Arc 1 - Royal Introduction
Chapter 1 - A New Beginning
"Wake up," a female voice cheerily told me.
Moments later I felt something heavy move on top of me in rhythm.
I groaned as I removed the covers.
Where was I? And who was dancing on top of me?
These were very important questions since the twin tail redhead flashing her panties at me was not familiar to me.
"Good morning, Onii-chan," she said, laughingly.
Kotori Itsuka. Adoptive little sister. Thirteen years old.
Hm? Strange. I've never seen this girl before and yet my mind has memory of her.
"I'm awake Kotori. Let me get ready and I'll start breakfast soon," I said on instinct.
More memories pop up as Kotori leaves. Apparently, my adoptive parents were out on business which means I'm the one taking care of the house.
I'm sixteen years old, so by Imperial laws I could be recognized as an adult so long as my parents or guardian and myself declare it.
This was why I'm not concerned with the idea of the two of us being left alone. This might not be Imperial territory, but I'll stick with familiar thinking as I deal with the situation.
As I went through the motions of getting ready, my mind wanders to how I could have gotten here.
Last thing I remember was a city in chaos. A viral outbreak had occurred, and the city was quarantined. The virus caused chemical imbalances in the brain and made the infected extremely aggressive.
At the time, I was a soldier from the private sector - which was true enough to not be a lie even if said sector did not exist in that world - and I had teamed up with local police and military officers and a handful of civilians.
We only had a short window of time to get to the extraction point and leave by chopper before the entire city was sanitized.
Sounds of gunfire. Screams of desperation. An abrupt take off. An incoming missile. A blinding flash.
I grabbed my head with both hands in the middle of buttoning my shirt.
Did I die? It's possible since it would not be the first time.
But that made no sense. If I had died, I should be back at the Empire, not in this unknown world with a sister I don't actually have.
At least I'm not supposed to have Kotori as a sister since I never met her before even though my mind says she's been my sister ever since I was adopted into the Itsuka family six years ago after being abandoned by my blood family.
At least, I think that's the timeframe. It seems that I had suffered memory loss at a young age in this life.
This malfunctioning reincarnation - or whatever the hell it really is - was going to be a headache and a pain in the butt as I now have to figure out what kind of life I have here.
I sighed as I finish dressing. My physique was disappointing. It's so average compared to my own. While I may not have been a Hulk in my previous life, at least I didn't look like a girly wimp.
I liked the messy blue hair though.
First chance I get, I'm going to redo basic training. No way am I going to keep this physique if I can do something about it.
I reached downstairs and found my new/not new sister on the couch watching television.
Memory stated that this was normal, and I should start breakfast.
Still, my own experiences with little sisters made me curious as to how she'd react to brotherly affection.
I snuck up and gave Kotori a peck on the cheek.
"Onii-chan!" she blurted out. "What was that for?"
Her face was red. She looked surprised, but not particularly angry. That must mean she's probably at that age where that type of thing is embarrassing.
"Oh, not much," I said as I head to the kitchen. "I'm just in a good mood today."
At least I am now. Recalling my deaths was never a pleasant experience and this unknown situation did not amuse me.
Still, I'll make the best out of it. It's not the first time I've been in unknown territory.
First time with a new body, memories, and family though.
This could be an interesting life.
"Oh," Kotori sang. "Did you dream about your cute little sister?"
I am filled with curiosity as I tie the apron which sadly does not have kiss the cook on it. I should fix that soon. One should always kiss the cook. Especially when I'm the cook.
Kotori was likely getting payback. She is expecting me to animatedly deny her claim.
I'm not sure if that would have worked before - well if she's doing it, the answer is likely yes - but that won't work now.
"Yep," I said with a pop. I opened the fridge to see what to make. "I dreamt that you and I spent the whole day together having fun."
The eggs sizzled as they hit the pan. I hummed as I worked but after a minute passes, I realized Kotori had yet to respond. I figured she would have called me an idiot for saying something embarrassing or maybe ask for details to use against me.
I made sure that nothing will immediately burn if I look away and glance over my shoulder.
Kotori was looking at the TV, which was showing the horoscopes she likes, but her face was dusted with pink, her gaze was distant and she had a small, charming smile.
