This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

So, due to recent mind block and lack of reading traffic for my other story, I decided to try something new. May or may not continue.

Special thanks to Heart of the Tainted for proofing, editing, modifying, and generally making this piece of garbage into recyclables. I owe you man.

Collapse and Fusion

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Prologue

My name is Elaine Lyte Wilson. I am currently 12 years old. I have a twin named Nathan Dux Wilson. We were both born in England on August 11, 1993, or at least, that was what the orphanage said. The orphanage was a nice place, decent food, decent living quarters, and decent caretakers, but that was only a façade. In reality, it was a competition to see who can have a life, a family, a home, and everyone knew it. Every time a potential guardian came around, everyone would rush to the front door and would try to look presentable, and when someone else got to go home, we silently cursed that person with extreme prejudice. However, five years later, everything changed when we found out that we had the capacity to be spellcasters.

It was sometime in winter, my brother and I were lost in the city. We were cold and were very close to freezing to death. The poor quality clothes that the orphanage had were one thread away from collapsing. Desperate and distraught, I started to kick a trash can filled with paper. With each belligerent kick I felt my emotions rise to elevated levels I've never felt before. At the climax of this kicking frenzy, I felt an odd sort of 'nudge.' I can't exactly explain it, but it was as though something simply clicked in my head. At that moment, the garbage in the trash can suddenly ignited and burst into a furious flame. I did not exactly understand what had just occurred, but I was thankful for the relief from the cold. However, we were seen and somehow that incident was spread to the government of the magical world. Specifically, it was the division that dealt with potential spellcasters like us. They came to the orphanage and made sure we were both capable with some sort of test. The test consisted of them grabbing our wrists and starring us right in the eyes. It felt as though my soul was being stared at, looked upon, and judged by those unyielding eyes. In the end, they deemed us both capable and whisked us away.

They told us that we were going to a place called Speculum Universitas, a parallel world as I understood it. They said something complicated about it being another plane of existence but I couldn't understand what they were talking about. When we both arrived on the other side, to a world that myths and fairy tales were made of, we found that not everything was a happy ever after. The orphanage system consisted of dropping us in a small dorm already filled to the brim with other orphans. Worse yet was that apparently the requirements of a proper orphanage consisted of the bare minimum: stale bread and water, mostly unsupervised care, and magic lessons. Even the magic lessons started to dull out after a month of learning nothing but the basics, which we gradually learned that we will continue to do forever. Honestly, it was as though they expected us to blow up a building if we were taught more. We soon learned that only the best were adopted and raised as privileged members of society. Others with less magical, physical, or mental capacity were casted aside, left to rot in that hell we called an orphanage.

Luckily, while we had to stay for mandatory lessons of magic that taught us barely anything, we could wander off to anywhere as long as we were back by night. Wanting to be the best so that we can get adopted faster, I went to the library with my brother in tow. Unfortunately, no matter how much I studied, it was quickly apparent that I had no capacity for it. Every spell stopped short, every potion turned to poison, and every ceremony turned into a disaster. However, my brother…he excelled. He was what many would call a genius and everyone wanted to adopt him and only him, but he never went, saying that he needed to take care of me. I always felt guilty about that. I always urged him to go and leave me behind.

I hated that feeling, that feeling of uselessness. I never wanted to feel that again. So, in the end, I tried everything to prove myself, to shine like a star, to be the best at…something, anything really, preferably something with authority. However, it was clearly a futile effort, and I believed that we would have rotten in that orphanage. Worse yet, it would have been my entire fault. However, we got lucky.

August 21, 2005

It was a normal day. I got up, cleaned up, ate, and then proceeded to ditch the redundant magic lesson and went to the library for another attempt to discover my talent. My brother went along. After a few hours of practicing everything possible, I called it a day and trudged towards the orphanage. However, after passing by a forest, I saw a tree that looked as though it had been hit by a cannon ball. This was not actually too uncommon, usually it was attributed to a drunk that goofed up a spell, but for some reason, I had a feeling that it was more than it appeared to be. Looking around, I saw that there was movement in the woods. What came next surprised me.

The Order was a myth. It was like how the normal, non-magical side of the world would see the magical side. So, my brother and I didn't realize that I was seeing a battle between the Order and our future enemy, a Remnant. However, what we did realize that we were currently watching a battle between a guy dressed in a heavy cloak and a creature who resembled nothing but smoke. As the battle wore on, we felt both the feelings of amazement at the outstanding and complex movements as well as fear for whenever they crashed a bit too close. When the battle was over, the guy won…and saw us staring.

That moment, it was the scariest moment of my life. That cloaked stranger creeping closer and closer, eyes constantly trained upon me. I would have probably run for my life, but my feet refused to move. Luckily, a wave of relieved rushed over me when he told us what was going to happen. He gave us a choice, either be mind-wiped or join The Order. I wanted to join, my brother came as well. In hindsight, it would probably more sensible to ask why we were asked instead of right out mind-wiped, but I suppose I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Turns out, living, breathing members of society were wanted for some reason.

All of these events now culminate into our current situation. We were introduced to our superiors. They explained that at first, we will be sorted by element affinity, light for me and dark for my brother. Then we start at the bottom; we start at class 'E.' This is where they send off the paperwork that needs to be filed and lost to bureaucracy. All members start at E. Soon, we can move up to other classes, 'C' and 'D' class is reserved for standard business, 'B' class is support for warriors, 'A' and Star classes are the warriors and laborers with access to the world. No one necessarily needs to go in alphabetical order either; you just need a capacity to be at that level. Naturally, my brother and I want to aim for Star class, because apparently, they were the best and brightest in their fields, shining like a literal star. From then on, we cut ties with the orphanage and established new lives with the Order.

