The sound of deafening silence, broken by gentle wind that blew across the battlefield. There were bodies lying all over, some still intact while others mangled and torn apart. The ground was covered in dirt and blood, the sky dark and cloudy. The scent of dirt still lingered in the air, smoke rising and rain falling slightly. It felt like a land of no hope.
Yet there it was, a white rose that glowed brighter than everything else in its surroundings. It gently floated across the land, allowing the fate of the current choose where it may rest. Several bodies it floated over, passing by each and every one of them. There were bodies of men wearing armor, built by the best blacksmiths. There were bodies of mages and magicians, with robes crafted by the most talented clothiers. There were bodies of beings that weren’t human, yet still fought in the battle just as equally as any other living race.
Soon, the white rose’s fate had been decided. The wind stopped, allowing it to ultimately fall on a pile of dirt, a quick makeshift grave of an ally that was defeated early on during this fierce battle. The rose settled, and vanished into nothing but particles of light, as the sky remained calm.
“...GASP!!!” A voice called out, rising out of the dirt pile in a frantic fashion. They jumped, landing on their feet as they looked around, bearing their claws. “I’m here! I’m ready to fight! C’mon, we can do...”
The figure looked around, seeing bodies after bodies and the shades of brown and grey that was the dirt and sky. They blinked, closing their eyes only to open them again, looking around once more.
“...No...No...No this can’t be.” They said with a hint of denial. “...I-I was only gone for a... How long was I...”
The figure walked around while talking to themselves, noticing the large chest plate that wasn’t scratched or ruined by the brutality of battle. They looked at their own reflection.
She sees her own face, with her green eyes and her black and orange hair. Her outfit consisting of a white shirt, an orange and black opened jacket, and a matching pair of shorts with black leggings. A pair of white shoes designed to resemble a cat’s paw was also worn on her feet. A pair of cat ears remained on her head, and a tail on her lower back.
“...I’m still me. That’s good.” She said to herself. “It be bad if I was another race besides a Kasha. Wait no, this is not the time to be thinking about my appearance! I need to see if all my friends are okay!!!”
The girl began to run around the battlefield, passing by bodies she did not recognize and objects that lied around. She shouted name of those she cared about. “Nessie!!! Are you there!?!?” She spoke. “Echolocation!? Panela!?” She spoke again, looking around in desperation. “Quivera!? Percy!? Cecilia!?”
She searched, looking, checking, sometimes even pulling off other bodies just to find anyone who is still alive. She continued to look. “Please! Anyone!!! Someone!!! Just say something!!! Anything!!!!!!” She cried, falling to her knees. “...Please. I don’t... Want to be the only survivor.” She said, looking down at her hands, and her claws. “This...This can’t be happening...”
The girl raised her head, quickly springing to her feet to follow the distant sound of coughing. “Is someone there!?” She shouted, arriving at the area. Her eyes widened when she sees two figures lying on the ground. “Master!!! Alena!!!”
There was the sight of a brunette-haired girl, wearing a red dress and a purple robe lied on the ground. Her green eyes twinkled a bit, covered in tears. The other was a blonde-haired girl, lying face flat on the ground. The cat girl quickly ran over to the pair. “Master!!!” The girl said to the brunette. “Master are you okay!? Are you hurt!?”
The brunette struggled to speak, holding herself up with her arms since her legs don’t work, trying to reach for the staff that was laying broken in half close by. “E...Ember.” The brunette said. “I thought... You were killed.”
“I-I thought so too! But I think one of the Roses of Angela was used on me! I don’t know why but I was chosen to live again! I didn’t even need to waste any of my nine lives this time!” Ember said.
“That’s good... I-I’m glad that you are all right.” The brunette said. “But Alena...”
The two looked at Alena’s body, Ember’s eyes widening a bit as she looked back at her Master. “...No...She can’t- I mean... She was the strongest of all of us... She had the armor and everything and-“
“Inco... Had the two relics on her. Alena tried her best with the armor that gave her power... but it wasn’t enough.” The brunette said.
