Is it Wrong to Trailblaze in the Dungeon?

DISCLAIMER: Honkai Star Rail belongs miHoYo and Danmachi belongs to Fujino Omori. I do not claim credit for either of their works.


Prologue: A Memory from the Distant Future


As the morning dawn greeted the Labyrinth City of Orario, two particular individuals could be seen standing on the top of the walls surrounding it. One was a God wearing a cloak with his hood that obscured most of his upper features and the other was a young man with gray hair and eyes who also wore the same attire as the God.

"So, is this the conclusion you have finally arrived at?"

The young man asked the God in front of him, who didn't glance at him. The God was looking at the same view as he was after all.

It was nothing special; it's just that the morning dawn seemed more...'brighter' than usual in the past few days, as if expecting a great and lively day up ahead. If only people who knew the affiliations of these two particular individuals were to know that this is what they are both thinking, then they would've just snorted and laughed at it.

"What could it be else but that?"

The God answered with a relaxed expression. Looking at the horizon, the God then released a small smile towards the expressionless young man as he faced him.

Though God was wearing a coat with a hood that mostly obscured his features, the young man before him didn't fail to notice God's reaction.

"'Absolute Malevolence' against 'Justice', huh?" Continued the young man as his brows scrunched up slightly. "Isn't that a bit too childish for a God of your caliber?"

There was a famous saying when the Gods arrived in Gekai, 'Trying to comprehend the true nature of the Gods is a daunting task to accomplish'. While some Gods were quite open, trying to show who they really are for the children of the mortal world to understand them, there are also those Gods that put on a mask to veil their true natures, be it good or bad.

A god who belongs to the second category was the one talking to this young man at the moment.

"Is it? I don't think so really, but even if it may look or sound childish for you, you can't deny that it fits the Grand Play that I am planning to make." The God then grinned, his eyes showed a gleam that personified his authority once as a Primordial in the Heavens. "This Grand Play is what you children need the most in this Era of Stagnation. Nobody else, be it the Gods and Goddesses, and even you mortals as well, are doing anything to get out of this Era of Stagnation."

The young man didn't deny God's statement for it was nothing but the cruel truth.

After the Fall of Zeus and Hera, the Familias against the final beast of the three Grand Quests, it could be said that Orario—no, not just Orario, but the whole lower world was affected in a varying ways, mostly bad ones compared to good ones.

Within the first year, only some notable changes took place. The Loki and Freya Familias took the mantle of being "the strongest" from the previous Zeus and Hera Familias, resulting in the banishment of the latter God and Goddess to preserve the fragile "order" left in Orario. Another would be the slow yet steady rise of those who wanted to bring chaos and disorder into the lower world, the Evilus. A group made up by the Familias of some of the Evil Gods that descended into the lower realm.

The Evilus, however, were crushed time and time again during the reign of the Zeus and Hera Familias. No matter how fierce nor smart their plans to disrupt and harm Orario, they stood no chance and were repeatedly defeated by the top families, thoroughly. That is how strong these families were in their glorious reign. Yet, with the fall of those said families that have been keeping them in check since the old times, the Evilus found newborn courage and will to rise up once more and fulfill their unsavory duties.

After years had passed, Evilus had gathered enough manpower, materials, and strength to openly cause mayhem in numerous spots around the world. The main hotspot for such vile activities was none other than here in Orario. They are at this peak of height after all those years.

There's also one more crucial fact that Evilus believes is why they are blatantly gaining strength out in the open.

The strongest families of today are nothing compared to the strongest families in history.

It was an open secret that is left unspoken by both the divine and mortals in Gekai lest they want to face the ire of some Familias. And the Evilus knew that the Familias of today won't be able to crush but simply just hinder them from gaining momentum.

"It's been 7 years since the fall of the perverted geezer and the old hag's familia. I was surprised that Evilus was only making subtle movements during that period of time. Have they finally thought to themselves that they have gathered enough strength to put Orario down?" Questioned the young man toward the God.

After all, who else would know the truth except for a God who was a member of that said evil organization?

"Nothing of sorts, The only reason those folks are planning to make their big move this time is because of none other than me. Can you imagine the reaction of those guys when I said that I will make my move, especially Thanatos? It was truly a sight to behold, seeing the jaws of those Gods and Goddesses fall to the ground haha!"

That's how big and important of a presence this God has in the ranks of Gods within the Evilus. In fact, if this God said he would make a decisive move several years ago, even when they were weaker, the Evilus would enthusiastically rally and support him without hesitation.

