Editors: sleepchaser, ASplashofMusic
“Are you up for working part-time for me after graduation? It’ll be around three to four days a week.”
Currently, Alfred and I are sitting in the church’s dining room.
Since Marie and the kids are currently observing their usual evening worship, it’s only Alfred and me present.
As Alfred gulps down what seems to be a large bowl of ratatouille, I try to negotiate with him.
By the way, I also ate dinner here. A mix of various vegetables with simmered salted meat in the spices. It’s delicious and pairs well with bread. The vegetables came from Marie’s vegetable patch behind the church. Rich in nutrients, dietary fiber, and affection, I can eat them without worry.
As he stuffs his third piece of bread into his mouth, Alfred’s stare bores into me, one eyebrow slightly raised.
The speed and volume of his food intake both amaze me. Where does it all go? Does he make a trip to the toilet right after eating?
Even though I started my dinner before him, he’s almost finished with his serving. Calm down and eat more slowly! That’s bad for your stomach, you know?
“Yeah. You’ll basically be assisting me in territory management and maintenance. Sometimes, you’ll escort me as well. There’s more to the job description, of course… Anyway, the daily wage is ten thousand Erd. Doesn’t matter if you finish your tasks early or late.”
After all, I don’t have a definite schedule, and my work will probably differ every day. It’s also a pain in the butt to pay him by the hour since I’ll have to repeatedly calculate how much to pay him. It will be easier to pay him daily.
The daily wage is already set quite high, so even if he ends up finishing late, it should be enough to cover his overtime payment. Not to mention, calculating overtime pay is too much of a hassle in itself.
This should be a great deal for him, right?
“That’s right. How about it?”
Alfred tilts his gaze upward while narrowing his eyes. He slowly strokes his chin.
Looks like he’s thinking about it.
My heart is filled with confusion.
Contrary to my expectations, he doesn’t accept my proposal immediately. Why not? My offered wage should be absurdly high, high enough to remove the other part-time jobs from his consideration.
After mulling over it, Alfred finally returns his gaze to me.
“Got it. I’ll take your job as my main one.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
His phrasing is weird.
Lf rjlv tf’ii ajxf ws pby jr tlr wjlc bcf.
Gbfr atja wfjc tf’r jigfjvs gfmflnfv batfg boofgr?
Po atja’r agef, atfc la’r j ubbv atlcu P ajixfv ab tlw abvjs. Cr P atbeuta, atf ojrafg P raglxf, atf yfaafg! Ktja’r rbwfatlcu ws ugjcvojatfg boafc abiv wf.
I put my previous thoughts into words. “What? So you’ve taken on other jobs?”
Once more, Alfred submerges into his thoughts, this time lowering his gaze as he strokes his chin. It doesn’t take long before he’s staring straight at me again.
“It’s not urgent, but Cheddar-san has asked me to move in as I continue working at their ranch.”
“Since your job will be three or four days a week, I’ll just work at Cheddar-san’s ranch every Sunday. Like how I am now. No, wait. We’re going to graduate soon. That means I can work during the weekends too. So how about this? I’ll ask Cheddar-san to move my schedule to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.”
Alfred nods. “Yeah. They have a lot of vacant rooms, so they’re letting me use one free of charge. Cheddar-san and his wife live by themselves. It’ll be wasteful to leave those rooms empty They even said they won’t mind if I lived with them for a while.”
That means… He probably will…
“I also feel bad about it, so I’m wondering whether they’ll let me pay rent. If they do, then I’ll have to negotiate with them about it later.”
“N-no! I mean, if that’s the case, you can make Cheddar-san’s job your priority! After all, my job schedule will be irregular. Why don’t you work for me on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday instead? No, even just Saturday and Sunday will be okay.”
“Is that alright?”
“Yeah. Let’s just do that. Your job at the ranch should be more important for you, so you should prioritize it. T-then, after you graduate… You’ll stay at Cheddar-san’s place, right?”
…And leave the church?
“You’re right… I think I’ll take Cheddar-san up on the offer. I heard that they’ve already emptied a room for me, even though I haven’t agreed yet. And Cheddar-san’s wife has already started sewing the curtains and sheets. They sure acted ahead of time. It’d be hard for me to refuse now…”
“I can’t stay in the church forever. A new batch of kids arrived the other day. I have to quickly move out to make room for them.”
