Next PageVOLUME 1
Season 1, Episode 9
Minutes later, Shun arrived at the train station. Hurrying along the dimly lit platform, he felt an insurmountable dread build in the pits of his stomach.
Damn it! Why won’t they pick up?
He’d called his parents at least ten times since that last message, and yet, each time he was directed towards that annoying voicemail. Nor had they texted him to tell him about their whereabouts.
If Rosalie had somehow deliberately misconstrued the television news anchor and thus mistaken the prime minister as some sort of Demon Overlord…?
Unbidden, the desolate image of his previously slandered living room flashed in Shun’s mind. All that destruction, and Rosalie had only just waved her sword once over.
Please, please, let this simply be me overreacting this time!
Thoughts of horror and devastation were threatening to overrun his mind.
Imagine what would happen if –
Once again, Shun found himself facing a blank. Clearly, what would have happened should Rosalie actually attack the Assembly Hall was classified as ‘unreal’, hence his handicap acted up again, wiping his slate clean and preventing him from imagining.
Regardless, Shun hurried up the steps, eager to find Rosalie.
Just then, his phone sounded.
A mail! At last!
In his excitement, Shun overlooked the fact that he was currently speeding full force up the stairs.
As such, predictably, he tripped and fell.
His arm had been twisted in the fall.
Damn it all!
This had better be worth it.
Cutting through the haze of pain, Shun reached for his phone – only to find out that the mail he had been excitedly anticipating was a complete sham.
Yes, there was a mail. But it wasn’t from his parents. Oh no. It was, yet again, from his annoying no-good friend, Uehara.”
… The hell?!
Shun debated between just ignoring the mail, or reading it and then ignoring the mail. Deciding to give his friend the benefit of the doubt one last time, he clicked it open.
In black and white, his friend’s excitement screamed at him from beyond caps lock of the digital screen.
CHECK OUT THE TELLY!!! TERRORISTS ARE FINALLY HERE!!!
Thinking that it must have been something that Rosalie did, Shun pressed a few buttons on his telephone, changing it to television mode.
Immediately, an emergency news panel popped up on the screen. Out of breath, looking as if she too had just arrived on scene, the main news anchor of the TV station turned to face the camera.
“… I repeat, about 20 minutes ago, six F-IV fighter jets, which are as yet, still under maintenance, were forcefully taken from Aoi Heavy Industries plane hangar. The fighter jets took off earlier today, eye witnesses stating they were headed towards Tokyo. Our country’s Self Defence Forces will be working together with the American military –”
Switching to another channel, Shun watched as the official of some country or the other declared their stance on the situation.
“Our government’s cooperation in international affairs: Opposition forces against the liberalisation of the country were seen heading towards Japan. Again, we wish to stress the fact that our government has nothing to do with this turn of events –”
Okay, this wasn’t much use. Moving on.
“Please hold on as we try to connect to –”
Shun slammed his phone shut.
Well, that rumour on the internet about terrorist movements seems to have come true.
Resuming his stance, Shun clambered up the remaining steps and finally came out into the open.
What he saw then, really surprised him.
Why’s there nobody here?!
This was Shun’s first ever visit to the National Assembly Hall, hence his serious lack of comparison material.
However, he was pretty sure that it had never ever been as quiet as it was right then.
This was, after all, the heart of Japan.
So, why was it that there was nary a soul around and the roads were mostly empty and deserted?
Come to think of it, even back then, down at the train station, he did notice some people with very odd looks on their face, almost as if they were –
The terrorist attack!
That must be it! The National Assembly Hall, important as it was to the government of Japan, was likely a high priority target on the terrorists’ list of places to attack.
Great, so now what?!
Shun was at a complete loss. Stopping dead in his tracks, he stood and pondered as he weighed his options on a balance scale.
Should he go on and continue his search for Rosalie? Or should he run away and high tail it out with his life intact? Worry and self-preservation were warring within himself until finally –
Worry for Rosalie won out.
He would go search for her.
Up until that bend over there, that is.
Once he had passed that bend he just needed to turn up and then he’d be able to see the front gate of the National Assembly Hall.
For the time being, that was going to have to do.
Maybe Rosalie had even gone over to some place safe with his parents, to hide from the danger! Maybe, he needn’t even worry at all!
Clutching to his positive thoughts, Shun took a deep breathe, and in small, measured steps, he moved up to the corner and turned.
There she was!
Heaving a huge sigh of relief, Shun raced up to her. As he came into sight, Rosalie greeted him with a surprised blink.
“Rosalie, these people…?”
Ten or so burly men dressed in guard uniforms were lying unconscious on the ground.
