Warnings: OOCness, mangling of character's personalities as I see fit.
Summary: The Greatest Magician. The man universally acknowledged to be the "strongest" of all Magicians. Name, age, affiliation: all unknown. The Strongest Exorcist. The woman who the Vatican recognized as their deadliest exorcist. Name: unknown. Age: unknown. Affiliation: the Church.
Recognized as "Humanity's Strongest", will the change the pair bring to the world be carnage or salvation?
Disclaimer: Only the story concept is mine. The rest is owned by their respective owners.
What manner of unfulfillable dreams has such a hideous monster like yourself seen?
Long ago, it was said that countless beings existed with powers great enough to control and destroy the world. They were called demon lords, devils, dark gods. The world was constantly in danger of being destroyed at their hands. But if beings of evil existed, deities of the opposite spectrum, justice, must exist as well. There were warriors, called legendary heroes... These heroes would appear, with power far beyond that of demon lords, and they would slay the monsters. And perhaps, the one most renowned of these heroes was the Black Hero.
A figure clad in black armor endlessly cut, slash, cleaved through hordes of monsters, until he stood atop a mountain of corpses. This was the Black Hero. Endlessly battling, endlessly struggling, endlessly warring. His life was simply an eternity of battles, an endless conflict against the world. However, as he continued hacking and tearing at his foes, his sanity slowly slipped into the abyss. With each slash, a tiny piece of his mind dropped into the great beyond. With each cut, the void, the sheer meaninglessness of his actions ripped away at his rationale, infiltrating his mind and causing it to wither and collapse, each slash driving him closer to insanity.
And so, the Black Hero who fought and fought against the entire world... finally, truly, broke down. It was then the Black Hero became the Fallen Black Hero.
And so, it was finally, in the Fallen Black Hero's moment of vulnerability, the Goddesses, a corrosive collective force of legendary power that devoured everything, protectors of the world, managed to seal the hero in a location far away to the south. But another monster lived in that area: the Lonesome Devil, a legendary demon lord clad in the clothes of a jester who held the power to create and dismiss existences at his mere whim, hideous and ever so lonely, so lonely that he almost died from the void of loneliness.
"I want power to get out of this place. I need power to get out of this place. Would you give me your flesh? Would you allow me to eat half of your body?" The Fallen Black Hero asked of the Lonesome Devil, who had stumbled upon his seal.
The Lonesome Devil, happy and ecstatic at the prospect of being of use to somebody, overcome with joy at the prospect of making a friend, smiled and agreed. "Sure, go ahead. You're the first friend I've ever had, after all. For you, giving up my body is no big deal at all."
The Lonesome Devil, who was also called "All Formulas", was split into the Solver of All Formulas and the Weaver of All Formulas. And the hero devoured the Weaver of all Formulas on the spot, gaining enough power to escape his seal.
Continuing his endless battle against the world, the hero broke the world, broke it, and broke it even more, until he finally reached the world's core, the world's center. But what he found there was... the blackest despair, pain, loneliness and hell... A torturous, excruciating and agonizing entity called All the World's Evil.
And darkness, and darkness, and darkness, and darkness...
He had finally achieved his long-held dream, having gained the strength to destroy the world and its endless darkness at last, but he became unable to utilize the power without dying himself. He looked down from his high position, the mountain of corpses of the enemies which he had slain, to the lonely figure crouching at the foot of the hill he had created, and pleaded.
"Help me. Help me. I want to destroy the world, but I am going to die first. Someone please, take this darkness, this pain, in my place."
The crouching figure, looked up to the Fallen Black Hero and smiled again. Clutching the remaining half of his face, he happily proclaimed, "Then, you can use the remaining half of my body. You can put the darkness in here."
The Lonesome Devil didn't regret his fate much at all. Because he had made a friend, even for just a single moment. Because he was able to live for his friend, even for just a single instant. Because his existence held meaning, because his existence was useful, even if it was for a single, short moment.
The Lonesome Devil was a fool.
An utter, lonely and pitiful fool, to the very end.
Ryner's eyes flickered open, as a befuddling haze encroached upon mind. Bewildered and groggy, he tried to blink away his sleepiness as he gazed at the alien scenery.
