In the middle of a large and wide room hangs a giant object, with what looks like metal wings gathered around one spot. Surrounding it are structures which seem to hold the large object in its hanging position, with several chains seemingly molded to both the top and bottom of it. Directly below is a large and expansive abyss, with the darkness inside being the only thing which could be seen inside. In between the hole and the object is a platform, stretching far enough so that the object could feasibly be lowered down into the abyss.
Suddenly, the wings made of metal begin to separate from where they are gathered, revealing an incredible orange and white light within the object’s core. As soon as the object opens up, the platform begins to light up as well, with two slits on either side traveling down the platform to wherever the platform is connected to glowing a bright blue color. The entire structure beyond the platform begins to light up as well, vanquishing the complete and utter darkness that was inside, revealing the facility that was inside this dark place. Despite it lighting up, it looks as though no-one has touched the place in decades, with dust scattered everywhere, and no-one within a mile being around to even power up this entire facility. It’s as if an unknown force is making the still-operational machinery in this place to turn on even after years of inactivity.
The structures surrounding the object begin to move, the dust that coated them suddenly being shaked off as they slowly slide forward. As they move, the object begins to descend down into the abyss beneath it, and seems to be turning as well. The opening in the object is soon facing up, with a sort of yellow aura flowing outwardly into this abandoned place.
However, soon this loud grinding sound resonates throughout this long deserted facility, and it seems to be getting closer and closer. It is a large elevator that is descending down, with one passenger inside, standing in the center of it, facing the exit with this strange object in his right hand.
His hair is spiked with an almost pure white coloration, with a bit of dulled yellow peeking out from the roots. His eyes are multi-colored, one being an emerald green and the other being this deep, unnatural red. He wears what looks like a red long-sleeved jacket with a bit of crimson almost splattered onto it. It was left unzipped, showing a black skirt underneath that also was slightly washed in this crimson liquid. He wore black pants with wide legs, and black boots with a dull silver metal toe. Around his waist was a wide belt with a dulled gold buckle, which was also slightly coated in that crimson color.
The object in his hand resembled a sword, somewhat. It more looked like a mash-up of several random parts put together to make a sword-like weapon. It has a silver edge like a sword, at least, while the rest of it was just this black, blocky pole that extended past the blade and made up the handle. The man held it upside down, and in a way that made it so that the blade was pointed up.
A large, unnerving sound bursts out of the object back in front of the facility, as its aura extends towards the ceiling and causes what looks like stalactites to fall into the gaping hole and the abyss past it. It seems like this place is located in some kind of cave or at least deep in the Earth. This sound can be heard by the man, but instead of being shocked, he looks almost pissed off about this turn of events.
“Damnit… It’s activating already…” He says to himself before sighing and slowly walking towards the elevator’s exit. The elevator itself has not yet reached the passenger’s desired destination, but it is at least close enough to hear what is transpiring. He looks to his side, seeing the gears which grind against the exterior wall so that the elevator may keep descending.
Finally, the elevator slows down and reaches its destination, stopping with a large thud that almost makes the man inside stumble. Soon, the door to the lift slides up, revealing the facility in its blue glow, blinding the man for a moment. He raises his arm in order to guard himself against the light before his eyes begin to adjust. He lowers his arm and begins to walk forward, observing his surroundings to make sure he isn’t suddenly caught in a trap or something.
He sighs as he sees that the object is activated. He gazes at it with a serious look on his face, as he approaches the object. He soon steps onto the platform and looks down on the object, staring deep inside what looks like an endless void of gold light. The aura seeping out from the opening has calmed since activation, now simply rising up from the pit like steam.
“Shit… The cauldron’s open…” The man says to him, making his anger at this turn of events apparent in his tone of voice. He starts to raise his right arm in front of himself, revealing this red shell on top of a metal plate embedded to the back of his hand.
“Operational Unit 375, readying for activation…” Suddenly, the red shell recedes inside his hand, revealing some kind of device inside.
“Boundary Insertion Device, readying for activation…” A bright red light suddenly flashes inside his hand, with a crimson aura flowing outward and around the body of the man.
“Azure Grimoire activation passcode--” As he was about to say the password, a large object suddenly hits the ground behind him, causing him to immediately turn around. The disbelief on his face is obvious, as he fully turns his body to face whatever challenges him now. The object in question has become shrouded in smoke, though a vaguely humanoid shape can be made out inside. Soon, a red light is emitted through the smoke, coming from where this being’s right eye would be.
