DISCLAIMER: I do not own Black Rock Shooter nor any concepts related to Black Rock Shooter. All rights, permissions, and characters are reserved and owned by Huke, Ryo and Ordet.
In a world of black and white, a hero is born…
Let us return to the beginning! These are the chronicles of Black Rock Shooter!
Black Rock Shooter Chronicles, Act One: Parallelism
They call it the Other World. Hell. Heaven. A parallel universe. The Void. It is all of these and yet none of these. We have no name for it.
Our world is a fragile world. It changes at the whim of the beings in reality. We may merely be figments of imagination. No, perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that we are a mirror of reality, distorted through the cracks and drained of colour.
We have no goals. We have no hopes. We walk this empty land wherever their thoughts and dreams take us. We just keep on walking.
We just keep on fighting.
"What should we call her?" Came a man's voice containing unsuppressed excitement.
"You've been asking the same question for hours honey." A woman's voice reproached, though she didn't sound annoyed or angry. It wasn't the time for any of those two emotions anyway. After all, it wasn't everyday you created life.
The hospital ward they were in had walls painted in light olive green shades. The ceiling was high and a single, dim white light hung from above, illuminating the floor of pale blue. In the middle of the ward was a single, large bed, upon which lay a woman. Next to it stood an empty cot.
The woman looked tired, but happy. Her skin seemed to glow with a pinkish hue, accentuating the colour of her curly brown hair and in her brown eyes. She was thin and worn out, but it was to be expected from one whom had just undergone a painful labour.
Next to her was a skinny man with messy black hair and jet black eyes, who wore black square-framed spectacles askew. His clothes were crumpled and he was everything but neat and tidy. Yet, he could not care less. His attention was diverted solely to the bundle of joy held in his wife's arms.
A tiny baby, whom had inherited her father's black hair and her mother's beautiful skin, was nestled snugly in her mother's embrace. She was asleep; having just drank her fill, and was at peace with everything in the world.
"Kuroi Mato. I think that's a fine name."
"What should we call her?" A grim woman's voice resounded.
"You've been asking the same question for hours..." Another woman's voice reproached, though she didn't sound annoyed or angry. In fact, it sounded afraid; curious. It wasn't everyday that another one of their kind came into being. Would they have to fight each other one day?
The vast hall they were in had crumbling walls in varying shades of gray. The ceiling was high and a single large crack in it allowed for dim white moonlight to spill from above, illuminating the floor of cold stone. Directly in the middle of the hall were two women who stood around a naked, sleeping girl. The girl was engulfed in blue fire.
The first woman looked tired and wore a grim expression on her face. Her skin was deathly white, accentuating the colour of her straight black hair and in her silver eyes. She was thin and ragged, but it was to be expected from one whom had just undergone a long battle. A large, cracked battleaxe hung loosely across her back and metallic gray armour adorned her body.
The second woman with ruffled black hair and jet black eyes wore a tattered gray cape. Her torn clothes were covered in dirt and in her hands she bore two short, curved daggers. Her attention was diverted solely to the girl whom had mysteriously come into existence right when they were taking a rest, having just escaped from their dreaded and destined enemy.
The tiny girl, whom had ridiculously long black hair, such that it draped her body like a blanket, and had pearly white skin, was curled up in fetal position on the hard ground. She was asleep, and was at peace with everything in the world. The two women gave sighs of mild anguish. The girl had no idea the suffering that would surely come down the road. They continued to stare, mesmerized, by the faint blue glow of the fire in which the girl was protected.
"Hey, it's custom that we give her a name. We discovered her after all…" The woman with ruffled hair reminded her brooding counterpart.
"Tch. Whatever. I'm thinking. You give it some thought too damn it!" Came the retort.
Minutes passed in silence, save for the crackling of azure flames.
"Black Rock Shooter. I think that's a fine name."
A baby's bawling could be heard from somewhere within the house. Kuroi Mato was hungry.
There was a rush of footsteps up the staircase and into the living room on the second level, where Mato was crying in a small cot, her arms flailing and craving attention. Her mother entered the room carrying a bottle of milk and proceeded to pacify the infant. Within seconds, the crying ceased and Mato's mother sighed in relief.
