It has not been a year, nor half of it when our father disowned us. I did not know of any reason why he would do such, except for one thing—he called Melfi and me our mother's bastards. I am aware of what that meant, but there was nothing that came to mind why we would be called as such... but I was sure something must have happened.
Aside from Melfi and me, we had an elder brother in the name of Fulai. He was the successor of our father. I thought he was there to protect us—instead, I saw a cold smile directed at us while we were being thrown away. There, I figured he might be a part of it; he was a filthy schemer who never thought of us as his siblings.
I kept wondering why everything had come to us being thrown out of the house. Mother was there, crying while being restrained by her aides. My father was indignant, while my elder brother, in the very back of the scene, waved at us as if he was ridding of pests. I couldn't forget that day. Before I knew it, it was already carved in my heart—flames of anger exploded, without any means of extinguishing it. This anger, it would fuel my desire to live until everything was explained to me.
I knew nothing about the life of commoners except they were filthy and weak: living with them was the last thing I wanted. They let themselves be stepped on by nobles; just because they had wealth and power. I would never come to accept such a pathetic existence, so I strived on improving myself. I was about to become an esquire, but then it did not come.
I thought me and Melfi was going to be stuck with the commoners without any means of salvation, but Julia, my sister's attendant, came to our side. It was not my father's orders; it was by her own will.
I owed everything to Julia ever since she came to assist us beginning from the day of our disownment. We went from town to town—Julia tried to find a job, but it always ended up her being kicked out before she could even voice out her thoughts.
There was no other way for us to live—except to steal. I was strictly against it—thinking about it alone made me nauseous. Those who steal are pathetic, and instead of spending their effort to make an honest living, they use it at taking other's properties.
"Your pride as a noble is useless in our situation, Malon," Julia said.
Her eyes revealed a resolve meant for us. Julia was willing to sacrifice her safety and dignity for us. Even so, it still went against my will to conduct thief, so Julia herself decided. I was not going to let her, but she mentioned Melfi's name.
"I am alright with being starved, but seeing Melfi like any of other hungry young commoners pains me," she said, rubbing Melfi's cheek, who was fast asleep.
There was no other choice but to abide by that decision. Was there no other way for us? Were we going to be stuck in a life that, for some reason, felt like a prison without any means of escape? What have we become? I could not help but cry, thinking of what future awaits my little sister; I was worried more about her than myself.
Since that day, Julia stole for us—she went home with the bread we split with each other, coins we spent to buy food and such. Living that way, my body felt itchy. It was wrong, but there were not any other choices left. I could only complain while I shoved the hard bread that was supposed to be in someone's stomach.
Everything then came to an end when we encountered Raven, a peasant who had the mouth of a cunning noble. During that time, we were passing through an alley in hopes of finding a good shelter. We came across a small camp—we thought it was abandoned, so we took the belonging from there that might still be useful to us. Then, a group of commoner adults appeared out of nowhere. They caught Julia accessing one of the sacks. They dashed toward her and threw her away. I figured I should help her, but I was not taught of any martial arts yet, nor how to swing a sword; all I knew was to read, write, and count.
I left Melfi and rushed to Julia, and there, the commoner men did the same to me as what they did to her. First, they struck my face with their huge fists before I was thrown. They demanded everything we took, including the little money we had. While Julia was in her predicament, a group of kids appeared at the end of the alley. It was obvious they would have terrified expression, except for one. It was Raven, who courageously butted heads with the thugs.
I watched everything unfold, unable to believe that these young commoners just beat a group of grown-ups. I was more interested in Raven, but he was a commoner, so I forgot about him quickly.
He offered us help afterward, but I declined. There was no need since we were doing just fine, not until Julia and Melfi themselves interrupted. I was so infuriated. Why would they trust a stranger? And a commoner, at that? I was so disgusted by their choice—Raven talked like an old-man, cursing however he liked. He acted like he owned a manor when he was just a commoner. How can such a person, and a kid at that, act whatever he pleased like he owned the world!? I could not even discern the source of his strength.
I thought he was just like that because he had his lackeys around him—no, those peasants were around him because he was a genius. Although I hated to admit it, it was the truth. Ever since we lived with him, he was the one to create the plans, and it always worked. The stealing I hated turned out to be fun whenever he was around, ordering us like we were his soldiers. He said things we barely know; and would shrug and told us to forget about it. He was weird and arrogant—I was so annoyed!
I wondered why, though. Despite his proud and boastful projections, he was not exactly black-hearted. He was adored of Melfi, and I hated that so much since my little sister was becoming attached to him too. That was the truth—I seriously hated him for that.
But on top of it all, I loathed him because it seemed to me like he was unreachable—like a king who sat on his throne. I had no idea why I felt such emotions, but all I knew was that I hated and at the same time, afraid of him for whatever unknown reason.
He was an emperor without an empire. I felt like this man was dangerous. It confused me.
Could I be like him? If I was like him, would I even be able to take my house for myself without his help?
While I was thinking of those, I realized why I absolutely hated him—he was that particular type of person I truly admire, but his status dragged him down. I hated him not because he was a peasant—I hated him because he was not me.