It has been five days since Tobi collapsed after he went berserk. His room was well-lit with its light brown walls. The Shirin clan symbol was inscribed on the wall just above where his bed lay. He had a table space and an oil lamp. A carefully constructed wardrobe that houses his wears stood a few metres away from the left side of the bed in a corner of the room. Tobi was still asleep.

Tobi suddenly sprung out of the bed wondering how he got home. All he could remember was his sister getting stabbed. ”What a nightmare, ” He yawned and stretched his body. He felt heavy and was feeling pains in his head and limb joints. He rose from his bed and moved towards the parlour

”Father, Mother, Bola, good morning, ” Tobi greeted as he approached the parlour. There was no response. He was expecting a warm response and an excited Bola jumping on him. There was none of that. He was confused and disturbed by that fact. As he entered the parlour, he started to feel cold. The air around the parlour area was cold and sent a sad sensation to Tobi.

In the parlour, Soroyi was dressed in an all-black kimono. She had sadness written all over her. She stood where the family portrait was holding a portrait of Bola. It was the first time Tobi saw his mother weeping. It was a scene he would want to forget. Tobi unsure of what happened remembered what he termed a ”nightmare ”. ”Could that be real? It isn , right?, ” He asked himself.

He was trying not to believe the nightmare was real until his friend, Tope came to hug and console him. ”Condolences for your loss. It must have been painful, ” Tobi now curious about what was going on asked his friend, ”Why are you saying this? Is someone dead? Who died? By the way, where is Bola and why is mother holding her portrait in that manner? Tell me whats wrong, ”

Tope placed his hands upon Tobis shoulders with his face downcasted. ”I heard that five days ago, the body of Bola and yours was found at the front of your compound, ”

”Then, where is Bola?, ” Tobi asked again this time feeling restless. Tope closed his eyes and hugged Tobi again. ”She was found dead., ”

”What?!, ” Tobi was shocked at the news. He stood at that spot for thirty seconds with his eyes wild open but with an emotionless look. His ”nightmare ” was true. His sister had died. Tears started to run down his cheek like a car on a freeway. He could not shout or let out a scream. His legs could not hold him up and fell to the ground. Devastated. Regret. Sad. Pain. Anger. He was feeling them all over again. This time, not Rage but Sorrow. He had lost his sister. The one person he had spent most of his life with. All Tope could do was comfort him.

***Three Days After***

Tobi had started to feel the void Bolas death had created. He was alone. No one to play games with. No one clinging to him. No sounds from the ever-excited Bola. No events occurred for the past three days other than waking, eating and sobbing himself to sleep. He could not adapt to the changes her death has created.

Moments after the sun had fully risen, his mother beckoned him to get ready for the burial rites. They would be dressed in black kimonos black sandals and black headbands on their foreheads. The burial rites were always eight days after the death has been confirmed. The 8th day of mourning. The body of the deceased would be burnt, the ashes would be spread around the grave of the deceased. The burial rites were created 900 years ago to prevent the Soul Resurrection of the Dead.

The rites would have the family members walk to the family tomb which is five hundred metres away from their house. The family members would move around the grave site in circular order as they spread the ashes around the grave. The rites would be performed by the family members at the same time.

The rites took four hours to be completed. The rites did not change anything about Tobi. He was still sad and downcasted. Gbobi on the other hand had moved on and was angry at the fact that his son had not gotten a grip of himself. Gbobi was always dressed in the same fashion. His hand tucked in his kimono, a blindfold to his eyes, black socks and a black sandal. It was as if he was eternally mourning.

On their way back home, Gbobi stopped Tobi for a little talk. His expression was stern. ”Tobi, how are you feeling?, ”

”Fine, ”

”I am asking you, how are you?, ”

”I said I am fine!, ” Tobi exclaimed looking straight at Gbobis stern face. ”I fully understand what you are going through, she is my daughter too. So, don yell at me., ”

”I don think she is, ” Tobi said walking out on Gbobi. Tobi knew what his father would ask but he was not ready for any of it. Unknown to Tobi, his word had hit the wrong side of Gbobi.

Gbobi was annoyed at Tobi for what he just said and released an overwhelmingly intimidating aura. His presence and aura were so strong Tobi could not move a muscle. Not even the slightest movement. Gbobis release could be felt by Soroyi who was already at home. ”What has Tobi gotten himself into this time?, ”

Gbobi not wasting time closed the distance between him and Tobi. ”You have been sulking over your sisters death for days. Get a grip. The rites have been completed. She is not coming back. What are you going to do now? What is your next step? Keep mourning and sulking the rest of your lives?, ”

Tobi was shaking, shivering, sweating and scared that he lost all vocals. He could not speak a word. It was as if the ground and the sky were pressing hard with him at the centre. His fathers words were hitting him like a nail in the chest. He had not sat to think of anything. He never thought things could turn out this way. If only Bola had not been so stubborn.

