A/N: Eyy new story! TBH I haven't even finished Soul Eater yet... scratch that, I'm only on like episode 14 or so -v-; Few things before we begin...

1. This is based off the song "Blessed Messiah and the Tower of Ai". It is highly recommended that you go watch/listen to that first (and if you don't want to, do it anyway! It's a great song and it's sooooo sad)

2. The Soul Eater part won't come in until after this chapter.

3. This is probably going to be a series spanning three different series! This one is obviously a VocaloidxSE x-over, but the next one might be something different... *spooky noises*. That is, if I ever get that far. That is my end goal though! So hopefully I'll actually get there -v-;

Without further ado, I present "The Meaning of 'Ai'"

Kaito Shion was drowning in a raging sea.

Well, "drowning" was probably a mild way to put it. He was being choked, buried, and suffocated under the torrents of waters that swamped over him, bashing him around until he couldn't tell left from right or up from down. There wasn't any point, anyway. The waters around him were all colored a dark blue, the color of the depths of the ocean from deep under. He had lost all sense of time much, much earlier. Just the steady rush and explosion of waves threatening to tear him apart.

At least the others have been spared this torture… he thought as he drifted away into unconsciousness once again.

Meiko Sakine was dancing in a burning hellfire.

People would probably think of her as strange. "'Dancing'? Isn't it more like 'burning'?" And they would be correct. The fire burned her from the inside out, scorched her lungs, and torched her surroundings. Yet, despite all that, she couldn't stop her fascination for the flames.

So she danced.

Well, she was forced to dance anyway, so she thought, "Might as well do it!" It helped lessen the pain, at least. She couldn't fear the flames. Yes, they were the root of her torture. Yes, they hurt like hell, but she couldn't let that stop her.

I chose this fate, after all. In order to spare the others…

Iena "IA" Allyu was suffering from a drought and falling on her knees. The light scorched her insides, fried her limbs, and torched her eyes. She had screamed until she literally couldn't scream anymore, the light purging her throat until it was practically no more. And even then, she screamed.

It burns, it burns, it burns, it BURNS…!

She screamed out for help, for refuge, for strength, and for courage. Courage for her friends. Courage for her sister.


But a nagging thought in the back of her mind whispered: I'm sorry that I decided to go first…

Misana "Mayu" Allyu was losing her mind. The suffocating darkness was closing in all around her, plunging her in black, black, and more black. Wait… was that a hint of purple? She giggled softly to herself.

Sis, please, please, where are you? I'm so scared… I'm so alone… Where are you…? I'm going insane, please…! SISTER!

Tears streamed down her face for the infinitieth time. She missed her friends, she missed her sister, she missed her life…!

But if it means that you'll be happy, then I'll suffer in this agonizing silence for all eternity…!

She screamed, the shrill wail echoing with sorrow and agony. Not that anyone heard, anyway.

Gakupo Kamui was being eaten up by the earth. Which way was up? Which way was down?

Does it even matter?

The dirt was suffocating him, clogging up his throat, lodged in his eyes, and burning in his lungs. He didn't bother to try and reach the surface, even though his hands were stretched out, praying for salvation. He had doomed himself to this fate, after all. Tears stung in his eyes for the hundredth time. He blinked them away as best he could. He was being swallowed by the earth! He shouldn't need to cry. What about Kaito? What about Meiko? They were likely suffering far worse, and for longer as well. What about young Mayu? What kind of punishment would darkness bring for her? He didn't want to know.

I knew what I was getting into when I decided to journey to the Tower of Ai. Please… don't let our sacrifices be in vain! Create a new world, a new happiness, for everyone!

Gumi Megpoid thought she knew what she was getting into. She didn't. The lightning was frying her bones, burning her insides, and scorching her tongue.

I'm a poet, dammit! I'm supposed to be someone who can describe anything! I'm supposed to be someone who can envision anything!

But there really weren't any words to fully describe what she was feeling. She was being struck again and again by lightning as if mocking her and judging her for every thought, every decision that she made.

No! she screamed in her mind. I won't regret a single second! Death may be a better fate than this, but I will not regret what I have done, I swear it! This is all for the sake of the new world, and if torture is what is needed, then I'll become a sacrificial lamb for that purpose!

Luka Megurine was being torn up by winds that constantly endured, wearing against her very soul and tearing her apart. Before all this, she had relished the feeling of wind, no matter how fleeting it was. So she danced. The wind flowing around her was a comfort to her in an otherwise dead world, reassuring that she was alive, that she could still feel.

But not this time.

The winds here were howling, fierce and destructive and threatening. These winds were screeching for blood, for flesh, for weary souls and for shattered hearts. Shatter… that was the word. The winds were looking to shatter her very being, and everything that she had stood for.

But I won't let that happen…!

