'The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.' - Psalm XXXVII

No matter how much it hurt; no matter how often he failed; no matter how frequently he was mocked for it - Mikami Teru never gave up.

On his first day of high school, he returned home with broken glasses and a ripped shirt, young jaw darkening from a blow he could not avoid. His mother had run to Teru, scolding him, and all the while tears spilled down from her despairing eyes.

He knew she had hoped it would be different eventually --

("Teru, you're in high school now! Don't you think it would be nice to start again? Please… think about yourself. You don't have to be bullied this way!")

-- but he also knew that she was wrong, and that it could never be different. Regardless of what the outcome might be, Teru always knew what he had to do. He was one of the Righteous; his mother was not. She could never understand.

He had always been the one to come to their aid -- sometimes righteousness would prevail; sometimes not. Teru could cope with whatever happened to him, as long as the victims were saved, and justice was done.

("M-Mikami-kun… thank you…")

It had always gladdened Teru to hear those words, though once in high school they were mostly a memory from the past. Relentlessly victimised for his outspoken beliefs, Teru endured numerous beatings and humiliations; but these did not break him. His resolve was only strengthened, and his belief in the need for the elimination of the wicked never wavered.

Because they -- his enemies -- would never know what it was to be righteous. Petty and cruel, laughing at others' pain; they had no place in this world.

Ever since he could remember, Teru had been surrounded by death. Family members, classmates -- even people on the street. Was it fate, or was it coincidence? For Teru, it was neither; a commonplace occurrence he now thought little of.

Sometimes, he would wish for certain people to die. Sometimes, they would.

When Teru was fifteen, his mother was killed in a car crash; run down by a reckless vehicle which contained certain classmates Teru knew painfully well. For days, he wept, the loss of his single remaining parent marking him deeply.

But then - it came almost like an epiphany: those who are evil shall be punished.

The accident had been no mere coincidence -- the smiles and calm that it brought among those left behind were testament enough to that, and Teru saw the victims' happiness. And thus he thought 'this is how it should be.'

On his first day of university, these beliefs of Teru's were as strong as ever. Every day that went by he saw liars and cheaters; cruelty and viciousness. Teru was sickened by the state of the world, and bringing about change was his deepest desire. To this end, he studied to become a lawyer; a prosecutor. But he was all too aware that the law could only do so much -- for the law does not understand that those who cannot be reformed should be eliminated.

Even as he worked towards his graduation, Teru still witnessed death. He would wish for the ends of certain unrighteous fools, and suddenly… they would have the chance to do evil no more. This unsettled him, briefly, but was soon reconciled with his chosen path of justice.

Divine punishment.

Those who are evil will be punished, and to judge the evil is righteousness.

This was Teru's belief.

Mikami Teru had no close friends. All of those around him; all of those who approached him… none of them understood him. None of them could truly be his allies. Teru, however, was not bothered by this -- with his graduation, he was able to pursue his vocation, and begin his punishment of the wicked. Meting out justice was the centre of his world.

The single event which lit up Teru's life came not long after. He had been mesmerised; transfixed by the statistics and messages which scrolled across the screen.

Ecstasy.

The moment had come - a god had descended to earth, sanctioning his beliefs; his life. Judging, punishing, warning. Teru would never forget those days - the planning and waiting and praying and hoping--

He knew that God had come because God had seen him -- and must know that he alone in this world stood up for righteousness and virtue. The world was rotten -- but now, things were starting to change.

Teru knew he was right: God had approved him, and had granted him the privilege of emulation. He never felt so fulfilled, so worthy as when he opened that notebook and began writing. Unlike when he was a child, he could now execute his justice without interference. The victims would be saved, and the world would start to return to those who were good.

and the righteous shall inherit the land.

Yes, Mikami Teru thought, meticulously filling in line after line with his neat, cramped handwriting. It was all as God willed. And he smiled.