Chapter 22 The Hunger Never Stops

 My hunger won't stop.

 This could be dangerous, Tien thought.

 My eyes went blank, and I realized that the ground was right in front of me.

 With his natural reflexes, he was able to poke his hand, but for a moment, he seemed to have fainted.

"Hey, girl. Get out of the way. Step aside."


 A big, red-haired miner came carrying a pickaxe.

 Passing each other,

"...foreman's on his lunch break."


 Tien watched the workers leave and then sat down in the shade of a nearby rock.

 He told me to take a break while I still could.

 The foreman was strict, but some of the workers were kind.

 Although I knew I couldn't continue to take advantage of it, I decided to take a break, as I thought today might be tough.

 I've been a miner for two years.

 Instead of earning more money, it gets harder and harder every day.

 I think it's because I'm getting bigger and need more nutrients, but I'm still eating the same amount of fruit.

(What should I do... if I don't do something, I'll be jilted)

 Tien nodded.

 It's impossible to live like this for long.

 I thought about going to another city, but the food in other cities is not necessarily better, and I don't have the means to earn money, and more importantly, I don't know how to get out of the city.

(...I can't think straight.)

 My head is spinning. I can't think clearly on an empty stomach.

 At that moment, Tien's keen nose picked up the smell.

 Mining is sometimes referred to as the "war against water".

 Digging through the bedrock, we hit a vein of water that had been seeping into the ground.

 If the water is not drained, it will continue to accumulate, so some workers work to pump it out.

 In such cases, magic is often used, and wizards can also play an active role in mining.

(I guess it's natural that it smells like water...)

 Tien slumped over and stopped thinking.

 The water smelled like something I'd never smelled before, but I couldn't stop thinking about it.

"You idiot, you ghost dog! You've been diving for a day and all you got is this? I don't have a single silver coin to pay you!"

 In the end, he slept through the night, the foreman thundered at him, and Tien's earnings for the day were zero.

 It's no wonder I fell asleep. But it was hard that I hadn't recovered from it.

(I guess I'm at my wits end...)

 She walks along the dimly lit street toward her house.

 Today is only one day before the new moon, and there is little moonlight.

 At such times, I always remembered my parents who left me behind.

 --The Moon Wolf Tribe lives with the phases of the moon. There are full moon nights when the moon is as bright as wet, and new moon nights when the moon is so sad you want to disappear.

 --Even if you have a bad day, in half a month you'll have a good day again. That's why Tien...


 My father and mother, who loved me and cared for me, are not here.

 One day, he suddenly disappeared without leaving a single note.

 It was only by luck that I was picked up by an orphanage.

(...does Chi want to see her father and mother...)

 I didn't know who I was.

 If we're going to find him, we shouldn't be giving money to the orphanage.

 Even if you don't want to keep receiving favors, it's time to stop giving money and start saving up.

 But what it doesn't do is ....

 Maybe I'm not ready to meet my parents.

Maybe I don't have the courage to face my "abandoned self.

 I looked down and saw heavy clouds hanging over the mine.

 It must be raining in the mountains.

 It's raining pretty hard, by the looks of those clouds.

(Come to think of it, I think I smelled the water somewhere today...)

 My head is too foggy to remember.

"Tien, welcome back."

 The next thing he knew, he had arrived home, and waiting for Tien was the monastery teacher.

What's wrong with you, this time of night?

"You've really done a lot for the orphanage. You've been a great help."

"...I'm sorry, I didn't make any money today."

"I'm sure you will... with that skinny-sama-ko."

 Even in the dim light, I could see the doctor's pained face.

 Not wanting to worry her, Tien hugged herself tightly.

"I'm not tired."

 The teacher looked more and more pained at such a healthy appearance.

"Tien... today, I came to thank you, but I also had one more thing to do."

You wanted to see me, sir?

"I'd like to invite Tien to dinner at the monastery."


 Tien nodded her head, unsure of what was going on.

 The food in the monastery is the same as the food in the orphanage.

 And the food there Tien could hardly eat. It was so bad.

 Of course, you must know that.

"...sir, Chi..."

"I know. I know you're... chan. But can't you just come and pretend you've been tricked?"

"A monastery teacher deceives people?"


 He put his hand on his forehead. Tien couldn't help but laugh a little at the gesture, as if to say, "He's got a point.

"Okay...I think I can eat the fruit, so I'll go."

"Oh, I see. Then let's get going."

 Tien walked with his teacher to the monastery.

 The moon in the night sky is thin.

 With tomorrow being the new moon, I'm sure my health will be even worse.

 Thinking about it, I was depressed.

 As they neared the monastery, Tien noticed a smell in the air.

 Since there are few houses around here, the smell is coming from the monastery.

 And strangely enough, I don't feel nauseous at all, which usually makes me dizzy.


 --GuruGuru ....

 It stimulates your hunger even more.

"Sir, sir, what's going on today?"

 The teacher was surprised when Tien grabbed her arm.

 I had never seen Tien in such a state of panic.

 She was somehow transcendent and much more mature than children of her age.

 Tien is upset when she smells the cooking smoke.

"Actually, I was skeptical too, but I'm glad I brought kun with me. -The look on your face... and the drooling."


 Noticing the drool dripping from his mouth, Tien wiped his mouth in a panic.

"I'm home. I've brought Tien with me."

 As soon as we entered the building of the orphanage behind the monastery, the teacher said.

 I could hear them even when I was outside, but when I opened the door, I could hear the voices of the children inside even louder.

"Yummy! I've never had anything like this before!"

"You, you're the one I was just about to eat!"

"I took it!"

"Come on, come on, there's more where that came from, don't be stubborn."

 A nun with warlike excitement and a hand full of those who try to discourage her.

 When I entered the cafeteria, I found a large table, a group of children who made even the table seem small, and a large number of plates of food.

 A platter of soup with vegetables and meat floating in it, and a mountain of bread baked to perfection.

 Some children scooped jam from jars, while others gathered up small pieces of meat on their plates.

 All of them look happy, happy, happy.

(What, so...)

 The children were probably more excited than usual after seeing the sumptuous meal.

 However, the children always seemed to be happy at meals.

 Only one person--Tien--was feeling gloomy.

(Why doesn't it smell bad?)