Today is December 15th, two days after the Silence Gem of Darkness was taken from the Graveyard Palace by the Vocaloids and also the day before the Fullmoon Festival. This is especially important to the people of Crypton Province, as the Festival not only celebrates the various legendary heroes and rich history of the city, but also honors the goddess said to have created the original Vocaloids.
The Festival's main attractions are a battle tourney, from which people from all around the world come to participate in. The prize for the winner is they join Shining Advent as a Crypton Vanguard, aka. the protectors of the city and be given a powerful magical artifact specifically chosen by the leader of the group.
The other attraction is an infamous scythe by the name of Joker Moon stuck in the thick of a dragon's skull, from which people have tried to pull it out and make a name for themselves, only to fail miserably.
The sun is glistening over the melting snow in the city, and the Vocaloids were relaxing the day away doing whatever they wanted at their usual hangout, the Shining Advent headquarters.
However, out of all the things happening, the thing that caught everyone's attention was the six-way collectible card battle between Meiko, Kaito, Luka, Miku, Gakupo and Lelus, the leader of Shining Advent himself. People crowded around the big table the players were using to see.
The card game they were playing was called Vampire Savior-- the cards were printed with elaborate rose designs on them along with stylized illustrations of many interesting creatures, ranging from humanoid to formless beasts. They were all concentrating intently on making their next move, only to have Kaito make his move and slam down a card on the table.
The card was imprinted with a red rose design and a painting of two skeletal creatures, one wearing yellow clothes and the other wearing black and red.
"I call upon Solerion and Thanateon." He said.
"Neo Juniper." Gakupo calmly replied, immediately throwing a card with the picture of an giant, disturbing-looking pale-faced doll wearing a red dress onto the table.
"Awww... There goes my chances of winning. I really need to get better cards..." Kaito grumbled, slumping in his chair.
"Oh, so you think you're hot stuff, don't you, Mr. Gambler? Well, think again. I'm bringing out Blancsun!" Meiko said, slamming down a card with a picture of an evil looking lady with long yellow hair dressed in an elaborate black dress on it.
"You take me too lightly, Meiko. Underestimate your opponent, and you're going to be the one to fall. I use Nuvola Nera!" Gakupo replied, throwing a golden card with a picture of a rather skimpily dressed woman with long purple hair holding two lightning edged swords on it.
Meiko replied, defeated:
"Crap... That was my last card. But there's something I want to know-- how did you get that one!? Isn't it supposed to be sweet-lord-not-worthy-rare?"
"I have my ways. Now, since Meiko, Kaito and Miku lost, all that leaves is me, Luka and master Lelus." Gakupo said.
"I still can't believe Luka beat me." Miku grumbled, putting her head down on the table and moping.
"There, there, Miku. Don't let it get to you-- I will always be the better player. But anyway, who wants to go next?" Luka scoffed.
"Well, if anyone's going to do it, it may as well be me. Come on, then!" Lelus challenged.
"Okay, but know that I won't stand down, sir." She said.
While Luka still had a full deck, Lelus wore her down to her last few monsters with just one card, so she had to resort to the big guns:
"You leave me no choice. I bring out Thalassa!" She said, pulling out a card with a golden rose design that had the picture of a beautiful girl with long blue hair wearing a white dress on it.
Lelus, upon noticing the card she pulled out, ducked back into his chair and leaned back in defeat.
"Well there you go - I lost. I'll at least give you credit and say I was expecting it. You deserve the win anyway, Luka." Lelus said.
"Thank you sir. Now, all that leaves is me and the samurai." She said.
"Yes it does, but... Hey. I just thought of something very interesting for our match." Gakupo suggested.
"... I'm listening." Luka asked.
"Now, how about a bet? The winner gets to try their hand at pulling the Joker Moon scythe at the festival tommorrow, while the loser has to do the Nyan Cat dance in front of everybody that works at Shining Advent while wearing a ridiculous outfit. Including all of us." Gakupo challenged.
"Hmm... It's a deal. Now let's go!" Luka stated, anxious.
"Likewise." Gakupo replied, his cards ready to go.
Right after, they countered each others moves instantaneously, throwing cards with stronger monsters on them back and forth as the audience watched, intrigued by the eventual outcome. Soon enough, they were worn down to their last monsters, with Luka taking the first strike:
"I use Gluttony of the Sacrilege Union, Nevinna Chyba!" She said, bringing down a golden card with a picture of a cute pale doll with big yellow eyes on it.
"Oof... I will admit, if I had brought my other deck with me today, I might have lost. But not quite, babe." Gakupo said.
He flipped a card over, much to everyone's surprise, and threw it onto the table. The rose design was golden, much like the Thalassa card, but the monster designed on it was that of a giant, pale-faced feminine being wearing a blue dress, a zigzag for a mouth, red eyes and several appendages.