"You're a real bundle of trouble Mato." The mother playfully scolded, before gathering Mato in her arms and lifting her from the cot.
The baby stared blankly at the woman carrying her. Stared blankly with brilliant blue eyes. Nobody knew whom she had inherited them from, but relatives and friends all said that whenever they looked into those eyes, they could see greatness. Greatness and wild, blue flames.
"Concentrate!" A voice shouted. There was a clash of steel followed by a muffled thud as someone hit the ground.
The landscape splayed out endlessly in all directions, marked by graves at steady intervals. The Infinite Death. It was where all of them ultimately came to rest, without ceremony or mourning. It was here that Black Rock Shooter began to understand the ways of her world.
The young girl was lying, spread eagled, on the ground, having just been floored by her mentor in combat training, Black Twin Blades. She wore a minuscule bikini top, and a pair of equally tiny shorts. Her long hair had been tied into two ponytails of conflicting lengths. A great length of time had passed since Black Rock Shooter had been born, but neither of them had aged a bit. Time did not matter in this place.
"You will die if you don't concentrate!" Black Twin Blades continued scolding the girl who lay at her feet. Her expression was strict and her usually black eyes now shined red. A malevolent aura emanated from the twin daggers she held.
Black Rock Shooter didn't say a word as she lay there on the ground. She was down but not out, and was merely taking a rest to gaze into the endless bleak sky of their world, void of everything but clouds and a moon that shined endlessly. Her blue eyes bore no reflection of what they took in but merely radiated in their own fashion. With a quiet sigh, she proceeded to stand up once more against her mentor, and fight.
"Tch. I swear. I can never read what goes through that mind of yours." Black Twin Blades mused, before readying herself in a combat stance.
Black Rock Shooter picked up the katana that had stuck upright in the soil when it had flown out of her hand moments ago, and pointed the blade at her mentor. Her face remained expressionless, with no malice, no fatigue. Nothing.
"Here I go!" Came the cry from the older of the two, as she leapt at Black Rock Shooter.
Their blades continued to clash, again and again, neither understanding just what the future truly held for them.
"Happy birthday Mato!" Came a rouse of voices, followed by the cracks of numerous party poppers.
Four year old Kuroi Mato stood at the dining table, a large birthday cake whose candles had just been snuffed out still smoking in front of her. She was surrounded by friends and relatives whom had come to wish her well and celebrate the occasion. The little girl gave a sheepish grin and appeared mildly embarrassed to be the centre of attention in front of so many others.
On either side of her stood her parents, both beaming and, in her mother's case, bearing another child. Mato vaguely understood that she was about to be a big sister in time to come but as of now, she only had cake on her mind.
"Can we eat cake now?" The tiny girl begged her mother while tugging at her sleeve.
"Well..? What's her destiny?" Came the grim voice of Black Death Cutter.
Four females stood on a rocky outcrop overseeing a steep drop into an abyss at the edge of a cliff. Three were grown women and one was a young girl. It was customary to visit the Dread Seer after some time had elapsed after the birth of one of their kind. Black Rock Shooter was no exception to the rule.
The Dread Seer was a tall, foreboding woman, draped in layer after layer of white cloth. One could say she wasn't wearing any clothes, for the cloth merely covered her. She bore on her forehead a small diamond-shaped marking that was black in colour. She appeared to be blind, for her eyes seemed to gaze into a faraway distance and bore no colour. Like all of their kind, her skin too, was pale and white.
"Yeah, yeah. Is she going to have to fight one of us in the end?" Black Twin Blades asked worrisomely, gesturing to her partner and herself.
Black Rock Shooter merely stood there silently, neither listening to the conversation nor thinking about anything in particular. She was looking at the moon again.
The Dread Seer did not speak for quite some time. Black Twin Blades appeared impatient, wondering why the Seer took so long to say something. Black Death Cutter, however, was the older of the two, and had already been through this before. She had been the one to hear the Dread Seer prophesize Black Twin Blades' destiny and she had been the one to name her too. It was also customary for those who gave names in their world to hear the destiny of the one they had named.
