"Kampai!" My grandmother cheered as she held a can of beer high up into the sky. Her cheeks flushed as she opened the beverage up and began to down it.
"K-Kampai." I embarrassingly added a second later with a raise of my own drink, a regular can of soda.
"Meow." The black cat that I had brought home looked at us curiously before going back to devouring the home cooked meal in front of it.
I had feared that my grandmother wasn't going to be so accepting of the cat. I hadn't shown an interest in having a pet before and I knew my mother talked with my grandmother quite frequently about me.
I feared that by randomly bringing home a cat was going to raise suspicions with her.
My fears were fortunately unfounded when my grandmother began to coo at the cat before picking the feline up in her arms. Apparently she was no stranger to raising stray cats, often feeding the neighborhood's stray population from time to time.
What I did not expect however was when she then presented a wad of cash to me. "We're celebrating the addition of a new family member, get me something spicy." Was all she said to me before redirecting her attention to coddling the cat in her.
Completely dumbfounded by how easy she was to accept the cat, I absently nodded my head in agreement before turning around and leaving the room. I had to hand it to the Honkai Universe, just when you think that nothing else can surprise you, you're instantly proven wrong.
I didn't fancy going anywhere too far so I opted just to stop by the nearest convenience store to pick up dinner. A normal convenience store in the United States probably only had foods like hot dogs or nachos, things that you could easily eat on the go.
Convenience stores in Japan had enough food choices that it felt as if you were shopping at a restaurant at times.
So here we were, dining for what I thought was something more akin to as an excuse to get utterly drunk than to celebrate the addition of a 'new member' of the family. Judging by how my grandmother had already finished one pack of beer cans and was already beginning to open the second up, I was inclined to believe the former.
"So," My grandmother gestured towards the black kitten with her free hand. "Got a name for her yet?"
"Her?" I questioned with the rise of an eyebrow before looking down to see the cat happily eating her meal.
"Trust me," She chugged what remained of the can in her hand. Slamming the now empty can on the table, she gave me a knowing grin. "When a woman knows, you take her word for it."
Not wanting to know what that meant, I focused back to the question that was first asked. What was a fitting name? As if hearing my inner dilemma the cat stopped eating its meal and looked up at me, blue eyes meeting hazel.
"Kuro," I decided. Japanese for the color of her fur. Nice and simple.
Seems like the name was good enough for the cat as she seemed to nod her head in approval before going back to her meal. The faint glow of her collar still reminded me why I had originally brought her back home in the first place.
"It's alright, I guess." My grandmother brought her can of beer to her lips, only to realize that she had yet to get a new one. Shrugging her head, she threw the empty can behind her. "What about you Haruto-kun? How has the school of the elite been treating you so far?"
I just shrugged my shoulders nonchalantly as I used my chopsticks to bring a piece of food to my lips. "Nothing too much, if anything it's like my old highschool. Except that every student is way more richer than me."
Every student at the academy was a part of some elite's family. I was sure that I was the only person there who didn't belong to any noteworthy individuals with any power behind their names.
"Any friends? Your kaa-san has been dying to know if you're doing well here." She said as she went to pluck another morsel of food with her chopsticks. "Didn't you promise to call her after your first day here?"
I winced when I realized I forgot to call my mother. I could already imagine the dressing down I was going to receive when I did call her later in the night. To be honest I had totally forgotten about it ever since…
My distress when I thought about the heiress must've shown on my face as my grandmother was quick to pick up on it. "Everything is going well, right? You're not getting bullied or anything like that?"
I quickly shook my hands in denial. "No nothing like that, there's just a girl in this class that's been on my mind and I just can't seem to get her out."
My grandmother's eyes lit up with mischievous intent and I was quick to elaborate what I meant. "I meant that she was interesting!" I yelled.
Only to then realize that didn't help me either. "Okay shutting up now!"
