Chapter 3 to 'Life of a Half-Roc Child'
|Bella heard some noise in an alley that is connected to the path to the forest. She checks it out to see a girl with tattered clothes being held by two men and a pistol pointed at her head. There were also two other men around the girl, one holding a dagger and the other one struggling to open her clothes.
"Girl, you better stop struggling and your torture will be quicker," said the one with the dagger.
"You think I would let the one who killed my family do anything they want with me!?" Shouted the girl.
Bella went in the alley and manage to hide behind a trash can without them noticing as she looks in.
"Well then girl, you asked for it," the person with the dagger said before grabbing her left hand and slicing the skin of it with the dagger.
"AAAAAAAAAAGHHHHH!!" The girl shouted.
Bella looked as there was blood oozing through her hands, reminding her of something else...
4 years ago...
"Mother, what is that you're bringing??" Bella shouted when she saw her mother bringing something moving in her beak.
"This, Bella, will be your first human victim," Ethelinda answered, grinning menacingly. She planned for her daughter to have a taste of killing humans and how pathetic they really are.
"SOMEONE HELP ME! HELP!!" A man said. Bella's face paled under her feathers as she hears the man's plea.
"M-m-mother?! W-what is t-the meaning of-f this-s?!" Bella stuttered.
"These creatures, they are the real monsters in this world. A race of abomination. You must leave behind your evil half and know that these humans are the most pathetic creatures." Ethelinda maliciously informed.
"B-but that human is innocent!" Bella argued with newfound determination in her voice.
"None of them are innocent! I'll assure you that if we let go of this human, hundreds more will come after us," Ethelinda argued back.
The man, seeing another bird lost hope and went limp, thinking he was prey to these two beings. But he was still conscious and heard that the one who is in the cave is vouching for him and looked up to see a magnificent eagle-like anthro with dark brown wings and tail and a brown eagle-like head connected to a brown-feathered torso. It's like it was half-human. He noticed it was speaking with the fully avian being and identified it as it's mother. Hearing the most recent sentence, he pleaded, "Please! Let me go! I won't tell anyone! I promise!"
Ethelinda picked the man up further until he was eye level with her and narrows her eyes. "Your lies and deceptions will not trick me human! Now, my child," Ethelinda continued while lowering the man down but constricting it of any movements by her talons. "This will be your next meal."
Both Bella and the man froze at that statement and found themselves staring at each others' eyes saying how not OK this situation is. This went on for half a minute before Ethelinda broke the silence. "I'm still waiting, you don't want to miss out on your meal don't you?"
"I can't do that! I can't kill another innocent sentient being, nor could I eat them! And we are blood related and that is half-cannibalism!" Bella shouted firmly to her mother, then looked back at the man to see he had hope in his eyes. He believed he might be able to survive through this, thanks to the now confirmed half-human. But with or without Bella's interference, his fate has been set in stone.
"If you don't kill him, I'll kill you both," Ethelinda warned in a bluff. She would never kill her own daughter ni matter how much she is hating her. Bella froze for the third time this few minutes. She doesn't know what to do. In the heat of the moment, she didn't think anything her mother says is a bluff and she is torn between killing the man or not. One death is better than two. I have to kill him or we'll both be dead. pondered one side of her. She tries to reach for the man's neck with her talons, but an even stronger side of her stopped her as she looked into the again hopeless eyes of the man pleading for her. I would rather die than hurt an innocent sentient being!
Bella pulls her hand back quickly, "I-i-i can't!"
Ethelinda looked at her with a disappointed and hateful glare before engulfing and severing the man's head in front of Bella's eyes as blood spurted and slowed down to an ooze. "I'm going to leave some here for you. Either you eat this, or you don't eat for tonight. You are not allowed to go out tonight."
For Bella, looking at the headless corpse oozing blood, it was a nightmare. An innocent soul has died in this cave and it is because of her mother's hatred. She now sees it, the similarity between her mother and Chara's hatred. Fortunately, she lost her appetite looking at the corpse and got nauseatic when her mother starts eating it, ripping limb and skin to shreds. From that day, that moment has been a frequent nightmare in her sleep.
Bella snapped back to reality when a second scream resounded as the man with the dagger started slicing another line in her hand. Another drop of blood meets concrete, triggering the hidden fire in Bella's eyes. She lets out an ear-splitting avian screech as she dashes to the scene grabbing the man with the dagger and slamming him to the one wanting to rape the girl, knocking them both out. Then grabbing in a flash the pistol that is aimed at her and slamming it to the head of the previous holder, deeming him unconscious too. Bella then pointed the gun to the last man, "Leave before I pull this trigger."
The man froze for a few seconds before scrambling to a place called 'the heck away from here'. The girl then looked up at the 8ft hooded figure in awe as Bella asked, "Are you ok?"
"Yeah... Thanks to you!" The girl said as she runs to Bella and hugs her. Bella was shocked by this action but she replicates it when the girl starts sobbing. This goes on for a minute before Bella breaks the silence by asking what the girl's name is.
"My name's Mima..."
"What happened to your parents?"
"They got killed by the same men..."
"Where is your home?"
"I-I..." Mima stuttered before breaking to a sob again. Bella pulls her in for another hug and said, "Shhh, calm down. I'm still here. You can tell me what happened."
