Her first impression was that she'd awakened to a cloud of glass butterflies.
"How pleasant," she thought, "that these figures can move as well. Where are the strings?"
She sat onto her knees, fixed her dress, and found that there were no strings, and these were not
butterflies. Glass shards, flying on their own. "Delightful!" she felt, and so she said it.
The glass reflected another world than the one in white surrounding her. In it she could see reflections
of seas, cities, fires, lights; she rose her hand to scatter them, and laughed in joy.
She didn't know these pieces of glass had a name: Arcaea.
To tell the truth, they were so beautiful that it didn't matter the name.
She entertained herself by touching them, swirling them, watching them. That was enough, no?
There were six questions to ask: who, what, where, when, why, and how.
Of these questions, she asked none and desired no answers, content instead to bask in the glow of Arcaea.
This was her meeting with a new world.
But questions come inevitably.
The girl stands amidst the spiral of glass and wonders, "But really, what are these?"
Portals? Windows? Memories?
This last answer, "memories", strikes a chord with her. "They're memories," she says, faintly. And like that,
her questions stop.
For some reason, this is a place all full of memories. Whose memories, or of what, she can't tell for certain,
but her questioning has already ended.
For some reason the glass follows her. She can't hold any of it, but it comes to her nonetheless. On a whim,
she decides she will begin gathering it.
Piece by piece.
For no reason at all.
Without a clock, she has no sense for how many days or hours she has walked, but there is a new certainty
in her head...
There is beauty in a memory, that's what she finds herself believing. Thinking about it, a memory is never
certain, can change with the times, and yet is the nearest thing to a concrete piece of the past. It can be
bitter or sweet, and she thinks in either case they're quite enchanting.
For now she will see what memories she can, of these other places and people, and appreciate them for
their beauty. In the first place, these Arcaea flicker and glow splendidly in this strange and ruined world.
It's easy to fancy it all, and that they show memories makes it easier.
Humming, hands aloft, and stepping down broken paths, she brings what seems to be memories fit for an
entire world with her, following behind in a shining stream. Memories of an ugly, pretty world...
"How nice..." She sighs, she smiles, and serenity becomes her, it seems, too well.
But there’s nothing to worry about.
A pleasant, simple world like this need only be pleasant. Nothing more.
A joyous landscape. For so long, she has walked through a ruined yet beautiful world, finding things and
For so long she's traveled shepherding glass that the sky has become a mirror bending light as far as she can
see, and shaped almost geodesically. The fantastic and glittering roof never leaves her, and with her
surrounded by only fancies and goodness, the world has become endless bliss.
She traipses down a spiral staircase that once led into a manor, but the walls have now all fallen and
memories replace them. It is all the better: she leaps out ahead and dashes the memories everywhere,
basking in sparkling Arcaea that, when she finds them, float up to join the others in her artificial sky. So
enraptured now, she laughs with cheer.
A flower, a kiss, a love, a birth: a life followed by a new life in a river of glass flies past her eyes and blends
into the rest. She has seen this reflected countless times, and it still pleases her.
She gazes at the wall above. As they’ve come together, they’ve grown more vibrant.
She smiles, satisfied, before she wanders on again. And, as ever, heedless of all consequence.
They say that this is true: anything in excess is a poison. She either didn’t know, or hadn’t cared.
The girl now walks past what seemed to have been an old concert hall, the impact of its grandness dulled
as it had been split perfectly in twain, as if some higher power had willed it so. Out of the tomb of sound
drift memories again: of dances, of performance, hopes, victories.
Her mouth twitches. Has it simply become boring, or is this something else? She lifts her hands and the
Arcaea come to her, gently weaving over her palms and through her fingers. Blankly she notes them. How
many times has she seen the last hurrah of a retiring band? How many times has she seen two brothers
embrace? Too many times she’s seen the formation of a love, so frequent it was apparently standard in old
and forgotten worlds.
She lets the memories go, and genuinely thinks nothing of it.
They rise. They fly to join with the memories she’s still been gathering, and she looks at their destination
now. It’s grown much brighter since she began her collecting. It seems to grow brighter every day…
How many days has it even been? She winces, and a grimace twists onto her face. She shakes it away.
Maybe she only needs more, then whatever is missing will be found. She calms herself and carries on, not
letting it bother her that no matter what, she cannot push the Arcaea following her away.
“Heaven” is a kind of hell.
The truth is, idle peace and thoughtless pleasure are anathema to passion. Imbibing and imbibing of happy
things endlessly dulls the senses and makes “happiness” indistinct, blurred, and ultimately without
purpose. Now nothing has a purpose. She’d never had a purpose.
The sky is almost blinding.
She may be wandering, or she may be standing still; she isn’t sure and it doesn’t matter. The sky she’s made
has her attention, but the memories within it can’t be sorted out.
It has all become an opaque and overpowering haze compelling emptiness. She is losing her self.
And as she is losing her self, she remains numb to the encroaching dissolution. Though she did not
remember, she invited this pleasurable and suffocating cage, and she locked herself within it. Now she
lacks even the will to worry.
The sky grows brighter and she loses more of herself. With little time for her left, she stares upward as if
waiting. Bright, bright, bliss, beauty above: effulgent memory overtakes her.
Her mind whites out.
And, without meaning, light fades away.
Without meaning, time passes.
And a girl stares up into an empty sky, her mind ended, and thus her story along with it.
The girl is on her knees, her chin brought up, and it is soon that her jagged and pervasive creation will
consume her in its light coaxing oblivion. Above her it pulses and glows, gentle but insufferable. She lets it
nearly take her, thoughtless.
And from that vast nothingness, something catches her eye.
Distinction alone breaks her from the lull of uniformity, and her gaze swings to it: a single, special piece
of glass, just a bit red, and absolutely noticeable. Perhaps in reality or through a trick of her mind, the
rest of the sky that it begins emerging from dulls in its intensity. She thinks, it’s becoming easier to see.
She thinks, and realizes she hasn’t thought at all in ages.
The heavens wobble and distort, and a crack seems to run through them, the whole thing twisting around the
creation of a new memory: a shard of memory that should not exist. It breaks from the whole, and breaks
Both violently and calmly the roof of her making falls down, choking the air in scattering light. The spectacle
would be magnificent to her, but she remains stuck on the newest piece, which floats toward her amidst
the frightening chaos of joyous memories.
It, too, is a memory of joy: that of herself that she has forgotten.
“When was— Did I—?”
She speaks in a fractured voice, her vocal chords having been long neglected of use.
Now in her hands, the odd shard that came from zero revolves, and in it she sees the time when she awoke,
dancing alongside glass, traveling the mirror world, and happy. Tears fall from her eyes, and she remembers
that happiness left her long ago.
Twinkling glass pieces fall in an unevenly timed rain while reflecting dead worlds as they always do. The girl
at the center of it all focuses on a piece reflecting something new, however, and of this world still existing.
Tears fall from her eyes, but the reason is yet grasped by her. Her mind still recovering, she agonizes over
the loss of everything she had before, falling all around her. But, also, she agonizes over the loss of her zeal.
The memory reflected shows a better and ignorant time, as she walked into a trap she’d created for herself.
Even if she knew where it would lead — these shiftless travels inviting senselessness — would she have
done it all again, just to be happy?
The red in the glass is that of the red in her clothes, and she grasps the shard tightly to add the red of her
hand to it, blurring past and present, running warm over the shimmering surface. She feels, again, but she
feels so much more than before. She feels, overwhelmingly, regret.
These were times that, almost with pride, she had moved meaninglessly. She had gathered the Arcaea to
enjoy them,and not thought even a bit as to why. She had brought on herself a torturous and tedious
hedonistic existence,a manufactured and blinding prison. She had done it all for nothing, and nearly lost
And to a question of “Why?” there was never an answer. Just to be happy? That hadn’t been it either.
Collapsed on her knees, choking through cries with the memory over her breast, she knows the weight of
her errors. She had surrounded herself in love and life so much that it came to disgust her, and that truth
In grief the girl cries, thinking as much as she can, about everything that has happened, and what anything
A few small pieces of old times falling down intermittently break this, but the girl’s anguish has settled.
She no longer openly weeps, sitting among shimmering glass with dried tears on her cheeks and dried
blood in her hands. Fear, worry, and regret have ended, so she now has to look out ahead.
What she had done was misguided. It was, in fact, not guided at all. With the idea of “more happy scenes
would only be better”, she had filled the sky with good memories, not wondering if there might be any
danger in bringing so many of the mysterious shards together in one place. She realizes now that they had
threatened to swallow her.
If she wants to press on, she must have a reason.
She needs to answer those old questions that she had forgotten. What does this world mean, and why is
she in it? Why are gentle memories attracted to her, although she sometimes saw flashes of hardship in
pieces that refused her? Who was she?
Light comes back to her eyes and she stands on shaking legs. As she does so, the Arcaea surrounding her
shift. She looks on at them curiously, and lifts her hand. They lift too, and she ponders. She realizes this is
different, but that there’s also something different within herself.
The Arcaea will not come to her unbidden again, and she will not allow herself to be caged. She wipes
away her tears with the back of her bloodied hand, and lets the shard that has turned her onto this new
path go to follow behind her. She will let that be a memory, and face this strange world anew, and she will
find all that it is for, be it good or bad.
This she swears, and she is certain.
解锁要求：采用对立通过cry of viyella
She'd awakened in a ruined tower, first noticing pieces of glass floating in the air. They led her outside, and
into a world of white.
White, white, and more glass. It seemed attracted to her, so she examined the shards with piqued curiosity.
She could see glimpses of something else in them, like looking through the windows of a train car. In one
flash she saw rain, in another sunlight, and in another death. She grimaced, and pulled away.
Although it seemed attracted to her, at her attempts to reach out and shatter the glass the shards were
naturally repelled. Her grimace deepened into a glare, and she turned her attention to the pale sky.
However, as she gazed into it, her expression melted away. Her mouth opened, but she was too shaken to
Glass: churning, glinting, and turning far overhead. There seemed to be a storm of it.
She regretted giving it attention, as now it seemed to notice, and was coming down to greet her.
解锁要求：采用对立通过Essence of Twilight
It's difficult to describe that sensation which overwhelms her now. A riptide of glass that doesn't shatter,
cut, or reflect her face, pushing past her in powerful amounts, turning up and swirling as if pulled by a great
wind. She stands fast, and watches.
Watches... ...Memories...? ...Of a filthy world.
"What is this...!?" She reaches out. "This...!"
A memory of pain, betrayal, envy.
When she stops it, she stops the rest. They stand still in the air around her, frozen. She whips her head this
way and that. "They're only..."
Dark? Are they only dark? Wherever it is these shards reflect... she sees little light there. Whatever small
sparks she sees fade away in an instant. She bites her lip, and then smiles a smile with no humor. "What
kind of joke is that?" she mutters, "A world filled only with misery..."
As she says this, even her bitter smile fades away.
Without a clock, she has no way of knowing how long she's picked through memories, but she's sure it's
been quite a long time.
For a while, she'd searched the fragments for more happy memories, just to see if they were there. They
were, in small number, but the more miserable shards never ceased to hound her.
So, she's come to know places she now loathed.
She now stands at the middle of a vast spiral of glass that turns about her slowly and resembles cosmos.
She thinks there are two possibilities here: either the world or perhaps worlds these shards envision were
entirely terrible, or since only terrible memories are here...
In any case, she's decided to be rid of it all.
Something inside her has switched. Now when she looks at painful memories, she looks pleased. She
gathers such memories, it seems, gleefully.
"If I can be rid of this trash, or even better the places it represents..."
These places full of chaos and even light.
That will make her happy.
It had been a while, and so she'd grown confident.
In the time since she began she'd explored much of this glass and mirror world, and she'd gathered
countless shards. Like an unending scarf they formed around her neck and trailed long behind her. Now,
she stood atop a fallen tower and looked out ahead with a smile. The terrible memories of other places
twisted behind her menacingly.
She was gazing at a place that had always caught her eye, but she'd refrained from ever going toward it. It
was some sort of distant labyrinth turning into the sky with insane geometry. Of course, it was more glass.
Of course, she could feel its filth pulsing all the way out here.
Although she still had no idea how to go about it, she intended to be rid of the terrible fragments that
followed her eventually. To that end she was gathering them. She at least took comfort in having the bad all
in one place. That would make clearing it away one day all the more easier. This labyrinth was particularly
bad, and she felt confident in gathering its fragments too.
The maze was surrounded by a glittering and ever-shifting sea of good memories. As she made her way
toward the maze, the sea parted, only a few shards coming to join the trail behind her. However, while
walking the path and scattering the good shards she suddenly hesitated. Now flanked by hope, with
despair before her, she chewed on her lip...and her heart wavered.
Once upon a time, surely, things had to have been better.
The girl remembered nothing. and since awaking in the world of glass she'd only ever known other
memories. Because of this, she'd drawn many conclusions and had few second thoughts. She'd been
assured of the idea that nothing in the glass and nothing in this world held any worth. Filth and awfulness,
tears and pain, a small smile, and death.
But once upon a time, things had to have been better. Simple rules are often true: shadows are begotten
from light. Shadow lurked at her back, and now she was surrounded by light.
When she'd stepped into these waves of joy and purity, she hadn't given it a second thought. She'd become
so absorbed in evil that she had forgotten simple good. To be honest it was more than her heart simply
wavering, now. She was overwhelmed. For every glint of hope that caught her eye on the way to the jagged
maze, she paused and questioned everything. There was an answer she did not want to acknowledge,
immersed in this scene of light and chaos. She didn't want to think about it. She wouldn’t allow herself to
think about it.
And, before she really could, she stood before the entrance to the impossible labyrinth.
On impulse, she reached out to the better glass and memories of flowering fields came to follow around
her in a ring. She didn't know why, nor if they would help.
She didn't know it, but she had a name. If she knew it, perhaps she wouldn't have entered the twisted
black maze. It may have been a meaningful name that may have made her doubts much stronger. But she
didn't know, she ground her teeth, and she reaffirmed her beliefs. The light from before would not shake her,
the light of the flower ring would not shake her.
She entered the dark structure and started tearing it apart.
Each wall pulled away was made of misery, each facet held horrors, and the corners were comprised of fear.
This was a castle of iniquity. Simply put, it was grotesque. It was powerfully grotesque.
And that girl, her grin returned. This was it. Climbing through it, running through it, this was the kind of
disgusting monolith that had compelled her into action in the first place. She hadn't been wrong. The glass
should only be shattered. The mirrors should only be destroyed.
And as she gleefully pulled away great swathes of the maze, hallways tumbling into the air, her smile
became warped. She winced; something was wrong with her head. At the heart of the maze, there was
*something* worse than any memory before. She could feel it, close now, calling to her. Her enthusiasm
had drained, and her progress had slowed, and she saw a wicked shard of glass turning in space,
containing the memory of the end of a world.
With a hand on her face, she looked into the mirrored world. She remembered the sea of pleasant realities
below her and the flowers now circling around her. She'd taken down part of the maze's roof and the walls
had subsequently fallen away. Dark glass rained slowly around her, and in the distance the better memories
She looked into the end of the world between her fingers. She swallowed, and with newfound strength,
removed the hand from her face. She reached out, and dragged the end of the world into her collection of
memories. With this monolith toppled, she felt an honest and genuine surge of bliss. However terrible the
memories she faced from now on would be, it couldn’t possibly matter. She was certain now that she was
strong, and she would definitely destroy them all. And so, with a genuine smile and a tired laugh, she came
down from the sky, and the tower along with her.
Perhaps she should have worried, because her heart was suddenly in pain.
She drew back, covered her mouth, and her eyes went wide in confusion. She had been standing on the
floor of a gigantic and bitter maze that doubled as a tower, but she now began to fall to her knees. Before
she hit the ground, the structure began to break and fall first.
The memories of sorrowful days that she had gathered came around her like a cloak, the tower's memories
turned from a falling slow rain into a downpour. She and the maze fell like stones, and although she should
have been terrified to drop so far and so fast, all she could feel was confusion.
She splashed down into a sea of the fragmented happiness of other worlds. The waves she and the crashing
labyrinth caused were immense. Glass pushed against glass in a way that could be described as both ugly
and beautiful, and she knelt at the center of that storm.
She was confused because she was hurting. Everything hurt. Her heart was bursting. The cloak of memories
that she'd collected turned into a grotesque sphere and surrounded her. The world of white disappeared
from her vision, leaving only horrible things. Heaving, sweating, and trembling, she looked into the glass,
into the Arcaea, deeply. And as she came to realize that her heart was breaking,
That her sanity was breaking,
The memory of the end of the world that she'd seen earlier slowly drifted into view.
The girl had felt many emotions since her waking into the white and ruined world. Mostly, she'd felt anger,
but she'd been able to turn that anger into a strange sort of hope. True, she didn't have much of a plan. In
fact, she was only walking forward because she believed at the end of her steps there would be something
good. She had hope. She was certain that this chaos was leading into light. She was certain that the
torments she was facing, that the horrors she was holding, could be completely shattered.
Yes, she was emotional. She felt so strongly that when faced with the idea that no, in fact, nothing had a
purpose...she began to suffer.
The cruelest fate is to have hope and see it crushed before your eyes. And so the girl sat on her knees in a
malformed circle of death, looking at a world coming to its end. This was the first time she had felt the
emotion of sadness, and it was quickly turning into despair. The world of Arcaea was a pointless world. It
was the manifestation of worlds gone. It had no substance, only the reflections of such. Even the glowing
and joyful memories she had sometimes encountered on her way were still only memories of the past. Like
night comes after day, they had to have led into the end she now saw spinning slowly in the air before her.
Her eyes welled with tears.
She had felt so much since waking up.
She'd felt joy. Joy left her.
She'd felt fear. Fear left her.
Anger left her.
Hope left her.
Even sadness and despair now left her.
Her eyes went dark and she could feel resonance with the glass. The shell of memories around her began to
crack and split open. She emerged from it and stood in the blinding light, and couldn't feel anything at all.
解锁要求：采用对立（Grievous Lady）通过Grievous Lady
Like an ocean stained with oil, the memories of a cursed labyrinth and the memories she had brought with
her all fell and muddled into the soothing glass around her. Most of them churned into a gray mass, some
would suddenly jut up from the ground like spikes. She went still, and slowly looked over every shard,
just...counting them. Even when memories came shooting up sharply near her eyes, she continued to count.
Eventually she lifted a finger, beckoning some of the shards toward her. And, with a simple thought, the
fragments came together in the shape of a fragile butterfly. She commanded it into the sky, to reflect the
world of white, and when it came down again to tell her what it had seen, with a simple thought she slowly
tore off each of its wings, and let it fall into nothing. Then, she walked forward from the corrupted sea,
willing each pillar of lost time that entered her path to explode and shatter.
Time passed. She changed.
She no longer sought to collect memories. She walked through the world mostly absently. She discovered
things about it and about herself, but she had no ambitions.
Now she walked beside an old and crumbling building, twirling a parasol she had found in the ruins some
day. Silently, a creature formed of glass reflecting bitter days glided down toward her from the sky. It
resembled a glistening and jagged crow, and it was something she considered no more than a tool. After
that day at the now-fallen tower, she'd become more in-tune with the chaotic Arcaea and was able to call
upon things like this. In its own way, it whispered to her of places beyond her reach in the blinding white
world. Glaring at it, she had it burst and fall apart, and she moved on.
These crows of hers sickened her with news. The world was empty, that's all they said. That she knew.
She'd never find anyone else here.
She wanted to. She needed to. But, it was not because she hoped to have someone to share her fate with.
She needed to let this frustration out on something alive. She needed someone to hurt.
The ruin is as common a sight as any other, but the girl in light
nonetheless pays it attention as she steps through.
She's been wondering what the ruins are and why they're there—
wondering if this world she wanders has a past,
or if its decimated landscape is only coincidental.
She feels she has to think about it, not to succumb to the bliss of ignorance.
If she wants a reason, then it might help to know the world, too.
Perhaps this is a reflection of another world?
She has seen things like it within the Arcaea, but that also makes her wonder if in this place
there might be standing towers and buildings that are not in ruin.
Maybe she’s only yet to see them...
This ruin seems like it was once large, grand.
It must have been a beautiful place where many people came, she thinks.
If it did have such a past, then it is a shame.
There is only her, now, moving through pews and broken candlesticks.
There is only her, and she blinks, seeing that there is in fact somebody else.
Somebody else stands still at her left, before a broken wall.
Once, she would have grinned happily, but carelessly at this person.
As she is now, she looks at the shadow-covered girl in confusion,
but certainly not without a fluttering, insuppressible feeling of elation.
Outside of a memory, here in the world and before her eyes, is a person.
All this time she's walked alone, and here is somebody else:
one other living, breathing person.
The other girl doesn't notice her. She is standing in place, holding her parasol, and sleeping.
Her dark figure cuts so strongly against the rest of the world, which shines so bright in the distance,
that she thinks this must be a dream or perhaps a waking memory.
She opens her mouth to speak, and the other girl opens her eyes to consciousness.
She who heralds sad and evil forgotten things opens her eyes
and witnesses the changed and white-clad girl before her.
That breathing the light-bearer found so relieving stops short,
and the dark girl squints, lips parted as if she means to question.
But she swallows instead and raises her brow, tightening her grip of the handle.
Her own twisted elation flows out from her heart, just as unstoppable, but so much more eager.
It climbs to her face, and the girl of chaos offers the girl of light an honest, irrepressible smile.
In the unwalled, unroofed church, known only by its skeleton chairs and white candles, the girl in black
stands near the remaining old gate, looking at the person she's just met.
It's actually quite simple: she’s been upset for so long, and now a true flesh-and-blood person is finally in
front of her. She isn't thrilled. She isn't even excited. The smile on her face is an effortless lie—but it's one
she can't help but tell. It says to white-clothed girl before her, "pleasure to meet you." It means nothing.
"What's your name?" she asks in a dry voice. Maybe, in the past, she'd have realized how long it had been
since she'd last spoken.
"My... name? I... I'm not sure," replies the radiant girl. "Do you? Oh—know your own... name, I mean... "
She doesn't answer the question. "That's something..." are her only words as she looks off toward an
The girl in white gives a bothered expression.
This... was turning out to be a strange meeting. Though the one in black doesn't know it, the one white
is beginning to share the darker girl's lack of enthusiasm. Like a fire in a sudden chill wind, her hope
flickers and wanes. Now she grows uncomfortable, anxious, and wary. A slight but unshakable atmosphere
drifts between them, one that feels unmistakably off. To her, it seems as though their very meeting is
something the world finds to be simply... "wrong". The ever-present glass, now scattered unevenly
throughout and above the broken grounds, reflects that strange feeling.
Ordinarily, these shards would flock to them without their bidding: "happiness" to the girl in white,
"tragedies" to the girl in black. Right now, every piece of glass in the air stands still. Perhaps half a
hundred mirrors are quietly suspended around the girls, half-catching images of the empty place that
surrounds them. When the girl in white tries to call out to them, they will not even waver. It unsettles her:
happiness placed beside horror, equally glinting and equally motionless. The only piece that will follow her
is the one she can hold—the one that set her free.
She stares hard at the shadow girl. "If we're in this together," she begins, leaning forward, "then what do
you think about staying together? We... We could help each other, and maybe..."
She stops. The other girl is staring into the empty, canvas-like sky with a blank and uninformative
expression. She doesn't seem to be listening, but in truth she has followed every word.
"Maybe... " the dark girl echoes. It's faint... After her reincarnation into misery, her soul itself had felt like
a dull, grim abyss. However, when she heard this proposal, something inside her shimmered—very briefly
and very weakly. However, as she is now, even something as tiny as that was able to pierce the shroud of
frustration that had been endlessly choking her since she'd reawakened.
And the remnant of the girl she used to be, the Tairitsu who had first woken up in this world, rebelled
against the prospect of “the end”—against the idea of giving up. She wanted a second chance.
But her halfhearted answer isn’t enough to inspire confidence in the girl standing opposite her.
Their meeting remains careful, cautious. The Hikari who recently returned to her senses now knows
that the world of Arcaea is far more than pretty—and far less than safe.
And yet the two girls will speak, with the hope that it will lead to something better.
Their conversation continues.
"It would certainly be nice if we had names to share," says Tairitsu in a fraying voice. Her eyes are again
beginning to lose the shine of life.
The other girl, Hikari, notices that with some discomfort. "Yes, I can't say I like to think about it: not having
any memories in a world filled with them," she admits.
At the moment, they sit upon the same pew, though not close. They've gone to what was once the front row,
and a few steps in front of them lead up to a wide, flat floor. The girl in white is slouched, watching her new
acquaintance with worry painting her gaze. The girl in black is examining the empty place in front of them,
the sky, the dead and distant grandiose architecture—but she does so seemingly without concern or interest.
While watching, she begins to speak unprompted. "This glass. Do you know a name for it?"
"Huh? Oh... Well, for whatever reason, I know the name 'Arcaea'."
"Same as me," says Tairitsu, now looking Hikari's way. "So, how are we different?"
Hikari offers an apologetic smile. "I don't know," she says, "aside from our difference in looks."
"Let's find out, then. What kind of memories do you see in the glass?"
"Almost only pleasant ones."
Tairitsu sighs. "Then we're opposites..." she remarks bitterly, looking to her feet. "Let's say we're the only two
walking around this place. If that's true, our opposition could matter a great deal.”
"You don't see happy memories through the Arcaea?" asks Hikari, leaning slightly toward her conversation
partner. "I'm sorry..."
"...That's just how it is," says the other girl. For a short while they remain silent, until Tairitsu speaks again.
"But from what you've said... I suspect even your pleasant memories haven't resulted in a happy life for you
here. Well? Am I correct?"
To this, Hikari nods. "I don't mean to make it sound as though I've had it rough since waking up, but...
You see, I once gathered enough piece that they could cover the sky. When I did, that new sky almost
killed me... I felt like the light was slowly eroding my mind... I think it was mainly my own fault, to be honest."
They both feel it's best to be honest.
After Hikari tells of her naive and dangerous journey bathed in light, Tairitsu coldly recounts her tragic
struggles through maelstroms of dark. The two are certainly different in quite a few ways, but one definite
commonality becomes clear between them: a want of sense in a senseless world. The world around them
may be beautiful, but it has also been cruel.
Hikari has resolved herself, but it wasn't long ago that her very "self" had been threatened by this strange,
unfeeling place. For Tairitsu, it has left her scarred: persistent, panging compulsions toward violence and
wrath continue to roll up from within her like tides. Even throughout their discussions here, despite her
desire to be amicable, smothering each urge from her breast has been no easy feat. This living, breathing
person beside her is too enticing a target to release her frustrations on. The girl in white doesn't fail to
notice how the girl in black's hold on her umbrella periodically tightens into a trembling, aggravated grip.
It hasn't been easy—a fact that holds true for the both of them.
But they continue to fight.
"I think I just... I really wanted to meet somebody else," Tairitsu reveals. "Even... perhaps a few months ago,
that may have been all I really wanted. However... ever since I stepped out of that black shell, I've found it
difficult to hold on to a such an innocent desire. I just can't muster it. When my chest isn’t feeling empty,
I can't muster anything in it that isn't vile and wicked impulse. Disgusting, broken thing..." She looks at
Hikari. "Even now, I keep thinking about how much I want to hurt you."
"That's fine..." says the other girl. "Maybe I'd feel that same way if I’d gone through everything that you did.
But I don't think you’re right about one thing. I don’t think your heart is as broken as you feel."
Tairitsu meets her eyes, as if asking how that could be.
"Look—you're holding back," explains Hikari, "even now. That tells me that even after everything, you're a
very good person—still. You’re strong." She smiles and stands from her seat. "You're a lot stronger than me,"
she says, casting a momentary glance into the brilliant sky.
"I was rescued," she continues, meeting Tairitsu's eyes once more. "You rescued yourself."
The shimmer inside the dark girl's chest becomes a faint glow, and an ache pulses through her.
That's not true, she thinks. It isn't that simple, she thinks. She failed, and the old her died that day when
the labyrinth collapsed. She'd felt nothing after that, and when feeling came back to her, it was nothing but
contempt. When she’d met this girl, even, it made her want to do nothing more than take a blade and run
No, she hasn’t rescued herself. However... perhaps she hasn't simply been seeking someone out to harm.
Perhaps the truth is that she’s been awaiting something impossible to give her one last ray of hope.
Hikari is too meek and unsure to directly comfort her, but her presence and lack of aggression signal this:
she may be that last, fledgling ray.
What pains Tairitsu's heart is that very innocent realization.
Her posture weakens. Hikari notices and moves to see if she can do something. But she is still unsure,
and so she is ultimately unable to reach out for the other girl. She stands before Tairitsu with her arms
half-raised, and in a few moments the girl in black stands by herself. Hikari drops her hands, and takes
a step back. Around them, the glass sways with their movement, and one in particular begins to shine a
bit differently from the others. In its reflection is something familiar, yet impossible.
It is a vision that, surely, nobody could have seen:
the briefest wicked flicker of a most strange and anomalous memory.
They stand apart, Tairitsu holding a hand over her chest, fingers clenched and struggling as she takes heavy
breaths. She is reinvigorated, in no small part thanks to the girl in white. Hikari has given her one precious,
final reassurance. It does not have to be the end. One last path out of this white and blinding hell still exists.
An open, albeit weak, smile cuts along her face as she exhales. "Let's do something," she says. "Let's figure
out this stupid, absurd world."
"I-It's not that stupid," says Hikari in mild protest, smiling herself with just as little strength. She isn't entirely
positive about the other girl, but she can tell at least one thing: despite appearances, she isn’t evil.
