HAAAAAAPPY HOLIDAYS, READERS :D Today, I gift you with the redone version of this story!
Because maaaaaan the first version of this story sucked.
Anyways, I decided not to erase the story and just update, then redo the first chapter so those of you who originally followed it and whatnot wouldn't be lost. We're starting over from the beginning. In other words… we're… doing a rewrite. Aaaahah-*shot*
Alright, so here we go!
As a note I've made last time, I decided to use Japanese honorifics to those that it would be relevant. You'll see what I mean by the time this chapter's over.
Side note as well, spoilers to all routes of Rewrite, obviously, at the beginning. I tried to make it as non-familiar friendly to those who haven't gone through Rewrite. However, the intro makes much more sense provided you read through Terra, but isn't necessary. For those of you who have read Rewrite, your thoughts on whether or not I did an alright job would be much appreciated.
Chapter Drinking Game: Take a shot every time the word "superhuman" appears.
Chapter 1: Rebuild
"If only I'd seen this world a little bit sooner… I can't stop thinking that now."
"I see… so I was too late. What a waste."
"No, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You've done very well for a single individual. Now finish your final task with pride. Come…"
She opened her arms wide, accepting her fate. This is how it had to be, in order that humanity might be saved and spared from a false salvation.
His body moved forward on its own, propelled by the fact it was born just for this one single task, to tread down this one single timeline.
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
I Can't Do That
Made for this one purpose. Destined to fall in love. Destined to throw everything away for her. Destined to—
—the sword of life pierces through her stomach—
—be welcomed into her arms like this.
"Why… why did I…?"
He felt betrayed. Everything he had done was to see her again.
"Well done." She said with definiteness in her voice.
Why, why, why. The boy thought it was a curse. Destined to betray everyone and everything, all of them used as fuel just to reach this single point.
And then he had done this…
And yet, in that betrayal, he had given humanity something they gave up. The will and power to create a new future. To break destiny, one man had to traverse his own.
Love never made sense, did it?
"…In this world of darkness… you were the one being of light to me, Kagari."
"I never realized it."
"You were pretty dense."
"But an unrequited love is futile…"
She held him tighter, but her voice was shaking.
He hoped that everything he had done, stumbling without the knowledge that he was just a pawn in a larger scheme, would help everyone find a brighter day.
—A million memories, of both this Kagari and another—
They flood his mind as their lips met. The power of the gear that turns made two into one, the two of them becoming a blue light that finds its way into a tree.
A tree that will surely grow to find its way to her…
She woke up, leaning up against a tree.
She didn't understand. Why was she out here, and not with him, united in one?
…There was only one reason for it. Humanity… needed to be judged once again. But did that mean that someone with the power of Rewrite had been born?
And why did she possess all of her memories? Not just of the battles fought for Earth, but all of her other encounters with him and the others, throughout the various and myriad timelines? That should not have been the case… and yet it was.
Kagari stood, for the first time in years, perhaps, and began walking out. Just like before, she began to learn about the world.
The tree she had been in was now the apparently the center place of this city called Orario, where a massive dungeon had been discovered underneath it. Apparently gods and goddesses, of which people thought she was one of them, roamed the world, crafting large clans with the express purpose of making money.
How trivial… and yet, it is nice that humanity can worry about something like that. Kagari thought as she walked through, finding that while many of the buildings of Kazamatsuri had been destroyed, the basic street layout had been preserved. But what of the others? It's also amazing… mankind recovered so far in less than ten years…
Yes, how amazing indeed. Despite the fact Salvation—which was anything but, as it was the Earth eradicating its newest attempt at a superior species in order to recycle its energy to create a new one, the crux of the last one that was interrupted being that Earth didn't have enough resources to try again, meaning it was truly the end of the world—mankind had gotten back up on its feet. No, more than that, it had also befriended the numerous species that the Earth had accidentally popped out as a result of the interrupted Salvation.
Regardless, humanity had continued existing, rebuilding itself. However, its development was clearly shifted in another direction with the discovery of the gods and other races, meaning it would be a very long time until the modern world technology of before would be created once again. She did note that English seemed to be the surviving language, though she could still find those that spoke other dialects by wandering around.
Kagari was also surprised though, that people could see her. Normally she should be invisible to the naked eye, causing only a feeling of fear to echo throughout those around her by her very nature of a being meant to judge them. But perhaps the fact Salvation was interrupted had done more damage to the natural order than she knew of.
