Musutafu Beach, Japan, 8:33AM
January 9th​, 2139.

The day I unlocked my quirk, I fell apart-and that isn’t a metaphor.

“When is Nanami getting here?” I asked quietly.

“They won’t be here for another half-hour, supposedly,” Hayami Higawara said idly. “You might as well go for a swim now if you don’t want to wait-I’m sure they won’t mind.”

I watched my aunt cool herself with her expensive-looking paper-fan, it looked silly to me, but Hayami was prone to doing things like that.

I thought carefully about my response; If I went for a swim now, Nanami might be upset with me for not waiting for her-the last time she was upset, she had cried for almost ten minutes straight.

Actually, she seemed to cry quite a bit.

I heard a rumor once about an evil monster that hid in closets and came to steal little children away-it had sounded interesting, but when I told her about it, she’d burst into tears. There was also the time I told her I’d wait to watch the latest episode of ‘Warrior Woman: Moon Ninja,’ with her, then I’d watched it on Hayami’s computer later that night.

I asked uncle Sajin about why she did it so much.

He’d told me that everybody cried-that I used to cry all the time when I was a baby. I told him that I don’t remember having cried at all, and his response to that was that some people felt things more strongly than I did. At his request, I promised him I’d try not to make her cry anymore, and he told me he’d be watching to make sure I didn’t break my promise.

I didn’t want to make her cry again, so I would wait until they got here before I went swimming-besides her mother gave me a really nasty look the last time it happened.

“I’ll wait until Nanami gets here-” I decided quietly, and then I fell apart.

My fingers fell off first, followed by my arms and then the rest of me; I watched the terror wash over Hayami’s face curiously, and then I was on the ground. I was a million grains of sand surrounded by a billion more that made up the rest of the beach-and below it.

My aunt Hayami went mad, crawling around on the sand like a woman possessed.

“Hisoka! Hisoka!?” Hayami cried, “Don’t panic! It’s going to be alright! Just-just, don’t move!

I watched her curiously, I couldn’t feel my fingers or my face, but I could see everything around me, which was quite strange-not at all how I was used to seeing the world.

“Hisoka-you’re just like Uncle-Sajin, okay? A little bit worse, maybe-It’s going to be alright,” Hayami cut herself off nervously, sounding more panicked than I felt. “You just need to pull yourself back together; you can do that, right?”

I felt around with that feeling that usually let me feel where my hands were; it was in a lot more places than usual, but I could still feel myself-even if I was shaped very differently. I started tugging on what I could get a mental grip on, and a little puff of sand washed over Hayami, sending her spluttering.

“That’s it!” Hayami gasped, sounding more relieved than I’d ever heard her. “Keep doing that!”

The wealth of feedback I got from that single movement actually helped immensely, and soon I was moving as much of myself as I could feel into a lump next to my aunt.

“Very good! Now, you need to shape the pile, remember what you look like?” Hayami instructed more calmly, hitting her stride. “You’ve got two arms, two legs, and a torso-perfect! Now you need to put a head on your shoulders; that’s it; Eye’s, nose, mouth-the details are already coming in!”

It was getting more comfortable by the second, and the closer I came to shape like my usual self, the simpler the task became. At some point, it was almost a twitch to solidify back into Hisoka, the short, black-haired boy. I blinked, and my body felt almost normal, except I could still see all around me in every direction and from the sand on the beach surrounding me.

“Oh my god, Hisoka! Don’t ever do that again!” Hayami cried in relief as she dragged him into her grip, “You scared me half to death!”

I wondered if she thought I had meant to do it? It had been as much a surprise to me as it had been to her. I’d seen Uncle-Sajin transform his upper body into sand before, and I’d seen Hayami transform hers into stone.

Never their complete body, though, that was different.

“Sorry, Hayami,” I said quietly, looking over her shoulder. “Nanami’s here.”

I could see their small silver car in the process of parking, and the doors opened one after another. Hayami held me at arm’s length for a moment before taking a deep breath and standing up.

“I’m going to go speak with her parents,” Hayami said with a sigh, “Don’t go anywhere, okay? Just-just stand right here.”

