Chapter 1:

Valentine's day

No Hero: Chronicles of a Nameless Misfit

I woke up abruptly drenched in a cold sweat. I thought I became blind for a second as I could see only darkness. Something was covering my eyes, my hands moved to get rid of the object, and the smell of ink brought me back to reality. The light novel I was reading last night stuck to my face while sleeping. For some reason, I had forgotten I spent several hours reading and eventually collapsed on my bed. Taking the volume off, I realized it was one of the fantasy novels I was re-reading for god knows how many times. It was one of the many ones where the protagonist is sent to another world to fight evil. I had awoken from a dream like that just moments ago

“That was a rollercoaster of events” I swear I could still feel the afterpain in my body “Dreams can be too realistic at times”

Getting off the bed my feet stumbled in a bunch of books and comics on the floor, left there during the binge-reading I did before passing out. A bunch of different art styles and colorful titles could be seen in the mass, there were some of my favorites and some new ones I just bought to read something new every once in a while. Around 50 volumes were scattered next to the bed.

I don't want to clean this mess up... 

While still in my pajamas I browsed through the volumes while putting them back in the cabinet in order of series. I had recently bought one just to store my volumes which couldn't fit in my bookcase anymore. Most of my monthly money went into entertainment of sorts and watching my collection I often asked myself if that wasn't a waste.

After a few minutes, I was done and was looking at my cabinet with unbreakable pride. Considering it for a bit I finally convinced myself that it was money well spent. The only volume remaining was the one still on my bedsheets, open on the last page I read. I stood there mulling over what to do and decided to shove it in my schoolbag so I could continue my fantasy journey during my free time. Inside the bag, I could see a red package, probably a gift for someone. My head hurt trying to think. I had slept too little that night, just standing was difficult already

Oh, right. I have school today. Why didn't my alarm set off?

I searched the whole room for my phone only to find out that I had put it away with the other books I cleaned up. I tapped the black screen twice with my finger and it lit upon an image of me and a girl at an amusement park. The photo made me happy even though I wasn't exactly sure who the girl with me was. We both wore a jolly expression but our eyes were covered by the time. Several stickers decorated the rest of the picture in a way that I never thought was possible to do.

Am I forgetting something important?

The clock told me that it was 8:10  and I had only twenty minutes to get to school. Under the time a notification popped, I had 5 unread messages from a certain “Haru”. This was the only conversation I had in my history and the only number registered in my contacts, under "Mom" and "The other one". I tapped the notifications opening the chat with Haru

[February 13th 22:31] It was awesome today!

[22:32] It would be nice if we could hang out tomorrow as well don’t you think?

[22:34] R̴̨̡͍̫̩̰͔͓̲̭̽̄̈́̍́̄͘ē̷̢̡͍͓̗͊͑͂̚̕̚i̸̩̘͙̗̜̤̟̻̊͆̓̂͛͑̀̍̂͝, are you still there?

[22:40] Whatever, Goodnight <3

[February 14th 8:05] I’m waiting for you

For some reason, one of the words got corrupted but from the rest of the messages, I understood that I was gonna be in trouble very soon. 

Better get moving.

I rushed to the bathroom to take a quick shower, to save time I also brushed my teeth and practiced easy excuses to avoid talking about the unread messages Haru sent me. As soon as I dried myself I put on my summer uniform and took random school books to fill my school bag. After saying goodbye to my fellow room, which shared with me countless priceless emotions, I got to the kitchen and grabbed the lunch box on the table. Just to eat something I took a stale slice of toast my parents probably left in the kitchen.

“Bye Mom! I’m going” I shouted while putting my shoes on.

Right I forgot, my parents are almost never home. 

They are so focused on working that they leave their only son alone for months and on the miraculous occasions when they are back home they still treat me like nothing while they keep on working. Work, work, work, just work. How can you be happy living like this? Easy, you can’t.

I bet they wouldn't even care if I disappeared.

