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in a world similar to the planet Earth in which we all live (unless of course the one reading this is not from this world).

2 people could be seen walking together hand in hand through the streets to somewhere.

The young man was a handsome boy, he was tall and had a stocky but balanced body.

and next to him was a girl 3 years younger who was holding his hand while talking to him with a smile.

-Big brother, where are we going?

"We are going to buy you a present

said the young man with a smile at the girl.

-oh really? will you buy me a doll?

"what you want.

-So if you buy me a doll and with what I have saved I buy one, I will have 2 dolls!

"You are a very intelligent little sister, and for that reason, I will buy you 2 dolls.

-hum... I wanted to buy a doll with my money brother, you don't let me spend my money, you always want to buy me things

The girl said as she pouted at her older brother who wouldn't let her use her money for what she wanted.

"You're still too young to spend your money like this, let your brother pamper you.

said the young man while he caressed the head of his younger sister with care and affection.

Despite the rough hands on her head, the younger sister relished the feeling of the pats on her head.

-Okay brother, I'll listen to you.

said the little girl and then followed the path with her brother with a smile.

as they walked, the younger sister blurted out a comment.

- I'm glad you can join me, today brother.

"um?

The young man looked at his sister and asked confusedly

"What are you talking about?

- I can rarely spend time with you brother, you are never at home.

The young man was silent for a moment before saying.

"... I apologize.

-No, I understand, I know you do it to bring a plate to the table and pay for my studies.

said the girl calmly, she knew that her older brother did his best to put food on the table, but although he is bringing in much more money now than a few months ago, he is still not at home most of the time, leaving the small house where he lived. empty.

" thank you for understanding.

-I understand, but I will only forgive you after you buy me my gift, you promised brother.

"Haha, okay.

The two advanced through the streets, in an alley the little girl asked her brother.

-The lady at the store told me that she goes down that alley and saves herself a 30-minute walk to the supermarket.

the boy narrowed his eyes slightly for an instant, it was so short that his sister didn't notice it even though she was looking at him

"Really? Going down that alley saves you the way?

-That's right, but it's scary to go at night, that's why I never used it.

"do you want to go now?

- oh really?

"That's right, trust your big brother.

The girl nodded before grabbing her brother's hand and walking with him down the desolate path.

while the 2 walked, the older brother looked around silently while his little sister looked around with curiosity, the houses stuck to each other, the blinking light poles, and the occasional person watching them where they passed.

Although it was quiet, there were still some houses with lights on around the place.

While the two of them were walking, in their path, there was a light pole with a child sitting on the ground next to it.

At the child's feet was the poster.

[Please, a little money will help my family]

the older brother didn't even look at the boy while the younger sister looked at the sign and then at the boy, before they passed the boy's side, the younger sister pulled her brother's hand causing her brother to stop.

"what happens?

-Brother, will you let me give my allowance money to that child?

the older brother looked at the young man on the ground for a moment before looking back at his younger sister.

"why?

asked the older youth with an indifferent look.

-Because I want to help him.

"um...

The older brother looked for a few more seconds at the boy who was looking at the 2 brothers with longing eyes before telling his sister calmly as if she was talking about the weather causing a sad look in the little boy's eyes.

"That boy will die, his body is too weak right now, he will die soon, and he will have no way to live in a few hours, do you really want to waste your saved money like this?

asked the older brother really confused, the boy's body was beaten, malnourished, sunburnt from the strong summer, and very weak possibly due to sitting there for too long, the older brother could not understand why his younger sister wants to waste his money. money that I so carefully keep in that dying child.

The younger sister took a deep breath before looking at her older brother who continued to look at her calmly and somewhat confused without further changes in his expression, his confused expression was true in him, there was no malice or sarcasm, that was the abnormality in which the little sister she had already noticed, she wanted her brother to be more normal, so she tried to show her brother something.

-older brother, ren

The little girl looked at her brother seriously before continuing.

- Do you remember your promise as a birthday present?

The young Ren looked at his younger sister before answering.

" listen to any request you want

-Then, I want you to accompany me in silence.

"...okay, Astrid.

Ren followed her sister in silence to the nearest convenience store.

there, Astrid bought canned food, clothes, and sweets.

Ren carried all the purchases in his arms and followed his sister back to the alley in silence.

when she returned, Astrid approached the child first and crouched down at his height, the child had his eyes closed from exhaustion.

- Here, I give you this.

