Chapter 3:

A Boy's Grieve

The Rise of Outcasts

The night here sure is long. The night of chaos and freedom, bound with no laws. Everything operates on the law of the jungle. Everyone is free to do whatever they want with no judgment whatsoever.Bookmark here

Do I really want this type of freedom? Of course not. What I want is a systematic society where everyone is treated equally, given equal rights and justice. Freedom within the realms of meaningful society is what I seek.Bookmark here

"At least give your mind some rest. You will be burnt out before you know it."Bookmark here

Risa was pouring tea for me. I couldn't sleep because of Angelo's sleep talking and now here I was, sitting in the lounge, having some tea to fight with this tiredness. There is still some time before Angelo, Coda and Marsia wake up. Rest were in the working room.Bookmark here

“I was just thinking about what’s going on outside.”Bookmark here

“Why do you want to see it this badly? It’s not really a good experience if you ask me.”Bookmark here

"____ Lately, I have been thinking about my actions more thoroughly. I don't want to have any more regrets. I am already tired of it. My brain hurts when a past memory, that I want to forget, suddenly pops up. It’s haunting me for a while now but it got worse since last night.”Bookmark here

“Aren’t you just running from your past actions?”Bookmark here

"Maybe! I tried to face it head-on in the past but it didn't work so I just gave up. Now I just want to make sure I don't do anything that I will regret. I already have enough headaches to deal with."Bookmark here

“That’s why you want to see it that badly?”Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“Still, why though?”Bookmark here

“I orchestrated this entire plan. If I fail to achieve this then everything will fall apart and people will die for no reason. All of it would be worse if I survive. I will have to live knowing they all died because I disturbed their peace in the name of justice and freedom. Even if it succeeds, we don't know if it will create a world that we desire."Bookmark here

“So you want to see the worst place possible at its peak just to satisfy yourself that what you are doing is better?”Bookmark here

“____”Bookmark here

"Then let's say, you aren't satisfied by the end, then what?"Bookmark here

"In that case, I will discard this project and go live in High End for the rest of my life, I guess?"Bookmark here

“Isn’t that just you being a hypocrite? Aren't you contradicting yourself? You talked about how badly you want to leave High End not long ago and now you are saying crap like this?" Risa said in a rather angry tone.Bookmark here

"Maybe, maybe not. Either way, I will not force myself onto this if I don't feel like it."Bookmark here

"Why now? You spend weeks upon weeks to make sure the plan succeeds. If you were having doubts, you should have said so earlier."Bookmark here

“I was just convincing myself that everything will be alright.”Bookmark here

"You were just speaking nonsense. That's why I said to get some rest. Stand up, we are going outside for a walk."Bookmark here

My eyes widened as I stared at the floor.Bookmark here

“I wanted to wait for others to wake up first but seeing you in this mood is making me sick."Bookmark here

"That's pretty rude of you to say." I giggled in an extremely low manner as my head was still down.Bookmark here

"Enough with that. Go get changed and meet me here in 10 minutes.”Bookmark here

Pathetic, aren't I? I was just tired of myself. I was going all and all about freedom, justice and all that nonsense for years, preparing for this moment but now… Why am I having such ambiguous thoughts? I wasn't like this, I don't remember being this contradictory or hypocrite_____what am I afraid of? Why am I getting cold feet? Bookmark here

I think I know why...Bookmark here

My brain was moving in every direction as I changed and went back to the lounge. I was wearing a blue and black textured flannel shirt and a white sleeveless sweater on top of that along with black slim-fit jeans.Bookmark here

“Took you long enough just to get changed.” Bookmark here

Risa was sitting there in a wrap dress.Bookmark here

“I am surprised you put that dress on in such a short amount of time.”Bookmark here

“Are you mocking me?” Risa raised an eyebrow.Bookmark here

“Hahaha of course not. Let’s go.”Bookmark here

We took an elevator which led us to the topmost floor of a certain building. Apparently, that cabin can only be used to enter the facility, although there are multiple exits.Bookmark here

Then we need to take another elevator to reach the ground floor of the building. This really is a hassle, to be honest. We finally pass through the entrance and the intense light blinded me for a fraction of a second. Bookmark here

“I didn’t expect you to be this excited” Risa giggled.Bookmark here

My jaw dropped. Why wouldn't it be? The scenery in front of me is something I don't even get to see in High End.Bookmark here

The entire district was brightened up with neon lights. Everything just looked gorgeous, it was something I hadn't seen before.Bookmark here

As we started walking, I got to witness more and more of it. Luxurious cars, sand bikes, hotels, pubs and casinos. That's all I could see as far as the eyes could go. The streets were crowded with people. It seemed there was no shortage of prostitutes as they could be seen everywhere. Bars were filled with drinkers and there seemed to be a drinking competition going on at the moment. You could hear loud noises and screams from casinos. Bookmark here