“Okay, Hayami.” I agreed.

Nanami sped straight past Hayami with a happy greeting and stopped before me on the sand.

“Hisoka!” Nanami said brightly, “You waited for me!”

“Yes,” I said quietly, studying her for a moment. “Nanami, I learned something new. Do you want to see?”

“Yes!” Nanami said excitedly.

I fell apart, and Nanami immediately burst into tears. It would seem that I had broken my promise already; Sorry, Uncle-Sajin.

Medical Clinic, Musutafu, 11:01AM
January 13th​, 2139.

“Come in-come in!” Doctor Mimi said pleasantly, “I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get you an appointment; there’s been a surge of quirks this month!”

“That’s quite alright, darling,” Hayami said happily, “I’m his aunt, Hayami. Say hello to the nice Doctor, Hisoka.”

I glanced at the doctor’s hands before speaking; no ring. An elderly lady snapped at me last week when I’d gotten it wrong.

“Hello, miss,” Hisoka said quietly, “It’s nice to meet you.”

“My! Such manners!” Doctor Mimi said pleased, tone pitched. “It’s a pleasure to meet such a polite young man.”

I noticed that Hayami was preening, oddly enough.

“He scared the life out of me the other day, burst into a pile of sand right in the middle of a sentence!” Hayami said, astonished as if she couldn’t believe it. “Sand is a common theme in our family; of course, his father, uncle, and grandfather all had a similar quirk.”

“That’s not uncommon amongst families,” Doctor Mimi smiled in agreement, “His uncle is a hero? I think I’ve seen him on television before; he can turn the top third of his body into sand?”

“My older brother Sajin, yes, that’s him,” Hayami said wryly.

“You have a similar quirk as well?” Doctor Mimi asked politely.

“Yes, I’m able to accomplish much the same as my brother, except with stone-no sand for me, I’m afraid, then again, I think I got the better deal.” Hayami said pleased, happy to talk about herself, “I’ve made quite a living making art you see-statues and busts in particular-my quirk is quite applicable in that area.”

“I’ve seen some of your work as well,” Doctor Mimi admitted with interest. “It is quite something to see.”

“Yes, yes, that’s lovely,” Hayami said brightly, eyes sparkling. “Thank you, darling.”

I’d never seen her so pleased before; I would have to note that down.

“Well, let’s see to Hisoka, then shall we?” Doctor Mimi said brightly, “Can you tell me about your quirk?”

I thought carefully about the question.

“I am able to turn into sand and control it.” I said clearly, “I can make more of it as well.”

I wasn’t sure where it came from or went afterward, but I’d almost entirely filled my bedroom up with sand yesterday with no existing sand nearby.

“That’s really nice, Hisoka!” Doctor Mimi said, smiling, “Does it hurt at all when you change?”

I studied her face curiously. It was overwhelming at first; getting used to seeing around himself wasn’t a simple task, but it had never hurt.

“No, Miss,” I said honestly. “Do they usually hurt?”

“Some do, although I’m glad that’s not the case with yours!” Doctor Mimi continued happily.

Her voice returned to its higher pitch whenever she spoke to me, but not when talking to Hayami. It was strange; I wasn’t sure what that meant exactly, but I’d ask Hayami after we left. I’d learned not to ask people about things like that in public; they tended to become uncomfortable.

“Have you been using it very much?” Doctor Mimi whispered, but it was easily loud enough for Hayami to hear.

“Yes,” I said honestly, “I filled my room with sand yesterday.”

“You did?” Hayami blinked in surprise, “I didn’t see any when I woke you up this morning?”

I nodded; she wouldn’t have.

“I already got rid of it before I came downstairs,” I explained.

“Got rid of it, how?” Doctor Mimi asked curiously, “Did it vanish? Or can you absorb it?”

“The second one,” I said carefully.

I’d heard the word ‘absorb’ before, but I don’t think I had a good idea of what it meant; I would look it up on Hayami’s computer when we returned home.

“How interesting,” Doctor Mimi said, smiling, “I have some more questions to ask you, is that alright?”