The boy opened his eyes to the things that Ren was bringing, seeing a large number of things, his mind was left in shock, but even so, he said something embarrassed after being silent for a few minutes.

- I don't think he can carry all those things alone.

-ah

Astrid realized her mistake and looked at her brother who was still silent and then at the boy, alternating between the two before asking carefully.

-can we take this home with you?

the boy thought for a moment before saying.

-I have a secret hiding place nearby where you can leave this, I can take it home little by little with the help of my parents, I don't want you to have to walk to my house that is far from here.

Astrid nodded before watching the boy get up weakly.

-ugh

-careful

Astrid grabbed the boy's shoulder.

Seeing the little boy whose arm was so thin that she could even feel his bones just by touching it, Astrid felt very sorry for the little boy.

-here.

The little boy guided Astrid through the alleys until he reached a collapsed house in which there were only rubble and leaning concrete pillars that seemed to fall if touched all over the place.

Astrid looked back from time to time and saw her brother who was still following her in silence.

Upon reaching the abandoned house, the boy said.

-Over here, I have a space to hide.

Astrid looked at the house, although it was destroyed, the walls were still standing along with some pillars that continued to support the second floor while the third floor was only supported by a large pillar.

Before she can take a step, Ren pulls her arm in.

Astrid looked at her brother.

-what?

Ren pointed to himself and went in behind the boy without waiting for his sister's response.

Ren followed the boy inside, the boy walked through the house until he reached what seemed like a small passage surrounded by rubble, at first glance, just touching it can collapse and therefore end up being crushed by the rubble, the boy looked at Ren with scared and said

-Please sir, could you leave it in here?

Ren looked at the rubble for a moment before nodding, crouching down, and shoving the bags to the back of the place.

Leaving the house, the boy knelt in front of Astrid and the silent Rein.

-thank you! Thank you!

The boy thanked him many times making Astrid shed a couple of tears, while Ren just silently looked at the boy.

After saying goodbye to the little boy, Ren, and Astrid went back to the street where they found the boy.

Seeing her brother quiet, Astrid spoke in a slightly nervous tone.

- you can talk, brother

Ren didn't answer immediately but pondered before asking in confusion.

"Why did you help him by spending all your allowance money? From what Mom said, you're saving for the school trip, so why did you do it? Do you know that boy?

ask Ren.

Astrid also thought for a bit before answering with a sigh.

- It is not important if I know him or not older brother, it is because we must help others.

Astrid said wanting her brother to help others as well, but Ren responded indifferently.

"Should we??

asked Ren with indifference, his sister seeing that indifference looked for a way to make Ren understand the value of humanity.

-Brother... if you were asked who would you protect with all your heart? who would it be?

Astrid asked, taking advantage if her brother might be interest in a girl.

"Um... just Mom and you, no one else is my priority.

Although Astrid felt sweet to her heart, she asked again.

-So brother, if I were in that child's position, would you like people to pass by and ignore me?

"No

Astrid smiled and continued.

-so-

"first dead before I let you live that life, it doesn't matter if I have to sell my organs, although I can live with half of them, well, except my heart and brain.

-... no brother, you didn't understand me.

"what thing?

-I mean a hypothetical case in which you did not exist and I was in the place of that child, do you think it would be okay for someone to pass by without helping?

"...although it's impossible for it to happen as long as I live or die later... I'd say it would be wrong, you're innocent after all, it wasn't your fault what happened to us with the family.

-that's how it is! the innocent, what do you think about helping the innocent?

Ren looked at her sister for a moment before thinking to himself.

'Are there innocent people in this world apart from my sister?

"So sister, who are innocent to you?

Astrid put her hand on her chin and meditated for a while wrinkling her nose causing a funny and cute face on her, Ren looked at that face while she waited for her words.

- Let's see... small children are always innocent, no matter the circumstances, and older people too, people who have already lived a lifetime and just want to enjoy their lives and fulfill their last wishes I consider them innocent.

-oh! And also the animals are innocent! they are cute and beautiful beings, they are also innocent.

Astrid said, thinking of her younger friends from school and the neighbor who accompanies her from time to time when there is no one there and tells her about her life, apart from Hina at home, a very obedient and protective puppy with her, she never leaves that a neighbor man approaches Astrid by more than 3 meters when she is at home.

instead ren, she was thinking about what she heard in the organization about the data that Astrid said.

