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KR x FE: Awaken the Chains

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Riders at War (Again)

 

 

VROOOOOOOOOOM VROOOOOOOOOOOM!

The sound of motorcycle driving fast was music to Kamen Rider Decade's ear; even more so than the screaming and grunting of all the monsters he trampling was and driving over. He reached into his waist and grabbed his gun/sword, the Ride Booker, and proceeded to shoot the Fangires in his path. There was a new crisis in the Rider Multiverse, a legion of Fangires were taking over various worlds; it was only a matter of time before they would reach the prime Rider World and Decade wasn't one to take the chance. He still couldn't believe the amount of monster there was, if his sources were right, they'd be able to fill not one but two entire earths. If his sources prove to further be true, then he knows who their leader is, which is why he didn't bring a certain Rider with him.

Another Fangire jumped down from a ledge to take down the Rider, but Decade shot him midway, landing on top of his comrades. He took a glance at the predicament and couldn't help but laughed, this was a good job sometimes. Unfortunately, he didn't see the platoon of Prawn Fangires standing in his way releasing shots of explosive foam. Decade finally looked forward, 'Ah, shit…' he thought as the foam sped up towards him. To his luck, a large stone wall emerged from the ground and took the shots head on. Missiles launched overhead as Decade looked above ad heard explosions from beyond the wall as well as screams of pain and glass shattering.

Decade looked behind him, and there stood Kamen Rider Wizard in his Land Style and Kamen Rider Fourze with the launcher module on his leg. "About time you guys caught up." Decade jested as he got off his bike and approached the two. Wizard returned to his base form, Flame Style, and Fourze de-materialized his module. "Sorry about that, Tsukasa." Fourze admitted. "Not everyone can go as fast as you, old man." Wizard added, getting an eye roll from Decade, though he couldn't see it since their helmets covered their entire faces. "Sure, whatever. Where's the rest of the team?" Decade asked. Neither could answer as more Fangire showed up. "There they are!" one yelled. Before the Fangire could strike down, a foot landed on him along a hailstorm of bullets. Looking up, Decade saw Kamen Rider Build in his HawkGatling form along with Ex-Aid.

"The newbies aren't bad." Wizard commented, earning a nod from both his Riders. Ex-Aid and Build, who returned to his RabbitTank form, went down to them. "I'm not much of a newbie now, though. I should say I'm nearly on par with all of you." Build replied. Ex-Aid wrapped an arm around Build and chuckled. "Sento's every bit strong as we are; he's well earned his spot as one of us veterans." Build reached his hand out for a fist bump which Ex-Aid returned.

"Where're the others?" Decade asked, wanting to end the buddy moment to get his plans moving. Build pointed behind him and as Decade turned, his eyes widened in bewilderment as a car, the Tridoron if he recalled, started to run over and tackle Fangires; someone else had the same idea as him it seems. He could see Kamen Rider Ghost sticking his head out and shooting Fangires with his gun, it was like a scene straight out of an action movie. The weirdness just kept going as he saw more Fangires being shot and kicked by, what Decade can only describe as, a Kangaroo-Turret being ridden by Kamen Rider Gaim. A large platoon of Flying Fangires flew overhead and surrounded the Tridoron. Ghost put his head back in and the car started to drive donuts on the Fangires, taking them down with ease. The Tridoron stopped in front of the Riders and leaving the driver seat was Kamen Rider Drive, and leaving the front passenger seat dizzily was Ghost. He spun around, only barely missing the hood of the car. "Tomari, did you have to be so wild?" he asked. "Sorry, Takeru. Had to do something, though" Drive replied, patting Ghost on his shoulder. Gaim landed nearby and the Kangaroo-Turret thing returned to a simple lock with a tulip designed. "What is that thing?" Decade asked him pointing at the Lockseed. "Oh, it's called the Tulip Hopper." He answered, Decade made a mental note to go look for that one day; even he can see it's versatile despite its weirdness.

"Hey, look!" Fourze yelled pointing in another direction. The Riders looked over and saw a truck, the RevolGarry also running over Fangires, Decade wondered if it was a popular trend lately. He also saw an entire line of Kamen Rider OOO, all in GataKiriBa form attacking and pushing back dozens upon dozens of Fangires. The truck and OOO stopped in front of them, the truck opened up and inside was Kamen Rider W (Double), the OOO clones returned to a singular being and turned back into TaToBa Combo. "And that's everyone." Decade said, he hopped on back to his bike as he turned back to his Riders. "The path should be clear enough for us to head to the castle. We go in and kill their leader." He explained which they nodded to, they all got into their respective bikes, including Ghost who didn't want to take a risk riding with Drive. "Will killing their boss do that much damage to them?" Fourze asked. "The Fangires have a monarchy system," W explained, his right eye lighting up meaning his other half was talking. "They'll be in disarray due to them losing their leader, we can bring the others to strike back amidst the chaos."
"Speaking of the others…" Build started.
"If my research is correct, there's a Rider who fought the Fangires, isn't there? Why isn't he here?" Everyone else stared at Decade who was looking away. Finally, after moments of silence, he replied. "Bad idea. If he knew who the leader is, he'd hold back." The other Riders looked at each other and made a silent agreement to not pry; Decade kept secrets a lot and almost always it was for good reasons.

Decade had gone to them in their homes one by one, telling them of the crisis at hand. Surprisingly, he already made a plan on how to deal with the Fangires by taking out their leader. For some reason, though, Decade never told them who their leader is and they were as shock to learn one certain Rider wasn't going with them, nor did Decade plan to bring him once they brought the other Riders with them. Still, they knew Decade earned his place as one of the leaders of the Kamen Riders. He can have as many secrets as he needs.

The Riders made their way to the castle, riding through the empty fields that were once a world brimming with life. But now, all the lies now are ruins and decaying plant life. The Rider knew there had to be humans somewhere, the other half of W, Phillip, said that Humans are used as life source for the Fangires; the king in their world had called the humans cattle at one point. Sadly, they knew not where the humans are staying. 'One problem at a time' Decade thought. Finally, after a long ride, they finally made it to the castle. It's styled after European Castles, a large wall covering the main castle which had four spires, two were short, there was one that was taller than those two, but one practically eclipsed them in height. "At least they're keeping up with the theme." OOO said as they drove in to the castle. The Rides hopped off and entered the castle with caution. As they opened the door, however, there was no guard in sight and instead the place was empty and dark. The torches then lit up illuminating the hall, the Riders readied their weapons and proceeded onwards.

"So, these guys are essential vampires, right?" Fourze asked gaining the attention of Build. "According to what I've researched, they're like vampires but not entirely. Instead of drinking blood they suck up, and I'm quoting what I've read, the life energy of humans. God knows what that is."
"Probably some sort of magic." Wizard interjected.
"Man, first the Witches and now I have to deal with vampires?" Fourze commented, Wizard looked back with his head tilted.
"Witches?" he asked. "Were they Gates?" Fourze shook his head. "No, they were using Cosmic energy to make it look like they had magic."

"I must look into this 'Cosmic Energy' one day, it seems interesting." Build said, he turned his head towards Wizard. "Though, first I should look into your 'Magic'. I will find the source." Wizard, in turn, shook his head in dismay. "I keep telling you, I don't know how to explain it. My Magic just happens, you can't find it in a radar."
"Impossible, there's nothing science can't explain."
"It's not science." Wizard retorted.
"Everything is science." Build countered. "And I'm a genius, I'm sure I would find it eventually." He added, earning an eye roll from Wizard.

In front, the other Riders were discussing a not so subtle conversation. "Sento really has a giant ego, doesn't he?" Drive commented. "As a scientist I can respect his abilities, but I can't say the same for his ego." His belt, Krim who Drive calls Mr. Belt, added. "He's a good guy, though. I can tell." Ghost replied. "We're not saying he isn't, just that his ego needs to be in check." Gaim said. "I can hear you, you know!" Build shouted, the other three jumped with a shock. W, meanwhile, became interested in their conversation. "Actually, Sento, science and magic co-existed with each other until science became the more dominate one." Phillip stated, his other half, Shotaro, silently wondered how that happened; he admitted that he and his partner both found magic more interesting. "Right, you can see the earth's history." Build replied. "Can you tell me how humanity was born, then?"
"A death match made by God with the human representative winning." Shotaro deadpanned.
"Ha. Very funny." Build said dryly, though he noticed everyone else weren't reacting much.
"You can't be serious."
"You can ask Blade, I asked him and according to him that's what happened." Ex-Aid said to him nonchalantly. "He's cynical but he's not bad once you get to know him." OOO added. Build shook his head in defeat, muttering about how the other worlds don't make sense; none of them could see the smoke coming out of Decade's head.

"Will you guys zip it!" he shouted, shocking the others. "Decade's right, we're in enemy territory." Shotaro explained. "If we talk too much we could catch someone's-"
"Attention?" a voice finished.

Turning to the front, they saw a man with long hair tied by a ponytail wearing a black priest attire standing on the top of stairs, standing with him was another man with long hair wearing a motorcycle jacket. "Bishop," Decade said to the man with a ponytail, "And Rook." he said to the man in the motorcycle jacket. "They're part of the Checkmate Four." Phillip added. "So they're one of the generals, then?" OOO asked, crouching to get ready for the inevitable fight. Decade looked past Bishop and Rook and saw a giant door behind them, the Throne Room he figured. "I'm guessing your boss is in there?" Decade asked pointing towards the door. "You'd be a fool if you think you can win." Bishop scoffed as stained glass patterns start to appear on his face as well as Rook's. The two became engulfed in blue flames, transforming into Fangires; the Swallowtail Fangire and the Lion Fangire. The two jumped down from the stairs and engaged the Riders in combat.

Bishop aimed for Decade, but he dodges the attack in the last second. Turning around, Bishop went for Decade again, only to be stopped by OOO, Wizard, Gaim, and Ghost; Bishop's sword locked in combat with all of theirs and they all push him back. Rook dashed forward to help Bishop, but he was stopped by a flurry of yellow blasts. He turned back to see W in a new form. "LUNA! TRIGGER!" instead of being half green and half black, W was now half yellow and half blue equipped with a gun. Ex-Aid, Drive, Fourze, and Build arrived next to him to back him up. "Keep them busy! I'm going after their boss!" Decade shouted as he ran past the Fangires. The remaining Riders brought their weapons up and engaged the Fangires as Decade ran in to the Throne room.

Decade kicked the door open and went inside. The room was as dark as the hall outside. Decade spun around with his Ride Booker in hand, taking every step with caution. The sound of fire lighting up from behind shocked Decade, he immediately turned around and saw two gigantic torches illuminating the room. There he saw a hooded figure sitting on the throne. "So, you must be the leader of the Fangires." Decade stated. "You didn't bring him?" the figure asked. "No, I've a bad feeling he wouldn't kill you." Decade reached for a card, "Unfortunately for you, I got the guts to take you out!" He inserted the card into his belt for an attack. "ATTACKRIDE, BLAST!" four holographic versions of his gun appeared around him and fired their shots. The Fangire, though, fired shots of their own from their hands deflecting the gun shots. Decade inserted another card and dashed towards the Fangire. "ATTACKRIDE, SLASH!" Decade's Ride Booker switched into its sword mode as Decade thrusted his sword at the Fangire. Using their arms and hands, they defended each of Decade's sword strikes.

Wanting to end the fight quickly, Decade decided to bring in the big guns. He took out his smartphone-like device, the K-Touch. He inserted a card into it and typed in the code. "KUUGA! AGITO! RYUKI! FAIZ! BLADE! HIBIKI! KABUTO! DEN-O! KIVA! FINAL KAMENRIDE, DECADE!" from a black and magenta color scheme, into a silver and black color scheme with Rider Cards placed on his chest and head, Decade Complete stood ready to fight. He ran in, sword at hand, send the Fangire a flurry of sword swings. The Fangire was quick, however, and kept blocking all the attacks as they fought. Decade then swung his sword down again and the Fangire prepared to block it, but they didn't realize it was just a feint as Decade thrusted his sword back and stabbed them with full might. The Fangire was launched backwards, falling and hitting the stairs before landing hard on the floor. Decade somersaulted to their location, landing behind them and then wheeling around just to strike them again following it with a kick. The Fangire started to stagger backwards, the fight was in the bag! He removed the K-Touch on his belt and tapped on the Kuuga icon. "KUUGA! KAMENRIDE, ULTIMATE!" the K-Touch blinked rapidly as the cards changed into Kuuga in his ultimate form. Standing next to Decade now was Kamen Rider Kuuga wearing a completely black armor with spikes sticking out from the shoulders. Decade grabbed another card and inserted it into his belt; the Kuuga clone was also mimicking his movements. "FINAL ATTACKRIDE, K-K-K-KUUGA!" Decade clenched his fist as purple flames started to engulf his fist, Kuuga's hand started to be engulfed in a yellow flame. Decade readied his fist and launched a punch to the Fangire, launching it backwards to the throne and leaving it in rubble.

Decade dropped his fist as the Kuuga clone disappeared. He readied his sword, knowing full well this battle was far from over. The ruins of the throne started to shift and a slab of rock was thrown aside. He quickly took a card and inserted it into the belt as his Ride Booker switched into gun mode. "FINAL ATTACKRIDE, D-D-D-DECADE" a line of large holographic Rider Cards appeared in front of Decade and aimed at the Fangire. Decade pulled the trigger and fired a large blast of energy at them. The blast didn't connect, though, and instead was intercepted by a torrent of dark fire. The clashing blasts resulted in a giant explosion, almost filling the room with smoke. usually became scared of his opponents, but this time he did. Under the hood, the Fangire's eyes turned into a glowing red, they raised their hand showing the back of it to Decade, there was a mark on their hand that glowed an ominous purple; six eyes connected in u-shaped line. Decade suddenly felt an overwhelming feeling of dread, causing him to take a few steps back and look up, meeting face-to-face with a shadowy figure with six eyes.


Outside of the Throne Room

The Riders continued their fight against Bishop and Rook. Despite how strong the Fangires are, their strengths were obviously eclipsed by the strength of nine Kamen Riders. "Let's finish this!" Ex-Aid shouted, he was in his Lv. 99 form holding his sword, the Gashacon Key Slasher. He removed the Gashat from his belt and proceeded to insert it into the sword, only to be interrupted by the sound of the door being slammed open. Decade flew past them landing on the floor with a loud thud. "Tsukasa!" Fourze called out, he and the others quickly went to his side. They turned him over as light shined from his body, the Rider back into regular Tsukasa Kadoya. "They beat him even in his Complete form." Gaim said in shock.

Footsteps echoed in the room, everyone looked at the opened door and standing there was the Fangire Tsukasa fought moments ago. Rook and Bishop immediately knelt down towards the Fangire. "Your majesty," Bishop said. "I deeply apologize we were defeated easily by these ple-" his leader put his hand up indicating him to be silent. A chill ran up the spines of the Riders all of a sudden. They then noticed a shadowy figure looming over the Fangire leader, a towering figure with six glowing red eyes. "We need to run." Tsukasa wheezed. Not wanting to take chances, the Riders quickly bolted to the door with Drive and Fourze carrying Tsukasa on their shoulders. "I give them five minutes." The leader commented.


The Riders made it outside the castle where Rider Machines were parked. Drive and Fourze split up as Drive entered the driver seat of the Tridoron and Fourze placed Tsukasa inside the front passenger seat. The Riders started their engines and left as fast as possible away from the castle. It was OOO who finally asked the million dollar question, "What was that thing?"
"I don't know, but its presence felt godlike." Gaim replied. "Damn, I haven't felt this terrified since Sonozaki." W commented.
"Was it a Dopant, then?" Ghost asked the Rider. W shook his head.
"Can't be, I looked into it and couldn't find anything that matches its description." Phillip said, Ghost noticed that the usually calm and collected Phillip had his voice trembling.

Wizard glanced at his mirror and noticed a lot of Fangires started to run towards them. "We got company, guys!" he shouted. Drive cursed to himself and turned to Tsukasa. "Can you make us a Dimension Wall to go through right now?" he asked. "Send us to my world, we'll be safer there." Build added. Tsukasa nodded slowly and lifted his hand, opening a small portal, but wide enough to fit all the Riders. The Riders revved up their engines and dashed into the portal one by one, leaving the world without a trace.


Meanwhile back at the castle

The leader turned back the Throne room; the Riders would have to be dealt with some other day. "Your grace," Bishop started, "I can't apologize enough for our mistake, please forgive us." Their leader turned to him and said, "No need to apologize further, Bishop. This one action won't heavily weigh your contributions to us." The leader turned around and headed back into the Throne Room. Bishop tried to speak up again, only he was interrupted by their leader. "Any new news?" they asked. Bishop relented and answered, "Yes. One of our scouts found another world, but this one is different. It's similar tot he one where you gotten that power." That caught the leader's attention. They stared at the mark on their hand and turned to face Bishop. "Go on…" Bishop nodded. "Yes, your grace. The landscape of the world is the same, but from we have gathered the rulers are different, even the name of the continent has changed." Bishop smiled at the Fangire, knowing full well their intentions. "But the power, it seems, has yet to be claimed." The leader nodded back, "Thank you, Bishop. If there's anything I've learned in our conquest, it's that Kamen Riders are relentless. They'll probably be back with even more Riders. I need to depart at once!." Bishop and Rook were taken aback at that. "You shall go, your majesty? Are you sure?" Bishop asked. "Yes, that is the only way to ensure victory. No need to worry, you two will accompany me if you're worried about safety." The two men nodded back, though Bishop more reluctantly. A smile grew on the leader's face, soon their plans will be complete.


Unbeknownst to the Riders and the Fangires, however, there were three onlookers who witness the fight from afar. One bore a silver and red chest plate, a black skin-tight suit under it, a singular silver boot tied by chains, and a red and yellow visor shaped like bat wings. Standing next to him was a man also wearing a black skin-tight suit, white armor with blue trimmings, and a helmet that had gold cross on the face. Beside him was a shorter figure, she wore a dark purple cloak, somewhat tattered, with gold trimmings at the end of the sleeves, and her head was obscured by her hood. "Things are getting into motion, it seems." The man in white said, he turned around and left. "It seems like it." The woman in purple replied. "Things will go as planned, do you remember your place?" she asked to the man in silver. He nodded slowly, "I know, I just wish we can tell him." He felt his shoulder being touched, looking over, he saw the woman with her hand on his shoulder, beneath her hood he can see she was smiling softly. "Not yet, we will eventually. Remember, there's still so much we don't know ourselves." She replied. She turned and left too, leaving the man alone with his thoughts. "You'll know the truth," he said, as if there was someone he was talking to. "About why I came that day, and why we did what we did. But don't worry… dad. I will break the chains of fate."


UPDATE APRIL 3 2019:

Rewrote some stuff here, just fixing some grammar mistakes I found also changed some of the diction here to make it better.

Chapter Text

Awaken: New Life

The violin, it is a string instrument that stands as the smallest and highest-pitched in its family. It’s played by drawing the bow on the strings or by plucking it. Nowadays, it is an instrument played by and respect by people around the world. Many people have dedicated their lives to the simple instrument, such as the case for Wataru Kurenai, a man who has spent his life enamored by violins. For most of his life, they played a big role for him mostly because of his father; a man well-known for his ability in the violin. Wataru earned his savings through repairing violins, even gaining knowledge on how to make them. As such, someone like him must know how to play the violin, and Wataru was no exception.

