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Hated (By Life Itself)

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 An annoying ringing blared in his head, waking him up as the noise slowly faded to the back of his head. Groggily, he got up from where he was and rubbed his tired eyes. He looked around to notice that he was in a vehicle, not only that but it was moving. He glanced out the windows, only to be greeted by unfamiliar territory. Panic bubbled in his chest, not knowing how to tackle the situation. His mind was foggy, and he couldn’t remember anything prior to when he woke up.

 

   Trying to grasp something to bring him back to familiarity, he was comforted by a moderately sized plain yellow backpack. It was oddly comforting, and it brought the greenette back to his senses. He reached his trembling hands out to grasp the bag until a feminine voice spoke up. “Hello, dear. How are you?” she said, her voice sickeningly sweet. ‘This doesn’t feel right,’ his gut subtly twisted at his small revelation. Her voice didn’t feel like a mother’s voice. It was odd; foreign and calming but could easily trick you into a false sense of security. Her smile went from ear to ear, almost as if she was threatening him. Her eyes had a mischievous spark in them, as if she wanted to hurt him for the fun of it. Although her body language was activating red flags in his mind, he was lulled into a false sense of security. 

 

    ‘She seems nice though,’ he mused. The woman might just be socially awkward, or terrible with kids. 

 

“-zu dear, Don’t be quick to judge someone you don’t know, be nice okay?” a voice chastised him in his mind. ‘Who was that…?’ The voice was as sweet as honey and as warm as the sunshine. It was very familiar, and stirred a certain feeling in his heart. Now that was the voice was familiar with, not the woman in the front seat. He tilted his head upwards, in an attempt to look at the woman properly. 

 

   She had long, black hair that was messily tied up into a bun. She wore a velvet-colored turtleneck sweater with a black jacket lazily thrown over her broad shoulders. She wore a black mask (which was moved down to where her chin was) with a logo printed where her mouth should be. From what he could see, it was a vine crawling up a white sword, and the sword pierced through a bold letter ‘A’. She was a fair skinned woman, maybe a bit more on the tan side. Sunglasses were propped on her head, very close to the messy bun she had. 

 

   Next to her was a man who was driving, eyes glued to the never-ending road. He had a beige trench coat with a simple white tee under it. He wore a mask; identical to the woman, but the colors were reversed. Heavy dark eye bags were prominent on his face, hinting that he hasn’t slept in ages. He had a gold watch dangling on his wrist, an occasional beep coming from it. He wore sunglasses, a stoic expression printed on his face.

 

   The little boy mustered up a nervous smile and replied “I-I’m okay, my head hurts…” he rubbed his curly green hair as the throbbing slowly ebbed away. 

 

   He looked out the window to see a few moving cars, different models every moment. An orange mustang revved by, mildly startling the timid child. Through the slightly busy road, he saw tiny bland buildings littering the province. There were tall ones and shorts ones. Some wide, stretching out as wide as three buildings. The sidewalks were barren, quite a surprise since it’s only two hours past noon. The sky was calm, and only a cloud or two would be seen. A soft breeze tickled the trees as they swayed. 

 

   The road stretched on for eons, and soon boredom took place. 

 

   He looked up to the woman and tapped her shoulder. “Um,” he whispered. The woman flicked her eyes towards him, gesturing for him to continue. “Where’s my mom?” he quietly asked, eyes slightly watering. The woman’s eyes narrowed as she looked up to her husband. The man gave her an odd expression then looked back at the road. She had a frustrated expression plastered on her face before it was wiped out by a forced smile. “Oh, dear! Don’t you remember?” she puts her hands out in an attempt to pet the boy’s soft, fluffy, green hair. “I’m your aunt! And this man right here,” she paused, jerking her thumb towards the driving man. “Is your uncle!” 

 

   The boy let out a soft breath, surprised that he had kept it in for so long. He gave her a feeble smile and gave her a nod. The sound of wheels making contact with the asphalt comforted him in a way, almost enough to lull him to slumber. The buildings slowly faded away, only to be replaced by an abundance of different kinds of trees. The only sounds lingering in the air was the faint contact of the wheels to the road, and the whirring of the semi-cool A/C. 

