e.

 

I finished speaking and sighed softly.
I would soon be eleven in a few days, so I couldn't be like a child.
I would have to think about how I could survive without sitting on the streets.
It was mandatory to leave at the age of fourteen in the nursery school, so there were only a few years left.

 

If I was playing and eating casually, it was easy to become a beggar from an orphanage.
Wherever I went, I would have to have my own skills to avoid starvation.

 

[Iris]: I can read and write letters, and my hands are savvy, so I can at least be a maid of a small castle.

 

I'm not bragging, but I am smarter than my peers, and I used to study letters by myself while other kids were playing ball.
There were no educators in the nursery, so I had no choice but to do it alone.

 

[Iris]: And Theo you….

 

I touched my chin and turned to Theo.

 

Speaking of which, what did Theo know how to do? I seemed to have seen Theo read.
But what else?

 

[Iris]: Theo, what do you know how to do?

 

I asked with a serious face, and Theo replied:

 

[Theo]: Are we arguing now?

[Iris]: It's not like that! Let's think about our survival in the future.

 

I said, clapping my hands.

 

[Iris]: Think about it.
We'll have to leave this nursery school when we're 14, and we'll no longer have a place to sleep and food for free.
It means we have to make money on our own.

[Theo]: You've got three years left.

[Iris]: Nope.
It's only three years.
If we don't make progress in these three years, we'll either become orphanage beggars or just go to the Temple of Hyllis and live off of chores.

 

I shook my head.
I didn't want to do that.

 

[Theo]: What's wrong with that?

[Iris]: Working in a temple means you'll never go out into the outside world again.
You were born here, you grow up, and you're here until

you die.

 

Children who choose not to leave the nursery school get a job as workers at the Temple of Hyllis, which sponsors the orphanage.
In some cases, they could become apprentices or trainees, but that was not always the case.

 

The director told me that it was natural and that we should be thankful to go into the temple to work, but I disagreed.
This was because the nursery school didn't give the children options.

 

As I said, there were no educators in this nursery school.
Moreover, due to the nature of the nursery, it was not free to go out.
Therefore, it was not possible for children who did not even have a basic education to go out into society and find decent jobs.
As a result, the children who grew up here were pushed aside to become the property of the temple.

 

I wanted to go out into the wider world.

 

Even if it's only a maid's job, at least it can be done outside of here.
And one day, I wanted to be a traveler around the world.

 

[Theo]: You know the outside well?

[Iris]: That is….

 

I was speechless at Theo's words.
In fact, I had never been outside of this orphanage.
I just relied on memories from my previous life.

 

[Iris]: You can imagine.
The world would be much bigger than this little nursery.
How amazing would it be to see everything you only saw in books in front of you?

 

But I could assure you.
I'm sure I'd be much happier to leave here.

 

[Iris]: Okay, let's get out!

 

I grabbed Theo's hand.
Theo asked, his eyes widening disapprovingly.

 

[Theo]: Where are we going all of a sudden?

[Iris]: Outside the nursery.

 

This was the only way to move Theo's heart.
To show the wider world in person.

 

I rolled my little eyes and started making plans to sneak out of the nursery.

 

 

 

 

[Iris]: If it's the way I see it on the map, the most important thing is to go through the forest, and then all you have to do is follow the path that people have made.

 

I decided to escape the nursery through the back mountains.
It was a small aberration to give the grand name of escape, but I chose the word escape, not outing.
That way, you'll feel more liberated.

 

For today, I also studied the map of the Empire of Latras.
No one was looking for it, so we made an escape route using the dusty map.

 

[Theo]: Hey

[Iris]: …?

[Theo]: Do we really have to hold hands?

 

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