|“||I will do my best to exterminate those who rebel against the natural order of things, whether they are close relatives or enemies.||”|
Gingerbread may appear small and weak, but her strength far exceeds her stature. For her, guarding objects of importance is her purpose. In order to achieve this goal, she crosses the boundaries between good and evil, using her strong shield to block danger and her sharp sword to cut through obstacles.
Gingerbreads are a holiday favourite. It's a snack that can be made into amazing structures and can be enjoyed with a nice hot glass of milk.
|How to Acquire|
|Silent Cross||Normal Skill|
|Gingerbread's shield can withstand anything, allowing her to absorb up to 40 damage for 3 seconds, with a probability of stunning one random enemy unit for 2 seconds.|
|Shimmering Christmas||Energy Skill|
|Gingerbread brandishes her sword, emitting a radiance that increases her Atk and Def by 5 and 30% respectively for 10 seconds, while the enveloping light makes her invulnerable for 3 seconds.|
|Contract||Hm~? A Cooking Attendant? Whether it's worth me protecting you or not, I will have to watch your efforts to decide.|
|Log In||You're on time today.|
|Ice Arena||Huh, the atmosphere here is actually very festive.|
|Ascend||It seems like following you is rather rewarding.|
|Fatigue||I'm sweating all over. I hate being so sticky.|
|Recovering||I'm resting right now. If you need help, go find someone else.|
|Team Formation||They will regret making an enemy out of me!|
|Knockout||Am I... the same... as them?|
|Notice||The food is ready. That said, will you be able to eat this much?|
|Idle 1||I will do my best to exterminate those who rebel against the natural order of things, whether they are close relatives or enemies.|
|Idle 2||You're actually ignoring me...|
|Interaction 1||Keep your hands to yourself, otherwise I'll slaughter you...|
|Interaction 2||Although we are companions now, one day we may become enemies. You don't want to let me down.|
|Interaction 3||The incident in the past? I advise you not to ask anymore! Uuhh~ It's a really unpleasant topic.|
|Pledge||I swear to be good to the weak. I swear to oppose everything wrong. I swear to help anyone who asks me. I swear I will remain faithful to my loved ones until death. Come and get this Gingerbread.|
|Intimacy 1||Attendant, you are one of the few people who understands my determination... Thank you.|
|Intimacy 2||Can we be as romantic as if we were waiting in a Magdelan Plaza? ...Hey, not that romantic...|
|Intimacy 3||When it's time to go to sleep... please don't leave my side. Please...|
Translation by SDMayo.
In the town I was born in, there was a longstanding tradition of holding a festival on the coldest day of winter. The young men and women would prepare gingerbread to give to each other as gifts, a not-so-secret invitation to their intended partner to join them for a dance at the end of the festival.
“How I wish I could attend the dance with the man of my dreams! That’s right, Gingerbread, have you heard about the legend about waiting at Mechelen Plaza? It’s sooo romantic!”
The girl whom I acknowledged as my Master did a small pirouette as she said this. I merely frowned, keeping silent behind her and attempting to channel my dissatisfaction at her constant delays into my gaze.
“You’ve already told me last year. Once you’re done with the shopping, we should hurry home. Master Attendant will be coming home this evening and there are still many things we need to prepare.”
“I want to buy a gift for father though – Hey! Gingerbread! Look over there! Quick, stop them!”
I looked in the direction she was frantically pointing at. A group of hoodlums had surrounded a flower girl. They had snatched the flower basket out of her hands and seemed intent on dragging her into the alleyway.
“I’m carrying too many things. If you want to be a good person, do it yourself.”
“Don’t give me lip now! You’re my Food Soul, quickly go and help her!”
“I’m not even your Food Soul to begin with though…. Oh, very well, stop glaring at me, I’ll do what you ask this time.”
A handful of human beings were no match for me. Within moments, I had them beaten and on the run. The flower girl had collapsed in a heap on the group and was shaking fearfully. I turned to leave, expressing my displeasure toward my busybody master.
“You’re too good of a person, I swear. You keep looking for trouble like this even though you know you won’t get anything in retu--.”
I had not finished my sentence when the flower girl, who had regained her senses, suddenly leapt towards me. I dodged, but she continued to approach me, undeterred.
“Thank you for saving me. Would you mind telling me your name”
“Her name is Gingerbread. She’s my father’s Food Soul.”
“Oh, so she’s Mr. Place’s Food Soul! That explains why she’s got so much power despite being so small and cute. We’re all in Mr. Place’s debt. For someone as noble as him to summon a Food Soul like Gingerbread, well, they do say that good things come to good people!”
