Author's Note: This is a special chapter written either in one of the character's perspective or in third person's view.
I find it intriguing that manga always has this special chapter so I thought 'Hey, why not I add something like this in my story too? It would be cool!'. So yep, here am I — presenting the first special extra chapter to you. And this would be written in third person perspective.
Disclaimer: Ragnarok Online belongs to Gravity Corp. and Lee-Myoung-Jin, the one and only.
Chapter 7.5: Missing Pieces
— 5 years ago, from present day —
A cobalt long-haired young woman, donned in Crusader armour marched forward with documents in her hand. Her pace fasten as the designated location in her mind drawn closer each second.
The office of Crusader Faction laid strategically right within the Cathedral of Prontera, the place she was heading to — to hand over the paperworks in her possession. As the girl reached up for the door, her cold hands gently touched the knob and pushed it, lightly.
"Huff—" heaving a deep breath, she called out, "Sir Raiden, the reports are here."
Sir Raiden, a paladin-class middle-age man stood up from his desk and approached the young crusader.
"Divinia, thank you. You have done a great job in retrieving these documents." said him, while reaching out for the paper stacks in Divinia's hands.
A light smile curled up on the girl's lips. She was affirmative that her task has been accomplished well, thus the compliment given by her superior.
Her amethyst eyes lit such fiercely, chest pumped up in confidence. Divinia knew if she handled this assignment good enough, she would be chosen to be in the upcoming quest of her dream — Thanatos Expedition
Raiden seen occupied with the documents. He moved around the burly wood desk, grabbed a large indentifier and checked the papers in order. However, the report suddenly set itself on fire, burning everything to crisp; much to the officer and Divinia's surprise.
Raiden picked up the remaining ashes of the papers, and examined thoroughly again. "Hmmm..."
"A report that automatically set fire once opened. Rather uncanny, don't you think so?" the middle-age paladin commented.
Divinia, on the other hand, stood frozen. Her face went pale, and at the same time, worried. To begin with, she wasn't expected the paperworks she received from the adventurer's guilds around the five States would ended up this way. And much to her grimace as well, she had travelled miles just to retrieve everything in one piece.
What's the meaning of this? Did someone in the adventurer's guild attempt to sabotage her career?
She was so near to get her dream realized by completing this task, yet the unfortunate circumstances interrupted the progress. The anxious and weary look on her face tells Raiden exactly that she had gone through so much just for these reports.
The officer then tossed the paper ashes to the dustbin. He sat down quietly, while facing the windows.
"It's not your fault, Divinia."
"Mayhap the work of some wizard or sage that puts a spell into the files as a prevention or some sort. The report must have contained highly classified info, thus the seal."
Divinia casted a quick glance on her superior and sighed, "I must've overlooked this matter, Sir Raiden. I will returned and investigated this issue immediately."
"Hold your stances, young lady." the paladin stopped Divinia just before she stormed out of the office. "You are not collected right now. I know this meant a lot to you but just hold on for a while."
"The adventurer guilds are not in the jurisdiction of Prontera, therefore we can't barged in like how we would do in Morocc or Payon. You already done well enough by retrieving the reports." Sir Raiden added again, his voice sounds exasperated.
The young crusader looked away, rather disappointed about the verdict given by her superior.
However, Raiden saw something out of the usual perspective in event like this. If there is such practice by setting a spell in documents, the files must have meant something big to these concerned people, whoever they are.
"You can return to your quarters now, Divinia. Allow me to take a deep look into this incident."
Divinia nodded, as a sign of respect and agreement to her superior's words. "Which was the last guild you went, upon this matter?" Sir Raiden further inquired, hoping to prove his theories right.
Ahh— The Magic City. No wonder.
The senior officer rubbed his chin, forehead scrunched hard as if the world's burden just shove at him. That may served as a potential clue for him to look into, he thought in silence.
Divinia soon excused herself, leaving her superior alone to investigates the cause behind this strange occurrence. She concluded there is nothing could be done on her side currently, therefore the best option would be just resuming her daily mission; till she gets new order from Sir Raiden for the next assignment. The crusader then decided to head for the south in the time being, to regroup with her friends.
— Prontera South —
3 vague figures spotted standing close to a huge oak tree, and were in the middle of idle conversation. Divinia immediately approached the trios as she just done passing some greetings to the patrolling knights at the South Gate.
