The Longing Of Shiina Ryo:Volume3 Prologue

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When I was ten years old I fell in love for the first time, and soon after that I murdered someone for the first time too.

Those two occurrences took place near each other in the subjects of both temporal sense and physical distance. Another similarity between them is that the individuals involved in my actions belonged to the same family: even though the actions seem to be direct opposites, it doesn’t change the fact I hurt both at the end.

Mirrored moments.

Often for dramatic effect, those situations are put on the same scenario in books and movies: where the little sister gets kissed, the older brother gets killed. Although close in one aspect in my case, it didn’t happen exactly like that: the fields were several blocks apart. The irony lies in the simple fact that if they were, it wouldn’t make those days even slightly more or less tragic. It would just have been a better story.

But even bad tales have some value.

From the literary standpoint, one can learn what not to do when writing a story although what matters is the execution: there are no boundaries for concepts, and not one of them can be called objectively ‘bad’, only ‘poorly developed’. What I meant by that is, despite whatever people might say your intentions are not half as important as what you do most of the time, if they are at all: you cannot be fairly judged because of them. Saving a human, your country or even the world doesn’t take a pure heart and is bound to generate the most horrible sort of backlash as the only reward you get for your good deeds.

I, personally, learned the same but for ‘life’ rather than ‘writing’; in this world, there are fights in which your only option is to lose.

A little backstory: even when I was a kid Mystery and I would always meet. Before I was taken in by my parents and their bizarre family thus becoming Koukishin Shinzou, too: in fact, it would be extremely hard for me to just point a moment when I wasn’t involved with unusual things for I can’t remember a single one off the top of my head. It’s actually very funny when it happens to someone else: couple elopes to get away from the supernatural only to adopt a kid who is a magnet to it.

Mother, the serious one who was taken away from the Koukishin household and knew how weird the world could be from personal experience, decided it would be better to run and hide and it made me really happy to know she wouldn’t just leave me behind like others did before her. Father, the smiling one who took her away and unlike me was really just a normal person who got caught up in this whole nonsense, thought my ‘gift’, which was not a supernatural ability in any way, was meant to be used to save people. Even now I am sure he’d tell me I was a hero of justice or something.

Back then I believed him and his view of the world, and that ultimately led to this tragedy that might always haunt me. It’s up to your personal judgment to say whether he was right for wanting me to use my abilities to the fullest and help others or as wrong as one could be for not considering how much damage this could give to a child or projecting his own expectations and dreams basically living vicariously through me, but to me it was not about ‘what’; the concept was understandable as I did have it in me, the natural skill to fight back even without the need of having any special powers. It was ‘how’.

His idea of saving the world was to travel all around it solving mysteries or doing good deeds and similar, making our lives seem like an 80’s adventure television show with episodic structure. It was not that much of a change from their usual schedule, being on the run from the Koukishin family like it was the top criminal organization in the universe or something like that. Whether it was close to the truth or not is up to debate.

Anyway, regarding the Lang family as we met them: the father, Lang Hoi, was a noveau-riche engineer with aspirations of becoming a businessman; Lang Mui, the mother, was the daughter of a formerly great rice farm owners’ family who descended into oblivion due to bad administration; the elder son, Lang Yuen, was seventeen and above average when it came to studies; and then there was Lang Shou, their pride and joy.

This is the family I wrecked.

For years I have been torturing myself over this and it will never end until all is said and done, until I, the selfish lying bastard, get closure. The reason why I need to talk to her, to see if she can forgive even though I know she’ll never forget, is quite simple: I need to move on.

Every single time I look at Shiina Ryo I think of that.


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