Eira has gained a reputation as a powerful, ice-cold mercenary known as the Void Witch in the eastern city of Seoran.
She appears unstoppable and fearless, but within her heart she still fears her past.
On one terrible night, as the ritual to seal a forgotten god begins, her past comes flooding back to her...


"Dream..."
"I had that dream again."

"An endless, infinite space..."
"I could see countless seals, ribbons of mana, all gleaming in the living void."
"It was strange and familiar, all at once."

The girl looked down with a start, and found a bright light pulsing around her hands.
When she extended her hand, the light became bullets, speeding off to pierce the darkness.

She began to walk, following the light before her.
Along the way, she found another girl who resembled herself.

Her blonde hair shimmered in the darkness.
But she was curled up tight, as if protecting herself from something.
Seeing that feeble, trembling figure, the girl suddenly knew where she was.

In that moment, she saw faint motes of light flickering in the distance.
Twisted figures of light were appearing, one by one.

"The demons have returned."

As they approached, the demons rapidly split into a horde of clones.
Across the flow of mana, she could feel their thoughts.
They sought only one thing... the blonde girl cowering next to her.

"I won't let you harm a hair on her head."

The girl formed bullets from the light in her hand, and loaded her revolvers.
The demons circled her. She took aim.


Later...
The girl stood amidst the bodies of countless demons.
They littered the ground, broken and mangled by her guns.
Breathing hard, the girl looked back.
The blonde girl had risen from her place on the ground, and was sprinting as hard as she could for a distant portal.

"She made it. Thank goodness."

A wave of satisfaction washed over her, and she smiled.
All the while, her body began to fade away.

As she lost consciousness...
The girl whispered towards her escaping friend. It was a farewell she would never hear.

"I want you to be happy. Always."

"Don't worry about me."

"Goodbye."

Her words vanished into the void as she did, leaving nary a trace of her presence.


The woman rose slowly from her simple bedding and stretched.
Next to her pillow laid the spell book she was reading the previous night, still open.
Something left her feeling uneasy, either her late-night studies, or the odd dream that lingered in her mind.
The woman pushed herself through a light warm-up, armed herself hastily, and packed her belongings.
She snatched up statuettes and dolls of small animals strewn all around the room and filled her bag.
Without a word to anyone, the woman left the inn.

The sunlight fell through a hazy sky, and the smell of smoke wreathed her head.
Wooden houses with tiled roofs and unlit silk-shaded lanterns lined the crowded streets. Her long, silver hair glinted in the light, drawing attention from the drab passers-by.
But it was not merely her foreign appearance that drew her such attention.
The woman was well-known in Seoran, the City of Fire.

"What? You're leaving the unit? Just like that?"

The mercenary captain, six feet of scars and grit in battered armor, fixed the woman with a bloodshot gaze.
She continued, unmoved by the captain's outburst.

"Yeah. I'm ready to move on."

Beneath the dirt and stubble, the captain's face glowed red.
Her calm demeanor only stoked his rage further.

"What's the problem? Seoran is full of would-be mercenaries."
"Our star is rising, lassie. And a big part of that is having the Void Witch on our roster."
"Then maybe next time you should worry about your own reputation, instead of riding someone else's coattails. And don't call me that."
"..."
"That's all. Farewell."

In a single, fluid motion, the woman raised her hood and turned to leave.
A deep voice, quaking with fury, followed her to the door.

"I let you join because you're the famous Void Witch. Had I known you were an honorless dog, I would have left you to rot in the streets. This is your last chance. You walk out that door, you make a powerful enemy."
"...That sounds like a threat."

She threw the doors of the office wide opened, and paused.
Her voice was a low rumble.

"Can't say I've ever met a 'powerful' enemy. But if I did, they'd better be bullet-proof."

The woman left the captain sputtering in his office, never to darken his door again.


It was the sixth mercenary unit she had left.
For years, she had jumped from one mercenary group to the next, testing her limits and growing stronger.
But even the most prestigious groups could offer her no challenge.
She could find no one that even approached her skill..

As she pondered her options, she noticed two burly men watching her from a nearby alley.
Their arms were covered in crude tattoos of animals, perhaps to suggest their strength. She chuckled softly.

"Oy, Miss Foreigner. What's so funny?"
"Share with us, girlie. We're the Tiger Gang, and we're very friendly."

The man flexed his arms, a tiger tattoo bulging on his bicep. He sauntered up to the woman and pulled her hood off.
But the moment he laid eyes on her hair, he stumbled backwards in terror.

"S-silver hair... pink streaks. You're the Void..."
She sighed. "I hate that name, you know."
"B-boss, we screwed up. She's the mercenary, the Void..."
"What? The Void Witch...?"

A shadow crossed her face when she heard the name.

"I was going to let you go, you know. But fools like you can't take a hint."

The air in front of the woman shimmered, and a moment later a portal tore open in the alley.
She lept into the swirling violet void, and it snapped shut behind her.

"D-did she run off? Whew, that could have been real bad."
"Hey, what are you staring at? Get outta here, while you can still walk!"

The man shouted at the crowd that had gathered to see the legendary mercenary, his shattered confidence returning.
Suddenly, a new portal ripped open just above their heads.
The woman appeared again, bringing the grips of her revolvers down hard on the brutes.
Her assailants collapsed in a heap, the self-proclaimed Tiger Gang defeated.

"Pathetic."

She glared at the limp figures on the ground, then donned her hood and stalked off.

Everyone knew her as the cold and merciless Void Witch.
In hushed tones the people spoke of her silver hair and unmatched beauty, but their fear was far greater than their admiration. She shadowed the gangs and mercenaries of Seoran, emerging only to challenge those unlucky enough to fall in her sights.