“...We lost then?” Ember asked, her eyes beginning to shake and tear up. “...All of these battles. Our friends. The memories. All those years, and we still lost?”
The brunette shook her head no. “We still have a fighting chance Ember.” She said, reaching into her robe, pulling out two objects, each one able to fit in the palm of a hand. The first one was a white 6-sided object, with each side bearing a black dot in its center. The other one was a black 12-sided object, with each side bearing a white dot in its center. “We managed to take these away from her. Without them she will never be able to-“
The sound of booming echoed in the distance, alerting Ember and the brunette towards it. Ember could tell what that meant, and so did the brunette. “Ember, I need you to listen to me very carefully right now.” The brunette said. “I need you to take these objects, take the armor that Alena was wearing, and run, run as fast as you can, run until you somehow reach the end of the world and go past it.”
“B-But Master. I can’t just leave you.” Ember said. “I can’t do this by-“
“I’m telling you to go Ember!! This is an order! Don’t worry about me!!!” The brunette said.
“Go Ember! I need you to get out of here! GO!!!”
“I can’t leave you Claire!!! You know I love you and wish to protect you!!!” Ember shouted, tears rolling her eyes. “Please! There has to be another way!!!” She said, holding the girl’s hand in her own.
“...I know you do Ember. I love you also. I wish we could be together more... But promise me that you’ll do whatever it takes to protect anyone who needs to be protected. For my sake, never give up, even if I’m no longer with you.” Claire said, showing off a sincere smile on her face covered in tears and dirt. “You have served me and my grandfather well. Now’s the time I do the same for you.”
“...Claire.” Ember said. “I pro-“
Another explosion could be heard, with some shouting in the distance.
“Where are they... WHERE ARE THEY!?!? They’re supposed to be here!!! That damn blonde tricked me!!!”
Ember looked back at Claire, taking the two objects, running over to Alena’s body, pressing some buttons on the armor as it suddenly shrinks into a pocket-sized rectangular object. She takes them and shoves them inside her jacket, looking at Claire one last time before running off away from the enemy.
She runs as fast as she can. Though she has the dexterity of a cat, it doesn’t mean she can outrun her opponent. She has to get away as soon as possible before they spot her.
Ember halted on her tracks, seeing a brute figure covered in cracks and fissures walking towards her, glaring with a sense of hate. Ember quickly turns a different way, only to be spotted by a person, staring with eyes full of depression. She sees the one with hate run towards her, before being blocked by a sudden interference by a blue haired girl, wearing a blue Miko outfit, bearing fins on her head, wrists and ankles, and a large tail on the back. A stream of water flowed past her, hitting the figure head on, sending them back, before flowing her arms around to hit the other figure behind them with another wave of water.
“Nessie!” Ember said.
“Go, I’ll take care of these two.” Nessie said calmly.“ And don’t take it the wrong way either.” She said in a typical fashion. Ember took this opportunity to keep on running, jumping past obstacles while keeping her footing. But it didn’t last long before another threat arrived in the form of slime and sludge.
Ember quickly got to some higher ground, seeing the sight of sickness as the figure moved through their own goop. She felt pain when a small spiky needle grazed her hand slightly, looking above to see another figure surrounded by very painful objects.
“Hey, kitty.” A voice called behind Ember. Ember looks behind her and sees a pink transparent ghost, looking down with a big old’ smirk and careless eyes. Despite lacking a physical body, she still wore what looks like a pink transparent outfit similar to what a modern person would wear. “You seem to be in a pickle. You need me to declare a Deus ex machina, or are you just waiting for Superman?” The ghostly figure said.
“Echo!!!” Ember said. “Get me out of here!”
“Sure thing! Just let me do... This!!!” They said, as suddenly a giant pencil appeared, scribbling down a rocket for Ember to use, as they fly high up in the air, passing the spiky person. “Tell God he still owes me money!!!” Echo shouted from below.