 

   After a while, the boy grew impatient. “A-Auntie?” he called out. The woman turned to look at him, her face bored. “Yes?” she asked. He looked at her, then flicked his gaze over to the window. “Where,” he started, unable to get the right words together. “Where are we going?” his voice sounded so small, so vulnerable. She looked at him, a panicked expression on her face. “Uh, well-” The man cut her off, his voice slightly irritated. “We’re bringing you to your parents. Just please stay quiet for a while.” he grumbled, eyes narrowed at his wife.

 

   His parents? Excitement bubbled in his tummy, eager to see his parents again. Truth be told, he couldn’t remember how they looked. He didn’t really remember anything, but he craved for the affection of his loved ones. Even just the thought of seeing them again stirred a familiar sense of home in his heart.

 

    He no longer minded the length of the trip, the thought of seeing his family again clouded his thoughts. Out the window were more trees, not a single building in sight. He looked to his side and saw another bag. It was mint with black stripes, a logo in the middle. The logo had a big ‘M’ on it. It was on top of a rocky mountain, with black and white stripes sticking out from the back. It was imitating the rays of the sun. The ‘M’ had a cape behind it.The fabric of the bag had a weird texture, hinting that it was waterproof. On the side of the bag, there was a lock. It was no ordinary lock, definitely not a padlock, but a button system that required a code. It was oddly familiar, sparking a small memory to play in his mind.

 

    A green haired woman had her back facing the young child as she shook aggressively, sobs erupting from her mouth. The child ran up to her and hugged her leg, asking her why she was crying. “M-Mama…?” he called out, worry laced in his voice. The woman looked down at him and tried to wipe away the tears. “I’m fine, baby. I’m okay.” she whispered, her voice right from crying. “Your father… He-”

 

   The memory didn’t really end there. There was more, but the rest of it was only a blur of words and colors.  He couldn’t see the woman’s face, as it was blurred in his memory. What he couldn’t forget was her violent sobbing, and the tears falling from her face. He could tell she was his mother. 

 

   Although the memory was disturbing, he let exhaustion take over, and he nodded into a troubled slumber.

 


 

    He woke up to the sound of sirens and frustrated yelling. It came from outside and inside of the vehicle, which had stopped moving. He lifted his head to see the panic-stricken faces of the couple in the front and a whole police force outside, ready to strike at any moment. The sirens got louder by the second, and the yelling continued. “-ir, Ma’am, please step out of the car!” A voice yelled through a speaker trying to reason with a stern and steady demeanor. The couple panicked, not knowing how to defuse the situation. The woman looked back at the child with a glare, and if looks could kill, the child would be dead where he sits. “You!” she hissed, her glare refused to falter. “Stay here, and DON’T move.” she emphasized the word ‘don’t’, her voice cold. 

 

   He looked out the window again to see a tall building that gave off a warehouse vibe. The warehouse has no windows, and the walls were a faded eggshell color, now looking like it's been sun-bleached. It was creepy and worn-down, looking like it’s only being held together by sticks and string. At the entrance were two guards, looking out for the police and rescue hero teams, to prevent them from entering the building.

 

   The duo stepped out of the car, hands up and ready to comply with the police’s wishes. In one hand, were the car keys. He clicked a button and the car made a noise which confirmed it to be locked. What the little boy could see dangling from the man’s pants shocked him. It was two weapons, and he looked ready to kill. He tried to yell, but he was frozen in shock. What was the man going to do to the police? He could barely hear what was going on outside, so he pressed his ear against the window, hoping that he could pierce together any information. From the other side, he could hear many voices arguing.

 

   “Sir, Ma’am, We’d like you to come with us,” A voice yelled, doing their best to get into an agreement with the couple. The young boy looked around to scan the premises, trying to see what he could do next. The officers kept their gaze on the couple, drawing their guns forward. Next to the officer with a megaphone was a man holding a paper.

 

   “We have your warrant of arrest,” The man gestured towards the slip of paper. 

 

   The couple looked stunned, but a confident look crossed the man’s face. Smirking, he sneered: “Oh? I don’t know why you have one, officer.” The officer’s face stayed the same, not fazed by the snarky remark. “My wife and I are just taking our nephew to my sister! I don’t see how that's wrong.” he quipped, voice laced with forced kindness. The man holding the warrant then pulled out an envelope. “In this envelope, is the evidence and charges pushed against you two.” The officer said, already irritated at the situation. The two frowned, their expression grim. “You can’t just- No!” he yelled. The police yelled back: “Just make this easier for all of us, Sir.” The man did not budge, looking at his wife with a determined expression. “Fine.” he grumbled.

