How to enter [World Within]?
Step 1: Establish a contact between The Stabilizer (Type1) and The Fighter (Type2) Shard carriers into an Active Shard pair.
Step 2: Establish a contact between an Active Shard pair and an Inactive Shard carrier that is being stabilized by either a Compassion Shard carrier (Type3) or an Unconditional Shard carrier (Type4).
Step 3: With a help of a Prism, build The Bridge between all parties that leads into a [World Within] of an Inactive Shard carrier.
Step 4: Inside of [World Within] there is only an Active Shard pair. Their task is to collect [Loose Mana] and locate the Spark.
Step 5: Once Spark is located, one of the Active Shard carriers, The Stabilizer, pumps all the Mana into it which turns the Spark into a [Crimson Core].
Step 6: Upon activation, [Crimson Core] pulls an Active Shard pair into a special world that craves stabilization. Once the conditions are fulfilled, Active Shard pair is forced out of the [World Within].
„You already know all these things Nii, why are you still reading that?“
Small girl stood in front of a messy bed in a tiny room that was covered in papers with various texts and numbers written in every corner.
The boy was laying down, dressed in old worn-out shirt. His eyes were on papers he held tightly as if he was afraid that they would run away from him.
„You don't get it,“ boy sighed, „one day you'll become a Type 2 and you'll find a strong Type 1 that will care for you and protect you.“
He turned his head towards the small girl. She was a cute short-haired girl with big brown eyes. She was holding a box filled with homemade cookies that she obviously prepared for her brother.
„I thought these might cheer you up,“ she brought a box close to the boy.
He looked deep into her eyes while barely containing his tears.
„I don't deserve you, Chizu,“ he brushed her hand while reaching for the box.
Girl dropped down her head and noticed that floor was covered in papers as well.
„Don't say it like that. You're the best Nii in a whole wide world,“ she stole few glances from him out of the embarrassment.
At this point the boy found himself at the very verge of breaking down. He slowly got up from bed and walked towards the door.
„Don't worry about me, I'm going to take Sunbar for a walk,“ said the boy and whistled.
Fluffy golden retriever ran to him as fast as he possible could have, while knocking down couple of papers on his way.
Boy and his dog walked down the stairs and were stopped abruptly by a woman that happened to be boy's mother.
„Miss Anro called, why weren't you in school today?“ she asked while holding a small glass filled with fluid that gave strong odor.
„That glass won't bring back dad, you know,“ said the boy and quickly passed by his mother.
„Daichi! You can't talk to me like that!“ she was yelling behind his back while waving her hand, spilling some liquid from her glass.
„I told you my name is Omicron, you lost Daichi long time ago,“ boy added while grabbing a jacket and left the house.
„Nii...“ girl sneaked down the stairs, worrying for her brother's safety.
Omi lived few blocks away from the school, which meant he was always on time for a bell. He never skipped a single class in his life so everyone got worried for him. He never walked his dog towards the school, he would always choose the opposite direction where none of his acquaintances lived.
The path followed by a canal was filled with greenery and a small stream that led all the way to the other side of town. It was intertwined by several rusty bridges, and he would walk all the way to the last bridge, the one nearest to Umeko's usual route.
They always hung out there when they were kids and it remains the best escape spot for him.
You could see all the bridges in the distance and sunsets were particularly beautiful from there, in his opinion of course. The air of nostalgia surrounded him as soon as he reached the place.
One part of him wanted to „accidentally“ tumble into Umeko, but the other part enjoyed solitude filled with old memories.
It was already November, so the daylight lasted for a very short period of time. By the time he sat on a bench near the bridge it was almost nightfall.
It seemed like the dog shared his master's enthusiasm. He placed his woolly bottom beneath the bench and eyed the passing pedestrians.
„Look at you two cowboys,“ Umeko approached the bench.
Omi acted as he didn't hear her. Or more precisely, didn't want to hear her.
Sunbar waved his tail happily and put his furry nose beneath Ume's hands. She was holding a small black cat in her embrace.
„Oh hey..“ Omi barely greeted her, he wanted to jump out of his own skin.
„Nice shirt, where's the fancy suit?“ Ume observed Omi's uncharacteristic attire.
„At dry cleaning...khm cleening,“ Omi didn't want to raise his head.
Small kitty meowed at the dog. Ume put the kitty down which immediately ended up playing in Sunbar's fur.
