Chapter 1 || Yosuke's POV
POV = Point of View
I have always hoped that something interesting would happen in my life. I don't know… maybe I could get some badass superpowers, or travel to a different dimension. Something similar to those Isekai mangas that I used to read. I constantly have so many stupid thoughts about everyone on earth being a robot, of course, except me, and that they see each other as machines, but I portray them as humans or some shit that no one will understand. If I had the power, I'd fly far away from here because my life is a mess...
"YOSUKE, I SAID WAKE UP ALREADY! YOU ARE 10 MINUTES LATE!"
...And that right there is my mother breaking into my room again. It's not that I mind it though since it's like this every day. Mother wakes me up, I'm already late, and so on. That's my luck, and also my life.
"I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME, STOP YELLING!"
Oh god. There is that face of hers again... pretty scary...
"Hey kid...do you want to meet death?"
I stayed silent on that one... she closed the door behind her and I again laid back. "Jeez...".
"Ay Kid, I can practically see you laying back again, get your lazy ass up and get ready."
That startled me
She knows me too well, I haven't thought much about it but I'd say she knows me better than I do.
I stood up and approached a mirror I had in my room, narrowing my eyes at myself.
"I look like a freaking idiot."
Messed up hair, average half-decent look, shirtless, with the same half-decent looking body.
"...Yay... time for school."
"That sounds too unenthusiastic kid also, go take a shower you look like an idiot."
My mom heard me, so she gave me extra confidence behind the door.
I reached out for a towel and a pair of socks and underwear so that I could take a shower as my mom advised.
After finishing, as a careless idiot that I am, I was in a bit of a hurry and ended up slipping on the bathroom tiles, falling over on my back.
"Kid, you good in there?"
I removed the towel that landed on my face answering with agony.
Here we go again, the toothpaste is empty.
"Mom, we don't have any toothpaste."
I could tell that I was becoming annoying.
Although we do get used to situations like these easily. Nobody is perfect but I still love my mom. I mean we are living alone and she works two jobs.
She goes to work in the morning and comes back around 4 AM, barely getting any sleep. I wanted to start working and help her a bit but she wouldn't allow it. 'First the school then the work.'
"Ah, just use that thing you are supposed to use to wash up or whatever kid."
Huh? What the hell does she even mean- oh? The mouthwash.
"Hold up, why does it have this weird brownish color?"
Sigh. "Whatever, thanks mom." I took a sip instantaneously realizing that something was wrong.
"...T-THIS IS ALCOHOL!"
I got into my school uniform, grabbed my phone and the schoolbag.
"Good, all finished."
"Have fun kid."
That was the first time that my mother told me to 'have fun' since we moved from Los Angeles to Japan. We moved when she found out that my stepdad was cheating on her a month ago. As for my real dad, he left when I was born so I didn't get the chance to meet him. It's the second time the woman is alone, I can't blame her for drinking. She doesn't drink much anyway but when she does she leaves her trash wherever she wants to, so I have to clean up after her.
This is where we originally lived, my grandparents also live back here in Japan, also, my twin brother was buried here. Well... at least the coffin was.
On my way to school, while having my attention stolen by my phone's screen, I stumbled upon three jerks, they looked older than me. One grabbed me by my shirt.
"Hey punk, watch where you are going, do you want to get beaten up?"
This won't be a story about some weak main character.
I grabbed his hand tightly and slowly spoke back with a smile.
"Heh, you can tr-"
He threw me on the ground and the three of them beat me up.
"Shit. I forgot we aren't in LA anymore. People here have their style of fighting..."
I stood up confidently with only a bleeding nose and a cut lip. I keep ignoring all this pain.
I decided to skip the first class and went to a game store nearby.
As I entered I could hear the doorbell that notifies the owner of new customers.
I saw him at the counter reading a book before he moved his attention towards the door.
"Oh Yosuke, it's you! What happened to your face?"
I always liked to hear that old friendly voice of his.
"It's nothing, Mr. Hirayama! Forget about me, how are you doing today?"
"...I am doing perfectly fine Yosuke. Thank you for asking. Are you sure you are okay kid?"
"I promise. Do you mind if I check out some games?"
He nodded with a concerned smile.
I've always loved MMORPG games. I would spend up to 48 hours playing in my room locked up, when they were really popular, about two years ago. I don't know if I can still play like I used to. I was one of the best players in the game I used to play, even earned some money from it. Sometimes I wonder if MMORPGs have changed.
I guess they are still in good shape considering that lots of people watch the tournaments that are still being held.
I came across one empty shelf with just a single old game on it. I picked it up and noticed there was dust on it.
I turned the case around. On the very top, it said 'Welcome to Elgnis'.
It seemed to be some in-game footage. I looked again and the case said something that I couldn't read with the dust all over it. I licked my finger and rubbed it a bit.
"Change the way you look at your world."
I felt weird energy around me as I read it. Maybe it was just in my head.
I got my phone out of my pocket and searched for it.
"What the... no results? This must be really unpopular. The case doesn't even have any creator or company names."
The price tag said it costs 900 yen.
"Pretty cheap, I might as well get back into these games again."
I checked my pockets finding only 800 yen.
I picked the game up and slowly walked up to Mr. Hirayama.
"Hey, Mr. Hirayama... do you think I could buy this game? I mean, I only have 800 yen but I will bring the rest tomorrow, I promise!"
He did not answer, but he grabbed the game out of my grasp and looked at it closely with his concentrated eyes. He seemed a little pale but restrained from showing too much of it.
"You know what? I will let you have this for free."
I did not want to ask anything about it. He put it in a plastic bag and gave it to me, I thanked him as always and walked out, after I put it in my schoolbag. I looked up at the sun but couldn't keep looking at it because of the brightness.
"I am losing hope. I should visit him after school."
