I did not expect Negi to face any problems during his trip to the Magic World. The trip to the Magic World has a lot of action in it. Ken has carefully continue to focus on the relationship part of the series. Ako's flashbacks are a reminder that Ken has not forgotten the importance of the relationships in the series.
The recent focus on action mostly reflects Negi's determination to help four of his students, and to prove everyone's innocence. Negi is acting more like a young adult than a typical ten year old. Negi could have accepted Fate's offer, but he seems to notice the importance of saving the Magic World.
All Negi had wanted to do was to find his father. The Fates have been transforming Negi into a hero like his father. The series is following the basic Shonen formula. Since the series has its share of female fans, Negima is more than your average Shonen series.