“We need to cancel this crazy-ass suicide mission! The plan to trick Michael into entering a prison within Azriel’s shitty city has totally failed… Ugh, my fucking idiotic little brother is still in that hell-hole with that psychotic monster!” Inside of a huge dungeon, which was formerly known as the Kansas Statehouse, an angry woman’s voice echoed throughout the halls.
Aoi Takahashi had changed a lot since she entered Minari’s Soul Realms. The last three years she spent on Earth were nothing compared to the decades she had experienced within those absurd and terrible places. Talia’s mountain mansion seemed rough at first, but she quickly learned to appreciate the scenic location. The most important part was that she was able to spend all of her time together with her girlfriend.
Those two emulated the Huntress in various ways. They learned how to fight with bows, swords, daggers, how to utilize Wind and Nature magic; they even formed their mana-cores. Their bodies transformed from a young Japanese vampiress and an Indian human, into the same race. Both of them grew long and pointed ears; though their original skin-tones remained the same, their eye-colors changed to an identical bright-green.
Isabelle was two meters tall, while Aoi was only six feet at the end of her growth spurt. They had also both become blonde, but aside from all that, not much else was dramatically altered. The real problems occurred once they were randomly thrown out of Talia’s Soul Realm and ended up in two totally different worlds.
The former vampire ended up in a chaotic nightmarish wonderland, filled with sentient stuffed animals that would help her one second, and then try to murder her the next. Aoi only managed to escape after reaching the end of the chocolate-brick road, beheading the Righteous Fairy Gwendolyn, and trading her amputated genitals to the Grand Tentacle Warlock of JJ-Town.
On the other hand, Isabelle arrived in a terrifying Jungle, filled with thousands of Nature-based magical-beasts. Every single one of those monsters was actually just a clone of Inari’s, but they still tried to kill and devour the strange intruder regardless of her connection to Talia. Fortunately, she had a full set of leather equipment which was personally crafted by her ‘teacher’. The High Elven Huntress had also forged a decent set of steel long and short swords, daggers, and she even created recurve bows for her two students.
Once they had finally escaped from those two horrible Soul Realms, they were both able to meet each other again. Of course, they were in the middle of nowhere, in Antarctica, next to a naked ice-sculpture of Michael. After what they had just been through, they wanted to get as far away from him as physically possible.
Eventually, they ended up in the Kansas Statehouse, which one of the teleportation gateways under the control of The Guardians. It had already been two years since then, so they had plenty of time to make all sorts of preparations in order to defeat Arcana’s emissary.
Aoi and Isabelle were standing next to each other, with magical straight swords and longbows across their backs, along with plenty of daggers on their leather belts. Their armor was dark-green and seemed like it was made out of flexible tree-bark, or brown animal fur.
Across from them was a six-winged, fiery angelic, pregnant elven woman. Her mask was in the form of a diamond tattoo on her forehead, but she still held the flaming staff in her left hand.
Iris glared at the two and complained “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me! Let’s just go in there and-grah! Goddamn it!” As she was speaking, the gigantic oval-shaped mirror that was floating in the middle of the room, suddenly started reflecting a totally different scene. On the other side, she could see a giant in black metal armor, with a giant scythe strapped to his back.
The moment the three elven women came into view, he lifted both gauntlet covered hands and slowly extended his middle fingers. Aoi saw that screamed “No, you go fuck yourself, you stupid piece of shit! I’m gonna kill you, bitch!”
She pulled out her longsword and was about to jump through the portal, when Iris quickly grabbed the back of her blonde ponytail and yanked her away. Isabelle quickly caught her girlfriend and shouted “Are you insane?! Don’t fall for his childish provocations! Remember Master’s teachings!”
After taking a deep breath, Aoi frowned, sheathing her weapon and grumbling “Fine… I just can’t believe that bastard is still alive. You assholes should have just killed him when you had the chance… How many times have you let him go now?”
A man totally clad in silver armor, with twelve gigantic metal wings folded up behind his back, walked into the huge hallway and started laughing obnoxiously. Luke waited for the mirror to switch to a different ‘channel’, before he explained “Obviously, we would have, if it wouldn’t have cost us too much… Now though, we finally have our chance.”
