[Five Months Later]

It was the late Spring of the year 20XX. It's been five months since Alicia, Olivia, Clow, and myself moved to Chronos. Things are kind of nice here. I mean, we don't have to worry about being eaten alive by giant wolves every night anymore. On top of that, it's much warmer here! At the moment though, Alicia and I were sparring under Luna's instruction.

I leaped to my right, just barely dodging a well-placed punch from my opponent. I summoned forth my flames and swung Prometheus, but my opponent easily spun in a circle and used wind magic to catch and repel all of the fire.

"I've gotten better at dealing with your fire attacks. You'll need to do better than that to hit me now," gloated Alicia. It was amazing how much confidence Alicia has gained since she moved here. Still, she said that with a really straight face. It's always either serious or shy with her I suppose.

Still, I couldn't let her teasing go unpunished. I immediately made to attack her from the right. When Alicia leaped, I used the same tactic I used at the temple and spun with my sword to unleash a hail of flame crescents. I saw her gasp as she tried to repel them, but eventually three got through and hit their mark. They all burst into even larger flames, allowing me to enjoy the fireworks below. Watching the smoke I noticed something wrong. Alicia wasn't there. I quickly looked for her. She was nowhere to be seen, that is, until I saw her make her exit from the back of the smoke cloud.

"Dang, you're persistent these days," I complained. If I could use my permanent Synchronizations, this would be easy, but I have to keep up the act that I don't have any memories of my past life as Akito Shakugami; as a result, I'm getting my butt handed to me.

Alicia huffed, trying to catch her breath. I had hit her, but I had only landed a blow on her barrier jacket. For the most part, there wasn't a scratch on her. "This time, I will hit you with my best attack," she told me. The silver-haired bruiser readied her stance, so I readied mine.

We charged at each other when Luna yelled, "Time! Come on back you two!"

We made our way to her, both equally exhausted. We had been going at it for a good half an hour now. Earlier today, I had sparred with Olivia, who I lost to after she managed to disarm me, and Clow, who I barely managed to beat thanks to his learning his family's secret skill- Ghosting. I've sparred with Luna only once in the entire time I've been here and I lost miserably. I have a long way to go before I can consider myself any good, that's for sure.

I decided to raise a question to our mentor. "We've learned several types of magic since we've arrived, but you tell us to focus on our physical and weapon-based combat skills during sparring matches. Is there a reason for that?" I asked curiously. It was true though. I had learned over five spells since we moved here. I was more than capable of using them in combat, and because they were so easy to use, I could easily shoot them from Neowulf when the need presented itself.

Luna nodded, "If you run out of magic without a good medic-class buddy around you're in trouble," she told me.

I sighed. It was always with the gaming references with this girl. "So, I want you to be able to brawl your way out of a serious fight against people at about your level first. After that, we can talk about mp gauge sparring matches," she told me.

I facepalmed. We don't have mp gauges! I thought irately.

At random, a particular thought crossed my mind. "Hey Luna, doesn't Aura come back today?" I asked curiously.

Luna's eyes widened for a moment. "Oh sugars you're right! C'mon, we've had enough practice time! Right now we've gotta go buy a present," she said, dragging the two of us out of the sparring room with her.

Today was a special day. The other pupil of the Guardians, Aura Luciana, was returning from her training abroad in Alexia today.

We traveled through several hallways, eventually leaving the large palace-like building we were training in, the same one we had seen when we first arrived here. Recently, the gang learned that such places were called Sanctuaries. As for myself, I used to live here before I traveled to Celestia as Akito.

Moments later, we ran into Olivia and Clow, who agreed to follow us to the cake shop to buy a present for Aura and her family. As we entered the bakery, I took the time to appreciate the sweet scent that covered the shop. It's a scent I'll never forget, because it was their famous, once-a-year lemon cake. Apparently, this was Aura's favorite cake. After buying some, we left and began our trek to her home which was to the east of town in the polar opposite direction of our house.


Meanwhile, Eastern Soramichi City… - The Observer's Point of View -


Aura made haste in assisting her family in moving back into their home. They had not taken much, just their clothes and favorite possessions. They had been staying at their vacation home in Alexia with Aura's relatives. The house the Luciana family lived in was a two story household, the bottom half of the house belonging to the Harlin family, who happened to be very good friends with the Lucianas. Aura's family ran a game shop with the Harlins who also ran a dojo out back. As she carried a box, she told her mother, "Mom, Lady Luna is supposed to come over soon."

