Chapter 21:

Dawn of the New World

The Rise of Outcasts

"Angelo, tell Valentino to properly greet them at the port. We will be there soon. I can't make contact with him; my device is not properly working."Bookmark here

He nodded and went outside to talk with Valentino.Bookmark here

“Trey, how many cars do we currently have?”Bookmark here

“Only one, because Risa picked us on her way.”Bookmark here

"One is enough. Angelo and Orlando can ride the bike I came here on while the rest of us can fit in the car."Bookmark here

“Fair enough.”Bookmark here

“Risa, are Marsia and Aida done with the evacuation?”Bookmark here

“Yes, they are currently in one of the CAS districts with refugees.”Bookmark here

“Good, tell them to stay there until I make any call. As for you Risa, I will drop you at the hospital where Fina currently is.”Bookmark here

"Leave it to me, I will take care of her."Bookmark here

“Please do.”Bookmark here

“I have explained things to Valentino.”Bookmark here

"Good, now, time to leave. Angelo, you follow us on the bike with Orlando."Bookmark here

I came out from the house and sat on the steering seat; Risa sat beside me. Trey, Coda and Jacob, with his hands tied, took back seats. I pressed the accelerator and we were out of the district in no time at all.Bookmark here

As Trey and Coda were busy talking, I turned towards Risa.Bookmark here

“I have a feeling that I might make a wrong call.”Bookmark here

"Why do you say that?"Bookmark here

"Let me give you a brief context. The ships that are approaching the port are from the outside world. According to my great grandfather's memoir and Jacob, the world was at constant war for 80 years. They called that time period 'Apocalypse'. War ended 100 years ago with a peace proposal of uniting all the nations of the world into one but the head of the state of that time, Grigio Leonardo, who was also my great grandfather, refused to accept that and separated his nation from the rest of the world."Bookmark here

“Hold on, that’s a lot to take in.”Bookmark here

"But I barely scratched the surface…"Bookmark here

“Seriously?”Bookmark here

"Hey Nicolo, aren't you curious about the era of the void? You must have heard that name before."Bookmark here

“You know about that?”Bookmark here

“Not entirely but I do have some knowledge regarding that.”Bookmark here

"I just assumed you might be dark like the rest."Bookmark here

“So, do you wish to know?”Bookmark here

"Don't drag this, Jacob. If you want to tell me something then spill it already."Bookmark here

"Fine, fine. Apparently, the era of the void is the term that is used for the time before the year 2000."Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“Some incident happened three to four hundred years ago that wiped out all the records from the world. The records of everything related to this world from the start of mankind till 1999. No one knows what happened before 2000. That's why the era before 2000 is now referred to as the era of the void."Bookmark here

"How is that even possible?"Bookmark here

“I asked the same question but there is no answer to it. I tried to find some information regarding that incident but there is none.”Bookmark here

“That’s really weird.”Bookmark here

“Indeed.”Bookmark here

Now, I am having more doubts regarding my decision to join hands with the rest of the world.Bookmark here

"As I was saying, Risa. What I am planning to do is to accept their offer."Bookmark here

“???”Bookmark here

“To accept their proposal and merge this country with the rest of the world, something that my great grandfather refused to do. So, what I am getting at is, will we get the freedom and peace that we all fought and struggled for?"Bookmark here

"What are the chances of winning against them?"Bookmark here

“Zero.”Bookmark here

"Then, it can't be helped. We have no choice but to accept their proposal if we don't want everyone to get killed."Bookmark here

"But this throws up our idea of freedom in the trash can. The goal that we want to achieve. Everything will be in vain. We were so close to victory but now this..."Bookmark here

"Are you trying to put all the blame on yourself?"Bookmark here

"Because I am the one who made this decisi___"Bookmark here

“What did I tell you before, Nicolo? Don’t take everything upon yourself. We all agreed to follow your ideals out of our own free will. We have never doubted your decisions and we never will.”Bookmark here

“What about the people we were trying to rescue?”Bookmark here

"Then, it's clear that some things cannot be changed, no matter how hard you try. We try to take fate into our own hands and diverge it as much as possible, but who knows, this all might be a part of a bigger fate that is impossible to change. I am glad we at least came this far and I am optimistic that everything will be just fine. There is no point in overthinking when there is only one option in sight.”Bookmark here

“Why are you always so good with the words?”Bookmark here

Risa giggled.Bookmark here

“I am not joking; your words always seemed to convince and help me get out from dire situations.”Bookmark here

