Chapter 2:

Chapter 2 - Ghost of The Past

Wings of Unity

“Danketsu…” I said to myself as I stared at the aged relic. The shining blue light that brought me into the room flickered faster and faster, as if it was sending me a message.

It’s as if it’s… Calling me?

I looked around the room, finding nobody around. I gulped, then placed my hands on each side of the glass case that held Danketsu.

“Geez, this looks so bad if anyone walks in…” I sighed. “I can’t keep Tachibana-san waiting, so I can only have time for a quick peek inside.”

While being extremely gentle, I slowly lifted the glass case off the display and placed it on the floor. Looking at the katana with admiration, I realized centuries worth of history sat before me.

While gripping onto the handle of Danketsu, a sudden shock entered my system.

“Ug-ugh…” I groaned before I fell to the floor with a thump. I stretched my hand out towards the ceiling and almost called for Yusa to save me.

My eyes slowly closed on Danketsu as my vision turned to darkness.


I opened my eyes and found myself in a room covered in nothing but blank white everywhere.

“Where am I?”

“You’re currently inside of Danketsu,” I heard a female voice call out in the white room. I looked around for the source of where the voice came from, only to continue finding nothing but sheer emptiness.

“Am I dead?”


“Are you sure I’m not dead?” I asked out loud as I pinched myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream – which to my avail, it was not. “Ouch.”

“Did you just pinch yourself?” the voice asked once more.

“… Yes.”

“Rest assured, this is all real,” the voice spoke, now closer than before. I turned around and found a girl around my age standing in front of me – dressed in blue traditional samurai armor. She brushed her short, brown hair to the side and batted her sapphire-blue eyes at me. “You’re inside of Danketsu, and it’s quite fascinating how you were able to make it in here.”

I looked at her and blinked. “What the heck is going on?”

“It’s simple, really. You had some type of physical interaction with Danketsu,” she slowly nodded. “But then again, since the time I’ve been here, I’ve never seen anybody else appear – ever. What did you do?”

“I, uh…” I nervously chuckled while rubbing the back of my head. “I grabbed onto the handle of Danketsu, and next thing I know, I’m here.”

“Is that so?” she asked me. I nodded my head and she had a surprised look on her face. “Only those worthy enough to use Divine Weapons are able to do things such as this… For I was the previous Guardian of Danketsu, and since I died nobody else has been here…”

“Wait, wait,” I held my hands up. “This is all going too fast – I don’t even know your name! What is it you’re trying to get at?”

“You’re the new Guardian of Danketsu.”

“What!?” I shouted, my eyes widening with shock as I felt my heart sink.

“… Is what I’m assuming.”

“Who are you?” I asked her.

“I am Itsuko,” she said with a nod. “Guardian of Danketsu and was once the proud advisor to the Emperor during the Majutsu War.”

“I’m… Kitaru Ozaki,” I said. “I don’t know if you know this, but the year is 2255… The Majutsu War was nearly four centuries ago.

“So it has been,” she spoke. “Kitaru-dono, the world… What is it like now?”

“Humanity is trying to survive,” I told her, and she listened intently. “We were invaded by a species who turned most of the population into mindless, undead husks of their former selves. As of now, we live in complete isolation from what we call the Void, the other half of the planet inhabited by the undead.”

“Hmm…” she rubbed her chin.

“Every day we fight a losing battle against them,” I said, referring to the Harvesters. “From what everyone says, it’s only a matter of time before the human race is extinct.”

“The situation is very… Disheartening,” she started, “but I do have a solution that may be of assistance. Danketsu, itself alone, is the very definition of the ultimate Divine Weapon. During the Majutsu War, the Divine Weapons made a huge difference between battles, but… A man by the name of Shichirōji Yokumoto hunted them for his own reasons. He was a man filled with nothing but pure evil.”

“Shichirōji Yokumoto? The famous Divine Hunter?” I asked. “He’s known throughout history as the honored one who recovered the Divine Weapons from those they did not belong to. He scattered them into the winds so nobody else would be able to use them for the wrong reason.”

“Unfortunately, you’re wrong,” she replied, looking at me with a grave look on her face. “Shichirōji Yokumoto sided with the Imperial Loyalists during the Majutsu War, betraying us at the Tokugawa-Iga Alliance in order to have a say in the new government. It looks as if after I encountered him, he rewrote history to make himself appear as a hero to the world.”

“… Oh,” I said, not knowing what else to say to Itsuko.

“Kitaru-dono,” she shook her head slowly. “Shichirōji Yokumoto was the one who killed me long ago. He hunted me down and set a trap that, unfortunately, was my last day alive… And then he took Danketsu and impaled me with it.”

I saw Itsuko’s clenched fists shake with anger.


