Plague Children (Light Novel)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 21 (v.1) - Chapter 18: Sacrifice and Responsibility

Submitted: February 06, 2019

Reads: 73

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Submitted: February 06, 2019

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Three days had passed since the massacre. The rest of the day carried on slowly. The feelings of the prior attack weighed heavily on everyone's conscience. Ora had felt largely responsible for having failed so much of them right after promising them that they would all be safe if they placed their trust in him.

His lack of control against the guards caused the situation to arise. His carelessness and his failure to protect his own comrades made him want to sink into the ground. Right now, his heart felt darker than any of the shadows he could form.

That night, they lost 11 children. Had it not been for Rel's quick thinking and waking up when he did, the toll probably would have been a lot more.

Also bearing the full weight of this failure was Lin. Perhaps even more-so than Ora.

Noone blamed Ora for the loss of life, they only praised him. Despite suffering a slight loss, he was able to defend against the majority of them.

The bodies remained strewn across the streets for a day before they were taken down. Everyone in Essen-Sei'O had witnessed the tragic loss that Baerim felt.

At that moment, the wave of emotions that overcame most of the Sei'ens were intense. First was confusion. Many had witnessed the Baerim Garrison marching into the city by the thousands. Many had growing anxiety as they hid their children, expecting the worst.

However, when they all heard the simultaneous screams, they only felt fear. What in the world could cause an entire army to cry out like that? The shrieks were so pained they were not human. And before they could even realize it, all the noise extinguished.

For the longest time, Baerim had annexed and occupied Sei'O against their wishes. They detested it to the point of rebellion, but just before they could rebel, the plague had struck and consumed most of their might. Since then, all they could do was dream of a time they could rid Sei'O of Baerim influence.

The death of 3,000 Bearim guards within one night...no within one hour, was something that they couldn't process. They were suddenly given the power to make those dreams realized. However, that power was in the form of a plague child.

The uncertainty swabbed their minds and constantly tugged at the fear that lay within them. Hope, Fear, Surprise, and Freedom. These emotions mixed together to create a completely new emotion, an emotion that allowed them to still willfully hate plague children, but also fear and respect them enough to avoid causing problems for them.

In short, now the plague children became the new Baerim. (In terms of standing.)

Ora sat within the top floor of the cell. He hadn't come out of the room since. Several people had come to visit him in the hours passed but to no avail.

At some point, Rel decided to stop by and visit. He knocked on the door for a couple of seconds. Then knocked again. Ora's ears picked up on the noise, but he remained entirely silent. "....."

"Ora! Oi, ORA!" He began pounding hard. "We're fucken under attack!"

He knocked harder, the door immediately swung open with several shadows warping around his body. "By who!?"

"ME!" The moment the door open, Rel's fists swung forward and sent Ora sprawling back across the ground and colliding with the wall across the room.

"What's the big idea, Ora? You tryna have us all die worryin over ya?" He promptly walked his way into the room with both hands in his pocket.

Ora spat blood from his lip and glared at Rel. "What do you want here, Rel?"

"We made you the leader, so I need you to stop moping around'n start leadin."

"Y...you shouldn't have done that. I'm no leader. All this power, and I couldn't even save everyone." He crawled back to corner of the room and covered his grimacing face.

"Heh.." Rel walked over and sat beside Ora.

"You know...Every time I tried to defend someone, I ended up failing."

"I thought...if I could just get stronger, and stronger, I could save them. If I was stronger then, I could have saved them. If I get stronger later, I will definitely save them... I kept wanting to do everything with my own two hands."

"In the end, everything was always out of reach. Time and time again, I'd fail. My brother, My father, my

"Things never worked out like that. Time and time again, I'd fail. My brother, my father, my friends... all of them kept dying."

For the first time, Ora looked up. "What are you saying...?"

Rel had grown up in a small village called Lire'Seo. The tiny village hadn't even a place on the map. There, he and his twin brother first saw the world. In that small village, a majority of them had the plague.

Little by little, they all began to die off, and cases of the plague became less and less prevalent. Thanks to his father, they were well protected from the vile acts of the world.

However, fear eventually reached a peak when he was 8 years old. The plague was disastrous, and with the fear of the plague, came irrational action. The PSF, Plague Subjugation Force became a huge movement that cleansed through much of the country.

They claimed to be there to help everyone, by giving those infected by the plague poison. It would induce a painless death in their sleep and finally put an end to their suffering.

For many of the terminally ill, they graciously accepted it. It was much less of a pain than slowly petrifying. However, there were those who also resisted taking the drugs; those with children, those with families, those who simply refused to die. For those people, they brutally got rid of them by force.

Though they eventually realized that plague children themselves were harmless, their paranoia was not so easily quenched. After a majority of the plagued were killed, the movement pushed for the extermination of plague children as well. 
They were sometimes met with resistance, but other times, allowed to do exactly as they pleased.

Perhaps because the people couldn't rationalize their inability to fight back against the subjugation force, they began to view plague children in a negative light.

