The Familiar of Fate: Chapter 134 – Reason for Living(7)
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I don’t know how long it had been since I accepted what had happened...or at least had told myself that I had…

It could have been a couple of minutes, hours...hell, maybe even days, at least for me, wherever I was…

The thoughts of my second life circled around me over and over again...my meeting the Witch...my rebirth...the unique heat of the flames I conjured...the warmth of Liza's hands...the terror that made my stomach quake in fear to the point where I constantly worried about throwing up...

Time continued to pass as I looked back on the entirety of my life...and the light above continued to fade...

...

I don’t know when my senses had started to slip away from me, presumably to attempt to follow my screams into the light above, out of my grasp...but they did...one by one, I lost them…

The barely-lit world in my vision became shrouded and blurry...the sounds of occasional bubbles that would pass by my ears faded into silence...

As the light slowly shrunk above me, gradually becoming a mere glimmer in the distance, and I drifted into the abyss below, my body kept getting colder...

And, as the encroaching feeling of frigid frost rose seemed to rise from the depths to greet me, I found myself thinking of the woman who was supposed to have been my mother. Just like the first cold must have shocked the primeval ancestors of humanity, I as well had been shocked by the sudden introduction of this woman…

-A woman whom I probably should’ve at least once called a frigid b*tch...Damn, now that was a major missed opportunity! But, I’m dead so...

From her I felt no warmth, no gentleness in her gaze, only a glare that stabbed at me, attempting to analyze me, rip away my flesh and gaze at what lay beneath, in the depths of my soul. However, I, despite being much further evolved than those simplistic beings that walked the earth, following the age of Adam and Eve, did not recognize the danger of this strange sensation...and foolishly elected to remain within its icy clutches…

I don’t know whether I believed that the hand of the seemingly incomprehensible ‘goddess’ would guide me, or if I thought that life would simply hand itself to me on a silver platter, even though I barely progressed at all, but I allowed the winter-like hand of my mother to be placed on my shoulder…

Very soon, not content with being allowed the time and solitude to understand my situation and develop my skills and being overconfident in thinking that no harm would come to me, I allowed myself to slip…

The frigid winter’s grasp tightened on my shoulder, as claws emerged from its soft, delicate, snow-white fingers, which quickly tore through my skin, spreading her icy chill throughout my body…

My blood stained floor of the library, chairs, bookshelves, and even the books themselves, from which she often read from in a way that seemed almost like background music, a nearly silent sonata that accompanied my suffering wherever it would occur…

And yet, through all my struggles to stay alive in that room, every mark that I had attempted to scar the room with and all of my blood...all of it, everything...had disappeared…

Not a single trace was left…

However, eventually, this came to end…and just as soon as the winter had come, it vanished...leaving the horrifying, frostbitten marks behind

Then, after I had finally escaped the terrifying cold, I was disowned...left to rot in a rarely visited corner of the manor...and I don’t believe for a second that if not for her not wanting to let her beloved scour the manor for his bastard of a son, only to come across his bony corpse in a backroom, she would have most likely allowed me to starve to death…

Even now, after dying, I couldn’t think of an answer as to why she would hate me so much...I mean, once upon a time, she screamed something at me that might have been related to it, but...much as I'd have loved to attribute her abusive and psychotic behavior to neglect, and play her a good old fashioned song on the world’s tiniest violin...

-F*** that whore!!! That b*tch definitely wasn’t doing it just for that...SHE wanted to see me suffer and squirm, just like Jacob did, and the Witch…!

Suddenly, a change occurred in the space around me, as the world in my vision was swallowed up by inky-black darkness…

And so, just like that...even that star had gotten tired of me...

I was alone...for years I was alone in that room...and thinking back on it...when that doppelganger had said that I was ‘already broken’...maybe he...I...it was right…

Aside from intrusions of the taunting whispers of the maids, who either looked at me with such disgust that it might make one think that they had accidentally stepped on an insect that had been slathered with sh*t or with such fear that it made me feel as though I were a monster...It didn’t feel unnatural for me...not at all...

It was almost like I had returned to my past life...

...It felt like home...the solitude of that empty room...the veil of darkness that was only broken by a sliver of light that penetrated through the bottom of those massive curtains…

For a while...even though I don’t know how long it was exactly...I felt as if I had returned to Earth...to being the same boy who would shut himself in his room every day, put on his headphones, and idly stare at the wall while blasting his music at a volume that made his parents joke that he would go deaf…

...The boy who had barely any scars, and whose only imminent threats were tests and the wrath of his parents if he acted out in public...I felt like I had returned to being him…to being me...

...

It wasn’t depressing, at least, at first...and I kind of enjoyed it for a while, reveling in the limited freedom that existed in that dim space...the nostalgic feeling of exploring a room and finding places to hide, just like I did when I was a kid...

-...not that I ever used those hiding spaces, since I found out in a few unfortunate instances that the maids wouldn’t bother to give me food if they couldn’t see me...They didn’t even seem the least bit disturbed when that happened...so either I meant that little or every servant in that mansion was a freak of nature with the ability to scan entire rooms in an instant.

Only once the feeling of nostalgia had worn off and my mind had finally managed to wrestle away the thought of Mother barging into my life to torture me once again, did my negative emotions begin to push themselves to the forefront of my thoughts…

I was alone...I was trapped...and to top it all off, I was weak…

For a while after my emotional state started to go downhill, I just sat on my makeshift bed and aimlessly stared at the ceiling, waiting for something to happen...but nothing did…

No matter how long I waited, the Witch didn’t come...God didn’t come...nobody came...and nothing moved forward….

However, after some time had passed, I was eventually able to begin motivating myself to train again, though it was mostly a way to pass the time...

Whenever I felt scrawny and pathetic, I ran back-and-forth across the room, did push-ups, tried to climb up the curtains, and did sit-ups...whenever one of the maids looked at me with a gaze that made my heart seethe, I would experiment with magic, hoping to create a magnificent flame that would replace their glares with looks of awe...

-And even though my progress was slower than I would’ve liked it to be...I thought that I was beginning to move forward...but nope, reality decided to pay me a visit in the form of my shrimp of a brother, who presumably poisoned me after getting a most courteous notice of ‘screw off’ and an elderly butler, Jacob, who always made me feel like...well...sh*t, literal sh*t!

Jacob’s reintroduction was incredibly sudden. It was as if the world were a mountain that I was trying to climb, and, in order to prevent my gradual advance, they shook a boulder loose from the shade to swiftly repel me.

-Admittedly, that's not the best analogy I've ever made...but, at this point, I am dead, so who cares...?

That butler's motivations are still unclear to me, and now that I’ve died, I may never understand what fueled his unique blend of madness, but here in the darkness, I need not care...

But...in the end, I survived through a few fights with the monster butler and slew a monster boar...then died...following having my psyche crushed by that overwhelming feeling of dread…

Now...here I float...or maybe fall…? Where am I going? Who f***ing knows…I already know that there probably wasn’t another way this could have happened, so...

-...At least I know that I gave it a shot…even if I failed, and miserably so...

???: “You gave it a shot...hm? Is that all? Pathetic..."
...

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