Author's Notes (A/N): This is an OC x Kuroyukihime based fanfic. The story FOLLOWS CANON for the most part, except for certain situations. Some O.O.C.'s. I would like to thank 'Koga the oc fan' and 'voidwalker23' for following the story, and for 'koga the oc fan' and 'dragonrising' for leaving a review. My responses are down below =].
As I've mentioned (I think), this follow the anime canon story. There will be deviations to fit all the characters in, and characters will be O.O.C. at times.
Disclaimers: I am not racist against Japanese people. This fic is a reflection of how I was treated as an immigrant in the States, in the form of fanfiction. Story doesn't belong to me, but to the author of the Light Novels.
"I…I'm so sorry, Jin!" Haru cried his apology as we walked back to the apartment. "I…I should've just kept getting them lunch…!"
"You okay? I heard Araya knocked you off your feet…" Chiyu spoke, sounding apologetic."Is it true that you direct wired with Kuroyukihime-senpai?"
My head was spinning from the rapid-fired questions and apologies from Chiyu and Haru. We stopped at the alcove on the bridge that we usually hung out before going home to the apartment complex. I comforted Haru the best I could while answering the skeptical Chiyu. To be honest, I couldn't really answer a non-"yes/no" question, as even I didn't know what was going on. I was thankfully saved by our 4th friend.
"Taku!"Haru said cheerfully, albeit teary-eyed from his apology. I've only known the three of them for 2 years, starting at 5th grade. Haru was having some troubles with bullies and I helped him out. Afterwards, he introduced me to his two other friends and the 4 of us were close ever since.
The three of them introduced me to their hobbies. Taku took me to one of his Kendo sessions and the sensei asked me to try it out. Ever since then, I've been an active member of the Kendo club and I developed a friendly rivalry against each other. He usually beat me, since he started way back in 3rd grade. It was the same forHaru, since he introduced me to games like Squash, among other VR games. Needless to say, I became competitive with Haru in any game we played together. When the end of 5th grade rolled around, Chiyu gave us all yellow slippers with animal face imprints on them.
After catching up with each other, the 4 of us walked to the shopping mall directly underneath our apartment complex. We stopped by our favorite ramen shop and had dinner there. After some hanging out again, we walked together to the elevators and hit our designated floors. I said goodbye to all of them as I lived on the highest floor amongst us. I quickly walked to my door, entered the passkey, and shut the door behind me.
"I'm home…," I said aloud as I took off my shoes and dropped my bags. No response. I sighed. I guess mom's not home…
After my shower, I picked up my bag from the front door and pulled out my booklet. Since Kuroyukihime-senpai told me not to turn on my Neuro-Linker, I would need to do my math and science homework by hand then digitize the copy with my Linker's eye-scanning option tomorrow.
My hand picked up the unfamiliar writing utensil called a pencil and pulled out my rarely used notebook. I tested my pencil writing skills by slowly copying the math problem. I slowly gained my confidence with the unfamiliar utensil and scratched away, occasionally breaking and re-sharpening it.
After what seemed like hours of scratching against the paper, I finially sighed in relief as I finished off the last science question. When I looked up at the clock, I was surprised that it was 11:00. I quickly shoved my books and notebook back into the schoolbag and jumped on my soft, comfy bed. I passed out before my head landed on the pillow.
I kneeled down as I felt a strong punch connect to my gut. As I struggled to breathe, the others held me down and bound me with chains. Whenever I struggled they would kick or stomp at me in response.
"Screw all of you!" I spat at the people around me. They all had this evil sneer plastered on their face, which made me wiggle around and struggle. "I'll get all of you…ALL OF YOU!"
During my aimless struggle, the people that were kicking me stepped away, revealing several figures in the distance. As the new group neared, I counted 9 people joining the circle.I lifted my head up again and my eyes shot wide open. There were 6 people holding my 3 friends: Haru, Taku, and Chiyu. I succumbed to rage as I noticed all of them with bruises and cuts. The one that hit me in the gut drew his sword and pointed the tip at their direction.
"Endure…or they suffer…!"
I gritted my teeth.
"Fine…just leave my friends alone!" I yielded as my stopped my struggling. The group took no time in beating me down, but that wasn't all they unsheathed the swords that materialized from their side, pointing them at me. As I closed my eyes for the end, I heard Chiyu's cries.