I sat down on a small hill and lighted a cigarette, I have kinda stopped smoking but I do smoke from time to time as it helps me get my mind straight. I then shifted my gaze towards the spot where 'that' happened.
***6 years ago, Japan***
"Hey give it back!!"
After they beat me up, the four kids started tossing my cross necklace around... it was the only thing I had from my real dad.
"What a nice necklace you got, Yosuke!"
Said one of the bullies while holding the necklace up in the air.
"Hey guys what do you think, how much would we get for it? It looks like real silver."
I already had tears in my eyes, as an 11-year old, I couldn't tolerate much pain.
"Please! It's from my dad!"
"Just buy another one dumbass, you must be rich anyway."
The four of them were 2 or 3 at most years older than me, I knew I had no chance against four of them but as stubborn as I am, I wanted to make sure I at least get one of them. I swallowed my saliva as I examined the ground finding a perfect stone with a sharp end. I reached out to it but that's when I heard a familiar voice.
"That doesn't belong to you."
It was my brother. I couldn't see his blue eyes because of the sun reflecting off of his glasses but I could bet he had the cold glare of his.
"Do something about it, hero!"
Tomo walked towards the bully who raised his arm again ready to throw the necklace but before he knew it my brother was standing before him holding onto his wrist.
My brother was the fastest runner in our school so that wasn't really a big surprise and other than that he is the best student in his Muay Thai school. He won like all of his tournaments and I've seen him knock out a grown man before. I started grinning as I knew they were about to get beaten up.
Tomo squeezed the bullies' wrist and not long after he let go of the necklace and so did Tomo of his wrist.
"Argh, you punk!"
He charged at Tomo but with a swift move, Tomo high kicked him right in the chin knocking him down.
The other three stepped back as they realized who they were dealing with.
"Crap! That's Tomo Arata! He is a fucking monster, screw this!"
With that, they ran off like scared dogs, they probably didn't recognize him because of the glasses, he takes them off in sports. I could see Tomo smiling, he was always smiling when beating others, like he enjoyed seeing the pain in other people. It was creepy but I guess I got used to it.
He approached me and gave me my necklace back.
He smiled and flicked my forehead.
"You should come train with me more often."
"Hmph, like you can teach me anyth... T-Tomo watch out!!"
The same bully was charging at Tomo again but this time he held a knife. Everything was like slow motion to me and without thinking I grabbed the rock from before, pushed Tomo out of my way, and charged at the bully knocking him over.
I bashed his head a couple of times before Tomo stopped me.
"Yosuke, you'll kill him!!"
I came back to my senses and noticed that I destroyed his eye, blood everywhere. The kid was out cold but I was sure I have killed him. Tomo pushed me away and checked for himself before sighing with relief.
Soon after he took out his cellphone and called an ambulance and police, saying that he seriously injured this boy.
I was still trying to process what I just did while Tomo took the rock from my hand and cleaned me up with a towel. He sent me in the near restroom afterward while he waited for help to arrive.
I was lucky I didn't kill the boy, our mom paid for the boy's operations, and shortly after everything was back to normal. A year later Tomo disappeared.
I was looking at the same necklace.
"Now that I think about it, those jerks... weren't they the same bullies from back then? Jeez, good thing they didn't recognize me."
I put out the cigarette and headed to school.
I was walking through the school hallway with my hands in my pockets before I noticed a girl running towards me.
"Crap... not her again."
"Ghh.. it's Arata. You should know it by now."
The girl I was talking to was Aina Hagiwara, she is from my class and has trouble remembering my last name.
"Yeah whatever, anyway I have another favour for you."
These favours of hers aren't exactly favours, more like tasks for me as she sees me as her slave. I asked her out two weeks ago but got rejected. I don't like her and didn't even know her at the time considering that I was new in the school and still kinda am, I just wanted to have someone make me food and stuff like that since I got tired of doing it myself. So now if I don't want the story that she rejected me out for the whole school to know which would lower my chances of getting what I want in this school, I need to do anything she asks me to, but honestly, I am sick of it.
"Hagiwara... this has to stop. I never even liked you, the reason I asked you out has nothing to do with love. If you want to tell the whole school about it... then fine, go ahead. I won't be your dog anymore."
I didn't stay to listen to what she had to say but instead headed to my classroom. I guess I'll just look for girls on some dating apps or whatever.
The loud sound on my desk woke me up. It was my teacher.
"Mr. Arata, first you come late from apparently another fight, and now you sleep during class? I think I am going to have to talk to your mother again."
My classmates started laughing, I didn't pay much attention to them as I still didn't know most of their names aside from Hagiwara who ended up staying silent, probably wanted to stay the nice girl that everyone thinks she is.
After school, I went to the graveyard.
I stood there like a statue staring at my twin brother's grave.
"Hello Tomo, Happy Late 17th Birthday."
Our birthday was yesterday, we both turned 17. He died 5 years ago. Actually disappeared, his body was never found, so it is an empty coffin. After that, my mom fell in love with the man who cheated on her a month ago. We moved to the USA where I started to train some martial arts. The moving never really affected me much, my brother was also my best friend, we were really close so I didn't pay much attention to the people around me. Thus I never made any real friends. Nor have I ever had a girlfriend which I am seeking now. The only people I could call friends were the ones from my martial arts gym since I trained with them. Before moving I did let them know and stuff but that too did not affect me.
"I hope you are doing well brother... I wish I could talk to you again about anything. Since I have no one at all."
I took out the game I bought earlier out of my schoolbag.
"Whatcha say? I decided to go back into these games again, I've got nothing to do anyway."
Suddenly I could feel that something was wrong. No words could describe the intensive aura that I felt. The game case started moving and opened abruptly, with no disc inside at all. My phone jumped out of my pocket and then everything went dark.