I had cooked the lunchbox myself and the toast was from the day before. I wasn't a good cook but it was a way to avoid spending money in the cafeteria since books had the priority. Praying random Gods to avoid getting food poisoning I gulped down my not-so breakfast and opened the door.

The light of the morning flashed me for a second, my room had been in complete darkness when I woke up and still hadn’t adapted to the light of the sun. While using my arm as a visor I joined the lonely girl waiting in the street. She was browsing her phone while using her schoolbag as a pillow, laid on the asfalt. She looked good in the summer uniform. Well, to be honest, she looked good even in the other uniform. She looked good in everything she wore. My eyes focused on the girl leaving me standing like a fool in the middle of the road.

Her Hazel eyes were glued to the screen, hair of the same color was shining under the sun, and was let down, straight. It was one of the few times where I saw her like that. I told her she was cuter with her hair down instead of the normal ponytail she used to wear.

I'm glad she's my girlfriend.

I remembered as those words formed in my thoughts. Haru and I have been dating for almost half a year after I decided to confess on our school trip to an amusement park. I complimented her hair as a way to break the ice and from that moment she changed her hairstyle. I did the right thing.

While fantasizing about how good of a person I was, I noticed Haru had raised her head from her phone and was now looking me dead in the eye with an angry expression. Unsatisfied with that greeting, she pouted.

“G-Good Morning Haru” I offered a hand to help her get up.

Still being angry she brushed some dust off her skirt, put her phone away, and took her school bag from the cement.

Damn. She is cute. I would high-five myself if I were alone.

“Good morning R̴̨̡͍̫̩̰͔͓̲̭̽̄̈́̍́̄͘ē̷̢̡͍͓̗͊͑͂̚̕̚i̸̩̘͙̗̜̤̟̻̊͆̓̂͛͑̀̍̂͝ “ a loud whistle deafened my ears before she could finish talking.

I checked my ears to see if there was something wrong. It must have been one of those random whistles caused by the high amount of caffeine I consumed daily. Bad sleeping habits and a lot of energy drinks weren't good for my body. I had to stop...maybe.

Haru walked towards me, and I could smell her perfume. It was a light peach flavor, the one I had gifted her for her birthday. My heart skipped a beat while her face came closer and closer to mine. 

“Your tie is loosened as always” she knotted my tie, which I wore around my neck as a fancy scarf in the rush.

“T-Thank you Haru”

“Let’s go, we’re already late. I hope the teachers will not be angry” the way she looked at me was to put the blame on her boyfriend.

She was good at building guilt inside others. It was a weird kink but I somehow liked it. At that moment I felt like I could die happily.

“Why are you ignoring me all of a sudden?” she kept walking while avoiding eye contact with me. "I sent you some texts after the date but you never responded. Are you seeing someone else behind my back?"

“Ah sorry about that, I...ehm…My phone was dead” nailed it. An unbreakable excuse.

“Knowing you, you collapsed while binge-reading novels again” she hit the mark. 

Maybe the fact that she was quick and intelligent is one of the many reasons I fell for her.

“Yeah, sorry about that”

“So? Do you want to hang out today or not? You know it’s a special day” her bag bounced behind her back. That pose melted my heart.

Was it a special day? I checked my phone again while hiding from Haru’s judging glare. February 14th, today was Valentine’s Day. The gift in my bag had to be for her. How many other things could i forget?

“Of course! I heard they opened a new cafè in town, we could spend some time there” nice recover.

Haru finally looked at me again with the biggest smile I had ever seen. She jumped at my neck while giggling and when she noticed I couldn’t breathe she let go.

"I knew you were thinking of something" Haru stick close to my arm.

We were now walking like a couple, hand in hand, avoiding eye contact again because we were both embarrassed. The street was strangely empty. It was usual, even at that time of the day, to be walking with other kids that went to our school. The houses on the way felt like they had been abandoned for ages. Even if it was mid-summer the air was cold. Us holding hands was way more important.

