Chapter 9 - Dream
"Anyway, why did we come here I want to continue my practice. You're wasting my time." Young Varian glanced at the children playing in the playground in disdain and asked Amanda in annoyance.
'You little ...me' Varian cursed his younger self for his behaviour. He was indeed obsessed with training after his father died. He gave up all social life for a while and he didn't know what happened after, but in his teens, he wasn't that antisocial anymore.
'But I don't remember coming to this place. Did I forget because I was young' Varian observed the orphanage's placard and the robots babysitting the children.
The children were having fun playing a game in AR. It resembled a game on Old Earth where you would catch an imaginary animal on your device.
"Varian, I can't be with you for most of the time. So I want to find someone who will. You'll choose someone today and you'll treat them well, understood" Amanda bent down to ruffle Young Varian's hair, but he backed off and shook his head.
"I can take care of myself. I will be the Saviour! Why do I still need someone" Young Varian was annoyed at the thought of another person living with him and got defensive.
'Oh no. Was this really me Perhaps I don't remember this because mom must have failed. I grew up alone.' Varian thought.
'But... this could also be a dream rather than a memory. In fact, it's likely a dream.' He shook his head and didn't know how to feel.
"You have to remember this, Varian. You don't have to take every responsibility alone. There will be people who will share your burdens and, in turn, you should share theirs. Got it" Amanda sat on a bench and looked into the sky.
'She must be remembering Dad.' Varian didn't have much memory of his father. He was a Planetary Guard, but with his meritorious deeds, he got promoted to the Main Army.
He remembered his mother saying that his father was an eternal optimist. He never gave up, and that was why she said yes.
"F...ine. But I'll do the Saviour job myself. Others can take my other responsibilities. Like going to school, having a social life and sleeping." Young Varian's eyes lit up, and he agreed.
"Really..." Amanda and Varian both facepalmed and sighed.
Varian felt incredibly self-conscious and embarrassed. He really had a weird way of thinking.
Young Varian looked around and passed through the children. These children knew Varian's family came for adoption and they all eagerly called out to him.
But he ignored all the enthusiasts and stopped before a little girl his age. She had short brown hair and golden eyes. There was no one around her. She certainly looked cute. In fact, the cutest girl Varian had ever seen.
'Was I a simp No, can a 9-year-old be a simp' Varian wondered.
"You. Come with me and I'll protect you forever."
'Pfft' Varian nearly choked on his saliva as he felt his face burn with shame.
'Out of the countless lines, why such a cheesy line Was I an Edgelord' Varian was wishing it was all a dream and not a memory.
The little girl looked curiously at him and didn't answer.
"Let's talk." Young Varian said and walked to the side. She followed.
Varian was also curious at what the young him wanted to do and followed.
Even though this was a dream, he couldn't help his curiosity.
"Let's drop the act. Mom asked me to select someone to live with me. You are alone and likely ostracised here because other girls think you're too cute and spread some bad things about you. So no one adopts you.
But this also means you, more than anyone, perfectly know the value of companionship. If I have to spend my time with someone, I'll spend it with someone who knows its value." Young Varian spoke seriously.
'Whoah! I was really smart, I guess. No, I'm still smart. Smarter. But I'm dead now.' Varian didn't know how to think of this younger self in this dream, but he fit Varian's past perfectly in behaviour.
"What if we got into fights Will you ask your mom to disown me" the little girl spoke her first words. Her fears.
"Of course not! My mom thinks I need someone to not feel lonely, but I think she needs someone when I spend all day training."
'Now that's my boy. So mature. I'm proud of y—' Varian's smile froze upon hearing the next words.
"Besides, disowning you would leave a stain on my autobiography. What would people say when they read the Chronicles of the Peerless Saviour Emperor and realise he forced his mom to disown a little girl I won't risk my reputation." Young Varian looked impassioned and patted his chest in reassurance.
"Pfft...Hahaha." the little girl's laughter sounded like silver bells. "Peerless, Saviour and Emperor — those are the three titles reserved for this era's heroes and you want them all" she wiped the tears from the corner of her eyes and looked at him with curiosity and amusement.
'Let me just die. Oh wait, I'm already dead.' Varian cringed and bit his teeth.
But he knew this was something he genuinely believed in his childhood. He even had some forbidden videos where he practiced the speech once he acquired the three titles.
'Goddamn this dream. Even after death, I must face this cringe dream.' He sighed.
"When I'm Crowned, I'll have you by my side and let you witness everything. Let's see how you will laugh then." Young Varian turned his head and held a smug grin, as if he found a way to counter her laughter.
'Nice. I mean, Stupid.' Varian didn't know whether to laugh or cry and he just enjoyed this weird scene.
"Alright. I believe in you. One last thing. How will we solve our fights" The little girl walked to Young Varian and tilted her head.
"Then make a promise. Whatever reason you got into fights, you must understand the other person's reasons and make up with them." a soft voice sounded and Amanda observed the young girl.
"Mom! We were talking." Young Varian cried and shielded the young girl from her gaze.
"I didn't think you were already friends I won't eat her, boy." Amanda chuckled.
"You can scare children." Young Varian muttered and stepped to the side.
"So, girl, would you make the promise" Amanda patted her brown hair and asked softly.
"Mom, this is a private thing between friends. Moms don't interfere. It's so embarrassing." Young Varian lightly pushed his mom and asked her to leave. Amanda left with a pout.
'Are all those things you said earlier not embarrassing' Varian shook his head and turned his attention to the little girl.
"Then let's make the promise." Varian extended his left pinky.
She extended hers, and they locked the fingers.
"We promise if we ever get into fights, we'll understand the other's reasons and decide only after that." They declared.
Varian was starting to feel the girl looked a little familiar. Even her voice was a bit nostalgic.
"I forgot something. I'm Varian. You are" Young Varian rubbed the back of his neck and tried to make not asking her name as the first thing totally normal.
"I'm Sia." the young girl smiled.
'Sia!' Varian's eyes widened, and he extended his hand to her.
The next moment, the world collapsed, and darkness swallowed everything.
Varian struggled to move in the darkness when he heard a ... snore With difficulty, he opened his eyes and saw Kyle dozing off in the chair with Maya.
He looked around and realised… he was saved.
'Sia Is it her Then why don't I have any memory of her Why did I grow up alone' Varian struggled to think.
'Was it just a dream or was it... a memory'
'Right! The orphanage! Varian still remembered the name of the orphanage. Answers could be found there.
At the same time, the System prompted
[Body Path: Level 1 (Xp): 0/100
Stats: 3% Greater Human]