"...That dream again." He thought to himself, as recognition starting to bleed in after time, his mind slowly becoming more cognizant and the alien scenery suddenly wasn't so alien anymore. He emotionlessly gazed at the blank ceiling that was the sky, and sighed. He leaned his body further backwards into the ground and muttered, "...What a drag. I'll just go back to sleep."
Of course, a story wouldn't be exciting if the protagonist managed to go back to sleep, right? Thus, to rectify this...
"Wake up, Ryner!"
That call was the only warning our protagonist received before his body was kicked by a large force, jostling him from his sleep. Yawning, Ryner opened his eyes and glared at the impudent person who had dared to interrupt his sacred sleep.
"...It's you. Damn it."
A beautiful blonde young woman with a voluptuous figure, the individual who stood before Ryner was without a doubt, an unworldly beauty. Long and wavy golden blonde hair that reached down to the knees, and blue eyes adorned an emotionless face with alabaster and milk-like skin tone. Clad in a white and red outfit that was light and served to ensure mobility in battle, the figure's womanly features stood out as an ephemeral beauty. Fastened to her hips was a great sword with a beautiful, blue sheath.
"...Roland's soldiers are coming."
Ryner Lute was a simple looking man clad in blue and white garbs that seemed suitable for traveling. With brown eyes and brown hair tied in a ponytail, Ryner Lute could be called handsome if not for the lethargic, sleepy, and unmotivated expression on his face. Shaking his head and yawning, he slowly stood up, as if that single motion required a stupendous amount of effort from him. "...Again? That cursed demon king, attempting to kill me, and throwing me into prison, I can forgive. But infringing upon my naps? Unforgivable..."
Turning to the road, he spoke to his companion, "Stay here, Ferris. I will settle this quickly."
Ferris Eris, the stoic and silent blonde-haired and blue-eyed swordswoman merely nodded to show her assent, as the sound of what appeared to be the trampling of horse hooves on soil resounded through the air. It was the unmistakeable sound of an approaching army.
His hands shining in a blue light, he quickly traced a magical circle, a glyph which composed of an eye superimposed over a pentagram, and uttered an incantation. "What I seek is the burning field. Kurenai!"
The glyph glowed a crimson red, and fire spewed forth like a river from the magical circle, like that from a dragon's breath, turning the ground into a literal "burning field". The fiery deluge surged forth down the hill, scorching its caster's foes in flames. Neighs and roars of pain filled the air. However, the confrontation was not yet over.
"What I seek is the water cloud. Mizui!" An unfamiliar voice shouted out within the ranks of the approaching army.
A stream of pressurized water shot forth from the glyph that appeared in the sky, its purpose to quench the fire field. Hissing steam rose to the air as fire clashed against water. It was a perfect, textbook and theoretical counter to the fire spell he had cast. Unfortunately, the water spell itself had another perfect, theoretical counter.
"What I seek is lightning..."
And that was -
"Izuchi!" A bright yellow lightning appeared from the glyph he drew in the air in a split second, streams of electricity forked its path into uncountable beams and struck the water, the water acting as a medium and conductor to transfer the electricity into the water spell's caster. Shocked into unconsciousness by the great force of the lightning Rolandic spell, the water spell faltered and fire triumphed. Screams of agony cut through the air once more, a fanfare of death, a dissonance of war.
Turning back, Ryner sighed, "Let's hurry up to the next town, Ferris. I want to get a nap as soon as possible."
Stretching, Ryner moved in the direction of the next town, before something caught his attention and caused him to stop. To be more precise, it was the absence of something, the absence of the footsteps of his fellow traveling companion and convict, that halted his advance. Frowning, he turned once more and asked, "What's wrong?"
"Something feels wrong. The sky... The clouds are unnatural." Looking towards the sky, Ferris held a rare frown on her face, her eyes betraying her worry. Ryner followed her gaze and saw what she meant. Painted upon the dark, ominous sky, spiraling upon a single focal point, the clouds boiled together in a roaring mass, a maelstrom, a swirl of condensed water which resembled a funnel.
"You're right." Ryner's face, which normally held a lazy and lethargic expression melded into one of worry and curiosity. "I have a bad feeling."
Suddenly, the aerial whirlpool roared. There was no other word to describe it. Like light around a black hole, like water curving into a funnel, the unknown phenomenon sucked in everything, from the birds which soared through the air to the very earth itself, everything was sucked into the black maw, the void.
