Chapter 6:

Untold Truths

Densetsu: A Beautiful Day

Reality shifted the dimensions into anew, the environment resembling the stone age— green and illusions of animals roaming the earth.

Kotaro saw a barrier materializing underneath his feet, fencing his entire surroundings and forced to watch. He would not participate in the battle.

The first guard took aim with no hesitation. Scarlet bullets were fired rapidly at the target, chipping the dirt.

Noel went on the move, flipping in midair before summoning her bow.

“Attack Skill: Starlight Arrow!” A magical arrow struck the first guard’s firearm.

The second guard dashed towards his opponent; his firearm morphed into cold steel. When he caught up to her, he attacked her relentlessly.

Noel dodged the first attack, only chipped through her cheeks. Crimson dripped down her cheeks.

She danced around the battlefield, evading the majority of the guard’s attack.

“Trick Skill: Gemini Twin!” A second Noel emerged.

“That trick won’t fool me! Attack Skill: Fire Signer: Crimson Cloud!” The first guard manipulated the air around him, manifesting a foggy sphere. It ignited in flames similar to a stormy cloud.

“Watch out, Noel!” cried Kotaro.

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t break the forcefield. If only I could help her.

The lone fighter didn’t forget her second opponent. As the guard fired his fiery projectile,

Noel used her clone as a shield. Her close-ranged opponent was careful with his attacks.

“Summon Skill: Angry Taurus!”

“Already calling for help?” the guard taunted, slightly moving closer to her. He made several feints to which she reacted. “Looks like your help isn’t com—”

His ignorance blinded him of the upcoming threat. It rammed into him sneakily and swiftly.

“Here again in this false world…” the large ox glanced at his summoner. Its hide resembled the galaxy.

“You can go home now,” replied Noel.

“I just got here,”

“And your service is done.”

The cosmic ox blew his nose loudly. “Don’t summon me again, human.”

As her familiar returned home, Noel focused her attention on her other opponent.

“Thank god you got rid of him. Deadweight was getting in my way. But now that he’s not dragging me down, I can finally get serious.”

The earth trembled beneath their feet. A fiery aura manifested from the man.

“Attack Skill: Inferno Signer: Respiration Flame!”

Pillars of flame combusted beneath the dirt, drawing near Noel before surrounding her in a fiery arena.

“Don’t even think about flying!” He clasped his hands. “Attack Skill: Blaze Arrows!”

Flame arrows showered above the surrounded Noel.

“This is the end for you!” said the guard, confidently.

“Noel?!” Kotaro screamed.

He was forced to watch her behind this barrier. The arena of flames slowly vanquished into smokes. Guilt slowly ate him, knowing he was helpless.

“Sucks, doesn’t it? By the Skill Rules, you’re merely an audience for us to fight! But don’t worry, you’ll be joining her soon.”

The guard erupted into laughter. “It was nice seeing you again. I always hated the fact that we had to lose to you on purpose, but I’m feeling a little rebellious. The girl is new, and she ignited my fighting spirit in me again! I’ll just make NEW’s job easier by killing you.”

Suddenly, an arrow of light flew at lightning speed. He cried in horror, utterly confused. The smoke slowly dispersed—Noel’s presence hidden from her opponent.

“But how? There was no way you could escape from that!”

“I didn’t…Look closer,”

As more of the smokes vanished, the guard’s eyes widened. Hovering above Noel was a large balance scale used as a shield. “A scale?”

“Guard Skill: Libra’s Scale. It also has the properties of absorption, enhancing my next attack.”

She aimed her bow at the target. The arrow was fired at high speeds, not even the guard was quick enough to react.

The Spatial Dimension Field reverted reality to its original form. Kotaro was finally freed from the mystical barrier.

“Will they be alright?”

“They’ll be fine. I didn’t hit any of their vitals.”

She was right. He could hear them breathing loudly, chest raised as if they were resting.

“Let’s get going. We don’t have much time left.”

The two entered the factory, meeting a long hallway with square-shaped, silver walls as they moved forward. A dim light awaited them. Each step created a thump, one after another, and as they increased their pace, the sound became rapid fire.

