One Blood, One Wish, One Magic (7)
It was spring when she was sixteen.
There was a time when chicks were born from the eggs they bought at the market. It was a day Hindley was out. Emily woke Rosen up at dawn and quietly took her to the backyard. Emily looked at her and the chicks alternately with an expectant expression.
“What do you think, Rosen? Aren’t they cute?
“Yes, they’re cute. I wish they would grow up soon, though. It’s a pity that I can’t eat eggs, but I will grow well and eat them. I’ll make you chicken stew.”
“…Rosen, you’re too obsessed with food. Look how cute they are.”
Emily whispered again, looking at the hatched chicks with a softened expression. Rosen’s reaction was apparently not what Emily wanted. She tried to concentrate on the cuteness of the chicks. Rosen didn’t know how to feel, except that they were wet, small, and loud.
However, it was sad to see them trying to break out of their shells with their small beaks.
‘You have to struggle like this from birth.’
‘Can’t you be more comfortable? It’s going to be harder if you come out anyway.’
“It’s not good at breaking the shell.”
Among the chicks, there was one that was particularly late. The others had already come out of their eggs and dried their feathers, but it hadn’t even made a hole in its shell yet. It was clear that it had no strength.
Rosen inadvertently reached out and tried to break the shell herself. She felt like it would die in the egg if she left it alone.
“No, Rosen! Leave it alone!”
Emily grabbed Rosen’s hand.
“Why can’t I do it?”
Rosen had always been moved by being late and lacking. If she bought a flower, she picked out the most withered one and got scolded by Emily.
She thought anyone would buy the superior ones, but no one would take care of the ugly ones unless it were her or Emily.
If you took good care of them with affection, they could bloom as beautifully as others.
“It’s something it has to do alone. No one should help with that. If it doesn’t, it’ll die.”
“I don’t think it’ll be able to get out alone…”
“It can do it if you wait. It’s just a little later than others.”
“It’s going to die!”
“No. I’m sure this chick can do it. It will grow stronger than anyone else. Speed doesn’t matter.”
Emily looked at Rosen with her deep green eyes and shook her head resolutely. She seemed to believe very firmly that the chick could do it on its own. After all, Emily was a witch.
‘You must be more insightful than I am.’
Maybe she could see the future that others couldn’t. There was no end to what a witch could do. Emily herself didn’t seem to know the limit. If it wasn’t for that restraint hanging around her neck, she could do more.
Rosen became lost in thought as she glared at the restraint hanging around Emily’s neck, and then watched the last chick with a pitiful eye.
Still, the little thing didn’t give up. Little by little, the hole got bigger. How long had it been? The last chick finally broke its shell. It stumbled, but it stood right back up and peeped like everyone else.
Even for her, who was not very sentimental, the sight was overwhelming. Tears welled up in her eyes. Emily wrapped her arm around Rosen’s shoulder and smiled.
“Did you see, Rosen?”
“This chick could always do it. It’s small, but inside, it had the power to break out of the shell from the beginning.”
Rosen looked at the chick admiringly. She hoped someday she could become an adult, big and strong enough to break out of this prison and stand on solid ground.
She wanted to stand against Hindley, who hit her. Throw divorce papers in his face, and leave with Emily.
If that didn’t work, she would run away at night…
‘We could go to a place where no one knows us, build a treatment center, help people…Wouldn’t it be nice for us to live together until we become old and grey?’
No matter how hard she thought about it, continuing to live in Hindley Haworth’s house was not the answer. The bruises on her body increased day by day. Emily’s body had a lot more. The idea that it might be better to be outside in a warzone than in a house ruled by Hindley was starting to grow stronger.
‘A chaotic world is better than a peaceful world for witches and orphans to hide.’
Rosen leaned her head on Emily’s shoulder and whispered softly.
“Emily. Let’s go to Malona.”
“I can’t live like this.”
Emily began to shake. She was beaten by a drunken Hindley the night before. Even if Emily were naïve and had resigned herself to the recurring violence, she would have been shaken at the moment.
What Emily lacked was recklessness. And all Rosen had was recklessness. Rosen thought she could give her that much.
“Yes, of course. It’s the capital. It’s not far from here. There are many people there because of evacuations, but there are still some quiet places. Even if the war continues, the capital will be fine until the end. I’ve started hiding money little by little, small enough that he wouldn’t notice. Soon enough, there will be enough that the two of us can leave.”
“If you live in an orphanage for a long time, you will only improve your dexterity. Don’t worry, I’m only stealing enough not to be caught.”
Emily did not answer. She just smiled sadly.
Looking back, Rosen realized that Emily knew that there was not much hope in her plan. She was young and naïve compared to Emily, so she didn’t lose hope. She still believed in the world.
Where in the world could a young orphan girl with nothing and a witch with a restraint around her neck be safe?
But then Emily nodded.
“Okay, let’s run away when we have enough money. Let’s live together. Happily.”
“It’ll be ready by the winter.”
Rosen measured her height from time to time on a door in the house. As her nutrition improved, she began to grow again. She drew the line with leftover burnt coal. It rose slowly but steadily.
She didn’t know until she smiled proudly while looking at the lines. That growth wasn’t a strength for everyone. In this filthy world, a girl became an adult, growing up… What did it mean?
Boys grew taller and stronger as they grew older. Growing enough to look down on their father, they were able to escape the yoke of violence. A day would come for them to laugh at their shrunken father, wondering if they were ever afraid of such a person.
But Rosen couldn’t do that. She couldn’t beat Hindley no matter how much she grew. She always shuddered and shook as soon as his arm went up. Growing up was just another shackle for her.
‘I didn’t know then that a young body was superior.’
‘I really didn’t know.’
Emily loved children. When children entered the treatment center, she stayed up all night to treat them. When she saw a young child on the street, she couldn’t help but give him candy.
But if Rosen had to pinpoint it, she was a little annoyed with children.
She didn’t know if it was because she was not good at taking care of them or because she was not mature enough.
There were women in the village who already birthed two or three children even though they were her age, but Rosen didn’t think much of it. The presence of a child seemed to have nothing to do with her.
Besides, because she had been undernourished for a long time. It was the same until the spring of her sixteenth year. Emily examined Rosen with worry, but there was always nothing wrong. Then Rosen would say, ‘No news is good news’, and while she was giggling, Emily pinched her sweetly.
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