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Shinsekai yori - Reaper

By Vitor André Scherholz Dias

Fantasy / Drama

Chapter 1 - Place

“Everybody has a place in the world.” That phrase alone is the single memory I still retain of my father, perhaps because he repeated it so much, or so I assume. At the time, I guess I could do little else besides nod in agreement as a child is prone to do in relation to things they don’t quite understand the meaning of. Nowadays, I believe that I’d have a different answer to that phrase, well, two possible answers actually, and unfortunately, both of them considers that statement to be quite stupid.

Objectively and individually speaking, it is an obvious fact that each living person exist and is literally somewhere, each person carve a significance from their existence, even if only for themselves and even if they profess to not knowing the meaning of their life, the search of it should suffice as their meaning, even if only to a third-party. To exist would then to have a place to be.

Looking at it under a different prism, though, would yield a completely opposite answer. A society, any society, cannot have a place for every single one of its members. Why? Simply put: Efficiency. Humans, as any form of life, are conditioned to seek efficiency, and thus spend as little energy as possible to obtain as much energy as possible. Therefore, any society must have “spares” in order to not only be able to replace lost productive members, but also in order to keep open the possibility of change, which might lead to greater efficiency. It is efficiency in seeking efficiency.

It’s not that people are cruel and do it on purpose, or that they derive pleasure from such a system. It’s just that it’s the best way for life to prosper, and therefore those who have prospered are those who have such an attitude hardwired into them from birth.

Therefore, I won’t begrudge the place which was prepared for me, after all it is outside the place where most would live. I am nothing but an outsider brought in to destroy the more dangerous outsiders and for that I must thank the world for being the way it is, no matter how cruel it might be.

My earliest memories were of arriving at a church, my hands held by an elderly man who guided me inside. Once inside I was made to sit to the side and wait. That I did, in complete silence, confused as to what exactly was to happen. Eventually, another kid, probably younger than me, entered the church and was made to do some kind of ritual which centered on morals and ethics.

“Can you tell me the difference between him and you?” Somehow, it was obvious and yet I still feared the answer, so I didn’t answer immediately. “Well, can you?”

He prodded the answer out of me. “I cannot use Cantus. He, like all people should, can use it.” I remember wondering what would happen to me then. Would I be disposed of? Such a thought terrified me, but I couldn’t do anything besides sitting there, unmoving.

But I was in luck, he told me. For some time, the region of Germany I was born in, as well as a few others, had been testing new countermeasures against Fiends. “Understand this, unlike that boy, you are not burdened by moral constraints, nor should you be. From now on, you are to become a Reaper, remember this well.”

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