Second Self: Major Minor Problems
I groaned weakly as I trudged on through the shopping district. I lost count exactly how long I've been in the small town of Inaba, but at least one week has passed for certain… During that time, I learned of several things.
Like for example… I can't find a bloody place to call home! I refused to let anyone know that I'm homeless, but I don't have a lot of money…
Also, I never realized that money was so damn important here! Just about everything required it. I am doing alright living off of the fish found in the water in the nearby river, but it's a pain that it has to be raw. I officially am going to hate sashimi after this.
And finally. I discovered what was perhaps the most amazing thing ever to exist. When I graced my eyes upon this marvelous contraption, I was mesmerized by it's beauty. It looked so simple, but it also appeared to be complex at the same time. How did such vivid images appear on the otherwise blank glass screen?
It almost looked like it could be a portal to another world.
I must've been lost in thought, as I collided with a boy who was possibly doing the same thing as well. We both fell to the ground, the boy landed on his rear on the pavement, although I had the misfortune to fall into an inconveniently placed trashcan ass first. The trashcan tipped over and I yelped in pain upon my head bouncing upon the pavement.
Damn it… that's the third time in two days! Though, it's the first time that it wasn't caused by that guy with orange headphones and the crappy yellow bicycle of his.
I shook my head as best I could before I saw the person I collided with me already back on his feet. He had an apologetic smile while offering me his hand. I held out my own and accepted his gesture.
I felt a strange sensation from my hand as I was helped out of the trashcan. It was as if we were resonating in some way.
"Thanks" I said to the guy. I took the moment to notice that he had silver hair and eyes with slightly pale skin. He was wearing a black school uniform, although he kept his jacket unbuttoned, showing a small part of his white shirt underneath.
The teen smiled warmly and nodded his head. Obviously he wasn't one for words much. However, he intrigued me regardless.
I flinched upon feeling the tarot deck pulsing from within one of my pants pockets. The silverette watched in silent curiosity as I pulled out the deck. I fanned the cards out slightly facedown and pulled out the one that was pulsing. When I turned it over, both me and the boy were surprised at what we saw.
The image was of the silver haired teen, smiling happily as he was walking towards a cliff with a dog following behind him. I looked at the banner, and blinked upon seeing what the card's Arcana was.
"The Fool…" we both said in unison before we looked at each other.
"Who are you?" the silver haired boy asked as his face contorted to one of suspicion.
"I would like to know that myself." I replied solemnly. " I don't know my true name, but I'm going by the name of Masamune Kira right now. "
The teen's eyes furrowed a little bit as he frowned, taking a moment to contemplate about something.
"I'm Narukami Yu. You remind me of someone I met not long ago…" he spoke up before looking back at the Tarot Card. "Anyway, why do I appear on a tarot card?"
"My guess is as good as yours, I was asked by some guy with a mask to 'complete' this deck." I answered while shrugging slightly. "I do not know what he meant exactly…"
Yu fell silent as he gave me a suspicious glare. However, before I gotten the chance to ask why he was looking at me that way, we both heard a loud scream nearby. Without a word, we both turned and ran in the direction it came from.
I immediately stopped in place, my eyes frozen upon what was in front of me.
A corpse of a forty year old man was sprawled across the hood of a car face down. The skin was deathly pale due to the lack of blood, which covered the entire front end of the vehicle and the ground around the front wheels.
I was looking at a scene of a crime. I turned to look at Yu's face, noticing that it was slightly pale. A natural response for this occasion. I looked back at the corpse, noticing the look on the man's face. Whatever he saw, he never saw it coming, as he was smiling perversely.
I was about to turn my attention back to Yu before I noticed a young girl banging against a tall mirror that was out in a pile of trash, one of its corners missing. However, what was unusual was that she was banging from INSIDE the mirror.
"Damn Shadows!" I cursed loudly, not paying attention to Yu's reaction as I ran towards the mirror while pocketing the tarot deck.
Someone was in the Reflect Realm. And I have a feeling that the girl was in grave danger. However, before I gotten the chance to reach the mirror, I found myself being tackled from behind, the impact forcing me to fall to the ground face first, my cheek scraping against the pavement.
"What the hell are you doing?!" I yelled while looking up at my assailant.
"I have a few questions for you, Masamune." Yu said sternly while putting one of my arms behind my back to subdue me. His eyes were filled with suspicion, while his mouth contorted into a frown.
