Tragicus -- a weapon of war that has been created by humanity, against humanity. Truly a hideous creation by the most hideous species.
I, Akito Suo, am one of the "Masters" that wield such weapon.
Roughly 20 years ago, the Japanese government finally decided to pursue the manufacture of Tragicus. I was one of the chosen soldiers to test such weapons.
The Tragicus actually comes in many forms depending on the spirit infused to it. The manufacturing process is top secret, but I know it is probably greatly disturbing considering the fact that it utilizes the spirits of dead people.
Earlier, I was called in to report for duty. Apparently, a group of terrorists were causing quite a ruckus in the city, killing quite a number of people. Well, with humanity reaching this dystopian age, this is actually quite the common occurrence these days.
The night is cold, snow is gently falling from the sky, but for some reason I feel warm. It's probably because of the warm blood of the men I just killed earlier?
I sat on a bench trying to catch my breath while grabbing a cigarette from under my cloak.
"You should really cease smoking you know?"
I heard the voice from behind me suddenly, but I couldn't care less about its remarks.
"Ahh. what a pity. I'd rather not have you die because of a lung disease you know? Really, what a pity.. Master."
I glanced at the figure at my side. A woman with a slender figure tried to reach out to my cigarette.
"Stop it Aria, give me a break."
"No can do! You're getting old you know? You should stop these bad habits of yours."
The woman pouted as she finally took my cigarette and threw it away.
"And besides, I don't want to be used for such trivial things you know? Heck, you didn't even use me earlier when dealing with those guys, and now you want me to light your cigarette?"
"You should be happy that I didn't use you. And besides, I don't want to use this hideous weapon as much as possible."
"How rude! you look more hideous looking like that you know?!"
That's right. This woman called Aria is my "Tragicus".
As I've said earlier, Tragicus comes in different forms, and mine is in form of a Lighter.
One mysterious thing about these Tragicus is their ability to manifest in their spiritual form.
This young woman, seemingly in her 20's, with her long white hair and ruby eyes. She's just beautiful. She really looks like those noble ladies in the past.
While forming a contract with the Tragicus, the Master can peer into the spirit's memories and past. This is the curse we bear in exchange for their power. The feeling of overflowing hatred and despair.
Apparently, in order to calm the spirits, They transfer all the negative feelings from the spirits to their Masters; including their memories of these painful past, or else, the spirits would go berserk and it would backfire.
That's why, only chosen capable ones were able to become Masters. Some people who fell short lost their minds, unable to carry the burden of the spirits.
As for why it needed to be malevolent spirits, and why only spirits of women are called, that remains unknown for me.
Ever since Tragicus was first invented, and even until now, it is still shrouded with mystery. Who was the first to make it? How is it made? Countless questions are left unanswered, but it's probably the best if it stayed that way.
Aria went to sit beside me after I called out to her.
"What happened after you died?"
I looked up towards the night sky after asking her that question.
I don't really know it myself as to why I asked that question. Perhaps I just wanted something to talk about.
As I glanced at her, I saw her slightly troubled expression that makes it seem like she's in deep thought.
"Hmmm.... I honestly don't remember anything after I died.. Even my final moments.. But what I'm sure of was that I finally felt at peace when I died."
"Just like now you know? It's like your curse became our refuge. I found happiness again in living. Well, not exactly since I've already died. Hehe."
She showed a genuine smile after saying those words. For a moment, it stung my heart a little bit after looking at that expression of hers.
I know too well of her past pains; the moment I saw her past memories, it also felt like I lived through her days.
That's why when she said she finally found peace and happiness, it seemed so happy yet so sad at the same time.
"Well, that's probably why I'm still sticking with this job."
"Eh? What do you mean?"
"Nothing. Let's just relax for a bit okay?"
"You'll get cold you know?"
"An old man like me doesn't need to care about getting cold."
"How does that logic even work?"
--- --- --- --- ---
My name is Ariasvylle Vignet, the second daughter of the House Vignet.
I've lived my life quite peacefully ever since I was born. I have been told to live without pressure since I have no future responsibilities in our house.
I heard my situation is quite rare. I too have noticed that the other girls my age doesn't have much freedom as I do.
Ladies of my age were usually sent to political marriage and such. They were bound by the society.
In my case, as long as I act proper and don't bring shame to our family name, I could do whatever I want.
There were limits, of course. Like, I am still not allowed to have romantic relationships with the common people. But it didn't really matter since I'm not really interested in romance.
Thus, people were envious by my current situation of freedom, like it was a blessing by the gods. I too believed that was the case.
Recently, the mansion has been quiet. I heard that the neighboring empire is planning to invade. My brothers were sent to command armies. while my elder sister was sent to the royal palace. I'm just left here in the mansion together with my 2 little sisters.
"Sis, let's do something I'm bored."
"Read us a story!"
"Sure. Ana, Ina."
"But first, let's go to your room."
As we went to their rooms, I noticed several servants rushing towards the main door.
I glanced for a bit and saw a man, probably a messenger, looking as if he was in a hurry.
I wonder what it was all about? Never mind, I bet Mother will just handle it.