While violin repairing certainly paid for the bills, Wataru knew he should pass his skills in the instrument to others. That is why he was at a music program teaching the younger generations how to play the violin one day. He had applied as a teacher couple of years ago when a friend of his recommended he’d start teaching there. While he was unsure at first, he decided to give it a shot. The first class was awkward for him, as would be for any new teachers, but Wataru wasn’t the man he was before and quickly relaxed for them and taught naturally. After a few days, his students started to respect him and learned a lot from him, even going back the next year just to see him even if they were in a different program.

Wataru himself enjoyed being a teacher and always loved it when one of his students showed major progress thanks to him; like his student, Hana, who at this moment was playing in front of the class. She started out with problems, but as time passed by she could play the violin without fear of messing up anywhere. She played the piece Wataru taught her almost perfectly; she didn’t stop to assess herself, she got the flow right, and she wasn’t fidgeting to play in front like she did before. She wasn’t playing perfect, of course, sometimes she would play a few notes too high or too low; all-in-all, though, she progressed the most out of all his students.

Hana finished her piece, and everyone in the class exploded in cheers and applause. Wataru could see a tinge of pink on her cheeks as she bowed. She returned to her seat as the teacher returned to his post. “Nice job, everyone; especially you, Hana.” He said to his student who nodded back. All of his students were 9-10 years old, an easy start for a beginning teacher like him. “Well, this is our last class for the year.” He said, the class all simultaneously voiced out their sadness. “Don’t worry about it, I’m sure I’ll see you all again. For now, I just want you all to keep practicing.” Wataru played to them a short piece, his signature piece that he would play on his violin, Bloody Rose. He only played the first half, drawing the bow on the strings playing the piece. His students watched in silence as he played, it was always nice to hear their teacher’s violin playing. Finally, Wataru ended his short exhibition with a pluck on his string. His class applause softly and Wataru bowed to them, like a performer to the stage. “Go home; enjoy the rest of your vacation.” He told them.

The class bolted out of their seats as Wataru gathered his belongings too. He stood by the door as his class left, saying each one to take care. “Keitaro,” he called to the last student, a boy with long light-brown hair turned his attention to him. “Wait for me by the bike, I have to handle something.” The boy nodded and left the building as Wataru locked his classroom. He went into the Teacher’s Office and submitted what paperwork he had left. The head of the program offered Wataru the chance to tutor for private lessons, but he declined. After all, he’s only been a teacher for a few years; he’ll have to give it more time. Wataru exited the building and saw Keitaro waiting for by his bike, a bike he calls the Machine Kivaa. “Ready to go?” he asked, Keitaro nodded in enthusiasm. He gave him a helmet and got one for himself. Wataru started the bike’s engine and rode to their destination.

The trip wasn’t long as both knew the destination, Café mald’amour. It was a café Wataru frequented when he was younger; his father as well went here a lot. Wataru and Keitaro were greeted by the café’s owner, Akira Kido. “Ah, Wataru. Good afternoon.” He greeted, Wataru greeted back as Keitaro ran to a table. “Mama!” he yelled. A woman in her mid-thirties with her hair tied in a ponytail opened her arms and engulfed the boy in a hug. “Kei!” she greeted. Sitting across her was a man with black hair in a black suit drinking his coffee, Wataru walked over to him and greeted. “Thanks for bringing him to us, Wataru.” He said. “No problem, it’s my pleasure, Nago.”
“He didn’t give you a hard time, did he?” Nago’s wife asked. Wataru shook his head. “No, Keitaro’s been good. He’s getting better every day.” Keitaro frowned at his mother. “Mama, why do you always ask that? I haven’t done anything bad.” His mother smiled at him a she looked at him. “Kei, mama’s always got to see if you’re getting along with the others. I don’t want you to end up like someone we know.” She replied while eyeing towards her husband, Keitaro smiled grew, “Yeah, Papa doesn’t have a lot of friends.” Nago almost choked on his coffee the moment he heard that and Wataru tried his best to stifle a laugh. “What have you’ve been telling him, Megumi?” he accused. “Nothing, we were just kidding!” she replied, then her and son gave each other once overs, “Or are we?” Keitaro and his mother burst into laughter and Nago usually serious face cracked into a smile. The sight of this made Wataru himself smile; things have changed a lot for the trio in the last 10 years. Wataru remembered how the two used to hate each other but after all the hardships they’ve been through, they finally settled their differences and became one of the cutest couples, at least in Wataru’s eyes.

The sound of a dog barking caught the attention of the group, a black Labrador puppy walked to them making Keitaro pet the dog and Megumi to squeal like a child. “Mei is really happy to see all of you,” the owner told them. Mei was the new dog at Café mald’amour. Four years ago, if Wataru's memory served him right, the owner’s last dog had finally succumbed to age. The dog was an integral part of the café, before Mei there were two other dogs; one of which was around when Wataru’s father was still alive. After four years without the café’s signature pet, the owner adopted a new canine and was loved by the café’s regulars. “Maybe Kei and Megumi should take her for a walk; I need to man the fort here.” Keitaro beamed in delight went in to get Mei’s leash. After getting the dog to wear it, Megumi told Nago they’d be back in a 30 minutes and left with her son.

“I swear she spoils him too much.” Nago commented, although Wataru could tell from the tone of his voice he wasn’t too serious about the issue. “If you’re worried about Keitaro, don’t be.” He told him, “He’s got a lot of friends back in class.”                                                                                           
“You too, Wataru?” Nago asked in disbelief earning a laugh from his friend and the owner. Instead of staying mad, however, Nago just smiled back at his friend. “You’ve changed a lot these past ten years, that’s good. It’s a sign of maturity.” He commented as he took another sip from his coffee. Wataru nodded back. “Though your appearance doesn’t reflect it.” Nago added, nonchalantly taking another sip. Most people around wouldn’t realize, not even some of his student, but Wataru was a lot older than he looked. While he looked like he was in his early twenties, Wataru was in fact 32; Wataru never failed to take the opportunity to mention it. “Still jealous of my looks, old man?” Wataru jokingly replied. “Hey, remember who the elder is.” Nago retorted, the two laughed again; it was nice to just be old friends catching up rather than partners needing to fight side by side.

Wanting to change the subject, Nago finally decided to tell him the important news, “Kengo caught another rogue Fangire two days ago.” Wataru eyes widened at upon hearing about his friend. “Did something happen?” he asked, Nago shook his head and Wataru sighed in relief. “He got minor injuries, nothing to worry about. He’s leading a small platoon now, did you know?” Wataru eyes widened, “His skills have gotten better, so much so the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization gave him his own team to lead.” Nago explained. Wataru was glad to hear his friend was doing well in his life; he knew his friend didn’t have that many skills so to hear he was doing fine was music to his ears.

Upon the surface, Keitaro’s parents seem average, if one were to not take account the fact his mother was a part-time model and his father was a bounty hunter, both of them were part of an organization that dedicated their lives to fight Fangires; the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization. In the present, however, they had to readjust their goal after the majority of Fangire population reformed. Now they only attack Fangires who went rampant and rogue. Wataru wasn’t a member of the organization, but he did have the skills to take down Fangires. None of his students, except Keitaro, or his fellow teachers knew the truth about a certain masked warrior in a motorcycle with a chained boot and why he fought them; they didn’t need to know, though, it was the way Wataru liked it.

“How’s Nomura doing?” Nago asked. Wataru reached into his pocket and showed Nago a picture from his phone, a young woman was playing with children in a playground wearing a preschool teacher attire. “Looks like being the mother figure paid off for her.” Wataru told him. Shizuka Nomura was a young girl who acted as his care taker when he was younger, but now Wataru was older and had changed, Shizuka didn’t need to coddle him any longer and decided to become the caretaker and teacher for other children. “Glad to know she’s doing fine.” Nago replied, he scanned the image and noticed there was a man her age helping her with the children. “Who’s the man I the picture?” he asked. “Oh, he’s another teacher.”  Wataru explained he noticed that Nago was smirking slyly. “Before you say anything there isn’t anything going on between them that I know of.” Wataru put his phone back into his pocket. “Besides, she’s just a friend to me.” He added. “I understand that, Wataru. But…” Nago stayed silent, Wataru knew what he was going to say and knew his friends did their best to avoid that certain topic. “I know what Masao said,” Wataru said calmly, he wanted to show Nago the topic wasn’t so sensitive for him. “But it’s been 10 years since he appeared and I haven’t met the one.” He explained. “He is your son, though.” Wataru nodded. “I don’t deny that,” he explained, “He looks like my father so he must be my son. Why he lied about being from 22 years into the future, I don’t know.” Wataru stared into the ceiling as he remembered that day.

9 years ago, during Megumi and Nago’s wedding, a man in tattered clothes who looked like Wataru’s father slammed the church doors open claiming to be his son from 22 years into the future named Masao. He was being chased down and attacked by a threat called the Neo-Fangires. Wataru and his friends engaged them, with his son at his side, inside their saucer-like base. In a twist, though, at the last second Masao threw them off the ship and disappeared in a blinding light with them. The memories of that event are still vague, though he still remembers the ceremony and reception pretty well. He figured time-travelling events causes that and only leaves the important details, like his son.

“Still, I haven’t met the one yet. It’s going to be a long time before Masao gets here.” He said to Nago. The two continued to talk, from Wataru’s lessons to Nago’s family vacation. Finally, they heard the door open and saw Megumi, Kei, and Mei return from the walk. “Hey, we found a friend on the way.” Megumi said. Behind them, a small yellow and black bat-like creature with large red eyes flew in and faced Wataru. “Kivat.” Wataru identified. “Oy, Wataru! We agreed we’d be meeting your mother today, remember!” the bat shouted. “Oh, that’s right!” Wataru shouted, he scrambled to get his bearings and packed his belongings. “Hey, Wataru,” Keitaro called, “You’ll make it for my birthday, won’t you?” Wataru smiled and nodded back. After a quick pat on Keitaro’s head, he said his farewells and left the café, but not before tripping on the way to the bike. Kivat shook his head in dismay. “Some things ever change for him.”

Wataru got his bike running and left for his mother’s home. He went past the bustling shopping district of the city, the calm and quiet residential area, and the nice road with full view of the beach. He made his way to the edge of the forest. Normally, there wasn’t a path that allowed cars or motorcycles to travel in to the forest, but now there was. He drove his bike into the path until it lead him where he needed to, a Victorian castle building with a wyvern-like creature bonded to it; wyvern wings were sticking out from the sides, its legs were coming out from the foundations, and its head poked out from the front door. Others would call it a monster, but to Wataru it was called Castle Doran. Kivat arrived at the same time as Wataru and greeted the wyvern, “Hey! How are you doing?” he asked, to which the castle roared in return. “I think he’s doing great!” Kivat told Wataru, he laughed softly in return.

The front door of the house opened, revealing a man with messy black hair in a tuxedo suit. “Wataru, good to see you.” He greeted. “Good to see you too, Jiro.” Wataru replied. He motioned Wataru to enter the castle. The interior was dark initially, until a snap from Jiro caused the torches inside to light up. The two moved in silence until they reached a door. “Your mother’s inside waiting for you.” Jiro told him. Wataru opened the door, he found a woman sitting on a chair being served tea by a large man with combed back hair also wearing a suit. Across her was a boy with black long unkept hair wearing a sailor uniform. “Full house.” He said putting down cards on the table. The woman sipped her tea as she put down her cards. “Four queens.” She stated. The boy wiped his face and sighed in defeat. “Lost to mother again, huh Ramon?” Wataru said as he entered the room. “Big bro!” Ramon exclaimed. The woman turned around, she wore a gothic dress and had long brown hair, almost resembling the shade of Wataru’s hair. “Wataru, good afternoon.” She greeted. Wataru walked up to them with Jiro in tow. He sat down in an extra seat as his mother poured him a cup of tea. “Jiro,” Wataru’s mother called, “I bought some deserts earlier today, can you be a dear and get it for me?” she asked. Jiro bowed in respect, “Yes, Maya.” Then he left to get the confections. “Wataru…” the man in combed hair called. “Yes, Riki?” he asked. “Did you… bring a new game?” Wataru smiled and reached into his bag, taking out a board game in a red box. “Here you go. It’s a game where you draw something and the other person has to guess what it is you’re drawing.” He explained as he handed it over to Riki. “Simple concept and I’m sure none of you will have any difficulty playing it.” He added. A smile crept on his face as he left, Ramon followed suit wanting to see this new game too. “It’s always nice to have a new board game in here; this place can get boring pretty quickly if you’re not allowed to leave.” His mother commented.

One would guess Castle Doran was ruled and inhabited by a royal family, and for a long time it did until its owners left causing it to go on a rampage. Jiro, Ramon, and Riki stepped in and became the castle’s caretakers. For the next 22 years since then they would be the only residents in the castle, until Wataru brought back one of its original owners, his mother Maya; ex-queen of the Fangires. Maya was once a respected and feared queen, able to instill fear Fangires just by her presence alone. One day, however, it all changed for her, she betrayed the crown and was stripped off her title as queen. As a result, the Fangires weren’t afraid to attack her. Because of this, Maya had to distance herself from Wataru when he grew older so he wouldn’t become a target; she exiled herself away from Fangires and her own son. Luckily, as Wataru is the son of the queen, Castle Doran was under his control and therefore would follow his lead. Eventually, Wataru would reunite with his mother who had been living in a cave in a forest. Not wanting his own mother to live like this, he offered her a home in Castle Doran. She was reluctant at first, but her son assured her no royal blood lived inside and was welcomed back. Jiro, Ramon, and Riki were cautious around her at first, but she later showed to be a great companion and a friend.

The two drank tea and talked about all kinds of things. His mother told him about the places she’s been to recently, like the new place she found called an arcade. She told him he wanted to go with him there one day as she found it, in her own words, exhilarating which he agreed to, thinking about bringing another family member with them. Wataru was about to take another sip from his tea when they heard Castle Doran cry and the giant room shake. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stayed silent, and then Jiro walked over to Wataru and Maya with the cake in hand. “That took you a while.” Maya deadpanned. Jiro scoffed in return, “You buy so many things it’s hard to keep track with what’s the latest desert.” He retorted. “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll have to go check on Castle Doran.”                                                                                                                      “Pyuun~ Pyuu~ Let me go check on him too!” A voice said; flying with Kivat was a tiny gold and black dragon with a large snout named Tatsulot. “Doran will probably tell us what’s going on. We’ll go with Jiro to check things out, Wataru, and your majesty!” he said to both of them, getting a stifled laugh from Maya. Jiro, Kivat, and Tatsulot left as everyone returned to their business.

Wataru and his mother continued their conversation; he learned that his mother actually takes Castle Doran out a lot to other countries, taking Jiro, Ramon, and Riki in tow. The Castle was fast enough to get there in a hours and fast enough to get back to Japan. His mother would often times buy too much food than they should reasonably have causing food spoilage problems and organization problems. Wataru shared his experiences in teachings, with friends, but the one his mother was most interested in, adventures with his legacy. “So I was in the bathroom, after I had a long day of doing….whatever.” he started. “I laid there enjoying the water; I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t notice the door. So I laid there with my eyes closed, then I heard someone saying ‘Enjoying the water there?’ and then I freaked out and just punched the guy who said it.” He mimicked the actions he did that day, getting laughter from his mother who looked like she was going to burst. “I looked down and I saw Decade. After fixing myself, he told me about the war we were going to have with our predecessors.” Maya recollected herself, finally calming down, she tilted her in confusion. “Predecessors?” she asked. “Yeah, like Kamen Rider 1 and 2. We were at war with the Riders who came around during our last era.” He explained. “Did it work out in the end?” she asked. Wataru nodded back, “It did, yes. There was a winner in the end, though I don’t remember which side. I do remember being confused on why the other side lost but just accepted it anyway.” He explained; he saw his mother chuckled softly.

 “You played a new song back in your class, didn’t you?” Maya asked. “Yes.” Wataru replied, before finally catching on to his mother’s wants. “You want me to play if you, mother?” she nodded eagerly and Wataru complied. He took his violin from its case and went into position; he didn’t bring his violin everywhere he went like his father did, but he knew his mother would want to hear him play so he brought it with him in advance as to not go to and fro from his bike to get it. Wataru placed his violin in position. After rehearsing the song in his head, he counted to three and placed the bow onto a str-

FWOOOOOOOOOOSH

Wataru stumbled down and his mother caught herself on the table as the sudden movement of Castle Doran caught them off guard. The chandelier and other antique shook as the Castle kept moving. Jiro, Tatsulot, and Kivat busted into the room; Jiro’s hair looking far messier than it was before. “Hey, hey, Jiro what’s going on?” Ramon asked. “Castle Doran started to bolt into action all of a sudden!” he explained. The room shifted to the left causing everyone to all and antique plates to crash. Wataru got his balance and walked over to the window; he looked down and saw the images of greenery changed into an image of small houses. “Is someone calling the castle?” he asked. Jiro, Ramon, and Riki shook their heads. “We would’ve heard the alarm if someone did!” Jiro said. “Can’t you control it or tell it to stop?” Wataru shouted. “We can’t!” Tatsulot shouted back. “It’s not listening to us!” Kivat added, much to Wataru and Maya’s horror.


 

In a park, a young boy shouted “Look!” and pointed at the sky. People in the park looked up to see a giant dragon in a castle fly towards east. Keitaro tilted his head in confusion, but his parents were in small disarray. Megumi held her sons hand tighter, much to his confusion, and Nago reached into his phone to call Wataru, every ticking second he didn’t pick up made his heart beat go faster.


 

Inside a building, a man in white clothes wearing a glove stared in disbelief as Castle Doran passed his office going farther and farther away. He was on the phone right now with someone talking about an issue in his company. Time had seemed like it slowed down for him, as the man kept talking and the Castle kept going.


 

Wataru could feel the castle gaining speed; he was starting to lose his balance because of it. “Has this happened before?” He asked to his mother, unfortunately, she shook her head. “Castle Doran!” she shouted, “Stop! What’s going on?” the castle roared back, Wataru realized it can still reply intelligently, meaning it knew what it was doing or someone was forcing it to fly. Suddenly, blaring lights started to shine around and in the castle. “Wataru!” Maya shouted. Fearing for his mother’s safety, Wataru ran to her and shielded from the light and closed his eyes, Jiro, Ramon, and Riki all shielded themselves as well. The roar of Castle Doran echoed to the world as it and its residents were engulfed in the bright light. When the light dissipated, there was nothing left in the sky.


 

Everyone who saw the disappearing castle stared in shock. A lot of people wondered whether or not it was real, but for Megumi, Nago, and the man in the suit, they could only stare in horror. Megumi covered her mouth to prevent herself from crying as she gripped Nago’s hand with her other. Nago put down the phone and stared into the sky as his phone said “The number you dialled cannot be reached.” The man in the suit dropped his phone; he couldn’t believe what he witnessed. He staggered back and watched the empty sky in silence, the only sound in the room was his caller asking him if he was there. He tried to prevent the tears from rolling out of his eyes, but knew he couldn’t. “Mother… Wataru…”

Chapter Text

Awakening (II): New World

 

When he woke up that day, all Wataru expected to do was attend his friend's wedding and play a song for them, he didn't think he would be going inside a UFO and fight Fangires from the future alongside a man who claimed to be his son who also came from the future. It seemed like his family was cursed to undergo this process; after all, it did happen to his dad. As Kamen Rider Kiva in Emperor form, he made his way through the UFO fighting Fangires along the way. The base was intricate and hard to navigate; there were so many turns and branching pathways that eventually he, his son, Nago, Taiga, and the Arms Monsters had to separate. In each corner and turn he took, there was a Fangire waiting for him. Luckily, he had more than enough strength to take them down. Kiva took another turn, and once again there were Fangires waiting for him. The two monsters charged forward and Kiva took his stance. He took out his Zanbat Sword, a short sword with a golden hilt, a silver blade, and a batlike creature trapping the blade with its mouth, and swung at one of them. The Fangire blocked the attack, however, and pushed the sword back to Kiva. Kiva swung down like before, but he quickly pulled the sword back and strike the Fangire. His friend quickly took the initiative and slashed Kiva with its claws. Kiva quickly parried the attack with his sword and swung it towards the Fangire. Sparks flew and Kiva took the chance to kick him and stab it on the chest causing it to stagger back. He slid the hilt, the Zanbat, up along the blade making it glow blood red. The moment he brought it down, he slashed down the sword at the Fangire, making it go down in an explosion. Typical for monsters for some reason, but not so much for Fangires. He had fought the Fangires for years and they all died the same way; their body turned into stained glass and one touch would shatter it. Now, though, they died like all the others, and for some reason left scraps of metal that was mostly cindered in the blast. Kiva decided to inspect the metal closer but couldn't scratch his head to what it was. There were lights blinking and wires  were still sparking, but aside from that he still didn't know what that meant.