“This is the glorious night of Opus for you.” Bookmark here

“It’s quite something. Although this is similar to what I imagined.”Bookmark here

"That's because rumours define it quite well, to be honest."Bookmark here

"What's that?"Bookmark here

I pointed towards a billboard with the advertisement for 'Underground Madness'.Bookmark here

"Underground car racing." Risa replied.Bookmark here

"That sounds fun."Bookmark here

"It's not. It is extremely dangerous. Everything is acceptable in this race with no rules whatsoever." Bookmark here

As we were going through the crowded streets, we heard a loud noise. It looked like someone got slammed into a car with full force. Bookmark here

The noise increased as people started going crazy over the fight.Bookmark here

"Nicolo, let's get out of here before it's too late." Risa had to scream because of all that noise.Bookmark here

[BANG!!!]Bookmark here

There you go. They were already using firearms with this many people. Guess they don't care who dies and who lives as long as their work is done.Bookmark here

After that, the gunshots just didn't stop. People's screams could be heard in the surroundings, which sent chills through my spine. I am not used to hearing stuff like that. Bookmark here

We kept running as I saw a bunch of cars crashing into the crowded bar. Another commotion was taking place as it seems.Bookmark here

I was just following Risa because I had no idea which place was safer in a situation like this. One can easily get crushed.Bookmark here

We took a rest at a beautiful café, far from that mess.Bookmark here

“So what do you think about this district? Pretty lively isn't it?”Bookmark here

"Way too lively." I had a smile on my face. "So, we will be safe here?”Bookmark here

“I won’t say that for sure. But at least this area is much calmer and fights don't usually break out."Bookmark here

The waiter was ready to take our order.Bookmark here

“One carbonara and Bellini, what about you Nicolo?”Bookmark here

"Whatever you think is good. I have no idea about the quality of the food here."Bookmark here

"Then make it two."Bookmark here

"Very well Ma'am." The waiter bows a little.Bookmark here

“Sooooo Nicolo, tell me how things are between you and Fina.” Risa had a smirk on her face.Bookmark here

I knew exactly what that meant.Bookmark here

"We went all out." I had the same gesture as Risa.Bookmark here

"Wait, really?" she basically jumped from her chair. That must have come out as a shock value.Bookmark here

"Of course not, you doofus. You really think you can tease me like that."Bookmark here

Risa bit her tongue in frustration and all I did was laugh out loud. Bookmark here

"Alright, enough with the nonsense. What was the issue with you lately?" Risa shifted the mood of the conversation.Bookmark here

"But, you are the one who started this." I was still in the mood for some.Bookmark here

"Fine, fine. It was my mistake, I apologize. Now tell me what's going on in that stupid head of yours."Bookmark here

I released a deep sigh.Bookmark here

"You might remember the day we first met 8 years ago. I used to be the most energetic kid in the group with a really bad temper. It was around that time when I declared that I want to free people from these seemingly unbroken chains."Bookmark here

“You were really loud as well back then.”Bookmark here

"Being energetic means being really loud as well. I can't help." I chuckled.Bookmark here

"Either way..." I continued "The point is I used to be so full of myself and go on and on about fighting, killing, freedom, justice and taking down High End. You all seemed to follow me because of that. I didn't change much in those years until I met Fina 3 years ago. Her presence had such a drastic yet moderate effect on me that I didn't even notice until recently."Bookmark here

I went silent for a second before continuing.Bookmark here

“I am getting cold feet, Risa." I spoke uneasily. "This never happened before. Being all alone for all these years had a negative effect on me but Fina's arrival changed things then. She provided a real home comfort that I was craving to get. Now, I am terrified to think what would happen if the plan failed, if Fina or anyone of you died in the process."Bookmark here

"I just don't know anymore, Risa. My thoughts are clashing left and right. Part of me wants to take the initiative and another part of me is extremely terrified. That's why I am turning into such a mess. I know I will regret it no matter what choice I make. To cover it up, I am making excuses, contradicting myself, and trying to find the easy way out." I was basically grabbing my hairs in panic.Bookmark here

Risa was obviously shaken and confused, not knowing what to do. She had never seen me in such a state. She was probably not expecting an outburst from me.Bookmark here

I was sweating profusely even in a chilled atmosphere like this. The waiter was setting up our order on the table.Bookmark here

I looked outside. This area sure was calm, there was barely any noise. This was so relaxing. I hoped time continued like this with no one to disturb me in this peaceful land…Bookmark here

I wished but the reality is rather harsh. Bookmark here

Real Aire
Joe Gold
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