A.N. Welcome to the soft reboot of Lost Artworks of the Moonlit Hour. For those of you reading for the first time, this is a continuation of another story where my self-insert MC moves to Azumano and discovers that he was reborn into the world of the DNAngel anime. Several months pass, and he becomes friends with most of the main cast, including Dark and his family.
Even though this is technically a sequel story, I'll try to write it so that new readers won't have to read the old story to get started on this one. I'm trying to change a few things from how I did it in my previous version. Plus, in my opinion, I feel as though the story in the DNAngel anime-only picks up midway through the story, so you can probably skip the beginning with only quick summaries in exchange.
And with that, I hope you enjoy the new story!
Chapter 1 - First Term
It's not like I've recalled everything. If I had to give a hard number to it, I would say that I probably only have about 40% of my memories.
My memories of my past life are incomplete.
I'm not sure if this is a consequence of my reincarnation or due to the power of some higher being. There are just certain parts of my mind where one memory suddenly breaks off as the information for the next scene turns out to be missing. And then I'm just sitting there doing nothing, while my mind furiously attempts at trying to recall some lost memory that is no longer there.
But that's okay. I'm no longer that person, so while it might be nice to remember everything, it's not something I need to live my new life.
Still, sometimes I get something that triggers a sense of nostalgia out of me. Some familiar scene or thought that gives me this annoying sense of deja vu, connecting my current life to my previous one.
And sometimes, I can even remember things that relate to my current life. Things that are extremely important to what I do and who I interact with.
Then again, that is to be expected. After all, what else should I expect after reincarnating into an anime world?
My name is Nagi Kujikawa. And in this life, I have been reincarnated into the world of DNAngel.
~ Part 1: Afternoon ~
On a warm spring day, Nagi received a phone call from a friend asking for help.
It was the first time Nagi's heard from his friend ever since the school term ended. Writing down a note to inform his uncle that he would be out for the day, he left the large castle that was his home and made his way into town.
Since it was the weekend, there were a lot of people bustling around.
The noise of hundreds of passersby rang by him as he walked the usual route to his friend's house. Various men and women yelled out as they promoted their wares and foodstuff. Families with young children walked together as they enjoyed the atmosphere of the town. Seeing all of this, Nagi gave a small smile as he realized that this was something he was used to, finally getting used to the town atmosphere after moving to Azumano all those months ago.
It wasn't as if he never lived in a large city before. But since he was often confined to the premises of his home when his father was still alive, Nagi rarely got the opportunity to explore the town on his own.
Maybe it was this upbringing that caused him to have such a shy personality. If it wasn't for his classmates choosing to reach out to him first, Nagi guessed that he would have had trouble befriending other students his age.
Well, it might not be due to his personality, but more because of his unique circumstances...
His stomach chooses that moment to loudly growl, causing his face to blush slightly as a few people around him notice. Skipping breakfast might have been a bad idea after all.
"Since I'm heading towards Daisuke's place, how about I buy us something to eat?"
Passing by a bakery, his nose catches a whiff of fresh bread and other baked goods. Seeing the various items on display, his mouth begins to water.
"Daisuke's Mom and Gramps might like something too, so I may as well buy something for everyone."
Not that the fact that there was a sale going on factored into that thought.
Nagi entered the store and began to look around. As he checked the display cases, a group of girls his age gossips loudly nearby. Nagi catches parts of their conversation and his ear quirks up when they mention something interesting.
"I hear that the police just received a new calling card this morning. Tonight, Phantom Dark is going to go on another heist."
"Really? The legendary phantom thief is going to strike tonight?!"
Nagi blinks as he hears the news, a sudden moment of realization coming to him. The girls continue to gossip even as he makes his way past them and towards the cashier.
"Well, it looks like tonight's heist is going to be more interesting than usual. My dad said that the task force in charge of apprehending Dark is getting more people transferred in. He's going to have to fight his way through all the police forces gathered tonight."
Shaking his head, he moves to the cashier.
"Excuse me," Nagi says to the worker while pointing towards the display case. "I'd like a dozen of these to go please."
"Sure. Just wait a moment while I grab them for you."
As he exits the store, he catches the end of the conversation from the girls before.
"But either way, Phantom Dark is definitely going to succeed in his heist."
Nagi walks through town with a small bag in his arms as he leaves the crowds of people and makes his way through a quiet neighborhood. While it wasn't the first time Nagi's traveled down this path, the number of times he's been here only amounted to a couple of visits several months prior. Still, he was able to recall which house he was supposed to enter.
The whitish-blue building that was the Niwa Family House came into view. A perfectly normal home on the outside, even though its inhabitants were anything but normal.
Walking up to the doorsteps, Nagi rang the doorbell and heard a small electronic buzzing sound coming from the other side. Barely a second later, the door quickly opens as a beautiful woman appears on the doorsteps with a smile on her face.
"Nagi, you're here!"
"Hello, Mrs. Niwa." He gives a wave with his free hand towards her. "I brought some food from the bakery near here. We can eat it with everyone while we discuss things."
