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436 Fate Of Cursed Ones Part II/III

    In the examination lab, Ashlyn continued to cough blood and pieces of candies. The elderly examiner patted her back and helped her get back on her feet. He then wiped the blood from her mouth with a handkerchief.

    As he cleaned her mouth, he saw the fear and confusion on her face.

    "I'm sorry," He muttered the same words again.

    Ashlyn couldn't understand why he was apologizing. It was her parents that slapped her and not him.

    She glanced at her parents. They were having the same expressions before they slapped her... Expressions that were too complex for a three-year-old to understand.

    Hatred and anger.

    The elderly examiner took a step forward and said, "Living beings have no say in their birth. They don't get to decide how they are born, in which race, with what features... This girl is the same. She didn't choose to be a Cursed One. Don't hate her for something she isn't to be blamed for."

    "Old man, it is easy for you to preach," Ashlyn's father retorted. "You aren't the one who has a Cursed One as an offspring."

    "Could you imagine what would happen to our reputation?!  We will become a laughing stock!" Ashlyn's mother snapped her teeth and eyed her daughter with a venomous look. "I couldn't believe someone like her came from my body."

    The words shocked Ashlyn and she lowered her head. Butterflies ran in her stomach.

    The examiner felt Ashlyn's depression and then looked at her parents. He wanted to rebuke them but he didn't. From experience, he knew it would be useless.

    "Prejudices have ruined humanity," The examiner thought to himself. "Sadly, in this case, prejudices are not just prejudices, but reality of life."

    Ever since the age of evolution began, 60-70% of humanity was blessed with supernatural abilities. Those with such powers came to be known as mutants.

    The remaining population consisted of almost ordinary humans who had no powers. Almost because a negligible 0.1% of those not blessed with powers were what people called Cursed Ones.

    The ones whom the era of evolution didn't deem worthy enough.

    The ones who were even worse than ordinary humans in the evolution hierarchy.

    Not only evolution hierarchy, but even in the social hierarchy, they were considered as the worst.

    Their status could be compared with prosecuted races among humanity before the era of evolution.

    The times when the racial wars were due to color of skin. The times when those in minority, of weaker color, were treated as less than humans and treated as slaves. They were sold and their lives held no importance.

    The Cursed Ones has a similar status, but compared to ancient times, they were in even worse situations. Because, unlike slaves who had a practical use, Cursed Ones were an only liability.

    Their genes were twisted and bent.

    Genes were nothing but a sequence of nucleotides that give living organisms everything they were born with.

    Body features, traits, biochemical composition, powers... everything.

    In cursed ones, the genetical sequence was out of order. It was in a borderline state between mutated and normal. It was this state that made them cursed.

    Ordinary humans have a chance of acquiring powers through dangerous experiments, but in the case of Cursed Ones, the chances were almost zero.

    Then there were their natural shortcomings...

    They could never give birth to an offspring, they couldn't live for over the age of thirty, they needed continuous medical care after a certain age, and most importantly, they emitted a unique aura that was similar to radiation.

    This aura has the ability to weaken other mutated lifeforms...

    And this ability or curse, to be precise, was due to the strange nature of genetical material stored in genes. Something caused by Divine Particles.

    Thankfully, with the advancement in science, enough methods were developed to nullify this unique aura or radiation.

    A regular dose of medical pills could fully subsidize this effect and make a Cursed One completly normal.

    But prejudices were something that could never be completly wiped out; not even in the most open-minded persons.

    Just like how people avoid a person with some rare disease, despite knowing those diseases were not infectious, the same happened with the Cursed Ones. They were treated as untouchables.

    In a way, for a couple, having a Cursed One as an offspring was similar to having a member of another species. Like a couple having a child of a different color.

    At least, that's what the mentality of the society made them think and believe. Combined with Cursed Ones' other drawbacks, they were treated worse than handicaps and untouchables of the past.

    The elderly examiner knew everything which was why he apologized to Ashlyn. He knew what fate has in store for her.