“I put them to sleep with a spell. They might be the Demon Overlord’s henchmen, but they’re still human. I wouldn’t want to hurt them.”
Taking a breather, she followed up her comment with yet another surprising declaration.
“Shun, I will now go on to defeat the Demon Overload, Mr Prime Minister, and return peace to the world. Please, just leave everything to me.”
That dazzling heroine smile that she bestowed him at the end, he very nearly got taken in by that.
Fortunately, Shun stood firm.
“No, you’re wrong.”
Grabbing Rosalie by the hand, he turned as if to leave, hurrying her along.
“Come on, let’s get out of here, quick!”
“Shun, what are you saying? I’m about to go and defeat –”
“I’ll explain later. Let’s just get going first!”
The words had barely left his mouth when a dark shadow appeared overhead.
Six bird-like figures were flying by, lined up horizontally in a straight line. Staring up, the sound of a jet engine tearing through the sky reached their ears.
The fighter jets.
Shun tugged hard at her hand, now seriously frightened for his life.
Rosalie didn’t move a muscle.
“Hurry! Let’s go!”
“Go? Go where? Why are we going anywhere?”
Pointing upwards towards the flying machinery, Shun uttered in despair, “Rosalie, look, those are fighter jets! You hear me?! Fighter jets!”
Almost nonchalantly, Rosalie arched her neck gracefully and took a long hard look at the distant sky.
“…Are those demons as well?”
As if sensing an opening, Shun immediately jumped in with a stuttering reply.
“T-That’s right! That’s right! Those things are demons! Big, dangerous, ugly demons! Now let’s get going before –”
The sound of a missile being launched rang out loud and clear.
Shun couldn’t help but watch as the unfamiliar figures of the large fighter jets loomed closer. With a showy spray of smoke and fire, the missiles were shot out from the alcoves of the winged fighter jets, two at a time, until a total of twelve missiles had been launched.
Milliseconds, and the missiles were closing in.
It was a literal blinding flash of white light.
So this was what it was like to be hunted.
It dawned on Shun that this gigantic pile of metal, nay, weaponry, was something that normal humans couldn’t even hope to withstand.
Coming to a standstill, Shun couldn’t even take his eyes of that harbinger of death and destruction.
This is how it’s going to end, huh?
“Don’t worry, Shun. I won’t let those things harm a hair on your head.”
Turning around to face him, Rosalie gave a confident little nod and grasped his limp hand.
“I am a heroine, Shun. As am I your bride.”
A beautiful, bedazzling smile lit up her face.
Shun felt something tug at his heartstrings at that charming grin.
Gently, she let go of their intertwined hands and raised an open palm up towards the night sky.
In the face of the missiles honing in on them at supersonic speed, Rosalie parted her lips and sang out in a lilting tone of voice –
A wall of fire sprang to life, swallowing up the missiles whole.
Twelve intense bursts of fire bloomed upon collision with the crimson wall of flames.
The subsequent flash of blinding orange lit up the night sky more so than any sun of high noon.
Immediately after came the explosion.
The force of it came at Shun in waves, overwhelming him.
His skin was probably getting peeled at nano levels.
Looking out at the sea of fire and devastation before him, Shun felt a tremor of fear travel up his spine.
Just seconds ago those incredibly powerful missiles were baring their fangs, rushing towards them.
Now? They were no better than garbage to be discarded.
Shun’s gob fell open, bearing an uncanny resemblance to an awestruck troll.
Rosalie on the other hand was standing ramrod straight, hand held out with nary a quiver, looking as proud and dignified as ever. The wind that swept up her hair and mantle, for some strange reason, only served to further highlight her beauty.
From his experience in-game, Shun knew that “Begoula” was a mid-level spell wherein the user would use flames to deal roughly 40 damage points to the enemy group.
In the latter half of the game this spell was completely useless.
Now though, as Shun watched the pillars of flame lick the night skies of Tokyo, he was forced to reassess his judgement. In real life, roughly 100 metres of flame would form a wall that seemed to stretch almost halfway up to the sky. To add to that, it held enough destructive power to completely decimate twelve high tech homing missiles almost instantly.
If that wasn’t enough to change someone’s stance on its power, nothing would.
Through the smog and debris, a sharp sound of a jet engine was heard.
Not wanting to give the enemy time to regroup and consider their next step, Rosalie followed up immediately with another spell.
Six pillars of light shot down from the sky.
A sound, not unlike that of glass shattering, resounded.
The pure, holy light had just pierced right through the fighter jets, almost as if they were paper.
Shun could have sworn that time froze then.
In fact, he could even claim to have experienced those bizarre moments when things seemed to slow down infinitely.
Through the thick smoke that clouded the night sky, Shun saw parachutes floating down to the ground.