"Oh, you shouldn't have." Even as she says that she takes the bag of food from him. "And I've said so already, just call me Emiko."
Emiko Niwa. The young mother of his classmate and friend Daisuke. As Nagi follows behind her, he makes sure to step only on the spots that the older woman steps on. While he was pretty sure that they've disabled the various household traps normally common to the household, he wouldn't put it past them to forget one or two.
As the two of them step into the living room, Nagi's shoulders tense up when he hears a loud angry shout.
"Are you serious?!"
Nagi finds himself looking at the scene before him, a young boy with red hair standing up with a dissatisfied look on his face. Facing him is an older man sitting at a chair across the table with multiple maps sprawled across the entire surface.
"Now now, my young grandson." The old man raised his hands in a placating manner. "Let's not raise our voices."
"But I mean come on, the building is completely engulfed by the ocean. Why would you volunteer me for something like that?"
The old man sighs, then looks up as he notices Nagi.
"Oh, you're here."
The boy also turns to look and his face brightens up. "Nagi, you came!"
Next to him, the older woman gives out a heavy sigh. "Some phantom thieves you two are. It took you all of ten seconds to notice us entering the room."
While Emiko moved to the kitchen, Nagi stared at the various maps spread across the table. In the middle of the mess were several photographs of an ancient-looking building.
But it was the open book next to it that caught his attention. More specifically, the photo displayed in the book.
"...a golden sword?"
"Maybe not. According to the records passed down from several decades ago, it is known as the Horn of Neptune."
Nagi looked up and blushed when he saw the older man looking at him with amusement.
The grandfather of his classmate and father to Emiko Niwa. Dressed in a yukata with a head of grey spiky hair, he is the current head of the Niwa family and is well versed in various fields in art and history.
"Ah, sorry. I wasn't aware that you were in the middle of something."
"It's fine." The old man waves his hands. "Why, that's the reason why I had young Daisuke call you over here."
"Hey," the red-haired boy waves.
"Have a seat, both of you. We still got a lot to go over."
The two of them each take out a chair to sit at the table. Nagi picks up the book with the image of the golden sword.
"So this is the target this time?"
"Yes, the Horn of Neptune. Although that's just the name that people have been calling it these past few years. It's still not clear if the artwork is actually of Roman origin. After all, Neptune is based on several other sea gods as well."
"It doesn't look like a horn."
"Well, in this case, it seems as if the artwork itself is hidden within a statue of Neptune, or at the very least, some kind of sea god. More specifically, the top of its head, making it quite literally the 'Horn of Neptune'."
After saying that, Daiki tapped the photograph of the building on the table with his finger.
"Following a similar naming convention, the building the artifact is located in is called the Temple of Neptune. The temple itself is underwater, but around forty years ago, the tide was low enough that the temple was able to surface for someone to take a picture of it."
Stroking his beard, he spoke in a low tone.
"To think that someone would take the time to document the temple while everything was happening…"
"Hm?" Daiki looks up at that. "Oh, nothing. Anyway, what we're interested in is the artifact. As something that was named after the deity of the sea, this particular artwork contains a lot of magical power within it. Neptune is a roman god analogous to the Greek god Poseidon, who is also referred to as Earth-Shaker and Storm-Bringer."
This time, Daisuke is the one who speaks up. "Does that mean the artifact is related to earthquakes and storms?"
"There have been some reports of abnormal weather recently," Nagi muttered. "If all of that is because of the artwork's power, then I understand why you would want Daisuke to steal it."
"Exactly." Turning to the boy in question, he gives out a suspicious grin. "Now, I know that this is your first time in such an environment. But I'm sure you'll do fine."
Daisuke sputters at that. "Isn't the temple underwater?! How am I supposed to steal something that's in the sea?"
"Easy. Multiple entrances lead to the temple underwater, but the inside of the building itself has air circulating through it. All you need is to swim to one of the passages, and you'll be able to breathe normally once you're inside."
Shuffling in place, Daisuke gives a nervous look.
"It's just, I hear that the police are going to be doubling up their efforts for tonight. I'm worried that I might not be up to the task…"
His words trail off as his grandfather gives him a serious look.
"Daisuke, you are the current tamer to the spirit of Dark. Draw upon his skills and experience, and you'll do fine."
While he still looked unsure, Daisuke gave a hesitant nod at that. Nagi however agreed with his grandfather's words. He was sure that his friend would be able to handle the upcoming mission.
After all, he was Daisuke Niwa. The alter-ego to the legendary phantom thief Dark.
~ Part 2: Evening ~
It might be a little late to say this, but the Niwa family wasn't an ordinary family.
Due to a magic ritual several centuries ago, every generation of males in the Niwa family can transform into the legendary phantom thief Dark, a spirit created from an attempt at giving life to an artwork.
The conditions for transforming into Dark are for the host to have first experienced their 14th birthday, and for their host to only transform through powerful feelings of love.
Basically, magic puberty.
