Chapter 1:

The End of the World

Annihilation Armory

In the cold void of darkness, a silhouette slowly obscures the countless dots of light. A hexagonal prism steadfastly lumbered in its predetermined direction. Its ends sparkled as it pierced the stars. The strange object rotated on its side, reflecting and refracting light on its mirrorlike surface, though there wasn’t much light to interact with.

The only identification it revealed was a few words on its hexagonal faces opposite of each other. It read: “Wakas ng mundo” and on the other side: “Mundo ng wakas;” It means “The end of the world” and “The world of the end.” Slowly, it drifted eternally, almost as if escaping from the intense light behind it.

However, it was not one light, but sources of light that could not escape its grasp. Various colors of light swirled hopelessly into a singular origin brighter than anything else in the universe. The inevitable was that all that shines would be sucked into that singular point; its pull was irresistible. But, the unfazed object went on.

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Another rainy day, at least it was better than the scorching hot sun. I deeply breathed the misty air, savoring the taste of rain. No, I was not drinking rainwater. I was only simply admiring and thanking the blessings of it.

The country has been plagued with famine and drought for the longest time in years, so I was relieved to know that farmers would not have to struggle too much this time. However, I was worried that this much rain had fallen since the monsoon season had only started four days ago.

But these were my thoughts in mere seconds. And I did not need to worry about me, or anyone else I knew going hungry. Besides, I should worry about myself, in the moment.

So, I sighed, as if I was avoiding my present crisis and finally succumbed. I glanced at a presence beside me and realized that I’d caught someone’s eyes.

“Kiwazima.” A tall, brown-haired woman dressed in a very seducing miniskirt and a thin blouse stood beside me, with an umbrella in hand. She was from Japan and has immigrated and transferred to high schools recently. However, foreign students, rather, students from foreign nations were not an uncommon sight in our school, or any other school in this country. There has been an influx of immigrants in recent years. Though, this wasn’t what is important right now.

“I told you not to use my last name,” she spoke in an almost native accent (at least almost native at this country’s level anyway).

“It gives me the vibes, you know? Of being in Japan,” I laughed.

“Not funny,” contrary to her amiable smile that almost drew my eyes. “What are you standing here for, in the rain?”

I mumbled. “Just me admiring the cool, grey, and oppressive skies. Not that it's any different from any day though.”

“It’s not that bad.”


“That’s a fragment.”

“Good job!” I raised a thumb to her. “A+!”

She laughed. “You can be funny sometimes.”

“Sometimes?” I scoffed. “F.”

“Were you about to cuss?”

“No, I never cuss. I’ll never cuss.”

She smirked, “I know you do when you mutter things under your breath.”


She shrugged.

“Innocent until proven guilty.”

“Then? What are you mooning in the rain for?”

I felt that she used that word incorrectly, but I only smiled. “Well, I won’t be too presumptuous but…” My eyes looked at her umbrella. CHANCE! “Would you allow me under your umbrella?”

She cradled her chin, pondering for a few short moments.

“At least until the convenience store? I’ll buy an umbrella there.”

She slowly grinned, and her eyes gave me a playful look. “Are you trying to make a rom-com situation here? This isn’t that, you know?”

I jostled in surprise. “Eh? (in the most anime way possible) I—I was not trying to do that!” I stuttered (in the most anime way possible).

I sensed that she could not control her laughter, but she controlled herself for a few precious moments. And in those few precious moments, she handed me her umbrella.

“H—here! You can take this.”

I shifted in a serious tone. “But, what about you?”

Both of us held our breath for a grand reveal….

She reached out her other hand, which had been hidden from me the entire time. In her hand was…

“Don’t worry, I have another one!”

My eyes were wide in shock. Why would she be bringing two umbrellas? Was it because… “I won’t be presumptuous, but, did you bring two umbrellas because—”

“—I definitely did not know that you didn’t bring your umbrella!”

“—you were worried that you were too fat to fit under one umbrella?”

We locked into each other's eyes, both with our mouths agape.

“Eh?” in confusion.

“Eh?” in surprise.

“Eh?” in surprise.

“Eh?” in confusion.

“Eh!?” in anger.

“Eh!?” in fear.

“Not funny,” she pouted cutely.

“My bad. If you don’t mind, I’ll borrow your extra umbrella.”

“Here you go. You can keep it.” I gratefully took it from her hands.

Before I opened my newly owned umbrella, I looked back at her, “Are you sure that the reason why you are giving this umbrella to me is that you’re disgusted and irritated by my jokes?”

Her face contorted in confusion. “No, of course not!”

I stared at her with doubtful eyes, and she stared back.

