An Arcana Heart Fan Fiction
by Derald Snyder
"Yay! The beach!" cried five-year-old Eko.
The young girl, along with her 'sisters' Weiss and Scharlachrot, had come to the local beach for a day of fun and relaxation. Also accompanying them was their commander-slash-guardian, Petra Johanna Lagerkvist, along with her two servants Nora and Rosa.
"Now, now, Eko," Petra cautioned, " At least let Nora get your floaties on before you go running into the water..."
"OK!" the kindergartener agreed, holding out her arms so Nora could slide the floaties on. Meanwhile, Rosa and Weiss were busy unloading the towels, chairs, and umbrella, Scharalchrot standing impatiently to one side, already dressed in a red-rimmed black bikini.
"So, Commander," Weiss spoke to Petra, "What exactly is the objective of this mission?"
"Ugh, Sophie," Scharlachrot face-palmed, "There is no mission! We're just here to relax, for Cthulhu's sake!"
"Relax...?" Weiss blinked, as if the very concept were foreign to her.
"Scharlachrot is correct," Petra nodded, "You've been working very hard lately, so I thought you might need a day off. To put it in terms you would understand... if you keep the blade unsheathed, you will end up cutting yourself."
"Understood... I think," Weiss replied.
"C'mon, White, Red! Let's go swimming!" Eko cried as she dashed off to the water.
"H-hey, wait up, Eko!" Scharlachrot gave chase.
"Shall we change into our swimsuits, then?" Petra suggested. "Nora and Rosa can handle setting up the towels and chairs..."
"Orders received, Commander!" The albino saluted.
"Weiss..." Petra said in an admonishing tone.
"Uh... I mean, yes, Petra."
"Splashy splashy!" said Eko as she sent water flying with her hands. Suddenly, a pair of hands grabbed her, lifting her up... "Ahhh! Don' throw me, Red!"
"I'm not gonna throw you," Scharlachrot shook her head. "I'm just putting you in this little inner tube, so you can go out a little farther, alright?"
"Yay! You're the best, Red!" the five-year-old exclaimed as her sister set her in the tube. "I'm gonna be a boat now! Watch me go! voom, voom!" she mimed a boat's engine as she started paddling out to deeper water, Scharlachrot keeping an eye on her.
Meanwhile, Petra and Weiss were laying on their front sides on beach towels, while Nora and Rosa respectively applied sunscreen. Weiss was now wearing a black bikini, albeit slightly more modest then Scharalchrot's, while Petra wore a white one-piece.
"I do not understand the point of this activity, Command- erm, Petra..." Weiss caught herself.
"Just exposing ourselves to the sun, to get our skin tanned," the noblewoman replied. "Your skin could certainly use a little more color," she gestured to Weiss' pale white complexion.
"However, too much exposure can have negative side-effects," Nora spoke up.
"Which is why we are applying this sunscreen, as a precaution," Rosa added.
The Valkyria considered this for a moment. "...I still don't understand."
Petra could only sigh. "Just lie still for a few minutes... I will inform you when to turn over."
"...Very well." Weiss nodded, closing her eyes and clearing her mind. But in doing so, her senses picked up on something... an unnatural presence, trying to hide itself... Her eyes shot open as she abruptly stood to her feet. "Commander, I'm sorry, but I must disobey those orders!"
"What is it now?" Petra sighed in mild exasperation.
"...I believe we are being spied upon, by someone... or something inhuman," the former soldier lowered her voice slightly. "And as you know, my instincts have never led me wrong before..."
Petra turned her head to look Weiss in the eye, quickly realizing the albino would not be dissuaded. "So be it, Weiss. Go and conduct a search of the surrounding area... but do try to be discreet about it."
"Understood, Commander!" Weiss saluted, before turning and heading off.
"...Nora, would you mind having my weapons ready, just in case?" the noblewoman requested to her servant.
"Yes, Lady Petra! I shall retrieve your ether-pistols at once!" Nora acquiesced.
Weiss moved slowly across the beach, looking around carefully at the other people who were enjoying themselves... (I know I sensed it around here somewhere...) Closing her eyes again, she concentrated... (There!) Turning in the direction where the presence was strongest, she opened her eyes...