“The very sword I swore my life to protect…” she said in a silenced voice. “Was used to end my own life…”

“Why did Shichirōji Yokumoto choose to side with the Imperial Loyalists?” I asked, diverting the subject away from Itsuko’s death, as it was causing her pain. “It says in history that the samurai rebelled against what the people of Japan wanted… So they had to quell the rebellion by going to war against the samurai and ninja.”

“It was always about the preservation of majutsu,” she said. “The Imperial Loyalists truly wanted to rid the world of majutsu… To make way for the advancement in technology.”

“Then, I believe it’s worth saying that majutsu is still alive today,” I told her.

“Is that so?” a smile formed on her face, creating a massive difference from her look of defeat just moments ago. “Then…it seems like not everything was lost. This is good news to hear, Kitaru-dono.”

“Hey, Itsuko-san,” I said to her. “May I ask you something?”

“Yes, Kitaru-dono?”

“You mentioned something earlier about me being the new Guardian of Danketsu, Itsuko-san,” I recalled. “What made you believe that?”

“Written long ago by the Blacksmith who forged the Divine Weapons, was, ‘One day, there will be an individual with enough power to bring rightful peace to the world, awakening Danketsu by the grip of its handle,’” she explained. “Kitaru-dono, I’ve been the guardian of Danketsu for the past four decades, protecting it from any evil spirit who wishes to use the power of Danketsu in the name of tyranny. If Danketsu has been awakened by the touch of your hand, then I believe you’re the person fit to absorb its powers.”

“But… I don’t have any experience with majutsu whatsoever, Itsuko-san!” I stammered. “No way…”

“Only if you’re worthy enough, Kitaru-dono.”

“Worthy? So, the existence of majutsu is given to only those who are worthy enough to have it?” I blubbered.

“No, Kitaru-dono,” she shook her head. “You are here for a reason. Allow me to see if that reason holds up to the faith of the spirits. But I will give you a choice – if you accept, we will continue to see if you’re the true Guardian of Danketsu, but if you decline, you will be sent back to reality with no memory of our encounter.”

“If I… If I really am the next Guardian of Danketsu,” I began. “I’ll have a chance at being able to reclaim the Void for humanity?”

“That is correct, Kitaru-dono.”

I thought back to Chizuru’s words from earlier.

“We’re still trying to fight to survive against the Harvesters.”

Her words echoed through my head, and I remembered the optimism that Hayato and his squad that I met on the monorail in the morning had. The words inscribed onto Danketsu appeared before me.

Those who hold together as one, endure.

I looked back at Itsuko and nodded my head.

“I accept, Itsuko-san.”

Itsuko gave me a nod back, closed her eyes, and tilted her head forward. A bright light emitted from where she stood. I was then enveloped within the light and I shut my eyes.

Everything turned a midnight black.


I opened my eyes and found water surrounding me. I looked up and found a clear, blue sky – there was the sound of the water moving all around me. I glanced down to find myself standing on top of the water and I let out a gasp.

“Whoa! What is this?”

“Your first test,” Itsuko appeared before me. “Balance.”

Out of nowhere, I felt something rise from below me. I looked back down and saw dozens of wooden poles raise themselves from the water high into the sky, and I felt myself lose balance. After a tough battle with gravity and wailing my arms around, I found my balance. I looked up and saw Itsuko standing perfectly still with only one foot on the pole, her eyes closed as if she was meditating.

“Got it! Hah! Now what, Itsuko-san?” I called out to her.

“About time,” she let out a smirk and opened her eyes. She took a deep breath, and three ninjas appeared on poles far away from me – figments of Itsuko’s mind brought to life to test me even more. They drew katanas from their backs and took battle stances.

“I… I shouldn’t have said anything…”

“Your goal is to stay on these poles while avoiding their attacks for thirty seconds.”

“… Uh-oh…”

“Begin!” Itsuko shouted.

The ninjas around me moved with elegance and ease as they traversed across the wooden poles towards me. One of them neared me and swung their katana to attack me. I leaned backwards, almost losing my balance, but I caught my step at the last second.

I looked at another one of the ninjas as they clenched their fists. His fist lit up with flames as he aimed for the wooden pole I was standing on to attack.

“Overkill!” I yelled as I jumped out of the way, barely landing on a different wooden pole. The ninja who attacked with majutsu destroyed a set of wooden poles in front of him with his fist and turned his attention back to me.

“Yep!” I shouted as I saw the pieces of wood fly around me. “Definitely overkill!”

I yelped as another ninja slashed his katana right in front of me, nearly missing me by a hair. My eyes widened, and I shook my head.

“Itsuko-san, this is crazy as hell!” I cried out. “Time… Time is… Time is going by so damn slow!”

I heard a loud grunt and found another ninja ready to swing his sword at me.

I braced myself for the coming attacks that I knew I couldn’t stop.

“Time!” Itsuko said. The ninja stopped their actions, took a bow towards me, and vanished. “Well, how was it, Kitaru-dono?”