I ripped my gaze back to the food - and I do mean ripped because doing so was harder than it should have been - and took a breath.
Okay, I can't jump to conclusions. I don't have enough information to try and guess why she would make that face.
Just… put that image in a mental safe and finish breakfast.
Yeah, sounds like a plan.
As I returned to cooking, the news popped up on screen. It mentioned that spacequakes were happening in Tenguu City.
"...!" That seemed to snap Kotori out of her trance.
Spacequakes. Wide spread vibration phenomena that cause devastation. Completely random and capable of occurring anywhere and at any time.
The most famous and most devastating was the Eurasia Sky Disaster, the very first spacequake and the one that claimed 150 million lives in the blink of an eye.
For a period of time, they occurred on a smaller scale all over the world, until eventually they simply stopped.
Then around five years ago, they started up again, with an uncomfortable amount of them being in or around the Kanto region of Japan where Tenguu City was located.
"Looks like we'll have to be more careful now," I said as I filled the plates. "Food's ready."
"Looks like," Kotori murmured as she gets up.
"Itadakimasu," I said alongside Kotori and start eating.
My memory said my next concern was school. Today was the first day of my new term as a second year in Raizen High School. I am also reminded that it was Kotori's second year in Keisei Junior High School.
"Hey, Kotori. You have anything in mind for after school since we get out early?"
"Deluxe kid's plate!" Kotori said, standing on her chair.
Apparently, that was Kotori's favorite dish from a nearby family restaurant named Danny's.
I didn't see anything wrong with the request so…
"Sure. Let's do that, we'll have lunch together."
The resulting cheer convinced me it was the right decision.
After a walk with Kotori - who before we separated reminded me about the lunch promise and to keep it even if terrorists or spacequakes happen - I arrived at Raizen High School.
I'll be in year 2 class 4, so I head over to the room.
"Shido Itsuka," a calm voice called as I was about to enter the classroom.
The voice was close to me, so I glanced at the owner. It was a girl with healthy pale skin, silver-white hair that brushed her shoulders, and blue eyes. Her expression was doll-like.
I searched my mind for her name but came up blank. I never met this girl in this life before today.
I looked behind me on the off chance she was referring to someone else, but I didn't see anyone else reacting to her call.
"You talking to me?" I asked once I faced her again.
She nodded. Since we never met before - at least from my perspective - maybe I can get away with being surprised.
"Are you in this class too?" If she was, and she asks me why I didn't notice her name, I can claim I was focused on myself. It's a bit rude, but it was true and the truth, unfortunately, hurts.
"Yes," she said. "I'll be sitting next to you."
"Isn't that a surprise." It really was. I was tempted to sneak a glance at the board to know her name, but it seemed too risky. Unless... "Which side?"
"The left side," she said. "Next to the window."
Chance! I nodded and looked inside. According to the arrangements, the girl's name is Origami Tobiichi.
"Lucky you, Tobiichi. You get to look out the window whenever the class gets boring."
"I wouldn't look out the window," Tobiichi said.
Come on girl, curve a lip, twitch a brow, do something! I've seen suits of armor, and clothing be more expressive.
How am I supposed to measure you when you're so blank?
I chuckled at her response. "How studious of you. Wish I were like that, then I wouldn't have to worry about my grades."
"I could tutor you," Tobiichi said.
What? "Come again?"
"I'll tutor you. At my house. After school. I won't mind."
Okay. Time for some breathing room.
I laughed nervously. "It's the first day, so I don't think I need it yet. Can I take a rain check?"
"Of course," Tobiichi said. "I look forward to it." She then entered the classroom and took her seat. She pulled out a book and started reading.
What a strange girl. Yet despite her blankness, I got the feeling she was happy.
I felt a resounding slap hit my back.
Motherf- I curse your soul to burn in the fires of purgatory!
I suppressed my desire to punch and let go of my hostility. I am definitely doing basic training. That hurt like hell!
Taking a look at my assailant, I saw a tall boy with spiky swept-back hair.
Hiroto Tonomachi. Best friend.
Also my only friend if my memories were any indication.