“Also, the timing is perfect, since I’ve just started looking for a new place to live,” says Alfred, smiling at me.
For some reason, it takes me a while to return his smile.
The Cheddars may be, no, they must be thinking of adopting Alfred. I’m sure of my premonition.
Perhaps, the Cheddars will try living together with Alfred, getting used to each other. And after Alfred becomes accustomed to living with them, they’ll discuss that option with him. Right?
I think so.
They’re kind people. They’re likely planning on taking it slow.
This is something to celebrate, but I can’t find it in myself to congratulate him. And I really hate myself for it.
It’s… finally time for him to leave the church too.
No. Leaving at his age is already quite late. Alfred has already sent off numerous kids.
That means I won’t see him at the church anymore.
That said, I can’t be selfish. I need to congratulate him.
Like I mentioned before, this is a happy occasion. Very much so.
Alfred will finally have his own family.
Not a temporary one, like the one he found at the church, but a family that will stay. A family that he can call his own.
Come on, just say it! What am I waiting for? Just congratulate him already!
“C-con-g-gratulations. You’ve finally found a permanent home! I wish y-you happiness. And health too!”
There. I’ve tried my best. But this guy doesn’t even say a word of thanks. He simply looks at me with a sad face.
What is it now, this idiot.
He even heaves a sigh, of all things.
“Lian, you are really… What did you mean by saying these kinds of things? Did you even understand what I said? I’m not going to some distant land. I’m just moving to Cheddar-san’s ranch. It’s only a bit farther than the church.”
“Yeah. I’m worried about granny and the kids so I’ll visit the church regularly. Besides, you said you’ll hire me. So we can still meet up, right?”
When he puts it like that, he’s got a point.
Even after we graduate, I’ll still have the chance to meet with him.
“If you think about it, I’m basically just changing where I sleep from the church to Cheddar-san’s house.”
“Eh? Just changing where you sleep?
“Isn’t that right?”
…Is that really the case?
Now that he mentions it, I can see his point.
Is it really okay for you to think of it like that?
Isn’t your understanding a bit different from that of the general public?
“This is not something to cry about, ok?” says Alfred, smiling as he pats my head.
Taken aback, I hurriedly rub my eyes.
I admit that my eyes are slightly damp, but that’s only because I rubbed them too much. They’re just lubricant tears. I’m not crying!
“I-I’m not crying!” I say, shaking off the hand on my hand.
“Ah, that’s right. Lian, after I leave the church, you can use my room as much as you want.”
After you leave? After hearing those words, I can barely form a sentence.
“Well, it’s only until the next kid takes my room. Lian, I told you not to cry.”
“…I’m not crying!”
I can hear my voice shaking, but that’s just my imagination. I’m not crying. There’s nothing here that is making me sad.
After all, this place is full of happiness
“I see.” Alfred laughs, and pulls me closer to him. He wraps his arms around me in a tight embrace. His much thicker and longer arms.
I am completely buried in them. Has he grown again? Has he still not finished puberty? How much taller does this idiot want to grow?
The difference between our physiques is becoming more and more prominent. While it’s good that the future hero is growing this much, it still feels somewhat frustrating. Please share some of the magic with me too.
Then Alfred strokes my back with his large hand.
As if calming a child.
What a conceited kid. He treats me like this even though I am older than him. Psychologically.
“I’m not going to some distant land. Besides, you said that you’ll hire me. So we can still meet up, right?”
“Anyway, if one day I need to go somewhere far away, I’ll definitely take you along. Don’t worry.”
The moment Alfred says those words, my eyes widen.
He’ll take me along?
He’s said this before in the past. Promised it, actually.
But does he really mean it?
“I haven’t decided when yet, but after I’ve settled down I want to return to Valmcardo. That large country in the west. Even if it’s just for one day, I’ll be fine with it.”
Special thanks to MsLori-san for the ko-fi!!
My sleeping time has worsen these days, not because I’m busy or insomniac but I just didn’t feel like sleeping! xD *//slapped*