The rocket flew, Ember keeping her grip on the handles. But the rocket only had so much fuel before it crashed into the ground once again. Ember didn’t hesitate to jump off, continuing to run. She then spotted a familiar elf wielding a bow, and an owl-like person fighting back two figures bearing gore and stress. She wishes she could stop, help them fight back, but she cannot waste any more time. She has to keep on running. She later sees other figures, a white-haired noble girl, wearing a black skirt and a white blouse, using fire and a rabbit girl, wearing a tank top, a plaid shirt, blue shorts, and long brown boots. She wielded a big sword, defending against embodiments of despair and chaos.
This time, Ember hesitated to keep on moving. She turned around instead, running straight at the figures, bearing her claws and slashes one of their faces, kicking away the other. The one she slashed had their face suddenly bursting into flames in the process, swearing and cursing for what has happened to them.
“L...Lady Panela!!!” Ember said, turning to meet the white-haired girl. “Lady Panela are you okay!?”
“I’m fine Ember, thank you for... Wait, what’s in your jacket right now?” Panela asked. “Are those...”
“Milady!!! Look out!!!” The rabbit girl shouted, jumping in the way of a sudden ball of miasma, blocking it with their sword. The explosion still sent them back a bit, sliding on the ground in pain.
“Cecilia!” Panela shouted, running to them. “Are you okay!?” She asked her.
“I-I’m fine! Urk... I can still fight!” Cecilia said, quickly raising their body, grabbing their sword once again.
“W-who shot at us!?” Ember asked, turning around, only for her eyes to widen, seeing who it was.
Three figures, all floating above them. The first one on their right was surrounded by rings, on their clothes, their body, even in their eyes... So many rings. It was like looking upon insanity. The second was a horrendous figure, wearing a simple white gown, their hair a mess, and dark roots spawning from their back and down on the ground. It sent fear down Ember’s spine.
The final figure... Whose image is obscured by the glitchy miasma that surrounded them. But Ember knows all too well who that is...
“...You...Have...What...I...Need...” The glitchy figure said, pointing at Ember, who was visibly shaking down to their shoes. Cecilia and Panela quickly got in front of Ember. Cecilia lit a small fire around her hand, looking determined right now, while Cecilia drew her sword at the three floating beings. “You’ll have to get through us first!!!” Cecilia shouted. “We won’t let you hurt our friend!!!”
Panela turned around, looking at Ember. “Ember, Merciel will be here any moment. Run as fast as you can and get out of here. Quick.” Panela said in a calming voice. “Don’t worry about us, we can manage our own against these gods.”
“But...” Ember wanted to say more but knew that there was no convincing of her or Cecilia. Instead, she nodded her head, saying “Farewell” before turning around and sprinting once again.
She heard the sound of more explosions happening behind her, a few tears rolled down her eyes while doing so. But she wiped them away, looking forward with the intention of being brave and pure. She has to, for the sake of everyone and everything. “I will save everyone. Don’t you worry.” She said to herself.
But it didn’t last long before the figures appeared in front of her. She stopped on her course, looking at the three, with one of them dropping the sword that Cecilia always carried with her.
“No... No no no no nononononono!!!” Ember shouted; her fearful face quickly replaced with rage. “YOU’LL PAY FOR WHAT YOU DID TO THEM!!!” She shouted, bearing her claws before charging at the middle figure, crying out. But instead, she got wrapped up in roots, binded by rings, forcing her in the air while she looked down at the figure surrounded by miasma.
“Honestly, Ember. We have been doing this for how long now? I already defeated your friends, your family, even your lover. I took down the most powerful people in all three worlds of mortals, what makes you think a youkai, whom humanity drove to extinction such as you would have a fighting chance against a divine being?” The figure said. “Now how about you give me the cube, the die, the armor, and maybe... I’ll let you live. Heck, I may not even corrupt you like all the others I have turned into Lost Causes.”
