On the other side of the ocean.
A clock ticked and tocked amidst the silence of the night as cigar smoke lingered in a room. The bone-ceramic ashtray was gently tapped, leaving a few gray marks on the white inner lining.
The slender fingers holding the cigar had a somewhat limp and pale skin.
On the middle finger is an exquisite opal ring with a delicate bottom. A soft light came through the gaps in the curtains and reflected on the stone, emitting an ice-cold but beautiful shine.
The man’s face is hidden in the dark room. His coat hung on the coat rack, so he only wore a silky gray shirt. One hand is on the armrest with the red light from the cigar illuminating it.
He brought the cigar to his mouth. At this moment, the door was gently knocked.
“Come in.” He said in Italian.
The man’s voice was hoarse and magnetic, like the devil’s whisper. Every syllable seemed elegant, and you could hear from the voice that he’s no longer young, but it didn’t reduce his charm. Instead, it added another layer of ambiguous sound that made his tone even more confusing to people. It made people can’t help but think about the meaning of his words.
The door was pushed open, and light reached the dark corner.
The person who entered didn’t even dare lift his head, just timidly bowed then said, “Those strange book transmigrators are all dead. We found some who lost their memory and said that they didn’t remember anything that happened since November of last year. Mr. Morenza, do you want to talk to them personally?”
The man waved, not speaking.
Someone standing by the door, a bodyguard in a black suit wearing sidearms and sunglasses, pressed on his earpiece and listened to a few words. Then the bodyguard walked into the room, whispering, “He woke up.”
The cigar heavily smashed on the ashtray, extinguishing the fire.
The man opened a drawer on the table, taking out a black semi-automatic pistol from inside.
With bullets in the gun, slender fingers fiddled with the safety mechanism then stuffed it into the holster on his waist.
Mr. Morenza’s nephew was recuperating at home two weeks ago, just one floor away from this smoking room. Wolf Morenza abruptly rechecked the pistol, touching the safety once again. After Wolf heard the news, his atmosphere changed, scaring the people waiting at the door.
——is the East Coast’s Godfather planning to kill his nephew?
Federico Morenza is an ability holder. The ability holders loyal to Wolf rescued him from the Mexican border which involved a teenager named “Johnson Brown” who was secretly pursued by the US government. Now, however, the boy had disappeared. Also, Federico suddenly “deteriorated” ten days ago and was suddenly dying. This coincided with the other book transmigrator’s sudden deaths. Although Wolf Morenza banned everyone from talking about it, everyone had their own guess at heart.
The existence of book transmigrators, their origin, and their ending is no secret to anyone here. Combined with this situation, everyone began to suspect that this American singer was also “occupied,” which is a big deal!
“Mr. Morenza, please calm down!” Outside of Federico’s room, the private doctor of the Morenza family took out a handkerchief and wiped the sweat on his forehead.
“The patient just woke up, so we’re still unable to confirm his identity……”
Wolf is not in the mood to listen to him as he signaled the bodyguard to open the door.
Federico laid in bed. He found himself with straps on his arms and legs. Usually, such a thing is to prevent a patient from aggravating the injury from big movements. Of course, it’s also often used in psychiatric hospitals. Federico couldn’t remember what happened to him, and why these things would be used on him.
The nurse kept silent and refused to talk to him. Federico vaguely felt that something happened. This is his uncle’s mansion, the room’s decoration is very familiar, and the medical staff is also familiar……
Wolf suddenly appeared at the door. Federico was relieved.
As long as his uncle wasn’t put in jail or assassinated by an enemy, then it shouldn’t be a big problem.
“My dear child, how do you feel today?” Wolf is a handsome Italian man dressed in a tailor fit high cut suit and his combed, chestnut hair showing a distinct shine. As he bowed his head and kissed Federico’s forehead, his movements were gentle, no different from an elder.
Federico caught the faint smell of high-grade cigar from Wolf and his taut nerves slowly relaxed.
“……honestly, not too good.” Federico pulled his arm, gesturing to the shackles.
“What happened 12 days ago, do you remember?”
Wolf sat down beside the bed. His attitude was very mild, but looking at his face and listening to his voice, one can’t help but think he has ulterior motives.
Even if one regained their senses, after being held by Wolf’s hands with its visible scars under the shirt cuffs and calluses on the fingers, it’s hard to break free after being caught especially under Wolf’s eyes. Their breathing would become rushed, and guilty people would sweat and shiver on the spot.
However, Federico is not afraid even though intuition told him that there’s a problem with this question.
His injury was not serious, and he was escorted back to the US by Wolf’s men where he got better treatment. The sequela from the forced detoxification is the most problematic. Federico had a headache just thinking about how to explain Johnson’s matter to his uncle. The result is that he hadn’t even finished the last sentence when he suddenly——
Federico’s face went pale.
That kind of intense headache, as if his soul was being pulled from his body, was enough to make him faint. When he woke up, he’d selectively forgotten his injury. It wasn’t until he carefully looked at the memory that he remembered.