I panted heavily and raised a finger up to ask for a moment. I placed my hands on my knees and took a deep sigh. “I don’t think… I ever… Want to do that again…”

Itsuko smirked and nodded her head approvingly. “It’s your lucky day, since you won’t have to do that again – for now. You passed the first test. Congratulations, Kitaru-dono. Although it was a bit sloppy, you survived, and that’s what earns you your pass. You’ll learn.”

“Does… Does that mean I’d have to go through this again?” I frowned.

“Now, your next test!” Itsuko ignored me and snapped her fingers, causing us to disappear into a bright light. 


I found myself staring down at Itsuko and we were back in the white room from before. I batted my eyes at her while she cleared her throat.

“Majutsu,” she began. “It was known as the way of life – energy flowing through your veins to emit power. Your emotions fuel the amount of majutsu power within you and combining that together with a Divine Weapon can multiply that power tenfold.”

“Right,” I nodded.

“The Blacksmith crafted Danketsu to be a weapon that would unite the powers of good to fend off evil,” she clenched her fist. “Only those who have the right intentions are deemed candidates to hold Danketsu’s power.”

“Now what, Itsuko-san?”

“Your heart must be in the right place in order for you to wield Danketsu’s power,” she said to me. “I can already tell you’re a kind and compassionate person, but… You must face dire circumstances where time-based decisions matter.”

“So, is this like a test to see if I’ll make the right decision?” I asked.

“Correct, Kitaru-dono.”

She looked at me and our eyes locked together.

“I’m a samurai, Kitaru-dono,” she said. “I was born to die the moment I picked up the katana to fight for what I believed is right, and never did I regret that decision for it was what made me who I am.”

“I see.”

A girl appeared next to Itsuko and she smiled brightly before waving at me. I grinned and waved back to the young girl.

“She hasn’t made a choice like I have made,” Itsuko spoke up. “This young girl is filled with life, and since she’s only gotten this far with everything, she still has a long way to go before becoming a woman.”

“Right,” I nodded.

“Your final decision,” she said, and a samurai appeared in the near distance. The samurai brandished his katana and began running towards Itsuko and the girl. “You must save one of us.”


“It-Itsuko-san…” I gritted my teeth in frustration as the samurai continued his charge. “Damn it! This is it!”

“Remember my words, Kitaru-dono!” she shouted. “I was born to die!”

I ran in front of the charging samurai, who grew closer and closer to Itsuko and the little girl. With nothing else to do, and nothing in front of me, I pushed Itsuko and the girl out of the way – getting impaled by the samurai blade, although I felt no pain.

“Wh-what did you just do?” she asked me, bewildered. She drew her own katana from its sheath and cut down the samurai, causing it to disappear.

“I sacrificed myself,” I said to her. “Me being impaled gave you enough time to be able to kill that samurai.”

“Why did you do that?”

“Because, if I didn’t sacrifice myself… Somebody else would have gotten hurt. I can’t let that happen, Itsuko-san.”

I looked at the little girl and she gave me a warm smile before disappearing.

“I see, Kitaru-dono…” Itsuko nodded. “That was a very… Honorable decision you’ve made.”

“Thank you,” I said. “What’s next?”

“Our duel.”


I opened my eyes once more and found that the white room I was in transformed into a large, circular plateau, with trees enclosing the entire area off. In the middle of the field was a katana on top of a wooden mounting. What felt like reality was assisted by the sounds of nature and the cloudless, blue sky above.

“Uh… Itsuko-san? Where are you?” I called out for her.

“Kitaru-dono, please wield the sword,” her voice answered me.

I turned towards the voice and found Itsuko standing across from me on the other side of the field. The wind blew by and her brown hair flowed with the passing breeze.

“How do you… How do you do that!?” I exclaimed. “It’s like, poof! You’re there! Are you sure you’re not really a samurai, but a ninja?”

“Please wield the katana before you, Kitaru-dono,” she said.

“Uh… What are we… What are we going to do?”

“For your final test, in order to prove that you’re worthy of handling the power of Danketsu, I wish for us to duel,” she narrowed her eyes at me. “Of course, if you don’t have the desire nor the will power, I’ll let you return to your world with your memories of ever being here gone. But if you truly want a chance at harnessing this power, here it is, Kitaru-dono. You’ve made it this far.”

I gulped. “To be honest, I… I have no experience with swords…”

“I believe this moment is a perfect time for you to be acquainted with the main weaponry of the samurai, Kitaru-dono,” she nodded. “A katana is the heart and soul of a samurai. Take away his katana, and you’ll be taking away a piece of his life.”

“Wise words, Itsuko-san,” I said. “I’ll take the katana now.”

I walked up to the stand and gripped onto the black handle of the katana. I slowly lifted it up from the stand and pulled it out from its black sheath. Its metal blade shined under the sunlight and I gripped onto the handle with both of my hands, backing up to my original spot.

