December 24th, 2010
"Is it finally over now? Is it…?"
"No. It’s just begun."
The digital twilight never looked so pretty.
"Are you going to stay the whole day playing this game again?"
"I’ve already done all my homework and everything you asked me, Mom."
"I will never understand why you are so addicted to this game… Well, if you have already studied, then there is no problem…But, don’t stay up until late again! You have to sleep, too."
‘There’s no need for me to do it now… Everything is safe’
The fourteen(almost fifteen)-years-old boy logged into The World, becoming one with his character Kite. In the real world, he was only a quiet boy with nothing special. But in this game world, he somehow became a leader, a hero.
His CG character appeared on the Omega Server modified Root Town.
"Let me see… who is online today"
That was his first thought when he ceased feeling Morganna’s presence in The World.
“Huh? It’s weird…"
He had been destroyed. The Bracelet had been destroyed. Even if she restored it, she wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. So, why…?
Why was he there? Why could he still think, and feel? It was dark, and painful…. but it meant he was still there. He still existed.
He noticed his body was being recovered. Not his monstrous true body, but the PC form he used to deceive Kite and the others. It wasn’t long before he could see again, and he noticed where he was.
You will be given a second chance
The Ultimate AI’s voice was cold. Of course, she wouldn’t be kind to her “bastard brother” who made a conspiracy to destroy her and her chosen one. For this reason that he would never expect receiving a second chance.
Cubia stood up. He was completely restored. Even his inventory was there, not that he cared about items that much. He only had his blades, one spear and… a single Health Drink.
"A Health Drink?"
"Yes. It may be useful when we’re battling. It won’t be good if our HPs go to 0."
No one had never given him anything before. That was why he treasured so much that simple item he received from Kite.
‘Kite… he and his friends are probably doing well. His lost friend is probably back too…’
The AI sighed.
"He probably don’t want to see me never again"
I… I can’t…
Two days have passed. Cubia stayed in the cathedral. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to see anyone, he just didn’t know what to do or say if he meet someone.
"I should apologize…. But they probably won’t forgive me. Of course they won’t! After what I did…"
"But… I can’t stay hidden here forever. Also, this place makes me sick." He was obviously referring to the Goddess Statue.
Cubia decided to warp to Net Slum, which was now on Omega Server. As soon as he got there, he saw the orange-dressed guy he was trying to avoid. It didn’t matter if the others hated him…But he didn’t want Kite to do so. The brave and strong leader everyone admired…was also the only one Cubia cared about.
"What?? No one is online?"
Kite looked again at his Friends List.
“Well, the last week was insane. They probably want to rest now.”
He suddenly noticed…
“Aaah, it seems I don’t have a life…And… it might be strange that I’m able to come here normally after everything that happened…But, it’s not like those things will ever happen again…”
He looked around. “Maybe I should log out…”
Among the crowd, he saw a familiar face. “That’s…. No, it’s impossible….”
He looked closer, pressing “Zoom”. “It’s really him! How…?”
He approached, hoping the AI wouldn’t run away.
Oh, no he saw me!
Cubia decided it would be better not to run away. He should face the situation for once, and assume the consequences of his actions.
He walked to Kite, but , at first, didn’t say anything. He had no idea of what to say. He only stood there, looking at the legendary Twin Blade, as a fool. When he finally found his voice, the only thing he could say was:
Cubia looked at the ground. He knew that wasn’t enough, but it was all he could say at the moment.
"Cubia…. Haha, I knew it was you! But, I thought you haven’t… survived that whole thing…"
The last time Kite meet Cubia wasn’t exactly…. pleasant. A lot has happened between them, but Kite still considered the AI a friend. He had made some mistakes, but it didn’t made him a bad person. At least, that was how Kite though. It was good to see he was still alive, and maybe now they could start again.
He couldn’t pretend nothing has happened, but now everything was over. Things would surely be better.
Kite’s response surprised Cubia a bit, but he should have expected for something like that.
He’s the same as always…
But Cubia couldn’t act so calmly as Kite. He was feeling so guilty, he didn’t know if someday he would be able to forgive himself. And he never expected Kite to do so. If the legendary player was going to be kind even after all that happened, it was only going to make things worse.
Great way to understand feelings…
Why did the first feelings he experienced have to be those of guilt and self-hate? Why did he have to feel that pain? If it was like this, it would be better if he stayed as a cold computer program until the end. But it wasn’t going to happen, because he had already changed. And it was all that orange Twin Blade fault.
