Azami’s Post-Daze Odyssey
a Honkai Impact 3 x Kagerou Project fanfiction by The Overlord Bear
Summary: Azami finds herself in her original world, not her home world, upon leaving the Heat-Haze Daze. Three wandering Kaslanas cleaning up after the Otto-Serpent War help her go home.
Once, there was a girl who turned herself in to Schicksal. With red lines and red eyes on her pale face and black snakes with eyes just as red in her hair, she called herself the Herrscher of Ouroboros, though she never spawned zombies and Honkai beasts somehow, nor could she remember the exact time and place of her awakening. All she remembered was that she spent a centuries-long life of hiding from humanity to protect them from herself and her breakdowns, and that she had a male lover who persistently stuck by her side until her own powers turned against her again and killed him.
But some time after she was taken in by Schicksal, she found the organization more dangerous than she thought. It had become too dangerous for her thanks to its members’ intent to send her into battle, and while she understood how her vast array of powers could be useful, those powers were born out of her emotions. She didn’t consider herself the best at controlling them, nor did she want to imagine living like a robot, so the next thing she did was run away again.
Somewhere along the way, she had a breakdown, and then she woke up in another world. She forgot about her history again, but she still lived a painful life. Humanity hated her, the only exceptions who cared were endangered by her, and she hid away in pain for humanity’s sake. At that point, she had long refused to call herself a human anymore.
But then her grandchild and her friends, who had gained pieces of her powers, brought Azami hope. They sealed the demonic voice within her powers, and they managed to blend into human society better than she and her Tsukihiko and Shion ever did.
“So that’s your story…” said a scruffy and white-haired man sitting on an inn bed across her position by the room’s television. He was no Tsukihiko, though. In fact, he was Siegfried Kaslana, and that helped Azami remember how she lived during Kallen’s last days.
“We’re not going to get her, uhm…sucksors, though?” asked a little and white-haired girl with a pair of long braids associated with Kaslana women especially. Her physical similarities to Siegfried helped in proving her to be his daughter Kiana, who was also the daughter of the late Cecilia Schariac. And speaking of descendants, Azami was quite surprised by the fact that the Kaslana bloodline was still going despite Kallen’s shadow over their legacy.
“It’s ‘successors,’ Kiana,” corrected a taller young woman who looked like an older Kiana, only this one had a golden eye along with a blue eye. Azami could sense Herrscher power from her, and the young woman admitted that fact with the fact that she was a clone of the little Kiana accompanying them. This clone went by the name “Rinsy,” and unlike what her and the original’s appearance showed, she was younger than the real Kiana, who had been in cryostasis in a top secret Schicksal lab until some time after that weirdo Otto Apocalypse’s death and Kallen clone Theresa Apocalypse’s takeover.
These three wandering Kaslanas happened to find a short-haired Azami crawling out of an alley after the latter tried to create and use a teleportation power to leave the Heat-Haze Daze. With the Herrscher of Ouroboros having given away almost all of the fragments of her power to Shion and the loved ones of Mary’s friends, combined with the debilitating difficulty in interuniversal travel, Azami had found herself sent outside the bubble universe that she accidentally teleported into centuries ago.
“If it would not be a bother,” Azami replied to Kiana’s question, “Then I would like to ask you to not pursue my successors.”
“We’re not planning to, Miss Azami,” Siegfried reassured with a human palm and a metal palm raised in front of him and towards the aforementioned woman. “Besides, you can only go as far as sensing Honkai energy and teleporting around now.”
Azami couldn’t help sneering at that utilitarian statement. “I really hope you and your allies are as reformed as you claim now, Kaslana.”
“Dad, stop reminding her about her powers,” Rinsy rebuked.
“Yeah!” Kiana echoed her clone.
“Ah, sorry…” Siegfried then let out an awkward laugh, scratching the back of his head with a sheepish smile as he looked down and away. “Still…” he went back to a serious expression, “What about you, Miss Azami?”
“What do you mean?” the Herrscher of Ouroboros tilted her head.
“I mean, what are you going to do now?” the Kaslana man asked with more detail. “You’re back in your original world, you’re hanging onto us, and you might need more training before you can comfortably head back to your home world, where all those people you saved are probably wondering about where you are.”
An awkward silence came upon the room at that.
“Oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that before?” Rinsy broke the silence.
