The morning was the best Death the Kid had in a long time. The sun rose over death city without the dread of attack or racket and explosions of the city's last peaceful her days. Most of all his mansion had managed to maintain perfectly symmetrical, each room being exactly as he remembered leaving at. It made the young Grim Reaper extremely pleased and calm, assuring himself that there was nothing that could dissuade his bad mood.
He followed the smell of breakfast cooking and entered the dining room "Good morning girls." He said to the twins Liz and Patty who were happily eating away at stacks of bacon and eggs and pancakes.
Liz swallow the food and said "Morning!"
"Hey, Kid," Patty said with cheeks filled with her breakfast.
"Looks like you two made breakfast." Kid said taking his seat at the head of the table where a small plate of breakfast that each piece of the meeting his eccentric standards.
"Actually, Crona made breakfast this time." Liz corrected him taking a drink from a nearby cup.
Kid shook his head assuming he had misheard "Crona?" He asked hoping to be corrected.
In one large gulp, Patty swallowed her food and sit up slightly against the table to shout "Hey Crona! Kid's awake! Get your butt in here!" She shouted to the door that connected to the kitchen.
Kid's eyes widened as he noticed the pink-haired teen peeked from the kitchen door wearing a frilly apron and holding the plate a freshly made eggs. He watched as Crona nervously moved from the kitchen and across to place the plate at the other end and of the table.
Crona twiddled their films before giving a nervous smile said the trio "Morning! Sorry I made so much; I couldn't get the pancakes the way you like them." Crona's mouth twitched looking at Kid flustered.
"What are you doing here?" Kid asked tilting his head as if by changing his point of view the puzzling site would become clear to him.
Crona looked at the table and then back across the table "What do you mean? I live here." Crona shifted reflexively crossing their arms in a protective hug.
Kid closed his eyes as a flicker of what felt like a memory appeared to him "Of course, I must still be half asleep or something." He smiled at the pink-haired teen from across the table.
The frilly apron fell off of Crona as a spout of black blood emerges from their back taking the shape of a humanoid no bigger than a monkey "No way!" The black blood construct shouted at "Come on you know this isn't right Kid!"
Blinking their blue eyes taken off guard Crona muttered though only the mention of 'Ragnarok' could be heard. The pinked hair teen halfheartedly trying to push the demon sword way, know it was impossible to do so.
There was no denying to Kid at that moment that something was peculiarly wrong about the situation. As if the world had been pushed off balance yet nothing changed in reaction to it. "Crona?" He asked the teen at the far end of the table is expression passive in contemplation.
"What?" Crona flinched nervously blue eyes looking anything in the room beside the young Grim Reaper.
Holding back a sigh as Kid asked: "My mind seems to be foggy when did we first meet again?" The question was a lie, but it was the only thing he could think of to get to the bottom of his unease.
Crona blinked relaxing and answered simply "Remember that there was that big festival in Rome?" Giggling mirthlessly as the memory was not actually pleasant for them.
Kid closed his eyes and nodded, trying to hide the shock that he was correct. He could firmly remember a mission that his father had sent him on to hunt down a gaggle of demented clowns that were mercilessly murdering any creature they got a hand on to spread madness. Within the havoc that awakened from the battle, he found Crona for an unknown third party to the Grim Reaper not just fighting but using Ragnarok to consume the souls of human and evil clown alike.
Of course, the young Grim Reaper at the moment was appalled, but Kid couldn't bring himself to kill Crona then and there. Yet something in his conscience forbade him from taking the shot that would've ended the pink-haired teenagers' life. Instead, Kid had taken him back to his father who had entrusted Kid to monitor and watch over Crona and to in his own words 'treat him like a little brother.'.
However, there was a flash of a different type of memories ones that were foggy but nonetheless real in his mind. The young Grim Reaper opened his eyes then and asked "But what about the ghost ship, The Black Dragon? When did that happen?"
"Kid." Liz looked at him with a mixture of confusion in a warning.
Crona nodded in agreement though it is concerning frown showed how conflicted they were "No wait? He's correct, but when did…" Crona looked around the room as if seeing it for the first time and quietly as if only wanting the one that was attached to him to hear. "Where's Marie?"
"Now you get it! Where not supposed to be here." Ragnarok said his ex-eyes looking wildly around the room "This is a prank, right? Right?" He said progressively becoming more insistent.
The other the other set of memories that had once been foggy as a dream crystallized and became clear to him. It was like a mirror that had once been foggy true feel his reflection didn't reveal the solid reflection but a shattered multitude of himself staring back at him. "Something's wrong."
"Kid where are you going?" Patty almost stood up from the table concerned as Kid made his way across the room and grabbed Crona by the arm.
"Liz, Patty stay here, Corna and I need to speak with my father." Kid said over his shoulder to the twins, he was sure that he takes the Thompson sisters with, but there was a sensation like dripping paint down his spine that made him feel that there were other forces at work. Forces that he wasn't quite ready to alert that he was ready to face them in hope to bide is time to make a plan. Therefore, he'd have to leave them to their and help them reach the same epiphany Crona and himself came to when the time was right.
Crona looked between Liz and Patty and Death the Kid who is gripping his arm "Why do I have to come?"
Ragnarok looked down and made an irritated a growl he began messing with Crona's hair in response.
"Okay! Okay! I don't hurt me." The pink-haired teen pleads weakly trying to swat away his weapon as he was pulled out of the mansion by Kid.
