Trails of the Afterglow

Reunite at midnight
Luce uses her phone while eating dinner

I’ll skip the details on what I saw in the database but I do know she’s safe. What I do worry about is that if she’s one of those people, does that mean they’re here as well?

Seeing Narumi was a bit distracted, and went out. I gave him a bit of cover by redirecting the limelight to this impending “talk” they’re about to know.

They can’t fault me for telling them about stuff. They asked for it.

I really need to talk to Ms. Arclese about this, but first, I have to deal with Jamil and Castlewatch.

Until then my decision will stay as it is.

A Trail of Blood 8
This Gathering

As we continue our search, Alice seemed quiet the whole time, until we actually reached a dead end.

Alice: I’ve had enough….

Luna: Alice, what is it?

Alice: I actually know a person that might give us clues about Master En… I just…. don’t know how to tell you. I don’t want you to hate me.

Luna: Alice, you are my friend. I accepted you entirely already. Arisa Hanamura, the Assassin known as Oboro.

Alice: H…. How did you know that?!

Luna: I got curious about you. I did my own research. I found it under my Mom’s secret Database, though, that is the only thing that I found about you. I don’t know your past, I just know your basic information and your Assassin alias.

Alice: N….. no…. I’m a killer…. I am….I’m sorry…. I…..

Before she even explained, I hugged her. She calmed down. She stopped shaking. I guess this is her worst fear. But I am glad I was able to clear it out.

Luna: so I guess we are both killers. Arisa

Alice: no. Luna is pure and serene. I can never be…… I am sorry…. I…..

Luna: if purity and serenity would keep us apart, I would rather be corrupt and chaotic.

Alice: Luna… don’t say that… I’m sorry…. I…..

Luna: I’m the one that should be sorry. I made you my friend, yet, I should have learned about you more. I should have seen it sooner so you can share your suffering with me. You have been paying for your sins since then. You carried this heavy burden long enough. I am here to carry it with you. We are all here, your family back at Schicksal Mansion, and your caring dad also. Alice, isn’t it time you did the forgiving?

She hugged me back, crying. This is the first time I see her like this. Her front is down. I can finally see the Arisa within. With a quick break on our search and she finally calmed down, she talked about her former organization called Yatagarasu and that she had a master there who might know about my godfather. So we traveled for several hours and trekked till we reached a hidden cave just near the beaches of Orient. We took a break nearby and decided to continue it next thing in the morning.

Alice and I had small chat. She said that she once fought uncle when she was infiltrating the Schicksal Mansion. She described it as fighting against a hot wind. You can’t see it, but you feel the heat. He was actually the first one to ever defeat Arisa since she started being an Assassin. When he came back several years ago to the Schicksal Mansion, Arisa tried so hard to hide from him, but he knew anyway. He said that he is glad someone like her is beside the Schicksal Family. Arisa felt honored as she learned from my mom that he is one of the Legendary Swordsman as to his denial to the said title.

As the sun rises, we immediately went into the cave. As we go in, it gets cramped until we hit a dead end. Arisa, however, suddenly did a stance then punched the wall hard. It then collapsed and surprisingly, there was actually an opening. As we entered the narrow pathway, there was a large open area where there’s spring water falling down and ample amount of sunlight passing through. There was a pond where a shrine like wooden house are at its center. Beside the pond is a man who was reading something.

Alice: ugh!! Are you reading those dirty magazines again?!!!
she grumpily goes to the man.

???: A….. Arisa?! N… no!!! I’m.. uh…. How have you been?! Hehe..
the man quickly hid the magazine.

The two seems like father and child as they go on. The man got scolded bigtime.

???: oh, is that girl your Master, Arisa?

Alice: yes, and we need your help to locate her uncle. Oh, by the way, Luna, I would like to introduce to you, Master Kagerou, leader of the True Yatagarasu.

Kagerou: if you are still in Yatagarasu, revealing me as a murderer would had bounty flying to you, but yeah, we both are already wanted.

Luna: pleased to meet you

Kagerou: so, who is the lucky uncle that these two beautiful women are searching?

Alice: Enishi Setsuna

Kagerou: oh… that bastard huh? Haha, well, he is a former Yatagarasu member known as Suzaku back in my young days. He is however got kicked out because he started doing his own assassinations. Suzaku was under your father’s supervision. He, however, didn’t received much training from Oboro that time. He is already skilled enough as it is.