Risa giggling turned to laughing.Bookmark here

“Hey…”Bookmark here

"Sorry, sorry."Bookmark here

"What's going on? Did Nicolo tell a joke?" Trey couldn't ignore Risa's laughing.Bookmark here

"No, it's nothing. By the way, Trey, I heard you confessed your love to Risa." I tried to change the subject.Bookmark here

"Ehh!" Both of them said at the same time and were blushing, especially Risa.Bookmark here

"Who…who…who told you tha…that?" Trey stuttered as he spoke.Bookmark here

“Fina.”Bookmark here

"That damn girl… I will deal with her once she has recovered." Risa ground her teeth.Bookmark here

“So, is it true?”Bookmark here

Both looked at each other then nodded. They were in complete sync.Bookmark here

"That's not good, Trey. You didn't tell me anything about this. I can understand the reasoning of Risa that she is a girl and it's embarrassing to talk stuff like that in front of a guy but what about you?"Bookmark here

"Uuuuuuh… I was also embarrassed."Bookmark here

"Spare me with your excuses."Bookmark here

"Ah, you win. I wanted to surprise you with the announcement of our wedding."Bookmark here

"Wedding? Now, that's what I called development."Bookmark here

“What about you and Fina?”Bookmark here

“We haven’t decided yet.”Bookmark here

“How about having a joint wedding? Two couples and a huge feast?”Bookmark here

“Not a bad idea. It could actually work.”Bookmark here

"Nicolo… were you worried just a moment ago?" Jacob seemed to be confused with my sudden change in mood.Bookmark here

“Were you listening to Risa? There is no point in overthinking when there is only one option up ahead.”Bookmark here

"You really took it to the heart, huh."Bookmark here

The whole car was filled with laughter.Bookmark here

We arrived at the hospital where Fina was admitted.Bookmark here

"Thanks a lot, Risa."Bookmark here

“Don’t sweat it and take care.” She waved her hand at us.Bookmark here

We headed straight to the port. I was hoping for things to take a beneficial turn. We didn't want to go back to our usual lives. Bookmark here

We were driving through the wasteland in complete darkness. There was still some time before the crack of dawn. I was getting nervous as to what this proposal would bring to us. There was complete silence in the car. Everyone knew regarding the weight of this situation but tried to lighten the mood when Risa was there.Bookmark here

I looked back to confirm whether Angelo was still following us or was he lost. The shining headlight confirmed that he was still following us.Bookmark here

After 20 minutes of driving, we finally reached our destination, the port.Bookmark here

I came out of my car and spotted Valentino.Bookmark here

“Where are they?”Bookmark here

“Currently resting in the ship since there is no place to rest on the land. I will inform them about your arrival.”Bookmark here

Moments later, a huge muscular man appeared on the deck, staring at me from above. He came down and stood right in front of me. He was huge, crossing 2 metres easily.Bookmark here

“So, you are the infamous Nicolo Leonardo.”Bookmark here

“And who you might be?”Bookmark here

“Pardon, I should have introduced myself. I am the Minister of Peace, John Halton. Nice to meet you."Bookmark here

He put forward his hand. I shook it.Bookmark here

"Is that you, Igor?"Bookmark here

"Yes, sir."Bookmark here

“I apologize in his stead.”Bookmark here

HUH?Bookmark here

"He was tasked to peacefully negotiate with the head but instead, he went with a complicated plan and destroyed everything. This was not our intention so I truly apologize for that."Bookmark here

“No need for that, sir."Bookmark here

I was shaken after hearing that. I wasn't expecting this.Bookmark here

"Now that you are the ones who came victorious in this prolong battle, what are your plans moving forward?"Bookmark here

“We want to create a more systematic society from the scratch. We want to give people freedom and rights with proper law and justice.”Bookmark here

"That sounds all well and good on the paper but do you know how to implement it?"Bookmark here

I did have an idea but I didn't have a clear vision…Bookmark here

"If you think things work as you move forward then that's not how things work in the real world."Bookmark here

I didn’t say a word.Bookmark here

"If you don't have anything in mind then, I have a proposal for you."Bookmark here

There it was.Bookmark here

“I can’t promise you an exact replica of your dreams and your definition of freedom and human right because the reality is crueler than you might think. You cannot have constant peace and perfection. The utopia, that you dream of, is impossible to create."Bookmark here

His words were really disheartening. It felt like he was saying that all our struggle was not worth it. That we fought for the wrong vision.Bookmark here