"Aha—! There she is! Our muse of the party finally here~!" a man in about his mid 20's, and dressed in a Bard outfit, commented shortly. The crusader was all smiles when the three friends of hers greeted from a distance.
However, her eyes averted away once realized that a certain man wasn't in the group as she desired. "Where's Destins?" she asked.
"He's on his way. Got a job back at Morroc like usual." Na'im uttered.
Na'im, one of the most senior in the team — is an Assassin Cross class adventurer. The air emits around him usually stiff and serious, but many didn't know that he was actually a family man and quite an animal lover. Only few closest to him, like the group of friends here — truly known his behaviour.
"We know you can't wait to see him... He's going to be here anyway, don't worry." the statement by Erik the priest, made Divinia flustered in instant. The girl fidgeted her fingers, avoiding her friends' eyes contact shyly.
The team couldn't helped it but to chuckled at her adorable demeanour especially when it comes to anything concerned about Destins.
The group of friends, comprises of Na'im the assassin cross, Antares the bard, Erik the priest, Divinia the Crusader — the party was initially started with only 3 persons for MVP hunting. Na'im was the man-in-charge, while Antares acted as the second-in-command. However the team disbanded shortly afterwards when the earliest third member quitted the band to pursue his career in another continent.
The core three members were Na'im, Antares and Jannah — another Assassin Cross who joined the party once the earlier third member quitted, and also the one recommended Destins to be part of this team. Destins then recruited Divinia in, and they soon joined by Erik the priest in the last couple of years.
The party eventually grew into a super close-knit guild, and they named it as Trinity — kind of like a tribute to the team which Na'im created, when there were only 3 members active.
Years went by, the group of friends grew even closer, like a real family; despite coming from various factions and of different states. And they never seem to be parted in any scenario as well.
"Look who's here! Destins — my man haha!" Antares' cheer startled the crusader in instant; he then went on and greeted a certain redhead that seen marching towards their rendezvous spot. "We've been expecting you." said the bard again.
Divinia immediately seated herself in a proper ladylike manner right after hearing her friend's name mentioned in a distance. She turned, and looked at her beloved; a small sigh of relief escaped from her lips silently.
Destins was a fine-looking young man, standing six feet tall and towered above Antares as the bard's built smaller than his. Dressed in all black Assassin Cross outfit, black leather boots adorned with glistening spikes, and black bracer equipped on both of his arms that acted as weapon — to which, hidden daggers and katar placed underneath the guild-forged mechanism. The only distinction from his entirely black attire, was his red flaming hair and crimson scarf that stood outstandingly among the rest dark-vibrancy outfit. His crystal clear blue eyes was the charming features of him, which Divinia has taken a liking to.
Destins then patted Antares' shoulder, and uttered, "Heh sorry I'm late for the meeting. Gotta run something in Morroc."
"No sweat, brother. We're cool about that. Except for a certain someone over there." the bard chirped, while grabbing the redhead's shoulder and directed his attention to Divinia.
The crusader sheepishly responded their gaze with a warm smile. "Hey Divy! C'mere and say hello to your boyfriend!"
"Geez, Antares... You're making her emba—"
"Wow, didn't know the party started earlier before my arrival. So, what's the occasion?" a lady in her early 30s, donned in assassin cross outfit muttered. There was something in the way this woman walks. The air of elegance and noble-like emits around her, though most of the friends thought it was just her method of being stoic. Despite an Assassin Cross, she poised herself more like an aristocrat, rather than a shadow walker.
And she is Jannah, the third-in-charge of Trinity — the party-to-guild established by Na'im.
"Jannah, my muse! You're finally here too—" the chestnut-haired bard greeted her with his usual flamboyant way, but was rejected immediately by the signature 'Jannah's style' killing cold stare. The party burst into joyful laughter then, watching the duo's funny interaction and upside down relationship.
"So, how's the stuff going over there? Can we get enlisted into Thanatos Expedition?" Erik asked, his eyes gleaming in eagerness.
Na'im crossed his arms and pondered for a moment. "There are some requirements and protocols to follow prior joining the event, but it's not impossible."
Jannah nodded, "Of course, the transcended classes adventurers are favoured in this mission — however, the Adventurer Guild Management agreed to an extent, by offering this opportunity to the rest." — "Providing, the adventurers are over level 50 and equipments average levels are in between 55 to 60."
The party members then exchanged glances with each other. "Splendid! I think we're eligible after all!" said Antares, beaming from the inside.