I proceed to my little sisters' room and read them a story. After a while, Ina fell asleep while Ana suddenly spoke in a gentle manner.
"Elder sis, when will father and our brothers come back home?"
"I'm not sure Ana, but I know they will come home soon."
"But Maria told us while we were changing our clothes that it is getting dangerous outside."
"Oh! Don't worry about it dear! They will surely be safe!"
"Okay.. If Elder sister says so.."
Ana smiled one last time before going to sleep. Maria was a new servant that was hired just last week. I need to tell her to stop mentioning sensitive issues towards the children.
I quietly left the room and try to look for Maria. I headed to the kitchen since they might have just finished cleaning up our dinner.
As I headed downstairs, something seems off. I haven't encountered a single servant.
"Maria? Rudolf? Mira?"
I tried calling out to them but no one answered.
Now I'm quite sure that something is wrong. I hurriedly went to Mother's room to tell her what's happening.
I knocked a few times at her door, but she didn't respond. So I tried to open the door to let myself in.
"Mother? Are you here?"
The room was dark, Mother has probably went to sleep, so I walked towards the bed to try and wake her up.
I saw her sleeping figure and tried to wake her up, but when I touched the fabric, it seems drenched.
And when I got a closer look, what I saw was...
I let out a scream as I stumbled back.
Fear crept over me. I tried to stand, but I can't stop shaking.
What was that? That was a joke, right?
I stood up while trying to compose myself and check on Mother, she might still be alive!
I touched her face, and it was cold.
Then suddenly, the lights turned on, and I let out a small shriek.
"Hey there Missy! I wondered where you were since we couldn't find you in your room, so you were here huh?"
A man who looked like a mercenary or something like that stood by the door. It seems like he was the one who suddenly turned on the lights.
"Wh-Who are you?"
"I see no need to tell you anything, do I?"
"Don't come near me!"
"Really? Okay then. I'll have you come here."
"Kevin! bring em!"
The man grinned as he called someone who is probably his comrade.
"Here ya' go sir!"
"Ah... No... NO!"
When his companion went inside, the face became pale, my body became numb. Not because of who the man is nor what the man looked like, but rather because of what he's holding in his hands.
"Sis...ter... Help.. us..."
"Sis.. help.... us."
"Ana... Ina.. Nooo!!!"
Ana and Ina was getting strangled by the man as he raises them up high like he's showing off a trophy. Both of my younger sisters looked really in pain.
I can't breath... my sisters... they're in so much pain.. What do I do now? What do I do?!
"Please! Don't hurt them! I'll do anything! Please!!"
"Hahahaha!! That's a wonderful face you're making there! Oh, don't get us wrong, We've come here not to negotiate. But this might be a little bit interesting!"
"Please... just.. release them.. Please.. please....."
"Since we are kind, we'll let you pick one of them! They look the same anyways, you'd only need one right?"
"One dies, and one lives. Simple isn't it?"
"Sister.. no.. help.. us. please."
"Sis.. please. help.. me.."
"Ana... Ina... what do I do? what do I do?!"
No.. this can't be happening.. No.. no.. noo.. nooo! I can't move... I can't breath.. Help.. I need to decide... I CAN'T DECIDE! NO.... But what do I do?!
"Sis.. save Ina.."
"Help... me.. help me...."
"I.. I can't do that!"
I can't really pick one... No.. they're both precious to me.. No!! But... but..
Ana was always the level-headed one.. Even though they're both twins, Ana acted like the older sister of the two. Even though they're still children..
That's why I can't choose anyone... No one has to die! But.. but..
"Sis.. it's fine... pick.. Ina.."
"Sis.. faster.. help... us..."
"Missy! time is running! Just pick now!"
I can't... but I have to.. I'm sorry... I'm sorry.... Ana, I'm so sorry...
"Let Ina liv--"
"Oops! Time's up!"
No.. NO! NOO!
Both of my sisters' body twitched violently before stopping.. The man threw them down, with their necks twisted in weird angles...
Ah.. no.. this.. can't be true.. No.. No.. No. No.No. this is a lie.. no no.. no. NO.. No. This is just a dream. this can't be true. No. Lies. lies. No. NO. NOO!. NOOO!!
What's this... I can't breath.. even though they died.. I can't say anything.. Why did this happen.. so sudden.. It was just peaceful yesterday.. why did this happen.. no..
Sharp pain was coming from my right shoulder, it seems like I was stabbed by the wretched man that killed my sisters... I hate him.. I hate them.. they killed mother.. they killed my sisters...
I managed to get closer to my sisters' bodies, and hugged them.
I'm sorry.. I'm such a useless sister.. I'm so sorry.. Ana... Ina... I'm so sorry..
"Hey, what should we do now? Should we kill her already?"
"Isn't that a waste? Let's have a taste of her before we finish her off, shall we?"
Ah.. they're approaching me.. No.. I can't.. I need to protect my sisters.. A weapon.. I need a weapon..
As I desperately tried to look for anything I could use, there was none. But then, something caught my eye.. The source of warmth in this cold winter night..
As they approach me, I quickly took a burning wood from the fireplace.. It burns.. It's hot.. It's really painful. I want to shout.. But this pain, it's not much that what Ana and Ina has suffered.. I need to atone my sins at least..
