Chapter 01: Unknown World of Darkness

To say that Fujimaru Ritsuka has experienced a lot was an understatement. He had fought through seven singularities, defeated three Beasts, and defeated the remaining Demon Kings of one of the Beasts.

Yet he was totally caught by surprise when the Shadow Border suddenly was suddenly shook hard. He was actually thrown out of his bed and planted face first to the ground. He didn't like kissing the ground but he was forced to do so.

"Senpai!" Mash came into his room with a worried expression. She was panting hard like she rushed to the room. Maybe she did rush in. "Are you alright?!"

"Yeah, I'm alright Mash," Ritsuka said as he got up. "Just fell of my bed. What's happening anyway?"

Mash's expression turned serious. The Shadow Border was once again shaken by an unknown force forcing the two of them to cling on to the the nearest thing that they could find. As Mash tries to regain her balance, she explained the situation.

"We're actually being dragged into something," Mash said. "Da Vinci and Holmes are trying their best to get away but it seems like there's no escaping."

"What?"

"Holmes theorizes that it might be an unknown Lostbelt."

"An unknown Lostbelt? But, with the exception of Beryl's, didn't we found all of them already?"

"Holmes also said that it might not be one of the Crypter's Lostbelt," Mash said and Ritsuka's eyes widened. "He calls it an Irregular."

"So we're going to be dragged into this Irregular Lostbelt?"

"I'm afraid so."

Great, just great. They were just spent out after defeating Hinako and now they're in for another wild ride. Ritsuka feels like luck just really has it in for him.

"Anyway let's go to Holmes," Mash said. "He might be able to do a better explanation than me."

"No, your info is already enough Mash. I think I understand the situation a bit."

"Senpai…" Mash blushes at Ritsuka's comment. "Though in any case, let's meet up with Holmes and Da Vinci."

Ritsuka nodded and they started to go to where the two are. It wasn't easy as the Shadow Border would occasionally shake, causing them to lose balance. They eventually had to resort to supporting each other though Mash seems to be embarrassed. He was too to be honest.

They arrived at the command room. Goldolf was panicking in the corner, generally being restless. Da Vinci's trying her best to escape whatever was pulling them in. Holmes was studying what exactly is the Irregular Lostbelt.

"Oh, you're here," Holmes said as he noticed the two. "Go and prepare yourself. This might not be a pretty ride. This might be even more dangerous than the previous Lostbelts or even the rest of them."

Oh joy. Ritsuka sighed. Saving the world is the right thing but that doesn't necessarily make it an enjoyable experience. But still he accepted his fate. He gears up for the upcoming battle. Mash was also preparing for the battle.

"Senpai, I have a really bad feeling about this."

"Yeah, me too," Ritsuka replied. "But it's not like we have a choice. We need to take this Lostbelt down."

"Un."

They returned to the command center. Holmes smiles at them as he noticed them. "As you can see, this Lostbelt won't like the last ones that we visited. We all need to keep our guard up as who knows what things this Lostbelt has in store for us."

They nodded as they allowed whatever was pulling them in to take them and they entered the Lostbelt.

This might become the darkest hour for them.

[Shrouded World of Death and Salvation - Tartarus]

"What kind of place is this?" Ritsuka said with a dumbfounded face as he looked around. There was a green sky, some black web-like things and the city was filled with coffins. There was also that gigantic tower who looked like it was a Lostbelt Tree but at the same time wasn't.

He really didn't like this place.

"Senpai…" Mash called out with a worried voice.

"Hello can you hear me?" Holmes voice resounded. "This is a rather… peculiar Lostbelt. But let's talk about that later, enemies are coming!"

Mash and Ritsuka were immediately on guard. Black things oozes out of nowhere. It was kind of like Tiamat's flood in mini-size. The black mud suddenly started growing out arms and a mask with the mark I appeared. There were three of them currently.

"Mash!"

"Right!"

Mash quickly engaged the unknown enemy. She slams the first one with her shield sending it flying. The others met a similar fate. They again tried to attack but Mash was on her guard and quickly blows them back. Ritsuka assists with Gandr spells whenever they got too close.

It was quite repetitive. And that was the problem.

"Huff, huff," Mash panted, she was exerted a rather considerable amount of energy. The black things rise up again. Mash grits her teeth. "Can they even be killed?"

"..." Holmes was silent. "I think I know what they are."

"What are they?" Ritsuka asks the detective as he fired another Gandr spell. He was honestly getting tired.

"It seems that they are Shadows."

"Shadows? Like Shadow Servants?"

