A/N: This is the translation of V7.1 from Baka Tsuki. Credit goes to Kai Ding for translation. I will begin the AU proper from Chapter 2.
«Enemies» commonly encountered in the Unlimited Neutral Field can fall into four classes.
The smallest and weakest of them are «Lesser Enemies», followed by «Beast», «Wild»,
and finally «Legendary Enemies» being the strongest kind that can be encountered normally.
Their strength is staggering, however;
even the weakest Lesser Enemy is an even match for ten Level Four Burst Linkers.
The rewards for beating Enemies is usually Burst Points,
sealed in Card form for ease of transferability,
and Enhanced Armaments, also in Card form.
The rarity of the Armaments collected increases as the Enemy class increases.
-Green Grande, «Enemy Hunting Guide»
A single duel avatar was in the middle of a depression in the ground thirty metres in diametre.
The shading of her body remind others of the bright orange spring sunlight. But colours previously unseen on her body have now appeared. Her forehead, chest and all four limbs now shine with a mirror-like silver.
The short hair that looks like a budding flower is hanging down flatly. Both arms are spread out in opposite directions, her skinny legs stretching down powerlessly. The only reason she would remain motionless in such an unstable posture is because something restrains her from behind.
Thin and solid black, as if cut from a large uniform sheet - a cross. The orange figure is firmly secured to the cross, making it unclear whether or not the cross exerts some attracting force.
The ground emits a metallic-green lustre. Strange bugs with the same metallic lustre are wriggling everywhere. The cross has been stuck into the lowest part of the bowl-like depression in the ground. Close by her, a large fissure has been opened in the ground; the black fissure opening gives off a feeling of absolute terror. The sides of the fissure are coated with clear viscous slime.
Around the edge of the thirty metre-wide depression, several dozen figures stand in a circle. Not moving, not speaking, they are all silently observing the cross at the bottom of the depression. It's just like they know what's about to happen. Holding their breath, eyes wide open, fearing - or anticipating - something.
Among these figures, only one is lying upon the ground.
A small body with a dark-silver lustre. Slim of limb and wearing a round helmet. He seems to be trying desperately to stand up, his sharp fingertips carving into the metallic ground. But all to no avail. Two pieces of thin black plates, very similar to the cross at the bottom of the depression, hold him on his left and right.
The metallic bugs which have been slowly crawling around the depression suddenly flee the area in a great hurry. Diving into the gill-like folds spread across the ground, disappearing from view instantly.
Zuzuzu, zuzuzu, from the open fissure down in the depression, a barely audible sound of vibration reverberates out.
'Stop… stop, for the love of God, stop!'
These same words are screamed out dozens, even hundreds of times, only for the sound to dissipate once again into the Unlimited Neutral Field.
Countless scratches have been carved into the ground in front of him by his fingers. But, regardless of how much effort he put in, he is only able to move his forearms and hands. The jet-black plates which clamp his arms at his shoulders are thin beyond belief, but they have the overwhelming power to tightly bind Chrome Falcon like gigantic pliers.
What's even more unbelievable is that the player who is controlling the two plates is managing the cross at the bottom of the depression in the distance to bind Saffron Blossom at the exact same time.
Bowing her head feebly, it seems that Blossom doesn't have any strength left to move. It can't really be helped. All of the pain she has ever experienced in the Accelerated World can't even match that of what she has just experienced.
At the same time, the extreme rage and despair that are colliding within Falcon's consciousness are feelings that he have never experienced before in his life.
'Stop… stop, please stop…'
He desperately squeezes out a dry rasp through his clenched teeth. At the same time, his Avatar's fingertips carve out new parallel lines upon the hard ground of the «Purgatory» Stage. However, he is still unable to move. The sense of powerlessness only intensifies the despair he feels.
He can feel it with his body, that terrifying tremble. That thing is coming again.
In the centre of the depression, from the depths of the two meter wide fissure beside the cross that's restraining Blossom, it seems like something is about to crawl out of there. Ten feelers with sharp tips emerge first, waving about erratically. Then two parallel rows of red glowing orbs light up from the depth of the darkness. The orbs that impart a feeling of endless hunger are that thing's eyes. The moment the feelers sense Blossom close in front, countless eyes radiate a bright glare. Then…
Along with a slimy sound and the splashing of countless droplets of mucus, what emerges out of the fissure is a worm type monster gigantic beyond belief. It is one of the strongest beings in the Accelerated World apart from the «Four Sacred Beasts» that guard the four cardinal gates of the Forbidden City, Legend Rank Enemy - Hell Worm «Jörmungandr».
