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Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 41
Chapter 41: When Ash becomes Ice
Silently Shana watches how the long forgotten crimson lords take form as she drinks in every detail of their appearances. She feels..moved by their story, even if while all of it played out long before she was born or became a flamehaze, even while normally anything coming from Guze should be considered hostile unless proven otherwise…
For some reason she wants to burn all of them into her mind forever, show them that they wil never be fully forgotten, at least not by her!
The frigid air is filled with some form of energy, no electricity almost.
These..ghostly crimson  denizens hunger for justice..revenge.
‘That is what binds them!’ she understands.
The ghosts of denizens and flamehazes, different, but now under a single banner, unified by that one goal: To seek revenge on the very beings that took away all they had, all they were.
A goal she now shared.
“I see…”
She speaks slowly, with a low voice, commanding th
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Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 40
Chapter 40: Lords of the hunt Part 3
“What happened? We..almost perished “,J ures responds.
“You see, we did not stand guard. Why would we? We were so far up north, in all those millennia nobody ever came here but us. This was our home. The heart of the hunt, the only structure we ever cared to build, made out of ice from a time before even we set foot in this dimension: The Wild Court.
Our arrogance became our downfall. Silent as thieves they came. And everywhere they went, our blood and flames drenched the ground. Before we knew what was going on, the hunt was thinned by almost a fifth of our numbers. By the time we had driven them out, The Wild Court had lost its colour of blue ice. It was now a deep red. This far north, there was no dawn. Just eternal night. In the shadows of the night, we could not believe what had happened: A third of the hunt, gone. By how many Branded?
Nobody knew. Nor  did we knew how they knew where we were. Or how to even get here. Wha
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Into the mists by AngelsWillFallFirst Into the mists :iconangelswillfallfirst:AngelsWillFallFirst 2 4
Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 39
Chapter 39: Lords of the hunt Part 2
“What happened? We..almost perished “,Jures responds.
“You see, we did not stand guard. Why would we? We were so far up north, in all those millennia nobody ever came here but us. This was our home. The heart of the hunt, the only structure we ever cared to build, made out of ice from a time before even we set foot in this dimension: The Wild Court.
Our arrogance became our downfall. Silent as thieves they came. And everywhere they went, our blood and flames drenched the ground. Before we knew what was going on, the hunt was thinned by almost a fifth of our numbers. By the time we had driven them out, The Wild Court had lost its colour of blue ice. It was now a deep red. This far north, there was no dawn. Just eternal night. In the shadows of the night, we could not believe what had happened: A third of the hunt, gone. By how many Branded?
Nobody knew. Nor  did we knew how they knew where we were. Or how to even get here. What
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Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 38
Chapter 38: Lords of the hunt - Part 1
“My story started a long time ago” , Jures begins.
“Before the  first great civilizations of man, before the Ancient War, the Karka, the Rising, even before most flamehaze. This world was bigger, wilder, uncharted, but above all, it was wild.
And from the wilds of  Guze, we came.
I am sure we were not the first of the Denizens to cross the space between dimensions to manifest ourselves on earthen soil, but we were close.
Back then, crossing the rift between worlds was still dangerous and uncharted, only the bravest among us dared to cross.
And that we were.
We were grand, we were beautiful, we were fearless, we were everything and more..but above all, we were hunters.
The thrill of the hunt for food, not just sapping all existence out of a creature, no, but fighting them in combat, breaking their weapons, destroying their armor, taking away hope..
Until all they had left was fear..fear for us..as we would come after the
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Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 37
Chapter 37: Kin
“Balance..”
Each letter slowly rolls of Jures his transparent tongue, as if tasting the word and all of its meanings.
“To take back what is yours...
So that is your story.
A small story, but that is not unusual, considering you do not seem to have been a flamehaze for a long time yet.
A small story indeed...but..maybe your story is just beginning.”
“While ours is ending”, Jures says while making a wide gesture, as if pointing at a crowd.
But if there is anyone else, they are invisible for Shana’s eyes.
“You speak of what you view as wrong” the ghostly denizen continues.
“Yet in your quest for strength you ask, without knowing from who you are asking.
What you ask, would change you forever.
And if you hesitate, it will kill you.
Force you to wander without form, just another lost soul.
I want to take a chance.
But I do not gamble.
And while I am not opposed to seizing opportunities when it involves the naive, if
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Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 36
Chapter 36: Whatever the cost
The eerie silence around her fades away after her desperate outcry.
Silence replaced by..it’s hard for her to describe.
Faint whispers in the wind, not enough to make out words, just loud enough to understand they are part of some sort of language.
Murmuring in the forest, so quiet it could just as well be a figment of her imagination.
Sounding...surprised? aggressive? inconclusive? wondering?
Discussing...something?
Shadows..within the dark forest depths..no footsteps..no echoes.
Is there anything there?
Anyone?
She cannot be sure.
“If I ask for help...in a place like this who..or what...would answer such a plea?” Shana asks herself.
It certainly is a risk, considering the situation she is in.
Her chances could not be any worse.
A weakened little girl leaving a trail of blood could attract many things...many predators..
Does such a great risk truly bring great reward?
Still..the sound is still there.. the whispering...waiting...perhaps p
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Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 35
Chapter 35: When A Flame Has Become Ash
The world feels..cold.
A distant part of her mind compares it to floating in a liquid darkness, as if there is water all around her..cold and somehow bottomless. “No bottom beneath me and no surface above me” Shana concludes her mental exercise.Something is wrong. The world is less..intense. As if there is no world, but instead it is like a game, or a painting. It does not feel real. Still, somehow she can breathe normally even without Alastor’s flame, something that she would never be able to do if she truly was underwater in some way. “Where…am I…? What’s happening..?”
“Alastor…What…is going on..?” she asks confused. But there comes no answer.
Not a single trace of Alastor’s usual warmth.
Then reality hits her with the the impact and force of a sledgehammer: Alastor is gone! His flame is gone! His warmth…gone!
Even if not that long when looking at the amount of
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Literature
Opgeven of op geven
Hopeloosheid,
Falen,
Er geen heil meer in zien,
Het stopzetten,
Iets opgeven,
Iemand op geven aan diens eigen leven.
Loslaten,
Wegdrijven,
Langzaam de afstand groter zien worden,
De stagnatie,
Einde accepteren,
Vertwijfeld zwaaien terwijl je achter de horizon verdwijnt.
Woede,
Frustratie,
Alweer is het niet gelukt,
Alle moeite,
De verwachtingen,
De uitkomst is hetzelfde.
Schuldvraag,
Onbegrip,
Beperkingen weer belemmeringen,
Zelfde liedje,
Identieke situaties,
Maar de conclusie verandert niet.
Geef ik je op,
Of heb ik opgegeven?
Wilde ik niet genoeg,
Of had jij geen behoefte aan mijn wil?
Overkomt het me,
Of komt het door mij?
Ik zeg dat ik je op geef.
Maar het voelt als opgeven.
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Walk the path of explosions with me! by AngelsWillFallFirst Walk the path of explosions with me! :iconangelswillfallfirst:AngelsWillFallFirst 5 0
Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 34
Chapter 34: Perspective of a traitor
“Just keep moving now” he mumbled to himself as he quickened his pace, away from it all.
Even while the day had just begun, there was close to no sunlight that penetrated the treetops, and most of the forest floor was shrouded in darkness, bar the small circle that was illuminated by his own green aura. He tried to not think too much about what took place a few minutes ago. Not that he felt remorse. A denizen does not know remorse. At least, not usually. But the look on the face of that little flamehaze continues to appear before his eyes. A stunned gaze, shocked, unable to comprehend what just happened to her. It was easy. He was truly surprised she had allowed him to come this far, considering she overheard him in the baths. ‘Trust’, he thought, ‘was a dangerous weapon’. As was hope for that matter. The very thing he now clinged to, the one thing for which he gave up everything in this final gambit. He bore the
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Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 33
Chapter 33: Contracts and Betrayal
The pendant of the God of Judgment swirls.
While Shana is done talking, her contractor clearly is not.
“Flame Hazes are not without feelings”,  Alastor says, his deep, soothing voice becoming nothing more but a whisper.
“They still continue have emotions, passions and dreams. A Flame Haze used to be a human, no matter what past he or she has. No matter what tragedy was.. the one that drove them to take a Crimson Lord inside their bodies… and make the Contract.  Their previous wishes and passions remain... The girl understands that and that is what makes things more complicated. She herself didn't have the chance to feel the world like most Flame Hazes did, and she didn't have time to develop her true character. She has to do that now...”
He pauses a little, as if wondering if he should talk any further.
“Not even Crimson Lords themselves are emotionless.
They can host passions, wishes and dreams. Their bon
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Literature
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 32
Chapter 32: What makes a flame-haired hunter tick
A silence fills the cave as the hybrid struggles to regain control of his emotions.
Afraid to disturb him Shana does not utter a word.
The hatred behind that single word thrumps every emotion the half-denizen ever displayed.
So much hate, so much pain..
“Your..logic…is strange” he suddenly breaks the silence, speaking with a hint of hesitation.
“If your duty is your only purpose..why die for people..And if all you have is your duty, how could they be close to you?
Are you perhaps less duty-bound then you try to make me believe?”
“My motives are completely irrelevant!” she says as she eyes him with a skeptical glare.
“My duty is my life,”
Before being able to say anything more, she feels a familiar swirl coming from her chest.
“Vengeance is a strong motivation indeed, but Flame Hazes technically get a second chance to life. It is as if the duty they get by their Contactor, is th
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Literature
Shakugan No Hybrids: Chapter 31
Chapter 31: Beliefs and Ideals
She is not sure what to feel as the half-denizen wraps his coat around her, leaving only a tiny bit of her face visible in the light of the flames. Soon her body starts to bathe in a soothing warmth, and while she still looks at him with a mix of disbelief and suspicion in her eyes, Shana can’t help but let out a small sigh of relief. For a coat it is actually quite heavy, it feels almost like some sort of armor.
Not that strange, considering he took quit some blows yet never seemed to damage his wardrobe whatsoever. Still, an ordinary human would be severely limited in his movements while wearing this, if only by the sheer weight. As she moves around a bit she feels all sorts of hidden pockets, filled to the brim with objects of all types of shapes. This is a multifunctional hougu of advanced design.
But right now, all that matters is that it seems to block out most of the cold. “Did he find this treasure tool or did he make it on his own?
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Literature
Shakugan No Hybrids: Chapter 30
Chapter 30: Cold Pride
It actually looks rather cozy…as far as you could consider a cave cozy.
In the middle of the area is a large pile of wood surrounded by stones forming a primitive fireplace.
No, Shana corrects herself, large is not the word...it’s massive!
As she takes a bitter look she notices large woodpiles covering most of the ground, including the part where she and the hybrid used to sleep. The sheer amount of it surprises her, considering she never saw Malachite chopping any wood…or at least not this much. “Cold…”
It’s the only thing the blazing-haired-hunter can think off as the blizzard chills her to the bone, as if Alastor or her coat made from his wing, the Yogasa, aren’t even there!
She sits herself down near the pile of wood, blowing some hot air on her fingers as she rubs them together.
“This is not..normal snowfall huh…?” she asks as Malachite starts a fire before sitting on the opposite side, as far
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Literature
Shakugan No Hybrids: Chapter 29
Chapter 29 What lies between real and reality
Malachite grits his teeth, but can’t help a few muffled grumbles of pain escaping his mouth.
Small drops of sweat slowly roll from his forehead as the hybrid leeches power from the twisted existence that the forest is filled with. Green flames dance over his skin as Malachite fights to keep standing on his legs. Even with the strength of the warped existence to help him, it is clear that the process of creating the Rinne causes him a lot of trouble and pain. Both shocked and intrigued, Shana does not do anything but watch, as from within the green fires a dark shape starts to emerge.
“Strange..” Shana thinks.
Even while the creature it not fully visible, she can feel how Malachite imbued it with a massive single purpose, a purpose so strong there is no room left for anything else.
This Rinne would do whatever it could to complete its purpose..even if it means the death of its creator.
“Why..what is so important it ne
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Chapter 41: When Ash becomes Ice

