Time and space. They'll kick your ass if you don't pay attention.
People tend to say that they're intangible and can grow infinitely as long as life exists. Of course, that is if we don't auto-kill ourselves before we know what would hit us. But anyways, back to topic...during my lifetime in Gensokyo, I have seen, experienced and suffered many, many weird things. Ranging from cute girls throwing gigantic lasers at me to eldritch abobinations whose sole purpose is of mind raping to finding out that a certain "Louis" was watching my whole actions, trying to use me as a weapon against the place upstairs. I'm not kidding. Some serious shit happened to me.
And don't get me started with the theory of "Everything that's fictional is real, whether you aren't real or not."
...Please don't laugh. It makes things worse. But yeah, I thought things couldn't get any weirder by know.
But then...New Year's Eve came... and things got downright wrong... For me, that is...
*groan* I shouldn't have accepted that request...
Seriously, I'm both scared and angry. Scared because I don't know if I'll be able to come back and angry, because it's all Louis' fault. Now, don't get me wrong, I'll find my way back, even if I have to kill my way through. I like Gensokyo. And I'll be damned if I can't go back.
Also, I must add this. This dimensional corridor is lamer than I thought. It's only white along with several door-shaped portal on each side. My body is not in control of the situation, so you could say I'm just drifting off...
Hmm? I can see the end of this wormhole...
A Human of the Other Side sidestory.
I was blinded by the sun above the sky.
There's air with oxygen? Yes.
There's floor below my feet?
A canon sidestory.
Azure Grimoire of the Other Side.
Episode 1: Rift
Rachel Alucard was enjoying her tea as usual. Well, she could have enjoyed more her tea, but she sighed with boredom. The time loop had reset yet again, without any further improvement in Ragna's actions, much to her dismay.
"It seems...I have failed once again...At this rate, nothing will change." Rachel sighed, not even the calm breeze managed to make her feel comfortable.
Even she started believing the taste of her tea to be the same with each loop.
"Oh dear, this is going nowhere..." Rachel said as she finished drinking her tea. "There's nothing to do."
With modest elegance, she stood up and lifted her gaze to the stars. Sure, she remembers that she did this before and noticed that the stars had changed their position, but that didn't make her lose her hopes of breaking the loop. The seeds she had sown will florish someday...the problem was that she didn't know exactly when.
Something...she wished for something to happen. But what?
Then she sensed it. A ripple in the time space continuum. Something unforseen had just happened.
Rachel didn't expect this. But she wasn't afraid. In fact...
"Nago! Gii!" she said as her two familiars, one a black cat and the other a small red bat, appeared.
"Yes princess?" the cat asked.
"We're heading out posthaste! There's no time to waste!"
"Ohh!" the bat said excited. "Is it our time to shine?"
"I do not know just yet. But this unforseen development... *chuckle* My, I haven't felt this interested since the last two loops. Perhaps this time..."
She felt excitement. Something had happened, far beyond her expectations.
She vanished as she smiled.
"Madam, your tea is re-" Valkenhyen stopped mid-sentence as she noticed her mistress was already gone. "Oh dear...gone again? Ah, well, guess I'll just drink this. After all, you can't waste such good tea as this."
Jin Kisaragi is not a happy person. Especially when rumors of Ragna the Bloodedge being heading to Kagutsuchi began circulating, reaching the ears of the NOL. In fact, he went against their orders of not pursuing...this Death God, since he had a score to settle.
In fact, he was trying to squeeze out the information of any innocent bystander he could find. Some of them were frozen because "They were worthless trash."
"...What a waste of time. No useful information after all..." Jin scoffed as he walked over the Kagutsuchi Port (Area-0 to him).
"Oh, pardon me!"
"Outta my way. I have no time for pests like you." Jin cut him off, not literally.
The pest in question was Carl Clover, along with him was an adult-sized puppet, which he frequently called "Sis" for no apparent reason. But there's more that meets the eye because that puppet really is her sister.
"Look sis..." Carl said as he drew closer to his puppet. "This is really the Hero of Ikaruga."
