10 Born to Bedlam
Back at home, father sat down with a serious look.
"I will talk about the time you were born. Call mom here."
Father who didn't say a word on our way back from the field looked like he had resolved on something.
I called mother who was hanging laundry outside.
Unlike her usual cheerful smile, mother floated a serene smile on her face, seemingly reading the atmosphere inside.
(That just puts more pressure on me though.)
I almost want to turn back now.
But it's too late for that.
I went back inside our home and sat down.
And with that, father started talking about the 'me'.
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"Ah, my sweetheart. Our treasure."
"We're finally blessed with one... Oh..."
"My goodness... how could this be!"
Mother, father and an elderly woman who had been living in this village for a long time as a midwife.
"Don't you two understand? This child is a Blessless... a Manaless!"
Mother gave her child her milk while shedding tears.
"That doesn't matter at all. What's important is..."
"What are you saying! A cursed child brings about calamities! Discard him in the forest at once!"
"How could we! Not when we've finally been blessed with a child after so many years!"
Father objected against the cruel notion.
"I cannot let this slide. I'll go report to the village elder. Get it!"
"And by doing that you're gonna reap a guiltless life?! By the consensus of the whole village?!"
The two wouldn't back down.
"If you wish to take this child's life, we too are prepared for it."
"Ah, that's right... My wife and I will die together with him."
The two made a tragic resolution of taking their own lives before falling into silence.
"Are you two insane!? Cease prattling nonsense!"
"Nonsense? What about you speaking of murdering a newly born child because of some superstitious legend. Which of us is speaking nonsense!"
"I cannot go on living while burdening the sorrow of having my own child killed."
Lost to the two's earnest looks, the old woman gave up.
"Very well... But this matter cannot be overlooked by the village still. You must go and persuade them yourself."
"We will leave this village if it comes down to it. We are ready for that much."
"...I will lend you all I can... Good grief... You two are truly something else."
The old woman frowned as she gave her cooperation and a grumble.
It was past evening outside, father and old woman opened the door to head to the village elder's house.
"I'm off. I'll protect you two no matter what happens."
"It's all right. Take care, dear."
"Let's decide on this child's name together once I'm back."
"Are you done? ...Let us be off."
Father went back early morning, right around dawn.
He spoke of the result to mother who didn't sleep a wink.
"It's fine for now. We're allowed to raise our child in this village."
His voice is rife with complex considerations.
"However, it comes with some conditions."
Mother who had prepared herself to accept anything listened to those conditions.