Gbobi, not any happier continued with a louder voice. ”Tobi, what are you going to do now?!! Wallow in the past or look to the future? Will you continue to blame yourself for the rest of your life?, ”

Tobi mustered some ounce of courage and spoke with his kneels on the floor, backing Gbobi. ”I don know. I can see anything. All I see is all that happened. Its all messed up. It wasn supposed to be the way, ”

Gbobi still frowning but a little less angry moved closer this time a foot away and with a reduced aura. ”Its all messed up. Is that your excuse to be like this? In this world, there are only two options. Survive or die. Win or lose. Strong or weak. Nothing more. Life doesn care. It brings all it has to you. Its your choice to take them all or select. So, Tobi, Ill ask again. What are you going to do?!, ”

Tobi gnashed his teeth, found the courage and strength and faced his father. ”I don know but I guess you know. I don want to know. You just want to push your warrior agenda. I am not ready. I am not in for it. No, I am not. Leave me and my life alone!, ”

Gbobi stopped his aura from flowing out. He walked past Tobi saying a few words. ”You have been given a choice. Nobody said it was going to be easy. It is never easy to make decisions and move forward. I was once there and I understand, ” He paused and faced Tobi looking directly at him. ”It is your life but these are my final questions to you. Are you going to keep letting people dear die in your presence? Are you going to keep watching your loved ones get killed in your presence? Are you going to let people die under your watch because you are weak and can not do anything?!, ”

Tobi was shocked at the questions his father posed to him. He remembered the scene where his sister was killed and him being powerless. Would he have to continue this way, he thought to himself. He was conflicted about getting answers to his fathers questions. Gbobi continued. ”Choose now! Do you want to become strong or remain and die? Only the string survives in this world!, ”

The events of his sisters death flowed through his mind. He figured he could have saved if he was strong. If he had taken his fathers advice earlier maybe he would have been able to fend off the attackers earlier. Maybe he would have learnt a skill to get home. He thought about all this with tears in his eyes. The thought that he could have saved his sister if he was not so weak taunted him. He couldn even loosen the rope he was tired with! He cried for minutes. Gbobi unperturbed turned to leave for home.

Tobi stopped crying. Wiping off his tears, he made a bold expression and stopped his father with a question. ”How do I become strong?, ” Gbobi with his back turned to Tobi said ”There are ways to become strong in this world but there is a way Im sure because Ive walked it. Become a warrior. Warriors are generally stronger than average men. They have abilities to protect.,,

”How do I become a warrior?, ” Tobi asked.

”By attending the Academy or becoming an apprentice. No member of the Shirin has attended the Academy. I will teach and train you. But strong people have a force, a will that drives them. What would be your driving force?, ”

Tobi thought for a moment. He remembered the words of one of the attackers that killed his sister. They were on a mission. They must have been with an organisation since they wore matching cloaks. There and then, he made his decision.

”I will get revenge for my sister. I will find the mastermind and destroy whoever it is, ”

”What if you encountered a foe or anyone or thing tried to hinder you?, ” Gbobi asked.

”I will stomp everyone who tried to stop me. Even you!, ”

Gbobi laughed hearing the last word Tobi said. Tobi was surprised to see his father laughing. Thats a scene you don see every day, not even on a Blue Moon. ”That is the spirit. Tobi, get ready. You are going to become strong, ”

”So, when do we start? Im ready., ”

”No, you are not, ” Gbobi retorted. ”Go home, eat and have a decent sleep. Your journey starts tomorrow., ”

Both of them walked home silently. Tobi thought of what and how his father would teach it. That night, even though he was instructed to have a decent sleep. He couldn . The thought of becoming a warrior was enough to prevent that.


Two Days after Bolas Death, Somewhere in Yosuma

The whole room was dark. The only thing visible was the coloured crow symbols that gave a slight luminance to the room. They were 7 coloured crows – Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Brown, Violet, Cyan and Magenta. They were all murmuring and arguing about something in the room.

”Silence, ” a deep voice commanded. This voice had no colour. He was in the dark. Only his voice could be hard. ”We have lost two of our members to a kid who hasn mastered a technique. Is this what we have turned to?! Yet, you
e arguing over here. The good news is that the mission was successful but thats not all. There is a new mission., ” There was a brief silence in the room. ”Find the Boy, dead or alive. Consider this mission a Black Mission., ”

A Black Mission in this organisation is the highest ranked mission. It is equal to an S+ rank mission. A mission which is greater than their life. The Coloured Crows knew their pride was on this mission. ”Yes, Master, ”. The Master then dismissed the coloured crows.

”Things are about to happen. Time to move., ”

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