Across the city, the stories of the demon woman who could vanish with magic grew.
But more than anything, she hated the nickname Void Witch.
In particular, she despised the word Witch.
When she could, she made an example of those who called her Witch, just as she did with the Tiger Gang. In time, she hoped her message would become clear.
Instead, the legend of the Void Witch only grew across the city.

She brushed the dust from her cloak with a sharp flick of her hand as she turned on to Blaze Street, a district of craft shops, workshops, and forges.
Nervous eyes followed her wherever she went, but no one disturbed her gait.



The woman brushed past racks of gleaming weapons and a smoldering forge to her destination, a small gunpowder workshop.
Ensconced among boiling cauldrons and jars of acrid powders, a wizened craftsman plied his trade.

"Hey."
He glanced up, bright eyes shining from a soot-flecked face. "Oh, Eira. It's been a while."

The man stood and ushered her in to his cramped little workshop.

"So, what was it today? Leave another merc group? Or just pound some more street toughs into the dirt?"
"Two for two. But no stories today, just check the revolvers."

The woman yanked her revolvers from their holsters and shoved them into his hands.
He gave her a familiar smile and set the weapons on his workbench.

"I've always wondered why you bring these magnificent pieces to me. This street is lousy with master gunsmiths, yet you come to a humble man of powders and bullets."
"I figured you could use a customer for once."

Her tone was icy, but the man gave a hearty laugh and pulled his chair closer.

"I appreciate it. One customer over 15 years makes quite a difference."

As he worked, the woman listened to his many stories.
He told her about his daughter Miri, all grown up at last, and his son Maru's attempts at learning the art of gunpowder crafting.
She would nod or grunt absentmindedly during his tales, eventually pulling a small wooden doll from her pocket without thinking.
It had an odd look about it, perhaps a mix of wolf and bear. Time had taken its toll, marking the figure with cracks and worn edges.

"You've been carrying that doll since you were a child. You had it when we first met."

He spoke in a distant tone, as if reliving fading memories.

"What a long path you've walked. Gone from dying in the street to the most feared mercenary in Seoran."
"It was you that put me on it. Gave me to the mercs, dropped me into that pit, let me fight my way out. I had to turn out this way."

Her eyes were locked on her doll, her voice indifferent.
A shadow passed over the craftsman's face at those words. Silence passed between them, until he spoke with a heavy voice.

"My family was suffering. I couldn't provide for them... And then I found you. I wanted to save you, but I couldn't do it myself. The mercs were the only ones taking people in, and I knew you'd do well with your powers. It's no excuse..."

Hearing the guilt in his voice made the woman's heart ache.
Fifteen years ago, he had found her at the docks, brought her into the city, and found a place for her to thrive. Without him, she had no doubt she'd be dead.
He was the closest thing she had to a father, since her own had vanished.

"It wasn't easy, but I survived. And I grew strong. And... I... will always appreciate what you did."

A metallic clatter startled her from her thoughts. The man had dropped his tools, and was gaping at her.
The ache in her heart vanished behind a burning on her cheeks. Those emotions never made it to the surface with her.

"All done. No major damage, but try cracking heads with something made for it, not precision firearms."

The craftsman smiled and handed her revolvers back, their sharp angles glinting in the hazy light.
The woman examined them closely, gave a curt nod, and shoved them back in her holsters.

"So... time for a new merc group?"
She sighed. "I don't know. I've had enough of these weak thugs and power games."

He considered her complaint for a moment, and then fixed her with a serious gaze.

"Perhaps there is truly nothing left for you here. I believe you might be the most powerful person in this city. Even a squad of armored soldiers would stand no chance against you."
"True. So... what does that mean for me?"
"Doesn't it mean that it's time for you to move on? Seoran is too small for your talents. Greater challenges await you in this vast world, if you seek them out."
"..."
"I sometimes feel you're locking yourself inside the high walls of Seoran. It's like you're trying to hide from something. Is it your past?"

The woman listened silently. Her eyes grew cold as he spoke.
However, the craftsman could feel the immense sorrow and pain behind the coldness.

"...I'll be going."

She avoided his gaze, full of compassion for her. Donning her hood, she rushed back out into the hot afternoon.
The craftsman called out to her.

"Eira, remember! You can't hide forever! The pain doesn't leave until you face it..."

The woman quickened her pace, and disappeared into the thick smoke rolling through the alley.


"Dream..."
"I had that dream again."

"Protecting that girl in the infinite void..."
"Firing bullets of light into the swarm of demons, and standing triumphant over their fallen forms..."
"Saying farewell to her distant form, as my own fades to nothingness..."
"What I really wanted to say was..."

"I want you to be happy. Always."

"Don't worry about me."

"Goodbye..."

"...sister."


The woman awoke before dawn.
As always, her spellbook laid open next to her pillow, along with the small wooden doll.
She picked up the doll and cradled it in her hands.

"Ari, I hope you're not the one giving me these dreams."

She spoke to the doll by name.
It was an important name, taken from someone very dear to her.
In difficult times, when she found herself alone, she would talk to the doll.
For her, growing up in a strange and often hostile land, Ari was the only friend she had.

"Ari, I had that dream again. The one with the demons. I think I'm having it more and more these days."

From the day she arrived in Seoran as a child, she would occasionally have the same dream.
The events never changed in that strange void.
She would always battle the strange demons, protecting the frightened girl who would escape once the carnage ended.
When she focused on studying magic, she believed the dream reflected her wishes to become stronger. Even after she awoke, the feeling of combat remained vivid.
Eventually she gave up on trying to understand the dream. She started to imagine it as another form of training.

