Trails of the Afterglow

Parting Twilight
Stray not, and travel light.

“I’ll be damn, this one is sure comfy.” Luce complimented the ride as she drives towards the northern guard’s post. “Hmmm, I’ll be off to the Northern Guard post to head to Belphas. Besides the awesome hot spring there, there are people I need to call and pull a few strings so that I could travel somewhere and get info on what’s to come.” Luce continued as they get closer to the end.

Moments later, they finally arrived at Luce’s destination.

she looks at Alice and said with a small frown marring her face.

“They’re somewhere here in this general area, although I’m not sure. Buuut- as much as I want to help you with this. I caused enough trouble. " She then leaves a mini-doll in her place and gets off with ease.

“Please give this to Luna once you return back to the Orient, and oh! By the way, I had a courier send Luna’s phone to you. So you’ll probably meet them at either the port or the mansion. See you later Alice!” And so Luce continues her journey to Belphas.

Before she goes incognito, she then shoots Jamil a message.

[Hey, I’m going incognito for a while. I need to report back to Gaur at Artestech for my research, will also check things out with our “friend”, Tyr over there. He looks familiar to me, don’t worry, I’m not going to get close. Thanks for looking after us~ (/ ^ w^)/. I’ll be back in a month or so if things go as plan. Agent 13 over, and out.

P.S.: Tell my handler to go fuck himself, ye? The twat had the nerve to give me missions despite my long medical/vacation leave. Miss Arclese wasn’t pleased with that when she found out.
P.S.S: Sorry not sorry, for beating those thugs up because; First, they hurt Luna. Second, they tried to kill me.]

A Trail of Blood 5
Alice Origins 2

Yatagarasu. Does Miss Luce know more about them now?

Alice: It is not our way to reveal such things, but I am one of them. Well, formerly.

Miss Luce chuckled, she seems to be carefree.

Luce: When you talk around, listen, and observe you tend to learn a thing or two about stuff. Then again, ASD TRUST doesn’t really have qualms over you guys.

Alice: Well.. I think they should. It’s not the Yatagarasu that I once knew. Maybe Miss Luce might think less about me if she found out what I did in the past.

Luce: listen, I understand that sometimes our respective organizations are morally ambiguous, and for me to judge you for what you did before is a hypocritical thing for me to do. And besides, you said it yourself. You’re a former Yatagarasu.

I almost forget that she is a Spy. Might not be the same in terms of what we do, but we are still in shadowy organizations. I can say that she truly understand me.

Luce: from what I know about Luna is that she trust you. No matter what happens, you have her beside you just as you are to her.

Alice smiles: milady really has good friends.

I am glad that Lady Luna is blessed with great companions. You are getting what you wished for, milady. Now, I have to make sure nobody can ruin it. I have to make sure that no one like me, like the Oboro, would have to come close to you again.

The Schicksals, very powerful and rich nobles in Brindtsong. Judging from what they do, they are hated. The weapons they make, however, are loved specially by warmongers. They think they are protecting the people, but they are not. For that, Frederick von Schicksal must be eliminated.

Something weird though, about this mission. Frederick von Schicksal isn’t on my target list, nor he is in optional or secondary targets. The ones that are listed here in Primary Targets are his wife Maria Atoli Schicksal and his daughter, Elune Atoli Schicksal. This is the first time I questioned my mission objectives, even when Yatagarasu started to change. I asked the higher-ups and they accepted the mission from a noble who wanted to hurt Frederick von Schicksal in a very painful way. Killing both targets will net a large sum of money.

That explained, I questioned myself. That triggered something within me. Why would I care about the Schicksals? They didn’t even care about other people as well. They are also the reason why I’m in this shithole, and my father in debt. They ruined my life, so I should return the favor. I will kill them, specially that princess. Besides, I need to liberate them from their sins. That princess will only be another person like her father.

I went to Rosevine via boat. It took me how many days, but that just gave me hunger to kill those monsters. As I arrive to Rosevine, the nobles and the commoners are separated. That just make things easier. My info suggest that I get some cover, which they already prepared. I am to enter their Mansion as a maid. The Schicksal only has few servants with them, so it might be difficult if I rush things. I am going as Mikoto Suo.

I surveyed the Mansion for my first and second day in Rosevine. The Mansion is high-tech but it doesn’t have any tight security. It make me question if it was the correct place. A Weapons manufacturer having a house like this? They must be stupid. Still, it would be unwise to let my guard down. I get ready on the third day before I enter the Mansion tomorrow. Suddenly, a smoke grenade was thrown on my inn room. I quickly got out of my room through the window. My attacker isn’t hiding, he was looking for a fight. A man with red eyes and red hair wearing a red and black coat.

???: Well I’ll be, an Assassin from Yatagarasu. You got the gall to even go here in Rosevine huh?

Arisa: What do you want? Spill it or I will eliminate you.

???: I am just smoking out the rat that are searching for a hole in the Schicksal Mansion Walls.

I was right, the unguarded mansion is just a trap. They have guards up there and have been watching me since. But, how can a lowly guard elude me? Not to mention, know Yatagarasu? Damn these rich people.

Arisa: You know too much, I must eliminate you.