My cheeks were flushed in embarrassment as my grandmother could only wheeze as she held her stomach from all the laughing that was escaping her. "Oh boy if your mother could only see you now." She grinned as she wiped the tears at the edge of her eyes.
"But I am curious," She conceded as her laughing stopped. "It's not often that something grabs your attention, let alone a person that isn't part of the family." Resting her elbows on the dining table, she interlocked her fingers together as she looked at me.
"Who is this mysterious person?" Her brown eyes peered into my hazel eyes.
I inwardly cursed the one side effect that came with being an adult in a child's body. No matter how hard I would try and play the role of a child, I would subconsciously act like an adult. Whether it was how I acted in school, how I ate my vegetables without complaint, or how I never begged my parents to buy me toys.
Home was where my guard would be at its lowest and I always assumed that my parents had gotten used to my behavior at a young age.
It seemed my mother did not inherit the perception that my grandmother had.
But I couldn't just drop the fact that I knew what the future was going to hold. Not only wouldn't she buy it but I didn't know what she would do with the knowledge that I was not exactly normal. I didn't want to burden her with the ancient war that was being fought under the public's nose.
"Well it's the heiress of the ME Corporation, the CEO who's the whole reason I'm here in the first place." I started as I started to piece a half-lie together. "She's the most popular girl at the academy, but I can't help but worry that such popularity was due to her status as the daughter of CEO, not of who she is a human being."
All of what was said was true, no-one in the school really cared about who Mei Raiden was. They only cared about her as the heiress of the ME Corporation. I just omitted the facts that Mei Raiden was going to become a Herrcher.
My grandmother's eyes scrutinized me as she pondered on what I just said. The level of concentration in her eyes made me wonder if she was ever drunk in the first place. For a minute I was sure that she had seen through my lie.
A few moments of tense silence passed before she just shrugged her shoulders. It seems that the lie worked, for now. I made a mental note to be much more guarded when it came to showing my emotions around her.
"Still worrying about other people, even if you have no business too." My grandmother chuckled before grabbing the dirtied plates on the table. "I remember the nickname that your mother gave you when you beat up those bullies when you were so little. Wasn't it the 'Little Hero' or something like that?"
Oh, that incident. I sheepishly rubbed the back of my neck as I thought back to when I was just a little kid. When you're stuck in the body of a child but have the mind of an adult, it tends to make you much more confident than any regular child would be of that age.
So when I was just strolling through the streets of my neighborhood to see three kids ganging up on a fellow classmate, I wasn't going to sit idly by and do nothing.
The lead bully was easily an age or two older than me, was much bigger than me, and definitely had the aura of a bully. A kid normally my age would've cowered before him.
I punched him in the nose so hard that he had a broken nose for an entire week.
I had gotten the biggest dressing down from both my parents when they found me at the principal's office, but that quickly changed when they found out I was defending someone from bullies.
After that incident, I reveled in the face of fear that the bully would have when I gave him a smile whenever we crossed paths.
Who knew that I had a sadist side to me all this time.
"You know how it is, I got that from you." I joked as my grandmother cracked another laugh as she stood from her chair and moved towards the sink, dirty plates in hand. "Damm right you did! Our red hair just doesn't catch everyone's attention, it's our burning soul!"
I laughed as I relaxed myself into my chair. It was moments like these that helped me forget that I was a part of the whole Honkai Universe. No worrying about Herrschers, about potential humans that have lived longer than past civilizations, no worrying about plots to end the world.
I brought a glass of water to my lips as I watched my grandmother begin to sing an out of tune song as she began to wash the dishes. Even if she was family, she was such a breath of fresh air compared to the students of the academy.
It didn't feel as if she had grown up in Nagazora her entire life, like she had been-!
My mind froze as something suddenly clicked. Something so important that I was kicking myself for not realizing it sooner. The realization was so shocking that I didn't even realize that I had loosened my grip on my glass of water.
My grandmother lived in Nagazora.
Mei was going to destroy Nagazora.
