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[Library Owner: Kiradien]
Ever since coming to sign up as a volunteer in the orphanage, Ann’s been much better. It was as if she finally found a ‘purpose’ in this world and in living her days here, so she seemed to be much more energetic. Not just her, but Faye seemed to be glowing in happiness as well.
Except for the few days she had to rest and do some studying herself, Ann’s been going to the Heart’s Wings Children’s Home almost all the time. Even during when she had a session with Simone, if the session ended at lunch, she would go right away to the orphanage.
Allen received reports that didn’t show anything bad, so he also let it go, although he was perplexed by Ann’s eagerness to go to the orphanage. Little did he know that Ann wanted to go there to befriend a capture target namely Silas at the same time as she refreshed herself by socializing with fellow commoners and children.
In Allen’s mind, he was the most perplexed about… what he thought to be Arlea’s extreme fondness of children after she suffered from amnesia. The old Arlea seemed like she hated children very much because they were noisy and mostly bothersome. Her expression whenever they came across a child told her real thoughts about children very well.
As for Allen, he was neutral towards children. He couldn’t become close to children like how he was hard to become close to others, but he was protective towards children in general.
For some reason, he felt relieved upon knowing how Arlea liked children. When it was just Faye, he thought that Faye had something special that she could exploit or use, but now, Arlea was affectionate with the other children of the orphanage. Maybe, she really liked children!
…Is she doing all this to imply that she wants a child of her own?
Allen suddenly had an ‘AHA!’ moment in his mind and thought that it might be the case. Then, Arlea’s behavior of wanting to flirt with him made sense. It was all because she suddenly wanted a child!!
Upon ‘realizing’ this ‘fact’, Allen’s ears reddened and his face turned hot, although the air was obviously not hot…
He covered his face and tried to erase his wild thoughts from his mind. Now wasn’t the time to have such distracting thoughts!
“…What are you doing, standing near the window yet covering your face like that?” A young male’s voice could be heard from behind. He sounded amused.
Allen quickly collected himself and turned around to greet the owner of the voice, the one he had been waiting for, “Your Highness.”
As he greeted the royalty, he made sure to bow properly.
And then, the two men talked about something that was completely irrelevant from romance, dating, having children… putting Allen’s mind to ease.
Meanwhile, Ann went to the orphanage again as usual. She was treating this volunteering as if it was her job, as she was so diligent, but she put her heart in it and she enjoyed it. But she wasn’t paid for it with money… oh well, in this case, she didn’t need to mind anything about money, so it was fine.
Living is the best when you don’t need to be worried about making your ends meet, honestly.
Ann was getting used to her ‘job’ in the orphanage quite well. She basically had to teach the children easy stuff that she had mastered, read the younger ones stories, play with them… For someone who disliked children, this would be a very hard and tiring job. But she liked children and playing with them like this reminded her of the times when she was younger with her friends… or with her little sister and cousins.
Sometimes, during when she was playing, her gaze would turn distant because she was missing her world and her past, but sadly, nobody noticed it. For she quickly masked it with smiles.
Ann had been memorizing the children’s names so far, especially the children that she often interacted with. They were also familiar with Ann now and most of the children adored her, much to her favor.
All this time, she was working with Silas, or more like Silas had to evaluate how she had been with the children. The two worked so well together, too.
“Ah, kids! This time, we’re going to learn…,” Ann stuttered at a bigger study group. She was much used to handling a small group of people—for example three to five at once. When there were more kids, more noises would be made, and she hadn’t figured out how to handle them gently yet.
In times like this, Silas silently walked to the problematic kids (a.k.a the kids that started the noises), whispered some words and gestured something at them… and then they immediately turned obedient.
When Ann asked Silas what his secret was, he simply credited it to ‘knowing them better, and so he knew how to bribe them into acting good’.
Meanwhile, whenever a kid needed comforting words and simple explanation, Silas couldn’t seem to come up with anything good to comfort them or to explain to them, so Ann simply took over that job from Silas.
Yes, in short, they accidentally had a great teamwork and completed each other.
But today, Silas and Grace agreed that Ann had been with them for long already and that Ann was great with the children. It was time for Ann to work alone.
At first, Ann was doing really well, especially in a smaller group of children. But when she had to handle a large number, she still couldn’t do it well.
In the end, it was either she had to focus working with a smaller group, or if she had to do it with a larger group (for example when the other volunteers couldn’t make it), Silas would help out a lot.
The two’s interaction had warmed up like a normal coworker or friend relationship by now, which was a good thing.
The romantic older children kept trying to pair the two off, but obviously, both Ann and Silas quickly diverted the topic.
Grace looked at her younger brother and Ann with gentle eyes. She was glad to see Silas having another friend of his age. Silas was good friends with other children of the orphanage who were of his age, but some were adopted and their friendships couldn’t really continue to be the same. As for the other children who grew up with him, they were already considered adults and moved outside to try and make a living. Sometimes they visited, and Silas was evidently happy.
But Silas rarely befriended other females… So obviously, Grace was glad.
One day before Silas’ birthday, Ann went to Grace and proposed something.
“How do you know that it’s Silas’ birthday tomorrow?” Grace asked, amused.
“Eh? W-well, he sort of told me…,” Ann quickly made a lie on the spot.
“Really? That boy rarely tells others of his birthday!” Grace was evidently surprised.
“…I think he sort of blurted it out…?” Ann tried to make sure her lie wasn’t found out.
“Ah, I see. I think it’s a good idea. I’ll help you on it. I hope he’ll be happy,” Grace didn’t think it was weird for someone to blurt out his birthday unconsciously upon asked, so she just said that.
“Thank you, Grace!”
Ann knew that Silas rarely celebrated his birthday anymore after he requested that his birthday should be kept simple to his sister the moment he grew up and could see the grim reality. He said he would rather save the money to help the children. So, Grace would just give him a simple present and cook him his favorite food.
But celebrating once in a while wouldn’t hurt, and Ann noted Silas’ concern of ‘wasting money to celebrate’, so she would do her best to give him a nice birthday celebration that wouldn’t waste too much money!
Ann really went the extra mile just so she could score well in the important characters’ favorability rating!
Well, nobody could fault her! It was all for the slim chance of survivability! Who wouldn’t try it?