Intermission: Friends of Yuni
I've made new friends today.
They're demi-human girls called Pochi-chan and Tama-chan.
All demi-humans that I've ever meet eyes were like stray cats ready to bare their fangs, they were scary. But those girls are different.
My morning starts early, because I'd get scolded if I don't get to the gate inn before the dawn. When the sky begins to brighten, I leave the orphanage to the main street.
It's dim, but I'm not afraid. Because I'm with other children who are running toward their job's place.
I enter through the back door since the big gate for carriages is closed. The back door is also closed, but for the short me, I can just slip through the small gap.
I head to the staff door through the courtyard. The water is low when I peek at the water jugs. I must fill it before the landlady woke up!
I pick up a bucket and go to the well.
Hanging on my body weight, I pull the rope connected with the bucket. Drawing water is a hard labor. Especially for someone as light like me.
I wonder if the day will come when I can draw water effortlessly like Martha-san?
"Suspicious person nano desu~."
I was surprised by voices from the dark and let go off the ropes.
Ah, even though I was about to succeed...
I turn toward where the voices came from.
From there 4 lights are floating out together with carefree voices!
I wasn't able to suppress my scream. But anyone would be surprised if they were in the dark.
Encouraged by that fact, I harshly scold at the someones who are in the dark.
"Don't raise your voice suddenly! I'll have to draw again now!"
Those someones frankly apologizing making me losing my tension.
The sun gradually rises and I can see the faces of those girls.
Those girls are beast-men.
I was surprised at first and shouted, "Don't come here!".
But Pochi and Tama didn't mind it.
Saying so, they begin pulling water in place of me. Pochi quickly pulls the rope like a joke.
I wonder just how strong beast-men children are. Or maybe these girls are special?
After Pochi is finished drawing the water, this time Tama says, "Unfair~? Tama will also do it~", and begins drawing water. These girls must have thought that this is a play or something!
Oh god I'm sorry, Yuni is a bad girl.
I use the two who are happily playing around until the bucket is full of water. Moreover, not only drawing, they also help me carrying the water.
As a thanks, I will share today's meal with these girls.
I break apart the black bread I've received as breakfast and bring it to the two with soup.
The work here is hard but it's nice because I get delicious meal.
Even without garnish, the soup is far better than the thin soup that is occasionally served on the orphanage, even the slightly sour black beard goes well with it.
There's no the bittt~er steamed gabo fruit or pickled gabo leaves as the only meal!
The two will surely be delighted!
While thinking so, I go to the stable.
There's a big lizard-man woman beside the two girls there!
I'm scared enough to almost drop the soup bowl, but I can't waste the important meal! I frantically bear it.
The two girls welcome me.
Hey, what are those in your hands?
"Meat~?""Cheese nano desu~."
Eh? Eh? That's a lie right?
You can't eat meat even after so many years right?
How do slaves, two demi-human slaves at that, get that kind of expensive thing?
Furthermore, it's quite a big lump!? Huh?
I hold out to keep my drool.
It came out a bit but I immediately wipe it.
"I thought I'd eat with you together..."
'I'll share you this', giving like I'm above them, would be quite comical.
"Ara, aren't you the errand girl? What's your name again? Since you're here already, why don't we eat together?"
From behind the lizard girl, two girls come out. The who started talking is a violet-haired girl of the same age as me, and the other is a black-haired Onee-san with regrettable face.
The violet-haired girl, talks in a really bossy way that I wonder if she's really the same age as me, but she, Arisa, is. She cut the dried meat and cheese lumps and shares it with me.
The lizard girl, called Liza, is going to say something but, Arisa says, "It's fine, the little girl's share is trivial. Master will surely consent! If he's mad then I'll be the only one who'd get scolded, moumantai.", and Liza-san understands. I don't really understand what Arisa is saying but now is the time to savor the taste of these meat and cheese.
I puff my cheeks like a squirrel while thoroughly enjoying the taste many times over. I'm sure that I'll remember this day for a while, and I'm confident that even gabo fruits would taste like meat and cheese!
Rather than dividing my meal as a thanks, I got to eat delicious things instead.
Furthermore, after the meal, Pochi and Tama help me taking care of the horses. The two are really strong.
Even Liza-san who was bored, helps changing the litter boxes of the horses.
I thought that demi-humans are scary, was I wrong?
There are good things and also bad things.
The landlady told me and Martha to buy firewoods from the lumber shop.
Umm? Do we really have to bring this two bundles to the inn?
Martha-san says, "Yosh! Let's do our best~." but you won't be able to easily carry it you know?
Still, I'm an employee, I won't complain. If I carelessly complain I might get fired, and I don't know if I could get another job then. In the future, if possible I don't want to become a courtesan at the street corner.
I lift the firewoods with all my power.
My feet are staggering, but I won't lose.
Since Marthan-chan is carrying bundle of firewoods even bigger than mine!
Carrying the firewoods.
Yes, carrying it.
When I'm about to faint, the weight is suddenly no more.
I look up and an unknown man has taken my firewoods.
No, don't take it! I must bring that home!
Before I could complain, Martha-san thanks him.
I said he's unknown, but when I look at him again, it turns out that he's a guest on the inn. He's the person who gave me tips lavishly just by bringing water to his room this morning. It seems he's called Satou-san.
Satou-san not only carry my firewoods but also Martha-san's.
A man is strong after all. He's carrying it without breaking a sweat. I didn't notice it before, but Pochi and Tama who are carrying big rucksacks are together with him. So the master of the two is this man. It might be good to be a slave of this man, I'm thinking such.
When I get back to the inn, I continue to take care of the horses. Pochi and Tama also help me like in the morning.
"Please don't, I'd be scolded by the landlady if I let a guest helps me!"
For the master who's wearing such expensive-looking robe, please don't help me taking care of the horses.
Please stop with that disappointed face.
It's like I'm doing something bad!
I declare so and flip the card.
The plate is drawn on the back.
"Yes~ this is the third!"
I carefully collect the card that I worked hard to get.
This is a tool for learning letters it seems. At first, Martha-san who can read letter was teaching us but in the middle, Arisa devised this play.
After that, everyone is engrossed with it! This is the first time I've done this play.
I've always wanted to learn how to read letters, but it was like saying, "I want to fly on the sky". It was such dream-like things....
But now it's different!
Only in a few hours, I've learned how to read 7 letters!
Fun thing doesn't last for long they said, but this is too much.
Even though I've made new friends, tomorrow Pochi and Tama are going to leave this Seryuu city.
But I've made a promise to the two. I will absolutely learn words and write them a letter!
I don't know the cost to send a letter, but I have a secret saving of two copper coins. If I have this much, then I should be able to send a letter.
In the evening, when I've finished my work, Satou-san gives me a bag full of wood blocks. When I look inside, although they're a bit poor, they're the same thing as the learning cards.
He says, "It's a thank you for getting along with our girls.", and gives it to me. I want to thank him immediately, but I don't know how to express this gratitude.
Oh yes, the wood-block cards that Satou-san gave become extremely popular at the orphanage. Some interested older children asked for woods waste from the lumber shop and the children who are good with arts drew the pictures.
Even though a week hasn't passed since then, we have already finished making 3 sets.
It'd be nice if everyone becomes able to read letters in one year~
That's my dream.
It's nice if that really happen.
The work is hard as always, but after that day, I'm seeing more happy dreams each day.