“Haha, I’ll be relying on you to give any other hoodlums a lesson, Gingerbread!”
The townsfolk surrounded me, praising me and my Master Attendant, who was still out of town on business. I was at a loss on what to do.
When the crowds finally dispersed, my master looked at me and smiled brightly.
“Doesn’t it make you happy that everybody’s accepted you? And so many people still need your help! One day, when I’m no longer around, you must continue to help the powerless and the weak on my behalf, Gingerbread!”
“…Don’t want to.”
All I need to do is keep you safe.
My Master was not my Master Attendant.
“Since she was summoned using a gingerbread you made as a catalyst, then let’s have her stay by your side.”
Just like that, my Master Attendant had given me to his daughter, my Master. When my Master Attendant’s merchant caravan left for other kingdoms, I would look after her and keep her company. The happiest 10 years in my memory were spent by her side.
However, Master Attendant was cheated, and his business collapsed under the weight of towering debt.
The once wealthy merchant family was now destitute. Master Attendant’s days were now spent at home with wine to numb the sense of failure and loss, leaving his own daughter to face his debtors.
“Scram. I’ll gut you if you dare show up again…”
I stood alone at the door, slamming my sword into the ground as I issued a final warning to the debtor’s thugs.
“Don’t get conceited. You’re nothing but a servant of trash, you have nothing to be proud of!”
The thugs I’d beaten to a pulp could only curse and swear at me as they crawled to their feet and fled.
I watched them leave with a disinterested gaze, watching the path for any fools who might have tried a surprise attack. The sound of breaking glass made me turn to face the house. The sound of a male voice cursing and screaming, and a female voice begging for mercy spilled from the half open door.
“Hehe… I bet you think I’m trash too, don’t you? … What kind of expression is that? Are you regretting you weren’t married off sooner? Even now you dare to think about leaving me!?”
“No, I wasn’t thinking anything like that! Father, I wasn’t!”
“Don’t give me any of that crap! And don’t you dare stare at me like that! I bet you think you can fool me by putting on a sad and miserable act?! You’re disrespecting me! Don’t you dare think about leaving me! I raised you, fed you, gave you the very best things in your life! I’ve given you all my love, yet you’re still not satisfied? A dog would have shown more gratitude than trash like you!”
The kind and gentle father no longer existed. The alcoholic drunk that remained vented his anger on his daughter. I once tried to stop him with words. My Master Attendant had used that incident as a reason to cruelly and violently beat her.
Nobody could refuse him.
“You always asked me to help those in need, and always asked me to strive to be a good person. Why won’t you let me help you leave? Master Attendant has—”
“This is my choice, Gingerbread.”
She interrupted me, attempting to console me with a soft smile. However, the bruises on her lips and around her mouth caused her to agonizingly draw breath instead, and it was some time before she could continue.
“Don’t blame father. This isn’t his fault…”
“Are you having a pleasant conversation with Gingerbread, daughter of mine?”
An ominous voice sounded from behind me. I did not need to turn around, the fear and terror in her eyes told me everything I needed to know.
How much had he heard!?
He should be asleep!
A horrible wave of unease washed over me, and a strange feeling awoke in my heart. My hands would not stop trembling, as if straining to smash the shackles of the Contract and draw my sword against the man who had summoned me, so I could finally take my Master away from him.
But there was no defying him.
“Get lost, Gingerbread.”
The door was locked behind me. But violence doesn’t stay locked up, and I clearly heard every cruel and vile thing act.
“I’m so sorry…”
Never in my life had I ever cursed the power of the Contract as I did then.
“Excuse me, I’ve come to deliver a letter to Mr. Steak? Leader of the Knights of the Holy Sword?”
I knocked on the door of a room in the inn and passed the letter to a Food Soul with horns growing from his head.
As she had instructed, I did not leave immediately after delivering the letter. As I waited for the Food Soul to give me his reply to her letter, I could not help wondering what my Master had meant by “It will all end soon”.
The Food Soul finished reading the letter and seemed to size me up with a puzzled expression. I could sense no hostility in his expression, but I was nevertheless unnerved by his gaze.
“What do you think you’re looking at? If you’re not going to reply, I’m going to leave.”
“Wait, you’re Gingerbread right? Your Master Attendant has asked you to stay here- You bastard, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
He had not finished speaking when a second Food Soul suddenly appeared, snatching away the letter in his hands. The new Food Soul glared at me once, then shoved me out of the room and closed the door. From within, I could hear the sounds of a heated argument.