Kiva took too long inspecting to realize the other Fangire had recovered from its injuries and charged forward with his claws engulfed in flames. By the time he turned around, the Fangire was reaching for his face with its fiery claws; all he could do was brace for impact. It never came, though, the body of the Fangire flew over him and landed hard on the ground. Its body exploded behind him and all that was left was a glowing white orb, its soul. Kiva looked back and saw another Kiva behind him, only he was in his default form. His leg was extended and the armor on it was open revealing its red wing shaped interior, meaning he did a finishing kick on the Fangire.

"Thank you, Masao." Kiva said the to his son, Masao Kurenai, who he decided to call New Kiva. "No problem, papa. Always there to help!" He replied. It still felt weird for him to be called a father, let alone papa. Yet, it felt welcoming too. "I still can't believe they followed me here." New Kiva complained as he and Kiva walked deeper in the UFO. "Sorry about crashing the wedding, by the way. I needed to get to you as soon as possible. Though I bet you and Mama aren't disappointed, you got to see me after all!". Kiva still wasn't sure who his Masao's mother is, he hadn't felt any romantic feelings for any of female friends and he was sure they didn't see that way of him either. He decided he should ask him. "Actually, Masao, I have a question for you." New Kiva turned around, his body language clearly said he was beaming with excitement. "You want to know more about your little kid? What is it you'd like to know? My favorite food? Do I have sweetheart? Do you have grandkids? Don't worry, papa, I'll tell you what I can!" He said all in one go. He certainly had the enthusiasm to spare. Kiva and his son were nothing alike weirdly enough. But for him it was a good sign; that meant he raised him well.

"Well, hopefully this won't ruin you existence but....." Kiva hesitated to ask, but he was dying to know the answer. "Who is your mother?"                                  
"WHAAAAT?" The way New Kiva shouted could've alerted any guard within their radius, luckily none came.
"You two haven't met yet? Then whose wedding was that?" New Kiva turned and started pacing, Kiva was going to answer him but his son interjected before he can say anything. "Oh, I get it! That must've been someone else's wedding I crashed!"                                        
 "Y-yeah..."                                                        
"That makes sense! No wonder why my life isn't in jeopardy right now. Mama did say you two met after a wedding." Kiva started to wonder if he raised his son a bit too well. "If that's the case I guess I shouldn't say." New Kiva shrugged. "I'll let the surprise kick in by itself." Kiva couldn't help but chuckle. "I'm glad you're like this, Masao." He said. New Kiva tilted his head in confusion as Kiva continued, "You turned out to be a lot different from me, I'm glad. Though I hope didn't force you to be Kiva. I didn't really get much of a choice." New Kiva hung his head low, which was odd for his normally happy attitude. "I didn't have a choice, apparently. If that makes you feel better." His son said after moments of silence. His armor disappeared as his belt, Kivat-Bat IV flew away from his waist, turning him back into Masao. "I actually did want to be Kiva; it was a cool job, honestly. I thought you were so cool when you were Kiva so being him was all I wanted. I was ecstatic when I learned it was my fate; Mama left that info out from me. I knew as Kiva I'd be a symbol for people everywhere, so I try my best to keep a positive attitude; it gives people everywhere hope. 'Sides, that's what a Kamen Rider does, right, papa?" He said in his chipper attitude.

Kamen Rider? That was a new word for him. Kivat-Bat III and Tatsulot left their positions, returning Kiva back into Wataru. "Kamen Rider?" He asked as pointed to himself. Masao frowned but nodded. "You don't know what a Kamen Rider is?" He asked. Wataru shook his head again. "People call you that in the future. Kamen Rider Kiva is the name. Has a nice ring to it, huh? His son replied with a smirk. Wataru just shrugged, it was a new term for him. Masao chuckled softly, almost as if he heard a joke, and continued, "What are you talking about, papa? You're practically a legend in the future. Maybe not one of the more famous ones but certainly a legend." Masao's voice started to show a hint of pride, it was clear for Wataru that Masao looked up to him very much. Masao turned back to continue their way, Wataru followed him as he counted his fingers. "So I become famous in 2031?" He asked.

Wataru accidentally bumped into Masao because his son had stopped in place. Wataru heard him mumble "2031?" Masao turned to him again, his voice started to tremble as he asked, "2031?" He repeated. Wataru nodded back. "You said you came from 22 years into the future, right?" Masao nodded slowly. "Well, its 2009, 9 plus 22 is-" his son put a finger on his mouth, no doubt a trait he got from grandpa somehow. Masao put his finger on his chin and started pacing again. He started to mumble what sounded like nonsense, "2009? Then I'm....But why did they......" Wataru tilted his head, pacing and mumbling to yourself wasn't a good sign and Wataru knew that. "Masao, is something wrong?" He asked, his son faced him but his face looked like it was in shock, like guilt even. His son, though, broke into a smile, a very forced one he observed. "Nah, just thinking to myself." He continued walking down the hallway. And until they met up with the others, the two didn't say another word.

 


 

Wataru first felt the sand against him, he also heard the crashing of waves nearby. He opened his eyes, but he awoke to direct sunlight and had to shield them. He got up and saw the waves crash again, luckily his clothes weren't wet. In his hand was a case, a case for a very familiar instrument. He opened the case, seeing Bloody Rose inside safe and sound made him sigh in relief; it's the last thing he has of his father. He found a path from the beach leading to an open field and walked through it. The field was completely barren, but he found a clean dirt path meaning it was a road. "How'd I get here?" He muttered. He tried to recall the events prior; he was at his last day of Violin classes, he brought Keitaro to Nago and Megumi, he visited his mother at the castle-

It was then Wataru realized something important, he was alone. There wasn't anyone with him when he woke up. He searched frantically, checking every corner, every part of the field for anyone he knew. "Mother!" He shouted. No response.                                                    
"Mother!" He repeated, only being replied with silence.                                       
"Mother! Kivat! Tatsulot! Jiro!" He kept shouting, desperately clinging in whatever hope he had. "Anyone?!" Only silence came back. He sat against a nearby tree, slumping like a ragdoll. "Anyone...." He choked, not expecting anyone to reply.

Luckily, someone did.

"I'm someone!" The sound of a living person made Wataru shot back up. He looked around, then he heard the sounds of- hooves clopping? He looked at the direction of the sound and saw a carriage being pulled by two horses. There was a lady with red hair tied in a ponytail in a green and brown attire riding the carriage and it was filled to the brim. He didn't know what she was taking with her but needless to say it must've been very valuable. The carriage stopped in front of Wataru and he was face to face with the lady. It was then he noticed her attire was strange; it didn't look like something you'd see today, it looked like a tunic. At least the pants looked like those skinny jeans that Wataru refused to wear. "Are you lost, sir?" She asked. Wataru nodded back, he wasn't as shy as he was back then but a woman calling him "sir" did take him by surprise. "Is there a town nearby?" He asked her. The lady put her finger on her chin to think, she turned to her carriage and took out a map. "Well....Southtown is just up ahead from this path." She turned back to him and asked, "Where are you going, anyway?" Wataru pondered for a bit, he hadn't really thought this through. "I suppose a place where I can get as much gossip as possible. I'm looking for something, you see." He explained. "Ah, you'd want to go to the capital, Yllistol. The capital's the best place to find what you need. I can drop you off at Southtown and you can catch a ride to the capital from there." She explained. "Climb on back and we'll be off."

Wataru obliged, he headed to the back of the carriage. It wasn't as cluttered as it first appeared, but it was still full. Luckily, there was enough space for him to sit on. When he finally got proper seating, the carriage continued on its way. Wataru scanned the landscape, he had to admit it was a beautiful sight; it almost made want to play a quick song. The carriage hit a rock on the road, some of the cargo fell down but nothing serious. One of the cargo, a red book, landed on Wataru. Curiosity got the better of him and Wataru opened the book; it was filled with English words that he could thankfully read. "O gods of flame." He read aloud. "Give me the strength and power of your burning heart so that I may set my foes a-" he felt something hard hit his head causing him to drop the book. He rubbed the part that got hit and saw the woman gritting her teeth and glaring at him. "Don't touch the merchandise!" She yelled. "Ah, I'm so sorry!" He said as he bowed his head.
"Unless you’re buying it."
"Pardon?"                                               
The woman changed her expression, now she was smiling sweetly and brightly like what just happened didn't occur. "Well, are you gonna buy or not?" She asked again. "I don't have any money." Wataru replied with a weak smile. The woman put her on her chin, and raised an eyebrow. "Impossible, unless you're a bandit, you should have some money on you. You're clothes say otherwise so let me see your pouch." She said. He didn't have a pouch, but he did have his wallet. He took it out and opened it and showed her the contents. She took the bills from his wallet and flipped through like they were stacks of papers. "What are these?" She mumbled, Wataru realized wherever he was the place didn't have bills yet. Was he in the past? Made the most sense, he thought. Her appearance did speak for it, but he also realized her clothes looked more fantasy than medieval.

"Do you have anything else that might be worth something?" She asked, she almost sounded annoyed. He decided to show her his coins. Taking them out, and upon hearing the sounds of coins clashing each other, the woman lit up and a smirk formed in her face. "Now were talking." She mumbled. She swiped the coins off him hands, Wataru was amazed at the speed she took it. She inspected each individual coin carefully; she examined each angle and face. Finally, she turned to him and said, "Well, you have some valuable metals here, nothing like gold but they are valuable. The nickel in particular should fetch you a lot of gold coins in equivalency. I'd estimate this would be.....1500 gold." She eyed on the book that was on his lap. "Just enough for that book!" She beamed. Wataru tried to rack in his head what time period he was in where nickel was worth a lot, he wasn't sure if nickel was ever valuable. He didn't know anything when it came to economics, but the woman clearly did.

He put the book back in its place, "I think I'll just pawn this." He told her, the woman frowned but didn't say another word and turned her attention back to the road. "You're not from around here, are you?" She asked. "No, no I'm not." He replied. "Figures those clothes of yours don't look like it's from anyplace I've been to." Wanting to change the topic before she could ask the big question, Wataru asked her, "Have you've been to a lot of places, ma'am?" She nodded while still keeping her eye on the road, "Oh, yeah. From Rosanne, Cho'sin, though my home is here in Ylisse; that's the name of the country you’re in, by the way. Figured you didn't know." Wataru nodded in understanding, but realization hit soon when he remembered no country in history was named Ylisse. To be fair, he didn't know history all that well, but he was sure he would've gotten word of a place with that name.

"Here we are!" The woman shouted. Wataru looked up and saw old European-styled building just over the next hill. After some time, the two finally made it to Southtown. The town was nothing grandiose, but it was pleasant to look at. The town was bustling with various people all talking and chatting. The town square was surrounded by a canal and in the square were stands selling various goods; vegetables, fruits, jewelry, and even weapons.

There was a clock tower not too far and it displayed the time- 12:30 it read. Wataru looked at his watch, the time on it was way too advance which made sense. He'll have to adjust it later, though.

"Well, this is where I go." The lady announced, afterwards she hopped on back to her cart. "Thanks for your help. Hope I didn't cause any problems" He told her. The lady smiled back, "No worries! I do like helping people. I'm a merchant not a sellsword after all." Wataru nodded in understanding, things started to make sense "You're a merchant?" He asked. The lady put her finger on her chin and smiled with pride, "Yup! Tell you what, if you recommend my shop if you can then we can call each other even." She was about to signal her horses to leave, but then looked back at him. "Actually, I don't think we properly introduced ourselves. My name is Anna." She extended her hand towards him which he shook and replied, "Wataru Kurenai, it's nice to meet you, Anna." She nodded back and smiled, "Likewise, Wataru. I'll be going now. Tell everyone about Anna- the secret seller!" She signaled her horse to go and left with her carriage, waving him goodbye. Wataru waved back and proceeded to explore the town.


 

Anna had mentioned his coins were worth some of this place's currency so he figured a good place to look for was somewhere he can sell them. Despite getting weird looks from people around, Wataru was able to get the information he needed. He went around the town until he found the blacksmith, if was a place that needed metals it would be there. The moment he opened the door, he was instantly hit with a wave of heat, no doubt coming from the forge. He went in and heard the sounds of metal being bashed. He saw a wide array of weapons, ranging from bows, lances, and swords.

 "I carry only the finest." A voice said, beyond the counter and coming out from an opening was a bald man with side burns wearing an apron. "What can I fix you with, sir?" He asked. "Ah, yes. I have these metals here..." He took out his wallet and showed his coins. The blacksmith leaned forward to see the coins. "I was wondering if I could sell these to you." He placed the coins on the counter and the blacksmith took them and inspected each, much like what Anna did on their way to Southtown. "A merchant said it could fetch 1500 gold." Wataru explained. "That it can, I do need the extra materials. Stay there, I'll be back with your money." He turned back to his forge. That was easy, Wataru thought. The man came back with a pouch, clashing sounds of coins could be heard from it. He dropped it on the counter and Wataru opened the pouch. Inside were coins, but when he inspected the coins they had numbers etched on them, numbers like 10 and 100. He was relieved to find out their currency was a lot like Japan's. He took the pouch of gold, gave his thanks to the blacksmith, and left.

As he inspected the coins, Wataru wondered to himself what his next course of action would be. Obviously he would have to go to Yllistol and look for his friends, but how exactly would he ask? Has anyone seen a giant flying castle? Or a golden sentient bat, perhaps? Have you seen a-

 

KABOOM!

The sound of explosions quickly alarmed Wataru. He looked over to where he heard the explosion, smoke started to emmerge from the town square and screams could be heard as well. His heroic instincts took hold, and Wataru jolted towards the town square. The closer he got, the louder the screams got as well, he even sounds of blades clashing against each other. He arrived at the square which was in complete disarray. Stalls were knocked over, people were hiding, and Wataru found four people who were fighting what look like bandits. The bandits wore skull helmets and only fur covered their body. To get a closer look, Wataru dashed into the square, trying to avoid attention from the four individuals. He hid behind a still standing stall that, by the looks of it, was selling weapons.

A bandit with an axe swung his weapon at a man on a horse with a spear. The man quickly guarded the strike with his shield and stabbed the bandit in the chest. Wataru cringed and almost felt sick upon seeing the bandit's lifeless body being thrown aside right next the stall he was hiding in. After a quick scan to see if the man was watching, Wataru went over to the bandit and closed his jaw and eyes, but not before giving a short prayer to any god who was listening.

A girl with blonde hair and a yellow dress approached the man. "Are you hurt, Frederick?" She asked with concern. "No, Lady Lissa." He said calmly. "No scratch whatsoever." Another figure approached them, he had white hair and wore a purple cloak with gold at the end of the sleeves. Next to him was a man with blue hair, a shoulder guard, and had no sleeves covering his right arm. Wataru could make out a strange symbol on his shoulder. "Frederick, go over there and see if there's still any villagers left. Lissa, go with him but be careful." The man commanded. The girl puffed her cheeks and looked at him angrily, "I told you, Chrom, I'm not delicate!" She retorted. The man in purple held his chin and examined her, "No offense, Lissa, but I think you are." He replied. "You too, Robin?" She said as she narrowed her eyes. "Oh, I didn't mean it in a bad way!" He shook his head in embarrassment, "You're a Cleric from the looks of it, and Clerics tend to be very fragile which is why they have to be delegated to the back and not get into combat." He explained.

The girl still had her cheeks puffed but nonetheless looked satisfied with the answer. She hoped on the man's horse and went into the direction the man with blue hair pointed to, in the same direction as Wataru's stall. Luckily for him, they rode past him, but that was the least of his problems. When the man in a cloak and the man with blue hair separated from the two, a bandit with an axe left his hiding spot and started running towards the horse. His speed was almost impressive as he was fast enough to catch up with the animal, and he was eyeing the girl in the back.

Wataru was the only one around to see that she was in danger. He scanned around to see what he can use, and found a circular shield. Not much, he thought, but was perfect for the job. The bandit jumped in the air, ready to strike the girl. She only then registered the attack. She shrieked loudly, causing the man to redirect the horse. The girl braced for the attack and the man git his spear ready as the bandit swung his axe down. Acting quickly, Wataru ran out of hiding place and threw the shield like a frisbee. The shield flew and landed dead center in the bandit's rib. He fell down, holding his rib in pain as he got back up, only to be greeted with two feet planted on his face because of Wataru's dropkick, launching the bandit a few feet back.

The duo stared in bewilderment at Wataru. "Are you guys okay?" He asked them. The man nodded slowly while the had her mouth ajar. "How'd you do that?" She asked. Before he could answer, the bandit had gotten back to his feet. "Who uses a shield like that?!" The bandit shouted, he ran towards Wataru with his axe raised. He swung at him, but Wataru dodged it in time. He grabbed his arm and launched his fist towards his face. The bandit staggered back, holding his face in pain, with an opening at hand Wataru launched more punches to him. He he grabbed his head and planted it towards his knee. Unable to take the pain, the bandit finally fell down unconscious.

"Rorik!" A voice yelled, catching the attention of all at attendance. At the square, a larger build bandit started running towards them yelling, "I'm gonna kill you!" Most likely towards Wataru.

A sword was thrown in the air, midway in its spin, the man with blue hair grabbed the sword's hilt and somersaulted in front of the bandit. "Not so fast, bandit." He told him. The bandit gritted his teeth, with a loud cry be charged at the man who gripped his sword, only to be stopped by a small javelin of lighting. Wataru looked towards where the lighting was shot and saw the man in purple with hand stretched and holding a book; the book, Wataru noticed, had the same design as the one Anna had scolded him for reading. "Robin!" The man with blue hair called. "I got your back, Chrom!" He replied. The man in purple ran towards him and took out a sword.

A smirk grew on the bandit's face, "Here, sheepy, sheepy," he taunted, "Come to the slaughter!" He dashed towards the man in purple, swinging his axe at him. The man in purple intercepted the attack just in time, locking the axe with his sword. He pushed the bandit backwards, and slashed the bandit's chest. The man with blue hair circled around him, when the bandit staggered back, the man slashed him with his sword and kicked him in the back, launching him towards the man in purple.

As fast as he could, the man in purple took out his yellow book again. Wataru noticed that as be whispered, his hands started to have electricity pulsing through them. The man smirked,and stretched out his hand. "Checkmate!" He shouted. A large blast of lightning was launched from his fingertips, aimed for the bandit, and left Wataru's mouth ajar. Wataru was no stranger to magic, he of all people should know about its existence; but seeing it without the need of external help still surprised him. He figured it was coming from the book, no wonder Anna didn't allow him to read it.