"I'll answer any question you have, but now's not the time! If you don't let me go, a girl is going to be killed next!" I yelled at him, squirming to break free from his grip.
Yu's eyes narrowed while keeping them locked onto my own.
"Is that a threat?" he asked in a low tone.
"No it isn't!" I retorted. "I'm the only one who can save that girl I saw trapped inside the mirror!"
Yu was silent for a few moments before getting off of me and stood upright.
"I see… are you speaking the truth?" he asked.
At that moment, we both heard police sirens coming our way. We both were startled by that and began panicking slightly.
"Crap… we don't have time!" I said before getting up and grabbing Yu by the wrist. I ran towards the mirror with the silver haired boy dragged against his will. I held my free hand out in front and touched the mirror, only for the surface to ripple like water before I jumped right in, dragging my unexpected companion along.
As expected, I felt myself plummet just like before. Through the white abyss with the countless gray streaks darting upwards and around us. I looked upwards at Yu, noticing that he was slightly surprised by what he was seeing. His head twisted around, trying to look at his current surroundings. I made note that he was a lot more calm than I anticipated. I grinned and looked down, noticing the reflection coming closer to us by the second.
"Better prepare for impact, we're almost there." I warned the silver haired teen before I inhaled and braced for what was to happen next.
I grunted upon coming out of the window, landing on my back before Yu came tumbling out, landing ass first. We both took a moment to groan before I sat upright and looked at my companion. He had a look of slight amazement upon his otherwise stoic face.
"Where are we?" he asked me.
"This is called the Reflect Realm" I replied calmly before getting up to my feet, ignoring the throbbing sensation that was my back hurting.
Yu nodded as he gotten up.
"Damn it… where did that girl go?" I muttered while looking around for any traces of the girl.
"Oh, are you referring to a girl who would be in middle school with black hair held up in small twin tails?" a voice asked from behind us.
We both immediately turned around and I couldn't believe to see what I was seeing.
A draconic looking man with jet black skin stood, leaning against a lamppost, smirking in amusement. He had erratic, spiky red hair that hung loose while his yellow eyes were devoid of any pupils were focused upon us both. What appeared to be a pair of broken ebony horns were present just above his ears, and a thin horizontal scar was present upon his left cheek. His outfit consisted of a black suit with a blood red tie that stood out against the white button-up shirt that was underneath the jacket.
His feet was saurian like, standing upon three ebony clawed toes as a fourth one was present at the raised heel pointing downwards. He also had a long yet thick tail with a large barb at the tip. His fingertips were replaced with talons up to the first knuckle.
This man had to be a Shadow… since I felt an ominous aura come off of him. His eyes, although lacked any pupils, had the look of someone who had killed multiple times and has not even a single shred of remorse about it.
"Do not be alarmed, I am not a Shadow, nor wish to fight." the ebony man said calmly. " I only wish to talk."
"Talk about what exactly?" I asked skeptically. "We don't even know who you even are!"
"I guess you have a valid point there." the draconic man said with a nod before bowing politely. "I am known as Incursio Votum."
Incursio Votum… that name is quite unusual… but while I don't know what it means, I could tell that it was Latin in origin.
"Now that I've introduced myself, isn't it customary for you to return the favor?" Votum asked.
"Narukami Yu," Yu said while giving a curt bow.
"Masamune Kira." I spoke up next, only to notice Votum tense up slightly upon hearing my name.
"So… there's a Kira in this reality as well…" he muttered underneath his breath before he took a more scrutinizing look at me. " Though he most definitely isn't like the others for some reason…"
"What are you blabbering about now?" I asked while glaring at the black entity.
Votum smirked and swayed his tail lazily as he opened his jacket a little bit to reach inside to grab something. He pulled out a black leather covered book that looked to be ancient, before opening it to reveal the pages to be a light cyan in coloration and filled with archaic text that I couldn't make out, written in black ink. He quickly turned through the pages, as if he was looking up something specific.
He stopped upon going through two-thirds of the tome before a smile formed on his face as he read what he was looking for.
"I see… you're a byproduct of the events going on in my reality." He summarized out loud what he was reading. "You are also temporarily anchored to the Masamune Kira in my reality, which would explain why you can live in your friend's reality despite being fragmented and incomplete."