„Sunbar is such a player,“ Ume giggled.
After a short pause Omi mustered up the courage to ask a question.
„So, how are things with you and Kap?“
Ume was surprised a bit that he didn't waste a single moment to be direct.
„As usual,“ she replied while brushing her arms to warm herself up.
„Oh, so now you have [The Usual], huh“
„What is that supposed to mean?“
Ume squinted her eyes a bit and looked straight at Omi that couldn't maintain an eye contact with her. Or more precisely, didn't want to.
He was disgusted by the words that came from his mouth but he was powerless to stop them.
„Well, you and him are...“ Omi tried to explain his thought, but was quickly interrupted by visibly upset Ume.
„Me and Shiki are partners, you know darn well how hard I wanted a proper partner,“ Ume waved with her hands.
„But you and me...“ Omi was yet again interrupted by a long sigh from Ume.
„We talked about this so many times already. The only reason why we had tried to make this thing between us work was for Ren and her sis Mia.“
Omi clenched his fist. He was partially glad that she didn't let him finish the sentences. But that feeling was fleeting.
„So, you think you and him will succeed?“ He looked at Ume with eyes filled with pain.
„At least me and Shiki can give it a proper shot,“ Ume grabbed tiny kitten that meowed her goodbyes to Sunbar and walked away.
„Shiki this, Shiki that...he is just a Kappa,“ Omi muttered to himself.
Nostalgia for the good times of old was now overwritten by feeling of uneasiness and helplessness.
„It's a curse of Omicrons, Sunbar. Although now I feel like this is a curse of Daichi...“
Omi petted the furry head of his companion that was still keeping an eye on Ume that walked away in a distance.
Omi wandered aimlessly for hours and somehow ended up in front of the main gates of Lotus Medical Institute.
He stopped for longer than anyone would have and surveilled the entire front entrance of the building.
„Maybe they can give me a partner, huh Sunbar?“ Pale face of an energetic boy disturbed poor dog that could only whimper while walking in place.
He kept staring at giant building with a big lotus symbol in it's front. There was a security post besides the gate, but luckily it was empty.
Indescribable feeling streamed through Omi's body which invited him over and over again.
His fickle mind was strained between Ume, his sister, mother and it seemed like the cause of avalanche was Shiki. More like he condemned a poor fellow as a prime suspect.
He decided to answer the call from an unknown number.
Omi took the leash and tied it to a nearest fence.
„Wait for me a bit, Sunbar,“ dog barked couple of times as if he was trying to warn Omi, but to no avail.
Boy slipped through the small opening in main gates and approached the building. Couple of employees, probably scientist were having a smoke break in front of the stairs, so Omi sneaked through the bushes and ended up on the right side of the building.
What's up with scientist and their nicotine addiction, he thought to himself while hiding behind the tree.
There were a series of giant garage doors, and one of them was half-open. A sound of car engine that won't start echoed from inside.
The odd sensation only thickened from this point on, it played with his thoughts like an unsupervised kid.
Without a doubt in his mind, Omi entered that garage.
„Oh come on you stupid old fart, don't do this to me!“ A loud husky female voice was followed by a couple of harsh bangs on the windshield.
When the woman noticed Omi standing at the garage entrance, she leaped from a car like a ballerina.
„Oh hey honey, wanna give this lady a hand?“ She encircled him with her hand that was far stronger than he anticipated. His face ended up in her long wavy red hair.
He had no idea about the cars in the first place, but couldn't say no to her request. Something drew him towards her and he wanted to find out what.
With a single turn of car keys, the car started.
„Ahhh I knew it! You're a lifesaver, thank you,“ lady hugged him without batting an eye.
She seemed extremely clingy but Omi didn't mind that at all. After all, he is just an average healthy 17 year old boy that sneaks around medical institutes followed by unknown instincts.
„By the way, who are you anyway? You sneaked in here?“
Omi wasn't perplexed by her question because her tone was unmistakably friendly.
„My name is Omicron,“ he said calmly.
Lady's eyes widened and her smile broke from ear to ear.
„Oh a Prime Shard! My name is Nana, I work here, unlike certain someone,“ she stuck out her tongue in a rude but playful manner.
Omi didn't even react to her words. A strong sense of belonging enveloped his body and it was far stronger than anything he felt before.
Alongside that incredible sentiment came guilt.
He felt like he is betraying Umeko. Even though she is with someone else, he still pledged loyalties towards her.
