Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
“Woooaaah!” Cecilia jumped up and down, trampling the chair she was supposed to sit in and going crazy at the martial art video she watched.
“Shh! We’re in a hospital.” said Ren.
Startled, she gave Ren a guilty look and quietly sat back down in her chair.
Dr. Walmsley (The orphanage’s child doctor) chuckled as he finished his check-up with Ren. The police arrived at the parking lot shortly after Ren had his slip of mortal coil, to inspect the commotion and gunfire. After the officer saw the hole in Ren’s shirt as well as the blood stains, they were taken to a hospital immediately.
“She’s such a cutie pie. Make sure you take good care of her, you hear me?” The nurse wrapped his stethoscope around his neck, and inputted some final notes into his hologen.
“Ya’ll be good kids now, you hear? I don’t want to hear no complaints from the other patients. I’ll be back in a bit.”
“Daigo! Look!’ Cecilia pointed at the holographic video. On the screen was a blonde martial artist in a step-by-step tutorial on boxing.
“I see,” said Ren. “Do you like martial arts?”
“Yeah!” Cecilia stood up and mimic’d the stance in the video.
Ren smirked at how terrible and funny she looked. Her arms and legs were all over the place. A single kick and she’d fall over.
“You know, you can learn it too! You just have to practice a lot.”
Cecilia immediately turned her head towards Ren and let out an invigorating gasp. “Yeah! I want to learn it! I’ll practice a lot! After that, I can become a hero like you, right?” She squealed.
“Shh!” Ren hushed again. Cecilia put both of her hands over her mouth. “Well…” he said loathingly. “You can be a hero, but--not like me.”
Cecilia gasped in excitement and looked back at the video with longing eyes. “I want to learn from her!” She pointed at the screen.
“Well,” Ren raised his hand in the air and pointed at the holographic screen. It zoomed in front of him, and a keyboard appeared onto his lap. “Maybe we can search for a dojo here.”
Cecilia’s smile could not grow any larger. She jumped up and down impatiently at Ren’s bedside then climbed up to lay her head on his lap.
While Ren scoured the world wide web for a dojo in Honolulu, he asked Cecilia some questions. Questions in regard to what happened after he was shot in the chest.
She had absolutely no idea what to do, she had no idea she could use her tears or saliva to heal his wound. Which was technically correct, but not quite. There was much more to it. After all, Ren wanted to keep it a secret to prevent kidnappings like the attempt earlier. If people found out two orphans had magic, there were sure to be people to adopt them then sell them for money. That topic aside, apparently a boy appeared afterwards. Whether or not it was the boy that caused the blizzard, fingers were definitely pointed at him. After all, Cecilia said it was only after the boy appeared that there was snow. The only physical feature that Cecilia described about him was that he had snow blue straight hair. He was the one that instructed Cecilia about her regeneration magic.
This put Ren on edge. Apparently this kid that magically appeared out of nowhere shortly after he had been shot, knew Cecilia had regeneration magic and how to use it. On top of that, he made the weather in Honolulu snow. As quickly as he appeared and taught Cecilia she could heal people, he also disappeared just as quickly. Which was why Cecilia stopped halfway in her thank you. Then again, the child didn’t do any harm.
Under normal circumstances, Ren would dismiss Cecilia’s story as an accident. Chances were, her tears fell over his wound and healed him. However, the snow was more than enough proof that Cecilia was not alone. Even then, what reason did Cecilia have to make up a story or lie?
He thought about taking extra precaution and lay down the decision to run away, but if the child had any intentions of harming them, he would have done so already. He had no idea how long that child knew about Cecilia’s magic, which was just regeneration. It was the same as just healing from a wound, except it was a thousand times faster. Her magic is likely the most incognito magic possible, yet this child knew immediately what she was capable of.
Ren came to the conclusion that there was no need to do anything. If anything, it only gave him more things to think about. In the meantime, he finally finished his search for a dojo in town.
To his surprise, there was none. A few results popped up, but they were old links that hadn’t shut down yet; old websites forgotten and never searched or clicked on again.
There was one thing that his search all had in common though. A single variable that appeared no matter how specific or different the tags. A female martial artist, the one Cecilia watched earlier. Her name appeared in every single link that he clicked on. He tried to ignore it, but the overwhelming amount of results made him give in, and he finally decided to research her instead.
No matter what, whether it was body exercise, martial arts, dojos, any physical activity to be honest, his search results all led to her.