Quite the opposite, it seems. If anything, that alone is reason enough to join hands with this new potential
ally. A "good" person... is not exactly how she'd readily describe herself, after all.
However, while she thinks this, Tairitsu’s mood turns. "What makes you say that?" asks the panting girl,
though her delivery of the question sounds much more like an accusation. Her eyes are almost hollow as
they bore coldly into her opposite. "You might understand it even better than me. This is the kind of place
that would break a girl for the audacity of surrounding herself in pleasures and joys." She stands up
straight, calms her breath, and steadies her gaze, bringing the hand over her chest to the handle of her
parasol. "That's unconscionable. You don't agree?"
Her strength of conviction puts the other girl down for a moment, but Hikari is no longer one who is incapable
of any caring. Gathering a modicum of confidence, she stands up straight herself, and delivers her explanation.
"We're alive," she says, "and if a world can permit that, then it can't be the worst thing."
"Hah...?" The other girl's glare intensifies. "No... If a world can permit life, only to plague that life with ills
and grief, then that world is not just."
"W-Well, maybe not, but—"
"But?" demands Tairitsu.
"But that's shortsighted! What is it that you want to do, exactly?"
"Destroy everything. The world, the glass, all of it. I'll find a way. It's only fair, right?" she explains as a
matter of fact. "I would think you'd resonate with the idea. What has this world been for you other than
an expansive prison?"
"Destroy it...? Even... Even if you could, it would only end everything! This is the only world we know of
that exists for certain, isn't it? If we somehow destroyed it, could we not simply destroy ourselves as well?
Would you... You’d rather die than live here? Why, that's... that's ridiculous!"
"No, that's fine," says Tairitsu simply.
Hikari, not expecting that answer, falls silent. Tairitsu's words were too frightening, and far too sad.
In her silence, Tairitsu continues her interrogation. "Do you have some other idea? Some other plan?"
"No... I don't. I wanted to find—to find a plan with you," admits the other girl, and dismay is clear in her tone.
And Tairitsu, in her recent recovery, recognizes this. It makes her pause. It had been too easy to lash out
at this new acquaintance. She knew she wasn't being reasonable. Indeed, having just found herself with
burgeoning hope again, she could clearly see how cold she’d been until their meeting. And yet, when faced
with another’s hope, she'd attacked. Truly, was she that petty? In the past, this conviction of hers has never
brought her satisfaction or peace, much less resolution. No, her willfulness has only ever led her down a
dark, thorny path stained with gloom. With this in mind, she extinguishes the fire rising in her heart that
had been so sure of its need to burn. If she wants to take this girl's hand... she cannot reject the ideas it holds.
"I... I'm sorry," she apologizes, her passion now fully relinquished. She lowers her head for a moment.
"I... feel the same. I want to work to find something new as well."
Hikari regains a bit of her self-assurance, which had been brought low before Tairitsu. She tells her new
friend, "It's alright. You've had a time here I could probably never understand."
But that righteous fire in Tairitsu's heart had been just enough.
Ultimately, it had only burned for a short moment, like a flash—
but it was enough to rile a dormant shard in the flock of glass around them.
It awakens and, on its own, begins to drift down to where they are, still unseen.
"Don't lose hope," says the girl in light. "Things can always get better."
A shard, shimmering with faded color, comes directly between them.
It catches both their attention—but it will only show its memory to the one clad in black.
The girl adorned in shadows peers through the broken window into another time.
Her smile returns.
What a fool she was.
Not the girl in white, no.
The vision in the glass is no memory.
It cannot be, of course.
What she's seeing is a future: a future that she should have expected,
the fool, the idiot dreamer.
The glass shows an unmistakable image of herself, run through with a jagged pillar of glass,
the wound seeming to sear her clothing and body apart in a blistering, pale, and consuming flame.
The blank, barren lands of Arcaea stretch out far behind her, and before her,
coaxing the pillar with a lifted hand and a blinding, fiery glow around her shoulders,
is a girl clad in white, a very familiar one, though her expression is hidden from this vantage.
It is the girl standing before her now.
The one she has only just met.
This is no memory: it's a vision of what will come to be.
Faced with this, Tairitsu retreats into herself,
and confronts the one truth she was determined to ignore.
Her conviction didn't matter.
She will never find anything good for her in this world.
That last hope is dyed black now, drowned in despair, forgotten.
What else would happen?
What was her hope for?
Idiocy. Tiresome, blind idiocy.
Tiresome, awful, sick of it. Sick of this, sick of herself,
sick of everything in this never-ending, mocking play.
She'd said it herself. This world is hell.
And she knows this, from the fractured ideas of worlds dead and gone:
even angels can one day fall and awaken to demonic form.
The girl in light is just like that.
In a turn final and damning, what was once a mere pit inside her chest is clawed and spread.
It wastes, decays all through in an instant, leaving instead a cold and endless chasm.
As the darkness within it creeps out to coat her insides and choke her thoughts,
she sees Hikari very clearly.
Sees her gaze darting to the shard—sees the panic, the clear knowledge in her eyes.
The girl knows.
And now she can't face her opposite's stare,
won't say a word though she sees clearly.
You're unnerved? Unsettled? Unabashed.
That anger twists into hate and loathing, spilling over and arriving in her eyes.
Wicked betrayer; wicked, wicked place.
She tightens her grasp on her parasol,
looking past the shard to Hikari, who is standing still.
Frozen in place, surely, because her ill intentions have been exposed.
It's worth laughing about.
Tairitsu's eyes narrow, and she excises the remains of those burgeoning emotions
the girl had begun to cultivate within her.
With finality she is emptied,
and with that, she knows what she must do.
But this mirror is still one-way, and thus her anger as well.
Hikari is unable to see within this peculiar shard at all.
Unaware, she can only watch in confusion
as Tairitsu's countenance drains more and more of color.
A sense of danger wells up in her, and though she can't understand why, she can feel it there.
In fact, shadows now seem to be crawling up from the earth, light perishing at their touch.
Darkness nears her, and her breathing shortens. She takes a step back.
She almost can't believe it. She certainly doesn't want to.
Even after surviving the harrowing ordeal, that blinding light sky,
something terrible faces her again without reason.
But still, she had survived it.
And now she knows for certain that survival may not allow compromise.
With this thought in heart and mind, Hikari makes a damning mistake.
She reaches for the one piece of glass,
the one that gave her comfort and direction in the midst of her lowest moment.
When she raises it to her chest,
the hairs on the back of Tairitsu's neck rise up as well.
Fear pulsing through her, along with a conviction to never meet with tragedy again,
Tairitsu closes the distance to Hikari in an instant, without warning,
ready to once and for all firmly grab hold of her life.
If they knew each other’s names, if they even knew their own, would that change how they had felt from
then until now? “Light” and “Conflict”... Names so lofty, in a world so bizarre, so outlandish...
Would they have considered the meanings, and found different paths?
Or would any divergence, any turn or taking of a choice, any circumstance or odd spin of fortune’s wheel
still have set the two girls into inevitable dissent and discord?
Hikari, who still does not know her name, would be unsure. Tairitsu, likewise, is however damned with
fateful knowledge, and knows dissent and discord between them will always be.
Nothing will change. Nothing would.
The girl in white and the girl in black cannot reconcile.
This, all of this, may only lead to—
Hikari’s voice escapes her when the blade of her foe comes. She raises her hand at once, and with it,
glass strikes against glass. It holds, it shines—unbroken, and in her piece Hikari can see her own pale face,
agonized and frightened.
A heartfelt conversation has led to this—to a heart-pounding clash.
She takes a single step in retreat as her body bends from the force of the other girl’s strength.
Her skin goes cold; she finds she can’t breathe.
She realizes there, looking deep into the now-close eyes of the girl attacking her that her being attacked
is not the source of the fright clawing and gripping at her insides. It is not that, nor the fact she can
hardly resist as the push of Tairitsu’s blade inches her own nearer and nearer to her taut neck.
No. The sweat in her palm, the breath trapped in her lungs, it’s all because the person before her—the girl
who had felt to her a tragic and sorrowful figure only moments before—seems now so utterly changed.
She is not the person she’d spoken to like a fellow and friend. In fact, she doesn’t seem like a person at all.
Her stare is so purposeful, her jaw is unmoving, and those fingers of hers, clutched so tightly they’re now
Nothing but a beast garbed in black. A shade, brimming with malice.
Let this end peacefully.
Find common ground.
Don’t be weak. Don’t falter.
With these thoughts in mind, Hikari pushes back.
They have both seen and felt the throes of battle within near countless memories, but vicarious
recollections are no substitute for a genuine struggle between life and death.
Their impromptu blades meet again, entirely without grace. Tairitsu’s strikes stay vicious and direct,
while Hikari’s movements are desperate, forever a hair away from a harmful, fatal slip. She only defends;
she does nothing more. If she could stop this without violence, she’d do so in a heartbeat.
Their flurried tussle is hampered by the peculiar surroundings of the broken church: lamps and benches
placed under a sky. The two move between the aisles. Tairitsu darts toward Hikari’s feet, but her target
remains planted. Hikari lifts the piece of glass that had once served to rescue her, bracing for the rising cut.
But a cut does not come. Instead it is that black parasol: tearing up quickly through the air and cruelly into
her waiting guard.
“Gh...! Hah...!” she groans, panting. It feels like fire has swallowed her hand, and her small finger—she
swears it must have been bent. Her anomalous piece flies from her grasp, and as soon as she is without a
weapon, the pained girl withdraws immediately.
To her own surprise, Hikari lands after her first leap with no waver, no fall. She leaps back again, her dress
fluttering, and she finds herself standing atop the pews just in time to avoid another coming blow.
So close... Can this not be ended with words?
Even if it could, she can’t even find a single word to say.
Even if she could, she isn’t given any chance to speak.
And even when, blessed, she is afforded both; gaining enough distance from her pursuer and time alone
to begin preparing her voice—
a new blade shoots out from nowhere—
it finds her cheek, swift—
and, just like that, it cuts, glancing across her skin.
Hikari loses her breath again. Her hand flies to the left side of her face. She withdraws it, seeing that an
unfortunately now-familiar color has tainted her fingers—her palm. Once more... she goes cold.
Still falling back, she grips both of her arms, trying to quell their trembling.
She swallows the saliva filling her mouth.
And, quietly, she pleads:
And only a bit louder:
Another shard of glass drives through the air like an arrow, and she avoids it though she was given only a
second for its approach. It goes past where her upper arm, its target, had been.
And she shouts, “Please stop!”
“I know what you want to do.”
Hikari stops instead, and in a moment after Tairitsu lands on a row of pews five away from hers.
“What are you? A demon invented by the world?” Tairitsu asks.
“Are you just another fragment from a dead place, come to hound me?”
“I... No!” Hikari yells.
“You don’t know what you are, either...” Tairitsu mutters.
There, Hikari notices: a number of pieces of Arcaea are darting behind and before the other girl like
patrolling wasps. She eyes them warily, and Tairitsu continues to speak, voice dipped long in woe.
“But, if you found me,” she says, “that means you can’t be anything good.”
And Hikari, recalling what this girl had told her of her past, is brought still upon realizing that she can
perfectly understand what that means.
“I’m not... that...” she mumbles in defense. Another bullet of glass comes, shooting past her ear.
She shuts her eyes, forcing tears out of them.
If she is to survive...
...she cannot give up.
Eyes downcast, Hikari calls a new piece of glass to her hand, not even realizing how strange it is that she
can touch it now.
A troop of shards also joins her behind her back.
She lifts her head.
Like this, she once more faces the girl she wishes she could befriend.
They erupt from the gate, crashing through it as if it were a pane instead of metal. Shards of memory whirl
around them in chaos as the girl in black lunges at the girl in white.
Pushed back, and never pushing forth; though she has chosen to fight earnestly, there is still a hope in
Hikari’s heart that this does not have to end in bloodshed. Yet still, even if her sway over the glass is not
nearly as deft, even if she is entirely unpracticed, she truly won’t give in.
Glass shields her back in a slapdash, patchwork pattern, constantly shifting to stop Tairitsu’s roundabout
spears from ever hitting their marks. Hikari’s eyes are sharper than that glass, ever vigilant to pin the
dark girl down; to end this peacefully, through force.
Nothing about it is simple, however.
Now outside the cathedral-shell, open on the misshapen roads and hills of Arcaea, Tairitsu is free.
Keeping close, her movements sweep and her glass flies wide. So doggedly pursued, Hikari finds all she
can do is cling to her desperate defense in preservation of her own life.
Her pulse is quick, and the sweat that had begun in her hands is now permeating her entire body with an
awful chill. Smashing an invisible knife against an invisible dagger, crashing a swift shard into a shining
lance flying true before it can meet her throat.
Blow for blow, for blow, for blow, she is made to realize that their battle has gone from a tussling mess of
violence to a vicious clash of two formidable and absolute forces. She cannot match Tairitsu’s strength,
but with her wits and will kept about her, she can dampen its impact.
To the torrent of emotions before her, she will be the composed counter: the stone weathered, but never
broken; and she will settle this.
They’re even, each holding down her position as points and rays of light shine from the smooth faces of
their chosen Arcaea.
They remain even, in fact, until Tairitsu shifts her focus. Instead of aiming past the other girl’s guard, with
no tell she decides to redirect and send down her flock on Hikari’s right side.
The impact is massive. With an explosion of glints and glamor, it forces Hikari to stumble down to a knee.
Then and there, glaring darkly, Tairitsu lifts and points her black umbrella, its tip revealing the intended
destination: the front of her opponent’s skull.
She spares no hesitation. The strike comes in an instant.
Hikari shuts her eyes. Tairitsu’s brow twists.
The thrust is stopped, but not by either of them. Instead, it is something between them.
Between them, that anomalous shard, previously forced from Hikari’s hand, stands still in the air,
steady as a wall, immovable against the umbrella-spike. Hikari opens her eyes and stares, disbelieving.
Tairitsu lifts her other hand, a swirl of glass rising up around it.
Not hesitating either, Hikari thrusts her hand against the anomaly, and every free piece of glass
surrounding them sways for just a moment before a razor-sharp rainfall begins.
It begins like a storm.
The falling glass, now under Hikari’s command, begins to dart everywhere and every way without order.
Though the shards are hers to control, she cannot grasp how to truly use them for a little while.
Tairitsu, aggravation and concern plain on her face, retreats. Hikari is thus left hidden in a swarm of
edged memories, crouched and still as she concentrates on her newfound power.
Tairitsu surveys the land, looking to the sky and to Hikari’s storm. She holds a hand up over her head,
and thinks: to fight a storm, one must summon a deluge.
Thus, from distant cities and white mountains, the glass of a thousand and more memories are
immediately pulled by her call. Unlike Hikari’s untamed flurry, Tairitsu’s flock is a pattern,
Behind the girl in black, the glass assumes the shape of a giant rose, its petals falling one by one in
swirling descents, slicing cleanly through the squall shielding the girl in white.
And Hikari—now standing, though afraid—can only respond in patterned kind.
Bloom after bloom and chain after chain follow in their maddening, frantic, distant combat. From miles off,
it seems things are exactly as Tairitsu wished: a clash of two storms. Rain fighting rain, “lightning” flashing
throughout, and their undulating “clouds” joining the fray by bursting, spiraling, and flowing in an explosive
display—a sparkling tumult of furious natural powers.
And beneath the whirling and silver floods stand two girls, each with a blaze in her heart.
Each avoid volleys of shards by mere millimeters, and they begin to run as they fight rather than holding
their ground. Rushing through Arcaea’s plains, they cast glass artilleries and skid along the shining earth
as their improvised bullets fall and scatter like shrapnel. Glass pursues, glass cuts off their routes, glass
aims for feet in an attempt to pin the enemy in place.
It is madness: frenetic madness, chaotic yet constant. Their movements soon become nearly even,
steady and regular.
Evade, and fire, always.
Within this overwhelming row of beauty and violence, they once again find themselves evenly matched.
And thus it is Tairitsu’s turn to gain the upper hand.
Her journey in this place has been hell.
Hell from her birth to her first steps—no, even first steps were denied to her, weren’t they?
She’d ventured outside of where she’d first awakened, and not long after her journey was abruptly and
mercilessly stopped by a torrent of misery and tragedy. Ever since then, those two things had been
doggedly following her.
It’s a joke.
I’m a good person, she tells herself.
I am not these dark clothes I was born with. I am not these dark memories I am tormented by.
I am not a person who is “evil”, I am an ordinary person tortured by an evil world.
Without reason, without sense.
A completely, horribly, cruel and merciless world.
A nightmare one can’t wake from.
And the ending, for me, is a pathetic death.
That sort of thing, that kind of thinking, has brought tears to her eyes so many times before.
Now, it’s over. No matter what, it’s over.
With that thought in mind, while she grazes past glass sent at her by the girl she is trying to kill, she notes
the presence of something strange.
A familiar, grotesque presence she’d felt minutes before this.
The feeling like reality itself has lost correctness.
An impossible condition made manifest.
That anomalous feeling is just beside her cheek.
She looks to her right, and the violet-tinged and grossly warped glass of an anomaly comes into her sight.
It is only a moment, only a whim.
Yet it tells everything.
As expected of the aberrant shard, it does not hold simple memory—but beyond expectation, it holds
In an instant, as soon as the shine of its surface has met with her eyes—
—with a sensation that the inside of her skull has been bathed in light, almost full knowledge of the
world, of near everything that ever and absolutely was, unlocks vivid understanding in her mind.
“Eto” and “Kou”... “Saya” and “Lethe”... “Luna”, and—names; countless names.
Even facts of other worlds, destinations of other travelers, ends, beginnings, and elaborated reasons too
all of it.
And the truth, the whole truth, that—
Before her, Hikari stops briefly, noticing the obvious shift in her aggressor’s demeanor.
There’s a change. There’s fear.
So, that’s it. That’s everything.
Tairitsu glimpsed the truth of this cage dubbed “reality”. With that truth, she’s claimed power.
And with both, knowing everything... Knowing everything, what exactly would change?
Her feelings curdle and churn. The endless bitterness packed in her chest flows out of it and courses
through her—onto her tongue, into her teeth. Her lips twist into a morose and bitterly maudlin grin.
Morose and maudlin, but undoubtedly, strangely, mirthful.
Laugh, girl. Call forth a Tempest.
The path here was blazed by the worst recollections of mankind,
and what remains at the end is,
and ever will be,
At the terminus, one of the two will die.
The illusion of an even match shatters, and with its destruction Hikari’s hope finally begins to waver.
Without warning, Hikari’s storm flies to Tairitsu’s side, cloaking the other girl in darkness and light.
As they surround her, her eyes shut for a moment—and when they open again,
those countless memories unfurl behind her as six gargantuan wings.
Now hanging in the sky in blatant defiance of nature,
she lays her sharpened eyes on Hikari.
A simple look reveals to Hikari that the path to victory has been nearly closed.
She had thought the girl a beast before, and now she sees her as what she is:
above, and nigh impossible.
Glass rises up behind her like a gigantic sheet: a skylight, shimmering and clear.
Below, Hikari has little to nothing to fight what will come. At least, that’s how it feels, but...
No... The girl in black does not have everything. This can be survived. It can!
Hikari takes up twenty memories as the window to the heavens breaks.
At first, only a handful of shards hurtle down at her, but they do so rather... slowly.
It disarms her. She starts to think, "this is possible."
As though the elaborate display a moment ago was only that: a display.
As before, Hikari shields herself, quickly blocking the falling glass with unshakable focus,
her eyes darting this way and that to keep measure of the flitting, brilliant crowd.
It makes her confident—she misses nothing. She allows herself a smile.
At the least, she’ll be able to run from this. At the least, this won’t be the end.
A single piece then flies to the middle of her chest, its delivery interpretable only as a message.
It had flown faster than any other piece of Arcaea she’d ever seen.
The girl above speaks to her through this glass shard: "Enough games."
"And enough wasting time. Give up—and die."
The shard cuts through her dress, and Hikari looks into Tairitsu’s eyes.
The girl in black is smiling now, all the sadness and anger gone from her face.
And it’s the most frightful thing she’s ever witnessed in her life and in her memories.
The shard falls out without having reached her skin.
The broken pane whirls into a side-winding tornado. Its mouth barrels down onto her,
slicing fabric and skin, but otherwise simply passes by.
In this is one more message: before the end, the girl in black wants her enemy to know where this began.
Fear overwhelms her. In this riptide of glass, rushing and cutting past her in powerful amounts,
turning up and swirling as if pulled by a great wind, she is made absolutely afraid.
So petrified, she stands fast and watches.
She stands, watching memories of a filthy world.
Memories of pain, betrayal, envy.
Death, suffering, and decay.
Dark. They are only dark. Wherever it is these shards reflect... she sees little light there.
Whatever small sparks she sees fade away in an instant.
This is what the other girl described to her.
The vile reflections of places gone that had been tormenting her since her awakening—
she would now use them to torment another.
Glass hooks under Hikari’s sleeves and stabs into her skirt.
They drag her upward, up into a domain where she can no longer stand.
Tears fill her eyes as an emotion fills her heart: the emotion that comes when recognizing imminent death.
This is not fear.
"Terror" is too little to describe it.
An awful, arresting feeling.
Her own memories run through her head. It’s as if she’s searching for one that will stand out—
one that will inform her that she’s come across something like this in the past,
and this is how to escape.
But nothing comes.
The black storm rages over torso, cutting with little mercy.
Pure torturous intent, coming closer and closer,
as if the intent alone would inflict a fatal wound upon her flesh...
It is unbelievable.
The situation is so far beyond anything she’s ever borne witness to,
whether in her own memories of those of others.
This disgusting blend of facing the unknown, yet knowing precisely what awaits her on the other side...
There is no control over glass for her here.
Something, anything—an anomaly—a miracle.
If something like that appeared, she could make it out. She could step away. She could live.
If there was ever a time, it is now, and here.
The ground below bursts, as if the world itself is rising up to join the hunt.
It is now.
Now! A shard will come to save her!
She prays with all her being for the will of the world to fly to her side and spare her!
For some mechanism of fate, for the wheel of fortune itself,
to produce a "god" that will grant her victorious power!
Beg for it. Hope for it.
Hold that piece which once brought you salvation close to your bleeding chest once again.
That symbol of rescue, of redemption... It will surely—!
Another shard pierces her body, a hateful stake driving at her heart.
It does not reach through, does not strike the heart itself. But its message—a final message—does.
One last message from the girl tormenting her: a simple, merciless message.
The almost lethal blade in Hikari’s breast holds the memory of a vast and all-consuming fire.
So close to death, her heart thumps, reminding her she’s alive.
Her pupils shrink to points.
Like that memory of flame, her body burns.
It burns with a fluid, vicious heat.
Pain. Agony. Blood—
Her savior shard falls from her hand as she reaches that hand for the terrible wound.
And then, a jagged piece of glass whirls out of the tempest and finds the back of that hand.
Sound escapes her.
Run twice through, her breath has gone as well.
Her gaze is steady on the trio of unthinkable sights before her.
This reality, horrible and unimaginable as it is, nonetheless "is".
And so her thoughts, too, begin to vanish.
And now, instincts begin to lurch, old and forgotten, in the wake of those thoughts.
They haven’t yet taken hold, those discarded yet practical sensibilities. They have only stirred.
She is still afraid.
She clings to hope by a little finger.
Somehow, she manages to pull on ten memories to aid her,
striking out the needle-glass that had been keeping her in the sky.
Ingloriously she drops to the now-deformed ground,
her chosen pieces afterward hovering over her crumpled, aching body.
Oddly enough, she finds herself smiling now, too.
She pushes herself up with her left hand. For all the enmity evident in Tairitsu’s assault,
she had taken too much pleasure in inflicting torture on her enemy’s body,
rather than inflicting any sort of mortal blow.
Even the shard now in Hikari’s chest,
so near to her beating heart and flickering with horrid, wrathful flame,
did not do the deed.
Maybe it wasn’t intended to.
Regardless, Hikari is still alive.
She feebly sends forth an attack, which is quickly swatted down by the girl flying above her.
That girl now looks worse than any described devil Hikari has heard of in old memories.
A veritable dark queen, ruling night in a world of day.
That ecstatic, yet obviously empty smile...
Seeing this, Hikari can feel it: how her own feelings are beginning to slip away.
Stark reality is sobering her more and more, and rather than dread it,
as she had been only minutes—no, seconds ago,
she begins instead to register each fact present to the situation.
Slowly—or, as slowly as Tairitsu will allow. Her attack is unending.
Shifting her body left and right, guarding her weakest areas with what few memories remain to her,
Hikari examines their field of battle.
It has been torn asunder, and now looks more a wasteland than ever before.
Ripped, ruined all through, like a town in the aftermath of military bombardment.
The glass around them is uncountable. The power Tairitsu has is immeasurable.
Hikari herself is weak.
Not only in terms of strange abilities and control over glass—her body has been run ragged.
She doesn’t have much left before she falls from weariness alone.
Perhaps she could find an anomaly, but say she couldn’t.
She couldn’t, so "then" is "now".
How do you go on when the way is completely obstructed?
Should you...? Go on?
Glass strikes her shoulder, shining with light.
Hikari stares into its reflection.
So, the other girl can control light too, now. Well...
She decides to think over what she’s observed once again.
She recognizes that she could die here, or she could not.
These are the two possibilities, and knowing that, she finds herself in acceptance.
This could be the end.
In a moment, this could all be over.
And while she’d rather it not, she can’t help but echo the idea:
"So it goes."
After thought, hope, and feeling...
determination is the last to fade from her.
This is not... a laying down of arms.
When she pulls the shard from her hand,
her eyes briefly dazzled from the white flames licking up and searing closed her wound,
she does not press it to her neck.
She would certainly prefer to live... but she would not mind.
She wouldn’t mind, with the odds being so impossible.
Hikari stands in the wind of blades, barely a shard in her employ.
She can’t discern Tairitsu’s face anymore.
Her domain has become pandemonium, and seeing through it is too difficult.
Eventually, while trudging through the flying glass, Hikari notices that
some segments of the whirlwind are reversing in fits and starts.
The bizarre movement is so unnatural she genuinely wonders if the girl above her is doing it on purpose.
It’s reminiscent, she thinks, of a skipping video.
It isn’t any better or worse than the bullet curtains she’s been facing so far, but it is quite peculiar.
The earth quakes.
She utters a "Wha...?" as she feels it.
The earth, quaking?
It could be that the ground will break again.
Thinking that, Hikari shields her face and chest with her arms.
When nothing comes, she remains curious about the phenomenon.
If it wasn’t the girl above her, Tairitsu wouldn’t have noticed it—after all, she was flying now.
More of the blade storm is shifting and roiling in rough, rigid movements now.
She decides to throw a crew of glass the other girl’s way again.
It passes easily through the waves again, but then it suddenly turns very bright and breaks away.
The shards don’t break themselves... They vanish, and the space where they were looks as if it is cracked.
Once she sees this—once she recognizes what she’s seeing—everything around her enters stasis.
In this instant, the obsidian-glass which had been flying all around her is stuck fast within reality.
To her, it looks absolutely beautiful.
A smile crosses her lips without her wanting. "How pleasant," she whispers, chuckling to herself.
Something so beautiful here: where she could soon find her grave.
It’s so bizarre that it is... to laugh. So she does. She makes earnest yet sad, dry laughter...
But as motion gradually returns to the objects around her, and to the one above...
A fracture splits across it.
It widens, carving a shape out of heaven, and that immense segment begins to plummet.
Even more bizarrely, hundreds of images flash across it, blinking rapidly from one to the next.
The world begins to fall into strange ruin.
As Hikari bears witness to this, more satisfaction rises to her smile.
The storm is still slow, the image—too fantastic.
The sky—the genuine sky, not an artificial one—is falling, stopping, and falling again,
as if grand pieces of a celestial puzzle are being moved and switched by some befuddled god.
her smile begins to gradually recede.
The look in her eyes grows colder, her breath slows,
and the faint glimmer of excitement provided by this cataclysmic view is snuffed out,
replaced with objectivity. Her opinion on the disaster destroying all is delivered in a single word.
With a little appreciation, in a mostly hollow tone, she says, "Delightful."
As if the word has any meaning.
As if the fall has any meaning.
As if the world has any meaning.
For a moment, she was remembered. That was enough.
The world bowed to the girl marked by red, as white fire rose from her body. Now cloaked in flames
that will not burn without her say, she wonders why this has come to pass. Her foe was stopped. The
battle, for a moment, was stopped. And there is more. Above there is more.
All because she has touched on what once was; when faced with the thought of dying, she was not afraid.
However, dying was also the last thing that she wanted. And still, now, she refuses to die.
Now, in a valley of nothing, beneath a sundered sky, her blood falls but does not strike the ground. Only
beyond here can a single tower be seen: the bell tower of a hollow church, jutting there between the
divide as if to mark it for those below.
The conclusion approaches now. It was expected.
Was it fate?
Now, there is starlight in the heavens. The veil is rent, and the darkness behind it is glittering. Is it within
her notice? Does that matter? The pictures have slowed, and stopped. The fall of the firmament has
slowed, and stopped. Her blood is hot. Her eyes are dull.
And Tairitsu knows: despite their dullness, those eyes promise "demise". She knows. She swallows what
little spit dampens her otherwise dried-out tongue and throat. She meets those eyes. Wordlessly, she
vows to defy them.
In Hikari's heart, "emptiness" threatens. However, it isn't the emptiness that Tairitsu can view through
the silent girl's stare. "Will" lurks, but not in weakness. There is a sincere will to survive, unkillable in
Hikari's soul. It will not perish. Wordlessly, she vows to live.
Tairitsu moves forth like a dragon.