Regardless, Kagari had to find them.
While it took three days, she finally found the orphanage that she had been told a purple haired suited woman ran. Some of those known as the Occult Research Club of Kazamatsuri simply had to be with her. Almost as if they were guided, they would always find their way to her.
She only hoped that their memories lined up accordingly.
"Aaah, I'm a little busy right no—"
The purple haired woman in a suit froze at the sight of her, eyes widening.
"Nishiku… jou, correct?"
"Ahhh, Miss Nishikujou, who is she?" A light tan, almost white gray, haired girl asked.
Akane… someone that Kotarou almost threw everything away for during his infiltration of Gaia. Kagari mentally noted, trying to remember the other timelines as well. And a person whom he caused Salvation for, in another timeline that no longer exists.
"…Excuse me, but you would mind going upstairs, first room to the left? We have much to discuss."
Kagari nodded, following her instructions. This orphanage certainly was small, but for the three small girls here, it was okay.
Wait, three? There should be two more. Kagari thought, noticing that Lucia Konohana and Chihaya Ohtori were missing.
"…Kagari, right? Tennouji-san called you that when he left us to finish up his job at Gaia's building." Nishikujou called out as she closed the door behind her.
Kagari looked up, right into her eyes. "How much do you remember?"
"…More than what should make sense." Nishikujou grumbled, rubbing the temples of her head. "…In one memory, I'm launching myself as a final projectile at you while a teenage Shizuru and 'teenage' Koutarou watch, in the other a grownup Kotarou and I are fighting side by side."
"It seems that your memories are like mine. There is one 'true' set, the others are possibilities and have happened in a separate timeline. Why you remember the other timeslines, I don't know."
"Why are you back, though? And if you're here, where's Tennouji-san?"
"I don't know, for both questions. However… if I may, I'd like to help take care of those that were dear to Kotarou… he did so much, all for my love, apparently… so I'd like to do something to repay him. In addition… I may know how to find him."
"What do you mean?"
Kagari searched her memories, finding she contained her sister's memories as well. "…Do you remember the rest of the Occult Research Club? Reuniting them would be the first step."
"…The problem of course, is that we'd need funds and other people to search. Imamaya is currently out trying to find another job. Guardian is laying low and a lot of us are agreeing not to serve a god or goddess since most of the world doesn't know about superpowers. Tennouji-san released the information about familiars, but not superpowers, after all."
"Ah… Why has Guardian decided this, though?"
"There's apparently been a difference in superpowers and adventurer abilities and their… physical attributes, as you've probably discovered about the world by now."
That made sense. Guardian had always been secretive. Considering that they were the recruiters of superhumans that did battle with summoners of Gaia in an age no longer relevant to today, they were bound to tried to vanish. Kkeeping the organizations of superhumans even more underground would be better, just in case these new gods and goddesses came looking for them if the difference between adventurers and superhumans was widely discovered.
"Are you still in contact with them?"
"Yes. Though telling them I've now contacted the Key—"
"My name is Kagari."
"…I see. Well, if I tell them that I'm now in contact with you, that's sure to shake things."
"I assume Gaia has taken a similar approach?"
"While many people are using familiars now, Gaia is also keeping low. I suspect that a bridge will soon surface between the two formerly warring factions now that the information has been released to both sides. Having you here might smooth that transition over."
Kagari nods, having all the information she needs now. "…You said you wouldn't serve a god or goddess since they didn't know about superhumans, right? Hm… I was thought to be one as I walked on the streets."
"You can utilize their abilities? You're really a goddess?"
"…No. I don't know anything about falna or those other things I've read about." Kagari muttered, shaking her head. "But I can fake it. If people think I'm a goddess, they only need to see that I have people that serve me, correct? You still have your superpowers, correct?"
"Is that what you're going to list as my skill?"
"No, I'll leave that as your magic. However, I will note that your skill is… let's call it Teacher's Desire. I'll note that combat performance is increased when you're leading younger fighters."
"Hmhm… that sounds nice." Nishikujou giggled, showing a face that wouldn't have suited her before, but perhaps her longer hair and friendly face made it much more comforting to see. "Okay. What are you going to use?"
"…I could always just use a permanent marker. Perhaps I could also find a familiar that can help with keeping markers on you."
"I see. Then, Goddess Kagari… or should I call you Kagari-sama?"