“I was attacked?” Federico asked uncertainly.
Wolf watched his every move.
“Who?” Federico didn’t remember any ability holder with mental powers mentioned in the book. However, both the Fire Demon and Devourer used the mushroom to run to the United States, so Federico didn’t dare fully believe the original work.
“The danger has passed.”
Contrary to the expectation of the doctors and bodyguards, Wolf didn’t have the intention of covering up the truth.
“No, this is a serious matter. The ability holders could attack ordinary people in the real world. This time it’s me, but the next one might be Uncle. Most people wouldn’t be able to resist.”
Federico watched Wolf untie him as he talked in an anxious tone.
“There are no ability holders anymore.” Wolf stood up, inadvertently putting his hands on his waist.
Everyone slowed their breathing, afraid that Wolf would take out his pistol in the next move, simply pull out the safety, then end a human life in three seconds.
They knew that book transmigrators caused some people to act abnormal, that transmigrators occupied some people’s dead bodies, and that those who got occupied often act violently while those who survived would lose their memory. Federico had no signs of memory loss, but he had symptoms of being a book transmigrator. In fact, Federico became a superstar, suddenly found a teenager without a guardian, fled to the Mexican border, and was even forced to become addicted to drugs. It’s all weird if you think about it.
If this person is really Federico Morenza, then they have their own opinions.
The real Federico Morenza was the child who died at 7, not the same as the “Federico” they thought in their minds. Nobody knew for sure, but only Wolf is clear.
Wolf had mixed feelings before the door opened. He thought that he would be faced with that adult body but with the brain and memories of the 7-year-old Federico.
——that was his real nephew, his real family. Although he only saw that kid’s face a few times, speaking his feelings is out of the question, but the truth can’t be denied.
Wolf heard that transmigrators violently died. Fortunately, it only lasted for a minute, so Federico survived. Soon, he fell into even greater confusion.
Isn’t Federico like those people?
If “Federico” is already gone, is there a new person occupying his nephew’s body?
Before Federico woke up, before the door opened, he didn’t know.
The moment when Wolf stood in front of the bed, he already had the answer. No one could pretend to be “Federico” in front of his eyes without being discovered by him.
His nephew, that seven-year-old child, is already dead……he even held his dead body that year and confirmed that the child had stopped breathing. Under the influence of a strange set of incidents, Wolf still couldn’t control the possibility that he’s just imagining things.
That doesn’t seem possible and also not the worst case scenario. Federico is also “Federico.” Wolf’s expression didn’t change, but his heart was very complicated.
He looked at Federico, imagining the appearance of the child growing up, and didn’t think it’s Federico at all. Different people had different experiences. Even if they’re in the same body, their temperament wouldn’t be the same.
Wolf knew a lot of things about Federico. It’s not what Federico said, but he could guess it.
——before becoming his nephew, this person is a singer who’s always looking forward to getting the Grammy Awards. He was very familiar with the music scene but knew nothing about high society. He paid attention to his body, would take care of others, and was well aware of what the other person needed. Summing up these features, Federico’s previous life is no secret to Wolf.
“Take a good rest, and don’t think too much. Abandoned World had already disappeared.” Wolf turned and prepared to leave the room.
Federico was shocked.
The original timeline had been reduced by one-tenth, is it really gone?
He subconsciously remembered Johnson and found that this is also good. The teenager is no longer the secret weapon of the US Abilities Bureau. There’s no need to train him, nor any need to get him involved in many battles and compete in political interests.
“That’s wrong, Johnson was taken away by the mushrooms!”
Wolf’s face turned from sunny to cloudy. He didn’t have a good impression of the troubled little kid, and would even shoot a collapsed Johnson. Federico almost lost his life because of Johnson. Even if he’s alive, is trying to quit a drug addiction better?
Maintaining the attitude of covering it up but not preaching is probably a common problem for the Godfather of the underworld.
“The kid is in China, and the government sent a message to that side. They filed a deportation application with China.” Wolf said with a sullen face, “Before the Abandoned World disappeared, China wouldn’t agree, but it’s hard to say now.”
Ability holders who lost their ability is not even worth a dollar.
The countries are stepping up to restore the buildings, so jet fuel supplies are also valuable commodity not to mention such a long trip of flying over the Pacific Ocean. If China refused to dispatch a plane, and the US also refused, then it’s not a question of deportation, Johnson could only stay in China.
Thinking of this, Federico sighed.
“Uncle, there’s something we need to talk about.”
About the teenager and ability holders, he’ll likely regain his ability ten years later.
No one’s looking at the underaged protagonist, but they can’t deny this possibility. Federico felt that whether it was for Johnson or for his uncle’s influence, this problem is very serious.
Wolf made everyone leave the room, leaving the two of them.
After listening to Federico, the Godfather rubbed the opal ring on his finger as he asked with no emotion, “And so, it’s best to take that kid back?”
Wolf gave him a deep look, left a sentence then turned around.
“I’ll find a way.”