta to Amano-Mihashira Academy City, the former Mahora Academy, to meet Negi’s surviving students: The now elderly Ayaka Yukihiro, the robot-girl Chachamaru Karakuri, the ghost girl Sayo Aisaka, the half-demon sniper Mana Tastsumiya (still a teenager and now Dean of Mahora), and the Demon Princess Zazie Rainyday. They tell him that Negi was spotted appearing in space for a few second, and reveal that he disappeared after defeating the Mage of the Beginning and is about to become her new vessel anytime soon.
It appears that Negi would rather die than suffer such a destiny, but that not even killing the Mage for good could save him. It also appears that UQ Holder is at odds with Ala Alba, now led by Fate Averruncus, who claims that Negi can still be saved by Tōta’s power. Tōta later asks his friends for help, in order to find a way to save Negi without having to choose between UQ Holder and Ala Alba.
|“||Child. Did you think that this girl has been saved? Did you honestly think that faint hint of a smile meant she had been taken from her hell? If so, then you really have the brain of a fool. Have all your deaths addled your wits, immortal? This girl will never find happiness. Never in all eternity. This is a fact the girl is well aware of.||„|
|~ The Mage of the Beginning to Tōta, about Evangeline's centuries of pain.|
Albireo Imma drags Tōta with him into a vision of the past, in which they appear as invisible spectators. They witness the time during which Negi was training under Evangeline, in which she developed feelings for him. Then, the Evangeline of the past suddenly recognizes Tōta (who previously travelled back to the past and befriended Evangeline at the start of her immortal life).
Suddenly, Albireo pierces Tōta with spears of darkness, while the Mage of the Beginning appears in person. It appears that the vision of the past is in fact one of her Phantasmagorias, within which she can manifest herself in person and deal with Tōta herself. The archmage reveals her real name and gleefully introduces herself as Tōta's enemy, before binding Evangeline with shadowy threads and tearing her apart. As their wounds painfully heal, she berates Tōta for believing that he made her happy, pointing out that she never was and will never be.
Irked, Tōta calls off her nihilistic rant, and he and Evangeline prepare to fight. Amused, she accepts their challenge, but they are absolutely no match for her, as evidenced when she reduces Evangeline's gigantic tower to rubbles like an afterthought. The Life-Maker takes Nagi's aspect and conjures a replica of Negi to toy with Evangeline's feelings and break her resolve, before striking her with Disintegrating Darts, leaving only her finger.She conjures replicas of her Apostles to overwhelm Tōta, and turns the landscape into an endless sea of blood and skeletons, dragging Tōta's friends in the Phantasmagoria under her control, under the shape of spectres begging for his help. Dragged under the sea of blood, Tōta tries his best to resist the Life-Maker’s mind break, but this proves a losing battle.
Fortunately, being in the Phantasmagoria enables Asuna of all people to manifest herself through him. She creates a replica of herself who saves Tōta, frees his friends and restores Evangeline. Asuna uses her White of Mars power to influence the Phantasmagoria, shaping it like her real self’s sealing grounds and keeping the Mage of the Beginning away. She tells Tōta everything about her and devises a plan to fend of Negi and the Apostles, but the Life-Maker barges in. Just as the archmage is about to obliterate them, Asuna destroys the Phantasmagoria.
Following her advice, Tōta's team use their powers so as to counter the Apostles, until Negi-Ialda enters the fray. Fate casts a spell of his own to communicate with the real Negi, who tells them how to find and use his research. The Apostles trounce the protagonists, but they lasted long enough for Asuna to manifest in the real world and disappear with them.
Witnessing the Different Timelines
Later, Dana shows Tōta and his friends a recording that Negi managed to send from the "Happy Ending Storyline", displaying their final victory against Ialda Baoth. Emboldened by this, Tōta resolves to build a happy ending of their own with his friends.
Shortly after, UQ Holder thwarts Cutlass' attack on their headquarters, and later a triple terrorist attack that would have killed thousands, and Evangeline is forced to kill Cutlass who was taking one of them hostages. Later, Evangeline tells him that the tournament was postponed, and decides to show him Negi's tragic pyrrhic victory against Ialda Baoth in their timeline.
- The Life-Maker's title and the "Codes of the Life-Maker" staffs she created to channel her power are a nod to James P. Hogan's science-fiction novel The Code of the Life-Maker. The novel describes Saturn's moon Titan being populated by artificial clones of an alien specy, worshipping a deity they call the Life-Maker. This reflects the Mundus Magicus created by the Mage of the Beginning and populated by supernatural creatures that are in fact "artificial" products of the magical power that sustain their worlds.
- Ialda Baoth, the Mage of the Beginning's real name only revealed in UQ Holder, is a direct reference to Gnosticism. Yaldabaoth is the imperfect Demiurge who shaped the physical universe (and its flaws), in opposition to the perfect spiritual universe created by God, from which all living beings come and to which they will all return. Such name is strongly symbolic for a deity who created a world bound to disappear.
- Agartha, the asteroid that the Mage of the Beginning assimilated is named after a legendary land of riches and plenty with exceptional technological and spiritual advancement located under the surface of Earth, from esoteric teachings. Agartha itself is similar to the land of Shamballa from Buddhist and Hinduist legends, and linked to the New Age theories of the Hollow Earth.