Her mother giggled, "Ah, and what does milady want with my darling daughter?" she asked.

Aura hummed, "I actually don't know. She said she had some people to introduce me to. That was it really," she answered.

"Maybe Lady Luna's finally found what she was looking for," Iris chimed, butting in to the conversation.

Aura pondered this for a moment. Possible. It would explain the disturbance in the flow of Gaea's mana I sensed a few months ago, she thought to herself. Considering her sister's theory, she said, "Perhaps."

Aura's mother smirked, "It doesn't matter if she found the Synchronizer or not, we have something better," gloated the woman.

Iris nodded, "Yup, the ace and pride of the Luciana family: Aura Luciana!" she cheered.

Aura blushed, but quickly pumped her fist to play along with her family's shenanigans. "Y-Yeah!" she shouted nervously.

Still Aura looked out towards the sky. She had always admired its pure, blue coloring. I wonder if the Synchronizer turned out to be a human like Lady Luna said it was, she thought to herself inquisitively. The thought intrigued her, as Aura had very few friends. Her shyness and her somewhat unusual hobbies for a girl her age had a tendency to scare away potential candidates. She sighed. With her luck it was unlikely. That was a nice dream, back to reality,she thought to herself quietly. Needless to say, the blonde was in for quite a surprise when Luna arrived today.


Synchronizer

Arc II: The Advent


Level 11: Ambush at Soramichi

Yuji, Olivia, Clow, and Alicia, along with Luna, were still on their way to visit Aura's house. It was quite a far walk from the bakery. Thankfully, they were not very far from it at all- only two more blocks; however, something was amiss within the streets. Sensing this, Yuji's eyes narrowed as strangely reached outside of his right pocket. Noting his behavior, Luna giggled. "You're gonna scare people if you whip that out right now," she reminded.

Yuji sighed before removing his hand from near his pocket. It was a hard habit to break, but in Chronos people were not allowed to walk around freely with their arms like they were in Velka. It was something that left Yuji feeling naked and insecure for a good percentage of the day. "Then do you have any bright ideas?" he asked sarcastically. He knew she probably hand an answer for him, but the banter helped him ease his worries.

Luna smirked. "Oh, I have many," she said with a suggestive tone of voice. Suddenly, her hands began to glow. Purple and white mana began to leak out of her palms at incredible speeds as the world around suddenly became space-like in appearance. Sure enough, their new battlefield was in outer space on top of a spiral-galaxy-shaped platform. Not wasting a moment, Alicia took to the back of the formation, while Clow took the left, Olivia to the right, leaving Yuji and Luna with the front.

Clow quickly surveyed his surroundings, and made quick use of a skill he had been taught during his training. Isn't this a reality marble? Clow asked telepathically.

Luna nodded. Yup, this is my reality marble- Cosmic Wonderland, answered the guardian proudly. I don't really have time to show it off though. Right now, we need to take those guys out before this pocket dimension closes. That way, we won't have to actually fight them in town, she told them.

Yuji nodded, at last summoning Neowulf and Prometheus. "Permission to go all out?" he asked.

Luna smirked, "Totally granted," she replied.

Yuji firmly closed his eyes and slammed Prometheus's blade onto Neowulf's barrel. "Well then," said the boy merrily.

Soon after Prometheus struck the Neowulf, the weapon lit aflame. Moments later, the sword was gone. What it left in its place was a slightly larger version of Neowulf with a longer blade at the end of its barrel. The new weapon was completely engulfed in Prometheus's holy fire.

Pointing his weapon at his foes, Yuji wasted no time in trying to negotiate. Instead, he ruthlessly fired three rounds of huge fire bullets to the right of where he stood.

Their assumed assailers quickly dodged the blast of fire, failing to notice the young knights having dashed toward them in the confusion. As Yuji approached one of them, he formed a strange blade of energy beneath his shoe. "Saber Kick!" he cried as he delivered a seemingly mal-aimed roundhouse kick to the air before one of the attacker's torso.