Nana realized his head was somewhere else, so she decided to anchor him back home.
„I saw you sneaking around earlier and I kinda opened the garage doors and kinda wanted you to help the damsel in distress hehe“
This sentence put Omi out of the trance. He finally figured out that he was indeed trespassing and could get in trouble for that.
„Sorry, I should be going...“ Omi was preparing to leave the car but Nana locked the doors with a single button on a side panel.
„Shift just ended, and the security guard will catch you and when they figure out that you're a Prime oh boy don't get me started,“ Nana looked at Omi with her pale blue eyes which reminded him of Cyn for some reason.
What am I doing here, this is unlike me, he thought.
„Then I should..“ Omi scratched his face and waited for Nana to make a suggestion.
„You will let me drive you home, that's the least I can do,“ said the lady as she went in reverse out of the garage.
„Sorry, I don't want to get you in trouble because of some dumb feeling I had,“ Omi tried to excuse himself.
Lady braked abruptly as soon as Omi ended his thought and looked straight into his eyes.
„Not a single feeling you feel is dumb, the only dumb thing in that story is you who thinks that feelings are dumb.“
Words mashed around Nana's pale red lips but Omi was too occupied being torn between her radiance and a thought of getting caught.
„I get it, sorry, can we go now?“ he said while inspecting every window for a sign of someone coming.
„Calm down shinobi, we're going,“ lady stepped on a gas pedal and exited the premise from the main gate.
A minute later she violently stopped the car yet again and jumped on the backseat. Omi was so scared the security guard will see him that he laid his head down, practically between his legs.
After a couple of seconds he heard small footsteps and out of a corner of his eye he saw a fluffy yellow dog jumping on a backseat.
Lady stepped into the car and put giant metal scissors on Omi's legs.
„You almost forgot about your darn dog!“
When Omi looked back, he saw a cut leash hanging off the fence.
„How did you..“ Omi was thoroughly confused how did Nana know about the dog.
„Oh honey, the only reason why you're in my car right now is because I wanted you here,“ she said in a cute way.
Nana turned on the radio and weird music started playing. It was a mixture of metal, techno and jazz. Omi didn't find the music bad or off-putting. It calmed his nerves for some reason.
Sunbar happily played with a rubber toy he found on the backseat of her car while she was driving.
„So, this feeling I got that guided me to you, that was your doing?“ Omi asked.
„Oh no! That was all you. You're a really good Omicron, you detected me from a great distance,“ said lady while tapping her fingers in a rhythm of an unusual song.
Night sky gave birth to millions of stars that shined brightly as they made their way on the open road. They left the city lights behind them.
„Where are you taking me?“ Omi asked as cold sweat started to give him chills. It reminded him of a Shiki which annoyed him more than it should.
„Don't worry, I'm taking you on a job with me. I need a partner for tonight,“ said lady nonchalantly.
„What job?“ Omi gulped the saliva and embraced for the answer.
„Job within the World silly, you wanted a partner more than anything, right?“ they ended up driving through the tunnel.
„How do you know all these things?“ he asked
„Ask your friend Ren about that, her big-shot daddy has a real influence,“ tunnel lights periodically illuminated her red hair that seemed brighter than before.
„August Lotus? Wait, are you recruiting me?“ Omi wondered.
„That depends on us, pumpkin,“ Nana smiled gently.
When they made their way out of the tunnel, several nuances from brightest to lightest of purples exploded through the sky like fireworks.
Road beneath the tires changed from asphalt into rocks and dust all of sudden. Nana took a turn left and drove up the hill.
Narrow road led to the top that was overgrown with pine trees. Road curved like a long snake which made Omi hug the giant scissors in case they accidentally stab Nana or him. Sunbar seemed to enjoy the ride in the backseat.
„But I'm just a high school student, I'm not old enough for this,“ said Omi with his face stuck to scissors.
„Excuse me sir, I'm just few years older than you!“ lady pushed the gas pedal stronger than before which made Omi cling to scissors even harder.
They had finally reached the top, and a large villa presented itself before their eyes.
Nana fixed her makeup for couple of seconds. She refreshed her lipstick and put more eyeliner below her eyes.
That move alone made Omi feel completely out of place.
„Don't judge me! A Lady must look her best at every occasion,“ she slammed the card door.„I didn't know I would get a new partner so soon...“ Omi muttered while Sunbar guarded his new favorite toy.