Unconsciously, he let out the breath he had been holding.
Well, at least no one died.
Running through the Dragon Bless attack appendix in his mind, Shun tried to remember the exact details about what he had read up on “Ethel”.
“Ethel” was an attack spell unique to the hero of the game, in this case, Rosalie. Holy pillars of light would shoot down from the sky, causing roughly 80 damage points to all enemies.
It was only after witnessing it’s prowess in real life though that Shun did truly understand what a terrifying spell it was.
With that single bolt of descending light a fighter jet, costing approximately 13 million yen and equipped with some of the best technology that humans had to offer, was blown into smithereens.
All that, and Rosalie made it seem effortless. Graceful even.
Shun could practically feel the sky quaking as an aftereffect of that powerful spell.
The resulting earthquake and billowing flames too continued for several long moments.
Emotions – fear, terror, awe, respect; were welling up inside of him, warring for attention.
So this was it.
So this was the power of a spell.
What Dragon Bless never managed to convey across the digital screen, when seen in real life, Shun could completely understand the true fear of the enemies facing these spells.
The power, the magnitude, the intensity of these spells. They were just magnificent.
Magnificent and terrifying.
His goose bumps rose to attention. But not out of fear, oh no. Far from that.
Shun was incredibly impressed.
The sound of a jet engine roared overhead.
Looking up, Rosalie and Shun both caught sight of a last remaining fighter jet. It had very nearly dodged Rosalie’s attack just now when it went in for an emergency turn.
Seems as if it was still too early to celebrate.
A few complicated manoeuvres and the pilot had turned the plane around at an extremely acute angle, retreating from the scene of action at high speed.
Further and further he left, the terrifying sound of the jet engine slowly dying away until he was finally out of sight.
Shun started to panic.
With the situation as it was, there was no way one could tell where the missiles would be coming from, nor where the terrorist intended to bomb next.
A flashback to the memorial 911 terrorist attack in America.
What if this pilot crashed the jet purposefully into a building too?!
Shun felt like simultaneously peeing his pants, and staying put to watch the action unfold.
Oh God, what if –
His train of thought was suddenly cut off when from the corner of his eyes came a sharp, blinding light.
Rosalie’s whole self was glowing, wrapped in a blinding flash of light.
Shun stepped back, overwhelmed.
It was almost as if he could feel a suffocating-like pressure from all that light.
Could this be Rosalie’s aura?
Then, as the dazzling white light that enveloped her grew stronger, Rosalie’s sharp features started to shine.
She looked as though she had been sheathed in a thin mantle with the seven vivid colours of the rainbow.
…enveloped in an aura shining like the rainbow –
Something clicked into place in Shun’s mind.
He recognized this.
This was Rosalie’s ultimate skill.
Raising her sword towards the sky, the light enveloping her body slowly shifted towards the sword and the right arm that was holding it, concentrating its essence on those areas.
The shining arm that was holding her sword – that was Rosalie’s “Arm of Silver”.
Fixing her gaze upon the tiny spot in the horizon that was the last remaining fighter jet, Rosalie adjusted her arm, which had become one with her sword.
And then –
Leaping up into the sky, Rosalie flew, with her raised glowing sword and wind strewn mantle, racing after the fighter jet on an invisible path in the sky.
The street lights lit up the buildings in front of the National Assembly Hall, reflecting dim red light into the night sky.
Watching as she raced up into the sky, Shun was reminded of a shooting star.
Her speed had long surpassed that of sound, and as she closed in on the fighter jet Shun could have sworn he saw broad strokes of bright light lingering after her.
“Kraus Soras” was an attack skill learnt when the hero achieved the high stratus of level 90.
Considered a partial hidden skill, this ultimate technique was normally used to start off an attack in-game as it had a 100% accuracy rate and would completely disregard any special skill or defence status of the enemy. Add that to the immense damage that this attack deals – approximately 1000 damage points and it could even be said that there was no attack stronger than this in the entire game.
Ever the game addict though, Shun managed to find something odd about Rosalie’s attack this time.
“Kraus Soras” was an all-powerful attack. However, it was not described anywhere in the game as allowing the user to fly into the sky after the target.
…100% accuracy rate…
That had to be it!
In order to follow through with that setting, the attack had manifested itself in such a way so as to allow the user a guaranteed hit in real life.
As such, this had created a loophole that enabled Rosalie to fly in the sky of the real world, racing like a shooting star towards the fighter jet.
And then, she pierced through it.
A party of light nearing supernova prowess, chased almost immediately by the sound of an immense explosion.
From somewhere in the thick of the resulting smog, came a dim light.