Deemed the strongest human ever to exist, as well as the only person to harness the internal energy of sentient beings, Ki. Aside from her video tutorials, there were recordings of her overwhelming victories in martial art tournaments. Videos of her accomplishments that were impossible for a single human. She has lifted boulders the size of an apartment, moved too quickly for human reaction to keep up, and even ended a war at the age of sixteen.
From all her success, she was bestowed the title, “Legion.”
Her fixation on martial arts and training was beyond anything history had to offer. She accumulated fame and wealth during her time. The wealthy paid to see her techniques up close. Scientists conducted experiments on her body in an attempt to duplicate her efforts. Fans praised and sung her achievements throughout the streets.
But at the peak of her success, she retired-at thirty nonetheless.
Ren failed to understand why she would decide to retire at such an early age. Not with the amount of sponsors that supported her hobby.
What caught his attention most was not the fact that she retired at thirty, but that she disappeared shortly after. Right after the perfection of full-dive technology too. She didn’t just disappear from the media, or moved to some unknown location, she had disappeared from the face of the Earth. No matter how long and far everyone searched, she was nowhere to be found; satellites, infrared, DNA trackers, scent tracers, no amount of search and technology was able to locate her.
Her disappearance occurred fifteen years ago. Ten years before the Bloody Holiday calamity, the beginning of virtual reality’s dominance. Possible coincidence? Thanks to virtual reality, nobody cared for the real world anymore. Without a doubt, Jennifer Reese must have loved the real world the most. After all, she spent all her life pushing herself to be the strongest and acquired her social status. She climbed her way to the top of the pecking order, only for all of it to crumble into dust. Then she attempted to destroy the world that had forgotten about her that is the Bloody Holiday. Certainly a poetic tale of a hero turned villain.
Ren shook his head and clapped his cheeks. It was probably nothing more than a coincidence. Just his imagination running wild. The only thing that lined up was the dates, nothing more. After all, Jennifer was only one person. There was no way she could cause genocide at such a global scale.
“Cecilia,” Ren finally spoke.
She perked up, and rushed to Ren’s side in a crawl.
“You found one?!”
“Jennifer Reese...is retired,” he said lightly.
“What does retired mean?”
Ren pet Cecilia on the head, “It means she stopped practicing.”
The room fell silent, so silent, you could hear the holographic TV in the corner of the room that played the news all day at the lowest volume.
“Top story tonight, young orphaned child shot in the chest miraculously survives. Then, snowfall in Honolulu for the first time in history!”
Cecilia stood up over Ren’s legs, “I can do it !” She said all pumped up. She jabbed the air and threw a wobbly kick. “See?!”
Ren snorted amusedly.
“Then one day, when I become good enough, I can look for her and show her how good I am!”
The bed shook and bounced as Cecilia pretended to be in a fight.
The door slid open, Dr. Walmsley returned.
“Okay little one,” Dr. Walmsley said gaily. “A few more check-ups and Ren will be free to go. Why don’t you wait outside?”
“His name--is Daigo!” Cecilia snapped with a stomp as she eyed the doctor with a sharp glare.
“She’s very assertive isn't she?” asked Dr. Walmsley as his eyes followed Cecilia out the door.
Ren smiled nervously at the doctor’s remark; he wasn’t wrong,
“I couldn’t help but overhear Cecilia get all excited about Jennifer Reese. You think she’ll become the next prodigy?” Dr. Walmsley asked with a soft chuckle at the end.
“If she does, I might just have to step up my game a little, ” said Ren. “I’m the big brother, I have to be the one protecting her, not the other way around.”
Once Dr. Walmsley finished the remaining check up, Ren hopped out of bed and rushed to the door.
“Ren!” Dr. Walmsley called to him right before he exited “I think it’s amazing how you’re taking care of your little sister. You’re much smarter, and much more mature than any other ten-year-old I’ve ever seen. But don’t forget that you, yourself, are still only ten. You should have some fun too.”
Ren smirked and left the hospital room.
Dr. Walmsley wasn’t wrong. He’s about to enter his teens in a couple years. If he didn’t enjoy his childhood now, he might not ever get the chance again. In his opinion, a small price to pay in exchange for a brighter future; for Cecilia.
That said, it didn’t mean he had no intention of having fun. He already had plans in mind. Plans in which he considered fun. It was simple. Cecilia had found someone she admired, a goal to strive towards. All he had to do was coach her, train her, yell at her, push her, and give her some juice.
Outside, Cecilia kicked her feet back and forth on a bench while watching her shoelace jerk up and down. As soon as she saw Ren, she leapt off the bench and ran up to him.
“All done?” Cecilia asked.