Chapter 33:

Past in flames

The Day I Forgot About You

The doors he entered through closed as soon as he left, probably Carolina tried to shut the outer doors before he could get out. Outside, it was already night. The park that had been full of life before was deserted. The streets, on the other hand, still had people going back and forth. Some movement. It was a bit scary being alone in that unfamiliar neighborhood.

Neo remembered when he was returning from the party with his brother. The atmosphere was quite similar. Everything was so calm, except for complete darkness. There were several clouds in the sky that covered the stars and the moon. Only where the illumination of some streetlights was present could the path be seen.

He walked until he found a market. The white light he emitted in the midst of the darkness created a strange contrast. He asked for directions to the address he had seen in his dreams. The old man at the cash register explained to him step by step how to get there. He warned that it would be a somewhat long journey and therefore wrote everything down on a piece of paper in case he forgot.

Neo walked for a long time, following the old man's instructions. He was determined to uncover the truth once and for all. Suddenly, he was touched on the back; it seemed like someone was calling him in a very gentle way, and at that moment, he thought it was Saya. A spark of hope ignited in his heart momentarily, but it couldn't be her. She wouldn't be there at that hour.

When he turned around to check, he was disappointed to see the same short-haired black-haired girl. This time, she was dressed more casually and holding a shopping bag. She hugged him as soon as she had the chance. Neo became frustrated again.

"What are you doing here?" she asked while playing with her hair.

"I'm looking for this address," he said, showing her the written paper.

The girl looked at the paper curiously.

"I know that place; it's where your parents used to work. Why do you want to go there?"

"I need to know the truth."

She became a bit sad. Now that she was with him, she wanted to spend more time, so she suggested,

"Neo, now that you're here, don't you want to come home? It's late, you can spend the night and go to the place you want in the morning."

"I don't know you, why should I go with you?"

The girl became irritated, hearing what he was saying.

"First, you disappear, and then you pretend not to know me? Stop that! I'm Yume!"

Neo's heart skipped a beat. Yume was the same name his brother had mentioned. Even though he had looked at her several times, he couldn't remember and started feeling bad about it. He had been treating her badly ever since.

"Sorry, Yume. I don't remember. I don't remember anything," Neo said, expressing sadness with his gaze.

He ran off, leaving the girl behind, apologizing for everything he had done.

Neo approached the address with a racing heart. The place was surrounded by yellow and red isolation tapes. He swallowed hard, fighting the knot of fear that had formed in his throat.

With a trembling sigh, Neo crossed the isolation tapes. The sound of plastic creaking echoed in the silent air. The wreckage around him gave a desolate view, as if time itself had frozen. The smell of smoke and burnt metal permeated the air. A shiver ran down his spine.

Step by step, Neo advanced through the dark and silent corridors. At every turn, he came across twisted pieces of metal and shattered glass. Dark stains marked the floor and walls. His stomach turned as he saw dried blood drops.

Step by step, the memories of that night started to return to his mind. Each piece of damaged equipment, each scorched wall, brought flashes of memories. The voices of the victims echoed in his mind like ghostly whispers, recreating the scene he was trying to forget.

When he finally reached the main room, a large, spacious area, the ceiling was broken with an open space where the moonlight illuminated right in the middle of the room where the explosion had occurred. Neo's heart began to pound in his chest with unbridled force. This was where it had all started.

The room was filled with charred debris. The walls had been darkened by the fire, and the acrid smell of smoke permeated the air. Neo scanned the room, swallowing hard as he noticed the bloodstains. Monitors were destroyed, debris covered everything.

It was there that she was when it all happened. Neo felt his throat tighten, and his hands began to tremble uncontrollably. His mind went back to the day when it all happened.

They were researching something, something he couldn't quite remember. Everything was going well until there was an explosion that threw him away. And a faceless figure suddenly appeared, shooting everyone in sight. Neo tried to crawl and escape along with the other scientists, but it was impossible. Mia stepped in front to protect him and took several shots for him.

He screamed in agony as he saw her fall to the ground, the figure continued to shoot relentlessly at the remaining people. His mother crawled over to him and held him in her arms, using her last strength to put her necklace around his neck.

"You're strong, Neo," he heard her as if she were speaking to him in the present. As if that gave him the strength to remember, in the present he held the necklace tightly, his fingers trembling as he fought back the tears welling up.

Neo then held his mother in his arms, tears streaming down his face. The killer appeared in front of him.

Hatred boiled within Neo as his eyes fixed on the figure before him, wearing a mirrored mask. It was as if Neo were looking at himself, holding his mother, which only intensified his hatred.

The faceless figure pointed the gun at Neo's head; he knew it was his end, but he continued to curse him with all his might. The assassin pulled the trigger, the metallic click echoed in the air, but nothing happened.

Now, out of bullets, Neo stared defiantly at the assassin. "It's over, isn't it?"

With a quick impulse, Neo pushed his mother's body aside and lunged at the assassin. With a determined move, he knocked him to the ground, positioning himself over him.

He punched the mask repeatedly until it shattered into pieces. Reflecting an image of himself broken, similar to his emotional state at that moment.

"Show your face, you damned coward!" he shouted as he continued to punch relentlessly.

But it didn't take long for the figure to respond, throwing the boy away as he stood up and drew his sword, adopting a stance with his hands over his head and the blade held horizontally.

The blade's edge glowed with the light of the explosion's flames, revealing a dragon engraved on its blade. Looking closely at the guy in front of him, he was covered in blood and wounded all over. His breath was heavy.

Neo might have had the courage to face him if he weren't armed. With a sword in hand, it would be impossible to get close and defeat him with bare hands. That's why he looked at the nearest exit, which was on fire, and ran away.

The killer chased after him, fearless amidst the flames and falling debris from the ceiling. Several people who were trying to contain the fire were cut down by the killer to make way for him.

Neo kept running while seeking the building's exit as quickly as possible. Once he reached the street, he ran as fast as he could. He looked back and saw his family's workplace's lion symbol. The place was on fire.

From there on, the memories fragmented into pieces. Now, present-day Neo stood before the building. He had followed his past self's footsteps to this point. The shock of the memories had been so intense that he staggered, and his vision began to spin. Neo stumbled, the ground tilting beneath his unsteady feet. His body gave way, and he collapsed onto the cold floor with a dull thud. His head struck the cold ground.

Darkness enveloped him as consciousness faded, mingling with vivid and painful memories. The last thing Neo saw before losing the battle against unconsciousness was the image of someone reaching out to him as he fell to the ground.

This Novel Contains Mature Content

Show This Chapter?

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon