Reboot Sienna Book 1 Chapter 19
Volume 1 Chapter 19 Live To Sienna Pt.19
"You won't be in trouble. Tell big brother Robin I brought you with me on an errand, so you are here by my request."
There wasn't anything really for him to do there, but Sienna thought she'd just make something up at least.
"By the way, you and your friends starve if you guys don't come here and eat. How do you stand that?"
"I usually go through trash cans or beg. Some of the older boys either pickpocket or rob people, but Robin doesn't let them do that. He says that if you antagonize people for petty things, you might get beaten senseless and die."
The one named Robin seemed very smart, so Sienna thought she'd like to meet him someday.
"These days, it's even hard to go through trash cans. People were telling others not to put their trash cans on the streets because of the upcoming National Day Festival. Even though I wasn't really good at begging to begin with, nowadays, there's no one tossing me a coin. It's as if their pockets are going through hard times as well. So, my friends and I haven't had anything to eat for the last three days."
Those small children were starving and without any protection. She felt sorry for them.
"How many friends do you have?"
There were not as many children as she had thought. Kevin said the number of children who had starved to death that year was also quite high. It was shocking that there were children starving to death despite the flood of wheat into the Empire due to the continuously booming harvest.
She wanted to help those children somehow. At heart, she wanted to build a space for the children to stay safe, but there wasn't much she could do when she didn't have anything.
Sienna calculated the amount she'd need in her head. With the money that Kelly had given her for her dress and the allowance she got, she could buy enough wheat for the children for a while. Aunt Kelly's business connections would make it cheaper too.
However, handing out unconditionally was not the answer.
'I think I should find them work…'
Sienna looked around at the temple. There were cobwebs everywhere, and many parts of the paint on the walls had peeled off. The chairs were very old too. It seemed that Priest Roy alone could not afford to repair the temple.
"I'd like to meet the person you call older brother. I need some help with handiwork."
At Sienna's words, Kevin's round eyes widened.
Azrael looked worried when he saw Carl preparing to go out.
"Are you sure you want to go alone? Wouldn't you rather move with me…?"
Unstrapping his sword from his waist, Carl said, "It's fine. You go to the information guild in my place. I need to find out what the hell's going on at the Peer Family estate."
Carl had arrived at the capital earlier than planned to avoid the watchful eyes of Queen Arya and to meet with the powerful aristocrats that backed her behind her back. The forces were being gathered for an event with the help of the help of the Peer Family, the family of his fiancée—Countess Bluebell, and Carl had planned to attend that even in secret to find out what they were planning.
However, Carl's plan had fallen apart suddenly when Count Peer returned to his estate, so Carl decided to meet with Count Peer in person to find out why he had moved differently. If he had broken off ties with Carl to stand with Arya, things would become problematic.
"Then, you should at least wear your sword. You might come up against an assassin on the way."
At Azrael's request, Carl laughed.
"I'm not going into enemy territory and I can't go to my fiancée's house wearing a sword. Only you, Count Peer and Pavenik know that I'm here and my whereabouts, so how would Arya know where to send an assassin?"
Azrael shook his head at Carl's response and said, "You said so yourself, someone recognized you at the market not too long ago. Maybe that person is one of Arya's people."
Carl recalled the woman he had just met. The woman with the flowing red hair had called him by name. Above all, the emotion on her face had left a lingering feeling in his mind.
Strange as it may be, Carl had felt guilt, joy, relief, fear and longing from her. Carl confided everything to Azrael, who had grown up with him from an early age, but he had not been able to tell him of those feelings honestly. Even as he thought carefully about them, he thought it was weird.
"I don't think she's one of Arya's people..."
"Oh, my! Did you know her already?"
Carl shook his head when Azrael asked that.
"Then, how can you be so sure about that?"
Looking down at his clothes, Carl said, "Just. That's what I feel."
After pulling out a dagger and placing it into Carl's hand, Azrael said, "Then, take this with you. No matter how much Your Highness is loved by the Goddess of War, you must not be careless. She will surely send an assassin from the castle when she finds out that Your Highness has sneaked into the capital."
"OK. Anyway, your nagging is… This is why I hear people say you're my wife."
Surprised by Carl's words, Azrael asked, "Who in the world is saying such things?"
"That's what everyone calls you. You're saying you didn't know?"
Carl teased Azrael to his heart's content before escaping the inn.
"Damn. I should have listened to Azrael…" Carl grabbed onto his side, which had been stabbed and was bleeding out, and asked, "When in the world did you find out that I was back here…."
He had tried his best to evade Arya's eyes. Presumably, he was supposed to be stationed at the front lines at that moment.
Worried that he might be found out, Carl had had Pavenik sign in for him to make it appear as though he was still there. Because of the increased training, soldiers and knights at the frontlines wouldn't even have been able to tell that he and Azrael had left. That was why he had laughed Azrael's worry off as unnecessary.
It had happened when he was walking toward the count's house unaware. There had been so many people in the market that he had felt rather buried in the crowd and at ease. At no point had he thought of the old lady holding a puppy in her arms as a hitman.
But that old woman, who he thought would just pass him by like everyone else, stabbed him in the ribs with a dagger that she had taken out of her pocket before running away quickly. The wound wasn't deep enough to cause immediate death, but the problem was that things weren't over.
"You really think you're going to take my neck this time."
He felt his body become heavier and slowly dull, as if she had poisoned the tip of the knife. Moreover, a group of people, who appeared to be Parakhoro's minions, began to chase after Carl.
Carl jumped into a narrow alleyway in a hurry.
At that moment, Sienna was eating the liquino she had bought from the skewer's house. Liquino was a dish made by baking dough in the oven and filling it with vegetables instead of meat. Sauce accompanied it. For her, it was good that there was no meat in the dish.
"This is really delicious."
Sienna sat down on the chair while eating her liquino and watched the children eating their liquinos happily.
Due to the nature of the dish, liquino had to be eaten with mouths wide open. Even though the sauce would drip from the edges of everyone's mouth and make a mess, no one cared at all. It was not an act worthy of praise, but she, too, cared for nothing at that time.
In the past, the etiquette she had learned at the Imperial Palace had been horribly complex. There were still many things that she couldn't understand why they were found to be proper.
Among them, was one edit: "Women should not eat with their mouth open for more than a width of a finger, nor should they show their teeth during meals." That was probably why the waistlines of the capital aristocrats were as wide as the palm of a hand.
Sienna, who had become the empress in the past without knowing any of those things, had been severely reprimanded by Mrs. Minyu Kit, her former teacher of royal etiquette. Her hands had swollen up red sometimes from the fan Mrs. Kit used to swing at her.
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