Silently Shana watches how the long forgotten crimson lords take form as she drinks in every detail of their appearances. She feels..moved by their story, even if while all of it played out long before she was born or became a flamehaze, even while normally anything coming from Guze should be considered hostile unless proven otherwise…
For some reason she wants to burn all of them into her mind forever, show them that they wil never be fully forgotten, at least not by her!
The frigid air is filled with some form of energy, no electricity almost.
These..ghostly crimson  denizens hunger for justice..revenge.
‘That is what binds them!’ she understands.
The ghosts of denizens and flamehazes, different, but now under a single banner, unified by that one goal: To seek revenge on the very beings that took away all they had, all they were.
A goal she now shared.

“I see…”
She speaks slowly, with a low voice, commanding the full attention of all beings present.
“I am like you…all of you” she says.
“And… you are all like me.
In a moment you were stripped of everything, you were left here wondering why all this had to happen and why you had to suffer this way... You ask yourselves why this should happen to you and why this couldn't be done in any other way. You wish you had a second chance to re-live those old times...To change the outcome of what happened…To try again.
And in a way that is about to happen... These Sixty…Six.. are about to come back and the world will be swallowed by them, the Karka, unless something is done about it....
Done by us.”

Shana clenches her right fist as she stretches her back to stand tall, forcing her difficulty standing and the pain to make way for determination.
The look in her eyes as she addresses the crowd around her are filled with fire.
Not Alastor’s this time, but her own.

“ I want more than ever to stop them from doing this! And I want to stop Malachite from doing what he has planned! It is not just about what he has taken from me, not anymore! I must stop him so he won't bring the ultimate destruction into this world in the name of the person he lost. I will stop him no matter what! That is my mission as a Flame Haze! This is who I am! This is what I chose for myself and what I became!”

Confidently she sweeps with her eyes across the crowd,  staring at each and every individual intensely, before fixing her blazing eyes on Jures.

