In this world, is the destiny of all life on this planet controlled by some universal law or entity?
Is it like the hand of fate, dictating all like marionettes on strings?
There is one law that is true, at least...
No-one on this Earth has any control, not even over their own lives.
The skies above the town of Hiruko glow a bright crimson, contrasted with bright white clouds passing by, as one of the many civilians living within the town’s walls looks up at the redness. While he gazes intensely at this crimson sky, the others around him simply go about their business, besides from the two sitting near the small fountain at the center of town.
- Civilian 1: Hey, guys…
He attempts to get the attention of his two friends sitting near the fountain, while his eyes stay glued onto the sky. They turned their heads to him, wondering what he wants to ask them.
- Civilian 1: ...How long has it been since the sky was blue…?
One of them immediately jumped from his seat upon hearing this inquiry. He walks up behind his friend and puts his hand onto the man’s shoulder.
- Civilian 2: You mustn’t be worried ‘bout things like this. Now, join us, will ya?
The man looks toward his friend as the three sit down to eat. Or, at least, attempt to eat while being reminded of the situation they are in, via the red veil that hangs overhead, tinting everything it hovers above in a reddish tint.
The red skies aren’t just restricted to this small, remote town off in the ass-crack of the world. It has been a year since these skies went red, among other things which affected this world.
This world has seen so much turmoil during its conception, since the year 2100, the world has been plagued by a poisonous, corrosive element known as Seithr. Spread out from one corner of the world to the next, it nearly killed most life off completely. It was the last resort of a monstrous entity, whose existence seemed to be to cause complete havoc and chaos for all life on the planet. It was dubbed the Black Beast, and it threatened the very existence of everything that stood in its way. Man-made weaponry wasn’t able to affect it in the slightest, leaving the world with only one choice: wait for their eventual end.
However, hope appeared in the form of a power known as Magic, and through scientific research, came a weapon which had the possibility of killing off the Black Beast once and for all: Ars Magus.
It was the use of Ars Magus that led to the foul beast being slain, but from its carcass sprayed out the Seithr that dwelled in its body. Spreading across the planet in mere minutes, it made the planet virtually uninhabitable, except for mountains which reached beyond where Seithr could touch.
This led to the creation of Hierarchical Cities where the main bulk of the surviving populace began living. For almost five centuries, there was relative peace for the civilians, while small-scale wars kept going, but, in hindsight, they never contributed to the bigger picture.
Meanwhile, as life continued, the Seithr density kept decreasing over time, until it came to the point where it was safe to walk on the soil below once more. Ars Magus slowly started to become a relic, as the Seithr needed to fuel it became more and more obscure to find. Life on Earth was slowly returning to normal… But…
Just a year ago, the Black Beast rose, more terrifying than ever before. Almost as a demonstration of its sheer power, it drowned the planet in Seithr, to the point that it reached beyond even the atmosphere. There was no escape from it anymore, and now… The world is dying along with the life inhabiting it, inflicted with most call The Drought.
The Black Beast’s revival, though, wasn’t something natural… Someone caused it to happen…
Someone cloaked in dirty garb approached the town, his entire appearance shrouded by his cloak. The only feature visible on his face was a left eye, which glowed this deep blue color. It looked so unnatural that is was debatable whether or not this “man” was human.
He saw it from a distance and looked at for a minute, wondering how he can get past the town without being recognized… However, that was something he could’ve planned out on the way out here. After all, since that day… He’s had less and less contact with the human race, or even the other races like the Beastkin… He doesn’t even know how these people are going to react to some stranger going through THEIR small little village.
He puts the thought behind him as he keeps moving along the trail leading into town. It takes very little time for him to end up at the entrance of town, this cobblestone wall with a somewhat small entrance hole going through it. The hole itself is blocked off by what looks like an old wooden door. So old-looking, in fact, that the man could probably just lean against it and it’d break apart.
However, there’s two people standing guard next to the entrance. They wore what looked like tattered and scuffled up NOL uniforms, with what looked like small holes forming all around the piece of attire, as if it’s rotting away.
They see the man in front of them, and they seem to be apathetic to his standing there, observing the two like lab rats. Finally, the cloaked man speaks up.
- ???: I need to enter the town…
They glanced at him, and with the tone of someone emotionally withdrawn from all around them, one of them speaks.
- Guard 1: Why do you want to enter Hiruko?
Without missing a beat, the outsider plainly responds.
- ???: I’m simply trying to get to Kagutsuchi…
Almost immediately, the two snicker at the very thought of this man trying to get to any hierarchical city, let alone the city of Kagutsuchi. One of them speaks up, trying to hold in his laughter.
- Guard 1: Kagutsuchi…? What, you want to get out of the Seithr? You’ll have to get on a fucking rocket for that…!
The guard talking finally loses it, holding his gut with both arms as he tries to control himself. The other one, who has already restrained himself from chuckling like his friend, starts to speak.