Alongside anyone who was present in the city would die.
My grandmother was going to die here.
The sound of the glass of water shattering on the dining table couldn't have been a better representation of what I was feeling right there and then.
"...Nakamura-san? Nakamura-san!" A voice suddenly jolted me out of whatever daydream I was having.
"U-Uh yes?" I asked confusedly as my teacher crossed her arms together.
"Could you tell the class the answer to this problem?" She pointed to the question that she had written on the board that I definitely wasn't paying attention to.
We were in biology class if my mind remembered it correctly. We were learning about something related to the anatomy of a frog but the question on the board was something that had nothing to do with the anatomy of a frog.
Had my mind been so occupied that I didn't even notice the fact that our teacher had changed lecture topics?
"Sorry sensei, I wasn't paying attention." I was tempted to try and bullshit an answer but in the end decided that I could easily get the wrong answer and make a fool out of myself.
"I see, you've been doing well here Nakamura-san. I do hope that wasn't a fluke?"
"No sensei, I just...had a bad night of rest." I lied.
"Very well then, do work to sleep earlier if that is the case. Can you answer the question then Raiden-san?"
I tuned out of whatever Mei was going to say as I went back to the whole reason why I had drifted into daydreaming in the middle of class. My palm still stung from having a small shard of glass cut through it.
I was kicking myself for not realizing what game I had exactly gotten myself in. I had naively believed that everything was going to be rainbows and sunshines just because I had knowledge of the future.
My grandmother was going to die here and I had no idea how I could change that fact. Could I even attempt to fix anything? Was everything scripted to follow the game regardless of my actions?
I was aware of the whispers of my fellow classmates going around about how I missed a problem, my 'first mess-up' of the school year but I could care less of what they were saying about me right now.
"Are you okay Nakamaru-san?" Mei asked out of concern when the day had ended. The heiress had a genuine look of concern in her eyes as she neared my desk.
"Everything's okay Raiden-san," I waved off her concern as I packed my bag up. In truth I wanted to get as far as I could from her right now. No ill-feelings towards the heiress but a small part of me held some sort of resent for her.
Even if I never did meet her, it wouldn't have changed the fact that I was reborn in the world of the Honkai Universe. Ignorance was bliss my mind argued and it wasn't exactly in the right place right now.
"I just had a bad sleep yesterday, that's all." Slinging my bag onto my shoulder, I bid farewell to the future Herrscher of Thunder. "I'll be better tomorrow, promise."
Mei looked on as I exited the classroom, the worry in her eyes not leaving at all. "You're lying," Was all she whispered before picking up her bag and leaving the classroom.
She gave everyone a polite greeting as she entered the kendo dojo of the Chiba Academy. Everyone present giving their own greetings before returning to their own preparations before the club activities began.
Chiba Academy had so much funding to support it that it was no surprising the emergence of a countless number of clubs that had what any student was looking for. It was an easy choice for Mei to which club she would be joining.
"How was your day Mei-san? One of her fellow clubmates asked as she entered the changing room.
"Nothing too much Aki-san," She replied as she began to change out of her schoolwear into her kendo gear. While she may be a great student in academics, Mei loved being in her kendo gear more than anything. "Another day of surviving Ishigami-sensei's lessons." She joked.
"Tell me about it, how does he expect us to get everything he teaches us. What are we, computers?" The two shared a quick laugh at that.
"Honestly," Aki complained as she begun to fit her kendo armor around her torso, making sure that all the straps were properly strapped. "I envy Nakamura-san, what I would do just to have a brain like his."
"What do you think about him?" Mei was curious about what Aki thought of the transfer student. Aki was observant of how people acted which made her so good as a training partner, able to pick up on how one used their bokken and use that to her advantage.
"Nakamura-san?" Aki held her chin in contemplation as she tried to remember what she thought of the red haired student. "He's very perceptive, unfazed by practically anything. I don't I've seen him panic or groan at whatever material our teachers throw at us."
