THE WANDERING SORCERER
+ BG MUSIC
"I-It—It hurts. . .!!"
Standing at the doorstep of a rather unimpressive home was a blonde, messy-haired boy, sobbing until his eyes turned red. Parts of his face was blue and purple with bruises, usually the result of physical strikes. He was no older than seven and was dressed in a butler's attire. Surrounding him was a large group of people of all ages—children, teenagers, adults, and seniors alike—wearing similar uniforms. There seemed to be a fair amount of men and women, all of them with blonde or brown hair, blue eyes, and fair white skin. Nighttime had fallen over the Pergrande Kingdom, and a Lord's servants gathered in their quarters for the night.
A couple of young women in their late twenties or early thirties approached the boy with their handkerchiefs ready, patting his face dry through the tears. One of them sighed and frowned, "Goodness, Fane! Stop crying now, you're gonna make a mess! I already tidy up so many other messes, so don't add to the list!" she scolded him, reducing his blatant sobbing into suppressed and ugly sniffles. She sighed and continued to pat his face dry, "Did Lord . . . scold you again?! What did you do to enrage him?"
The sniffling Fane grabbed onto his shorts with clenched fists, his face scrunching up in order to help suppress his tears. "I-I—I. . . slipped and—and dropped. . . dropped his—his t-tea. . .!!" he confessed, the tears streaming down his face even more than before.
The woman looked irritated and paused her drying to glare at him. "You must be jesting, Fane! How many times have we gone over this?! Watch where you step, or else you'll enrage Lord . . . again! And you did! Now look at you, you—"
"I think that's quite enough, sister. I'm sure Fane has been scolded plenty already." the other woman intervened, slipping in between her brown-haired sister to dry Fane's tears in a much more placid approach. "Come here, Fane. Hush now. . ." she smiled kindly as her cloth soaked up the tears.
The brown-haired sister sighed irritably and left for someplace else in the home, while everyone else minded their own business. Some were reading a newspaper, eating, or preparing for their duties as servants the next morning. However, a boy with brown hair looked at him with the same irritability as the woman before. He was staring at him from behind a sofa, glaring maliciously.
"What an idiot. He totally deserved those beatings, you know! You must be dim if you drop tea like that! I'd never drop tea! I never get beaten by Lord . . .!" the boy insulted him, a look of jeering disgust on his smiling face. Fane didn't seem to react and continued to weep. He was never very good at showing his emotions, even when he was offended. The boy never seemed to like that about his cousin, thinking that his insults were ineffective. Annoyed by this, his smile turned into a frown. "You must be really slow if you did something like that—!!"
"Enough of that, Kirnon! He's your little cousin!" a young man from across the room interrupted and wouldn't stop glaring at the boy, Kirnon, until the guilt was suddenly apparent on his face and would look down to avoid anyone's gaze. When the man saw this, he went back to what he was doing.
Kirnon was, indeed, his older cousin by three years. Fane could recall that his and Kirnon's relationship wasn't always like this. In fact, he could remember a time where they got along. But their tranquil interactions abruptly ceased one day, and Kirnon became more and more malicious as they made their transition from boyhood to servitude. Fane couldn't understand why then and still couldn't understand why now, but always felt tormented by him and his teasing. But this is how it normally went. If no one was around to pacify and interrupt Kirnon's teasing, it would continue until Kirnon was so frustrated with Fane's few reactions that he'd leave. But when people were around, the older women of their large family were the first to intervene, and most especially—his mother.
WHATEVER AM I TO DO WITHOUT MY MASTER?