Author's Note, 10/17/21: Hey everyone
I'm not gonna mask it; I'm kinda losing motivation to write Collapse of Dimensions. I know, it's bad; I don't like it either. The last thing I want to do is to drop the story when I know the best is still to come. So for now I'll change pace and do something new to refresh my mind and interests. I'll go back and revisit one of my first YGO fics, Maiden's Journey: Her Way Back Home. Maybe it's not the most original of ideas, but I figured I could rewrite it to see how much I've improved since my first fic.
For the most part the plot will still be the same, I just want to expand more on the plot and characters. Hopefully this gives me the necessary motivation to continue writing Collapse of Dimensions, and hopefully you guys enjoy this revamped version of mine's. Have fun reading!
Somewhere far, far beyond the universe
Count the minutes. Count the seconds.
The near-limitless being stared at the large, purple bubble in front of it. The bubble stretched light-years on end in both sides, far and wide that you almost couldn't see where it started and ended. Inside was an almost-infinite amount of dimensions packed inside, each filled with their own galaxies and stories.
Count the seconds, count the seconds.
The omnipotent being recalled its earlier bouts, remembering very well how it ate a universe just as big as this one, if not bigger, several eons ago.
Just like it did with several other universes before that.
Collapse and destroy. Collapse and destroy.
That is my mission. That is my existence.
However this universal bubble in particular was unique. It had a certain safety lock that prevented the being from entering inside.
A small card of infinite potential.
The Numeron Code.
A faint roaring of a dragon could be heard from within the bubble, circling the large bubble's inner walls.
The Numeron Dragon.
The limitless being would frown if it could, the lock was an annoying setback, small yet effective. The small card formed a barrier that prevented the being from passing through.
However the being kept the same expression the entire time, if it could even be called as such. It backed away from the purple bubble several light years away before suddenly coming to a stop. The near-infinite being couldn't enter the dimensional bubble right now, but it eventually could by weakening the Numeron Code's security thresholds. It only had to shake up several realities inside the bubble well enough in order to do that.
And in order for that to happen, It needed to "influence" a dimension inside first.
Count the minutes, count the seconds.
Count each dimension. You only have enough energy for one. Use it well.
The being suddenly outstretched its arms as a bright-blue blast generated in front of it, before suddenly throwing it towards the large bubble.
The faint roaring once again reverberated throughout the bubble, signifying that the Numeron Dragon was aware.
A blue barrier immediately formed around the bubble to try and stop the attack, however some of the blast still managed to enter inside. The remaining invasive energy headed towards a random, yet specific dimension, in a specific timeline.
And towards Jaden Yuki's world.
Somewhere close, yet not in Jaden Yuki's world
Two individuals were eating away their dinner for the night as the sun slowly set behind the buildings, the clock placed on the wall showing no later than 10:00.
The house was dim-lit to add to the nightly theme, as today was a good day to celebrate a certain someone's achievement.
"As of recently the company has been doing really good; We expected to be in more serious problems after the SOLtiS fiasco that took place several weeks ago, but it seems that has been put aside by the public, and thankfully nobody has really tried looking into the matter aside from a few journalists", explained one of the people eating as he looked at the other person sitting at the opposite side. The other person seemed distant, and was moving her food around with her fork instead of eating it. "The company has been making more money than normal and its expected to continue rising in generated revenues", added the brother proudly, however he then noticed something off about his sister. "Aoi, are you okay?"
The girl then noticed she was being asked something. "Hmm? Oh yeah, I'm alright. I was just... thinking about a few things."
"Is that so?", asked the brother, noticing how poignant his sister's demeanor suddenly appeared. "Then tell me, what are you thinking about?"
The girl put down her fork and adjusted herself in her dining chair.
"...I'm just, thinking about how close school is about to start again", explained the short-haired girl, sitting herself properly. "I still don't have a clear idea of what I want to do after I graduate."
Her brother sighed as he leaned back slightly, "Yeah, it's almost unbelievable how quickly the break went by. You're going back to school in a few weeks already. Crazy, right?"
The sister nodded mindlessly.
The brother sighed, "Look, I know it's hard thinking about what you want to be during scholar years, but don't worry; I'm sure you'll find an answer soon enough."
His sister shifted slightly in her seat as he continued, "You don't need to feel pressured in choosing quickly."
"Or what do you think?", asked the brother once more, his sister now looking at him. "Do you have at least an idea on what you want to do?"
He could tell that his sister was really trying to think of this one. However it seemed she couldn't come up with anything.
Meanwhile, things were a hailstorm inside Aoi's mind.