"That's true," Mei said as she begun to slip into her kendo gear. "Nothing he seems to faze him."
"Except today," Seeing how this wasn't going to be ending anytime soon, Aki took a seat on one of the benches in the locker room. "I remember the gossip going around of Nakamura's first screw up. Must've been rough for him."
Retrieving her armor from her locker, Mei thought back to how Nakamura was in the classroom. On the outside he seemed fine, nothing different from how he had been the day before.
But his eyes, just something about them was off for her. As if beneath his hazel eyes there was a storm of guilt and fear raging through his soul.
"Alas I don't even know Nakamura-san so I can't really help him, if he really does need it. Maybe it really was just a bad night's rest." Aki retrieved her bokken from her locker before closing it. "There are just some things that you can't hit away with your sword." She mused.
Yes, it was a shame that you couldn't smack your worries anywhere. Whenever Mei was feeling particularly stressed, a good hour of kendo training did wonders on her worries. It's a shame that Haruto wasn't part of the…
"That's it!" Mei exclaimed as she finally realized a way that she could help Haruto!
"Huh?" Aki raised a confused eyebrow at the heiress' outburst.
"Aki-san, isn't there an opening for an extra spot in the club?" Mei turned around, a fierce determination in her eyes that threw Aki out of the loop.
When was the last time she saw her like this, determined to the point that not even death could stop her?
"Uh yeah, one of the newest members dropped out." Aki then realized what Mei was exactly planning. "You're not being serious are you."
A confident grin was all she got back.
"You're a very lazy cat aren't you Kuro?" I mused as the cat across from just yawned before snuggling deeper into its blanket. Seeing that Kuro was having no want for continued interaction, I turned my back to now be on the bed making me now face the ceiling.
I took a deep breath before it was time.
The time to finally decide whether or not to get involved.
Many would've made the decision the moment that they met Mei, most probably choosing to try and do something to change the future. But I knew that rash decisions would only lead to death and perhaps a darker future.
There were so many unknowns of my existence here in Nagazora that charging foolhardy into the future could have dire consequences. For one had I replaced Kiana as the one who would control the Herrscher of Thunder?
If my knowledge didn't fail me, hadn't Kiana transferred into Chiba Academy. How that even occurred in the first place I had no idea as I knew Kiana may have been a great fighter, she wasn't so great when it came to academics.
That begged the question how she exactly was able to become a transfer student as I was sure that there was only one scholarship that one could take to transfer in. Had I unknowingly screwed her arrival in Nagazora?
Maybe she had connections when she was looking for her father that allowed her to be a student at the academy?
Regardless of how Kiana entered Nagazora, I was more worried about what to do in terms of Mei's transformation to becoming a Herrscher. I knew that in order for a Herrscher to be fully realized one must require a vast amount of Honkai energy to do so.
So that meant someone deliberately ignited a pseudo-eruption enough to awaken the Herrchser that had grown in Mei. That someone knew Mei would give in to become a Herrscher if she hated the world enough.
And a certain CEO losing his position would plant the seed for that Herrscher's birth.
Great that meant Anti-Entropy was planning to capture Mei when she became a Herrscher so that they could potentially harness her powers. My opinion of Anti-Entropy was now lowered seeing how committed they were to their quest if they would resort to damning a girl to be their experiment.
So theoretically if I stopped the Anti-Entropy operation in the city, I could prevent the Third Honkai Eruption from happening in Nagazora. That would be-,
"No, all I would do is set the clock back a bit," Then the startling realization came to me that Mei's awakening was the best case scenario for the third eruption. Anything short of the complete annihilation of Anti-Entropy would just set events back.
It was due to Kiana that Mei wasn't able to complete her Herrscher transformation, thus ultimately halting the Third Honkai Eruption. If someone else was chosen then the eruption would occur in a place that couldn't be stopped and the Herrscher would undergo a full awakening.
