It was a strange feeling.

Building up a new life after the end of my old one, I had wasted no effort in making sure that each second spent breathing in this new world was one lived to the fullest.

Getting the best grades, not doing anything embarrassing that I would have to live with for the rest of my life, doing the things that had interested me in my last life. Every action was methodically thought out before executing.

I believed that nothing would surprise me in this new life.

And yet.

"To think that it would take only four days for that notion to be destroyed." I chuckled to myself as I stood in front of the gates of Chiba Academy. Not even a week in this school and my life had been changed forever.

It had been a strange night after I discovered a voice that apparently now lived in my head. Sleep did not come easily now that I knew that someone, or something, was now lurking somewhere in the corners of my mind. My privacy was all but gone.

Calling out to it numerous times didn't work, all of my attempts ending in failure as I couldn't even get a single response out of it.

Fortunately my body was already worn out from yesterday's ordeal that I didn't even notice the fact that my eyes were drooping until it was too late and I succumbed to my fatigue. I was so out of it that I wouldn't open my eyes until my usual morning alarm went off.

"Try to change the future in the way that you believe is for the best." What the voice had told me still echoed in my head as I began to make my way into the academy. The burden of what my existence meant in this universe finally sank in.

That even the easy way of 'non-action' was something that I couldn't even consider. The memory of Kiana screaming in pain as she was forced to be an experiment was still clear in my head.

"There's no time for that," I muttered as I cleared the oppressive thoughts out of mind as I neared the main school building. "One step at a time."

It was time to see what surprises this day would bring.

And it would not take me long to eat my words as not even taking a single step into the building, a paper was practically shoved in front of my face. "Huh?" Was all I said as the paper was then forced into my hands.

"Good morning Nakamura-san!" A student that I vaguely remembered from class 1-B greeted me with a bright smile. I was about to greet him in kind until my hazel eyes scanned what exactly he was wearing.

...Was that an astronaut suit?

"The Cosmic Wonders Club hopes to invite you to explore what lies beyond the stars with us!" He explained before going to the nearest person and repeating the same mantra while handing them what I presumed to be some sort of club flyer.

Wait club flyer?

I directed my attention to the admittedly well done club flyer. I had to give respect to whoever designed it. It wasn't some tacky paper that was made at five in the morning, this was genuinely made to reflect the creator's passion for space.

Shifting my head upward I marveled at the sight of the entrance hall filled with uniquely differently dressed individuals going around to anyone that had entered the building, doing the same as the student dressed like an astronaut as they passed out their flyers to attract potential club members.

I looked up to where a clock was attached to one of the walls making sure that I hadn't arrived an hour earlier than I was supposed to.

8:15 AM

No, if anything I was just on time before class started in fifteen minutes. Was no one worried that they would be missing class soon?

"Nakamura-san?" I broke my inner thoughts to see this time someone from my class donned in kendo gear approaching me.

"Aki-san, right?" She was, and I quote from one of my peers, one of Chiba Academy's 'Fair Maidens' as it was dubbed by the students. A ranking system that placed all the females from how attractive they were and the higher you were on the rankings, the more revered you were by students.

The top ten were known as the 'Fair Maidens' and I wasn't surprised by the fact that Mei took the number one spot. Seeing the amount of fans the heiress had was quite a sight to behold. Though I had to wonder how many of those same adoring fans would turn their back on her when she lost her status as a heiress?

Midori Aki, while quite low on the Fair Maidens ranking with taking the number 9 spot, I recognized by her how perceptive she was in class. Always asking the right questions, making the right observations, she was sharp when it came to down it.

"So you do remember me," The black-haired girl teased as she came to a stop near me. "You were so easy to pick out with your red hair and that lost expression on your face."

I chuckled as my red hair was anything but subtle. "Forgive me for asking Aki-san but what exactly is going on here," I gestured my hands to a scene that I would have to accurately describe as an anime convention that I frequented in my old life.

She tilted her head in confusion. "You don't remember? Practically every teacher was talking about it yesterday." She then opened her mouth in relaxation. "Oh yeah, you weren't in really the best condition when they went over it."