I nodded.

Park, Musutafu, 12:53 PM
January 13th​, 2139.

Nanami was my first friend.

The first time she had spoken to me was at this same park; she’d wanted to know if she could use the swings while I was on them. I’d said yes; I had no personal attachment to them, and it wasn’t a difficult thing to let her have them. So I had given her the swings to herself before moving over to the flying fox. Nanami had wanted to play on the flying fox almost immediately.

I moved back to the swings without issue, but it turned out in the end that Nanami had wanted to play with me-it was also the first time I’d made her cry.

I hadn’t known it at the time, but the frequency at which I encountered her would continue to grow until we would end up seeing each other every other day. Hayami certainly seemed to enjoy talking to her parents, as well.

“It’s not fair,” Nanami complained, kicking at the bark. “I’m two years older.”

She wasn’t talking about her age specifically, but the unfairness of having someone two years her junior unlocking his quirk before her. Nanami could be quite impatient, it would seem, but I didn’t mind.

“You will get your own soon,” I said calmly. “or maybe you won’t get one?”

I glanced up when I spotted her face scrunching up again, but she didn’t start crying-luckily.

“I’ll absolutely get one!” Nanami said confidently, “It will be something amazing too, like flying horses!”

“What’s amazing about that?” I asked curiously.

Did she want to become a flying horse? Or to control flying horses? Why not a creature that already had the ability to fly? How strange.

“Um-well, horses don’t usually fly, right?” Nanami said quickly, “So it would be pretty cool if they suddenly started zooming around!”

I tried to picture it, but I couldn’t quite see the magic that she could. I generated some sand and compressed it into the shape of a very rough horse. Okay, it was more like a blob with four legs and a large lumpy mass for a nose.

I sent it limping through the air.

“See!” Nanami cheered and tried to pet the construct. “You didn’t give it wings!”

Was I supposed to? I’d never seen a horse with wings, and I doubted a horse would be able to lift itself off the ground even if it did have them. I focused a bit more and made two vaguely wing-shaped constructs stick out of its back.

The winged blob gave a flap of its great sandy tentacles and then exploded.

“Oh,” Nanami said sadly.

I was quick to act before the situation could worsen.

“I’ll practice it more for next time, so it doesn’t break.” I said quietly, “Okay, Nanami?”

Nanami gave me a small smile before kicking the bark again.

“Everyone else in my class has one already.” Nanami sighed before scrunching her face up. “Haru made fun of me too!”

Haru was a reoccurring troublemaker from her class; most of her incidents involved the other boy saying something nasty and making her cry. At first, I had felt a kind of kinship with the boy that I’d never even met, given how often I seemed to accomplish the same thing by accident.

I’d thought that maybe he was in a similar position, but I’d since learned otherwise. I’d grown weary of the continued stories of harassment.

“Do you want me to talk to Haru?” I asked curiously.

I doubted anything I could think to say would do anything to stop him; the boy had been told off by teachers before, and they knew far more words than I did.

Nothing seemed to stick with Haru.

“No way!” Nanami laughed, “He’d beat you up for sure.”

I have never met him, so I couldn’t be sure whether it was accurate or not-but Nanami knew both of us, so she was probably making an accurate judgment. I’d also never been in a fight, which is why I suggested something I was more familiar with-talking.

“Okay, Nanami.” I agreed.

Instead of soothing her, it seemed to have the opposite effect.

“Hey, don’t give up so quickly!” Nanami pouted, “You’re supposed to say you’ll beat him up for picking on me anyway!”

“Oh,” I said, confused, “Do you want me to beat Haru up for you?”

Nanami scrunched up her face before sighing.

“I don’t want you to beat him up because I asked you too,” Nanami explained patiently. “I want you to want to beat him up because he’s mean to me!”

I didn’t want to beat Haru up. I didn’t want much of anything really other than for Nanami not to cry.

“I think I understand,” I said carefully.

I didn’t get it, not really. I think it may have boiled down to her wanting me to take action without being asked to do it first. Nanami must have found some kind of unknown value in that process- but I didn’t need to know the value to perform the action.

