オレンジ色の王: An Accel World fanfiction
Chapter 1: Premonition
Or at least he tried to, before realising his eyelids were gone. Still groggy, it took him another two seconds to fully process what was actually going on. He had been challenged to a duel in the middle of class, halfway through a nap.
Instinctively, he looked at the challenger's name.
Silver Crow had always wondered why there was no Orange King, even though it was as much of a pure colour as green and purple. He had asked Kuroyukihime once, but even she had no clue, suggesting that perhaps it was simply because there was no orange avatar.
This would be an interesting fight.
Crow looked around for his challenger. It was the 'Thunder and Lightning' stage, thus visibility was limited to the occasional flashes of lightning, which would illuminate the entire field for a few moments before everything was plunged into darkness again. It was also one of the few stages that ignored most of the buildings in the surrounding area, instead replacing certain landmarks with fairly weak rock formations.
It took him a while, but Crow finally managed to spot his opponent. He had been standing atop a rock formation that was supposed to represent the fountain in the school garden, unmoving. A sudden lightning flash outlined his silhouette. He was of average size, not unlike Crow himself. He carried no weapon of any sort, simply standing there with his arms crossed. An aura of power not unlike what Crow felt from the Kings during the second Kings' Summit emanated from him.
Though it was difficult to make out which direction he was facing, it seemed as though his challenger had yet to spot him. Pressing the advantage, Crow ran towards Duke, hoping to use the element of surprise and knock the rock formation out from underneath him, allowing Crow to fill his gauge and observe his opponent from the sky.
Hearing his opponent speak took Crow by surprise, having gotten used to the silence except for the occasional booming thunder in the background. The voice was slightly deep, yet still had the youthful ring of a child to it. Duke couldn't be older than 14.
When the next lightning flash came, Crow realised his opponent was gone.
Darn it, now he had to find him again.
Crow moved around, trying to stay as silent as he could, hoping the thunder would mask his footsteps.
Crow had barely heard the final syllable, before he fell headfirst into a pit. Surprised, Crow landed badly, impacting the bottom face-first and sustaining moderate damage. Cursing himself for the mistake, Crow scrambled to his feet and faced the heavens.
The silver lining to the fall was that the damage filled his special meter enough that he could activate his wings. Doing so, he shot up into the sky as fast as possible, fearing that every moment spent in the hole gave his opponent a chance to strike. Trapped in such a tight space, Crow wouldn't have the room to dodge.
Crow was disappointed. This wasn't a duel. It was a game of hide and seek.
Of course, there was also the issue of how this avatar had managed to challenge him through the school network.
Crow decided it would be easier to search from a higher altitude. Using what was left of his flight time, he flew around in the darkness, covering a greater area than he could have on foot thanks to his flight speed upgrades.
Crow was starting to get slightly impatient. Where could his opponent be?
A third lightning flash revealed that Duke had returned to his spot atop the rock formation, again unmoving like a statue.
Realising that his flight time was running out soon, Crow moved into a dive bomb, counting on the fact that gravity would help to propel him right into his enemy.
"I do not allow my opponents to live pass their third mistake."
Crow was shot apart as projectiles tore through him from behind, leaving only his torso, held aloft by his wings. The pain threatened to overload his senses, but Crow had something to find out.
"Who are you?"
The words had barely left his mouth when a lightning strike hit him, causing him to fall towards the ground.
Crow was knocked unconscious by the fall, and thanks to his avatar's vulnerabilities, only had a mere fraction of health left. When he came to, he heard footsteps slowly approaching. As his opponent squat down, Crow came face to face with Duke for the first time. Etched upon his face was a permanent, fanged half-smile, though it was not the least bit sinister. Instead, it had a strange, inviting feel to it.
Yet the words that Duke spoke made Crow's blood ran cold.
"I am the future Orange King, and I am here to erase the Black King and take his legion."