Luna: can you tell us more about him? His origins?

Kagerou: well, as far as I and Suzaku know, he is raised by a woman named Setsuna. He learned everything from her, and his sword Hiryu came from her. As for a more present information. After the old Yatagarasu got fucked up, he returned here to me telling me about a bet that we made. Well, the bet was that the old Yatagarasu would change for the worse if Master Yata died. And it did. He won the bet.

Alice: huh? All I heard about him that incorporated you was that he said you were right.

Kagerou: AHAHAHA!! Well coz I said to him that if ever that happens I will make a new group and Oboro will have a daughter and I will make her join replacing her old man. And my, it almost came true.

Alice: ugh… milady, I apologize for this man’s perverted behavior.

Luna: ehehehe.. It’s okay, really.

Kagerou: anyways, actually, the only members of the True Yatagarasu was only me and him, though, he is also going low profile as a Halophate member. He also is reconsidering joining those Eternals, coz there is this organization is preventing him from staying only in one organization. That’s the Akashic Order. Your uncle, he deduced that they are pulling strings from way back.

Luna: them again.

Kagerou: the only reason why he is in True Yatagarasu is because he asked for my help. But then the man disappeared out of nowhere. I heard about what happened to him and his recent disappearance. I greeted you two earlier hoping that you would have a different agenda.

The man had said plenty of information about him, yet, not a clue as to where he is. I am still thankful though, I get to meet people who knows my uncle. He truly is a great man wherever he go.

Kagerou: by the way, I remember you now. You are that Schicksal that he has for a Godchild. Well then…

The man suddenly gone bloodthirsty and attacked me. I am caught of guard. But then Alice blocked for me.

Alce: have you gone mad, Master?!

The man quickly flipped Alice away and went on to me, instinctively I blocked his attack with daggers. He then started pushing me back away from Alice. As she attempts to help me, she suddenly got trapped by a sealed wall.

Kagerou: I heard all about you. The princess who never had any thorns. A very vurnearable rose. Without showing any might, you can’t protect anything.
the man kicked me to a wall.

Kagerou: let alone yourself.

The man charges at me with killing intent. It’s that feeling all over again, the feeling of death. Everything flashbacks to me, from my childhood. There are many times that I wish I should just die. But I instead got used to their atrocities and changed to see them as friendship. What’s wrong of wanting to be friends with them? The countless people that try to murder me, kidnap me. The feeling of being wanted. That is what I want, right?

As the man approaches, Alice, suddenly blocked for me. She is in a powerful trance.

Alice: I will not let you harm her!

The man clashed with Alice, seemingly being overpowered by her, but then the man went into the same trance as she is in. The man then once again gained the upperhand and then knocked Alice out.

Kagerou: you act like you want to protect your friends. But what is a friend, really? What if I kill Arisa here and now? You would probably fight back. But why? Why must someone get hurt before you act? What is the reason you call her a friend? I can see it in you. You have no voice of your own. You let others dictate your identity. A weirdo, a murderer’s child, a monster, a princess of war…. a vomit vampire. People call you many names and you prove them right. You don’t deserve your friends! What if I kill them one by one?! Can a vomit vampire stop me?!

I feel angry, he irritates me. I wanna scream, I wanna punch him….. I wanna kill him. How dare he say all of this to me?! He doesn’t know what I have been through! How many people tried to hurt me! Blame me from the deaths I didn’t even know of! Get kidnapped by different men and been violated over and over! I hate him! I hate them! I hate everyone!!!

Kagerou: well done

Everything blacked out, as I came to, I am holding a knife and stabbed him at his arm. His thumb touching my forehead. I can still feel my body shaking, forcing it’s way to push the knife further. I feel angry, but what is this feeling? It is like I am seeing myself from a different point of view. Then, suddenly, it all flashes back to me again. Everything bad happened to me. But I feel, relieved. The man then maneuvers his arm while the knife is still there, and then puts his other thumb to my chest. I felt a force just pushed me to the wall. As I hit it, I got back to normal, trying to comprehend what happened.

Kagerou: do you feel lighter now?

Luna: what have you done to me?

Kagerou: in a simple term, I unlocked the chains that binds your cage. Thing is, it is still your decision to open that door. That decision will come when you found that key.

Luna: what do you mean?