"Oh yeah…" I averted my eyes as I could feel my cheeks flush at my blunder yesterday. Even living a life beforehand, it was hard to live down a blunder made in a classroom.

"Anyways," I changed topics as I refocused on the different clubs present. "Is Club Day really a big occasion here?" Prior experience in both lives made it hard to believe the amount of effort being put into this. The booths that filled the sides of the hallway were completely normal, but the expertly made costumes?

Now that was on a whole new level of dedication.

"Considering the amount of money that's available for clubs, it's understandable to see the level of effort being shown here. The more members a club has the more funding it gets." Aki explained as I nodded my head at the information. The rich did live a different life than normal people did after all.

Still, to have an entire day of school dedicated to clubs was insane.

If I told this to my old classmates back at home, they would be so jealous.

"Aren't you part of the kendo club?" I asked as I eyed her gear and her bokken strapped to her hip. "Shouldn't you be part of your booth's club in helping attract potential members?"

To that Aki just laughed before she turned herself around and walked in the direction that she had come from. "Oh I don't have to worry about that, let's just say that we have a secret weapon when it comes to popularity."

She patted my shoulder before beginning to walk away. "You should stop by before lunch to see our exhibition match," She threw me one last grin. "It's something to die for."

Questioning her choice of words, I gazed back down at the flyer in my hands. "A club huh?" I hadn't really been part of a club before, the idea of having an extra obligation to do at school didn't really appeal to me.

But now? Where every action that I did now apparently was the difference between life and death?

It wouldn't be a bad idea to try out this whole club deal.

And that's how I spent the next hour or so, going from club booth to club booth as I contemplated what club I should really join.

The amount of clubs that this academy had was insane! I could count at least twenty or so clubs whose booths I visited, and I was sure that was a good half of the total number of clubs actually made.

There were some oddballs out there for sure. Equestrian, deep sea exploration, alien conspiracies. I had to bite back a laugh when I saw the horrible renditions of Honkai Beasts. Even if it was somewhat known of their existence, any information about them was tightly controlled to the point it felt as if they were nothing more than a myth.

Still, it was almost frightening to see how accurate some of their theories about Honkai was.

I hadn't even finished with the first hall and already I had a sizable stack of flyers in my hand, there was only one more booth I was sure that I had to visit in this hall.

I looked up to the clock on the wall to see that it was ten minutes before the kendo exhibition match, whatever that meant. I had an inkling that it was going to be two club members going at it with each other.

But that wasn't the real reason why I was so set on watching this match, I shared the same reason as did every other student that planned on watching it. I just had a different motive than the rest of them

After all, Mei Raiden was one of the two club members duking it out.

I still had no idea how I would begin to approach her without seeming too off or suspicious, so I figured watching one of her matches was a good place to begin. But before I could go and watch the match.

I still had one more booth to visit.

"The Chess Club?" I mumbled as I stood in front of the rather modest booth. It wasn't as extravagant when it came to decoration like the other booths but neither could I say it was too minimalistic. Just a great balance between doing too much and too little.

"Ah sorry!" A voice from my left moved my gaze to the running student who I assumed was responsible for manning the chess booth. He came to an abrupt stop right before me, bowing the moment that they came to a complete stop.

"I-I didn't realize that I left someone waiting here!" He puffed as they tried to get their breathing under control.

I held up my hands to assure them that I was perfectly fine with waiting. "It's no problem, I just got here anyway."

"Though I'm surprised that you're the only one here." I gestured to the empty booth with my thumb. "Where's the rest of your club, shouldn't they be helping you attract more members?"

The student in question just nervously laughed. "A-Ah well you see," He began to shuffle nervously in place. "I-I'm the only club member actually," The lone club member confessed.

My eyes widened on hearing that, seeing all the buzz revolving around clubs at the academy I didn't expect to hear of a one person club at all.

Though as I turned my head back to where I came from, any students approaching would stop two or three booths before ultimately going back. Probably dismissing the rather lackluster booth that was the Chess Club.

"Aren't clubs supposed to require more than five people?" I inquired.

"A-Actually it depends on the teacher who sponsors the club," The student explained as he pushed his glasses up. "And the Chess Club was just founded at the start of this year so I was hoping to gather more members with Club Day."

