Miku cried.

It seemed to be the only thing she could do at the moment. Her mind couldn't deal with this, refused to accept the evidence lying before her eyes. Luka was...Luka was dead. But that can't be. Luka had always been there for her, ever since Miku came down to the Lower World. To have her dead was unbearable. Miku felt as though she had suddenly been set adrift, as though Luka's death was a snip on the tenacious string that kept her grounded in the world.

"Luka," Miku sobbed, buried her head on Luka's chest, stroked her still-warm cheek. "Luka, don't...don't die...you promised..."

No matter what she said, Luka didn't move. Her eyes were still closed and Miku knew with terrible certainty that it would stay that way forever. Weakly she traced Luka's scars, kissed them as though blessing them, her teardrops landing on Luka's face as she hugged Luka's body to herself. Her heart hurt - it hurt, everything hurt, Luka was gone and Miku couldn't do a thing about it. Even though people say she's the Harbinger she couldn't even save the one she loved from death. Luka was too brave, too selfless for her own good. Miku's dreams of living a peaceful, happy life with Luka were falling, crumbling before her eyes, crumbling into nothingness.

"I knew it," Len said quietly, turning to the king. "The Harbinger uses whatever it has at its disposal to keep itself alive."

The king shook his head, wearily. "How heartless of it."

Miku could hardly believe what the king and Len was saying. She glared up at them. "I...I would never use Luka to..."

"Really?" said Len. "Are you not aware of what the Harbinger is capable of? Not only can it change the world, it can change fate itself. We believe that when you were born, you unconsciously fated yourself to live. Faced with death, your ability would make others sacrifice themselves for you, or would make your power erupt in times when even that fails."

"So why bring us here?" Lily yelled. "If it's pointless to try to kill Miku, why did you...why did you bring us here? Why did you keep following us around?"

Len's eyes narrowed. "We had to try. We had to try to save the world. Meiko."

Meiko jumped down from the upper balcony, nimbly landing on the carpeted ground next to Len. "Yes, your majesty."

Miku stared at Meiko. For her to have been on the upper balcony, she must have allowed the archers to shoot, must have...

"You killed Luka!" Miku said as she gently set Luka's body back on the ground.

Meiko shrugged. "Well, the street rat was going to die sometime anyways. Did you honestly think that she was capable of protecting anybody? Sooner or later she was going to die."

Miku growled. "Luka protected me."

"You can't...what are you going to do to us now?" Yukari asked, eyes wide.

"Shit...we're completely unarmed, completely defenseless," Lily cursed. "What do we..."

"Kill them," said Len. "Make sure that no one is left standing. Focus on the Harbinger."

Meiko smiled thinly. "My pleasure."

At that she instantly sprung into motion, heading towards Miku, her savage-looking longsword already drawn and in her hand. Miku dodged and saw to her horror that Lily and Yukari were being attacked by armed men.

"Lily! Yukari!" Miku screamed, running over to them.

Lily was dodging as best she could as Yukari used magic to ward the soldiers away. Her fireballs took out a few of the soldiers, but there were simply too many. Yukari couldn't keep up this for long. Miku dodged as Meiko took yet another swipe at her with her sword. Her heart was pounding, and there was something deep within her that was knocking at the door to her consciousness, more and more frequently. Miku stared at the soldiers and her friends. She had to save them. Luka wouldn't have died in vain, Miku would save Lily and Yukari, save everyone. Everyone made so many sacrifices for her, for her, and Miku couldn't do a thing to help them or to stop them. Her throat closed up as she thought of Luka's dead body again, the grief overwhelming. All she wanted to do was crumple to the ground and sob, but she couldn't do that now. There would be a time for grief later.

Now they had to survive so that Luka wouldn't have died for nothing. Miku reached into herself for the wellspring of magic in her, remembered spells, but now that spring of magic in her was much, much greater - it seemed, scarily, infinite. Miku reached out a hand and, to her surprise, she could feel the force and magic in her fingertips. Catching up to the soldiers, Miku punched one of them, the magic in her gleefully aiding that end.

The soldier exploded in a mass of blood and gore, covering Miku with viscera. Miku, wide-eyed, could only stare at her fist. She did that? How? She didn't...she wasn't super strong or anything, how could she have killed a soldier with one punch? How could one punch have penetrated through metal armor and muscle and bone?

