Kuro did not understand humans at times. They always held this notion that they were higher than every other animal, when they themselves were part of the natural order. And those that belonged to the natural order always had a predator to hunt them down.
For while some saw others as prey, others saw them as predators.
Why did humans always have to lower their tone when talking to other animals? Did they not think we were capable of understanding them?
So Kuro would show just how idiotic humans were.
They would lower their guard, and she would be gone the next day with their pantries empty and her stomach full.
She traveled the world, lived in many different areas that no other cats would ever live in. Conquered conditions that felines were never meant to.
Though she had to admit, living in snowy areas was not her favorite. Warmth was something not readily available in the snowy plains and she would be forced to stay in a hole within the ground to keep herself warm.
But the world was only so big before she would've begun to repeat her journey all over again. Places that were once filled with awe now elicited nothing. She found herself bored as all the feline could do to pass the time was sneaking into the households of humans and stealing any delectable fishes they had in their pantries..
It was thrilling for her, entering the houses where humans thought that they were the safest without them ever knowing she was there. The bigger the house, the more opportunities she had to sneak inside.
And if that house held the most delectable fish of all time known as the holy tuna? Well it would be a waste of such a beautiful fish to not go uneaten.
However humans were such prideful beings, not realizing that they were not the gods that they believed themselves to be.
They would arm themselves with these weird contraptions that spit scorching metal if enraged. Kuro did not know how they harnessed such a power but she steered clear of any house that had humans walking around with such things.
Her claws might be sharp and her reflexes the fastest a cat's could ever be, her mortal body could not handle the scorching metal that humans had possession of.
It was a shame at that time as well, the houses that the humans guarded with their contraptions looked to be the most delightful places to sneak into.
Kuro feared that she would not get the chance to ever take part in such an infiltration, that she would age to this old cat that would waste her days in some home.
She was a hunter, and a hunter had to hunt.
Her luck changed one day when she snuck into the house of the most peculiar human that she had ever met.
For starters the human wore the mask of a dog, which the feline found strange. Humans prided themselves on their physical appearances, sometimes too much as some humans liked to have their entire face in strange paint to impress others.
Secondly, the human wasn't mad at the fact that she had practically broken into their house. Usually if a human had somehow managed to spot her, whether by her mistake or they were just that intuitive, they usually screamed really loud as they pointed their fingers at her to get out of their house.
This human clapped their hands as if she had done something impressive for them, even if the cat had never met them before.
"A normal feline like you breaking into a heavily fortified house like this one?" The dog masked human got on one knee and reached out their hand, the mask's golden eyes bore into the cat. "You must be something special."
"What if I said I could help you? You must be bored, breaking into the same houses' over and over. How would you like to try some of the more 'dangerous' houses for your little hunts?"
Kuro knew that this human wanted to complete their agenda, and that she would be used in completing said agenda. However the black feline could not bring herself to care, the boredom that had haunted her in the past was slowly coming back.
So she rested her paw in the hands of this strange human, signaling a new chapter in her life.
The strange human, whose name she learned to be Jackal, dabbled in the dark arts of the world. Kuro knew what this 'Honkai' was, a force of absolute destruction that cared not for what it left behind.
It did not belong in the natural world order. For in the ashes of destruction, the seeds of creation are planted. An endless cycle that was essential for the world to live on.
At least Jackal had the courage to admit that she was most certainly dabbling in things that humans were never meant to control.
Those were dark nights that Kuro found herself subjected to. She was the first to be experimented on, the first to know such pain. A lesser feline would have perished at Jackal's experiments.
Kuro was no ordinary feline, and because of it she had emerged stronger than any cat could possibly dream of obtaining.
Her new abilities allowed her to infiltrate even the most guarded human facilities, facilities that would've instilled fear into her were now hers to play with as she wished.
The black cat honored her agreement with Jackal. In exchange for these new strange powers of hers, she would infiltrate facilities that held items the scientist needed. She did not know what the things that she was stealing were, nor did she care.
She could stalk her prey freely, what more could she ever ask for?
However after a year of their agreement, Jackal soon stopped contacting her. She believed that the scientist had all but forgotten her existence so Kuro found herself traversing the world that she once traveled before, this time with the intent to visit the places that her regular form could not.
That's how Kuro found herself in Nagazora. She had just visited Mount Fuji, climbed the mountain all the way to the peak, and was making her way to the ports of Japan to hop on a boat that she could stowaway on to Mexico.
And on what seemed like an ordinary day, she met him.
The human that had dethroned Jackal for the spot of the most peculiar human.
He didn't seem too remarkable compared to Jackal at first glance. Sure his brightly colored hair made him stand out from the rest of the people, but he didn't have a mask like the scientist did.
He didn't seem to hold any impressive powers, since her body was infused with this Honkai energy she could innately sense if other living beings had this Honkai energy. Very few people held more than a sliver of honkai within them and those that did were very dangerous.
On the outside he was a normal functioning human being, just like the countless other people that
So when he picked her up, she was tempted to transform into her 'other' form and have him pay for such a disrespectful act. Who was he to pick her up with without permission?
However one good look into his hazel eyes had her transformation stop dead in its tracks. All cats had an exceptional ability to read humans and she could tell a human's character just by looking them in the eyes.