That made sense, rather than try and recruit members in the middle of the school year you had a much better chance of attracting members on the day where most were looking for a club to join.

Still I was confused as chess in itself was quite appealing, was there another reason for people not wishing to join?

"Say…" I paused realizing that I did not have a name to put on the student next to me.

"Ah! I'm so sorry!" He bowed, realizing his mistake. "I'm Keji Furutu, I'm a student in Class 1-B."

"Likewise Furuta-san I am Haruto Nakamura from Class 1-A, a pleasure to make your acquaintance." I introduced myself in kind.

"Anyway Furuta-san, which teacher is the sponsor for your club?" I asked as I had a feeling why some students didn't want to be members of the Chess Club.

"Ah it's Ishigami-sensei," He said as I could feel my face going white with his words.

Apparently Ishigami-sensei had built such a terrifying reputation that many students called him "The Devil Teacher." Not because they thought he was a bad teacher, he was fair when it came to grading. He didn't care if you were some random person or the son of the president, he was going to grade what you gave him.

But the manner of what he gave as assignments to students that resulted in many dreading to have him in the classroom.

I had always thought Ishigami-sensei was a hard but not terrifying teacher. Sure the work that he gave out was much harder than any teacher so far, but having the mind of an adult who had experienced college made me much more prepared than these poor highschoolers.

"Not to sound mean Furuta-san but…" I trailed off as I tried to find the right words to explain to him that maybe choosing Ishigami-sensei was probably the worst choice to be the sponsor of a club that you were looking to fill up..

"Your reaction is perfectly normal Nakamura-san." My fellow classmate smiled as he walked over to the other side of his booth. "Many people would call me crazy for having him as the sponsor but I'm not looking for some random teacher to host my club."

Picking up one of the chess pieces on display, a fond smile grew on Furuta's face. "Chess itself is straightforward, try and checkmate your opponent's enemy King. The board may not be big and people might argue that it's the simple act of moving your pieces forward."

His green eyes then stared into my hazel ones, sparkling as his enthusiasm was made clear. "But every move one makes, an infinite number of possibilities are born from it and with the next move another infinite are born. You are the master of your own fate on the chess board!"

Hearing the passion behind his words, I couldn't help but begin to clap at his little speech. "You sure you're not some poet?" I joked.

"Y-You flatter me Nakamura-san, everyone has something that they're passionate about and chess just happens to be mine." Keji rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment as his cheeks were flushed.

"Still I don't see how having Ishigami-sensei as your sponsor exactly helps you."

"Oh!" He exclaimed as he remembered something, "Let me get it!" Rummaging through a box of papers on the side, Keji soon pulled out what he was looking for as he showed me what had him pick the most feared teacher as the sponsor for his chess club.

Chess Grandmaster Akira Ishigami Takes The Title of Champion Once More!"

My mouth opened in shock as I reread the header of the newspaper once more to make sure that my eyes were not deceiving me. There was no way that my science teacher so happened to be a Chess Champion and Grandmaster.

"Ishigami-sensei denies that's him but I know for a fact that they're the same person." Keji gushed. "I've always wanted to learn under him and if I need to run my own chess club then so be it!"

"But," His tone grew somber as he looked at the deliberate attempt of each approaching student that steered clear of his booth. "Chess doesn't really appeal to the newer generations, trying to get people to join the club is practically impossible at this academy."

I had to agree with him there, it was one thing to join a club but to join a club that in essence was almost like another class was another thing altogether.

I won't lie as the prospect of joining the chess club was very tempting. I saw joining the club as a way to sharpen my strategic decision skills. Now that I was planning to get myself involved, it was prudent for me to start developing these skills now.

Also considering the story dictates me to becoming a captain, being proficient in chess wasn't a bad investment in the long run. Directing a potential fleet was almost the same as you would do with chess pieces.


But another part of me was unsure if this was the right course of action. The unsettling message that the voice in my head imparted to me was still a constant reminder. That even the smallest of choices could have unintended consequences.

Was this the right path to take?

My pondering was cut short as a sudden surge of excited students began to swarm past me. Making my way through the crowd as politely as I could, I was able to exit the crowd on the side next to Keji's booth.

