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Fanfiction The Mistress of Misfortune

Not a Writer

Lost in the moment
The Convergence Series GM
Chapter One; The Goddess, the Gold & the Gloom

War was a horribly ugly thing. It was something that destroyed and corrupted everything within its reach, spreading devastation and hopelessness en masse. All those it touched were fated to suffer. Some lost more at its hands than others, certainly, but it was an irrefutable fact that anyone unfortunate enough to live through an encounter with such a nasty thing would undergo some brand of despair. Some might claim that these battles were fought to be won, but ultimately, it was hard to consider anyone a victor in such a thing.

In that way, Kofuku supposed, she was a lot like war.

“Uh… Kofu-chan?” the voice of Shizuo Heiwajima tentatively called out, quite frankly unsure of how to best go about snapping the goddess out of her current state. The pair were standing atop a mountain of rubble, and given the state of the city he knew she’d once called home, the former bartender was more than a little concerned by her uncharacteristic silence. But much to his surprise, the pinkette was stirred quite easily, glancing at her friend almost curiously after only a brief moment. “...Huh? What is it, Shizuo-kun?”

Weird. She spoke so clearly and curiously that it almost seemed like the desolation before them hadn’t affected her at all. Feeling a little awkward, the blond beside her coughed and looked away, reaching up to adjust his sunglasses. “Nothing, really. I just wasn’t sure if you were feeling okay, after seeing how bleak things are looking here,” he confessed, watching her carefully in his peripheral vision. But oddly enough, she simply smiled softly, her purple eyes remaining fixed upon the wreckage all around them. There was a certain sadness behind that smile, carefully crafted and made to conceal the pain that laid beneath. “Ahaha, that’s very kind of you, Shizuo-kun,” she hummed, “but I’m alright. Honestly, this kinda reminds me of the old days…”

Two truths and a lie. His kindness truly was appreciated, and the mass of corpses and ruin around them really did bear resemblance to old times best left forgotten. An era when calamity ran wild; man turned against man, and god turned against god. There wasn’t a shred of honor or pride to be found in a vicious free-for-all such as that. She remembered those times like they were yesterday, remembered how it had seemed like there would be no end to the bloodshed. There had come an end eventually, of course; times were peaceful thereafter, with man and god alike learning to live in the aftermath and make the most of whatever little they had left. Under normal circumstances, Kofuku would’ve assumed the same would go for any group of people in the aftermath of a war; great losses would be suffered, but some shred of peace would eventually return. The survivors would hurt, but they would come together and do their best to heal.

The flaw in that logic was that, for healing and regrowth to happen, there had to be survivors in the first place.

No such individuals were to be found here. When they’d first arrived, the goddess of poverty had had hope that there would be something left; even if it were just a small handful of people, that would be enough. But after hours of fruitless searching, the smell of blood assaulting her nose all the while, even the bubbly god had started to lose hope. There hadn’t been a single shrine left standing, and even if there were, without any humans to believe in them or wishes to grant…



Despite her smile, tears welled in Kofuku’s eyes. Her lips quivered slightly, her cheerful guise threatening to break. She couldn’t take it. Why had this happened? How had the heavens failed to stop the destruction and fell their foes? Was it… her fault? So far as she knew, she was the only person successfully evacuated from this place. If she had acted differently, could there have been more survivors? What if she’d told Hiyori to stay at her side rather than to find Yato? Or what if she’d denied boarding the rescue craft? Maybe then–

“Oi, I know what you're doing. Knock that shit off,” Shizuo lightly scolded, not hesitating to reach over and wrap the smaller girl up in a hug. He was still a little new to this kind of contact admittedly, but he knew it was what she needed, and he didn’t plan to let her suffer alone. “None of this bullshit is on you, alright? We took down that Elliot asshole that caused all this. Don’t beat yourself up for what you can’t change.”

Fighting back a sob, Kofuku could only nod faintly against his chest. “Haha, sorry, Shizuo-kun,” she sniffled, tiny and broken. She didn’t move, didn’t try to express herself any further or deny the pain. She just stood there, hot tears streaming down her face and leaking onto her friend’s clothes. After a long few moments, she finally returned his embrace, flinging her arms around him and squeezing tightly as though afraid he too might vanish out from under her if she dared to let go. They stayed like this for a long while, Kofuku’s quiet sobs being the only noise to break the silence between them.

Hours had passed since then, with Shizuo consoling the goddess as best as he could. Likewise, she spent the time doing her best to get a grip on herself. They’d resumed their search once she’d managed to stop crying, but as expected, it didn’t go well. There was genuinely nothing to be found in the sea of blood and decay, save for a slew of phantoms that Kofuku wasn’t equipped to fight thanks to her lack of a regalia. Moreover, it appeared that any souls she could’ve claimed as a regalia had either been devoured or corrupted. Given that Shizuo couldn’t see them, let alone hope to fight them, the goddess knew it was best that they leave. Staying here any longer would bring only danger and despair, and they’d both been through enough of that since this whole thing started to last a lifetime. She needed to let it go and move on. She knew that.

Yet even so.