“You...Won’t...” Ember spoke, struggling to speak from all the bindings on her. “Get away with this...”
“Oh, but I will. Want to know why?” The figure said, holding out a dark, thin hand, with nails sharper than Ember’s emitting corruption. Ember dreaded what is to come from that hand as it got closer.
“It’s because I c-“
A large light suddenly enveloped the area, blinding the three figures, letting go of Ember as she noticed where the light is coming from. She stared forward at her right, seeing a heavenly figure, bearing a simple white dress, a pair of white feathered wings on her back, a golden halo floating above her head, sandals on her feet, and a sapphire necklace around her neck. Her hair was a light blonde, almost looking to be white, and her eyes a shiny blue, matching her necklace.
“Merciel!!!” Ember shouted, running towards the angel. “We need to go now!!!” She spoke.
“NOT THIS TIME YOU WON’T!!! YOU WON’T EVADE MY SIGHT AGAIN!!!” The figure shouted, sending a blast of corruption at Ember and Merciel.
Merciel noticed the shot, quickly appearing in front of Ember and casting a quick barrier to deflect the shot. The barrier fell as Merciel looked forward with a quiet gaze.
“Your attacks won’t work on me Inco. You know that.” Merciel said quietly.
“SHUT UP!!!” The figure shouted, the glitchy miasma that shrouded their look dissipated slightly, revealing a face that looked furious right now. “I REFUSE TO ALLOW THE ANGEL OF PEACE STOP ME FROM OBTAINING INFINITY!!!”
Ember was afraid, scared even. She knows that Merciel can protect her, but her oath of pacifism prevents her from fighting back. At this rate, the other moral gods will show up and overpower her. As Ember realized her impending doom, the following thought flowed into her mind. ‘I want to get out of here! I want to be somewhere where Inco isn’t as powerful!!!’
And then, the cube and die that were in Ember’s jacket sprang out, circling one another while spinning and glowing. Ember was confused, Merciel let out a small gasp, and the three moral gods that were trying to attack halted, stunned by what is happening.
The two objects spun around rapidly, faster, and faster and much faster than before, until a portal opened up, as it began to suck everything inside. It sucked in Ember, Merciel, the three moral gods, dirt, and dust and even the giant sword. It sucked in everything, before vanishing without a trace, nothing left behind.
The battlefield remained quiet. Nothing happened except for the oncoming rain that drizzled everywhere, washing off the blood and mixing the dirt to mud.
In-between the land of Earth, and the land of the Moon... Lies the Dream World. A place where all dreams big and small, short and long, satisfying and terrifying all originate. It is a world where anything can be possible, while also impossible as it is but a dream.
A brown-haired girl with pigtails was in this dream world at this moment, wearing a purple plaid skirt and top, socks with bows and black shoes, a white blouse and a black cloak, and a black hat with a ribbon on top. Her name was Sumireko Usami.
The other person who this girl was with was the ruler of dreams, Doremy Sweet. She wore a black and white dress covered in orbs, has blue hair, an oversized red nightcap, and a pair of socks. She also has a tail on her back. The two were currently in the middle of a discussion.
“So... you can create any dream right?” Sumireko asked Doremy.
“That I can.” Doremy responded. “I can create and eat whatever dream I please.”
"What about if you want to make the nightmare real?" Sumireko asked.
"I can do that too, but it requires a lot of energy."
“Well... That would depend on the dream I suppose. If it’s something as simple as making someone fall off a cliff it wouldn’t take too much effort.” Doremy explained. “But I am assuming you are wondering what it would take to make their deepest fears come to life. Correct?” She asked in a more terrifying tone.
“I-I just was asking.” Sumireko said with a laugh. “It’s just I read stories of people experiencing injuries from their dreams that come with them when they wake up. Like Freddy Kruger for example.” Sumireko said.