"I call shenanigans." Kaito said, in awe.
"I bring about Iduun, Wrath of the Sacrilege Union!" He smirked.
"But that means--!" Luka panicked.
"Yes; You lost. Here you go." Gakupo said, handing her a cat ears hairband and a pink bunny girl suit.
"... You were planning this all along, weren't you?" Luka complained.
"You give me too much credit, Luka. Now go on, do your part." Gakupo said.
"The second I finish the dance, you're a dead man." Luka said, walking away.
"I feel so sorry for you." Meiko snickered, going with her.
Later on, pretty much the entire base went into the auditorium to see Luka's performance. She got up onto the stage, donning the outfit and began to dance to the Nyan Cat music, with mixed reactions coming from the audience. While Luka kept a straight face the entire time, she chanted out the same thought over and over in her mind:
It's only a three minute song, it's only a three minute song...
Meanwhile, Gakupo and the rest were watching from close up seats.
"You know, if you wanted somebody to do that, you could have just asked me." Gumi giggled.
"No, Gumi. But yeah, maybe I was a bit too harsh on Luka." Gakupo wondered.
"You think?" Miku snarked.
"Ah, be quiet. Anyway, Miku, I want to give you something." He stated.
"Huh? What is it?" She asked.
"Here. It's one of my older monsters." Gakupo replied, handing her a card.
It had a golden rose design on it, and the monster picture imprinted on it was that of a featureless, naked being with thousands of people behind it, all sharing the same facial expression- an evil smile with shadows covering their eyes.
"Uh, okay. But... I've never seen this sort of creature before. Why entrust it to me?" Miku asked, taking it.
"It's a consolation prize for losing. As for what it is, you know how me and Luka used Sacrilege Union monsters in our duel? Well, this is another one of those, specifically Envy. It's known by the handle of Homunculus, aka. the being of a thousand faces." The Vocaloid samurai explained.
"Ah, cool! Thank you. But, there's just something about this that... unsettles me." She muttered, looking at the monster.
"I know what you mean. To be honest, I've had the most unpleasant feeling about that card for the longest time. I don't really know why, but apparantly it's not just me." Gakupo whispered.
"Hmm... Either way, thanks. Now, what are we going to do after Luka stops dancing?" Miku questioned.
"I assume we're going to town to get groceries or something. I don't really know the details. Plus, if she asks where I went, tell her I fell off the face of Divixus." Gakupo stated.
"Gotcha." Miku said before looking back at the Homunculus card.
As she gazed at it, a burst of dread overcame her for some odd reason:
"An unpleasant feeling, eh? I can't really blame him. Something seems very off about this thing...
Meanwhile, after the whole performance was over, Luka, Miku, Gakupo, Gumi and Neru all went down to the city of Crypton Province, going to a nearby supermarket. Many people barraged them with autograph pleas and overall gushed at their visage.
After they finished there, while it seems like they came out with nothing, Gumi had stored everything inside her magical hammerspace backpack, and were walking back to their vehicles.
"It's such a beautiful day, isn't it?" Luka asked, looking around.
"It really is! I feel like spending the day at the park." Gumi mewed.
"Honestly, I just want to go back home. Why'd you have to drag me out here?" Neru said.
"Oh, don't be like that. I want to go to the park too." Miku said.
"Hey, be my guest. I've much better things to do." Neru replied.
"Like text on your phone and eat junk food all day?" Gakupo smirked.
"Oh, very funny." She sneered, pulling out her cellphone.
"Okay, how about we drop all of the groceries at home and then come back to the pa-- huh?" Luka said, only to be cut off mid-sentence.
She felt something brush against her waist for half a second, followed by a blurry, grey visage zooming past the crowd of people.
"Is there something wrong, Luka?" Miku asked.
"Yeah, I think-- Oh. O-oh no!" She panicked, patting around her waist.
"What is it!?" Gakupo shouted, worried.
"Someone stole Neo Camellia!" Luka yelled.
"Your laser whip? But who would even try?" He replied.
"My phone! They took it too!" Neru shouted as it got plucked from her hands.
Somewhere else, the grey figure zoomed past a woman who seemed to be of high class and snatched a gem from her pendant.
"Hey! Thief!" She yelled, angry.
"Okay, this is getting silly. We should go after him." Gakupo said, baffled.
"How, though? He fled into the alleys, and none of us have tracing programs installed." Luka pointed out.
"That's where you're wrong. In the case my phone is ever stolen-- I'm very paranoid as you can tell -- I've had a tracer built into my body to see where exactly where the thief went." Neru said.
"Well alright. That's convienient. How about you lead the way?" Gakupo suggested.
"With pleasure. Nothing but pain is going await this guy, so I may as well do it." Neru scowled as she cracked her fingers.