The world holds her back, and still, like an untamable beast, she resists. Is this atmosphere? It is force—
ripping at her skin, and yet she drives forward still, to the true beast standing on the earth. That beast
turns her head.
The world seems to turn on its side, and at once Tairitsu meets the ground. Glass falls in a tumultuous
clatter, splashing and scattering and flying out. She cannot feel her arm for a moment, but forces it to
return to recognition. She drags herself onto her knees, and spots a white tongue of flame flashing
through the shards beneath her. She flies backward then.
The earth is set ablaze.
The world turns again.
Her stomach lurches with motion, though she soon stops and stands still.
And with no warning, before her stands the girl in white, a scarf of flames of the same the same pale
color burning over shoulders.
Once again, Tairitsu makes to retreat.
Glass flies up—and down—to ensnare her, forming a great prism around her body. Her body trembles
once before not moving at all.
And so again, she looks into Hikari's eyes. Hikari does not look back. She looks only into the cage she's
And, she whispers something, but...
...it is nothing that the girl in black wants to hear.
Tairitsu's grasp shatters through the rough glass, aimed at Hikari's open neck. Hikari lifts her eyes to
Seven colors ring out, and the flow of time goes still.
Because the sentiment asking for her to stop all this is not kindness, but lack of care: a frightening and
deeply seated apathy. This is what she always had. This profound indifference—she must have felt
Within her soul, two wills are at war.
I can't, she thinks.
I have to, she thinks.
And these thoughts—they fight against those building sentiments of "should" and "shouldn't".
But she feels a fire flickering in the depths of her heart; yes, her true wishes are much too strong to lose.
Hikari stands before Tairitsu, whose hand is out and whose face is contorted with rage. Around them,
a rainbow has been torn apart and is bleeding through the air. Tairitsu cannot move. Hikari cannot move.
Inside of her, hope asks, "When you bring back time, can't you just push her far away?" Her will-to-be
That's fair, she thinks. Hope can't be a worthless thing.
The world begins to move again, and Tairitsu is sent, in an instant, behind that distant chapel's gates.
Her impassioned grasp closes around one of its bars, and glass comes to help her tear the metal
construct from its hinges. At once, she realizes what game the beast has played. She takes hold of
whatever other glass can be found around her, and sends it all to the air, each flickering and each
reflecting. She finds Hikari soon, and then she moves the earth.
Things twist beneath that earth, and within the world's fabric, as Hikari plants down her foot in quiet
rebellion. In a sudden but frightening way, she realizes that Tairitsu still has the aim—and the means—
to take away all of this. So, to hope?
She already knew that hope was gone.
The space between them warps. Which of them asked for this, neither can tell. They face each other
behind the broken gate, within the shadow of that cathedral.
And, with a smile, Hikari repeats herself. She tells Tairitsu, easily, "I said... you don't have to do this."
It is nothing that the girl in black wants to hear.
"What 'has' to be done? Are you joking?" says Tairitsu.
"You don't know why you're here, do you? Does anyone, other than me?"
"What has to be done? You're right: nothing has to happen. Nothing in this place matters, and you... you
don't even understand. You don't know anything."
"I've kept it up long enough. Do you think I care to be here? You know, honestly, maybe I'm the 'hero' of
this worthless story. Maybe I'm its 'villain'."
"Whether I am, whether I'm not... Honestly, whatever; it doesn't really matter. Maybe... you ought to die."
"You're right. I don't have to do this."
"Neither did you."
...The words, pointed as they are, seem to roll out of her like smooth and heavy stones, bowling over and
through Hikari before her.
To Hikari, it sounds only like insanity. She feels now like she and the other girl have been connected...
but all that's in the other girl's mind is madness.
Tairitsu knows that her mind is madness. And what of it, she thinks? It has been driven there. There is
nothing to lose and nothing to gain.
She speaks one final time, saying, "If you want to live, then kill me."
"But you should know this first..."
"I want to die."
Her words are sincere, and her sincerity and wickedness are manifested. Might fills Tairitsu's stomach
and burns into her hands.
She will force the ending now, no matter what it will be.
With that sentiment guiding her, she calls upon the shards to which neither girl has laid claim:
The fragmented segments of the sky. They begin to fall, and the horizon darkens.
Hikari cannot control everything.
Rather, her control was lost very quickly after she had gained it.
A tug of war...
No, this would be better referred to as a struggle—
This would be better called a beating.
As the first part of the sky falls to the earth, crushing a part of the cathedral and showering everything in
dust, it falls very near to her. This cannot be coincidence—it's too close to be chance. She understands,
as more comes down, that Tairitsu has the sky.
And that... can only be called absurd.
The land and the air—the glass, the wind—all of it is being heaved up, pulled down, turned and tossed.
She can disappear some of it. She can point at some of it, and make it vanish into nothing but pale and
transient fire. She can even pull parts of the sky to her thrall. When Tairitsu throws the world at her, she
can catch and throw it back.
It is cataclysmic: as if giants have descended, and now stomp down on the earth.
And amidst the white there is black she cannot touch, called from the distance. There are shards that
Tairitsu will not give back. This, everything, is now being taken.
As she battles back—as the plains and gates and buildings rumble—her teeth are forced to chatter. She
plants her feet again, but can still feel tremors into her fingernails—into her skull. The cathedral
standing over them groans as it is beaten by the debris of the heavens. But, it does not fall. Nor will she.
...She should have stopped this sooner. She had had a chance.
Her heart beats. Her eyes narrow, only a bit—
Is the core of the world going to break next? That's what the other girl wants, right?
As she thinks that, as she holds the landscape together and thinks—so quickly thinks about how
to stop her, if that is the case—
Her chest is leashed. A line of Arcaea flies from the darkness and wraps her chest in a pointed
embrace. Fire burns this away, but her chest is leashed again.
Her arms are leashed. With effort, she turns her head. Her legs, her feet, her thighs are leashed.
Her stomach is leashed. Her body burns again, and her body is bound again.
These shadows—these memories of woe are keeping her trapped.
That... There's some black humor in that.
Tairitsu approaches, and Hikari breaks some of the bonds around herself, freeing her leg. She takes
one step backward with it, and finds a spike just behind her. Some hideous formation, aimed at her
So, she simply stares into the glass, and wills it to be set ablaze.
Yet it refuses to.
She is tied down again. She is brought low. She is tugged, suddenly, down to her knees. There might
still be a way out.
Or, there might have been.
...When did it happen?
When she lifts her head, Hikari finds Tairitsu standing motionless before her.
解锁要求：完成Axiom of the End的最终挑战
Met with silence.
Though they do not speak, the two have locked eyes tightly with one another. They stare, unflinching,
as the sounds of their finished battle echo.
Through the rumbling of broken earth, through the whistling of scattered wind, and through the dust
and debris cast and rolling out from ruined, beaten monuments... both girls are unmoving, their eyes
only on each other.
And yet despite that, Hikari can see it:
In that girl's eyes, an ember of the passion which had brought Hikari down still distantly burns. This is
not a suggestion for a truce, it is a wordless threat.
Hikari swallows, and Tairitsu eyes her open neck: eyes that throat that she hates; that voice that she hates.
Her will and her desire prick at Hikari's skin.
Now Hikari asks for time to go still. It flows on.
She tries to destroy her bindings with flames. They remain.
The earth will not yield. The sky will not bend.
With nothing else in mind, she finds herself holding her breath.
The sky has finished falling... The cathedral is still breaking...
Dust lingers between and above them.
And that sharp and wicked will is still flickering in Tairitsu's eyes.
Those eyes begin to gently narrow. In this moment, although ruined, the world is calm.
...Tairitsu smirks at a memory, then. Hikari maintains her stare.
"We're back here," Tairitsu says. She tilts her head, only a little. "Are you going to do it? Are you going to
wish for a miracle again?"
But Hikari will not answer.
"...Miracles are miracles because they're too convenient—too perfectly timed to ever actually happen.
You've seen enough broken worlds through these shards... through Arcaea. You know, then, that
miracles are the same as 'hope'."
"And besides, with or without miracles, you live... you die."
Hikari breathes. Tairitsu gently straightens her own back.
The girl in black goes on, "You know: I would much rather just forget. Forget everything."
Another attempt to move. Another reminder that she has been brought utterly still. Her shoulders
strain. Her toes curl.
"I'm going to kill you," Tairitsu says, "and this world... 「your world」is going to die."
Again, she pushes a smile across her lips. She breathes in, and forces out a laugh.
With her other hand, she takes Hikari's cheek. She lifts the bound girl's chin.
"You really are right," says Tairitsu as she brings her palm nearer, "I really don't have to do this... for you."
Her smile disappears as she leans forward.
Tairitsu's eyes... have a familiar look.
It is regret, and sympathy.
Her wings of black have folded down.
Above, the night sky continues to glitter.
Although all the fury has passed... Hikari's heart continues to pound.
She admits to herself: it won't be enough to just "stop" her.
Tairitsu begins to bring her left hand away from Hikari's throat, and as she drags it back...
...something black and pointed glitters in her palm.
To end this, Tairitsu says this:
"I'll let you know clearly: my name here was Tairitsu, and yours was Hikari."
Hikari whispers a word forced.
She almost hisses: "Please stop..."
And Tairitsu tilts her head.
"...This again?" She thinks for a moment, and adds, "Nothing's going to change."
Hikari breaks her bonds with a show of blinding light. She stands and holds out
her hand to wish for a weapon—
Her wrist, her waist, her legs are all pulled back down.
Still, she wishes, and within her palm a sword begins to manifest. It is something "new". Something
created. Not a memory: though still made of glass.
An impossible blade... Along its edge, space seems to be bending, glistening. Arcaea rewrites itself,
and slowly allows the weapon to be.
Tairitsu thinks: How funny this is...
She has seen that jagged pillar before.
And immediately once more, Hikari breaks free. She turns her sword in her palm, and thrusts it into the
earth. With this, Tairitsu is forced backward by a queer gust—pushed so far away.
Hikari brings the blade back up, raising it toward Tairitsu, and as she does she sees her own hand shaking.
Tairitsu lands despite still being pushed away, and her gaze falls again on the familiar sword.
...Her teeth grind together.
She looks into Hikari's face, and sees that the girl can't focus at all.
The game of bounding back and forth, the hesitation—
She has no patience for even a bit of it.
Glass walls push up from the earth around Hikari, each bearing Tairitsu's approaching figure. Reflections,
or maybe true images—? Something is strange about them, and to see them, to feel them coming and
see the glinting in their palms, fear pulses through Hikari's body.
That hand is lifted, and it will land nowhere else but her waiting throat.
With both hands now trembling, the girl in white holds onto her sword.
Something sounds off loudly in her head: a painful ringing, followed by the sound of her heart once
more in her ears.
Reason tells her that this can go on forever.
If she turns her sword back and thrusts it down again, the walls will fall away, and Tairitsu will be
Reason tells her that this can go on forever.
If she turns her sword back and thrusts it down again,
the walls will fall away, and Tairitsu will be easily pushed.
When she feels Tairitsu's hand gently holding her right cheek...
When what is clearly Tairitsu's flesh and blood body appears before her,
why does she thrust her sword upward,
and through the other girl's chest?
Her emotions power her through the strike. Out of the corner of her eye,
she sees a dark shard of glass drop from Tairitsu's hand—
her right arm having been brought back in reflex and pain.
A blinding shine grows slowly, and soon rapidly. An aura surreal: above and beyond reality—
—and, a cry for life roars out, so consuming life in return.
The shout pulses and vibrates through the earth, and also through Tairitsu's body.
Like that, sound dies, and so too does the girl.
As soon as it stabs through her—sets within her body—the blade swallows her life, her blood and essence
quickly filling the glass. And then, the glass slowly begins to shatter and fade.
In an instant, she is completely extinguished, and her body begins to fall.
Quickly, without thinking, Hikari takes the hand Tairitsu had placed on her cheek.
In seconds, the other girl is quickly gone, leaving only a cold and silent form behind.
Yet... warmth runs over Hikari's fingers as the sword of glass continues to break and disappear.
In her other hand, she can feel the strength of Tairitsu's grasp completely vanish.
The girl's feet now reach the ground, and like that only Hikari's wet and warm hand still supports her.
Her eyes are closed now. Her brow is furrowed... and then is not. Like this, without peace: she is dead.
And only now, with her own eyes wide and her own heart still beating, does Hikari understand this.
She slowly pulls back her left hand, and the girl's body begins to fall.
She returns her hand to the lifeless body and holds the girl as her stare continues to widen.
She squeezes the girl's dead hand tightly, and the two come down to their knees.
With her hand against Tairitsu's motionless chest,
she feels warmth again, and brings her eyes to the wound that she made.
She has wounded the earth and sky as well... though she finds it difficult to look anywhere
other than that disfigured hole, as everywhere else around her has become flattened.
The strength she had put into her strike must have been immense...
The scene has been leveled entirely; the sky has gone completely still; the cathedral is all but no more.
Behind Tairitsu some fractured brick wall has flown out from the blast and fallen.
Evidently, it was shielded and kept from disintegrating by the powerful girl's body.
But, still... the shield had been pierced.
Stupidly, Hikari brings her face near to the other girl's, and waits for a breath that will never come.
She squeezes the dead hand tighter, and when it does not hold her back in return, she throws it down in anger.
She digs her nails into the front of the other girl's clothing. Feeling something warm once again,
she looks and realizes that tears have begun to fall on her hand.
And though she knows what had warmed it before—she had to have known—
seeing her own hand dyed in red and cut through by her own tears... throws her suddenly into panic.
She straightens her back in terror, then nearly falls backward.
Her face contorts and her lips tremble.
She sobs, brings her clean hand to her face, and sobs more deeply.
Now, she falls, Tairitsu coming down along with her. Hikari pulls her stained hand down to her dress,
and the corpse leaning upon her collapses back instead against the cathedral's debris.
Her own words echo inside of her head—
Her own sardonic chastisement—
You never had to do this.
...It isn't funny.
The reality of everything is becoming so impossible to ignore. Leave your hand down all you want—
the heat that burns through your skin isn't going to disappear like the sword.
A girl is dead, and you were the one who took her life. You killed her.
You knew how much she suffered... Did you really try to understand her?
"What will you do now"...? No, don't you understand?
You can't just move on. You want to pick yourself up, continue your journey?
This world already remembers everything that you did.
What? Where's your sense of triumph? You won, didn't you? You are alive.
Do you hate it?
Does that justify it? Does that make things better? "Justification"?
...Is something wrong with you?
You're only thinking about yourself.
With this thought, her heart feels as if made of paper, all falling away.
She grips her own hair, but still cannot bring up her left hand.
She cannot stop damning herself.
Herself. Herself. Herself.
And something lingers, telling her...
...is that anything new?
Her first impression was that she'd awakened to a cloud of glass butterflies.
"How pleasant," she thought, "that these figures can move as well. Where are the strings?"
She sat onto her knees, fixed her dress, and found that there were no strings, and these were not butterflies.
Glass shards, flying on their own. "Delightful!" she felt, and so she said it.
The glass reflected another world than the one in white surrounding her.
In it she could see reflections of seas, cities, fires, lights;
she rose her hand to scatter them, and laughed in joy.
...I didn't know these pieces of glass had a name: Arcaea.
To tell the truth, they were so beautiful to me that it didn't matter the name.
I entertained myself by touching them, swirling them, watching them. That was enough, no?
And you knew it all the while. Maybe you almost saw it once as well—
but it's impossible for people to truly change.
That, too, is something that you always knew.
The curtain will not draw to a close. This never "ends".
There is no meaning to be found here. Like you wanted.
Just another crying girl, alone in a world of the dead.
At least there is one truth you could take comfort in, one fact irrefutable,
now etched into you with the blood of the one girl who had been so near to taking you out of it.
It was paradise.
After life, "heaven", the world of the dead.
It should come as no surprise that the departed might linger in a place like that, at least for
a little while. Or perhaps they will linger just above it.
That's where I am. That's where you are.
"...So that's it? My hand on her cheek? Her running me through with glass? I can't feel either anymore.
I can't feel anything—can't feel her...
...Let me go... "
Why? You're here, but... isn't there something still stirring inside of you? You've got a few little pulses of
life left... a little more to go.
No, it's not quite over yet...
It's been much longer than this, hasn't it? You've already seen so much worse.
Now get up, fight. Fight agai—
Let's just talk, instead.
"You're not listening. I don't want to talk. I already said, I just want to... to..."
I want you to remember.
"...You're pretty annoying, you know.
Then do you remember? If you do, you should know why I...
...These memories... aren't going to leave me easily, now that I know them.
Even if I don't want to, I really am starting to remember every little thing.
And... if I'm remembering right... Ha, I've thought this before, but... is this a joke?"
"My old life... I loved being alive, but...
Living... was awful.
How many times was I thrown down? How many times was I spat on? Hate followed us everywhere
even though we just wanted to... to take our powers and...
We scared them.
"'We'? And who are you?"
Well, who are YOU?
"Well funny thing... that's actually the one thing I don't remember.
...I guess you might as well call me 'Tairitsu'."
Then... call me that, too.
"You're kidding... Really? Are you... Are you telling me that I'm right?"
"That when she made this world, she didn't think about a single part
of it. If you're... If the life I had here was...
...I'd say she just never learned.
"...I don't feel sorry for her, if that's what you're getting at. We may have come from different realities, but
she must have understood what she could do. She had to know, and she just didn't care. And that's why...
I don't care that she wasn't brought up and taught like I was. Just... look. Look at what all my training with
the Shapers got me. I was different from her because of who I was, not what I learned. If I'd had the
strength... If I'd really had the power to change things, for the whole world—"
I would've, but I couldn't, and I didn't.
"...And that's what I got: another go, because that's what she wanted, and in her stupidity she gave that
to everyone else, too. So... dumb. It's dumb, right? You have to laugh. Come on! Laugh!"
"What, you can't? Of course you can't, I mean—what kind of second chance was this? Just some
kind of... terrible... ironic reflection.
Struggling while alive, while everything claws and rips at you.
Getting up when you're broken and bleeding—I DID that!
I kept standing up, kept fighting even though I KNEW it was pointless!
Why would she make me live all of that again!? Answer me—why!? I...!
I wanted things to change...
I never wanted... to give up..."
...Did you? This second time around?
I know I'm dying. Could you tell me something? Can I still see outside, before I go? Through my birds...
Can I see her little prison, one last time?"
So many small and unknown corners, with trapped souls wandering around them.
I guess you can't call them souls. Everything here is only a memory—even us.
What are they thinking...? I only caught a glimpse of that shard, and it didn't tell me everything."
Most of them are happy. Very, very happy.
"...Now that's just evil, haha...
...I feel like crying... you know? I just want to cry—about everything. Why'd I do all this? Why did I die?"
"...That's a good look on your face. Have you got an answer for me? Tch... I'm... I just...
It all hurts... Everything hurts. It's like I finally, really get it, and it's...
It's just horrible. I can't even cry anymore..."
Well, that's it.
You didn't really want to die, so why did you?
"...When I first lived, the road ahead was dark...
But I knew that it would branch into countless others. I could find death somewhere, sure, but I could find
anything else if I just walked down the right path.
It was never like that here, and looking back, I feel sick for ever thinking that it was.
These roads are barren, and there's no place to stop.
Anyone, no matter their path, will march and march on blindly, until
their legs give out and they see the truth of it:
that it doesn't matter what turns they take. Every single path leads to nothing at all."
...I actually don't think so. I think... there must be a road here that leads to something else.
"What makes you say that, when you're trapped out here only able to talk to the dead? Are you stupid?
Were you paying attention, even once?"
...I just can't believe that. I have to have hope...
I don't want to believe that... that...
"This is just what I was saying. You don't want to see the truth? Nothing here mattered at all."
It can't be the truth.
I can't let it be the truth.
You understand. If that's the truth, wouldn't it be... gross? Wouldn't it be too sad?
...I do remember that, from back when I was living. Thinking like that was what kept me alive.
You really are me. She really copied me out and... it really is true for all of us—we're all hollow, copied souls.
She's still alive. We're all dead."
"But then... why are you here? Where are the originals for everyone else? Where are their souls?"
...I don't know, and I don't know.
Actually, you still haven't said so... so, just... just tell me, alright? Are you really the real me? Are you my soul?"
Yes... that's what I am. Yes, I've been all alone out here, and yes, I've been watching.
And you're pretty annoying, huh?
Aren't you also real, Tairitsu? Aren't we all?
"Maybe we are. Maybe I was."
I doubt someone as annoying as you could be fake.
I'd never have guessed I'd be watching myself experience a terrible fate again in a second life,
only for things to change.
You said it yourself.
You gave up.
I wanted you to... I don't know.
I really wanted the change to be... good.
Do you really think it still can't be? The "villain" is dead, after all...
"I know you're joking, but... I'm sorry.
I was just angry.
I don't want to completely give up on it either.
I don't think it's hopeless. I mean, you're still here after the end, aren't you? Maybe you'll still be here
after I'm gone...
And... if you still are watching after I'm gone...
...I really think you shouldn't give up hope like I did.
Maybe, I don't know...
...No, I know it:
The girls left here might be able to save themselves. I want to believe that.
A change, just like you said...
That's all I want.
If I don't go away forever, if you can find me after all of this, let me know when they do."
"This is funny too, huh...
When I was alive, when the others weren't there, I remember I always... talked to myself.
But, you know... I never felt alone."
No one alive is really alone.
"That was it...
That's what I always told myself...
...I want to see the world again.
A ruined tower, and pieces of glass floating in the air. A wide world of white.
White, white, and more glass. Drawn to departed souls...
But I can see it on their faces:
None of these girls are lost anymore."
..."None of them"? Looks like you finally forgot about her.
Oh, you're right, her... I actually can see her, too—well, she's really torn up about this...
...But isn't that a good thing? It's... different. She's upset, she's hurt...
It's better than 'nothing'."
"I'm not sure if she'll be okay, but I am sure she'll take this with her. Honestly... I'd even apologize to her,
thinking about it now. I think I did the right thing, but—"
You didn't do anything right.
"Pff...! Hah. Okay. but... I don't think I did anything wrong.
I'd apologize to her. I mean... Why wouldn't I? We're real. And if she's real... then she's just another fool
ghost, punished for nothing and knowing nothing.
This is really it, huh...?"
I'm sorry to say, but... yes, I'm sure.
"Sorry to say, but... I can't just do that. I'm honestly... barely here..."
Honestly, I'm sorry. I don't have any regrets, but... the hate I felt wasn't even... for you. The other... you...
She's still out... there. Still a...live...
I still... hate her.
You should know that... you're stronger than her.
That's why, Hikari...
...I know you'll stand up again."
Close your eyes.
"They're already closed."
Don't worry anymore...
"I'm not worried."
I'll see you again.
"I don't think so.
But that's okay.
I accept it.
I had everything to suffer, but I still wanted to change everything for the better...
I fought FOR something... no matter what it was I had to face.
No matter... how misguided... I became...
I'm sorry... that I chose to die.
I'm sorry for throwing it all away.
...Even if I wasted it... I was lucky to get another chance.
So... I accept it."
"I want her to kn... tha... I don't... don't want a... pathetic...
I don't want a... stupid finale... to be all I'm remembered... for.
...If you can hear me, I want you to know this, Hi... Hikari...
I mean it. Don't... forget...
I accept this life."
A girl weeps before her remains now.
So anguished, so crippled with grief, the girl misses the final smile on her face before it fades.
Some of this tale remains untold. The truth is, some tales end without ever being fully told.
And their pieces—their shards are what remain, to be put together and understood.
This has always been a world of shards, a world of pieces.
The girls have always been left to pick those pieces up.
Believing that reflections have meaning. Believing that being, at all, is why anyone would ever be.
Now the girl in white crumples down to the earth, hurt and alone.
But she will find and carry pieces too.
Memories will live on, here.
All will be remembered, until and past the very end.
They will all carry on.
And none will ever forget.
你以为我会为此死去？还是以为我会让‘其他’人为之死去……！ ？ "
—— Arcaea 开始失去光芒。
Hikari sits amidst dust and blood.
I see her there... Her folly has ruined her. Self-pity has ruined her.
As she gazes through her fingers, her hand still on her face,
she finds, once more, the sight of you, my second self, dead.
And the apathy which brought about your death—
the apathy which brought about this all—must be threatening to encroach again.
I know it: the girl in white and red can feel it. She can feel that she was meant for this.
That you were meant to die, and she was meant to kill you.
Her back relaxes...
The world itself... Arcaea... She can likely feel tension releasing throughout it.
The disorder is gone... It's safe now...
But I can hear it too...
Something like a whisper, easing into her heart, seems to ask her to embrace this state.
To embrace herself, and embrace Arcaea.
...She whispers something to herself: a name. Her voice is shaking, barely audible through her crying.
"What did you mean...? That our names 'here' were those...?"
She falls silent, and seems to wonder.
The whisper comes again, telling her: if you want it, those answers will arrive.
This place—it is an archive to all memory...
...And yet still, she remains silent.
Beneath her building apathy is a sheer and shining hatred.
She cannot stop hating herself.
Obviously not. After all that's happened... how could she allow an ending like this?
What would it mean? What would it mean for her?
She... She, who walked here, could never accept it.
With nausea eating at her stomach, she clenches her jaw.
Hikari puts her hand to the dirt and sand below her and lurches up onto her knees.
And she asks,
"Arcaea... Were you here to heal me?"
Her arm relaxes... like a cool sensation has woven up the limb.
"...I can feel it,"
Hikari mutters as her eyes slowly close, her voice still hoarse."
"...Paradise, for someone scared, tired, and weak..."
She swallows the dry nothingness in her mouth.
Opening her eyes, she grabs up sand and begins to rise to her feet
as much of it pours out from between her fingers.
"I don't know what to do..."
Hikari goes on,
"...but would it be right of me to let you hold me again?""
"It... absolutely wouldn't."
"I... don't want this..."
"I don't want it...!"
Hikari suddenly bends over, gripping her stomach and pushing
her other hand against her mouth. She sways heavily.
Her "refusal" seems to be enough to make this world recognize her once more.
As she holds her mouth shut, eyes wide in fear, she suddenly winces.
I can hear it too: a sharp noise, flying suddenly through her ears—through her head—
And inside her heart again—no longer a whisper, but almost a vibrating bellow.
A silent, yet powerful voice filling her and saying: decide, and speak your heart's intent.
As she is...
...Hikari is nothing but a girl moved by her heart.
And it is heart that brought her here—long before she first opened her eyes.
Is it instinct? Does that "body" remember how this all happened...? How she was before...?
I don't really care.
I just... find it very funny, and ironic, that this new heart would undo it all in a single beat.
Her answer... after her breathing has become shallow, after her heart has trembled long past a minute,
is ultimately clear and resonant:
"My intent... is to reverse."
"I have to bring her back."
"This world... doesn't make any sense!
You think I'd die for it? You think I'd let someone ELSE die for it...!?"
"I can't! I won't!
Whatever I need to do, whatever I need to give up... I'll sacrifice it all for that...!"
She holds the earth in her palm, firmly, before throwing her hand out and scattering the sand.
"I'll die if it means I can change all this—!"
The world's heart beats, and its sound silences her cold.
It would never give her up. It will not.
The voice fills her again—
And its sentiments, and knowledge, enter her chest and run to her fingertips.
It says, You cannot die.
You were born here to live, and living is what you chose.
Hikari... knows this.
And guilt—apology—forces tears to well in her eyes.
But, the world's heart beats again before she can cry.
Do not die, says Arcaea.
Only let it end.
...And so her lips tighten.
Tears break past her eyelid, and trace down her cheek.
And she nods.
A heart beats again...
And like that—
—Arcaea begins to lose its light.
And in so doing, it floods into her, flows into her hands and heart.
It drives her down. It nearly causes her to collapse.
For that while, memories flash across her eyes, but I can tell... they are memories ignored.
Her eyes fix upon your lifeless corpse instead.
I think all she knows now... is "what she has to do".
And I can feel myself being tugged there already... down, down...
down: to where you were slain.
Does she... truly understand what it is she's abandoning?
Does she truly understand what is "ending" by this?
I don't know.
...You won't either.
...Actually, if she's taking me, then... will I remember any of this? Will I understand?
No... probably not. But... she seems so sure of herself now.
I'm going to let that heart of hers be the beacon for whatever comes after.
...I trust it. You would, too, wouldn't you?
After all, you were right...
The two of them... are completely different.
...I'll be going now.
But don't worry.
I will surely take you with me.
The skies are forced down again, and the earth rises to her will.
To die, and to make Tairitsu live again.
Lives and souls cannot truly be brought into this world of the dead.
Only their shapes, only their echoes...
And to begin with,
the souls of the girl of light and the girl of conflict... were never quite ordinary.
Truly, the world was not meant for this.
Surely, the world will shatter for this.
But it will do everything to rewrite it all—or at least try.
It would need both the girl in black's "first soul"
and what fragments can be found of her second self's..."
And now one fragmented soul calls out to a full other.
Swiftly, that other soul is torn from beyond the pale.
A tornado flies around Hikari then,
ripping the veil of reality around her apart in a torrent of shadow and light.
Arcaea "remembers" the other girl, and at Hikari's command those memories come rushing back as glass.
They seem almost instantly born. Or perhaps they have always been here.
...Will they even suffice? Can this world weave two fractured souls?
...It will. The rules do not matter. Hikari will make it so...
With these memories of the girl named Tairitsu...
Glinting through the storm, those glass memories come swiftly.
There was a girl here who once walked the lands in agony.
A girl dogged mercilessly by sorrow and grief...
Yet she strode onward to save herself.
To save herself and to grasp freedom.