"Dread Seer?" Black Death Cutter's voice came again, though this time a hint of impatience could be heard in it.
"I see the end. The end of our kind. She will defeat the Dead Master and the imbalance will rip our world asunder." Came the hoarse reply.
Time appeared to stand still. It was just as they had expected. The legends were true. Both women turned to look at the small, unassuming girl beside them. Was it possible? Both women recalled the words, spoken to them by their destined enemy, Blood Princess.
"It would be too easy to defeat both of you, given your abilities. Yet, I shall not. For the Dread Seer has proclaimed that I'm not to kill my enemies but merely to guide them forth along a greater path. The one born under the blue star, you will find. The one born under the blue star, you will raise. The one born under the blue star."
Mato stood at a glass panel, staring into a large white room where dozens of small cots were arranged neatly in rows. She was trying to locate her little brother. Her face was screwed up in concentration as she tried to spot the baby as best as she could, given the description from her mother.
"Brown hair. Very cute. Brown hair. Very cute." Mato repeated like a mantra in her head.
Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder and she turned to see her father standing right behind her. Mato pulled at her father's shirt and following which pointed inside the room.
"He's right there, at the back." Was her father's reply to her non-verbal plea for help. Mato turned back to look inside the room in the direction which he had directed her towards and she finally saw the baby.
"He really is very cute!" She said happily, unable to hide the expression of glee on her face.
"So what do we do with her now?" Black Twin Blades asked her older, and wiser, partner.
The company of three sat around a lonely fire, which burned not yellow or orange but instead gray. It hardly gave any warmth but it was better than nothing. Black Death Cutter was deep in thought, contemplating the words of the Dread Seer.
Why had she not seen it then? The signs? The strange blue glow above that ruined building? That was what Blood Princess was talking about. The blue star. Now they had ushered into being the very one whom the legends said would surely come and bring their world to a close. Yet, was that a bad thing? These days of endless fighting and for no reason, just because it was their destiny to do so? Furthermore, this little child would kill the Dead Master? Impossible. Not with her level of skill now. If so then was it her duty; their duty to ensure that by the time she faced Dead Master she would be ready? There were so many questions and so few answers. Even lesser was the time they had left. Perhaps it was time to tell the girl everything.
"Black Rock Shooter. Listen to me." Black Death Cutter said, turning to the child to her left.
Black Rock Shooter hesitated for a moment, before turning to her older companion. Blue eyes met silver and they stared at each other for the longest time. Black Death Cutter opened her mouth to speak again.
"My time. No, our time, together, is short. Soon, Black Twin Blades and I will have to fulfill our destiny of slaying Blood Princess. Then, we shall die by the hands of another. Who that is, we do not know. Yet, there is not much time left for which we can groom and raise you. You heard the Dread Seer. You must defeat, no, you will defeat the Dead Master. However, not even destiny can save you if you were to approach her at your level right now. You will be obliterated. So it is our duty to ensure that when that time comes, you will be ready. We bear no love nor animosity towards you. We do not feel. We only fight. Yet, promise us one thing. Perhaps it will set you apart from the rest. Please, you must defeat the one whom will ultimately destroy us. Even if it is not written in stone. Do this, for us. For me. Black Rock Shooter."
The two continued to look upon each other but both Black Death Cutter and Black Twin Blades knew that Black Rock Shooter had heard. Had understood.
"Just five more minutes mum!" Came Mato's cry from across the street. Her mother had been pressing her to go for lunch. Mato was playing basketball with a couple of boys in a narrow alleyway. She had been about to make a good shot too!
Mato was now thirteen years of age, though the boys often teased her and said she appeared like she was nine. Mato hated being short, though she more often than not made up for it by trouncing the boys with her athletic ability. Even now, she was the better player when it came to basketball. It was a taboo to mention it, but everyone knew that Mato played the sport just because she wanted to grow taller.
"Just you wait, all of you. I will be tall!" Mato cried out, mentally, before proceeding to throw a perfect three-point shot into the net.
