Chapter Three - Witness Crisis in the Human World


The moment Lulu closed her eyes, she found herself standing in the human world. Massive, steel towers rose around her on all sides, people scattered to various destinations, machines stirred and moved toward their unknown purposes. Everything was happening constantly and endlessly.

Even though Lulu was only standing still with her eyes closed, she could see and feel everything in their world. She quickly realized that her mind could take her wherever she wished in the human lands. However, the humans couldn’t see her.

As Lulu looked across the world, she noticed that human beings tended to blame others. Rather than feeling grateful for what nature bestowed upon them, they exploited that same nature for their materialistic desires. This led to many problems and Lulu was left distraught by the pain humans caused to each other and the world.

Environmental issues, geopolitical instability, immigration disputes, and so on, were widespread in various places all over the world.  

She saw massive mountain glaciers melting and several major cities, such as New York, London, and Shanghai, being affected by the rising sea levels caused by global warming. 

NYC – Manhattan

(Photo source: screenshot - “Surging Seas: EXTREME SCENARIO 2100” by Climate Central)

The world was a place of mistrust and agony between countries. They couldn't help how deep their pain went. It resonated within their homes and echoed to the edges of their borders. World organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank were dismantled and left useless.

Unity was broken by imbalance and relationships between countries were shattered by people who couldn’t let go of the past. 

War even replaced peace…

Problems causing refugee crises were everywhere and increasing…

Pollution was rampant and becoming worse…

Lulu saw all of it and nearly fell to her knees. Her lips quivered and she didn’t know what to say. Shaking her head, her eyelids clenched more tightly shut and she grimaced at humankind’s pain.

People were incinerating the environment to power the machines they piloted. In turn, waters continued to rise and frozen lands continued to melt away. Others used devices crafted from the earth to fight for control of everything beyond their reach. As a result, pain soiled peaceful nations and left countless without homes. Many were caught in the middle of these pursuits and thrown to the wayside. Furthermore, the wastes coming out of these desires left pollution everywhere and only led to more suffering.

Lulu was aware of her own exceptionally soft heart, but all of these events affected her even more than she thought they could. Every emotional injury, each scar on nature, and all the venal choices that humans made were excruciating to see. Then – when she felt the pain of the people – she was heartbroken.

Being one of the most relatable and friendly animals of among the twelve zodiacs, this sadness stayed with her. That vision of the human world would leave her with pictures and emotions she could never forget. Lulu didn’t know it yet, but she always cared about others, which was actually one of her greatest strengths.

However, Gabriel was aware of this and he knew that Lulu was affected when she saw the consequences of human behaviors.

At that moment, Lulu also remembered what she was told. Without being aware of it, she was a part of creating those issues because humans were subconsciously influenced by her choices and actions. Suddenly, a deep sense of uneasiness washed over her.

Lulu kept soaring across the world and traveling to different places, but no matter where she went, she kept seeing and feeling their pain.

If she couldn’t escape it, she knew that humans wouldn’t be able to either.

That was when Lulu became speechless from all the scenes and their agony. Sadly, it left her feeling empty and sad for the humans’ plight.

“Yes,” Lulu thought. The images and actions left a hollow spot in her stomach. Right then, all she wanted was to help them, but she still doubted any ability she had to do so.

That understanding slowly drifted through her. She never believed or thought her behaviors carried such a great responsibility. It was too much for her to accept.

Everything welled up inside Lulu and she couldn’t stand what she saw anymore. It was too painful for her to watch the suffering of human beings and the decay of planet earth. Her heart felt as though it was bleeding and she was panicked. Being extremely overwhelmed, she couldn’t keep herself from finally opening her eyes.

Lulu then looked to the Butterfly. “I still don’t understand. What am I supposed to do?”

“You – my friend and comrade – are the one who can change their path,” said Gabriel. “Now is the year of the Pig and your energy has the mightiest sway among the twelve other zodiac animals. We cannot wait any longer. No more years can go by without change. They need you, Lulu, and I implore your help.”

Lulu backed away from the Butterfly. She was petrified by the responsibility. At that moment, the vast pool of water beyond Gabriel trembled again.

“You need to pass a series of trails and be transformed,” said Gabriel. “This way the world has a chance to be changed.”

Lulu’s head dipped low. Gabriel had to be wrong. She was not the person for this. She was nothing in the face of something so grand. Truly, it seemed to be an impossible mission for her. Bleary-eyed, Lulu denied her calling and ran away.


(To be continued...)

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