Chapter 4:

His Prologue Part 2

Scorpion Grasses or simply, Forget-me-nots

“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” — Kobe Bryant

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The boy sighed.Bookmark here

"Not much, but I did get a couple of glimpses of the platform."Bookmark here

"That fire was crazy! I have never seen something like it before!"Bookmark here

The woman hesitated for a moment, but then she explained briefly.Bookmark here

"Haru, that festival isn't meant to be enjoyable. It's called "The Freedom Festival". If you ask me, that's a fancy way of saying "Today nine innocent people are executed". They throw the victims into the flames and burn them alive. This is all for The Ninth Heaven."Bookmark here

"What is that?"Bookmark here

Even though it wasn't exactly a lovely topic, the boy was interested in the subject.Bookmark here

"The Ninth Heaven is a place far away from where not even the birds or planes can reach. There are nine of our most cherished deities who protect and look after us. Their role is to assist our one and only God. We plan a celebration in exchange for their help every year and we offer them nine sacrifices. People with grade 5 emotions are the sacrifices, which, as you can see, can be a hardship for the ones like them."Bookmark here

That’s incredible! Deities? So there is someone helping everyone.Bookmark here

"Mom you said they are innocent people, right?"Bookmark here

She nods.Bookmark here

Then the boy remembered the words he heard today.Bookmark here

"It doesn’t make sense! How come they are innocent yet everyone hates them?"Bookmark here

His mother gave him a modest grin.Bookmark here

"Pay attention to what I'm about to say because it's important!"Bookmark here

The boy gives her a look full of curiosity.Bookmark here

"No matter who you are or where you come from if society says you're wrong, that's what everyone will believe."Bookmark here

"So if I don't live up to this society's expectations, I'm going to have a miserable life?"Bookmark here

His mother sighed.Bookmark here

"The term "miserable" cannot express the true consequences."Bookmark here

"Then what is the right word?"Bookmark here

"There is no word. What we people are capable of is beyond any limits! Always be cautious with people since you never know when they will betray you for their gain!"Bookmark here

He was too young to completely understand his mother's sayings. But they still became a rule of living for him ever since.Bookmark here

"There's one more thing I'd like to share with you..."Bookmark here

"Haru, make it quick, your father may return at any time!"Bookmark here

"I had a déjà vu while at the festival, and then my ears started ringing. When I thought the ringing stopped, I felt a terrible pain in my ears, and everything went silent."Bookmark here

"Your bodyguards informed me you fell asleep."Bookmark here

Haru paused for a while, but his mother's expression was genuine, so he continued.Bookmark here

"I heard screams, murmurs, harsh words, and sobbing in the silence. I'm sure they didn't come from the audience. I'm guessing they came from the platform's nine individuals."Bookmark here

His mother put on a horrified look. Could it be that he is different in a bad way? Can he hear things he’s not supposed to? What is she going to do with him? What if his father finds out? She started to tremble.Bookmark here

There were some noisy steps in the hall. She started to be more cautious. After a long silence she told Haru with a serious tone:Bookmark here

"Society does not accept this, yet everything happens for a purpose! You must keep what I told you today to yourself and never tell anyone what you told me about the déjà vu! They'll track you down! Do you get it? You have to be normal!"Bookmark here

"What should he be aware of?"Bookmark here

The father's stern voice broke the silence. Haru could tell from his mother's look that this meal was not going to end well.Bookmark here

Beside the man was Jun, the butler with the red wine bottle in his hand having a regretful expression on his face.Bookmark here

"Jun, you have not one, but two major masters!"Bookmark here

Even if she closed the door, the woman realized that her chat with her son was not private. What a fool she was! Did she believe that this perfect life without freedom was for her?Bookmark here

"From now on he only has one main master! How dare you brainwash our child, women! I bet he talked back to me today because of you! Haru go to your room right now!"Bookmark here

He felt scared. He had never seen his father so enraged before. What should he do?Bookmark here

"Are you deaf? I said go to your room now!"Bookmark here

His mother held tight to Haru’s hand as she started to tremble.Bookmark here

The words weren’t leaving his mouth. The woman was in big trouble.Bookmark here

The butler separated the mother and the child.Bookmark here

Right before the door closed the boy caught his mother staring at him like it’s the last time she is going to see him. He felt a déjà vu and his head started to hurt. Everything went silent again.Bookmark here

“Haru, may you be able to achieve whatever you believe is good in this life! Mommy loves you so much!”Bookmark here

That was his mother's voice! What is going on? Tears started to roll down his cheeks.Bookmark here

After that night his beloved mother never appeared at any dinner night. Her belongings, as well as pictures of her, vanished. Everyone pretended she didn't exist. Bookmark here

A sense of emptiness struck the heart of the poor boy that waited for his mother's return for years.Bookmark here

As expected, she never came back.Bookmark here

His father put a lot of pressure on him. He made sure that his boy will become the perfect employee at the Fellings Factory. He isolated Haru even more to reduce the chance of growing his intensity level of emotions.Bookmark here

Time has passed and he reached the “lucky” age of 17. He began working at the FF. The senior who was in charge of assisting him appeared to be very impressed by the boy's ability. He got a lot of potential for a beginner.Bookmark here

Everything goes as planned and by the end of the year, he gets promoted. He gets his own office and more people on his controlling list.Bookmark here

He has earned the trust of the higher-ups after another two years of working there, and they no longer watch him. That is the moment he has been anticipating. Now he can try to find the secrets of the fabric.Bookmark here

He aspires to discover the truth about everything and to alter the current social order. He despises himself for having to regulate the emotions of people. Yet if he fails to do his job well, his father will get angry and he may even replace him. Bookmark here

This place doesn’t have any written rules but there are some unspoken ones.Bookmark here

Everything that enters the Feeling Factory remains inside.Bookmark here

They don’t need traitors and they won’t hold back no matter who you are.Bookmark here

Know your place and role.Bookmark here

It makes sense because as you get promoted you have access to more information. The actual important things are known only by the government. Bookmark here

The more emotionless you are, the safer you will be.Bookmark here

This makes Haru feel uneasy. Why does it matter so much? They built a massive factory to check and regulate everyone's emotions.Bookmark here

The final rule is also the most intriguing one. This made the boy realize that something is going on behind everyone's back.Bookmark here

The building only has six floors.Bookmark here

Only the blind persons wouldn’t be able to know this and that’s why the boy started to wonder. Is there anything hidden below the building? Is it dangerous?Bookmark here

“I will find out the truth, mom! Wherever you are, watch over me while I burn this whole hell down!”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.