Chapter 4: Identity
Cozy. It was as if he was flying leisurely in the ninth level of the sky. Floating about to an unknown place, enjoying the breeze grazing against his skin…
Perhaps it could be described as the most peaceful and the most comfortable feeling he had ever felt all of his life.
With eyes still tightly shut, he felt that he was lying on something soft. It was as if it was a quilt made of the finest silk, gently stirring about, perhaps carrying him somewhere…
But he was too engrossed in the moment. Not caring about the world or his would be destination, he was just there. Breathing in the comfortable breeze, savoring the fleeting moments of paradise.
After an unknown amount of time, the gentle movement he felt suddenly stopped. However, he didn’t really bother too much about it.
The fine quilt was still there, the breeze was still softly soaring past his skin, and he was still in a trance because of that certain comfortable feeling.
If this moment would last for a lifetime, wouldn’t it be great?
“A year, yes… it’s almost a year. Would you prefer it if I call you Raizel now?”
While he was still indulging himself in the moment, a familiar voice resounded in his mind, causing a chill to run down his spine.
Forcefully opening his eyes, he realized that… this wasn’t a dream like he thought it would be.
Looking at his surroundings, he immediately felt tension rise in his heart. He discovered that, at this moment, just like what he had felt a while ago, he really was floating high in the sky, lying on a dense white cloud.
The distance between him and the ocean down below… was probably more than enough to take his life the moment he fell from this cloud.
Thinking of this, he immediately grasped the cloud only for it to dissipate the moment he exerted a bit of force.
In his life, the thing he feared the most was heights.
Panicked, he didn’t even realize that somewhere nearby, there was a man watching him with a silly smile on his face.
While he was crazily grasping the cloud, making it smaller and smaller by the moment, he suddenly heard a dry cough directly coming from above him.
With his hands still trembling in fear, he mustered his courage and lifted his head.
In the next moment, astonishment quickly spread within his body as he stood there, dazed. Looking at that huge and muscular man clad in golden armor holding an enormous crystalline axe with his left hand… floating in the air.
Looking at this man, thoughts about movies, manga, anime, and books about war that he had perused through in his past life appeared in his mind. He immediately thought that this man was similar to a prominent figure in all of those stories.
This man… was definitely something akin to a great general.
Leading hundreds of thousands of soldiers behind him, with voice like a thunderclap – he would speak words no one would dare to retort.
It would have been a perfect scene, however, this man’s face was just… unsightly
While he was still having mixed feelings with regards to the man, the man suddenly spoke, “Should we change locations?”
Before his mind could digest the words he just heard from the man, the man flicked his finger, and with a poof, a thud could be heard as he fell on top of his butt while the man was still standing in front of him.
“You haven’t answered my question. What should I call you, Raizel? Or perhaps your old name, Christian?”
He was still rubbing his butt when he suddenly heard the man’s question. Astonished again, he looked at the man with a dazed expression.
That name… was a name he hadn’t heard for almost a year. It was to a point that he had almost forgotten it.
“Do I need to repeat my question?”
The man’s expression turned serious, making all his hair stand on end. There was something about this man that was too terrifying. The moment the man spoke, he felt that he had lost control of his body, forcing him to focus all of his attention on the man.
As such, he immediately spoke, “C-Call me as you like…”
“Raizel Luo… fitting, I guess. Do you want me to give you advice?” asked the man in a bland tone, neither anger nor affection could be heard in his voice.
Unsure of what to do, Raizel just nodded his head. His eyes were now fixed on the man’s.
“You. Are. Now. Raizel Luo.” said the man with a serious tone, as if marking it and engraving it into Raizel’s mind.
“Confused?” asked the man. However, the man didn’t give him the chance to answer. He just continued to speak, “The man known as Christian, is now dead. He doesn’t exist, and he will never exist again. You are now Raizel Luo. The reason I’m saying this to you is to have it ingrained in your mind. You can use all of your memories and experience to your advantage, however, your identity from that time, is something, that… Doesn’t. Exist. Anymore.”
After giving him time to digest his words, the man asked, “Raizel, do you understand?”
Bewildered, Raizel just opened his mouth, wanting to speak, yet failing to find the right words to voice his thoughts.
Well, what was it that he wished to speak about though?
Thinking back on it, what was the point of keeping that identity? What was the point of being that person anymore?
In fact, he had almost forgotten that he had such an identity.
Although he was still using his memories, knowledge, and experiences to help with his life since the day he woke up in that room, the identity of the one who had those memories, knowledge, and experiences was growing more and more insignificant.
Wasn’t that person already dead?
Wasn’t he, as of today, another person?
He felt that there was something wrong with this line of thought, but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. It was completely logical, yet he felt that there was something illogical about it.
He was still him, but at the same time, he was not.
A year of experiencing life in the body of a newborn child, and experiencing life in a rather strange place had already eased his mind into accepting that he was now Raizel – not the Christian that died to a bullet passing through his chest.
He was now Raizel. Although the time he spent with this new identity was still short compared to the time he spent as Christian, he felt more satisfaction experiencing the care and love his new family had given him.
If it was the him from before, even if perhaps he had a complete memory from the time he was born, this kind of love and care was something that would never exist.
After all, that him from before, was just a by-product of lust. It destroyed two families in the process, making each and every individual around him hate him for the sin of being alive.
No matter how much he thought about it, this new life, even as short-lived as it was, was something he would choose over the former life he had, Nine times out of ten.
Even if he didn’t know what the future held, even if the people that cared about him right now changed and hated him to the bone, it still wouldn’t change the fact that this was the first time he had felt that he was treated as a human being.
He was not a disgrace or a sin anymore… he was now treated as a son, a child of two loving parents, the younger brother of a cute and jovial little girl.
Everything he had hoped for was already here, so what’s the point of dwelling on the past?
What’s the point of trying to keep that identity?
Now he had the chance to start anew, now he had the chance to experience something else other than despair…
Now, if he could just accept this fact and move on, perhaps… everything would really turn out for the better.
However, was is it really right to just do that?
Once he had become an adult in his former life, although the shackles of that broken family was still lingering, he had still lived his life the way he wanted to. That was what he was still yearning for.
A life where he was free to do anything and not give a shit about those people as long as he provided them with ‘papers’ monthly. A life where he was able to play the games he wished to play, go to brothels whenever he had the urge to, and visit the places he had always dreamt of visiting… it was such a bittersweet life.
He, as that person, was someone he had still cherished, even though most of his experiences in that life wasn’t that pleasing to think about.
After all, no matter how much he thought about it, that person was still him…
While Raizel was still pondering, the man’s voice suddenly echoed in his ears, “You could still do that. In fact, even more than what you could have ever enjoyed in that life.”
With his interest piqued, Raizel looked at the man with eyes radiating. He had an evident interest to the man’s next words.
However, a similar thought had lingered in the back of his mind. He didn’t dare to believe it. His eyes contracted in disbelief as he heard the man’s following words:
“This world is not Earth.”