"Did meeting him make the dreams come back stronger? Talking about my past..."

What occupied her mind more than the dream was her chat with the gunpowder craftsman days ago.
She would never admit it, but he was right. Her greatest fear was her own past.
Her memories of life before Seoran...
Just the thought of facing it made her heart ache like it would burst. The wounds ran too deep.
The pain never left her, no matter how much time passed.

When she first arrived in Seoran, she could only wander the streets for a short time before breaking down in tears.
Once she joined the mercenaries, though, she learned very quickly that only the strong survive. And she learned that her unique powers over space itself would give her an advantage there.
Thus, she decided to leave behind anything that made her weak.
She buried her memories of pain, guilt, and even joy deep within her heart. She never looked back, even once she had become nigh unstoppable..
But the further she ran from those memories, the more they pulled at the edges of her consciousness.
The only weakness the Void Witch had was her past.

"...You're wrong. The past makes me weak. Leaving it makes me strong. You understand, right Ari?"

She gazed at the doll.
Of course, there was no reply. She still felt comforted by the cute figure, though.
The woman stood, stretched, and pondered what she would do that day. Having left her most recent unit, she no longer had missions hanging over her head.
Her mind drifted back to what the craftsman had said.

"Seoran is too small for your talents. Greater challenges await you in this vast world, if you seek them out."
"...He's not wrong."

It was true that she rarely left the confines of Seoran. If there was a right time to leave, this could be it.
Uncertainty tugged at her heart, but she resolved to venture past the walls.


She booked passage on a carriage, paying no mind to the destination, and left Seoran.
For hours the carriage trundled across the countryside, past fields and paddies swaying with green and gold.
The sun began to set, and the sky turned crimson.
A memory began to form for the woman as she watched the scenery.

"Dad, what's happening?"
"We're getting on a ship, Eira. We've got to go where they can't find us. Arisha, are you listening?"
"But... Mom..."
"...I know. But it's the three of us now."

It was a conversation from ages ago, inside a carriage like this one.
The kind, warm voice had tried to soothe her, hiding his own sorrows.
Pain tore at her heart. She squeezed her eyes shut, but the ache would not leave her. She had to get out of that carriage.

At the next stop, she paid her fare and disembarked.
With no destination anyway, she decided to wander on foot from here. Suffering in that carriage would do nothing for her now.
As she walked along the road, she heard a great clatter of hooves.
The woman looked back to see a group of armed men riding up on her with great haste.

"I see the Void Witch!"

They began shouting fiercely.
She fixed her eyes on the lead rider, six feet of scars and grit in battered armor. It was the leader of the unit she just left.
The men surrounded her with surprising speed.

"I told you not to call me that. You have a short memory?"
"I told you that you were making a powerful enemy. Maybe you're the one with the memory problem."
"Grudges are for children, not grown men who pretend to be tough. Either way, I've got no time for you."

The woman turned to leave, only to find the leader's blade at her neck.
A few strands of her silver hair fluttered to the ground, cut by his razor-sharp weapon.
She let out a deep sigh.

"You had your chance."

In a flash, a portal enveloped the woman. She reappeared on one of the horses, revolvers drawn, and began firing.
The mercenary leader had come to this battle thinking he knew what the woman was capable of.
But he did not know that none of the missions the woman had taken on required the full extent of her powers. When she did push her limits, she moved like a vengeful ghost, impossible to track or stop.
Watching his men fall without even raising their weapons, the leader knew he had made a grave mistake.
He grew desperate, yelling and swinging his blade. He froze when he felt the barrel of a revolver against the back of his head.

"...You're a monster."
"You picked a fight with a monster."

Her finger rested on the trigger.

Just then, a greatsword planted itself in the ground next to them.
The woman's head whipped around to see a burly warrior sprinting towards her.
Behind him, a great horde of Fomors chased him vigorously.

"What in the world...?"

As she watched the scene unfold, the mercenary leader slipped away towards Seoran.
The mysterious man waved cheerfully as he approached.

"Hey there! Mind giving me a hand?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I brought a few friends with me that could use some attention."

He gestured back with a nod of his head.
Between his long hair tied in a high ponytail, his messy stubble, and his disheveled clothes, it was clear he was a wanderer.

"It's a rather large crowd for me to handle myself. But with your help, it should be no problem."
"Are you kidding me? I lost my prey because of you."

The man yanked his greatsword from the ground like a child's toy and shrugged.

"I mean, I tried to be polite about it, but it's not like you really have a choice here."

The woman shook her head at his brazen words.
Somehow she kept finding trouble, even if she wasn't looking for it.

"What a fine piece of advice it was that got me stuck out here..."

She gritted her teeth as she leveled her revolvers at the Fomors, the words of the craftsman still fresh in her mind.

The evening sky twinkled with the light of distant stars.
The small roadside tavern bustled with travelers from all over the world.

She sat at the bar, staring at a mug of some stiff liquor.
Next to her sat the foreign man she had fought alongside earlier that day.
Neither could deny the other's skill in their battle against the Fomors. They had made hasty introductions, and were now exploring the first hints of something like a friendship.
Having cleaned several plates of food already, the man downed an entire mug of the brew in a single motion.

"Whew! Now that hit the spot."

He had himself several more mugs after that, heaving a sigh of satisfaction after each.
The cluster of empty bottles next to him grew through the night.

"So, what business does the famous Hurk have here in the far east?"
"I'm on something of a... personal quest. I've had this greatsword for so long, I've decided to look for something new."

He gestured to his towering sword, notched with innumerable cracks and scratches.

"So, I gotta ask... With powers like yours, what were you doing with wimps like those mercs?"
"I'm on something of a personal quest."

