Somewhere in a snow caped mountain.
Groaning in pain a boy about 10 years of age tried to open his eyes. His eyes felt as heavy as metal. Trying his best he opened his eyes, only to be greeted by the sight of a corpse.
An involuntary scream escaped his mouth. Struggling he crawled from the pile of corpses and looked back. For some reason he cried, he cried seeing the dead body of a woman.
Pain. Pain like he has never felt before assaulted his mind like raging tides. Memories not of his own flowed into him making him scream his lungs out.
By the time the pain left, only despair remained. Looking at the pile of corpses tears flowed out like flood but... his face remained stoic, blank. Under this dark night his heart died. He stared numbly at his family... people who loved him... people who protected him...
Gone... everyone... gone...
Why? Why am I born again? To experience this hell? Heavens... what did I ever do to you? Why are you tormenting me?
At some point his tears dried up and blood started to drip down his face. At the end what remained was anguish, heart wrenching anguish.
Face covered in blood he started to move. Like a mindless idiot he stared to dig with his bare hands. The night went by ever so slowly, the chilling wind blew with no end causing him to tremble.
The snow and soil beneath was tainted with his blood. Without knowing pain he still dug with his bloodied hand. By the time the first light hit the snow, one particular part of the mountain was occupied by several tombs.
Staring blankly at these tombs he walked away. He had no destination... no home to return to...
He didn't know how long he walked. His body was fatigued, his hands were burning from pain, his legs ached from tiredness and yet he didn't stop. He didn't understand for what purpose he should stop.
Without him realising he was already walking among a crowd of humans.
"What's with that child? He... he is covered in blood."
"He walked down from the mountain... did something happen."
A myriad of comments floated into his ear and yet it only pained him even more. Pity, sympathy, scorn... he could see all these within their eyes.
Finally, his body reached it's limit and fell down. People started to gather speaking among themselves about his misfortune. He could vaguely see different colours through his half closed eyes. Feeling the heaviness from his body he closed his eyes.
I guess... it's not so bad to just die.
"Oi kid, hang in there! "
Before his mind could slip away a voice brought him back. He tried his best to open his eyes but failed to do so, he could only make out a vague silhouette. Finally he lost consciousness.
By the time he came to he felt pain all over his body. Weakness filled his body but he was alive. Slowly opening his eyes he looked around.
A simple room with a desk and a lamp with several books greeted his eyes. Looking down he saw his hands were bandaged, his legs were also covered with thick furs shielding him from the cold.
Where am I?
Just as this question popped into his mind the door to the room was opened. An old man came in holding a bowl. Seeing the kid awake the old man heaved a sigh of relief and smiled.
"You scared me kiddo. I thought you would die on me."
Looking at the old man he was at a loss for words. The old man walked upto him and placed the bowl down. He pulled a chair and sat down.
"Drink. It will help you heal faster."
Seeing the old man's smile he asked blankly.
"Hmm... to heal faster."
"Why did you save me?"
The old man was stunned. He watched him for a second and said with a smile.
"Why do I need a reason to help someone?"
"I am better off dead."
The smile on the old man's face vanished. He looked at him with kindness and said
"No one is better off dead. If everyone thinks like that this world would be a dark place. To be born in this world is blessing itself"
With a numb face he replied.
"My family was killed. Everyone I know is dead, why should I live?"
The old man could feel the agony in those words yet the boy's face remained indifferent. To say that so easily...
"That's all the more reason you should live. Kid, don't be so eager to die, this world is a beautiful place, there is so much to see and experience.
"I am sure your family would also want that, they would want you to live, not only for yourself but for them as well. Boy, no one truly dies they live on, in another way."
"Aren't you here, right now, carrying those precious memories with you. In a way aren't they living through you."
Hearing the old man his mind wandered to those blissful days with his mother, from this life and the last. His heart which seemed to have been frozen last night thawed, memories of his mother and his siblings flashed through his eyes.
For the first time since last night he genuinely cried. The old man left him to sort out his mind. Closing the door behind him the old man couldn't help but remember his own family.
When will this nightmare end?
Clearing irrelevant thoughts the old man picked some herbs from a small cabinet and started to brew something. Heavy smell of medicine started to spread through the room. Finishing what he was doing the old man poured the medicament into a small bowl.
He took the medicament and went to the boy. Opening the room he found the kid staring outside. Hearing the door open he looked back and said
The old man was surprised.
He calmed down faster than I expected.
Setting the medicine on the table the old man asked.
"Your body is weak and can't process solid food. Drink this and rest, in two days you will be as good as new. Oh, I didn't introduce myself did I? My name is Akira. You can just call me Old man Akira."
"Leo... Leo Heart."
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