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Fanfiction Lost Notes

Gummi Bunnies

identity unknown...
The Convergence Series GM
[ Note #1 ]
reset: (v) 1. to set again or anew; 2. to change the reading of often to zero.

Hurry. Hurry. Hurry. You can't stop this now.

Run. Run. Run. Just a little farther than this.

Faster. Faster. Faster. There's no telling when they'll caught up and you'll be caught.

Focus. Focus. Focus. You mustn't mess this up.

You know better than to give up now after you've done the unthinkable. You know that this was going to upset the balance, yet you did this anyways. You know now that you have to commit to your decisions to the very end, then you can rest and forget about it all.

That's what I kept repeating to myself in my head. I had to keep this mental mantra going to keep myself going. If I didn't, then how was I ever to achieve this feat on my own? A feat that only meant a punishment worse than death if I were to be caught. Right, what I'm essentially doing was committing the highest kind of treason there ever was, I was beyond saving if I faltered in this now. That's right. I have to get rid of the evidence then hightail it to some remote location so they'll lose track of me for hopefully good.

Keeping up my pace, I stare straight above me to see the radiant moon that luminated this fateful night of mine. It is practically beckoning me to finish the job at a specific spot, the moon's bright rays giving way for a location's spotlight. That's right. I need to do this in a place where no one would ever find my traces. It had to be here.

Get rid of it. I have to get rid of this evidence now.

I finally arrive this destined destination, standing before an untainted stone slab with a quaint lake behind it. In my hands, I bring out the very evidence that I was going to dispose of here. A broken fragment from an ancient artifact that fell apart due to my actions, my heinous crime that I have done upon my once acquainted companions. No, they weren't companions, they were my enemies now. I rather be off doing whatever I wished to do, and not being their tool that didn't know any better.

I've already decided that a long time ago.

Stepping forward, I place the last artifact fragment against the stone slab in front of me, taking a deep breath. Once I do this, I can finally take it easy, and put this mess behind me. They'll never figure it out. None of them can do feats of magic like me. So all I have to do... is to get rid of this fragment.

Starting the process, I felt an overwhelming amount of mana rushing out to my fingertips, transferring into the artifact fragment's existence. As expected, a sharp clash of existing energies occurred, a defense mechanism was tipped off by my actions. I knew that already, of course, as I've done so with the previous artifact fragments I've gotten rid of. Unless they have someone that was deliberately going out of their way to find these last notes of these fragments, I doubt I'd have to worry about it in the long run. I'll probably forget about ever doing this anyways, and there will be no connection to me left. My magic allows me to remain undetected once it is done, especially without their reliable observatory anymore.

A surging conflict threatened to harm me for my deeds, but this had to work. It had to, or else I would be toast. So I only upped my magical output beyond my own limits once more, my existence wailing at me to not do this as it seared a painful pain in my chest. No, ignore the risks and keep at it, or else the reset will never happen!

My sight began to blur, my breathing became ragged, my ears only hearing a constant buzz. On top of that, my sensation of touch on the artifact began to numb, along with my chest feeling like it was going to burst from beating so fast. Any second from now, I could just keel over and die. Yet, I could also...

Any suffering that I felt that could warrant my own end in a matter of seconds, it simply stopped. A single chime of a bell marked the end of my deed. The deed to get rid of the evidence. All I saw was that unremarkable stone slab in front of this plain lake. As if none of that really happened.

But it did happen. No one won't find that out, of course.

I can rest assured that the artifact's existence was overtaken by the target of my magic: the stone slab. My magic's traces already disappeared from the slab itself, so there really was no evidence left at the scene. I've done it.

The observatory was finally no more.

❝ Getting rid of the evidence by having the fragment get absorbed into this slab... That's one way of doing it, that's for sure. ❞ Blake remarked once he was released by this vision of what he assumed to be the observer's memories. There was a lot of evidence to back the claim that this was the observer's memories before they somehow reset themselves. There wasn't much, however, to figure out what they meant by "resetting" in the first place. That would mean that he would have to go track down the rest of the artifact fragments to track down the observer before the Metaworld does.

❝ Sorry, but I need to undo your work here to get to you first, observer. I can't exactly help protect you from the Metaworld if I don't know where you've gone. ❞ He apologized out loud as he placed his hand against the stone slab's surface. He wasn't sure if it'll work, but even if this was sealed by the observer's unique magic, he would make use of the lingering strands of his sister's Miracle magic placed into him to undo the existence seal. In a similar manner that he saw in the imposed vision, he began to focus his magic into the slab, essentially attempting to force the artifact fragment out of there to reinstate its existence. There, the terrible pain that the observer went through to seal the fragment began to occur to Blake, almost causing him to stumble over. Even with the new batch of nanomachines in his bloodstream to reduce the pain, it was simply too much. Almost like his own existence was being denied for doing such a thing in the first place.

As the pain only grew worse upon starting this process, his eyes locked onto the sight of a peculiar stone object emerging from the slab's surface, and it was no doubt another stone fragment from the observer's artifact. If it weren't for that being visible, Blake highly considered just halting the process altogether, but now he was determined to follow through with this procedure.

Then, it simply popped out of the slab without any other issue, subverting his expectations on this being an agonizing magical process. Blake ceased his act of magic right then and there, reaching over to pick up the artifact fragment from the ground. That was when it crossed his mind that this seemed... too easy. Something wasn't right. Almost like it was...


❝ ... a trap?! He gasped out in disbelief as an invisible force tore right through his chest. He should've known that there would be some defense mechanisms in place if it were discovered. Gritting his teeth, he was grateful for his reflexes in this moment, only narrowly avoiding instant death as the invisible force barely missed his heart. Falling to the ground with a loud thud, Blake cursed under his ragged breath. This was a bad time to get hurt like this, especially when he didn't know any magic that could heal him. Obviously he couldn't get a hold of those Witches like Lambdadelta or Kalu to heal him, he didn't know how to do most of the stuff that his sister did.

The ravenette only closed his eyes in resignation, groaning out his frustrations. ❝ ... gh, just my... goddamn luck... ❞ Expecting to lose his consciousness in this moment, he didn't bother to pay attention to the footsteps approaching him.

❝ Uh... how long are you going to lay down like that? ❞ An unfamiliar voice questions him, causing Blake to open his eyes in response. He was going to point out the obvious with his chest having a gaping hole and bleeding out, but... he didn't feel that pain anymore. Heck, there was no sign that he was torn through and injured at all. It felt too damn real to be an illusion either, he was definitely fatally injured earlier. So what was the catch here?

