.hack//Legend of the Twilight

Twilight Dawn

Abstract: Shugo has a tough decision to make, either use the bracelet at its maximum
and risk infection or see everyone he cares about destroyed. And that's just in the
first chapter.


The battle was getting out of control. Shugo looked around. Mireille, Ouka, even
Komiyan, all of them were failing against this monster, who seemed to be not just
an infected monster of The World, but the pure incarnation of a data bug. And no
matter how many times Shugo used the bracelet, it wouldn't go down in level.

Shugo looked at Rena, who seemed to be suffering from being data drained herself.
Somehow, the monster that looked more like some child's art painting with a red staff
data drained her. Not to the point of death, but drained her of so much hp that
she couldn't even move. Balmung was trying to cure her with any healing elements
he had with him, but not even the incredibly strong La Repth was working.

"I know I can beat this guy if I use the bracelet," Shugo said more to himself
than to Balmung. "Maybe if I..."

"No, Shugo, you mustn't," Balmung countered. "You've already used the data drain
too much. Any more, and you can risk permanently destroying your character."
Shugo looked at Balmung with surprise. "I have seen Kite use the bracelet a lot.
Each time, his character became infected, almost to the point where he would be
lost forever, both here and in the real world. You can't use it!"

"What choice do I have?" Shugo argued. "If I don't, we're all dead anyway!"

Balmung stared long and hard at the twin blade. And in his eyes he could see
the same passion and courage that Kite had all those years ago. Balmung could
just knock the kid out, lock him out, do anything to prevent him from doing
what he wanted to do. But he couldn't. This wasn't just some kid using Kite's
character design, this WAS Kite, or rather, the Descendant of Kite.

Balmung smiled. "You do know what could happen, right? You could be dead in
the real world as well as here."

"I do."

Balmung smiled and shook Shugo's hand. "Then good luck... Descendant of Kite."

Shugo smiled. He never received such a compliment before, and from Balmung
of all characters, his rival of Rena's affections. Speaking of Rena...
Shugo looked down at his twin sister, playing the character of Kite's
partner (and maybe even love interest, Shugo didn't know the whole story),
Black Rose. He stroked her cheek. "Balmung... look out for Rena for me, she's
someone... very important to me."

"I know." Shugo gave the Descendant of Fianna a thumbs up then charged through
the group.

"All right, you overgrown oil painting," he said. "You think you can just
data drain whoever you want and get away with it? I don't think so!" The
creature actually backed up in fear. Apparently, it recognized Shugo, or rather
Shugo'slook. "No matter what happens to me, I WILL NOT LET YOU HURT THE PEOPLE
I CARE ABOUT!" Everyone gasped. They've obviously never seen Shugo act so
confident,so firm, so... like a hero. The bracelet started to glow brighter
than it ever had before, like it was actually responding to Shugo's emotions.


Both Shugo and the creature were bathed in an intense light. Data began flowing
from the creature to Shugo's bracelet. Shugo's body began to change color. His
face had a look of pain.

Balmung opened up a live communication screen to his assistant. "What's the
level of the monster?"

"200," she reported. "Wait... 160... 120... it's dropping like crazy."

"Keep it up, Shugo," Balmung encouraged.

At Balmung's side, Rena's voice could barely be heard. "Shu... go."

~My body feels like its on fire,~ Shugo thought. ~I can't keep this up for much
longer. No, I have to keep it up! I have to bring it down enough to finish it

The level kept dropping. "90... 75... 70..."

Shugo couldn't keep it up any more. He stopped the data drain. His body had
gone completely white. He fell onto the ground.

"Level holding at 68," was the report.

"Good enough," Balmung said drawing his sword. "Ouka, Komiyan, use your
strongest skills!" Komiyan charged forward on his Grunty and swung his longarm
in a rapid horizontal movement. Ouka, in her werewolf form, leaped at the
monster's head. Balmung forced his sword in the monster's chest.

The monster's body broke apart and scattered into the wind. Immediately, the
damaged parts of the field were repaired and the sun shone again.

"Victory!" Komiyan cried. "Once again, another foe has fallen at the ever-
mighty hand of..."

"Oh my God! Shugo!"

"Shugo the... huh?" Komiyan looked over and saw Shugo's fallen form. He
ran over to check it along with Balmung and the girls.

"Shugo, wake up!" Mireille said. She quickly used a health drink on him but
it didn't work. She then tried a healing potion, but that didn't work either.
Getting frustrated with the lack of success, she tried her La Repth but all
that did was drain her sp. She finally decided to go for the old fashioned
approach. "SHUGO, WAKE UP!"

Ouka sniffed him. "I'm not smelling any warmth from him."

"I knew this would happen," Balmung said sheathing his sword. "Using the
data drain at its maximum potential made the virus in Shugo's body spread
uncontrollably. His body was corrupted, and as anyone knows, once a file is
corrupted, it can't be changed back."

"That can't be," Mireille said unusually quietly. "Shugo can't be..."

"Shugo can't be what?" It was Rena, who had regained most of her hp.
Balmung stood in front of her. "Balmung, what's going on?"

"Rena, please, it's best if you don't look."

"Don't look? What do you mean?" Rena strained to look over Balmung's
shoulder but the others were blocking her view.


"What happened to my brother?" Rena demanded to know. Balmung could see
that Rena was ready to get primal if she didn't find out what happened. So
Balmung grimly stepped aside. Mireille and Ouka stood back revealing Shugo's

Rena gasped. "S... Sh... Shugo." She ran over to him. "Shugo, wake up!
Shugo, wake up! Come on, Shugo, this isn't funny. Shugo. Shugo... brother,
please don't..."