Even though it only appears in «Purgatory», «Disease», «Rotten Woods» and a small number of the organic stages, meeting it pretty much guarantees death. But its nest is considered small for a Legend Rank Enemy, only a small round depression thirty meters in diameter; even if killed, it is still possible to escape after revival in an hour and the ten seconds or so before Jörmungandr appears again. That is, if nothing - or no one, is deliberately interfering with escaping.
Jörmungandr's head slowly approaches Blossom who is being restrained by the black cross and unable to move. Below the sixteen lens like red eyes separated into two rows, is a round mouth surrounded by feelers, well, technically it is called an acetabulum. The bottomless jaw with numerous rings of saw-like teeth and that constantly drips with mucus closes in on the petite Avatar. Blossom shudders and hangs her head even lower.
'Stop… it….! Stoooooppppp!'
Falcon cries hoarsely from beneath his helmet, but Enemies aren't people, so naturally they won't obey any plea.
The meter wide jaw of the long worm opens to its limits above Blossom's head. The secreted mucus continuously drips down, hissing and producing white smoke on contact with the bright orange armour. That liquid has the effect of dramatically decreasing the physical resistance of an Avatar. The silvery armour on her body instantly loses its glow. As if unwilling to wait any longer, Jörmungandr swallows the upper body of Blossom in one go along with the cross.
In the centre of his vision dyed red with his burning emotions, his long time partner screams again and again.
The power of the Enhanced Armament «The Destiny» greatly exceeded all original expectations.
Physical type attacks such as cutting, impact, piercing, shot and explosive can all be basically nullified. Energy type attacks such as laser are reflected; the armour is highly resistant to freeze, heat and electric types as well. The only thing that it can't defend against is the natural enemy of metallic armours, corrosive acids, but players who have these types of attacks are few and far between. Invincible. That is not an exaggeration at all when describing such terrifying defensive capabilities.
But that's only natural, the armour is supposed to be only obtainable by the ones who have defeated the absolutely unbeatable Super Enemies, «Four Sacred Beasts», and reached the deepest area of the Imperial City, it could even be called the final Item of Brain Burst. But since it was obtained via chance and luck plus a system loophole in the dawning ages of the game, there is no wonder its power is overwhelming.
«The Destiny» is strong enough to completely break the game balance of Brain Burst, strong enough to render even the owner of the armour, Saffron Blossom, scared. After all, in the past she would lose almost all her HP if she was hit by a Full Charge Attack from a red or a blue Avatar, whereas now those attacks barely do anything even if she takes them head-on. Just a few regular battles spread her name throughout the whole Accelerated World, accompanied soon after by buying offers and invitations to join strong Legions. Of course, there were also accusations of underhandedness and cheating.
If Blossom was still her same old self who just wanted to team up with Falcon and keep on fighting, perhaps she would have sealed or sold the armour.
But now she has an yet unfulfilled dream of forming a «Legion of Mutual Aid» to prevent others from losing all their points, so as to remove the slaughters resulting from exploiting the Accelerated World's game mechanics and change it into a place where everyone can battle happily… no, live happily.
Perhaps this is just a silent protest from Blossom who was informed that she would never live until adulthood, but nevertheless has accepted such a fate. To spread countless seeds in the barren lands of the Accelerated World, and make this world bloom with countless flowers-. Perhaps since the instant she became a BB Player, that has always been her dream.
In order to make the core of the Legion of Mutual Aid, «Burst Point Loan System», function practically, a sufficient points pool is necessary. As well as the fighting power needed to dissuade those malicious participants who never intended to pay back the points.
Needless to say, apart from standard battles, «The Destiny» also displays overwhelming power during Enemy hunts, so for Blossom, it is no doubt an express ticket to the fulfilment of her dream. Although equipping it significantly quelled challenges, there are still many brave fighters who wished for a battle, however, they were defeat by Blossom and Falcon without exception.
Although it was two on one, they even managed to narrowly defeat one of the strongest «Pure Colours», then Blossom finally announced her idea to the entire Accelerated World. When this occurred, applicants for the new Legion were numerous.
And yesterday, more than thirty BB Players sent a joint message, wishing to hear about the details.
The two of them were thrilled, but slightly uneasy at the same time. The place those people specified was the Unlimited Neutral Field. Although their justification of wanting to see if safe hunting of Enemies is possible was not unreasonable, it is still hard for anyone to predict what would happen in the Unlimited Neutral Field. In the worst-case scenario, it is not at all impossible for all thirty of them to attack at the same time.
Even if they were walking into an ambush, however, it was still hard to believe Blossom could be defeated by one hit when she had «The Destiny» equipped. The two of them chose a place very close to a Leave Point as an added precaution. If it was a trap, they only needed to dash to the Portal.