The blast hit true, engulfing the bandit in a torrent of electricity as a sickening cry could be heard. When the blast died out, the bandit fell with smoke coming out from his body; Wataru hoped he was just unconscious. He looked at the man in purple who sighed heavily.


 

With the fight done, the four people regrouped within the square. Wataru watched as the four chatted with each other, the girl seemed to be praising the man in purple while the man in the huge armor eyed him with a look of suspicion. Wataru couldn't hear what they were talking about from where he stood, but he could see the man in purple nodding to them.

A villager ran past him and went to the group. With nothing much to do, Wataru returned to the stall he was hiding in. He had left his violin there when he decided to take action, and the last thing he wanted to do was lose his father's most prized possession. He found it exactly where he left it and picked it up, walking past the group who were still talking with the villager. He wondered if he could catch a ride somewhere nearby and make it to the capital, although he still had no idea how to start looking for his friends and family.

Before he could completely leave, though, he felt a hand touching his shoulder. Turning around, he saw the man with blue hair along with his group. "Wait, sir," he told him, "I don't think I thanked you yet." Wataru tilted his head. "For what?" He asked. "For saving me, duh!" The girl chirped. Wataru smiled back at them. "No need to. It was my pleasure." The man smiled in return as well, "Humble, I like that. My name is Chrom, the girl you saved is my little sister, Lissa." He explained as he gestured to the girl who was waving back. "The man in the blue armor is Frederick." Frederick nodded back, but Wataru couldn't help it feel like Frederick was giving the evil eye. "And finally this is Robin, our newly appointed tactician." Robin nodded back, but Wataru raised his eyebrow. "Newly appointed?" He asked.

Robin scratched the back of his head, "Yes, well you see I'm in a bit of a predicament right now." He replied. "Our companion here apparently has amnesia." Frederick interjected. "I dearly hope you're not in the same position as him." Chrom glared at Frederick to silence him. "Frederick, please! Not this again. Sorry about Frederick the Wary here, he's especially protective." Chrom explained, but Wataru shook his head in return. "Like I said, no worries; I can understand the caution. My name is Wataru Kurenai, by the way."

"Wataru...Kurenai..." Robin repeated as held his chin. "The name rings a bell, Robin?" Chrom asked to his tactician. "Yes, for some reason." He replied, Wataru had to frown and shake his head. "Sorry, Robin, but I'm afraid this is the first time you and I have met." Robin sighed in defeat, "I suppose that would be the case. The name is pretty foreign." He commented giving Wataru a once over, "And so are your clothes." He added. Chrom, Frederick, and Lissa also examined him, obviously curious of his clothes. "Um, well, I'm not from around here." Wataru supplied, starting to feel uneasy from the staring.

Even though that was all he said, Chrom and Lissa relented and stopped staring although Frederick was still eyeing him. "Well, no matter. You saved my sister's life, and for that we're thankful. If there's anything you need, just say it." Chrom said. Wataru was going to say they didn't need to, but he realize there was something. "Actually, if you can help me get to the capital I would appreciate it." He replied. Lissa and Chrom both brightened up, "Perfect!" Chrom exclaimed, "That's exactly where we're heading. If you want you can join us on our trip. It'll only be a day, I assure you."

"Milord, are you sure that's wise?" Frederick said, "We already let one stranger in, with no memory might I add, and you want to let someone who claims to be a foreigner?" Chrom outstretched his hand to silence the knight, "Enough, Frederick. In case you forgot he saved both you and Lissa, I'm merely showing gratitude and so should you." Chrom shot back, Frederick hung his head, "I'm sorry, milord. I just wish to exercise caution." He replied. He turned his head towards Wataru. "I apologize to you as well, Sir Wataru. In truth I am grateful you saved us back there."

"It's okay." He replied, "I understand the caution, I've actually been in that situation. And please, just Wataru is fine."  Out of instinct, Wataru bowed to the group, only to be met with confused looks from them. Feeling himself blush, Wataru recomposed himself and stood straight. "That was.... tradition from where I from. Bowing is a sign of respect." He explained. "Well I certainly felt respected." Robin smirked, "Welcome to the Shepherds, I suppose. Shall we'll be off, Wataru?"

Chapter Text

Transform (I)|The Blood Moon

The group, now identified as The Shepherds, walked through a very dense forest past Southtown. Wataru may have been a Kamen Rider, but he was no athlete without Kivat. He was glad Robin let him ride with him, though he had trouble trying to adjust himself in the ride. "You don't ride horses where you're from?" Chrom had asked. "Not me, but others do. I have a different way of getting around." He said. "What would that be?" Wataru stayed silent. "It would be hard to explain, I'd rather not." He didn't know how to begin telling them how a monster possessed his motorcycle, let alone what a motorcycle is.

After trecking for what seemed like forever, the group stopped at a clearing upon Lissa's insistence who was done with travelling; Wataru even heard she might've swallowed a bug. Chrom and Frederick left to find food while Wataru, Lissa, and Robin stayed to set up camp. After a while Chrom and Frederick came back, with an entire dead bear as the group's dinner. "What do you guys think? Good for dinner I'd say." Chrom said, and in cue Wataru felt his stomach clench and left to a nearby tree where gross sounds could be heard behind it. "Guess you're not used to these things, are you, Wataru?"

Wataru ended up eating the bear meat with his new companions, albeit begrudgingly. He hated the taste, but after losing his lunch earlier he knew he had no choice. He took each bite as quickly as he could, "I thought you didn't like bear meat." Chrom noticed. "I don't," Wataru took in another bite as hard as he could, "I'm trying to finish this as fast as I could."

"At least you're trying, Wataru." Lissa lamented, "I think I'm gonna pass on the bear. Gods, who eats bear?! We're meddling with the food chain, right, Robin?" He didn't reply, he took each bite of his meat like he was in an all-you-can-eat buffet. "I think he's enjoying himself." Wataru cringed. "That's to be expected, his standards for food wouldn't be high if he doesn't remember any taste to begin with." He added. "I guess..." Lissa remarked, "It smells like old boots!"

"I think boots smell better." Wataru said.

"Agreed!" Lissa chuckled, though it was killed quickly from the smell. "Just eat it, you two, meat is meat." Chrom said sternly. "Yeah, well, why isn't Frederick eating anything?" Lissa retorted, causing Frederick to tense up. "Oh, well, I had a big lunch. Yes, that's right!" He told them, earning an eye roll from both Wataru and Lissa. The Rider had to admit, despite the strange new world and food that would only make a lion happy, it was nice to be with some comforting company like them.


When Wataru opened his eyes from slumber, he wasn't in the forest with the Shepherds, instead he stood on a stone ground with greenery all around. The place was misty and it was kind of hard to breathe for him. Probably the most notable feature was the stone column that lied ahead. Sitting in front of it was a woman with green hair tied in a ponytail; something about her captured Wataru, so he went over to her. Upon closer inspection, he noticed the woman had pointy ears.

"I know you are here." She said in a very posch voice. Wataru pointed at himself, though the woman didn't reply. "I can't see you," she told him, "but I can sense you, Wataru Kurenai." She knew him, but how, and how much does she know? "You are Masked Rider Kiva, though I suppose you prefer the term Kamen Rider since that is your native tongue."

"Who are you?" He mouthed, no sound left his lips for some reason. "I apologize, the spell doesn't seem to be as effective towards foreigners of this world." This world, he wondered. Things started to make more sense now. "Listen," the woman continued, "I don't have much time; a great danger is approaching our world and we need your help. You may be the only hope we have left." Wataru tilted his head, what was said to him may not have been new, but what did it mean? "What's approaching may endanger not only our world or yours, but all the worlds out there." The woman stood up and turned, facing him face to face, from his point of view at least. When he met her gaze, he got the sudden feeling he should kneel, not to her but to something else; it was like someone else, someone more Divine, was here and yet not.

"Please, wake up, Kiva." She said. "Wake up." And again.

"Wake up, wake up, wake up-"


"Wake up, Wataru!" Robin's voice brought him back into reality. He got up and only saw the Tactician and the knight. The smell of smoke filled the air causing him to cover his mouth. Smoke was fuming around the forest and sparks filled the red sky. "Where's Chrom and Lissa?" He asked. "I don't know," Robin replied, "We'll go look for them. Wataru, find somewhere safe and meet us back here." Wataru nodded and went to grab his case.

That was when he heard something. Amidst the crackle of the forest, there was one sound that played distinctively. He looked towards Robin and Frederick who looked unfazed; their only concern seemed to be the fire at hand. He knew what the sound was, but he didn't want like the meaning behind it. He distanced himself from the two as ordered, when he got far enough, he opened the violin case. Inside, Bloody Rose was playing a single note.


Wataru searched the forest frantically; if Bloody Rose was playing again without him, that meant there was Fangire about somewhere. How, though? He wondered. If this was another world then how come there are Fangires here? He recalled the dream he had earlier, the woman told him of a danger that was coming to this world; was this what she meant? He quickly brushed off the thought, there was no way that could've been the case. Most of the Fangire population turned good now that his brother began looking for a new source of energy. Then again, not every Fangire was ecstatic about the change and even staged a rebellion against the king.

He searched for what felt like an eternity, he could hear some faint sword clashing meaning that fight was still going. He decided to turn back, maybe he'll have better luck somewhere el-

CREEEAAAK! CRASH!

A tree fell down directly in front of Wataru! He turned to where the tree fell down from and met a familiar face. It was black and blue and it had coverings that resembled armor somewhat. It held a sword with a stained glass window shape, breathing in and out mist, but its most distinct feature was its horse-like head. "You've got to be kidding me..." Wataru lamented. The figure walked slowly but dauntingly at him as he exhaled more mist, with a deep and craggy voice he said "Kiva..."

The Horse Fangire swung his sword at him, and Wataru was quick to dodge it. He launched his fist towards his head, but the monster remained unfazed. He swatted his hand and returned his own fist to him. "I've gotten better since you last saw me." He said. Wataru wiped the small blood off his lips and stood up, ready to fight. The Fangire laughed at him, "You're nothing without that stupid bat!" He said, but Wataru still stood there ready. Even if without Kivat, it was still his responsibility to fight them.

"Who are you calling a stupid bat?!" A voice yelled. Consecutive yellow streams dashed at the Fangire, finally lunging at him sending him backwards. A familiar golden bat hovered in front of him, looking as smug as ever. "Kivat!" He called. "Wataru! Finally I found you!" The bat replied. He flew towards him and then Wataru asked, "What happened to you?"

"It was really rough! When I woke up I was in a cage and locked up by these twins! They wouldn't let me go and wanted to sell me! Luckily I stole the key and got out while they slept." He explained. Wataru chuckled, so glad he finally found someone he knew. Their reunion was cut short, however, the Fangire got back at his feet, more mist escaping his nose.

Wataru got into stance and glared at the Fangire. "Kivat," he said, "You know the drill." Kivat nodded and flew around him excitedly. "Yeah! Kivat, let's go!" He flew towards his hand and opened his mouth. "BITE!" Wataru placed his finger in and then Kivat closed its jaw. Chains began to wrap around his waist and then turning into a belt with whistles as stained glass looking markings covered his face. "Henshin!" Watatu yelled as he placed Kivat onto the belt. At that moment, a silver sheen covered Wataru, morphing into a shape with armor, boots with a chain, and a batwing shaped visor. Glass shattered from the shape and no longer was Wataru Kurenai standing there, instead was a warrior with a yellow bat visor called Kamen Rider Kiva.

Kiva charged towards the Fangire and launched his fist like last time. This time the Fangire staggered back slightly. He rushed in more punches towards the monster, each blow sending him farther and farther back. Kiva attacked with an uppercut and then grabbed the head of the Horse. He slammed his head on his right knee repeatedly before sending his other fist into his chest, launching the monster into a nearby tree. He rushed in for another punch, but the blow was halted by the Fangires right arm guard. Glass shattered from the guard and they accumulated and merged into another, quite identical sword.

The Fangire swung his sword again at Kiva pushing and changing the tides. He picked up his other sword and walk hauntingly at the Rider, both swords ready. A gulped found its way into Kiva's throat, "That's new..."


Robin jabbed his sword at the risen dead. The monster died in a puff of smoke. He wiped the sweat off his forehead, both from the heat of the fight and the forest. "You okay, Robin?" Lissa asked. Robin was assigned to keep an eye on her as Chrom, Frederick, and the newcomers Sully and Virion handled these monstrosities. Still, that didn't stop the rising dead from coming after them. "Don't push yourself, okay? We still need you." Light emmited from Lissa's staff, closing the wounds and making the pain fade away. "No worries," he assured, "I'll be fine."

BOOOOOOM

A loud crashing sound enacted from the forest. "What was that?" Lissa asked shakingly. "It sounded like it came from the nearby fortress." Robin observed. He got up and grabbed the tome from his coat. "Stay behind me, Lissa." She nodded back, and the two left to the sound.

They found the fortress where they heard the crash, as well as sparks, swords, and grunting. He didn't know how to put it, but whoever was fighting didn't sound too familiar. He needed a safe way to observe, luckily the fortress looked pretty worn out and crumbly. He felt up a wall, looking for any loose bricks. Finally, he felt one of the bricks move ever so slightly. He pushed it further, slipping it out of socket. Lissa did the same, since she wanted a good look too. Though neither were prepared for what lied behind.

A humanoid blue... Horse thing with twin swords was swinging at an armoured man with a yellow bat-like visor. Robin had finally seen it all, forget waking up in a field and fighting the undead, THIS seemed to top it. Lissa finally asked the golden question, "What are those?" She whispered. "I've no idea, definitely not like the dead we fought that's for sure."

The monster swung again, but the man dodged in time to drive his fist to his chest. Sloppy, Robin thought. The moves the man were doing were kind of unprofessional, but he could tell he had a great deal of strength in him. The man rushed in kicking and kicking the monster. The monster retaliated back with jab of its sword and pinning him on the ground. "I told you I got better." It snarled. "It can talk?!" Lissa whimpered, causing a shush from Robin.

"Upgrades aren't the only thing in a fight!" The man said, though the voice sounded posch-like and did not fit him. He head-butted the monster and sent another punch. He got back up and stood ready, as did the monster. Neither moved, just waited for one to strike.

SNAP!

"Shoot!" Lissa whispered, her foot in-between two branches with a broken end. "Lissa!" He hissed. The monster tilted his head as did the man. "An opening!" He cried. Reacting quickly, he jumped over the monster and upon landing he locked his arm. He drove elbow into it causing the sword to be dropped. He kicked him again and grabbed the sword. "Now we're even!" He said. The two were locked into combat, swinging and parrying every sword strike. Finally, the man jabbed his sword into the monsters chest and launched him towards a wall. "Alright," He yelled, "Let's finish this!"

The man took out...Robin didn't know what it was but he got it from his belt. From his end, he couldn't see where he placed the object but as soon as he did a high-pitched somewhat melodic sound came and a golden bat started flying. "Where did that come from?!" Lissa cried again. "Lissa, for gods' sake, pipe it down!" He hissed back. The bat flew around his left leg causing the boot to open into a batwing shape. The man crouched down and growled, as the sky turned blood red, redder than last time, as did the moon and clouds came in.


"Commander?" Sully asked as she looked to the sky. "What is it, Sully?" Chrom replied. "Was the moon always out? And red?" Chrom looked up and saw she was right. The moon was hautingly red and he could've sworn it looked bigger. "My, that's a mystical shade of red." Their new archer, Virion, remarked. "But it's not as mystical as this lovely lady's trance."

"Say that again and you'll be saying it with a boot in your mouth."
"Y-yes, m'lady."

Chrom rolled his eyes as Frederick approached him. "I believe we should look for the others, milord." He told him. Chrom nodded and signaled everyone to get going.


The man raised his left leg with impressive balance as he crouched down, launching himself into the sky. Robin and Lissa looked in awe as he stretched his leg, aiming directly at the monster. It scrambled back up and started running, but it was too slow. The man caught up and planted his leg on its back slamming it towards a wall. The fortress shook, and the monster was planted firmly at a wall that was somehow carved into a strange insignia. It slumped like a rag doll before going out in an explosion, though Robin didn't know how nothing was destroyed. In its place lied a white wisp of light, it flew out into places unknown.

Lissa and Robin looked at each other, and then nodded. They need to look for Chrom.


"It didn't turn into glass." Kiva said, he inspected what was left of the Fangire; a metal box with sparks coming out. In hindsight, he was an idiot not knowing what they were years ago. "They really are 'neo', huh?" Kivat remarked. "Masao fought these, he fought these for so long." He started to recall his son from the future, the same son who pushed them off the UFO and left. If this Fangire was a Neo-Fangire, then is he at the time where they started to form?

Kivat left his position, reverting Kiva into Wataru. "Kivat, I found some people." He told him. "Friends?" He asked. "New ones, not old. I haven't seen anyone we know." Kivat sighed, "Well, figures." He looked far off in the direction where the soul flew off. "Listen, Wataru, I'm going to search for the soul. We need to know where it goes. There's a city surrounded in a wall due north here; Yllistol I believe those twins called it."

"That's where we're going!" Wataru beamed. "Perfect! I'll look for you there." Kivat replied. "I'll see you at Yllistol, my friend." With that, Kivat flew into the sky. Wataru prayed silently he would see him soon.

The fight and fire seemed to have finally died down, Wataru started to search for the Shepherds. He finally found them in a clearing with three new faces and a frazzled Lissa and Robin. "Then he kicked him against a wall and it went kaboom!" Lissa cried. "Who did what, now?" Wataru asked. Everybody turned their heads towards him. "Oh, Wataru, good to see you're unharmed." Chrom said. "Robin and Lissa were just telling us about an encounter with a strange monster."

"Monster?" Wataru asked slowly, though it luckily went over the Shepherds.

"And a strange armored man." Frederick added. "After what's happened here, their story doesn't seem too hard to believe." Wataru nodded nervously as Robin recounted the tale to him, though he already knew the whole story.

"I know what you saw." Then all heads turned towards someone else, a short blue haired man wearing a butterfly like mask; somewhat nostalgic for Wataru. His voice, though, had a hint of femininity. "You know who they are, Marth?" Chrom asked.

"What you two witnessed was a Fangire, a monster different from the ones you've just fought." He told them. "Different how?" Chrom asked. "Smarter, stronger, and leagues tougher. They have a ruler whom they treat with high respect." Marth replied, a hint of hostility in his voice. "Do you know who their leader is?" Robin asked. Marth didn't reply for awhile, almost like he was trying to ignore Robin. "I've never seen him, but I heard some of them mention a name; Kiva, if memory serves me right."

Kiva?! Wataru stiffened, he was so glad Marth was getting more attention than him, he was really looking suspicious. "You think that's their leader, Marth?" Frederick asked. "Just a suspicion, I'm not too sure." He replied.

Marth turned and left, but not before leaving a message, "Listen, this world teeters at the brink of a horrible calamity. What you saw tonight, all of it, was just a prelude. You have been warned."

Wataru was left stunned at his words. Was what he learned true? Is this world really going to have a major crisis? But why were the Fangires here? What do they have to do with this? Are they the threat,or is it something else, something far more sinister? So many questions, yet no answers.

"Hey, kid!" Wataru blinked in surprise as a woman in red armor called him. "Still spacin'? We gotta go. Captain Chrom says you'll be riding with me, no way in hell am I gonna have some philander riding with me."

"You wound me, madam!" The man with...a cravat, Wataru guessed, cried with genuine sadness. "Name's Sully, by the way." She supplied. Wataru nodded and got on her horse.

Despite the many questions he had, Wataru knew he had the answer to the most important question; the reason he's here is because the Fangires are.