- Guard 2: Alright, alright, enjoy your stay…
The guard speaks with sarcasm latent in his voice, as he finds it hard to hold his widening smile. Finally, he walks towards the wooden door and pulls out a set of keys hanging of his person. He gets momentarily distracted by his fellow guard, who is now on the ground, wheezing after all of that laughter he just did. He unlocks it, and pulls on the ring-shaped handle. The outsider notes the loud creaking and cracking sound that emits from the door, as if the hinges it’s on are about to break apart. The guard stands back at his post, while the cloaked man walks right in.
He can still hear the wheezing echoing through the corridor of this wall, along with his footsteps. Each click against the foot tells the man that the ground he’s walking on is also stone, like the walls around it.
It barely takes a minute for him to end up inside Hiruko, as he glances around the place around him. The cobblestone wall circle around the town, standing about 25 meters tall. Even the tallest building in town, which the man sees is near the center, can’t compete with that.
The rest of the buildings and houses look like they were made of part wood and machinery, with some parts of the cobblestone thrown in there. The man ignores this, though, as he tries to walk through town uninterrupted. The townspeople, however, notice this foreign presence, looking at him like he was some kind of strange entity. Who wouldn’t, though? This completely covered up man is now in their town, either with something to hide, or too upset with his appearance to show it off.
The man ends up in the town square, and the first thing he notices is the large fountain at the center. It had a large sculpture of some kind of goddess, with wings emerging from her back and her head. From her cupped hands spewed out copious amounts of water, which splashed against the water already in the fountain. A plate is drilled onto the base of the fountain, stained in rust from both wear and tear, and age, with the words In utter darkness, we shall blaze the path towards order and peace; we are the Blue Flame of the skies above, and we shall burn the ruination of chaos and dystopia engraved on it.
He also noticed that the people working around the area weren’t paying any attention to him, instead carrying a bunch of crap all over the place. Large logs of wood, weapons, and the most out of place thing: a large canister. The man already knew that kind of canister was used for carrying around Seithr for the use of Ars Magus. At least, they were used that way a year ago, when Seithr was becoming a rare substance to come by...
The man noticed that three people, all guys who look like they were in their late 50s, were sitting next to the fountain, resting and eating. The robed man approached them, and they immediately looked up.
- ???: What’s happening around here?
One of them got up, wearing what looked like old clothing, and approached the stranger.
- Civilian 1: They’re preparing for tonight, when those beasts try to come…
Ah… Those beasts… After the sudden rise in the Seithr density, cracks all over the world started to appear and they came out. Seithr Beasts, these monstrous, black, disgusting creatures which live to do one thing… Kill living things… They’re like mini-Black Beasts, but they take many shapes and sizes…
The civilian continues to talk.
- Civilian 1: Hey, I haven’t seen someone like you around here.
- ???: I just arrived here a few seconds ago… I’m only staying until I can get to the other side of town…
- Civilian 1: Well, you’re shit outta luck, then.
The stranger is briefly confused by that statement, before keeping with his neutral demeanor.
- ???: What do you mean by that…?
- Civilian 1: The guards we have around here always close up the entrances and exits in the walls around this time.
The stranger stays silent for a moment, as if he’s contemplating what he’s going to do now with this change of plans.
- Civilian 1: I should probably suggest that you check with our doc.
- ???: And why is that…?
- Civilian 1: It can’t be safe walking ‘round in all that Seithr out there.
- ???: You say that like it’s more safe from Seithr than outside…
The guy suddenly raises his arms, like he just took a blow from him.
- Civilian 1: Woah, I’m just sayin’.
The stranger doesn’t like any part of this one bit… Being stuck in any place with one person, let alone an entire town, makes him nervous… They might find out… Find out who’s under the robes and rags.
The civilian points out where the doctor is, and the stranger goes ahead towards the place without another word. The place in question is a small house-like building with a sign saying CLINIC hanging beside the door. The stranger slowly reaches his right arm out towards the door, having to expose it from under the garb.
The brief second his arm is out, it looks humanoid. However, it isn’t skin, more like some kind of black cloth wrapping around every inch of the arm. It looks like an imitation of a right arm rather than a real one. The most out of place part of it, though, was what looked like an orb on the back of the hand, surrounded in two metallic piece from top to bottom. This orb was this deep red that looked out of place with the dangy garb and even the black arm. This orb also had what looked like a slit going across it horizontally.
In a quick motion, the man knocked on the door, quickly concealing his arm once more under the robes. Footsteps inside are heard by the stranger, approaching the door. It opens up and this old woman, wearing a raggedy doctor’s coat and raggedy civilian clothing underneath, is on the other side.
- Doctor: Yes, what is it?
- ???: I was told to come here for some kind of check up…
The doctor looked slightly shocked, and then saddened as she looked behind herself to deeper inside the building.