She had only ever wished for one thing:
the chance to have some reason to smile.
To make this world a better place, she was a girl who stood and faced it,
even if "better" would mean turning this world over.
The memories flash across Hikari's eyes, distracting her even more
from her own encroaching recollections.
Few of the other girl's tears pass through the storm. Much of her pain seems to have been forgotten.
It seems so... but in truth, as a soul of light, still pushing away
the cruel truth of that soul as she is, it is all Hikari can do to find even the fleeting moments
of the other girl's sincerest despair—the rest, the longer of them, lie beyond her grasp.
...However, knowing where that truest pain had led the girl in black, Hikari gives that sorrow up,
and so too gives up the moment that they met, which she cannot find.
The Tairitsu born of this all... will be one who has not seen the true depths of her plight,
but will still know herself as one who was born and lived in the midst of struggle.
New energy booms out from Hikari. Four columns of light, immense fonts of power, erupt from the ground.
It is the world protecting her, as the shadow soul to which she called finally descends.
She almost fails to recognize it at its approach. What floats before her and begins to block the sky
is something like Death: the immense and chilling shape of a phantom. It gently slows as it nears,
and there, at once, the dark begins to flow into the rotating glass.
There she truly comprehends it. With a firm nod, she eases the process, guiding soul to glass.
The lost soul of Tairitsu "before" thus becomes the living essence of the new body to come,
with that of Tairitsu "after" stabilizing the rest of the shell.
The shaking beneath Hikari's feet becomes almost too much to bear.
Hikari remains as still as she is able, and steadfastly directs the new life between her hands.
With a thunderous groan, she feels the world bending in agony, and yet she holds onto her will.
Without being deterred, in her heart she reaffirms her vow.
She twists the core of the world itself. It, too, will fuel the rebirth of a fallen deity.
Like this, finally, once absolute rules are rewritten, and with Hikari's sound and silent order
new death spikes solidly into that core.
In an overwhelming pulse of light and shadow, Arcaea begins to die.
The wish that made existence is overturned. The skies run rapid overhead, and what light remains of this
reality cascades to her from every horizon. As she pushes the crafted soul into Tairitsu's now-floating
and deeply effulgent body, with sweat dripping off her brow, Hikari pushes, too, the entire world—
She channels the life of the earth.
She abandons Arcaea.
Below the now-ending daylight, twin girls watch as clouds rush past above them.
Below the half-night sky, a noble gazes at a rift slowly tearing apart the earth,
and gazes above to see star after star fading.
A girl who tends and cares, a girl who wanders and seeks, a girl who watches and wishes—
A soul of joy, a soul of hunger, a soul of ambition—
A heart of war, a heart of song—
—they see the end, as all the life of the world is taken now to one, distant place.
...Hikari feels the last wisps of that life flow into the body of the girl she wishes to save.
Tairitsu's form begins to drift back to the earth as the life fades out from Hikari's hands,
and as it does...
...the girl in white feels, too, that a part of herself is being lost in the current.
...None of that concerns her.
When the winds die down, and as Arcaea's skies above are left slowed, dull...
she feels very lightheaded and plants her foot down before she might fall.
She tries to calm herself, trying to grasp what she, truly, has done.
But... she can't.
And overwhelmingly, her thoughts focus on this:
Is Tairitsu alive?
Dust drifts down from the sky again.
She does remember this...
...at the end, at that lowest point...
Nobody was there, and she closed her eyes to tears.
She opens them now, slowly...
...just as those memories leave her entirely.
Hikari sees the motion in her brow.
The girl in white holds her own fists over her mouth and her breath catches in her throat.
For all the splendor, she thinks, it was all so simple—
Could her wish have been granted for so little as hope and effort?
Hikari shakes her head of these thoughts. She steps forward, shaking.
Tairitsu's eyes open fully, and blink once, before their lids fall again halfway.
Hikari rushes forward then, falls to her knees, and hugs the other girl.
"Wh... What...!? What are y—!?"
The girl is silenced as Hikari clings to her,
embracing her more tightly than anything else before in her life.
And, Hikari starts to sob.
She uncontrollably cries into the other girl's shoulder—
the girl who stares back in disbelief, unsure of anything.
...Many more rifts have been carved through the landscape.
The light which once eternally poured from the sky has been suddenly, and starkly dimmed.
The world... is wounded.
And yet, Hikari's focus remains on "what"—"who" remains.
Tairitsu lifts her hand, and places it gently upon Hikari's shaking back.
Each unknowing, the two comfort one another at the end of the world.
"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..."
Hikari endlessly repeats."
"...Whatever you did,"
"you made it right, didn't you? So why are you apologizing...?""
Hikari slowly pulls herself away, though she still holds the other girl.
With her eyes and nose reddened, she gazes on Tairitsu with misery, and tugging elation.
She suddenly buries her face in Tairitsu's chest, and Tairitsu holds her in return, softly.
The scene begins to quiet, and the girl in black allows the girl in white to weep.
They set out into the gray world.
For a while, Tairitsu holds the other girl's hand to walk her forward,
but it doesn't take long for their paces to match.
She does not remember her tragedy—at least, not the worst of it.
And the black shards... They don't take interest in her any longer.
For Hikari too. Those white shards which were so fond of her no longer dance nearby and close.
One has lost some aspect of dark, and the other... and the world... continue to lose light.
...to smile sincerely, Hikari no longer needs the light of glass.
The girls walk to a cliff's edge.
They look out to see a land of lost memory, slowly falling to decay.
And it will decay. It will collapse, fade, and crumble to nothing.
They stand there, not knowing this, and only "knowing" each other,
foregoing the past, and foregoing memory.
Tairitsu looks to Hikari with a steady, and quietly warm expression—
It is the expression she wore once, whenever able, within another life.
Hikari, seeing it, smiles with the simplest ease.
What awaits could never matter.
That sense of "completeness" they each feel... cannot be shaken.
Implicitly, Hikari knows this journey is at its end.
The road to the future lies ahead, and there a new journey will begin.
...She takes the time to acknowledge that she cannot know what, precisely, that journey will bring.
She can never know what might happen.
She acknowledges this, and closes her eyes to another thought:
...Did she know, before, where her steps would take her?
She only, always, stepped forward.
If you've chosen life, then choose to live.
Live in this world. See this world. Feel it and truly accept every last moment.
With this sentiment, she chooses to hold firm.
She lets her eyes open and she breathes in the air.
The unknowable winds ahead, the girl beside her,
the faces she has not seen, and the hidden places beyond...
She holds all of it close to her heart.
She takes Tairitsu's hand.
Because they will go on.
……不会思考的 Arcaea 只会尽其所能强行复制那个灵魂。
Arcaea 只是为了存在而生。 Arcaea 呼唤了它的创造者，而这名创造者注意到了这个呼唤。
而 Arcaea 的玻璃碎片现在也经常休止。它们沿着墙壁和柱子集结，压实成又大又多的样子，就像结晶一样。
It wasn't long ago...
Somewhere dark and cold...
A barren, empty land rested in silence; newly cold, and newly empty, under a sky
leaden with dense clouds. The green leaves and red flowers had turned gray, and
only the footsteps of the living remained to tell that they all had once been
there. White now fell from the heavens and covered up their steps. No snow fell; only ash.
All had frozen, and winter had yet to come.
On the ash and ice-covered earth, on her knees, was a girl with her neck craned up to face what light
now bled through the gray. Her eyes were wide and staring. Before that light was an angel or, maybe, a god.
There was no home to turn to. Her mother and father were dead. Her guardians were dead. Her fellow
fledgling Shapers were dead. Her people, who had always scorned her, were all dead. All that remained
of what she knew was a shard of glass in her hand—a fragment from her window. But still, perhaps,
there was a chance—
She was chosen, and special.
She was young, but learned.
She only had to try.
If she tried, very hard, there was perhaps the smallest chance... to reverse time's flow. To strike back.
To even, maybe, turn into a sort of "god" herself.
Thinking she could stop all of this.
Thinking she could bring everyone back.
The girl looked at the shard of glass in her hand, and wished to save the world.
...she could not.
Will alone cannot create strength from nothing. She had all the will that one could imagine,
and her will was worthless.
Knowing that, she began to cry.
The will of the god above was worth more. Its wish had been for her and her kind to vanish, fall,
and fade into dust, and that wish would be granted, in moments, by its hand.
The girl saw her eyes in her own reflection, and watched as the image became distorted
with her tears. She could see her grief through her shaking jaw, and her impotent, overwhelming pain.
Nothing mattered at all. Nothing she had ever done, and nothing now.
The black-haired girl kept her head bowed as the angel descended. When it reached her, it raised its hand.
And shortly, she was gone.
That child's name is forgotten.
The reasons for her death... were beyond her.
Her life would not be remembered by anyone.
But when she died, another wish took her away.
It wasn't much longer ago than that...
Somewhere warm, though still dark...
She had made it dark. Another girl in another time and another place, with all names forgotten. She had
drawn her curtains. She had locked her door. A chair was beneath the knob. She sat on her bed, and kept
her eyes wide and staring.
She hugged her knees.
She stared into nothingness.
She was overwhelmed by "herself".
A memory played endlessly in her head. She could see the view from atop the stairs, and vividly hear
her parents' words, whispered from beyond her sight.
They weren't saying anything against her, but they were still discussing her.
It wasn't that they didn't love her.
She could not love herself, and she felt that inside of her, something was missing that would allow her
to love them.
She very well could still see the view from atop the stairs. She had felt everything tugging at her to
let go of the banister then, and fly to the marble foyer below.
But what if it didn't work?
The girl had managed to return to her room after that and quietly lock herself away.
Why couldn't she disappear?
Why couldn't she walk off into nowhere?
Why were her thoughts like this?
Why was her mind like this?
Why couldn't she disappear...?
Her nails dug into her calves.
Her stare widened. Her breathing quickened.
And she wished that she could run away.
The girl with white hair was troubled. The girl with white hair was a god.
She was not troubled because she was a god—her godhood was a fact she never knew.
In her heart, she made a sullen wish for refuge, and that wish was granted:
"Somewhere else, where I can be happy."
The girl with black hair died, and a wish called her soul away.
In a distant world, in another reality, a girl more powerful than her had made that wish.
The white-haired girl was so powerful that her wish had created a world.
A world with a meaningless name: "Arcaea".
Arcaea was a sanctuary meant to save the dead.
Though she'd been alive when she'd made her wish, she still keenly felt that sense of "death".
She'd given it no consideration, none at all—in fact, she couldn't have thought straight if she'd
tried. She only wanted something there for herself. It's possible, really, that if she knew the fate
of those caught in Arcaea's web, she would see herself as having done a very good thing.
The world reached out to countless other places across time, across separate realities.
It was alive, and though it had no thought it nonetheless "wished" to share life with those dead.
Unguided, it caught any it could that spoke to its "heart".
In a space crafted between the seams of the real, in darkness spotted with soft and distant purple starlight...
...so many souls were wrapped into the weave, and brought to a new and shining border beyond the black.
The world of white...
From there, the world made a perfect imprint of each, and also released each. It gave each imprint a warm
place, gave them a new shape...
It gave them infinity, to view and relive endless life in safety.
But it could not truly save its maker...
It was able to take true souls, double them, and bring the doubles into new bodies, releasing those
first souls to whatever else awaited them... However, the soul of the one who would be known as "Hikari"
was fixed back in its first world. She was still alive.
...Arcaea, always unthinking, instead forced a copy of that soul as best as it could.
And much later, it found a soul more tragic than any other it had yet to find, similar to its mother's...
Strangely, that soul could not be properly kept either. When released, it could not leave the false
world's border like the rest... and so began to watch its star-crossed copy on the new, white earth instead.
Tairitsu... woke in a ruined tower.
And time passed...
Unthinkably, one of the saved had threatened everything...
But mercifully, the one who had made this all returned, and soon the world was safe again...
Arcaea was only crafted to exist. It had called out to its maker, and that maker had heeded that call. Like
Arcaea had made a monitor for the shards... like it bid that monitor to swallow up any anomalies that
fractured its fragile existence...
So now, it exists, and has existed.
It has existed, ever since, for over one thousand years.
The red blood that stained the earth was erased, leaving behind pure, white land. Tairitsu's body
was burned away...
Warmth filled everything. The sky grew bright.
The pearl and nearly endless landscape came together again.
And now, it is a truly beautiful world...
Dotted in figures: of girls who chose to rest in a land of endless travel. They chose to be frozen, and to
stare eternally into this world of the lost. And if they are thinking at all... it is of a very distant past.
And that was surely the better choice…
That was surely better than walking and watching other places forever...
They must be happy. They need to be.
Arcaea had nothing else to give them but that choice. The world was
still buried "inbetween", and escape was—
—and... any realms outside of it... were outside, and away, and could
never be seen again.
So, the twins, the girl with a blade, the traveler, the noble, the girl with a song...
They and others are angelic figures.
And the glass shards of Arcaea often come to rest now, too. They gather along
walls and pillars, compacting in great and plentiful formations. Like crystals.
—This beautiful world is overseen by a god. Above it all, Hikari watches passively...
She remembers everything old worlds have forgotten. She sees them, with marginal warmth
or interest. An indulgence, of sorts, for the mind of a faded and listless god.
Maybe... she has transformed. Who she was and who she is... She must be "higher" now.
She cherishes a truth she can only pray that others would understand—though if they
will not... She has only chosen to watch the world.
Yet... though she watches it passively, she knows she has given them "everything".
...Outside her purview, a philosopher and satellite wander.
Beneath it, a horned woman tends to precious memories.
A woman with a flower in her eye... trudges through silent lands.
It is vain. It is vanity.
Arcaea now—is vanity.
And that... is better than the alternative.
Better than the world which spits at you. Better than yourself, who loathes your very way of being.
Living to love being alive, and succumbing to vanity...
...Reality, in all of its facets, is an empty, worthless, and inconsequential thing. The only thing one could
ever want would be to take what one can out of it.
Take pleasure. Take love. Take hope. Take power.
And with it...
Hikari believes this: one has no need to do anything.
Take. Live. And, sincerely, love being alive.
Though not even for a thousand years, nor even a thousand more... will life ever mean a thing.
After all, reality marches on with no discernable "end" in store. And Arcaea, specifically,
was never anything more than a vessel for memories.
Incorporeal, contained, silent memories—while the outside remains unseen, unnoticed, and uncared for.
And those memories will exist forever here in that silence, together with those lost lives Hikari has saved,
and with her turning no eye to those lives, as always.
Because here there is no memory unseen—no emotion not felt. This is "all", which Light shines down upon,
and which Light grants.
It is for happiness. It is for eternal peace; unlike in any life you might have left behind.
This: she loves. This: Arcaea—
—Given to lost lives with neither favor nor condemnation.
And so, like this, the wheels of fate here continue to turn...
...while no destiny waits beyond.
Another awakening, and her first.
Each one awakens in the world of memories with nothing in her head. She is no exception.
However, as light filters through her cornea the sensations that grip her are unusual. Her heart
stirs first, passionate, and she almost snarls at the building frustration. She grips the clothes over
her stomach, and thinks her ears might be deafened. Her eye squints involuntarily, and she
realizes with that that she only has a single eye rather than two. She feels around her face.
She coughs, and pushes herself up. What she felt through her glove was something almost soft,
surrounding something very solid in the place of her right eye. She realizes she’s wearing gloves.
Looking over her body, she wonders why she’s wearing these clothes.
She wonders next why she knows what clothes are at all.
She had been sleeping against a wall, and upon an inspection of her surroundings sees that there
are three others to make a four-cornered place around her, and every one of them is in extreme
disrepair. Looking up she sees that there’s no roof, and questions why it is she’d expected to find
one in the first place. In fact, she recognizes where she is... vaguely. She trudges along the wall she’d
slept against until she finds one she can step over. As she clears the bricks, she notices that they are
entirely white. Looking up, she sees that it isn’t only this wall, but the entire world that’s white.
It is an infinite landscape of an old, defeated, human society, or rather a pastiche of several
societies. It’s bizarre... Moreover: it is bizarre she finds it bizarre. Why?
Before she even stumbles upon any reflective glass, she has already bet on tens of theories behind
what she’s seeing, and who she is. Even that she is alone, and that she doesn’t know her name,
tells her much about the potential truth.
And, over time, she finds more reason for one theory in particular.
She was born with conviction and curiosity. The world of white presents questions but no answers.
Days pass, and there are no answers within the ruins. Weeks pass, and there are no answers within
the glass. Indeed, the world is full of glass, taunting always with views of other, more vivid and
varied places. Echoes, imprints of something real, exactly the world itself, so full of what must be
copies of human invention. After two months, though it could be more, she feels she has seen
enough to believe something, and with confidence.
While atop a broken stairway someplace far away now from where she’d awakened some time
ago, she gazes at an undulating and segmented portion of the sky: a seemingly broken window to
nothing, crafted from over a hundred shards of Arcaea. She becomes sure of herself in this
moment. She can bet her judgment is the truth.
But it’s not enough, and never enough. It can’t be settled with speculation.
So she vows: this realm is a mystery, telling nothing and offering little, so she will solve it and find
its reason. As the only being of this realm, it seems, this will be her first duty.
And as she fully accepts the Arcaea...
So too do the Arcaea fully accept her...
...as a vast and seemingly endless archive, not only to be read, but to be lived through.
It’s early evening. Outside, the twilight amber flowing out from the sun tries to slip by without
pause, but the devices within the surrounding meadows catch and spool it, changing it to rays
more similar to what might be cast from the moon.
The party has a certain atmosphere. Though there are no eyes without the manor, the fact is that
maintaining an image is paramount to those of upper echelons. She knows this, all of this, innately.
Sitting in a darker place, with sunlight captured and held at ceilings and staircases presently
beyond her reach, she considers the implications of this knowledge in calm and in silence.
She looks up from her glass. The fiancé (dressed very well, almost stuffily, but in casual
posture) is standing before her.
“What have you decided to drink tonight?”
She looks at it through her one proper eye. She answers: “Plum juice… Donovan.”
“Keen,” he says with a smile, looking out toward the rest of the room. She looks at his
expression blankly. He smirks. ”Mum and the rest prefer cranberry—for health, they say—
but…” he says, glancing at her again. “It’s a bitter taste, isn’t it? You don’t like it either,
She thinks, wincing. “I don’t.”
“And that is to the good.” He chuckles, then turns away. “I’ll go speak with Morgan.
Join us whenever you like.”
She nods, and Donovan moves to their mutual childhood friend near the fireplace.
As always, images need to be maintained. The fire throws its light only a few feet out from the pit
before the threads of it are wound away, stored into lanterns on the floor. The rest of the room is
dark, but comforting. It’s a setting to relax within. A few lanterns above give just enough illumination
for reading, seeing each other’s faces, and the spread of carefully selected portions of food along
with bottles of drink. Just outside the room, through half-glass walls, an almost untame scene of
wildflowers, stones, and streams is dimly visible: wrapped in a midnight blue, almost like satin.
There are twenty guests at the party, half in this room, the rest in the halls or somewhere in other
studies—perhaps the library. This is as much as she knows.
She drinks her juice, tastes it. She notes the sweetness, not having had much experience with
plum juice herself. She recalls something about a better taste and sensation, but in the moment
now she is compelled to focus on how the liquid feels along her tongue. However, she can make
no true determination of it. It is remarkably unremarkable.
She puts the glass down on the fanciful doily of the short table beside her. She sits, listens, and
watches, touching the flower petals blooming from her other eye rather absently.
She hears Donovan say, “But to think they’ve done so much already. When I first heard of the idea,
I was sure it wasn’t possible.”
“Well, Charles is quite sure it is,” says another of the guests—not Morgan, but Nathalia.
“Astounding,” Donovan grants, running his fingers through the top of his hair.
“A whole entire world, made by human hands,” he says. “Mankind is quite something.”
Her eye had wandered to the flickering of a lantern, and now it seeks the expectant husband.
She reaches for her glass and takes a sip; it’s enough to make her remember why she had put it
down in the first place.
The matter of a created world is only really a fickle fancy of theirs. They do not discuss it much.
They do not much understand it. What little they might have to say of true interest, she can’t, in
fact, properly remember. Irritating. At times, it even feels to her like they aren’t speaking at all.
The girl grows impatient. She stands and passes out of the sitting room into more lavish, more
evening- themed halls, passing rooms with which she’s familiar, but only vaguely. She explores,
finding stretches of unlit, pitch-black paths, and doors that seem to be locked though their knobs
bear no holes for unlocking. What doors are open show rooms of a few men and women each,
chatting too quietly to discern. If they ever notice her presence, they only look her way a moment
before returning to conversation or rest.
She wants to go outside.
The manor has some technological sophistication to it, but is married to its ideals of old "class".
Yes, the dimming canisters are curious, and the manufactured wilds are peculiar, but what interests
her the most are the light-transforming machines in the gardens. She knows of them, but has yet to
see them firsthand.
In a word, she is "curious".
The humdrum of a social gathering so often repeated that this day feels like a thousand identical
others is not something she wishes to dabble in long. Lives and creations are too fascinating to
ever take either for granted.
But as she approaches the doors to the front driveway...
As her fingers slip upon the wood of the grand handles before her...
She knows, innately, that there is nothing past there, nothing for her. In the entire world, there is
nowhere else she could be. Her place is not in the meadows admiring mechanisms, it is in the
sitting room with the husband-to-be.
"Outside" is only an idea. A fruitless, ephemeral concept.
That is not a favorable realization.
Dropping her hand she turns and stands below the chandelier, each of its shards showing an image
of somewhere else in the world, at this moment. Shifting, always, and speaking of places she
cannot go. Fading, almost celestial illumination hangs around the fixture, giving this place and
that object a too-unreal quality. Her eye, her lips, say nothing. She trudges back into the mansion,
with a small fire of discontent born within her.
A windstorm scatters petals around terrain behind the walls.
Glints of white and sapphire catch the eye, and the youths of the party speak of the change favorably.
Like magic. Wonderful.
She comes back into the lounge and witnesses the swirl of artificial nature,
the splendor of a farce.
She remembers the first time those flowers were scattered and thinks:
she’s rather had enough of "remembering".
During the past several hours, she’s tested the boundaries.
The windows were locked, the patio doors were barred, and the ventilation ducts were bolted.
The question she had to all this was:
"Are these shut because people shut them, or because I’m trapped in here?"
Metaphor and emotion often swayed the hearts of young girls, she found.
It was difficult to determine the reality.
When she’d had enough of poking, prodding, turning things over, and wandering,
she began to prattle on with other guests she knew to be acquaintances or friends.
"You know, the week before..."
Tedious, and uninformative too.
Certain lines of questions were met with incredulity or with nothing at all,
as if the questions hadn’t been asked—as if she hadn’t spoken.
What she mainly wanted to know about—engineering, technology, progress—
seemed to especially draw out nothing from the other guests.
With her frustration growing, she took to listening in instead, and eventually heard:
"It’s little more than a globe of dirt now. We’ll terraform it soon, I’m told."
And asking about that... led nowhere as well.
That was quite enough to know, however, and so she entered the lounge again.
She stands in it now, watching the storm, and relating to it.
The girl steps past the fiancé, who smiles at her presence.
He greets her with, "Lavinia, you’re back," and she rests her gaze on his lapel.
He takes no particular notice of this.
The players always seem to act in such a way.
What stands out, what’s unusual, is given no mind.
Bolder and bolder she’s gotten, but they remain always steadfast to their routines.
To maintain the image, correct?
She decides to ask, outright, one question she burns to have answered.
"The man-made world... it isn’t made of glass?"
"...Hm? What on...? Of course not, Lavinia. It’s not a bauble."
Her eye goes wide. Her pupil constricts.
Of all the things, that had been it.
Donovan looks over her shoulder and through the walls, saying,
"At any rate, isn’t it lovely? Almost as lovely as you..."
But she doesn’t reply.
Recognizing his answer as confirmation, she settles on a decision.
As the spiral of flowers beyond flow almost serenely through the air,
she moves to the table of foodstuffs, and stops before the breads.
"I’m told the world they’ve made will have shows like this across sprawling, endless valleys.
Right now, it’s only barren. A concept, you know?"
She stops her hand over a handle, listening.
"But it’ll surely be a delight in time, for those who can afford a spot on it.
And think of the potential, Lavinia."
She exhales. It’s been another fruitless trip.
Her hand closes on fine, smoothed wood.
She turns swiftly and steps to the awaiting husband,
swinging her hand out toward his neck.
The bread knife’s teeth stop in his skin.
Without feeling—without even a spark of animosity—she wordlessly cuts across the boy’s throat,
and watches closely to see what comes out.
It isn’t blood.
It isn’t anything.
The gentleman’s throat is cut in what should be an awful way... but the memory lacks a concept of
what "awful" would be. Instead of a shredded, vicious image, his neck now looks akin to torn and
crumpled paper. Inside is not "shadow" but "negative space": a void inside his body. The edges of
the wound flicker weakly with some white light, and off the blade of the knife she’d used to strike
him, vibrant shards float aloft... simply hanging in the air.
And Donovan can’t comprehend it. Many of the patrons, too, are in awe and horror of her act.
People fall, women faint, and Donovan reaches for his neck. Some men leap for her, pull back her
forearm and hold her at her neck. She grips the knife tightly, and with a dull expression stares into
the husband’s bewildered eyes.
While she hardly struggles with the guests apprehending her, she spots behind Donovan a girl in
absolute hysterics on the floor. The sound of her voice becomes increasingly distorted, beginning
to crackle and fluctuate in volume. Already, then: the memory has broken.
This wasn’t how it went. Even the most time-changed memories could not be altered so.
For a wife to, unprompted, attack her husband this way during a moment of peace...
She’d hoped to provoke a reaction, and is thus satisfied by this result. Although a few of the other
people in the room are unfazed by the commotion, and some even seem to have lost their faces
entirely, alteration of a memory to this extent is a veritable first. This, at least, has been a success.
The world begins to crack, fractures appearing wherever she can see.
Reality afterward looks almost wrinkled from it.
She says to herself, "Making entire worlds for vacation... Surely there would be better uses for that."
She lets go of the bread knife and sighs, seeing how it can’t move from the space where she’d
"Not a peep about ‘memory’, ‘echoes’, ‘reflections’—importantly, not ‘glass’..."
The room constricts.
"This was another worthless dream."
The planet divides.
White blears and obscures, briefly flashing everywhere as the image is demolished. In a rush of
every remembered sound contained in that recollection, in that slip of glass, she stands with her
eye shut until luminescence and noise fade. She opens her eye to faintly glittering empty space,
her mind twists, and after another wave of effulgent pain she sees again the world with which she
is both most familiar with, and most confounded by:
The world of white and ruins. The memory-shaped realm of Arcaea.
"I’d had a good feeling about this one," she mumbles, watching the rotation of a shard just above
her palm. "But it wasn’t responsible for this world’s creation, and it was almost empty to boot.
Hmph. If I can watch them, let me remove them too..."
She dismisses the glass, not looking as it returns to the space where she’d found it: a glinting,
sharpened river flowing above the ground. The girl named Saya stares off into the plain horizon,
stepping forth while touching her lip absently, and reviewing the events of the recent memory,
comparing them all to the wealth of a thousand others.
"In these other places, humans can act as gods."
That is what she learned.
The girl with a flower in her eye closes the book of that memory in her mind. It hadn’t been
completely worthless, only mostly.
It had frustrated her at first: the world she had visited was one she had quickly deemed frivolous,
but the frivolity revealed something important to her about the potential of mankind.
Still... for now... that wasn’t very important.
More than theories on "how", theories of "why" compelled her onward. This had been another of
her journeys out through the ruins of the world in a scattershot hope of discovering that answer,
or to even brush against it tangentially. That was always her focal drive, but a secondary one had
been made manifest after she’d witnessed about two hundred of the memories.
"It didn’t have anything new for a potential reconstruction," she whispers, beckoning a shard from
a nearby, sparse stream of glass, "but I suppose it’s good that it had some sort of value."
She lets the gleam of the new piece catch her eye, and she scrutinizes the vision of the past it
offers, muttering absently, "Almost home..."
She carries the fragment over her palm, crossing a bridge with which she’s become very familiar.
On her left is a haphazard pile of what once might have been cities, on her right is a chaotic mass
of glass and stone—recognizable as nothing. She marches the long way back to the place where
she was "born", uncaring of how many steps it takes.
She takes however long she needs to reach and stop before a place of four fallen walls, between
them an immense sphere of shimmering crystal—an unfinished sphere broken apart, like a cracked
shell. Smiles, tears, deaths, and celebrations flicker in and out its facets. Flowers, plains, deserts,
oceans... Animals, people, technology...
She doesn’t know if she can recreate a world by piecing together memories. She doesn’t even
know if she can truly "connect" them at all by gathering them together like this... But she can try.
She squints lightly to the gleam of the new piece she’s brought.
"Let’s see how much you can show me," she says aloud.
So it opens, and the girl fades into a new time. In short order, she sees a world brimful with
artificial glow, crowded by endless and nigh-infinite towers of man reaching through clouds of an
evening sky, and dark vehicles roaring through the air. An unpleasant atmosphere flows into her
lungs. Cacophony fills her ears. As she assumes an identity, assumes a new past, she looks on,
unmoved. A hundred questions rise in her mind... She will have them answered. No matter what
that takes, no matter what needs to be done.
An endless day could be dull. Spending too long under an overeager sun—anyone would start to
yearn for a moon.
Even for her, that sentiment holds true.
"Eighty days of light?"
"Seven months of light?"
"A year... maybe..."
The white of the sky has once again broken through the cracks in the walls of this place she calls
home, and it seems her sleeping body had found the rays while rolling over the floor.
