Chapter 21 All Bad

 Is it all bad?

 The first time Nina heard the term "ghost dog" was when she wandered away from a tavern, attracted by the smell of rare food.

 In addition, I noticed that Emily and Astrid had left me.

 What caught Nina's attention, however, was a girl with long black hair who was slipping, slipping, slipping through the crowd.

 She sat down, exhausted, and I offered her a water bottle.

 It was only then that I realized that she was a beastman.

"...I don't need it."

"I thought a drink of water might make you feel a little better. This isn't charity, it's just kindness."

 I took the trouble to add the word "kindness" instead of "charity".

 Nina suspected that this girl, dressed as a miner, was more independent than most.

"Then... take it."

"By all means."

 When I handed her the water bottle, she gulped it down and drank it in no time at all.

"Delicious... this is not just water."

"I took some water from the mountain spring on the way. I'm a tourist who just arrived in town."

"Sightseeing? There's nothing to see here."

"Yes, there is! I've always wanted to see a mine!"

 I wanted to see the mine," said the dog-eared girl, blinking her eyes as if she had never heard the word before in her life,

"'re weird."

"Is that right? My name is Nina."

 The girl said as she returned the water bottle.

"Chi... san, is it?"

"My name is Tien. But the people closest to me call me Chi."

 Then, Tien's stomach rumbled.



 After a moment of silence, Nina said,

"I see. Um... if you don't mind me asking, could you tell me about the city? I'd be very grateful if you could tell me about some good places to eat."

 It occurred to me that I should share a meal with her, as she seemed to be hungry.

 But Tien shook his head as he stood up.

"All the food here is bad."

 Yes, he assured me.

 Without any hesitation or hesitation, I just said plainly as if I were reporting a natural fact.

 He said it in such a natural way that it didn't seem like he was trying to be tough.

"If you'll excuse me, Chi has some business to attend to. Water, thank you."

 Tien staggered away.


 All the food here is bad.

 How is that possible... that everyone has to endure a bad meal?

 Behind Nina, who was craning her neck,

"It's started again. I mean, it's already started."

"Hmm. This is impossible, no matter how careful we are, isn't it?"

 I heard Emily and Astrid's voices.

"Oh, you two! We've been looking for you!"

"That's what I'm talking about. ...So? Who's the girl now? What's wrong with that girl and what are you going to do about it?"

"What? No, no, no, what's going on?

"You're not going to do anything?"


 Ghost dogs, they called them.

 She's a cute little girl with wet feather-colored hair and inumimi sticking out of it.

 She is skinny and scrawny now, but if she eats well, she should be able to regain her original cuteness.

 I don't know what I can do.

 But I do feel that I would like to do something for them if I could.

", can I do something for you?"

 Emiri folded her arms.

"It's a huge step forward for you to ask me beforehand."

"I guess Emily's education hasn't been abandoned."

 The two of you are acting like parents and saying what you want.

"So, Nina, where do we start?"

 Nina replied.

"Let's have dinner! At the best restaurant in town!"

 In the morning, Tien wakes up in a small room.

 He grabbed a piece of wilted fruit from the bedside table and took a bite.

 The sourness made me frown, but I persevered and kept chewing, and I could feel a faint sweetness. But as I continued to chew, I could feel a faint hint of sweetness.

 --GuruGuruGuru ..........

 My stomach is growling.

 There was dried meat next to the fruit, but when Tien picked it up, he gulped it down.


 He bit down as if he had made up his mind,


 I took it right out of my mouth and popped it.

"...Maz. It's too bad. .... Why is everyone eating this disgusting food without a care in the world?"

 He tried to put the dried meat back, but looked at it regretfully, then remembered how bad it was and shivered slightly.

 I left the room in a daze.

 It is a place where miners can rent cheap housing, and there are rows of similar houses that are little more than storage rooms.

 One of the things that Tien likes about this place is that the miners don't cook for themselves, so the smell of their food doesn't waft through the air.

 With a growling stomach, Tien went to a monastery on the outskirts of town.

 In the backyard, there is a small fruit tree, where the fruit that Tien ate earlier is growing.


 He was about to pick it up, but Tien stopped him.

 There are 15 left.

 It's as if they think they can't take too much.

"--I told you you could eat everything in there, Tien."

 An old man in a monk's uniform came over.

"Teacher ..... This."

 Tien pulled a silver coin out of his pocket.

 The man-- the teacher, receiving it,

"...Tien, I'm really grateful that you're donating this money. It costs a lot of money to run an orphanage but I don't want to see you in such pain. You must be hungry."

"Yes. But the food here is all bad."

"Hmm...I wonder why. That's the only thing I can't cure with magic."

"Okay. I can eat that fruit."

"...The children, knowing that Tien is eating the fruit, are doing their best to take care of it."

 Tien gave a small laugh, perhaps imagining the children tending to the tree,

"I'll be going then."

 and went off to work today.

 The teacher looked worried at the back of his head, which was somewhat dangerous even when he was just walking.

 But I knew from our previous interactions that I couldn't persuade Tien no matter what I said.

 Back at the monastery, the morning preparations have begun.

 When he returned, one of the nuns noticed him.

"Sir, how can I help you? Oh... it's Tien."


 Everyone here knows about Tien.

 Especially since she's from an orphanage.

 Now that I'm working in the mines.

 To donate a few days' worth of earnings at once.

 When a person is hungry and wobbly, but won't eat because he says the food is bad--that's not reticence or a lie, that's thinking from the bottom of his heart that the food is bad. It is not a refrain or a lie.

"I've only been taking care of her for a short time..."

 Tien had drifted into this city of Izumi Mines from somewhere - an orphan.

 The orphans who somehow appear in the city either die in the wild or are brought to this monastery by well-meaning adults who cannot bear to see them.

 The Moon Wolf, as she called herself, had an excellent sense of smell and could detect smells that even the teachers could not detect. Finding lost items was a piece of cake.

 And even though he was a child, he was as strong as an adult.

 But she could hardly eat. I held my breath and forced myself to swallow, sometimes spitting it out.

 When I asked him what he had been up to, Tien kept his mouth shut.

Until now, he must have been eating with his parents.

 Tien doesn't want to talk about her parents--I mean .

 The doctor guessed.

 Tien said her parents abandoned her.

 At the age of 10, Tien spent two years in an orphanage and then became a miner.

 She brought the money she had earned from the orphanage, saying that she had been indebted to them.

 The number of orphans tended to increase every year, and it was true that the school was in need of funds to operate, so the teacher accepted the donation even though she felt bad for Tien.

"Sen-sensei! Sister Tien, I'm going to water Chan's tree!"

"Hey, that's my job today."

"The sooner the better."

"Wait a minute!"

 The children woke up and ran to the fruit trees in the backyard.

 Tien doesn't seem to know how to get close to the children, and won't play with them.

 Still, I'm sure they adore you.

"...What should I do? Why did God put the curse of the tongue on her?"

 The teacher stands there clutching a silver coin.

 I could only think of it as a curse.

 I thought that perhaps I had lost the sense of taste as -chan due to the shock of being abandoned by my parents.

 Even if that's the case, there's nothing I can do.

 I can't do anything about Tien, who is so healthy and trying so hard.

 The teacher felt helpless and at a loss.

"--Sir. Sir?"

 The next thing I knew, a nun was approaching.

"Oh, I'm sorry... you were getting ready for breakfast."

"That's true, but there's a visitor here. I thought it would be better if you took care of it."


 This early in the morning?

"What do you say, sir?"

 The nun said to the teacher, who was puzzled.

"Well, thank you for that...I'm a maid."