Those bastards… It pissed me off they had just ignored me like that.
I had no real interest in the contents of their argument, though it was easy to discern the general gist and tone of the dispute from certain words – “Purpose” “No other choice” “Trust” and “Dumbass” - which lodged themselves in my mind of their own volition.
Still, I couldn’t just leave town. As long as Master Attendant was here, there was no way I could do as I please. And she was here too.
Why did she have to write a letter posing as Master Attendant?
Ah, I’m getting more pissed now.
Nobody seemed to want to listen to my opinion, and they all thought they could decide what to do with me. What exactly did they take me for…?
Time seemed to stop and accelerate at the same time. I began to run, my surroundings melting into a blur. All I could hear was the furious beating of my heart and the wind in my ears.
The contract was gone, and the feeling of unease had grown into full on terror. Home… Something’s gone terribly wrong at home!
I rushed into the house, silent as a tomb.
Where were they?
The sound of shattering glass came from Master Attendant’s room. I rushed up the stairs, charging into the room I had in recent years come to dread entering. I saw my master hugging a bottle of wine to her chest, the tears streaming down her face as she sat next to the corpse of my Master Attendant.
“I’m sorry, Gingerbread.”
Her voice began to break.
“Father and I… we have no right to bind you anymore. Please, leave this place…”
She coughed twice, then raised the wine bottle to her lips and drained it, before flashing me one last smile.
“I hope you can leave this place and live freely from here onwards.”
I couldn’t protect her and could not stop her from dying. By the time I had realized that the wine she had imbibed had been poisoned, I was too late to do anything.
I held her soft body in my hands, my eyes red with tears as I tried to encourage her to throw up the wine she had drunk. However, she merely laughed weakly at my request, and did not give me a reply.
I left her in the room, sprinting to the nearest pharmacy to buy some ipecac. However, she had stopped breathing long before I returned to the house.
…and so I was abandoned.
Two days after I buried my Master Attendant and his daughter, the town seemed like a completely different place. Rumours spread fast in a town like this, and I went from a praiseworthy Food Soul to a cursed bringer of disaster.
The thugs, who scowled at me as I passed, and the townspeople who had always greeted me with wide smiles now regarded me as an object of terror. All the good I had done was forgotten in an instant.
I was not needed anymore.
“A Bringer of Disaster? Seems more like a little injured kitten to me.”
Sometime after Dusk, the Food Soul who had started arguing with Steak barged into the house uninvited. His condescending voice pissed me off. I hugged my shoulders and huddled closer to the fireplace, glaring at him.
“You’re trespassing. You have one minute. If you don’t leave, I will personally throw you out.”
“Good grief, you and he are just as uncouth as each other. Even when you have nowhere left to go, you still refuse to ask for help. I suppose introductions are in order. I am Red Wine, of the Order of Canaan. The reason I’ve come today is that I’ve received a request to recruit you into our Order.”
“I don’t need your sympathy or your aid… Also, weren’t you a part of the Knights of the Something or Other?”
“Hmph, the “Knights” are nothing more than the fanciful creation of a long-horned idiot. Now, I’m not the type of person to do things without good reason. Of course, you don’t need my sympathy, still, you’re not the type to refuse my kindness.”
“…Has anybody ever told you that if you get too cocky, they’ll punch you in the face?”
“Cute. Anyway, your Master Attendant requested that we bring her most valuable gem with us when we leave this town. I’m here to asses whether you’re of any value to our Order.”
Liar. If I were really important she wouldn’t have abandoned me and committed suicide with Master Attendant.
Red Wine smiled.
“ ‘I hope you can give her the chance to find something she truly believes in.’ was what she had written”
What exactly do I believe in.
Apart from my initial orders, my desire to protect her had always been genuine. I was willing to do as she asked, and always strove to become the “good person” she always thought I could become. And yet… I had felt so much relief when she had finally killed the torturous bastard of a Master Attendant.
If she had not committed suicide, I would have abandoned the rules and laws of society just to stay by her side, even though she had committed the irredeemable sin of patricide. Would that have made me a good person?
I remembered her last words, and senselessly asked Red Wine a question.
“Are you a good person?”
“That’s nothing more than a term that society gives to people who conform to their expectations. Whether or not I am a good person is something you have to decide for yourself.”
“Then you had better not disappoint me.”
And so, I reached out and grabbed the hand he had extended towards me.