I closed my eyes so I could begin to concentrate on what I could even do in this situation.
Only for the sound of rain to make me open my eyes in confusion. There was no weather forecast for rain today, so where was this sound coming from?
Standing up from the bed, I made my way to the window to see if it really was raining outside. However, taking the first step forward, my legs unexpectedly buckled before my entire body lurched forward.
"Huh?" Was all I could think as my vision darkened as the floor got closer and closer.
Fully expecting to feel the hard impact of the wooden floor, the last thing that registered on my mind was the feeling as if I had been submerged into water.
It was raining in a ravaged city, the once bustling city was now only a fragment of its former glory. Many of the high-rise buildings were now beginning to erode, a few already collapsing under their weak supports.
Only a single soul could be seen walking the desolate streets, a white haired wanderer who was looking for her missing father.
However the relative silence would be broken soon.
With the reflexes of the most experienced warriors, the traveler was able to dodge a strike aimed for her head. Taking a few steps back, she was greeted by the sight of five combatants emerging from their hiding spots, weapons in hand.
"This is Squad A," The lead woman spoke into her earpiece. "We have encountered the target and are now engaging."
"Affirmative, Squad B is on their way to assist. Do not let the target leave the city." The voice on the other side of the earpiece ordered as the five combatants took a step forward, brandishing their weapons.
Normally the traveler would've stood her ground and fought, but her combat instincts told her that she was outmatched with only a pair of handguns which wasn't effective for ranged combat. And considering that two of the five combatants had some sort of rifle, she was outmatched and outgunned.
Without skipping a beat the traveler spun on her heel and ran in the opposite direction, making her combatants give chase.
Leaping over the rusted vehicles abandoned on the street, she had to bite back a curse when bullets begin to fly over her head. These people weren't playing around at all.
In an attempt to lose her pursuers, the white haired traveler made an abrupt turn and ran into a discrete alleyway. Hiding behind a pile of rubble, she cracked a smile as she saw pursuers had been none the wiser of her little trick as they continued running.
"Ara, Ara. Did you think you would lose us that fast?" A voice spoke behind her. Turning her head around the speaker was someone completely different from the squad she just escaped.
The way that she stood simply oozed nobility, no slouch in her figure whatsoever. The blue glow of her armor shone brightly in the darkness of the alley, making her the only thing one could focus on. The imposing scythe created a misty atmosphere, making it so cold that one could see their own breath.
And not to mention the ephemeral knight that floated over her, wielding its own deadly scythe.
"You do best to come quietly, K-423. Master Otto will be quite displeased if I bring you back damaged." The way that the girl spoke as if she was some sort of object made her temper flare.
Kiana Kaslana was not some petty object!
With speed faster than any human being could hope to ever achieve, Kiana rushed her mysterious assailant. There was no way that her attack could miss!
However Rita Rossweisse was no ordinary human. She was an S-Rank Valkyrie that not even the bloodline of Kaslana could match in Kiana's current state.
Without hesitating, Rita swiftly smacked Kiana with the blunt side of her scythe. While not sharp enough to cut, the force behind it was strong enough to send her flying into a wall.
Kiana spat out blood from how hard the impact was to her body, a few ribs cracking from the force.
"This is Captain Rita, Subject K-423 has successfully been captured." Rita smirked as she allowed Crescent Harvest to be dismissed, the phantom disappearing to where it waited to be called once more.
"Do not worry subject K-423, all will be well soon enough," Rita said as she approached the injured Kiana.
"I-It's Kiana!" The Kaslana spat out as blood began to trickle down her chin, her vision already getting cloudy as her body was screaming in pain.
"Then do not worry 'Kiana'," Rita kneeled so she was eye-level with her. Reaching out she gently cupped Kiana's chin with her hand. "For it is in your sacrifice that Master Otto will be able to save the world."
Kiana tried to come up with another witty remark, but could say nothing when her body could do no more and her mind blacked out.