Everybody had such strange rules they wanted me to follow; it seemed like every single day I would uncover more; sometimes, it was hard to keep track of them all, but I was getting better at it.

Nanami was my friend, so I’d make an effort to do it.

“I’ll do it properly from now on,” I promised.

Nanami smiled brightly.

Hayami’s Home, Musutafu, 1:53PM
February 25th​, 2139.

“Hey, buddy,” Sajin Higawara said happily. “Enjoying your birthday? It’s not every day that you turn six, you know?”

I tilted my head at the phrase; Wouldn’t that apply to every other age as well? How strange.

“Hi Uncle-Sajin,” I smiled anyway, “You got the day off.”

“I did,” Sajin snickered, “Almost didn’t happen, but I pulled a few strings at the agency-now; what’s this I hear about you turning into sand, huh? Taking after the handsome side of the family, I see.”

I’d seen the family pictures of Dad, Sajin, and Hayami together; they all looked very similar-so; his comment was most likely a joke. I took more after my mother’s appearance; she’d had long dark hair and a pale complexion, whereas the other three were all blonde with blue eyes.

“I scared Hayami,” I admitted and paused a beat. “Nanami too.”

He started laughing, which sent his large blonde mustache wiggling.

“You made her cry again, huh?” Sajin said archly. “It’s like clockwork.”

I mouthed Uncle-Sajin’s favorite phrase under my breath.

“Sorry, I’ll do better,” I promised.

He patted me on the head and smiled.

“That’s all any of us can do, Hisoka; try and be better.” Sajin nodded firmly, “Keep that mindset, and you’ll know that I’m proud of you. Okay, buddy?”

I wanted him to be proud of me.

“Okay, Uncle-Sajin.” I agreed.

“Now, why are you out here, anyway?” Sajin said curiously, looking around the balcony as if he would find the clues needed to solve the mystery. “Too many people?”

“Yes,” I admitted, “I was going to come back inside.”


“Well, you can’t let Nanami celebrate your birthday by herself, can you?” Sajin grinned.

They both heard Nanami call out ‘Hisoka?’ at the top of her lungs.

“It’s like clockwork, huh?” Sajin amused, “Come on, then, let’s get in there before she breaks the door down.”

Hayami’s Home, Musutafu, 12:19PM
March 29th​, 2139.

I could hear the excited voices from downstairs that heralded the arrival of the Kureta’s, and the furious footfalls stomping up the stairs could only be Nanami. I absorbed the sand that I had filled my bedroom within a few quick moments, and when Nanami burst through the door, I stood to greet her.

“Guess what!” Nanami said gleefully.

Her quirk appointment had been today, so the most reasonable explanation for such excitement was that her quirk had been discovered. I wasn’t going to ruin her intended reveal, so I tilted my head in confusion.

“Hi, Nanami, I didn’t realize you were here.” I said quietly, “I don’t know, what is it?”

Nanami preened at the question and twisted her hands behind her back.

“I found out what my quirk is!” Nanami said happily. “Finally.

Just in time, it would seem, as school was beginning in only a couple of days. My own first day of school as well, it would also be the first time we would be attending the same school together. I already expected to hear many upset comments about different years and classes.

I wondered what it would be like.

“Really?” I said curiously, “Congratulations, Nanami, what is it?”

She looked faintly embarrassed at the question.

“It’s an amp-li-fi-cation quirk,” Nanami over-pronounced it; she’d clearly been practicing the unknown word.

“What does that mean?” I asked, genuinely interested.

Learning new words was something I found value in.

“It means I can make other people’s quirks better!” Nanami grinned.

I would have to look the word up later to make sure that’s what it actually meant; she’d been wrong about things like this before. Nanami seemed happy, though, and I found value in seeing her like that, so I nodded.

“That’s really cool, Nanami,” I said honestly. “I’m glad you got your quirk.”

“I know!” Nanami cheered, “The doctors said it was super useful! And that I was lucky to get such a good one-she even said that one day I might become an amazing hero! Like your uncle! How cool is that?”