' um... I remember that in an agent's report, it was said that he was injured by a boy with a gun when he was careless in an infiltration mission, he thought it was just a boy, but no, and a guy Rank 4 was almost hit by an old man with a chest bomb who pretended to call for help... is that so? are they considered innocent? Although well, I can't deny the puppies, they are beings that are only trained, they don't have that capacity for judgment that a human has, also the dog should not try to kill his parents by power.

Ren wondered, unlike Astrid and what he hears at school, Ren hears stories of people who risk their lives around the world, and as far as he is concerned, he doesn't know how to tell the difference between an innocent person and not.

even so, ren asked his sister curiously again.

"How do I know if a child is innocent or not?

-observing

"observing?

-that's how it is

Astrid said as she spoke her mind and was shown by an elderly neighbor.

-Observe those around you and you will come to know who is innocent or not.

Ren nodded to the words of a 13-year-old girl before continuing on her way home.

Later that day, after leaving Astrid at home, Ren wanted to check what his sister said and it occurred to him to look at the only recent child, the young man on the side of the post.

Ren ran across the rooftops to the house from last time.

upon arrival, he saw the boy who was keeping canned food under the coat that Astrid bought him, then he put the things back inside the tunnel and went outside.

Ren followed the boy curiously determined to "observe the others".

In the end, he arrived at a rather dilapidated apartment after walking for an hour, when he got home the boy spoke with a smile.

-mother! I got clothes

The boy spoke forcefully, he waited patiently, and shortly after a girl even smaller than him came out and hugged him affectionately, the boy carried his little sister and spoke in a super low tone, even though he was far away, Ren could hear.

- Later, I'll take you to eat my loot, until then, silence.

Did you bring food brother? yei!

The girl, although she was as thin as her brother, spoke with a smile.

-silent

said the boy before making a sign with his finger to which his sister nodded and imitated him.

Ren observed in silence and placed himself in a close position that would give him a view into the house without being discovered.

the 2 brothers entered the house.

Ren also saw the inside of the house through a window.

Inside the house, you could see a man on a sofa with a beer next to him and a woman with a swollen eye while ironing clothes.

The little girl spoke with a smile before the boy could say anything.

- mother! Big brother brought food, we won't starve!

The mother upon hearing that stopped ironing and grabbed the boy's shoulders.

- meal!? Where!?

the woman spoke in a desperate tone, it was obvious that they were all hungry, but unlike them, the man had a big belly as he continued to watch TV, or that was before the girl had said those words.

The boy, seeing himself overwhelmed with fear, seeing his mother and seeing his father getting up from the sofa, spoke.

- I ate it!

ren upon hearing the answer, he thought quietly.

'why are you lying? It's obvious what will happen to him when he lies like that

when the mother heard that, she burst into anger and she screamed.

-what!? Selfish brat!

The mother slapped the boy, leaving him on the ground with a red face.

The mom already started to walk to the child again, but the little sister stood in front of him and screamed.

- no Mom! Don't hit my brother! Please!

The mother pushed the girl to the ground and saw her husband approaching, seeing that, the woman stood aside.

unlike the mother, the father's sights were elsewhere

-You... did you bring new clothes? Who gave it to you?

asked the man with a frown.

-... a girl with her brother brought him

said the boy trembling with fear.

The man nodded, then returned to his chair and sat back down, while he watched television, he said.

- Well, tomorrow you will go to the same place to wait for them, for now, buy yourself more beer by exchanging the clothes you are wearing.

- I can't

replied the boy with fear.

The father upon hearing that turned his head from the sofa and looked at the child.

-what did you say?

despite the fear, the boy spoke again.

- I brought it for my sister

Upon hearing the answer, the man got up from the sofa his eyes were almost red with anger.

- are you contradicting my brat? Do you think I'm a joke to you? Hey!?

The man approached the child step by step, the child began to step back little by little trembling, but his wife screamed at that moment.

- Mike bastard! We need that money for food! If you fill up with beer it's your problem! I also have to eat!

- bitch! If I hadn't met you right now I wouldn't be here! I would be living with my mom! And she wouldn't be dead!

- Oh yeah? Who sends you to impregnate me then!?

- You did not swallow the damn pill! If you wanted to leave your house, you would have said so and not tied me to this pigsty!

While the 2 adults were yelling at each other, Ren observed all of this calmly while speaking with a flat gaze and a stoic face.

"Um...is this innocent? The girl practically ratted on her brother when he told her not to say anything.

Ren said thoughtfully, he didn't understand where that was innocent, he didn't understand that the little sister said it because he knew that her mother was as hungry as she was.