She had no idea what she wanted to do. Engineering, psychiatry, law practice, forensics, politics; None of it seemed to click with her. Nothing seemed to resonate with her, she didn't particularly find joy in doing any of those things, nor did they appeal to her at all.
There was only one thing she found joy doing during these past few years:
Her mind flashed pictures of her last adventures, especially those from the past several weeks. Striking a pose as Blue Angel during a Speed Duel to make her viewers smile, agreeing to work with Aqua and seeing her smile, fighting to the most of her abilities to protect her Ai partner's existence against Lightning and his group, resolving herself to protect her brother against Ai and his sudden revolution:
She found joy in helping others, and making them smile.
She failed at those things.
The girl could only think about how she always lost when it was most important to win. She could only think of the several lives she let down with her failures.
I can't help others for shit...
The brother noticed how quiet his sister grew. The girl barely moved in her seat before suddenly hearing, "Aoi? Are you okay?"
The girl took a second before suddenly sitting up straight. For the most part her face was still the same as always, just a few added eye bags here and there that were mostly unnoticeable. "Yeah, I'm alright. It's just... I haven't thought of anything yet."
She then felt a hand upon her shoulder. The girl looked up to see her older brother gripping her shoulder firmly. "Don't worry, you don't need to come up with an answer right now", her brother reassured with a smile. "Sooner or later you'll realize what you want to do; You'll know when it happens."
The younger sister was speechless for a few seconds. However, she quickly formed a small smile as she placed her hand on his, "Thank you, big brother. I'll keep thinking about it."
The brother nodded at her answer, before suddenly feeling something vibrate in his pocket. He reached inside to reveal his phone. "Oh, another call. You can leave your plate there to finish it later. Just make sure to finish it eventually; I still want you to eat something before you sleep."
Her brother then walked away to answer the unexpected call, his younger sister sighing before staring at her plate.
She wasn't really hungry, but she didn't have any other choice.
So, she kept eating.
The younger sister dropped in her bed after closing her door.
She was tired, very tired.
The girl then sat up to study her large room, a small habit she picked up during the past few days. The room was still the same, everything was. Takeru returned back to his hometown after the Ignis war ended, Shoichi still sold hotdog sandwiches in his truck, his brother still worked at SOL Technologies, Revolver and his Hanoi group continued monitoring the VRAINS network under self-placed punishment, and Playmaker was still gone in his search for Ai.
He was never the type to smile a lot. She doesn't even remember the last time she saw him smile, if ever. She eventually learned why that was the case, when the young man dueled against her brother. The girl learned of his scarred past with the Lost Incident, and how losing for him meant pain worse than death. As a result, she also came to understand his usual mood, and why he usually seemed so distanced from everyone, even those closest from him.
In a way, she felt like she was starting to understand more and more of Yusaku.
The girl lied on her bed, covering herself under the bed sheets.
I wonder what he would do in a situation like this, she mused, her eyes narrowing in despondence.
Continue fighting, never give up. That's what he seemed to do every time, regardless of who he was fighting against. It didn't matter if his enemies were a large cyber-terrorist organization, or if it was an old friend, or if he was fighting his inner trauma; He never seemed to hold back, and he always seemed to stand back up again even after every hit he was inflicted.
But I'm not as strong as him.
The girl shook her head to try and get rid of her thoughts. But it was in vain. She just didn't have the same strength as Yusaku's, the pain she was going through could never reach his'.
In the end, she couldn't even comprehend the person she wanted to make smile the most, more so even come close to him.
Aoi sighed in her bed before turning to look at her VRAINS headgear in a nearby chair. It's been a long time since she last used it; She hasn't been inside the VRAINS network as much as she once was.
And frankly, she still didn't feel like returning today.
So the girl got ready to sleep, instead; Tomorrow she might come up with something to solve her problems.
Or maybe not.
Next day; Outside of Aoi's apartment
Café Nagi, Den City
"Thank you for the purchase, have a nice day!", Shoichi waved another customer goodbye. He then took the time to take a relaxed sigh, it was pretty much another great day for him. Business has been doing great, his café's reputation has spread to more people, and his younger brother seems to be more lively than ever.
Life seemed to be going really well for him.
About time, Shoichi smiled to himself.
His thoughts suddenly came to a stop when he noticed a familiar person stand in front of the counter.
"Oh, Aoi!", smiled the older Kusanagi. "What brings you here today? Another order like usual?"
"Uhh no, not really; I just wanted to be outside for once, just because", the brown-haired girl scratched her head. "I figured a change of pace was needed."
