Chapter 13: Hawthorn Candy At Home
Mark Heim Ramming, the country’s first prince, had arrived at the “circular farm” with a small escort.
The farm was dying and being buried under sand, as his men reported.
“Is it possible, Gil, that such a strange thing is happening?”
“Your Highness, I’m also curious if the people here knew it was going to stop raining here.”
“Or maybe they lost the means to make it rain.”
“It would be a tremendous blessing for our country if we could bring rain.”
“It would make people’s lives easier.”
When he realized it was pointless to look around, Prince Mark mounted his horse.
He intends to ride slowly home from here.
“Gil, are you aware of the recent rain that has fallen in the middle of the night?”
It’s just a light rain.”
“But it’s frequent.”
“I’d say it rains once or twice a week.”
It has never rained so frequently in this country.
“Don’t you think it’s related to the farm we just went to?”
“Well, a farm can’t survive on that kind of rainfall.
I know this because my maternal grandfather’s family was farmers.”
” I see.”
Perhaps I’m guessing too much.
It’s fun to drive horses in the big desert and to let the hawks fly and hunt.
The Prime Minister keeps bringing up potential fiancées when I’m in the palace, which depresses me.
I know I’ll have to get married eventually, but I just can’t bring myself to do it right now.
Since my grandfather, the second prince of a neighboring kingdom, became king of this land, the Kingdom of Lamimbu has been at peace.
The predecessor of this kingdom, the Kingdom of Shemer, changed its name and continued to exist despite the execution of its royalty and high nobility.
My father said, “As long as there are people, no matter what happens, the nation will not vanish.
That is why we must live for the sake of the people.”
As he moved through the dry, hot wind, Mark remembered his father’s words.
“Oka-san, the hawthorns have already borne fruit.
Look! Do you know how to make hawthorn candy?”
“Ara? That was quick.
It was a wise decision to purchase larger seedlings, even if they cost a little more, because they will bear fruit the fastest.”
“Isn’t it nice to have a fruit-bearing tree? I’m going to take cuttings in order to grow more hawthorn trees!”
“That’s a good idea—by the way, when I was a kid, my Oka-san loved to make hawthorn candies, but she would also occasionally give us mulberries that she bought off the shelf at the market.”
Mulberries? I’ve never seen or eaten anything like that.
“What do they taste like?”
Hakeem, who was present, responded.
“They have a dark purple color that appears black and are sweet and delicious when ripe.” When I was selling water in front of the capital’s botanical garden, the gatekeeper gave me some to eat.
Because it is a water-loving tree, you don’t see many of them.”
We have access to water.
I’m curious if we can grow some at home.
I’d like to grow a whole bunch of them and eat the fruit.
I got a two-handed scoop of hawthorn berries in the evening to make hawthorn candies.
My mother demonstrated how to make it by boiling and melting palm sugar (made from coconuts) and then pouring it on.
“We’ll divide it among seven people, with each receiving only a small bite.
We’ll be harvesting more and more in the future, so let’s make it again when we have more.”
With these words, my mother placed about ten hawthorn candies on each person’s plate.
Everyone commented on how “delicious” and “nostalgic” the hawthorn candy was, but Hakeem just smiled and did not eat it.
“Don’t you like hawthorn candy?” I asked Hakeem, who was sitting next to me after I finished mine.
Then Hakeem blushed and said.
“I don’t hate it.
It’s something I’ve never had before.
Can I bring this home for my sister to eat?”
He replied in hushed tones.
Ah! That’s right!
I’m embarrassed that I, an adult at heart, didn’t realize Hakeem, 13, could care.
Why hadn’t I considered his family?!
“Fufu, Hakeem, don’t worry about eating.
I set aside some for your Oka-san and sister.”
“Really?! Thank you very much… But I still want to eat this with my family, so I’m going to take it home.”
“That’s very sweet of you,” my mother said with a smile.
I rubbed my face against my mother’s back as I hugged her from behind.
Ethan and Ojisan are taken aback—well, I wasn’t exactly a clingy girl.
What’s the matter?”
I love Oka-san.”
Thank you very much.”
I’ve never hugged my parents in my previous life, as far as I can recall.
This mother is wonderful.
I was overjoyed to have such a thoughtful and kind mother.
Hakeem’s Oka-san must be a wonderful person as well, because he raised Hakeem to be a family-oriented person.
“What is it?”
“I’m so glad I was born as Oka-san’s child.”
“Oka-san is also happy that Alesia was born.”
“What about Oto-san, Alesia?”
“Of course I love my Oto-san too! I’m glad I’m Oto-san’s child!”
I live every day grateful to have such a happy childhood.
As I hugged my mother, I expressed my gratitude to God for giving me a fresh start in life
(Thank you so much for allowing me to be born in this house.)
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