In the World of the Azure, alternate timelines and different iterations are vast like the universe that surrounds the sphere of this continuity. Watched over by the eyes of the Observers, these completely different worlds are logged and categorized in order to try and steer the world towards a better future. To straighten the frayed lines which make up this place, in order to keep balance in all the chaos.
The following is the timeline which intersects with a larger universe known as the multiverse. Mayogeta, the word which means infinite cycle, is the name of this place, and its own observers, the Bagirt Dimgirta, have let themselves into seeing where this goes. And how they brought their gifts of Twilight, the very lifeblood of this multiverse, down upon this new one.
However, that is a future that hasn’t been reached yet, a future that is without its Brave King to lead the way. No, this is the story of what made this future, for better and for worse, come to fruition.
ALTERNATE AZURE TALES
CHAPTER 001: Initial Incident
A grassy field surrounds the area, winds blowing by as the rare tree’s foliage reacts with being pulled by pressure. The grass simply goes with the winds’ way, flowing towards its direction, while the small animals, birds mostly, fly about as it this was just routine. In this particular area, there is a small river, about eight feet wide, and its water only rising to about three.
This river is important because it is the supply needed for by the Church, which is located just a couple of yards away. In fact, one of the people from the Church has gone out to collect some water for today, because one of the three children living in that building is sick. This water is needed to help ease her sickly state by at least making her comfortable enough until real medicine can be made from the natural ingredients nearby.
The one collecting this water, with a metal bucket with a plastic handle, is just laying by the side of the riverbank, his arms crossed behind his head. He seems to just be relaxing under the morning sun, trying blanken his mind from the going ons of the church building.
“Man, what a drag.” His thoughts start to play out, as he stares up at the azure blue sky, and the white clouds which partially block it out. He seemingly wants to sleep here, just let nature keep him there so that he may receive a respite from his routine. However, the memory of the nuns which run the church building come to mind, and his momentary nap is suddenly halted in fear of what kinds of punishments they might has in store for him if they are kept waiting for that water.
“I still can’t believe they even tried to time me the other day! ‘You were out for 14 minutes, and it only takes five to get the water, so where did the other nine minutes go’ Geeeeeez…” His thoughts wander still, with finally relaxing to close his eyes once more. He then adjusts himself so that his legs are crossed as well.
“If they have that kind of time, why don’t they try and get it themselves?” His slightly peeved attitude towards his caretakers disappears as his mind continues to wander, now on the family he has at home. In particular, his little brother.
“I haven’t heard even a peep from that kid today…” Memories of him insisting on coming with “big brother” really does irk him the wrong way. Especially since this spot is just about the only place that’s quiet. Not helping is how annoying the little kid is, always begging to play, even when “big brother” has to care to their sister. He doesn’t care, he just wants to place with “big brother”.
Though, maybe he’s troubled with something… He might’ve actually realized how sick his sister really is. Maybe he’s starting to grow beyond that… Big brother hopes the latter is the case, at least, as he opens his eyes once more, seeing the clouds have finally moved so that the sky is a clear blue.
“...Maybe I’ll play with him when I get home…” Youthful vigor doesn’t last forever, as the nuns have a proud tendency to say. Despite that, he can’t bring himself to fully reject that notion, because it’s right in a way. He might as well try to make sure his brother has happy memories of this day for years to come. If not, well, at least he tried.
With his break done, he gets back on his feet, stretching before picking the bucket up off the ground.
“Well, I hope those nuns don’t ask where these extra nine minutes went...” He says out loud as he begins to head back to the church building. His thoughts are still on his little brother, and if his silence isn’t just growing up or seeing his sister… He might have to try and make the problem go away as best he can, though he’ll probably need to ask. It’s not like a big brother knows what the little one is thinking at all times.
A large booming sound makes itself known, causing the boy to drop the bucket pail. The water inside spills out, flowing down back into the river. He turns to the direction of that large explosion, seeing the smoke that’s ascending into the sky. The boy realizes something as he looks off into that direction… That’s where the church building is.
