ASTKO 11

11

 

“Sajis-sama… you said?”

 

Maybe he misheard. Retana said ‘That’s right’ when he asked her again.

The important matter that Sajis-sama, who was just here, was your redemption.”

 

” My… “

“Yeah. Yours. He said that he wants to take you and that he has prepared a large amount of money.”

” I don’t have that much worth. “

” Yaquel. Stop bringing yourself down. That’s a bad habit of yours.”

” But… “

 

So she said, but there’s no way that Yaquel, who was originally oppressed and abandoned by his own parents and was not needed by anyone, would have any self-confidence. It was only when he started working here in Hana-Hana as a manservant that he had an actual feeling of being needed and felt actually alive, although it was just a little bit.

 

” You know, I don’t think Sajis-sama’s talk about redeeming you is a bad idea. “

 

As expected, does Retana really want to give Yaquel to Sajis? There’s nothing better than gaining a huge amount of money. That’s for the shop’s and Retana’s best interest. However, Yaquel didn’t want to say ‘I understand’ as much as possible and he said.

” Retana-san. Is it bad for me to stay here… “

“There’s no way that that’s the case. Do you have any idea how you have been such a great help with your eagerness to work hard here?”

” So then…! “

When he was about to say, Please let me stay here!, Retana held Yaquel’s hand and gently stroked it.

 

“Look how chapped they’ve become…”

 

Yaquel’s hands which are one or two times bigger than Retana’s hands, are rough and have a lot of scratches from the washing and scrubbing as well as the physical labors that he takes the initiative to do.

 

Retana’s heart has always been hurting. Yaquel has always been struggling ever since she picked him up. Being the shop’s errand boy is still fine, but Yaquel has ended up selling his body recently. Even if this wasn’t her intention, the result is still as if her having Yaquel receiving customers.

 

Maybe it would have been better for Yaquel if she let him be sold to the slave traders. If things went well, he could’ve been sold to a wealthy master, and he may have been able to live well.

 

She got no business sense and was timid, and it was a fact that she’s making Yaquel suffer. She felt that if the kind-hearted Yaquel continued to work in the shop, he might get crushed someday. Retana wanted to avoid that at all costs.

 

” Sajis-sama surely values you. I can tell from his actions during his recent visits. He prepared that much myshall meat for you. He won’t go that far just for your body.

“………..”

“Besides, if you go to Sajis-sama’s place, you can live in luxury. There’s no need for you to struggle like this anymore.”

 

Retana’s kindness is transmitted through his rubbed palms.

 

” It’s alright for you to also be happy. ”

 

Yaquel responded to Retana’s shaking voice by gripping her hands back. It wasn’t only Yaquel’s hands that were chapped. Retana’s hands were also telling a story of repeated hardships.

 

“Retana-san, I don’t wish for a life without poverty. My happiness is this Hana-Hana. I want to work with everyone here and see them happy. I want to see Retana-san, the customers, as well as my co-workers’ smiles. “

” Yaquel… “

“And my dream just grew.”

” Dream…? “

” Yes. I want to make Hana-Hana this street’s most popular shop. “

” In Pyacca? “

” Yes. The best in Pyacca. “

” Fufufu, that’s a grand dream you have there. “

 

Retana let out a chuckle and somehow looked happy.

 

“Yes. That’s why, until that dream comes true, I don’t want to be apart from Hana-Hana.”

 

Yaquel, who just conveyed his own intentions to Retana, had on a somewhat relieved expression. Upon talking to Retana, Yaquel is now clear on what he wants to do and what he’s expecting internally.

 

“I understand, Yaquel. Your dream is also a dream of mine. In fact, it should have been me who desires that the most. Yet I needed you to tell me that before I realized it. How pathetic. Alright, Yaquel, let’s fulfill that dream together.”

“Retana-san!”

 

Retana swore to refuse Sajis’s offer promised to realize their dream with a firm handshake with Yaquel.

 

Sajis didn’t find it amusing.

He expected to see the redeemed Yaquel’s happy face, but Retana’s letter of refusal reached him instead. She said that the notice of nonacceptance came from YAquel himself.

Sajis couldn’t stay still so he ended his work and headed to Hana-Hana.

 

“Yaquel, I heard that you refused my redemption request.”

 

Arriving at Hana-Hana, Sajis immediately called for Yaquel and immediately asked him without any greeting.

 

“…Yes. I’m sorry. I’m grateful for the thought but, I want to stay in this shop and keep working just as I always have.”

“Do you mean to say you find this shop more important than me?”

 

Yaquel was troubled as to how to answer Sajis’s question.

Sajis is a valuable customer. And Hana-Hana is his precious home, and everyone working there is like family to him. He cannot choose between the two.

Yaquel greatly wanted him to understand but he didn’t know how to properly explain it.

 

“Forget it! I’ve realized how you feel!”

 

Sajis was irritated at Yaquel’s indecisive state, he pushed Yaquel on the bed.

 

That’s not it. You’re mistaken. He must properly tell him(S) that Sajis and Hana-Hana are both very important to him.

Having angered him(S), Yaquel tries to explain in a panic. However

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