2 Before the Chaos

"I can't believe it would all turn out like this." Ezekiel said to himself, "It seems like fate has poured its hatred towards me."

With his strength being withdrawn from him slowly due to his exhaustion and the open wounds he has, he took his seat on a corner at the back of the castle that was being lighted by the moon. As he rest, he can't help himself but to reminisce all of his memories before everything including the huge chaos he caused had taken place.

He closed his eyes, ignoring the pain and the blood that is dripping from him, he began to recall every single detail that he could remember...

It was four years ago... And he is not that "Ezekiel" that we know. He's far from that courageous, fearless, and bold person that was first introduced to us...

"Good Morning, Aunt Layda!" he greeted as he hold a huge basket of Chrysanthemum white flowers. With his hands being exposed on dried soil and dirt, he was clothed with plain old red shirt and jeans that were also stained with soil.

"My goodness, Lucas! You always surprise me, dear. All right, you should put that basket there beside the other basket of Chrysanthemum." Aunt Layda said excitedly, "Everything looks good! It seems like our place is ready for the upcoming Royal Festival this year. I can't wait for that event to happen!"

The plaza where Aunt Layda's Flower Stand was located are one of the chosen venues for the Royal Event. It is now being arranged and organized by the king's officials, with the assigned event organizers. Colorful decorations were being displayed for the said event. As days go by, the plaza was being visited by many people because of the different designs and commercial stands that can be found there.

"Yeah, it looks beautiful." he said. The event was held every 28th-30th days of the 12th month, being the last month of a year. It was common for Anthica [their place], to celebrate and to have that biggest occasion they could ever have as it is an occasion for the people to give thanks to the Royal Family—by offering flowers and fruits [even golds and money] for the king and his whole family who leads and maintains peace all over the land. Also, it is a day intended for the king's soldiers to be recognized for their promotion and position as they render their unwavering support and effort to protect Anthica and the royal family.

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On the other hand, this festival was really made not only to give offerings for the royal family and to praise the king's soldiers; but because of one important thing, which is to give respect for the lost royal family line of the ones who truly had the power to establish peace and to rule the land—which are the Canlas.

For years and years, there are many stories that were being talked about on how the royal family line of Canlas had disappeared, but it has became a custom and a tradition for the people in Anthica to commemorate their blood line as a respect for the ones who truly had the privilege to gain power and to secure the land of Anthica that was founded by the Canlas.

"Oh, there are still roses that will soon be delivered here. I think it would arrive here later before noon." Lucas said politely. "Oh okay, I think you should take your own time, Lucas. You can go to the house if you want, there is a food prepared for you there for lunch." Aunt Layda said and smiled. "Thank you very much for preparing that, I'll better go now. I'll just return here later after noon." Lucas said and hugged her.

As he was on his way home, he noticed a small group of women who are talking to each other while glancing at him. He can feel that he caught their attention as he walks through the hall way.

"Is that the boy that Layda has adopted?" the first woman asked. "I think so, he had grown into a young man now." the second woman replied. "Why did he looks so poor and rugged? I thought he has an elder brother who serves in the military." the third woman said. "Really? If he has a brother at the military, he shouldn't look like that. A soldier's salary was too much for themselves, I think his brother should consider sending money for him." the first woman added. Lucas stared at them and continued walking. He can't just imagine on why his life seems to be so controversial to almost everyone on their place thinking that he was just a normal person who has a bittered background about himself.

As he opened and entered into their house, he rested on the couch for a while and took a deep breath. "You didn't know the whole story." he thought, "I just can't understand how do people tend to judge other person's life so quickly without knowing the real reasons behind."

After taking his lunch and having a shower, he returned to the flower stand as what he has said to Aunt Layda. However, as he walk towards the stand, he saw a familiar person who looks like on his same age, wearing a military shirt and pants, and helps Aunt Layda on arranging the roses that were delivered. He can't see the man's face as he was walking at the back.

"I'm really glad that you've made time to visit us! I didn't expect that you'll be able to be here. Don't worry, Lucas will be here anytime soon." Aunt Layda said as she gave the man a tight hug. "It's been a long time, Aunt." he said.

"Aunt Layda, are there any flowers that needed to be arranged?" Lucas confusingly said as he looks to the man in front of Aunt Layda. The man and Aunt Layda separated themselves and the man turned to Lucas. "OLIVER?! WHAT---?!" Lucas exclaimed. "Yeah, Bro! It's me!" Oliver said and offered Lucas the tightest hug he could give for his best and childhood friend. "Bro, it's been a while! I didn't saw you for two years!" Lucas said as he embraced Oliver back. "Yeah, I missed you and Aunt very much, bro." Oliver said and separated from Lucas, "It's so hard in there. I have a lot of things to tell you."

"I think you should take your time together to talk, boys. Go ahead." Aunt Layda said. Lucas smiled, "Thanks, Aunt! I'll be back!" he said and went to a walk with Oliver.

