Was he alive?
He could always smile and gulp down the candy that was most definitely tasteless to him while giggling when he strikes down survivors that groan in pain and scream in horror as they fly off back to the manor. He can feel his grip on his axe, and the frustration swelling in him whenever he couldn’t land a hit on a survivor. He can always feel Michiko’s gentle but cold hands, a feeling of warmth enveloping him and bringing him to his peaceful past in the orphanage when she held him in her embrace. It swelled up a kind of warmness in him whenever he saw the deer nuzzle against Bane's rough hands, or when it licked his hand in appreciation of feeding it food.
Was he dead?
He could hear his souls whispering, calling his name out repeatedly to join them in the afterlife. Sometimes he could feel his head bumping around his sack when loose from the Prospector, Wilding or Forward pushing him into a wall. Perhaps any other survivor as well whenever they pallet stunned him. He could feel the threads connecting his head and his neck being ripped out, tearing out the long rotten flesh. It hurt, indeed. Mary and Ann had always sighed as they helped to fix back his head, entering the next match to whack the survivors who caused them to have more work to do.
It was too much of a headache to think about. It always hurt his head. It made it feel like a nut being forcibly crushed by a nutcracker, or knives that delved deep into livestock before they are inevitably slaughtered to be served on a platter. He doesn’t like it at all. He takes a candy, and forgets about it as he raises his axe and throws it down on another survivor, crushing their bones.
After the match he’d meet his fellow hunters again, not faltered by the fact that he had brutally murdered people. Rinse and repeat; he’d meet the next batch of survivors the next day, once again running for their lives. The Prospector was one of his least favourite survivors; whenever he threw a magnet, the hunter could only sigh as he was pulled towards the wall, feeling his head about to fall off. However, he loved the panic whenever he ran out of magnets, striking him once with a giggle. The Perfumer would then stay put, spraying her perfume that had a horrible taste of sweetness to it. Perhaps it was because he was not dead nor alive that the perfume, which she called Euphoria, smelled disgusting to him.
The Seer would then summon his owl whenever he saw an attack coming his way. Robbie personally didn’t like him much, for he constantly abused his owl which he named Brooke Rose. He remembered the buff Gamekeeper disliked him as well. And the Embalmer would then resurrect himself, stepping out of the coffin that he would mysteriously pull out from the ground. However, it would be rendered useless for most of the time, for Robbie could always dash his way towards it, hitting him down with a bang. It was always fun, for the Embalmer never resisted, or more like, he couldn’t.
Sometimes, he wouldn’t feel like hunting, and thus he’d go friendly. He would spin around, sliding across the map as survivors followed behind him, trying to have more fun with him. However, he knew being near would disrupt their decoding, and tried to stay away from the survivors as much as possible. They’d come after him though sometimes; perhaps to have fun, or to bully the poor child. He’d angrily strike them down, chairing the survivor in offense as a punishment.
The times he had with the survivors taught him a lot of things; what meant to be alive; to be living and thriving.
“To be alive…is to simply breathe. To just live on.” He’s heard the Mercenary say once. “You live on knowing your past mistakes and grow from it, becoming a better person. I am not becoming one however for I cannot ever repent for the lives I’ve taken away, thus I’m not entirely alive.”
He’d always hear the mercenary painfully chuckle. His meaning of being alive was simple, plain and yet, it had so much meaning to it. Robbie had done a lot of mistakes; he’s cried too much, he’s missed so many hits, he’s suffered from defeats. Has he grown from those mistakes, though?
He’s learnt to hit more accurately, he’s learnt how to go through a losing streak too. To shrug it off, smile and say it’s fine. But has he learnt how to stop crying? Perhaps not, for he’s constantly crying, just depending on the time. When he gets a victory, he cries happily, pulling the thorns onto the last survivor as he watches them fly off. When he suffers a defeat, he cries. He cries, cries and cries, letting the sadness eat and gobble him up into a swelling darkness.
He’s asked a hunter too; the wisest of ones. “Miss Yidhra, what does it mean to be alive?”
He’s seen her loyal follower crack her bones as she robotically stares at him with her heterochromatic eyes.
“To watch everything happen, and not ever interfere. To let fate tell its tale itself, and to watch it happen, my child.” He knows he isn’t good at watching; he likes action, like the psychotic child he was, trapped in a mundane manor. He likes to disturb people, cocking his head in a twisted sort of way as he watches his prey miss a calibration as he nears them, swinging his axe into their bodies as they scream and yell in pain.
However, he would watch them sometimes. He would rest on one of his trees, watching the survivors mess around as they threw snowballs at each other in Leo’s Memory. He likes to watch them ride on the roller coaster in Moonlit River Park, yelling in happiness as they transfer to one side of the park to the other, and the surprise they’d get the moment they find waiting for them at the last stop.
So, was he alive?
Robbie only smiles, grabbing his axe as he enters the waiting room for another match.
He didn’t know, and notes that question for later, knowing very well that he would forget about it.