The history of Velare Ambrosi and his group, the Conductors, would begin 22 years prior. Velare would honor his sister’s last wish and see the world for her. She had given her whole life, her very soul to this wish, and he would see it fulfilled.
He had already seen most of Italy, so he decided to start his journey elsewhere. Velare had been in Paris for a few days and seen all the major sights already, so he decided to simply wander until his pilot called him back.
The side streets and alleys were nice, and his gift allowed him to avoid criminals lurking in the shadows. Eventually, he found a small bar seemingly tucked away from the world, and made his way inside.
Dearest Conductor Arashi.
I have intercepted the Maestro’s little package and added something of my own.
Dive into their history if you want. Even with two souls, limitless sight, and a perfect fighting instinct, you cannot be in two places at once.
Reality or History. The choice is yours, but only for so long.
He has failed. They all have failed. You too will fail.
I will let you continue to play like the Child you are.
So long as you all continue to amuse me.
But I will not wait forever.
I’m coming to finish the enemies of the world.
The world itself will burn black with its mistake.
Yui. I’ve taken steps to ensure this letter reaches you in the event that I do not survive this blind spot. You are the only living remnant of my life’s work, and conveniently enough, the living vessel for my sister’s fragmented soul. If my work is to continue, it will be through you. Of course, I do not expect this of you. My methods have been dubious at best, and have left you distrustful of me, as well as our name. As sinister as you see us, and as soulless as the world saw us, our goal was quite noble.
We formed over twenty years ago, not long after Cecilia met her fate. I found the Vitruoso at a small bar in Paris. We compared our situations, and decided that lamenting our losses was not going to accomplish anything. We began researching our demonic, feline enemy, and it led us to Japan. There, we met up with the man who would later become the Chairman, and our group began to make progress. Naota was a brilliant man, and he seemingly had access to all the resources we would ever need.
Of course, we made more than just magical enemies. Even with our combined efforts, the three of us were not enough to combat the large numbers that the various mobs we stole from would throw at us. An old friend of mine from once happier times had followed me. What he lacked in a great mind, the Troubadour made up in instinct. I’ve never in my time met someone so mad as Nebbia, nor someone so loyal.
The four of us became unstoppable, or so we thought. We’d only begun to move forward with our goal when we encountered the Muse. At first, we assumed she was an ally, but we found out only too late what her motives truly were.
The Muse was a dangerous Puella Magi. We are unsure just what she wished for to attain such power, but before we could find out, she made her move. The Conductors were shattered, yet we survived. I had assumed we could continue on, but I underestimated Her power. Though we all physically survived her wrath, the toll it took on our unity was too much to overcome. Naota left the group, Walpurgisnacht took Renè, and Nebbia wanders in his world of dreams.
I took the only course of action left to me. My work must survive, and the rest of our history is yours as well. I cannot see what today will bring me, nor can I see what will come once the curtain closes. But I can guess. Since Cecilia has drawn herself to you, I have given up using her power. I’ve once again, though possibly too late, started relying on my own intuition.
Yui, if my guess is correct, you’ve already adopted a title for yourself. You’re also resigned to correcting the mistakes I have made with our group. While I no longer doubt your ability, I must warn you that it is not merely my arrogance you’re to overcome. The Muse lives, and I fear her power is much more than you can bear.
But I will give you what you’ve deserved for many years now. I will leave my fate in your hands, as well as the fate of our fallen. My apology has come in the form of trust in you, as well as giving you the vengeance your soul truly craves.
As Maestro of the Conductors, I formally recognise you as one of us and accept you in our ranks. Whatever it is your plan entails, I wish it well.
Maestro Velare Ambrosi.
Yui closed her eyes, opening them to her own once more. She reached into her pocket as she stepped forward, pulling something out and concealing it in her palm. She thrust her fist into the morning air, and a light began to form within it. “I’ll make everything right again. Cecilia… you first.”
As Yui spoke, the watch in her pocket began to glow, and a stream of blue light flowed from the watch and into the light in Yui’s hand. Then, the same stream began to flow from Velare’s blue lens, then from several other directions before finally from within Yui’s chest. Yui groaned with the effort, but held the object tight as the lights congregated to that spot. Eventually, the lights faded, and the object glowed faintly in Yui’s hand as she lowered it. “Cecilia… you okay?” She opened her hand, looking at the sky-blue Soul Gem in her hand.