He didn't had any time to react before his opponent snapped his neck.
Chapter 2: Information
Haruyuki jerked involuntarily from the pain, causing his chair to fall backwards.
To the others present in the class, it had seemed as though Haruyuki had just snapped out of a horrible nightmare, causing everybody in the room to break into bouts of hysterical laughter.
As Haruyuki picked himself off the floor while rubbing his neck to ease the pain that was still there from his duel against Duke, he caught his teacher's eye.
"Arita-kun, see me after class."
"Yes, sensei. I'm sorry."
It was going to be a long day.
"What was so urgent that you needed everybody to gather, Haruyuki-kun?"
It was Kuroyukihime who spoke first, as usual.
After Haruyuki's encounter with his mysterious challenger, he sent an email to Chiyuri, Takumu and Kuroyukihime, asking to meet urgently. The last thing they needed was another anonymous avatar running around the school network wrecking havoc, especially since they still had to think of ways to return the Suginami territory back into Nega Nebulous' control.
"This morning, I was challenged by a mysterious avatar, Orange Duke," he started.
"We know. We were watching from afar," replied Takumu, who was referring to the spectator system.
"I would have asked to meet if you hadn't. Yesterday, halfway through kendo practice, I was also challenged by that same avatar."
"No way! I was challenged yesterday too! Though it happened outside of school so I thought nothing of it."
"That would mean that all three of us were challenged on separate occasions by the same avatar. That means he has to either be a student here or is using a backdoor program in order to be able to challenge us on the school network. Master, have you been challenged yet?"
Everybody's eyes fell to the Legion Master of Nega Nebulous, controller of the avatar Black Lotus, Kuroyukihime.
Kuroyukihime didn't manage to finish her sentence. As the four of them accelerated, Kuroyukihime's form changed into Black Lotus while the other three turned into their spectator avatars.
"A draw. This avatar must be on par with the kings... But even Kuroyukihime-senpai hasn't heard of him..."
"Also, it seems he can reject challenges."
"But that would mean..."
"That he's a member of the Acceleration Research Group," Takumu finished, confirming everybody's fears.
Haruyuki slumped in his chair. It would be much more difficult to take back the Suginami territory if the ARG had such a powerful ally on their side.
"Anyway, the first thing we should do now is to share everything we know about Duke. This way, we'll have a better chance of defeating him."
Everybody was staring at Chiyuri now.
"We didn't expect such a good idea to come from you."
That remark earned Haruyuki a hard kick in the shin. It took all his willpower to stop himself from screaming in pain. Chiyuri could kick harder than a kangaroo.
"I'll start. He has some sort of skill to conceal certain elements in the field. He made me walk right into a wall in the Purgatory stage, before dropping me three floors with a well placed hole. That is all I know as I died soon after."
"My turn! He has these strange machines that he places all over the map. Some shoot projectiles, others self-destruct when something comes near and another type sprays smoke everywhere. I managed to deconstruct most of them with Citron Call but I had too little health left to survive a salvo from the last few."
"I had some time in the opening seconds of the match to check his level. He's level 8."
"That would explain why all three of us lost so easily and even Kuroyukihime-senpai only managed a draw."
"As you saw, he used the skills both of you mentioned, but judging by his level he probably has more tricks up his sleeve. He also seemed very interested in my avatar colour."
"Oh right! I had clean forgotten!"
"Senpai... About that...In our fight he revealed his goal. He wants to erase you and take Nega Nebulous as his own."
Kuroyukihime gave Haruyuki a quizzical look.
"But that's impossible. You can only become Legion Master of an existing legion if you are a member of that legion. Now that we know of his intentions, it is impossible for him to gain membership. He is definitely smart enough that he wouldn't destroy his own plans. No... it must be something else...but what?"
At this moment, the bell rang, signalling the end of lunch.
"We'll discuss this again after school. For now, keep an eye out for anything suspicious."