Yu had a look of confusion on his face, which meant the feeling was mutual. I didn't get much of what he was saying either, and the last part really gave me a damn headache…
Agghh… my brain hurts now…
"I don't expect you all to understand what I was just saying, but that is irrelevant. I am here to advise you, Kira, of those tarot cards of yours." Votum explained, giving me a moment to give him my undivided attention.
"You see, they each are a physical representation of one's bonds with you. Your Persona, Boreas, is quite a unique being. As he apparently is of the Aeon Arcana, he would naturally be more naturally suited for light magic. However, he is as incomplete as you are, therefore forcing him to rely on his secondary affinity towards wind magic."
"The Tarot cards you have are special, as several of them are capable of changing Boreas' Arcana, effectively granting him new powers for a period of time. His strengths and weaknesses shall change as well. To utilize this, simply use the tarot card of the Arcane you desire like you would with the Persona card. Also, the cards will be usable on only Personas born of the Reflect Realm, but their effects will vary. Just like in fortune telling readings, the results will never be the same."
I felt my eyes widen in amazement upon memorizing all I just heard.
So, Boreas can gain different powers with the Tarot Deck of mine…
"However, have you noticed that you have more cards other than just for the Major Arcana?" the ebony being said "If I had to take a guess, you have possibly enough for a suit of the Minor Arcana."
"Minor Arcana?" I asked out loud. "What's so important about that?"
"Hmm… perhaps your Persona is affiliated with a Minor Arcana instead of one of the Major. That will justify what I just said about being able to switch Arcanas. Now, I would like you to take one of the blank cards from that Tarot deck of yours at random."
I looked at Votum before reaching into where I had the deck stored in before taking one of the cards without looking.
"I see… You are of that one…" the man said as his tail swayed slowly. "That also explains Boreas' affinity towards wind magic."
I turned my attention towards the drawn card, my eyes widening upon seeing the image of the card.
It had the image of an sword with a snow white gem in the black pommel of the blade. A black ribbon was wrapped around the translucent violet blade that had a silver tornado present in the background.
The banner that was present had the words "Ace of Swords" in bold black letters.
"The Ace, in a deck of normal playing cards, is both the weakest and the strongest card of the suit at the same time." Votum spoke while grinning. " I wonder which role that card takes on in battle."
I was damned confused by this. What was the purpose of the Minor Arcana?
"I need to take my leave, If you are seeking for that Shadow you saw in the mirror, I advise not to take to the sky." Votum said as he began to transform into a black mist. " I hope to see you and the two you've chosen arrive in my reality, someday. But the next time we meet, we shall be enemies."
"What the hell do you mean?!" I screamed out for no reason.
" You, an Archetype, have taken on the name of 'Masamune Kira,' therefore inheriting the destined fate that comes with it. I need you to become stronger for my goal to be accomplished, but also to restore the Kira who lost his physical body in my reality. " the stranger replied. " Be at ease though, as I have no interest in conquering this reality, as obtaining the Persona ability will only lead to my own downfall, due to the souls that I consumed."
Both Yu and I were silent upon hearing the last part. Incursio Votum smirked before waving at us before vanishing completely into thin air, leaving no trace behind.
"So… what do we do now?" I asked Yu.
"I don't know." he said calmly as he looked at where Votum once stood.
I frowned before looking down at the tarot card that I still held. However, I immediately looked up upon sensing an ominous presence from above.
I glanced upwards and my eyes widened in horror upon the sight.
A gigantic humanoid entity who wore a white hood that covered his head that was tilted at an unnatural angle upwards. It wore a black trench coat that was tattered at the bottom and was fastened with gold buttons, however, upon noticing the interior being empty and lacking legs, I realized that it was really the body. Two chains were across the chest diagonally at different angles, crisscrossing one another. Blood splatters covered all over the upper portion of the coat, mainly around the shoulders, and the top of its head. Held within its black gloved hands were two pistols with extremely long barrels, each one almost as long as the entity was tall.
"What the hell?!" I said out loud as the hovering being aimed one of its guns at me while uttering an distant, unnerving groan.
"We have to get out of here, that's a Reaper!" Yu warned while running towards me. Apparently this guy had encountered this guy before.
He shoved me out of the way just before being struck by a bolt of electricity fired from the gun.
"Narukami!" I cried out as the silverette collapsed to the ground unconscious.
I glared up at the entity Yu called the Reaper. It aimed its gun at me once again.
"Damn it… BOREAS!" I cried out while a projection of Boreas' Card appeared in front of me. I screamed and slammed my fist against it with an uppercut, causing the card to shatter like glass.
