[Prologue I] - Under a New Sky
"It's the Japanese art of fixing something that is broken using gold. But the art itself is also the manifestation of an ideology: you know how they say that once something is broken, it can never be fully repaired, right? As in, even if one were to put all pieces together again, the crannies would still be visible, and one would easily be able to tell that it was once broken. Well, 'kintsukuroi' as an ideology works on the premise that something that was broken can not only be fixed, but also be made more beautiful —or better— than it originally was."
That day was a very hot one, as was almost always the case in the southern hemisphere. What little wind there was was also hot, and that was something that people could never get used to even though it was nothing out of the ordinary during the summer.
Children played in the parks and laughed; adults chatted nonchalantly as they watched the kids with heartfelt tenderness, some even seeing in the little ones an image of themselves that was lost in those days of past.
Witnessing such a scene would make it hard to believe until just a few months ago the world had been at war.
For two millenia, Giants and Humans had clashed against each other for the control of the world. Naturally, the Giants' size proved to be an insurmountable handicap for the Humans, who were reduced to being born merely to become something to the Giants. At best, they were pets, at worst, slaves. But in any case, they were always seen as trophies of war. It wasn't until Savan Surelle took over as Regent of the Giants that the situation took a turn for the better, especially for the Humans.
Late 1999 had seen the death of Savan's father, Cassius Surelle. Venerated by the Giants and hated by the Humans for the same reason: his unparalleled cruelty towards the latter, even amongst Giants. His people called him 'Cassius the Big'. The Humans, on the other hand, gave him much less flattering nicknames: 'abomination'; 'monster'; 'demon' and 'bastard' were just the nicest terms they used to talk about their massive oppressor. Cassius had been renowned for his mercilessness in and outside of the battlefield. At one point he had grown so large that he eradicated almost the entirety of the human race with just a single step. The joy he felt about the destruction he caused was something that his daughter could never forgive him for, and so when she took over she decided to right the wrongs her father had committed in the Surelle name. She and her husband, the equally benevolent Salvius, had had a daughter four years before, whom they named Ciel.
"Our daughter shall grow in a world of freedom. It is our duty as adults, but mostly as her parents, to build such a world for her. A world of freedom for her, so that she can follow the path she wants in her life, not bound by senseless traditions or by what others expect her to be, but also a world of freedom for Humans, so that they can be friends with her as they'd be with other fellow Humans. We are all under the same sky, regardless of our size. That makes us equals in spite of our differences. The sky doesn't discriminate. I want the sky to represent all that we are, and hopefully all that our daughter will grow up to be... Okay, it's decided. We'll name her 'Ciel'. Does that work for you, honey?" Savan proposed back then and Salvius showed his definite agreement. And so Ciel it was.
Savan didn't waste any time in building the world she desired for Ciel: she declared that the war between Giants and Humans would end immediately, that the Giants would settle down in the northern hemisphere of the world, and that the Humans would inhabit the southern one. As expected, the smaller species —who until then had not had any territory to call their own— accepted Savan's merciful proposal with genuine gratitude, and so the war came to a peaceful end.
Little Ciel grew up feeling curious about Humans. They were so similar to her, save for their diminutive size. Soon her curiosity turned into fascination. She wanted to know more about them, to meet them up close, to see what they were like, what made them so different yet so similar to her.
"Wait, so I can change my size if I want to!?" Ciel exclaimed in disbelief. Savan had told her daughter about the power that the Giant child had inherited from her, and she couldn't have been more pleased. In her mind, there was only one idea...
"I can become human-sized and meet the Humans up close! Yahoo!" the girl exclaimed, bliss written all over her face.
Naturally, her parents were concerned. Despite the war having ended and despite the fact that Savan was praised by the vast majority of the Humans, there were still some harsh feelings from both sides towards each other, even if these feelings were hidden so deep within that no one would want to evoke them, at least under normal circumstances.
Savan and Salvius debated the idea for some time, weighing the pros and cons, and finally decided that it would be fine if Savan and Ciel went to the Human part of the world, since they could change their sizes at will. Salvius would remain there as the deputy Regent of the Giants in his wife's absence.
Little did they know, that decision would ignite the faint but ever-present sparks of conflict between both races.