Drowning in starvation
Almost a week had passed since I began living as a servant at the Heart Family’s residence . When I first came to the mansion, I had talked to Greed constantly and was mistaken for a dangerous person by everyone around me . However, the other servants of the Heart Family were all good people, and they still accepted me . Even during the more peaceful days, there were many things to learn and remember, thus, I had been too busy to leave the house .
Cooking, laundry, cleaning… I had tried various jobs, however, the position that most suited me was gardening . Taking care of such a large garden was a task that required much patience . I pulled out the continually growing weeds, and sometimes maintained the height of the lawn .
With three master gardeners teaching me, I managed to do my part properly . If I improved enough, I would also take on maintaining the trees . One day, I wanted to prune that thick tree at the front gate . It felt very worthwhile to do useful tasks for others, and I was so absorbed in it that I even worked on my rest days .
Also, when the meals for the servants were served side by side on the table after work, there was meat in the dishes . Just seeing it made my hands shake . At any rate, I had just started eating meat again after a long five years, although I had never dreamed of having it so often . It was natural that I would feel tense . My nutritional health had improved, and my once skin and bones body had plumped up a bit .
Oh, and when Roxy-sama came back from her role at the castle, she used her free time to drink tea with me . Honestly, talking with a Holy Knight… my mind was blank . Roxy-sama carried the conversation all by herself . Although, she looked like she was having fun, so I did not mind in the slightest .
There was a heaven and earth difference when comparing this to my time as a gatekeeper under Rafal’s employment . Of course, Roxy-sama was on heaven’s side . The other one was hell .
Even though I should be feeling happy, I wondered why I did not… Recently, my physical condition was very bad . The feeling of hunger grew stronger every day, and I could not suppress it . That is, I was starving . Yes, even now, it was aching .
“Fay, what’s wrong?”
Placing her teacup on her saucer, Roxy looked at me worriedly . Our two-person tea party had become a regular occurence . It was only during these times that she called me Fay . This nickname had been given to me by my father, so it felt a little embarrassing . However, since it seemed like my master wanted to call me Fay, I sort of forced myself to accept it .
When I consulted Greed about this, he simply said, “How would I know? Think about it by yourself . ” Hence, I still felt overwhelmed every time Roxy-sama called me Fay .
“It’s nothing, Roxy-sama . ”
During our tea parties, I had the double pain of suppressing both my hunger, and feelings towards Roxy-sama .
“Is that so… but, your complexion is pale . ”
I think she thought my unusual hunger was a cold, and tried to lay her palm on my forehead . If she did this, then the Mind-reading skill would be activated, and I did not want to intrude on her thoughts .
“No, I really am alright!”
When I stood up to escape, my hunger was so intense that I felt dizzy and fell to the floor, my consciousness fading . The hunger was more severe today than usual . I felt the Gluttony skill writhing inside me . Slowly, I was swallowed by the darkness . I heard Roxy-sama calling my name, yet after a while, I could not hear anything .
When I awoke, I found myself in the room at the mansion that I had been provided with . The soft, cotton bed was vastly different to the straw bed . I had been able to sleep in such luxury .
It seemed like I had fainted at the tea ceremony with Roxy-sama due to being unable to endure this hunger from the Gluttony skill . Now that the feeling of unbearable pain had subsided, I felt much better .
It was night time . I could see that it was around midnight from the position of the moon through the window . Then, I noticed a note on the moonlit shelf .[Tomorrow, please take the day off work and rest well . From Roxy . ]
It seemed like Roxy-sama had been worried . Well, it was natural to be anxious if someone collapsed in front of you . The next time we meet, I should apologise for ruining the tea party . Sighing, I sat back down on the bed and picked up Greed who had been leaning against the wall .
“Hey, Greed . I’m feeling hungrier by the day . I could endure it in the old days, and had no problem with it . What do you think?”
Greed laughed as he answered .
“It’s too late . The dice have been cast . ”
“What do you mean?”
“The Gluttony skill has tasted a soul, and can no longer hold back . It’s urging you for more . ”
This, the reason for my abnormal hunger… I was in a state of starvation . Although it was powerful skill, it cost a great deal . While I felt shaken by this, Greed continued to speak .
“You strengthen as you consume souls . The more you do so, the stronger the urge to eat more souls will become . That is the nature of this skill . Until you die, you need to continue growing . The skill will not forgive you should you give up halfway . If you cannot do this, you will die of starvation, or you will lose your senses and attack everyone mindlessly . ”
“That… is just…”
Extreme hunger . If I could not endure it, I would starve, or… ugh, the latter was too horrifying . In that case, was it not a devil? If I lost my sense of self at a tea party and attacked Roxy-sama… Thinking of this made me feel like a monster .
“I’ll tell you something good . When you reach your limit, you will see it . Look in the mirror . ”
As Greed instructed, I looked into the large mirror in the room . What reflected back was a bright, red eye . My pupils were originally black . Yet they had been dyed blood red .
“Already, you have reached the limit . It is good to enjoy the life of a leisurely servant here . However, you must not forget what needs to be done . I will say it once again, the dice have been cast . ”
This Gluttony skill sought souls regardless of my intention . Even if I ate and drank my fill of food, I would never be able to satisfy this hunger . I had only one option . And, the more it urged me, the deeper I would sink into the mire .
Right now, my hunger was at the limit ─ I had to go . After finally grasping hold of this peaceful life, I did not want to let go of it .
Changing my clothes in the moonlit room, I grabbed Greed . Then, with one glance around, I jumped out of the Heart Family’s residence . To satisfy this hunger…