"I'm afraid it's too late," Balmung said. "Shugo is gone forever."

"No! NO, it can't be!" Rena quickly gated out.

"Poor kid," Ouka said turning to the body that was once Shugo's. "When it
all came down to it, he really went for the gold. I wish I wasn't so hard
on him."

"Me too," Mireille agreed. "He was always willing to help out even though
we may have treated him roughly at times." She hugged Ouka. "He was one
of the best friends I have ever known."

"He will be... sorely missed," Komiyan grudgingly said.


In the real world, Rena flung off her helmet and pulled on her shoes. She
had to get over to Shugo immediately. Surely, he couldn't be dead, it was
impossible. One couldn't die in The World, could they?

"Rena, where are you going?" Her mother asked as Rena ran out the door.

"I have to see Shugo!" She cried.

"But I thought you were playing..." The slam of the door prevented the rest
of her question to get through.

Rena got on her bike and pedled as fast as she could over to the house where
Shugo and her father lived. All this time, she prayed to herself that she
would find Shugo. She would find him alive and well in his room which was
where his terminal was. She would come into his room and he would be
sitting at his terminal like always. He would turn towards her and give
some witty greeting and everything will be all right.

Yes, everything would be all right.

She hoped.

She finally arrived at the house. Her father's car was already in the garage.
Rena ran up the side steps and rapidly knocked on the door. Her father opened

"Rena, what are you doing here?" Her father asked.

"I need to see Shugo," Rena said blowing past her father.

"Is it important?"

"Yes!" Rena snapped.

Rena ran up to Shugo's room and burst through the door. "Shugo?" As
expected, Shugo was sitting at his terminal. His head was drooped to
one side, his controller had fallen to the ground. "Shugo? Shugo,
speak to me! Shugo!" Rena yanked off his headset. His eyes had a
dazed look to them. Rena shook Shugo's shoulders causing his head to
bobble. But it was no use. "Shugo... Shugo. SHUGO!" Rena cried into Shugo's
shoulders, rocking him gently like he was her child instead of her twin.
She didn't want to admit it, but what Balmung said was true. Shugo was


Shugo looked around at his surroundings, if one could call them that.
He was literally looking at nothing, just darkness.

"Okay, this is strange," Shugo said. "Where am I? What happened to
the monster?" Shugo lifted his arms like he was going to take off his headset
but he didn't feel it. "Hey, what happened to my headset? What's going on

"Welcome, Shugo!"

Shugo gasped. He knew the voice. He turned and saw a ghost-like girl in a
long dress.

"Aura!" Shugo cried happily. "I wanted to see you again, but... wait a
minute, the last time we met, it was when I died. Does this mean...?"

Aura nodded, her gentle smile never leaving her face. "Yes, Shugo, you
are dead again."

"No way!" Shugo cried. "But... what happened to the monster? What about
Rena? Is she safe."

Aura nodded again. She took his head in her hands and touched her head to
his. In his mind, Shugo could see Balmung, Ouka, and Komiyan delivering
the final blow to the monster. "So Balmung was the real hero," Shugo
guessed. "I shouldn't be surprised."

"You are the real hero, Shugo. Your bracelet removed its invincibility."

"I... I am a hero?" Shugo couldn't believe it. He actually achieved
his goal.

Aura just kept up her vision. Shugo saw a lush field. No monster portals
or anything that would reveal it to be a normal battle field in The World.
A tombstone was stationed in front of a single cherry blossom tree. Shugo's
full name and birth date was on it. And below was an epitaph. "Descendant
of Kite, beloved hero."

Balmung and Shugo's friends stood around it. Mireille was actually crying.
Ouka, in her human form, was trying to comfort her. Everyone whom Shugo
had ever met was there, except for one.

"Where's Rena?" Shugo asked just before Rena gated in.

"Sorry I'm late, everybody," Rena said meakly.

"It's all right," Balmung said. He gently pushed Rena to the front of the
group. Rena went up to the tombstone.

"Hey, bro," she said trying to smile (and semi-succeeding as everyone could
see). "Looks like you did it, you got to become a hero. I know, you might say
something like 'Balmung was the hero, he destroyed the monster' but you
were the one who enabeled him to do it. If it wasn't for you, we would've
all been data drained." Rena's eyes swelled up with tears. "Shugo, you
sacrificed your own life to save mine and others. But... you didn't need
to. You see, Shugo... you were always a hero... to me." Rena couldn't
hold it in any more. The tears flowed. "Shugo... no matter what happens,
you'll always be my hero. I love you... brother."

"I love you too... sister," Shugo said forgetting that she couldn't hear him.

Balmung came up and put a hand on her shoulder. "I created this field
especially for this. There will be no monsters or dungeons here, just this
memorial." Rena turned and cried into the tall man's chest.

Normally, Shugo would've protested this display of affection towards
someone other than himself, but given the circumstances, Shugo couldn't
blame her.

"Well... as long as Rena's safe," Shugo said as his vision ended.
"I'm happy. Lonely, but happy."

"Take my hand," Aura said. Shugo took one of her hands in both of his.
"As long as we walk together, I will always be with you."

A/N: Okay, obviously my knowledge of LotT is a little limited, considering
how I only have the first two manga and the last time I read those was six
months ago. I apologize if I had gotten anything mixed up or wrong.
.hack is owned by Bandai (then again, what ISN'T owned by Bandai and/or
Sunrise now-a-days?) and... well, it's not owned by me and that's all I