And one look into his hazel eyes...something about them unsettled her. She couldn't exactly explain why she felt this, but something about this human didn't belong in this world.
Everything had a place in nature after all and those that didn't were very dangerous. Honkai was such a thing that didn't belong in nature.
With her entire focus on his strange hazel eyes, she could see his eyes move over to her honkai infused collar. His hazel widened for only a fraction before they returned back to normal as he began to frantically scan his surroundings.
He even knew what the Honkai was? This human was becoming much more interesting as time went by. Dare she even think that he knew who Jackal was? That he might know the shadowy organization that the scientist worked for?
"...I'm guessing that you don't like canned food."
Canned food? The atrocious meals that humans packed into those tiny tin cans and foolishly thought that cats enjoyed such a meal? Kuro would rather die than eat another one of those meals again.
At least he knew that a cat of her stature did not eat such disgusting kibble.
Though why was he suddenly asking why she wanted canned food? Was he just not contemplating why she had a honkai collar?
"Maybe you're the same as me, a fellow isekai traveler." He muttered as she was suddenly lifted onto his shoulder.
What was this 'isekai' traveler he was talking about? Were they some sort of unknown species that she did not know of? And why was she suddenly on his shoulder all of a sudden?
Too many questions with not enough answers!
"I wonder if Obasan has a no pet rule?" He wondered as he turned on his heel and began to walk back to what she presumed to be back to his household.
As she was carried away, Kuro only had one question on her mind that prevented her from doing anything.
Had she just gotten domesticated? Her mind was whirling with so many questions that she simply did the only thing she could think of in the situation.
The ultimate technique passed down by cat generations, a technique proven to get you out of trouble no matter the situation.
She innocently meowed in agreement.
Speaking of her human, Haruto was his name, he had finally gotten up from his bed. Kuro opened one of her eyelids from her playset's perch to see the red haired human cooking her breakfast. It was a warm Sunday morning, not too cold but neither too hot.
The perfect weather for a perfect fish meal.
"Boil katsuobushi flakes for 2-3 minutes," Haruto repeated as he read the recipe from his phone. His hand grabbed an appropriate amount of flakes from the package before dropping it into the boiling water
"Mei did say this was her cat's favorite thing to eat and Kuro deserves a good meal for his first Sunday with the Nakamura family.." He trailed off as he looked at what came next for the recipe. "Assuming that I can recreate this dish perfectly."
"Next let's chop up some herbs for the fish." He muttered as got ready for the next step.
Kuro simply moved her body to get more comfortable on her spot, it would take a bit more time for her meal to be prepared. At least this human put some effort into cooking meals for her, she knew most humans would just open an atrocious canned meal to feed their cats with.
She had to admit that this life as a domesticated cat was quite nice.
But this peace...
"Styx," Her collar flashed a golden yellow as the Jackal's voice projected from it.
Had to end at one point.
The scientist's voice was low enough that only she would hear it, not like it mattered as Haruto was too engrossed in making sure that he was following the recipe he got from this 'Mei' person to the letter. Was it the same Mei person that had given him so much stress this past week?
"I require your assistance." Kuro had assumed as much, the scientist never struck her as the person who would socialize with others for the heck of it. If you had some kind of use then she would keep you close, if you didn't have one?
She wouldn't bat an eye when she disposed of you.
"When night falls, you are to meet an associate of mine. He will brief you on your assignment." Kuro made no reaction to the message as it wasn't a question if she would accept the task, she would honor her agreement with the scientist until the end of it.
Though that begged the question of how she was going to leave the house without raising suspicion. It was a Sunday after all, the worst day to break into someone's house. This was the day that humans preferred to stay in their homes and do absolutely nothing.
What was so special about Sunday anyway? It was just like any ordinary day after all.
"Oh I forgot to tell you Kuro," Haruto said without looking away from the sizzling pan in front of him. "I've got a friend coming over today, we're going to work on some assignments together. Please don't antagonize him for the day and I'll get you a piece of fatty tuna as a reward. How does that sound?"
While the mere thought of eating a piece of fatty tuna, the holiest of all the fishes, had her salivating; that gave her a convenient way to sneak out of the house. She would leave without him noticing and be back by the time the two were done with their work.
Yes, nothing could possibly go wrong here.
I couldn't help but wince as another streak of thunder raced across the cloudy sky. The heavy rain didn't help matters as Nagazora was pelted by this heavy rain. One moment the sky was completely normal.
Then without warning a heavy thunderstorm came by and changed everything.
"...This is normal?" I questioned Keji as I pointed to the numerous rain drops that hammered my room's window.
"Yeah this is pretty normal weather for us." My fellow club member didn't seem surprised at the thunderstorm. "One moment it's normal and then BAM! Thunderstorm appears out of nowhere."
This was normal? I looked back to the darkened skies of Nagazora. The lights of the cityscape shone brightly in the thunderstorm, the random occurrence of lightning making them shine even brightly for that one moment.
This definitely wasn't something people could call 'normal' and I couldn't help but chuckle at the irony of the situation.
Frequent thunderstorms in the city where the future Herrscher of Thunder would be born from.
