I was versed at a very young age of how I should see the world in a perspective in which favor should always be on my side, no matter what the circumstance may be. They wrung every single drop of magnanimity within me, engraving into my mind that the light shall always be mine and the immaculate shall always be me.

As a result, I ended up standing alone, bearing the light which blinded me from the truth they feared of me knowing. And as I continued to hold on to the light that I kept selfishly for me; I realized a priceless lesson:

There is no light in loneliness. All I could see from that place was the darkness of dismay.

Ever since I was young, I was always curious about the world outside of my races domain. We were the race that isolated itself from the rest of the world. Because of that, many have suffered. Our power sustained the life of nature. Our very existence was the reason why the other races got to live. However, they did not appreciate our power and pushed us into retaliation that drove them into their own downfall.

We experienced misjudgement, we went through defilement and so we resorted to abandonment.

They committed their self-destruction when they discovered that those mindless creatures that wreaked havoc were once us. Without full comprehension of how things ended up the way it did, most of the races that once fought with each other joined forces and attempted to slaughter us all.

My grandfather, who ruled after a dictator, amassed ancients into one place. Using his body, he created The Great Genshi Tree and sheltered us from the outside world.

The exterior form of the trunk opposed any invading forces from the opposite races. The once submissive race finally learned to fight for their place.

Within the sapphire wooden interior of the tree, the ancients built an opulent kingdom of light blue-green walls. There, stood amidst thousands of petite and humble houses, was the palace. It exhibited the difference of status between the one ruling and the ones being ruled.

As we bloomed and flourished, the world we hid from withered and crumbled. Our absence and lack of mercy became evident to the whole world. I briefly wondered if deprivation could make greedy people regret greed or further give them the drive to become even more covetous.

Twenty years have passed ever since the ancients closed themselves off. No one ever got to leave except for one ancient who opposed the conditions of the deceased king. That ungovernable man was no other than my onii (brother), Lucius.

My brother was never the one to follow the rules and regulations of the kingdom. He was audacious, strong, and he was respected despite his reputation for being defiant. I idolized him and followed him everywhere. I wanted to be like him, who wouldn ?

He told me stories of the outside world and reminded me to never succumb to our races selfishness no matter what our parents tell me. He was trying to raise a rebellious son in me, our parents were well aware of that.

On the day of my brothers departure, my okaa (mother), and I saw him off. I held onto my mothers hand with a heavy heart and watched as my brother prepared everything he needed for his journey.

After double-checking everything, he bent in front of me and placed a soft kiss against my forehead. I toughened myself up and willed myself not to cry in front of him because he was always saddened when I was sad.

”Arrivederci (goodbye) little brother, don grow up too fast, alright? Goodness, you act and speak so maturely as if you aren six years old, ” he chuckled and held me close to him in a tight embrace.

I placed my two hands on either side of his face and gave his sharp nose a smooch. ”Arrivederci onii, please come back soon! ”

He ruffled my head causing petals to fall from my flower crown. Flower crowns were the status symbol of royalty.

”I will miss you. Don cause too much trouble for father and mother, understand? ”

Mother let out a ”hmph ”. Brother straightened up and gave her a hug which was not returned.

”Please do not worry for me, mother, I will be fine, ” he assured with a small smile.

Our mother glared at him.

”I have nothing left to say to you. You know very well of whats out there and you still decide to leave for these ridiculous peregrinations as if you are taunting death to chase you, ” she scornfully scolded.

”Okaa~ ” I called out and tugged at her dress. ”What is pere…peregrine… ” I tried to pronounce.

Onii sighed from hearing the same reprimanding for the hundredth time. He repeated the same explanation he gave the last time she was upset with him.

”The world needs us okaa. I cannot just enjoy the life within this tree knowing how much the world is dying. ”

Okaa turned around in disappointment and my heart dropped from seeing my onii get so much rejection.

Why must okaa be like this whenever onii will leave? She was being unkind to him just like otou (father) who refused to see him off and reasoned out that he was buried with work.

”Go, Lucius…you know too well what happens to us when we die yet you decide to get yourself slaughtered. ”

Onii rubbed his forehead with his palm. He was stressed and tired of hearing her complain.

I grabbed one of oniis thick fingers with my small hand and smiled at him while my other hand was busy behind me. I grew a white flower within my palm and presented it to him. His melancholic expression brightened, and he plucked the flower from my palm making me wince a bit from the stinging pain.

”Thank you chii (baby brother), I will cherish it, ” he said lovingly and kissed the flower.

He got on top of Argo, his trusted pegacorn, and patted its neck. Its body was a luminous blue that provided enough light by nightfall. Argo was always his companion during his journeys. It was by chance that he found a lost pegacorn in one of the villages he visited, and they became close companions ever since.

The ippótes (knights) of the gates placed their hands a

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