“Ah. Well in that case it would take a lot of energy to physically harm someone in the real world through their dreams.” Doremy said.
“But how much are we talking about? C’mon, give me numbers!” Sumireko said.
“You’re awfully curious about this. What is it that you have planned young lady?” Doremy asked, giving the brown-haired girl a look of curiosity and displeasure.
"I'm planning to conquer your realm so I can have it as my own!" Sumireko said with a smile, though it soon faltered. “Wait... Even if I try you’ll just trap me in some kind of endless loop where I’m chased by youkai, wouldn’t you?”
“That you are-“
Doremy was interrupted by the sound of a large sound, as a pair of black and white objects appeared suddenly, spinning around as a portal opened up, releasing a winged figure that rolled across the ground, crashing.
“W-what the!?” Sumireko expressed shock. “What just happened!?”
Doremy floated over, looking over at the winged person. “Um, are you okay there miss?” She asked, not getting too close to her.
“I am fine.” The figure said, spreading their wings out before closing them, revealing an injured figure that they protected. “She is not however, is there a place here where we can rest?”
“Woah!!! It’s a real-life angel!” Sumireko shouted. “And a cat girl also!!!” She spoke. “And she’s looks cute!!!” She said with a twinkle in her eye. “Can I pet her!?!?”
“It is best that you do not.” The angel said. “Ember does not take kindly to strangers that well unless she gets to know them first.” She said, standing up and dusting her dress a little bit. “My name is Merciel Yin. I am an angel who swore an oath of pacifism. I arrived here because of objects of insurmountable power. May I ask for assistance in a manner with which I am struggling?” Merciel said in a calm, gentle tone.
“You... Speak very fine for someone who crash landed here.” Doremy said.
"I am sorry about that. I can assure you that I am uninjured."
"Then why are you here in our world?" Sumireko asked, raising an eyebrow.
“It is because-“
The objects that opened the portal before activated again, this time launching three figures out in the distance, crashing. Everyone looked over, except for Ember who was struggling to stand up a bit.
“N-No. They’re here.” Ember said quietly.
“Who is? Also are those ears real?” Sumireko asked.
“You don’t understand.” Ember said. “We need to run. This is really, really bad.”
“What is?” Doremy asked.
“...The Moral Gods.” Merciel said. “Beings who represent the very emotions of life and civilization. While they are two sides of the same coin, one side very much wishes to control their opposites, submit them to their will until nothing but darkness remains.”
“W-we need to run! I need to get the cube and die before they-“ Ember checked her jacket. “Wait...Where is it? Where’s the armor!?”
“Armor?” Sumireko asked. She looked around, seeing a rectangular object a few yards away from her. She ran over, picking it off the ground. “Are you referring to this!?” She said, holding the object in the air.
“Wait! No! Come back! It is dangerous!!!” Merciel shouted.
“Huh? What do you mean by-“ Sumireko said, before being interrupted by the sight of a figure, expressing levels of emotion that can’t be described. She instinctively teleported herself away from the oncoming attack, barely avoiding a blow that had a huge impact close to its surroundings.
“Woah what the hell!?!?” Sumireko shouted, showing panic. “They were about to kill me! That’s against the rules!!!”
“They don’t follow rules!” Ember shouts. “They do whatever they please!!!”
“What do you mean!? Why!?”
“I. I-I-III I iII iI iII iII iIii II iii IIII III iiiI iiIiIaiiaiiaiai aiaiaiheoiiashfoafoheohaefo;Ha;orihaeoaaoGOAHohea;Def;aiohd;Ohfo;fhoOBGIWOYDV;ohwbf gEFbhv- I WANT THAT ARMOR!!!” The figure shrouded in miasma shouted, corruption spreading around her.
Doremy quickly acted, getting in front of everyone and forming a barrier that can’t be penetrated. The corruption tried to get past it, but it was blocked.
“Ghh!!! They’re definitely strong! Why are they after you!?” Doremy asked, maintaining the barrier.
“They want the armor! It is one of the four key ingredients to infinite power! We’re trying to keep them from obtaining it!” Ember said.
“Damn it!!! Efena, stop slacking off and do something already!!!” The shrouded figure commanded.
“I’m trying to! But my roots won’t do anything for some reason!” Efena said. “What about you Bin!?”
“Hahahaha!!! It was such a bad idea for this to happen! I love it!!! I LOVE IT ALREADY!!!” Bin said, leaning back in laughter.
“And they’re already losing it... Great.” Efena said.
“WHY ARE MY POWERS SO WEAK!?!? I SHOULD HAVE BROKEN THEIR SHIELD BY NOW!!! THAT’S IT, I’M SUMMONING THE ARMY!!!” The figure said, raising their hand as they snap their fingers.
...But nothing happened. They snap their fingers repeatedly, but nothing changed.
“No... NO!!! This cannot be!!!” The figure said.
“...Their powers are weakened.” Ember said, standing up, looking with hope on her face. “They... Don’t have the Lost Causes here... We have a fighting chance!!!” She said, smiling.
“Seriously! What the hell is happening!?” Sumireko asked, still confused. “And why are those two things up there still spinning!?”
Ember looked up, looking at the objects, then quickly her face went from joyful to fearful, as she looked back down at the three figures, who had the same idea.
Ember quickly leaped high into the air, attempting to grab the objects, but was stopped by Efena who got in her way, about to hit her with her roots. Ember sliced up the roots with her claws, burning them down to their stem. She reached for the objects again when she noticed a pair of rings blazing towards her.
“Hahaha!!! Grab those rings, let them bind you and fill you with so many bad ideas you’ll go insane over them! Hahahahahahaaaaa!!!” Bin shouted.
The rings almost hit Ember but were knocked back by a pair of cards that hit them head on. Ember looked behind her, seeing Sumireko holding cards in her hands, floating in the air. Ember then nodded back at her before using one of the cards to jump up higher, managing to reach the cube and die.
“Yes! I got them! I have the- GAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” Ember screamed, being electrocuted suddenly by a corrupted bolt.
“Ember!!!” Sumireko shouted, grabbing the cat girl before she fell. “Ember! Are you okay!?” She asked.
“T-the c-cube and d-die...” Ember said.
The cube and die fell back down to the ground, landing in the hands of Inco, whose eyes could now be seen through the miasma. The glowed a dark purple, staring at Doremy and Merciel.
“...I don’t know what you did, or how you did it... But all I care about is killing all of you here.” Inco said.
“...You say that, but you are in my domain. I am the ruler of dreams.” Doremy said, showing a signature smile. “I can create whatever I want, control whatever I want. I am king!” She shouted.
Doremy looked down at her chest, noticing the root that stabbed through her heart. She looked forward to spot Efena, looking happily at Doremy’s petrified face.
“But what is a king... to a god?” Efena said softly. A trail of corruption from Inco quickly spread through the root, beginning to corrupt the dream ruler while she was agonized in pain.
“Doremy!!!” Sumireko said. She placed Ember back down next to Merciel, about to attack Inco when she felt her body be drawn back. A portal opened up, sucking her in. “Wait, Doremy! What are you doing!?!?”
“S...Saving you!!!” Doremy shouted, using the last of her strength to send the girl into the portal, closing it.
Doremy fell over, lying on the ground. But then raising her body once again. She turned around slowly, her eyes closed until they opened, revealing a deep shade of purple. She looked at Merciel and the injured Ember.
“N-No... I-I thought that...” Ember said in disbelief.
“Get back Ember. I will protect you.” Merciel said.
The sound of laughter filled the area as Inco stood there, laughing as always. “You honestly thought that you could win so easily? As if!!! Once I deal with you both, I’ll hunt that girl down and take the armor back from her rotten corpse!” Inco said, holding the cube and die in her hands.