We had done the same thing before after we had watched a movie. Even though we were dating already it felt different walking together like this. We’d known each other since we were little. Our fathers were friends in university and continued the friendship even years later. I almost got to the point of considering Haru’s father as also mine. He was there when my parents were working, he listened to all my troubles and he had been also the one that encouraged me to tell her daughter how I felt.

That man is a saint, oh Heavens please give him a constellation when his time comes.

The sky seemed to lag for a second. Yes, just like in video games. The clouds moved too quickly only to go back to their place after a few seconds. The sky switched color to a darker one as the scenery changed. It all turned back to normal. When I tried asking Haru if she had seen the same thing I noticed we were already in front of the school gates.

“How did we get here so fast? The walk is more than 10 minutes” I checked my phone once again. [8:28]

“You dozed off again, you always complain of how some plots in novels are repetitive when the repetitive one is you” Haru laughed adorably while mocking me.

“I would like to say that I feel betrayed but you’re completely right” my routine had been basically the same every day, only by hanging out with Haru I got to know how many more things you could do outside the protection of your room.

There was a period of my life where I was bored to death, every day was the same and I had nothing else to do than lay in my bed and read everything that I had in my house. When doing the same thing over and over I felt my consciousness fade. If I had to list my biggest fears the first one would be boredom, followed by Haru and clowns.

“Ouch” Haru had jabbed me from the back “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I felt like you were thinking something bad about me”


We walked through the entrance. We weren't holding hands anymore just to avoid raising unwanted attention. Haru was popular for being intelligent and even quite the beauty. She had to reject many boys before I took my step forward.

I got to my locker while seeing Haru off to her class with the promise of waiting for each other after school at the gates, for our date. She greeted some of her friends and disappeared into the crowd.

“I guess I should book a table at the cafè for this afternoon” I took out my phone to search the place on the internet. It was a small place near the center of the city. I heard one of my classmates talk about it and decided to give it a try.

“Did you perhaps rent a Girlfriend to spend time with you on Valentine’s day R̴̨̡͍̫̩̰͔͓̲̭̽̄̈́̍́̄͘ē̷̢̡͍͓̗͊͑͂̚̕̚i̸̩̘͙̗̜̤̟̻̊͆̓̂͛͑̀̍̂͝?” my ears ringed once more "Every time I think you have reached the bottom of being lame, I always get surprised by how lower you can go"

A hand slapped my phone and grabbed it with force. As I turned around, four guys were going up the stairs behind me, looking at the site I pulled up just a moment ago. They were some of my classmates. The clichè kind you see in many stories that bully everyone around them to compensate for the loneliness in their hearts or just because they are bored. The ones that bully the protagonist and then get their ass kicked in the first or second chapter, only to then come back with more people and get beaten up again. They were bullies, and I sure wasn’t the protagonist of this story.

“This place looks like a couple’s nest. Should we check it out?” said Man 1

“It will be crowded during Valentine’s, we could try to hit on rejected girls” Man 2 was already drooling at the thought of the other sex.

“It’s just lame. Leave him to his weird fantasies, I bet he thinks some miracle might happen, like the ones in the stupid things he reads” Ah...boss Momo joined the mockery.

I only knew his name because we were in the same class sometime around Middle School. He got everyone to call him Momo because his name was hard to take seriously. The other three were just his henchmen he moved around when he was busy. His parents were filthy rich and that was enough to make him act like the spoiled brat that he was. They tried many times to ruin my day but I cared so little that they lost interest, considering bullying me “boring”. Proof was they didn’t even know I was dating Haru.

“Can I have my phone back now?”

Momo clicked his tongue and threw the phone back in my hands. I thanked with a sophisticated bow and kept on walking towards my class. The fact that we were going the same way was uncomfortable. I finally got to sit at my desk when the whole class turned silent.

I took out the novel I had prepared before and began reading from where I had left.