As soon as that light goes off, the man tightly grasps the handle of his sword and rushes towards the object, planning to strike the being before it even has the chance to react to anything around it. It’s only because the man knows the nature of this kind of being… And what it could do if left the time to act properly… That swing of his strange sword, it is full of malice and anger for whatever is in that smoke, and everything it stands for…
However, it is too late, as the being suddenly flies up over the man’s head, dodging the attack as he lands on the edge of the platform. The man, after seeing this, immediately jumps back and gets into a defensive posture, with the sword placed in front like a shield. He gazes right at the being, still covered in smoke, with this look of absolute anger… His thoughts stir within the corners of his mind, anger coating them as if it was the default of his subconscious… He only has absolute anger to shed on the creature in front of him…
Soon, the smoke clears, revealing a girl inside. Long silver hair, with much of it put into a braided ponytail, which is kept together by what looks like a bladed spike… It wears what can only be considered a skin-tight bodysuit with a baby blue coloration to it… On top of that, a cloak with the same color, alongside dark blue diamond shapes running along the edges of the cloth… Over her right eye is this black eyepatch with the same red shell as what’s on the man’s hand…
She just stands there, her single eye closed while the man keeps his guard in front of her. Suddenly, she opens her mouth.
“Present time, ten o'clock, thirty-five minutes… December Thirty First of the Year of Our Lord Twenty One Ninety Nine…” It states the date and time before it opens its eye, revealing it to have a deep red iris… It begins to adjust itself, as if observing the environment around it… All the while, it seems emotionless, robotic in nature… Only wearing what looks like the skin of a woman in her late-teens around the frame of her body...
“Environment scanned, one target in sight.” Her single eye locks onto the man and pauses for a moment… Almost as if to juxtapose her previous behavior, a lustful smile stretches across her face, and her single red eye closes slightly…
“Oh, Ragna… Welcome back~” The man’s eyes widen up as he grits his teeth in anger… It’s not that this thing is even daring to try and make what’s going to become a bloodbath into some… Sexual… It’s not that this thing might just try to kill him in the most excruciating, most painful way possible… It’s that thing’s voice… Its face… Its very existence mocks him… Mocks all the pain he’s suffered for the last sixteen years of his life… That is why, when it starts approaching him, he stands up and runs towards it…
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” He lets out a violent scream as he jumps at this creature, his sword ready to rend this machine to pieces until it’s been left unrecognizable… However, the thing ducks down, dodging the attack once more… It moves past Ragna in the brief moment that he’s trying to recover his footing, positioning itself behind him. Immediately after recovering himself, he twists around and attempts to attack it once more, but it backs away from the range of his sword.
It holds its hands behind its back and looks at Ragna tenderly with that smile still on its face, pissing the man off even more as he readies himself for a full-out assault.
“Nu’s been waiting for you since you destroyed Nu’s last body~” It bends forward in a suggestive manner, showing its “assets” to him while keeping that damned smile on its face. Ragna just rushes forward and attempts to impale the damned thing, but it simply jumps up, its feet landing on the back of his sword. Before he can react, the thing jumps above him and lands on the platform again. He twists around, getting increasingly more angered by his inability to even touch that thing.
“Let Nu show you Nu’s new fancy lingerie~” Suddenly, a giant sword-shaped object hits the platform behind it, a burst of white smoke masking the two objects for a brief moment. Almost as soon as the smoke appears, it dissipates and reveals the machine inside some kind of pale blue armor. Mechanical bits are embedded all over its frame, covering its arms, chest, legs, and face. The only things left exposed is the bottom part of its face, where it keeps its smile. Its tongue sticks out as the thing licks its lips before it sticks its tongue back inside its mouth.
Ragna, on the brink of complete rage, just rushes forward and swings the sword right at it. Instead of dodging, it raises its arm and blocks the attack, and closes the distance between the two. Ragna can see every detail of the mechanical mask on it face, seeing a red monoeye at the center of what looks like a visor with two horns sticking out of it. It moves to seemingly point at Ragna, as if looking at him.
Ragna pushes Nu away, catching the machine off guard as he swings the sword at its side. Finally, the sword connects and hits against its lowered arm, seemingly breaking it and flinging the entire being to the side. It crashes against a wall, the metal it being made of denting into a crater that fit Nu’s frame. Instead of yelling in pain, Nu instead laughs hysterically
“Oooh~! Nu didn’t know you liked S&M, Ragna~!” Ragna immediately rushes over at Nu, attempting to stab it with his sword. It, however, moves to the left of Ragna, allowing his sword to pierce itself against the blue metal wall. Ragna strains to pull the blade out of the wall, but his focus is fully on Nu, who suddenly sprouts eight flowing wings from the armor on its back. However, it simply tries to approach Ragna, that damned smile still on its face.