Chapter 3: Impression
The remaining hours in the school day passed by without much incident. This meant time seemed to slow to a stop.
Haruyuki was glad for this, however, as secretly, he dreaded having to see his teacher. Though he meant well, he was notorious in the school for his long, drawn out talks.
But the time eventually came, and Haruyuki found himself standing in front of the staff room door. After sending an email to his teacher to report his presence, the door slid open, squeaking as it fought against the friction of its frame.
Walking over to his teacher's desk, Haruyuki took note of his surroundings.
The staff room was a rather small area, but the advent of the Neuro Linker meant that there was no longer a need for bulky desktops, or even desk space, for that matter, as each teacher could simply mark assignments right in their Neuro Linker. This meant that the school was able to accommodate all of the teachers in the same room. Each of them were given a small desk, though this was more for aesthetics rather than to serve any practical purpose.
The entire room was an off-white colour. Whether this was by design or age, Haruyuki couldn't tell.
At the adjacent desk, another teacher was speaking to a student with an orange wristband.
Haruyuki readied himself for the verbal torture as he drew nearer to his teacher's desk.
Haruyuki exited the staff room, relieved that the talk was finally over. He made his way to the room where the four of them usually gathered to discuss anything related to Brain Burst. He had informed them beforehand that he was going to be late and to start without him. As he opened the door, he was greeted by the scene of Kuroyukihime and Chiyuri in the middle of a fervent discussion.
"But there isn't any real need for him to do so if he can simply reject challenges."
"You're forgetting that all of the Acceleration Research Group members we have met so far have had Brain Implant Chips. Even if there was no need for him to mask his avatar name on the matching list, it would have occurred by default if he had been using the Brain Implant Chip. It might be possible that he had simply opted not to have one installed considering the dangers, but judging from how cautious the Acceleration Research Group is, they would have made him use a masking program to substitute. We cannot just ignore the fact that his name appears on the matching list when there is no incentive for him in allowing this."
"And a backdoor program automatically masks your avatar name on the list too," Takumu piped in, "which means..."
"That Orange Duke must be physically present and is therefore a student here," said Haruyuki, finishing Takumu's sentence for him as he sat down.
"But it's the middle of the third school term. If he was a first-year student, why wait until now to strike? Why not do so together with the rest of the Acceleration Research Group when they seized our territory? Nothing has changed since then that would give him a reason to attack only now."
"Master! What if Duke wasn't a first-year student? What if he was a transfer student?"
"You're right! That might be a possibility, and it would make his identity much easier to find!"
Kuroyukihime immediately accessed the school database. Being the vice-president of the Student Council came with its privileges.
"There's only been one transfer student this term, from Shibuya."
Kuroyukihime sent the student profile via email to everyone in the room.
"Yamamoto... Renji..." Haruyuki read the name aloud.
Nothing could prepare Haruyuki for what he saw next.
In his student profile picture, on his left arm, Renji wore an orange wristband.
The exact same one Haruyuki saw nearly an hour ago.
Chapter 4: Affirmation
"What's wrong, Haru? Why do you have such a strange expression on your face?"
Chiyuri was more observant than she seemed.
"I saw him when I met the teacher just now but..."
"Something's wrong here. This is too easy."
"Haru's right. The Acceleration Research Group is way more cautious than that," Takumu agreed.
"But all of the evidence points to Yamamoto as Duke," Chiyuri protested.
"Yes, but we need to know more. Yamamoto came from Shibuya. That's Great Wall territory. Grande might know something. We'll adjourn for now while I arrange for an audience with him," Kuroyukihime said, ending the meeting.
The Demonic City stage. Even today, shrouded in mist, Black Lotus still found the field elements as mesmerizing as ever.