“Aaah, this shouldn’t be happening!! Not now at least” a female voice came from the ceiling. I looked at my classmates to find out if they heard it too, but even Momo was left unfazed. They were pulling a prank on me. I just had to ignore it.

Could this had been caused by my lack of sleep? I should go to the infirmary, auditory hallucinations are never a good sign. 

I closed the volume as I stood from my desk to leave. The sky out the window glitched. Yes, again. Every cloud disappeared as if erased and the sky turned orange all of a sudden. I found myself standing alone in my classroom.

“What is happening here?” the clock red 16:00 “It’s afternoon already? But I just got to class”

I should sleep more.

A loud knocking came from my class door, I took my bag and headed for the exit, opening the sliding door.

“Jeez, you could have told me that you were still in your class! You know I waited half an hour under the sun for you??” Haru was looking at me with both her hands on her hips. I was in trouble.

“Are you sure you’re okay? You felt a little absent during lunch” she placed the back of her hand on my forehead trying to measure my temperature.

We had lunch together...I feel like I was there, but at the same time, I wasn’t.

“Do you want to call today off? We can go on our date when you feel better”

“No, no I'm okay. Today is a special day, we have to go out” a little smile reappeared on Haru’s face as we walked out of the class. 

“I want to eat something really really cold” Haru always liked ice-creams and parfaits

"Do you already know what you wa..." my words cut short.

I found myself seated at a table with an enormous glass filled with white ice cream in front of me. Some of it was melting and dripped from the cup onto the table. I looked around myself, we were at the cafè I talked to Haru about this morning. A lot of couples had the same idea as me and the place was almost filled to the brim. Another skip…

“No, no, no, why is he so fast! This should take a lot more time. I feel like I'm going to cry.” the same voice I heard in the classroom came again from the ceiling.

“Did you hear that?” I tried asking Haru.

“Hear what?” she was immersed in looking at a golden necklace placed in her hands. Beside her, a small red package was left open. It was my gift for her. She was extremely happy. I leaned forward and put her necklace on. A small golden charm was hanging from the golden chain. A cherry blossom. That moment felt like rewatching a memory. I had the feeling of dejà-vu that something would have happened in a few seconds. 

And there it was.

The bell attached to the cafè’s entrance rang. Momo and his crew entered the place talking as loud as they could just to disturb. Everyone looked at them knowing that the peace of the place had just died. If it wasn't for the fact that I knew them, one could mistake them for the typical band of small criminals you see around town.

Momo and I crossed eyes and he gave me a smirk. With his elbow, he caught the attention of his friends and began walking towards me. He was now standing in front of our table.

“I felt something was off when you were planning a date and decided to check on you. But look at this! Here, with none other than Haru Sato. Why is the princess of the school passing time with a cockroach like you?” Haru was indeed the princess at our high school, she always had top marks in every exam and ranked first in the secret boy rankings for best girl in the school.

“Do you mind if we...No, of course, you don’t” Momo smoothly took a seat at our table with his friends, stealing chairs from a nearby vacant board.

Haru and I found ourselves sandwiched between these uninvited guests. My date had just been ruined and I was slightly pissed. Momo could have the looks and body of a hot guy but most girls avoided him because of his character. I was sure Haru felt uncomfortable in that situation.

“What do you want Momo” damn, I got angry.

“Who gave you permission to use my name” He stood up just to get face to face with me "Do I have to remember you where you stand?"

Seeing him this close made me realize that he was uglier than I thought. 

During my “Boring era” I tried countless things to relieve myself of boredom and one of them was training in martial arts. I gave up after a month or two but one of the things I learnt there was that someone wasn’t used to fighting if he offered his face this close to someone. I wasn’t confident in my strength but if Haru found herself in some danger of any kind I wouldn’t have thought twice about jumping in and throwing hands around.

“Well I’ll let this slide just because you introduced me to such a beauty” as always he found me boring and directed his attention to Haru “Why do you date someone like him when I’m around?” Momo opened his arms and began laughing with his friends.