Kagerou: well young lady. It is unnatural for someone to contain only light. You return kindness and compassion to those who hurt you. That won’t stop them from doing it again and it most certainly will happen to you again. Everyone has darkness within them. What I did was enable you to release all your negative thoughts and emotions you lock within you before you selfdestruct. Though you still have darkness within you. You are still inside that cage that you made yourself. Remember this sensation, let darkness in but never let the light out. Extremities of white is pure as they say, but I digress. Balance is the purest form.

The sensation I am feeling. It is like a certain part of me has been unleashed. I feel lighter. This maybe what Alice felt yesterday. The scenery feels similar. With all that series of events over, he carried Alice to his house and let us stay there for the rest of the day. As Alice wakes up, he explained everything which led to another scolding from Alice.

Kagerou: young mistress, even though you are not an Assassin, consider yourself a member of the True Yatagarasu and you go by Shirobara. It seems to suit you enough. This organization is a family. Not just murder and peacekeeping and all that complicated stuff.

Luna: uhh, that means white rose, right? Hmmm.. interesting.

Kagerou: what’s the matter?

Luna: nothing much, might be a good name to a weapon I am working on.

Kagerou: oh, just a right time. Here, you will be amazed about this rare metal I am saving for a weapon. But I am too old and magic isn’t around so I have no use for it anyway.

He gave me a new kind of metal. I can’t wait to use it to my weapon. I’m gonna let the company benefit from this as well. Master Kagerou, I can’t thank him enough. Before we go home, he suddenly collapsed and holding his back, we came to help him stand up. But to our surprise, he grabbed both of our bosoms which we immediately backdropped him to the ground. Alice was very frustrated. The old man, however, looks like he is satisfied and everything was worth it.

Alice: that man…. he is really hopeless…. I hope he just get a wife…. Goodbye, Master.

Frustration turns to concern then to worry. It is evident that Alice loves his old master and sees him like her second father. However, the lessons he leaves are in our hearts forever. It is like a connection, just like what I feel with my friends. This is the same case as I made my weapon for the next 2 months. I feel a connection with my Father. This is how he enjoys doing what he loves. When the call from Rory arrived. I can finally say that these connections are true.

Here we are, at Jamil’s house, although not complete, but finally gathered. Narumi was lost, yet the connection led us to him. And I know Uncle En. Soon this connection I have with you. I will see you again. You will come home.

The silver haired girl transforms her suitcase to a guitar. Sings her heart out to commemorate this Gathering.

Kagerou: well, my friend. My debt to you has been paid. The white rose that you kept watch had bloomed beautifully. Come back and keep watching it you bastard.

A Trail of Blood 7
Shadow Behind the Door

Several months had passed, yet, many things had happened. I am still overwhelmed by the information I got and I have to get. It started with that Personal Lawyer that my father have.

He barged in the shop like he owns it. Apparently, Mr. Han and the Lawyer knows each other. It was expected that the company would catch on to my fake death. However, my mom and I didn’t know that the contract that my dad made a rather personal agreement with the Board except my mom that if ever the contract is violated by either me or my Mom. The company will turn a blind eye to it once and to make up for it, by law, I have to fulfill my duties as the head of the company according to the contract. It is like the company and my dad are expecting me to disobey him.

The lawyer looks like that business part isn’t the clincher of his purpose of being here. As my first project on my own, he showed me an unnamed project file. It seems to include Project Rail Gun as one of the sub-projects for this main project. The lawyer said that this are all named under me and is expecting a weapon soon. The company, however, will not market the said weapon and would only want an approval that the weapon is done. Before I even question about this weird and fishy task he has given me, he went off smoothly leaving me in a confusion.

I was given an incomplete project of numerous Superweapons under my name and expect to do something about all of them? And it won’t be marketed and even used by the company? This is a very weird turn of events for me. As I am in a bind, I contacted my mom via Video call. I told her what happened with the lawyer.

Maria: I guess I can’t keep you out of this for much longer. That project was started by your Father for use later in the future. When he found out about his disease, he immediately put it all under your name, hoping that one day, you finish what he started.

Luna: but he already know that I don’t want to be involved in the business, how can he be so sure that I will finish it? And he is making superweapons for me? For what purpose?

Maria: it is not the matter of he wants you to finish it, but rather, he believed that you will make a difference to this world. The company, this weapon, this is all that he can contribute on that. This is actually why we fought the first time. We had arguements, but that is the first that we actually had a fight. Eventually, I lost that arguement.

