EPISODE 2: I want a pretty name even if I’m just a slime.
Translated by iseuli
The young girl didn’t have a name.
A name is made for the sake of being called. Nobody ever called her name, so it was like she didn’t have one.
In a sense, it could be considered that this girl did not exist in this world.
Kalgilm didn’t know much about the world other than the things Elkiesel and NeAffronti told him. NeAffronti constantly shared his own adventure stories to Kalgilm in hopes of sparking the other’s interest.
“Kalgilm. There are many human kingdoms in my territory. Though they are all the same humans, they speak different languages. The humans in my territory speak a total of five languages, but all root from the same language so the alphabet is the same and some vocabulary is very similar. As long as one masters one language, it won’t be too difficult to communicate with others all across the land.
“Humans love to separate themselves. They group themselves separately depending on their homeland, their wealth, and birth. The commoners are not born with any wealth and live in servitude, while nobles are born to a life of wealth and command others.”
“Commoners only get themselves new clothes about once or twice a year. Nobles dress themselves in new clothes often, but even they don’t buy dozens of new clothes a year. It takes a lot of money to tailor new clothes.”
The humans in Kalgilm’s dream were similar to NeAffronti’s description, but at the same time very different. There were many more humans than what NeAffronti described in his dreams.
Every morning humans went to work through the subway, they looked like tiny ants to Kalgilm. They built giant castle like structures to live in, and every human looked like they lived in a life of wealth.
The young girl worked in a clothing store called Uniqlo. Every day humans visited this place to choose and wear new clothes. Though they were commoners, they bought new clothes almost every day.
To Kalgilm, the commoners of this place led wealthier lives than the Kings of his own territory.
NeAffronti told him that humans only consumed meat during important days. However, the people of this world consumed more meat than vegetables. Hamburger, donuts, and chicken. The young girl ate meat very often.
In his own territory, chocolate was grown and made in a very far place, so only the very elite and high class could afford to eat it. In this world however, chocolate was a very common food.
Every year on February 14th, the humans all over the world bought chocolate and shared it with many people. Every morning, the girl decorated a new table of chocolate displayed for the convenience store.
The humans of this world lived a better life in all aspects versus the humans in his own world.
However, very strangely many humans in that world lived unhappy lives. Whether they were children or adults, they ran around here and there like a scared rabbit. The young girl lived such a busy life in this gray city.
Many convenient tools were made for humans, but it didn’t seem like they were for the human’s sake but for something else. Productivity and efficiency was stressed for the sake of wealth.
The most interesting tool that Kalgilm noticed was a thing called a cellphone.
According to NeAffronti, humans needed to visit the market to buy items. However, in the world of his dreams, people used their cellphone to shop through an app to buy absolutely everything. People reserved train and movie tickets, while others played games.
Originally, this tool was made so that humans could instantly talk to one another. However, a majority of the people did not use it for this purpose.
The young girl used her cell phone to watch dramas and listen to music. From time to time, the young girl’s cell phone would vibrate as if it was talking to her. At those moments, the young girl would urgently pick up, other times she was very nonchalant.
The message she received from her phone was always the same.
“Charlotte Shopping Center, January special deals 50%~70% off, ends Jan. 10th.”
“Samhan credit card approval. Han*ya. Jan. 5th. 3200 won.”
The young girl checked all her messages one by one. After a long while of reading various messages, the young girl took out an old, beat up cell phone. The girl checked the last message on her cellphone.
“I’m returning with mom and dad right now. Do you want us to pick up some walnut crackers on our way home?”
Tears welled up in the young girl’s eyes.
The young girl had an older brother who was three years older than her. This was the last message her brother ever texted her.
Her family all died in a traffic accident. A giant concrete truck’s brake malfunctioned and her mother, father, and brother instantly died. Her parents had prepared enough money through an insurance company to buy an apartment in Seoul, however, she was too young and wasn’t able to see a single cent of it.
Her relatives took control of it and spent it according to their own wishes. Even if the girl was able to use the sum of money according to her wishes, she probably wouldn’t have been able to use it. This money had come to her hands due to her family’s death, so this money had a different meaning to her. Unless the pains of their deaths was completely healed, she wouldn’t have enough courage to use it.
The dragon was born through the life tree, so he had no blood related family. He shared a bond with those of the same race as him, but this was vastly different from the attachments humans had with their own families. A newly born dragon would only have attachments for itself.