“R̴̨̡͍̫̩̰͔͓̲̭̽̄̈́̍́̄͘ē̷̢̡͍͓̗͊͑͂̚̕̚i̸̩̘͙̗̜̤̟̻̊͆̓̂͛͑̀̍̂͝ is way better and definitely hotter than you” what a nice and spot-on compliment.

“We both know that it is not like that, hun”

"Don't call me like that. You have nothing to do with me"

Momo reached in his jacket, my muscles tensed up. In his hands a pile of cash was rolled in a cylinder, held together with an elastic band. He took the band off and began counting the money profusely licking his thumbs at every bill he placed on the table.

“How much do you want to let me in on a ride? Everything has a price” Oh no. The lion has awoken.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” Haru stood up and threw the remaining ice cream on Momo’s head. She took her bag. “R̴̨̡͍̫̩̰͔͓̲̭̽̄̈́̍́̄͘ē̷̢̡͍͓̗͊͑͂̚̕̚i̸̩̘͙̗̜̤̟̻̊͆̓̂͛͑̀̍̂͝ let’s go”

"It was a damn joke!" Momo got up covered in melted deliciousness as she left the place.

I followed her out of the cafè like an obedient dog.

“Ah Gods, please give me more time!” the voice from above was definitely crying now "Why do all these things happen to me"

"Those jerks, ruining my Valentine's with my boyfriend" Haru held my hand and was pulling me in the sidewalk. 

"I'm sorry, they stole my phone this morning" Haru stopped in front of me.

"You don't have to excuse yourself! It's their fault if they have a smooth brain. Now let's forget about that and find another place to continue our date"

"We could go to..."

I was now in a dark alley. Someone was blocking my arms from behind. In front of me, Haru was held down by two of Momo’s friends while he was sitting on a trash bin. 

How did we get here? 

A sudden flashback reminded me that, while walking home from the arcade we decided to go to, Haru and I got pushed in this alley and were ambushed by Momo and his crew. They had been tailing us since we left the cafè.

I tried to break free, the one friend holding me must have been the strongest, my arms didn’t budge no matter how hard I pulled. I had to wait for an opening.

“Ah, girls am I right?” Momo had just finished a speech that I didn’t hear. “You know, Haru, this was one of my favorite jackets. My father gifted this to me when we went abroad together for the first time, and now it’s ruined. I won't ask you for money since I’m a good samaritan but I’m sure we could find another way to repay me”

"I'm not giving you anything"

"Don't worry, I'll save you trouble and take it on my own"

His hand reached for Haru’s bow and began untying it. Haru knew what he was trying to do and kicked him in the ankle before he had a chance to lay hand on her chest. Momo let out a loud upset cry of pain before slapping Haru in the face.

“I was nice till now, but you, you dare hit me? Do you not know who I am?” Momo ordered the guys on Haru to bind her legs as well and tried again to get his hands close to Haru’s bosom. She started moving trying to avoid Momo but her body was too weak to even budge the ones holding her.

I had to do something. The guy that was holding me was looking at the scene before his eyes in awe. I took advantage of his distraction to headbutt him under the chin. The guy coughed and fell down unconscious bringing me with him. Lifting up his arms from my body I finally broke free. I took one of the glass bottles sitting there in the trash near me and threw it with pinpoint accuracy at one of the guys that were holding Haru. The glass smashed in pieces, giving Haru the opportunity and time to free herself as well as run behind me. Her blouse was unbuttoned halfway through. Haru was visibly shaken.

“Look at the Hero showing his ace! Did you learn these moves in mangas?” Momo laughed looking at his friend's forehead cut by some small glass shards. Then the two guys left charged at me, given their sizes, it was like two bulls in a rodeo.

“Thank God I took those classes”

I evaded the bulls while pushing Haru to the side. Punched the first guy directly in the face as soon as he turned to hit me. My hand hurt from the impact of my first ever fist. The guy stood still for a second before fainting. It was now the turn of the guy I hit with the bottle. 

