Chapter 15:

Welcome to Mikoto Academy

Distorted Light

I run up to Anya who’s lying on her light-bed under the spare blanket I gave her.

“Anya! Anya! Wake up! We’re going to be late!”

But before I could reach her, she darts up off the bed and summons a light katana at my neck.

Anya… It’s me… Everything is okay…”

Once the half-awaken Anya seems to be fully aware of what she is currently doing, she bounces back as the bed behind her disappears.

“Are you okay, Momioka? Sorry if I… Startled you…”

― I thought I was going to die…

“Don’t worry, Anya…. You can ease up a little now. You’re not in danger anymore.”

“We can’t, Momioka… We don’t know when they will attack again.”

“I think it they are to attack; they would have done so already. So, for these couple of days, you could rest for all the days you haven’t.”


“But anyway, we have to get going! We’re late!”

I turn around to my closet.

“Momioka. It’s about 6:30 a.m. now, it doesn’t take an hour and a half for us to walk to campus.”

“I know! But we need to arrive much earlier and go into the principal office to see if my aunt is there! So, let’s change and leave for campus now!”

I disappear into my closet and quickly put on the standard school uniform alongside the eyepatch and the bandages on my arms.

― I can’t go without these…

I leave the closet to Anya, who’s already in uniform.

“I thought you said you’ll dress according to the school uniform rules.”

“I only suggested that I would wear the standard school uniform, which I am currently. But it’s better to have something on in case I start glowing again.”

“Fair point.”

“Are you all ready then?”


“Let’s go then!”

Anya and I leave my room and walk down the stairs to the front door.

“Where do you think you’re going, young lady?”

I turn to the living room where my father is.

“Hello, father… I’m going to school now.”

“Don’t you remember what we agreed upon?”


“I said that I’ll be driving you to school every day from now on. So, where do you think you’re going by yourself?”

“Sorry, father.”

“So, this is much earlier than what you usually leave for class.”

“Yes, father. Since I missed a week of class, I need to ask the teachers what I have missed so that I am not behind.”


“That’s why I need to arrive at school earlier.”

“… Go to the car then.”

As father locks the door to the house, I open the backseat door and sit on the left side of the car as Anya sits on the right behind the driver’s seat. We leave for campus straight once father gets in the car and fixes his rear-view mirror. Soon after, father drops us off at the drop-off zone in front of the administration office building.

“So, what time do you finish class today?”

“I think around 4:00 today.”

“I’ll be here from 3:45, then. I’ll see you soon.”

Father soon drives off as Anya and I start making our way to the main school building where the classrooms and staffrooms are. I use my keycard to open the school door, change into our Uwabaki shoes, and we leave straight to the principal office on the top floor of the middle section. Once we arrive on the third floor, I knock on the principal’s door and await an answer. A moment later, a different yet familiar voice calls out from the other side.

“Come in.”

I open the door and see the vice-principal sitting on Aunt Sawada’s chair.

“Good morning, Vice-Principal Himeno.”

“Momioka? Oh, so you’re back. I’ve heard from Principal Sawada that you had a family emergency. How are you doing?”

― A family emergency? Oh…

“I’m doing well. Thank you for asking. So, about the family emergency, I don’t know if my aunt… ummm… Principal Sawada had told you about this, but this is Anya. She’s a distant relative of mine. Would she be okay to join my class as an exchange student for the remaining semesters?”

“Good morning vice-principle Himeno. Nice to meet you.”

Anya bows gently to the vice principal as she bows back.

“Nice to meet you too, Anya.”

After greeting Anya, the vice principal looks at me.

“I haven’t received anything from Principal Sawada since she left for you. Is she not back yet?”

“No, sorry. I haven’t heard from her for a while. I was hoping to find her here so she could finalise the paperwork for Anya since she said to do so.”

“I don’t know where Principal Sawada had left her papers, but don’t worry. I’ll complete the paperwork for the time being.”