“Really cool.” I repeated, “Do you want to become a hero, Nanami?”

I’d never heard her mention it before today.

“Yeah!” Nanami said immediately. “You have to become one too! We can make a famous team and save the world together, okay?”

I wondered what we would save the world from; or if it even needed saving in the first place.

“Okay, Nanami.” I agreed. “Let’s save the world.”

Nanami’s eyes sparkled.

Hayami’s Home, Musutafu, 6:53AM
Monday, April 4th, 2139.

I was spread throughout my bedroom, pressed against the walls, floor, and ceiling.

I’d spent the last two hours forming and reforming a sea of facial constructs. As a world-class artist and a self-proclaimed perfectionist, Aunt Hayami demanded a certain level of competence and routinely insisted I work on my attention to detail while under her careful watch.

I was terrible, apparently, but I hadn’t been working at it for very long, and she said with enough practice, I would become better.

It was a work in progress.

Today would be my first day at Musutafu Elementary, and they enforced a strict dress code. The school uniform that Aunt Hayami had bought me was folded neatly on the bed and entirely buried in my sand. Nanami had complained about it on more than one occasion, but he didn’t find himself nearly as bothered by the idea.

I was more interested in putting faces to the numerous names I’d heard stories about.

Nanami wouldn’t be in the same class, as she was two years older-something that once again had upset the girl to the point of tears when she’d gotten herself worked up about it. I’d ended up having to promise I’d do so well on tests that they would skip me ahead two years.

Something like that would never occur, I knew, but it had made her happy at the time.

I hadn’t spent much time around others my age, so I was interested in seeing firsthand the disparities between us; I certainly hadn’t missed the significant differences between Nanami and I.

I moved a pillar of sand up before whittling it down until it was shaped like a person, and a few moments later, there was a rough approximation of Nanami standing in a now-empty portion of the room.

The face was wrong, the eyes too far apart with eyelids protruding far too much, and a mouth stretched too wide. I let it fall apart and remade it a moment later, this time focusing more on the little details.

It wasn’t much better.

Uncle-Sajin had managed to get another day off recently and had spent it teaching me some of the many things he had learned over the years. Being a hero for almost twenty years apparently lent to developing some creativity when it came to using your quirk.

He’d laughed at my attempt to make a construct in his likeness before he’d casually used his left arm to make a perfect replica of me in a single sandy-tone. I asked him how he became so good at it, and he’d explained that anyone can be good at something, multiple things even-but the only way to get there was through strength and persistence.

The lecture had finished with Uncle-Sajin informing me that I was wrong anyway; he wasn’t good; he was fantastic.

“Strength and persistence,” I said quietly, committing it to memory once again.

I reformed the Nanami construct, paying particular attention to the shape of her eyes, nose, and mouth-it was by far the best attempt I’d made so far; it was also missing both eyebrows and an ear.

It was still terrible by Aunt Hayami’s standards, but it was an improvement.

“Hisoka!” Hayami called up the stairs, “Come down and eat already, or you’re going to be late for your first day!”

I emptied the room and slipped a stream of sand under the door before reforming out in the hall.

Principal’s Office, Musutafu Elementary, 10:53 AM
Monday, April 4th, 2139.

“Explain to me exactly how this happened!” Yukiko Sarada hissed, leaning over the desk.

I watched the way Principal Kazu leaned back, the bead of sweat that was gathering on his brow, and the ruddy red color that was flushing his face.

“Miss Sarada, please sit down, and we will get to the bottom of this,” Principal Kazu said firmly. “Miss Higawara is on her way-”

“The bottom of this?” Sarada snapped, spinning around to stab in his direction with her finger. “This little f-”

The principal leaned forward to cut off whatever she was going to say,

“Miss, please sit down!” Principal Kazu repeated, “We will-”

The door opened, and Aunt Hayami stepped inside with haste, looking around before immediately starting towards him.

“Hisoka!” Hayami said, relieved, “What happened? Are you okay?”

“Is he okay?” Sarada said incredulously, “My husband is sitting next to my son’s hospital bed after this little bastard broke his arm!”

