I hurriedly chase after Saine who is about to go out.

I’m buying firewood today. Firewoods are sold in the Southeastern Section but that market is too dangerous for me. I keep getting jostled and it’s hard to walk properly. Saine is probably also going to the Southeastern Section’s market, so I’ll tag along with him en route. I want to make at least my journey there easier.


[You’re going to buy firewood? And?]


Saine looked down at me as he said that and went back home. Not understanding the reason, I also followed.

When Saine entered the storage room, he brought out a tool.


[If you’re going to buy firewood, we have a rack.]


He put on the rack upon saying that. It’s an L-shaped rack made of wood.


[Oh, you’re right. I can carry a lot more in that instead of my hands.]


I was looking at it while I was cleaning the room, but I completely forgot. I stretched out my hand trying to take the rack, but Saine ignored me and went out of the house with the rack still on his back. Will he help me buy firewood?


The two of us walk down the street. Saine walks quickly. I hurry after him so I don’t get left behind. It’s an hour from the house to the Southeastern Section. It would be pretty awkward to be quiet so I talked without expecting a response.


[The Grandpa next door apparently has a bad waist. Is that why you chopped firewood for him, Saine?]




[But Grandpa’s arms sure are strong. He smashed all the pepper stones for me. Crushing those sure was hard for me. I hit the stones countless times and finally only broke one, after all. Grandpa said that he will break the pepper stones as thanks for the bathwater.]


This proposal is really such a big help. I have to do everything for myself personally, but if I do all those things all at once, I think I might deflate. 

I will master drawing water first, next is firewood chopping, and last will be the pepper stones. There’s a lot of physical labor to do.


[If it’s only those stones, I can break them myself.]


He said it so softly that I almost missed it.

Saine’s voice is low, and basically, he only spoke in a sputter. Afraid that the rest of his words will be mixed with the sound of footsteps and I’ll miss hearing it, I quickly stop.


[Huh? Saine will?]


I tried to look up but Saine’s pace quickened and trying to keep up is the best that I can do.


[But, it’s not, good to, make, Saine, do it.]


I can’t speak properly because my breath is labored. Perhaps he could hear me only making wheezing noises, Saine stopped walking.


[Saine, you walk really quickly, huh. As expected, is it because of the difference in leg lengths?]


I’m still out of breath. But Saine didn’t rush me and waited. I breathed deeply for a while and started walking again. This time, Saine also walked slowly.


[Thank you. Saine, you’re so kind.]


When I was so happy for his concern and said that, Saine only ‘humphed’ through his nose and didn’t respond.