She grumbles, "Turn it off already..."
But still, she picks herself up.
Still, she rubs her eyes and stretches her arms.
She stands and finds the door, ready to face another "day" in the seemingly boundless
world of Arcaea.
An adventure that hasn't always been a delight, and travels that haven't always led to discoveries.
Despite that, ever since she'd first awakened a tabula rasa, two things have always remained
both her heart and the sky have always been shining.
"Alright...!" she says under her breath. "Some exercise first!"
She holds out her hand before her and a section of glass flies her way.
Not memory glass—
It is an ordinary, typical sheet, albeit a large one. When it spins close, she jumps onto it,
and immediately calls another.
The home she found is an old beach house on a lonely island apart from the abandoned
mélange-cities found everywhere else in the world. It's a beach without an ocean, houses
scattered around its shores like abandoned shells; and deeper inland is a field of strange, gigantic
poles of white wood. The homes have been picked apart over time, from within and without, in
her tampering. Now she whisks away their walls and windows to create a makeshift set of stairs—
to make a racing track, and then a tunnel. She quickly leaps and runs through the gleaming
passage, if only to give her legs feeling.
All this took was a little acceptance. Days after awakening, it was a simple matter to make the
world of Arcaea bend to her whimsy.
But far below her, just above the sands of the phantom sea, something glints: something sparse
and scattered throughout the water.
Throwing a glance that way, she huffs a breath from her nose, and sports a weak smirk.
The glass beneath her feet bends so easily, but the peculiar glass—the Arcaea—has always been
somewhat... no, absurdly recalcitrant with her. In this world of memories, hardly any recollections
will follow her, and most can only be viewed or visited.
In an almost childish huff, the girl jumps from a crystal platform. Behind her, the structures she's
made all collapse, piece by piece. Before gravity fully takes her, she holds out her right hand,
calling for the blanket from her bed and swirling into it joyously. Then, she calls for something
heavy, something soft. In a few moments after falling, she is caught by a throne of indolence: a
hefty, colorless armchair. Thus, she sits, hanging in the skies above her home, half-gazing at
She exhales again; she's pleased, satisfied. Another successful lovely "morning" run. Still looking
out to the distance, her thoughts drift to less pleasant places: to questions about the size of this
world, and what else it might contain. Has she even seen a third of it? Even a sixteenth? It's a
too-big place, and there are too many assorted memories. As she rocks along the windless air, she
lets her eyelids drop and she considers that fact. It's some immense place; it's some old and
mish-mash, jumbled place. She feels it probably can't just be a world of wonders and oddities
exclusively meant for her.
She opens her eyes to the bright sky again.
Somewhere, perhaps on the other side of the world, that sky is full of stars.
Under that sky, perhaps other girls are gazing upward and wishing for daylight.
The girl in red grips the front of the blanket wrapped around her shoulders.
Days without end mean it's always a new beginning, and no telling what a journey will hold.
"Hm, but you know..."
She mutters to herself, eased into her flying seat.
"Is there a sun up there, I wonder...?"
She squints at the heavens above, and quietly contemplates.
What makes the light so evenly spread throughout this place?
Until now, her travels have always been forward, so… Why not try upward?
A mischievous smile flashes across her face.
She stands in her chair and drops off the blanket, letting it fall toward the ground. As it drifts drown,
a wooden column launches up past it. She jumps from her chair and grabs hold of the new arrival by
a short, metal bar. With her feet planted against the column's side for security, she gives it a longer
glance. It is a pillar, she knows, used in other worlds to convey power and communications. She puts
one foot down on another bar below, and like that—with one leg and one arm free, far above the
ground—she stands boldly on a broken piece of an old world.
She gazes to the urban and suburban sprawl on the horizon one more time, and then turns her
gazing upward. She can't be sure how far flight will carry her: she knows she'll need a ladder to be
The houses below, hers excepted, start breaking down even more. Panels, bed frames, armoires
and windows glide upward, and the debris she used and let collapse before is torn out of the sand.
Everything begins to amass, surely and steadily, into a defined structure. But the girl is not an
architect. Her tower is ramshackle, slowly building toward the heavens at odd, sharp, and often
Unfortunately, her island is not replete with usable material. After running out, she frowns halfway
at her design, feeling annoyed that it cannot even reach a kilometer into the sky.
Grumbling, she turns her eyes on the horizon again and lifts her palm toward it.
She concentrates, pulls... and nothing happens.
But that's only natural. That is of course.
As powerful and masterful as she may be, she is no god.
She drops her hand in defeat and decides it's time to renovate. Instead of a tower, a spiral set of
stairs. After an hour, and another hour, and another hour, and two more, her work is finally done
and she is impressed with the result. It still looks ridiculous, and more than a little haphazard,
but this amalgamation, she is certain, is much more sensible. She figures she deserves a pat on
With the new formation complete, she wastes no time in beginning her ascent. One by one, step
by step, she rises with her armchair floating close by, ready to catch her should she fall. As the girl
makes her way, she pulls from the bottom of the stairs and sends those steps to the top. Soon
after, she finds herself climbing an ever-building, ever-breaking staircase. Through layers of fog,
to the highest point.
The trip becomes a long one, during which she sometimes must have a seat or even sleep through
the "night". And, maybe after what would be four days, heaven comes within her sight. And she
learns this: "heaven" is an immense and impenetrable wall of clouds.
Her progress is halted when a step she sends from the bottom refuses to become the top, stuck on
the fluff of the air and unable to move any further up. She withdraws it and leaves it to hang
beside her. And, with a determined gaze, she rushes her way up the final flight.
At the top, the girl fans the pieces, panes, and pillars out underneath her for more of a platform,
and she lifts her hands over her head—into the clouds. Here she finds that the white resists her
touch, but still she pushes on, standing on the toes of her boots to see through if she can.
And here, she finds, she cannot.
"Really...?" she wonders aloud.
But in her moment of despondence, something catches her eye.
Out the corner of her right: a glint. In fact, a bevy of glints, dropping from the clouds after she's
gone and disturbed them.
She looks, to find a small crowd of perhaps twenty Arcaea—perhaps even more—coming toward her.
And the girl in red realizes.
In these sunless skies of Arcaea, standing on an invented ground, she has found the first group of
memories in this world which are inextricably attuned to her.
解锁要求：通过Flyburg and Endroll
On the air, the fragrance of incense.
Resounding, the voices of townsfolk and children.
The atmosphere, light and fresh.
Someone's cooking—baking—and she can taste the savory scents drifting outside and along the
Looking up, she finds a sun hanging bright in an empty and blue sky.
This is a new world of memory, and she basks in the sensations of it, remaining still to take it all in.
It's the memory of an artisan's helper: of a girl in the middle of an errand.
What sort of artisan was the helper an aide to?
The girl with the rose-colored hair hasn't grasped those details yet.
But she isn't very interested in them.
"Just look at it...!"
—it's some sort of fantasy.
Mouth agape, eyes glittering, she looks absolutely everywhere. Overhead, colored paper and fabric
ties rooftop to rooftop, evoking the image of frilled power lines. But they give the impression of a
festival, as power lines they are most definitely not. The flagstone streets, red-stone houses, and
chimneys spouting black smoke tell her this is an old-day town, or perhaps city, she stands in now.
Stalls offering curious circle- and sun-shaped necklaces, talismans, and rings of charms dot the
walkway, beside other stalls selling figures of creatures she's seen before in libraries of other
memories. The townsfolk dress, she thinks, a bit similar to her: as if a parade is on, but not one
too bombastic. It's a colorful world, favoring the warmer colors of the spectrum, though splashes of
azure decoration arrest the eye here and there. As the girl starts to wander, she finds performances
too, and troubadours teaching, warning, and entertaining whomever might listen.
She spends some time during her wandering on samples of confections. More than some time, in
fact: as much time as she can without drawing suspicion. And as she wanders and samples, one
brilliant red morsel strikes her eye, and her heart, very much in particular. A strawberry tart,
She gets her hands on it with the apprentice's coin, takes a bite through its glaze, and with that
she is certain of this shining truth: this place is very lovely. It's incredibly nice! A fantastical world,
and one with a notable appreciation for the more sugary delights of life.
She finds herself particularly happy about this world of memory. Feeling zealous, she quickens
the pace of her steps, leaping forward, gasping, and spinning on her toes or heel as she turns
each and every corner.
She must be careful not to run. She thinks, she really must observe every little part of this town
closely. Reading signs posted outside of square buildings, she learns that this is a spiritual
place. It's a land that believes in fairies and spirits; in gods, daemons, and youkai.
The performers she sees are performing the "fantastic", the "strange", the "impossible".
Indeed, every one of them is absolutely certain that what they are performing is magic:
"casting spells" by igniting vibrant powders in their hands to flame, smoke, and clouds;
"divining fates" by speaking toward still pools of water and interpreting the ripples within;
"communing with other beings", they say, by manipulating lights before her eyes in a way she
can't actually determine the mechanics of in a glance.
This world is rich and full of belief: it is marvelous, wondrous, and all an unmistakable act.
While strolling down the quaint avenues, the memory itself slowly informs her that every
part of this place is truly performance, artificial, untruth. Deeply valued tradition, but
absolutely not truth.
Yet when she reaches the city's outer limits (and the memory's, with any attempts to cross a small
barrier met with resistant reality)—when she gazes out to the verdant hills beyond the low and easy
wood fence that has stopped her; to the few but imposing old oak trees, and the clear sparkle of
some distant lake... she understands, somehow, why one might believe in something even with
sound evidence to the contrary. She herself comes from a strange world of flying glass; why deny
the belief that a world like this could be inhabited by trickster fairies? Why reject the idea of things
surpassing nature and logic?
This is the memory of an artisan's helper, and the artisan is a so-called sorcerer who researches the
existence of fantastical things. As the help, the girl she is living through has long known that all his
research leads to dead ends. The purpose, she speculates, is not to really prove anything. It is to
embolden one's beliefs and be better for it.
Now the girl in red puffs a joking breath and smiles wistfully. That's a funny idea. With her hand on
a post and wind flowing through her hair, she spots what she knows to be an ancient forest west
from here. This is the memory of completing a simple errand, and perhaps that's why she is unable
to travel too far.
But she's sure she will be back in another memory. She thinks this land of artifice, magic, and show
very much suits her, and that crowd of glass she'd come across at the top of the world of Arcaea
reflected more facets of the world than this within its other fragments. With a giddy feeling, she
grips at the front of her dress.
It's truly incredible. The smile on her face starts to wriggle anxiously. Somehow, she has never felt
exhilaration quite like this before.
Twenty times? More? She's stopped keeping count.
With that whisper under her breath, she crouches in front on a chest made of unfinished wood,
swiping her palm across the top. A wave of dust rises off of it and falls to the floor. She unclasps the
front and opens it up.
Today she is an archivist, exploring one of the old castles in the North, where they had lost land to
flooding. Thankfully, the papers inside this chest were spared from moisture by the chest itself.
Hearing the creak of ancient hinges, her partner calls from another room inquiring about her
discovery. "Scrolls from the fourth era," she answers over her shoulder. She takes one of them and
unfurls it, revealing the history of her people's dealings with the Unseelie.
Stories like these amuse her, especially as she tries to guess at what the previous generations might
have confused for fairies and the like in the past. Yesterday, while working as a storyteller, she had
the pleasure of recounting an old passed-down yarn of the teller's ancestors. Some forefather had
once gathered a vast treasure on a faraway shore. On the return across the lake a sylph rocked his
boat with wind, and a passing naiad capsized it with waves. Afterward, the two shared his fallen
wealth. It was quite an excuse for a bout of clumsiness.
But still, she knows it proves nice to think these creatures are around, malevolent and benevolent
both. When her day as an archivist is done and she's returned to the world of Arcaea to rest on the
platform which is now her temporary base camp, she visits the memory of a school instructor and
teaches lessons and rules that would keep any child or adult safe in a world replete with chaotic
nature, sudden perils, and careless people.
The context of magic makes these lessons very interesting to impart and to hear. It really is just a
joyous and fascinating place, and she cannot stop visiting. Its people, whose faces become
increasingly familiar between each shard of Arcaea; its places which become engraved in her own
memory throughout others; the sounds and the sights, everything—
It's marvelous, and nostalgic.
When she's been to every other memory she could find in Heaven, when she's explored (as far as
she knows) every part of the land, she at last comes to a bustling, rambunctious festival day—or
rather, a night celebration. It is to give thanks to the gods of birth and harvest, and to dissuade
She spots the townsfolk named Lancaster and Howard, two gentlemen architects, and they've
gotten on in years from the last memory she met them. But they greet her with vigor and treat her
to a candied apple, which makes her happier than anything else. They point to the sky. It lights up
in a show of a thousand brilliant colors. To those gods. To life, and living it.
However, seeing such a wonderful thing… it doesn't strike her. Her heart does not swell; not with
wistfulness, nor the joy of new experience.
She remembers this. She knows why everyone is here.
So, on this final night in these familiar memories, she witnesses the firework sky entirely satisfied.
With tears in her eyes, and a spot of pain in her heart, she finds herself entirely content.
The memories were heartening; they were comforting. She'd spent months within them, and at
times, she would think, "I never want to leave." Still, she knew they had an ending, and she didn't
want to see it.
Besides, the future cannot be found within memories.
She returned to the world of white knowing she may never visit those days again. Days gone are just
that: stories told and over, lives and loves finished.
She doesn't regret it. As she slowly descends to the surface, looking up to the clouds that had once
called her there, she knows every moment, every second spent in those memories was worth
everything. It's like a question she never asked has been answered, and so her heart is full.
The sky seems to be falling around her, all the pieces of her temporary home dropping faster or
slower around her, and in her chest, she feels a twinge of emotion.
Thus, the sky, the true sky above, begins to part.
Standing on a window platform, her hair whipping up past her face, she sees the glittering glass
above is standing still, and behind the pieces, a new night sky is entering her sight. One she's never
seen before. The clouds scatter and drop, disappear and dash away, as a sparkling void of shadows
takes their place. This velvet plane, reaching far and darkening, before a deep lavender wave of
color spreads out over it, swaying, glowing. The stars are out. The day is over.
Her heart aches.
She whispers a name, this name for the last time, and she wipes her eyes with the back of her hand.
Her glass breaks through the final thin layer of clouds. The complex, graying landscape reveals
itself, to its farthest reaches.
This is her new life! She holds out her hand, knowing that someday, somewhere beyond that
horizon, she will find others who will take it. Someday, these hands will do something great.
Until then, she will look ahead.
Living in the present—in Arcaea.
……逐渐淡去，化为 Arcaea 的一部分。
Her name, though she doesn’t know it, is “Shirahime”.
She’d awakened with a crown on her head and a scepter in hand. At once she knew what they
were, and she knew what they meant. The girl with white hair and two-color eyes knows that she
is most assuredly somebody special.
“So, bow to me!”
“...So it isn’t this one either.”
With her arms folded and legs crossed and her gaze cast aside, the girl who knows herself to be a
princess leans back in her “throne”—a kitchen chair—while the memory of a friend—the friend of
whomever had this perspective she’s usurped through a frame of glass—looks back at her in
Four shards today.
She has explored four shards as she’s sought the truth of her past—because there is most definitely
a truth! Her innate knowledge of the significance of items, her understanding of speech, and how
she has always perceived the world she awakened into however long ago informs her thusly: that
her existence in the world called “Arcaea” cannot simply be some trick of chaos and chance. More
importantly, regardless of these suspicions, far too much is confounding about the world of white.
Too confounding. She demands certainty.
“Hato.” She pauses, then opens her palms out at her sides. “I’m looking for which of these
memories has my castle. My ‘castle’. You get it, right?”
“A castle,” Haru repeats. “So you think you’re a queen or something?”
She puts a loose fist against her lips and considers the notion.
“Well, princess, maybe,” she eventually replies, slouching forward.
“...Are you alright, Anri?” he asks, and she lowers her gaze as a sour mood falls over her. In short
order, her face reflects the mood.
As mentioned, that is not her name. She still does not know her name, but she does know it isn’t
Anri. She also knows she’s pushing her luck.
In moments, this memory will likely collapse. In a sense, that’s fine—that’s fast, and no waste of
time. But it is another dashed hope.
“And why were you talking about memories?” Haru continues. The intruding girl glances up at him
Four shards today.
And so, that marks fifty-three in all.
With any memory she finds that resonates with her even in the slightest way, she takes hold of it
and dives within.
She keeps watch on Haru’s blank face. She has seen countless blank faces just like it. After four
seconds, it freezes.
There is a sound of fracture, and the world all falls away...
...fading out, into Arcaea.
The girl finds her scepter nearby, before the curb upon which she had been sitting.
She takes it up, stands, and twirls it about in her right hand.
And so, she goes.
The journey for discovery continues...
But the girl does not know this:
Discovery will not be hers.
Perhaps she can piece it together.
Perhaps, maybe, she can form a theory, and that theory may be correct.
After all, many girls have wandered into this world called Arcaea, and in time discovered
themselves. She does not know this. She, as do so many others in the glass landscape along with
her, believes herself to be alone in Arcaea. To be frank, it inflates her sense of importance. That
being said, it also makes her reflect on her predicament.
If she is alone, then perhaps she is a noble in exile (no). She was a wonderful ruler, loved by all (no)!
Until... there was a terrible rebellion (there wasn’t)! The people turned against their queen, princess,
and country, and purged her memories clean (quite the story)! With magic!
The girl who woke with a crown and scepter is the kind to believe in magic.
One can allow her this, however. What is the world of white if not a magical one? Her place in it is
strange, and the place itself is stranger still. In no memory has she ever found a world in which
glass flies and floats through the air as it does in this one—not in any shards, nor in her head.
That, and how these glass memories are experienced... this place is magic, no? And that is why
she must have come from magic too.
That’s what she wants to think. She is wrong—that magic is where she came from—but it is her
Therefore, she is special. Therefore, she should be admired.
“Maybe... there are ‘cool’ memories by cool-looking places,” she says to herself as she overlooks
the colorless lands. “Let’s go find a tower.”
She marches forward.
When describing her, it would be apt to say that this girl’s head is one made of stone.
She embarrassed herself again.
Somehow, when her declarations of nobility land on deaf ears, she experiences a deep and
crippling shame that courses through her. As the memory falls around her, her cheeks are always
dyed a perfect red.
Now, having returned to the world of glass, she presses her hand to her face.
She shuts her eyes.
And she whines with pain.
“Ghhhhhh... what was that...”
“Where is my castle!?”
She still says.
“Where are my subjects!? My people!? Where!?”
The girl stomps her foot and balls her fists, gritting her teeth.
“Another!” she shouts, reaching for the first and nearest memory. She dives in, to whatever it is, if
only to stop remembering the looks she received while she stood on that restaurant table and
A world swirls around her, in shades of white and black, and in seconds she has trespassed.
The memory she enters is quiet and quaint.
The stars are out, and it is dark. If the moon has risen, it can’t be seen through the trees.
She is standing in a forest—in a clearing. A fire crackles behind her.
“Can you see it?” a child asks. In this memory, she knows this is “her sister”.
She glances back at the little girl and thinks.
According to this memory, the older sister was trying to find a certain constellation.
“No,” says the white-haired girl. “I can’t see it.”
“Oh well. Sit down and let’s keep watching,” the sister replies.
The younger girl has something in her hands. The older girl walks over to see it better. It’s a screen,
with buttons on its sides. A movie is playing on that screen. No—an animation? Squinting, she sits
down beside the girl and watches.
It seems similar to what she’s seen in other fiction across other Arcaea: a typical cartoon about a
boy with some power, fighting devilish monsters with his friends.
“...You charged it, right?” she asks, referring to the device. The words come from another.
“You already asked me that,” the little sister answers.
She whispers this honestly, as she honestly means it.
How to say...
Royalty does not watch cartoons. A royal is a statesperson, a ruler, and a guider of women and men.
She most definitely believes that.
Yet, she is most definitely more comfortable with this: sitting down and having nothing to say,
her eyes transfixed and her ears perked.
She puts her shoulder to the shoulder of the memory-child, and the child returns the gesture.
Now, she feels at ease.
The mood she had before was suddenly silenced. In the wake of her anger, it comes to her mind:
life is a truly horrible thing sometimes.
Barring even the horrors she has borne witness to in glass: life feels terrible, much of the time.
Frustrations, waning strength, pure inability to change one’s situation...
That’s how it is.
It is possible she had no one else before she was put in a glass cage. Perhaps she was a lonely ruler,
on a lonely throne.
Perhaps she only had this.
If that was so, she thinks...
If that was so, then perhaps things were alright.
Her “sister” brings a small blanket over both of their shoulders.
She glances at the child again and says, “Thanks...”
And she gazes back into the screen, saying nothing more until the memory fades away.
Since then, her drive has faded as well.
The memory of a trip in the woods, with someone who cared, simply watching something easy to
whittle away the hours of the night... it, too, whittled her ambitions away entirely.
Here are the facts: she has no castle, let alone any home, and even if she found either, they would
merely be memories: abandoned, forgotten, and in actuality ephemeral.
If she is to walk forward, it will be to no conclusion.
It will be to no sense or end.
To say it in another way: her path is an empty one.
So, she whispers, “This hurts...”
Her voice cracks.
She looks at the endless daylight, with terse lips and warm eyes.
Even if she was a princess of a faraway land... a great ruler, deposed... born nobility...
The girl is human, and humans are not perfectly strong. She is stuck, and quiet, and cursed with
emotion and thought.
Under the unseen sun, the girl shuts her two-colored eyes and feels tears running down her cheeks.
The light is caught within her teardrops, and that light fades as it falls—not through any magic...
...but instead through the darkening of the sky.
As the gleam of Arcaea’s daylight ebbs from her face, the girl opens her eyes to blink. To see
shadows around her. To see, unmistakably, night falling on the earth.
She turns her gaze upward again.
It seems that... the heavens have been rent, and a red comet is falling.
It flies down for a minute or more, before landing unceremoniously before her—scattering winds,
white sands, and the twin tails of her hair.
Dumbfounded the girl stares, mouth agape, at the crashed crimson star. The star is kneeling on a
pile of broken chairs, and shaking its head of dust. Her head. The star is a girl.
She opens her eyes, and opens them wide. In a short moment, a smile—wide as well—
spreads across her face.
This is the crimson girl who flew up to the sky.
Her name is Kou.
“Nice to meet you!!”
Kou booms her greeting with a voice full of life. Shirahime stiffens, and pales. This is the wrong
move—it affords her no mobility. Kou leaps out at her from her pile of furniture and tackles the
twin-tailed girl, nearly toppling her. This elicits from the self-described royal a distinctly
“Oh wow, you’re real! You’re actually here!” After hugging her, Kou removes her arms and starts
cheerfully patting the other girl’s face, ears, hair, and sides.
To all of this, Shirahime finds herself speechless.
Kou pulls on Shirahime’s scarlet cheeks, laughing. “This isn’t a memory, right?” she asks.
“I’m real!” the “princess” insists with a voice slightly distorted.
“Oh! Do you know your name?” Kou asks. “Oh, I don’t know mine,” she adds. “Maybe I know it now!”
she guesses, lifting a finger optimistically. “Aah... I don’t.” She taps her temple, and tilts her head
“Slo—...Slow down!” the other girl begs. The girl in red laughs, and Shirahime stutters on, saying
“I...! What!? Are you... Hey! Are you okay!?”
Although that question from her sounds more a demand.
“I’m fine,” says Kou with a smile.
“You fell from the sky!” Shirahime reminds her, pointing for emphasis.
“Yeah, I guess I di—” Kou begins, turning to see where she came from. She stops, puts a hand on
her hip, and points to the heavens. With this, she glances back at the other girl and declares,
“You didn’t notice!?”
“Well, I didn’t look back,” Kou replies, now turning back around with both hands on her hips.
“What were you doing up there?”
“There were some memories,” the red girl explains. “I watched them.”
“So you can watch them too?” Shirahime asks. Kou nods with enthusiasm.
“I can!” she says.
“And you can fly!?”
“Not really,” she answers, now with a shake of the head. “I can make other stuff float.” She
demonstrates with her finger acting as a wand, and a cupboard being the subject, swirling around
the two of them to her direction. “You can’t?” she asks.
And Shirahime wildly shakes her head, which spurs laughter in Kou once again as her twin tails
whip to and fro. With a hand over her chest, Shirahime declares: “I’m HUMAN.”
In Arcaea, in its time, there have been moments of fate. The tides of time and reality are bent and
twisted by the whims of one or the convergence of two.
However, this moment is merely chance.
The girls talk—talk of glass, of purpose, and naturally of the sky. Experiments follow: can Shirahime
be carried by Kou’s magic? Can Shirahime learn this magic herself? Yes, and no.
Of course, they also wonder how many others are out there, the same as them.
And it is with this in mind that they follow the fleeing daylight. Perhaps...there are others looking
up, and marveling at the new sky.
Just like that, with no fate or destiny tying them, these two begin to walk together.
She, Kou, begins to wonder: has it been weeks, or have months passed between them?
Under the dark, these two girls have wandered together through shadow-bathed ruins: with Kou
leading, and with Shirahime stammering behind; Kou’s laughter ahead, and Shirahime’s hand at
her back. Further, the “princess’s” habit for embarrassment has escaped merely the confines of
memory—rare is the moment she will not stumble or stutter, and by now Kou is well-accustomed
to the shaking, brazen, self-proclaimed “royal”.
However, the twin-tailed girl has most definitely, of late, been shaking far less: in her voice when
they talk, and in her movements when they go.
Truly, the two have traveled together long. But it won’t be forever.
Now Kou and Shirahime, quite a ways into their travels, find themselves at a clear divide.
Though the clouds are torn and the stars brought out, not all of the morning light has faded.
The girls view the heavens without a word, and with awe-filled faces.
...they now stand at the division between night and day.
“Pretty...” Shirahime whispers.
“Yeah,” Kou agrees.
The stars of the night are violet. The day is white and golden. Where they meet, what might be
magic—might be memory—churns and twists, like a shifting and prismatic serpent. It is as if
they’ve found the world’s haphazard seam. Seeing it, they almost know: know what the world is,
and how it came to be as well.
Kou brings her eyes down first. Shirahime, however, cannot tear away hers.
“Now what?” Kou asks. “We didn’t find anyone, huh?”
“No...” Shirahime replies.
“Should we keep looking together?”
Shirahime brings down her eyes as well.
Before them is the new Arcaea landscape: of shadows and light.
She looks at Kou, and calmly shakes her head.
“I’m going to follow the line: I’ll find someone out there,” she says.
“And you should go back to the heavens and see what they’re hiding.”
Kou raises her eyebrows.
The two have walked for quite some time, and in their time together, Kou believed she had the
other girl figured out. That Shirahime was a boisterous sort—but that all of her flair and bombast
existed only to obscure a shivering heart. Therefore...
“...You’re taking charge?” Kou asks, as it’s just too surprising.
“Of course,” Shirahime says, with a dismissive and teasing glance. “You see this crown on my head,
Kou chuckles. “Yeah, I see it,” she answers.
And Shirahime lowers her gaze again, staring out to the glass hills.
She tells Kou, “I’m kidding... I just had the thought: I want to take a chance.” Shirahime meets Kou’s
red eyes and the girl straightens her back. The princess states, “We should take one, and I think
you’d better do what I can’t.”
And... after a few moments, Kou nods. She calls a slab of concrete to her feet, and hops on.
“I’ll go see the night, then,” she says. “Let’s meet up when we can!” She grins.
“We will,” Shirahime answers with an easy smile. Kou blinks, and loses her own. Once more the
white-haired girl has surprised her. Deeply, she believes those words, and her face brightens up
Kou flies to the starlight, and at once Shirahime steps forward.
Perhaps she has forgotten her want of a kingdom.
She already knows: there are others here.
The world is vast, but she will find them.
What a crown and scepter mean is nobility, and what a noble does is draw others to her, like a
much-needed hearth. Maybe her blood is not noble at all.
However, it must be said: despite her whining, her wavering, and her very weak heart...
...her soul very much is.
The cliff overlooked it all.
At the end of the day, those who had abandoned the mortal coil left behind their souls like hermit
shells for other, new lives to take them. Their spirits ascended to the land's Pool, luminous and
Water-like spirits, almost formless; everything white and flowing into that vibrancy which bore
through the clouded sky. In the gray landscape that was her world, this sight—this unique,
spectacular sight—was something many could call a wonder.
To her, it was ordinary. It was everyday. It was work.
"Any trembling on the left side?" her confrère asked from behind. She very slightly moved her head
to see him sitting on the ground. On his lap sat a wide, black, shallow bowl of water, used for
lecanomancy, and from the ripples inside it she could see that he'd just performed a divination.
She answered him lightly with, "No." Then she asked, "Why? Have you noticed something?"
"It looks like the earth shook a bit," he explained.
"Ahh... That's not good. Should I look closer?"
"Hmm... It seems like a fissure," he said. "Go take care of it."
With a simple "alright," she stepped off the cliff.
The density of spirits nearby slowed her fall. She found a pair of strings that were keeping her
blouse, sleeves, and skirt taut. When she tugged them, they loosened and began to dangle; a
shimmer emanated from the cloth and her dress began to ruffle loudly. And as it did, it dulled the
influence of the dead.
Once she reached the ground, she took her scythe from her hip, unfolded it to its full height, and
after turning it over, rode the underside of the blade in flight to her far-off destination.
To mend the fissure after coaxing out the souls trapped within it.
To return to the cliff, and watch for any other aberrations.
She was to do this, and things like it, day after day. Yes. That was her responsibility.
And, in time, her life would join the others.
In fact, that time has already passed.
