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Dream Huntress

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Slam. The sound of a door being slammed shut by a young, white haired woman with sky blue eyes. The young woman rubbed at her eyes tiredly, well her left eye anyways, her right eye was covered with a white eyepatch. She looked like she was going to head off into dreamland at any given moment. She grumbled tirelessly to herself as she flicked on the lights, revealing a bedroom that looks like one straight out from a castle fit for someone of royalty. The bedroom didn't particularly have anything that would differentiate from other royal bedrooms besides a big screen TV, opposite side of the queen-sized bed, and a gaming console below it.

She eyed the TV for a moment or two, deciding whether or not to turn it on. "Nah. I am too tired… and what time is it anyways?" She looked at the Grandfather clock in the corner of the room. It read 11:34 PM. The white haired woman scoffed in response. "No point. A lot of shows with some nonsensical drivel at this time of night…" She went over to her changing screen and started to undress herself to change into suitable clothing for sleeping.

"What a day… Just meetings, meetings, paperwork, more meetings, and even more paperwork… Can't Princess Weiss get just ONE day of not doing that?" She untied her hair and it dropped down to the mid of her back. She got out of the white dress she was wearing and draped it over the changing screen. As she got out of her underwear, she thought about what she should do for her country tomorrow. "I haven't held a ball for my country in a long while actually…"

She got out her blue nightgown and placed it on. She let out a sigh as she made her way over to her bed and got under the covers. She clapped her hands a few times and the lights went out in response. "It'd be nice for my people to have some fun at my castle. I am sure my father would have wanted me to at least every once in a while." She cleared her throat, picturing her father. "A ruler must learn to have fun with their people. It is not always about control!" She said in her best father impression. Weiss giggled, before letting out a sad sigh as she turned over on her side. "I miss you, dad… I am doing my best as a Princess should for your sake, but I wonder if I can really do it…"

Her eyes not willing to fight sleep anymore, she shut her eyes and slept. The last thought in her mind before she went off into dreamland was that this weekend, she would have a ball and invite everybody she could to her castle and have a good time.

Weiss sees herself in her ballroom, wearing her sparkling white dress and her tiara. She looked like Disney's Cinderella… except with white hair tied into a ponytail and of course her bandaged right eye. Not to mention that the dress only covers her from her shoulders to her thighs, leaving little to the imagination. A slight breeze and anybody can see the goods under there, but she didn't care. A smile was plastered on her face as she watched her people dancing, talking to one another, feasting on the food her chefs prepared, and overall just enjoy themselves. She held a glass of grape juice in her hand since she is not exactly old enough to drink alcohol. She is only 17 after all and even if she was of age, she doesn't exactly enjoy the taste of it, having tried it when she was 14 when her father wasn't looking.

One of her maids walked up to her as she was taking a sip of her grape juice. "Your highness… The guests seem to be enjoying themselves quite a bit." She noted with a small smile. Weiss smiled in return as she put down her glass. "Yes. I decided it was for the best. Monsters have been destroying the morale of my people what with them rising in number recently and attacks have increased as well." Both women frowned at that. Weiss clicked her tongue as she turned her attention to the many people dancing. "So, for their sake to at least forget about the monsters temporarily, I held this ball for them to have a night of fun." The maid placed her hand on Weiss' shoulder, smiling. "And you seem to be having fun too. To be honest, I was getting worried about you. You've been working really hard to the point of exhaustion… both mentally and physically…"

Weiss sighed. That much was true. It was not like she did that to herself intentionally. It was just that she wanted to please her father by working hard and protecting her country from harm of monsters and other countries that may have a vendetta against them. "Yes I know. Thank you, my servant, for worrying about me. I have indeed been working myself to the bone and I will try my best to not work myself too hard after this night." She says this, but more than likely she will return to her usual work tomorrow… 'Sorry, that might be a bit of a lie' She thought in her head as she sees the maid nod in response. "Good to hear. Well, if you excuse me, your highness…" The maid bowed before heading off.

Weiss took her glass of grape juice and downed it one go before setting back on the table. She was in the mood to do some dancing of her own. However, she didn't feel like dancing without a partner. Most of her people here seem to be dancing with a partner and she didn't want to feel left out. The princess was quite nervous… she never really asked anybody to have a dance with her… or even have anybody ask her for one. Throughout all of her life, she never had a friend to call her own. Sure she had her servants, but they were just that and nothing more. She was mostly kept in the castle to learn from her father how to become a proper princess, so her social life was seriously lacking.

'How would I go about this? Uh…" Weiss pondered to herself, putting a finger to her chin in thought. 'Hello citizen, I… I demand that you have a dance with me, Princess Weiss.' She wondered if that sounded sudden and rude. Nah, couldn't be. Her father taught her that she should assert dominance over her people. Something like that is bound to work, right? She thought so at least.

As she was thinking this, she felt a sudden tap on her shoulder. Weiss was about to shriek but held it back as best she could so it sounded more like a gasp, before turning around and seeing who would dare interrupt her thoughts and the gall to startle her. Before her was a blonde haired woman about 2 inches taller than her in a simple red dress that offered a generous amount of cleavage to the beholder. She was also wearing matching red high heels and a masquerade mask that obscured everything but her mouth.

"E-Excuse me, miss. Would you like a… d-dance with me?" The blonde woman asked. Weiss couldn't tell with the mask, but she assumed the other woman must be blushing under it. She seemed quite shy if the stuttering didn't give it away… unless her presence made her nervous as she is a princess after all. 'Huh, how bold for a woman to ask a princess for a dance.' There wasn't anything wrong with it. Weiss made it perfectly clear that people can do whatever they want with their love life, it was none of her concern. Now in terms of her own sexuality, she doesn't really want to label herself as anything. It all comes down to finding the right person, gender aside.

"My, aren't you a brave one?" Weiss decided to humor her. She was going to ask around, but this was convenient. It must have taken this woman a lot of courage to ask and she had to commend her for that. "Well… perhaps…" The princess smiled as she watched the blonde woman shift nervously. "P-perhaps…?" The princess dared to take the blonde woman's right hand and held it up. "Well I would first like to know the name of the partner I am dancing with…" She gave the hand she held a slight squeeze and the mysterious blonde squirmed a bit.

Weiss saw in her peripheral vision that people were starting to take notice of her exchange with this woman. She didn't care. She just wanted to have fun. Dancing with a woman isn't a problem. If they did have a problem… they'll have to deal with her guards. The blonde hesitated for a moment before answering. "My name is E… Emerald" The princess raised an eyebrow in response. While she wasn't very good at catching lies… especially since she can't see the blonde's eyes, she knew that was a false name. 'She must have her reasons for hiding her name since she is also wearing a mask to hide her face. This isn't a masquerade ball.' She thought as she pulled them over to the dance floor. "Well then, 'Emerald', why don't we dance, hmm?"

"Right…" The blonde nervously placed her hand on the back of Weiss' shoulder and the princess placed her hand on her shoulder. The two entwined their other hands and then they began to dance to the music that was playing. Step, touch, step, touch, step, and touch. They moved about the dance floor with almost mesmerizing elegance. Weiss stared up where Emerald's eyes were, wishing she could see her eyes, but she didn't want to intrude on someone's personal business. "So tell me, what made you want to dance with me, hmm?" Weiss decided to make small talk with the mysterious woman. "W-Well I thought you that you looked beautiful… very much so…" The blonde looked to the side as if to hide a blush, but that move was pointless as the mask already hid it.

Weiss grinned as she felt herself being dipped by the blonde. "Oh? Well tell me something I don't know… come on…" As she waited for an answer, she felt unease… as if there was somebody… or something… watching her. 'What is this menacing feeling…?' She thought as she was pulled up back into position to continue dancing with her partner. "Um… well ok… excuse my french… but you have some fine ass legs…" The princess giggled, that definitely wasn't something she heard people compliment about. It was either about her breasts or her beauty in general, never about her legs. She guessed this woman was really into a woman's legs. 'That's a fetish I don't see often…'

Before Weiss could comment, she heard a multitude of screams from behind her. Both her and Emerald immediately broke off and turned their attention to what was causing the screams. What they saw, shocked them. There, near the entrance to the ballroom were 3 monsters this country has never seen before. All 3 of them were covered from head to toe in what seemed like tar. Their shape looked more akin to a wolf. Their eyes were a tad unusual… they just looked like red swirls.

"MONSTERS?! How did they get in?" Weiss stood her ground as the crowd of people rushed past her to safety. The blonde behind her however, stayed behind as if planning to back her up. "When I find my guards… if they are alive… they are going to get quite the scolding… and get fired…" The princess reached out with her right hand and concentrated. "SNOW BREAKER! COME FORTH!" The place felt a chill as the sword materialized in her hand. A sword with a bluish white blade with snowflake patterns across it. Emerald could tell that just by being near it, she was feeling quite cold.

The wolves that looked covered in tar howled and dashed on over to Weiss, ready to strike. Their teeth were bared, ready to bite and shred. Weiss dashed forward to strike one of them with her sword. Woosh. The blade didn't connect with anything as the wolf had jumped right over her attack. Weiss quickly jumped out of the way when the wolf overhead tried to attack with its paw. Landing quite aways from the wolves, Weiss quickly pointed her sword at them. "Ice Blast!" A beam emitted from the blade and connected with each of the wolves and upon impact, ice crystals burst out and then combust. The wolves looked unamused as they didn't seem damaged in the slightest. The princess' eyes widened in response. No way. No damage at all? Just what are these creatures she was fighting?

"LOOK OUT!" Weiss heard Emerald's warning and turned around, but before she could react, she took a strong punch to the face. The princess was sent flying across the room and into the buffet table, knocking everything on it to either the floor or on her. Weiss wiped off the bits of food off her face so she can see who her attacker was. The first thing she saw was Emerald struggling with the attacker. The attacker seemed to be a knight in black armor with what looked like a scream mask. His or her hair… if one could call it that, looked it was just… spider legs? What kind of abomination is this?

"Fool!" The attacker lifted Emerald up by her neck, choking her to the brink of death, before tossing her at Weiss. The white haired woman gasped and tried to catch her, but the force of the throw was too powerful for her to safely catch her. They both slammed into the wall, making an indent in it. Weiss groaned in pain, she was on the verge of unconsciousness as the mysterious attacker walked up to her slowly with the 3 wolves following. The blonde woman in her arms was simply unconscious. While she was thankful she wasn't dead… it doesn't look like they will survive for much longer… she no longer had the strength to get up and fight back.

"Princess Weiss of Snowtramine…" The attacker started, hovering over Weiss. "You best get ready… Your country… and soon the entire world… will know the Nightmare Purge…" A menacing laugh erupted from it as Weiss started to join her companion into the realm of unconsciousness. "Before you go… have this as a friendly reminder!" The last thing Weiss felt was teeth burrowing into her right arm…

Weiss sat up from her bed, sweating and panting. She looked around frantically, quickly seeing if anybody was around. Silence. All there was is absolute silence. The princess, relieved that it was just a dream, quickly laid back down. "That was wild…" She remarked as she wiped off the sweat with her hand. Then… she felt something… something that shouldn't be there if that was a dream. Something warm was trickling down her right arm. She sat up again and rolled up her sleeve. There on her arm was a bite mark… a bite that looked it came from a monster of some kind. Her eyes widened in disbelief.

"W-W-What… the...?"

Chapter Text

The sun peeked over the horizon to greet the other side of the Earth to a bright new day. The sunlight hit everywhere it could reach, including this one cave where a naked blonde woman in her late teens was sleeping in. Also sleeping next to her were a pack of 5 wolves. A strange sight to be sure. Normally you wouldn't see humans and wolves being near proximity of each other without the wolves trying to maul the human or vice versa if the human wished to hunt wolves.

The blonde woman stirred, bothered by the light. She slowly opened her eyes and then placed a hand over her eyes to block out the sun so her eyes can adjust. "Sun, can you please come back in like 10 minutes..?" She yawned and stretched her arms. Her actions caused the wolves around her to lift their heads to look at who disturbed their sleep. Seeing that it was just the human they came to know, they brought their heads back down as if to go back to sleep. The woman noticed and gave a sheepish smile. "Sorry… didn't mean to wake you…" The wolves paid her no mind as she got up from the cold cave floor.

"Well, I guess I should go hunt for our breakfast…" The blonde muttered to herself as she walked to another part of the cave to grab her clothes. There wasn't much in this cave that she and the wolves lived in. There was a box with her clothes in, a metal baseball bat, a backpack, and a desk with a chair. On the desk was some school papers. Apparently this woman was still attending school, despite living somewhere in the forest with some wolves.

The blonde rummaged through her box of clothing to find a set of clothes to wear for today. "Hmm, should I be wearing anything right now? While I have to hunt for my family, today is a school day... And I don't really want to soil my clothes while out and about." She got up from looking into her box and grabbed her baseball bat. Before she went out, she remembered that she just had a really weird dream that she can't really ignore.

"What was that dream? I don't normally dream of something like that…" In her dream, she was at the ballroom of this country's princess, Weiss. While she never seen the princess in person, only in magazines and newspapers at her school's library, it was quite weird that her dream was able to create Weiss in such detail that it almost felt real. "And I danced with her… Yeesh, didn't think the dream me would ever have the guts to ask a girl to dance… much less the princess of my country!" She blushed heavily. She always had trouble approaching people. That has gotten better though as she has been more outgoing in her video game club at school.

And it was no secret that she was into girls. Ever since she was 8, before a certain incident occurred that led to where she is now, she always commented about how very pretty or very cute the women she saw on TV were. She felt like she wanted to be close to them, but not sure why. As she grew older, she came to realize that her "taste" is labeled as one being a Lesbian. While it was OK in this country to love people of the same gender as you are, which she thanks Weiss for making it legal, there were still people that were opposed to it. She did become saddened about that fact, but she had no reason to hide. Her club knows about her preferences and even some of her classmates. Her wolf family, while she has told them, didn't react much to the news, probably because they don't understand what their human is talking about. All they did was simply tilt their head in response.

"More importantly though…" There was the other part of her dream she didn't understand. Some person rudely crashed the party with some weird tar looking wolves. The person literally looked like something from someone's nightmare. Definitely not her nightmare… her nightmares are more… personal. When she tried to fight off the person from attacking Weiss… it actually felt like she was there, experiencing all the effort and pain in doing it. It also felt real when she smacked right into Weiss herself… Unfortunately, that is as far as her dream goes. She was more than likely knocked out and that was the end of it. The back of her head throbbed in pain when she remembered it. She groaned and clutched the back of her head. "Dreams are… not supposed to hurt people physically… right?" She thought about it for a moment to rationalize why her head hurts.

There was only one rational solution to why, and that is she must have knocked her head somewhere while sleeping. She was sleeping on the cold cave floor after all… No pillows or any of that nonsense. And the strange, scary person is probably because she watched a horror movie yesterday at a theater. Satisfied with her reasoning, she decided not to think too much about it. Dreams are a weird thing… they can seem real and have some randomness to them. With that, she headed out to look for a moose or something relatively big to feed her family. While a baseball bat is not something particularly effective in killing any prey she finds, especially ones that are big and can easily put a good fight with her, she is confident in her skills since she has been out in the wild for a long time now.

A bloody baseball bat fell to the ground as the wielder of it panted in exhaustion. The moose that fell victim to the baseball bat's power, fell to the ground dead. The woman wiped the sweat off her brow as she looked at her kill. While it is never pleasant for her to kill animals, it is something that needs to be done. Everybody has to do a necessary evil now and then. It just so happens that hers involves hunting animals on a daily basis just so her family stays fed. Not a family you normally expect for a hunter… but a family nonetheless. She doesn't eat the food she hunts. It is not something she should do anyways since it is not cooked… and her wolf family doesn't particularly care as they eat it raw regardless. So, she eats at school where they do give out free breakfast and even free lunch since the country is doing great economically thanks to Weiss' greatest efforts.

"Ok guys, eat up…" The blonde woman called out to the wolves hiding in some tall grass from behind her. She knew she was being followed after leaving the cave for a bit. The five wolves happily came out of hiding and started eating the poor lifeless body of the moose. She grimaced, watching the sight, still not quite used to see them tear into their food so… viciously.

She took a look at herself. She was covered in the moose's blood from the neck down and some had even splattered on her face. A bath in the river is indeed needed before she sets off for school. The blonde sighed and picked up her baseball bat. "I will be seeing you guys later... Love you!" She waved farewell to them. They howled in response before continuing their feasting.

It took her a good 10 or so minutes to reach the river. She placed her baseball bat against a rock as she walked a little ways into the river before sitting down to start cleaning herself. While not an ideal place to bathe… she had no other choice. Sure, there was the option to go to school to shower… but she was not about to go there with blood all over her. People will get the wrong idea if she did.

As she started cleaning her arms… she heard a twig snap not too far away. Her head turned to the direction of the noise. She saw someone dive into the grass to hide themselves, but too bad for them, she caught sight of them. She was surprised to see someone out in the wilderness this early in the morning though. With a sigh, she called out to the bad sneaker. "Come out… if you show yourself… I may not hit you with my baseball bat for perving on a girl taking a bath…"

The grass shifted for a moment, as if the person was contemplating whether or not to show themselves. She heard a sigh, before she saw the person come out of hiding. The person in question was in black clothes from head to toe. A black cap, black hoodie, and black cargo pants. The person is male, she noted, looking at this man's handsome face and his alluring emerald green eyes. If she was straight, she would definitely find this man attractive. "And who do I owe the pleasure of seeing in all my naked glory?" She somewhat teased the man. He gave her a big toothy grin in response. "Well, m'lady, you are talking to Fille Beau…" He introduced with a slight french accent that sounded almost feminine. The man then bowed respectively. She raised an eyebrow at the name, noting that he must be foreign if the accent didn't give it away.

"My name is Emma. I am not obligated to give you my last name…" She said as she placed her hands behind her head. "So… what brings you here? Have business with me besides sneaking looks at my body…?" Fille scratched his face for a moment. Not bothered to be accused of perving on her. "I am doing some investigations of some strange happenings I've been noticing in these lands…" Emma let out a 'huh' in response. She motioned for him to continue. "I gotta ask you, have you been having weird dreams lately?"

"Weird dreams…? Well, what kind of weird are we talking here?" She questioned, curious to know where this is going. While she has an idea of what he is talking about, it is best she knows more before jumping the gun. Fille inched closer but stopped before entering the river. "Weird dreams that almost seem real. Me and a few of the people I've come to know have been having them for a few days now. And what is strange is that we've all seen a person… male or female… with a scream mask in every dream. Now, do ya happen to have a dream like that?" He took out a notepad, ready to jot down whatever response she may have.

"Actually, I did have one just last night. I was in this country's castle dancing with a girl." She stopped to take a look at his reaction. He didn't appear to be bothered by the fact that she danced with a girl in her dreams. She smiled inwardly, noting that this person isn't a bad guy… for now. Choosing to leave out the detail of who the girl was, she continued, "Then all of a sudden, somebody crashed the party with tar wolves… and that somebody was indeed wearing a Scream mask."

Fille jotted down this info in his notepad. "And what did this person do afterwards? Please describe everything to the best of your ability…" Emma looked up to the sky, thinking everything that transpired in this dream. "Well, the person attacked me and my dance partner. I tried to resist, but I was inevitably thrown into my dance partner and I was unfortunately knocked out." She bit her lip… there was something else before she was knocked out… She heard someone speak… and it certainly wasn't Weiss. "Is that it?" The man inquired. She quickly shook her head as she may as well mention this to him.

"There is something…" She clutched both sides of her head… trying to remember.

"Nightmare Purge…" It just hit her. That was what the person said. She relayed the message to Fille, who simply nodded and jotted it down for reference. "I see. So the same 'Scream' person came in your dream too and said something about a Nightmare Purge? Interesting… this is valuable info… Thank you." He gave her a bright smile. "Well, I've taken enough of your time… and privacy… I'll be on my way." He put away his notepad, bowed farewell and turned to walk away.

"Wait!" Fille halted, but didn't turn around. "Could you explain the part about these strange happenings?" Emma wanted to at least know about this part before he left. The man was quiet for a moment before turning his head in her direction. "Some monsters we haven't seen before have been popping up to the south of this land. They only show up at night though. And there hasn't been a report of an attack just yet… but I advise that you be careful… they may come… soon." With that, he walked away, leaving Emma in the river to contemplate what he just said.

"New monsters…?"

"I want all of you to do 20 push-ups! Do it now!" The gym teacher blew the whistle and the students groaned and went down to the ground to do the 20 requested. For Emma, doing 20 was a easy thing to accomplish after being out in the wild for so long. She did them as fast as she possibly could and then stood back up. She looked over to her fellow classmates… more specifically, her female classmates, who are still taking their time in doing their 20.

"Man, I love gym class… probably not for the same reason others would like it… but…" The reason why she loves gym class was because she loved seeing girls in shorts so she can see their lovely legs. That's right… she is a leg girl. Tits and ass may be life and hometown for lots of people… but for her it is all about the legs. "So many girls in shorts or even short shorts… Thank you god for letting girls have such beautiful legs!" The blonde thought to herself.

Once her class was finished with the 20, the gym teacher ordered them to find a partner to do some sit-ups. Emma shrugged and decided to lean on the brick wall behind her. She was never one to go actively look for a partner. Technically she should be fixing this if she wants to be more outgoing, but old habits die hard they say. Fortunately it only took about 30 seconds before one of her female classmates decided to walk up to her. A redheaded girl with a lean body, brown eyes, and sporting an A-cup. Emma knew this girl. She is a honor roll student by the name of Jessica Ruben. While they don't talk much to each other, they are least on good terms with one another.

"Hey, Emma, want to be partners? And by the way, don't think I didn't see you sneak a peek at my legs." Yep, this girl knew about Emma's fetish. While she wasn't particularly bothered by Emma's sexual preferences, she wasn't going to let some girl ogle her go scot free. Emma simply just grinned sheepishly in response. "What can I say? When I see a pair of good legs, I just love to stare." Jessica smacked her arm in response and the blonde feigned hurt. "Pervert. Anyways, let's begin our sit-ups shall we…? And no, you may not stare at my legs on your way up…" Emma pouted. "Spoiled sport… that's the best part…"

Emma laid down on the floor with her knees up in the air while Jessica held her feet down. With her hands behind her head, she began to do her sit-ups. The redhead bit her bottom lip as she watched the blonde closely. "Hey, Emma, mind if I tell you something crazy?" The blonde looked at her, not once stopping her exercise. "Shoot." She didn't see why not.

"Well, I heard this rumor that a legendary sword may appear sometime soon in this land. Something about it being a whole century since it was last seen. They say that this legendary sword can capture any dream and or nightmare… just like a Dreamcatcher." Emma cocked an eyebrow at that. Once again, the subject of dreams has been brought up. Could just be pure coincidence but… "Ok… Where did you hear this?" Jessica sighed and looked to the side. "Heard it from some boys when I was on my way to school. They talked about it like it was a real thing…"

There seemed to be something else the redhead wasn't telling her… but Emma didn't want to pry. She considered the possibilities in her head as she continued her sit-ups. It sounded like Jessica almost believed in this rumor but seemed too embarrassed to admit it. So, that meant that she either saw something about it… or…no… she shook her head… That connection didn't make any sense. "Why did you just shake your head?" Jessica asked, confused. "Pay me no mind… just thinking to myself." Emma reassured her. "Anyways, huh, a legendary sword that captures dreams and nightmares…" Dreamcatcher aside, what is the point of the sword then. Swords are a weapon either meant for dueling or just hurting/killing someone. Is it supposed to be two things in one? If she wanted to kill someone, she rather just have a sword. If she wanted a Dreamcatcher, she would get a Dreamcatcher.

"Sounds like a load of crock if you ask me…" The blonde responded. Jessica sighed and nodded. "Yeah… you are probably right… Just thought I'd let you know… you know for funsies." Emma knew that was a lie, but didn't call her out on it. It did make her curious though. Perhaps she shall do some research in the library once lunch break starts.

"Ugh. I hate Cheese Pizza day…" Emma complained as she walked out of the cafeteria. Not that she hated Cheese Pizza. It is ok. Just the mere idea of just having a pizza with no toppings is like admitting defeat in life. She made her way to the library. The library wasn't too big. It had maybe 5 rows of bookshelves. A couple of tables and chairs in the back. Some of them had computers on it for school work only, but not like the librarian cares all that much what they do on it. As long as they don't disturb others, it was fine.

"Hello, Mr. Dawson." Emma greeted to the librarian as she made her way inside. The bald old man at the desk was reading a newspaper and didn't even look her way. All she got was a grunt in response.

The blonde made her way over to a computer and sat herself down. She typed in the password for guest users and signed herself in. She then clicked the Google Chrome button to bring up the internet browser. "Let's see here…" Emma decided to put the thing in Incognito mode and began her research. She typed, 'Dreamcatcher sword', in the search bar.

There appeared to only be one relevant article. The rest just talks about Dreamcatchers in general. Emma read the title, "Hmm, The Legendary Dreamcatcher Sword". She clicked on it and a small article appeared with just one pic. She took a gander at the pic and it was a long sword with the Dreamcatcher symbol embedded at the top of the blade. The base of the sword and the hand guard were made of what looked like to be gold. Attached to the hand guard was some strings that dangled some black feathers to complete the whole Dreamcatcher theme. Emma whistled softly in appreciation. "Cool. Course, could be really good Photoshop work." She looked at the actual article now and began to read.

The Dreamcatcher Sword is an ancient weapon made in June 1st, 1924. It was specifically made to capture any dream or nightmare that have emerged from the realm of sleep into the waking world. The weapon is made with powerful magic and it can be said that the sword itself has become a living thing. It is a very picky sword, only those with a huge amount of bravery and strong dreams may wield it. There has only been one record of anybody wielding it and that was the owner itself. The owner was last seen with the sword in the Snowtramine Clock tower fighting a large pile of rotting corpses that formed into this gigantic monster. The owner won, but they then disappeared without a trace, along with the sword. That event happened on June 12th, 1924. No one knows where the owner is... or where the sword is for that matter. Who is this owner? Well they are... 010100010101010110101010000110101010101

Emma raised an eyebrow. Did she read that right? What is with the zeroes and ones at the end? Is the article glitched or something? Or was the author of this article a troll? She looked at the date of publication and noticed that this was made in 1990... Where the internet was still very new and fresh. She scratched her head in disbelief. Something is not sitting right with her. An article like this existed back then, so it probably can't be a troll, and if they were, what was the point? Another question, where did those boys get the idea that the so called sword will be appearing soon? From this article, as far as she can see, there was nothing indicating that the sword was returning unless they read it before this glitch happened... if it is one. Well, no matter, she'll think about this another time maybe. if that is everything, her research is done. She looked at the date shown at the bottom right of her screen.

"Well, today is June 9th. So, in 3 days, a century will have passed since this 'event'. I don't believe in this story much… but hey, you never know…" Emma was about to exit the browser when an ad popped up, saying that the princess of Snowtramine, Weiss, is making a live broadcast. The blonde's right eyebrow raised in response. "Huh, what does the beautiful princess have to say?" She grabbed the headphones that were on the table and placed them before clicking on the ad.

She was taken to a live broadcast and the first thing she sees is Weiss on the podium outside of her castle. "Greetings, my lovely people of Snowtramine. As your princess, I have grown concerned about the low spirits everybody is in thanks to the rise in monster population… Fear not though, those monsters will be taken care of in due time. To keep your mind off of them even if just for a little while… I decided that I shall hold a big ball for you all! Yes, all of you! You are all welcome to enjoy yourselves at my greatest ball yet this Saturday!" Emma hears the cheers of the people gathered at the castle. The blonde bit her lip… this was just like her dream. What was going on? Surely this wasn't pure coincidence… can it?

Chapter Text

2 days earlier...

 

“Shit, shit, shit, shit!” A young brunette woman cried out as she was chased by a boulder that was ready to squish her like a pancake. Carried under her arm was a golden statue of a rattlesnake. She jumped over death pits and nearly avoided arrows that came out of the walls. The exit was so close… she could feel it. “I am not gonna die today! I will get away with this ancient artifact.”

 

The boulder was creeping closer and the brunette put all her energy in running faster. The gate was closing ahead of her, not wanting the intruder to escape alive. She grit her teeth and launched herself to the gate. She narrowly avoided being squished by the gate as she landed outside of the temple, knocking off her square rimmed glasses in the process. The gate closed behind her and the temple shook as the boulder collided with the gate, causing the whole temple to tremble for a bit before finally settling.

 

The young woman breathed a sigh of relief as she wiped the sweat off her brow. That was too close for comfort. And to think that Indiana Jones deals with this shit on a regular basis. She reached for her glasses, dusted them off, and placed it back on. Once that is done, she took a better look at her prize. “Hmm… this will get me a good amount of money at the Snowtramine Museum.”

 

A buzzing sound interrupted her thoughts about the money she will get. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her smartphone, immediately seeing the screen somewhat cracked thanks to her reckless escape. She groaned. “Ugh, that’s my 5th one…” The caller’s name was familiar to her, so she swiped the answer call and held the phone up to her ear. “Yuna Yume speaking. I’m all ears.” She says her usual opening greeting.

 

“Must you say that every single time?” A male voice groaned out. Yuna frowned in response. “Oh come on, it lets the caller know who they are speaking to right away so that if they called the wrong number, they know right away. If it isn’t a wrong number, they may start speaking their business.” If Yuna didn’t know better, she could have sworn the man she was acquainted with was facepalming.

 

“That is unnecessary if you know who is calling… Oh whatever, I am not here to listen to your foolish ways…” The man sighed. Yuna chose not to comment on the rude statement he just made and just waited for him to get on with it so she can bring her artifact to the Museum. “I have an assignment for you. I assume you just finished up your own personal job of getting the Golden Rattlesnake?” Yuna responded with a “Mhmmm” as she wondered what he could possibly want now. “Well if you want some more money, you will be hard pressed to ignore this. I hear there is an ancient weapon in the abandoned clock tower of Snowtramine.”