“What am I supposed to do?” I asked her.

“We fight until the first drop of blood is drawn or until whoever declares defeat first,” she answered me.

Did she say drop of blood? Oh, no...

“Al-alright… Let’s do this!” I gritted my teeth and tightened my clench onto the handle of the katana in my hands.

She nodded her head and let out a sigh, closing her eyes and bowing her head towards me before placing her right hand onto the handle of her own katana, unsheathing it and handling it with both of her hands. She placed one foot ahead of the other and opened her eyes once more, revealing her sapphire-blue pupils.

I ran towards Itsuko, raising the katana over my head. I hopped over the stand that was in the middle of the field and continued my charge at her. As soon as I reached a close enough distance, I brought my katana down upon her, hearing our metal blades grind against one another.

She pushed me back with the force of her katana and before I knew it, I found her raising her leg at me. I felt the force of her powerful kick against my stomach. Being sent flying across the field, I watched slowly as the world revolved around me while I flew in midair.

My flight was short-lived as I soon felt the rough landing when I hit the ground.

“Ugh… Da-damn…” I groaned, feeling a slight pinch in my chest. I shook my head and found myself laying on my back upside down. I looked in the direction of Itsuko and found her retaining the same stance as she did earlier, waiting for me to get back up to try again.

One more time won’t hurt, this is all a dream after all.

Don’t go easy on her just because she’s a girl, Kitaru. She may be a girl, but she’s a strong warrior as well. We must be smart about this or we’ll just keep losing time and time again.

“Do you admit defeat, Kitaru-dono?” she called out to me.

I brought myself up to my knees and gritted my teeth, shaking my head as I grinned.

“Hah! Hell no!” I shouted back at her. “Don’t go easy on me at all, Itsuko-san! Give it your best, Itsuko-san! I won’t be losing to you today!””

She took in the words I said, letting out a gasp and slowly nodded her head.

“Very well, Kitaru-dono.”

“Huh? What’s wrong?”

“Those words… Are the same words Shichirōji said to me… When he killed me,” Itsuko shook her head. “Don’t mind that. Let’s continue, Kitaru-dono.”

The same words he said to Itsuko on the same day he killed her? That damn bastard…

I stood up and tightened my grip on the katana once more. I studied Itsuko’s stance and as we locked eyes, I began running towards her once more. I held onto the handle with both my hands and I sliced my katana in the air, watching as Itsuko took a step backwards and avoided the blade.

“Eh?” I blinked, before suffering from another painful kick to the chest by Itsuko.

I found myself flying across the battlefield once again, crashing onto the ground with a heavy impact.

I let out another groan and rubbed my chest, feeling the area where she kicked me turning into a painful bruise.

“This is… This is going to be a long day…” I muttered.

Time passed by and I was losing every single time. I lost track after I hit the ground with a thud after getting punched around by Itsuko for the fourth time.

“Co-come on, Kitaru…” I mumbled to myself as I brought myself back up to my feet. “You can do this… Just concentrate…”

“Kitaru-dono, are you of utmost certainty that you wish to continue?”

“I… I haven’t drawn blood yet, have I?” I grinned. “That’s the deal, remember? The first one to admit defeat or have blood rolling down their skin loses! I’m going to uphold that deal, so let’s keep going, Itsuko-san! Give it your all!”

“Understood, Kitaru-dono,” she closed her eyes and nodded.

“Bu-But before I attack again! Do you… Do you have any piece of advice you could give me, Itsuko-san?”

She sighed and a grin formed on her face, nodding her head and closing her eyes.

“Dueling is just the same as dancing with a partner, Kitaru-dono. You must match your opponents’ moves, study their blade, and always be wary of your surroundings.”

Wary of your surroundings…

“The weapon stands…” I muttered to myself.

One more time, Kitaru… Just one more…

Itsuko opened her eyes. The two of us exchanged nods and I readied myself, tightening my grip on the katana in my hands and letting out a sigh.

I began charging towards Itsuko once more, sending off from where I stood with a dash. I pointed the katana at her and advanced my speed.

“Gah! Take this!” I shouted, attempting to kick the stand with my feet. I miscalculated my aim and rather than kicking the stand with the tip of my feet, I hit it with the lower part of my shin. I let out a small shriek and winced at the pain, blinking back the forming tears as I continued running towards Itsuko, watching as the stand flew towards her.

She let out a sharp gasp, slicing the stand in two as I continued my run towards her. I swung my katana and our swords met once more, sparks flying as they touched. Breaking off our stalemate, I slid under Itsuko’s katana and appeared by her side.

Itsuko instantly noticed and sliced the air before me, causing me to duck under the blade of her katana.

“Hyah!” I rose back up, slicing upwards towards Itsuko.