“So that means that Miss Azami hurt her loved ones because of her stupid again?” Kiana then just had to ask.
With that realization, Azami groaned to the side. “I’d throttle you if I could,” she even grumbled, though she wasn’t sure about whom she wanted to aim that statement at.
“You want to go along with us, then, Miss Azami?” Siegfried suddenly asked.
“Bold of you to ask such a question after a rude one, Kaslana,” Azami glared.
Rinsy then bopped the back of her father’s and sister’s heads before going on her knees. “Kneel and apologize with me!”
Much to Azami’s surprise and amusement, the trio did a synchronized bow with a strong “We apologize, Miss Azami!”
At that, Azami came to a smiling decision.
“We shall stay for one month in this town, then,” she told the trio, “And you three shall be my gofers.”
“Hey, dinner’s ready, old hag!”
“I hope you refrained from using a Divine Key to make those fried loaves again,” Azami quipped as she continued reading a book about her original world’s mythology.
“That was just one time!” Siegfried corrected from the doorway to Azami’s room, but then he looked up. “I think?”
“Well, at least you have some cooking skill, unlike the other Kaslanas I’ve known,” the little woman sighed.
“Damn right, I do!” the scruffy man threw a thumbs-up. “Bring ’em in, girls!”
And as expected, their dinner was Siegfried’s special burnt pizza toast.
“Can’t end a day without these!” Rinsy declared before wolfing two loaves down.
“But we’ll hit Dad if this is our only meal, of course!” Kiana added as she took a bite of her meal.
“More fruits and vegetables,” Azami noted. “Legends should be told and written about you now, strange Kaslana.”
“Kaslana cooking’s really that bad, Granny?” Rinsy asked.
“Yeah, really?” Kiana echoed.
“Trust this woman who had lived during the days of your ancestors, children,” the Herrscher of Ouroboros nodded.
“Man, you remind me of Fu Hua…” Rinsy giggled. “You should meet sometime, Granny!”
“I have heard of that woman also known as the Celestial or somesuch…” Azami scrunched her face up as she shuffled through her foggy memories.
“Yeah, maybe she was in your time too…” Rinsy looked down in thought.
“Who’s Fu Hua?” Kiana could only wonder in confusion.
“Hey, don’t think too much, old lady!” Siegfried grinned, only to bite on his hand. “Ow!”
The pizza toast that Siegfried intended to eat was already in Azami’s hands when that happened. Siegfried’s daughters laughed at that as well.
“What’s wrong, Granny?” Rinsy asked as they walked down the roads of the rural town they were in.
Feeling the heat of the summer, Azami took a deep breath. Then she spoke again.
“Being able to walk free like this…Like a normal human being…During a summer day.”
“Sounds like a poem!” Rinsy beamed and clapped, only to get flicked on the nose. “Ow!”
“Do not take my deep emotions lightly, child,” Azami crossed her arms for a while, only to release them again with another deep breath. “I have never become as free as this before. If only Tsukihiko, Shion, Mary, and all their friends and loved ones were here with me…”
Then the shoulders of the Herrscher of Ouroboros felt the Herrscher of the Void’s caring hands, the latter’s figure bent over to accommodate their height difference. Azami decided to help Rinsy there by having them sit on the side of the road. The passing people didn’t seem to mind them much, anyway.
“I wish my friends and other loved ones were here too,” Rinsy expressed as she massaged Azami’s shoulders. “But we have work to do and a dad and a sister to catch up with. Plus, I think I need some distance from Schicksal for now, even if they’re all friendly now.”
“Trauma…” Azami tried to summarize. “Otto Apocalypse and Kevin Kaslana sure were a handful, to say the least, no?”
“It’s not just them, though,” the Kiana clone further explained. “To be honest, I…I don’t think I’ve told Dad much about this, but…I guess I’m still bitter about my friends and Aunt Theresa and Miss Himeko. It’s unfair, of course, after all the good they did for me, but…”
“You wish that they could have done better?”
“Something like that, probably. Aunt Theresa isn’t as dumb as Dad and I. Miss Himeko almost died. Mei…Mei betrayed us. And…it was my fault too…I guess…”
The smaller woman felt the bigger one tremble and cry. Azami allowed Kiana to squeeze her tighter.