Lotus turned as she heard the familiar, heavy footsteps and clatter of thick armour plates striking each other, seeing a large, emerald green avatar pushing through the mist. Lotus had fought alongside Green Grande on multiple occasions before her self-imposed exile from Brain Burst. Each and every time, she was impressed by his martial prowess. Though Grande's specialty was his signature unbreakable defence, which earned him the nickname 'Invulnerable', his skills at offense was nothing to be scoffed at, being an adept at wielding his shield, the Strife, as a blunt weapon. It was because of this relationship as comrades that Grande had granted her his audience. Had it been any of the other Kings beside Scarlet Rain, Lotus was sure they would have rejected her outright, having no care for her legion's issues.
Lotus bowed as Grande stopped in front of her. Acknowledging her gesture of respect, Grande gave a sharp nod.
Lotus knew Grande was a man of few words, so she wasted no time with the formalities and started to explain the situation.
"Starting from yesterday, members of my legion were challenged by a Duel Avatar while connected to our school network. As you know, Nega Nebulous is currently undergoing a crisis, our territory having been seized by the Acceleration Research Group. This avatar, Orange Duke..."
Upon hearing the name, Grande stiffened up.
"Is something wrong?"
Grande shook his head, gesturing for her to continue.
"As I was saying, this avatar, Orange Duke, was able to reject our challenges, marking him out as a member of the Acceleration Research Group..."
Whatever it was that Lotus had said, it shocked Grande into responding.
"No... It can't be..."
"What's the matter?"
"Back in the early days of the Accelerated World, back when the title 'King' didn't exist, there was a Duel Avatar who was considered among the strongest in the game, an avatar who was closest back then to what we would call a 'King'. His name was Orange Duke. Many looked to him for guidance. When his following grew and he reached level 7, he established the Accelerated World's first legion, Milky Way. Dedicated to helping other avatars, each and every one was welcomed into Milky Way. He was a friend to all, including myself. We used to party and hunt Enemies, my defence locking the aggro of the Enemy while his sentry turrets slowly wore them down. We reached level 7 together but not long after, we parted ways. I never saw him since."
"From your description, it doesn't seem likely that he would be helping out an organisation like the Acceleration Research Group, yet that is the only way he could possibly reject challenges. Even the Acceleration Research Group wouldn't have the capabilities to overwrite such an important game feature, not to mention they have no need to use such a hack, if it even existed, because most of them don't even appear on the matching list."
"That is true, but you have to take my word for it. Whatever Duke is doing, it isn't to help the Acceleration Research Group. He loves the game and the people here too much to do such a thing."
This was perplexing. While evidence marked out Duke as an ARG goon, his history said otherwise.
Kuroyukihime decided the best course of action was to challenge Duke and ask him herself, hoping that his desire for a rematch would win out and stop him from rejecting her challenge. She let out a sigh of relief when she saw Duke's name on the matching list, signifying that he had yet to leave the school, even at such a late time.
Fortunately for her, her intuition was right. Duke accepted her challenge and she readied herself for possible combat as her form changed for the third time today, though it was unlikely to happen.
It seemed that today was her lucky day, as the 'Ghost Ship' stage came up. Being the smallest of all stages, it would be much easier to question Duke here.
"Yo, Black Queen. Though I shouldn't call you that, should I? It would imply that you're the wife of that bastard Black King."
Both sides had won each other's respect in their previous duel and it seemed that Duke was starting to get chummy with her.
If Black Lotus had eyebrows, they would be raised.
"I am the Black King."
"Eh? This is getting confusing. I thought the title of King only applied to level 9 Legion Masters? If so, then..."
Duke's hand made some gestures. No doubt he was bringing up her stats screen.
"Oh, so you're level 9 too. Wait, if you're the Black King, what would that make Black Vice?"
Black Vice? It was starting to make sense now. The "Black King" Duke had been referring to had in fact been the vice-president of the ARG, Black Vice. She could see how he could have made the mistake, Vice bearing the same colour as Lotus herself, though it would mean that he was incredibly ignorant about the matters of the Accelerated World. It was a known fact that the title of 'Black King' belonged to Lotus and Lotus alone.