"You should get going Nakamura-san," Keji smiled as he gave me one of the many club flyers he had. "I don't think you want to miss the Kendo match."

The lone member sat down on a chair as he bowed in gratitude. "I'm grateful that you gave my booth a chance, it means alot to me. I hope to see you again soon Nakamura-san."

I didn't want to be the person that would leave someone else when it was clear that the company was much appreciated, but at the same time I couldn't pass up this opportunity to see Mei in action.

Giving Keji an apologetic smile I pocketed the Chess Club flyer and began to move with the crowd to where the match was being held.

Before entering the gymnasium where the match was, I stopped by a trashcan to quickly throw all of the flyers that I had picked up. It was just a common courtesy to not be rude and refuse the flyers but I didn't plan on joining a club that wasn't going to help me.

Picking up the final flyer that I had gotten, my mind drifted to what Keji had said.

"You're the master of your own fate!"

As the ushers were giving out the final calls for people to enter the venue, Haruto Nakamura was able to slip in at the last second to secure himself a seat.

A neatly folded paper carefully secured in one of his pockets

The gymnasium was filled to the brim, everywhere you would look you would not see an empty seat. The atmosphere was a shared feeling of excitement as this was the main show of Club Day.

Even if I had never seen this exhibition match before, I couldn't help but have an excited smile on my face as all that everyone present could do was wait for it to begin.

Luckily we did not have to wait long before one of the Kendo club members made their way to the center of the gymnasium. "Welcome to the annual Kendo Exhibition Match everyone, I hope everyone is excited as we are!"

The gymnasium was filled with a roaring cheer as the announcer knew how to keep the energy up, "And I know that you're all dying for the main event," They threw their fist into the air. "So let's get this started everyone!"

"The reigning champion makes her return!" On one side of the gymnasium, a figure donned in kendo armor stepped out. Even if the 'champion' had their face covered in their head gear, I just knew by the volume of cheering that this was Mei.

The mannered that she carried herself, no slouch in her posture, no hesitation in her steps. An aura of regality surrounded her as she stopped at the edge of the arena. She knew how to live up to her title.

"The Queen of Thunder has yet to be dethroned, her strikes are as fast as thunder but carry the fury of the god themselves!" The announcer gestured to the other side of the gymnasium.

"Our challenger is no pushover however, she has gathered her own fearsome name; The Silent Blade!" Mei's opponent walked out of her respective side as they both walked to the center of the arena. "Her strikes are impossible to read as you'll know where they are after you've been hit by it!"

The two combatants bowed to each other before turning to the audience and bowing to them as well.

"You know the rules, honor the Ki-Ken-Tai and no underhanded methods to score your points." The announcer took two steps back as both Mei and her opponent stepped forward, bokkens drawn as they readied themselves.

"Let the match begin!" They announced as the match officially started.

Only for nothing to happen, the two fighters did nothing as they simply held their bokkens' in front of them.

Then another second passed where nothing happened. The atmosphere was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.

"Um shouldn't they be you know...fighting?" A confused student questioned next to me.

"Yeah I thought this was supposed to be intense, it's like they're just staring at each other." Another student near me said as the whispers around me began.

"Oh no, they're certainly fighting." I piped up, drawing the whispers to a close. "As we speak they're exchanging multiple blows with each other."

"Um are you sure Nakamura-san? They're just standing still."

"An invisible battle is being waged between the two. The way that they are subtly changing their grips on their bokkens, even to the slight movement of their stances," I gestured to the two down in the mock arena. The two had moved from their static positions as they began to circle each other, daring the other to make a move as they shifted their hands around the handle of their bokkens.

"Each one is anticipating what moves the other might make, in a sport where only one strike is needed to score even a single error in a thought process would be fatal."

I narrowed my eyes as I saw Mei slightly tense her shoulders, "And all that takes to win is a single second of confidence."

Mei held her bokken ready as she was the first to act, pushing forward on the offensive.

"Hyah!" She shouted as she smacked her opponent on the head with her bokken, catching them off guard with the sudden attack. The sound of wood meeting armor resounded through the once silent gymnasium.