It's long ago, gone. The world and life she once knew is now only a shapeless memory.
But this isn't what death was meant to be.
There was no mystery to it in her life: what happened to the dead was what happened. There was
no "next world", only that which you were born in, lived in, and died in. Something like heaven...
hell... even purgatory: these were moralists' tales which only seemed valid in the most ancient of
So what is this place? What is this mysterious realm that she one day awakened to?
What might it be? What might it be?
Well... does it really matter?
She sits knees-up on top of a lighthouse, overlooking a desert. White. White, and more white...
and there, glass. "Arcaea" is its name. With her chin in her hand, she casts a languid gaze toward a
bridge extending left. She doesn't know where that one goes.
"Phew..." She exhales and stands, taking the scythe from off her hip. It doesn't work quite the same
here, but she can still utilize it for travel. Unconsciously, she brushes her bangs the other way. In
doing so she grazes the front side of her left horn with her fingertips.
Right... right. To this day, of all the memories she can find within the Arcaea... she hasn't found a
single one with any horned humans represented.
With these memories being really the only attention-grabbers in this world fashioned from glass,
she's spent quite a bit of time watching and cataloguing them. Keeping them, like records. And
indeed, those records don't even hint at her race having ever existed anywhere.
Her race is... Race... Race? Is that a safe assumption to make? Was she part of a "people" when she
was alive, participating in spiritual horticulture? Not that it matters now, but perhaps remembering
more clearly will unlock more of her old self... Something like that, anyway.
For now, it's time to evaluate which shards of glass have left the part of Arcaea she calls home,
which have remained, and which are new. She moves to step from the lighthouse, ready for her
It does still fly: the scythe.
Sitting on the length of the handle as a witch might lackadaisically sit on a broom, the young
woman rides down a broken, shambled street. The blade sits upright beside and behind her,
shifting for every swivel and turn. Her movements are smooth and completely ingrained.
As she goes, she looks upon a particular jumble of flying glass. This one runs alongside and above
the road like a river, and since her arrival it has not once lost or gained any memories for its flock.
This being so peculiar, she checks it every day. Today, too, the memories that glint within each are
all ones she has seen before.
Unrelated, unconnected memories of play, song, sadness, strange machines both enormous and
fast... It's really a rather eclectic mix, making the fact that they're seemingly unconnected very
She looks for the memory that she likes the most.
Of course, finding a specific memory within a crowd is similar to seeking a needle in a stack of hay.
But the one here—it likes her in return.
A piece of glass breaks from the chain, and it approaches her as she glides on. She smiles faintly,
lifting her right hand from her scythe so that the piece can come to rest over her palm.
In it is the final moment of a small hand-crafted flute's creation. Making the instrument had been
a labor of many minutes, hours, days and months, but the carver who'd done it had condensed all
his feeling into this single moment. It all came to this.
He plays a note, and the tone makes him wince. Terrible.
But it does work.
Though this memory marked the end of an arduous journey,
it also marked the beginning of an even grander one.
Such a curious position...
Truly—and the others it shares a crowd with are special indeed.
That memory is precious.
In fact, if it can be called "precious", more likely than not it has found its way to her at some point.
Memories of first pets, of one's survival and another's sacrifice, of first words, of inspiring speeches,
of important and private talks... Sometimes, when she is strolling or riding by, these significant
memories will just begin following her.
She doesn't mind. She likes that memories so special were kept safe in this curious place. That is a
good thing, but there is something better.
The world of Arcaea serves as an archive to memories of any sort. A memory of a toothache, a
memory of a good meal, a memory of a horse ride, a memory of spilled milk. Whatever it is, if it was
remembered, then it is here.
And it is really every one of those memories, along with those standouts among them, that shape
a man or woman, she thinks. Not only that, but they serve as the only real evidence that a person
ever was alive.
Monuments and graves are erected in the name of memory, and as for the loss of memory... as she
has seen within the Arcaea, that is something at times more tragic and difficult to accept than death.
She quietly comes to a stop, stepping down onto what looks to have once been a town square.
Here, innumerable pieces of glass drift through the air. It's something like... well, the appropriate
term for her might be a garden, though one with every "plant" brought in instead of grown natively.
She tends to them all the same. These are the memories she has found in what she considers to be
her "home" part of Arcaea. These specific shards are those which were not there when she first
awakened. They'd drifted in.
"...Hmph," she sniffs, absently taking stock of the pieces.
They don't usually leave, but sometimes they wander off...
And that worries her.
...Is there meaning in the Arcaea being in the form of something as fragile as glass?
...Back in life, she learned not to ask many questions.
Her gaze, still on the Arcaea above, is suddenly broken.
...Where did that come from?
Appearing on the shore of her thoughts suddenly, like a fair and gentle-seeming stranger,
was that little fact, in the form of a miniature memory.
She wasn't sure at first that it was even there, but as she thinks it over again and again...
she's sure of it.
She recalls this. This... it happened.
Sitting under a pair of quiet old trees, the Soul Stream having gone down, and night having risen,
she was speaking with her confrère...
"You learn to think of it in this sort of paradox," he'd said. "You think of all life as precious, but at
the same time the drudgery leaves it all as just numbers. Higher numbers, lower numbers. It isn't
like you stop caring; it's more as if, if anything, caring so much sharpens you into someone who
"But it's alright," he assured her, smiling weakly at the Stream. "Thinking too much about it will
probably tear you up inside. When you went to the Glen, what was the reason you gave for wanting
to walk this path?"
"See? That's what we all say," he replied, and she recalls how calming his voice had been then.
"Just remember that, and you'll be fine."
But there it ends. That's it. Her gaze comes back to the sharp air above her. Just remember it? Just
remember it. Remember it. It... Remember what?
"I... don't remember," she whispers softly, but each word, each syllable falls heavily off her tongue.
He had been absolutely right. Now she can feel it, building in her eyes: the dull, warm grief that
comes with sad revelation. A new piece of her memory has shown itself to her, but it is crucially
broken, and without answers to the questions it has forced into her mind, her heart is killed.
The agony is nearly unbearable.
How do you put the pain of knowing you are not entirely yourself into proper words?
Under the cloud of glass, she shuts her eyes, bends her head, and puts the heel of her palm over
her nose, the underside of her fist against her skull. She won't cry. She can't let herself do something
like that. To cry here, at this, would open her to too many facets of reality she has chosen not to face.
She sits on the ground, sucking in her lips, tightening them.
She will not cry. Absolutely not. Okay?
So, gripping at herself and trembling in the world of white, the solitary reaper steadily breathes.
She tries not to dwell. She doesn't want to dwell. But, while calming herself, the thought can't help
but occur to her: that, if this is death...
...she would much rather have oblivion.
The break that occurred within her left her quiet... quieter than usual for what could amount to
The key element of that memory—the idea that one was better off not asking many questions—
is something that in her contemplation she realized she was attempting to adhere to all this time.
Her attempts, however, had been half-hearted. That taste of an old memory was too intoxicating
to forget. Indeed, she refused to forget—but having forgotten so much else… she'd realized she
was a broken half-shell of a person.
She is once again guiding vagrant memories to the square today; trying to make this into routine,
which will turn to habit, which will turn to nature. Perhaps tedium can rescue her from the cavern
always lurking just under the surface: the tar pit of miserable feelings endlessly calling to her.
Better oblivion, she thinks sincerely, than to feel—if feeling means only grief.
And, while conducting the shards of Arcaea, one catches the light of the sky in such a way that she
is reflexively bidden to look at it. Without thinking much of it, she brings this shard close.
The reflection: a crouching, slouched child covering something off the side of a road with her hands.
Outside her hands, ants shy away, though they seem clearly interested in whatever she's hiding.
The reaper gives the memory more of her attention, and finds that what the child is hiding is a
wounded jade beetle. After a moment of contemplation, the girl scoops up the small thing in both
of her hands and stands up.
The young observer is motionless for a moment, but then she smirks.
That's such an... absolutely pointless memory.
Did the beetle recover? How long did that child live for? How long did she hold on to this memory?
Stupid little thing...
The girl chuckles.
It's ironic, isn't it... Remembering something had made her forget why she believed she was here.
Arcaea is a world of memories. Of the dead? Of those still alive? Who can say? Regardless, it keeps
old stories that anyone could forget. Past expiration of mind, body, monument, or land: however it
works, Arcaea steadfastly keeps all.
The girl is alone. She has no confrère here, and she was given no reason to do anything when she
woke up. But that doesn't mean that she was to do nothing.
She is here, now. Her old life is over. That's it.
But doesn't she still have control? She still feels responsible. She doesn't remember the answer
she gave, as to why she sought to be a tender of souls, but whatever it was... something tells her
that the broken her of now would give the same reason as the complete her from then.
There is no telling what will happen, ever.
Lives and memories can vanish in a second… but not here. Her memories may be lost, but these
will not be. "Tender of Souls" to "Tender of Memories"; she thinks that has a nice sound to it.
Absolutely. You will all be remembered forever.
So long as I am here.
解锁要求：通过Alice à la mode
A dark garden betwixt forest and flowers.
A silver web glints in a corner of glass. Well, is it glass? More likely it's stone, but this particular world
operates more strangely than any other. Reality bleeds in from elsewhere, through floating shards
that fill the air, projecting colorful memory into lands of ruin and white. Now there are pillars of
amethyst, glowing from a light beneath that fills the entire floor.
She sits in a fanciful, pale green chair, before a small and pale-green table, her hand atop her
suitcase which rests beside her. She drags her finger down the leather of its top. There are no other
"We should leave, Alice."
"No other people"—but there is at least one other person.
He's here, holding tea as he often is, having again prepared it when her eyes were turned away.
She lays her palm on her suitcase.
"You hear that?" she asks.
He tilts his head, listening closely before replying: "I hear nothing."
Lifting her other arm, she rests her elbow on the table, slouches forward, and props her chin up
with her hand. "That's right," she says, "in this one... or these ones... it's quiet."
"And what should that matter?"
"When was the last!?" she slightly raises her voice, telling him with its tone that she finds his question
absurd. "Silence and a pleasant view... Look at the gardens, Tenniel. This landscape is... handsome."
She picks up her hand from her suitcase and indicates the dark wilds fading in and out before them,
and to the sky-blue flowers dotting the shade.
"I," Tenniel starts, gesturing toward himself with his teacup, "am handsome."
Her brow twitches at the gall.
"Shut," Alice starts, gesturing toward him with her hand, "up."
"Terribly rude. Awfully rude," he notes. She shakes her head, grumbles, and leans back in her seat.
Precisely how long has she been stuck in this world, unable to travel to any others?
Forever, the ward Tenniel has been with her, steadfast in his claims of "I cannot be apart from you."
However, that largely proves itself to be a pain. She looks at him now. A black and orange butterfly
flutters past his eyes, and after it passes he looks into his cup. Then, he tosses the cup's contents
to the ground, having not drunk even a sip of it. A very, very usual habit—in fact, consistent Tenniel
He opens his mouth, not to lap the dregs, but to speak. "We really should go," says Alice,
preempting him. "That's what you want to say, isn't it?"
"If you understand, let us take care," he says.
And she listens to him. He never seems, she thinks, entirely without reason. So she stands and follows
him to the white horizon. The memory fades around them as they pass. It melts and drips, all, into
nothing. All except the butterfly, which flies along at her shoulder. For now, Tenniel watches it again.
But it will fade, too—
All memories do.
解锁要求：采用爱丽丝 & 坦尼尔通过Eccentric Tale
So, what is this place? And what is "real"?
This is true: she once walked between worlds.
She still does. For her, this is an aspect of life as normal as eating or drinking, not that she has had
need of either since finding this latest realm. In the past, before Arcaea, it was countless how many
new places she'd seen, how many strange plants and people she had found.
Fantastic creatures, magic too, everything one could ever imagine: she has seen it, and recorded it.
For... an "inter-dimensional" encyclopedia? Whatever it was (it seems to have been lost).
The nature of the work keeps her profession fresh, certainly, but...
This world really is terribly unique. The memories of further worlds dance into this one, and not as
mere images, either. You can hear the other places... smell the foreign nature... taste from these
memories, and touch them as if they're real. Therefore it begs the question: what is real?
In a world such as Arcaea, she feels that is a very important question to ask.
If... it can be experienced fully, but only for a limited time, is it an illusion or is it valid?
Well-traveled though she is, nothing in her memory tells of a world like this.
What is the purpose of it?
So she asks her companion: without flare, without context. "So... what is reality, Tenniel? How can
we know that here is real?"
"It's real," he says, as he casts tea from his cup, "because every sense of yours 'knows' that it's real.
Why do you wonder about artifice or illusion? Why do you question even what you can touch with
your own hands, Alice? That should be enough."
"Fine," she replies with finality. It is worthless when he gets like this.
"If that is over with, look there," he says, and he points to the ground. They had wandered into
memory of a campfire, and Tenniel's tea had doused the flame.
"How the devil does that work?" he asked.
"You're asking me?" replies Alice, incredulous.
"I've ruined their party..." mutters her companion.
"The memory will fade soon, so there's nothing to be glum over, Tenniel."
"What we see is real, Alice. And when you stop looking at something, does it cease to be? Of course it
doesn't. That fire has ceased by my hand, though."
"You need to stop spilling tea everywhere."
"I will leave an apology."
"No one will see it! No one is here!"
Tenniel smirks while whipping out a pad and pen.
She groans, and tries not to smile herself as he writes.
It's a moment that reminds her why she never questions his company. But, it's a moment rare of late.
"Of late", she thinks...
In the beginning... was it different?
She ponders for a little while, but new scenery distracts her as they walk. She forgets to wonder.
And the day goes on.
解锁要求：采用爱丽丝 & 坦尼尔通过Alice à la mode
Never does he really "lie".
He knows what he knows, just as well as one knows to draw breath—though he doesn't need to
Or that one knows to feed, though he needs no food; to drink, though he needs no water.
Or, to remain at her side and shelter her, though...
...There is a raw and almost perfectly unshakable comfort in reality.
What exists is what you see and sense. Knowing that what you see and sense is real means that is
the truth. Having truth puts the mind at ease. Without it, with unknowns, you open yourself to fear.
Or to, perhaps, what is worse: truths you do not need to hear.
Truths that will damage you. To know you aren't capable of everything you wish to be capable of.
To know that there is an end, that it is inevitable. That truth, and truths like it, can make a person
But, he does not lie.
It's true that "he" has always watched over her.
It's true that "he" has always given her freedom, and guided her into places that were exciting, new...
That was real. That is.
He wants nothing more than her smile.
But with heaviness inside where a heart should be, he knows that she is seeking something more:
beyond what can be seen.
"...You hid that?" he asks, as she presents him a flower from the garden-memory they had left.
"You know, I love its color... pale..." she reveals, gazing upon it fondly. "It's like the skies we see in
other worlds," she asserts. "What's its name?"
"I don't know," he says. "It will vanish, surely, as everything does. There is no need to keep it, Alice."
"...Perhaps no need, but I like it," Alice tells him, and he already knew this. "I think that it won't
His gaze drifts away. With no rhyme or reason, he dumps his tea. He also knows this very well:
She is right: it won't. And that concerns him most of all.
He tells her, "Do as you like... Alice."
And she playfully fires back, "I will!" as she slips the flower behind her ear. With pompousness, she
declares: "You can't decide how I live!"
Tenniel taps his chest and gazes at nothing.
She is entirely right about that as well.
解锁要求：采用爱丽丝 & 坦尼尔通过Alice's Suitcase
The world shifts and blends fantastically, fascinating her always. Tenniel, however, never seems
very thrilled by it.
Therefore, as they leave the scene of a horrific fire spurred by flying machines, the last burning
wisps of tragic memory trailing behind them, Alice confronts him with a question:
"Have you no passion at all, Tenniel?"
To this, he smirks and says, "I never suffer, no."
To this, she looks at him dully.
He must have something in that tied up chest of his. With that in mind, she tries to catch any
sparkle in his eye, any breath cut short, any sort of pleased look—as he looks upon pleasant things.
One day—if time can be so divided in a world where night never comes—they come across the
memory of an old workshop.
There, she decides to hatch a little plan. In a rare moment of Tenniel's distraction, she hides away
from him, carefully, behind a door. When he realizes he's lost her, he glances back, forth, and there
mutters, "Alice...? Well, you must be nearby. Never mind it, never mind it..."
From her hiding place she watches him step past dusty tables and stools... until he reaches an easel,
upon which is a canvas. He checks the surroundings, finds a piece of charcoal, and sits at the stool
before the blank sheet. And, he sketches. The ticklish joy from "teasing" him begins to fade, and she
instead observes him steadily.
When she first woke up in this world...
Tenniel would often change their hats. He would tease her and be sure to always ask what she
wanted to do. He also recited things—poetry, prose—very often. He oriented her, when she was so
disoriented by waking in a caged world. He was sillier, delightful.
But... rather quickly... he stopped all of that.
The Tenniel she knew now wore a mask. It had almost become his new face, and so she'd forgotten...
He did like art, didn't he? He used to remark on it whenever they found memories of galleries...
Now he sketches his surroundings, adding to them a teacup sitting on the floor before the canvas
instead of a stool. An invention of his own, not a part of the scene.
She remarks from behind the door, "That's very nice, Tenniel."
He slows to nothing, and rests the charcoal back where he found it. He glances over his shoulder.
"It's only an imitation," he says.
"But you imagined that," she says, pointing toward the sketch, "the cup."
"...It is imagined, yes," he admits. "...But I believe you likely have a better imagination than me, Alice."
He smiles, again.
And she replies, "Don't let it bother you, Brother. Your technique is impressive, and comparing it to
my flawless mind is—"
And they stop, and meet one another's eyes, as they both realize what it is that she just said.
解锁要求：采用爱丽丝 & 坦尼尔通过Jump
"...'Comparing it to your flawless mind,' what?" he asks.
"...Tenniel..." she addresses him.
"My name is no verb. Where precisely is this comparison going?" he teases.
But, Alice insists. "Tenniel!" She shouts, stomping into the room. "You know why it is that I called
you that, don't you!?"
"It is my name," he replies.
"'Brother'?" she answers, baffled.
"Tenniel," he confirms with a smile.
"Not that!!" she yells, balling her fists and stomping again—now once in place. "Are we... family!?"
"I like t—" Tenniel begins, turning 'round on his stool. He looks self-satisfied, and obnoxious, but
before he can say what it is he's thinking, he thinks on it again. He holds his tongue, and grimaces
as he turns his eyes away.
"You're shutting up, then?" she accuses him. "I knew I was right...! I noticed it... Only lately you've
been like this."
"Handsome?" he tries. "No, that's always—"
"Tenniel, I am being quite serious," Alice tells him coldly, cutting him off.
"Quite seriously," says Tenniel, "I would like to end this conversation."
"Because it worries you? Mysteriously? Why?" Alice persists. She steps further into the room, angrily
telling him, "'Brother', I called you, and I said it quite sincerely. What could that be for? You're not
unaware, Tenniel. Not unknowing. You're very obvious in that regard. Now, I insist! I insist that you
"I would rather not," he growls.
"Just leave it alone!"
"I'm a grown woman. I can handle unpleasant words or truths!"
"It isn't that simple!"
"You aren't my parent!"
"He may as well have been!"
With a foot forward, the glowering Alice stops, her eyes set on Tenniel who is standing now.
She processes what he told her, and asks, only, "...What?"
"Ah... oh... dear me, I said it," Tenniel speaks in a near whisper. His eyes shine a moment, and he
bends his head so the brim of his cap might hide them. "No, Alice... I am not your brother. But I
"...Go on," Alice bids, resolute.
And her companion fishes from his vest: a shining shard. A piece of Arcaea.
"A memory?" she asks. And Tenniel replies:
Alice is silent. She looks at the shard between his fingertips and waits.
"I don't understand this world," he says, "but I know that memories project into this place because
of you. None do the same for me. I believe... given what recollection I was born with... Well, though
it was rather... scattered, from the myriad of shards around you where you were first sleeping, I
strongly remembered 'him'. I 'felt' as him, though my head is... certainly a bit strange."
He smiles before going on to say, "What I knew made me wish for nothing but your ignorance."
"...I will be fine, Tenniel," Alice speaks to assure him.
A light falls from his face to the floor, scattering in a minuscule splash. He tells her, with a fluttering
voice, "I might say that you aren't."
Nonetheless, he extends the shard to her.
She takes it.
In the glass, she sees a curtain waving before a window. Daylight.
She feels a hand falling down on her hat. Tenniel's sleeve obscures his face.
"If you look there," he says, "I know you will understand. Also, Alice..."
She grips the shard before answering, "Yes?"
"I am surely just an imitation, but would you—" he stops. "Would you..."
"Yes?" she prompts him.
"...Take care," he says, "and stay safe, Alice?"
"That doesn't follow... You're an imitation, you said... 'An imitation, but'...?"
"...Hmph," he makes a light and dismissive sound as he takes his hand from her hat. Or rather, he
takes her hat from her head, and replaces it with his own. Turning before she can glare at him, he
tells her, "I'm an imitation, but listen to me just this once. That's what I was going to say and
nothing else," he lies.
She does not push, and instead looks into the glass, activating it.
But, as color swirls around her she hears the young man say—
"Right, an imitation can't ever have their wishes heard."
But before she can ask him what he means, she enters a familiar place.
解锁要求：采用爱丽丝 & 坦尼尔通过Felis
She finds herself in something unremarkable, and even a little dull. It is a hospital room with white
walls and ceiling. To be precise: a patient's room—a quiet room, with monarch butterflies fluttering
outside the open window. And, to her surprise, in the moment she recognizes the place, memories
she hadn't realized she'd lost rush into her skull.
That there was a park outside.
That the nurses were friendly and kind.
That the weather always seemed perfect.
That she nearly always lived here.
She feels overwhelmed, trying to sort it all, but before she can even begin she hears footsteps
behind and turns. There is a person there, at the door, with a hydrangea in hand, presently
dressed in a thin and open, hooded sweatshirt. He wears a T-shirt beneath that, looser slacks over
his legs, simple and comfortable shoes... and his face. She knows his face. This man is a man who
looks like Tenniel. "His" name, however, is...
From the bed by the window, a weak voice calls out.
The young man passes her by, politely nodding as he goes, and he moves to the waking patient.
She doesn't have to see the golden hair, the thin frame, nor the kind face to know: of course, it is her.
This is her memory. Her name is Alice.
Cedric puts the flower he bought in a vase. A true bouquet of them sits beside her original self.
He pulls over a chair and sits down beside her. He has no tea in his hands, nor does he ask for any.
"Cedric..." the girl repeats, groggily, as she sits up in bed. "I thought you were at the studio today."
"No, not there. And I work on my own time, Alice," says Tenn—... Cedric. It sounds like him.
"How are you? You're alright?"
They both look at her, and smile.
The words had just come out of her without thinking. Well, she could barely think, for what it was
worth. A new world of truth, here to process, and it seems that as an observer in a place of one
part of this memory she merely recited what was said at the time automatically.
"Have you been writing?" asks Cedric.
"Have you been drawing?" asks the sickly girl, grinning in light mockery.
"'Have I been drawing'," he echoes, looking to the ceiling and then rolling his eyes.
"You came here!" she fires back with a laugh. "I swear, I thought you were busy!"
"Three pages I finished," he answers with pride and a smile.
"And you've got no pages?"
"I've written! I've written plenty!"
"Then let's see it, then. I've this other book, too..."
The girl reaches to a cupboard beside the bed. She keeps her notebooks and utensils there,
as well as a tablet she could probably use more often. The young man fishes out a tome from his
bag. Right... it never had been traveling, had it?
It was always written stories... told tales... dreams.
They begin to share. Laughter, teasing.
In four days, all of this ended. They both believed that, if not forever, she had at least three hundred
and sixty-five. She didn't get to see him in the end. In the early morning she felt a pain and faded.
Then, nothing. She remembered hearing them yelling to call. That was it.
Tenniel knew this.
The memory is long. She feels it. It encompasses these last days, but she doesn't want to see it.
Strong though she is, facing such a thing terrifies her. No part of it can change. Her health was
always failing, they were always alone, and he couldn't be there: the end. Dreams and stories...
can't become real by wishing.
She leaves the memory while they're smiling.
She doesn't remember if it was their last time together.
She doesn't want to know.
You will die. You have died.
Standing in the memory of the workshop, this is what Alice remembers.
"Tenn—" she starts, looking up.
But Tenniel is gone.
And there, the memory fades. She can guess... As he'd said, he was only an imitation, and with the
truth revealed, his time was up.
Alice stands in the void of Arcaea, staring forward with unseeing eyes.
And everything screams at her at once.
This "plane" is false. This "body": a shell. The "memories" were distorted.
Her "life" was not hers; her life ended with no arc, no culmination, no brother beside her.
You are alone, Alice.
And you died alone.
Alice eventually finds herself on her knees, her gloved fingers dug through the earth.
She feels very cold. She wants to cry, but tears wouldn't come.
"because every sense of you 'knows' that it's real."
Tenniel's words reflect in her head.
She looks at her hand, and she sees it.
She pulls her glove taut, and she feels it.
She takes the flower from her hair and hears it. Smells it. She opens her mouth over the petals.
What is reality? Is it what you see? What you taste? What you touch?
If that is so...
"Alice" is dead, and Alice is alive.
And if Tenniel was a memory, then he must remain as well.
In reality, she knows herself to be a wanderer of worlds.
She made it here, didn't she? Regardless of the "truth".
And if that is so... there is a way out.
She'll find it.
The way back: to the one who cared for her the most in life.
And for the other...
If she cannot find him again on her journey, she knows a fragment of him will be there with her,
remaining in her heart. Perhaps she'll start making and never drinking tea. The thought... makes her
smile and laugh once again.
Alice decides then and there, feet on the ground and holding the shard of "truth" between her
fingers: even if she may always look forward, to the horizon that marks a new way...
...she will never, ever, forget what brought her there.
The scene shifts.
With every step until now, the scene has shifted. Her steps shift the ground—shift space.
She nears the tapestry’s edges, only to find that the cloth had never been entirely sewn.
Glass glides past her quietly, and then moves suddenly, as if startled. The world around her
has become black, rather than white. In the air, stars hang. The way is fractured...
The tapestry of memories, Arcaea, has a fraying hem. These are the neglected and forgotten
threads. The girl standing before and within it all now is the first to have borne witness.
Now, truly, she is alone.
"...It seems," she whispers—a confirmation.
"If anyone else reaches here..." she goes on, stepping along this dusty and twisted path,
"they won’t follow the same path. Isn’t that right? The road broke apart too long ago—
and the way ahead keeps changing."
She observes exactly that happening at a distance to her right: a way of white spirals upward,
and then downward, until it shatters into mere particles. Those pieces then begin to float toward
her, and they glitter through the dark.
"Another," she notes. "Don’t you have anything to say?" she asks Charon.
The satellite makes no movements. She pats its useless head. "Speak," she commands.
The halo of triangles floating over its body spins worthlessly.
"Of course," she answers. Still holding its head, she turns and witnesses the empty world ahead.
"I guessed nearing the... ah, I’ve decided to call it the ‘lowest world’... I imagined that nearing it
like this might instill you with memory and further life. Purpose, maybe... But you still don’t know
The failed experiment’s tail moves in a slowly waving "S" shape. Its ears shift, thoughtfully.
And Lagrange lifts her hand. "That is cute, though," she admits, blithely. She means it, wholly.
The glass satellite that she crafted back where the world was still white is eventually returned to
its seemingly preferred place above her left shoulder, and she turns to face a new path forming
Unusually, this path is much wider than others she’s seen thus far—an area, really, at least for now.
Arcaea begin to gather at her right, to guess at her. Is she, and her heart, for them? When she
moves on, ignoring them, they decide she is not and disperse.
Memories are not why she is here, and the land of memories is a matter of past record. Beyond the
ounds, there is more to be learned, and more to be discovered.
This is the frayed edge of the tapestry. As she continues along this capricious road, she hopes to
meet the tapestry’s weaver, and bring their hands to the cloth once more.
And so she continues on, into the world she’s chosen. Into the world of black: the Void.
There is no sense here.
Not only "here"—the Void—but here, Arcaea itself. And this out-of-bounds space is telling, yes, but
in truth all aspects of this world have been telling from the beginning, ever since she first woke up.
Firstly, it should be remembered that Arcaea made itself known to her before she could come
around to knowing herself (and it should be remembered: "knowing herself" has never actually
occurred). It was insistent, practically, to introduce itself. As if it had said, "Welcome. You’re here
now, and this is what ‘here’ is:"
An abstract library dedicated solely to memory, a series of ruins haphazard and unseemly, a name
without meaning, and a girl without a name: herself, alone and otherwise unaware. The first thing
to do was read what "books" the library provided, and so she’d looked into the glass.
She could find nothing resembling a "theme" between any of them—nothing like a "connection".
A proper library had a system in place to categorize, organize, and sort—that much she’d learned
from what memories she’d witnessed.
Memories in Arcaea, however, were arbitrary: in where they were placed, and in where they drifted
about. Her existence in this world, too, felt coincidental. It felt like happenstance. After all, she
knew what Arcaea was upon awakening, but not why she was there.
"Really," she says suddenly, "consider the worlds I’ve seen, Charon."
Charon’s eyes turn to her, and in them she sees not even a spark of consideration. The two of them,
master and pet, are still in the Void. They are still walking to nowhere.
"Consider the worlds you’re made of," she continues, touching the satellite’s ear lightly. "In any of
them, is ‘existence’ so clearly directed? I haven’t seen, nor are you made of, any memories of
anywhere similar to this... A world so evidently built with purpose, and yet also so obviously
"What do you think of that?" she asks.