 

Yuna bit her lip. An ancient weapon at the old clock tower? “Um, you do know that place is haunted and no one has been there in decades right?” The clock tower has been abandoned for a long time due to the fact that ghosts have been sighted. It is bad enough for people to avoid or fight monsters, it is another thing entirely to face ghosts. There is nothing you can do against them. The technology to create those weapons the Ghostbusters has had not yet been produced.

 

“Of course I know that. You aren’t scared of ghosts last I checked unless that was a fib.” Yuna assured him that it wasn’t. Ghosts, while a pain to deal with, wasn’t something she was scared of. There is one thing she is terrified of, but she wasn’t about to share that info with anybody.

 

“So, what is this ancient weapon you want me to find? Can you describe it?” While she was willing to do a job for extra cash, there was something suspicious about going into an abandoned haunted clock tower looking for this weapon. From all the stories she heard about the tower, there was not one mention that such a thing was in there before it was abandoned.

 

“You will know when you see it. Just head to the top, find a secret door, and you’ll find it.” Yuna scrunched up her face in thought. It is not like him to not describe the targeted item of interest.

 

“Well, sure. I’ll do it.”

 

“Good. Rest assured, you will be paid greatly for your service.” He hung up. Yuna put the smartphone back into her pocket and crossed her arms. Something seemed off. Years of experience is telling her that she may fall into a trap… but would he do that? The brunette scratched her head, wondering if she was overthinking things.

 

“Well, first things first. I have to show this to the Museum and then get my money.” She brought the Golden Rattlesnake statue to her face and kissed it. “Oops.” Her lipstick got on the statue. She pulled out a cloth and quickly wiped it away. “This should be more than enough to pay for rent this month.”

 

 

Yuna entered the Museum with a suitcase containing the Golden Rattlesnake. She quickly looked around the place. There didn’t seem to be that much people here. Just a few attendees and some staff. She feels like whenever she goes to this Museum, she wishes everything comes to life like that movie, Night at the Museum, just for funsies. “Seems slow today. Well maybe this baby will attract more attention later.” She patted her suitcase affectionately.

 

“Hey, you, can I have a moment of your time?”

 

The brunette turned her attention to a handsome man in a black hat, black shirt, black cargo pants, and finally black tennis shoes. This guy likes black. She thought as the man approached her. Yuna also noted that this man has mesmerizing emerald green eyes. Her favorite color. A small blush formed at how attractive this man is.

 

“Are you blushing?” The man teased her with his thick french accent. The brunette blushed harder and waved her hands in front of her face.

 

“No, no, no, I am not! Don’t look at me!” She quickly grabbed her paper bag from her pocket and placed it over her head. The bag had eye holes so she could still see what was in front of her.

 

“Heh. Adorable.”

 

“I AM NOT! DON’T YOU LIE TO ME!” She yelled, embarrassed to no end. There was just no way she was adorable, she was just a plain girl, and plain means bad. Not as bad as ugly, but still bad! The man decided not to tease her anymore as now it was just getting sad and he was wasting time.

 

“So, you are the infamous Yume Yuna, right? The new brave explorer of the world?” The man asked.

 

Yuna raised an eyebrow in response. “It is the other way around with my name.”

 

The man shrugged, “Well your name is clearly Japanese. Yume is the Japanese word for ‘Dream’. And I believe Yuna, means “Night” in Okinawa. So, since you are Japanese, I referred to you the proper way, last name first, first name last.”

 

“Oh that. I completely forgot about that. I don’t personally care which way you call me. Japanese culture aside.” Yuna waved him off. It is not everyday in a foreign land that you temporarily live in that you hear somebody address you from where you originally came from.

 

“Yuna then. And since I know your name, only fair to share mine. Fille Beau, pleasure to make your acquaintance, mademoiselle.” He took off his hat, revealing his short black hair, placed his hat on his chest, took a short bow, before putting it back on. Yuna blushed a bit. Good thing this paper bag was still over her head. “Now, back to the matter I was going to address before we got distracted…” He cleared his throat before getting out his notebook.

 

“Yuna, have you been having any strange dreams lately?” The brunette scratched at her paper bag in thought. Strange dreams, huh? What a weird thing to ask. This man looks to be a detective, so why is he asking about something so… trivial?

 

“Well I have been having more nightmares recently… does that count?”

 

“And can you tell me what has been happening in these nightmares…? And can you take that paper bag off? It is hard to take you seriously with that thing on.”

 

Yuna reluctantly took off her paper bag. “Sorry.” She crossed her arms over her chest in thought. She doesn’t really want to share anything that gives info on her life, so, she’ll give him the bare essentials. “Hmm, some strange monsters I’ve never seen or dreamt about before. That was common in most of the nightmares I had recently.”

 

She had a nightmare just last night that had those strange monsters. There were some big tar covered bumblebees with those crazy swirly red eyes. She has melissophobia. The fact they were even more freaky didn’t help matters. Yuna gave this info to Fille to give him some context.

 

“I see. Bees covered in tar and have red swirly eyes…” Fille tapped his notebook with his pen. “As I thought, you seem to be having similar dreams that others had when I talked to them.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a photo. He handed the photo over to her for her to look at. Yuna sees that in the photo there were 3 trolls, all covered in tar and has red swirly eyes to boot, similar to the bumblebees in her nightmares. It was taken at night and in the background there was an abandoned shed.

 

“I spotted these creatures not too far off in the south. I spotted them only a night though.” He explained. “I looked everywhere for them in the day but I saw no hide or hair of them.” He took back the photo from her and placed it back in his pocket. “These creatures are definitely new. The fact that people have been having nightmares about these creatures is certainly not coincidence, especially when they haven’t seen them before.”

 

“What do you think it means?”

 

“I am not sure yet. I don’t have anything concrete. For the time being I am just calling them Nightmares. How and why they show up is anybody’s guess. I am searching for the answers myself.” Fille placed the notebook back into his pocket. He held out his hand and Yuna reluctantly grabbed it in a shake. “It was nice meeting you, Yuna. I’ll be going now. Perhaps we’ll meet again someday.” He gave her a toothy grin and a wink before heading out the museum.

 

Yuna blushed heavily and placed a hand over her chest as if to calm it down. “Handsome men these days…” She cleared her throat. “Okay whew, now that that is out of the way…” Yuna picked up her suitcase and headed towards the office where the owner probably was.

 

 

“1.5 million euros… jesus.” Yuna exclaimed out loud to herself as she hauled out a very heavy suitcase containing the money. She definitely has enough for this month’s rent for her house in this country. Hell she could pay off the whole house if she wants to and still have leftover money to buy some good stuff.

 

The curator was ecstatic to have such an ancient artifact brought to his museum. Many people dared to enter that temple but all have perished in there before even touching the statue. Yuna expected to be offered one million euros at most… but 1.5 million euros?! She almost fainted.

 

A huge limousine pulled up right in front of her, breaking her out of her thoughts.The driver got out and opened the door, revealing the beautiful princess herself, Weiss Shinrai, and 2 of her bodyguards. Yuna was star struck as the princess carefully got out. She appeared to be in a white fur coat draped over a blue sparkly dress and some blue high heels to match.

 

“Ah, hello citizen.” The princess greeted with a beaming smile. Weiss looked Yuna up and down and realized something about the person before her. “Oh. You aren’t a citizen. You are the great, Yuna Yume, right? The new famous adventurer?” She placed a hand on her hip, waiting for her to answer. Yuna blushed furiously, while she wanted to hide in her paper bag just like she did with Fille, she wasn’t about to do something like that in front of someone of royalty, she’ll never live it down.

 

“Y-Yes. I am Yuna Yume.” She replied a bit bashfully, never in her lifetime did she think she would be acknowledged by someone of royalty.

 

“Hmm… you look a lot taller than what the magazines made you out to be.” Weiss noted, “Not that it is a bad thing.” Her two bodyguards whispered something in her ear and she scoffed, waving them off. “You two be quiet, I can do whatever I wish. I am a princess, hear me roar.”

 

Yuna felt like she should skedaddle before she does something embarrassing in front of this woman. “Well, was nice meeting you, your highness, but I have somewhere I need to be… toodles!” She tried to flee, but Weiss grabbed the back of her shirt before she made any leeway. Yuna tried to get out of her grip, but the princess is surprisingly strong. Well, makes sense. This princess is known for doing a lot of work that involves manual labor.

 

“Now hold on… I wasn’t done with you…” Weiss pulled her back in. The princess looked at the suitcase she had and then turned Yuna around so she could look her in the eyes. “Am I correct in assuming you just nabbed one of my country’s oldest treasures and sold it to the museum?”  

 

“I did… Is that a problem?” Yuna asked. Hoping it wasn’t something that irked the beautiful princess. Thankfully, she didn’t look bothered by the fact. The white haired woman just smiled and let go of her.

 

“Well, you certainly have a lot of skill. You are quite… ‘legit’... if that is what people say these days.” Weiss commented, quite unsure if that was the right word. Yuna just shrugged, wanting to hightail it out of here if she is quite finished. The princess appeared to be in thought for a moment before snapping her fingers.

 

“I know. I have a favor to ask of you. I could use someone of your skill level since nobody has the gall to bother.” Yuna looked at her confused. What could the princess possibly want to ask of her? The princess reached into her fur coat and pulled out a photo. She handed it to her. It was that old clock tower she was just about to go to. “Can you head over there and investigate something for me. Some people have been sending complaint letters about the clock tower being very noisy for the past week and it has been driving me nuts.” The princess sighed. Wondering why she has to deal with this stuff. “I’d do it myself, I honestly would, but I just don’t have time to deal with every single drivel my citizens spit out at me. Just find out what is causing it and deal with it if you can. If you succeed, I will award you citizenship and a custom-made pickaxe suited to your adventuring needs by yours truly. I hear you are quite fond of pickaxes.”

 

Yuna’s eyes widened. A custom-made pickaxe by the princess of Snowtramine?! She definitely can’t deny a deal as sweet as that. Her old pickaxe from her childhood is on its last legs and she has been meaning to get a new one, but now, she can get a custom-made one from Princess Weiss herself as she is known for making great weapons all thanks to her late father, King Raymond.

 

“So, do we have a deal?” The princess asked.

 

“ABSOLUTELY!” Yuna yelled out excitedly, but then covered her mouth when she realized how loud she was. Tears trickled down her face from embarrassing herself in front of Weiss. The princess looked at her funny, but chose not to comment. The brunette really wanted to hide now, she gone and made a fool of herself.

 

“U-Um… anyways… this is convenient for me. I was about to head there anyways once I brought the money home as I do have another assignment tied to that place.” Yuna told the princess.

 

“Another assignment? What else could you possibly be doing over there, pray tell?” The princess was confused. There was nothing over there that should garner the attention of this young adventurer. She is only going after ancient artifacts right? Unless her sources are wrong.

 

“A acquaintance of mine told me that an ancient weapon is being held in that clock tower and he wants me to go fetch it.” Yuna explained. The Princess looked at her 2 bodyguards and whispered to the both of them. The brunette watched as the 3 whispered amongst themselves, wondering if there was something wrong with her looking for this thing. In a minute or two, they turned to face her again, the princess still having a confused look on her face.

 

“An ancient weapon… in that old clock tower? Why would such a thing be in there? There have been no reports in all my father’s days of ruling this country and my days so far as the new ruler that such a thing exists.” Weiss looked over in the general direction of the clock tower. “All I’ve heard about that place is death, ghosts, and now the recent complaints of loud noises coming from it. Whoever your foolish friend is, I think they are lying to you.”

 

“Hey! Foolish is uncalled for! You don’t know him!” Yuna was offended that the princess would say that about him. Sure it was a little fishy, but that didn’t mean she could call him foolish. The princess crossed her arms and looked down at her.

 

“Look, adventurer. I may not know the guy… but even I know that whatever you are looking for does not exist in that tower. That clock tower was made in 1912 and abandoned in 1924 after a major accident in there resulting in the deaths of 46 people. From my knowledge, no such weapon was put in there for any reason before the tragedy and nobody in their right mind would put a weapon in there after the tragedy when there are ghosts that haunt the place. Face it, your friend is sending you there on some foolish errand that may not even be worth it.”

 

“Well! You never know! Crazy people do crazy things all the time!” Yuna tried to reason with her. The princess sighed and shook her head. She didn’t want to waste energy on stupid stuff like this.

 

“Fine. Do whatever you want. Waste time finding that thing if you so desire. It won’t be there… And while you are there, if you still choose to, find the source of the loud noises and eliminate it.” Weiss walked to the entrance to the museum. Once she was inside, she looked over her shoulder at Yuna. “Tata for now. I have business I need to attend to here. Good luck.”

 

Yuna looked down the ground, clenching her fist. While there was some logic to the princess’ reasoning, it kinda pissed her off that the princess would dare say that her acquaintance is a fool. She raised her right hand out and concentrated. A pickaxe materialized into her hand. It looked to be any normal pickaxe, but this one had an extra blade at the top, good for stabbing forward if the situation calls for it. The whole grip of the pickaxe is green, imbued with the power of wind and earth.

 

“I’ll show you…” She grabbed her suitcase and ran off towards the clock tower. Disregarding to put the money back at her house first for safekeeping…

 

Sometime later in another world…

 

“Katsuragi-san… can you please stop groping me so I can make these Futomaki?!” A young woman with dark brown hair that was tied into a ponytail with a white ribbon. She has hazel eyes, about 5’1” in height, sporting a F cup, and wearing a school uniform

 

Behind her was the current problem of the young woman. A blonde woman with blue eyes, a few inches taller than the other woman, sporting a H cup, and wearing a uniform unbuttoned, leaving the whole middle of her body exposed, just barely covering the important bits. “But when I see these beautiful mountains of flesh, I just can’t help myself! I just gotta touch them, Asuka!” She says as she moves the other girl’s breasts around.

 

“U-Uuuguuu… Sometimes I wish my breasts were smaller…” Asuka muttered to herself. She was going to make her friends some of the best futomaki they’ve ever tasted, but now she can’t even concentrate when she is being groped by her friend. “Seriously, stop, you are making me mad!”

 

“Just give me one more minute and then I’ll let you continue cooking…” Katsuragi pleaded, still giving her breasts a rub.

 

Asuka grabbed a frying pan and was about to smack Katsuragi with it to fight her off, but then she heard something. She looked up at the ceiling, wondering where she heard that sound. “Did you hear something?” The blonde stopped groping her for a second. She looked around, seeing if she can hear what Asuka heard.

 

There was a faint cry of someone. It was getting more and more loud as time went on and it was directly over them. The two girls looked at each other, alarmed. Someone was about to crash land in here. They quickly separated from each other and went to the corner of the room.

 

CRASH!

 

The person slammed into the ground where the two were previously standing, bringing up some dust and other debris, ruining the food Asuka was preparing. The two girls coughed and waved the dust particles out of their face as they neared the person. When the dust settled, what was revealed to them was a young girl about their age with brown hair, square-rimmed glasses, and b-cup breasts. The girl’s clothes were shredded, revealing white undergarments. She seemed to be ok, only sporting some cuts and bruises.

 

“Well… not everyday a cute girl crash lands in your academy.” Katsuragi commented. Asuka paid her no mind and simply picked up the girl. She wondered who she could be and how and why she crash landed here.

 

“Well, whoever she is, let’s get her healed up…”

 

Chapter Text

The morning after the dream…

Weiss was sitting in the dining hall of her castle, picking at her pancakes with her fork. Not exactly puncturing it so she can bring it to her mouth, just enough to poke 3 holes in it. The maidservants watched the strange sight. It was not everyday the princess decides to just play with her food and not eat it. She seemed quite troubled about something, but they dare not ask, lest they face the potential wrath of the princess.

The white haired girl eyed her right arm, which was now wrapped in bandages. The maidservants were surprised and wondered what happened, but she assured them it was nothing too severe and it was not because some intruder entered her room. She bit her lip, wondering who that person in her dream was… and why is it that when she is injured in her dream… the injury crossed over in the real world.

She supposed that the person in her dream wasn’t kidding that she would be getting a gift when she woke up. “What a gift… a painful one too…” She began to actually cut into her pancakes and actually eat it. It was slightly cold, the taste was borderline good, but at least it will get food in her system. She rather not work on an empty stomach.

To distract herself, she thought about the actual good parts of the dream. Her party… her dance with the mysterious blonde woman. Weiss blushed slightly, she didn’t expect herself to dream about dancing with a girl… and in such vivid detail too. She was having a lot of fun in that dream, all things considered.

“She called herself Emerald… but I doubt that was her real name…” Weiss thought, but then she immediately shook her head. Why was she taking what that woman said seriously? It was just a dream her mind conjured up… besides the intruder of course. Saving that thought for later, she decided to finish up her breakfast.

“Any requests and or messages today that require my attention?” Weiss asked to her maidservants, not giving them a look their way.

“Hmm, only one today, and it is a request.” Replied one of the maidservants.

“And…?”

“It is from a detective… he says he wants your testimony on something… peculiar…” The maidservant reluctantly spoke out. Weiss dropped her fork on her plate and rested her head on her hand, thinking. One detective did stick out in her mind and it was that handsome detective that came into her country 3 years ago. He is an odd one. Always doing things alone and always taking on cases that are quite mysterious.

“Hmm… must be Fille Beau that made that request.” Weiss picked up her fork and started eating again. “Well, since he is the only request today… call him in at around… 10:00 AM. I should have enough time to fulfill his request before I start doing my work for today.”

“As you wish, your highness.”

If there is one thing people like about Weiss ever since she started ruling the country is that she doesn’t do things you wouldn’t normally expect a princess like her would do. Weiss will willingly listen to requests if she has time for them. Sure there are times where she is too busy and will leave it to others to deal with it, but for the most part, she will do the request simply because she loves her people… Of course there are limitations to what request she’ll actually do. Things like personal life problems, sex life, and the like are forbidden and will be thrown away.

“He wants my testimony on… possibly a case he is working on… Hmm, what is that silly detective up to now?” Weiss mumbled to herself. She finished up her pancakes and let out a satisfied sigh. That should sustain her till dinner. She had too many things to work on today to even bother with lunch. She isn’t a fan of lunch anyways. Breakfast and Dinner were her favorite meal times.

“That will do. You may clean up.” The maidservants went to retrieve her now finished plate and clean up the table, along with cleaning up any crumbs Weiss may have unintentionally left on the floor. Weiss got up and stretched, noting the long day ahead of her.

“By the way, your highness,”

“Yeah? Out with it.” Weiss summoned her sword to her side. Now that she had some food in her, it was time for her to do some training.

“Did you manage to finish that request about the Clock Tower?”

The princess tapped her chin in thought. That’s right. She requested someone do it in her stead as she was very busy that day. Yuna Yume… that adventurer. Now that she thought of it, she hasn’t heard a word from that woman ever since she met her at the Museum entrance. She was slightly concerned for that shy adventurer… but she has been in more scary and dangerous places than the clock tower. She is most likely fine… she hoped anyways.

“Well I was too busy to carry out that request, so I gave the request to an adventurer. I promised her a reward if she succeeded, but I haven’t heard from her since.” Weiss responded.

“I see. That is all, your highness, sorry to take up your time with that question.”

Weiss waved it off and proceeded to head outside to the training grounds. If she doesn’t hear from Yuna tomorrow, she’ll go check things out herself, provided her schedule allows it.

“Goddammit…” A certain detective man grumbled as he slapped down some photos on his desk. The photos were of those mysterious creatures that have been popping up in Snowtramine lately. He even heard rumors that they have been popping elsewhere in the world. He has been gathering a lot of testimonies lately, but he barely got anywhere in finding out this mystery.

He sat down on his chair and interlaced his fingers, collecting his thoughts. Those creatures that have been sighted in Snowtramine were also in people’s dreams. To note, the people that dreamt of them has never seen them before, so it being a coincidence is unfathomable.

“The Nightmares… where did they come from? Is it possible that they have manifested into the real world..?” Speaking of… there was that one testimony that he got from that girl he met at the river. He wasn’t sure why a girl like her was bathing there, but he wasn’t going to think too much into it. Probably ain’t none of his business anyhow.

“A mysterious man wearing a Scream mask and apparently he said… ‘Nightmare Purge’. Hmm…” Out of all the testimonies he gathered, hers was the most interesting one. There have been no reports of anyone hearing the man speak. Something about a Nightmare Purge. It really may be possible that he is the cause of all these monsters but he needs concrete evidence. It is not like he doubted the girl’s story… as he knows when a lie is told, but he had to get more info.

“Mister Beau?” A knock came at his office door. Fille Beau quickly stored the photos away in his desk. He readjusted his sunglasses and pulled out a notepad and a pen.

“Come in.”

The door opened to reveal a woman with long black hair that just barely reached her butt. She appeared to be wearing a red, very revealing red dress that left little to the imagination in regards to the chest area. A dress that went down to her feet. She appeared to be wearing sandals. A strange fashion choice to be sure, but what was more strange is that she appeared to be wearing an owl mask. Her nose and her eyes were hidden behind it. Fille Beau cleared his throat, suddenly feeling parched just looking at this woman.

“What can I do for you, miss?” Fille offered her a friendly smile. The woman sat down on the chair in front of him and simply stared at him through those owl eyes. The detective suddenly felt uncomfortable. It felt like she was staring into his soul… judging him.

“M-Miss?”

“Sorry. I was just merely taking in your appearance. You look more handsome in person. Those pictures online don’t do you justice.” The woman replied, backing off a bit, noticing his discomfort. Something told him that wasn’t the whole truth, but he wasn’t going to delve into it. “I don’t actually have a case that requires investigating… more of a string of questions I’d like to ask.”

“Ok. Go right ahead.” He clicked his pen and began jotting down notes. He wondered where this might lead.

“I am a merely a traveler and have never been here before. What can you tell me about the ruler of this country?” The woman asked, putting her left leg over her right as she waited for an answer from him.

“Princess Weiss?” Fille looked outside his window at the castle in the distance. He thought briefly on whether or not the princess will accept his request of meeting with her before looking back to the woman. “Well… I haven’t delved too much into the princess’ affairs, but from living here and observing what she has done… I can say with confidence that she loves her people and her country a great deal.”

“That so?” The woman remarked, intrigued. Fille nodded his head. She contemplated for a moment before leaning in and asking another question. “Well I won’t ask what she has done to give that impression, but I will ask this; Did she at any point mention her dreams and or ambitions ever since she started ruling?”

Fille blinked. He did not expect a question like that. What was this woman after exactly? He crossed his arms and thought for a moment. “Yeah. One of her speeches I remember her saying something to that effect. A dream of hers was to become a strong person like her father… if not better. She wishes to make this country a peaceful place for her people. To live without fear. My opinion, she is doing a great job so far… My only worry is that… she may be overworking herself.”

While he liked that Weiss is trying so hard to achieve her dream… he worries that she might just collapse one day in exhaustion. The woman in front of him seemed to be taking in his words, thinking. A moment or two later, she smiled. The woman got up from the chair and Fille raised an eyebrow in surprise. She was done already?

“That’s all I wanted to know. Thank you.” She took out her wallet and dropped 100 euros on the desk. Fille looked at the money briefly and then he gave it back to her, shaking his head. “I rather not take money that doesn’t involve solving a case… all I did was answer questions… that involve the princess…” He trailed off, wondering what this woman was going to do with that information. A traveler wouldn’t ask just about that.

“Well alright.” She took the money back. The woman turned and walked towards the door. She paused and looked behind her. “Don’t worry, I am not going to do anything to the princess… but just know that she might be capable of… dealing with that case you have going on…”

His eyes widened as the woman opened the door and went out. How… did she know that? There was nothing that indicated to the woman that he was working on a case at any point in their conversation. Was this woman a mind reader or something?

He felt his cell phone vibrate in his pocket. Fille recovered from his shock and pulled it out. Unknown number, but he answered it anyways. “Hello, this is Fille Beau speaking.”

“Mr. Beau, I am a maidservant of the princess, Weiss Shinrai.”
“Ah,” Fille leaned back in his chair and placed his feet on his desk. “Is this what I think it is? Is she willing to see me today?”

“Why yes. She only had one request today and decided to meet with you at 10:00 AM. Is this acceptable?”

Fille quickly glanced at his watch. 9:02 AM. The castle isn’t too far away. He can probably get there in 30 minutes by cab. “Yes, that is acceptable. I have nothing else planned for the day.” He truly didn’t. All he wanted was the princess’ testimony and hopefully from there he would be getting somewhere with these ‘Nightmares’.

“Be here no later than 10:00. Time is precious, after all.” With that, the maidservant hung up. Fille shoved his phone back into his pocket. He pulled out the drawer with the photos and put it into his jacket just in case. He’ll think about that mysterious woman another time. At the very least, she doesn’t seem to have any ill intent.

“Well, I hope this brings me closer to the truth…” He muttered to himself as he grabbed his hat and put it on before heading out.

The princess sat at her throne, slightly bored. She is not a fan of just sitting around doing nothing. Yeah she was waiting for Fille to show up so they can get it over with, but even still. “What time is it?” She asked, letting a yawn escape her. The bodyguards on each side of her quickly looked at their watches.

“9:55, your highness.” They both said in unison. Weiss simply sighed and drummed her fingers against the armrest of the throne impatiently.

“I am sorry for what I am about to do… but I am bored.” She summoned her sword in her hand and simply trapped both of her bodyguards from the waist down in a block of ice.

“Your highness! C-Cold…” One of her bodyguards complained. The other just shivered, not saying anything.

“I said I am sorry. I’ll… increase your wage next week in compensation… Just let me have some amount of entertainment.” Weiss mumbled as she repeatedly froze and unfroze them, smiling somewhat from their reactions. Now, she’ll never admit it, but this definitely pleases her more sadistic side.

“Your highness!”

That was the voice of one of her maidservants. She sighed, muttering out ‘finally’, before unfreezing her bodyguards and sending her sword away. “Bring him in.”

The doors opened and the handsome detective walked in. Weiss took in his appearance, noting that he hasn’t changed one bit since she last seen him. Once Fille came within a respectable distance from him and the Princess, he kneeled down on one knee and bowed respectfully.

“Your highness, thank you for making the time to listen to my silly request.” Fille started, smiling up to the princess before him. “And I know you’ve probably heard this before, but you look as lovely as ever.”

Weiss rolled her eyes, but a small smile graced her face nonetheless. “Yes, yes, yes, I know I am quite the sight. Not to be rude, but you can please get on with it, I have duties to attend to today.”

Fille frowned. There it was. Confirmation that the princess is just overworking herself. If only there was something that will make the princess relax, even if for a little while. He then took notice that the princess’ right arm was wrapped in bandages. Did something happen? He chose not to comment on it and went right to the point.

“Now, forgive me if this seems odd, even coming from me, but have you been having any strange dreams?” Fille gauged the princess’ reactions to his questions. Weiss thought about this for a moment. She knows what he is talking about, but just had to be sure. Also, what does this have to do with a case he is working on?

“What kind of strange dreams? You are going to have to be specific. Every human being has strange dreams every so often.”

“Dreams that involve… strange monsters. Monsters that you have never seen before?” Fille responded. He noticed the princess’ eyes widened at the question before she quickly recovered.

“Why yes. I did have a dream about some strange wolves just last night. Covered in tar and had these strange… swirly eyes. Never in my life had I seen them.” Weiss wondered where this was going. If this had to do with a case he is working on, does it have something to do with these monsters then? And if so, why? Is there monsters like those roaming about somewhere?

Actually, now that she thought about it… she had been hearing talk of the monster population rising in the southern area of her country. Is that what Fille is talking about?

“I see.” Fille got out his notebook and pen. “Can you please describe what happened in your dream to me the best you can. This is important.”

“Well…” Weiss started, tapping her chin as she recalled the dream. “I was holding a party for my people in it. I danced with a blonde girl wearing a mask… for some reason. All was going well and I was having fun until those monsters showed up.”

‘This sounds familiar… by blonde girl… she must mean…’ Fille jotted this down in his notes. “What happened afterwards?”

“Well… I tried to fight them, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t harm them. It was like they were immune to my attacks.” Weiss crossed her arms in thought. “After that… a strange man in a scream mask attacked my dance partner…”

That confirmed Fille’s suspicions. He now had concrete info. There is just no way this was a coincidence. “You had the same dream as someone I had just questioned earlier today.”

“I… I did?” Weiss asked, confused.

“Yes. It was from that girl you danced with in your dream. She stated that she danced with a girl in this castle and saw the same things that you did. Although, she stated that she was knocked out in the dream and doesn’t remember anything after that.”

Weiss took this info in. What did this mean? She shared the same dream as that girl? Before thinking on this further, she decided to answer the question that the detective will ask next. “Well, there is not much to add after she got knocked out as I was pretty much on the brink of being knocked out myself. I don’t remember word for word of what he said to me, but it went somewhere along these lines… Princess Weiss of Snowtramine, your country and the entire world will know the Nightmare Purge.” Weiss looked at her right arm and gripped it tightly. “And he said he will give me a gift as a reminder. One of the wolves bit me in the right arm… And as soon as I woke up… the bite marks somehow made it over into the real world.”

The bodyguards looked at her, shocked. “Your highness! You told us it was just an accident!”

“I didn’t want people to worry! Also who would believe me?! ‘Hey, uh, I got these bite marks because my dream self got bitten too. Whoa, crazy dude!’” Weiss said overdramatically in her best surfer dude voice.

“Thank you… this is some valuable info…” Fille now had something to work off of.

“Your welcome? I fail to understand why you are asking me these questions. What are you working on?” Weiss leaned forward to bit, wanting to know more. “Think you can share with me? Only fair.”

Fille nodded. It was indeed only fair. Not like he was going to withhold that information from her… especially since she is a princess.