Regardless of the fact, with most family members killed off, and the villages betraying them, they were eventually ostracized and viewed as demonic entities.

There were only two places in Sei'O that they were safe. Due to the fact that the Baerim guards would indeed protect against the subjugation forces, and or any other inspired citizen, their influence did not spread much in those cities.

These two cities were Essen-Seo'O and Irin-Seo'O. Though their influence did not spread, the negative image behind plague children most definitely did spread.

So long as the actions were strictly towards plague children, the guards couldn't care less what occurred.

As the last surviving relatives of his late wife, his father swore he would protect them both. But like everyone else, he was eventually killed off for protecting plague children.

In small minor villages like that, the subjugation force took full control, and those who lacked fighting power easily gave in. They were betrayed by their own village.

Rel only managed to escape thanks to his father's relic. With it, he swore to protect his brother and they fled to one of the only sanctuary they felt they could survive in, Irin-Seo'O.

The small rundown city of Irin was much less privileged than Essen-Sei'O. Mostly working class and middle class lived there. There was no end to the poor who scavenged the streets.

Like always, they instinctively flocked to the strong. As such, Rel had such a huge following of people. His group became some of the fiercest and most revered plague children in those slums.

But inadvertently, they ended up creating a bad name and worsening the image of plague children. Soon the influence of the dying Plague Subjugation Force invaded even Irin-Seo'O.

One by one, time and time and again, each and every one of his comrades perished. The ones he swore to protect continued to die.

Even with so much power, even with so much tenacity and influence, the life he lead them through was one of pure disaster. He lost his group, he lost his friends, he lost his brother.

But even to the very end, all of them were entirely happy to have called him their leader. He took them further than they ever could on their own and gave them a sense of purpose.

In turn, he had to bear the weight of all their failures and losses.

"After that...I alone left Irin-Seo'O. It was then that I met Lady Amai, here in Essen-Seo'O."

Ora's blank expression was hard to read. As always, it was hard to tell what he was thinking.

"You say that you're a failure because you couldn't save a few people...the amount of Plague Children that were there when I reached Irin-Sei'O was 98."

"I watched the numbers lessen and lessen to 46..."

"If you think, you're a failure for losing only 11, then what the hell does that make Lady Amai!? HUH?!"

"SHE LOST UP TO 25 CHILDREN!" (His math is way off Lmao!)

He slammed his fist into the floor hard enough to dent the iron floor underneath them. "Power, Loss, Victory. You are the leader. You have to accept all of these responsibilities! If not, you leave a stain on all of Amai's legacy."

"You who has more power than she, you who have lost less than she has, you who everyone looks up to for your brute strength and ability to save everyone....if you call yourself a failure, you condemn Amai to a worse fate."

"...alright.. alright already, Rel. Stop before you destroy the tower."

"Heh. Then stop moping around and start helping out. Everyone's been waiting to see you." Ora nodded, wiping off the sullen expression on his face and forcing himself to move forward.

___________________________________

"Hey...Lin." Alel sat next to him in one of the old houses.

She sighed. "Why do you always go out of your way...to protect me?"

"....."

"To the point that you grievously harm yourself. Both times now..."

She clenched her fists tightly while kneeling beside the bed-ridden Lin. After losing his arm, he had lost a lot of blood and so far has not only remained in bed but also refused to eat. His drive to keep on living was very rapidly leaving him. He had failed to alert everyone of the incoming army.

Because of that, many had to suffer.

"Two times now, you've sacrificed yourself for me..." tears began to form down her eyes.

The first time was in her fight against Shiek. Each time she had attempted to attack, Lin saved her. Back then, because she was too careless and couldn't see the radius of the invisible blade, Lin lost his leg defending her.

The second time, though he was depressed about losing his leg, he yet again sacrificed his arm to defend her. The source of all his pain was in many ways, all due to her.

Neither Lin, nor Alel was like Rel. The only way they could save others is through sacrifice.

"Why...why do you have to be so stupid!" the various influx of emotion arose within her. Gratefulness, rage, and guilt overcame her and she held no barriers to suppress them. Her hands began to heat up at a rapid pace.

"Anser me! LIN!"

"...."

She sighed. "what am I supposed to do now...?"

"Leave me alone. It was entirely my choice as a failure."

"I was afraid of becoming useless...and because of me..-"

His teeth clenched. "Because of me - No...losing an arm is not even close to what I can do atone."

Right now, he was thinking out loud. "If I hadn't fallen asleep back then. If I had been able to move down faster. If I hadn't been so weak. So pathetic...So selfish. If I had just listened and slept the previous days. If I-"

Alel quickly picked him up into his arms and hugged him. The room was darkened so neither of them could see the glistening tears that streamed from their eyes.

"If I had been stronger, you wouldn't have to feel pain like this..." Alel hugged his head tightly. It only caused parts of his body to ache, but at that moment, he felt nothing but warmth.

"You're wrong. You're not useless. You keep sacrificing so much of yourself for others..."

"The only thing I can do now is to make sure to repay you."

"Lin...please stay alive until I can."

"Please..."


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