- Doctor: You’ll have to come back later… I have too many people to attend to in her--
Suddenly, a commotion starts inside, the doctor having to rush back to whichever patient she was attending to before the stranger knocked. The clattering of equipment, probably fragile, and the metal twang of narrow metallic objects can be heard, as the stranger steps inside. It's an injured man having what looks like a spasm attack, with his arms flailing about, as if trying to fight against something only he can see.
He’s about to scream until a needle is stuck in his neck by a much younger assistant to the doctor. The doctor reappears, walking back to the entrance and pushing the stranger back out.
- Doctor: Please, come back later.
The stranger’s fully outside when the screaming starts up, with the doctor throwing the door shut while she tries to run to said screaming patient. This doesn’t make the stranger pause or even think on the matter. He’s seen what this new world has done to people numerous of times, with these exact results happening. However, he still can’t help the feeling that this sort of thing shouldn’t be happening to innocent people…
He can do nothing about it, though. He walks off, thinking he can try to find a place to stay for the night until he’s able to continue on his journey. His presence around town still isn’t normal for the inhabitants, as they stare at him going about his business. He knew they’d probably try to interrogate him or something. Just saying that was going to Kagutsuchi wouldn’t simmer their curiosity. It usually didn’t. These thoughts kept flooding his mind, while he tried to keep on task...
He manages to find a sort of inn, though the place looks like it’s seen better days. Several cracks in the wood, and the mechanical part look like they’ve rusted over. It’s better than nothing, though, so he walks right in.
He saw that the interior shared the same quality as outside, with everything looking like this place was on the brink of being condemned. The place was empty, like it was abandoned some time ago. It was almost perfect for the man, as he observed his surroundings. There was an empty counter in front of him, and on the left, there were a set of stairs leading up and down. He looked from the top of the stairs going down and saw pitch darkness.
- ???: This must lead to a basement…
The man spoke out loud to himself as he walked to the stairs going up, and seeing only a slightly lighter version of the darkness emanating from the basement. He wasn’t sure if it was either the natural sunlight from outside, or the light of someone living upstairs. He didn’t want to bother with it, though. Peeking his head into other people’s business was a trait of his from the past… Not anymore, not ever since that damned day…
He’s briefly reminded of his torment, but quickly forces himself to think of something else. He can’t bare to even place his thoughts upon what happened… To remind himself of his mistake…
The light upstairs starts to dim, as does the sun outside the windows. He decides to go upstairs, since there’s apparently no-one up there.
The entire upstairs is empty, no-one in sight anywhere. Not even in the rooms are there people hiding or sleeping. He searches through the rooms for some place suitable, but all of the rooms look exactly the same: monotone, grey, standard rooms with no mess, no trash randomly scattered on the floor, no marks, nothing. It’s like no-one lived here even before this place was in working condition.
He goes for the room hidden deep within the structure, so he can hide away. He locks the door behind him and sits on the bed at the center of the room. His right arm peek from under his robes, as he holds his head in frustration. The hood still hides his face, even though he’s with himself and himself only.
He starts to unbuckle something hidden under his garb and lay it against the wall. It’s a sword with a silver sheen to its blade, and about 4 feet long. The blade is hollow except for horizontal bits which seem to keep the edges in place. The hilt of it has that same slit orb at the side of it, the same side which now stares at the man.
He lays the bed and covers himself in more cloth. Every blanket in reach, used to conceal himself even further than he already was.
A giant light bursts out of the ground, rapidly ascending up into the skies above. The light glows a grotesque black and red, while letting out an almost ear-piercing sound that makes the man standing in front of it have to cup his ears closed. He still looks at it, though, despite the area shaking frantically, almost like a reaction to this beam of demonic light shooting out. The scream that the light makes is the one that stands out from the other sounds going: the ground’s trembling and cracking, large explosions going all around, the screams of people who see this… Thing.
The man can do nothing, but stare at this thing hitting against the atmosphere… Soon, the azure blue of the skies above quickly become a deep crimson red… Soon, the redness spreads across the Earth, as if infecting the sky with the light’s pure evil power…
That’s what it is… Pure evil… Some demonic power forcing its way out of its jail… There’s no other way to explain what the hell this light is… It’s evil incarnate, twisting the Earth into almost a cruel imitation of itself… Or it’s transforming the world so that it looks like what this thing’s prison looked like…
Staring at this from the bottom, the man can’t help, but feel this overwhelming need to run… Run away, so that he may live… He can’t do that, though… He has a duty that he must finish, even it if meant his massacre, his gruesome death…
A familiar voice speaks to him from behind his back. He tries to move himself, but it’s like he’s bounded to that one spot, so he can keep staring into the light.