"Itsuka, you sexual beast," Tonomachi said. "What happened over break? I take my eyes off you and you turn into a stud. How'd that happen?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about." I really didn't.
"Oh please, you don't think I didn't see you talking with the super genius?" He must be talking about Tobiichi. "That girl has the highest grades and the best athletics scores." Tonomachi wrapped an arm around my shoulders. "But she's very cold and distant to everyone. It's how she got third place in the school's Thirteen Most Wanted Girlfriends Ranking."
So Tobiichi is super famous? So how the hell do I not know about her? I should at least have a mental reference of the girl with the label Way out of my league on it.
Just how ignorant was I?
"Why thirteen?" I asked him. It seemed like an odd number.
"The girl who made the list was 13th place."
"That's nothing," Tonomachi said, letting go of me. "On the boys' side, the guy who made a Most Wanted Boyfriends Ranking ended up 358th."
"Wow. Why so many?"
Tonomachi shrugged. "The guy didn't know when to give up."
You can say that again.
"What number were you?" I asked.
"358th," Tonomachi said without shame.
"You organized it?" How do I not know that my best and only friend did a listing of top boyfriends?
I searched my mind for any hints of either lists, but come up blank.
It's one thing to not pay attention because something doesn't interest you, but to be completely unaware of it when it's a hot topic requires effort in shutting out the world.
"Yep," Tonomachi said. "Main reasons for that rank were He's too passionate, He's too hairy, and I think his feet smells."
"Is that right?" I said while looking at his feet. In some of the worlds I've visited, smell could be visible if it was disgusting or delicious enough.
"Eh, doesn't bother me. By the way, you were nominated as Mr. Anonymous and got 52nd place."
"Seriously?" Considering the difference in placements, it sounds like a good thing, and yet… "How'd that happen?"
"Comments were, He doesn't seem interested in girls, and, Honestly, he looks like a homo."
What?! No, no, no, no! There was no way in Hell, Hades, Duat, Yomi, or Helheim that I was a reclusive asexual homo-looking beta male!
My displeasure must have been visible to Tonomachi.
"Hey," he said, "don't worry. In the Best Couple list, you and I made first place."
It was not the fact that Tonomachi was so okay about being in a relationship with me that bothered me. What bothered me was the fact that I could not think of a way to turn Tonomachi into the girl of the relationship.
I am always the man in the relationship, even when there's another man in it.
Then again, the main reason for that was that my regular body couldn't crossdress to save my life.
This body though… I wonder.
Maybe being the girl wouldn't be so bad. Hideyoshi Kinoshita didn't mind crossdressing that much after we started dating.
There's only one thing missing.
"Just to clarify," I said, taking Tonomachi's attention away from three cute, gossiping girls. "If we do start dating, I'm in charge. No exceptions."
I head inside and left the stunned Tonomachi. Just because I would look amazing in a skirt did not mean I would stop wearing the pants in my relationships.
As I took my seat, the bell rang. Students walked in. Tonomachi gave me a curious look, which I responded to with a wink. His surprised face was hilarious.
The teacher came in when everyone settled in. The boys cheered and made a scene.
"Settle down class," the teacher said. "My name is Tamae Okamine and I will be your homeroom and Social Studies teacher."
Tamae Okamine, or Tama-chan as she's apparently known, has light brown middle length hair that frame a youthful face and thin-rimmed glasses. She looked more like a developed student than a teacher.
I can definitely see why the boys are going crazy.
It has been a while since I've dealt with schools but my love or hate for them was dependent on what they had to offer.
With a teacher like Tama-chan in front of me and a classmate like Origami Tobiichi beside me, I think this might be a good school for me.
It's been three hours and school is out at lunch time.
If only it were an everyday thing.
Tonomachi approached me as I put away my stuff. "Hey Itsuka, if you're not busy, wanna grab lunch together?"
I zipped up my bag. "Maybe next time. I already have lunch plans."
Tonomachi made an exaggerated gesture. "You do? Wait, with a girl?!"
I noticed Tobiichi glance our way at Tonomachi's shout.
"Well, yeah," I said, and I saw Tobiichi clench a fist. Reaction! I'll figure you out later, super genius. "Unless Kotori has been keeping a secret from me."