The plan was not without flaws, as it did not provide a contingency plan for abilities like Blossom's, that do not attack Duel Avatars directly but instead utilize hindering type abilities to impend movement or deprive vision, thus creating a chance that escape through the Portal could be prevented. The two of them still decided to ignore the risk because the list of names contained plenty of old acquaintances. They could not imagine, or want to imagine it to be a nasty trap set by all of those people.
The meeting place today is the equivalent of Shibaura Parking Area north of the Rainbow Bridge, just in case they checked from the distance. More than thirty have already gathered and they matched the names on the sent message.
As Blossom and Falcon walked under the Daiba Route of the Shuto Expressway, reassured, two plates suddenly appeared below them-.
Instantly, an intense pressure restrained the two of them.
'Stop…Please stop it! Why… why are you doing this…!'
Staring at the worm that looks nothing like its «Legend» rank sinking its countless teeth into his beloved partner, Chrome Falcon cries once again as he watches the scene unfold.
His question is aimed at the several dozen BB Players standing around the depression of the worm's nest.
He has recognised most of them, especially since several are chatting buddies when they watch battles. There are also those whom he has fought many battles against, where the win-lose ratio was about half-half. He can't think of any reason for a grudge that runs deep enough for them to set such a vicious trap.
But they are all keeping their silence, without even taking a glance at Falcon being restrained on the ground. Instead they are keeping their attention solely on the tragedy unfolding endlessly at the bottom of the depression. Their features reveal dread and horror. But it's not that simple, as behind all their fear, Falcon senses another extremely unpleasant presence strongly.
Unexpectedly, a deep yet fluid voice speaks out from behind him to the right.
'I'm sorry Falcon-kun. At least allow me to answer in their stead.'
Speaking in a tone that is just like a schoolteacher, the owner of the voice is the very same person who is also managing the two plates and the cross to restrain Falcon and Blossom. His name is unknown. Nor has he ever been seen before. The strange looking Avatar appeared as if black notepapers have being placed vertically in the shape of a human after being cut into shape.
'That Enhanced Armament is much too different from the norm in this dawning world. I believe, you must have noticed that during your battles over the past few days, right?'
In the real world, even the oldest BB Player should still only be in the second year in elementary school, «to have worn the Neuro-Linker for extended periods of time since birth» is an essential condition for the installation of Brain Burst, while commercial Neuro-Linkers only appeared on the market the year «first generations» like Falcon were born.
But this black multilayered Avatar speaks in a tone that is anything but childish. It even sounds more mature than young teachers in their twenties in the real world. Resisting the pressure, Falcon squeezes out an answer.
'Then… sell the «Armour» to the Shop. Can't we just divide the points received in return evenly… it's not necessary to go so far…!'
'Unfortunately, that method would leave the Enhanced Armament in the Shop. That won't prevent someone from obtaining it again to disrupt the game balance. That armour has to go back to where it belongs. For that purpose, a power other than a player's is required to destroy the owner, this is the only way, Falcon-kun.'
As the tranquil voice finishes his report-
Saffron Blossom's Avatar breaks apart into countless pieces inside Jörmungandr's mouth. An orange pillar of light shoots into the heavens, forming a momentary grave marker before disappearing.
The Hell Worm seems quite satisfied to have killed the intruder in just one bite, waving its feelers about as it crawls back into its nest. The black cross also soundlessly sinks into the dark shadows on the ground.
The only thing that remains is a mass of weak saffron-yellow light. According to the rules of the Unlimited Neutral Field, Blossom will remain in «Ghost Mode» for an hour before reviving in the same place.
-At least, that's how it normally happened.
To Falcon's left, coming from a position blocked from sight due to the black plates, is a gentle whisper.
"«Resurrect By Compassion»."
It's a sound pure and clear beyond any imaginable human voice, carrying with it countless points of light through the air down to the bottom of the depression. As the points of light touch the orange «Ember», a blinding pillar of white light descends from the sky condensing and materialising into an Avatar. Saffron Blossom who would normally revive in an hour's time has her descent arrested by the cross appearing below her just as her delicate body is about to drop on to the ground, securing her once again beside the nest of the worm.
The same thing has happened countless times already. The amount of points lost during battles against an Enemy is fixed at 10. The points gained during the recent wins can't be depleted so easily. Which has lead to this cycle of cruel death and even crueller revival.
There have been cases where players lose all points due to death when they enter too deeply into the Territories of Legend Rank Enemies to escape. That phenomenon feared by all BB Players is known as «Infinite Enemy Death». But the group who have trapped Falcon and Blossom is deliberately causing this phenomenon using the black cross and the white light. This is no longer passive death but rather a form of active execution, «Infinite Enemy Kill».
… Please, no more.
He can only silently pray under the silver mask as he longer has any strength left to plea aloud.
