1 The Boy In Red

In another world, some time in the past, there laid two forces, foretold by the ancient scriptures, by the God who previously ruled in the Destroyed Heavens. Women held their children in their arms, True Happiness had reigned over every possible world in the multiverse, destroying not their bodies but absorbing their souls to a singular life form. The absolute obliteration of the Multiverse by ways of the New Allfather so there could be one singular Earth manipulated by God. In the chaos of the old world during the climax of the Advent of Destruction, there remained only one world formed together from the souls of trillions.

And what laid anew was that singular world, not made by God's True Happiness, but by the rightful philosophy carved out from the Requiem Emperor, name lost in history. Stabbed into the grassfield ridden with emerald blades, vibrant flowers and the sunlight of the spring, there stood… the cracked glasses of a dead man. A Requiem Artifact lost in space and time from a leftover war; the remnants of the destroyed world lit ablaze a flame that started anew another story,

"Did you see the new girl? Heard her name was Katie or somethin',"

"Katie? Like anyone's gonna remember that. She hot?"

"Eh, she's a bit of a freak, I think. Too much black, so many piercings, looks like a whore,"

But as her eyes fluttered open, she realized that those voices weren't a dream, and instead, they were just the echoes of the past. The date written on the calendar circled in marker. August 5th, 2021. It was blurry to her, but as she sat up and rubbed her eyes, she remembered that number, why it was important. Five. It was all so hazy to her, but as she recalled gradually the more she moved her lean legs, it became clear,

"Alright, everyone. Welcome our new student, she goes by Katie Moon. Say hello to her, everyone," Advised the teacher to their students,

"Hey,"

"Hi,"

"Hello!"

Various ways of greeting the new scholar entered her eardrums, a soft smile painted right over her lips, she waved to them all and moved her hand from side to side,

"Katie Moon! Nice to meet you all!" As Kate welcomed herself to this new environment with a big ol smile and a happy sway to her body language.

It was like all the bruises littered over her covered skin had vanished. There was something above that she could latch onto, she felt the warmth of it in her hands, but as time went on and the clock dinged to 12 pm, holding her lunch tray; she looked around. No one reached out to her, in fact, nobody even paid her any mind, everyone was too absorbed into their own meals, oblivious to her being, she found a stray table nobody was seated at. Whatever, first day, right?

Some people take a while to find the friends they'll eventually have, but as she ate the chicken strips the cafeteria made for the students, she scrolled on her phone just looking at some pictures on Twitter. Every so often, a gentle chuckle would slip out from between her cracked lips, and she would be able to smile. But as she looked at the time, her eyes barely glancing at it for half a nanosecond, she sighed. Shoving it into her pocket, she just looked around, eyes searching at all these new faces; they all looked so pretty,

"You're the new girl, aren't you?" Asked a gentle male voice to the young girl, to which she turned her head and made eye contact with his contacted pupils.

Devoid of a smile, hers fell in contrast to his, and they both sat right next to one another. She didn't bother giving out her name, instead, he tapped at her arm- and she swatted his hand right away before it could escalate any further. Pupils wide, the world uncaring to what just occurred, the tears in the corners of her eyes meant only one thing to him,

"So, you're the same as me, then. Why are you here?" Asked the ginger boy curiously now leaning back from the closer position he formerly was locked into.

How could she answer a question like that? Her eyes darted rapidly inside the entrapment of her eyeballs, unable to fathom what to do in such a scenario, she steadied her breaths and calmed herself down gradually so she could finally give an answer,

"To educate myself and make new friends," Retorted Moon to the ginger, but as he leaned back, he scratched at his cheek and then pointed at her. Just one word. And it was,

"Liar."

The sound of the sirens was so loud, the flashing colors continuously leaking onto the window from the outside, that the teenage girl watched as her mother and father were escorted out by officers. She rubbed her arm gently, but as she blinked in the past, she returned to the present, and she turned her head so she could stare blankly at the wall to her left,

"So, you're the same as me, then,"

Even a day after it, as soon as she woke up, she thought of those words, something from a man she knew nothing about; an absolute stranger to whom her background was unknown. All possibilities ran through her mind that morning with one arm draped over her forehead, now facing upward to the ceiling, eyes barely visible,

"The hell does that even mean?"