 

   The man slowly stepped forward, his wife following. The officers readied their handcuffs, a small grin appeared on their faces. Little by little, the man lowered his hands. Again, his wife followed along. More steps were taken, until…

 

   Quickly, the man jerked his hands behind his back to grab a gun. Lifting his hand, the police readied their guns as well. His wife then snatched the knife from her husband’s back and lifted it forward. Snarling, she pointed at all the officers with her butterfly knife, giving them a warning glare. “We are not going with you.” she firmly stated as she fished a remote from her pocket. 

 

   With a sly smile, she looked at the police with a playful glint in her eyes. “Or else,” she fiddled with the big red button, a feral grin crept up to her face. “All the children die.”  

 

   The officers eyes widen, as a few start to panic.   

 

`~*~`

 

   Behind this scene, a few heroes were huddled behind a bush, surrounding the area. Hushed whispers and soft breathing were shared between each rescue team. They all waited for the signal of the police so they could rescue the children. But instead of a go signal, they received a frantic call. “Heroes, don’t move! One of them has a button that could destroy the warehouse and the car!” he whisper-yelled, trying his hardest to contain his anxiety. Shocked the heroes stayed still, as some overheard the discussion going on between the couple and officers. 

 

`~*~`

 

   “Sir! Ma’am! Please, do not harm the children.” An officer tried to be the voice of reason. “Please, come with us, and we’ll sort this out at the station.” The woman looked as if she was considering, but howled a cold-hearted laugh. “Reason?!” she cackled, as she fake-wiped an imaginary tear. “Well, you caught us, right? We might as well DIE TOGETHER!!!” she lifted her finger to press down on the button. 

 

   Suddenly, the couple was tackled down, effectively knocking out the remote from the woman’s hands. Loud screaming from the woman was heard as the man eventually joined her, vulgar insults and curses  flooded the atmosphere. As more officers joined in to hold down the couple, a small cloud of dust appeared. An officer brought out a quirk suppressing handcuff, making feeble attempts at latching it on her arm. The heroes stood motionless until they heard a loud commanding voice yell: “GO, GO, GO!” 

 

   Quickly, some the heroes apprehended the warehouse guards, making sure that they didn't walk into any traps. Thankfully, there weren't many due to the fact that they kept children in there. Carefully, they opened the door to reveal twelve children tied up to the walls, silent tears dripping down their faces. The heroes were saddened by the sight, but moved quickly to insure their safety. 

 

   Another hero team quietly rushed over to the car which the greenette was held in. Confusion was plastered on his face, which was quickly washed away by relief. He didn’t understand what they were doing and why, but he trusted the heroes, even if he didn’t know why. One crept over to his window and knocked, gesturing for him to open the door. He obliged, and unlocked the door, activating an alarm. He jumped in surprise, landing in the safety of a hero’s arms.

 

   The woman’s head perked up, breaking free from the police’s grasp. Her hands shot forward as knives began to shoot out of her hands. One flew towards a hero but they quickly dodged it. Another flew towards the bean. His eyes widened in fear and jumped out of the hero’s arms, running to hide behind a rock. Unfortunately, he was too late and the knife penetrated his right shoulder. He cried out in pain, falling to the ground. 

 

    Finally, one of the officers grabbed the woman’s hand, the handcuff locked on her hand. The knives stopped flying out of her hand and she gave up her fight. The man shortly followed, allowing himself to be cuffed. Grumbling the duo got into the police car, as one officer recited the words they usually do. 

 

   The heroes who were still on standby reached out and grabbed the child, carrying him to safety. They applied pressure to the wound, and waited for the ambulance to arrive. 

 

   Glancing at the warehouse, the other heroes saw the rest of the teams. A few of them were holding the small children as the older children walked beside them, crying in relief. The others were holding the guards, who had been effectively knocked out cold.  They all yelled a silent praise, as their mission had been a success. The sun was setting and the once blue sky was fading into a fiery orange-yellow. In the distance, the blaring sirens of an ambulance could be heard.

 


 

   A bright light blinded the boy, and he let out a pained groan, weakly trying to cover his eyes. His vision eventually cleared, and he took a glance at his surroundings. He saw white bleached walls with minimum decoration. To his left was a rectangular window, adorned with simple patterns at the rims. It was dark outside, and all he could see was the light of a few street lamps. 