"Kagari will do. Now, you'll need to introduce me to the others… and then we'll have to begin the search for Lucia and Chihaya."
Fifteen months after that, she found the second missing one.
"Kagari!" The so called "Level Two Adventurer", Touka Nishikujou yelled, a flurry of knives finding their marks in the necks of the attackers of the village. "She's here!"
"Little girl, are you—"
Touka found her extended hand blocked by a man in a black cloak with just as black hair and blood red eyes, some cloth bandages wrapped loosely around his neck. A man that should not be there. A man who could no longer exist. A man whose time and place in this world should have been ended. A man who should have been replaced when humanity took center stage.
"S-sakuya… the Strongest Familiar…!" Touka muttered as she recalled the other timelines.
The black haired, red eyed man's bandages twitched at his name, until he saw who was calling his name.
"Kagari. I am Kagari. You should know who I am from that grand battle. And you should not be here. You should not exist."
"…Yes, I shouldn't… and yet, I am."
Perhaps… I don't even know where to begin. But… I'm thankful. Maybe my sister overlooked something.
"Do you recall anything?" Kagari asked as Sakuya scooped the crying redhead, Chihaya, into his arms.
"…I do, surprisingly. I even remember sacrificing every instance of myself so that Kotarou-kun would have a chance to defend… you."
He remembered those memories vividly. In the battle that determine whether or not the world would even have so much as a single chance to be saved, he had brought about every instance of himself. That is to say, he unified all the possible versions of himself, effectively zeroing his chances of ever making it back to the world, even if it would be saved.
And yet, here he was now…
"That was my sister… the one on the moon."
"Um… I'm kind of lost." Touka said with a awkward smile.
"It's not really too important." Kagari said, waving her arm dismissively. "…But I returned, Sakuya, despite the end. Which can only mean one of several things…"
"…you don't mean…"
"Not here. Let us return."
"…Sure is a lot more cramped than the Occult Research clubroom."
"You don't need to be so nitpicky."
"Haha, forgive me. I was just feeling rather nostalgic." Sakuya laughed, sitting down at the table upstairs. "…I see we're still missing Lucia-san. Thank you for also updating me on how the world works while we walked back. So we're pressed for funds, hm?"
"Sakuya… First, we should figure out why you've returned. You shouldn't be here. You gave up your right to exist in any new world."
"Yet… yet, at the end of Kotarou's adventure, I was able to talk with him and ask him what he was doing was the right thing to do."
"Maybe… maybe it was that wish." Kagari muttered. "That wish to see someone once again. Maybe it applied… to everyone. Kotarou knew during the battle on the Moon that it was unlikely he would see everyone again. While he may have directed it at someone… maybe somewhere along that line, it brought you back."
"Well then, Kagari, shall I become an adventurer?"
"You do realize it will draw suspicion if you start off at Level One and have that absurd strength of yours. Even if you give most of it to Chihaya like before, there is no doubt you could easily overpower even a Level Five right now."
"…Well, then it'll just have to look like I'll have to work very hard." He said with a smile. "…Now, shall we decide on my skill and magic?"
"That's fairly easy. Skill, Rewrite. Magic, Cloth Manipulation. Here, let me simply get the marker and the other familiar that we use to help it stick in with the skin…"
From there, it only took about three days for Sakuya to blitz ungodly fast through the Dungeon, carving up everything with his bare fists. The rumors spread quickly, but he timed his enter and exit times in order to avoid suspicion.
One week later, Kagari purchased a new estate under her name out near the more undeveloped part of the city. It had a nice, open feel to it, having enough space for the main house, a smaller house that also contained an outdoor bath, and a toolshed with plenty of land still to spare.
"That was too quick, but it does nicely. For now, lay low, Sakuya." Kagari commanded as she patted the head of their latest addition, Chihaya, to their house. "While you got a lot of money, we stand out for now. Let's keep our heads down for a while."
"Hm. Still though… ah, Nishikujou, you could spread a rumor that we're rather sick of all the suspicion. After all, how could a one weak experienced Level One do something like that? While the Guild might not be so believing, by their laws and code, they should be unable to do anything against it."
"Hmph. Ever as formidable out as you are in combat." She chuckled, leaving the house.
"…What now, Kagari?"
"…We wait for them to grow up, and then we go to the tree. It'll take some time for me to sneak around and find a way in that we can get them to the Tower's depths."
