Chapter 4 - Non-existent Family Bond
"Hold on, maybe I'm getting a little too excited here," Gustav sat down on the edge of the tub and held his chin again, "I mean, what if this is all just in my head," He questioned his sanity.
"How can I confirm that everything I see here is real? Can I try using these skills and abilities? If this is real, wouldn't it be too good to be true?" He questioned with a doubtful tone.
[To use unlocked skill, call out the name of the skill in your mind while adding activate behind or in front]
A notification appeared in his line of sight above the skill and abilities panel.
He read it out, and his eyes squinted, "Activate... which skill do I try out first?" Gustav wanted to know if his mind was just playing tricks on him, so he wanted to confirm the authenticity of the so-called system as soon as possible.
He stared at the skill and abilities panel again.
[Skills and Abilities]
»Dash - Level 1
»Regeneration - Level 1
»Morph - Level 1
»Toxin immunity - Level 1
»Recreation - Level 1
»Bloodline acquisition level 1
His sight scanned through it, and after a while, he noticed that only dash would be a plausible skill to try out for confirmation.
Gustav stood up and walked towards the door opposite the tub.
On closer inspection of the room, there was literally nothing to be found except for the tub he slept in placed in the middle and a small closet placed at the east corner.
"Close system interface!" after he called out, the panel closed up, and the words and characters disappeared.
He had decided that he would try activating dash skill outside.
Gustav left through the door and arrived before a small passage that led to the living room.
"Endric, mother trusts that you'll do well today," A light female voice filled with tenderness could be heard ahead, "From what I heard, those inspectors will be giving out scholarships to MBO academy,"
"Yes, mother, I'll make you proud," A tiny male voice replied, "Those inspectors would be blind not to notice me since I'm the highest graded mixed-blood in the entire school," The male voice was laced with pride.
"That's a good son," The female replied, "Now let me drop you off at school," Just as she finished saying that, Gustav appeared in the living room.
It was a small but well-structured living room. The walls were coated with blue tiles that glowed slightly. Green sofas arranged in an 'L' format and a cabinet several feet behind could be seen in the room. On the cabinet was a round orb that projected a seven-foot-tall image in a holographic form. This was an image of three people.
In this image, a middle-aged-looking man with a square-shaped face sporting dirty blond hair, a woman who looked to be in her early forties sporting long brown hair, and a young boy who looked similar to Gustav sported curly beautiful black hair could be seen.
The female who was speaking earlier was standing at the doorpost and beside her was a five-foot-tall kid clad in a maroon school uniform like Gustav.
Their faces were the same as with the woman and boy in the holographic image.
These were Gustav's Mother and junior brother. They turned around and noticed Gustav coming from the passageway.
"Let's go," They totally ignored him as the mother pushed open the door while speaking, "Hnm," Endric nodded.
"Mom, are you not going to drop me off too?" Gustav quickly asked before they could step out.
His mother paused her steps and turned around to stare at him with a look of disgust, "I have told you to stop calling me that! I am not your mother! I have only one son, and he is right here!" She said while rubbing the hair of Endric, "You are just a liability without any form of usefulness!" She stated harshly.
"You should be glad that my mother and father allowed you to remain in this house and still pay for your school fees even though it's a waste!" Endric added.
"I don't know how Liam and I ended up creating a useless creature like you!" His mother spoke again.
Gustav stared down dejectedly as they ridiculed him. He was all too used to this, but it still felt bad anytime he heard them speak this way to him.
He would be able to bear it if the world treated him like this, but when it was the people that were supposed to be his family, it hurt in an unexplainable manner.
He couldn't blame his junior brother since the kind of society he was born into shaped his character.
"Trash like you deserves to walk to school," Endric stated and turned around while pulling his mother by the arm.
The door was slammed shut after they walked through it, leaving Gustav to wallow in self-pity as he stood in the same position for many seconds.