When my head snapped up, I saw Chiyu's body drop. I couldn't see her face, but saw the blood oozing from her body.
I wanted…I wanted to break out of my chains and grab the swords. They didn't need to suffer because of me; I'll protect them. I wanted the power to break these chains and protect them. It was at that moment when everything blacked out. I heard an electric, static-ky voice in the background.
Is that what you want?
"Gah!" I screamed as I jumped from my bed. As I frantically covered my face with my arms, I realized that I could move my arms. As I pulled my hands from my face, I recognized the sleeves of my pajamas. When I looked around, I sighed in relief; I was in my bed. I shakily went through the morning routine: shower, change, eat, receive the day's allowance, and school. I went through my tasks pretty quickly; my mom was home this morning and had laid out all the things I needed. I knocked on my mom's door to ask for the day's allowance. She sleepily moved her fingers around the virtual desktop, when:
"Jinsoo, you're Neuro-Linker isn't on…" my mom said sleepily. I pressed the power button on the back of my Linker and the funds were instantly transferred. I thanked my mother and rushed out of the an uneventful elevator ride, I stepped outside the apartment complex and the familiar message of 'Connecting to the Global Net' message popped on my virtual desktop.
Big mistake, as I found myself in the not-so-familiar, blue accelerated world.
When I blinked, I realized that my world wasn't the frozen blue world, but another type of world. The area looked like it went through a devastating battle. As I analyzed the destroyed, rusted buildings and metal around me I noticed a tall skyscraper behind me: my apartment. I looked around frantically, trying to see what this world was, until I managed to find a metal surface that was clean enough to show reflections. What I saw surprised me.
What I saw wasn't the demonic GleamEyes avatar, but a humanoid type. First thing I noticed was the equipment that I was outfitted with. I was wearing a sleeveless trench coat. As I moved my arms around me, I noticed that my forearms were covered with dull, silvery plating. I noticed that my avatar didn't have a face, but a cerulean-blue lens plate covered where my face would be. My head was covered with the similar silver plating, which lead to two fine strips down to my silvery chest-plate. I noticed a handle protruding from the back of my left shoulder. As I looked down, I saw my calves and feet covered with the same silvery plating. I did notice that my calves had some sort of vents built within the plating, but I didn't know the functionality. I finally pulled the blade from my back, revealing a matte-black blade. The edge was outlined by the same silvery substance.
Before I could check anything else out about my avatar, my attention was drawn away from my reflection when I saw other avatars. I initially didn't pay them any mind as I thought they were NPCs, but even NPCs of the most sophisticated games didn't converse like they did. As I listened in, they were making comments like, "…never seen him before…" and "…must be a newbie…" I was about to ask the gallery a question when my attention was drawn to what looked like…
Health bar? A timer? Brain Burst is a fighting game?! I asked myself as I looked at the display name, 'PlatinumSword.' I guess it sounds kinda cool but why am I called Platinum Sword when I have a black sword, I thought to myself as I heard an engine sound in the distance. As I looked, another health bar appeared, displaying the name, 'Ash Roller.' Bright headlamps blinded me momentarily, but as my eyes got adjusted, I saw a motorcycle. On that motorcycle was a man with a skull for a face. Reminded me of a 'biker' from a 1900s era movie, when I thought about it.
"Been a while since I got a post-apocalypse stage! Lucky!" The man identified as Ash Roller spoke. "My opponent is a totalnewbie…SUPER LUCKY!"
The avatar named Ash Roller began to rev his bike heavily as he said that. This made me involuntarily take a step back at this crazy bike rider. Why the hell was he mixing English words anyway?!
"For me…MEGA LUCKY!" He cried as he kept the bike revved high. The biker known as Ash Roller suddenly charged at me, yelling: "For you…GIGA UNLUCKY!"
"Hehe, got beaten already?"Kuroyukihime-senpai laughed at me through the Direct Wired Connection.
What the hell is a sword going to do against a bike rider, anyway?!I thought in response. She stopped chuckling and looked at me with a relaxed expression.