The detective shared with the princess on everything he has gathered so far and what he saw, even showing her the pictures he took. Weiss took all of this in. She considered her options as she now knows that this is not something she should ignore. Her country is in danger for heaven’s sake. Her role as a princess is to keep it safe after all.

“I’ll have to do something about this. Thanks for bringing this to my attention…” Weiss got up from her throne as if to go do it right now.

“But, your highness…” Fille started, “I don’t think you can fight them if what you told me was true… and besides… they haven’t attacked anyone… at least not yet.”

“That’s the thing, detective, the fact that they haven’t yet gives me all the more reason to stop them before they do. I’ll… I’ll have to come up with something with my military base.” Weiss sighed and looked at her bandaged arm once more. “Not only that… If that man is truly out there summoning these monsters and appearing in people’s dreams just to harm them… I have to take him down myself… Hurt my people and it becomes personal…”

“You can’t just go out there and fight them without learning more about the enemy, we don’t know what they are capable of!” Fille tried reasoning with the princess. “And not only that… you must be tired. You should relax. I truly do fear that one day you’ll just collapse and get sick.”

“Why do you care so much? A princess has to do what she has to do.” Weiss placed her hands on her hips, glaring at the detective. “Yes it is very tiring to do the things I do on a daily basis… But you just don’t understand… a princess’ work is never done. There is always something to do. If I can’t do it, then I am not fit to be a princess.”

“But that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.” Fille sighed. “At the very least, let me help you. I will look into this matter and will relay any info I find to you…”

“Wait what? Don’t you make it a point that you always work alone. Why work with me on this matter?” Weiss was honestly curious. She didn’t expect to hear that from him of all people.

“True, but just this once, I would like to help you out in this manner, just to make you less stressed so you can focus on your other work. Please, your highness.” Fille bowed, hoping that he convinced the princess to back down. Weiss looked conflicted and bit her lip, thinking.

“With all due respect, your highness, I agree with this detective. You have been overworking yourself. We worry about you sometimes and you haven’t had a decent break in weeks.” The bodyguard to her left said. The white haired princess sighed and threw her hands up in exasperation.

“Fine. I yield. And I guess I do need a break…” Weiss crossed her arms, thinking. 15 seconds later, she thought of something. “Well I guess I can hold a party for my people this saturday just like what happened in my dream… before the mysterious person showed up. I’ll take a rest then and enjoy myself… good?”

Fille stayed silent for a moment. He feared that reenacting a dream would tempt the mysterious person to come over and attempt to do harm to her, but if he doesn’t show up, then the princess will get some amount of reprieve to recover from her work. Guess that is a risk that must be taken. “No objections from me. I will do my part, don’t you worry.” He reassured her.

“Good. Now if you don’t have any more business with me, you are dismissed. Good day to you, sir detective.”

Fille did one last bow before heading out of the throne room. Weiss slumped back into her throne chair and sighed. “More work to do… ah well… perhaps it will be worth it in the end with this party…”

3 hours later…

The live broadcast has been set up and curious people have gathered around the outside of the castle, wondering what the princess is about to talk about. Weiss was behind the podium, waiting for the signal to start. She looked at the amount of people before her and her heart swelled with love that she has for them. A smile graced her face. They will be ecstatic to hear what she has to say, she is sure of it.

The bodyguard to her left whispered in her ear, “Ok they are ready, please begin.” Weiss nodded and gripped the podium.

“Greetings, my lovely people of Snowtramine! As your princess, I have grown concerned about the low spirits everybody is in thanks to the rise in the monster population.” Weiss paused, taking in the reactions of the people before her. She sees some of them nod, some of them expectant, and of course some of them being shocked as if this was their first time hearing about this.

“Fear not though, those monsters will be taken care of in due time. To keep your mind off of them even if just for a little while…” Weiss placed a hand to her chest before continuing, “I decided that I will hold a big ball for you all! Yes, all of you! You all are welcome to enjoy yourselves at my greatest ball yet this Saturday!”

Cheers erupted from the crowd gathered there. There was even some chants of her name in gratitude of her announcement. She smiled, this is definitely one of her favorite moments of being a princess. She being loved by her people as she did them.

“The ball will be held at 7:00 PM. We will have lots of food, music of course, and perhaps some fun little games for all of you to do. I of course will be joining in you in these festivities. And who knows, perhaps I’ll dance with a few… lucky individuals.” She winked. She received some laughs and a few cat calls here and there. Weiss giggled before continuing on.

“I hope all of you will find time to attend. One more thing… While I am not my father and I still have quite some ways to go before I accomplish as much as he did…” She took a deep breath before giving them a heartfelt smile, “I, from the bottom of my heart, love you all. Your happiness… brings me happiness… and I will do anything to protect that happiness. All of you have given me your support and it is only natural that I return the favor and help you all the best I can. That is what a princess like me should do… Thank you…”

Applause and flashes from cameras broke out. Weiss waved to them all before turning around to head back inside the castle.

Zap

Weiss stopped in place… shocked… before clutching her head in pain. Sweat broke out and she started breathing heavily. Loud gasps erupted from the crowd as her bodyguards rushed up to her, concerned.

“Your highness, are you alright?”

The princess didn’t answer and collapsed onto the floor, screaming in pain. Vision was blurring… consciousness fading… What was this headache all of a sudden… why was it so painful?

“Get a doctor here!”

That was the last thing Weiss heard before she blacked out...

Weiss found herself lying in a bed of flowers. She got up, shaking her head. Looking around, she realized she was… in the clouds…? There doesn’t appear to be any wind either. She must be dreaming. That is the only explanation. She passed out after her announcement of a party and here she was dreaming about… something that involved clouds. Well maybe not the only explanation… this could be heaven. And if that was the case, she is not sure whether to be angry about being dead or happy that she may be welcomed into heaven.

“Well before I get ahead of myself… I should explore some more…” Weiss wondered where she should start. She walked forward for about 5 minutes or so before she sees a golden counter and a locked golden gate behind it. Definitely starting to look like heaven. She quickened her pace and made it to the counter. There didn’t seem to be anyone around. If this was heaven, there probably should be an angel at the counter at all times.

“Hello? Anybody here?” Her voice seemed to echo in… whatever this place is. “If there is somebody, please come out and tell me where I am.” She waited around for a minute. There didn’t appear to be a response of any kind. Weiss looked through the golden gate ahead and didn’t see anything behind it… just more clouds.

“Maybe this isn’t heaven…” Weiss touched the golden counter, wondering if doing something with this counter will make something happen…

“DON’T TOUCH!”

Weiss almost yelped from the sudden outburst and backed off. A man popped out of the cloud behind the counter. He looked to be a man in his early 30’s, a blonde buzz cut, sky blue eyes, a scar on his left cheek, wearing a white business suit with a black neck tie, and wearing white gloves.

“I heard you and was making my way here, goddammit. No need to couch the counter.” He growled and got out a wet cloth and rubbed at the place where she touched.

“S-Sorry?” Weiss now believed this wasn’t heaven. He didn’t appear to have angel wings and she was pretty sure she heard him say the lord’s name in vain. She let out a sigh of relief she didn’t realize she was holding. This must be another vivid dream then.

“Now that you know not to touch my counter… Just who are you?” The man demanded. “I haven’t had a visitor here in a near century. So to have somebody here after so long is suspicious.”

Weiss cocked an eyebrow at that. It’s been nearly a century since anybody was here? Just who is this man and what is this place? Well first things first, introductions are in order. Only polite. “I am Princess Weiss. Weiss Shinrai is my full name.”

“What do I care if you are a princess?” The man grumbled, looking her over. “How did you get here is what I want to know next.”

Well this man was rude. Weiss held back her tongue on laying it into this man. “Well, I had a bad headache, passed out, and then somehow I wound up here in this… dream I guess.”

“You are saying you managed to dream yourself here? I find that hard to believe. Only a select few can make their way here that way.” The man summoned a book in his hands and started flipping through it. “You said your name was Weiss Shinrai, right?”

“...Did I stutter?”

“Fuck you too then.” The blonde grumbled and continued flipping through the book. “Let’s see… Sariel… Schnee… Senti… Ah here we are… Weiss Shinrai…” He pressed his finger to the name in the book and began to read.

“Daughter of the late Garland Shinrai and Lily Shinrai. A princess of Snowtramine… Well looks like you were telling the truth in that regard…”

“Like hell I was lying about that…”

“Shut up. Trying to read.” The man continued to read to himself about Weiss. A minute or two later... his eyes widened in shock at what he read. Weiss wondered what made him react that way as he cleared his throat and quickly shut the book.

“I see now… Well, I still don’t like you, but now that I know exactly who you are and how you came here… I can give you a proper explanation.” The blonde man sighed and ignored the glare from Weiss. “My name is Harold Tachibachi. I am in charge of making sure the Dreamscape stays in order and prevent anybody unworthy from entering and causing a ruckus.”
Weiss was intrigued at that information. “Dreamscape? So… this is a place where all dreams come to be?”

“Let me finish…” Harold sighed, “But you are not half wrong in that assumption.” He turned his back to her and placed his hands behind his back before he continued his explanation. “Behind this gate lies the Dreamscape. A place where the dreams of all worlds go. Each world has… let’s say a room where their dreams stay, ‘live’, and prosper. Each of those individual rooms has a gate to prevent outsiders and dreams from other worlds to intermingle with them.”

“Other worlds?”

Harold turned back to face her, grinning. “What, did you think you lived in the only world in the entire damn universe? Of course there are other worlds. Countless worlds. Well that’s not true, I know the exact number since I run the place… but like hell I’ll tell you how many.”

Weiss did not know what to think of all of this. It is just… mind boggling. Dreamscape… she did not know such a place even existed. However, there was one thing bothering her. He said only a select few can possibly dream themselves here, outside of the Dreamscape. So what made her special?

“So then… why did I manage to come here?” Weiss voiced her question to Harold. “If I were any other human being, I would be dreaming in my world’s Dreamscape room, correct?”

“Yes. You would be locked into that room with the other dreamers of that world.” Harold walked around the counter towards her. “And yet you made your way here unintentionally… And from what I read from my book about you… you are someone… very special.”

“And how am I special? I am just a princess… that has yet to meet my father’s expectations…” Weiss mumbled the last part quietly to herself. Harold placed a hand on his chin, looking over Weiss once more.

“Indeed, I see nothing special about you fruitcake…” Harold chuckled as he dodged the punch Weiss sent his way in retaliation. “What makes you special…? Well I’ll tell you… later.”

The princess grabbed him by the collar. “What?! Why not now?! Why do I need to wait?!” Harold grinned and shoved Weiss off of him easily. He readjusted his suit before walking back behind the counter.

“Because you don’t have a specific weapon yet. Once you get that weapon, return here with it and I will share with you all the info you need about this place and about yourself…” He summoned up a lever beside him. “Until then…”

“No wait!”

Too late, he pulled the lever and the cloud from underneath her gave away. Weiss screamed as she plunged downward into a seemingly endless abyss. Harold smiled as he watched the princess fall. “Back to the real world you go. We will meet again…”

Weiss woke up with a gasp, feeling as if she crash landed somewhere. She whipped her head from side to side, taking in her surroundings. She was back in her bedroom chambers. The maidservants must have carried her here after she passed out from her headache. The princess sighed and laid back down, an arm draped over her eyes. That dream… what was it about? She feels like she should remember it. Why can’t she? She… She was… in the clouds… Doing… what?

“Gah! Dreams are stupid!” She flew the blankets off of her in exasperation and got up. She noted she was still in her royal attire before heading off to her bathroom. She went to her sink and splashed some cold water on her face to refresh herself. There is no time to being resting, she has a country to run and a party to plan this saturday.

She heard a knock at her bedroom door. “Your highness, are you alright in there?” It was one of her bodyguards. Weiss wiped her face before answering. “I am quite alright. Don’t worry. This headache was a minor setback and I am ready to continue my duties.”

“Are you sure, your highness? You don’t need more rest?”

“I’ll rest when it is nighttime. Does it look like it is nighttime? No! So until then, I must continue to work hard… it is a Princess’ duties to make sure their people… are happy.” Weiss felt a little out of breath but she ignored it. She’ll have some time to relax during the party perhaps where she can enjoy herself, even for a little while.

“I understand, forgive me for being foolish, I was only looking out for your well being.”

“Don’t even mention it…” Weiss quickly made herself look presentable before heading out of the bathroom to continue on her day. “I just hope that one day… I’ll make him happy…”

Chapter Text

 

Weiss’ POV

 

I slowly walked into my chambers, extremely tired. It was 11 at night and I am ready to sleep like a baby. What a day… I had to bandage my injury from waking up because of that douche, learned more about these monsters from that detective, did my princess duties, announced the ball, passed out from a headache, and then more duties. Never a dull moment. Nope.

 

I was half tempted to not change out of my clothes and just go to sleep in my dress… but that will be very not princess like. I quickly stripped myself naked and placed the dirty laundry in the laundry chute near the door. I yawned and made my way over to my walk-in closet and grabbed my blue nightwear. Putting them on, I thought about the ball I planned for my people. Would it be too crazy to think that… that girl from my dream will come to it?

 

The plan was to recreate my dream in order to see if that mysterious person would show up at the ball like he did in my dream, so… maybe she’ll appear too. It’d certainly be nice to dance with her for real and perhaps get to know her. Thanks to being a princess, I don’t have the luxury of time to go out and make friends my own age. I was always limited to my servants who are older than me, but the relationships I have with them are strictly professional.

 

Going back to the plan though, I was surprised Fille didn’t speak up about it, although, him being a good detective in my country, I am sure he knew the not so hidden motive behind it and just kept quiet for my sake. I shrugged to no one in particular and made my way to my queen sized bed. Sitting down, I looked at my Playstation Nexus that have been collecting dust on the counter under my flatscreen TV. I haven’t touched the console in months as there hasn’t been time for me to relax.

 

Gaming was a hobby of mine when I was younger. I didn’t take my princess duties as seriously back then as I do now. Well… maybe just 10 minutes… and then I go to sleep. “Nexus, start.” I said one of the voice commands and the console roared to life along with the TV. I reached underneath my bed to grab the controller as the console logged into my account.

 

Huh, looks like a beta of a game downloaded itself onto my console. “Nekogirl Online” A game that will be able to send you into this game world without fail. It appears to be a co-op game with a person and a very smart NPC that is a Nekogirl to fight giant monsters of some sorts. I scratched my head, wondering why this is a thing. Maybe if I have children, I’ll let them play it, assuming this game is still active by then. As for me, no thanks.

 

I scrolled through my library of games and landed on a JRPG, Last Fantasy XX. Might as well do a race on those horsebirds for fun then go to sleep. “Nexus, load up recent save.” I commanded the console.

 

Ring!

 

Ugh… Who would call at this hour? “Nexus, Mute sound.” I quickly headed over to the counter where my smartphone was. Unknown number. Huh. I rarely ever get unknown numbers. Well, might as well entertain whoever is on the other side. I quickly swiped answer, put it on speaker, and then quickly sat back down on my bed to start a horsebird race.

 

“Speak to me.” I was never one to say hello to any of my contacts, especially unknown numbers. If I had friends my age, I’d be more friendlier.

 

“Your highness, it is me, Fille.”

 

Oh, the detective… How did he get my number? Wait, he probably has connections. Ah well, it is whatever. I’ll let it go. He is helping me on these new monster problems and that mysterious man after all. I went into the second lap of my race before I decided to respond, “Detective, don’t you know how late it is? What is so important that you needed to call me?”

 

“Before that, why did you take a while to respond. Busy?”

 

“Perceptive as ever. I am busy, but not the kind of busy you think. I am playing a videogame.” I decided to answer truthfully. Not like he’ll do anything with that information. There are a good number of citizens who knew about my hobby before I started ruling.

 

“A videogame? Does that mean you had time to relax?”

 

“If you call 10 minutes enough time to relax. Just a small session before I go into dreamland.”

 

“I worry about you sometimes.”

 

Sigh, why does he care? It is not like we’re friends. If anything, it is a strictly platonic relationship. We’ll probably never see each other again once we solve this problem anyways.

 

“I’ll get my break once the ball is underway. Now, can you please get to the point?”

 

I hear him sigh from the other side. “First, this is probably irrelevant to the case, but have you seen or heard from a woman named Yuna Yume?”

 

Ah, the adventurer. What happened to her? I don’t want to assume, but hopefully venturing into that Clock Tower for me didn’t… kill her. I don’t like the feeling of sending someone to their death. I felt that before and it was… very unpleasant.

 

“No. I haven’t.” I responded truthfully. “Let me guess, did one of my maidservants talk to you about my requests?” That’s the only logical conclusion I can come up with as to why he would ask me that. I managed to finish the race in 1st place, earning some money to buy some items if I continue this game. “Before you answer, let me turn off my console.”

 

He gave me the ok and I placed the controller underneath my bed. “Nexus, save and turn off.” The console did just that and turned off along with the TV. I got up and grabbed my phone off the counter. I turned off the speaker and placed the phone to my right ear to talk normally. “Ok, done. Respond.”

 

“Yes, you would be correct in your assumption. I questioned this girl before about the case and when I heard this, I grew concerned. I asked around and apparently nobody has seen her. She either vanished or... “ I hear him trail him off, knowing what he was about to say. I sighed.

 

“Let’s not think about that. I assume you have yet to check the Clock Tower?”

 

“Not yet. I will soon though. Perhaps I’ll even figure out what the problem is with that Clock Tower for you. Free of charge.” He offered to me. I can hear the sincerity in his voice. I thought about it for a moment. I am not one to accept offers that doesn’t let me repay them. It doesn’t feel right to me.

 

“Well, I appreciate your kind offer, but if you do this for me, I have to reward you. No buts.” I told him. I can hear him chuckle softly before finally letting out a defeated sigh.

 

“Fine. If I finish this request of yours, I want the reward to be… a dinner at a fancy restaurant. How’s that?”

 

I scoffed. That can be easily arranged. I expected more to be honest. Well, if that’s what he wants, that’s what I’ll give him. “Sure. I can see the headlines now, The Princess of Snowtramine on a date with the great detective, Fille Beau. How bold of you…” I teased him.

 

“I-I assure you it is not a date! I just really want to eat some expensive food for once… and you could use some more time off away from the castle that isn’t work related.”

 

“You must really care about me… you sure this isn’t a date?”

 

“P-Please stop… It really isn’t…”

 

I giggled. It was so easy to tease him. For his sake, I’ll stop. Still though, I am quite surprised that I will probably see him more often from now on. Perhaps this relationship of ours will not stay professional and maybe progress to… dare I say, friendship. That’d… be nice actually. Won’t hold my breath though.

 

“Well we certainly gotten off topic. Heh. Now then, continue on. I believe you have something that’s actually relevant to our case, right?” I asked, sitting back down on the bed. I can hear him clear his throat before he continued speaking.

 

“Right. Well a short while ago… I came across something pretty disturbing… I saw one of those monsters… kill a person.”

 

...What? Seriously, what?! I got up from the bed, enraged. They already started killing my people? Un-fucking-believable! Whoever that bastard is, he is going to get what is coming to him. Gah, gotta calm down. Need to figure out more information… I breathed in and then let it out. “Ok… and what happened next?”

 

“Well, after they killed their prey, they eat them whole.” He paused. I can hear his disgust from the other side. To be honest, I can’t blame him. I am quite disgusted too. “Then… they turn into a giant monstrosity with… human like qualities… and their eyes are no longer those red swirls. They look like normal human eyes, just red.”

 

I took in this information. So they essentially get stronger anytime they gobble up a human. In that case, they need to be stopped before then.

 

Whoosh

 

I gasped and looked to where I heard the noise, which was the window. I see a handprint that seemed to be made from the other side of the window, but no sign of the owner of that handprint. I quickly ran over and open the window. Poking my head out, I don’t see anyone. Just tall trees. Also, this room is very high up with no ledges to let anybody peak in somewhat safely. So how did they peek in?

 

“Your highness, what happened?”

 

I scratched my head, confused. “I think I have a spy lurking around. I see a handprint on my window, but they shouldn’t be able to peek in since there is no ledge.”

 

“That is odd. I know the design of that castle and I agree that looking into your room is nigh impossible without some kind of makeshift ladder.”

 

As he said that, I see something out of the corner of my eye shoot up into the sky at lightning speed. What was that?! And it was not too far off either. A… UFO? Hmm… I don’t really believe in exterrestrials… so it was probably something else or I am simply imagining things because I am too fucking tired. Latter very possible.

 

“So, is that all?”

 

“At the moment, yeah. I just wanted to inform you of that.”

 

“Well thanks for bringing me up to speed, detective.” I closed the window. “I need to go to sleep. I don’t think I can stay up any longer. If you find out anything more, please contact me at once.”

 

“I will. Good night, your highness.”

 

He hung up. I turned off my phone and put it back on the counter. I let out a big ass yawn and collapsed on my bed. Time to go to sleep. I got under the covers, laid my head on my comfy pillow and shut my eyes. Tomorrow I start planning for the ball… can’t… wait… With that, I headed off to dreamland.

 

 

“W-Where am I?”

 

That was the question I asked myself. I was standing in midair… somehow… in a dark abyss of some sorts. Seriously, where the fuck am I? I feel like I’ve been in this scenario before… just recently in fact. Another weird stupid dream I’m having that seems to be really vivid.

 

Well, standing around like an idiot is not going to help matters, so best walk forward and see what I can find… assuming there is something in here. I marched forward. Onward and onward and onward. While I was doing that, I crossed my arms over my chest, thinking about what this dream reminds me of.

 

It had something to do with the clouds. In there I found… what exactly? Something golden…. And I believe somebody told me something important. Ugh, I don’t remember… Why can’t I remember?

 

“FUCK MY IMMORTAL LIFE! FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK!”

 

Woah, that was a lot of F-bombs dropped. It sounded female and not too far away. I picked up my pace and ran towards the source. Not even 30 seconds later, I found the owner of the voice. It was a long black haired woman with bangs covering both her eyes. She wore black lipstick and all she seemed to be wearing was a black dress with spider web designs on it. Wow, gothic much?

 

She was behind a purple counter with the same kind of spider web design, slamming her fists onto it repeatedly. And right behind her was a big open black gate. I shiver as I see a dark mist escape from the open gate and disappear into the abyss… Whatever that is… it can’t be a good thing.

 

“H-Hey. Uh… what happened?” I reached out to the woman. She stopped her childish tantrum and looked up at me. We both looked at each other for a good 20 seconds and I was starting to grow uncomfortable. Is she going to say something or what?

 

The gothic woman then scoffed and jumped over the counter. She was now a good foot or so away from me. Jesus, personal space, woman! I can feel the glare from behind those bangs of hers before she spoke. “What happened?! Hahahaha! What happened?! Well I’ll tell you what happened, bucko!” She pointed towards the opened gate. “I was in charge of making sure this gate never get opened by people who are unworthy… and lo and behold, somebody managed to open it without me knowing! Now everything is escaping! Fuck me sideways!”

 

“Couldn’t you just… close it now?” I asked, confused. She gave me a strange look as if the very question I asked was a stupid one.

 

“Well obviously if I could close it I would have done so already, but unfortunately sweet cheeks,” She slammed her right hand on the counter, angry. “Until I have a specific ‘key’, I cannot close it and lock it. Gah, if only one of those key sword things actually work on this gate, it would make my life all the more easier… Locks and unlocks any lock my ass…”

 

I ignored the latter part of that sentence and chose to focus on the most important part. So she needs a specific kind of key to lock the gate behind her and prevent… whatever that dark mist is from escaping… I need more information.

 

“Wait just a cotton pickin’ minute…” The woman blurted out suddenly, startling me. “How in the world did you get here?! Very few even have the qualifications to come here!”

 

I am having Deja vu all of a sudden. I feel as if I heard that line or something similar before. Well I am not sure how I ended up here. I can’t control what I dream most of the time anyways. Should I even be taking all of this seriously?

 

“I do not know. I simply fell asleep and I found myself here. It is as plain and simple as that.” I answered truthfully. The goth woman looked me up and down, as if my appearance will give her a more concrete answer. Then she tapped her chin in thought, looking up into… well the darkness.

 

“Hmm… well you don’t appear to be lying. Is it ok if I check your memories? It will be a quick process, I need to confirm something.” The woman suddenly being serious. Well I don’t see why not. Anything is possible within a dream right? Might as well go along with it. I gave her a nod and she pulled out what appears to be a wand. She whispered a cantation for a spell of some kind and tapped my forehead with the wand. I blinked. I didn’t feel anything and I didn’t see anything come out of the wand. She had her eyes closed, concentrating. 10 seconds later, I see her eyes widen, surprised.

 

“Ah! I see now.” She pocketed her wand, giving me a big grin. “No wonder you got here. You also met my brother I see. Still the hot-headed jackass. Nice to meet ya, White Confidence.” She giggled. I rolled my eyes in response. Please don’t call me by my literal translated full name. Also, I met her brother? Really? Where? I feel like I know, but where? Well before that, I’ll ask a more important question.

 

“So… how did I get here exactly?”

 

“Well I can’t tell you everything… at least right now. What I CAN tell you is that you are in the Nightscape. A place where all Nightmares are kept. Heheheh… scary huh?” The woman explained to me, grinning from ear to ear. I crossed my arms, taking in this information. It is certainly interesting, but am I scared? Well, no. I don’t feel threatened, at least not yet anyways.

 

“Right, with who am I talking to, of course not.” The woman facepalmed. “Oh how rude of me. I haven’t even introduced myself! My name is Dayna Evans.” She held out her right hand and I hesitantly took it in mine for a shake. Getting back to the information she told me though. I feel like it might be related to the problem I have in the real world as well as a dream I was in just yesterday night.

 

“So, am I correct in assuming you don’t know who opened the gate?” I asked.

 

“While I didn’t see it, I have an inkling as to who the criminal is. Too bad I can’t really stop him. I am stuck here and can’t leave… like ever. This is like my own personal hell. I am trapped here for all eternity.” Dayna sighed. “Thems the breaks I suppose.”

 

“C-Could it be…”

 

Dayna just shrugged in response. “Possibly. Either way, this spells bad news for the real worlds. Letting out the Nightmares just causes a mass Nightmare Apocalypse across all worlds. No one will be able to escape their fears. Just the thought brings chills down my spine.”

 

“Is there anything I can do?” I asked. It is becoming my problem and I would like to take care of it ASAP.

 

“Well yeah. But, you lack a certain weapon at the moment. You have the potential, but you don’t have the means. You can’t go saving the universe without the means to an end, sweet cheeks!” Dayna laughed and I growled in frustration. So apparently I do not have the correct weapon to deal with this evil. Just what is this weapon?

 

“Then, at the very least, can you tell me what this weapon is and where I can find it?”

 

“I am sorry. That is something you need to figure out on your own.” Dayna then placed a hand on my shoulder and looked at me square in the eyes… well my one eye anyways as the other is… covered up by my eye patch.

 

“Weiss, I wish you luck. This is how your real story begins…” She then puts something in my right hand. I held it up and looked at it. It appeared to be a crow’s feather tied to a small string of rope. Confused, I looked at her for clarification. The woman just shook her head, instantly telling me that I am not going to get an answer from her.

 

“Hang on to that. You’ll know what to do with it when the time comes.” Dayna summoned a lever to her side and I felt the sudden need to brace myself. “Now I do believe you have a new day to greet. See ya next time, amigo!”

 

“NO!”

 

My objection went ignored and she pulled on the lever. A dark monster like hand came out from under me and grabbed me. I struggled against its grip but to no avail as it began spinning me around in circles. Few seconds later I was tossed into the air at high speed, screaming my head off.

 

 

I woke up, gasping. Sweat was pouring down my face as I looked at the time. It was 6:40 AM and the sun was peeking into my room. I sighed… another dream… that I do not remember at all. Jesus christ.  I was about to get up when I felt something. W-Wait… what is in my hand? There is definitely something that shouldn’t be there. I brought my right hand up to my face and loosened my grip on the object.

 

“A crow’s feather on some small rope?” How did that get there? I don’t remember going to sleep with it. Did someone plant it on me? I scratched my left cheek in thought. For some reason, I feel like keeping this thing, whatever it is. Well, for the time being, I could just use it as a fake lucky charm. I don’t know what else to do with it…

 

“Gah, I’ll think more on this and that dream I do not remember later. New day, more work.” I tossed the covers off of me and went to get myself ready.

 

 

Emma’s POV

 

After Weiss’ announcement

 

The bell ringed, signalling that lunch break was over and it was time to head back to our next assigned class. I pulled off the headphones and logged out of the computer. I leaned back against the chair, not believing that I just dreamed of something that will happen in the future. Well, actually… If I don’t go, then that changes things. But do I have any reason not to go? I don’t have plans this Saturday. Every night I am just hunting food for my family. I am sure they can hunt food on their own. They are wolves after all. They might miss me, sure, but I can’t always be with them.

 

“Guess that’s fine.” I muttered to myself as I got up and headed out the library. I’ll get to dance with the beautiful princess after all possibly. And if that guy shows up… well… I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

 

“Hey Emma!”

 

Ah, Jessica. I look behind me and sure enough, I see the small, cute redhead power walk towards me. I am quite surprised she is talking to me a lot today. I mean, we aren’t friends… at least I don’t think so. But I wouldn’t be opposed to being friends with her. She’s nice.

 

“Yo, Jess. What up?” I gave her a friendly greet. We walked together to our next class, which was Physics class. I think I am barely passing Physics and since the school ends next week for us seniors, that means I have to do somewhat decently on final exams if I want to graduate. I would hate to be held back a year and disappoint everyone I am acquainted with.

 

“Did you hear the announcement from Princess Weiss? A ball! And everyone of us are invited to it! Ah I knew Weiss was a nice ruler, but I didn’t know how nice!” Jessica said to me excitedly. I can only giggle at how cute she was being. “Her father was a nice ruler too, but I feel like she is much better, she really does care about Snowtramine and the people in it.”