"…I see. So, we'll definitely have to find a way to sneak in. It'll be rough, considering the fact that the other gods and goddesses inhabit that tower, it'll be under heavy security."
"We need to find a way in. Similar to you… Kotarou is that tree. With a summoning contract that involves the five of them and perhaps me… we might be able to bring him back."
"Ah, just like me. Heh. An interesting method, but I think it should work. Should I scout out a route?"
"No, you already have a high profile. I'll have Kotori practice making Leaf Birds to find the way in. It might take a few years in order to perfect it, but… it should work. For now we'll just need to grow and expand our network. I'm sure we'll find Lucia easily, it's just a matter of asking around Guardian. Nishikujou, keep your ears opened…"
A Few Years Later…
"Aaaah, Lucia, what about these?"
Lucia, a girl with pitch black hair, a Level One adventurer but in other cases one of the best superhumans, looked over at the tomatoes that Shizuru was holding. "Mmhm, yes. Those are okay, Shizuru. Purchase them, and then we'll link up with Akane and Chihaya again."
The two of them quickly took their purchased goods and moved on, but both felt the presence watching them.
Shizuru, the blonde girl complete with twintails in the group, who was a "Level One" adventurer but arguably even stronger than Lucia in terms of being a superhuman, silently nodded and walked side by side with her companion, depositing the tomatoes into her backpack. It was to be expected, after all. Adventurers would get jealous of one another and on occasion, would decide to do something about it. Some were bold enough to attack fellow adventurers in the Dungeon…
But there were others who didn't even wait for that.
Perhaps we should have started shopping earlier. Lucia thought to herself as the other three, or perhaps other four as Kotori had brought along her favorite familiar Chibimoth.
Familiars were interesting things, most of them were an alamgation of various objects—living, dead, or near death, it didn't matter—that were constructed into a shape the Summoner could manipulate. For example, many leaves and twigs could be formed into the shape of a bird. Or one could skip that process and go straight for an entire tree. Some were special, taking the shape of humans. In the end, the thing they all had in common were that they ran off of their summoners' life energy. The more powerful ones required more energy, so it would not be uncommon to hear of a massive beast that was controlled by twenty or so summoners. Such familiars would of course, only be brought about in times of great peril.
The crossroads were empty as twilight fell upon the city of Orario… as per usual… but tonight would not be so peaceful.
Akane, who was the charismatic leader of the team, even if she wasn't a strong summoner and still just a "Level One" adventurer, assumed her usual questioning position, crossing her left arm over and putting her right elbow in her left hand, waving her right hand around. "So you felt it too, Lucia?"
The black haired girl crossed her arms. "Not really hard to. Your orders, Akane?"
"Prepare for combat."
Sixteen combatants against them came out and surrounded them. All of them Level Twos, who had years of experience, most of them adult men and women.
A superhuman, even if they were a Level One Adventurer, could surpass a Level Two or even Three. They were just made better, not given a false power by some outside force, but rather drawing upon the evolution of hundreds if not thousands of other species to advance. They were built tougher, stronger, and could access their power by nothing more than sheer force of will if needed, rather than it being given by a god or goddess.
Adventurers had the blessings of a goddess, some external power that granted powers to ordinary human beings. But a superhuman… no, they were blessed by the mother Earth that they were born from. Their blessings were far greater and more potent than anything a god or goddess could hope to ever give.
Simply put, superhumans were just made better than any regular human adventurer.
If a superhuman who knew of his difference were to become an adventurer…
The sixteen now assaulting those previously part of the Occult Research Club only knew they had to destroy those they were jealous of. Those five girls had bailed them out of a surprise ambush of hellhounds. Despite the fact there were only five, they carved through them even faster than they had. When they treated it as if it were nothing, it had hurt their pride as adventurers.
And they knew… they had to prove their worth, if only to salvage their lost pride.
By the time their fastest one, who had the magic "Blink", allowing him to warp short distances, had closed the distance to the blonde one with an eyepatch… they had all drawn their weapons and in fact, the blonde one was already blocking with twin knives that were better than even his own weaponry.
How was she that fast? She shouldn't be able to be that fast, she was a Level One!
But little did he know that Shizuru drew from her ability as a superhuman, Walking Drug Factory. She reacted and moved faster than should have been humanly possible by the drugs that flowed through her like blood.