He remembered when Endric was five, they would play outside a lot, and at that time, his little brother was warm, loving, and playful too.
There was a time Endric got injured when they were playing hide and seek. Gustav was blamed for the injury and received more than two hundred lashes from their father's whip. He could never forget that day, his butt bled, and he begged for forgiveness. However, his father didn't listen, "YOU, TRASH! YOU WANT TO KILL MY ONLY USEFUL CHILD!" In the process of getting whipped, his mother shouted from the side. It was only a minor bruise that would heal in a few hours, yet they whipped him like he committed a grievous offense. At this age, even if a person lost an arm, it could be fixed. Talk less of a minor bruise.
Gustav remembered when Endric was eight, which was around the same time, his attitude towards him was becoming like that of the people in the society. Endric used his bloodline abilities to attack Gustav, giving him a bloody seven inches gash on his back.
The same parents who gave him a lashing after causing Endric a minor injury two years back laughed and praised Endric for increasing the mastery of his bloodline abilities. Gustav still has a bloody scar on his back till today since no one attended to him.
After standing in the same position for a while, Gustav finally started walking again, "What was I expecting? Haven't I been doing this for a long time?" He laughed dejectedly and walked out the door, "Inspectors from HBO will be arriving today? I must get to school on time!" Gustav stated with an excited look as he ran.
At this point, he had even forgotten about the skills and abilities he was about to test out. His priority right now was to get to school as soon as possible since those inspectors would be visiting their school today. After testing out the students in the middle school area, which was where his brother's class was located, they would definitely visit the high school afterward.
On the streets, Gustav could be seen running like a mad man and sweating like a criminal about to undergo trial for a murder case.
This was the thirty-fourth street of Plankton City. It was a commercial area at the edge of the city, so there were mostly short buildings. However, most of the buildings were shaped in an octagon-like format and had a sci-fi look. Some of them could even transform their shape and also bore into the ground if the owner wanted it to.
As Gustav moved further ahead, he was closing in on the area of tall buildings. Vehicles that moved through the air could be seen ahead, giving a splendid view, but this was all too common for people like Gustav, born into this age.
Plankton City was one of the six most technologically advanced cities in the world that came into existence after the descent of the slarkovs. Tall and enchanting buildings that gave off a sci-fi vibe could be seen. Some of them had had videos playing all over their structure, showing commercials and the different things they did within the business buildings. A particular one ahead was shaped like an upside-down conical flask. On the body of the building, a commercial of a new medical product was displayed. A young female sporting blue hair, clad in a medical outfit, spoke while holding a three inches red bottle.
"We at Foton Lab have created a new type of grade A solution to help in bloodline strengthening..."
The audio traveled into Gustav's ears as he streaked across the street, but still, he paid no heed and kept on running.
He smiled when he looked ahead and saw a circular blue glow on the walkway, close to the road.
People on the walkway could be seen entering into the circular blue glow, and immediately they got in, they disappeared.
The circle was large enough to fit in more than fifty people, so those on the walkway entered without needing to slow down or stop since the number of people walking wasn't much.
"After this, I just need to go through two more teleportation circles before getting to school," Gustav muttered as he entered the circle.
This was a teleportation circle that was located in different parts of the city for easy transportation. This particular one was for pedestrians, and it led to another location in the city. It saved about two hours of trekking since the city was very vast.
As long as the number reached ten and no other person was within seven feet of the circle, the people within will immediately be teleported.
As Gustav got in, the number of people within numbered around thirty. Another man in a business suit walked in and stood beside him. As more people who were within seven feet walked in, the man's face could be seen twitching in discomfort, and after a few more seconds, he moved away and went to stand beside a woman.
'Hmm?' Gustav wondered about the reason for the man's strange behaviour when he finally caught a whiff of himself.
"Ekk! I haven't taken my bath today," Due to his idiocy, he exclaimed out loud, and the rest of the people within the teleportation circle turned around to stare at him with disgust.