In the next moment, however, with utmost seriousness, the God spoke: "Well, the Destined Time is near. If the new heroes of this era were not to rise up after the fall of its predecessors, then that would spell the doom of this world."

Yet, despite being a member of the Evilus, this God seeks a different goal entirely compared to his compatriots who desire for death, ruin, and chaos. In fact, it was as if he were trying to save and give hope to the world with just that simple statement.

That's how heavy and crucial the plan was that God tried to enact in the distant future.

And as if on cue, the sudden strong morning breeze brought down the hood that was obscuring God's face.

With hair as dark as the abyss, with two strands of gray locks and eyes that held neutrality bordering on indifference befitting a God's standing, exuding the presence of the divine that would make a mortal take nothing more than a glance to imprint the image of the God in their minds for a very long time.

Malevolence Incarnate.

Primordial God of Darkness.

Spawn of Chaos.

One of Evilus' Pillar Gods.

Rejoice, or lament, for those who are about to recognize who this God is.

"Erebus," the young man then looked at the god—Erebus, dead in the eye. "Is there really no chance of you changing your decision about this matter?"

Although the young man said those words in a seemingly calm and composed manner, Erebus saw right through that is the feelings of something akin to desperation and hope.

Erebus merely shook his head as he denied, "You know me well enough child, persuading me would only be a waste of time. We Gods can be pretty stubborn in the things that we deeply desire; added to the fact that I am intending to bet my all in this wager, there's no way of going back." pausing for a second, he continued. "Besides nobody else could pull something like this off besides me."

The young man unconsciously grit his teeth as he then lowered his gaze to the ground. Erebus noticed this and stretched out his hand.

"My son," Erebus' expression then softened as he ruffled the young man's head much to his annoyance and embarrassment in being treated like a kid. "To be honest, I don't really know how to deal with you."

His words might've sounded terrible, very terrible in fact if this is heard without any context. Obviously, if a stranger were to hear what Erebus had just said, then they would arrive at a conclusion that he was seemingly just a man or father who is upto no good when it comes to parenting. He could've chosen other words, but both Erebus and the young man knew what the message conveyed.

The young man simply let out a dry laugh and jested at the God in front of him, "Is that so? Quite a cold thing to say towards your son." The young man then pushed off the hand on the top of his head away.

"Heh, don't mess around with me. You obviously know what I meant with those words. And of course that would be my answer! Simply put, having a son was something that I wouldn't have expected when I first set foot here in Gekai." Erebus scratched his cheek in embarrassment, almost unbefitting of the God of his status. "Parenthood or even acting like one is tough and is not really in the scope of my expertise after all. You better consult somebody like Rhea or Hera when it comes to that."

Gods cannot have children.

This was a fact that most mortals came to learn during the era where the Gods and Goddesses of the upper realm descended into the lower world. It's not like they are impotent, you see; if some Gods were to hear such ridiculous claims, the party responsible for them would surely face divine wrath. Nevertheless, there are several speculations made regarding this delicate matter.

Some say that they were just incapable of it.

Some say that there are restrictions placed upon them.

And so on, and so forth.

But in the end, it was left as mere speculations for the Gods neither confirmed nor denied all of these speculations. If anything, most of them just avoid the question altogether.

Or they simply say that they just can't.

"I see..." the young man heaved a sad smile, his shoulders slackening down slightly. "It really can't be helped then? I guess?"

"Indeed, I could try, but I could see myself failing miserably. You see?" Erebus said seriously like if it is a matter of fact that nobody could deny before heaving a sigh.

"If anything, as your father..." After saying that particular word, the God couldn't help but feel a shiver run down his spine. "Ugh. This feels kind of weird if you are truly saying it yourself, don't you think?"

"Right, father," the young man agreed as he shrugged, not before feeling the very same shiver like Erebus had a second later. "Geh. It does feel weird."

His expressionless face turned to that of someone who had sucked on a lemon. This made Erebus laugh and nod in amusement.

"Right?" Erebus then faked a cough as he regained his composure, "Anyway, what I can promise you is that within the near future, as a God, I will pave a way for the mortal children of the lower world to prove their worth and be heroes that the world currently needs!"

Erebus then stood up, spreading his arms wide in the air. His eyes showed a glint of resolution burning bright in his gray-dyed eyes. As if he were a presenter, showcasing his discovery to all who would listen, he delivered his most important words.