He didn't get to finish as something dug into his jaw. The only thing that went through his mind before slamming into the ground and going unconscious was how the redhead had such strength.
Chihaya took up a fighting stance that Sakuya had taught her, making the others wary. Chihaya wasn't a superhuman, but she was a summoner. While that wasn't normally anything of merit, the fact her familiar, the beast she controlled as a summoner was Sakuya, The Strongest Familiar. Normally her life force would be drained extremely quickly for his raw power, but he was able to generate his own life energy necessary to perpetuate his existence by the virtue of being a superhuman that rewrote himself into being a familiar. In addition to that, he had the ability to give Chihaya his strength, strength that she was using now.
"Chibimoth, attack lightly." Was the command that Kotori Kanbe, another summoner and "Level One" of the group gave. Out of everyone in the group, she was by far the best summoner, able to command hordes of creatures that used life force so efficiently it was almost a miracle. Her prized familiar was…
The small mammothlike creature that blitzed through the crowd, taking out three in one pinball run. Four down, in the span of about ten seconds. Four Level Twos… people who had honed their skills for years and made it past a hill that many didn't advance over.
Two of their heavily armored ones charged forward. Lucia leapt between the two of them and touched their helmets with her gloved hand. Her superpower, telekinesis, included being able to make things vibrate at any frequency she so wished. The loud ringing of metal was similar to a bomb going off, the two knights screaming as they fell to their knees.
They were easily battered by the two dogs that Akane summoned, being tackled to the ground and kicked and bitten in their weak areas. The group of five never meant to kill of course, but merely show they were not to be messed with.
"Akane." Lucia muttered, preparing her stance with her katana. "Shall we finish them off, or hope they already get the message?"
"Hm… well, I don't really care. Let's just see who makes the first move. Do you hear that, all of you? You can go back now, or we can continue this—"
Six darts flew through the air. Before they could strike Akane's neck, Shizuru had moved in, deflecting two and taking two into her arm. The other adventurers seemed to jeer and laugh at this.
"Heh. Looks like your fast one's… what?!" Their leader, fitted in a hooded cloak, gasped as Shizuru calmly removed the darts from her arm. "You… you should already be out like a light!"
"…?" She tilted her head silently to the left before looking at her right arm and shrugging. Her ability made her virtually immune to any poison by merit of her body naturally producing an antidote to counteract any injection the enemy tried.
But… where had the other two darts gone?
One dart… was in the neck of one of their opponents, fooled by Lucia's telekinetic ability into creating an illusion that she had been standing where one of their attacker's allies was. The last dart had simply flown harmlessly into a wall, also tossed aside by her telekinetic superpower. Truly, a versatile and fearsome power to hold.
"W-what kind of joke is this…?!"
"It's not a joke." Akane interrupted, crossing her arms. "Honestly… the pride of an adventurer is ridiculous sometimes. But you've seen it here again. If you wish to continue fighting, we might not hold back so much. After all, we're supposed to be cooking for our goddess right now, and here you are delaying us."
"Tch…! Don't think we'll forget about this, you bitches! Let's go, let's go!"
"Hmph. Kotori, have Chibimoth watch us. I'll have some Leaf Birds up in the air as we walk as well."
"Ha…" Lucia sighed as they began walking back. "How irritating… it's annoying we have to do this once a week or so."
"Waaah, why can't they just spend more time trying to get stronger instead of taking it out on us?" Chihaya whined, shaking her head. "It's really, really annoying."
"Because jealousy is a powerful force. Anyways, we should get going. Kagari told us we're going to have a special mission tonight. I wonder what it could be…?"
"Tonight we will be infiltrating the Tower."
Five faces immediately had a look of shock as they turned towards Kagari. "WHAT?!"
"Yes. We will be infiltrating the Tower tonight in order to gain our newest member." Kagari nodded with closed eyes, crossing her arms. "The tree in the middle, we need to get to its base."
"A-ah… Kagari, you're joking, right?" Lucia, ever the voice of reason, asked. "Who would be there?"
"A powerful familiar… one that will require a contract between all five of you, but I will be also a part of this parallel contract. This has been planned for a while… so let's go."
"How are we going to get past the Guild officials and anyone there?" Akane asked next, looking at the others. "It's heavily guarded as that's where their official records are kept, it won't be easy and I'm sure that they've certainly gotten some sort of magical defensemen there."