???: Finally, some action. Let’s see what you are made of

He is armed with a katana, but he isn’t drawing it as I attack him. Suddenly, he got so fast that I can’t even comprehend his hand speed. He slashed once but I received multiple hits from different angles. His blade also has fire property. My arm guard got small embers around the slash marks. This man is something else. I did another flash step and decided to try and make him use that sword for defense. His footwork is quickly out pacing me. He suddenly spin very fast with a hot gust of wind blew me up inches away from the ground and slashed me with such force. My Arm guard and gauntlet got destroyed wounding me on my arm and my leg got bruised. Looks like the gust of wind isn’t the one that lifted me, he tripped me with the sheath. As I try to gain composure , he pointed out his blade against my neck. I can feel the heat inches away.

???: Oops, looks like I went too far. But that’s okay. At least now, you understand that you can’t mess with the people living in that Mansion.

Arisa: Why do you even care? Money is the only thing you fight for.

I said that as I remove my mask in frustration. The man’s expression suddenly changed.

???: You are very mistaken young lady. Let’s just say, the key word here is Attachment.

Arisa: Attachment you say? What do you even know about it.

???: Continue your mission, Oboro, you’ll get it soon enough. Kagerou-senpai was right then.

Arisa: huh???!! W.. Wait!!

The man disappeared leaving embers and ashes. That man knows so much. He also called Master Kagerou a senpai. Just who is that man? And he let me go, a threat to the ones he wanted to protect. He let me live, that is his mistake. He might be a former Yatagarasu member, or he met master in the past, but he won’t stop me on my mission.

The next day, I head to the mansion. My target, Maria welcomed me along with few maids. She showed me around herself. As we went by, I saw a girl, playing the piano. The tune feels…… lonely. Maria told me that she is her daughter and that she hope that we get along. As the tour in the Mansion is complete and the task I have for everyday was relayed to me. It’s time for me to move. For a week, i planned out everything. This would be a flawless Assassination. I will act at night after supper.

The kid got home from school, she looks sad, as usual. She then looked at me. This is the first time the kid looks at me.

Luna: oh, a new maid?

Arisa: yes milady, I am your new personal maid along with Lady Maria. I am….

Luna: follow me then.

This kid led me to her room dragging me fast. Surprisingly, her room doesn’t look like it is part of the house. It was very plain, less ornaments.

Luna: you are the first maid I had. The others are housemaid and they don’t want anything to do with me. They are afraid of my father. But you said my mother brought you in. Which means, you don’t follow orders directly from my father?

Arisa: yes, I directly take orders from you and Lady Maria specifically.

Luna: then, I order you to not be my maid…. be my friend!!

The girl gave me a smile, the first I see since I started working in the mansion. As her last day alive, I granted her final wish. I introduced myself as Mikoto and played with her. It doesn’t matter, you will die after your last supper. As the night comes, the maid is preparing something. An event I am not informed of. The maids told me that I will be bringing out the food, as ordered by Lady Maria. When it is time to do my work, it happens to be a small cake. It was Luna’s 11th birthday. As I bring out the cake to Luna, she was sitting alone at the dining table.

Arisa: Happy Birthday, Lady Luna.

Luna: come join me!!

The girl dragged me and made me sit. She sliced the cake and gave me some. Instead of sitting at the end side, she sat beside me and eats cake with me.

Luna: did you like the cake?

Arisa: I don’t know if I should be eating this, I mean, it was your birthday milady.

Luna: What do you mean? It was your birthday as well. My mom told me so.

Arisa: W.. what?..

Luna: Happy Birthday Mikoto!!

The girl gave me a hug. I forgot I even have a birthday. So it was January 17 today. Wait.. How did Maria know my birthday? It wasn’t in any forms. All information there is fake. My head is filled with questions. It doesn’t matter though. All preparations are complete. It doesn’t even matter if she find out, I will eliminate them both tonight.

As The Mansion gets dark, almost everyone is asleep. Maria had already arrived and is in her room. I rigged the lock in her room. I drugged the maids to enter a deep slumber. It’s just you, me, and the girl. So I proceeded to her room. Timed well that she is showering right now. As I enter the shower room quietly. The room was steamy. She is in the showers. This is it. I attacked with my blade gauntlets. But at my surprise, I attacked a towel stand. Have I been found out?! It can’t be. I turned the shower off so that I can hear. I quickly went outside the room. There on, someone shot me. I quickly guarded.

Maria: how was your day with Luna?

Arisa: how did you..

Maria: how did I found out about your plan? Well of course. If you did your research right. You would certainly fail. For you see, not everything about me in the records are right. And I know for a fact that, Yatagarasu aren’t trusted even by the Military anymore. You think they would give you information about their former soldiers?

Arisa: I see that you are an informat with extensive knowledge even about a group like Yatagarasu. You are not a frail noble with heart problems like they said.

Maria: That last part was right, but as you can see, I am not frail. Yatagarasu was one of the organizations that I can’t get information of, but recently, they are like a new organization. They are selling even their own men. They should know that money will also sell you back. So, If you continue further, I will kill you.

Arisa: come and try.

Maria then started firing her dual revolvers at me. It actually is very powerful that the bullets doesn’t just leave a hole, but it also destroy a part of the wall completely. I quickly shortened the gap between us and attacked her. But what is this woman. It’s like she can read my mind. She isn’t that fast to quickly maneuver away but it is like she knows what I am going to do. As I attack, she started parrying, not afraid of the multiple blades that she could have been slashed as she try to parry me. I jumped back and throw some knives. She shot them all while looking at me, she isn’t even looking at the blades. I flash step towards her and now tried to do some hand to hand. Out of my carelessness, she shot the blade off my gauntlets one by one in point blank as I try to hit her. She reload fast that I can’t even react. As we exchanged blows again trying to hit each other. I quickly threw a flash grenade at my back, she suddenly covered her eyes, which gave me a chance and I punched her in the chest. She suddenly went to the floor, gasping for air. As I go to her to finish her off. She suddenly get to her knees and her eyes changed expression. It was glowing red and opened wide. I flashed to her and tries to stab her she effortlessly dodged. She turned the tables against me and beat me hand to hand. She took me down and then stabbed my leg. Gets her gun, but as soon as she was about to shoot me. “Noooo!!” Luna went between us, keeping her mom from shooting.