Marth trekked through the forest. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, her father was there, Frederick and Aunt Lissa, and of course... him. He may have stood with them innocently, and he was rightfully so, but she knew he wasn't to be taken lightly. Not when she had no idea who was her father's mur-

SNAP!

Marth's body tensed up, she unsheathed her sword and stood in position. There was a rustle in the bushes, and she gripped her sword harder. "Whoa! Hold on there, tiger-butterfly, it's me!" The voice was familiar. Coming out of the bush was a man with very, very messy hair, and clothes that made him look like he came from the slums. Marth calmed herself down, but not by much. "What do you want?" she asked. "Nothing from you, I assure you." He told her. "I just came to check the situation, like you." He looked over the moon, it was still red from a slight aftereffect from Kiva. "Saw your mom?" Marth shook her head. "She's not here yet, she'll probably come later. Like what father said." The man nodded in whistled. "And my dad?" he asked. "Also there, I'm watching him carefully." The man turned to her, and raised his eyebrow. "You still don't trust him?"
"Neither of you, you're both Fangires." The man shook his head.
"That kind of talk had put all kinds of people in wars, y'know. Am I really that hard be trusted?"

He reached out his hand and tried to put his hand on Marth's shoulder, but she retreated quickly with her sword in hand. "Yes." she answered. The man sighed heavily.
"I'm not like the others." he said.
"You almost ate my blood."
"We don't eat blood, it's life force."
"You almost did it."
"It was an accident."

Marth circled him cautiously, but he only look at her questioningly. As fast as wind, she charged in sword swinging. He dodged her attacks, and upon the last swing, he grabbed the sword in his hand. "You know you can't beat me easily, let alone un-transformed." he told her. Marth gritted her teeth, and sheathed her sword back. "I've no time to deal with you. I'm going forward with my plan." She told him. "You know, we could accomplished more if we worked together." he told her, but she didn't reply. Marth head into the darkness of the forest.

"We'll meet again, Luci." The man ran towards the cliff and leaped off the edge. Marth turned her head around, and on cue, the train flew upwards. As it moved, train tracks formed under it and it rode onto the light of blood moon.

 

Chapter Text

Transform (II)|Yllistol

"So this is Ylisstol, capital of Ylisse. I've never seen so many people!" Robin remarked. He looked around his surroundings like a kid in a candy store. Only Wataru raised an eyebrow. "You don't even remember places with a lot of people, though." He told him. "Well, yeah, but still! There's so much. Aren't you amazed?" Robin asked; Wataru just shrugged. "I don't like crowds but I'm used to seeing them. It's pretty common where I'm from."

"Must be pretty big if this doesn't faze you." Robin said as Wataru shrugged again. While he did question Robin's wonder over the town, Wataru couldn't help but feel enamored by it too. The whole city was brimming with life and music. Kids were playing everywhere, musicians played songs, and every corner there were people selling something; Wataru felt like he was in a fantasy movie. "I'll admit, though, this place is amazing." He said. "It's a miracle this place made it out unscathed." Frederick nodded, "It seems that the earthquake was only limited to the forest."
"Look!" an old man had yelled, "The Exalt has come to see us!"
People everywhere started scrambling and formed a huge crowed as a young woman with blonde hair wearing a golden robe surrounded by men with armor walked passed them. The people cheered at her as she passed by them with a smile. "The Exalt?" Wataru asked. "Oh, I suppose we never told you. That person over there is our ruler, the ruler of the halidom I should say. Her name is Exalt Emmeryn." Chrom said to him. "The Exalt is a symbol of peace-Ylisse's most prized quality."
"Peace?" Wataru asked. Frederick nodded, and then continued, "Long ago, at the dawn of our age, the fell dragon tried to destroy the world, but the first exalt joined forces with the divine dragon and laid the beast low. Exalt Emmeryn reminds us all of the peace we fought for then." He explained. "Then the Ylissean people are indeed lucky to have her." Robin said as Wataru nodded, though the sound of dragons existing in this world was something he had to take note of. "That's some burden on her shoulder, though." He said, to which Chrom nodded. "Yes, which is why we worked so hard to maintain the peace; to ensure order and lift the weight off our sister's shoulders."

Robin's eyes beamed up, "Oh, so by Shepherds you herd the people who threaten the peace." He asked, everyone in the group, aside from Virion who was looking at them as if he needed to study for a test, nodded in response. "Oh, I see. That's a very fitting name, honestly." Wataru said with his hand on his chin. "I'll agree with you on that, my friend." Robin nodded, doing the same pose as Wataru. That is until the realization sank in on both of them like a rock in water. "Did you just say sister?" they both yelled. "Took you two long enough." Sully said, before she started laughing at them as Chrom and Lissa both smirked at their reaction. Virion looked surprised as well, though his reaction was a lot less theatrical than the two. "Forgive us for our manners, sire!" Robin babbled, Wataru even bowed as low as he could as he said, "Me too, Prince Chrom!" Chrom chuckled at his friends, "Robin's right, being bowed to does make you feel respected," he remarked, "Come on, you two, up on your feet. I've never been much for formalities" The two readjusted themselves, the red on their faces very visible. "The prince and princess..." Robin trailed, "So that's why Frederick tolerates all the teasing." Frederick nodded back, and then he sighed, "Indeed, oh the sacrifices I make for the good of the realm." Everyone laughed at his response, but the knight stayed surprisingly unfazed by it.

"It looks like Emm is returning to the palace, would you like to meet her, Robin?" Chrom asked, to which Robin nodded back. "I should get going." Wataru told them, "I got some friends I need..." He paused to find the proper words, "to meet up with. He shook their hands, said his goodbyes, and left. They were nice company, Wataru admitted. He hoped to himself that he would meet them again soon.


For the rest of the morning, Wataru had looked for any lead for his friends. Much to his dismay, no one had provided any information he needed. When that failed, he figured he might as well learn about the world he's in.

He quickly found a library to study and found out this place was a lot more interesting than it first appeared; the world had a long history regarding dragons and kings. There was one dragon in particular that appeared most often from the books he read, a dragon that went by Grima or as the books called him the Fell Dragon. In the stories, they all talked about how a mad alchemist tried to create the perfect being using the blood of the divine dragon. Although successful, the dragon became too powerful for even he to control so he sought to kill it. The alchemist was never mentioned again but since Frederick's story is history, Wataru can assume the man died before killing it.

He put the book on its shelf when he noticed a woman had been staring at him a table across. Her eyes widened when she noticed he noticed and walked up to him. "Apologies." she said to him. She had long red hair and she bore a headband with wing decorations at each end and wore armor, though Wataru wasn't entirely convince it was armor since it was just a chest plate and a skirt to "cover" the legs. "You don't look from around here, forgive me." She said. "I've been getting that a lot." He admitted. "Are you a knight?" Wataru asked her, she nodded back. "Yes, a Pegasus knight to be exact." Wataru eyes widened, first magic, next dragons, now Pegasus? This world has it all! "Must be amazing flying all the time." He said; the woman smiled sweetly at him as she took her seat. "Indeed it is, I find it very exhilarating."

"Why are you reading about the Grimleal?" she asked him, her face and tone quickly turned serious. "Grimleal?" Wataru repeated. "You don't know about them?" Wataru shook his head. "Ah, forgive me. I should've figured you wouldn't know about them." The woman said. Wataru placed the book back into its shelf as he continued his conversation with her. "Are they dangerous?" he asked her. "Well known for it. The only thing they all desire is to revive the Fell Dragon, Grima-even sacrificing themselves just to give him life force." Wataru listened intently as she explained. Fanatic followers who would do anything for their leader, sounds like a certain bishop Wataru knew back in the day.

They talked more as Wataru read more of the world's history. The woman was nice company, though shy at times. He noticed every time he put a book back on its shelf, the woman would take the book and put it back on its proper shelf. Finally, Wataru and her left the library; outside he found a man in armor placing up a poster. His hair was sticking out of his large helmet and he had a rather large nose. His face was also kind of familiar to Wataru, though he couldn't place where. "Man, how'd I get downgraded to this?" The man grumbled, his voice was also familiar too. He glanced at his side and finally noticed Wataru and the woman. He turned to them and stiffened his stance. "Lady Cordelia?" He asked to the woman to which she nodded. "You're needed back at the palace. Something about a relocation, apparently." Cordelia nodded, surprisingly unfazed by the news.

Wataru glanced at the poster, paying it no mind at first, until he noticed the man on the poster looked strikingly familiar; he had silver armor and a yellow batwing-like helmet. "Who's the man on the poster?" He asked shakingly. The man looked at the poster and beamed. "Oh, a wanted man. Name's Kiva, if our sources are correct." That's bad. "What's he guilty of?" Wataru asked. "Leading a league of monsters that have been terrorising the capital." He replied nonchalantly. "On what grounds?"

"Reports- and the monsters constantly yelling 'For our king, Kiva!' or something like that." Wataru gulped, not three days has he been on this world and already is he a wanted man.

FLAP FLAP FLAP

Wataru looked over head and watched as- what he knew were- pegasus flying due south. "Must be that contraption again." The knight commented. "What contraption?" Cordelia asked. "Oh, some weird…thing with a red dorsal fin and two wheels; looks like it's made of metal. The Pegasus knights can't seem to find it after it runs off, said it disappears out of thin air." Two wheels? Dorsal fin? Disappears out of thin air? There was only one contraption-no, machine-that had that description. "I've gotta go!" Wataru yelled, sprinting towards the direction of the Pegasus.


It was a market square where he followed them, not too far where he separated with the Shepherds. He could already hear frantic screaming and metal clashing with metal. Upon arrival, a knight was flung towards his direction, luckily his instincts told him to dodge.

At the center of the square, a two-wheeled machine ripped, swerved, and plowed through the market leaving no stall unharmed. Wataru recognized what it was,it was his bike- the Machine Kivaa. Its usually yellow headlight was now a blood red and now the bike frame seemed to bend like a cartoon, the Fangire possessing it was obviously not in control of itself. It aimed for Wataru, but he quickly dove out of the way to a nearby alley. That's when he heard softer wing flaps that sounded like the wings were made of plastic.

"Ah, Wataru, good thing I found you so soon." Kivat hovered around the clearly shaken Wataru. "The soul ended up flying towards some desert; didn't want to get a-" Wataru grabbed him mid-sentence, not bothering to listen to him. "Nevermind that! My bike's out of control." He told him. Understanding the situation, Kivat opened his mouth and bit Wataru's finger.

The Machine Kivaa aimed for a little girl who was separated from her mother. Not knowing friend or foe, the bike charged for the girl who braced for impact. It never arrived; when she opened her eyes, a man in silver armor was in front of her with his hands on her shoulders. "Run, quickly!" Kiva ordered. The girl ran as fast she can as Kiva crouched and eyed the bike. It let out a monsterous roar, though there was a bit of a horse's neigh in there too. "What's wrong with it?" He whispered. "Don't know, but be careful!" Kivat replied.

The bike charged at its Rider, wheeling up to rip him with its front tire. Kiva guarded himself from the attack, but the bike proved stronger and rammed through both Kiva's arms and chest. Kiva got up and ran towards the bike. Engines roared and the bike charged to him. Knowing it would do that, Kiva somersaulted to the seat of the bike and grabbed its handlebars. The Machine Kivaa started thrashing about to get him off, riding around the streets of the market. Kiva held on for his dear life and steered it away from any civilians who were there, though he was unable to save the stalls. 'Not good for my rep…' he thought.

In the end, the bike once again proved superior and threw Kiva out and crashing towards a store, landing upside against a cabinet. "This is getting us nowhere." Kiva lamented. The bike roared its engine once more and rode off to destroy more stalls. "Is there anyway we can control it?" Kiva asked Kivat. "None that I can think of. We've never had this problem before." He replied.

Kiva cursed to himself, what was he going to do? If only he was like his successors, all of them had some way to control their Rider Machines, so how can he? He pounded his fist into the ground in anger of his own inability, but his fist hit something. It felt round, but not a rock and it made a sound, like it was made of plastic. He looked down and saw a small object with a red dorsal fin attached to a miniature tire with a rectangular end sticking out of it; it was very familiar.

"A Fuestle?" Kivat was astonished. "Where did this come from?" Kiva wondered. He looked around, there wasn't anyone nearby, though he did hear something close. The door was in rubbles so the cabinet maybe? No, that was impossible.

"More importantly, what does it do?" Kivat asked, Kiva was surprised that his partner had no idea what something did; not the first time it has happened but still surprising.

CRAAAAASH!

Another crash, the bike was still on the loose. Kiva stepped outside and saw the bike ride around crazingly. He glanced at the dorsal fin on the bike, then the one on the Fuestle. "I think I know what it does." Kiva said. Unshakingly, he approached the bike in an open space where there were no civilians. The bike roared again and charged at him.

Fifty feet, Kiva took out the Fuestle.
Twenty-five feet, the bike drew closer.
Twelve feet, Kiva inserted the Fuestle into Kivat's mouth.
Six feet, the headlight shined bloodier and brighter red.
Three feet, "MACHINE, KIVAA!" Kivat cried as he blew into the Fuestle. A loud, ear piercing, musical piece was played from it; a piece from a clarinet. The bike heard the piece as well, each succeeding note from the song caused the bike to slow down little by little.
Mere inches away, the bike stopped dead in front of Kiva. Its blood red headlight dimmed down and the engines turned quiet.

Kiva stood silent and ready, being cautious if the bike was planning something. When nothing happened, he eased himself. "Looks like it's calm now." Kivat said to which Kiva nodded. He went over to the bike to-

FWOOOOOOSHHHH!

A fireball flew towards Kiva! Reacting quickly, he retreated his hand and got into his battle stance. This battle wasn't over yet. He looked towards the direction where the fire was shot, he found a familiar man in purple robes with a book on one hand and his other outstretched. "Robin?" Kiva whispered. "He's right there, Chrom, now!"

The sound of a blade being unsheathed rung in Kiva's ear. He turned around and saw Chrom coming in with a sword swing. He dodged the swing quickly, but Chrom rushed him with more and more swings. "Damnit, stop dodging!" Kivat ordered,and Kiva knew that well too. He didn't want to hurt a friend, but if he gets caught…

With a grunt, Kiva somersaulted over Chrom and kicked him in the back but not too hard to break his spine. Chrom fell to the ground, and Kiva took the opportunity to get on his bike. He turned the engine and got out as fast as he can.

With the bike now under his control, Kiva took the first exit he can find. It lead him down a street, not too long one either and it lead him to the open field. 'Perfect place to hide this.' he thought. He was nearin, nearing, and nearing the exit, until a man in green armor on a horse blocked his path. "Got it covered, Chrom!" he yelled. He must've been another Shepherd, one which Kiva hasn't met yet.

The man got his spear ready as Kiva rode towards him. Wasting no time, he gripped the handlebars as hard as he could and did a hard u-turn; just before the man in green jabbed him with his spear.

With that exit out of the way, Kiva took a right to an alley way. Unfortunately, while it lead to another exit, Sully arrived in time with a blonde man with no shirt and a giant axe riding behind her. "Get'im, Vaike!"she yelled to the man. He stood on the horse, and jumped towards Kiva. "Time for me to teach you a lesson!" He shouted. Kiva revved up the engine and dashed in forward, narrowly dodging the man. The man's axe hit the floor, creating a crack in it. Kiva u-turned again and drove past the man.

He rode into another allewway and luckily he didn't encounter any Shepherds in it and took a left which lead to a new exit. The open field was in view again, down towards a downhill road. He drove steadily towards the hill, glad there wasn't another obstacle.

Though he ended up jinxing himself.

He went down the hill, but Frederick made his entrance and blocked the exit. Shocked, Kiva turned around but his other way was blocked by the same man in green armor. He was trapped. Kiva looked down at the hill, was there any other way out? That's when he remembered something that his bike could do.

"Wataru, are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Kivat asked. Kiva nodded and drove the bike down again. He felt the wind against his suit as kept picking up speed, feeling the wind getting stronger and stronger. Frederick pulled out his lance and rode his horse towards Kiva. He glared at him and Kiva gripped the handlebars as he leaned in forward."Pick a god and pray!" Frederick yelled. With a cry, Frederick's horse leaped towards Kiva as he jabbed his lance. There it was, Kiva's opening! As hard as he could, Kiva pulled the bike down sideways and slid under the jumping horse.

Fredrick's eyes widened, his horse landed and he turned it around, but he saw something more surprising. Kiva had disappeared! Just like that, out of thin air! Black markings were on the floor which lead to the exit of Yllistol. He followed them there but he still couldn't find him.


"Ha! That was brilliant, Wataru!" Kivat remarked. Kiva felt weird, this was the first time he did a Phantom Rush with him on the bike. He didn't know how to describe the feeling invisible; it was like being there but not. It was weird.

After circling half of the capital, Kiva finally found a small shack against the wall. There was a tarp there, too. Kiva reverted back into Wataru and he went to remove the tarp. Not much was there, just some empty barrels and a few crates which were also empty. Behind them was an entrance to a sewer. Needless to say this place was abandoned. He pushed the crates and barrels out of the way, opened the gate to the sewer, whose lock was broken, and brought the bike in the sewer. "That should save us the trouble of hiding it." Kivat said. Wataru placed the crates and barrels back and covered them under the tarp.

He took out his new Fuestle, Wataru still had no idea how he got it but he was glad he did. He had no idea what he would do if he couldn't get his bike again.

"So were those your friends you talked about?" Kivat asked him. "Yes, but they don't know I'm Kiva." Kivat shook his head, "Wataru, you don't have to hide your identity in a world that doesn't know who Kiva is!" Wataru scratched the back of his head. "Well, it's not like it matters now." he told him, "Kiva is wanted for things we've never done." It was the best option, he figured. If he did tell them and they learned he was wanted, they would've been suspicious of him.

"So about that Fangire soul?" Wataru asked."Ah, yes. It flew towards a desert far from here. I don't want to get a heatstroke so I decided to go to you." Wataru scratched the back of his head and sighed. Just his luck, and still no sign of the residents of Castle Doran.

He covered the crates and barrels with the tarp and left the abandoned shack. "Ah, Wataru, glad I found you." Wataru jumped, grabbed Kivat and hid him behind his back as he turned around. He was face to face with Frederick who was on his horse. "What are you doing here, actually?" He asked him. "Taking a walk, you know getting a good look of the landscape." Wataru replied shakingly. He let go of Kivat and motioned him to hide. Kivat flew behind the tarp and watched from afar.

"What are you doing out here, Frederick?" Wataru asked, though he knew why. Playing dumb was the only way to save himself. "Looking for a supposed wanted man, have you seen him? Silver armor and a yellow mask, looks like a batwing." Wataru started to sweat bullets as he shook his head. Frederick raised an eyebrow but seemed satisfied with his answer.

"Well, got to go. I've….places to go." Wataru announced to Frederick. He walked away nervously but Frederick stopped him in his place. "Wait, I need you to come with me." He told him. "Wait, why?" Wataru asked, his voice increased slightly and he hoped that went over Frederick. "Exalt Emmeryn wishes to speak with you."
"For what?"
"Well for starters, you DID save Lady Lissa's and my life so she would like to thank you. She also wants to speak to you about something."
"You don't know why?" Frederick shook his head. "Okay, can we make a stop somewhere? I left something I need to get." Wataru asked him. Soon, the two left on Frederick's horse with Kivat following behind them.


Upon his request, Frederick brought Wataru back to the market square where he left Bloody Rose before fighting the Machine Kivaa. Though Frederick was skeptical about that fact, Wataru was able to make an excuse saying he saw the bike but escaped as fast as he could, leaving the violin behind as to not slow him down. Though not his best excuse, it seemed it was enough to satisfy Frederick without any further questions. Finally, he made it to the palace of the Exalt. It was like seeing a castle from a fantasy movie, Castle Doran looked like a house in the suburbs compared to this. The front gate was decorated with foliage of all kinds with many guards patrolling the area, he even saw a young boy wearing a big wizard hat practicing a spell. 'Guess they have wizards here as well' Wataru thought.