“What the…?!” He immediately rushes in the direction of the explosion, unconcerned with his endurance while running being crap, as the thought of everyone there being… No, he starts to toss those thoughts elsewhere, instead of thinking of ways that they might’ve survived. Or how some of them even got out of the building before it started to blow up… He finally sees the building, smoke billowing out of the windows and open cracks made by the immense fire that’s roaring inside. Just one look at this devastation sends shock through his entire being, as he uncontrollably flinches and shutters, his face displaying his absolute terror, and his eyes fixed onto this scene. He finally starts to pant, leaning forward with his arms pressing down on his legs for support, but his eyes are still stuck on the building. He sees the roof collapse into itself, walls crumbling to the ground, spreading the fire outside onto the greens.
He’s about to tear up before sucking it up. He needs to man up now… He holds onto the hope that everyone is still alive, despite seeing this destruction… Maybe… Maybe Jin got Saya out of bed and outside, the boy thinks, yeah… Maybe the nuns got out as well… All he has to do is reunite with them… He heads near the building, though stands just far enough to not be caught on fire… The sound of it is loud, as if destroying the very essence of this building just by touching it… It’s destroying his home…
He turns his mind elsewhere again and skims the area around the building, hoping at least to find someone. All throughout this, he remains silent. With all the energy that’s keeping him moving despite this tragedy, there’s none left over for words to be said.
Finally, he sees the silhouette of a little girl, laying on top of the grass seemingly unconscious… Or… The boy can’t think about it… He won’t think about it… He goes closer and grabs the silhouette by the shoulder, turning her around in order to see her face. The sight of Saya’s face, unharmed by the fire, yet still somewhat sprinkled in grim and dirt.
“Saya, wake up…” He says to his unconscious sister, holding her up with his right arm and staying close to her. He speaks to her softly, despite the roaring fire several feet away.
“Saya, please wake up…!” His voice starts to break, as his softness turns into severe concern, as he slightly shakes her, hoping that’ll wake her from her comatose state. The thought occurs to him that she might be… No, he keeps pushing that possibility aside in his mind, as he shakes his head and starts to check if she’s breathing.
“Oh, thank god!” His tone turns to joy, as she’s still breathing. He puts his other arm in between her legs and the ground in order to start carrying her away from the fire. He’s made his top priority that Saya remains safe… He runs to the river, rushing past the pail he had left behind, and rests her besides the downstream water. He cups and submerges his hands into the river, pulling them up to carry water for her. He attempts to open her mouth, and manages to pour some of the water down her throat, with some splashing onto her face.
She begins to cough, and meekly opens her eyes, the first thing she sees being her brother…
“Hey, are you okay…?” The boy says to her, his hands now covering her own left one. All she can do is moan in slight pain and drowsiness. His face lights up in joy, as he droops his head down to meet his hands down on the ground.
“Thank god…” He’s about to cry when he realizes no-one else was there, his head immediately turning towards the direction of the billowing smoke. He turns to his sister.
“Stay here, Saya… I’m going to get the other, okay?” He softly tells her as he lets go of her hand, her only response being a weak nod to him. He runs back to the church, hoping to find someone else this time. He makes it back and searches in the opposite direction to where he found Saya, though still keeping a distance to the fire. He ends up in the back of the burning church, seeing that the back door is resting on the grass a good ten feet away from the raging inferno, practically unscathed… A sudden, blood-curdling scream inside the church, louder than the roaring sounds of the fire itself, catches the boy’s attention. He twists his body to the open entrance, seeing that the fire hasn’t spread into the hallway connecting to the back.