“Please, Jures Wanderer of the Starless Skies, give me my second chance, so I can prevent what happened to you from happening to the world! Please! All I need is one more chance! One chance to stop them and him!”
Jures sighs, and his appearance appears to shrink a tiny bit.
“I cannot give you what you want” he says, and Shana feels her confidence plummeting as she bows her head.
“At least, not in the way you are used to.”
Surprised she looks up to him again, wondering what he means.
“We did not form contracts with humans.
We hunted them.
If this is what you want, it will be a first.
But it would not be with just me.
It would be a contract with all of us.
And it will change you.
Not just your mind.
But your body as well.
We sometimes infused our prey with existance, so they would last longer.
In that way, I can try to establish a bond.
Modified, but the principle remains.
I do not possess the power of a God.
None of us do.
But together..maybe..we do.”

His red eyes suddenly start to glow with a deep intensity, before they were red like blood, now it is the colour of molten lava that pins her down with all of their ferocity.
“Is this the chance you seek?
Knowing full well it will change you forever, even long after we have faded and your existance is yours again?
That it might fail, and kill you?
That you might actually lose yourself?
And above all: Can you accept us for what we are, without bearing judgement?
Do you dare..to thread beyond the thoughts of someone who was once a flamehaze...
If your answer is yes..there will be no going back once we start.
For better or for worse.”
She  cannot lie, this is something that scares her a little once she hears it, but Shana has no space of being indecisive. She knows that unless she makes this contract, she most likely will die here and Malachite will open a gate that would destroy not only the balance but also the world itself. She feels as if she is the only one that can stop it now! Therefore she looks up, deeply in Jures's eyes, facing the magma, determined as she was never before in her life.

“I am ready! I'll make this contract with you...” she says without her voice trembling.
She looks at the other ghosts as well, one by one, just like before.
“...All of you! I am ready for whatever consequences fall upon me!”
Images of Yuji, of Kazumi, Wilhelmina, Sophie and other people she knows pass before Shana’s eyes for a moment. Yes, everyone was counting on her.
‘ I am what I am, I am a Flame Haze no matter what, even without a contract!’ she thinks as she opens her arms widely.

“Do it!”
Jures turns around and faces the ghostly denizens behind him, and then walks past Shana towards the ghosts of the flamehazes.
“It is time” he says.
“We have waited a long time for this, and I say the moment is there.
I urge us to take this chance, but I cannot force any of you.
Are you prepared?”
The silence following his question grows, as each ghost contemplates, discusses, and come to a conclusion. The sound is fragile, but impossible not to hear as a legion of dead voices, denizen and flamehaze alike, speak as one: “We are prepared”.

“Then begin” Jures says.
Begin the final sacrifice.
Slowly, the rows of denizens and ancient flamehazes march upon each other until standing almost face to face. In an almost harmonious gesture, each ghost grabs the hands of the one in front of him, each denizen now holding hands with a flamehaze and vice versa.

“For revenge” Jures says.
“For revenge!” the  denizens and flamehazes answer as one.
Suddenly, the flamehazes seem to dissolve into a shining golden light, a light getting absorbed by the denizens that held their hands, who start to radiate a cold blue light in response, as their presence seems to become more..physical.

“You could not form a contract with those who were bound by a contract themselves” Jures says as he sees Shana’s bewildered gaze.
“They give themselves up for you, sacrificing themselves to add their strength to ours.
So the path to our cause, our vengeance can be born.
Be worth that sacrifice.
Theirs, and eventually ours.

Now…hold out your hands.”

Shana frowns as she holds out her hands like she is told, her palms facing upwards towards the blue skies, determined to see it all through to the end, no matter what happens next.
Without warning Jures grabs both of her arms.

“This will hurt.” He says.
There is no joy in his words, like one would expect from a Denizen that is about to hurt a former flamehaze. No empathy either. It is simply an announcement of what is to come.

Suddenly he starts shining in the same blue light Shana saw the other denizens shine with earlier, but more intense. The next second she cannot help but scream in utter agony, as it feels like every part of her skin gets pierced by needles made out of ice. Alastor's warmth becomes a distant fading memory, and is replaced by an extreme cold, cold enough to wipe out all traces of life and fire in her body. Her  legs finally  give away, and the only reason the former blazing-eyed-hunter does not fall to the ground as she screams her lungs out is because Jures holds her up, having both of her arms in a crushing grip with a single claw, the other is placed against herr chest. Through the haze of pain Shana can see how the cold blue light now not only envelops Jures, but starts to envelop her as well. Slowly her vision is going black, the pain intensifies, and the only reason she can no longer scream is because she is out of breath. She can feel how her heart goes slower.
Kaboom-kaboom-kaboom....kaboom-kaboom...kaboom...ka----boom....

And then there is nothing.
No heartbeat, and no pain.
Jures lets go of her and Shana fall down to herr knees.
As her vision slowly returns to normal, Shana can feel a panic rising concerning her missing heartbeat.
Then she see it, reflected in a small pool of frozen blood:
A pale skin without any complexions, long hair, white as snow, eyes as blue as a glacier-lake in the middle of winter. She feels no cold at all…not anymore..

Jures offers her a claw to help her stand up.
“Rise, my Snow-haired Ice-blue-eyed hunter.”
Now part of the hunt.”
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 41
Missed a chapter, or did you just stumble upon this tale and want to read more?
Binge-read the entire story here


Shakugan No Hybrids is a story within the Shakugan No Shana universe, following an alternate timeline.
Basically, this story picks up somewhere in the last quarter of season two.
This means that all the events from Shakugan No Shana Final never took place.
Yuji discovered the true identity of Konoe Fumina, and thus the events of the last few episodes of season two ( near christmas ) never happened either.
The start of this story kicks off in January after that christmas.
This is a co-production, based on roleplay conversations between me and :iconflame-haze--shana:

Visit her page, the amount of work she puts into her roleplaying is amazing!
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Chapter 40: Lords of the hunt Part 3