When Kalgilm was a hatchling, he didn’t have a single ounce of attachment or care for anything other than himself. He wasn’t interested in any living beings other than himself, and without interest he never bothered to form any sort of relationship.
However, at this moment he felt like a human and could strangely relate to the girl.
There were so many humans in that world, yet not one person ever bothered to call her name. She wore her name tag on her school uniform everyday, and yet still nobody called her name. The young girl was all alone in this busy and vast world.
The young girl pressed a button on the surface of her phone.
“Oppa brother, instead of walnut cracker, I want to eat sweet rice pancake from the next station.”
The girl wrote out and then erased.
“Oppa, I want to eat the spicy rice cake from the store by Bora Apartment.”
The girl wrote out a message.
‘She’s wasting her time. Those who passed are unable to hear any words.’
Kalgilm could not understand the girl’s actions. The girl continued to write out and erase messages over and over.
“Oppa, I want ice cream from the convenience store.”
“Oppa, I want the custard cream pastry that sells next to my cram school.”
A certain memory sharply passed Kalgilm’s memory.
‘I see. The girl is writing out all the places that are far away from the location of their accident.’
No matter how many text messages she wrote out, none would ever reach her brother. The girl understood this as well, so she never pressed the send button. Guilt, loneliness, and sadness moved the girl’s fingers to write out messages, and her rationality forced her to press the erase button.
To be left alone. To live and continue to live.
The weight suffocated the girl.
When the girl could not overcome life and died of overwork, Kalgilm asked the girl.
“Are you satisfied?”
The girl never realized Kalgilm’s presence through her whole life. The girl felt Kalgilm’s existence for the first time today.
“If you were to be reborn, what do you want to do the most?”
The girl answered while staring at Kalgilm with clear eyes.
“I want to live while being spoiled like a child.”
When her mother was alive, she would complain that she didn’t want to clean her own room. When her father was alive, she could beg her father for extra pocket money. If someone was mean to her, she could tell her brother and he would punish them.
The young girl was loved. The girl grew up like any child her age should. But, when her parents died, she had to live together with her relatives while being treated like a maid. Dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and she was even forced to make kimchi. Without a family of her own, she had to become an adult even if she didn’t want to.
When the girl said she didn’t want to do the dishes, her relatives pulled her hair and threatened that they would return her to the orphanage. If she didn’t clean because she had to stay late at school, they would say it was a punishment of love and beat her with a broomstick.
On a cold winter snowing night, she was thrown out into the veranda while bruised all over. That night she begged over and over that she would never do it again.
Tears only belonged to children. When adults cried, they were only scorned.
When the girl worked part time, the adults would say she is so pitiful. However, when the girl made a single mistake, they didn’t give her any chances for forgiveness.
“Do you think it’s easy to make money?”
“I’ll be reducing the amount from your paycheck.”
“Why are you crying? Do you think you did a good deed? Are you a child? If you’re here to earn money, you should work harder.”
It was bearable when others got mad due to her mistakes.
However, there were many horrible people in this world. Some people bullied the girl for their own benefits, others bullied her because they simply wanted to. It was a day when she was working at the convenience store. Every time the girl remembered the day, her temper boiled.
There were those who threw money at her because she didn’t smile. They cursed at her because she didn’t greet them. Some customers would buy winter boots and then return them at the end of winter saying the soles were broken and ask for a refund.
No matter how frustrated or sad she felt, she was an adult, so she had to properly handle the situation. However, her heart still hurt. Though an adult, there were times when she wanted to cry. If she were to run away to the bathroom and cry, they would just scorn her. But what was she to do if she still wanted to cry?
She hoped someone would love her even if she didn’t behave like an adult. If she cried or whined, she didn’t want to be scolded ‘because she was an adult.’ She just wanted someone to hug her.
“Do you have any other wishes?”
“I want to play. I want to just mindlessly play forever.”
After becoming an adult and leaving her relatives’ house, every day of her life was riddled with problems stressing her out. She stressed about not being able to pay her monthly rent; she hated how others would compare her to other children who had parents.
She tirelessly worked to her bones so she could live in a house on deposit, but died of overwork. She didn’t wish for this type of ending.
She didn’t hope for all the luxuries of the world. She just wished to have the luxury to relax and play without stress. Just this much would have been fine.
“I want to be rewarded for my good deeds. I want to have a boyfriend. I want to be hugged. I want to be happy.”