I desperately tried to fend them off using the burning wood.. They must not come here... no.. they hateful men.. they should just burn.
"Hey missy, you can't do much with that burning wood can you? That looks painful, just give it up!"
"You're acting like a clown doing some stunts! You only make yourself look pitiful there. C'mon now, cease this farce."
They're right... I can't do anything with this. It's only a matter of time that my hand will be burnt to crisp.. Unless....
I threw the burning wood that I was holding towards them. But not only that, I kept throwing at them anything I can get from the fireplace. Soon, the place is starting to catch on fire..
"What the? This girl has gone nuts!"
"We really broke her huh?"
"Hey missy! You'll gonna die you know?"
I'd rather die... They're all dead anyways..
I didn't stop scattering the flames until I can't feel my hands anymore.
"Tch! Let's go, she'll gonna burn down with this place anyways."
"Such a waste we weren't able to do her."
Ah.. they went away.. that's right. Ana.. Ina.. we're safe now..
I hugged both of their bodies tightly.. I'll at least protect you from these flames...
I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry... sorry...
All I can do now is cry.. I'm gonna die.. I'm so sorry.. forgive me.. so sorry... I hate them... I want to kill them.. but I can't... so hateful.. they ruined everything.. I'm sorry...
At the end I can't think of anything else aside from hate and despair. I just cried until my body was swallowed by the flames...
"Yup, she's dead."
"Ugh, how disgusting. Was it really necessary to check their corpses?"
"It would be a problem if she escaped you know?"
What? I can't move.. but I can hear them. I'm... alive? I slowly opened my eyes.. I can't move.. I can only see the sky.. It's already bright.. It's hard to breath. I can't do anything.. So it seems that I'll still die after all..
"Men, cheers! Finally, the House Vignet is dead."
"We've already received reports that the 3 sons has already died in battle."
My brothers too?!
"Count Vignet has also been confirmed dead."
Father... no.. don't me... even elder sister?!
"How about the eldest daughter?"
"Ha! I really envy the men assigned to her. They got to taste a pure noble woman. Aah. If only this girl didn't set the whole house on fire.."
No... No..... so hateful.. I hate them.. they must die.. die... Die!
But.. alas, I'm only stuck with these feelings... I can't do anything anymore..
I don't know how much time passed.. I think I'm going to rest soon.. Ah.. the sky.. Even if it's snowing, why do I feel warm?
*** *** *** *** ***
"Isn't it time to go master?"
Ah. I think I fell asleep. that dream again...
"Aria.. yeah, I think we should go now."
She smiled as she disappeared. She seems so happy now.. And I'm planning to keep it that way...
Tragicus, even if it's considered so powerful, has one fatal weakness.
By erasing the spirit's dreadful memories, it suppresses their negative emotions causing them not to lose control. However, if somehow, the spirit remembers their painful memories of the past, they will go berserk killing anyone in its path.
The only one who should know about their past are their Masters. The master acts as a stopgap in between the spirits and the memories. That's why, it's the master's responsibility to prevent this from happening.
"Fake happiness.. huh.."
"Even if it's not real, I'm still happy."
"I thought you already went back."
"Well, Master looks so sad, so I thought something's probably on his mind."
"All masters are sad."
"Hmmm.. point taken. But you're an old man already! You need to smile more often!"
"I'm still 38..."
"You did say it yourself that you're old. And yeah, you're probably old-looking anyways."
"Hm? What's with the serious tone suddenly?"
"Do you ever think of wanting to get your memories back?"
"Hmm.. I don't think so? It's really scary you know? Going berserk and stuff. And besides! I trust you already! I know you're doing what's the best for us. You're really different from the other masters I've met."
"Heh, is that so? Well, I ain't planning to tell you anyways even if you begged me to."
"I don't want to lose this time of happiness with you Master.."
As she said that, she went and disappeared again. And again, with that genuine smile of hers.
I then looked up towards the sky and thought,
Ah, that must be the reason why I felt warm on this snowy night...
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Master: Akito Suo
Tragicus: The Lighter of Warmth (Aria)
Akito Suo is one of the top masters in Japan. He uses the Tragicus called "The Lighter of Warmth" which is in form of a small metal lighter with delicate carvings. With it, he can produce control flames at will. He can also target objects with precision, choosing which to burn or not. But even with this, he rarely uses his Tragicus unless he needs to.
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Sooo, I hope y'all enjoyed that chapter!
I don't really plan on regularly updating the novel since I'm quite busy, but if ever you guys really enjoyed it and wanted more, I might do more whenever I have time! ^_^
If anybody here knows about my past novel that I wrote, sorry for dropping that guys. :( some stuff happened and I just didn't find the time to continue it. Time passed and even the motivation was lost. But if ever I might feel like it again, I might continue writing it. So, I'm deeply sorry about it. I'll just hope you guys will enjoy what I'm writing now :)
Thanks a lot for reading!
(PS: If ever there's a lot of grammatical errors or typos, I'm sorry about it since it's been a long time ever since I wrote something this long again. I will do my best to correct it.)
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