Chapter 1:

King of Nothing 00

Football Island

Football. Soccer.

Statistically the world’s most famous sport.

A ball, and 22 players.

For a young man like Reo, however, football was also a chance. A gamble. A one way ticket to chase a fleeting dream.

The pitch. This big expanse of green, was his playground. His very own domain. A place where he could set his desires free.

The ball was an extension of himself. He was the ball, and the ball was him. Flair, technique, unbridled brilliance like the first rays of sunlight in the morning. Like the refreshing aroma of fresh cut grass, and the soft sound of cleats against the pitch.

Reo was a starter for a local small football club before his talent was recognized at the young age of 12.

For 2 years he faced rigorous training in one of the most promising footballing middle schools in Japan, and a contract from a big club was soon to be in the cards.

Then, it came.

The moment the young footballing genius was waiting for. The moment he dreamt of every night.

He would have the chance to represent the U14s of the Japanese National team, alongside talents of his caliber. With the number 10 on his back, and the greatest weight now resting on his shoulder, the small Reo headed straight for his target and never looked back.

The score was tied, and when the ball was given to him during one of the last plays, he knew exactly what to do. Everything was set up for this moment. All of his efforts were about to bare their fruits.

A single free kick. A sole kick towards goal. When he looked past the wall before him, he could see it. A path to goal. The trajectory was laid out before him as if somebody painted a path in the air, meant for his eyes alone.

He lined up his body, hunched over the ball slightly, and hit it cleanly and a little to the side with his magical left foot. The ball soared across the sky like an eagle taking flight.

With a soft, satisfying sound, the likes of which Reo was used to hearing, the net accepted the ball in its embrace, and soon all of his teammates cried in pure bliss.


Reo had done it. He was the undisputed hero of the night. And as he was drowned in the embraces of his own teammates, he looked at the sky. At his never ending ambitions.

He would surely come to experience many moments like these in the future. He was just getting started. A star was just being born.

He was destined for it.

He was made for this very purpose.

There was no way he could fail.

No way,



It was back at his middle school when it happened. During a mere practice match, and while Reo was dribbling past more opponents than he cared to count, one of them put more force in his tackle than he should have. And as luck would have it, his aim was off.

Reo’s foot was trapped beneath his opponent’s cleats in an instant, and in less than a split second, his precious left foot snapped beneath the weight of the tackle.

The young boy shouted in pain, clutching his ankle. That was the end of the match for him. And sadly, the end of the season. He wouldn’t play again for at least 8 months.

Reo suddenly felt everything collapse before him.

The contract he had worked so hard for was now growing more and more out of reach. Like a candle in the wind, his sole purpose in life, the only thing he strived towards with such vigor was about to be extinguished and lost all too soon.

8 months was a long time in football. And of course no team could wait that long. Reo wasn’t getting any younger either.

Time doesn’t stand still, and opportunities don’t wait.

Before he knew it, Reo was 15 and just about ready to come back. Ready to go once more.

But something had changed.

His… feet. His thunderous left, and swift right, weren’t cooperating like they used to.

You’ll get used to it!

They said, unbothered. Reo was playing poorly. He was constantly dishing out half-baked performances, a ghost of his former self.

He was no longer one with the ball. He felt as if it was too heavy for him to carry anymore.

And then, one fateful day. His strict father, and very own agent since he could remember, turned to him and said:

“You can’t do this anymore. You should quit.”

A renowned football talent expert, Jyutaro Satoshi, was his father. He had drilled into his son’s head how hard he should work if he wanted to fulfill his dream of playing professional football.

He was the one… that had turned his son’s passion into an obsession. And he was now the one cutting him loose in a moment of weakness.

Constantly fighting with his wife of course, didn’t help, and the divorce came soon after.

Football had ripped his family in half. Or was it just his incompetence?

Reo fell into a void of negative thoughts. And even more negative actions. After the incident, he did not dare even look at a football again. His heart tightened even by just the mere sight of it. He had heed his father’s advice to the letter and…


He was no longer the prodigy.

No longer the star.

He wasn’t the bane of his enemies. He wasn’t even a force to be reckoned with.

He was just Reo.

Everything he thought he was, turned out to be a mere illusion. A visage of the future he had once glimpsed turned into his nightmare, a figment of imagination that haunted his restless nights.

Unable to take it anymore, his mother, decided to act.

With her own initiative, she took her daughter and son, and moved away from the city.

They boarded a plane, and then took a long ferry ride as far away as possible, hoping this would ease Reo’s troubles, and they could kick start a new life as a family.

<O><><O> !```! <O><O>

Seagulls flew overhead, their cries carried over by the early morning breeze. The scent of sea was present in the air, as the young man heaved a weary breath.

It was early spring, but the weather around this part of Japan was reminiscent of a place far cut off from even a single trace of winter.

He stepped out of the iron platform, alongside a thunderous more footsteps alongside his. As everyone disembarked, the vessel that brought them here cried out like a mechanical whale.

“Ah, finally some land!”

A young woman stretched her arms overhead, and smiled. Her hair was a dark blonde, and her figure slim and rather tall. She turned back to another woman, this one around her early 40s.

“Mom… Where are we headed? You know your way around?”

“We’ll… ask around! Don’t worry!”


While the two of them engaged in lively chatter, the oldest of the two turned to the silent, groggy young man. With a face weary and drowsy, matching the early morning hours perfectly, the young man returned the stare.

“Reo-chan? You ready to go?”

“Sure.” He shrugged, and slung a backpack over his shoulder.

His name was now Yuusaki Reo. And he had reached his 16th year. He was no longer a star, or a genius. He was just a high school student, hoping for a normal life.

A life away from the sport that was once his sole purpose of living.

A new life awaited him. A life where he would forget about his long lost dream. A quiet, normal one.

Reo sighed, as he began to walk at a pace that matched that of his family.

A life he hoped to find at a remote island cut off from the Japanese peninsula.

An island in the archipelago of Shinrin. An island called Hinami.
Lucid Levia