Ember felt hopeless, falling to her knees while looking forward with an empty gaze. Everything that she has done up to this point, the people who risked their lives for her own... All coming to a miserable end. Even if she and Merciel gets out of this alive, there is no chance they’ll ever get the key ingredients back from the god’s hands, not like last time. She could only hope that somehow, somewhere, that they would manage to escape this hellhole.
“Hahahaha! Ahahaha! Ahahahaha! Ahaha- Wait...” Inco spoke, noticing the cube and die beginning to glow, rising up into the sky, spinning slowly. “What is going on?”
The cube and die begin to spin faster and faster, increasingly fast. They kept on spinning, everything around them distorting from the sheer speed. The dream world suddenly turning into a pitch-black void. Wormholes begin rifting open wildly, as figures and other strange objects start coming out of them.
“What is... going on!?!? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE CREATION CUBE AND THE DESTRUCTION DIE!?!? I DEMAND AN ANSWER!!!” Inco shouted. Everyone else was confused by what is happening.
Merciel looked up, her eyes widening a little when she concluded an answer. “...It’s them...” She spoke.
“Those who follow the Hive, the ones who shall decide.” A voice coming from the cube and die stated in a divine tone. The two objects start moving close to one another. They moved closer, spinning faster and much faster than they ever had spun before.
The world grew silent, as the two objects lightly clicked on one another, touching by a molecule.
And a large blinding light exploded out of the center, engulfing everybody and everything.
...And then there was nothing, except for a single individual, lying in this dark void.
Ember raised her eyes open, looking around to find themselves in a small Japanese home. They were staring up at the wooden ceiling, looking around with their eyes, seeing a window to their right, showing the wintery streets of a village with children playing outside. Their left was another bed, looking neatly folded, the covers fresh out of the laundry.
She struggled in lifting her head but used her arms as leverage to sit up straight. Her body felt a bit weak, but she had enough strength to look around the room some more. It was a small room, big enough for at least two people. There was a door on the other side that was closed at the moment, but she could hear footsteps coming over.
The door opened, as a girl with long blonde hair, wearing a white patterned shirt with a light blue skirt, matching her eyes and necklace. She was holding a tray with what looks like a cup of tea and some medicinal herbs. She stopped when she noticed Ember being awake.
“You are awake. I thought you would never have woken up.” The girl said.
“Um... Do I know you?” Ember asked.
“Oh dear, I did not think you would also experience amnesia. I thought for certain my healing spell would have prevented that.” The girl said.
“No, really. Do I know you or something?” Ember asked.
“Do you not recognize me Ember? It is I, Merciel, the Angel of Peace.”
“...Merciel!?” Ember asked with a bit of shock. “But where’s your halo and wings!?”
“This is my human disguise. I do not use it normally unless I am required to blend in to avoid distress of others.”
“Wait, a disguise?” Ember asked, attempting to get out of her bed, only to fall over on the floor. “...Ow...”
“You must be more careful. Your body is still weak from the battle a few months ago.” Merciel said, walking over to place the tray down and help Ember back up.
“Sorry, I was just- A FEW MONTHS!?” Ember expressed. “I’VE BEEN ASLEEP FOR THAT LONG!?!?”
“Yes unfortunately. I was not sure why, but you have undergone a coma. It is a bit of a miracle that you have woken up now... But I fear for what I must tell you now.”
“W-what do you mean... Is Inco...” Ember asked.
“It will take a while to explain everything... Please, lie down and enjoy some tea I made.” Merciel said.
Ember sat back on her bed, taking a sip of her tea while Merciel began to explain.
“I will try to keep this short. But one thing I can say for certain is the Hivemind has invaded this world also.”
“...The Hivemind?” Ember asked. “You mean... The same one the White Reaper has been pursuing for generations?”