The woman pushed her mug around the bar idly.
He gazed at her, his smile growing at the familiar reply.

"Yeah, everyone has a story or two."

They spent the evening sharing little parts of their past.
Growing up as foreigners in the east as mercenaries, they had more in common than they ever expected.
As they talked, the conversation delved further and further into the past.

"So, what brought you all the way to the east in the first place?"

The woman scowled and snapped at him.

"Too many people asking about ancient history these days."

Perhaps it was the liquor, or meeting someone so familiar, but for once she didn't feel like running.

"Well, if you don't want to talk about your past... Honestly, I'm here looking for my family. I've got nothing to go on besides some strange visions and the word of a blacksmith, but I've got to try."

He continued calmly.

“I could be crazy. Who knows?"

With that, he drained another mug.



The woman went back to pushing her mug around.
What of her story? She had never spoken of it to anyone.
But she had never met someone with so familiar a story, either. This could be her chance...

"I..."

She hesitated at first, but then it all came flowing out of her.

"I came here as a child on a ship, alone. My mother died... because of me. My sister vanished in the confusion, and my father stayed to find her. I never saw either of them again. He's probably dead as well, he was in poor health..."

The man gazed deep into her troubled eyes.

"You might be even more messed up than me."

He could feel her pain coming to the surface, so he took on a warmer tone.

"You know, if you were able to come all this way on your own... shouldn't your sister have done the same? She's probably out there somewhere. Why don't you go looking for her?"
"...Even if my sister is alive, she doesn't need me."
"What's that supposed to mean? Who else can you count on in this wretched world besides family?"
"Isn't it obvious? Everything that happened to my family was my fault. How could I face her after ruining everything? I'd only be bringing her more misfortune."
"Sounds to me like you've made this more complicated than it is."

The man shook his head and refilled his mug.
After a moment, he continued.

"If I were you... if I found even a hint that my sibling was alive, nothing would stop me from finding them. Even if they were dead, I'd still go looking for their grave. And when I did find them, I'd apologize. I'd apologize for anything and everything, and live a happy life together after that. We don't have enough time in this world to make it any more complicated."

He drained another cup, and for the first time that night, there was a sense of loneliness about him.
However, when he heard the woman snap back at him, his jovial air returned.

"You only met me today. What do you know, meat head?"


The two agreed to meet again and parted ways. The woman began walking along the quiet forest path.

The blue moon shone bright in the night sky.
It reminded her of that terrible night she had worked so hard to forget.

She sat under a tree alongside the roadside and pulled out her wooden doll.
The memories she unleashed earlier had torn a hole in her heart, and now, all alone in the dark, she could barely stand the pain.
Her hands trembled as she clung to her doll.

"Ari, why did I do that? I shouldn't have said anything. I should have left it all behind..."

The woman covered her eyes, and slowly pressed her head against her knees.

"I miss you so much... Sis... Dad... Mom..."

Warm tears fell between her fingers.
The sorrow, fatigue, and liquor all piled upon her, and she could no longer resist.
Curled up against the tree by the road, in the dead of night, she fell asleep.

"Eira... don't cry."

On the edge of consciousness, she could hear a faint voice.

"Eira... don't cry."

The world felt so distant, and a memory locked away in her heart began to bleed into her dreams...



"Eira... don't cry."
"Sweetheart, what happened? Want Daddy to pick you up?"

"I was about four or five years old, crying over a dying plant."
"I had planted and grown a flower seed, but I dropped the pot."

"Mom, Dad... Eira wanted to show you her flower. She's so sad the pot broke."

"My sister explained exactly how I felt to our parents, without me uttering a word."
"I was overcome with sadness and couldn't speak, so I simple nodded along with her."

"How did you know that, Arisha?"
"I just... knew. Eira is my little sister, after all."

"We didn't know why, but my sister and I could understand each other without needing to say anything."
"Sometimes, we even shared the same dreams."
"I always felt we were connected with some invisible thread"

"My sister gently patted my head as I sniffled. She smiled to cheer me up."
"She was my best friend... The only one who truly understood me."
"As long as I had my sister, I feared nothing."

"Oh, my poor dear. Here, hand me the pot. Mommy will make it better."

"I handed the pot to Mom, with a dejected look on my face. Dad whispered to me to trust mom, and winked at me."

"Before my very eyes, something amazing happened."
"When Mom touched it, the wilting plant straightened and sprouted anew."
"It grew in an instant, full of leaves and topped with a gorgeous new blossom."
"My sister and I were both speechless. Our sadness was long forgotten."

"Wow!"
"Amazing!"

"Mom and Dad exchanged content smiles and watched us as we inspected the pot."
"He surely knew about Mom's powers before that, but this was the moment we were to learn of them."

"When I was your age, I discovered I had very special powers. I knew what the weather was before it came, and I could make plants grow with only a touch. It was scary at first, but I soon learned to love it."

"She sounded almost shy, speaking in quiet tones as she toyed with her hair."
"I remember her silver and pink hair, same as mine, glittering in the sunlight."

"As my daughters, you may discover you have similar powers. If that day comes, don't be scared. Just come tell me or Dad."

"At the mention, Dad gathered my sister and I up in a giant bear hug."

"Da-ad!"
"Dad, I can't breathe!"

"We tried to wriggle our way out, but Dad just held on tighter as Mom joined us."
"My sister and I laughed and laughed."


"I remember my birthday that year so vividly."
"My sister and I were watching Dad intently, eyes twinkling, as he brought our gifts."

"In his hands were strange-looking dolls, like a cross between a wolf and a bear."
"They were the same shape, but one was cloth while the other was wood."

"Dad, why are the two dolls different? I want ours to match..."
"Umm... that's because..."