Tobiichi relaxed her hand. Oh yeah, I'm definitely keeping an eye on you.
Tonomachi placed a hand over his chest. "Phew. Don't scare me like that, Itsuka. And here I thought you had broken our oath to become magicians."
Magicians, magicians… The first thing that came to mind were the stage magicians and the spellcasters that usually inspired games and books, but Tonomachi can't be talking about those can he? Matter of fact, the only magicians I can think of that are involved in dating are the-
My eyes widened when I reached my conclusion. Oh, hell to the no!
I don't care what kind of life I had in this world before my rude wake up, there is no way in Hades I'm going to become that kind of magician.
The only way that would happen was if I got thrown into space or something. And even that was not a guarantee.
"Okay. First of all, I don't remember making such a promise."
I really don't, and unfortunately? I can't tell if that's because the old me forgot, the oath is fake and Tonomachi is simply joking, or the oath is real and my old self simply didn't care enough to pay attention. With how distant my behavior was according to my memories, I really can't tell which option it is, and that scares me a bit.
"And second of all, hopefully by the end of the year, I won't qualify for becoming a magician."
Whatever responses I would have gotten from Tonomachi was cut off by the spacequake alarm.
The very loud, window-shaking spacequake alarm.
"Jesus Christ," I bellowed at the loud noise. The students that remained seemed to be in shock.
Following the siren, a mechanical voice rang out. "This is not a drill. This is not, a drill. A spacequake has been detected, please evacuate to the nearest shelter. I repeat-"
Despite the danger, no one was panicking. It likely had something to do with the fact everyone has been trained in evacuation drills for years and that there's an underground shelter at the school.
The corridor was already filled with students as Tonomachi and I headed to the shelter.
Hmm? A flicker of white going opposite the flow caught my attention.
"Tobiichi! That's the wrong way!" I felt like an idiot correcting a super genius like that, but it was instinctive.
The super genius stopped for a moment at my shout.
"I'll be fine." And just like that, Tobiichi resumed her skirt flapping dash.
"C-C-Calm down everyone! Remember, no pushing, no running! No pushing, no running! No pushing, no running!" Tama-chan was leading the group and strangely enough her nervousness actually calmed the students a bit.
"I'll be here even if a spacequake happens."
I froze and my heart tightened.
"Hey," Tonomachi called when he saw my pause. "Something wrong?"
"I certainly hope not." I brought up Kotori's number and dialed.
Nothing. Tried again. Still nothing.
Calm down, she's not an idiot. I'm sure she's already in a shelter and signal is really bad there.
At the third failure, I had to restrain myself from instantly running out and head to Danny's.
"She's fine, she's fine, she's fine," I said like a prayer. Tonomachi sent me a worried look as I bring up Kotori's GPS location.
The map came up and my lungs emptied at the sight. The icon showed that Kotori's location was right in front of the restaurant.
"Whoa, Itsuka, where are you going?"
"To drop kick my idiot sister!"
I'm amazed that I didn't crush the phone in my vice like grip, though I almost fell on my face rushing to change shoes.
Now outside, I saw an eerily familiar scene in my rush to the restaurant.
An empty town. Roads without cars. Streets, parks, and stores without people.
If I were still on my previous mission, I'd be on watch for the infected people, but right here, right now, the only thing I wanted to watch was my idiotic sister safe and sound.
There was no pacing myself, but fortunately I had yet to pass out from exhaustion.
Basic training was now a necessity. It will happen in some way, shape, or form. No exceptions!
During my run, I saw something move in the sky. Birds? I figured they'd be the first to leave because of the siren.
The street in front of me was engulfed in light.
"The f-" was all I could say before an explosion stole my hearing and a vicious shockwave sent me flying like a rag doll.
The strong winds reminded of me of the storm chasings I sometimes do on my vacation days. Though I distinctly remember the landings being softer.
"Aaa," I exhaled. I barely had any air in my lungs because of the running, and this random explosion just stole what I had left.
No, wait, I'm still breathing. That's always a good sign.
"Mh!" Crap. It hurts to laugh.
I'm face-down on the ground, so I pushed up to see what the hell happened.
"Holy…" That might be a mislabel since there was nothing holy about the street vanishing and leaving behind a crater.