One thing to note is that this condition of theirs is considered a curse. That's because the existence of Dark makes it difficult for the Niwas to fulfill their love. This also means that the family does not have a lot of descendants, making the family a declining one.
And while his existence is technically a curse on the Niwa line, the artwork spirit Dark works together with his host and tamer where the both of them become phantom thieves tasked with stealing various magical artworks.
Of course, Nagi knew some of this from watching an anime called DNAngel in his past life. Still, there was so much that Nagi didn't know about this new world. Magic and the supernatural existed in this new life of his, and it was in Nagi's interest to study everything he could on magic.
"Why is it called the Temple of Neptune? That's not a name, it's more of a descriptor."
Sitting at a table filled with stacks of books, Nagi directed the question to the other man in the library.
"Well, this city does take a lot of influences from the western world. Based on the design, the temple draws a lot of inspiration from Roman architecture. And the fact that it's underneath the sea makes the name apt. So the locals started calling it the Temple of Neptune based on the statue found inside of it."
"But what about its original name?" Nagi asked. "I'm pretty sure the temple is early 20th century at most. You're telling me that people somehow managed to forget what it was called during that time? I doubt this town's historians are that incompetent."
Daiki's face turned to a grimace. "That's because the temple is another victim of the Cultural Reform."
Nagi frowned as he was reminded of a particular bit of history that differed in this world.
The Cultural Revolution.
A period of time where books, stories, and countless other works of art were destroyed. Most of the efforts in the destruction of artworks were led by the government at the time. Even now, it is considered a major event in history due to its effect on every aspect of human culture.
However, that is merely the version of history known to the general public. To those who are involved in the supernatural world, it was more than just the destruction of culture.
In the past, society lived alongside magic and the supernatural. Mankind was still able to control the forces of magic and breathe life into various artworks they created. However, during the past century, several groups rose to destroy many works of art, magical creatures, literary items, etc.
Because of this event, the world underwent a paradigm shift where magic was no longer as powerful as before. The only artworks left afterward were those that were hidden or those that were believed to be harmless if left alone. And soon, society began to forget that magic ever existed outside of stories and fairy tales.
Nagi's thoughts were broken when he suddenly felt a small weight on his lap. Looking down, he found himself looking at the adorable form of a white rabbit staring up at him.
Smiling, Nagi begins scratching the rabbit's ear.
"Hey, Wiz. Nice to see you again."
The Niwa family pet begins to give out content sounds as he snuggles against the boy's lap. Meanwhile, Daiki watches this with mirth in his eyes.
"It seems that Wiz has taken a shine to you."
"I'm not sure why," Nagi comments. "He's always seemed to like me ever since we first met."
Daiki smiles for a while longer before continuing his lecture.
"Anyway, the temple and most of the artworks inside of it predate the Cultural Reform. Because of that, many of the artifacts inside still contain trace amounts of magic from before it was weakened. And the most powerful of those artifacts is the Horn of Neptune."
Picking up a nearby book, he opens it until it reveals a passage on the artwork in question.
"Many greek and roman artworks are related to the gods in some way. In Neptune's case, he is known by many as the god of the sea. His most popular symbol of power is his trident, but many statues and paintings also sometimes depict him with a conch shell as well. The conch shell acts as a horn that summons his troops and rallies his armies to him."
He closes the book. "Truthfully, the conch is more related to his son Triton."
"Isn't Triton from Greek mythology?"
"He's actually in both. Many parts of greek mythology were incorporated into the Roman culture. This meant that many of the greek gods' names were changed so that they would have roman counterparts. Triton is a rare case where his name was kept during this adoption."
While he vaguely knew about the adoption of greek figures in roman culture, it wasn't to the extent that Nagi knew the names of every single roman god. It said something about Daiki that he was able to recall that particular piece of knowledge off the top of his head.
"So if we are to guess at the nature of the Horn of Neptune, it is likely an object that can draw upon the power of the spirits of the sea itself."
Standing up, the older man begins to make his way out of the library. Nagi follows him with Wiz in his arms as they make their way towards another room in the basement.
Opening the doors to another room, the three of them enter the storage room where the numerous artworks collected by the Niwa family were gathered. Daiki heads towards a corner of the room and picks something up.
"Here, have a look at this."
Passing it over to Nagi, the boy gazes downward and gives it a curious look.
"That is a little trinket that Kosuke sent home a while ago," Daiki explains. "From what he was able to figure out, it used to house the spirit of a small water elemental called an Aquans."
The gem was glowing in his hand, and Nagi could feel something pulsating against his skin.
"Is it alive?"
"No," Daiki replies. "But it's reacting to the magical energy coming from the Temple of Neptune. This is why we need to steal the artwork inside and seal it before too much time passes. Otherwise, I suspect that if we leave that particular gem alone, it will eventually develop a spirit capable of reviving the spirit of the Aquans that used to lie in it."
"And that's a bad thing?"
"Who knows, but let's assume the worst and make sure it doesn't reach that point. Right now, it's empty of magic power, and let's keep it that way."
Daiki begins to exit the storage room, Nagi following after him and accidentally pocketing the bright blue gem without thinking.