 

“Yeah she is isn’t she?” I smiled. I have nothing but admiration and respect for the princess to be perfectly honest… obvious attraction aside. “Hope you and your boyfriend have fun.”

 

“You’re not going, Emma?” Jessica looked at me, confused.

 

“Oh I am going. I got nothing better to do. I am hoping to have a dance with the princess…” I decided to tell her for the heck of it. I trust her well enough.

 

“Pfft… Good luck with that.” Jessica slapped me on the arm playfully. “You don’t know if she’s even into girls.”

 

True. I don’t know her sexuality. But I won’t know until I try. At worst I’ll get turned down. It is not like she is homophobic, otherwise she would be the biggest hypocrite for legalizing gay marriage, but is still against gays.

We entered our Physics class and parted ways so we can go to our assigned seats. The teacher has yet to arrive. Nothing too special today, just more review for our final exams for those that care to listen. I certainly don’t. I’ll just review my notes back in my cave and hope for the best. Study all night if I have to.

 

Wish I can nap in class, but the teacher would just throw chalk at me for that kind of behavior. So I stared out the window instead. I started thinking about what to do after graduation. I don’t have any scholarships or any kind of money to go to college. I would if I stayed with my parents… but I ran away from them for good reason.

 

I can’t live in that cave forever. I have to move on. I would need to get a decent job as far as a high school diploma would get me. Then once I get enough money, I can hopefully find a decent place to stay… perhaps even find “Mrs. Right”. I have a long road ahead of me, regardless of what I do. I am probably one of the poorest, if not the poorest student in school.

 

“Good afternoon class.” I didn’t bother turning to look at the teacher. “We’ll be reviewing for your final exams coming next Tuesday. For those worried about their grades, I strongly advise that you pay attention to this review. If you don’t care, then do something productive, but don’t bother others.”

 

And I won’t do that. Allow me to stare at the scenery in front of me for the next hour or so. Do your boring review without this useless girl over here. The scenery I was currently looking at is just the courtyard, couple of trees, a little koi pond, and a bench.

 

At least I can watch the koi fish swimming around. I am not easily amused, but better than staring at nearly unmoving scenery for an hour and being totally bored shitless.

 

 

 

 

...Huh? Some 15 minutes later and I see something I didn’t expect come into view. A purple haired teenage girl in what appears to be a lab coat and boots walked limply towards the koi pond. I turned to look at my classmates to see if they see her, but all of them were just taking notes. The teacher was too busy writing on the chalkboard to notice either. I turned back to look at the mysterious girl and she was currently looking at the koi fish.

 

I leaned in a little closer to get a good look at this girl. I am not too sure but… her skin looks… really pale… like deathly pale. Her eyes… I am not sure what color they are… but they look clouded. What happened to this girl? Is she… no… I don’t think she is one. If she was… she would be acting more differently and would probably go after everybody in here.

I decided not to make a commotion just yet and stare at the girl some more. I see her kneel down and fetched a koi fish out of water with little to no effort. My eyes widened as I see her tear into it hungrily as if she hadn’t had a meal in a long time. Once again, I looked back towards my classmates and teacher to see if they see what I see. Nope, they were still preoccupied.

 

I fidgeted uncomfortably in my seat and looked back at the strange girl. To my surprise I see her stare at me from her spot by the pond. The koi fish’s skeleton was on the ground. Not a single bit of flesh left. I froze, my body refusing to move a muscle as we stared each other down. My blue eyes to her cloudy eyes.

 

After what seemed like minutes, she finally turned around and walked a bit faster off towards the exit of the courtyard as if I spooked her. Now I am even more confused. This was totally unexpected. She doesn’t seem like a zombie… kinda looks and acts the part… but when she saw me, she didn’t immediately go after me like I was food to her. This is worrisome.

 

“Uh, teacher!” I spoke up to get his attention. He groaned and turned to look at me. “I need to go to the bathroom real quick… Can I please?”

 

“Fine. Go.”

 

I quickly got up from my seat and headed out the room. I quickly glanced around. I don’t see any hall monitors or anybody in the hallway. Thanking my luck, I quickly exited the building and headed near the courtyard. I need to see if she was a zombie or not. I knew I was taking a big risk in both my life and possibly getting detention for skipping class, but I had to find out.

 

“H-Hello?” I called out as I looked around near the courtyard.

 

No answer. If she was a zombie, I don’t think she can speak anyways. All they can do is make weird deathly groans… or even growl. At least, to my zombie knowledge. She couldn’t have gotten far. I decided to traverse further outside and into the parking lot of the school.

 

I looked and looked and looked as quickly as I could around the cars, but I still couldn’t find her. Where did she walk off to so fast? Damn.

 

“Emma?”

 

I quickly turned around and see Jessica made her way towards me. “What are you doing here, Jess?” Dammit, I got caught. Well, hopefully she won’t rat me out or worse we both get caught by someone patrolling the perimeters and we get detention.

 

“I could ask the same to you. I also called for a bathroom break since I knew you weren’t actually going to go to the bathroom. You look like you were… worried about something. What are you trying to find?” Jess looked at me, eyebrow arched. “And don’t lie, cause I’ll know.”

How do I explain this without sounding totally crazy? Beating around the bush isn’t going to help matters… Uh…

 

“I was staring out the window and I saw a purple haired girl in a lab coat go to the koi pond and ate a fish. She saw me and fled so I came out here to see if I can find her…” I left out the part where I was trying to see if she was a zombie or not. It is not like I am totally lying about it. Jess looked at me funny, like she wasn’t completely buying it.

 

“And why would you chase after an intruder like that? Don’t you know that is dangerous?”

 

“Well duh, but…”

 

Jess sighed and grabbed my arm. “Come on, let’s go before we both get into trouble. Your lucky I like you well enough.” She mumbled quietly before yanking me along with her. I groaned, accepting my fate. Guess I’ll never know who that was. I gave one last look at the parking lot before heading back to school.

 

 

The deathly pale girl crawled out from underneath one of the cars. Her pursuer was gone. She slowly got up, careful not to fall over thanks to how weak her body was. Groaning softly, she looked around to see if the coast was clear. There didn’t appear to be anybody.

 

“...”

 

Fighting against her instincts, she walked off the school campus.




Chapter Text

Weiss’ POV

 

“A string with a crow’s feather? And it was in your hand while you were sleeping?” The detective asked from the other side of my smartphone. I was currently eating breakfast that consist of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, toast, and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Before I go on with my day of planning the ball that was coming the day after tomorrow, I figured I let the detective know of this.

 

“Yes. Nobody entered my room that night. The security footage hooked up to my room did not show anything.” I explained before taking a piece of bacon into my mouth. I held back a moan at the taste. Bacon is just so tasty.

 

“You have a security camera in your room? Do you not care about your private life?”

 

Really? I roll my eyes, even though he couldn’t see it. “I don’t personally care. They see me naked, whatever. I am over it, my safety is more important you know than letting people see what I do in my room.”

 

“True.” He paused for a second before continuing. “Oh and since you brought it up, did you manage to see who was spying into your room last night?”

 

“No. We saw the exact moment someone left that handprint on my window but not the person themselves.” I am not sure how the spy managed to make themselves invisible but no matter, there are slightly more important matters to talk about than that.

 

“Hmm.”

 

I took a sip of my orange juice before continuing. “Back to the topic at hand... What do you think it is?” I hear him typing something into his computer, so he must be looking up something. While he does that, I decided to call over one of my maidservants.

 

“Yes, your highness?”

 

“For the ball, bring in a band that is popular amongst the general public. Just to give the people a live performance. I am sure they’ll enjoy it.” I told her. She nodded and went off to do just that. Gotta make sure the ball is something they won’t soon forget. Their happiness is my happiness after all.

 

“Your highness, the thing that mysteriously ended up in your hand is part of what is called a Dreamcatcher.” The detective finally responded after a little while of searching. Interesting. I cut a piece of egg and put it on my toast before taking a bite. A Dreamcatcher. That is quite an old ‘magical’ item of sorts.

 

 

 

 

Wait a minute. “Detective, don’t you think this is a sign of sorts?”

 

“I’d say so. We are dealing with these Nightmare like beings and people are having strange dreams involving this mysterious person amongst other things. Now all of a sudden you have a piece of a Dreamcatcher, an item that capture Dreams and or Nightmares. An item that helps the person sleep peacefully.”

 

“Do you think that if we get Dreamcatchers that we’ll be able to… trap these things?” I asked, wondering if this might help solve the problem. Maybe not deal with that bastard controlling these things, but it might be something.

 

“I highly doubt it is that simple. If we are dealing with a dangerous person capable of bringing Nightmares into the waking world, then the solution to the problem shouldn’t be as simple as getting a lot of Dreamcatchers and trapping them that way. Not to mention that doesn’t deal with the main problem; the culprit. We still have no idea who he is and how to deal with him.”

 

Right. The main problem needs to be dealt with somehow. However, I got this thing for some reason, so it must be something relevant to dealing with those things. Just, what is it? I feel like we are on the right track… but not the right kind of weapon.

 

Weapon… Weapon…? I dropped my fork and scratched the back of my head. Weapon… why do I feel like I am on the verge of remembering something?

 

“Your highness?”

 

I snapped out of my thoughts and picked up my fork to continue eating. “Sorry, was trying to think about a weapon to deal with those Nightmares.”

 

“Well I just came across an interesting article that was published when the internet was very young that is relevant… though I doubt it will help us much, if at all. Want to hear it?”

 

I shrug. Might as well entertain the thought. “Sure, why not? Nothing to lose.”

 

“Apparently there is this Dreamcatcher Sword that somebody created in dealing with those Nightmares… Dreams too. The time that this weapon was created was near a century ago in this very country…”

 

I searched my memory, trying to recall if I ever heard of such a thing happening that long ago. I have heard of a magical blacksmith back in the day that made legendary weapons, however I have never heard of this weapon. I don’t even think my father has heard of it. Well not like he is around for me to ever ask him. I sighed sadly.

 

“You ok?”

 

“Yeah I am fine, detective, continue.” I plopped a hashbrown into my mouth, realizing my food is getting cold. I really should eat my food quickly…

 

“The rest of the article doesn’t say much… and appears to be glitched, but I’ll tell you the rest of what I can read. They last saw this person with the supposed weapon fight a monster made of corpses in the… Snowtramine Clock Tower.”

 

Again with the Clock Tower. Just what is up with that place? Assuming this article is to be trusted that is. Still, wouldn’t hurt to check. “A lot of things are happening with that place, past and present. Detective, do you still want to check it out?”

 

“Well of course. It warrants an investigation. I’ll head there after lunch. Don’t worry, I will report all findings to you.”

 

“Thank you, detective.” I finished up the last of my breakfast and decided it was time to wrap it up. “Well, I’ll leave it up to you, I got a lot of work ahead of me today… as per usual.” I faked laughed at the end as if trying to poke fun at myself for never having a busy day.

 

“... Yeah. Have a good day, your highness.”

 

I hung up and got up from my chair. The maids came by and picked up after my mess. Well, before I do anything, I have to know if I have any requests/news that require my attention today.

 

“Hey, anything I should know about before I head off?” I asked my maids. They all gave me a look and then shook their heads. I raised an eyebrow. Nothing? That’s… unexpected. I thought for sure there would be at least something today.

 

“There is nothing that requires your attention today, your highness… However…” One of the maids trailed off as if deciding whether or not she wants to tell me. I urged her to continue, I am in the mood for whatever it is she has to say.

 

“There is talk around here about some… strange sightings.”

 

“Strange sightings? Like what?” Come on, elaborate, I don’t want vague shit.

 

“Well, apparently just late last night, people have apparently seen something fly in the sky… They assume it is a UFO of sorts.”

 

My mind immediately went to the thing I saw fly into the sky last night when I was trying to look for the spy. That must be what they saw. I did dismiss at as a trick of a light or some such as I did not want to believe it as anything otherworldly. Well, while interesting, there is nothing I can do for them… even if it is a UFO.

 

“Anything else? You did pluralize ‘sighting’.”

 

“This one is also kind of a rumor. Some people spotted a zombie prowling around.”

 

...A zombie? Just A zombie? I find this hard to believe. If they saw one, they should have immediately killed it. I don’t want any stupid zombie apocalypse nonsense. I simply had enough of it in media already. Stop it. The maid noticed my the look on my face and continued.

 

“The thing is your highness, this supposed zombie is acting very unusual, at least that’s what the people who saw it, say.”

 

I crossed my arms over my chest. “Unusual in what way?”

 

“The zombie did not immediately go after them like they were food. They saw the zombie just… move away as quickly as it could.”

 

The zombie chose not to go and eat them? That is indeed unusual. If it is true anyways. However, I still find it hard to believe that a zombie made a run for it and managed to escape.

 

“And are they looking for this zombie now?”

 

“The police are on the lookout, but they don’t really believe that there is just a zombie out and about and not eating people.”

 

I don’t blame them. I checked the time on my phone, noticing that I should be going now if I want to get everything done on time today. “Thank you, you may return to your duties.”

 

Normal POV

 

Fille hung up and looked at the Dreamcatcher image before him on his computer. He clasped his hands together and leaned his head forward onto them, thinking. Everything that happened in the past few days all relate to Dreams and Nightmares. The monsters… the dreams people had… that man… and now a piece of a Dreamcatcher in Princess Weiss’ possession somehow. Also this information about a Dreamcatcher sword is also suspect. If he didn’t know any better… HE is setting all of this up. But for what purpose?

“Nightscream… what are you up to…?” Nightscream was his name for that man that appeared in several people’s dreams now. Simple name really, he is the cause of the Nightmare monsters and of course his mask. He has no idea why that man chose to use a mask from an old movies’ killer, but he’s sure there is some kind of meaning behind it.

 

3 consecutive knocks broke him out of his thoughts and he looked towards his office door, wondering who it could possibly be this early on in the day. He quickly put everything away in his desk before clearing his throat.

 

“Come in.”

 

The door opened and a familiar blonde girl stepped into the room. “Excuse me. Yo, nice to see you again, Fille.”

 

“Oh it’s you. Wait, shouldn’t you be in school right now? Unless I somehow didn’t get the message that summer vacation started early for you students.” The detective asked, confused.

 

The blonde girl sheepishly rubbed the back of her neck, “I uh, I am ditching school today. I am not missing out on anything important anyways, just review. Don’t judge me.”

 

Fille shrugged in response. “Not my place to judge. You do what you do with your life.” He got up from his chair and went over to his counter to grab a flask of coffee. “Care to have some coffee? I still have some in here if you want it.”

 

“Unless you have lots of sugar and cream in that coffee… I am good.” The blonde girl stuck out her tongue in disgust. Fille chuckled in response.

 

“Well, the bitterness of coffee is not for everyone. Acquired taste.” He placed down the flask and walked back to his chair to sit down on while she sat on the opposite side of him. He put his hands together and looked at her. “Now then, what brings you here, Emma? Do you need my help with something?”

 

Emma looked a bit hesitant for a few seconds before deciding to tell him. “You’re still trying to look into the strange happenings that has been going around here right? Y’know besides the recent zombie sightings and UFO sightings.”

 

Fille didn’t understand where she was going with this but decided to go along with it for the time being. “Yes, I am still looking into that. I may have some leads and I am going to investigate them after lunch.”

 

“Really? What did you find out?” Emma asked, very curious.

 

Fille shook his head. “That’s on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know. Sorry.” Emma pouted but understood. Detectives have to follow at least some protocol. Fille pulled out a notepad and a pen from his jacket pocket. “Well, continue.”

 

“Well I done some investigating myself and I found this.” Emma reached into her pocket and pulled out… a string with a black feather on it. Fille’s eyes widened when he saw the item. She handed it over to him. “If you are wondering where I found this, it was on… a very bloody corpse I found in this forest.” She shuddered at the memory, really wishing she could unsee it.

 

“I see. Can you tell me about this investigation of yours?” Fille asked, examining the item in his hands. He couldn’t believe his luck… another person found a piece of the Dreamcatcher. How many were there? 3? 4? Wait, are these even the same part of a Dreamcatcher?

 

“Well…”

 

Emma was walking through the forest at night with her baseball bat in hand. She thought she would investigate about the matter about those strange new Nightmare monsters that have been appearing lately. She wasn’t going to kill them, just study them and if she needs to, use the baseball bat as defense.

 

She continued to walk when she heard a sound not too far off. It sounded like something rustling in the bushes. Emma readied her baseball bat and headed straight to the noise. She knows it could be just other usual wildlife, but just to be sure…

 

“Quietly… quietly…” Emma muttered to herself as she neared closer to where she thought she heard the sound. To her surprise, she saw a corpse of a man in… she guessed what was the remains of a white lab coat. Most of the flesh on his face, chest, arms, and some on his legs were torn out of his body. The smell and the sight was naseauting that it almost made her want to throw up. Did a monster do this? Also, what was this man doing out here?

 

“Ugh, so gross…” Emma pried her eyes from the corpse and noticed something on the ground nearby. She went over to it and saw that it was a string with a black feather on it. “Is this… part of a Dreamcatcher? Where’s the rest of it?” Something clicked inside of her head. There is something funny going on around here, but she needs to figure out more.

 

“Interesting…” Fille commented after she finished. “Did you find out what was the source of that sound you heard?” The blonde shook her head.

 

“I didn’t. I thought it was simply a monster or animal of some such that preyed on the poor guy.” Emma took back the string from him. “So, I came here to show you this as I know you were investigating these matters and I thought this might help out, even if just a little. I mean, all these things about Dreams and Nightmares and all of a sudden I see a piece of a Dreamcatcher near a very dead body… there is no way that is coincidence.”

“Indeed. Thank you for showing this to me. It did help me out a little on some thoughts of mine.”

 

“I assume you won’t tell me because of confidentiality or some shit?”

 

“Yeah, sorry again.”

 

“Not a problem.” Emma got up from her seat. She ran a hand through her head and blew raspberries. “I sincerely hope none of this ends up ruining the upcoming ball…” The blonde then looked at the detective. “Oh, by the way, are you attending the Princess’ ball?”

 

“... I don’t… think I will. I was never one for… big crowds, music, dancing… and all that jazz.” The detective responded a bit uncomfortably. “Are you going with someone, Emma? A pretty girl like you probably has a boyfriend or girlfriend.”

 

“Flattery will get you nowhere, detective.” Emma says, even as a blush formed on her cheeks. “Also, no, I don’t have a date. I am hoping to get a dance with the Princess herself though.”

 

Fille laughed at that. “You and probably thousands upon thousands of people. Good luck with that though.” He had to wonder though, would Weiss even bother to dance with her people? Surely there would be some suitors there from other kingdoms that may show up and try their luck with the pretty princess. Wouldn’t they be better suited to dance with her? Eh… probably a stereotype… Weiss is certainly not your ordinary princess.

 

“Yeah yeah… but before I go, what should I do with this string?” Emma asked.

 

“Keep it for now. I don’t have a use for it. If I do find something of use for it, then I will try and get in touch with you. Again, thanks for your help.”

 

“Yep. Well, I got to go. Nice talking to ya!” Emma waved him goodbye as she headed out the door. When she left, Fille grabbed the remote control on his desk and turned on the TV. There was still some time till lunch, so he might as well entertain himself until then… or until a potential client comes in.

 

“Dreamcatcher… I wonder if you are really the solution to the problem…”

 

 

“Hyaah!” Weiss struck the training dummy with her sword and then blasted it with icicles. She was out in the training grounds of her castle, trying to figure out some new moves for her to use in upcoming battles. It is important to stay fit and practice her moves. It is but one of her duties many duties.

 

“Frostwave!” She yelled as she winds of frost formed around her and struck the training dummy, making it frozen solid. She then jumped up high into the air and sliced downwards onto the training dummy, cleanly cutting it in half. After a few seconds, the training dummy put itself back together, ready for more beatings.

 

“If I am ever to defeat those monsters, I need to practice hard…” Weiss muttered to herself. She continued to strike the training dummy while throwing in some ice moves here and there. Once she froze the dummy again, she jumped flipped backwards onto the ground and was ready to do a charge stab. “HYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”

 

As she charged forward, she heard a twig snap nearby. Weiss skidded to a stop, now aware she was not alone on her training grounds. She looked around and listened closely to her surroundings. 10 seconds went by and not a peep was heard from anywhere besides some birds off in the distance. Still not convinced she was alone, she slowly approached the bushes, sword at the ready.

 

Weiss cautiously looked through the bushes in front of her, trying to find the intruder. She looked for a bit and was about to look elsewhere when she felt a presence behind her. Before she could turn around, she was pushed down into the bushes with a gasp. The unknown intruder placed a hand over her mouth and pinned down her right wrist to prevent her from retaliating before slowly pinning down the rest of her body with theirs. Weiss struggled as best she could, but the intruder was really strong.

 

WHO IS THIS PERSON?!” Weiss screams internally, trying to fight back.

 

“That zombie be around here somewhere…” The sounds of 3 people walking around the training area she was just in. She and the intruder pinning her down must not be visible at the moment to the people looking for this zombie. Quickly, she put two and two together. If that unusual zombie she heard about from this morning made its way over here and those 3 people are looking for it… then the intruder on top of her must be...

 

This is one smart and unusual zombie…” Weiss thought to herself. She may as well stay quiet. After all, if this zombie wanted to eat her, they would have done so already. Other people finding them be damned. Sure it would probably be easier to kill them, but if this zombie still has some good amount of intelligence… she shouldn’t. After all, this zombie could have been one of her people that somehow turned. She doesn’t want to kill or indirectly kill any one of her people for no good reason.

 

“Are you sure that zombie ran this way?” Another person asked. That was one of her guards.

 

“Positive. They couldn’t have gotten far. Look around.”

 

“Can’t believe a zombie somehow slipped by us.. Oh I do hope Princess Weiss didn’t get eaten by that zombie.” That was also one of her guards. So 2 of her guards and one other person, who she assumes must be a police officer, looking for a zombie around her castle grounds.

 

“Speaking of her, she is not around here is she? I thought she was training at this time of day?”

 

I was… but I am pinned down by a zombie at the moment…” Weiss thought to herself.

 

Weiss and the zombie listened to them look around the grounds for a minute or two before ultimately hearing them give up and look elsewhere.

 

“The zombie probably retreated into the forest area. Let’s go.”

 

The 3 of them marched away into the forest not to far away from them. Once they were comfortably out of range did the zombie release their hold on Weiss. The white haired princess gasped and slowly got up from the ground and got out from the bushes. She turned to face her intruder and saw a purple haired woman in a white lab coat staring at her with those… colorless eyes of hers. She was… very very pale… The cons of being a zombie, she guesses.

 

“Um… so…” This was really awkward for her. Just what exactly should she say to a zombie? Can the zombie even talk? From what she learned about zombies, more than she ever cared to learn thanks to movies and video games being so saturated with them, is that they mostly groan and moan.

 

“...” The zombie reached out for her with her right arm for a moment, but then placed it back to her side. Weiss then saw the zombie turn around and walk away from her slowly. Very confused, but not wanting to let the zombie run off to where she may get killed, she grabbed her by the shoulder.

 

“Wait!” The zombie stopped, but didn’t turn to look at her. Weiss quickly racked her brain as to what to do with this zombie. She could just take her in and maybe call in some scientists to possibly figure out a way to make her human again… but would the zombie want that? It’d be so much easier if this zombie could just talk. She is not sure why she cared so much… but perhaps it is because she is… sad that one of her people turned.

 

“Hey um… I am not sure how you turned… but you going out there is clearly suicide for you so…” Weiss sighed, not sure if this is a good idea given how much work she had already but… “I’ll… look after you… just until I can figure out how you turned and how I can… turn you back.”

 

The zombie turned to look at her and Weiss sees what seems to be… surprise on the zombie’s face? It was kind of hard to tell. The white haired princess gave her a small smile and grabbed the zombie’s hand. It was cold, but not unexpected. “Come on, I’ll bring you to my workshed and… we’ll go from there.”

“T… Th…” The zombie started to say but was having troubles speaking. Weiss just nodded. Knowing exactly what the zombie was trying to say. Baby steps. Maybe someday she can figure out this woman’s name, so she can stop calling her, ‘zombie’. Or maybe she can just call her something in the meantime.

 

“Um, I hate to refer to you as zombie so… how about I call you… Zuzu?” Weiss knew it was kind of cliche of her to name a zombie something that started with a Z, but it was better than just calling her what she is.

 

“Grrgh…” The now named Zuzu groaned indifferently.

 

“Good… Good. Let’s go Zuzu!” Weiss then began to lead the zombie over to her workshed. She really hoped that taking care of a zombie wasn’t going to be too much more work for her. Lord knows she has enough work as it is.

 

5 hrs later...

 

Fille’s POV

 

CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! One second I am in the secret room of that Clock Tower and now I am falling out of the sky to my death. How on Earth did I get up here anyways? Nevermind that, I see the ground getting closer and closer and if I don’t do something fast, lights out for me forever.

 

It is a good thing I have some custom-made gadgets that help me get out of sticky situations. I reached into my jacket and pulled out a pen and clicked it. A green blob popped out and put me inside it. This is essentially my version of Flubber, but its only purpose is to help me make a proper landing if I happen to fall out of the sky. A little gross to be inside it, sure, but better than dying.

 

Upon nearing the ground, the blob extended out a hand and once it hit the ground, it bounced up high up into the air and then back down again, again, and again until it didn’t anymore. I felt dizzy afterwards, but at least I am not dead. The blob disappeared and I landed on the ground with a thump. I let out a sigh of relief and grabbed the pen off the ground, now that the deed is done. I placed it back in my jacket before taking a good look at my surroundings.

 

… I definitely wasn’t in Snowtramine. This whole area is in ruins. Buildings as far as my eyes can see have either collapsed or have big holes in them. There doesn’t appear to be any greenery anywhere and a lot of holes in the ground that almost look like they go into the center of the earth.

 

“What in the…? What is this place? It is like I have arrived in a post-apocalyptic area!” I just couldn’t believe my eyes. As far as my knowledge goes, I don’t think there is a single area on Earth that has a wasteland as… devastating as this. Have… Have I arrived in another world somehow?

 

“I...Interesting…” I pulled out my notebook and an actual writing pen to begin jotting down notes of my current situation. As much as I want to freak out about it, it is best for detectives like me to keep a level head and think about things carefully. I wonder though, if the apocalypse have already happened in this world, are humans even still around? Might as well explore and find out. I’ll figure out a way to get to where I was later… if that is even possible, but for now, I need more info.

 

 

 

 

10 minutes or so later, I found myself standing in front of what looks like the ruins of what used to be a church. Curious, I tried looking for an entryway. Maybe I can find some clues in here. I quickly found the entrance… to which I found that there is a ruined factory nearby… at least I think it is. I carefully walked inside as to not alert anything that could possibly be in here. Heading a little further in, I hear sounds of… eating? I turned a corner and took a peek to where I heard the sound.

 

I froze. There was a yellow… gorilla like thing eating something in the corner. What it was, I do not know. Regardless, this thing was huge, and I am pretty sure it ain’t friendly. Getting into a fight is not something I want to do unless it is absolutely necessary. Besides, I don’t think I can stand a chance against such a creature of that caliber.

 

I inched closer to get a closer look at its eyes since I needed to clarify something. There doesn't appear to be any red swirly eyes, so that rules out the fact that it is a Nightmare.

 

Grrr….

 

HUH?! I turned around quickly and see what looked to be a Iron Maiden monster staring at me. How did it sneak up on me? I quickly dodged out of the way when I noticed it was about to attack with me with a beam of some kind from its head. However, that garnered the attention of the gorilla monster. It was now beating its chest angrily, ready to attack me. Shit. Looks like I have no choice.

 

“Nocturne Gauntlets!” I called out, summoning my trusty black gauntlets onto my hands. I am not one to use guns, if I have to fight, I have to resort to my fists and my speed. I see the gorilla roll into a ball and charged my way. I quickly jumped up into the air so it slammed into the wall. While it tried to regain its bearings I went in did a speedy lightning punch to its backside.

 

… Huh? It… didn’t do anything? I did not seem to inflict any damage on this beast. It turned to me, growling at my attempts to do it harm. I hear a blast of something coming my way and quickly cartwheeled out of harm's way, noting it was the Iron Maiden trying to fire pot shots at me. I focused on my magical storm magic and conjured up a bolt of lightning in my hand. Fine, if my punches won’t work, then maybe this! I threw the lightning bolt with all my might at it. The results… were rather lukewarm. The Iron Maiden thing just continued to stare at me even though it was electrocuted as if it didn’t even tickle it.

 

“What are these things?” I can’t help but yell out, flabbergasted at how they just take my attacks in stride.

 

“STUN GRENADE!”

 

Huh? That was a girl’s voice I just heard. I saw the aforementioned item fly into the area and hit the ground where I was. I covered my eyes, waging a guess that it was like a flash bomb of some kind. I hear a small explosion noise and then the noise of the monsters being agitated by it. I quickly opened my eyes and see a cute pink haired girl with blue eyes staring at me. My eyes trailed lower to the big massive… cannon shaped weapon she was holding in her hands. Then my eyes trailed to her… strange red armlet on her right wrist. Next I looked at her outfit, it seemed to be a black sleeveless shirt underneath a green dress with 2 pockets, a black glove on her left hand with 2 wristbands, black leggings, and white boots with belts.

 

“C-Come on, let’s go before they recover!” The mystery girl quickly grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the ruined church. I didn’t dare look back at the mystery monsters and simply let this girl drag me to… wherever she is taking me. So there are still humans left on this world, good to know.

 

“My thanks, miss.”

 

“You don’t have to call me miss. My name is Kanon. Kanon Daiba! God Eater of the Defense Squad!” She introduced herself with a cute smile. I took what she said into account. God Eater? Strange title. Well, I can think about that later. I am just grateful she saved me.

 

“My name is Fille Beau,” I introduced myself and chose not to mention that I am a detective. “Pleased to meet you, Kanon.”

 

“Likewise.”