Beyond the mansion, Death City on first blush seemed to have no drastic changes. Every street every, landmark and building down to the colors of the roof tiles seem to be unchanged. To Kid, this was a beacon of hope that whatever was plaguing Crona and himself had not reached out and affected the whole world. Crona on the other hand, however, chatter to himself confused not at all comforted by the world as the young Grim Reaper had been before.
Even when entering the Death Weapon Meister Academy there was a detail out of place or a person behaving any differently than they normally would. This only polarizing Crona's and Kid's reaction even more as they made their way to and eventually entered the Death Room.
"Howdy, it's nice to see you two! I take you're the only ones that are fully awake I see?" Lord capitalize seem to hop excitedly as he saw the two make their way under though long red gateways to him. His tone was both cheerful and knowing as if he was almost expecting them to appear.
As Crona made it further into the room they piped up within "Umm" before eventually asking "Lord Death why do I have so many conflicting of memories?"
"Well you see, it's because this reality isn't entirely real and everyone's been given false memories to match it." Death answered simply whole-body bobbing as he turned to face the group fully.
"What like a dream or an illusion?" Crona shifted and blinked to not quite understanding the implications of the Grim Reaper's answer.
Death tilted his head in sympathy for the pink-haired teen and explained "More like a pocket dimension, we're in a timeline with no beginning to branch off of. Think of it as a stick on the ground instead of an entire tree." He pulled out one of his cartoonishly blocky hands for emphasis "Sure, it's made out of wood but it's not the same."
Kid who had been silent up to this point asked: "How is that even possible?"
"To put it simply I think Astaroth is up to his old tricks." Death said to him with the nonchalant attitude of a child sitting a pigeon
Kid, however, was not so calm his expression becoming one of stern anger as he asked "The Anomaly?"
"Indeed, it's not the first time he's done something like this. Though this is the first time you two have are aware." The Grim Reaper nodded to his son clapping his hands together.
Crona, on the other hand, didn't have any idea of what death in his son was talking about and eventually asked: "What's an Anomaly?"
Kid looked over to Crona's eyes wide as if realizing the other teen had been pushed out of the conversation "Highly dangerous entities that never follow any form of rules or logic. They perpetuate madness the same way rats perpetuate plagues." He explained his voice harsh and discussed for the creatures he described "Thankfully there extremely rare, there's only a one in fifty million chance that an innocent human ever encounters one."
Death held up a hand pointing a finger as he added to the explanation "Astaroth wasn't originally an Anomaly, though something happened in which he managed to become one and he has been the happiest camper since." The skull mask on the Grim Reaper then took on a slightly angry expression as he stated "A nasty side effect of being a rule breaker."
Crona his blue eyes widened as the knowledge of their enemy sank in "What did he do to make this place? Is it safe?" They asked nervously watching the ceiling of the death room as if there was a possibility it could cave in.
"He's only done it a few times, Astaroth connects his powers to another Anomaly which results in these pocket timelines." "Oh, as for this pocket timeline is the safest that Astaroth has created, mainly because there's no such thing as a Kishin."
Kid blinked hearing what his father had said the set of false memories finally making sense to him. If this pocket timeline had no knowledge of Kishin then Crona was an entire one-of-a-kind being caught eating souls. It made perfect sense that he wouldn't know what to do with Crona on its first encounter. However, that made the pink-haired teen standing next to him possibly the most dangerous thing in this dimension besides the entity that created it and kid would have to watch out for that.
Though there was a more pressing question about this false dimension that Kid needed to know about "Then what is the DWMA fighting against?"
"Witches and Phantoms mostly, this reality is aware of madness but there isn't any record of humans even ones affected by madness consuming human souls." Death said in a mixture of pride and amusement as if the reality wasn't completely false that it would have been an achievement that the world was relatively peaceful.
Crona seemed to be on the same page saying a little more relaxed "Well that doesn't seem so bad, Phantoms are just the ghosts of evil people how to create chaos."
"Actually, it's not that simple Corna." Kid said closing his eyes with a reluctance sigh "You see, this reality didn't have a beginning every person here came from another timeline that best matches this one, but that doesn't mean everyone here is from the same timeline either." The realization made the young Grim Reaper wonder how much his friends would actually be trustworthy depending on the nature of their perspective timelines. It made him almost an easy to stand next to Crona, even though their memory seems to match there was always the potential the pink-haired teen may become hostile with they were actually from a timeline divergent from him. Perhaps even a timeline where they weren't so easy to rehabilitate, or even worse.
"I don't understand why that's a problem?" Crona looked at Kid and Death concerned.
Ragnarok appeared and punched Crona "It means that not everyone has the same memories dummy, it's only the fake memories that are actually holding this reality together!"
"Yes, and that makes this reality very unstable, it's only recognizable to our own because enough people believe that this is their home reality." Lord death agreed the monster made out of black blood "The more people there realized that their memories are false and therefore this reality the more unstable become."
"So we're all in a house without a foundation." Kid surmised crossing his arms as his mind contemplative like he had been given a rather hard logic puzzle.
"So, it's actually not safe!" Crona practically screamed at the implications "Lord Death how did you get out here before everyone realizes?" The pink-haired teen deeply worried not just for their own safety but the safety of all their friends even if some of them might not be from the same timeline as themselves.
Death scratched his mask and tilted his head before answering somewhat reluctantly "Well I only know one way to do that."