"Kite… I’m, I’m sorry for everything I did. I’m sorry for hurting you and for using you and your friends for my own purposes. And for lying… I lied a lot. I-I will understand if you never want to see my face again…"
He said everything that was on his mind quickly, but couldn’t continue after this sentence. The though of never seeing Kite again… that was the worse thing he could think of. That just couldn’t happen.
"Hey, calm down. It’s, it’s over now! And… I know you had your reasons for doing that. I’m not…. angry at you."
Kite had a true kind nature. He always tried to see the best in everyone. Some called him fool, but he knew that even the worst of people had a hidden good side. And… he was able to forgive very easily.
"You don’t have to apologize because… I have already forgiven you."
"W-what!? But, what I did was…"
How could Kite say that so easily? That was… too hard to understand. Humans were always hard to understand.
"….Then…. is it okay if…we try to be friends again?"
"Forget about it! The past is the past, right?" Kite gave a small laugh, wanting to make Cubia feel better.
Even the player behind Kite smiled when he heard the question.
"Of course we can! Unless, well, you don’t want to…"
"O-of course I want to!" Cubia said. He wanted it so badly.
"You know, you were… the first one that cared about me. The only one that could see something besides the monster I am. You are… very important to me." He confessed.
"You are important to me too, Cubia!" Kite said. The player really meant it. "You know, after everything that happened, I have met many people… But, I will never forget the ones who were by my side since the beginning. And you are one of them"
"I disturbed more than helped…" That guilt would never go away. "But, I’m glad you think this way. I don’t know what I would do if you hated me"
"I would never hate you! Stop saying these things, you make it seems you are a delinquent or something like it"
"You make it seems I’m not. Maybe I really am not anymore, but… you can deny I was"
Nothing could change the past. “And… it doesn’t matter how much I change, I am and I will always be a monster.”
Cubia could feel that inside of him. He didn’t imagine it would be restored as well, but it was there. The monster wasn’t just a part of him, it was his essence, his own core. His conscious mind and his thoughts, his newly discovered feelings and that human form were fragile next to the immense destructive power he had inside. And he noticed it could get out at any moment. A part of him even wanted that.
"Cubia, that is all past!" Kite wanted his friend to stop feeling so guilt about that. He almost didn’t noticed he put his hands on the other’s shoulders. He quickly took his hands from them.
"Stop saying bad things about yourself. What matters is what you decide to do from now on. Yeah, you can’t change who you are, but you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Morganna created you to be a monster, but it doesn’t mean you have to be evil and can’t be anything else. Weren’t you the one who wanted to change your fate?"
Of course, Kite didn’t know what was going on on Cubia’s mind at that moment. He only wanted to see his friend happy, like in the old times, but this time for real.
When he felt Kite’s hands touching him, strange thoughts came to his mind. It was almost as if he could hear a voice saying that to him, a voice he knew that belonged to himself.
“Humans are so pathetic… “
“Why don’t I just….”
That was useless. He was trying to fight himself, the strongest part of himself. He could keep it contained for some time, but it wouldn’t be forever.
But Kite’s voice helped him to interrupt the battle at least for some moments.
"Kite,I… I really wish I could change, but… you saw what happened. In the end, I couldn’t change my fate. Everything happened as written in the Epitaph, and even now that I have a second chance… It’s still inside of me. I am meant for destruction, and even if I don’t want it… a part of me still asks for it. "
"You are not a monster, Cubia. Remember it. You have the strength to change anything you want. Some months ago, I was only a shy school boy with a boring daily life, and now some people even call me ‘legend’ or something… I was too afraid when I received this power from Aura, and I never believed I could do anything to help someone, and I never really saw myself as a leader. But…that’s all true now. To get here, I needed to believe myself. It was hard, you saw how much I doubted of what I was doing, but in the end everything was alright. You too… I’m sure you can control that part of you. I believe in you, you also have to believe…"
Kite’s player heard a voice calling him in real world. It was his mother.
"I’m sorry… My Mom is calling me, I have to go now. I don’t know when I will be able to come back, since she is bothered by the time I spent online… But I will try to come as soon as possible. Keep doing your best here, I’m sure everything will be alright! After all, we’re really connected, right?" Kite smiled and blinked to his friend, before logging out.