...seeing a tall, well-endowed woman with long white hair and dark skin laying on a beach chair, dressed in a red bikini and with a golden bangle on her right arm, as well as a pair of red-rimmed sunglasses covering her eyes, making it difficult to tell if she was asleep or not. Frowning, the Valkyria approached the woman, her shadow falling over the lady's face...
"...Do you mind?" the woman spoke up, pulling her sunglasses down, revealing red eyes not unlike Weiss' own. "I'm trying to get a tan here..."
"A lie," Weiss stated bluntly. "Your skin is already dark enough as it is... you have been spying on us, have you not?"
"And just what do you base your inane accusation on?" the older woman challenged.
"I had trouble sensing it before, but... you appear to have an usually high amount of celestial energy surrounding you," Weiss elaborated. "Almost as if... you are not of this plane."
The other woman frowned at this, sitting up straight, Weiss stepping back and taking a defensive stance. "...Even if what you say is true, what makes you think I am a threat to you?"
"Because we have battled you in the past," Petra spoke as she walked up from behind Weiss, ether pistols in hand. "Parace L'Sia, I presume?"
Weiss blinked once in confusion. "Parace L'Sia? As in, the Arcana of Life?"
The older woman just chuckled as she stood up, crossing her arms. "Well met, Petra Johanna Lagerkvist. It seems that I could mask my presence from you, but not from your loyal dog..."
"I am not Konoha," the albino stated matter-of-factly. "You will disclose your intentions to us immediately, or else force will be exercised."
"Speaking in such a manner... you must be an artificially-created maiden from the Drexler Institute," Parace observed. "But to be blunt, I am the least of your worries at this point..."
"What does that mean?" Petra pressed.
"Well," Parace smirked, "There are all sorts of dangerous creatures in the water nowadays..." As she said this her gaze shifted to look out over the water...
"Keep an eye on her, Weiss," Petra ordered as she turned to look herself, scanning the water... then just beyond the swim-area buoys, she saw it! "A shark?!"
Upon hearing that, Weiss' eyes went wide as something occurred to her. "Eko! Scharlachrot!" She swiftly turned and ran off towards the water...
And then all hell broke loose.
"GET OUTTA THE WATER!"
There was a panic as people freaked out, swimmers exiting the ocean as fast as they could, those on land running for their lives. Unfortunately, this hindered Weiss' path, as she tried to force herself upstream against a tide of fleeing humans...
Fortunately, Scharlachrot had seen the shark's fin herself. "Eko! Get back here! The shark's gonna eat you!"
"Ahhhh!" the little girl cried in fear as she tried to paddle towards land as fast as she could... but the amount of splashing she made apparently attracted the shark's attention, as the fin turned and sailed right towards her!
(She's not gonna make it!) Scharlachrot thought in panic, before getting an idea. Materializing one of her trademark chains, she lashed it out toward her sister. "Grab on! Hurry!"
Eko fumbled for a moment before grabbing hold, getting pulled literally out of her inner tube just before the shark reached it, the tube abruptly deflating and being pulled under. Eko sailed through the air and was caught by Scharlachrot, through the redhead lost her balance and fell on her butt. But then, the shark inexplicably leapt out of the water, only it's outline visible in the sun's glare, Scharlachrot turning over to shield Eko with her own body...
Only for the aquatic creature to get kicked out of the air by Weiss, who had finally gotten through the crowds. "Scharlachrot! Take Eko and run!" the albino cried as she assumed her battle-mode, her blond hair growing down to her ankles as black gauntlets appeared on her wrists.
"Don't gotta tell me twice!" The redhead replied as she righted herself and took off, sand being kicked up by her feet as she fled.
"Get that fish lady, White!" Eko yelled encouragingly.
(Fish lady...?) Weiss blinked in confusion, as the creature stood on its legs... (Wait, it has legs?!) Indeed it did, and arms for that matter. It's head had a crest that resembled the head of a hammerhead shark, but below that, it possessed an actual humanoid face, with yellow eyes and green bangs of hair framing said face. It's body was thin and lanky, and not only did it have the telltale fin on it's back, but also fins extending from it's thighs and lower legs. A pink bow tied around her tail confirmed that she was female.
"MONSTER!" screamed one of the remaining beachgoers, causing everyone remaining save Parace and the Arcana Maidens to flee.
"Wh-what is that thing?!" Petra gasped in shock.
"My latest creation," Parace expounded. "Codename: Shark Girl. Magnificent, isn't she?"