Hayami flinched as if she was struck before turning to face the woman.

“Do not use that language in front of him-” Hayami snapped.

“Fuck off!” Miss Sarada scoffed.

“Be quiet!” Principal Kazu shouted, slapping the desk with both hands.

A massive crack shot through the wooden structure before it caved in at the middle; everyone fell silent at his loss of composure before he managed to take a deep breath and address them.

“Miss Higawara, your son has been involved in a serious incident this morning,” The Principal said calmly, “The altercation left another student with a broken arm; there were several witnesses to the event, including two teachers.”

Hayami glanced down at me, shocked, and couldn’t seem to find the words to address the situation. Sarada seemed to be taking some amount of pleasure in seeing the woman dumbfounded.

“Hayami is my Aunt,” I corrected quietly after nobody had addressed it. “Not my mother.”

The words drew everyone’s attention back to him and away from Aunt Hayami, which seemed to give the woman a moment to recover her composure.

“My mistake,” Principal Kazu said, frowning, “Hisoka, this is very serious, and you are in a lot of trouble. Can you explain your actions from this morning-why did you do this?”

I looked up to Hayami for a moment, but she didn’t say anything.

“Haru has been picking on my friend since her first year,” I said honestly, “I wanted him to stop doing it, so I broke his arm.”

Hayami and Kazu stared at him in shocked silence, but Sarada found her second wind.

“See, he admitted it! He broke my son’s arm on purpose!” Sarada snapped, “I want this little psychopath out of this school.”

Don’t call him that!” Hayami shouted, stepping towards the woman.

I wondered if they were about to fight.

“Enough!” Kazu interjected again, ending the argument once more. “Very well, he’s admitted to doing it on purpose, he’ll be punished-Miss Sarada, you may leave now, I will take care of it from here-”

“Not until you tell me he’s getting expelled!” Sarada argued.

“He won’t be expelled; this is his first offense,” Kazu said firmly, holding up his hand to stop the woman from shouting. “Hisoka will, however, be suspended for a month.”

I watched curiously as Sarada’s expression grew angrier.

“A month!” Hayami said, shocked, “He needs to go to school-”

Hisoka took note of how the anger flickered in Sarada’s face as she realized how upset the punishment had made Hayami. How interesting, it seemed that her primary focus wasn’t to ensure the continued safety of her son as she proclaimed but to make sure that some kind of arbitrary level of punishment befell him in turn.

“I’ll have his teacher send his coursework to your home, and you can make sure he doesn’t fall behind.” Principal Kazu said firmly before turning to face me.

“Hisoka, this kind of behavior is completely unacceptable-both at school and in society at large,” Kazu said seriously, “You cannot enact violence on others like this; If another student makes you angry in the future, you will not address it by hurting another person. You will come to me and explain it, do you understand?”

Sarada’s face grew more animated as the large man spoke to him.

“I understand, sir,” I said honestly, nodding.

Sarada’s growing look of glee turned to disgust at his simple response, and then she turned towards the door.

“Don’t ever come near my son again, you little monster.” Sarada hissed and slammed the door behind her as she left.

Hayami didn’t meet his gaze when he looked back up at her, and Kazu simply sat amongst the rubble of his desk, pinching the bridge of his nose.

School was hard.

Hayami’s Home, Musutafu, 4:47 PM
April 9th, 2139.

I was grounded now, the first time I’d experienced such a thing.

Leaving my room for anything other than eating, showering, or using the toilet was forbidden, at least until my suspension was lifted. I was restricted from using the internet or doing anything other than reading-no fiction allowed. I was also informed later that I would be visiting the school counselor regularly when I returned.

I hadn’t seen Nanami since I’d been suspended, and she was also forbidden from coming to visit me for the duration of my punishment. It was very quiet without Nanami around, and I had a growing list of interesting things I’d read that I wanted to tell her about.

Hayami had asked me to recount everything that happened in greater detail several times before explaining all the mistakes I’d made several times. I’d committed them to memory, another set of social rules that I would need to add to the ever-growing pattern I was expected to adhere to.