Well, I don't need to explain to you what's going on now… Kuroyukihime said with the same gentle smile. You understand what the Brain Burst program is…
It's just an old fashioned fighting game, but why go through the trouble of disconnecting my Neuro-Linker though?I asked. It seems so far-fetched for a programmer to go all the way in accelerating your brain 1000 times faster, hacking social camerasjust for a game…
Senpai,stopped sipping her tea as she responded. She explained that Burst Linkers didn't accelerate to play, but rather they played to be able to accelerate. She explained to me the Burst Point system and how each acceleration used 1 point. Battles with the same level Burst Linkers would win or lose you 10 points. So considering that Ash Roller was also level 1 and I accelerated against Araya yesterday, I was down to 89 points (from the 100 points you got at the start of the game). I was told that if I was challenged, I wouldn't lose points for being forced into acceleration.
Go into the accelerated world. I'll explain more in detail. Senpai said. As I nodded, both of us quietly spoke the words 'Burst Link,' sending the both of us to the frozen blue world. Kuroyukihime-senpai pointed out to me that there was a new button on my virtual desktop. I recognized the 'B' logo from the install file, and pressed it. A simple menu interface stretched from left to right with several options. Senpai instructed me to hit the 'Matchmaking' button, and challenge –Black Lotus–. I hit her name on the challenger list and hit duel. The blue representation of the Lounged faded immediately, and transferred us to a different stage.
"Dusk stage…very rare," Senpai said aloud. "And your dueling avatar…Platinum Sword…a good name…
"I like the color and form too." Kuroyukihime-senpai said as she came closer to me and ran her left hand on my head. She then took a look at the sword and the sleeveless coat. "Very rare, having more than 1 enhanced armament…"
"Well, being rare didn't exactly help me out at that last fight." I mumbled. "Who created this avatar, assigned the name, and give this…'enhanced armament'…?"
"You did." Senpai said simply as her hand returned to her side. She asked me if I had a nightmare, to which I confirmed. The Brain Burst application went beyond the local memory banks and searched through your sub-conscious for your fears. As the program searched your inhibitions, the Linker went through the long nightmare until the program was done. I looked at senpai's form and had to ask:
"Is that your dueling avatar as well?" I asked her.
"No…I keep that one sealed. My dueling avatar is ugly as it's the manifestation of bad thoughts…" Kuroyukihime said as she let her eyes drift away, her usual smile gone from her lips. After a brief moment, the smile returned as she said, "But enough about me…"
Our conversation went back to the 'teacher/student' type again as she explained the various things I needed to know. There were minor things like how the "Guardian/Child" relationship was special, as Burst Linkers didn't know each other in reality. She told me briefly about the random environment generators and what are most common in our area. One fact rang in my head: the powers of acceleration came at a price. If you lost all your Burst Points, the application would uninstall itself. What's worse, you couldn't install the program ever again.
"Jinsoo-kun…if you want to turn back and uninstall the game, now is the time…" Senpai stated, all emotion wiped from her face.
I didn't know how to respond at first, as many different thoughts crossed mind. She got my attention by beating my Squash score by a landslide, to say the least. Yesterday, she Direct-Linked with me in front of all her peers, gave me the Brain Burst program, and even put herself in harm's way for me. There must be something that pushed her to reach out for me.
"I had a feeling that you needed me for something more than just a dueling partner," I started. "I checked the world record score for Squash; even with my high score I'm under by a lot. You've not only beaten the top score, but set something no one can beat.
"So I won't uninstall yet, not until I know what you need help with," I finished.
"You're quite intuitive, aren't you?"Senpai asked as she gave a small smile. Before she could continue, I spoke again.
"Also...it's a way for me to say thanks," I continued. "Other than 3 people, no one every approaches me because of my background. You went beyond what even my friends, even getting hurt 'cause of me."
"Don't call it mercy…" Senpai trailed off. "I'm just a powerless middle school student, as are you…we're the same. I breathe the same air as you, attend the same school as you, and even eat the same cafeteria food as you. Don't think you are inferior or I'm your superior...
"I've asked around about your background and your past," Senpai continued. "I know a little bit about why Araya shifted his target from Haruyuki to you. I also know the reason why you attract so much attention from the gangs here.
"You weren't always like this, were you?" She asked me. "You were popular because you were a foreigner, but something happened. That something made you build a wall around you and did things so that bullies would target you instead."