She curled up within herself, hands tightly clenched against her heart. She would block out the wind, block out the very thing that she had once reveled in if it meant that she'll be able to keep her sanity and the memories of her friends.

At least I was able to perform one last dance before I was gone… right…? Gumi… Gakupo…

Rin Kagamine was being frozen inside up to her core.

She thought that she was ready, that she was prepared, that she had already decided. But when she stepped into the chamber of the 'Garden of Silver Snow', she couldn't help but look back and see the tortured faces of her brother and her best friend. She couldn't help but feel the fangs of sorrow pierce into her heart. She couldn't help but feel tears well up in her eyes before she had sealed herself away in her frosty chamber for good. Even now, she couldn't help but wish that she could cry. There was no warmth, where she was. At least tears would have given her some comfort in her icy jail. Instead, there was only freezing cold, an aching numbness, and fear. Fear for what was going to happen next. Fear for what would happen to her brother. Fear for what he might think of her. She had stepped out of turn, after all. Len knew how much she had hated the cold, even before all this had happened. But she also knew that Len hated the cold as well. And if it meant sparing Len, she would face even the worst of her fears.

That's what an older sibling should do… right?

Even in the stinging numbness, she couldn't help but worry. The sleeping 'Fetal Movement of Magma' was next. And she didn't know how her dear brother would cope with the torture that was to come.

Len Kagamine was desperately crawling through the fires. The roaring inferno behind him was catching up, and he didn't want to know what kind of pain he would face if he stopped. That didn't stop his mind from wandering. He almost wished it did.

Rin… you stupid impulsive little brat… I'm the one who's supposed to look after you… We're twins, aren't we? Besides, brothers are supposed to look out for their sisters…

He could feel hot tears slip down his cheeks before being evaporated as they left his face. He was fed up with this heat. He was fed up with fire, fed up with the magma erupting all around him, fed up with that stupid inferno wall that was inching closer and closer as he scrambled away. But he was the last sacrifice, and he would do his duty.

Miku… don't you dare let all our sacrifices be in vain…! We let ourselves be tortured so you will be spared this pain… so don't you dare back out at the last second and turn away from the new tomorrow!

More hot tears slipped down his face. He was fed up with the warmth that they brought.

Miku Hatsune collapsed at the base of the altar, a million thoughts swirling in her head.

Kaito… he… he must've been the first to know since he was the first to go…

Gumi would probably be proud of me for that, she laughed bitterly.

Meiko was the second… she probably didn't want me or any of the others to think that she was weaker than Kaito or something… Although she always did have a slight fascination for fire…

IA… She was next… Miku recalled the look on her face as the doors had sealed shut. Complacent joy and a hand up in farewell. Farewell to her sister, she realized. And farewell to everyone else…

Mayu… she probably wanted to follow her sister's example… Again, she recalled her furious dash to the next chamber. And… and… she probably didn't want to go very long without her…

Gakupo… he… he knew… That was why he was praying to the skies before the doors sealed shut… It was because he knew that it was his last few moments of sanity…

And Gumi… she probably didn't want anyone else to suffer… so she decided to step up to the helm herself…

Then… what about Luka…? Well, she probably didn't want to see Rin or Len suffer… or maybe she thought that she should step up to the task herself… she always was rambling on about how the elders should take care of the younger ones…

And… Rin…? I saw it happen myself, so I should know… but she pushed Len away… as if… an unspoken agreement was between them… She was crying, too… before she had gone, like she was scared but happy at what was to come… Maybe some part of her was wishing that there only needed eight sacrifices, even though the letter clearly said 'nine'...

I thought Len had betrayed me when he smiled as he held me back… but now I know… And looking back, I can remember that determined yet resigned and sad look in his eyes… almost as if he was saying, "I'm going on ahead"...

It looks like… they'll all be with me, even in the end…? That's right… that was our promise… that we'll always be together, whether in sickness or in health, whether we share joy or pain…

How could I have ever doubted them…?

Tears were spilling over her eyes as the ground underneath her lit up in red lines.

Nine sacrifices…

"Do you accept your fate, as the new Messiah?"

Nine 'atonements' for the power to create a new world…

"Do you accept the will of the past Messiahs?"

Nine blessings… nine sorrows…

"Do you accept the power to change the world?"

Miku smiled bitterly to herself as she lifted her torch to the altar. They had given everything to get her to this point. It was only fair that she continue the relay.

"I… accept. I accept your 'blessings' and your 'atonements', as well as your will."

"Then light the torch, and accept your destiny."

She did just that, and wept as she reached her hands toward the sky, dark energy crackling all around her and exploding into a new world.

A/N: Check out my other stories and be sure to vote in the poll on my profile! Right now I'm starting up a variety of crossovers and I'm wondering which ones you guys like the most! If you liked, be sure to follow and favorite! (and maybe even review? legasp)