"Shizuru, you'll be in charge of that. Use your ability to knock out any guards there. Lucia, you can also use your powers to fool them into seeing things that aren't there. However, you and the others save Shizuru will need the defenses I have prepared for you."
With that, Kagari took out a suitcase that when opened, was full of gas masks. A technology long lost to the world, but she had had Sakuya recover them by traversing the world and by tapping into the old Guardian facilities that weren't destroyed.
"If these cover your mouth, it will filter the air and you won't breathe in Shizuru's production." Kagari explained. "Now, if we run into anything that requires brute force, we can have you break it down, Chihaya. If we need to get through a lock or any complex mechanism, you can vibrate it until it breaks, Lucia. Akane, Kotori, you two will function as our scouting and distraction with your familiars."
"Haha… ha, Kagari, you've really planned this out." Chihaya said, trying to laugh it off.
"Sinister!" Kotori interrupted, causing the mood to lift a little.
"Yes… but, regardless, we have to go. At midnight, we'll set out. We'll be going through the sewer systems in order to avoid detection. Everyone, rest up for now and take a nap if you must. I'll wake you all up."
All the girls left to their various rooms, Sakuya coming into the room after them. "Kagari, you intend to have Kotarou-kun join our ranks? Do you think he'll have his memories as well? The girls don't seem to retain their memories of all the various timelines."
"…He will come from the tree. Perhaps he will, like me. But then again, I am special… why do the girls not remember, though?"
"Perhaps because they were not involved in the main adventure that saved this world? Or perhaps their memories simply lie dormant. There is no way to say whether or not they've lost those memories completely."
"I see. It's worth a shot, though. As for you, I'll have the girls know you're watching the estate in case we have any rather… nosy investigators. Nishikujou has gone on to join Gaia's Guardian after all."
"Ah yes… the group that reformed after Guardian realized what was going on the whole time. Kotarou's information spread to the entire world included part of the truth of Guardian and Gaia. With those who know of Salvation and spread its knowledge to those communities, now both groups can function as one. After all, almost every summoner did not know what the truth of Salvation was and what you, the Key, really meant with humanity. As both groups wished to keep humanity alive while helping the Earth… yes, it's quite amazing."
"Yes. Now, please keep this estate safe. Meanwhile, I need to prepare for this operation."
"By the way, what other technology have you recovered? The gas mask… I wonder what else there is."
"There's quite a lot. Nishikujou, far before you ever joined us, helped me loot one of Guardian's old facilities here. There's quite a few guns and that's where I've gotten Lucia and Shizuru's melee weapons from."
"Hmph. It's a good thing you managed to get them before the public discovered them. It would've made recovering them much harder."
"Indeed. Now, if you'll excuse me… there is someone I have to see."
Kagari walked up to the bottom of the tree, which shined a brighter blue with every step she took closer to it, as if it was reacting to her.
The guards had been easy to take out. It was just fact that adventurers were not on the same level as a superhuman. They simply didn't have the blessing of the earth itself, to put it in poetic terms.
Shizuru's Walking Drug Factory had made short work of all the guards, who would wake up none the wiser, with perhaps a bit of panic in their minds.
"…Is this the tree and place, Kagari?" Kotori asked, looking at the massive base of the majestic and rumored tree. People often liked to say that the tree was reaching for the place of the gods.
Kagari knew far better than that.
"This is the only tree here." Shizuru noted.
"Huuiii… finally. It's tough trying to limit my strength…" Chihaya replied back with a yawn, trying to keep awake.
"Is this the one, Kagari?"
"Hm, of course it is. What else would we be looking for?" Akane replied to Lucia rather dismissively.
"Hm, what's wrong, Kotori?"
Shizuru had caught Kotori spacing out in front of it. She remembered this presence. What he was like. Who he was. What he had done. Even if she had forgiven him for what he did and was thankful he had done so, in order that she might move on… it still hurt to think about.
"Ehehe, nothing. Just spaced out a bit. It feels… very familiar."
The memories of Kotarou gunning her parents down… well, perhaps a better term would be her familiar-ized parents, as they had died and she brought them back into a pseudo-life. Regardless, he had shot them down and sent her away before his final battle for her own good. While she yelled at him to just die, in the end she came to accept that it was probably healthier and of course, it meant her life force wouldn't drain very quickly.
"Let… let us begin." Kagari said, taking in one hand Kotori's, in the other, Akane's. Kotori linked to Lucia, who linked to Shizuru. Akane linked to Chihaya.