Dodging the tip of my blade, Itsuko slid to the right and came back around, elbowing my back with her left arm, causing me to trip forward. Regaining my balance, I crouched, did a sudden turn and swung my katana at her once more.

Itsuko’s sapphire-blue eyes widened in shock and she jumped into the air to avoid my attack targeting her legs. I took the chance and I jabbed my katana towards her, only to see her block it before my very eyes.

Attack after attack, Itsuko and I entered a session of countering each other’s attacks – something I thought I’d never be able to do with a katana. Our stalemate concluded when the sound of blades clashing against one another disappeared, and we found the tips of our swords at each other’s necks.

“Stalemate…” I said as I breathed heavily from fatigue. “What’s the score, Itsuko-san?” I grinned.

“No blood…” she panted. “Yet, you still managed to get this far, Kitaru-dono…”

I panted heavily and held the katana tightly. “I didn’t even think I would’ve gotten this far…”

“You could’ve given up many times,” she said, her breathing returning to normal. “I gave you many opportunities to just call it an end after you failed time and time again, but… You didn’t. May you tell me why, Kitaru-dono?”

I thought of Yusa and Chizuru, and the world that I belonged to.

“I met a group of young soldiers headed into the Void on their first mission against the Harvesters,” I began as I felt my breaths become less hasty. “They… Inspired me to do something with myself. And not only did you give me the opportunity to give up, but you also gave me the opportunity to change the world for the better – and with the countless lives lost each day… I can’t give that up.”

“These soldiers…” she said. “Are they still alive?”

Chizuru’s words popped into my head.

In the Void, the percentage of dying is 94%.

“I… Don’t believe so.”

She lowered her katana and I did the same.

“Kitaru-dono, your sword fighting definitely needs some work,” she began. “You still have a lot to learn before you can truly master Danketsu. But… With your intentions, your world will need the power of Danketsu to succeed against the Harvesters.”

“What does this mean, Itsuko-san?”

“It means you’re deemed worthy enough to harness the power of Danketsu. But on one condition – that you should never give up.”

I felt my mouth curve into a smile and I nodded my head. “Yeah, Itsuko-san! I will never give up! You can trust me on that.”

She suddenly grabbed my hands and I flinched. I felt my face heat up with embarrassment as I’d never had a girl hold onto my hands before.


“Calm, Kitaru-dono.”

Itsuko closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh. A strong force of wind blew past us. She opened her eyes, revealing the sapphire-blue eyes that seemed to be glowing. I felt a sudden shock enter my body, and the wind died down. Itsuko’s eyes return to normal. She let go of my hands and I looked down at them.

My palms glowed with a blue light and my eyes widened in shock. “Wh-what is this?”

“The majutsu power of Danketsu is now within you,” she said. “Do you feel the energy?”

I raised a brow at her and I took a deep breath, blocking out my surroundings and there I felt it – a surge of energy flowing through my veins. Before I knew it, I felt a blast of energy escape from my palm and disappear into the forest.

“What the hell was that!?” I shouted in excitement. “I have… I have majutsu!?”

“With most majutsu, you must announce the power before you cast it,” she said. “However, there are certain cases, where if you feel the need to use majutsu, you only need to think of it to be casted.”

“Wh-whoa… Amazing…”

“There’s more,” Itsuko nodded. “Think of a certain scenario where you must come up with the best protection for yourself as possible, Kitaru-dono, and you shall see what you can do.”

I nodded and closed my eyes. I imagined Harvester Runners forming a circle around me, blood dripping from their undead mouths and their claws drawn to attack. I opened my eyes and I shouted.

Hachiman’s Armor!”

I… I didn’t say that willingly…

From somewhere, a humming sound intensified in my ears and I found see-through pieces of armor forming all over my body. I was covered from head to toe in the armor and it glowed with a blue light.

“Hachiman’s Armor,” Itsuko said. “Based on the God of War, Hachiman’s Armor is meant to protect the wearer against any type of weapon known to man. You’ve activated it, meaning that you have unlocked this certain majutsu ability for yourself.”

“Is that why I unwillingly shouted it?” I asked. “Because I felt the energy needed to cast it?”

“That’s correct, Kitaru-dono. There is more that you will be able to master overtime,” she said to me. “This is all that you have within you for now, but once you wield Danketsu, you’ll be able to learn more majutsu.”

“I’m doing all of this without Danketsu…” I said as I looked down at my palms, which ceased to shine. I felt the pieces of armor disintegrate into the air and I turned my attention to Itsuko.

“You have your majutsu now, Kitaru-dono. You will be able to use more majutsu that belongs to Danketsu itself in due time,” she said. “Although… When we first met, I felt an amount of majutsu within you – are you positive you’ve never been a majutsu user?”

I shook my head. “I’ve never been able to… Not that I remember, at the least.”