Chapter Text

Sunlight made its way into Princess Weiss’ room. A new day was upon her. Weiss grumpily mumbled in her sleep at the invading sunlight. She turned to her side, not wanting to get up just yet. “I don’t want to wake up, let me sleep a bit more…”

 

“...”

 

Weiss felt someone pinch her arm and she let out an undignified squeak before sitting up, wide awake. She was about to give the person who rudely awoke her a good scolding, but then realized it was her new “disguised” bodyguard. The zombie was now dressed appropriately in a red and white guard uniform. Her hair was dyed black, her misty eyes now had brown contacts in them. Not much can be done with her pale skin, but Weiss did apply makeup to her face to hide any indication she was a zombie.

 

“Zuzu! You didn’t have to pinch me! I was going to get up eventually…” Weiss sighed as she rubbed at her eyes tiredly. She took a look at the clock and noticed it was 7:30. She quickly calculated how much sleep she has gotten and it was about 4 hours worth. Not nearly enough time to be fully refreshed for the day ahead of her.

 

Zuzu didn’t say anything… or rather she couldn’t at the moment and just stared at her blankly as if to say, “Yeah sure.” Weiss stretched her arms out and slowly got out of bed. She gave one last once over on her work on the zombie before her. It was a lot of work, but she made a convincing human out of this zombie. Her other servants and guards were certainly fooled, but did find it strange that Weiss would hire another bodyguard to follow her at all times… let alone one that didn’t speak.

 

“Well, I sure hope this disguise works in the long run. Just try and blend in as best you can. Don’t act too… Zombie-like I guess…” Zuzu just gave a brief nod in response. Weiss smiled a little before heading towards the bathroom to get ready for the day. She closed the door behind her and started undressing. While she does that, she thought about what she learned about this zombie just from watching her.

 

While Zuzu does still retain some intellect than most zombies do, she still has a hunger for human flesh. She learned that the hard way when she watched in horror as Zuzu tried to bite a guard that was being mean to her, but she had just enough willpower to resist that instinct of hers. That was a fun thing to explain and work through…

 

She has yet to see if Zuzu was capable of turning others… but she didn’t dare to risk anything with that… that just spells all kinds of trouble. She had to wonder though if there are more zombies out there that she isn’t aware of. It is a tad strange there is only reports of one zombie being sighted. It really made her curious as to how Zuzu turned if that’s the case. The only clue she has is what Zuzu was wearing when she met her. A white lab coat. She can guess that perhaps Zuzu was experimenting on something and it turned her, though that is a weak theory at the moment.

She’ll figure out her real identity soon. She did cut out a piece of her hair and it is currently being looked at. Perhaps she’ll find out today?

 

10 minutes later, Weiss came out of the bathroom all clean and freshened up. Zuzu looked away so she can get dressed. The princess smiled in response. “Come on, it’s not like I have anything you haven’t seen before. Besides, I am used to it. My security staff has already seen me naked anyways.”

 

Weiss doesn’t really mind people staring at her body. It was more of a compliment if anything. If they try anything inappropriate… then she’ll mind. Otherwise, look as much as you want. Sure, having a changing screen in her room contradicts that, but it is just there because it decorates the room a bit.

 

Zuzu shook her head and continued to look away. If she wasn’t a zombie, there probably would have been a heavy blush on her cheeks. Weiss shrugged in response. “Suit yourself, eye candy isn’t for everyone I guess.” She teased her before getting her clothes to get dressed for the day.

 

After a couple of slightly awkward moments, Weiss was fully dressed and ready to take on the day. Tomorrow is the ball and thankfully planning is all done. All that’s left is to set it up. She is excited, but also slightly concerned. The ball will be fun… but at the same time, that Scream guy could very well show up like in her dream and ruin things. Hopefully she could take that guy on this time or at the very least fight him off until there is a way to deal with him permanently.

 

“Zuzu, are you going to use the bathroom?” Weiss asked, before they go along with their day. Zuzu looked at her for a moment, before shaking her head. The princess crossed her arms. Surely she needs to freshen up at least. Sure she doesn’t need sleep anymore, but at least freshen up and possibly not reek of death? She can still smell it slightly.

 

“Look, I know you are a zombie, but that doesn’t excuse you of living the… undead life of being stinky. If you are going to be my bodyguard… even if it is just pretend… kind of… you need to freshen up.” Weiss forcefully grabbed her arm and dragged her to the bathroom.

 

“Ugghh…” Zuzu groaned, giving up.

 

10 more minutes later, Zuzu was ready for the day also. Weiss looked at the time and noticed it was nearing 8:00 AM. The maids were probably wondering where she was as she should be down in the dining hall eatingt breakfast by now.

 

“Oh! Uh want anything for breakfast? I mean… I can’t feed you human flesh… but maybe I can feed you something else… equally as meaty?” Weiss honestly didn’t know what to feed her. Zuzu didn’t want anything last night sure, but surely she must be hungry now. She is a zombie after all.

 

“...B-...Ba…” Zuzu started but still was having difficulty speaking. Weiss snapped her fingers, knowing what she wanted.

 

“Ah, so you want bacon. Sure! I love bacon too. I will gladly ask for them to cook you some tasty bacon.” Weiss smiled. She was just honestly happy to be spending time and or even talking with someone that doesn’t really work under her. Ever since she became the ruler of this country when her dad died, she has become incredibly lonely. So this whole situation is a welcome change… more work added to her pile aside.

 

Zuzu nodded, confirming that that was what she was trying to say. With that, both of them headed downstairs to the dining hall. Upon arriving, they noticed that a good number of maids were already waiting for them.

 

“Your highness, where were you? You are never late for breakfast!”

 

“We were just about to go look for you!”

 

Weiss scratched her cheek nervously. “Oh I was just helping my new bodyguard get ready. And also get her up to speed of what is required of her around here.” Good thing, the security cameras in her castle don’t pick up audio, otherwise they would have definitely seen through her lie. Zuzu looked at her for a moment, hesitating, then ultimately nodded in affirmation that that was what happened.

 

“Plus I slept in later than I intended. I didn’t mean to, but going to bed at 3 in the morning will do that.” Weiss further explained to them. The maids didn’t need to question that. They knew how hard their princess was working… though once again further worrying them that she might fall ill if she keeps this up.

 

“Now then, get me my usual traditional breakfast. Oh and please do feed my bodyguard too. She desires lots of bacon… possibly some toast and water.” Weiss added those in because just giving her bacon is just weird. She didn’t know if a zombie could eat toast, but might as well give it a shot.

 

The maids exchanged weird looks. This was a first. Weiss doesn’t usually let someone eat with her, much less ask them to feed someone that works under her. The white haired girl was nervous but didn’t let it show. To be fair, it was weird. A few awkward moments later, the maids just went ahead to the kitchen without any questions.

 

“Grrgh…” Zuzu groaned quietly.

 

“I know.... But hey, at least you are getting fed and not have to eat… humans.” She whispered the last part.

 

Both of them sat down at the dining table, Zuzu sitting not too far away from her, but not too close either. As they both sat there waiting for their breakfast, Weiss leaned forward in her chair and started thinking. She feels like she is forgetting something. It was nothing work related, she made sure to do everything yesterday that she needed to do… so what was it?

 

 

Weiss’ eyes widened in realization. That’s right. The detective! Wasn’t he supposed to call her if he found something in that Clock Tower? Weiss pulled out her smartphone and called his number. Zuzu watched Weiss, wondering what she was up to. The princess bit her lower lip and drummed her fingers on the table, waiting.

 

“We’re sorry, the number you have called is disconnected or not in service.”

 

Weiss looked at her smartphone in shock. His number is disconnected? That doesn’t make sense. He should have his smartphone on him at all times. Did something happen to him? Weiss looked in the general direction of where the Clock Tower was. She narrowed her eyes. That settles it. She has to visit that Clock Tower soon. Two people have already gone missing and it feels like it was her fault to send them off to such a dangerous place.

 

“...?” Zuzu let out a questionable sound to get her attention.

 

Weiss turned to face Zuzu and shook her head. “I-It’s nothing. Was just trying to get in touch with someone and apparently they changed numbers or something. How rude!” Weiss lied through her teeth. It was a pretty obvious lie, but she hoped Zuzu wouldn’t push anyways. The zombie looked at her for a few moments, shrugged, then looked elsewhere as if suddenly bored.

 

“Yuna… Fille… I hope both of you are still alive. I don’t want any more guilt on my soul.”

 

Few minutes later, their breakfast was served to them. Weiss watched as Zuzu tried to restrain herself from eating like an animal and picked up a fork, trying to eat the bacon normally. When the bacon disappeared into the mouth and she started chewing, Zuzu let out what seemed to be a pleased moan. Weiss giggled, it was actually kind of cute. She then turned red and shook her head. She probably shouldn’t be thinking about such things. Probably not a good thing to find a zombie enjoying their food, cute, even if the zombie is abnormal. She is not into (kinda) Necrophilia.

 

Weiss turned to her food and started eating. Eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, toast, and orange juice. The typical breakfast that she loves to eat almost every morning. Sometimes she mixes it up a bit with pancakes or maybe even a breakfast sandwich, but for the most part, this is her go to.

 

“By the by your highness, you have a request from someone for a little meeting of sorts.” One of the maids told her. Weiss paused mid-bite of her toast and looked her maid’s way.

 

“A request? From whom?”

 

“They didn’t write their name. Just that they wanted to meet to talk about info they wanted to share with you personally.”

 

Weiss took a sip of her orange juice, thinking what to do about this request. Seems harmless enough. She won’t know if this is some stupid request until she meets them.

 

“Did they write their number?”

 

“Yes, your highness.”

 

“Then give them a call and tell them to meet me at 10:00 AM.”

 

“As you wish.”

 

If that was the only request she had for today, good, more time to work on other things that require her attention before the ball tomorrow. Weiss looked over to where Zuzu was sitting and noticed that she has already finished her bacon, water, AND the toast.

 

“My, you ate fast.” Weiss said in surprise. So she can eat the toast. Good to know that her appetite isn’t limited to just meat. Perhaps if she feeds her well enough, she won’t have to crave human flesh. Maybe it will slowly turn her back to normal… even if just a little.

 

Zuzu nodded, rubbing her stomach in satisfaction. “T... Thaannkkkkss.” She voiced out kinda raspy.

 

Weiss’ eyes widened. That’s the first time she heard her say a complete word. She couldn’t hide the grin on her face even if she tried. “My pleasure. I do what I can.”

 

Meanwhile…

 

Emma yawned as she sat in her Advanced Calculus class. In her opinion, math is fun, but not when it is stuff she already knows and it becomes painfully easy. Thank god it is just one more review day before they take their final exams on Monday. Frankly she wished she could do the exams now and have summer vacation start tomorrow, but nope, life never works conveniently like that.

 

“Bored?” Jess asked from the seat behind her.

 

“Extremely. Doesn’t help when the teacher has a very monotone voice.” Emma answered in a whisper. Jess can only nod to that.

“So Emma,” Jess started, “Did you see the UFO last night?”

 

“Well I saw something in the sky, but I don’t know if it was a UFO.” It was a good thing this teacher allowed students to talk to each other if they didn’t feel the need to review today just as long as they don’t bother others that do.

 

“It is crazy how frequent they are. You think Aliens might decide to either talk with us or perhaps strike us down soon?”

 

“I am not sure.” Emma shrugged. “If they really wanted to strike us down, they would have done so ages ago. I am not sure what they are up to if they are out there. Perhaps they are just seeing what we are up to.”

 

“I guess.”

 

Emma sighed and without anything better to do, pulled out the string with the black feather she found in the forest from her pocket. A piece of a Dreamcatcher… She hasn’t really figured out what the significance of this thing is. The only thing she knows is that finding this was no coincidence. She wondered what that detective was up to regarding all these strange happenings that involve Dreams and Nightmares.

 

Jess eyed the item in her hands. “You still have that?”

 

“Yes.” Emma responded, not even looking her way. “I am not just going to throw it away. It will probably have significance later… just… don’t know when.”

 

“It is just part of a Dreamcatcher you found. What significance is there?” Jess was honestly just confused at her friend’s insistence to keep that thing.

 

“I’ll figure it out.” Emma simply said, before pocketing the item.

 

10 minutes later, the bell rang. Everybody started gathering their things to leave for their next class. “Okay class. Try and study this weekend. Your final exam is worth 50 percent of your grade after all!” The teacher told their leaving students.

 

Emma and Jess walked together out of class to head to their lockers. They were in no hurry to get to class. 10 minutes is a generous amount of time in between classes to go to your locker and get ready for your next class.

 

“Well, only 6 classes to go and then we are out for the weekend.” Jess remarked as they arrived at their lockers. Emma just groaned in response. Sitting through more boring classes is just hell for her. She wonders why she even bothered to show up to school today, she could skip today too and probably nothing would change.

 

“I am just glad that my school days will be over soon.” Emma said as she opened her locker and placed her Advanced Calculus book away. “Then I can start looking for a job.”

 

“Oh right, forgot you don’t have money to go to college.”

 

Emma shook her head. “I would go to college if I could, but sadly I’ll have to settle with a High School Diploma. With my grades I don’t even qualify for a scholarship. Thems the breaks.”

 

“Well I only known you for a short while, but you’ve been working hard, despite some laziness but hey I am proud of ya for getting this far.” Jess smiled at her friend. Emma faked a pout at the laziness part of her sentence but then smiled afterwards.

 

“Thanks Jess.”

 

Jess nodded before grabbing her book for next class and closed her locker. “Well, I will see you at lunch!” She waved Emma farewell before heading off. The blonde watched her go for a moment or two before grabbing her own book and walking in the opposite direction.

 

“Oh boy, time to get through Ceramics.” Emma muttered to herself quietly as she walked in the general direction of her class. Upon nearing the entrance to her school, she spotted a person that looked really out of place. Mostly because of her outfit. Emma stared at a woman with black hair in a snowy owl mask that covered most of her face. She was wearing a very revealing black tank top, short red skirt and red high heels. Definitely not a student and certainly not school appropriate. She seemed to be on the phone with someone.

 

“Ah so she is willing to see me today?” The woman spoke out happily. “Oh 10:00 AM is just fine with me. I don’t have anything to do around that time.” Emma continued watching her as the woman leaned back on the wall. “My name? Does she really want to know my name?”

 

 

“Alright fair enough. My name is Alula. You will know when it is me when you see a snowy owl mask on my face… Yes seriously.... Well alright, ta-ta!”

 

The woman now known as Alula hung up and pocketed her smartphone. She was just about to leave when she realized she was being watched. Emma flushed a bit as the woman looked her way.

 

“Well now, isn’t it a bit rude to be eavesdropping, young lady?” Alula scolded, though she was smiling all the same. The woman walked over to Emma to get a better look at her. The blonde turned really red at how close she was to this woman.

 

“I am sorry to ask… but what are you doing at this school, miss?” Emma croaked out. She honestly just wanted to melt and die on the spot. She never does well being so close to rather beautiful women.

 

“Hmm? Why do you want to know?” Alula asked, genuinely curious.

 

“I well...  You know what? Nevermind.” Emma shook her head, wanting this conversation over with so she can go to class and stuff her face into her book in shame. The woman found this amusing and let out a small laugh.

 

“Well aren’t you adorable.” Alula patted her head. “If you really want to know then I’ll tell you.”

 

“Awfully trusting…” Emma thought to herself but gave the mysterious woman her undivided attention.

 

“To be frank, I was just here searching for an item and lo and behold I found it, thanks to your principal. To think he would help a random lady like me.” Alula remarked.

 

“Well the principal here is a pervert… And your clothes certainly help…” Emma thought wryly. “Well cool. What is it if you don’t mind me asking?” Alula contemplated for a bit, wondering if it was really alright to tell her. She looked at the young blonde as if judging her for a bit. Ultimately, she gave a smile and a nod, not seeing the harm.

 

“I don’t see why not. You seem to be a nice young lady.”

 

“T-Thanks…” Emma couldn’t really deny that.

 

Alula reached into her skirt pocket and pulled out… Emma couldn’t believe her eyes. It was another piece of a Dreamcatcher. That makes two now and surely… SURELY this wasn’t just coincidence. The woman seemed to have noticed her reaction.

 

“Hmm, you seem to know what I am holding. Why is that?”

 

Emma reached into her pocket and pulled out her piece. Although Emma couldn’t see it, the woman probably was shocked about what she held in her hand too. The tardy bell rang, but the blonde didn’t care if she was tardy, this meeting was kinda worth it.

 

“Young lady.... Where did you acquire such a thing?” Alula asked not unkindly.

 

“I um… found it in the middle of a forest…” Emma answered, refusing to tell her about the corpse part. Alula took the piece of the Dreamcatcher from her and looked at the two of them together. “H-Hey!” Emma protested, trying to grab the item back.

 

“Dear sweet young lady, I must take this. You must understand that these hold significant power and I have to bring them to the princess at once.” Alula explained as she pocketed the items.

 

“Why? Does Princess Weiss know about them?”

 

“You’ll understand in due time I am sure.” Alula tapped her chin in thought. “In fact, I dare say you will play a part with the Princess regarding these.” Before Emma could get a word in edgewise, a hall monitor walked by and spotted the two of them.

 

“Emma Falls! What are you doing?! Get to class right this instant! You are late!” The hall monitor scolded the blonde. The blonde squeaked in response. Shit, she was in trouble.

 

“Please excuse her, I held her up by talking with her, so I am the one at fault for her tardiness.” Alula explained to the hall monitor.

 

“Oh you did huh? Well fine then. Emma, I’ll let you off with a warning this time around. Be lucky you didn’t get detention on one of your last days of school.” With that, the hall monitor walked the other way. Emma wiped her forehead. Glad she didn’t have to deal with that.

 

“T-Thanks for that.”

 

“No, thank you for finding this. Now, I shall be on my way. Study well, dear.”

 

Emma watched as the mysterious woman walked out of the school. The blonde wished she could have the piece of the Dreamcatcher back, but if this woman was being truthful, then it is best that Princess Weiss sees them. Maybe she can figure out this whole mess. It is certainly better than waiting around for an answer. With a sigh, Emma made her way to her Ceramics class. First things first, she has to endure more classes.

 

Elsewhere…

 

How long have I been here? It has probably been over a week now.” A young brunette adventurer thought to herself. She was currently looking up into the night sky while laying down in the grass. A lot of things happened over the course of her week here in this… new world she crashed into. Quite a number of good things… and quite a number of bad things. It was all just overwhelming for her and she really wants to head home. She just doesn’t know how to go about it. How exactly do you return to your own world without perhaps a spaceship of some kind. And given what she knows about from this world, that just wasn’t possible.

 

To think, it was all because she was pressured into going into the Clock Tower. She was not sure how it happened. All she knows is that she went in there, avoiding the spirits, traps, and other such nonsense… and then she entered a secret room she found. Next thing she knew, she was in the sky and fell into a place called Hanzo Academy. A school for shinobi. There she met 5 girls who took care of her. She was glad to meet them and also glad for their help, but she doesn’t want to be a burden on anybody. She needs to head home soon and go on an adventure in her own world. But how exactly?

 

“Yuna-chan?”

 

Yuna didn’t bother looking towards the direction of the voice. She knew it was her very busty friend, Asuka. She felt the girl lay down on the grass next to her. They both stared at the starry sky together for a few moments.

 

“What are you thinking about, Yuna-chan?” Asuka asked, giving her friend a sideways glance. Yuna looked back at her for a moment, before looking back at the sky, shrugging.

 

“My home.” She said simply.

 

“Naruhodo…”

 

When Yuna first talked about wanting to go home, the girls were confused as to why she couldn’t just go and do that. Like get a plane ticket home if she really wanted to go home that badly. The adventurer from that point didn’t really know how to explain it without it being very weird. She can’t just go about saying she is from a different world. First of all, would they even take her seriously? And second of all, she feels like it is an unspoken rule to not give away info that there are other worlds out there even if they didn’t buy it. So for the time being, she just said it is very complicated to go home.

 

A week later, hardly any progress was made and Yuna was forced to accept that she will be here for quite a while. Not that staying here was all bad. She made some new friends, albeit it took her awhile to accept the fact that these girls wanted to be her friends given her self-deprecating ways.

 

“Yuna-chan, what’s your home like?” Asuka asked, very curious. “If you are not going to tell me what the complications are… would you tell me at least this?”

 

The brunette thought for a moment. She should watch what she says here. In truth, she doesn’t have a home she stays in indefinitely. She travels around the world, buys a vacation home there if she has the money, then moves on if there is nothing more to explore. The world is her home technically. Well, she can at least tell her half truths.

 

“Well it is a rather nice 2 story building located near the mountains. It is hardly ever warm where I live. The highest temperature around 67 degrees actually.”

 

“Only that warm?” Asuka’s eyes widened. “You must be well adapted to the cold.”

 

Yuna smiled. “I am used to all kinds of climates actually. So cold weather nearly all the time doesn’t bother me.” She sat up and leaned back on her hands, still staring into the sky. “It is a rather beautiful place all things considered and ruled by a pretty good princess.” Disregarding that one moment before she headed to the clock tower.

 

“Hime?”

 

“Right. She does a lot of work for her people. She is respected and loved by… well pretty much almost everyone. She is something else.” Yuna explained. Asuka hummed in understanding before sitting up as well. She placed a hand on her shoulder as if trying to comfort her. Yuna blushed at the contact, but didn’t object.

 

“Yuna-chan, you’ll be able to return home soon… I am sure. In the meantime, stay with us for as long as you need.” Asuka gave her a reassuring smile.

 

“Why are you all so nice to me?” Yuna just couldn’t believe that these girls, this girl in particular, wanted to help her out. She was just some stupid, plain, ugly, and all other negative adjectives, type of girl.

 

“We’re friends right? This is what friends do.” Asuka stood up and helped Yuna to her feet. “Now then, let’s go to sleep. It is very late.” The young brunette shinobi tapped her chin in thought, feeling like she was forgetting something. “Oh right!”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“We got an invitation to go to an island to participate in something called ‘Peach Beach Splash’.” Asuka told her.

 

“Peach… Beach… Splash?” Yuna repeated, confused. That is a really strange title for some kind of event. What did it entail? Other than a Beach and possibly peaches… unless they mean a different kind of peach. She blushed heavily at the thought. And the splash part had something to do with water. So what is this event?

 

“I am just as confused as you are regarding the title, but the invitation did say to bring our bikinis.”

 

“B-Bikinis?!” Yuna waved her hands in front of her face, blushing madly. “NO! NO! NO! I don’t look good in a bikini! I don’t want to show off my ugly body to people!”

 

“You are not ugly, Yuna. You’re cute and I bet you’ll look cuter in a bikini!” Asuka assured her truthfully with a smile. Yuna just shook her head in vehement denial. The young adventurer grabbed a paper bag and placed it on her head.

 

“I AM UGLY! NOT CUTE!”

 

“Mou… Yuna-chan.” Asuka sighed. Making Yuna accept the fact that she is cute is hard work. Well, she’ll come around eventually. With that, the Shinobi grabbed Yuna by the hand so they can go to sleep.

 

Elsewhere again…

 

Fille laid on the bed and stared up at the ceiling of the guest room he is in. He has only been here in this world for 6 hours, yet he learned quite a bit about it. He is still mulling over what everything meant, but he got the general gist.

 

He is currently at the Far East Branch that is run by Fenrir. There are branches all over the world that have soldiers known as God Eaters to take down these “Aragami” monsters. God like beings that infest this world and eat pretty much anything… not just a lot of things… ANYTHING. He shuddered at the thought. He was surprised there is still traces of human life with these monstrosities around, but apparently they came up with a solution pretty quickly with these weapons called God Arcs. Transformative weapons made up of… Oracle Cells that came from those monstrosities. Once defeated, the God Eater devours the core from them using the God Arc and if they collect some pretty strong cores from some strong Aragami, they can fortify the wall protecting the people from them because of something called the Bias factor. In simpler terms, it means the Aragami will find it unappealing to even eat it.

 

“What a fascinating world I turned up in…” Fille muttered to himself.

 

He thought back to the girl who saved his life. Kanon Daiba. So she is apparently one of these God Eaters that help keep humanity alive, even if it is just prolonging the inevitable. Apparently she is one of these Old Types kind of God Eaters that only a God Arc capable of only being one type of weapon… could be either melee or a gun. Not both. Those kinds of God Arcs are for more capable God Eaters that are called New Types.

 

“New Types, huh? And to think, they apparently see me as a potential New Type God Eater.”

 

When Kanon accidentally let it slip that Fille could use magic of some kind and summon his gauntlets from seemingly out of nowhere, they were confused but wanted to see if Kanon’s words held any merit. He didn’t see the harm of showing them this AT THE TIME and gave them a brief show of his powers. Needless to say, they were astonished and wondered who he was. Fille chose at that point to keep his mouth shut and say that the information is classified.

 

And before he knew it, he was being tested on. To see if he has any compatibility with any of the God Arcs. To be honest though, if his magic and his gauntlets couldn’t do any damage to the Aragami, he wasn’t anything special, but apparently they wanted to see if he can be a God Eater. Lo and behold, he can be one. His potential is apparently almost on par with another New Type of this branch: A captain of the 1st unit, Yuu Kannagi. Fille has yet to meet him, but he seems to be famous around this branch.

 

Which leads to where he is now. Staying in a guest room while thinking about his response upon whether or not to become a God Eater and help protect humanity. Fille honestly didn’t know what to do. This isn’t his world. He can’t just meddle here. If it was his own world, maybe, but some detective that somehow made it into this world and trying to change this world’s history? That doesn’t seem right.

 

Knock Knock

 

Fille broke out of his thoughts and sat up on the bed. “Come in.” The door opened and in came the cheery pink haired girl that saved him. She appeared to have a plate of snacks of some kind. Cookies?

 

“Hi! Uh, was I interrupting anything?” Kanon asked sheepishly as she entered the room and closed the door behind her. Fille shook his head in response. She smiled and sat down on the bed next to him. The detective got a good look at the snacks that were on the plate. They looked to be some kind of cookie… almost looks like Oreos to be honest. Although the presentation of these cookies leave a little to be desired almost like they were burnt or something.

 

“So… I brought snacks! Snacks that I made…” Kanon said as if she was boasting about it, “And I was hoping that you would like to share them with me?”

 

Well, what kind of gentleman would he be to refuse a lady’s offer like that? Especially if the lady made the treats herself. Not to mention how cute she is. “My thanks, Kanon. I will gladly try these.”

 

He grabbed one and looked at it more closely. Out of the corner of his eye, Kanon was watching him expectantly. It still looks kinda appetizing, so that’s something, but hey maybe it is tastier than it looks. With that in mind, he took a bite.

 

 

Fille’s eyes widened behind his sunglasses. They were actually pretty delicious. They were actually better than Oreos and he was kinda neutral towards those cookies… too bad Kanon doesn’t have any milk to compliment these cookies, but he’ll take what he can get.

 

“Kanon, presentation aside, these are pretty delicious!” Fille complimented her while also telling her her main flaw with these cookies. Kanon smiled brightly at that, happy that he liked her cookies.

 

“Yeah I know my cookies don’t look all that good, but if the taste is bad then no one wins.” Kanon pointed out as she grabbed a cookie and plopped it in her mouth.

 

“Right.”

 

They sat there in comfortable silence, eating the cookies together. Fille thought briefly on Kanon’s character he has seen so far. She seems like a very nice young woman. Very cheerful… knows how to bake sweets at the least. And she seems somewhat clumsy. He hoped she wasn’t that way in a fight, but she says she’s been a God Eater over a year now… so perhaps she is an experienced fighter.

 

“So Fille,” Kanon wiped her hands off after they finished eating all of the cookies. “Did you decide whether or not to become a God Eater?”

 

Fille shook his head. “I am honestly conflicted. I am trying to think of the pros and cons in my head… and I… still need time to think, Kanon.” Though honestly, he prefers to find a way home if at all possible. It is not like he is stuck here forever right? Right? He bit his lower lip, hoping that’s not the case. His home world is in trouble from being overrun by these Nightmares. Sure this world has it worse, but… priorities?

 

“Maybe Princess Weiss can save me. She surely must have already figured out I have gone missing and will go to the Clock Tower herself.”

 

“Uh, Earth to Fille, you there?” Kanon waved her hand in front of his face, snapping Fille out of it.

 

“Sorry. I was just thinking about some other things. What did you say?”

 

“I said I understand, Fille.” Kanon gave him a reassuring smile. “Becoming a God Eater isn’t easy and you have to make a lot of sacrifices. I was nervous too when I became a God Eater… but the thought of protecting my family, friends, and my home gave me the courage to go through it and quite honestly… being a God Eater can be a lot of fun… Just slaying pitiful Aragami left and right all for the sake of preserving mankind! Woo!” Kanon explained cheerfully.

 

Fille could have sworn he saw something dark in her eyes when Kanon talked about slaying Aragami. It almost gave him a shiver down his spine. “Is that right? That’s some good motivation, Kanon.”

 

“Yeah, but hey, you do what you want to do. I’ll support any decision… cause we’re friends aren’t we?” Kanon said, putting out a hand for a shake. Fille looked at her hand for a moment, before smiling and firmly shook her hand.

 

“Yes, we are definitely friends. I mean, you practically saved my life. I am really thankful.”

 

“Aww, it was nothing. You looked like you were in trouble while I was out on my mission so I had to help out.” Kanon blushed. “But I must say, if you do become a God Eater, would you go on missions with me? You are so cool and I would like it so much if you joined me!” Now Fille was the one blushing. That’s something no one has ever called him before. ‘Cool’. Something about this girl was giving him a lot of… unnecessary feelings and he is not sure if he likes it or not.

 

“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow. It is getting late.” Kanon picked up the plate and started heading out the door. “Good night, Fille!” She cheerfully waved goodbye.