"Yeah. I'm almost 97 now, Divinia is in 98, I presume? And Erik already over 85." Destins chirped.
"I guess, we'll be fine submitting the request, say — by this week? The authorities will take at least 14 days to respond." said Divinia. Deep down, she knew she has to convinced Sir Raiden to sign the form as soon as possible; hence, she performed every task given by the superior excellently. Sir Raiden, in fact, was amused.
... Except the latest assignment. And she has to make it up again just so Sir Raiden will approve her request to join Thanatos Expedition.
Na'im was silent all this time. His gaze seems distant. "Nevertheless, we shall try our luck in this. Finger-crossed, we would probably be the first to complete this mission, and walked down in the history of Rune-Midgard as the team that tackled Thanatos Tower — the mythical warrior and his formidable front, sealed in the tower lies at the uncharted land that one only can dream to reach."
The rest members watches their leader with eyes gleaming in aspiration and hopes. They held out hands together, and chanted Trinity's motto aloud, "No danger we could not surpass! Virtus Unita Fortis Agit!*"
The thundering roar of Trinity's warcry was fearsome. The usually quiet and peaceful surrounding of Prontera South, now trembled with motivation and surging vibes of inspiration. Na'im seems much convinced, his face beaming with confidence. "I believed in every of us. One day, we shall conquer - not only Thanatos Tower, but also; Glastheim, Juperos Ruins and, Sacred Hall of Valhalla." said him, clenching his fist with burning determination.
Destins grabbed Divinia's hands tightly and nodded at the same time - an affirmation that he'd lived up to the dream of this guild; continuing his adventures — to see the world, to tread the unexplored lands and to face the lords of dangerous paths and dungeons, together with the clan members and his beloved.
The Romanticism of Adventure never truly ends, until one of us said so. The redhead thought to himself.
Alas, Trinity's adventures came to a full end on one fateful night.
The dreams they shared, has now gone to dust. Destins lost count of the amount of tears he wept, and the times he spent mourning the loss of his love - Divinia, and his Trinity's close friends. He couldn't remember how many times he'd be slammed by the victims' family and from those who put the entire accident blame on him.
"Damn you! You promised you'd bring him back! You PROMISED—!" the light punches from a frail girl doesn't really hurt him at all, but it was the grief that eats him from the inside. Watching Lucia's tearful expression, it pains him to the extent that he started questioning himself.
Why? Why did he survived, but not his friends?
Lucia, Erik's elder sister blamed Destins for her brother's death. She gripped the redhead's scarf so tight that it could've choked him alive, yet the man stood frozen, unwavered. Yes, it's my fault to begin with. Countless of self-loathing, blaming and cussing wouldn't do justice enough to his fallen comrades, and especially to Divinia - who should've been the one protected by him. But, what more can he do right now?
Jannah's husband came and attended the funeral to honour his wife and friends, but left in silence — not wanting to conveyed further his despair. Antares has no other close kin connection, only a distant relative came over and gave final respect before leaving.
The hardest blow, was none other than to Na'im's family. Leaving five kids, and a wife to succeed the household was not an easy task. In fact, Na'im was the sole breadwinner of the family, and now, he's no longer there to provide that comfort anymore.
Destins, for the first time ever in his life — shouldering the burden of survival guilt, and looking at Na'im's orphaned kids and wife right now, he has no other option but to figure out a way to take the full responsibility of providing to the Trinity's leader family. He had to — to atone for the guilt that eats him within.
After the incident, and official reports filed to the Prontera's Government, Destins vanished completely from every possible contact. He left the Assassin guild without prior notice too, giving others to speculate that either he has given up his life or that he went incognito.
However, it was these 5 long years — the young man went into tremendous life-changing journey.
He decided to give up everything that tied to the past, except the memories that he hold dear of the Trinity's members and Divinia. He made a memento out of the proposal ring to his beloved crusader and carved Trinity's motto into it, in honouring the deceased.
And some hearsays, tell of his journey of 'reborning'. A rather rare case, indeed.
Destins actually went up to meet the Valkyrie, and made an oath with the celestial maiden that he'd 'erase' everything he has and starts from the beginning again.
He climbed the highest mountains, treaded dangerous tracks, just to reach up the Sacred Hall of Valhalla. None would believes such telltales, however a tattoo etched at the back of his neck — was the proof of him arriving at the fallen hall.