"A coward cheater." The contempt in her voice was unmistakable.
"Coward cheater. Hahaha, that's a good one. Yes, that's what he is. A coward cheater. Someone like him isn't worthy of the title 'King'," replied Duke.
"It seems we have a common enemy. If you would like, how about we meet up in real life in room A-6 during lunch tomorrow? I have many things I would like to discuss."
"Thank you for the offer, but how do I know I can trust you? It is taboo for a linker to reveal his identity in real life."
"To prove my sincerity, I will reveal my own identity to you right now. I am Kuroyukihime, vice-president of the student council."
"How do I know you're not lying? If you're really the vice-president, you would know my identity already."
"And I do, Yamamoto-san."
Impressed, Duke started a slow applause.
"Well played, as expected from someone with the title of 'Black King'. Very well, I will meet you tomorrow during lunch."
Sending a request to end the duel in a draw, Duke gave a small bow of farewell, which Lotus returned.
The tides were changing. If Duke became their ally, Nega Nebulous would stand a greater chance of wresting back their territory.
Trivia: The titles of Duke and Grande are counterparts in the English and Spanish aristocracy respectively.
Note: For those of you wondering, Kuroyukihime accelerated right outside the school gate when she was meeting up with Grande to connect to the global network. After their meeting, she then returned to school in order to challenge Duke.
Comments and questions are very much appreciated, as I am looking to improve my writing.
First. I know nada about accel world. Despite that i was able to figure out what the world setting was like pretty quickly. Good job on communicating that without resorting to exposition.
Second. The sentences were great. Clear grammar construction. Nice formatting of dialog to descriptive text.
The only problem i had was in deciding who was speaking at times. Adding a description sentence of what the speaker is doing clarifies that.
Example: Bob's eyes widened. "What was that?"
More description of the physical space helps the reader visualize the scene. Where are people standing, sitting. What on, chairs, bench. How is the area lit? What is the weather like. Ambience, background noise.
That sort of prose increases reader immersion.
Anyway, usually fan fiction is kind of marginal in terms of presention. This read just about as well as professional original work. Good stuff!
(Written on my phone in a train. Pardon crappy shorthand)
Ah, thank you!
One of my original aims with the dialogue is that I wanted people who were familiar with the anime and light novels to be able to tell who was speaking without explicitly mentioning it, through the use of certain words, tonality and the way the speaker addresses another individual (Takumu and Chiyuri addresses Haruyuki as Haru, while Kuroyukihime calls him Haruyuki-kun. Takumu is also the only one who calls Kuroyukihime master.)
One of the main complains I've seen about Kawahara's (the original author of Accel World) work is that he sometimes bogs down the story progression with unecessary and lengthy details. I was trying to avoid that but you're right, some of the details are too vague. I'll see what I can do.
On a side note, how does one acquire that shiny 'Author' title?
Chapter 5: Revelation
Renji stood in front of room A-6. Though he wasn't fully sure whether he could trust Black Lotus, an alliance with her was his best chance at achieving his goal. Bringing up his left hand, he stared at the orange wristband that he had always worn for years, every day, without fail. It was the exact same pure shade of orange as his avatar, and upon it, the words "オレンジ色の王" were inscribed. It had been a gift from his friends, a sign of their well wishes. Even well before the existence of the Seven Kings of Pure Colour, Burst Linkers already had an idea of what they deemed to be a 'King'. More than once, Orange Duke had heard the term used on himself.
"A king who couldn't even protect his kingdom. What a joke..."
A lot had happened in the few years that he had been away.
Taking a deep breath, Renji slid the door open.
