A young boy, no older than six, got out of his luxurious bed and dressed himself. He had an expressionless look on his plain face and he looked very bored with everything. Once he was properly clothed, the boy left his room and began walking through the lavishly decorated mansion in which he lived.
'I'm supposed to be choosing one today, aren't I? How stupid. I can't help but think they're all idiots for thinking that any of this actually matters,' the young boy thought to himself as he neared a large and very exquisite looking doorway.
The boy breathed in and sighed, preparing himself, before he gently knocked on the door. "Come in," a loud and masculine voice responded from the other side.
Doing as he was told, the boy opened the door and entered the study. Sat behind a desk was a very handsome and powerful looking man who was wearing a suit.
"It's ten past nine, Darenzo. It's unlike you to not be on time. Expect proper punishment for this later," the man said as he intertwined his fingers and looked at the boy before him without any apparent care to be seen in his brown eyes.
"Yes, father. Sorry, father," the young Darenzo replied emotionlessly. He was used to being punished for no good reason, so he simply accepted it as another part of his horribly perfect life.
"Good, in that case, let's go. The candidates are already waiting for you," saying this, Darenzo's father stood up and walked past him out of the room.
With no other choice, Darenzo followed after him. "Now remember, Darenzo, you are to act in a manner befitting of your status. Our blood is special, and even if the candidates possess similar traits to us, you must show them that the Hamilio line is superior in every way to them. Understood?"
Darenzo didn't know what his father meant, but he nodded his head regardless. Disagreeing with his father would result in more 'punishment', so pretending to understand was always the better option in his opinion.
"Excellent," his father responded, clearly quite pleased with his son's response.
Time passed, and soon, the two were in a large hall, and in front of them stood ten different girls. All of them were roughly the same age as Darenzo with the youngest being three and the oldest being nine. There was an adult stood behind each one, and they all looked at Darenzo with greedy and eager eyes.
Darenzo's father looked proud and spoke in a commanding tone, "Darenzo, my son, choose whichever takes your fancy. They will be your partner in the future and will help strengthen the Hamilio bloodline. Remember, use your instincts. Nothing else matters."
"Yes, father," Darenzo replied like a well-oiled machine.
He didn't see what was so special about the girls in front of him. They all looked the same to his eyes. Young and confused or eager. None of this mattered to Darenzo. There was, however, one in particular who seemed to draw him in. A girl who looked older than him and who was wearing a fancy violet dress. She had long brown hair tied up into a ponytail and a cute face.
He walked towards her and stopped shy of a few centimetres from her face. His father looked very excited at Darenzo having seemingly chosen this girl. The woman stood behind her beamed a smile and looked at Darenzo expectantly.
'Well, it hardly matters. I guess this will do. Father seems happy enough, so maybe he'll punish me less for my tardiness?' Darenzo thought.
He turned his head and stared at his father. "I choose this one."
"Excellent! The rest of you may leave. Darenzo, go and play with young Aila here while I talk to her mother," his father ordered.
Darenzo nodded and walked towards one of the side doors with the girl who seemed to be older than him by at least two years. However, he suddenly stopped in his tracks halfway to the door. He craned his head back and stared intently at a young four-year-old girl with short golden hair.
Something was suddenly telling him that he had to choose this girl. Something was yelling at his soul that he had made a mistake. The young four-year-old met Darenzo's gaze, and her face shocked Darenzo. 'Just like me... She's just like me...'
The girl turned around and the urge to change his decision left him, almost as if it hadn't been there in the first place.
Aila looked confused. "Master Darenzo, are you okay?"
Darenzo looked a bit lost, but he regained his false composure and wore a fake smile. "I'm fine."
A few hours passed and Darenzo was now stood back in his father's study. "You did well today, Darenzo. More so that I expected. Your punishment has been lessened from twenty lashes to ten," his father stated as he took a hard leather whip out from a drawer in his desk, "Now turn around," he added coldly.
"Yes, father. Thank you, father," Darenzo replied monotonously. He then faced away from his father and took off his shirt, exposing his scar-covered back. Rare was a time that this small back was free of damage. Such was the horribly perfect life of the young Darenzo Hamilio.
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