"If that woman was my mother, I would have remained silent, the girl was in plain sight as skinny as her brother, but still she went to tell that mother about the food.

Ren left those parents and went on his way to see the 2 children who had run away together taking advantage of the argument.

Looking at the 2 children who were running in the direction where the boy put the rest of the food, Ren said to himself.

"Um...according to what happened, why is that boy leading his sister like that? Didn't that girl cause him more injuries than he already has on that fragile body? Rather...how can he keep running?"

Ren watched as the boy arrived at his hiding place, the same location as the abandoned house, the boy entered the hole and came out carrying a bag with difficulty in his hands.

then he reached into the bag and pulled out a can of food.

- ta da

But he saw his sister on the ground crying.

- hey, what do you have sister?

asked the boy in a soft tone of voice.

the girl between tears answered her brother.

- It's that, it's that, Mom hit you again, I thought she would be happy to know that you finally brought some food, but I ruined it

Ren saw how the boy still had a swollen face from his mother's blow, he did not get angry with her sister, on the contrary, he tried to calm her down.

The boy then said

-wait here

The boy entered the cave with a can of canned food, there was a lock to open it, but since his body was too weak, he couldn't open it.

The boy used all his short strength and yanked the can open, but he also cut his hand and let out a scream inside the cave to which the girl said as she got up and stopped crying.

- are you OK?

Despite clenching her teeth from the pain of the big cut on his hand, she spoke slowly to his sister so she wouldn't notice his pain.

- I'm fine sister, just, ugh it's a bit of pain.

The younger sister nodded and waited as she looked at the sealed cans around her and the dark cave where her brother was.

moments later, the brother came out with a hand behind his back and said

- eat the tuna carefully

the boy said as he showed him the contents of the can.

ren saw that and said to himself.

"Lick the bloody area so the girl doesn't get scared, not bad.

The sister ate all the tuna, and after eating, she spoke again now with a happy look for feeling something inside her stomach other than burning.

- now I want peach

said the little girl, the boy looked at the peach can for a moment, then nodded and entered with the peach can inside.

Inside the small cave, the boy was trying to open the peach can despite his bleeding hand.

the boy tried to force open the side of the can using a sharp stone that was lying around, unlike the tuna, the peach can have to be opened with a can opener.

The boy tried to hit the can like the human ancestors without any success, but being young and inexperienced, he did not realize that you should not put your thumb on the can you are hitting.

*punch

-agh!

The screaming boy couldn't hold back his scream pain, his sister who was outside the hole screamed in fright as she got up from the ground and tried to run into the cave.

-brother!? brother!

The little girl ran into the rubble cave, but when she tried to pass the entrance, her head hit the ceiling of the cave.

-ouch!

the girl knelt on the ground while she held her head.

-Greece!

the boy ran to her sister.

-are you OK?

-It hurts brother.

-Yeah, healthy healthy little frog tail, if it doesn't heal today it will heal.

the girl replied as she held her head.

-tomorrow

- That's a right, good girl.

Ren saw the scene, a couple of brothers sitting on the ground, the brother had a still bleeding wound in one hand and a crushed finger in the other hand, but even so, he hugged his sister affectionately.

"why does he do it?

Ren wondered.

Ren's logic at this moment did not let her understand what she saw.

"His sister caused him to be beaten, and he has injuries despite that, but even so... he is still there, why?

Ren didn't understand, if it was his situation, obviously he wouldn't hug that girl who is hurting him like that.

At that moment, the sound of something moving was heard.

The brothers inside the rubble cave also heard and felt him, because he was hanging on their heads at the moment.

a pillar of height of 3 stories was starting to fall at this moment, the bad thing is that the direction of the fall was on the way towards the brothers at the entrance of the cave.

-No!

When the brother saw the great pillar on the way to make them puree, the boy hugged his sister and turned his back on the great pillar on the way to them.

*punch

debris was heard falling on the floor.

The brother opened his eyes and carefully looked away from him, the sight he saw changing his perception of life forever.

The boy saw the man who ignored him on the street, the man who did not care about his situation, but the man who carried the food with which he fed his sister holding the 3-story pillar with one hand, the little boy was a young, but he had enough common sense to understand that no normal human could carry that weight easily, well, except a person with one hand while calmly looking at them.

"why you did?

-eh?

the boy was stupid for a moment.

Ren frowned as he asked again.

"I said, why instead of running... did you decide to cover that girl?