 

   He noticed that he was in a hospital room, as the scent reminded him of one. Beside him was a few machines, but he wasn’t hooked up to any of them. He sat in silence for a few minutes until a doctor came in, a hero trailed in from behind.

 

   The hero gave him a warm smile, and he waved in response, feeling slightly sore on his shoulder. “U-um excuse me, w-where am I?” he asked. The hero’s and doctor’s eyes widened. “Oh- You speak English? That means you’re not from here…” the hero and doctor shared a look and then turned to the boy. “Can you speak Japanese?” he asked the boy, hoping that he would say yes. “I-I c-can, b-but I j-just started l-learning a w-while ago? B-But I can understand it, i-it’s only s-speaking I have a hard t-time doing-g..I-I d-don’t really…” he nervously trailed off. “Okay, we’ll speak to you in Japanese and you an answer in English, I’m not very good with it but I’m sure the doctor is decent at it.”

 

   The doctor was quiet, and lifted his clipboard with the results. “He has head trauma, which doesn’t really add up to his other injury, so I suggest you guys to look into it further.” The hero nodded and let him continue the report. “But his shoulder should be perfectly fine now. He could leave if he pleases, as long as he takes this medication,” he turns the clipboard around to show a prescription slip. “For a week.” He puts the clipboard on a small table, removing the slip and handing it over to the hero. “For now, we need to ask you some questions, if that's alright with you.”

 

   The child looked up at the hero, eyes wide and calculating. The hero let out a sheepish giggle and sighed. “So,” he started, sitting on the bed. “What’s your name?” he asked. The young boy had a confused expression, trying his best to remember. Although he tried, he just couldn’t grasp any memory of his name. “I-I don’t remember… I’m sorry.” he apologized, hugging himself. The hero looked at the doctor, who picked up his clipboard again and marked a paper. “That's okay, little one.” the hero reassures, patting his back. “Did you know the people in that car? Are they your relatives like they claimed?” the child shook his head and frowned. “They said that my mom was their sister but I didn’t really believe them.” 

 

   The hero’s eyes lit up, and he murmured something about it being used in court. “Okay, do you know anyone who can pick you up? Like your mom, dad, or any relative?” the boy shook his head once more, his frown getting deeper. “I don’t remember much, I don’t remember my mom or dad.” The hero was shocked but sadly nodded. He looked up at the doctor who started to speak.

 

   “It seems like he has memory loss. We don’t know if it's from a quirk or from the head trauma, but he may gain them back over time. For now, he should take some medicine.” The hero nodded and looked towards the kid. “For now, you’ll stay at the police station, okay? We need to get a statement from you, is that okay with you?” The green bean only nodded.

 


 

   The station was pretty big. The parking lot was lined with identical vehicles, one in each slot. The outside was painted a deep blue for the bottom half, and light blue for the top. The two walked in and were greeted by a detective. 

 

   “Hi!” he greeted, smiling at the two visitors. The hero cut him off before he could continue. “He can understand Japanese, but he has trouble speaking. I figured that info might be important before he gives his statement.” Eyes wide, the detective nodded. “Right, I’m Detective Tsukauchi Naomasa, you can call me Mr. Tsukauchi.” he smiled, gesturing for the two to follow him. “Let's go to my office.”

 

   They walked over to his office and sat down in the chairs. The room was plain. The walls were a light shade of blue, a few shelves here and there. There was a small shrub in the corner of the room, nestled beside a window. He looked up to Tsukauchi as he waited for him to begin. “Hi there! So we’re here to ask you to give us a statement on what happened two days ago, are you okay with that?” the boy nodded. “I’ll also be using my quirk. It’s called ‘Human Lie Detector’, is that okay?” again, he nodded.

 

   “Do you remember how they took you?” he asked.

 

   “N-No, I-I d-don’t… I o-only remember w-waking up with a h-headache.” [TRUE]

 

   “Did they hurt you?”

 

   “N-No, they only s-scared me.” [TRUE]

 

   “Did they ever discuss their plans out loud?”

 

   “N-No.” [TRUE]

 

   Tsukauchi smiled and continued the interrogation with a content expression. All his answers were authentic, and that was enough to help file an official case against the plotting trouble couple. He let his clipboard down with a tired sigh. “All right child, that’s enough regarding the case.” The kid’s head perked up, intent on listening to what he had to say. 