My Persona appeared with his arms crossed against his chest.
"You are either completely stupid or reckless. Neither of us will stand against Death itself." he muttered in anger.
"I am not asking you to beat him… Just buy me some time so that I can get this guy to safety." I explained while pointing at Yu.
Boreas sighed and extended his wings before taking to the air. He held out a hand before swiping the air horizontally with it.
"Garu!" my Persona cried out before a wave of emerald green wind emerged from his hand.
The wind made contact with the Reaper's left arm, but the gunslinger paid no attention towards it as it looked down towards me, aiming one of its handguns in the same direction.
"Bash!" Boreas cried out before closing in before spinning in the air, slamming the flat of his tail blade into the side of the entity's head. The Reaper's head made a sickening crack as it was knocked into an unnatural angle, one that would've been obviously fatal for a human.
The Gunslinger's exposed eye turned to stare at Boreas, who finally succeeded in getting its attention. With similar unnerving popping sounds, the head returned to its original position while a nerve-wracking groan reverberated through the air. Boreas immediately darted off, putting distance between himself and the Reaper.
The gun aimed for me shifted towards my Persona, allowing me time to pick up Yu and held him against my side before hearing several shots filling the air, the acrid smell of gunpowder following soon after. Boreas weaved through the air the best he could, evading only two of the shots as the rest hit their mark.
Boreas and I both screamed as I felt my Persona's pain. I did my best to ignore the pain as I dragged Yu over towards the mirror we came from. That last attack took a lot out of us. I felt like I could slip into unconsciousness at any moment.
No… Not until Yu is safe…
I gritted my teeth as I felt Boreas crash into the ground next to me. I never expected this monstrosity to be so powerful… I knew we had a snowball's chance in Hell in defeating him, but I never expected this level of strength.
I edged closer to the mirror. I was less than a meter now…
I felt Yu stir as he came around. A weak groan came escaped from his mouth as he opened his eyes.
"You better get out of here. We're still in danger." I said to him as we went closer to the mirror.
"Masamune…" he said weakly while looking at me in the eyes. "I can help…"
I shook my head.
"Not in this condition. You go on ahead, I'll catch up soon after." I reassured him with a soft smile before pushing him into the mirror.
Yu's eyes widened as he reached out for me as he submerged into the mirror. The surface once more rippled like water as it glowed.
"WAIT! MASAMUNE!" he cried out before vanishing completely.
I felt a surge of electricity through my body as the Reaper electrocuted Boreas. My mind couldn't handle the pain, causing me to collapse to the ground as my eyesight blurred while fading into darkness.
At least I managed to save Yu before it was too late…
I only wished to have met that girl I saw on that one commercial…
I never thought to have seen such a beautiful girl.
She was the reason that I admired the television so much…
But… there was more…
I wanted to help her…
Despite her attitude on the live concert that I managed to catch one night. Whenever they zoomed up to her face, I noticed her eyes… They were filled with not only exhaustion, but loneliness and sadness.
Were we kindred spirits?
I too longed for companionship ever since I arrived in Inaba… but all my interactions with the people I met had always ended up in some form of misfortune. Most saw me as strange, others were offended.
The only exceptions were that cyclist that I crashed into, who only apologized and hurried on his way, and Narukami, despite him being suspicious of me at first.
Why was he that way?
How did he know about that Shadow?
It didn't matter…
I am going to die… unless I already did…
Unknown Location Five Hours later
I groaned as I came around. I was temporarily blinded by the light upon opening my eyes. I attempted this several more times before my eyes adjusted to the light. I was now looking at a ceiling covered with brown stains and black moss, with the lights flickering on occasion. I shifted around and noticed I was laying on a bed. I sat upright and checked my surroundings. My body protested slightly from fatigue as I moved.
I was in what appeared to be in a bedroom of some kind, the walls resembling the ceiling with the black moss growing on them. I was underneath the covers of a simple cot that stood on an aged wood flooring. The planks were grey and rough. I noticed a cracked mirror hanging on the wall opposite of me.
My face was hidden behind a smooth yellow mask that covered my face. Two black markings were located where my eyes were, each one resembling a scythe. The lines that resembled the "handle" of each "scythe" were positioned inwards, giving the allusion of the mask having the bridge of a nose. Above the "eyes", square on the center of the forehead, was the Roman Numeral "VII" in black.