"You made that thing?!" Petra looked back at the Arcana of Life. "But I thought you were an alchemy expert, not biology..."
"Well, when you've been around as long as I have, you tend to dabble in other fields on occasion," Parace shrugged, before calling to Shark Girl, "Attack, my pet! Show no mercy!"
Standby, Angel! FIGHT!
The monster snarled, before lunging headfirst at her opponent, sharp teeth bared...
Only to get kicked in the jaw by Weiss, who summoned an obsidian-colored blade from her right gauntlet, before slashing at her adversary, Shark Girl just barely managing to spin out of the way. The creature then formed a shark's head from its arms, lashing out with a vicious bite, managing to catch Weiss' blade and break it off.
"Weiss!" Petra gasped, moving to run over and join her... only to get grabbed in a one-armed headlock.
"Now, now, you're not thinking of interfering, are you?" chuckled Parace L'Sia, who had transformed into her battle mode- her bikini had been replaced with a single strip of white cloth that barely protected her modesty, as well as an off-white cape with matching shoulder guards, white arm-gloves and thigh-high white boots, the golden bangle on her arm having moved to her left leg.
"Argh!" cried Petra as she struggled against the alchemist's grip, to no avail.
"Hang on, Sophie! I'm coming!" cried Scharlachrot as she ran back toward the battle, having handed Eko off to Nora and Rosa.
Parace swiftly released Petra before teleporting in front of the redhead. "Ah, ah, ah! I don't think so," she admonished as she summoned four gems representing the classical elements- wind, fire, water and earth.
Scharlachrot just growled in response. "Get. Out. Of. My. Way!" She summoned one of her chains, whipping it at her foe, who simply floated to one side to dodge. Parace hen retaliated by causing a small explosion from her fire gem, knocking the Valkyria back a few feet.
Meanwhile, Weiss and Shark Girl were grappling, pushing against each other with gritted teeth. The blonde then fell back, pulling her enemy down with her, then thrusting her leg into Shark Girl's stomach, flipping her onto the ground with a yelp of pain. Weiss then quickly righted herself, summoning another blade from her gauntlet. This time, Shark Girl responded by changing one arm into a swordfish's head, then swinging at Weiss, who blocked with her blade.
"Unwise choice, monster," the albino growled. "My skill with the blade is second to none!"
Meanwhile, Scharlachrot was whipping her chains here and there to try and catch Parace, only for the celestial being to teleport away every time. "Damn it, stand still!"
"Getting a little hot under the collar, are we?" Parace taunted. "Perhaps you need to cool off..." She suddenly appeared right in front of her opponent, before encasing her in a large bubble! The Valkyria freaked at suddenly finding herself unable to breathe, flailing around helplessly as she tried to escape...
But then, an energy bullet pierced the bubble, popping it and dumping a coughing Scharlachrot on the ground. Parace quickly turned as another bullet grazed her shoulder guard, seeing Petra reloading her pistols, before firing again, her opponent swiftly teleporting away, reappearing behind her and snapping her fingers, causing her gems to swirl in a circular pattern hitting Petra rapidly, causing her to stumble forward in pain. Parace then teleported back in front of Scharlachrot, blocking her path once more. This time the redhead jumped back and took a defensive stance, as her opponent intoned, "Salamander!"
The four elemental gems clustered together, before emanating a huge fiery explosion, but Scharlachrot managed to stumble away in time. Parace was then surprised by Petra coming at her from the air, hitting her with a double-footed kick that sent her reeling.
"Scharlachrot!" Petra called as she landed, "We have to work together if we're to have any hope of winning!"
"But Sophie-!" Scharlachrot protested.
"Do not worry about me!" Weiss suddenly shouted as her blade clashed with Shark Girl's. "Focus on her! I can handle this myself!"
"She's right," Parace chuckled, "You really should worry about yourself..." She then conjured several wind traps on the ground, one of which sent Scharlachrot flying into the air, while Petra managed to sidestep. The alchemist then teleported to Scharlachrot's position in the sky-
-only to have a chain whip around her throat. "What-?!"
"Got you, bitch!" Scharlachrot grinned as gravity reasserted itself, the Valkyria using the momentum to swing her chain down to the ground.
"OH SH-!" *CRASH!* A large plume of sand was sent into the air from Parace's bodily impact, while Scharlachrot made a safe three-point landing. (Oh, she's going to pay for that...) The Arcana of Life thought to herself as she teleported again...