Right after, Gakupo and Neru chased down the grey figure's location, running past several people and places with the other three right behind them. Eventually they all cornered the thief in the middle of a park. The Vocaloids gave him death stares as he was backed up against a wall, with his face obscured with a full-body cloak.
"You're surrounded. Give back what you stole, and we'll let you go." Miku threatened.
The person didn't reply, instead looking around for ways to escape.
"I'm giving you until the count of three. One. Two. Th--" Gakupo said, pulling out his katana only to be interrupted.
The interloper jumped a clear high distance into the air, landing behind of the Vocaloids in an attempt to run away, much to their surprise. However, he was intercepted by the teamwork of Gakupo, Luka and Neru, the latter of which teleported in front of the figure, surprising him, while Luka summoned barriers so he wouldn't slip away.
Gakupo then grabbed his arms and held up the katana up to his throat, the hood going down and revealing his face. The thief was actually a humanoid cat boy, not much older than nineteen, with white fur, green eyes, big ears, and spiky red hair.
"Now, I'll not be saying this again. Give up and return what you stole." He threatened.
"... I... I can't. I have to steal these." The person replied.
"How come?" Neru asked.
"Well... It's for my mother. You see, she's deathly ill, and we're very poor." The person said.
"Hmm... How should I know what you're telling is the truth?" Gakupo said.
"Gakupo, stop." Luka commanded.
"How come?" He replied.
"Because I can sense a sort of sincerity in his words-- that and the Luna element lie-detector frequencies in my earphones are going off. I can tell he's not lying. Right?" Luka pointed out.
"Y-yes... Please let me down. I'll give back what I stole." The boy said.
"I don't think this is a good idea..." Neru whispered, suspicious.
The person returned all the things he took-- Luka's whip, Neru's phone and the noblewoman's gem, who came and slapped him in the face as she walked away.
"I'm sorry to have caused you so much trouble... But what am I going to give to my mother when I get home?" The boy wondered, rubbing the mark on his face.
"Well, if you want something, you should just ask. I mean, we are the Vocaloids after all." Miku sated, eating candy that she took out of Gumi's backpack.
"What? So you're the music guys I've heard so much about... I didn't think I would ever meet you in person. I know that'd be funny to say considering you live in the castle above the city." The boy said.
"Welp, now you have." Gumi said, with a big smile on her face.
"Say, what's your name?" Luka asked.
"My name? I-it's Augustus. Augustus Octavia." The boy replied.
"Well, well, well... That's a rather fancy name for a poor kid. Why is that?" Neru asked.
"Um, you see... I wasn't always poor. But ever since my father... disappeared a few years back, there's nobody to support me or mom." Augustus stated.
The Vocaloids were now conflicted of what to do, with the exception of Neru, who kept a cold glare against the cat boy.
"Oh jeez... I feel sorry for you Augustus, but even though you're poor, stealing is never the best option. Don't you have any living relatives other than your mother that could help you?" Luka asked.
"No. Not really. We're all alone here along with my friend Link." He replied.
"Ah... Then I have an idea. How about we supply your family with money?" Luka said.
"Luka... y-you're joking, right? We just met this guy!" Neru stated.
"But he's suffering and so is his mother. It would be the right thing to do." She replied.
The sun was setting, with its orange glow painting the landscape into night.
"... You know, if there's anything that makes me smile, it's your bleeding heart of gold, Luka. But he has to show his worth to us first." Gakupo said, pulling a card from his sleeve and throwing it to Augustus, who reacted fast and caught it.
It was black in color, was marked with a rose covered by thorns, along with having a blue treble clef insignia above it.
"What's this?" He asked.
"It's an Access Card. Use it whenever you want to see us again at Shining Advent, and when you do, show me just how badly you want to improve yourself." Gakupo said, walking away.
"Ah! Big brother! Don't leave us behind!" Gumi said, following him.
"Don't worry, Augustus. It'll all be fine." Luka reassured, tapping him on the shoulder and then walking away.
"Bye!" Miku said to him, going with Luka.
"If you ever take my phone again, I'll kill you!" Neru threatened as she went back with the group.
Augustus stood where he was, watching them walk away as the sun creeped against the distant landscape. However, his eyes were locked on Miku, with thoughts wildly running throughout his mind:
"That girl... Why does she seem so familiar? I can't put my finger on it, but looking at her is tearing me up inside. Well, not like I can do anything about it now."
He ran back to his house - a two story apartment that was incredibly clean on the inside and adorned in moderation, with soft couches, shelves decorated with priceless artifacts and so on.
Augustus went up the stairs and into a room in which a woman and another boy were located in.
She was a slender figure, with long red hair, blue eyes, a black dress, long red nails, white fur, had big fluffy cat ears and a tail like him, had a red gem on her chest and was confined to the bed.