She detected majutsu within me… What does this mean? Have I been able to use majutsu all along and I’ve just never been able to cast it? Maybe Akane-nee will know…

“Hmm,” Itsuko rubbed her chin. “Ah, yes. Kitaru-dono, I must let you know about your plan to reclaim the Void for humanity with your new powers.”

“Ye-yes, Itsuko-san?”

“You’ve been gifted with the powers of Danketsu,” she nodded her head. “Your world is currently filled with great dangers and chaos… And it seems that only Danketsu can put an end to the madness happening, Kitaru-dono. However…”

“What is it?”

“Many obstacles stand in your way before you can save the world from the Harvesters. You must reclaim the Divine Weapons that would be able to challenge your own power with Danketsu… For them combined and in the wrong hands… Can cause unspeakable havoc.”

A roadblock…

“Which Divine Weapons do I have to take back?”

“Quite a few. Shichirōji Yokumoto was known to be the great Divine Hunter, seeking out Divine Weapons to take for his own power,” she shook her head disapprovingly. “To begin; Unmei, the double-handed hammer that can cause the ground to shake uncontrollably. Shinigami, the reaper scythe with the ability to resurrect the dead for a short period of time. Inazuma, the lightning bow capable of showering thunder strikes from far away. And Bunretsu, Danketsu’s twin blade, is known to cause nothing but chaos and destruction.”

“No lie,” I smirked nervously. “Those all sound very… Intimidating. Wa-wait! You said that Shinigami can resurrect the dead!?”

“Once those Divine Weapons are in the right hands, you’ll be able to fight the Harvesters without losing too many of your people,” she continued. “This is a war, Kitaru-dono, but with Danketsu… Humanity just might have a chance at surviving.”

“How can I find where those Divine Weapons are?” I asked her.

“Shichirōji Yokumoto is evil… But he’s also a genius. I’m more than positive that he has a record of where he’s hidden those Divine Weapons,” she said. “I suggest visiting his resting place.”

“His resting place?” I raised a brow.

“Correct,” she said. “Or there may be other clues in the world you live in now that will reveal where those Divine Weapons are. Seek them out, and claim those Divine Weapons before they put a stop to your plans to reclaim the Void, and do what you can to ensure the survival of humanity – those are your orders as the new Guardian of Danketsu.”

“Yes, Itsuko-san!” I bowed deeply with respect. “I will do all of those!”

“Then…” she smiled. “It was nice to have met you, Kitaru-dono. I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors. From our short meeting, I can already see the willingness in your eyes – you remind me of myself from back then.”

I returned the smile. “Where will you be going, Itsuko-san? What if I have questions?”

“I’ll always be a part of Danketsu, Kitaru-dono,” I felt my eyes grow heavy. “We shall meet again, one day.”

Itsuko’s voice echoed and I felt my eyes closing.


I opened my eyes from the dark one final time and found a rotating fan above me. I felt the hard, wooden floor underneath me as I batted my eyes. I groaned and propped myself up to a sitting position. Looking at the glass case before me, I found Danketsu resting where it was on its stand.

Was that a dream?

I felt a shock in my hand and I winced, looking at my open palm to find a small blue energy circulating my hand. I shook my hand rapidly and the energy faded away.

It wasn’t a dream…

I walked out of the Administrative Building and I closed the door behind me. I found Yusa standing where she originally was and I approached her.

“That was quick,” she said to me as I walked up. “Did you find whatever it is you were looking for?”

“Huh? No, I… How long have I been gone for?” I asked.

“Not even a minute, Ozaki,” she folded her arms against her chest. “Just what is wrong with you? I’ve only known you for barely ten minutes, and it seems like there’s something up with you.”

Not even a minute? What the hell?

“Oh, no-nothing!” I shook my hands, looking at them as I saw the blue energy return to them. I shook them even faster and the energy went away once more. “Hah! I think I’m just excited that I’ve been given the responsibility of being the Blue Team’s leader!”

Yusa raised a brow.

“… Weird.”

“Well, shall we head to the Holographic Arena now?” I asked her.

Yusa scoffed and walked past me, headed towards the Holographic Arena. I sighed in relief and I followed behind the silver-haired girl.

What do I do about my majutsu!? She can’t find out, nobody else can yet, either. Maybe I can pass this off as if I were already able to use majutsu…


I tensed up and turned to look at Yusa.


“What do you think about what’s happening?” she asked. “With you and I being the only second-years given this much responsibility? I, for one, find it to be quite odd.”

“I can agree,” I rubbed the back of my head. “However, it does look like the Headmistress knows what she’s doing – especially since she trusts the word of my father.”

“Your father must trust you enough himself,” Yusa said.