“Does Nu need to help Ragna with his large, cumbersome object~?” It tries to touch Ragna, but, as if by instinct, he raises his left arm and thrusts his clenched fist down where Nu's abdomen would be if it was an actual human being. Enough strength was put into that punch forces Nu back, and allows Ragna the short window of time to pull the sword out. He rushes at the phased Nu, who is holding its stomach area in what looks like pain, but it manages to have one of the hovering blades on its back move and shield it from his attack.
“Now it’s my turn to please you~!” It attempts to stab at Ragna with the wings, now having positioned themselves in front of it for a barrage. Ragna jumps back, allowing the wing bit that was blocking for Nu to join into the growing phalanx of sharp weapons to pile up in front of it. Ragna splays his legs out and prepares for another head on assault, unconcerned with what Nu is setting up. He lunges forward, just as Nu launches those sharp blades right at Ragna, while laughing in glee. He forces himself to maneuver around the incoming blades, each one close enough to cut up the sides of his face and his clothing.
His focus, however, is still on Nu… The only thing on Ragna’s mind is killing this thing, like the last twelve units that acted like this… Those units that had her face… Her voice… And used them to abuse his memories… They pervert her memory by just existing, let alone acting the way they do… Ragna yells as Nu attempts to dodge out of the way, but it is too late for it… His sword pierces through it, ripping apart that body suit and the skin covering its mechanical frame. A blood-like substance leaks out of its body on both sides of its body, either dripping down the sword or dripping on the ground.
Nu’s smile has transformed into a somewhat shocked expression, as if it had not expected Ragna to actually hit it like this. It looks down at the sword piercing through its chest, where Ragna’s foot suddenly crashes itself on it, in order to get the sword out. He kicks Nu out of his blade, launching the damaged machine away from Ragna. Feeling that Nu has been dealt with, Ragna runs back down the platform in front of the cauldron. He quickly rises up his right arm, which reverted to its original state as soon as Nu interrupted him.
“Operational Unit 375, ready for activation,” he barks out as he tries to rush the process of activating whatever’s awaiting it inside his hand, “Boundary Insertion Device, ready for activation!”
“Azure Grimoire activation passcod--” Before he can finally say the passcode, he feels a sharp, white hot pain piercing through his chest… He looks down and sees one of Nu’s hovering blades through his body. He’s suddenly impaled with another two of those blades, one in where his right kidney and another through his left shoulder. Nu’s arms wrap around him, as if trying to hug him from behind.
Ragna drops his sword in pain, but attempts to keep his footing on the platform. Only two thoughts ran through his mind: that he left Nu alone without even checking that it was down for good, and that he doesn’t want to fall… The cauldron is right at his feet, and if he were to fall right in… He might not be able to come back if he fell right inside the endless yellow void…
He might not have a choice in the matter, as he begins to lose his footing due to him losing blood through the wounds. That said blood trickles down his body like a river stream, repainting the light blue platform a dark crimson red…
“Oh, Ragna~ We’ll be together forever…~” it says to Ragna tenderly, pissing him off to no end as he attempts to regain some semblance of control on his part… However, Nu begins to tip forward into the cauldron, forcing Ragna down. Finally, the two fall inside the neverending void within the cauldron.
“AHHHHHHHHHH!!!” He yells as he falls inside, but manages to grab onto the ledge of the platform. Another blade, however, stabs through both Nu and Ragna, pinning the two together, and the pain causes him to involuntarily lose his grip on the platform. He falls inside, his body dissipating within the whirlwind of golden aura, but his thoughts remain intact… At least, for now… He has failed… He has failed at his goal to take revenge against the world… And now he’s going to die with no trace of his being existing anymore… Finally, he is fully gone from the waking world he once knew vividly, and has been submerged by the void within, which he has known by one name… The Boundary.
Above the cauldron, a pair of red eyes observe as the cauldron begins to close up, sighing at this turn of events as if having seen them time and time again.
“Oh, Grim Reaper, if only you would remember the last one hundred and twenty seven times this has happened… Maybe then you’d succeed where you’ve failed,” the being says as it breaks its gaze from the object down below and begins to walk away, “you have the capacity of remembering such things, but it is like you block it out,” it says to itself, knowing its words are ones that can’t be said directly towards him, even if he was right in front of it.
“Maybe… Maybe on the one hundredth and twenty eighth attempt, you’ll figure it out.” the being says to itself, with a tone of hopefulness, before vanishing into thin air. Soon, the metal wings which serve as the lid of the cauldron close up around the opening. The aura which escaped from the cauldron now filters back inside, and, soon enough, the machinery within the facility taking care of the cauldron begins shutting down for good.
CHAPTER 000: Guardian Angel