Chapter 2:

It's Been So Long

The Rise of Outcasts


“Hey brother! Why you always on a bad terms with father?”Bookmark here

“Why you ask! It’s just our wavelength, it doesn’t meet most of the time.”Bookmark here

“What you mean?”Bookmark here

“Both of us got different ideals and views regarding certain things. Something like that isn’t really an issue but our ideals are poles apart, our father son relationship is getting in the way and the scale of the matter at hand is quite enormous. Things have gotten more tense with me being the next head of the family.”Bookmark here

“I still don’t get it but can’t you try to make up with father? I don’t like seeing you arguing all the time.”Bookmark here

“It’s not that simple Antonio! I want to give those, who have been banished from the society, their rights and freedom but father is completely against it. There is no middle point for us to meet.”Bookmark here

“Then why not just obey father? Everything will be resolved.”Bookmark here

I stood up.Bookmark here

Without saying anything, I left the room while leaving my brother in confusion.Bookmark here

That was the mistake I shouldn’t have done. That 5-year-old boy don’t know anything, he is just following on his father’s footstep as most kids do. It’s not his fault for being naïve and clueless, it’s my fault for not educating him the way it needed to be. I always regret my decision after taking such actions, if I could handle things better back then, the results could have been a lot better. Three years have been past to that conversation and I didn’t do a thing to make it better since then, in fact I didn’t even realize my wrongdoings until recently. But it’s of no use to cry over spilt milk.Bookmark here

The recent incident with my sister, where I slapped her with brute force, is now triggering all my regrets from the past. I took a deep breath.Bookmark here

“Sigh.”Bookmark here

“Are you alright?” Jacob asked in soft tone.Bookmark here

“Hey Jacob. Do you have any regrets? Something you wish you could have done better?”Bookmark here

“That’s a pretty random thing to ask” Jacob replied while smiling. This man really loves to smile. I am surprise, he could still do that after living a trashy life in an Alibi district. Bookmark here

“I can’t seem to remember any beside the one where I failed to save my mother, but I decide not to burden myself with it. She is dead for years and I learn to live on my own.”Bookmark here

That’s pretty sad if you ask me but he had to be mentally strong for something like this. It’s beyond my strength to be honest.Bookmark here

“There it is!!!” Angelo speaks in excited manner.Bookmark here

I look into the direction that he was pointing at. Bookmark here

V-99 Opus was finally in our sight. The most beautifully structured but equally dangerous district among the ten districts of the Low End. It’s not as big as ours but it’s still pretty big compare to the rest.Bookmark here

We were on the higher ground so we had to take a slope downwards. It’s quite the dangerous route, one wrong step and you will be dead meat.Bookmark here

It took us few minutes to arrive at the front gate.Bookmark here

“Who is in charge of this district again?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Lady Magnum.” Coda replied.Bookmark here

“Oh Yea! Now I remember. I was planning to meet her once we are done with the ceremony.”Bookmark here

“You may get a chance to meet her before that. She visits us quite often since we are using her district as a base for such big operation.” Jacob speaks.Bookmark here

“She knows about the rebellion? Isn’t that really risky? She can easily sell us out.” I was shocked to hear that.Bookmark here

“That’s the thing, she can’t.” Jacob had a smile on his face. “We already made precautions in case she decides to double cross us and she is aware of consequences.”Bookmark here

“I feel bad, I am the one who ignited this rebellion yet you guys are the ones handling most of the stuff.”Bookmark here

“Don’t say like that, you planned most the things for us and besides that, you being the next head comes with a lot of responsibilities to handle, we understand. You need not to worry about that.”Bookmark here

“Hey both of you! Save your chit chat for the later, just get moving already.”Bookmark here

“Coda is right.” Jacob said “This is your first time in this district so things might get difficult to handle once sun goes down.” Bookmark here

With that, massive steel gates open and we enter the infamous district. Bookmark here

The streets of Opus were mostly empty. I only heard rumors about this district but never get a chance to visit it. Apparently, Opus is mostly empty and quite during the day time, but it’s chaotic at night. Bookmark here

Opus is the most technological advance district; some can say it’s like a paradise but completely lawless and that makes it a hub for all criminal activities. You never know when a bullet can pierce through you head. Stealing and killing is the most common thing here which can lead to parties duking out on the streets of Opus destroying everything in sight. Random people can easily get caught in such mess if not fully cautious. Bookmark here

As they say, drinking, gambling, drugs and prostitutes are the charms of Opus but you need to go through hell to enjoy all that. Currently, these empty streets and closed shops are giving off different vibes right now. The dead silence is rather eerie.Bookmark here

“Is this it?”Bookmark here

“Yes”Bookmark here

We stop in front of a small damaged cabin.Bookmark here

“The base is underground since we don’t want to attract unnecessary attraction.” Coda said after seeing our confused faces.Bookmark here

We enter in what it seems to be a toilet. Coda grab both handles of a wash basin and move it backwards simultaneously. The room start to shake a bit, then floor slides and we start falling.Bookmark here

So that’s how you activate it, but isn’t it dangerous to fall like that…Bookmark here

As we were falling, I start to feel heavy air around me. That’s probably the safety mechanism to reduce our momentum. Thanks to that we had safe landing. I wonder who build all this stuff.Bookmark here

We go through automatic doors and enters in a room, bunch of familiar faces were there to greet us.Bookmark here