As what they used to do when they were young, they always run and race with each other until they came to the hillside, where they always tend to spend their time playing and watching the sunset away from their place.

"You're not fair, Oliver. You're faster than me right now since you had your military training in the palace for months." Lucas jokingly said. "Nah, I think I just gain more weight as soon as I finished my training." Oliver said as he paused under the huge tree that they tend to climb when they were teenagers.

Back to the time when they were young, Oliver has that weak and thin body, but as he went back, he has now his broadened and firm shoulders and muscles that can be seen from him. "He has developed physically a lot." Lucas thought to himself.

"So, how's your military training?" Lucas asked as he tries to catch his breathe, "Does it went good for you?"

Oliver looked at him seriously. "It's not as good as we sometimes think it is." he said. Lucas paused for a moment and stared at Oliver, "What do you mean?" he asked. Oliver laughed and tapped Lucas on his shoulder. "I'm just kidding!" he jokingly said. Lucas smiled, "You're always joking, you didn't change at all."

Like what they have always used to do, they sat on one of the big roots that the tree has and look to their place as it can be sighted there.

"I really missed this place, Lucas. Even the fresh air we used to breathe here before." Oliver asked, "Why you didn't enter the military with me, bro? All I thought was, you've always wanted to go there."

"I refused to do it, bro." Lucas replied. "It would be better if we both experienced it." Oliver said, "And besides, you will be able to see Lieutenant Enzo Parker there, your brother."

"I refused to be there because... The training is so hard! I will just get tired doing it! Hahaha." Lucas said as he tries to skip and make unreliable reasons concerning the matter. "You're too corny for that, bro. If it's your reasons, then I don't have something to do with it." Oliver said. And for a moment, silence began to fill their surroundings, where only the sound of the trees caused by the winds to the nearby woods at the hillside could be heard.

Lucas silently looked at the ground, pondering at the things Oliver had said a while ago. "I really want to enter the military right at the moment I discovered Oliver could be admitted there." he thought to himself, "I was just prohibited and warned by my brother not to get there, through a letter he sent that I received 1 week before Oliver took the training. I just didn't understand why."

"Tomorrow will be the the start of the Royal Festival. It's too good to see the decorations at the plaza a while ago. I missed celebrating it with you and Aunt." Oliver said and smiled, "Your brother will be recognized and promoted too at the event. He is the one who always leads us, he looks so good, Lucas. I wonder if he could still remember me as his friend back when we used to live together at Aunt Layda's house."

"I'm sure he knows your name well. We stand as a family before." Lucas said and tapped Oliver on his shoulder. As time went by, Oliver needs to return back to the castle as they will get ready for tomorrow's event. So they went and started to go on their places. "We'll still see each other tomorrow, bro." Oliver said and started to separate his way. "Yeah, bro." Lucas said and took his way to the shortcut he tend to walk regularly on his way home.

It was 6:45pm and the dark began to creep at the place. The street where he is seemed to be a little more darker, with the presence of one streetlight that was corrupted and blinks frequently.

As he walk, he could see a drunk man walking and approaching him. "Oh men, I think I should take the long cut." he thought. Planning to take the other way, he stopped where he is and started to go back to the main road. However as he ignore the drunk man and walk fast, the man grabbed him in his shoulder soon before he could take another route.

"Man, are you avoiding me?" the drunk man said in an unconscious manner, "Don't worry, I'm not that drunk. Just a little." Lucas has found himself struck and could not move for a moment, being worried for what the drunk man could do for him. "No, sir. I'm just walking through this street." he said. "If you're walking on this street, why are you taking that way?" the man said as he whisper to Lucas. "N-Nothing, sir." he replied. The man bumped him to the side and continued to walk out of the street. "You seem so nervous." the man said and drink the remaining liquor on the bottle he has.

Lucas felt a relief and continued to walk faster through the shortcut. However, as soon as he get out of the shortcut, to his astonishment, he was forcedly pushed into the corner of the street by a policeman and cuffed him immediately.

"Wait, Sir I didn't do anything!" Lucas confusingly exclaimed, "WHY ARE YOU ARRESTING ME?! LET ME GO!" The policeman pushed him further to the walls of the street's corner. "You, Mr. Lucas Parker, was arrested for being involved on selling drugs right at this dark street a while ago. You were caught on act." the policeman explained. "WHAT?! How did I become involved on drugs if I haven't held it in my whole life?!" Lucas asserted. The policeman took away every little thing on Lucas' pocket and found six packs of sealed drugs. "NO, NO, NO. THOSE DRUGS WERE NOT MINE. PLEASE!" Lucas said. "I'm sorry, just explain yourself on the police station." the policeman said and get him into the car.

"WHAT'S HAPPENING IN HERE?" Lucas thought to himself, "WHERE DID I GET THOSE DRUGS?!"

(To be continued)

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