I shrugged Yusa’s comment off and realized we were nearing the Holographic Arena. “I am so not ready for this…”

“Ozaki… Seriously though, how didn’t you put one and one together?” she said. “You’re the last member of the Blue Team, and with everyone graduating last year – of course you’d be promoted to team leader. Geez…”

We walked through the giant double-doors that led into the lobby of the Holographic Arena. Students buzzed around, scrambling to find the right way to their locker rooms, while dozens of voices filled the large room.

Yusa and I came to a stop before she looked around. I followed her as she led us down a path that was decorated with ancient Japanese art depicting early instruments. We stopped once more and she pointed down the hall where a couple students walked down.

“I need to handle a few matters regarding the Student Council before I meet with my team.”

“Hey, hey… Aren’t you the one taking detours before seeing your team now?”

She glowered. “The Black Team is made up of the Student Council, we just have separate rooms to hold meetings.”

I was taken aback and felt my face turn slightly red.

“Right, well…” I looked at Yusa. “See you later, I guess?”

She gave me a faint nod. “Don’t wander off before you get to your locker room.”

Yusa disappeared around the corner and I made my way down the corridor. As I was about to turn the corner to the staircase that led to the locker rooms upstairs, I passed by a hallway.

“Leave us alone!” I heard a loud, female voice yell. I turned towards the voice and found it coming from the hallway I had just passed by.

“Huh?” I raised a brow. “What could that be?”

I took a few steps back and peeked into the hallway, seeing a male and two female students. The color of male student’s tie was green, indicating that he was a third-year student at Miyamoto Academy. On the other hand, the females’ ribbons were both blue, meaning they were first-years at the school.

What is going on?

The third-year took a step closer to the two girls and the auburn-haired girl stepped in front of the other, black-haired girl. I felt myself walking into the hallway to deal with what was happening.

“Back off, buddy!” the auburn-haired girl shouted. “We’re not interested!”

“Who said I was talking to you?” he chuckled deviously. “I’m obviously only here for your friend.”

The auburn-haired girl turned red in embarrassment before she balled her hands into fists. “She’s not interested, you creep! Get out of here before I… Before I beat your ass!”

“Oh?” he raised a brow. “And just how do you plan to do that, first-year?”

I stepped towards them and the three turned their attention to me.

“You should leave them alone,” I told him, a hint of annoyance in my voice. “It’s obvious they don’t want to talk to you.”

He turned towards me and grimaced.

“You’re not involved in this, so run along, second-year.”

“I am, now.”

“Can’t you see I’m trying to get to know her?” he said with a sly smile. “Back off, second-year, before you get hurt.”

You need to back off,” I narrowed my eyes in anger.

I grabbed onto his shoulder and he shook my hand off. He turned his full attention towards me and gritted his teeth in anger. He started balling his hands into fists and grunted.

“You bastard…” he cracked his knuckles. “I should beat you to let you know where you stand… That, I definitely should.”

“Was that a threat?” I heard Yusa’s voice speak up.

“Tsk, who said that?” the third-year looked around. “Does someone else want to get their ass kicked? I’m just trying to have some fun here!”

I turned towards the voice and spotted Yusa walking up to us. The third-year raised a brow before his eyes widened when he recognized who he was talking to.

“What was that you just said?”

“Pre-president… U-uh… I-I…” he looked around frantically, not knowing what he should do. He turned to the two girls and bowed deeply to them. “I apo-apologize for my behavior!”

“Get out of here before I deal with you myself,” Yusa put her hands on her hips. “You will be hearing from the Disciplinary Committee later. You should be ashamed of yourself for how you were acting, third-year.”

“Ye-yes, President!” he stuttered before hastily leaving.

The girl with black hair let out a deep sigh. “Th-thank you…” her soft voice said to us.

“What a jerk.” I pointed to Yusa. “Great timing, Tachibana-san! I thought I was about to get into a fight on my first day of school… And with a third-year! I mean, I’ve never been in a fight before, so… So I’m actually not sure how that would have worked out for me… But I’m glad you’re here!”

Yusa glared at me. “Fighting on campus is a zero-tolerance issue, and you would’ve been expelled automatically. Also, didn’t I tell you not to wander off again before finding your locker room?”

I scratched the back of my head. “Aheh…” I chuckled. “Well, I was… But it’s a good thing we both showed up in time, there’s no telling what could have happened – that guy was a complete jerk to them!”

“Tell me about it…” the auburn-haired girl sighed.

“Are you two okay?” I asked them.

“Ye-yes…” the black-haired girl muttered with a small nod.

“Yeah, we’re fine. Just a bit shaken up by that guy,” the girl with auburn hair said.

“Oh, uh… I’m Yukino Akiyama,” the black-haired girl bowed to me. “Thank you very much for helping us out.”

“Yeah…” the brunette scoffed. “You guys really helped us out there, but… I think I could’ve taken him on myself. Heh.”

“Aya-Ayano…” Yukino ushered for her friend to bow.