"Kya!" Came the cry from Black Twin Blades as she skidded several feet across the ground before finally coming to a stop. Across her stood Black Rock Shooter, now taller, stronger than she was before. She held her katana with a quiet confidence but showed no sign of being proud or arrogant at finally having defeated her mentor in combat. Her face still bore no expression whatsoever.
"Very good! Very good!" Came the voice of Black Death Cutter, who was laughing and clapping her hands simultaneously. Black Twin Blades recovered from her awkward landing position on the ground and pouted. She knew the inevitability of the day when her protégé would finally beat her.
"Ah no fair…" Black Twin Blades whined.
"Looks like she's finally ready." Black Death Cutter announced with finality. Yet, Black Rock Shooter did not appear to share that sentiment. She turned towards Black Death Cutter, whom she had by now long regarded as a wiser, older sister, and pointed her katana at her.
Black Death Cutter saw this and allowed a look of surprise to betray her. This look however, did not last long, and was soon replaced with a small smile.
"I'm a lot stronger than Black Twin Blades ya know?" Came the answer, to which Black Twin Blades retorted with a loud "hey!"
It was then that for the first time in her life, Black Rock Shooter spoke. With a smile, she said.
"I sincerely hope that you will continue to carry the spirit of the school with you wherever you go." Finished the principal to loud applause.
Mato was startled awake by the noise and felt a cramp in her neck as she recovered from her uncomfortable sleeping position in her seat. It was the graduation ceremony for the year sixes, though she did not really feel anything special. It was just elementary school for crying out loud!
Following instructions and directions by the teachers, the students began to get up to leave the auditorium, for the last time. Mato followed in suit and it was only upon walking out the doors did she feel nostalgic. She turned to look at the school building in which she had spent six years of her life. She remembered moments where she got punished for talking in class, winning the relay for her class during the sports festival, gossiping about which guys were eye-catchers. She felt tears beginning to form at the corner of her eyes, but she quickly wiped them away and made it look like something had got into her eye. She had promised her mother she would not cry just this morning.
Just then, she spotted her family waiting for her at the school gates. Her mother, father and annoying younger brother. The people in the world whom would be with her through thick and thin, wherever she chose to go. With a smile, Mato ran to join them.
"Soon I'll be in middle school!" She thought happily.
A rumble could be heard deep inside the abandoned building. Black Rock Shooter was worried. It was impossible for their kind to feel emotions yet what was this nagging feeling in her heart? Were Black Death Cutter and Black Twin Blades alright? They had been in there for hours and the sounds of fighting had not stopped since. Blood Princess was not one to fall easily. Black Rock Shooter decided that she had had enough of sitting around and waiting. She entered the building, which took her through a long, dark passageway marked by a checkerboard floor.
The fortress of Blood Princess had been difficult enough to get to, let alone penetrate. Doing so in itself must have taken a lot out of her two elder sisters. Black Rock Shooter began to worry again. No, they were strong. Blood Princess would not know what hit her.
Before long, she had reached the end of the passageway and was greeted by three figures in the distance fighting to the death. She recognized two of them and assumed the unfamiliar last to be Blood Princess.
"Their destiny never said I could not help them, right?" Black Rock Shooter thought to herself. She drew her katana and prepared to enter the battle. However, light reflected off the edge of her blade, and it caught the attention of Black Twin Blades.
"Black Rock Shooter! Don't come any closer! She's too…"
Black Rock Shooter's face fell as she saw Black Twin Blades' body pierced cruelly with the wicked blade of the enemy, before she could complete her sentence. Black blood spilled from the wound, staining the white tiles on the floor the same colour as their adjacent ones. A light died inside Black Twin Blades' eyes as a look of shock overcame her features. The enemy redrew her blade and Black Twin Blades' body fell and kept falling, before coming to a still as it crashed into the ground. She moved no more.
"Noooooo!" Came Black Death Cutter's unnaturally high voice as she screamed in anguish. With a great rage, she swung her battleaxe repetitively at the enemy, who dodged the blows with uncommon ease. Black Death Cutter's movements were not her own. The loss of her partner had blinded her.