They entered the insides of the palace, the big windows around it illuminated the palace very well. Large blue and gold banners decorated the halls; each banner held a symbol of sorts which Wataru recognized as the marking on Chrom's shoulder. "Curious about the brand of the Exalt?" Frederick asked. "Brand?" Wataru asked. "Indeed, it's the symbol of the royal family of Ylisse."
"Must be quite a birthmark."
"Oh, it isn't just a birthmark."
"Huh?"
"It's a symbol given to them by Naga, our God."
"Is this Naga a dragon as well?"
"Yes, she is. Though the Brand is a symbol of Ylisse, the first person known to have the Brand was our neighbor's, Valm, king from the past, Alm."
"And your people and Valm are fine with that?"
"The Brand hasn't had a reported sighting in Valm as of late but the first Exalt of Ylisse proved that the Lowell family has every right to the Brand just as much as the hero of prophecy- Lowell is Lord Chrom's surname, by the way." Wataru nodded as he listened to Frederick, this world had quite a history. He shouldn't be one to complain, though, his world had just as much as history; it was just kept in secret.

The two finally made it to the throne room of the Exalt. Inside, he saw Chrom talking with his elder sister with Robin at his side. Lissa was standing nearby as well talking to the man in green armor from earlier. "Your grace," Frederick called, catching the attention of everyone in the room. "May I introduce you to Sir Wataru." Frederick gestured to Wataru as he stepped aside. Wataru walked up to the Exalt and bowed his head. "It's a pleasure to meet you." He said to her. "Please, the pleasure is mine." Exalt Emmeryn replied. She walked out of her throne to meet him face to face. "I would like to thank you personally for saving my sister's life. According to Frederick, you fought quite well against the brigand."
"I wouldn't say 'well' but more like he was strong enough to knock him out." Frederick interjected.
"Yes, well it was still quite impressive. I thank you for it."

Wataru blushed at the praise he was getting. "Like I told your brother, it was no problem. I'd do it for anyone, though I'm not much of a fighter." Half-truth, but the more he played dumb the less chances of him getting caught.

"Of course, now on to my next issue. Is that a violin by any chance?" the Exalt pointed towards his case. "Yes, its name is Bloody Rose." He replied. "May I see it?" Though a bit hesitant, Wataru opened the case and brought out Bloody Rose. He handed the violin to Emmeryn and she looked at it with studying eyes. She inspected every corner of it and then handed it back to Wataru. "It's an impressive violin, did you make it?" She asked, to which Wataru shook his head. "No, it was my fathers and he made it. Though it was destroyed one time and I recreated it." He explained, Emmeryn nodded as she listened to him. She turned her head to Chrom and the siblings nodded at each other.

"Sir Wataru, I received a letter just a few days ago. It was from the voice of Naga herself, lady Tiki." She explained. "Um, who?" Wataru asked. "She's Naga's daughter. She said she heard about you and your violin and how exquisite it is; she's not one to lie."
"Surprised she heard about you but you haven't heard of her." Frederick said. "Peace, Frederick. I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't be so critical." Chrom replied. Frederick bowed his head and apologized.

"Yes, well, she said you would be going to Ylisstol today. You see...we have a bit of an issue." Emmeryn continued, "You know about my brother's militia, the Shepherds?" Wataru nodded. "Yes, well we have a personal orchestra here in the palace for formal events. They have a fairly large inventory of instruments. The problem is the place where we're keeping the instruments just so happens to be near where the Shepherds train."
"How's that an issue?" Wataru asked.
"You'd be surprised how much we break." Chrom answered weakly. "And sometimes it's too much." Emmeryn continued, "We have enough money to fix the instruments, but it can take a toll on our budget; hiring people to repair is a lot even if we are the royal family."
"You don't have a special discount or something?"
"No, no we don't. We prohibit discounts for the royal family to give the people fair earnings, though that doesn't help our situation. That's why I'm asking you here now. We would like to hire you to be our repairman for the violins to cut costs." Emmeryn explained.
"Can't you just pick a new place to keep them?" Wataru asked. "We have, but the inventory for the weapons are much bigger than the one for the orchestra. If we switched the places there still wouldn't be any space. Even then the inventory keeps updating from our spoils." Frederick explained.

"Will you accept?" Emmeryn asked. Wataru pondered about the offer. "Any bebefits?" He asked. "According to the Exalt," Robin said, "You'll be given a place to stay here in the palace with accomodations. You can have three meals a day and you will be given your own workshop to work in."
"This is all well thought out." Wataru commented.
"We were given three days to prepare. All of this was requested by lady Tiki for you." Again with this Tiki person. Whoever she was, Wataru would have to thank her if they ever meet. "Well since she went through all that trouble, I accept your offer." He bowed his head again in respect.

"Thank you, Sir Wataru. You have my gratitude." Emmeryn said. "Just Wataru is fine." He told her. "Of course, Sir Robin, if you may, can you escort Wataru to his quarters?" Robin nodded in response. "Great to see you again, my friend." Wataru nodded to him and the two left. Looking behind him, he saw Kivat flying in the shadows following him to their new life.


What he was asking was big, impossible maybe. Three monsters taking care of a half-fangire half-human child? Crazy! The real question was, though, would Jiro say 'no'. "We're monsters" He told Otoya. "We might quickly break a promise with a human. Like we might eat your son." He added. Otoya just chuckled, not even bothering to play coy. Otoya turned his head to the distance, his eyes completely genuine and seemingly in pain. "I'm counting on you, Jiro."


The light hit his eyes when he opened them. Jiro got to his feet groggily. He had a bit of a headache. Where was he, though? He looked around, it was just an open field with a river that had a bridge. Nothing too noteworthy.

He brushed off the dirt on his suit as he walked around. Wataru, Maya, and the others were nowhere in sight, what's he to do now? From afar, he was able to make out a couple of figures. Their clothes were particular though, they look like they were made from the medieval times. A reenactment perhaps? As it was the only option, Jiro approached the group.

"Excuse me," he said, tapping the shoulder of the man. "I was wondering if you could help-" but he stopped mid-sentence when the man turned his head. Jiro saw a lot of things in his centuries of living, but this somehow shocked him the most. The man's face and skin was completely dark, his eyes were gone only leaving empty sockets, his jaw was dislocated, and his moan was like a zombie's. The other people in the group were like that as well. Jiro stumbled back before gathering back his composure.

He glared, crouched down, and scratched the floor in a circle. The ghostly image of a wolf-like man surrounded him, an aura of blue started to surround his body, and a beastly growl escaped his mouth.

Chapter Text

Intermission(I)|Back to the other world

Nago was never always stressed. He was a bounty hunter, he couldn't afford to be stressed! Especially in front of his son and wife. Except that time the person he was trying to capture refused to give him his button but that wasn't the point. Today, he was stressed beyond belief. He stood inside Wataru's Manor looking for every nook and cranny for his friend. While he found a bunch of old violins scattered everywhere even in the weirdest places, there was no sign of his friend.

"Yes, we're sure it was his castle thing. No there's no sign of him here. Yes, even the bathroom." His wife was on the phone with another friend, Shizuka. She had heard of the disappearing castle event and had called them immediately when Wataru wouldn't pick up. His wife was also in disarray, calling Wataru's phone every five minutes or so.

"Okay, bye." Megumi hung up the phone and opened the bathroom door for the fifth time that day. "Megumi, he's not there." Nago told her. "You never know!" She retorted. "Maybe he's hiding somewhere. You think he had a fight with a girl?" She asked. "He's not dating anyone!" Nago said. "He would have told us if he was, anyway. He tells us everything."

"What about that time he went fighting the other Kamen Riders?"

"Okay, he should've told me-"

"Or that time he hopped into this gigantic green stone in the middle of his birthday?"

"To be fair, he told us in the end-"

"Or that time the entire, and I quote, MULTIVERSE was going to end and he was the messenger for the so called 'Destroyer of worlds'?!"

Nago had no reply for that one. In the end, he figured Wataru kept a lot of secrets than he should have.

"Look, my point is he's not hiding anywhere." Nago said as he stood up. He hesitated a bit before continuing, "As much as I hate to say it, but I think whatever happened to him, it wasn't in his volition. He probably got kidnapped or something." Megumi looked at him incredulously. She threw her hands in the air and sat on the bed. She buried her head in her hands and Nago could hear a sniffle.

Nago sat down next to her and wrapped her in his arms. "It'll be alright." He told her. "We'll find him. We always do."

The door burst open, making the two jump. The light shined brightly but the two could make out a silhouette of a man. "Wataru?" Megumi whispered, hope in her voice. "Huh? Who's that?" The man replied. Slowly, he lifted his hand revealing a fedora in it. He placed it on his head and pointed towards the two. "If it's someone missing I can find him. After all, I'm a hardboiled detec-"

BONK

Someone else came in and smacked him on the head. "Yeah, yeah, shut up." He told him. "Hey! Tsukasa!" The other man called out.

Tsukasa? That name was familiar to Nago.

The other man stepped out the light revealing a man in a long black coat, light brown hair, a bandage on his cheek, and a pink twin reflex camera; Nago recognized its kind since he used to have one back in the day. "Who are you?" Nago asked. The man with the camera looked at him and smiled. "Me?" He asked. "I'm just a passing through-"

"Tsukasa Kadoya. Kamen Rider Decade, the destroyer of worlds." The man in the fedora replied. The other man looked at him with an irritated look. "You steal my fun, I steal yours." He told him.

"I think I just jinxed us." Megumi whispered to her husband, he could only nod in reply. His wife walked up to Tsukasa and shook his hand with glee. "It's very nice to meet you, mister...uh... destroyer of worlds!" She said shakingly. Tsukasa just nodded nonchalantly and turned his head to Nago. "Kamen Rider Ixa." He pointed to Nago. "And…" he turned his finger to Megumi. "Ixa's wife." He said to her.

All of a sudden, Megumi's face shifted. Her face was completely filled with disgust. "Excuse me?!" She shouted. She shocked the other man in the room but her husband scratched his head, this Tsukasa person might've dug his own grave. "I did not go through laborious days and YEARS of fighting Fangire and being a model just to be known as 'IXA'S WIFE'!" She poked Tsukasa in the chest with each word she said but Tsukasa looked unfazed by it.

"Oh," the man in the fedora said. "I know you. Megumi Nago, right? You modelled for Windscale one time." Just as fast she turned angry, Megumi's personality quickly changed back when she heard words of praise about her. "You've heard of me? It's nice to meet a fan!" She said. "Well, I wouldn't say I'm a fan, but I have heard of you in your interview with Princess Wakana." He took out a business card and handed it to Megumi. "Shotaro Hidari, private eye." Megumi took the card off his hand and nodded. "Nice to know someone here has manners." She said, her eyes quickly shifter towards Tsukasa though he didn't bat an eye.

"Look, we're not here for either of you." Tsukasa told them, earning a huff from Megumi yet again. "We're here for Kiva. Where is he?" The color on Megumi's face was gone quickly at the mention of their friend. The place all of a sudden turned quiet. "Is something wrong?" Shotaro asked. Not bothering to reply, Nago brought out his phone, searched for a video online, and gave it to Shotaro. "This will tell you everything." He said.

Shotaro and Tsukasa huddled together and played the video; it was a news report about a flying castle in the sky disappearing. The video they watched showed a castle with a dragon head sticking out flying in the distance. The castle was engulfed in a bright light before disappearing out of thin air.

When the video ended, Shotaro gave the phone back to Nago and turned to Tsukasa. "You think the Fangires did this?" he asked him. With the mention of Fangires, Megumi and Nago quickly tensed up. "Hard to say," Tsukasa replied. "It doesn't look like something they'd do, but after what happened it's hard to say now." Tsukasa rubbed his bandage as he spoke. It was Nago who finally broke the ice. "What is this about Fangires?" He asked, his tone of voice turned serious. Shotaro and Tsukasa looked at each other, and then nodded. "Sit down for this one, this is a lot to take in."

After getting a quick run down of the events, Megumi needed a drink. This was too much to take in. After what happened to Wataru, she definitely needed this. If only she was drinking wine and not water; she damn well needed it for this situation. "I'm gonna call Wataru's brother." Nago said. "He deserved to know this just as much as anyone."

"Saga? Wait, no, Dark Kiva. He'd be a good alternative if the Fangires didn't hate his guts too much." Tsukasa said. "Does it make it a difference?" Shotaro asked. "It does. Their boss was way too strong. Dark Kiva will get his ass kicked. It has to be regular Kiva." He answered.

"Wataru said Dark Kiva and him are similar in strength, can't Taiga do it?" Megumi asked. Tsukasa shook his head as he sat on a chair, arms folded. "When's the last time you saw Dark Kiva fight? Hell, even Saga? Kiva's got more experience but more importantly he's the only one who can weaken their leader." Shotaro raised his eyebrow, still Tsukasa hasn't told them who their leader is and it was killing him.

"I'm gonna contact the Wonderful Blue Sky Organization, I'll see if they can get anything about that thing you saw." Nago said as he dialled on his phone.

DING DONG

The doorbell rang, Megumi quickly went to the door. "Who is it?" She asked. Opening the door, she was face to face with a man in messy black hair wearing a white long sleeved polo. "Kouta Kazuraba." He answered. "I'm with Tsukasa." Megumi gestured him inside and Kouta walked over to Tsukasa. "Gaim, what are you doing here?" He asked. "I sensed something, something bad." Kouta replied.

Tsukasa and Shotaro looked at him intently. "What is it?" Kouta took a big gulp before continuing, "I felt it in the sky when I was looking at it. Something felt off, so I tried concentrating on that spot to feel anything. That's when I felt this...I suppose residue of energy."

"What kind of energy?" Tsukasa asked.

"Cosmic Energy." Kouta replied. Shotaro put his hand on his chin and began to ponder. "That's the same energy Gentaro uses."

"Fourze?" Tsukasa asked to which Shotaro nodded. Kouta then continued, "I continued trying to concentrate when I…" Kouta stopped, he looked down before continuing. "I heard a voice. No one nearby was talking to me, and I heard it inside my head." Tsukasa gave him an incredulous look, what does he mean? "What did the voice say?" Nago asked.

"She said she took Kiva," Kouta replied, "And she knows how to get to him."


When Kouta had told the others what he felt, everyone quickly sprang into action. Sadly, they had to lose Sento since he had to stay in his world to finish some unfinished business. Gentaro understood, though, they shouldn't have take him out of his world when his big baddie was still on the loose. Everyone else was around at least. Emu had left to get more medication for Tsukasa who took the worst damage, Takeru and Eiji left to go look for any leads about the disappearing castle, Shinosuke and Krim, or as he would call it Mr. Belt, were checking Tsukasa's driver just in case it needed repairs, and Haruto volunteered to both scout and be on snack duty. Though the snacks ended up being donuts, at least he only bought plain sugar donuts for himself and everyone else got their own flavor.

What had Gentaro done? Immediately after learning Cosmic Energy was at play, Gentaro called in his best friend to help investigate. They met up where Kouta felt the energy, a park on a bench with a good view of a river. Great sight if it wasn't for the event that happened yesterday."Well, that's definitely Cosmic Energy." Kengo told them. He typed on his laptop, which was just a suitcase that was just a computer and was the same one they used back then, and more beeping sounds came out from it. Vairous graphs appears on the monitor but Gentaro had zero clue what any of it meant. "Whatever it did here, it needed to do something big. There's a large leftover of energy in that one spot." he pointed towards the sky, the same spot where the castle disappeared.

"Wah doth thath mean?" Haruto asked, his mouth completely full of donuts.

"Pardon?" Kengo asked.

Haruto took a big swallow then wiped the sugar off his face, "Sorry, what does that mean?"

"It means what it means, but…" Kengo took out a USB drive from his pocket and inserted into his laptop. "There is this theory I made."

"Care to share?" Someone asked.

Looking up from Kengo's computer, Gentaro saw Shotaro, Tsukasa, Kouta, and two other people, a man and a woman, approaching them. "Who're they?" Haruto asked. "Keisuke Nago, Kamen Rider Ixa." The man told him. "Megumi Nago, I'm his wife. You might've remembered me as Megumi Aso. You can call me Megumi to not confuse us." The woman told him.

"So what's this theory your friend's got?" Shotaro asked. Kengo nodded, he played a video from the USB. In it, the screen showed four people doing some sort of surgery on someone. The surgery looked normal to say the least, but it quickly took a turn for the weird. All four surgeons were engulfed in weird green pixel-like lights, the video had no sound but they we're all holding their chests in pain and looked like they could barely breathe. Finally, the four dissapated out of the air, leaving only behind their patient on the table.

Megumi was unfazed from this, she'd seen weirder stuff in her time. She was, however, confused. "How's this help us find Wataru?" She asked impatiently. "Who's Wataru?" Gentaro asked her back. Tsukasa quickly gave them the rundown of what happened back at the Manor, Gentaro looked at the sky now with better light to things. "So that castle did belong to Kiva." He said solemnly. "Castle Doran is its name, it disappeared yesterday in a bright light." Tsukasa added.

"Well then, if Kiva really is gone then my theory might actually be right." Kengo remarked. Everyone in the group looked at him expecting more answers. "The video you guys just watched was a video of four people being teleported to another world." Everyone's eyes widened, Kengo continued as he played back the video. "At this part here," he paused at the exact moment when the four were engulfed in green pixels is when they got teleported.

"To where?" Tsukasa asked.

"According to my sources, the Game World."

There was a small pause, Kengo said it so seriously that it was hard to believe. "Pardon?" Nago asked. "It was in news last year? All those people who went missing have been turned into data and are now in the Game World?" A collective "ahh" erupted from the group. For them, too many things happen everyday leading them to lose track of news for more important events, like a missing Rider or an entire legion of monsters. "Anyway," Kengo continued, "With some investigating, we found out where this surgery took place, the New Genome Institute." Haruto chocked on his third donut; he knew that name. "The guys in charge of the Pac-Man epidemic?" He asked. "Yes, when we investigated that place we found a small residue of Cosmic energy left from the teleport. It's not just there either."

Tapping into his computer some more, Kengo opened more videos and pictures, all of which came from a variety of places in Japan including Zawami City, Kouta's old home. "All of these places had incidences where someone or something had entered our world or planet; whether it was through a gateway of some sort," a video popped up on Kengo's screen, the person filming the video was in a restaurant in Italy. The video quickly turned grim when a giant closed zipper appeared out of nowhere. Dozens upon dozens of people drew close to the zupper, and then it opened up. Animal like monsters jumped out of the zipper and started thrashing around the restaurant as the people fled for safety. "Or as of recently," Kengo continued, "Instantaneously." He looked at the sky, seemingly at the same location where Castle Doran disappeared at.

"I'm sorry but…" Megumi trailed, "how does this help us find Wataru?" she demanded, the loss of patience evident in her voice. "I'm getting there." Kengo said slightly irritated. He typed into his laptop more prompting it to open an image. Gentaro couldn't find a way to describe what was on it, but he can make out a shape with two funnel openings at both ends. "When a portal or gateway to our world is created, there's a tear that's created doing so. Think of it like breaking through a wall; the only way to get to the other side is to create a hole, only when you rebuild that wall there's still some space inside it." Kengo explained.