"This is why we always keep an eye on artifacts related to any of the gods. Because magic is based on the accumulation of powerful human thoughts and emotions. And since gods are beings of worship, items of the gods are more magically attuned than other artworks."
Based on the few lessons in magic that Nagi received from Daiki so far, he knew that faith was a powerful source of magic due to how magic worked in this reality. He knew that most symbols of religion were often magically powerful because of that.
A question appears at the forefront of Nagi's mind, and his curiosity forces him to ask.
"Are gods real?"
"Who knows," was the answer he received. "If artwork spirits are beings born from human cognition, then what's to say that gods were not born from the thoughts of humanity. If you're asking whether or not gods exist outside the influence of humans, then I have no answer for you."
He gives Nagi a strange look, then gives a speculative look at the small rabbit in his arms.
"But if you take into account the fact that demons exist, then maybe there are gods after all."
Wiz takes that moment to let out a cute cry.
Daiki chuckles at that before he continues walking. "And after all, we both know for a fact that angels exist."
Thoughts of a blond white-winged angel appear in Nagi's mind, causing him to give out a heavy sigh.
Entering the living room, Nagi finds Daisuke peering over several maps of the layout of the temple. He knew that the other boy was memorizing potential routes for the upcoming heist, so he made sure that he didn't distract Daisuke while he was doing so.
Fortunately, Daisuke looked as though he was finished memorizing everything since he was currently cleaning up the maps and stacking them in one pile.
"I think I'm ready, I should head out soon if I want to make it to the site on time."
Nagi glances at the clock on the nearby wall.
"It's still about an hour until the heist begins. Are you sure you're ready with everything?"
"Hm?" Daisuke looks at him while munching on one of the cream puffs Nagi bought earlier. Swallowing, he quickly answers. "Oh, sure. Yeah, I was a little worried before. But this isn't the first time I had to sneak into a place while swimming underwater."
"Alright, if you say so."
"Well, I guess it's time to change."
Daisuke pulls out a small object from his pocket and looks at it. Before Nagi's eyes, the red-haired boy begins to change into somebody else. His body flickers as Daisuke's height begins to grow as his hair lengthens and turns purple. In an instant, Daisuke is no longer there.
Instead, Phantom Thief Dark stood before Nagi.
Dark smirks. "Alright, let's get this show on the road."
~ Part 3: Heist ~
Nagi never once asked the Niwa family why they became phantom thieves.
He vaguely recalled that their distant ancestor, the first host to the artwork spirit Dark, was also a well-known phantom thief during his time. Somehow, that role was passed down to every generation of the Niwa line, specifically the male side of the family. Working with each of his new hosts, it wasn't long until the name Dark itself became synonymous with the concept of a phantom thief.
It was this popularity that drew the large crowd of spectators towards the site of the heist tonight.
"Oh man, I can't see!"
"Hey, stop pushing me!"
"See, this is why I didn't want to come."
Squished amongst several other people were four middle school children, Nagi included in their numbers. Even if he was technically older based on the fact of a reincarnated mentality, it still didn't help the fact that he was still too short to peer over the head of the person in front of him.
"Hey, can we try and see if we can find a better spot?"
Nagi's question caused the other three to look at him.
"That sounds like a great idea!"
"I bet there are other places where we can get a better view."
"Whatever, as long as I'm not being squished like a can of sardines."
Separating from the crowd, the four of them eventually begin walking in a random direction along the cliff. Several minutes later, a hoarse voice cries out to the other three children.
Nagi pants heavily as he tries to catch up to the others, who turn back once they notice his condition.
"C-Can we p-please slow down a bit?"
"What's up, Nagi?" Saehara, the only other boy in the group, asks him. "Not feeling well?"
"J-Just need a moment to catch my breath."
"I forgot," one of the girls joins in. "You're usually excused from exercising because your body is too weak. I didn't think that even a small walk like this was too much. Normally, you hide it better."
"Hey! Not everyone is an athlete like you, Riku." The other girl pouts as she says that. "Even I'm a little tired from the walk. Maybe we should take a break."
Riku gives her sister an incredulous look. "Need I remind you that I'm only here because you wanted to watch your so-called Mister Dark on his heist? You don't get the right to complain Risa."
"Well, we might as well stop here." Saehara looks around at the empty area before focusing his gaze out into the distance where the police forces were. "I mean, this is still a pretty good view. And this way, both Risa and Nagi can take a break."
Nagi takes that moment to collapse on the ground as he watches his friends bicker amongst themselves.
In this new life of his, Nagi was currently a student at Azumano Middle School. Enrolled in the same class as Daisuke after transferring in, he eventually made friends with several of his classmates.
Takeshi Saehara, one of Daisuke's best friends and an aspiring reporter. He was the one who invited Nagi to join them today to watch Dark's heist.
Risa Harada, another friend of Nagi's who seems to have quite the crush on the phantom thief. Not that she knew that Nagi knew who Dark was, but it was still weird to know that Daisuke's crush is in love with his alter-ego instead of him.
