"Now, it's showtime!"

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Excellen Kilekion and Deen Lhant reached a steel door with the words 'KEEP OUT' carved onto it.

Naturally, in fiction, you'd guess that behind doors like this, there'd be something shocking.

"Three, two, one—"

In an instant, Deen Lhant had knocked the door down with a mighty kick.

Excellen remarked to herself, Deen's...actually pretty dang strong for a human. Of course, when an unmodified human could fight on par with low-level symbiotes and knock down high-quality metal doors with a single unarmed attack, one would wonder if he subscribed to Charles Atlas' ads.

What was in front of them was...

Covered by a hood with rabbit ears like accessories, was a blue haired girl. She looked to be around 9 to 12 years old, wearing a large coat and innerwear made from a mysterious material.

And...she was hooked up to wires—though unconcious, she seemed to be in excruciating pain.

"It's her!" Excellen gasped the obvious; she was certain now—while she'd trust Deen regarding Alexis herself, she knew now that well, the council couldn't be trusted; but then again, it was essentially their version of the government; of course they couldn't be trusted!

Governmental ranting aside, Deen and Excellen were in a tight position. How would they remove Hikari from the machine without hurting her?

"...I got it." Deen's brilliant mind showed itself once more. The twenty-something young man began to ponder, "...that's it."

Deen quickly ran over to the lever near Hikari and stomped it—slowly, the lights of the machine began to go dim, one by one.

Hikari's azure orbs fluttered as she opened her eyes; seeing Excellen and Deen in front of her, she asked, "...Where's Tsurururururuko?"

"She's," Excellen hesitated. She really should have brought Tsuruko with her if she knew about their connection. "—I'm really sorry, Hikari."

Hikari's eyes began to water; the same colour as her pupils. "Is she dead?"

"...Pfft." Deen couldn't help but let out a bark-like chuckle. "Tsuruko, dead? Tsuruko can't die."

Of course Tsuruko couldn't die—she was the protagonist.

Excellen was savvy about standing around for too long in enemy suspicious. "Well, I'm going to take Hikari back." She hoisted the young child into her arms. "What are you going to do?"

"I'm gonna try and cover this up." Deen sighed, scratching his head. "Why is it that whenever I associate with one of you, I get in deep shit?" He smiled, though. "But...I don't really hate it. It's fun."


The sound of footsteps reverberated throughout the building; a cloaked figure slowly approached the two...

The cloaked figure with the colour of darkness showed no characteristic feature, and told no clue on the lineage of the maker. —No, it wasn't just that there were no details to see; it was all blurred.

No matter how carefully Excellen would watch, she just wouldn't accurately perceive this figure.

Just like an off-focus photograph, the outlines of the black cloak were always shifting, like a mist, and one would sometime see it double or triple. Somehow, the material seemed to be made out of a hallucination.

"....What is it with people in black and chasing after us?" Those were the only words on Excellen's mind.

Raising its hands, the being surged with magical power, as a draconic outline began to surround its body...

"Shit." Deen cursed himself silently. "We're dealing with flying lizards."

Enormous wings expanded from the enemy's back—almost instinctively, Excellen and Deen evaded; flanking the enemy's sides. Deen withdrew his chain blade, shooting at the enemy; while Excellen's scythe manifested in her hand, swinging it in an arc towards their foe.

The foe simply raised their clawed hands, easily stopping the duo's attacks. The claws gathered magical energy, which pulsated quickly before releasing dual shockwaves that knocked Excellen and Deen back. With a single beat of the wings, the figure unleashed a shockwave that shook the foundations of the building to the very core.

Without a moment to waste, the draconic figure darted towards a dazed Hikari—


—the figure's wing exploded and the sharp bang of a high powered eternano rifle echoed across the room. Deen looked around wildly for the shooter and it wasn't until he looked up to the crate behind them, that he saw a familiar figure.

This young man had a lanky physique, with long, unkempt black hair terminating in a ponytail; wearing the Rune Knight uniform, this was Kinos, one of Deen's friends from the council.

Because of the force of the shot, the draconic figure's cloak was burnt off—revealing a human-sized black dragon with numerous light-azure tribal markings patterned across its body.

"Jesus Christ, what the hell is that thing!?" Deen jumped back in shock; right after he managed to stand back up. It may or may not be a dragon, but what type?

Using the brief breathing room gained by Kinos' attack, Excellen shot forth like a bullet, magical energy surging from her feet as she used her aura as a fulcrum, propelling herself towards the demonic being.


Excellen's fist smashed into the dragon-like being's toothy maw, sending it flailing across the ground helplessly.

...With a ferocious beat of its sole wing, the draconic being launched itself through the side of the building, flying into the muddy skies.

Deen, without a second to waste, asked Kinos, "What the hell is going on?"

"Boss lady says that we dun goofed. We were supposed to excavate some Old World stuff, but we ended up awakening the Dracolich and her little bastards."

"...Oh boy." Deen, in reaction, applied his palm to his forehead in exasperation. "Does she really believe all that old world crap? Still, if she uncovered some things..." Maybe Alexis had a point after all—for once.

"But why was that thing after Hikari?" That was the only thing on Excellen's mind.

"It seems that the kid has some connection to the Dracolich," Kinos added, "But I dunno. Boss lady didn't explain much about the kid, just a torrent of yelling into my phone about how her subordinates fucked up or something...when she was the one who ordered it."

"I'll go ask Giselle about this," Excellen wandered over to Hikari, sweeping her up in her arms. "Cuz, as we all know, she seems to know everything."

"One last thing," Kinos interrupted Excellen's departure. "As long as the kid's around, dragons will chase after her. My family's at Luin, which is near Four. They specialize in these sort of things. You should take her there and see what they can do about it."

"Alright, so what's your last name?"


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