"Wh-what?! What the hell is this?" The duo shouted as gravity worked in reverse. The two were slowly drifting upwards towards the cloud formation, helpless to do anything. Panic-stricken, Ferris yelled, "Ryner! Can't you do anything about this?!"
Ryner looked up to the spiraling clouds and closed his eyes. When he opened them a second later, his eyes were flaring in a furious red, a blueish-white five pointed star inscribed upon his iris. This was the Alpha Stigma, Magical Eyes which was said to hold the capacity to analyze and comprehend all magic. Using these eyes, Ryner attempted to gain information of this unknown, gravity-defying phenomenon. But what he found shocked him.
RANGE: BEYOND DIMENSIONS/INFINITE
ACTIVATION METHOD: ?
POWER LEVEL: EX+
ADJUSTED VALUE: ?-?-?
Useless and irrelevant information that served no purpose in helping him stop what he now ascertained to be a result of magic flooded his mind, as numbers, coordinates that made up the magical formula and matrix flashed before his eyes. Helpless, Ryner gazed at the opening in the sky, and for a split second, he peered into the void, and saw a blank, grey and reptilian orbs staring back, draconic eyes that belied its existence as one that lied outside the boundaries of all human knowledge, wisdom and power, one that lied beyond the infinite. It was then he and his companion was enveloped and engulfed in a bright iridescent-colored light, swallowed by the kaleidoscopic void.
The cloud-formed vortex then collapsed upon itself, before flattening and dispersing, the stormy weather suddenly calmed and the skies turned back to its vivid blue. Nobody would be any the wiser to the curious, forced departure of the scion of the venerated noble house of Eris, and the man dubbed "The Greatest Mage of Roland".
Their vision blackened as they lost consciousness. And they knew no more as they moved between dimensions, their destination... unknown.
Some called it the Void, some, the Outside. Some knows it as the Unknown. But to most, however, it is called the 'Dimensional Gap'. It is a realm between worlds and dimensions, a fissure between spaces, a literal gap in the dimension that connected the entirety of the universe. It is a space where its structure is ever changing... No, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it had no structure. Mass, space, time, such physical quantities were inconstant in the realm called the Dimensional Gap.
A fata morgana, a mirage which only constant is that there is no constant. This was an apt description for the Dimensional Gap. A constantly changing, shifting, warping wheels of colors, a never ending metamorphosis of light, the Dimensional Gap was a realm that lacked a true appearance, for it was endlessly morphing. Indeed, one could say that the closest comparison that could be made to the Dimensional Gap was a kaleidoscope, which represented an infinite array of changing colors, but even that was too simple a comparison to make.
Shape. Color. Mass. Size. Man uses such quantifiers to describes objects, to comprehend the unknown, but even those faltered before the Dimensional Gap, for it was a realm on a different level that lied outside the comprehension of mankind. It is a place alien, incomprehensible to the minds of mortal men. The unlucky few, who managed to peer into the void of the gap, were driven insane. The luckier ones managed to hold on to their sanity while they died, their bodies unprepared for the "nothingness" within the Dimensional Gap and were quickly consumed by it.
It was this primordial sea of chaos where one deity called home. Appearing as a young girl with black hair long enough to reach to the hips, this being had skin as pure as the moon and blank, cold eyes that of onyx gray. Clad in black, frilly Gothic Lolita clothes and a pair of white shorts, this creature was known by a great number of names. "Infinite Dragon God", "Ouroboros Dragon", "the Strongest Existence", this being was more commonly known as "Ophis".
She stood on the nothingness of the void, her eyes gazing speculatively at the two new unconscious occupants of her realm that had appeared through a strange portal. If she had to guess, the portal was probably created from one of her recent clash against her nefarious rival, the Great Idiot, their combined auras coming together to create a fluctuation in the gap beyond space, cracking the space and walls between dimensions and creating a portal to a different world.
Noticing that the two beings before her were quickly dissipating to the ether due to their frail mortal bodies, she waved her hand and surrounded them in a shroud of purplish black energy which served to protect the two figures from eroding away in the Dimensional Gap. She did not wish for them to die yet before she came to a decision on what to do with the duo.