"Ah..." Yukari said, her eyes wide, but Lily didn't stop to dwell on the soldier's death. She only grabbed Yukari and made for safer areas in the throne room after shouting some encouragement at Miku.

Miku hardly needed it - the power flowing through her veins was a scarily addictive feeling. She looked at the other soldiers, who stared uneasily back at her, some backing away after seeing the death of their comrade.

"Now you die," said Miku, pointing a finger at one soldier, face obscured by a heavy black helmet. The force exploded from her fingertip and the next thing she knew the soldier was dead, had a finger-shaped hole punched through him.

Miku then easily waved her arm and the force hit the other soldiers as they died in waves. The knocking against her consciousness grew louder, more insistent. Miku turned towards Meiko, whose face was pale but who still held her sword up, who was still glaring at Miku.

Miku regarded her curiously. "Why don't you run? You're just an assassin, aren't you?"

Meiko scowled. "I am no assassin. I'm a hunter. Assassins have targets. Hunters have prey. I never run from battles."

Miku's eyes narrowed. "Is that so…?"

Meiko only ran at her with the sword, and taken aback, Miku gasped in pain as the blade howled through the air, cut a gash on her arm. Staggering, Miku clutched her right arm, the pain shooting up her body.

"If it can be hurt, it can be killed," said Len, and Miku heard the young prince unsheathing his sword as he walked towards her.

Miku scowled and shot a small bolt of force towards Len. The next thing she heard was Len's body falling towards the ground, dead.

Meiko hardly spared the body of the prince a glance as she slashed at Miku again. Miku dodged it and grabbed her blade as it swung through the air. Focusing her force on it, she broke it.

The snap echoed in the vast throne room. Meiko stared at her broken blade, looking, for the first time, scared and unsure.

"My sword," she stammered. "Vengeance."

Miku glanced down at the broken part of the sword, read the word 'vengeance' printed on it in fine, red print. She smirked, picked it up. "Some old, great artifact given to you by your grandfather?"

"No," Meiko spat. "I stole this blade. Drives one to insanity, it does."

Miku looked at the broken blade with much more caution than she did before. "In...sanity?"

"Yes," said Meiko. She spread her arms, dropped the broken sword. "Kill me." She looked weary, defeated. "Vengeance has abandoned me."

Miku looked at Meiko curiously. This woman, she thought, must have had a very interesting past, to turn her into this. However, she remembered all the evils Meiko had done to Luka, and her heart hardened. She would make Meiko suffer.

"No," said Miku, a slow, evil smirk creeping up her face. "I may not have metal, but...I can take out your eyes, can't I? What you did to Luka, you'll feel ten times worse from me."

Lashing out with her foot she kicked Meiko to the ground, and the woman landed heavily next to Len's severed head. Miku slowly advanced towards her, the broken tip of Vengeance poised over Meiko's left eye. "I think I'll take out this one first-"

"Miku, no!" Yukari screamed, and jolted Miku stared up at Yukari, who was near the back of the room with Lily. "Don't torture her!"

"What?" Miku stammered. "Why not? She...she tortured Luka! She killed her! She deserves to suffer!"

"If you torture her," said Yukari, softly, "you'll be no better than her."

Miku stared at Meiko, whose brown eyes were expressionless. A large part of her wanted to make the woman suffer, wanted to punish her for hurting Luka so much, and killing her, but Yukari's words stuck in her mind. Growling, Miku stuck the blade in Meiko's chest, felt Meiko jolt a little before the blood seeped out from her, before she went limp.

Then, Miku got up and slowly walked over to the king, who had been sitting on the throne during all this.

"It looks like you failed," said Miku, flatly, to the king.

The king buried his head in his hands, shaking it. "It's no use...none of it...it's coming..."

"What?" said Miku.

"The end of the world," the king moaned. "The awakening. All of it, everything for naught..."

Miku opened her mouth to say more, but then the knocking broke through her consciousness. All of the powers hidden from her were revealed. She could see the threads of fate of everyone in the room, could perceive the order of everything, could touch the souls of others, could shape the world to her own desires.

The earth began to shake under their feet, and the sky split open to rain fire.

"What's happening?" Lily stammered, looking out the window as she protectively held Yukari close to her.

Yukari was only staring out the window, numbly. "The Kalavikar," she whispered.

Miku put her hands to her aching head as it struggled to take in all this new information. Her senses were in overload now. Miku could hear the shuffling of an insect miles away. Her mind expanded, her knowledge did too as all the sleeping Harbinger awakened. She was barely aware of when she began to scream, and everything around her dissolved into blackness.

