Chapter 1:

Beginning of All


All I did was try to survive as best I could. I will do whatever it takes to stay alive. No matter how. "That's him !!!!" shouted some angry man chasing. I ran away with a loaf of bread I took from their shop. Just a small piece of bread. They easily stopped me. They dragged me behind the shop and beat me to a pulp. I can't move and fight at all. I have no energy at all.Bookmark here

The heavy rain made my voice lost. Didn't sound the slightest bit. No matter how hard I scream, this scream will not be heard. No matter how hard I cry, no one will see. No one will come to help.Bookmark here

The ground felt very cold. I can only see people walking in the distance. Neither of them looked at me. I can't move my body one bit. I tried to move my hand. Trying to reach something. But I can't keep my eyes open anymore. I feel so sleepy.
Am I going to die in this place?Bookmark here

*Bookmark here

"Rouge, I'm sorry," those were the last words that came to my mind. The expression on her face was completely forgotten. Like an invisible black shadow, I can't reach. I couldn't help but be silent with a muffled voice.Bookmark here

its been 10 days since I sailed from my hometown to the city to be sold. There were several people on board the same as me. On average they are about 5 to 12 years old. Whether male or female, they receive the same treatment.Bookmark here

Every day we are treated badly. We were only fed a slice of bread and a bottle of drink a day. We were locked in a room that was under the main deck of the ship, Even the sunlight can’t get in at all.Bookmark here

"Give us your food!" Shouted a boy who was bigger than me.Bookmark here

Some of the other kids took my food and beat me until I couldn't move. Since the second day I boarded this ship, every day they always do the same thing. Several children also experienced the same thing as me. But no one tried to complain about this to the guards. I don't want to report this either. it's so troublesome.Bookmark here

"Are you okay?" asked a boy who looked the same age as me.Bookmark here

He helped me sit up. He took me away from the others. "Do you want this?" He whispered as he handed me half of the bread he had. I just stared at him silently. I shook my head and looked away.Bookmark here

"If you don't want to, I will be caught by them hiding my food" he whispered again.Bookmark here

He didn't seem to accept my rejection. Seeing him trying to give me his food made me a little touched. I grabbed the bread in his right hand. He smiled happily when he saw me eating the bread.Bookmark here

“Thank you” I said to him quietly.Bookmark here

The boy started talking to me excitedly. His name is Glen. He is 10 years old just like me. Glen has blonde hair and brown eyes. He comes from a slum city area on the edge of this country. His parents sold him because they could no longer support his life.Bookmark here

"So what's your name?" Glen asked me.
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I remembered the words of a man when I was still in my town. The red color of my eyes is striking because of the black hair I have. With my bad looking eyes, So people often call me Rouge.Bookmark here

“Rouge” I said to Glen.Bookmark here

"Rouge! Nice to meet Rouge!” replied Glen excitedly.Bookmark here

While on the ship, Glen and I became close. We help each other to trick people who often tease us. We also worked together to steal some of the bread brought by the guards.Bookmark here

"Did you see the face of the guard? He's very confused because his food is missing” Glen said with a laugh.Bookmark here

"You'd better not speak out loud. They can hear what you're saying” I warned Glen who looked too relaxed.Bookmark here

“You are too scared” Glen told me.Bookmark here

I was just silent hearing Glen's words. I'm not afraid. I just didn't want everything we were doing to fall apart and cause new problems. The next day, the guards were seen whispering about something. I started to pay attention to my surroundings. Seen several children looking at me and Glen. I started to feel something strange.Bookmark here

"Hey, Glen. There seems to be something wrong,” I said to Glen who was sleeping.Bookmark here

Glen immediately sat down and looked the other way. Glen immediately understood what I meant and then looked at me.Bookmark here

“015 and 025” shouted the guard calling us.Bookmark here

Children in this ship has a number on their right foot. This number is an identity for us. Something that cannot be erased and will forever mark our status. Predestined destiny. We both stood up and approached the guard. They looked at us with angry eyes. They immediately beat and hit us both. It hurts so much. We couldn't fight back one bit. They really tortured both of us.Bookmark here

"I will take 025 to room A. You take 015 to room B" said the guard dragging my body. Another guard brought Glen who was also barely conscious. All the children looked at us with frightened faces. But there was one person who seemed to be smiling at us. Of course I expected this.The child who always bothered me smiled from a distance. They must have reported this.Bookmark here

I was locked up in an isolation room. There was only a small window in that place. They don't give anything in this place. My body has no energy at all. All I can do in this place is sleep. I don't want to think about anything else. “Get out!” shouted the officer opening the cell door.
I tried to stand up with all my might. I've been locked up in this place for over 48 hours. The guard again told me to join the other kids. I returned to another place with a pale face and thin body. Everyone just looked at me. I walked to the corner of the room and sat down languidly. I looked around and looked for Glen's whereabouts. Glen is nowhere to be found. Is he still being punished by the guards? I hope he's fine.Bookmark here

Soon the ship will dock at the destination city, Erdlyn City. Erdlyn city is one of the largest cities in this country. The city that is said by the people to be the most prosperous city in the country. It's been 2 days since I got out of the isolation room. Until now I can't even meet Glen at all. I feel so guilty about what happened to him. I couldn't do anything about it and could only hope that nothing happened to Glen.Bookmark here

“Gather outside! The guards shouted for us to get out. When I came out I saw an amazing sight. A big city and very beautiful. When the ship was about to dock, suddenly smoke appeared from the ship's cabin. Everyone's attention went to the smoke. Moments later, a huge fire appeared.Bookmark here

Everyone started to panic. Several guards tried to put out the fire. But it was too late. Suddenly several groups of people appeared and started to rob the ship. Some of the children were frightened and started screaming. Without mercy they immediately kill those who stand in their way. I spontaneously hid behind a barrel in the corner of the ship.Bookmark here