"Dad was lost in thought for a second. But then, he told us something that will always stick with me."
"His words made that doll my most treasured possession forever."

"Eira, the truth is that these dolls are sisters, like you and your sister. They even have very special powers. The cloth one always holds her loved ones, and the wooden one always protects them."
"But they can only use their powers when they're together. That's why I got them both."

"I chose the wooden doll."
"I really liked the idea of protecting everyone."
"Maybe we could be friends, too."

"I turned to my sister, who was cradling her cloth doll and smiling."
"She held the doll's arm and made it wave at me. I giggled."

"Hi! What's your name?"

"I wanted to believe the doll was really talking."
"I answered with my own wooden doll."

"Hi, my name is Ari. Nice to meet you."


"It wasn't long after that birthday that I discovered my own power."
"There was no great awakening or realization, a portal simply opened in front of me one day."
"The portal was incredible, like gazing into the clear night sky through a window. I wanted to tell everyone."

"But I didn't. I decided to make it my little secret."
"I hoped to practice before telling everyone, so I could really impress my family."

"Starting that day, I would sneak out of the house with Ari and practice opening portals."


"I carried on with my practice for quite some time. As we grew older, I grew more powerful, too."
"But that was not all that changed. I remember sitting in a dark room, lit only by a single candle, watching my family."
"Dad had come down with a terrible illness, and would cough through the night. And Mom kept falling unconscious at the strangest times."

"Seeing Dad's pale face..."
"And Mom's pained face..."
"And my sister, who hid her sadness as best she could..."

"I asked myself, why? Why did things come to this?"
"I thought we would be happy together forever..."

"That's when I had my idea."
"Mom's birthday was coming in a few days."
"That would be the day I revealed my secret to everyone."
"I was sure that when they saw my awesome powers, they would all smile happily, like the day Mom made my wilting flower bloom."
"I wasn't completely confident with my abilities, but I didn't want to wait any longer."
"All I wanted was for my gift to bring some joy back to my family, so things could be like they were before."


"At last, the day came."
"I didn't know why, but my powers grew significantly in just a few days."
"When I opened the portal, the stars on the other side were even larger and brighter than usual."
"It felt like a sign that I was truly ready. I was so excited."

"Everything was perfect that day."
"Dad was starting to recover, and Mom hadn't fallen asleep lately."
"Sis was smiling, too. Everyone was feeling better."

"When we were all together, I declared that there would be a big surprise that night."
"I was on the verge of tears, thinking about how happy my family would be."
"For a moment, I felt like things were back to the way they once were."
"I wiped away my tears and held onto Ari tight."
"That evening, I snuck out to prepare my amazing gift."

"The blue moon shone bright in the night sky."
"Under that pale light, the grass swayed gently like a little ocean."
"I looked around to make sure no one was around, and opened a portal there in the yard as practice."
"As I focused my powers, the portal grew in size."
"The waves of stars moving within the portal looked like the milky way."
"It warmed my heart to think I would soon enjoy this sight with my family."
"I tried to close the portal and call my family."

"But something was wrong."
"The portal didn't close. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't close it"

"Eira, what are you doing out here by yourself?"

"I was startled by Mom's voice, approaching quickly."
"She had come out of the house to find me."

"I couldn't show her yet. The moment wasn't right."
"I tried to cover the ground as if nothing happened."
"But the portal was too big. It glowed bright as if defying my efforts."

"Is something wrong?"
"N-nope! It's nothing. Really."
"Are you okay? What's that behind..."

"Maybe she felt something was wrong, because she started to run towards me."
"At that very moment, the stars in the portal began to swirl. They glowed brighter than I had ever seen."
"I could only stare at the spectacle, frozen."
"I knew in my heart there was nothing I could do."
"My mind went blank."

"Eira, it's dangerous! Come over here!"

"I turned just enough to see Mom rushing towards me."
"She reached out to grab me."

"But when she was about to touch me, there was a huge explosion."
"The blast threw me away from the portal like a ragdoll."


"When I came to, I looked for Mom."
"I had no idea how much time had passed."
"But I knew I had to save her."
"I couldn't see her, but I ran."

"Just then, someone grabbed my arm."
"It was Dad."
"His face was like stone. I had never seen him so grim."

"Eira, don't go."
"But Mom...!"

"Dad slowly shook his head, and lifted his trembling finger to point."
"That's when I saw her."

"The portal was closed, and Mom was standing in its place."
"She was kneeling, staring at the sky."
"Her eyes were empty, like something had hollowed her our."
"Blue light wreathed her body, like a flame trying to consume her."

"The silence in the yard was broken by the sound of cold steel."

"That's the house!"
"Hurry! The dark power grows!"
"Kill the witch!"
"Stop the advent! Kill her!"

"I saw armed soldiers for the first time in my life, and they were coming to our house."
"The tips of their spears, glowed red in the torchlight."

"Eira, we need to go. We're not safe."
"Dad... But Mom..."

"I pulled his clothes, desperate to help her."
"But when I saw the tears streaming down his face, I froze."

"He gathered me up, ran into the house, and awoke my sleeping sister."
"In her hand was the cloth doll."

"I'm sorry, Arisha. Let's go."



"With me in one hand and holding my sister's hand with the other, Dad led us quietly to the back door of the house."
"The soldiers were in the yard, surrounding Mom."
"The clamor soon stopped, followed by a single, loud voice."

"In the name of the Goddess, we will exterminate any and all heretics."

"Their spears bit through the wind, and then plunged into Mom's chest."
"There was a terrible scream, and the light that had surrounded Mom faded."
"She slumped over, motionless."

"And that was the last I ever saw of my mother."