“...Shizuo-kun, would you mind giving me a moment?” she asked out of the blue, looking over to him earnestly. “I’ll be ready to go in a minute. I just think I’d like a second to myself, first.” Definitely not a request that was typical of her. The seriousness about her made it impossible for Shizuo to even think of denying her request, and he nodded with hands in his pockets as he stood up from where he’d been combing through some rubble. “‘Course. Just call if you need me, yeah?” With a one handed half-wave, he wandered away, leaving Kofuku as the final breathing thing amidst a sea of death. She had smiled at her friend as he obliged her request, but that smile fell now, replaced by a stoic expression as she rose to her feet and brushed herself off. “...One last time,” she murmured to herself, taking a deep breath. Come on, Koku...

Steeling herself, the woman held out her hand, raising her voice once she was sure Shizuo was out of hearing range. He had seen her do this exact thing about twenty times since they’d arrived here, so it wouldn’t really matter if he heard her, but even so. Some childish part of her hoped that maybe, just maybe, if she were to call to him alone… if his name were to be a secret only the two of them shared… maybe then he would come home.

“Come, Kokki!”

Her voice pierced the silence like a blade, leaving an impression on the empty air that faded as quickly as it came. Nothing happened. She knew it wouldn’t, of course; gods could feel it when their shinki’s ties were severed with them, be it by death or release from their servitude. She had felt the name she knew so well vanish out of being, but even so. She couldn’t stop. She would call for him, again and again and again if she had to. Determined, she folded down all of her fingers but her middle and pointer, sweeping them through the air as she called out once more.

“Come, Kokki!” Nothing. Again. She would call him again. “Come Kokki!” And again, and again, and again. Her two fingers continued to cut through the air, like a passionate conductor frantically trying to salvage a performance gone awry. “Come Kokki! Kokki! Come, Kokki!” Each call grew less composed. She called for her companion until her throat went raw, her willpower steadily eroding. One careless swing of her arm eventually sent her tumbling to the ground, sinking down upon her knees. She was in shambles, her eyes once again shrouded by a thin veil of tears as she clutched at the dirt. “Please…” she murmured, her voice cracking. “Please come back to me.”

I can’t do this alone.

She didn’t want to go on without him. Losing the other gods was hard enough. She couldn’t be without the one man that had stood beside her for millennia, too. The man who had seen it fit to name her, to turn her house into a true home. To give her a place to truly belong, and a life she really enjoyed. She had loved him. It was impossible to recall how her life had been before him. And even without their personal bond, the idea of a god surviving without a shinki was downright laughable. Especially a god of misfortune.

“sMelLs… gOod….”

Time was up.

Forced out of her despair by the sound, Kofuku’s head shot up, immediately alert from the familiar call of the phantom. She was on her feet in an instant, wiping her face swiftly with her sleeve to clear her vision and ensure she could clearly find the best way out of this. Damn it. Did they really have to spring up now of all times? She wasn’t in the mood for this. All she wanted was to–

…No.

No way.

It couldn’t have been possible.

Purple eyes suddenly widened, catching sight of something just beyond the unsightly orange mass of bloodlust and negative emotions. It was small and faint, hidden in an alcove of what looked like a collapsed department store, but the pure glow of an untainted soul was unmistakable to an experienced god such as herself. She couldn’t believe it, stricken to stunned silence as she observed the golden swirling light that flickered like a firefly. How had a young girl like that managed to escape the hungry jaws of–

“Shit!”

Yelping, the pinkette just barely managed to evade the oncoming ayakashi that sought to devour her whole. What an amateur move. She really was off her game. But even so, that monster had to be her second focus. Gritting her teeth and glowering at the beast, she leaped and bounded past it, wasting no time in forming the same handshape as before. She couldn’t let this chance go. Wouldn’t allow one more soul to be lost in this now forsaken land. So there was only one thing left to do. Skidding to a stop before the cavity in which that lost soul lay, she spoke.

"You, with nowhere to go and nowhere to return… I grant you a place to belong.” A way to abandon the chains of this dreary place. “My name is Kofuku. Bearing a posthumous name, you shall remain here. With this name, I make thee my servant.” My companion, for so long as we both live. May that term prove long and bountiful. Her fingers began to glow, purposefully tracing a kanji through the air. “With this name and its alternate, I use my life to make thee a Regalia. Thou art Kugane. As regalia, Kin. Come, Kiki!"

A burst of light erupted from the fleck of gold before it streaked through the air, shooting directly into Kofuku’s hands. It twisted and swirled before finally taking true shape; what had been a formless glimmer before was now what looked like some sort of intricately carved baton. Or… not quite. No, it was a retractable staff of some sort. Interesting. Twirling it into its full length, Kofuku did her best to ignore the devastating images of the young girl’s life flashing before her eyes, pouring all of her focus into getting out of the way of the phantom. If they didn’t get out of this alive, there wouldn’t be any time to worry about the newly-dubbed ‘Kugane’ at all. So the disaster goddess kept that fact in the front of her mind, springing off of the ground before slamming her staff down upon the closest thing the creature had to a head. It let out an ungodly wail, clearly enraged by the attack, but that didn’t stop Kofuku. She wasn’t fond of fighting, but in this case, there was little other choice. Besides, it’d be good practice to get used to the new shinki. Relentlessly, the goddess came at the creature with her weapon, grunting with effort as she twirled and twisted and dodged and jabbed. Soon enough, the killing blow was dealt. Several other phantoms had joined the fray, attracted by the commotion, but Kofuku had no intentions of facing a horde head on.

