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0.09% Hero of Darkness / Chapter 1: A Man at the Edge
Hero of Darkness Hero of Darkness original

Hero of Darkness

Author: CrimsonWolfAuthor

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: A Man at the Edge

Winds howled along with the passing cold breeze. At the time of midnight, in the glitter of lights from skyscrapers and malls along with multiple vibrant neon signs; city life kept running as usual.

Amongst these sky-touching buildings and millions of people going about their lives stood a man at the edge of the highest roof in one of such office buildings. He heaved a sigh, looking towards the bright moon and closing his eyes; contemplating how and why his life came to be this way.

"Man, why am I the only one living so miserably? Will anything for once, go the right way for me? Why am I the only one always getting the short end of the stick? It's as if the world itself is trying to tell me that I really don't matter at all."

Reminiscing about his childhood, Elric remembered the young him when he was 12 years old. He was a good kid with a great talent for learning and quickly adapting to knowledge. The teachers would also always praise him for being quick to answer.

But this made his fellow students dislike him at the same time.

Some started bullying him as the days went on and even when Elric asked for help from his teachers, no one helped him. Some said it was just a small quarrel between children while some intentionally tried to smother the incidents to avoid being accused of neglecting the students in their class by the school management.

When he told his father about how the kids at the school were bullying him, and even beating him on some occasions... instead of consoling his youngest son, his father reprimanded him for bringing such small matters into the house. His father worked in a manufacturing company for household appliances and had to spend many hours per day in the office as he was the manager of the department. So naturally, he was always tired and tensed up when he returned home.

After holding his sobs somehow, Elric told his mother, Sophia about the incidents. She told him that she would talk to his teachers. Elric believed her and decided to wait for tomorrow.

But the next day, nothing happened. He still got beat up again, his parents had no time to listen to him.

Even his older brother, David whom Elric looked up to told him to 'Man the hell up'. David was 17 years old and part of his school's baseball team. Due to his growth spurt kicking in, he often tended to be physical with his body and rash with his mind.

He paid no attention to his younger brother as if it didn't concern him. Elric couldn't ask his elder sister Synthia as she would get mad at him even if he mistakenly entered her room.

She was very peculiar with her things, clothes and looks. And always spent a lot of time in front of the mirror for God knows what reasons...

Obviously... she had developed the 'Princess Syndrome' at an early age.

So after both his family and school staff failed to help him, Elric had no choice but to endure the harassment at school.

Hoping that his bullies would get bored and not target him any longer. He even stopped being active with his studies and interacting with other students as well as teachers alike to not stand out. And later when he went to high school, he adapted the same approach.

But during these times, Elric did find something to keep himself busy with.

He no longer held any love for historical figures or whatever they taught in schools but rather in comics that he often read at the comic store a couple of streets away from his house.

Somehow, these Heroes from comics gave him a huge sense of belonging and an urge to be a better person.

His favorites were Spider-Man & Batman... the two heroes who grew from their misery and fought for others in their respective ways.

He would often imagine if getting bit by a radioactive spider would give him powers like Peter Parker or whether he could find a mysterious clan of ninjas and martial artists who could teach him how to fight like Batman.

But as all things come to an end... So did his interest in Comics.

As Elric hit puberty, he became engrossed with the culture of Anime which was reaching a new horizon of popularity throughout the world. He would spend most time of his day watching them than studying for his class test tomorrow.

Years later, he entered the world of Novels and Mangas. And like there are no exceptions... He got entangled in the web of addictive Cultivation stories, Korean hunter Manhwas, RPG & Virtual Reality game stories, and the ones where a good-for-nothing Otaku gets hit by Truck-kun and gets reincarnated or transmigrated into another world.

But without realizing that he had spent these years distancing himself from his family and friends; he had become a loner who barely functioned in society. Spending so much time alone made him mentally become someone who liked being in solitude.

Due to his innate talent for learning and remembering what he read instantly, his grades never fell below what was expected from him. Elric had realized to this point that he had the rare case of having what we call Eidetic or Photographic memory. 

He had the potential to become much more in terms of academic skills but he simply had no interest in them at this point. His parents didn't care much for him anyway... Only providing food and shelter out of obligation. He disliked both his elder brother and sister who always had a halo of entitlement around them. He didn't have anyone he could call a friend at this point.

Compared to his brother and sister, Elric was someone without great ambitions and only good enough to live a mediocre life.

In the upcoming years, Elric finally landed a job as an Accountant in a big-name company and got a good income salary job. He finally left his house and started living alone. Even when he had any conversations with his family over the phone, it'd be he who initiated the call most of the time.



Elric was 30 years old today. He stood in a line inside a coffee shop, to get his morning dose of Cocaine... Erm, I mean Caffeine.

Today was his Birthday, yet not a single person had wished him Happy Birthday. No one from his family called, and he had no friends even in the workplace he was heading off to. There wasn't anyone who he interacted much with if not out of necessity, and barely anyone he could even express his thoughts. Not even a friend online or a group of fellow Nerds or Otakus. He had outgrown all of them.

His current state of life was completely stagnant and uneventful in the last couple of years.

This hit Elric really hard... For the first time in his life, Elric had found himself completely alone.. both in body and spirit. This was something he yearned for during his teenage days. But now it suddenly felt terrifying and as if he truly had nobody in his life.