When the Harbinger awoke, she found that she could see the world, and it was reborn in hails of scorching fire.

-o-o-o-

-o-o-o-

-o-o-o-

epilogue

The reborn world was strange and hectic, and throughout it, the Harbinger lived many lives, though she would not remember much with each successive one.

The first rebirth was in a cave, where years screamed by, measured in blinks and kills, the steady rhythm of hunting and gathering. The Harbinger remembered everything, but no matter how hard she looked, or how far their ragged tribe wandered, she found nothing.

The second rebirth was a millenium later, to the Harbinger's displeasure. She had overshot the mark, that time. Born as royalty, the Harbinger went for the slums in some remembered memory, but she saw no flashes of pink hair, and the forests were populated by a strange and wild people, hostile to this foreign princess. The Harbinger searched their eyes, but none of them had the purple ones she was looking for. Of the court lords and ladies, many were blonde haired and blue eyed, but none of them were what the Harbinger was seeking as well.

Each cycle, the primitive memories grew less and less, fainter and more indistinct. They were miniscule changes, but they added up over time.

In the two hundredth and seventy-third cycle, the Harbinger barely remembered anything at all, save for a dream-memory, a vision of a girl, dancing behind her eyes when she shut them. She dreamed of a girl with pink hair and an infectious smile, and slept uneasily.

She went to school, then university. She made friends with a talented mechanical engineer there named Lily, who, in turn, was best friends with an eager botanist named Yukari. The three of them were a strange group, but they were good friends. It felt as though they had been friends forever.

After graduation, she lived in a small house on the outskirts of the city. By day, she worked, and by night, she tended the garden Yukari had enthusiastically helped her plant, with the inventions that Lily created. She wasn't too sure about what was what, but Yukari had lent her a book and she was beginning to learn the names and meanings of flowers. She lived a quiet and content life, occasionally going out with her friends. In restaurants, she would sit and people-watch.

Lily would always comment that it would seem as though she was looking for someone, and she would laugh, because she wasn't looking for anyone in particular, all she was was just looking, but at the same time, wasn't she looking for someone? Wasn't there someone she wanted to find?

She couldn't remember, and she wasn't very sure.

After eating, they would go out to shop, or karaoke. They were all, by some twist of fate, good singers, and would sometimes joke amongst themselves that they should become a singing group. Sometimes, they would go out to bars and Lily would be amazingly popular, as always.

Whenever she went back home on those nights, she would dream restlessly, but upon waking, would remember nothing save for snatches - a laugh, maybe, or a smile. One time, she woke up remembering nothing save an apple.

It was on a day like any other, an off day, and she was in the garden, peering at her plants while munching on an apple. There was a particular gomphrena that was slow to grow, and she examined it with a frown. It puzzled her as to why; the conditions were, after all, perfect.

While she was thinking, the doorbell sounded. She walked over to the door, and opened it. Standing before her was a girl with pink hair and an infectious smile, dressed casually in a shirt, cap, and jeans, probably the uniform of a delivery service, for she was holding a packet in her hands.

Miku stared. There was an insistent knocking in her mind. For some reason, she couldn't breathe. Her eyes were fixed on the small label pinned on the girl's shirt, a simple nametag that read 'Luka Megurine'.

"Hey," said the girl - Luka - with a grin, easy and wide. "Are you Miku Hatsune? I'm here to deliver your seeds."

Behind Miku, the gomphrena began to bloom, but Miku didn't see, because all she saw was Luka. Her heart was beating fast, fast, fast. The apple she had been eating slipped from her hand, fell to the floor, rolled towards Luka's feet. Luka blinked and looked down at it before picking it up. She smiled at Miku and handed the apple to her.

"You okay?" Luka asked with a small laugh, and why did everything about her seem so familiar? Miku took the apple, shaking. Something about this girl...something about Luka...deep in her heart, Miku knew she couldn't just take the seeds and let her go.

Her heart felt as though it was brimming over, and she took a steadying breath before she spoke. "Would you like to come in for a bit?

There was a small eternity as Luka checked her watch, looked at her bike, and looked back at Miku. "Well, you're my last delivery, so sure." She smiled, heartbreakingly familiar. "Why not?"

End


It's...it's over! Thank you so so much for all the reviews everyone! m(_)m I hope to see you all again soon ^^