Disclaimer: I still own neither Blazblue nor Type-Moon

Wandering Silver

He was being watched.

The watcher was clever, with his presence concealed and no killing intent, it was unlikely that anyone else would have noticed. But to him, who had experienced and survived a world where neither time nor space followed the rules, they might as well have been standing in broad daylight.

Once more, he considered and dismissed the possibility of establishing contact with them.

As they were unwilling to approach him, he would in turn dismiss their existence since they were simple humans that did not carry the presence of "evil". That was the path that he had chosen when he had first begun to experience this world.

And what a world it was. Beautiful and pure, in a way that reminded him of the short time that he had experienced before the Black Beast came.

And yet even here, "evil" grew. But it was a different evil from what he had fought. Though mighty, it clung to the shadows and fled the light, remaining out of sight from humanity. He did not know why it did so; certainly, humanity had seemed ill-prepared to face such things when he had first arrived, though it had improved over time.

Perhaps it was because of the strength of organizations of those like the watcher. But he had yet to find someone who held the same potential as his comrades had, so long ago.

Well, it didn't matter. Evil existed, so he would strike it down. That truth had not changed, it would never change.

And yet…he was growing restless. He had ceased keeping track of time long ago, but he knew that his existence in this world had lasted much longer than his time in his own world. And yet, he had only once met a being that was worthy of his attention; all others being mere phantoms that had been dispatched before his killing intent could truly awaken.

Perhaps he should simply choose a place to settle and let enemies come to him, or find allies that were more familiar with the means of this time. Though he was loathe to admit it, his tactics were less efficient that they could be because he was unfamiliar with the means that the monsters of this world used to hide.

Means such as the ability they called magecraft. Pale reflection of sorcery though it was, it had proven efficient at temporarily confusing his senses while the six hundred and sixty-six beasts retreated.

Yes. it was foolish to refuse to accept that his judgment had erred From this point on he would change the course of his journey and would seek out an appropriate warrior of this era to learn from them. Though it was unlikely, he might even find one worthy of being called a comrade.

Without a sound, the hero began to walk again.

Andrei Nikodim was a man in his late thirties with blond hair and tired features, contrasting heavily with Nazariy, his easy-going friend who had brown hair and seemed to be in his mid-twenties.

Not that anyone could have seen that through the bounded field, camouflage gear and camping gear that surrounded them. Or the blizzard raging outside their camp.

"Next time he stops like he did today, I think I'm getting a heart attack."

"You worry about nothing, Andrei. There's no way he could see us in this weather even if we weren't protected."

"Oh, right. I'm sorry about being worried when we're following something that's been killing freakish things for who knows how long and that we know nothing about."

Nazariy fell silent after that.

Andrei was a third-generation magus, and not a particularly good or driven one at that. Early in his life, his father had more-or-less decided to forget about him and put his hope in his younger brother.

That suited Andrei fine; the life of a magus was either boring or suicidal and he didn't like either of those options. Beside, he'd learnt early on that there was easy money to be made in the ancient and noble task of "gathering information". Not even spying, really. Some people were willing to pay him for watching someone else's appartment and reporting whenever they stepped out. Apparently simple familiars were too big of a give-away for magi to use in subtle observation.

Well, that had been early on. Then it turned out that the one thing he was actually good at was not being noticed. One thing had led to another and before he knew it he'd become reliable for those people looking for something in Russia. Nazariy was one of those people that were in the same business and were occasionally willing to share tips; just another rat nibbling on the delicious food known as "easy profit".

Not that Nazariy was untalented or anything; he just wasn't as good at Andrei at figuring out where people were unlikely to look. He might have been a bit better at magecraft though. Just a bit.

Which led him to this stupid assignment that he should never have accepted. Apparently there was someone that some Church dog wanted followed – and that should have been his first clue, the Church never wanted to follow someone – except they didn't have anyone competent free in the vicinity and if Andrei was willing to take the case then he would get enough to retire. Which should have been another clue; Church dogs was never generous.

And then the biggest hint would have been when Nazariy offered to hang out with him during that 'boring' mission. Granted, he didn't know who Nizariy was working for this time, but he knew the kid had ties with the Clock Tower and those people were probably even worse than the Church when it came to 'following'.

Still, an early retirement sounded really good and this would help him get out of Russia before the damn Communists took power, so he'd accepted.

And then it had turned out that by "man" they meant "humanoid thing dressed in white armor with a giant sword that manages to look colder than the blizzard around it". And Andrei didn't care about how foolproof the equipment he'd bought and the fields that Nazariy had put up were, the damn thing knew they were watching.

Oh, it had never turned around to look in his direction and he didn't even know if it had eyes, but every so often it would stop walking and he'd feel like that sword was being driven through his gut.

The information he'd gotten on it said that it had never paid any attention to humans. And he really, really hoped that today wasn't the day that it'd change that habit.

Not that it needed to, because at that rate nature would get them first. The thing might have been walking slowly, but it didn't stop, so they could only afford to sleep in shifts of a few hours before they had to catch up to it. Because if they lost track, then odds were good they'd lose it for good.

"Anyway, how far from the border are we anyway? That's where the other guys are supposed to pick up the trail."

Sighing, Nazariy, brushed a lock of hair aside and looked down at the map that he'd laid down on the ground.

"About 600 kilometers, give or take."

Andrei frowned dejectedly as he laid down on the ground.

"So about a week to go."

When Nazariy shook him out of his lethargy an hour later because the blizzard had mostly abated, he couldn't help but wonder if the money was really worth the trouble this time.