My power is to control blood, and I inherited it from my mom. Presuming that her power is blood is not that baffling, considering that her hair and eyes are red as blood. But since it is such a rare power, it would be a far-fetched guess. On paper, she is considered powerless, just like me.
Around 20% of the population has no powers at all. A powerless individual could potentially be born in a family where both the parents have powers since you are not guaranteed to inherit one.
You can only inherit a single power from either one of your parents.
Then there is also the concept of “light” and “dark” powers. In the beginning, there was only light and dark. But as centuries passed, new abilities diverged from the original, thus creating new ones. Powers originating from “light" are admired, and those coming from “dark” are looked down upon.
The dark powers are generally much more uncommon since they are associated with villains. There has never been a hero with dark powers. Another reason why they are uncommon is the fact that “heroes” hunt people with dark powers down and kill them just for having them.
And the worst part is that the system allows them to. Killing people with a negative count or even a dark power doesn’t result in a point reduction - on the contrary, you earn points for it.
It just so happens that the power of blood is dark. It feels like my destiny has already been set in stone - to live a quiet life and to never reveal my power to anyone, or I will end up dead.
The fact that I could die is why I cannot fully trust my best friend. Haru has taken the side of the heroes and is aiming towards joining the VSF. If he finds out I have a dark power - I might be in serious trouble. He will have to choose between friendship and points, and I’m not sure whichever he will pick. Especially considering his power is one of the original ones - namely light.
Not even my dad nor my sister knows about us having powers.
My mom interrupts my thought by waving her hand in front of my face.
“You were looking quite lost in thought.” She says in a calculating manner.
“I was just thinking about how messed up the world is…” She nods her head in response.
“Mom. Could you please tell me what happened to grandma and grandpa?” My mom has barely ever touched the subject, especially around the other members of my family. All I know about them is that they are dead.
“Well, I think you might be ready to hear their story, but only if you manage to beat me in a round of kendo.” She says while smirking.
“Mooom…” I groan. “Fine.” I say while clenching my teeth.
My mother is on an entirely different degree than I. Her cold precision and meticulous movements could be defined as other-worldly. I'm unsure whether or not I will ever stand a chance of beating her once she gets serious.
I thrust myself forward and aim my shinai towards her upper body. She gracefully parries it with both hands, and our blades meet. She stares into my face.
“Use your power…!” She suddenly exclaims.
I throw my bamboo blade to the side. I take out a needle that I always keep underneath my bōgu armor. I puncture my index finger and try to direct all of my attention towards it. I can feel my blood surging inside my body. I let it exit through my finger and shape the blood like a katana.
Whenever my blood blade hits someone, it turns solid. But whenever I reshape it, it's liquid. So far, I’ve only used my powers on myself. And I don’t know whether using it on others will have any effect at all.
One dangerous aspect regarding my power is drawing too much blood at once. If I empty my body of it, I will die almost instantly. I have to regulate the amount that I let out of my body. To not over-exert my body, I never let more than half out at the same time. But I can stop the bleeding of all my wounds.
“Very good.” Mom then says. She only told me recently about my power, around two years ago. She didn’t want me draining myself to death when I wasn’t ready to control my power. She also didn’t want me spilling the beans to my classmates.
“Try shaping it into something different.” She then demands.
I try to visualize a hammer. Slowly my blood shapes into a large hammer.
“Isn’t this power useful for renovating at home? The blood is basically solid and, I can transform it into different tools.” I say jokingly.
“Great idea! Why don’t we show the rest of our family that party trick?” She says while grinning.
“Show the rest of the family what?” I hear my sister’s ”charming” voice ask as her steps draw closer.
I quickly revert my blood to its original place of residence, aka my body.
“Zeya has learned a new magic trick, haven’t you sweetie?” My mom gives me a “good luck” face. Miya rolls her eyes.
“Well, I want to show that I can still be magical, even though I am a powerless individual." I say quietly. Miya’s face says more than enough. I can almost read the words “keep on dreaming” on her lips.
“I just wanted to let you know that dad is home and that dinner is ready.” She says as she turns and heads inside the house.
“We’ll be there in a minute.” Mom shouts behind her while cupping her hands like a megaphone. She then turns to face me and locks her eyes into mine intensely.
“Listen, Zeya. I know you will choose a path in life that you deem necessary. No matter what happens, I’ll always be proud of you because you are my daughter. I've also messed up a few times in life, and that's natural. And thank you for a great fight. You truly are a worthy opponent.” She says as she bows over-dramatically. I laugh in response.
“Thanks, mom.” I say as I hug her.
“But what about the story about grandma and grandpa?” I say as I try to look as disappointed as possible.