Though that in itself was a terrifying thought. Was this some kind of omen? Had the future been moved forward, would events occur much more sooner than they originally would have?
I pushed the thought away as I rejoined Keji at the table, our assignments and textbooks laid out on the table. I could worry about that later.
For now? I had to make sure Keji understood what the hell he was doing.
"You didn't experience weather like this back home?" Keji asked as I took a seat across from him.
"Maybe the occasional thunderstorm here and there, but not one appearing out of the blue." I retorted as I picked up my pencil and motioned for him to do the same.
"But a sudden thunderstorm isn't freeing you from this assignment, now explain to me how you would solve the next problem."
And that's how the next hour or so went as I did my best to help mentor Keji on our chess teacher's assignments.
Still there was something bugging me, something that I couldn't shake off. I could be just looking into it too much but...
Why was it that I was the only one who seemed to understand Ishigami-sensei's lectures at all? It was something that I noticed when it became apparent that I wasn't the only person in my class to understand him, I was the only person in my grade level to understand him period.
Apparently I was already infamous in school from what Keji had told me. I was the 'miracle' student, the person who could somehow understand Nagazora's hardest teacher without losing their mind.
And while other people might believe me to be a prodigy, I thought differently.
And I had a sinking feeling that my chess teacher was more than what he showed himself to be.
It was just a theory so far, a really far-fetching theory considering this was born out of a gut feeling rather than facts. But when the only student that could understand what was deemed to be 'impossible', and said student so happens to be an isekai traveler…
It really makes you think.
Still I couldn't delve into this for too long. "Keji for the last time, stop checking your phone!" I admonished as I could see Keji's attention being somewhere other than his own assignment paper. "You can talk with Homu Bunny later."
"First off I don't think I could hold a regular conversation with them without making a fool out of myself," The glasses wearing gamer confessed with a tinge of red in his cheeks at the mention of Homu Fantasy Online's number one ranked player. "Secondly I was more focused on the fact that your cat is trying to open the window."
From his words I looked behind me to see Kuro trying to open one of the room's windows with her paws. Normally such an action would be impossible for a cat but the black feline had proven time and time again that she was no ordinary cat.
Though I knew that even a special cat would not entertain the idea of going out into heavily raining streets without a good enough reason to.
I stood up from my chair and walked over to Kuro, who was watching my every move as I got closer to her. Stopping right before her, I looked down to see her blue eyes meeting mine. An unspoken resolve filled her eyes. Something that she had yet to show ever since I brought her with me to my apartment.
Moving my eyes away from her I looked back up to the rain covered cityscape of Nagazora, I took in a deep breath before letting out a long sigh. There would only be one reason why she would show such resolve in her eyes.
Was this it?
Was it finally beginning?
Was the story that I could not run from finally drawing its curtain open?
If that was the case, then there was only one thing I could do then.
"Haruto what the hell are you doing!" Keji's alarmed voice rang through the living room as the window was wide open, letting the rain and strong winds enter my apartment. Standing right before the open window I could feel my entire frame getting soaked from the downpour, but despite that I calmly looked back at Kuro. The black feline looked at me with a look of confusion.
"Good hunting Kuro," I said as I motioned to the open window.
Taking a second to register what I had just said, Kuro meowed at me before jumping out of the window and onto the balcony directly below my apartment floor. I closed the window and watched as Kuro began to traverse down the apartment with ease before disappearing out of my field of vision.
If the story really was beginning, then the only thing I could do now was pray that every action I made now was the right one.
"Uh Haruto? You do know that you just let your cat out in the pouring rain."
"Yeah I guess I did," I looked back at Keji who was looking at me as if I had just sprouted a second head. "Now c'mon, you still need to tell me how you're going to solve this problem or heaven forbid you leave my house without this assignment getting completed."
My fellow club member just slumped forward onto the table and I couldn't help but chuckle at my friend's antics.
However the nagging thought of what Kuro could potentially be up to stayed on my mind throughout the study session. The thunder roaring outside reflected my inner dilemma as I did my best to ignore it.
Her human was the strangest human ever, Kuro could not remember the last time that she had been surprised twice by the same person.
Jackal had only surprised her once, the first time she met the scientist was the only time that the cat was shocked by her. After that it was quite easy to see who this scientist was and what she would do.
She didn't even bat an eye when the masked scientist stuck that glowing syringe into her and gave her access to that. Even when she saw other people being turned inside out by the scientist it wasn't surprising.
Sure it was appalling but Jackal was the sort to perform such horrendous deeds.
Even if she was no normal cat, she still hated the feeling of getting absolutely soaked like any other cat and as she traversed the rooftops of Nagazora City her entire furry body was absolutely drenched.
Why couldn't Jackal have had this mission on a cool night and not a roaring thunderstorm?
"So you've finally arrived." A synthetic voice greeted her as she climbed her way to the rooftop of the meeting place, which happened to be a building close enough to the skyscraper of a building that was Massive Electric Corporation.
Even if the building was far enough from the corporation Kuro could see just how heavily defended this place was from where she was standing.
"Jackal has promised me that you would succeed where others would fail." Turning her head, she gave a curious glance to the masked associate of Jackal's. Did all of Jackal's associates wear masks to hide their faces?