And then the short-haired woman felt tears coming out her own eyes as well. She had just tried to imagine doing the same for her own daughter, and…
“But we still miss them,” Azami stated. “I hated them along with myself for being so weak, yet I still long for their loving presences…”
“Yeah…” Kiana said with a nod that Azami felt. “Yeah…”
Somehow, they felt even more relieved as the passing people didn’t mind them so much.
“Can you really practice teleporting between dimensions, Miss Azami?”
Little Kiana suddenly asked that question as they read a comic book that Siegfried recommended. They had just watched someone with teleportation skills winning a fight.
“I mean,” Kiana continued, “You were crawling like one of those really hurt guys when Dad and Rinsy and I found you after you tried that. And you don’t know how to control it, right? What if you tried that again and didn’t find someone like us?”
Azami considered that a good line of questioning. “I fear such things as well,” the older woman answered with closed eyes. “But the true goodness in life is never obtained without pain. It sounds trite, but interesting things are not always upright.”
“So you’re going back to that bubble universe, then?” the young one asked, and the old one could hear a tinge of sadness there.
“Do not crush my dream of becoming boring, child,” Azami smiled and ruffled Kiana’s hair. “I deeply wish for your happiness as well, but our paths to our respective happiness are very much different. Perhaps we can have a picture or such, at the very least?”
“I’ll learn how to teleport better than you and Rinsy one day, Miss Azami!” Kiana declared with an index finger to the ceiling, and then she went to the floor to do sit-ups.
“Why start with such exercise, though?” Azami couldn’t help grinning at the strange development.
“There’s a story! About a funny bear! That became human! Just by sit-ups!” the little girl exclaimed as she did reps. “And a man! Who can! Break! Things! With! One! Punch…”
And then Kiana’s face met the floor, breathing hard as she rolled over soon after.
At that, Azami decided to close the comic book in her hand.
“Would you like to hear more stories from me, little Kiana?” the inspired Herrscher asked.
“Of course!” the physical child answered.
“Drop by Saint Freya Academy when you finally get the hang of your powers, old hag!”
“And prepare me the best burnt pizza toast you have when I do, strange Kaslana!”
Again, her hair hissed and stretched out. Her body felt like it was being torn as it rose to the sky. Still, she felt a call towards home.
Feelings…Emotions…Why didn’t she think of that before? Maybe she ended up in her original world during that attempt to escape the Heat-Haze Daze because she still had doubts about whether or not she’d be welcomed back in what she called her ideal home. Even if that demonic voice of a snake that she had urged her to do it and took advantage, she still considered herself complicit in creating that accursed world. So for a while, she reached back into her memories again, assuming that she’d feel much more welcome in the more monstrous world she came from. She thought she deserved it, after all.
But then the pain involved in the teleportation threw her off, and her deeply buried memories made the world she was born in feel more foreign than she expected. She was just lucky that those three Kaslanas were kind enough to take care of her. And if she had to stay with them any longer, then she would have to wander some more, and she had enough of that already.
“I shall return to my home now!” Azami, the Herrscher of Ouroboros, declared. “This, I have decided!”
“Have a safe trip, Granny!” Rinsy encouraged.
“We’re going to be safe, Miss Azami!” Kiana reassured.
And the medusa vanished with a wide grin and bright flash.
Azami slowly opened her heavy eyes. As the blurriness cleared, she saw two white-haired women with red eyes. They had her husband’s hair, and they had her eyes.
“That was…a lot less painful…than I expected…” the full medusa smiled with tears in her eyes. She also pushed herself up to lean better on the tree she sat by.
And then she saw a colorful crowd behind her daughter and granddaughter.
“Another wonderful story shall be told, then,” Azami said after a deep breath. “I have returned home.”
The hugs and tears that followed were enough of a welcome to her, too.
Author’s Note: As an alternative to thinking too much about costume swaps between Mai Nakahara’s characters (Seele swapping with Ayano), between Kana Asumi’s and Kana Hanazawa’s characters (Bronya swapping with Takane/Ene and Mary), and between Soichiro Hoshi’s characters (Owl swapping with Seto), I ended up wanting to write about how I can seriously make an HI3 x KagePro crossover. And then I had refreshed knowledge regarding some Kaslanas, which then led to actually writing this.
Also, I’d like to admit that I really want to see a better fanartist with drawings of those costume swaps I mentioned. And those similarities those characters have are trying to send my imagination into overdrive again.