"As some say, 'Heroes aren't born; they are made.' Through surviving numerous trials and tribulations, through overcoming their adversaries, and through surpassing the expectations of the Gods and paving their own way against the current called Fate! Orario shall face his most vile and evil adversary, and whether he succeeds or not in overcoming this, without a doubt, in the ashes of that trial, heroes will rise."

The young man merely listened, never blinking nor breaking his attention towards something else.

"Destruction and ruin shall take over the city. Countless blood from both the innocent and the guilty will be shed. Gods and Goddesses shall be sent back to the heavens. The fragile peace that is keeping hold within this city shall shatter like an illusion once my foot lands on this stage," Erebus' grin never faltered. It seemed like he was really enjoying this. "This would be the prologue of Orario's darkest chapter in history. What do you think?"

'Seriously, you and your theatrics.' The young man thought to himself as he unconsciously clenched his fists.

As a matter of fact, it was a miracle that nobody had heard nor noticed God's heartfelt declaration of bringing ruin to this very city upon his feet.

Erebus took his silence as his answer. Was it good enough or bad enough? No one can tell except for the person asked himself. Also, the God didn't miss the reaction that the young man unconsciously showed.

"That's why my son," Erebus then said as he felt an unfamiliar emotion selling up within him. "Remember these words well."

During this time, the God himself was questioning his own emotions. Was it Pride? Was it Hope? Was it Lamentation? Was it a mix of these three, or more? The God couldn't fully discern what kind of emotions he was experiencing right now. This conundrum he was facing was more difficult than it looks.

"Both the gods and mortals will probably resent me, for I will create a Grand Play that would cause the fall and death of numerous people around the lower world. Curse me if you so desire, for someday, you will also be burdened by these sins that I will commit if the world were to know who you truly are."

Erebus took something out of his pocket. The young man didn't see what it was, since the object seemed fit enough to be covered by one's hand.

"Caelus," Erebus then extended his hand revealing its content to the young man, "Despite the unreasonable things that you might face. If I were granted a wish as a parent, I wish that you may find happiness and your rightful place in this beautiful world."

It was a locket necklace. It didn't take a second for Caelus to discern that this was an object of high quality.

The materials used in producing this item exude a mysterious luster. There's also the lingering specks of energy imbued within it. Without a doubt, it is something more than your usual accessory looks like in a glance.

Opening the locket, he saw a picture. There is Erebus with a nervous, yet, also elated look on his face alongside a woman with lustrous gray hair and a slight frown on her face holding a child wrapped in cloth in her arms. Another woman who resembles the first one could be seen hugging with her arms wrapped around their necks with a very delighted smile on her face.

The name of the woman who was holding a child in her arms was Alfia, and the woman whose face bore the same features but with the difference being the color of her eyes was her twin, Meteria.

His cynical mother and joyful aunt.

His strict teacher and gentle helper.

His first heroes.

...and his regrets.

A flash of memories swirled in his mind as if reenacting a play. A play that depicted his life so far. The moments he will forever cherish in his heart as a person.

Caelus heaved another weak laugh in response. Going against the currents of the river called Fate are things that only heroes could possibly do.

And he was no hero.

"Why give me this?"

Caelus asked, curious. He was grateful for it of course, but he couldn't help but ask.

"It's just a small gift. It's your birthday after all!" Erebus then flashed a sly grin. "This is made with pure orihalcon, you know? Pretty much indestructible! It is also lidded with numerous enchantments applied by top-tier enchanters! Its price is beyond millions of valis!"

"How did you even manage to get this?"

"The contents of Evilus' coffers is nearly as large as Orario's despite how shabby this evil organization looks on the outside," Erebus said as if bragging.

Erebus then clapped cheerfully, adding lines like "Happy Birthday!" or something much to his chagrin. In fact, Caelus even forgot that today was his birthday.

In his mind, he could imagine his Aunt Meteria looking at him in astonishment up there in the heavens.

The fact that this precious gift's cost was funded by none other than the Evilus would make his Aunt reel in indescribable emotions towards Erebus, and the said God probably wouldn't even bat an eye at it adding some words like 'what's the problem with it?'.

While he was genuinely happy with the gift, despite how it may seem wrong for others, there is still something that he had to get an answer from Erebus.