"I see!", Shoichi nodded as he took the opportunity to clean his truck's counter. He took a nearby towel before beginning to scrub, "Well I'm glad you took that decision; Change is good to have in your life once in a while, especially when you find boredom in doing the exact same things the entire time."
The girl couldn't help but ask in response, "Well, do you ever find boredom in doing your job?"
The older Kusanagi sibling suddenly stopped cleaning. He put a hand on his chin to think of an appropriate answer. "Well, sometimes it happens", he admitted. "You can't always expect to have good days all the time, and sometimes your energy is just not at the level you want it to be. But that's normal! Everyone goes through a phase like that at least once, maybe even several times. Sometimes whenever I feel bored of doing this for a living, I think of how blessed I am to even be here in the first place. A growing business, a large clientele, and even a happy little brother! I couldn't ask for more things than that!"
"For the last time, brother, I'm not little!", suddenly called out Shoichi's younger brother, the boy carrying a set of white plates behind Aoi.
"Yeah yeah, whatever you say!", Shoichi laughed off. He then whispered to Aoi, "Jin's definitely little, justdon'ttellhimIsaidthat- Anyways! How have you been doing as of recently?"
"Hmm?", asked Aoi, momentarily distracted by looking at Shoichi's brother. "Oh, I've been doing fine. Couldn't be any more excited to return to school."
"Really?", asked the man. He then leaned forward and whispered once again, "You're still feeling down, aren't you?"
The girl's eyes widened.
"Don't worry, I already said I wasn't gonna judge you the last time you vented, and I'm certainly not backing on my word anytime soon", explained the man comfortingly. "I know you might feel trapped right now, but don't forget you always have people to you can rely on in order to recover."
"Just... just don't do anything 'drastic', okay?", smiled the man, although this smile was a little more pained. "You know how much we all care about you."
"I know", the girl nodded. She couldn't say she never considered it, but she was weak. She couldn't even bring herself to do that, either.
I'm too weak.
"I think I'm gonna go now", the girl turned around. "I'll need a short walk to exercise my thoughts."
"Sure thing! Just make sure you don't go on an empty stomach!", Shoichi returned to his usual jovial expression. He then went inside the truck, "Here, I'll even invite you to a hotdog!"
"You sure?", asked Aoi.
"Of course! Business has been doing really well as of late, so I don't mind doing a few freebies for a friend", the man offered. The girl was going to say no, but her stomach was starting to plead otherwise.
She couldn't help but give a small smile. "Fine, I'll bite."
It was really delicious.
The girl had to stop herself several times from devouring the hotdog entirely. Shoichi merely smiled in satisfaction as he continued cleaning his hotdog truck. Another happy customer.
"I... Thank you for the hotdog sandwich, Shoichi", bowed Aoi after she finished.
"Ughhh how many times do I have to tell you, hotdogs aren't sandwiches!", exaggeratedly groaned the man. "They're both their own different foods!"
"You sure they aren't the same?", smirked Jin.
"Hotdogs use only one bun, sandwiches use two slices of bread; Simple as that!", Shoichi remarked at his younger brother. "See they're both different!"
"If you say so", the girl smiled with rolled eyes as she threw her napkin away. She then turned to face the older Kusanagi. "Seriously though, thank you very much for the meal, and, well, for everything."
"Of course! Glad I could lend a helping hand!", beamed the man as he waved goodbye. "Don't hesitate to call if you need a chat!"
"I won't", the girl waved back before turning around and beginning her afternoon walk.
You got nothing done.
You piece of shit.
The girl groaned as she once again couldn't escape her own feelings, and was once again laying in her room's bed. Another day was about to end, it still wasn't much different than yesterday. Akira was still working, and she was still alone in her room. She still felt trapped, she still felt useless.
She felt weak.
You are weak.
The girl couldn't bear it anymore. She wanted to go somewhere, do something, go wherever and whenever just as long as it freed her from her own mental prison.
Aoi sat up as she gazed at her VRAINS headset, still in the same white chair. The girl didn't even care if she hadn't entered the virtual network in a long time; She just wanted to go do something else for once.
So that she did. She took the headgear and nearby Marincess Deck on her Desk. Like hell she was gonna use her Trickstar Deck and go back as Blue Angel. She would go back as Blue Maiden instead to avoid unnecessary attention.
I would rather never return as Blue Angel.
The girl then placed her Deck in her Duel Disk. A series of bright-blue letters spelled "INTO THE VRAINS" into her headset's screen as the girl sat down and muttered:
"Into the VRAINS."
Streams of blue data.