Approaching the light, they found themselves in a circular room. The humidity in the room was unbearable. They were already sweating.

Weapons were being dropped into the pool of lava, and only a dark room awaited them ahead.

Noel and Kotaro proceeded forward, enduring the heat; however, Noel quickly stopped her tracks.

A strong presence leaked from above like a violent gust of wind. Suddenly, a mysterious girl fell between the two. Noel quickly pushed Kotaro away from her.

Noel’s eyes widened. What? Who is this girl? She froze.

The mysterious girl stood up. “Analyzing…Analyzing,” she spoke. “Target is complete… Returning into Memory Mode.”

She opened her eyes, immediately staring at Kotaro. A smile formed.

What’s another Noel doing here?

“Kotaro! Did you come back here to kill me?” Her pitch was higher than Noel’s.

So this is NEW. He looked at Noel, who started to faint. He gritted his teeth. I can’t do this alone, but I must try!

Kotaro searched his pocket, taking out a stick into battle. He said the same phrase as Yuuki, and the stick responded to the call.

The room illuminated, blinding both Kotaro and NEW until the light had vanquished.

“The sword! It’s different!” He called its previous appearance. Brown and untouched, it was like any normal sword, straight and symmetrical with a silver guard.

“I’m not here to kill you. I’m here to destroy whatever is causing the smoke!”

She burst into a wave of laughter. “Oh Kotaro, you’re so funny! You know that can’t happen. You and I are meant to be…”

Kotaro charged towards NEW with a downward slash.

“Project Device Gear Activate…” A sword-shaped object dropped between the two, repelling Kotaro’s puny slash. NEW accessed her outfit: metal shoulder plates, a shiny jeweled crest on her chest resembling a heart, and two golden objects hovering above her head which bore semblances to wings.

He slashed again. NEW evaded every one of them. No matter how the timeline changed, the results would end the same.

“The world goes round and round. It’s a never-ending story…”

Scarlet dripped down his cheeks.

“Kotaro, if you only listened to me, none of this would ever happen to you,” Riku spoke to herself.

His shoulders. His waist. More wounds were inflicted to him. Pools of scarlet corroded the floors. Each attack was swift and deadly.

I don’t want to die! He paid more attention to his attacks, throwing quick slashes and stabs. Delays in his previous slashes were a huge mistake, and he had lost too much blood. It was clear who was the more skilled fighter.

“You’re no fun from the other Kotaros! I’m just going to kill you!” NEW leaped into the air and spun as she dived towards her target.

Kotaro used whatever energy he had left and retreated a couple meters. It was enough to dodge her aerial attack. And possibly, his best decision.

NEW found her twin blades stuck between the metal bridge, underestimating his swiftness. Now was his chance. He picked himself up, and he charged at her with a readied slash.

“Take this! Smash Slash!” He raised both his arms above his head before swinging his sword downwards.

NEW smirked, “Project Device Activated: Doom Virus!”

Kotaro’s movement stopped entirely.

“I-I can’t move!” He added as much force he could but to no avail. The tip of his sword was near the opponent’s head. Frozen.

“Oh, Kotaro, I thought you knew I was bound to use Skills for our fight…” smokes billowed from her fingertips. “But I was wrong…”

“How? You’re breaking the Skill Rules!”

“It doesn’t matter whether or not I break it. You’re here with me, and we can finally be together!”

She caressed his cheeks, licking her lower lip. Snapping her fingers conjured another sword out of thin air. “At last, we can finally be together!”

The sharp steel impaled him through the chest. Crimson stained her azure suit. She approached Kotaro, wrapping her arms around him before falling straight into the pool of lava.

Noel sat motionlessly, watching them fall. Meanwhile, both Yuuki and Riku could see the black skies envelope into green. The outcome was expected.

No matter how many times they tried changing it, the results remained unchanged. “Kotaro…if only we’d met at another timeline, the Infinite Loop wouldn’t have existed in the first place. We’ll meet again…”