 

“G-Good night, Kanon…”

 

With that, Kanon left the room, leaving Fille back to being alone in the room. He sighed and took off his sunglasses to set on the counter. Honestly, it was getting rather late and he is very tired from everything that transpired today here and in Snowtramine. Shame there isn’t any sleepwear for him, he’d hate to wrinkle his clothes, but nothing can be done about that. He turned off the lights and went to sleep. He began dreaming of going back home… and a certain cute God Eater.

 

Back at Weiss’ castle

 

Weiss sat on her throne, waiting for the meeting to start with this, “Alula” person. Zuzu was standing not too far away from her, along with another bodyguard of hers. As usual, Weiss was bored just sitting around doing nothing but wait. She drummed her fingers impatiently.

 

“Ugh, I hate waiting around for meetings. Sometimes I just wish they ask me to do something else.” Weiss complained, but knew that she shouldn’t back out. It is a princess’ duties to make their citizens happy. Zuzu turned to look at her for a moment, almost feeling sorry for her.

 

Weiss noticed this and gave her a sheepish smile. “Sorry, I am just rambling, ignore me.” Zuzu shrugged before facing forward again.

 

“Yeah, she does that sometimes.” The other bodyguard told Zuzu.

 

“Silence!”

 

The door to the throne room opened and in came one of the maids bringing in the woman known as Alula. Weiss examined her carefully, taking in her rather… risque type of outfit and the strange snowy owl mask covering all but her mouth. She looks tall, a lot taller than her even, which irked her to no end. She hated being short.

 

“Alula, is it? Welcome.” Weiss greeted not unkindly. Alula kneeled down on one knee and bowed respectively before her.

 

“Your highness, it is a pleasure to meet you and thank you for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me.”

 

“It is what I do…” Weiss cleared her throat, “Now then, you say you have info for me. Pray tell what kind of info you have that will interest me?” She was awfully curious as to what it is. She doesn’t normally get requests of this nature.

 

Alula smiled, “Well your highness, I am sure you are well aware of the strange monsters popping up not too far from here?”

 

Weiss gave a brief nod at that. So far so good. If this is going where she thinks it’s going then she might just get a new lead.

 

“These creatures of the night, Nightmares, must be stopped at all costs. And there is only one weapon that can deal with them… I believe you have heard of the Dreamcatcher sword?”

 

Weiss’ eyes widened slightly. How did she know that? She only just found out about that weapon yesterday and surely this woman wasn’t around when she learnt about it. Getting suspicious, she narrowed her eyes ever so slightly. “Why yes… And what of that rumored sword?” Zuzu looked between the two, wondering where this was going.

 

“I know where it is. It is in that dreaded Clock Tower. You must grab the weapon and fight against the evil sending these monsters out to destroy us.” Alula told her.

 

Weiss had an inkling that the Clock Tower had something to do with that sword, but to have it confirmed…although… “Hmm, why should I be the one to grab it? Why can’t you grab it? For all I know this could be a trap.”

 

Alula gave her a smile. “Your suspicions are justified your highness, but I cannot grab the sword. Those who try to get close to it get punished. Only one person that is brave, confident, and believes they can make their dream come true with hard work and determination can even touch it and therefore become its master.” She then once again bowed respectively before Weiss. “And you, your highness, fits all the criteria. You are the one that will capture the Nightmares and end the evil behind it all.”

 

“Only I? Hmm…” Weiss took in the information she heard. She decided to think about each point of interest one at a time. First of all, the sword punishing those who get close to the sword that are not worthy. Would that mean that Fille and Yuna came into contact with the sword and therefore got punished as a result? It would definitely explain their disappearance. She would hope that the punishment wasn’t… death. “So what happens to those that are not worthy?”

 

“I do not know. I only have a decent amount of knowledge about the legendary weapon. My sincerest apologies.”

 

“Hmm… where’d you get this info is what I’d like to know, but we’ll talk about that later I am sure.” Weiss rubbed her chin in thought. So it is not for certain both of them are dead, although it still leaves her uneasy. Next is the fact that she is the only one that fit that requirements to wield the sword. She is well… honored? A sword that she can wield and potentially put a stop to that person herself. It actually made her kind of excited, it sounded like she was the main character of some video game or even a story. “Alright, Weiss, don’t enter geek mode.”

 

“So… only me? And how would you know if any of that is true about me?” Not that she wasn’t wrong. It’s just really suspicious.

 

“Your highness, ever since you started ruling, you have been working hard for your dream of keeping your country happy and to appease your late father.”

 

“My father…” Weiss whispered to herself, sadly. Alula noticed this, but continued on regardless.

 

“Taking on such a role requires a great number of confidence, bravery, and determination, don’t you think?”

 

“... I guess point taken… Honestly though, where did you get all this info?” Weiss wanted to know who this person is.

 

“Let’s just say…” Alula adjusted her mask on her face. “I have my sources… Very smart sources.”

 

What did she mean by that exactly? Weiss wasn’t sure, but was definitely sure that Alula wasn’t going to shed more light on that. She hated when people withheld info, even if they have good reasons for doing so.

 

Zuzu on the other hand found all of this very interesting. This was the first time she ever heard about this sword and to think that the girl she is ‘pretending’ to protect is the potential wielder of it. Assuming all of this is true of course. If only she could speak more than one word so that she can talk to the princess about this later.

 

“Now then, I have something to offer you, something you definitely need for the Dreamcatcher Sword to get its power back.” With that, Alula reached into her skirt pocket and pulled out the 2 strings of the Dreamcatcher.

 

“You have 2?!” Weiss exclaimed loudly. Alula expected this kind of reaction.

 

“Yes. One I found on school grounds… the other was… given to me by an adorable young lady at said school.” Alula not giving away any more than that. “With the one I bet you are carrying around with you, that makes 3. Thus all the pieces are now together.”

 

Weiss took out her own piece, but now was faced with another question. “Wait, was the Dreamcatcher sword broken apart or something? What happened?”

 

“Another time, another place, your highness. Explaining it to you all at once wouldn’t be a good idea anyways. You’ll know in due time.”

 

“But I like exposition… especially when I want to know more!” Weiss complained in her head, but didn’t show her disappointment. “Zuzu, bring me the other 2 pieces from her.” The zombie obliged and walked forward to mysterious woman. Alula looked at this bodyguard closely for a moment, taking in all of her features. Zuzu stretched out her hand, waiting for her to coff them up. She stood up and gave them to her, but not before whispering her ear.

 

Weiss arched an eyebrow at the exchange. She sees Zuzu then look at her like she grew a second head and waved her off with a grunt. What was that about? Did Alula tell her something weird? The zombie walked up to her and handed it to her. She gave her a small smile then looked at the 3 strings now in her hands. So she has all 3 of them. Now what? Should she head to the Clock Tower now and get the sword?

 

I’ve been waiting for you…

 

Weiss gasped as the 3 strings circled around her, glowing blue. The bodyguards gasped and Alula just looked on, not worried in the slightest. The princess found herself floating in the air as they spun faster and faster. Then, in a blink of eye, the strings stopped, forming a triangle around her. Weiss’ eyes were blank, but not lifeless. It was as if her body was left behind and her mind went elsewhere.

 

“Your highness!” The bodyguard was flabbergasted, as was Zuzu.

 

“She’ll be fine.” Alula assured them. “Think of it like she is sleeping. Once she wakes up, she’ll return stronger than before.”

 

“Well until then, you are staying with us! You brought this upon her after all!” The bodyguard pointed at her accusingly.

 

“Oh my… Well I wasn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon anyways.” Alula shrugged and then looked over at Zuzu. “You. I want you to help me with something while we wait…”

Chapter Text

Weiss groaned, sitting up from the ground slightly and shook her head. She looked around and sees that she is… near the entrance to the clock tower? How did she get here? Wasn’t she at her castle? Very confused, she got up and tried to remember what happened to make her come here.

 

“That’s right… I got all 3 pieces of the Dreamcatcher Sword and they suddenly surrounded me… next thing I know... “ Weiss tilted her head up and took in the Clock Tower in all its glory. From up close it looked quite intimidating. “It brought me here… Well I suppose that makes sense given that the sword is supposedly inside this place.”

 

The white haired princess deeply inhaled and then released it. “So if I am ever going to have a chance against the Nightmares… and more importantly the perpetrator behind all of this… I need the legendary swords’ help.” Weiss wasn’t going to lie. There would be a lot riding on her shoulders once she acquires the weapon. It wasn’t going to be easy, but then again, a lot of things are the same way. A small smile made its way onto her lips and a great amount of confidence flowing within her. If it means saving her people and the world… she’ll do it. She’ll be that strong main female protagonist from a lot of RPG’s she played for everyone!

 

“Well… here goes nothing.”

 

Weiss walked up to the double doors leading into the Clock Tower. She grabbed both handles and pulled the doors open. Blinding light burst forth from within and Weiss had to shield her only eye quickly. Confused from this, but not backing down, she headed inside.

 

When the light faded and Weiss removed her hand from her left eye, she was met with quite a surprise. She was in a completely different area than from inside the clock tower. She was in some sort of arena… with water all around her. Bulletin boards, cameras, TV’s were all over the place and on the TV’s was a single still image of the words, “Peach Beach Splash!”

 

“Huh?! Wait, where am I? Is this… some kind of dream then?” She looked up to the sky as if waiting for somebody to answer her. Unfortunately, there was nothing of the sort. Just the sound of water and wind around her. She put a hand to her chin, thinking.

 

“If this is just a dream… then there must be a purpose for this. Could it be that the Dreamcatcher Sword made me dream this place?” Weiss tried to think of a reason as to why she was dreaming this if so. Is it trying to tell her something or is this…?

 

Weiss stopped her thinking when she heard incoming footsteps from behind her. She quickly whirled around to see who it was. What she saw had her blushing a bit and also made her envious. It was a well endowed teenage girl with brunette hair that was tied into a ponytail, and brownish eyes. She was wearing a blue bikini that was barely holding her girls up from bouncing all over the place. The girl walked up to her until there was about 3 feet of distance between them… breasts not included.

“Who… are you?” Weiss asked the busty brunette in front of her. The girl just stared at her, not answering. The princess stood there uncomfortable while they had their staring contest. She would like to get some answers but this girl wasn’t saying anything. Only after a solid minute or two did the girl open her mouth.

 

“Weiss-chan… What do you desire to have?”

 

“...Huh?” Weiss only asked her for her name and yet she is asking a question herself? And how did this girl know her? Wait… given that this is probably a dream made possible by the sword itself, it was probably self explanatory. The girl didn’t look like she was going to say anything else until she answered. Weiss crossed her arms over her chest and thought about the question.

 

What did she desire? Good question. She was the princess of Snowtramine. With royalty comes riches, which means she can buy pretty much almost anything… But as the saying goes, money can’t buy you happiness. It can certainly help a bit, true, but not completely. From all these years as princess… she was incredibly lonely.

 

“I… desire to have some lifelong companions…” Weiss answered soundly. The girl in front of her had a small smile on her face at the answer.

 

“Your desire is to have lifelong companions? I see.”

 

Weiss sees her fade her away into nothing. That was… certainly odd. Ask a question and then just disappear like nobody’s business. Well it is a dream… so anything goes.

 

Suddenly, she felt her signature sword forcefully summoned into her hand. Weiss looked down at it in surprise. Before she could have a chance to question it, 10 living wooden puppets with red eyes surrounded her. She quickly got into battle position as she stared down these puppets.

 

“I suppose this is a test of some kind… Very well, I accept!”

 

Weiss sees all of them rush towards her and she quickly jumped high into the air. Before any of them had a chance to react, she rained down icicles onto them by pointing her sword into the air and using her ice magic. They staggered from the stabbing of the icicles and before they knew it, Weiss slammed down onto the ground, sharp ice protruding from all around her. The puppets were sent flying away from her thanks to that.

 

The princess watched them burrow their way underground… somehow... after recovering. She was slightly confused, but she stood on her guard anyways. A tremor. Weiss quickly backflipped out of the way as all 10 puppets launched out from the ground in a line. What she didn’t expect however is that they threw ninja stars at her after the failed underground attack. Weiss groaned in pain as they some of them pierced her legs. Blood trickled down her legs as she landed on her back in the water.

 

“Ow… H-Hopefully I don’t have those marks when I wake up…” Weiss muttered to herself. She wasn’t sure if any damage she took here would be applied to the waking world. She hoped not at least. Would the Dreamcatcher Sword go that far? She plucked out the ninja stars and quickly administered a little healing spell to at least stop the bleeding. Too bad she wasn’t an expert on healing spells. Mostly just ice magic.

 

Weiss gasped and rolled out of the way before all 10 of the puppets slammed their fists down on her. Thinking quickly she decided to use her ice magic to her advantage. She settled her sword on the water and quickly froze it. All the water that was in the area, except around Weiss, froze up, entrapping the puppets. A moment or two later, Weiss slid across the ice and slashed through all of them. Their upper bodies came crashing down onto the ice before vanishing along with their lower half. The princess took a deep breath and then exhaled before casting away her sword since the battle was done.

 

“That wasn’t too bad.”

 

Weiss looked around, to see if there was anything else for her to do here. She sees that an elevator appeared in the area where she was before when getting here. She shrugged, guessing that she wasn’t quite done yet.

 

“Well, onto the next?”

 

She headed towards the elevator and pressed the button to go up. The door opened and she stepped inside. Upon looking at the numbered buttons, there appeared to be 5 floors… Was she really inside the clock tower? Weiss assumed she couldn’t go directly to the 5th floor. So she settled with heading to the second floor and pushed 2. The elevator door closed and quickly rose up.

 

Closing her eyes, Weiss thought about the location she was just at. What was its purpose? And just who was that girl she saw? She certainly has never seen her before. She liked to think she has a pretty good memory of the people she meets and she certainly hadn’t met a girl as busty as that. There has to be a good explanation.

 

The elevator dinged and opened up, blinding light once again hitting her. Weiss groaned and covered her one eye as she once again stepped into the light. She wondered if she would be in the actual Clock Tower this time… or perhaps she’d be in another unfamiliar territory.

 

 

Turns out it was the latter as Weiss found herself what appears to be a badly shaped shrine of sorts while it was snowing outside. Since she was an ice magic user… and rules over a pretty cold place overall, she wasn’t exactly cold. It will take a lot to even make her shiver from the cold.

 

Weiss turned around and sees that the elevator she used to get here was gone. She assumes she has to do something here first before getting the next elevator up. Oh how she wished she was just given some explanation, but looks like she has to figure it out on her own… as part of the test probably.

 

“Weiss.” A cute feminine voice called out.

 

She turned around once more to see a busty pink haired girl with blue eyes walk up to her. Weiss was getting a little annoyed by seeing all these young busty girls while she was only sporting a C cup. Envy aside, she assumed this will be like last time, but just to be sure.

 

“Who are you?”

 

The girl stared at her blankly, clearly having no intention of answering her question. Weiss muttered, “Thought so,” under her breath and waited with baited breath as to what this girl might ask.

 

“What do you fear the most?”

 

Her fear? She certainly didn’t have fear. All human beings have things that they fear… it is pretty much one of the emotions that makes them human. She doesn’t fear monsters nor did she have any type of phobia. If anything, her fears were more… personal. Like losing her country, her home, but what she feared the most was…

 

Weiss clenched her fists and looked down at the ground. “I… I fear to become a useless princess.” She was glad she didn’t have to talk about her past, but even saying this was a bit painful for her. Weiss felt a hand on her shoulder and she quickly looked up into those eyes of the pink haired girl, she appeared to be smiling at her.

 

“Cheer up Weiss, you aren’t useless now, and you certainly won’t be useless later…”

 

Before she could even respond to such a sweet comment, she vanished into thin air just like the girl from before. Weiss felt something at her feet and she looked down. It appeared to be a grenade of some kind and thankfully not about to explode on her. Curious, she picked it up. This certainly wasn’t there before and is clearly meant for something… but what?

 

ROAR!

 

Weiss covered her ears because of how loud that was. A monster of some kind was clearly nearby. She supposed it is time for the next part of her test. Weiss tried to summon her sword to her side but… it wasn’t appearing. She grumbled to herself. So for this part she can’t use her sword, which just limits her to this grenade she has and a few of her non-sword magic spells… assuming those weren’t cut off too.

 

Well it was better than being completely defenseless… and if worse comes to worse, she has her acrobatics to use in fights if need be. She quickly ran outside in the snow. She was ready to face this thing. Whatever it is. She felt the ground shake as something was fast approaching to her position. Closer and closer it came as Weiss braced herself. Closer and closer still and then… Silence… absolute silence.

 

Weiss was slightly taken aback but didn’t lower her guard. She looked around quickly, trying to see if there was any sign of the monster. This monster clearly has some intelligence to it. She may not see it, but it may certainly see her and is planning to strike at any given moment.

 

She hears a pebble drop down to the ground to her right. Alarmed, she cartwheeled to the side just as a huge red lizard thing punch the ground where she was. She was about to counter attack with a spell but the monster was too quick for her and quickly swatted at her. The white princess screamed as she was sent flying back into the shrine and slammed into the wall of it. She groaned in pain as she slumped to the floor. She rubbed the back of her head and feeling some blood. It is a good thing she wasn’t a normal human being or else that would have killed her.

 

“Gah… this thing is strong… This is going to be quite a battle.”

 

 

“She is bleeding on the back of her head now.” Alula noted as both she and Zuzu watched Weiss stay floating in the air still ‘asleep’. Zuzu really wanted to tend to those wounds Weiss was getting, but Alula didn’t allow her to interfere. She can’t have outside help she told her when they first noticed she was bleeding from the legs not too long ago.

 

“Mmggh…” Zuzu grumbled a bit worriedly.

 

“I know. She can take care of herself though.” Alula reassured her.

 

It was now 5PM and the only ones in the room were both Alula and Zuzu. During the time that Weiss was dreaming, both of the girls were working on a special necklace for Weiss to wear when she comes back. Zuzu was hesitant to help this stranger at first, but it is not like she had a choice… considering that Alula knows who she really is.

 

“There, that about does it.” Alula stated as she finished the remaining touches to the necklace. “I thank you for your help in this matter. This should make it easier for the princess on her journey to come.” She gave a big smile to the purple haired woman beside her. She merely rolled her eyes in response and stood up from the ground now that the task is done and she can focus on Weiss.

 

Alula watched her walk up to Weiss and merely sat down next to her, waiting, like a dog waiting for her master to return. It was pretty adorable in all honesty. These two probably haven’t known each other long and yet this ‘woman’, has grown quite attached to her. She feels a bit jealous at this, but she shook it off. Pocketing the necklace for now, she headed over to sit next to Zuzu.

 

The two sat in… relatively awkward silence. Zuzu not really wanting to be near this woman, but didn’t have it in her to do anything about it and Alula is just smiling next to her. The masked woman decided to break the awkward silence with a conversation. After all, who knows how long Weiss would be dreaming for if it already took this long.

 

“Zuzu… how… how long have you been turned?”

 

Zuzu turned to look at her for a second but then turned back to Weiss. She frowned, knowing that was probably a sensitive topic for her, but she wanted to know what happened.

 

“Look, I know you don’t trust me, but I really would like to know. It is sad that this happened to you and perhaps I could do something to help you if you would just talk to me about this.”

 

Zuzu groaned in response. Alula watched her raise 5 fingers in response to the question.

 

“5… days I am guessing?”

 

A nod.

 

“Hmm.” Alula was glad she wasn’t suffering as a zombie for too long and also found someone to take care of her. And that someone was Weiss of all people. This princess was something else, wasn’t she? It is of no wonder why she is the only one to wield the Dreamcatcher Sword.

 

“Did… did you ever… um… you know?” Alula asked hesitantly.

 

“...” Zuzu clenched her fists, her shoulders trembling. That was all Alula needed to see to get her answer. She bit her lip. She can imagine how painful it was to just… do that when you still have your humanity intact. Most of it anyways. Now that she thought about it… She should be getting really hungry right now. Zombies are pretty much running on instinct at this point and that is to eat. If she doesn’t get food in her, she is going to do something she’ll regret. But what if…

 

“Zuzu… are you hungry?” Alula asked her, giving her a nervous smile.

 

The zombie turned to look at her, wondering where she was getting at.

 

“If you are… then…” She put a hand behind her back and snapped her fingers. Zuzu looked at her confused, wondering what she just did. Alula simply smiled sheepishly before whispering in her ear. “I disabled all the cameras for a little bit.” With that, she offered up her arm. Zuzu stared at it in shock and… hunger.

 

“Feast upon me. Don’t worry, you won’t infect me. Let’s just say that I am pretty much immune to all diseases. I can still be killed sure, but I don’t think you’ll do that.”

 

“...I...B-bu…” Zuzu stammered, trying to get words out of her throat. Alula silenced her with a finger on her lips, smiling.

 

“I know I probably could have just called one of the maids to get you food if you are hungry but sooner or later you probably won’t contain your hunger for flesh and snap. So, I offer myself up to you. Go ahead and eat me… and I don’t mean it in a sexual way.” Alula laughed at her own inappropriate joke. Zuzu just looked at her like she grew a second head.

 

“It is just an arm, Zuzu. It is not like you are going to eat my vital organs or something. Eat before somebody comes to see what’s going on.” Alula urged her.

 

Zuzu REALLY did not want to succumb to her Zombie urges, but there was an arm right in front of her being offered with almost no fucks given. Why was this woman being so nice to her and willing to give up her arm just to satisfy her hunger? Does her arm regenerate after a while or something? She never heard of a human having the power to do that.

 

“AAAAH!” Weiss was again swatted away by the huge red lizard thing. She crashed onto the ground and slid at least 3 feet on the snowy grounds before coming to a stop. She groaned and got up slowly. That attack left her aching in so much pain. She tried all manner of ice spells on this monster and nothing was working. It was like this monster was completely immune to her attacks.

 

“How can I possibly defeat this thing then?”

 

There was only one thing she hasn’t tried and that is the grenade she picked up. That can’t be the right answer. There is no way one grenade is going to kill a monster like this… can it? It seems too simple.

 

Weiss gasped and once again rolled out of the way as the monster stabbed the ground where she was with some sort of dark energy sword which exploded on impact. She was running out of options at this point so she might as well. Weiss pulled out the grenade, pulled the pin and threw it at the monster. It exploded upon impact, but instead of an explosion, there was a brief flash of light. It didn’t hurt her eyes but it definitely hurt the monster’s eyes. It seemed to be blind for a moment, confused and angry.

 

Weiss knew right then that she was supposed to use this grenade to hide and escape. If a monster is too strong for her, she has to flee. She spotted a cliff side not too long ago and ran towards it. She made an ice slide and slid down it all the way to the bottom. For good measure, she casted the ice slide away before she laid down and covered herself in snow so she wasn’t spotted from up above.

 

She waited. She heard the monster come back to its senses and started stomping around, looking for her. She closed her eye, hoping, hoping the monster wasn’t smart enough to jump down here to look for her.

 

After what seemed like hours, but in reality was 3 minutes. She heard the monster roar and run off somewhere. She waited until she could no longer hear the footsteps and got out from the snow, gasping. She shook off the snow and noticed that the elevator was now right in front of her. Weiss rolled her eyes. To think the answer was really that simple. Although it is a good lesson to be fair. Never go into a fight you can’t win.

 

She quickly healed up any wounds she has and headed into the elevator. This time she pressed 3 and the elevator went up. Weiss wondered what awaited her in the next floor. It is definitely going to be some place she has never seen before and have some sort of requirement. There was a pattern to this.

 

Ding goes the elevator. Weiss covered her eye this time as the elevator opened. She walked into the bright light, ready for the next thing in this test of hers. When the light faded, she sees herself… outside a castle. Definitely wasn’t hers. And some of the castle was even submerged in water not too far away from her. But why was everything… so much bigger in comparison? She tried to walk forward, only to stumble and fall on all fours. She looked at her… claws?!

 

“No…” Weiss muttered as she walked on all fours to the water and looked at her reflection. She was… a white dragon with a blue mane. She looked kinda comical for a dragon as she still has her eye patch on. Of all things... to be turned into a dragon for this part. What kind of sick twisted humor did this Dreamcatcher Sword have?

 

“Can I even wield my sword in this form? I don’t have opposable thumbs…” Weiss questioned as she looked at her new claws. She looked behind her and looked at her wings. She flapped them, but she doubted she can fly with them… especially since she wasn’t born a dragon so how the hell would she know how to use them?

 

“Can I breathe fire?”

 

She cleared her throat and then sucked in some air. She concentrated for a brief moment and then exhaled. She expected fire to come out, but instead she breathed ice, which froze the water. “Oops. Well I guess that makes sense. Everything I do is ice related.”

 

She turned around and was to face to face with a small purple dragon with a yellow mane and purple eyes. She almost jumped back into the frozen water in surprise, but held her ground. This must be another one of these folks she doesn’t know but they’ll ask her one question anyways. She held her tongue on asking who this dragon is as she won’t get an answer anyways.

 

“Weiss. What do you treasure the most?”

 

The princess looked up into the sky, pondering this question. Honestly, this was a very difficult question to answer. There was a lot of things she treasured in her life. Her memories with her father, her sword, her country… There was just so many. Well, maybe she should stop thinking with her brain and start thinking with her heart. Her heart tells her that…

 

“I treasure… life itself the most. Being alive is a gift and we should all be grateful to be alive.”

 

“So you treasure life itself? What a great answer.”

 

The dragon vanished into thin air like the others. No longer surprised at this point, she decided to see if she can summon her sword this time around. She concentrated for a moment and lo and behold it was summoned… in her mouth. “Well this is awkward…” Weiss muttered around the hilt of the sword. How is she supposed to wield it in her mouth? Maybe it was more practical to stick with ice magic or just… be a dragon and kills things like a dragon.

 

BAAAAAA!

 

“What the?! A sheep?!” Weiss turned to her left and sees a big angry sheep heading towards her direction. Now this was getting ridiculous. Off all things to be pitted against… it was a giant ass sheep. The sheep charged towards her, intent on headbutting her. She charged ahead as well, she has horns… so might as well use them.

 

They clashed in mere moments. Her horns were stabbed into the sheeps’ head but it didn’t seem bothered by it. They both struggled to dominate the other in this battle with their heads. Weiss groaned and huffed, trying to throw her weight so she can knock this sheep down to get some advantage.

 

The sheep growled and summoned its inner strength to dislodge Weiss from the headbutt, catching her off guard. Not a moment later, the sheep knocked Weiss up into the air almost knocking the wind out of her. She quickly thought of a counter move and tossed her sword down at the sheep, stabbing it in the back. A pained ‘Baa!’ echoed throughout the area from the move. Grinning, she dived down, horns first, onto the sheep’s head, knocking it down.

 

“Hah! Prepare to be my next meal, sheep!”

 

 

Emma walked out of a costume store with Jess in tow. The blonde looked at her new purchase in awe. It was a black flowery masquerade mask with built in fake green eyes that thankfully still lets the wearer see when placed on their face. Jess shook her head, not believing the fact that her friend just bought a mask for the upcoming ball.

 

“I know I asked this before… but I’ll ask again… why the absolute fuck are you going to the ball wearing that… when it is NOT a masquerade ball?” Jess put her hands on her hips as if to intimidate her friend. It had the opposite effect on Emma as she just sees this as really cute.

 

“Well… it is because of my dream.” Emma explained. Jess looked mildly confused. That was the reason she decided to buy this for the ball? All because of a dream she had? Really? It honestly boggles the mind to be honest.

 

“What does your dream have to do with this, Emma?” Jess asked as they walked down the sidewalk in the direction of Jess’ house. It was getting dark and they should quickly head home and rest for the big day tomorrow. As they continued walking, Emma debated whether or not to tell Jess everything that had transpired when she had the dream and after it. Would she even believe her?

 

“Let’s just say I dreamed about the ball and found myself wearing this mask while attending it and I thought, why not reenact it?” Emma responded with a sheepish shrug. Jess looked at her incredulously before shaking her head and sighing.

 

“Whatever floats your boat, Emma, you weirdo.” Jess chuckled at the pout she sees on Emma’s face. She gave her cheek a teasing pinch and Emma quickly battered her away, laughing. After that they fell into a comfortable silence as they walked. Jess’ house was not too far away. 5 minutes of walking and they’ll get there.

 

“So um…” Jess started, getting Emma’s attention.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Do you want to like… have a sleepover with me?” Jess asked a bit shyly, not sure if it is really an appropriate time to ask or not. Emma’s face went from confusion, to surprise, and finally to a blushing red face… as red as Jess’ hair.

 

“Jess,” Emma really couldn’t help herself, she really couldn’t as it was the only way for her to not burst to flames in embarrassment. If she was going to be embarrassed, might as well drag Jess down with her. “Are you saying you are interested in me?” Emma teased her. “W-What’s next? Going to ask me to be your date for the ball?” She almost bursted out laughing at the expression on Jess’ face. It was absolutely fucking priceless.

 

“N-NO! SHUT UP YOU USELESS LESBIAN!” Jess smacked the back of her head. Emma cackled in response. “Jeez, now I regret asking you. Just forget it.” Jess huffed, pretending to be really angry at her.

 

“I’m sorry, I just love messing with you, pal.” Emma sobered up as she brought an arm around Jess. “Sure, I’ll be happy to sleep over. I am just surprised you brought it up now of all times.”

 

“Well, it gets lonely at my house and well I was hoping we could have one sleepover before…” Jess paused.

 

“Before what?” Emma asked, wondering what is on Jess’ mind.

 

“Before… highschool ends and then we have to work hard to make ends meet you know.” Jess finished quickly. “I have to apply for college, maybe even find a part-time job to pay off some student loans and crap, leaving me no time to really… you know hang out with you.”

 

“Ah… I see.” Emma really did understood what she meant. It is going to be really busy for Jess after highschool and it can’t be all fun and games. You really had to work hard if you ever want to achieve your dreams. It is honestly kinda sad thinking about it, but what can you do? She was glad and also wasn’t glad she didn’t have to deal with college shenanigans.

