"Why was I born like this, mother?"
"It's… not your fault, Vayne."
"I know it's not, but why?"
"What does that mean?"
"I don't know! Can you please stop asking me questions!? Mother's tired already!"
"I'm… I'm sorry. Just—"
"It's fine, mother. I understand."
"You… you're already lucky, Vayne. You don't worry about your meals, you have a roof above your head— most people don't."
"I understand, mother."
"Just… know that out there? There are people that would just use and kill you for their goals, no one is your friend. Only trust yourself, okay?"
"...Is that why you don't love me?"
"What? Why did it suddenly turn to that? Of course, you're my son. Now go to sleep, okay? Mother's tired."
"...After I finish this book, mother."
"Remember what I said, okay? Just…
…trust no one."
It's not entirely true that people you trust stab you in the back, no— they'll stab you in the front and you wouldn't even notice.
Twice he was stabbed, and twice in the front; both he didn't see coming. And what's worse… both apologized not a second later.
If they were going to apologize, then they shouldn't have stabbed him in the first place.
This… feels different, though. When Vale did it, he just sort of accepted it as it is. But with the siblings, Vayne… felt something else.
And so, with his thoughts somewhat becoming more and more accelerated, Vayne once again found himself kneeling on the floor.
"Why did you stab him in the stomach!? We coated the knife with a tranquilizer for a reason!"
"He… he suddenly turned around!"
"He might die! You— Don't pull the fucking knife! He will bleed to death, you stupid shit!"
"..." Vayne then weakly turned his eyes up, only to see the siblings once again arguing with each other. And with a weak sigh, he let his body drop to the floor as he just lay there staring at the ceiling.
"Y… you guys," Vayne then weakly whispered; trying to let out a chuckle but only a faint cough escaped his mouth, "I… I really thought you guys were my friends."
"Don't. Don't talk to him, Matt."
It's weird, he thought. Even more than the wound, he was more disappointed that the people he thought were his first friends betrayed him. His mother was right in the end— he trusted Vale, and he got stabbed.
He trusted the siblings… and now he once again found himself lying in a pool of his own blood.
…what the fuck was wrong with this world?
"..." He then once again turned his eyes towards the two, only to see them just staring at him; their faces, trying to pretend to feel sorry for what they just did. He wanted to say something to them, but what, exactly?
That he despised them for what they did? He did, he truly did. He wanted to pull this knife from his stomach and just start stabbing and mutilating the two until there was nothing left of them to be recognized.
"..." Weird, he felt a certain rage building up inside him. But at the same time, he felt…
"You guys… you could have just talked to me," Vayne then said as he finally closed his eyes and let out a very long and deep breath. Even through the numbing pain, death… was always awfully calm—
Vayne then opened his eyes wide as the numbing pain once again turned into a sharp one— he looked to his stomach, only to see that Mathilda had pulled out the knife.
"I thought you said we shouldn't pull it out!?" Mattheus quickly said as she looked back and forth between Vayne and his sister.
"Do you want to pass this test, or not?" Mathilda then said as she placed the knife on her brother's chest, "Look at him…
…he is suffering."
He most certainly was not— it was only when Mathilda pulled the knife that Vayne could finally feel the pain crawling throughout his entire body. Seriously… Vale and now these two siblings…
…why didn't they just talk to him first? Was… that how the world actually works?
Not fine, you simpleton.
Mattheus then took a deep breath as he very slowly kneeled beside Vayne; his hands, trembling almost uncontrollably.
"I'm… so sorry about this."
And once again, he apologized. Vayne wanted to force out a chuckle, but it was getting hard to even move his lips as the tranquilizer was starting to scatter throughout his entire body.
And so, the only thing he could really do was take one final look at the person that was finally going to end his miserable life. Vayne was expecting tears the same as Vale… but no.
On Mattheus's face… was a smile. A smile so wide it could barely fit on his face.
"..." His shoulders were also trembling; either from excitement or from trying to hold back the laughter that so dearly wanted to escape his lips.
"Don't you fucking cry, Matt," Mathilda then said as she looked away, "Don't you dare. This is your fault…. this is the same fuck up as last year. I'm done after this."
"We were already lucky that the tests this year are practically the same, and you had to ruin the plan again? I'm done. If you don't become an Explorer this year, then it's time to call it quits."
…Oh— Vayne whispered in his mind. It was all slowly starting to make sense now. It's a tolerating clueless sister and his psychopathic evil brother.
"Rest well, my friend."
Mattheus then raised his hand; the smile on his face, still very much plastered and hidden from his sister.
And then, he swung it down— its target, Vayne's defenseless neck.
"..." The only thing that Vayne could really do was stare at the knife as it made its way to him… and then, it just stopped. No, not entirely, the knife was still very much moving down— but moving very, very slow.
Vayne's eyes then started to flicker as he looked at the knife; almost as if his consciousness was blacking out again and again.
And then, suddenly, there was just darkness…
…and then, a scream.
"Stop… stop it! That's enough!"
"..." Vayne then suddenly found himself looking at Mathilda, who was now kneeling on the floor; her face filled with tears and snot as both of her hands were stretched towards him.
…No, not towards him— but below him.
Vayne then very slowly turned his eyes to his hand as he felt a weight on it, only to see the knife that was previously attached to his stomach resting there.
And then, finally, he turned to where Mathilda was looking, only to see what seemed like ground meat under him.
"..." Vayne stared at this lump of flesh for a few seconds before he finally realized what it was…
…or who it was.
"!!!" Vayne quickly threw the knife away as he stood up; backing away several times from what he could only assume to be Mattheus…
…It was hard to tell.