 

   “So we looked into the files and found out that you’re not in the system. You also don’t match any of the missing children cases.” The boy nodded, trying to soak up the information he was receiving. “With that, we figured that you might have been hidden away at a young age, and was not registered into the system.” He frowned at the fact that his family was a mystery. “We’re going to add you into the system, okay? We’ll give you a name and everything. After that, I’m afraid that you’ll be placed in an orphanage.” The bean looked up in confusion. “O-orphanage?” he questioned, his Japanese slightly broken. Tsukauchi was saddened by the sight, but he had to stay strong. “It’s where children with no parents go,” he stated. “There are people who will take care of you there.” he sighed, feeling pitiful for the child.

 

   “We’ll register you today, but for now, you’ll stay with the heroes.” he mustered a tired smile ‘God, this is so much paperwork I need to do.’ he inwardly groaned. 

 


 

   The next day came quicker than anticipated. He was accompanied by a few heroes to the orphanage to bid him farewell. The boy skipped along the cobblestone path as the rest of them tailed behind, occasionally fawning over how lush the garden was. In the distance, playful screams could be heard along with the rustling of the leaves. The smell of freshly cut grass wafted through the two’s nostrils, bringing a moment of euphoria between them all. The children playing nearby cast a curious glance, pondering over why there were heroes making an appearance. 

 

   Down the path was a large building, resembling a manor. Along the sides of the building were bushes adorned with bright flowers, which lit the entire place up. A soft smile appeared on the greenette’s face. One of the heroes walked ahead of him, pushing the door open. They all walked in when they were greeted by a friendly figure. She was a middle aged woman, hair neatly pinned into a bun. She wore a soft blue blazer with an eggshell white turtleneck sweater. 

 

  She smiled, and beckoned them to take a seat on the small lobby chairs. “Hi!” she enthusiastically chirped, eyeing the green bean. “So I was informed of the situation, and we’ll make sure to take great care of this little fella!” she kneeled down and tugged his cheeks, a soft expression on her face. “My, oh my! Isn’t he an angel!” she cried, absolutely adoring the sweet child. One of the heroes smiled at her remark. “Yeah, It’s such a shame that this might be the last time we’ll see him.” the other hero, who had long mint green hair elbowed him at the side. “Don’t say that!” she chimed, giving him a long stare. She looked at the child and grinned. “Don’t worry, we’ll come by and visit whenever we can!” She kneeled down and ruffled his green locks. 

 

   He looked up at her with big eyes and reached out to hug her. “T-Thank you…” he whispered, holding on to her like a lifeline. Eventually, he let go and looked over to the two bags leaning on the wall. He walked over to it and soon enough he recognized it to be the same bags he saw in the car from when he was with the couple who ‘abducted’ him. “Yes, little one, that’s your stuff!” he picked it up and handed it to the middle aged woman. His eyes followed the bag, and he stared at the woman who was now holding his items.

 

   “Right, I forgot!” she sheepishly giggled, flashing an embarrassed smile to the child. “My name is Ms. Faith! I work here as one of the caretakers! I’ll be watching over you from now on!” he looked up at her, his eyes widened. “I know you’re struggling to speak in Japanese, and you’re really good at English! I grew up in the US so I’m pretty decent at speaking English. I’ll tutor you!” she happily chirped, eyes as bright as the stars. She took the bags and placed then on the front desk. She looked at the heroes and gave her thanks. “Thank you all for coming here and saying goodbye to this angel! Don’t worry! I’ll be sure to take good care of him!” She gave them a reassuring smile with a thumbs-up.

 

   “It was no problem, we adore this sweet child as well.” A few words were exchanged after that, and time was swiftly forgotten. “Well,” Ms. Faith started. “It’s time we officially sign him in.”

They followed her to the front desk and were greeted by a contract. The hero who took care of him stepped up, and signed it. They all gave the greenette a hug and walked out the front door. “Well, this is goodbye. We’ll see you when we have the time, little one.” The child waved his final goodbye and with that, they all walked off.

 

   “So,” Ms. Faith spoke up. “What was your name again?” she cheekily questioned, flashing him a playful smile. He returned the smile and giggled. “My name is Akatani Mikumo!” he excitedly  raised his fist in the air, eyes lit up like stars.