Gilles — Age: 9
I’ve been stuck in the impoverished village ever since I was born.
It was never a great place, but when my parents were around, the torment was manageable since I wasn’t alone.
But then my parents were killed.
And because I didn’t have the strength to survive on my own, I was forced to work as a slave for the b*stard that killed them.
Ever since that day, my life has been a living hell.
The first person to ever bother to help me was Will… Gramps.
Gramps took me in and stayed by my side, nursing me day and night when I was on the verge of death.
But despite his efforts, my wounds wouldn’t heal and I was struck with a high fever when infection set in.
I really thought that I was going to die this time.
But I didn’t mind.
I saw no meaning in living in a terrible world where there was nothing but pain day after day.
I had resigned myself to my fate, but then Gramps had me drink an infusion of water and medicine.
Miraculously, my fever broke and I started getting better.
……I didn’t die.
Do I have to keep living every day in misery now I couldn’t help but ask myself over and over, but Gramps showed me something that gave me hope.
It was so trivial, so insignificant, that I can’t help but laugh at how much hope it gave me.
Just after I had gotten better, Gramps had shared some candy with me….
I never knew that food could be so deliciously sweet.
I never knew that something called a macaron even existed.
But it did.
For the first time I realized that the world wasn’t just filled with darkness and despair.
Those brightly colored little candies opened my eyes to the possibility that not everything has to be bad.
It made me wonder what other things might surprise me if I just gave myself a little more time…..
So I decided to give living another shot.
If just for a little longer, I’d give the world one more chance to show me that it was worth living in.
I could always choose to die later, so for the time being, a brand new desire had formed within me.
I wanted to live….
After I ate the first macaron, I stuffed the rest of them into my mouth one after another.
While I enjoyed them, Gramps told me about the kid that gave them to us.
Apparently, she was also the one who had brought us the medicine that saved my life.
He told me that her name was Alicia and that she belonged to the Williams family, one of the five great noble families.
And even I, who had spent my whole life in that village, had at least heard of those families.
I couldn’t understand why the beloved daughter of one of them would bother to help me.
Nor what could have brought her to this village in the first place.
When Gramps was telling me all this, I assumed she must be coming here out of some sense of mercy or compassion.
She must pity us poor peasants, wallowing in this hellhole, so she came to kindly help us in our time of great need….
or some such driveling self-righteousness bullsh*t.
As a higher being, it’s her duty to come save us lowly commoners. Disgusting.
When she goes home to her extravagant, overpriced mansion, she’ll pat herself on the back for her good deeds and enjoy all the luxuries that being a peer of the realm has to offer.
I figured she was just some snobby, precious little princess who is constantly showered with love and affection who just goes around doing whatever she wants.
But, when I finally met her, I realized that my expectations couldn’t have been further off the mark.
When I first saw her, I thought she was just a pretty, pampered little girl and that I must have been right about her, but all that changed in an instant.
The moment she opened her mouth, her lovely face started to look positively demonic in my eyes.
She told me that if I wanted to die, then I should just do it.
I thought she had to be crazy, saving me and then telling me to die.
But then her next words shocked me even more.
She told me that as my savior, she was now responsible for my life.
She said she was on my side, just cause of that.
Her logic sounded insane, but it gave me an odd sense of warmth.
Like the macaron, it somehow gave me hope.
If I followed her, I’d really be able to experience a better life.
Just like that, the last dredges of reluctance I had about living were gone.
After I had finally, fully admitted that I wanted to live, she suddenly demanded payment for her efforts.
She told me that she would take co-ownership of my intelligence and use it as she saw fit.
Once again, her logic sounded absolutely absurd, but she wouldn’t back down.
Every day she came back, bringing with her a small mountain of books for me to read.
She showed me what magic looks like.
And after all that, she even got me out of that village.
For the first time in my life, I was finally able to see the sun.
To feel its light and warmth on my skin.
It was so dazzlingly radiant that tears sprung to my eyes.
I was so thankful I hadn’t died before being able to see something so unimaginably breathtaking.
After getting out of the village, the whole world looked new.
Like I was wearing glasses that made everything sparkle.
I never actually said it out loud, but in my heart I found myself constantly thanking her for getting me out.
For saving me.
And at the same time I vowed to be there when she….
when Alicia really needed me.
I would live my life for her, devoting myself to her ’til the very end.
And that girl, my life’s savior, is now standing before me, her golden eyes burning with rage.
Her shining black hair is fluttering in a dark halo, almost as if her bloodlust is manifesting as a physical aura.
Her profile looks regal and imposing as she stares down the men who had beaten me half to death.
I can’t help but be fascinated by her overwhelming beauty.
As I watch, the corners of her lips arch up in a smile and she slowly opens her mouth.
The words that pass her lips are not something you’d ever expect a young noblewoman to say.
“You’re the trash…..