“I’ll tell you some other time. I promise.” She says while taking off her bōgu.
We close up the dojo for the day and head inside our house through the back door. Dad has seemingly made curry since the air has been engulfed by the scent of it.
“Thank you for taking charge of dinner this evening.” My mom says as she approaches him by the kitchen aisle. She ruffles his blue hair slightly and gives him a peck on the cheek.
“Of course, darling. You’ve been in charge for the past couple of days, so now it was my turn.” He says while plating the food.
“True, but you’ve been overwhelmed at work. So I didn’t want to burden you.” My mom says.
“You are never burdening me. The same goes for you, Zeya.” He says as he looks over at me.
“Let’s dig in before it gets cold!” Dad then says as he carries the plates to the dinner table. Miya isn’t here yet. Dad hugs me.
“How was your day?” He asks.
“Same old, same old.” I say shortly.
My stepdad is the chief of the local police department and in control of the VSF as they are a part of the police force.
He is around the same age as my mother, in his early 40s. He has blue hair and blue eyes, just like his daughter. Somehow, he always seems to be smiling. Although he isn’t my real father, he still treats me like his own.
We discuss what our days were like and politics during our dinner.
Dad tried his best to make a cozy setting in the room. He lit up some candles on the table, on a shelf, and the windowsill. He even plays calm music on low volume in the background.
We finish our meal before Miya arrives. She enters the kitchen around an hour after the rest of us finished. She blames some friend who currently is having some “boyfriend emergency”.
I exit the kitchen, trying to avoid whatever is about to break out in there since my parents didn’t look very pleased with her behavior.
I walk up the stairs to my room, almost slipping once. The steps are namely smaller than the average.
I enter my room and see that Haru has messaged me several times. He thanked me for the intense fight and that he will make sure to win the next time. I write “you can always try” in response, followed by an evil-looking emoji.
I pull out the notes Haru gave me earlier today from my bag and place them on my desk. I wonder when he had the time to print a copy. I sit down on my office chair and begin studying, which I never really do. The notes are about history, a subject which I despise.
After studying for what seems like an eternity, it’s been getting rather dark outside. The watch on my wall says it’s currently 10:47 PM. I put on my pajamas and brush my teeth. A text reading +5 points for studying enters my vision. I practically never study, so I didn’t know you can acquire points from it.
I go to bed and turn all the lights off. I fall asleep before I know it.
Another tedious school day passed by. Nothing interesting happened. The girls from the day before, Akiko, and her gang actually managed to stay away from me.
I’m currently practicing with the kendo club in the school dojo. Apparently, Haru had to go to the VSF office for some trainee business. I practice in silence with the rest of the club and spar with one of its members. I had the upper hand the entire time and win.
I take off my bōgu once we round up for the day. I grab my belongings and wave goodbye to a few of the members who are left. Most of them ignore me.
I walk out from the school grounds and head home in silence. I don’t know what Miya is up to, and frankly, I don’t care.
I walk down my usual pathway. I start by walking down Main Street, then head down one of the alleyways. Then I walk across one of the intersecting streets.
That’s until I hear a crash up ahead. I stop in my tracks and decide that I should not let my curiosity get the best of me.
It could be some serial killer for all I know. Or just a kitten. Or someone in need. I sigh.
I try to walk as quietly as I possibly can as I approach the source of the sound. I can hear a few pissed-off voices but not make out any of the words. Maybe someone just fell off their bike.
I reach the street where the noise came from, and I peek over the fence that's blocking my view.
Three men in their middle-ages surround an elderly man. He is leaning on the fence.
“We told you not to try anything funny.” One of the men surrounding the elder says.
“Why are you so concerned, young man?” The older man asks them carefully.
“I don’t want any outsiders interfering with my business.” The man in front of the elder says. I’m assuming he is the leader of the group since he does most of the talking.
“And what is your business? You never stated what you want from me.” The older man says.
“Isn’t it obvious, old man? They say knowledge comes with age, but it doesn’t seem to be true…” The leader says mockingly.
I clench my fists. What are they about to do to this poor man? What did he do to deserve it…? He doesn’t seem very hostile.
“Since my memory has been rather hazy lately, would you mind clarifying for this old man?” The elder then asks.
The leader seemingly lost his temper as he grabs the man by his collar. I struggle to hold myself back.
“I hate people like you, old man. They just don’t know when to shut it.” The leader then says.
“People like me?” The elder then says.
“You’re a villain, aren’t you, old man?” He then shouts in his face.
How can this poor man be a villain? Whatever made his count go negative?
That’s when I realize that the clothes the men are wearing are from the VSF.
They are actually here to kill him!