Belle was from the mountainous countryside, where she had lived by a path that cut across the mountains. Those who lived there had a tranquil and self-sufficient life. Belle and her parents ran an inn there, providing shelter to travelers who passed through. She had helped out with the inn since she was young, but because of her age, she could only perform menial tasks such as greeting customers or delivering food. Still, she enjoyed her work.
Her days were spent worry-free until one day when Belle noticed that her parents had deep frowns on their faces. She had wanted to share their concerns, but all she received was an admonishment: “Children should mind their own business.” Belle could only listen to her parents’ conversation in secret —
Belle’s Mother: What? Did rations go missing again?
Belle’s Father: Yes...We have already locked the doors and windows, but food is still going missing...
Belle’s Father: We still have to operate tomorrow!
Belle’s Mother: Don’t worry too much. We can borrow some from the others for now.
Belle’s Father: That's our only choice.
To resolve her parents’ concerns, Belle decided to find the culprit behind the missing rations. She hid in the basement, awaiting the culprit’s arrival, but the long wait had left her asleep. Just as Belle thought the culprit was not coming, strange noises originated from behind the heaps of hay...
Hungry Slime: Hungry! So hungry!
Gourmandizing Slime: Tasty! So tasty!
Slime Leader: Food! Eat!
Belle and her friends drove the slimes away. From then on, the slimes never dared steal rations from them again. Belle’s parents were both very proud of her, and her father even started telling his customers of his daughter’s heroism. The travelers all commended her for her courage and decisiveness.
Traveller: Belle is so brave! Would you like to go on an adventure with me in the future?
Young Belle: Yes! I love adventures!
Traveller: Then you must visit the major city! There are many new and innovative things you have never seen before.
Young Belle: Things I have never seen before...
From then on, Belle often asked travelers who stayed in the inn about the major city. Gradually, she no longer wanted to stay in the countryside and was instead interested in a more glamorous lifestyle. Later, she met a traveler named Sam. Under his encouragement, Belle summoned her bravery and left her familiar home by his side; together, they rushed toward the unknown world.
When they arrived at the major city, Belle worked tirelessly to improve their lives. Although their days were hard, she would look at the silver ring on her finger, which always filled her tired heart with feelings of bliss. Yet, she did not expect that her life was not the perfect utopia she had thought.
She found that her betrothed Sam had been seeing other women. Moreover,she learned that Sam had been using her, and did not love her at all. Belle mentally collapsed. She stumbled down the streets, with her mind in chaos...
Belle: So, I was just a fool used to earn money? Why did this happen? Why? Why? Why?
In her state of mental confusion, she entered a dark alley without conscious thought. The alley was never touched by the light of the sun and therefore, it was dark and wet. Hence, it was populated by elves and Demons and so, the people who lived in the area dared not approach. Her attention elsewhere, she did not notice that she was in the depths of the alley.
Belle: Why would he treat me like that? What did I not do well enough?
???: “You did well, but you were just stupid.”
???: ‘What a pity... You loved him so, and tried so hard. Still, he chose someone else in the end.’
Belle: Why didn’t he choose me? I gave so much...
???: ‘You want to possess him? You want him to belong solely to you?’
Belle: I do...But what should I do?
???: ‘First, defeat those who are in our way!’
Belle: In order to possess Sam...
Magic Student: Drop it! That’s a dangerous potion!
Magic Teacher: It can kill!
???: ‘This is perfect for you!’
???: ‘Imagine what kind of person would not resist and not complain about remaining by another person’s side?’
Belle: A dead person...
???: ‘The dead would not walk, move, or resist — right?’
Belle: Right...This way, Sam wouldn’t leave me.
Ignoring the magic teacher’s dissuasion, Belle took the potion and ran. Over the next few days, Belle acted as if nothing happened, but in reality, she was formulating a plan. To ensure Sam does not suspect, Belle concocted an excuse to celebrate. Belle also cooked foods with strong taste to mask the spell of the potion.
Watching Sam unsuspectedly devouring the delicacies and then die from the toxicity brought great joy and satisfaction to Belle. She leant onto Sam’s cooling body, tears of joy pouring down her face...
Belle: This way, you and I are together, forever...
After Sam’s death, Belle had wanted to return to the countryside. Yet, Sam’s demise had unexpectedly earned her a small fortune. This removed any thought of going home. After Sam’s death, Belle’s suitors abounded. Belle finally caved under the constant courtship barrage and tried starting a relationship with one of them...
Passionate Suitor: I did not expect you to agree to a date with me. I thought you would reject me again.
Belle: It is just that my betrothed remains on my mind.
Passionate Suitor: Did he really die of sickness?
Belle: Why do you ask?
Passionate Suitor: Well, I heard your betrothed had always been healthy, and was rarely sick.
Passionate Suitor: Does the death of someone like that strike you as strange?
