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What snapped Silas back to reality was none other than the children who blew their simple musical instruments close to Silas.
Ann stared in horror at the two young children. Sure, she instructed them to blow the wind instruments when Silas entered the room to be surprised… But in this kind of situation, it was totally the wrong timing, alright?!
Before Ann could say anything, the other children noticed the sign of the wind instrument blowing, so they all simultaneously said, “Happy Silas Day!!”
Ann wanted to bury her face to the ground if possible.
MESSED UP! TOTALLY MESSED UP!
The mini Ann inside her heart was already rolling around the floor of her heart, with her hands covering her face.
“W-what?” Silas immediately turned to look at Grace, who was standing at the back of the venue. In retrospective, Grace turned to look at Ann, who had chills run down her spine.
From their eye contact alone, Ann could tell what she had to do. She gulped and walked to Silas. Silas noticed her approaching presence and turned to her with a look that demanded an explanation.
Well, at least he didn’t lash out to the children. That’s good enough.
But before Ann could tell him anything, a girl ran up to Silas and gave him a flower made of paper.
“H-happy Silas day! Uhm, I know you don’t like us celebrating your birthday, so instead, we have a ‘Silas day’—where we say our thanks to you, Silas. Thank you for taking care of me since I was a little girl!” The girl said.
At that time, Ann wanted to cry out of pure gratitude towards the girl.
Oh my, you’re really an angel, Angel!!
The girl’s name was—incidentally—Angel.
Ann wanted to hug this angel incarnate so hard.
Yes, she was the one to explain today’s celebration to the children, but she didn’t expect someone would read the situation so perfectly and tried to tell Silas.
“Huh? A day where you all show your gratitude to… me?” Silas widened his eyes.
“Silas, you’re like my older brother!”
“Silas, thank you for teaching me how to ride a bike!”
All the children rushed off to Silas and said their thanks—some even gave their handmade presents.
Seeing that the situation went to a better direction, Ann finally relaxed enough to go to Silas’ side and whispered to him.
“Don’t worry, if your concern is about wasting resources for your celebration… We only made gifts from things we owned already. As for the food here… well, check them yourself!” Ann said mysteriously.
Silas blinked as he continued to be ushered by the children. Ann walked to the wall and stood next to Faye.
“Phew, seems like everything is fine…?” Ann said.
“I hope so…,” Faye heaved a sigh of relief.
“Chirp chirp!” Birdie flew from Ann’s left shoulder to her right shoulder.
After the children were done shoving their thanks and gifts, Silas walked to where the food was gathered. And there, he blinked several times.
There was no fancy food whatsoever. Not even a single bite of a cake. Instead, there were variety of their usual food—nothing really out of the budget. Yes, most were his favorite food. And it looked festive because the food… was decorated or arranged so much that it looked very neat and amazing. Take the example of sausages lined up to form the writing of “Happy Silas Day”.
“D-do you like it…?” One of the children finally said.
“We made them ourselves!”
“And we decorated them ourselves, too!”
“I hope there’s nothing overcooked or undercooked…”
“I did the sausages!”
“I did the soup!”
Silas was still in awe from all this, but he quickly turned around, smiled and said, “Of course I like them! Now, you’re all hungry, aren’t you? Let’s all eat together!”
With that, everyone proceeded to take their portion and eat happily.
But some children didn’t eat. They proceeded to go to the center of the room and… started singing.
“Happy birthday, Silas! Thank you, Silas! …”
Silas was already eating with the children happily, but he stopped when he saw what was up… before his face bloomed into a smile.
The children then took turns in performing in front of everyone. While the others were performing, the rest was eating.
Among the children, there were some who could use magic. They proceeded to perform with their magic together. Ann looked at the children who could use the other elemental magic with jealousy, but she quickly scratched that jealousy off as she knew that she had more power than them. Too bad that it was only restricted to one element…
When the performance was done and everyone was done eating, the children proceeded to play together with Silas. Ann, Faye, Grace, and the other volunteers also joined. Everything was fun. The atmosphere was merry.
Ann observed the surrounding while playing and warmth grew in her heart.
This is something that I managed to create with my presence here… Somehow, it feels good to think like that. My presence… has meaning.
“Lea-sensei, play with meee!”
Ann snapped out of her thoughts and ran along with the child who called out to her, “Yesss, I’m coming!”
When all was done, it was the time for everyone to tidy up together. Taking advantage of this time, Silas walked to Grace and asked her, “Sis, tell me, who planned this thing up?”
“That would be Lea over there,” Grace said as she looked at Ann, and Silas followed her line of sight.
“Don’t scold her, alright? I agreed because I think this will be the type of celebration you’d like and agree with,” Grace told Silas again, fearing that Silas might still disagree with this simple celebration.
“No problem about that,” Silas said as he walked to Ann.
Ann noticed Silas coming when he was near, and her heart almost stopped at that moment. Although Silas didn’t look mad, Ann was already paranoid due to the failed surprise…
“You planned for this?” Silas asked straightforward.
“Y-yes, I did…,” Ann said lowly. She thought this was a good idea to counter Silas’ dislike of wasting resources for a single celebration… More importantly, it was convenient for her if this tactic were to be proven as a success to gain more ‘favorability rating’. After all, she did nothing but give ideas and instructions. The children were the ones who made the food and gifts.
“…This was actually not bad. I’ve long forgotten how it feels like celebrating my birthday and being shown gratitude to. And more importantly, you didn’t waste anything like those extravagant celebration would…,” Silas said with a smile on his face.
Ann looked up at Silas upon listening his words—she was initially looking down the whole time. Upon seeing Silas’ smile, she knew this was a success!
And damn, indeed, he had a face befitting of a capture target of an otome game, handsome and charming, especially when he smiled!
“That’s not good! Now you know we can just celebrate it like this! Just a small celebration will do. Or being sung ‘happy birthday’ to. Treat yourself with more care!” Ann casually blurted.
“…You’re somehow similar to her, huh?” Silas muttered.
“Eh?” Ann thought she misheard.
“No, never mind,” Silas didn’t repeat his words like what Ann thought he would.
At the end of the day, Ann returned with a mixed feeling.
Happiness due to how good the day was. Relief because her strategy was a success…
And lastly, nervousness because she was compared to the freaking heroine that she knew nothing of!!
The heroine was a ‘blank-slate’ girl so people could do a self-insert and be more immersed in the story.
But… Wouldn’t it be a good thing if she were said to be ‘similar’ to that heroine?
…Could there be hope for her, even if this body didn’t belong to her?
After all, she had to admit that she grew attached to her new life already… And…
Ann turned to look at Faye who happened to be next to her at that moment of contemplation. Faye looked back at her with a question mark written all over her face.
I have something I have to protect here.
Unknowingly, all the things she did ‘on a whim’ grew on her, causing her to be reluctant to just die due to the plot of the game.