Chapter 9 – Simonne
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"Wahhh!"

— I do not know just how long I've been crying now.

— I do not know why I'm even crying.

— Crying.

The only thing I know, was that the red scenery before me was definitely the most magnificent sight I have ever seen, but at the same time, it unbinded something inside me— and for some reason, I started crying.

*Crackle*

Sparkles of yellows and oranges scattered throughout the surroundings. Myriad of warm colors glittered all over the place. The temperature began to rise up.

"Wahhh!"

"Simonne..."

A figure inside the fiery picturesque whispered through her lips.

Simonne.
  
 
   
  
---

3rd Month of the Allos Calendar 1236
  
  
  
   
   
   
  
    
"This will be your home now." An old man wearing a blue robe gestured at the place before him. He had a silky mustache and a kind-looking face.

"Ohhh!"

Simonne wobbled forward and turned his little head to gaze over the surroundings.

Large buildings stood amassed together, forming symmetrical arrangements, that towered over everything. Various kinds of structures were all around the place, along with the countless number of people that leisurely walk by the side.

The old man warmly watched the little fellow being astounded by the current scene.

"Come, on." He stepped forward and gently grabbed the stubby hand of Simonne and looked at him. "You should've been tired now. Let's get you to your new place."

He then led him by his hand and treaded the wide pavement across the town.

It was then until they finally stopped outside a rather huge building.

"Let's go inside."

Entering though the threshold of the building, a wide, spacious chamber greeted them.

Simonne couldn't help but ask. "Uncle Morth, is this our new home?"

The old man— Morth, nodded his head and said with a smile. "It will."

*Creak*

A door from the other side of the chamber opened and revealed a woman. She wore an eyeglasses and a grey robe, and seemed to be at her early twenties. Her demeanor radiated a smart-looking and a responsible girl.

"Hm." She noticed the person at entrance and smiled. "If it isn't Morth... Oh, who's this cute little fellow?"

She crouched a little and gave Simonne a rub on the hair.

"What's your name?"

Seeing the girl face to face, the little kid's expression turned red. He fidgeted as he said. "...Simonne."

"Simonne?" The girl raised an eyebrow. "What a unique name." She then turned to the old man beside Simonne. "Did you gave him that name?"

"No." Morth shook his head. "That name was embroidered at his robe when I've found him near a cliff."

"Near a cliff?" She couldn't help but ask. "All alone?"

Morth nodded. "There wasn't a single trace of anyone besides him, who was still a newborn infant there."

"..." The girl fell silent for a while before looking back at the cheerful looking kid. She finally smiled again. "But I'm glad you found him. Who knew what would happen to an infant in such a place."

"You're right."

The girl then placed her fingers upon his glasses and fixed it in place. "Well then, I suppose that you want him to live together with us here at the Institute, right?"

"Right."

She nodded her head and shifted her gaze back at Simonne. "I seemed to have forgotten to introduce myself." She tilted her head and smiled charmingly at the kid before him. "I'm Amelia."
  
  
  
  
---
 
6th Month of Allos Calendar 1246
 
   
     
    
 
   
  
  
"Only three-hundred? Is that all you've got?" A domineering voice loudly reverberated throughout the entire training field. "You won't be able to eat soup tonight if you're that weak!"

"...!"

"Three-hundred and ninety-eight...!"

"Three-hundred and ninety-nine.....!"

"Four-hundred...!!"

*Thud*

Simonne's body limply slumped down the ground and fiercely inhaled a handful amount of air through his mouth as he felt his body grew numb from physical exhaustion. Rivulets of sweat trickled down all over his face and body.

"Hahaha! That's what I want!" The voice from earlier once again came, and looking from behind, a man with in a topless suit neared him and mightily slapped Simonne at his back.

"You've grown so strong now!"

*Groan*

Simonne felt like his sore body was going to broke apart from that slap and groaned in pain.

"Oh, I'm sorry!"

"...It's alright." Simonne said in a weak voice. "But give me water first."

"Right." The man beside Simonne grabbed a sack of water from his bag and handed it at him. "Here."

Simonne quickly snatched the sack and placed it over his mouth, chugging into its content.

Looking at the well developed body of Simonne, the man couldn't help but sigh to himself. 'Time really passes so quickly', he thought to himself. 'It was just like yesterday that you were still a kid, so small you could even barely reached up my legs... But now... ' He shook his head.

Simonne wiped his mouth and placed the water sack down before he stood up and stretched his body. "Haa... It's really exhausting."

*footsteps*
 
 
"Simonne." A familiar voice came from behind.

Simonne turned his head, and upon seeing the person from behind, his expression brightened. "Uncle Morth!"

He ran up to him and asked. "What brings you here?"

Morth looked at Simonne's masculine figure and nodded in satisfaction. "I'm here to ask you something."

"What is it?"
  
   
  
  
   
   
  
    
"Do you want to work for the Institute?"
  
  
   

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