Luna: it is as if he is preparing me for something. Is it because I bear the Schicksal name?

Maria: your name is a secondary problem compared to what is coming. You are correct that he is preparing you. I know you are looking for your godfather. You need your father’s help to get him back. You see, he is a very skilled man. Even I didn’t stand a chance against him back then.

Luna: you two are close huh?

Maria: I would be lying if I say no. Me, En, and Fredrick were in the same army. Me and your godfather are on the same Intel Division while your father is the Weapons Manufacturer of the army. It was all a sweet past. But everything went south after that incident several years ago. That Mission Report made all these problems we have now. Our supervisor suddenly went missing. Colonel Zir took over and issued a mission of which is the incident.

Luna: what happened back then?

Maria: I can’t tell you all the details, but it all started there. The only thing you need to know, is that the only ones that know the truth about what happened is me, your father, and specially, your godfather. He suffered the most. A certain organization pulling the strings.

Luna: I bet it is the Akashic Order…

Maria: yes. And now, the more the need of such weapon. Your father wished for peace even though he might sound hypocrite. We want you to continue that.

As my mom hurried on hanging up, it felt that she is emotionally unstable. I hope she would be okay. Though, I was surprised about everything i heard from mom. I didn’t know all of this had deeper meaning. I got so curious that I researched about the Mission Report . The reports shows the summary of the incident and the verdict of the higher ups, which is very strange. The military didn’t questioned it until this present day. They can’t do anything now since almost all of the people involved including that Colonel Zir is dead. That organization is really pulling some strings even in the past. Though, I wonder why my mom still doesn’t want to discuss it with me even if she started warning me about the organization.

But at least, I now know that my Father just cares about me. Even if I ignore most of the lessons about the business, I guess I am still a Schicksal. I will make this weapon and use it for peace. I will make you proud, Father.

Questions about uncle are still in the air. With mom maneuvering herself away the topic and with little information about him. It is time to do what I planned to do here in Orient, which is to know his Origins. Alice got back from her “errands.” I hugged her tight as she went inside. With all the obvious wounds she took and her torn clothes, I’m just glad that she is safe. After letting Alice rest and I going on with the weapon for a week, we went to the local Nana Kusanagi Ryuu Dojo. We only know that he is one of the Legendary Swordsmen so this might be the best place to ask. Luckily, we are allowed to see Master Serizawa. I asked her straight questions about my uncle’s sword style. As far as Master Serizawa knows, Enishi’s sword style shows elements that are practiced in Nana-Kusanagi Ryuu, but is done differently. She also theorized that the style might be made by a practicioner and made it their very own style, though, there isn’t in any records about a school teaching such style. With that said, it is also a famous rumor that there’s an immortal swordsman that similarly uses the style and is described as “fighting a terrible Tempest.” She recently heard about the gossip that it might be Enishi, but very unlikely. Before I leave, Master Serizawa asked if I would like to learn in honor of my godfather, but I told her that I already have a Master which is a practicioner as well. As I leave, I got flashbacks of the things I saw in that Moon Door.

To find my Godfather, I have to know about his origins.

Birth of the Elusive Asclepius
Summary of Luce's return to Brindtsong

Leaving Cestia with some of the less savory organizations such as the Mafia asking for me to be their personal familgia doctor, some as me to work for them as a spy.

I told them the same thing as what I told them before.

No, and using their own rules back to their faces. I became some sort of a neutral person. When I asked them why, their answer is about this Null person.

Huh, interesting. They gave me what little footage they got from the guy and ask me if I have any idea who the guy is.

I still told them no and left Cestia with Hermes in tow.

I managed to return to brindtsong with no dificulties. I went to Cordelias first. Seeing that I left my bike there in one of our safe bunker.

I lost sight of Narumi, and now Rory. I don’t want, oh god I lost my sight on them ple-

No! THEY ARE ALIVE, don’t think otherwise Luce. Trust them that they didn’t get mortally wounded or was found by Tyr.

They’re okay. They’re okay…
B r e a t h e.

History won’t repeat itself. Not if I can’t help it.

Hermes curling up on my head whimpering, got me back to reality. We both went to bed and there we slept.
Morning came and we decided to move forward. We went off week per week to help with the medical relief.

