Chapter 1:

Chapter 1: Plague Child

Plague Children

1520 B.N.E. Essen-Sei'OBookmark here

Kingdom of Sei'OBookmark here

As he lay there weeping under the downpour of rain, the world around him seemed to ignore his existence. That wasn't true... it was more like they avoided his existence. To them, he was a mere roach that had no business before the visage of man.Bookmark here

The child had been molded by countless unwarranted hate, disgust, and isolation. It was all he knew. This was the reality for many of his kind, plague children. These children served as reminders of a gruesome past.Bookmark here

They were the remnants of a horrible plague that swept through the country and horrified the entire world.Bookmark here

At a time when the country was at its peak, flourishing with wealth and growing influence, the plague came down like a storm. Indiscriminately, it wreaked havoc throughout the country. The ill suffered a tremendous loss of health.Bookmark here

Barrel-chested men who once lead the might of the country's entire military regiment were reduced to a helpless and frail state, teetering between the lines of life and death with every move they made.Bookmark here

Many of the women and children could also be found slowly deteriorating. In the end, victims were reduced to a vegetative state. Eventually, they became solid stone statues, Petrified with their dying expressions still on their faces.Bookmark here

Children born of the ill who lived long enough to give birth often came out with gray skin. Though the plague was a deadly and terrible fate, being born a plague child was perhaps an even worse fate- for the plague could never compete against human cruelty.Bookmark here

In truth, those born of the plagued were entirely healthy. They possessed the effects of the plague; ashen skin, light red eyes, and very dense heavy weight- as if their entire bone structure was made of stone. Their skin were thick and hard to pierce. Nonetheless, they bled and died like everyone else.Bookmark here

Unlike the rumors, they possessed no ability to transmit the disease. Even now, 15 years after the plague had been stamped out, the hatred and fear that these children might bring forth the plague yet again still lingered throughout the country. Like few others of his kind, Ora had been lucky to survive this long. Age 14.Bookmark here

Having gone through the harshness of human ignorance, the young boy was toughened beyond that of normal humans. Yet still, he did weep. This was due to the loss of his teacher just 24 hours prior, and the loss of his comrades. He often had lost many friends, plague, and non-plagued alike.Bookmark here

But this was the only one that affected him so. The teacher was much different from your average man. She held a wisdom to her decades beyond her era. She was perhaps the only person in the entire nation that treated him and all the other plague children like normal children.Bookmark here

Having swept into their lives just 5 years ago, she had changed many of them from what would have been vile thugs and murderers, to honest children that knew their disadvantage against the world.Bookmark here

They learned to be smart. To earn what they can, and for the first time, she had given them dreams. She told them of different countries they could one day travel to- one where they had no need to fear others. Many times the children would come and listen, daydreaming of a better life. What was once impossible, was attainable thanks to her. Her kindness was unmatched.Bookmark here

That later became her downfall.Bookmark here

As various memories of their interactions swept through his mind, he couldn't hold back the uncontrollable sobbing. His back quivered with his face hidden behind his knees. None of the other plague children knew, but with her death, marked the end of their hopeful dreams.Bookmark here

He had completely backed out and forgotten the world and for the first time in 30 minutes, he looked up from his crouching position. There, standing before him was a tall man, towering over everyone he had ever seen. 6'6? 6'7? No, he has to be at least 7ft! Believing him to be a threat, he grew defensive for a split second, then realized he had no reason to be.Bookmark here

The man before him was dressed in tattered robes. His ashen black hair was scraggly and his eyes showed signs of fatigue that had not gone away in years. He wasn't sure how long he had been standing there, but when they made eye contact, there were several seconds of silence. Not a single motion occurred as the world around them continued to move. This meeting..unbeknownst to Ora, was going to change the fate of the entire world.Bookmark here

Then he spoke, a very calming yet deep voice. His speech held the elegance of the upper class despite appearing like a bum. "Young child..why do you weep?" He lowered himself, crouching so that they stood eye level.Bookmark here

Anger welled up inside Ora. He hated these kinds of people the most. The "well-mannered" pampered high class that seemed to think they were the best at everything. The man's tone reminded him too much of that.Bookmark here

"Leave me alon-." He said coldly. The man's very presence was a nuisance to him. But before he could finish the sentence, the man interruptedBookmark here

"Could it be that you've lost someone close to you? " Ora remained silent.Bookmark here

