Interlude: 0

It was all over.

With one precise strike, the heart of Chaldea had been destroyed.  Humanity’s “greatest defense” had been torn asunder, unable to recover.  It’s defenders slain, dying, and scattered. It’s equipment demolished. As if a punctuation to the fire, debris, and devastation, the proof of mankind’s demise showed itself on the Chaldea planetary observation device, turning the color of rust.  The observation system Sheba projected only images of devastation as everything that had and ever would be built was annihilated, perhaps even before it had ever existed in the first place.

But that had little to do with the Heroic Spirit.  For even as he looked upon the ruined pride of man’s greatest triumphs, it’s greatest sins, he did not even truly exist in that place.  His lack of presence stood on the ruined floor without really touching it. His conceptual lungs breathed in the smoky air without being burnt by it.  And his illusory eyes turned from the great globe in it’s gyroscopic container to gaze upon the one thing he’d actually cared about in the entire facility.  The purpose for his lack of continued presence in that place, where crimes against nature were the expected course of the day.

The girl was dying.

Death was an unavoidable part of life.  The course of the girl’s life was laid in stone, and there was only the immutable truth of her demise waiting at the end of it.  It may even be a blessing for her to perish in that place, to avoid the lingering futility that those who survive the Chaldea disaster of today would inevitably face.

But just because something was unavoidable, did not mean the Heroic Spirit would surrender to it.  It was in the nature of a Hero to fight against the unreasonable, the unavoidable, the immutable, the undeniable, the unperishable.  Especially if it was futile.

But the Heroic Spirit, by the nature of his summoning, could not do that.  Which was why-

“Mash Kyrielight,” called the Spirit to the dying girl.

Her eyes moved a fraction.  She still possessed some of her consciousness even as she and the boy glowed and began to turn into golden particles.  Her gaze fell on the place where the Heroic Spirit’s feet could have been, and despite her sight having already gone dark, the Spirit knew she could see him, if only a part of what he truly was.

“I can offer you a reprieve from death, but it would not be a gift.  You would be tasked with the responsibility to fight for the sake of survival.  Yours, and his.”

The Heroic Spirit’s non-presence indicated the boy that, even as he was disappearing, held his grip on Mash’s limp hand.

“Do you have the will to fight for his sake?”

The girl could barely breathe, could barely think, but her resolve and her answer were made clear to the Heroic Spirit despite, or perhaps because of, that crippled state of hers.

“Then I pass unto you the responsibility of my power, and entrust to you this holy circle that shall never be broken from without…”

The Heroic Spirit’s lack of presence grew ever fainter as it became more pronounced.  It infused itself into the body of the girl as she faded into nothing, using this chance of immaterial form to complete what had been failed so long ago.  The Heroic Spirit proudly stated it’s final whispers of non-existence as it faded.

“For so long as you have the will to protect…”

As the girl and boy faded away into nothingness, so too did the Heroic Spirit.  The Spirit understood that it had sacrificed everything it ever could have been to give those two children some small chance of survival.  But there was satisfaction in that. For that was part of the nature of a Heroic Spirit.

Chapter 0-5 | Chapter 1-1

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