My name is Aria

I am a former GUARDIAN, partnering Vivienne before the wiping of the SEED remnants.

Vivienne was thought to be a new special cast until the Illuminus revealed that she was merely a copy cast for them. She was to be dismantled after that mission but was kidnapped by them too.

In a last ditch effort to stop their plans, Vivienne had hacked into a Lou unit and led me to the base where we stopped the Illuminus' plans.

We wouldn't had done so if Vivienne did not use her photon art to close the rift…

The GUARDIANS had expelled us as we had disobeyed orders from them. Vivienne was not dismantled fortunately…

We still continue to search for any other Illuminus members… Our work is far from done…

Chapter 1: Spreading Wings, awakening of an angel

Present Day, Seabed relic site

I glanced around the room, all the mercenaries here seemed confident on finishing their job. The job also looks easy enough. I wonder why they are paying so much for a simple adventuring job.

A mercenary stood next to me, telling me about how the sponsor of the job must be rich to bring up so many mercenaries. I listened in without replying.

"You look like a mercenary yourself. I'm impressed you aren't here with any company."

"I took the job myself, my partner had something else." I muttered under my breath.

The mercenary did not hear me and ranted on, a sentence caught my attention.

"Of course, a place like this is bound to draw the best."

Best? Me? I doubt so. But if there are people who are good here, I wouldn't mind getting to know them. Most of the people here are in groups. I feel like I am the only one here alone, but this mercenary seems to be alone too.

"Are you one of them?"

"Who knows?" He shrugged. I giggled a little at that comment.

"They only just discovered this relic site you know? Most of it hasn't even been explored yet." He continued on.

"It's safe here for the others, right?" I turned my head to him

"Should be safe enough here. No promises further in though… uncharted territory and all."

Doesn't matter… I'm not here for the cash. I'm here to look for Illuminus. I should be able to take care of the machinery here.

"Can we just go home already? Please?" a young female voice came out of nowhere. I turned to the direction of the voice.

"This is no place for children and I wager she's no mercenary." I commented to the mercenary.

The girl continued yelling about the relic site and her partner… or sponsor… I don't know, merely huffed and asked why he still pays her. That silenced her.

There was something off about her… I sensed something existing inside her that she doesn't seem to know about.

The girl's partner walked off... Few moments later the girl collapsed and the site started shaking…

People began yelling and screaming…

"Everyone! Out of the chamber!"

"Move it! Move it!"

The girl was still on the floor, shaking. I went to her and tried to snap her out of her trauma.

"Hurry! The doors are closing!" One of the guards yelled at me.

"Come on… you'll die if you stay here…"

That seemed to wake her up she looked at the doors closing as if she had never seen it before.

"Hey! H-Hey! Wait up!"

She shouted as she tried to catch up with the others. We are too far away to get in already…

"The doors! Don't leave me here!"

If they could control the doors they would have already…

The doors shut in front of her and she started hammering her fist on it.

"Open up, will ya? Come on! Let me out of here!"

I sighed and shook my head…

"Is this any way to treat somebody? I know you can hear me! Open this tin can up!"

She sighed and relaxed down a bit, muttering, "I said we should go home, but did he listen to me? No…"

I walked up to her nervously

"Erm… Hello…" I stuttered, unsure whether she had calmed down. I hate dealing with excited people.

"Who are you?"

"Name's Aria."

She just turned and continued banging on the doors.

"There is someone else here! Let us out!"

"That won't do much; the doors aren't even controlled by them."

She continued on for a while before sighing in defeat

"Guess I wasn't the only one locked in here…"

"You're lucky there is a mercenary here to protect you." I countered.

"Any idea what all the fuss was about?" She just ignored me… I just shrugged.

"Yeah… me neither. Next thing I knew was that the place was empty. What should we do now?"

I looked into the other side of the doors.

"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Don't tell me you're thinking about going deeper in to this place?"

"What can we do? Standing around here wouldn't do much." I turned and faced her

"Are you crazy? This is a relic site. Who knows what could be down there?"

"You can stay here then."

"Not so fast! If you run off by yourself you could end up dead! Or worse!"

I ignored her and stared off. Strangely she ran after me, I gave her a questioning look.

"If you're going, I'm coming too!"

I didn't reply

"I don't think I caught your name before."

"Aria" I quickly replied

"Never woulda guessed. Nice to meet you, I'm Emilia Percival."

I quickened my pace and she sped up quickly.

"Like it or not, we're in this together." She said when she caught up. There was a hint of anger in her voice.

One Sector later

"You really are a mercenary" Emilia commented as I pulled out Exam from the corpse of a Evil Shark.

"What makes you say that?" I asked while searching through the corpse. I pulled out a Car Weave and examined it. It looks suitable enough to be used.

"You cleared that sector very quickly."

"Any mercenary could do that."

"I gotta admit, I'm relieved. With you around maybe I'll actually get out of here."

I stared at her for a moment, not believing what she said. She caught my look and explained.

"Sure, I may technically work at a mercenary company, but this fighting stuff isn't for me."

"Then why did you come here?" I questioned

"My boss dragged me into this death trap of a relic site because he says I'm lazy."

