In a dystorian world, income gap became so large, most of the world's wealth is now owned by the richest people, leaving more than 90% of the world in poverty. The sons and daughters of upper classes were running out of options. There was only so much marriages within the upper classes before every family is somehow related to one another. Thus, they decided to gather a group of people from the lower classes and force them to participate in a dating game. Every day, they complete tasks and attempt to win the hearts of these rich kids. At the end of the day, a vote is held. Participants who receive enough votes get to stay in the game. Those who did not is forced to leave the game - by death. Until only one is left standing.
Some saw it coming. Others were shocked that their predictions were wrong.
Regardless, whether they are prepared for it, it came and impacted everyone but the richest 1% of the world.
It was all over the headlines. Income Gap Rose by 25% since Last Decade. Government Steps in to Help the Poor. Income Gap will Continue to Rise for the Next 50 Years, Warns Economists.
Income gap is not real, they used to say. And they continued saying it, until 90% of the world's wealth is now owned by the top 1% richest people. With more than 90% of the world living in poverty and barely surviving, most of the world has been reduced to broken infrastructures and dumps. How long these people will hold out before the population start shrinking dramatically is something no one dared to predict.
There were nothing but beggars roaming the streets, a street lined by collapsing slums. In the near distance, you hear a scream and know that someone has been killed for a mere dollar. But no one would do anything, not even the police. Wait, what police? Right, the only law enforcement left were those lining up the Border, keeping the poor from the rich. The poor were viewed as dangerous, violent and extremely unstable. But is violence really what makes people poor, or are they just violent because they are poor?
Beyond that Border is a vast land separated from the ugly truth is a beautiful city with the finest architectures. The people there live a sheltered and comfortable life, oblivious to everything that is going on beyond those walls. Why did no one help the poor? Because it is human nature to judge someone's plight to be a result of a person's inherent personality. For example, if you notice a stranger yelling at a little child, you'd think, what a horrible person. Not once are you likely to think, perhaps he has had a bad day. The same with poor people, whereby one would be quick to suggest that they are poor because they are lazy and not working hard enough.
The upper classes have no worries or problems. Well, except one.
With a small population, eventually, there is little people they can marry without accidentally marrying someone who turns out to be your cousin or something. And history has already taught us the devastating consequence of marrying someone related to you.
They have no choice. They must look beyond the Border.
But they can only marry the best. Someone worthy of being part of their ranks. Someone who carries themselves like someone from the richer part of the globe, someone who is extremely intelligent yet physically adept, someone who can make anyone forget the fact that they come from the slums. In every aspect of their lives, they must be perfect.
Such a proposal was met with resistance at first. How could someone born from such low status be worthy of a second glance? But after the first round of selection with only 3 nobles participating, the success stories prompted almost every other families to get their sons and daughters into the game as well. The winner of that round, a young man who recently had wasted all his inheritance on women and alcohol, was saved from being on the brink of being expelled from that end of the border. The spouse he chose was intelligent and extremely good at business, practically single-handed brought his dying business back to life.
To the rich, this is an opportunity to find a potential mate. But for the poor, this is an opportunity to escape the poverty cycle. As such, while the rest of the world is concerned if they will have enough food to eat to see the next sunrise, some families are forcing their children to do math papers and climb mountains. Others kidnap children who show signs of high intelligence.
But a cruel fate awaits. Only one among a hundred chosen applicants will fulfill their cinderella dreams. The rest? They die. It was a sadistic punishment packed with several reasons, one of which is population control.
The winner is chosen from a competition that tests their strength and limits in every possible aspect. Each day, those who do not score high enough to make it through the next round will be forced to quit. Through death.
This is the world Aurelia live in.