The doors suddenly flung open, producing a dull thud when they hit the walls.
A small boy emerged from behind the doors. His clothes were dirty and a foul smell drifted from his body. His eyes were red as snot and tears ran down his face.
The moment the boy entered the room, he spotted a man and a woman waiting for him. the boy ran toward the couple immediately .
The woman's face was pale with worry and the man had deeply furrowed brows. When the two saw the boy their expressions softened and were replaced with relief.
The woman took the boy into here arms. The woman didn't seem to care about the filth covering his body, gave him a deep embrace. The man took a knee beside the boy, putting his hand on the boy's back for a reassuring pat.
"Atlas! Where did you run off to?"
Atlas's mother had been looking through the dyes when Atlas had left her. Although it didn't take long to realize his absence, it was already too late. He had already been lost too deep in the crowd. She had looked all over the market, but was unable to find him. She had never thought he would make it all the way to the back alley slums.
Atlas was not able to respond to his mother for quite some time. He spent the next few minutes crying, unable to choke out a single explanation to his parents.
After several minutes of crying, Atlas wiped away the last of his tears on his sleeves. He would sniff frequently and his eyes were red and puffy.
When his parents saw that he had calmed down, they sat him on the bed to talk. They wanted to know what their son had been doing on his own.
Atlas went over the events of today.
As he explained, his parents would change their expressions.
When he told them that he ran off on his own because of boredom, his mother showed a disappointed expression.
When he told them about the teasing of the vendors, his mother's expression changed to a more irritated one.
Atlas then went over how Jimmy had taken Atlas with him when running from the vendors, and how Jimmy wanted to be his friend. He told them how Jimmy was going to be a good person by paying back the vendors for stealing from them, and how he was willing to throw away his savings.
Finally, Atlas told them about the thugs who had beaten up Jimmy and how they were about to beat him up too. Had it not been for Stephen showing up, Atlas believed he would've been as badly hurt as Jimmy.
By the end of Atlas's story, his parents shared a look with each other. A worried expression was upon both of them.
"I-I don't care if you yell at me, or punish me, or don't let me out again.... but will you forgive me?"
The small voice of the child reached the couple's ears. Their faces softened at the boy's voice and his took him into another deep hug. Her soothing voice alleviated the boy's worries.
"Of course Atlas! We'll always forgive you! No matter what you do, if you know you've done wrong and get the courage to tell us about it, we'll always forgive you."
"E-even if I'm a bad person?"
Atlas's father chuckled at his son's question. He reached out his hand to tussle the boy's hair.
"Ha, what do you mean? You're not a bad person, Atlas. You're the sweetest child we know. I don't think it's possible for you to be a bad person!"
Atlas smiled at his father's reassurance, but shortly after, he furrowed his brows again.
"The bad guys said there was no such thing as a good or bad person, though...."
The boy's father's expression grew serious as he thought. He was silent for a few moments as he held his chin.
After a few breaths, he looked into Atlas's eyes.
"Atlas, what they said wasn't entirely wrong. The world really is a 'dog eat dog' world. If you don't have the power to protect yourself, you'll be pushed around by the others. Our family is one of the most powerful families in our nation, so most of the time you don't have to worry. The other people, people like Jimmy and those thugs, however, are stuck in that world. They have to do what they can to get by."
Atlas tilted his head at his father, and with a sad voice asked,
"So there really is no such thing as a good or bad person?"
"No, there definitely is. There are so many ways people see good or bad. There are too many to count. It's to the point where making an actual definition for it is impossible.... but I believe good and bad does exist. People might not be able to understand it, but they can definitely recognize it. You'll always be able to tell when you're doing good or bad.... and it's the job of us noble's to protect the powerless from the powerful, so that the good can always beat the bad."
Atlas was thoroughly confused by his father's words. The thug leader had said that the world was divided by power, and that good and bad did not exist because it was the powerful who decided 'right' from 'wrong'. His father, on the other hand, said that both divisions of the world existed. There were the powerful and powerless, but there was also good and bad at the same time....
Combining the two views like his father had seemed like a contradiction, but Atlas still hoped that his father was right.
"I'm happy." Atlas said.
"Oh why is that?"Answered his father.
"A world without good and bad is a sad world. I don't think anyone would be able to be happy. They would only think about being more powerful than each other... Since good and bad exist, even if you have power, you will be bad when you do bad, and you will be good when you do good..... That makes me happy."
The parents smiled at their child before giving him another big hug.
"Make sure you don't run off again. Next time we might just leave you!" Atlas's mother joked as she pulled his ear.
"Huh?! But you said you would forgive me!"
"I said we'd forgive you, but we never said we'd help you out of your mess! We raised a son who could learn from his mistakes!"
The family of three laughed within the room.
They were nobles.
They didn't have to sweat under the scorching sun.
They could have whatever items they desired with their money.
They were respected by the masses.
They were nobles, but they were satisfied with just the love given by family.
Hello! Dragon's back at it again!
I was super busy earlier this week, but it's a relief to be done with all that now. When I was finally finished with my private matters, I decided I would update True Nobility a bit.
Not much has really happened in the story so far, but I hope you are all still interested in following Atlas's story. This chapter seems like a good closing, huh? Worry not, True Nobility is not done. Think of the chapters up 'til now as a big prologue to give a bit of background on Atlas's family and attitude. The story should be picking up soon.
Please keep following this story,