Densetsu Kenshi: Beginnings
“Shoko! Please tell me you were listening to all of that!”
“Ooh-ooh, sounds like you’re in quite the pickle, my love.”
As soon as Maekawa had left my house, I jumped into my Inverse Rift and begged Shoko to teach me the ways of being a ruthless and awesome swordsman.
“Shoko, please for both of our sakes. I don’t want to lose you.”
“Heehehe. Don’t worry about it, my love! Our fates are utterly entwined now, so we might as well make the most of it!”
“I knew you’d understand! I’m so happy!”
“You’re not more happy than me, my love! I love it when you spend time with me!”
“Yeah, I think I’ll be coming here as often as I can. The outside world is kind of scary right now.”
“Ooh-ooh, so you're saying that I, the Grim Reaper Queen and her Throne of a Thousand Bones isn’t scary?”
“Well, normally I’d say you’re more scary, but right now a bunch of people might be trying to kill me.”
“I know right! Some of them are friends too. I just don’t know who to trust anymore.”
“Well, my love, you chose the right to put your trust in me.”
“Thanks, Shoko. I knew that I could trust you.”
“Heehehe, anyway, my love. I know your mind is absolutely racing with thoughts and questions so ask away. I’ll answer them all. That’s what a good teacher does!”
“Okay. Shoko, the other day I experienced an Ambient Realm for the first time. Can you teach me how to do it?”
“Please address me as Ms. Grim Reaper Queen and I’ll answer all of your questions.”
Sheesh. If she only wanted that in return I’d call her that for the rest of her life.
“Ms. Grim Reaper Queen, please teach me how to create my own Ambient Realm!”
“Ooh-ooh, wasn’t in the form of a question, but I’ll look over it this time. I’m Ms. Grim Reaper Queen! Not some game show. Anyway, I’m sorry my love, I can’t teach you that one. It really only works for eidolons.”
“Huh. You said it ‘really only works for eidolons’, so there must be some kind of exception. What do I have to do to use it? I feel like it would be an indispensable trump card in a battle.”
“Well, let’s see. The problem is that humans just don’t have enough spectra energy to consistently use it, let alone use it in the same form as an eidolon. Maybe, no. Maybe… wait. My love, do you know how to summon me from this place?”
“What? Can I do that? Why didn’t you tell me earlier!”
“I figured you wouldn’t remember. To summon me in the form of an ability you have to use the ability ‘Reaper’s Paradise: Incarnation’. If you just want to summon me so I can work on my tan, just reach into your Inverse Rift and call my name like you would for the Scarlet Letter.”
“And what are the differences between the two ways?”
“The first summons me in my full eidolon state. I have all of my spectra energy and can use the attacks that you copied from me, my love. The other is basically just a cheap manifestation and I have almost no spectra energy in that form. But it is fun for dates and other activities and stuff, my love.”
“I see, they have distinct uses. So how does this relate to the Ambient Realm?”
“Theoretically if you wanted to use it, gather as much spectra energy as you can, start your Ambient Realm and then summon me via incarnation so my spectra energy gives you the energy necessary to complete it, my love.”
“So it is possible. Wow.”
“Possible but still difficult. We have a lot of training for you to do to get to that point, my love.”
The possibility of using something like Ambient Realm really excited me. I imagined that it was similar to the inside of my Inverse Rift where Shoko set up shop and customized everything to her liking. If I could do that in the middle of a battle, I could easily change the tide of a fight and gain the upperhand.
“Ms. Grim Reaper Queen, I have another question. Takenaka mentioned that you have a counterpart as an eidolon. What does that mean?”
“Ooh-ooh, you brought up an interesting topic, my love. Let me ask you a question. Using your childish percentage measurement for eidolons and you swordsmen, what would you rate me?”
“Ah. I have no idea where I even rank on that list so I’m just going to say 80%.”
“You ranked me as the same level of your sensei, my love. You really don’t recognize the power of the Grim Reaper Queen and her Throne of a Thousand Bones.”
“It’s fine, my love. I’ll ignore your ignorance for now. Let me put it this way. I am pure negative energy.”
“Pure? What does that mean?”
“It means that if you were to rank me with a percentage, I would be 100% negative spectra energy, my love.”
“Wh-what? You’re that powerful? So the other one would be 100% positive energy then. Interesting, very interesting.”
“Sure I’m cool and all, you don’t have to remind me, my love. But I’d say you’re the odd one here.”
“Ooh-ooh, if I must admit, you’re the first person to ever host me. You’re that unusual, my love!”
“A-and what does that mean? Am I like a more evolved human than others?”
“Heehehe, no no no! You’re just a miracle child destined for us to meet. And well, here we are, my love!”
“Right, anyway Shoko, I’ll keep asking you questions when I think of them. Thank you for accepting me as your student!”
“Ooh-ooh! My love! I’m gonna work you to the bone!”
"Oh wait, Shoko. One last thing. Is there a way to gather spectra energy without anyone noticing?"
"Ooh-ooh, what an interesting question. Of course there is, my love. Let me teach you everything I know!"
Oh Shoko. I had trained so hard since that conversation with you. I set a goal to be able to create my own Ambient Realm, and you trained me up so that I would one day be able to use it.
Looking at the situation at hand, I figured that it was the logical choice to at least attempt it. Maekawa's daggers would only continue to dig deeper and deeper inside me, and then repeat and bring the pain back again.
If there was a metaphorical wall behind me, then my back was cemented into it. There was no difference between myself and the wall, that's how far back against the wall I was right now.
It was times like these when the tough are tested. Regardless of if I was in the frying pan or the fryer, the whole house was burning down and I had to make a move. Of course I wanted to do something knowing my life was on the line, but there was more to it than just that. I wanted to laugh with Mitsuki again. I wanted to learn some more from Takenaka. I wanted Shoko to find peace in her existence and stop being so grim all the time. I knew that it was up to me and only me to meet these expectations.