"The witch has a family. Protecting or supporting heretics is as serious an offense as being a witch. Find all her seeds of heresy and exterminate them."

"The soldiers spread out on the order, searching for us."
"Dad, my sister, and I got into a carriage and quickly rode away to escape."


"We rode in that carriage for three days, eventually arriving at a harbor."
"The docks were bustling with people, and the smell of sea salt was overwhelming."
"Dad lifted my sister and I off the carriage."
"We were overwhelmed by the sights and sounds, enough to forget about our tragedy for just a moment."
"We looked back to tell Dad, but found him lying on the ground and breathing hard. His face was pale, and he was coughing hard."

"Da-ad!"
"Dad! Are you okay?"

"Hearing our voices, he shoved something into his pocked and slowly climbed to his feet."

"Yes, Daddy's fine. Let's go. There's no time."

"He spoke with iron in his voice, but I could tell he was struggling."
"It was what he had in his pocket."
"The handkerchief, stained red, tucked away hastily..."

"Dad brought us under the eaves of some store."

"I'll book our passage on a ship. Stay right here, and don't move. If you leave this spot, I might not be able to find you again, okay?"

"I didn't want to be away from Dad, even for a moment."
"But I held my tongue to help him out. It looked like he was having difficulty standing."

"We sat under the eaves, waiting for Dad to return."
"My sister, scratching a picture of a house into the dirt, spoke quietly."

"...We won't see Mom again, will we?"

"Hearing her question brought me to tears."
"I had avoided facing the truth, but I could hide no longer. And it felt like my fault."

"There was nothing for me to say. I stared at the ground as my sister gently hugged me."

"It's okay. We still have each other, Eira."

"In her embrace, there was a hint of the comforting scent of home."
"With her warmth around me, my eyelids became heavy."

"I'm sleepy... sis..."

"The passers-by became blurs as I drifted away."
"I fell asleep, leaning on my sister."


"I awoke with a start."
"My sister had been right next to me, and now she was gone."
"Dread overwhelmed me. I looked around in a panic."
"In the middle of the street, I saw my sister. She was just standing there, staring at the sky."
"I ran to her and took her hand."

"Sis, Dad told us to wait over there. Come on."

"But a chill ran down my spine."

"Her eyes were hollow. She felt cold and limp. Like a husk..."
"My sister was just like my Mom was before..."
"It wasn't my sister, Arisha, standing there."

"I froze."
"Her hand wrenched from my grip and fell to her side."

"My sister..."
"She raised her hands and felt her arms, as if finding them for the first time."

"My new body..."

"A strange voice came from my sister, mumbling to herself."

"But... it's still weak... Forget your memories, and welcome me... When the time comes... I will return..."

"Then she turned to stare at me."

"You are... incomplete."

"When our eyes met, she gave me a chilling smile."

"Farewell..."


"I didn't realize until that moment how time seemed to freeze around us while she spoke."
"The world seemed to snap back, and a huge group of passengers began to push past us."
"In all the commotion, my sister and I were separated."
"She vanished into the crowd, and a moment later I heard her voice again."

"Eira! Eira!"

"I looked around frantically, and caught a glimpse of her being swept up in the crowd. Tears streamed down her face."
"She was reaching out to me as hard as she could."
"I tried to reach her, grappling past the faceless people jostling us around."
"But I wasn't strong enough. Her voice grew more and more distant."
"I could only watch her disappear."

"That was the last I ever saw of her."


"I was wailing in agony as Dad came rushing back."

"It's my fault. I let go of her hand... Now she's..."
"No, it's my fault. I shouldn't have left you two alone."

"We were both interrupted by the piercing bell of a ship."

"There's no time. Our ship is about depart. Eira, we at least need to get you aboard."

"Dad picked me up and ran to the dock where the ship was anchored."

"A long line of passengers were shuffling up the boarding ramp. Almost all of them were dressed in unfamiliar clothing."
"Someone who looked like a crew member was yelling at the passengers."

"All aboard! We're casting off in five minutes! We've a long journey across the ocean ahead."

"When we reached the boarding ramp, Dad looked me in the eye."

"This ship will take you to a city far to the east. Keep to yourself, and be careful."
"Okay, but... what about you, Dad?"

"Dad put me down gently, a sad, distant smile on his face."

"I will follow as soon as I find your sister. She shouldn't be far from here."
"But..."

"Dad knelt and held me tight."

"I'll find your sister and we'll take the very next ship to meet you. I promise."

"I could feel the warmth and resolve in his heart."
"But I also had the gnawing feeling that I would never see him again."
"I couldn't respond. I just hugged him back."
"The moment there on the dock felt like eternity."

"It's time. Get going."
"...Okay, Dad. Don't forget your promise."
"I won't. See you soon, my precious."

"He stood and turned, disappearing back into the crowds on the docks."

"After I boarded the ship, I stood at the deck and gazed into the mass of people, looking for Dad."
"I spotted him a ways away, waving at me from below."
"He continued walking, and soon vanished again."

"I told myself that he'd be back soon, that he'd find my sister and make it back in time to join me."

"I wished as hard as I could, for that and nothing more."
"But my wish never came true."
"Dad and Arisha never made it to the ship. We cast off, with me alone on the deck."

"All I had were my clothes and my precious doll, Ari."
"I was sent to the far east..."

"Plagued with regrets..."
"And wracked with guilt."


In the wake of that flood of memories...
She heard a strange man's voice, along with an odd buzzing.

"I now seal the god of the otherworld with this sanctified blade, piercing the soul to complete the sealing rune."

A white-haired man with round glasses drove his blade through her chest.

A shrill scream followed, as the room filled with a strong, unnatural wind.
Magic seemed to seep from the wound, bathing the room in light.