Charon’s eyes now face the winding and still-white path out ahead.
She lets him go.
"I think it’s half-baked," she says. She thinks Charon nods. They move along silently, while she
thinks still of the past.
And then, the past shows itself to her.
...Or is this the present?
She speaks, genuinely confused.
A cloud has entered her vision.
A cloud, where before there was nothing other than floating roads.
Shimmering in space is a surreal and sudden formation, which seems to have appeared without
And through it, she can see it once again: the world of ruins, white, and floating glass.
It is the only world she remembers. That world she left behind...
解锁要求：通过Far Away Light
It’s the present.
If it’s a memory, it isn’t showing anything like the memories she’s seen since awakening.
There is no point of perspective: no view to usurp.
It is simply, only, the old and barren world.
She stares in silence.
"I wonder if this place is mocking me..." she says.
And then she moves on.
Thinking of the first world, that world decided to show itself to her. Is that how it is?
She determines that yes, it certainly seems to be mocking her.
Along the way, more of these views to the world of white open. Most empty, and a few with others
Expected, but uninteresting. Testing them, these windows to the old world seem to have impassible
Really, if she wanted to think about, or spend more time in, the core Arcaea world, wouldn’t she
have stayed behind there?
And yet despite herself, she lingers on thoughts of what her life here used to be.
There were many memories she’d viewed, and for a time she assumed she might find a memory
that offered some truth of this place. No such memories existed. Mostly, she saw what could be
succinctly described as frivolous normalcy: day-to-day happenings—from waking in the morning
to dying in the night. All cycles: all over and gone. She’d certainly learned very much, but not the
slightest about the world she’d awakened in.
However, when she decided to leave in order to learn more at the limits of space, she thought she
might take a part of the first world with her. Rather, she thought to make something from it...
perhaps "the best" of it.
So now she glances at Charon. With windows to the old world shining all around her, she lays her
eyes only on her satellite.
All that said... hadn’t she made it on a whim?
A what-if had come to mind. What if this place of memories—of worlds and peoples gone—could
be used to craft something new?
She’d pulled shards of Arcaea together, and wished them bound, and with effort and will Charon
had taken shape.
But nothing was ever said by Charon. Nothing was ever done.
Nonetheless, it has remained with her like a moon ought remain with its mother planet.
...So she does not need the old world.
Charon is the true reflection: of how little that world ever meant.
She has continued on into the dark: quiet, and with a quiet partner. Once more, her thoughts drift
here and there...
That persistent idea returns...
That there is a god who designed all of this.
At least, it would only be accurate to call whoever was responsible a god.
As said, that is why she walks: to find this god.
"It is called ‘intelligent design’... typically," the girl says, speaking from what she’s learned through
the memories archived here. "However, this..." she continues before trailing off.
And she looks out ahead of herself.
The world’s distortions have become unfathomable. Lateral has become diagonal, the horizontal
reversed. To move, she walks where she wants to walk—and without concentration, she might float
It seems, absent the creator, the world has decided to shape itself to her wants instead, resulting
in invisible steps on an invisible earth and tiring traipses through solid space.
And so there it is: that fact she already noted.
...She gazes above.
"...It would be better to say this world was born out of emotion."
It is the only way to make sense of a world so senselessly created.
There is a sun here, although in the world of white the light of the sky seemed to come instead from
Heaven itself. Here, hiding in the dark, the sun shines weakly, forgotten. Or... has its light
simply been taken away by Arcaea’s endless day?
"...Though it ended, recently," she mutters to herself, dropping her gaze to what’s before her
instead. There are no clouds anymore. Starlight, as ever, is plentiful.
Since hours, or perhaps days ago, vortices have begun to tear away at reality in the Void, as if
to take the place of those old clouds as a new and strange thing to see...
The lost sun and unfinished world are greatly indicative; the vortices too, of course, and
ertainly the clouds. The entire space here is telling.
Back in the world of white, as well: every so often "it" would manifest. What was here, and
everywhere: "it" would manifest, and disturb existence.
In a word: "anomalies".
She’d met with a few in the world of white, and when there were still windows around the girl, she
had seen even more throughout the ruins. They were instances of what has now become
commonplace for her, turning things queer and wreaking senseless havoc.
This space was a concentration of those instances, and as far as she could tell, there was never any
intent in their appearances. As far as she could tell, all they were was a symptom.
She suspects, therefore, that the god who made this world...
She stops before a vortex of black. Glass memory flows into it—the few shards of them left in this
place, slipping through and thinning, splitting.
The true edge is most definitely near.
She lifts her hand...
When she awakened with no preconceived notions, no memories, no instilled ideas and only,
instead, her personality and simple knowledge of the world itself...
...it had sickened her.----Despite everything she has since thought and said...
She imagined that there couldn’t possibly be any way the mock and scattered world of Arcaea had
It dripped with purpose. It was full of purpose.
Of memories. Of buildings. Of glass.
She addresses her crafted satellite. It shows no signs of noticing, and yet she continues.
"You still can’t think for yourself...? You follow me, though... Do you believe I am your master?
She says its name again. The eyes in its head sparkle.
"You were born here, and so was I. In light of that, I believe I’ve noticed something."
So casually, she enters her arm into the spiral before her.
...And Charon watches as the limb turns into glass threads.
"...What do you think? Is this a trick, Charon? Or are we the same? There’s no blood in you.
Is there any in me?"
Her body begins to unravel.
...She has a heart, and it beats.
She has thoughts. She is real.
Then why is she here? Why is anyone?
...There may be blood in her veins, but now she can’t see any of it.
Her "body" is unlike any she has seen in memory.
The silvery strands of her once-limb—of her once-chest, now...
...Confirmation at last: this flesh was invented.
She jumps with shock as Charon strikes her side, knocking her back.
At once, the threads reconnect. Her body becomes whole...
She witnesses her empty palm. She glances at Charon, who, as ever, says nothing.
...But she sets her shoulders.
...She is the master, after all.
She looks at her staring servant, and asks...
"...Shall we go and see the end?"
我 不 是 一具空壳。
我能感受到这一切。我 不 想 要这样。
这里的一丝一毫我 都 不 想 要。----我想要 知 道 真相。
真 相 就是 这 样？
这里，一 无 所 有——
When did it happen?
When did the dark fall away... into this?
The dark fell away. The world fell away.
Outside of Arcaea, nothing exists.
She moves her lips, but no atmosphere carries her words.
Nothing is here to vibrate. Sound has gone.
What she sees is... a blurred and strange plane.
It’s as if moving her eyes bleeds space itself.
As if I wasn’t meant to see this.
I thought, for a while, about returning. Perhaps if I’d considered that more seriously, as soon as I
came here, I might have still been able to go back out.
But now, I’ve become lost.
Being "lost" still carries a sense of "place", doesn’t it?
Up, down, left, and right—in fact, the common and cardinal directions...
Those no longer exist. Rather, they stopped existing quite a while ago, and it simply hadn’t
completely registered to me until now... And on that subject ("me"): I don’t believe "I" exist any
You see, my hands have gone. My feet have gone. My legs have gone. My tongue has gone.
Perhaps I’ve become only my eyes, and some lingering shadow of my brain.
That said, that’s... going...
I find that it doesn’t take long to start feeling as if your mind is tearing apart once your motions and
senses have been stripped away. I need to focus—something the god of this world apparently
Yes... the reality created here was truly thoughtless... a design without a blueprint.
A vague impression.
There is earth. There is daylight. After daylight, the night sky and the stars within it.
After that, who knows? You didn’t, evidently.
You. What did you want out of this place? Why did you take me here?
Why did you hide whatever I was before?
I WAS something before. You’ve snatched whatever that was away.
Did I die like the others?
Did I die like the girl who loved her brother? Did I die like the girl in red?
Do you think I was afraid of that, perhaps?
What am I meant to take from this? Well?
What am I meant to take from being trapped in this thing that you manifested for yourself?
It was for you, wasn’t it? A paradise... an escape, maybe. How did you do it? Does it matter?
...I’m fraying again.
Ha, I... really understand it now: why she hates this world.
Anyone who figures this world out should want to see it gone.
Maybe you think you saved me? You never saved me. Even if you had... it seems I’ve damned
myself, haven’t I? What for?
What do I DO with this?
Charon isn’t here, right? Is my body here? I want to—
LET me vanish... Why did Charon STOP me then? Looking back—
Am I looking back?
Are my eyes still here?
I can’t see it.
Where was I?
No, no, no.
No, no, I really can’t return?
I can’t get out of here?
I can’t move?
No, really, I can’t?
I could bite through the entirety of my nails, if I still had them.
Although you might have crafted me from one...
I am NOT a husk.
I feel this. I do not WANT this.
Can you hear my thoughts?
I wanted NONE of this.
I wanted to KNOW.
KNOWING means THIS?
There is NOTHING—
...Knowing it’s nothing...
It feels like scum is building in my stomach... Stomach? Stomach? And... where are my hands?
Right... I lost them...
You cannot call this light.
What exists around me is indescribable.
I think, when I left the ruined world and entered the Void, I welcomed the dark.
It was different. It wasn’t blinding. It wasn’t "obvious".
Light, darkness: basic things I’ve seen in countless worlds.
The light is warm and welcoming; the darkness is frightful and unknown.
But still, I wished to know the dark.
I felt it implicitly, and learned it soon: that this world was made as a sanctuary for a weak heart.
But that is not me.
I am not the weak-hearted person who created this refuge.
And if I had created it, I would have done it better...
Charon showed... shows that.
I marched ahead into the dark because I wanted to find a better truth.
However, the truth is as bitter and merciless as I’d always assumed.
I’ve been in this state for too long to count. I have lost the minutes and hours.
And every so often I will see it again:
Light—true light—in the distance.
Perhaps it has been guiding me.
I wouldn’t admit this, to anyone.
It’s like a loss: relinquishing myself to what I’ve long criticized.
However, I feel it for certain: that light is now beckoning me.
That light of the old world is shining, and wants me.
And in that light I find deliverance...
Fine, then. I will take your hand.
As I near it again, I feel my fingertips more, and I swear that I can see my breath.
I think I’m going to return.
If I do, I don’t believe I will take the truth with me.
I will not forget it, but I will surely leave it behind.
I believe it, don’t I?
I could do the job better than that god.
But, I will need hands again for it first.
I shouldn’t simply think or talk that I might be better. I’ll do it. I will.
But really... I am not swelling with pride as I escape here.
Instead, take this as revenge.
I’ll change this world, or craft a better one.
You’ve left this one broken so badly. Isn’t anything possible?
I think so.
I know it.
解锁要求：采用拉格兰通过Far Away Light
The plane of Arcaea is impossible. Although she came to know much of it, she did not learn all
there was to know. There are still questions—however, that is no matter.
Lagrange finds herself in the Void again: whole, and back with Charon.
How she reached the End, she is still unsure. She is unsure of much, however—
The truth is: in this broken and anomalous prison, crafted by a frail soul...
there is no act truly outside of "reason".
Even returning from the End. Even returning from the Void.
Even finding others. Even reaching through a "window".
For what is impossible in a world that is itself the same?
She takes Charon into both of her hands. Light glances off its eye.
Seeing it, she asks, "...Were you my beacon, then?"
And the dull Charon says nothing in reply.
...However, a smile crosses her lips.
"Don’t give me that look," she says. "'I told you so'? You never even speak, do you?"
To that, Charon wiggles its ears.
She walks ahead.
She lets her satellite go, and it takes its place over her shoulder.
Now they walk, toward Arcaea, watching clouds of light along the way.
...Until one in particular catches her attention.
It shimmers a little more oddly than the others. The surface ripples.
In it, the flow of time is bending back on itself, and leaping forward.
For now she sees this: a split in reality.
The sky is being again divided, but not as it was by the girl in red.
The girl chased by shadows... she is there.
And there is a girl cloaked in light.
Another "end" is manifesting.
With a sense that she might fall through the crack through which she bears witness,
Lagrange watches that ending transpire.
Beyond, to its conclusion. To the fall.
It makes her smile again, although she can see... what progresses now is a tragedy.
This is a dance of light and conflict...
解锁要求：采用爱托通过Next to you
Now that you've faded off, I've started thinking of something older.
If the memories that we made here could be crystallized, these are the ones I would collect.
You'd probably mock me for it. Every time I pick a piece of glass to "carry" around, you're ready
to mock me. I think you just don't understand it, but I also think that's just fine.
I can't capture you in a memory. You're you, now and forever.
But, now that you've faded off, I've started thinking of something older.
That one room in glass. That one concert.
You were like a fire, a storm.
Whenever your foot beat down on the flooring, it felt like the entire building shook.
The air quaked, and the ground rumbled.
Watching you like that always leaves me breathless. The melody you carried then swayed the
Effort. Persistence. It was wonderful.
That beat... That smile... How you pulled the bow over those strings, perspired, laughed.
I thought: I love you.
In victory, in struggle—
I've always loved you, Luna.
The song ended to applause. The opposite player could do nothing but graciously accept defeat.
You raised your instrument and took a bow.
You looked at me, and you said it. I couldn't hear it over the crowd, but the words on your lips
"Better than you, wasn't I?"
I frowned. I rolled my eyes. The memory ended.
A world of white came up all around us, and you started walking toward me—the instrument gone
from your grasp and replaced by your sword. Still eyeing you, I said:
"Are you enjoying winning once that much?"
"Once makes one more for me. Now count them up."
"Well, we don't have anything to count on."
"Count on yourself," you said, and you tapped the side of your head. "Use your head."
I'd figured that out, Luna.
Well, that marked three times, I guessed. Three better performances than me... though you'd
never let me remind you. My showing was better... right, I believe it was five times. Yes—after
finishing the count in my head, I raised five fingers on one hand, and three on the other.
And then you hit my opened palm with your own.
"Five!?" you shouted, beaming. "That's barely more than three!" Not wrong!
Your hand closed over mine, fingers tightly interlocking. You were feverish, but you were starting
to cool near me. Still wearing a smile, you narrowed your eyes at me and offered, "Again?"
I had to refuse. It was a little sad, you know? I could point my blade at near any memory, and
inside it I'd do better than you. But you were too cheerful in the moment to bother thinking that.
You squeezed my hand tighter. You laughed. You relaxed.
You returned to your preferred, calmer mien, and not long after you said:
"So, where to?"
I huffed, and led you toward the tower I'd mentioned before.
I knew that you knew it...
that I still always appreciated you asking.
Are you awake?
I think that I'm dreaming. It's kind of annoying that I'm starting to dream of you.
Your face, your moments; scenes of you are running through my head. How every song you've
ever played has stolen my breath away; how every movement you ever make looks controlled and
composed. When I think of you, I tend to think of something "perfect".
What's annoying is every part of you that begs a different take.
I know how easily you lose track. I know you trip and fall sometimes. And honestly? You're really,
You know, I hated how we woke up here.
I think it's fair to say. Both of us thought this was definitely too soon, that this was a last stop
nobody ever would've guessed. Everything we were taught, everything that we read—no books or
teachers or family or anything or anyone ever mentioned a world made out of glass. And, when
my eyes opened up to all this light here, you were there and saw them starting to shimmer.
You just said, "It's all made of glass!" And in an instant, you took to everything like it was nothing.
For a while, I was pretty sure that back then, you were just saying the dumbest thing you could
think of to turn my tears away... Like maybe, because we're twins, you saw into my heart before
you saw the worry in my eyes, and you knew exactly what to shout out to make me feel better.
But then you started waving for those butterflies of glass to follow you.
Whether you were trying to or not, you reminded me of how you always were, and when you
grabbed my hand, it was like you were telling me you'd never change, and...
Well, I love you.
When you're beside me, whenever you're away—
I will always love you, Eto.
Though good luck ever getting me to say that.
Hey... do you remember when we went to that tower? Maybe we'd seen... about half of the world
by then, and you were pretty set on that one place. I remember that, when we were kind of
nearing it, I asked you:
"Why a tower, anyway?"
You said, "It was the first thing we saw!"
...I felt a little dumbfounded.
"...That's it? We're going there because you... saw it?"
"WE saw it," you insisted.
"I don't remember it," I lied. "You're going crazy already?"
A quiet laugh escaped your lips. You asked me, "What's really 'crazy', anyway?"
And I mean, you definitely are, right? If it wasn't glass, you'd probably keep collecting marbles or
leaves. If you couldn't make music, you'd take up a paintbrush. If we didn't have a path for a
journey, you'd find somewhere to bring us anyway.
You've called me "wild" before, but look at you.
The "tower" wasn't even a tower... The thing was a lighthouse, standing over a totally empty sea.
I sat down in front of it because I was tired; you sat down behind me because I sat down. And,
while I looked around where we were I suddenly got this idea. I asked you, "Wait—wait, are there
any shells here!?"
You told me, "We are where we are, Luna."
And I told you, "Yeah, but there's no sea..." I remember dropping against you after saying that,
just to make you slouch. I insisted, "Let's look for shells! Then we can hear what's left of it!"
You told me I was being childish. Uh-huh. Sorry.
But remember? You were the one who led us out onto the sands yourself.
We'd spend some time there, and through what we'd find return to memories of our own.
Luna, remember how all we found down below were more shards? We couldn't even find one
shell... I guess it made sense. Well, I was delighted by the find. And besides, we unlocked a
memory that reflected a shore and a sea... and the shells we found there worked for us just as well.
In it, we knew that the person remembering had left the beach quickly. We ignored that, and
decided to stay.
"Can we swim in it...?" you wondered aloud, squinting into the waves with a conch up to your ear.
And I reminded you, "Well, we can't, though you... might."
"Oh yeah, that's right," you said, looking my way as you held back a smile from your lips (as for
me, I was already frowning). "You can't swim!"
"Stop it right now or I'll put sand in your hair," I threatened. I pointed right at you, too.
"Let's learn!" you cried, and you pointed to the ocean before us.
I whined that we wouldn't have any swimming clothes in there. You told me it was only a
memory—we'd be fine—and before I knew it, you had my hand in yours.
The water felt real. That cold was real. You pulled me into the sea. You guided my wobbling legs.
You enjoyed one of the few things you could say, definitively, that you had the better of me at.
You know, back then my head was full of thoughts and questions. The feeling was indescribable.
Distracting? A little fearful, but having fun? I could've asked a hundred, a million things, but they
all ended up brushed aside in my mind.
When the memory was over, you tackled me down to the now-white sands. You were tickling me.
You're really so ruthless. You're incorrigible.
Even though I hadn't wanted to, I found myself smiling.
Soon enough, I remembered I'm your older sister.
I grabbed your face and stretched out your cheeks.
"Cut this out, you brat," I said sternly.
To this you looked down upon me smugly, and proceeded to pinch my nose.
"Not there!" I whined as you resumed your tickle assault, knowing that whining couldn't stop you
The truth is I'd never stop you in the first place.
解锁要求：采用露娜通过Next to you
Eto, I wonder if you were always that light.
You tired out after our roughhousing, which meant I was the one who had to bring you up the
I had you against my back. You know I prefer the reverse. You're the more pillow-like of the
two of us. You knew it wasn't fair.
Although the world was white, the tower—without any windows on its spiral staircase—was too
dark. And with you nearly asleep... well, it'd been a while since I'd found myself alone.
I could only hear your breath and the echoes of my own steps. I could only see the distant glow of
the top... barely.
...I thought about back when we were a little younger, and... I was thinking, didn't you always
sing something for me at bedtime? I wondered how it went, and I started—
"...Hmm-hmm hmm-hmm... little star... How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high..."
"Like a diamond in the sky?"
...Your voice followed.
I continued up the stairs, but I stopped the children's tune.
"A baby song, Luna?" you asked. Your voice sounded groggy—but definitely awake.
I said nothing. I could feel heat in my face and in my ears that I never wanted you to see.
"You didn't get to the part about the sun going down," you said, nuzzling into the back of my hair.
To that I replied:
You giggled, your breath tossing the strands.
"There's no night in this place anyway," I reminded you. "Forget it."
"Actually, that song never mentions the Moon, does it...?" you said.
I repeated myself: "Forget it."
"Also... you're still going to carry me up there, hm?" you asked.
"You really don't let go once you've got your fangs in me, huh..." I muttered. I could feel the smile
on your face. Thinking on it, I could feel your chest, too...
And I thought: alright, you're coming down.
I set you down behind and beside me.
You patted my back, then my head.
I wanted to tell you to stop that...
But I only turned my eyes away and grimaced.
"Come on, Luna," you coaxed me, even lifting my chin. "We're almost at the top... probably!"
I thought: right, I'm the little sister here...
So I'd allow it—just this once.
We'd summited the lighthouse, and where a lamp would usually be shining—on that sill, one of us
sat with a hand across her knee. The other stood beside her, one hand on that same sill, tapping
to an unheard rhythm.
We looked at one another before looking at anything else. With our free hands we touched our
fingers together, one and sometimes two at a time, inattentively playing a rule-less game of
matching pad presses.
"What will you do if I really start getting better than you?" the younger of us asked. "If I start always
getting louder applause, or I start always beating you at cards, or—"
"That's a lot of speculation there," the older of us replied. "So many ifs—and they're BIG ifs, aren't
"Well..." the other began, staring absently at the broken light behind us, "yeah, they are."
We continued our purposeless game.
"But you shouldn't give up. And I don't really have to tell you that, do I?"
...We smiled at that.
We joined hands, and turned our attention to the landscape.
The world was dry. The only life we'd found in it had been one another's. The sun, unseen, beat
down mercilessly on everything. We remained connected. We watched, and we relaxed.
Quietly, we kind of suddenly agreed—
"I want to try planting a garden again..."
"Yeah, me too..."
We stared out at Arcaea, saying nothing more.
A red comet cut the sky.
We looked out at the day…
...and night began to fall.
That was all a long time ago.
When the night fell, before the sky was shattered again—
...Actually, when they gripped the blades they always had with them, they always got the sense...
...The sense that, although this was after life, things would still come to an end again.
Arcaea would irreversibly change—and quite suddenly, and quite terribly, it began to.
However, now that it is actually coming to pass, they took it in stride.
After all, what does one say when they learn they haven't got much longer?
"I could say that I'll spend this playing around—"
"I could say that I'll spend this trying to be happy—"
"—But honestly, I'd just want to spend however long we have with you."
...They're traveling again, now.
"Luna, come on," says the older one.
The younger takes some steps down a ruined staircase. She's been looking back where everything
had fallen down. When she walks only a little, the stairs begin to crumble.
She leaps down; her sister catches her as the earth splits and shifts below them as well.
Hugging one another, they look out to the broken horizon.
The sky is broken. The land has broken. In some deep part of the world, something has utterly
fractured, and so it has begun to collapse.
And yet, they merely continue on.
We can always go back. We can always return.
Perhaps the girls are thinking that as they set off once more—as they leap over the decaying
pieces of the world of white.
So, one more step, one more trip...
One more sight, one more song...
They take flight now. They rise above it all.
Smiling, the two hold one another's hands and aim their keys at the sky—at the Arcaea still
swimming through what remains of it.
Light glows all around them, and they enter another memory.
That's right, always:
One more dance.
She kept expecting there to be more people here.
She wasn’t sure why. All around her was a white wasteland, filled with nothing but faded, ruined
buildings, bereft of all life—all except for her.
In these few days since waking up in this place, without any recollection of what happened before,
she walked quite far and explored what she could. The tattered structures did little to answer her
questions. Each of them was empty... and while she found the architecture itself familiar, she
seemed to have no memory of when she’d learned their names, their shapes, their functions.
Time and again, that was the idea she’d come back to: knowing "what", but not "why". It could be
the idea was just a distraction for her, something to ponder in favor of the more obvious, weightier
things regarding this world—and inside herself.
She had to say, though: this was certainly a bizarre and bewildering place.
She pulled her guitar’s strap tightly over her shoulder, and the questions returned. Where had she
gotten it? Why in the world was it with her? Despite having woken up alongside it, she couldn’t
answer those questions. She only knew to pluck the strings to make sounds, to hold the strings
over the frets to create others. To strum them in time, to create rhythms, melodies, chords,
harmonies. More than that, it was almost... comforting, when she held in her hands.
But why? No, she did not know why. Why didn’t she?
The sand around her—eroded over eons by water. No water here. No liquid, even. How was there
sand? Walking. She knew how to do that. Why? She had no answer. She never had any answers.
For what it was worth, was any of this knowledge even "memory" at all?
Was she "remembering" these things? Had she "forgotten" other things?
It seemed to her she had amnesia, but was amnesia this... selective?
Knowing things, but not knowing why that knowledge existed within her, had her deeply and
fundamentally upset. It made her feel like an incomplete person. Like someone had removed her
skin and muscles and bones and placed them into some false container, but had forgotten to put
in all the other important things, leaving her hollow, forgotten.
She hated not knowing.
A kaleidoscope of questions shifted and rotated in her mind. She forced herself to focus on all the
sudden and overwhelming turns and angles. But answers? Again, no. There were no answers.
During her barefooted expeditions (she decided early on to keep her shoes looped around her
neck, since the large heels were inconvenient for the terrain) she’d learned next to nothing.
In fact, the more she saw, the less she felt that she knew.
She hated not knowing. She knew so many things about what was around her, and yet she felt
like she knew nothing of herself. So much of what she saw was baffling nonsense—not least of all
the glass wandering through the air for seemingly no reason. Glass that showed her other people,
other times, other worlds. Reflections, resonating in the oddest ways. Reflections, she thought,
which were undoubtedly familiar.
Yet the familiarity was but a feeling. The glass never showed her in their reflections.
These were not scenes of a remembered past.
These were not memories... or, at least, they were not hers, these Arcaea. Nothing was hers.
Deep down, her emotions shifted. With that shift came a growing sense of concern, of being out of
place, of confusion, of faint loneliness, of something crucial being missing somewhere inside her.
And she didn’t like it one bit.
She started walking again. Walking always seemed to help.
It let her focus on what was around her instead. On what was outside.
But she could only ignore that creeping feeling for so long.
Eventually, she sat down on a relatively smooth chunk of stone and anxiously ran a hand through
her hair. Looking back, she could see a long set of footprints through the faded sand, stretching all
the way to the horizon. How was it possible there was this much sand? She was starting to get sick
After a moment’s thought, she brought her guitar around and held it, again, in her hands.
And there it was again, instantly: that comfort. It was like... a reassuring parent, or a friend.
She sighed. Really, that was all that she needed to keep going.
Without thinking, she began to hum a tune. Her fingers strummed the strings, their quiet, tinny
chords adding that precious harmony to her melody. She could remember how to walk, and she
could remember how to play. It brought a momentary smile to her lips: how both of these acts
came about as natural as breathing.
Her lips turned down again a moment later, however, losing their humor. Words were coming to her
tongue, her teeth, her lips, wanting to be added to this song. At first they were scattered, whirling,
trying to form a complete, sensible picture.
And so, dressed in black and scarlet, she sang—in this world of white:
this colorless and seemingly infinite cage.
Gradually, her words gained volume. Her feelings roiled within her, wild, building in intensity.
These instinctive words weren’t new, nor were they old and forgotten.
They were always with her, and now they were clawing, screaming their way out of her chest.
Just speaking them wouldn’t be enough. They needed to be shouted, roared so that they
resounded in the furthest corners of this dead world. She yelled them as loud as she possibly could.
It just seemed like the right thing to do.
She shouted about confusion. She shouted about the unknown, about the bleak landscapes,
about the bounteous memories in tiny glass shards flitting past for brief moments before
She shouted about—
For that one critical moment as she played, she realized what she’d been feeling, deep down.
This empty world, her empty memories...
They terrified her.
Who was she? What was this quiet place? What was going to happen to her?
What HAD happened to her?
But she already knew that she might never know. Not here.
Her voice broke for a note, but she pushed past and forced her lungs, should they exist, to their
Her fingers flew madly across the six strings. She could hear it vividly in her mind, the power, the
weaving together of rumbles, screeches, and vibrations.
A storm of her soul and of music—a tumultuous undercurrent rushing beneath her lyrics along
with the simmering dread, growing into a powerful heat, which reached her eyes as well.
But somehow, in some way she couldn't pinpoint, it made her feel a little better.
A little less confused, a little less afraid.
After a time, the echoes of her shouting faded out. A few final plucks with her right hand, and she
dropped it from the strings, her work finished. Her song vanished into the bright sky, the evidence
it had ever happened now residing within her near-empty memories.
She put her other hand to her eyes and rubbed them, shivering, refusing to look at the heavens
that had taken her song away.
But then she gave a laugh. It surprised her. It was an honest laugh—and the smile of a job well
done. She wiped her hand on her dress and sighed to herself.
Man, she hated this place.
The world was no less confusing now—no less intimidating, no less empty, no less merciless.
But now, she felt like she could deal with it.
She couldn’t be sure, but she could have sworn that fear was something she was familiar with.
She knew things about it—how it could make your legs weak, how it could make you run away,
how it could prevent you from making decisions, how it could control you.
The fear of the unknown. The fear of failure.
And she could only assume it had been instinct that had led her to play that song.
Maybe she’d done it before. Maybe she’d shouted through her fear before, in much the same way.
Maybe she had. At least, now she felt like she could handle it.
She had a firmer grip on that twisted little emotion now.
If she wanted to stay sane in this baffling world, she needed to keep it in check, keep it from
But it would always be there.
She exhaled, then turned in her seat and carefully put her guitar aside, laying it onto the stone.
Then she heard a soft clink.
A small cloth bag had fallen out of her inside pocket to the stone sticking out above the sand.
In it were several needles, a little pair of scissors, a thimble, a few spools of thread, and a measure.
A sewing kit. It had been with her when she’d first woken up. She could only assume it was hers.