Luckily, I had luck on my side this time around. It wasn't lucky at all though. I came prepared with several plans just in case. The initial plan of Maekawa failed horribly, although you could argue that it wasn't really a plan in the first place. Next up was my plan B. It was going to be fairly complicated because as soon as I used it, Shoko wouldn't be able to continue healing me. For right now I could forget about myself and just do my best to endure the pain.
"Hey… Maekawa. Y-you and I aren't the s-same. I-I'm a more evolved human, I-I'm on top of the food chain!" I taunted.
"What are you saying to me? You're lucky I'm keeping you alive, okay?"
"L-luck is on my side today. Tell me, have you seen hell, sensei?"
"Drop that sensei crap. I don't even want to look at you, you're so disgusting, okay?"
If he thought gaping bloody holes riddled throughout my body was disgusting, then he was right. It was true that I was a bloody mess of flesh and bones just hanging together, but it's in bad taste to call your own work disgusting.
"Ha ha ha. Ha. Ha. HA. HAHAHA!!"
I couldn't keep it in any longer. I started laughing and spitting blood everywhere like a maniac.
"SENSEIIIIIII! IT'S ABOUT TIME YOU FACED YOUR ACTIONS!"
"What the? What's gotten into you? Severe blood loss? Here, I'll give you a little shock back to reality. Boss' Guile: Macro Parilla!"
His summoned lighting strike blew through me like I was a fragile piece of paper. My body shook and convulsed, but it wasn't enough to stop me. This whole time I had been slowly gathering spectra energy and charging up to finish him and everyone else in the room.
In my training sessions with Shoko, she showed me two ways to constantly be absorbing spectra energy. It involved a lot of focus,but the key was to always maintain a level head and learn to extract the spectra energy around you.
The other was more useful in specific situations. She taught me how to transfer the spectra energy from others' attacks and weapons and turn it into my own. This one was a lot more difficult and painful to practice, but I picked up the basic idea quick enough.
These two techniques were absolutely key players in my back up plan. I had always struggled to support myself with my own spectra energy, so as soon as Maekawa stabbed me for the first time, I began to take his own spectra energy. I figured he wouldn't want me moving around and ruining his plan, which fit perfectly for me to focus on my surroundings and absorb the spectra energy all around me. Lastly, Shoko was healing me while also giving me a steady supply of spectra energy to convert into an attack.
My IQ was clearly off the charts, and I found myself laughing out loud like an idiot at how great my plan was working.
"Maekawa," I muttered after calming down. "Today… today is reckoning day.
Ambient Realm: Eternal Catacomb!"
I released all of the spectra energy I had gathered and my Ambient Realm blanketed the room in darkness. Small torches ignited all throughout the room. Their green ghastly flames flickering and showing the hoards of bones and skeletons I created.
"So you're capable of this now, okay." Maekawa said to himself.
"I'm not done yet! Reaper's Paradise: Incarnation!"
Shoko manifested from the shadows and stood in between Maekawa and I.
"You wicked man! How dare you do this to my love! I swear that I will make you regret everything in your life!"
Shoko declared this and became super powered up with spectra energy. She was pure negative energy, so I imagined that it was easy for her to manipulate everything around her and bend it to her will.
Her hair was all over the place and flying around from the way she summoned more power.
Her eyes were lake's of fire and lava. An intensity burning bright and true.
She really was fighting for me.
Maekawa sneered and turned his daggers away from me and toward Shoko.
"Ya know, witch. At one point all I needed was you and your lover and you would've been bowing down and worshipping me. I've made some bad business moves recently, but I've still got enough to put you in the dirt, okay?"
"Heehehe! My love, do you hear this nonsense? He really wants to play with--"
Maekawa had no intention of hearing her out. His daggers flew straight toward her while she was distracted, pinning her arms and legs together. He added one more dagger to her mouth, preventing her from making any noise.
"Ha. Just like I thought, okay? Piece of cake!"
"No… no, you're forgetting something, sensei," I breathed out. "T-this, this is my WORLD! TRANSITION!"
I called out my main ability in my Ambient Realm. This was my world and everything played by my rules. Right now, the rule was transition. A rule that switched all of the damage from one person to another. And in this case, from Shoko to Maekawa.
He let out a piercing scream. The pain and damage inflicted to Shoko immediately switched over to the one that dealt it.
Maekawa fell to the floor, his face contorted with pain and blood dripping off his now semi-broken body.
"Shoko, we can focus on the rest of them now. I won't be able to maintain this for much longer."
"It's okay, my love. We still have a few more tricks up our sleeve, don't we?"
"Yeah, there's no way we're losing here. Not today."
I released the Ambient Realm, and staggered over to Shoko. My physical and spectra energy were both nearly completely depleted. My body was still a bloody sack lined with cuts and bruises and deep gory holes.
"Shoko, can you heal me up or something? I-I think I'm going to die here."
"I won't let that happen, my love. Focus on the mission objective here and you'll be fine."
"Capture the flag?"
"No, no not capture the flag. That's next week. Today was take out Thermo Corp. executive, my love."
She caressed my hair and spoke softly. I could fall asleep right here, but I honestly don't know if I would ever wake up again.
"Shoko, w-where's… Mitsuki?"
"My love, I think there's something else to worry about right now. Those guys that you beat up earlier are getting back up. They're looking for a fight, my love."
"Shoko, let's show them what we're made of. Do you think you can keep up with me?"
"As long as you don't step on my toes, my love!"
We locked eyes and she helped me stand up.
We gathered an equal amount of spectra energy and called out in unison,
"Reaper's Paradise: Shoji's Waltz!"