“What happened? We..almost perished “,J ures responds.
“You see, we did not stand guard. Why would we? We were so far up north, in all those millennia nobody ever came here but us. This was our home. The heart of the hunt, the only structure we ever cared to build, made out of ice from a time before even we set foot in this dimension: The Wild Court.
Our arrogance became our downfall. Silent as thieves they came. And everywhere they went, our blood and flames drenched the ground. Before we knew what was going on, the hunt was thinned by almost a fifth of our numbers. By the time we had driven them out, The Wild Court had lost its colour of blue ice. It was now a deep red. This far north, there was no dawn. Just eternal night. In the shadows of the night, we could not believe what had happened: A third of the hunt, gone. By how many Branded?
Nobody knew. Nor  did we knew how they knew where we were. Or how to even get here. What we did know was that Cú Chulain, Lord of the Bloodfjord, greatest of the hunt, was among those who had fallen.
 Despite the reservations of so many, those who supported Leurent and The Black took over. Somehow their numbers had stayed almost the same, while those of us who propagated the old ways were decimated. Before we knew, The hunt was no longer free. For the first time, The hunt had a master.
The Masters Of The Black. And The Nightwalker was their Emissary who walked among us. We went where he sent us, did as he told us.  The Lords Of The Hunt, were now slaves. At first, it seemed like it went well. With the power of The Black we were able to take down The Branded as if they were children.
Branded fell. Cities burnt. And the air was heavy with despair. This went on for one long year. A year of victories. A year of bloodshed. A year of massacres. A year where the hunt forgot what it was. If anything, we were now a Blood Hunt.  But then came the order. We were ordered to go down south, in the area of the world you now know as Japan. Far south we were sent, beyond the island of Hokkaido, the furthest point we had ever been near the peninsula in that part of the world.
To an empty plain. According to the Nightwalker, a gathering of Branded could be found there, and it would be there that we would deal the decisive blow in a conflict that had started to drag on and on.
The Branded were there. Waiting for us. They knew we were coming. The second the hunt left the nightly skies and descended down upon the world, they were upon us. And from hunters, once again, we became hunted. A large battle unfolded, Denizens against Branded, Hunters against Hunted…
And.. Hunt against hunt. As The Branded started to gain on us, I demanded that the Nightwalker jumped in. He only laughed, and said that only the strong survive. And I was weak. That I should have died in the Court of The hunt. Only the strong should have remained. When I heard his words I understood: Cú Chulain, the greatest lord, was betrayed by our own. But who would do this to their own brethren, who could be so blinded?
 Another look and we, last supporters of Cú Chulain understood who was responsible. All who knew him instantly connected the dots.Because there was one thing Cú Chulain would never have given up. He would have destroyed it before allowing anyone else to touch it, let alone wield it. Simply attempting to open the weapon cabinet where he kept it was a death sentence. Yet there it was, in Leurents hands: Cae Bolg.
Cú Chulain’s greatest prize and weapon of choice.
I saw all of this in a single gaze, and it all became clear to me: Cú Chulain and Leurent had never seen eye to eye. And as Leurents feelings of hate started to fester, the Nightwalker had whispered to him. About true power, ultimate influence, for the taking…if he had what it took. And so it  happened that a group of Branded, knew exactly where to find our fortress, The Wild Court. And how to enter. Who to kill. While all of us had fallen for the promise of a way out, driven by fear, Leurent got consumed by another promise: The promise of power, driven by a thirst for malice. He and The Nightwalker had betrayed us to The Branded, not just that time, but this very  night as well.
For the second time we were betrayed to The Branded.  We thought we would ambush them. But the reason they knew we were coming was simple: They were told. But that was not the end of the Nighwalker’s plotting. I saw something spreading through the ranks of The Branded: Disbelief, surprise, uncertainty, all pointed at The Nightwalker. And just like that it dawned to me: The Nightwalker and his masters had played both sides. We feared death and extinction. The branded feared our ferocity and our new weapons made from The Black. It would not have surprised me if just like Leurent did within our ranks, The Branded might have had a Leurent and Cú Chulain of their own. And clearly, the Leurents of both sides had won, carefully orchestrated by the one entity both sides considered a useful ally. And like how the attack of The Branded on The Court of The Hunt tilted the scales in the favour of our Leurent, our use of The Black tilted the scales in favour of theirs. Both parties were used to feed the fears and insecurities of the other. To drive us further down a path only The Nightwalker’s masters would benefit from.
I felt rage, immense rage, as I realized all of this and I roared out the most baleful shriek of hatred this world had ever heard! I charged upon Leurent. The hunt was one. Eternal. Lords and brothers. Killing one of us without good reason desecrated the hunt. He had desecrated everything. For a position that we never had. Cú Chulain was followed not because he was our master. Or the strongest. But because his hunts were bountiful. The Scourgelord singlehandedly corrupted all things we held dear. For such betrayal there are no words in any language.
The Nightwalker could wait. Leurent had to pay the price for breaking all that was pure about the hunts. But I did not know about all of the sinister qualities of The Black as Leurent just stood there, taunting me. As far as I knew, Cae Bolg lost its Affinity when Cú Chulain had fallen. This was how it had always been. I was a fool to assume this little fact had stayed the same in a world succumbing to dark festering change. I charged…and fell as Cae Bolg turned pitch black as Leurent threw the weapon at my chest. While I dodged the throw itself, I had forgotten the true power of Cae Bolg: When thrown, it will always strike true. Leurent had used The Black to force the spear into obedience..among other things. As I dodged to the left, Cae Bolg turned around mid-throw to bury itself in the lower half of my back, its tip coming out of my chest. That should not have killed me.
Cae Bolg did not kill me. But The Black did. The dark curse Leurent had placed upon the weapon coarsed through me, ripping my soul, my inner self, out of my body. My body fell, and I stood next to it, bewildered about what just happened. The Scourgelord laughed. I tried to grab him, break his neck, but my arms…they went right through him. Everything went through me..I was dead. A ghost. To never be reborn.
Others started to appear around me, sharing my fate. Lords of the hunt who had chosen my side, fallen below the weapons of Leurent and his faction, Lords who supported Leurent, killed by their own weapons as those of us loyal to Cú Chulain grabbed them and used them against their makers. But also fläemhaz, as they called themselves now, entered our spectral company. Killed by Lords who used Cursed weapons…and killed by other flaëmhaz. We were not the only ones with the power of the black. These branded…fläemhaz…used them as well…against us..and their own kin. The only time Flamehazes were seduced into using the power of The Curse.
It was a slaughter, the ground drenched in blood and flames, the Moon colored red. As everyone slaughtered everyone, we had forgotten about The Nightwalker. Finding him wasn’t hard. In the center of the battlefield, towering on a hill of limbs, blood, corpses and skulls, he stood, arms wide as if wanting to embrace the slaughter. He was..conjuring something. Not with existence, not even with what we knew as The Black. This was far more powerful. It would be like comparing the darkness of the night to that of a massive black hole. He used our despair, our  pain and our deaths as seasoning, while our power was the main dish. Then we all knew: We were a sacrifice. This entire battle…was a sacrifice. A sacrifice for something The Nightwalker wished to create.
And what he made was monstrous…”

No sounds can be heard from any side as Jures tells his story. Denizen and Branded, both are as silent as the grave. From here, Shana understands, it was not just the story of the Hunt anymore. It was the story of both. Lords and Flamehazes.
She is holding her breath. She  can tell that whatever happened is no small thing. This ancient battle...the names and the history... Somehow she feels as if she is being entrusted with a horrified truth, with something no one else knows. The realisation makes her tremble in some sort of awe and pride… and at the same time fear and somehow repulse. But above all she wants to know more about that first clash with the creatures that would become The Six.
“ What...was created...?” she asks with a bit of hesitation in her voice, knowing full-well that anything needing pain and sacrifice on such a grand scale cannot be anything good..or small.

Chapter 40: Lords of the hunt Part 3
He...created a horror.
Our despair, our hate, our pain…our deaths..from both sides..were a massive catalyst.
Fuel for his dark grand design.
The Nightwalker laughed at us, a laugh ushered in the joy of our torment.
It was probably the first creation you could call a true curse in the world of man. It was nothing compared to The Black he had taught us…not only was this more malicious, powerful…it actually was bigger than any type of Affinity or spell known at that point in time.
You see, even in these days the uses of existence were largely unknown.
We knew we ate it to be able to manifest into this world, we knew it had some interesting capacities, the first crude incantations were just discovered, treasuretools were an entirely new phenomenon all together..it was all child’s play when compared to the thing that was being forced into existence.
This massive…thing…the curse he had wrought…it spanned the night sky..
It was..a gate. No a portal.
And on the other side we saw.. THEM.
I cannot describe them to you as it was a sight that all who were present have since tried to forget.
Even if we once shared the same realm, the same dimension, that was the only common ground we had with these monstrosities.
They were no crimson lords.
Not anymore.
They had fallen into something beyond any of us had ever seen.
This was the face of pure evil, destruction, hate..and above all, immense hunger.
Unescapable doom.
Those who had become ghosts, watched.
Those still alive were petrified.
Outwitted, outplayed, manipulated.
We never knew The Nightwalkers true intentions until the end, when the shroud over his plans fell down to reveal themselves in their baleful glory.
This was a ploy created for all to end.
A plot for the end.
And everything would have ended, if not for the fickle machinations of a single person, a very unlikely entity.
Because most petrified of all was The Scourgelord, finally realizing he had been played. Even in his thirst for power, as far as he wanted to go, even Leurent realized that he had been a pawn in a scheme that made his own ambitions insignificant in comparison. Then and there, The Scourgelord realized what he had done. And probably for the first time, he  took responsibility for his actions. His mind quickly laid the connection between The Nightwalker, the creatures beyond the gate and The Black, and deduced that they probably had the ultimate control over anything cursed. In a split-second he made his decision.