On one hand, she could let them live, allow them to traverse through the Dimensional Gap to Earth. On the other, she could withdraw her power and allow them to wither into dust here.
Gazing to the two figures, she reached out with a tendril of dark energy, just as her eyes glowed black. The glow dimming a few seconds later, Ophis blinked and continued staring into infinity, the abyss beyond, frowning.
"This power, may prove to be of use in driving the Great Idiot out of my home." That singular thought flashed through her mind. Her decision was made. With a single clap, a portal separating the walls between dimensions opened, and the duo began to dissolve into blue specks of light that slowly trailed and entered the portal in a continuous stream. She then waved her hand once more and closing the portal once the two figures had fully disappeared from the Dimensional Gap.
Beneath an oak tree, on a quiet and nondescript forest, an unusual phenomenon occurred. The air seemed to warp and fold upon a single spot, a low humming sound reverberating through the hill, scaring away small animals and critters from their monotonous activities. The air twisted upon itself, before widening like a maw ready to consume, forming an oval portal. If one dared to peer into the portal, all they could see was an infinitely changing spectrum of colors, before their mind broke down before the sheer madness of the Dimensional Gap.
It was from this portal which two twisting streams of light appeared from, one dancing through the air to the ground where it coalesced to form the solid unconscious figure of a man while the other shooting towards a different direction, towards an unknown location.
Their travel through the Dimension Gap were subtle, silent, without a trace, all thanks to the power of the Infinite Dragon God, who had made sure to ensure that the magician and the knight's entrance to the world would be unannounced.
As the portal closed, two orbs of onyx gray continued staring at the resting figure of the man without emotions, inspecting, studying him. Just as the portal were about to finally shut, the shroud of energy that still surrounded the male shimmered and slithered back to its owner like a snake. Before the doorway between dimensions fully closed, the Ouroboros Dragon whispered a single sentence to herself.
"I, look forward to your exploits, Lonesome Devil... Solver of All Formulas."
Ryner groaned, as beams of sunlight penetrated through the cover of leaves and shined on his eyes, forcefully awakening him from his slumber. Slowly opening his eyes, the first thing he saw was the canopy of leaves on their boughs high above him, shining a vivid and emerald green. Through the cracks between the canopy cover, he could make out the blue sky of day. Yawning, he slothfully got to his feet and looked around to find himself in a forested area.
...Where was he?
Flickers of orange light caught his attention. He turned, spotting a small campfire, its tongues licking the air. And seated right beside the writhing embers was the figure of middle-aged man with hair that shone, an obvious sign that it was gelled. His hair was curiously colored, a mixture of red and blue. Perhaps the most curious of the elderly man's features was his heterochromic eyes, his left blue and his right red. Yet, it was obvious from the aura the man emanated that his was an existence not to be trifled with. Emanating a mysterious atmosphere, he was by no means, weak.
"Ho, you're awake, brat."
"...Where am I? ...And who are you?" Ryner asked, as he walked a few steps closer to the fire and the elderly man.
"Didn't you know its only courtesy to introduce yourself first before asking for the names of others? Well, not that I really care, hahaha. You can call me Mephisto. That's what almost everybody calls me. As to your first question, I doubt that my answer would be able to satisfy you even if I reply, hahaha."
"I am Ryner Lute. And what did you mean by that?"
The man, Mephisto, merely smiled and stroked his chin. "Well, Ryner, you appeared through a curious portal that I discerned to be connected to the Dimensional Gap. No mere mortal could have survived that - the Dimensional Gap is that dangerous a realm. So I ask of you,"
Leaning forward, Mephisto asked, "What manner of being are you?"
God. Devil. Dark god. Hero. Monster. Call me what you will.
"...Human. I am... human."
"Ah, I see. Well, that's fine too. It doesn't really matters to me anyway, hahaha."
"...Anyway, you have not answered my question. What did you mean that your answer would not satisfy me? And what is the Dimensional Gap?"
Mephisto sighed, leaning back and stroking his chin again. "That is... a tough question. The Dimensional Gap is, to put it simply, a bridge across worlds. It is a realm which exists in the space between all worlds and dimensions, and is the sole bridge connecting all of them. Hence why I said that you would not understand even if I answered your question of where you are. After all, if you came from the Dimensional Gap, you are, without a doubt..."
"An existence from a different world."