I stood there. What she said pretty much summed up my life. I used to be liked way back in 2nd grade, when I was the center of attention for being a 'foreign exchange' student. My first friend also became the one who despised me most…and she had made sure he wouldn't return to the school. I was brought back to reality when I heard her feet move through the grass.
"Your friends suffer because of the wall you built around you," she continued as she closed the gap. Senpai stood about 2 meters away from me. "The walls you built around you aren't needed amongst your friends…and it isn't required with me."
"Are these 2 virtual meters…just too far for your reach?" Kuroyukihime asked as she outstretched one of her black-gloved hands. She offered her hand, as if she wanted me to grab it.
I looked at her offered hand. The metal bands clanked softly as I lifted my head slightly to make eye contact. She had a calm smile, as if she knew my answer already. My mom told me that changes in life came in droves; if you didn't take advantage of it at the moment; you've missed a rare opportunity. My armor clanked as I raised my hand and grasped her fingers lightly.
"For senpai…I will try my best not to…" I mumbled embarrassingly. "What can I do to help?"
"First…learn to fight!" She exclaimed as she used the umbrella in her hand to poke me on the side. Surprisingly, I felt the hard jab through my plate mail and rubbed the sore spot. Her hands expertly went through her virtual desktop and uploaded several diagrams. It would be a long 1500 seconds.
"Too. Much. Information…" I massaged my temples. Why is this fighting game so complicated?!
"I believe in you, Jinsoo-kun." Kuroyukihime-senpai spoke in that gentle voice. "Let's eat before the food gets cold."
I nodded and dug into my food. I gave a soft yelp in pain as the food burned the insides of my mouth. I grabbed the water cup and gulped it down in haste, leaving some of the soothing liquid in my mouth to cool it off. Senpai couldn't help but chuckle slightly at my debacle, but was approached by a fellow 2nd year.
"Hime, you still won't tell us? We're dying from curiosity here!" The same girl asked. I knew her appearance; she was stuck to senpai like glue. I didn't know her name though. "Could you at least give us a hint on the nature of your relationship with this…gentleman?"
Senpai 'hmm-ed' as she elegantly sipped her tea. Placing her cup down, she looked at her friend and replied: "To put it simply, I confessed and he accepted."
Wh-wh-wh-wh-whWHAT?!I thought to myself in huge bulging eyes. My jaw dropped to the table, along with the spoon. I was lucky that I chugged the water down or it would've been a nasty sight.
I only just noticed the huge crowd that formed behind the girl. I sweat-dropped; if I didn't know better, these people were all Burst Linkers with their speed. All the girls squealed crowded around the table, effectively pushing me off my chair. As I fell off my chair, the 'Direct Wired Connection Terminated,' screen annoyingly flashed in my vision and I swiped it away annoyingly. When I managed to stand back up, I gulped. The 2nd and3rd year male senpais looked at me with awed and disbelieving looks. I didn't know any of them, but that didn't stop them from leading me to a 'friendly' questioning.
"Really?! Why would you do that?!"I half-shouted, half-asked her. "There are better ways to word things you know!"
"Well, its technically true isn't it? You are the one who held my hand, not the other way around~" Hime-senpai teased me with a playful voice. "Besides, you didn't seem that uncomfortable with the idea either." She said as she flicked her finger and sent a picture file. I stopped walking as I took a look at my stupid, blushing face with my mouth agape like some whale. This woman is insane, what did I get myself into?!
"Well, at least be honored by the fact that every guy that asked me was rejected, but you were the first guy that I asked." Senpai spoke as we stopped a little in front of me. We both looked at the school's local net border, which was the metal gate right in front of us.
"Now, Jinsoo-kun…as soon as your Neuro-Linker connects to the Global-Net, accelerate and challenge Ash Roller again. You won't have much time so make sure you do it quickly."
I nodded as took a deep breath and stood at the edge of the school Net border, which ended at the gate.
"This is your true debut as a fighter, PlatinumSword. Good Luck!" She said with a cheery smile and pushed me lightly with her hand. I took that momentum to my new world.
The accelerated world.
Koga the oc fan: Thank you for your kind words =]
Dragonrising: Hope my A/N on top answered your question, but I'll re-answer it. As a school teacher and someone who's been bullied in elementary school, I know that bullying has no stereotypes. They will target anyone. This is just another view of bullying that I wished people knew, so why not write it in this form? =]