Her teeth were brushed by the softer ends of a toothbrush, face splashed with water to wake herself up, bareback shown as she stood with her head down in the shower… without any movements. Just thinking. Things were different now, she didn't have any parents. Living alone, having to work at a job. While she did have her own money saved up, it was never enough. Plopping right down on her bottom inside the tub, she looked at her wrist then lower down at her arm. Scars from a time when she was hurting. Maybe it was her fault, maybe she did something wrong and just maybe her parents were good people at a time in the past but because she was born and they were too poor to get an abortion-

As she hugged her knees close to her chest, that word replayed in her head, eyelids shutting over her black pupils…

"Liar,"

"Like you would know anything… who the hell even are you- ginger weirdo?"

In another world locked in place outside the boundaries of reality, the red haired boy watched from his perching atop a statue. The lost souls made monstrous physically wandered the wastelands of this other world. He didn't know what they were, truly, he assumed they were demons, leftover souls thrown into this lost time for the sake of being ostracized from Heaven or Hell. Nevertheless, they really were quite wondrous. For monsters, anyway,

"Ace, the hell are you doing? Get the fuck back in here," Commanded his advisor, to which the ginger turned his head, feet touching against the concrete road as he landed gently,

"Yeah, yeah, I'm comin' already," Ace retorted to the instructor, pushing some of the strands covering his eyes, he revealed the tint from them both.

The same as his hair, as expected, but there was something off about the pattern around the pupil. Planetary bodies encircling the center, Ace placed both arms on the back of his head as he casually strutted right inside with nonchalance visible from the smug sway of his hips. What laid ahead in front of him was a facilitated building, outsides crackling with white lightning, he walked past the workers assigned to their computers, before reaching that big window which overlooked the spotlight area,

"Ah, so this is the fabled Requiem Artifact I've heard so much about. Doesn't look much special than mine," Observed Ace rubbing at his fake stubble over his chin, to which the instructor audibly groaned at the young one's comment, momentarily glancing to his right then facing forward once again,

"Well, it is. When we translated that eye into you and that other eye into June, neither of you turned insane. Granted, she did kill most of the workers there but- I guess that's just what that power does to you. However, this is far beyond those insolent eyes you have before you. It's said that even touching the glasses bestows you with Eternal knowledge beyond that known to mortal men. Those who we've sent to touch it are imbued with insurmountable power, able to kill anyone they touch randomly, white lightning cracking around their body. It is important that ANZEN acquires this power for the security and betterment of mankind. You understand, don't you, kid?" Inquired the instructor of the young man, Ace nodding as he patted his yawning mouth,

"Yeah, that's all well and good and all, but what does this have to do with Katie? Why's she so important that I have to be assigned to capture her? Why not June or Kima or whoever else? Mm, or you could send me on a team with one of them, maybe Kima. I wanna-" Ace thought to himself aloud, then getting a tap on the back of the head, he comically rubbed it with his palm,

"You know why, Ace. It's instrumental that we bring her back. Katie Moon is a top priority, for she is a rare specimen, one we cannot allow to roam freely. Especially considering who her father is… and her relation to yours, Ace Wilder,"

As Ace opened the door to his home, he announced his arrival to his parents, the both of them, mother and father welcoming back with a warm hug. Their faces obscured as they lovingly embraced him, Wilder looked up to see their faces. A white haired man with green eyes and a redheaded woman with greenish-blue ones. These were his parents, or rather, mere imitations of them, for the memories of their other selves flashed within his mind, and as they finished hugging him, he smiled, turning away, one shoe pressing against the stair leading upward.

As he enclosed himself into the room, he yawned, and decided to walk right over to the photograph of two men. One with white hair putting bunny ears behind the black-haired one's head, those fingers pointing upright, Wilder touched the tips of his extremities against their faces, parting his pink mouths,

"I'll make this right, I promise, I won't let your sacrifice go to waste- Father,"

As she walked to school on the next day, she pulled up her sleeve to cover her wrist, passing by a show, boot entering a puddle, liquid splashing everywhere. A highway overhead, she brought up her limb as if to touch against the road above, thanks to her shortness, that would never happen, unfortunately, so she just kept walking through the sunny morning. Shaded from the sun temporarily, she shoved her hands into her pockets and hummed along as she continually stepped amongst the pavement, the song entering her eardrums… drowned out the loudness of the world, so she could be surrounded by her own black void. Alone, with only herself populating this desolate space, but what other way could it be? That was how it always was in the past, and in the future, whatever laid there in the chaotic unpredictable seas of time: that's how it'd stay,

"Close… your eyes, you'll be here soon," Sang bo en, earbuds planted into the sockets of her ears, she sang along with the English part that just passed- then humming along normally with the broken Japanese that followed afterward.