Vice Principal takes out what seems to be an application form and a pen from one of the drawers and puts them on the table.

“Could you please fill in this form and return it to me, Anya? After that, I’ll finalise the rest.”

“Thank you.”

Anya walks towards the principal’s desk, picks up the form, and starts filling in her information.

“And Momioka, I am the acting principal now. So, I expect you to call me by the right name.”

“Yes, of course, Principal Himeno.”

After Anya finishes the form, she passes it to Principal Himeno.

“So, Anya, since you would be in her class, I hope your grades could compare to her and the other students in the class. Or else I would have to put you in the other classes. You understand?”

“Yes. Thank you, Principal Himeno.”

“Okay, so go ahead to your classroom now. It’s almost time for registration. I’ll tell your homeroom teacher about the situation, and she’ll get you all sorted in class.”

“Thank you.”

Anya and I both bow to Principal Himeno and begin to leave for my classroom.

“Oh, and before you leave, Anya. Are you the Kendoka who held the world title for the World Kendo Championships two years ago?”

“Yes, Principal Himeno. I am.”

“It is great to see such talent in the school. Welcome to Mikoto Academy. I’m sure our little school ambassador here will give you a great tour around campus.”

“Of course I will! Thank you for your help again, Principal Himeno!”

I once again bow to the acting principal and leave for my classroom with Anya.

“It’s finally time for class!”

I look at Anya, who seems to be troubled by something as we pass through the other classrooms.

“How are you feeling, Anya?”

“A little weird. I haven’t been to school for a couple of years, and I also feel like we’re putting all these people in danger…”

“That’s why we have to train ever harder! That’s how we can defend the school!”

“Hopefully, defending the school would be the worst-case scenario.”

Anya and I continue walking down the hallway until we finally arrive in front of my classroom.

― I wonder if anything changed in the classroom.

After signalling Anya not to enter the classroom yet, I slide open the door as the whole class quiets down. After a few seconds of silence, one of my classmates decides to speak up.

“So, the Nordic Ghost appears! I was wondering who cleaned your table.”

Some chuckles start to go around her friends who are standing next to her.

“Indeed I’ve been to Valhalla, Miya. But a Draugr, I am not.”

― Wait… I could be a Draugr… I am sort of an animated corpse! But… I didn’t die under those conditions needed to become one, hmmm…


I glance at Miya as she looks at my silver hair.

“So, you changed your look again. Copying me much?

I gaze at Miya’s wavy hair, which is tied into a ponytail as usual, with bangs that sweep to the left.

“My hair is of the colour of many weapons, while yours is as white as snow can be, Kuchinashi-san.”

“Tch. Wait till-”

“Okay, children, let’s get homeroom started.”

Suddenly there is a knock on the door behind me as my homeroom teacher walks in.

“Morning, Asagi-sensei.”

“Morning Uchida-san, good to see you’re finally back. Would you please return to your seat?”

“Yes, Sensei!”

I quickly walk towards my table and take my seat.

“Right then. I have some big news for everyone today, so let’s not waste any more time.”

Once Asagi-sensei arrives at the teacher’s podium, everyone in the class greets her.

“Morning, class. So today, we have a new exchange student joining our class today. She is a distant relative of Uchida-san here. So let’s give her a warm welcome!”

Asagi-sensei looks at the door as the whole class follows suit.

“Come on in, Hiraga-san.”

Anya enters class once Asagi-sensei has finished talking. Most of the class gasps when she walks towards the homeroom teacher, while some start whispering to one another.


“You sure she’s related to Momioka?”

“Wait… Haven’t I seen her somewhere before?”

“It couldn’t be… Is she the Kendoka who won champions 2 years ago?”

“Settle down, class. Now then! Why don’t you introduce yourself?”

Anya looks around the classroom and then at me. I then smile and nods at her to cheer her on.

“Hello, my name is Anya Fyodorovna. You can call me Anya or Anna if you please. It’s a pleasure to meet you all.”