Ryner's eyes narrowed as he pondered the revelation the man, Mephisto, have given him. "...A different world? If that is true, then indeed, any details concerning the geography of the land would be useless to me."
"Do you understand? Even if I told you now that we are in "Japan", or in "California", I doubt that it means anything to you." Mephisto's lips curled up in an amused smirk. "But really, you seem rather calm for someone who was transported to an entirely different world. Is this normal for you?"
"Not at all." Ryner replied, gazing back lazily with a lethargic smile upon his face. "This is just my nature. But really, a whole different world? That sounds almost unbelievable... Its like a plot device straight out of a fairy tale. Man, what a drag..."
Mephisto chuckled bemusedly upon hearing Ryner's complaints. "How interesting."
It was then Ryner remembered. There was one other who had accompanied him in his journey, a companion who had shared the same fate as him. Looking around, he tried to search for signs of the blonde haired swordswoman.
His heart sank when his search turned up nothing. Panic began to sink in before he took a deep breath and calmed himself, analyzing the situation composedly.
"What are you looking for?"
Turning to Mephisto, Ryner asked, "Hey, geezer. Do you know where Ferris is? A blonde woman, carries a large sword... She was with me when that strange magic grabbed hold of us."
"Hmm, perhaps the person you are looking for was sent to a totally different place."
"...What do you mean?"
"There were two beings that emerged from the portal that opened at this location. One was obviously you. The other was sent elsewhere, to a different place that I was unable to track. If I had to guess, that being would be this "Ferris" of yours. Most likely, your friend was sent to a totally different location."
"Ah... At the very least, she's still alive..." Ryner thought. "I simply have to find her... That takes priority over any thoughts of returning to that world... To find her, I first need information regarding this world... To gather some money and set up a base of operations... That is of utmost importance. To do that..."
"Do you want my help?" Mephisto asked, an amused smirk on his face. "Do you want to join my organization of magicians, the Grauzauberer?"
"...I appreciate the offer but, what's the catch? What exactly do you want?" Ryner's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "I'll have you know that others have labelled me a good-for-nothing lazy fop. I doubt there is much I can offer you."
"Hahaha." Mephisto laughed as he stood up, quenching the small campfire with a single snap of his fingers. "I really doubt that. I can sense immense magical prowess from you. Without a doubt, you are what we call a Magician. In this world, it is hard to survive and maintain a normal lifestyle with such powers. There will be many factions that attempt to recruit you for their causes, whether they be just or evil, or attempt to kill you."
"..." Ryner looked at Mephisto in displeasure.
Chuckling, Mephisto turned and walked away from the site, "Well, I don't really care what you do. But really, what a pity... With the Grauzauberer's resources, I reckon that it would be easy to gather information about the world, hahaha..."
"...Is he... bribing me?" Ryner's eyes twitched as he looked at the retreating figure of the man. "This laughter, this crooked nature... Such an unpleasant similarity to that demon king."
Gazing at the clouds in the sky, he mustered his resolve and made a vow to himself. Smiling wryly, he thought to himself. "No matter where you are, I will find you, Ferris. After all, you are my partner, tea-drinking companion. And I, yours."
Sighing, he chased after the leaving man and hollered, "Oi, wait up, geezer!"
(Three years later)
Three figures, obviously female from what could be discerned through their clothes, walked along the streets, in the midst of a bustling, thriving city, the loud sounds of running engines and chit-chats of teenagers filled the air. Clad in curious white hooded robes, their strange state of attire caught the attention of many. Of course, none actually dared to speak up on their peculiar attire, merely moving on towards their own destination.
"Is this it? The territory of the two Devil princesses?" The figure on the left asked.
"Yes. By the way, senpai, why is everybody looking at us strangely?" The one on the right asked, glancing towards the hooded figure in the middle, clearly the leader of the trio.
"It can't be helped. These peasants instinctively know that an ungodly beauty like me is walking among them, after all." was the shameless reply.
Of course, the true reason was because of their strange getup and the... rather large swords two of them were carrying.
"Ohh, as expected of senpai!" The person on the left clapped, before a curious, growling noise suddenly emerged. Embarrassed, the figure clapped a hand over her stomach, sheepishly muttering, "Ugh, I'm hungry. I knew I should have ate that bread earlier..."
