Elf Summoner - Princess Woodbury: Live a unique life and fulfill your wish!
Woodbury had located Matryoshka in a transfer station, and granted her life. Matryoshka moved her little hands, trying to adapt to her movable body. She recalled her previous owner’s actions in walking, and imitated his limb movements. In less than half an hour, Matryoshka was able to master her own body nimbly.
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: I’m...alive? I have a “life” now?
Elf Summoner - Princess Woodbury: Not bad. You’ve got a quick mind.
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Can I go back to my master?
Elf Summoner - Princess Woodbury: As you like.
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Yay! I’ve gotta go home soon!
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Stay out of my way!
When Matryoshka returned home, she went to her little master’s room, and lifted her head to look at the shelf on which she had once been placed. Matryoshka found that all the toys which used to be on the middle story were now put on the upper story, and their original places were filled with new toys.
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Hm...? A lot of...new...companions...?
Suddenly, Matryoshka remembered she was also once on the shelf’s middle story; but one day, her master moved her to the upper story when he had a new toy, leaving her to be covered in dust, layer after layer...
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Oh, right...He always forgets his old toys when he has new ones...Even if I have returned, I will probably end up on the upper story soon.
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Wait. What if there is only me...
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: I’m sorry about this, but, disappear!
Knight Iron Piggy: What’re you doing!
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Leaving our master with only one toy. That way, he will treasure me.
Knight Iron Octopus : Stop it!
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Goodbye, my “companions”.
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Now only I’m left. I’m now his “only one”!
Matryoshka seized the chance when the family was not home, and stealthily burnt all the toys on the shelf. She thought this could allow her to be the one and only toy for her little master, so he would never leave her again.^ However, she had forgotten there could be more new toys. With tears flowing, the boy cried that all his toys were gone, asking his parents to buy him new ones.
With brand new toys introduced to the shelf, the boy had all his attention attracted to them. Matryoshka was, once again, placed on the upper story of the shelf. She could not help sighing —
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Hm...so he’s still throwing me away...a leopard indeed can’t change its spots.
On a night, Matryoshka left her home, wandering alone in the secluded corners on the streets. From different shops, light shone through their display windows onto Matryoshka, projecting a lonely shadow behind her. She lifted her head, looking into the shops; toys waiting for their new owners were arranged in a way that they seemed to be playing in a park.
“If an owner never shows up, what is awaiting them in the future?” Upon seeing the toys, Matryoshka contemplated over the question.
Matryoshka sneaked into the toy shop, and hid herself in a corner of the storage. Unsold products of the last season abounded in the room; Matryoshka was curious about how the shop owner was going to handle them.
Horse tlots and wheel gunkos gradually loudened, and both halted at the backdoor of the toy shop. The shop owner carried the unsold goods to the horse wagon, before saying something to the carter. Hurrying onto the carriage to follow the toys, Matryoshka could only hear broken fragments of the sentence: ...orphans...donate...thank...
In a chirrup of the carter, the horse started stepping forward, and the wheels began turning. The carriage had embarked on the journey to the toys’ new home, where their new owners resided — an orphanage.
Orphan A: Bang! Boom!
In the playroom of the orphanage, a child was playing with the new dolls just distributed to him. He moved their limbs, gesturing them into fighting stances; along with his self-dubbing and voice over, the boy had a lot of fun in the game of battle. Curious, Matryoshka carefully approached for a closer look, but she was still discovered by other children.
Orphan B: Wow! This doll can move!
Orphan A: Let’s play together!
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Wait! I’m not your toy!
After strenuous effort, Matryoshka outran the children and found a cover, continuing her observation of the toys’ fate...
Caretaker: It is because of the nice people that we can have the toys, so remember to treasure them, alright?
While the children listened to their caretaker and packed their own toys after playing, Matryoshka found that they also had older toys in the storage. Some of them had traces of sewing and sticking, but they were not abandoned; some of the dolls girls held when they slept were even full of patches. Upon seeing this, Matryoshka sensed the true love they had toward their toys...
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: They are so different from my previous owner...
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: After all, toys’ fate is always in the hand of the possessor.
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Throwing them away at will? Locking them in display cupboards? Or always staying beside them like friends? It all does not matter...
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Without a life, toys can only let Humans control their fate...
Elf Summoner - Princess Woodbury: Matryoshka, are you actually tired of living?
After Matryoshka had left the orphanage, she returned to Woodbury. She lived a life feeling lost for quite some time. Since she had realized that fate was not hers to control, she had lost all feelings toward the world; nothing mattered to her anymore.^ As if able to understand Matryoshka’s thoughts, Woodbury smiled and asked if she could retrieve the elf inside Matryoshka’s body, and restore her to a doll, rendering her hesitant...
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: I...
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Do I want to “live”?
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: I probably just don’t want to die...I don’t want to die...
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: ...Oh, right. I don’t want to die...That means I want to live!
Now Matryoshka had realized that she wanted to live. She was already a living individual, instead of an ordinary toy to be controlled by Humans. She could choose her own way of living; this was the meaning of life!
Elf Summoner - Princess Woodbury: Hehe. Do you truly think you can choose your way of living?
Lifeless toys are meant to be manipulated by Humans, but a living toy could not escape the fate to be controlled by its life-giver either. However, while Matryoshka was contemplating over the meaning of life, she had already found the answer to Woodbury’s question:
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: You granted me life, Lady Woodbury, so I have decided that my life will be at your service. This is my way of “living”.
Elf Summoner - Princess Woodbury: So you’re even willing to die for me now?
Nesting Doll - Matryoshka: Choosing how to die also means choosing how to live. Since my life is yours, your Ladyship can of course decide my fate. This is my choice.
Matryoshka did not understand Woodbury’s words, but she was still happy over realizing her own “meaning of life”. She was determined to serve Woodbury for the rest of her life, as a return for letting her live, and teaching her what it meant to be living.