Instantly standing up, he takes a good look at the other individual present at this lakeside, already flooding his own head with questions that needed to be answered.

❝ Are you going to answer me or? ❞ The young man questioned him further, appearing to be around Blake's age from the looks of it. So far, it felt like the other was simply suspicious of him, and didn't have any connections to the rampant anomalies of the multiverse. So far.

❝ So... did you see anything else besides me? ❞

❝ Don't answer my question with another question. ❞ Blake was taken back by the other's bluntness, who sounded like they meant business for some reason.

❝ Well, obviously I'm not laying down anymore, am I? ❞

❝ Then let me rephrase my question. What are you here for? You don't look like anyone from town. ❞ The other narrowed his eyes at him, growing ever more suspicious.

❝ Right, I'm not a local here, just touring the sights I guess. And you? ❞ It was a poor attempt on hiding what he was actually here for, but he didn't add more info than that. The other stayed silent to marinate on that, but then sighing as if something annoyed him about this encounter.

❝ Okay, tourist. This lakeside is my hangout spot. That's why I'm here. ❞ The man stated like it were an obvious fact, then looking to the two artifact fragments on the ground near Blake.

❝ What's with those, by the way? ❞ Blake gulped in surprise once the other asked about the artifact fragments. He couldn't tell him about what they were really for, considering that the other really appear to be a normal person.

❝ Those? Er, I actually don't know myself. I just know that these stone fragments are related to each other, and I want to solve the mystery engraving by putting them together. ❞ The ravenette bullshitted another bogus story up to throw the other man a bone, considering their nature with shooting questions at him.

❝ Huh, a mystery? Meh, doesn't do much for me, but I reckon there was something that looks similar to those stone... fragments. In the forest park on the other side of town. I passed it a few times recently. ❞ The other nonchalantly chimes in with info that hinted at another possible fragment. While Blake doubted it, he rose an eyebrow as the man pointed his thumb in the general direction of that forest, and from touching the new artifact fragment, the magical resonance drew Blake's attention toward that same direction. So... maybe it'll be a good thing to get guidance there, but he had to try and not get this other person deeply involved in his search for the observer.

❝ Uh huh... alrighty then, show the way if you're offering. That'll help me out tons. ❞ As Blake took up the offer, the other was already headed in the general direction of the assumed next fragment. Whatever suspicions that Blake held for the current situation as it was, it lingered around in his head. However, it could be just nothing at all. Nothing but paranoia.​

Gummi Bunnies

identity unknown...
The Convergence Series GM
[ Note #2 ]
dream: (n) 1. a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep; 2. an experience of waking life having the characteristics of a dream.

❝ My name is Arvel. ❞

❝ Huh? ❞ Blake snapped back to reality once the other abruptly spoke up as they walked down the dirt path into the nearby forest. The awkward silence stagnated, the other man Arvel briefly stopping his footsteps to give an annoyed look at the ravenette.

❝ Arvel. That's my name. ❞ He repeated himself as if to drive this fact into Blake's skull, continuing to walk down the path soon after making his point. ❝ Better than having you call me something I probably won't like. ❞

Only now Blake's realized that they haven't exchanged names at all since meeting a mere half hour ago. It didn't even cross his mind. Not like it truly mattered, considering his mission at hand here, and it wasn't like he would keep in touch with this town's local residents. He noted that he found this first fragment located in a world that happened to be the home of his own family, but he wasn't familiar with this townland in particular. As long as it was a good distance away from Penelope, the ravenette could rest easy on that part, for he didn't want her involved in any of this.

Preventing himself from getting further cluttered up in his head's thoughts, Blake picked up his walking pace after Arvel, keeping a steady read on magical tracing from his two fragments to the supposed next. ❝ Heard you loud and clear, Arvel. As for me, I'm Blake, Blake Dormi. ❞

❝ ... Noted. ❞ Arvel would only comment in a dismissive manner, not making the slightest bit of eye contact in further response to the other. So much for any casual conversation. It annoyed Blake quite a bit. Still, for someone who sounded like they had a stiff stick up their ass, Arvel was strangely not questioning on why exactly Blake was going around picking up ancient looking stone fragments, and furthermore offering to lead the way to another. Maybe Arvel thought it would get Blake to buzz off faster if things went this way.

It would be soon that they arrive at their supposed destination, where Blake immediately caught sight of yet another artifact fragment unbelievably in plain sight. The fact that it wasn't merged into another object's existence like the one he found at the lake put a bad feeling in his gut. That first vision gave him the idea that these were hastily hidden by the observer in an attempt to shake off the Metaworld for good, which meant that someone was probably on the prowl for the observer already. That... wasn't a good thing to consider at all.

❝ This what you're looking for? ❞ Arvel finally called for Blake's attention with an inquiry, gesturing with a head jerk toward the fragment's general direction.

❝ Yeah, definitely. Lemme get a good close look at it, just so I can be extremely sure, alright? ❞ The ravenette nodded in response, approaching the fragment which rested against the tree's trunk. Arvel merely stepped aside, but kept a cautious stare towards Blake, probably wondering what the supposed tourist was up to. A otherworldly pattern was engraved on one side of the stone fragment, so Blake was sure that this was related to the observer's artifact. This would be the third fragment in his possession since he's started on this search mission.

Bracing himself for it, Blake reached out to place his hand against the fragment's surface, and another vision came to like a sudden uncontrollable daydream.

There once was a girl who had no place to belong.

That is what my mother always told me as a bedtime story. Whenever I was lonely, sad, or lost, this story always reminded me that I do have a purpose. That is what my mother always told me, so it made me feel better. A story that whisks away the self-doubt in my heart.

It may be a coincidence, but I share many similarities with the girl in the bedtime story. Forever lost with nothing to look forward to. We both dared to strive to make something out of ourselves, so we had nothing else left to do but to wish for it with all our hearts. The story’s ending was an open-ended conclusion, never to be known until the story is given more closure.

From here, my mother tells me that I’m continuing that girl’s story, because I was making progress on that wish to have something rather than nothing. I wasn’t sure where I was making that kind of progress, but if my mother says so, then I must be. She told me that I was already doing so by existing, from the moment I was born.

I don’t remember much about my own birth, but I figured that my mother found me somehow. In a world that was lonely and in ruins, I suppose that in itself was progress. She may not be my real mother, but she has always been my mother since I was raised by her alone. I did not understand how the world worked, so she taught me about it. She taught me how to live.