After a moment, Yui smiled in relief. “It worked. …You’re okay.” She looked back up at Velare with a serious expression. “You still doubt us, don’t you?”
Velare could only watch in shock as his sister’s soul reunited. “How… how did… what did you do? How did you gain such power?”
Yui smirked. “How did you? How ‘bout René, or Naota? Who taught Nebbia to run around people’s dreams?” She watched him stare in silence for a moment before she went on. “I guess you took her sight for granted. You assumed you knew everything, Maestro.” She stepped forward again. “You assumed nothing could go wrong. That you could hide in the shadows while everything went your way. But I’m different. I know that even with everything she lets me see, and with all that I know, that the only way to get anything done is to do it myself. But I have help now. I’ve learned to let my pride go, and accept help whenever I need it.”
As she spoke, Cecilia’s Soul Gem began to glow in a radiant light, which flowed from the Gem and into Yui’s body. The light grew brighter around her, blocking her from Velare’s sight for a few moments before it suddenly faded.
Standing before him now was not the punk girl in the old combat outfit she once wore, but a regal, majestic woman. Though they looked identical, Velare could tell the difference between them, even without Cecilia’s sight.
Cecilia’s outfit resembled that of a seer; a long, hooded, sky-blue robe covered her completely, except her hands and her face below the eyes. On her left wrist was a sky-blue bracelet, and in her right was a silver staff lined with an intricate pattern of what looked like sapphire ribbon. She gazed fiercely into Velare’s eyes, though he could not see them burning under her hood. She lunged quickly, her staff finding its mark. “I’m sorry, Velare. But this is where your story ends… and hers begins.”
Velare felt the staff pierce his chest, and as she pulled it out, he fell to the ground. “Your story… had better be… the most… exquisite… s-symphony.” With his last ounce of energy, Velare closed his eyes.
Yui slowly made her way to the stone steps that once led to Velare’s concert hall. She noticed the shadowy silhouette that she recognized instantly. Just as she’d seen, he was already there. “Didn’t think you’d show. We’ve been playin’ this cat and mouse game since you gave me that watch.”
Velare turned around, his glasses shimmering in the light of the rising sun, one lens glowing bright blue. “You now stand at the site that once held my crowning achievement. This place used to be the cornerstone of the entire neighborhood. Noble men and women from all over would come to the place for exquisite entertainment that made others beneath them only dream of what could be. But mixed with the operas and orchestras of old, I had fashioned a band that brought those nobles down to the level of the common, and without them suspecting a thing. The Band had only one performance, yet it was enough to shake them all to their foundations.” Velare smirked as the ‘get-on-with-it’ look spread across Yui’s face, and he continued. “This meager achievement pales in comparison as to what the Conductors have done.”
“Though…”, his smile faded as he spoke more seriously, “I must say, just as I brought the upper echelons of Mitakihara to their knees, so equally shaken was my foundation when my visions had grown beyond my abilities. I was ruled by arrogance, and the lives of my companions were shattered a second time. We had all lost something. That fact is what united us. But once we let ambition drive us blindly, we had all lost again. So I did not make the decision to give you Cecilia’s power, Yui. She did. My sister’s sight extends far beyond what she allows either of us to see.”
Yui folded her arms. “Mind games and long-winded stories won’t work this time, Maestro. Sis an’ I are closer than you think. I know she doesn’t show me everything. I just trust her to show me enough. She’s been more of a guide to me these last few weeks than you have in the years I was naive enough to stay under you.”
“Very good. My second loss came when you slipped away from me. I knew then that I had let my ambition drive me once more, and I had failed you as a mentor. And she was right, even then, when she told me she wanted to guide you herself. Of course, I’ve finally learned from my mistakes, and a backup plan is already in place. Curious, though, how many of my blindspots can you see?”
“Blindspots?” Immediately, Cecilia interrupted. ‘Yui… I hid two things from Velare. One of which I am hiding from you, and the other you’ve hidden from yourself.’ “…So today, and something else, am I right?”