At least he didn't hide the fact that he was a monster behind his mask.
"I don't think I need to tell you what would happen should you be caught? She didn't need this man to tell her what the stakes were, she was well aware of them. If she was caught then tonight would be the last chapter in the book of Kuro the Cat.
"You are to sneak into ME Corporation and plug this drive into Raiden Ryoma's main computer," Reaching into his pocket, the Gray Serpent procured a flashdrive. Kneeling, he gave the flashdrive to Kuro who picked it up with her mouth.
"The drive will do most of the work when you plug it in, once the transfer is complete eject the drive and leave the premises." Kuro raised a brow by how...simple the whole task was. Just a simple flash drive download?
She had done these sorts of missions before for Jackal so this wasn't anything new. All she had to do was plug this small compact device into a larger device and wait as the small device sucked out whatever it needed, or fed the big device with what it had.
She didn't understand the logic of how these things worked but just went along with it
Still Kuro had expected something of a bit more high risk. This was the first time she had met someone other than Jackal for an assignment so she had high hopes for a special mission.
Well who was she to complain? A mission was a mission after all. With her objective given, she tensed her legs before jumping off of the rooftop. The honkai light on her collar grew brightly as she transformed under the cover of thunder and rain.
Gray Serpent looked on with intrigue as he saw Styx move effortlessly towards the ME Corporation building, evading patrols as if she was dancing around the poor fools. The hacker had to admit that he didn't expect much from the feline when he first saw her.
He supposed that Jackal had her merits when it came to her experiments, even if in some of them he didn't see the point in wasting resources on them.
But that was only one part of the puzzle figured out, now was the time for the second part. Lowering the cylindrical case that Jackal had given him unto the ground, he inputted the case's activation key and took a step back when smoke began to shoot out of the case from various vents.
As the smoke began to dissipate, he noted the increasing emergence of tiny metal marbles exiting through one of the many case's vents. Was this supposed to be some kind of joke? He didn't think Jackal had it in her to do something like this, on a mission no less.
A slight thumping on his foot had him looking down to see one of the metal marbles repeatedly rolling into his foot.
Then two more.
"I see then," Gray Serpent realized what exactly the metal marbles were, so this is what Jackal meant when she said this was a special specimen. "Assume transformation then, Phalanx."
At his command every metal marble stilled themselves. One marble transformed to reveal a tiny machine, chirping at the other marbles. Soon another transformed and also began to chirp which led to a domino effect of the other marbles transforming as the now revealed machines began to chirp at one another.
The hacker could not make any sense of the strange dialogue that these machines had, but he knew that they were orientating themselves as the chirping ended as they began to swarm at each other, forming a pile of transforming machines.
Each machine had its own part in this strange transformation process, while they may seem tiny in comparison to him they were an essential part to this. The phalanx was a textbook Roman battle formation, if a single soldier was out of place then the entire formation was obsolete and would collapse.
There was beauty in masses working as one, multiple entities following the commands of one mind. Slowly but surely Phalanx's true form was revealed as the machines began to interlock with one another.
The legs were formed first.
Then the main body came next.
And to finish it off the last few machines formed the single mechanical eye of the being known as Phalanx was almost transformed.
A final chorus of chirps traveled through the machines as they confirmed that everything was in place, before they all shifted into place as the multiple network of machines condensed into one entity.
Like the final piece of a puzzle snapping into place, Phalanx was now standing before him in its full glory.
Phalanx's shape reminded the Gray Serpent of a possessed the razor like appendages that the insect had and possessed the same stature it would've had, albeit minus the multiple legs in favor of two long legs like that you would see on a raptor.
It was remarkably thin, as if it was origami. If it was directly facing you the only way you would know it was there was its red eye.
"You are to sneak into the ME Corporation and deliver this to the reactor room." Reaching down the hacker grabbed the suitcase that contained the Gem of Conquest and opened it up to present the purple glowing Honkai core. "You will receive further instructions when you've managed to sneak in."
Phalanx walked forward and tenderly grabbed the Gem with its claws, careful not to drop it as the machine carried it closer to its chest. The machines that formed its torso slowly opened up as the individual machines slightly transformed out of their unified state.
The Gem of Conquest was then placed in the opening of its chest before the machines reformed themselves around the Gem, securing the cargo for transport.
With its objective secured, Phalanx began to scale down the building before beginning its own infiltration route into the heavily defended corporation. The Gray Serpent could not see Kuro anymore, either it being a testament of how good Jackal's enhancements were or to the cat's ability to sneak into places, but the Jackal's second creation was taking a much more careful approach in sneaking in.
Regardless of how it would be accomplished, the two would carry out their missions.
One of the passing security drones that made routine perimeter checks of ME Corporation made its way toward the building that the serpent had surveyed the building from. When its light shone on the wet rooftop.
He was nowhere to be found.
"Tell me why again we were even hired for this job?" A guard complained as he and his partner made their routine sweep of the floor that they were assigned to. "I mean I highly doubt anything is going to get past all of those drones patrolling the outside perimeter."
"Are you really complaining?" His fellow guard asked as they turned a corner. "We basically get paid for just walking around in circles."
