*Pant… Pant… Pant…*
The girl tightly held the bread that she just stole. The bread was soft and still had steam whisking from it. Against the backdrop of the dark sky, the bread was akin to the warm ray of light next to an angel. The girl took in big breaths of glacial air. Despite her legs feeling as though they were no longer hers, she continued to run, for there was a violent dog on her tail, barking as it chased her. In addition, there were soldiers riding horses after them, using her predicament as their entertainment.
The guards probably had no idea who they had found. Otherwise, they wouldn’t possibly have used her predicament as entertainment. They purely wanted to see the dog catch up to her and gnaw her neck off, as that allowed them to enjoy the ecstasy of hunting in the city despite their prey being a young girl, who stole two loafs of bread due to hunger .
The young girl’s legs couldn’t support her body any longer, so when she stepped on a block of ice, she slipped to the ground while her bread rolled on the ground, thereby getting covered in mud and filth. The vicious dog behind her didn’t slow down; it lunged straight onto the girl and bit her left arm without a moment of hesitation.
The young girl tragically cried in despair. She desperately tried to escape. She punched the dog’s head using her right hand with all of her might. Hurt, the vicious dog released her arm and then aimed for her neck. The young girl cried as she fought back, trying her best to to avoid having her neck gnawed off before she knew it.
She choked the dog’s neck with her left arm. The dog tried to wrestle her. She desperately searched around using her right hand. It could be anything; anything would do. Anything would do as long as she could escape the vicious dog.
The dog’s rancid breath was right at the tip of her nose. Not only was it stinky, but also reeked of death. Her face was sodden in the dog’s saliva. The weak, young girl could only cry and struggle, but her fear and weakness tried to steal her conscious. She couldn’t feel her fingers in her left hand, which were gripping the dog’s neck. Her arm eventually grew numb until she couldn’t feel anything. She struggled. She heard the sound of horse hooves. She wanted to cry for help. She wanted to beg them to help her. She’d rather be locked up than have her neck gnawed off there. However, the only response she received was the dog’s barking and the men’s boorish laughter.
“Nobody will save me. Only I can save myself,” the young girl realised.
If she wanted to live, if she wanted to continue with her life, where she couldn’t have a full meal, lacked warmth and was exiled, then she had to save herself.
She grabbed something strange with her right hand. It sent a sharp painful sensation through her hand. She believed it could be a broken shard of glass. She didn’t have the spare energy to be concerned with the wound and pain in her right hand. Clutching it tightly, she used all of her might to thrust the shard of glass into the dog’s neck. She didn’t know how long to stab it for or where precisely to stab it. She just used her might to put up the best struggle she could offer because she wanted to live.
The wild dog grimaced. It wanted to evade the shard of glass that’d take its life, but the girl stabbed it deeply into its flesh. It jumped away as it groaned, but the now crazy girl grabbed it by its ears and slammed its head onto the ground one, twice, thrice, a fourth time, until she broke the ice on the ground.
The dog’s hot blood melted the ice. The dog went silent a long time ago. The soldiers behind them were frightened and didn’t make another peep. The young girl panted; she then weakly sat down to the side. She released her bloody grip on the dog. She continued panting as slowly crawled over to the bread on the ground because she was hungry.
“Little Doggy, have you ever eaten frozen bread covered in blood, filth and your own tears? Little Doggy, have you ever tasted such bread? Do you know how it tastes? Do you know how it feels to have nothing but rubbish to keep yourself warm at night? Do you know how humiliating it feels to go from being a Princess to being someone who has to bear with adults’ molestation to get some food? Do you know the pain of fighting for food with a wild dog?”
Queen Sisi and I sat on the lawn. Owing to the somewhat cold temperature at night, Queen Sisi was virtually touching my body. She gently held my hand but didn’t try to tease me. She just wanted me to feel the scar on her right palm that was virtually invisible. I felt long and thin scar on her hand.
I never knew about Queen Sisi’s past. Well, she never shared it with me. I always thought Queen Sisi was born arrogant as the Princess of an entire empire. I never imagined she’d gone through such experiences.
Our night conversation didn’t end happily. I opposed her, expressing that I didn’t support the attack on elves. Furthermore, I held no punches when telling her the current issue with her methods as well as the fatal flaw in her excessive arrogance. On the surface, she didn’t indicate anything and chose to leave. I thought I offended her to the point of no return. To my surprise, she came to my side at night while I was out for some air and shared her entire past with me.
Queen Sisi gently leaned onto my shoulder and stretched her hand out. She softly said, “So, can you understand now, Little Doggy? Do you understand how I think now? My father was the benevolent King that he spoke of. But what happened? What was his ending? He was hung, and his corpse was fed to the crows in the imperial capital. His wife and children were destitute and homeless. His daughter was almost gnawed to death by a dog. That’s the sort of monarch they need, for they could have such a monarch whenever they pleased. Kindness has never moved humans. A kind and benevolent King will always be sent to the execution platform by the people he loves. Establishing a nation with the people as the foundation is as wishful as building a house on sand.
Those foolish and ignorant people, who are no different to domestic animals, don’t understand a thing. They have no idea what’s truly good for them. They’re only afraid of power and blades. It’s impossible to rule a nation with kindness. Kindness is but a lie. Actual administration of a nation and conquering the world can only be achieved with supreme power and authority. My father already proved to me the consequences of that so-called kindness. Monarchs are never to serve the people; the people are to pledge their servitude to the monarch. That is the kingship that I believe in.”
I didn’t say anything. Queen Sisi grabbed onto my hand tightly. She was physically meek, but she held my hand firmly. She peered at the hot spring in front of her and, in a soft voice, continued, “No one understands everything about me, but that is my kingship. Kindness, correctness, they’re all fake. Only power is real. My vassals should show absolute obedience to my commands. Little Doggy, that is me. That is everything I experienced. Come help me; help me prove that kingship, as I define it, is correct. My father already proved that his definition of kingship was wrong. Thus, prove to them, prove to those idiots, who believe in kindness, that my definition of kingship is correct!”
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