September 25, 2005

It was about a month after we were introduced to the world known as the Order. The first few days were spent going through some sort of cleansing process known as 'purification.' Basically, this let us vigorously clean our bodies from the inside out. The process also cleansed our souls for better use later. We didn't know what that meant at the time but we went along with it. Turns out cleaning a soul is basically similar to having a dream, just with more impact. At any rate, after they introduced us to our rooms they told us that there would be a guide to lead us. I didn't want any of that so I simply told them to give me a map. However, this has led to some issues.

"Nathan, have we found out where the food court is?" I asked politely.

"I'm afraid we're still lost," He said.

I was in a foul mood because, for over an hour, we have been lost in this ridiculously huge city and so far all we have done was run into dead ends and bottomless pits. I trusted my brother with the map, but apparently he somehow lost it. I sighed, of all the things that can happen.

"We are going to look like fools going in last, and this will be your fault," I declared. If we were to look foolish and seem all but lost children, we will never hear the end of it. A good authority figure always needs to look confident and in control.

"Of course," He said.

"I mean, how can we possibly get lost, I gave you the map!!" I screamed.

"I have no idea what happened to it, the map just disappeared from the table," He explained.

I just realized that I may have accidentally thrown away the map. Oh well, that doesn't matter I suppose. I took a deep breath to calm myself and thought logically. I suppose if we wandered around, we can find some sort of eatery.

"At any rate, we need to get to the cafeteria," I said out loud.

"May I be of assistance?" A small voice asked.

We both looked around and saw a girl who looked a bit younger than us. She had long black hair and was of some Asian descent. She was holding a book and a pair of binoculars. She gazed at us with her large brown eyes with a look reserved for oddities and perplexities.

"That would be greatly appreciated," I responded.

"Thank you," my brother said.

"It's my pleasure," She replied, "my name is Kasumi."

We were led to the center of the city. On the way, we talked. It is always good to hear the stories of others, easier to connect that way. And by connecting, there raises a higher chance of getting favors and allies, which is always good for ruling any sort of empire, even a social one. As we talked, I learned that she was actually the same age as us, she came about 3 years ago, and she is currently working at the library as class 'C.'

"I'm really trying to get to class 'B,' but that requires more studying right now. But I believe I'm very close," She explained.

"I see, but may I ask, why do you have a pair of binoculars?" I asked.

"Oh, I'm looking for someone," She said.

"Who?" I asked innocently. That day, I made note to never question odd things.

"Oh, his name is Basil. He's about my age but he's actually 'A' ranked already and…" So she went on for the rest of the way describing this person. The way she made him sound, it was as though she was describing a king. "…so now I'm looking for him," She finally said.

"Um, he sounds great. So, are you two going out?" I asked absentmindedly, still recovering from the near spastic outburst of various informational bits from before.

"Oh no, he's much too private for that, which is why I bought binoculars," She said. It was as though everything she said came from some sort of crazed fan. I sort of felt sorry for this Basil person. I also realized that Kasumi can be great for information gathering.

We finally arrived at the cafeteria. The place was filled with various people from all over the world. People were chatting and talking and discussing in a million of languages. If one was an advocate for world peace, this would be paradise.

After receiving food, we went to sit down at an empty table. Conversation is always necessary for controlling an area. Conversation with a local know-it-all is bonus and luckily she seemed kind enough to carry the conversation for me. All I had to do was steer the discussion in the right direction. She explained how things worked around here. We were to do paperwork in 'E' Class for a few months and after that we had the option of moving up. With moving up, we were given better privileges and a wider access to areas around the city. Payment was given every week on Friday for work. The pay can only purchase luxuries; all necessary items are for free.

"Any questions?" She asked.

"No, that will be all for now," I said.

"Oh, wonderful," She nearly exclaimed.

This girl seemed to be the epitome of affection and the very representation of innocence. Every word she seem to say seemed far too quiet for normal range of hearing while the actual content of the words seemed to be nothing but joyous exclamations and dripping with a tone that was undeniably happy. Worse yet, she was undeniably polite about it all. My first impression was that she was some sort of naïve little child who has yet to see what this world was. I soon found out that her way of talking resulted from constantly trying to cheer up a cynical fellow.

My first clue came a few days later when I saw someone about my age completely outclass a challenger. The instant he came out of the arena, Kasumi immediately walked up to him and chatted. He didn't even pretended to look intrigued or excited at her presence. He just ignored her and moved on. This would have been normal, but when I saw his eyes, they seemed…blank. It was as though he saw nothing at all or maybe he was simply nothing and with each second passing by, the more he seemed to disappear. His name was Basil and he was certainly someone to know for the future.

December 21, 2012

It was seven long years of hard work, but we finally reached an appropriate level of success, but it was only 'A' Class. I suppose you need to make the best out of any situation. At any rate, my brother and I were widely known and were at the top of the class. Admittedly, we still have a long way to go, but I am confident that we can achieve my plan: to become the head representative of our respective element branch. At least that is mine, my brother can do whatever he wants.

"Elaine, are we ready to go?" He asked.

"Of course," I said.

"And remember, we're meeting everyone at Basil's house later," He reminded.

I gave my brother a devilish smile. At the very least I hoped it looked devilish. Otherwise, smiling would have just made me looked odd. I spun my lance in a neat circle and stared straight at the gate.

"Let's try to wrap this up early," I said.