"Who the hell are you?" Jin said coldly.
"Pardon me. I'm not one to be cautious of. Just a vigilante."
"A vigilante? Then you must be-"
"That's exactly right." Carl said. "I know this may sound rude, but if you happen to kill the "Death God" before I get to him, it would be a terrible inconvenience."
"Hah! That's a lot of confidence coming from a wannabe." Jin said somewhat amused, but still annoyed by his presence.
"Why don't you talk about my confidence..." Carl said while preparing for battle. "...after you fight me?"
Jin thoughts were these.
"The child is pathetic... Tch." Jin drew his sword. "Get out of my way."
Bang Shishigami...what there to say about Bang Shishigami? As he swiftly jumped over rooftop over rooftop at Ronin-Gai (Area-25 to the NOL), delivering justice and punishing evil, Bang Shishigami, self proclaimed hero of Kagutsuchi, was looking for Ragna the Bloodedge, since he needed the money to rebuild Ikaruga back to his former glory. With passion!
"Alright! Time for my special training to continue!" Bang said after finishing his usual breakfast. "Justice must be always ready to face evil!"
"Boss!" one of fellow ninja said.
"What is it? What is so important to interrupt my training?" Bang asked.
"Sir, we just found some information regarding the locations of the Death God!"
"What?" Bang, said completely surprised, as expected from him. "Tell me, where is he? I, Bang Shishigami, will not allow such evil to walk free!"
Yes...Bang Shishigami only cares about a few things. Love, justice and Litchi. He's...a little slow, if you know what I mean.
"Well, according to the rumors..."
"Thanks for help, doctor."
"Oh, it's no problem at all." Litchi Faye-Ling smiled as she guided the old man outside. "Just remember to apply to tonic directly to the forehead, and you'll be fine before you know it."
The old man left slowly.
"Whew, I have been busy today." she then looked at the sky. "...*sigh* I wonder what's he doing..."
"Do you what that was about, doc?" her assisstant Linhua interrupted her train of thought as she climbed down the window, where she saw NOL soldiers pasting some posters on the walls "Doc? Is something the matter? You seem pretty down..."
"Eh? Oh...sorry. It's just that..."
"Let me guess, you haven't found what you were looking for, right?" Linhua was sharp. "Ever since you came to Kagutsushi, you were always looking for something. If you want my opinion, I think you should rest a little."
"...Yeah. But this is something I must do." Litchi said with a small undertone of determination.
The only thing that troubled her was the whereabouts of...his friend.
"Are you going out today?" Linhua asked.
"Yes. If I don't try, then I will never be able to find what I'm looking for..."
"Okay, I understand. I'll look at the clinic while you're gone. Don't worry about it."
"Thanks Linhua, I'll be back." Litchi said while leaving the clinic.
Litchi looked to the sky and sighed. Even after Linhua tried to cheer her up, it wasn't that easy.
"This is more problematic than I thought. Maybe I should try looking down again...but then again, I haven't looked up too..."
She exited the clinic, but then noticed posters in the walls.
"They sure posted a lot in our wall didn't they?"
They posted a lot, sure enough, but one of those posters had already left the wall. It was taken by the wind itself and it slowly drifted below, to a place where the NOL soldiers didn't want to visit...
It finally landed in the middle of the Kaka Village, located below Kagutsuchi, where two little Kaka found the note...
"Maybe the elder knows!"
Taokaka was enjoying her nap in a small grove where the sunlight managed to reach the village. Her face showed drowsiness of the highest level.
"Tao! Hey Tao!"
And not so far away from there...
Normally, this is what you would call a sewer. Nevertheless, Area 28 is recorded in the archives of the NOL as part of Kagutsuchi. However, the NOL only uses this area as...well...a "trash bin".
But they didn't notice a certain...creature that lurked inside, only thinking in devouring.
"Azur. Me_ t Azur_. Mu_t fi_ Azur_."
...or finding the "Azure".