A green glow began to shine from the three as they cried out: "Come on out!"
I stir. I can feel the power of life rushing into me. Everything condensing into white. A blue gear in my head... no, now it was more of a green. It had changed… but I can still see the hands of a clock, stopped at the twelve o'clock position. And now it begins churning, my life again resuming…
Hm… I'm clothed, huh? I'm wearing a white jacket with black cuffs and collar, a black long sleeved shirt, dark brown pants, and black sneakers. In the eyes of those around me, I see my reflection. My eyes are an red-dirt color and I have light brown hair. It feels… good to be once again.
"That was… incredibly successful."
"Can you hear me? You're our familiar now."
A voice that makes me want to reach out to it.
"…Please don't take that tone with him."
"Is he special to you, Kagari?"
Kagari. A name that makes me want to reach out to the one named this.
"I knew he was here. He is in fact, special… to many of us. A story for another time."
A silver haired girl in a black, Gothic dress steps in front of me. Behind her I see a brown haired girl, a redhead, a blonde, a black haired one, and a pale haired one. "…Hello. What's your name?"
The girls look at me.
I… don't know who they are…? I can't remember anything very well.
"Is there a name you'd like?"
The silver haired one seems to be experiencing something odd, like she's trying not to smile.
"Huh?" Pale Hair asks with a startled tone.
"Why that name?" Blonde follows up.
"…I just feel some strange attachment to it." I answer.
"That's not very interesting. How about Pochi?" Black Hair asks.
"Not much attachment." Brown Hair immediately follows up.
I look at the silver haired one. She looks almost ready to cry.
"By the way… this place is very dark."
"Ah!" Silver Hair gasps, getting up. "Everyone, we should head back. Please, just follow us. You can explain what your abilities are on the way to your new residence."
I recognize what I am, as we walk back. I am a familiar, bound by a transient link of life through parallel contracts from the six of them, but I draw the most power from the silver haired one.
"…You want me to guard all you of, correct, and fight for you?"
"But I refuse."
All six of them stop dead in their tracks. They don't understand. Familiars don't just defy orders.
"That's not my job. My job… is to do something greater."
It's at this point we get back outside. I point straight up at the moon. "…there. No, past there. One day… yes, because of this special power that I have. This power must be given the treatment it deserves. After all… I can probably do almost anything if you give me life, and I manipulate it creatively enough. I… would take you there, if it was the five of you, but yet I feel that what I'd find there is already close enough to me.
"I could make a sail if I wanted to, and head beyond the solar system. But for that, I'd need tens of thousands of contracts…"
"Why?" Redhead asks.
"…I dunno. Isn't that humanity's job to think of that?"
"…Pochi, how far can you take us with just us six?" Akane asks.
"…Even if I only have five of you, I could go… there."
I point up at the white orb in the sky. Yes… the moon. That's its name.
"…you're lying." Most of them immediately accuse. "If you can, prove it."
"Alright. It won't take any time at all."
Kagari wanted to cry. She wanted to cry so much, knowing all that had happened.
Kotarou didn't remember. He didn't remember the battles he had fought, nor of all the bonds he had forged, nor about how he had thrown everything away for her.
She, who had spent so long, hoping, hoping, hoping that he would return with his memories intact. Because she, something that might be considered Earth's familiar, made to judge its newest species to see if it was on the way to advancing or growing stagnant, along the way, had developed emotions and fallen in love with him.
And now, as they walked across this way to her, Kagari's sister, with Kotarou (currently named Pochi) smiling—no, he suddenly stopped smiling, watching the life pour around them as they crossed this bridge, this bridge that looked so much like that theory of life.
It was here, here on the moon, that life had originally flourished. That theory of life contained all the possible routes the world could have taken, all of them ending in humanity's destruction. However, one addition by Kotarou—the seven words I hope to see you again someday had been added as a side note, written in a complex language few could hope to understand and in fact, would drive humans insane just by looking at it—changed everything.
His actions were forced in this new path, forged from these words. Every choice in his life was already made for him, at every important decision he could ever make, he chose the one that would allow him to live, let him see… her, when it had been the Kagari on the Moon, the current Kagari's sister, that he fell for, and from there, fall in love with her for no adequate reason.
And yet in the end, she had fallen in love with him.