Standing the closest to The Nightwalker, whose masters were on the verge of setting foot on this world, he grabbed Cae Bolg and whispered:’ Cú Chulain…strike true..through me!’. Knowing that such a terrible act as his, fighting with cursed weaponry, against his own kin, could only be washed away by the ultimate price, he threw Cae Bolg up high as he threw himself at The Nightwalker. The creature laughed as it swept Leurent in the path of his own throw as the Cursed Cae Bolg redirected its path...which was what the Scourgelord predicted. He did not resist as Cae Bolg pierced him like it had pierced me only moments earlier…before leaving his body through his back, burying itself in the head of The Nightwalker, freshly drenched in Leurent’s flames. I do not know if it was The Scourgelords gamble that payed off, if the spear somehow responded to a righteous impulse, if the curse he had placed upon the weapon was so crude that the Nightwalker and his masters could not manipulate it fully, or if it was sheer dumb luck, but it worked. Both fell, one traitor who redeemed himself in his final moments, the other surprised as his foul life disappeared from the face of the earth. Even the mightiest foe can be taken down at the moment when he expects it the least.
With The Nightwalkers demise, the portal started to fall apart. The Curse was not finished, as it needed all of our deaths, Branded and Lord, to work. And it needed The Nightwalker to keep it stable. When they realized the portal was collapsing, The Sixty entities on the other side fought among themselves to get through, to our side. But their numbers were  to great, and the portal could barely sustain the passing of one such powerful menace, let alone Sixty of them. As they fought to be the first to set foot on earth, the portal collapsed on itself, cutting one of them cleanly in half. The  aftermath was... Apocalyptic.
Where it hit the ground it became toxic, devoid of life, its flame and fire was like a rain of acid, its passing causing thunderstorms as violent as those only seen during the most destructive phases of nature. The portal itself added to the onslaught. Upon its collapse the moon got blacked out, as it sent out dark shockwaves that tore through everything in its path, leveling mountains, raising valleys, boiling rivers and creating lakes overflowing with a toxic miasma of filth. It only took a minute perhaps. But in that moment we saw a glimpse of the destruction these fallen Crimson Gods would bring if they ever managed to set foot in this dimension.
We could do nothing about it. Nothing had survived the portal’s collapse, not within a staggering  radius of many miles. Those still alive when the portal collapsed on itself were gone. Not dead, not spectral, not a torch, gone. Entirely. Nothing. You could call it the ultimate disruption of balance. There was just a wasteland without life. And us. Those of us who had died before. Who had become ghosts.
Ghosts on a warped plain of lifeless destruction. Ghosts on a warped plain that would eventually become a twisted forest in the far future.
The hunt was destroyed, and so were all The Branded and fläemhaz who took part in this battle. In a way, The Branded could claim the moral victory, considering all Lords were destroyed, the portal collapsed, and The Nightwalker gone. But if anything it was a pyrrhic victory.
It set back the clock of human civilization for many years, caused the numbers on both sides, flamehaze and denizen to dwindle, both afraid to either enter this world, or to make a pact with something from beyond the world they knew. Japan secluded itself for millennia after, and it took even longer for flamehaze and crimson denizens to appear again, to start history as you now know it. You know the history from the dawn of time. But all of this happened in a time long before that dawn.
Through the ages some of us, those who went beyond the forest, disappeared. Going to far from this place dissolves us. The curse that killed us binds us here. But we also started to fade away…and started to forget. Those who forgot became feral, unable to do anything but claim to their hate, becoming a blight to these lands, a mockery of what they once were. Others clinged to their memories until their memories was all they had, reliving their final battle time after time and again. Sometimes a visitor would appear..to never return to civilization. And all this time more and more of us started to disappear…become mad..a terror…or forgot.

Until Malachite appeared, most of us had close to completely forgotten. I however, was intrigued by him. And thus by my urging we did not kill this visitor, but I appeared to him, spoke to him, and learned from him, how history was written, how we were forgotten, the state of the world as it is right now, and about The Six, as they call themselves now. Over time, we have slowly banded together, Spectral Branded and us, remnants of the Lords of the Hunt. Banded together over a single purpose: To have our vengeance.
We were the hunt.
And now we are nothing.”

As Jures ends his story, the ghosts behind him finally become clearly visible and stop being vague outlines. The Denizens who formed the hunt are a varied bunch, but all instill an ancient primal feeling. Shana sees one with a head that looks like a deer skull, including horns, one that looks like a crocodile with additional teeth on his tongue and eyelids, a snake covered in red feathers who wears a clay mask that depicts the face of a man with a serene smile with closed eyes...even while dead, they pulse an aura of pride. They were true to their nature,  even if to the morals of man that made them evil. In a way, they had formed their own culture and ideas about dignity and honor. To man that made them evil. But mostly, they were different.
Ferocious.
Wild.
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 40
Author's note: The small backstory for The Hunt is one of those little pieces of worldbuilding I love to make. I hope it gives you all as much fun reading as it gave me to create it.

Missed a chapter, or did you just stumble upon this tale and want to read more?
Binge-read the entire story here


Shakugan No Hybrids is a story within the Shakugan No Shana universe, following an alternate timeline.
Basically, this story picks up somewhere in the last quarter of season two.
This means that all the events from Shakugan No Shana Final never took place.
Yuji discovered the true identity of Konoe Fumina, and thus the events of the last few episodes of season two ( near christmas ) never happened either.
The start of this story kicks off in January after that christmas.
This is a co-production, based on roleplay conversations between me and :iconflame-haze--shana:

