16 Wretched Memories I
After leaving the small village of the inhumans all those years ago, we had travelled to a number of cities and towns. With Valerie's award-deserving potrayal of a pure-hearted High Priestess from the Royal Church, it wasn't too hard to make up stories that would prevent people from suspecting us.
So, using that to our advantage, we had been travelling for a good total of 2 years. It was then, finally, that we had arrived to the city we lived in for those 8 years.
And the reason I decided that we should stay in that city was simple - it was the education hub of the region.
It was filled to the brim with talented people who, of course, were quite useful.
Also, openly practicing Dark Arts would have caused problems. However, in order to disguise ourselves as 'able members of society', we needed to have a good grasp at some Art. So if it was inevitable that we, I and Hena, had to learn some Art in addition to Dark Arts, why not learn it from the best?
That, at least, was the thought in my mind when I had walked into the school grounds.
But there, the first thing I saw was-
"Trash! How dare you!" -a girl of my age beating up another.
"I'm sorry, Yasmine! Please forgive me!" The girl being beat up grovelled, but,
"Yasmine? You dare address me without any honorifics?!"
It all only lead to her getting more beat up.
It was strange though. Even though I had no reason to care, I felt disgusted by that girl named Yasmine.
She was nobility, had good looks and people flocked around her. For whatever reason, that irked me so much.
Normally, I would have just ignored all of it. But, as long as I tried to ignore it, the uneasy feeling in my chest kept growing.
And so, one day, when I saw Yasmine was making her 'friends' beat up one of the other kids in the school, I decided to do something.
That incident was happening outside school premises and during a short 4-day break the school was on. And it was happening when I was 8 years old, i. e., an year had passed since coming to that city.
"What are you doing?" I asked as I approached the lot of them.
They all looked at me with annoyed and threatening faces.
"Can't you see what we are doing? Are you blind or something?" Yasmine mocked me.
"What has that boy done?" I asked, ignoring her mocking, which agitated her quite a bit as she clicked her tongue while answering.
"This 'boy' caught us doing something that's, well, against the school regulations, and man, he just couldn't keep his mouth shut about it."
Before I knew it, my face had twisted with disgust and I had said, "What a joke!"
They all looked at me, cracking their knuckles, looking about ready to beat me up. And then,
-all of them went silent with surprise and confusion.
"AAHH!!! AAAHHH!!! AAAH!!!"
They watched me repeatedly kick the boy they all were already beating. None of them understood why I had done that. And so, they all just gawked at that sight for a good one minute.
"W-what the hell!" And finally their silence was broken when I stopped kicking and Yasmine asked, "W-what's ... what're you ..."
"Your bullying wasn't nearly impactful enough to teach anyone a lesson." I said. "You guys are too soft. You are only wannabe delinquients."
I walked away after saying that.
When the school break ended and we all saw each other again, their little 'gang' asked me to come meet them at the same spot that incident had happened.
And so, we came face-to-face again.
"You sure were acting like a hotshot back then. Wanna show us what you got?" A person I deemed unimportant enough to not remember his name challenged me while looking like an annoying idiot.
"Yeah, then we will be able to tell who is the real wannabee here." Yasmine mocked me with that.
I sighed and said, "I won't hold back."
They took it as a mockery to their strength, which it partially was, and charged at me all at once. There were about 13 of them who charged while only Yasmine, the leader of that wild pack, remained behind with her arms crossed and a smirk on her face.
I knew this was gonna happen when they had asked me to meet them there, and so I had come prepared - to wipe that smirk off her face.
"What!?" "What the hell!?" "What's going on!?" "AAH!!!"
A wide range of reactions came from them as arrows rained down.
None of those arrows hit me. They were all precisely aimed at that lot of idiots. And they were also all coated with poison.
It was a slow-acting poison so they didn't die on the spot or anything but, the pain that was caused was incredible.
And like that, within just a moment, all the 13 charging at me started crying out in pain.
"Good job!" I said, turning my head to the particular boy hiding a little distance away.
He was an archer who was great at his Art, but more importantly, he was the boy who those idiots were picking on the last time, the boy that I had beaten up far worse than they had.
"W-why is he helping you!?" Yasmine looked shocked as she too noticed him and asked me that.
"He isn't helping me. I am helping him - exact his revenge."
"But then he should be going after you too!"
"He should be, but he won't be. After all, he wouldn't want anything to happen to his little brother now, would he?"
"You still don't get it." I sighed, started walking towards her, and recited the events of 5 days prior to that, "After beating him up that day, I visited him in the hospital and showed him somethings that terrified him."
Those somethings were my undead human minions.
Displaying an example of their power by making a spear-weilding undead quickly dance his spear around, I had told him that I would give him an opportunity for revenge, but nothing should happen to me, or no one would never see his little brother ever again.
If, one of his arrows had still hit me after that, I would have commended his guts - and then told one of my undead to end his life.
"Y-you threatened his family?!" She was shocked.
It seemed that level of evil was above what she was capable of.
"Well, I did." I casually said and, having closed up the distance between us, grabbed her head by her hairs.
"Ouch! Let go!" She cried out, but no one came to help.
I bashed her head on the ground. I saw what became of her pretty face after one bashing and wasn't very impressed with the results, so I did it again, and again, and again.
I bashed her head countless times. She tried her best to break free of my grasp at the start but my undead restrained her and she couldn't do anything but experience what bullying was like, but not from the end she was usually looking at it.
Still, even though I had every intention of killing her, I wasn't going to deal the final blow.
That archer-boy had approached us, and when he had, I let go of her head and told him, "All yours!"
Then, with her arms and legs still being restrained, Yasmine saw the boy her group was beating up some days ago walk up to her and put a foot above her head, pressing her face on the ground.
That was when the irking feeling in my chest subsided and I finally realized why I was feeling like that.
I had been the victim to bullying in my previous life. I had been bullied not just as a kid, not just as a teenager, but as an adult too.
Seeing a bully, I couldn't help but want to show them their place.
So, seeing Yasmine get her head smacked by the boy she was bullying was like getting a small sip from the cup named revenge that I so badly wanted to drink from.
Since Yasmine was nobility, when her parents saw her broken face, they were bound to cause trouble. That is why, I didn't see any point in letting her live. I mean, if trouble was gonna come either way, why hold back at all?
But, the boy backed down before finishing her off.
That idiot requested me to let her go. I didn't want to comply but I had to, because call it bad timing or bad luck, Yasmine's maids and butlers were looking for her and were about to reach that place.
Seeing that, I took that boy and escaped from there.
I knew back then that trouble was going to come both our ways pretty soon and had told him to look out for himself that night as I went back and started preparing myself.
The next day though, a piece of news spread throughout the city.
'8-year-old boy killed. The victim was a student of Projectile Arts and seems to have been killed from one of his practice weapons.'
The news suprisingly calmed me down, as if a burden was off my shoulders, and I then allowed myself to ponder on a question that I had kept in the back of my mind till then.
'Why were the maids and butlers looking for Yasmine in the first place? The time was still not that late that it would be considered abnormal for Yasmine to not be at her house. So, was someone else behind this?'
And that, finally, led the boy named Jill Jake entering my life.