Now here they were, making a full circle. Back to where it all began, on the moon that once held all the life that Earth did. Here where the Occult Research Club fought to protect the solution that would be implemented, the single timeline that led to humanity's continued existence. The very same timeline that led to Kagari originally being killed, and Kotarou crying as he did so to stop Salvation.
The moon was barren, as it always was after the omnipotent life force was sent to Earth, which had been in a similar state until life itself was moved there. But yet… in the midst of it all, was a small patch of greenery…
As they drew closer to her sister, Kotarou spoke.
"…Hey. If anyone ever flies to the sky… I want them to find the girl on the moon… find the girl crouching all by herself… I want them to walk up to her… that's my only wish."
Everyone else seemed puzzled about what he was talking about, but Kagari understood, as they stepped onto its surface, finding a single, blooming bud admist the grasses.
"…" Kotarou pointed past the moon, away from Earth. "…With more… I can go even further. Going with six wouldn't really let us go any further. Now… we should go back. It would be best to return to Earth for now."
Later that night, Kotarou became a mock adventurer. His Skill, Rewrite—the power to literally change oneself, redefining their physical existence and in extreme cases, their mind as well. Magic, Life Manipulation, but Kagari had written Aurora Manipulation instead. Kotarou had taken to using Aurora weapons but for the moment seemed much more content with using normal weapons. Perhaps having his memory robbed left him unable to fully utilize the ability, as he had forgotten how to use it.
Of course, she always wrote it in Japanese, using a familiar that could stain a person's back with ink that she had developed herself. No one could decipher her language, for even those goddesses that matched the names of those from Japanese mythology from before seemingly didn't know it either.
I wonder… just where did these so called gods and goddesses come from…? I understand that the interrupted Salvation is to blame for all the various species that have risen up, but there is no explanation for the gods. In either way, this is still humanity's and my Earth. Should they endanger it, I will not hesitate to strike them down.
Perhaps I shall have Sakuya investigate. Perhaps they are similar to familiars… called down by people's belief in them. I shall have to see.
Either way… I just hope that someday, Kotarou will remember…
BOOM, HERE BEGINS THE REWRITE.
Okay, so for those of you who read the original incarnation, I've changed shit up. First off, Kagari isn't a goddess anymore. She's just a good fake. Second, I actually introduced Nishikujou as a character fairly early on, as the caretaker of the kids.
As for my note on honorific usage, I limited it to those who would be accustomed to using them. So far, that means Kagari, Sakuya, and Touka. I had the language the world used be English simply so I didn't have to keep writing in honorifics since the world plays out after the interrupted Salvation is sort of an important point, so forgive me for that if you have offense to it.
Now just some quick explanations for those who didn't read Rewrite, if you didn't get the quick summaries I threw in during the chapter. Mainly just terms, though. As you might expect, spoilers very much present!
Guardian: A force that was formerly dedicated to destroying "The Key", aka Kagari, as they believed her to be a sign of the end of the world and destroying her would prevent it. They are comprised of superhumans, humans that are born with special abilities along with abnormal strength and speed.
Gaia: The counterforce to Guardian, employing summoners that fought with familiars. One side of them sought to end the world by protecting The Key, who before had always chosen to end the world with Salvation.
Salvation: A term for the Earth's action when The Key, its judge, decides the current species is no longer advancing enough and has grown stagnant or unable to grow further, thus using its energy to recycle the life and try again. Humanity was Earth's last attempt, as it had no more energy to spare afterwards for another try.
Superhumans: Differ from adventurers in the regards to that adventurers can simply be normal people. A person is born either a superhuman or not, though their powers might not awaken right away. They are characterized by their abnormal strength and speed. Their powers develop by a strong sense of will to change one's self or by simple genetics. Likewise, they can lose their powers if they lose the desire to continue living. There are three main types of superhumans: Hunter-types, skilled with weapons and more directly suited towards combat. Polluter-types, who can improve or change their bodies in ways such as better hearing or sight. Energy types, who can generate forms of energy. The fourth type is very rare, being known as "Eyes", who can perceive/see The Key's presence.
Summoners: Those who utilize familiars by creating a contract that shares life force between summoner and familiar. They are characterized mainly by wishing to change the world. They can use all sorts of material, whether it be living, dead, or synthetic, to create a familiar into a shape they so choose.
Okay, so I think that takes care of everything. If you have any questions, comments, or whatnot, don't hesitate to leave a review or PM me! Seeya all next chapter!