It has been 3 years past since I wore that mask. 3 years of locking away the pain and agony I had to gone through. 3 years of being an outcast towards the world. I was then reminded of that dreadful winter.
Cross Faction is an RPG game that Takagi and I have been playing for some time. Takagi was notably good at this, he was even invited to join a prestigious guild which joins into international competition. However, Takagi waved off that invitation since he claims he was only playing for fun.
"Oi Takagi! Can I enter?", I knocked on his door.
"Sure, just come in!", I heard Takagi's voice from the other side of the door. With the green light given, I went into his room.
"Still playing Cross Faction?", I asked.
"Can't you tell bro?", he replied. I took a closer look at his computer screen, and the famous Vyper was there fighting off 2 other guys.
One of the enemies was a tanker, guys who are able to take on a lot of hits thanks to it's huge HP, with the name DarkBringer. The other one was a mage, which my guess is, an offensive mage. DarkBringer charged forward to make him the center of attention. Takagi, however, used a spell on him to delay his movements for 10 seconds (or so Takagi said, I don't remember all his spells). He used the 10 second delay to attack the mage behind the tank. The mage was unable to use any skill since he was the type of mage, which Takagi claims, who needs a long casting time. Vyper finished off the mage using a combo Takagi likes to use, Firestrom followed up by Magic Sapper. With this combo, he said he was able to lash out enormous damage while regaining quite a decent amount of Magic Points (or MP for short) to use. Takagi then attacked the tanker while deactivating all his equipment's bonuses with a skill of his (Again, I don't remember every spell Takagi possesses). He then calls out all of his big guns to finish off DarkBringer.
"Dang it!", DarkBringer said through the chat. "How can you be so good at Cross Faction, Vyper?", he said.
"I don't know. I just think of the best possible outcome with all the possibilities I can do... I guess.", Takagi answered. "Still, you're pretty decent at playing this too, DarkBringer.", he continued.
"I still don't get it, why wouldn't you join the Realm Takers?", DarkBringer asked.
"I don't really have much time to play games. I also don't plan to make a living out of it. I simply play them to kill time hahaha.", Takagi answered.
"I see... By the way I got a clan battle to fight. See you around?", DarkBringer asked.
"Sure. Good luck on your clan fight.", Takagi answered. DarkBringer went off to his battle afterwards.
"So.. What do you need bro?", Takagi asked me. To be honest, I wasn't sure what I was doing. I just thought I could waste time watching Vyper take out some guys.
"I don't really know hahaha.", I answered him.
"Sometimes you're wierd bro...", Takagi said. "By the way, I'm gonna pack up for that school trip I'm having tomorrow.", he continued.
"I see. How long is it before you came back?", I asked.
"Around 3 days if we stick to the plan.", he said. "Of course, I wouldn't be the one who accidentally kicked some other student's shoe to a river and had to retreive it.". Both Takagi and I laughed after he said that. I was actually the one who accidentally kicked a classmate's shoe to a river, and was forced to retrieve it afterwards. It wasted around half a day just finding the shoe, which I fortunately found ashore on a river bank. This caused me to arrive almost at midnight, which was scheduled to be at 1 p.m.
"Would you not remind me of that accident? That was so hilarious I couldn't even say sorry with a straight face to my classmate. Haha-", I was stopped when Takagi and I heard a sound like a window broke. We hurried downstairs and found what was the cause of the noise. It was no other than our parents fighting again.
"You selfish idiot! Can't you think more than just your selfish needs?!", our mom shouted from one side of the kitchen. In front of her was a plate broken into pieces which seems like the cause of the crash-like sound just now.
"I think for myself? Who do you think pays for all those pieces of cloth you never used? You're the one who's basically wasting my money here!", our father shouted back.
"Well all you ever did is just slouch around doing nothing in the house!".
"I deserve to do anything I want since I'm the one making the money around here! You on the other hand don't have the right to spend my money as if you just won a lottery!".
"You know what?! I'm sick living with your stupid made-up rules! You want to be the only royalty in a family, then have it!".
"SHUT UP!", I screamed out as I punched the wall. This causes everyone to look at me, all with a surprised expression on their face. "Why can't we just have one day, just one single God damn day in this 16 years I spent alive without any stupid fights between you two?! Why can't I just have a simple peaceful family to be in?!", I continued. My parent's face turned into looks of guilt as they just heard what I have been suppressing this whole time.
I pulled back my hand from the wall and found out that I was bleeding. I refused to stay any longer in this house. I took my hoodie I left on a couch and walked out of my so-called house. I'd figure I might just crash in one of my friend's house for the night since I was on term break anyways.