A reborning process, is merely a procedure to erase one's system to zero so they would 'reborn' and start anew. Yet, Destins came with a resolution burning fiercely in his heart that time — vengeance.
He made sure that he rises from the bottom again, becoming even stronger and find those responsible for the Thanatos Tower's tragedy, to pay for what they did.
And for some reasons, he hid his potentials by going slow on his leveling up process. Thus, level 55, an Assassin by profession - is a good way masking his true intention. Getting around by posing as a 'just-upgrade-class' person is a given huge advantage, frankly speaking.
deathstalker apparently only hunts the pros and adventurers that went for big dungeon clearance that may hindered their whatever scheming deeds or just to fulfill their pure bloodlust PK euphoria. And being a level 55 Assassin, he is certain that his name definitely not in the 'hunting' list of that notorious guild.
And that keeps him safe at the time being, and allows the redhead to focus in obtaining the details of the past tragedy and slowly connecting the dots.
Destins remained working in the shadow for years, and avoided familiar contacts from the past expedition survivors, including Summer. While still taking some contract mission from Mussem, his real motive was to get closer and extract information from the former boss.
Alas, the leader isn't as trustworthy as it would seems. After severing contract with the man that he thought of as a father-figure since the day at the assassin guild, Destins then bumped into the strange incident at Sograt Desert, that triggered the quest — March of Valkyrja into immediate start.
And that event, brought him into a fateful encounter with a fiesty swordswoman named Leya. A human girl with uncanny strikingly resemblance — to his lost love, Divinia; much to Destins' surprise of course.
However, the two get along pretty well and it was thanks to the quest that they're bound with, the combo duo went on the first journey together — to resolve the mysteries behind it, and to uncover the truth of the odd dreams he had about Rachel and the ghastly vision of his former fallen Trinity's members.
"Virtus Unita Fortis Agit..." The redhead assassin whispered silently, flipping the memento that chained to his necklace several times.
"No danger we could not surpass..." his facial expression displays nothing but firm coldness. The spark emits from the crackling bonfire, reflecting the sharp glint in his crystal blue eyes.
He threw another firewood into the fiery fire, just so the warmth would be intensified as the freezing desert coldness slowly sipped in through the night. The red-haired assassin then pulled out a slightly-burnt paper from his pouch and glanced at it for some mere good minutes.
He remembered the last comment from his ex-apprentice, Arsyad; "T'was Mussem all along! He planned that ambush, contracted deathstalker to do the job for him, possibly with the help of some others that I still need time to investigate."
"After all, the desert scorpion — Zalmar, is Mussem's biological son after all. I can't fathom the meaning behind, having a son running an outlaw PK guild out there. Surely they must have something in common — like obtaining Ymir's Heart. Don't you agree with me, Des?"
After moments of pondering, Destins realized there is some truth in Arsyad's founding. Yet, he would preferred the rest detailing jobs fall into his hands; much easier to control and it would be more faster than before.
"... I will get the truth out of his mouth and justice to the fallen comrades soon!"
— Chapter 7.5: Missing Pieces —
Author's Footer Note: Hey hey! Chapter 7.5 is about unveiling some of Destins' pasts.
I am sure this is getting even more interesting. :) Anyway, I welcome anyone with experience of proofreading to proofread my story, or anyone that willing to chip in time to beta-read the chapters I have written.
And yes, 'reborn' version here means 'deleting' your character and restart again. XD
Just that, I believe every player that reset their character gained valuable experiences and play much better than the first time. After all, we can't deny that our second or third playthrough are much better than our first.
And based on my past experiences, Destins' owner, who me and friends fondly called him as 'Az', met me (a swordie back then) at Prontera South when he was about level 50-ish Assassin. But that time, he knew plenty of stuff in the game already. He taught me the builds for crusader/paladin, and etc. So, I suspected that he has more than just one account or that he restarted many times before, just to experience different builds before truly decided that he'd go for Soul Breaker build in Assassin Cross. (I was a paladin already, when he just hit 99 and about to transcend to sinx).
Thus, that explained why Destins in this story of mine poised like an experienced person but only stays as an assassin, rather than as a transcended class.
Hee~ Now, can you see the whole picture already? :)
Anyway, please take note that some of the stuff in the story is slightly OOC, or inspired by the system in RO Mobile instead of RO PC. /or can be combination of both versions. Who knows!
Till then, thanks for reading!
Please do not forget to FAVE, and SUB for immediate notice of update!
Little Dragon Girl