The figure, a masculine one, grinned at how poorly Yuji had missed until he suddenly yelped, coughed, and staggered backwards. Yuji had cut him with the blade of energy. Rather than aim for the body with a kick in hopes of breaking bones, Yuji sliced his pectorals clean open with a well-placed roundhouse kick.

Noting the opponent's immobile status, Yuji quickly leapt back with the burning Neowulf and let loose two rounds onto the still writhing man's body. The man seemed to scream in pain as he attempted to put out the flames, which Yuji already knew to be a futile effort. Placing his gun on his shoulder, he muttered, "Target eliminated."

Meanwhile, Alicia and Olivia were busy dealing with their own opponents. Judging from their fighting style, they were using traditional Velkan martial arts. It wasn't unique to any particular family so it must have been some generic style taught to the common-folk locals.

The taller of their two opponents made to kick Olivia from the side, but the blonde foresaw her opponent's attack and immediately leapt back and grabbed her opponent's leg.

"Kuh! Damn-"

The man she was fighting did not get to finish his sentence, because Olivia pulled him forward with his captive leg and slammed a powerful fist into his jawline. A sickening BAM! SNAP! CRUCNH! echoed through the space as the man's jaw twisted at a disturbing angle as he flew out of the blonde's grasp and into the air. He landed on his side, completely defeated.

As Olivia watched blood gush forth from her assailant's mouth, she gave the attacker an unreadable frown and placed her hands on her hips. "No offense, but your form sucks," said the green-eyed knight seriously.

While that was going on, Alicia's assailant lunged toward her with a dagger at an incredible speed. Alicia however was much quicker and managed to place her palm evenly on her enemy's abdomen. Squeezing onto the thin layer of skin, Alicia spun around at a dizzying speed, launched her enemy into the air, and unleashed a barrage of magical bullets at the opponent's already badly-ripped abdomen.

Alicia's opponent cried out in pain with a feminine scream as the piercing lights relentlessly pierced her body. The silver-haired Velkan watched with uninterested blue-eyes as her opponent fell back to the ground along with a rain of blood. Contrary to her initial reaction, Alicia suddenly wretched at the sight before her.

No matter how many times I see that, I still wanna puke, complained the blue-eyed girl mentally.

While Alicia fought with her stomach, Clow was busy dealing with his opponent. He easily slipped to the side of his opponent twirled his halberd, which had recently acquired a second blade on the opposite side of its pole, several times in an attempt to saw at him. Noting this, his opponent leapt to the side and attempted to drive a dagger into Clow's shoulder.

The man's eyes widened with fear when he realized that his arm had actually gone through Clow's body. It was as if his body was trying to stab at something that wasn't actually there.

"The hell? How the hell are you doing this?" asked the man with fear. He now stood face to face with Clow, who only grinned at him with amusement.

"Surpised?" asked Clow. "My clan's specialty involves using ghosting magic. You won't be able to kill me with basic martial arts."

The man felt his body quiver at Clow's words. The shivering stopped when a strange force pushed up against and through his abdomen. RIP! SPLASH! The man's eyes widened. His senses were dwindling and a strange, warm sensation now filled his core. He looked down. Blood. Clow had stabbed him with his halberd while he was caught up in the confusion.

Clow took that as his chance to remove himself from the man and slip behind him. Pulling out his halberd, Clow twirled his halberd from the man's pelvis upward to slice him into two. The black-haired boy watched as the man's remains became specks of purple stardust, more than likely an effect of Luna's reality marble.

Crossing his arms, the boy said, "Next time, do your homework before coming to kill someone."

The four Velkan teens regrouped to the center of the platform and looked on as Luna faced off against three assailants at once. They watched with awe as Luna took on her three armed opponents with only her sword and her magic. She easily blocked all of their swords with her single sword, slipping out from beneath them with her magic to unleash a blast of magical energy at them.

Olivia cracked her knuckles, eager to join in on the action. "Shall we?" half-begged, half-asked the blonde.

"Nah, she's got this," answered Clow.

"Hn," answered Yuji, agreeing with Clow.

Alicia said nothing, opting to continue watching Luna and ignore her friends. It's odd that they're only attacking Luna when they are definitely aware that we're right here, thought the silver-haired brawler.