Belle: What if it is strange? He is still dead.
Passionate Suitor: That, that is not wrong! Haha!
The rest of the night was spent in silence; neither spoke again. Perhaps this was out of awkwardness, but when Belle and the suitor said their farewell outside the restaurant, the suitor did not offer to walk Belle home. He also did not indicate an interest for a second date. Shortly after leaving, Belle realized that she had inadvertently left her umbrella at the restaurant, and so, she must turn back. She did not expect to find the suitor still there, conversing with another man.
Passionate Suitor: I already did as you asked! Give me the agreed payment!
Reporter: You did not get any answers. Why should I still pay you?
Belle suddenly had an epiphany about the recent events of life. Everyone who had approached or courted her had an ulterior motive.
Belle: Why did this happen again and again... ? Why would everyone want to hurt me...?
???: ‘Only the dead would not hurt you.’
Reporter: Hey Miss Belle, are you free right now?
Belle: Free? Of course! I never have much to do.
Gretchen: What are you doing?
Belle: Did you see that? Did you see that?
Belle: Only the dead cannot hurt me...
Taking advantage of Gretchen’s distraction, Belle ran and escaped from the other side of the alley. Gretchen had only seen Belle killing someone as she was passing through. She never intended to capture Belle; hence, all she could do was sigh at the extent of man’s corruption — life had no meaning for them anymore. At that time, sound of footsteps came from the alley. The fight between Belle and Gretchen that just ended had drawn the attention of those around.
Gretchen did not want any trouble, so she hurriedly left the alley, continuing her escape with Heisenberg. On the other side of the alley, Belle was still staggering down the street, back to her home. She leant upon Sam’s tomb, crying and laughing together as she said...
Belle: I hate you! You have abandoned me, leaving me all alone!
???: ‘No, he is right here. He will always be there for you, and would never leave.’
Belle: Yes, death is eternal. He shall be with me, forever!
Belle opened a restaurant near her home. Since her dishes were delicious, business was good. To lighten her workload, Belle decided to hire an assistant. Soon, a man came to apply for the job. From the moment he stepped into the restaurant, Belle was deeply attracted...The man was tall and strong; furthermore, he reminded her a little of Sam. Belle’s brain seemed to have stopped functioning; she simply stared dumbstruck at Jackson, the man who was now about to sit.
Jackson’s smile at Belle brought a tremor to her heart — one that she had not felt for a long time. Without further thought, Belle hired him.^ From then on, Belle returned to what she used to be — simple and kind. It might be because her soul had new companionship. It was as if everything that had happened was a mere nightmare. Romance blossomed between Belle and Jackson, and their blissfulness only grew.
Unfortunately, Belle found that Jackson was no more faithful than Sam, and also enjoyed the company of other women! She watched as a maiden handed a present to Jackson, who smiled contently. Pain writhed through Belle’s heart — she could not watch anymore. She started running, and continued on...
???: ‘You would never listen to me. See? You were betrayed again!’
Belle: Impossible... This is impossible!
Just then, a man tapped Belle on her shoulders. Infatuated with Belle’s beauty, he hoped to invite her to a bar; tragedies in her past resurfaced in her mind, and a strangeness shrouded over her eyes. She calmly took a strange potion from inside her pocket. Setting it as her condition to accepting his invitation, the man took a sip. With that, he dropped to the ground in pain, blood dripping from the corner of his mouth.
Ed: Wow! Can you smell that musty aroma of blood?
Jack: I am not a fan of this approach. A poisoned person may swell purple. It is not aesthetically pleasing.
Belle: Shut up!
Ed: Maddened women are truly terrifying...
Jack: Let’s just leave her. We should hurry back. I don’t want Elizabeth waiting for me.
Jack and Ed leapt over the wall easily, leaving Belle standing stunned before the mutilated corpse; manic laughter and hysterical crying one followed the other. When she returned home, Belle had been cold as frost. She burnt her bloody clothes and baked a cake as she hummed, awaiting for Jackson’s return. Soon after, a knock came from the door.
Belle: I made a cake. Care to try for me?
Jackson: That’s great! I was actually feeling a bit hungry. You truly know what is on my mind.
Jackson: Right! There is a little box and a card inside my bag. Can you grab it for me?
To prevent suspicion, Belle maintained her joyful guise and did as he asked. A single glance told her it was the present the maiden had given Jackson just a short while before. She could not help but open the box. Inside it rested a silver ring. She opened the pure white card, inside were the words: “Belle, I love you. I know you are the one I wish to spend my life with. Will you marry me?”
Belle could not suppress her tears. Jackson had not betrayed her. She ran towards Jackson, hoping to stop him for eating the poisonous cake, but it was too late. When she returned to the dining room, Jackson was already on the floor. His unseeing eyes stared into nothingness, as if he was seeking the reason behind his death, but was now unable to do so...