He wants to heed this woman’s demand, but he simply can’t… He starts to move forward… Yes, this was how it was… He can’t go back, anymore…
He has no other choice, except to die stopping this thing… He is fine with that, though… He’ll go forward and sacrifice himself for the sake of the world… He steps forward once more…
Suddenly, he can hear the song of his childhood… While in the festival, the song which was sung to recreate the events of the first war… The song of a man who did this very same thing first… All the fear seeps away from every inch of his person, as if it was just dust that had completely covered him…
He can stop this… He knows he can. He needn’t worry about his life, because it’ll save everyone on this world…
A deep blackness surrounds every pore of his body, with such speed that it felt like it was going to rip him apart… He could feel it, his arms and legs were being torn apart… Not only his extremities, though… Everything except his own head was being pulled apart… The darkness enveloped his surroundings, making it as if he was blinded… No, not blinded… Only one eye was being blinded…
His right eye was torn from his body as well… The feeling was as if someone or something was stabbing him repeatedly with a sharp, yet blunt weapon… Boiling heat from the holes left behind came after the white hot pain of having such things torn off… He can even feel the muscles and tendons flailing about, severed from the connection it had to the rest of his body…
He couldn’t scream… It was like his jaw was sewn shut by this darkness… No… Something started to bore itself into the stump that used to be part of his neck… Every muscle, bone, every piece of him besides skin was being crushed into pieces… But…
He still had consciousness… Only his single eye could express itself, as it bulged out in reaction to this… Vandalism of his own self… He couldn’t cry painful tears, or sweat from the white hot pain spreading across his own sole body part… His head… It was like he was being systematically changed into something else…
He was becoming some kind of monster, or some plaything of whatever was transforming him…
The sound of wood being smashed through awakens the stranger in an instant, quickly reaching for the awkward sword to his side after throwing off the layers of sheets on top of him. He grips the handle of the sword tight in his right hand as he slowly makes his way from the door of his abandoned room and into what is presumably a mess of a hallway. Nearing the door, he can hear the faint crackling of fire on the other side, maybe muffled due to the thickness of the door which blocked it from sight. He uses his free hand to grab onto the doorknob, quickly twisting it and pushing the door outward before backing away, as if preparing for the possibility of someone being behind the other side.
However, no such thing was waiting for him, as he takes his time anticipating if something would attempt to blindside him or some other kind of trick to catch him off guard. He observed the surroundings of the hallway leading into the room, seeing orange light coming from down the other side, which he feels is the embers of the fire he had hear. The snapping sound of it was much more clear now, at a volume almost reserved for when the foundations of a building had been set ablaze. As he steps down into the hall, another noise made its presence known to the stranger, this squirming, grotesque fuss which sounded like bubbling liquid swishing about. The stranger knows this noise all too well from the experience gathered while traveling down to this town. He turns to the source, seeing what has become natural to him over the past months of journeying.
Some giant beast, covered in what looked like black goop, had crashed into the side of the inn… It had been pinned by the ceiling, which had seemingly collapsed when the wall was broken down. It squirmed in some attempt to get out, but it couldn’t… Then it saw the stranger who was looking at this… Thing…
- Black creature: A-a-a-azur-re...!
It choked out its single word like it was trying to imitate vocal chords and failing at it… However, the word it said was still heard and understood… The stranger grips the hilt of his sword tightly as he approached the pinned beast.
The creature didn’t notice the sheer malice coming from the man, only interested in getting its hands on the “azure” it had noticed. It reached out for the man, while trying to push the cogs and plywood which was keeping it from advancing towards the stranger properly. Only a few choice words came out the stranger's mouth as he watched this sight, this struggling beast pinned against the floor which cannot even do the most basic action it can think of: kill.
- ???: ...How pathetic...
The stranger is in range to slice the beast apart, while it still tries to grab at him. He swings the sword down on the little beast’s head, almost instantly killing the thing. More black ooze spilled out from the slice, forcing the man to step back so that he wouldn’t be sprayed by it.
He looked to his left towards the hole made. There was a giant fire going on, with houses quickly being burnt apart, the townspeople trying to keep the town from being destroyed, and…
Them. The Seithr Beasts. They attack the townspeople trying to put out the fire, tearing them apart with their black teeth and fangs. Humans are like playthings to these creatures… Some attempt to pierce these Beasts with a variety of makeshift weaponry: pitchforks, shovels, shears, knives, anything that had metal. However, this weapons break from the attempt. They always break. Piercing a Beast's "skin" is impossible, due to their nature.
The stranger immediately jumps out of the hole and onto the ground below. He holds his weapon to his side, as he observes the scene happening before him. Almost as if they could sense it, every beast in sight turns its head towards the stranger. They utter the same word the now dead creature said. Azure.
Each one of them turn themselves towards the stranger, repeating that word, stuttering that word, and cackling that word. The populous of this town, who managed to avoid being instantly killed by these beings manage to run off elsewhere, seeing this chance and taking advantage of it.
Every single one in front of him start to make a mad dash for him, the fastest being this small, lizard-shaped being with black protrusions piercing out of its back, which have blades on the end of them. It leaps and tries to slice the man from the side. The man quickly kneels down, the blades going past him. He then thrusts the sword through the thing’s underside, making it squirm from the pain.