Speaking of the crater, I saw a clump of metal at the edge of it. It looked like a throne the Emperor might use.
Wait, was there someone standing next to the throne? It looks like a girl since all I can see from this distance was a long dark hair and... a glowing skirt? Great, now I'm seeing things.
The girl was scanning the area when she suddenly faced towards me. She moved her body, grabbed something from the throne and pulled it out.
Broad blade - a huge sword! I thought only guys with self-esteem issues wielded those.
Looking at me - or at least my direction - the girl swung the sword and a boom sounded.
I obeyed my instincts and flattened myself to the ground.
The sword's light trail passed over me, right where my head was.
What kind of world did I end up in? I can't face something like this in this body, I'll die like an insect.
I turned my head to see behind me. Everything had been trimmed to the same height.
I heard a distant thunder over my pounding heartbeat.
Shit, shit, shit, shit! Even on worlds where my Lord abilities were limited or restrained, I've never been this defenseless.
This was the Violent Crypt all over again!
I gotta get out of here!
"You too huh?"
I will proudly say that I screamed like a girl when I heard that voice, which was a lot closer than I was comfortable with.
Since my escape attempt failed epically, I was now on my butt, facing the girl as I finally took in her full appearance, starting with the sword that almost took my head off, which almost her own height.
No wonder I could tell she had long hair - it was a dark plum color like the night, with vivid purplish-pink eyes, and reached to her knees! Her face held a beauty and dignity that could give Venus a run for her money. She had a strange armored princess dress with an inner lining that seemed to be made of light, with a voluptuous figure surpassing that of every girl I had seen in this world.
This wasn't a situation I could handle as the reclusive asexual homo-looking beta male. No, I had to handle this as the me I was familiar with. As a Lord of the Empire.
It was like a switch had been flipped. My heart calmed, my trembling ceased. I exhaled, and I felt like myself again.
I took in the girl's form once again, and I realized something. She was one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen... an impossibly beautiful girl.
"What's," I said, and the girl looked at me, "your name?"
"I have no such thing," the girl replied, her voice tinged with sorrow.
If her voice hadn't sound so honest, I would've called her a liar. An existence like hers couldn't be nameless. It was blasphemy.
It was then that our eyes met.
That face, that voice. They didn't belong on her. She's the strong one between us, she's the danger in this situation. She should not be making that face.
Seeing that face brought up feelings I had long since buried.
Sword Girl raised her weapon.
My eyes narrowed. "Stop!"
She looked at me in confusion. "What?"
I think she was a bit annoyed at me preventing my own murder.
I slowly stand, hoping the girl doesn't panic and guts me. "What are you going to do?"
I already have an idea, having felt the sting of a blade or the bite of a bullet, but I had a strange feeling about her.
"Kill you quickly of course," she replied naturally.
Yeah, I figured. But… "Why?"
"Isn't obvious?" she said with a sigh. "It's because you're here to kill me too."
Ah, I see. If this is her reaction to meeting someone, then she's been attacked before.
"I'm not here to kill you." My words made her look surprised and suspicious. "I'm looking for-" I stop talking when she turned away from me, and towards the sky.
I followed her gaze, and saw humans with strange suits and armor flying in the sky. They reminded me of smaller versions of the Knightmare Frames Lord Barrett commands.
"Oh shit," I swore when the flying humans launched a volley of missiles in our direction.
I took a step to run, but there was no need. The missiles floated a few meters above the girl as if held back. Looking closer, I realized this was the truth.
Her hand emitted a dark barrier in front of her, and it seemed like she wasn't even trying.
"They never learn," the girl said, tiredness in her voice. She held out a hand and squeezed. The missiles crumpled and exploded, yet the explosions were small.
The flying humans continued their assault and the girl sighed.
There it was again. The face and voice that did not belong on someone like her. Why did she have those? I didn't know who the girl or the flying humans were, but I was right about one thing.
Sword Girl was the strongest. So why did she have that face?
"Disappear. Everything should just, disappear." Sword girl pointed her glowing blade at the sky. She swung.
The wind howled! The area was ravaged by a shockwave as the slash went towards the sky following the path of the blade.