Renji was only expecting Kuroyukihime to be in the room, so when he saw three other individuals, he was slightly surprised. Sliding the door shut behind him, Renji strode confidently towards the table the group had gathered around. The room was like any of the other facility rooms in the school, with the standard plain white furnishing and walls. On the side of the table, Renji noticed that an empty chair had been laid out for him. Taking his seat, Renji gave a slight nod to everyone in the room as a form of thanks.
"Okay, now that everybody's here, shall we start?
Allow me to introduce myself, Yamamoto-san. I am Kuroyukihime, vice-president of the student council and controller of the avatar Black Lotus. I spoke to you yesterday."
Renji had barely been at Umesato for a few days and did not actually know who was the student council vice-president, but he was able to recognise Kuroyukihime by her voice.
"Arita Haruyuki, controller of the avatar Silver Crow. Glad we met, Yamamoto-san."
In his time spent in the Accelerated World, Renji learned that outer appearance rarely mirrored one's soul, thus he was not the least bit surprised at this declaration.
"Mayuzumi Takumu, controller of the avatar Cyan Pile. Nice to meet you, Yamamoto-san."
"Kurashima Chiyuri, controller of the avatar Lime Bell. Let's be friends."
Guessing it was his turn, Renji stood up.
"Yamamoto Renji, but you can call me Ren."
There was no need to tell everyone his avatar name, considering how obvious it was.
"Now that we're done with the introductions, let us move on to the discussion.
More than two months ago, a malicious organisation who makes use of Brain Burst for evil purposes, the Acceleration Research Group, declared their identity as a legion and took control of the Suginami territory, which originally belonged to us, the black legion Nega Nebulous.
Though we have tried taking our territory back, the Acceleration Research Group has numerous formidable avatars on their side, including their vice-president, Black Vice who recently ascended to level 9. You mentioned that your goal was to erase Vice and take control of the Acceleration Research Group. Before we embark on this alliance, I need you to explain why you have a need to do this so that I may ascertain whether it is wise for us to help you."
Giving a nod signalling he understood, Renji started his explanation.
"Back when the Accelerated World was still young, I established the first legion, Milky Way. Dedicated to helping other avatars, any request no matter how small or large was accepted. The only catch was that you would have to join the legion and only had the option of leaving after helping another avatar. One of the avatars we helped was Vice.
He came to us, low on points, asking for help in Enemy hunting so that he could bring his points back up into the safe zone. Had I knew that something like this would happen back then, I would have left the bastard to rot and die. After granting his request, he was grateful and stayed on in the legion, even after fulfilling the requirement of helping another avatar. Taking note of his exceptional skills at organization and planning, I promoted him to be one of my lieutenants. When I left Brain Burst in order to try and lead a proper life, I left control of the legion to Vice, thinking I could trust him.
Yet today, I come back to see my legion desecrated, my hopes and dreams perverted by the bastard.
That's right. What you know as the Acceleration Research Group, is Milky Way."
Sorry for late replay, took me a while to remember how I added it.
Go to your "User CP" (user control panel). On the left, one choice is "Group Memberships". Select that. There should be a table of "The Following Groups Are Available For Your To Join". 'Author' should be one of those. Select that and press the "Join Group" under it.
And yeah, its buried in a really weird location for something that affects your avatar square.
As for your response comments:
Ah, yeah, I just didn't know the personalities and their speaking styles well enough to pick up on that. I actually try for the same thing occasionally in my story but in that case its pretty easy because one character has a Brit accent with a stammer, another is a Southern Cal accent, and another is a Russian formal clipped voice.
And my environment suggestions are just my preference -- Even in a fast progression, I feel like scene visualization clues are important.
Hurray! It works! Thanks!
I do agree that some of the details need more fleshing out though. I tried for that a bit with the new chapter.
Chapter 6: Proclamation
"How are your plans coming along?"
"They are progressing excellently."
"Are you sure?"
"Is there a problem?"
"You need to keep better watch of your lackeys. It seems like some of them are still loyal to him."
"Yes, him. Apparently they took the chance to tip him off when we went public with our existence."
