Tales of Translations

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BIOGRAPHY


Early Life


Jiao, then Ortega Kitarl, was born on a chilly night in the Kitarl tribe. He was already very big at birth, and people had great expectations about him. However, as he grew up, it soon turned out that he had exceptional affinity with beasts, and that started to unnerve adults. He started being viewed as a cursed child due to his abnormal size and his friendliness with beasts. His own father viewed him with disgust and left the family. Ortega spent his childhood isolated with his mother, who was shunned as well for birthing him. [2]


When he was 20, the current Kitarl chief tried to take advantage of their isolation to abuse his mother, and Ortega fought him to protect her. As a result, both the chief and his mother, who had tried to stop them, died. Realizing he would be in big trouble once their deaths were discovered, he fled the village at once. [2]


From Mercenary to Bandit


The years following his escape saw the beginning of great unrest -- the tragedy of Fezebel and Gaius' conquest of Auj Oule. During his wanderings, he was picked up by King Merad's army and integrated into a flying squad of mercenaries gathered to strike down Gaius. For the first time in his life, he felt valued for his abilities and found comrades who accepted him. [2]


However, he and his comrades were used as disposable pawns to trap Gaius, and he barely managed to escape with his life. Feeling betrayed and unable to trust anyone anymore, he stayed away from the conflict and survived by attacking supply units from either camp or villages to steal food, water and clothes, which earned him a nefarious reputation. As Gaius' army grew in size and influence, units were often dispatched to try and subdue him, but he always managed to escape capture. [3]


The Lutus


When he was 30, after an encounter with Gaius' soldiers that left him injured, he sought shelter in a civilian house deep in the Mon Highlands. He threatened the couple living there so that they would hide him from his pursuers. They hid and fed him, and tended to his wounds. Just as he was considering his next move (kill them to prevent them from reporting him, or taking their daughter hostage to force them to house him a bit longer), he was approached by their young daughter Elize, who had taken an interest in his cloak's fur. At that he realized that no one here would harm him, and he relaxed and fell asleep. [3]


Despite their rocky start, they started cohabitating and trust slowly built up between him and the Lutus family. In exchange for staying there, he helped them with chores and asked the surrounding forest's wolves to never attack them, and to sometimes bring them food like wild hares. [4]


He learned a lot from Hubert and Ana, and they enjoyed each other's presence. At first he did not know how to interact with Elize, who was still a toddler but before long he became part of the family and took care of her alongside her parents. [4][5]


He lived with them for around three years. One day, however, two mercenaries hoping to get into Gaius' good graces by bringing him Ortega's head tracked him down and barged into the Lutus' house. They killed Ana and Hubert, which caused Ortega to fly into a rage and slaughter them. [7]


When he came back to his senses, the house was on fire. He looked for Elize inside but could not find her, as she had probably managed to run away. He started looking for her in the forest, even borrowing the wolves' help to find her, but she was nowhere to be found and he eventually gave up, thinking she must have died. He went back to his life on the run, and fought anyone sent to pursue him. [8]


King Gaius


One year after the Lutus' death, Ortega found an occasion to take revenge on Gaius, who in his mind was responsible for the disorder that plagued Auj Oule, and by extension for the Lutus' death. He ambushed him in the Royal Hunting Grounds when he was guarded by only a few men, including Wingul and Nils Frieden, Wingul's aide. He easily defeated Wingul and severely wounded him, but was no match for Gaius. [8]


Instead of killing him, Gaius told him to seek forgiveness to the Kitarl tribe for killing the chief, and to then come back and serve him. Ortega doubted the Kitarl would welcome him with anything other than a death sentence, but was somehow compelled to try anyway. [9]


He went back to the Kitarl village, and to his surprise they gave him a chance to atone: go on a hunt following the Kitarl customs for crime redemption. His mission was to bring back some fur from the Gatrega residing in the Xagut Floodmeadows. He came back ten days later having accomplished his task, and therefore all his crimes were forgiven and his show of strength and courage earned him the position of Kitarl chief. [9]


He then went back to Gaius and became his aide alongside Wingul, and was given the name "Jiao." By his side, Jiao saw peace come back to Auj Oule, and his previous bad opinion on the young king changed and he came to support him fully. Under him, he finally found a place where he was truly valued and could use his skills for good. [9]


For Elize


A few years later, he found out Elize was still alive in the booster research institute. He regretted his involvement in her parents' death and all the suffering that it brought her, and swore to atone to her one day. He did not know how to face her knowing what happened, but he still visited her often. [10]


When the institute was dismantled, he took her under his protection and tried to find her a place in Hamil, but unfortunately she was not very welcome in the village. [10]


One day when he was away, Elize met Jude and the others, and joined their group. Jiao realized that she would be much happier with them, and entrusted her to them. Over the course of the journey, Elize started remembering a few things about her past and came to him with questions about it. She was also puzzled as to why he seemed to care about her. He could not answer her, though, because deep down he feared her rejection and hatred. He was planning to hide the truth and keep watching over her from afar. [10]


However, in the battle against Exodus in the Fezebel Marsh, he was hurt protecting her. Realizing his end was close, he chose to reveal the truth to her. He used the remaining of his strength to give her and Gaius, the two people who had given him a reason to live, a chance to escape. He died honorably, repaying his debt to them. [10]