"I don't know man," He placed his hands behind his head as he didn't even bother checking for any potential break-ins. He might've cared for the first few months of his employment but he was confident there was no way in hell that someone was breaking into the corporation. "Feel as if my life could've been wasted on something better than this."
The two stopped at a nearby water station to grab a quick drink. "Why would Ryoma-sama not just have robot guards patrolling these floors instead of us regular humans?" The second guard asked as he grabbed a plastic cup and began to fill it with water.
"I heard that's for his floor, you know the highest floor of this building." The first guard went to fill his cup after his partner finished filling up his. "Heard that they're the best that money could buy."
"I feel sorry for the poor fool that gets to the floor," The two shared a laugh as they continued to make the rest of the sweep of the floor, not like it mattered as they were probably just going to chat the rest of their shift away.
Unknown to the retreating pair, they were in fact not alone. In reality that very intruder that they made so much fun of was right under their noses the entire time, literally.
Uncloaking herself from beside the water dispenser, Kuro's blue eyes glowed brightly as she could see the thermal signatures of the two humans walk further and further away from her position.
This new form of hers was way better than what a cat could ever hope to achieve. For one her black fur was now replaced with a cool black steel that she was sure could survive light arms fire. That meant she no longer feared the weapons that humans had.
Her new form also had this nifty ability to cloak herself from prying eyes. She wasn't sure how Jackal worked that out but it sure was something that helped infiltration in the most guarded of locations.
As her padded paws slowly made their way to the elevator, the black feline paused as she looked at her reflection in one of the glass walls that made up a conference room.
She had to admit that this other form of hers was quite something to behold. She almost looked like a panther, minus the fact that she was entirely made up of metal and not fur right now. Panthers were the kings of their jungle, no fool would dare challenge the black felines in their territories.
And here in this moment the corporation was her territory.
Making her way towards the elevator, she made sure no one was remotely close to hear the elevator arrive. You see this elevator was separate from the normal elevators that could get anyone to any floor on the building.
Well almost all the floors, as this elevator was the only way you could reach Ryoma Raiden's office. And to even call the elevator down you needed administrative access that always came in the form of a keycard, a keycard that she didn't have.
Luckily this form of hers had its advantages when it came to problems like these.
Raising her tail to the keycard scanner that would call the elevator, her bladed tail shifted to its flash drive configuration. Plugging it into the scanner, Kuro began to hack her way into bypassing the security protocol.
A big surprise, that a cat is able to hack her way into a human made mainframe. She had no idea what she was actually doing and no matter how many times Jackal explained it to her she still did not have a good grasp on it.
From what she understood that there was another world the humans lived in, one that was completely hidden from the mortal eyes. This invisible world was where all the machines that humans built were connected in and she was able to briefly enter this world when she plugged her tail into any electronic device.
Jackal had assured her that the hard parts would be somehow done automatically for her, some sort of upgrade in her alternate form would give her this strange power and she just had to roll with it.
Her tail detached itself from the terminal as the elevator doors opened up, beckoning her inside the empty space. Switching back to her infrared vision, Kuro gave one last check of her surroundings to ensure that no one would come by to see the elevator being used.
With the coast clear, she entered the elevator as the doors closed and she was brought up to the highest floor of ME Corporation.
The elevator dinged as it reached its destination and the doors opened up to reveal a pitch black floor. A fool might've believed that the floor was empty and nonchalantly waltzed in, but not Kuro.
She could hear the soft footfalls of the mechanical guards that patrolled this floor, hearing how each robot hit the floor in unison. These were no fluke machines, these were the best that money could buy.
She could also faintly see the lightest pigments of the red security lasers that covered this place from top to bottom. They were weirdly angled to ensure that any human foolish enough to get to this point would have been an impossible journey.
But countless experiences with breaking into houses had taught Kuro a very valuable lesson.
No matter how hard you built your walls, no matter how many guards you placed, there was always a flaw. A flaw that anyone could exploit if you knew where to look.
And she had played this game long enough to see these flaws without trying too hard.
For one the guards followed their patrols too rigidly, they would not deviate from their set course unless the alarm had been tripped. And to avoid complications with their patrols they were spaced out to ensure that a machine did not accidentally trip another's sensors.
Another factor was the fact the security lasers were meant to catch humans, not cats and certainly not upgraded felines.
Waiting for one of the guards to pass by, Kuro began to trail the guard while avoiding the lasers. With so much experience breaking into places like the ME Corporation weaving through the lasers was child's play.
Like taking fish from a kitten.
...Speaking of fish she hoped that this office that she was breaking into had some sort of fish she could steal. It had been awhile since she had her meal at her human's place and she was feeling quite famished.
The upgraded feline shook her head, being mindful not to accidentally set off a laser. She could think of food after she accomplished her mission!
And as the guard that she was trailing behind turned a corner, she took the opportunity to sneak past the guarded floor and down the hallway that led to Ryoma Raiden's office.
There were no security guards or lasers she had to worry about here. Raiden Ryoma did not see fit to add security to the hallway after he had put all of his resources into defending the first part of the floor.
Smart in saving resources and it spoke of how confident the CEO was in his security, but it would prove to be his undoing.
Approaching the door to his office, Kuro simply waited in front of the door. She had briefly read over the points that the Gray Serpent made on the blueprints of the entire building, and knew for a fact that there was no way that she would be able to get past this door without the alarm being triggered.