My platinum blond hair that reached my shoulders was frazzled, with stray strands sticking up all over the place. I raised my hands up to smooth my unruly mane before noticing something. I lowered my hands, which were covered in a glossy black rubber like substance that clung to my skin like a second skin.
I pulled off the covers and rose to my feet to fully examine my entire body within the mirror's reflection starting from the legs.
My legs were also covered in the same substance as my arms, but as I moved up I realized that my entire body was covered in the ebony rubber up to the base of my head, clinging to almost every single curve imaginable.
I felt my cheeks get very warm as I realized how this supposed outfit left little to one's imagination… This was almost as bad as being naked!
I reached for the mask with my hands and brushed my fingers against it. I couldn't understand why… but this mask feels so natural for me to wear, unlike the bodysuit… It was like it was a part of me to begin with.
I heard a knock on the door located to my left before seeing a being wearing a light blue mask that had a face that was one associated with depression. His body was covered in a black velvety cloak with a hood raised up, obscuring all his features except for a black hand that was grasping the doorknob.
"It's about time you awoke..." he spoke in a gruff but flat tone.
I nodded slightly in acknowledgement. I never met this person before, but I could tell he was just like me… but was so different at the same time…
"Come with me, you must be wondering about who you are." the man spoke up.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"I am nothing but a fragment of an Ego, a Shadow that is aware of his nature." he introduced himself while bowing politely while letting go of the doorknob. "My name is Magos of the Magician."
I nodded once again.
"I see…" I replied. " My name is Sakiki Rui."
Magos was silent for a few moments as he stood in place, most likely looking at me.
"I see… you are not of the other world then… You're born of the Reflect Realm. The world that reveals one's darkest desires." he replied. " It is rare for one of your kind to have such awareness. "
I looked at the masked man before looking down at my body.
"Reflect Realm? Am I not human?" I questioned.
Magos shook his head.
"Far from it. You are a Shadow."
I'm a what now? But… I remember my little brother… my parents. I remember my face behind this mask I wore.
I refuse to believe his claims. I am a girl named Sakiki Rui!
"You're lying! I'm a human!" I protested while clenching my fists.
Magos sighed as he shook his head once more in disappointment.
"I had high expectations that you would understand your unique situation… but instead, you disappoint me by clinging onto a false belief."
"SHUT UP!" I yelled while running towards the masked man, raising one of my fists to strike him.
I won't listen to this bastard's insanity any more! I know who the hell I am!
I screamed as I threw my fist towards Magos' face as hard as possible.
Only to for my fist to bounce off some form of invisible barrier and into my own face with equal force.
I gritted my teeth while falling to the ground, slightly dazed from the impact of my rebounded fist.
I groaned weakly while getting up from the ground.
"What happened?" I asked.
"I had set up a Tetrakarn beforehand in case if you attacked." Magos said casually " Now I must dispose of you, as you're now a threat."
A threat? A threat to what?
What is going on here?!
Final Thoughts: The Golden
Blazorna: *leans against a large TV* Man, been a long time since I updated any entry of the Incursio Votum series, especially this one. For those who haven't been following me, I've started this new fanfic, a crossover involving Ben 10 and Queen's Blade, called "The Troubles of a Misplaced Hero" and it is my most popular story now. As such, I sort of put Incursio Votum on the back burner to focus more on Misplaced Hero. There's more of a demand for it after all. But don't fret once at all, I haven't abandoned this series. I've already invested too much effort and time into it just to leave it unattended indefinitely. Who knows, I might incorporate Misplaced Hero into this series.
I will update the other entries, but at sporadic times. You have my most sincere apologies for this, and hope you understand.
Anyway, I should bring up a few things in regards to this story.
Incursio Votum is from the main storyline. His appearance in this story is part of a side story involving him traversing through different realities, which will be covered through other spinoffs in the Incursio Votum series. To find out what happened exactly, I strongly recommend checking out the main storyline first.
I told you that this was going to have an original storyline. I had trouble trying to figure out something that was truly original, but would not be viewed as too far off. Thankfully, Mr. Edogawa's lectures on Jungian psychology in P4:Golden gave me the idea for the characters, Magos and Sakiki. I hope you enjoy what I have planned for them.
Well, That's it for now. Thank you for those who have been patiently waiting for this, and I hope to see you all again (hopefully) very soon. *waves before diving into TV*