"...Very well. It wouldn't hurt to take an early lunch." The group leader said, making an abrupt turn for a family restaurant. "However, they must serve dango."
"Oh senpai, you are too kind!"
Entering the restaurant, the group were quickly ushered to a seat and had their orders taken. The waitress left with a strange expression on her face. Of course, her expression was justified, as it was not everyday a group of three came in what was considered a weird get-up in the current modern era and order a large amount of food and ten plates of dango.
"Thank you... Senpai!" One of the individuals exclaimed, between chewing and wolfing down the food. Another of the hooded figures nodded, quickly polishing off her own plate and reaching out for another. "Yes, thank you, senpai! We will now be able to battle at full capacity."
The leader, sitting across the two figures of her subordinates for her current mission, leaned backwards while finishing off plates of dangos at a monstrous speed. "Think nothing of it. But remember, I am here only as a last resort, if all else fails. I am forbidden from acting unless the two of you are injured or the circumstances have changed and becomes alarmingly critical."
"Yes, senpai!" The two replied together in unison.
"Furthermore, when you two meet up with the two Heiresses of the Devils, take care not to incite any conflict and avoid hostilities if it can be helped. And as this matter is between the Church and the Grigori, it would be better for them to stay out of the entire situation."
The two nodded to show their agreement.
Lips curled up in an amused smile at the antics of her subordinates, she closed her eyes and relaxed, letting her senses go for a few seconds, and a single thought flashed before her mind, "Where are you... Ryner?"
Her eyes suddenly widened, and without thinking, stood up and drew a rather large wad of cash from her cloak and threw it to the table. She had, for an instant, sensed a spell being used, and the spell had familiar magical signature. Her senses had only managed to catch that magical signature for an instant, an infinitesimal period of time before it slipped away, but it was enough to give her hope. "Use that to pay for the meal. I have a sudden business to attend to."
"Yes!" The confused duo replied, bewildered by the sudden actions of their superior, but did not question it.
Quickly bolting for the door and dashing out of the restaurant to an unknown destination, a stray wind pushed against the hood of the cloaked woman, revealing beautiful blonde hair and sapphiric eyes of vivid blue that framed an equally beautiful face.
"Is that you... Ryner?!"
Sighing, Ryner idly stood at the edge of the balcony of a rented apartment under the bright sky as a wind gently tussled with his hair. Lazily peering over the busy town without any real aim or purpose, his eyes held a tinge of vacancy and emptiness as he looked over the passing cars and people. Sighing once more, he murmured to himself, "Damn that devil... What was he thinking, sending me to a place like this..."
"Something interesting will happen soon, my ass..." Retreating from the balcony, he lazily and effortlessly casted a small spell to warm the room of his apartment, cursing the 'devil' under his breath. "My time could have been spent more constructively, such as for sleeping, or napping, or sleeping, or napping..."
Really, our hero has such an interesting and skewed perspective on his priorities, doesn't he?
Releasing an audible deep exhalation, Ryner slowly, slothfully walking to his bed, before he suddenly stopped, his eyes widening in shock. Turning around, the lazy expression that normally adorned his face was gone - replaced by one of utmost surprise. For a short moment, he had felt the presence, the aura of an extremely familiar person. The person he had spent three years searching for.
Hope emerging within his heart, he muttered to himself.
"Ferris... Is that you?"
I hate people dying. I hate killing, too. I don't like to see others cry, or to cry myself. How must it feel not to be able to choose one's life? What about when a family member dies? Or when a loved one dies? Nobody wants those things. Yet the world laughs and hungers for such suffering. I've never had any burning desire to change something, but it would be sad without change. I don't want to lose anything else... It sucks, but I think it's about time I moved forward. I've averted my eyes until now, but... If I have to, I'll take a hard look at my own past. To achieve a world where nobody ever loses anything. A world where everyone can laugh... and just take afternoon naps all the time... and eat dango, of course, hahaha.
The pair finally reunited, recognized as "Humanity's Strongest", will the change they bring to the world be carnage or salvation? Paradise or perdition?
Only time will tell. The decisions that the world makes, are now being put to the test.
A/N: Next to be updated would probably be King of Heroes or Nurarihyon. Thanks for reading, and I do hope all of you enjoyed it. I look forward to your reviews :)