Anya writes her names on the electronic whiteboard once the teacher passes her the pen.

“Thank you, Anya-san. Please take the free table at the end of the third row from the window.”

Anya walks past the teacher and down the aisle to her seat.

“So, it seems Lukkas-kun is still missing today. Hopefully, he’ll show up to class soon. Anyway, let’s begin the school day.”

* * *

After the second period ends and the longer break starts, some students start to surround Anya’s desk, trying to talk to her and ask her questions.

“Are you enjoying it here so far?”

“If you ever need anything, you can always ask me.”

“How are you related to Momioka?”

“Anya-san, can I have an autograph?”

Anya desperately tries to entertain our classmates when she suddenly looks at me, asking for help. I let out a quiet laugh as I stand up and walk to Anya.

“Sorry everyone, but Anya needs to visit Principal Himeno during this break time.”

“Oh, sorry for keeping you then.”

“It’s okay.”

As the student starts to leave Anya, we go outside the classroom and walk down the hallway until we reach the girls’ bathroom, where we decide to hide there for the time being. As I go for the sink and look into the mirror, Anya disappears into the bathroom stalls.

“That was something…”

“I’m sure they meant no harm, Anya.”

“I know, I know. Let’s say I don’t do well with crowds.”


“Between spending most of my free time practicing kendo and the terrible things fame can get you. I am never really the biggest fan of being surrounded by people.”

After flushing the toilet, Anya walks to the sink next to me and washes her hands.

“But also, there were also some rather mean words about you.”

“Oh, don’t worry about them. I know some of our classmates who are greatly annoyed by me. I’m very much not the popular one. But that doesn’t matter. I’ll always-”

Before I could finish the sentence, I could hear some familiar voices echoing louder towards the toilets. As the bathroom door opens, I push Anya into one of the stalls and signal her to stay there.

“Let me handle something first, Anya.”

“Mio! I thought you went to the principal’s office.”

“Aye, but that voyage has already been completed, Miya.”

“You know, I miss that mouth of yours. It’s been all too normal in the classroom when you disappeared for the week. Right, girls?”

Some of her friends behind her start smirking at me while some begin to laugh.


“So which realm did you decide to crawl into this time, Mio?”

“It’s Momioka…”

I try to speak normally, but only a whisper comes out.

“Huh? Have you lost your voice? I’m sure you’re always louder than that.”

“My name is Momioka, not Mio!”

“Wait… You can speak normally? That’s a surprise!”


“And besides, you should be glad I gave you a name similar to my sister’s.”

“If… if you think my name is too long… Call me Saki then!”

“Saki? And here I thought you’re finally going to be normal again.”

“No… That is my real name…”

“Hah… Your real name…? I thought it was something along the line of Momo.”

“It’s Momioka… it’s my… mom’s name…”

“Your mother? Hah… Thought you didn’t have one.”


Miya turns her focus to the vacant stalls. Once she thinks the bathroom is empty, she signals all her friends to wait outside and guard the door.

“Whatever your name is, Momoe. I see you’re still wearing those weird accessories that are not on par with the school uniform rules. Tell me, why do I have to follow the rules when you don’t? That you can just abuse your powers and get away with it? You break the rules, and nothing happens. I do it, and I get disciplined. It doesn’t seem fair.”


“So, allow me to help you, Moca… And this time, you can’t run away like you always do.”

Miya reaches for my eyepatch, but before that, I slap her hand away.

“Tsk! How dare you.”

Once I see Miya is ready to throw hands, I prepare myself for her. But as soon as she reaches for my blazer, Anya catches her fist before she can grab hold of me.

“Ha… Hired a bodyguard?”

“I advise you to back off if you don’t want to get hurt.”

Anya begins to clench her fist firmly as it begins to crush Miya’s. Even as Miya tries to fight back, it is useless as Anya easily overpowers her. It is only until Miya decides to back down where Anya finally decides to let her go.