Riku Harada, the elder twin sister to Risa and mainly here as her chaperone. Since her sister is somewhat reckless and didn't think things through, she was here to make sure that Risa didn't do anything stupid.
Several minutes passed, and the four of them continued to watch the police move about in the ocean.
"Haven't they found Dark yet?" Riku asked.
"Well," Saehara began. "It won't be long now with this many officers around."
Risa didn't seem to agree with his opinion.
"No matter how many officers they use, it won't work. Mister Dark is a great phantom thief!"
"Of course they'll catch him," Saehara argues back. "It's not only the number of police officers that's impressive. They're using these scooters with high-power motors that travel up to twenty-five miles per hour underwater. That's a speed that even your heroic Dark can't outswim!"
As Saehara continues to brag about all the new equipment the police are using, Nagi was struck with a sudden sense of guilt hearing all of this. This wasn't the first time Saehara bragged about all the new gear the police got, and Nagi had already told Dark everything he learned from Saehara through his communicator.
"—spent big bucks on it, you know?"
"I don't care what they use," Riku says. "I just want them to arrest him soon. It's such a pain being forced to come here with Risa just to see his capture."
"What was that? Why don't you want to see this important historical moment?!"
"Like I said, I just don't care."
While the two of them argued, Nagi took that moment to quickly take out a small device from his pocket to peek at it. On the screen, a glowing green dot began to move across it.
Looks like he's still almost through one of the entrances, he thought. Hopefully, I won't have anything to do except keep watch.
That was Nagi's role in this entire operation. If Dark was in trouble, it was his job to cause a big enough distraction to let the phantom thief fly away. But the chances of that happening are rare, so until then, he could spend his time hanging out with the rest of his classmates and wait for the night to pass by instead.
Something suddenly leaped towards Nagi's chest, and he quickly opened his arms to catch the small body of Wiz who appeared out of nowhere.
"What the heck?" Riku suddenly stopped arguing with Saehara at the appearance of Wiz. "Isn't that Niwa's pet rabbit? What's he doing all the way out here?!"
That was something Nagi wanted to know as well.
Wiz, aren't you supposed to stay hidden until Dark called for you?!
Unfortunately, he couldn't exactly ask that out loud with the other three here. So instead, he grabbed Wiz's body and held him in his arms.
"Erm, I guess he followed me. I was at Daisuke's house earlier and Wiz seems to like me a lot for some reason."
"Oh, how cute!" Risa gave Wiz a curious look as she moved closer to him. "So this is Niwa's pet rabbit? This is the first time I've seen him."
"Me too." Saehara begins looking at Wiz strangely for some reason. "Weird now that I think about it. I've known the guy for almost his entire life, and yet, this is the first time I've seen this pet of his."
Uh oh, Nagi began getting nervous about where Saehara's mind was heading towards, so he tried to change the conversation elsewhere.
"Speaking of which, do you think Dark is still inside the temple?"
All of a sudden, Risa shoots upright as a look of understanding dawns on her face.
"That's it. I finally understand now, I'm supposed to find an entrance to the temple!"
The rest of them gave each other confused looks before turning back to the excited girl.
"Err… care to run that by the rest of us?"
"I bet it's just more of that tarot mumbo jumbo she keeps spouting off," Riku remarks.
"Hey, the predictions of the tarot cards are really accurate," Risa argues. "And the tarot cards predicted that I'd get to see Mister Dark. But if he's inside the temple, then that must mean that I'll only see him if I find a way inside the temple too."
Everyone just stared at her as they tried to process her train of thought.
Riku sighs at her sister's antics. "I'll go buy something to drink."
"Wait up! I'll go with you," Nagi says as he scampers to go after her. "I'm feeling thirsty myself."
The two of them left the area, Nagi still carrying Wiz in his arms, leaving Saehara and Risa by themselves. They both headed towards one of the vending machines near them and chose something for themselves.
As Nagi took a sip of his drink, he caught sight of a group of officers moving in the distance. Something catches his eyes, and Nagi's eyes widen when he spots somebody familiar.
"Hey, Riku. Isn't that Hiwatari?"
The other girl turns to look in the direction Nagi is looking, and her eyes widen as well as she catches sight of their former classmate.
"Wow, you're right! I can't believe he's all the way out here."
"I know, it's been a few months since we've last seen him."
While the two continued to stare at the blue-haired boy, the person in question looked up and happened to spot them as well. Smiling, the boy quickly says something to the people around him before heading in their direction.
"I didn't expect to see the two of you here," he comments as he reaches them. "I didn't think you two were the type to enjoy watching any of Dark's heists.
"Please, we're just here to see Dark get arrested." Riku had an annoyed look on her face as she said that. "In fact, if it wasn't for my sister, I wouldn't even be here in the first place."
"Huh, neat." Turning to Nagi, Hiwatari gives him a polite smile. "And how about you, Kujikawa?"
"Well, I was invited to watch with Saehara and the others," Nagi answers honestly. "But never mind us, how about you? It's been months since we've heard anything about you. Are you planning on coming back to school soon?"