Watching Luna continue her brawl with her attackers, Alicia noticed one of them grin out of the corner of her eye. She gasped when she realized that the entire time Luna's attackers had been fighting the purple-eyed guardian, they had been looking at her and her friends.

Right in the nick of time, she turned around to see a cloaked figure with a scythe, readying himself to attempt slicing off Clow's, Olivia's, and Yuji's heads off in a single swing. Alicia blanched and dashed forward yelling, "MOVE!"

Alas the girl was too slow. Alicia saw her enemy bringing down his arms. He was going to swing. She was going to swing. She flinched as soon as she heard the woosh of his swing, but the sickening sound of ripping flesh and blood splashing never came. Instead, a loud CLANG rang out, stunning the entire world around them into silence.

A cloaked figure stood between Clow, Olivia, Yuji, and the hooded man. The figure was slightly taller than Yuji, but her figure was far more feminine. A flash of gold leaked out from beneath her cloak, probably her hair.

A pair of red eyes appeared from the darkness within her hood. The woman gazed up at the hooded assailant, asking, "Do you know how fast light travels?"

The man stared at her dumbfounded, growling at her indignantly. "Don't screw with me!" yelled the man, or at least, he attempted to yell it before somehow being sliced in two by the girl at a speed impossible to follow with the human eye.

The four Velkans stared at the girl's back, amazed by her speed. They four just barely caught sight of her glistening, black sword. Golden runes were shining on the rather large blade. The fact that she could hold a blade that wide with a single hand demonstrated incredible strength.

"...Wrong answer," muttered the red-eyed girl.

Wh-What the hell? thought Yuji. His eyes were wide with astonishment.

That was Sonic Slash! thought Clow with surprise. His eyes narrowed as he stared at the sword. So this girl is probably her, thought the boy.

Olivia pumped a fist. "Nice!" yelled the blonde.

Alicia stood agape, staring at the hooded girl's form with awe. "W-Whoa," muttered the silver-haired girl.

As the man's remains fell to the ground and disintegrated into purple stardust, the girl turned around to face the four Velkan teens, who by now were all staring at her. Her red eyes peeked out from her hood. "Sorry that our first meeting had to be this way. I guess the rumors about Velka sending assassins after you four were true," said the red-eyed girl.

Luna stared at the girl with gleaming eyes, her look of shock and confusion suddenly transforming into one of glee. "Oh my gosh! Is that you Aura?" asked Luna with a bubbly voice.

The three warriors she was battling immediately stepped back.

"A-Aura?" said one.

"You don't think she means that Aura do you? The new thunder guardian?" asked the second.

The third sneered. "Who cares! We can summon reinforcements too!" yelled the third as he pressed his masculine hand onto the ground. Three gigantic runes appeared on the ground. From them, three gigantic golems of stone gradually began to emerge from the runes.

Luna took a moment to regroup with her friends and their newest ally. She giggled a little and grabbed at the red-eyed girl's hood. "Oh don't be like that Aura, show them your face!" urged the guardian.

Fwoosh! Throwing off her hood, Luna revealed to the gang a girl with long, blonde hair worn straight down and slightly past her waist. Her crimson eyes, once calm and cool were now filled with embarrassment. "M-Mou! Luna!" exclaimed the blonde.

"Oh don't be like that Aura!" exclaimed Luna. "Besides, we have a job to do." Luna stepped aside to reveal the golems.

Aura's embarrassment quickly subsided as she took a step forward and stared at the slowly emerging golems with scrutinizing eyes. Not too bad, thought the red-eyed girl. Turning around to face the group, Aura's countenance returned to an all-business appearance as she rested her sword on her right shoulder and placed a hand on her left hip. Noting the four other teens' bewilderment, she smiled for them before motioning to the golems and asking, "Shall we get this party started?"


Level Music:

"Blinded by Light" by Masashi Hamauzu (Final Fantasy XIII)


Spell Dictionary:

1) Ghosting - A special power unique to Lanari clansmen. It allows them to temporarily make their bodies transparent and immune to all physical attacks; however, they are still somewhat susceptible to magical attacks in this state.

2) Sonic Slash - A magically-enhanced slash done at light speed. This attack is powerful enough to slice through ten sheets of orichalcom!