“Tsk. Athletes… This is none of your business. Stay out of this.”

“This is very much my-”

I place my hand on Anya, telling her it’s alright as Miya steps backwards and fixes her blazer and shirt. But at that moment, it reveals a bruise mark on her wrist that seems to be from being grabbed.

“… Miya, are y-”

“You should learn a little from the girl with the pink hair who graduated a few years back. What was her name again… Kanzaki or something…? She was as absurd as you are or worse, but at least she keeps everything to herself and not get onto anyone’s nerves even if she does creeps everyone out.”

Miya scoffs at us and turns around to the door.

“I’m out of here. Count yourself lucky to have a bodyguard here, Momioka.”

Once Miya and her friends leave the vicinity, I let out a sigh and loosen up a little.

“Who was that, Momioka?”

“That was Miya Kuchinashi. She is from the richest family in this school, alongside her sister, Mion. They look the same, but Mion’s a year or two younger, and her hair is in twintails that ends into ringlets instead of a ponytail.”

“Let’s go report her to a teacher.”

“No… It’s fine.”


“Like I told you before, having strict parents only ever means that they’ve created a liar…”

I look at the bathroom door while pressing my hands on the sink.

“Or in some cases… A monster.”

“That doesn’t-”

“Her family is somehow worse than mine, Anya… Perfectionism and extreme expectations from others can really cause a lot of problems. You saw her wrist, didn’t you…?”

“I didn’t… But still-”

“It doesn’t matter, Anya. I wasn't hurt. It’s fine.”

“You can’t just-”

Before Anya can finish, the school bell rings. I then look at her and smile.

“Hey, the bell’s ringing… We should get back to class.”

I quickly turn to the door and leave for the classroom.

“… Hey, wait for me.”

* * *

After sitting through the next two periods, lunchtime finally comes around. Once I remember that we didn’t pack for lunch, I stand up and slowly walk towards Anya.

“So… We forgot to bring food. Do you want to go to the dining hall and get-”


Suddenly the back door to my classroom slides open harshly, and Ryo runs towards me at full speed.


Before I could react, Ryo embraces me tightly as if I’d been gone for a very long time.

“Ryo…? Ryo! W-what are you doing? W-w-we’re in the middle of the classroom! And Yui, she’s-”

As I stutter words out, I feel my face start to turn warmer by the second.

“Ignore the class! I am worried about you. We saw your things in the mess that we once called the park!”

― They were at the park…?

“I’m fine, Ryo. Couldn’t be better!”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah! I may tell you about my journey to Asgard when the time is right. For now, do keep the park a secret, please.”

“… Okay.”

Ryo slowly let go of me, but he still has his left hand on my shoulder.

“How have you been for the past week then, Ryo?”

“I’m fine now that I know that you’re safe. Yui and-”

Ryo turns around and points to the backdoor of the classroom where his girlfriend is standing with her arms crossed with a slightly irritated face. Once he saw her, he quickly let go of me.

“Never mind, I am not fine…”

Yui soon let out a smile as she walks up to me and hugs me.

“We were all worried about you. Including me…”

As Yui steps back, I can see Miya leaving the classroom with her friends as she seemed annoyed by the new atmosphere I’ve created with my friends.

“So, are you to new exchange student?”

I turn to Yui as she starts a conversation with Anya.

“Oh, let me introduce all of you! Ryo, Yui, this is Anya! She’s a distant relative of mine!”

“It’s nice to meet you, Anya.”

“Anya, this is Yui Naruse. She is one of the most popular students at school and the vice president of the student council!”

“Please. Don’t listen to her.”

Yui brushes her short and fluffy light green hair as she reaches her hand to shake Anya’s.

“You can call me Yui! If you ever have a problem, you can ask me.”

“It’s nice to meet you too, Yui.”

“And this is Yui’s boyfriend, Ryo Kurosaki! A fellow gymnast and my great childhood friend!”

Ryo grins as his smooth brownish red hair shines in the sunlight from the window.