As the light gathered strength, Shun could vaguely make out the shape of a human; of a girl, with sharp, delicate features. Her dignified yet petite silhouette drew nearer until finally, she landed right next to Shun.
Remaining still on bended knee, Rosalie held out her sword at chest level, never letting her guard down even for a second. The silver light around her right hand and sword seemed to dissipate into the air, shiny particles carried over by the wind.
When it was evident that things had finally quietened down, Rosalie stood up, anchoring the tip of her sword down ever so slightly on the greying asphalt.
Looking up once again into the night sky, she seemed to be checking for any further traces of missing enemies.
Watching her, heart beat sounding out loud by his ear, Shun felt moved to the very fibre of his being.
She was gorgeous. Insanely strong, yet with beauty to rival the fairest of maidens any pageant could hope to turn out. Bright as a star, her very presence seemed to snatch all attention and light away from anything else, bringing all eyes to be focused on her and her alone.
Truly, she wasn’t called a warrior for nothing. Missiles, fighter jets, they were all no match for her.
Whipping out a spell or a secret technique from her inventory she could completely decimate anything that mankind threw at her.
And it was due to her valiant efforts that the National Assembly Hall, together with everyone inside it, managed to be saved.
Shun felt like hugging her for a good cry.
He really did.
Turning to face him, Rosalie’s breasts bounced temptingly into sight.
“Shun, are you hurt?”
Her pupils dilated as she spotted the cut on Shun’s arm.
That was entirely his own fault from when he tripped and fell while climbing up the stairs in the railway station.
Not to say that he didn’t curse Rosalie for a whole minute after though. After all, it was sort of her fault for going all MIA on him in the first place.
“Let’s heal it.”
Jolted out of his monologue, Shun felt Rosalie’s open palm hovering over his wound. Then, in her clear voice, she sang out the spell word.
A soothing green light appeared from her palm. Moving her hand over the wound, Shun watched in stunned silence as the skin mended itself and slowly closed up.
Oh my god.
Suddenly, Shun felt giddy with happiness.
He had to be the first person on earth ever to have received treatment from the famous Dragon Bless healing spell.
It felt like nothing he had ever experienced before. The soothing calmness that enveloped his arm felt almost like that of a gentle kiss from a spring breeze.
Finally, when the cut had completely healed, Rosalie released the healing spell.
Running his finger gently across the healed skin, Shun felt something resounding from deep within him. It was but a primary level healing spell, and yet, neither the magnificent walls of flame, nor the pillars of light could ever hope to compete with the deep impression that it had left on Shun’s body and mind.
“Have I made you happy, Shun?”
There it was, her ever-present phrase.
Lifting up his head, Shun stared at Rosalie. Her innocent beauty was etched into her every feature.
“In that case, I’m happy too.”
Her face lit up in a rapturous smile.
Tips of his ears reddening, somehow, Shun couldn’t find it himself to tell her what he thought.
One thing was for sure though.
This girl in front of him – She was Rosalie, the one and only heroine warrior princess from the game Dragon Bless that he had always worshipped.
Any lingering doubts that he had harboured in the recesses of his mind were swept clear by that one incident.
His chest constricting with feeling, Shun was about to say something.
“Rosalie, I –”
The blaring sound of sirens cut through the air, signalling the arrival of police cars, fire fighting engines and ambulances galore.
“Rosalie, let’s get out of here!”
Sweat beading on his forehead, Shun pulled at Rosalie.
Rosalie shook her head.
What a time to be stubborn!
“There’s still that most important task left!”
“Most important –?”
“Yes, the most important task.”
Looking all grim and regal, Rosalie once again raised her hand up towards the sky, and opening her palm she sang out the words of a final spell.
A pillar of light descended on the National Assembly Hall, ripping up entirely the top part of the building.
“This should do.”
“W-W-W-What are you do–”
“This should disturb those demons within the assembly hall.”
With her sword held out, Rosalie then took up a fighting stance.
“In truth, I really wanted to use something more powerful, but unfortunately I’ve run out of MP.”
Rosalie’s MP was already at max level as it was. It not being enough was more the fault of Rosalie’s rather low wisdom stat than anything else.
As the bricks tumbled upon each other, Shun could do nothing but watch as the National Assembly Hall was turned into nothing more than a pile of useless rubble.
Shun had shifted his grip onto Rosalie’s arm and was already pulling desperately then.
“What?! Why should we run Shun?”
Feet planted firmly to the ground, Rosalie tried to reassure Shun.
“Don’t worry, Shun. Even if I am unable to use my spells, I will definitely defeat the prime minister and –”
Turning his back towards the lit road, Shun pulled Rosalie onwards, heading towards the station with all his might.
Deep down, he felt tears start to well up.