He uses the thing as a shield as three more attacked, in the shape of the creature inside the inn. They’re large goops of black ooze with what look like arms, or at least mockeries of arms, poking from from their bodies at the sides. A curved blade was attached to the end of these “arms”, which contrasted from the black “skin” they had with a silver sheen.
These blades were swung, but got caught on the carcass of the beast. The man kicked the corpse off his blade, it being launched forward into one of the creatures. It pinned the thing, while the other two moved to attack. They tried to slash at the man from the side in a sort of pincer attack, but the man simply kneeled and quickly rolled out of the way. He stopped himself and stood once more, running towards the one on his left.
It was too slow, as he swung his sword horizontally, slicing the thing in half. The black bile that resided inside of it, its so called “blood”, sprayed out as it fell apart. He moved to attack the remaining little creature, but off to the right, out of his sight, he could hear more coming.
Their moaning of that one word was almost like a chant or mantra, with how they keep on repeating it over and over again. However, the man keeps focus on the one in front of him, as he readies his sword for an overhead swing. The creature recognizes this attempt and tries to block with its blades.
- ???: AHHHH!!!
He screams as he swings downward against the blades. With so much force being used to bring this sword down, the blades break apart upon contact. The creature is sliced down the middle, it’s black ooze spewing forth while it falls over, dead.
In a single moment, while the stranger tries to ready himself for his next attack, he’s suddenly blind-sided. A large beast rams into him and launches him into one of the many burning building. The entire structure collapses onto itself, the fire enveloping the wreckage. The giant that crashed against it, so large that it had to be on all-fours to even keep stability standing up, walks towards it. Each slow step caused a small tremor to happen. It looks on the wreckage, while the more small beings follow, as if wanting to check if the man is dead.
One of them goes so far as to walk into the inferno to check. It is set ablaze, but remains unphased with the roaring fire that is attempting to devouring it whole. It can still feel the “azure” resonating from the stranger’s body, as it begins to dig through the flaming debris the charred wood.
- ???: AHHHHH!!!
A sword pierces the being from under the rubble, as the thing is tossed back out. The stranger emerges from the wreckage, almost completely in flames. They somehow doesn’t bother him as he rushes out, the sword prepared for another attack. It is swung down against another one of the small ones, and then stabbed into where its chest would be. The blade is pulled out as another one of them tries to slice the man with its weapon. He rolls out of the way and flanks the thing, slicing it in half. It gives off a blood-curdling scream before it completely dies.
The man tries to move around the giant beast, while it tries to attack with protrusions on almost every part of its body. Each one ending with a differently shaped objects, some looking like straight sword blades, others curved crescents, and some just blunt objects. The man manages to blind-side one of the little creatures, slashing off one of its “arms” before piercing the thing through its “torso”. He’s managed to take out all of the small ones… At least, the ones around the beast in front of him. During all of this, his dirty robes still keep burning away.
The only things concealed under it now are his face and his chest. Now his arms and everything from the waist down is revealed. His legs has that same cloth look that the arms have, with metal bits scattered in places where his joints would bend. However, at first glance, they have the same outline as a normal human leg, except for the feet. They look like jet black boots that are apart of the cloth which wraps around his leg.
On the ankles, that same slitted red orb is there as well, two of them in fact. Going up, his waist is the same wrapping cloth, though there’s something bronze looking placed against his hips. The rest is out of view because of both the rapidly diminishing robe, and the flames which are eating away at said robe.
The man doesn’t notice this, though, as he prepares for his attack on this foul beast. He rushes towards it, with his sword over his shoulder as he jumps up. He swings down against one of its legs, managing to slice off a couple of the “arms” poking out of its body. The thing roars in anger, as it attempts to ram him once more, but he manages to jump out of the way.
Instead, the giant smashes against one of the burning buildings, completely destroying it. The flames don’t affect it, though, as it turns around and faces its target. The man readies himself, splaying his legs away from each other as he points the tip of his sword towards the beast. He stares at the thing in front of him with his single eye, while the other one remains out of view.
He rushes forward, his hood flying off his head. Spiked, white hair flows from his head, with black coloration coming from the roots of this hair. It seems out of place with the rest of his appearance, even more so as it doesn’t catch fire, despite the robe still being in flames. He moves too fast for his face to be made out, as he makes a mad dash towards the giant.
In turn, the beast gallops its way towards him, its feet slamming against the ground so hard, it’s leaving massive cracks in the stone. The man jumps forward and tries to stab the beast in its “head”. However, an “arm” suddenly pops out of its “head”, making a disgusting, squishing sound as it takes shape and form.
It slams him to the ground with a rounded, blunt object. He collides with the floor, the impact causing him to let go of his weapon, which lands too far for him to reach. In that moment of weakness, the beast raises one of its front legs and smashes it against the man’s body. Only the sound of the ground cracking is heard, with the man not even making a single noise.