This...thing is called Arakune. He once was human but I guess his search for knowledge and entering the boundary drove him...or it, a certain mix of insane and...knowledgable.
Don't ask me how this is possible.
"I wa_ eat a st_ oul. De_our de_our. Mu_ de_our to ge_ _able stren_. Eat. EAT."
And after that, he went off, searching for bodies which "were brimming with life".
"This is Tager. I have arrived at the destination."
Iron Tager, called the Red Devil of Sector Seven, called in from the communicator in his hand not so far where the poster landed. Some people may wonder how the communicator didn't get crushed by his hand...
"How does it look? Like a nice, orderly pile of crap?" Kokonoe, Tager's boss said with a mocking tone.
"I'm getting close to the slums...I don't expect public order to be maintained." Tager said sternly as he walked, his giant frame an obvious signal he was there.
"What makes you think there'd be any public order around there in the first place?" Kokonoe added. "The Library doesn't give a damn about those people."
"But I see a lot of undeveloped areas. I thought this area was scheduled to undergo massive development."
"Hmph. Well, plans change. Has to do with the Ikaruga conflict, I'll bet." she didn't seem to care about that. "This city is a victim of Sector Seven's selfishness."
Kokonoe's tone made Tager wonder if she blamed Sector Seven for what has happened here, even if both worked for them.
"Thinking bad thoughts, Tager?" she questioned. "Heh heh. We're watching everything you do and everything you think, remember?"
"No, it's nothing." Tager confirmed. "The three assets under Ikaruga control... I thought one of them was brought over here."
"I'm sure the princess is dreaming deep in her iron pot right now. The guy they're calling the "Death God"...Ragna the Bloodedge? Word is he'll show up in Kagutsuchi."
"I see... So Hakumen came here for Ragna the Bloodedge, huh?"
Speaking of which...
"It seems the time has come."
Standing still like a statue, the being known as Hakumen, reflected as time passed.
"Soon, he will appear before me. The Black Beast."
He took out his sword.
"The time is at hand. It will begin soon, and that beginning..."
As a powerful aura covered his body.
"...and it herald the end!"
He was ready. He was determined to destroy anything that stand in his way. His way of justice...
"I am Hakumen! THE END HAS COME!"
Deep inside the Sheol Gate, a certain girl awoke, or should I say, started her "memory analysis".
"Checking for anomalities... 3%...10%...15%."
The girl stood motionless as she continued her intern analysis.
"...90%...100%. Analysis...complete." the girl, Nu, said, her face devoid of emotion. "Procceding to execute program...Loading...loading..."
She, as you obviously had noticed, was "created" and programmed to terminate anyone she deems as hostile subjects that come near the Gate. Behind her, lies the Cauldron, which...
"...Ragna..." she muttered as her body loaded the program. "Where...are you?"
It's still unknown if she genuinely likes Ragna the Bloodedge or if she was programmed to like him. Nevertheless...
"Tch. It was a pain in the ass taking this route. But at least, I have arrived."
He obviously won't like her.
Ragna the Bloodedge, the man with the highest bounty in the...well...this world, muttered as he secretly moved inside Kagutsuchi by foot. Normally, people take airships in order to move between cities due to the massive amount of seithr that lies on the surface, but then again, he didn't care and also, the seithr was pretty thin this time.
To make a reference, seithr is a substance that covers the planet. It can neither be seen nor smelled. In small doses, seithr is harmless to humans, but in very large quantities can have very negative side-effects; one can become addicted and their body will deteriorate. During the Dark War, The Black Beast spread this seithr all over the world, in order to operate. Because of this, the Six Heroes taught the humans the secrets of the 'Magus' in order to defeat the beast. Ars Magus was created to consume the seithr and utilize it as a source of energy. When one uses Ars Magus, they draw seithr out of the environment to power it but there is only so much seithr in a given area. If one were to use up all of this seithr, they would have to wait a while for it to replenish. Some people can perform Ars Magus with less seither than others. After the Dark War, a lot of humans and animals became tainted with the seithr and died off, save for the Kaka Clan. Humans were forced to move to high-altitude areas and create cities there.
