Chapter 272: First Step
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The most decorated warship.

The one dubbed as the "Grey Ghost".

She shone brightly the most during a historical period. She defended her homeland and prevented the advance of her enemies. Simply put, she is one of the most recognized battleships in this era.

After having summoned forth once more as a KANSEN, her specifications went through the roof, cementing her title as the "strongest" KANSEN present. She spearheaded the Azur Lane, a unified front against beings called Sirens, and victoriously ended their invasion.

However, she has been wrought with concern. Now that the factor that made them united was gone, what would happen? Her memories of the war are nothing short of unpleasant. Having to experience it during a peaceful era is the least that she asked for.

Even the Commander was concerned with this issue. Her leader who efficiently led them through each battlefield... and was the one who knew their personalities the most.

Yet, why does she feel a sense of familiarity within those eyes?

"Don't mind my words." The person said. "Do not lose hope. It is the most important thing someone could hold onto."

The robed man has an air of vicissitude. The man's voice neither leans to a male nor female, creating a confusing sensation.

"I will be here to provide assistance."

The robed person took out a strange object. It looks like an unused Wisdom Cube, the core item that sustained each KANSENs' existence in the real world.



The cube shook, golden light engulfing it wholly. It emerged from the light with its features changed. Now possessing a golden glow, the wisdom cube spun. Straight lines came from two of its edges, forming an odd sight. The lines became incomprehensible equations.


A thunder sundered forth in the robed person's hand. Soon, it turned into an anti-materiel rifle. It bore the same appearance as a Denel NTW-20. 

Denel NTW-20 - Wikipedia

Its stock was placed into the robed person's upper torso. The person took a straight gait and pointed the gun upwards—to the skies.

"This shall be the first one."


As soon as the shot was fired, it made shockwaves through the air as it broke through the speed of sound. Cracks began splintering into the ground, a portion of the naval base disturbed by loud combustion.

The bullet gained momentum. It disappeared further into the clouds.

As a KANSEN, Enterprise was barely affected by it. Even so, she was caught off guard. She could not focus her vision on the bullet and paid attention to the mysterious person in front of her.

The said being lowered his anti-materiel rifle to the ground. Its stock made a hitting noise to the cracked concrete.

"It went like that..."

He looked at the sky, to the unknown everyone could not fathom. Unbeknownst to everyone present, the sole monitoring Leviathan was turned into dust the moment the bullet reached it.

"I am not an enemy." He let out a soft murmur, seemingly predicting her next words. Albeit, it could have been directed to another entity.

"You... Who are you?"

"It's... complicated."

The man wore a complex smile under the hood. His deep amber eyes conveyed everything that he ever wanted to speak of.

"...You can call me Shiki."

Leaving that statement, he vanished out of thin air. No warnings were given out whatsoever; he had just vanished as if he was not here in the first place.

"Had they drawn out their swords?"

The woman who arrived here materialized her sword, which is about 1.5 meters long. Many decorative embellishments surrounded it, making it look more like a decorative sword than anything.

"It is nothing to be wary of, Miss Warspite."

"Could you elaborate further?"

At first, Warspite, one of the ships belonging to the HMS Navy, thought that an enemy attacked their base with artillery. To be able to land an attack, they had to go through dozens of radars, an anti-missile defense system, and a shield that protected Azur Lane.

"Someone is here just now... A robed person fired a rifle which created those aftershocks."

After Enterprise finished explaining, Warspite was left with more questions. Aside from the fact that only KANSENs could do this, how could someone sneak inside this tightly-defended base?

"Shiki... We needn't waste our time. It is better to ask them."

Her gaze was directed to the portion of the base that housed another influential faction—the IJN.


'What was that—'

A shining star.

There were not any descriptions that better suited that sight. Its act of leaving its timeline and putting down a leviathan was witnessed first-hand by the forces fighting against them—Ashes.

"Who is it?"





These four factions were the ones fighting in this nearly-destroyed world. The first one seeks to find an answer through the infinite timelines while the second one prevents their endeavors. 

Meanwhile, Leviathans serve as the main enemies of the three factions. It came from a ruined world that sought to pull its world to damnation.

Lastly, the Ashes. They are the KANSENs of the ruined original timeline. After surviving their timeline's destruction, they were given by Anzeel the responsibility to set everything right. They seek the key that she spoke of.

During one of their expeditions, Ash, Ember, and Hiryuu META encountered a wandering leviathan within the "sea" of time. They planned of dispatching it, but it died upon contacting an unknown projectile.

"There's nothing within the perimeter."

Receiving Ember's confirmation, the two withdrew the string of their bows.

Steam Workshop::Ember (azur lane)

Within this vast pitch of darkness, only they existed. The mass of water beneath their feet represented the ever-flowing time. No source of light was present, leaving them with their light sources configured before this mission.

"It came from nowhere. There was not any point of origin whatsoever!" Hiryuu META commented.

Hiryuu META Challenges You In Azur Lane's First Ashes Showdown

"That is not the problem. How could something reach this place easily?"

To travel within the confines of this dimension, superior technology has to be attained. It is through the efforts of several geniuses, starting with Doctor Anzeel, that their gear was made.

"One thing's sure. It's not those guys at least!"

Hiryuu META pertained to the two other factions that worked parallel to them. Their blades had met on some occasions, making them no-so-friendly with each other.

Suddenly, a static voice resounded in their ears.


A series of intangible voices came from their surroundings. The two KANSENs instinctively readied their weapons and pointed at what their intuition had told them.

"...Stop. That is nothing but leftovers."

The final KANSEN finally spoke.


"To be more precise, these are remnant information held by someone. They are not here physically."

The KANSEN continued to walk on water undisturbed.

"It came from that attack." Ember commented.

The star crossed time itself and landed in front of them. Surprisingly, it carried some remnant data from its origin.

"...Its origin..."

A woman's grey pupils glanced at the place where it took place.

Enterprise META / Code G / Ash : r/AzureLane

"Why does it remind me of something..?"