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. Bookmark here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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.Bookmark here

“Watch out, Noel!” cried Kotaro. Bookmark here

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

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

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

“Summon Skill: Angry Taurus!” Bookmark here

“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—”Bookmark here

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

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

“You can go home now,” replied Noel. Bookmark here

“I just got here,”Bookmark here

“And your service is done.”Bookmark here

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

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

“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.” Bookmark here

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

“Attack Skill: Inferno Signer: Respiration Flame!” Bookmark here

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

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

Flame arrows showered above the surrounded Noel.Bookmark here

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

“Noel?!” Kotaro screamed. Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

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.” Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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

“I didn’t…Look closer,”Bookmark here

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?”Bookmark here

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

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

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

“Will they be alright?”Bookmark here

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

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

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

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. Bookmark here

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

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

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

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. Bookmark here

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

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

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

What’s another Noel doing here? Bookmark here

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

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!Bookmark here

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

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

“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. Bookmark here

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

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…”Bookmark here

Kotaro charged towards NEW with a downward slash. Bookmark here

“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. Bookmark here

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

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

Scarlet dripped down his cheeks.Bookmark here

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

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

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. Bookmark here

“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. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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

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

Kotaro’s movement stopped entirely. Bookmark here

“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. Bookmark here

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

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

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

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!”Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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

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…”Bookmark here

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