    "If she was an ordinary person, it would still be fine."

    A family of mutants could accept if a child was born as an ordinary human. The child might not achieve much, but he wasn't a burden given how the world was managed by the World Government.

    There were ample opportunities in many fields. And there was no fear of discrimination as rules were strictly enforced in civil society, especially cities.

    "In this age of social acceptance and vanity, no parent is ready to accept the burden of having a Cursed One as an offspring."

    Even centuries ago, parents preferred to smother handicap and deformed children. But back then, it was also for the 'good' of those children so that they wouldn't have to face a cruel world with their physical limitations.

    Now, it was more due to social pressure, the financial burden, the fear of being outcast and treated differently.

    The examiner looked at Ashlyn and thought ignorance was bliss. Sadly, there was no more bliss due to him.

    "Girl, I hope you can forgive me," The examiner said to her.

    Ashlyn didn't get the opportunity to respond as she was taken away by her parents. Her father tossed her in the backseat of their car and left.

    Throughout the journey, there was only silence and hateful stares from her parents. Ashlyn was worried and she felt a strange feeling in her stomach.

    It was fear.

    ...

    A day later.

    Ashlyn found herself being thrown into an orphanage. Her parents said no words, showed no emotions, and just left after talking with the orphanage in charge. All she saw them doing was handing a few currency cards to the man in charge...and nothing else.

    "Welcome to the orphanage of the discarded ones," The man in charge said after her parents left. "Or the dirty hole of rich and powerful as I like to believe."

    The man chuckled. The rich and powerful would often throw away their bastards or deformed children here.

    Ashlyn was confused by his words. As a child, they were far too complex for her to understand. The orphanage in charge didn't bother explaining and guided her to her room.

    A single room with an attached washroom.

    "Have a good time here," The man said before shutting the door. "But I doubt you will."

    The man then started laughing...

    Days passed, and Ashlyn had anything but good times.

    The orphanage was desolate with very few children who had nothing common among themselves. Most of them were silent and confined to themselves. Hardly anyone played despite their young age. At least, no one played or conversed with her.

    Even the orphanage staff treated her with coldness and silence. She felt this must be due to her status as a Cursed One; whatever that meant.

    "Mom and dad...please come back."

    Ashlyn waited for her parents to return and take her away. She terribly missed them especially the warmth of their hugs and kisses. She wanted to jump into their arms and feel their loving embrace.

    Sadly, her wish never got fulfilled...

    Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months. No one returned to take her.

    She finally learned what fear, loneliness, and coldness were. The memories of her parents started turning cloudly, and she could no longer remember what a warm hug felt like.

    Her cute face was always filled with tears. The cheerfulness unique to children was lost and replaced with despair that no one could understand.

    She hugged her knees and cried...

    The man in charge observed her through a CCTV monitor.

    Next to him, a middle-aged woman was standing. She was accompanied by a similarly middle-aged man with a mix of white and black hair.

    "I have done as you asked," The man in charge said to the couple. "She wasn't able to make any friends or acquaintances... she has been practically alone."

    The staff might have treated Ashlyn coldly due to her status as a Cursed One, but the children were ignorant. It was he who managed their behavior so that they would avoid her like a plague.

    "Good job," The middle-aged man said with a barely noticeable smile.

    "Could I ask why you asked me to do this?" The man in charge asked.

    A day after Ashlyn was tossed into the orphanage by her parents, this pair contacted him and gave him a heavy sum of money.

    The only thing they asked in return was to ensure she would be adopted by them but after a year, and only after she has lived in a particular set of environment.

    This made him curious and confused.

    As far as he has known, all prospective parents wanted a cheerful and playful child... not a child they had turned Ashlyn into.

    So, why would they make a child experience terrible loneliness and then adopt her? That too, adopt a Cursed One!

    "No, you can't ask us," The middle-aged man replied instead of her partner. "Now, get us our new daughter."

    "Ah... yes," The man in charge didn't dare offend her.
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