That isn't a good excuse…

She started getting angry about talking about her boss. Saying stuff like he doesn't care for her and how he gets under her skin.

"You're with me on this right?"

"He's your boss." I replied nonchalantly, "he has your paycheck."

"Oh sure, take his side!"

"A mercenary shouldn't get upset on small things like this, but if you want I could-" I tried to calm her down. But she interrupted

"No, it's okay, really. I'm used to it. No one takes anything I say seriously."

Getting used to people taking the other side? I'm starting to feel bad right now. I used to be like her after I left the GUARDIANS.

I apologized but she just waved me off.

"Whatever... Any ways, with your help. I should be able to make it out of here in one piece. Then he'll get a real earful!"

Real Earful, huh? I don't feel so bad after that.

We continued on for a while without anything major occurring.

"Come to think of it, have any relic sites ever gone active when the SEED weren't attacking."

"Some have, but it is really hard to say for sure." I replied

She then started muttering on concepts and ideas that I didn't pay attention to. It got me thinking that she should work as a teacher rather than a mercenary.

"Hey are you listening to me?" She shouted rather madly

"Are you an expert on relic sites? Because that would really help me next time I go to another relic site."

She seemed to take it as an insult rather than a compliment.

"You don't believe me do you?"

"You took that as an insult, but it is really a compliment. I do believe you."

"You do?" She said with surprise.

"This isn't really the time or place to chat around." I sighed.

"Yeah… Let's get out of here." She replied hastily.

Seabed Relic Site Sector 3

"How much more of this place do we have to search before we find a way out?" Emilia complained.

Me neither, but I doubt we would get out anything soon.

"All those machines are the site's automatic defense… I feel like ther're watching me. What if they went live? We better get out of here!" Her voice started getting more and more nervous.

"Calm down… We'll find the exit when we find it." I replied as I opened the next door.

Big mistake… A Svaltia activated and began chargin at us.

We immediately ran out of the room.

"You gotta to be kidding me!" She yelled at me.

I should have kept my mouth shut.

"We can handle that."

"Whadday mean 'handle this'? Don't tell me you're going to fight that thing?"

"Either that or it kills us."

She groaned in frustration before making a decision

"I'm with you, alright? We can handle it if you say so."

The Svaltia ran into the room and we circled it, hitting various parts of the machine. It kept swinging it axe like a madman, keeping us out of reach.

After sever successful attempts of damaging it, it jumped at me and I had to dodge the heavy machine. The Svaltia rush at me with the axe positioned like a spear. I was thrown towards the wall and rendered stunned. Emilia held herself against the machine, taking blows occasionally and throwing in some attacks too.

The Svaltia saw and opening in Emilia's defense and disarmed her. Emilia's eyes widen in shock and braced herself from the inevitable. By then I was charging at the Svaltia, Exam raised high and thrusted. It shuddered for a moment before collapsing backwards.

Emilia peeked out from her closed eyes.

"I'm alive?"

Mean while I was turning the machine over and retrieving my blade. I looked at her for a moment, letting her enjoy herself for the time being. The machine looked like my blow finished the job. I studied it for a moment before scavenging for any usable items.

When I had finished, I joined her and got her to calm down.

"We did it! We did it! The bigger they are, the harder they fall!" She yelled in excitement.

I merely smiled at her.

"Hey! I even got you to smile! This is the best day ever!" She began running round the room like a kid.

"That was really something! I knew you could do it! I knew it!" She shouted to my face.

Weren't you the one who thought I was crazy for fighting the Svaltia?

The sounds of machine alerted me of the Svaltia. It had rebooted and was ready to kill us.

Emilia was it first target

It charged at her, axe raise.

"Huh?"

Emilia saw the machine and froze.

Instincts kicked in, I pushed Emilia out of the way.

The axe came down and broke through my shield.

The claws swiped in next and my vision blacked out

I felt something behind my head…

I hear words but I can't make them out…

I tried to open my eyes…

"Why did you… Why did you do this?"

Who is there?

"It should be me lying there… Not you."

I see and blur of blonde and pink, but I can't make out who it is…

"Vivienne…?"

The copy CAST who is my partner… Is that her?

"I'm sorry I couldn't fulfill the promise"

"What? No! It's me! Emilia! Get up! Get up!"

Whatever she is saying is blurred to me, but I caught her name… Emilia

"Em…milia?"

"Why aren't you getting up? Get up!" She shook me harshly.

My eyes closed

"Come on, open your eyes! Just… Just open your eyes…"

It's a long pause before I heard any more words.

"It's not fair… Why is it always like this…"

Like… What?...

"Why do I always end up alone… " I feel wet drops on my face…

Is she crying? This… Emilia…?

I heard machinery moving… It's the machine that killed me…

"Run…" I barely uttered out

"No! I won't let you leave me like this! Please don't leave me alone!"

Alone…? Don't you have your family or friends...?

Whatever she said started becoming distorted…

"Come on…Wake up!….."

I feel my conscious draining from me, I can't hear her anymore…

Then a bright light envelopes me…

A voice comes to my head…

"You are not alone. I am with you… always…"

I feel the last of my strength disappearing and I lose consciousness.

This isn't the most fitting way to die, but I can't chose…