Multilated,wounded, sick, amputated, and more. I’ve seen it all. Amongst the sea of the dying, weary, sad, and desperate I steel my resolve for their sakes. I tried helped them all. Some of them asked me to use some of my disguises to at least give their goodbye.

No one should die alone, so even if I have to give them a familiar face before their last breath expires.

Everyone in the Med campsite knows it. Everytime a patient wants to say their goodbye. A soft sobbing can be heard in that tent. Every week, every location I join in. There will be that one patient who will ask for their love one.

Everyone seems to think that it’s merciful of me to do such a thing, families who has been sent the message seems to think so after all. I rather find it sad and depressing.

I’m not under the illusion of thinking that no one knows where I am. I don’t care anymore, if this my way of trying to help then I’ll just have to do it.

I gave my oath to serve and help the people, so shall it be. If needed be, ASD TRUST hasn’t done anything else.

My travels around brindtsong surfaced a new moniker for me to hold.

“Elusive Asclepius” as they say, due to my knowledge on shortcuts of the roads. Elusive because, First, I don’t stay in one place for too long. Second, my shortcuts usually isn’t the best way to go from one place to another.

I got a call from a familiar number, said that I need meet up with everyone near the demon crater, the one at the foot of the ruins of Loche village.

I finished the remaining things I still need to do before leaving for Gaur. Which made me wonder, why there of all places? Whatever, time for a detour again.

A World War
Summary of Rory's logs

Week 3:

It’s been a few days since the war was declared between Brindtsong and Gaur. Enishi’s whereabouts and conditions can wait, for now, people are suffering down south. I make my way down south to Sankt, the forefronts of this conflict. I’m pretty sure I’ll be of service there.

Week 4:

So as not to draw attention to myself, I make my way via land trip, a combination of hitch hikes, commutes, and rail. Staying off the main Brindtsong road and unto the road less traveled. I make my whereabouts and destination known to Loki and the Eternals. It might serve them well to know where I’m headed. I am paying extra attention to being cautious. After all, I was advised to keep a low profile. My funds are running out. I can barely eat 2 meals a day at this point, not that I am not used to it, but old habits die hard.

Week 5:

I finally arrived on the town of Sankt. Some parts of town look to be a forsaken destitute place the moment I arrived while other parts seem to still have people living in fear for their lives. It’s only to be expected. The cost of living here is a bit less than I expected. People just get by with what they have. I believe people have fled here the moment it got hairy, making my stay at the local inn fairly cheap. They could use all the guests they need. I’ve established a base of operations, as such. I see military personnel coming in and out of town everyday. I feel inclined to join their ranks, if only I could afford to do so.

Week 6:

I make myself useful doing some relief efforts to the evacuees while gathering info on the ongoing war. It makes me feel sorry I couldn’t be doing what I do best out there. But conflict and taking sides would only bring upon more violence and conflict upon people. In order to put a stop to this war, I need to get to the source, but how?

Week 7:

I take my daily walks to the relief center as usual. Some places are really getting worse for wear by the day, I noticed. And it would so happen I see a boy no older than 10 being mugged for a big sack of food, by 3 rough looking men. The men look to be as desperate as they can get. Desperate, but totally unjustified in trying to take from the helpless. I intervene and end up incapacitating two and scaring off the third.

The kid thanked me profusely and mistook me to be someone else he thinks he knows. He kept asking me if I was Mad Dog Mask, to which I assume I bare resemblance of?

Regardless, I accompany the kid back to where he was going to keep him out of trouble. It turns out he was one of many children who belong to an orphanage just on the outskirts of Sankt. The orphanage is a big house, belonging to a relatively ginger-haired young woman named Sara Posh. Her father passed away a few years back and left her to care for the children he had welcomed to his home ever since he retired after the death of her mother from illness.

She invites me to stay after thanking me profusely for escorting Drew back to the orphanage. I saw myself in these kids. I know it was a lifetime ago, but I couldn’t bear to see them struggling with this war going on. I decide to stay and help them as best as I can.

Week 8:

Mad Dog Mask was apparently a renowned masked fighter both on broad daylight and in the underground. He had a build relatively the same as me according to the kids at the orphanage and Sara. One day, he just went missing though. Rumors surrounded his disappearance, but foul play was suspected to be the root cause.