“OH! Sorry!” the auburn-haired girl known as Ayano bowed. “I’m Ayano Sasaki, it’s very nice to meet you both!”

“It’s nice to meet you,” I returned the bow. “I’m Kitaru Ozaki.”

“I’m Yusa Tachibana,” Yusa said with a bow. “Could you two please fill us in on what was going on?”

“Well…” Yukino looked away, a slight blush forming on her face.

Ayano cleared her throat and took charge. “We were on our way to the Holographic Arena, when that third-year called us over to ask us what team we were in and if we wanted to be friends with him. He was… A bit odd, but friendly enough – then out of nowhere…”

“He made a sudden…” Yukino spoke up. “… Change to the conversation… Asking me very personal questions.”

“You stepped in before it got even worse, Kitaru-senpai,” Ayano said. “Who would’ve known what that creep would have done if you two hadn’t showed up, but I think I could’ve taken him on! Ugh, it irks me though, how he just…”

“I’ll be sure to handle him later,” Yusa said. “What he did was a very serious matter, and on the first day of school as well? He’ll be sent straight to a final warning.”

“So this is the power of the Student Council President…” Ayano said with a smile. “Thank you, Tachibana-senpai!”

“Ye-yes…” Yukino said. “Thank… Thank you, Tachibana-senpai.”

“Ayano-chan, Yukino-chan!” a high-pitched voice called out. The four of us turned towards where the voice came from and we found two more girls running towards us, a brunette with a side ponytail tied by a pink ribbon, and a girl with long, blonde hair tied into a ponytail. Both their ribbons indicated that they were also first-years.

“Friends of yours?” I asked the two.

They both nodded their heads and the two girls reached us.

“This is Tomoko Hirasawa,” Ayano said to Yusa and I, pointing at the brunette.

“Hello, hello!” Tomoko smiled, revealing a small fang, and waved to us.

“And this is Sayaka Takimoto,” Yukino said, referring to the blonde-haired girl.

Sayaka bowed deeply and with proper composure, she let out a warm smile to greet us. “It’s very nice to meet the two of you.”

Ayano then turned towards Yusa and I. “This is Kitaru Ozaki and Yusa Tachibana! They came to help us when we were in trouble!”

“Oh?” Sayaka tilted her head to the side quizzically.

“Trouble? Are you two okay!?” Tomoko’s green eyes widened in surprise.

Yukino and Ayano both nodded.

“Well, I must attend to matters at hand now,” Yusa said before walking away from us. She turned back and glared at me with her golden-yellow eyes. “Make sure they get to their locker room safely, Ozaki. Don’t drag them into any of your shenanigans.”

“You got it, Tachibana-san!” I gave her a thumbs up. “Okay, everyone, what team are–”

“WHERE WERE YOU GUYS!?” Tomoko shouted at the two. “Saya-chan and I were worried sick! We thought you two went to the cafeteria, so we ended up going there to look for you!”

“And you also ate some cookies that were intended for the Miyamoto staff, Tomo-chan…” Sayaka added on with a soft smile.

“… I was caught off-guard by the surplus of treats.”

“Sorry, Tomo…” Ayano grinned. “We got a bit lost on our way there… It’s a bit of a long story, but we’ll tell you two later…”

Yukino nodded in confirmation.

“I hope you two weren’t in much trouble, Yukino-san, Ayano-san,” Sayaka said.

I cleared my throat, loudly. “As I was saying, what team are you guys–”

“WAIT!” Ayano shouted. “The cafeteria has cookies!?”

“Ayano… They’re for the staff…” Yukino frowned. Ayano waved off Yukino’s remark and grinned.

“Yes, yes, Ayano-chan!” Tomoko nodded her head rapidly.

“We have to get some after we meet with our team leader…” Ayano ignored Yukino, who scowled and looked away with anger.

“Speaking of which, does anyone remember who our team leader was?” Sayaka asked the group. “I can’t seem to remember his name…”

“Eh… Neither do I, but hopefully they’re cool!” Ayano said. “Not like Yukino over here…” Ayano sheepishly chuckled. “Heh.”

Yukino’s face lit up with anger and she brought her fist down on Ayano’s head, causing the auburn-haired girl to stagger back and rub her head.

“Ow… Yukino… Why?” Ayano pouted.

“Kitaru-senpai has something to say,” Yukino explained, folding her arms across her chest and looking away.

The talking came to a stop and I chuckled as Ayano continued to rub her head.

They’re all so… Unique. Sheesh! I’ve got to feel bad for the poor bastard who’s got to take care of this riled up bunch!

“What team are you all in?” I asked them out of curiosity, a bit in shock since my question was finally out there. The four girls turned towards me and Tomoko let out a large smile.

“Oh, we’re all on the Blue Team, Kitaru-senpai!” Tomoko shouted back.

I felt my eyes widen and my heart sink.

“… Huh?”