Visit her page, the amount of work she puts into her roleplaying is amazing!
Loading...
Chapter 39: Lords of the hunt Part 2
“What happened? We..almost perished “,Jures responds.
“You see, we did not stand guard. Why would we? We were so far up north, in all those millennia nobody ever came here but us. This was our home. The heart of the hunt, the only structure we ever cared to build, made out of ice from a time before even we set foot in this dimension: The Wild Court.
Our arrogance became our downfall. Silent as thieves they came. And everywhere they went, our blood and flames drenched the ground. Before we knew what was going on, the hunt was thinned by almost a fifth of our numbers. By the time we had driven them out, The Wild Court had lost its colour of blue ice. It was now a deep red. This far north, there was no dawn. Just eternal night. In the shadows of the night, we could not believe what had happened: A third of the hunt, gone. By how many Branded?
Nobody knew. Nor  did we knew how they knew where we were. Or how to even get here. What we did know was that Cú Chulain, Lord of the Bloodfjord, greatest of the hunt, was among those who had fallen.
 Despite the reservations of so many, those who supported Leurent and The Black took over. Somehow their numbers had stayed almost the same, while those of us who propagated the old ways were decimated. Before we knew, The hunt was no longer free. For the first time, The hunt had a master.
The Masters Of The Black. And The Nightwalker was their Emissary who walked among us. We went where he sent us, did as he told us.  The Lords Of The Hunt, were now slaves. At first, it seemed like it went well. With the power of The Black we were able to take down The Branded as if they were children.
Branded fell. Cities burnt. And the air was heavy with despair. This went on for one long year. A year of victories. A year of bloodshed. A year of massacres. A year where the hunt forgot what it was. If anything, we were now a Blood Hunt.  But then came the order. We were ordered to go down south, in the area of the world you now know as Japan. Far south we were sent, beyond the island of Hokkaido, the furthest point we had ever been near the peninsula in that part of the world.
To an empty plain. According to the Nightwalker, a gathering of Branded could be found there, and it would be there that we would deal the decisive blow in a conflict that had started to drag on and on.
The Branded were there. Waiting for us. They knew we were coming. The second the hunt left the nightly skies and descended down upon the world, they were upon us. And from hunters, once again, we became hunted. A large battle unfolded, Denizens against Branded, Hunters against Hunted…
And.. Hunt against hunt. As The Branded started to gain on us, I demanded that the Nightwalker jumped in. He only laughed, and said that only the strong survive. And I was weak. That I should have died in the Court of The hunt. Only the strong should have remained. When I heard his words I understood: Cú Chulain, the greatest lord, was betrayed by our own. But who would do this to their own brethren, who could be so blinded?
 Another look and we, last supporters of Cú Chulain understood who was responsible. All who knew him instantly connected the dots.Because there was one thing Cú Chulain would never have given up. He would have destroyed it before allowing anyone else to touch it, let alone wield it. Simply attempting to open the weapon cabinet where he kept it was a death sentence. Yet there it was, in Leurents hands: Cae Bolg.
Cú Chulain’s greatest prize and weapon of choice.
I saw all of this in a single gaze, and it all became clear to me: Cú Chulain and Leurent had never seen eye to eye. And as Leurents feelings of hate started to fester, the Nightwalker had whispered to him. About true power, ultimate influence, for the taking…if he had what it took. And so it  happened that a group of Branded, knew exactly where to find our fortress, The Wild Court. And how to enter. Who to kill. While all of us had fallen for the promise of a way out, driven by fear, Leurent got consumed by another promise: The promise of power, driven by a thirst for malice. He and The Nightwalker had betrayed us to The Branded, not just that time, but this very  night as well.
For the second time we were betrayed to The Branded.  We thought we would ambush them. But the reason they knew we were coming was simple: They were told. But that was not the end of the Nighwalker’s plotting. I saw something spreading through the ranks of The Branded: Disbelief, surprise, uncertainty, all pointed at The Nightwalker. And just like that it dawned to me: The Nightwalker and his masters had played both sides. We feared death and extinction. The branded feared our ferocity and our new weapons made from The Black. It would not have surprised me if just like Leurent did within our ranks, The Branded might have had a Leurent and Cú Chulain of their own. And clearly, the Leurents of both sides had won, carefully orchestrated by the one entity both sides considered a useful ally. And like how the attack of The Branded on The Court of The Hunt tilted the scales in the favour of our Leurent, our use of The Black tilted the scales in favour of theirs. Both parties were used to feed the fears and insecurities of the other. To drive us further down a path only The Nightwalker’s masters would benefit from.
I felt rage, immense rage, as I realized all of this and I roared out the most baleful shriek of hatred this world had ever heard! I charged upon Leurent. The hunt was one. Eternal. Lords and brothers. Killing one of us without good reason desecrated the hunt. He had desecrated everything. For a position that we never had. Cú Chulain was followed not because he was our master. Or the strongest. But because his hunts were bountiful. The Scourgelord singlehandedly corrupted all things we held dear. For such betrayal there are no words in any language.
The Nightwalker could wait. Leurent had to pay the price for breaking all that was pure about the hunts. But I did not know about all of the sinister qualities of The Black as Leurent just stood there, taunting me. As far as I knew, Cae Bolg lost its Affinity when Cú Chulain had fallen. This was how it had always been. I was a fool to assume this little fact had stayed the same in a world succumbing to dark festering change. I charged…and fell as Cae Bolg turned pitch black as Leurent threw the weapon at my chest. While I dodged the throw itself, I had forgotten the true power of Cae Bolg: When thrown, it will always strike true. Leurent had used The Black to force the spear into obedience..among other things. As I dodged to the left, Cae Bolg turned around mid-throw to bury itself in the lower half of my back, its tip coming out of my chest. That should not have killed me.
Cae Bolg did not kill me. But The Black did. The dark curse Leurent had placed upon the weapon coarsed through me, ripping my soul, my inner self, out of my body. My body fell, and I stood next to it, bewildered about what just happened. The Scourgelord laughed. I tried to grab him, break his neck, but my arms…they went right through him. Everything went through me..I was dead. A ghost. To never be reborn.
Others started to appear around me, sharing my fate. Lords of the hunt who had chosen my side, fallen below the weapons of Leurent and his faction, Lords who supported Leurent, killed by their own weapons as those of us loyal to Cú Chulain grabbed them and used them against their makers. But also fläemhaz, as they called themselves now, entered our spectral company. Killed by Lords who used Cursed weapons…and killed by other flaëmhaz. We were not the only ones with the power of the black. These branded…fläemhaz…used them as well…against us..and their own kin. The only time Flamehazes were seduced into using the power of The Curse.
It was a slaughter, the ground drenched in blood and flames, the Moon colored red. As everyone slaughtered everyone, we had forgotten about The Nightwalker. Finding him wasn’t hard. In the center of the battlefield, towering on a hill of limbs, blood, corpses and skulls, he stood, arms wide as if wanting to embrace the slaughter. He was..conjuring something. Not with existence, not even with what we knew as The Black. This was far more powerful. It would be like comparing the darkness of the night to that of a massive black hole. He used our despair, our  pain and our deaths as seasoning, while our power was the main dish. Then we all knew: We were a sacrifice. This entire battle…was a sacrifice. A sacrifice for something The Nightwalker wished to create.
And what he made was monstrous…”

No sounds can be heard from any side as Jures tells his story. Denizen and Branded, both are as silent as the grave. From here, Shana understands, it was not just the story of the Hunt anymore. It was the story of both. Lords and Flamehazes.
She is holding her breath. She  can tell that whatever happened is no small thing. This ancient battle...the names and the history... Somehow she feels as if she is being entrusted with a horrified truth, with something no one else knows. The realisation makes her tremble in some sort of awe and pride… and at the same time fear and somehow repulse. But above all she wants to know more about that first clash with the creatures that would become The Six.
“ What...was created...?” she asks with a bit of hesitation in her voice, knowing full-well that anything needing pain and sacrifice on such a grand scale cannot be anything good..or small.
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 39
Author's note: The small backstory for The Hunt is one of those little pieces of worldbuilding I love to make. I hope it gives you all as much fun reading as it gave me to create it.