"And that's one point for Mei Raiden!" The announcer cheered as the entire audience roared with approval.

Unfazed, her opponent resettled back into stance to which Mei mirrored as they knew the duel was far from over.

"Second Round Begin!" The announcer threw her hand down as they commenced the next round.

Not even a second after the round had begun, Mei's opponent let loose a war cry as she wasted no time in taking the first strike. Holding her sword close to her body, she thrusted the edge of her bokken at Mei's neck armor

Mei to her credit reacted enough to bring her blade up in an attempt to guard the strike but her reaction just wasn't fast enough as her bokken simply scratched the side of her opponent's bokken as a clean hit was scored on her.

And just like that Mei's point score advantage had been lost as they now were both tied one-to-one.

"And just like that, the challenger has evened the score!" Riling up the crowd to the best of their ability, the announcer pointed to the crowd. "Has our undefeated Queen finally found her match? Or is the challenger simply another name to add to her list of defeated foes?"

The crowd was simply eating up the match as their cheers only seemed to multiply at the events that played out. It was surprisingly an even amount of support for both sides. On one hand you had those that had unshakeable faith in Mei and were not afraid to voice it.

On the other side, her opponent had managed to gather her own number of supporters as she had become 'the underdog'.'

As for me, I wasn't ashamed of the fact that I was silently rooting for Mei's victory.

I shifted my gaze to the digital timer that dictated the match. Out of the five minutes that the match was, we were barely a minute into this duel.

I nervously gulped as they resettled themselves for the commencement of round three. "C'mon Mei you got this." I whispered encouragingly

"Round 3 Begin!"

With the score being tied once more, the two took a more cautious approach. Knowing that the other had the speed to match their own it was imperative to be able to predict the next attack.

This time Mei's opponent took the initiative as she yelled while aiming her bokken at Mei's torso. Responding in kind, Mei moved her bokken to meet in the middle.

The sound of wood clashing with wood reverberated throughout the gymnasium, the single second of sound cutting any chatting being had in the audience.

Unrelenting in their assault, the two proceeded to clash blows with each other. Both displayed impressive kendo skills as each clash was met with an equal ferocious force.

But what was most impressive to me was the fact that either had yet to yell and declare their strike. In a kendo match for one to score a point one must display Ki, or spirit, by verbally declaring their attack and said attack hitting the appropriate spot.

The confidence that the two held was something to behold, that they were confident in not only their skills with the bokken but also knowing that their opponent would keep on meeting their attacks head on so declaring their attack would be useless.

Yet for all of the awe that this fight created, a twinge of terror began to fill me as sudden realization came to me.

"This is the tip of the iceberg, imagine what this fight would like if they were Valkyries or even worse, Herrschers."

I clenched my hand as I forced that thought away to wherever it had come from, I had an inkling that it wasn't a thought that I had made but rather one that the entity that lived in my head made.

I came to watch a duel, I could worry about everything else later.

The repeated clashing of wood soon came to an end when the two fighters both found an opening in the other's attacks. "HYAH!" They both yelled as they took advantage of that fact and their strikes struck true, each hitting their opponent's torso.

The only problem?

That they had both struck each other at the same time.

"And we have a tie!" The announcer motioned to the digital scoring board, a respective one point being added to their score count. The score was now set at 2-2.

Still a deadlock, and judging by the time left on the clock…

"And we have ourselves a sudden death scenario!" The lights in the gymnasium dimmed as a symphony of drums began to play as an atmosphere was set to reflect the tense moment that these two fighters had created.

"The one who scores the point in this final bout will walk away the winner!" This was it, the do or die moment.

"And without further ado, let the final round BEGIN!"

With the final point hinging on this final round, the combination of pressure that came with it being the final round alongside the near perfect skillmanship that they both shared meant that more than ever would a lapse in judgement result in a loss.

In this state, trying to prolong the match now would make things riskier as exhaustion would lead one to make a rash choice in the final seconds.

"C'mon Mei," I silently muttered as I clasped my hands together. "You have to press the attack now." A last ditch flurry of attacks could be the pivotal factor at this time could be what she needed to break her opponent's guard.