Using the same strategy I aimed for his nose hitting his face with a rapid fist. Unlike his two friends, he didn’t get knocked out in one hit. He started to punch me with a series of heavy fists that I tried to block with my arms. For my first fight, I was holding off pretty well. When Bottle guy was done with his volley and was trying to catch a breath, Haru jumped out of cover and kicked him between his legs. A loud thud noise caused pain to me as well.

Bottle guy screamed while holding between his legs and kneeled down in pain calling for his mommy.

Momo, seeing his friends on the ground, took a fighting stance. I heard that he had practiced boxing for a couple of years and was the one that beat every kid in high school who didn’t lower his gaze in front of him. He began approaching.

Just when he entered my range I decided to try the coolest move I had learned during martial arts. I took a little step then raised my right leg and spun. During the kick, I felt something hard on my heel and later found out it was Momo’s head when I saw him falling on his back. My spinning hook kick landed perfectly. Momo's body took a few steps before collapsing face first in a bin.

“Are you okay?” I had to make sure Haru wasn't hurt in any way.

“I’m just a little scared...that’s all” she hugged me tightly “Please let’s go home”


I heard Momo grunting behind my back and glass breaking. I thought he was retreating with his friends. In the novels I read, this was the first of many fights where the protagonist saved the troubled maiden. Our date had been ruined but the fact that they hadn't landed a finger on Haru relieved me.

“You fucker” Momo was conscious again and already on its feet.

When I turned to face him he stopped. He opened his eyes wide. He started looking at a strangely colored glass held in his hand. It was green with traces of red on the edges, what a funny-looking bottle.

My white shirt was also tinted red now, just where the bottleneck was aimed at, what a coincidence. I placed my hand on the red stain and lift it up to my face. Even the hand was red now. I felt heavy and began falling only for Haru to catch me. When she noticed my hand she screamed and looked at Momo terrorized. Even Momo had the same expression, he looked again at the bottle in his hand, let it fall, and waltzed out of the alley in a hurry.

"I won eh eh" my head was spinning.

“I-I need to call an ambulance” Haru had started crying while hurriedly typing on her phone while holding my red hand with her's. Haru was talking on the phone now. I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Everything was muffled in my ears.

While watching the sky I noticed it had started to disappear piece by piece leaving only black in its place. Shards of blue flew in the air as they detached from up above.

“I’m getting cold. Strange. Wasn’t it summer already?” my eyes were getting watery and blurry at the same time. I was crying too.

What an amazing afternoon, I just showed my girlfriend the coolest kick I could make and now I was getting a free lap pillow from her. Best day of my life.

The heat in Haru’s hands was the only thing I could feel at that moment. The sky at that point was almost completely black. I felt my strength fading and lost grip of Haru. If only I could have lived longer. I wanted to stay by Haru’s side more. Just thinking of what we could have done together made me smile.

My life had been short and uneventful and when I felt like I was starting to live again I had to go. I didn't want to leave her alone. The tears didn't stop.

The following seconds felt like hours. I was immersed in watching the scenery fade in darkness. It sure was peaceful there.

Ah, I can feel Haru’s tears on my cheeks, man if only I could tell her not to worry.

“Damn, it’s almost done” the voice from the sky appeared “I guess I have to leave it as it is. Let’s hope for the best. He will be lucky not to have any repercussions”

I felt Haru’s body pressing on me, at the end of the ally orange and blue lights painted the walls. My ears were ringing again, I could feel like someone was calling me from far away. Their voice was low but full of emotions.





Then my eyes closed.

Hey! Ecspo here. Hope you liked this chapter!

Since this is my first serious work and also my first work in English I would very much appreciate any tips, critiques, comments of any kind. Tell me if the chapters are too long, short, or whatever, it would mean a lot to me.

Taylor Victoria