Maria: Get out of there, Luna.

Luna: No!! I won’t let you hurt my only friend!

The girl hugged me tight. Maria smiled as she looked at me. Why is she smiling?

Maria: Okay Luna, our practice is over. Sorry if we wake you up.

Luna: Oh!! D.. Did I ruin your practice session?

Maria: Nope, you are just in time, can you be a darling and get the first aid kit?

The girl went away rushing. The girl was in my hands, yet I can’t kill her. Is this fear I am feeling? No… it is something else. That girl… really….

Maria: What if I told you that the organization sold you out? They see you as a liability more than an asset. As I finally received information about the former Yatagarasu. You are one of the top dogs along with your mentor, Shizuo Fukushima, also known as Kagerou. You two became a liability to the group after. And when he left the organization, he became a threat. They are focused on him now. With you swinging between a threat or an asset. Now, this mission is a test, to see if you really are an asset.

Arisa: Why don’t you kill me here and now. It would be an honor. I mean, everyone wanted me dead back there anyway.

Maria: That’s where you are wrong. You are my maid called Alice Han. You are Luna’s friend. And your dad is my shopkeep in the Kingsfall branch.

Arisa: My dad?!

Maria: Yes, he was a famous weaponsmith back then, my husband know every famous one there is. I found out that he is still currently in debt, as such, the Schicksal paid all of it. I also gave him his own shop invested by the Schicksals. That’s when I found out about you.

Arisa: I…. don’t know what to say.

I am very confused. I don’t know what to do now, actually. The girl came back and treated to my wounds. She seems very worried about me.

Maria: think about it. I mean. She really likes you.

From: Ishida, Narumi
To: Mouri, Hotaru


Ø "Null"
Letters from the military

Letter 1

“It’s been approximately 7 months since we last heard about him, “Null”, The Fox, is back at it again. Though his deeds are without a doubt for public benefit, especially now since the war is in progress, he is unlicensed and unwarranted for them and is to be taken in for cases of assault and vigilante justice. Have every available security agency out there on the lookout for him, rumor has it that he’s been lurking near the borderline and stopping petty crimes there since the country’s been thrown into chaos. He’s armed and dangerous, so I advise against going after him alone or unprepared."

Letter 2

“A month has passed and he’s still out there, I thought we’d all have sent out our forces to deal with him?! What of Halophate and Heaven’s Summit, I had assumed that even they would have the forces to handle this situation if we don’t, yet everyone deployed has either been sent home with cuts and bruises or found sleeping in recuperation centers… Can we please treat him as a secondary priority?”

Letter 3

“I’ve had enough, Ig give up, I’ve deployed even my elite forces after this criminal and it’s the same result over and over again! Maybe he’s a ghost? A monster? …A DEMON!? Have everyone informed that the border is to be left, reassign all nearby troops to the checkpoint. There just isn’t stopping him, 11 weeks and not a step of progress… Whatever, focus a good majority of our resources towards driving back our foreign enemies.”

A Trail of Blood 4
Alice Origins 1

As we went by towards Belphas, Miss Luce was driving smoothly. But she is a spy. I wonder how much she knows about me. She is letting someone like me this close to her. Does she really trust me that much?

Alice: so, Miss Luce is a Spy, no wonder Lady Maria can’t get any information on Miss Luce. She had been approaching things wrong.

Luce: I made sure my enemies won’t reach my family. Even if I have to hide my identity. Afterall, Kirisenko can be both kislev or from new Iesland.

Alice: knowing I am an Assassin, Miss Luce is very trusting to me, why is that?

Luce: I’m not the target, also, I doubt Luna would appreciate that either.

So, she trust me because I don’t see her as a threat. But, how can she be so sure? What if that time, she is my target, and she happened to trust me?

Back then, I always use trust as means to get what I want. The current Yatagarasu is that way. They use any means to eliminate the target. Respect to their targets. It is non-existent. Do I have the right to wear this mask?

Alice: Lady Luna would think twice about me if she ever find out I am an Assassin. Or specially what I tried to do to Lady Maria

Luce: Hmmm, Luna not trusting you? I doubt it.

Alice: Judging from Miss Luce’s extensive knowledge, Miss Luce probably heard of Yatagarasu

Luce: Yeah…

By the sound of her voice, she knows about them that much. She should know I am one of them. Arisa Hanamura, Oboro no Yoru. They call me a Komori because of it. But, I never really choose to be an Assassin.

Back then, I am only interested in martial arts. Daichi-Teitoku, I wanna learn it. My father, Yoichiro Hanamura, he is a practicioner with the color of Red. He is a weaponsmith, a fine one to be exact. He always teach me many things. Life is a cruel thing. The Schicksals, they got famous from their weapons. My father lost his customers in just a snap. Sooner or later, for all we know, we are making farm tools, just to get by. My father, lost his passion in making weapons. We later be indebted to many people just to survive. I have to do something. But what can a little girl do?