He hesitates, with thoughts of not wanting to go inside flooding his mind. However, he casts aside that as well, and slowly walks through the burning house. He covers his mouth and nose so that he can’t breathe in the black smoke, and readies himself for when a wall breaks next to him and when the fire starts to burn this part of the building. His eyes water up, causing him to pause for a slight moment, but he continues forward despite his brief blindness. He manages to get into the nave of the church, which is surprisingly not completely overrun in flame. The usual white and browns of the nave have been overtaken by the oranges of the fire.
He sees bodies strewed about the place, laying on the floor, resting against the burning walls, even two bodies which seem to be set ablaze and roasting away. The boy almost throws up at the sight of this… Disturbing scene… He has to support himself onto one of the rows of seats on the right, with his head down, trying to immediately wipe away the memory of seeing this… These were probably the nuns, he thinks, as he’s on the verge of vomiting...
“Ragna.” The calling of his name makes him turns around, to where the voice came from. He can only see a silhouette of a young boy, holding something in his arms. He recomposes himself and stands up straight, looking at this person and trying to figure out who he is. It could be Jin, but… He’d be more likely crying and yelling, and he hasn’t even heard anything besides that scream… That scream that belonged to one of the now dead nuns, probably… He slowly walks closer to the silhouette, almost forgetting that the building around him is slowly coming apart…
“Jin…? What the hell happened here…?! Are you okay…?!” He yells to what is presumably Jin, expressing his concern and confusion to him while having his sight squarely on him.
“Heheh…” The silhouette starts to laugh, pausing Ragna as he’s shocked by how his brother’s reacting to all of this… There’s bodies, dead bodies of people they’ve grown up with… There’s a fire going on, smoke everywhere… And his brother is just laughing…?! Not only that… A mischievous smile creeks out of Jin, the only thing Ragna can see of his brother’s face…
“...Huh…?” Ragna’s confusion reaches a fever pitch, as his eyes are drawn to his brother’s sickening expression. In what seems like a moment, this disgusting, slick sound emanates from both sides of Ragna, and suddenly, he reacts to it in sheer pain.
“UARGH!!!” he barks out loudly in sheer pain, but he doesn’t even know what’s going on right now. It isn’t until he hears two things hit the wooden floor, and he’s forced to look down. While Jin just stands there, his smile growing ever wider, Ragna looks down and he can’t even identify what these two objects are. All he knows is that they look out of place… In fact, they seem more like cheap dollar store toys if anything… The mere sight of it is being burnt into Ragna’s head, but it’s not registering what they’re supposed to be…
The answer to what they are slowly dawns on the young Ragna, having not recognized them because he never thought it possible to see them like… This… Laying on the ground, motionless, with red fluid pouring out of its stump… He tries to reach for it… Before fully realizing what they are. They’re his arms. His arms have been cleanly chopped off his body. The sensation finally registers for him as a white, unimaginable pain overtakes him, with what feels like a freshly heated hot poker pushing its end against the stumps of his shoulders.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” He yells in severe shock, falling to his knees as he frantically looks to both sides of his body, looking at the stumps left behind, and the blood that’s quickly draining out of them like a tipped over bucket of water.
“MY ARMS!!! AAAGGGHHH!!!” He leans forward, his head hitting the wooden floor, tears rolling out of his eyes as he clenches his teeth. He grimaces in sheer, unimaginable pain, as he instinctively tries to flail his arms about, only causing more blood to spew forth from the open veins and ventricles.
“Oh man, you seem to be in a lot of pain, Ragna!” A different voice this time, coming behind Ragna, but he cannot see who it is, nor can he turn around to even attempt to catch a peek of him.
“Does it hurt, does it hurt? Of course it does, what am I saying?! Ahahahaha!!” Despite the fire’s noise, the man’s footsteps as he walks closer seem to be louder than a crowd walking on a busy street corner for the now-handicapped Ragna…
“Wow, you’re bleeding all over the place, won’t the nuns be pissed about that Ragna? Oh right, they’re all dead!!” He seemingly yells out as he suddenly stomps on Ragna’s back, a new pain overtaking him, along with the brutal amputation of two of his extremities.