Regardless of what had happened to him, the moment I had learned of this information and the whereabouts of where these underground fights were taking place, I hatched up a plan to impersonating Mad Dog Mask and rink in some quick cash to help the orphanage. What better way to hide and keep a low profile than to dawn a new identity,right? And who knows, I might just even make enough to help them relocate to a safer place.

Week 9:

Days go by. By day I sleep and play with the kids at the orphanage. By Night, I enter the cage as Mad Dog Mask, surrounded by who are worse gamblers than I am and people who consider combat a spectator sport. I get a cut from winning and use the bets on myself. Cash comes in quick, and I hand almost all of it to Sara.

Sara has begun to notice, I’ve been going out late and coming back roughed up.

I’ve been getting rusty, and without proper assistance, I’m wearing my body down fast. But seeing the smiles on the kids is what keeps me standing up after every beating. I just don’t know how long I can keep this up though.

Week 10:

This Null person is making headlines all over. Despite being deprived of any news, I still hear the guy’s name in whispers across the militia across town. I have a feeling who it might be, but it doesn’t concern me at the moment. Life’s looking up and it won’t be long until I can surprise the orphanage of their possible relocation.

My last scheduled fight is against the deadliest fighter to ever grace the cage, The Guillotine. Bets against an old timer like Mad Dog Mask is 3:1. If I win this all in, I’ll have the money, no problem.

The fighter put up a good fight and I almost lost my life that night, had I not been able to fool him into a ruse and land a choke when he was totally making quick work of me. I bet the kids wouldn’t recognize me come this morning. Good thing my teeth are all still here, else they might think I’m a total stranger.

As I was exiting the area into the abandoned alley, I smell something familiar, and before I could make what it was, I duck for cover on instinct upon seeing a familiar perched silhouette of a man bearing a rifle aimed at me. I guess they could be anyone. Tyr’s men? People who want the winnings I’ve got? Just those desperate thieves? I’m stuck ducking behind cover. If only I’m still wearing my armor. And then it dawned on me.

These men were trained and well on their way to take me out. If only the team were here, we’d probably be able to take them out as a team or at least put on a good show. But, regardless, the show must go own…

Taking a big chuck of think plank I charge through the hail of bullets grabbing hold of the nearest armed assailant, making a meat shield out of him ducking from cover to cover, dispatching close assailants as they come close enough, but not without getting cut and beat in the process. I was hoping that some of them carried any sort of grenade or anything I can use, but there is practically nothing at the moment.

Just as before I am pinned into a corner. They tactically make their way towards me, moving and covering. I’m all out of gas. I guess the show will have to go on without me. I make one final charge at the critical moment and everything starts to fade like I had just woke up from a dream.

Week 11:

I wake up all covered in bandages, gauze, and splints. In the local inn, the sun’s raise blinding my eyes through the window.

“You only had a few to take out, I’m surprised they hadn’t fled when you took out most of them.”
were the first words I heard and it was from a voice I know all too well.

Tanya was by the window, her face I couldn’t read. I couldn’t tell if she was disappointed, worried, angry, or frustrated.

“I know that you know the truth. So stop lying to yourself.”

“Huh?” was all I could mutter, trying to get up but failing.

“You know you’re trying to fix things up with strips of tape, but not getting anywhere. You’re know this better than I do. Trying to fix the symptoms, but not the root cause of the illness.”

She walks across the room and tells me. “Your clothes are inside the closet. I’ve taken the liberty of making an anonymous donation to the orphanage. I’m pretty sure that girl Sara would be really appreciative of it. I’m pretty sure they’d have pieced it all together by the time they receive it, Mad Dog Mask.”

She throws the mask right unto my face, and as I removed it, she was gone.

Hmm… had she been keeping tabs of my activity all the while? Her feathers seem to ruffled up for some reason. Regardless, I need to make some calls.

Fleeting light part 2
Luce's thoughts while at Cestia

Ahhh, Cestia.

Land of the religious and zealots. Also, the land of THE mafia. Why do we need war when you have them lurking around, at least they send help on both sides.

My homeland, I’m home.

A stark contrast between Gaur and Brindtsong. Tranquil to glance at but if you take a harder look, and observed. You might as well ask them to toss you to the sea in a barrel filled with concrete voluntarily.

Thankfully my family is a bit well known with most of them being doctors and researchers.

They don’t mess with the family who heals and treats their wounded. You can say we’re well protected here in exchange of our services.

