Chapter 1:

Time Flies

Ad Novum Initium

18:38 - September 13, 3756 - 12 Years after reset (12 A.R.)

New Pastoria Kingdom - Province 3 - Burbank Township - Lake Burbank

Time flies when you’re having fun. Or at least that’s what they say. Its a stupid saying to be honest; In no other context is the term fly, flying, flies, used to represent a rate of change. I could be misinterpreting the whole saying in general, but out of context, time flying would definitely be a sight to behold.

What if it were possible though? Time is a concept unbounded by the laws of physics—the progression of events from the past, present, and future—the fourth dimension of reality. Twelve years ago, being able to witness time flying, would be unheard of. What if we were able to materialize time? Condense it into a bottle and be able to carry it around. What if dimensions of reality were tangible objects, able to be manipulated and adjusted by a person? How would a world bound by such a law function without it? Would humanity be conscious of time being altered? Would a world without time remain stagnant and unchanging? Or would something else happen beyond human comprehension?

I grabbed another rock off the ground and stared across the calm body of water in front of me. I found myself here often. I’m not running away from problems or anything, nor do I find this to be a place of comfort. Yet, I find myself here every day.

Lake Burbank: The lake that gave my hometown its name. After what happened twelve years ago, the what-used-to-be crater before me slowly filled with water from the ocean bordering this area. Local fishermen that survived ended up sealing off the crater, thus forming Lake Burbank. On the other end of the lake was the town. Tall trees, no shorter than 300 feet, stood tall hiding the immense blue sky above. The sun, or technically sun-two bled through the trees, outlining the leaves on the earthy-soil beneath. It’s red rays, which inexplicably changed twelve years ago, gave the earth a new glow different than that of the former.

In my hand, the rock was smooth, weathered down by the lake that lapped at my feet. Gripping it firmly between my slender fingers, I launched it across the water. It skipped not once or twice, but 43 times. My record was somewhere beyond the two-hundreds since I lost sight of it, but a nonchalant toss like this one averaged in the forties.

I inched closer to the water until my toes were submerged. Sitting directly above it, I stared at my reflection. The bags under my eyes were worse than usual, lately I hadn’t been able to sleep. For the past few weeks I’d woken up in a deep sweat with a fleeting feeling that someone had been calling out to me. I’ve had no recollection of any dreams, but the load placed on my brain that I felt after getting up gives me the sense that I had been awake the entire time. Of course I was curious to see if I picked up some odd habit of sleepwalking, but my roommate says otherwise and that I looked to be sleeping comfortably.

My matted black hair had gotten slightly long, it was at the worst length where it would poke my eyes out if I had it down, but too short to tie back.

Today was the day.

I could feel it like a sixth sense. Something was going to happen today.

19:02 - September 13, 3756 - 12 Years after reset (12 A.R.)

New Pastoria Kingdom - Province 3 - Burbank Township - Residential District

I could’ve gotten home a lot sooner, but I enjoyed the walk. The sun setting changed the environment. The once blue sky turns blood red. The white clouds hanging above look like chunks of fat in a juicy steak. Locals have coined this time of day as blood-hour. From traveling to other provinces, I’ve heard it being referred to under other aliases. Even if it were a big enough deal to give it an official name, people would never be able to come to a general consensus—democracy is dead after all.

“Ritsu Akamori.” A gruff voice called out to me as I approached my house.

He was dressed in imperial regalia, the colors of his uniform signifying that he was from the 1st province, the heart of the kingdom and the home of the nobles and many other influential people. New Pastoria has seven different provinces. A common assumption would be that the provinces were listed in order from most to least important. However, that is not the case. Every other province other than the first has no power whatsoever. You could say that we are like cattle, bred to provide for the rich and the nobles of the 1st province.

Nobody sees it this way though. Most, if not all people under the New Pastoria Kingdom see our king as a savior, a hero. It’s not their fault because it is purposefully made to appear that way.

I had no idea what kind of business an imperial soldier from the 1st province had with me, but with no way to get inside my house, I couldn’t avoid him. Plus, this could be part of the premonition I had earlier.

The man before me stood tall, his broad shoulders looked like the wings of a hawk coming down to swoop in on its prey. On closer inspection, his insignia was different than those that I was used to, I honestly had never seen one like it before. His face was rugged and showed age. He didn’t give off a dangerous aura or impression, based on my experience, he seemed to be an upright person.

“Yes, that is me.” I replied.

“Bram Bennett, you can call me Bram,” he introduced himself before continuing. “Ritsu Akamori of the 3rd province’s military academy, you are to be transferred over to the 1st province’s company under the jurisdiction of Bram Bennett, effective immediately.”


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