Chapter 0:

Prologue: Smile

ColorBound Book 1: A New World of Adventure!

"Today was just not my day,” Masahiro Misfortune mumbled to himself.
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He walked along an old path, hardly ever used by anyone except him and people looking for him. Not that many did anyway.Bookmark here

He sat down at the base of the familiar tree that rested at the end of the path. He let out a long, deep sigh as he closed his tired eyes, wanting nothing more than a moment of rest.Bookmark here

A few minutes later he was met by a familiar voice.Bookmark here

“Hiya Hiro!”Bookmark here

He opened his eyes to see a girl with long white hair and pale skin. Her delicate purple eyes stared eagerly into his, hoping for any kind of response from her friend. Her name was Destiny.Bookmark here

She liked to call him Hiro. At first he didn’t care much for the nickname, but now it was the only name he wanted to be called.Bookmark here

“Oh, hey Destiny,” he said. “I didn’t notice you sneaking up on me.”Bookmark here

“You never do,” she replied as she sat down next to him. “We should work on your passive perception.”Bookmark here

“My passive perception is fine! It’s just that my eyes were closed so I didn’t see you coming.”Bookmark here

“You should be able to smell me then,” she said while tapping her nose. Then she pointed to her ears, “Or hear me coming. Even when you let your guard down you should still be aware. You never know what could happen.”Bookmark here

“What could happen?” he sarcastically asked.Bookmark here

“A villain could surprise attack you out of nowhere! You’d be completely helpless because by the time you realized someone was near it’d be too late!”Bookmark here

“Ah, so there are villains now, too,” Hiro deadpanned. “Perhaps I’ve already met one, that Oliver has always seemed suspicious. I wonder what evil plans he’s cooking up as we speak…”Bookmark here

“Oliver’s not a villain, he’s a lancer,” Destiny replied. “And you need to take this more seriously. A hero’s passive perception should be great enough to sense any danger that may come.”Bookmark here

“A hero’s passive perception, huh?” he said. “How would you even train that? The moment you put focus into it it becomes active perception.”
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“You’ll figure it out,” she said confidently. “Otherwise, how are you gonna become the greatest hero ever, Hiro?”Bookmark here

Hiro looked downwards towards the grass as he started to run his hand along the blades. Destiny noticed his frown.Bookmark here

“What’s wrong Hiro?” she asked.Bookmark here

“It’s nothing,” he said, attempting to dismiss her concern.Bookmark here

“I can tell you’re lying you know,” Destiny said as she puffed out her cheeks, “It’s really no use saying nothing’s wrong when you have such a downcast look on your face.Bookmark here

“Does it have anything to do with that fight you got into at school today?” she asked.Bookmark here

“How did you know that?” Hiro asked. “I know you weren’t there…”Bookmark here

“Stop avoiding the question, Hiro,” she replied. “You’re only gonna make this take longer…”Bookmark here

“Fine… I guess it might have something to do with that…”Bookmark here

“What else might it have something to do with?”Bookmark here

“I dunno… the existential despair that surrounds us as the pointlessness of reality sinks in crushing all hope beneath it’s never relenting waves like an ocean of anguish and torment.”Bookmark here

“Since you can make jokes like that I guess it’s not bothering you all that much.”Bookmark here

“Eh. I still feel pretty bummed out right now.”Bookmark here

“Then smile through it!”Bookmark here

“Smile through it?” he asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah!” she said. “Smiles are contagious. They give people hope, even when there’s none to be found. And if you smile when you’re feeling down, then you’ll start filling up with joy. Happiness is fleeting but joy is a choice, so make a choice and have joy, make the choice to smile!”Bookmark here

“Make the choice to smile…”Bookmark here

“Big toothy grins are the best way to spread joy!” She said while giving a presentation. “And if you can’t manage that then just simile with your mouth closed!”Bookmark here

Hiro smiled, with his mouth closed.Bookmark here

“I did say a big toothy grin was the best way but we can work on that later.”Bookmark here

“You know, it’s a nice speech and all about how smiles give other people joy, but what about when I’m the only one smiling?”Bookmark here

“Then you can be happy when you see my smile.”Bookmark here

Hiro broke eye contact and turned his head away to hide the blush forming on his checks. He wanted to change the topic of the conversation but couldn’t think of anything.Bookmark here

He looked up towards the sky and noticed it was getting dark.Bookmark here

“We should probably start heading back to the orphanage,” Hiro said.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” Destiny agreed, deciding not to call out his embarrassment for now.Bookmark here

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Masahiro Misfortune later found himself awake again, but was it early in the morning, or late at night?Bookmark here

He got out of his bottom bunk and looked through the window up at the sky, it was dawn.Bookmark here

Dawn… he thought. I’ve always loved the dawn. If I ever have a daughter I’m gonna name her Dawn.Bookmark here

He looked around, the room was completely still, mostly because everyone else was asleep.Bookmark here

“I’m going back to bed,” he said to himself as he crawled back into his bunk.Bookmark here

For some reason, as he closed his eyes, he started to see what seemed like a flash of bright light. It was almost as though someone had turned the lights on.Bookmark here

Rude, he thought. Can’t even be considerate enough to leave the lights off.Bookmark here

He turned over in bed and did his best to ignore the light as he tried to get some sleep.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.