Humans live by communicating with words. How inconvenient would it be if that can’t be done?
They were currently feeling this.
“Ummm, your name, what is your name?”
It was Yao who spoke to the child flusteredly. She was stooped over, eye level with the foreign girl. The girl only tilted her head with an innocent look. She couldn’t speak at all. From the fact that she could catch Yao’s words, made it seem like she could hear, but she couldn’t speak at all.
(We would know which country the child is from if she says something.)
She didn’t utter a single word.
Yao, being the one who had pushed herself in, was somehow trying to figure out the girl’s identity, but she looked greatly perplexed. Occasionally, she would glance towards Maomao and En’en.
(You should be helping her.)
En’en, the subordinate, was studying her master’s actions.
She always thought that En’en was always Yao’s faithful subordinate, but Maomao noticed that it was a little different. The court lady held Yao to great esteem, and her work as a subordinate was perfect, but…
(It’s somewhat twisted…)
That was Maomao’s opinion.
It was kinda cute that the court lady wanted to bully the other a little and kinda not.
And so, En’en just kept watching Yao’s troubled expression until she was satisfied with it.
Of course, if they kept going at this rate, they’ll run out of free time, so Maomao was going to put herself forward, when En’en stepped in.
“Yao-sama, I don’t think she understands our language, so I’ll take over.”
“En’en, please.” Yao looked relieved. She seemed grateful towards En’en, but the problem was that this En’en had been wagging her backside in enjoyment the whole time she was watching Yao put on the spot.
(Ignorance is whatever.)
Maomao watched the two with narrowed eyes.
En’en asked the child for her name in a foreign language. Though she said foreign language, there were several types. What Maomao could speak brokenly was just the Sha’ou language. If it was for simple reading and writing, she could also understand the language that was from further west. But since this was all self-taught in the end, she had no confidence in her pronunciation.
En’en was also not much different to Maomao, saying only what she had learnt, so she was also speaking slowly to the girl. However, the girl who was tilting her head widened her eyes and jumped up and down. Apparently, she understood.
“She seems to be a Sha’ou child.”
Irene had blonde hair and blue eyes, but that didn’t mean that all Sha’ou people had bright coloured hair and eyes. Darker colours are more easily passed on from parent to child, so it seems that, naturally, black and brown would be common.
“She understood? But, her name…”
The girl cannot speak at all. She only slapped her throat and made shapes with her hands.
“Could it be that she can’t speak?”
“You can’t speak?” Maomao asked her in Sha’ou language, and the girl made a round circle with her hands.
“If she can’t speak…” Maomao picked up a stick from the ground and wrote letters on the ground. And then she passed the stick over to the girl.
“Can you write your name?”
At Maomao’s question, the girl shook her head. For some reason, she drew a picture. It looked like a flower, but she didn’t know what kind of flower it was.
“…doesn’t look like she can’t write either.”
“What should we do?” Yao asked.
“That’s what I want to ask,” Maomao countered.
From the start, this was caused by Yao who had pushed herself in without thinking. However, the court lady might have a strong sense of justice from the looks of it.
Yao made an awkward expression.
The girl only drew pictures on the ground.
“What is this?” Maomao said.
It was a drawing that looked like a bowl with a handle.
“Could it be food?” En’en asked.
“I wonder what this is about?” Yao said.
The girl tapped the drawing with the stick.
“Could it be that she is looking for this?” Yao said, so En’en asked the girl in broken language, where she drew a large circle. And then she showed them her palm. There was a small nugget of gold dust on it.
“Wait, is that…”
It’s small, but it’s gold. This isn’t something you readily show people, Maomao closed the girl’s hand.
“If she has money, could she mean that she wants to go shopping?” Maomao supposed.
“I don’t think that’s wrong.”
She got En’en’s agreement. Yeah, Yao also affirmed.
“But then, we don’t know what that is, right?” Maomao looked at the drawing. “Do you want this kind of bowl?” she asked.
The girl shook her head.
At least, she might understand if the drawing was better.
(If only she is as good as Chou’u.)
No, there’s no helping it even if she said such a thing. It is better to consider drawings with age.
“It looks like some food, but do we have any other clues?”
They were making no progress.
The girl looked towards the canal. The children that had scattered off before had started to play by the water. What are they fishing for? Maomao thought, when they caught a crayfish. If you remove the mud and cook it, it’s delicious.
However, the crayfish wasn’t the girl’s goal; she shook her head as if it say that’s not it.
“There’s nothing we can do, so shall we go back for now? The court physicians would be able to speak more fluently,” Maomao said.
Yao had also given up, so she frankly agreed.
“Hey, come with us.” Yao held the girl’s hand. Since the latter was tilting her head, Maomao explained to her that they were going to take her to people who can understand the language better.
However, the child shook her head. It seems she wanted to tell them something, but since she couldn’t articulate, they didn’t understand her. She was just drawing pictures on the ground.
“Could this be, by any chance, a steamed bun?” Yao asked.
“It seems like it if you say so.”
She had only drawn an oval, so it was hard to judge. Maomao and the others tilted their heads, and the girl tilted her head as if to say you still don’t understand?
“Could this be a fruit?”
“Could it be an apple?” Yao said.
As Yao had said, there was a leaf on the stalk that stabbed through the circle. When they looked at the other things, it didn’t not look like fruits and pastries. Then, could the picture of the bowl before to be a bowl with dim sum?
“Don’t tell me…”
“Do you want dim sum?”
At En’en’s question, the girl waved her arms widely. It seems to be the case.
Maomao opened the bag she was carrying. She showed her the pastries they had bought just then. “Is that not it?”
Yao and En’en also showed her their bags, but the child shook her head for all of them.