“Yes... When I first woke up from the explosion, I quickly learned of a few important things: one. Both Inco and Efena were sealed off somewhere, a place where they could not escape from. 2. Despite this, Bin managed to escape, and they were still able to control Doremy Sweet, the ruler of dreams. 3. Using Doremy, they were able to manipulate the being known as Yukari Yakumo, one of the sages of Gensokyo, to perform a sort of “Experiment”, with the being known as Fargo Kaninchen, a being from an alternate universe who until recently, was being controlled by the Hivemind.”
“...So that’s a good thing right?” Ember asked. “Two of the moral gods was sealed off somewhere. That means if we can obtain the cube and die, we can take down Bin and everyone is happy!”
“Not quite. As I said, only recently did the Hivemind was controlling Fargo Kaninchen... However, The White Reaper managed to get to this world also, and severely weakened The Hivemind’s power over the course of fate. This led to Inco and Efena breaking from their seal and possessing the youkai Yukari Yakumo and the Vampire Remilia Scarlet.” Merciel stated.
Ember’s look of joy quickly turned to disappointment, looking down as her ears lowered. “But wait, what about the cube and die? What happened to those? And what about the armor?” Ember asked.
“The armor is still in the outside world, being kept by the girl named Sumireko Usami, for now at least. I am unsure why, but beings of this land are unable to venture out into the outside without risking their own existence. Which may explain why Inco, Efena and Bin have not pursued the girl as of yet. As for the cube and die... It is hard to explain, but they have been nonexistent ever since the Hivemind invaded... until now.”
“Now?” Ember asked.
“You are familiar with the term Tsukumogami correct?” Merciel asked.
“As in the youkai of tools and everyday objects that gain sentience when they don’t get used?”
“Precisely. It seemed that while they were both living, they have only obtained more sentient forms as of late. And they’re staying with a girl named Tsumetai Snow, another one of a few beings the Hivemind took interest in after abandoning Fargo Kaninchen.”
“They’re alive?” Ember asked. “As in they’re living beings now?”
“Not quite. The cube and die have taken the role of phantom halves as of this moment. But recently they have shown signs of becoming more than that. I worry of what may happen if their powers were to ever reawaken. And I dread what Inco and Efena have planned as of this moment.”
Ember was silent for a moment, thinking it over.
“What can we do then?” Ember asked.
“Right now. Not too much. As I have taken the oath of pacifism, I cannot directly engage Inco or the other moral gods. It is too early to reveal myself to anyone either. But right now, we must ensure the safety of Tsumetai Snow. If Inco manages to corrupt her, then she gets full control over the cube and die once again.” Merciel explained.
“But what should I do?” Ember asked.
“I want you to disguise yourself in your cat form. Go live with Tsumetai Snow and her brother Kaurma Snow, make sure nothing happens to them. In the case something does, alert me and I will do what I must to prevent Inco’s victory.” Merciel said.
"Got it." Ember said. "I'll do it. Then what?"
“...I am unsure... It is best to leave it to the beings of this world to settle this dispute. I have observed many of them for a while, and they have proven to be quite capable of defending their land.”
Ember got herself ready, putting on her usual attire as she was about to head out the door. She looked back at Merciel who gave her a gentle smile. Ember looked back at her with a sad look on her face.
“...What is wrong Ember?” Merciel asked.
“...I’m scared.” Ember said. “I already lost so many people I care about...What if I get too attached to the people here also? I can only bear so many losses.”
Merciel walked over to Ember, pulling her in for a hug, her wings coming out to wrap the cat girl all around her. “...It will be okay Ember. You are strong. I am here for you if you ever need anything.” Merciel said.
Ember hugged the angel back, letting out tears and sobs while doing so. The two remained silent in their hug, before Ember eventually let go.
“...Thank you for taking care of me Merciel. I promise I’ll protect everyone this time.” Ember said, walking out the door, closing it. Ember was sent off to live with Tsumetai and Kaurma.