One day, my dad got stuck into trouble. A bunch of men is asking him to pay his debt. They beat them up in front of my face. They suddenly turned their eyes on me. Those demonic eyes. They started touching me. Threatening my dad to use me as payment. He refused strongly, yet these men continue to touch me. I don’t even remember what they did to me. It was very disgusting. They destroyed me. After they are done, my dad was furious, he is blaming himself. His expression turns dark.

“Arisa, you want to help your Father?” That is all I wanted, so I agreed “Know that everything I do, is for your own good.”

We went to a very hidden place in the mountains. It is raining that time. He spoke with a person and he gave my Father a bag of gold. My Father then left me behind. I did not even asked why. I know what he did. He sold me out. The man asked me to follow him.

“From now on, you will call me, Master. You will learn the ways of the Yatagarasu. That’s all you need.”

It was a very brutal place. They teach kids how to kill. Everything was about killing. It is like an art to them. Yatagarasu’s goal was “Guidance.” So that humanity may not destroy themselves. And they do it, by Assassination.

Master Kagerou, is different among the others. He is a huge pervert. He honestly told me that he bought me because he likes me. That is half of the reason why. He also told me that the other reason is that he sees the potential in me. He told me that my Father was a former Yatagarasu Assassin, and that he wished another Hanamura would take his place. My Father refused at first and threatened to kill Master Kagerou because he knows that he likes teenage girls. Yet my dad cannot do it, as Master Kagerou is far more skillful than him

At first, I don’t want to be in the same room as he is. But deep inside, he is just an old man, wanted to be loved. He trained me the ways of an Assassin unlike any master in the organization. He improved my Daichi-Teitoku to a killing tool. Assassination is like breathing for this old man. But for him, Assassination is liberation of one’s soul. He make it sound like killing is a good thing. He even make a running gag about it. He always tease me that he will grope me, yet, it is just a way to provoke me into killing him, which is a task I can never do. I can never defeat my master. But the thing is. Fighting someone else is a lot easier. It’s like I can think of many ways to kill my co-students.

Before graduation, we have to experience killing. This is the real deal. This is not wood, or jelly, or any practicing tool that we are talking about. This is now, a human being. My first target is a wealthy man from a far away land in Belphas, Brindtsong. Reason to kill is, human trafficking. My Master is the overseer of my work. He tagged along like he wasn’t there. I arrive at Brindtsong via fishery ship. My target is a fishery owner. It is very evident about his crimes. Most of his workers are composed of teenage girls. In my training, I can use trust to lure my target. As such, I use a “weak girl persona” as a cover, I am tied up with a rag for clothes. My target is a very perverted man, he doesn’t even suspect that I am just a new girl working there. I shown my eagerness to do anything for money. He led me to his room. He let his guard down. He untied me. He was about to touch me. I did an Armlock to Triangle Choke. He passed out. It was easy, but it feels scary. I took a knife from his room and as I was about to stab him. Everything is turning black. My Master arrived at his room, saw me in my miserable state.

“Remember what I taught you, Assassination is liberation. This is not just about those kids. This is about him as well. The potential that he might kidnap another child, that he might touch them again. The potential that he might kill again. We need to remove him from that state.”

As I gave it my all to kill this man in one swift stroke. My master gave me a brand and I put that mark on his corpse. The Mark of Yatagarasu.

“From now on, you will take the place of your father as Oboro.”

I am now, a fully pledged Assassin. My master gave me weapons and tools for Assassination. He told me as well that he will give half of my pay to my Father. From there on, I keep taking lives. For my father’s sake. Master Kagerou is my bridge to the outside world. He told me that to see my Father, I have to climb the rank of Master. And so I did. It took me how many years. I am one of the top Assassin in Yatagarasu.

The day I wanted to visit my Father, the head of the Yatagarasu, perished. His son, took his place. From this point on, everything has changed. Yatagarasu took a huge turn. It became a brutal organization. It isn’t for peacekeeping, it is for money. Yatagarasu became a place of hungry dogs. Killing each other in our ranks is now a normal thing. I am even forced to kill my former comrades for self-defense. Killing innocent lives for money, it makes me sick. Master Kagerou disappeared. He has been branded a traitor and got bounty on his head. I had wished to follow him, but he said in a letter that he left me that I should stay for now, he will come back to get me. He knew that I will be killed if I follow him as they are watching me closely. I have no choice. I have to keep killing for this Organization.

My mission briefing has arrived. My next target. Maria and Luna Schicksal.

Twilight Retribution
When you mess with the wrong person

“Boriiiiinnnnggg….” Luce whines as she walks her way to Belphas. No surprise here, she’s got used to the banter during their road trips to the point she finds things dull again.

‘Am I that used to the Chaotic banter we tend to have on the road?’ she muses as she continues on walking on the main road until she heard the sound of a car engine, taking out her mirror she looked at her back and saw cars. she then took out her glasses and used the mirror to check out which one is which.

“One… eh, Two cars? Boy, it seems I did piss off some shady-ass organization, Alright! " she stops and looks at the incoming enemies? she whispered as to her concealed rapier. “Aether code: Operations online general output, non-lethal activated… just in case.”

All slowly went out if the carrying a bunch of knives, swords and and guns. “Hey lady, nothing personal but you got to go. You made a mistake by hitting one of our men.”The idiot proclaimed as he raised his gun towards her, she tilted her head and gave a curious look.