“Just call me Ryo! It’s good to meet a relative of Momioka! And same with Yui here; I’m always happy to help!”

“It’s good to meet you too, Ryo! So, you and Momioka have known each other for a very long time?”

“Yeah! We have known each other since we were kids! She has always been like a sister to me, so it’s always great to meet any families of hers!”

“… Yeah.”

“Did you say something, Momioka?”

“Hmm? Did I?”

“Hah, have you started daydreaming again? Oh, by the way Momioka, love what you’ve done with your hair. So, silver over your light brown hair?”

“My hair? Yeah. I wanted to try on a different hair colour. And silver seems to look to best.”

“For the glory of Asgard?”

“For Asgard.”

Ryo suddenly looks around the classroom.

“Oh, I should call Lukkas.”


“Yeah, he was the one who found your things at the park and called us over. We left before the police showed up, so we didn’t get any of your things. Sorry.”

“Oh, don’t worry. I’ve already retrieved my items.”

“That’s good then. But yeah, since you’re here now, I should tell Lukkas to stop searching for you.”

“He was searching for me?”

“Yeah. He seemed genuinely worried.”

“But we barely know each other.”

“I think that’s just how he is behind the shell of his. He cares for others despite never meeting them.”


“But yeah, give me a quick second.”

Ryo walks to the corner of the classroom and calls Lukkas through his phone. After a moment, Ryo returns to the group.

“He picked up and said he’s coming to campus right now. Oh hey, have you girls eaten yet?”

“No, we were just about to go to the dining hall before you showed up.”

“Let’s go grab some food then. I’ll message Lukkas to go there.”

We soon leave for the dining hall, and since we arrive there almost halfway through lunchtime, there aren’t many people in line. Once we arrive at the counter, we quickly buy our food and sit at the lovely circular table. As we begin to dig into our food, Lukkas suddenly shows up.

“Lukkas! That was fast.”

Rather than responding to Ryo, Lukkas is instead oddly starting at Anya with a confused look.

“You alright there, Lukkas?”

“Sorry, yeah.”

He then switches his focus and looks at me with his flat purple eyes.

“Glad you’re safe, Uchida-san.”

“Can’t say we have officially met, Lukkas! You can call me Momioka. Pleased to be of your acquaintance!”

I smile at Lukkas as he takes a seat next to Ryo. His short spiky black hair is a funny contrast to Ryo’s smooth hair.

“So did I miss anything, Ryo.”

“Nothing much really. But hey, you should meet our new exchange student.”

Anya looks up at Lukkas.

“I’m Anya Fyodorovna. Pleased to meet you.”

Lukkas seems to have frozen up again before opening his mouth.

“Pleased to meet you too, Anya. My name is Lukkas. I guess, welcome to Japan.”

“Thank you. Ummm… I’m guessing you’re not from around as well?”

“Ehmm… No, I’m from… Scotland… but I’ve lived here in this town for a long while now.”

“That’s nice.”

There is a short silence until Ryo breaks it.

“Have you eaten yet, Lukkas?”

“Oh, don’t worry about me. I’m not hungry. You lot should enjoy your food first.”

We begin to dig into our food again while exchanging conversation. When we finish with our food and continue our discussions, I suddenly remember something important.

“Hey everyone.”


“Anya and I are on a quest to find a dojo. Do anyone of you happens to know of any of them in this town?”

I let out a sigh when Ryo and Yui shake their head.

“I do…”


Anya and I turn to Lukkas in surprise.

“You do?”

“Yeah… There is one around where I live.”

“Is there also a house and a workshop next to it?”

“I think so.”

Anya stands up all of a sudden and stares at Lukkas.

“Could you please bring us there?”


Lukkas looks around the table and then back to Anya.

“Yeah… I can bring you there today after class.”

“We can’t right after class since my father is expecting me. Could we instead meet at another place later today?”

“Mm-hmmm. When will you be available then?”