Inside the Unlimited Neutral Field, the amount of pain felt when damaged is raised to the point where it is equal to the real world. Every time Blossom is killed by Jörmungandr she should be feeling as if her entire body is being gnawed apart. Even if her body in the real world remains unscathed, the pain engraved upon her awareness - her soul will not disappear.
The true source of her pain is not the teeth of the monster, but perhaps the gaze of the several dozen players standing around the depression. Those who were once considered friends luring Blossom out with the fake message, making her fall into this trap and merely watching on as she is bitten again and again by the disgusting worm.
Horror and fear aren't the only things present on their facemasks, as also clearly showing is that hint of excitement. Just like «the scarier it is the more they want to see» mentality of children. It is the same principle as the group mentality of excluding the unfitting students in classes in the real world.
And at the same time.
Like watching from the safe zone as such a student is being excluded yet unable to do anything for that student, that is how Chrome Falcon feels.
If Falcon never entered the «Imperial City». If he never brought out «THE DESTINY». If he never gave it to Blossom, then none of this would be happening. The main culprit does not have to bear a single wound but is only able to watch as his beloved suffers.
Sensing the forcibly revived Blossom, the worm closes in again from the depth of the nest. DORO, DORO, the ground shakes with the noise, yet the orange Avatar is unable to lift even one finger. She can only bow her head while on the jet black cross, facing yet another «death». Or perhaps the loss of all points after that death and the «end» that will cause her to lose all her memories.
I made the same mistake, again.
I have already decided, never to pretend not to see. Never to ignore those who are hurt, rejected and have lost their place of belonging. Even though I have decided. Once again, I am unable to do anything but watch as my most treasured person…
The worn-out awareness squeezes out a voice.
'I have, had enough. I will never accept being left alone again.'
The amount of pressure being exerted by the two plates to hold the Avatar is as absolute as the world itself. Falcon knows very well that with all his power he won't even be able to move it one millimetre. But, there is another way for him to escape.
Breaking his own metallic armour instead of the jet-black plates.
'Uuu… Waa… Wa,ah,ahhhhhhh…..'
With a cry of utmost power, he utilises all his remaining strength. His two hands pressing against the plates on the two sides, pushing them back.
Unable to stand the pressure, the chrome-silver armour starts to squeak. If he was still like his former self, he would have given up at this stage. But ignoring the feeling of being crushed, he exerts even more force.
'Just give up, Falcon-kun.'
The multilayered Avatar urges as if truly worried.
'We have no intention at all of eliminating you. After the job, we'll release you straight away. It should only be once or twice more, why don't you just obediently wait until then?'
He turns the defiance he feels after hearing that bullshit into more power to push against the plates. Fine cracks start to form on the armour around the wrists. Sparks of pain shoot up, but this is not enough, nowhere near enough.
In that single moment, where he releases the utmost of his power with a silent roar.
The wrist armour sections shatter into pieces with a rigid metallic sound. Blood-like damage effects also spray out of the dark-grey interior, heart-stopping pain flows through his nerves. - Accompanying the dramatic decrease in the HP Gauge, his Special Attacks Gauge fills up by about twenty percent.
Using a faint voice, he shouts.
"«Flash Blink»! "
Chrome Falcon's Avatar changes into a formless particle and finally escapes from the plates. Charging forward at a speed that is almost like teleportation, he materialises again fifteen meters ahead.
In front of him is the ravaged Saffron Blossom and the head of Jörmungandr, just about to bite into her delicate body again.
Using the last of his strength, he kicks out at the gigantic worm with the sharp claws on his right foot. One of its many simple eyes bursts after spraying out a sticky liquid. The second bar of the Enemy's HP deceases by a despairingly small amount, but as if caught off guard by the surprise attack, the worm shakes it head while releasing Blossom.
Beneath the roaring Enemy, a weak voice pulses through the air.
Multiple gigantic green petals springs out from beneath the black cross, enclosing the two of them like a flower bud. This is Saffron Blossom's Level 5 Special Attack. Unyielding petals that block the inside from all outside interferences and attacks. Period of effectiveness - thirty seconds.
In the sphere filled with calming green illumination, Falcon catches Blossom as she falls from the vanished cross with his armour-less arms. He just crouches there, desperately gazing into the face of his beloved partner. This thirty-second period, is the final moment the two of them can share. When the petals vanish, the cross will most likely appear again to restrain them. Jörmungandr will simply obey its instincts and slaughter the new prey as well.
He does not regret at all charging forward to his own demise. But Falcon is unable to find the words he should be speaking at the current time. Therefore, he can only clench his teeth to stifle back his sobs, while continuing to gaze at the face of Blossom. In order to never forget this beautiful face and the aquamarine eyes even if she is to disappear from the Accelerated World.