Streams of blue data enshrouded the girl was her brown hair suddenly grew into long blue locks, her casual wear suddenly changing into a combination of both a waistcoat and skirt with sea-related aesthetics. It was a matter of seconds before she changed into her third VRAINS avatar, Blue Maiden.
The girl landed on her D-Board as she began surfing the internet, gliding along the numerous streams of data and passed along the network's myriad of buildings. Eventually she ended her ride by landing on a high rooftop, her hoverboard disappearing as she sat on the roof's edge to survey the network.
Normally, she would say it was all beautiful. Seeing the smiling faces, the various Master and Speed Duels, surf racing, or even just a short visit in the network, people always had a reason to come here. And, regardless of whether good or bad things happened, the place always served to band people's hearts and feelings together.
Playmaker seemed to believe that the most.
Sometimes the girl also thought about how people from centuries ago didn't have access to this virtual reality, Speed Duels, or even digital cards and Decks like she did. It was hard to imagine how that was like, given how she's never lived such a way.
In some way, it was like Kusanagi said earlier; Sometimes it was worth appreciating what you had when feeling trapped.
However she couldn't quite appreciate it as much as she wanted to. Her mind was still occupied on other things.
Most of it was self-depreciation, like the usual. What she hated the most about this was that she wasn't even like this before; Back during the first few days after Playmaker's departure the girl didn't feel bad, she just felt grateful about how everything would soon return to normal. However that was the problem; Everything quickly returned to normal, too quickly. The girl didn't have enough time to address her own personal problems, nor could she rely on anyone else since they all seemed to have already moved on. Or maybe they were either too happy or too busy. Even Kusanagi seemed happier with his younger brother recovering from his mental trauma. She didn't want to risk ruining someone else's mood with a story she should have already moved on from in the first place.
So then why couldn't she move on like the rest?
It's because you're so-
The girl gripped her head forcefully. It was getting tiring to hear her own thoughts destroying her. Like hell she wanted to keep hearing the same things repeatedly.
So the girl stood up determined, before walking in a random direction across the roof. She then began running before jumping off the ceiling, gracefully landing into her hoverboard as she once again began to surf the web.
Playmaker probably felt the same way; He was probably weighted down by his own thoughts, too. The girl mused with a sour face as she surveyed each of the other avatars below her. They all seemed so happy, so lively. Lucky people. That's probably why he was so serious all the time. If I understood him back then, then things might have gone a different way.
A mental image of Playmaker walking towards a light with his back turned.
The girl's eyes then softened. I just couldn't understand him because I...
However she could never finish that thought.
A blue portal suddenly appeared below her as it began sucking her in, a series of error messages surrounding the girl as she was forced down.
Streams of both red and blue data surrounded her as she began forcefully leaving VRAINS.
Unidentifiable error detected. Beginning standard reparation process.
Standard reparation process overridden. Beginning forceful log-out sequence.
Forceful log-out sequence failed. Error. Error.
And into another dimension.
Just as quickly as the portal appeared it disappeared, taking the girl along with it.
And not single sound was made after that.
"...AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-", the girl continued screaming before suddenly slamming hard against the ground.
The girl slowly stood up as she reached for her back. "My back... ow my back..."
However her grievances quickly came to an end as she realized what she landed on.
It was in several pieces, most likely from the fall...
And it wasn't just that. She looked up to see both her cards and VRAINS headset surrounding her.
The girl picked one of the cards up and realized that it wasn't a Marincess card, however.
"Wait... my Trickstar Deck?"
The girl then caught notice of where she was, slowly standing to survey the area she was in.
She was in... a desert.
That shouldn't be right.
The girl then noticed she was still in her VRAINS avatar, alongside with her Duel Disk and Marincess Deck inside, despite being sure she was now in the real world.
That shouldn't be right either.
"Hey, you there!"
The girl suddenly froze in her tracks. Did someone see her drop from out of nowhere?
The blue-haired girl slowly turned around to see who called out to her. However she didn't expect what she saw next:
He seemed to be a young man, not much older than her, with messy brown hair and lively caramel eyes. He wore a red uniform atop a black shirt, with accompanying black pants and yellow backpack.
He looked to be a college student at most, weirdly enough.
But what would a college student even be doing in a desert? That didn't sound right either, none of this did!
"Looked like you had quite the fall there", the young man approached the still-shocked girl. "Talk about a rough landing, amirite?"
The girl finally found her speech, "...What?"
The man's face suddenly jerked to another direction, as if he was hit by an invisible force. "OW!"