Gentaro's head started spinning, he was starting to lose track of what Kengo's trying to explain; he even started to feel dizzy just by listening. "What do you mean by 'there's still some space'?" Tsukasa asked. "It means the worlds are still connected." He answered. His head may have started to spin, but upon thearing the word "connected", he immediately perked up. "Theoretically speaking, the literal pathway connecting our worlds should still be there." Kengo continued. "So if we can somehow open that pathway, we can go where it came from, correct?" Nago asked.

"In theory but… we've never actually tested it." Kengo admitted. "Despite our evidences, we don't have the funds to create something that can actually open those pathways. Even if we did we still don't know how to open it yet. The closest company's that were able to find ways had their research destroyed after, well, they got shut down by…" Kengo trailed off, almost like he was hesitating to finish. "By who? The government?" Kouta asked. "Well, yes them officially but also…" Kengo pointed towards the Riders. They thought he was pointing somewhere beyond them, so they turned around only to find no one there. It was Kouta who finally clued in. He pointed to himself, and Kengo nodded. He pointed towards all the other Riders, and Kengo nodded. Once again, a collective "ahh" erupted from the group.

"So basically thanks to us, we indirectly lost our chances of finding Kiva and a glint of hope on beating that Fangire Legion?" Shotaro deadpanned. "Maybe." Tsukasa placed his hand on his chin, and suddenly he perked up. "But maybe not." Tsukasa grabbed Shotaro by the shoulder and dug into his pockets. He took out Shotaro's phone, a stag beetle shaped phone appropriately called the StagPhone, and promptly slapped it on his hand. "Call your partner," he told him, "we're going to look for something." Tsukasa turned around and faced the the others. "Everyone else, get your stuff ready. We're heading out first thing tomorrow."

"Why?" Gentaro asked, prompting Tsukasa's signature sly smile to pop up. "We're going to look for some old friends, or rather enemies."


As what Tsukasa told, first thing the next day they left. It took a while, but Phillip was able to locate a secret base in the mountains far off the countryside. All the Riders were able to go, and that included Nago and Megumi. If Tsukasa had an idea on how to get Wataru back, then it was an opportunity that they couldn't pass up. They left Keitaro in the care of their friend, Shizuka, rented a jeepney, and left with the other Riders.

Despite summer being almost over, the heat was still unbearable. And thanks to her husband, Megumi couldn't enjoy the comfort of air conditioning that their jeepney had come with. Nago's reasoning was abismal to her as well, he just refused to turn it on and cool down despite him having to resort to thinner clothes and sweat very visible on his face when he drived. So what if they had wasted an entire container of gasoline on the first 4 hours of the trip? They had three more!

She should've just rode with that nice guy, Shinosuke Tomari, at least he wasn't scared of turning on the AC in his cool sports car. Then again, the time she suggested that made Nago all of a sudden possessive of her, guess he didn't notice the ring on that man's finger. They also spent a good amount of money just for the jeepney, so that was one more reason to join her husband. Still, an air conditioned trip would've won her husband some more points.

In the midst of bickering again about their heat situation, a walkie-talkie they were using sprang to life. "*BZZT* Ixa, do read me?*BZZT*" Tsukasa voiced in. Nago grabbed the walkie-talkie and replied. "This is Ixa, what's the situation?"

"We're nearing our destination, gear up." Nago looked over to Megumi and nodded to each other. He shifted the cars gear and sped up with the Riders.

Soon, they found themselves in a small clearing in the forest. The Rider's bike scattered around the area and Nago's jeepney and the Tridoron parked nearby. Nago wore his usual battle gear, a tie-less suit with his belt ready behind him. His wife had worn a leather vest over a white tank top with shorts shorts. Age might've gotten to them, but they never stopped training for days when they needed to fight rogue Fangires. She had her Fangire Hunter ready, a handgun that was also a dagger and a bladded whip all-in-one.

At the end of the clearing was a cave, supposedly an abandoned mine back in the 90s; it made the perfect place for a hideout. "Who here has a gun they can carry? Aside from my wife?" Nago asked them. Shinosuke, the Wizard Haruto, and Tsukasa raised their hands. "Kadoya and Wizar-"

"Haruto Souma." Haruto corrected.

"Sorry, Kadoya and Souma will take point; they'll stay in front and scan they area. Megumi, Tomari, cover our six." Nago ordered. Everyone got into position, Haruto casted a sigil to appear, reached into it, and took out his sword which he quickly changed into a gun, it was his WizarSwordGun. Shinosuke threw them a flashlight which Tsukasa took, and the two entered inside.

Haruto and Tsukasa took each step carefully through the cave and shined every corner they found. It would've been impossible to see anything if it wasn't for the flashlight. Each step they took echoed for miles, and Haruto was sure this was the fifth time Shotaro told someone to watch where they were going.

They explored for what felt like hours until they came upon a familiar logo, an eagle carrying an oval shaped earth. "Shocker." Tsukasa growled. Right next to the logo was large metal door, and next to that was a keypad with what looked like an eye sensor. "Drive," Tsukasa called out, "You can hack this, can't you?" Shinosuke walked over to the keypad and inspected it with a mini flashlight. "Probably, give me a sec." He wrapped Mr. Belt around and took out a mini car, a Shift Car, and flicked the back side of i-

CREEEEEAK, CLAAAANG!

The metal door fell over and landed face down on the other side of the hall.

"I didn't do it!" Gentaro cried. Everyone immediately sprang into action, getting their guns and belts ready for action. When the dust settled, they weren't faced against foes from their past or men in spandex. No, instead, they were met with something more shocking.

Wires hanged from the ceiling and sparks flew everywhere. Scraps upon splcraps of metal were cluttered all over the floor along with a lot of rubbles. Monitor screens were cracked and broken while other machines look liked they were blown up from the inside. Someone else clearly taken care of the hard part of their mission for them.

"What the hell happened?" Shotaro asked. They all walked in with their weapons down, no need for them anymore. "Did no one make it out?" Gentaro asked. Indeed, not a single soul aside from them was in sight. This place wasn't just ransacked, it was massacred. The only question was by who.

CLANG

"Eee?" A low, not quiet, but low, voice said. It was a familiar sound, all too well known for Kamen Riders. Behind them, hiding by some broken machinery, was a Shocker Combatmen. Same black spandex, same black ski mask, and skeletal pattern on his chest. The only thing off was the "Eee", Shocker usually did it with much gusto, this one sounded like it didn't even know how. "Eee?" He said again. "Shocker?" Tsukasa asked him. Instead of another reply, the combatmen made a run for it. He pushed Tsukasa aside and ran past Eiji and Emu.

"Get him!" Tsuaksa ordered. Megumi spared no hesitation. She rearranged the parts on her Fangire Hunter, turning the handgun into a dagger. She sprinted towards the fleeing combatmen and flicked the dagger. Its blade broke apart into a long whip that wrapped itself around the combatmen. He fell on the floor trying to wiggle out of the whip.

"Don't bother," Megumi told him smugly. "That thing can hold Fangires, what more can a human do?" She picked up the trapped combatmen and threw him towards the Riders. Shotaro obliged, grabbed a nearby chair and threw him on it. They all surrounded him and the combatmen continued struggling out of the whip. "Shotaro, Gaim," Tsukasa called out, "Search this place, there may be more survivors." He ordered. The two nodded and separated from the group.

"Now," Tsukasa turned his head towards their captor, "I believe it's interrogation time." Shinosuke smiled at that, he tightened his neck tie, and placed his hand on Tsukasa's shoulder saying "Allow me." He walked over to the combatmen and looked at him dead in the eye. "...Eee?" He said to him. "Quit with the 'Eee'-ing!" Shinosuke growled and took off his mask. Underneath it wasn't a man who looked like a criminal. He was more like someone you'd see behind a counter in the grocery, it's a shame he went for a life of crime.

"Okay, let's start off easy, got a name?" the combatmen nodded. "Terashima." He supplied. "Okay, Mr. Terashima, how long have you worked for Shocker?"

"Two weeks."

"Two weeks?" Shinosuke repeated.

"Yeah, I needed the money to pay for some debt. I was able to find this job from some guy in a bar and now I'm here."

Shinosuke raised his eyebrow. "You took a job from some random stranger you met at a bar?"

"Hey, I was desperate!" Terashima retorted. "Okay, okay, no harm." Shinosuke said. "Did you know anything about Shocker before you joined?" He asked like. Terashima shook his head, "Nope, nada."

"Then you probably didn't know they're neo-nazis?" Terashima's mouth was ajar and Shinosuke smiled. "Now, this country doesn't have anti-nazi laws, but Shocker has done some stuff that all recorded reports will tell can put them in FBI's most wanted. Just by working with them can put you under arrest." Many it was the heat, but Terashima's face started to sweat bullets. Tsukasa grinned at his reactions and Shinosuke's ways, he really was a cop.

"Now, I am a cop, so I can give you immunity for these crimes if you promise to cooperate with us." He can told him, and Terashima nodded his head furiously. "Sure! Anything! I don't even like working for them! Do you know how much my voice hurts by doing that stupid sound all the time?"

"The 'Eee'?" Megumi asked.

"Yes, the 'Eee'!"

"Glad we can work with you, Mr. Terashima." Shinosuke said.

"First things first," Tsukasa started, "What happened here?" Terashima tilted his head and hummed for a few seconds, until finally he spoke. "Well, I was working at the lab. This place had a bunch of weird people. Monsters, you know?"

"Yes, we've fought them for years." Tsuaksa said.

"You have? Oh, so you're those Kamen Rider guys they've been throwing daggers at!"

"What?"

"Well, the monsters here play with daggers sometimes and they throw it at pictures of some guys in suits. The one they used the most is some guy in a silver grasshopper helmet with red boots and gloves and second is some guy in pink with an 'x' across his chest."

"It's not pink, it's magenta!" Tsukasa shouted. Shinosuke grabbed him by the shoulder and hauled him back.

"Sorry about him," he apologized, "Please continue." Terashima nodded, and then spoke. "So, I was assigned to guess the lab, they were working on something I heard was experimental but I don't know what. It looked big, though. Anyway, the door next to me bursted open and since I wasn't exactly much of a fighter-"

"I know that's true." Megumi interjected.

"So I hid under some tables. The guys that bursted through the door looked like some of the guys here so I thought it was mutiny. The other monsters like them were talking, I heard the words 'our majesty' and 'other universe'."

The room turned silent, and it was somehow hard to breathe. This pretty much confirms who trashed this place. "Afterwards," Terashima continued, "The monsters with us turned sides and wreck the place with them. They took some blueprints with them and left. I hid under there for what felt like hours and when I heard voices I decided to check. That leaves us to what's going on now."

Shinosuke grabbed Tsukasa by the shoulder and pulled him aside. "Any idea what the Fangires wanted here?" He asked him, but Tsukasa shook his head. "I'm don't think it was anything big, by the way." Terashima called out, and all heads turned to him. "How?" Tsukasa asked. "They took some blueprints on the shelf but not the one on the table. The monsters never stopped looking at that one and talked about it a lot."

"What was the blueprint for?"

"I dunno, I never exactly got a good look on it." Terashima replied.

"Tsukasa!" Shotaro's voice was heard in the distance. He and Kouta returned, alone but with a long roll of blue paper. "No survivors," he said, "but we did find this." he handed him the roll, and Tsukasa unrolled it. His eyes widened, and he had take a double take on what he was reading. Everyone else gathered around him, and finally the tense situation they were in turned hopeful.

For most people it was just another science project, for the Shocker it was their new plan for conquest, but for them it was their glint of hope that they needed.

Tsukasa read the contents aloud, "Project Passage, Description: Archway and portal to access worlds beyond our own."

Chapter Text

Wolf Bite (I)|The Pack Grows

"So what do you think?" Robin asked Wataru. He had to admit, it did look quite quaint. His room was somewhere in the east wing of the castle and it even doubled as his workshop. Weirdly enough, it even felt like his workshop back home. All the tools he needed where neatly placed inside cabinets, a long wooden table stood in the middle of the room and his bed was at the end of the room sitting across a desk. There was a window that overlooked the courtyard. Wataru peered out of it, and he had a clear view of Frederick training the soldiers.

"Is that where you guys train?" He asked Robin. Robin stood next to him and looked out to, getting a good sight of Frederick berating a soldier who had plopped on the ground. "I suppose, I've only been here for one afternoon. That is where the barracks is located, though." He told him.

"Well, enough of that." Robin said, he patted Wataru's shoulder and went to the door. "I need to go, Chrom wants us to head somewhere soon. He'll need me, apparently."

"To where?" Wataru asked.

"Up north, to a place called Regna Ferox. Exalt Emmeryn wants to gain their support to help strengthen the defenses here." He replied.

"Good luck." Wataru said to him. Robin nodded and waved goodbye.

When he was sure no one was nearby or watching, Wataru peered out the window and said, "You can go in now." Kivat flew in the room, he scanned the room and whistled. "Quite cozy." He said. Wataru plopped on his bed, exhausted from all the past events. "So, now what?" Kivat asked. Wataru stared at the ceiling with his hands under his head. "Guess we just wait for clues for the others." He said to him. "We won't investigate for ourselves?" Kivat asked, resting on the foot of the bed. "Not when we might be busy here. We probably could go out occasionally but I still have a duty here."

"I doubt those Shepherds are as destructive as they say." Kivat told him.

As if on cue, Wataru heard shouting coming from outside his window. He looked out, a woman with pink hair, a wing-styled hairpin, and a skirt was skirmishing in front of some group with a variety of musical instruments. There was a drum on the ground, and right through the center of it was a spear. A man was shouting at the woman while the other band members stood there. "Okay, I take that back." Kivat said.


Things could've gone better for Stahl. Sure, he was late for the march because of Vaike, he had barely finished his meal, and here he was fighting the undead but his life could've been much worse. At least he wasn't fighting them directly, Robin had assign Chrom and Frederick on that duty. He was assign to guard a Pegasus knight who had no steed. She also seemed a bit down, she was looking intently at the ground. "Everything alright, Sumia?" He asked her. She carried her head up and nodded. "Nothing too bad, Stahl, it's just…" she trailed off and twiddled her thumbs. That's when Stahl remembered what happened to her yesterday. "Oh, are you still down about what happened with the composer?"

"You still remember that?" She asked in dismay.

"Well, I mean it was my fault. I was the one training you, Sumia."

"No, it wasn't, it was me and my clumsiness. I just wish that composer didn't throw that much of a hissy fit. I swear it feels like he's spewing venom."

Stahl only nodded in understanding. The Royal Orchestra had been playing themselves to the bone ever since the new one was hired. They didn't even find the Shepherds much of a nuisance, the only thing they seem to complain about was him. If he didn't make such great music, Stahl would be sure Exalt Emmeryn would've fired him by now.

He got off his horse and lead her to the river. "Are you sure you should be letting her drink right now?" Sumia asked. "Can't let her run dehydrated, can we? Besides if I'm going through this without my meal, at least she won't." He told her. "At least you got your horse." Sumia said, she bent over and started plucking off the petals on a flower. Stahl immediately knew what was wrong with her. "Oh, it's your Pegasus, isn't it?" Sumia nodded. "I mean, I know she isn't dead, but it still sucks not being able to fly."

"Well, the Eastern Palace did say they needed more Pegasi there. The reports said there have been sightings of more Plegian soldiers there." Stahl said. "Yeah, what's up with that?" Sumia wondered. "I don't know, maybe they're-" Stahl stopped midway. Something had caught his eye.

He unsheathed his sword from its scabbard and turned to Sumia. "Stay close." he told her. Sumia tilted her head,but then she saw what he was looking at. From afar, there was pikeman and an archer, but they didn't look like they came from Ylisse; they literally adiated a dark aura. "Risen." she whispered. Stahl nodded and backed slowly. He took the lead of his horse and guided her carefully away from the river. The two took each step with care, minding every rock they stepped on. Until Sumia slipped on a big one. She fell flat on her back, her armor clanking against the rocs. "Oh, Pegasus dung!" she cursed. "Sumia!" Stahl quickly went to recover her but an arrow was shot near his foot. The Risen Archer had fired, and the two were charging towards them.

Stahl quickly got Sumia on her feet and guided her to his horse. "Sumia, you go, I'll hold them off." he told her. "But Stahl-"

"Just go, I'll catch up!" Stahl prepared his sword, despite his weapon's weakness to the opponent's weapon, he had to fight. He charged at the Risen and swung his sword. The pikema blocked it with its lance and the archer prepared another shot. It fired, while it did miss Stahl, the arrow caught him off guard causing him to slip on his feet. He fell into the shallow water and his sword was knocked off of him. "Stahl!" Sumia shouted. Acting quickly, Stahl crawled to his sword as the Pikeman rushed to him. It raised its lance athis back as Stahl tried to reach for his weapon.

Sumia closed her eyes in fear, but then she felt the wind brush off her hair. Something fast, she thought. While Stahl feared for his life, something else attacked the pikeman. With a leap, the figure kicked the pikeman in its face causing it to stagger. Stahl looked up, he saw a man in a disheveled suit with a spear on his back. He had to be in his late to mid-forties since the wrinkles in his eyes were noticeable. He looked at Stahl as if what just happened before didn't faze him. "Need a hand?" he said, his voice quite deep. He reached out his hand which Stahl promptly took. "Thanks." Stahl told him.

The two Risen moaned at them, and Stahl and the man prepared themselves. The ma took the spear from his back and looked a Stahl. "I don't suppose you have a weapon I can use? I'm not familiar with a spear." he told him. Stahl nodded and traded his sword for the man's spear. "I'm not that good with them either, but I've had practiced."

"Good. You seem capable enough, anyway." The man said.

"Thank you. Can I have a name, sir?" Stahl asked.

"Jiro." he supplied.

"Stahl. Nice to meet you, Sir Jiro."

"Just Jiro is fine."

Stahl nodded and the two ran towards the Risen. Jiro went straight for the archer, sending it a flurry of sword slashes. Stahl was impressed, he never seen people swing their sword that fast save for Chrom. Stahl attacked the pikeman blow for blow, deflecting each stab from it. Stahl quickly swung his spear upward, deflecting the pikeman's thrust. Stahl thrusted his spear right through the pikeman's face. Stahl was glad these things didn't spew out any guts or something like that, he already lost enough of his meal as he did before.

Jiro kept attacking the archer with no sign of letting up. With one final strike, he slashed across the archer's chest and it staggered back. Simultaneously, the two Risen dropped there weapons. With a splash into the water, the two dissolved into purple dust and smoke. Stahl approached Jiro and offered back the spear. "No, you can keep that. I'm terrible with weapons like that." Jiro said. He offered Stahl's sword back which he promptly took back.

"Stahl!" There was shouting from afar. Turning around, Stahl found the new guy Robin and Chrom running towards them. "Stahl, what happened here?" Robin asked. "We got attacked by some Risen but this man came in just in time to help." Stahl gestured to Jiro. "Risen?" Jiro asked, "Is that what you call those things?" Robin nodded. "Who might you be, sir? He asked. "Jiro. Just Jiro." He replied. "Thank you for your help earlier." Sumia told him. Jiro narrowed his eyes causing Sumia to squirmish a bit. "Is something the matter?" She asked. "That hairpin," Jiro pointed towards the one Sumia was wearing, "Do you ride a winged horse?" Sumia nodded. "Yes, but not right now." She said. "Come with me."

Jiro gestured to the forest and went in. The others promptly followed him. He lead towards a small clearing with a pond. Sitting nearby it was a Pegasus. Its leg was wrapped around a small cloth that was stained red. "A Pegasus?" Chrom commented. He approached the Pegasus, but it reared its legs and whinnied. "Woah! Down, girl!" He cried. "Captain, wait!" Sumia yelled. She approached the Pegasus and patted its snout. "Shh, easy now." She said in a small, gentle voice. Robin looked at the sight and smiled. "I'm impressed, you were able to calm it down so quickly." Sumia, though, shook her head. "It's nothing, really. I just have a way with animals."