Drip. The tears dripping out make a faint sound.
'I'm sorry Fal. I… have always relied upon your gentleness. Because my future in the real world has already been taken away, I wanted to take it back in this world at least… Playing the game of pretending to be adults, and forcing it upon you as well. This end result… is all because of my impatience. I'm sorry…'
Clear points of light drop out from Blossom's eye-lens, dispersing into the air then disappearing.
- There is no such thing. No such thing.
Although wanting to say so, the words become a hot lump blocking his throat. In the end, he can only shake his head frantically. The slender fingertip softly brush past his helmet.
'But you know…. please believe in just this one thing. I, really like you. I have liked you from the moment we met. Because I understood instantly. Your feelings of wanting to protect the weak me. Everyone else is trying to seize points from each other, but you… just you…'
Instead of finishing herself, Blossom just smiles.
Then, she lowers her right hand from Falcon's face, grabs hold of his right hand and guides it to the centre of her chest, horribly wounded by Jörmungandr's teeth.
'I have one last request. Fal, you will kill me.'
Blossom smiles at Falcon who has finally opened his mouth.
'My points, I only have 7 left. Instead of disappearing from this world when I get killed by that Enemy, I would much rather give them to you. This way, even if Brain Burst is forcibly uninstalled, I will still be able to remember you. Even if my memories disappear, just you, I will never forget.'
At this point, the effective time of the ability finally comes to an end, and the roof formed from the petals slowly opens up, the angry roar of the worm ripping apart the serenity on the inside of the sphere.
There is just too little time to convert all of the overflowing feelings within his heart into words.
Holding the sunny Avatar tightly with his left arm, Falcon murmurs softly with all his passion.
Thank you. For responding to me stretching out my hand to you. Thank you. For teaching me all sorts of things. And for expanding my insignificant world, thank you.
He stretches out, aims the fingers on his right hand. Placing claws as sharp as those of a raptor in the centre of Saffron Blossom's chest, directly above a fatal weakness, the heart.
'… I love you.'
Speaking those words he has never before had the courage to speak, while at the same time stabbing into her body with his right hand.
His hand pierces right through «The Destiny», made useless due to Jörmungandr's teeth and digestive fluids.
… Farewell Fal, I love you too.
Those words flow through his consciousness like a gentle sigh and disappear.
Saffron Blossom's Avatar is not bursting into countless pieces like before. Instead, the delicate silhouette disintegrates into countless ribbons sheltered in a warm spring sun-like aura and fly into the sky. These ribbons further disintegrate into smaller threads, dissolving into the air - and disappearing.
«Final Elimination Phenomenon». The complete removal from the Accelerated World of those who have lost all points.
What he feels now upon his hands is complete emptiness.
The heavy sense of loss makes him feel like he has also disappeared himself. Behind him, Jörmungandr's countless teeth bite into his armour, producing high-pitch noises.
Just like that he is thrown up into the air. Orange sparks continuously burst out of the metallic armour. The Avatar is being pulled apart, the HP Gauge to the left of his field of vision is also decreasing rapidly. Pain that almost makes him pass out flares up at the same time.
But, there is no scream. He can't scream. This pain has been felt by Blossom countless times. Clenching his teeth, he continues to endure. Far away in his blurry vision, a group of players standing around in a circle emerges.
Their eyes show the same surprise - and the same disdain. Laughing at the fool losing his life meaninglessly.
To escape from this situation is not at all impossible. He only needs to use «Blink» again by spending the Special Attacks Gauge charged up by the damage he took.
But, there is no need to escape… no, to live any more.
Saffron Blossom is gone. I'm alone again. Even if I escape from here, there's no point in going back to the mindless duels of a solo player. I'd rather be killed here by this worm just as Blossom was. Experience it all again and again just like her until that moment where all points have been depleted and I'm exiled from this world…
He suddenly notices something.
A tiny spot of light is flashing below the decreasing HP Gauge and the increasing Special Attacks Gauge. The spot of light moves as well if he moves his head, which makes it a… System Message. The rectangular cursor is trying to inform him of something.
When he focuses on the spot, a line of text soundlessly appears.
【YOU ACQUIRED AN ENHANCED ARMAMENT «THE DESTINY»】
He can't comprehend it.
It's a message about obtaining an Enhanced Armament. But instead of showing «GOT» which indicates when it has been obtained in card form, it's showing «ACQUIRED» which indicates a change in ownership. And the armament is - the «armour». It's «The Destiny» which should have disappeared alongside Saffron Blossom.
But why? The methods to transfer an Enhanced Armament should only be limited to selling and buying at a «Shop» and transfers during Direct Linked battles, and those should be the only…
No, there is one more, a vague rumour from a long time ago. When an owner is eliminated from the Accelerated World, there is a very small chance the Enhanced Armament in that player's Storage would transfer over to the last attacker.