Which Mei might've been thinking of as she took the initiative to attack. Declaring her attack with the loudest yell that she's said in the entire match. Bringing up her bokken, she executed an overhead slash as she was aiming to hit…

Wait, what was she planning to hit with that?

Why would she go with that move now of all times? That attack, while having a lot of power behind the strike, was the easiest to either dodge or counter. So why would Mei do that now?

Her opponent simply raised her blade up as she readied herself to guard from the attack, most likely to parry it and capitalizing on the fact that Mei would have no way to block any follow-up attack

Time seemed to stop as Mei's bokken was seconds away from hitting her opponent's bokken.

However just as it seemed to be mere nanoseconds away from clashing.

Mei moved her arms to the side, cancelling her a downward strike as she transitioned to a different strike. The soft sound of wood hitting armor soon followed.

The gymnasium fell silent as everyone saw where Mei's strike had landed.

Right on the wrist, one of the areas that someone had to hit to score a point.

"There we have it!" The announcer broke the silence as she motioned to Mei, who still had yet to move from her attack. "Mei Raiden is our winner!"

The sounds that followed after were as if a hurricane of noise had suddenly appeared. The sheer volume that everyone's voices were reaching could probably be heard outside of the gymnasium, hell maybe the entire school could hear it.

"That was a good match," Taking off her helmet and tucking it under her free arm, Mei offered her hand out. "Easily the best I've had."

"Ah you flatter me Mei," Her opponent took her helmet to reveal that it was Midori Aki the entire time. "You took me by surprise with that last move though, never expected you to do something so risky." Midori complimentated as she took Mei's hand and shook on the match that they just had.

Whilst everyone else was doing their hardest to clap their hands as loud as they could, I opted to clap them normally. No need when everyone else would drown at the noise of my applause.

That didn't take away from the massive smile on my face.

It was the end of the day, after the exhibition match the entirety of the school day was dedicated for club applications, signing up for the club of your choice or help make a final decision. Most people had made their decision and were spending the day chatting with their new clubs as they got to know them better.

All except me. I had yet to actual fill out a club application, but I did have one club in mind that I knew that I wanted to join. All I needed to do was get Keji's signature and fill out the by tonight and I would be in his chess club.

Assuming that I wasn't the only person joining as I was sure that a club of two people would not fly.

I was in the middle of buying a drink at a vending machine when my name was called.


I turned my head to see that Aki was behind me, still donned in her kendo gear with her helmet tucked under her arm.

"I need you to come with me." Was all she said before grabbing my arm and dragging me to wherever I needed to go, leaving the drink that I just purchased in the vending machine to its lonely fate of being unintentionally discarded.

And that's how I found myself being dragged to god knows where by Midori. I didn't want to think about the strange looks that I got from the people we passed, nor did I want to think about the whispers that soon followed.

"Um Aki-san, where exactly are you taking me?" I asked as we soon left the main building.

"Somewhere special," Was all she said and I just accepted the fact that I wouldn't know until we got there.

And sure enough we got to the place that she was trying to take me to. "The gymnasium that you just had your match in?" I questioned as the girl next to me just shrugged.

"I don't know, Mei just wanted to talk to you." Before I could even ask what she meant by that, the girl gave me a wave before leaving me alone at the front of the gymnasium.

I was tempted to just leave but if Mei went through all that effort to try and talk to me, it would be rude if I ignored her. Also I saw this as an opportunity to get closer to the heiress, and test the waters of how much of the future I changed.

Taking in a deep breath, I pushed the door open and entered the empty gymnasium.

There standing right where she had just done her duel, still dressed in her kendo gear, was Mei Raiden. She seemed to be lost in thought so I just began to walk up to her. "Raiden-san?" I called out.

"Ah Nakamura-san." Mei turned around and smiled as I got closer to the arena. I was expecting nothing to happen really, no clue why she called me here in the first place.

"I heard from Aki-san that you wanted to see me?"

"Ah, yes." She began to shuffle in place as she picked the right words to say. "You see the kendo club has a spot available and…"

"I believe that you are worthy of that final spot!" Her dark blue eyes shined with determination as I did a mental recap to what I just heard.