As he was speaking, several relatively ‘famous’ adventurers who were part of The Guardians, entered the portal room. First was a three-meter tall gigantic minotaur, wearing heavy brown platemail armor and carrying two enormous bronze warhammers: Raymond Gilbert, also known as ‘Hammer-Guy’. Then came his two closest companions. The two-meter tall, brown-skinned man wearing a basketball jersey overtop a flexible dragon-scale vest and carrying an oversized daikatana on his back: Jason Constantine, or Blademaster. Also, the teenage girl, who was totally clad in black ninja-like equipment, similar to Butter, though she didn’t bother using guns and stuck with only shuriken or daggers: Maria Espinosa, ‘Knife-Girl’.
Since there were multiple different entrances to that huge central part of the ruined building, everyone arrived at around the same time. From the west-wing, two sisters walked in side by side. One of them was a five-foot tall anthropomorphic goat-person, who was dressed as a cowgirl and even had a large silver revolver on each hip. The other, was a dark-skinned elven woman, who carried a huge black sniper-rifle on her back and was wearing all white arctic camo. There were a few knives sheathed and sidearms holstered in convenient places on her lithe body.
Beatrix glared at the mirror with her silver eyes, before swiftly drawing the semi-automatic pistol on her left hip and firing three rounds. At that exact moment, the scene changed and instead of reflecting the room they were in, it showed a tropical jungle that was filled with ferocious beasts and glowing plants. Those bullets connected with the humanoid, fur-covered panther-man who reached out and attempted to grab Isabelle. One struck the center of his chest, while the other two went through his snout and throat. His corpse fell to the ground and crimson liquid sprayed out all over the filthy floor, which was littered with all sorts of monstrous carcasses.
The only requirement for someone or something to pass through the portal, was that their soul had access to one of the keys. At least, that’s the case if they wanted to choose their destination. It was always possible to travel through the ‘mirror’ when it was reflecting the room it was in, but few ‘sane’ people or cautious creatures would take that kind of risk.
Of course, Arcana couldn’t or wouldn’t make it so easy for those who had a key either. Everyone who passed through was instantly drained of all their mana, so it was always rather dangerous. Then there was the fact that there was no control panel or method to speed-up the cycling of destinations. There was a clear pattern to the switches though. It started from the north pole and slowly went downwards, passing over the eighty-three other gateways, ending with the south pole; after reaching the ‘bottom’ of the globe, it would go back ‘upwards’ again. There were exactly thirty-second intervals between each, the other half of the minute was mirror-mode, when it was possible to randomly connect with anywhere at anytime.
If something was too slow in attempting to pass through, the portal wouldn’t wait for them. It wasn’t usually a problem anymore, but there were plenty of cases where people lost limbs or were sliced in half back when no one understood how they worked.
A dark-elven man abruptly appeared out of a shadowy mist; his entire six-foot tall and lanky body was covered with black cloth and leather except for his face. Butter snickered, asking “Did you seriously not figure it out all this fucking time? Dayum~ Bitch, you’re awfully dumb for a heart-surgeon… Well, maybe your intelligence dropped when you became a blonde?”
“Limp-dick piece of trash! Who invited you here anyway? Did you come over to pay me back those three gold you owe me?” After hearing that last question, Cameron quickly vanished in a puff of smoke. Of course, at that moment, a gargantuan purple rat-dragon came crashing through the mostly broken dome above them and landed next to where he was trying to hide.
The colossal beast roared “Fuck me in the ass-cunt, you bitch-whore twat-goddamn douchebag suck my creamy nipples!”
Iris groaned and muttered “Luke, do we really ‘need’ the two of them for this mission? They’re definitely going to screw it up, like always…”
Beatrix had her face covered by a gas mask and goggles, while her head was protected by a fluffy white bulletproof hood. She walked closer to the portal and whispered “Number seventy-five… We have four minutes to finish the debriefing, so I’ll just explain it simply. The Vampire Alliance has agreed to send Cain and a small contingent of his elites to Antarctica in order to kill Michael. We’ve already confirmed that Michael is currently within New Tokyo… That means someone or something has obtained the Seed of Chaos and they’re currently within the vicinity of Alexander Island. Our reason for bringing Violet and Butter is simple… When we kill Cain, we need someone else of the Darkness Affinity to take his place, the same task will be required once we defeat the current bearer of the Chaos Seed. Michael… is not necessarily our enemy, but he definitely isn’t our ally either. However, our confrontation with him must be avoided for as long as possible. If Doctor Azriel’s ‘Project Exodus’ can be completed within the next decade, then we may be able to escape from Arcana’s trap… but we need to gather all nine Seeds first. Enough, everyone is here, so prepare to enter the portal in three, two, one, go!”