"Erebus, tell me, what do you personally want to achieve in this Grand Plan of yours?" Caelus asked. He always questioned himself about what his father wanted from him. Enough for him to gamble his stay here in the lower world and his image to the people. "Even if you say that you want heroes to rise up after you give them your trials, that is something that isn't like you."

After all, if there are some harsh words to describe this God before him, it would be 'psychopath', 'selfish', 'arrogant', and 'malevolent'.

Quite a magnificent collection of words to describe him if the Caelus has a say with it.

That's why he didn't believe that was the true objective Erebus wanted to achieve. If this God had said that was the goal his Uncle Zald and Mother wanted, then it would be easier to believe in.

But if it was Erebus? No, he wasn't that transparent and direct after all.

"..."

Holding up his chin, Erebus closed his eyes in thought. He wondered what his son would think of his true answer. Sure, it wasn't a lie that he desired heroes from Orario to rise whether they overcome or fail in the trials he was about to unleash upon them, but those are mostly the wishes of the last members of Zeus and Hera's Familia.

Personally, Erebus just wanted to see it.

Right.

"An ideal," Erebus answered. "I simply wanted to witness an 'ideal' unfold before me."

Justice.

How will Orario fare against their enemy? Will Orario's ideal—justice, prevail? Or will it fail and be burned to ashes? The thought made Erebus even more eager to enact his plan.

In order to achieve that, Erebus and his comrades need to play the villain. After all, what is a hero without its villain? How will justice prevail if there's no evil that has to be overcome?

"I see. And what if you fail?"

"Then that's the end of it. Maybe we have just bad luck. It might be a shame and will undoubtedly be disappointing because of all the effort that I—no, we, are putting into this," Erebus said with a nonchalant look on his face. "But I know for a fact that Orario won't let me down in this one and if we do fail, I think I won't regret finishing what I have started right to its destined end."

After that, a brief silence took over the two. Orario was finally starting to have people bustling in. The day was finally starting with numerous people commencing their own activities. The streets below the walls were slowly being filled up.

Knowing this, it should be time for them to go back down and part ways.

Yet, Caelus knew, as if there's still words stuck on the God's mouth, he decided to give him the final nudge.

"And that's not everything you want to say, isn't it?"

Erebus slightly widened his eyes before sighing with a thoughtful look on his face.

"Ah right, besides that... Right, of course I shouldn't forgot to say this, especially to you."

With a rare look of shyness on his face, Erebus then added. Gone was the divine being who swore to himself that he would bring ruin to this land and was replaced by a simple man confessing a heartfelt message.

"Just like the case with Alfia, I think despite how small this world is, it's seemingly spreading endlessly showing wonders and beauty, and I really have fallen in love with it."


X-x-X-x-X


AN: This is an idea that has been stuck in my mind for quite some time now, so I decided to give it a go.

Edit 1: Thanks to the detailed first review that this story got, I checked the chapter once more. is literally messing up when I am typing, be it for reviews or here in the app. Sometimes, words just repeat at random, some just disappear, and some even changes the word themselves lmao. I don't use grammarly nowadays as well cuz their service update is nothing compared to back then. Anyways, I did my best to fix those errors. Thanks again for reviewing man, I really appreciate the help!

To give a brief overview with the story, this is an Danmachi AU with our beloved Trashcan Raccoon from HSR in the mix. There's already an ending that I have in my mind for this story, but paving the path to get there was a task easier said than done, and I hope this story will get there.

Also, the OG Synopsis didn't fit the limit, so I kind of condensed it, but that made it vague altogether.

Here's the synopsis if anybody is curious:


The Trailblazer finally reaches his final destination. Death. Going against the Aeons was simply nothing but a death wish. And yet, he succeeded in doing so...somewhat.

Taking down Nanook of Destruction at the cost of his own seemed like a fitting end for the Vessel of a Stellaron.

Drowned in the endless expanse of nothingness, a voice of a familiar Aeon echoed within his mind.

"You have finally made it to the end," the Trailblazer's eyes we're slowly shutting down and he could clearly feel his existence slowly fading into nothingness. "But let's see, what if I let you continue to Trailblaze once more? Would that be more entertaining?"

The last thing he heard in his life was the twisted laughter of the Aeon of Elation.

After a moment that seemed like eternity, the Trailblazer opened his eyes.

And what greeted him was nothing but an unfamiliar world.


The updates will be sporadic at best similar with my other stories.

Also, this is crossposted in WN.

With all that said, see ya guys on the next update!