“After 4:30?”


“Where could we meet?”

Lukkas turns to Ryo.

“Hey Ryo, could we meet in front of your house?”

“Yeah, of course. But I won’t be there today since I have a club meeting with Yui.”

“I know. Thank you, Ryo.”

“You’re welcome.”

I look at Lukkas, overjoyed from the thought of finally being able to achieve our pursuit of the Dojo. I stand up excitedly and raise my paper cup in substitution for my drinking horn over my head.

“Then at twilight, we set forth on the journey.”

I lower my drink and down the cup of water. As I finish, I slam the drinking vessel on the table and crush it.


“Hah! So, even your eyepatch now glows, Momioka.”

After realising what Ryo has said, I immediately cover my eyepatch with my hands and sit down.

“Umm… yeah. A little enhancement I did over last week.”

“It’s impressive! You don’t have to hide it.”

Once I confirm with Anya that my eye isn’t glowing anymore, I set my hands on the table.

“Thank you…”

After Ryo returns a smile at me, he checks his phone for the time.

“Oh, it’s almost time for the next period. We should start heading back.”

Soon, everyone starts cleaning up after themselves and begins to walk back into class, but right before we return to the classroom building, I pull Ryo aside.

“Hey Ryo, can I talk to you privately for a second?”

“Umm, sure.”

Ryo signals Yui and Lukkas to return to the classroom first while Anya follows them into the building and waits by the shoe lockers.

“Is everything okay, Momioka?”

“Do you know where my shoe locker is?”

“Again? Come on, Momioka. We must do something about Miya. She can’t-”

“It’s fine, Ryo. It’s just some shoes.”

“No, it’s not fine, Momioka. She-”

As Ryo turns around towards the doors, I grab onto his arm and stare into his eyes.


Ryo lets out a heavy sigh and proceeds to slam his fist into the wall next to him.

“Thank you.”


“Could you do me a favour, Ryo…”

I take out my own student card and put it in front of Ryo.

“… Yeah, I’ll take care of it…”

Ryo takes the keycard from my hands.

“You don’t want Anya to know, right?”

“She already knows a little… But really, this doesn’t need to concern her any more than what she already knows.”


“Thanks, Ryo. I owe you again.”

“There’s no next time.”


I soon leave Ryo and join up with Anya inside the school building.

“What was that?”

“Oh, it’s nothing. I just need to pass something to him. Now, let’s go, or we’re going to be late.”

We leave for our classroom shortly, but Anya seems lost in her train of thoughts again during the trek up the stairs.

“Is something wrong, Anya?”


“You looked… Puzzled.”

“I was thinking about Lukkas… Something feels off about him.”

“Oh? You think so?”

“I feel like his words are very… cautious? It feels like he’s hiding something.”

“Noooo… I think he’s just trying his hardest to engage in the conversation.”

“… Also, do you think it’s weird that he’s the only one who knows about the Dojo in this town.”

“That it is… But I think I’ve seen him together in class since we were in elementary school. There must be a simple explanation.”

“… Whatever it is. I think we should still keep our guards up.”


* * *

After finally going through what could be described as the never-ending last two periods of the day and finishing up cleaning duty, Anya and I return home with my father. When it is time to meet with Lukkas, we sneak out of the house again and soon arrive at Ryo’s place, where Lukkas is waiting patiently for us.

“Hey Lukkas! Sorry if you had been waiting for a very long time.”

“Oh, no worries. Now, shall we?”

“The end is nigh! Let’s proceed forward!”

From Ryo’s house, we walk further down south until we arrive at the opposite edge of town near the beach. We then continue walking through some thick woods and wild vegetation where Lukkas had disappeared into. When suddenly, Anya freezes in place before some trees.

“It… It can’t be… we found it… We actually found it…”

“Umm… What did we find, Anya?”

“The Dojo… My home… It’s here…”

I look around the mass woodlands around us, confused about what Anya has found.