“Pardon, Oh are you one of the friends of those guys?” Acting so oblivious on the fact that they’re pointing at her.

“Don’t lie! One of our men said that they saw you change yourself after sending our guys to jail.”

“Oh, How rude! I was merely checking if carrying those men put a dirt on my clothes. They are one of my favorite clothing you see…” she pouted.

SHADDAP, we know it’s you blonde, we know it’s you because of that picnic bag!” and with that everyone started cocking their weapons towards her she just shook her head and took out the pendant mode of cadeceus and pointed at the floor

“Output: maximum foundry mode hellfire.” She muttered as flames erupt when they started shooting her down.

“My oh, my… It seems that you’re ready to kill me off despite of me returning your men back to where they belong. Wait Let me just call the police.” Takes out her phone and starts calling the police.

“Fuckin die already!”

“Yeah, Brindtsong Police department, there’s a bunch of men trying to kill me what should i do? Can I defend myself from them? Okay.”

And so chaos continues.

Moments later, Luce was a bit wounded but still not out of breath contrast to the mercs who are still on going. Still on the phone with the police

“Yeah, 5 minutes? Sure. I can hold on for that long.”

“Who the fuck are you?”

“Yeahhh, don’t worry about me. Can you also send an ambulance as well? This fight as been going on for a while.
I kinda don’t want to be responsible here. Why did they try to hit me? Thet thought I’m the woman they’re looking for.
Is it so bad for a woman like me to wear a wig? "she healed herself with her healing spell and cleared any type of wound she got earlier.

“My name? Ah later once things settle down” She raised her right arm with now equipped with a stick.

The man spat at her and laughed " you’re surrounded now Lady."

Loud sirens can be heard, and soon enough the men got apprehended.

“… Did you say something about being surrounded?.”

Later on, the men got apprehended and Luce was testifying on the spot on what happened.

" So Dr. Clementine, why were you disguising yourself to begin with?"

“I’m on vacation, and having something a kin of a heroes of sisters. Puts me in a lot of different situations.”

“Alright, you’re free to go now Ma’am. Best be careful alright?”

“Thanks~” Luce smiles and continues to walk back on track.

Soon enough, when she was a bit farther from the area her glasses picked up a signal coming from the shadows edges of the forest.

“Come out now, it’s better you go and face me instead of hiding over there.” Luce said out loud.

And from the shadows revealed a masked figure.

“I rather keep the forest intact, thanks.” She continued.

“These mercs…. what did you do to them?” They asked.

“Called the police " she shrugs

‘Wait, as much as it’s muffled… It sounds familiar…. ALICE?! WAIT WHAT. I THOUGHT-’ out of panick she walked closer to who she suspected as Alice.

“I thought you’re with Luna. what happened to her, is she okay? Has she been eating well?”

Overwhelmed by the questions, Alice posture stiffened as she realized who she was talking to.
“W… wait….. are you?? Miss Luce?”

“In the flesh, you can say I can pick who I’m talking to by listening to their voice no matter how muffled it is.” Luce then fixes her blue wig.
“Kinda part of my job requirement.”

Alice then bows as her gauntlet blades and mask retracts
" I deeply apologize for my rude behaviour "

" No need for apologies, so what brings you here instead of staying with Luna?"

“I have been tracking this criminal organization. They have been trailing you. So I followed them here expecting to get me some clues. " Alice replied

Luce nodded “Hmmm, I see.”

Alice then asks “By any chance, do you know anything about this Miss Luce?”

In reply Luce shook her head.“Not much.” She sighed and continued

“From the first time I encountered them, they were boasting about how they beaten up a silver hair princess. I may have baited them into trying to rob me outside of Rosevine and may have gotten too far with the punches I delivered. Jokes on them, I guess. Why, what happened?”

“Milady got kidnapped at Orient..” “they what now?!” Luce eyes twitched.

“She is fine now at my home. Though….” Alice then took a deep breath and looked at Luce" If Miss Luce knows where they might be, I suggest Miss Luce would just leave it to me and be on her way. I don’t want any of milady’s friends be harmed about this."

" alright, hmmm. Can I join you for a bit though? Traveling alone seems to be a bad idea as of the moment."

In reply to that her new companion’s response.

And so the they travelled to their next destination undetected.

A Trail of Blood 3
Komori's Mask

Lady Luna isn’t awake yet. I can’t blame her. She had been through so much. They are going to pay for this. Sorry milady. I know you would not like this. But I have to. Father says no as well, but he knows that I have to, and he can’t stop me. Lady Luna doesn’t deserve such treatment. She gave nothing but kindness to those around her.

I went to Rosevine again, with nothing but the maid outfit I am currently wearing. I went back to the Schicksal Mansion as I recall Lady Maria gave me something to be only used when Lady Luna is in absolute trouble. I wonder what it is. As I went back to the mansion after several days of my supposedly long vacation, I checked that thing again. A suitcase that needs two hand verification. As I lay my hands on the Suitcase, it made it’s way to my arms, and to my shoulders. It’s a Gauntlet that covers up to my shoulder, similarly to my gauntlets I wear back on my past, but now it is mechanical. It also left a metal mask, similar to what I used to wear. It also has the crest of the “Yatagarasu.” It really takes me back. The gauntlets can go to an idle state that it can be hidden inside the sleeves. Lady Maria really gave me a great but weird gift.