The civilians, who’re all hiding away in the safety of the wall, listen as the giant creature slams its foot against the ground once more… The man thinks for a second that he’ll die here… That’ll be great, though… The body he has now that made it impossible for him to live a normal life anymore… If he dies right here, he’ll never have to relive that damned memory again in his dreams… His mistake… His failure…
That familiar voice appears again… He knows it’s just a figment of his imagination, but… He can’t help, but listen to it.
She’s right… But what’s the point anymore of trying to live…? Giving up is a better option to this man… He wouldn't be hurt anymore... He wouldn't have to live himself and his mistake... He could actually be happy again...
He hasn’t heard that name in so long… His name… A name now dragged through the dirt…
Suddenly, a light seeps out of the cracks… A light which glows a disgusting black and reddish color… The beast’s foot starts to be pushed off, the light bursting out more and more as it’s given more space to spread. The man under the heel of this giant is engulfed in this light, which now shapes itself like the flames which have burnt this town beyond repair.
The man known as Tetsuya Integer now lifts the beast off the ground by its foot and throws it across the town, landing on the fountain. The statue pierces through the hide of the beast, as it squirms to try and recover.
Tetsuya rises from the crater made by the beast and walks to get his sword, the dark flames completely covering him, but revealing his appearance. His robes have completely burnt away, revealing all of his body, except for his head and part of his neck, is that black cloth, which wraps around him.
His right eye is completely gone, replaced with that red, slitted orb, with a black thing cover covering over parts of the right side of his face. Only the entirety of the left side of his face, his nose, his forehead, his mouth, and his jaw line are the only things completely exposed. He grabs his sword and lifts it to his face, gripping it with his both hands.
- Tetsuya: Restriction 666, section 7, release...
The sword’s red orb opens up, revealing some kind of mechanism inside which resembles a lizard’s eye.
- Tetsuya: Dimensional Interference Field deployed…
Suddenly, that dark flame bursts out of the orb and becomes apart of the bigger flame enveloping Tetsuya.
- Tetsuya: BlazBlue Number 7… Activate!!!
The sword’s edges separate and suddenly, a burst of that dark light comes out of the hilt, making the form of a giant sword.
- Tetsuya: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Tetsuya starts to run towards the beast, the giant sword resting against his shoulder as he jumps upward with almost superhuman strength. He’s almost literally flying as he prepares his blade for a downward strike. He screams with anger as he pierces the beast with the supernatural blade of his sword. The monster instantly dies from this, Tetsuya falls into the wound he’s left in the beast’s body. The dark light envelopes the monster’s body until the entire body is completely in flames. The dark flames stay bright throughout the entire night.
The morning comes, and with it, the light of the sun. The red skies take shape as the townspeople look at the destruction that’s come to their home. In particular, the carcass of the giant beast now in the center of their town. They haven’t touched it yet, in fear that it might still be alive. Though some are sure it’s dead because of how it’s burnt to a crisp.
Despite it having black “skin”, the scorch marks running all across its body and the smoke that’s billowing from it makes it pretty obvious that this thing died burning. Some of them even suspect one of the other beasts killed it, though they have no idea why one would kill one of their own kind like that.
Suddenly, a small section of the body starts to shake, causing the people to panic that it’s not dead. However, that’s not the case, as a blade suddenly breaks through the “skin” from the inside. It slices downward, and out comes Tetsuya, who falls over from the hole, along with gallons upon gallons of black ooze that was acting as the blood of this beast.
Tetsuya is on his knees, completely tired out from the fight despite having been inside the body of the beast all night. BlazBlue on that scale has a tendency of breaking his body… He only had shown part of this full strength, for good reason… His body wouldn’t have been able to take such abuse… Though, as his thoughts become organized, he is thankful he didn't lose control…
He gets up and wipes the black goop off his person, revealing his entire body to everyone there. The townspeople are shocked by the form of this “man”, but one starts to react violently towards it. One old woman who has shrunken so much over the years that she’s only half the size of the other people around her.
- Old Woman: It-it-it’s him…!
Tetsuya’s single eye widens as he realizes what’s happening… Someone has recognized him.
- Old Woman: It’s the man who caused the apocalypse!!!
The townspeople freeze in absolute terror. The man who destroyed the world, HERE? One of the children of the townspeople starts to throw rocks at the man who saved them from the beast.
- Child: Go to hell, you monster!
Tetsuya sees this and he grips the hilt of his sword tightly, but not in anger. The emotion of sadness spreads all over him, with his body trembling because of it. Suddenly, the rest of the civilians start to throw crap at him, in some attempt to drive him out of town. Tetsuya just lets them, he deserves it. At least, he thinks he deserves it.
One kid throws a cinder block against the back of his head, which breaks on contact. He violently reacts to it, holding his head in pain while drops to his knees. He has to get away from this now… Otherwise, he won’t be able to move on. He looks up and sees that the exit on the opposite side of town is open, and the thing blocking his path is the crowd…
He makes a mad dash, through the crowd, who try to get out of his way, some violently throwing themselves out of the way, some just stepping out of the way. He manages to get out through the other side of the wall, having to throw himself out. He lands on his chest as the guards quickly close the gate behind him.