"Meow?" My eyes slowly opened to see Kuro standing over me. The black kitten had gotten quite comfortable on my chest while I was out.
My breathing quickened as I recalled the vision that seemed all too real. What the hell was that?! I may have not known everything regarding the story but I was pretty damn sure that what I just saw did not occur whatsoever!
Kuro, noticing my panic breathing, quickly hopped off my chest and made her way back to the bed to resume her nap.
"Sorry, but I had no other choice," A sudden voice in my mind made me yelp out loud. The unexpected sound made Kuro jump into the air. The cat landed on her feet and turned her head to let out a quick hiss for the unexpected surprise.
What the hell was happening now?!
"I needed for you to know what would exactly happen if you refused to act." The mysterious voice in my mind spoke. I was tempted to write the voice off as a figment of my imagination, born from my stress but I knew better than that.
"How could me not doing anything lead to that!" I argued.
"...I cannot tell you everything yet but know that you have passed a point of no return. Just your mere presence has affected things past a simple meeting."
"Alright then 'voice' in my head," I calmed my breathing to prevent me from doing something rash. Why the hell was every day having something new! Was it too hard to ask for a normal day without anything too extreme happening! "Care to explain what that was all about?"
"Your actions may not seem to impact much, but in reality it does. I cannot go into the specifics but know that in that vision Mei is not stopped in becoming a fully realized Herrscher if you choose to do nothing. The completed Herrscher of Thunder will throw the world into chaos and many will die as a result. The casualties will reach the millions." Scenes of thriving cities suddenly transformed into ruined hellscapes. Flying above it all was a smiling Herrscher of Thunder as she wrecked havoc on the humans that wronged her.
"Kiana will never venture to Nagazora and instead continue to wander the world to look for her father. Otto will decide it is time to reawaken the Herrscher of the Void and capture her to accelerate his plan." Then a scene of Kiana strapped to a lab table played out as many scientists began to stick numerous needles into her, the girl's pained cries were all but ignored.
"I know you wish for answers but all I can say is this, try to change the future in the way that you believe is for the best." The voice spoke before I could feel...whatever it was slowly leaving my mind.
If I had to describe the sensation it would be like a migraine slowly easing away. The throbbing pain that would usually accompany a migraine was just fading away.
As I could feel the strange migraine disappear, signifying that my mind was no longer occupied by that strange voice, I was left on my room's floor with more questions than answers. I had the mindset that by the end of the day that I would have decided what I would do with the knowledge of the future.
And in a way I had arrived at an answer.
"Haruto are you okay?" My grandmother shouted from the other side of my door. "I heard a loud thud, did you fall?!"
It wasn't the answer that I had exactly been anticipating.
HOLY HELL the support for this is insane. After submitting Chapter 2 I went to bed and I did not expect for my email to be filled with reviews when I woke up. I did not expect the level of support for this fanfiction and to be honest I really enjoy writing this, its a nice break from college.
I do hope that this chapter was able to provide the thrill that the previous chapter lacked. There are many things that I've introduced and I hope that what I have planned for future chapters isn't too obvious.
I didn't plan on Haruto joining the kendo club, I had originally planned for him to join a chess club to help facilitate his strategy making skills so it could serve him better when he did become the Hyperion Captain.
Then I thought how does a battleship really help in future events, you can't exactly be gung ho in a battleship at a city filled with people. Though this is still wary to change I don't exactly see Haruto becoming a captain, at least not a full captain and sorta like Himeko was.
I do hope the little surprise at the end was good enough. The strange voice will play a significant role down the road. The vision of the 'bad future' was in my mind the only way that I could get Haruto to begin to try and change the story but while also being wary of doing so.
Welp that's all for this chapter. If you enjoyed, drop a fav/follow/kudos as they really help me out with creating great chapters. Reviews are deeply appreciated and if you got a question or a really interesting theory I am more than happy to reply. I hope that no one will be offended if I don't respond right away.