"Maybe. I'll at least appear for the beginning of the new term, so I'll most likely see you sometime later this week."
Nagi was shocked when Wiz suddenly hops out of his arms and starts growling at Hiwatari. The other boy blinks in surprise as well before giving Nagi a curious look.
"Is this your pet rabbit? I'm surprised that you decided to bring him out here."
Don't let him realize, don't let him realize, don't let him realize.
"N-Not really," Nagi answers nervously. "He's not mine, but for some reason, he seems to really like me."
"Wiz is actually Niwa's pet," Riku answers to Nagi's horror. "Which is weird, since I don't see Niwa anywhere around here."
The look in Hiwatari's eyes suddenly turns calculating as he gives the agitated rabbit an intense look.
"Niwa's pet, huh… how interesting."
Nooooooooo, this is bad. This is really, reaaaally bad!
Nagi was glad when their conversation was interrupted by an officer running towards them.
"Sir!" The officer salutes Hiwatari. "I was told to inform you that the radar isn't picking up Dark anymore. We've lost his position."
Hiwatari sighed at that before turning to Nagi and Riku.
"Well, it seems as if I'll have to take my leave here. Take care then."
"Bye Hiwatari," Riku replies cheerfully. "Good luck on capturing Dark."
"Y-Yeah, see you later then."
Once Hiwatari is out of sight, Nagi quickly makes an excuse to Riku to move somewhere discreet. Pulling out the small device from before, he quickly presses the emergency button before typing a quick message to Dark.
Watch out, Hiwatari is back!
~ Part 4: Temple ~
Dark quickly ran down the corridor towards his destination.
"Do you think Hiwatari is going to be waiting for us there?" Daisuke's voice echoes in his mind.
"No doubt about it," Dark replied aloud. Skidding to a stop, Dark makes a turn around a corner and continues to run. "It's been a while since we've seen each other, but he's definitely going to want to face us himself."
The message from Nagi told them that Hiwatari was working with the police. Dark knew well enough that Hiwatari was going to want to get himself directly involved in his capture. Which meant that Hiwatari was likely waiting for him right where the artifact was.
A flash of red is his only warning before Dark jumps into the air right as a beam of light hits the spot he was just at. Landing on the ground, Dark grabs a piece of rubble near his feet and throws it in the direction the light came from, destroying the small device that was there.
"Looks like there are more lasers set up," Dark comments before he continues to run. "Seriously, did the police blow their entire budget on this operation?"
"But at least we don't have to deal with any of the police. So far, we've only dealt with traps ever since we entered the temple."
Dark skids to a stop as he reaches a set of doors.
"That's because it's just the prelude to the main event."
A small beeping sound suddenly echoes through the corridor. Putting his hand into his pocket, Dark pulls out a small device and presses on one of the buttons.
"—bzzzt —an… -ear me? I repe— can you hear me?"
"Little fuzzy there, Nagi. But yeah, we can hear you."
"Great," the voice clears up. "You got my message?"
"Yup. We're right in front of the doors leading to the room with the target, so I bet Mr. Chief Commissioner's just right on the other side of these doors."
"Alright, be careful. I discovered that the rest of the police forces were ordered to pull out, so it'll just be you and him in there. Still, that doesn't mean you should underestimate him."
"Who, me?" Dark smirks. "Please, he's only one guy."
"One guy who's capable of using magic. Either way, I'll send you the coordinates to where police presence isn't as active. Once you're done with everything, resurface there and call for Wiz to come to you."
Dark ends the call and pockets the device. Pressing his hands against the doors, he gives them a push. As he enters the large room, he spots the large statue of Neptune on the other side while somebody stands at its base.
A smile graces Hiwatari's face.
"I've been waiting for you."
"Long time no see," Dark replies back. "It's been what? A couple of months since we've seen each other?"
"Something like that," Hiwatari answers. "I've often dreamt of the day that I would meet with you again."
"I'm flattered, but you're not exactly my type."
Hiwatari just smiles.
"Soon, my battle with you will finally be over."
Dark smirks at that. "I'm not so sure."
Without warning, Dark bolts forward and runs towards the statue's direction. Hiwatari responds by pulling out a small device in his hand and pressing a button.
His instincts cried out to him, and Dark stopped right as a crackle of electricity suddenly blocked his way.
"Tsk, so you set up more of your toys."
"Yes," Hiwatari says with a smirk on his face. "I have complete control over this entire temple."
"Oh?" Dark suddenly smirks. "Well, I was planning on saving this for later. But I've been warned not to play around with you too much. Guess this is goodbye for now."
The smirk fades away quickly. "What are you talking about?"
Dark pulls out the device from before.
Pressing a button, a loud explosion suddenly occurs from where Dark placed the charge earlier. The entire temple begins to rumble, and Dark watches as the electric traps malfunction as the EMP he used begins to work on the traps.
Jumping into the air, Dark mutters a spell under his breath and throws a black feather towards the horn of the statue. Hiwatri turns his body around to look at the phantom thief with a frustrated look on his face.