Tetsuya gets up off the dirt ground and stands. He places the sword back where it was stored, hanging off the right side of his waist…
He looks back on the wall, pure sadness painted clearly across his face… He looks forward, seeing the stone road in front of him, with the whole forest, dense with trees reaching higher than the town walls, on each side… He brings his hands to his head as he covers his face… Though he doesn’t cry… He can’t cry, sweat, bleed, or anything… He’s a monstrous creature, he cannot even deny that much… The only emotion that hasn’t been severely hampered by this change is anger… Completely and utter hate… This form has only intensified his hatred…
Hate towards one man… “The snake”... At least, that’s the name associated with that creature… His real name has been long forgotten by Tetsuya… Mostly because such a foul beast doesn’t deserve a name other than what it is… “The snake”... The monster that wounded and killed his friends... The monster that made Tetsuya like this…
- ???: Hehhehhehhehhehhehehheh...!
This jumbled mess of laughter, sounding as though the speaker was drowning, catches Tetsuya's attention. He recognizes that laughter. He recognizes that voice, the shared voice of every other like it. At the entrance of the town, there are almost dozens of those Seithr Beasts waiting for him, all with that gurgling laugh spouting out of God knows what. He raises his sword, still in his hands, ready to just kill these monsters and be done with it.
He knows there'll be more. There's always more of these damned things. They're spewed into the world with little resistance, only serving to prove that everything has gone to shit... They approach, crawling towards Tetsuya, on the verge of just jumping at him and slicing him apart. They won't get the chance. Tetsuyu runs towards him, screaming as he does so, swinging his sword into the closest one with all of his strength, lobbing off the "head".
Overhead, crouching overhead in the trees, there is a slender, female figure observing the ensuing assault. With the white sun, which only serves to lighten up the skies in bright red, to her back, she is a complete silhouette to anyone who would go to stare up at the sky. She watches silently the manic actions of Tetsuya, swinging wildly at the beasts without much coordination. It's more like a madman hacking away with a machete than a trained former foot soldier, despite that being what Tetsuya is. What Tetsuya was.
He stabs down on the last of them, leaving a pile of these things laying on the ground, completely and irreversibly dead. He thrusts the sword down multiple times, trying to kill this monster he has on the ground, defenseless. He stabs his sword through it one last time, it already dead. He breathes, resting against his sword which has pierced through the dirt beneath the Seithr Beast during that final thrust. That's when he notices that he took some damage from the battle; a deep slice on the left side of where his abs are supposed to be. He doesn't feel anything, though.
Suddenly, the silhouette begins to clap, Tetsuya immediately looking up and seeing whoever is sitting in the trees.
- ???: Another resounding victory for the Genesis Catastrophe.
The silhouetted woman mockingly exclaims before jumping down from the high trees. She lands on her feet, near Tetsuya, and begins to adjust herself. She looks at him coldly with these dull pink eyes, which would be normally considered unnatural, but, with the world as it is, it's almost a refreshing sight to behold in the sea of hellish happenings that crowd this broken shell of a world now.
Tetsuya knows this woman, who stands about five feet, six inches high, as he puts the sword to his side and begins to walk away from both her and the town. She looks back at the town, knowing what had occurred yesterday and today.
- ???: It's almost sad seeing another set of people reject you.
She turns her head back to Tetsuya, her eyes gazing at the back of his figure as if it'll stab him.
- ???: Almost.
Tetsuya turns back to the woman, an empty expression on his face as he just lets her say more. He's heard this all anyway. It only serves as a reminder for him. She observes the look on his face, scoffing that he'd even do that to her.
- ???: Hm, I thought I told you that you don't get to give me that face, after what you've done.
She tells him coldly as she approaches Tetsuya. He just stands there, letting her circle around him with her arms crossed and staring at his complete black, monstrous form.
- ???: It's almost fitting that you now hold a form like that. It truly shows how much of a monster you are on the inside.
She turns her gaze towards the mess he has made, the dismembered corpses of the beasts, the black ooze that used to circulate in their "bodies" now sprayed all out on the grey cobblestone ground and brown dirt. He cannot refute that he is a monster, simply by how he killed these creatures.
- ???: I have to say, though, even for a complete and utter monster, your ability to kill so aggressively and brutally is impressive.
She stops right in front of him, her feet put together as her arms remain crossed. She keeps gazing at him with that cold stare.
- ???: If it weren't for the fact that you cannot die, I would've killed you months ago. Hell, I still want to kill you, for everything you've helped make.
Finally, Tetsuya speaks up.
- Tetsuya: I didn't cause this...
- ???: But you helped the man who pulled the trigger and cause this Drought.
That's the name this apocalypse has been given by the whole world: the Drought. She starts to circle around him once more.
- ???: A year ago, you and your little entourage of military people revived the Black Beast, stronger than ever before seen by the world... You helped kill the cycle of comfort for both my world and yours.
She stops behind him.
