Chapter 12: Mother’s Persuasion
Even though he said, “All right,” my father was hesitant to hire Hakeem.
Then my mother, who usually doesn’t talk much, started to try to convince him fiercely.
I’ve never seen my mother talk so much.
It’s time to stop keeping Alesia in a birdcage and being suspicious of everyone else.
Or are you simply going to let her grow up without any exposure to the outside world?”
“I am not…”
“I understand how important it is to keep Alesia’s power hidden, but she’ll be old enough.
Do you really want to raise her alone, as a lonely girl with no friends or even a lover? We’ll be the first to grow old and die.
Do you think about Alesia after we’re gone?”
The father lowered his gaze and remained silent.
Then Nathan-ojisan joined us.
“Actually, some assistance would be appreciated.
Alesia’s connection to the rain will go unnoticed if it is only during the day.
And I’ve never seen Alesia request such a favor before.
Have you noticed that, Serio?”
“Alethea has exceptional listening abilities.
I’ve never seen her be so selfish.
Alethea is probably afraid that her rain will get us in trouble and that she won’t be able to do everything herself.”
“We are the ones who owe Alesia thanks.
We don’t want her to feel bad about herself.
Alesia, who has always been so kind to us, is crying and asking for assistance.
Hakeem, I’d like to hire him.”
If we’re the only ones in the house, who knows what kind of bad guys will take advantage of us in the future? I have my own reservations about letting others in.
But I believe it’s past time for Alesia to learn how to coexist with other people.
The first is Hakeem.”
“You want her to grow up not knowing how to interact with others, not fall in love, and simply hide? Is that a happy life? It’s not much different from being taken advantage of by someone with a higher status.”
“I know… yes.
To ask her to live her life without any relationships in order to protect her is cruel…”
From now on, let us raise Alesia with a more positive attitude.”
My mother’s words brought the discussion to a close.
I was wrong about my mother.
I assumed she was just a nice person, but she was much more.
She was a wise older woman who taught me valuable lessons.
“Would you like to work here, Hakeem? It does not have to be on a daily basis.
We’re just a little short on personnel.”
“We have issues with vegetables and fruits because they grow so quickly.”
Hakeem is recruited by Nathan-ojisan and Benita-obaasan.
“If you work for us on this farm, you can eat at our house for lunch and dinner.”
“Perhaps you can’t take time off from your water vendor job?”
My father and mother have also extended an invitation to him.
Hakeem is perplexed because he has only come to ask for water.
“I’ll have a steady income if I work here, right? To be honest, I’d be extremely grateful.
But I’m concerned that you pity me because I’m poor.
I don’t want to be misunderstood, so please allow me to explain my family.”
The adults nodded in agreement.
“My family consists of myself, my mother, and my younger sister.
My father left us a long time ago.
My sister has been ill for a long time and requires medication.
My mother, who works during the day, also skips meals on days when I don’t make much money because she needs the money for my sister’s medicine.
So it’s not just me who goes without eating.
My sister is the only one who can eat porridge and soup.”
He’s only thirteen, but he’s giving it his all.”
My mother clamps her mouth shut and tears up.
After the explanation, Hakeem smiles and agrees to work for us.
He agreed to work in our house six days a week, earning two small silver coins and five large copper coins per day, with lunch and dinner provided.
My father showed him a rainwater collection barrel and said,
“We collect rainwater here, but we can’t sell it because we also need to distribute it in the fields.
He came up with an excuse.
“So that’s how it is.
We don’t actually water the fields, but selling that delicious water will draw people’s attention.
Hakeem was a hard worker who started coming to the farm, and he often made the adults happy by saying things like, “Farming is fun,” and “It is worthwhile to work because vegetables and fruit trees grow well as long as you work hard.”
Hakeem is a strong thirteen-year-old, and despite his thin build, he works as hard as my father and others.
He’s never late, and he works until the last second of the evening.
He always enjoys the food that my mother and I prepare for him.
My mother and I would cook more food in secret and say, “We cooked a lot of food.” and we would give him some of the food so that he could share it with his family.
I hope this alleviates his situation at home.
“My mother and sister will be very happy to eat it,” Hakeem says as he accepts the food.
Everything is going well, except my water magic isn’t working as well as I’d like it to.
I still can’t even make a glass of water.
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