"Small matter. The goal was to break the truce. My ascension to level 9 was an open display of rebellion against the treaty. Even as we speak, previously unaligned players who hated the period of stagnation bought about by the Kings are flocking to our banner. Even if he's back, it isn't going to stop us from achieving our goal. It might be delayed, but the outcome is inevitable."
"Oh? And why's that?"
"Because knowing him, he will end up furthering our goal instead."
The room was shocked into momentary silence by the revelation.
Nega Nebulous had always knew that Vice didn't hold the most power in the ARG. After all, for there to be a vice-president, there had to be a president. They had always thought that this 'president' would be someone they had to fight one day in some climatic final showdown, the 'big bad' of the Acceleration Research Group.
Instead, here he was in the same room as they were, discussing an alliance face to face.
It was strange. Funny, even.
"Hold on. You said you left Brain Burst so you could pursue a normal life. What led you to return, then?"
This time, it was Haruyuki who broke the silence.
"A very good question. Around the time the Acceleration Research Group unmasked themselves and revealed their identity, a few of my previous lieutenants who were still loyal to me took the chance to tip me off. I blew my top when I found out what happened. It... It had been hell for them. Legion members who refused to comply with the experiments were threatened with Judgement Blow, and those whom Vice deemed disloyal were forced to be test subjects and experimented on relentlessly. If I.. If I ever get a hold of that bastard... I swear..."
Renji realised he was letting his anger get the better of him when he unconsciously smashed his right fist against the table. Even though Vice's atrocities were unforgivable, acting like this in front of strangers on their very first meeting was still unsightly.
"Sorry about that. Anyway, that's my reason. There are people there who still put their trust in me and I have no plans on disappointing them."
"I see... Okay, Ren, we'll help you in exchange for your assistance in getting our territory back. You haven't been to the Accelerated World in years, so I presume that you are not up to date with what has changed?" replied Kuroyukihime.
"Yes, as such, I will need all the information you can spare."
"Very well. I have just sent to your inbox an email containing all the information we know of the Acceleration Research Group, along with what you need to know of the current situation in the Accelerated World. If you don't mind, could you accelerate to read it so that we may get discussing as soon as possible? We will need all the time we can muster."
"Yes. You mentioned Chrome Disaster. "
"What about it?"
"Can you tell me of its origins? If my theory is correct, it might be of help."
"Unforgivable... absolutely inhumane... That bastard..."
Renji had hypothesized that Chrome Falcon might have been connected to the Disaster, but he had not expected it in this way.
"As if it wasn't enough... as if taking my legion wasn't enough... he had to erase my friends too..."
Renji struggled to keep his voice from breaking but he eventually lost control, sobbing as tears of grief and frustration ran down his face. He had originally thought of paying Falcon and Blossom a visit after all this was done, to reminiscent of the old times and see how they were getting along, but it seems that it was impossible now.
Taking the moment to compose himself, Renji once again took hold of his emotions.
"*cough* Sorry about that again. Falcon had been one of my closest lieutenants. I had originally offered him control of the legion in my absence, but he had declined... He and Vice were not on good terms. He was afraid that giving him command would threaten the harmony the legion held. If only I saw Vice for what he was... If only I had insisted more strongly that Falcon take the position... Falcon might have...This is all my fault...
I wish I could meet him and Blossom again, to tell the both of them I am sorry I brought this upon them, but I know they are already gone."
"There might be a way."
Renji's eyes widened in surprise and anticipation.
"Really? Tell me!"
"We'll have to dive into the Unlimited Field for that. Tomorrow is Saturday. At 15:30, we'll dive and meet at the school."
Kuroyukihime understood Renji was no longer in the mood for a discussion, not after what he had just learned. She had felt the same way after she realised she had been tricked into killing Red Rider. Betrayed by someone you once thought you could trust. It was a horrible feeling.
"With that, meeting disbanded."
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