I started my investigation. The diner that milady was first attacked. It seems that, this group got cleaned up after we got out of Rosevine. So I checked the station. According to the officials, the group was trying to harm a girl and a good samaritan beat them and by the looks of it, the blue haired girl that brought them here are the rescuer as well. That girl got ahead of me, and she must be formidable if she handled these mercs single-handedly, though, judging on how this group move, I bet that girl is being pursued without her notice. Without any other leads, I followed the girl’s trail.

My search leads to a halt as her trail stops. The girl’s trace went missing at an inn. Luckily enough, her trace leads me to another. It seems that shady individuals are come and go, looking for traces as well. I bet it is the mercs that I am searching for. One distinct mark they all have. A tattoo, as the innkeeper say. I scour Rosevine, looking for leads. Wish I have the pair of either of my master’s eyes. I found an individual about to ride a car with the same tattoo on his neck. He went off from a mansion. I didn’t had the time to investigate as I quickly followed the car, as fast as I could. I threw a small tracker knife at the car. They went out of Rosevine.

I will follow you and I will eliminate every single one of you.

A Trail of Blood 2
A Life for a Life

Orient, the place I adore since I was a kid. A place we can take refuge at.

Alice: “Milady, we will be arriving soon. We should hurry to the shop and get milady freshened up”

Luna: “Thank you, Alice, I will repay you somehow.”

Alice: “It’s nothing, compared to what the Schicksals had done for me. Even milady had done nothing to me but kindness.”

Luna: “I never actually did nothing for you. I actually don’t deserve your help.”

Alice: “Well, half of the reason I am serving milady is because Maria-sama saved us. As for the other reason, Lady Luna treats me like a family, instead of a servant.

Luna: “I still really think I need to deserve you, but still. Thank you Alice. And for starters, you can call me Luna.”

Alice: “I……. teehee… I will… Luna” She shows a very warm smile from her face.

We arrived at Orient. It seems to be a very peaceful place. I feel less tension here than what I do in Rosevine. It seems to be, quiet. I actually don’t know if it is a good or a bad thing. But at least, Alice feels home. We arrived at the central village in Orient. Where people just come and go. We went to a seemingly hidden shop which happens to be Alice’s house/weapon store.

Mr. Han: “Oh Arisa you have finally…… Milady??” Before I even responded, he quickly attended to my wounds. “What happened to you? Your mother will be mad at me.”

Luna: “I… I’m sorry… don’t worry, I’ll tell her that it is all my fault.”

Mr. Han: “Ehehe, it is just an expression milady, don’t worry, Maria-sama isn’t like that.” “By the way, is this why you went back to Kingsfall, Arisa?”

Alice: “Yes, father, luckily, I was just in time. Though, I failed to protect her before we leave Rosevine.”

Luna: “Don’t worry about it, it’s actually my idea that you search for an inn.”

Mr. Han: “Well, that is already done. For now, milady should freshen up. Oh…. where’s Aigis?”

Luna: “She got destroyed by a foe we fought back from the last mission I took.”

Mr. Han: “Well, it might be a bad thing, but it can turn to a good thing. I can help you make a new one. I was meant to help you make Aigis your own. But now we can make your very own weapon”

Alice: “Don’t take so much of mila…. I mean… Luna’s time away from me, father, I wanna trim her hair first.”

Luna: “That would be great, thank you, both of you.”

I never had a conversation like this with Mr. Han and Alice before. They are a really tight family. I’m glad I have people like them with me and my family. During supper, I discussed my circumstances with them, and they are very willing to help in any way they can. Mr. Han allowed me to help around the shop for compensation of letting me stay. I wanna do this for them.

As I took a stroll on the town, a boy was getting beat up on a nearby alley. I threw a knife at the guy, missed enough to not hit his eyes. The men ran away. The boy came up to me and gave me his thanks. Though suddenly, I blacked out. Someone hit me on my back.

“Well you look at that. We hit the jackpot. We recently just heard what you did to our guys back at Rosevine, then we found you here a couple of weeks ago. You sure are predictable.”

I woke up, tied in an unknown place. It seems I brought trouble with me from Rosevine.

“I heard that girl had some backup from Rosevine, a girl with golden pigtails and cyan eyes attacked them after a few days they got around with this girl. I heard they could have put up a fight if it weren’t the nasty food sold around those parts.”

Girl with golden pigtails? Cyan eyes? Nasty food? Could it be….. Luce?

“Looks like you really are a bad luck on our side. We actually don’t have someone that wants you dead, but you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. And the same goes for your friend. She will be followed. Just like you.”

There was actually nothing for me to use as an advantage from, specially that my arms and feet are tied. But then, these guys brought weapons with them. I can use it for my escape. That one guy is eyeing me for quite a while now, and it seems the girl beside her is scolding him. That’s another escape route. I just need another one.

“Hey kid!! Speak up or we will kill you!! Where did you hide the gold?!” The guy that is eyeing me earlier cocks what it sounds like, a gun.

Kid?? You mean, the one I tried saved earlier? Damn it.. I need to move fast. Come on Luna, use your eyes. Anything sharp to cut this rope. That guy… that guy are holding a gun. Maybe I can….. no…. b… But… I have no other choice.

Luna: “Gold you say? Heh. Shouldn’t you be pointing that gun at me? I can’t accept that this kid is worth more than a noble like me.”

“What did you say Princess?” The guy points the gun at me. “Don’t act tough when your life is on the line.”