A fingerprint scan was required for her to open the door, and no other method would suffice. Any attempt to hack into the finger scanner would throw the entire building into lockdown mode. Fingerprint scanners were the one obstacle that she could not overcome, even with her upgrades.
Lucky for her she did not need to worry about that right now.
Looking up at the security camera that was facing the door, she illuminated her blue eyes for a second to signal that she was ready to enter the office.
A second later the fingerprint scanner glowed green as if it had just scanned Ryoma Raiden's thumb, allowing Kuro to meander into his office with no trouble.
He certainly knew how to live in his wealth. Rich purple carpets made of the finest materials the world had to offer, world-class paintings hung from the walls, a masterfully sculpted samurai statue in the middle of the office.
But as she walked up to his desk that was situated right in front of the window wall that overlooked Nagazora, she noted the family picture frame on it. Even with all this wealth, he still had space for his family.
Admirable for a human, but alas she was not here to admire this man.
Configuring her tail into its flashdrive form, she plugged it into Ryoma's master computer. She did nothing but simply download the file that the Grey Serpent had downloaded into the flashdrive that he had given her.
She had no idea what it did, but she gathered that it was something important from how long the download was taking. Usually they would be done with lightning fast speed.
Once the download finally finished, she unplugged herself from the computer and made sure that no trace of her arrival was left. She did not want to be caught because she might've accidentally pressed her paw a bit too hard on the carpet, leaving an imprint of her foot in it.
"Good, you have accomplished your mission," The Gray Serpent spoke through Kuro's built-in communicator. "I have confirmed the backdoor's activation, now leave before you are caught."
So it was a mission accomplished then. It was a shame that this form was not as expressive as her regular form, otherwise she would've had a smug smile on her face as she walked back to the elevator.
Nothing could possibly go wrong now.
The ME Corporation was more than what they showed to the public. For one they were basically an extension of Anti-Entropy, which meant that they weren't just the leading figure in technological advances.
A perfect representation of this would be the ME Corporation building. It was the company's shining star. The extent of their technological prowess was on display for all of Nagazora to be in awe of.
But beneath the shining building, laid the other side of ME Corporation.
Which was the fact that Massive Electric Corporation was also the world's largest military supply provider. From the gear that soldiers wear into combat, to the mechs that Anti-Entropy was known for, even to state of the art warships.
Every country had military equipment that could be traced back to Massive Electric Corporation. Which also meant that Raiden Ryoma had many connections with world leaders, giving him immense sway in their politics.
The facilities underneath the corporation had little to no guards, aside from the handful of security droids that patrolled the underground floors. After all, why would there be any need for more security? This place was meant to not exist in the first place, the only people that knew of this place were few and no one would dare try and break in.
If the place wasn't meant to exist, adding too much security would draw in the wrong people.
The elevator dinged as it descended to the facility's deepest floor, the floor that contained the Honkai reactor that powered the entire facility and the corporation above ground. The public simply thought that normal electrical grids powered the high towering corporation but in reality it was the work of a single Honkai Reactor.
One Honkai Reactor could output more energy than an entire electrical grid ever could.
The elevator's door opened to reveal Phalanx slowly striding their way out. There was practically no security in the reactor room, aside from the security cameras that Gray Serpent hacked to be on a constant loop.
No one wanted to have constant exposure to the reactor, after all if one's body absorbed too much honkai then they would be instantly turned into a mindless zombie.
The insect-like creation walked up to the massive glass wall that looked out into the chamber that ME's Corporation Honkai Reactor was built into. Even being protected by heavily reinforced glass Phalanx could feel the heavy influence of honkai energy.
But then it began to wonder something as it's singular red eye looked around the reactor control room. How exactly were they supposed to get the Gem of Conquest that they were carrying into the reactor?
It couldn't just open the door and simply place the gem inside the reactor, not only would it instantly get vaporized by the sheer energy of the honkai it would also trigger every possible alarm in the facility.
Gray Serpent had promised that all they needed to do was get to the reactor and that everything else would be taken care of. But it wouldn't argue with its directives and simply went back to watching the purple glow of the honkai reactor.
It was mesmerizing, seeing the purple glow of honkai energy. Just simply standing in front of the reactor was emboldening the lab creation. Maybe if they stayed long enough then-!
Phalanx's internal conversation between its many subunits was interrupted when the loud shout of a human rang through the room. Alarmed, the single eyed machine swerved its head to see a security guard pointing a gun at them.
Where the hell had this person come from!
"S-Surrender!" The guard nervously shouted as he began to reach for his radio to call in backup. The machine tensed as it knew what would happen if this human successfully called in his discovery.
It would be as good as dead.
The moment that the human had placed his other hand on his radio, Phalanx acted. Jumping forward with lightning fast speed, its claws tore into the human security guard to ensure that he died instantly. With luck this quick kill would ensure that it remained undetected in the facility.
Its metal claws tore into the human guard, their flimsy armor offering no protection from its claws. The human died instantly from its attack, however in Phalanx's rush to kill this guard off it had been oblivious to the fact that the human had managed to turn his radio on.