 

“Are you sure your wolf family won’t mind if you sleep over at my house?” Jess questioned her. “I don’t mind if you want to you know talk with them first before deciding.”

 

“Nah it’s ok. I’m sure they won’t miss me too much and besides, they can take care of themselves.” Emma responded, not really worried about it.

 

“Well alright.” Jess smiled brightly. “Then let’s have a sleepover we won’t soon forget!”

 

They arrived at Jess’ house a few minutes later. The house wasn’t anything special. A simple two story house with a garage. A typical family house that almost anyone would want really. Jess pulled out her keys from her skirt pocket and unlocked the front door. Once inside, Emma sees a rather messy living room. Coats and shirts thrown haphazardly on the couch, multiple empty cup of noodles on the coffee table, books and magazines strewn about on the floor… it was quite a sight.

 

“Sorry about the mess… I am not exactly the cleanest person around… I am a smart girl… but I am lazy with cleaning…” Jess said sheepishly as she hung up her coat on the coat hanger by the door. Emma shrugged as she placed her coat on the coat hanger, not really caring too much. She has seen much worse.

 

“Want anything to eat, Emma? I can try to cook something simple.” Jess closed the door and headed to the kitchen. She poked her head in the fridge, seeing what she has available. “I have Mac n’ Cheese… Steak… and that’s about it… Sorry I haven’t gone shopping in a while.”

 

“Mac please. I am in a cheesy mood.”

 

“Sure. Make yourself at home while I cook it.”

 

Emma nodded, watching her go prep the food. The blonde sat herself down on the couch and closed her eyes, relaxing. She was glad that school has finally ended for the week. So many boring classes she had to sit through and some homework that had to be done it was just… kinda stressful really.

 

She opened her eyes and decided to eye her surroundings while she waited. Other than the room being messy, it was a pretty average living room… except there was two things she spotted that seemed out of the ordinary. It was a long black whip over in the corner with a crossbow next to it. The crossbow was hopefully for defensive measures… but what about the whip? She hoped she wasn’t some closet sadist.

 

“Hey Jess!”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“What’s with the whip and the crossbow?” Emma hears Jess pause in her cooking for a bit.

 

“Oh those? Well you know how some of us magic users have signature weapons? Yeah, the whip is my signature weapon. The crossbow is something I am experimenting with actually.”

 

“A whip? Kinky.” Emma commented. She hoped to never have Jess use it on her. She really wasn’t into that, though she doesn’t mind people that do. Whatever floats their boat. Choosing not to think about that anymore, she grabbed the remote from the coffee table and turned on the TV. Immediately she was greeted with the local news channel.

 

“Police are still looking for the reported Zombie that was seen spotted around town. So far, there are no deaths related to this zombie. They state that they’d hope to find this Zombie before it gets out of hand.”

 

“They still haven’t found her yet?” Emma thought to herself. Part of her is wishing that the zombie is safe somewhere. She seemed pretty intelligent for a zombie… perhaps there is still some humanity in her if there have been no reported deaths or heck more zombies.

 

“In other news, the famous detective of Snowtramine, Fille Beau, has been reported to be missing.”

 

“Wait what?” Emma exclaimed. This was the first time she heard of this. What happened? She just saw him the other day. Jess came into the living room with two plates of Mac n’ Cheese, handing one to her before sitting down next to her with hers. The red head looked at the TV as she took a bite.

 

“I hope he is alright… wherever he is.” Jess said as she took another bite. “The world needs good detectives and he’s the best one in our country.” Emma didn’t comment as she continued to watch, not touching her food just yet.

 

“The last time anyone has seen him was yesterday afternoon in his office. If you have any information of his whereabouts, please contact the police.”

 

“Wait, so that was a little after I spoke with him…” Emma stated, she put down her plate and began thinking.

 

“Huh? … Oh is that why you suddenly skipped morning classes yesterday?” Jess was about reprimand her, but then realized it was pointless at this time. What’s done is done. She sighed and placed down her plate as well. “What did you talk with him about?”

 

“O-Oh uh… Just talking with him about a case that he is working on…” Emma lied as she tried to think real hard about where Fille might go and then just suddenly disappear for a whole day. She didn’t believe he was suddenly kidnapped. That detective knows how to take care of himself in regards to that… at least that’s what she learned about him through other means. So that only means he went somewhere really dangerous. If she can just figure out what clues Fille had found, perhaps it will explain where he went.

 

Emma’s eyes widened when she thought about what she looked up a few days ago. The blonde looked out the window and there in the distance was the Clock Tower. That had to be it. That is the only place possibly linked to the shenanigans happening around here.

 

Jess looked at Emma strangely and then to where she was looking at. “Hm? What about the Clock Tower?”

 

The blonde just stared at it for a few seconds longer before slumping back into the couch, sighing. “Nothing. Forget about it. Let’s just enjoy our sleepover.” She said, forcing a smile as she picked up her Mac n’ Cheese and began eating. Jess didn’t really believe her, but didn’t push it. She’ll probably talk to her about it later, but for now, she agreed that they should enjoy their time together.

 

 

“HAAAAAA!” Weiss screamed as she came at the sheep with the sword in her mouth, revving up for an attack. The sheep quickly rolled to the side as just missed the attack… or did she? Weiss smirked and then quickly casted an ice spell from her sword. It shot out a beam of ice and froze the sheep in a block of ice. All according to keikaku. She tossed the sword up into the air. Jumped up to grab it back into her mouth and then slammed down. Weiss watched as the block of ice split in two, essentially also cutting the sheep in half… killing it. Few seconds later it disappeared into thin air.

 

Giving herself a pat on her shoulder, she casted her sword away. “I guess the lesson here was adaptation. To see how quickly I adapt to situations.” Weiss can only assume at this point as there was no one here to tell her if she was right or not. “Still, was pretty cool to be a dragon.”

 

The elevator appeared in front of her a few seconds later, ready to take her to the next floor. She got on her hind legs and hit the up button with her paw. It opened for her and she went inside. When inside, a bright light flashed over her and she returned back into a human. Weiss looked overself, glad to be back in her own body. “Whew. Hope I don’t turn into anything else.” She pressed the button to the 4th floor and the elevator began to ascend.

 

Once the elevator stopped and opened up, Weiss quickly headed outside, wondering what could possibly be waiting for her. What she saw amazed her more than anything. As far as she could see, there was lots of gaming consoles, handhelds, accessories, game cartridges, and other gaming related items piled up from all around her. It was like she was in some kind of gaming junkyard. Her inner geek was screaming in glee.

 

“Wow… I would so like to explore this place…” She was rather disappointed she couldn’t as she was only here for a test.

 

“Shine for me! Star of hopes and dreams!” A feminine voice sang out from not too far away.

 

“Wow… what a beautiful singing voice…” Weiss wasn’t expecting that as she walked closer to figure out where the voice was coming from.

 

“I swear to you that you can always count on me! And I’ll always rise above! Because I won’t lose to anyone!” The voice continued to sing, captivating Weiss further. She always admired people who can sing so beautifully. The white haired princess eventually came to a stop when she spotted a blue haired girl from behind. She was wearing headphones and a black, almost sexy, idol outfit. From the looks of things, she was practicing her singing.

 

Weiss sat down and began to close her eyes, just listening to her singing. This was a nice break from all the fighting she has done up till now. The blue haired girl continued her singing, unaware she now had an audience. It continued on and on for about 2 minutes before the song seemed to come to an end.

 

“Destiny! Written in the skies! I swear to you that I’ll make them realize! That I’ll always rise above! Because I won’t lose to anyone!”

 

The princess softly clapped, impressed with her singing abilities. The blue haired girl turned around in surprise. She almost squeaked at the fact that somebody was watching her sing. She turned bright red and hid her face with her hands. “Oh Goddess! Somebody was watching me sing!”

 

Weiss tilted her head in confusion. Why was she suddenly so shy? She is an idol right? At least judging by the clothes. She quickly got up to hopefully calm down this girl. “Hey nothing to be shy about. You are a great singer! You should be proud of yourself for being able to entertain others with your singing abilities!” Weiss praised her.

 

“I’m sorry! I am just… really really shy when I am not singing up on stage.” The girl exclaimed, still hiding behind her hands. Weiss was confused at that comment. How did that make sense? A supposed idol is not shy when on stage, but is when she is not and has just one person watching her? How does that work? Does she have some kind of switch she flicks on when on stage?

 

“Oh. Well I assure you that I am a friendly girl. I was just passing through and then I heard you singing so I decided to check it out. And well here I am, just enjoying your singing.” Weiss explained, smiling. The girl peeked through her hands and studied Weiss’ face, trying to see if there was any deceit planned. But there was none. She let out a deep breath and uncovered her face, still beet red.

 

“T-Thank you for listening to my song. It has always been a dream of mine to have people enjoy my songs that I sing while on the big stage.”

 

“No, thank you for giving me a show.” Weiss smiled brightly, “Can you give me your name?”

 

“W-Well my stage name is 5pb. But my real name is Lyrica.” The idol introduced herself.

 

“Lyrica… that name does suit you…” Weiss was glad that she was able to actually talk to someone for more than just a line or two. Although she does wonder what the point of this was. Or is this just a calm before the storm that is the last floor?

 

“W-What’s your name?” Lyrica shyly asked.

 

“Weiss. Weiss Shinrai.” She introduced, holding out her hand for a shake. The girl hesitantly took it and they both shook hands. Now that they are acquainted with each other, Weiss wasn’t sure what to say next. She is not one to carry on conversations unless it is business related, but since that isn’t here nor there, she is pretty much clueless. Sure she had conversations with Zuzu, but it was easy because it was almost one-sided with how little she speaks.

 

“So, Weiss, if you don’t mind me asking…” Lyrica started, but waited until Weiss responded before she continued.

 

“Go on.”

 

“The eyepatch… is your right eye like… gone?”

 

Weiss rubbed at her eyepatch in question. She is not surprised to be asked this if she were perfectly honest. She is willing to share some information about it, but she is just not comfortable sharing the full story… at least not yet.

 

“Yeah. It’s gone. I have only one functional eye.” Weiss sighed, “I lost it 3 years ago due to… a mistake I made.” She shook her head as she saw the pitiful look in Lyrica’s eyes. “Although I can do without the eyepatch, it is just there as a constant reminder of my mistake… That’s all I can say about it.”

 

“I… I’m sor-”

 

Again Weiss shook her head, “No, don’t apologize. Not something you should apologize about anyways. I…” She stopped as she felt a tremor. Lyrica appeared to have felt it too. Looks like the next battle was about to start. A real shame. She really wanted to talk to this girl more. Weiss looked around, her guard up. Another tremor. Whatever it was, it was certainly big.

 

Both of them quickly dodged out of the way when they felt something was about to come out from underneath them. Weiss turned around to see what it was and it was giant red dragon. Oh good, a dragon…  At least it was the enemy’s turn to be a dragon. She quickly summoned out her sword. Lyrica looked scared and she wondered if she had to protect her. However that thought was thrown away a few seconds later when she summoned out a guitar of some kind and looked ready to battle with it… somehow. In all her years, she never thought she’d see a guitar used as a weapon for a battle such as this.

 

The dragon roared and all of a sudden Weiss felt something wrap around her left wrist. Before she could even look at it, she was yanked forward towards Lyrica. The blue haired girl screamed as Weiss collided into her. They both groaned in pain, Lyrica more so than Weiss as she under her. Weiss tried to get up quick, but only got up half way. Her one eye widened when she noticed that she was basically handcuffed to her by some sort of green energy. Her left wrist to Lyrica’s right wrist. This was a serious handicap.

 

“You gotta be kidding me…” Weiss muttered as she helped Lyrica up to her feet. She didn’t know how she was supposed to fight like this, but she has to try. This is one test she must not fail.

 

“This is bad…” Lyrica bit her lip as she looked at the dragon that was currently staring them down like they were its next meal. “Can we even win when we’re like this?”

 

“Lyrica, you can’t go thinking like that!” Weiss told her. Lyrica yelped as she turned to look at Weiss. “Thinking you are going to lose is going to make you lose. It is one of those self-fulfilling prophecies. You have to put your best foot forward and be confident in yourself. Sure, often times that isn’t enough, but at the very least, if you lose, then you can at least take solace that you tried your best.” Weiss gave Lyrica’s hand a squeeze, causing her to blush heavily. She gave her a reassuring smile before saying, “And besides, what about your song? Aren’t you going to make me realize that you’ll always rise above?”

 

“...You’re right!” Lyrica smiled before looking back at the dragon and preparing her guitar. “I… We can do this!” Weiss nodded, glad she was able to motivate the idol.

 

The dragon spat a fireball at them. Weiss fired an iceball in response. They collided with each other and exploded. Weiss fired another iceball at the dragon quickly after, catching the dragon off guard as it hit it in the face. Lyrica took this chance to play her guitar and conjure up a spell of some kind.

 

“Resonate with these brave power chords!” She yelled as she played one last powerful note. Weiss looked up and saw that metals balls with the face of… perhaps a bear, fall out of the sky and slam into the dragon. And then one more giant metal ball came crashing down on the dragon.

 

“Um… nice.” Weiss wasn’t sure what to say about that… but whatever works! The dragon got up with a growl, really angry at the beating it has gotten. It quickly swiped its tail at one of the metal balls on the ground and hit it towards them. Weiss quickled summoned up an ice wall but it was all for naught as it just broke through it and hit them both square in the chest. They were both sent flying into the pile of gaming junk. The landing hurt them quite a bit.

 

“Ow…” Lyrica groaned as she crawled out of the junk with Weiss in tow, both of them covered with cuts. The dragon rushed towards them with great speed, intending to punch them into oblivion. Weiss dived out of the pile with as much strength as she can to pull Lyrica away with her as the dragon crashed into the junk pile.

 

“Here, I’ll heal us up a bit.” Lyrica played a few notes on her guitar and a small green aura enveloped them, healing their wounds.

 

“Thanks… Oh shit!” Weiss tackled Lyrica to the ground to dodge an incoming fireball. Quickly apologizing to the blushing idol beneath her, she stabbed her sword into the ground. A moment or two later, a large iceberg protruded from the ground and knocking the dragon high up into the air.

 

Lyrica quickly got to her feet and played another set of notes. “Heavenly Sound!” Weiss watched as the dragon was repeatedly electrocuted by guitar beats before it slammed into the ground, shaking the area.

 

“Weiss, I got an idea. This is going to take a lot out of me, but it might be able to finish the dragon off.” Lyrica said as she closed her eyes, ready to really rock.

 

“Got it. I will protect us as best as I can while you concentrate on that.” Weiss was ready for anything as the blue haired idol began to rock out. She was sad that she wasn’t able to fully enjoy what she was hearing, but another time perhaps.

 

The dragon growled as it got up from the ground. It summoned multiple fireballs from above its head and sent them their way. Weiss quickly stabbed her sword once again into the ground and summoned a big ice dome around them. The fireballs slammed into ice dome as Weiss raised her right hand up to the dome to try and keep it together. She winced in pain as this defensive skill takes a lot of energy out of her… not to mention painful. The barrage of fireballs seem to keep coming.

 

Lyrica continued to play guitar, every few seconds that passed has her upping the ante of the beats. Weiss wondered how long she was to keep this up for, but she must not distract her. The dragon, not amused by this, roared angrily and was diving toward them quickly.

 

“Oh no you… don’t!” Weiss barely had it in her for a big spell, so she had to settle with a small one. She muttered a few words under her breath and then stomped her foot onto the ground hard. A small iceberg popped out of the ground from underneath one of those metal balls and it was sent flying into the back of the dragon’s head. With a groan, the dragon collapsed on the ground, almost an inch away from the ice dome. With hardly any strength in her, Weiss casted away the ice dome and collapsed to her knees, beyond tired.

 

Lyrica opened her eyes, they were burning with fury. “Alright, I got this!” She strummed her guitar one more time and out of nowhere, a giant microwave with a strange device on top of it appeared. Weiss gave up on trying to question things. The princess was dragged a bit as the idol somehow smashed the dragon into the microwave and then closed it shut. She pulled what looked to be an old fashioned cell phone and inputted a few numbers. The microwave turned on and began to… electrocute itself and the dragon.

 

A minute later, the microwave opened and green goo came out in place of the dragon. Weiss guessed the battle was over. Lyrica, with a tired smile, collapsed with Weiss on the ground. The green energy thing that binded them has now disappeared. This battle has really drained their energy and they were both in need of a break.

 

“We… we make a good team… don’t we?” Weiss asked her. Lyrica can only nod in response, just happy that it was over. The princess now understood what was the purpose of this test. To see how well she fights with a partner in mind.

 

“We won, Weiss… we won… thank you…” Lyrica muttered out weakly before shutting her eyes and falling asleep. The princess was about to say her thanks as well, but she couldn’t… she slowly disappeared into thin air like the previous 3. The test was over. Weiss didn’t bother getting up, she was too tired. She assumed the elevator to the 5th floor was waiting for her behind her, but first… maybe 10 minutes of rest.

 

“Aaaahh… I sure hope there isn’t another battle waiting for me…” Weiss prayed that was the case as she closed her eyes.

 

...

 

It was actually 20 minutes later that Weiss finally got up. She was still tired, but she shouldn’t spend too much time out here. She quickly headed into the elevator and pressed the button to the fifth floor. The final floor. Now if this was like any of the RPG’s she’s played, there would be one tough boss waiting for her there. A few seconds passed and ding goes the elevator. Weiss sucked in a breath, before releasing it as the elevator doors opened.

 

To her pleasant surprise, she seemed to be back in the Clock Tower. Right in front of her was the face of the Clock itself. Both the minute and hour hands were on the 12. It was midnight, but she doubted that was the actual time. None of the mechanisms that operates the Clock seems to be working, so…

 

“Alright… so what am I supposed to do here… Huh?” Her pocket seemed to be glowing now. She reached into it and pulled out the 3 strings of the Dreamcatcher Sword. “These weren’t there before… But this must mean the legendary weapon is close. But where? Wait, but if this is a dream… can I even acquire it from here? Agh! I wish someone would just talk to me about this!”

 

She was frustrated, but she didn’t let it get to her. Weiss quickly pocketed the strings and started to look around. To her right just leads to a dead end. As established before, only the clock face and the mechanisms that were used to make the clock work were in front of her. Behind her was just the elevator used to get up here… so that leaves her left side. 4 paintings were over on that side and so she decided to investigate over there.

 

Weiss looked at each of them. One was a painting of a nearly ruined city that had a monorail. The sky was red and ominous. Nothing much else to do with that painting. Moving on to the next, this one had a futuristic city with flying cars of some such. The only thing odd about this painting was this weird dark goo strewn about everywhere. The third one had a top view of some city and below it was what looked to be a dark abyss. Almost black hole-ish. The last one is a painting of a small island with some palm trees. In the palm trees were star-shaped fruit. This one gave off a more friendlier vibe than the other paintings.

 

“Hmm.” Weiss tried to lift one of the paintings up from the wall, but it didn’t budge. “Odd. Surely these paintings are here for a reason, so what am I supposed to do with them?” Weiss looked around the paintings but there doesn’t appear to be anything of note. Yuna and Fille must have solved this puzzle if they were able to get near the legendary weapon but was punished for it. There must be something she’s missing here. But what exactly?

 

Weiss felt around the paintings, wondering if there was a secret switch of some kind. No cigar there. She placed a hand on her chin in thought. Is there something in the paintings she is supposed to be looking for? And if so, what? She turned around to see if she can find anything else that will help her. She nearly jumped back in surprise when she sees bloody words written on the floor. THAT certainly wasn’t there before. Did she accidentally trigger something?

 

It read:

 

You turn your back on Despair for you wish to face Hope.

 

Hope shines bright like a Star. You embrace it.

 

There may be Darkness everywhere, but you laugh at its face.

 

Because even though it might pull you in, you will stand tall and not give up hope.

 

Weiss was in deep thought, going over the words one more time in her head. 4 lines. 4 pictures. Each line mentions You, in this case, herself. And each line has her doing a specific thing. So that means…

 

“Ah! I see!”

 

She went back to the paintings and looked them over one more time. The first one definitely depicts a feeling of despair. A nearly ruined city with such an ominous sky? That’s gotta be it. So she stood in front of the painting and then turned her back on it. She hears a soft click in response. Satisfied that she got it right, she moved to the next painting which was the one with the island as that is the only one with a star in it. She moved to embrace the painting even if she feels awkward about it. Another soft click was heard.

 

Next was the painting of the futuristic city. The dark goo being an indicator of the darkness everywhere. Weiss forced out a laugh. Click. And lastly was the painting with the city that had the dark abyss below it. She sucked in a breath and stood tall like she was a soldier in the military being ordered around by her commander. Click.

 

The whole room started to shake as the supposed wall lifted up into the air, revealing a red door. That door must lead to where the Dreamcatcher Sword was.

 

“Well that wasn’t too hard…” Weiss commented, “But to be fair, anyone that solved that but doesn’t have the potential gets punished anyways.”

 

With that, she pushed the door open. She gasped. There it was. At the very end of the room was the sword. It appeared to be stabbed into a stone. Classic. She pulled out the 3 strings from her pocket, noticing that they seem to be glowing brighter now. Feeling confident, she marched on over to the sword. Now that she had the opportunity, she wanted to look at it closely before taking it out. She looked at the hilt of the weapon. It was blue and looked pretty well made. She was not sure what kind of material was used for it, but it looked like it can endure a ton of battles and won’t get too damaged. She looked closer still and noticed 3 small metal circles, small enough circles for perhaps the strings. 2 for the handguard; one on each side, and one at the end of the pommel.

 

Weiss quickly got to work and inserted the strings into the tiny circles. Took a bit of time to get them through since she was not used to doing this. It’s been a long time since she last sewed. Once all of them were in, the strings secured themselves very tightly to the sword. It began to glow brightly as if complete. This is it, the moment she takes the sword out of its entrapment, it is hers to use at her leisure till probably the day she dies. She was going to miss using her signature weapon, but this is for the sake of everyone’s life.

 

Weiss grabbed the Dreamcatcher Sword and began pulling. She pulled and pulled, putting every ounce of strength she had to getting it out. Little by little it slowly made its way out.

 

“Goddamn, you are really deep in there!” Weiss was glad no one was around to make a joke about her wording.

 

After what felt like hours, but really only 3 minutes, did the sword finally get pulled out all the way. A bright flashing light enveloped her and she quickly shielded her eye. In the light, she felt really warm… she can feel… lighter somehow. All the fatigue from the battles she fought was wiped away in a blink of an eye.

 

The light faded and Weiss unshielded her eye to take a look at her newly required sword. She noticed that the blade turned slightly blue… perhaps to accommodate the fact that its new master is an ice magic user. The blade was a good 3 feet in length and about two inches wide. At the very tip of the blade was the Dreamcatcher Circle where she guessed will capture any Nightmares she defeats. It was on both sides of the blade too. She smiled. As silly as an idea that there is a sword that also works as a Dreamcatcher, it truly is a marvel of weapon.

 

Suddenly, she felt the whole clock tower shake, and without any warning, a beam of light rained down on her. She didn’t even have a chance to scream as she was taken away by the light.

 

You have done well… Master…

 

 

Weiss woke up with a gasp. She looked around, wondering what happened. She sees both Zuzu and Alula looking at her. The former looked relieved while the latter was smiling knowingly. The white haired princess raised an eyebrow at the bandaged arm on Alula’s left arm. That wasn’t there before.

 

“How are you feeling, your highness?” Alula asked politely.

 

“Huh? Well now that you mention it, I feel great… but what happened?” Weiss asked, very confused. “You have just given me the strings and then… I… fell asleep?”

 

Zuzu looked at Alula as if waiting for an explanation as she was confused herself. Weiss does not remember her dream at all?

 

“You don’t remember anything from your dream, your highness?” Alula asked for Zuzu’s sake.

 

Weiss wracked her brain, trying to remember anything that happened while she was sleeping. Blank. Just blank. She shook her head. “No. I can’t remember. How long was I out for?”

 

“Pretty much the whole day, your highness. It is a quarter past Midnight.” Alula responded.

 

“I was asleep that LONG?!” Weiss clutched her head, flabbergasted at how much time went by. All the work she planned for the day down the drain. “Gah I am behind on my work! And the ball is tomorrow… wait no, TODAY!”

 

If this was an anime, there would be sweat drops on the back of Alula’s and Zuzu’s head. “Calm down, your highness. Instead of worrying about your workload, why don’t you worry about getting the Dreamcatcher Sword in your hands. You do still have the 3 strings.”

 

“Huh? Oh, good point.” Weiss brought up the 3 strings and looked at them again. For some reason, she felt like a part of their power was used up already somewhere. Shaking that thought away for now, she summoned out her trust sword to her side. “You are absolutely right. Saving my country by getting that weapon is more important than improving my country right now.”

 

“I wish you the best of luck.” Alula bowed. “Now then, I have to go. I’ve been here long enough just watching over you while you were sleeping.” She turned around and started walking out of the throne room.

 

“Now hold on.” Weiss commanded, making Alula stop in her tracks. “You seem to know more than you let on. Could you please explain why I was asleep for so long and what was the purpose of it?”

 

“You will know in due time... There are… reasons… but for now, worry about getting the Dreamcatcher Sword, hmm?” With that, the mysterious woman walked out of the throne room. Weiss grumbled, getting increasingly suspicious of that woman.

 

“Well, no matter.” Weiss turned to face Zuzu. “So, mind coming with me to the Clock Tower? Just walk me there. Don’t come in there with me, I don’t want you in danger.”

 

Zuzu nodded. She’ll gladly walk her there. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the necklace she and Alula made. Weiss eyed the piece of jewelry. It was a golden necklace with a little Dreamcatcher emblem.

 

“What a beautiful necklace... Did you and Alula make this by chance?” Weiss asked as she took the piece of jewelry. Another nod from Zuzu. She was quite impressed by the look of it. She can practically feel the magic coursing through it. Without thinking about it too much, she slipped it on her neck. A perfect fit.

 

“I am not sure what this if for… but thank you.” She gave Zuzu a beautiful smile. The zombie would have blushed if she wasn’t well… undead.

 

“Now then, let us go… We are not heading back to my castle until I have that sword in my hands.”

Chapter Text

Emma couldn’t sleep. She kept thinking about the Clock Tower and the possibility that Fille went there and put himself in danger. She is not sure why she cares so much to be honest, as they are just mere acquaintances, but knowing someone you met briefly just disappear just… doesn’t sit right with her. The blonde sighed and sat up from the sleeping bag. Her eyes trailed to Jess’ sleeping form on the bed. She was snoring lightly and curled up in her blankets to keep herself nice and warm. Cute.

 

As she sat and watched, she wondered if she should just go back to sleep… or get up, sneak out, and head over to the Clock Tower? She can always come back later in the night and hopefully Jess doesn’t wake up and notice that she just up and left. The blonde eyed the keys on the redhead's desk. She made her decision, she had to go see what is up with that Clock Tower.

 

With that, she quietly got up and snatched the keys. She took one last look at Jess to see if she was still sleeping. She was. Nodding to herself, she snuck out of the room and proceeded to head outside. She really hoped Jess wouldn’t be TOO mad at her. That is if she found out. She can always make it up to her later. Hopefully…

 

Emma grabbed her coat from off the coat rack, slipped on her shoes, and then opened the door as quietly as she can. It was very dark outside and hardly a soul in sight. It seemed very peaceful. The blonde barely had any chances to be outside this late in the city as she was normally asleep in her cave with her wolf family by now. She shut the door behind her and locked it before pocketing the keys. She turned to look at the Clock Tower in the distance. To her surprise, she sees that the Clock Tower’s hands have moved since she last saw it. Both hands were now at the 12, suggesting it is Midnight. She wondered if that was accurate. She could just unlock the door to go in and check, but she was already outside and she rather not make any more noise that might wake Jess up.

 

“Alright, time to go investigate that stupid tower.” Emma said to herself before walking down the street. She has to be careful around this time of night. Weiss upheld a law that anyone under the age of 21, excluding Weiss herself, must be back home or at the very least not outside wandering around at night from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM. (With the exception of New Year’s) If they get caught, they’ll be sent home immediately and be given a warning to not do it again or else they pay a hefty fine. Emma believed it was around 3000 euros or something, but at least she doesn’t have to pay if she does get caught as it is would be her first offense. Although, now that she thought about it, would they really punish a practically homeless girl like her anyways?

 

Shaking that thought off, she pulled the hoodie over her head as if it made her more sneaky as she quickly power walked her way to the Clock Tower. She dodged out of sight of any cars that came by and tried to avoid contact with any adult along the way. It took a bit of dodging and waiting before she even made it to the forest area of the city. She just has to go through it and she’ll reach the Clock Tower. Emma relaxed a bit as she was now in her element. Now that she has lived outside for so many years, it was hard to find city life comfortable.

 

“Did you finish the job?”

 

Emma heard a man’s voice not too far away. She also heard some footsteps coming towards her direction. Acting fast, she dived into a nearby bush. Once done, she peeked out and checked to see who is coming by.

 

“Affirmative. Now all we have to do is wait.” A female voice responded. Emma recognized that voice, it was that mysterious woman she met at school! What was her name? Alula? What is she doing out here? Within a few short seconds, she sees the woman in question and a black haired man that looked to be in his 30’s that was wearing a black tuxedo. Is that her boss? Or possibly a boyfriend?

 

“Good. I was getting worried that the plan was a failure since it took so long for you to come out.” The man answered with a relieved sigh. Emma arched an eyebrow at this. Just what was this woman up to? She sees them stop in place not too far away from her, seemingly looking in the direction of the Clock Tower, where she was going.

 

“It only took that long because of the test she had to endure in the Dream. You know this.” Alula chided the man next to her.