Whether or not Blossom wished for Falcon to obtain the armour by giving her the final blow will never be known.
But Falcon believes it's the final message she has left him.
Live. Live and fight.
Unconsciously below the silvery mask, he murmurs the default voice command to equip the Enhanced Armament.
'Equip… «The Destiny».'
Intense illumination like a small star dyes the world silver.
With sharp metallic noises, thick additional armours start to cover the limbs and the body of the Avatar. The design of the «Armour» is drastically different from when it was equipped on Blossom. It goes without saying that Enhanced Armaments will adjust its size to suit the Duel Avatar, but the changes to this armour have gone beyond that. It has lost its grace and lithe, turning into a plate armour covered with edges.
Finally, the headpiece also changes from its round shape to that of an open type helmet. With a loud GAKIIN, the armour that covers eighty percent of Falcon's body repels all of Jörmungandr's teeth and prevents them from biting into the Avatar.
The Legend Rank Enemy roars angrily and attacks Falcon again, secreting large amounts of clear mucus from parotid glands between its teeth. This mucus drips on to the silver armour, trying to take away the strength of the armour with its corrosive properties.
For just a split second the silvery mirror surface lost its sheen, then just like peeling away a thin membrane, it blackens to a chrome-silver, completely refusing the erosion. The new colouring is the exact same as Falcon's original armour.
«Chrome», as a colour is near the centre of the Metal Colour Chart, Between Precious Metals and Base Metals. It lacks strong resistance to both physical and special attacks. It does, however, have a single special property, complete resistance to corrosive type attacks.
It's as if the supposedly mindless Enhanced Armament has taken in its owner's attributes in order to combat the monster's mucus - that's the only way to explain this phenomenon. But logical speculations are meaningless to Falcon now.
As if guided by something, he raises both of his arms to grab hold of the gigantic teeth attempting to pierce his chest which is constantly discharging sparks.
The depths of his heart suddenly light up.
The yearning for Saffron Blossom and the despair he feels due to her death combines to form an emotion he has never felt since arriving in the Accelerated World eleven months ago, more than five years subjectively - rage.
A trembling roar of anger escapes from the depth of his throat.
Chrome Falcon is a child that never angers even in the real world. He listens to the word of the adults, acts according to other's complexions and generally holds himself back.
Even when a friend from kindergarten was a target of bullying when they entered the same elementary school, he left that friend instead of doing anything. He closed his eyes, plugged his ears, merely waited for someone else to come up with a solution. But before that someone could show up, the boy who used to be his friend had already gone away.
At least back then he should have been angry. Angry at those who bully others. Angry at the teachers who did nothing. Angry at himself also, for pretending not to notice. But he did nothing, he just compressed all his memories and feelings into a pebble and buried it deep in his heart.
Now cracks are appearing on this pebble, spilling out burning emotions as Falcon continues to roar in a warped voice.
His ten digits become large claws with a sharp noise. The sharp tips cut into the teeth of Jörmungandr. From the wrists to the shoulders, the armour's edges become sharper and more voluminous.
He now understands why the thirty odd people sent the fake Legion participation message, and betrayed the two of them by setting a trap. It wasn't because of the absurdly strong game-breaking Enhanced Armament.
It's because Saffron Blossom was different from them. She had a dream and the strength necessary to carry it out.
'But… Aren't you people also…'
- If you've became a BB Player, aren't you people also more or less treated as rejects in the real world. Rejected by others, you come to the Accelerated World with your mental traumas. Then why, are you also rejecting other people. Why do you throw rocks at those you deem different from yourselves?
'Fron… only ever wanted… to make a place… for people like you to belong…'
As he vents his anger, his hands also start to emit a faint glow.
No, it's not energy to illuminate something, rather a negative pulse that engulfs all light and heat.
An aura of darkness.
When continuous effects such as this happen to a Duel Avatar, it should be because the player is spending the Gauge to use a Special Attack. But right now, Falcon's Special Attacks Gauge is at Full Charge and shows no sign of dropping even a pixel dot.
But he fails to notice this and merely continues his stuttering words.
'So you people… could always play in this world… to release you people from the horror of losing all your points… Fron, she only… only…!'
Unknowingly, Jörmungandr's teeth, deeply scratched by his ten digits, have been pulled away completely from Falcon's body. The monster flashes its two rows of eyes and wriggles its gigantic body. But the arms of the Avatar surrounded by the dark aura do not move a single inch.
'She only… ever wished for that!'
A blood coughing roar.
Falcon is now hearing the emotion filled pebble break apart deep in his heart.
