“What are you talking about, seriously.”


“…Are you going to keep running away?”


“I really don’t know.”


“You smiled at Hailey.
And I don't want you to do that in the future.
Do you know how much she goes around telling everyone in the orphanage that you're handsome?”


“Just because I smiled-“


“-Then should I smile and play around with other boys?”




Her point was made, and she couldn't help but burst into laughter again.
Clearly, giving such an example made me feel uneasy.


“…I see.
I'll be careful.”


Only after I agreed, Sien relaxed his expression and showed a smile.


I also started feeling jealous like her.


As Sien entered the orphanage, she began to believe in a god.


The god of purity, 'Hea,' was her god.


Not to the point of being overly devout, but…
There wasn't a day she missed a prayer.


“Can you please stop praying?”


I asked one day.
Even though I was always with her, I didn't like the time that was taken away from me because of her prayer.


But Shien was adamant about this.


I must pray.”


“Why do you pray every day?”


“So that you can be happy.”


“…Isn't that a forbidden thing to tell? What good does it do if you told me that?”


“But that means you think it's true?”


I couldn't beat Sien in an argument.


Her voice, her words, and her beautiful smile always left me speechless.


Even when I was angry, I would foolishly surrender.




As the time passed, we started talking about the future.


“Do you have any dreams, Bell?”




I first thought about dreams through Sien.
Because it was awkward for me, who always lived in the present.


“Yes, a dream.
How do you want to live in the distant future?”


After thinking about it for a while, I listed some positive things I could think of.


“I just…want to live.
I don't really want to live rich.”


“Be a little more specific.”


“I want to save enough money and live comfortably.
I mean, I want a little bit calmer life.
I don't want to live with constant tension as I'm in a slum every day.
Should I move away from the city?”


“Are you going to live alone?”


It would be nice to have friends by my side.”


“…Who are your friends?”


I burst out laughing as I pressed the cheek of Sien, who was starting to protrude.


That was the end of the joke.


From the middle part onward, I already knew what kind of answer she wanted.


“And you should be there too.”


At that answer, Sien smiled and pretended not to show it.


“What about you?”


At a question like that, I also immediately become curious about Sien's dream.


Sien leaned her head against me and spoke.


“…I want to travel the world.”


Her voice, as she uttered those words, carried a dreamlike atmosphere.


“It was fun when I traveled with my parents.
To you…”


Sien glanced at me briefly and whispered.


“…I want to show you the things I've seen.”


Seeing Sien's shy expression, I burst into laughter once again.


When I laughed, Sien continued as if to make an excuse.


“…Well, you sometimes don't believe what I say…! That's why…”


Whenever Sien told astonishing stories about the world, sparkling with excitement in her eyes, I often teased her for lying.


Deep down, she seemed to have been caught by that.


But in reality, even without seeing with my own eyes, I already knew that everything Sien had told me existed.


It was because I knew Sien could lie.


If she had lied, it would have been evident.


And just like Sien's dream, the thought of seeing everything she had told me with my own eyes seemed enjoyable.


The lighthearted conversation about that day's dream woke me up.


The moment to escape from the slums would come soon.


Living by stealing like I did when I was a child had become difficult.


From my age now, those from the slums would find a new path.


I had to do the same.


There was no way I could obtain a future with Sien through thievery.
There was no way I could travel the world with her.
The income was too low for that.


In the end, after a long thought, I revealed my answer to Sien.


“Sien, I'm thinking of joining an organization.
There have been offers recently, too.”


Sien frowned in horror.
Although she looked cute to me.


“…But we decided that you would not get involved in crime anymore.”


“These are the only options I have.
If you don't like anything illegal, I could become a mercenary.
They've been recruiting lately.”


There were not many paths that people from the slums could take.


In any case, it was natural to fall into the path that required strength.


“Becoming a mercenary is even worse…!”


Sien shouted in protest.


Her expression was filled with anxiety and trembling.


“Becoming a mercenary is too dangerous…! You have to fight against monsters, right?”


Whenever something was related to monsters, she always became agitated.


Of course, she couldn't forget the things that took her parents away.


So, even though I knew it, I didn't hide my feelings.


“…It has to be done to survive.”


