The world and time shifted.
Joon found himself looking down at a younger version of himself, lying lifeless on a cold concrete floor. Then he seen a younger Nero come walking out of a burning room, pick him up and walk down a hall.
Joon followed him.
They walked past guards that looked like they had been frozen while they were running. They walked past a door, he peeked in through the window. He seen several boys sitting very still, huddled together, they looked as though they were crying. Some of them looked familiar.
Nero pulled the keys off a guard's belt and unlocked the door. Then unlocked another, then another. Before he knew it, they were outside. The second they were out, he heard sirens going off and then an explosion but they just kept walking.
Time seem to pass by quickly and he found himself very far away in another land. Wind was blowing through the trees. He watched Nero bury his small body into the ground before leaving.
Time sped again.
He watched as something came crawling out of the trees. It sniffed at the ground and then started digging where he'd been buried.
“So, he did take you.” Joon heard from behind him. He looked over his shoulder at the older Nero.
“Where have you taken me?” Joon asked angrily.
Nero watched the Grawl dig up his dead son's body, “I didn't bring us here, you brought us here. Something in YOU wants YOU to see something”
Joon looked forward again, “I know who I am. I am Grawl, my father wouldn't lie to me.”
“A part of you knew he was lying. That's why you brought us here.” Nero said.
Time sped up again.
They were standing in a large room. The Grawl hunter was pumping his blood into the small lifeless body lying on a table. When he was done, he left the room. When he came back, he was dragging a man behind him. The Grawl dropped him in front of the dead boy's body.
“Bring him back.” The Grawl demanded
When the man stood, Nero sighed, “Ziyang… my old friend.” Joon slowly gazed over at him, Nero's eyes were filled with tears.
The man looked the boy's body over, “This is Nero's son…. How could you?”
“I don't care whose son he is, bring him back. I know your kind can do it.”
Ziyang closed his eyes tight, as he laid his hands on the dead boy's head, leaned down next to his ear, “Find your way back, find your way back to your father, never forget his face. Never forget where you came from”
“ENOUGH! …. Or would you see your own son suffer as well?”
Ziyang leaned down and kissed the dead boy's forehead. He put one hand on his head and the other over his heart. After a few minutes, Joon watched as his small body began to jerk and shudder. His younger self sat up gasping for air and then fell back unconscious but alive and breathing.
They watched as Ziyang fell to the floor. The room lit up as the last of his powers left his body in a burst of energy that lingered for a moment before it disappeared completely. The Grawl hunter grabbed him and dragged him away. When he returned, he took the newly reborn boy outside, dug a hole in the ground, laid him in the hole. Then he dripped more of his blood into the hole around the boy's body. Vines grew from the ground, wrapping around his body, pulling him deeper into dirt.
“When you wake, you'll be Grawl. Your name will be Joon”
Joon and Nero watched as time went by, it seemed to be a year that flew by when the boy awoke, emerging from the ground like a snake coming out of hibernation. Joon stood staring at himself, the person he is now.
“Even with the Grawl blood in you, You are still My son. You are still my Tao” Nero said standing by him, “You are from the Exoplanet Eternia, Your heart is Exolusian.”
Joon closed his eyes, tears squeezed out of them even though he tried to stop them. He remembered running out into a field, following the other boys, he was holding a younger boys hand, “Hurry Sehun”
“I can run faster than you Tao” Sehun confessed
“Oh yeah, if you can then I'll give you a chocolate” Tao slowed down a bit when he heard Sehun trying his hardest to pass him.
The other boys stop at the edge of the cliff, down below was a clear blue lake, they pushed each other, “go first”, “no you go first”, “our parents will kill us for sure!”, Even Xiumin, the oldest, was a little afraid.
Tao looked over the edge “I'll go first!” Tao took off running and leapt off the edge. He screamed in delight as he went down, straightening his body, hoping he don't belly flop like before. He emerged out of water, laughing. The other boys jumped in right behind him.
Memory after memory flooded him.
“I died… I died saving you. I died because I didn't want my papa to die.” He said sobbing. Nero turned him towards him, Joon immediately put his arms around him, “I'm sorry papa, I've betrayed you all.”
He felt Nero stroking his hair, “No, no you didn't betray no one. He took you from me, from all of us. There's still time. There's always time.”
He heard the sound of an explosion, then the ceiling cracking and collapsing. He could hear the others arguing, he could hear his father fighting the Grawl. When he opened his eyes, he was still sitting on Nero being held back.
“Tao.” He heard from behind him, “Tao don't you remember us?”
He stood up, he looked at all of them, “I remember….” He looked down at his hands, “I remember everything.”