Missed a chapter, or did you just stumble upon this tale and want to read more?
Binge-read the entire story here


Shakugan No Hybrids is a story within the Shakugan No Shana universe, following an alternate timeline.
Basically, this story picks up somewhere in the last quarter of season two.
This means that all the events from Shakugan No Shana Final never took place.
Yuji discovered the true identity of Konoe Fumina, and thus the events of the last few episodes of season two ( near christmas ) never happened either.
The start of this story kicks off in January after that christmas.
This is a co-production, based on roleplay conversations between me and :iconflame-haze--shana:

Visit her page, the amount of work she puts into her roleplaying is amazing!
Loading...
Chapter 38: Lords of the hunt - Part 1

“My story started a long time ago” , Jures begins.
“Before the  first great civilizations of man, before the Ancient War, the Karka, the Rising, even before most flamehaze. This world was bigger, wilder, uncharted, but above all, it was wild.
And from the wilds of  Guze, we came.
I am sure we were not the first of the Denizens to cross the space between dimensions to manifest ourselves on earthen soil, but we were close.
Back then, crossing the rift between worlds was still dangerous and uncharted, only the bravest among us dared to cross.
And that we were.
We were grand, we were beautiful, we were fearless, we were everything and more..but above all, we were hunters.
The thrill of the hunt for food, not just sapping all existence out of a creature, no, but fighting them in combat, breaking their weapons, destroying their armor, taking away hope..
Until all they had left was fear..fear for us..as we would come after them…fear of us, the hunters.
Fear for what had become known as..the hunt.
We would share some existence with them, our prey, just so they could run for weeks…
One hunt even lasted four months…
And it was like nothing the world has ever seen.
Having hunted everything Guze had to offer we crossed, searching for a bigger game, a greater hunt, an even more glorious prize. It was not about surviving..it was about the glory, the thrill.
Because food was one thing..but the thrill of the hunt was not just a thing..it was everything!
It was a time before we gave ourselves titles to show off our strength, like Gods and kings.
But it amused us when humans gave us such names.
But to ourselves, if anything, we were lords.
We were the hunters, the lords of the hunt, millennia before weaklings like Friagne dared to claim that title for his own amusement.
Oh yes, we heard of him,” the ghost clarifies when he sees Shana’s surprised face.
“ Names have power, and when you take on a name like this as lightly as he did, ripples can be felt in the world, even if it is the name of something long dead.

But I was talking about who we were. Our Hunt.
The hunt was everything we lived for. Back then, there were so few of us that nobody really cared about the balance of the world. It felt like we had discovered paradise and we thought those bountiful days would last forever. And for a long time they did, and we never saw the need to venture far beyond the cold lands where we first appeared, nor did we have the desire to meddle in the affairs of other denizens who had manifested themselves through the many years. The world was big, we did not care about them. And they left us alone. Because our passion for the hunt had not just made us strong. It kept us wild.
Almost feral. And they feared us, human and denizen alike. Seperately we were not the strongest, but together we were a force unmatched back in those days. A force without fear, a legion that was among the first to cross between the worlds.
When we ate, we feasted. When we hunted, we killed. And when someone was in our way, we brought slaughter. The hunting of the humans was the best..but sometimes the horns would sound and it was a Denizen who was the target of our hunger. We were given so many names,  Alfar, Valkyries, Demons… but above all we were the Lords of the Hunt. Over the many millennia, the world changed among us, but we did not notice, secluded in our cold frozen lands where the sun would either never set or continue to shine for months. But eventually, the world caught up with The Hunt.  And resisted us when we came. And that was not the only thing that started to cast a shadow over our so far unchallenged dominion. Word spread of treason, of our own kin allying with humans because of something known as balance. And…some of the denizens believed the rumours. But not us. We laughed. Until we encountered these so called warriors who called themselves what you now know as flamehazes.
We had ventured far beyond the frozen tundra, icy wastes and even the dense ancient forests we claimed as our territory. Why? Who knows. Boredom perhaps. Maybe even curiosity, a thirst for new challenges. It was a time of overconfidence, when our thirst for the hunt was at its peak. We went far beyond what was ours. Many myths and names came into existence in the years that we went far beyond our traditional lands. I am Jures, but I was also known as Cernunnos, and even more south as the Minotaur. And it was like that for all who took part in the hunt. But what was I saying?”
Jures shakes his head a bit as he tries to remember what it was that he wanted to tell.
“Oh yes, flamehazes.Back then they were only known as The Branded.
Branded as traitors, as they worked with our own kind to kill us. It was hard to believe, that our own kind would betray  us, betray us by allying with the weak creatures of this world, the humans. We did not know any better than that humans were just prey, and with a few exceptions here and there, weak. It was this arrogance that started us on the path of our downfall.
The first Branded we encountered did not fear the hunt.
He did not run away but instead challenged us.
In our overconfidence, we laughed and sounded our horns to announce the hunt.
Never been beaten, never hurt, we could only laugh at the foolishness of such a provocation.
But we would soon learn a harsh and deadly lesson.
We had never encountered anything like it before.
It did not cry. It did not run. It fought. And…after millennia we were reminded that even we were not immortal. The outcome was set: The hunt would prevail.
The hunt always prevailed. But this time, the hunt did not just demand the blood of the hunted.
It took it from the hunters as well.
The horde of the lords of the hunt shrunk that day. For the first time since our arrival on this world.
And not just one. Four. Four hunters went down during the hunt on a single Branded.
We did not know what to think. Because before this we never knew uncertainty. Or fear.
As we took back the head of  The Branded Prey as a trophy, we heard similar stories from other hunting parties. Branded, former humans who forged an alliance with a Denizen, in order to stand against us. Over  time, the hunt was no longer this mixture of thrill, bloodlust and excitement: More and more, it became intertwined with death…our own mortality.
The hunting parties came back with less Lords than they started, sometimes even without prey. Fear..true fear started to plant its seeds into our hearts, as more and more lands became unsafe for us to hunt because of The Branded. For us, who once rode across the nightly skies unchallenged.
We were no longer the strongest presence in the world. And if nothing changed, we felt The Branded would wipe out The Hunt.
Their numbers grew, ours dwindled. They embraced new ideas, new  technologies, we had stayed the same since the dawn of man.
As we realized, and feared, our unescapable demise.....

He came.”

As Jures speaks out "he", a ripple goes through the ranks of the ghostly denizens behind him and through the ancient flamehazes behind her.  Shana senses both extreme anger...and a massive fear. Whoever came, it wasn't good. But who…and what? Despite her initial reservations, she feels herself getting invested into the story. “He…?” she asks hesitantly, as the ancient minotaur-ghost seems to be lost in his memories.
“ Yes..”.Jures eventually  continues,” He.
Our downfall.
I still do not know from where he came, nor how he came into our midst out of nowhere. But the fact that he could do so tells you enough about what state we were in. In normal times, a stranger would have been either killed on the spot or forced into the hunt.
The fact that we did not do any of those things when he appeared in our midst tells you how weak we had become. How  afraid. I still wish that someone would have mustered the courage to call for the hunt. It would have only postponed our extinction, but it would have been a kinder fate than what has been bestowed upon us. As I said, nobody knew who he was, or from where he came.

