1 Erik Romano

Erik was walking down the corridor. He was leaving the school building, heading home, and minding his own business, trying not to get anyone's attention. Life wasn't easy for him since he lived in a country where power reigned supreme, and he was severely lacking in that aspect.

There were multiple people in that corridor: Anderson Worthington, the most popular guy in school, and his clique of friends, Aarron Greig and Mikey Dixon, the two with the school's most bizarre brain crystal powers, that allowed one to create a slimy corrosive substance he was trying a way to develop into a usable weapon, and the other to birth flesh-eating bugs.

They had weird powers, even by Erik's standards, and he had the power to make plants grow faster.

Though, it wasn't their presence that scared the young man, making him try to be as inconspicuous as possible. It was Logan Reid and his group of friends.

Logan was walking through the corridor in Erik's opposite direction. The boy saw him approaching and made the mistake of looking at him for more than one second. Logan went past Erik, making the young man heave a sigh of relief, but it was then that Logan turned and said at the boy, "Hey, Erik!"

Logan grabbed the young man's shoulders and punched him in the face. The boy fell to his knees, holding a bloody nose. Logan punched him again, and Erik could not look at something different from his tormentor's face.

It was the face of his nightmares, the face of a monster. "This is because you are a loser!" The bully shouted with an evil grin on his face. The other boys nearby snickered at their friend beating up Erik.

"Stop, Logan, please!" Erik held his bloodied hands out defensively.

Logan grabbed one of Erik's arms and whirled it behind his back. His arm twisted painfully into an awkward angle. The pain from the previous day's beating surged back like a fountain.

"Logan, please!" Erik yelled as he tried to escape the larger boy who was now trying to suffocate him.

"Shut up!" Logan screamed at his friend.

Multiple people stared at the scene from a distance; there wasn't an ounce of compassion in their eyes. Erik was trash, as his Brain crystal was.

His brain crystal was useless to fight; it was also almost useless from a utility point and was ranked low because of this.

It was ranked E on Jorm's scale, the one made to rank how useful and versatile a power was. It was only ranked F on the Ferebitz scale, a power scale that indicated how much mana the brain crystal could store and use.

This made it increasingly difficult for him to make new connections between the brain and the crystal.

The brain-crystal connection meant everything for an individual since the more one had and the stronger the brain's crystal power, or BCP, as people were used to calling them.

His only connection was the one he was born with, which barely allowed him to use his power, making him stay at the low FSIGMA1E rank, one of the lowest ranks there could be.

Erik struggled to break free from Logan's grip, but the young man was much weaker than the bully. Erik looked at the people nearby with pleading eyes, but no one was interested in helping the school's human trash. They looked at him as if he was an eyesore, someone who should have never been born.

The bully finally released the young man and kicked him hard in the stomach. Erik felt like he was going to vomit. Logan looked at him and then turned to his friends, who were laughing at the poor boy on the ground.

"GAH!"

"GAH!"

"GAH!"

The young man's saliva dripped from his mouth; he had difficulty breathing. The kick was strong.

Erik stood up slowly and wiped the blood from his face. People observed the bullying but didn't do anything; they were indifferent to the suffering young man.

"Trash!" Logan's friends said while leaving the place.

Erik took off down the hall with tears falling from his eyes; he was constantly being picked on by bullies with better Brain crystal powers. It didn't matter that Erik did well in school; his power was useless, and that meant everything.

The young man left the school's aisle and went out of the the building. He walked home with tears dripping down his face; people looked at him puzzled, but the shop owners nearby recognized the young man.

This was a daily occurrence for him, but even they, despite being adults, looked at the young man as if he was a bug. They knew who he was.

The trashy son of Lucius Romano, who, despite being an astonishing individual with the incredible AKAPPA3C power to make four shadow clones was good for nothing.

The young man arrived home after a long walk from school; he had no one coming to pick him up as most other students had. Being friends, parents, brothers, sisters, lovers even. He was alone in a world that rejected him with his father, who knew where.

He entered the house. It was the same usual view that came before him; a small apartment located within an old building, with the bare minimum: a kitchen, a bathroom, and a living room which he also used as a bedroom.

He had no high-class furniture, and his father left him the bare minimum to survive, but it wasn't enough to live a comfortable life. In fact, the young man had to work after school, he used his power to make plants grow faster on a farm not far from New Alexandria city, but the pay was meager.

Despite being a high-ranked individual, his father was penniless because of his obsessions. He left his son alone for two years before to search for the cause of the sinister cold.

This virus led to the development of brain crystals and the birth of the thaids, heavily mutated animals with powers capable of changing the natural order.

The creatures forced the human race to live on a single continent instead of the two they previously inhabited.

Even then, claiming back the land from the beasts came at a high cost, so divisions among humans started taking place. The process ended with the birth of seven nations: Miciselen, Hin, Prare, Reraiaph, Khunelerp, Etrium, and Frant, where Erik lived.

The young man didn't know how the situation was in the other nations, but here, in Frant, it was bad. The government was militaristic and based one social standing on the brain crystal power one possessed.

Discrimination and hate were the basis of this nation, and the young man hated it. No more as he hated himself or how he hated his father for having abandoned him.

Erik left his things on the living room table and went to the bathroom; since he was constantly bullied and beaten, he spent a lot of money on first aid kits he used daily to heal his wounds.

After he was done, he went to the computer; the young man was obsessed with war news. It gave him comfort knowing that the people who treated him like garbage were dying in the war against Hin.

Erik opened the browser and clicked on the news site. A headline caught his attention:

"STALEMATE IN WAR"

He read the article.

"BETWEEN THE TWO NATIONS, THERE WERE NO SURRENDERS AT BOTH EASTERN FRANTIAN AND HINIAN COAST AS OF TUESDAY MORNING."

In the middle of the night, a battle between Hinian and Frantian forces broke out near the country's eastern coast. As of Tuesday morning, there was no sign of either side backing down.

"THE FACT THAT THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR THREE DAYS AFTER SOME SMALL SKIRMISHES BETWEEN FRANT AND HIN MEANS THAT NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNTIL THE TWO NATIONS AGREE TO SETTLE DOWN." The author stated.

"AH! THAT'S WHAT YOU DESERVE, MOTHER FUCKERS!" the young man said. Hate ran deep through Erik's veins.

His hatred got stronger when he saw footage of the battles. His eyes were glued to the screen. The young man watched the soldiers killing each other, making him feel sick to his stomach but happy for their deaths.

A few minutes later, he closed the browser. He walked over to his bed, put down his backpack, and took off his uniform.

Once he was naked, he stretched his arms above his head. He then placed his hands on top of his head, and as he did, he felt the warm sensation spread across his body.

He moved his legs apart, and his feet touched the floor. He pulled them closer together. Once he was in a position similar to yoga, he began to move his hips.

He rolled his shoulders. He rotated his neck.

Then, he focused on his right hip and worked on it for a while. Over time, the pain and stiffness became less noticeable.

After stretching every part of his body, Erik stood up. He had been doing this for a long time, but his muscles still ached despite his obsession.

He sighed; he was only sixteen but already looked thirty due to the constant beating. Multiple parts of his body were not the same anymore and ached when he did some movements.

At that moment, with the sun still high in the sky, Erik heard a pair of keys being inserted into his door. The young man turned to look at his door opening, and once he did, he couldn't believe what he was seeing. His father came back home.

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