Chapter 20:

The Life of a Traitor

The Rise of Outcasts

I think I understand what went wrong 100 years ago. Leonardos and the followers of the four manipulated history. Bookmark here

The people in High End were not aware of the fact that outside people have taken an oath to protect the country, only Leonardos were aware of this. Likewise, the followers of the four started spreading conspiracy theories that caused multiple conflicts in the past. Bookmark here

So, I guess the four districts we currently know are the descendants of the followers and inherited the name. That's why they were praised as heroes.Bookmark here

“Brother, I didn’t get all of it.”Bookmark here

"I will tell you in detail once we get back home. There is one more person that I need to deal with. Let's go."Bookmark here

I wonder what happened to Igor. There was no mention of him later in the memoir.Bookmark here

As for you, great grandfather, things turned out the way you feared the most. But it couldn't be helped. Someone had to take a step. I also think it was a bad idea not to join them. I always thought the outside world was still at war but if there was peace then it was stupid not to join them.Bookmark here

His vision was for the good cause but it turned out that way. I felt bad for him, all of his efforts went in vain. Bookmark here

When I came out, I saw Valentino standing with his team.Bookmark here

“When did you arrive?”Bookmark here

"Just a moment ago. I was going to call you."Bookmark here

“Valentino, I found out who the traitor is.”Bookmark here

“Really? How?”Bookmark here

"Don't sweat the details. I am going to rush to his place. Angelo said he is currently in his room. You handle the situation here."Bookmark here

“You will confront him alone?”Bookmark here

“Yes, but don’t worry about me.”Bookmark here

With that, I rushed towards the main entrance. I was breathing heavily, but there was no time to care for that. There was no telling what that man would do if we didn't capture him as soon as possible. He might go into hiding. Then, it would be impossible to find him.Bookmark here

I took a break for a second because I was completely out of breath. Just a little more. We parked our vehicles a mile away from the main entrance. Bookmark here

“There it is.”Bookmark here

I grabbed my bike and rode it at full speed. I was going towards district X-99 Delta. Because that's where he was.Bookmark here

"Hey, Risa. Can you hear me?"Bookmark here

I contacted Risa on the way. Bookmark here

"Where is Fina? I can't reach her."Bookmark here

“She is with me but heavily injured.”Bookmark here

“Injured? That damn Alessandra. How is she right now?”Bookmark here

"Aida applied first aid to her wounds so her condition is somewhat stable but she still needs proper medical treatment so I am taking her to Alibi."Bookmark here

“You are alone?”Bookmark here

“Yes. I am driving a car right now because Marsia and Aida stayed back with the plane to rescue people."Bookmark here

"Now, listen to me. Hand Fina over to the doctors and come directly to Delta. We have a traitor to deal with."Bookmark here

“What??”Bookmark here

I gave her some more instructions then aborted the connection. Bookmark here

It took me 10 minutes to arrive at Delta. I went straight to the destined place.Bookmark here

“Nicolo.”Bookmark here

I heard Angelo’s voice from an alley.Bookmark here

“He is still in there?”Bookmark here

“Yes. Are we going rush in?”Bookmark here

“Only I will go in. You will stay behind.”Bookmark here

“What? Why?”Bookmark here

“Risa and the others are on the way. Give me a signal when they arrive.”Bookmark here

"Alright, fine."Bookmark here

I went into the house and stopped right in front of a door.Bookmark here

My heart was beating fast, my blood was boiling, my brain hurt. It pained me to think that he would betray us… he, of all people.Bookmark here

I burst into the room. There he was, resting on a sofa while reading a book.Bookmark here

"Yo! Took you long enough. Angelo has been keeping tabs on me for a while now. I was getting tired of waiting."Bookmark here

“Jacob.”Bookmark here

I ground my teeth in anger and frustration and pointed my gun at him. He snapped his finger and suddenly, a group of armed men burst into the room. I was surrounded by rifles. Bookmark here

"Are you the one who orchestrated this entire thing?" I asked while looking unfazed with all of that.Bookmark here

"Yes, of course, but on the order of higher-ups."Bookmark here

"Higher-ups?"Bookmark here

What was he talking about?Bookmark here

"You see, I am not from this country."Bookmark here

"What the hell are you talking about? The only way to enter this country is through the port. And there is no way you could have entered through that path.”Bookmark here

“Did you get a chance to read the memoir of Grigio Leonardo?”Bookmark here

“How do you know about the memoir?”Bookmark here

“So, you did read it. Ever wondered what happened to Igor in the end?”Bookmark here

