The Original Purpose [Part 1]

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Inside the pot, the oatmeal was boiled in water until it became soft.
Then, milk was added to it and seasoned with the leftover salt.

What Emma did wasn’t something that could be called cooking, but she made it with the image of a milk porridge from their previous life in mind.

It became a watery porridge because Emma added too much water as the number of children increased.
But it didn’t taste bad because of the salt.

“Alrighty, it’s done.”

When Emma turned around, the children had formed a line before she knew it, each holding their own cup.

“Ah, hey! This oatmeal is for Big Brother, y’know? It’s not a food distribution.”

The boy warned the children, but they stayed stubbornly still.
Everyone was hungry.

“It’s alright.
We have a lot.”

Emma took the cup of the first child and poured the milk-porridge-like oatmeal.

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“It’s hot, so be careful, okay.”

The boy nodded and started blowing on the oatmeal porridge while eating it.
At that time, the injured man woke up, perhaps attracted by the smell.

“…Eh? Who?”

He looked at the unfamiliar three siblings and cocked his head in confusion.

“Ah, Brother—!”

“Hue? What are you doing— ugh!”

The boy went and hugged the man.

“Stupid Brother!! I was so worried!”

He hit the man’s chest repeatedly like a child throwing a tantrum.

Being the person all of this was about, the man itself had no idea about what’s going on.
He just soothed the boy and silently received his attacks that didn’t hurt him at all. 

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“Hue, calm down a bit.
I don’t really get it, but I’m sorry?”

“I thought you’re going to die, Brother! You’re stupid, stupidd.”

Perhaps feeling very anxious after thinking about it again, the boy started crying on top of the man.

The man just recalled now that he got hurt yesterday when he tried to stop a carriage.

Strangely, he didn’t feel any pain.
And his wounded leg was wrapped by some purple thing.

‘There, there,’ the man patted the boy.
Then, George handed him the milk porridge.

“Can you eat?”

*Gulp* The man swallowed, but he didn’t take the oatmeal.

“Where did you get this? Hue, you… Did you go pickpocketing again?”

“I-I didn’t! This is from the money they gave!”

The boy flinched at the man’s words that were not wrong yet also not quite, which unnecessarily aroused the man’s suspicion.

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“Please eat before it gets cold.
You can think about this later.”

Responding to George, the man took the milk oatmeal porridge.
He couldn’t possibly refuse his first meal in a week.

“So good!”

After eating a spoonful, he absorbed himself in gobbling down the milk porridge.

“Please eat slowly.
You will shock your body.”

Emma called out to the man while giving out second helpings to the children, but he didn’t seem to hear it.

When the large pot of milk oatmeal porridge had been emptied, William finally explained the things that happened today.

“So, Hue, you did pickpocket someone after all, huh.”

The man smacked the boy with his fist, then looked at the three siblings.

“Sorry, he is my sworn younger brother, but before he met me, he made a living from pickpocketing.
Even though he had once got into trouble because of it, his stealing habits returned if he ever ran into difficulties.”

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The three siblings smiled and said, “No need to worry about it,” in reply to the unexpected apology they got from a man living in the slums.

“Also, how could I thank you for treating my injuries and even providing me food… Honestly, I feel so grateful.
I’m called Harold.
From some courses of events, I’m taking care of the children in this area.”

“No, we just happened to be there and can help.
I’m George, these are my younger brothers, Emma and William.”

Emma was dressed as a boy, so George introduced her as his younger brother.

“Ah, I’m Huey.
Just call me Hue.”

The boy grinned towards the siblings while rubbing his own head that just got smacked.

It seemed he could smile now that Harold had awoken.

“Nevertheless, I feel like there are so many small children here…”

George, who had gone back and forth between the slums and the commoner town several times today, had been wondering about it.
At a glance, the slums were filled with children smaller than himself and Emma.
Even as he got further into the slums, he didn’t see any adults.
There’s one, but that one adult was the thin man in front of him.

“It’s because recently, people here have no problem finding employment.
More places have been willing to hire people from the slums.
So once they become an adult or reached working age, they can graduate from the slums.”

Manual labor had been in great demand this past year for the demolition and repair work of buildings that got destroyed during the coup d’état.
Harold looked proud explaining it for some reason, but this man who is not working even though he already reached working age, just why…

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