 

Test? Dream? Who were they talking about? Emma thought back to her conversation with Alula earlier at school. She did say she was going to see Princess Weiss about those Dreamcatcher strings they found… Is that who they were referring to? And if so, did she do something to her? Emma didn’t know what to think or do about this information. Instead, she continued to wait and listen.

 

“And besides…” Alula continued, “The test was no doubt going to last until after midnight anyways. She wasn’t going to pass the test until a whole century has passed.”

 

A century? That rung a bell for the young blonde woman. Jess told her something about something she heard from some boys about a legendary weapon appearing here after a whole century has passed… and that was the Dreamcatcher sword!

 

“Ah yes, I suppose that is true.” The man next to her relented. “What is the Princess up to now? Sleeping?”

 

“No, I heard briefly before I left that she’d be visiting this very Clock Tower to get the legendary weapon.” Alula explained, before turning to the side and walking away. Emma was shocked to hear about this. So Weiss is going into this Clock Tower too? And to get the Dreamcatcher sword no less? She bit her lip, wondering if she should change plans or go into the tower and see if Weiss will be ok. She doesn’t doubt Weiss’ ability to protect herself but...

 

“Do you not wish to wait around and see if she gets it?” The man stood rooted to the spot, still looking at the Clock Tower. Alula placed a hand on his shoulder and shook her head. They exchanged looks at each other for a second or two, before the man finally relents.

 

“I see. You know best after all.”

 

“Not simply because I know best, simply because it is just something that should be left well enough alone. I say we meddled enough, don’t you think? You know the rules.” Alula stated as she removed her hand and faced the other direction. “Our job here is done. Let us return.” She placed a hand to her ear. Emma watched with mild fascination as she seemed to be touching some sort of, button perhaps, on her ear. “Requesting pick-up. The mission is finished. Rendezvous at the Snowtramine Museum.”

 

Whoever these people were, they must be part of some very secret group of sorts. Spies perhaps? Well that doesn’t matter to her right now. She has no reason to chase after them. And even if she did, there would be no way she would even win against them. All she has is her signature weapon, her baseball bat, after all. Emma watched as they both walked deeper into the forest area and went out of sight.

 

“Well that was certainly interesting.” The blonde muttered to herself before getting out of the bush as carefully as possible. She can mull over what she learned here at a different time and place. Right now, she has to go to the Clock Tower. She has to go… to at least see if Weiss will be safe. With that in mind, she quickly sprinted off.

 

….

 

 

“Mrrgh! Mmmmghhh…” Zuzu groaned happily as she feasted upon what appeared to be a chicken skewer of sorts. Weiss watched with mild interest as she herself was eating an apple.

 

“Well, I am glad you like it. I am surprised there is still some street vendors open at this hour.” Weiss commented as she took another bite of her apple. The zombie next to her mumbled in agreement.

 

Both of them were in Weiss’ Private Car, just eating and enjoying each other’s company. They have been out for 15 some minutes by now and the Clock Tower was only a mile away at best from where they were. It was only a matter of time.

 

Weiss eyed the necklace around her neck. While it is certainly a beautiful piece of jewelry, she doubted it was just that, a necklace. Zuzu made it with the help of Alula and while she could ask her zombie friend about it, she doubts even she knows what it does, and even if she does, she can’t exactly talk much outside of a few simple words and grunts. Zombies have it rough… Intelligent ones anyways. If she ever meets Alula again, she is definitely going to ask her the purpose of it.

 

“...?” Zuzu made a questioning noise, noticing that the Princess was lost in thought. Weiss blinked and turned to face her. She appeared to have finished her chicken skewer. That was fast.

 

“Oh, uh, just wondering about this necklace.” Weiss tapped the aforementioned jewelry in question. Zuzu stared at her blankly for a second or two as if thinking before nodding and then giving a shrug in response as if to say she really doesn’t know.

 

“Thought so. I guess I’ll either find out by myself or ask her if I ever meet her again.” Weiss let the subject drop at that. She finished off her apple and placed the core of the apple in the trash receptacle installed in her car. With a sigh, she started up her car. “Let’s just hope everything turns out ok in there.”

 

Weiss pulled out of the parking lot and drove down the street to the Clock Tower. She and Zuzu stayed quiet as they drove off, not bothering to have any sort of conversation or even look at each other. What else was there to say really? This is a serious situation.

 

A harsh ring shattered the silence. Both of them looked towards the source and noticed that the car has received a call. Weiss raised an eyebrow at this, who would call her at this time of night? Certainly not any of her bodyguards or servants. Hesitantly, she pushed the answer button on the screen.

 

“H-Hello?” Weiss answered, wondering who it was while she kept her eyes on the road.

 

All that can be heard from the other side was static. Maybe it was a stupid telemarketer or something?

 

“Look, if you are trying to sell me something, I don’t want it.”

 

Just then, sinister laughter was heard. Both of them looked at each other briefly, surprised. That was certainly not what they expected to hear.

 

“Weiss… Oh Weiss… Come closer… Soon you and I will meet… And this meeting will spark something… Nightmare inducing…” The voice playfully said before laughing maniacally… The call then ended shortly after.

 

The white haired princess growled a bit, knowing exactly who it was that called her. “Nightscream…” She spat, using the name that the detective called him.

 

“N...Niiightscreeeeam?” Zuzu tried to voice out, wondering who she was talking about. Weiss pretended to ignore how cute that sounded and decided to clarify for her out of the loop zombie friend.

 

“He is the one that is supposedly behind all the strange nightmare monsters that have been popping up lately,” She paused and then stared ahead, anger and determination running through her. “And the reason that I am getting the Dreamcatcher Sword. It is pretty much the only weapon that can fight against him. Nobody… and I mean nobody gets away with harming my country.”

 

Zuzu bit her lip and nodded in understanding. They didn’t say anything more the rest of the trip… which was only a minute. Weiss parked just outside the opposing Clock Tower. She turned off the ignition and turned to her friend. They both nodded to each other and then got out of the car. Weiss stared up at the Clock Tower. Up close, it looked really worn down, almost like it could collapse if a earthquake hit. Other than that, it was just a mere building holding the legendary weapon she needs. Ghosts being in it doesn’t matter to her. She is not scared of those things.

 

“Okay… we’re here.” Weiss summoned her signature sword to her hand and gave it a brief swing before turning to Zuzu. “Zuzu, I trust that you can stay out here and watch my back? I don’t know if anybody will try and come in after me, but you know, just in case.”

 

“Y-Yeess.” Zuzu pulled out a pistol from her uniform and showed it to her. Weiss simply nodded and then turned towards the entrance to the Tower. She looked around quickly before quickly sprinting to the door. The princess took a deep breath and then pushed the door open. Loud creaks accompanied the door opening and as quietly as she should, she slipped inside and closed the door behind her.

 

Satisfied that Weiss made it inside, Zuzu slowly paced around the perimeter of the Clock Tower, keeping watch. She hoped that Weiss will be able to find that weapon or at the very least, be ok. They haven’t known each other for long, but she has grown rather attached to the princess. She would hate to see her perish.

 

“Ow…”

 

Zuzu immediately cocked her pistol in the direction of the noise. She stared harshly with her colorless pupils at the bush nearby. The intruder, knowing they were spotted and of course being threatened to have a bullet through their skull, slowly came out of the bush. A young blonde woman crawled out and then slowly stood up with her hands up.

 

“L-Look, don’t shoot! I am not here to cause any trouble for the princess!” The blonde woman reasoned with the bodyguard. Zuzu was unconvinced so she continued to point her gun at her. As she continued to look at her, the zombie became aware that she seemed familiar. Not too long ago she saw this face. She racked her infected brain for an answer.

 

Noticing that the bodyguard was slightly distracted, she quickly rushed forward and knocked the gun of her hands with a harsh karate chop. It didn’t hurt her at all, but she did drop the gun from the force of the hit.. The blonde quickly picked it up and pocketed it for the time being.

 

“There, now you have nothing to threaten me with and we’re on equal grounds… kinda.” The blonde smiled sheepishly. Zuzu didn’t respond to that and instead continued staring at her. Realization hits her after a few seconds. She was that blonde student she saw at the school grounds.

 

“Y-Youuuu…”

 

“Hmm?” The blonde was confused by the sudden outburst. “Wait a second, do you know me strange bodyguard?”

 

Zuzu decided to remain quiet and not say anything more on the matter. If this blonde woman realized she was the zombie that was on the run earlier, her undead life will be over.

 

“Well, whatever,” The blonde shrugged after a few seconds of complete silence. “Listen, sorry to have you fail your job at protecting the princess, but I must go in there to at least watch over her and confirm a few things on my end. Something that I thought the princess would task you to do and not just… be out here guarding the place like a dog.”

 

Zuzu continued to say nothing as the blonde placed a hand on her shoulder. “Look, I promise I won’t do anything. I like the princess too much to do anything to her. Some serious shit is going on around here and I want nothing more than to help out with this whole Nightmare situation. She is going for the legendary weapon, yes? So I want to make sure it gets into her hands.”

 

The zombie stared into her eyes, wondering if she was being deceitful, but her voice carried sincerity… as well as the eyes. She sighed and gave a brief nod, still keeping in mind to keep her mouth shut. Hopefully Weiss won’t judge her too harshly for letting a civilian interfere.

 

“Thank you,” The blonde smiled brightly. “And hey, if I did do something, you can say it was Emma Falls that did it and have all her guards come for my head on a pike.”

 

With that, the blonde quickly dropped the gun she pocketed and moved past the guard quickly. Before Zuzu even had the thought of picking the gun up, Emma entered the Clock Tower and shut the door behind her. The zombie sighed, hoping she did the right thing.

 

…..

 

….

 

Weiss didn’t know what to expect inside the Clock Tower but… certainly not this. The entrance hall was filled with lots of human bones and grafiti by the looks of it and it smelled horrible in here. She quickly covered her nose and almost vomited a little. She knew lots of people died in here, but still! Did they even bother giving the dead a proper burial?! She felt bad for any spirits that reside in this tower. If she ever had the time after she saves her country, she would like to give them a proper burial. Dead or not, they are still people of her country.

 

“I am sorry to those that died here. I can’t even imagine what happened to you here.” Weiss muttered to the countless human bones that were strewn about. She quickly moved about, careful not to step on anything. The faster she gets to the sword and get out of here, the better. “Although, now that I think about it. I don’t hear or see anything, ‘Ghostly’, here. Well, I am not here to hunt Ghosts. I am not one of those weirdos on Television that actively goes out to find ghosts.”

 

She kept walking through the entrance hall until she reached the elevator. A quick look around to see if there was a staircase just in case resulted in she finding it blocked off with rubble, rendering the only way up is by elevator… and possibly the only way down… unless she wants to jump down… and kill herself. She may be a human with magical powers, but even she can’t withstand a fall that high.

 

“Is it just me… or does this elevator seem.... Familiar?” Weiss asked herself as she tentatively touched the elevator door which was very cold to the touch. She was having a strange sense of deja vu. Shaking that feeling off, she pushed the button to go up. The elevator door immediately opened. She raised an eyebrow at this. The elevator should have been on the top floor or something if the detective and Yuna have gone missing in this very tower looking for the weapon… so why was it on the bottom floor all of a sudden? Was it the ghosts that did this?

 

She shook her head, thinking that she was putting too much thought into this and walked in. There appeared to be 13 floors. Classic stuff for haunted buildings. Shrugging, she pressed the button. As the elevator doors closed, she swore she could have heard the sound of the entrance door being open. “ Intruder? No… I trust Zuzu to have taken care of any intruders. Maybe she was peeking inside just for curiosity's sake or to see if I am ok in the ground floor?”

 

Satisfied with that thought, she let the elevator take her to the 13th floor. She took this time to look at her reflection in her sword’s blade. A confident looking princess staring back at her. Confidence, if there is one thing she takes pride in, is her confidence to do things, that or her courage. And before she knew it, the elevator made a ding noise and opened its door. She appeared to be on the floor where the face of the clock is. Unlike the ground floor, there were fewer human bones scattered about and little less grafiti.

 

ANOTHER INTRUDER?” She heard a harsh whisper not too far from her.

 

Wait… Is she?”

 

“Unlike the previous intruders… she is another of those cursed people!”

 

“Gah! Don’t let her come near you! She’ll prolong our suffering here!”

 

Several harsh whispers came out. Weiss can only guess that they were the spirits residing here. Still, the things they said gave her pause. What did they mean she was, “One of those cursed people,”? Even the last one she heard was more confusing. She is not a bad person, why would she make these lost spirits suffer more? God forbid she ever does such a thing.

 

I wish I can say that I am not a bad person, but I doubt these spirits will listen to reason. Besides, I believe one of the rules of dealing with the paranormal is it to not speak to them directly too much, otherwise I’d invite something sinister to enter our world through some portal. Still, I hope there is a way to get them to move on.”

 

Weiss stepped out of the elevator and looked around. There appears to be a door to the left that seems to be barricaded shut by metal plates and the like. No going into that room it appears. Although it does make her wonder what the heck is in there for it to be barricaded shut. It can’t be where the Dreamcatcher Sword is being held. Alula said both Fille and Yuna must have entered the room where the weapon was being held and therefore punished as a result of not being worthy. So the fact that it is barricaded shut must mean it isn’t relevant. Still, she can’t help but feel that there is SOMETHING in there. Something… bad.

 

“Hmm.” Weiss muttered and decided to turn her attention elsewhere. She moved forward towards the clock face. The hands on the clock were on the 12. Were… were they always that way? She feels like that the hands moved at some point. The Clock Tower hasn’t been in commission in decades. It has electricity sure, but without someone to do maintenance, the clock shouldn’t have moved by themselves. Did the ghosts did this?

 

She felt a strange rumbling on her neck and looked down. Her necklace was glowing and all 3 of the metal feathers of the Dreamcatcher necklace pointed to her right. Puzzled, she looked in that direction. There appeared to be 8 paintings on a wall that did not fit the Clock Tower atmosphere at all. The paintings were in rows of 4. Starting from the top and all the way to the end was a painting of, ninja star, fenrir symbol, dragon wings, game console, yin and yang symbol, a flying car, an apple falling from the tree, and a star shaped fruit.

 

“What a random combination of paintings for just one wall. This must be where the hidden room is.” Weiss commented as she walked up to the wall. “But for some reason… I am having some major deja vu here.”

 

The princess wondered what she had to do in order to reveal the room. Both Fille and Yuna managed to figure out this puzzle of sorts, so she should be able to solve this. She touched the wall and all of a sudden blood came oozing out from behind all 8 paintings. Startled, she took a step back and watched as the blood pooled down on the ground. The blood then soon formed into words.

 

RUN FOR THE SPEED. BE GRATEFUL FOR GRAVITY. SHOW BRAVERY FOR THE FUTURE. SMILE AT DESTINY. EMBRACE COOPERATION. BE NEUTRAL TO BOTH SIDES. MOURN FOR THE PAST. SHOW DETERMINATION IN THE FACE OF COMPETITION.

 

Weiss read that again and then look at the pictures. Normally she’d be very confused, but for some reason she somewhat knows what to do here. She has to do a certain action in front of a painting. It is quite a strange puzzle and clearly there is some deeper meaning to those phrases, but for now, she has to figure out which painting gets which action.

 

She looked at each painting one more time, trying to figure out what each one symbolizes.

 

“Ah. I think I understand.”

 

Weiss first looked at the ninja star one and ran towards it. Ninjas are quite often known for the speed and stealth mostly. A small click was heard, which means she was probably correct. Then she looked at the painting of the apple falling from the tree. The story of Isaac Newton was basically depicted in this painting and the law of Gravity. But how would she show gratefulness. Could she just say something? She thought briefly for a moment before putting a hand on her chest and closing her eyes.

 

“I truly am grateful for gravity. If it weren’t for gravity, the universe wouldn’t even exist. The gravity we have right now is perfect. Not too much… and not too little. Just right. Just the right amount for all manners of life to exist.”

 

Another click. Weiss was thankful she watched that one old show as that was the basis for her little speech here. Now she looked at the flying car. Flying cars have yet to be a thing, though she knows that will be a thing a not too far of in the future. She put on the best pose for bravery as best she can, like some sort of proud superhero. Click.

 

“This one, using process of elimination, could only be the star shaped fruit. That one symbolizes destiny… for some reason.” Weiss reasoned to herself as she gave the painting in question a toothy smile. Click.

 

“Cooperation…” She stared at the Fenrir symbol. Wolves hunt in packs. A team, they work together to take down their prey. Although, is she supposed to do something that symbolizes embrace? Or does she actually have to.... Embrace the painting?

 

“... I am going to have to hug this painting aren’t I?” Weiss deadpanned. She never hugged anything or anyone in her life and she is starting with a painting? “I believe I reached a new low in my social life. I am going to hug a painting first before hugging an actual friend.”

 

Whoever created this puzzle is a weirdo. Or doesn’t know how to make good puzzles. Sighing, she, at the best of her ability, embraced the painting. Click! She quickly got off, cheeks burning red. “Calm down, Weiss, you are doing this for your country and possibly the world.”

 

Next is the Yin and Yang symbol. There is no other painting that has two sides. Be neutral? Weiss decided to just shrug her shoulders with a neutral expression on her face in front of the symbol. Surprisingly there was a click as she didn’t think that would work.

 

She then walked over to the painting of the dragon wings. Dragons… were a thing of the past. The only thing close to them now are just lizards and such. To mourn… She kneeled down, clasped her hands as if in prayer and muttered some words of sorrow. A satisfying click was heard.

 

And last but not least, show determination in the face of competition. That led to the game console. Games can be very competitive in general whether against an AI enemy or a human player. Satisfied with that answer, she showed her determination in front of the painting in question, thinking about all the things she needed to do to defeat her opponent. And the last click was heard.

 

Weiss stood back as she saw the wall descend into the ground, revealing the secret room and more importantly the Dreamcatcher Sword! It seemed to be stabbed into a piece of stone, just waiting for the right owner to come pull it out. She heard some gasps from behind her as she made her way inside, but she paid them no mind. The princess pulled out the 3 strings with the feather attached to them out of her pocket once she reached the sword. They glowed brightly in response. Knowing what she had to do, she quickly attached them in little tiny holes in the hand guard and at the tail end of the grip.

 

“That should do it…” Weiss said as the sword glowed for a bit before it simmered back to normal. She dismissed the sword she was carrying. Weiss was sad to be part with her signature sword, but it was a necessity. With that, she grabbed a hold of the sword with both hands and pulled. She pulled and she pulled and she pulled. The sword was slowly dislodged cm by cm each hard pull. “C-Come on… I w-will… be your new master!” Weiss exclaimed as she pulled as hard as she could. The sword dislodged and she fell to the ground with an undignified squeak.

 

Weiss shook her head and looked at her newly attained sword. It was glowing brighter than ever before and before she can even react… the sword got out of her grip, floated up into the air… and stabbed itself into her head. Weiss let out a loud shriek of pain, wondering how she is not dead yet. It is inside her fucking brain, how is she not on the ground dead?! After a few more painful seconds of screaming, the sword dislodged itself from her head and fell into her lap. Weiss quickly placed a hand where the sword stabbed into and felt no blood or anything for that matter. What did it do to her brain?

 

“W-What the fuck, dude?” Weiss muttered to the sword in her lap. “I become your master and you decide to brain fuck me quite literally? Pardon my french by the way.” She honestly did not know why it did that but… hmm… she honestly feels stronger somehow. Hopefully she can find some answers.

 

BOOM!

 

Weiss was startled by loud explosion that happened nearby and quickly got up from the ground, gripping her newly attained weapon. She heard some loud stomping and it was headed her way! Weiss braced herself as she saw something poke out from the entrance… a decayed hand?!

 

Slowly the creature revealed itself and it was a giant fat green zombie guy… and it was a naked one too. She was more grossed out than horrified. Weiss then looked at the eyes of the zombie and noticed there were red swirls. Meaning that this monstrosity was a Nightmare. Her first ever real life encounter with one. She smirked, now it was time to give this weapon a test drive.

 

“Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes? Come and get a piece of this!”

 

….

 

Emma gagged as she made her way through the entrance hall, trying to avoid the mass pile of bones that were strewn about. “T-This is horrible! I… I knew something happened here in the past, but… I didn’t think it was this bad… There must be hundreds of bodies here…”

 

The blonde really didn’t want to be depressed about thinking about these things so she tried to switch her thinking to a different topic. Like… like the bodyguard she met outside. That woman was strange. Not much of a talker and if she really wanted to, she could have fought against her, but nope, she surprisingly made it very easy for her.

 

“Hmm… well, who am I to question who Weiss employs as her bodyguards.” Emma shrugged as she made her way to the elevator. “Although… she does seem familiar somehow.” She muttered as she pressed the button to go up. She tapped her foot as she waited for the elevator to go down. “I am surprised this place still has electricity. You would think they would cut it off after being abandoned for decades.”

 

The elevator arrived and opened up for her. She quickly stepped inside and looked at the pad. 13 floors. Emma rationalized since it took a bit for the elevator to arrive that Weiss must be on one of the higher floors if not the top floor. However, she cannot follow to closely to her or else she may get spotted by her and that is definitely not how she wants their first meeting to go.

 

“Let’s go with another suspicious number. 4. 4 pretty much means death in Japan. I am such a weeb.” Emma shook her head at herself and pressed the aforementioned number. The elevator closed and ascended. “Now don’t go all Tower of Terror on me… I hated that ride.”

 

She doubted anything was on this floor but whatever. Investigation is an investigation. She’ll go to the top floor later. Hopefully they don’t run into each other in the process. She wants to be close by, but not too close.

 

The elevator arrived on the 4th floor and opened. Emma stepped out and looked at her surroundings. Hardly any bones here, she noted. Grafiti galore though. “Is that… yep that’s a penis. Probably compensating for something. Gross. How come there isn’t vagina graffiti art? Too much?”

 

Moving on from that… There appear to be only one room on this floor and it was barricaded by some wood. “Ok I doubt Fille went in there then, but since they are clearly trying to keep something out or something in, I’ll take it off myself.” She summoned her baseball bat to her hand. Emma closed her eyes and summoned her inner strength. A moment later, her eyes shot open, fire in her eyes, “Mighty Beast Chop!” Emma slammed her baseball bat onto the wooden planks and smashed through them effortlessly like they were mere twigs. She kept the baseball bat in her hand just in case something might jump out at her.

 

“Alright, let’s see what’s in here.” Emma opened the door and went inside. It appears to be an office… or what used to be an office. Broken furniture, scattered papers, etc. What wasn’t broken was the desk in the center of the room with a very grotesque skeleton sitting behind it. There doesn’t appear to be anything that can attack her… yet. Perhaps the skeleton will come alive and attack her, that’s some classic horror shit right there.

 

She walked up to the desk and noticed that whoever this dead person was, wrote something before they died as there was a piece of paper on the desk and a pen in their hand. She must be the first person to ever see this person’s dying message. Emma scratched her head in thought. Someone barricaded this person in and perhaps they died from starvation? Probably too early to jump to conclusions.

 

“Well, I think I can still read it… still kinda legible even after all this time.”

 

With that, she carefully picked up the piece of paper and began to read.

 

To anyone that manages to read this if by some miracle the worlds have not been purged into an eternal nightmare hell… I need to tell you this. If the worlds have been saved… that does not mean they will be safe forever. You cannot be rid of the Nightmares. There will always be Nightmares for as long as people still Dream. If the battle against the Nightmares been won. Then the next battle is not too far off. To best prepare for that next battle, you must infuse the Dreamcatcher sword with 8 gems that spel---

 

It stops there. The person must have died before they managed to finish the note. Still, she can’t believe her luck. She managed to find something relevant to what’s happening right now.

 

“8 gems…” Emma decided to mull over that part of the note first. “So if Weiss wants to take down whoever is causing this… she needs 8 gems… What kind of gems though? Gah… how unlucky that they died right before they could write all that they wanted.”

 

BOOM!

 

Emma almost let out a squeak as she heard an explosion happen somewhere up above. “Weiss?! WEISS!” Figuring that something terrible must have happened, she carefully pocketed the note in her pocket and left the room. She quickly headed over to the elevator and mashed up button repeatedly as if it would make the elevator door open faster. To her surprise however, the elevator was on a different floor.

 

“WHAT?! Did the ghosts do this or something?! Come on! I need to get up there!”

 

The elevator finally arrived after what felt like forever. Emma quickly went in and pressed the button for the 13th floor, hoping that is where Weiss is. She paced in place, biting her lip with worry as the elevator slowly ascended.

 

Please be ok. Please be ok. Please be ok. Was all that Emma could think in her head. Ding. As soon as the elevator doors opened, Emma rushed out and took account of her surroundings. The first thing she saw was the room to her left that seemed to be the location of where the explosion happened as smoke was coming out of it.

 

“Glacial Burst!” She heard a familiar voice say. Emma quickly hid by the wall, wanting not to be discovered and slowly peeked her head out towards the sound of the voice. To her surprise, she sees a green fat zombie of some kind fly out of another room near the face of the Clock Tower and smash into the wall on the opposite side. Another zombie? Did the zombie apocalypse start?

 

The blonde saw the owner of the voice come out of the room with a smirk. It was Weiss and… she had the Dreamcatcher Sword! She managed to get it! N-Not that she had any doubts… Ok there was a doubt here and there… but she got it though. She quietly let out a sigh of relief that Weiss was ok. There is not much else to do other than watch… she really wants to go into the room near her and investigate but she needs to keep watch and hopefully not get spotted in the process.

 

Weiss watched as the Nightmare Zombie got up from the wall and growled at her. She shook her head at it, not at all intimidated. Without warning it spat out something foul at her, like some sort of toxic vomit. She quickly erected a ice wall in front of her, shielding her from the vomit however the wall melted on impact. Weiss gasped as it vomited at her again and this time she jumped to safety. She grabbed hold of one of the wires hanging from the ceiling and swung herself at the zombie. It saw what she was doing and retaliated with a punch. Weiss quickly blocked with her sword as she fell towards it. On impact, the zombie groaned and reeled back as if it was burned by just touching the sword. As she landed, she quickly stabbed it in the gut and it went all the way through it.

 

“Weiss seems to be having no problems.” Emma commented as she continued watching the fight unfold while continuing to hope that the fight doesn’t come over here.

 

Weiss tried to move the sword upwards so she can slice the zombie almost in half but it seemed to be stuck. It growled at her and kicked her in the gut. Weiss groaned in pain and flew several feet away, taking the sword with her. Emma gasped silently as Weiss landed on the ground and skidded a foot or two before her head slammed into the wall. The zombie jumped up into the air, prepared to belly flop her into oblivion.

 

“I… I won’t go down that easy!” Weiss groaned as she put both hands on the sword and pointed it upwards. The zombie fell down and impaled itself on the sword, this time the sword going through the chest area, however, it still landed on Weiss and she got the wind knocked out of her. It must have been quite a sight. A naked fat zombie on top of a princess.

 

C-Can’t breathe… owww…” Weiss tried with all her might to shake the zombie off of her. But it was no use, it was way too heavy. The zombie was in pain but was moving in to bite her neck. She quickly managed to get a hand out from under it and held onto the neck of the zombie, refusing to let it bite her and quite possibly turn her into a zombie as well… after she dies that is.

 

“GRRAAARR! I…. I WON’T LET YOU WIN! I… I WILL PROTECT MY COUNTRY FROM ALL MANNERS OF EVIL!” Weiss was getting really angry. She clutched tighter onto the zombie’s neck almost as if she were trying to snap it off. Frost started to form on Weiss’ skin as she struggled with all her might. The Dreamcatcher Sword turned frosty as well, mimicking what their master was doing. The zombie stopped what it was doing, confused as to what was happening to its insides.

 

With the last bit of strength she had while pinned down, she screamed as ice spikes poked out of her and into the zombie. The Dreamcatcher Sword did the same and casted ice spikes within the zombie. The zombie didn’t even let out a sound as everything inside and outside of it froze solid.

 

Silence fell as Weiss returned back to her normal state, exhausted. She watched, somewhat confused as the sword then turned bright and shot something out from the tip without Weiss’ say in the matter. A bright Dreamcatcher symbol appeared in the air a few moments later and without warning, sucked the defeated zombie nightmare into it. It turned smaller, smaller, and smaller until it was no longer visible and was inside the circle of it. Once the deed was done, it dissolved and went back into the sword.

 

Weiss shuddered as she felt something go through her before she blacked out. The sword falling down to the side of her.

 

“Weiss!” Emma rushed over to her and kneeled down to take a better look at her. She was still breathing, which was good. However, she can’t sleep here. Who knows what else might be lurking in this tower. Having no choice, she picked up the Dreamcatcher Sword so she can place it on Weiss’ person and just as soon as she touched the handle, her hand was grabbed by Weiss’. She let out a squeal and quickly looked back at Weiss. She still seemed to be knocked out, but she had quite the grip on her hand.

 

“W-What? Weiss, let go!” She tried to pry her hand off but to no avail. The Dreamcatcher Sword started shaking uncontrollably after a few more seconds of prying. Before Emma could even have a chance to react to the sudden movement, it went out from under their hands and stabbed itself into Emma’s head.

 

“AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” Emma screamed as she had the worst pain she ever experienced given to her by this sword. She felt like her head was being pumped full of something and then have something taken out of her. After what felt like excruciating minutes, it pulled itself out of her and went back into Weiss hand. Weiss began to glow as the sword began to dim back to its normal state…

 

“H-How am I still alive..? What the heck just happened?!” Emma asked to no one in particular as she touched her forehead, looking for a gaping wound but found none. After the initial shock died down, she felt… kinda tired.. Which wasn’t good considering she needed to get them both out of there. “Ugh.. whatever, I’ll ask questions later… for now…” She looked at the now back to normal Weiss and picked her up bridal style.

 

“What a weird legendary weapon… But it is only one that can help defeat those monsters…” Emma commented as she walked towards the elevator so they can head out of the tower… not knowing that she was being watched by someone.

 

Hahaha… Fools… Thank you for your help…