"Ah!", The girl jumped back a few steps away from the man's sudden scream.
The young man rubbed his cheek, which was suddenly red. "Okay I think I deserved that one."
What was going on!?? The girl wasn't even sure if she was awake or not anymore; For all she knew this could be some sort of lucid dream!
The girl tried pinching her arm to see if she was dreaming, however she recoiled from the sudden pain. Nope, everything she was seeing was real; She was in an isolated desert in the middle of nowhere, alone with some random stranger she just met, who acted as if he was in some sort of psych ward. Goddamn it all!
The girl finally recovered enough to lower herself and begin picking up her Trickstar Deck, to which the red-jacket found the chance to begin speaking up, "Sorry for not introducing myself earlier by the way. I almost forgot to do so after seeing your fall!"
"Huh? Oh yeah go ahead", the girl grumbled as she continued picking up her cards. She really didn't have much patience anymore. She didn't even care if he saw her fall from out of nowhere; He didn't seem to be doing any better, either.
"Well then, let's get the introductions going!", stated the young man eagerly. "What's your name?"
"Ao- Blue Maiden. It's Blue Maiden", the girl corrected herself as she finished picking up her Deck. There was no way she was going to reveal her real name, especially not to a stranger who just randomly appeared out of nowhere.
"Blue Maiden? Sounds like a superhero name", the red-jacket rubbed his nose, the VRAINS avatar standing up to face him. He then studied the girl for a few seconds, which only unnerved her even more.
"Ohhh, I see, I know who you are!", the man smiled.
Okay, this was something. The girl couldn't help but stutter as she stared at the duelist, "Y-You do?"
"Yep! The answer couldn't be any more clearer!", the man placed his hands on his hips proudly, as if he reached some sort of eureka moment.
He then looked at Blue Maiden straight in the eye and declared:
"You're a superhero!"
"...What?", the girl asked.
"No wait, wait; A superheroine!", the young man quickly corrected himself.
WHAT WAS GOING ON ANYMORE????? The girl couldn't take any more of this guy's antics, she found it really hard to continue being mad at him. She couldn't even take him seriously.
"Look, I don't know how you think things but I'm not a superhero-!"
"Same thing! I'm not what you say you are, I'm just confused and scared and I don't even know where I am-!"
"Alright alright, calm down! If you're trying to find a way back home then don't worry, I can help you!", the red-jacket tried reassuring her, however the girl quickly took a few steps back.
"And don't even get close to me! I don't know what you're playing at but I won't follow you wherever you want me to go!", the girl angrily retorted.
"Okay look I'm not trying to get you do something malicious, I'm just trying to help you!", the young man raised his hands. "Here, I can even prove my innocence!"
The man then rummaged through all his pockets and threw out all the stuff inside; An old photo, an empty deck-box, canned cat food, postal stamps-
Wait, cat food-?
He continued pulling out more stuff, the girl only growing more and more petrified as he never seemed to finish. The entire ordeal seemed to last for hours until he finally finished getting everything out of his pocket.
And surrounding him was now a pile of objects that shouldn't even be able to fit into his pockets.
How did he fit all that in the first place???, the girl gaped at all the items on the ground.
You're definitely an over-accumulator, the red-jacket heard a certain voice ring inside his head.
"Oh shut up it's not that much", the man said out loud as he began picking up his stuff.
The girl looked up at him in panic. Did he somehow hear my thoughts?????
"Hmm?", the man looked at her. "Oh I didn't say that to you, don't worry", he affirmed as he continued picking up everything.
Then who did he say it to???, The girl panicked even more. Who even is this guy???
"Well, hopefully you can trust me a little more with that out of the way!", the young man smiled at the girl, however he noticed how spooked the blue-haired mess was staring at him in fear.
"Uhh...", the red-jacket trailed off awkwardly. "Is there something I have in my teeth?"
The girl wanted to scream. "W-Who... who even are you?"
"Hmm? Oh that's right, I forgot to introduce myself!", the man beamed as he scratched his head. "I think I need to get that out of the way, too!"
The young man then placed a hand on his pocket and pointed at himself:
"The name's Jaden Yuki; Nice to meet ya'!"
Author's Note: Chapter 1 done! Hope you guys enjoyed this re-upload, and don't worry, this doesn't mean I'll drop Collapse of Dimensions! I just felt like rewriting a few things in the original story was necessary. I hope you guys understand my situation, and aren't too harsh on me. Then again you guys are very chill, so I don't really need to worry about that. Once again I thank everyone's patience and until the next entry, have a good day! Leave any questions or suggestions you have below in the comments!