When she’d first found the pouch, it had just confused her. She knew what it was for, but had no
clue why she was carrying it. Each of the accoutrements within was, of course, "known" to her, but
like the guitar she carried with her... it hadn’t come with any helpful little notes explaining where
it came from.
But now, when she reached down to retrieve the pouch, upon seeing her sleeve, she froze.
She... knew, didn’t she? How that sleeve was made. She knew the stitches, she knew all of the folds.
She knew the exact colors. She knew those threads were in the sewing kit.
But any further connection escaped her. She could easily draw conclusions based on logic,
but her mind still felt closed. That cruel disconnect between knowledge and experience...
It was agonizing.
Now, though... Now she wouldn’t let herself be overwhelmed by the fear caused by that disconnect.
She would recognize it, use it. So what if she didn’t remember? What mattered was that she knew.
A concrete goal would certainly help, though. She didn’t have one yet, but maybe, in time,
she could find one.
A grin crossed her face as she started off again, still thinking of the kit which had just made her
shiver. Pretty convenient, huh? She could at least keep her clothing intact on this inane journey.
And with that thought... her outfit certainly wasn’t practical, but it was hers, and she wouldn’t
give it up for the world.
Yes. It was hers.
That, her guitar, and her sewing kit—in this wasteland of memory, they were all hers.
Knowing that helped a little, and a little help could go a long way.
...A few steps later, something below her caught her eye.
Footprints in the sand...
But they didn’t belong to her.
Crossing her path, leading off to the left, they were definitely a few sizes off.
She stared the way they headed, and saw that they disappeared behind a few gentle hills.
Another genuine, familiar grin crossed her face.
Maybe she’d had an audience after all.
解锁条件：购入GIMME DA BLOOD单曲
解锁要求：通过GIMME DA BLOOD
A moonless night blanketed the forest, trying to smother the fires blazing throughout its sprawling
verdure and the village nestled within.
Crashes and screams. Horrible sounds from horrible shapes, dark against the flames. For some, the
smoke-filled air was inundated with panic, driving them to run as fast as their legs could carry them.
She, however, felt enveloped in something now familiar to her: an unadulterated thrill of battle.
Her obsidian-colored sword glinted as it cleaved another of the shadowy figures. They were shaped
like malformed beasts, running on all fours yet fighting dexterously on hind legs. Her cut severed
its shoulders from the rest of its body—but before it could hit the ground, the body dissipated, as
though becoming smoke, before rising into the air to join the smoke from the fire.
Save for how the beasts appeared to materialize from the smoke of the forest blaze itself, she didn’t
know much else about them. There was little to distinguish one from another. For all she knew,
killing one would simply send its essence back into the clouds, only for it to come back again as
though nothing had happened.
As she stabbed her ornate blade into another of the shadow-beasts, she spared a glance behind her.
The villagers were nearly through the forest to the safety of the advancing forward line of some
nation or other.
She needed to protect them—needed to let the thrill within her run its course.
She jumped, spanning almost a field’s length in a single leap, long hair fluttering behind her, to
behead another beast as it raised a smoky claw to gore a fleeing farmer.
The short, muscular woman paused her escape for just a moment to offer a gesture the
sword-wielder wasn’t familiar with—perhaps a sign of gratitude—before scrambling away again.
It wouldn’t be much longer now. No matter where she found herself, no matter how advanced the
world’s technology and no matter what the philosophy of its people, she always had one objective:
slay, slay, slay—until, presumably, the enemy was gone.
Finally, the last straggler from the village made it to the line of spear-wielding soldiers. She could
see from here the sweat on the troops’ brows, the fear in their eyes… but she could see the
determination in their postures as well.
Letting down her sword at last, she exhaled a breath she hadn’t realized she’d kept, knowing what
was to come next. She felt the weariness hitting her quickly—and, once again, sooner than the last
The world around her began to fracture, as though it had merely been a projected image made of
glass. She closed her eyes and smiled an empty smile. Slowly, she let the pale light engulf her...
...and welcome her back into the world of Arcaea.
解锁条件：完成8-1,购入GIMME DA BLOOD单曲
解锁要求：通过Bookmaker (2D Version)
Mir did not know her name, and if she had any memories from before this dead world to
remember, they were lost to her now.
A glass shard—the one that had pulled her this time—briefly spun around her before shooting
away into the distance. She knew from experience she wouldn’t see it again. They were called
Arcaea—their name a fragment of knowledge from her awakening of which she did not know the
origin—and they seemed to show other worlds in the midst of certain situations.
She couldn’t touch the shards, but they could act on her. Over a dozen times now, they had pulled
her inside, bringing her into those worlds and situations, with the apparent reason always the
same: to defeat—no, to crush her enemies underfoot.
Inevitably, each time, there would be those unable to fight behind her... though the idea of
shielding them paled in comparison to the driving, blood-racing thrill of the fight.
She was skilled with this blade she had woken up with—wherever it had come from. And something
told her that she was too skilled. She could clearly do things that others in these worlds couldn’t.
In fact, even her enemies didn’t pose much challenge for her in person-to-person combat. The true
challenge, she was learning, was in the protection of others.
But when she was in the fray, such concerns meant nothing to her. She reveled in the battle—let the
mirth of violence course through her.
That mirth, however, seemed to be draining from her more quickly after the fact, leaving naught
but emptiness and exhaustion that took what felt like hours, if not days, to restore. And it seemed
to be taking longer and longer each time.
The absence of adrenaline led her to ponder these other worlds she was being tossed into. Even
what had previously seemed to her to be fact, that these were other worlds at all, didn’t feel quite
right of late. It was almost more like... she was being shown images, ones that for some reason she
could act within. The answer was obvious, she sensed, as though she should have known it, yet it
was just beyond her grasp...
Tired, she hefted her sword onto her shoulder and took a look around. White sand, as far as the
eye could see. A desert, drained of its color, mirroring how drained she herself felt upon returning to
it. The trail of footprints behind her were exactly as they were before the "spiriting away". Without
any wind, it was impossible to tell how much time had passed.
Not that time seemed to have much meaning here.
Another calling. Everything turned white again.
Abruptly, she stood somewhere else. Fields charred brown, smoke in the sky, makeshift fences
erected on land and trenches dug into the ground.
She looked around, suddenly exhausted. The callings had never happened this close together
before. And where were the weak ones—that throng of faceless actors on the stage, pointless yet
also perhaps the sole reason for being thrown into battle? More importantly, where were her
Where was her fight?
解锁条件：完成8-2,购入GIMME DA BLOOD单曲
Mir had experienced battle before—but never war.
She now watched people kill one another with deadly efficiency, run for their lives in fear, engage
in feats of true heroism, engage in displays of utter dishonor...
Every way she turned, she found those weaker than her. Innocent, terrified faces, and all too many
of them young. They would see her, then look away, as if recognizing her only as a hallucination, a
trick of the light. She nonetheless tried to protect them. They would then run to their deaths.
Every way she turned, she found enemies. Soldiers leveling weapons at disarmed foes. Terrible
armaments, disassociated from humanity, delivering death faster than she could have ever believed
possible. She destroyed them, and then more would appear on the other side.
She jumped to yet another group of people, blue uniforms fighting against red, before making a
quick judgement and taking down the red ones. Behind, those people she had just protected were
wiped out in an instant from a strike she hadn’t seen coming.
Vessels soared overhead, raining pure destruction down upon the lands. The vessels bore the same
insignias as those in the blue uniforms. Their fire swiftly took so many lives. Were they the true
Taking a deep breath, she swung her arm back. After a mere moment’s pause to take aim, she spun,
hurling her sword into the air with a shout. The blade screamed upward at the small formation—
then tore through them, sending wild oranges and reds scattering through the firmament.
Then she saw the people jumping, and realized her mistake. White flared above and behind them,
and their descent slowed—parachutes? But they were easy targets against the red side’s weaponry.
The thrill was fading. Quickly.
Exhaustion crept back in.
And with it, despair—hopelessness at this situation over which she seemed to hold no power.
Indecision—the uncertainty of knowing what to do after the errors she’d made, and of who it was,
exactly, she needed to defeat.
Fright—the fear that her decisions would lead to something even worse.
The thrill was gone.
It felt like a trusted partner had betrayed her. Left her in her moment of need. She reached out with
her hands, searching for it. It had to be here. She had no fuel without it. Nothing to give her the
strength to take another step.
Unable to find it, eventually she, like those wounded soldiers, fell to her knees.
Hours passed. The raging battle was now dwindling, leaving behind the true horror of warfare.
She put her hands over her ears to protect herself from their moans, their yells. She shut her eyes
to block out the sights and smells.
It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault, she told herself.
And yet... it was, still, her fault. She surely could have done something, she thought. She could
have changed something—anything to prevent this.
When she tried to think about what she could have done, however, she found she couldn’t.
And that process repeated, as it had done the last dozen times. She felt her nerves fraying, panic
Eventually, her surroundings whitened, and she was sent back into the world of Arcaea in the same
manner as all the other times.
Immediately, she crumpled to the ground, breathing heavily. Her sword, which she’d thrown into
the air hours before, dropped down beside her, hitting the sand lengthwise with a dry clap.
She sat there, eyes closed, trying to forget, trying to make her mind go blank, trying to keep out the
sheer whiteness of this damned world’s sky.
What was she doing here? What did this world want from her?
Ever since her awakening, she’d only been given the time to ponder her summonings and to sleep.
But her lack of memories hung there in the back of her mind like a haunting phantom.
What did SHE want to do?
She thought, and thought, and realized she didn’t know.
So she turned her head to look back along the sands, gazing at the long trail of footprints
stretching out behind her. She wished she knew where she was going.
Unbeknownst to her, however, that trail of footprints had already been joined by another, still quite
But for now, she prayed. She didn’t know to whom, but she prayed regardless, hoping that she
would be granted just a little bit of respite, now, on these empty, white dunes.
Between her teeth,the flat,hard surfaces feel-they FEEL right,and comfortable.
The sharp and jagged edge tickles her tongue.
A memory of loss: of desperation, failure, and ultimately anguish. These aren't the words she'd use... She would describe this memory as "sad", herself. In anticipation, her lips tug upward with a giddiness she cannot hide.
She already knows-this will be savory. Now,she bites into the glass.
"Ahh," utters the white and black (and orange, and green), bat-like creature at her right. "Well,that's fine."
This is Fans.
"Were you hungry?" asks the black and white (and green, and orange), bat-like creature at her left. "Tell us when you are!"
This is Drem.
"Mmm!" she moans with glee, holding her cheek. The glass has broken between her teeth. The shards and dust coat her tongue. It feels warm. It tastes like a fine dinner: like meat,with flowing,salt-kissed juices.
But her vocabulary is,again, somewhat limited. All she has to say to describe the taste, as a bit of saliva drops from the cormer of her mouth, is "Delicious!"
"That's great, Ayu!" Fans exclaims, flapping its wings excitedly.
"It's yummy!" she declares before swallowing the remaining fragments.
Drem hovers behind her with some curiosity. "Huh, 'yummy'." It repeats. "What sort of 'yummy', Ayu?"
"Like... steak!"With this stated, she begins to march forward,and her "bat" familiars follow.
"What does steak taste like?"
"Oh,Drem..." she sighs,with the same intonation that she might use for a lost child. "You're so dumb!"
"I just don't know what steak tastes like," Drem asserts. "Like what?" it asks.
"Like meat!" she declares, and-spotting something unusual-she plucks a shining piece of glass from the air.
"So,salty?" asks Drem.
"And yummy!" she reminds it, popping the new glass between her lips. It is a memory of celebration: accomplishment,new life,and mirth.She would call it "happy".
And Fans announces,"Yeah! Having something sweet after something salty is common sense!
"See? Fans is smarter than you, Drem," she says, laughing once through her nose.
"I was going to say that," says Drem. "I knew that, and I was going to say it."
Sucking on her new glass,she absently answers "Uh-huh" and begins to hum, swinging her arms to her chosen time. The glass tastes and feels like sugar.
A world of white stretches out before them.Behind them, the land is filled with ruins. Before and behind are the same-
And everywhere,there is glass.
Everywhere,a waiting meal.
She splits the memory apart with her molars. Its history dies.
The world is full of food, and ever since she awakened, she has been ceaselessly hungry.
而她则问道：“ ‘什么’ 不是怎样？”。
They never tire: not her, nor her bats.
Drem sits on her head and beats its wings into her face. Fans is flying high, and shouting about crowds-
"Crowds of... white!" the familiar cries. "White glass, Ayu!"
"Sweets?" Ayu asks through the still-beating wings. As it continues to thump her mouth and nose,her second bat enunciates:
Fans adds, "Yeah! The right!"
"More sweets?" Ayu asks once more. "More sweets..." she groans as her shoulders sink.Wings continue to strike her forehead softly."You already know I like it more with some, y'know... That I like VARIETY more, guys..."
"That's not how it works," Fans tells her.
And she asks, "It's not how 'what' works?"
Finally,Drem lifts from her head.
"Ayu," it addresses her, flapping now in front of her face rather than into it, "aren't you hungry?"
"I'm always hungry," she replies. And, she rolls her eyes, saying, "Come on, Drem."
"Then it's better if you have a big meal!" Drem cries, beating its wings enthusiastically.She recognizes the motions, slouches slowly, and her gaze begins to drift. "There's a lot of gla-.. if you ea-...Have a better...That's...And..."
She spots a menagerie of shards on a path between two houses from two cultures.She can tell at a glance that memories of pleasures and memories of pains await her there.She glances at Drem, then starts wandering toward the path.
"Mm-hmm?" she replies, hearing the upward inflection of a question from her more pestering bat. "That's right!" it shouts. "So-"
She continues to walk, and soon finds herself along the path proper, queer glass floating overhead. She sees old days in the reflections.Her stomach growls.
And she grabs an opposing pair.
With light in one hand, and conflict in the other, Ayu brings both pieces of glass toward her mouth... and chomps down.
The mixture is at once a delight.
"Aaah...there you go again," Drem sighs, finally realizing that it has lost her attention.
"Wrong,wrong,wrong," bemoans her bat Fans. "It's not HERE that's a problem,it's the... The big mess we were telling you to...! Hahhh..." It sighs. It relents. And, it admits:"At least she looks happy."
"Well," Drem begins, pausing a little while before it says, "yes. At least she looks happy."
It is only the truth: these are two tastes that taste great together. It is a rare thing to find them side by side, and so she always feels coaxed by the opportunity.What this is is a treasure trove.Now,her smile is interminable.
But after, her bats will beckon her again. Next time,she will listen.Like glass between her teeth,she finds that hearing them,sometimes, feels altogether"correct".And that correctness is satisfying.She is driven by satisfaction-she acts to the end of satiation. It is a simple existence, but does existence need to be anything more?
Ultimately,if listening might let her be sated...
And if silence will sate her too,now and then...
Then her ears will be open, and her tongue will, for a time, be still.
They lose sight of the swarm of sweets,but soon find themselves at something wide, dark, and most probably very delicious.
Ayu,Fans, and Drem stand at a fractured ledge leering above a pit of black glass, which swirls, churns,and kills light.Its pieces scrape against one another,and the sound produced is reminiscent of a wail.Those confined memories of ends and falls seem to be screaming in agony. Ayu looks upon it all-in a word-curiously.The world feels odd.
"Ayu," says Drem, causing her to glance its way. "Fly into it," the bat bids.
She answers, "'Kay," and she steps from the ledge.
With her arms held out,her descent slows immediately.Glass whips around her carelessly, unbidden and unrepelled.She holds her hand out, and the vortex ceases.She calls the shards to her hand.
And so,she begins to eat.
She smiles.She frowns.
Colorful Dream Truly,the hunger never fades.
The shards,the fragments,the dust-they all seem to vanish into nothing when she gulps them down.
It is for that reason she values taste.Cracking glass between her teeth accomplishes little else.In fact, what she thinks is a stomach often merely feels like a void she is continually compelled to feed.
For the feeling.For the ache.And,of course,for her waiting tongue. She bites,she feasts,and light slowly returns.
Her curiosity fades, and the odd sensation of the world along with it. Inlittle time, the vortex is gone, and she is running her tongue along the edge of her teeth.
She grins brightly.
"That was great!" she shouts.
"Yeah!" Fans agrees.
"It looked delicious," Drem affirms.
She does not hate her bats. They want her to smile,and she knows that.
And they know her stomach is always empty.
She lands on the earth and frolics ahead.They chat about colors.They chat about flight,and food.
This is the world to them, and this is why they are here.
"What's that?" Drem speaks up suddenly.
"Oh... What is it?" Fans adds, looking to where its fellow familiar is staring.
Ayu lifts her gaze to the skies.
Above,a shard of glass, entirely alone, floats still and steady in the air. It shifts that air. Its reflection is unreadable.
"Eat that,Ayu,"says Fans.
"Go eat it," says Drem.
And easily,Ayu agrees with a strong and cheerful nod. Her bats take flight, and she does too.With a smile,she faces the aberrant glass.
"Who knows?" she says as they approach. "Maybe it'll fill me up."
What does it mean to "know"?
Is it what one thinks? What one sees? What one feels? What one hears?
Is perception what grants certainty?
Certainly the "known" is what one perceives, through their senses or through whatever they're told.
For a child especially, that is certainly true.
I want to talk about somebody here: somebody whom I've never met, but whom I feel sure that I know.
Once, I gathered all of her memories and lined them up, and in a way it created a story...
This is how it began...
...In the terribly far reaches of an unremarkable universe existed a typical celestial body. Upon it,
its people were united. From the age of ten, the children here had a chance to awaken to something
they may have been born with, which would stay with them until their seventeenth year: something
remarkable within the unremarkable universe. What they wished and what they thought could
manifest within reality.
They weren't gods, but they were unusual architects. And with their magnificent
abilities, they could protect their world.
Of the few boys and girls born so special, our child was another.
The country's name... I don't remember. The world's, too—I don't recall. Her
name, though, was... is "Vita".
Vita woke up in her room one day, and saw above her the night sky through a
dimmed window. As she woke, so did her friends around her. They each wished
one another a good "morning" and rose for the evening. They had done so every
night for the past two years. They went to ready themselves in the washrooms.
They talked about audio dramas they followed, and about books and comics they
would read. They talked about their dreams.
Vita and the rest, dressed in their uniforms, walked toward the central command room, still
The universe was at war.
Powers vying for things beyond the children's understanding would occasionally try to breach
their territory in space, but largely, those powers fought amongst themselves. Her planet
represented neutrality, and she and the other children were one of several essential bodies
tasked for maintaining that neutrality..
There were the men and women who fought in and above the skies. There were the other adults
who used their words and acumen to broker good relations between her world and others. There
were the expat soldiers and diplomats who would ensure whatever stability could be ensured in
those times of violence and decay. And there was the Nerve/Mind Pathway/Grid Measure—in small
applications a nuisance, and in large-scale invincible and, in the opinion of many outside of
her world, a sleeping terror.
I will curb the exposition and narrate.
Vita entered central command taking no pause at its grandiosity and majesty—no hesitation at the
cacophony of thoughts and wills swirling throughout the massive, several-storied atrium. She and
her friends had a part to play, and as they neared their assigned seats, their chatter naturally
dying, they could all hear one another's minds pulling away from the frivolous as they attuned
instead to their vital responsibility.
For a world of worth, for peace and prosperity beyond any other throughout all the reaches of
space—beyond any other within any land.
She connected to the NMPGM. She focused down, quieted the others in her mind...and began to tend
to her part of the pathways.
She let nothing bother her. She did her work.
...Until it came about that she received an unknown signal.
...The night before:
Through their briefings, they were informed of what they needed to know.
About the disorder continuing on another planet, about the hijackings of their vessels within foreign
space, about the entertainment planned for later in the week...
They tended to ignore the death, and discuss coming concerts—or they tended to talk happily of
accomplishments. For example...
A friendlier system beside the fourth planet out always seemed to help their own. They had a simple
deal with that system: allowing this other society to utilize the NMPGM while they provided resources
from that perpetually dangerous planet with a turbulent atmosphere.
Her society was magnanimous, mostly: give, receive—such relationships served them well. Often,
people tried to use or infiltrate the psychically guarded networks quietly, for their own gain.
She did not know much, but Vita at least knew that if you wanted something, you were better off
simply asking for it.
She sometimes asked what that other planet's disorder—the planet she'd been briefed on again the
night before—what its disorder truly stemmed from. To her, their fighting over what sounded like
lost and easily forgettable grudges sounded foolish, stupid, needless.
She'd often say...
"...It's not like it's hard to find things in this world to be happy about."
Keep this in mind.
That day she received an unknown signal...
As she fortified the part of the path she was charged with, she heard, "west and
seeking aid. Coordinates are—"
And as she flinched, and as she looked around her at the other seated children,
she realized that she was the only person hearing this voice.
As she entered the coordinates she was given into the computer beside her
workstation, she steeled herself and sent out a thought:
"Rank and designation? Are you in Engineering or Communications? Why are you
Her questions were answered with silence. She nervously continued her duties,
ever mindful of the source of the transmission.
And eventually, it answered again.
"You can hear me? Wait—it actually works?"
"If I can hear you, you should know how to 'talk'. Are you not a Psychic?"
She paused. That was... a rather unsettling notion.
She told the other voice, "I'll be keeping your signal open and bridging
you to the commanders of—"
"Wait! You have to be one of the architects of the NMPGM, right!? From
that neutral country...!"
"There's nowhere that wouldn't know that," she answered, irritation creeping
over her fingers.
"J-Just like I thought! The whole lot of you are arrogant—I knew this wouldn't work!
Why'd they assign me for it..."
Unintentionally, she slowly pinched at her armrest.
"I'm not arrogant," she replied. "Whatever infiltration methods you're using, they're
going to be found out. I must inform you that our network and people aren't things you
want to play with. If you break us out of neutrality, we break you. U-Understood?"
"What happens when you break it first?" asked the voice.
And her voice was delivered with a hiss: a sharply sent, "What?"
"I said, what happens when you break your neutrality first?"
"That's never happened, and it wouldn't happen."
"So you've never heard of Petorh."
And when she made to reply—she realized that she hadn't.
"I'm closing this transmission," said the voice, "but I'll open it again. Use your vast
networks to search 'Petorh'—they don't censor everything over there, right? You're
supposed to be a good place. Goodbye."
And so the transmission ended.
With her heart beating, she returned to her work before any disruption could be noticed.
She hadn't heard of Petorh, but she would look into it when the sun rose again.
我并不记得我来自哪里。我只“记得”其他 Arcaea 居住者的记忆，
在她出生的二十年前，正值 NMPGM 的扩张时期，当时的人们发现了名为彼得罗的小行星，
于是便使用 NMPGM 的力量迅速摧毁了大半的小行星。而这个决定的结果就像是……
他们动用 NMPGM 使某个星区塌缩，杀死了残存的彼得罗人，连一部分的帝国人也跟着陪葬。”
对方给出答覆：“我们只想要一条出路。我们……我们听说…这…这个 NMPGM 区通常很安静，
打算监视那些维护 NMPGM 的头脑。他们当时窃取了那个技术。在走投无路、山穷水尽的情况下，
在战争飞船进入 NMPGM 后，对方发动迅速且全面的攻势，她的星球根本无力抵抗。
An important fact that any living and thinking being should keep in mind...
...is that "truth", and "knowledge"... are not always necessarily the same thing.
It had been the day before an ease of hours—the "weekend"—when Vita received
the signal. For the following two days, she spent her free time within the base's
library and searching through the inter-network through a signal encryption she and
her friends typically used to find games, artwork, and videos forbidden to them
without leaving a trace. It was never for anything serious at all...
The story of Petorh, though, made her appreciate that tool they thought of as a "toy"
far more than ever, for never had a more serious subject become known to her, nor ever
one so dangerous.
I'd like to make a note here.
I don't remember where it was I came from. I only "remember" the memories of others
within Arcaea, and particularly within the Void. Still from this, it's easy to gather...
It isn't hard at all to find something to call "dreadful" in any world you can think of.
Twenty years before her birth, during the NMPGM's expansion, a planetoid named Petorh had been
discovered and pushed aside.
About four hundred years prior, the planetoid had been discovered by an Exodus-class starship
fleeing a dissipating atmosphere on their home world. The ship docked there and established
Without documentation or declaration, and with an irregular orbit, within desolate space,
Petorh wasn't forgotten—for it was never known.
Her world then discovered the planetoid itself, and without knowing of its habitation, used
the might of NMPGM to swiftly devastate half of it. The result was something like... the
utilization of dynamite. Half the planetoid was vaporized, and with it went two-thirds of
the native population.
The Petorhans sought counsel with her world. Sources from Vita's planet lacked records of
these pleas. Other planets spoke of theories suggesting the involvement of clandestine
organizations from her world silencing any petitions. The Petorhans formed an alliance with
an imperial planet, known for adopting cultures at their surrender...
And Vita did remember that. Her world had supposedly engaged in a... "skirmish" on some
distant edge of space. Supposedly the Imperium had struck force against the forces from her
However, source, after source, after source from anywhere other than her homeland claimed
something very different: "Because of the Imperium's alliance with an unregistered group of
squatters, and in order to eliminate information of their existence/the existence of their
world's 'mistake', they used the NMPGM to collapse a sector of space, killing the remaining
Petorhans—and some of the Imperium for good measure".
And while those many sources told this tale, it took two pages from the deepest sections of
her own world's inter-network to convince her of the truth.
The... beginning of truth: the reality that her neutral world merely wore a neutral mask. In its
reach for "peace", stories like "Petorh's"... were not at all few in number. Most, even, did not
begin "accidentally"—and there were some who thought the tale of Petorh, too, had started in the
...Naturally, she kept this all to herself.
Naturally, she returned to work when usual working days began once more...
Naturally, she engaged the unknown signal again.
"I am among the last Petorhans," it said. "We only want escape."
From an alliance that had in fact brought them into what amounted to slavery—
From the chaos of this entire galaxy—
From, especially, her planet and its overwhelming reach.
"I heard that they had children minding the pathways. I—we—" the voice stammered,
"we thought maybe a kid could understand... what people at the top wouldn't ever bother to."
She asked, "What do you want?"
To which the voice replied, "Just one way out. What we... We've heard—this—this part of
the NMPGM is usually quiet, and we know it's very far out. We could... We have enough
ships that we could probably find another place with other stars, or..."
The voice told her that during their alliance—really just enslavement—to the Imperium,
the Petorhans had discovered that the Imperium had been developing technology to spy on
the minds supporting the NMPGM. They'd stolen that technology, and being so desperate and
so burned, they had no issue sharing that fact with Vita—who, of course, would need to report
But the "alliance" the Petorhans had made with the Imperium now meant nothing. Nothing
here meant anything; as the voice insisted, they only wanted to escape.
And she could easily grant it. Modern-day ships could travel with almost instantaneous speed,
especially with the faster-than-light travel provided by the pathways...
One quick opening, and a quick jump—off the record...?
She would allow it.
But—did you know? This is true:
The NMPGM was, in fact, used to collapse a sector of space, killing the remaining Petorhans.
None at all were left.
Vita's "sight" outside of the pathways could certainly see ships—but could she, with her power,
identify the KIND of ships? The true, non-vague shape? The size, even?
What could she have known?
When Vita opened the path for "Petorhan" escapees...
...those paths were flooded instead with Imperium warships.
And do you remember how fast ships could move through those paths?
This is also true...
Modern-day ships could travel at an almost instantaneous speed,
especially with the faster-than-light travel provided by the pathways...
Once the warships had navigated the NMPGM, the attack on her planet was swift,
thorough, and unable to defend against.
It seemed the Imperium had plenty of intelligence informing them of the locations of
Psychic bases, as they mostly destroyed those first.
The surface of her world was bombarded quickly. There was little time to react, and in
a matter of hours, nearly everything had been.
Though they did try—
There was an attempt—to fight back in time, to reach that other signal, to destroy as
much of the invading fleet as possible—
But, mostly, there was only despair...
Amidst fire, fear, terror, and Hell itself...
They "fought" in a game where their own first move had already sealed their defeat.
A cannon from above marked the position of her base...
...and ended the lives of her, her superiors, and her friends.
The girl woke up in a world of white after, with tears brimming in her eyes.
...However, she had no knowledge that might prompt them—no known
reason in her head for the pain inside her chest.
She was dead, like all of us. She didn't remember, like most of us.
So I wonder what it was she thought of her tears.
I wonder if, as she wiped them away and stood, she felt anything other than sorrow.
Guilt, maybe. Responsibility.
...I don't think that's the case. Or maybe what I mean to say is: she should not feel that way.
She shouldn't consider herself to have been in the wrong.
After all, what does it even mean to "know"?
What she "knows" now is...nothing.
And...as this story comes to a close, as we think of her getting up and facing the world of glass,
I think it's very pertinent to ask...
...Had she ever known anything else?
- ↑ 在3.12版本前为解锁Arcahv，更新后，故事VS-8在解锁剧情VS-7时会被错误的解锁，若在解锁Arcahv前阅读了此故事，则会略过演出直接获得全难度谱面
- ↑ 如果在Testify解锁演出过程中退出游戏，就会发现F-6和F-7是一起被解锁的
- ↑ 此处的翻译并未保留原句内涵。飞舞而来的并非“粒”，而是“片”，即影射玻璃碎片。
- ↑ 英文原文并未出现“被创造的那个世界”或诸如此类的内容。此处应指代创造卡戎时所使用的“世界”（即碎片）。
- ↑ “模仿”实为翻译错误，原意应为“嘲讽”。
- ↑ 根据先前剧情，此处本应指代光芒与纷争，并非角色姓名。