"Huh!" Was all my mind screamed as I was thrown out of the loop.

Yet as I stood there in the middle of the vacant gymnasium with Mei Raiden, the both of us did not know the implications that this meeting had to the already shaky future ahead.

In a realm where time and space were in flux.

Underneath a tree of infinite possibilities.

A gray haired pioneer known as Su was roused from his sleep, a strange pulse of power awakening him from his slumber.

Something that almost never happened.

Confusion soon turned to awe as for the first time since he had begun the long and arduous journey of Project Valuka, an anomaly had occurred. Something that he thought was impossible for the Seed of Sumeru.

He reached out and grabbed the anomaly with his hand, marveling at what he was exactly holding.

Su's mission was simple, he was to observe the Imaginary Tree that inhabited the Second Divine Key and find an alternate universe that had won the war against the Honkai. To ensure that the sacrifices of the previous civilization were not in vain.

With each leaf that wilted from the tree, another universe lost its fight to the Honkai.

Nothing lasts forever, even the brightest of stars must one day fade into nothingness.

Yet the hope of a universe that would beat the Honkai was always alive in him, for all he had to do was gaze up to the green leaves of the Imaginary Tree to know that such a universe existed somewhere in the multiverse.

He would just have to be patient and see which leaf prevailed, what one universe might do differently would be the key to their salvation.

And he owed it to a certain friend that he complete his mission, to atone for the sin that he committed against him.

However the leaf that he caught was no ordinary leaf. It was not of the green that signified a still budding universe, but neither was it the wilted remains of a destroyed universe.

No, the leaf he was holding was that of pure white.

A blank state of chalk.

A future of unlimited potential.

"How strange," He said as he peered into the brief vision that the leaf of chalk contained.

Su knew of the scene that laid before him. Of how the Herrscher of Thunder would make a choice and that choice would result in parting ways with the Herrscher of the Void in the city where it all began.

Some universes had them part ways, to become enemies. In other universes they fought alongside each other as they always used to, a promise upheld to keep the other safe.

But the scene that Su was watching was different.

For no longer was the Herrscher of the Void standing before the Herrscher of Thunder. No it was someone different, someone that he had never seen before in the many alternate universes that he peered into.

Donned in a strange battlesuit, the red haired stranger extended his hand outward. The smile on his face was that of assurance as he exchanged words to the Herrscher standing before him.

To which the Herrscher smiled before taking his hand. Something about the way she smiled intrigued Su as he wished to see more of what they had said to each other.

However that was all he could see before the vision cutout as the leaf in his hands crumbled into nothingness, not even a speck of it remained on Su's fingertips.

"Amazing," He whispered. This future was so uncertain that not even the Imaginary Tree could not see past a certain point.

That begged the question though. Turning his head to the Imaginary Tree, Su noted the emergence of similar chalk leaves on its branches as an untold number of uncertain futures were being born.

Who was the red-haired stranger that he saw?

The support for this story simply astounds me with each chapter that I post! I cant express how happy I am with all the support that this story gets.

All right, let's get to the chapter. Surprisingly not much happens here, considering what I had in the previous chapter. There were quite some differing opinions on what path Haruto should take and each side made valid points, enough to make me think about it real hard enough to dedicate the next chapter for him to debate over his options.

To go to chess to develop his skills as a captain, or take up Mei's options of joining the Kendo Club to potentially become a Knight? He joins the Chess Club where he can sharpen his strategy skills, but loses a very easy path to getting closer to Mei.

What did you think about Mei's and Midori's kendo match? Fighting scenes to me have felt the thing I need improvement on the most with so I hope it flowed well when you guys read it.

Note that I don't plan on adding a ton of OCs but just enough so that I can progress the story a bit, at least till the events of the 3rd Eruption. You'll see what I mean when that chapter comes.

If you were looking for a chapter that had some major developments in terms of plot, all I can say is that the next chapter will be the start of Haruto's effect on the world of Honkai beyond Chiba Academy. So be excited for that.

Welp that's all for this chapter. If you enjoyed, drop a fav/follow/kudos as they really help me out with creating great chapters. Reviews are deeply appreciated and if you got a question or a really interesting theory I am more than happy to reply.