Such power. It was like a Master Sword!
Note to self: Do not let Sword Girl and Lord Creed cross blades.
The humans scattered but the show of force did not deter them.
From another direction, a blast of light headed towards the girl. It hit an invisible wall and spread out like a firework.
Lasers. Of course there's lasers.
I had managed to avoid harm, if only because whatever barrier the girl was using deflected everything in the other direction.
I heard something land near me. I turned. The first thing I saw was the strange machinery, then I saw the more eye pleasing, body suit wearing female.
That had white hair and blue eyes?
"Shido Itsuka?" She glanced at my call, and even with her frozen face, the confusion was audible to me.
Was this why she ran away? Are these people military?
I didn't get the chance to ask because Tobiichi focused on Sword Girl.
Sword Girl swung her blade towards Tobiichi. The super genius kicked off the ground, dodging the arc of light and rushed at Sword Girl with a blade of her own.
A blade made of light! Lightsabers?! Really?! No matter I often I see it, I still get amazed by how influential the Force Realm was on the Multiverse.
The two blades crossed, and a violent shockwave formed.
Not again! I crouched near some debris and managed to keep my ground.
The girls separated and glared at each other with their swords ready.
Sword Girl to my left and Tobiichi to my right. I felt the killing intent and even in my regular state of mind it was suffocating since this body was not used to dealing with predators.
I thought about leaving, but I've experienced these moments. Any movement or noise would - a loud melody sounded from my pocket.
The girls rushed at each other and clashed right in front of me. It was too sudden for me to brace and the wind blew me away.
If these flights were going to be a regular thing, I was definitely growing wings somehow.
That was the thought I had just before I slammed into a wall.
Origami Tobiichi was angry.
Not that the Spirit in front of her could tell since Origami had placed all of her emotions in a safe place.
"Leave me alone and disappear," yelled the Spirit labeled as Princess. She swung her blade and Origami blocked it.
That was a laughable request. As if a calamity that destroys the world could be left alone to do as it pleased.
Spirits. A supernatural existence from another world whose entrance into this world was signaled by the occurrence of a spacequake.
Humans were no match against these creatures, but humans did not stay idle against these threats.
Having developed advanced technology called Realizers, humans could be trained to become Wizards - individuals capable of using superhuman abilities and weaponry.
Origami's teammates fired missiles and bullets, but the Spirit's barrier deflected them.
Princess held her sword sideways. "I said, leave me alone!" Her shout was accompanied by a full spin of her sword.
Origami deployed her Territory for protection, but it was not enough. She slammed hard against the remains of a home.
"Princess is Lost." Origami heard in her fading consciousness. "I repeat, Princess has become Lost."
"What was that idiot thinking?!" a young female voice raged.
Kotori Itsuka was not a happy Commander.
Having arrived at the Fraxinus airship just in time to see the AST battle with Princess, Kotori announced that the Round Table had approved for a more active approach for Ratatoskr.
Kotori had then ordered for their secret weapon to be located, only to find him lying on the ground near the fighting.
The door to the Infirmary swished open, and Kotori entered with her crimson uniform flapping on her shoulders in union to her rage.
"What's his status?" Kotori asked.
A sleepy looking woman with messy hair wearing a military uniform with a scarred stuffed bear in her breast pocket turned towards Kotori from her seat near Shido's bed.
"I haven't really started since they just put him on the bed," Reine Murasame said, "but at first glance there doesn't seem to be any internal or fatal injuries. I'll do a more thorough examination, but he should be up and about in an hour or so."
Kotori nodded in satisfaction and left the room. She walked the corridors in thought.
Now then, how best to explain to her romantically inept Shido Onii-chan about his role in making Spirits fall in love with him?
Hello readers, thank you all for reading this new story of mine.
This is one of the few stories I'm working on that has a decent first chapter to post, so I put it up.
I've been a fan of Date A Live for some time now, but it wasn't until recently that I've got a good idea for a story about it.
The story will be in first person with Shido, and 3rd person for everyone else. or at least that's the intention. only chapter 1 is done, Ch 2 is in the works, so there's still time for any rectifications in making everything either 1st POV or 3rd POV.
Review, comment, let me know what you think.