Chapter 0:

Prologue

Accepted


PROLOGUEBookmark here

I yawned, then smacked my lips together. I looked down at the bagel that was in my grip and opened my mouth, taking a bite of it, then pulling away as I chewed.Bookmark here

The noisy sounds of cars, people, and footsteps surrounded me as I walked in the street. I didn't feel anything but light-headed and anxious amidst them. I was never one to like crowds. I'm introverted and a little of a sociopath. I don't talk much. I don't like communicating with others. I despise doing such actions.Bookmark here

One thing I've learned over the years about other humans is that they'll always lie. They're a selfish and uncaring species. They hide that side of them to try to seem lovable to others, and they'll do anything to conceal that wrong side about them.Bookmark here

Well, they hide many things. They keep quiet about their true thoughts about the world because of the fear of losing their cherished ones. The mere thought of being left alone scares them to their very core. Bookmark here

It's why you can never tell when someone truly respects you. Because of how accustomed people are to hiding their genuine selves, they will try to lie to keep you happy.Bookmark here

But is it better that way? Is it better to hide your true self? Bookmark here

I’m not sure.Bookmark here

If you could read the minds of others, and know that reticent truth of theirs, the world we call majestic and beautiful turns into an unforgiving and cruel one, wouldn’t it?Bookmark here

I breathed out, and felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I slowly pulled it out to check who it was.Bookmark here

Himari IwasakiBookmark here

There was a feeling of regret and displeasure as I eyed the name on my screen. I didn't answer, but simply stood still on a sidewalk and patiently waited for her to stop calling.Bookmark here

Finally, she’d stop, and sent a text message instead.Bookmark here

Okumori-kun, please answer me.Bookmark here

I hovered my fingers over the text box, but lowered them a few seconds after. I started to debate my actions, not knowing whether replying or not was safe to do. Bookmark here

I took another bite from my bagel, then turning off my phone and shoving it in my pocket.Bookmark here

I don't want to answer her.Bookmark here

As I stepped forward, something hit my shoe. I blinked, moving my bagel to the side as I looked down.Bookmark here

There was a… small brown teddy bear...?Bookmark here

It sat beside my foot peacefully, but it caused me to ask numerous questions in my head rapidly.Bookmark here

Then, there was a giggle, followed by quick footsteps that I could hear.Bookmark here

I looked over, starting to assume that the owner was coming to retrieve its belongings.Bookmark here

Though, as I looked over, there was a baby girl that had been running across the street. Confusion filled my head with the questions of:Bookmark here

"Where are her parents? Is she alone? If so, how has nobody spotted her and tried to find her family?"Bookmark here

As I watched her, I noticed the pedestrian light behind the little toddler.Bookmark here

It was a hand with all five fingers raised, with the color being bright red.Bookmark here

And so, it hit me like a ton of bricks to what was currently happening.Bookmark here

The pedestrian light is red. A kid is running towards me. Cars are passing by.Bookmark here

I moved my eyes to the right and saw a truck driving, which erupted a loud, blaring horn as the driver spotted the girl.Bookmark here

I dropped my bagel and instantly rushed forwards. My steps soon turned into long strides, and it only took me four steps to reach the girl's distance. I crouched down and set my hands under her armpits, then lifted her in a hurry. Bookmark here

The baby let out a squeal, then a hiccup as I raised her. I ignored it, turning around and trying to run back.Bookmark here

But I slipped. And once I felt this misstep, my heart sank like never before. It felt like an arrow struck me.Bookmark here

There was only one question now in my head:Bookmark here

Am I going to die?Bookmark here

Then, my other foot lunged forwards from pure instinct, using whatever strength I had left to pull my remaining foot away from the trucks' path. I dived forwards, landing on my front with the baby still in my hands.Bookmark here

A hefty sigh of relief exited my body, followed by heavy breathing. I groaned and rolled over, looking at the kid that was in my grasp. I held her in the air; my hands tightly gripped around her torso. Bookmark here

The kid looked down at me with a blank expression, then releasing a fart with a soft-hearted giggle. Bookmark here

"I hate kids." I sharply muttered.Bookmark here

I rose from the floor and eyed my clothes, spotting the gray marks and brown dirt present. I then looked back up at the girl, who had her head tilted observing me.Bookmark here

In response, I looked back at her with a sickened look.Bookmark here

She soiled her pants, didn't she? That fart of hers didn't sound normal.Bookmark here

I lifted my right hand and placed it on the back of her shirt. I raised her using my index finger and thumb, distancing the two of us. I then kneeled over, grabbed the teddy bear on the floor, and handed it to the baby.Bookmark here

She laughed and wrapped her arms around it, hugging it tightly.Bookmark here

"Hey! What are you doing with my child?!" A voice shrieked.Bookmark here

I looked over and felt relief. But, as well as slight anger for the person's poor parenting.Bookmark here

"Are you abducting her?! I'll call the police!" she yelled.Bookmark here

I shook my head to her angered claim calmly, trying to keep myself under control.Bookmark here

Her rankled yelling aggravated me as soon as I heard it. I wanted to insult her and scream at her about how terrible of a parent she was. But, I knew it wouldn't make the situation any better, so I kept quiet.Bookmark here

"Stop lying to me! You're just trying to kidnap her, aren't you?!"Bookmark here

I shook my head once more. This time, more firmly.Bookmark here

"Shut up! You're just a freak! You're terrible! Pedophile!" She pointed at me.Bookmark here

I bit my lip in anger, so hard to the point where I could taste the metallic blood that came out of it.Bookmark here

Huh…?Bookmark here

People who blame others without any explanation and just out of spite infuriate me to my utter core. I especially loathe those types of people. They can’t fathom to blame themselves for the mistakes they make, so they resort to placing that blunder on others. It downright disgusts me. Bookmark here

It’s just a bright red light that screams selfishness. Bookmark here

And I despise selfish people. Bookmark here

However, once more, I kept silent with these insulting words. As annoyed as I was, I didn't want to make this situation any more complicated than it already was.Bookmark here

Soon, I realized that multiple people were starting to surround us, beginning to whisper insulting comments as I held the baby in hand. Bookmark here

Yet, this confused me. Did no one see me save a child who was about to get run over? Did no one hear a loud truck blaring?Bookmark here

I pulled my teeth away from my lip and sighed, approaching her and handing her the baby.Bookmark here

"Shut up already." I angrily muttered at her, giving her a vehement glare.Bookmark here

The woman became mute after I handed her the child. However, her angered expression didn’t change, continuing to scowl at me back in silence.Bookmark here

“Excuse me? What did you just say?” She spat. Bookmark here

I stepped back, then turned around and walked away from them.Bookmark here

“Hey! Come back here! I’m calling the police!”Bookmark here

As I stomped away, there was something that I remembered.Bookmark here

It is inevitable to be hated.Bookmark here

No matter what good you do in the world, you can never please everyone. You don’t ever please everyone. That’s just an unattainable dream. Because, even with your talent of altruism, people will still earn and hold a disdain for you, as if you were some cattle waiting for the day it gets butchered.Bookmark here

But, I knew that already, didn’t I?Bookmark here

No matter how much I try, I always fall short.Bookmark here

As I recognized this, I also remembered how much I hated the world.Bookmark here

As elegant and grandiose as this world may seem, it is just a simple disguise to how the inhabitants of this planet genuinely are. It is nothing more than a world of hatred, hostility, resentment, and disfavor.Bookmark here

So, I, Okumori Toshiro, absolutely despise this malevolent world. Bookmark here

cover 3

Accepted


Hiroaki
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