“Oh wow, think you’re gonna die, Ragna? Bite the big bullet?” The man continues to talk, as Ragna finally musters up the strength to look up to his brother.
“...Please, Jin…! Take Saya, and run away from here…! She’s at the riverbank…!” He informs Jin, while struggling to speak the words he wants to say without blurting out some kind of painful groan. Ragna thinks that this is going to be the last time he speaks, and he might be right about that... However, Jin, instead of immediately heading towards the back door exit, walks up to Ragna and kneels down in front of him, grabbing his head and pointing his gaze into his own eyes.
“It’s…” Jin struggles to say what he wants to say, leaving Ragna thinking that Jin is trying to say his last goodbyes to him…
“It’s all your fault, brother.” Those words confuse Ragna, before they finally make impact. As if he’s to blame, Ragna thinks, for what has happened here, when he wasn’t even here for it to happen. What makes it painful, though, is how plainly spoken those words were, as if finding happiness in seeing his older brother like this...
“What… What the hell are you talking about…?!?!” Ragna yells out to Jin, while his sickening smile returns once more. He lets go of Ragna’s head, allowing him to drop back down to the ground as Jin walks out of Ragna’s view.
“Well, I wish I had more time to play with a twerp like you, but I’m afraid I’m out of time…” The man speaks to Ragna, as he begins to step away from the scene, with Jin in tow.
“At least I got to kill that old hag and her little posse after all this time…!” Soon, his footsteps start to become more and more quiet, causing Ragna to try and turn himself around, despite the lack of arms to twist himself around on the floor.
“...Ah… Wait…! ...Damn it… Wai… t…!” He finally starts to lose feeling in his entire body, before he suddenly can’t move any part of his body anymore.
“Goodbye, brother.” Those are the last word that were spoken to Ragna, as he laid there, inside the burning church, now unconscious. His last thought being of how unfair this all was…
Something starts to hit Ragna softly, and then slide off… It was rain… He begins to wake up, in the same position he was in when he first lost consciousness. It seems the fire has stopped, with the rest of the church just a smoldering wreck that has smoke coming out of it. He manages to turn his head to that he can see the sky, learning that the grey clouds have overtaken the day. That’s all that he needs, he thinks, the pouring rain falling on his crippled body.
“Am I… Alive…?” He expresses his amazement at how he survived that, despite the severe wounds. He attempts to move the rest of his body, but it feels like he had been bolted to the ground. So much for that, he thinks. His shoulders feel stiff, as if the pain has gone away, but the fire is still there. That doesn’t affect him much, though, as he lays there, sullen.
“That’s right… My arms… I lost my arms…” All he can do is lay there and stare at the sky, and let the rain wash away the blood that covered him. After a while, his senses start to come back to him, as the sound of the rain hitting the ground starts to build… And another sound is hidden inside… Music… Music that Ragna could recognize anywhere in the world… The music that played out of Saya’s musicbox. Suddenly, memories of watching her play around with that box flood Ragna’s memories… And the thought of her fate after the fire, after Jin had left him to die, after that monster did this to him… He starts to cry…
“Damn it…” All of this pisses him off, all of this unfairness, hitting him where it truly hurts…
“...God damn it…” As if the universe conspired to kill him today, at that moment, but decided to leave him battered and useless…
“...Why…?” It didn’t kill him, but it wounded him… It wounded him deeply, it scarred him for life…
“WHHHHHHHHHHY!?!?!?” He frantically yells as he sobs, the thought of everything important to him, now either taken away or destroyed by this flame… He screams in utter sorrow, because that’s all he can do now… He’s been rendered a waste… He keeps screaming and wailing, not expecting anyone to hear his utter despair and sadness… Why would they, they’re all dead… Only he had the misfortune of surviving this… He keeps going until, finally, his body can’t take it anymore and faints once more, his tears still running down his eyes...