I looked up the word that Sarada had called me, but it had quickly turned into looking up a hundred more complicated medical ones that were just as unknown and too difficult to find the answers to, and in the end, that mystery had yet to be solved. I would have to keep on reading until It started to make sense.

The sound of a voice that wasn’t Hayami’s came from downstairs, and I placed it as Uncle-Sajin after a second exchange. I hadn’t seen him since my birthday, not unusual, given that he was exceedingly busy; this was actually a week or so earlier than I usually would have seen him, if anything.

I couldn’t understand the words with all the obstructions in the way, but I could follow the tone and volume of each. Hayami’s voice was rapid, high in pitch, and paused irregularly; she was upset. Sajin’s voice was calmer but no less passionate, but it didn’t sound angry. Even without hearing the exact words or watching the expressions on their face, it was apparent what the problem was.

It was me.

Hayami had been more distant than usual since the incident, and she had never been particularly affectionate before that. That isn’t to say she disliked me or that I disliked her; that wasn’t the case-she was a perfect guardian.

But I’d said it back in the principal’s office, and it summed it up pretty nicely; she was my aunt, not my mother.

Hayami had never wanted children; she’d never made a choice to have one, never made the decision to settle down and start a family; it had never been part of the life she had seen before her, and yet when my parents had died two years ago she’d had that choice made for her. Aunt Hayami could have said no when she was asked to look after him and gone to live the life she had wanted to-of high-class parties, traveling abroad, experiencing everything she wanted to in life, and perhaps finding herself in the journey.

Instead, she had put her own life on hold to ensure that I could grow up cared for and wanting for nothing, and Sajin had been there as often as he could make time, unable or perhaps unwilling to end his own future prospects in the same manner.

Once again, I’d made it more difficult for them both.

Uncle-Sajin had a good track record when it came to being right about things, and I tried my best to follow his rules in particular. He told me once, a long time ago, that everybody cried.

I wiped at my eyes for a moment; It seemed like he was right again.

Sidewalk, Musutafu Elementary, 7:59 AM
May 2nd, 2139.

“Hisoka,” Aunt Hayami said firmly, “I know you must be sick and tired of me telling you by now, but I need you to promise me again that you will not hurt any of the other students-not even if you get angry, okay?”

I nodded.

“I understand, Hayami.” I said quietly, “I promise I’ll be good.”

Hayami watched me for a long moment before smiling and sending me on my way.

I meant it; this last month had not been good. Hayami had spent a significant portion of it crying in the privacy of her bedroom, and I had done my best to keep out from underfoot. I had no intention of making it any more difficult for her-that had never been something that I wanted.

Uncle-Sajin had spoken to me last night.

He’d attempted to explain something complicated, I hadn’t followed it entirely, but I think I’d approached some kind of understanding of what he wanted me to know. The main take away had been that he wanted me to start thinking about how everybody reacted to things in advance.

It was something I’d done unconsciously for the most part, and it wasn’t a switch I could simply flip on; I needed to work on it, in the same way that I worked on the details of my constructs.

Strength and persistence.

If I’d known how to do this before I’d broken Haru’s arm, I might have come up with a smarter solution, and more importantly, I might have been able to guess that I was going to cause Hayami a lot of problems doing it the way I did.

I might have realized that I wouldn’t get to see my only friend for an entire month.

“Hi, Nanami,” I said quietly.

Sorry, Uncle-Sajin.

“Hisoka!” Nanami bawled, almost strangling me in her attempt to perform the strongest hug I’d ever felt. “You dummy!”

“Sorry, Nanami,” I said quietly.


About the author


Bio: I’m a fantasy author from Australia, and if I were to describe my work in a single sentence it would be; Realism contained within an unrealistic backdrop. I aim to put out high-quality, original, long-form written content that will entertain, and engage you. Expect dark themes, characters making costly mistakes, and unreliable narrators.

My standard process starts by releasing draft chapters to my Patreon, and then to everybody else online. Once the story is completed, I convert it into a more conventional eBook. I also routinely go back and revise, edit and enhance my older work as I improve as a writer.

I now have a website that has links to all of my original works to date.

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