"But, it is possible to create something close to a utopia."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"I promise to provide you people with a living standard better than before. A place where the only way to rise is to struggle. Equality among people is impossible to achieve but giving human rights will surely be a thing. There will be no official discrimination or class system. There will be a law to judge everything. You don’t have to take the law into your hands, you don’t have to worry about the well beings of the others as the other factions are there to help them. You can live a peaceful life yourself. So, what do you say, kid? Willing to join us or still want to create your own utopia? We won't interfere if you want the latter."Bookmark here

His words really hit the soul. His words made so much sense. We were just teens. We didn't know how the world worked, yet we went on to create a better society. There could not be anything better than this proposal. We could finally get to rest and enjoy life while not worrying about the others. We don't have to run the country ourselves while handling all the problems. Bookmark here

That felt like a dream. How could I say no to it?Bookmark here

"Of course, I do." I said with a big smile on my face as my eyes got a bit teary. Bookmark here

Those were the tears of joy, tears of happiness. Our struggle and pain had finally paid off. No one had to suffer anymore.Bookmark here

Seeing me like that, Halton gave a big gentle smile. Bookmark here

The first ray of dawn hit the spot where we were standing. The longest and toughest night of my life was finally over. The break of the dawn brought us victory and much more. I couldn't have asked for anything better. Bookmark here

"As for you, Igor, I have discussed the matters with the committee and they issued an order of your execution in two weeks."Bookmark here

“Execution?” I instinctively said that.Bookmark here

"I expected that. I broke too many laws, fooled the government twice and disobeyed their orders on multiple occasions. It's obvious that I will be executed for that."Bookmark here

“Precisely, you will be executed through poison. You have served us a lot so the least we can do is give you a painless death. The poison will make you unconscious and you will die in your sleep.”Bookmark here

"Well, it doesn't matter. I have already lived a really long life and am honestly bored with it. Maybe the afterlife will be more fun."Bookmark here

"You will go straight to hell, which will be anything but fun."Bookmark here

“Hahaha. You are right about that.”Bookmark here

“You should at least be proud that you were the only person to have a successful brain surgery.”Bookmark here

“You still doing the experiments?”Bookmark here

"No, we abandoned it since we realized it required a special brain like yours. You were a very different case. That's why you were able to live for more than 100 years."Bookmark here

"Move." One of the soldiers grabbed Jacob and pulled him towards the ship. He had a smile on his face. A smile of satisfaction as if he fully enjoyed his life.Bookmark here

“Are you going to join us Nicolo for a cup of tea?”Bookmark here

“Thanks a lot for the offer but I have to decline. There are things that I need to settle before I aboard your ship.”Bookmark here

"Then, I will be waiting for your return."Bookmark here

I waved my hand in return.Bookmark here

“Nicolo…” It was Valentino who said that.Bookmark here

“WE DID IT.”Bookmark here

I screamed and everyone followed me with that.Bookmark here

I saw my sister standing in the corner, crying.Bookmark here

I went straight to her and lifted her up. She was smiling.Bookmark here

"We did it, Sophia."Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

Her precious smile was worth every moment. I put her down and shouted. Bookmark here

“Everyone, straight to Alibi. Fina and Risa are waiting to hear the news.”Bookmark here

I was all over the place with joy and excitement.Bookmark here

I hopped into the car along with Valentino, Trey and Marsia and Sophia. Angelo and Orlando were on the bike while the rest of the people hopped on the three-winged plane along with Aida.Bookmark here

We rushed through the corridor and burst into the room where Fina was. Bookmark here

There, we witnessed Fina sitting on the bed while Risa was peeling the apple. Both were surprised to see all of us there.Bookmark here

I couldn't hold back. I went ahead and hugged Fina all of a sudden. She was flustered with that because everyone was watching and had smirks on their faces.Bookmark here

"Hhh…hey, what are you doing? Everyone is watching."Bookmark here

"I am glad you are safe. I was so worried about you; I couldn't bear the thought of losing you." Bookmark here

To everyone’s surprise, I was crying.Bookmark here

“What is this all about?” Risa asked in a confused manner.Bookmark here

"We won, Risa." Trey said in an extremely joyful voice. "He is having a mixture of different emotions right now and he is not used to it."Bookmark here

Everyone laughed at his comment. Risa was crying in joy as well.Bookmark here

But Trey wasn't wrong. It was hard for me to control the joy of victory and Fina's recovery. The anxiety was killing me all this time. But there was no need to fear anymore.Bookmark here

As this was the dawn of the new world.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.