Sumia turned to Jiro and asked, "How did she end up like this?" Jiro approached the Pegasus and ran his hand on its neck. "I was fighting those Risen nearby a herd of Pegasi. They flew away in fear as I was fighting but an arrow meant for me shot this one instead." He gestured towards the leg and continued, "I followed it and wrapped its wound with my handkerchief. I figured you have experience with these animals since one if the Risen was riding one and had the same armor are you."

"That was really kind of you." Sumia said.

"Well, it was the least I can do for it."

"It's a 'her' by the way; the Pegasus is a girl."

"Of course," Jiro smiled and patted the Pegasus's snout, "It's the least I can do for her."

"Captain," Sumia turned towards Chrom, "You should go ahead, I'll head back to Ylisse to treat her wounds."

"We can wait for you if you want " Chrom said.

"No need for that, the safety of the Halidom goes first." She told him. Chrom and Robin nodded, then Robin spoke up, "You should be accompanied by someone, the Risen might attack you. Who wants to volunteer?" He turned towards the current Shepherds. It was Stahl who raised his hand. "I'll do it, it's not that far from Ylisse so I can probably grab a snack while I'm there." He said. Robin raised an eyebrow and turned to Chrom, "Does he always think about food?" He asked. "Like I said, he's one of the Shepherds' finest so it's not much of a problem." Chrom said. Stahl scratched the back of his head while Sumia chuckled softly.

"Very well, Stahl will go with Sumia. We're two members short, though." Robin said. Robin pondered his thoughts with his hand on his chin. He turned his head towards Jiro and smiled. "Excuse me, sir, but are you in any service at the moment?" He asked. "Yes, I plan on looking for them after this." Jiro replied. "Well, maybe you would like to look for them while your with us?" Jiro narrowed his eyes at Robin. Something about that look made Stahl a but uneasy, it was like a predator studying his prey. "It's only until Sumia and Stahl can return or you find who you need. We'll need the extra help." Robin told Jiro. "Are you sure you want someone like me in your fold? A complete stranger?" He asked, but Chrom shook his head and stepped forward. "Robin, himself, is a complete stranger and yet I can trust him enough to join us. I believe I can trust you." He said, but Jiro scoffed at what the prince said and turned his head to the pond. "You should be more careful who you let in your pack. After all," he then turned back to them, "There's always a wolf in sheep's clothing."

The atmosphere felt heavy. Somehow Jiro's words made the area around them colder than the Winter's Festival. If Frederick were around, he probably spared no hesitation to point his spear at Jiro. Yet somehow, it was Robin who didn't feel that cold air. "Then that means I can trust you." He said. Everyone else turned to him in disbelief. "If you were a traitor, I doubt you would say something like that. Honestly it sounds like a warning. Not a sound strategy." Stahl expected Jiro to scoff again, but instead he smirked. "A smart strategist would do that in order to have his prey think they're on the their side." He told Robin. "And a smarter strategist would know that would put the other team on edge in case of a betrayal. They'd be prepared in case of such event." Jiro chuckled softly and approached Robin. "I did something like that to an old friend of mine. It was to see how much he trusted me with what he asked." He told him. "What was it?" Robin asked. "To take care of his son." Jiro answered.

"How much did he trust you?" Robin asked.

"Just as much as you."

Jiro extended his hand in open palm. Robin promptly shook it and suddenly the atmosphere wasn't as cold.

Everyone breathed out a sigh of relief. Sumia assisted the Pegasus back on her feet with Stahl's assistance. "We'll head back to Ylisse now. You go on ahead, Captain." She told Chrom. They nodded, and he, Robin, and Jiro parted ways with the two.

The three were soon back with the others. Frederick was surprised to see another new member so soon. He was suspicious of him, more so than Robin or Wataru. He blamed it on a gut feeling. Jiro was glad that Robin was able to convince him to lay off of him. It didn't hurt that Jiro, himself, can give him a glare that could give Frederick a run for his money.

Jiro had learned the militia's name was the Shepherds, and he had silently regretted his choice of words from before. It was only temporary, at least. Not until he can find Wataru. He was given a sword and some leather armor to wear. Jiro lived for years, and he couldn't help but feel a bit of nostalgia. Ah, those years of running around in Europe and hunting down criminals for their life energy. It was easy to find back then, but when the Wolfmen had dwindled in numbers, it meant more than eating life energy to survive. That was how they and the other surviving races found out they could just survive out of regular food alone. Of course that didn't stop their hunger for life.

Jiro spat at himself for remembering such a time. Remembering the times where he was that willing to kill to survive left a bad taste in his mouth. He supposed it was Wataru's and Otoya's good nature that changed him. Maybe it was also because he had a bigger purpose in life.

Jiro headed out back into the field, the Shepherds were preparing to leave in carriages. The Stahl person and the pink-haired woman were gone. He could see Robin and Chrom from afar talking to Frederick. Jiro had learned from him that Chrom was the prince of this land and what his job was. Jiro could at least find himself somewhere in Frederick. He hoped the two of them won't have to get dirty. He didn't want to make friends, but making enemies wasn't exactly ideal.

Chrom and Robin had stopped talking and turned to the rest of the Shepherds. "Everyone, listen up!" Chrom yelled, "We're done resting here. Let's head to Regna Ferox immediately." Everyone nodded, and soon people went to their positions. Some got on their horses, some decided to follow along on foot, and Jiro opted for the carriage. Robin had assigned him to guard the gear for them which were in the convoy. He climbed in and sat next to some weapons. The carriage started to move and off they went.

Jiro then noticed there was something very unique in the convoy. It was a large suit or armor, and someone was in it. The man had a short hair and a very blank expression on his face. "Were you assigned to guard the convoy as well?" Jiro asked. The man looked around him, and then pointed to himself. "Yes, I'm talking to you." Jiro said flatly. "Oh, sorry. No one always notices I'm around so I'm used to being ignored." The man replied. Jiro suddenly felt the atmosphere turn a bit awkward, though the man said it so matter-of-factly Jiro wasn't sure if he should apologize. Deciding not to dwell on that topic, Jiro continued talking. "What's your name?" he asked. "Kellam. I'm a Knight for the Shepherds." he replied.

"My name's Jiro."
"Yeah, I heard. New guy, right?" Kellam asked.

"Just got here today."

"Well, welcome, I suppose." Kellam said. Clearly he wasn't much of a talker, much like Jiro, though. But Jiro can tell he was formidable fighter. Mostly because of the shield he had with him.

Jiro peered out of the convoy he could see Robin and Chrom from afar in their horses. Jiro was glad Robin was clever enough about the "wolf in sheep's clothing" thing. Though something still bothered Jiro. He can tell this militia was a cheerful group, one he wouldn't mind at all. His wolflike senses, though, couldn't help but feel unedge. When he first met them, it was like something else was watching over them, and even within them. Something sinister. And somehow, he felt that wolf was too near the prince.


"And here's the new violins with new lacquer." Wataru watched as the guard handed over the violins to the orchestra. The composer scanned it, looked at it in every detail. And then he scoffed. "What kind of lacquer is this, exactly?" he asked. Wataru didn't want to answer that, the last thing he wants is for people to know what ingredients he used. "You think this kind of color is the color of something as royal as the Lowell family? Look at this," he turned to his orchestra, "do you think this spells royalty to you?" They didn't reply. He scoffed at them. "Seriously, all of you should learn about quality in looks of your instruments." He turned to Wataru and promptly gave him the violin. "Your the new repairman, right? Do a better job on the gloss!" he shoved the violin on Wataru so hard, he felt the wind leave him slightly. This guy had some strength in him.

"You don't get to decide that." a voice yelled. Someone else came to the yard, a lady in armor with her hair neatly tied to a bun and a mole under her left eye. She took the violin and examined it. "This will do nicely, I believe this will please the Exalt." she told Wataru. "Why do you get to decide that?" the composer asked, his voice rising slightly. "I'm the Exalt's retainer, and assigned to check on the instruments. And I say, in her honor," she gestured to all the instruments, "these look fine."

"I'm the composer!" he yelled, "I should get a say in this!"

"C'mon, sir," a member groaned, "they look fine! No one's gonna give a damn on how they look, they're listening to us play." The composer didn't listen, He glared at him and started spat insults. "You're no one to talk, you're an incompetent drummer, why should you say anything?" The drummer glared at him and Wataru notice a grit in the teeth. He started to stomp towards the composer, but the Exalt's retainer stopped him before anything. "Enough!" she shouted. "I'll hold you both down. Take the damn instruments now!" both sides relented and didn't say another word. The orchestra took the instruments and soon left into the palace.

All but the composer and another man, though, left. The other man with neck length light hair approached Wataru with a warm smile. Some parts of his hair stuck out from the side. "Don't let him get to you." he told him, "He's never satisfied with anything." Wataru smiled back, "It's okay. Not the most evil person I've met." he said. The man chuckled, "Man, you must've seen some messed up people then if there was anyone worse than him." Wataru couldn't help but give him a sly smile. "You have no idea." he mumbled. The man laughed and offered his hand, "I'm Paris." he said. Wataru shook it, "I'm Wataru. It's nice to meet you, Paris." Paris smiled brightly and nodded to him. Paris left back in the palace.

Wataru began to walk back to his quarters, when he saw the gates open. The g\man in green armor returned along with a pink-haired woman with a winged horse. Wataru was surprised to see it, especially up close. Wataru recognizd the woman as the one from yesterday who got yelled at by the composer. The woman noticed said composer who was still grumbling in the courtyard. He noticed her too, and the woman hid behind her hand and kept walking. The man looked at her, but he didn't do anything. In fact, he didn't react at all. He just looked at her and left to the palace. Something about the way he reacted, or didn't, made Wataru feel a bit uneasy. He didn't know why. Shaking that feeling off, he went his way to his quarters.


Sumia and Stahl stood under the stables in the Palace of Ylisse. Sumia groomed the mane of the pegasus with a brush while Stahl ate a bowl of chowder. They chatted about random things, current events, new books, dessert recipes, just two soldiers just being friends. What the two didn't know, however, was there was an on looker. A slong, slender, armored tail slithered across the stables. It snaked its way towards the two, avoiding the legs of the horses and pegasi.

"Stahl," Sumia called, "Can you give me an apple over there? I'm going to feed her." Stahl nodded. He placed the now empty bowl on the fence and turned around. He walk towards the sack of apples while Sumia continued grooming the pegasus with her back turned. The tail made it towards its target. It snaked upwards into the air, its stinger ready.


*WHIIIR* *WHIIIIR*


Kivat woke up from his nap. He heard a whirring sound coming from somewhere in the room. He yawned, but he quickly shook his head. Now was not the time to be sleepy! He flew towards the case of Bloody Rose and listened into it closely. Sure enough, it was coming from in there.


Wataru stopped in his tracks. He heard the whirring sound like they were directly on his ear. His eyes shot open, and immediately started running.

He found himself in the stables. It was open-ended, probably for the horses and pegasi. He scanned the stables, but at first didn't see anything out of the ordinary. That's when he looked down. It was long, slender and covered in armor. He followed it with his eyes and saw the pink-haired woman standing there. A stinger was in the air facing towards her back.

His eyes shot open, he followed the tail back and saw it went somewhere behind the stable. He ran quickly towards the back, and the tail lead towards a tall human-like monster. Its body was covered in stained glass-like patterns, it had beady eyes that also looked like stained glass, its back had spikes from the side that were in a bend, and its hands were pinsirs.

It noticed Wataru and groaned. Acting quickly, Wataru bashed the Fangire with his shoulder. It staggered back, his tail retracting to his body. Wataru waited for a moment. No screams, no cries, no horses neighing. The woman must've be safe. The Fangire growled, and then charged at Wataru. He tried to grab him with his pinsir, but Wataru blocked it with his hands and punched him back. The Fangire unleashed its tail again and it lunged towards Wataru. He dodged each strike before it could land a hit. He got upm, but the tail stood menacingly at him.

That's when he heard wings flapping. Wataru saw Kivat dash towards the Fangire in yellow streaks, each bash staggering it a bit. With one more push, he knocked him on the ground. Kivat flew towards Wataru as the Fangire stood back up. "Wataru," he said, "It's a scorpion." Wataru nodded. "That's a new one." he remarked. "Let's go." Wataru said. Kivat flew into his hand and opened his mouth.

"Bite!"

"Henshin!"

In a sheen of silver, Wataru transformed into Kiva. He charged at the Fangire in a barrage of punches, sending him back and back the castle walls. The Scorpion Fangire deflected one punch and strike him with its pinsir. Kiva staggered back, but he send in another punch. The Scorpion opened its pinsir and grabbed hold of his arm. Kiva tried to punch the pinsir with his other hand, but the armor was to thick; it wouldn't budge! With all of its strength, the Scorpion dragged Kiva and started to spin. He started to go faster, and faster, and faster, until Kiva's feet were losing their hold of the ground and Kiva was losing his lunch. It let go of him, but he launched him towards a wall. In a loud thud, Kiva left a mark on the wall. He hoped that didn't call any attention from the guards.

Kiva slid on the wall and rolled on the ground. He tried to get up, but he had to quickly dodge the incoming strike from the Scorpion's stinger. He dodgerolled in time from the last strike, and quickly got back up. The Fangire and him circled each other, with the the tail slithering with its owner. Kiva had to think fast, he couldn't keep dodging attacks from him, and his fist fighting won't do much. What could he do?

Kiva glanced at his chained boot, he then remembered a technique his brother taught him. He hadn't done that much training with it, attacks from rogue Fangires were quite rare, but he had to try it. He kept circling the Fangire, waiting for his chance. Finally, the Fangire launched its tail at him. Kiva planted his foot firmly on the ground, he waited for the stinger to get close. He waited, and waited, and waited.

It was a few feet away, now was his chance! With all his strength, he swung his foot for a roundhouse kick. It wasn't a normal one, though. Large, glowing, red chains radiating a bloodier red aura materialized in the direction of his kick. It deflected the strike perfectly! The Scorpion launched its stinger again, but Kiva was able to deflect it again with his chains. If he ever makes it back home, Wataru would have to thank Taiga for that technique.

Kiva went on the offensive, he charged at the Fangire and sent a flurry of punches. Despite its seemingly thick hide, the Fangire couldn't resist each punch. Kiva attacked it with another kick, materializing his Demon Chains for more power. That sent the Fangire down rolling on the ground.

Kiva planted his foot on the ground and mustered all his energy onto his foot. A Wake Up would finish it, but he didn't want to alarm the entire kingdom with the blood moon. With his boot fully charged, Kiva leaped into the air. He stretched his foot out, a blood red aura radiating around it. The Scorpion got back up, and started running away from the Rider's finisher. Kiva neared his foot to the Fangire as the red energy grew brighter, and brighter, and-

FWOOOOSH

SPLASH!

He didn't know what it was, but something had struck his leg. Kiva fell flat on the floor, his leg in a slight burning pain. The Fangire stopped running and gazed onto Kiva. With a snarl, it leaped to the air and fled behind the castle walls. "Wait!" Kiva yelled. He tried to get up, but his leg wouldn't let him. The pain on it caused him to fall back on the ground. He rubbed the area where he felt the shot to soothe the pain. He noticed something about the area. It was wet. Something wet had hit him. He inspected his fingers which were coated in the substance on his leg. They were wet, and it was definitely water that hit him.

That was weird, too weird. He didn't know any kind of weapon that needed water to strike, much less one that was so powerful! Kivat left his position, and Kiva reverted back into Wataru. Whatever was that before, he had to deal with it later. The Fangire was gone so no use in chasing that thing.

Wataru walked back to the stables. The man and woman were still there unharmed. He gave out a sigh of relief. He continued walking, then the two noticed him. "Oh, hey!" The man called out. "You're the new guy in the staff right? The instrument repairman?" He asked, and Wataru nodded. "Cool, I'm Stahl." He said. "Sumia." The woman said. "I'm Wataru."

"Nice to meet you. We work for the Shepherds." Stahl said. "I know, I've seen you two around." Wataru said, then he turned to Sumia. He recognized the outfit she was wearing. "Are you a Pegasus knight?" He asked. "Why, yes. My Pegasus is at the Eastern Palace right now, though, with the other knights." She said. Wataru felt like it couldn't hurt to strike a conversation. "Do you know someone named C-"

He didn't finish, his leg gave out. He stumbled down and rubbed his thigh. He front his teeth in pain. Whatever had hit him before, it was stupidly strong. Stahl and Sumia rushed towards him. Stahl helped him up and Sumia inspected his leg. "There's an injury, it's bleeding." She said. "I think I got it from repairing the instruments." Wataru said to them. He wasn't sure if it was a sound lie, but that seemed to satisfy them. "Let's get you to the infirmary." Stahl said.


They carried him to a cleric where she waved her staff over his leg as light radiated from it. The wound closed and the blood had dried out. Wataru was amazed, this world's magic was nothing he had ever seen. "That should do it." The cleric told him. "I'll apply some bandages to soothe the pain further. Try not to do anything drastic with that leg of yours. Whatever you was insane, almost couldn't do anything on that injury." She said. The cleric went to a shelf and brought some rolls of cloth.

"Oh, Sumia." A voice said. All heads turned towards the door of the infirmary. The lady who yelled at the composer was there along with Exalt Emmeryn. "Oh, Phila. Nice to see you." Sumia said. "Why are you here?" Phila asked. "There was a Pegasus we found that was injured so I came back here to treat it." Phila nodded, that must've satisfied her. "Sir Wataru?" Emmeryn called. He waved nervously. "Did you get injured?" She asked. "From repairing, happens all the time." He assured.

"That's weird…" Phila said, "You looked fine when I saw you earlier." Sumia and Stahl turned towards him. "Uh…" Wataru trailed, trying to think of an excuse. Thinking back, Wataru realize this is the most he had ever lied or made excuses. "He must've held off the injury." The cleric said said as she mindlessly rummaged through the shelves. "It was bleeding quite a bit and I'm guessing he held it off until it was too much." The cleric took out a bottle and poured the contents of it onto the cloth. She wrapped the cloth around Wataru's injury.

"All to do your job?" Emmeryn asked. "Kinda." Wataru shrugged. "I'm impressed by your dedication but please try not to do any drastic measures." Emmeryn said. "Wouldn't be the first time." Wataru mumbled. He was glad the cleric was quick to assume his injury, he didn't know what to do if they got suspicious.

Everyone started to chat mindlessly. The air was nice and calm, but Wataru couldn't help but shake off this feeling of unease. Sure, the people around him are nice and didn't look like they had bad intentions…

But that was how a lot of Fangires acted with him. They could make a disguise and pretend to be human and hunt behind the scenes. All those smiles and small bits of laughter he's seeing…

"I'll be going now." Wataru said. He waved everyone goodbye and headed back to his quarters. In the halls, Kivat flew down from the shadows of the ceiling to talk to his friend. "Kivat," Wataru said, "the castle's got Fangires in here." Kivat nodded as he listened. "We have to remain vigilant. Keep our heads up. I can't allow anything bad to happen to anyone here who's innocent." His voice was flat, like he was reading from a report, but there was still a hint of emotion in there. There was a hint of conviction in him. "So we're gonna keep everyone safe behind the scenes as much as we can, huh?" Kivat said. "Like the old days." He added. Wataru chuckled, without turning to him, with fire in his eyes, he told Kivat, "That's the job of a Kamen Rider after all."