By now, I’ve learned so much that I can live to this day. Seeing. Hearing. Breathing. Eating. Drinking. Sleeping. Talking. Walking. Those were important actions that my mother taught me once I was able to conceive the notion that she was teaching me these things. Even if the world was nothing like it was before, my mother made sure that I could experience the world’s gifts to the fullest. She smiled when I told her that my favorite flower was the blue blossom. She would pat my head when I helped a lone duckling reunite with it’s duck family. She clapped in high applause as I hummed a loose tune. In all these aspects and more, my mother never failed to show full support for me.

Then a terrible thing came up.

My mother asked me one day a random question after returning from her venture to obtain food and drink for us. She asked me…

❝ Miu, do you have any dreams? Any dreams that you can recall from your sleep? ❞

That inquiry left me with no other answers to share with my mother besides a plain head shake. I had no idea what a dream was until she explained what it was. At first, I thought my mother would have a solution for my lack of dreams, much like how I had trouble walking on my feet way back. She simply told me that it would eventually come up during my time of sleep, and that I didn’t have to force myself to experience something that I haven’t experienced at all in my life.

So I did that. I went to sleep like I would usually. Day after day passes by. Nothing. Nothing occurs, not even a hint of a dream came to me.

I felt hopeless. I could not bear a single dream, even with my mother’s support. I couldn’t grab a hold of it. That alone warranted the fact that a miracle wouldn’t be enough for me to have this dream in the first place. As if… something was wrong with me to begin with.

Yes, there had to be something wrong with me. There had to be. I could do everything else but dream. My mother always supported me because I was able to do these things with her guidance, until now. She’ll stop supporting me if I can’t do this one thing. I can feel it. I know it for sure. Who’s to say that I truly deserved this kind of treatment from my mother anyways? I probably only found myself able to do what she supported me in because they happened to be the bare basics for any living being to know and do. That had to be it. I wasn’t someone… no, something to be proud of. I was only a disappointment, a sham, a worthless burden that didn’t deserve anything to begin with.

Time continued as it wished. The daily routine never changed, but I definitely changed. My mother noticed that I wasn’t as receptive to her praise, and that I didn’t express myself as confidently and brightly as I was before. I couldn’t bring myself to fake that happiness that I once had, because I couldn’t fake the fact that I couldn’t experience a dream in my sleep. She was already doing enough by keeping me around, but that was it. I couldn’t possibly think of how I would ever make it up to her.

Yet, she didn’t falter with her work dedicated to me. I didn’t want to admit it at first, but it seemed like she was doing more than what she did before to take care of me. No, she’s doing that out of pity. My pathetic appearance must’ve compelled her to be like this, not because she sees any worth in me. There’s no doubt about it, surely.

Thinking back to it, maybe the story my mother always told me was true, and that I’m the girl in the story. A girl with no place to belong. If it weren’t for my mother, then I would really have no place to belong. Then again, I must be taking up my mother’s time, and that I shouldn’t be with her in the first place.

Deep inside, I knew all of this to be true. There wasn’t anything else that would convince me otherwise.

Even as my mother began to tell me that same bedtime story again, I drifted away into a sleep that had to be the same like any other. Empty and meaningless, just like I was.

Just like the previous vision, Blake came back to reality without much trouble, lifting his hand carefully off of the fragment. He needed to make sure that this one wasn't laced with the same magical defense mechanism that supposedly pierced through his chest. A foreboding and terrible feeling swelled up in his chest from thinking about it, yet Blake witnessed nothing like that occur again. It just... went away. So it was only nothing but his worries being high. He let out a relieved sigh once it was clear that he wasn't going to get injured like that again.

❝ So... you're done examining that? ❞ Arvel asked, his blunt tone of voice not being as firm and present as earlier. Right, to anyone else, it looked like Blake was spacing out for a exceptionally long period of time. There was no chance that any normal person would pinpoint on what was actually happening here. So Blake could rest easy on that part as well.

❝ Yup. This is definitely what I was looking for. I doubt anyone owns this ancient stone fragment, so I'm just gonna take this along with me for further research. ❞ Blake answered with full confidence on his assessment on the matter. As for the vision, it seemed different than the first one. A desolate world that's been through an apocalypse from the looks of it, and focusing on a girl named Miu. Blake didn't see much evidence to warrant Miu being the reset observer, but there was always a slim chance. That mysterious "mother" figure that took in Miu was also giving Blake more questions than concrete answers, making him wonder how she falls into all of this in the grand scheme of things.

Standing up after storing the fragment into his bag, Blake sported a grin to Arvel. ❝ Alrighty, that's about it for me. Sorry to keep you on this sidetracking trip with me. Thanks man. ❞

❝ ... it's... nothing, I guess. ❞ Arvel seemed to not be so used to getting gratitude for stuff like this. Blake only chuckled at the response, mentally planning out his next move from here on. It would be a bit before he found the next fragment, as he got the subtle feeling that it wasn't as close by as it were this time around. Before he could move on, however...

A looming shadow creeping up from behind Arvel. A lump in Blake's throat began to build up, dreading the incoming attack that was going to happen. He should've known that the assailants from the Metaworld would show up at some point in some way. If it was going to be out for blood, whatever this shadow was, then Blake saw no reason to keep his abilities a secret anymore. Preparing himself to be quick on the draw like in those Western movies, Blake positioned his hand near his tech cube, which was attached to the side of his belt. The motion confused Arvel, and instigated the hostile shadow to make its move.

❝ ARVEL, MOVE!!! ❞ Blake yelled at the top of his lungs, getting in-between a bewildered Arvel and the attacking shadow. His hand swiftly tapped at the cube's surface, lighting up as he recited the activation voice command. ❝ PWM power on! Mode shift, module 0! ❞

A sudden hardlight projection of an extended shield appeared in front of them in the attempt to defend against the attack. The shadow rebounded off of the shield, snarling in clear aggression towards the two.

❝ W-what the hell is going on?! ❞ Arvel finally found the words to talk from the sudden development, demanding Blake to explain the situation.

❝ Uh... I'll explain a-after this! Just stay behind me and I'll take care of this shadowy enemy myse- ❞ Blake tried his best to reassure the other that he's got this under control, but flinched in recoiled pain. Somehow even with the shield successfully defending against the shadowy foe, Blake found himself with a wide gash across his stomach. The shadow merely stood their ground, snarling away like a feral wolf.

You.... you... you!!! The supposed Miracle's candidate! Give... give what you have of the artifact to me!!! A voice echoed out of the shadow, threatening Blake to hand over the fragments.