He didn't have a pet because they needed a lot of care and Elric was indeed a man-child when it came to the responsibility of taking care of someone else.

At the same time in the coffee shop, his turn came and he reached his hand out to grab the coffee cup.

But he suddenly felt a warm touch on his palm.

"Umm, excuse me. The coffee is in my other hand". A girl with bright blue eyes, blonde hair, and a very slim body looked at Elric and signaled him to remove his hand.

"Ah, my bad. I was lost in thoughts." said Elric as retracted his hand.

"Hurry up now. Other people are standing in the line". Elric came back to reality for real at this moment and quickly got to the side.

He soon left for the office. He did notice the name on the girl's uniform before leaving... 'Katherine'.

After returning from the office and having dinner, Elric recalled the event of touching Katherine's hand.

For some reason, he just couldn't help but think about that moment again and again, over and over.

Elric being the Virgin guy who never had a girlfriend, female friends, or any form of physical connection to women throughout his life, got looped into that moment given how big of a Simp he had become over this point for fictional women.

The ideal romantic partner for people like him only existed in Novelty.

After overthinking it for a long time, he finally fell asleep and woke up the next morning to follow the same cycle of corporate slave life.

His routine followed for the next couple of weeks, in the meantime he'd casually greet Katherine with good morning and hellos.

He had made himself familiar with her. And Katherine would greet back and sometimes even give him a soft smile; which always brightened up his day.

Little did he realize that Katherine was doing it because it was part of her job to be nice to customers. But being fascinated and enarmed by her as he was, Elric felt like it was only him getting the special treatment.

A few days later, Elric stood in the same queue for his morning coffee. But this time, something was different in him. He wanted to make a move on a girl for the first time in his life.

[What's the worst that can happen? She completely turns me down? Or at most, I end up embarrassing myself in front of a few people here. Aiyo, why is this so hard?] thought Elric, his mind being anxious.

Elric was a total noob in this department so he had already prepared for the worst.

After Katherine got free from her shift, which ended only 10 minutes since Elric got his coffee. He came towards Katherine and asked her...

"Hey, Katherine. Do you have a moment?"

"Yes, what is it?"

"Oh, nothing. I just wanted to ask if you were free tonight."

Katherine looked at Elric with surprised eyes.

"And I assume you had some plans which depended on me being free tonight?"

Elric was startled.

[Have I been seen through?]

He gathered his courage and said "Yes. I wanted to ask you out for dinner." Elric said with all his might.

He sounded very calm and confident as if this was a normal day-to-day thing for him, but inside he was like… 

[Fuck, fuck, fuck! I'm so screwed!]

But surprisingly in the next moment, Katherine responded...

"8 PM, pick me up at Central City Park. I live nearby. 

Give me your phone number, I'll send you the address later."

Gobsmacked! Flabbergasted! 

These words could completely describe Elric's facial expressions perfectly. He didn't believe what he was hearing at all.

He expected an instant refusal but surprisingly he wasn't?...

"Umm... You're not joking, right? I didn't think you'd say yes."

Katherine looked at him cheekily and spoke with a bright smile… 

"I was actually waiting for you to ask me out. If you had taken even longer, I would've done it myself."

Was this a dream? Was someone playing a prank?

"Wait a minute... You were?" Elric asked in a baffled voice. 

"Of course. Out of all these people, many of whom are regular customers here, only you look at me with puppy eyes whenever we meet each other in the morning. 

Don't think I didn't notice the smile you always have after you greet me. We girls have our intuition too you know. It was obvious that you like me. 

So I thought why not give you a chance?" Katherine said while throwing a smirk at him.

Outmatched! Elric was completely outmatched!

Why was the girl saying the guy's lines and seemed to be in control of the situation? It was supposed to be his role.

For the first time in his life, Elric questioned himself if he was truly a man.

"Okay." That's all he could come up with in response. 

As soon as Katherine put her number in his phone, Elric quickly ran off from the scene like the Flash.

Elric did not believe what happened a few minutes ago was real. He pinched himself a few times and even slapped his face twice to make sure he wasn't dreaming.

He finally mentally prepared himself for the first date in his life.

He knew that he couldn't afford to go halfway tonight. Because the first impression is the last impression when it comes to dates.

Surprisingly, the date went well. Elric didn't hold back. He booked a reservation in a nice restaurant, took Katherine to an amusement park before dinner, and had fun with her while sharing their life stories so far.

To his surprise, Katherine came from a poor family background. She got a job in a Coffee shop to support her expenses and was also taking some acting classes. 

Currently, she lived in a shared apartment with a few of her college friends. Katherine was 3 years younger than Elric who lived alone and supported himself. So this earned his respect for Katherine. 

To some men, self-dependent and hard-working women are much more reliable and had a strong character than Daddy's Little Princesses on social media these days.

After this date, things kept progressing between Elric and Katherine over the next few weeks. 

But one day, Katherine suddenly disappeared. She didn't pick up Elric's calls and even her Roommates didn't know where she went. 

Elric, who was infatuated with Katherine at this point felt like something was missing inside of him. His heart beat faster and his mind went hazy as if he lost something very dear to him.

For the first time in the past 2 decades... He felt a sense of loss as well as helplessness.

"Do I really care about her that much? Why do I feel so empty suddenly?" Elric thought. But he couldn't put his finger on what was irking him so much.

Obviously... He had fallen in love.

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