-me, me

"If you don't tell me, I'll drop it, so tell me, why did you decide to cover for that girl?

The little boy looked at the girl in her arms, she also looked at Ren, but unlike him who understood what happened, her younger sister couldn't understand how heavy that solid concrete pillar held Ren at this moment.

-I... she is my sister, I have to protect her

"protect her? That girl caused the blow that your mother gave you, your injuries, and almost your death with that blow to the head, so why?

The boy still didn't understand Ren's questions, but seeing the great pillar that still threatened his head, he answered.

-I don't know, she is my sister and I love her

"I don't get it, if she was my sister, she wouldn't do that, in that state where you can die from bleeding, from being crushed...

-...wouldn't you do it for your sister?

"That's right because it's her and not-

-My sister, right? If your sister were here, would you protect her?

"...

Ren was silent as he thought.

'I would protect her? why?... That's right, why is she, if I were in this situation, I would do the same right? because is Astrid

ren then began to think about this.

'so this is empathy? I thought it was putting myself in someone else's situation, that's why I thought that if I were in the boy's situation, I wouldn't save that girl, it's not because I was in that situation, it's because Astrid isn't the one who's there... oh ...

Little by little, Ren began to understand what is called empathy.

and he thought about what his sister said before parting.

-I want you to help everyone

Those were Astrid's words before saying goodbye, Ren hadn't understood those words, she understood that she meant to help the poor, but she didn't understand why, so she tried to explain things to her younger sister.

"Sister, if I help everyone, I'll be left with nothing, I can't help everyone even if I want to... Eliminating poverty is impossible as long as humans yearn for more, especially if we are in this country, where the rich get richer." richer and the poor get poorer because of what the richer get.

her sister then thought of a few words before answering.

- then help the innocent ...

'helping the innocent... um...

Ren then thought of something, although he read some books on human thought, it was hard to find something to know if someone is innocent or not.

'bingo

Ren came up with an idea after thinking for a minute or so.

Ren turned his gaze to the 2 brothers, seeing the older one who kept looking at him with fear, Ren blurted out unconsciously.

"oh

Ren saw the large pillar, and casually moved it to the side causing a small tremor on the ground.

Ren began to approach the pair of brothers, the older brother hugged her stronger sister as if protecting her from Ren.

ren then took out a 20-dollar bill, took it between his fingers, and showed it to the boy.

"Here are 20 bucks, I want you to buy me a bacon burger at the restaurant here 5 blocks away, you know him?

the boy stuttered a bit before answering.

- That's right, I know him.

"Okay, the hamburger is 10 dollars, once you bring me the hamburger, I'll give you the remaining 10 dollars to take your sister to a clinic.

-why?

asked the small confused.

"Because your sister has a concussion

-one that?

"ha... a concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects the functions of the brain, in simple words, if your sister does not receive medical assistance in the next 30 minutes, she may die

-what!?

The boy jumped before beginning to check his sister carefully.

"Luckily for you, that $10 is enough for a visit to a nearby clinic I know of.

-then you can?

"If I can take it? you will do it with this after you have brought me my hamburger.

The boy looked at the bill for a few seconds, and as if he had made a decision, he got up from the ground.

the boy extended his hand towards the bill that was between Ren's fingers, ren gave him the ticket.

"You should take your sister, it would be good if you were next to her.

the boy nodded before standing up with his sister and starting to walk.

Ren looked at the boy's back before asking.

"What is your name?

-... my name is John.

"Very well John, one more detail, there is a nearby clinic a few meters further from the restaurant, there, your sister could receive better medical attention, the consultation is a little more expensive, 20 dollars, it is the competition of the clinic that I mentioned to you before where they serve only 10 dollars, although hey, I heard that their facilities are better.

-...why did she tell me this?

"Not at all, just a curious fact.

Ren said with a smile.

John nodded before walking on.

that same night, ren learned some things, but also that learning caused some amazing things in the future.

the first and most important learning, ren understood empathy, the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes to understand and help others.

John, years later apprenticed with the weapon maker Marcos and became Ren's personal armorer creating weapons that far surpassed his world's current era, his weapons became world famous, causing a massive fight for the arms discarded from Ren in the best auctions in the world.

and most important.

This is how the test of Ren's heart was created, and Ren understood that children really are innocent to the atrocities of the world... over time, ren helped countless people around the world, and all because of the innocent words of a 13-year-old girl who just wanted to educate his brother a bit.

.

.

.

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