❝ Wait... the stone fragments are... a part of the artifact? I don't follow... any of this at all... ❞ Arvel commented with disbelief, grabbing Blake's shoulder to possibly get his attention. It was clear that he wasn't that expressive as Blake, but it was easy to tell that he didn't know any better. Blake only nudged the other behind him once more, not wanting a bystander getting injured on his watch.

❝ And why should I hand it over to you? For the Metaworld threat that I've been told about, you didn't even bother showing up in person. Probably used a cheap trick to... delay this... ❞ Blake narrowed his eyes at the shadow, pointing out that they were obviously not trustworthy. As he gestured to his stomach for the open gash, he stopped mid-sentence to see it was mysteriously gone... as if he wasn't hurt at all. Just like before.

❝ ... gash wound that's... not here anymore? ❞ Blake mumbled in confusion, and that only annoyed the shadow more. Except, the shadow backed away, losing its violent aggression toward Blake and more so at Arvel.

You... you you you! You're... nothing! Already in motion... not good. Must retreat and come back for you both later!! You hear me?!! The shadow's voice echoed with a feverish growl before it disappeared from sight almost instantly. The whole exchange left both of them rather speechless, as both realized that they withheld information from each other's initial meetings.

Blake knew he was keeping his whole mission with the artifact fragments a secret along with somehow being the impromptu Miracle candidate, but the coincidence of the mysterious healing done to him and the shadow's comments on Arvel. Was he...

❝ That shadow called you... nothing? ❞ Blake stared at Arvel with a serious look, considering the circumstances now. The other only stayed silent. ❝ Arvel, I need you to be honest with me, alright? I'm asking this time around... ❞

Wanting to be extremely sure on this, Blake stepped forward towards Arvel, making it clear that he needed an answer here and now as Blake had his hand ready near the tech cube once more.

❝ I thought I was seeing illusions with those injuries, then and now, but clearly that bad guy hiding in shadows saw that. Not only that, they considered both me and you being there as a threat, and retreated. So I need to know for sure, Arvel. I need to know... what are you, really? ❞

Gummi Bunnies

identity unknown...
The Convergence Series GM
[ Note #3 ]
hope: (n) desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment; expectation of fulfillment or success.

A month has passed. Going after the traces of the next artifact fragment was proving to be a challenge in itself. At first, Blake thought that the lingering traces that remained on this world meant that it would be an easy step to clear, but instead, it’s proven to be illusive enough that the search painstakingly looped around the same locations again and again. The ravenette couldn’t exactly pinpoint it, even when the fragment’s reaction was visibly at its peak. Maybe there was something that they were missing that’s different or alike to the first two found fragments.

❝ Same as yesterday, I reckon? ❞

❝ H-hey, we just started today’s sweep. At least give it like… say, half an hour before we call it quits until tomorrow! ❞ Blake exclaimed defensively to keep up with their search, only for Arvel to let out a tired sigh. The other stepped over to take a look over the current scan results on Blake’s projected console from the tech cube, and then observing the last fragment they’ve recovered.

❝ It doesn’t look like we’ll get different results compared to yesterday, but if you insist, Blake. ❞ Arvel groaned once he made the point clear, but knowing that the other wasn’t going to back down easily when it came to doing this fragment search. He then crossed his arms, visibly bothered by something.

❝ Collect all the fragments of this artifact and it'll lead us to this… observatory, correct? ❞

❝ Uh… that's the general gist of it, yeah. Why are you bringing this up all of a sudden? ❞ Blake rose an eyebrow at Arvel's words. There was nothing off about it.

❝ I'm only reiterating what you've told me about this search we're doing. If this is the information and instructions you were initially given by an exiled Witch… you would think she would make the effort to mention how many of these fragments to collect. ❞ Arvel brought up the lack of info that would be useful to know. For all they knew, they could be going after five fragments in total or rather one hundred or maybe even more than that.

❝ So you're implying that she could be pulling a fast one on us? I mean, I really didn't trust her at first… but I figured to go along with her whole plan since- ❞ The ravenette paused, choosing his next words carefully about his reason being involved. ❝ S-since it didn't seem to benefit her that much in hindsight. ❞

❝ Right. Maybe she should've chosen people who weren't amateur magic users like us for this chore. You had the power of Miracles for a few months and I only recently learned of my power over nullification since you showed your face around my hometown. ❞ Arvel complained about how the cards have fallen in this scenario.

❝ Maybe she was just tight on who she could bother or something, especially when the whole search is to prevent certain bad people from beating us to the punch. But hey! At least you can technically be a healer! Your nullification specialty is really a lifesaver, or else I would've been dead with a hole through my gut! ❞

❝ Can you learn to zip it? Or would you rather let the entire shopping district know we're practitioners of magic? ❞ He grumbled as he lightly yanked at Blake's sleeve to get him to lower his voice. ❝ Plus, my… ability is nothing special. I never asked to be dragged into something as absurd as a mission involving ancient magical artifact pieces that'll lead to an important observatory that can determine the gears of the multiverse. ❞

❝ Believe me, I had no idea that I was getting myself involved in big important multiverse affairs either, and I wasn't expecting you to easily accept my whole exposition reel of it once I figured out you had similar circumstances with certain kinds of magic like me. ❞

❝ Well, don't assume that I'll stick around after we find the last fragment. You sound like you got a handle of this stuff better than me, and I hope by assisting you now, it'll make sure nothing bad happens here in town. ❞ Blake didn't bother to object to Arvel's view on this. He rather keep his normal life as it is than risk it and others with much bigger issues. It made Blake wonder if he could've lived a normal life with Rin and Penelope. However, it was like their individual fates were cemented in stone by the moment they were born. While Penelope could be living a normal life, Rin became a Witch who would sacrifice herself to ensure the multiverse's survival and Blake was forcefully pulled from an alternative timeline to this one where he should've been dead, only to be passed the torch from Rin to safeguard the peace.

In short, fate deemed that Blake was to never have a normal and mundane life to begin with.

❝ Yeah, don't worry about it. That just means I'll work harder on my part to get this over with and out of your hair, right? ❞ Blake grinned in response to Arvel, who only murmured a simple "right" back.

Then as if the timing couldn't been any more convenient, Blake immediately took notice of an extremely different pattern of the next fragment's traces than the other days before now. It could mean anything, but there’s a slim chance that this could be a turning point for their search.