Those memories gone, only absorbed by images of whatever fantasy entered her mind for the time being she was alone, legs on autopilot, Katie stopped for but a moment. Noticing something out the corner of her eye, she mental down at the edge of the curb,

~Another puddle..~ Thought the young woman letting her limbs rest over her knees, she leaned a bit forward so she could gaze at the girl looking back at her.

A shame. She could never tell who this was, someone that looked like her but she was so much prettier, the smile of an Angel's. Who was she? How'd she get so happy? Most of all - why was she so beautiful? Why couldn't she look like this? This beautiful girl in the reflection who was surrounded by love and happiness, but instead, as another stray soul slammed their foot into the puddle, the reflection was cleared- and it was her, yet again,

"Pretty girl, ain't she?" Asked the ginger wholeheartedly,

Sitting up in shock, she stepped back, nearly falling down as one foot slid off the edge for the sole to implant into the puddle. Losing her balance, her backside was destined to fall before his fingers ensnared her wrist, pulling her right back up so she could be inches away from his face, charming smile painting his pink mouth. The oddest thing though, his smile dropped as he analyzed her own… and ironically enough, it had never existed in the first place.

Seconds passed, then snatching her arm back, she glared at him then went about the route to the school right down the pavement. There were no steps following her, she was all alone again, but that was okay, as long as she had her headphones- she could be at peace. Eyelids closed over her azure pupils, she grabbed onto them so she could set them over her eardrums, Ace came out of nowhere appearing in front of her. Gasping as she reopened her eyes, he poked at her forehead as her lips parted, noticing she was about to yell. Going limp, she fell unconscious in his arms, wielding her there, he chuckled… she was almost weightless, he could carry her with absolute uncaring easiness. If he didn't know any better, he'd assume she was as light as a baby,

"Sorry bout this," Ace whispered, feeling the goosebumps appear over the small portions of her exposed skin,

For the time being, he was alone, so he took this to his advantage, and decided to throw her over his shoulder. As a car passed by, the driver glanced at the ginger holding the unconscious girl, suddenly shrugging, the car zoomed down forward to reveal where Wilder was once standing. And as if he were never there to begin with, like the Cheshire Cat, he vanished into the shadows leaving only his burnt off shoes as an indicator of his leaving.

Hours passed, and it was nearly time for night to set on Riverton, bottom pressed against the edge to the roof, the young woman groaned as she awoke from her lengthy slumber. Turning his head so his bloody hair would move as well, he jumped down to where she was covered by blankets, watching as she slowly sat up and examined her surroundings,

"The hell..?" Moon whispered to herself quizzically rubbing her eyes waiting for the haziness to fade,

"Thank god you're alive, here I was thinkin' I accidentally killed you or something. Anyway, nice to meet you again, Katie Moon," Ace stuck out his hand crouching beside her, beaming a friendly smile at her,

Before SLAP! Her hand connected with his cheek and he was forced to stand up while also stepping back, rubbing his face, he groaned jokingly. As she went off and yelled inaudibly to him, he returned to his Void so he could admire her, searching through his memories… this really was his daughter,

"Who the fuck are you?! Why did you take me to this place and what the hell are you planning to do with me?! JUST TAKE ME HOME ALREADY!!!" Cried Kate as she held the sides of her head… this was the same as it always was. She wasn't strong enough to fight for herself so she was taken advantage of, letting her guard down for someone she barely even met, someone who made her question her way of thinking.