- ???: Because of that day, the world is dying, if not already dead. Though, I don't have to remind you of that. No, all you have to do is just look up.
Tetsuya turns himself around to face her.
- Tetsuya: Why remind me this, Virtue...?
That is her name, this woman who looks at him with cold, abrasive eyes.
- Virtue: It's just to let sink in that you're the one responsible for all the pain every inhabitant of this world goes through. Just so you don't forget what you've done.
She suddenly jumps high into the skies above Tetsuya's head. His single eye attempt to track her, but she's already gone. Another reminder of his mistake... Tetsuya turns himself around, ready to just leave this place when this white hot pain begins to sink in. Tetsuya trembles as he feels every inch of his body beginning to be consumed in this sharp pain. He already knows what it is, this sudden shuddering of his whole physical being; his body attempting to heal itself.
Suddenly, the pain increases tenfold, feeling as though every atom of his body is exploding all at once. It's like he's been stretched apart, but his body just won't snap in two. He stays planted where he stands, every fiber of his being ceasing all purposeful movement, only allowing the sudden convulsions and spasms his body makes during this damned process. He screams at the top of his voice, the slice on the side of his body beginning to seal itself up with black threads inside pulling each part back together. The environment around him shifts as a violent gust of winds bursts all around his body, almost a like a side effect of this healing factor, atop everything else. The trees are suddenly blown back, yet still connected to the ground by their roots, by the gust of wind, reacting as though they were being bombarded by a hurricane.
His single eye widens as the pain begins to become too much for him, with him starting to arch his whole body back. He keeps screaming, the sound echoing far and wide... The only thing in sight now are the red skies that loom over him... The only thing that Tetsuya can do is turn back to the past... How much better everything was compared to this hellish shell of the world...
One Year Ago
AD2639, March 25
His eyes slowly open up, their emerald color being diluted in the darkness of his room. He groans as his body begins to finally awaken after the twelve hours of sleep he's just been through. Tetsuya lifts his upper body from off the hard mattress, which has inexplicably become comfortable overnight, as his jet black hair moves to block his sight. Even though he gets the feeling that he should sleep in today, that'd go against who he is, at least on a day-to-day basis. He stretches his arms out and breathes in a high amount of air, yawning before he scratches his neck.
He grimaces as he twists himself so that he can get on his feet and lift himself off his bed. He threw the plain, thin white blanket off himself and back onto the bed. The toes on both his feet move all about, trying to rub out the uncomfortable feeling from in between them, as Tetsuya clasps both of his hands together, trying to do the same for the gaps between each finger. It feels like something somehow grew overnight in those areas, and this always happens when he wakes up.
After all of the weirdness, awkwardness, and numbness that racks Tetsuya's body fades away for the day, he turns the window that's to his left, peering out over the landscape of the military academy of Torifune that seems to be presented before him. The object outside which catches his attention is a giant pillar which extends beyond what he can see from inside his room. Tetsuya already knows it to be a watch tower, meant to observe all the happenings that go around the city, and everything beyond it within close proximity. It's only one of six towers all around the hierarchical city and, soon enough, this one is going to drop down while another ascends up. All six are movable, meant to retract back into the city's foundations on a sort of cycle. At least, that's what was taught to Tetsuya the first year he was here.
He rubs his eyes with his closed right hand, wiping away the grime and gunk that's built up around the tear ducts. He flicks it off as he turns his attention to a chair to his right, on the opposite side of the room to the bed. There rests the clothes he needs to put on a daily basis: a collared jacket and pants with shades of blue spread all around, with a pair of black boots sitting against one of the legs of the chair. He rubs his face, shifting aside the little bits of hair in front of his eyes, before walking off towards a small closet next to the chair, pulling the solid door to the left.
The door slides open and he steps in, instinctively putting his open right hand against the edge of the entrance and flipping the light switch up with his fingers. A slight orange tint envelopes the small, narrow space, momentarily blinding Tetsuya, though it serves as little more than an insignificant annoyance for him. After a few moments of adjusting from the sudden burst of light, he sees a large white rectangular box at the center of the room, with the insignia of the NOL imprinted onto all sides of it.
Ending Song 1
The white sun blinds me in its gaze
I can only see the mistakes that drove me here
Without thought, I just look up at the sky
With the memories of what I’ve done sinking in...
I deserve to die for all I’ve done
The haphazard idiocy on my part...
Is simply unforgivable...
I don’t deserve such love and mercy
Just let me lay here, every part of my body bleeding
Maybe I’ll die, maybe I won’t cause trouble anymore...
But suddenly, I can hear your voice, calling out...
Demanding that I keep running...!
Despite my pain, I need to keep going...!
That I need to be revived...!
A burning mirage is all I have left of you...!
Like a fake image taunting me with its non-existence...!
But... If it’s an image of you...
I’ll get up
LAST SCENARIO: N/A
SCENARIO: THE RED SKIES ABOVE
NEXT SCENARIO: OUT TO WAR