Chapter 3:

His Prologue

Scorpion Grasses or simply, Forget-me-nots

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein
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"Such bad luck!"Bookmark here

" They were born like that... it’s not like they could change anything."Bookmark here

"I can’t even bring myself to look at them!"Bookmark here

"Their existence is disgusting! I don’t get why the deities need such sacrifices!"Bookmark here

The little boy started running to the front of the crowd in a moment of his nanny's negligence. It’s a festival that takes place once a year but where is all the fun? Did he miss it?Bookmark here

As he drew closer to the middle, he peeked up at the high platform a couple of times. The view completely confused him. People were wearing some kind of exotic costumes and masks. Little did everyone know that there is a reason behind the clothes. They weren’t able to move around much. Their facial expressions were also hidden. The 9 victims were staying in a circle around a big fire. It was nothing like anything the boy has seen before. The fire was at least 10 feet tall but there wasn’t any feeling of warmth emerging from it. It was white with stars all over and it looked like a gate.Bookmark here

A traditional song started playing out of nowhere and the noisy crowd went silent.Bookmark here

What on earth is going on? Nothing seems to make sense.Bookmark here

"HARU!!!"Bookmark here

"Young Master!!"Bookmark here

The nanny’s and bodyguards’ screams disturbed the silence. They kept yelling and searching until the child showed himself. He got tired of the stares and whispers around them. Too bad he couldn’t see the end of the ceremony. Even if he bothered to ask for the answer, the reply was always the same: “Ask your parents!”.Bookmark here

"What a relief! Young Master is alright!" The nanny hugged the boy and cried while holding him.Bookmark here

After that, the bodyguard carried the child on his shoulders to the car.Bookmark here

Haru searched the platform with his eyes. Right before losing sight of the fire again, he felt a déjà vu. Then, an excruciating pain took over his ears. Everything went silent or at least that’s what he thought.Bookmark here

"I hope you all go to hell! May you never find peace in the afterlife!" Someone yelled these words from the bottom of their lungs.Bookmark here

Haru’s ears started ringing and then he heard some whispers:Bookmark here

“Please Lord have mercy! I don’t want to die! I’m scared!”Bookmark here

Someone was crying. Another scream full of rage caused the boy’s ears to ring even louder. What were those sounds? Where did they come from?Bookmark here

His vision went blurry. Everything became silent for the third time. Even the ringing stopped.Bookmark here

A bodyguard opens one of the back doors and places the boy down with care, thinking he fell asleep.Bookmark here

"Have a safe journey, Young Master Haru!" The nanny bows to the boy in respect and then closes the door. Her one-month contract ended right on that day, at that exact time.Bookmark here

Haru tried to say something but his condition didn’t allow him. He even tried to move but not a single finger would bend. He appreciated his nanny so much, but couldn’t express it.Bookmark here

Look at him; he doesn’t even wave her goodbye. He knew he would never see her again because his parents always change nannies every month. Haru thought he got used to it after 11 years but it still hurts quite a lot.Bookmark here

The car starts moving and he gives up on trying to do something. He didn’t like her that much after all, right? For sure he would have done something if he wanted! Haru is not that pathetic…isn't it so?Bookmark here

When dinner time arrived, the boy entered the dining room a little earlier than usual. It was long and his parents always kept a safe distance from him. Their words were limited, as well as their contact. Dinner time has always been the only way Haru could exchange a few words with them. He hated the way his parents treated him but acknowledged that by doing this they are protecting him.Bookmark here

"I sent someone to tell you what time dinner is. How come you are already here?"Bookmark here

With a tired expression, his mother walks into the room.Bookmark here

That is his opportunity! Before his father arrives, he can speak with her. What should he do first? Is she going to believe him? His ideas begin to take control of him.Bookmark here

"Say it what you have to say!"Bookmark here

He concentrates on his mother’s figure and gives her a puzzled expression. Of course, a mother is the most knowledgeable about her child.Bookmark here

His father stormed into the room, enraged, right before he had a chance to say anything.Bookmark here

"A bunch of good for nothing! How stupid can someone be!" He takes his seat at the other end of the table next to his wife.Bookmark here

"What happened, dear?" The wife asks uninterested.Bookmark here

The man rests his head in his hands. At times, his duty is too much for one person to handle. He then realizes that he and his wife are not alone in the room. While answering the wife's question, he raises his head and stares at the boy.Bookmark here

"Today, a group of teenagers a little older than Haru spread some fake news about the government. I'm not sure how they got into our main news office building. Anyway, I made sure everyone got punished. The guards got fired. As for the teenagers, I executed them. They did a few more suspicious things in the past."Bookmark here

Haru picked up on the subliminal message. “Don't tamper with things you are not supposed to.”Bookmark here

A butler brings in the food and fills the glasses with water.Bookmark here

"Jun, bring me some red wine please!" The man says while the butler was beside him.Bookmark here

"Right away! Enjoy the food!" Jun bows and walks away without making a sound.Bookmark here

"Let’s eat before it gets cold. Thank you for the food!"Bookmark here

"Thank you for the food!"Bookmark here

"Thank you for the food!"Bookmark here

The parents start eating while Haru stares at his food. Should he try his luck? They might listen to him. He opens his mouth, but the words refuse to escape. He sighs and returns his gaze to his plate. The last time he tried to tell them something that was not about his studies it didn’t go too well. It’s best if he keeps it to himself.Bookmark here

"Were you going to tell us how your studies are going?"Bookmark here

His father expects a specific response, such as, "I'm doing great." “I'm in the first place” or, “Everyone says I'll graduate first with my grades.”Bookmark here

"The teacher told you everything you want to know so there is no point in me reminding you."Bookmark here

He is never disrespectful. What is going on? All his unanswered questions are getting the best of him.Bookmark here

Before someone could react the man’s work phone starts ringing. He gives the boy an annoyed look and stands up to answer the phone. He then walks away from the room leaving alone Haru and his mother.Bookmark here

"You better come up with something good Haru or else-"Bookmark here

"Or else you won’t even have dinner with me anymore?"Haru talks over his mother before thinking twice.Bookmark here

His mother is a little taken aback by his behavior. Of course, she expected him to have an outburst like that at some point, but it still stings. She stands up and walks to the door.Bookmark here

Haru’s eyes become sparkly and he tries as hard as he can to hold his tears back. Even if it was a “family night” he felt alone. He is always left alone! Everyone around him is replaced within a month or less, except for his parents. His look was still at his untouched food when the door closed. He could finally cry now that he was alone. When the tears started to flow, someone hugged him. For the first time, he felt like he wasn’t on his own anymore.Bookmark here

"I’m sorry for all this time, sweetie…"Bookmark here

His mother's voice began to quiver.Bookmark here

"I know it’s difficult! Bear with the situation as it is for a few more years! You will go to the factory and everything will be fine!"Bookmark here

She was never permitted to hold him again once he learned how to walk. She and his father wanted to prevent the boy from developing insignificant feelings. They established rigorous rules to ensure his future in the government.Bookmark here

"Mom…"Bookmark here

He finally felt enough courage to tell her everything about today's festival.Bookmark here

She distanced herself a little bit so that she could look at him. He was so tall and so handsome. She was admiring her little boy in silence.Bookmark here

"As you already know I was at the festival today. You know the colorful one with a big fire in the middle and people in costumes."Bookmark here

Her face had altered. She appeared to be a little frightened.Bookmark here

"How much did you see?"Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.