As she held her knees and rocked back and forth, her eyes spilt out tears, sobbing into her legs, Ace stepped closer. It was like a magnet, a line interlocking time as his hand slowly locked in place over her head, sliding his fingers back and forth through the blackened strands. For the first time in her life, though she had never met this man before yesterday, she felt at peace around him; but why? There was this unexplainable feeling, something she couldn't quite describe yet it was lingering on the tip of her tongue… she stared into his reddened pupils,

~Where have I seen those eyes before…?~

But more importantly, why did her face calm down the second she'd stared into his eyes, so beautiful in tone and soft in coloration. Ace then stood up, turning around, feet stomping across the rooftop so he could reach the end. Sole of the boot he wore over his foot resting against the roof's edge, he admired the city as the sun set on the megapolis shining against Divergence's crimson orbs,

"There's a truth to this world you cannot see, however, you hold the potential to use your eyes fully and tear down the curtain of lies they parade around you falsely," Ace informed confidently, but as he turned around, his hair went with the swing, moving with the summer winds, he gazed upon her face- the bridge between the night and day shining it's signature pinkish hue onto his cheek,

"I work for the Security Organization ANZEN, I'm sure you've heard of us. While the government put it together in hopes of securing the people's protection with advanced tech and weaponry, the higher ups have a better way to ensure the betterment of humanity. I don't know the specifics, but they managed to gain access to the Remnants of Another World, where leftover artifacts are scattered across a monstrous wasteland which hold power beyond that of human comprehension. I hold one of those artifacts in my eye, as does my sister, and another agent of ANZEN. Recently, there was a sword discovered in the depths of the Remnant Dimension… we believe it belonged to your father," Ace's words were a shock to her, considering her adopted family had been nothing more than a bunch of deadbeats, he had to been referring to her biological father, but that was unbelievable…

"My father..? The one that sold me off to those pieces of shit… THOSE EXCUSES OF PARENTS?! WHY WOULD I EVER WANT TO-?" In the middle of her desperate screams crying out for an answer, a supernatural phenomenon occurred dead center in the middle of her brain.

Sparks flying all throughout her mind surging across every rough pattern, she fell back, eyes rolled to the back of her head… what she saw next did not belong to her. Rather, it was a remnant from he who lived in the Old World…!

"You really have no idea… Do you, Rivera?"

"I hope that… wherever you are, August, that you're doing okay. I hope you found peace. Thank you, for everything, so goodbye,"

"Heh… I guess you were right about that, brother,"

His words were like the warm light of the setting sun over the city's horizon, spreading through her mind spreading throughout her head like an escapable… it was something she couldn't run away from. When she came to, it had been the night, the dark blue sky of the night had overtaken the orange-pinkish hue of the Heavens. Ace had sat at the edge, overlooking the scenery before him, all golden lights shining on his pale features, his red eyes illuminating the evening's darkness,

"Those memories were of your father, he had a relation to my father… they were both from the Old World. What you saw wasn't all, there's more, but if you wish to know more, then you need to do something for me," Ace informed her; to which Katie, after shaking her head and pacing around to gather her thoughts, had turned to face him at the end of his speech.

Their blue and red eyes met in the glory of this important night, shining together, their interlocked souls bound together by the string of fate, Ace smiled upon spotting her features. Leaning forward a bit more, Moon awaited in anticipation,

"Give yourself, wholly and without hesitation. No matter what, you can never go back; this is a soul's contract… a binding vow of sorts. I intend to bring down this corrupt organization, and I need your help to do it. So, Daughter of Karlo, what do you say?"

As he asked this question, Katie thought back to her life, the dullness of being normal, the hatred she felt in her heart for those who hurt her; the guilt she experienced everyday, believing it was her fault for being born. Why was someone so horrible like her born… if she hadn't been born, it wouldn't have ever happened. They wouldn't have- hurt her. But they're gone now, right? She wasn't tied down by them anymore, so why… Why was it every time she blinked, she saw their faces? There was no other choice, as she closed her past, the memories of a horrible past flew into her mind, with tears in her eyes, she declared with all her heart,

"I'LL DO IT!!! I'LL… I'LL BOUND MYSELF AND OFFER EVERY LITTLE BIT- TO THEM!!!" Cried Katie to the coming summer's moon, lids shutting over her dark azure pupils, Ace couldn't help but be stunned- wide eyes and all, then smirking…

"Now, let us go,"

TO BE CONTINUED!

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