"Ah!"

The woman's eyes snapped open.
She felt groggy, as if roused from a deep dream.

The sealing rune... and a ritual to seal the god of the otherworld?
The words made no sense, but were vivid enough in her mind to feel real.

"What is all this..."

She felt something was very wrong here, and looked around.
Wherever she was, it definitely wasn't the forest she fell asleep in.

An infinite space, floating in a deep void, greeted her.
Glowing blue pentacles and gleaming lines of mana suggested the presence of immense powers.
It was so strange... and at once, so familiar.
Another world, different from her reality.

"Am I still dreaming?"

But it wasn't quite the same as that dream.
She was still an adult, and her weapons and gear were the same as when she fell asleep.
The shining path stretched before her, and she began to walk, unsure of her place here.
She noticed the pentacles pulsating, almost in tune with a heartbeat. It gave her the sense that she was inside some vast being.

Suddenly, a wave of power washed over her from up ahead.
She broke into a run toward the end of the path. There, she came face to face with a being she had never seen before.



It was huge, the size of a building compared to her.
The creature looked to be composed of mana itself, and as she looked on it formed itself into a massive female form of blue light.
Though she had never seen this being before, it had the same aura as the demons she fought in her recurring dreams.

"Demon...!"

The woman swiftly pulled out her revolvers and fired at the giant.
But her bullets passed through the being as if it were air.

She heard a voice in her mind.
Not only did she hear the words, she could feel their meaning in her heart.
The voice was at once terrible and unfamiliar, and also one she had missed for so long.

It greeted her softly, as if talking to an old friend.

"It's been a while, incomplete one..."

The woman gasped, the memory fresh in her mind.
The voice gave a low, mocking laugh.

"So, you remember me?"

When the blue figure moved its hand, two giant portals opened.
Inside the portals, the woman saw a woman kneeling, engulfed in light, and two girls lost on a busy port street.
Her heart ached, seeing those moments laid bare before her.
Remembering them had been hard enough, but the portals brought back the reality of her sorrow.

"That day, you aided my advent. If only that body had not perished... But even then, I could feel the presence of two others who had inherited my gifts."
"..."

The god of the otherworld continued on in a pleasant, matter-of-fact tone while her guest remained transfixed on the portals.


"Of course, the body that inherited my power over the void was far too weak to be of any use. So I chose to bide my time until the body with the power of time matured. And now, that time has come."

The woman recoiled from the cruel god's words, as if struck.
All at once, she knew her sister was still alive somewhere in the world. She was not only grown and powerful, but had also gotten the attention of this terrible force.
Now she was on the verge of losing her sister again, if the god's plan were to come to fruition.

"...You really think I'll just let that happen?"

The woman leveled her revolvers at her foe, hands trembling with rage.
She wouldn't repeat the same mistake she made on the night her mother was taken.
She was no longer a weak, powerless young girl.
Though they might not be enough to take down a god, her powers were indeed formidable.

The woman closed her eyes.
Scores of portals opened behind her.
Her mana glowed a fierce purple within the portals, coalescing and pulsating in defiance of the god's own forces.

The otherworldly giant scoffed.

"You simple, foolish child. How can you battle me with powers that I have granted you? And those toys have no affect on me."
"I will not give up, no matter what."

Click.
The portals erupted with a hailstorm of bullets, tearing into the body of the god.
The woman leapt through her portals, warping past the god's defenses until she was next to its head, and fired mercilessly.

"Was that enough?"

The form of the god was torn to shreds, but soon the mana reformed into the original, imposing shape.
The god from the otherworld mocked the woman.

"You barely understand the powers you wield, you pathetic insect. My advent is complete. Cease this pointless struggle."

With those words came an explosion of blue portals. Hands formed around the woman, holding her in place.
No amount of struggling or shooting could free her. She was at the mercy of the cruel god.

"No, no!"

Scenes began to appear in the open portals.

...
She saw the happy faces of her parents on the day she was born...
The moment she took her first steps...
The joy when she learned of her mother's magic...
Joyful play with her father...
Receiving those precious dolls with her sister...
She and her sister lying in a field, counting clouds...
Laughing together with her sister...
Holding each other's hands...
Her sister's warm smile...
...

"Mom... Dad... Sis..."

The will to fight fled the woman. She collapsed to the ground.
The giant hand that had been holding her was gone. It was no longer needed.
Something hot welled up from deep inside her heart, streaming down her cheeks.

"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry... It's all my fault..."

"If it weren't for me... If I didn't want so much..."
All of the deep regrets and unspoken guilt she had held for decades burst forth, in shuddering, wracking sobs.

She had no more strength in her to fight.
She had failed again.
Just like before... She was powerless.
All she had wanted was to become stronger... But deep down, she had never recovered from the pain of her childhood.

...

"...cry. Eira, don't cry."

When she lifted her head in surprise, she saw someone standing before her.
It was the girl with the shining blonde hair.

But this time, she was not curled up on the ground as she always was in her dreams.

At last, the woman could see her face.
It was...

It was the face of someone so very dear to her.

"...Sis."

"When she heard me call her, my sister smiled."

"She took a step closer, and wiped away the tears streaming down my cheeks."
"The warmth from her fingertips kindled the fire in my heart. I took her hand and squeezed them tight."
"As if she understood everything, she raised her other hand and gently patted my head."

"You know what, Eira? That blue demon fears you."
"W-what? What do you..."

"Sister extended her arm, closing the portals to our past. She pointed to the demon beyond."
"As I traced the path with my eyes, I saw a giant pentacle in the distance."
"The pentacle bound the limbs of the god from the otherworld with incredible force."
"That force spread across the lines of mana, keeping the god imprisoned in agony."