“____what are you getting at? You are descendent of Igor?”Bookmark here

“Wrong. I am Igor.”Bookmark here

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"What is this bunch of nonsense?"Bookmark here

“Just because something is beyond your understanding doesn’t mean it’s nonsense. Let me tell you, my story.”Bookmark here

During the Apocalypse. Time period: UnknownBookmark here

Devastation everywhere. Buildings were in flames; people were getting killed. Bookmark here

“Mama, I am scared.”Bookmark here

"No need to be scared, my child. Mama is here with you."Bookmark here

I was just a kid back then. It was too much to witness the cruelty of the world at such a young age.Bookmark here

"I found a mother and a child." A soldier in a black uniform appeared in the alley we were hiding.Bookmark here

“Please have mercy on us, please. I beg you. Spare us.”Bookmark here

"Not a chance, old hag. That kid will be used in our experiments. Be grateful that he will be sacrificed for the sake of the motherland."Bookmark here

More of his allies entered the alley as well.Bookmark here

"Save me, mama. I don't want to go. Save me. I am sacred. MAMAAAAAA."Bookmark here

What I witnessed at the moment was the murder of my mother. Those soldiers ruthlessly penetrated bullets into her. I could not remove that terrifying image; it had burned into my memory.Bookmark here

Soldiers left the body of my mother in the alley and took me with them. I went unconscious on the way. Bookmark here

When I woke up, I found myself on a bed. I freaked out and screamed,Bookmark here

“MOTHEEEEEEEER”Bookmark here

"Keep your voice down, kid. You are in a military residence."Bookmark here

A general came to my room and glared at me. I started crying, but as a result, I received a slap from him.Bookmark here

"Didn't I say to keep your damn voice down?”Bookmark here

I hit the brakes. I realized there was no point in crying and whining, no one would come to my rescue.Bookmark here

A maid entered with a tray in her hand.Bookmark here

“When he is done eating, give him new clothes and bring him to the training ground.”Bookmark here

"Understood, sir."Bookmark here

After that, General left the room.Bookmark here

I didn't feel like eating anything at that moment but he would probably thrash me if I didn't eat it.Bookmark here

I took the first bite with the most disgusting expression on my face.Bookmark here

After I was done eating the food, the maid provided me with a military dress of my size. I didn't know back then about what was exactly going on. I was just following them because I didn't want to be pounded and eaten up by them.Bookmark here

I arrived at the training ground. There were a bunch of kids in the military dress, looking all scared. I was one of them. We were snatched from our families and brought to this mysterious place. Bookmark here

"Listen up, brat. From this day, you will be training under my command for 6 years. Then, you will be sent to the battlefield to sacrifice yourself by protecting your motherland. Am I clear?”Bookmark here

All of that was too hard for us to comprehend but things started to get clear once our hellish training began. And in six years, we got a crystal clear idea of our goals and objectives. We fought countless battles together through the years in the seemingly endless war. We laughed together, we cried together but those moments eventually came to an end.Bookmark here

Little by little, we were reducing in numbers. Our unit was getting smaller in number with each battle. Many died during the war. Those who survived, couldn't fight so they were never to be seen again. Then, the time came when I lost both my arms in battle. That was when I learned what happened to those who survived the brutal battle but were unable to fight anymore.Bookmark here

They were used in multiple experiments. That sent a shiver through my spine. The experiment I was chosen for was brain transplantation. Bookmark here

At that time, the government was trying to find a way to obtain eternal life. With brain transplant, they were trying to replace a brain of an old person with a younger person. That way, the person won't die of old age. Same for someone with a disability, but the experiment had been a total failure so far.Bookmark here

“Put him on the table.”Bookmark here

I didn't resist at all. I knew there was no way I would get out of there alive. I would definitely die during this transplantation. But a miracle happened and I survived. My brain was transplanted into a younger body while my memories were still intact. It felt a little weird and uncomfortable to have a different body but at least I was alive. Bookmark here

I was the first person to succeed in this. Doctors concluded that I have a special kind of brain structure that is very rare to see.Bookmark here

I was a valuable experimental object for them; hence I was not sent to the battlefield again. Instead, I was assigned to their intelligence bureau and worked for them for decades. I infiltrated countries and found ways to destroy them, internally. Sounds familiar? I was the one who sent those four on these lands.Bookmark here

Then, I, personally, met Grigio and introduced myself as an ex-Russian. I succeeded in destroying the country, well almost, without much effort but then the ceasefire was announced? They had ended the war? Why? I was starting to have fun with that.Bookmark here