The other boy was one that was clothed in a green tunic, had blue eyes, yellow hair, wore a green cap, white pants, wore brown boots, wore a white choker with a blue upside down crescent moon on it, and was armed with a sword and shield. Upon Augustus's return, his face brightened up.
"Ah-- Augustus... You're back. How did it it go, sweetie...?" The woman asked, smiling and coughing.
"Now, well... You'll never believe what happened today, mom and Link. I actually met famous people." He replied.
"Oh? Is that right, son? Who were they?" His mother questioned, with Link showing interest as well.
"You see, they were the Vocaloids. You know, the same people who make all those music videos?" Augustus said.
At his words, both his mother and Link were skeptical.
"R-really?! You got to meet them of all people? I'm not sure if you know this, son, but I'm actually a big fan of their music... you're a lucky, lucky boy! Now, I have a question-- how were they like?" His mother asked, with Link nodding in tandem.
"Well, for one, they're not as stuck up or mean as you might imagine they are, especially considering I was stealing again. Except for one of them, but I assumed she was like that with the others. One of them even convinced me to give everything back, and treated me very kindly. Speaking of which, a purple-haired man from their group gave this to me." Augustus said, bringing out the Access Card.
"They gave you a gift? What is it?" His mother questioned, while Link observed the card with strong curiosity.
"He said it was called an Access Card, and that if I ever wanted to see the Vocaloids again, I just have to use this. Not only that, here's the best part-- they're willing to supply us with money as long as I train with that man. Don't you see, mom? They're actually going to help us!" Augustus stated, hopeful.
"That's wonderful, son! But, are they really going to help people they don't know?" She questioned, skeptical.
"Mom, by the tone of voice that one lady had, I'm convinced they're going to. But first I have to prove myself to them. You know what this means, right?" Augustus said.
"Yes... But it doesn't matter. As long as you do your best and don't give up, I'll be happy. The Vocaloids' music aren't just pretty melodies after all-- they're actually genuinely kind people to back that up. I've realized that today, and I have you to thank for it, Augustus. Now go and make me proud, son." She said, tears dropping down her eyes with Link saluting at the same time.
"Yeah-- Of course I will. For you, for dad, Link and everyone else." Augustus said, going over to hug his mother.
Link leaned on his chair and looked happy at their embrace, not saying a word.
Meanwhile, somewhere else in Crypton, in a dark area...
The moon was almost full and looked welcome among the dark blue sky. There were tall buildings, dark alleys and run-down corridors that blended together into a solemn urban complex.
There was a person standing in the middle of the shadows and held up a radio to their ears.
"So, you know what to do, right?" Zatsune's voice echoed out.
"Of course I do. Why not just send me already and get it over with?" A woman replied.
"We would do that, but your mission requires much more than just mindless destruction. Now go and do your job." Aku Yamine said.
"Well, fine then. Over n' out." The woman in the shadows replied, only to gaze upon the grand visage of the citadel floating against the night skies.
Afterward, all the Vocaloids were at the citadel asleep, excluding Gakupo who was with Lelus and Attemi to investigate the location of the next Silence Gem. However, Augustus teleported in using the Access Card given to him, and confronted them.
"Excuse me, sir. You were the one I met in the market today... I've come to be your pupil, like you said." He stated.
"Ah, Augustus, was it? Pardon me, Master Lelus and Attemi, but I have business to attend to. This is someone else who I think has potential." Gakupo said.
"Hmm... another one, eh? Well, why not? Teach him all sorts of fancy things. I wish I could talk, but I'm concentrating here." Lelus said, staring at the monitor.
"I'm sure he'll turn out great, just like Miku." Attemi remarked.
"Thank you, miss. Now, if you'll excuse me, we'll be off." Gakupo stated, going out the room with Augustus.
As the walked down the lobby with moonlight shining down from the skylights, they talked to each other:
"So, mister, what are we going to do?" Augustus asked.
"My name isn't 'mister'. It's Gakupo. And as for what we're going to do, I'm going to teach you in a manner of swordplay that will fit you. Don't expect it to be easy, though. I'm actually rather strict, and I don't tolerate failure. Are you sure about this?" He replied.
"I-I don't mind. I want to do it for my mother. That alone gives me enough determination." Augustus reassured.
"... You're positive? Once we get started, there's no going back." Gakupo questioned.
"Y-yeah. Nothing's going to stop me, because I want to be stronger for the people I love." Augustus replied, still sure.
"... Good man. You really do seem dedicated. Now, let me show you where exactly we'll be training from now on. There, we'll discuss..." Gakupo instructed, patting him on the shoulder and going to a room, as their dialouge faded out.
As they went in, a shadowy figure watched them enter from atop the base's door arch. It stared at them only to face the room Lelus and Attemi were in. It jumped off and sped to where they were, with high-heeled boots landing against the ground as the figure went for the door.