❝ Arvel, we got something! ❞ Blake exclaimed to put the other on alert, already running after the detected signal shown on the holographic screen. The detail would’ve been taken as nothing more than a slight difference, as the reactionary signal merely took a left rather than a right turn. However, it could just take a simple different action to change everything, so Blake wasn’t going to take any chances on missing this opportunity. Especially because they’ve been unable to fully track down this fragment.

As they kept up with the chase, the two of them saw that the amount of people around them began to thin out, and getting to the point where it felt nearly deserted once they reached what was essentially a rundown park at the far corner of the town. There, only two other people could be seen at the park from where they were. A young man who appeared to be about Blake’s age and a peppy girl who wore an uncomfortable amount of pink.

Arvel was about to ask Blake on why they stopped their running and chose to hide behind the stone wall surrounding the park, but the latter put a finger on his own lips to shush Arvel. It was hard to make out the conversation at first, but it seemed to be light-hearted at most. This could also mean anything, but there had to be a reason why they were brought here from the reactionary signals alone.

Then, the girl did something off. “Something off” was probably a huge understatement. Arvel caught this as soon as it happened, which alerted Blake in response once he heard it.

A gleam of magic energy appeared from the palm of the girl’s hand. From it alone, Blake could feel an immense concentration of magic, much greater than his and Arvel’s combined from the feeling they felt from it. Arvel definitely didn’t know what this meant, but Blake was fully aware of one thing: that girl had to be a Witch. He wasn’t sure why a Witch was casually presenting herself to a civilian like this, but he wasn’t going to let this go on that would endanger this person.

HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!!!!! Blake yelled at the top of his lungs, charging straight ahead towards the Witch and the civilian, who were both surprised by this sudden intrusion.

H-Huh?!! Er, Mimi… what’s going on here? ❞ The young man stammered in visible confusion, looking at the girl for an explanation. The girl, Mimi, only smiled in Blake’s direction, as if welcoming him after getting her composure together.

❝ Well well well… I’m super curious as to how you fou- ❞ Mimi spoke in a sing-song manner, but was cut short by an incoming crystallized needle. She merely dissolved the crystal construct with the mass of magical energy stemming from her palm.

❝ Not dealing with your games, Witch! What’s your deal here? I don’t think showing off your magic to a civilian is a usual Witch-like thing to do, now is it?! Blake demanded answers, readying himself to craft more crystal constructs if need be. He doubted he could truly face off against a Witch on his own, but if he could buy time for Arvel to move the civilian out of here-

❝ Oh, that’s what you’re oh so concerned about. How funny you can be, successor of Miracles. ❞ Mimi couldn’t hold in a single giggle at Blake’s demands, as if she wasn’t fully taking him seriously. That’s bad. Real bad. The ravenette gulped nervously, cautiously awaiting her next move. The Witch glanced past Blake’s shoulder and at Arvel, her easygoing attitude slowly fading away the more she looked at the other.

❝ Hmmm… ❞ She sized Arvel up before sighing. ❝ You know what, I’m dipping. I thought this was a good sudden opportunity to cut loose… but I’d rather not have my fun be spoiled by this. ❞ A dimensional rip began to form on the ground behind her.

❝ Hey! I’m not done with you! ❞ Blake exclaimed and bolted right for her to stop her from escaping. Unfortunately, she simply fell straight through into the small dimensional rip, which sealed up after she went through. For a second, Blake’s heart sank, since that Witch could’ve been a lead in… well, the whole search he was going through and details about the Metaworld’s plans.

Except, his cube still detected a reactionary signal in the park area. With the Witch out of the way, that only meant one thing.

What? The young man could only express his genuine confusion with one word, questioning on what just happened. It didn’t sound too dumbfounded, simply confused and nothing more. He approached where the Witch had practically sank into the ground, crouching down to press his hand on where the dimensional rip was.

At the same time, the signal moved at the same distance, the same pace, and to the same location as this civilian. This hard-confirmed Blake’s suspicions once the Witch left the scene.

❝ Erm, you’ve got to be really confused after what took place here...I can tell that much, but do you mind if I ask some questions first? ❞ Blake cleared his throat, knowing that this was going to be a rough situation. It was fine with Arvel, who had connections to magic by inheriting some nullification power. However, this person didn’t seem like they had anything like that at all from first glance, and Blake wasn’t sure what had to be done to make sure this person wouldn’t tell other people about the events that’s transpired here.

❝ Well.. uh, fine, I’m a little confused because I was having a nice little chat with her about private matters… ❞ He says as he stands up from his crouching position, pausing in his words as he awkwardly stares at the ground. ❝ ... Then she just… no-clipped through the ground. ❞

❝ Private matters? ❞ Arvel tilts his head in an inquisitive manner, staring the other down.

❝ Uh, yeah… private… relationship matters. Like… she was giving me relationship counseling. You know? Just like in a visual novel when a helpful NPC pulls you aside to give advice about your relationships available to you from a har- ❞

❝ T-That’s not important right now. ❞ Blake interrupted the other’s strange analogy, choosing not to really comment on this civilian’s video game-related talk.

❝ Gah. Forgive me, I’m not used to talking to people… ❞ Crap, the ravenette figured to make this quick, sensing the other’s contemplation to flee the scene as well.

❝ Okay, that’s fine. Here, I’ll introduce myself first before asking questions. My name’s Blake Dormi, and… ❞ He then nudges Arvel with his elbow, continuing with, ❝ And this is Arvel. How about you? ❞

❝ Just call me Owen, or Hardcore Owen if you’ve seen me online. ❞ The civilian introduces himself back, sounding a tad hesitant at the end.

❝ Alright alright, got it. So let’s start with that girl, Mimi, who you seem to be familiar with. Did you know that she was… erm, a Witch? ❞ Blake figured to start with the fact that Owen apparently is in talking terms with Mimi.

❝ A W-Witch? No, I didn’t… but that would explain the magic trick with her hand earlier… and the no-clipping through the ground part. It was like she was using a cheat code… ❞ Owen stammered once the question got to him, but overall sounded clueless. The ravenette held in a groan with the other’s analogies again.

❝ Huh… and does the term “Observer” mean anything to you? ❞

❝ Well I probably I have a few observers but I haven’t taken up esports yet so I don’t think that’s happening… ❞ Again, oblivious from what Blake was implying. There wasn’t much hesitation in Owen’s words there.

❝ Okay, last question then. ❞ Blake glances at the tech cube’s holographic screen displaying a radar signal, and then looking at Owen. ❝ Are you aware that there is an ancient stone fragment sealed into your body right now? ❞

W-W-W-What? No I wasn’t! D-Did I… eat that?! ❞ Owen panicked over the absurdity of that question, or rather a factual statement. This eased the stance that Owen was only a bystander that got dragged into this, but it did leave some loose ends here and there.