Then, I received an order from the higher-ups to convince Grigio to accept the proposal.Bookmark here

I was disappointed.Bookmark here

They had restored peace after shedding this much blood? No, I wanted more chaos. This was not enough. I wanted more.Bookmark here

That was when I came up with an idea. I lied to the government about convincing Grigio. When they finally accept his proposal of an isolated state, I presented them with another idea.Bookmark here

"How about I stay in that country and make him submit it to you eventually?"Bookmark here

The idea was good but the intention was different. All I wanted to see was more chaos and suffering, that was just perfect for me.Bookmark here

After giving it some thought, they gave me their approval and sent experts with me to perform the brain transplant. The country was still open at that time so it was fairly easy for me to enter with the doctors, without raising any alarms because I told Grigio that I was going back to my motherland. What really upset me was that he didn't mention my name in his memoir towards the end.Bookmark here

Time passed by and I ignited multiple conflicts that you might have heard of. Those experts brought in apprentices to have someone performing the brain surgery once they were dead. That was how I survived for these past 100 years.Bookmark here

Going around causing havoc was a part of my life. I started to get bored and created Opus to reduce this boredom. Then, I met you and understood your circumstances. This could work, I thought. I could finally succeed in destroying High End in its entirety. Bookmark here

The government kept telling me to get over with this 100-year long mission and I was bored as well. Then, I constructed a plan to make both factions destroy each other using Nox. So that our forces could easily invade this land. Bookmark here

All of you fell right under my trap. I manipulated Giovanni and provided him necessary information to fight back to some degree because a one-sided battle wouldn't be fun, don't you agree?Bookmark here

Cassius, that I killed, was one of the experts but being too smart was a problem in itself. He thought he could succeed in double-crossing me. Bookmark here

I was stunned to hear all this stuff that Jacob was saying. Everything sounded so absurd and over the top that it was so hard to believe, yet…Bookmark here

"Having a hard time believing it? I can't blame you. But worry not, I was ordered to kill you."Bookmark here

Just then, we heard a scream of a girl.Bookmark here

“What was that?” One of the armed men said.Bookmark here

“I will go and check.” The other one said in response.Bookmark here

That was the signal. Bookmark here

"NOW!" I screamed.Bookmark here

A ball rolled into the room and exploded. The room was filled with smoke. I fell to the ground to avoid getting hit by the bullets.Bookmark here

All I could hear were the sound of the gunshots and screams. Bookmark here

When the smoke cleared, I saw the dead bodies of those who were holding a gun at me just a moment ago. Jacob was on the ground uninjured. He applied the same strategy as me to avoid the bullets.Bookmark here

The ones who shot the bullets at them were Risa, Coda, Orlando and Trey.Bookmark here

“I still can’t believe it’s you…”Bookmark here

"I will explain things in detail later on, but first, tie him up."Bookmark here

"YO! Everyone, looks like you won the battle of High End?" Jacob was smiling despite knowing he couldn't do anything in a situation like this.Bookmark here

"Shut up, Jacob. You betrayed us even after spending so much time together. For what cause?"Bookmark here

"It was a complicated matter, leave it for another time." I interrupted her.Bookmark here

"Aren't you glad, Risa?"Bookmark here

“What for?”Bookmark here

“It was because of that you were able to achieve success. If it wasn’t for me, he might not even survive during the Lavister Hall incident.”Bookmark here

He did have a point. But we couldn't just turn a blind eye to his actions.Bookmark here

“Nicolo.”Bookmark here

Angelo called out to me.Bookmark here

“What is it?”Bookmark here

"Valentino just contacted me saying multiple warships are approaching the port."Bookmark here

“What’s the meaning of this?”Bookmark here

Obviously, all of them were confused to hear that but I knew exactly what those ships were.Bookmark here

“Valentino is asking whether to use Nox on them or not?”Bookmark here

"Do not attack them at all costs."Bookmark here

“Why?”Bookmark here

“Just do as I say.”Bookmark here

“HO! Are you trying to negotiate with them?”Bookmark here

“Of course, we can’t take the entire fleet out with the Nox because our current vessel is just not that strong. My great grandfather made a mistake by not accepting their proposal. It’s way better than getting everyone killed.”Bookmark here

"You are not as stupid as I thought you would be. I was laughing at Grigio's every decision. Well, what are you going to do with me?"Bookmark here

"Handing you over to them would probably be the best option.”Bookmark here

"You think so?" He had a smirk on his face and all I did was stare at him.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.