Rage. Ever since he started to understand things, he had always suppressed any anger he felt, except now all the anger has burst out, flowing inside the Avatar in a frenzy, emitting that dark aura outwards.
The dark pulses, as if possessing physical pressure, vibrate across the thick skin of the worm and cause it to crack. The Enemy roars and twists as a huge crack forms at the top of its jaw.
'Aah… aaaaaahhh… aaaaaaaaaaaahhh -!'
Screaming in a distorted metallic voice, Falcon suddenly jerks the teeth in his hands in opposite directions.
With an unnatural sound, Jörmungandr's head is forcefully split apart. Many of the simple eyes burst from within, spraying out copious amounts of bodily fluids. He disregards this and reaches in further through the cracks, grabbing hold of the soft tissues within, ripping them apart again. And again.
When his feet touch the ground, almost half of the Hell Worm is split open. He grabs the right side of the worm, desperately trying to wriggle back into the nest in pain, with the claws on his hands and steps on the right side with his clawed feet to secure it. With all of his power - he rips it apart from head to tail in one go.
The body of the Enemy, finally in two pieces, abruptly pauses in an unnatural form, and then bursts into thousands of pieces.
In the centre of the burst effect at the bottom of the depression, a long thin object materialises. In front of Falcon is a long sword with a clear crystal-white body. It's an Enemy drop Enhanced Armament. Seeing this sword that seems to hold a star like radiance within, he reaches out for the hilt without the slightest hesitation.
Instantly, the long sword transforms into a small card and disappears. A small System Message pops out at the top of his vision【YOU GOT AN ENHANCED ARMAMENT «STAR CASTER»】.
He murmurs in a hoarse voice.
'Equip, «Star Caster».'
The long sword with the holy form appears once again in his right hand. But the dark aura instantly wraps around the sword, distorting its colour and shape. The crystal clarity changes to a chrome-silver colour. The straight hilt curves ominously. The blade enlarges and thickens, several places of the edge also becoming sawtooth in form.
He holds the newly formed greatsword directly in front of him.
The dark silver blade reflects a Duel Avatar. It is no longer the simple Chrome Falcon with his round helmet. Rather it's an object of destructive impulses with a heinous silhouette.
The only place where his original appearance can still be seen is the smooth facemask showing through the open type helmet. However, the aura of darkness is gathering at the forehead of the helmet, creating a visor large enough to completely cover his face.
He intuitively feels that he'll no longer be able to turn back if he pulls it down.
… If I ever change, Fron is sure to be sad.
… But, she is no longer part of this world.
Then at this moment, I'll discard the name of Chrome Falcon. Let it be buried here with Saffron Blossom, along with her ideals, her kindness, her care, let it all be buried here.
Because it's the stunned players around this depression who refused all these things. Instead of peaceful coexistence, they would prefer to have war. Instead of joining hands, they would prefer to fight to the death. If instead of love, they prefer fury and hatred, then -.
I'll grant them to you.
Holding the sword high above himself with both hands, he lets the rage flowing from within him take control and roars again.
The dark aura bursting forth all over his body produces black lightning, continuously striking through the metallic ground. Fissures constantly form and spread from beneath his feet, shaking the very earth. And he screams in a volume that almost resonates with the scream of the earth.
'Oooooohhh… Ooooooooohhhaaaaaaaaaaaahhh - !'
The rage gushing out endlessly becomes almost like a catalyst that could interfere with the world itself. As proof it is not just an illusion, the text in the HUD in the upper left of his vision flashes on and off continuously. The two lines showing the equipped Enhanced Armament, «The Destiny» and «Star Caster», begin to distort, break apart and combine together.
The two lines overlap and combine to form a new phrase.
'Gu… ru, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!'
This is no longer a person's scream, but the roar of a hungry ferocious beast.
With a sharp clatter, the visor on his forehead falls into place.
A thin grey filter seems to be covering his vision. The resolution however is clearer many times over, such that even the expressions of the Duel Avatars standing in the circle can be seen clearly. Their expressions are of confusion, surprise and intense unease. But what they are feeling, what they are considering are no longer important to Falcon. They are merely targets for him to slaughter. The eyes beneath the helmets narrow, trying to seek out the first victim to hunt.
Focusing his attention on the circle, he can hear the faint sounds of a discussion as if they are being amplified by a highly directional microphone.
'… auge complete recovery confirmed. No usage of the Special Attacks Gauge. There's no mistake, it's because of the Imagination Circuit causing the Override Phenomenon in the «Main Visualiser».'
The owner of the voice is a small Avatar with four large twinkling eye-lens. Replying is the black multilayered Avatar who restrained Falcon and Blossom with the strange technique.
'As expected, an outburst of sentiments triggers the phenomenon much faster than concentration. Whether it can be controlled is another matter.'