Luna: “careful, you don’t want to damage the product, right? Don’t you want to have fun with a rich noble instead of a rotten corpse?” The guy turns red as he started shaking. I seem to have gotten to the girl’s nerve. As expected, she and this man are together.

“You bitch, I will kill you!!” She started approaching me and the guy started pacifying her.

I made my move then use my feet to knock the gun away and rolled to it holding the gun, used the wall to help me as I put my tied hands in front of me, and since it is the only gun in the room, they gonna have to go near me.

A guy tried to stab me with a dagger but he missed and I shot him on the shoulder. The blade isn’t sharp enough to cut the rope fast so I grabbed it using my teeth. Only 5 bullets remaining on this revolver. I shot the girl’s sword away. And another man stepped inside the room. I gave the child the dagger and he quickly tried to untie himself.

The man isn’t hiding like the others did as he seems to be not afraid to get shot. The place was actually a small cabin and a lamp is the only light source for it. I shot the rope dropping the lamp setting the floor on fire between me and the man. The cabin is quickly getting engulfed with fire and they went outside. The kid finished untying himself and helped me untie my feet. I take that time to analyse the situation, a part of the wall was burning down, enough for me to break through. After he untie my feet I immediately grab him, cover him with my body, and charged at that wall, escaping the burning cabin. One of the mercs saw me and started chasing us. I used the remaining bullets to shoot their legs, enough that they can’t chase us.

We hid at the forest. I told the kid to give me the dagger and run away. I used the dagger to untie myself and I decided to buy the kid some time. A noble trading herself up for a commoner child. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Without thinking… I hurt them… Injure them… Wound them. Not thinking about their lives. I lost myself. This is not the first time I have been kidnapped. But this is the first time I wasn’t alone. Hurting these guys will give him the time to escape. Showing strength made them really aggressive. The girl earlier took me down, disarming me from the dagger. I am surrounded and wounded. She punched me and beat me to the ground. Knocking me unconscious. Everything comes flashing back. The people I killed back in Rosevine. Is this the punishment that I finally receiving?

I closed my eyes as I accepted my fate, but a voice tells me. “It’s not your time yet milady.”

Luce's voice log:
Stages of Oumbre la crepuscolo

[ Entry 0]
Even before I got a chance to offer anyone to stay at my safehouse for a while if they haven’t decided where to go, everyone already parted ways.

Times like this are the times where I don’t like my inability to speak out.

And as much as I appreciate Jamil’s car. I had the Halophate send it back to him with a letter of thanks and apologies for letting us borrow his car even though it wasn’t used at all. I safely navigated kingsfall back to my safehouse without the problem of encountering Tyr or whoever he has here for us.

I’ll stay a day or two before moving out. You’d think that people being chased would leave immediately but I took my chances.

Vattos please, protect them.

I made a lot mistakes, left a lot of words unsaid.

I need to atone my sins.

[Entry 0 end]

[Entry 1]

So I stayed for a while, a day or so, time seems to mean little to me as I tried to shadowed my allies through surveillance cameras. Of course, there are times they go to blind spots from time to time. Well except for Narumi. I haven’t seen him appear from anywhere ever since.

Chase went to Yurran, which was understandable. Anne returned to Rosevine, again Understandable. Jackie went back to Corseria, damn I was supposed to teach her a thing or two about spy stuff, hmmm i should probably start making notes .

I found a glimpse of Alice and Luna leaving kingsfall. Gods, I should’ve searched for Luna harder!(has she been eating properly?) Rory is in Rosevine from what I’ve seen. I worry for them, it’s been a while since that incident happened… And now, Enishi is missing? What?

Hmmm, someone is trying to comb Kingsfall. Haha, I never thought I’d be saying this but I guess I overstay my welcome here. Time to move on.

[Entry 1 end]
[Entry 2 – Oct 25]

I was at Etran when I heard of the news. ‘War has begun’ and chaos is here to stay.

As much as I want to be positive and hopeful that war wouldn’t breakout, reality came crashing down on me like a tide of waves yesterday.

I managed to find a secured place to set up a temporary hideout before I move out. Update on Chase and Anne.
Looks like Chase found a relaxing place to stay. I can’t say I don’t envy him though. Anne went back to Gaur. Still no signs with Narumi. Luna went off to Orient, did she cut her hair or something?

All because of this fucking war, more blood will be spilled.

Time to make their trails grow cold for the enemy to see.

[Entry 2 end]
[Entry 3]
Donning the same disguise I used on Dandelion, I walked to Rosevine.

Somehow, along the way, I found Luna’s phone with some shady merchant. I bought it back and tinkered it on my way out. Placing layers upon layers of security and new features on her phone. Had someone courier it to Miss Alice.

Thankfully, the phone wasn’t touched much. I traced who took her phone leading to a group of ragged mercs.

Cursing about a particular large man with tonfa and silver haired princess murderer.

Looking at my pinic basket filled with poisonous food for self defense, I came out with a plan of setting Karma into action. So I went towards them and greeted with fake pleasantries.

Annnnd they took the bait, they talked about what happened in Rosevine and how unfortunate on what happened on the hotel and daycare. Jeering at Luna and her family’s name. I was doing so well until one of them spoke about how they cut her hair and hurt her. I kept my guard up internally as some of them were starting to eye my things, and their twitchy hands.

It didn’t matter to me, they hurt Luna.

No one hurts my sorellina like that. So I kicked their asses harder than usual and shoved the poisonous food I had with me as soon as they tried to ambush me. In turn it took a while to knock them out as the poison sets in. I changed my disguise in the forest.