❝ I’m sure “sealed into” means you didn’t eat it. Someone probably did so without your knowledge, and that fragment happens to be something I need. So… I’ll need to remove that from your body, and don’t worry, it’ll be quick before you feel anything. ❞ Blake clarified for him, placing a hand onto Owen’s stomach.

❝ Wait, what are you going to do? ❞ He manages to ask before a flash of light emerged from Blake’s hand. From there, a seal briefly appears on Owen’s stomach before it fades away and out comes a stone fragment which had similar features to the prior ones that Blake and Arvel found. As Blake took a hold of the fragment, he felt himself spacing out instantaneously…

After all my work, I had to see for myself if I was truly in the clear. I did the best I could, and it still feels as if I’m merely cutting corners here. Even if I were to make a simple simple mistake that could’ve been avoided, the act of clearing up the mistake won’t do a single thing to help me. A single mistake can cost me everything that I’ve prepared up until this point. Yes, I was very aware of how dangerous the water I tread became. It wasn’t like I had a choice in this matter.

Either I allow something precious to die or I pull off the most daring feat of magic to live. After either of these things, the rest is just history. That’s all.

I stare up into the gray cloudy sky as rain droplets pelted down on me, reaffirming to myself again and again that this was the right course of action. There was no changing that.

❝ H-... Hey...! You...? Are you okay?! ❞ A voice calls out from below me as I stood on top of a building’s rooftop. A boy calling out to a fallen figure covered in tattered robes, strands of white hair sticking out exposed.

❝ Hang on a sec. ❞ He says to this silent figure, to which I knew who it was under those robes.

❝ Here, just grab onto me. ❞ The boy urged the robed figure while glancing up to the sky as if checking for some sign of danger. Of course, the boy would never see me, I had prepared a bounded field in the case of the scenario that I would be spotted.

There, I observed the boy carry the robed figure on his back, watching them scurry away from the relentless pounding of the raindrops. I knew all sorts of things that they didn’t, and especially that the boy didn’t know.

That only cemented that I make my next set of moves soon, before it was too late. So I departed from the area to do what must be done.

Just like how it was when it started, Blake found himself back at that park with Arvel and Owen, and the fragment resting in his hands. Most likely the vision was about a few seconds in real time, but it felt like it lasted longer than that.

❝ Uh, you okay? ❞ Owen asked out of concern, probably having gotten over the fact that Blake essentially took a stone fragment out of his body.

❝ Yeah, only spaced out for a sec there. ❞ Blake sighed, having the tech cube store away the fragment for now. However, that vision gave Blake one more question that he had to ask Owen, so he went ahead and asked, ❝ Owen, do you know anyone with white hair, by any chance? ❞

❝ Uh… maybe? ❞ He tilted his head in response, wondering why such a question was even asked to begin with.

❝ N-Never mind that. Here’s- ❞

❝ Just to be clear, can you say repeat this statement for us? Repeat “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” just once. ❞ Arvel interjected with a serious tone of voice, urging him to repeat the statement.

❝ I’m not sure what you’re ta- ❞ Owen begins to say before coughing in response, almost sounding like he was choking. Blake blinked in surprise and reaches to check on him before Owen was able to clear his throat. Blake could’ve sworn he saw a red flash near them, but it was only for a split second. Maybe he was imagining things.

❝ Actually, you don’t need to say it. We’ve bothered you enough. ❞ Arvel shook his head, and began to walk away. It was to be expected, figuring that Arvel wasn’t so much of a sociable type.

❝ Don’t mind him, I guess he had his own way around this. But yeah, here’s my number in case you need my help again. In case… something that isn’t normal happens. ❞ Blake went ahead to apologize for Arvel’s brash personality, then passing over a piece of paper with a phone number on it.

Oookay. ❞ Owen only answered with a dumbfounded look on his face, putting a hand to his neck to feel for anything weird considering the choking reflex he just had.

❝ Then we’ll be off. See you later. ❞ Blake waved the other off before going after Arvel. To the side, Blake saw that the cube’s analysis on the collected fragments formed a crescent shape when put together, and from there… one more fragment was missing out of the bunch they had.

( Collab w/ @York )​

Gummi Bunnies

identity unknown...
The Convergence Series GM
[ Note #4 ]
deceive: (v) to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.

❝ Our observer of interest sure chose intriguing locations to hide these fragments, I reckon. ❞ Arvel commented at their next location ahead of them, staring at Blake in disappointed disbelief.

❝ D-Don't look at me as if I'm choosing the locations! Sure it isn't anything out of this world for a final retrieval mission with these fragments... I wasn't thinking we'll end up at an old theater house either. ❞ Blake felt the need to defend himself, considering Arvel's usual shtick of poking at Blake's carefree nature. However, the ravenette, crossed his arms and checked his tech cube's scans on the location once more for the fragment's signal.

❝ Something about this... doesn't feel right. For these artifact fragments needing to be hidden from anyone's discovery... why did they hide them in locations related to this town? Why not hide them spread across the globe... or even in other worlds to begin with? ❞

❝ So you think this could be a setup? A trap? ❞

❝ Yeah... Looking back, I wonder why I never considered it. ❞ Blake sighed once Arvel reaffirmed his suspicions. ❝ Sure, the first two fragments being around here was... strange in itself, but the fact that all of the fragments being in this general area around and within this town feels way too convenient... ❞

Even so, he swiped away the holographic console, and readied his guard. ❝ Regardless, we need to head in and see what's waiting in there. If we've been beat on the scavenger hunt and set up, the only thing left to do is face the one responsible head-on. ❞

❝ Well, I'm ready to get this over with. Just lead the way, I can keep watch behind us. ❞ Arvel made himself clear that he was prepared for what was coming up next. Blake could see why the other was wanting to get this over with. This was Arvel's hometown, a place that's been disconnected from these supernatural events connected to the multiverse's scattered events. Of course a person whose lived a normal life leading up to them learning about their sudden ability to use magic and getting dragged into this quest to retrieve powerful artifacts in their hometown would want to make sure this never happens again.

Blake thought the same way, considering that this search was to use the artifacts to find the amnesiac observer and protect them from those who wished to use their power for twisted plans. At least... Blake was carrying out a mission that should've been in the hands of his sister…

The inside of the theater house was desolate and rundown, giving off the feeling that this place could fall apart at any second from it’s old existence. The creaking of the floorboards resonated through the empty hall, the air being temporarily filled with dust as they carefully entered the building. All the signs that should mean that no one has ever set foot into this place until Blake and Arvel made the decision to search for the fragment here. Even so, that didn’t seem to be the case regardless of the first impressions.

