Chapter 1:



A warmth grows in my chest. The butterflies in my stomach churn, the beating of my heart grows louder. The pressure I feel in my head makes me dizzy, but in spite of it all, I feel at peace.Bookmark here

I've finally found it. The flames in my heart grow stronger as I look on. A crowd gathers around me, but I hardly take notice.Bookmark here

The man talking to me is smiling, waiting for my response. I try to reply, but the shock gets to me. Everything seems a bit out of focus, as if I were in a dream. I try to pinch myself, but of course my hands won't cooperate.Bookmark here

Pride is something people always have too much of. So when people do their best to belittle me, I realize it's their own existence they are trying to avoid. Still, anything repeated to you consistently will inevitably be thought as truth. But you must realize it is a false truth. They merely slander that which they do not understand. Machines that cannot think beyond themselves. Only daemons guide their actions. Bookmark here

I've tried my hardest to make this world a better place. It was my life's goal, to improve the world for the future generations. To help people live better, more enriched lives. It seemed my intentions were lost. Now I'm finally being rewarded for my efforts. Perhaps it's fine to let it all go and engage in a little self-indulgence.Bookmark here

Soon, this will all be over. For others, it will have merely been a few moments in an otherwise monotonous day. But these minutes may well be the most important in my life. I wonder if I will ever feel this alive again. Everyone should know a feeling like this.Bookmark here

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The sunny sky begins to darken, and rain clouds fall. A drizzle casts upon the land, with lofty winds glistening the air.Bookmark here

Nonetheless, processions have gone smoothly. People around me are laughing, cheering. All beholden to the site in front of them.Bookmark here

It's not a large group, but enough to attract interest of outsiders. Many continue to walk by, as though it's nothing unusual, and they would be correct. There is nothing unique about this situation. Still, for some of us, it tugs at our heart strings and causes us to briefly consider our own standing.Bookmark here

A man walks up and says the necessary ceremonial words. He's done this many times before. The smile on his face betrays his experience. Indeed, you need a special kind of person for this job.Bookmark here

"If anyone has any objections, speak now or forever hold your peace."Bookmark here

The penultimate phrase. The crowd is quiet. Of course, this is all within tradition. No one would dare object, nor would they have the power to do so. Bookmark here

Finally, turning to the woman, he says:Bookmark here

"Any last words?"Bookmark here

She remains quiet. And shortly after, burns in a slow flame. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.