Both Velare and Cecilia answered at once. “Yes.”
Yui scoffed. “I guess what I don’t know won’t hurt me. And today… I ain’t gonna sink to your level. I don’t need a crystal ball or a seer to know I can beat you now. We’re gonna finish this. Then…” Yui smirked. “I’m gonna undo all the shit you’ve screwed up. I’ll bring all the tiny little shards of all their lives together and make ‘em whole again.”
Velare’s eyes widened behind his lenses. “Such an ambitious goal… is it possible that you’ve found a way to make it a reality?”
Yui’s eyes flashed blue as she stepped forward. “I believe we can, no matter how long it takes.”
The group practiced for hours. They stumbled at first, but eventually found a solid groove. At the first break, Moriko found her way to the site with Natsuko’s help. The band had never felt so solid and unified, and it seemed like they could do anything. They were ready.
Before they knew it, the sun was beginning to set on the cement paradise, and the band wrapped up with their almost signature improvised jam.
“About twenty years ago, this lot used to be a thriving concert hall. A young entrepreneur built the place as a memorial to a loved one. To make it a success, he prayed on an angel. He said, “Let me make a shrine worthy of her, and I’ll return the favor.” The angel agreed, and the Memoria Concert Hall was the cornerstone of this part of Mitakihara. But… the young man never kept his promise, so the angel burnt the place to the ground. Only the ashes remain.”
Yui plugged the amps into the generators nearest the foundation, then plugged her bass into the nearest amp.
“It’s only a legend, but there’s still some energy to this place, yeah? If we’re gonna be on the map… we gotta deal with it. We gotta be the best, and to do that we gotta practice on the most intense stage I can imagine. You ready, guys? The whole universe is comin’ for us. …So let it burn.”
“Another dream?” wonders the young man, floating in the middle of a lifeless universe.
“Yes, and also no. But I’m using power that I shouldn’t, just to exist here. Just enough to barely maintain myself” says an unknown woman, her image fuzzy and blurred out as she stands in the center of another universe.
Her universe, however, wasn’t lifeless, but full of the most horrendous distortions of an insane mind.
Yet, her universe looked kind.
“I have found you.” says Eiji. For him, it is impossible to not recognize her voice. He didn’t seem to care about the bizarre creatures around that woman either.
“I know. The fated time draws near. And that’s what I fear.” says the woman with a shaking voice.
“You do not understand anything, Eiji. But this is what was written, after all.”
“Isn’t that why I’m going after you? The conditions have been set four years ago. When they defeated the storm.” Eiji folds his arms, standing majestically in the center of his universe.
She sighs, as what looks like a smile forms in the corner of her mouth.
“Your spirit is still too kind, Eiji. You do not need their help to come after me and you know that. But still……”
“Still… it is vital for them to come with you”, she was going say, but those words died in her thoughts.
“Still…. you still don’t understand anything, Eiji.”, her voice becomes firm and determined.
“Don’t merely watch. Don’t merely see. Think. Read. You’ll die if you don’t do so.”
“I merely seek the truth.” says Eiji, coldness could be felt in his voice.
“I know. And I want you to find it. Before you find me. Do you remember the book, I wrote for you?”
“Of course. I was a child, but even I could understand how much talent you had. Talent that has been destroyed, seventeen years ago, on that day.”
“Find that book, Eiji. Maybe if you read it again, you’ll understand.”, she ignores his commentary.
“….If you say so. I’ll read that book again. Even if it is just a children’s fable.”
“I’m weaver of this story. This ‘talent’ has been put to good use. Even if against my will. But no one is reading it right now.”
“There’s not much time left. The bet made seventeen years…. No. The bet made thirty seven years ago will finally be resolved.”, her universe begins to disappear, along with her presence.
“Wait! What be-“, his words are interrupted as a large quake severs the boundary between their universes.
“Next time we meet, I hope you have found an answer. Any answer will do.”, her voice fades to a whisper, “Even if my naive, with a poor choice of words, wish just sealed your destiny, I don’t regret it. I still wish for your happiness.”
Her fading persona concentrates enough for a small glimpse of her right eye, crimson red in color.
“Love you, Eiji.”
And the universe collapses.