"You have the eyes of a mourner. Was she killed?" He sat right next to Ora. "I understand. My actions had once lead me to lose everything. I went from inheriting the world, to inheriting dust."Bookmark here

Ora looked at the man before him. He didn't appear to be of this country at all. His facial features were much different. "Do you plan on getting revenge?" He asked.Bookmark here

Ora thought about it. He wanted to remain silent but finally decided to answer. "No...I just want to change this world." He replied. Bookmark here

The guy laughed hard before standing up. It kinda pissed Ora off for just a second until he was reassured. The man was not laughing at him "No..I think that's a fine goal to pursue." He looked down at the ground drawing a small symbol of the world. "But now I gotta question...How do you intend to do that?" Ora blankly stared at the man. He had never once planned or thought about how he was going to change the world.Bookmark here

In truth, he always expected that he could change for the world. Was that not what his teacher taught him? Move to a new country, gain acceptance amongst others, show everyone you aren't a threat. These were all teachings he often listened to...but they were never something he had seen work.Bookmark here

In fact, that's exactly what everyone had been trying to do. They constantly tried to change themselves to alleviate the fears of society. It worked, to an extent. But not enough to change anything.Bookmark here

"I don't...I don't know. I just will." He looked at the vagabond. "I will change everything. With every method possible until it works" He nodded with a stern look on his face and further elaborated. "I've heard many different methods to change the world. I haven't seen a single one work. So I'll keep trying until one works."Bookmark here

The conviction in those words was certainly not false. Naive, but not false.Bookmark here

The vagabond laughed until tears escaped from his eyes. "I see. I tried wrongly." By now, Ora was ready to fight the guy and unleash all his emotions upon him. The anger, the sadness, the hatred. He was indeed going to change the world, and it would start with this dumb fuck.Bookmark here

His fists clenched and before he could turn to the vagabond, the man had already stood up. In his hand, he held a dark black color, darker than the darkest shade of black. He dropped the jewel onto Ora's hand. "I've tried very hard to do one single method."Bookmark here

By now, tears flowed down the sides of his face. "Perhaps you will have better luck than I. You, who have had nothing. You who clings onto nothing. You, who holds very little desire for possessions....perhaps you'll do it." He dropped the gem and it landed perfectly onto Ora's hand.Bookmark here

He observed the jewel hard, the gem gave him the feeling of staring into an abyss. Its jet black color absorbed all the light around it, yet had such an auspicious glow of wasn't like anything he had seen before. "Um... Sir. What is th-" he stopped short upon realizing that he was talking to no one.Bookmark here

Like a ghost, the man had already disappeared into thin air.Bookmark here

He looked back at his hand, only to realize the jewel had also disappeared. No..that wasn't right. It had burrowed itself into his palm. Only half of its visage remained visible. Ora's heart raced and he began panicking instantly.Bookmark here

I'm going to die....I'm gonna die... I shouldn't have held it.Bookmark here

Those were the thoughts running through his mind as he screamed, trying desperately to remove the item from his palm. Despite his panic and screams, the crowd of people around him continued to ignore his existence.Bookmark here

He dug at his palm until his nails chipped off and his fingertips were bloodied. The thought that an unknown creature had burrowed a hole into his palm continued to run through his mind. Until a sudden shocking jolt traversed through his body. Searing hot pain shot up from his right arm, starting from the gem placement itself, to his legs, lungs, heart, stomach, and head.Bookmark here

He could feel every moment of it and for a good minute, he had thought that he died. All thought ceased to exist. He was unaware of his own consciousness, the world around him, the winds caressing his skin, and the scenery before him. All he knew in his mind was pain. Pain deeper than the darkest depths of the ocean.Bookmark here

After a minute of just staring upwards into the sky, he began to regain sentience. Tears flowed from his eyes and he screamed loudly, clutching at his head and curling into a ball.Bookmark here

The screams were so loud, even the crowd of people bustling through the streets that were ignoring him all stopped to look. Tears just flowed continuously as he sobbed uncontrollably.Bookmark here

The type of pain he experienced could not be put into words. He remained like that for a couple hours until nightfall. When he finally passed out again.Bookmark here

When he woke up, all that pain he experienced and the horrors he had seen while his mind-numbingly scried through generations of history, no longer affected him.Bookmark here

Finally, he was completely calm. Unlike just moments before his heart was at ease, and as he looked at his hands there was only one thing he could sense from them. Power.Bookmark here

He finally understood what it was he had. He was definitely wielding a relic.Bookmark here

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