This is the main reason that the 13th hierarchical city of Kagutsuchi was built over the Kaka clan's village, since they could survive an atmosphere filled with such amounts of seithr.
"What was that about anyway?" Ragna said while remembering a certain conversation he had last night.
"Watch yourself, kid. Out this late, you might run into a ghost." Jubei, the strongest creature on the planet said while appearing out of nowhere.
"Oh it's just you. You know, ghosts never show up in a place like this. They'd normally appear in wells, attics... places like that."
"Where the hell'd you hear that?"
"I never was one of idle chit-chat." Ragna added. "So what do you need from me? Don't tell me you're here to pick me up. Are you trying to tell me you took care of it, so I should just go home?"
"Oh, nothin' like that. Just thought I'd say howdy." Jubei explained. "Been following you for a spell."
"...Hm? So that strange presence was you."
"Knew I was there, did ya?"
"Yeah, for a while." Ragna said. "You have been gradually shortening the distance between us, so I set up a camouflage just in case. I wanted to avoid battles if I could. Since it turned out to be just you, I guess I overreacted." Ragna finished with a sigh.
"Ha. I must be gettin' old if even a greenhorn like you can spot me."
Jubei then started laughing jovialy.
"What's so funny...?" Ragna asked, somewhat confused by the behavior of his master. "You should be happy as a master that your apprentice has grown!"
"Hahaha...Ah hell. You gotten that good, you ain't gonna have no trouble at all."
"Huh...?" that caught Ragna's attention. "With what?"
"It's gonna be a mite different this time, kid." Jubei said in a more serious tone. "Things ain't gonna go the way you think. I'm just makin' sure you got a fair warning."
"About what? Without that information, it's not a very good warning, you know."
"...I saw him. He's here."
"He's looking for ya. You'll run in to him, sooner or later."
"What the hell are you talking about? Can you explain in a way I can understand?"
"Don't need to. You'll understand when ya meet him."
"Will you please speak in a human language? You're not making sense at all."
"Sorry, but I ain't human." his master joked. "You know that."
"Yeah yeah, whatever." Ragna didn't seem pleased with that answer. "You're not going to tell me after all, are you? You never answered my questions on matters like this."
"Alright. I gotta get going."
"Unlike you, I have human legs. I want to get there by dawn." he said while looking at Kagutsuchi.
"...That so?" Jubei asked. "Well then Ragna, guess I'll be seein' ya."
"Yeah yeah. Good luck to you too."
As he stepped away toward Kagutsuchi, he couldn't help to feel...strange.
"What the hell is this sensation...? Am I scared?"
But then he shrug it off.
"Eh, no way."
"But still...something is not right here." Ragna said to himself as he sneaked inside the lower levels of Kagutsuchi.
True enough, Jubei's warning didn't make him feel any better. In fact, he still felt uneasy.
"Grr... Dammit! I can't be scared. I guess it must be my imagination..."
At the same time...
"Mmm..." a still sleeping girl muttered in her sleep.
The last one woke her up.
"Huh? Ah! What? A message?"
Her grogginess faded away instantly.
"Y-Yes! Excuse me! This is Lieutenant Noel Vermillion speaking!" she quickly answered, with a slight tone of nervousness.
"_\_You sound very surprised...Did something happen?_\_"
"N-no... It's nothing." Noel answered. "There's no way I can tell him I was taking a nap..."
"_\_ Hm...well that's besides the point. Debrief me on the status of your mission. _\_"
"I am currently investigating the whereabouts of Mayor Jin Kisaragi, who has headed towards Kagutsuchi." Noel said, sounding more proffesional this time. "If possible, I am to detain the subject and bring him back to headquarters, sir."
"_\_ Remember, only detain the subject if you think it's possible. Also, the intelligence department will be joining the investigation. _\_"
"The inteligence department, sir?"
The wind feels like it's trying to cut me in pieces... I can barely open my eyes due to the pressure...
"Hey kid. You're in no position for fainting." a voice coming from my bokuto said.