“Rend!”

With that simple call, she swung the staff not at her enemies, but at the remnants of what must’ve been some sort of tower. With the force of the blow, it was sent toppling, and Kofuku hastily took off before she herself could be lost in the tidal wave of debris. She didn’t look back, didn’t dare waste a moment checking if the creatures were gone yet. She didn’t stop until she saw Shizuo, standing by the railroad tracks they’d designated as their meeting spot when they first arrived here much earlier in the day.

It was only then that she slowed. Only then that it hit her in full that she was about to leave this world behind and start anew, with no bonds or name for herself to speak of. The same was to be said for her new servant. But she had Shizuo and his faith in her, and there was still the promise she’d made to Add to fulfill his wish as well. For them, maybe that could be enough. So despite the despair weighing heavily on her shoulders, or perhaps because of it, Kofuku smiled and threw her friend a wave.

“Shizuo-kuuuunnn! Let’s get out of here, okay?” she proposed, her tense shoulders finally relaxing. She couldn’t release Kugane yet, for she adamantly refused to expose her to what had become of this world. But in that moment, Kofuku made a vow; no matter what the future held, she would treasure this new regalia as something more precious than gold. So when they finally arrived in Ikebukuro, the goddess was entirely in her own world, simply staring down at the condensed staff in her hands. Even as Shizuo spoke up, giving some sort of introduction to the city and explanation about how it usually looked better than this, it was lost on her. "We really made it, huh?" she murmured almost inaudibly, her target audience unclear. Even to her, herself. "Welcome home... Kugane."

A burst of light overtook the pair as the object in Kofuku's hands shot skyward like directionally confused lightning, before the condensed light made its way back to the ground just in front of them, slowly forming into the shape of... "What the fuck???" Shizuo remarked, utterly flabbergasted by the sudden appearance of a young woman before him and his friend. She, however, simply looked confused and slightly meek in turn. "What kind of manga bullshit-- Kofu-chan! Don't--" Whatever misgivings he'd been about to express about the oddity of the kimono-clad female before them were lost altogether as he noticed that the goddess was still shuffling forward. Before he could stop her, she bumped into the strange new arrival, wrapping her arms around the girl wordlessly. It was a much gentler and tender approach than her usual tacklehugs, but for the unsuspecting Kugane who hadn't even had a physical form in goodness knows how long, it was still enough to send her toppling to the ground. They landed with a thud, Kugane releasing a quiet yelp more out of surprise than pain as her back hit the pavement. She was left opening and closing her mouth in confusion, at a genuine loss as to what to do or say. But just as she'd almost found the courage to ask why this woman was hugging her... she noticed the tears at the corner of Kofuku's eyes, and the warm but pained smile upon her lips. And for some odd reason, despite not knowing this woman at all, Kugane had the overwhelming thought that she never wanted to see the pinkette look sad again.

"...Don't hug random strangers that appear in a lightshow," Shizuo sighed, shaking his head as he finished his cutoff scold of before. But even though all of that had been weird to him, it was obvious that there was some sort of significant moment happening here. He wasn't going to crush that. "Right. Well. I'm guessing this is some weird god thing? You two know each other?" The more important question was why Kofuku hadn't warned him that that weird staff she'd picked up might turn into a person at a moment's notice, but he imagined that if he asked that, the goddess would just laugh it off.

Smiling just slightly brighter, Kofuku finally lifted her head from where she'd been nuzzling her regalia, her eyes seeming to twinkle just slightly. "No, no. We don't," she confessed nonchalantly, "but we've got all the time in the world to~ Isn't that right, Kuga-chan?"

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"K-Kuga... chan?" the regalia repeated, sheepishly. She seemed to have finally realized they had company, and she looked more than a little embarrassed being caught in this situation as she looked between Kofuku and Shizuo. Not to mention, she really didn't get what was going on. "A-ah, but um, more importantly... can you please get off of me, miss?"

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"Huuuh? What's wrong? Would you prefer Ku-chan?" Kofuku wondered, the true, obvious reason for the girl's reaction seeming to go right over her head. But as her new counterpart went on, Kofuku fell silent, taking her turn to look perplexed as she stared down at the young woman... and then laughed. She couldn't help herself; this girl was just too precious! Happily, she gave Kugane a light squeeze through their embrace before finally letting go in favor of affectionately ruffling her shinki's hair. "Hahaha, I got one with good manners! How cute! Don't look so embarrassed, Kuga-chan~ We're gonna be the best of friends~!" the pinkette proclaimed, going right back to her snuggling.

And so it was on that day and with those words that, in the ravaged streets of Ikebukuro, a beautiful bond began. Perhaps if the pair were lucky, it would be the first of many.​
 
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