"Where are you going bro?", Takagi asked.
"Where does it look like? Out.", I said as I stormed off.
"No wait! Bro!", Takagi tried to stop me. He was too late though. I was already too pissed off by my parents.
It seemed as if forever for me to just get to the park I usually use to think and reflect my life. My brain was filled with all the unwanted thoughts of my parents. I ran and ran to the park, but it just feels like time just rolls backwards in my head since my thoughts were still in the place I don't feel I belong.
I knew Takagi was going after me, but he won't be following for much longer. I always cut through a construction site and went to higher grounds from there. From the construction site, I went through the roofs of the houses between the construction site and the park. I'm used to free running since I was pretty much doing it almost everyday since I was 12 years old. Takagi however, mostly stick to staying in front of his computer, either pro-gaming or programming. He wouldn't be able to get to me. Besides, he was never knew of the park I like to go to.
I sat on a bench which shows off the rest of the city, since the park was built on top of a hill. All the houses below lined up perfectly. The sun was just about to say goodbye to this city, hiding behind the comfort of the mountains. For a second, I thought this was a nice scenery, but it waved off quite quickly.
I hate this city. I hate this fate I was given to live through. Every single day I always felt as if I was simply returned to a prison. I wasted most of my days out of that prison. I don't know what I was doing, I pretty much just went around town and mess around.
I wanted to live in an apartment, away from all the messed up things back at that prison. However, both my so-called parents disagreed with me. They said things about living as a family, living in harmony together in a perfect place called home. What a bunch of lies. Acting as if they were living with common sense, but all they knew was the contrary. The only thing I ever did in that prison was play Cross Faction, look for a suitable part-time job, and sleep.
"Not rare seeing you here.", a voice said behind me. I recognized that voice. It was Kisama Hisako, a childhood friend of mine.
"Nice to see you too, Hisako", I replied. She sat beside me, also staring at the sunset presented before us.
"What's up this time?", she asked.
"The regular. Messed up life of mine back at a place I don't wish to call home", I said.
"Sooner or later you're going to need to learn how to live as a family.", she said. Usually if someone says anything like this, I'll be angry. But when Hisako said it, it always calms me down. I don't know either it's the way she speaks or the face she made when saying it, but it worked.
"The later, the better. I have every other people to care for except for those two.", I snapped back in a reluctant manner. Hisako sighed afterwards.
She knew it isn't going to be easy for me to be able to live with my family peacefully, but deep down I know she was trying her best. Each time after she lectured me about being with a family, I felt like I might want to try to do so. But whenever I walked back through the front door of my so-called home, the atmosphere always made me forget about her words.
"It's getting late. I'm going home. You should too.", she said.
"I'm thinking about crashing at Yoshiro's place", I replied.
"No, you're not. You're going back home. Or should I escort you back home?".
"Fine fine. I don't need your escort.".
"Good, see you later.", she said. I nodded.
I always knew that I can always lie to her and eventually end up at Yoshiro's place, but there's this part of me that never could make myself lie. No matter how terrible the outcome might be, but I just can't lie. It was probably the sense of righteousness that I had since I was small.
I opened the gates of my so-called home. I sighed before opening the door. As I opened the door, I realized there was no one in the house besides my dad who was sitting on the couch with his hands holding his head.
"Where's Takagi?", I asked.
"He's not back yet. So is that lady.", my dad replied. I was rather confused by him calling my so-called mom 'that lady' rather than 'my mom'. However, I shook it off my head.
"What? How can he not be back home yet?", I was rather shocked.
"I don't know. He's a good kid, he wouldn't go home late.", my so-called dad replied.
"Well then we're gonna need to look for him! Not staying here doing nothing!", I shouted at my so-called dad. Takagi is someone important to me, probably the most important person. He was the one who kept me stay sane in the whole jeopardy I was living in.
"There is something I have to tell you.", my so-called dad said softly as I was about to leave.
"It can wait.", I snapped back.
"No it can't!", he shouted back at me. I was surprised. He never yelled straight at me. I just realized how fearsome he could be.
"Sit down there.", he continued while pointing at the other end of the kotatsu. I was in a rather shock, but followed what he said afterwards. I followed what he wanted since this is the first time he had shouted right at me, so I thought it was very important.
"What is it?", I asked.
"It's about your past.", he said. There was some pause before he continued, as if gathering courage before continuing. "Your present mother isn't your biological mother."