15 years later, after the dividing of Draak, lives a mischievous boy who always causes nothing but trouble in a village located at the eastern border of General Xolouz or otherwise known at the time as Lord Xolouz’s territory.
“Oii, get back here you little runt!” says a bearded man whose wallet was just stolen.
“Catch me if you can you cheap old man. Hahaha…,” I say while running away.
That stingy old man needs to learn his lesson. He cares for nothing but money.
I didn’t notice the branch in front of me.
“Where are you going to run to now you nothing-but-trouble kid?” says the man after he finally catches me. He punches me in the stomach and says the same thing that everyone keeps telling me since I was little.
“You outsiders should get the hell out of our village. You’re lucky Martha found you and bothered to keep you when you were a baby. She should’ve let you die or get eaten by ogres when she found you at the forest”. Before he can resume speaking, a crimson-haired woman around her 30’s walks behind and kicks him.
“Oh, sorry Mr. Freyr. My legs react faster than my mouth. What was it you wanted to say again?” that woman says.
“Oi! Martha. That hurts. Ugh… You’re lucky this time boy since your so-called mom is here. I don’t have the time to have another black eye”, says Mr. Freyr before he walks away.
“Don’t you have anything to say, Laxus?” says Martha or should I say mom.
“Nope,” I reply proudly.
She responds with her icy demonic glare. A single glare that is so deadly you know you can die from it. A glare that hypnotizes you to admit every wrongdoing you’ve done because a single lie could make you face the legendary deadly kick that is even well known among villagers.
I’ve no choice but to admit my mistakes. I’m expecting to get the taste of that kick but instead she hugs me and says,“Don’t mind about what people say. You’re still my little boy no matter what they say. You’re the only family I have left.”
Both of us cry a little. After that, she punches me on the face and warns me not to do anything stupid again even though she already knows that I would still do it again. I only agree to return Mr. Freyr’s wallet after I give his money to his starving son.
Martha, or mom, found me when I was a baby in a forest. Back then, 15 years ago to be exact, she was a Draak’s soldier. She was on duty at that time to patrol the area the day after the 5 Days Battle. She couldn’t just leave a baby alone. So, she took that baby and made him as her own child. As far as she told me, she became a soldier at first to become a hero of justice because all of her family was killed by an assassin. The assassin was caught and executed later on. She later quit the army just to take care of me. After that, she became a doctor at our village. She knew healing magic and some offensive magic. She taught me a little about magic in case an assassin tried to kill me.
“Laxus! Wash the dishes,” an order came just after I set my foot into my house. Since I don’t want to get another bruise, I just do the job. Clang! Ooppss! I’ve done it again. She’s going to kill me if she finds out about the broken plate. Before I could clean up the mess, she comes into the kitchen and says,
“Laxus, please stay in the house for a while and don’t go out until I come back. Oh, you broke another plate. Clean it up please.”
I think to myself that Martha is not being Martha. Oh well, I just clean up the mess. A few minutes later, my job is finally finished. The sound of an explosion could suddenly be heard from outside. I peek at the window to see what’s happening. All I could see is people running away from something. My curiosity grows bigger. I ignore mom’s order. I decided to go the place where people are running from. Mom is fighting with someone.
She is fighting with a group of uniformed men. I recognize the logo on their uniform. It’s the men under Lord Friedrich. What are they doing here? This place is under Lord Xolouz. Why are they in Lord Xolouz’s territory?
At first, I could see her winning. As expected from an ex-soldier who was once known as The Crimson Soldier. However, her opponent’s numbers grow and soon she’s outnumbered. Her mana(magical energy) is running out. She’s defeated. The leader of that group orders his men to gather all the villagers. In a short time, they manage to do it.
“Listen, you maggots! Right now, you must pay 100 gold per person to me. Anyone who fails shall die!” the leader warns the villagers.
“We don’t have that much of money,” says mom.
“I don’t care woman!”
Before that man could land another hit on her, I block the attack with my own body. It really hurts. I can’t even move a muscle after that hit.
“So, you have a kid, woman. That means you must pay double”
“Laxus, I told you not to come out,” she utters with blood in her mouth.
The villagers start to give them the gold they asked for. As for Martha, she only has 102 gold.
“This is all both of us got,” Martha says as she shows the gold.
“This value is for only a person. It’s not enough. That means one of you must…”
“I know. It’s not for me. It’s for him,” she speaks while pointing at me before the man could finish his words.
“Kill her!” the leader orders one of his men.
“Wait. Give me a moment please,” Martha pleads.
“OK. Make it fast.”
She walks towards me who is still lying on the ground and smiles. She pats my head like she would always do whenever I felt sad and then hugs me while saying,“Laxus, don’t cry. Strong men don’t cry easily… I’m sorry there won’t be a next time. Make sure you do your chores every day… Please behave.Live your life to the fullest… There are so many things I want to say. No, it’s too many. Just hear one last thing…
“Thanks for becoming my son…. I‟m sorry I can’t be the kind of mother you always wanted to have. I’m really sorry… The only regret I have left is that I couldn’t see you grow up to become a great man,” she speaks with tears falling down her cheek.
I still can’t move a muscle because of the attack. My tears fall like two waterfalls. If I could just move I would take her and run away as fast as I can. IF I COULD JUST MOVE MY BODY. My body just won’t listen to me.
“Someone, help us. Mr Freyr? Aunt Kriza? Please someone, anyone help her,” I continue to beg with my paralyzed body.
The only thing I could do is watch her die in front of my eyes. It’s madness. Seeing her throat sliced by a blade and all I could do is watch. How pathetic. I look around and see that the villagers are just watching without moving a muscle when my mom, the person who healed many of their wounds, was killed in front of them. Not a single effort to save a soul. All of them are nothing but trash. I know that many of them still have much gold but none of them actually offered help. I can’t forgive them. I can’t forgive anyone and I can’t forgive myself. Anger. Rage . Many emotions are mixed. Then all of a sudden, blank.