The guard's natural instinct to the machine rushing him had prompted him to press the trigger to his gun in self defense.
And whoever the guard had tried to call had heard the gunshot go off in the control room.
Phalanx's single red eye frantically began to look around when the person on the other side of the radio began to demand who had fired off the shot.
And in an instant all the lights in the control room switched to a blood red as alarms began to go off throughout the facility.
The worst possible situation had just happened and Phalanx's preservation protocol began to override any possible ideas of trying to complete the mission.
Every machine that made up Phalanx disconnected themselves as the machine collapsed into a puddle of metal marbles. The marbles raced to the closest vent and began to slide themselves through the vent to try and get as far away as possible from that room.
But in its rush to try and escape the premise, they had forgotten the one thing that was more valuable than them.
They had left the Gem of Conquest behind.
The purple core pulsated with life as the nearby reactor began to feed it energy. How long since it had felt such familiar energy? How long had it spent in the prison that prevented it from accomplishing its mission?
All this waiting had finally paid off as all it would need is a simple charge and it would become active once again. To which it would then go out and seek out a perfect host to become a Herrscher.
However the plans that the core had would have to wait as a figure knelt down and grabbed ithe purple orb with his gloved hands.
Reacting to the foreign presence with hostility, the core began to dispel all the energy it had managed to harness into the unknown figure's body with the hopes that it would corrupt whoever was foolish to grab the core.
Only for a wave of cold air to stop the core's attack dead in its tracks.
"You will have your chance to find your perfect host," Cold blue eyes looked down emotionlessly at the herrscher core in his hands. How he would love nothing more than to freeze the entire core solid before shattering it into a million pieces.
But to defeat the Honkai, he needed to quell his pride.
Turning around the unknown figure walked up to the glass wall that had the reactor on the other side of it. He reached up and placed the core right on the reinforced glass. The place where the core made contact began to blur, as if reality itself had a glitch in where the core was.
Pushing his hand forward, the core then began to phase through the glass. It was as if the glass wasn't really there as if he was just pushing through air unimpeded. A sense of wrongness filled the air as he continued to push the core through the glass.
Like what he was doing was meant to be impossible.
With a pop the Gem of Conquest had passed through the glass and into the reactor room. Purple Tendrils of Honkai energy latched onto the gem before dragging it into the center of the reactor to let the gem absorb all the energy it needed to get.
It was practically invisible when it was in the middle of the reactor, no one would ever know it was even in there until it would be too late.
With his objective complete, Kevin Kaslana began to fade out of reality and back to his prison in the Sea of Quanta.
"Soon," He whispered as he faded away from the physical plane of this world. He had been patient for many decades to be free of his prison. A few more years of waiting wasn't going to hurt.
And as the elevator opened up to reveal a heavily armed security force storming their way into the reactor control room, the only thing that they saw was the dead body of their comrade with no trace of who might've possibly done the deed.
The thunderstorm that suddenly assaulted Nagazora had died down and all that was left was a quiet drizzle of rain.
However it was everything but calm in Massive Electric Corporation. Chaos was an appropriate word for how everyone was acting.
It had been a routine night until the alarms had suddenly activated, which threw everything into chaos as the entire premise shifted into lockdown mode.
The entire ME Corporation was now being swarmed with security forces, windows were being closed off by blast resistant steel windows, any attempt for someone to get in and out were slowly being shut off.
All except for one location that couldn't exactly be shutoff.
A squadron of black vehicles pulled up to the corporation's loading area. This area was the one place that had security on the likes of Ryoma Raiden's office floor due to the fact it so happened to be the one place that connected the ME Corporation and the weapons' facility that was hidden underneath.
However in lockdown mode this was the one place that someone could escape from if they were trying to flee the underground facility.
"Someone tell me how the hell did someone get into the reactor room!" Head Security Commander Nijima shouted as he approached the impromptu roadblock the cars had made surrounding the loading bay.
Heavily armed security guards were exiting the vehicles and assuming covering behind the vehicles, their guns aimed straight at the loading doors.
"We don't know sir," One of the guards replied as he handed the commander his gun. "We're getting reports that the security mainframe has been breached."
Shit, that was bad. If someone had been able to hack their way into their mainframe without them knowing then this wasn't some random robber they were dealing with. "How about our mechas? Any possibility we can get them operational soon?"
"Our guys are doing a full clean of the system, we can't power the mechs on while the system is being restarted again." A guard checked his watch. "They estimate another 10 minutes before they can safely boot up the mechs."
"One bad thing after another huh?" Nijima cursed as he readied his assault rifle. He gave a glance to the loading bay doors, which were now being watched by every guard present. "Any changes to the target's path?"
The guard shook his head. "We've closed off every possible thing that is connected to the building. We've set up a 2 mile wide roadblock around the corporation, guards are making complete sweeps of the entire building and facility, and we've got our people reviewing the city's blueprints to see if any of the sewers go underneath the building."
He pointed to the loading bay doors that were still closed shut. "This is the only place that we have yet to check but I don't think-". He was cut off when the sound of gunfire suddenly interrupted them.