He called himself The Nightwalker, an emissary of a group that would later become The Six, or Karka as you know them. Back then however, there were still more than Six. To be more precise, Sixty. We felt The Nightwalkers power, swirling around him like darkness becoming solid. He laughed at us. Mocked us. And offered us the only thing that we wanted: A way to escape our fate, avoiding extinction by The Branded, the first flamehazes. He played with our fears, fed our hatred. And offered us a deal: Ally with their masters. If the hunt would promise to serve them, they would not only keep us safe, but guide us to  bigger hunts than we could ever imagine. As a token of good-will, he showed us what we could do with The Black. I believe you now call it a Curse. The Black needs pain, malice, hatred, and certainty beyond reasonable levels. We had the pain the malice and the hate. The certainty followed, if only because in our fear we would have grasped any straw, even one as doubtful as this one.
And yet, the greatest lord among us, Cú Chulain, Lord of the BloodFjord, openly spoke out his doubts.
The hunt was eternal, he argued. And it never served. This was our way, he said while waving around his spear, The Cae Bolg. The Branded had taken control of many lands, but they had never ventured as far North as where our home was. On The Eternal Tundra and Everlasting Ice. We were safe as long as we ventured carefully. We did not need this offer from his point of view.
Arguing against him stood Leurent, the Scourgelord. The hunts of Leurent were nothing less but massacres, violence of a degree that made even us uneasy. Where we saw danger, Leurent saw opportunities. The Nightwalker simply stood by and said nothing. We were divided. Half of us sided with the Lord of the BloodFjord, propagating what we had done since the beginning: Hunt like we always did, within the safety of our own lands. Our territory was immense, these cold lands were so massive that a human could walk his entire life and he still would never be able to walk from our western border to the eastern one. The other half listened to the Scourgelord and The Nightwalker. Quickly after,the followers of Leurent played around with The Nightwalkers Gifts, experienced the power of The Black, and how easily it overcame the traditional usage of Existance in terms of power.
They saw it as only natural to take this chance, especially considering The Branded increased usage of items with special abilities. You now know them as hougu’s. We needed something like The Black just to be able to stand our ground. You know you need a human and a denizen to wish for something together to create a treasuretool. The process was new to us, considering how The Branded, the first flamehazes, where the first humans to ally with a Crimson Lord. It easily overpowered our own weapons who, while gaining special abilities of their own through prolonged use by the same user over a long time, could not match the mass-production of weaponized treasuretools that were created. When one of us fell, his weapon was lost forever. It could not be used by another. If a weapon broke, it would take centuries for a Lord to gain any affinity with a new one, let alone allow him or her to awaken its potential.
But The Branded could simply create a new hougu when needed. Taking all of this into account, the conflict within the hunt grew, and started to fester.  Both parties argued. Arguments became heated. Hatred. Mistrust. For the first time, The Hunt was divided. It was a time of many firsts. After weeks of mistrust, as the differing opinions had divided us as deep as if it were massive canyons running between us, The Branded came in the night.”

A breeze of whispers sweeps across the audience of ghosts. Anger. But also fear, shame..and mourning, extreme mourning.
“What happened?” Shana cannot help but feeling extremely interested in this tale about times long forgotten. In fact, she is in awe. Because this is a story that has never been told before, unknown to even the most dedicated scholars at any Outlaw branch. Not even Alastor ever spoke about this. And while she knew how there had been several conflicts in Guze in the past, between Gods of Judgement, Destruction and Creation, this was something that had happened right here! On this very planet, in a time when humans had barely started to evolve! A tale from so long ago…this old…she wants to know more..
“What happened ?” she repeats her question no longer bothering to hide her curiosity…
Shakugan no Hybrids: Chapter 38
Author's note: The small backstory for The Hunt is one of those little pieces of worldbuilding I love to make. I hope it gives you all as much fun reading as it gave me to create it.

Shakugan No Hybrids is a story within the Shakugan No Shana universe, following an alternate timeline.
Basically, this story picks up somewhere in the last quarter of season two.
This means that all the events from Shakugan No Shana Final never took place.
Yuji discovered the true identity of Konoe Fumina, and thus the events of the last few episodes of season two ( near christmas ) never happened either.
The start of this story kicks off in January after that christmas.
This is a co-production, based on roleplay conversations between me and :iconflame-haze--shana:

Visit her page, the amount of work she puts into her roleplaying is amazing!
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Mijn onontbeerlijke conclusie,
elke keer opnieuw,
luidt: Ik snap er niets van, zal er ook nooit iets van snappen, en ben er volstrekt incapabel in.

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AngelsWillFallFirst
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:iconyonnji:
Yonnji Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fave ^^
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:iconangelswillfallfirst:
AngelsWillFallFirst Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Not a problem, it made me smile.
And Shana is always a good thing ^^
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:iconjohnpeacekeeper:
JohnPeacekeeper Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Professional Writer
Sup, just wondering why you never posted your stuff on Fanfiction.net ^^'
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:iconangelswillfallfirst:
AngelsWillFallFirst Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer

Several reasons really.

To name a few:

1. I am my own worst critic, so I rarely deem work good enough for the outside world.

2. The fan fiction that I write is a co-production, so I would never post it anywhere without talking it through first.

3. From what I have heard fanfiction.net is not really active anymore.

4. My fanfiction focuses on a single anime series, and since there are several fan groups of that anime on DA, I figured that keeping it on DA would make it easier to find an audience willing to read.

So, a plethora of reasons :)

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:iconjohnpeacekeeper:
JohnPeacekeeper Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Professional Writer
In all honesty though, Itadaki no Hecate is my Tier 3 training ground for my dream of being a world-class author. As soon as I'm done with the series, I'm going to publish an original story of mine on fictionpress, and hope it gets turned into a novel itself.

So I'd say I take my work seriously enough. Thus, I'd really appreciate your critiques and, yes, criticism even ^^

And I can return the exchange.
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:iconjohnpeacekeeper:
JohnPeacekeeper Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Professional Writer
Well, my Shakugan no Shana fanfics get quite a number of reviews and views every time they're updated--especially Itadaki no Hecate--but when I put anything up here I don't even get a quarter of either. I'd say FF.net is pretty much alive in comparison ^^'

Then again though... I already have some reputation from a few years ago...

Hmm... since you take your work seriously too, want to critique (not criticize, there's a difference which I'm sure you're aware of) each other so we can both improve and attract more attention from readers?
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:iconangelswillfallfirst:
AngelsWillFallFirst Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I am always open for people's opinions and feedback.
As for returning the same favor, the least I could do is read your work and voice my thoughts.
Just be aware that I am not really used to both writing and critiquing fanfiction.
As such, some things I write might frustrate you due to certain glaring flaws, and in the same way some of my opinions might seem a little unfair or harsh.
So I can only promise to give it a try and be honest if you decide that after this long post my thoughts are still welcome :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconflame-haze--shana:
Flame-Haze--Shana Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013
Happy birthday...Malahite the Cross!;)
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:iconangelswillfallfirst:
AngelsWillFallFirst Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much tiny Shana-chan!
Want to eat something with me tonight?
You can bring the pet torch if you want, I will make sure he won't end up on the menu.
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