"No, they're a completely different being. There's been records of them throughout the Clock Tower but they were regarded as a myth instead. They're the manifestation of the darker side of humanity."

"How do we kill them?"

"...You can't."

"What?"

"Unlike Shadow Servants, Shadows can be defeated by a Persona."

"What's a Persona?" Ritsuka asks again as he fired a Gandr.

"It's a manifestation of the soul. It could be called an imitation of Heaven's Feel. The Clock Tower refuses to acknowledge their existence."

"An imitation of the Third Magic?" Mash exclaimed as she strikes another Shadow. "Like the Servant Summoning System."

Before Holmes could answer, a Shadow had appeared behind Ritsuka. Ritsuka turned around in time to see the Shadow raising its arm to strike. He tried to back away but tripped and fell down.

"Senpai!"

Just as the attack was going to hit. The shadow was blasted away, it was suddenly cut in two. A man who had blue hair. He was dressed in some extravagant Japanese clothes.

The man did not waste any time in idle. He immediately cuts down the remaining Shadows with in an instant. Mash and Ritsuka didn't even know what happened. It was like the Shadows were there a second and gone the next.

The man sighed. "How ugly, to think that I would once again have to use my blade against those ugly creatures who don't even have any aesthetic appreciation."

He turned to them. "Why hello," the man offered a court nod. "I trust that you two are alright."

"Y-yeah," Ritsuka said. He didn't even realized that he was still down until Mash helped him up.

"Well that is good," the man said. "Are you here to aid us in this battle?"

"Yeah."

"I see, then I ask you to stay out of it."

"What?"

"The enemies here are dangerous," the man said. "They cannot be killed in normal ways. To actually hurt them, a Heroic Spirit needs to be summoned using a special summon method or as our leader call it 'Persona-Heroic Spirit Hybrid Summoning System. She could really use some naming sense."

"Persona-Heroic Spirit what now?"

"I would love to tell you more but let us get out of here for the moment," the man said. "There are trouble after all."

There were another round of Shadows approaching. Mash and Ritsuka might have been able to last long at first but they doubt that they could last another round and thus they bail out.

"Hey," Ritsuka called out to the man who rescued them as they ran. "Who are you?"

"Who am I?" the man repeated. He smiles. "I am Ishikawa Goemon."

[Shrouded World of Death and Salvation - Tartarus]

"Hmm?" Minato's eyes narrowed.

"What's wrong?" Manaka asked suddenly appearing behind him.

"It seems that those people you told me about, Chaldea was it? is here." Makoto said with a cold look.

"Really?" Manaka said. "Are you worried?"

Minato scoffed. "I don't worry about small fries. Nothing can stop me, I am the strongest being in this world. None can hope to hold a candle."

"Wow," Manaka said. "You usually don't say a lot, it seems that you really are worried."

"Hmph," Minato said. "They can try all they like. But I don't believe that they can even beat one of our current Servants. None of them can stop the salvation of the world."

"So you would leave them be?"

"Of course not, they came here with the intention of stopping the salvation of the world. Insignificant as they are, they are still opposing the world. They obviously need to perish."

Minato turned towards Manaka who smiled in return. "You go, you're free to do whatever you want with them just make sure to get rid of them."

"Aye, aye Cap'n," Manaka said playfully and Minato sighed.

Footsteps were heard. Minato and Manaka turned towards the direction were it came from and out appeared a woman who wore a black bridal gown, on her hand was a greatsword. Her hair was white and her eyes were deep red like blood.

"Oh, you're back Avenger," Minato said. "How did it go? Did you managed to defeat the enemies at the North?"

"I destroyed them."

"Good good," Minato said. "I have a new assignment for you."

"..."

"I'd like you to accompany Manaka and assist her when necessary."

"Hey, I can take care of them myself," Manaka pouted.

"Yes, but insurance is always good," Minato said. "Now go, don't waste anymore time dilly dallying."

The two of them walked away. Minato could still hear Manaka's complain as she goes out. Minato sighed, Manaka is a great ally but she was also childish. He worried that it might go south.

He didn't want to lose Manaka too. She was the only one who kept him company after all. His Servants weren't some personable people and he saw them as nothing as tools. Manaka was the only person to talk to in this forsaken world.

Forsaken world…

Which is exactly why he needs to save it.

[Author's Note]

Absolutely, dreadfully late chapter. I hope you can forgive me. I kind of rushed this after all. Most of my effort is currently goes to Garden's Universe so please. Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease forgive if this Chapter is extremely lackluster (which it is).