"My m-mother owe t-those men but c-couldn't repay them without father's help. They k-k-...killed her and b-burned the house d-down," Mima explained.
"How about your father?" Bella asked.
"He... disappeared, in the forest, four years ago," Mima answered.
"What do you mean 'disappeared'?"
"He went out with a friend to the forest, but only his friend came out, drunk. The community asked where my father was and he struggled to give a straight answer, then he fainted. But the next day he seems to be saying that my father was taken by a giant bird into a cave on the mountain but that's all he remembers, no one believed him. We thought he killed my father while he's drunk." Mima explained.
Since Mima said 'taken by a giant bird into a cave', Bella froze. The flashback memory comes up again and she asked, "which... forest is this in?"
Mima pointed in a direction, "There is another settlement over there and it's in the forest beyond it, where the mountain ranges are." Then she sobbed again remembering that day.
Bella pulled her into a third hug with Mima sobbing. But unknown to the girl, Bella is also dispensing tears. The realization that her mother took the life of an innocent man that affected an innocent family, and one of those victims is between her two hands. The guilt is unbearable, even though she wasn't the one who killed Mima's father and the one who sided with him, it feels like it's her fault. Without Ethelinda's malicious action to that man, this girl would have lived a happier life with both parents. But now, by losing one, Mima lost another parent. Bella made a conclusion that she would do anything she can for this girl, maybe become her guardian.
"Do you have any other relatives?" Bella asked.
"I-I do, but I don't know their address and they are on the other side of the country. My parents rarely have contact with them, so this news wouldn't come to them anytime soon," Mima answered.
Bella asked without hesitation, "Do you want to live with me for the moment?"
Now it's Mima's turn to freeze, as she looked up to Bella's hood and asked, "R-r-really? You would do that for me? I don't wanna be a burden or anyth-"
"You won't be much of a burden, Mima. I'm willing to take you in."
"B-but, how about your work? Can your house fit me in?"
"I work on a farm which is around my house, so for work, I wouldn't be more than a few dozen metres away. And I live alone in a house that has 2 main bedrooms and a guest bedroom, a dining room for 6 people and a decent sized kitchen."
"Well then, I'm willing to give you company. I'll take the offer." Mima said before hugging Bella again with tears. This time, it's tears of happiness. "But wait, I have school to attend to also."
"Where do you go to school?" Bella asked.
"Lake Lure Classical Academy, in the same town I pointed at before," Mima answered.
"That school's about ten minutes walk away from my home."
"Well, that's convenient."
"I know right. I'll get you more books and clothes tomorrow." Bella stated.
"You really don't hav-"
"Shush, just go with the flow, sis," Bella said.
"Is there any way I can help you with anything?" Mima asked.
"Maybe gardening, because you seem to have a green thumb."
"Wait how did you know I can do gardening?" Mima asked surprisingly.
"It was supposed to be a joke..."
"What do you-" Mima then looks at her hand to see that it's green from touching the walls. Both Bella and Mima had a good few seconds of laughing before Bella said, "Yeah you can do gardening if you want. I got tomatoes and mints."
"I can do tomatoes, but I don't know about min-" Mima stopped, hearing the girl's torturers stir.
"Well then, we need to taxi out of here," Bella then grabbed onto Mima's uninjured hand and went out to the taxi centre. "How's your other hand, by the way?"
"Now that you reminded me, it's between pain and irritation," Mima answered.
"Let me look at that," Bella said while inspecting the cuts. "Both aren't too deep. The first one only sliced the skin, the second one pierced it a bit. Luckily, I came in soon before that man can torture you with deeper cuts. I'm guessing the first one is irritating and the second one is painful?" Bella asked.
"I really can't feel the difference when they're next to each other."
"Well I got a first-aid kit back in the house and those seem healable with bandages."
"Great, we're going there right?" Mima asked.
"We're going to a place called the-heck-out-of-here." Bella then got a taxi and gave her address before realizing who the man was.
"Hey, Gary, how's your eye bruise?" Bella asked while smirking.
"How'd you recognize me so fast?" Gary asked, surprised.
"You're the only person I know who has a tattoo of a guitar on your head."
"Uhh, what happened here?" Mima interrupted.
"He tried to open my hood and ruin a lady's privacy. I punched him in the face, hard. That's a warning for you, Mima," Bella sneered.
"You don't ever show your looks, it's making everyone get suspicious," Gary scowled.
"Well, I don't go exposing what you did behind Daniel and go shouting you're gay." Bella taunted.
"I have a wife and kids!" Daniel scowled. The two girls had a fit before Mima asked what he did.
"That's a secret, sis," Bella answered.
"That's your sister?" Gary asked.
"No, I'm her new guardian in the meantime," Bella answered.
"Heh, got a blackmail." Gary sneered.
"At least my blackmail isn't something like what you did." Bella sneered more.
"You win." Gary gave up. Mima, who was giggling the whole time, laughed loudly. The rest of the way was idle chat and a few questions to Mima. Bella managed to find out that she is 14 years old and she has a few hobbies that can relate to Bella. 15 minutes of that and they can see the house.
"There we go, we arrived," Gary announced. "That's 13 dollars."
Bella handed him the cash and thanked him before walking to the front door.
"Here we go Mima, home sweet home."