“I don’t see anything, Anya. What do you-”

Before I finish my sentence, Anya abruptly runs forwards into the trees and vanishes into thin air.

― What.


Still seeing the borders of the rings of death from Anya, I carefully trudge forward when suddenly every tree around me disappears and reveals a few buildings and a sign that reads “Hiraga Dojo & Forge” in big letters.

Stunned, I promptly look behind me and see the woods where I came from.

― A magical barrier that hides whatever’s inside?

“That’s amazing!”

I look back to Lukkas and Anya, who are paying no attention to me. Because of it, I decide to hop through the hidden barrier, making the buildings disappear and reappear again and again.

“What are you doing, Momioka?”

― I’ve been found!

“Umm… Playing with this barrier…”

“Barrier? What barrier?”

Anya walks closer to where I currently am.

“Do you not see me disappearing?”

“Should I be?”

“No, it’s fine…”

― I guess she isn’t affected by the barrier…

We slowly make our way to where Lukkas is waiting, but all of a sudden, white and blue lines materialise from thin air and expand out into large polygons. Everything around us soon turns into wireframe models of themselves, fading away with nothing left but the three of us in a dark void.

“The barrier is designed to keep dojo hidden for whoever isn’t involved. And for those who still manage to wander in…”

Anya and I both stare at Lukkas. Without delay, Anya summons her swords and prepares for battle.

“Will have a little surprise for them.”

The sky becomes visible at once, but it doesn’t seem to be the same sky we were under a minute ago. Wireframe models again appear and begin constructing themselves into real-world objects within the newly created arena.


Anya kneels down and touches the puddle of water next to her on the new concrete floor.

“No… They’re real… Momioka, stay back. I’ll deal with this.”

“I’m fighting with you!”

“You aren’t ready.”

“And you can’t fight alone. Especially without your katana.”

Anya glares into my eyes as I return the gesture. Knowing she can’t convince me otherwise, she switches her focus to Lukkas.

“Don’t try anything crazy.”

I fabricate a circular shield and one-handed bearded axe and turn to Lukkas. But inspired by Anya’s dual swords, I decide to dissipate my shield and turn it into another bearded axe in one swift motion.


“I’ll apologise for this first, Anya. This is but a trial. If you are here, Anya… That means your parents are gone, aren’t they?”

“Shut up.”

“Same goes to you, Momioka. You shouldn’t even be in this side of the world.”


Lukkas gazes into the sky and whispers something before looking back at us.

“Alright Jackal, remember what we talked about.”

Lukkas floats into the air as strands of the shadowy tattered cloth materialise from the ground, wrapping around him. Parts of his body, like his legs and hand, start to dissolve away and turn Lukkas into more of a skeletal figure. When the tattered cloth completely envelops him, it forms itself into a flowy tattered cloak that reaches past his new boots. The hovering figure we once called Lukkas turns his silhouetted head and stares at us with nothing but glowing purple smoke that is lodged inside his eyeless sockets.

Looking at the horror that is in front of us, Anya launches a volley of light-swords at Lukkas while I aim and throw my axe at his head. But instead of colliding with him, our weapons seem to have vanished into the void, or they were absorbed by him. At that moment, Lukkas tilts his head and puts his hand to where his mouth should be.

― What is he doing…

Anya and I tense up in the quiet moment and prepare for an attack when the sound of a horse galloping can suddenly be heard from behind us. I push Anya away from danger as I perform a backflip over the charging horse. When the ghost steed reaches Lukkas, he grabs onto its reins and hurls himself onto the saddle. With Lukkas now mounted on his tattered rag clothed horse, which covers parts of its semi-transparent body and flickering bones, he forms a hood over his head as even its silhouette starts to burn away into oblivion.

“So, the presumed strongest wraith that we know nothing of…”

Anya returns to position and summons her swords again.

“Is the headless horseman.”

“It’s Dullahan, Anya! It’s Dullahan! This is an incredible discovery!”