Hmph, blue hair and blue eyes. Dragged them back to Rosevine and sent them to the nearest clinic. Reporting about how they tried to rob a blonde woman.

It wasn’t really much of a lie though, they were going to with how twitchy they were.

They just so happened to pick the wrong victim to mess with.

Looks like these guys will be sleeping behind bars for a month or so.

So I bid them farewell, and left Rosevine for Belphas.

Luna will not like it but I’m not the type of sister who will let go such crime without repercussion.

[Entry 3 end]

A Trail of Blood 1
Off to Orient

After several devastating events. It is decided that it is best to went off on our own and let time turn the heat down. Tyr can't keep his eyes on us forever. As much as I don't want to, we have to go separately. It was one hell of a ride. My first bunch of friends.

I'm really sorry, Jackie, things turned out bad for you because of me. But you told me to smile, so I should. It is the least that I can do, for all those people that I killed. I must live for them.

This is the last tea that I'll be sharing with Chase. I am still sorry about judging him, about being insensitive towards him. I hope he can forgive me. The problem with Loveless is answered at the cost of the incident. But at least his mind is now cleared of that mystery. The veil is off for Loveless.

As I heard of Anne, she is going back to her hometown. Too bad we didn't had the chance to talk about things. It seems that she is the kind of noble that I was about to be if only I am not stubborn enough. I pray for Vatos that she'd be blessed as she go back.

Rory seems to be set already on where he is going and what would he do next, as expected to our Veteran. I wish I could learn more from him. Salutations to you, and see you again on the field.

Luce is kind enough to serve us the last tea. I wish she would just continue to. She is like a big sister I never had. She looks out for everyone with caring eyes. How I wish it would stay that way. I really sound selfish. I'll be missing her.

Narumi seems to have loosen up. But I can't shake off this feeling that he is still carrying this heavy burden. I know he has to or at least, he wants to, and he is very dependable on that part. But I wish that he remembers us, that we are there for him as well. Take care, the awesome swordsman of the group.

That being said. It is time for me to head out as well. Where should I go? I wonder. Maybe Mr. Han is kind enough to let me stay for a while. Though, it turns out that he had closed shop. The only thing here is dust and an empty feeling around. I spent the night inside this empty space. Spending as much little of my money as I could, selling ammunition as it is now useless because my rifle Aigis got destroyed by Tyr. After a week of fruitless efforts, 2 days without food. Alice found me lying on a stack of newspaper. I am absolutely glad that she arrived. She told me that the shop moved to Orient as the rumors went off that there will be war between Brindtsong and Gaur. She went all the way from Rosevine because she heard that we had lost our Halophate membership and we are headed to Kingsfall for our last mission. She actually deduced that after our mission there, I would be helpless and will take refugee to the empty shop. She was actually right. She told me that Rosevine was a complete wreck and it would be unwise that me or any one affiliated with the Schicksals should set foot there. That would not stop me from visiting my Godfather. So I went to the Rosevine Outskirts with Alice.

It seems that the eyes looking at me in Rosevine haven't change. They still look at me like a monster I am. Specially with the recent incident, I can't blame them. We can't go near the mansion as it is a dangerzone for me and I can only stay at the outskirts. I don't want to drag Alice to any danger, so, I went to a nearby Diner to eat as I told her to look for an Inn to stay. It would seem to be a bad choice, as there are a group of thugs that are staring at me. One recognized me and walked to my table.

"Hey little miss, or should I say, Princess. Seems to me that you are not holding your Rifle. What's the matter? You don't want people to see the murder weapon that you used to kill? Did mommy confiscated your Rifle because you are a bad girl?"

I didn't finish my food and I just try to walk out. But now they blocked the entrance.

"What? running away from us because you are guilty?" "It is not the first that a Schicksal brought tragedy upon Brindtsong, but this is the first that one would be punished for it"

A man throws a punch at me, though it was easy enough to evade him, but that sparked a fight which these people surrounded me. One by one they come at me holding swords, blades, daggers. It would seem that these are mercenaries that I am fighting with. I tried to fend them off without hurting them but I started to exhaust myself. A female mercenary beat me up and cut some of my hair.

"What's the matter, Princess? Helpless without your Schicksal death weapon with you?" "Hey don't ruin her up, we can have fun with her before handing her up to our client. She will pay for hitting us.. hehe.." "She sure bite, she is tougher than she look. But let's see your fighting strength after we are done with you later.. hehe.."

To my surprise, a mercenary was sent flying as a tall man kicked him. The tall man is familiar, he wears an eyepatch and wields Tonfas. It is Rory, and he is with Alice. The two dispatched the remaining mercenaries like they are nothing.

He really saved me there. Alice suddenly apologizes many times, for a thing I did myself.

Rory guessed right that I wanna visit my Godfather one last time before I head to Orient. But he told me about his findings at the hospital. It seems that Uncle En had regained consciousness and killed people in the hospital. The footage seems to cut out in a very strange way. A flashback went off to my head, an image of what the door inside that Reality Marble showed us. My Godfather, in a very different form, heading off against a rain of bullets. Is it connected?

Questions seemed to cannot be answered here. I invited Rory for a drink, well, in my case, a juice, before we say our goodbyes again.

Me and Alice sneaked to a ferry that was about to sail off to Orient. It was great opportunity. I can investigated about my Godfather's origins there.

Off we go.


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