The voice belonged to Kraid, the bokuto I was falling with. Don't ask how a sword can talk. As I said before, some very weird shit happened to me.
"I know!" I struggled to say those words." Do you think I like the situation I'm in? Hell no!
"But damn! I never thought we were going to free fall like this!" a more violent and disrespectful voice joined the conversation.
This is the bastard. He calls himself Glid, but he's really an asshole. No seriously, he's the main reason I get to these kind of messes. The weirdest part of all is that he resides in my head, so wherever I go, he follows. Grr... I wish I had a way to remove him from there...
"Shut up." I cut him out. "Okay, how are we going to get out of this situation?" I said while feeling my body started falling at a higher speed. Gah...damn you, forces of gravity.
"Hell if I know. It's your freaking mess after all."
"You know, these are the situations I wish I had a mute button for you."
"Kid...don't look under you."
"Why?" I said while looking below me.
Okay, time for physics. You know when a body moves at a great speed and with a constant acceleration, the force said body carries is greater with every passing second?
Yeah. Thank gravity for happening.
But you see... I have been freefalling for a really, really long time that I became the equivalent of a human sized bullet. And the metal plating became the equivalent of a kevlar vest...
"...Oh, son of a..."
"_\_ If you see Ragna the Bloodedge, do not engage the subject. You are to observe his movements. I repeat. DO NOT... _\_"
"Huh? What was...?"
? ? ?'s PoV
"MY BACK!" I shouted aloud as my back collided with the metal plating of the airship.
Another physics lesson gentleman. What happens when a high speed body collides with another body, which may or may not have metal plating?
The force transforms into heat.
And what happens when a heated body crashes with the reserve fuel of a big freaking airship?
...Yep. I don't think the next part needs to be explained.
A big explosion occured in middair. The airship, currently carrying Noel Vermillion and our "guest" started to get consumed by the flames.
Needless to say, everybody noticed it.
Jin stopped his fight with Carl just by the sound...or because a part of the airship landed in the middle of their fight.
Bang gasped in surprise as he saw the airship fall slowly. As the good idiot he was, he rushed to the scene, ignoring his previous plan.
Litchi was worried if somebody got hurt by it. The fireballs looked menacing enough.
Tager wondered what was the loud noise he just heard, but he beared it no mind as he started planting the device.
Taokaka didn't even noticed it. She was more focused on finding food...
Hakumen ignored it. He was more focused in his meditation. So did Nu, but only because she was thinking about Ragna.
"Wha_ a bu_h of i_be_iles. - he said as he roamed through the sewers, trying to find prey."
Ragna saw the explosion, raised an eyebrow...and then turned his back.
"Tch. What the hell is wrong today? First he confuses me with his talk and now, airships are blowing up for no reason. Well, it not my problem, so why should I worry?"
And poor Noel...
"Waah!" she yelled as she saw the room surrounded by flames. "What happened? !"
She was scared. No, she was paralyzed in fear.
"...*whimper* I knew I should have learned what to do in these situations..." she lamented. "Is someone there? Hello?"
The door flew open.
And, looking all the events happening from afar, Rachel Alucard smiled.
"Oh my, this may be the chance I was waiting. Maybe...maybe now, the loop can be broken."
"You sure, princess?" Nago, the cat who now was serving as an umbrella asked. "I only see a big airship in flames falling."
"Yeah! I don't understand!" Gii, the bat familiar questioned.
She slapped both of them.
"Ouch! Why, princess?" both of them said in unison.
"How many times do I have to tell you the same? Don't interrupt me, unless you want to get punished."
"Eep!" Gii yelped.
"But then, what are we going to do now, princess?" Nago inquired.
"For now, we wait. I want to see the..."cause" of this accident."
"Yes, princess!" both of them said.
Rachel vanished, a small smile in her face.
? ? ?'s PoV
Why do I feel I'll get involved in something I won't like...?
However, I know a thing for certain...
When I get out of this place...I'm gonna seriously kill Louis for this...