“ANGELOOOOOOOO”Bookmark here

“ORLANDOOO MY BROTHER” Bookmark here

Both of them give each other a tight hug. Despite not being related by blood, both were raised together so Angelo really considers him a brother more than his own brothers…gosh they are being really loud, I understand you see each other after this long but keep it down a bit.Bookmark here

“You seem rather irritated. Let them have their moment.” A girl slaps on my shoulder, a tall girl with dark black hair wearing a skirt.Bookmark here

“Hey Risa, it’s been a while”Bookmark here

“Same Nicolo, but I don’t see Fina with you guys”Bookmark here

“Yea I didn’t bring her with me. You will see her at the ceremony.”Bookmark here

“Too bad, I was really looking forward to meet my sweetheart” Risa grabbed her own arms acting weird as always.Bookmark here

“Cut it out, Risa” Marsia punched her on the head. “You all must be tired, rest up a bit, Valentino will be back soon.”Bookmark here

Marsia was the one I met last week. She was about the same height as me but younger. Those short blackish hairs along with a t shirt and jeans making her standout the most. Bookmark here

“Thanks, I appreciate it.”Bookmark here

“Not at all but why are all this late? Weren’t you all supposed to arrive at noon. I was worried if something went wrong”Bookmark here

“Angelo was sleeping and things got a bit chaotic in Delta, sorry for the trouble”. I said in an apologetic manner. Bookmark here

“Sheesh” Marsia do a face palm while saying that as Risa was laughing. Bookmark here

I really miss this type of atmosphere.Bookmark here

After taking a bath, we were all gathered on dinner table, Valentino was already back.Bookmark here

“Giovanni’s men try to kill you?” Valentino asked with surprise.Bookmark here

“Yes. All they have doing for a past month is chasing us. But now they decide to kill us all of a sudden for some reason.” Coda said as he eats.Bookmark here

“That’s weird. I thought they were more desperate to find our location.”Bookmark here

“More importantly, they didn’t saw Nicolo and Angelo’s face, right? You know what will happen if they find out both of them were involved.” Marsia shows her concern.Bookmark here

“No, I don’t think so.” Coda replied.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about me, I will somehow handle it. For now, finalize our approach since I won’t be able to make contact with any of you guys till the ceremony.”Bookmark here

Beside me, there are total on 8 people in this room. There are a lot more than just 8 in this facility but these 8 are the ones that are really close to me and I trust them the most, out of which 7 belongs to High End.Bookmark here

Angelo, Coda, Orlando, Valentino, Risa, Marsia and miss Aida, who is bit older than most of us. They are either the children of nobles or belong to those families that run illegal errands in Low End districts, basically mafias.Bookmark here

Jacob on the other hand belongs to the most terrible district, VI-99 Alibi. But he was the first person to accept our proposal regarding the destruction of High End, since then he is helping us out nonstop.Bookmark here

There are two more, Trey and Georgia but both are out of this district. They won’t make it in time.Bookmark here

“Let me confirm this, are we ready to launch an attack at Lavister Hall?” I initiate the discussion.Bookmark here

“There needs some work to be done but we will get ready before 18th of March.” Valentino replied.Bookmark here

“But Nicolo, are you sure avoiding isn’t an option? Won’t this put them on high alert? It will be harder for us to attack later.”Bookmark here

“I understand you concern Risa, but we need an extremely powerful weapon if we want to annihilate the district from its roots. That’s not possible as things stand right now. We have weapons to fight but not a destructive one. That’s where this ceremony comes in. I have confirmed that NOX will be displayed at the hall as the symbol of power and authority.”Bookmark here

NOX is one the 9 great weapons used in the apocalypse 100 years ago. One of them fall into the possession of my great grandfather and since then it’s been displayed as Leonardos being on the top. Bookmark here

“Even after the ceremony where I will be declared as the head, I still won’t be able to get my hands on NOX till the death of my father. We can’t wait for that since the time period is unknown, and I don’t want to stay there any longer after the ceremony because I will be wrapped up in chains by Giovanni. This is our only chance.”Bookmark here

“This Giovanni guy got more influence than I imagined.” Orlando speaks while putting his head on the table.Bookmark here

“More than you can imagine. I hate to say this, even though our family is at the top, Giovanni still controls most of the things.”Bookmark here

“Has anyone even seen Giovanni?” Orlando raises a concerning question.Bookmark here

There was complete silence in the room. Bookmark here

“That’s weird.” Valentino was the one to break it.Bookmark here

“Indeed! That man is way too cautious. Well either way, he will be at the ceremony. I will confirm his identity before dealing with him.”Bookmark here

“About that, the reason we can’t just kill everyone at the hall is to avoid killing innocent ones, right?”Bookmark here

“Precisely! We are still not sure who are willing to fight with us and who are not! Declaring it is one way to sort things out. And killing my father will throw away the hierarchy system, we don’t want that yet. Besides, I doubt we will get a chance to kill anyone during the ceremony, our main priority is to get the weapon and escape.”Bookmark here

“Let’s discuss how to infiltrate once we done eating, I already visit the hall and get a general idea of its structure. I also get some information regarding the security from Bernard.”Bookmark here

“Isn’t he your butler?”Bookmark here

“Yes, but he is very influential since he is serving us for decades. He knows more than I do.”Bookmark here

We change subjects and start talking about our daily lives as we eat. It was already past 8pm, the district must be crowded by now but can’t hear anything from here. I am too tired to enjoy anything above ground but I still want to take a peek. Maybe I will go outside once I take a nap. Bookmark here

We still have a full night to enjoy.Bookmark here

-june-
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Real Aire
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Joe Gold
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