My family were a bit disappointed when Nem and Tris opt out being a doctor, so our dear ol’ relatives forced me to be one. Sent me off to St. Aqua academy, little did they know that I’ve been training for quite some time for ASD TRUST and been studying at Artestech for Archeology during school break.

When I got home the first thing they did was ask me how was my medical pilgrimage.

I just told them that, I just came back to get some supplies, rest for a week or so, get Hermes and head back to Brindtsong.

It was nice of them to shut the hell up and not ask for more.

As for Hermes, who seems appeared out of no where to jump on me, then proceeded on running in circles around me.

For the whole week I was there, I actively avoided anyone from my relative’s inquisitive gaze, bringing Hermes back to shape, which is not hard but yeah.

These people, as much as I love them, I can’t help but not to forgive them with forcing me to finish medicine to the point where they made me lie to my sisters on wanting to be one.

Technically foxes are dogs, so as requested I got a grey fox as my companion. Search for land mines? It took me quite a lot to get her but it was worth it.

Time to go back to Brindtsong, this time around as a Doctor in the medical field.

Fleeting light part 1
Luce's thoughts while at Gaur.

After leaving Brindtsong by sea. I made a couple of detours to reach Gaur.

Somehow, I manage to stumble upon the public persona of… Tyr. Tyland Forrester… No wonder he somewhat looks familiar. The great general of Gaur. As much as I want to visit Anne to check on her I don’t want that man to think that we’re here to pick a fight.

Right now, he’s most likely has cooled off for a bit due to the lack of people trying to main or kill us.

I just came to Gaur just to show my colleagues that I’m actually alive and was just sending my reports on my new research on the anomalies and more about the prospect of the relics of the past. Completely void of what happened in Brindtsong. Some of the scientists here haven’t changed much especially with those people who has expressed their dislike for Brindts.

Their jeers and insults, all of the flamboyant voices and shitty attitudes reminds me of the time I misjudged a person due to the result of this kind of toxicity.

I hope when all of this is over I get the chance to treat the guy with Aetherbloom tea.

They gave Nathaniel’s letters, and told me how he likes me and how he’d probably feel devastated if I sunk deeper into the void we call “depression”.

They gave me his most prized bow and told me to use it to protect those who mattered to me. They know that they taught me how to use one, but they also gave me a refresher course to keep my me on my toes.
4 1/2 week stay at Gaur

As soon as they deemed me as an okay archer, they told me the name of the bow and a box of Aetherbloom tea.

[Artemis’s crossbow], it was a crossbow with a high grade scope. Fitting that the limb shapes like cresent moon. It has two modes, one that uses bolts and the other uses the user’s mana.

They said that the Aetherbloom tea is their payment for telling them the truth.

I left them promising that I will not let them down, bid them goodbye, and so I continued my journey to Cestia.

A Trail of Blood 6
Alice Origins 3

It is time. I will settle the score here and now. Thanks to Miss Luce, this will be over quickly. I hope her journey will be a safe one.

Before I proceed, I received a voice mail. It’s from my father.

“Arisa, listen. This is probably the first time and last I will ever speak to you as former Oboro. Assassination is liberation of one’s soul. I know you will do the right thing, for you are my daughter and my successor for the position of Oboro. I am very proud of you. Go forth. For milady.”

Just what I needed. A reminder of who I am. I’m not a ruthless killer. I am Luna’s Friend

I found an abandoned Mana Power Station. According to Miss Luce’s data and deduction, my target is in a warehouse somewhere in the station. I need to cover a lot of enemy ground before I reach them. Perfect as the sun has already set. The shadow is my friend.

I entered the premises, knocking out necessary guards in my way. It is easy, but too easy. If my target was a Noble, which I think it is. Why is there less guards? And so, I found one of the warehouse. Sneaked on the roof. Suddenly, a noise of a helicopter arriving outside. A nobleman with guards arrived. Looks like I am early for the party.

Noble: Clumsy! Clumsy! Clumsy! You dogs are worthless!! You fools can’t even kill one girl?! I’m wasting my money on you useless lots!

???: Whoa, take it easy.

From the shadows, a man approaches the noble. Was he there the whole time? Am I compromised?

???: If you only let me do the hunting, that girl would have been dead by now.

Noble: These guys didn’t finish her in Brindtsong, then I received reports that they captured her in Orient and demanding money. But she got away from them again. Hah!! Glad I didn’t agreed.