The quad-eyed Avatar also nods.
'That's right. That possessing a «Shell Of Trauma» greater than a certain intensity allows metal-colourisation is already pretty much confirmed. But it's pretty tough to tell right now with just my «Analysis», whether that fusion phenomenon is an inherent power of the «Seven Star Armament», or simply because he is a metal colour.'
'Hmm. If possible I would really want to spend some more time studying it…'
At that exact moment, a different voice comes from behind the two of them.
'Is capture possible, Vise?'
Clear and sweet as melting snow and without a hint of impurity, this is undoubtedly the player that forcefully revived Blossom endlessly. He focuses his eyes under the visor but an inconceivable illumination prevents him from seeing properly.
'Allow me to try.'
The multilayered Avatar nods his head, this head being made of several plates, and at the same time raises his left hand with the same design. The plates that make up his hand fall to the ground in order and vanish. Straight after, that black cross appears soundlessly behind Falcon, attempting to use its strange attractive force to restrain him.
With a low growl, the sword in his right hand sweeps behind him, producing the sound and feeling of breaking glass, easily destroying the cross. Light from the damage effects bursts forth from the controller's left shoulder in the distance.
'Wow there. That's pretty tough, normal abilities will not be able to hold him back.'
Falcon focuses his attention on the multilayered Avatar saying that.
Even if their conversation contains too many terms he can't understand, one point is clear – the whole situation is of their design. They are the bastards who called out Saffron Blossom and tortured her to death with the «Infinite Enemy Kill».
Then the first ones to be hunted down should be you people.
Holding the great sword with two hands, he raises it up weightily, disregarding the dozens of confused people on the side, before taking a step towards the jet black Avatar and soundlessly voicing the ability name.
- Flash Blink!
The blade swinging down at the same time as the super speed teleportation does manage to cut off the remaining right arm of the jet black Avatar. But the faceless opponent remains unshaken; taking a step back, he breaks apart his armless body in an instant.
Changing into two large plates, the black Avatar picks up the quad-eyed Avatar and the person being surrounded by light from both sides. Defying logic, the plates close against each other into one single thin plate.
As the large jet black plate sinks into the shadows on the ground, Falcon makes a horizontal swipe with his sword. But he only manages to slice off a small diagonal portion at the top. Leaving a faint ripple upon the shadow, the mysterious trio's presence disappears from the Field.
He growls angrily in a low tone as a result of the opponents' escape, then, a few seconds after that…
GIIN! Something impacts on his right shoulder with a sharp metallic clatter.
Turning around slowly, he finds a medium sized blue Duel Avatar stand there. That Avatar wields with hands a large melee weapon that resembles a bokken. He is a familiar face and a fine acquaintance. One of the very few «Originators», a direct hit from that weapon used to be able to shatter Chrome Falcon's armour.
But after checking the right shoulder, he can't find any trace of an impact; certainly no crack.
Without even bothering to remember the existence of the flabbergasted opponent, Falcon cleaves straight down with the great dark aura-cloaked sword.
DONG, a heavy bass thud vibrates through freezing air, the weapon of the blue Avatar splits into two from the middle, even as his own upper body also slowly slides apart and rolls on to the ground. Soon after, the lower body pauses mid-fall and bursts with the upper body. He leaves only a cluster of light the same colour as the armour.
Of the thirty odd players, the one who clearly had highest level among them was killed with just one hit, and such a scene spread unease through the remaining people. What's going on, it's not what they said was going on. These words of panic start to spread, and the volume increases in proportion.
'This is not good… quick, run for it!'
Not knowing who shouted that, the crowd moves in one single direction like a burst dam. They should be heading for the Shibaura Parking Area Leave Point to escape to the real world. - But.
Muttering in his heart, the black-silver armour disappears and reappears in front of the runaways. Another slash and three heads fall in unison.
'Uuu… Uwa… Uwaaaaaaaaaahhh!'
Howling. Screaming. Some still want to run, some try to find shelter in nearby buildings, some try to retaliate, but the dark blade hacks towards them without exception, wiping out their entire gauge with a single slash.
Falcon's drive is no longer rage, but a sublime determination that surpasses hatred and vengeance - perhaps it's a curse.
A curse to destroy this world.
If the Burst Linkers a few years from now who understands the hidden logic behind Brain Burst are able to see Chrome Falcon right now, they'll most likely make one conclusion. That dark Over Ray is a display of pure negative mentality. A will of absolute denial that crushes all existence, the darkness of the Incarnation System itself.
After the slaughter that only lasted a few dozen seconds, all that remain around the depression are numerous silently wavering embers.
The destroyer of black-silver plants the great sword saturated with blood firmly into the ground and stops there.
In order to wait for their revival an hour later.