"No… Don't let her get to you. Fight the anger! Black Death Cutter!" Pleaded Black Rock Shooter quietly. It was then that she spotted another corpse right next to the body of Black Twin Blades. A young girl's body. She was dressed in a white dress, stained black by her blood. Blood Princess.
It was only then that Black Rock Shooter realized something, and she realized too late. A great scream came from Black Death Cutter, and Black Rock Shooter looked up to see two dismembered pieces of her older sister tumbling to the ground before finally coming to a rest. Her battleaxe had fallen out of her hands, and it came crashing at Black Rock Shooter's feet, before splitting in two like the one who wielded it.
Everything ended. It could not be true. They were dead. She had caused it. No. No. No. The silence pressed in on all sides and seemed to crush her. Black Rock Shooter stood, unmoving, unfeeling. Yet, what was this cold wetness flowing from her eyes? She allowed her katana to fall from her hand with a noisy clang on the floor, before collapsing to her knees. Was she about to die as well?
Seconds passed. Minutes. Hours. She did not know how long. She turned to gaze upon her sisters' killer. Standing atop a tall statue which had been marred beyond recognition, stood a teenage girl. Her straight black hair fell mid-body. Her head bore a pair of curved horns. She wore a black, long-sleeved vest, traced with white. Her crimson eyes seem to pierce the very heart. Black Rock Shooter turned her attention to the weapon of murder. The girl wielded a massive, jagged blade as long as herself.
Black Rock Shooter felt her fists clench, but they were not her own. She felt her teeth grit, but they were not her own. She felt rage consume her, but it was not her own. The enemy continued to stand there, like a silent sentinel, merely observing. She spoke.
"So… You are Black Rock Shooter… No. You are not. Not yet, anyway. As you are now, you will never defeat me. Not until you are truly Black Rock Shooter, or so it is said. Your companions died in vain, girl… Let us hope the same does not happen to you."
The enemy turned to leave. It was then that Black Rock Shooter shouted with all the strength she could muster.
"Tell me your name."
The walls echoed the burning question, again and again, reverberating. The enemy looked over her shoulder, smiled, and replied.
"Black Gold Saw. I await you… At Spire Isle."
Black Rock Shooter never saw her leave, for her world had gone black. As black and bleak as the future ahead.
"Yes! I got accepted into Ryoushi Middle School!" Mato exclaimed triumphantly as she saw her name on the results board. All that studying had paid off in the end. She had been accompanied by her mother to see the results of her posting.
Mato ran off to her mother's side excitedly. Her mother smiled at seeing her daughter's reaction. Mato's brother was at a friend's house and her father had recently been posted to work overseas long term, which explained their absence.
"Mum, mum! I got in!" Mato repeated ecstatically to her mother, a brilliant smile flashing upon her visage.
Her mother merely nodded and, taking Mato's hand, led her to the car.
"I guess this calls for a celebration. I'll cook your favourites tonight." Her mother finally said, to which Mato shouted a big "hurray!"
Black Rock Shooter stood at the edge of a cliff, overlooking a stormy and turbulent sea, coloured black for they reflected the skies above. Her eyes were fixed upon a destination, far beyond the horizon. Whatever it took, she would get there. She would get there.
Upon her shoulders now hung a long black coat she had recently procured. A white star adorned it. A symbol she had taken a liking to as she travelled the world with her older sisters. They often spoke of stars, and how they would like to see one.
Black Rock Shooter hated it. The starless sky. The colourless world. Yet, now, her hatred for those things could wait. She had it all reserved for one person and one person only.
Black Gold Saw.
She shut her eyes for an instant. A massive wave crashed against the jutting rocks below with a deafening roar.
She opened her eyes and a blue flame erupted into being over her left eye.
It was time.
As the first act draws to a close, the stage is set. Every legend has its beginning…
Please review this FanFic! Arigato!
(P.S. If you haven't already realized, the events of the next few chapters will be the actual Black Rock Shooter OVA itself. Enjoy.)