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Of Valour and Remorse: The Boy Called Walker

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Image Credit: CosplayIsland

There was a boy. His name was Allen Walker. A charming English lad with a golden heart. A boy with a fiery spirit. A gentleman. This boy Walker had a blessing. They called it Innocence; a power forged into weapons to vanquish demons and free souls bound by them. They called it a blessing; a gift in the left hand of a young boy, vital in the war of Evil vs Good.

This boy Walker, had traveled far and wide, defeating demons, gaining allies, putting a good shift. His name spread quickly; and he was well aware of it. He was a hero, and he loved it. He loved nothing more than seeing hope rekindle, seeing a candle light up the darkness, seeing tears turn to joy and knowing he was integral in all of this.

But this boy Walker, like any great tale, met the one that will shape his destiny, for better or for worse. A foe greater than all those he had met. A foe with the ability to render Innocence useless. It was short and brief. The next time he came to, his weapon was shattered. His Innocence reduced to dust that just lingered.

This boy Walker was supposed to be dead. But by a miracle he was alive. The Innocence plugged a hole in his heart. A hole made by the enemy. No one had ever heard of Innocence saving its user before. It’s like it had a mind of its own; its own consciousness, knowing what it wanted regardless. But all Walker was interested in, like any valiant soldier, was knowing how soon he could return to battle.

This boy Walker, attempted to revive his Innocence. He attempted for 5 days and failed. It was like the Innocence in its own consciousness was refusing to activate. It was like it had refused to recognize Walker. He begged it. He prayed. He could not understand why. His intentions were just. All he ever wanted was to fight alongside his fellow comrades. But this boy Walker, was naive. He didn’t get it. He didn’t know the reason of Innocence, and was about to.learn the hard way.

A demon of reputable strength attacked the facility Walker was being held. And being the only Exorcist able to deal with it, an Exorcist rejected by his own Innocence, the future was bleak. That didn’t stop him from fighting. He gave all he had, even at a massive disadvantage. And as fate would have it, in the most cliché of turnarounds, he finally got it. He understood Innocence.

This boy Walker remembered. He remembered the first day he vanquished a demon and saw it free the soul it held captive. The demon and the soul weren’t two entites. The demon was, in fact, the soul that needed saving. The soul and the demon were one, with the Innocence cleansing it. He began to think back. He wondered when the line became blurry. The line separating salvation of souls and camaraderie. The line separating a mission to kill, and a mission to rescue. Was he fighting demons? Or was he fighting for the demons? Who was in need of salvation? The humans – the free spirits? Or the demons – the bound souls wailing to be freed?

This boy Walker, found the answer. It was both. His left hand – hand laden with Innocence, for the sake of the demons. His right hand – hand of companionship, for the sake of the humans. They both needed saving. His Innocence asked the question, and this was his reply. And with the most absurd of answers, he regained power, greater than ever. His focus was reset, his resolve stronger.

And this boy Walker, was never the same again.

[This story is adapted from the Manga Series D.Grayman written by Hoshino Katsura]

Don’t be that guy [or girl]

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Allow me to begin with a short tale of valiance.

I was pretty active in high school, and in my second last year I was made the captain of our rugby team. We weren’t the best but we always had fun participating in tourneys; as a school we hadn’t won anything in a while so the pressure was on. Now the following year things became interesting.

We had two games on the opening day of the new season; an okay match and a pretty tough one (one of last year’s best teams). The first one went well; we thrashed our opponents decisively. It was a good team performance and everyone was fine. However minutes to our second match, two of our core players could not be found. I call them core players because they had much more experience than me and the team was in fact built around them. And because of that there were a little ego issues here and there but I never really thought that it would come to them running away when the team needed them. Nevertheless I gave the rallying cry (William Wallace style) and we went into that game, playing for  our pride. The thought of throwing in the towel lingered in my head for a while but I decided it was best to go through with it regardless of the outcome. Yes, the outcome was devastating; a whooping 53-0 loss. But it was a valiant defeat. We made so much noise in the bus on our way back to school people thought we had won. So what had happened?

Something changed that day. As a team we always believed in ourselves but the presence of the two who ran away contributed  heavily to the mentality,  so when they had betrayed us there was a little shake up and people asking questions like ‘can we really do this?’ But after the game, that confidence that went was re-established and cemented. ‘We can do this.’ ‘We are the ones playing.’ We realised that we can do it without them. And that changed our team for the rest of the season. We went on to win 2 trophies that year;the first two titles for the school in a very long time. They weren’t the most prestigious but they were something nonetheless and the school had taken pride in the rugby team once more.

Which brings me to my point. Usually in every team, there will always be a couple of stars who think they can (or are) carrying the whole team. True, at time they are just that good. However, downfall begins when they think that ‘they can’t do it without me’. I call that the beginning of the end. Soon after, out of pride, the stars pull out to watch the team crash and burn. But if the other team mates realize that they can do it without the stars, then the door automatically closes for the stars and they are done for. Rarely will they be able to re-earn their spots, because the team will be performing just as good minus the ego issues.

What I’m saying is, regardless of how good you think you are, or how well you think you ‘complete someone’, or how convinced you are that you are the reason for something’s or someone’s success, you can never let that idea linger in your head. The day you glorify yourself as holding the key then that’s the day you crash and burn. Because those who you think need you, will realize that they don’t, and you may never be needed again. And that ‘need bridge’ burns so quickly and is never easily repaired, that is if it can be repaired at all.

Don’t be that guy [or girl].

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