"Hope you know how to swim," Dark says as he pulls out the Horn of Neptune. "Because if not, I'll have to save your sorry ass."
Hiwatari was about to reply when a crack suddenly opened up in the ceiling, causing the room to begin to fill up with water at an incredible rate. Frustrated and unable to do anything, Hiwatari reluctantly pulls out a rebreather from his pocket and glares as Dark makes his escape.
Meanwhile, Dark jumps into the water and waits for the room to fill up before exiting through the crack. Kicking his legs, Dark makes his way up to the surface right where Nagi directed him towards.
Breaking the surface, his body hovers for a few seconds as he cries out as loud as he could.
A blur of darkness flies towards him, and two black wings form out of his back. Dark begins to fly away with the sword-shaped artwork in his arms.
"Well, that was easy."
"But if Hiwatari is back, then this won't be the last time we see him."
"Yeah, it looks like our future heists are going to be more exciting."
"I was talking about school. Do you think he'll be in class tomorrow?"
"I mean, he wasn't around for most of last year. I wonder if we'll see him around more now that he's back. Hopefully, he doesn't get sick from being in the water too long."
Dark shakes his head in amusement. "You truly are something, Daisuke. Well, at least one of us seems to care about the guy. He's probably back with the police force by now, so don't think too much about it."
Hiwatari sniffles and rubs the tip of his nose, his body shivering under the towel one of the officers gave him.
Well, that could have gone better, he thinks to himself.
As Hiwatari continues to sit by himself, he watches the various officers move about as he contemplates how he messed up. His body shivers as a particularly windy breeze blows through him.
I didn't even get to use the magic item I brought to paralyze Dark.
The sound of footsteps causes him to look to his right.
"Hey, are you good?"
The concerned face of Nagi Kujiwakwa greets him. Hiwatari puts a polite smile on his face.
"I'm fine. Is there something you need?"
"Huh?" Nagi gives him a confused look. "Well, it turns out that Risa got caught in one of the tremors, and the police had to pick her up. I was just checking up on her when I saw you, and I figured that I should say hi."
"... I appreciate the sentiment." Hiwatari catches something flickering at the corner of his vision. "If I may ask, why is your pocket glowing?"
Nagi looks down and notices the dim blue light coming from his right side. Reaching a hand into his pocket, he pulls out a glowing blue gem with a look of confusion on his face.
"Oh, damn it!" Nagi slaps his forehead. "I thought I left this back in the storage room."
"Is that not yours?"
"No," Nagi sighs as he says that. "It looks like I accidentally took something that didn't belong to me. I should probably return it and apologize."
"You do that."
As Nagi turns around to leave, Hiwatri's eyes narrow as he senses the feeling of magic coming from the gem. A chuckle echoes in his head as he does so.
"That boy really is interesting," said the voice in his head. "To think that he would attempt at reviving an incarnation of water. Quite the difference from the boy we met all those months ago, wouldn't you say Master Satoshi?"
A grimace appears on Hiwatari's face, but his curiosity forces him to ask.
An incarnation of water?
"You can say that he's trying to recreate an elemental spirit. Or maybe this was just an accident on his part. But what are the odds that he would bring it to the temple just for it to recharge itself without him realizing it?"
You think he has something to do with Dark?
"Master Satoshi," the voice says calmly. "We both know that the Niwa brat is Dark's new tamer. Judging by the boy's relationship with the host, I guarantee that this 'Nagi' is at least aware of Dark's relationship with his new host."
That caused Hiwatari to sigh. It was bad enough that he had to pretend not to know the fact that Daisuke was Dark. And now, he has to pretend not to know that Nagi was aware of Dark's secret identity?
It seems quite a lot has changed in my absence.
The voice chuckles again in his head.
"Now that I recall, wasn't that boy the one you invited to go with you to see Dark's debut?"
Yes. I was trying to see if he was actually Dark or not before we learned that it was Niwa. I recall it was because of a comment you made at the time?
"Ah, yes." The voice seemed amused as it sensed how uncomfortable his master was. "The boy has a strange aura about him. One that seems to be capable of drawing the attention of spirits, demons, and angels to him."
Is that why you're so interested in him as well?
The voice was silent at Hiwatari's question for a moment, until he finally replied with some mirth.
"It's cute that you're getting jealous, but it's merely an interesting thing to note. At the end of the day, I care for you above all others, my cute master."
Hiwatari sighed as he began to rub his forehead. "Well, I should probably go home now. It's already morning and I'm still a little wet from the swim earlier."
Then I bid you farewell, Master Satoshi.
As Hiwatari made his way back home, he couldn't help but think about what the voice said earlier about Nagi.
Spirits. Demons. Angels.
Hiwatari chuckled as he realized something.
Well, Krad certainly fits all three of those categories.
~ Part 5: Finale ~
"So, this was in your pocket?"
"Yes." Nagi nods. "I didn't realize I had it on my person, and it looks like something about it changed when I brought it to the Temple of Neptune."