But Petra was ready for her. "Zilrael!" she called her Arcana, the alicorn appearing in front of Parace and giving her a intense blast of holy energy!
"Damn you, Lagerkvist!" Parace L'Sia screamed as she flew away, turning her body to dodge the chains Scharlachrot sent at her, before flying upward.
"Baldur!" Scharlachrot called her own Geist, which promptly opened fire with it's anti-air guns, quite a few bullets finding their mark, forcing Parace to teleport back down to the ground. Snapping her fingers again, Scharlachrot screamed as she was caught in an upward spiral of Parace's gems, which pummeled her mercilessly...
Petra opened fire with her ether-pistols, but her target quickly warped away to a closer position, the yellow gem suddenly synthesizing a large rock to fall on her, the noblewoman barely managing to roll out of the way, only to get hit with a quadruple energy blast which left her practically unable to move!
"Any last words, Lagerkvist?" Parace chuckled as she reappeared in front of Petra, about to intone another Salamander... But then, she was unexpectedly kicked in the face by Scharlachrot, who'd managed to create an anchor point for her chain in midair, then swung down from said anchor point to deliver the attack.
"Th-thanks, Scharlachrot," Petra grunted as she recovered from her temporary paralysis.
Back with Weiss, the albino threw her head back to avoid a stabbing thrust from Shark Girl, before grabbing the swordfish head and giving the creature a good kick to the gut. Realizing her current strategy wasn't working, Shark Girl reverted her swordfish arm to normal before whipping around and hitting her opponent with her tail, sending Weiss skidding a few feet away. The monster then leapt into the air, fangs bared, but Weiss was able to roll away, resulting in Shark Girl getting nothing but a mouthful of sand. She quickly sat up and spat out dirt, growling at Weiss...
Back at the other battle, Parace L'Sia was now rapidly teleporting to avoid Petra and Scharlachrot's attacks. Apparently getting frustrated, Scharlachrot summoned Baldur again. "Fire the cannon!" she ordered, which Baldur did...
Only for Parace to simply shift to one side, smirking as the explosive round sailed by. "Missed me," she taunted.
"Wasn't aiming for you!" The alchemist's eyes went wide-
"AAAAAAAaaaaaggghhh!" Shark Girl cried in agony, as her burned and bruised body sailed in an ungraceful arc, before falling into the water with a large splash, her fin and legs briefly sticking up from the water before sinking under, leaving only bubbles behind.
Parace watched the spot where her creation had sunk for a moment, before turning back to Scharlachrot with a miffed expression. "Very clever, Valkyria. Your inherent insanity was the one unknown variable in my calculations..."
"Heh heh heh..." the redhead cackled madly. "You were so focused on us, you completely lost track of what was going on behind you! That's what you get for messing with my Sophie! AHAHAHAHA, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"It seems you have lost this battle, Parace L'Sia," Petra added with a smirk.
"I suppose so," the Arcana of Life shrugged. "But no matter. This was only a test of my creation's combat abilities, anyway. Clearly refinements have to be made..." She warped over to where Shark Girl had fallen, using her water gem to lift up her pet in a large bubble. "This is far from over, Lagerkvist. We shall meet again..." With that, she teleported away.
"Good riddance to bad rubbish," Scharlachrot muttered, before running over to Weiss. "Sophie, are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Weiss answered. "I only received very minor injuries. Though not necessary, I appreciate your assistance, Scharlachrot." Turning to Petra, she then stated, "However, we must report this incident to the other branches of the Celestial Union as soon as possible, Commander..."
"I share your sentiment, Weiss," the noblewoman agreed. "But before we head back, let us go for a quick swim to cool off first..."
"I second that!" said Scharlachrot, "Fighting in this damn heat's left me all sweaty and sandy!" Without any further do, she took off for the water, jumping and diving in.
"...I suppose you have a point," Weiss acknowledged as her gauntlets vanished and her hair returned to its shorter length. "Shall we then, Commander?"
"I wanna go too!" cried Eko as she ran up, Nora and Rosa behind her.
"Of course you can, Eko," Petra smiled at the child as she handed her pistols over to Rosa. "Let's all go together then..."
With that, the three joined Scharlachrot in the water... they had definitely earned this swim after such a hard battle.