Sien sat on my lap and held my face with both hands.


Her weight on my lap was endearing.


But seemingly unaware of my feelings, Sien explained with a worried expression.


Let's not do dangerous things…
We have to live together for a long time…”


Having lost her parents, she always feared losing me.


“Is it because I want to travel the world…? Don't you notice that you are the first priority…?”




“I like your dreams too…”


Suddenly, this was something only Sien could do to me.


When I heard her earnest voice, even my firm resolutions wavered one by one.


I also had a stubborn personality, but I was too gentle in front of Sien.


Perhaps her words touch the depths of my heart.


So, I also held Sien in my arms and said.


I won't do that.”








 A few days after that conversation, I left the slums.


There was no longer a need for me to stay in that long-time shelter.


It was after Flint and Max had already bid their warm farewells and set off on their own paths.


I got out of the slums and wandered around the city, looking for a job.


When I was looking for a job, some people kicked me out with verbal abuse just because I was from the slums, but everything was fine.


I wasn't even angry.


I was able to endure it because I thought it was for Sien.


As I wandered around the town, I occasionally came across recruitment flyers for mercenaries.


'Recruiting men who want alcohol, meat, money, fame, and women.
Excluding the human race.'


There were mercenaries that accept Humans, and there were mercenaries that did not.


That was how much the humans were ignored.


But now it didn't matter much to me.


The option of joining a mercenary group had been a difficult decision, but now it didn't even catch my attention.


After walking around the city for two days, an opportunity came to me.


The place I found this time was a tavern.


“Aren’t you from the slums?”


The dwarven tavern owner asked after seeing my scars and hands.


“You're right.”


“-Get lost.
How can I trust someone from a slum?”




I swallowed the insult as usual and turned away.


But before leaving the shop, the tavern owner opened his mouth again.






With a bulging belly, he looked me up and down.


“Aren't you the one taking care of Asger and Hilda's daughter?”


I expressed my confusion.


“Who are Asger and Hilda?”


“A two-human doctor who died after being attacked by a monster a few years ago.
What was her name…
Sien…? Anyway, you're the one taking care of their child.”


It seemed that Asger and Hilda were the names of Sien's parents.


I learned something new about her.


“Sien is my friend.”


“Hah, this is ridiculous…”


He scratched his head and asked.


“So, you're doing all this to take care of Sien? Why did someone from the slums crawl into the civilized world?”


“…Exactly as you think.
I'm doing this to take care of Sien.”


“I'll give you a job.”


“Is it just empty words or will it truly be a week's worth of work?”




The man pondered for a while.
Then he sighed deeply and spoke.


“I'm not doing this for you.
It's because those two people once treated my son in the past, so I'm repaying the debt.
Come tomorrow.
I'll teach you the job.”


A smile spread across my lips.


“I'll see you tomorrow.”


The one who was happiest about this news was Sien.


She jumped up and down in place, blessing me for escaping the dangerous slums.


“Is it true? Really, Bell?”


“Why would I lie to you? I'll be working at the tavern from tomorrow.”


I grabbed her jumping legs and hugged her.


A smile more beautiful than any flower bloomed on her face.


To see this, I had been humiliated and bowed my head.
And I could continue to do so in the future.


Looking in her eyes I said, “It’s all thanks to you, Shien.” 


“You did well-”


“No, Sien.
The person who gave me the job…
was an acquaintance of your parents.
That's why I could get the job.”




“Thank you.”


Tears began to well up in Sien's eyes, who had been smiling brightly.


“…I'm thankful too, Bell.
For working hard for us.”


She lowered her upper body and embraced me again.


After a few months passed like that, I was able to gain the recognition of the tavern owner.


It was possible because I worked hard while thinking of Sien.


Consequently, I was able to rent a small room.


It was a room of the right size to be with Sien later.


When she would be old enough to leave the orphanage, this would be the place to start.


I was gradually establishing my place.


So, I believed that the news of that day had nothing to do with me.


“Did you hear the news?”


It was a voice that echoed from a table while I was working at the tavern.


Even if I didn't want to hear it, the sound that I could hear pierced my ears.


“What news?”


“They say the demons have chosen a king?”

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