“I think, we have pretty much every variety available.”
Baked pastries, steamed pastries, sweet food, savoury food–there really were a lot of orders.
“What’s left would be the things from the next shop, though.” Maomao pointed to the shop as she said that, and the girl hopped.
They didn’t understand now, but she told the child that they will be going to a shop that sells confectionary. With that, she hopped even more.
“Is she telling us to take her along with us?”
Apparently, it was so.
Could she mean that shop had what she wanted?
They crossed the canal and headed for the shop. There was a signboard on one of the private houses. It was somehow gloomy with it closed up.
The girl couldn’t read even though there was a signboard. Could that be why she didn’t know?
“This is a confectionary shop?” Yao faced it with eyes that suspected everything.
“The shop is a little peculiar,” Maomao answered.
They slid open the shop door; the previous customer was there. In the dim lighting of the shop interior, there was a customer of the plump shop owner. The customer looks to be a woman, but she was quite tall. Her skin tone was also a little dark.
“Jazgül!” the woman uttered in an unfamiliar word.
Not long after Maomao tilted her head, wondering what it was about, the foreigner girl leapt forward.
“Geez! Where did you go!” She spoke in a foreign language. It seems “Jazuguru” was the girl’s name.
“Ummm, she seems to be her guardian?”
“From the looks of it.”
Then just what was that four and eight kinds of suffering they were subject to until now? They slumped their shoulders.
Jazuguru pointed to them and tried to tell the woman something.
“Could it bé that you brought Jazgül áll the wáy here?” It was accented, but they understood her words well enough.
“It was just at this canal. She looked like she wanted pastries…” Yao answered.
In other words, she had been brought along to the sweet shop and then got lost and didn’t know where the sweet shop was. To think that she was this close.
“I’m sórry. This child really wanted to go nó matter what,” the woman explained. During that, the owner of the shop went to look for what she had ordered. He rummaged through the shelves.
“Ahhh, this shop.” En’en understood when she saw the shop sign on the wrapping paper. The paper was made crudely, but it was good enough for wrapping.
“What is it?” Yao asked.
“No, I noticed that our estate also has dealings with this shop,” En’en replied.
Maomao looked at the stock that the shop dealt in and understood. Rather than raw food, it had a lot of dried food.
“Okay—this is all we have today, is that okay?”
“Geh!?” When she saw what the owner of the shop took out, Yao shrieked.
Speaking of what he took out, it was a bundle of dried frogs. The frogs had been stretched out and dried.
Could it be that the child reacted to the crayfish fishing at the canal thinking that they were catching frogs? And that was why she was dejected.
(The kind of frog is different, but.)
Since it’s a frog that used in high classed treats, it is incomparable to frogs that are in nobility.
Maomao recalled the decently sized thing that she had no idea if it was fine to call frog that was present in the corner of her memories and shook her head.
“Wh-what is it used in?” Yao asked.
(Probably in a cooling summer dim sum.)
The fat lining of the reproductive organs of female frogs that are only available in one region is jiggly and delicious. Yao should know about that really well, but…
(It’s happier if she doesn’t know.)
“Hey, it’s true that foreigners eat snakes and frogs, right?” Yao hunkered over to ask En’en. En’en answered, “That’s true”, but that was so barefaced.
However, when she saw what the foreigner customer had bought up, Maomao was troubled. “Um…”
Dried frog was another case, but they had brought up the entire stock of the dried fig and pomegranate that had been simmered in rock sugar.
“Can you leave just a bit of the fig?” she asked.
“My apólogies. How much dó you require?”
Maomao told her the amount, and the customer quickly agreed.
“If it’s fig, they are available raw this season, so we can prepare them whenever. I guess there’s still a bit of time left for the pomegranate,” the shop owner said.
“Thánk you very much.” The woman thanked the shop owner politely. Jazuguru also followed suit in lowering her head.
Maomao saw what the woman bought and squinted her eyes.
(I want to ask a bit, though.)
She would be speaking over the other person and moreover, with their voices overlapping, she didn’t know she could convey it properly, so she didn’t speak.
The woman wrapped up the goods in a cloth and went to stand before them.
“Thís isn’t much.” The woman presented them some white cloth. She passed it over, one person per sheet. “Since you looked after Jazgül.”
After saying that, the foreign customer left the shop. When Maomao felt the cloth, she ended up flustered. “Umm!”
“The goods have been prepared.”
Maomao was going to chase after them, but the shop owner called her to a stop. When they accepted the errand goods and left the shop, the two foreigners were already nowhere to be seen.
“What’s wrong?” Yao asked.
“It’s this.” Maomao fluttered the white cloth she received. It looked plain; there was a small embroidery of a plant on the edge.
“From the cool feel of it, it’s silk, isn’t it?” En’en said.
“Yeah, it’s silk, but what about it?” At the young lady who fired back with indifference, Maomao spread her hands and shook her head.
“Yao-sama. To receive a silk product from bringing back a lost child at best is a lavish treat. Generally.”
“Th-that’s true. I also thought that.”
Yeah, she gradually understood the adorableness of Yao. En’en raised her index finger in a place where Yao couldn’t see.
They had brought up the shop; they were people who give away high-class items at the drop of a hat.
(They’re quite wealthy.)
I should have buttered up to them a bit more, she sighed.
“Could she have some gynecological disease or something?” Maomao asked.
“She only bought things for that.” It seems En’en had the same thought as her.
It seems only Yao hadn’t noticed, she looked at Maomao and En’en with a little vexation.
Amid that, the bell rang, indicating the time.
Noticing that it’s already time they got back, the three had no choice but to dash back with all their might.