The flames grew so large that they devoured the entire ship. I was so scared and couldn't move and was also starting to run out of breath. I walked backwards and hit the edge of the ship that was starting to crumble. Ah~ this is the end of me. I fell into the sea. My body can't move. Only my hands are trying to reach for something. Drowning and sinking. I can't hold my eyes anymore. Let me sleep like this.Bookmark here

*Bookmark here

It feel so warm.
Feels the sun is very warm. The sound of the waves hitting the shore. "I'm still alive?" I said looking at my hands. I've given up. But somehow I can still survive. Maybe I got carried away and stranded in this place. I looked around. This place is a bit far from Erdlyn harbor. A place full of forests and bushes.Bookmark here

“What happened to Glen huh?” I walked through the bushes. Hoping to get to town and get some food. My stomach feels very hungry. Walking for about half an hour more, I started to see the building. Finally I arrived in this city. I walked with a relieved face when I saw the residential area. But somehow a feeling of anxiety started to appear when people started looking at me. they look at me with bad eyes. The chain on my right leg.Bookmark here

I backed away and immediately ran. I'm looking for a place where no one is around. I got behind the shops. Around the trash. I hid in that place. I'm looking for something that can break this chain. I searched in a hurry. Searching in the trash while holding back my tears. I saw a pretty big rock. With the stone, I tried to hit the chains on my feet. "Argh!" I screamed in pain. I kept hitting the chain. I endured the pain by biting my lip. For more than 10 minutes I hit the chain. Finally the chain began to wobble and could be opened.Bookmark here

My feet look swollen and blue. It hurts so much and I can't move. I try to endure the pain. Trying to think nothing happened to my leg. I started rummaging through the trash again. I found a fairly large piece of cloth. I wrapped the cloth around my body to make a robe. I took the boxes and arranged them to make a bed. I don't have the energy anymore.
"Maybe today I'll just sleep here"Bookmark here

*Bookmark here

The next morning, I woke up with unbearable hunger. I looked for something in the trash. I found some apples that were almost rotten. I took it right away. I thought a little about eating it. Is it okay if I eat something like this? I'd better throw away the part that has been eaten and rotten. Then take the part that is still edible.Bookmark here

"Not enough" I said eating a small piece of the apple.Bookmark here

The taste of the apple has also started to sour. I stood up and then walked towards the city.
I saw the market was full of people. Lots of people selling food and fruit. I was very tempted to see all the food. But I don't have money to buy anything. Maybe I'll try asking people. I wonder  Will they give me something. I approached the fruit stall. The stall owner looks not so scary.Bookmark here

"Excuse me" I said to the person.Bookmark here

"Want to buy something, son?" Asked the person in a friendly manner.  Maybe this guy wants to give me something.  "Can I have one of your apples?" I asked with a hopeful face. The person's previously friendly face turned sour.  “If you don't have money, don't come here. You dirty!" shouted the person at me.Bookmark here

I just stared at the person in silence. I lowered my head and looked down. Seen some apples that fell on the ground. Maybe the person is not aware. Then, I picked up the fallen fruit and hid it under my cloak. The person is completely unconscious. I was a little worried and immediately ran from that place. I went back to the back of the shop. I got 3 apples which looked very fresh and red. I'm almost drooling looking at the fruit that looks so delicious. Without thinking, I immediately ate all the apples.Bookmark here

"I'm full" I said lying down and looking up at the sky.Bookmark here

While looking at the slowly moving clouds, I started to think. I have to be strong and keep on living. No one will help me. Only I can help myself. I will do everything to survive. Even if you have to do bad things. Keeping those words in mind, I should be able to survive.
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Steal. That's all I could think of. A boy who is only 10 years old to fill his empty stomach. I noticed various people doing the same thing as me. Observe them and act like them. I've been stranded in this city for a week. This city is called Hematite. A city that looks old and filled with criminals. Lots of kids like me hanging around this place.Bookmark here

Even so, there are also some people who live normal lives in this city.
“Mom, I want that toy!"Bookmark here

A child shouted pointing at a toy on display in a shop window. He begged his mother. His father who saw his son whining immediately picked up his son.
"Let's buy that toy"
Hearing his father's answer, the child immediately smiled broadly. They entered the shop in a cheerful mood. After a while, they came out of the shop. Seen the child holding the toy he wanted earlier.Bookmark here

“It's so nice…”
I can only see it from a distance. I knew there would be nothing to gain watching something like this, but I still stood there watching the family. I better get out of here. I walked around the crowd.Bookmark here

Looking for loopholes in people's carelessness.
“I got a lot” I said taking out the wallet I had just stolen from a passerby.Bookmark here

A small hut in the middle of the forest and close to the sea. I made this place my home. No one has come to this place in 1 week. There were only me and a few animals such as dogs or cats taking shelter in this place.Bookmark here

"Ah. You came again” I said in a happy voice. I approached a black-colored wolf dog. His eye color looks very similar to mine. I don't know why this dog is so friendly. Maybe this dog belongs to someone. This dog has come to my place 3 times. I also share my food with him. Somehow this dog reminds me of myself. When he first saw him in this place, this Dog was injured in his leg. Wounds like being caught in a trap. I feel sorry for him. I then helped him and treated his wound.Bookmark here

“Hmm...How about I give you a name.” I said thoughtfully.
"What about...Draco" I told him.
"Woof!" Draco barked happily.Bookmark here

I laughed too seeing Draco running around happily. His leg wasn't hurt anymore either. I haven't been this happy in a long time.
I got enough money and food for these 2 days. So maybe I'll just rest. I don't know why I feel so sleepy. holding Draco in my arms, I fell fast asleep. Bookmark here



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