Reboot Sienna Book 1 Chapter 20
Volume 1 Chapter 20 Live To Sienna Pt.20
After eighteen years of living a certain way, it was difficult to change out of her bad habits. Even with that, Sienna thought Mrs. Kit, who taught by beating her back to the ground, could still have been better.
When there was a banquet held at the palace, Sienna would become nervous about the lively laughter coming from the aristocrats. It was very difficult for her to endure the laughs at every mistake she made just because she was an empress who had come from the North.
As a result, her bright and cheerful personality became more passive.
'There's no need for me to be like that now.'
Sienna took a big bite out of the liquino. She didn't care if anyone could see her teeth nor if the vegetables she dropped got on her clothes and made them dirty either. Chewing the peas, the vegetables and the bread with her mouth full felt refreshing and soothing.
Once she entered the palace again, she wouldn't be able to do things like this for a while: sitting around with children, laughing and talking, or holding food in their hands and eating with their mouths wide open.
It was largely because of Robin that Sienna was with the children.
Robin was a fifteen-year-old boy with brown, curly hair and deep eyes. When the boy came to see Sienna at the temple, he came in clean attire. It was a set of old clothes, but she felt from him that he took his appearance seriously.
It must have been painful to see the large drop in believers at the temple when the children started frequenting it in the past. Kevin, who was next to him, seemed to have washed clean too.
"Hello. My name is Robin. Kevin told me that you want to give us jobs."
"Hello. I'm Sienna."
He talked to Sienna facing straight and with eyes filled with focus. His posture was decisive, and he seemed to be a smart boy.
'If my father had seen him, he would have immediately dragged him back to Heidel to train as a knight.'
Robin was very thin because he had probably been starving for quite a long time, but he had a good posture.
"As you can see, the temple is so old that I'm trying to make amends. It doesn't require a lot of manpower, but it'll take about ten people per day. The work doesn't all have to be done by the older children. You know, kids like Kevin can do the chores or help clean up."
"What about the payment?"
"Absolutely! It'll be ten shillings per person. We'll also include lunch and dinner. The working hours aren't that long. We'll use up about half a day at the longest. What do you think?"
Ten shillings was about half of an a.d.u.l.t's wage for a day's work. The terms were even better when she said she didn't care about their ages. It would have been very difficult for kids like Kevin to find a place to work.
Robin agreed to Sienna's proposition and started coming with the other children early the very next day. Not only did the boy always get the children to wash clean before they showed up, but he also brought different children every day. He did that to ensure that the benefits were equitable.
Sienna also packed a large meal each time. They packed enough food to share, so even the children who couldn't come could eat. As time passed, the children who used to be on high alert when they first went to the temple were now very close to Sienna.
May came up close to Sienna. May was Robin's younger sister. Because there were rarely any girls who survived the streets, having May there was very uncommon. Apparently, Robin had to endure many things to protect his sister.
There were many boys on the streets, but unlike boys, girls were more coveted when they were young, so they would be taken into someone's custody early on. Those who were lucky would become maids. The others ended up being sold, most of them turning into s.e.x slaves or getting dragged into the red light district to fullfill the pleasures of the flesh.
By Robin's wisdom, May kept the appearance of a boy. She had short hair and dressed in boy's clothes, but she was hitting puberty. The fullness of her chest had started to increase, and her skin was smoother than that of the other children. She had been dressed up as a boy, but the fact that she wasn't was starting to show.
Even now, the world was harsh for May and Robin, but Sienna was worried about the future.
"Yes, what's the problem?"
Coco, who was sitting on top of Sienna's foot, looked at May's face and shrugged, returning to his seat. It felt like he was leaving them alone to have their conversation.
'Sometimes, I think he's actually a person and not just a cat.'
"I'm not too sure if I can ask you for a favor like this, but…"
"It's OK. Be at ease and tell me."
"Please teach me how to read and write words," May said pleadingly.
"Writing and reading?"
May's gaze shifted to the book next to Sienna's chair.
In Heidel, where Sienna had grown up, learning how to read and write was natural. For those in the House of Waters, reading and writing was not something to be proud of, and the same could be said of those living in the northern holy lands. They could also read and write. That was due to her family's philosophy that said, "Because we are small in number, we have to make each and every person here into a decent person."
As a result, it had never crossed her mind that the children at the temple might be illiterate. In fact, even the English people in Heidel knew how to read and write, which was uncommon. The average commoner could not read nor write, and even among nobles, there were quite a few illiterates. Teaching those children to read and write would surely help them in their future.
"I'm sorry. It was too much of a request, I see," May replied in a dead voice.
I seemed that she had misunderstood Sienna's expression of embarrassment.
"No! Of course, it's not too much. Rather, I was feeling quite sorry that I didn't think of it first."
"Then, will you teach me?"
"Yes. I'll teach you how to read and write. It'll be hard to start at this very moment, so I'll figure out the best teaching methods to use to teach you first."
May's face brightened.
"Thank you! Thank you very much!"
Tears formed around the girl's eyes. Due to May's excessive reaction, Sienna scratched her head.
"There's no need to thank me over something like that, but what are you going to do when you learn to read and write?"
Although Sienna was vaguely aware of the fact that literacy was recognized as a considerable skill in the small capital, it was not quite clear how it would actually help.
"I want to get a job. I can't be beholden to my brother for long."
"Is it helpful to know how to read and write?"
"It's hard to work in restaurants, too, if you are from the streets. There are no guarantees, and there's the preconceived notion that I grew up on the streets as well. But those who need people who can read and write don't care that they're from the streets. And there are quite a few things you can do just by being able to read and write. You can be a scribe that reads and writes letters for others, you can work at the top, or you can work at the Imperial Palace."
"At the Imperial Palace?"
"Originally, you could've only worked for the Imperial Family if you were of a noble family or if you had an aristocrat backing a commoner. Yet, there are not many who work for the palace who know how to read and write, so sometimes, there are notices that ask for applications that say that if you can read and write, you don't need a guarantor."
May's chubby cheeks blushed when she talked about the Imperial Palace.
"Do you want to work in the palace?"
"Yes. I'd be paid well, but most of all…"
May bit her lower lip where there was a slight mark, looking as if she was embarrassed to say what she was thinking.
"If you work in the palace, you can see pretty princesses and handsome princes up close. I'm very curious about the people living in the palace."
A bitter smile appeared at the corner of Sienna's mouth.
Even though she had been older in the past, like May, a child was still a child. She had imagined a majestic castle, and like her, she had had fantasies about the princes and princesses living in that fancy palace.
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