Chapter 10: The Taste of Water│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com
I was granted permission to visit the library up to twice a month.
“If you go and do the shopping while you’re there, your mother and father can work on the farm for the time you spend there.”
“Thank you, Oto-san, Oka-san.”
Today is the perfect day to visit the library.
I’ll work at the farm before going to the library, and then we’ll eat and leave. Ethan is here with me. I’ve decided to bring my lunch today because buying food is expensive.
I made pété, which is flour mixed with water and baked on a griddle in a round shape, beans and lamb stewed with garlic, ginger, chili, and bitter pima leaves, and thinly sliced onions fried and beaten with an egg.
I packed lunch for two and filled the water bottles, which were quite heavy. I put two in my backpack and was about to leave when Ethan stopped me.
“I’ll carry that.”
“It’s okay, but it’s heavy.”
“Because it’s heavy, I’m carrying it. You’re an idiot!”
I wonder if it’s a man’s pride. But I’m two years older than him.
“Then let’s split the load. That way, it won’t burden us both, right?”
“All right, but don’t treat me like a baby; Alesia has been acting strangely since she was hurt.”
Is it a child’s instinct? I’m curious if he noticed anything different about me than I used to.
We both put on our rucksacks and headed to the market. Today’s errands include brown sugar and tobacco leaves for Oto-san, a spool of black and white sewing thread, and a small bag of salt. A few spices here and there.
We went to the library after we had purchased everything.
We didn’t change outside because we wore our going-out clothes from home today.
The man at the front desk recognized us and greeted us with a friendly “welcome.”
I smiled as I greeted him, and Ethan and I each paid four large copper coins.
“Do you want to look at picture books again today?”
“Yeah, but I’d like to pick one for myself.”
“Okay, fine. Then I’ll go find my book.”
Today I’m going to read something about magic.
I could perform water magic from a young age in my previous life. If I put my mind to it, I could easily make water, but I can’t do it in this life. It’s inconvenient and dangerous to allow it to rain while I’m sleeping.
I was reading a book on water magic, and Ethan, who had just begun learning to read, was looking at a book on how to grow plants.
However, my book was useless. It is only a summary, not a practical guide. However, since I paid for the service, it would be a waste if I did not read some books.
So I decided to read a book about the lives of ordinary people in each country.
“Wow. This looks delicious!”
It’s a celebratory dish from another country. It was a dish called “Ptyu,” which was made by boiling potatoes, mashing them thoroughly with flour, flattening them, wrapping them in minced chicken with sweet and spicy seasoning, and deep-frying them in oil.
“We have all of the ingredients at home.”
I didn’t cook in my previous life because I was an aristocrat, but now cooking is half housework and half hobby. It uses your brain and your body. It tastes good, it pleases people, and it’s full of good things.
It got me interested, and I spent hours after hours looking for rare and useful dishes.
“Ethan, it’s time to eat lunch outside.”
“Yeah, I’m hungry.”
When I brought a magic book to the counter, the staff asked, “Are you interested in magic?”
“Yes, magic fascinates me.”
“Isn’t it true that every child fantasizes about magic at some point in their lives? I was also fascinated by magic as a child and read about it.”
That’s great. I’ve got it.
We went outside after I returned the book.
A boy selling water approached us as we were about to eat our lunch in the park in front of the library.
“Do you want some water? It’s the delicious spring water we got this morning from the spring.”
“I’m sorry. Today, we brought our own water bottle.”
When the boy was about to leave, Ethan boasted, “Because our water tastes really good.”
Seriously. Why is this kid bragging to a water vendor about water?!
“I’m sorry. Don’t worry about him.”
As he was about to walk away, the boy with light brown hair tilted his head slightly, his green eyes narrowed, and he looked at him strangely.
“You bought my water once before, didn’t you? Is it better than that?”
The water vendor boy inquired seriously. I was thinking about how to stop him from talking, but Ethan’s mouth was faster.
“I drank the water you bought the last time, but I thought our water tasted better! Do you want to try some?”
“Will you let me taste it? Thank you.”
Stopping him now would be unnatural.
With an innocent expression on his face, Ethan extended the water bottle to the boy. The boy then pours canteen water into his business cup and takes a sip, savoring the flavor.
He sipped the water again, rolling his green eyes.
“What is this water with a sweet taste?! I thought the spring water was the best, but this is far superior.”
No, it’s not, Ethan. Because the rain I’m creating isn’t ordinary water, it’s only natural that it tastes different. I can’t believe you gave it to a water vendor, of all people.”
“Can you tell me where you got this water?”
In a panic, I covered Ethan’s mouth with my hand, but I couldn’t reach him in time.
“From a well? Can I get some water from your house?! ! If it tastes this good, I might be able to sell it. If I don’t make enough money, sometimes I have to skip dinner…”
After hearing that, I feel a lump in my throat
I thought he was just skinny, but it turns out he doesn’t eat well. He’s growing up. And he’s skipping dinner. Ugh.
I can’t take it anymore.
“What’s your name? How old are you?”
“H-Hakeem, I’m 13 years old.”
“Hakim-san, eat my lunch. No, please eat it! A thirteen-year-old boy. A child who is hungry. It’s intolerable!”
Ethan murmured to me in hushed tones when he heard it.
“Child … Isn’t Alesia, who is nine years old, much more of a child?”
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