The ravenette stopped Arvel behind him from moving any further, signalling to the other to be quiet. For a few moments, it was deathly silent. However, another footstep could be heard loosely from the other side of the theater chamber. Another after another. It beckoned Blake to ready his guard with his tech cube, thinking that a fight was soon to start.

That was… until he saw what came into view.

He shouldn’t be letting his guard down now, he shouldn’t. There was no legimate reason to. There was no way that this could be for real. He should know that this was a trap of some kind. Yet, Blake couldn’t stop himself from thinking that what he’s seeing now is his younger sister who was the previous Witch of Miracles: Rinato Dormi.

She appeared as she did the last time he saw her, broken and battered upon repair yet somehow able to walk with what appeared to be crystallized stilts to replace a missing leg. With one eye left intact, Rin weakly reached out her only arm that was close to shattering apart with a pleading gesture, walking slowly closer and closer to the both of them.

Flashes of the aftermath overwhelmed Blake’s mind, haunting him with the notion that he could’ve done more for her back then.

❝ Hey, Blake… what the hell are you doing?! That.... that thing is getting closer! Can’t you see that it’s dangerous?! ❞ Arvel raised his voice to get the ravenette’s attention, but to no avail, Blake already found himself approaching his sister. In the moment, forgetting why exactly he was here in the first place. Enchanted by a visage that shouldn’t exist anymore. Without second thought, he instinctively hugged his sister, and just like that, his consciousness blanked out completely.

❝ You may observe as much as you can, but I'm afraid there won't be anything to observe if things continue as they are. ❞

Regret ever so excruciatingly terrible. That's why I wanted this chance to change.

That’s right, fall to slumber like you should, uttering those words that gave you a sense of being to start with. I gave you the gift of freedom with a single sentence, so you begin to question your own existence in this twisted world. It must be truly devastating to hear these words seep into your consciousness, tearing apart what you held with great devotion to your heart. Well… if you even had anything remotely like a heart.

But there you went, collapsing on the spot without even realizing that I was still here to begin with, collapsing on the spot upon removing the limiter propped on your head. From a false cloak I wore to disguise myself to get to this place, I discarded the garment draped over me, needing its ability to deceive no more. Just a bit of time before I would need to clear house with the goods, but first I had to get something else over with quick. I didn't exactly have all the time in the world to spare.

If I were to put this into an analogy for normal humans to understand this process, I would compare my work being alike to transferring particular files from a computer to a portable flash drive. The computer in this case being the supposed limiter that was highly important for you to fulfill your assigned role, and the files that I wished to transfer from such an artifact were your memories while fulfilling your role before my intrusion. Transferred to the flash drive that is my trusty charm locket. In those memories of yours from which I extracted from the crescent-shaped artifact, I saw no resemblance of a personality, none before I came into the picture and made you more than a looking glass for them. Of course since you've attempted to fully clean the slate here, these memories were jumbled up to the point of being nothing.

❝ No matter. This will still work out for my grand plan. ❞ I shrugged without much care for what I've done, letting those memories seep into their temporary home for now. I'll figure out something for these later. Waving my hand over the crescent-shaped limiter, I made the stone artifact disappear. I don’t need it out as it is right this moment, I could figure something out for it later as well. The important thing to handle is you, the former observer of the Metaworld.

Cradling the limp body of the observer in my arms, I began my escape from the inner confines of the Metaworld. Absolutely nothing has changed about this place since my departure, so I could slip past detection and take advantage of hidden passageways as much as I liked. Soon, I would reach the void space that served as the border between the Metaworld and... well, everything else in the multiverse. It had been that trivial to do all of this, definitely. Until I felt the presence that wasn't my own or the observer's...

I turn my head back slightly to see a mess of shadows make a hasty beeline towards me, only to be warded off from a surge of magic in-between myself and the shadows. My teeth clench in urgency, I couldn't afford my efforts to amount to nothing here, so I couldn't let myself get caught and lose the observer to them after all the trouble I just went through.

In the small window of time I gave myself from my own magic surging around me, I left an imprint of passage on the observer before roughly throwing them into the vast space of the void. I could only hope that the observer lands in a place that was easy for retrieval later. With that done, I find myself greeted with another wave of shadows, wrapping around my right wrist.

❝ Upset, I take it? My apologies for being so hasty and drastic there, but ganging up on me alone doesn't hold a dignified look for you both. ❞ I taunt my pursuers with a satisfied grin, fully aware of who was chasing me in the first place. ❝ Witch of Purity and Witch of Entities, right? I can wholeheartedly tell from your way of greeting me that you still hate my guts. Seething with rage that the Witch of Deception's come back to play ball, hm? ❞

The shadowy mass bound to my right wrist tightens suddenly, most likely in response to my words. I lazily glance to see my right hand severed from my arm and on the ground. That would be an easy fix later after I fend off the two Witches enough for my own escape. After all, I would need to be present for the plan I've already set in motion.

Another vision... or rather the last vision. Blake's consciousness began to resurface back into reality once more, a feeling of dread sinking into his own heart. That vision was about the observer for sure, but not from their point of view. Actually, none of those visions were from the observer's point of view. It never was. That last vision gave him that revelation and the final piece to this puzzle.

❝ The Witch... of Deception... she's behind the observer's disappearance... ❞ Blake mumbled in an uneasy voice, his vision struggling to unblur from the sudden shock of this discovery. Despite that, he could hear footsteps approaching him and his sister from behind. Right, Arvel was still here...

❝ ... of course this was Deception's doing. She's gotten you tied up in her deceiving schemes as it is. For a successor of Miracles, you were that easy to manipulate... ❞ Arvel spoke with a tone of voice that sounded like he knew what Blake was talking about and more. That didn't make sense. He was only a mundane local resident who recently gained the ability to use magic upon Blake's arrival for this search quest. It begged a question that felt like deja vu to the ravenette.

❝ Arvel... I need to know... ❞ Blake's vision began to clear up but it was still hard to make out on what was happening around him. ❝ What are you... really? ❞ The question only got a single chuckle from Arvel, whose never shown any signs of amusement ever since their first encounter a month ago.

❝ You make it sound like you've said it before, which you did actually. I guess this is where I actually answer you, this time. Since I have a feeling the same trick isn't going to work on you twice. Just give me a few moments, alright? ❞ Arvel said his piece before Blake felt his vision become clear in an instant. Despite this, everything was still hard to comprehend even as he could see it happen with his own eyes.