???: What are you going to do now?

Noble: We stick to it, and hunt that girl down.

???: That’s nice and all, but we got a rat listening to us!

The man suddenly slashed me from a far. I quickly dodged it but revealed myself.

Noble: Damn it!! Kill her Koga!!

Koga: That won’t be easy. Judging from that mask, it’s the legendary Oboro. Heh…. well, former Oboro. So, you wanna play huh?

Arisa: You are not my target, stay out of it.

Koga: I’m afraid I can’t do that. You see, this one pays me to get in your way, traitor.

Arisa: You are the traitor when you followed Master Zangetsu after Master Karasu died.

Koga: Enough talk, our blades will decide who is in the right.

Our blades clash, we are even. Our steps where light. The normal eye can’t see, but we are fighting to the death. Suddenly, a splash of blood. It marks the first strike, and I win on that. Getting the upperhand, I quickly charged at him, but he seem to know what I’m about to do. He quickly dodged my attack and kicked me away.

Koga: Heh, so predictable of you, Oboro. Gaining the first strike and you capitalize on it. You make me sad. I know how you fight. I did my research about you even back then. I am ready to take you on. But I guess prodigies like yourself doesn’t need to know their opponent to win.

He used a smoke bomb and circled me. I can capitalize on this, and so I used the cover to kill my target, the noble. But then, the Noble happens to be a smoke clone. Koga shoots shurikens on different angles. I flash stepped away from the smoke. He really knows my every move.

Koga: Like I said. Predictable.

Noble: G…. Get me out of here Koga!!

Koga: You are asking for a very difficult thing. Just enjoy the show.

The noble was with him all along. He really knows my next moves. Then what should I do? How can I win? He started taking the initiative, he is making me defend. I can’t dodge his attacks. If I am not careful enough, I might move to the direction of his attacks. He suddenly slashed me several times. I guarded just enough so that he doesn’t cut me deep. I got bloodied in just that exchange. My body feels heavy.

Koga: I hate seeing a female suffering like that, so I will end you quickly.

The wind suddenly gone wild. He draws his sword and then the wind acted as his blade. The new gauntlets protected my torso. But I received wounds where the arm guards and gauntlets cannot cover. Next thing I knew, I am facing the ground, bloodied.

Koga: Impressive, those gauntlets are something. It didn’t even get scratched. Too bad, it didn’t protect the rest of your body.

He points his blade towards me. Is this what it feels like knowing that death is coming for you? I don’t want this. I still want to be with Luna. Even just a while. I owe her that much. I can’t die here.

As I hang between life and death. A memory flashed back. A memory of me and Master Kagerou teaching me about a secret technique. It was something about discovery of one’s self, about enlightenment. But for one to experience it, one must be clear and serene. I can’t do it that time. Is it really possible for someone like me to be that? And he said, picture someone like that and make that person your inspiration. I got the perfect person. Someone that is pure, like her intentions. Someone that when you see or be with, you will feel at ease. You will feel the calm winds. With that in mind, I feel like I can do anything.

My body feels light, I punched him just inches away. He can’t even react. I just have to

Koga: W… What the hell! How can you be standing!!

Alice: Meikyou Shisui….

Koga: i’m gonna kill you this time you bitch.

He did his special attack again. I can see the wind, curving as if it is turning to blades. As I dodge each and every one of them, I can see… Tunnel vision towards his back. As if it is like a whirlpool, pulling me in. I let it pull me. My body moves on it’s own. My blades streaked into this path. The feeling was satisfying. A clean hit. A lethal strike.

Koga: H…. Heh….. to think I am….. the first to see that……. and it be my last……..

Alice: You are free, my former comrade.

He died peacefully. As if he got cleansed. This feeling. Master Kagerou, I finally did it. And with that said. The noble got away. Or so I thought. As I went outside, lots of men are pointing guns at me. They started firing. It didn’t matter though, I can see that path again. I followed it towards the barrage of bullets. I freed my next target from his evil self. His men didn’t even realized that he is dead, until they ran out of bullets. I am long gone before they finish.

After I finished my mission. I arrived at Rosevine to claim milady’s phone. But that isn’t all. A letter delivered to me. It is from Master Kagerou. It is an invitation for his new organization, Shin Yatagarasu. He wants me to be his right hand. I feel honored, but,

I already have a responsibility. And that is to be Luna’s Friend.

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.


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