"Yes, the demon is terrified of another interfering in her plot. She still hasn't been able to claim my body."
"The advent isn't complete yet...?"

"When she saw the surprise on my face, she smiled and whispered in my ear."

"Do you remember? In our dreams, when you protected me..."
"Those weren't dreams."


"Ah!"

"In that that moment..."
"I finally understood."

"I had been protecting my sister from the god of the otherworld, without even knowing it myself."
"That was my sister that was trembling in the void, and those demons of light were coming to claim her for the god."

"Don't give up, Eira."

"My sister gave me a warm smile, and then turned to leave."
"Before I could think of something to say, she was gone."

...

The woman escaped the prison of portals through the rift her sister had left her.
On the other side she found the god from the otherworld, still struggling against her mystical bindings.

The god could not break free, and in fact a new seal was forming over her.
It was clear to the woman what she had to do.

She approached the giant, writhing figure and focused her powers.
Giant portals began to open, one by one, above the head of the god.

Long spears materialized from within the portals.
They were the same shape as the spears that had taken her mother from her so long ago.

She gestured, and the spears snapped to the ready, aimed at the bound god.

The woman lowered her voice as she spoke to the figure.

"You cost me my mother. Die as she did."
"And never threaten my family again."

A litany of sharp whistles pierced the silence.
The body of the god bristled with spears, and fell limp.

The blue form faded and returned to the void like dust.
Never again would it haunt the woman's dreams.


The small bar bustled with hungry travelers, taking refuge from the hot daylight.
The woman lifted the long bamboo shade as she entered, scanning the scene until she spotted the burly man at the bar.
Heaps of plates were stacked to either side of him, and he was tearing into more food.

She removed her hood and approached him.
Flowing free in the dingy ari, her silver and pink locks caught the attention of every patron she passed.
Even so, her gaze never flinched from the man at the bar.

"You really don't know when to stop, do you?"

When he heard that cold voice, he lifted his head from his feast and turned.

"You've got a new look now? Well, it suits you."

The woman smiled.
As before, the man and the woman spoke eagerly over their meal.

"...So I tried every weapon I could find, but nothing fit quite like this big old greatsword. I mean, it IS what I'm known for now."

The man sighed, eying the greatsword that was carefully set against the wall.

"Did you try any guns?"
"Guns?"
"Yeah. I think it would suit you."

The woman drew a revolver and laid it on the bar in front of him. From the grip hung a familiar wooden doll.

"Ha! Even if I wanted to try, I'd need something bigger than your tiny pea-shooter there."
"Use your brain for once. I'm showing you a gun I had made in Seoran. If they can make this for me, they can made something big enough for your big, flabby hands."
"Hmm..."

The man rubbed his beard thoughtfully.

"If you're recommending it, then it's worth a try. Looks like I'm heading to Seoran."
"There's a craftsman you should meet.. Here, you'll find him..."

After a short conversation, the woman stood.

"Seems like it's time."
"Where are you heading?"
"Across the ocean. To find my sister."

He raised an eyebrow in surprise.

"This new look of yours really does suit you. Good luck in your travels, then. I'm sure we'll meet again."
"So long."

"Ah, wait!"

His words were insistent enough to give her pause.

"There's a small coastal town called Colhen across the sea. It has one mercenary unit there, and I'm a member. They've got a lot of powerful folks coming through, so it might be a good place to start."
"Thanks. See you again."

With that, she left the bar.
Under the bright sunlight, she stretched and smiled at the sky.



The woman stood at the docks, her eyes tracing the busy streets.
This was where she had first arrived on that ship, after that lonely journey across the sea.
She had waited here for a week, hoping against hope to see her father or sister again.

"I'm finally going back."

Reminded of her old memories, she stared beyond the horizon for a while.

"Eira, remember! You can't hide forever! The pain doesn't leave until you face it..."
"If I were you... if I found even a hint that my sibling was alive, nothing would stop me from finding them. Even if they were dead, I'd still go looking for their grave. And when I did find them, I'd apologize. I'd apologize for anything and everything, and live a happy life together after that. We don't have enough time in this world to make it any more complicated."
"Don't give up, Eira."

Those words, once frightening and painful, now made her smile.
It was an honest, heartfelt smile, the kind she had gone without for so long.

When the ship's bell rang, she headed up the boarding ramp without hesitation.
But she whispered a promise before leaving on her journey.

"Arisha, I'll be with you soon."
"And I'll never lose you again."



Author: Sitrom / Illustrator: kingseo, jin
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EIRA Coming this april 30. 2019
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Eira stood quietly, untainted by sentimentality, dully reminisced about her past.
She had never let go of her past, and deep inside, she had unceasingly rendered herself liable for all the tragic and hapless outcomes that her family had to face. Her past had haunted her day and night. Then she had finally decided…

Vowing to never lose her precious family again, she was now determined to find her long lost sister, Arisha. A sense of warmth still resided in her heart, perhaps a mark left by her dearly beloved sister, Arisha. originstory
About Skill
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Portal Leap

Portal Leap allows Eira to open portals which she can quickly warp through with the use of Mana.
During the transition, Eira maintains invincible and will be able to pass through enemies.

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Gravity Rounds

With the use of Gravity Rounds, Eira is able to create an anti-gravity field, suspending all weakened enemies.

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Infinity Shot

Eira can rapidly fire both Mana Revolvers to create a massive barrage of bullets from the portals with Infinity Shot.

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Waveform Collapse

Waveform Collapse binds the enemy and unleashes a concentrated stream of shots while swiftly moving around the area.
Eira can also summon countless spears to attack her foes through her portals.

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About Skill
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