His sister wasn't truly present. That part was obvious now that his senses were clear. Blake could see that he was merely hugging a poorly made crystal replica of her. Of course, this was some form of a trap, the replica's only arm resembling a crude icicle ready to pierce through him. By a sliver of survival instincts kicking in, he narrowly avoided being pierced through the chest by letting go of the replica construct, wincing in pain as the sharpened crystal tore through the side of his right shoulder and collapsed to the ground in agony. There, he saw Arvel casually walk up to the replica and... forcing his hand through it's chest, easily ripping out a stone fragment from the living crystal construct. The last stone fragment for the artifact he was supposed to be looking for.

As the crystal being shattered apart upon losing the fragment's possession, Arvel... appeared differently before him, leaving Blake dumbfounded on the ground.

❝ C'mon now, Miracles, you've seen me like this before. Is it because I used my magic over Nothing on you? ❞ "Arvel" sounded like a completely different person to Blake, sounding more carefree than how he was upon their first meeting and donning a smug grin on his face.

❝ What...? Magic... over Nothing? ❞

❝ That's right, you're slowly getting there, Miracles. I hate to do the deceiving song and dance like Deception does her thing, but I see it as totally necessary and justified for my job here. My job for the Metaworld Senate. ❞ The words coming out of "Arvel's" mouth made Blake's heart sink in horror. This whole time, he's been doing the Metaworld's work for them...

❝ Haha! That look on your face is pretty priceless! Guess that saves me some breath, but don't be so panicked. Unlike the others like Purity and Entities, I can spare you some slack. I'm not that bad as you may think I am. ❞ He appeared to revel in this series of events, spinning the stone fragment in place as if it were a toy. ❝ The Metaworld's Sorcerer of Nothing, Cassum, is now standing before you. The identity "Arvel" was merely a borrowed one from this town, a real person who was given back their free will once I stopped donning their appearance in this moment. You've seen my power in action without my false notions to hide my true identity, as seen with my supposed ability to heal your injuries. Can you think real hard and figure out how I played you a fool, Miracles? ❞

The magic over Nothing as a concept. As the word implies, there really wasn't anything to logically call "Nothing" other than something that doesn't exist. If Blake thought of it that way, however, that would mean...

❝ ... you made my memories and suspicions about your true nature... nothing. ❞

❝ Ding ding ding! You're right on the money, Miracles. Good job! Since you got that one first try, I'll just reverse my magic's effects on you, like a double negative scenario. That way, it'll save me even more talk time here. ❞ Cassum congratulated Blake in a condescending and mocking manner, snapping his fingers to overwhelm Blake with his lost memories.

From the start, Cassum appeared in his true form before Blake, but that first instance of seeing it was rendered into nothing and replaced with the identity of "Arvel." The existence of the quick planning talk between Cassum and the shadowy creature was also rendered into nothing, along with Blake's questioning about Cassum's true nature. The time where they met Owen, there was also a moment rendered into nothing as well. When "Arvel" demanded Owen to repeat the phrase "I don't know what you're talking about." in response to a person with white hair, which resulted with Owen being unable to repeat such a phrase. In that moment, Cassum gave brief permission to Owen to use the Red Truth, where a statement must be always true no matter what. That brief moment was rendered to nothing in Blake's memory as well.

Just as Blake began to remember one last thing that was rendered into nothing, Cassum summoned the rest of the artifact's fragments before him, levitating them all into the rough shape of what the artifact should look like. This brought back panic into Blake's body, frantically activating the tech cube with his uninjured arm to see that he's never put any of the fragments into the tech cube's pocket dimension storage.

❝ I take it you remember everything now? That's good, I don't have to exposition that much after all. ❞

❝ W-What are you planning to do with the artifact! ❞ Blake yelled at the top of his lungs, surprising the Sorcerer for a split second.

❝ Well, using it to get the Metaworld's observatory back and working as intended, of course. What else would I do with the observatory limiter, huh? ❞ Cassum answered as if it was supposed to be obvious. ❝ It should have traces of the observatory before it reset itself, so it should be easy to track it down once I get this hunk of stone put back together and restored. ❞

❝ And why are you telling me this? I'm not going to help you what-so-ever. I know that the Metaworld's Senate is planning to use the observer in ways that aren't just looking at other universes. I won't let you do anything to the multiverse... I won't! ❞ Blake defiantly yelled out loud, even if he felt that same agonizing pain radiating from his shoulder. The Sorcerer of Nothing only smiled eerily at Blake's words, as if they meant nothing to him.

❝ If you want to think that way, go ahead, but here's some statements in the Red. Just so you know. ❞ Cassum dismissively waved off Blake's threats, clearing his throat before speaking again. The multiverse will experience distortions in time, space, and reality as a whole, all while the observatory is missing from the Metaworld. Furthermore, you were not the only one to experience those visions of the past from retrieving the artifact's fragments, I saw them as well.

The Sorcerer then approached closer to Blake, leaning forward to look down at the other. As if this were to rub it in Blake's face, Cassum jeered menacingly, ❝ Last and certainly least, the former Witch of Miracles, Rinato Dormi, was never intending to free the observatory from the Metaworld in any point of her life. She possessed no memories that ever brought mention to the observatory because she never heard about it. None. You've simply been played like a mere fiddle this whole time. ❞

❝ SHUT UP! ❞ A projected blade erratically swung itself at Cassum, who didn't try and avoid it for it somehow phased through him. The Sorcerer stood back up, not phased by Blake's attempt at an attack.

❝ Alright, I take that as a no for cooperation between us? Oh well, I was hoping you would see through all that deception, but I still have a job to handle. The Metaworld's orders. So enjoy your meaningless wandering here onward, I suppose. Until the next time fate decides to have us meet. ❞

With that, Cassum simply disappeared from view with the artifact fragments, leaving Blake bleeding out from his shoulder at an alarming rate. This couldn't be the end, it shouldn't be. It felt like it, and Blake refused to let it go like this. If only he was able to foresee all of this happening, he could've avoided it. Was Blake a mere piece on the chessboard fulfilling a role that meant nothing in the grand scheme of things? As his own consciousness began to fade out, another voice greeted him, jogging a memory left unaltered. He was certain.

❝ Of course, I always have to find my new partner injured like this. Just don't die on me, Blake, not when I'm trying to get you back up. I don't need to go find another successor of Miracles again. Not again. ❞

[ End(?) ]