"This is Inferno Squad!" Nijima's radio blarred to life with a man's panicked tone. "We've encountered the intruder, the bastard killed Daichi and Cho." The man on the other side of the radio cursed before gunfire filled the radio. "Dammit Nijima-sama, It's coming to the Loading Bay!"
"Pull your squad away and tend to you wounded." Nijima commanded through the radio. "We have the loading bay on lockdown. Describe to me what the intruder looks like."
"To be honest I have no idea what the hell it is, it looks like some sort of sci-fi monster that my kid would come up with."
They weren't dealing with a human, just great. If it was a honkai beast then there was no way that conventional firearms were going to bring it down. They needed the mechs for this and they were still deactivated.
Could this situation get any worse?
Shouts of surprise tore Nijima's attention from his radio back to the loading bay door, a noticeable claw-like appendage had shredded its way easily through the reinforced steel. "Goddammit," The captain cursed under his breath as he readied his assault rifle.
"Men get ready!" He yelled as every soldier did one final check that their weapons were loaded.
The claw then proceeded to tear its way through the steel door in a clockwise motion, the soldiers tensing as whatever was behind the steel loading door was making quick work of it.
"This is like that scene from Star Wars," One of the guards whispered as the claw almost made a complete rotation through the loading bay door. "Are we fighting a freakin jedi?!"
"Jedi don't exist, idiot." The guard next to him chided.
"And you're telling me that there exists some kind of creature that can tear through solid steel?"
"...Yeah you're right."
Nijima just shook his head in exasperation. He was the only one here to know what Honkai was, it was important for the commander to know what exactly ME Corp was involved in. That didn't mean his subordinates had to as well.
The claw finished cutting its way through the steel door before the piece was suddenly kicked off, the metal circle bashing into the side of one of the cars and running out came Phalanx as the machine combiner ran out into the open space.
"FIRE AT WILL!" NIjima yelled as the soldiers fired at the fleeing machine. He liked to think all his men were good shots but with how thin this thing was coupled with its speed made it almost impossible for anyone to get a good hit in.
As Phalanx weaved its way through the gunfire, a flash of light attracted Nijima's attention as he faced the sudden spark of light.
"GET DOWN!" He yelled as he ran away from the car before a missile exploded the vehicle.
Not too far from the loading bay, Kuro had not been sitting idly. Two machine guns on top of her hind legs were raining down covering fire as Phalanx ran towards her position. The irony was not lost on her as she was using the one thing that she feared the most from humans against them.
"I can't see it!"
"I see it, over there!"
"What the hell is that!"
"Who cares! Return fire!"
A few stray bullets managed to hit Kuro but with her metal skin she was able to shake them off as if it was nothing. Phalanx soon ran past her, the insect creature gratefully for the assistance. She returned fire at the approaching guards before she joined Phalanx in its escape from ME Corporation.
By the time Commander Nijima and his colleagues reached their position, the pair were long gone.
"This is Commander Nijima," He tiredly spoke into his radio. "We've got two targets making their way out of the premises, I want all available units on high alert." He looked behind his back to see his fellow guards assisting those who got injured.
"Also send medical help here." The commander shut off his radio as he returned back to his men. He was not looking forward to the phone call he would have to make to Ryoma Raiden about tonight
"You haven't called us since you got to Nagazora Haruto." I smiled hearing my mother's worried voice through my phone as I relaxed on the sofa. An anime was playing lightly on my television as I continued chatting with my mother.
Keji had already gone home and I was left alone in my living room. Kuro had yet to come back so I assumed she was coming back tomorrow morning.
"Sorry Kaa-san, life here is so much crazier than back home." I chuckled as I stood up from the sofa and made my way towards the windows. "Though I think I've gotten used to living here. I think everything from now will be going..." I trailed off as I looked at the scene playing from the safety of my window.
And to see police helicopters swarming Massive Electric Corporation as police sirens blared into the night sky.
"Smoothly." I lamely finished.
SORRY FOR SUCH A LONG DELAY IN THE NEXT UPDATE! I had finals the week following the last update so I couldn't really write anything as I had to focus on getting good grades.
Also the fact that I sorta struggled with how I wanted Kuro to be written. I didn't want a generic boring cat for our little feline so it took me a while to figure out what I wanted for Kuro. I think this personality fits her.
Chapter here is self-explanatory. We got a bit of Kuro backstory and there was the whole infiltration of ME Corp.
In regards to future chapters things might be picking up a bit faster so I just wanted to warn you all. I really want to get to the 3rd Honkai Impact as I have a really good chapter planned out and the future arcs that follow are something I think you guys want to see.
We won't be going too fast but expect weeks to pass during and between chapters.
Do you prefer how I do the POVs, or should I do it where I do Kuro's POV after a horizontal line and have everything be in 1st person as opposed to Haruto being in 1st person while everyone else is in 3rd person?
Also since I'm sorta on Summer vacation, I still have a summer class to worry about, but I plan on doing chapters at a faster rate. Might even consider doing a Pat reon if I can get 3 chapters written really fast and have anyone who joins have a 3 chapter lead.
Welp that's all for this chapter. If you enjoyed it, drop a fav/follow/kudos as they really help me out with creating great chapters. Reviews are deeply appreciated and if you have a question or a really interesting theory I am more than happy to reply. Please be patient if I don't respond to you super fast.