Daiki gives the glowing blue gem in his hand a hard look before moving to a nearby desk. Opening one of the drawers, he pulls out a single black feather and points it to the object.
Closing his eyes, the feather glows softly as Daiki does something to the gem.
"Hm, it seems that I was wrong."
"It turns out that the spirit inhabiting the gem isn't just an Aquans," Daiki opens his eyes as he says that. "But more specifically, the spirit is an Undine."
Nagi blinks at that. "You mean the water spirits that take on the form of beautiful women?"
"Something like that." Daiki puts away the feather and looks at the younger boy. "I'm thinking of sealing it so that it doesn't cause any problems. This way, it won't cause any trouble."
"Again, I am really sorry for taking it."
The two of them leave the library and head to the Niwa storage room where they catch Daisuke leaving the room.
"Hey, I'm just putting away the new addition."
"Good job, Daisuke." The boy's grandfather gives him a pat on the back. "Emiko and I will spend tomorrow controlling its power so that it doesn't cause any more storms."
Daisuke smiles, before giving out a loud yawn.
"Ugh, it's already morning. I didn't think that the entire thing would take so long."
"Yeah, usually these things only take an hour or two at most."
"Well then, why not take a quick nap for now. You two boys should get some sleep while us adults work out the rest."
Both Nagi and Daisuke nod at that. The two being making their way upstairs.
"I can sleep in the guest room, right?"
"Of course," Daisuke answers. "With how many times you come over, it's practically your room at this point."
Nagi yawns before continuing to speak.
"I'm still surprised that Hiwatari was here today."
"Yeah. Dark didn't seem too happy about it, but I'm curious if we're going to see him back in school or not."
"Most likely. But if not, then you'll probably see him when you go on another heist."
As Nagi was about to head into the guest room, he notices Daisuke looking at him with a strange look on his face.
"I know you've been working with our family recently, but are you sure you're okay with that? It's different for me since I've been raised to be a phantom thief ever since I could walk. But you're just doing this because you want to repay your debt, right?"
Nagi paused at that.
What Daisuke was referring to was when one of his uncle's paintings began acting up and causing trouble around town due to the wild magical energy it possessed. Nagi had been unable to do anything about it, and the only option he had left was to ask Daisuke and Dark for help.
"It's fine," he eventually answers. Looking up at Daisuke, he smiles. "I like helping you guys out. Even though you guys are on the wrong side of the law, the things you do help protect the town in the long term. Helping you guys out isn't just me repaying you, but also because it's the right thing to do."
He turns around and opens the door to the guest room.
"Maybe that will change once I graduate from middle school. The chances of me moving out of the city by then are high, and once I do, I'll return to being just an ordinary schoolboy. And when that happens, I'll look back on these memories and know that I did my part in helping things stay safe."
The words he said were something he truly believed from the bottom of his heart. Spirits and curses weren't things ordinary people could deal with. Only those who were involved in the supernatural world could solve supernatural problems. And even though his memories of the original story of DNAngel were vague, he knew that things were only going to escalate as the year progressed.
After all, there were only a few more months left before the Black Wings awakened.
"Well, have a nice rest Daisuke."
And when that day comes, everything will change.
In another place and time.
A scruffy man stares at a clock tower as it strikes midnight. Looking down at the newspaper in his hands, his face turns serious as he reads the story about the recent acquisition of a new piece of artwork in the Granbel Museum.
"The ability to reveal one's strength," the man mutters. "But cursed with a history of driving the user to destruction."
He was worried about what this meant for those that gathered to watch it. With such a powerful object being displayed, if somebody with the wrong intentions came to possess it…
As he turns the page, he blinks as he finds another article discussing the recent heist of the phantom thief Dark, a large picture of him flying with his wings taking up the majority of the page. The man chuckles as he skims through the passage.
"Looks like Daisuke's getting into a lot of exciting stuff."
He frowns as something nags at his mind. Turning the page back to the passage about the Granbel Museum, his worry grows as he realizes which city the museum is in.
"The Azumano District… the same place Daisuke is in."
What were the chances that the Niwa family would send Dark on a heist to steal this new acquisition of theirs?
Sighing to himself, he folds the newspaper and begins walking back to his hotel room.
Looks like I am going back home, he thinks to himself. It would be nice to finally see my family again.
After all, it's been years since he's seen his wife and son.
So this is the end of my self insert version of Episode 11, which acts as an introductory part to how this story will go out.
In my opinion, the DNAngel anime-only picks up from the twelfth episode and beyond. Most of the episodes beforehand are only episodic stories about the various heists of Dark.
I'm going into this knowing that not a lot of people will like this. Either it's because of my lacking writing ability or the niche fandom, either way, I'm still going to write this because that's what I want.
My plan is to write a chapter every week but split it into multiple parts so that I don't overwhelm myself. Each part will be released one at a time on SpaceBattles but posted as a whole on this site. In the end, this is a project to help me improve my writing ability and to continue the story of Nagi in the DNAngel universe.
But for now, this week's chapter is done. I'll be planning the next chapter and posting it next week. Until then, see ya!