“Yes, of course, yes! I hate you!” she shouted. I laughed in turn and walked away.

Upon reaching the concrete ground the rain splattered mercilessly upon. The umbrella succeeded in protecting my mood, but an incoming car was about to ruin it. I shielded myself with the umbrella just in time for the car to splash water against me. Despite the numerous and endless road repairs, the same issues have persisted and sometimes grown worse. But, I was a little wet from the rain. It was either a wave of street water or almost as clean, acidic, rainwater. Though, it was mostly to protect a conspicuous grey security case. Luckily, I was the type of weirdo that occasionally carried these around, even at school. However, unlike those times, I was more nervous carrying this around. This was because this morning…

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“Allen, Anak (Son), por favor naman,” my mother beckoned me over our circular narra table.

“What is it, Mom?”

“Could you bring this” she huffed as she lifted a bulky suitcase onto the table. “…ca—aase?” she gasped.

To add to the intimidation of size, the sound that it made as it landed seemed to threaten the table’s very existence. “This seems very heavy. Why won’t you bring it yourself.”

“Well, reasons.”

“That’s not a valid reason!”

She leaned closer to me, “You know how rumor goes around in the offices, right? Even if any of us reads ‘top secret, confidential, for the eyes only,’ it’s still going end up leaked.”

“So, a mole?”

She quickly shushed me, “This is what I’m talking about!”

I weakly laughed, “Mom, I’m not a kid anymore. I can handle this without a backstory.”

“Who is the one who asked for reasons?”

“This is all feels whimsical, Mom.”

“Will you do it for me, please?”

I sighed, a happy one. “Fine. But does this mean I get to visit your lab after school?”

She contemplated for a bit. It seemed to weigh heavily on her mind. Throughout the morning, she emanated a gloomy vibe, even if she tried to not show it. Something agonized her. But, I did not want to distract her from it, for I thought it would be something about her research, which was something I would not be able to help anyway.

But at least, I could say, “Relax, Mom. I won’t be playing around. Just, make sure to not overwork, overthink, and overstress yourself.

She smiled at me as if a burden had been lifted from her shoulders.

“You’re right. So, why not check up on me after school, yeah? To make sure I’m not doing the three O’s.”

I returned her smile. “Will do. Love you, Mom.”

“Love you too.”

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“Looks like that burden has transferred onto me now,” I chuckled and lifted my umbrella to hide from the rain again, and almost struggled to walk with the absurdly heavy suitcase until I arrived at a pedestrian crossing.

My eyes strayed from staring at the traffic lights to the overhead neon lights that outlined the elevated train line and bright metal halide street lights. The area looked like it was daytime due to the intense brightness produced. Because of this, the drainage water looked more dirty. There were only some parts of this major road that had this modern treatment.

If I were any other citizen, I would have crossed despite the red light, but I was no other citizen. Despite the possibility of me only crossing half of the road very short time of green light, I patiently waited, laid the suitcase down, and prepared to cross to the other side of the six-lane road, which had a center island in between three lanes. And it was time.

Ten seconds. Ten seconds was all the cruel traffic planners gave to every pedestrian crossing this road. Ten seconds was all I needed to cross if I hastily walked. But, I knew I needed more time to carry the suitcase and walk across. So, I ran, making sure I traveled within the boundaries of the pedestrian crossing. Three wide strides for a boy, four meters, and a full second.

“Wait, I feel a little lighter—” I halted and looked back. “The case!” Silly me, I forgot the singular important thing. My golden ticket to crash into the lab—to visit Mom! Three wide strides, four meters, another full second wasted. “Eight seconds!” With great effort, I carried the suitcase to my chest, The weight distribution of my backpack and suitcase almost put me off balance. I heavily breathed, suppressing my pants. “I’m not waiting two minutes again for the light to turn green!” With determined strides, I progressed through the six lanes. “Six seconds!” Three short strides, two meters, a full second. “At this rate, I’ll—” In my over-excitement, I almost slipped and fell on my face, but I saved myself by my chest on the suitcase. I have not reached the center island yet! I hastily picked myself and the suitcase up, forgetting about the umbrella, and made chase for the other side. “Three seconds!” I passed the center island and was now in the fifth lane when I felt the ground rumble. “Something is close…”

The side of my eye brightened. The light was somehow brighter than the halide lights. It had a distinct characteristic of the more modern LED lights, and this city has not fully upgraded its streetlights to that yet. So, it must be…

I quickly pivoted to the source of the light and saw a semi-truck rapidly advancing. No three strides could save me. In an attempt to protect myself, I somehow raised the suitcase to cover my body from the truck and attempted to leap away, but—

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